The Sunday Times and Croissants, updates and insights 16th December

The Sunday Times and Croissants 16th December

There is something special about Sunday morning, the Sunday Times, hot croissants with honey and butter, excellent.

HeadlinesThis week focus on the tragedy in Connecticut and the deaths of children and adults in the school shooting. Our thoughts are with the friends and families of victims and survivors in the terrible affair. As President Obama stated.

“Our hearts are broken, for the parents and grandparents, sisters and brothers of these little children, and for the families of the adults who were lost. Our hearts are broken for the parents of the survivors as well, for as blessed as they are to have their children home, they know their children’s innocence has been torn away from them too early, and there are no words that will ease their pain.”

As parents we shudder. What could be more comforting than the thought of dropping kids off at school in the morning and collecting them at close. Safe in the knowledge they are safe in school, not sheltering in some makeshift panic room as gun shots ring around the playground. It is a tragedy which besets the USA too often, for once is too much.” Of Lanza the headline says, “he had a personality disorder”. He shot his mother first.

Doctors Orders,
In other news The NHS is to order doctors to work at week-ends. GPs will be expected to open at week-ends as Sir Bruce Keogh director of the NHS commissioning board explains,  “It is no longer acceptable to have a health service operating for the convenience of doctors, we have to learn from “Tesco”.  Tesco law hits the surgery – This story will run and run.

David Smith, reveals that Oil drags us down, a reference to the relative growth of the economy overall and the lagging oil and gas sector. The non oil sector is rather stronger, claims the Economics Editor. Good Point but the excluding oil and gas, the economy is still down 3.1% from peak, it will take more than a frack to put us back on track.

DS also reveals the Treasury was so keen to secure a new broom as Governor, the short list included Sir Howard Davies, Lord Terry Burns and Mark Carney. So much for the Paddy Power ratings, it was never going to be an inside job.

Economics news, the latest unemployment claimant count suggests the economy is not double dipping but not growing much either. Blarney from Carney, Mark Carney hints at a possible change in the monetary policy framework. Tim Congdon “Crank at the Bank” suggests Meryvn King the most disastrous Governor ever? Check out The Saturday Economist for more details.

Back to the day Job – Monday team meeting in the morning, then a review of the Business Conference action plan.

Tuesday, early start with a meeting of the Business Leadership Council. Good meeting with a challenging agenda. Later Jon Hitch, an old friend and colleague calls in for coffee. Jon and I used to work together in the International marketing Department at Crown in Darwen. Many, many years ago. He later went on to become MD of the Crown and president of Wilmslow Rugby Club!

Wednesday – Finance committee meeting in the morning as we look at the Budget for next year and a revised forecast for the current year. More work to be done before the board meeting next week. Back to the office, Alex Heritage, Associate Director of Clinical Redesign, GM NHS is in the office along with Naomi Duggan, Director of Comms and Engagement. The pro.manchester Health Care group is already working with the GM NHS team. We discuss the opportunity for pro.manchester and Creative pro to get involved with the Communications Strategy for The “Healthier Together” programme. This would be an interesting e – digital challenge. GM GPs work week-ends – nice headline – it would have appeal.

In the afternoon coffee with Lisa Conmy from Pannone. Chance to sponsor the SME section of the Business Conference in March up for grabs.

Thursday - we take a look at “The Neighborhood” restaurant and bar, located in Avenue North and convenient for the office. This is the planned base for “Gateway” 2013 in a cost saving move away from the Lowry Hotel. Later we discuss progress on the conference. Don’t forget you can book a table this year as we lay the room in Cabaret style. Tables of 8 just £1000. A great way to engage colleagues and clients.

Baron Frankal from New Economy drops a line on the New Manchester China Forum. This  important group initiative is to be chaired by Charlie Cornish. Membership of the Forum will cost £2000 but a special deal is available to pro.manchester members. Interested in the China syndrome and the Lord Wei forward, then let is know.

Friday, grey day, working from home in the morning a chance to catch up on myself and the economics notes.

Saturday, working in the morning, the day starts as usual with tea, the FT, and the Economist app. The Economist leads with “Over the Cliff” Obama has a chance to fix America’s finances! Yes as if.

In the afternoon, no tennis but a chance to visit my daughter Helen (Deloitte trained) and granddaughter (far from it!)

Hope all is well, more news next week,
John

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