Archives for October 2008

Phishing in your bank account?

Host_Ryan - One Show team | 13:41 UK time, Thursday, 30 October 2008

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Identity theft is one of the biggest problems facing internet users with online banking fraud losses alone totalling £21.4m during the first six months of this year.

One particular swindle involves fraudsters phishing for your details.

Phishing is when criminals attempt to gain our banking details by impersonating our bank and requesting sensitive information.

It usually entails an email asking the customer to verify their information. These emails often link to a website which will look exactly your bank's official website.

You'll be encouraged to enter your details and password into the site which will then be sent to the criminal, who will then have access to your online bank account.

These phishing emails are getting increasingly sophisticated. Some have even begun to impersonate government departments such as HMRC.

Dom's advice - how to avoid falling hook, line and sinker

If you're ever in doubt about an email always contact your bank directly.

Be aware that UK banks will never contact you requesting passwords or to verify account details.

If you get an email addressed to you generically such as "Dear Valued Customer" it's not likely to be from your bank; after all they should know your name.

If you think you have given your details to a phishing scam you should contact your bank immediately.

Click here to visit Bank Safe Online for more information.

What's your epitaph?

Host_Ryan - One Show team | 13:40 UK time, Thursday, 30 October 2008

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Can't see the film? Click here to watch.


"The best is yet to come" is Frank Sinatra's.
Sammy Davis Jr.'s reads "The Entertainer. He did it all."
And can you guess who had the words written... "I told you so, you damned fools"?


For The One Show, Gyles Brandreth visited Brompton Cemetery. Opened in 1840, it holds many thousands of graves, including Emmeline Pankhurst's. The names on the gravestones in this cemetery, for example Peter Rabbett, Mr. McGregor and Mr. Nutkins, inspired Beatrix Potter when she was creating some of the characters in her books.

What will your epitaph be? What words will sum up your life? Humorous? Meaningful? We'd like to know the words you'd choose to have on your gravestone. Tell us below.


Please leave your first name and location on your blog comment, if you'd like your epitaph to be mentioned on The One Show programme.

In debt to an illegal lender?

Host_Ryan - One Show team | 13:39 UK time, Thursday, 30 October 2008

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Millions of people are being hit by the downturn in the economy. Some, in desperation, are turning to illegal lenders for an "easy loan".

These criminals are exploiting people in trouble, so the government has created specialised Illegal Money Lending Teams as part of Trading Standards.

The national freephone number to report an illegal lender is: 0300 5552222.

Alternatively you can email them on: stoploansharks@birmingham.gov.uk

Please note: This is not a general advice service - do not call if you are in legitimate debt.

Also; click here to go to the Trading Standards website that let's you report rogue traders.

Or click here to find your local Citizens Advice Bureau.

There is also the CCCS (Consumer Credit Counselling Service) - a charity offering free, confidential advice to anyone who is worried about debt. Click here to visit their website.

Is depression an embarrassment?

Dr Sarah Jarvis | 17:19 UK time, Tuesday, 28 October 2008

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Can't see the video? Click here to watch


Can people with mental health problems work? You can't see mental illness.


That person with the mental health problem isn't that weird bloke who smells funny and walks down the street talking to himself, they are me and you.


And chances are, you've probably walked past 10 more people who are suffering with mental health problems.
 
Depression is the single most common problem patients come to the surgery suffering from, hence why I have a box of tissues strategically placed next to the patient.


The moment you take that time to listen, is the moment a person starts to open up. Often it's such a relief to them, they often become overcome with the emotion that they've been holding back.


But it's getting to that point where a person is ready to confront those feelings, the angst, that cloud. And the stigma that
society puts on sufferers makes it even more of an impossible choice.


Mental health problems can affect the strongest of characters, One Show guest Alistair Campbell suffered a breakdown after months of intensive stress at work, too much alcohol and myriad other complex issues. Watch him talk about it on BBC Headroom.


