There is something special about Sunday morning, the Sunday Times, hot croissants with honey and butter, excellent.
Headlines – “Miliband Dossier on union plot revealed” makes the headlines this week. Contents of the secret report on Labour’s vote-rigging scandal are revealed today by the Sunday Times. Ed Miliband refused to publish but the Sunday Times has the story. Let’s hope they didn’t hack it! The contents lay bare the “shocking” conclusions of the inquiry into alleged electoral corruption in the “brutal” battle by the Unite Union to seize control of the safe Labour seat of Falkirk.
A secret system gave Labour party supporters star ratings based on their perceived loyalty to the union. Opponents were given red stars, possibles were given yellow stars and supporters “recruited for selection” were given two green stars (and a jelly baby). The star system was considered to be so secret, only a few at the top, nicknamed the FK brigade knew about it. Of course, it’s the sort of infantile ranking one would not want to be made public but is that so subversive? The Sunday Times reveals that coercion, trickery and manipulation were evident in the investigation. Shocking.
“£500,000 a year for Tory election guru” also makes the headlines. News today that David Cameron has hired the controversial Australian strategist, Lynton Crosby as full time advisor in the run up to the election. The Conservative Board signed off the deal this week. Crosby will move from a day a week to full time with effect from the 1st January 2014. Crosby has plans to introduce a colour coded star system for journalists and constituencies but has promised to avoid elements of coercion, trickery and manipulation in the campaign strategy. Excellent.
“Queen’s best friends at risk”, also makes the headlines. Monarchists and corgis are at risk from the growing threat of small dogs and voters of foreign origin. An astronomical increase in imported dogs, including French Bulldogs and chihuahuas is putting native breeds at risk. The corgi, the queen’s favorite dog, is set to be classified as an endangered species. Only 241 have been registered to vote in Falkirk this year, according to the Kennel Club. A breed is classified as endangered when annual registrations fall below 300. I am particularly concerned about the fate of the Dandie Dinmont Terrier. A breed which appears to be ill named and dimensioned for the role.
The Saturday Economist, in the Saturday Economist this week, “Housing and the Leisure sector” are leading the recovery according to the latest crop of information. The latest update on the service sector is available as a download option. The distribution hotels and leisure sector is growing at over 4% a year. The young pound is providing the push to spending. News of house price rises of 6%, according to Nationwide, ensure the real cost of borrowing is negative. Perfect conditions for sustained growth in the housing market. Check out the latest from The Saturday Economist here.
Back to the day Jobs – Highlights of the week
Monday – team meetings in the morning and briefing with the Chamber of Commerce Economics and PR team in the afternoon. We are excited about the plans for 2014, which will include the extension of SME club and the launch of the Financial Directors Forum across the North West.
Tuesday, meeting with Sir Richard in the morning to discuss the updates following the visit to the Isle of Man, plus first outline of the excellent GMCoC report on the Construction Sector in Greater Manchester. The formal launch of this key report will take place at the end of this month.
Later a meeting with Clive Memmott and Baron Frankal from New Economy. Plans are hatched to launch a North West Economics Forecasting Group, capitalising on the work of the North West Chambers of Commerce and New Economy. The Budget for Greater Manchester may also make a welcome return in March next year! My campaign to become Chief Economist of Greater Manchester takes a critical step forward.
Wednesday, excellent Chairman’s dinner. Nicola Quayle hosts an dinner for some of our top supporters and member companies in pro.manchester. So many bankers in the room, we could have held our own enquiry!
Thursday, I am speaking at the Challenge for Change conference at the BBC. The event organised by Growth Accelerator in association with our own SME club is anchored well by Michael Taylor. My thanks to the pro.m events team for their excellent help on this. Later a meeting with Jessica Wilkinson from Weber Shandwick. Jessica handled the launch of the “Budget” project this year and will lead again in 2014. We discuss plans for the several months ahead.
Friday, working from home in the morning followed by a brutal tennis training session in the afternoon.
Saturday, the day starts as usual with tea, the FT, and the Economist app. In the afternoon, no tennis, who would miss the chance to see England beat Australia at Twickenham. Excellent.
Hope all is well, more news next week, watch out for details of our Financial Directors Forum
© John Ashcroft 2013.
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