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28 October

In the headlines

Fizzy” Rishi’s Budget was heady stuff, says the Daily Mail: “The whole nation was positively showered with largesse.” Sunak’s spending plans mean the government will splurge at levels not seen since the 1970s, even if we’re to be clobbered by the highest taxes since the war. The Chancellor threw money at the NHS and schools, “double-counting in ways that would make Gordon Brown blush”, says John Rentoul in The Independent – with his “Brexity Blairism”, Sunak now owns the political centre ground. He’s also made beer and prosecco cheaper. Welcome news, says Henry Mance in the FT: “Lowering the price of alcohol is the closest the Tory party has come to a childcare policy.”

Comment of the day


Ditch Jefferson and no one’s safe

New York’s decision to scrap a statue of Thomas Jefferson that has stood in City Hall for more than 100 years is “astonishing”, says Lionel Shriver in The Times. He was one of America’s founding fathers and – you saw this coming – a slave owner. But so were George Washington, James Madison, James Monroe and Benjamin Franklin. At this rate we’ll have to “bomb Mount Rushmore”, topple the Washington Monument and wipe every Jefferson, Madison and Franklin town or avenue off the map.

Inside politics

Joe Biden is less popular at this point in his presidency than all of his predecessors bar one: Donald Trump. A majority of Americans (52%) think the country is worse off than it was a year ago, when Trump was in office. 


The former owner of The Daily Telegraph, Conrad Black, was asked at the Cliveden Literary Festival about the three years he spent in jail after being convicted of fraud in 2007. “I was not in jail,” replied Black, 77. “Jail is where they put the town drunk. I was in prison.” 

Tomorrow’s world

Jeff Bezos wants to build a business park in space. The billionaire Amazon founder’s spaceflight firm, Blue Origin, says its proposed Orbital Reef could be operational by 2030 and would be similar in size to the International Space Station – a $150bn project funded by 15 nations. The new space station would accommodate 10 people in low-Earth orbit, from tourists and film crews to astronauts from “sovereign nations without space programs”.

Love etc

Health-food chain Holland & Barrett has launched a range of vegetable-shaped sex toys, says Vegan Food & Living. The £16.95 silicone vibrators come in the shape of corn on the cobs, chillies, carrots, bananas and aubergines. One customer bought a gadget thinking it was “a nice cob for dinner”, but soon realised it was “a whole other ball game”. Her online review says: “I decided to make the most of this monster and I can honestly say best experience of my life.”


Quoted 28-10

“People can only agree about what they’re not really interested in.”

Bertrand Russell

Snapshot answer

It’s an Ecuadorian naval training ship that intercepted a “narco-sub” off the coast of Colombia. The BAE Guayas was on a routine voyage when a cadet spotted a homemade semi-submersible with engine trouble. Submarines are popular with drug cartels – it’s thought they carry a third of the seaborne cocaine smuggled from Colombia.