Business Diary: All work and no play for the idlers

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The Independent Online

Arguments raged on yesterday morning's Today programme over whether all these lovely bank holidays are bad news for the economy. Coming out in favour of more work was champion of the Square Mile Allister Heath, the editor of City AM. Countering these arguments, and suggesting we simply don't have enough free time, was Tom Hodgkinson of The Idler. So it was pretty clear who would be working over this long weekend then? Er, well no. Heath will have his feet up as City AM's presses fall silent, while Hodgkinson toils in the Idler's cafe.

Waitrose fever for regal gingerbread

The royal wedding tat continues to roll in thick and fast. Diary has already held head in hands as news of wedding mugs, tea towels, sick bags, beers and even Pez dispensers has crossed its desk. Yesterday, Waitrose got in on the act, announcing that the festive event had surprisingly sparked a rush on a particular baked delicacy. "A surprising star performer has been our royal gingerbread bride and groom," finance director Tom Athron said, as customers celebrate "with their very own royal couple".

Web warms up to royal wedding

While we're on the subject of the wedding, it turns out that the event is currently generating at least one mention online every 10 seconds. The noise around Wills and Kate's big day from online media, forums and social networks is a staggering 700 per cent higher than in March, with 9,000 posts a day, according to Greenlight. The research group also found that those in favour outnumber the haters by six to one. Diary can only apologise that once online, this too will become part of the worsening web din.

Safran chairman sparks sexist row

French defence company Safran managed to shoot its modular air-to-ground weapon in its own foot yesterday, surprisingly managing to turn a positive diversity story into a row over sexism. Chairman Francis Mer welcomed the increase of women on the board from one to five by saying "the so-called weaker sex will be making a deafening entry into our board". This provoked shareholder activist Colette Neuville to call the comments "completely unacceptable".