Magazine article The Spectator

Portrait of the Week

Magazine article The Spectator

Portrait of the Week

Article excerpt


George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, said in a speech in the City: 'We have all had to revise down our short-term expectations over recent weeks.' Industrial production for the United Kingdom fell by 0.2 per cent in July.

House prices, according to the Halifax, fell by 1.2 per cent from July to August.

The Dixons group reported a like-for-like fall in sales of 7 per cent against a year earlier. Twenty economists wrote a letter to the Financial Times saying that the 50p tax rate was inflicting 'lasting damage' on the British economy. Mr Osborne, and Eric Pickles the Communities Secretary, defended, in a joint article in the Financial Times, proposals to loosen the planning system in England, which had aroused hostility from the National Trust and the Campaign to Protect Rural England: 'No one should underestimate our determination to win this battle, ' the politicians wrote.

National Savings and Investments discontinued sale of its index-linked bond, which protects savers from the effects of inflation. One in four booking offices will close when the staff are removed from 675 railway stations under recommendations for saving money from Sir Roy McNulty, who the government asked to draw up an independent report on railway finances. The painting of the Forth Bridge was predicted to be completed by 9 December, with the latest coat of 50,000 gallons of paint not needing renewal for 25 years.

Basildon Council said that on 19 September it would evict 400 travellers from Dale Farm in Essex where 80 properties have no planning permission. Two former News of the World executives told the Culture, Media and Sport Committee that they had told James Murdoch, the chairman of News International, three years ago about evidence that phone hacking was not limited to one 'rogue reporter'. Margaret Moran, the former Labour MP for Luton South, is to face 21 charges relating to her claims for expenses, the Director of Public Prosecutions announced. Burton Road in Eastbourne is Britain's sunniest street, with 1,934.5 hours of sun a year.


A convoy of more than 50 vehicles full of armed supporters of Colonel Gaddafi, the deposed ruler of Libya crossed the country's southern desert border into Niger, heading for the capital, Niamey. …

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