Barely a day goes by without a think tank, employers’ group or minister talking about the need to improve the productivity or British business, and while this generally conjures up images of factory floors it’s reassuring to know that investment banks are also searching for elusive gains. How else to explain the decision by Barclays to install dystopian staff-monitoring software on their Canary Wharf computers? A whistleblower in the investment banking arm provided us with details of the Sapience system installed last week on computers, and we revealed the controversy on yesterday’s front page. As today’s front page notes, Barclays has now pulled the plug on the controversial pilot scheme following a wave of criticism. Firstly, this must be the first time that the TUC has come to the defence of investment bankers (“Shame on you Barclays,” they said yesterday) and secondly, employers have to take staff with them when introducing technological innovation. THE SPEECH given this week by the UK’s chief EU negotiator David Frost constitutes the most significant utterances by a Brit in Belgium since Margaret Thatcher delivered her Bruges speech in 1988. If you don’t believe me, look it up and read the whole thing.