Daily Archives: August 19, 2010

Jim Pickard

From Downing Street just now:

LORD BRITTAN ANNOUNCED AS TRADE ADVISER TO THE PRIME MINISTER

Lord Brittan has been appointed as a trade adviser to the Prime Minister
helping to lead a cross-Government effort to develop and drive forward
an ambitious trade agenda. 

Jim Pickard

The coalition has been scouring high and low through Britain’s boardrooms to find a trade minister working at the top level of UK plc. Their entreaties have been turned down by the likes of Sir John Rose, ceo of Rolls-Royce, Sir Stuart Rose, chairman of M&S, and Mervyn Davies, former chair of Standard Chartered.

Now – according to FT columnist Mark Kleinman* – they have found someone: Leon Brittan.  (Press release from 10 Downing Street later today).

At least to be their trade adviser. They are still looking for someone to fill the minister slot.

It’s not the Sheffield United footballer. It’s the other one, Lord Brittan, who was European Commissioner for Competition in the 1990s. He will turn 71 next month. 

Jim Pickard

It’s buried right near the end of a very long piece by Allegra Stratton in the Guardian yesterday – thus the delay – but it is a beautiful vignette from inside Downing Street:

There are many inevitable tensions from trying to force some notably varied policy ideas into the coalition’s one-size-fits-all narrative. Hilton* sits in meetings and asks of all suggestions put forward: “But is it transformative?“, while his hand indicates thought-bubbles ascending from his head. 

Jim Pickard

Is Nick Clegg facing both ways on tax avoidance? - FT
How to handle the mandarins – Digby Jones, Times (£)
Grade inflation; 8 per cent of A-levels are now A* – FT
New planning quango has only received two submissions after six months - FT