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Inflation-busting increase of the day

So it has been announced today that Royal Mail postal prices are increasing from 30th April 2012.

Both first and second class stamps will go up 14p from April 30 to 60p and 50p respectively.  That’s a 30% rise for first class and 39% hike for second.  (Inflation was 3.4% last month according to the Consumer Prices index.)

With the number of letters posted every day down from 84million six years ago to 59million today, this is probably not the best idea they’ve ever had.  As people increasingly turn to alternative carriers and electronic communications, surely Royal Mail must realise their future is, at best, doubtful.

Today’s announcement by Ofcom that the Royal Mail now has the freedom to set their own prices is surely the natural progression towards full competition and privatisation of postal services where customers will pay more and efficiencies will be sought in the interests of profit not services.

The offside rule explained

Trying to explain the offside rule to football beginners can be difficult and frustrating. Whether it’s to a loved one or to a young child, sometimes it seems to be an impossible job. But the tedious task is no more thanks to the Royal Mint, who have produced a new 50p coin to commemorate the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The design – by production journalist Neil Wolfson – is available as part of the collection of 29 new coins this year which features each sport of the games. ‘Neil Wolfson designed his coin in the hope that it would encapsulate football in a simple image,’ the Royal Mint coinmakers website explains.

“As the offside rule is a perennial talking point, the image is designed to provoke discussion, which was what he was aiming for.”

Mr Wolfson added that he hoped people like the coin, saying: ‘I hope it starts conversations and people are able to [use it] to describe what the offside rule is.’

And there was me thinking that it was offside when the pepper pot is in front of the brown sauce bottle!

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