FT Saturday 9th of August 2014

  1. Judge tell of Silicon Valley ‘fear’ of Steve Jobs


The power of Steve Job in Silicon Valley was so great according a to a US Judge that through the force of his own will, he was able to impose an industry-wide anti-poaching deal. Some of the biggest names in technology: Apple, Google, Pixar, Intel and Adobe face a lawsuit from over 60,000 tech workers who have claimed that the biggest firms agreed not to hire from one another. The implication from the Judge is that Steve Jobs was central to this process, and a deal that he made between Pixar and Apple served as a model for all other agreements with future companies. Facebook is one company that apparently refused to join Jobs’ cabal, poaching several employees from Google in an effort to attract the best engineering talent as it rose to become one of the biggest companies in world. Damages in the case against the companies could rise to $9bn, as former employees seek damages from the industry giants.

  1. Surge in support for Scotland to stay in UK
Alex Salmond (left) and Alastair Darling before their TV debate.

The vote of Scottish independence draws ever closer. A TV debate between Alex Salmond, Leader of the SNP and Scotland’s First Minister, and Alasdair Darling, former Chancellor of the Exchequer and Leader of the No Campaign has led to a boost in support for Scotland to remain as part of the UK. A poll by Survation of just over 1000 respondents forecasts the No campaign at 50%, up 4 percentage points from the week previous. One of the biggest issues in the debate was the future of Scottish monetary policy after independence. Salmond has argued that Scotland should become independent but remain in a currency union with the UK, keeping the pound. All three major parties in Westminster have publically rejected this suggestion. Mr Salmond was either unable or unwilling to answer what the future currency for Scotland would look like if, as he maintains, the parties were not merely bluffing. The uncertainly over Scotland’s economic future appears to be increasingly influential in determining which way Scots will vote on the 18th of September.

  1. Boris Johnson, shambling celebrity, sets sights on the Tory crown


The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, is ambitious. He may not necessarily be everyone’s incarnation of an honorable man, but the Eton and Oxford graduate has set in motion a strategy that could see him reach the summit of the Conservative Party leadership. Johnson, a classicist at university who loves the grand gesture and the political theatre of high office, has announced that he will seek a seat in Parliament at the next general election. If David Cameron does not win the election next year for the Tories, Johnson would be a strong contender to take his place as leader. During his time as mayor of London, Johnson eccentricity, charisma and public school charm has seen him surge in popularity with the public. His performance during the Olympics was a political display that arguably no other current political figure could have delivered. Many in the Conservative Party want him as their leader not because they like his policies, but because they think he can win. His ideology is flexible, and he does not appear to match the Tory backbenches in opinion on Europe or immigration, but the prospect of the Conservative Party winning an election after 22 years could make that irrelevant.


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