F*** The Corporate

Could the anti-racist protests demonstrate a new normal that companies need to prepare for? On a call with a client this week, I witnessed a black member of the corporate communications team’s raw anger at the way her company had responded...

Covid-1984

Has society been infantilised by the state’s actions during the pandemic? In his essay On Liberty, John Stuart Mill argued that the only reason state power can be rightfully exercised over another member of society against their will is to “prevent...

Supermarket Sweep

In face of extraordinary operational pressures following the onslaught of Covid-19, most of the UK supermarkets have been sticking to the go-to maxim for brands in a national crisis:  “if you haven’t got anything supportive to say, don’t say it.” As...

Simples!

Every time I go outside for a shop, I am greeted by the spectre of the BT Tower reminding me to stay at home. It is a simple message. One which the UK public has understood clearly, for the most part....

Fantasy Premier League

The moral limits of markets The free market is an economic system based on supply and demand with limited government control. Few businesses have benefited from the embrace of market principles as much as the Premier League. The broadcasting rights alone of...

Why do we fall, Master Wayne?

It has been a difficult week where individuals and families have had to pick themselves up and adjust to the new environment. And it has been challenging for companies, experiencing the problems with dealing with workforce welfare, operational problems related...

‘Let us go forward together’

As the UK Chancellor prepares the biggest peacetime package of economic assistance this country has ever known, shrill pleas for aid from the business community will be ringing in his ears.  But as business fixates on what the country can...

The part-time CEO

Aristotle’s golden mean is a philosophical principle which suggests that the right course of action in a given situation is always the middle way between two extremes. For example, too much or too little courage is not good, one must...

Ring o’ Roses

In Albert Camus’ novel La Peste, a fictitious city in North Africa is quarantined due to an outbreak of deadly bubonic plague. Authorities dictate that newspapers rally the populace with the (fake) news that the pestilence is under control. If the...

Active investors: rise of the machines

The automation revolution was supposed to come for Lincolnshire fruit pickers, not Mayfair stock pickers. Yet this week saw further evidence of the accelerating shake-out in the active fund management sector, driven by the march of the machines.  Merian Global...

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...

It’s my way, or the Huawei

Last week the British government granted Chinese tech giant, Huawei, a licence to supply the country with 5G network technology. This, despite national security concerns and furious lobbying by the US, for whom Huawei has become a pawn in President...

Ear Today, gone tomorrow?

The Times' decision this week to launch a new radio station targeting “disenfranchised” BBC Radio 4 and 5 Live listeners was news to make BBC bosses’ ears bleed, already roiled by job cuts and falling listener numbers. The explosion of political news in...

Show me the purpose

For the world’s business elite the place to be this week was the World Economic Forum in Davos on its 50th anniversary.   Setting out the agenda, founder Klaus Schwab said the mountain top get-together would be based on the premise that the...

BlackRock’s Green New Deal

In This Changes Everything, Naomi Klein outlines a vision for saving the planet in which investors have no role to play. Capitalism, the argument goes, is at odds with the climate. Yet, with the rise of ESG investing, is there now a...

Royal Hunt by The Sun

Queen Elizabeth II’s success as Britain’s longest-reigning monarch may be attributable to the communications advice she inherited from her mother: ‘Never complain, never explain.’ Central to the crown’s longevity has been knowing how much daylight to let in on the magic of...