Meeting of Minds
Yes it’s that time again when world leaders gather in Switzerland to discuss global economics. More than 2,500 of the great and good from business, politics, academia, the media and arts are expected to descend on Davos for the annual conference, which this year has taken Mastering the Fourth Industrial Revolution as it’s theme. Whether, their collective brainpower will come up with a definitive plan to save the world in just four days remains unclear, but they will be at least hoping to shed some light on how rapidly developing technology will impact on society.
The school league tables are out on Thursday so get ready for an onslaught of stories as to how the current education system is failing a generation of youngsters. This time last year the news was not good with the number of secondary schools underperforming having doubled. A year ago the drop in the number of teenagers achieving five good GCSEs, including English and maths, was blamed on an overhaul of the exams system. Bradford did particularly badly, coming joint second lowest in the country alongside Blackpool. It might be a new year, but we predict that it will be the same old story.
A few weeks ago it was all about rain. Now it’s the white stuff which is preoccupying forecasters. There have already been a few flurries and on Friday the MetOffice issued a raft of weather warnings for snow and ice. Whatever happens, Leeds will be home to its own small winter wonderland as it welcomes the return of the Ice Cube to the city’s Millennium Square this week.
Yes, you can’t move far these days without hearing the name Donald Trump. While most of us are still in denial that the man who called for a ban on Muslims entering America actually has a shot at being the next American president, the billionaire businessman is set to make his mark on the House of Commons. MPs will debate a motion on whether to ban the White House hopeful from the UK after more than 570,000 people signed a petition calling for the Government to do just that. Any petition which passes the 100,000 mark has to be considered for discussion and three hours have been set aside for the debate on Trump. It’s unlikely to end in a ban, but it should be more entertaining than most Monday afternoons in the House of Commons.
Banking on success
Continuing the rogue’s gallery theme, this week sees the release of The Big Short. Based on Michael Lewis’ book about the events which led to the sub prime financial collapse, it stars Christian Bale, Steve Carrell, Ryan Gosling and Brad Pitt as four outsiders in the world of high finance.
Together they not only predicted the collapse of the credit and housing bubble, but they also decided to take on the big banks for both their greed and lack of foresight. The film has already been a hit in America and having just been nominated for five Oscars it’s likely to repeat the success on this side of the Atlantic.
Prepare to feel old. This week marks the 25th anniversary of the launch of Operation Desert Storm during the first Gulf War. Those assaults were the first to get the blanket rolling news coverage and with cameras in board the US Bombers it soon earned the nickname Video Game War. Given the landmark anniversary expect numerous inquisitions as to just how successful (or not) that initial invasion was.