Spectator Briefings

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Where next for pensions auto-enrolment?

Since its introduction just over a decade ago, automatic enrolment has undoubtedly transformed retirement savings in the UK, allowing millions of workers to effortlessly save for their future.  Some 22.6 million people now contribute to a workplace pension, an increase from 47 per cent prior to auto enrolment’s inception in 2012. That is a significant

Adani Green Energy accelerates decarbonisation of India’s grid by developing world’s largest renewable energy project

With India’s economy due to grow almost 7 per cent this year and an environmental necessity for clean energy, the country urgently needs to decarbonise its energy system at scale. The dual challenge of satisfying the rising demand for energy while ensuring a cleaner and greener future requires extraordinary ambition and scope. Adani Green Energy

Joining forces

It is a cold evening in the picturesque Dorset town of Sherborne. The Sherborne Astroturf pitch twinkles, diamonds of condensed fog glinting on its blue surface. Through the mist drifts the low chatter of girls and boys, smartly attired in military fatigues and readying for the sternest test of their cadet lives. This evening is

The vaping industry: time to step up

You may have recently seen billboard or newspaper adverts calling for better regulation of the vaping industry, to help combat the levels of underage vaping and the sale of illegal vapes. These are the work of BAT, the biggest vaping manufacturer based in the UK. As a FTSE 10 UK company, our call for the

It’s Time for Major Exam Reform

A complete overhaul of the UK’s examination system is needed urgently, argues Samantha Price, headmistress at Benenden School. Clearly, the age of handwritten exams will soon come to an end – but we owe it to future generations to be far bolder than simply filling exam halls with laptops. This should be the moment that,

Half a million and counting – will the government see the potential role of nicotine pouches in getting SmokeFree 2030 back on track?

It is estimated there are more than half a million nicotine pouch users in the UK. That’s roughly the equivalent of the population of Manchester, up from zero just four years ago when nicotine pouches first became available in the UK. The increasingly popular product offers adult smokers and nicotine users an oral, tobacco-free and

Does AI help or hinder ESG investors?

At Charles Stanley, we are being asked if investment in Artificial Intelligence (AI) is compatible with Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investing. How does AI affect ESG in companies and can it help investors for the good? These are important questions that go the heart of the accountability and transparency issues which the adoption of

Valencia with Kirker Holidays

Spain’s third city is a fascinating short break destination, which combines wonderful Spanish cuisine (this was the birthplace of paella), with a historic old town, excellent museums and a world-class cultural complex in the striking modern architecture of the City of Arts and Sciences. The summer months are perfect for enjoying a morning on the

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Israel’s attack on Iran was perfectly calibrated

Today, there have been reports of explosions in Isfahan, in central Iran, in what is presumed to be a strike by Israel. The world had been waiting for Israel’s promised retaliation after Iran launched an unprecedented attack at Israel directly from its own territory, using 300 missiles and drones. Despite the hysterical commentary that Israel


Watch: Sturgeon reacts after husband charged in police probe

Might this be the worst week of 2024 for the Nats so far? Hapless Humza Yousaf demonstrated extraordinary indecision over the Cass review, Patrick Harvie’s barmy army helped ditch a Scottish government green pledge and, to top it all off, Nicola Sturgeon’s husband has been charged with embezzlement. You couldn’t make it up. The long-running

We’re better off with Hamas in Qatar, than out

The news that Qatar is ‘re-evaluating’ its role as mediator in the ceasefire talks between Israel and Hamas, amid claims by the Qatari Prime Minister that its efforts are being ‘misused for narrow political interests’, will have been met with consternation in many western and Middle Eastern capitals. Qatar’s potential withdrawal comes at a time when talks

Will Israel continue its strikes on Iran?

The reported Israeli strike on an Iranian air installation near the city of Isfahan in central Iran appears to have been the most significant of a series of attacks carried out by Israel in the course of last night. While the full picture is still emerging, there are indications that an additional strike of some

Sunak declares a crackdown on Britain’s ‘sick note culture’

10 min listen

Rishi Sunak has returned to one of his pet bugbears: getting the unemployed back into work. His speech to the Centre for Social Justice this morning was peppered with his favourite facts about the post-pandemic welfare crisis embroiling Britain. Lucy Dunn speaks to James Heale and Michael Simmons.  Produced by Oscar Edmondson.