The Sunday Times and Croissants – union boss elected by phantoms

The Sunday Times and Croissants 10th November

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

Headlines “Union boss elected by phantoms ” makes the headlines this week. The boss of Britain’s biggest union faces investigation over alleged irregularities in his own election. Yes it’s Len McCluskey in the firing line again. Apparently 160,000 of the 1.5 million balloted to vote, were either ineligible or dead. So much for election apathy. Sometimes we expect too much from the dear departed. McCluskey received 144,750 votes compared to his nearest rival with 80,000 votes. Should we get too excited about this? Not really. Unite have denied any wrong doing in the election, it is a huge administrative challenge after all. “Return of the Zombie Return” is vote riggers film of the month in Falkirk.

“Pushy parents damage rich kids” also makes the headlines. In a clear warning to Cabinet, the Sunday Times suggests the children of rich kids have twice the risk of developing mental problems as their less well off peers. Scientists found that children of affluent parents were experiencing surging levels of neuroses, including depression, anxiety and failure to formulate coordinated policy. Tanya Byron an eminent British psychologist refers to the “mask of sanity” often seen in comfortable families. “Mask of Sanity” is coalition film of the month in Whitehall.

Nimby revolt hits PM in his own backyard, is our final front page pull. David Cameron is facing a revolt in more than 30 Conservative constituencies as his relaxation of planning laws backfires. Campaigners are threatening to turn the controversy into an election issue that could damage the Conservative vote in marginal seats. On the economic front, it’s is all looking good for the election run in for the Conservatives. The Chancellor is delivering a great platform. Cameron has not won an election yet. Authority, leadership and joined up policy the requisite response from the PM. It could be a close vote.

The Saturday Economist, in the Saturday Economist this week, we confirm “The economy is recovering and growing at a much faster rate into the final quarter. Higher growth, more jobs, lower borrowing, inflation falling, investment will pick up in the second half of next year, it’s all looking pretty good for the Chancellor. Just the trade figures will continue to disappoint. We expect the unemployment rate to hit 7% in Q3 2015. Rates may rise, once the votes are in! Check out the latest post on the web site.

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.

Tuesday, Marketing Manchester board meeting in the morning. The plans for the Manchester family are outlined.

Wednesday, MIDAS lunch for a potential new arrival into the city in 2014. Mike Blackburn and I are part of the presentation team. Good chance to talk about the success of growth in the city.

Thursday, I am a guest of Dave Allanson. It is the Lloyds bank dinner at the Imperial War Museum for 200 staff, clients and guests. Good panel session and presentation hosted by Gavin Esler. Great night, with a bit more than bully beef and biscuits to feed the delegates. Excellent.

Friday, a quiet Friday translates into a busy schedule. Paul Smith head of comms from the Chamber is in first thing. Followed by Ruth Raban and Andrew Leeming from Creative Lancashire and the Lancashire “Boost” business development programme. We discuss how SME club, together with SMEx and FDFm can be included in the plans to help businesses across the North West.

Later Mike Perls from MC2 is in the office to discuss launch plans for FDFm, the financial directors forum and extend coverage of the SMEx, Social Media Experts programme. Lunch a working lunch with Yorkshire Bank. A three course meal and a chance to talk about economics to clients of the Bank. The session finishes around 3:00pm. Excellent.

Saturday, the day starts as usual with tea, the FT, and the Economist app on my new iPad Air! So light and fast with great battery life!  In the afternoon, no tennis, England Argentina at Twickenham not to be missed. We shall play later today!

Hope all is well, more news next week, watch out for details of our Financial Directors Forum. The call for content starts soon with launch planned in 2014.

© John Ashcroft 2013.

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