What makes me most upset is that society is so narrow-minded that people would rather admit to having back pain or any other physical ailment rather than admit to suffering from some kind of depression.


Even if you find the strength to admit it to yourself, your family and your friends, you've still got to deal with work. Or is it better not to?
 
In Sue Smith's case telling her work colleagues that she was suffering from depression signalled the loss of her job. Her story was so moving, she nearly had me and the crew filming, in tears.


Sue was first diagnosed with cancer which sent her into reactive depression, while her colleagues were initially supportive of her fight against cancer, most of them couldn't deal with her depression and felt more comfortable pretending it didn't exist. Sue did recover but she did lose her job.


Cambridge's local health service is trying to tackle the discrimination of people with mental health problems head on with Time to Change, which will run nationwide next year.    


What I'd say to employers is don't cut off a whole raft of invaluable employees just because they may be suffering from mental health problems. They have a lot to offer, you're only denying yourself and your business, after all they have a range of skills and experience too.


And really it doesn't have to be that way. Would you tell your boss you're suffering from depression?




If you feel you're suffering from depression and want to talk to someone, call the Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90 or click here to visit the Samaritans website, or for more information contact MIND.

Are you politically correct?

Host_Ryan - One Show team | 18:28 UK time, Monday, 27 October 2008

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The fear of causing offence has led some advocates of political correctness to ban words such as black, bald and even short.

An example; Students' union toilet signs at the University of Manchester have recently had a PC makeover. They've been "de-gendered".

Temporary signs have made the "ladies" simply "toilets", while the "gents" have become "toilets with urinals".

Susannah Birkwood from Student Direct newspaper said: "The toilets have been provided for men who don't self identify as men and women who don't think of themselves as women.

"Whether or not this is political correctness gone mad.. because it certainly seems that way to some members of our student community."

But Jennie Killip from the students' union told the BBC: "If you were born female, still present quite feminine, but define as a man you should be able to go into the men's toilets - if that's how you define.

"You don't necessarily have had to have gender reassignment surgery, but you could just define yourself as a man, feel very masculine in yourself, feel that in fact being a woman is not who you are."

Political correctness is supposed to protect people's feelings - to make people feel included. But has it gone too far? Hindering communication, causing divisions in society? Or maybe the pre-PC days make you shudder?

Have you experienced political corectness? We'd like to hear about good and bad examples. Have your say below.

Bring back the cane?

Host_Ryan - One Show team | 15:15 UK time, Friday, 24 October 2008

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Can't see the video? Click here to watch.

Earlier this month a survey of more than 6000 teachers, by the Times Educational Supplement, found that one in five teachers would like to see the cane re-introduced in UK schools.

Corporal punishment was banned in state schools in 1987, and banned in private schools in 1998.

Adrian Chiles getting caned
For The One Show, Anita Rani spoke to Michael Shaw from the TES, who said that the survey results reflect teachers' frustration about the lack of options they have to discipline children.

Anita also met Katie Ivens, vice-chair of the Campaign for Real Education. She believes that "serious violence, bringing knives to school, assaulting teachers, throwing chairs at them... I suspect that things like that just wouldn't happen if the option to use the cane existed."

At the Oasis Academy in Surrey, Anita met Principal John Murphy - he opposes corporal punishment in schools. He said: "I think caning is a legalised beating of a child - which is totally inappropriate. We have found that there is a clear connection between children that behave violently in school and children who have violence at home... so as adults here we have to be really good role models. We have to show [pupils] that they're loved, accepted and valued."

John also told Anita that he was caned as a child, and that it caused him to lose respect for his teacher.

So, should caning return to schools? What do you think? What are your experiences of corporal punishment?

Near death experiences. Fact or fantasy?

Host_Ryan - One Show team | 15:09 UK time, Friday, 24 October 2008

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For The One Show, Anita Rani has been investigating near death experiences.

Twenty five British hospitals have agreed to take part in an international study of the subject. Click here for more information.

Hundreds of survivors have reported near death experience stories, but the evidence, say the experts, is purely anecdotal.

