Both my readers have expressed disappointment at the lack of recent output on this site. This is entirely my fault, but not entirely due to indolence. I have started a column in the Saturday Financial Times, and have been giving it my best shot. Some sort of service here may resume in due course.

I strongly recommend (obviously) that you read the column. Last week’s acerbic effort is here for FT subscribers (a bargain at £11 a week, print copy delivered and full access to the site). Or you can use your ration of precious free searches. It won’t take more than four or five of them a month.