There is something special about Sunday morning, the Sunday Times, hot croissants with honey and butter, excellent.
Headlines – “Pryce “still loved Huhne” as she destroyed him”, makes the headlines, Vicky Pryce was still in love with Chris Huhne as she set out to destroy the cabinet minister, according to Isabel Oakeshott, the Sunday Times political editor. Pryce loves Huhne – true. She just wanted to see him again – in court. Preferably on a charge of perverting the course of justice. Ah, the love of a good woman. It was just a speeding ticket after all.
Not much love for the Prime Minister this week. Theresa May is setting out her stall to topple Cameron, claims the Sunday Times. David Cameron, admonished by the OBR on Thursday, is facing fresh pressure from cabinet colleagues this week-end. A devastating poll, reveals the conservatives face a wipeout at the next election. A survey of marginal constituencies, suggests the Tories would lose 93 seats and the Lib dems would lose over half. The coalition would be out. Ed Milliband would lead Labour back to power, with a Commons majority of 84.
“The least deserved election victory in British politics?” Perhaps, it would be like winning Wimbledon with a semi final walk through and an opponent retiring hurt in the final. Victory is not enough, or is it? Should we believe the polls? Apparently following news of the Apprentice claim for unfair dismissal, (was this just a publicity stunt after all? I am shocked!), according to a YouGov poll for the Sunday Times, 54% said they would not want to work for Alan Sugar. Only 54%? Speaks volumes about the state of the economy and the problem of youth unemployment perhaps.
David Smith, warns “Eurozone storms can still blow Britain away”. Yeah we know that, also North Korea may push the button and we would all whitewash the windows and shelter under the staircase to avoid the nuclear firestorm. Let’s move on. I prefer Jim O’Neill’s article this week, – slashing debt is not enough – we need growth. Jim will be speaking at the Business Conference on the 22nd March, which incidentally I shall anchor with Kirsty Wark.
Who could disagree with Jim? Next week, we release the “Budget for Greater Manchester” which argues that without growth, it will be difficult to cut the budget deficit at all. Departmental cuts are increasing the social security spend as tax revenues fall. This is happening nationally and in the Greater Manchester economy. It’s all in the detail.
Economics news, The MPC kept rates on hold this week, with no increase in QE. This despite a poor set of construction stats for January but promising news on service sector growth in February. Our outlook for the year is unchanged but who will speak for sterling? For more detail, check out The Saturday Economist or Join the Mailing List.
Back to the day Job – no diary this week, most of the time spent, working on the budget statement and the Business Conference on the 22nd March. I shall be presenting the conference with Kirsty Wark. It really will be a fun show, so don’t miss that, tickets still available, ring the office this week.
Good to see Lisa Conmy from Pannone this week, Pannone will be sponsoring the conference along with the Professor’s SMExperts campus!
Saturday, working in the morning, the day starts as usual with tea, the FT, and the Economist app. The Economist leads with “A little faster George?”. The British Economy is stuck. It needs structural reform, looser money and more infrastructure spending. Yep.
In the afternoon, tennis, it’s a 3 – 6 loss. No e-mails please, I am in budget purdah.
Hope all is well, more news next week,
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