Psychologist Dr Susan Blackmore believes that there are many medical explanations to why people have near death experiences - that they are simply the processes of the body and mind under stress, creating hallucinations.

Have you ever had a near death experience? Are they fact or fantasy?

Please leave your first name and location on your blog comment, if you'd like it to be mentioned on The One Show programme.

 

The Bumblebee Auctions website

Host_Ryan - One Show team | 18:15 UK time, Thursday, 23 October 2008

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Can't see the film? Click here.
Tonight, Dom Littlewood told us about a little known, police managed website - www.bumblebeeauctions.co.uk.

The website sells lost property that's handed in and not claimed after a month, seized goods, false assets, shop-lifted goods and so on.

Fourteen police forces currently use the service: Sussex, Surrey, Hampshire, Devon & Cornwall, Wiltshire, Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, Thames Valley, North and West Yorkshire, Kent and Cumbria.

Unusual items that have been sold on Bumblebee include an industrial fog machine, a brass diver's helmet and crash barriers from Sussex.

Is make-up more important than food?

Melanie Grant - One Show team | 18:09 UK time, Wednesday, 22 October 2008

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Why do women have this obsession with make-up? According to a recent survey, 70% of women see make-up and cosmetics as an essential, every day necessity. Is it really important to wear make-up every day?


But on top of that, eight million (29%) of British women would rather spend less money on food in order to maintain their beauty regime despite the credit crunch!


Are cosmetics more important than the weekly shop? Would you forego food in order to have the perfect face?


The One show spoke to Jennifer Trevorrow, who has cut down on food to pay for her cosmetics and visited a department store to get tips on the cheaper alternatives.


In these stressful economic times is a bit of lippy as important as the supermarket shop? Is putting on a face a must? 

Did the CSA need to change?

Justin Rowlatt | 18:09 UK time, Wednesday, 22 October 2008

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Everyone seems to hate the Child Support Agency don't they?  But let's be honest, it was never going to be popular. 


On paper it sounds like a good idea.  Why not get parents who've left their children to contribute to their up-keep?  It would save billions of pounds of taxpayers' money and hopefully make people a bit more careful about their parental responsibilities. 


The problem is that the absentee parents felt got at - after all there's no more certain way of upsetting people than trying to force them to pay money they don't want to pay out. 


And what's more, many of the parents left looking after the kids feel poorly treated too, complaining about computer errors and unfathomable calculation methods. And all too often the fact that the CSA didn't get the parent of their child to pay what was due.


So the big question is can the CSA's replacement do any better?


It's got an even more unappealing name. It's to be called the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission - sound's like something out of George Orwell doesn't it? But it does seem some of the problems of the CSA have been addressed.


For a start, parents on benefit will no longer be obliged to use the Commission, they'll be able to come to their own agreements if they wish.  Parents will also be able to keep more of the maintenance payments without it affecting their benefits - that's something many parents will be happy about. 


But the big complaint from parents looking after kids on their own, was when the CSA failed to get any money from an absentee parent.  So what will CMEC - as it is to be known - going to do about that?


Well, it has so really tough new powers.  The CSA used to be able to deduct money direct from a parent's pay packet.  CMEC will be able to go even further, it'll be able to deduct cash direct from bank accounts.


Does that sound like an improvement to you or do you think that any agency that tries to get absentee parents to pay for their children is on a hiding to nothing?


Find out more about the CSA and CMEC with the The National Association for Child Support Action in the UK.


Find out more answers on the Child Support Agency website

Call yourself a good neighbour?

Justin Rowlatt - | 16:59 UK time, Tuesday, 21 October 2008

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Justin Rowlatt

I've got a question for you and I want you to be honest. How many of your neighbours do you know? What about their names? 


If you know more than five you are doing really well because research shows that fewer than half of us can name between one and five of our neighbours.  That's right, most people don't even know five neighbours names!


That didn't come as a surprise to us at The One Show because when we asked about neighbourly spirit on the programme we were inundated with emails from people saying their area had changed for the worse and that people are less friendly than they used to be.


Well, here on The One Show we like to provide answers to problems so I've been looking at ways we can make our neighbourhoods a bit more - well - neighbourly.


I've visited the village of Shotley in Suffolk where they've been running a good neighbour scheme for three years.


It's a simple idea.  Neighbours agree to put a couple of hours aside each week to help out other people in the area: driving someone to a hospital appointment maybe, or clipping an elderly person's hedge - whatever needs doing.


What struck me most is not how much good work the volunteers in Shotley have been doing - though that was impressive - it was more how much they all seemed to enjoy it. 


So here's what I want to know - do you think a Good Neighbour scheme would work in your area and - more importantly - would you be willing to get involved? Or you happier keeping yourself to yourself?


 

Is capitalism dead?

Host_Ryan - One Show team | 14:41 UK time, Friday, 17 October 2008

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Stock markets are plunging and investment banks collapsing. What does this mean for the future of capitalism?

Andrew Neal asked three experts whether they think that under the current financial circumstances, capitalism will die. He spoke to George Galloway, Claire Fox and Duncan Bannatyne.

They held differing views, but seemed to agree that capitalism will survive this difficult time by mutating and adapting. George said that "there is no alternative system ready and waiting to take over".

Duncan believes we should distinguish between the financial traders and entrepreneurs "that create something - they create jobs and they create businesses".
He concluded: "If you end capitalism, you might as well end the world".

See also: Watch Branson, Clarke & Robinson on economy crisis.

See also: Listen to British Marxist historian Eric Hobsbawn, "arguably our greatest living historian" according to the New York Review, on the Today programme.


So, is capitalism dead? What, if anything, needs to change?

Unemployment: How do you cope?

Host_Ryan - One Show team | 11:54 UK time, Thursday, 16 October 2008

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For The One Show Anita Rani travelled to Liverpool, a city that was once hit hard by unemployment.

In 1982 unemployment figures topped three million for the first time since the Great Depression of the 30s.

Fast forward to 2008 and the number of people out of work in the UK soared in the three months to August by 164,000 compared to the previous quarter, the biggest rise for 17 years.

There are predictions that there could be two million jobless by Christmas, in the UK.

Click here for the government guide to redundancy and the law.

Sudden redundancy and unemployment can mean stress and misery for families.

So please share your wisdom here - have you been unemployed? How did you cope? What advice for others do you have?

The fizz tests

Host_Ryan - One Show team | 11:53 UK time, Thursday, 16 October 2008

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Can't see the film? Click here to watch.


Marty Jopson examines the popular myths and theories surrounding fizzy drinks as part of his Test Centre series of films.


First off - Why do some fizzy drinks explode when you add mints to them?


Marty explains that it's a combination of a chemical reaction and the rough surface of the mints that creates tiny bubbles which are forced upwards out of the bottle.


Second: Does leaving a silver spoon in sparkling wine prevent it from losing its fizz?


Through comparisons with and without a spoon Marty disproves that it makes a difference. In fact, says Marty, it's the naturally occurring gases given off by the wine that make it last longer than you would expect.


And finally: Does tapping a drinks can prevent it from spraying?


Marty builds a can shaking device to answer the question. He finds that it makes very little difference at all - completely disproving the myth.


Still to come in the series: Thunder and lightning, and can opera singers smash glasses with their voices?


What do you think about Marty's tests? Will you still be tapping your cans and leaving a spoon in the bottle?

Are young mothers good role models?

Justin Rowlatt - | 17:55 UK time, Wednesday, 15 October 2008

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Whenever I see headlines saying the 'UK has highest teenage pregnancy rate in Europe', I can't help but ask myself....why?


Meet the Killeen family - the live in Birmingham, they're a genuinely nice family, warm, welcoming and loving but what makes them stand out is that the Killeens have three generations of teen mums.


