Business Diary: Repaying the good people of Hartlepool
Thursday 25 March 2010
Good to see Lord Mandelson, right, hasn't forgotten his old constituents since leaving the Commons. The former Hartlepool MP's Department of Business offered the French oil giant Total preferential tax treatment to open up two new gas fields in the North Sea. That has lead to a new contract for the steel company Corus, where 350 jobs will now be saved at its factory in Hartlepool, which will build a pipeline for Total.
Tories pulls a fast one on Google
Try sticking Alistair Darling into Google and you'll get a long list of Budget-related sites, but the top sponsored link is rather curious. It is a web page designed by the Conservative Party explaining where the Chancellor is going wrong. The smart folk responsible for marketing at Tory HQ bought up the link in order to have some fun at Mr Darling's expense.
Flying high with an alternative Chancellor
So who would Britons really like to have seen presenting yesterday's Budget? Well, according to a poll conducted by MSN Money, Sir Richard Branson would be the ideal Chancellor, with the great beard polling slightly more votes than Vince Cable and Sir Alan Sugar, above. For the record, George Osborne and Alistair Darling got 8 and 7 per cent of votes respectively.
When money really does buy happiness
Remember the famous Gore Vidal quote: "Whenever a friend succeeds, a little something in me dies"? He's not the only one. Research from the University of Warwick shows that earning more money doesn't make people happy, but being richer than your friends very definitely does.
Pepsi's natural drink is certainly sweet
Pepsi has made plenty of noise in recent days about committing itself to producing much greater numbers of more healthy products. And it was kind enough to send Diary a bottle of Pepsi Raw, which boasts no artificial ingredients at all. Still, a single bottle does contain almost 29 grams of sugar – 32 per cent of your daily recommended intake. Not quite so healthy after all.
Number of the day: £160k
Value of Financial Services Authority's art collection, released after a freedom of information request.
World's most lethal spider found under a bunch of bananas
Rumours that the star wants to move on to pastures new
TV presenter Fiona Bruce seemed a bit startled by the find during the filming of Antiques Roadshow
Comedian says he 'never laughed as hard as I have writing with Rik'
- 2 Ebola outbreak: What is bushmeat – and is it to blame for the disease that has killed thousands?
- 4 Meet Thea, Norway's 12-year-old child bride
- 5 Russell Brand might seem like a sexy revolutionary worth getting behind, but he will only fail his fans
Ebola outbreak: What is bushmeat – and is it to blame for the disease that has killed thousands?
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: Olympic star must serve 10 years, prosecutor urges
Isis fighters 'crucify' 17-year-old boy in Syria
Kentucky gang rape: 15-year-old boy left in critical condition after sexual attack by group at party
Oscar Pistorius sentence: Athlete's wealth and notoriety provoke an overdue debate on South African prisons
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Sorry Judy Finnigan – Ched Evans is no less sickening than an alleyway rapist
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Workers 'could be forced to pay £5 a week' to get benefits
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
Amal Alamuddin calls for the return of the Elgin Marbles from Britain: 'Injustice has persisted for too long'
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