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Knowing your limits

Smart campaigning through the pandemic intertwines the fate of our pubs with that of the nation For at least 250 years, we have been warned about the dangers of excess drink. Periodic panic over the morals of a nation pickled showed

This time it’s different?

Chief executives shoring up battered finances take a new interest in retail investors The surge of retail investors into stock markets as prices tanked is one of the more unexpected results of worldwide lockdowns. From India to the US, Australiato the

RBS chief exec Alison Rose

Banking on goodwill

RBS's new boss banks goodwill in a crisis It's said that every great institution is the lengthened shadow of a single man. For ten years RBS bosses laboured under the spectre of Fred ‘the Shred’ Goodwin, whose decisions put the bank

Power to the People?

People - not regulators - are best placed to clean up the web The internet’s great promise was to free information and control from institutions, and put it into the hands of people. It was originally driven by what economist Shane

Revolution 2.0

Good governance in Britain famously relies on its ‘dignified’ monarchy and ‘efficient’ executive. This week both branches of Victorian writer Walter Bagehot’s dictum are in a state of toxic shock. Prince Andrew, reputedly the Queen’s favourite son, was humiliated on

You can’t be Sirius

Scandalised at the “false, malicious and dangerous” gossip percolating in Britain’s 17th century coffee houses by tradesmen “misspending their time”, King Charles II issued a decree to shut them down. The king worried that mercantile upstarts would defame his Government and disturb the

Why are you afraid, ye of little faith?

Faith we are told, is “the substance of things hoped for”, and “the evidence of things not seen”.  This week incoming UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson challenged the country to have faith over the UK’s departure from the European Union,

Man punts on River Cam in front of King's College

Varsity blues

Dealing with the sins of the past is no longer confined to institutions set up during war or which profited from apartheid. This week Cambridge University opened a front in confronting historical wrongs by promising to examine how it may

Red Flag – of morals and markets; sweet FA

Cheerleader in chief for UK business, CBI director general Carolyn Fairbairn waved the red flag this week, warning that Labour Party proposals to nationalise public services would cost the country £176bn and decimate the pension pots of millions.   Impact: Limited.

Fearless Girl statue

Fearless Girl: Statue of limitations?

The most powerful statues embody new orthodoxies and so it is with Fearless Girl, a figure which stands for female empowerment originally stationed facing down the bronze bull in front of the New York Stock Exchange. A replica of her

AI and news 2.0: machine learnings

I’m sorry Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that'* If, as Dr Johnson said “words are but the signs of ideas”, two breakthroughs this week showed that machines are now able to think, persuade and argue, putting the art of influence