Jodi, now 19, had Kyle at 18 and son Lucas at 19. Toni, now 18 had Sinead when she was 15-years old and Darren, now 16 had daughter Serena just over three months ago. Their mother, Lisa also had children from a young age with her first at 18 and her fifth by 26.


Recent goverment research shows, on average, that chlidren born to young mums are two thirds more likely to end up living in poverty. But what struck me about the Killeens is that they don't see anything wrong with parents so young which is very different from the goverment.


While some may judge Lisa and her family, the Killeens are proud and say they wouldn't change anything because their children have made their lives better. 


I also Kim Longman, who at 15, is studying for her GCSE's while raising her 18-month old son Tyler. She told me that having him has encouraged her to get back into education.


Even though Kim's determined to defy the official statistics that say 40% of young mums will leave school with no qualifications, she had one message for children her age...."Think before you act because you have to face the consequences afterwards."


Telephone politeness

Host_Ryan - One Show team | 12:41 UK time, Wednesday, 15 October 2008

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Can't see Gyles' film? Click here to watch again.

The One Show's Gyles Brandreth has taken a nostalgic look at old telephone exchanges and British telephone etiquette.

In the days before the mobile phone, there was an element of charm and romance in making a call - even a sense of occasion.

But now? Have the old fashioned courtesies disappeared? Does telephone politeness belong in the past?

Do you pick up the phone elegantly, then say your number, followed by your name, and "how may I help you"? Or maybe you have your own special telephony routine? Share your telephone manner with us!

Please leave your first name and location on your blog comment, if you'd like it to be mentioned on The One Show programme.

Is your council cutting back on services?

Host_Ryan - One Show team | 12:03 UK time, Wednesday, 15 October 2008

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The lights are going out in Powys. As Anita Rani found out, the local council has decided to switch off non-essential street lights after midnight in order to save money.

Anita met the Mayor who explained that the reason for the switch off is that there has been a 45% increase in fuel bills, and that their grant from the Welsh assembly has only seen a 1.3% increase this year - against 4.6% inflation.

Other councils considering a post midnight switch-off include: East Riding of Yorkshire Council, Bucks County Council, Madlon and Uttlseford in Essex, Gloucs, Herts, Cornwall and Devon.

Are there cut-backs in your area?

We're facing another recession, and the Local Government Association says 108 councils in England and Wales are affected by the collapse of the Icelandic banks.

So, have you noticed that your council services are being cut-back? Would you support a street light switch-off in your area? Add your experiences here - let's try and create a picture of how council services across the country are possibly being affected.

Your comments may be mentioned on TV, so please leave your first name and location.

Is Digital forcing you to abandon your TV?

Melanie Grant - One Show team | 09:33 UK time, Tuesday, 14 October 2008

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Can't see the video? Click here to watch



The digital switchover has been talked about for years but the move from Analogue to Digital television is here, starting with the Border TV and the Westcountry regions. Find out when it's happening in your area.



New research by Digital UK and Ofcom suggests that while most of us have converted our main TV sets to digital, nearly a third of the UK's 60 million TV sets are still analogue.



And people are still buying analogue sets. Is it because people don't care about digital? Or have they've been ill-advised?



Some MPs recently reported that consumers were not being well-served by information provided when buying analogue televisions. Retailers have agreed to display a digital logo on sets ready for digital but it is voluntary. 



Anyone who's recently bought a new analogue TV will have to adapt it, you can even get your old TV converted with a digital box, even black and white ones and televisions without scart sockets. Your television will need to have either a scart or RF input otherwise it won't happen. But the advise is to buy a television that already has a built-in digital receiver.

Harassment...where can you get help?

Melanie Grant - One Show team | 15:52 UK time, Monday, 13 October 2008

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Justin Rowlatt and woman talking

Former Tory Parliamentary candidate for Watford Ian Oakley has been given a 18-week suspended sentence, a 12-month supervision order and a £650 fine for the two year hate campaign he waged against two of his Liberal Democrat rivals.


Oakley admitted to slashing tyres, sending hate mail, making silent phone calls and damaging property. They're now thought of as the more traditional modes of harassment.  


