The latest news from the US is simply jaw-dropping. More than half a million jobs lost in November alone – the biggest monthly drop in employment in more than three decades. The unemployment rate is now 6.7 per cent, according to the US labour department.
The news is worse even than economists’ gloomy forecast of about 340,000 job cuts. In fact, 1.2m Americans have become unemployed in just three months.
UK political commentators continue to insist that the US predicament is unique. Any similarities with Britain should not be over-played.
But remember; whatever the structural differences between the two economies, we enjoyed the same debt-fuelled boom as the Americans. Read more
I’m the first to point out other’s mistakes. So I’m happy to print that John Denham, innovations secretary, is in favour of the third runway at Heathrow – contrary to a report I did on ft.com yesterday. Apparently he has no concerns whatsoever about the scheme and its impact on climate change etc.
That still leaves a substantial number of cabinet ministers with forebodings about the project, given its likely impact on greenhouse gas emissions (and local noise and pollution).
So Peter Hain, former work and pensions secretary, is in the clear over late reporting of donations to his campaign to become deputy leader of the Labour party.
Here is the original story from January about Mr Hain’s resignation. He quit – to clear his name – just days after it emerged that the donations were late (and that more than £50,000 came via a mysterious think tank called the Progressive Policies Forum).
In a nutshell, the CPS concluded that Mr Hain was not the person responsible for recording donations. And it wasn’t clear who should have done so. Therefore no case. Read more
Here is the statement from the CPS:
“The Crown Prosecution Service has today advised all concerned parties that there is insufficient evidence to charge Peter Hain MP with any offences in relation to donations made to Mr Hain’s campaign to support his bid to become Deputy Leader of the Labour Party in mid 2007. Read more