Column Eight: Ernst's fast route to success

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The Independent Online
Wounded to the quick following revelations that one of its trusted senior partners had 'misappropriated' pounds 300,000 of the firm's money, Ernst & Young has hit back with a blinding coup on the consultancy front.

The accountants announced yesterday that they had appointed Christopher Chope to strengthen the firm's public sector division. Mr Chope was the roads minister before he vacated Southampton Itchen at the last election.

Among Mr Chope's achievements was the announcement of the much-hated 14-lane M25 extension plan.

Tesco's itemised check-out receipts have taken to listing the common farinaceous tuber as a 'potatoe'. Time to invite Dan Quayle on to the board.

The rude health of the German mark has prompted some courageous thinking in Stuttgart, home of Mercedes- Benz. The company yesterday announced that it was pumping DM14m (pounds 5m) into two sales offices in the former Soviet Union.

After years of Ladas and their ilk, the citizens of Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan will now be able to recline in the deep leather. Vorsprung durch Kommunismus.

Limping painfully yesterday as the result of knee surgery, Richard Oster, group managing director at Cookson Group, can at least draw comfort from the knowledge the operation is certain to be a complete success.

The titanium and plastic now making up the better part of his patella come from Cookson stock.

A quality controller crosses his fingers.

Attempts to contact Sir Tom Cowie following his failure to capture the rival car dealer Henlys have proved difficult. Not least for Hartwell, which wants to talk about 4.6 per cent of its target, Trimoco. Apparently Sir Tom has been venting his spleen on the grouse moors. Whether the birds were as lucky as Henlys is not clear.