The Sunday Times and Croissants – “Royal Society bust up over Andrew”

The Sunday Times and Croissants 5th May

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

Headlines –  “Royal Society bust up over Andrew” makes the headlines. Some of Britain’s leading scientists are in revolt over the election of Prince Andrew as a fellow of the Royal Society because of his “over colorful past” and lack of a scientific background.

It’s not so much the marriage to Fergie or the lack of qualification that appears to be the problem. The Royal Society used a ballot paper that allowed delegates to vote only “Yes” and nothing else. “A ballot where you can only say yes, is a bad idea”, said Lord May, a former president. Clearly a peer, sitting in the other place, with a sound grasp of democracy. Even so the Duke could secure no more than 11% of the vote – still enough to get elected.

Not so UKIP, gaining 25% of the vote would not guarantee election for the party of protest in a UK general election. Why not? A platform based on not allowing East Europeans to smoke in pubs will need greater elaboration before polling day. Nicholas Farage, clutching a pint and smoking a fag, presents a better “man of the people” image than David Cameron. UKIP needs “seats in the house, not stools in the pub” to have a real impact.

The Prime Minister is not assisting the image race with an impression of Lord Snooty and his pals, according to the Sunday Times Leader. More Old Etonians have been invited to the chum-ocracy at Number Ten. An obvious attempt to shake off the “Two Posh Boys” tags for the Chancellor and PM, appears to have back fired.

We would do deal with Boris not Cameron, says Stuart Wheeler, the UKIP banker. Farage will forge an alliance with Johnson to form coalition, if elected. A sort of fags from Eton ticket! Two fingers on the nuclear buzzer, vote for Boris Farage, excellent.

David Smith, “Britain discovers a world outside the eurozone” the headline in this week’s Economic Outlook. The UK is growing exports to countries outside of euroland. No real surprise – trade follows growth. Interesting, denominated in dollars, exports have not required a debasing of the currency to generate volume and maximise revenue. Lessons from history and The Saturday Economist this week.

Economics news, growth continues into April according to the latest survey data. Markets rally to new highs, The Saturday Economist asks “Is it time to full your boots with green shoots?”. Don’t miss this week’s edition.

Back to the day Job – Monday – team meeting in the morning, then in the afternoon, the chairman and I meet with David McKeith and Clive Memmott from the GM Chamber of Commerce.

Tuesday – haircut and internal meetings!

Wednesday – coffee with Adrian Berg in the morning, then sign off meeting with the auditors in the afternoon,

Thursday, conference call with the Isle of Man office in the morning, planning a trip to Manchester in June. Later, Jonathan Diggines is in the office, for tea and catch up, always a great pleasure.

In the evening, dinner to meet John Cridland, Director General of the CBI as a guest of Simon Allport and Ernst and Young. Really good evening, Sir Richard is on the table, along with the soon to retire Ken Williamson and the great champion of UK manufacturing, Juergen Maier, from Siemens. Good fun.

Friday, day off, which means, the emails stop slightly earlier in the day.

Saturday, working in the morning, the day starts as usual with tea, the FT, and the Economist app. The Economist leads with “China, the return to greatness, let’s party like it’s 1793”. A reminder to finish my “return of the Middle Kingdom” paper. China has been a dominant world player before. I knew that!

In the afternoon, no tennis but we plan an outing on court later today. The best way to avoid publishing the result.

Hope all is well, more news next week,

John
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