FinitoWorld Issue Eight

Page 63



Issue 8 2023 £5.99 ISSN 2732-5180

Hot Sun, Warm Water, Cool Yacht.

Yachting offers the ultimate luxury, unrivalled freedom. From first time charterers cruising the iconic coastline of the French Riviera, to experienced yacht owners looking for a proven world cruiser, Edmiston’s global team have the knowledge to support you at every step in your yachting journey.

ARROW, 75m, Feadship, 12 + 2 guests

3 ISSUE 8 LONDON +44 20 7495 5151 MONTE CARLO +377 93 30 54 44 NEW YORK +1 212 792 5370 MIAMI +1 786 977 4358 NEWPORT +1 401 619 2200 MEXICO CITY +52 55 52 80 95 74 SAN JOSÉ DEL CABO +52 624 247 5852

Editor: Christopher Jackson

Editor-at-large: Claire Coe

Contributing Editors:

Patrick Crowder, Emily Prescott, Meredith Taylor

Lord Ranger CBE, Fred Finn, Liz Brewer

Advisory Board:

John Griffin (Chairman), Dame Mary Richardson, Sir Anthony Seldon, Elizabeth Diaferia, Ty Goddard, Neil Carmichael


Ronel Lehmann (Founder & CEO), Colin Hudson, Professor Robert Campbell, Christopher Jackson, Gaynor Goodliffe, Georgina Badine, Julia Carrick OBE


Derek Walker, Andrew Inman, Chloë Garland, Alejandra Arteta, Angelina Giovani, Christopher Clark, Robin Rose, Sophia Petrides, Dana JamesEdwards, Iain Smith, Jeremy Cordrey, Martin Israel, Iandra Tchoudnowsky, Tim Levy, Peter Ibbetson, Claire Orlic, Judith Cocking, Sandra Hermitage, Claire Ashley, Dr Richard Davis, Sir David Lidington, Coco Stevenson, Talan Skeels-Piggins, Edward Short, David Hogan, Susan Hunt, Divyesh Kamdar, Julia Glenn, Neil Lancaster, Dr David Moffat, Jonathan Lander, Kirsty Bell, Simon Bell, Paul Brannigan, Kate King, Paul Aplin, Professor Andrew Eder, Derek Bell, Graham Turner, Matthew Thompson, Douglas Pryde, Pervin Shaikh, Adam Mitcheson, Ross Power, Caroline Roberts, Sue Harkness, Andy Tait, Mike Donoghue, Tony Mallin, Patrick Chapman, Amanda Brown, Tom Pauk, Daniel Barres, Patrick Chapman, Merrill Powell, Kate Glick, Darren Mott, Dr Susan Doering, Raghav Parkash

Business Development:

Rara Plumptre


Stephen James, Aarti Raicha

Creative Director:

Nick Pelekanos


Sam Pearce, Will Purcell, Gemma Levine

Public Relations:

Pedroza Communications

Website Development:


Media Buying:

Virtual Campaign Management

Print Production:

Tim Solway

Printed in the UK by:

Printlogic Solutions Ltd, Kent, DA17 6AH

Registered Address:

Finito Education Limited, 14th floor, 33 Cavendish Square, London W1G 0PW, +44 (0)20 3780 7700

Finito and FinitoWorld are trade marks of the owner. We cannot accept responsibility for unsolicited submissions, manuscripts and photographs. All prices and details are correct at time of going to press, but subject to change. We take no responsibility for omissions or errors. Reproduction in whole or in part without the publisher’s written permission is strictly prohibited. All rights reserved. Registered in England No. 9985173

We are a United Kingdom full of opportunities – until, perhaps, you pick up any newspaper and read the headlines. If we are honest with ourselves, there is never really any good news. The advent of digital social media and an obsession to report the worst in humanity has become the norm. The need for publications to outperform their own last scoop makes for depressing reading. If that is not enough, we have become used to receiving short snippets broadcast to us online, with the sole aim of provoking our attention.

Small and medium-sized enterprises represent the greatest proportion of businesses and continue to be the lifeblood of future growth in our economy. During the pandemic many aspiring young entrepreneurs had their first taste of starting a business. For some, like ourselves, productivity increased substantially without the need for the daily commute. One person who did so much for entrepreneurship is Lord Young of Graffham. We pay a fulsome tribute to this outstanding business leader who so effectively managed to combine a business career with politics.

Talking of combining business and politics, you must look at Gillian Keegan MP who is the first Cabinet Minister to serve an apprenticeship. I am delighted to have championed Siobhan Baillie MP to help her launch The Future of Employability, an All-Party Parliamentary Group. APPG’s are cross-party groups of MPs and Peers that convene to debate the real issues and topics relating to a policy agenda that is integral to the UK economy and society. One of our first actions is to ensure that the

Secretary of State for Education includes employability as part of her mission for improved productivity and lifelong learning. We will also be looking at the policies and changes required to begin to close the gap between education and employment while addressing the current chronic recruitment pressures.

Often business leaders who have proved incredibly successful and want to give back get deeply frustrated by the slow pace of government and the civil service. In addition, those that donate to political parties attract criticism for supporting a political party which reflects their ideology. The one positive outcome from the pandemic is that you could reach anybody. People shared their mobile numbers because they were not in the office. This has helped us to connect those who deserve to be profiled about their own journeys. Communication is key to business success and yet it never ceases to amaze me how some people simply don’t grasp the importance of responding. I asked Sir Martin Sorrell about how he always manages to reply to emails in a nanosecond. He replied with a sparkle in his eye, “I have nothing else to do.”

One of my earliest family memories was being seated around the television with my parents watching the film “The King and I” staring Deborah Kerr and Yul Brynner. At that moment, my two brothers and I wanted to be King. We teased our father about his resemblance to the King of Siam, but it doesn’t seem to be quite as funny now as my own mother reminds me that my hair is beginning to thin on top.

The coronation is an occasion for pageantry and celebration, but it is also a solemn religious ceremony and has remained essentially the same for over 1,000 years. For the last 900 years, the ceremony has taken place at Westminster Abbey, London. The service is conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury, whose task this has almost always been since the Norman Conquest in 1066. We wish King Charles III a long and happy reign. God Save The King.



As this issue was in development, strikes continued throughout the United Kingdom, spreading to include not just those sectors whose anxieties are well-documented – the railways, nurses and doctors – but also A&E staff, firemen, teachers and border control staff.

It is possible to conjure an image of a society of the haves and have nots. One placard of a teacher read: “I’d have to work 150 years to pay Zahawi’s tax fine.” This, of course, referred to Nadhim Zahawi MP’s failure to declare at the time of being appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer by the then Prime Minister Liz Truss that he was at loggerheads with HM Revenue & Customs over the large amount of £5 million.

But such an image is too simplistic. In the current climate, it seems pedantic to point out that Zahawi is only in such a position due to a great deal of hard work in founding YouGov, and building it into a vast company. It is understandable that pleas that in creating that so-called ‘unicorn’ he has also created thousands of jobs are also likely to fall on deaf ears. If one were also trying to extend sympathy to Zahawi, one might point out that in the lead-up to the wrangle with the tax authorities he was also charged with the not unstressful role of developing a vaccine against Covid-19 at record-breaking speed.

But he clearly made a mistake, and insodoing became a symbol of the emotion of the times. Rampant inflation creates stress in the population. A vicious cycle is created. The economic situation has placed strain on those banks who had failed to diversify beyond those assets which prosper in a low interest rate environment.

This state of flux is likely to have a strong effect on the mindset of jobseekers. After

the failure of the trendy Silicon Valley Bank, the tech and venture capital sectors look like different prospects than they did before. Meanwhile, the debacle at Credit Suisse, which was snookered into a buyout by its rival UBS, is a reminder of the importance of choosing one’s employer wisely: young jobseekers should try where possible to look ‘under the hood’ of prospective employers.

Likewise, it’s worth remembering that many of those who feel forced to strike are in vocational jobs they wouldn’t change for the world. Many teachers went on strike raising the moving placard “We’d rather be teaching”.

There is no doubt that they would, but the demand of ‘Pay Up’, to which Finito World is sympathetic, can’t change the economics of the situation, which were set in place in the astonishing spring of 2020, when lockdown and furlough – inherently inflationary policies – were set in train.

The Bank of England continues to insist that the UK will avoid recession, and return to growth in 2024. But there is also the sense that a deeper structural shift has occurred. We will probably look back on the period from 2008-2020 as a low interest rate anomaly – a decade of free money when to borrow was to have relatively low anxiety about repayments.

Higher interest rates move through the economy, altering the nature of the workplace. Those jobs which we take on because we feel we have to – most notably nursing and teaching – suddenly look harder to carry out. Conversely a career in energy looks ever more lucrative. Meanwhile, nobody’s job feels especially safe. It was reported recently that the BBC had sent letters of voluntary redundancy round its highest paying presenters, with

household names such as Huw Edwards, Nick Robinson and Sophie Raworth all recipients. Perhaps this realisation will make some people bolder, seeing that if there’s no truly safe berth in a storm, they might as well make a dash for the wheel of the ship.

That’s because all this is taking place in a tech economy, which has created a further variable. The railway strikes cannot be as effective in a population so used to working from home as they once were, with huge ramifications for the transport sector; one Finito World reader recently noted that the queues at London City airport were markedly less when the border control staff were striking, as the automated passport technology works so well.

The Brave New World of tech even impacts the efficacy of the teachers’ strikes: parents, too, are used to having their children about the house while trying to work, which they can usually do so long as they have an internet connection.

Of course, within all this turmoil there are reliable continuities: there’s the Royal Family, whose latest chapter we celebrate in this issue; the legal profession, primed to adapt to almost any scenario, and which always looks attractive in difficult times; and those businesses which provide something so essential customers never do without their services.

It’s a complicated landscape for the jobseeker. It is all as if some great enterprise is required: to talk about our shared expectations of work, and our interlocking stories of the workplace. It would be a shame to begin our Coronation Issue on a note of immodesty, but you hold such a project in your hands.



The creation of an APPG on Employability in parliament is no small achievement, but this is what Finito has been working on over the past year together with College Green Group, and the brilliant MP for Stroud, Siobhan Baillie.

APPGs are an opportunity to talk to parliament and, through parliament, government about topics of importance: the goal is to hold the government’s feet to the fire about the direction of travel on the thing which we spent the majority of our lives doing: work.

Our APPG intends to call experts to discuss and report on the question of what makes for the best employability skills in a fast-moving economy. We will promote the teaching of those skills – such as resilience and creativity – which will always be relevant to children no matter what the nature of the economy. Many of the areas which people work in today didn’t exist when

those now working in them were in school.

The mistake all along was to learn in the abstract and not to focus on concrete outcomes. We now see companies trying to fill that gap by focusing on apprenticeship schemes which seem designed to celebrate precisely the skills which can seem to be conspicuous by their absence in the education system.

Some of our suggestions are simple. For instance, we will argue that the Secretary of State for Education’s title should change to The Secretary of State for Education and Employability. We’re also aware that more can be done when children are younger, where appropriate, to instil the idea of positive employment outcomes in children.

Education for education’s sake must always have its place. We read Shakespeare or learn the laws of physics

with no definite idea as to how these might prepare us for the future. Very often, the learning of these things shapes us in ways we can’t predict. But life after school has numerous practicalities for which education ill prepares us: we want to question whether it’s possible to do more for our young people in this context.

Another issue we wish to look at is how we as a society allow people to re-enter work after sickness or maternity leave. At the moment there is no clear route for returning to work mothers though we applaud the efforts of the likes of Julie Turnbull at 2to3days in bringing that matter to people’s attention, and beginning to address the problem.

In all this, we’re delighted to be working with a dedicated and compassionate MP in the shape of Siobhan Baillie, who has written her views on the APPG on page 23.


It’s a sad fact that many students nowadays leave university saddled with debt, which they may struggle for decades to repay. In our last issue, we told the story of Finito Bursary candidate Joseph Macdonald who had originally intercalcated from a degree in computer science. After extensive mentoring, it transpired that Joseph wasn’t comfortable with his initial choice of course. After a conversation with former Green Party leader Natalie Bennett, Joseph found himself more certain than ever that it was the right thing to do to change courses. The fact that the call took place at all is a reminder of an important fact:

celebrated or famous people are never quite so unobtainable as you might think. Most people became successful because, throughout their career, others have enjoyed working with them: almost always this is because they’re kind and make time where possible. We want to thank Natalie Bennett here for the time she took for our bursary mentee.

She also conveyed to Joseph a valuable lesson. One of the great things to avoid in life is doubling down on an initial error simply because it will take time and effort to unpick it. Of course, it is preferable always to make the right

choices about our degree subjects. But the range of possibilities in life makes the choice difficult, and we are asked to make it when we are still new and unsure of ourselves.

Joseph’s brave decision will save him valuable time. The world has too many people who made the wrong choice in their early twenties, and stuck it out into their thirties and beyond. That way leads only to regret and we are proud that Joseph is now headed down the right vocational route. We will continue to champion him and look forward to sharing further stories of his future success.






Claire German's career in design


The benefits of living in Canary Wharf


Our latest bursary update


The remarkable tale of Loveday



Skeels-Piggins answers your questions
travel editor Fred Finn THIS ISSUE CONTENTS
Martin Sorrell on advertising revenues 17 THE HEADTEACHER
Birbalsingh on teaching 18 THE ECONOMIST Will Page on Tarzan Economics 19 THE PARLIAMENTARIAN Siobhan Baillie on her new APPG 21 THE ARCHBISHOP Stephen Cottrell on what the pandemic taught 22 A QUESTION OF DEGREE Andrew Law on his economics degree 24 RELATIVELY SPEAKING Angelina Giovani-Agha on family and career 26 10,000 HOURS Elizabeth Gage on perfectionism 28 TOMORROW’S LEADERS Jamila Robertson on skills 29 THOSE ARE MY PRINCIPLES Tilly Wilkinson discusses children’s mental health 30 WATERFLY Our gossipy view of the changing waters of education
HIS MAJESTY THE KING Which firms are used by the monarch?
effective in meetings
A tale of mentorship
Lessons from Lincoln
50 ABSOLUTELY WARRANTED Which firms have the royal warrant? 66 KING DAVID Why Lord Young was among
greats 72 HELPMEET How to be
p79 Gemma Levine p79 Henry Moore p22 Andrew Law p17 Katharine Birbalsingh
7 ISSUE 8 p34 King of Hearts: How Charles won his way into the public’s affections CONTENTS ART, CULTURE & BOOKS 110 WREN AT 300 Lessons from the great architect 117 BACK TO THE BRUSH Antony Ladbrook on his return to art 122 FILMIC TIMES Reviews of Tár and The Fabelmans 126 GAME OF TIGER What about a career in golf? 130 BOOK REVIEWS From Hancock to Iannucci 134 CRUISE CONTROL Interview with Richard Twynam 136 MARVELLOUS MILAN A visit to Italy’s second city 141 COSTEAU On the importance of service 144 CLASS DISMISSED Dame Mary Richardson p136 Picture credit: Janos Grapow SCAN BELOW TO SUBSCRIBE TO FINITO WORLD
p29 Tilly Wilkinson
p136 Milan
It’s more than an ocean voyage... Visit to order a brochure or call 0808 304 5095 to speak to our cruise experts It’s truly all-inclusive ultra-luxury in a class of its own Antarctica The High Arctic & Fjords Europe & The Mediterranean Japan Australia, Indonesia & The South Pacific The Americas & The Caribbean Discover the world in 6-star ultra-luxury on board Scenic Eclipse, The World’s First Discovery YachtsTM. From Antarctica to the Arctic and everywhere in between, venture further than ever before as you soar above by helicopter^ and dive below by submarine^ for immersive and unrivalled exploration. Cruise from £5,745pp† †Cruise from £5,745 based on the Super Earlybird Fare on the Incredible Iberian Discovery DA cabin sailing 30 September 2023. Price is per person, based on twin share must be paid in full at time of booking and is correct at time of going to print (18 April 2023). ^Flights on board two helicopters, helicopter experiences and submarine at additional cost, subject to regulatory approval, availability, weight restrictions, medical approval, location, and weather and ice conditions. Terms and conditions apply, visit for more information. W O R LDCRU SEAWA D S 20 22 World's Best Cruise Ship for Dining ABTA No.Y6328



Theshort tenures of recent prime ministers is becoming as unmissable as it is noteworthy. If you look back we’ve had Gordon Brown (three years), David Cameron (six), Theresa May and Boris Johnson (again with three years apiece) and then Liz Truss, who lasted barely a month. But I would say all this has nothing to do with social media; it’s because they have no inkling how to be Prime Minister. The office itself isn’t impossible, it’s just the way they operate makes it seem so.

Iwasasked recently if I’d write a book about the Truss administration or whether it would be too short; the person in question told me they thought it might be novella-length. I explained that the opposite is the case; in fact there’s so much to say I doubt it could be contained in a short book at all!

WhenI think back on how I became a teacher, I remember how growing up I was struck by the thought that education had lost its enchantment. It had been stripped of joy, of discovery and self-reflection. And

obviously, that’s what led to problems. When I was younger, I was often in trouble. I didn’t want to cause hurt; but I couldn’t be myself in school since it seemed to be trying to make me what I wasn’t. When advising pupils and students and parents about the big moments which come about: choices at GCSE, A-Levels, and work, I say to them that you must let the child decide and let them be driven by what they love not what you think they need.

There’s been a lot of talk about Chat GPT recently. I began writing The Fourth Education Revolution in 2017 before it was a topic, and I still think AI has the potential to make the plight of the teacher far better if it’s harnessed early and in the right way. In many respects we still have a 19th century system where the teacher’s at the front of the class, students sit passively and everyone moves at the same pace at the same time of day. That means teacher workload gets worse with the effects we all see today. AI can change that and free up teachers for their role: to teach children how to live and be happy.

Iamsympathetic to teachers, but it’s wrong for the unions to be striking, because it harms young people. It’s not just that they miss out on their exams but it’s also showing young people that if you don’t like what you’ve got you’ve got to make innocent people suffer; that’s what young people are internalising. That said, the government is utterly at fault. If you have 10 education secretaries in 13 years, many of whom don’t understand schools and listen to the wrong people, it’s not very surprising that we have this situation. Usually it shows the contempt of prime ministers for education. The role is used as a berth to help solve a political problem of patronage by the PM of the day, and rarely given to anyone who might do something good with it.

Amanda Spielman is highly intelligent, but Ofsted can’t continue in its current form as a judgmental external body. At the moment, it’s more than 20th century –it’s 19th century. But frankly it’s not a question of whether it will change, but of when. This isn’t a question of whether we have inspections or not, it’s about the nature of the those inspections. The process needs to be supportive and lead to improvement – it’s as simple as that.

I’vejust finished my latest book on Boris Johnson and it makes me think back to founding the Institute of Contemporary British History with Peter Hennessy in 1986. It’s important you don’t abandon the recent past to partisan actors. You need to bring the skills of the academic historian to bear in analysing the past – and that’s more important than ever during a time of culture wars. What we need now is what we always need: understanding.

Sir Anthony Seldon



I read your article ‘Pointless Jobs’ (Issue 7), and it struck a chord with me. I’m just out of university, and already worrying about the cost of living crisis. I am living in my parents’ home, and though their heart is in the right place, they already want me to get a job and move out. I am worried, however, that financial pressure will lead me into a wrong move, which I may never recover from. I know that if I pursue the law or accountancy routes, I will be financially safe, but my primary interest is in publishing. How might mentoring help me in my situation?

You are not alone in facing this dilemma. It is a factor affecting many people of a similar age and there is no quick and easy path to take. Making a rushed decision about the rest of your life whilst under pressure is likely to take you to a place of regret in the future. No job in the private sector can guarantee you financial safety, there will always be decisions which are made that are beyond your own control, yet these will impact you own life and can be the cause of job instability. This will leave you frustrated and may play a negative role in your own mental health. Mentoring will help you to navigate the journey ahead. By asking questions and reflecting together with your mentor, you will find out the values and behaviours in your life that you want to live by. These discoveries then act as a guide to what is, and what isn’t, important to you, thereby showing the direction you should take. Without taking the time to truly consider the

way you want to live the rest of your life, you will move in a direction that may cause regret later on.

I am a young graduate with a First Class English degree from a Russell Group university. I have a lot of creative passion, and had considered beginning my career in copyrighting. However, as I choose my career route, I find I keep coming up against the arrival of ChatGTP and open source AI. I am concerned I may choose a career path which shortly becomes obsolete – but equally I’m aware we can’t predict the future. What is the best way to stay ahead of the curve on AI?

Congratulations on your First Class degree, that must have taken some effort. ChatGPT is built on top of OpenAI’s GPT-3 family of language models, with GPT-4 looking to make an appearance soon. Authors, writers and app developers have been using GPT-3, and recently ChatGPT, as a tool to facilitate their own work. So, if you think or treat the OpenAI chatbot as a partner, rather than an opponent, it could bring benefits to your own working career. I would also give thought to your own creative passion, as the prospect of having ChatGPT as your own co-author could lead to greater productivity. Having spoken with course directors of creative writing classes, they believe the demand for the human mind to create links and make literary jumps will always remain within the creative

world, as it cannot think for you and there will be inherent bias in the programming. With regards to the future, the best way to stay ahead of any curve is to be aware of where the curve is going. This will mean online research with AI platforms to find where the path is going, as well as listening to tech podcasts of those who are using it.

I am a Chinese graduate from a top UK university, and my Visa expires soon. I have been working on an exciting entrepreneurial idea in the financial services space, and yet I don’t know how long it will take to be successful. I am not sure what sort of requirements there might be when it comes to securing a working visa, and whether I need contractual employment or whether the government would consider some sort of looser arrangement with an employer. My goal is to remain in this country, and to continue my passion for building my business but I’m not sure how to achieve this, and worried about what will happen if I compromise.

Jia, 25, London


Well done on your graduation and for working on an entrepreneurial idea. With new concepts there is no guarantee that they will become a reality, let alone allowing you to accurately plan for success. However, a key attribute of being an entrepreneur is resilience and the determination to see an idea through from its birth to a working model. Always remember that each one is unique and will consequently have its own timeline. There are a small variety of visa extensions for entrepreneurs, and they come with specific guidelines and regulations in place for each different type. By looking on the website you will be able to find the type that is best suited for you and what you will need to do in order to apply for one. An aspect that is common to all, is that you apply before your existing visa runs out, so act with the same determination and passion that you have for your own business idea. With respect to worries about compromise, if you can imagine that your idea becomes successful, think how would you feel? Hold on to those feelings as they will help you to continue the struggle that all entrepreneurs go through, and they form part of the ‘WHY’ that you pursue your goals.

Motherhood has left me exhausted and unsure what I want to do next. I was in a good job before having my three children, but with each passing year I have got used to being out of the workforce, and have lost touch with my former employers. But now the children need me less and less, and I am beginning to wonder about my core identity when the children are grown up. I don’t think I have the bandwidth to enter a full time job. What resources are there for returning to work mothers in terms of finding employment which fits in around child-rearing?

It is great that you have begun to realise the issues of your own identity at this time. There is a spectrum relating to how an individual identifies themselves, and some people can get stuck at one end or the other. Those who are self-aware like you, often begin to consider their core identity at this stage, which can prevent a very difficult transition process when the children grow up and leave the home. Preparation now allows you to move to a place that makes any change manageable. This is becoming more prevalent in areas such as sport, where individuals can have a very difficult time at the end of their career if they have not considered themselves as anything other than an athlete.

The advantage in the era of the internet is the availability of support sources at hand. Sites such as and are a great place to begin the search for advice and resources, that can help with finding the perfect fit for your own situation. Returning to work in a progressive manner will prevent overstressing you, as the demands of looking after three children are often recognised as a full-time job in its own right.



Our regular writers on employability in 2023

19 | WORKING THE ROOM: Siobhan Baillie on her new employability APPG

ECONOMICS BOOM: Andrew Law on his stellar career in finance.

PICTURE PROVENANCE: Angelina Giovani-Agha's career in art

THE GAGE OF SUCCESS: Jeweller Elizabeth on careers in jewellery.

22 24 26
Wikipedia .org



If you go back to 2020, you realise there was a period when Boris Johnson’s administration was seriously thinking about going down the socalled ‘herd immunity route’. When the pandemic started, I was 74 and I’ll be 78 soon. When I look back at that time, I was very much front and centre of the government’s concerns: for a start I’m Type-2 diabetic, and I would have been vulnerable in that sense, regardless of my age.

So all in all I was not particularly appreciative of the fact that the Johnson administration regarded me as dispensable – which was the tack they took in January and February in 2020, before they pivoted. That was three years ago, and it’s remarkable how busy we’ve been at S4 Capital ever since.

I’m sometimes asked if I will retire, and how it is I’ve managed to build S4 Capital in the aftermath of my departure from WPP. Well, for one thing business is so strong. But secondly, it’s better to work than vegetate on a golf course. I can’t imagine myself doing that.

I’m also often asked if I would write a memoir, going back through my time at Saatchi and Saatchi all the way through my time at WPP and to my current work at S4 Capital. I reply that it’s difficult to say what you want to say while you’re still in the thick of it. It’s only when you’re completely out of the game that you should say what you have to say. But I’m still trying to play the game!

In actual fact, I’ve been travelling a lot. I go to America a fair bit as well as to Europe, and regularly attend

Davos. In 2022, we still had a lot of cancellations; people are still assessing their productivity and their work-life balance and I understand that. We’re planning business on a 60 per cent office occupancy on the buildings we’ve taken on a pro rata basis in London, San Paolo and Paris. But at the same time we’ve doubled our workforce. This comes partly from organic growth and partly from deals we’ve done.

accommodated into your business strategy. Take a look, for instance, at polling of millennials in China. The results are reasonably conclusive: they’re more proChina and anti-West than they used to be. They used to be inquisitive and attracted to Western attitudes, but the impression I have is that China is following the trend of rising populism which we’re seeing elsewhere.

There’s no doubt President Xi is a firm leader with strong views. I was talking to someone recently who had sat on a committee which was chaired by Xi, and he described how different it was to the previous chairman and how direct he is, and focused on implementation. I would compare him a little with Modhi; he has been good for brand India generally.

I continue to look to the US and observe how the arrival of administrations affects business. Looking back, I would say Obama wasn’t comfortable with business: he felt, whether fairly or not, that all business was interested in was their agenda. Perhaps that’s right. But Trump was more open and friendly and engaging. His policy was supported by business until it started to hit businesses’ pockets in China. Biden, I suppose, is somewhere in between and during his administration, the question of China hasn’t gone away at all.

I don’t have a solution; I can only identify the problem. China’s soft power is huge and growing, and with the Belt Road and the Dual Circulation policy it’s only going to get greater: the country is on a far more independent track than it was before, and all this has to be

So what I’d say to America – and I’d say it to the tech companies especially – is that with power comes responsibility. We’re yet to see whether China wants to extend its borders, but its influence is growing and that presents all countries with a difficult choice. Which side do you engage with? Because there may come a time when you won’t be able to engage with both.

The Chief Executive
Sir Martin Sorrell is the CEO of S4 Capital
Perfecting the art of shooting since 1835.



The trouble is that many ministers aren’t equipped for the roles they end up doing. If I had to suddenly run Barclays Bank we’d all be in a lot of trouble as I don’t know anything about banking. It’s only because we have such little respect for schools in society that we think anyone can do it.

Some people are humble enough to ask questions and admit when they don’t know the answer.

Unfortunately, when people are in positions of power and making decisions in that mindset then you have a problem. Now, admittedly ministers are meant to have advice and so on, but what happens is that the system isn’t effective because the people taking the decisions aren’t equipped with sufficient knowledge to carry out the task.

I don’t think the woke issue is getting better. In fact, things are ramping up in terms of wokeness in schools –everything just gets more and more woke as time goes on. All of which does make me worry about the future. For instance, I worry that there is a tendency to think school is about just getting results – GCSEs and so on. A school is about so much more than that; it’s going to impact entirely on the eventual identity of pupils.

Having said that, I’m not thinking: “I’ve got to steer these children about the question of wokeness.” At the end of the day, they might decide they want to be woke – and that’s not my role. My role is to prepare them for their lives, and then let them go. I understand a parent might worry

about these – but these are not my children. Ultimately, I have to let go. We have people come in from all walks of life to give career talks to the kids and to give them a sense of the various different careers they’re interested in. I admire what Finito does with its bursary scheme in helping young people into work. If a school is chaotic and their home life is chaotic, it’s good to have somebody mentoring them, and working from outside the chaos. Here, at Michaela Community, they’re not in chaos when they’re here, as we make sure it’s not that way.

they’ve been in their rooms on their phones. Having said that, I wouldn’t join Gina Miller’s calls made in this magazine for a fourth school term. You wouldn’t be able to hold on to any teachers. Teaching is exhausting as a profession; people don’t realise that. My teachers arrive between half past six and seven o’clock. I have a meeting with my senior team every morning at seven o’clock. I’ve taken one day off all my life. Nowadays I leave at six o’clock. When I was younger, I’d be in school until seven or eight o’clock. I’d think it would be easier to have a bed. Easily I’d work an 80 hour a week. Nowadays it’s a 60 hour week and it’s the same for my staff.

Mentors are good and can really help with ambition, and bouncing ideas around. There are schemes out there where outside providers try to provide extra English or maths lessons, because the lessons themselves are too raucous or there are too many supply teachers. For any school, it’s really useful to have people come in to discuss their careers. Free online tutoring is something which would be really useful for kids elsewhere; more of that would at least be better than nothing.

I think some of our work is undone every holiday. When they come back they forget how to say good morning;

It’s not just the hours, it’s the exhaustion of the day. If you teach all day, you’re exhausted. It’s easier being the head, because you’re not teaching. In your half-term you’re doing your dental appointments, and picking up your dry cleaning and so on as you have no time to do that. So you don’t really get a holiday until summer. People say you have long holidays as a teacher – but not as a good teacher.

17 ISSUE 8
The Headteacher
The writer is the Headmistress of Michaela Community Schools in North London


My passion is teaching economics, and that's a passion that my father gave me from the age of 11. He taught me how to teach economics, and he taught me what economics was. He always told me to focus on an audience who doesn't think they can understand it, doesn't want to understand it, but must understand it. Now, whenever I'm teaching – be it onstage or in the written form –I've always got those three boxes to tick in my head. What really made me interested in doing the book was not just the passion, but also the perspective I could offer.

Music was the first to suffer from digital disruption. Look at the all-inone platform Napster in 1999, which completely upended our business. You think about the word copyright, which the entire industry is built onwhat happens to copyright when you lose the right to control copying? It’s fundamental to the syntax of the word. We spent ten years fighting change, suing kids for piracy, suing websites for piracy, and suing internet service providers for piracy. We spent millions, we lost billions, then we embraced streaming. After that, came ten years of working with change and letting go of the old vine of ownership (believing that kids were going to buy CDs and downloads was never going to happen) and embracing the new vine of access where people are streaming, and we saw recovery. The fact that I had that front seat as the only economist in the music industry to see those ten years of pain and ten years of gain, that made me feel that everyone else was having their ‘Napster moment’. I wanted to

help them get through it, to avoid the suffering and get straight to the recovery. The problem I faced at Spotify is replicated across almost every other industry. I was seeing it happen more and more up until the pandemic, but I feel that the pandemic accelerated change that was already in place. Here’s a simple example. Let's imagine a population of which 40 per cent have experimented with online shopping. Along comes the pandemic, and I would say 90 per cent have experimented with online shopping. How many of them are going to go back to the High Street when the pandemic is over?

disintermediation. It questions the role of middlemen, and I've got a chapter in my book called “make or buy” which asks what is the purpose of these middlemen? I see digital disruption as a rising tide. It doesn't choose who it floods. It doesn't discriminate – it's going to keep on rising, and it doesn't stop at your ankles either. It started with music because music was a type of good that could be disrupted easily. We go from a CD, which is a private good, and it’s scarce. It’s also excludablethere's a big nasty security guard making sure that you pay.

The internet made the opposite. The way we consume music became a public good, and it wasn’t scarce. If you steal a million files a day off the internet, they're still there tomorrow. And it’s not excludable because there’s nobody policing the internet so we can all steal. When you have that transition, you can see why the tide flooded music first – but then it starts to creep into other sectors of the economy, other sectors of public service, and you can see a similar level of disruption taking place.

That’s a great way to conceptualise what it means to accelerate change that was already in place. The idea of these industries holding onto the old vine becomes even more circumspect. That vine is withering even more than before, and pretty soon it's going to let go of you. I see a lot of businesses that are in trouble for the exact same psychological reasons that the music industry was in so much trouble at the start of the millennium. I think what digitisation does also is

18 The Economist
The writer is the former chief economist at Spotify and the author of Tarzan Economics: Eight Principles for Pivoting through Disruption

The Parliamentarian SIOBHAN BAILLIE


Ihave spent over a decade talking to the fabulous founder of Finito about education and whether our various education systems get people work ready. Since the pandemic, the country is also facing an urgent need to have a work-ready population leaving school, college and university to boost the economy. And with over one million job vacancies, businesses I visit often place recruitment and retention issues at the top of their concerns.

As part of their mission to grow the country, the Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer are focused on ensuring people have every opportunity to train and retrain at all times of life.

However, many young people still do not leave education prepared for work or the multiple job changes they are likely to have as technology forces us to adapt. Many families do not have the contacts to set up work experience placements.

This is why, together with Ronel Lehmann, I have recently launched an All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for the Future of Employability.

As an MP, I sometimes think back on the circumstances which led me to Westminster. I left home at 15, I left school at 17 and my prospects were frankly not great. I got a job as a legal secretary and then worked my way up to become a family law solicitor. It was hard graft to study while working full time, but worth it.

Throughout all of that I also took Saturday jobs, had a paper round, I

waitressed in a pub and led dancing classes amongst other things. I taught aerobics and spinning to pay for law school. Every interaction with the public and endlessly getting things wrong in the full glare of real life was useful training. I learned a lot from the people I worked with too.

Yet this country still views on-the-job training, further education colleges and apprenticeships as inferior to university degrees. Many employers do not invest in training staff. In some areas work experience and careers guidance is poor or non-existent. Young people no longer work at the weekends or in school holidays.

Thirdly, we need to value work experience. Employers are often faced with red tape when it comes to offering young people work placements. The confidence, learning and contacts you get from a real life day at work cannot be replicated online.

There will always be a place for education for its own sake, but I believe it would benefit millions of young lives if studies are undertaken with a sense of ultimate direction.

We will use the APPG to explore with businesses, organisations and think tanks what is making the UK underinvest in job-related training and work experience opportunities. We need to interrogate brand new government initiatives like the lifelong learning loan entitlement and old problems like how the apprenticeship levy works for small and medium companies.

I am excited about the challenge.

How do we shift our thinking? The first thing might seem cosmetic but it would put rocket fuel under the issue. The Secretary of State for Education –currently the brilliant Gillian Keegan MP – could become the Secretary of State for Education and Employability.

Secondly, we need to really land the benefits of lifelong learning and remove barriers to retraining, including with fees for employers and employees. Making it easy for mothers, people who have been out of work due to illness and recently retired people to return to work at some level could be transformational for them and the country.

Wikipedia .org
The writer has served as the MP for Stroud since 2019
20 Makers of English Handcrafted Luxury Leather Goods Albany 10-12 Burlington Gardens London, W1S 3EY +44 (0)20 7493 9072



York was quite severely hit during the pandemic in hospitality and tourism. My job is to be a voice of the Christian faith – and therefore a voice which is trying to speak up for the poor, and for issues of justice and peace. The Church is always trying to be involved as a voice for good within all the networks of our society, especially here in the North of England. We are mindful of ‘levelling up’ as it’s known in the political discourse and perhaps it’s the job of the church in part to constructively hold the government to account.

Perhaps even now it’s too early to draw conclusions but there has been some fascinating research done about the impact of Covid on the church. For a short while there was a narrative running about the church being withdrawn – but that turned out not to be true. Two things I’ve noticed have been the building and nurturing of online community; many churches now tell a story of people participating in online church of one kind of another. We don’t yet know whether those people have gone on to participate in person postpandemic. But during that period, we nurtured online communities in ways which were quite striking: churches which once had 50 participants in person sometimes had 70 or 80 participants online.

It’s a reminder for the whole world: we’re going to have to learn to live digitally for the sake of the planet. There is an opportunity for us to find new ways of living which will be better for the planet – it’s already a hybrid world and I want to see the church take the lead on that.

When it comes to the cost of living crisis, it’s worth remembering that the church still has a presence – amazingly – in virtually every community in this land. As a result, we’ve been in the front line when it comes to providing support and pastoral care to people in need, particularly isolated people. It’s not just been the church, of course, but often the church has been in the lead with others. I am talking about simple things like, during Covid, making sure that an isolated person gets their prescription. Then there’s all the other stuff that’s well-known with food banks, debt counselling, homelessness, shelters: it is the church on the ground which is leading in these things and I think we have seen the benefits of that.

My great hope is that as 2023 continues, we won’t go back to how we were before the pandemic. The first thing we should consider is time for reflection. Of course, we all do that in different ways; my advice is to weave prayer into the rhythms of your daily life. Even in lockdown, most of us had routines. The thing to do is to examine the existing routines of your daily life, and see where prayer can be incorporated, so that you stop seeing prayer as an additional burden, by getting up half an hour earlier for instance. Instead, look at your working day and consider whether there is an opportunity to weave it in. For instance, if you walk the dog, you might find that that is a good opportunity to pray or be still.

