Hey Presto! Orkney gets its potatoes back

People & Business

You can all breathe easily again. Orkney potatoes are safe, thanks to Sir Alistair Grant, chairman of Safeway.

Safeway, which runs the Presto chain of supermarkets, recently applied to open a Presto branch in the Orkneys.

The locals were naturally alarmed, fearing that such a store would take trade away from small local shops and their suppliers. Presto assured the Orcadian authorities, however, that it would sell significant amounts of local produce, and a store on the islands was opened.

But all did not go well. Ronnie Baillie, a local who grows potatoes on Sebay Farm, complained that Presto was buying mainland spuds in preference to his locally grown ones, and that expensive new harvesting equipment he had installed was lying idle. This caused embarrassment, since Presto advertises itself as the store which has "a trading formula which is adapted to serving the needs of smaller communities in Scotland and the north of England".

Even more embarrassing, Sir Alistair, a native of the Scottish village of Haddington near Edinburgh, will address a conference on 8 November on "closing the trade gap" by encouraging small local farmers in Britain to produce more food.

Happily, a Safeway spokeswoman assured me yesterday that Mr Baillie's complaints had been noted and there would be "Orkney potatoes on Presto's shelves once again as from tomorrow". Wa hey.

Spin doctors' corner: Richard Holloway, the former SG Warburg spokesman now with Angus Maitland, has decided not to join JP Morgan as its chief UK mouthpiece just weeks before he was due to take up the job.

The urbane Mr Holloway is refusing to discuss his reasons, although colleagues are baffled that he should refuse JP Morgan's piles of gold. To give you a flavour of the kinds of packages on offer from US investment banks for spokesmen in London, Merrill Lynch is recruiting a new PR person with a pounds 200,000 salary.

NatWest is offering a mere pounds 130,000 in order to replace Simon Lewis, the former head press officer who now works for British Gas Energy. Mr Lewis has been six weeks in the job but there is no sign that Derek Wanless, NatWest's chief executive, has chosen a new bag-carrier. Word has it that an internal NatWest banker may get the job.

Lawyers may appear to be heartless and cold, but they're vulnerable little things underneath it all. For instance, Anthony Julius, Princess Diana's divorce lawyer, recently asked a lunchtime audience at University College London: "Why are lawyers the butt of so many jokes?"

According to The Lawyer magazine, Mr Julius defined a lawyer as "someone who persuades two people to strip and fight and then runs off with their clothes".

Mr Julius argues that most anti-lawyer jokes originate in the US, where litigation is a far greater plague than over here. He concludes that "lawyer jokes are a foil to self-importance and should be welcomed". OK then, here's one: What do you call 200 lawyers at the bottom of the sea? A good start.

Now that lots of football clubs are listed on the stock market, stockbrokers are hard-pressed to keep up with demand from fans who want framed share certificates from their beloved clubs to hang on the bedroom wall.

Soccershares, a service run by execution-only brokers City Deal Services, a subsidiary of Cater Allen, has already sold a couple of thousand football shares since it launched three months ago. Its cheapest framed share certificate starts at pounds 15.

Stephen Pinner, who admits to having started as a stockbroker in 1967, set up City Deal Services three years ago with backing from Sherwood Computers and City Consultants. Last year the founders sold out to Cater Allen for pounds 7.25m, and now Soccershares is reaping the reward of the current football mania.

Mr Pinner says the league table for trades is Tottenham at the top, then Manchester United, Preston North End, Millwall, Chelsea, and lastly Celtic and Rangers.

Voices
Hunted: A stag lies dead on Jura, where David Cameron holidays and has himself stalked deer
voicesThe Scotland I know is becoming a playground for the rich
News
Russell Brand has written a book of political analysis called Revolution
peopleFilm star says he is 'not interested in making money anymore'
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has refused to deny his involvement in the upcoming new Star Wars film
filmBenedict Cumberbatch reignites those Star Wars rumours
News
newsMcKamey Manor says 'there is no escape until the tour is completed'
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Jessica Chastain during an interview in Los Angeles.
filmsOscar hopeful Jessica Chastain reveals the secret to her breakthrough success
News
people

Britain First criticised for using actress's memory to draw attention to their 'hate-filled home page'

News
news
Life and Style
Meow! ... Again, Kim Kardashian goes for a sexy Halloween costume, wrapping her body with a latex catsuit and high heeled knee boots
fashionFrom Heidi Klum to Kim Kardashian
News
news

Emergency call 'started off dumb, but got pretty serious'

Arts and Entertainment
On The Apprentice, “serious” left the room many moons ago and yet still we watch
tv

Greatest mystery about the hit BBC1 show is how it continues to be made at all, writes Grace Dent

News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
JK Rowling is releasing a new Harry Potter story about Dolores Umbridge
booksChristmas comes early for wizard fans
Arts and Entertainment
filmsOculus Rift offers breathtakingly realistic simulation of zero gravity
Sport
footballAccording to revelations from Sergio Aguero's new biography
Life and Style
tech

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

Compensation and Benefits Manager - Brentwood - Circa £60,000

£60000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Compensation and Benefits Manager - Compensat...

Data Analyst/Planning and Performance – Surrey – Up to £35k

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...

IT Systems Business Analyst - Watford - £28k + bonus + benefits

£24000 - £28000 per annum + bonus & benefits: Ashdown Group: IT Business Syste...

Markit EDM (CADIS) Developer

£50000 - £90000 per annum + benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: Markit EDM (CA...

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker