The Spectator

Portrait of the week | 8 October 2011

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George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, told the Conservative party conference in Manchester that the Treasury would spend billions buying bonds from small and medium-sized businesses in an exercise called ‘credit easing’. He announced a freeze on council tax for a second year, saving householders an average of £72. He also remarked: ‘We’re not going to save the planet by putting our country out of business.’ David Cameron, the Prime Minister, told the nation to pay off its credit card bills. He also said: ‘As eurozone countries move to co-ordinate more, as I believe they should, those outside the eurozone will need certain safeguards’; Treasury officials were studying ways to protect British interests in trade and financial services. The UK economy grew by only 0.1 per cent between March and June, according to the Office for National Statistics, not the 0.2 per cent originally estimated. The FTSE 100 share index fell below 5000. Tesco sales for the year fell a little and Sainsbury’s rose a little. The temperature at Gravesend, Kent, reached 85.8˚F, the hottest October day ever recorded.

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Theresa May, the Home Secretary, said that an illegal immigrant had avoided deportation because he had a pet cat in Britain; Kenneth Clarke, the Justice Secretary, said he could not believe that. Damien Fowkes, serving a life sentence for armed robbery, pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Colin Hatch, a child-murderer, in Frankland prison, and the attempted murder of Ian Huntley, the Soham murderer, in Full Sutton prison. The landlady of the Red, White and Blue pub in Portsmouth was found by the European Court of Justice not to have unlawfully used a Greek-made decoder to show television coverage of Premier League matches. Builders began to fit 4,400 solar panels on to the roof of the new Blackfriars station, on the bridge over the Thames.

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