I have complained here about the poor quality of Britain’s houses and a lack of taste in carpets. But there are decent British designers – take Jonathan Ive, the inventor of the iPod for example. Now the government is starting to get interested and hope that better investment in design of manufactured products will give the UK economy the boost it needs. This column by Larry Elliott explains the argument. Apparently 2/3 of the UK’s R&D is in pharmaceuticals and aerospace, and 1/16 of UK students study design… Quite incredible.