A black day for white tie at Lord Mayor's banquet

City Diary

The Lord Mayor's dinner at the Banqueting House for the Chancellor and the City's great and good will never be the same again. The organisers have dropped the traditional requirement for white tie from next week's function, and henceforward guests will dress in the much less fancy, but more convenient, black tie.

Sources say there was a mini-rebellion by City big-wigs, sick and tired of the time taken to hire the white tie outfits, and then to put the outfits on, shirt studs and all. Whatever next - chicken in the basket washed down with pints of Boddingtons? It is certainly bad news for Moss Bros, which rents the gear out. It claims the slack will be taken up by guests hiring black tie.

But surely many own their own black tie gear? A Moss Bros spokesman said: "We find that quite a lot of business people don't own black tie suits - like politicians, their waist sizes expand and contract at a rate of knots, so they prefer to hire a suit each time." Ken Clarke's waistline to contract? Perish the thought.

Business people should have at least "a swift half" at lunchtime. Forget that fizzy mineral water. Changes in drinking habits have hit the brewing and pub trade hard in recent years, says John Young, chairman of the South London brewer Young's. "We have had a good year in difficult trading circumstances but it would have been better had it not been all work and no play for an increasing number of people."

Mr Young is positively lyrical about the benefits of a lunchtime tipple in tackling stress and recharging the batteries after a hard morning's work. Driving a dray horse and brewer's cart through most businesses' policies on drinking, he concludes: "Companies would do better to combat stress in the workplace by educating their staff in sensible drinking rather than stopping drinking altogether, especially as it is now recognised that a drop of beer does you good."

Speaking as a journalist, I couldn't possibly comment.

Sir Ernest Harrison, chairman of Racal Electronics, clearly agrees with Mr Young. In fact yesterday the electronics boss went one step better. After announcing Racal's results, Mr Harrison ordered a glass of white wine - at 11.30 in the morning. Bottoms up!

Enterprise Oil is teaching Shell International and Amerada Hess how to run an oil business. Enterprise has invented a fab new computer game for oil industry high-flyers, which will teach them how best to succeed in the industry. Each team starts with pounds 100m and must maximise profits, assets and share price to win. Two other oil companies have shown commendable humility by buying the "Oil Game" from Enterprise - Shell and Amerada Hess, the giant American company.

ING Barings has sent us a news release on a forthcoming seminar in London and Edinburgh to discuss investment opportunities - in Singapore. The meetings will be organised by the Singapore Stock Exchange. I was trying to think of a suitable slogan for the seminar. How about: "Your investment can go down by pounds 860m as well as up." Considering Barings' former investment in Nick Leeson's activities in Singapore, this must be the ultimate triumph of optimism over experience.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Rocky road: Dwayne Johnson and Carla Gugino play an estranged husband and wife in 'San Andreas'
filmReview: In the face of all-round devastation, even Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson appears a little puny
Arts and Entertainment
Bright lights, big city: Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles by dusk
books
News
i100
Sport
Harry Kane makes Paul Scholes' Premier League team of the season
footballPaul Scholes on the best players, managers and goals of the season - and the biggest disappointments
News
i100
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Guru Careers: Pricing Analyst

£30 - 35k: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Pricing Analyst to join a leading e-...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K YR1: SThree: At SThree, we like to be dif...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Did you know? SThree is a mul...

Guru Careers: C# Project Team Lead

£55 - 65k (DOE): Guru Careers: A unique opportunity for a permanent C# Develop...

Day In a Page

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club that later became synonymous with Hillsborough has dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor