"A tax credit scheme for TV production and animation firms is to be introduced, in a bid to keep creative talent in Britain. Chancellor George Osborne announced the plans in Parliament as part of the new Budget for 2012. Mr Osborne said it was the government's 'determined policy' to keep Wallace and Gromit animators Aardman in Britain. Last month, Aardman bosses admitted they had been considering moving production abroad where it was cheaper. In reaction to the news, Aardman said the tax credit would be 'transformational for our industry'. 'We have seen a dramatic decline on UK television of home produced animation and we now have a shot a reversing that trend,' said Miles Bullough, head of broadcast and development. 'The credit will create thousands of UK jobs and our research shows that there will be a long term financial gain the for the UK.'"
(BBC Entertainment & Arts, 21 March 2012)
Fig.1 Mikey Please (2011), "The Eagleman Stag", Trailer for the BAFTA award winning short. Featuring the esteemed vocal talents of David Cann, with sound and score Benedict Please.
"Efforts to improve political engagement don't come much bigger than the work done by AmericaSpeaks.org, which has set itself a mission to 'reinvigorate American democracy by engaging citizens in the public decision-making that most impacts their lives'.
One of its recent efforts was a 'national town meeting' to discuss ways of dealing with America's federal budget deficit. It saw 3,500 Americans gathered at 57 sites across the country on June 26, 2010.
Participants from a range of social and political backgrounds debated 42 options for closing the deficit (a report to Congress is available), and at the end of the day 91 per cent said they were 'very satisfied' or 'satisfied' with the tone and quality of the discussion.
And in an interesting result that shows the value of deliberation and discussion, only 15 per cent said their views were not at all influenced by others and just three per cent said they did not learn anything during the meeting."
(eDemocracyBlog.com, 7 December 2010)