Daily Archives: January 20, 2009

Word reaches me that Laurence Faircloth, south-west regional officer for Unite, has dropped out of the battle to be joint head of Britain’s biggest union. Apparently he has thrown his lot in with Derek Simpson, the embattled encumbent.

Jerry Hicks, one of the remaining three challengers, suggests that the branches which backed Faircloth won’t necessarily follow his move, which may be an attempt to “save his own skin”* in case Simpson wins. Read more


It’s the question being asked today – and the best explanation I’ve seen is in this morning’s Lex column:

Britain came off the gold standard in 1931 and sterling devalued by 28 per cent. The economic crisis that followed marked the end of the UK as a global power. It also led to an effective default on almost half the national debt, which was restructured into bonds still outstanding. Parallels with today are eerie. Since the middle of 2007, the trade-weighted pound has fallen by 27 per cent. Furthermore, as the government shoulders contingent liabilities for ever greater amounts of delinquent bank debt, worries are growing about the state’s finances. Read more