Daily catch-up: Europe and the UK will be more divided between rich and poor

Plus songs that end on titles and another picture of 1930s London

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The Independent Online

1. Another lovely painting of east London by Walter Steggles, via the East London Group. This is Stratford, 1938. 

2. I’m not sure what to make of the Greece deal announced this morning. It seems to me that as long as Greece stays in the euro, its problems will recur. It is possible that it might be able to sustain euro membership if its debt is written off, but as that isn’t happening either, the Greek people seem condemned to misery without end. Which is at least partly their own responsibility, as neither they nor their government seem to be prepared to contemplate giving up the euro.

3. My Top 10 in The New Review, the Independent on Sunday magazine, was Songs Whose Titles Are Only In The Final Words.

4. Interesting, in view of the Budget against the Working Poor (see next item) that Clare Foges, David Cameron’s former speech-writer, favours measures to deal with the “rigged market” in top pay, in yesterday’s Times (pay wall):

“Companies should be made to publish the pay differentials between the top earners and the bottom and median wage in their firms. Reporting on pay, bonuses, share options and pension entitlements could be much more transparent. There must be loud praise for those, like TSB, that impose maximum pay multiples, and public shame for those who turn a deaf ear to the clamour for change.

“Most importantly, it is time for workers to sit on remuneration committees. It’s no good leaving it all to shareholders, usually large institutional investors who inhabit the same world of sky-high pay. Worker representation would challenge the groupthink and may actually smash the closed shop.”

5. I cried wolf about the coming increase in poverty in The Independent on Sunday yesterday. Having insisted for all five years of the coalition government that the gap between high and low incomes was actually narrowing slightly, the evidence is clear that the Budget cuts to tax credits will widen the gap over the next five years.

In the end, though, it’s what people voted for. Private Eye put it more succinctly:



6. And finally, thanks to Hopi Sen for this account of canvassing hippies in the 1970s:

“Are you voting Labour on April 12th?”

“I’m voting IRA.”

“I’ll put you down as doubtful ...”

“It’s not doubtful. Put it down as IRA.”

“Right, IRA. Definite.”

“No, Provisional.”