15 It takes a particular kind of bloody-mindedness to climb mountains. Not everybody finds the adrenaline surge of vertiginous heights, the likelihood of losing one or more extremities through frostbite, or the prospect of being responsible for your own death or that of your friends, more appealing than watching the latest Bond flick.
8 A warm, if wintry, welcome to the Homes and Communities Agency. A powerful new body charged with regeneration, housing and sustainable communities couldn’t come at a better time.
1 No more boom and bust may be an expression that will haunt Gordon Brown to his grave. If there’s a silver lining to this cloud, though, it’s that we should have a better idea of what to do in this particular bust.
24 If, as Benjamin Franklin declared, nothing in this world is certain but death and taxes, it’s a good idea to use the latter to stave off the former for as long as possible.
17 The thing about a gravy train is nobody wants to be first to jump off. Even when it appears to have left the rails, there are plenty who think a little adjustment here or there will restore the equilibrium.
10 My grandfather, a bit like John Prescott, was a pitbull terrier of a man who dedicated much of his life to the Labour Party in Hull.
3 Initially it was disappointment, which then quickly turned to annoyance. Now the private sector is downright livid about the government’s decision to scrap business rate relief on empty buildings.
27 Walk away from the smart new shops of Liverpool One, past the Urban Splash apartments in the Tea Factory and up Hardman Street, and you’ll find a decaying edifice that was once the Merseyside Trade Union and Unemployed Resource Centre.
13 You might be forgiven for dismissing it as a sick joke. The economy is teetering on the edge, businesses are going bust by the bucketload, and the predictions are for another 350,000 unemployed – but Gordon Brown has declared he’ll legislate against child poverty.
1 It’s official – the north stops at Leeds. Glasgow, Edinburgh and Newcastle are off the map, at least as far as the Conservatives’ plans for a new high speed rail link are concerned.