The Sunday Times and Croissants, Black MP to be the next Tory leader?

The Sunday Times and Croissants 27th January

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

HeadlinesBlack MP is hot tip to be the next Tory leader, makes the headlines. It’s a continuation of the “Secret talk of a Tory coup gathers pace” featured last week. A secret operation is under way to propel a black Tory MP to the party leadership apparently. A sort of Obama me too, or a Chuka Umunna blocker should Mr Ed falter amongst the Labour back benchers.

Adam Afriyie a self made multi millionaire, is being groomed as a surprise candidate to succeed Cameron. Born in poverty, hungry as a child, went to state school, has a second wife called Tracy- Jane, worth over £50 million, never a member of the Bullingdon club, Adam A appears to have the perfect profile for leader. Best of all, AA has never claimed parliamentary expenses for travel or a second home. That must have been the clincher.

The Tories are trawling the marginals, Dominic Lawson, suggests Cameron’s support for same sex marriage is a naked grab for electoral territory. “I now pronounce you gay and Tory”, the headline. The speech on Europe has clipped four points from the UKIP ranking. If you want to divert attentions from domestic problems, create a distraction abroad. The Sino – Japanese dispute over the Senkaku islands, Argentina and Malvinas, Britain in Europe that sort of thing.

I tried to read the Prime Minister’s speech, “we cannot drain the channel”, was both informative and perceptive, lessons from history, King Canute, the guideline. “We have helped to write European history” explains the PM, “from Caesar’s legions, to the Napoleonic Wars, from Reformation and the Industrial Revolution to the defeat of Nazism”. Boadicea takes a back seat and no mention of Danegeld, the early experience of a European transaction mis match. We should have a referendum on the referendum as a first step.

David Smith, claims the financial hangover is Britain’s big headache. UK GDP did not grow at all in 2012 according to the data released last week. Austerity is not the problem, despite the reservations of the IMF. The solution – to stimulate the supply side with infrastructure, education and access to finance propositions. The Reinhardt – Rogoff hypothesis reigns, recovery from financial crises takes longer and results in slower growth during recovery. Worst still, hit the 90% debt to GDP ratio and the tipping point to endemic lower growth and rising debt is achieved.

Economics news, good news on employment was offset by growth and borrowing figures. The first estimate for GDP in the final quarter of the year was revealed on Friday. The good news, there was no growth last year but no evidence of a triple dip either. Equity markets reacted with a move into high ground with some slight pressure on bond prices evident. At least the portfolios are rebalancing, the economy is obviously not. The borrowing figures continue to disappoint, for more news, check out The Saturday Economist.

Back to the day Job – Monday team meeting in the morning, then in the afternoon a meeting with Andy Gregory from the Business Growth Fund. The infrastructure is developing along with deal flow and completions. The BGF will have a significant part to play in funding the £2m – £10m equity provision.

Tuesday, a meeting with the Shain Shapiro and Allan Beaton from Hootsuite. We discuss how to integrate Hootsuite real time feed into the Business Conference in March. Shain will also join the professor’s SMExperts faculty, blogging on Twitter and Hootsuite specifically.

Wednesday – James Ager (MAG) and Karen Tierney (New Economy) are in the office to talk about the Manchester China Forum, an important initiative for the city to which we pledge full support. Later Sue Webster calls in for coffee, always a pleasure. In the afternoon, a second meeting with Sir Howard, joined by Baron Frankal. We discuss plans for the “Budget for Greater Manchester” statement to be released ahead of the George Osborne delivery in March. It’s going to be a Red Box on the steps of City Hall job. Excellent.

Thursday – shock as the implications of the work involved in the budget commitment sink in. Followed by a handover of the key financial reports from Emma to Isabel as the new finance manager.

Friday, Will Kintish is in the office, impressed by my iPhone App, Kintish is going mobile, watch out. Later – great lunch with Eric Kilby, I have not seen Eric for too long, we reminisce on Coloroll in the 80’s. The Billion Dollar bid for a US company possibly the highlight. The deal collapsed on Black Monday in 1987. Stock markets fell and US bankers bit through their cigars as news broke of the trauma on Wall Street.

Saturday, working in the morning, the day starts as usual with tea, the FT, and the Economist app. The Economist leads with “The Gambler” Cameron’s risky referendum on Europe. In the afternoon, no tennis, we travel to Lancaster to meet with family and pick up a Ford Kuga. Nice.

Later today, off to the cinema, last week was “Django unchained” 165 minutes of fun and gore. Never a dull Tarantino moment, if you enjoyed Christopher Waltz in the Inglorious Bastards you will love Dr Schultz. Django (Jamie Foxx) is excellent and De Caprio makes a great Southern gent. Love it,

Hope all is well, more news next week,

John
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