ANY OTHER BUSINESS

SHAMING THE SHAMELESS

“Lack of transparency” is generally seen as a bad thing, but transparency has its downsides too.  Serial non-executive and life peer Baroness Kingsmill sees transparency as a key contributor to the rapid rise in remuneration of executive directors in public…

BECAUSE THEY CAN

Supplying life’s essentials can provide a steady flow of business, even in a flaccid economy. While the latest widescreen telly or a week in the sun can wait, keeping the lights and heating on, paying the train fare to work…

THE BANK HOLIDAY FORFEIT

There’s something slightly decadent about a bank holiday, extending the traditional weekend recuperation from work into more of a carefree, calming mini-break.  Bank holidays were ushered into British law as an alternative to religious holidays by liberal politician and banker…

THE LEGACY OF SELF CONFIDENCE

The global economic slowdown and the institutional indiscretions it exposed took a large bite out of British self-confidence.  You could see it in peoples’ eyes and hear it in their voices.  Who do you turn to in difficult times when…

10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT …

As a rule, I have an allergy to rules. I’m ok with guiding principles and I have three that I try to apply to work and to life generally. The first is to try to do it properly the first…

THE SERVICE ECONOMY

The writing was on the wall for British manufacturing by the early 1970s. It had acquired an unhealthy reputation for poor quality and compared unfavourably with emerging competitors in developing countries.  By the time Margaret Thatcher moved into Downing Street,…

GROWING PAINS

The UK economy, having enjoyed two consecutive quarters of declining economic activity (or ‘negative growth’ as economists like to call it) is in the throes of a double dip recession.  This unwelcome development sparked Austerity Central into action: “Since we’re…

MAULED BY A BABY SHEEP

It used to be said that if you owed the bank £500, you had a problem but if you owed the bank £500 million, the banker had a problem.  Since the near collapse of the global banking sector in 2008,…

TAXONOMICS

I lived in San Francisco in the late 1980s. On my first evening in the city, I checked out my new neighbourhood bar. Two things remain with me about that evening. The first was that the barman greeted me by…

THE COMMS HAND OF THE LAW

The Metropolitan Police is on the trail of a new director of media and communications.  The vacancy has arisen after the previous incumbent resigned rather than face a gross misconduct charge. He was accused of hiring a former News of…