The City Diary

Is your boss a foul-mouthed Tucker? At least you won't have to vote for him
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The Independent Online

Malcolm Tucker, the uninhibited spin doctor of the BBC's political satire 'The Thick of It', has knocked ever-bungling David Brent of 'The Office' off the top slot of TV's worst (fictional) bosses.

Assessing the winners, Sarah Jackson, chief executive of Working Families, an organisation that campaigns for better work/life balance, said Tucker, aka Peter Capaldi, represents all that is truly evil in the workplace: bullying, manipulative, dishonest, prejudiced and egomaniacal. What would Tucker think of that? He once said: "Don't you ever, ever call me a bully. I am so much worse than that." This caustic phrase (to an underling in the men's toilets), and thousands of others like it, ensure total obedience from his staff. Those who actually like their boss can nominate them in a Working Families/Amex contest on

American footballer lost on the streets of London

Jonathan Tisch, co-owner of the New York Giants, is in London for the big game against the Miami Dolphins at Wembley Stadium today and to launch a mega media drive promoting NYC as a tourist destination.

After comments from Channing Crowder, the Dolphins linebacker who, on arrival, admitted he did not know that people speak English in London or where the capital is on the world map, Tisch may take the view that his funds and energy would be better directed elsewhere. Into say geography classes for US citizens. Crowder went on to say: "I know Italy looks like a boot. I learned that." Give the man an A-level.

Builders get a woman's touch... and BlackBerries

Ex city slicker Kerrie Keeling has been winning awards all over town after setting up A Woman's Touch, a building and property maintenance firm with a twist: the brickies, plumbers and carpenters are mainly women. Keeling, who counts Gordon Ramsay among her clients, most recently made it on to the BT Business 20 outstanding entrepreneurs list. Although Keeling quit her job in investment banking to start the new venture, she has been unable to shed all the trappings of City life. I'm told her labourers communicate using BlackBerries.

So what's 'sort of abusing'? They sort of won't say

Here's the SEC's enforcement director, Linda Chatman Thomsen, on "rampant" insider trading among Wall Street professionals. "I am disappointed in the number of cases we are seeing by people who make an abundant livelihood in the market that they are sort of abusing by insider trading." Sort of abusing? I call the US regulator's press office for clarification. "She said what she said. I can't speak for her. She's at a conference. I haven't spoken to her and we can't contact her," the reply comes back. I guess we'll never know.

The house of fun

Bank of America boss Ken Lewis told analysts on a conference call last week that he was having just about as much fun as he could stand in investment banking at the moment, after write-downs knocked a whopping 93 per cent off earnings in the third quarter. So it must have been like winning an all-expenses-paid trip to Disney World last week when he told 3,000 staff at the bank that they were for the chop.

Probably the worst start

Carlsberg has been blowing hot and cold over its joint-venture business in Russia, BBH. The Danish brewer is so keen to get its hands on all of BBH that it has made an audacious £6.8bn swoop for Scottish & Newcastle, its joint-venture partner. Yet a spy tells me the BBH boys were grumbling into the Baltika at a beer festival they were hosting when no one from Carlsberg showed up. Not a cracking start for the charm offensive.

Mobile warning for wandering hands

"Did you just grope me?" "Shall we head to the police?" This cordial warning comes care of Japanese games developer Takahashi. But this is no mere cyber babble. The game, Anti-Groping Appli, was designed to help women ward off wandering hands on Japan's congested commuter trains. Worryingly, it has become one of the top mobile phone applications in the country.

Once downloaded and activated, the program flashes up increasingly threatening messages in bold print on the phone's screen, accompanied by a warning chime, to deter would-be offenders. "I first downloaded this as a joke," said Michika Izumi, an official at web-based publisher Spicy Soft. "But I think it could be a lifesaver if I get groped."

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