The Sunday Times and Croissants – 3rd February – Tories pin hopes on Boris

The Sunday Times and Croissants - Tory rebels pin hopes on Boris

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

Headlines –  Tory rebels pin hopes on Boris – makes the front page. It turns out the rebels backing Adam Afriyie to topple David Cameron, are secretly hoping Boris Johnson will emerge as the ultimate victor. Afriyie spends the money, the PM gets the push and Johnson returns to Westminster victorious. The yellow peril returns.

The back benchers are in a flap. Europe, gay marriages, marginal seats, Poles and polls, coalition handcuffs – the grey suits are playing “Pin the tale on the donkey, any donkey”, a down market version of the stalking horse race.

Meanwhile on the front line in Afghanistan, troops are receiving advice on redundancy as a result of defence cuts. Don’t shoot, let’s talk redundancy – the headline. Avoided that explosive device today? Have you thought about your next career move? It may not be full time employment. Excellent. Lions led by donkeys, our lesson from history this week.

Return of the King by William Dalrymple is my read of the week. The story of the battle for Afghanistan in 1839 is a must read for international strategists.  “You have brought an army into the country but how do you propose to get it out again”, the chilling quote of the time. Some lessons have been learnt, the Generals deployed thirty thousand camels, 300 of which were to carry the officers wine cellar. Camels and troops died of thirst on the way in but the Madeira made it. Excellent

David Smith, has been reading the report from the LSE Growth Commission. We have been on a roll and we can do it again, is the rallying cry. Britain has very considerable advantages with an economy far from broken. Politicians appear to be the problem, inadequate infrastructure, education and skills investment largely to blame. The Commission suggests a National Growth Council, “The absence of stable machinery at the centre of government makes it difficult to develop a long term strategy for promoting economic growth”. Yes Minister.

Economics news, no need to worry about the US fiscal cliff, the Chinese choke or the European Yoyo. World output and more importantly world trade is set to increase in 2013. The world as we know it, has not come to an end. Lost decades, may be lost from memory and the new (low growth) normal may soon be lost terminology. Too optimistic? The markets don’t think so, the great rotation from bonds into equities has begun. Check out “The Saturday Economist” for more details.

Back to the day Job – Monday team meeting in the morning, a series of internal meetings about events and budgets follows.

Tuesday, we work on the Economics presentation for next week and plans for the “Budget for Greater Manchester” event planned for March 14th.

Wednesday – relatively quiet day, chance to catch up on internal stuff.

Thursday – lunch presentation and evening economics dinner as part of the Duff & Phelps series. Good sessions and lots of interest from business about economics, interest rates and exchange rates trends. In the afternoon, conference call with Duff & Phelps, New York and Birmingham. Nice to receive a note from Harry Moore, from Moore Fleming, who found the session of value re expansion plans into India and Europe.

Friday, quick coffee with Alan Rigby from HSBC in the morning, followed by a briefing meeting with Andy Poole and Jessica Wilkinson from Weber Shandwick about the Budget event in March. Adam Jupp from MEN is in the office in the afternoon, a planning meeting for SME club and other things, the result.

Saturday, working in the morning, the day starts as usual with tea, the FT, and the Economist app. The Economist leads with “The Next Supermodel”, how the Nordic countries are the ones to watch.

In the afternoon, tennis, a shocking 2-6 setback. Great racquet and technique overcome as legs fail to get to point of contact. Mary will put the ball in those difficult to reach places.

Later today, no cinema today, Helen and my grand daughter are due to hit the city, chance to brighten a damp day.

Hope all is well, more news next week,
John

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