But with more gadgets at our disposal, there are fears that the internet and other forms of technology, can make it even easier for people to stalk, abuse and harrass. 


Justin Rowlatt met Michael Bulling who was terrorised by a gang which bragged about the crimes they committed on the social networking site Bebo.


If you're a victim of harassment or bullying there are simple steps you can take: 


Speak out
Places to contact include the 24-hour helpline the Stop Hate Line: 0800 138 1625 they can tell you where your local Hate Incident Reporting Centre is. Also, Victim Support have a phoneline you can call: 0845 303 0900.


Log calls/texts
If you're being bullied through texts or phone calls, save messages and call records if you have space in your phone. If not, write down the time of the call/text, what was said/written and the caller/sender's number if you have it. And whatever you do, don't reply to any texts - it's just what the bully wants.


Keep a diary
By diarising everything, you won't miss out any detail and it will help show you're telling the truth.


 

0% credit cards: Do you read the small print?

Melanie Grant - One Show team | 16:35 UK time, Friday, 10 October 2008

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Can't see the video? Click here to watch


When is 0% not really 0%? Dom Littlewood knows...he's found out even the best 0% credit card balance transfer offers, can still end up costing you.


You see, although the offer says 0% on balances transferred, 0% doesn't necessarily apply to purchases and cash withdrawls. And if your credit card provider uses a negative order of payment or negative payment hierarchy, then clearing your debts is going to be that much more harder.


To clear your balance as fast as possible, you might be hoping the debt with the highest interest rate is paid off first. But with negative payment hierarchy the debt with the lowest interest rate (i.e 0%) is paid off first - leaving it much harder to clear the most expensive parts of your balance. And some higher rates can be as much as 17%.


Some cards offer positive order of payment where you're paying off the debt charged at the highest interest rate first, before the lower rate. But to be sure you need to either ask or read the small print to find out.


Do you know what repayment hierarchy your credit card is on? Have you read the small print?

Is shoplifting a joke?

Melanie Grant - One Show team | 18:10 UK time, Thursday, 9 October 2008

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Can't see the video? Click here to watch



With the global economy in decline and the country heading for recession an increasing number of people are turning to shoplifting to fill the financial gap.


Britain's become the shoplifting capital of Europe with some 700,000 people stealing every year.


Rav Wilding speaks to a former shoplifter, asks why theft has become the credit crunch crime of choice and looks at the fact that, even if they're caught the majority of shoplifters don't end up in prison.


Is shoplifting considered to be a joke in this country? Would stricter penalties be a deterrant for shoplifters? If so, what kind of penalties should there be?


 

Branson, Clarke & Robinson on economy crisis

Host_Ryan - One Show team | 14:22 UK time, Wednesday, 8 October 2008

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Can't see the film? Click here to watch.

Sir Richard BransonClick here to add your comment.

 

The global economy is in crisis. But have we seen it all before, or are we really heading for financial meltdown? Justin Rowlatt asked The One Show's very own three wise men for their opinions and advice.

Tycoon Sir Richard Branson said: "Obviously some people are going to be horrendously affected, they are going to lose their houses. Some people are going to have to pay higher mortgage costs but I think most businesses apart from the banks are fundamentally sound in the UK and therefore I think the ordinary people will not be affected too dramatically.

"We need literally thousands of new young entrepreneurs to get out and set up businesses. We need businesses that are already set up to get in and fill the gaps of companies that are stumbling. It's things like that which will get the country back on it's feet again."

Former Chancellor Ken Clarke Former Chancellor Ken Clarke said: "It's bad. I'm more pessimistic than I was. If you don't need to move house, don't move house. If you're a first time buyer wait a bit longer because they are going to be cheaper. If you're in business you really do need to contemplate a bit of retrenchment and if you can save costs do, if you were thinking of expanding don't at the moment.

"We're all going to feel as though we've got a big hangover after a wild party for the next two or three years I think if I had to guess it will be 2010 before things start to pick up."