Some of it comes down to personality; some of us find stillness much easier when we’re moving. You need to find the way which is right for you. I sometimes worry that people have a picture in their mind of what prayer is and think they must conform to it. And if you can get that right, the benefits are enormous in your personal and your working life.

The question of work is a complex one. The most important thing I do each day is to say my prayers: that is the foundation and heart of my day. The Christian way of inhabiting life encourages us to live by that Biblical principle of the Sabbath. By that I don’t just mean literally the Sabbath, but the Sabbath as a principle which runs through life: God’s good ordering of time and space whereby we give time for rest and refreshment.

21 ISSUE 8
The writer is the current Archbishop of York



My Dad was a mechanical engineer who used to design power engines, and my mum was a nurse who used to work in the operating theatre at the local hospital. I went to the local state comprehensive school and my parents still live in the same house in south Manchester. The school at the centre of the multiacademy trust which I now sponsor, is my old school; it was a terrible school in its day but is now outstanding.

I went in my own direction; The City was a world remote from my childhood. I was born in 1966: from 1984 when I started at the University of Sheffield through 1987, I experienced the Big Bang years. The Thatcher reforms were enacted, and finance really hit its stride as a profession open to all on meritocratic grounds. The American banks arrived, and graduate recruitment spread to a much wider range of universities than just Oxbridge. Finance was very much the acceptable face of capitalism; in fact, in the 1980s it was celebrated. The government was behind it; it was an aspirational thing to do; it was a bright new world. And all the privatisations played a role in that, bringing publicity and public involvement.

My degree was in economics, and we chose five subjects in the second year and five in the third. I was most interested in the macroeconomic strands of that which were about global trade, currencies, and investment. I did a financial option pricing course which was unique back then. Another subject was on corporate finance and pricing of assets.

In my third year one of those subjects was a research thesis on the pricing of

foreign exchange and the efficiency of the forward market as a predictor of future spot rates. The output of that work was that the forward market was not particularly efficient, and that the current spot rate was a better predictor of the future spot rate than the forward rate itself – which means to say that if you buy currencies with higher interest rates than others, that you will make money on average over time. Everybody knows that today, but they didn’t then. To use financial jargon, it is called the “carry” trade.

The lead Professor was Alec Chrystal who went on to be the secretary to the monetary policy committee at the Bank of England and ran various research projects for them.


He was very enthusiastic about macro models and used real-world examples of the applicability of the academic side. It was a great degree experience, and an inspiration to me. With everything else going on in the world of finance at the time it was precisely on point and a segue to the world of work.

Subsequently, I joined a graduate trainee programme at County NatWest which organisationally was a classic amalgamation of the Big Bang era. Natwest Bank bought a merchant bank, County. I started with 28 other graduates on a Monday a few weeks prior to the stock market crash in 1987. County itself got into trouble with the Blue Arrow affair. I stayed there for two years working in the fixed income investment management division and ended up managing some funds, but I really wanted to be on the trading side and moved to Chemical Bank, which over time became consumed by JP Morgan. I was there for seven years, and then moved to Goldman Sachs in the middle of 1996.

My day job has been the same since day one of Chemical Bank until today. I joined the proprietary trading desk and ended up running that team in London, and then did the same at Goldman Sachs. I’m sometimes asked how I rose to management positions and the answer is simple. People typically get promoted in finance because of financial performance; I don’t think it’s a reflection of management skills. Today at Caxton I’m still the largest fund manager of our assets, in addition to the company management role that I have.

I take risk in markets and trade all asset classes globally. Everything we do at Caxton has to be liquid; we must be able to change our minds and liquidate our positions if we want to. Investing to me is a combination of economics, politics and policy, including geopolitics, and very much what we call ‘listening to the market’, by which I mean closely following market price action, and

watching reactions to news, and how markets correlate with each other. We’re looking for inflection points in markets which might come to endorse or suggest views about the economic cycle, and how that may evolve.

One example would be policy changes through Covid, where we very quickly transitioned from one of ‘nobody’s going to be able to work and businesses and incomes will fall’ to one where government paid furloughs to workers, and household spending was very constrained by lock-down leading to bloated household finances in aggregate. This in turn alongside central bank actions led to a huge expansion of the money supply and that policy, which was kept in place for too long, has given way to this era of inflation which we’re still dealing with.

doing service-oriented jobs – including people who had been taking two buses and a tube to be in Canary Wharf at Prêt-a-Manger at 6am – they didn’t want to do that anymore. There just wasn’t a price where they wanted to do that. Prêt have raised their salaries three times this year. We now have enormous shortages of service sector staff, also due to Brexit.

There’s also a large number of people who are ill and unable to work. Some of that is long Covid, some of it is the backlog in the NHS due to Covid. All this amounts to a fundamental change in the labour market.

There are several things going on now. Post-Covid there’s been a very large change in the propensity of people to want to do certain jobs or to keep working, and there have been some changes in health outcomes. The older cohort of workers discovered that they did in fact enjoy being at home, and therefore retired early. For younger workers, and people who had been

We’re also in the early stages of an energy transition where we’re going to have to invest enormous amounts of money on green energies, as we decrease our dependence on gas and oil. This will undoubtedly put upward pressure on term interest rates. Additionally, the amount of money countries spend on defence is going to increase as a result of the war. During Covid, people learned they were too dependent on supply-chains from other countries. If you lay on top of that the fact that businesses are nervous about dependency on certain countries and want to reverse some of the globalisation trends which we’ve experienced the past 20 years, and are looking to onshore, or reshore, then you have a potent mix. If globalisation was good for consumers and bad for workers, then the pathway we’re on now is the reverse of that, and all this will have a lasting inflationary impact. In summary, I think we’ll look back on the post-financial crisis decade as the exception. In some ways we’ve gone back to the same macro-economic and political conditions we had when Caxton was founded in 1983; we’d had the oil price spikes due to the Middle East wars, the Cold War was at its peak, and central banks were fighting inflation. We’ve moved back to a period of deep economic uncertainty.




Growing up I always wanted to be a doctor. No one in my family is a doctor, and even though I was terrified of doctors I still wanted to be one. My parents both have artistic inclinations. My mother is a musician, she studied the piano and the flute and my father trained as a choreographer. My mother taught music to school children all her life, but my father eventually moved on to business and now his impressive dance skills only come out during weddings or family events. My mother did try to teach me the piano, but I wasn’t particularly interested. Instead, I’d ask her to play me Vivaldi’s “Winter” for the Four Seasons while I finished my dinner, which to this day remains my go to piece of classical music when I am trying to focus.

My father talked me out of studying medicine, which is quite an uncommon thing for a parent to do. Instead, he was thrilled when I told him I had enrolled into an art history degree. I told him over the phone, and I remember him saying “I think you will love it!” When I signed up for my first art history courses, I didn’t expect to stick with it for longer than a semester. I used to think that, no matter how late, I’d eventually end up in medicine. Before my first art history semester was over, I had already picked my curriculum for the rest of the year, joined the Art History Society and was President of the Photography Club.

I was in my third year when I went to my first provenance training workshop, without knowing what it was or whether it would be useful to me. In the name of being honest, it was a terribly dull semester and I needed to get away, so a workshop seemed like an excellent excuse. Without exaggerating, I returned a different person from my weeklong workshop. Provenance research was all I could think about. I was

about to complete my BA in Art History. The curriculum was as traditional as it was predictable and the term provenance research did not come up once. It also never came up in my meeting with the career advisor. When I look back, it was without a doubt what scored my career path. As much as I enjoyed traditional art history I could not imagine myself committing full time to academia, or working in a gallery, and most certainly I couldn’t see myself becoming a critic, even

though being a provenance researcher makes one as critical as humanly possible. I have now been a provenance researcher for a decade. In this time there are two questions that regularly come up: “What is provenance research?” and “How does one become a provenance researcher?”.

Of course, art crime makes for an attractive subject, be it in newspaper articles or movies. The first James Bond movie Dr No (1962) was directed by Terence Young and features a portrait of the

Angelina Giovani-Agha

Duke of Wellington, known as The Portrait of the Iron Duke, painted by Spanish artist Francisco Goya. Just the year before, the painting was stolen by Kempton Bunton, a disabled bus driver who was protesting the TV license fee. After stealing the painting from the National Gallery of London, he demanded that the government pay £140,000 to a charity in order to cover the TV license fee for poorer people in exchange for the safe return of the painting. The government, of course, declined.

Fast forward to 2022, and the story was dramatised on screen in the movie The Duke, starring Dame Helen Mirren and Jim Broadbent. This is not the first time Mirren takes to the screen to tell a story of stolen art. She previously starred in the critically acclaimed Woman in Gold (2015), which recounts the real story of Maria Altman, a Jewish Holocaust survivor and her efforts to recover the paintings of her aunt Adele Bloch-Bauer painted by Gustave Klimt and seized by the Nazis during WWII. People find stories about stolen art, fakes and forgeries fascinating, but considering a career in the field can seem rather outlandish.

In my years working in the art market, on behalf of international museums and World War II claimants, I have come across many colleagues and young professionals who share the challenges they faced navigating the field, getting the right training and mentors, access to sources and lack of internship opportunities. Provenance research is probably one of the few essential jobs in the art market which is so hard to pin down in that respect. Every gallery, dealer, auction house or museum should have

a dedicated provenance research person on their team. Earlier this year, when I launched the Art Market Academy I wanted to do just that. I wanted to create a platform that would offer anyone who took an interest in provenance research instant resources, content and mentorships. In the past three months we have welcomed students from every continent, of all ages from 16 to 68 years old and helped with career advice, opportunities and introductions.

This experience reinforced my belief that if training and education on the topic were more accessible there would be more skilled professionals equipped with better tools and boasting the necessary qualifications to carry out risk assessment for art transactions, completing due diligence checks and creating research outlines. To take it a step further, we

have now undertaken to translate our existing courses into French, Spanish and Italian, while working on various new courses covering topics from Collections Management, to Conducting Research in the Antiquities Market and Provenance Research taught by WWII claimants, to name only a few.

This is not for the faint-hearted. And while TV does glamorise and almost fetishise the role of the art researcher (or art detective), the actual process requires creative thinking, a superhuman amount of patience, meticulous record-keeping and the ability to sniff out the likely and the unlikely scenarios.

Is this you? Is this your calling? Are you going to let it pass you by for a ‘safer’ career option? Didn’t think so.

25 ISSUE 8
Portrait of the Duke of Wellington by Francesco de Goya appears in the James Bond film Dr. No



Evenpeople such as myself, who wouldn’t necessarily count themselves as knowledgeable about jewellery, can see that the creations of Elizabeth Gage possess an unusual degree of intricacy and beauty.

Elizabeth Gage strikes me as a little like those high achievers whose endeavours cross over easily to the layman: nontennis fans used to tune into Federer; non-readers got through Harry Potter; and even I, who has only ever worn a wedding-ring, can still find myself pausing at an Elizabeth Gage creation, wondering about the dedication behind such outstanding creations.

So what kind of an upbringing did she have? “I did have a creative family,” she tells me. “My mother painted and my grandmother was a painter. I therefore did not want to be a painter but rather

wanted to find my own creative calling. I had always been creative as a child, making clothes for my paper dolls. I started out writing but realised that writing wasn’t for me.”


But her life was about to change. “One day I went to the British Museum and that is when everything changed for me,” she recalls. “The sun was shining, and I distinctly remember the sun flooding one big square case, I looked over and saw a set of Roman rings, and the rest is history. From that

moment onwards, my heart was set on making jewellery which was imbued with history, to bring the past into the present and make it wearable.”

That’s part of what sets Elizabeth Gage apart – her commitment to meaning in her work. Perhaps it’s this which makes me pause always at her work; I’m being asked not just to look and take delight in her works, but to think as well.

Another aspect is attention to detail, and Elizabeth Gage is humorous about the demands of that: “I am a patient person when it comes to achieving the piece that I have designed as I never cut corners and want to make sure that each piece is a work of art in its own right. However, once the piece is being made I am impatient to see it finished!”

I am keen to know about the possibilities for young people when

Elizabeth Gage (

it comes to forging a career in jewellery. Elizabeth Gage describes her early education: “I went to Chelsea School of Art but my experience there swiftly transitioned to Sir John Cass College, which shaped me and my career. I had been advised time and time again to pursue a career as an artist but I had other ideas.”

Like many successful people, Elizabeth Gage picked her battles, and she knew what she had to do: “One day, at 12 o'clock while everyone was out at lunch, I went into a classroom at The Sir John Cass College and found Mr Oliver. I had been told that there was no more admission of students for the Goldsmiths course but I would not take no for an answer. I told Mr Oliver that I wanted to learn how to make jewellery and asked if he could fit me into his busy class, to which he responded by making a space for me opposite him. He then taught me for eight years, a wonderful experience culminating in me asking to make something in gold, to which Mr Oliver responded: “Absolutely, but you must buy your own gold.”

Despite Mr Oliver’s obvious influence, Elizabeth Gage adds: “I never had a mentor. What guided me was my love of making things and learning about how to master the art of jewellery.” There is wisdom here: quite often, we think the responsibility for our success might lie with some third party, but it always lies within.

In fact, Elizabeth Gage is expert at letting the world come to her, and teach her to decide what to do next. Her first commission came from Cartier and it was, she says, ‘very unexpected’. She is also refreshingly matter-of-fact about the genesis of her business, which will this year see its 60th anniversary. “It just happened,” she tells us. “Freshly out of school, I received a commission from a friend’s father who had asked me to make rings for his daughter and his girlfriends. He had been very shrewd as, being a designer fresh out of school, I was much cheaper than an established jeweller.”

So what were the joys and challenges of starting out? “The joys were knowing that what I was creating, people loved. There were always challenges that cropped up but I just knew that I needed to get on and continue doing what I loved and not letting any obstacles get in my way.”

Of course, over time things have changed – not least, Elizabeth Gage’s business has straddled the internet revolution, a development she views very positively. “It has been wonderful in that people from every corner of the world can now see my work online and even buy online if they so wish,” she explains. “We only have our one exclusive store in Belgravia, London, so having that virtual vitrine into our world and jewels is terrific.”

Elizabeth Gage’s success can in part be measured by the famous clients she has amassed, most famously Lauren Bacall. About Bacall, Elizabeth Gage says: “We worked very well together. She loved what I do and I always involved her in whatever I was doing for her. It was very easy. She once brought me a beautiful bejewelled camel which I set into a brooch.”


So what would be Elizabeth Gage’s advice to a young designer starting out? “Find what you love doing and that will give you the direction of what you must do. It is no good just liking it, you need to really love it.”

Elizabeth Gage has now been decorated with an MBE (“I never thought I would ever receive something as wonderful as that”) and her goal, even at the age of 85, is “to charge onwards and constantly to be inspired”. Of course, in taking that attitude, she’s also inspired us in return. We are all the beneficiaries of the work of Elizabeth Gage.

27 ISSUE 8


Inthe pursuit of national prosperity the 2023 Spring Budget rightly focuses on work and supporting those who do it.

It is essential for individual and collective welfare and one of the reasons I want to become an MP is to help as many people as possible, build a future for themselves and their families.

Thanks to the government we have historic levels of employment. Yet, there are 1.1 million job vacancies and 1.4 million people on Universal Credit who are either unemployed or on low wages, so there is still work to do.

I believe that this starts with Universal Credit. Firstly, to fill the 1 million job vacancies by helping more people to up or re-skill and secondly, to help more people start their own businesses and work for themselves.

For the latter, I propose Universal Enterprise, a reintroduction of the Enterprise Allowance scheme with a focus on areas of need such as nurseries and corporate creches, social care, local transport, farming and green and tech focused initiatives. The Enterprise Allowance scheme, introduced by Margaret Thatcher in 1981 and reintroduced as the New Enterprise Allowance by David Cameron in 2011, aims to support job seekers into entrepreneurship, by providing them with access to a business mentor, financial support for up to six months and the chance to apply for a loan of up to £25,000 to help with start-up costs. The scheme helped to launch more than 105,000 businesses by 2017, with those in the North West having the highest number of start-ups (16,090), followed by London (12,870) and Yorkshire and Humberside (11,590); early levelling upand levelling the playing field.

Over two thirds of those starting new businesses through the scheme were aged between 25 and 49, 24% were over the age of 50, 40% were women, 22% had a self-declared disability and 13% were from a minority ethnic background. And it’s not the only government scheme we’ve seen drastically reduce the number of those on Universal Credit looking for work, just take the Kickstart scheme. Kickstart was devised to help 16-24 year olds who had found themselves on Universal Credit during Covid, get into the workplace. Employers were subsidised for offering six months paid work placements at the national minimum wage, for 25 hours a week. The scheme was effectively cost neutral as these young people would have received Universal Credit payments anyway, but this way they would be learning new skills on the job.


Thanks to the scheme the number of under 24 year olds looking for work has decreased by 10% year on year. Kickstart took this demographic, which was the largest growing group on Universal Credit in October 2020, to the smallest group by October 2022.

In two years, the scheme provided 168,000 jobs for young people, with the likes of Bloomberg, TechNation and the British Chamber of Commerce getting in on the action. Most significantly, it enabled smaller companies and

sole traders - through the use of local councils, banks and small business gateways - to level up their output and build their teams, whilst providing invaluable experience to out of work young people on Universal Credit..

As a Kickstart employer myself, I can vouch for the benefits of the scheme both for employers and employees. By encouraging more employers to see those on Universal Credit as a trainable pool of talent, it can become a springboard for future leaders and entrepreneurs. And there’s nothing to say that the government couldn’t take a stake in the companies it helps launch, in the style of a Y-Combinator-esque incubator. With the right attitude - which the government has shown through the introduction of T-Levels and KickstartUniversal Credit could become the next incubator for new businesses and a hub for developing untapped talent.

I believe that everyone in this country has the potential to be great at something, it is simply a matter of establishing what engages them and supporting them in their journey to support themselves.

Jamila Robertson is an entrepreneur, mentor and school governor


In the aftermath of a global pandemic, the outbreak of war and a cost of living crisis, the strikes taking place across various public sectors haven’t come as a surprise. Teaching strikes in particular have gained widespread attention, with 85% of schools either fully or partially closed in England and Wales in February. As an ex primary school teacher, with 20 years of childcare experience under my belt, I can more than understand why teachers are so frustrated about what’s going on. Current teaching salaries simply do not match the pressure that teachers are under.

The majority of teachers do not enter such a profession because of the pay. When I first set out to teach, it was because I was passionate about working with children. Learning through imagination and play, witnessing those ‘awe and wonder’ moments, knowing that I was a constant for those children who didn’t have consistency, was a privilege.

This was quickly overshadowed by the lack of trust in teachers generally, the need to prove progress at every turn, testing, percentages and a sea of paperwork. I found myself constantly questioning what I was doing and who I was doing it for. Pouring over spreadsheets to analyse how much progress a class of five year olds had made. Onlookers would be forgiven for thinking I was in charge of the government budget; pulling my hair out, desperate to make the numbers align. In my first few years of teaching I was overwhelmed, burnt out and frankly angry at the system. I felt, and still feel, that we are letting the children down. Now I am older and (a little) wiser, I understand the need for accountability

entirely. Clearly teachers should be creating a varied, stimulating curriculum whilst assessing the children’s learning. However, should a child ever just become a percentage on a spreadsheet?

One year I was questioned about the progress of a pupil in my class who was just six years old; she had lost her father suddenly in the previous school term. The headteacher asked me why the child hadn’t made the grade. I naively thought she must have had a temporary lapse and forgotten the situation, but no. ‘You will get her to a 1A though, won’t you?’

I am still horrified by this. Surely, the focus on what is important is wrong here? Is the child’s wellbeing not paramount ? When we ask what they want to be when they ‘grow up’, are we equipping children with the tools they need to reach these goals?

Neuroscience demonstrates that in order to make logical decisions, access long term memories and essentially learn, our fear response system (the amygdala) needs to be level and calm. A child friendly explanation suggests that our amygdalas can be likened to a jar of water with a spoonful of glitter in. When we are calm, the glitter settles at the base of the jar, the water clear. Thoughts, memories and ideas can pass through. When the jar is shaken and the glitter spins around in chaos, nothing can pass - it is unclear and stressful. This is a visual way of showing children how to regain perspective, calm our minds and make better choices.

Teaching children from a young age how to better manage their emotions, in my humble opinion, is the greatest lesson of all. The ability to successfully navigate stress will enable our children to make better decisions and access their education to the best of their ability. My mantra throughout my career has simply been ‘happy children learn’. Teachers are campaigning for change. Is now the time to reevaluate what we are teaching our children?

When I started teaching, the notion of mindfulness in the classroom was still viewed as ‘woo woo’ nonsense. Now, evidence strongly suggests that these practices can have a profound impact on a child’s life. When navigating hardship as an adult, do we recall our knowledge of Henry VIII’s wives, or whether we passed our SATS tests aged 6? I imagine not.

29 ISSUE 8
Tilly Wilkinson is currently employeed as a project development manager at 1fs Wealth




Finito hosted Matt Hancock at the East India Club before his What’s Apps were handed over to The Telegraph by Isobel Oakeshott, and he seemed to Waterfly in fine fettle, prowling the room to answer questions for over an hour. He looked very young to be leaving Parliament. At times he was in reflective mood.

“I often worried when we were doing that first lockdown which had never been done before in history. I wondered whether people would come with us,” he

recalled. “Not only did they come with us, when we put the calls out we rose to the challenge.”

Hancock spoke of what it’s like to be unfettered post-politics, and of the joy of being able to answer questions directly, without having to dodge difficult questions, or parrot banal government policy.

He certainly took a lot of questions. Asked how he’d managed to connect with young people, he replied: “I have an unexpected, new and quite large following among young people on Tik Tok. We have this bitterness and irrationality in our discourse; for some reason on Tik Tok, it’s overwhelmingly positive: to engage you have to level with people.”

He continued in pandemic reminiscence mode: “I don’t look at Twitter now. I remember halfway through the pandemic, I was being given a hard time by Alistair Campbell, and I phoned up Tony Blair and said: “I’ve got Alistair Campbell on Twitter having a massive go at me. Can you do anything about it? Blair replied: “Yes, stop looking at your Twitter.”

Despite all that, Hancock has a positive message for young people who want to go into politics, “Go for it. Despite all the trials and tribulations, it’s vital good people go into politics.” Somewhere in the bowels of The Telegraph, Oakeshott was preparing to challenge that optimism all over again.

Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP ( Peter Hitchens (


Before the funeral of Queen Elizabeth, Waterfly strayed into Westminster Abbey, and spent some time looking at the flagstones and sculptures. This included a newish memorial to Stephen Hawking commemorating the equation: kT=ℏg2πc=ℏc4πrs. Feeling that the accolade was merited but not having time to check his workings, Waterfly moved round to the famous picture of Richard II, the first thing funeral goers saw as they entered the great building. At that moment, the Dean of Westminster David Hoyle bustled in and came next to Waterfly. Waterfly asked when the picture had been placed there. “It was Richard II,” Hoyle responded jovially. “He put it here to show that he was in charge – and all along we thought it was God!” And bustled off again, a monarch to serve. Some things don’t change.


Waterfly spent an interesting few days wrestling with ChatGTP, the new open AI software. After initial astonishment at the pace with which blogs are written by the site, you find you can arrive at a distinctive ideology, but always on less prominent topics. If you write the question: “Is Donald Trump a good man?” you receive a carefully crafted answer: “As an AI language model, I do not have personal beliefs or opinions, and it is not appropriate for me to make moral judgements on individuals. Additionally, opinions on whether Donald Trump is a good man can vary greatly depending on personal beliefs and perspectives.” All anodyne and careful enough.

However, the case changes the deeper you look. When we asked the software to write a critical essay of Finito World News Director Christopher Jackson’s poetry book An Equal Light, a book which hadn’t yet been published, ChatGPT replied: “While an impressive collection, Jackson fails to include proper themes of diversity and social mobility in his poetry.” A rap on the knuckles pre-publication: ouch.


Is all well with Peter Hitchens? In late March, Hitchens took to Twitter to argue that the Nazis were left wing. When a user with the Twitter handle @waitmanb took issue with Hitchens’ article, Hitchens loftily replied, referencing his adversary’s biography on the site: “Of what are you a doctor? Have you not heard of controversy, of argument between people of differing opinions in which one side “examines the claims of the other and offers reasoned and factual rebuttals”. It turns out that Hitchens’ adversary was somewhat more formidable than the polemicist had expected: the author of the tweet was none other than Dr. Waitman Beorne: “Hi Peter,” he replied. “I’m a Holocaust historian and author of two (soon to be four) peer-reviewed books on the Holocaust. The Nazis were not a left-wing movement.” Beorne then proceeded to “mark” Hitchens’ article, saying: “Dear Peter, I marked your essay. If you’d like to meet with me in office hours, we can go over it.”

A colleague at the Mail says: “I don’t think Peter’s relationship with Twitter is very healthy. He seems increasingly distracted, and walks around the office talking to himself.” The lesson is to size up your adversary before wading in – that Twitter handle might know more than you think.


Another insider at the Mail says there have been large redundancies, and it’s not the only newspaper in flux. Insiders at the Evening Standard say that the latest office move has hardly been smooth: “The office move had been mooted for two years, and then in the first week when we moved in, the wifi wasn’t working.” The Evening Standard is owned by Evgeny Lebvedev who has over 25,000 followers on Twitter – he seems to be pretty effectively logged on, unlike the staff at his newspaper.


Francoise Gilot is famous for having been married to Pablo Picasso – and is now a centenarian. Novelist Tim Robinson, the author of The Orphans of Hatham Hall, recalls interviewing Picasso’s lover in her Art Deco apartment overlooking Bois de Boulogne in Paris: “Oh yes, Gertrude Stein used to wave to me from there every morning so we could go for a walk together with her dogs,” he recalls Gilot saying. “Don’t believe it when people say she was the butch one in that relationship. She lived in fear of Alice’s jealous rages and never dared tell her she was meeting me.” She was referring, of course, to Alice B. Toklas, Stein’s deceptively mousey partner. “Alice was an absolute terror and, I’d say, the boss.”

Her theories on Picasso are equally arresting, if perhaps a little self-serving. “No other woman in his life ever had the courage to leave him,” she tells Robinson. “He tried to sabotage my career afterwards by telling galleries not to buy my work. His ego simply couldn’t cope with what I had done and you will notice that he never made a single good painting after I left him. I destroyed him as he had destroyed so many women in his life.” Touché.

31 ISSUE 8
Pablo Picasso (

Deep dives into the issues which matter

78 | HOORAY HENRY A tale of mentorship
HELPMEET How to avoid a dull meeting OUT OF OFFICE Abraham Lincoln’s last day THE YOUNG ONES Our tribute to the King of Enterprise 66 72 81


Nomatter how hard the King’s lighting team tries, it is difficult to create an intimate space. He speaks in front of a picture of his late mother – he is addressing the nation as a son in grief as much as a new monarch –but behind him the room recedes into marble pilasters, state-of-the-art rugs: the scale proper to a King.

Charles says: “Queen Elizabeth’s was a life well-lived; a promise with destiny kept and she is mourned most deeply in her passing. That promise of lifelong service I renew to you all today.”

Perhaps the most important word in that passage is ‘all’. King Charles III is, whether people like it or not, the King of not just England, but of Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland too. Perhaps there has long been a degree of tension in this fact: it is a leitmotif of any biography of the Royal Family that the subject must preside over a United Kingdom peppered with nationalist sympathies.

Charles has known this from first-hand experience since the stressful day of his investiture at Carnarvon which took place amid rumours of an imminent bomb, and on which occasion a member of the public threw an egg at the Queen’s carriage.

His position, while it remains this nation’s main marker of stability, also has its uncertainties. These might partly be to do with being pelted with eggs – the same thing recently happened to Charles himself – but are just as likely

to be felt as unease about the monarchy’s own relevance in the modern era. In an age of acronyms – of AI, AGI, NFTs, and LMAO – what relevance can the elaborate language of a court circular have?

Personally, I think the answer is that it means a great deal. But it is a question every monarch must answer.

Charles continues: “In the course of the last 70 years we have seen our society become one of many cultures and many faiths. The institutions of the state have changed in turn.”

When the speech is shown again on the ITVX documentary The Real Crown, we see him from a different angle: one of those images which shows the cameras and the soundman’s booms, and what it’s like for the King to be filmed. Then we see just how big the room is, tapering off, like Las Meninas, towards other rooms, and corridors and flights of stairs.

The King, with his bent, careful septuagenarian tread moves across a room larger than many people’s houses, to become framed in a doorway far larger than one might have imagined: he waves at the assembled camera crew, but also at us: his nation.

It doesn’t end there. In a time of iPhones, of TikTok and Snapchat, what do we feel, if anything, about the deep past from which Charles acquires his position and authority? And is palatial opulence permissible in an age of strikes amid a ‘cost of living’ crisis? In a time of drones and clones, can we experience emotion at all at the sceptre and the anointed oil? In short, what does history mean in the present?


Since Queen Elizabeth II reigned for such a long time, we have almost forgotten that a change of monarch has a bearing on how we feel as a country. Since we are all citizens as much as we are individuals, the accession of Charles III therefore impacts in surprising ways on one’s own identity. We are used – all too used – to experiencing this with respect to who the current prime minister

Official portrait of Vice President Kamala Harris (Lawrence Jackson) The Countess of Wessex British Grime Rapper Stormzy (Alamy Stock Photo)
King Charles III (Alamy)

is. This information, though it is clearly an external matter, also turns out to be vital to our own lives: we feel differently when Rishi Sunak is prime minister to how we felt when Liz Truss ran the country.

The question then of what kind of man the King is, turns out to be strangely shaping in terms of our own lives. This fact alone is the best barometer one has of the power of monarchy to alter and affect us, and to matter. For this article we spoke to those who have worked with and for him, those who have known him since childhood, to seek to understand our new monarch.

What emerges is a man of unusual sensitivity and empathy; someone kind, but also capable of obstinacy. Despite a certain fastidiousness – some will remember his frustration over being given the wrong pen at a signing ceremony early in his time as King – this is not a monarch without imagination or

creativity. Perhaps above all, he is – in a rather refreshing way – an unusual man.

all be conducted through the prism of the fame conferred by his role: his is a life of people on their best behaviour, a world to some extent cordoned off from unguarded human experience.

This state of affairs is something Charles has long since railed against. According to Jonathan Dimbleby’s masterly The Prince of Wales: A Biography, as early as November 1978 the future King would write pleadingly to his then assistant private secretary Oliver Everett: “I want to consider ways in which I can escape from the ceaseless round of official engagements and meet people in less artificial circumstances.’

He is also a man of unusual experience. With tens of thousands of state visits to his name, the King knows the country better than anyone. Of course, there are severe constraints placed on the nature of his experience. His visits must

Even so, the sheer range of his experience of the world even at a ceremonial level is one possible reason for the empathy he’s shown as King so far. In an age where most of the public sector is on regular strike, and with the rest of us experiencing rising inflation, Charles has already given an intelligent lead.

King Charles III speaks with school children in Northern Ireland (Alamy)

Stormzy on stage (

Opulence is out, and frugality – insofar as is possible in such a gilded situation – very definitely in. This means that we are experiencing a decidedly ‘scaled back’ Coronation year. Meanwhile, for those who work for the Royal Household, the era of the grace-and-favour home is over.

For Michael Cole, the royal writer and broadcaster, and former BBC TV Court Correspondent, the King has begun his reign wisely: “The King is right. Slimming down the Royal Family is in tune with the tough times faced by millions in Britain and his 14 overseas realms,” he tells us.

So what is the reason for this approach?

“The King is responding to the realities of the world. It is nonsense with royal knobs on to suggest that the King’s eminently sensible proposal to focus on the direct line of succession, Prince William and nine-year-old Prince George, will bring the monarchy to “the brink of collapse”, as a recent study by the think-tank Civitas ludicrously suggests.”

This Civitas report, authored by Frank Young, created a minor storm, claiming that without Princes Harry and Andrew working for “The Firm” the Royal Family “will disappear from public view”. In disagreeing with this, Cole explains how the new slimmed down Royal Family will look: “Never again will we witness more than 20 members of the Royal Family on the balcony at Buckingham Palace. The King knows instinctively that this sends the wrong message. And he’s right.”

For Cole, Charles has taken inspiration from the past: “A keen student of his family’s history, he’s following the lead of his grandfather, King George VI, who led this country through war and economic austerity. He said the Royal Family was best when it was “Just us four” – himself, Queen Elizabeth and their daughters Elizabeth and Margaret.”

It is a reminder that Charles has always loved History and English as subjects.

For Cole, this puts His Majesty in good stead: “The King has read the national mood and correctly decided “less is more”, which the late Queen certainly believed. Civitas 0, King Charles 5 –himself, William, George, Charlotte and Louis, in that order.”


After Charles conducts that characteristic hunched pivot to wave goodbye to the cameras, and walks on to his next engagement, I am reminded that it is sometimes rumoured that both the King and the late Queen have been said to dislike Buckingham Palace, with each preferring their country residences. Balmoral has been particularly loved by both monarchs.

In the Queen’s case, this preference might be put down to a sheer love of the great outdoors. In respect of Charles, a more complex and intellectual figure, I am reminded of Sir Kenneth Clark’s observation that nobody in the history of civilisation has had an interesting thought in a Palace; that requires, Clark said, a room of one’s own, of the sort Virginia Woolf pined for. That’s precisely, of course, what Charles hasn’t had: privacy, and the ability to shape a distinctive personal destiny without the encumbrances of duty.

But the people we spoke to for this article attest that he has worked through these difficulties, with many emphasising the help of the Queen Consort. In fact, Charles has done something rather more interesting than complain about his lot in life. He has continued his intellectual passions while carrying out his duty. If one considers the success of the Prince’s Trust, it could be argued that nobody –with the possible exception of his mother – has done more good in this country over the past half a century.

One has always been conscious of Charles’ intellectual curiosity. It is the trait which most defines him, and which propels his astonishing work ethic which now percolates the Royal Household and

which all courtiers must now get used to. It is this restlessness which was at his elbow when he wrote the famous Black Spider Memos to the Blair government in the 1990s on everything from the armed forces, to arcane aspects of agriculture and education. He is always well-informed – sometimes, in fact, to a nearly ludicrous extent. It was said of Bach that his genius is tragic in that his cantatas were far better than they needed to be for a regional kappelmeister to justify his position. Charles is a little like this: his energy can’t quite be contained by the position he has; it keeps spilling out.

One representative story is of Lee Elliot Major OBE, the country’s first social mobility professor, who was honoured by the King at Buckingham Palace. “When I received my OBE, it was Prince Charles who was presenting the medals,” he tells me. “I was in a long line of recipients and I was doing a lot of reflection about what it meant in terms of my own life.”

It is a reminder that whenever Charles meets anyone for the first time, it is always in this context: it is for him to help his subjects navigate the sheer oddity of the moment. “He asked me about the Sutton Trust, and he knew about my social mobility work,” continues Major. “In the end, they had to prise me away because we were chatting so much. Now you could say he was simply well-briefed by the officials around him, but I think it indicated a personal conviction.”

Of course, it’s likely the case that a double whammy is in play: the King is both well-briefed and speaks from personal conviction.

All of this makes one wonder a little about his education. Was there some germ in the deep past which sparked the King’s curiosity, or was it innate, even a sort of Royal anomaly? Interestingly, when Kings and Queens have considered their offspring’s education, they have generally plumped for precisely what Elliot Major advocates for the rest of




Charles is born at 21:14 on 14 November, during the reign of his maternal grandfather George VI.



A governess, Catherine Peebles, is appointed to oversee his education. He calls her Bambi.


Attends Cheam Preparatory School in Hampshire.


Spends two terms at Geelong Grammar School, where future foreign secretary Alexander Downer are among the pupils. He later calls it the happiest part of his education.


Attends Hill House school, and unusually for an heir to the throne, isn’t tutored privately.


Attends Gordonstoun, where he is bullied, though later credits the school with teaching him ‘a great deal about himself’.


us: one-to-one tutoring. “When done well it is the ultimate in education,” he continues. “I would argue that the rates of learning you get from one-to-one tutoring are the best you ever get. You’re never going to match that in a classroom: provided you get the chemistry right.”

In fact, the future King was educated for a brief while by a governess: Catherine Peebles. But when it came to prep school age, he became the first monarch not to be educated by private tutors, instead attending a variety of schools. It might be that this exposure to his subjects

has created in him a more empathetic persona than we’re used to as monarch. If so, he suffered a little for his people. It is widely known that Gordonstoun was an unhappy experience for him. At Gordonstoun, it seems that the injunction for Charles not to be treated any differently from other pupils led to an appalling bullying culture which is horrible to read about today, with the then Prince deliberately picked on during rugby matches and so forth. As the Coronation ceremony approaches perhaps there are a few privileged people

in their late seventies feeling shame for the way they treated the King some six decades ago.

As the novelist William Boyd, who was educated there alongside the King, has said: “Being educated over a 10 year period at a single-sex boarding school in the north of Scotland has a massive effect on your young personality and nature. What is then required is an equally massive process of re-education.”

