People & Business

The Government launched its new taskforce for the creative industries - media, music and television - yesterday after initially announcing the move to a rather muted reception three months ago. There are worrying signs, however, that this latest luvvies' crusade could turn into a flat souffle.

Chris Smith, culture secretary, held the launch meeting at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport in Trafalgar Square. The luvvies, however, were nowhere to be seen. Shame on you, Richard Branson. Tut tut, David Puttnam. On the other hand, perhaps I shouldn't be too hard on the absent personalities. They were probably off doing some proper work.

Bill Simpson, chief executive of British bed maker Silentnight, tells me Tony Blair could have done far better than buying an imported Duxiana bed for more than pounds 3,000.

Mr Simpson is miffed that the PM didn't give more support to British industry by buying his bed locally: "Mr Blair could have bought a Sealy [bed] and he would have enjoyed the experience just as much."

The Silentnight boss says people in this country replace their beds on average once every 15 years whereas in the US they buy new beds every 10 years. Perhaps that's because American citizens tend to be larger.

Best wishes to Daniel Godfrey, marketing director of Flemings, who fell off his 1500cc Kawasaki motorbike. "I had to spend several hours in casualty - I had a couple of cracked ribs and rather a large hole in my left leg," our hero tells me. The bike was hardly damaged but he won't be riding it again. Now he's interesting himself in safer pursuits, such as helping launch Flemings' Eastern Europe Fund on 18 October.

Jonathan Helliwell, HSBC James Capel's senior European media analyst, is moving to Goldman Sachs. Mr Helliwell started as a printing and paper analyst at Kleinwort Benson in 1986 before moving on to Swiss Bank Corporation and then Capel.

Mr Helliwell will join Goldman's media team of Guy Lamming and Mathew Walker. In typical musical-chairs fashion, Mr Lamming started off at James Capel, left for Goldman, then went to SBC Warburg and last May went back to Goldman. Mr Lamming used to work alongside Neil Blackley, who left Goldman for Merrill Lynch in August last year.

Goldman has also signed Francis Woollen, a top rated European telecoms analyst, currently at UBS.

The independent insolvency firm, Buchler Phillips, has just poached a receiver from Arthur Andersen. Andersen is the giant American firm where David Buchler and Peter Phillips used to work before they founded Buchler Phillips 10 years ago.

BP has signed up Jamie Gleave, an insolvency practitioner at Andersen, to head up its new Manchester office. Simon Freakly, another Buchler Phillips partner and former Andersen man, admits his niche boutique has an excellent relationship with the Chicago-based firm. "We often refer assignments to each other." But doesn't Andersen mind having its insolvency partners nicked all the time? "We are friendly competitors," he replies.

It's a packed calendar for the UK's receivers, despite the relative dearth of companies going bust. Next Wednesday the Insolvency Practitioners Association holds its annual Bernard Phillips Memorial Lecture. The lecture is named after the late Bernard Phillips, Peter Phillips' father, who was also a noted insolvency practitioner and who worked for Arthur Andersen.

Friendly societies are preparing to play a key role in New Labour's plans for welfare reform. So says Bob Pollard, chief executive of the Ancient Order of Foresters, who has just been elected president of the Association of Friendly Societies.

Mr Pollard will be backed up by Roy Hurley, chief executive of Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society, who has been elected vice president.

Perhaps I could take these societies more seriously if they didn't sound like Freemasons' lodges in a Monty Python sketch. I mean, what's the Manchester Society of Odd Fellows all about? To be fair, the societies' titles often date back to the 16th century. They were set up "to provide self help on a mutual basis" - a phrase which chimes with New Labour.

Mr Pollard says: "The Government is open to new ideas and believes that current welfare provision is not serving the poorest members of society as it should." Mr Pollard wants us to move towards a "a system that gives a hand up, not a hand out". Those words wouldn't have been out of place coming from Margaret Thatcher.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Voices
Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appeal
Arts and Entertainment
Strictly finalists Simon Webbe, Caroline Flack, Mark Wright and Frankie Bridge
tvLive: Simon Webbe, Caroline Flack, Mark Wright and Frankie Bridgeface-off in the final
Sport
Ched Evans in action for Sheffield United in 2012
footballRonnie Moore says 'he's served his time and the boy wants to play football'
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
life
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
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

Carlton Senior Appointments: Private Banking Manager - Intl Bank - Los Angeles

$200 - $350 per annum: Carlton Senior Appointments: Managing Producer – Office...

Carlton Senior Appointments: San Fran - Investment Advisor – Ind Advisory Firm

$125 - $225 per annum: Carlton Senior Appointments: San Fran - Investment Advi...

Sheridan Maine: Commercial Finance Manager

Up to £70,000 per annum + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a qualified accoun...

Sheridan Maine: Regulatory Reporting Accountant

Up to £65,000 per annum + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a qualified accoun...

Day In a Page

Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture