Business Diary: 18/11/2009

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The Independent Online

Twitter raises Prospect of a liberal Britain

So apparently the chattering classes have become the twittering classes, at least if Prospect magazine is to be believed. A press release from the publication arrives in the inbox saying that the social networking phenomenum has become "a left-wing attack tool", with its users boasting the third most liberal profile of various demographics in Britain.

The research says the twitterati trail only Liberal Democrat voters (quelle surprise) and Londoners in that respect. It all sounds very "Fox News" but Diary is pleased to note that even in these tough times someone's got enough time to waste putting this sort of stuff together.

Rock caught between Tesco and a hard place

Tesco executives have been busily talking down the prospects of the grocer realising its banking ambitions by taking over "good" Northern Rock when the Government gets round to putting it up for sale. Instead the talk is all about "organic growth". Usually this sort of thing is a clear indication of interest, but a little bird tells us that the company has been swamped by CVs from Rock staff looking to jump ship and join its Newcastle insurance centre. Why pay up when you get the pick of the best your rival can offer? "We'd be delighted to hear from any experienced staff," says a spokesman. You can almost hear his grin.

Tsar Osborne may rue Wall Street moniker

Here's George Osborne who has been garlanded with the grandiose title of "finance tsar" in American editions of The Wall Street Journal. The Shadow Chancellor keeps his proper title in European editions of the US finance bible. He's probably rather glad about that, given that "tsar" could be seen as a rather unfortunate honorific in the wake of his difficulties a little while back involving Russian oligarchs, luxury yachts and Mandy.

Media Week practises what it's preached

Our sympathies go out to 18 staffers at Media Week, who have been made redundant thanks to the trade journal's decision to go online only. Given the downbeat tone it has taken concerning the prospects for the industry it covers, perhaps we shouldn't be too surprised by the move – and at least the journal is practising what it's been preaching.

Number of the day: 250k

Number of Lloyds shares chairman Sir Win Bischoff, above, has bought at 89.7p. He can now take part in its rights issue.