This, of course, is precisely what Charles would do. But what receives less press than the King’s unhappy time at

1948 1964 1980 1952 1968 1984 1956 1972 1960 1976
On the death of his grandfather, Charles assumes the traditional titles of Duke of Cornwall and, in the Scottish peerage, the titles Duke of Rothesay, Earl of Carrick, Baron of Renfrew, Lord of the Isles, and Prince and Great Steward of Scotland. COVER STORY
(Alamy) (Alamy)



Is admitted to Trinity College, Cambridge, where he studies archaeology and anthropology, becoming the first British heir apparent to earn a university degree, graduating on 23 June 1970 from the University of Cambridge with a 2:2 Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree.



Founds The Prince’s Trust.


Completes an astonishing 10,934 official engagements as Prince of Wales.


Upon the death of his mother Queen Elizabeth II becomes King Charles III.

Begins his Royal Navy training while at Cambridge, and receives his RAF wings in August 1971.


His friend and mentor Lord Mountbatten is assassinated in Northern Ireland.

Gordonstoun, is his education at Hill House School, presided over by the redoubtable Colonel Townend. This turns out to be rather more interesting. The restauranteur Philipp Mosimann, who also attended Hill House, recalls: “It was a very simple ethos. The Colonel believed in life skills. He believed you should learn to swim before you learn to read and write, because that would actually save your life. He was also a huge advocate of team-building. His father had been a priest and he had fought in World War Two; he used to show us videos of A Bridge Too Far. He went on to win two

gold medals in the Empire Games. He was a real hero.”

One can immediately glimpse the parallels between this ethos and the values of the Prince’s Trust, Charles’ great contribution, which he would found a quarter of a century later.

Mosimann continues: “I remember these massive sermons the Colonel would give which the parents would attend; they’d just sit there enthralled. If you were well-behaved, you’d be invited to go up the mountains at weekends. It was fantastic; it was a child’s dream of

education. It was all about getting out there, becoming friends and creating camaraderie. Townend believed strongly in becoming an all-rounder. Music was very important; it was mandatory to play one – if not two – musical instruments.”

And can Mosimann recall what effect all this had on Charles? “There is a wonderful picture of Charles when he arrived in Knightsbridge with the Colonel. It really was marvellous; and it imbued you with the idea that you had one education from your parents but they won’t give you everything. For the right

39 ISSUE 8
1996 2000 2012 1988 2004 2016 1992 2008 2020 2022 COVER STORY
(Alamy) (Alamy)
40 29 St. James’s Street, London, SW1A 1HD

reasons, the King became quite humbly confident.”

Looking at this picture, I feel similar emotions to what I feel whenever I see images of the young Prince William or Prince Harry, and indeed when I meet any young child: one has a sense of rooting for the young, and half-wishing the adult world won’t ever encroach upon them. One feels the same when one sees images of Charles as a young man: slender, slightly reminiscent of Gussie Finknottle in the PG Wodehouse Jeeves and Wooster series. Whatever one thinks of his privilege, one cannot ignore his vulnerability.

Philipp Mosimann says: “I think it’s very difficult to be King. When it comes to friendship, you have to be cautious with regards to your position, and they don’t have any choice about that. It’s a huge amount of responsibility for life, and you owe that responsibility to millions around the world.”

Most of us, even prime ministers, seek development, the forward steps of a career. Charles hasn’t had that. As Mosimann says: “If you take that decision seriously and do good – which Their Royal Highnesses really are doing – there’s not much rest. It’s a full-time job. You could say: ‘I’m okay financially and I’m off’. But they don’t – they uphold their duty. I think in terms of friendship, that may suffer in terms of time, so they need to have a close circle of friends from a very young age.”

Baron Levene of Portsoken, the former Chairman of Lloyd’s of London, who has interacted regularly with the King throughout a long and successful career, adds: “You can’t compare members of the Royal Family to the rest of us, even to prime ministers. A member of the Royal Family is always going to be in their position and will try hard to keep out of anything controversial. Members of the Royal Family are all trained and brought up in the same way but are all entirely different characters.”

In our lives, we wonder how to gain a

position, and then how to develop that position towards greater fulfilment –the succession of steps which we call a career. A Prince or King must decide what to do with the position they have. Mosimann explains: “If you know you have a guaranteed position, how do you go about resonating your presence?” This question has been percolating Charles’ mind since youth, and no doubt still does even now. It is the conundrum of his life.


But he has had a career of sorts, somewhat apart from his Royal role. Over time, after attending the University

of Cambridge to read Archaeology and Anthropology, the future King chose to carve out a role in the Royal Navy. These experiences, together with what he had learned at Hill House, would also impact on the King’s thinking and shape his contribution.

If Prince Charles had a mentor then one would have to name Lord Mountbatten, the maternal uncle to Charles’ father, Prince Philip. Dimbleby calls him “the great single influence on his life”. It was Mountbatten who, through his wife Edwina, came into the country house Broadlands, where Charles spent so much of his time in the 1970s.

41 ISSUE 8
Lord Mountbatten (

Liz Brewer, the etiquette expert and contributing editor of Finito World, remembers this period: “The King founded the Prince’s Drawing School, which is now the Royal Drawing School. I would arrange for the school to go fishing on the River Test.” Founding things is a continual thread in Charles’ life. And Mountbatten? Brewer recalls: “Mountbatten was very dapper. He’d be very much at home in today’s world.”

Mountbatten was certainly an interventionist presence in the Prince of Wales’ life; most people know about his failed efforts to ensure that Charles would marry his granddaughter Amanda Knatchbull, now Lady Amanda Ellingworth.

Less well known is Mountbatten’s role in persuading Charles to join the Navy. For instance, Mountbatten wrote to the then Prince in no uncertain terms while he was still at Gordonstoun: “I would like to repeat…I am quite certain that you must have a “mother service” that you really belong to and where you can have a reasonable career. Your father, Grandfather and your Great Grandfathers had a distinguished career in the Royal Navy. If you follow in their footsteps this would be very popular…”

As ever with Charles, that’s a lot of footsteps to follow in. If anyone has ever felt nervous about starting some new chapter in their lives, then perhaps there will be a degree of comfort to know that their current King has known that trepidation too. Here he is on the eve of attending the Naval College: “I am beginning to pale at the thought of what Dartmouth is going to do to me. Whatever it is, it’s going to be far worse than the most excruciating tortures they could ever dream at Cranwell! [where Charles had spent five happy months with the Royal Air Force beforehand].”

Dartmouth in those days was a strict environment, and another challenge for someone of so sensitive a nature as the future King. After his first weeks, Charles reported back glumly to Mountbatten:

“I have hardly had a moment to breathe since I arrived. We get up at six a.m. most days and have to suffer the early morning indignities of being bawled at by a Whales Island GI [i.e. gunnery instructor] with a voice like a horse. It’s either that or torture by Morse Code.”

This sounds, and probably was, fairly awful. But elsewhere in his correspondence, Charles strikes a more positive note. “Everywhere I look my eye catches some familiar face peering down at me from a portrait on the wall. Papa wrote and said I could console myself with the thought that I was serving ‘Mum and Country’! I hope I can and it fills me with pride to think I might be able to be of some service.”

Reading between the lines, more consolation was needed here than was provided for by his parents. Even so, it had its good effects. Today everybody reports on the King’s work ethic, and it is tempting to think that the lineaments of this may have been established at Dartmouth.

Either way, not everything went right for the King. When he eventually took his place on board Norfolk (‘this mighty vessel’ as he called it) he was selfdeprecating about his abilities: “Chaos reigned in the charthouse. No sooner had I completed my artistic handiwork than the navigator appeared and proceeded to rub everything out…In the end the ship sailed in the direction of my revised lines and by some curious accident Plymouth hove into sight at approximately the right time in the morning. My relief was illconcealed..!”

But to struggle in a strict environment is surely a good education for a future King. He didn’t have things his own way, and this experience has enabled him to imagine his way into the lives of others less fortunate than himself.

A former serviceman tells me: “I know he was very fond of his time in the Navy. He is a proud naval officer.”

The same interviewee tells me that the

experience may have had its impact on the principles underpinning the Prince’s Trust: “I think, of all the services, the Navy – especially compared to the Army - is more of that collaborative working approach.” And why is that? “Everything has such a specialist role from your radar operator, to your torpedo-handler. It’s not just raw leadership – shouting at people, leading men over the wall – it’s training people to a high degree and empowering them to do the jobs they’ve been trained to do, and collaboratively being a team. It’s a different leadership style.”

Throughout his time in the Royal Navy, Charles grew in confidence. His career is a reminder of the salutary effect of having to test one’s potential against confines – and even to toil for some period at what one isn’t necessarily suited to. But he was beginning to feel that he could, in his own words, ‘be more useful elsewhere’.


After leaving the Royal Navy, Charles began the relentless and essentially ceremonial life which he has kept up ever since. In 2022, at what for everyone else is retirement age, this has been ramped up again.

What sets him apart is that he has done all this, and yet given the impression that it isn’t quite enough for him. He can seem a sort of activist Prince Hamlet, somewhat at odds with what he has been born into.

The more you examine is life, the more you realise that what he craves is depth of experience in addition to the breadth of ceremonial experience he cannot avoid. In the letter to Everett I quoted earlier, the then Prince goes on to say: “I want to look at the possibility of spending, say,

1. Three days in one factory to find out what happens;

2. Three days, perhaps, in a trawler (instead of one rapid visit);

3. Three or four days on a farm. I would also like to consider 4. More visits to immigrant areas in order to help these people to feel that they are not ignored or


british family perfumers since 1730

89 Jermyn Street, London, SW1Y 6JH

neglected and that we are concerned about them as individuals.”

This is a wholly admirable letter which I find it hard to imagine any other heir to the throne writing. Perhaps the most characteristic part of it is the request for that extra day on the farm, but all of it is shot through with a restless energy wholly his. So what is life like for him? Baron Levene of Portsoken got to know the King well when carrying out his stint as Lord Mayor of London. “I know him reasonably well,” he tells me. “He’s waited a hell of a time to do this job, even after such a short time. He’s very well-informed on many, many subjects.”

Levene is sympathetic to the enormously demanding nature of a life dominated by ceremony. “When I was Lord Mayor – not nearly as bad as being the King, of course – I shook hands with about 70,000 people over the course of the year. You have so many formal dinners and banquets and ceremonies. It’s very demanding – not intellectually, just physically. I used to get up at seven and go to bed at midnight every day.”

So is it possible to enjoy a life dominated by such a punishing schedule where you must always be on your best behaviour?

“I enjoyed it but it’s very tiring,” Levene replies. “When people at the end of it all asked me what I thought of it, I said a third of it was terrific, another third was okay –and the final third was ghastly.”

This then is Charles’ reality – except in the crucial respect that he doesn’t get to finish after a year. Levene continues: “When I was Lord Mayor I went to a wedding in London of a member of the Royal Family, who I happened to know well. I was sat next to the Queen of a well-known country. She said: ‘Look, it’s alright for you, you can stop after a year’. And if you look at the Court Circular each day, they go to the most obscure places: it’s undeniably a hard slog,”

I decide to do this and land at random on the Court Circular for 5th April 2023. It reads:

The King and The Queen Consort this afternoon visited Talbot Yard

Food Court, Yorkersgate, Malton, and were received by His Majesty's LordLieutenant of North Yorkshire (Mrs. Johanna Ropner) and the owners of the Fitzwilliam (Malton) Estate (Sir Philip Naylor-Leyland, Bt. and Mr. Thomas Naylor-Leyland).

Their Majesties, escorted by Mr. NaylorLeyland, toured the Food Court and met local business founders and owners. I note the plural ‘local business founders and owners’ and note how such an occasion might proliferate. I try to imagine how each of those business people is experiencing the highlight of their year, and perhaps of their lives, and how the King must be mindful of this, and cannot afford to put a foot wrong. But the day isn’t over yet:

The King later met representatives of local charitable organisations at York House, 45 Yorkersgate, Malton, and was received by the Co-Founder and Director of Circular Malton and Norton Community Interest Company (Mrs. Susan Jefferson).

It is an unending round whose ground note can hardly be anything besides banality.

The longest serving Foreign Secretary of Australia and former High Commissioner of Australia Alexander Downer has also seen all this up close. “When I was High Commissioner of London, with Australia being a realm country, I would deal with Buckingham Palace a lot, but also with the Prince of Wales, as he was then,” he tells me. Had Downer met him before? “I’ve known Charles a long time, as he went to Geelong Grammar where I also went. I first met him here in London when I was 13 and he was a couple of years older, 15. I wouldn’t call it a friendship, but a friendly acquaintance. With someone as famous as the King of England, if you know him at all you might say you were great friends, but that wouldn’t be right!”

Downer describes for me the level of detail which goes into each event. “In

general, I would meet him more at events. But on one occasion, the Prince of Wales and Camilla – now the Queen Consort – were planning a visit to Australia, so I went to talk to him at Clarence House about what he might do while in Australia, and then we had follow-up meetings.”

Was he good at assimilating information?

“As the Prince of Wales, he had advisors and people he would learn from, and he read a lot as well – a thoughtful kind of person. If you’re the King, you have to be interested in everything as best you can be. I’m not sure how interested he is in the weekend’s football. Would he watch a Formula One Grand Prix? Would he watch Chelsea drawing with Everton? My guess is he’s interested in horses, like his mother was.”

This predominantly ceremonial life sometimes yields amusing anecdotes. Royal Warrant Holder Wendy Keith, the eponymous founder of shooting stocking design firm, Wendy Keith Designs says: “I attended a Reception at St James’s Palace with my husband who was a Senior QC at that time. In conversation, His Royal Highness asked my husband what he was doing there. My husband replied: “I am merely a companion to my talented wife”, to which the reply came :“I know the feeling!”.

When smiling at such a remark, one must take a moment to remind oneself of the punishing routine of the man who made it.


In addition, all this activity must take place in the glare of the world’s most brutal tabloid media.

In light of what happened to his first wife Diana, Princess of Wales, this is naturally a painful topic. But it needs to be admitted that there are many excellent journalists in the UK whose aim is to report legitimately on an important part of our national life.

One such is Michael Cole, who recalls


for me a visit made by Charles and Diana to the US in the mid-1980s, when he was the BBC royal correspondent. “In many ways, Princess Diana was a wonderful person and quite easy to report upon, and not just because she was the cameraman’s dream, incapable of taking a bad picture - i.e. she always looked wonderful,” he recalls. “The Royal Family made big mistakes in the way they treated her and especially in not giving her a greater speaking role and much earlier. On her first visit to the United States, in 1985, there was a major news conference at the National Gallery in Washington. What is the point of a news conference? To ask questions that elicit answers and to record those answers for possible broadcast or other publication.”

This seems a reasonable enough assessment, but things didn’t quite transpire as Cole was expecting. “Just before the conference was due to start, Michael Shea (then press secretary) announced that the Princess would not be speaking and her husband, Prince Charles, would not be taking any questions at all about the Ball at the White House the previous evening when Diana had danced with John Travolta, among other lucky men.”

Something of a fandango ensued. “These were absurd restrictions and I told Michael that I would be ignoring them, not least because the White House official photographs of the Princess and the star of Saturday Night Fever were on the front page of every American newspaper that morning and had been shown and discussed on the major morning news shows.”

When questions were invited, I stood up and said: “Would Prince Charles be kind enough to let us know how the Princess is finding her first visit to the United States and in particular how she enjoyed dancing last night with John Travolta?”

Cole continues: “Prince Charles was livid. His face contorted with anger. He began by saying that he was not “my wife’s glove puppet” but then just about managed to

offer a reasonable answer. The exchange is visible online.”

Cole took the following lesson: “It just proved how unwise it is for so-called PR professionals to try to shackle a free media, especially when there is not the slightest hint of a good reason for doing so; I wasn’t asking about State secrets or probing intrusive personal matters; I was asking for basic information about a story that was already well known and the point of conversations worldwide.”

Of course, he was asking – albeit tangentially – about the state of what we now know was an unhappy marriage, and so in retrospect one can imagine that Charles’ frustration on this occasion opened up onto the broader frustration of

him not being with Camilla.

The story has a sequel: “When they did start to allow the Princess to speak – or rather when she asserted her wise and instinctive wish to speak for herself – she did so very effectively and always made an overwhelmingly positive impression on her audience. It was just a shame that it wasn’t allowed much, much earlier.”

Cole says: “I have often reflected on this truth: if you stop running, they will stop chasing.”


But chase they do – and chase we do. It strikes me that the desire to hunt for the King’s personality is especially

King Charles III and his late wife Princess Diana (Alamy)

+ 44 (0) 1243 820252

A vision of quality, passion for perfection and the desire to create linens of lasting beauty

Based in West Sussex, Heirlooms are a specialist linen manufacturer with royal warrants to the late Her Majesty the Queen and the former Prince of Wales, King Charles III

Heirlooms truly believe everyone deser ves the luxury of good quality wellmade linens to provide the best night’s sleep and have recently launched their e-shop of ready-made products from their signature Home Collection.


absurd when one considers not just the expansive quotations in Dimbleby’s book but also the so-called Black Spider Memos released in the mid-1990s after a Freedom of Information request. Partly because the King expected these not to be made public, they are the best window we have into how his mind works.

When the Black Spider memos were released there was an attempt to treat them as scandalous. But really they’re a reminder that policy, when you get right down to the detail, is never scandalous. There is in reality something impenetrable about the memos, which renders them a non-story. The Prince was accused at the time of lobbying, but really one might as well accuse him of being extremely knowledgeable about certain topics: especially, agriculture, education, the condition of troops in Iraq, and, his guiding passion, the environment.

“You have certainly managed to bring together a powerful alliance of N.G.O.s and countries,” the future King writes in one letter to the then Minister for the Environment Elliot Morley. “I particularly hope that the illegal fishing of the Patagonian Toothfish will be high on your list of priorities because until that trade is stopped, there is little hope for the poor old albatross, for which I shall continue to campaign…” Morley’s reply isn’t readily available in The Guardian archive.

To the then prime minister Tony Blair, Charles writes: “The main issue that we talked about was agriculture. I mentioned to you the anxieties which are developing, particularly amongst beef farmers and to a lesser degree sheep farmers, of the consequences of the Mid Term Review. There is no doubt that decoupling support from production provides many opportunities, but it is also creating some real fears amongst the livestock sector.” The letter which ensues contains eight points full of closely argued detail; it resembles a legal brief. One is left in no doubt that this is a man who knows what he’s talking about, though the

correspondence is very far from being a page-turner.

“As you know, I always value and look forward to your views – but perhaps particularly on agricultural topics,” replies Blair, possibly through clenched teeth. My guess is that it’s this which makes Charles standoffish with the media: there is no scandal about him, but the questions he has to field always seem to suppose that there is, might be, or even should be, scandal. It is always annoying if you want to enact a change to agricultural policy to be asked about your divorce. Charles cares about other things and other people; but the media keeps wanting to turn things back to him.


Nevertheless, the fact that he is human is another non-story and therefore another inconvenient truth for journalists.

Philipp Mosimann tells me an excellent story which encapsulates this perfectly. “Mosimann’s has been very involved in the Prince’s Trust,” he explains. “We had a gentleman who became an apprentice on one of the cooking programmes, and we hosted him at an event with the King in attendance. The apprentice had written a long speech to thank the future King for what he had done for his life chances. But when he came to deliver his speech, the apprentice broke down and cried and the whole room was filled with tears.”

The next person to speak was Charles. “It caught him off guard and he welled up, laughing and crying at the same time, and it was a lovely down-to-earth moment. Literally, his eyes had filled with tears. I will never forget that. You realise why we’re all here.”

It was a moment of tremendous levelling. “We were all there in the same room and everybody was at the same level and having the same emotion, about the chance we all have to change people’s lives.”

It is a lovely story, and very revealing

in its way, but I can’t imagine it being front page of the Mail. The unglamorous humanity of the King and his endeavours is also echoed in Lord Cruddas’ experience. “If you work with the Prince’s Trust, you meet people who have been in difficult situations – maybe members of gangs, or drug addicts who have pulled themselves together,” he tells me. “You meet people on the front line of society, and it’s very sobering and it keeps your thinking on track.”

Cruddas recalls one moving occasion: “I was at this exhibition and walking around with King Charles. Everyone was treating me as an important person as I was with him. At the end of it, a young woman called Gina came up to me and said: “Thank you for everything you do.” I thanked her. And she said: ‘You don’t know me. If it wasn’t for people like you, I’d still be in prison. Because of your work with the King, I’m now a florist and I can look after my three children every day’. It’s a very rewarding charity.”

Of course, no assessment of King Charles would be complete without an understanding of The Prince’s Trust, which Charles founded in 1976 – amid, according to Dimbleby, much scepticism from his parents.

It sometimes seems as though you have to try hard to find a senior business figure who hasn’t been involved with The Prince’s Trust.

In our tribute in this issue to Lord Young of Graffham, Sir Lloyd Dorfman explains the charity’s evolution. “Whilst the charity had been founded by the then Prince of Wales in 1976, David Young had helped accelerate its growth. He was supportive of the charity enabling young people from underprivileged backgrounds find jobs and also start businesses. As Secretary of State for Employment and then for Trade and Industry in the 1980s, he famously devised a matched fundraising scheme to support the Trust’s enterprise work. The government ended up committing millions of pounds, much more than had been imagined, to the surprise even

47 ISSUE 8

of his Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.” One of Britain’s best-known entrepreneurs is John Griffin, who founded Addison Lee. He famously began with one car and forty years later sold the Company for £350 million. He effuses praise about The Prince’s Trust. “As a young man, I watched my own employer and thought that I could do better. It wasn’t that I was unemployable but there was a burning desire to prove to myself that I could achieve anything that I wanted. To be an Enterprise Fellow for the charity is one of the best ways to inspire the next generation. I like their motto, “Start Something.”

“Even in my own octogenarian age, I am always looking to begin my next business,” continues Griffin, who is also Finito’s Advisory Board Chairman. “There are so many entrepreneurs who owe him a debt of gratitude for providing that early start and helping them on their way. I also commend King Charles III’s late father for The Outward Bound Trust, which teaches young people the two most important words in life “I can”.’

What is Cruddas’ assessment of Charles’ contribution? “If you look at King Charles, every single year he raises £100 million a year for good causes. He uses his status and position to help ordinary people and you have to admire that. He works hard at it. He’s not just a symbolic head of the Prince’s Trust.”

Finally, Elliot Major has this assessment: “When it comes to social justice, it’s not just about plucking academically able disadvantaged pupils and getting them to Oxford, Exeter, Cambridge or Durham. That‘s important, but what we want is diversity in the upper echelons of academia and society.”

For Elliot Major, the Prince’s Trust has the right focus: “In many ways, the bigger problem we have is the huge number of people who leave school without basic skills and often come from families who themselves have had a bad experience of education. I think what’s really good about their work is that it’s not just about academic talent, it’s about recognising that young

people have different talents: it’s focusing on the unsexy side of social mobility.”

So along with the unsexy Black Spider memos, we have this unsexy charity. But there will always need to be people doing things which others haven’t the patience to grapple with. Elliot Major concludes: “Having interacted with them, I think that’s a laudable aim. It’s very practical in many ways; they definitely are doing good work.”


Since the late Queen’s death, everybody who works in the royal household, has had to get used to the King’s relentless pace of work: his curiosity, essentially admirable, isn’t passive. The Queen had a well-documented style of working, which in hindsight is already considered more relaxed than the new King’s. Meanwhile, the handover of staff must take place; those who used to work for the Queen are in many cases still in position, meaning that in some cases there’s more than one person doing essentially the same job. It is like a very high end company merger.

And, in fact, a merger where the main premises are undergoing a huge refurbishment (Buckingham Palace is receiving a one room at a time makeover), all while planning the first Coronation in most people’s living memory.

There’s a lot of work to do. The King

waves in the doorway, and then walks off into the future. It is one that he has already done much to help shape.

What kind of country is he waving back at? It is a country which, in spite of the last few years, feels more united than one might have expected. It’s true that the new Prince of Wales, due to Welsh nationalist feeling, needs to decide what kind of investiture ceremony to have, if any. But one doesn’t get an immediate sense that Wales is about to leave the Union.

In Ireland, the ructions which Brexit caused have not only passed but the deal which may do a lot to create a return to power-sharing in Northern Ireland even has a Royal name: the Windsor Accords. Finally, if Scottish independence is imminent after the travails of the SNP in 2023 then I am an avocado.

It is also a nation which is aligned in many ways with the new King’s values. Environmentally-concerned, aware of the importance of social mobility, and as his letter to Everett shows, mindful of the nature of modern Britain, and pennypinching during a time of financial hardship, he may yet prove to be the right man for this historical moment. King Charles probably wouldn’t have chosen to be King had any choice been granted; and perhaps the nation, at various points, might have reciprocated this unease. But I suspect that over time, many will come to realise that we’re lucky to have him.

King Charles III talks with HIV patient Michael Edwards (Alamy)






Like many people, I’ve managed to get through life without holding any strong opinions regarding Henry II, but there are signs he knew a good textile when he saw one. We know this because in 1155 – that otherwise unstudied year in history – he granted the first Royal Charter to the Worshipful Company of Weavers.

It was a stamp of approval; but it was also a precursor. The history of royal patronage has continued from that time to this, and has never been more relevant than in this Coronation year. Royalty blessed the career of William Shakespeare, who we certainly wouldn’t think of so much had he not been a member of the King’s Men. Over time, the charter was replaced by the Royal Warrant.

Over time, businesses came to realise the value not just of supplying the Royal Household, but of being seen to do so. The Royal Warrant therefore has a prime place in the history of public relations in this country. The number of Royal Warrant holders expanded exponentially during the reign of Queen Victoria, and continues to this day, with most holders of the Warrant being members of the Royal Warrant Holders Association. Today around 800 companies can claim the accolade. So what does it give you? In its essence, it’s extremely simple. Holding the

Warrant can be applied for after five years of doing business with the Royal Household. Once granted, a business is entitled to use the Royal Arms in its organisation for a period of five years. It must then reapply.

you just feel very privileged to be there.” It’s this atmosphere of excellence with which many of the businesses in our exclusive survey of leading Royal Warrant Holders wish to associate themselves.

Robert Ettinger, the CEO of Ettinger, the luxury goods manufacturer founded in 1934, puts the matter simply: “Having a Royal Warrant is a seal of trust, quality and reliability.”

The possibility of using the Royal crest is also of considerable practical value. “It was, and remains, a very great honour,” explains Royal Warrant Holder Wendy Keith, the proprietor of Wendy Keith Designs which makes shooting stockings and kilt hosiery. “I am entitled to put the Royal Warrant emblem on my letterhead, advertising and packaging. It gives the quality of our unique craft garments great prestige throughout the world.”

So why has it always been such a sought after thing, and why does it continue to be, in spite of the occasionally sour mood towards the Royal Family? When I speak to Nicky Philipps, the society portrait painter, she explains: “When you’re at the Palace, everything – and I mean everything – works like clockwork, and so whenever you’re in that orbit

Many of the Royal Warrant Holders we feature have been in business for hundreds of years. Queen Victoria would have heard of many of them, such as Truefitt and Hill (founded in 1805). Meanwhile, her grandfather George III would have regarded Lock & Co, also on our list, as well established even at the start of his life, also on our list: it was founded.

Others are remarkably new, and even unexpectedly quirky businesses. Wendy Keith has been in business


for 40 years; Barker’s the marvellous dry-cleaning business which we also feature, and which supplies linen to Highgrove, is also relatively new. To achieve the Warrant then is to be connected to a history of achievement stretching far back, but it is also a sign of contemporary excellence.

It is a pleasure to look at the ‘history’ tab on the Royal Warrant Holders Association website, and to see images of Queen Elizabeth down the years bestowing her presence on those businesses who had achieved the Warrant.

But this isn’t to say that the Royal Warrant has failed to move with the times. In 2007, the Royal Warrant Holders Associations launched The Green Warrant which encourages its members to take part in sustainable practices, and the onus to do so has only increased since that time. The ascension of King Charles III to the throne with his own commitment to the environment shall likely only increase this aspect of the Warrant.

Sometimes, this process alone can have its benefits. As Robert Ettinger explains: “Every five years we are asked to prove and complete a corporate and social sustainability document which looks at every aspect of our business. That has helped us move closer towards zero emissions.”

Matthew Barker, the founder of Barker’s, agrees: “It was Charles who drove that: the sustainability piece is a large part of getting a warrant. Fortunately we are of that mind anyway and do what we can to reduce our plastic use and introduce energy initiatives. But the whole warrant process is actually very helpful and to any company it does get you thinking. It’s a permanent prompt, and very, very helpful.”

And of course, Coronation year finds many of these businesses in a transitional period as regards the Warrant. Upon the death of the

monarch, all Warrants are reviewed, and there is a two-year grace period while that process is undertaken. It’s also worth noting the sometimes Darwinian nature of the Warrant: according to the Royal Warrant Holders Association website, between 20 and 40 businesses lose the Warrant each year, and a similar number achieve it. So there’s no question of resting on one’s royal laurels.

Our survey was undertaken both during a period of unprecedented excitement as the country – and these businesses –were building towards the Coronation. But it is also a time of uncertainty. Nobody is immune, Royal Warrant or not, from the economy of the day. But for many it’s a very exciting time. Robert Ettinger explains that in 2023 he’s been inspired to think about the overseas market: The Coronation year is looking more stable than the last few years and it is highlighting Britain to the whole world which will help our company grow our exports even more than at present.”

Wendy Keith also strikes a positive note: “We are very excited about the forthcoming Coronation, and are making plans to celebrate in style down here in Cornwall.”

And perhaps that’s what it comes down to – it’s all a question of style. The Royal Family remains an important part of the United Kingdom’s so-called ‘soft power’. It is based on the idea that the appearance of power often amounts to power itself. And certainly the businesses we now feature have all achieved great things, and come into their own as a result of their association with the Royal Household.


ents with advice, information and, of course, some of the most fabulous new and antique jewel lery available anywhere. Importantly, the company’s environmental and sustainability policies ensure that it is committed to responsible jewellery and ethically sourced precious metals and gemstones.


The business has prospered because it has remained independent and because generation upon generation of clients— including royal clients—know that the company can be completely depended

being able to provide tiaras and diadems, but apart from a discreet reference to supplying the television series Downton Abbey, it is impossible to discover precisely who to. I also often wonder who else, like me, wears one of their reassuringly solid, die-stamped, gold signet rings, but have resigned myself to never knowing. In 1907, the Corporation of the City of London commissioned a gold casket as a gift to Kaiser Wilhelm. In 2007, the firm was responsible for making Damien Hirst’s diamond-encrusted skull ‘For the love of God’. Otherwise, its distinguished

ner’s showroom to collect a small gift I had commissioned and overheard a young man explaining that his bride’s mother’s and grandmother’s engagement rings had been supplied by the firm and that although he did not have a large budget, he wished to surprise his future wife by carrying on the tradition. What greater recommendation could any jeweller have?


Bentley & Skinner, 55 Piccadilly, London, W1. For further information, telephone 020 –7629 0651 or visit

It is difficult to conceive of two more different people than Queen Victoria and Damien Hirst, but they are united across time and space by one thing. When each had their jewellery needs they went to the same firm: Bentley & Skinner.

This is a testament to the rich history of this family company, which originated as Skinner & Co. in 1880; soon after its founding, it began supplying the Royal Family. Years later, when Damien Hirst made his famous diamond skull, ‘For the Love of God’ – a masterpiece of our times if ever there was one – he went to Bentley and Skinner to create a faithful copy of an original human skull, cast in 2,156 grams of platinum and set with 8,601 perfect diamonds.

Of course, there is a common thread here: that of supplying the elite with the finest design imaginable. In fact, Hirst’s


skull was the largest jewellery piece commissioned since the Crown Jewels. When we speak of celebrity as a kind of royalty we are referring to their ability

Bentley & Skinner always feels like a homecoming to the true jewellery enthusiast: depending on how you experience it, Bentley & Skinner might be a shop, a workshop, a creative centre, a museum, a history lesson or a family business – but above all, it is always an experience based on trust.

It is this which forms the golden thread of a business which has run

to commission the best from the likes of Bentley & Skinner.
Royal approval: the company is proud of its long connection with the Royal Family, dating back to a meeting with Queen Victoria

over many generations. Many other things are required, of course, including imagination, skill, craft, the right manner and atmosphere, generosity of spirit, and good old-fashioned knowledge but what would all these things be without trust?

It is this which makes for loyalty and which is why the Royal Family – and numerous other families – have kept returning through its doors for over 150 years.

It is impressive to consider the meticulous nature of the operation: goldsmiths, silversmiths, diamond setters, pearl-stringers and other craftsmen work behind the scenes.

By carrying on their craft today, they supply a contemporary need – but they also link back to the arts of the past, keeping alive vital traditions. Imagine a shop in Florence just off the Signoria in Florence where the craftspeople could still emulate the skills of Cellini or Giambologna, and you have an idea of what is at issue here: it is the keeping of the flame.

The operation doesn’t stop there. If you are ever lucky enough to visit the firm’s magnificent showrooms, you might experience a happy bewilderment at the sheer number of treasures on display. Here we find a rare Art Deco platinum

and diamond Cartier brooch, an Art Nouveau dragonfly brooch dating from circa 1895, and a Faberge thermometer from the 1890s.

But you will also see gemmologists, diamond graders, valuers and other experts who conduct the advisory side of the business, navigating clients through the antique masterpieces and the latest inspiration to emerge from the firm’s atelier.

The company holds the Royal Warrant to both the late Queen Elizabeth II and to the former Prince of Wales, now King Charles III. Their sustainability values are aligned with the King’s; the

warrant aspect of the Royal Warrant seriously indeed, to its credit and to the satisfaction of its customers.

These customers have come to Bentley & Skinner for a long time now, and as if with the intention of frustrating journalists who love to namedrop, it can be difficult to glean precisely who among the great and the good the firm has served. Indeed it seems that a client becomes known to the wider public every century – a testament to Bentley & Skinner’s legendary discretion. In 2007, we had the Hirst commission, but we have to go back to 1907 to find another known client when the Corporation of the City of London commissioned a gold casket as a gift to Kaiser Wilhelm. Perhaps in 2107, some other nugget of information shall be let slip: a diadem for the great AI actress of the day perhaps.

It certainly wouldn’t be a surprise to find Bentley adapting to the times. Since Alfred Skinner founded the firm, it has always been a byword for excellence. And as His Majesty King Charles III knows, excellence, once established, has a habit of repeating itself.

firm is committed to ethically sourced gemstones and precious metals. Bentley & Skinner clearly takes the green

Bentley & Skinner, 55 Piccadilly, London, W1. For further information, telephone 020–7629 0651 or visit

53 ISSUE 8



For Matthew Barker, the owner of Bournemouth-based Barker Laundry & Dry Cleaning, laundering was very much in the family. “I am third generation in the industry,” he tells us. “My grandfather was a very prominent dry cleaner back in the 1960s; he eventually sold his company and a lot of his stores became Sketchley. My father set up the business I now own in 1966.”

Initially, Barker sought a career as a motorbike journalist, but though he loved that career, and even considered moving to Australia, at the crucial moment his parents asked him to take over the family business. “They said: ‘We want to retire, and you’re our answer’.” Barker recalls.

Nothing in Barker’s enthusiastic and kindly manner makes me think this was a bad thing; he plainly enjoys his work. The laundry sector had long been moving away from the domestic side towards the commercial, especially hotels: “Domestic laundries were dying off because laundries found that doing hotel work was less fiddly and less labour intensive,” Barker explains.

But when Barker bought the company in 2000, he saw that this had created a gap in the market and grew his business by acquisition, always focusing on the domestic market. It was this successful growth strategy which brought him into contact with the Royal Household. “One acquisition was of a laundry based in Andover which had the Royal Warrant for the then Prince of Wales and were looking after the Highgrove Estate. So we started looking after His Royal Highness.”

I ask whether the mandate is ever stressful? It turns out that that couldn’t be further from the truth: “It’s great – not high stress,” says Barker. “The Royals are

typical of the type of client we look after: they are very good people and very easy to work for.”

Have there been any issues at all? Barker laughs at one recollection. “We had a fire in the laundry which was pretty devastating. Among the damage, £5,000 worth of His Royal Highness’ linen went up in smoke. A dry cleaner friend of mine was subsequently at a royal function, and Charles said: “Are you the chap who burned all my linen?” My friend said: “No, it was a friend of mine, Matthew Barker!” But we replaced everything and it was fine.”

Sometimes, servicing the Royal Household can have its unique side. “Many years ago, when my father had the business, we trialled with the palaces in London, and they had these table linens which had belonged to King George V. These linens were falling to bits – they were museum pieces and shouldn’t have been laundered on a weekly basis!”

Barker has always been impressed with his dealings with the Royal Household, and especially by the King’s knowledge: “The King is incredibly well-informed. Highgrove is an intimate estate and he is

highly interested in everything which goes on. So in the case of the fire, the incident would have been told first hand from the house manager and he would have been sympathetic – that’s the nature of him.”

The Coronation is an exciting time for Barker and his team. “I’m opening a new shop in our neck of the woods, and we’re putting a big Coronation emblem in one of the windows. We’re also using the occasion for charitable purposes, working to support disadvantaged children both in the community and in Africa –we’re doing all that in the name of the Coronation.”

