David Miliband was “psychologically scarred” by losing out to his brother in the Labour leadership race of 2010, according to claims in an updated biography of Ed Miliband. Penned by Mehdi Hasan of the Huffington Post and James Macintyre of Prospect, the new edition of Ed: The Milibands And The Making Of A Labour Leader also claims that David said his brother would “crash and burn” as leader, and that party insiders are concerned that shadow chancellor Ed Balls is “running the show”.
In a special column, journalist and economist Will Hutton argued that it is time for sweeping changes in the way that UK companies are managed. In Hutton’s view, there are far too few Rolls-Royces – companies that have invested constantly in research and development – and too many firms that have made strategic mistakes as a result of becoming too heavily identified with the stock market. Hutton lists Marks and Spencer, Royal Bank of Scotland, BP, GlaxoSmithKline, Lloyds and BAE as national institutions that have become victims of the financial system.
CBI chief John Cridland said in an opinion piece that the top financial priority for UK citizens is to save enough money for taking care of an ageing population. Cridland stressed that the UK is sitting on a demographic time bomb. “Birth rates have fallen by almost 30% over the past 40 years,” he wrote. “Those born in the 21st century can now expect to live 30 years longer than someone born a century ago.
“Compared with today, the number of people over 65 will be half as many again in 2030, and will have doubled by 2060. And today, 13.5 million people are not saving in any form of pension. The implications for society, for taxpayers and for the economy are huge.”
According to political editor Kirsty Buchanan, David Cameron is becoming more and more persuaded by the case for a referendum on the UK’s relationship with Europe. In a careful response to a June letter from Tory MP John Baron that called for a public ballot on the issue – and attracted the signatures of more than 100 fellow Conservative MPs – Cameron hinted that it was just a question of time and method that had to be resolved in order to lay the groundwork for the vote.
A British Bank of Hope dedicated to spurring jobs and growth should be established by bringing the remaining private operations of RBS and Lloyds into public ownership, according to Unite leader Len McCluskey. Speaking to a Mirror reporter at the Labour Party Conference, the union boss said: “The chancellor gives more than £300 billion of our money to the banks to stop their panic yet Vince Cable is given a miserly £1bn to rebuild our battered economy.”
Talent-show rivals Will.i.am and Simon Cowell are improbably teaming up to create a new programme designed to find the next big technology mogul. With the dual inspiration of Microsoft boss Bill Gates and late Apple mastermind Steve Jobs as their guide, the pair see their new venture as a genuine way to make a difference to the economy. “Singing and performance create a couple of jobs,” said i.am. “But this will create lots. It’s about getting in touch with youth and giving them a platform to express themselves – whether that’s in science or mathematics.”