Magazine article The Spectator

Portrait of the Week

Magazine article The Spectator

Portrait of the Week

Article excerpt


David Cameron, the Prime Minister, told the Commons that a no-fly zone over Libya was 'perfectly deliverable'. Next day, G8 foreign ministers meeting in Paris failed to agree to one. Britain, France and Lebanon put a resolution to the United Nations. Chris Huhne, the Energy Secretary, said 'We should not rush to judgment' on nuclear energy in Britain in light of the damage in Japan.

An emergency meeting of the British Medical Association called on the government to withdraw the Health Bill and start again. Tickets for the Olympic Games in London next year went on sale.

An Olympic countdown clock in Trafalgar Square stopped.

Lord Hutton of Furness, in his second report on public sector pensions, proposed later retirement, higher contributions and lower pensions. Will Hutton, in a government-commissioned Fair Pay Review, said that senior public servants' pay should be performance-related, but not subject to a cap. Mr Ed Miliband, the leader of the opposition, said another tax on bankers' bonuses could raise £2 billion.

The Bank of England left interest rates unchanged at 0.5 per cent. Unemployment rose to 2.53 million. The number of new mortgages to house buyers in January fell by 29 per cent from the level in December.

Galloway appealed to astronomy tourists by advertising how dark its skies are.

Two men found guilty of helping Raoul Moat, who shot three people in July 2010, were jailed for life, with minimum sentences of 20 and 40 years. ITV suspended Brian True-May, the producer of the fantasy crime series Midsomer Murders, after he told the Radio Times: 'We just don't have ethnic minorities involved, because it wouldn't be the English village with them.'


An earthquake struck Japan, at magnitude 9 the most powerful recorded there, with its epicentre 60 miles offshore, and provoked a 30-foot tsunami that killed uncounted thousands and destroyed settlements near the north-east coast of Honshu. The wave smashed houses and left cars dotted about fields amid acres of wreckage. The coastline in the region moved 13 feet eastward. Two million people were left without power or fresh water in freezing temperatures and 500,000 were made homeless. Aftershocks continued.

Rotating blackouts were initiated because nuclear power stations were put out of action. …

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