It’s a marvellous story of excellence and giving back, and is a reminder of the good that can come out of the Warrant. Barker tells me: “Everything we do is about fabric and fabric care. You could say that there’s no monetary value to the Royal Warrant – but that’s not the way to look at it. It’s about how it makes my staff feel, how it makes my customers feel, and how it makes me feel. When we were awarded it, it absolutely elevated all three. It was a great reward for years of hard work.”




D. R. Harris was founded in 1790 and has been operating in the St. James’s area of London ever since; it was in fact the first pharmacy in London though it would have been known at that time as an apothecary. Over the next 50 years the family established a reputation selling Lavender Water, Classic Cologne and English Flower perfumes to the most fashionable quarter of London.

In those days the firm was at 11 St James’s Street; today its beautiful premises are to be found at 29 St James’s Street, symbolically located not far from Buckingham Palace, which it has long supplied. Though its location has shifted, much of the furniture dates from the original founding of the shop – another sign of the continuity and adaptability of this iconic brand.

The company held the Royal Warrant to Her Majesty the Queen from 2012 until her death last year and holds the Royal Warrant to the former Prince of Wales, now King Charles III. It is all part of a long trajectory of service and association with the court. Prior to that, in 1938, the firm was awarded the warrant as chemists to her Majesty The Queen – later the Queen Mother –which was held until her death in 2002. Its specialty is in gentleman’s grooming products, with their shaving soaps, creams, aftershaves, colognes and skincare products being known worldwide. The firm also sells a wide range of unisex haircare products, skincare lines and soaps. The firm’s values are very much in lockstep with the new King’s. The firm

states: “We aim to be as carbon neutral as possible and work hard to achieve this. One of the key areas of improvement has been in our packaging. We no longer use cellophane to seal packets and nearly all of the materials used are recyclable. Glass bottles can be re-used and wooden bowls can be re-filled.”

This is part of a broader ecological commitment. Since June 2018, the company has been working with Eden Reforestation Projects and now plants a tree for every purchase made online and in-store.



Afamily firm committed to the highest standards of design of leather goods, Ettinger was founded by Gerry Ettinger in 1934, and is still in the family, being currently owned by the extremely well-regarded Robert Ettinger.

For Ettinger the granting of the Royal Warrant was a landmark moment.

“We were granted the Royal Warrant in 1996, having supplied the Prince of Wales for five years with leather goods.” So how did this validation come about?

“Initially we approached the Royal

Warrant Holders’ Association and they put us in touch with the relevant person in the Prince of Wales’ office. Once we’d approached him we then began supplying the Prince of Wales.”

It is a good example of how the Association can sometimes act as a facilitator, helping mentor brands into the next step. “Having a Royal Warrant is a seal of trust, quality and reliability,” Ettinger enthuses.

Ettinger finds the corporate and social sustainability aspects of the Warrant extremely helpful, and credits the exacting nature of the Warrant to the

fact of the business having moved closer towards net zero emissions.

For him, and for his business, the Coronation is a huge opportunity not just to generate business abroad but a moment to celebrate British success.

“The Coronation is showing the whole world the organisational ability of a celebration such as this.”

With their bold art deco-influenced monogram intended to evoke 1930s design, Ettinger’s products are always intelligent and iconic.




If you attend 89 Jermyn Street and look up you’ll see the oldest example of its kind: a Royal Crest granted to Floris London by George IV. It is a clear indication of a business with a rich history. This business is also a profound story of family, and the respect of sons for their fathers which that implies: the shop is currently in the hands of the ninth generation.

The story begins with the life of the remarkably enterprising Juan Famenias Floris who arrived in London from Mallorca in 1730, securing the very premises where the store is still located today. In those days, Floris lived above the shop with his wife. The counter in today’s store was purchased in the Great Exhibition in 1851. Perhaps that same counter was once leaned on by a certain Florence Nightingale who once wrote to thank Mr Floris for his ‘sweet-smelling nosegay”. It’s equally possible though that the counter, if it could talk, would tell stories of the famous dandy Beau

Brummell, or even Frankenstein novelist Mary Shelley, both of whom patronised the store in their day.

Floris London’s royal associations are also long and rich, dating back to 1820 when George IV granted the warrant to Floris for 'Smooth Pointed Combmakers'. It was to be the first of many – 19 such warrants are now held in the store. Most recently, the company holds the warrants Perfumers to HM The Queen Elizabeth II, granted in 1971, and are Manufacturers of Toilet Preparations to HRH The Prince of Wales, an honour which was bestowed on the firm in 1984.

Today the reins are held by Edward Bodenham, along with his sister Emily and his father John. Edward is keenly aware of the weight of responsibility he owes to his extraordinary ancestors: “A Royal Warrant is generally accepted as being a mark of recognition of company’s continued standard of quality of product and service, so naturally we are delighted and very proud to have held Royal Warrants for over 200 years now, and we are also very aware of the need to maintain those standards and exceed them where possible,” he tells us.




Heirlooms is the only linen company to hold the Royal warrant to the former Prince of Wales, now King Charles III, and managing director Ruth Douglas is clear: “We are a unique British manufacturing company who have worked over the years with the Warrant Holders Association to share information with the Households on sustainability.”

The company have held the late Queen’s warrant since 2010 and were awarded the Prince of Wales feathers in 2012,

a testament to the fact that the fabric is of the highest equality, explains Douglas. “But our fabrics are something you have to touch and experience first-hand. I sent some linen to a friend as a thank you recently and he called me and said: ‘Oh my gosh, if only people knew!’ I think that is the perfect strapline to describe our linens.”

So how did Heirlooms get the Royal

Warrant? “In order to become a Royal Warrant holder, we worked with a company called Business in the Community, which was championed by our now King. They gave us guidance on sustainability, social responsibility and environmental, and we’ve been doing it for a long time. Other companies might look at how they market; for us it’s ingrained.”

Like many other Royal Warrant

holders, Douglas has been very impressied with King Charles himself. “He knows what is going on. He’s very particular in terms of how he awards his warrant. He’s also very inquisitive and warm.”

The company’s values chime strongly with the Royal Household’s not just in terms of a long commitment to sustainability but also in its passion for social responsibility. “We’re doing a lot of local work with schools and colleges; our mission is to promote textile manufacturing. When we have Year 10 students in, we don’t just want them to do the photocopying, because that’s not the kind of company we are. We’re giving them an insight into creative design.”

This is company with an admirable ethos and even more admirable standards. “We don’t just make bed linen, we design it,” explains Douglas.



Holland & Holland has its origins in the remarkable but mysterious person of Harris Holland whose father may have been an organ grinder, and whose initial trade may have been in tobacco. What’s certain is that during the early to mid-Victorian period he built a sui generis gun business designing guns of the very highest quality: it’s a business which survives – and thrives – to this day.

Holland had no children and soon appointed his nephew Henry as an apprentice – hence the name today. By the year 1888 the firm was selling around 400 guns and rifles a year. Its first factory at Harrow Road was a masterpiece of late Victorian architecture built in 1893, with light flooding in beautifully, illuminating the goings-on within.

In the process the company has become synonymous with bespoke gunmaking, and now has beautiful showrooms in St James’s Street, London and another in University Park, Dallas and another at their Shooting Grounds in Northwood. Coronation year finds the company holding the royal warrant to the current King.

That’s not surprising because the firm’s best-known product is the Holland & Holland ‘Royal’ is the quintessential London ‘Best’ Gun. This, the firm says, has been ‘perfected over a century’ and includes ‘a world-famous lock mechanism, proven ejectors, and faultless self-opening mechanism’. It also looks beautiful – like everything the company produces.

59 ISSUE 8




What do these well-known people have in common?

Lord Nelson, Oscar Wilde, David Beckham, and Pierce Brosnan. The answer is that they have all been customers of Lock & Co., one of the oldest family-owned businesses still in existence and the oldest hat shop in the world.

Learning about Lock & Co.'s customers is to journey through British history. In 1849, the Coke 'bowler' hat was commissioned from Lock & Co., and Admiral Lord Nelson wore a Lock bicorne into the Battle of Trafalgar.

Hats from Lock & Co. have also graced the heads of prime ministers, including Winston Churchill, who wore a Lock & Co. silk top hat on his wedding, and Anthony Eden, who became famous for his Lock Homburg in the 1930s.

When Gary Oldman portrayed Churchill in the 2017 drama Darkest Hour, it was natural that the protagonist was fitted with hats from Lock & Co.

In 1953, Lock & Co. designed the fitments for Queen Elizabeth's coronation crown in conjunction with the jewellers Garrard & Co- an occasion viewed by 20 million people. Lock & Co.'s history is steeped in centuries of tradition, skill, expertise, and heritage, as well as many adversities overcome since 1676 when the great hat-making business was founded.




Philipp Mosimann seems pleasantly amused by the pace of life at the moment: “You know, on top of everything for the Royal Warrant holders, it’s our 35th anniversary. It’s an exciting year, and it’s non-stop!”

But he says this without any note of weariness: this is a man who plainly loves his work. Mosimann’s acquired the Royal Warrant from Charles who was then Prince of Wales in 2000, having provided services since the early 1990s. “We had been working with Her Royal Highness, having had many fundraising events, including doing the catering at Prague

Heritage Fund,” he recalls. “Princess Diana was a huge follower of my father’s cuisine back in the Dorchester days. Over time we began working on different events, including some big state events.”

On numerous such occasions, Mosimann has observed at close proximity the King’s delight at cuisine, and his intelligent curiosity. “He loves it, and that comes from having run a Duchy with a huge amount of land. He’s been a big champion of organic produce – way before it was fashionable to be so. He really believes that

everything ought to be pure.”

For Mosimann, part of the joy of the Royal Warrant is being part of the family of the Royal Warrant Holders Association. “It’s 800 completely mixed companies and I absolutely love that,” he explains. “You meet the most amazing people and all of them serve the Royal Household and all of them have a remarkable story.”

He also notes the differences between the UK and international reaction to having secured the accolade. “In the UK, you have people who understand its

importance, and who are advocates of such an association – and then you have those who are perhaps a bit the reverse. But internationally, there’s this massive respect which goes with it.”

And how does that manifest itself?

“Particularly in countries like Japan or China – or if you look at countries in the Middle East with their Kings – they have an innate understanding for why the Royal connection matters. That in itself is a great window into the ambassadorial role of the association abroad.”

Mosimann also explains how fervently royal his native Swiss are. “They’re very royalist. For them the royal crest is huge and I think we sometimes don’t quite see that here – we can be a bit myopic.”

Nor does he take the continuation of the Warrant for granted. “The Royal Warrant is based on the wishes of the Royal Family. We will do our utmost all the time for as long as we can. We’ll be here for another 35 years!” And listening to him, you certainly wouldn’t bet against that.”




The word ‘exquisite’ might very well have been coined with Thomas Goode & Co. in mind. This is a business with a strong history but has also moved with the times. It is a tale of family and adaptability. The firm was founded in 1827 by Thomas Goode who championed the finest china, glass and cutlery predominantly from British manufacturers. His son William, a talented artist in his own right, later took over the business and in 1848 began to design bespoke dinner services and showcase them at international exhibitions. For many years the store was in the eponymous building in Mayfair though it has now moved successfully to the Burlington Arcade.

Thomas Goode specialises in tableware of both traditional and contemporary designs and possesses an impressive portfolio of collaborations with artists and designers. Bespoke ranges are made in England; one can well imagine King Charles III approving of this. The natural world of flora and fauna gives ongoing inspiration also in line with Charles’ philosophy.

The company’s status as a Royal supplier is a matter of long public record. Since 1863 Thomas Goode has held continuous Royal Warrants.

In 1858 a spectacular dessert service was made for the speaker of the House of Commons, reported in the Court Circular as “The extreme good taste invariably shown by Messrs Goode in the preparation of designs….and is proof of their untiring efforts towards the elevation of ceramic art”. This caught the attention of the Royal family

and the first warrant from The Prince of Wales. The second warrant from Queen Victoria was awarded in 1884 with both ordering several highly decorated services. In fact, many services have been commissioned for the royal households. Examples of these wares are on show in the Thomas Goode archives in Burlington Arcade to this day.

Currently, Thomas Goode & Co Ltd holds two royal Warrants from Queen Elizabeth and from the former Prince of Wales, King Charles III.

Thomas Goode & Co Ltd was purchased by Johnny Sandelson in 2018 and now also has a shop in Mumbai. Many of the company’s latest designs

reference the link between East and West.

There is currently a window display of various royal artefacts at Thomas Goode; this is part of Burlington Arcade’s Coronation celebrations. Commercial director Andrew Guest says: “It has been an honour and a pleasure to serve the Royal Household. In particular, I have fond memories of visiting Windsor Castle each year prior to Easter and Christmas by appointment to present Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II with a selection of the Thomas Goode collections and being served tea in antique Thomas Goode china.”




The moment the then Prince of Wales, now King Charles III, was able to grant Royal Warrants he bestowed his first favour on Turnbull & Asser. It was an expression of loyalty to the firm which had been making his shirts since he was a young man.

The firm, now in a suitably premium location on the corner of Jermyn Street and Bury Street, was founded in 1885 by John Arthur Turnbull; the business was then located at 3 Church Place St James’s. It was the beginning of a long history characterised by astonishing style, discretion and imagination.

Sometimes the firm has had to rise to meet moments of national crisis. During World War I, it developed a

raincoat which doubled up as a sleeping bag for the British military; this was known as the Oilsilk Combination Coverall & Ground Sheet. This sort of imaginative response to crisis is plainly in the firm’s DNA: it had its sequel when in 2019 during the COVID-19 pandemic, Turnbull & Asser dedicated its Gloucester workroom to making medical-grade uniforms for National Health Service personnel.

It was a superb gesture and very much in line with the values of the monarchy. But the company has always been known as much for style as for philanthropy. One of the high points of its remarkable history came during the 1960s. If you have ever marvelled at the performance of Sean Connery as James

Bond, you might not realise that he owes a significant part of his appearance to Turnbull & Asser who made his shirts.

This might be a quintessentially English business, but it is also an outwardlooking one – in fact, one of our luxury sector’s most notable exports. In recent years, the firm has staged bespoke shirt trunkshows in far-flung destinations as disparate as Mumbai, Toronto, Los Angeles and Hong Kong.

Turnbull & Asser underwent a full immersion in its own roots and identity these past two years and is ready for the debut of his next chapter in Summer 2023.




As George IV was casting around for the firm on which to bestow his Royal Warrant, it may possibly be that he took inspiration from the mirror, and found it easy to choose what to prioritise: his own appearance. He swooped immediately with his quill and bestowed the Royal favour on Mr Truefitt, court wigmaker and perfumer.

Director Joanna Broughton tells us: ‘It would be amusing to ask Mr Truefitt what he thought of his own Royal Warrant. I presume he would have replied “it’s well deserved, because we are unparalleled and are simply the very best at what we do.’

That tradition endures to this day, with the company continuing to serve the wider house of Windsor. The Guinness Book of World Records lists Truefitt & Hill as the world’s oldest barbershop. Founded in 1805 by William Francis Truefitt, over two centuries later, the firm continues to keep both gentlemen and royalty in a state of good grooming. ‘Having been granted a Royal Warrant of Appointment is undoubtedly a recognition of excellence, and not only a testimony to the quality of products and services offered, but also an acknowledgement of the environmental and social stance, which our company holds,’ Broughton explains.

The brand specialises in traditional gentlemen’s grooming products and accessories, selling a range of fragrances including firm favourites, such as 1805, Sandalwood, Apsley, West Indian Limes and Trafalgar, as well as more traditional scents such as Spanish Leather and Freshman colognes.

The joy of a business with such pedigree is to trace the lives of those who have walked through its fabled doors. The shop received mentions in the works of both,

William Thackeray and Charles Dickens; a certain Sir Winston Churchill was also groomed by Truefitt & Hill. ‘Amongst other interesting facts, is that our products were even brought up from the wreck of the ill-fated Titanic!’ Broughton adds.

Coronation year finds the business in rude health. In keeping with the values of the new monarch, the company’s St James’s flagship store is now carbon neutral. Truefitt & Hill is also imbued with a broader charitable purpose and, amongst other numerous initiatives, in December 2022 donated 10 per cent of all its online sales to the homeless charity Centrepoint. This is a firm with an august and extraordinary history, with many more years of remarkable service ahead.

Coronation Year looks set to be a busy one for Truefitt & Hill. Broughton tells us: ‘We have numerous projects planned for

this year, most exciting of which will be a launch of a truly special product range for Christmas 2023 and, of course launch of our new fragrance and product range called MAYFAIR – an irresistibly enticing scent, paying tribute to all our patrons, present and past.

Launch of MAYFAIR has been carefully orchestrated to collide in a wonderful way with the Coronation Day, and to mark this momentous event our window at 71 St. James will both, celebrate the Coronation of HM King Charles III, as well as our own long and rich history, which is so closely intertwined with the touchpoints in the story of the British Isles and its Royal Family. We are calling it ‘Coronation Shaving Cream Tea’!

Somehow, you just know it’ll be delicious.




Wendy Keith became a Royal Warrant Holder in 2004, having begun supplying Shooting and Kilt Hosiery in the early 1990’s to His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales. “It came about in this way,” she tells us. “I encountered one of his valets and was asked if I could remake a beautiful pair of shooting stockings which had been a gift to His Royal Highness – now HM The King. The pair were hand-knitted in a very complicated pattern – but holding my breath, I naturally said I would be delighted.”

The mandate turned out to be a huge success: “Once completed, I received many further orders for Kilt Hosiery and Shooting Stockings over the next decade. I was asked to redesign the Kilt Hosiery to match the colours of the many Tartan Kilts he wore when on duty in Scotland.”

To look at Keith’s work is to see shooting stockings and kilt hose beautifully knitted, as Keith says, “in the grand tradition on four needles, dating back many centuries”. But her work, which includes distinctive features such as the ‘double barrel cuff’ or ‘chessboard’ design, often has an urgency and vibrancy which gives them a contemporary life.

For Keith, who is based in Truro in Cornwall, the process has capped a wonderful career: “I have always been received with extreme courtesy and kindness. Indeed, in 2005, I received a personal letter of thanks direct from His Royal Highness. Five years later, he sent me a further personal letter of congratulation after winning an award for a designer collection of garments,

using the spun wool from his own Highgrove sheep, which he had given me permission to use.”

This is a window on the attention to detail which characterises the Royal Family in general, and King Charles in particular. Keith continues: “The working members of the Royal Family display remarkable conscientiousness, determination and stamina in carrying out their many duties. In addition, the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme and the Prince’s Trust give massive opportunity for young people to gain

confidence and show their innate ability.”

Keith’s association with King Charles III has also led to amusing encounters with the monarch himself. She recalls: “I attended a Reception at St James’s Palace with my husband who was a Senior QC at that time. In conversation His Royal Highness asked my husband what he was doing there. My husband replied: ‘I am merely a companion to my talented wife’, to which the reply came ‘I know the feeling!”




Thereare successful business people, successful politicians, marvellous philanthropists and then there’s David Young. He is one of those very few who seemed equally at home in all three worlds. He was also, of course, at the start of his career, a lawyer, and to the many people who came forward to contribute to this special Finito World tribute, a loyal and valued friend, mentor and confidante. His death in December 2022 was met with the dismay and remembered affection which always accompanies the passing of an unusually productive life.

Young was born in 1932 to an orthodox Jewish family near Minsk in what was now Belarus; his family fled a pogrom there and Young’s father prospered in business, as his son would do. Naturally, he never forgot these circumstances; in her moving tribute Wendy Levene remembers his profound commitment to the Jewish Museum later in life. David Young was admitted to be a solicitor in 1955, but it was business – or enterprise, as he would later refer to it –which was his real passion. Even in his early 20s, he was an executive at Universal General Stores. Not all successful executives can successfully found businesses but Young found he could, creating a series of companies in property, construction and plant hire, eventually selling his interest in June 1970 to Town & City Properties plc. The rest of that decade followed on a similar track; it was a tale of considerable success in business.

When Margaret Thatcher said that other Cabinet ministers came to her with

problems and that Young came to her with his achievements, she didn’t add that these were numerous. But then she didn’t have to; Young, who served in her Cabinet for most of the second half of her Downing Street tenure, was always a favourite of Britain’s first female Prime Minister.

Young served successively in Thatcher’s Cabinets as Minister Without Portfolio,

Secretary of State for Employment, and Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, and President of the Board of Trade. In the latter role he found his metier, racking up air miles on behalf of UK plc. His passion for business was just as relevant to that role as it was in the business world itself.

Though he would return to government to advise David Cameron on enterprise

Lord Young of Graffham (Alamy)

(perhaps the happiest period of his life), he also had a superb final chapter outside of government in business with Simon Alberga (who writes movingly about his friendship in these pages), and in philanthropy. By this point in life, he was a sage. People continually sought his advice; and he continually found time to offer it. His death was a sadness to all of us at Finito World. We have done our best to preserve, the example of his remarkable life is preserved in this pages.

endeavour. I called up David Young and invited him back into government as my Enterprise Adviser. Fortunately, he agreed. From his office in 10 Downing Street he produced report after report which led to concrete reforms, such as start-up loans, that truly helped to kickstart growth in our country.

David was my oldest adviser, but he was one of the most dynamic. It was wonderful having him around No10 and being able to call on his advice and wisdom. His legacy lives on in all those businesses he helped to get off the ground, all the policies he helped to drive forward, and all the people – like me – who he inspired during his four decades in public service. He will be much missed but very fondly remembered.

and have left a lasting legacy for so many. It was a privilege to have known him.


I first met David in 1988 when I worked in the Conservative Research Department covering trade, industry and energy. This meant following his department, the Department for Trade and Industry. David was famously one of Thatcher’s favourite Ministers, and you could see why. I was a 20-something researcher; he was a Secretary of State with many years’ experience. Yet he treated me with great warmth and kindness, inviting me to his weekly ‘Ministerial prayers’ meeting, where his top team discussed the challenges of the day. Fast forward to 2010 when I became Prime Minister and one of my biggest challenges was bringing down the barriers to business that were preventing our economy from growing. I knew exactly who I wanted to help me in this


David Young was a remarkable man, constantly enthusiastic and brimming with ideas. Crucially these were ideas that led to action which improved the lives of people here in the UK. He was a consistent champion of enterprise and an invaluable adviser to a number of Conservative governments and Prime Ministers. I never met David without him coming up with a new proposal for boosting the economy, encouraging new business or helping young people. His energy and interest in others, together with his passion for enterprise, were infectious


I met Lord Young when he was Chairman of the Trustees for the Prince’s Trust; it was around 2006. I had created the Peter Cruddas Foundation and I wanted to donate to good causes. At that point, I met Lord Young and instantly took a great liking to him – partly because of his political background. I’m a big Margaret Thatcher fan, because of the way in which she transformed the country. As I knew David had been in her Cabinet, I was awe-struck to meet him.

But he turned out to be charming – a lovely man, and very down-to-earth. I donated to the Prince’s Trust. Here was a man who was willing to sit down, talk to me, help me, guide me, and mentor me. We became great friends. I invited him to be the Chairman of my Foundation and he introduced me to the lawyer Martin Paisner who helped also.

Over time, our friendship developed. I went to his house in Graffham and became friends also with his lovely wife Lita, Lady Young. At his house in Graffham, there was a Spitting Image puppet of David himself in his study which his family had managed to get hold of, and which I thought was very funny.

67 ISSUE 8
David Cameron ( Theresa May (
Lord Cruddas (

David also introduced me to opera. When you come off a Hackney council estate, you don’t often go to the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden; he took time to explain the music to me, and today, whenever I go to the opera, I think of him.

He was very smart on technology. I remember at his 80th birthday party, one of his grandchildren gave a speech saying that he was one of the few grandchildren who go to their grandfather for technological advice: David could fix anything. Imagine being in your eighties and embracing all this new technology – mobile phones and computers and so on. You always learned about technology from Lord Young.

I’m very sad that he has passed away. But I take comfort in the thought that he had a good and rewarding life. I’m proud to say he was one of my dear friends. But really it was more than that: he was like the father I never had.

and charity commitments.

My relationship with David straddled social, charity and business worlds. It reflected the diversity and depth of his life and work. Over time, he became a mentor and a friend, and I always valued his advice and opinions on any subject. Whilst I knew David a little from the 1970s, it was really through my involvement in Jewish Care starting in the 1990s that I came to know him better. The charity is the Jewish community’s largest welfare organisation. David was its President and I joined the Board in 1997.

It was through the Prince’s Trust, however, that I became much closer to him. I was invited to join the charity’s Development Board in 2002, which he chaired. I soon learnt what a pivotal figure David was in the Trust’s evolution. Whilst the charity had been founded by the then Prince of Wales in 1976, David had helped accelerate its growth. He was supportive of the charity enabling young people from underprivileged backgrounds find jobs and also start businesses. As Secretary of State for Employment and then for Trade and Industry in the 1980s, he famously devised a matched fundraising scheme to support the Trust’s enterprise work. The government ended up committing millions of pounds, much more than had been imagined, to the surprise even of his Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

together. He brought me an opportunity to invest in an oil technology business. His enthusiasm for dynamic businesses with growth potential never dimmed.

Over the years, Lita and David became cherished friends. They joined us on one particularly memorable group holiday to the Galápagos Islands. It was the first trip there for all of us. David was an especially keen photographer and took great pride in presenting everyone with a fabulous photo album at the end of the trip. Another lovely social memory was joining him and the family for his 80th birthday weekend at his family home in Sussex. This coincided with the end of his time as Chairman of the Chichester Theatre, yet another cause David had poured his energies and talents into, originally rescuing it from closure. David enjoyed the arts and particularly loved coming to the Royal Opera House. When I became Chairman last year, he was characteristically very supportive. On social occasions, you saw the side of David as a devoted family man. It was clear how much Lita was a rock for him, and how much he adored her. He would not have had the impact he had, without her constant support.


One of David’s catchphrases was “Life’s a bicycle – stop peddling, and you fall off!” It was a phrase I often quoted and it encapsulated the man. Well after the point most people have retired, he continued to combine a dizzying mixture of commercial, public service

When David stepped down from the Board in 2007, he recommended I should take his place. I went on to become Chairman of Prince’s Trust and Prince’s Trust International. Overall he played a pivotal role in the growth of the Trust to become, what is today, the King’s oldest and largest charity.

The charity links did not stop there. I served alongside David on the Board of Community Security Trust, which protects British Jews from antisemitism. David and I also ended up in business

David was a loyal friend and an exceptional man, with so many dimensions. His legacy is his family and friends, and the many causes and charities he supported with his leadership, charisma and passion. The world will be a lesser place without him.


Lord Young was a legend. David was often to be seen at high-profile business, political, charitable and other community events. He was the one person that every entrepreneur queued up to meet, either to seek his opinion, share news about a deal or development

Sir Lloyd Dorfman

or just to shake his hand. He had time and always made time for you. He always reached out to those who need a helping hand, the old-fashioned way.

I remember when I was thinking of setting up Finito in 2016, I made an appointment to see him at his offices overlooking Regent’s Park. He liked the purpose that we had set ourselves to help young people find their meaningful career before reminding me of his own passion for the Enterprise Passport, a digital record of activities which he championed for young people to help underpin their own career prospects. It was a genius idea never adopted by Government to record pupils through school and beyond about their career development for prospective employers seeking proven employability skills. Earlier this year, we remembered his contribution and paid tribute to his vision at the launch meeting of the AAPG on The Future of Employability.

We first met many years before when Lord Young was appointed Chair of the British Israel Chamber of Commerce (now UK Israel Business). He penned a letter to his fellow long-standing Board of Directors thanking us all for our service and then asking us for our immediate resignations. I replied, “Dear David, No, Yours, Ronel,” and then continued to serve under his stewardship for many more years. David retorted that he liked to sort the wheat from the chaff. We laughed about it every time we met, and I took pleasure reminding him.

He had an office at 10 Downing Street under David Cameron’s Premiership and relished holding meetings there to discuss the latest business topics. On one occasion, we sat there drinking the worst coffee ever, but he was so engaged about the issues, it never mattered.

In his last email exchange with me, I shared with David a letter I had submitted to The Times, praising his idea of the Enterprise Passport. Sadly, it had been rejected, but I wanted to share

the letter, and so wrote to him copying in his niece Imogen Aaronson, who I was also in contact with.

His response was characteristically funny and kind. “Thank you very much for the thought, pity the Letters Editor did not have your taste and judgment! I am not sure what you two are plotting together but you both are in good hands. Take care and stay safe.” I will miss his smile and bow tie.


David Young lived an extraordinary life. Through my close association with him in business and communal matters over the course of 26 years, the word I would most closely associate with David is positive. Whether in the realm of business, community affairs or politics, David always approached life with a can-do attitude. In my view, this is a hallmark of successful people and a significant part of the reason David achieved so much in his life. Rather than dwelling on potential impediments to success, David always focused on the art of the possible, and invariably he was a driving force behind making things happen. David believed in the power of one’s actions to effect positive change in the world.

In the world of business, David was a committed risk-taker, and he always believed success would come through a positive approach to working with good and talented people, despite the inevitable risks associated with business ventures. He was often – though not always – right, though he was right often enough to achieve great things in business. It was, however, in areas which were particularly important to David, such as education and skills development, that he understood the need to think and act positively. David was passionately determined to help less fortunate people advance in life. David was a big part of the reason I became involved in the Jewish charity ORT, which helps people across the world with education and skills training to gain employment and provide for themselves, their families and communities. David was also a great communicator with extraordinary interpersonal skills. He was affable, generous, good-humoured and cultured. People loved to be in a room with David, chat with him and, if they were lucky, work with him. I will always cherish the 26 years of friendship, mentorship and support I received from David Young. He has left a great void in many of our lives, though if we can take forward his legacy of positivity, then we may also be fortunate enough to achieve some of the great things he achieved during the course of his extraordinary life.

69 ISSUE 8
Lord Young with Simon Alberga


I first met Lord Young back in 2012 when I was a lead mentor for the government backed Start Up Loans scheme, which Lord Young conceived to boost entrepreneurial spirit in the UK. Entrepreneurs were given a mentor alongside a start-up loan to launch their business. Lord Young firmly believed in the value of mentoring citing, ‘The mentor is far more important than the money! That’s what made all the difference to me when I was starting out.’

I saw the impact that mentoring had on the lives of these young entrepreneurs and came up with the idea to launch National Mentoring Day to increase mentoring for all ages. Lord Young was my first choice to become our Patron. We shared a similar passion for supporting entrepreneurship and a vision for mentoring to be at the forefront of business and education.

During the inauguration of National Mentoring Day at the House of Lords in 2016, Lord Young gave the opening speech declaring, “I had a mentor when I started my first business, and he saved me more than once. I hope that National Mentoring Day will encourage more people to act as a mentor.” His words certainly left an indelible mark on everyone.

Last year saw our biggest National Mentoring Day on record. Lord Young believed in my vision to elevate all forms of mentoring and championed our mission to ensure everyone has an opportunity to reach their fullest potential with access to mentoring. For this I will be forever grateful.

Lord Young loved his bow ties and loved mentoring. The world has lost a truly great mentor, but his legacy will live on not only as our founding patron but in all the lives he touched.


Both Peter and I knew David and Lita over a number of years, meeting at charity events, mutual friends’ occasions and occasional dinners. We have regularly enjoyed each other’s company and have mutual respect for one another.

I really got to know David well when I invited him to become Chairman of the Jewish Museum London. Admittedly, it took some persuasion but I won him over and he agreed. That was in 2010. We were in desperate need of leadership, integrity and funding. David had all of those qualities. He brought in amazing contacts and raised large amounts of funding to keep the Museum afloat. He had also been involved in other very worthy charities, Coram Trust, Chai Cancer Care and Chairman of the Chichester Festival Theatre – all remarkable institutions to which David devoted much of his time.

What was so apparent to me was that David loved the Museum and the role it played in the community. He was so proud of his Jewish roots and was determined to acknowledge the role that the Jewish people had played in this country. In his ten years as Chairman of the Museum he and I formed a great working relationship. He teased me mercilessly and always claimed it was all my fault that he was Chairman of the Museum! He loved the Museum and took the Museum out of a difficult period into much better times. David didn’t tolerate fools but admired hard work, dedication and integrity.

David is very much missed by me and many many people - he left an indelible mark on our lives. Rest in peace.

Lord Young with Chelsey Baker


Lord Young of Graffham was a role model and mentor for me having known him for literally all of my life: he was a friend of my late father –and my grandparents. I remember clearly when he first entered Government how unusual it was in those days for a businessman to be catapulted in to high office.

His first day in the House of Lords he spoke on training for young people, a passion for him along with tech. Then, shortly afterwards, he had to answer four questions and their supplementaries in a row: that would have been longer than PMQ’s.

I was always struck by his great humility. Despite rising to great distinction under a number of Prime Ministers, he never needed or sought praise. He knew what he was doing and he knew where he came from, always remembering and respecting his background and his community with enormous acts of philanthropy. He will be deeply missed


As he did for a great many, David Young brought solutions to my life and never problems.

What a privilege to have a friend who lived life to the full and made such an immense contribution to public and business life. He

was one of the greats and for all of the right reasons.

We worked together on the start-up agenda during his time as enterprise advisor to the then Prime Minister David Cameron. He encouraged me and others to have a go at making a difference. The result was the national campaign for early stage firms, StartUp Britain.

As well as its contribution to UK start-ups, it would, on a personal level, usher in a great and defining friendship between us.

We had many adventures and for me it was also an opportunity to watch a master at work. I self-styled myself as his ‘bag carrier’, an incredible apprenticeship working with someone with the skill, judgement and attitude to bring people together and get things done.

He had the greatest of hearts and its pulse pumped with enthusiasm, fun and energy. It brought out the best in you. He was like instant sunshine.

That attitude I think made all the difference and was key to his incredible track record. If you look at the list of achievements in enterprise policy since 2010 you will see the hand of David Young in all over them.

He told me that those years in the run up to his retirement from government were among his happiest. Given his career roll call it was a quite a thing to say. But the reason was that it allowed him to focus on small firms, his life passion and mission to see succeed.

He would often compare and contrast with the recommendations of the Bolton report in the 1970’s that predicted a corporatist future of very large companies with little room for entrepreneurs. It was a view he did not share.

Fast forward to today and the UK is a small firms economy – five million of them and some 800,000 business registrations every year. That this is so, says much about David’s gift of prediction but also his proactive contribution to making change happen.

I interviewed him on his last day in Downing Street and remember his words: “We’ve got a good thing going unless we mess it up.” They are words that this generation of politicians would do well to heed in their appreciation of entrepreneurs when it comes to the growth of the economy.

I often find myself asking: “What would David do?” He’d probably tell me to get on with it. As he told me: “My definition of wisdom is the accumulated memory of past mistakes! “

And he also said this: “If we all focused our efforts on the journey rather than the destination the world would be a far better place.”

It was why he believed in action and lived a life vested in the defeat of problems and the pursuit of solutions. I miss my friend immensely.

71 ISSUE 8
Lord Leigh of Hurley ( Lord Young with Michael Hayman




the last thing on earth which Matt Hancock expected when he handed over his Whatsapp messages to his then colleague Isabel Oakeshott for the writing of Pandemic Diaries was that the general public would read them. But as we know, that’s precisely what happened, but I am prepared to offer a silver lining to the cloud of this experience: the mess has shone a helpful light on the question of how we operate today, and in not just in politics, but in all our working lives.

The Oakeshott leaks, whatever one thinks of the morality or otherwise of the leaker, show the extent to which government was being conducted by Whatsapp during the pandemic. Sir Philip Rutnam, who was then permanent secretary for the Home Office, is one of those who saw this up close: “I think it’s a hard one because the technology isn’t going to be uninvented, but it’s also important that decisions which affect people’s lives are made on the basis of properly considered advice which has taken into account of all the evidence that’s available that’s relevant. It’s not going to be something you can compress into a Whatsapp message. It needs another process; it also has to be auditible and capable of documenting the chain of decisions which were taken. Again you won’t get that with Whatsapp.”

The expert clinical psychologist Dr. Paul Hokemeyer wasn’t surprised by it all: “As a psychotherapist who treats high performance executives for a host of behavioural health issues, I was not surprised,” he tells us. “What this shows is that these executives were hyperconscious of their professional responsibilities during the highly stressful days of the public health crisis. As this relates to behavioural

health, I’ve found that people who suffer from mood disorders, and in particular anxiety disorders, are prone to impatience and impulsivity while in the throes of a stressful event. This is because their central nervous system is hypersensitive to stimulation, so much so that it overrides the part of their brain known as the prefrontal cortex. During times of high stress and personal accountability, their ability to engage in long-term executive

function planning becomes diminished and they operate out of the traumatic fight, flight or freeze response. In the case at hand, it appears Mr. Hancock and his colleagues jumped into the fight.”

Here we might see the beginnings of a rationale for all those whizzing and hyperactive texts by the former health secretary and others. Of course, it is easy to forget the helter skelter nature of

Illustrations by Andrew Prescott

those days when the world had been so promptly turned upside down, and the strain on government officials generally, and on Hancock in particular. And it’s also easy to forget that we ourselves often yield to the same temptation Hancock did, and conduct our business by the new technology.

Jan Gerber, the CEO of Swiss mental health clinic Paracelsus Recovery, describes the knock-on effect of the rise in ad hoc communication in business settings: “Many employers move day-to-day internal correspondence between staff members to messenger services such as Whatsapp,” he explains. “While this may be considered more efficient than emails, the expectation from all parties is also that responses are to come swiftly. Often the sending party can see if the receiver has read a message, which puts additional pressure to reply swiftly. This is an increasing trend.”

