UK minister’s scientist son working in Singapore

Hugo Cable
Hugo Cable

A UK government minister’s son is a quantum physicist based in Singapore.

Dr Hugo Cable is the son of UK Business Secretary Vince Cable.

The Guardian today reports scientists at some of Britain’s universities are planning to move to better funded research positions abroad because of the government’s proposed spending cuts.

Dr Cable is a research fellow at the Centre for Quantum Technologies. It’s an autonomous institution funded by the Singapore National Research Foundation and the Ministry of Education and hosted by the National University of Singapore.

Vince Cable, 65, a former chief economist of the oil company Shell, spoke about his son working in Singapore in a recent speech. Speaking about the proposed spending reviews, he said:

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Times on the Net: You can’t beat the traffic

The New York Times is the newspaper with the best website and gets around four million daily unique visitors (estimated cookies) – way above the other newspapers I checked on Google Trends and Double Click Ad Planner. (See the charts at the end of this post.)

The Straits Times resembles the American, not the British, newspapers shown in the charts in one way.

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The world’s biggest selling newspapers

The internet is said to be taking its toll on newspapers, but circulation is still healthy in highly wired countries like Japan and South Korea. Tokyo seems to be the newspaper capital, boasting the two most widely circulated newspapers in the world: Yomiuri Shimbun and Asahi Shimbun.

Tokyo has, in all, four of the 10 most widely circulated newspapers in the world. Two are published from London: the News of the World and the Sun. One is German: the Bild. Two are in China. And the other one is the Times of India.

So why aren't any American newspapers on the top 10 list? It can't be because of the internet. The internet is as widely used in Britain, Japan and South Korea as in America.

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How the Global Competitiveness Report is prepared

There were more respondents from Singapore than from many bigger economies to the World Economic Forum's executive opinion survey this year.

The survey is used to prepare the annual Global Competitiveness Report.

Singapore was ranked the world's third most competitive economy this year, same as last year.

This year there were 122 respondents from Singapore compared with 437 in the United States and only 102 in the United Kingdom and 103 in India. There were only 132 respondents from Japan but 362 from China.

Singapore also enjoys greater cohesion than, say, America, Britain or India. Politics is far more polarized in those countries. Have you ever heard a Republican praise a Democrat?

Such polarization can affect a country's ranking in the Global Competitiveness Report because of the way it is compiled.

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Immigration: Britain, Singapore, America

Immigrant-weary Singaporeans have nothing on Messrs Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Nick Clegg, as their first election debate showed. They all want to curb immigration.

Brown wants no unskilled workers from outside the European Union, Cameron wants caps on immigration to bring numbers down to "tens of thousands" from "hundreds of thousands", Clegg wants immigrants to be sent only to those areas where they are needed. He called for regional work permits which will allow immigrants to work only in a certain part of the country. (See the second video towards the end of this post.)

It was considerably duller than the American presidential debates. Here's prize-winning Daily Mail columnist Quentin Letts' irreverent take on it. But it's worth viewing because it shows where the leaders stand.

Watch Cameron in the ninth minute. He talks about meeting a 40-year-old black man in Plymouth who said he had served in the Royal Navy for 30 years. That means he joined the navy when he was 10 years old!

Immigration is the biggest election issue after the economy, reports Reuters. It adds:

According to a London School of Economics (LSE) pre-election report, 10.2 per cent of Britain's population is foreign-born (based on OECD 2007 figures).

Contrast that with Singapore, where foreigners make up nearly a third of the population.

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