Magazine article The Spectator

Portrait of the Week

Magazine article The Spectator

Portrait of the Week

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Credit: The Spectator

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George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, made 'a commitment to fight for full employment in Britain' and for the country 'to have the highest employment rate of any of the world's leading economies'. Wolfgang Schäuble, his counterpart in Germany, agreed that any EU treaty changes should 'guarantee fairness' to countries outside the eurozone. The government's approach to selling off Royal Mail was 'marked by deep caution, the price of which was borne by the taxpayer' according to a report by the National Audit Office. The Office for National Statistics said that the next census would be conducted online. Dust from the Sahara fell on to England and Wales.

An unnamed minister told the Guardian that after independence, Scotland would achieve a currency union with the rest of Britain, perhaps in return for retaining the nuclear submarine base at Faslane. When Alistair Darling, the leader of the campaign to keep Scotland in the United Kingdom, said that everyone should have a say on a monetary union, Downing Street said that this would not be the subject of a referendum. Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, had vetoed a Conservative proposal to stop future onshore wind farms, according to Liberal Democrat sources. Five portions of fruit and vegetable a day were not enough, researchers from University College, London, found; seven was more like it, they found. White people were found to be the least healthy ethnic group in Britain. Wales made plans to ban electronic cigarettes in enclosed public places. Thousands of rats the size of cats were reported to be roaming Birmingham.

MI5 and MI6 are investigating the activities of the Muslim Brotherhood in Britain, according to the Times . A coroner recorded an open verdict on the death of Boris Berezovksy at his house in Berkshire last year. In an interview for GQ magazine, asked by Alastair Campbell which current world leader he most admired, Nigel Farage, the leader of the UK Independence Party, said: 'As an operator, but not as a human being, I would say Putin.' A woman from Saxmundham, Suffolk, finding a kebab shop closed at 11.15p.m., shouted, 'I want my chips' before pushing burning paper through the letterbox; she was jailed for 28 months. Nuts magazine, founded in 2004, is to close. In cricket (the Twenty20 version), England lost to Holland. …

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