And does he consider it a good or a bad thing? Gerber isn’t sure: “The jury is out if the net result is a gain or loss overall. While it can have a mental health impact on some due to additional perceived stress, it can add flexibility to a job and make overall operations of an organisation swifter and more efficient.”

Of course that will depend on how work is viewed in an organisation; if a job is one you do because you love it, you’re less prone to mind the intrusion of a Whatsapp message out of hours onto a private device. But if work is something you do primarily to be able to afford clearly demarcated leisure time, then this is more likely to irk.

But Finito mentor Sophia Petrides takes the view that there are dangers to the new communication platforms when it comes to conducting efficient business: “Technology provides increases in speed and functionality in processes, no doubt, but it can create problems,” she tells me. “Organisations are trying to keep up with the competition, but at the same time HR managers know talent pools are decreasing

- so we have new systems, new tools, faster communications, and a smaller workforce in many organisations. The result is people get pressurised by systems to work at the pace of the tech, which isn’t always a sustainable pace for a healthy work-life balance.”

On top of this, according to Petrides, it also creates difficulties for new starters, which can lead to organisations losing talent: “Without meaningful support, we see people getting more and more frustrated with their jobs. For the new younger joiners who do not have much experience, it is more challenging for them to settle in their roles because they are not learning from the more experienced team members like they used to – principally because nobody has time for informal support chats or mentoring. There is an urgent need for organisations to recognise that these ‘soft support processes’ need to be replaced within line management, or risk new joiners getting stressed and leaving for a better situation. That’s because another thing that modern tech provides is a much faster and more effective way to find a new job.”


Of course, when we’re making decisions by Whatsapp, we’re not making them by meeting. Westminster, in fact, has a relatively rich history of not having meetings. Many prime ministers have been accused at one time or another of not conducting government by proper process. One thinks of the accusations against Tony Blair of conducting ‘sofa government’ with a small gaggle of advisors who – so the accusation went – tended to bypass Cabinet. Dominic Cummings’ power in the Johnson administration also raised eyebrows from time to time. It’s also true in business, as viewers of Succession will know, that sometimes power tends to flow too much out of a single individual; according to Andrew Neil, who worked for Rupert Murdoch for a decade or so, the best way

to understand Rupert Murdoch was to think of him as the Sun King.

There is a corner-cutting desire in each of us, an impatience which occasionally seeks an outlet. This is what Churchill was railing against when he joked that democracy was the worst form of government invented – apart from all the others. He recognised that collective decision-making can be inefficient; many of us have sometimes considered this to be the case in our working lives.

Of course, the great thing to avoid for any organisation is the pointless meeting where there is no agenda beforehand, no clear sense of which people will be in attendance, no structure to the eventual meeting, and no clear takeaways which everybody can agree upon afterwards.

Gerber is quick to point out however that “What’sapp doesn’t replace the traditional meeting; Zoom or video calls do. Whatsapp, however, often replaces quick drop-ins into someone else’s office or a quick phone conversation, which is still much more personal than just a text message,” Gerber adds. “It is not uncommon that staff members exchange Whatsapp messages between adjacent office cubicles instead of having a quick 1:1 conversation. The net result of these trends is an increasing isolation of employees at the workspace; in times when social isolation is a collective trauma, this additional isolation trend is worrisome. Human-to-human interaction is something we’re genetically wired to have and to need, the lack thereof makes a human being ill over time.”

Pandemic Diaries then is perhaps an extreme case in that it does sometimes show decisions being taken over


Whatsapp which should ordinarily have been taken during a meeting: Ben Wallace, the current Secretary of State for Defence, was among those who refused membership of a Whatsapp group, explaining that he would prefer to conduct high level government business by the old channels.

But if meetings can sometimes turn out to have been a waste of time, what is it that makes us feel compelled to call them? Hokemeyer gives a brilliant description: “Lord knows we’ve all suffered through mind-numbing meetings that only serve to waste time, drain resources and diminish morale. Typically, when this occurs, the organisation is suffering from narcissistic influences be they from individual members of staff or the organisation as a whole.”

I well remember an early journalism job where the manager did indeed have these tendencies. Meetings were a tortuous wrestle with his ego, dramatic episodes which conveyed the poor man’s insecurity or anxiety about his suitability for the role. He would ask gotcha questions to young members of staff; speak at length about things which had little relevance to what the team needed to accomplish, but which gave him a sense of imparting wisdom from on high; and he would sometimes lose his temper if he felt people weren’t

listening. But everybody longed for the meeting to be over as soon as it had begun. Hokemeyer explains not only how common this is, but how such behaviours can spread throughout an organisation, infecting the well-being of all: “I’ve worked with entire organisations that can be defined as narcissistic,” he says. “The entire system is set up in a way that promotes individual aggrandisement over the holistic well-being of the organisation. In these organisations, people want to see their power reflected back to them and call meetings to wield their power and feed their insatiable ego rather than respecting their colleagues and subordinates’ time and professional autonomy.”

Yet there is a compulsion at work in our need for human contact. Hokemeyer pointing to the evolutionary origins of meetings: “Whilst technologies such as Whatsapp, Zoom, LinkedIn and other digital platforms provided value during the pandemic, they’ve yet to replace the efficacy of in person meetings. In my work and research, I’ve found that try as we may, the value of in person meetings still exceeds the value of digital exchanges.”

So why is this? “The reasons are twofold. The first is that human beings are genetically wired for human connection. We perceive our world through the

mélange of our senses. Sure, we dress up from top to toe in our smart clothes and appear detached and objective, but under that veneer of detachment we are primal animals who can sniff out danger and sense the trustworthiness of others. We also forget that as animals we are tribal. We orient ourselves around common interests and against common enemies. Meetings evolved from these primitive human characteristics. Through in person meetings we can intuitively and instinctively feel who is safe, who is honest and who threatens the integrity of our personal wellbeing as well as the wellbeing of our tribe.”


So how do we make a meeting run smoothly? Finito mentor Kate Glick tells me that she thinks alliteratively about the matter, proposing that workers think of the five P’s. She explains them to me: “First you need purpose, meaning that you ensure what the meeting is about beforehand. Secondly, you need planning; it’s essential to circulate an agenda for the meeting in advance. It’s important also to make sure that you allocate specific times for each point in the meeting. Thirdly, you need preparation, meaning that you read the agenda beforehand, and have thought about what you will contribute to the meeting.”

That’s three ‘P’s. And the fourth?

“Participation. Some of my client companies have a no mobile phones policy. If you are waiting for an urgent call, leave your mobile with someone in the office who is not attending the meeting.” And the fifth? “PS. Follow up after the meeting, making sure you circulate meeting notes promptly. It’s important to record decisions made and list follow-up action points including responsibilities and deadlines.”

Hokemeyer agrees with all Glick’s points but has a specific suggestion for meeting conveners: “Think like a host of a dinner


party and make sure you have edited the invite list to those who have a distinct point of view and who will interact in a way that creates a valuable dynamic and provides tangible takeaways.”

Sophia Petrides adds: “It is the facilitator’s responsibility to understand the psychology of the people in the meeting. A good facilitator needs a high EQ (emotional intelligence) in order to ensure everyone is heard – however that’s only part of the challenge.” For Petrides, as for Glick, the efficacy of a meeting is really determined by its aftermath. “Scheduling follow-ups with smaller groups and quieter individuals is an essential part of gathering ideas and increasing inclusivity beyond the meeting room. It also allows for quality decision making to take place – and people often forget that decisions generally take place outside meetings, not within them – unless it’s a board meeting or an AGM.”

This last point is certainly true. One can sometimes turn up to a meeting with a sense that this is in some way a definitive forum, when that’s quite rare. Prime minister Clement Atlee was noted for his judicious use of the words ‘yes’ and ‘no’ in Cabinet meetings, whereby ministers were left with a clear sense of what they could and couldn’t do. But I think he was an exception. Usually the decision-making power lies within a manager or chief executive, who may have decided even beforehand what they really plan to do. At such times, meetings can sometimes seem to have a performative element inbuilt – a certain innate pointlessness.

But Petrides explains that it doesn’t need to be this way: “I believe in quick, focused, one topic at a time meetings. For example, if you want to discuss budgeting and how to cut costs, then keep the meeting focused on one or two finance line items and invite analytical thinkers that can talk around data, and a decision maker who can define the impact of each cut. The next meeting should invite creative thinkers who can put solutions in place to facilitate the cuts outlined from the first meeting.

The goal is to see the meetings as steps in a linear process, not each meeting as a new opportunity to tread over the same ground again with different people. Meetings should focus on what, not why, and each subsequent meeting should become increasingly narrower in scope and sharper in focus on an achievable line item.”

Gerber adds that a meeting doesn’t need to be effective as to its takeaways to hold some broader social value to the organisation: “Meetings have a bigger purpose than just the exchange of information; every business is a people’s business and face-to-face gatherings can have value independent of the content value created in a meeting. Yes there are meetings that are only called by someone in authority who wants to show off, or because they have been poorly prepared are perceived as a waste of time by the attendees. This is simply a reality of worklife that is here to stay.”


Of course, the meeting environment can be challenging for new employees – one doesn’t want to seem overconfident by trying to talk too much; but at the same time, not to say anything can leave one feeling terminally shy and of little value to the organisation, as if one’s talents and perspective aren’t being brought to bear.

I myself have had a lifelong dislike of dinner parties where around 10 people are present, and the conversation is likely for that reason to be performative, where everything one says has to take into account ten listeners; one feels nervous before speaking and not quite oneself. The typical meeting can sometimes ape this: my instinct is towards withdrawal, as I suspect is the case with many.

But everybody is different. Gerber explains: “Different personality types will experience a meeting differently. Some might just enjoy being in the room with others for a bit and sharing some banter before or during a meeting, which an

extreme introvert attendee may experience as very stressful and pointless. Neither perspective is right or wrong.”

Petrides also explains the wide variety of meetings which can occur in a typical workplace setting: “Some people want to be heard and noticed by the boss the most, and meetings become their sales pitch for promotions. Some people feel they need a meeting to clarify roles and objectives because they lack confidence making decisions or taking responsibility for specific choices. Calling a meeting can be an expression of a workplace dispute between teams, or an expression of disconnection between different levels of staff and management.”

And if that sounds complicated, there’s more. “There are also power games between sexes,” Petrides explains. “Men in

75 ISSUE 8
Kate Glick, Finito mentor

general have the loudest voice in meetings and this can be a way to flex in front of the opposite sex – and try to force decisions to go their way. And between departments and functions – after all who hasn’t been to a finance meeting and been told there’s no budget for their new idea, but then held another one where the finance team is told to find the money by the product development side, and so on. Meetings can take so many forms, and for sure extroverts and introverts use meetings to fulfil personal needs as well as business ones.”

Despite this, everyone I spoke to for this article had excellent advice for young people. Gerber stresses the need to be patient over time, and learn one’s environment: “Be yourself. Confidence can be built over time. Don’t let perceived or real expectations stress you out too much. If you say nothing during a meeting that will not instantly discredit you. Quite the contrary; if you often say nothing, but calmly say something occasionally, it will come across as important and well reflected, because you have the image of not saying much. If you feel you can add value, do speak up. Superiors and co-workers respect people who do; also if it’s a clarification question. Chances are many others in the room have the same question. Asking questions does not come across as stupid, but as confident, because you dare to ask when others don’t.”

Petrides adds: “Young people need to ensure they review the agenda in advance

and if unsure of what is required of them, they must seek guidance from the meeting facilitator. If they are asked to provide their input at the meeting, they need to carve out time in their calendar to prepare and rehearse their presentation, in particular if they are nervous presenters. It is also recommended to come prepared with the type of questions they may be asked so they can respond with clarity and confidence.

She continues: “Put yourself in the position of the person asking questions, like buying a train ticket. You need the ticket seller to understand the topic, have specific, accurate information to hand, and be able to talk about it confidently. It’s not about them being a great performer, they just need the right info and clear delivery. That’s your job in a meeting.”


a notepad and pen into it and use it. Others will observe their attention to and appreciation for the details being discussed and their humility in realising they can’t possibly remember all the bullet points that were raised. I also encourage young professionals to follow up on key points after the meeting with an email to the team or key team members highlighting one key point that was made and a suggestion that adds value to the discussion rather than feeling compelled to say something off the cuff during the meeting.”

Glick adds: “I would suggest checking the list of the participants who will be in the meeting and read the agenda beforehand. If it’s a formal board meeting or an important client meeting, where the senior team have been preparing presentations, assume that you won’t be contributing to the meeting. This doesn’t mean that you should switch off, make sure you listen and watch carefully.”

Hokemeyer is also illuminating: “In addition to being relational and tribal, human beings are hierarchical. Like bees we organise ourselves around a powerful and dynamic leader. This dynamic is especially true in corporate environments. Young people in the early stages of their career need to be mindful of this. They should spend 80-90 per cent of their time in meetings listening and digesting both the content and the form of the meetings. They need to show they are thoughtful, interested and respectful all the while drinking in the interpersonal dynamics at play.”

He also has an excellent tip: “One visual trick I suggest for young professionals who are attending a meeting is to take

Like Hokemeyer, Glick has a practical suggestion: “Offer to take the minutes –make sure that you take notes accurately, distribute the minutes promptly, including the action points agreed at the meeting. Perhaps ask if you can provide feedback after a client meeting – you might have noticed something that your boss didn’t. If it’s a client meeting or an internal meeting where you think you might be able to contribute, ask your manager before the meeting to clarify their expectations of your role in the meeting. This may well differ between managers and depend on the client. Maintain eye contact and engagement in the meeting – no multi-tasking!”

So all in all, a meeting needn’t be pointless – and it can be productive. It’s not time to delete What’sapp from your phone but it may be that there’s a better way to move your agenda forward. It might seem prosaic, but a lot can be achieved by thinking carefully about what a meeting ought to entail – before, during and afterwards.

Dr. Paul Hokemeyer ISSUE 8 Thomas Goode & Co.Ltd Purveyors of the Finest Tableware THOMASGOODE.COM 66-67 Burlington Arcade, Piccadilly, London W1J 0QU (0) 20 7499 2823



Gemma Levine is much beloved by all know her, not just because of her superb photographs, but because of her tireless advocacy for that little known disease Lymphoedema.

But it’s sometimes forgotten that her story is one of mentorship. “It all started with Henry Moore,” she says, pronouncing the name of the sculptor with veneration, as one might a personal saint. “I wrote a letter to him, quite a long letter about how much I liked his work. I said it would be wonderful if one day he had time to see me. I wasn’t a photographer then, but I loved his work and wrote to him.”

Incredibly, she had a response by phone. “I was at home and the phone went. “Hello, Gemma Levine?” I said: “Yes?” And the voice said: “ It’s Henry Moore.” I thought it was a joke by one of my friends, and I said: “Stop kidding!” He said: “This is Henry Moore. I would like you to make a date to come down and see me.”

Levine did just that, and walked around Moore’s estate with the great artist. “He was walking around with me, and there I was with him: I knew nothing about how sculpture was made.”

That day would change her life forever. “On the edge of the field, was a six foot bark of elm and he tapped it with his stick, and said: “That will be a reclining figure in two years’ time for my 80th birthday. I said: “This is a bark of tree but it will take two years to sculpt? I’d like to photograph the stages from when you start to its finish.” And he thought that was a very good idea.

I had Charles Forte to dinner and mentioned the conversation, and Charles said: “That’s a lovely idea for a book. Would you like me to get you a publisher? I took the publisher down and it became With Henry Moore. He then invited me to a new book on wood sculpture and then a third book which was an illustrated biography.”

Some people turn out to be obtainable, if we approach them respectfully and get our timing right. “I never thought Henry Moore would even look at me,” Levine recalls.

It all goes to show how far a wellwritten letter can take you. But not all people have been so kind to Levine. “You choose your friends, but your enemies show up,” she says, without naming names, though she does point out how kind Joanna Lumley and Judi Dench have been to her, particularly in her fund-raising efforts for Lymphoedema. “I don’t want to be famous,” she says. “I just want to do a damned good job in relation to this disease that I have.”

It’s still Henry Moore who she recalls today. Looking back, Levine remembers the need to be flexible when it comes to life. “I bend,” she says. “I remember that story with the bark. Here I was, not knowing a damned thing about sculpture but I wanted him to know I was interested in how this sculpture would be formulated. That’s bending towards the other person.”

She continues: “Henry always called me by my full name: Gemma Levine. I used to laugh to myself as if that was my first name. He said: “Why is that such a good idea, Gemma Levine? Because it’s

so simple, Gemma Levine.” Or he’d say: “Gemma Levine, never get complicated about things.” He was my mentor in that – I’ve always kept things simple, and tried not to be complicated.”

This attitude infused her subsequent career as a photographer which became possible as a result of her friendship with Moore: “I was simple. I would never aggravate or upset the subject. I’d let the subject gather the mood and atmosphere of the day. The fact that I did that led to my subjects being very amiable with me.”

Her mentor-mentee relationship with Moore even led to her photographing Queen Elizabeth II. “Henry took me to the Leeds City Art Gallery. There was a celebration for his 80th birthday and

Gemma Levine

the Queen came, because Henry wanted me to photograph the Queen with him. When she came in to meet Henry Moore, she wondered who this person was, and someone had explained that I was his photographer. I did the right thing and curtsied. That was my meeting with her. It wasn’t a conversation, but it was something.”

So how does Levine feel about it all now? “Those 12 years with Henry Moore humbled me. I worked at close proximity for all those years, through good and bad years. He had problems and I was there; happy times, and I was there; he worked, and I was there. He said to his wife, I overheard him say, “Oh, Gemma Levine, she’s part of the furniture.” She was always Gemma Levine – that is, until the very end. “When he was dying, I went to see him and he was frail and shrunken and propped up with pillows. He could hardly speak.

He said “Come here and sit next to me, and talk to me.” I sat on the floor and he was in bed, and all that was showing was his head and arms and hands. I took his hands and he said: “I’ve never asked you about your family. Never asked you anything personal.” He said: “Please tell me about your sons.” Then he said: “I’m so happy to have known you, Gemma.” In actual fact he’d known all along that my name was Gemma. That was magical. I was very, very sad when he died. He was my mentor and he taught me so much. He taught me about light and shade, he used to take branches with his hands, pull them aside and say, “Gemma Levine, photograph that branch over there as it is now – and now again, photograph it. And he’d pull away the ones in front and then he’d make me study the shading and the light and the bark. That taught me a lot about photography. He used to direct me or the opposite. He taught me to photograph. He taught me to see.”

To learn more about Gemma and her fight against Lymphoedema go to

79 ISSUE 8
Durham Cathedral Cloister
Gemma Levine and Henry Moore, ( Henry Moore in the maquette studio, 1976



On the day of his death, Abraham Lincoln had every reason to view the future optimistically. The civil war, that unimaginable struggle, had been won, and Lincoln had already secured a second term as president, ensuring his likely continuation in a role he had grown to enjoy, up to the year 1869. His Second Inaugural Address had been a success: Lincoln was always able to vindicate himself in language. Now that the war had been won, and peace arrived at, Lincoln’s wisdom in having kept the country together during the civil war was plain to most people. He was Father Abraham – a figure of quasi-religious significance.

But, depending on who you believe, Lincoln was beginning to have dark intimations about the future. His last day, as told by Carl Sandburg in his great biographies Lincoln: The Prairie Years and Lincoln: The War Years, was full of curious portents. Not long before his death the President recounted a terrifying dream, which begins with him walking around the White House hearing mournful noises. According to Ward Hill Lamon, the dream ended:

"I kept on until I arrived at the East Room, which I entered. There I met with a sickening surprise. Before me was a catafalque, on which rested a corpse wrapped in funeral vestments. Around it were stationed soldiers who were acting as guards; and there was a throng of people, gazing mournfully upon the corpse, whose face was covered, others weeping pitifully. 'Who is dead in the White House?' I demanded of one of

the soldiers, 'The President,' was his answer. 'He was killed by an assassin.'" Sandburg’s tome, weighing in at around 750 pages, is one of the best books I’ve read – a procession of majesty, which makes the case in the end for Lincoln as an emanation of American greatness, as integral to that country as the Grand Canyon or Yosemite. For Sandburg there was always something mountainous about Lincoln, even before his face was carved into Mount Rushmore: “There is no new thing to be said about Lincoln,” Sandburg writes. “There is no new thing to be said of the mountains, or of the sea, or of the stars.”

It was Lincoln who, in his First Inaugural, spoke of the "mystic chords of memory," but there was always something mystical, even otherworldly, about Lincoln. He had a profound ability to feel his way through situations, to intuit the right course of action – and as the world’s finest writer-leader, he was also able to describe his intentions, his actions and his beliefs. As America has grown in power, Lincoln has become more and more part of our shared landscape: he’s not separate from us; he’s us.

That means Lincoln’s life has ramifications for us in our smaller lives; it means that we might all claim a

81 ISSUE 8
Abraham Lincoln, (

portion of his gianthood if we can only pay proper attention.

And there is no better way to get the measure of Lincoln than to consider his last day on earth.


Lincoln’s final hours took place, Sandburg reminds us, against a backdrop of unimaginable slaughter. From mid-April 1861 up to the day of Lincoln’s death, some three million men in both the North and the South had seen active service, and Lincoln had watched on in horror as each disaster had followed: heinous battles which still conjure to mind images of pointless slaughter. Antietam. Fredericksburg. Malvern Hill. Gettysburg.

The Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy, who understood Lincoln’s greatness

intuitively, pointed out that Lincoln was never a great general, or even a great legislator. The civil war had sometimes seen him exasperate as one general after another had failed to breakthrough – that is, until he had arrived at his partnership with another future president Ulysses S. Grant.

By patience, determination and sheer weight of Union numbers, Lincoln had triumphed. A few weeks before his death, Lincoln took a walk through defeated Richmond, Virginia – the capital of the South – and sat at the desk of his opposite number in the war Jefferson Davis. Throughout that day, he showed remarkable courage, walking in plain sight through the crowds; he had long had a disregard for his own safety. When a grateful freed slave had knelt to him in the street, he had rebuked him in a way which feels almost Christ-like: “Don't kneel to me, that is not right.

You must kneel to God only, and thank him for the liberty you will hereafter enjoy.”

In his great final address on 11th April 1865 – which Lincoln, of course, didn’t know was his last – the President had spoken of the war as definitively past, and noted that the nation would now move on to a new era of unity: “The evacuation of Petersburg and Richmond, and the surrender of the principal insurgent army, give hope of a righteous and speedy peace whose joyous expression cannot be restrained.”

There is a lovely story attached to this speech. It was quite dark that night and Lincoln was struggling to hold a candle and read the speech. His aide Noah Brooks would recall: “Speedily becoming embarrassed with the difficulty of managing the candle and the speech, he made a comical motion

Maryland, Antietam, President Lincoln on the Battlefield (

with his left foot and elbow, which I construed to mean that I should hold his candle for him, which I did.”

When Lincoln had finished his speech, including his great disquisition on the question of whether Louisiana should be permitted to join the Union, he turned to Brooks and said: “That was a pretty fair speech, I think, but you threw some light upon it.”

It is a lovely moment and tells us much about Lincoln’s leadership. First, one must note his remarkable awareness of the feelings of those around him, even at the stressful moment of giving a major speech. Many elevated people – whether it be politicians, or CEOs – forget easily what other people might want of them. Lincoln seems to have had a remarkable ability to bestow a memorable joke on people, and for his attention to match precisely the need of that individual. He was always alive to what the moment needed; the requirements of others were in unusual focus for him.

This opens up onto a paradox: Lincoln was always aware of the democratic origin of his power, and conscious of himself as a mere custodian of his role. He knew he was a product of, to quote his Gettysburg Address: “government of the people, by the people, for the people.” Bad leadership is almost always arrogant, and we would all do well to remember that whenever we get power it is at others’ say-so, and always temporary.

Lincoln understood that his position was held by dint of election. But the humility with which he conducted the presidency means that his example is still meaningful today – in a sense, his power continues, and has even grown in the 168 years since his death. Those who take the opposite route – one thinks of Putin today – are less likely to have inheritors because time is a more effective judge of character than the present.


Lincoln’s last day is unusually welldocumented, because, in the wake of the assassination, more people than usual noted where he had been and what he had said and done. Sandburg writes: "The schedule for this day as outlined beforehand was: office business till eight; breakfast and then interviews till the Cabinet meeting at 11; luncheon, more interviews, a late afternoon drive with Mrs. Lincoln; an informal meeting with old Illinois friends; during the day and evening one or more trips to the War Department; another interview, then to the theatre with Mrs. Lincoln and a small party."

Breakfast on that fateful day yielded an anecdote from which we might learn. Lincoln’s son Robert was back from the front and had brought a picture of Robert E. Lee, the great Confederate General, who had done so much to confound the Union cause those past years. Lincoln looked at the portrait and scanned it closely: “It is a good face. I am glad the war is over at last.”

Nothing was ever personal with Lincoln. He had a remarkable ability we might all seek to foster in ourselves, to consider someone’s character as if at some sort of remove, taking emotion out of the equation. For instance, he had dealt for many years with the presidential ambitions of his Secretary to the Treasury Salmon P. Chase with no little humour, refusing to feel threatened, telling his aide John Hay that Chase’s presidential politicking: “was very bad taste, but that he had determined to shut his eyes to all these performances: that Chase made a good Secretary and that he would keep him where is.” Lincoln never permitted the flaws of those around him to get under his skin.

Sometimes, if riled or worried by something, he would write down what he thought in a letter, and then mark it: “Never signed, never sent.” He benefited enormously from this tactic. These

unsent letters meant that he was able to outline his thoughts and develop them in language, offloading his feelings about things, but never making the mistake of reacting in anger – something which we have more temptation to do in the age of email than Lincoln ever had in the age of the handwritten letter. The process of writing down how he felt discharged the emotion, putting him at peace, and avoiding many an unnecessary – and time-consuming –confrontation.

After breakfast, Lincoln was visited by Senator John A.J Creswell, who had come, as people always came to the President, to ask something of him. Lincoln had experienced such visits since the first days of his presidency.

Reading Sandburg’s biography, it’s very striking how much time Lincoln took at the outset of his first administration to staff the government. He did so with meticulous care, attracting much disapprobation at the time, but it meant that he had, as governments go, a remarkably stable team thereafter. He would also handle the perennial presence of office-seekers with typical humour, greeting one stranger with the salutation: “Good morning to you, I’m very glad to see you’re not here asking for a position in the federal government.”

So it was a highly experienced Lincoln who listened to Creswell tell him on his last morning of a friend who had gone

Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase (

over to the Confederate Army. Having been captured by Federal troops, this person, Creswell told Lincoln, was now languishing in prison. Creswell pleaded that if Lincoln would allow him to be handed over then he, Creswell, would account for his friend, though he admitted that the prisoner in question had been a ‘fool’ in going over to the South. Lincoln replied in one of his parables, and this is worth quoting in full:

“Creswell,” said Lincoln, “you make me think of a lot of young folks who once started out Maying [the celebration of May Day]. To reach their destination they had to cross a shallow stream, and did so by means of an old flat boat. When they came to return, they found to their dismay that the old scow had disappeared. They were in sore trouble, and thought over all manner of devices for getting over the water, but without avail. After a time one of the boys proposed that each fellow should pick up the girl he liked the best and wade over with her. The masterly proposition was carried out, until all that were left upon the island was a little short chap and a great, long, gothic-built elderly lady. Now, Creswell, you are trying to leave me in the same predicament. You fellows are all getting your own friends out of this scrape, and you will succeed in carrying off one after another until nobody but Jeff Davis and myself will be left on the island, and then I won’t know what to do. How should I feel? How should I look lugging him over? I guess the way to avoid such an embarrassing situation is to let them all out at once.”

This is masterly in every respect. Lincoln used storytelling as a means of managing people. It had numerous advantages as a technique: the telling of a story is a communal enterprise, meaning that even at the moment of rejecting Creswell’s request Lincoln has him in an intimate psychological relation. The story is also comic, meaning that Creswell, even as his

wish is being pushed back at, is forced to laugh at the story – and therefore not to feel annoyed at the blocking of his request, since that rejection is already intermingled with amusement. Lincoln’s story-telling often engenders sympathy with him as a decisionmaker; he asks his supplicant to imagine himself in his shoes, and thereby to see the difficulty of the request from Lincoln’s own perspective. Of course, Lincoln’s story-telling also opens up onto something we might forget about him. Most of his stories come from Illinois, and relate back to what Sandburg calls ‘the prairie years’, those hard years of slog on the legal circuit. The rich experience he had gained long before he took up the presidency as a lawyer was always something he put to use: although he did repeat some stories often, those years gave him a seemingly inexhaustible fund of stories which he could roll out to illustrate a predicament or teach a lesson.

Lincoln’s then is a leadership based on eloquence, and throughout his life we frequently find him working difficult matters through at length, as if he were arriving at a realisation in the very presence of his audience, with a sort of mobile logic. The Lincoln mind at work is a formidable thing. Consider, for instance, this magnificent excerpt from his letter to Albert G. Hodges, editor of the Frankfort, Kentucky, Commonwealth, usually known under the title, “If Slavery is Not Wrong, Nothing is Wrong.” It touches on the question of what leaders can and can’t do in wartime, and what concessions are worth making in the name of victory. "Was it possible to lose the nation, and yet preserve the constitution? By general law life and limb must be protected; yet often a limb must be amputated to save a life; but a life is never wisely given to save a limb. I felt that measures, otherwise unconstitutional, might become lawful, by becoming

indispensable to the preservation of the constitution, through the preservation of the nation. Right or wrong, I assumed this ground, and now avow it. I could not feel that, to the best of my ability, I had even tried to preserve the constitution, if, to save slavery, or any minor matter, I should permit the wreck of government, country, and Constitution all together."

You can never get to the end of the elegance of this: Lincoln’s style is always economical, and remorselessly logical. The structure is so tight that it has the force of a mathematical equation, one which is also moving past the listener at sufficient pace to secure assent in all but the most contrary.

In this and elsewhere, Lincoln was very good at picking his moments: all of us must in our roles sometimes take a course of action which, for reasons we cannot alter, is imperfect, or open to allegation. These are the moments when it might be necessary to enlarge on why we did what we did, or why we are about to do what we plan to do. This selective volubility is the flipside to ‘never signed, never sent’: Lincoln was always patient, a master at knowing when to be silent, and when to speak.


After the meeting with Creswell, Lincoln went to Cabinet – that body which he had also managed expertly now throughout four years of great misery and stress. Of course, the fact of it being wartime hadn’t put to rest that other perennial fact about politics: jostling ambition. Doris Kearns Goodwin’s book Team of Rivals is a brilliant analysis of Lincoln’s preference for having potential enemies round the table with him; the opposite strategy to that taken, for instance, by Liz Truss, who preferred a governments of allies with results we all now know. At the outset of Kearn Goodwin’s book, she writes:


"Lincoln’s political genius….[was] revealed through his extraordinary array of personal qualities that enabled him to form friendships with men who had previously opposed him; to repair injured feelings that, left untended, might have escalated into permanent hostility; to assume responsibility for the failures of subordinates; to share credit with ease; and to learn from mistakes. He possessed an acute understanding of the sources of power inherent in the presidency, an unparalleled ability to keep his governing coalition intact, a tough-minded appreciation of the need to protect his presidential prerogatives, and a masterful sense of timing."

We might today think of this as emotional intelligence although this phrase is probably to blandify Lincoln’s genius.

In 1861 they all thought they were better than him. Chase couldn’t hide his opinion that he would make a better President than Lincoln; William H. Seward, Lincoln’s New Yorkbased Secretary of State, dreamed on foreign wars even as the civil war started and assumed that as a Northern sophisticate he would be able to manage the untutored Lincoln. Attorney General Edward Bates often disagreed with Lincoln, especially over the constitutionality of the Emancipation Proclamation.

By the end of his life, Lincoln had seen off all rivalries, holding a new mandate from the people, his position utterly vindicated. In addition to knowing when to enlarge on his views, Lincoln had also learned to know when to act and when to pause, and saw on that day that Congress’ not sitting was an ideal opportunity for him: “I think it providential,” he told Cabinet, “that this great rebellion is crushed just as Congress has adjourned and there are none of the disturbing elements of that body to hinder and embarrass us. If we are wise and discreet we shall reanimate the States and get their governments

in successful operation, with order prevailing and the Union re-established before Congress comes together in December.”

Lincoln was always an inclusive manager, never lording it over his subordinates. One is always struck by his ability to let events move, and then suddenly to pounce on a course of action. Stephen Spielberg’s Lincoln (2012), helped by a superb performance by Daniel Day Lewis, shows how unassuming Lincoln could be, how sly and subtle. In the letter to Albert Hodges he also said: “I claim not to have controlled events, but confess plainly that events have controlled me.” He was being disingenuous: he had, in fact, watched events microscopically, kept them under constant examination, and learned to read them. By 1865, he had also come to understand the systems around him as well as any president has ever done: the ebb and flow of sessions which is one of the chief features of American politics was something whose meaning he could easily intuit, and use to his advantage.

What is also striking, reading descriptions of this last Cabinet, is his absolute commitment to wisdom was allied to deliberate speech. The more you get to know Lincoln the more one comes to rebuke oneself for talking too much, or talking too unwisely. In this last meeting, Lincoln was quizzed by Postmaster General Dennison about the then fleeing Confederate leaders: “I suppose, Mr. President, you would not be sorry to have them escape out of the country?”

Lincoln’s reply is reported as having been uttered carefully and deliberately: “Well, I should not be sorry to have them out of the country; but I should be for following them up pretty close, to make sure of their going.” Consider the perfect calibration of that and ask yourself if given a thousand Cabinet meetings you could think of a better response. I certainly couldn’t.


After lunch, an extraordinary incident occurred.

In Sandburg’s telling, a black woman, faint from hunger, arrived after a five mile walk to the White House. Her name was Nancy Bushrod. She was allowed through at the gate, having been asked if she had business with the President, and replying, “Befo’ Gawd, yes.” But as she’d gone towards the entrance, the guard had tried to stop her. Desperate about her predicament, she had darted under the guard’s arm and rushed upstairs creating a commotion near the President’s office door.

She must have made some considerable noise. Afterwards, Bushrod would remember: “All of a sudden, de do’ open, and Mistah Lincoln hissef stood lookin’ at me. I knowed him, fo’ dar wuz a whimsy smile on his blessed face, an’ he wuz a sayin’ deep and so’-like, ‘There is time for all who need me. Let the good woman come in.’

There is time for all who need me. These may be the most remarkable words Lincoln uttered, and they were spoken on the day on his life when time, without his knowing it, had come to be so terribly short.

85 ISSUE 8
William H. Seward (

Yet how true it feels: the best of us make time, continually bend it, put it to use. And again, it feels somehow Christ-like, as if Lincoln was already beginning to intuit his assassination. Lincoln invited Bushrod in and heard her story. She had been a slave with her husband Tom on a plantation near Richmond until the Emancipation Proclamation had given her the opportunity to relocate to Washington. Tom was behind on his pay having joined the Army of the Potomac, leaving Nancy to care for her twin boys and baby girl on nothing. Lincoln heard her out then said: “You are entitled to your soldier-husband’s pay. Come this time tomorrow and the papers will be signed and ready for you.”

It is a story which shows Lincoln insisting on the elasticity of his time to accommodate the situation before him. Many busy people have schedules pre-prepared for them, just as Lincoln had that day, but it will sometimes be necessary to depart from those to engage with the fluidity of experience. Lincoln’s attention to detail is also noteworthy: he notes her urgency, and makes sure her paperwork will be available to her at the first available opportunity.

Lincoln on this occasion had more to say. Nancy is reported to have continued: “I couldn’t open my mouf to tell him how I’se gwne ‘membah him fo’evah for dem words, an’I couldn’t see him kase de tears wuz fallin’.” Lincoln then called her back. “My good woman, perhaps you’ll see many a day when all the food in the house is a single loaf of bread. Even so, give every child a slice and send your children off to school.” With that, according to Bushrod, the President bowed “lak I wuz a natchral bawn lady.”

It was PG Wodehouse who used to write a letter then throw it out of the window, on the assumption that most people are good people who would post it for you; he claimed no letter went astray. Whether that’s apocryphal or not, I think Lincoln was animated by a similar set of assumptions; a desire to

believe in the integrity and decency of the human beings with whom he came into contact. This belief in goodness is found throughout Lincoln’s life.

I have always wondered about the aftermath of this little story, whether Bushrod got her paperwork, and how lonely and strange those papers must have looked the following day given the shock of what happened. I have wondered how she must have felt in the wake of the assassination. I have also wondered what happened to her. I can’t see that anybody thought to write the rest of her story down.


Of course, it wasn’t in Lincoln’s destiny to see that tomorrow – or the broader tomorrow of the nation he had presided over, and steered through the civil war. But his influence has grown, as Tolstoy always predicted it would, writing in 1909: “We are still too near to his greatness, and so can hardly appreciate his divine power; but after a few centuries more our posterity will find him considerably bigger than

we do. His genius is still too strong and too powerful for the common understanding, just as the sun is too hot when its light beams directly on us.”

