The Great Debate UK

Why I have to sleep with the enemy



-Laurence Copeland is professor of finance at Cardiff University Business School. The opinions expressed are his own. -

A week or two ago, I posted a blog bemoaning the size of Britain’s public sector and expressing the fervent hope that the ill wind of the financial crisis would blow much of it away, leaving room for private industry to expand in its place.

In response, I received a number of mildly wounding (but fair) comments pointing to the fact that, as I myself work in the public sector, I was perhaps in a false position.

Now I could offer a defence along the lines that, when I started work, the City was a club which was closed to youngsters without money or contacts, that I have spent a few years in the private sector, albeit some years back, and that even now my main occupation involves teaching students, mostly from East or South Asia, who are almost without exception paying their own fees, which makes me a one-man export industry. I also keep the wolf from the door with the help of a little freelance consultancy and some book royalties.

UK’s green agenda needs selling to investors


– Alexander Smith is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own –

Britain’s new coalition government wants to cut the country’s carbon footprint as well as its colossal deficit. But the alliance’s more ambitious green policies sound expensive — especially for an administration whose priority is fiscal discipline. Private sector involvement will be critical. And investors may take some convincing.

Election reality that dare not speak its name


– Neil Collins is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own –

Since Labour came to power in 1997, it has pursued a policy of expanding the numbers employed by the government or its agencies. The result is that today 6.1 million people are on the state payroll, an increase of about 900,000 in 13 years.

from The Great Debate:

Bet on small firms to lead China global foray

Wei Gu--Wei Gu is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are her own--

Chairman Mao used to say the truth is always kept by the minority.

A little-known private Chinese machinery company's bid for a GM marque has been sneered at by even the patriotic Chinese media, but the deal could succeed where mightier plays like Chinalco's for Rio Tinto have failed.

True that private sector firms face an uphill battle in China against more dominant state-backed firms, but it seems like double standards when Western observers, who extol the virtues of the private sector taking the driver's seat, praise Chinalco's deal but dismiss Tengzhong's bid for Hummer.