Cuba’s great seducers

Medium 26 November 2016

It is still not clear what Fidel Castro’s death will mean for Cuba. Already relations with the US are thawing and American tourists have joined the hordes of Canadians and Europeans who visit the island every year. Tourists are, for the most part, welcomed on the island, for the foreign currency they bring and the window onto a world that has been closed to Cubans for decades. Until recently, there was an effective ban on emigrating. Even without these restrictions, few could afford to leave. In Cuba, as with many of the Caribbean islands, marriage is often the only ticket out.

David and Goliath struggle over national transfer of power

The Times 10 October 2016

If you search for an energy deal on a price comparison website, the chances are several unfamiliar names will crop up. Long-dominated by British Gas, E.ON, EDF, SSE, ScottishPower and Npower, there has been a flood of entrants to the market, with 14 new suppliers in the past year. Down from 99 per cent in 2012, the so-called Big Six still have an 85 per cent share of the market, but they are haemorrhaging customers at a rate of 120,000 a month.

Making a profit from reading the market

The Times 2 September 2015

Minecraft, loom bands and YouTube stars were the three big topics in British children’s publishing last year — enough, you might think, to make Beatrix Potter turn in her grave.

Factory gives real impetus to Manchester’s transformation

The Times 25 August 2015

From Joy Division to the Happy Mondays by way of the Haçienda, Manchester is known for its groundbreaking bands and the hedonistic nightlife they spawned. Now the city is hoping to lift its cultural offer to a higher plane with The Factory, a new arts centre that will host events from traditional theatre to whizz-bang immersive experiences, such as the 3D virtual reality planetarium slated for Manchester’s International Festival in 2017.

‘Too many skills and resources are sucked down to London’

The Times 24 August 2015

It was a gift for the cynics. This year George Osborne renamed a train Northern Powerhouse as a symbol of the project he has undertaken to devolve powers to the northern cities, drive investment there and rebalance Britain’s economy away from London and the southeast.

Northern powerhouse can help close wealth gap with the south

The Times 15 June 2015

“This is a revolution in the way we govern England,” said the chancellor, George Osborne, fresh from election victory, as he fleshed out plans for the northern powerhouse in a converted warehouse in Salford last month. “The old model of trying to run everything in our country from the centre of London is broken. It is time for you to take control of your own affairs,” he told the assembled group of dignitaries.

Stem cell therapy will cure cancer and make blind see

The Times 20 August 2014

On the twelfth floor of Guy’s Hospital, next to the Shard, is a gleaming laboratory with panoramic views of London. To the untrained eye, it looks rather like a room full of photocopiers, microwaves and washing machines — but the equipment in here sets pulses racing for the scientists who come to stir, spin, modify, test and manufacture cells within its spotless glass walls.

An industrial revolution that begins in a sandpit

The Times 19 August 2014

‘In the future, 30 or 40 years from now, as the scarcity of resources comes to bite across the world, being good at manufacturing could be as important as being good at defence.” Hamid Mughal, the director of manufacturing at Rolls-Royce, might be biased, but many countries appear to agree.