Business Diary: Taxman needs to print more paper

It may be lucky that HM Revenue & Customs was not in charge when the country needed a boost from quantitative easing. The hapless taxman yesterday revealed that it had failed to send out thousands of reminders to citizens to pay their bills on time because it had, er, run out of paper. A red-faced Revenue spokesman admitted that the cock-up had come about due to an "exceptionally high demand this year".

Credit unions face downgrade

In these harsh economic realities, even the most obscure jollies are being downgraded. Every year the credit unions look forward to the World Council of Credit Unions conference. It brings figures from across the world to discuss industry developments, make announcements and let off steam in an international city. In the past, delegates enjoyed Hong Kong, Barcelona and Las Vegas. Their expectations may be a touch lower this year as they land, instead, in Glasgow.

Harrods turns to tormentor Dixons

Harrods, department store to the rich and famous, yesterday announced Dixons was to run its electronics department. Two years ago, when it was owned by Mohamed al-Fayed, Harrods threatened to sue a rival that had taken aim at that very same department with a rather ballsy advertising campaign. The ads suggested shoppers "Get off at Knightsbridge, visit the discerning shopper's fave department store... let Piers in the pinstripe suit demonstrate the magic of the latest HD flatscreen" before they buy the kit at their shop. The offending company? Why, it was Dixons, of course.

Blogger Fox up over Winehouse

Celebrity deaths often appeal to the worst in bloggers who try to piggyback off the tragedy to generate traffic. And so it was after the sad death of Amy Winehouse with Huffington Post's Tricia Fox. Saying it would be "terribly remiss" not to blog about the singer's death, she bizarrely opined on the lessons to be learnt for small businesses. She insisted that these lessons included "to take really good care for [sic] yourself if you want your business to succeed". She concluded that in honour of the singer, "I am going to the gym". As long as it's away from a keyboard.