Thursday 25 May 2017 - Monocle Minute | Monocle

Thursday. 25/5/2017

The Monocle Minute

Image: Getty Images


Speech therapy

Political campaigning is due to resume in the UK tomorrow ahead of next month’s general election, after all parties agreed to suspend their activities following Monday’s terrorist attack in Manchester. Both the Conservatives and Labour are likely to restart their campaigns on safe topics but at some stage there will be a debate about security that threatens to tear apart the carefully crafted sense of unity that the country has understandably wrapped itself in since Monday night. Labour will point out government cuts to police services and the armed forces, while the Conservatives are likely to remind voters of the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s past statements on the use of nuclear weapons and the need for an army, as well as what they allege has been his support for terrorist groups (which he denies). Britain shouldn’t shy away from the debate – how the country responds to terrorism should be at the heart of an election campaign – but one hopes it can take place with sensitivity.

Image: Alamy


You’re grounded

We’ve long heard stories of the aggressive expansion of Amazon as it eyes everything from street-navigating robots to drones to try and cement its dominance in the retail realm. But now the Seattle-based multinational is facing a hurdle in the conventional field of air travel as it strives to maintain its edge. Amazon launched Prime Air last year in a bid to speed up deliveries and gain increased control over logistics – it’s even building a $1.5bn (€1.3bn) transport hub at Cincinnati/North Kentucky International Airport. What it didn’t account for were more than 50 unionised pilots protesting for higher wages and threatening an exodus to airlines prepared to pay more. We’d say that’s one example of Amazon failing to keep its staff on board.

Image: Getty Images


Turf wars

Nikkei Inc, owner of The Financial Times, is said to be planning a move into the education business by selling FT-branded English courses targeted at business professionals in Japan. News reports say that Nikkei’s foray into education, effectively moving in on the turf of Pearson Plc (the FT’s former owner), is in the early stages and will start in earnest next year. Nikkei – a Monocle shareholder – bought the FT from Pearson, the world’s biggest education company, in 2015 for €1.2bn. In a crowded language-learning market, the FT brand could bring a competitive edge. For now the Japanese company is keeping quiet about its plans for an e-learning service, telling Bloomberg that “nothing has been decided”.

Image: Alamy

Food & drink

Alternative recipe

The inaugural summer edition of the sustainability-focused food festival Care’s took place on the Sicilian island of Salina this week. For an event born in the mountainous heights of South Tyrol, the move to the southern tip of Italy may seem surprising but, in fact, it was strategic. Both locations share many similarities when it comes to food production, perhaps because they’re equally isolated: Salina thanks to the sea and South Tyrol courtesy of the Dolomites. These conditions have forced both regions to develop a certain self-sufficiency and expertise when it comes to everything from cheese to wine production. The conference brought academics, chefs and the island’s most successful agricultural producers – from caper-harvesters to Malvasia vintners – together for four days of cooking classes, tastings, talks and fishing excursions designed to encourage chefs and producers, big and small, to work together.

Making sense of the world

Jan Chipchase is the founder of Studio D Radiodurans, a consultancy that’s perhaps like none other in the world. He and his team travel to the far edges of the earth on behalf of clients to immerse themselves in difficult environments and understand human behaviour. He’s recently distilled his years of experience into a beautiful crowdfunded guide called 'The Field Study Handbook'. This week Jan shares lessons for travelling anywhere, making sense of the world and making a difference.


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