The Great Debate UK
The motive behind the coalition government’s plan to turn the Olympic Park into a ‘Tech City’ after the games to stimulate the technology industry in the UK is admirable, but I don’t agree with the strategy. If the ultimate aim is to build world-class companies like Google of Microsoft from the UK, a top down approach is not the right way of doing it.
To encourage entrepreneurs and entrepreneurialism, you need to get entrepreneurs together. Shoreditch has already created an organic hub of very early stage companies who all cluster together because there’s an existing creative culture in the area, and there’s access to technical talent. What the government is proposing will not replicate this as it’s more of a corporate hub for established companies.
Even with names like Google and Facebook, which are undoubtedly incredible companies, the reality is that the people who will be at the park are essentially professional managers running the UK or EMEA operations. If you’re walking the halls or eating in the cafes in the Tech Park, you won’t be bumping into Mark Zuckerberg, Sergey Brin, or Larry Page. And that’s where the real value is.
The unique culture that Silicon Valley has is built on entrepreneurs meeting, sharing war stories, and inspiring each other. Being surrounded by professional managers, even if they are of a very high calibre, is not the same thing.
– Neil Collins is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own –
Election first, manifesto afterwards. While there may be a Conservative prime minister in Downing Street, quite a few among the millions who voted for David Cameron will have a shock when they see the price they are paying for his pact with the more left-leaning Liberal Democrats.
– Hugo Dixon is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own –
The new UK coalition deserves 7 out of 10. The pact between the Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties, led by David Cameron as the new prime minister, seems determined to address the country’s most important problem — the deficit. This is vital given that the euro zone debt crisis could still prove contagious. It should also be positive for sterling.
– James Saft is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own –
To look at sterling and gilts, you would hardly know that Britain is sailing into a general election which will likely deliver a weaker government with a diminished ability, if not will, to grapple with high debts, an uncertain role in the global economy and an aging population.
– Ian Campbell is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own –
A first estimate of UK first-quarter growth is a chilly 0.2 percent. Failure of government policy, the opposition will say. Shows the folly of proposed Conservative spending cuts and tax increases, Gordon Brown, the prime minister, will claim. But a colder financial look will see that enormous stimulus has so far produced the weakest of recoveries. Whatever the election outcome, the UK’s leaders are going to have to be grown-ups. In this emergency, cooperation – or coalition – is required.
– The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own –
Fears of a hung parliament following the UK’s general election may be overstated. With Nick Clegg, leader of the Liberal Democrats, Britain’s third largest party, performing well in the first prime ministerial debate, sterling has received a mild knock. Investors do not like the uncertainty that goes with a hung parliament. While many European countries are used to coalition government, the UK is traditionally a two-party system – with government swinging between Labour and the Conservatives.