In today's column, Polly Toynbee writes of:
Restore the laws limiting media ownership by any one magnate, abolished by Margaret Thatcher to let Rupert Murdoch acquire his empire, so that he now owns over 40% of the press plus ever more dominant Sky.
Thanks to my goof over circulation and readership, we've seen the results for both; News International has 32% of circulation and 36% of readership. Note, by the way, that these figures are for most of the national dailies and Sundays. They exclude the local press.
She also writes:
Boasts about "inward investment" to Britain are often just a sign on the borders saying Britain for Sale
Strange; on 13 October she thought it was good news:
the latest UN figures for inward investment show that last year the UK attracted more inward investment than any other country. It was twice as high as America's, growing by 183% last year. Meanwhile, the OECD ranks the UK as one of the most attractive places for foreign direct investment. The World Bank rates the UK top of the EU for best business conditions.
Here is more good news for the CBI to stick in its pipe
She also writes:
For decades there have been reliable measures of relative national happiness: countries with least inequality are the happiest. (Yes, the Nordics come top.)
According to the World Bank's World Development Indicators 2002 (handily reproduced at the indispensable NationMaster website), the country where the richest quintile accounted for the lowest share of national income was Slovakia, with 31.4% (source). Their net happiness score (i.e. the proportion of people who say they are happy less the proportion who say they are unhappy) was a pretty miserable 4% -- 45th of 50 countries listed (source).
The next most equal country was Belarus, with the richest 20% getting 33.3% of national income. Their happiness score was actually -8%! The third most equal country, Hungary, had the richest quintile with 34.4% of national income and a happiness score of a slightly more respectable 46%.