CBI chief calls for urgent ‘jobs first’ Brexit transition deal

Staying inside EU customs union is vital, Carolyn Fairbairn will tell Theresa May

The leader of Britain’s biggest business lobby group is to call for a “jobs first” Brexit transition deal to be negotiated within 70 days.

In a speech on Monday, Carolyn Fairbairn, the CBI director general, will also call for Theresa May’s government to show greater urgency in Brexit talks to give clarity to companies that will otherwise need to trigger alternative plans, including moving jobs and investment offshore.

Continue reading…

Democracies will fail if they don’t deal with the fallout of globalisation | Editorial

Democracies will fall under the spell of populists like Donald Trump if they fail to deal with the fallout of globalisation

The rich, as F Scott Fitzgerald noted, “are different from you and me”. Their wealth, he wrote, makes them “cynical where we are trustful” and their affluence makes them think they are “better than we are”. These words ring truest among the billionaires and corporate executives flocking to the Swiss ski resort of Davos this week. The highs recorded by stockmarkets, the tremendous monopoly power of tech titans and spikes in commodity prices reassure the rich cosmocratic class that they have weathered the storm of the financial crisis. The moguls can talk safely about inequality and poverty. But they will do little about it because they do not think their best interests are aligned with citizens. This is a mistake of historic proportions.

Since 2015, Oxfam calculates, the richest 1% have owned more wealth than the rest of the planet. The very wealthy think they no longer share a common fate with the poor. Whatever the warm words at Davos, no company bosses will put their hands up to the fact they play one country against another in order to avoid taxes; no firm will be honest about their attempts to stymie trade unions or about how they lobby against government regulation on labour, environment or privacy that tilts the balance of power away from them and towards the public. The largest western corporations and banks now roam the globe freely. As memories of the financial crisis recede, they are going back to the myth that they are no longer dependent on national publics or governments. Lobbyists for the corporate world claim that markets are on autopilot, that government is a nuisance best avoided.

Continue reading…

How best to leave the world of work behind | Letters

Readers respond to Andy Beckett’s recent Guardian article

Andy Beckett’s long read was elucidating and possibly prescient (Post-work: is the job finished?, 19 January). However, it’s not just a matter of whether workers can survive having the time and freedom of post-work but also how to manage the transition from one to the other. As a retiree of almost 70, most of my friends and I fill our days with meaningful activity alongside pleasurable family and leisure time. Nonetheless, some of them found it hard to make the switch.

Fortunately the health service allowed me to cut down my job to half-time working at first, and this helped the process of letting go. Then, when leaving the NHS, I was fortunate to still have a private practice for a further six years, for which some of my friends envied me. They told me of the near trauma of stopping work being like falling off a cliff before they found new roles with which to challenge themselves and utilise their talents.

Continue reading…

Amazon’s automated grocery store of the future opens Monday

SEATTLE (Reuters) – Amazon.com Inc will open its checkout-free grocery store to the public on Monday after more than a year of testing, the company said, moving forward on an experiment that could dramatically alter brick-and-mortar retail.

Contrite Facebook executives seek to ward off more European rules

MUNICH (Reuters) – Facebook executives are fanning out across Europe this week to address the social media giant’s slow response to abuses on its platform, seeking to avoid further legislation along the lines of a new hate speech law in Germany it says goes too far.

Audi ordered to recall 127,000 vehicles over emissions: paper

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Germany’s KBA automotive watchdog has detected illicit emission-control software in Audi’s latest Euro-6 diesel models and has ordered a recall of 127,000 vehicles, Bild am Sonntag reported.

Oil producers will cooperate beyond 2018, says Saudi Arabia

MUSCAT (Reuters) – Global oil producers are in agreement that they should continue cooperating on production after their deal on supply cuts expires at the end of this year, Saudi Arabia’s energy minister Khalid al-Falih said on Sunday.

Davos – in avalanche country – conceals an overriding fragility | Larry Elliott

As global economy booms, crises in social, environmental and political landscape abound

There are more beautiful towns in Switzerland than Davos but the high alps that ring the valley in which it sits are picture-postcard perfect, especially when the rising sun kisses the mountain tops at dawn. But appearances can be deceptive and the snow defences that girdle the slopes are a reminder that this is avalanche country, stunning yet fragile.

This is something members of the 1% would do well to remember as they gather in for the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum this week.

Davos is like a giant gated community where the 1% can pretend that they care about the other 99%

Continue reading…