The Sunday Times and Croissants 24th March : Ten police plotted Plebgate

The Sunday Times and Croissants 24th March

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

Headlines –  “Ten police plotted Plebgate” – makes the headlines, at least ten police officers are suspected of involvement in a plot to discredit the former cabinet minister Andrew Mitchell. The ex minister committed the heinous crime of trying to ride his bike through the main Downing Street gate, shocking. Mitchell took exception when he was instructed to get off his bike and walk through the side gate, calling Downing Street armed guards “plebs” in the process, (allegedly). The police conspiracy now extends to four forces including the Met, West Midlands, West Mercia and Warwickshire.

That’s what happens when you fall from grace in Great Britain. Compare this to the misfortune of Boris Berezovsky found dead in his bath yesterday. Facing financial ruin and down to his last bodyguard, the Russian had survived two suicide attempts including a Russian bomb that decapitated his chauffeur. Challenging President Putin, not without peril, he had been on Russia’s most wanted list since 2001, accused of embezzling £1.3 billion. The tragic end, a clear warning to anyone threatening Russian assets and bank deposits anywhere in the world, including Cyprus!

David Smith, Economic Outlook cautions “Don’t rely on the Bank to pump up growth”. Yep, – monetary activism, unconventional policies, intermediate thresholds and explicit forward guidance will achieve little to transform a slow growing economy without a coherent economic strategy from HM Treasury. This was not entirely apparent in the budget delivered on Wednesday this week. Plan A for austerity became plan A for aspiration, predominantly an aspiration to be re elected.

Economics news, retail sales were up, claimant count was flat, inflation is rising but the headlines of the week belonged to the budget. For more information, check out The Saturday Economist – “The difficult decisions we still face”.

Back to the day Job – Monday team meeting in the morning, then time out to get my eyes tested for the first time in over six years. No lights flashing in the corner of my eye, I fail the peripheral vision test. Could this be affecting the tennis scores? Of course not, it turns out the machine isn’t working.

Tuesday a meeting with Chris Barry and Lee-J Walker to talk about the sector group developments.

Wednesday, up early have agreed to do the Alan Beswick show on Radio Manchester. On site at 6:50 am. That is very early, then follows the budget presentation later in the day.

Thursday, invited back to do the Radio Manchester show, decide a phone in from home is better fit for purpose and get the call around 7:30, I follow a market trader from Wigan, very fitting.

Friday, it’s Business Conference day. Great fun anchoring the show with Kirsty Wark. The team have worked hard to deliver a great event. Hope all enjoyed the performance and thanks to all who attended and took part.

Saturday, working in the morning, the day starts as usual with tea, the FT, and the Economist app. The Economist leads with “Just when you thought it was safe”. A reference to the crisis in Cyprus. What’s ten billion euros amongst friends, it’s just a few weeks borrowing for Chancellor Osborne.

In the afternoon, tennis, an  8 – 6 win, yep and Wigan thrash Widnes 64 – 4, a week-end of joy!

Hope all is well, more news next week, don’t miss the conference on Friday!
John
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