The City Diary: Silence on Allam's past

Egyptian-born Assem Allam is often dubbed "one of East Yorkshire's most successful businessmen" and it might be true as he's said to be worth £185m. He's been in the news lately after announcing his takeover of Hull City FC, so cue lots of publicity along the lines of: "his track record in business suggests he is a man who knows what he wants and just how to get it".

Well, not always. A 1992 edition of Lloyd's List reports: "Efforts to sell Hull-based Ruscador Shipyard as a going concern have failed.... Ruscador was a wholly owned subsidiary of Tempest Diesels, a Lincolnshire firm headed by Assem Allam.... Financial difficulties besetting Tempest Diesels led to Ernst and Young being called in to administer both companies.... The cessation of operations [resulted in] the redundancy of the company's entire workforce of more than 50."

Why has this detail been forgotten? We may never know. Allam's spokesman does not return my calls.

Dublin eulogy

Michael O'Leary, as you've never seen him before. The vermin under his nose is actually a moustache, apparently grown as part of a charity appeal which astonishingly has nothing to do with Ireland. Michael is pictured at the timely opening of Dublin airport's terminal two on Friday, carrying a coffin as "the airport's €1.2bn T2 white elephant officially marks the death of Irish tourism," as he puts it. "It is fitting that this unnecessary Taj Mahal will now become the welcome lounge for IMF officials at Dublin airport," he adds. "The country is bankrupt. The only way out of this is an IMF solution and, frankly, the sooner the better". Ryanair, of course, is quite partial to a state subsidy itself.

A new colour for Bono

Saint Paul Hewson – aka rocker Bono – now devotes much of his time to making poverty his story, and has launched a number of world-saving initiatives including Data (Debt, Aids, Trade, Africa) and Product Red. But, I wonder, might now be the time to consider another push to eliminate Third World debt, with a Product Green?

Solidarity of shame

Steven Rattner, President Obama's former car czar, has paid $6m to settle pension charges and will be barred from the securities industry. His last public appearance seems to have been an interview given to Henry Blodget, the former analyst turned commentator, who side-stepped any awkward questions. Such solidarity! In 2003 Blodget was also banned from Wall Street, in his case for life.

Young leads by example

It is clearly unsustainable to lose a Government adviser every time they say something stupid, but credit to Lord Young for providing business with a lead. When he took the job as enterprise adviser, the peer remarked: "Firms are inhibited from taking people on if it's too difficult to let them go". Quite.

postmaster@slackbelly.com

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
News
Rob Lowe
peopleRob Lowe hits out at Obama's snub of Benjamin Netanyahu
Sport
football
News
Davies (let) says: 'Everybody thought we were having an affair. It was never true!'
people'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Arts and Entertainment
Over their 20 years, the band has built a community of dedicated followers the world over
music
News
Staff assemble outside the old City Road offices in London
mediaThe stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century at Britain's youngest paper
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Tax Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Tax Assistant is required to join a leading ...

Recruitment Genius: Outbound Sales Executive - OTE £25,000

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Ashdown Group: Java Developer / J2EE Developer - Watford - £45,000 - £47,000

£45000 - £47000 per annum + bonus + benefits: Ashdown Group: Java Developer / ...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Product Manager - (Financial Services) - SW London

£35000 - £38000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - Marke...

Day In a Page

Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us