Osborne’s strategy will bring ideological shrink-the-state brutality. We need to stop this however we can
Margaret Drabble says Ed Miliband has lost her vote. Seeing her jump ship shocks me, as Drabble over many years has been one the great chroniclers of the condition of Britain, her novels filled with women’s struggles for fulfilment, wrestling to comprehend the social and political dysfunctions of our times. With fierce insight and intelligence, The Radiant Way captured the dismal spirit of 1980, as Margaret Thatcher tipped the scales against postwar welfare state optimism.
That’s why I am so saddened by her losing the plot, now, of all times, as we face a greater assault on the state than anything Thatcher dared try. A Conservative win would bring the brutish future laid out in George Osborne’s bone-chilling autumn statement. Drabble’s particular complaint is entirely reasonable: I agree with her on the puniness now, as before, of Labour policy on private schools. I’m sure we’d agree a score of issues where Labour policies look pusillanimous, hesitant or downright cowardly.
Income inequality has a “statistically significant impact” on economic growth, says the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
A global scientific research programme is launched in China to examine the unintended consequences of urban policies on human health and wellbeing.
Building companies in London have hired Portuguese bricklayers on £1,000-a-week wages because of a shortage of skilled Britons, a recruitment firm has said.
Construction firms are turning down bidding opportunities because of a shortage of skilled workers, research suggests
Building firms are having to hire bricklayers from Portugal, paying them
The British government does a deal with Chinese firm Shangpin to help UK firms get more from selling in Asia.
MPs criticise the Post Office for the way it has handled claims its IT system caused 150 sub-postmasters to be wrongly accused of fraud.
Amid widespread discontent after five years of austerity, polls suggest the Syriza opposition party could easily win
The Greek government has announced that it will bring forward presidential elections.
The announcement of the high-stakes gamble that will make or break its survival was made only a few hours after lenders agreed on Monday to grant Greece a two-month extension of its financial rescue programme.
Online spending went up by 37.5% from last year, while total retail sales up 2.2% against same time in 2013
A Black Friday surge of spending by shoppers hunting for bargains online and in person gave all categories of retailing a boost last month.
The monthly snapshot of high street and internet consumer activity from the British Retail Consortium and KPMG found that the one-day promotional extravaganza lifted sales out of a normal November lull.