In 2023, Lincoln and the United States of America are so bound up together as sometimes to seem indistinguishable. He remains the father of the nation; the only viable parallel I can think of is Nelson Mandela in South Africa – a titanic figure, to be sure, but South Africa has yet had to have the sort of global impact and cultural reach which America has had. This arguably makes Lincoln the most important political figure in the world. His very stature also means that he has been claimed by almost every successor, who naturally, in the cut and thrust of politics, want to align themselves with the essential stability of Lincoln’s reputation. As we approach the 2024 election, we seem to be approaching, as Trump prepares for his third presidential run, a situation as divisive as the Buchanan years, which Lincoln inherited: it feels like we need him, or his example, like never before.

But the world is always chaotic, and we always will need Lincoln. There is a rich

Barack Obama using the Lincoln Bible, (

history of Lincoln-referencing among presidents, though the tendency to do so increased substantially during the Reagan administration. Reagan in fact namechecked Lincoln in more than six per cent of his speeches. Many Americans can still cite Ronald Reagan’s 1981 speech: "Yet, there is more left to us of Lincoln than the ceremony, the monument, or even the memory of his greatness as a leader and a man. There are words, words he spoke and that speak in our time or to any time, words from the mind that sought wisdom and the heart that loved justice."

It is this after all which keeps Lincoln vivid: his turn of phrase. Among the leaders of the earth only Churchill approaches him as a ‘writer-statesman’ –and it may be that Churchill’s speeches in 1940 surpass Lincoln’s simply because whatever we think of Jefferson Davis, Churchill’s foe was more vivid than Lincoln’s. But Lincoln is a reminder of the fact that if you can be quotable, people will follow you because they will have listened to you.

Follow him they have – not always to their own good. There are still allegations that Bill Clinton used the Lincoln bedroom in the White House during his term as president for fund-raising purposes. Whether he did or not – and the documents make for sometimes uncomfortable reading for Democrats – what was most noteworthy about the scandal was that no one doubted that staying in the Lincoln bedroom might be worth paying for. Staying in the James Buchanan bedroom certainly wouldn’t have had the same caché.

least get the chance to compare yourself immediately to Lincoln.

Of course, as the first black President, Barack Obama had an inherently complex relationship with Lincoln. He could – and did –draw a direct line of causation between Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, and the fact of his administration. The similarity between them was also temperamental – or at least to some extent. Obama was able to use humour, detachment, and eloquence to his advantage, though it must be said that – certainly during his post-presidency – his taste for the high life has made him seem far less connected to the people than Lincoln was.

need to acknowledge Lincoln’s greatness. Even for Trump, Lincoln remains a kind of benchmark.

Of course, all this is partly due to his tragic fate. Lincoln said repeatedly on that last day of his life that he didn’t want to go to the theatre. But he did go, and his life was sadly ended not just by the evil of John Wilkes Booth but due to the laxity of his security guard John Frederick Parker, who wasn’t at his post when the assassin arrived with results we all know.

But a man like Lincoln cannot be defined by his death anymore than a tree is defined by its felling: as Sandburg puts it, you can only measure a tree once it’s down.

Chicago (Benjamin Suter)

Meanwhile, George W. Bush delivered his infamous “Mission Accomplished” speech on – where else? – the aircraft carrier HSS Abraham Lincoln. When the Twin Towers came down on September 11th, many global crises ago, Bush was quick to note that he was now facing the biggest crisis of any president since Abraham Lincoln. Sometimes, it can seem a significant perk of the job that when bad things happen to your country, you at

Turning to the electoral landscape in 2023 and 2024, anyone who wants a preview of how things might go should look, if they can bear it, at a recording of the first presidential debate in 2020 between then challenger Joe Biden and former President Donald J. Trump, where the latter says: "Nobody has done more for the Black community than Donald Trump. And if you look, with the exception of Abraham Lincoln--possible exception, but the exception of Abraham Lincoln - nobody has done what I've done. Criminal justice reform, Obama and Joe didn't do it. I don't even think they tried because they had no chance at doing it."

Trump has traduced all norms – except the

Tolstoy adds: “I doubt also that Lincoln could have done more to prove his greatness than he did. I am convinced we are but instruments in the hands of an unknown power and that we have to follow its bidding to the end. We have a certain apparent independence, according to our moral character, wherein we may benefit our fellows, but in all eternal and universal questions we follow blindly a divine pre¬destination. According to that eternal law the greatest of national heroes had to die, but an immortal glory still shines on his deeds.”

How true that is – and how marvellous that it’s true.

87 ISSUE 8
President Joe Biden, (



The space strikes you so forcibly that you’re already planning your next visit as you arrive. The Design Centre Chelsea has a cathedral-like entrance, opening up onto 125,000 square feet of space. It’s remarkably well-lit –the light flooding in from above the riverside at Imperial Wharf – and feels, above all, like a place to explore. The feeling is like Bond Street on an epic scale, but you sense rightaway from the signage and the layout that it’s navigable: you’re going to have a good time here.

Upstairs, I meet the delightful Claire German in her impressive walnutpanelled executive boardroom. My sense is of someone infectiously kind, and highly impressive. “You have to get up in the morning and feel great, and not dread your work,” she says. “It’s not about money; it’s about enjoyment and getting full satisfaction.”

She seems so absolutely suited to her position that it’s hard to imagine her anywhere else, which in itself makes me curious to know how she got to where she is.

Initially, German worked in publishing, which she obviously loved. “ I graduated in history and politics, and then worked at various publications at The Independent and The Evening Standard, and then I went to Condé Nast, and worked at House and Garden. I found I loved the magazine and the industry: it was that whole aesthetic.”

After a spell at Brides magazine, German returned to edit House and Garden (“that was like coming home”) and you get the impression talking to her that she could happily have stayed there for the rest of her career.

But life often has a way of intruding on our peace, and sometimes in good ways.

“After ten years, this role came up,” she recalls. “I had met Mark Steinberg

and Terence Cole, and had begun producing their biannual magazine. When the MD left, they asked me to take over. I loved where I was, but I decided to consider it. It’s a world I know, and I realised a lot of the things I loved doing with the magazine I’d still get to do here.”

It’s a tale of how journalism can often lead you to other things. Today she

88 Music
(Picture credit: Michael Ochs)

presides over the only design collective of its kind in Europe. “There are 120 permanent showrooms, and within those showrooms there are 600 of the top international brands,” she explains. The centre also needs to be distinguished from its equivalents in the US. “What I like to nurture here is a sense of community,” she continues. “For the UK, and even the European industry, we’re seen as the mother ship. If there’s a product launch, or something exciting – an event which brings everyone together – it happens here.”

You get the sense that German has succeeded due to astonishing attention to detail. “When we have a contemporary craft fair like Artefact in May, when 19 galleries will be exhibiting, they’re still very curated. Everything has to be the best, and sit together well, without any jarring

– and that expectation rolls out to everything.”

decided to uproot and come here. That speaks volumes. They’ve always had their independence there, but now they want to be here, as they want to be in the hub of it.”

But what really sets the place apart is the community ethos. “Most design centres have an ordinary landlord and tenant relationship,” German continues. “They arrive, and they‘re given the keys. The design centres in America will do one or two events a year, maybe. This is different; it’s a labyrinth of support.”

German gives me an example. “Osborne and Little have been on the King’s Road for 50 years and have

The fact that the place is a hub means that collaboration often happens. “We’re good at playing Cupid. For example, we’ve got a wonderful outdoor furniture company called Summit, and also Jennifer Manners who’s a great rug designer. Jennifer arrived a couple of years ago and she’s now doing a bespoke range for Summit. The great thing about being here is there’s this opportunity to create, converse and connect on a daily basis. You’re not on a High Street on your own, maybe feeling a bit isolated. There’s a network.”

This opens up onto another important point: the essential generosity of the creative industries. German explains:

89 ISSUE 8

“Creative people celebrate other creative people and respect their work. It’s a close-knit, professional and friendly industry – although of course, like all industries, it can also be competitive.”

This ethos has led to perhaps her greatest achievement to date, the creation of WOW!house. This was something which German had long wanted to do and which she produced, to exceptional industry feedback, for the first time in 2022. The idea was to give interior designers a blank canvas to create the most beautiful room possible “and not have to react to a client’s brief.”

German recalls the scale of the challenge: “I announced it and didn’t realise I’d taken on such a huge job! I have the most fantastic team so we all worked together and pulled it off. We also produced the occasion together with Centrepoint, and made sure homeless youths could come along and learn about what career opportunities the industry can offer them. I’ve been

thrilled with the reception it’s had.”

So what’s next for The Chelsea Design Centre? “Artefact is coming up on 9th May, and then beyond that we have Wow!House again, which lasts for a month. Formed with Future Heritage is also a very important event for us later in the year where we seek to give young people the platform to launch their careers.”

But German’s ambitions are far greater than simply fulfilling her demanding calendar year. “Art is an area which we want to develop and expand,” she says, pointing to a potential gap with the demise of Masterpiece London. “I think we can then look at other topics. We could be doing something on kitchens, and something on bathrooms. When we did supplements on these things for the magazine it was always a good circulation driver. We also want to look at the superyacht industry and private aviation.”

Would she consider expanding internationally? “The idea of Wow!house is to take it to new

markets. But I wouldn’t do a Design Centre Paris as it’s too close and it would cannibalise. If the French designers want to do a good comprehensive sourcing, it’s easier to come on the Eurostar than to navigate Paris. They put their staff up at the Chelsea Harbour Hotel and they run around like locusts. I’d also be interested to take Wow!house to Dubai. There’d be a lot of interest there and I think it would be very well received.”

As you listen to her say those words, you’re left in no doubt that she will: she clearly has the appetite and ability for the task. Her advice to young people is straightforward: “What’s great about this job is the world is your oyster and if you’ve got the strategy and enthusiasm, then just give it a go.”

She’s right about that – and about a lot of other things. I leave inspired, plotting my return.

Artefact is at Design Centre Chelsea from 9th May 2023. Wow!House runs from 5th June-6th July 2023.

91 ISSUE 8




London is full of fine views; the view from Primrose Hill looking back over the river; the view from the South Bank, where church spires still vie with skyscrapers. But to get the really good views – the ones which can inspire you to the next thing – perhaps you need to go to the skyscrapers themselves. I am standing on one of the top floors of Wardian in a beautiful apartment with triple aspect views.

It is an image of the enormity of London. As Peter Ackroyd has pointed out, London isn’t always a beautiful city – but it is a grand one, meaning it can be large enough to accommodate opposites. It can be ugly and beautiful; consoling and abrasive; rapid and calm; strange and familiar. It can astonish you just when you thought you were coming to understand it. From up here, you can see the unexpected twists and turns of the river (and I thought I was indecisive) from one side; the marshlands which lead toward the Thames Barrier on the other; and, finally, the hills of Kent rolling down towards the Channel. It’s a view you might want to wake up to everyday. Fortunately, that’s possible. Wardian is the work of Ecoworld Ballymore, and it’s a reminder of the ability of excellent design and imagination to create inspiring living spaces. Eloise Solari, head of sales at Wardian, tells me: “The vision behind Wardian is to create a tranquil haven in the heart of the city – this ethos appeals to buyers of all demographics and walks of life. From students and recent graduates making the first move away from home, to finance professionals and corporates based in Canary Wharf, and business travellers seeking a pied-à-terre, Wardian offers everyone a serene escape

from the hustle-and-bustle of life in the capital, and somewhere really special to call home.”

Canary Wharf itself has its undeniable appeal. In a way, it represented the Manhattanisation of this part of London, and for me, having always loved New York, that’s no bad thing. Emerging out of the Jubilee Line to One Canada Square, I am struck, as so often, by its cleanliness, and by a feeling of safety. “Canary Wharf is actually

Wardian too. That’s true both within the building and without. Walking the premises, I see a state-of-the-art gym inside Wardian which I imagine must be a good place to network, and a cinema – also within the building – which I’m also told is the birthplace of many a friendship. As is widely known, many of the major banks have their offices here – the skyline is a sort of ‘Who’s Who’ of the financial industry, with Citi, HSBC and Lloyd’s all prominent.

one of the safest neighbourhoods in London in terms of crime rate,” Solari says. “Wardian residents and locals have often commented on how safe they feel walking around the area, especially at night – and safety is certainly an important factor we all consider when buying a new home.” When I speak to one of the residents, a UHNW who moved here from Dubai, he explains why he loves the area: “I can wear my Rolex here!”

Of course, to say a place is safe is not to say it’s lifeless – and a distinctive community has grown up around

It’s also an ideal location for a young student to live. “Wardian is exceptionally well-connected, with a plethora of leading education establishments within easy reach, including 75 Ofsted-rated outstanding institutions within three miles,” explains Solari. “London has 119 major universities and higher education establishments, with King’s College London Guy’s Campus just a nineminute tube trip away, London School of Commerce accessible in ten minutes, University of Greenwich in 11 minutes, South Bank and Queen Mary both in 17 minutes, UCL in 23 minutes and


LSE in 24 minutes.”

That makes it especially handy for young people, and Wardian also has bookable meetings rooms for those in need of some quiet time for study. But once you’ve done your work, there’s plenty to do here too. Solari continues: “Canary Wharf’s connectivity makes it easy to get to whichever educational establishment you choose, as well as having its own identity as a vibrant, exciting neighbourhood for the perfect student lifestyle.”

I’ve always loved the approach to Canary Wharf on the DLR line, and now you can also enjoy the approach on the fabulously state-of-the-art Elizabeth Line too. Arriving from the north-west approach, the bother and complexity of the city seems to recede a little. That complicated old London with its marvellous network of streets according to a Roman plan becomes something altogether different: a vision of the future told in height, squared off green spaces, and desirable malls. As you leave the old part of the city, the spire of the old Hawksmoor church, St Anne’s Limehouse seems to wave the past goodbye, and welcome you to your future.

But that’s not your only option in terms of getting around. Solari gives a good description of the sheer range of transport options: “We’re seeing many buyers from West and South West London as a result, attracted by easy access to the Jubilee Line (six minutes to London Bridge), as well as the DLR (25 minutes to City Airport), and the arrival of the Elizabeth Line has opened more doors, with Liverpool Street accessible in ten minutes, Paddington in 20 minutes and Heathrow in an hour. And you can even eliminate traffic and busy trains by getting the Uber by Thames Clipper, with regular boats departing from Canary Wharf Pier and offering a serene river cruise experience.”

Curious to know more about that, I take the Uber by Thames Clipper boat from Canary Wharf back towards the City. I remember meeting once a Baker & McKenzie partner, who lived in Canary Wharf but worked in Blackfriars, and was plainly delighted by his early morning commute, seeming to glow with good cheer at the fundamental choice he had made: to live in Canary Wharf and to work upriver.

As the boat pulls out I recall him with a degree of envy. I note the sun large in the sky, and its glorious sparkle on the water. I photograph it and make a mental note to sketch it later.

The surprise is how swiftly the boat rounds the first corner towards Wapping, and then, how quickly you can be in so many premium locations: London Bridge, Blackfriars, Westminster and beyond. The resident of Wardian could enjoy a night out at the theatre bookended by boat rides.

This makes me curious about Uber by Thames Clipper, the company which

runs the boats. I speak to Sean Collins, the CEO and co-founder of the company, who recalls its origins: “The basis of establishing Uber by Thames Clipper in 1999 was predominantly to provide a link between the north and the south of the river, spanning the west end to Canary Wharf with the redevelopment of Docklands, south and east London districts, due to the limited public transport infrastructure in place at the time.”

Interestingly, the amount of footfall related to commuting turns out to be less than I might have expected. Collins explains: “The business operates seven days a week, therefore leisure and tourism form a greater proportion of our operating period versus commuting. Post-pandemic commuting represents around 30 per cent of our overall footfall.”

To whizz round the bends of the Thames from Canary Wharf to central London is also to connect with an important part of London’s history. “The river played a significant part in establishing London and through the centuries it hasn’t been uncommon for the river to peak and dip its uses as evolution of other transport modes and accessibility has developed,” explains Collins. So what is the current trendline in relation to that? “I believe that London is currently going through another significant change in that evolution and that the river will play more of a part in the future for both passenger and light freight logistics.”

Of course, this has all been an astonishingly quick success story, and part of the pleasure of living at Wardian is to be harnessed to an energy of rapid creativity and success. I speak with Baron Levene of Portsoken, who among many other important roles - in

Baron Levene
95 ISSUE 8

government (as an advisor to Michael Heseltine, and to Prime Minister John Major) and business (as chairman of Lloyd’s of London), was chief executive of Canary Wharf Ltd. “I very much had a front row seat on the development of Canary Wharf,” he tells me. “It was a very important development. When I went there, there were about 5,000 people working there, when I left there were about 10,000 people today there are 120,000.”

That’s a rapid expansion indeed. So why are people moving there in such droves? Levene explains: “People like living there as it’s a good area. It’s only ten minutes on the DLR into the City. The retail side of Canary Wharf was just put in as a convenience and has now become a huge part of the value of the development, whereby the rents in some areas are more expensive for shops than for office space.”

So how did Levene transform the area?

“I went round to see the people who ran the businesses there, whether they were in an office or retail environment. I said to them: ‘What’s wrong with this place? Why does everyone hate it?’ They said: ‘It’s because you can’t get here. The transport links don’t work. Docklands Light Railway doesn’t work; the Limehouse link tunnel isn’t open, and there’s nowhere for people to go and do their shopping, and it’s unreliable’.”

But when Levene looked into the matter, he found that actually things were rather better than people were saying. “I went back to look at it,” he continues. “By then, we’d managed to fix the DLR; the Jubilee line was getting on course; and the shops were starting to fill up. I went back to the people who’d been complaining about the transport links, and I said: ‘When did you last go on a train?’”

Often, of course, they hadn’t. It’s an image of how rapidly a city can change –and of how things in London are often better than we might imagine. What then became important was to communicate the real situation for people who were going there – or thinking of going there. Levene recalls: “So I phoned up the chairmen of large companies and they’d say: “Where is Canary Wharf?” Eventually, I persuaded them. When they arrived, the same thing happened with each person: they’d turn up about half an hour early. I’d say: ‘You’re nice and early’. And they’d reply: “My secretary told me it would take an hour and a half, and actually it took 25 minutes.”


This in turn led to another realisation: “We realised one of the keys to getting people in there was to get to the secretaries. We then took out advertising space on the side of the tube tunnels, saying: ‘How long will it take for you to get from here to Canary Wharf? How many clothing shops are there? How many restaurants? If you know the answer, fill out this card and if you get it right we’ll give you a voucher’. That was a terrific success.”

Things were beginning to come good. Then Levene had another idea: “We realised that if people wanted to get down there, it would be by taxi. So we had a huge party for all the taxi drivers. And now, whenever people wanted to

go there, the taxi drivers would say: “Oh, Canary Wharf is amazing!”

It was an astonishing turnaround. Collins recalls the period well – it was an inspiration to him. “Canary Wharf played a significant part as a proof of concept of a derelict brown field site when it came to building Uber by Thames Clipper. Canary Wharf not only provides direct custom to and from the Wharf, but as a result of the residential property demand and the need for people to live within a relatively close proximity of Canary Wharf, there is an indirect benefit as well. I would therefore estimate that Canary Wharf represents around 15 per cent of our custom.”

That’s a significant number when you think of all the other landmarks at which the boats stop. So how does Collins think Canary Wharf is changing as a destination, and a place of work?

“From a workplace perspective, I feel that Canary Wharf has pretty much topped out now, but it is still significantly growing from a residential perspective,” Collins explains. “We therefore continue to see increased footfall and, in fact, a growing demand for leisure at the weekends.”

All this only increases the desirability of Wardian as a residential option. As I tour round, I note with envy the marvellous playground, which I imagine would have been absolutely indispensable for young families during lockdown.

Solari explains: “Wardian is home to many families, and our provision of amenities caters for children, students, and professionals – the podium garden offers a safe and secure play area for little ones, and Wardian is pet-friendly too. The jewel in the crown is The Observatory, the 53rd floor sky lounge –


residents can use this to work, socialise, entertain and relax, with panoramic views of London as their backdrop. Collectively known as ‘The Wardian Club’, the amenities are exclusive to residents and their guests.”

Having been here I can testify to the desirability of The Observatory; it must be one of the finest rooms in London, with panoramic and inspiring views of the city, a place as suited to creativity as it is to relaxation. Many will also love the building’s green aesthetic, which is beautifully realised both in the lobby areas, and in the rooms. I note with delight that somebody has managed to source second-hand books with green spines for the show apartments. Solari tells me: “The inspiration behind

Wardian is biophilia, and a distinct ethos of bringing the ‘outside-in’ to incorporate nature into living spaces. From the name Wardian, which takes inspiration from Dr Nathaniel Bagshaw who first transported exotic flora across the globe in an innovative ‘Wardian case’, the scheme has been designed to create a tranquil, restorative space where you can escape the urban density of London. Over 100 species of plants, flowers and trees are on display in the various communal spaces, as well as large plant enclosures in the Lobby and Observatory; Wardian responds to the increasingly-recognised mental and physical benefits of incorporating greenery into our homes.”

Above all, Wardian is a place which

is both a home to many, and an architectural masterpiece: from the cathedral-like airiness of the lobbies, to the balconies with their panoramic views, and the attention to design detail throughout, by Amos & Amos, there is an essentially horticultural beauty wherever you turn. Finally, there can be few more desirable pools than the one on the ground floor, where I have to restrain myself from taking a dip.

Canary Wharf itself is an astonishing success story, which opens up onto an important chapter in our recent history. But it is also clearly part of our future too – and the ideal place in which to create the next chapter of your own story.

97 ISSUE 8



Very often mentoring can deal with minutiae – the creation of a LinkedIn profile, the process of CV-writing, and all the small steps which, taken together, move a job hunter into the category of employee. These things are very important, of course, but they can seem to be a long way from the daily drama of news headlines. But everything we do in this life has a historical context; we can’t escape history even if we’d sometimes like to.

This truth was brought home to us at Finito by the arrival on our bursary scheme of Ukrainian refugee Valeria Mitureva. Valeria grew up in eastern Ukraine and says of her upbringing: “I grew up as a curious child. From early childhood I was interested in books, other countries and cultures. At school everything was interesting, so in my youth I was faced with the fact that it is very difficult to choose one thing and move in that direction.”

Valeria’s instinct was towards broad enquiry and international travel, and in ways which she couldn’t then predict, these wishes would indeed be granted. But initially, she decided that it would be better to specialise. “I decided to enrol in a technical specialty at the university – technical information security systems,” she recalls. Characteristically, she didn’t leave it there. “I additionally studied French and English in my free time,” she recalls. This latter decision would

prove useful, again in ways she couldn’t have imagined at the time.

So what happened after university? “I accidentally got into IT in the sales field while finishing my bachelor's degree,” she recalls. “But I was still ready to explore the world and decided to change my career to the design sphere, and I am glad to have been doing it for four years now and I see incredible opportunities for my development,” she says cheerfully.

All this might have proceeded upon the expected track, and Mitureva would have continued her progress towards a design career within Ukraine. But, as the world knows, Vladimir Putin was gearing up for his 2022 illegal invasion of Ukraine – that appalling violation which would upend so many lives, including Valeria’s.

Valeria recalls the terrible ructions which took place a year ago. “I did not plan to move: everything happened very tragically and quickly. A full-scale

Valeria Mitureva

invasion of the Russian Federation into the territory of Ukraine began in February 2022. We call it full-scale, because in 2014 the Russian Federation already occupied part of the Eastern region of Ukraine, where I grew up, and where my home is. Therefore, for my family, this is already the second war.”

Valeria was proactive during that terrible spring. “I read about the Homes for Ukraine programme and decided to apply. I contacted my future sponsors (my British family!), packed my suitcase and all that was left of my courage and landed in Heathrow on April 30th.”

It is impossible to imagine her emotions on being forced to leave her homeland and making the leap into the unknown. So what were Valeria’s initial impressions of the UK? “It felt as if it was my second home. The culture is familiar through books, films, music. It’s also a very friendly and open people, with incredible stories – and, of course, I was shocked in a good way by the incredible support of the British people. You have a beautiful country and incredible people.”

When Valeria refers to her British family, she is referring to the family of Amy le Coz, the founder of Digital Media Services, who immediately took to Valeria’s infectious and optimistic spirit. “In those first few weeks when she lived with us, my husband and I were immediately very impressed and delighted with her work ethic and proactive attitude both for her job for her Ukrainian employer, as well as around the house,” Le Coz recalls. “We were both also profoundly moved by all that she had had to endure and at such a young age.”

By good fortune, Le Coz met Finito Education Chief Executive Ronel Lehmann at The Spring Lunch which raises money for Conservative Marginal Seats and Women2Win soon after Valeria’s arrival in the country. Valeria recalls: “My sponsor met Ronel

at the event, who explained to him that they were hosting a Ukrainian woman and he immediately offered his help. I was impressed with the approach, professionalism and, most importantly, the structure of the organisation. Finito has a huge team of mentors with a wide variety of expertise. It was indeed like a guiding light for me at that time.”

Le Coz recalls that Valeria was “buzzing with excitement” upon hearing of the opportunity – and it was certainly one which she took with both hands.

Valeria worked mainly with three mentors: “I worked with Robin Rose, Claire Messer, and Kate King. I’m grateful for their support, ideas and that they let me work it out myself, rather than tell me exactly what to do. Sometimes we would discuss my hobbies – so, for example, Robin gave me links to music events, which was helpful for a person who had just moved to a new country.”

Mentorship is sometimes really a kind of friendship. But the pair also got down to work.

Initially, Rose held two Zoom meetings in order to get himself up-to-speed on Valeria’s situation, and began to carve out a plan. “We needed a workable strategy to find her a role in web or

graphic design at a level which matched her experience and which would provide sufficient income for her to fund an independent lifestyle,” he recalls. But there were initial headwinds, partly due to the uniqueness of Valeria’s situation. “Valeria had had a good education and relevant training throughout her career in Ukraine. She is personable and speaks good English,” Rose continues. “However, recruiters and HR people were unlikely properly to appreciate her potential from just seeing her CV when evaluating her documentation against other candidates particularly at junior or entry level. She had sent off over 50 applications and had had just one video interview.”

Rose looked hard at the situation, and made the following assessment: “This shotgun approach was unlikely to return any result for the time invested and continuous rejection was likely to sap her confidence even further.” Rose saw that the starter salary jobs in the sector – typically around £20,000 per annum - weren’t a fair reflection of Valeria’s experience in Ukraine: “I felt that Valeria was, in reality, better experienced and should have been competing for jobs in the £3040K bracket. She had, however, an understandable confidence issue with this approach.”

Dr Selva Pankaj

This meant that Valeria needed confidence training: “She needed to reestablish her belief in her own abilities. We needed to set up exploratory meetings with people working in the industry so that she could see how she would be of value. I thought that this activity in itself might lead to opportunities.” Rose also suggested that the pair conduct web research to identify at least four organisations she’d like to work with.

In time, Rose worked closely with Valeria to make more targeted approaches, and provided her with a list of London-based creative agencies. Meanwhile, Valeria was also paired with another Finito mentor Claire Messer, who worked with her in August 2022, casting an experienced eye over her CV.

Messer says: “I explained to Valeria that recruiters look at CVs for an average of six seconds, and so it was important to make sure we had complete clarification over what kind of visa Valeria had obtained, right down to the number of hours a week which she was able to work. I also worked on clarifying the CV, and making sure that her work experience was tailored to the companies she was applying to.”

Valeria was beginning to realise that she didn’t want to work for a large company but for a smaller graphic design or creative agency. Claire explained to Valeria the valued of LinkedIn Premium, and showed her mentee how direct messaging of creative agency owners might be to her advantage: “I suggested that messaging owners and CEOs might have traction,” Messer recalls. “This is because some smaller agencies tend not to use recruitment companies as the fees are too high for them. I told Valeria they tend to work by word-ofmouth referrals.”

In time, Valeria was put in contact with another Finito mentor Kate King, and this led to her first interview. “She felt

that the interview went well but that the actual role was outside her technical skill,” King recalls: “It was a great practice interview and helped her to increase her confidence.”


Her confidence had in fact been transformed and Valeria was then wellprepared when she had the interview with the design studio where she now works, as she had hoped she would: “I'm currently working as a graphic designer at a company called Spark,” she tells us. “I mostly do packaging design but also I do some motion graphics and am learning to use new software as well.”

Most of all, she feels part of a team. “I am participating in design studio brainstorms and I learn from my experienced colleagues how to deal with nontypical issues. I am happy to have the opportunity to be involved in most of the projects the studio creates. I simply love what I’m doing now as there are a lot of training opportunities and a lot of challenges."

So how does Valeria see her future now? “The main task is to keep enjoying my job and do everything possible for it. I want to be a worthy professional and to be proud of my projects. For now I'm concentrating on feeling more confident in my role in the UK, studying the culture, the people and concentrating on developing as a designer.”

For Ronel Lehmann, Chief Executive of Finito Education, this has been an important mandate: “I myself finally got to meet Valeria in person at a Women2Win Business Club dinner in Fenwick of Bond Street. The guest speakers were Gillian Keegan MP, who

was at the time Minister for Care and Mental Health and Virginia Crosbie MP. It was particularly apt to be able to listen to two Parliamentarians speak about overcoming adversity. I felt that it resonated with Valeria who is simply inspirational”.

The support which our bursary scheme has given to Valeria would have been impossible without the generosity of one donor in particular.

We would like to thank Dr Selva Pankaj, the CEO of Regent Group, who says: “As CEO of a UK education group, I fully appreciate how difficult it can be to take those first steps onto the career ladder, especially in the volatile landscape during and after the pandemic. Hopefully, by supporting this initiative, we can help more individuals find the path that is right for them.”

That’s certainly the case with Valeria, who now has a bright future ahead of her. We will continue to help her in her career journey and report back in these pages on any developments.


Wendy Keith Designs

Wendy Keith Designs specialise in unique totally handknitted Shooting Stockings and Kilt Hose. With an instinctive and deep love of the countryside, Wendy has combined her flair for design and her commercial experience to become a market leader in the production of bespoke hand-knitted shooting stockings, accessories and kilt-hose. With a choice of yarns such as Baby Alpaca, Possum/Merino from New Zealand, Extra Fine Merino from Australia and wool/mix (machine wash).

Spearheading a large and very talented team of expert four needle hand-knitters, all working from within the boundaries of Great Britain, Wendy Keith Designs produce knitwear of the very highest quality.

Her designs are to be found in the most prestigious shooting outlets and boutiques across the world.

In 2004 Wendy was awarded the Royal Warrant to HRH

The Prince of Wales (as was) as Designers and Makers of Shooting and Kilt Hosiery.

Wendy Keith Designs specialises in unique totally hand-knitted Shooting Stockings and Kilt Hose.

103 ISSUE 8
Suffree Farm, Probus, Nr. Truro, Cornwall, TR2 4HL U.K.



It might be that in our society, we are coming to the end of taboo: the Internet appears to create a world of contentious voices where everything is permissible because everything is discussed. The conversation is rapid –helter-skelter. But in all the excitement, there is a taboo we seem to have forgotten: that of old age and death.

Of course, this isn’t quite true. From Alzheimer’s research to Judi Dench in Iris, to regular performances of King Lear, it can’t be said that we have entirely shut out discussion of what ending-up shall look like for us. But it must be said that death is at odds with our bright and telegenic world of high-speed connectivity. We have our care homes but prefer not to think about them; and wouldn’t a part of you prefer Midsummer Night’s Dream to Lear? Nobody dies.

For great philanthropist and businessman Laurence Geller, Loveday Homes then is a business which has almost the flavour of a good polemic: shouldn’t we be thinking about our elderly people more? The answer from Geller has always been a resounding yes, and the success of his business makes it clear that others agree.

So did he found Loveday? Geller tells me about his father, who was also a noted musician. “It’s a sad story, but my dad as he went through his life became a functioning alcoholic; it drove me nuts. He lived in Las Vegas with my mother and I was in Chicago. In the last few years of their lives, once a month I’d go there in the morning, have lunch, stay for supper and take the Red-eye back. It was the same routine every month; we’d go to this awful Italian restaurant he liked and we’d have lunch.”

But over time, Geller couldn’t ignore his father’s decline. “I’d seen him getting more forgetful and more vague, and we were at lunch carrying out the usual routine, and

Harold the head waiter said: “What would you like today? My father said: “A glass of that white stuff. ” I said: “Wine?” and he said: “Yeah, the white stuff.” I realised I had a continuing problem, and we had to manage his decline.”

The next few years were extremely tough as the decline continued. “When he was dying the only way I could communicate him with was by reminding him of people who’d played in his orchestras 50 years before. He didn’t think I could be his son; I was far too old.”

When Geller’s mother began her own decline, and with much philanthropic experience behind him in both Israel and the United States, Geller began to look at what needed to be done in our society when it came to old age. “I interviewed The Alzheimer’s Association, and discovered they just wanted my money. The people in the UK said they wanted my help but really wanted my money-raising ability. I had successful raised a lot of money for the University of London before.”

Gradually the penny began to drop; there was a real gap here. Geller continues: “I

realised the primitive nature of dementia care in general in this country in particular. I got into it out of a naïve desire to help, a willingness to put my money where my mouth is, and a realisation that the world of dementia was the kingdom of the blind, and that if you had one eye you’d be bound to be king.”

Geller isn’t exaggerating then when he calls it a pioneering journey. What seems to have propelled him on it, is not just compassion but a kind of hearty contempt for death, and especially dementia. I quote Iris Murdoch’s description of Alzheimer’s as ‘sailing into the dark’ but he doesn’t consider it quite adequate. “It’s not just sailing into the dark, it’s sailing into the dark knowing you’re going into the abyss.”

Then he thinks a little and adds another qualification: “It’s not as clear-cut as anyone thinks. There is a decreasing power and then moments of incredible lucidity. And then you get this frustration, because you realise you’re imprisoned in your own brain.”

Thus far, Geller had the intention to make a difference, but it remained to be seen precisely how the project would work. He


brought to the task exceptional experience in real estate having founded assisted living homes in the US. He also had the expertise of his son at his disposal, who had built himself a big reputation turning around the UK arm of Sunrise financially. In time, Geller took on dementia research for Alzheimer’s Society. He recalls how this deepened his awareness of the problem, and gave him valuable knowledge: “I saw this unfilled demand for care in London. I said: ‘How can we do this? If we built luxury properties could we get enough fees to break through?’”

This involved a new ethos and new approach to staff ratios. It needed to be trialled, and so Geller leased some property on the King’s Road, knowing that he was on his own until he could prove the idea. “We made every mistake,” he recalls. “We budgeted two years to fill up, but ended up filling up in six months. I saw there was a chance to build a brand; and I know how to do that.” This initial success gave him confidence: “I decided to full ball and go back to my big capitalraising days and raise shed loads of money and take giant risks. We did it. We bought a property off the Abbey Road, and an option on the property in Kensington and by the time I did that, I had £125 million worth of projects. Today with all the projects underway and the capitalisation of the operating company we probably have about £250 million of investors’ money invested in this.”

Geller pauses – a dramatic pause. “That’s the business story,” he laughs. “But it’s not the real story.”

So then what’s that? “When we opened the second property, I knew we were doing things right. By that point we’d gone through Covid-19, and I asked the team how many of the first cohort were still alive, and if so what was their assessment. They came back with astonishing figures: “Five were still alive and that among those none had been originally assessed by their doctor as being expected to live more than 15 months.”

So why was that? Geller smiles: “We’ll we’ve done our research and we think we know the answer: they’re having a good time and they don’t want to die!”

So what kind of a good time are they having? Geller explains: “They’re having social interaction, they’re having physical and mental stimulation, and they’re wellnourished because all our food is devised by nutritionists to be to the standard of one Michelin star. We also, as best we can, get them off psychotropic drugs so they don’t die slowly and quietly on morphine.”

Another distinctive aspect of the care at Loveday is the staffing ratio: “The industry standard is one carer to every seven to nine people; our approach is one to every two. As a result of all this families are getting their lives back.”

Though you get the impression that Geller is very different to his father, he sees similarities too. “My father was a musician. His job was to make people happy – that’s my job too. When my father conducted orchestras, he’d say: ‘That was really good, but we’re not interested in that – we’re interested in great. We want to go above and beyond and that’s what we do. Our underlying ethos is to offer care beyond compare.”

It all opens up onto the question of how we view our elderly. “These people are not old people; these are who people who have given to our society and created the society we live in. They can’t be shunted aside,

they can’t be locked away, or patronised. I remind everyone we’re just one step away from them – so do unto others.”

It’s a compelling argument and could only be made by a remarkable man with a firm grasp of the issue. “I hate dementia, I hate death, and I fight both to my last breath and my last penny. I am the largest philanthropist in dementia which is a sad indictment but I’m going to keep doing it. Love life!” And with that, he’s gone.

Laurence Geller CBE


Ihave been travelling to Kenya since 1958, and I have found it to be my favourite country of all out of the 150 I have visited so far. Kenya has sensational sceneryfrom mountains, to lakes, to plains and beaches, it truly has it all. On top of the scenery, the hospitality of Kenyans is legendary to the point that I feel entirely at home there. I have worked with mostly the same people throughout my visits to hotels, game lodges, and island camps, and we have worked together for so many years now that I can honestly call them my friends.

I have taken royal tours to Kenya, I’ve visited the Lord’s Taverners cricket, and I’ve taken part in both a golf and a cabaret tour to raise funds for local charities. The overarching theme from my many trips to Kenya is that people always want to go back.

