Magazine article The Spectator

Portrait of the Week

Magazine article The Spectator

Portrait of the Week

Article excerpt

British people donated £23 million through the charities' Disasters Emergency Committee to help the people of Haiti within six days of the earthquake there; the British government also gave £20 million.

Mr Gordon Brown, the Prime Minister, said in a speech: 'The coming decade will provide the UK with more middle-class jobs than ever before.' Cadbury agreed to an £11.5 billion takeover by Kraft; there were fears of job losses. Unemployment unexpectedly fell a smidgen in December to 2.45 million. The Consumer Price Index of inflation rose to 2.9 per cent in December from 1.9 per cent in November, and the Retail Price Index to 2.4 per cent from 2.1 per cent. Scots are drinking 25 per cent more than English people, NHS research found, downing the equivalent of 46 bottles of vodka a year. Eurostar said it expected to pay £10 million compensation to passengers affected by breakdowns for three days before Christmas. Bill McLaren, the rugby commentator, died, aged 86. Miss Loloahi Tapui, aged 27, the former housekeeper of Lady Scotland, the Attorney General, pleaded guilty to using a passport with a fake visa stamp, but denied intending to use it for fraud. A ballot was held for tickets to see Mr Tony Blair, the former Prime Minister, give evidence next Friday at the Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq war.

Mr David Cameron, the Conservative leader, said he planned to make teaching a 'brazenly elite' profession. Both Mr Ed Balls, the Children Secretary, and Mr Nick Clegg, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, attacked Conservative plans to 'recognise marriage in the tax system'. Social agencies missed 31 opportunities to prevent the serious assault on two boys aged 11 and nine by two brothers aged 11 and ten at Edlington, South Yorkshire, last year, according to a report by the Children's Safety Board; there had been complaints of arson, the killing of ducks, and the prolonged beating and kicking of a choirboy. An electoral synod of the Scottish Episcopal Church rejected a woman candidate as Bishop of Glasgow and Galloway, electing instead one of two male candidates. Tablighi Jamaat, a group that wanted to build a mosque for 12,000 near the Olympic site in east London, was told to leave land that Newham Council said it had been using unlawfully after planning permission expired in 2006.

The United States took over the damaged airport at Port-au-Prince two days after the earthquake that hit Haiti at 4. …

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