Daily Archives: January 7, 2009

Hilary Benn was out and about yesterday urging people to “buy British” when choosing their food and drink. This made me vaguely wonder whether to expect calls for a more general campaign to help UK industry during the recession. Unions, bishops, Labour MPs, UKIP; that sort of thing.

And then I spotted this story in the Telegraph this morning about US Democrats insisting on a “Buy American” clause in Barack Obama’s $750bn fiscal package; the obvious implication being a lurch towards protectionism by the world’s biggest economy. Read more

First it was Simon Wolfson, head of Next (admittedly a Tory supporter) who said the cut in VAT had made no difference to consumer spending.

Now Sir Stuart Rose, chief executive of Marks & Spencer, has admitted that the cut from 17.5 per cent to 15 per cent has “not made a material difference to our sales”. Coming from Rose – who is a member of Gordon Brown’s business council – this is rather damning. Read more