The Week Unwrapped: Pensions, elephants and middle-class drugs
Why is the government changing pension rules? How did a herd of elephants cross China? And will well-heeled drug users be named and shamed?
Olly Mann and The Week delve behind the headlines and debate what really matters from the past seven days.
In this week’s episode, we discuss:
Each year, the state pension goes up by whatever is highest of 2.5%, inflation or average earnings. This “triple lock” was introduced in 2010 to ensure that pensioners aren’t being hard done by. But now average earnings are rising, according to the latest figure, by more than 8% a year. The problem is, this is clearly not the case. Wages are only rising fast relative to last year because last year was so bad - but pensioners plus their supporters are a powerful constituency.
Middle class drugs
The home secretary has instructed police to “name and shame” members of the middle class who take Class A drugs. The hope is high profile arrests will change the perception that these substances can be taken without punishment. What the tactic indicates about the effectiveness of the government’s current drugs policy is up for debate.
Elephants on the move
The Chinese public has become transfixed by a herd of elephants which left the nature reserve on which they had been living and set off on a journey that would take them hundreds of miles. While their antics have been followed online by millions of people, the elephants have caused damage to several villages - and their long trek has drawn attention to habit loss and the conflict between humans and animals.