Charlotte Street Partners



Afghanistan's young people

Written by Liam Hendry, researcher
Edited by Tom Gillingham, associate partner

20 August 2021

Good morning,

It has been five days since the Taliban retook Kabul, and the outlook for young people could not be more depressing.
I was just a toddler when the US-led coalition invaded Afghanistan in the wake of the September 11 attacks, meaning I have grown up with the conflict unfolding in front of me on the television.
I recall my first modern studies lesson when I started secondary school nine years ago, where we learned about the west’s involvement in the Middle East through the harrowing symbolism of the falling man on 9/11
This week, we leave Kabul to the scenes of members their children’s generation plunging from US air force planes.
Yesterday it was revealed that one of the victims was nineteen-year-old Zaki Anwari, an aspiring professional footballer. Someone who has never lived under the Taliban chose to risk death in order to escape their clutches rather than reside under their rule, such is their reputation.
The Taliban has attempted to reassure Afghans and the west, promising to respect women’s rights, an amnesty for those who worked with coalition forces and the former Afghan government, and stating that it wants peaceful relations with other countries in a press conference earlier this week.  
A UN report suggests that rhetoric is not matching reality. The soldiers under the command of the same Taliban leadership that stood at that press conference in the presidential palace are reportedly going door to door searching for “collaborators”.
We have come full circle, and young people will be just one group who pay for this.


Foreign secretary Dominic Raab is facing calls to resign from opposition parties after reports emerged which claimed the foreign Secretary delegated critical phone calls from his Afghan counterpart, Hanif Atmar, to junior minister Zac Goldsmith. It’s since been reported by the Daily Mail that the phone calls never took place.
This morning there are reports a new power sharing deal has been agreed between the SNP and the Scottish Greens, which will see Green ministers in the government cabinet for the first time in Holyrood. The agreement stops short of a full coalition, and the full details are expected to be announced at 09:30.
UNICEF has released a report which finds that almost half of the world’s 2.2 billion children are at “extreme risk” from the consequences of climate change. Released in association with youth climate activists on the third anniversary of Greta Thunberg’s school strike, the report cites India, Nigeria, the Philippines and most countries within Sub-Saharan Africa as those where the consequences are likely to be the most pronounced.

Business and economy

Apple has announced it will now not ask staff to return to its corporate offices until 2022 due to a rise in Covid cases within the company and concerns over new variants. The tech giant had initially announced that staff would return for three days a week from October with a blend of homeworking. The move comes after Lyft, Amazon, and Facebook made similar announcements.
Britain’s fourth largest supermarket chain, Morrisons, is to be taken over in a takeover deal worth £7 billion from will see US private equity firm, Clayton, Dubilier & Rice. The agreement comes after months of negotiations in which an original offer of £5.5 billion was rejected on the basis that it “significantly undervalued” the retailer.
Toyota has announced it has been forced to cut worldwide vehicle production by 40% next month. The move comes amid a global shortage of microchips due to a resurgence in coronavirus cases across Asia, where manufacturing takes place. Volkswagen has also made a similar announcement.

Columns of note

Three decades on from the ousting of Mikhail Gorbachev in a failed two-day coup, Rafael Behr critically examines the USSR’s journey from a “beacon of the Marxist prophecy” to the implosion of a superpower. He analyses how the attempted democratisation of Russia has exposed the west’s fatal flaw in cynical assumption that “liberal democracies are the ideological terminus”.

Robert Shrimsley writes in the Financial Times that the handling of the withdrawal of all Nato forces from Afghanistan has “shown the hollowness of global Britain”. He calls on Boris Johnson to lead on the world stage and exposes the fatal consequences arising from “shrugging in the face of evil”. (£)

Cartoon source: The Times


What happened yesterday?

London stocks fell sharply yesterday with the expectation that the US Federal Reserve will begin to withdraw fiscal stimulus.
The FTSE100 ended the day down 1.54% at 7,058.86, while the FTSE250 fell 0.96% to 12,606.87. In the US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by 0.19% to 34,894.12, while the S&P 500 rose 0.13% to 4,405.80.
Sterling was 0.61% weaker against the dollar at $1.3672 and down 0.46% against the euro at €1.1692.

What’s happening today?

Afarak Group

Auction Tech
Zegona Com

UK economic announcements
(00:01) GFK Consumer Confidence
(07:00) Public Sector Net Borrowing
(07:00) Retail Sales

International Economic Announcements   
(07:00) Producer Price Index

Source: Financial Times

did you know

Spyridon Louis, the winner of the first modern Olympic marathon, is said to have stopped mid-race for a glass of wine at a local tavern.

Parliamentary highlights

House of Commons

The House is in recess. The House will next sit on 6 September 2021.

House of Lords 

The House is in recess. The House will next sit on 6 September 2021.

Scottish parliament 

The Scottish parliament is in recess until 30 August.

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