Column Eight: The name doesn't ring a Bell

Click to follow
LABOUR's industry spokesman Stuart Bell was in bardic mood when he addressed the Institute of Chartered Accountants on Wednesday night.

In a rambling speech on City regulation he quoted several lines of poetry, confiding that when he did this in Parliament Hansard corrected errors and supplied the source, making him appear terribly learned.

The Middlesbrough MP, who once had ambitions to be a Hansard reporter himself before fate led him instead to a post on the Blaydon Courier, could have done with Hansard's help there and then.

As he ranged hither and thither on the Cadbury report on corporate governance, the assembled beancounters were puzzled by his repeated references to a 'Sir Peter' Cadbury. No doubt Sir Adrian would see the funny side of it.

WHILE BARCLAYS dithers over creating one extra job in the boardroom by splitting the role of chairman and chief executive, it seems to have fewer qualms about axing humbler positions. It is sacking 166 security guards and cleaners, putting their tasks out to contractors which will re-employ some of them.

The victims are livid. According to the banking union Bifu an ex-Barclays security guard joining the outside contractor Securiguard will have his basic pay cut from pounds 11 an hour to pounds 4.50.

SIR PATRICK SERGEANT, the suave, jetsetting, champagne aficionado, retired as chairman of Euromoney Publications last September. It proved to be a lucrative final year. According to the annual report of Euromoney's parent, Daily Mail and General Trust, published yesterday, his pay was lifted pounds 159,000 to pounds 779,000. A lot of Bollinger . . .

AND EVEN more Jacob's Creek, which has become British wine drinkers' favourite tipple, according to Orlando Wyndham, the Aussie company that produces it. It sold 392,000 cases of the stuff in Britain in October and November, pipping Gallo of the US (374,000) and Le Piat d'Or of France (373,000) and crushing Blue Nun (97,000).

BRUCE RALPH, who lost his job as boss of Dowty Group last summer in the wake of the takeover by TI Group, has resurfaced as MD and chief executive designate of Glynwed International.

However, Mr Ralph, 53, is not planning to move to Birmingham, where Glynwed is based. Leafy Cheltenham, where he is a governor of the local Ladies' College, exercises too strong a pull.