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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MPs’ pay in Singapore and other countries

Singapore's members of parliament are paid more than the members of the House of Commons and the European Parliament and their counterparts in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong and New Zealand.

Singapore S$225,000 ($166,000)
USA $174,000 ($174,000)
Japan ¥1,300,000 a month ($15,200 a month,i.e  $182,000 a year).
UK £65,738 ($103,000)
European Parliament €7,665 a month ($9,880 a month, i.e, over $118,500 a year)
Canada C$155,400 ($151,000)
Australia A$131,040 ($118,000)
New Zealand NZ$144,500 ($103,000)

(Table shows annual salaries unless mentioned otherwise.)

I discovered this after reading that the Indian parliament plans to treble its members' salaries. The Financial Times report says: "Parliamentarians in the world’s largest democracy currently receive Rs16,000 ($343, €266, £220) a month."

That's less than a day's pay for a Singapore MP.

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