Management guru Sir Gerry Robinson said: "I've never seen anything like it before. I think it's happened much more rapidly and I think the reason for that is that communication is much more rapid...

  Sir Gerry Robinson"Well the amazing thing about this kind of event is that it takes the financial world by surprise every 25 or 30 years. It just happens and we all say it will never happen again and we take steps to make sure it doesn't but it seems to be a pattern and it gets out of hand every now and again and this one's got out of hand in a really big way"

"We all love a crisis but you still have to keep your head in all this. Will it even itself out? Yes it will."

Have your say here. It's said that the British love a crisis. But can we overcome a global economic crisis? Have you seen it all before or are we really heading for financial meltdown?

Please add your first name and location to your comment if you'd like to be mentioned on The One Show TV programme.

Dom on fixed rate mortgages

Host_Ryan - One Show team | 17:33 UK time, Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Comments

Can't see Dom's film? Click here to watch.

In his film, Dom explains how you can protect yourself against the uncertainty of the future by "booking" yourself a mortgage deal, at current interest rates, up to six months before you'll need it. So, even if the economy goes pear-shaped in the mean time, you've reserved yourself a deal which you know you can afford - and which the lender will have to stick to.

 

Possible disadvantages and things to be aware of

 

Costs may be incurred if don't go ahead with a deal which you've reserved. For example: arrangement and evaluation fees and any other upfront costs.

 

Be careful about trying to source too many of these deals, because if you're credit checked each time, it could affect your credit rating

 

Look out for how long the mortgage lasts for. You may not be getting the full period of the deal (for example: you might only get 21months of a 2 year deal) if the mortgage deal you've reserved has an end date.

 

Lenders will have to stick to the reserved offer unless something changes in the borrowers' personal circumstances. Just before the reserved deal is activated, the borrower will get credit checked to ensure they're still eligible in terms of their credit rating.

 

Please remember: Borrowers should check options and get advice from a qualified Independent Financial Advisor.

 

Do you have a fixed rate mortgage? Do you have any useful mortgage tips you'd like to pass on?

Are public toilets too small?

Host_Ryan - One Show team | 15:42 UK time, Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Comments

Can't see the film? Click here to see Sue's One Minute on the One Show.

 

Sue Upton from Bexleyheath got in touch with the One Show because she wanted to air her "major bugbear - the total lack of space in ladies' toilets".


Need to get it off your chest? Click here for more about One Minute on The One Show.


 Are modern toilets "public inconveniences"? Do you "back bigger bogs"?

Please add your first name and location to your comment if you'd like to be mentioned on The One Show TV programme.

Should council workers have police powers?

Justin Rowlatt | 14:54 UK time, Monday, 6 October 2008

Comments

Can't see Justin's film? Click here to watch.

 

Are you one of those people who gets annoyed when you see someone drop litter? Well, Colchester has become a zero-tolerance zone for litter louts.


Colchester's the first place in Britain I've been to, where they actually enforce the litter laws. No excuses and no second chances: drop rubbish or stub out a cigarette on the pavement or leave a newspaper on a bench and you face a £75 fine.


Justin RowlattBut the thing is, it won't be the police giving you the fine.


Teams of ordinary council workers with some pretty extraordinary powers patrol the streets on the lookout for litter louts. If they spot someone dropping litter they've got the power to demand their name and address and to issue what's called a fixed penalty notice - that's a fine to you and me.


What if someone refuses to cooperate? Then they have the right to take a photo which the council prints in the local paper, asking for people to dob the person in.


And here's the thing - Colchester Council says it works!


What's happening in Colchester is part of a much wider trend. All around the country ordinary civilians are being given powers that would normally be thought of as police powers - things like stopping traffic, confiscating alcohol or issuing all sorts of fines. The idea is to take the pressure off the Police but some people believe it could bring its own problems.


I suppose the key question is this: Would you be happy to see your local authority doing what Colchester's doing? Can council workers do the work of the police? Is this a long overdue attempt to tackle the scourge of anti-social behaviour?

