The General Synod of the Church of England voted against the ordination of women bishops. The measure required a two thirds majority in each house of the Synod, but the voting was 44 for and three against with two abstentions in the House of Bishops, 148 for and 45 against in the House of Clergy, and 132 for and 74 against in the House of Laity. Kweku Adoboli, a trader with UBS, was jailed for seven years for fraud that lost the bank £1.4 billion, the largest trading loss in British banking history. The G8 summit next year is to be held at Lough Erne golf resort near Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh. The number of people in England waiting more than a year for NHS hospital treatment fell to 1,600 from 20,000 a year before, although the earlier statistics were said to be unreliable.
Elections in England and Wales for police and crime commissioners, saw a turnout of under 15 per cent, with Northamptonshire managing 20 per cent, but Staffordshire only 11.6 per cent. Conservative candidates received 1,480,323 votes and won 16 posts; Labour 1,716,024 votes and 13 posts, and independents 1,238,983 votes and 12 posts. The Liberal Democrats did not win any. David Cameron, the Prime Minister, said: ‘The turnout was always going to be low, when you’re electing a new post for the first time.’ On the same day, two safe Labour seats returned Labour members in by-elections and at Corby, which Louise Mensch had vacated in order to join her family in America, Labour took the seat with a 12.7 per cent swing, with the Lib Dems coming fourth behind Ukip. Mr Cameron flew off for vexatious negotiations on the European Union budget. The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary.
Andy Coulson, the former editor of the News of the World before he became communications chief at Downing Street, was charged with conspiracy to pay public officials for information. Rebekah Brooks, the former chief executive of News International, was charged with conspiring to pay a Ministry of Defence employee £100,000 for information. A report by the Office of the Children’s Commissioner identified 2,409 children abused by gangs in 14 months. The BBC agreed to pay Lord McAlpine £185,000 for having suggested he was suspected of child abuse. His lawyers pursued ITV and suggested that those who had tweeted such suggestions should own up. The former radio disc jockey, Dave Lee Travis, was arrested on suspicion of sexual offences by police investigating the scandal surrounding the late Jimmy Savile. Jaguar Land Rover is to make vehicles at a plant near Shanghai from 2015.
Israel bombed and shelled the Gaza Strip from aircraft and naval vessels. Rockets were sent into Israel from Gaza, reaching on occasion as far as Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. The conflict followed the killing by Israel in an aerial strike of Ahmed Jabari, the commander of the military wing of Hamas. After a week of fighting, 126 Palestinians and four Israelis had been killed. Britain recognised the National Coalition of Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces as the ‘sole legitimate representative’ of the Syrian people. The UN’s International Court of Justice awarded to Colombia, in a dispute with Nicaragua, the Caribbean islets of Roncador, Quitasueno, Serrana, Serranilla, Bajo Nuevo, Cayo Bolivar and Alburquerque.
President Barack Obama of the United States visited Burma with the intention of giving support to reforms there. Soldiers from the M23 rebel group captured Goma in the Democratic Republic of Congo near the border with Rwanda. Islamists from the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa, in alliance with members of al-Qa’eda in the Islamic Maghreb said they had defeated the Tuareg group, the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad, for control of the desert town of Menaka in Mali. Bad weather saw the Afghan opium crop fall by a third, even though acreage has increased by 18 per cent.
Hewlett Packard, the computer makers, wrote off $8.8 billion that it said had been lost because Autonomy, the British software company it took over last year, had misrepresented its finances. Strikes by unions demanding lower taxes paralysed Buenos Aires. Fifty children aged from four to six and the driver of their school bus were killed when it was hit by a train on a level crossing near Manfalut, 230 miles south of Cairo. The Rt Revd Ellinah Wamukoya was elected the Anglican bishop of Swaziland, the first woman bishop in Africa.CSH
This article first appeared in the print edition of The Spectator magazine, dated 24 November 2012