The Sunday Times and Croissants – “May goes to war over EU immigrants”

The Sunday Times and Croissants, May goes to war ...

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

Headlines “May goes to war over EU immigrants” makes the headlines this week. The government has raised the prospect of a 75,000 cap on annual immigration from the EU. A leaked report suggests net migration could be slashed by 30,000 from current levels. Lower skilled workers would only be allowed in, if they had jobs on an approved job shortage list, benefits could be withheld for up to five years and sleeping rough in London would be allowed on some kind of ethnic allocation basis. The majority of people sleeping rough in Westminster in 2012, were non UK EU nationals, this up from less than 50% in the prior year, apparently. “Save our jobs and doorsteps for the Brits” the new Tory policy chant.

“Cameron sends an SOS – save our selfie” also makes the headlines this week. David Cameron has appealed to the Danish Prime Minister, not to delete the photograph of himself, Barack Obama and Helle Thorning-Schmidt taken at the Nelson Mandela memorial service last week. The image of the trio indulging in humorous conversation and a selfie has caused great embarrassment for the political leaders. “In bad taste”, “debasing the office of prime minister” and “showing disrespect for the solemnity of the occasion” are just some of the criticisms outlined. Cameron clearly misjudging the moment and digital technology, has suggested the photo could be auctioned and sold for lots of money. Oh dear. Michelle Obama’s photo, would be the better bet. The reaction of the First Lady was one of disdain, ignoring the naughties clearly bored and behaving badly, at a very special moment in history.

Imagine the chaos in international relations if selfies had been the norm. Reagan and Gorbachev in Reykavik, “Just a moment Mikhail”, Truman pushing the button on the Manhattan project, “Smile please Harry” or Chamberlain returning from Munich. “I have in my hand a piece of paper and a selfie from Herr Hitler” – peace for our time indeed. There is a time and place for everything but senior political leaders indulging in selfies is debasing the mobile phone movement. It was embarrassing enough, watching Denis Healey carry his camera “around his neck and around the globe” to meetings with world leaders.

Back to Economics, David Smith, suggests “Carney looks on the bright side of life”. A reference to the Governor’s upbeat demeanour. Indeed, in The Saturday Economist, this week, we focus on Governor Carney’s Christmas message. “The Ghost of Christmas Present – is a cheerful spirit. The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come suggests that it is unlikely that equilibrium interest rates will return to historically normal levels any time soon”. Governor Carney was speaking in New York this week at the Economic Club of New York. Don’t you just love a central banker with a Christmas missive. The Governor is anxious to secure the message, interest rates will not rise any time soon. The recovery will not be put at risk, this time around.

Back to the day Jobs – Highlights of the week
Monday – team meeting in the morning.

Tuesday, morning economics presentation for the Adactus Housing Group board strategy day. In the evening, it’s the MPEG dinner with Tim Morris of EY in the chair, great to have Sir Richard Leese present. Private Equity such an important part of the Greater Manchester FPS community. A great turn out especially considering the football fixture list for the evening.

Wednesday, Theresa Fenton and Paul Tyrer from Birchall Blackburn call in for coffee. I have worked with Theresa for many years and it was great to have the chance to catch up. Later Andrew Leeming and Simon Turner are in the office to discuss the expansion of SME club and SMEx into Lancashire. We have the chance to work with Boost & Co. the new business development programme, part of the Lancashire County Council Economic Development initiative.

Friday, meeting with the Business Development team at Deloitte as we talk about the plans for the Financial Directors Forum in 2014. Good meeting with Laoisie Flanagan and Richard Wagstaff. Later I present then take part in a panel session for the South Manchester Housing Trust. Jim Hancock is the MC for a lively session in front of over 160 delegates at MOSI.

the day starts as usual with tea, the FT, and the Economist app. In the afternoon, tennis. It is a 3 – 6 setback. End of the season? This will be the last time we play in 2013! We leave for France next Saturday morning!

That’s all for now, hope all is well, 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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