Current Affairs Dec 2013


Brenda started the meeting by wishing everyone a Happy Christmas and invited the ten members present to enjoy drinks and nibbles, feeding their brains for the quiz to come!.

Brenda then reported that there were now 5 members interested in joining the group and she was going to appeal for a volunteer to start another current affairs discussion group.

Brenda then outlined the programme for the beginning of 2014:

January 6th – general issues (any topic)

February 3rd – Community Officers from Tesco joining us

Brenda also suggested trying to get a representative from WDC recycling to come to a meeting to talk about the new recycling scheme – everyone was in favour.

Thence began the quiz – 14 questions on current issues in the last month. This produced some lively discussion and some laughs.

The Quiz along with answers and supplementary questions follows below.

December 2013 – Brenda’s Quiz


1. Which nations boycotted the Commonwealth Conference, and why?

2. What has John Major been saying?

3. What is the difference between ‘minimum’ wage and ‘living’ wage?

4. Who was not qualified for his job?

5. Which inquiry is still continuing after 4 years?

6. Why are residents of Hull celebrating?

7. What jobs could be open to women in future?

8. Who needs to change their accents?

9. Of what should people be aware when buying a puppy?

10. Who feels excluded from the High Street?

11. Which famous detective died last month?

12. Who is leader of WDC?

13. Where will the new Wycombe Museum be housed?

14. What is the definition of Wendover?


1. Canada, India and Mauritius, because of Sri Lanka’s human rights abuses

2. Social Mobility (Exclusion)

3.MW – minimum pay/hr for almost all workers by law.

LW – level of pay needed to maintain ‘normal’ standard of living.

4. Paul Flowers, chairman of Coop Bank

5. Chilcott inquiry into Iraq war.

6. Selected as European City of Culture for 2017

7. a. Bishops and b. the right to sit on boards

8. A teacher from Cumbria

9. Puppy farms

10. Over 65s

11. Hercule Poirot

12. Richard Scott

13. Old Council Offices, Victoria Street (p15)

14. A point in a walk when the youngest member of the family refuses to go any further

Supplementary Questions

1. Who is the President of Sri Lanka?

Mahinda Rajapaska

What is William Haig demanding?

Demanding government setup independent inquiry into war crimes claims, by March 2014.

2. Why is he qualified to make such a statement?

Born & brought up in Cheam, Surrey he attended a state primary school, grammar school and left school aged 16.

3. What are the values LW – £8.80 (London) £7.65 rest of UK MW – £7.32

4. What jobs had be previously held? Why was he dismissed from them?

Methodist minister (drug abuse)

Labour Councillor in Bradford (indecent images on computer)

Who else resigned over the incident?

Len Wardle – chairman of Coop Empire who chaired board that appointed PF

What inquiries are to be setup?

Bank of England and Treasury

6. Who did they beat? What will it mean for the City?

Hull has been named the UK’s next City of Culture, beating Leicester, Dundee and Swansea Bay to the right to hold the title in 2017.

Which famous people live(d) there?

Phillip Larkin (poet), John Prescott (MP)

7. Do you know a country that has appointed a woman to a government post

Hamas government in the Gaza Strip – appointed a woman to represent it to the world.

And even more information

2. John Major & Social Mobility

He is reported to have said:

“In every single sphere of British influence, the upper echelons of power in 2013 are held overwhelmingly by the privately educated or the affluent middle class. To me, from my background, I find that truly shocking. Our education system should help children out of the circumstances in which they were born, not lock them into the circumstances in which they were born. We need them to fly as high as their luck, their ability and their sheer hard graft can actually take them. And it isn’t going to happen magically.”


3. Living Wage vs Minimum Wage

What is the minimum wage

The National Minimum Wage is the minimum pay per hour almost all workers are entitled to by law.

It doesn’t matter how small an employer is, they still have to pay the minimum wage.

The minimum wage rate depends on a worker’s age and if they’re an apprentice.

Living Wage rise provides a boost for low paid workers

A wage which is high enough to maintain a normal standard of living.

The living wage is calculated according to the basic cost of living. The UK Living Wage rate, which is not binding on employers, in London, it is £8.80 an hour. A total of 432 employers have signed up to pay the rate, up from 78 last year. Firms signed up to the voluntary scheme include Barclays, Oxfam, Legal and General and the National Portrait Gallery. Rhys Moore, director of the Living Wage Foundation, said the living wage had become “a must-have badge of honour for employers”. “By looking out for the Living Wage badge, you can now choose to support businesses that are doing right thing. It works just like Fairtrade and will grow even faster with consumer support,” he added.


6. Hull and European City of Culture – more info

Award every four years by Government to boost tourism and economy

Past and present residents include poet Philip Larkin, former Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott and pioneering aviator Amy Johnson

£108M boost to local economy


9. Puppy Farms

Puppy farms are like factory farms where dogs are bred purely for profit. The dogs are normally bred too often, many are unhealthy, and often live in unbearably poor conditions. The puppies are generally removed from their mothers far too early and sent by rail or van to ‘dealers’ or pet shops to satisfy the public’s demands.

Many are severely traumatised by the transition, and some do not make it alive. Do not buy a puppy or a dog from these sources, as they will have had the worst possible start in life, and are far more likely to have health and temperament problems.

Many ‘puppy farm’ puppies come with complete pedigrees, however, a pedigree in itself, is not necessarily an indication of quality. Find out more about the Kennel Club’s Stop Puppy Farming campaign.?

Puppy Dealers

‘Dealers’ are agents for puppy farms. They buy puppies and sell them on, advertising them in newspapers and magazines, often masquerading as breeders. If an advert lists more than one breed of puppy for sale, then the person placing it is probably a dealer (but not always). Ask if you can see the mother with the puppies, and if they make an excuse about why the mother cannot be seen, do not buy a puppy from them. Never buy a dog from the back of a van at a motorway service station or from an airport (such as Heathrow) car park, as this is how many dealers operate.

Pet Shops

Do not buy a puppy or a dog from a pet shop as it is likely to have originated from a puppy farm. Good breeders would never sell their puppies via a pet shop, despite what you may be told.