Britain’s biggest firms see real-terms fall in sales

Financial services, oil and gas, and mining hit the hardest, though squeeze on profits widely spreadSales at Britain’s top 350 companies fell in real terms last year for the first time in at least five years, research suggests.The rise in sales of 2.1% to just over £2tn failed to keep pace with consumer price index […]
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Turf wars escalate in the battle for Britain’s allotments

For the past century, councils have prided themselves on giving people small patches of land to cultivate. But now, with money and land in short supply, many want to take them awayIt’s a long way from Potenza in southern Italy to the west side of Watford. Vincenzo Santarsiero, 78, made the journey in 1970, and began working […]
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Britain’s banking system is not a national asset. It’s a curse | Lydia Prieg and Heather Stewart

It’s not just the economy that has been skewed out of shape by our financial services sector – society has been tooEven after more than five years of traumatic financial and economic crisis, Britain’s banks are often still presented as a source of national strength that must be shored up by taxpayers and protected by […]
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Britain’s wars fuel terror. Denying it only feeds Islamophobia | Seumas Milne

Those who send British troops to shed blood in the Muslim world must share the blame for atrocities like WoolwichEight years on, nothing has been learned. In the week since a British soldier was horrifically stabbed to death by London jihadists on the streets of Woolwich, it’s July 2005 all over again. David Cameron immediately […]
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Syria needs Britain’s help, but it does not need our weapons

Government outrage does not provide a sound basis for such a material policy change as vetoing the EU arms embargoThe most seductive fallacy in foreign affairs is “something must be done”. It now appears that the UK government is ready to veto any extension of the EU arms embargo on Syria when it comes up […]
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Tim Peake’s space station mission could put a rocket under Britain’s economy

UK space businesses set sights on £1bn orders as Major Tim becomes first British astronaut chosen to visit ISSThere is the urge to explore the endless heavens, there are the mysteries of the starry cosmos to solve, but above all there is the faltering economy to revive.Of all the reasons nations give for sending their […]
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David Cameron writes to Britain’s tax havens, calling for transparency

PM urges havens to ‘get our own houses in order’ before G8 summit in June, where he claims tax avoidance will be a priorityDavid Cameron has written to the leaders of Britain’s offshore tax havens stressing the need to “get our own houses in order” as he pushes for international action to tackle avoidance schemes.In […]
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RBS privatisation: welcome to Britain’s idiotic garage sale | Alex Andreou

From RBS to Royal Mail, the government’s sell-off programme is about boosting Treasury coffers for short-term electoral gainIt is predictable and depressing, but by no means rare, when a government that coalesced ostensibly to act in the national interest, acts in precisely the opposite way. Several coalition policies could already be said to fall under […]
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Arts chiefs tap nation’s enthusiasm to champion Britain’s cultural life

What Next? campaign aims to promote public investment in the arts by making culture a ‘manifesto issue’While the culture secretary, Maria Miller, advocates arguing the case for the arts based on their economic impact on UK plc, the leaders of Britain’s arts organisations have a much more ambitious plan: to harness the enthusiasm of the […]
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