ALEX BRUMMER: Britain’s global ambitions depend on getting the world vaccinated

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The first duty of any government is to protect the personal and economic security of its people.

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Only those unwilling to give any credit to Boris Johnson’s government can criticize the UK’s pace of COVID vaccine development and roll-out.

Restoring the post-pandemic economy, jobs and living standards is critical, which is why there is a need to resist panic responses to Omicron.


A great deal of the initial testing of the Oxford AstraZeneca jab was done in South Africa.

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Even the modest restrictions imposed so far – such as wearing masks on public transport and in shops – generate a behavioral response.

Citizens will generally be more reluctant to socialize and consume. So it doesn’t seem likely that the Bank of England will rock the boat this month and raise interest rates sharply.

If it waited for the holiday to end, it would now like to know more about the impact of the new COVID version before tackling inflation.

Expanding the vaccination envelope at home is a priority.

But now that the barriers to production have been removed, it’s worth hearing Gordon Brown and the International Monetary Fund talk about immunizations for emerging markets and developing countries.

A great deal of the initial testing of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine was done in South Africa, so it is reprehensible that the region has not been better protected.

Given the time it takes to achieve a workable malaria vaccination plan, however, perhaps we should not be surprised that COVID vaccination is so rare in developing countries.

The great mantra of this century has been globalization and how it is driving wealth to the Pacific basin as well as parts of Africa.

The consequences for global Britain and the West are that it is in the national interest to ensure that the vaccine is available to the newly wealthy and developing countries.

Getting the world vaccinated is crucial if UK aerospace is not to suffer further damage, and the aspiration of a more global UK is to be achieved.

future proofing

Unsurprisingly, the now much cited references to Peppa Pig are a sharp reminder of what the UK has been lost to by foreign and private equity takeovers.

Peppa Pig is part of US toymaker Hasbro and Peppa Pig World is in the hands of private equity behemoth Blackstone after owner Merlin Entertainments left the FTSE.

What is encouraging is that the UK’s creative and innovative sectors open season are now facing a fair challenge.

The acquisition by Facebook-owner Meta of online Gif maker Giphy is reportedly to be reversed by Competition and Markets Authority.

Facebook intended to merge £290million Gif and Animation purchases with its Instagram offshoot.

Britain is finally taking technology and creative pitfalls seriously.

The conversion of UK satellite pioneer Inmarsat to US rival Viasat by private equity owners Apax and Warburg Pincus faces national security and R&D scrutiny.

It was negligent that commercial satellite communications important to the national interest were allowed to fall into the hands of financial players in the first place.

The most significant deal to clear roadblocks in the UK, Brussels and elsewhere is a proposed £30 billion acquisition of UK smart-chip designer Arm Holdings by US firm Nvidia.

Nvidia is getting cold feet because of the delay and it only faces the prospect of paying less than $1 billion in break-fees.

Owner SoftBank may have to look for other options to cash in. The best solution for the UK would be to re-list in London. It just won’t happen.

The arm was sold due to previous insurance on Downing Street. It will be great to see that Boris Johnson’s government is doing everything possible to bring future Arm public offerings to the city.

It would be a great sign of interest in Britain’s high-tech future.

#jack’s world

Steve Jobs’ return to Apple is not unknown, with a famous example being the return to big tech.

Jack Dorsey’s seven-year return to Twitter is one example.

The social media site loved by media, showbiz and exiled royals may have 200 million users worldwide, but it has struggled with both the site’s monetization and monitoring of users, the most famous of which is Donald Trump.

Dorsey’s departure will not be widely mourned by investors as the jump in stock prices shows.

As far as Twitterati is concerned, Dorsey’s main claim to fame is not his entrepreneurship but his Rasputin-style beard.


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