A Charter for Grandparents? Would you sign up?

Host_Ryan - One Show team | 18:35 UK time, Friday, 3 October 2008

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Verity Gill is publishing a "Charter for Grandparents" in January. It's aimed at grandparents who are asking to be treated a bit more seriously when it comes to looking after their grandchildren. The charter will be published on Verity's website: grannynet.co.uk.

 

Would you sign up? Is it vital to have rules outlining what is fair to expect of grandparents? Or should it be left for families to sort out themselves?

Would you drive on biodiesel?

Melanie Grant - One Show team | 15:19 UK time, Thursday, 2 October 2008

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Who would believe....that cars could run off re-used cooking oil. Heard about biodiesel?

Dom Littlewood finds out how using biodiesel is saving people thousands of pounds simply because they're processing used cooking oil.

He meets a man whose 4x4 purely runs off the vegetable oil used to cook meals in his pub.

With the cost of fuel having increased by almost a third since August last year, some 20,000 people up and down the country are now making biodiesel.

Such is the demand for biodiesel, people are now selling used vegetable oil on auction wesbites!

There are around 75 outlets around the country who supply biodiesel. Click here to find your local supplier.

But before you start storing your chip fat away.....note there are strict guidelines you must follow. Renewable Energy Association (020 7747 1830) or Energy Savings Trust (0800 512 012) can also advise you.

Is biodiesel really worth it? Would you try it?

Frugal living - your money saving tips?

Host_Ryan - One Show team | 12:53 UK time, Wednesday, 1 October 2008

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Click here to add your tip.

The One Show's family have come up with their tips for living frugally. Watch our exclusive video to find out who's an advocate of hand-me downs and who uses the tea bag twice!

Lucy Siegle went to Coventry to meet WI member Innes Brett. Innes passed on her money saving tips. They include: 

1) Keep a flask by the kettle so whenever kettle is boiled, any leftover hot water put into flask for making a quick drink later in day.
2) Use newspaper to polish windows.
3) Don't peel potatoes before boiling them. Instead, boil them in their skins and peels afterwards as this saves the flesh and they taste better.
4) Freeze orange/lemon peels and when you have enough boil up to make marmalade.
5) After turning iron off, use remaining heat to press tea towels etc.
6) After turning off oven use remaining heat in dying oven to make melba toast with old dry bread split into two.
7) Turn stale bread into breadcrumbs for frying fish, adding to mince etc.
8) Boil knee high stockings together so they come out similar colours. Useful if you ladder one.
9) Make own soups e.g. veg soup from vegetables marked down at supermarket.
10) Don't wash out honey or jam jars. Save them until making stewed fruit - put in a little bit of warm water, swish around and it gives you sweet sugar.
11) Use paper from top of butter to grease tins for baking.
12) Never buy Christmas tags. Use bits of pattern cut from wrapping paper or chocolate boxes. 
13) Jumble sales. Buy clothing even if you don't like it because you can re-use zips and lace.
14) Makes your own curtains.
15) Ask at the supermarket for a free ham bone she can use to make stock with.
16) Use spare drop of wine from bottom of bottle in gravy.
17) Make worn sheets usable again by cutting out the middle, sewing up the middle using a flat seam so it is comfortable. Sew the worn section onto the outside edge.
18) Cut wide post-it notes in half to get double the use.
19) Alway scrapes out the last bit of toothpaste from the tube.
20) Collects up scraps of soap bars. Once you have sufficient, squeeze them into a plastic tube, fill it with boiling water, leave for a couple of months, cut off the plastic and you have a new solid bar of soap. 

How frugal are you?

We're on the look-out for the UK's most frugal person, so if you refuse to throw anything away and have money saving tips coming out of your ears, then please nominate yourself and leave a comment, below.

Also, if you have a photo that illustrates your frugal ways, please send them in via our gallery.

What are your frugal tips? Your ways of cutting down on the day-to-day spend?

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