Business Diary: Ryanair takes on the unions

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The Independent Online

More enlightened capitalism from the good folk of Ryanair, who have become a little tired of European air trafficcontrollers taking industrial action. So tired, in fact, that it is calling for it to be illegal for these staff to go on strike – and for those who flout such an edict to be sacked. "How many more of these disruptions, delays and strikes must Europe's consumers suffer before the EU Commission finally takes some action?" a spokesman asks. "Thesestrikers are the modern-day equivalent of highwaymen."

Fisher predicts a better normal

You'll be pleased to hear that not everyone in finance is gloomy right now. KenFisher, the billionaire boss of Fisher Investments, yesterday gave a cheery speech to the Forbes Global CEO Conference in Sydney deriding those who say we should get used to a "new normal" of miserable returns. "We are chimpanzees with nomemory," Fisher told the crowd. "The next 10 years are going to be just as good as the 1990s. The problems in this current environment we think are so different, and so new and so unique. It's the same stupid old normal we've always had. We've got a great future."

Put some hairs on your chest

Our thanks to the pub group JD Wetherspoon for sending us the autumn edition of its Wetherspoon News. Themagazine's colourful frontcover promises us "Cider sensations", "World-class brews" and "Porridge power". It's a heady combination, but one that promises to see us all through the darkest of winters.

A big cheer for Kent's vintners

Still on the alcohol theme, here's a spot of good news for English wine makers. Bloomberg BusinessWeek, the US business magazine, rates them so highly that its latest issue urges high-rolling American travellers to forget about Napa, the wine capital of the west coast of America, and to shun France's best vineyards. Instead, visit "posh Kent" for "a viable option to champagne and prosecco", the magazine urges.