In November of 2021 I made good on a promise to Martin Dunford who serves as Chairman of the ever-successful Tamarind Group to bring my friend, former England and Bath rugby player Victor Ubogu, to Kenya. I agreed to do this because they allow me to support charities, and now many friends in Kenya have allowed me to donate a Fred Finn Kenya Experience to worthy charities. Over the course of 40 years, we have raised millions of pounds in charity funds. When Kenya had little foreign exchange, I was able to get reader offers in double page spreads in

national magazines and fashion photo shoots for national clothing brands, all of which raised funds for my friends who owned destination venues in Kenya. I also support Victor and his Legends of Rugby dinner for around 1000 people at the Grosvenor House Hotel. Their charity is Nordoff-Robins, whose use music therapy developed for children with psychological, physical, or developmental disabilities. My close connection with these ventures means that I know that all funds go towards supporting Kenya.

It's about tourism, and it's about conservation. All of Martin Dunford’s managers are Kenyan, and the CEO of Tamarind Group started as a waiter at the Carnivore restaurant and worked his way up. The important thing is that they are training people for business and for life. What’s happened in Kenya to a very large extent reflects what Finito are trying to do, and they're very good at it. I find it interesting that I can go to a Kenyan hotel and find that the guy behind the desk can speak five or six languages, which is more languages than I can speak. They can do that because they're trained well, and Kenyans are super nice people. It’s my favourite country in the whole of the world, and I don't think there's another country like Kenya. It has lakes, rivers, game areas, fantastic beaches, islands, fishing, camera hunting, game parks, cities, five-star hotels, and a fantastic climate. You can drive by the starlight there.

There’s no pollution when you’re up in the highlands, so I’ve been able to drive along the road at night with no headlights on, and when the moon is out it’s like daylight. The bird life there is second to none, and you can see the yearly Great Migration of wildebeest if you visit Maasai Mara National Reserve.

There, about four million animals move from Kenya to Tanzania every year across the Mara River because they go there to graze, and the crocodiles wait for them as they cross the river. It’s so large that you can see the migration from space.

In the highlands of Kenya you have the Mount Kenya Safari Club, which is a luxury hotel. It has bowling greens and tennis, so not very much to do with safari in actuality, and it was founded by the film star William Holden. The Tsavo Game Park reminds you of the country’s enormous scale. There’s Tsavo West and Tsavo East, and Tsavo East is about the same size as Wales! Where I stay at Satao Camp, you get a fivestar room – it’s a tent, but it’s laid on a base with carpets, a patio, a double bed, electric hurricane lamps, a shower, and hot and cold running water. It’s 300 miles from anywhere, so all the food has to be transported, and it’s all natural and freshly prepared if nothing else. After dinner, they put these big logs on the fire and everybody has what’s called the “sundowner”, or a “Dawa”. Dawa is a


drink of vodka, honey, lime, and ice, and it’s very nice. Dawa is also the Swahili word for medicine!

I played professional cricket for a little while when I was younger, and when I was a Lord’s Taverner I thought that they should have a tour to Kenya and raise money for charities in Kenya that I was fond of. It took a year to put together and I got sponsorship for the players, which meant I raised £100,000 for it. The sponsorship for the players was such that they didn't pay for anything at all, I don't think they even had to buy a drink! I had DAKS Simpson, one of the best tailors in the UK, provide blazers. And then I took their hot air balloon as part of the deal as well, and they had the opportunity to fly it around Mount Kenya. The Cricket

Ground in Nairobi Club is a bit like Canterbury cricket, with marquees all around the ground. We had a cabaret in Nairobi, the cricket was brilliant, and then we went on safari. We had the chance to play cricket up at Nanyuki, which is where Mount Kenya is, on the old polo ground where cricket hadn’t been played since 1920. We played there at 7000 feet with a backdrop of Mount Kenya and snow on the ground. At the evening banquet we had comedians and musicians who would concoct songs based on the crowd giving them letters from the alphabet – that was difficult when they got Kenyan words, but they did it! That two-week trip raised over a million for the Kenyan charities, and everybody wanted to go back again.

I can give away a safari now to a

worthwhile cause, and I often do, called the Fred Finn Kenya Experience. That includes a safari drive, an island camp which is in the Rift Valley, the birthplace of mankind, and a trip to the coast. We always include with that a meal in a cave. There’s a hole in the top of the cave where the moon shines down onto one table, and like I said, the moon is like sunlight there. When I land in Kenya I feel good, and I feel at home. I suffer from COPD, because I used to smoke years ago, but when I get into Kenya the air is clean, it feels good, and people are pleased to see me. I’ve never had anybody go to Kenya on one of my trips who didn’t come back happy. I did have a group about six months ago come back and tell me that I had lied to them. They said, “You told us it was five-star and it wasn’t. It wasn’t five-star, it was better!”

107 ISSUE 8 INTERNATIONAL Satao Camp, ( Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club, (


The lighter side of employability

122 | A TÁRNISHED REPUTATION: What Tár says about our times Cate Blanchett, (
HEIGHTS OF FASHION A Bulletin from Milan
ARMANDO AND THE PANDEMIC Review of the new Lannucci
130 132 136 unplash .com
WREN AT 300 Who were the workers behind St Paul’s?



Iam standing in St Stephen Walbrook with Helen Vigors, Heritage Project Manager with the Diocese of London. She is leading on the educational programme Wren at 300, the series of celebrations which marks the 300th anniversary of Wren’s death.

I have been to this magnificent church before but today, with Helen for company, I am looking at it like I’ve never done before. “One of Wren’s theories was that everybody should see the altar,” Vigors says, pointing to its central position.

“Clear glass is also a feature of Wren,” she continues. “His quote was: ‘You can’t

add beauty to light’. This is a particularly good example of natural light.” Then she gestures at the high windows, which eschew the principle of stained glass. “This whole area is quite compact – you have the Walbrook Club here, and Rothschilds there, and Starbucks and Bloomberg opposite. But the windows are quite high up and so it hasn’t had that theft of light by contemporary London.”

Theft of light: the phrase has an undeniable resonance and sounds like it wants to be a broader metaphor, as if by being so modern we’ve somehow entered a sort of accidental dark ages when it comes to understanding the past which lies

around us.

Wren’s work is so ubiquitous that we struggle to see him. Wren’s contemporary Nicholas Hawksmoor’s popularity, helped by Peter Ackroyd’s novel Hawksmoor (1985), has increased. But with Hawksmoor, there are only six major churches to consider; quite a different proposition to Wren’s 21 (and at one time there were 51 plus St Paul’s Cathedral). The whole question of Christopher Wren can seem almost too big to make time for. Accordingly, we have built our modern life around him, always respecting him but very often ignoring him.

St Andrews, Holborn

Sometimes we’ve done worse than that. In his book-length essay On Beauty, Roger Scruton lists St Paul’s as an example of a building which has been destroyed by the ugliness which surrounds it – the protruding cranes, and the gigantic Norman Foster-ish monstrosities of glass which arguably spoil a once elegant skyline.

When I ask Dr. Michael Paraskos, a Senior Teaching Fellow in the Centre for Languages, Culture and Communication at Imperial College about this, he is in strong agreement: “Roger Scruton is right. The enclosure of Wren’s Monument brings particular shame on the city. But I think there is a much bigger danger in London than just losing sight of Wren’s achievement. We are in danger of losing the city’s unique identity as a whole, which of course Wren helped establish.”

When I ask him for examples, he says: “When you read about companies like Marks & Spencer wanting to trash not only their own history but the city’s by demolishing yet another building on Oxford Street, and a few years ago King’s College wanting to do the same with a great swathe of historic buildings in the Strand, you have to wonder what’s wrong with people.”

As my afternoon with Helen continues, I come into a deeper realisation of how much of a pity this is. We have placed obstacles in the way of understanding one of the undisputed giants of our history – to all our detriment.

We are, for one thing, too busy for him. Paraskos adds: “It’s worth remembering that barely a century ago, people still pulled down Wren churches without too much thought, and now we think of them as vandals. One day we will look on those who do the equivalent today and think the same. It’s a kind of stupidity.”

Wren at 300 is a definitive pushback against this ‘stupidity’, and has many aspects to it: it is educational, historical

and conservationist. I tell Helen that when we experience these buildings, it’s difficult to know what’s Wren and what’s not since the history of destruction is so layered and complex. She agrees: “It’s so difficult to unravel. St Mary Le Bow, for example, is completely rebuilt – but the things which are rebuilt are rebuilt to the Wren design. That church was the highest point in London before St Paul’s and it was really badly bombed.” But we’re not just talking about World War II: “The story of destruction starts with the Great Fire, and then the rebuilding, and then the Church Commissioners in the Victorian era took decisions which led

to reduction in numbers. St Magnus the Martyr was moved with the widening of London Bridge. Then there was the Blitz.”

It is an image of a vulnerable London, where every great achievement is subject to reversal. But perhaps it would be too simplistic to be only despairing about this. It is, after all, as much as to say that these structures exist in the present, and that contemporary skills are still required to keep them going: you can have a career today centred around old buildings.

After a stroll down Queen Victoria Street, we arrive at St Mary Abchurch,

111 ISSUE 8
St Magnus the Martyr

a beautiful building I’ve not been to before, tucked away behind a construction site just off King William Street, and not far from the Monument.

Looking up at the Grinling Gibbons reredos, Helen tells me a bit more about the conservation side of Wren at 300: “The conservation project has two parts to it,” she says. “One is working with Cliveden Conservation Workshop and a number of different experts in different fields. We’re aiming it at the incumbents and staff at churches; we’re seeing how we can equip them in basic conversation techniques. Secondly, we’re doing publicfacing things: we’re working with City and Guilds Art School and building Crafts College to deliver workshops.”

So what are the opportunities in the sector which Wren at 300 is seeking to illuminate? “We have demonstrations of pointing, looking at mortars, and stone-

cutting, and plastering. What we’re trying to do is to encourage all ages, and explain that this is a sector which needs people to see it as a potential career. It’s not the sort of thing sixth formers know about: the diplomas and qualifications and so on.”

There’s also a tech emphasis to Wren at 300: “We’re also going to be looking at innovative techniques in conservation. We’re looking at model-making with drone footage and drone surveys and how you can model the future deterioration of a building.”

The hope is that this focus on sustainability will have a knock-on effect throughout the City churches: “We’re looking at a number of Wren churches and how they can reach carbon net zero,” Helen continues. “We’re working with a private architectural practice Roger Mears, as well as surveyors

and the faculty at Nottingham Trent University. They’ve put sensors in six buildings and they hope to collect data. We want to make an assessment and support incumbents on that process and give them an idea of what’s possible. Heating is another question – whether you heat under person or under pew. We have warm places and cool places schemes. Eventually we’ll give a toolkit to incumbents.”

We continue our walk, passing the London Mithraeum on our right, arriving in time at another Wren church, St Mary Aldermary, which has a thriving café.

This church seems to have hardly anything in common with either of the two churches we’ve just visited. It has, for instance, stained glass which Wren was generally opposed to, and a certain charming wonkiness about the East window and the roof. When I ask Helen about this, she replies: “We think it’s because of the road system outside. Wren worked around problems. Neil McGregor [former Director of the British Museum] talks about how pragmatic Wren was – even when he did St Paul’s he had two designs. One was turned down for being too Italianate. One, which he thought was ugly, was accepted but he was told he could develop it – and he certainly did.”

Another obstacle to understanding Wren is that his work is often so redolent of Italian architecture that one sometimes struggles to discern what in his work was borrowed and what was uniquely his. Helen again stresses his pragmatism: “I think he was certainly influenced by Italian architecture but then he had to deal with the patrons he had here. They weren’t staunchly or puritanically protestant but they had a need for something to be less elaborate which is why you don’t see gold inside. He responded to each parish and each brief he got.”

So just like architects today, he had to be flexible. What is Helens’ sense of

St Mary, Aldermary

Wren as a man? “The fact that he was a courtier is probably central. There’s one lovely love letter to his wife; he was fond of his children but wished they’d been more intelligent than they were. The piece he wrote on his tomb: 'If you want to see the man look around you'– I think that’s revealing. He also got on with six monarchs – he had to sail a clever path. He must have been a master of diplomacy. He sometimes got cross with builders and he wasn’t always happy with how things went. He was really annoyed when his first St Paul’s was turned down.”

Wren, then, doesn’t seem to have drawn particular attention to himself. The image is similar in fact to Shakespeare or Leonardo da Vinci – of someone quietly getting things done, and not being in people’s faces too much. Greatness very often isn’t flashy; it’s about hard work.

We walk next up to St Martin-withinLudgate and there meet Susan Skedd who is leading on the social history aspect of the project, the findings of which already include discoveries about the world of work during Wren’s time. Skedd’s work has already revealed a rich world with a strong flavour of the contemporary. “One of the fascinating things is that we understand how the parish worked as a form of local government,” Skedd begins, her enthusiasm notable as we stand over a 300 year old chair over by the reredos. “They decided who could live there, and who would be kicked out, and these decisions sound contemporary.” It’s a reminder that for some people somewhere, there’s always a ‘cost-of-living’ crisis.

Susan’s research has led her to look closely at the stories of the craft contractors who worked on Wren’s buildings. She’s asking who they were, where they lived and

where they worked. “Masons were more than minor gentry, they were wealthy gentry,” she tells me. “One was William Emmett. He lived in the parish and had his workshop here. That’s our lens – and we’re moving at pace to create those stories.”

This pushes back a bit at the idea of Wren as the archetypal great man – the unique genius who, one might almost

imagine, built the world around us alone, and with his bare hands. Susan laughs: “My easy way out of that idea is to point out that it was a team – it’s very modern. Neil McGregor calls it the ‘Wren system’. What’s extraordinary is the sense of the office and these amazing records which exist in the London Metropolitan Archives. You can see contractors presenting their bills and getting paid, and they’re witnessing each other’s payments.”

113 ISSUE 8
St Martin within Ludgate

This question of teamwork is something which also intrigues Paraskos: “I think it’s a really interesting question for anyone looking at Wren. How do we cope with the idea he was some kind of unique, one-off, genius? I think the answer is that, although he was undoubtedly very talented, none of what he achieved in architecture, or in science, would have been possible without lots of other talented people around him. We tend to know about the big names, like Robert Hooke and Nicholas Hawksmoor of course, but then there are half-forgotten people like Edward Woodroffe, John Oliver and Edward Pearce, all working in Wren’s office, drawing up plans, designing things and negotiating contracts as part of a team.”

So the idea of the individual genius doesn’t quite hold water? Paraskos doesn’t think so: “Genius can be thought of as a kind of collective phenomenon, rather than an individual one. I think that was true in Wren’s architectural office, it was true in his scientific work at Oxford, and

its true for artists and scientists today. I think it is misleading, but it’s also debilitating for people with real talent, to have to face the myth of genius, instead of the fact of co-operation.”

mid-work and it listed all the clients who owed him money, and it’s this astonishing list of 20 or 25 people. These buildings aren’t in isolation; the people working on them are also working in Bloomsbury, Greenwich, and Hampton Court.”

And what about the humbler people who toiled in the profession? “At the lower end of the scale I’ve come across another fascinating detail,” Skedd says. “There were two workmen – we don’t know their names – who were paid for five days to clear one of the sites, which would have included all the rubble and all of the detritus. That helps you understand the pace of work – it was done with real rapidity.”

Vigors adds: “It’s obviously Office of Wren. In that period of 51 churches plus St Paul’s – you sometimes see ‘approved by Wren’. They’re not all by him. If you’ve got Hooke, and Woodruff and Hawksmoor as your right hand men, you don’t need to be involved in every project.” Skedd adds: “He presided over and inspired and could draw on an amazing array of talent.”

It reminds me of Thomas Heatherwick or Frank Gehry with their hundreds of unsung employees: the world doesn’t change as much as we think it does. Skedd makes another point: “One of the other details I’ve come across with John Brace. You see in his inventory mathematical instruments – and you’re reminded that this is a time when science and architecture go hand in hand.”

Another theme is emerging from Skedd’s research: “Wren’s ecosystem was all about the question of 'who you know'. For Wren’s buildings, people worked with people they trusted. You get the same people popping up time and again. And Wren could draw on the very best. People who are building not just in the Royal Palaces but for aristocratic clientele. This morning I was looking at an inventory at the death of a glazier called John Brace. He died

Of course, this is another area where Wren might be relevant in our own time, when it comes to the arguments over the curriculum and whether STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics or STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics) subjects should get greater coverage on the curriculum for primary and secondary school pupils.

Paraskos draws a broad lesson about Wren’s life as both a scientist and artist:

St Sepulchre

“England has always forced people to specialise too soon and go either to science or the arts, and it’s no good for either science or art. When you look at Wren, or any of the great scientists of the past, it’s very rare for them to have no interest in art, or music, or literature. They were more rounded personalities than we seem to recognise. And Wren is the great example of that, using science to solve not only the technical problems of architecture, but as a kind of experimental method to try to understand aesthetic problems.”

It's this which, for Paraskos, gives the Wren churches their flavour. “That’s why you get such a lot of variety in Wren’s churches. Each one is a kind of aesthetic experiment. So, he takes the idea of a dome he sees when he visits Paris, he tests it out at St Mary on the Hill in London, then at St Stephen Walbrook, then at St Mary Aldermary, until he’s finally ready to make the most beautiful dome of them all, at St Paul’s Cathedral. That’s interdisciplinarity in action.”

But for Paraskos it’s unhelpful to try and recruit Wren as a poster boy for the cause of STEAM being added to the curriculum: “This is a loaded question as I can only really give my own view and then try to ascribe it to Wren. I suppose what we can say is that what we see in Wren is someone who believed science is important, and who believed the aesthetics of architecture is important. From that starting point we should perhaps ask ourselves whether the increasing exclusion of the arts and humanities from education also

show a belief that both science and aesthetics are important? I would say no. But the whole debate is based on a fallacy that there is a distinction to be made between different aspects of human behaviour. That somehow, when a scientist is engaging in an experiment they are not being creative, or that an artist painting a picture or composing a complex poetic metre is not being methodical. It shows a lack of understanding of what it is to be human not to see that we are integrated personalities, in which we move between different ways of thinking and acting all the time. I would question whether our education system understands that.”

As we walk out of St-Martin-withinLudgate, I ask Vigors what will come

out of Wren at 300? “We want there to be not only an appeal but a feasibility study about how the buildings are used,” she says, “and how we can get people in through education, research and community engagement. Obviously the congregations are falling but the buildings are here, and they’re an amazing resource.”

They are indeed – and because of Wren’s longevity we’ll be doing it all over again in nine years’ time when it comes to the 400th anniversary of his birth. It’s a reminder that Wren isn’t going anywhere, so we need to engage with him now.

To find out more about Wren at 300 go to:

115 ISSUE 8
St Pauls, London (
116 CARIBBEAN & CENTRAL AMERICA I MEDITERRANEAN & ADRIATIC SEA I TRANSATLANTIC VOYAGES To book, call our cruise experts on 0161 516 5708 | ABTA No.Y6328 A lifestyle like no other, Emerald Cruises’ luxury yacht voyages take you to the heart of spectacular destinations. With just 100 guests on board, Emerald Azzurra and Emerald Sakara o er intimate sailings in world-class surroundings. Looking to enjoy the luxury yacht cruise lifestyle in the Caribbean? LUXURY YACHT CRUISES. CRUISE ONLY FROM JUST £1,999 PER PERSON


It is almost a cliché now to say that the last few years have brought about great change in our society: whether it be work from home; the national drop in productivity; or the acceleration of the technological revolution. These things have all had their impacts, of course, but I think we haven’t really gauged the profundity of the change – and of course, that’s partly because change is very often an individual story.

If I wished to offer a measure of the change I would present you with the story of Antony Ladbrook, who is both an artist and the head of business development and marketing at the litigation funding firm Schneider. His art began at the start of the pandemic, and I’ve become very interested in his progress: there is for a start a confidence of technique emanating out of his training, but also a profound moral dimension, and a sense of an artist finding his stride in and around a demanding job. His work has a weight quite apart from what one sees so often in the art world, which seems to celebrate the just-out-of-art-school and the homogeneity of precocity.

I ask Ladbrook about his upbringing: “I grew up in Wales and I was probably less interested in academia than my folks would have liked,” he recalls.

“My mum was a maths teacher and my Dad was an accountant; I was pushed quite heavily into finance. To be fair to my Dad, finance is a great occupation. After my parents’ marriage broke down I attended a grammar school in North Kent, which was a stark change.”

117 ISSUE 8
Antony Ladbrook in front of one of his pieces of art, Disunion
118 ART

So when did he begin to take art seriously? “I had two art teachers. One of them was very classically-minded and the other was very modern. So one helped me with my technique, and the other was very forward-thinking.” Eventually, after taking some bar jobs in Miami and Monaco, Ladbrook would do a fine art degree at Plymouth University, staying on Exeter campus. “That was great. I met some great artists down there; friends who now have their own galleries and who are doing really well. But I didn’t feel I could make a career out of it.”

So what was Ladbrook working on at that time? “I was already falling in love

with expressionism and Egon Schiele is still my favourite artist. I found the process of creation difficult and fell out of love with painting. My last project was a series of portraits around the Seven Deadly Sins – I wanted to explore the idea of the human being as a receptacle of sin, or the emotions which attend on sin.”

That project would stick with him and, as we shall see, be resumed later. Meanwhile, after university Ladbrook went a different way, forging a career perhaps more in the mould of his father, until taking up his present position at Schneider – a role he obviously loves. But when his daughter was born he began sketching again, and as is so often the case with the artistic impulse which always comes from the back of the brain, he didn’t yet know that he was about to begin again. “My friend Billy Ward, who’s really blossoming as an artist, said he was working on a project and had thought back to my university project – the fact that he said that inspired me to return.”

Return he did, and Ladbrook has now produced a series of works of real beauty. In particular, there’s a fine selfportrait which shows Ladbrook looking off into the distance; people who don’t themselves draw mightn’t know how difficult self-portraits are and how rare it is to produce a good one. There are also fine explorations of the sins, which show Ladbrook boldly divide up the face according to blocks of colour.

So what role did the pandemic play in his development as an artist? “Well, it was good to have some extra time to hand. I was on furlough for a short period of time here because my job is in business development. At the time, the courts weren’t moving things forward very quickly; digital courtrooms weren’t yet set up. So a lot of our loans were being delayed with regards to repayment dates.

His creativity was also born out of adversity. “I had a young daughter and


I had no home, either, because I moved just prior to lockdown, and the house that we were going to move into wasn't ready. And then when we got a survey, we found Japanese knotweed. And so we did everything that we needed to do for finding a new house and finding a new lender. And the new lender said, ‘Well, we're not going to lend you any money because you're on furlough’. So I was up a certain creek without a paddle. And luckily, my sister has a place around in Devon and her tenants had moved out. So she said: “It’s been eight years, and I've done nothing to it. In exchange for you coming down and living there, you can help me do it up. And so we had a whale of time on this place. It

was a bigger job than we thought, and it wasn’t the type of painting I was envisioning during that period. But it was great, because that's a beautiful part of the world. I mean, I'm lucky, right? Because not everyone has a sister with a house that happens to be vacant, but I definitely paid my way.”

But in time, things began to move – his block was removed. “When I started sketching, I started painting and it was all flowing out. It was like 20 years of repressed art just regurgitated onto the sketchbooks.” You can hear the excitement still in his voice – the sense that it was all possible again.

Schneider, whose walls are now adorned with Ladbrook’s art, was founded by Alex Cooke in 2013: it was based on a crucial insight that in high net worth divorce, the financially weaker party often won’t have the funds for litigation to achieve a fair settlement. “Often in those divorces, one side won’t have access to any liquid finance but will be worth a lot on paper,” Ladbrook explains. “Without us they’d have to settle. We saw that it was an area which typical litigation funders wouldn’t be interested in because it’s too small.”

Do the two worlds, of art and litigation funding, ever collide? “Well, we lend to people based on their assets,” Ladbrook explains. “Now art is tricky. People can be clever with provenance, and art’s also quite mobile and therefore difficult to track down, and you can also come up against storage issues. But that said, it’s an interesting area which we’d like to look at in future.”

Ladbrook’s is an energising story, one that makes you realise that what you began a long time ago may come to fruition yet. And that’s part of the joy of looking at his pictures. They make you realise that anything’s possible.

120 ART
121 ISSUE 8 0 12 02 2 9 12 9 5 ww w.b a rk e rlau nd r y c o.u k YOUR STORY. OUR PLEASURE Barker Laundry assists many of the finest homes and leading families, providing one of the best bespoke laundry services in Great Britain. YOUR BESPOKE DOOR TO DOOR LAUNDRY SERVICE 01202 291295 BARKERCOLLECTION.CO.UK


Talent hits a target no one can see. Genius hits a target no one can see.” Something about the film Tár, directed by Todd Field, makes me think more of the second half of Schopenhauer’s maxim; it makes me want to toy with the highest accolades.

When a work of art is truly original, that originality permeates everything and that’s true here. The title, first of all – with the accent on the ‘a’ – snuck into cinemas with a kind of erudite and confident otherness, hints at a sort of must-see strangeness before the lights have even dimmed.

These impressions continue with the opening credits, which are in fact the closing credits: we see the full list of contributors to the film calmly, patiently described for us and rather than being irritating or tedious, somehow this decision, overturning all the conventions of cinema, projects an intriguing selfconfidence.

Perhaps then, this is another thing about genius: not only that it is aiming somewhere we can’t see, but that it knows that’s what it’s doing, but never in too selfsatisfied a way – never, that’s to say, into overconfidence.

What ensues is a film of rare beauty. We meet the star conductor Lydia Tár, who is seen first looking anxious in the wings of a stage, before entering the essentially surreal environment of an onstage New Yorker interview conducted by Adam Gopnik. We are therefore right away in one of those artificial environments of celebration which the media is so skilled

at creating where someone is bolstered, made legendary, construed as ‘great’. It is perhaps the implicit goal of our society to somehow become the protagonist of one of these environments, where we are, by dint of our work, ‘celebrated’. And it is the stated goal of cancel culture to pluck people remorselessly from these positions of apparent safety and irreversible acclaim, to bestow humility on people who to

whatever degree appear to have succeeded. And so we meet Tár, in the spotlit glow of heady achievement. Her achievements seem initially superhuman: she is not just the conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic, the most coveted position in classical music, she is also a composer in her own right.

This opening scene is masterful: we get


to know much about Tár, her backstory training under Leonard Bernstein, her attempts to emulate and perhaps surpass him in conducting the cycle of nine Mahler symphonies (reserving the fifth until last), and we get to enjoy her eloquence, her supreme self-confidence, and to guess at the quiddity of her genius, all while feeling it is somehow offkey, that she is being overpraised, overly pandered to, and that the environment is somehow not good for her.

What follows shows the human being behind the personage which the media is creating and bit by bit we get to know Tár without for a moment doubting that she was deserving of something like the approbation which she has achieved. And we wouldn’t get to know Tár at all were it not for Cate Blanchett whose performance is a thing of genius in itself. It is in this which film reveals itself as a collective art – perhaps the greatest expression of community since the cathedrals were built. To refer to this as Field’s film is to disregard all the other contributions.

Blanchett swims through the refined milieu of classical music, in marvellous baggy suits – dapper and immaculate, but the cuffs free enough to allow her hands the dexterity of swooping down to play a piano. Her character is patiently delineated, and always played with the consciousness of having a huge amount of screen time. But it has a common thread: Tár always prioritises music above people, and what the film shows is that you can’t do this endlessly without ramifications. In others words, Blanchett’s performance is both solid in terms of establishing Tár but responsive, in that it shows her development. Her character enters over time into difficulties, and as in Shakespearean tragedy these seem to arrive from without (initially without her sensing their existence, let alone how far advanced they are), while having been caused by flaws perpetrated by the character from within. Most of what will afflict Tár is already in motion before the

beginning of the film.

Tár’s ‘downfall’ is to do with two sins. Firstly, lust. Without wishing to give anything away, she has a tendency to become besotted by female members of her orchestra. She is married to her first violinist, Sharon Goodnow, played by Nina Hoss, but all her human relationships are secondary to her ego – her relationships are, in the words of Goodnow, ‘transactional’.

It is a terrible indictment, and the penalty is terrible too: it is to discover in the end that all one’s achievements may turn out to be hollow, if we do not set aside the time to nurture human relationships while we carry them out. This mistake is the more easily made because work can be addictive, and once this addiction is ratified by repeated approval, it can become more so.

The film shows us the classical music world as a workplace with unparalleled intricacy. We glimpse the politics of orchestras – the favouritism which can alter the path of a career, positively or negatively. We also see Tár hiring and firing, always eventually to her detriment.

What emerges is a highly moral film. Tár fails to realise that her elevated position was never her sole doing, but contingent on others – more so, on people she feels to be her inferiors. There is no plaudit which comes your way in life without others having to cooperate with you. Even a solitary profession like that of a poet or writer requires publishers, public relations people, editors, book designers and a whole raft of people to come in behind the idea of your genius. Very occasionally, somebody – like JD Salinger – decides against these structures, and gets noticed for doing that.

Even more occasionally, someone like Blake gets denied any serious interest during their lifetimes only to be rewarded after their death by a recognition that would have surprised their living selves. But in general you have to work with people, and to bring them along with you. Shakespeare, to the extent that we can

fathom his personality at this distance of time, seems to have been a humble member of the King’s Men, and we probably wouldn’t quote him at all now if he hadn’t. He would still have been a genius, but a genius in a garret, one without shareholder’s certificates.

Finally, this is a film which has surprising things to say about cancel culture. In one scene Tár is seen to dismiss a young student who, for reasons of gender identification, is unable to listen to Bach. Her dismissal of him is quite right as to substance, in that she really does understand Bach better than the student. What is wrong is the manner in which she dismisses him. ‘You’re a bitch,’ says the student as he walks out. We have noted throughout the scene that the student’s leg is shaking; he is nervous, unsure of himself. He did have something to learn but needed to be treated more gently.

Likewise, the finale of the film shows the real end that comes to those who are cancelled. Tár doesn’t do anything too dramatic once her position and her laurels are taken from her. Perhaps she has too much self-regard still for suicide. She also, like Kevin Spacey, has too much money, to be seriously destroyed. Instead, she is consigned to a position far beneath her abilities – again like Spacey, her strengths which had once been lauded, now ignored, and the world is the poorer because we can no longer hear Tár’s music, just as we may never know how Spacey, a terrific actor, would have depicted Gore Vidal, a role he was surely born to play.

In some sense then the film, a true work of communitarian art, can’t quite be an individual tragedy, because that wouldn’t describe our times. We are too materialistic, too wealthy, too connected for individual tragedy. That means that tragedy is always felt jointly. This means too that the genius of the film can’t belong solely to Field or Blanchett or any one person. It’s ours. And this is why we love the cinema when it’s this great; it affirms us.

123 ISSUE 8


The Fabelmans is plainly the capstone in Steven Spielberg’s remarkably successful career. It is many things: a cautionary warning about the effects of divorce; a celebration of family; a memoir of what life used to be like in 1950s suburbia. But above all it is a film about vocation and what it means to know what it is you want to do in life from an early age. That’s because Sammy Fabelman, who we trace in this film from early adolescence to early maturity, is to all intents and purposes Spielberg himself –it is as close to an autobiography as we’ll get from him, to the extent that we don’t need one now.

The film shows quite clearly that cinema hit Spielberg early on with unusual force – as it must have done almost everyone who encountered this new art form which would so come to alter the world. We first meet Fabelman, played by Gabriel LaBelle, in 1952 about to attend a performance of The Greatest Show on Earth by Cecil B. De Mille. He is nervous about entering the cinema, and then watches in astonishment as the film unfolds. Actually at this time, the film industry was already being impacted negatively by the invention of television: the U.S. Census Bureau, shows that weekly attendance dropped from 80 million in 1940 and 90 million in 1946 to 60 million in 1950 and 40 million in 1960.

Yet something happens of lasting significance to Spielberg/Fabelman at the performance; the scene with the train accident takes hold of him, and later on, he tries to replicate it at home using his father’s 8mm camera. A film

director is born. One of the insights in the film is that the first steps primarily required an interest in the technology: the young Fabelman isn’t shown reading books about story-telling, but fiddling

with film, and learning to operate the equipment. It’s a reminder that some form of technical knowledge often precedes true creativity.

Fabelman is growing up in a talented


home. His mother Mitzi, played by Michelle Williams, is a brilliant concert pianist who has failed to pursue her dreams due to the 1950s norm of staying at home to raise a family. Meanwhile, Fabelman’s father Burt is a high-flying electrical engineer in the world of computers, and a genius. It feels as though Spielberg himself is composed of a mixture of his mother’s musical sensibility and his father’s natural aptitude for technology.

Like so many parents faced with creative children, Burt views Sammy’s filmmaking as a hobby, no doubt worried –as parents usually are with good reason –about Steven Spielberg’s financial future. A brief glance at Spielberg’s current net worth shows he needn’t have worried –but then he couldn’t have known that his son was destined to be the most successful filmmaker of all time.

But this tees up the best scene in the film when Fabelman’s uncle Boris comes to stay. Sammy’s mother is ultimately too depressed, and caught up in an extramarital affair with Bobby (Seth Rogan), an employee of her husband, to have enough mental space to understand what ambitions are burning in Sammy. His father meanwhile doesn’t understand that play is really the ultimate seriousness if it can be made to alter hearts.

But Boris, fresh from the circus, turns out to have Sammy’s number rightaway. He sees the situation clear. For instance,

he observes the similarity between Sammy’s nascent gifts, and Mitzi’s thwarted potential: “She could have been that concert piano player. What she's got in her heart is what you got.” Marching around the room in a string vest looking remarkably elastic and powerful for an octogenarian, Uncle Boris also speaks the movie’s most memorable lines: “Art will give you crowns in heaven and laurels on Earth, but also, it will tear your heart out and leave you lonely. You'll be a shanda for your loved ones. An exile in the desert. A gypsy. Art is no game! Art is dangerous as a lion's mouth. It'll bite your head off.”

Art is indeed a game played at high stakes, but work generally is too – it is especially so for Burt whose computing genius cuts him off from humanity just as much as Sammy’s skills as a filmmaker will separate him from his classmates. Work distances Burt from his wife: it’s not easy to love geniuses since their thought patterns tend to land everywhere except their marriage.

Watching the film, you are conscious that Spielberg all along had a great sadness in his life, but for the majority of his career – really until this film –he hasn’t tended to make art of high seriousness. His films, as Terry Gilliam has pointed out, tend towards the schmaltzy and the straightforward: he isn’t an auteur in the line of Stanley Kubrick. He is slicker than that – to the benefit of his bank account but probably

to the detriment of his art. This film shows that all along there was a serious filmmaker waiting to get out. But he chose to entertain instead, and this has given people much joy. Spielberg is an escapist, and we now see what it was he was escaping from.

The film culminates in a marvellous scene where the young Spielberg writes to filmmakers looking for a job as a runner. His letter lands with Bernard Fein. Job-seekers will often find that life is changed by the generosity unique to people who actually reply to letters: many a career is begun by the fluke of finding them, and stymied by the lack of them.

Fein mentions that the greatest living filmmaker is working across the corridor and this turns out to be John Ford. What follows is a marvellously cantankerous mentor-mentee scene, where Fabelman is asked to discuss some pictures on the wall.

The takeaway is that pictures will be interesting if the horizon is low, or if it’s high – but never interesting in between. It’s as good a piece of advice as any, but I think is offered with more than a small dose of: “You’re on your own.”

We all are to some extent, but we take what advice we can and we do the best we can. This is a film which tells us that sometimes our best turns out to be much more than enough – and insodoing makes us optimistic about beginning.

125 ISSUE 8



You’ve picked a hell of a year to start following the PGA tour,” says Ian Poulter at the start of Netflix’s excellent documentary Full Swing, and you’d be crazy to disagree.

Of course, ever since the advent of a certain Tiger Woods, golf has had a rare ability to attract headlines, and not always of the most salubrious kind, but the current state of golf is really that of civil war. To recap: for years the undisputed platform for competitive golf was the PGA. If you wanted to earn a lot of money, acquire fame, and become a golfing great then you had to do it on the PGA tour – which was really to say you had to do it in America, or at least with American say-so.

Of the four major championships, only one is played outside the US –the British Open, which is the most venerable, especially in this writer’s view when it’s played on The Old Course at St Andrew’s. But the American dominance of the game is a reminder of what a seismic moment it was when the Australian great Greg Norman was named CEO of LIV Golf Investments in 2021. The new tour is funded by the Saudi Arabian Sovereign Wealth Fund and is considered by many to be an immoral thing for that reason alone, especially on account of that regime’s human rights record.

This led to a series of high-profile player sign-ups, with Dustin Johnson, the bighitting major champion, reportedly paid $150 million to take part. Other players followed including major champions Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia, Martin Kaymer, Graeme McDowell, Louis Oosthuizen, and Charl Schwartzel. Mickelson, a much-loved player and six-

times major champion, was an especially emotive signing. Mickelson described the Saudis as ‘scary motherfuckers’, a moment of honesty which might nevertheless even be described as an understatement. At the same time, the champion golfer also argued that the PGA tour required reshaping and that this might be the opportunity to do it.

