The Sunday Times and Croissants : Cameron on rack over “loons” slur

The Sunday Times and Croissants, Cameron on the rack

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

Headlines –  “Cameron on rack over “loons” slur” – makes the headlines. Tory activists have been labelled as “mad, swivel eyed loons” by a senior Tory figure, close to the Prime Minister. Lord Feldman, staunchly denies he is a senior Tory figure, close to Number Ten and is taking legal advice. He also denies making derogatory remarks about grass roots Tory members during a conversation in a restaurant.

It could have been worse, they could have been described as “Google eyed, loons”. This  would have been perceived as a clear reference to tax dodging, work shirking, close advisers to the Prime Minister. Yes, Google insider exposes “immoral tax scam” also makes the headlines. A former Google executive has blown the whistle on a massive tax scheme by which profits on Google’s UK transactions are diverted via Ireland to Bermuda. Sales deals negotiated in the UK are technically completed in Ireland, enabling the internet giant to all but eliminate the tax bill in the UK.

Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, is a member of the elite group of global company leaders on David Cameron’s Business Advisory Group. Schmidt advises on international tax legislation and is joined by Sir James Dyson who advises on outsourcing manufacturing jobs to the Far East. Excellent. Eric Schmidt may not make the group meeting tomorrow in London but may join via a conference call from Google HQ. A sort of air taxi dodging scheme – see what I did there!

Elsewhere, the Tory grandee Lord Howe has warned David Cameron that he risks losing control of his party over Europe. A warning that should not go unnoticed in Downing Street. Howe should know. He was instrumental in bringing down Thatcher over the very same issue twenty years ago. Old habits die hard. Grandees can bear grudges.

David Smith, “King clocks out with a spring in his step” – makes the headlines. The Governor of the Bank of England, presenting his final inflation report suggested growth will be a little stronger and inflation a little weaker than expected three months ago. The CBI suggests the economy is moving from flat to growth and the OECD suggest leading indicators point to growth at close to trend rates. Things are looking up, says the Economics Editor.

In The Saturday Economist, this week, The Inflation report is the main focus, presenting a welcome change in outlook for the year ahead. The employment figures were a little mixed and the news from Europe this week, was particularly bad with setbacks now extending to Germany and France. For more information visit the New Web Site, David Smith and Andrew Sentance now feature as guests on the site, my thanks to them.

Back to the day Job – Highlight of the week
The Annual Dinner on Thursday evening. A really lovely evening with Alistair McGowan as the star turn. More impressions in thirty minutes, than a crowd of elephants moving through the Serengeti, Alistair’s multi lingual Federer and the Murray comparison just two of the many highlights. A serene night, so calm and relaxed. My thanks to all, especially the great team at pro.manchester for making it all look so easy. Pro.manchester at it’s best, not just the black ties and posh frocks on the night.

Saturday, working in the morning, the day starts as usual with tea, the FT, and the Economist app. The Economist leads with “It’s Japan”, The new prime minister has a vision of a prosperous Japan. The economics are looking better, than Japanese jingoism, says the sage weekly.

In the afternoon, tennis a 6 – 3 win, yes it’s a win. Think again all those would be challengers!

Hope all is well, more news next week,

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