London — When I was at primary school there was a particularly fierce dinner lady who saw it as her duty to make sure all children always ate everything on their plates. Whenever we tried to sneak some vinegary beetroot or a nasty bit of gristle past her she would send us back to finish it with the admonition: “Think of the starving children in Africa.” 

Even when I was nine I did not find this argument terribly compelling. I wanted to tell her to give my beetroot and my cold, powder-mash potatoes to the starving children, but one look at her face assured me that this would be a bad call. ..

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Sunday Times Daily.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now