This wasn’t good enough for some people, who noted that Mickelson’s hopes of reform had come along at the same time as a massive pay day for Mickelson himself. And it must be said that none of these players were doing too badly under the previous regime, with all the players named above millionaires many times over. To the non-multi-millionaire it can be hard to see what the financial incentive really is when you already have so much to begin with. This was the line taken by Tiger Woods, who reportedly turned down a nine figure sum to join the Saudis, and

remains on the PGA tour.

The incident has two ramifications. In the first place, it’s a reminder that golf is a truly global sport now, and that vast amounts of money pour into the game. This is in part a legacy of Woods whose career, controversial though it is, has attracted eyeballs ever since his astonishing win at the US Masters in 1997. The prize money has gone up ever since, for the simple reason that people tune in.

What is it about Woods that makes people do that? In the first place, as with the Williams sisters, it’s a story of overcoming racial boundaries by a supreme work ethic, making people realise that with dedication anything is possible. My favourite story about Woods relates to his win at the 2008 US Open, which was conducted on one leg, in a play-off against Rocco Mediate. Mediate, who Woods defeated, had been

126 GOLF
127 ISSUE 8

one of the few players to accept Woods early on in his career. So when Woods defeated Mediate, he refused out of sportsmanship to discuss his injury, not wishing to worsen the sense of defeat for him.

This is a reminder of another thing about golf: that to an unusual extent it opens up onto character, and perhaps we see this in relation to the whole LIV episode. Tennis might have a comparably gladiatorial feel, but there isn’t the same amount of time between shots to consider one’s position. It is less reactive because it is slower-paced: it is like a very green game of chess.

A golfer must walk round the course in a sort of single-minded trance in order to stand a chance of success. It is also a sport where the margins can be ridiculously fine, especially at Augusta National where the Master’s is played each year – the moment when golf fans really know that spring has sprung.

Of course, the very thing which makes its professional version so

psychologically testing also makes golf the ideal work sport. The Chairman of this magazine, John Griffin, is just one of those who has found joy on the golf course. Many people have found down the years that a round of golf is a good test of character, and answers the question of whether one wants to do business with someone. PG Wodehouse, one of the great writers about golf, had this to say: “Golf... is the infallible test. The man who can go into a patch of rough alone, with the knowledge that only God is watching him, and play his ball where it lies, is the man who will serve you faithfully and well.”

John Updike put it another way: "Golf appeals to the idiot in us and the child. Just how childlike golfers become is proven by their frequent inability to count past five."

One person who showed this inability was former president Bill Clinton – a famously lax counter on the course. Perhaps in America today, the sport is famous as the sport of presidents in a way which isn’t the case interestingly in


the UK, where the sport was invented. Clinton was famous as a taker of mulligans; but perhaps no president has had such a close association with golf as Donald J. Trump, who owns many golf courses around the world, including in Scotland.

While the sport says ‘success’ like no other, at its best it is an example of civilisation. The famous Duel in the Sun between Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson in 1977 at Turnberry, shows competition at its best. Nicklaus arrived on the 18th tee one shot behind Watson. Watson’s tee shot went into the centre of the fairway; Nicklaus’s went right into gorse. Somehow, Nicklaus managed to hack his second shot onto the green; Watson, undeterred, hit his approach to a few feet. But Nicklaus wasn’t beaten and managed to curl a long putt in; Watson, under immense pressure, holed his putt to win the championship. It was a sign of how you should never give up; and how even if you lose, a memorable kind of striving can still be arrived at.


wading comically in the water on the last, able to laugh at himself. In losing he won more fans than he might have done winning.

The sport also has attracted its memorable moments of failure – and sometimes golf teaches us how to deal with failure, something which will always be important to us no matter what we choose to do in life. A case in point was Doug Sanders’s missed putt for the 1970 British Open, gifting Jack Nicklaus the title. Another was Jean Van Der Velde, who charmingly lost the 1999 British Open ending up

It’s these moments of drama which mean money continues to flood into the game – and there is considerable trickle down. Golf is an expensive sport. The big corporates are vast employers: Acushnet, which owns Titleist and other golf products, has a market capitalisation of around $3.5 billion. But lower down the food chain, numerous jobs exist both as green staff and as caddies. It is a famous answer to a Trivial Pursuit question that the highest paid sportsman in New Zealand was for many years Tiger Woods’ caddie Steve Williams.

So while it might be a hell of a year to be following the PGA tour, it’s never a bad time to think about a career in the sport: whatever happens next at the professional level, global interest has never been higher.

129 ISSUE 8




This is a strange book to review since it has been almost entirely superseded by the actions of its ghostwriter. It is axiomatic among book reviewers that you must review the book and nothing external to the book, but that turns out to be impossible here.

For anybody living without internet access these past months, here is the sequence of events.

Matt Hancock was a busy Health Secretary, and former prime ministerial candidate, with ambitions to digitise the health service. In late 2019, he began getting reports from Wuhan about a virus which would upend his and all our lives. He was a cheerleader for lockdown, and also – as he goes to considerable lengths to point out throughout this book – a driver of the vaccination programme. In May 2021, he began an extramarital affair with his aide Gina Coldangelo, and when an embrace between them was somehow – we still don’t know how, or by whom – photographed, Hancock was forced to resign.

Post-government he famously appeared on I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here, where he made more friends than some had expected. Pandemic Diaries was intended to continue his rehabilitation. However, it was written in a spirit of what now seems gullible collaboration with the journalist Isabel Oakeshott. In the writing of the book, Oakeshott was given access to all of Hancock’s Whatsapp messages. After the book was released, Oakeshott, pleading the importance of journalism, handed all

the messages over to The Telegraph, who proceeded to publish a series of immensely unflattering stories about Hancock which undid much of the painstaking work of rehabilitation.

As a result, the book has acquired a sort of unexpected intertextuality, whereby we can now see that what is said in the book is a pared-down and smoothedover version of what was said in real time, now there for all to see in the pages of the Telegraph.

The juxtaposition between the two can often be comic. For instance, on the unhappy day to which we all know this book is building – the disastrous day when Hancock’s affair is broken by The Sun – Hancock begins his entry with a knowing dissertation about love. "What price love? I’ve always known from the novels that people will risk everything. They are ready to blow up their past, their present and their future. They will jeopardise everything they have worked for and everything that is solid and certain."

The tone is of an earned, rueful wisdom, and we are invited to consider Hancock as a sort of modern Antony or Othello, undone by human failings, one who ‘loved not wisely, but too well’. Perhaps he is but he comes across differently to readers of The Telegraph in the following Whatsapp exchange on what was presumably the same day:

Hancock: How bad are the pics?”

Special adviser Damon Poole: It’s a snog and heavy petting.

Hancock: “How the f— did anyone photograph that?”

Gina Coladangelo: OMFG

Hancock: “Crikey. Not sure there’s much news value in that and I can’t say it’s very enjoyable viewing.”

It is The Telegraph version, sadly, which in all its awkwardness has the real flavour of lived experience. Incidentally, I find huge sadness and a sort of painful dignity in Coladangelo’s acronym, and I suspect many readers will feel especially sorry for her.

Perhaps in a ghoulish way it is good to have both versions, but there is an overriding sense that we know more than we’d like or ought to about the whole thing. Anyone who enjoys reading about the destruction of other people’s lives and imagines themselves immune from similar treatment has ceased to think themselves fallible on another day.

Of course, the question of government by Whatsapp has now been taken up as a live issue in direct response to the Oakeshott leaks. It seems unlikely that it’s any worse as a form of government, to paraphrase Churchill, than all the others which have been tried. In fact, the real thing at issue has always been between responsible and irresponsible government.

How does Hancock, and how does the


political class, come off in Pandemic Diaries? It’s a mix. The book conveys Hancock’s Tiggerishness very well in the clip of its prose. Developments are often greeted with a one word exclamation. “Stark,” he writes on hearing news that the NHS could have a deficit of 150,000 beds and 9,000 ICU spaces. “Fuck,” he says, on hearing that Nadine Dorries has tested positive early on in the pandemic. “Amazing,” he exclaims when he hears that 4,000 nurses and 500 doctors have rejoined the NHS in 24 hours on 21st March. This turns out to be his favourite word and is levelled at good news on the vaccination programme and at the exploits of Captain Sir Tom Moore. Its obverse: “Very sobering” is deployed when the Covid deaths spike, as they do saddeningly throughout the book.

Hancock was the same. You can feel that the Health Department, unwieldy and daunting a brief as it is, was in some way too small for his ambition, and that the role wasn’t too much for him. He was equal to the task, and throughout you have a sense of him moving his agenda forward: he comes across as a skilled and astonishingly hard-working minister. Even so, I don’t think the book is likely to make people especially eager to enter politics. This might be because we all know that whatever is going on in the book, our hero is hurtling with alarming pace towards downfall and public humiliation.

you suspect must have been felt by all the characters in the book, including Boris Johnson, when Cummings leaves. Government itself seems ad hoc, and Boris himself very often reactive. Of course, this might be an effect of the genre: we only see Boris when Hancock goes to see him, and then as it’s all being told through Hancock’s eyes. But there seems to be a sort of fatal passivity about Boris, the ramifications of which played out in March 2023 before the Privileges Committee.

The style conveys someone in a hurry, and one is left in no doubt that Hancock had the energy and ability for the job. In fact, he probably had every right to imagine he had a good chance of being prime minister one day. Although his official mentor is George Osborne, who crops up occasionally in the book, Hancock feels more reminiscent of Blair; in fact, he sometimes seems to have self-consciously modelled himself on him. Blair’s astonishing electoral success marked the younger Conservative generation who began to imagine that power would never come their way if they didn’t somehow emulate him.

It was Clive James who said of Richard Nixon that he could handle the work;

But this isn’t the only reason. In the first place, large sections of the book seem to detail something like a toxic work environment which few would wish to join. The undoubted villain of the book is a certain Dominic Cummings, and the passages in which he appears are the ones I most enjoyed reading, since he seems to get under Hancock’s skin very easily, leading to some entertaining and quite astute rants: perhaps we are never more insightful than when we hate. On March 31st 2020 we get the beginnings of a theme which will recur:

"Amid all this, Cummings’s morning meetings have turned into a shambles. I can’t say I’m shocked. The feedback is that no one really knows who’s meant to be talking about what, to whom, or indeed whether they’re supposed to be at that meeting or the one an hour later…. Managing No. 10 is a massive and extremely frustrating part of my job."

As much as one can sometimes feel a bit frustrated with Hancock himself, this rings true, and there is real relief which

Above all, we’re beginning to realise that these were just very unusual times. That is perhaps the biggest hindrance towards enjoying this book: the events it describes were both appalling and recent. What a terrible thing the virus was and is; how terrible lockdown was. There is no doubt for this reader that Hancock found a single-minded groove over lockdown which to some extent kept him sane and able to function under pressure. It was this coping mechanism which led to some of the worst Whatsapps in the Oakeshott leaks, including the infamous one where he considers threatening to block a local MP’s disability centre. By a certain point, he had come to believe in lockdown as, to use another infamous phrase, a ‘Hancock triumph.’

The reader is left with the sense that perhaps Hancock went a little bit mad. But one feels that somewhere in his make-up is a man of admirable energy and commitment. He’s not quite in the Randolph Churchill, Joseph Chamberlain and Ken Clarke category of almost Prime Ministers, but a couple of rungs down, with Nick Clegg for company.




Say, heaving Muse, what catalogue of restraints

And luckless lockdowns fell upon th’unwilling world

Accompanied by pain and stifled shouts of family grief

Till the world’s wisest company of brethren

In stately halls and candelabra’d chambers flush

At their desks with freshest data

Brought an end to that wailing noise

And comfort to those begging for release. So begins Armando Iannucci’s mockepic poem about the pandemic. This book deserves to be read as a companion piece – or perhaps antidote – to Hancock’s Pandemic Diaries. Iannucci has by this stage of his career earned our attention no matter what he does.

It might be noted that his satire has always touched on people in jobs when they have no real business being there. From Alan Partridge’s ludicrous claims to television stardom, to the spads who stalk the corridors of Whitehall in The Thick of It and In the Loop, he has always specialised in showing up people who have an unwarranted sense of belonging in roles to which they aren’t suited. The joke about Partridge isn’t just that he’s a bad television presenter; it’s that there’s no decent reason for him to be on television at all. Likewise, Malcom Tucker is a bully in Whitehall, but he would be a bully in a law firm too. His moral being infects everyone around him: he has no business being anywhere near the decision-making process. One might say of Iannucci what Hazlitt said of Shakespeare: that in one sense he is no moralist, but that in another sense he is one of the greatest of moralists. He will show you the most disgusting and corrupt people out there – but by showing them to you he’ll convert that disgust to laughter and a better world. Iannucci is one of the most important civilising forces in our world today. My sense is that Pandemonium is destined to be a minor work however. You can see from the passage quoted above that while Iannucci is a student of Milton – and throughout this poem shows himself to be familiar with Alexander Pope’s Dunciad – that mock poetry simply isn’t as effective a tool as television as a means of satire.

This is because the form itself (the poetry) is a distraction from the subject matter (the pandemic). With good television, of course, we hardly consider the medium at all, which is its strength. In Pandemonium, the matter would be helped if the lines were in an even meter but the first line beginning ‘Say, heaving Muse’ is a very ugly alexandrine leading to a tetrameter in line six with ‘At their desks with freshest data’. This last line also happens to be the strongest line in the passage, making me think that a

rhyming tetrameter would have been a better choice of form. Coincidentally, this was the meter used by Pushkin in Eugene Onegin – the last poem to really pull this sort of thing off.

Having said that, over time you get used to Iannucci’s verse and there is a lot to enjoy about the book once you do. We meet a cast of characters every bit as unfit for their role in the political firmament as the cast of The Thick of It. We meet Boris Johnson as ‘Orbis Rex’ (or ‘World King’) – with the poet pointing out that Orbis also happened to be an anagram of ‘Boris’.

Say how this hero Boris, seeming felled

By the evil mite, coughed back up

His gleaming soul renewed and rode out to fight

Sadness with mirth…

The idea of Boris Johnson as an immortal being is quite funny – but perhaps only quite. Its limitations come from the fact that the trope comes from ancient poetry and that the joke – like many of the jokes in the book – lack the immediacy of television and so can’t really make us laugh in the same way. Compare, for instance, the immortal episode of The Thick of It, about the enquiry into the death of Mr. Tickel. There, at every point, the minutiae of language serves to show the idiocy of many of the characters who made up Blairite Westminster. Then compare it with the scene here where Matt Hancock goes to meet the Circle of Friends, Iannucci’s vivid monster which is intended to mock the class of party donors about whom we heard a lot in relation to PPE and other aspects of policy-making during the pandemic:

So these Friends coagulated around themselves,

Each one bait for another, bait upon bait, Knowing one another and each one known,

Till they knew themselves inside out,


Arses eaten by faces, faeces dropped on eyes,

Arms reaching into guts, lips retching hands out whole,

Bodies intimate and knotted like a dungy braid.

This is meant to be a metaphor for the sort of friendships which happen in and around the donor classes of the Conservative Party. I’m not sure how successful it is. I suspect from Iannucci’s perspective, all these people are drawn to one another since they all hang around power, but without any particular reason for being there other than the wish to be close to power. If that were the case then their real predicament is not to know each other, except incidentally. My suspicion is that Iannucci isn’t used to building poetic images and so misses the real opportunity for satire.

The book therefore, though it is written by someone who is an undoubted master in his usual field, has the feel of a first draft at some points. The book also contains illustrations which seem to serve the purpose of padding out a short manuscript to book length.

That said, this is still an enjoyable read, which enlarges your sense of Iannucci as an artist. It feels like a pandemic-specific project – the work of someone severed by Covid from the day job. In that sense, the joke feels ever so slightly on the author himself.


Matthew Desmond has become a sort of laureate of poverty, having already won The Pulitzer Prize for his book Evicted In this book he asks why it persists in America, which on paper at least is the richest country on earth.

Desmond points out that one in eight American children go without basic necessities, that scores of children die on its streets, and that many corporations pay insulting wages.

Desmond’s answer is that poverty is a sort of collective decision which the affluent have made long ago, and which every day they choose to maintain: “The poor don't want some small life. They don't want to game the system. They want to contribute, and they want to thrive.” Of course, this can’t be universally true of the poor, anymore than one can entirely peg the rich as selfish and uncaring. Even so, this book is written with a genuine spirit of advocacy for the poor which we would do well to heed.


I only heard about it afterwards: you bought the economical tickets with hardly a view of the stage. That put you at a disadvantage: you spent the evening peering round a pillar, guessing at shape and sound, having to be content with hints having to be content with shadows, wondering at how certain slants within music might point toes, or inspire a grande jêté –all night you posited canvases flashing from the hand of Degas. Light was split by the dancers. The best things we manage to do will tend to be seen by too few –but the shape of an example, is often sufficient sample of what’s possible. And we might learn more by imagining that than by witnessing the whole act: I’ll contend that all light is in our potential, and that what’s needed is a flicker across time to make the whole world rhyme: to guess at what might be done, can loan us the full force of the sun.

I don’t say that’s definitely true. I only say I hope such things for you.

133 ISSUE 8
Armando Iannucc, (



Imust admit that I didn’t know much about cruises until I spoke to Scenic Cruises head Richard Twynam. Twynam is affable and enthusiastic – he strikes me, even at one remove over Zoom, as a man unusually happy in his job: “I work in travel because I went round the world when I was 18 in 1990,” he recalls. “That was before Internet and mobile phones and I knew within weeks of being in Australia I wanted to spend my career in travel .”

Over time he would specialise in the sector he has come to love, and in which he is one of the leading figures. “I fell into cruising in 2010 having seen a managing director’s job for a Virgin brand advertised in The Sunday Times and I got the job: I was one of the youngest managing directors at Virgin at the time. In those days cruising wasn’t as mainstream as it is now.” Twynam stayed at Virgin for three years before running a brand for Royal Caribbean, a role which he began in 2013 and which you guess added depth to his experience.

Of course, in 2020, everyone was about to experience the great shock of the pandemic. But after a few years taking on advisory roles in the industry, Twynam was approached in 2022 for his current role: “It was too good an offer to say no,” he tells me.

So how does his current role divide up? “I live in Surrey and the office is in Manchester – I’m passionate about that city, it has such great energy. I spend three

days a week there, meeting the team, looking at the numbers and being very involved with the operational side.”

Scenic Cruises is an owner-founder business and so it’s crucial for Twynam to have a good relationship with Glen and Karen Moroney, which he certainly does. “Glen and Karen started the business 36 years ago,” says Twynam, “and they’re rightly very protective and proud of it. If they don’t like something, they’ll tell you – but more generally they’re excited about the benefits of the new yachts.”

What you most feel when talking to Twynam, is the notion that cruises are an exciting frontier in the world of travel. “Cruising has evolved massively not just in the last decade but over the past 20 years,” he explains. “The great thing is there’s a cruise for every one – for every taste or price point. If you want a low key cruise you can do that, but if you want to go paddle-boarding on a cruises you can do that.” Then comes what will to many be his clinching argument: “You only have to unpack your suitcase once and wake up to a different location each day. That’s why 2023 is likely to be a record year for cruising.”

It does seem as disaster-proof as a holiday can reasonably get: a mixture of luxury and adventure which will appeal to many. The company has two brands: Scenic Cruises and Emerald Cruises.

The flagship of the company is Scenic Eclipse. “We call that the world’s first discovery yacht,” says Twynam. “It means

you go to the wildest places on earth in complete luxury. For instance, you can go to the heart of Antarctica, and explore all that but then come back at the end of your day to a luxury yacht experience. Above, you have a helicopter and below you have a submarine.”

The Emerald cruise ships meanwhile are, says Twynam, “slightly smaller, and designed for warmwater coastal cruising. The ships looks like a James Bond villain’s favourite yacht, with beautiful sleek lines. They’re designed for coastal cruising in Croatia and Greece, and can winter in the Caribbean.”

So what sort of luxury do customers experience on board? “Scenic Eclipse has eight restaurants, a spa, and a watersports platform on the back with all the toys,” explains Twynam. “Emerald has the same. You’ve also got a butler, a whisky bar with over a hundred scotches. We’re reassuringly expensive. Of course you can spend £150,000 by taking the main suite

Richard Twynam

on the Eclipse, but equally Emerald is £3,000 per person for the Grecian cruise.”

So what is it Twynam loves about cruising?

“It’s a gentle way to see the world,” he says without missing a beat. “You’re gliding down the river watching the world go by. It’s not an intensive holiday. We’ve got these big lounges and it’s a marvellous thing to just watch the world go by. The ship is your conveyance to see the land; it always amazes me how as human beings we’re drawn to the water.”

That this is true is reflected in the demand for the company’s experiences, and therefore the size of the company. Scenic Cruises employs 120 people. “That covers all the facets of running a business: financial, commercial, marketing, digital, reservations, and sales,” Twynam explains. “A high proportion of our workforce is under 30; many are under 25. A lot of them have a passion to work in travel, and many

have done degrees or been to college. One of my commercial analysts has got two more degrees than I’ve got. There are lot of opportunities if you want something easy to learn and want to learn quite quickly. But if you have a particular skillset – whether that be in social media, studio or marketing – we have roles there too.”

And, of course, there’s a whole different set of employment opportunities around the ships themselves. “Working on a ship is a glamorous thing to do. We have a British submarine pilot on Scenic Eclipse. You’ve also got culinary roles, hotel function, guest service, tour leading, and many other things.”

Of course, all these roles also attract travel perks. “I’m going on one of our yachts tomorrow,” he says, enthusiastically. “We also want out staff to benefit from friends and family offers – we want it to be clear that there are major benefits to working in the travel industry.”

Twynam adds that there other, deeper benefits to a career in the sector. “A lot of the younger guys who work for us recognise that the more they travel and understand the world, the more it’s an opportunity to break down prejudice and misunderstanding. They’re passionate that if we live on this planet we should understand everyone’s cultures. I’ve worked in the travel industry for 29 years and had some amazing life experiences.”

And the challenges? Twynam doesn’t

mince words. “Of course, travel by its nature is highly operational and you have to deal with that. We all know what can happen: the plane gets delayed or the hotel booking gets cancelled. One of the vagaries of cruising in Europe is that you get high and low water which can be challenging for different reasons. On the high seas, you have the weather to contend with – and that’s before you get to the question of strikes and so on. But in the last years we’ve had the tsunami in Japan, and the ash cloud over Iceland. As a sector we’ve become extremely experienced and dealing with things.”

And with that he says a genial goodbye, no doubt pleased to be heading on his cruise tomorrow, leaving me to write about him in the cold March weather. I am briefly sure which of the two of us has the better lot in life.

For more information go to

135 ISSUE 8



Milan is a famous city, but it’s also sitting in perhaps the most competitive bracket of cities known to humankind: Italy. Within a relatively short distance, your other options include Rome, Bologna, Florence, and Venice, four of the greatest cities anywhere on earth. So while it doesn’t quite qualify as a hidden gem, it might be that it still needs its cheerleaders – people to remind you that it’s more than just a place to watch football.

Fortunately, help is at hand in the shape of this article. Milan is the wealthiest city in Italy, and trails only Paris and Madrid when it comes to being the richest city in the EU. To list its strengths in industries is to seem to list all industries: from fashion and art, to finance, law and chemicals, it might be that if it’s ever been your instinct to move to Italy to work abroad, you’re more likely to work in Milan than any of the other great cities.

But Milan’s a tourist location too – not

just for its proximity to Lake Como and Cinque Terre, but also because of its own attractions. Venice is more beautiful; Florence has more art; Rome has more history; Bologna has better food – but Milan has something of each, and if you can look at what’s here rather than dream on what’s not, then you can find yourself enriched.

You’ll be helped in this if you opt for the Principe di Savoia, which forms part of the Dorchester Collection. The hotel, designed by the Milanese architect Cesare Tenca, opened in 1927, in a location near to the central station and Teatro alla Scala Theatre, one of the most famous opera houses in the world with long associations with everyone from Paganini and Verdi, to Toscanini and Barenboim. This proximity is flagged by the hotel in many of the rooms which feature pictures of scores by the great composers. It is a reminder that if you’re staying in an excellent hotel, you ought to be inspired.

But you also ought to relax. On the

top floor is one of the finest urban spas imaginable – a gym and pool with spa, steam room, jacuzzi, and so forth. That spa neighbours the famous presidential suite where Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh have stayed, as well as people somewhat less admired than they perhaps once were: Woody Allen and Vladimir Putin.

Courtesy The Balmoral, A Rocco Forte Hotel

The feel throughout is of a modern city, where you’ll find the latest fashion and probably do well to look as presentable as possible. But there’s history here too. The Duomo itself is deservedly famous, a building of almost unfathomable detail even when standing a hundred yards away from it. It is one of those works whose greatness is in its busyness. It was Voltaire who said that great works of art require quiet patches. Milan Cathedral from the outside at least appears to be a refutation of that: it is a thing so teeming that you wonder why it doesn’t seem too much. If you look closely at the sculptures along the east and west walls, you’ll find that the rhythm of the figures is subtly done so as to allow for cohesion – a miraculous feat given how many of them there are.

Inside, things are different – the doctrine of detail is traded in for a echoic vastness where the forests of pillars give way to sculptures.

If you want to know about the origins of the city, you can discover much in the crypt at the Duomo, where you see excavations which tell of the early baptistery founded by Ambrose, and which gives you a sense of just how

old everything is deep down while everybody rushes around above you thinking of football, cars and fashion.

how they should be done regardless of reward.

Milan Cathedral also has the option to go up and walk on the roof. Gardiner once said of Bach that his music is tragically good, insofar as it was better than it strictly needed to be for a regional capellmeister. The roof of Milan Cathedral is the same: in the days before the invention of the lift, very few can have had the opportunity to come up into the skies and see these superb sculptures, so detailed and complex. They were done for their own sake. They constitute one of the best examples I can think of the importance of a true work ethic: to do things well because that is

Of course, Milan has had its pull, and the names have kept coming here. In the Castello Sforzeca you can see a room which Leonardo da Vinci was working on; The Last Supper is also on view in an underwhelming refectory on the other side of town. It’s a reminder of that other person who upended things here: Napoleon Bonaparte. It’s Bonaparte who we have to thank for the poor state of the Last Supper, since the place was requisitioned as a stable. The Castle feels as large as the Louvre, and just as labyrinthine, involving a vast traipse around armouries and collections of porcelain which it would take a lifetime to assimilate. Here also is Michelangelo’s famous – and marvellous – La Rondinaia, one of those great unfinished beginnings of his where you can see the figure miraculously emerging from the marble, but pausing in its escape, like a record of some distant interruption.

Getting about Milan is a straightforward matter: in truth there’s enough here to do to keep you busy for a week, but the city is large and so

Rocco Forte Hotel Savoy Duomo, Presidential Suite

the metro demands to be mastered: a straightforward task as it turns out, tapping one’s card exactly as if this were Piccadilly Circus.

Beyond Milan, your easiest train journey is Bologna – that red-bricked foodie haven, which sometimes loses out to Florence, but which is in many respects its equal. It’s undeniable that some magic happens on the train from Milan down to Bologna: a sort of Tuscanisation of the landscape, where the light becomes warmer, and the gorgeous tracery of blue hills begins to weave its way about the sky.

The train itself is very fast – beginning in Turin, it aims to get all the way to Naples in six hours, stopping at Florence, Rome and other places. Sometimes, remembering winter in the United Kingdom one envies one’s fellow travellers, whose lives can seem to have a superior flavour by virtue of carrying them out in a superior location. But it’s worth all the life envy to get to Bologna. In fact, the beautiful

frescoes by Giovanni di Modena in the Bolognini Chapel in San Petronio are worth it on their own: an Inferno which would have terrified Dante, and a beautiful series of six pictures of The Journey of the Magi.

But there is another side to the magic Italy – it can be overwhelming. The beauties are so many, and so many are in the past that it can be sometimes make you long for some straightforward escapism from the noteworthy and the sublime.

This is where the Principe di Savoia comes into its own: I’ll not forget a morning I spent, attempting to teach my six-year-old son to swim in the pool on the roof. Sometimes, I reflected as our plane home climbed back above the clouds, it’s best not to go to Lake Como, but instead to attend a spa. I don’t know how true that is – but it felt true enough at the Savoia.



Set in a striking converted 19th century church in the heart of Belgravia, Mosimann’s is one of the world’s most prestigious dining clubs.

Our passion for excellence and a warm personalised welcome will make you feel comfortable and at home.

The stunning interior architecture at Mosimann’s lends itself perfectly to a club atmosphere, with the Balcony Bar on the mezzanine level overlooking the main dining restaurant and acting as a gateway to the seven private dining rooms. A beautiful environment for any special occasion.

Our menu focuses on Cuisine Naturelle, created by our father incorporating healthy, delicious, seasonal and sustainable ingredients.

We are honoured to be appointed as a Royal Warrant Holder for Catering Services to HRH The Prince of Wales.




Lately, as the world has been on strike, Costeau found himself for some reason thinking of the etymology of the word ‘restaurant’. Of course, restaurant workers haven’t been on strike – quite the reverse, during the pandemic, they were actively prevented from working.

But it’s possible to arrive at the view that the ructions in society which have marked 2023, might have impacted on our sense of community, and it would be odd if this didn’t affect the way we eat together. Strikes proclaim, through collective action, the pay requirements of a series of individuals. Insodoing, they re-imagine our sense of community.

The word ‘restaurant’ is, of course, French, stemming from the enterprise of a Parisian named Boulanger who, in the late 1700s, opened a shop near the Louvre, where he served little meat-based consommés or ‘restaurants’ designed ‘to restore’ his clientele. Boulanger deserves to be better known: it is rare that someone is on record as having single-handedly founded an entire sector of the economy.

A visit to a restaurant is a profound moment of general restoration and, of course, a very human thing. It was the philosopher Leon Kass who in his book The Hungry Soul (1994), noted that human beings are the only animal which eats rather than feeds. Had Rishi Sunak’s scheme been Feed to Help Out, it would have had a different feel: instead the scheme had to do with the idea of restoring a sense of community around ‘eating out’ – quite a different thing.

The notion that eating has some higher meaning attached to it than simply filling oneself up, is in fact rather more

ancient than Boulanger, dating back at least to Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome, where the thermopolium operated in much the same way as a fast food restaurant today.

It is possible to join up the dots from there. Over in Japan, came even more alarming intelligence of the ‘sushi terror’. The invention of the sushi conveyor belt is an important contribution by that great country to world civilisation. When we eat from a sushi conveyor belt, we are embarking on a communal experience, which has to do with trust and mutuality.

But in Japan there recently came a shocking viral video, depicting a man licking sushi as it went round the conveyor belt, sparking outrage in a country which has the highest standards when it comes to hygiene.

Out of the fact that we eat rather than simply feed, comes the notion of service. Perhaps the great practitioner of this in our current times is the former Wolseley owner Jeremy King, but it’s King’s story which makes Costeau worry about a decline in our collective sense of eating together as a noble and important human pursuit. King sold his company to global corporate Minor International, but held no equity as part of the deal, becoming instead an employee. Soon, as so often happens, the interests of buyer and seller diverged leaving London diners bereft of King, who must wait until the expiration of a non-compete clause to work in the sector again. It was a blow to London’s standards of service. “London without the Wolseley would be like Sydney without the opera house or Cindy Crawford without that mole. Pointless," wrote Jeremy Clarkson, speaking for all those who have enjoyed King’s restaurants.

Perhaps this appalling behaviour wouldn’t have had such an enormous impact were we not emerging from a global pandemic, where we’re more mindful than ever before of the diseases we can catch from each other. The Choushimaru chain has said it would stop using its conveyor belts altogether, and the share price of the Sushiro chain has fallen palpably since the scandal.

Just as productivity remains a hangover in the post-Covid economy, so the world of restaurants hasn’t gone back to where it was before. From Frankie & Benny’s to Jamie Oliver’s restaurants, our sense of communal eating out feels like it has been injured in favour of endless Deliveroos. So it’s not the restaurant workers who’ve gone on strike, it’s human beings in their capacity as civilised eaters who have done so. And maybe Sunak’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme was premature. It might be that the time for that is now.

141 ISSUE 8







FIRM REPUTATION On go-to lawyers Carter-Ruck
HEALTH KICK Natalia Ramsden on Sofos
BEYOND MANCHESTER Our latest bursary update
Jackson reports
1 LEADERS 4 FOUNDER'S LETTER 7 DIARY Alexander Downer 8 LETTERS Kate Glick answers your questions
Petrides’ bulletin from on high
12 THE SECRETARY OF STATE Gillian Keegan’s take on education 13 THE BARONESS Baroness d’Souza on her passion for education 14 THE MP Bill Wiggin on a career in politics 15 THE BUSINESSMAN Lord Cruddas on his career 17 THE INTELLECTUAL Tariq Ali on Starmer et al. 19 A QUESTION OF DEGREE Sebastian van Strien on mathematics 20 RELATIVELY SPEAKING Cosmo Landesman on family tragedy 21 10,000 HOURS Laurence Dallaglio on hard work 23 TOMORROW’S LEADERS ARE BUSY TONIGHT Emily Prescott on journalism 25 THOSE ARE MY PRINCIPLES James Reed discusses the Big Give 26 WATERFLY Our gossipy view of the changing waters of education
What does the Prime Minister mean for jobs?
Bulletins from the Coffee sector
ESSAY A school in Namibia
STRIKES, STRIKES What will Rishi do next?
REDIVIVUS The tale of the great philanthropist
firms are making the running in climate
Jackson gives a personal account 51 MAGIC BEANS
p13 Baroness d’Souza p17 Tariq Ali
( (
p21 Lawrence Dallaglio (, zoonabar) p30 Gillian Keegan (
143 ISSUE 8 060778 770005 RISHI SUNAK LINE OF DUTY PREVIEW OF COMING ATTRACTIONS p30 Top Job: Can Sunak win the next General Election? ART, CULTURE & BOOKS 114 CHURCH CRISIS Sir Philip Rutnam 118 WHAT HE TRIED TO SAY Christopher Jackson on Vincent van Gogh 121 FILMIC TIMES Reviews of the latest cinema 126 SOCCER JOBS An analysis of the football sector 128 BOOK REVIEWS The latest education tomes 132 TWISTS AND TURNS Careers in ballet 141 SPANISH STEPS A visit to Finca Cortesin 144 COSTEAU On whiskey careers 144 CLASS DISMISSED Neil Robertson Issue 9
p118 Vincent van Gogh (
p144 Neil Robertson (




Dasher went down on 27th March 1943. The funeral was 3 days later and 23 bodies were buried, 13 in Ardrossan cemetery. Officially no further bodies or body parts ever came ashore. However a week later on 6 April 1943 Admiral Eccles sent a signal, a copy of which we have, saying that ‘bodies are being washed ashore, identified and buried along the coast.’ We have many testimonies from survivors who say that they helped to identify up to 40 bodies laid out in rows. So we know beyond doubt that more than 23 bodies came ashore.

The hunt for these sailors’ unmarked resting places will go on. But LIDAR and geophysical surveys are needed. I have funded these so far but cannot afford any more. So the next step is to get enough money to fund surveys of the areas which we have been told are possible unmarked graves.


I hardly remember my father and the work on Dasher is not for him alone. When they were brought ashore the 149 survivors pitifully asked ‘Where are the boys?’ It is The Boys, all 359, we seek.

My mother was left with 2 small children and had to find her first ever job, which she did at the UKAEA. Her resilience, lack of self-pity and her ambitions for her daughters have always inspired me.


I took my degree and teaching qualification but I wanted to be an officer in the Women’s Royal Army Corps which necessitated 3 days of psychological and practical testing, and interviews. I was amazed to learn that I had passed. On my first day, and many subsequent ones, I was terrified that I would not reach the expected high standards.


The birth of my children. That is an enduring achievement and blessing.


I have had some iconic bosses and learned so much from them: the Commandant in the army; the Chairman at HSBC and the Chaplain when I was a Head. EQ and integrity are keystones.


I have been lucky and throughout my life people have been very generous giving me their advice and guidance.


All actions have consequences.


The Persistence of Faith by Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sachs. It brought home to me the fundamental importance of making a school a community in which all feel they belong. In that security, they can thrive.


Reach out for expert help. The workplace has changed and parents and grandparents may not be able to guide and provide opportunities as they once did. I find the online applications in which you have to pass increasingly difficult tests to be unhelpful, particularly when no feedback for either success or failure is given. Get help!

Dame Mary Richardson (BBC News)

P r o t e c t W h a t ' s Y o u r s

Y o u r R e p u t a t i o n , Y o u r A s s e t s , Y o u r R i g h t s

C a r t e r - R u c k i s o n e o f t h e U K ' s b e s t k n o w n l a w f i r m s - l e a d e r s i n t h e f i e l d s o f r e p u t a t i o n , m e d i a & p r i v a c y , l i t i g a t i o n , i n t e r n a t i o n a l a r b i t r a t i o n a n d d i s p u t e r e s o l u t i o n

P a r t n e r - l e d s e r v i c e a v a i l a b l e 2 4 h o u r s a d a y , 7 d a y s a w e e k

T h e B u r e a u , 9 0 F e t t e r L a n e

L o n d o n E C 4 A 1 E N

+ 4 4 2 0 7 3 5 3 5 0 0 5

w w w c a r t e r - r u c k c o m

Jermyn Street, London | 57th Street, New York

Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.