Charlotte Street Partners

DAILY BRIEFING

DAILY BRIEFING

Keep your guard up

Written by Katie Armour, senior associate
Edited by Tom Gillingham, associate partner

2 September 2021

Good morning,

If you cast your mind back to 2008 you may recall Joanna Lumley campaigning for the Gurkha veterans of Nepal.

For the Absolutely Fabulous star it was an unexpected move, but she proved to be the perfect person.

The campaign captivated the nation and the national press, and Gordon Brown’s government conceded, confirming Gurkha veterans who had served four years or more would have the right to apply to come to Britain alongside their families.

At the close of the High Court case, the lawyer for the Gurkhas said it was “a victory for common sense; a victory for fairness; and a victory for the British sense of what is right.”

That ‘British sense of what is right’ was under the microscope again yesterday as the House of Commons foreign affairs committee grilled foreign secretary Dominic Raab on another major injustice.

Terse exchanges about Mr Raab’s time on holiday peppered the evidence session, which yielded many new details about Britain’s exit from Afghanistan but also raised a lot more questions.

We discovered that the government doesn’t know the number of UK nationals still in Afghanistan, embassy staff may or may not have forgotten to take the portrait of the Queen with them and the foreign office was warned about the imminent collapse of Afghanistan at the end of July

But one story that particularly stuck in the throat was that of the 100 Afghan guards who kept the British embassy compound safe.

Despite guarding the gates of this building for years, the guards were told they were ineligible for UK government protection because they were contractors. Britain didn’t have their back.

The decision was quickly reversed in the face of criticism, but Raab confirmed to the committee yesterday that “the buses arranged to get them and take them to airport weren’t given permission to enter” so they haven’t made it back.

The guards told reporters that life under Taliban rule has worsened dramatically, they don’t have any income and “they spend their days in hiding, moving from location to location late at night”.

And there lies the connection that draws us from the Gurkhas to the Afghan guards via many communities in between. It’s a question of trust.

The Gurkhas were told they could fight and die for Britain but not live here. More than a decade on the message to the Afghan embassy guards is eerily similar, but this time, they’ve been abandoned in the war zone.

Boris Johnson tells us he’ll move “heaven and earth” to get the remaining people home but his deputy has just admitted they don’t even know how many people that is.

Can people trust the UK government to stick to their word and protect those who protected them? If the answer is no, as the Kabul case study would suggest, what does that mean for our standing in the world, our allies in future fights and that good old fashioned British sense of ‘what is right’?

News

The Scottish first minister announced new public health measures yesterday which will require people to present proof of double vaccination before attending: nightclubs, indoor live events with more that 500 people unseated, outdoor live events with more than 4,000 people unseated or any event with more than 10,000 people. She stated that people will be able to request a QR code as their vaccination record, whereas up until now people have largely only been able to request a paper copy post.

 

A controversial new law that bans abortions beyond the six week point came into effect yesterday morning in Texas. The law also allows private citizens to bring civil suits against anyone who assists a pregnant person in seeking an abortion. The Supreme and federal appeals courts have failed to rule on emergency requests against the law brough forward by abortion providers.

 

The UK government has drawn up plans to move Trident submarines abroad in the event of a successful yes vote. The secret contingency plans have proposed alternative bases in either France or the US. The move to an allied facility is favoured by the Treasury because it would require minimal capital investment. (£)

Business and economy

Huw Pill, a senior lecturer at Harvard Business School and Goldman Sachs “veteran”, has been appointed as the Bank of England’s new chief economist. He takes up the position on 6 September and will sit on the interest rate setting monetary policy committee. (£)
 
Google is appealing against a €500m French fine over a news copyright dispute. It was charged with not complying with an order to come up with proposals on compensating publishers
 
Wetherspoon’s pub chain has reported it is running low on beer amid the Brexit-induced lorry driver shortage. The group said Heineken, Carling and Coors were among the brands affected. The news comes after Diet Coke became unavailable in some supermarkets and a number of fast food chains were forced to close outlets.

Columns of note

David Aaronovitch predicts in the Times that China’s curb on video games will “prove futile” and argues that Xi Jinping “underestimates human drive and ingenuity” and he seeks to control and improve young people. (£)

 

In the wake of the abortion law changes in Texas, Kathryn Kolbert and Julie Kay write in the Guardian that “it’s time to brace ourselves for a world without Roe v Wade”. They advocate setting in motion “human rights-infused strategies” that can unify abortion rights supporters and other broader movements and have their sights set on a constitutional amendment to provide for gender equity.

Cartoon source: The Times

Markets

What happened yesterday?

London stocks closed in a positive state on Wednesday, despite investors being presented with a new set of uninspiring manufacturing data.

The FTSE 100 ended the session up 0.42% at 7,149.84, while the FTSE 250 was up 0.62% at 24,250.83. In the US, Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.14% to 35,312.53, while the S&P 500 recorded marginal gains of 0.03% to 4,524.09 and the Nasdaq Composite was 0.33% up at 15,309.38.

Sterling was in a mixed state, trading 0.27% stronger against the dollar at $1.37 but 0.12% weaker against the euro, changing hands at €1.16.

In company news:

Online betting group 888 Holdings saw their share price gain 3.53% after reporting record interim profits, which were fuelled by lockdown and the Euros.

Takeaway firm Just Eat saw its share price rise by 7.56%. It’s set to be removed from the top flight FTSE 100 on Thursday, in the quarterly reshuffle, after the index ruled it a Dutch company rather than a British one.

WHSmith shares dropped by 3.8%. It’s 2022 profits are expected to be dramatically impacted by the pandemic as well as the travel sector’s recovery remains uncertain.

What’s happening today?

Finals
Barratt Developments

Interims
Camellia
Downing Renewa.
Gem Diamonds Di
Gulf Keystone Petroleum
Inspired
Gym Group
Wentworth Res.

AGMs
Blue Planet
Carclo
Jet2 Plc
Jlen Env
Monks Investment Trust
Safestay
Watches Switz

Final Ex-Dividend Date  
BHP Group
Creightons
Down. 4 Gen
Down. 4 Health
Gresham House Strategic
Miton Uk
Panther Securities
Redde Northgate
Solid State 

Final Dividend Payment Date 
Pennon

Interim Ex-Dividend Date 
Abstd EquityInc
Abstd Euro Log.
Admiral
Alliance Trust
Antofagasta
Atlantis Japan
Aviva 8 3/8 Pf
BMO Capital & Income Investment Trust
Bristol Wtr.8t
Capital
Centamin Plc
Clarkson
ConvaTec
Cppgroup
Franchise Brand
Gen.acc.7se.pf
Genuit Group Plc
GlobalData

Grafton Group
Ground Rents
H&t Group Pls
Henderson Div
Inter.Pers.
Jlen Env
Menzies(j)9prf
JPMorgan American
Jpmorg.gbl.g&i
Jupiter Emerg.
Keystone Pos.
LondonMetric
Maven l&g 4
Mom Mult Tst
Nthn.elec.prf
PageGroup
Quilter
Rathbone
Robert Walters
S&U 6Pf
Savills
Tclarke
Utilico Em.mkts

Interim Dividend Payment Date 
Aferian
Invesco Perp Uk

Quarterly Ex-Dividend Date 
Diversified En
Premier Miton
Rm Infra Inc
Util

Special Ex-Dividend Date 
Admiral
Glencore
PageGroup
Puma Vct 11

UK Economic Announcements 
(00:00) Initial Jobless Claims (US)
(00:00) Continuing Claims (US)

International Economic Announcements 
(10:00) Producer Price Index (EU)
(15:00) ISM Prices Paid (US)
(15:00) ISM Manufacturing (US)
(15:00) Factory Orders (US)

 

Source: Financial Times

did you know

Because the Gregorian calendar is not quite in perfect symmetry with the Earth’s orbit, the autumn equinox will very occasionally fall on September 24. This last happened in 1931 and will next happen in 2303. (Source: Met Office)

Parliamentary highlights

House of Commons

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

House of Lords 

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

Scottish parliament 

Parliamentary Bureau Questions
 
General Questions
 
First Minister’s Questions
 
Members’ business debate
Our Factory, Our Future, the Fight to Save McVitie’s at Tollcross, Glasgow
 
Parliamentary Bureau Questions
 
Portfolio Questions
Rural economy
 
Scottish Government debate
Supporting the people of Afghanistan
 
Business Motions
 
Parliamentary Bureau Questions

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