DURING more than two years of conflict in Syria, Western countries have studiously avoided any direct participation in the fighting.
PUPILS will return to school next week with the usual trepidation and excitement. But this year more than most, teachers may feel the same. From September, all schools will be able to link teachers’ pay more closely with performance.
EE’S TEN-month monopoly on 4G in the UK came to an end yesterday, with Vodafone rolling out a competing network in London and O2 launching in the capital, plus Bradford and Leeds.
Crisis in Syria
[Re: We must accept our limited capacity to resolve conflict in tinderbox Syria, yesterday]
IT’S AMAZING the difference just a few months can make. If we wind back to the spring, the news was dominated by economic doom, gloom, and concern about the UK entering an historic triple dip recession.
[Re: Why far too many young people still struggle to find work after education, Friday]
SOME people are never satisfied. The evidence is mounting that the UK economy is now on the path to recovery.
Better rail policy
[Re: Labour threatens to redesign HS2 link, yesterday]
VISIT any British university this autumn and you’ll see Britain’s fresh-faced youth being taught by academics in lecture halls, seminars, and (at the swanky end) tutorials.
RELATIONS between the UK Conservative Party and US Republicans are at an all-time low. Ask some Republicans their view of David Cameron’s Tories, and many talk disparagingly of “Barack Obama’s friends”.
MARK Carney has been lauded by homeowners for giving forward projections on interest rates, now set to deliver record low mortgage bills for the forseeable future.
AFTER a summer-size portion of angst and anticipation, judgement day has finally been and gone. More than 600,000 households across the country will be waking up today with the hangover of GCSE results.
ONCE again, a major mis-selling scandal has broken out, with 13 high street banks and credit card issuers facing a £1.3bn redress bill for mis-sold card protection policies. No amount of financial regulation seems to stop the flow.
STAMP duty has to be a good candidate for the most stupid, destructive and illogical of the UK’s many taxes. Residential stamp duty raised £4.2bn in 2011-12, just 0.8 per cent of the government’s total tax revenues.
BBC Licence Fee
[Re: TV licence offences responsible for a tenth of all UK court cases, Wednesday]
THE DETENTION and interrogation of David Miranda, partner of campaigning journalist Glenn Greenwald, on his way from Germany to Brazil has brought up some interesting facts – and attitudes.
IT’S A familiar but depressing story. When a big government project is first advocated, the backers downplay the costs in order to gain political support.
YOU CAN visualise the meeting at Marks & Spencer’s headquarters when its new campaign, advertising its make-or-break Autumn collection, was finalised. An ad agency suggests the idea of female empowerment and the boardroom battleground.
[Re: We should be glad that foreign firms want to buy British companies, yesterday]
MOST new jobs are not created by established big businesses adding a few people here and there, or by the many smaller firms that are happy to stay small rather than take a risk and expand.
THE VIEWS expressed by the new Bank of England governor Mark Carney on interest rates and unemployment remain a hot topic.
THE ABSURDLY nationalist argument over whether foreigners should be allowed to own companies in Britain is raising its ugly head again.
[Re: BT Sport has a mountain to climb in its bid to beat BSkyB, yesterday]
SOME Conservative MPs are in an optimistic, even euphoric, mood. The economy is recovering as is, crucially, public confidence in the government’s stewardship of it.
ECONOMIC indicators seem to be improving. Yes, there are concerns that the growth we are seeing is “the wrong type of growth”, fuelled in part by government attempts to re-inflate the housing market.
YESTERDAY saw the release of a report by the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) showing what many already expected. In recent years, child-related expenses have risen considerably, with the cost of childcare a major driver.
HS2’s growing bill
[Re: HS2 rubbishes claim that costs could hit £80bn, Monday]
THE DUST has barely settled on the London Anniversary Games and work has already begun to convert the iconic Olympic Stadium for future use.
PROXY season is more or less over, and boards are bulging with new members or otherwise breathing a sigh of relief.
Arts versus science
THIS week’s inflation figures all but confirm that Londoners will face a rise in Tube and bus fares of over 4 per cent in January.
THE PREMIER League returns tomorrow. Although most of us will be interested in the quality of the football on offer, the amounts of money involved are no less significant.