Category Archives: Uncategorized

An Irish Sea border is a silly idea but so is the cake-and-eat-it bluster

The EU wants to annex Northern Ireland. Such was the predictable hysterical reaction by pro-Brexit MPs and commentators to the European Commission’s attempt to turn December’s Phase 1 agreement into a detailed withdrawal agreement. What has really upset people is the … Continue reading

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Away day to nowhere

It’s fashionable to poke fun at corporate away days. There’s even a Famous Five parody devoted to the subject. Many of you will no doubt be familiar with these events. They usually start with some fine words about openness and … Continue reading

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The Good Friday Agreement: an inspired fudge

Twenty odd years ago, a former colleague of mine was about to get married. She was from Northern Ireland and, while in London, she had met an Englishman called Anthony. She described, with amusement, the polite questions from her relatives. … Continue reading

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Corporate governance and short-termism

The collapse of Carillion has brought corporate governance back into the headlines and with it the perennial questions about the short-termist nature of British business. Merryn Somerset Webb was in fine form, having a go at managers, analysts and shareholders … Continue reading

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Carillion: a one-off or a symptom of a wider malaise?

Last week’s House of Commons report on Carillion is damning. Frances has an excellent summary of it here but the key points are these. In the words of the report, the company was borrowing without investing. Its debt increased but … Continue reading

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Have we fallen out of love with private sector contractors?

Is the collapse of Carillion a watershed moment? Robert Peston thinks so: Carillion’s collapse marks the end of a 25-year love affair between Tory and New Labour governments on the one hand and private-sector service providers on the other. Could … Continue reading

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Breaking the Overton Window

An FT editorial declared last year that divisions between left and right no longer explain how voters think. In September Intelligence Squared ran a debate on Britain’s Political Identity Crisis and the dissolving of left and right into new political tribes. … Continue reading

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