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Karina's Column

An insider’s view on the City of London and beyond

How can the City recover its political capital?

The good news? The financial sector is no longer enemy number one. Its place has been taken by our fumbling politicians. The bad news? The City has not regained its political capital.

Post the financial crisis the City, meaning financial and professional services in the UK, lost the trust of the nation. A perfectly understandable and justifiable result, but one that must change because of the harm that is being done to our economy when the City has no advocates beyond its own members.

As the country grapples with Brexit, assembly lines of MPs appear on television defending the UK’s manufacturing base. Not one talks about the need to defend the City, despite it being responsible for over 13.5% of tax revenues – that’s a lot of hospitals, infrastructure and schools. It is also responsible for around 2.3m jobs – jobs that aren’t just in the Square Mile, or London and the South East, but also in Liverpool, Glasgow and Bournemouth.

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Language soft skills key to AI future

The aim of turning Britain into a “twenty-first century exporting superpower” is so laudable that it even brings together Remainers and Brexiters. But it was ironic that Liam Fox’s speech setting out the aim of boosting Britain’s exports to 35% of GDP from 30% was delivered in the two week period where A level and GSCE results highlight a continuous drop in interest in studying foreign languages.

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Diversity and Inclusion

The Catholic Church in Guatemala is on a downward spiral. The magnificent Easter processions that fill the streets of its towns with penitents in purple robes and enthusiastic spectators disguises its decline from a monopoly position to under 50% of the population.

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catherine phelps
Big Tech under pressure

Silicon Valley is shaken. Don’t be distracted by the confidence with which Big Tech representatives have been testifying to Congress about Russian influence in the US electoral process. Nor by the latest top tech results.

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catherine phelps
A New Age for Old Age

Dimmed lights are reflected on the heated sea water in the indoor pool, while New Age music wafts across the cavernous room. Aged bodies advance in slow motion from jet to jet, allowing each one to massage a different part of their arthritic bodies, while chatting desultorily with each other and with Nikkos, the Greek God of a lifeguard.

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