National debt: Taken from public sector net debt figures (PSND) in Table B13 of Pre-Budget 2009. PSND rising from £618.8 billion on 5 April 2009 to £798.9 billion a year later. This is the most conservative of the available debt indices as it excludes liabilities for PFI deals, public sector pensions and bank bailouts.
Family share: Calculated by dividing the national debt figure by the number of households in the UK.
The moment after I stepped on the treacherously transparent black ice on the Newcastle garden path, my buttocks were on the ground and my heels in the air. I needed an 87-year-old to pull me up and get me into the waiting taxi. As the pain got more excruciating I sought to dull it with a promise to myself that became a mantra: no endless hours on a trolley. The alternative was a taxi to the airport, a wheelchair on to the plane to Hamburg, and back to Schwerin, the north-east German town where I work.
Frank Field tells Theo Hobson about Christianity, socialism — and the Prime Minister’s failure of leadershipI am expecting to meet Edmund Blackadder’s Puritan uncle, who frowns on suggestively shaped turnips, and worries that someone somewhere is having fun. But Frank Field does not fit the description. He’s smiley, forthcoming, chatty.
Field is more interesting than most ex-ministers. He embodied New Labour’s early attempt at stern moral idealism and intellectual rigour — the Keith Joseph of the movement.
My father was about as English as they come. Though he was born and educated in Australia, he talked like an Englishman, dressed like an Englishman, and behaved as he thought an English gentleman would behave, which was several degrees better than the real thing. His manner was as easy, affable and unflappable as any true-born Englishman’s. A homegrown Englishman would have seen through him in a trice, as my father found to his cost when he was seconded to the RAF during the second world war, but to Australians he seemed more English than the English.