Magazine article The Spectator

Potrait of the Week

Magazine article The Spectator

Potrait of the Week

Article excerpt


The Independent Commission on Banking, headed by Sir John Vickers, recommended that there should be insulation of high street banking from investment banking. George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, accepted the commission's call for its recommendations to be introduced by 2019. The report received cross-party support, although it would cost banking £7 billion a year, and some said it would make lending scarcer and lead to banks leaving Britain. The annual rate of inflation (by CPI) rose to 4.5 per cent, from 4.4 in the previous month; and (by RPI) to 5.2 from 5 per cent. Unemployment rose by 80,000 to 2.51 million. A shopping centre with 300 shops and 70 food outlets opened at Stratford near the Olympic site in London.

London was found to have the highest tuberculosis rate of any capital in western Europe.

Bernard Hogan-Howe, the former chief constable of Merseyside, was appointed the new Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police. Police freed 24 British and Eastern European men from a travellers' caravan site near Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, where they were said to have been kept for as long as 15 years working without pay; four men, from a family called Connors, were charged under the 'slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour' provisions of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009. Theresa May, the Home Secretary, said that most of the 2,700 arrested after the riots in August were not members of gangs; in London 19 per cent were. At a memorial meeting in Grosvenor Square for the anniversary of September 11, 2001, 100 protestors burnt the American flag during a minute's silence and held placards saying:

'Islam will dominate'.

David Cameron, the Prime Minister, on a visit to Moscow, rejected a call by Russia to restore links with its security services, frozen after the murder of Alexander Litvinenko in London in 2006. Mr Cameron said he had once been approached by two Russians during a gap-year trip to Russia; 'I'm pretty sure that David would have been a very good KGB agent, ' President Dmitri Medvedev commented. Iain Duncan Smith, the Work and Pensions Secretary, said that the date for raising the retirement age to 67, 2036, was too late. …

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