Rover chief's cigar gifts could be the start of a Cuban crisis

People & Business

Stand by for further serious trade friction across the Atlantic. Dr Walter Hasselkus, the motorbiking chairman of Rover, was so pleased with Land Rover's improvement in the annual JD Power quality survey - the bible of the US motor industry - that he presented all its US dealers with Havana cigars. Only one slight problem. Being Cuban in origin, Havana cigars are forbidden in the US, where they still take a dim view of Fidel Castro's regime.

Under the notorious Helms-Burton Act, no one who has traded with Cuba is allowed into the US. Since Rover is not planning to re-enter the US market with its car range until 2004, Dr Hasselkus has no pressing reason to go there for a while yet. But should the US immigration authorities decide to turn nasty anyway, he would be in good company.

Among the list of those who are also persona non grata is Rupert Pennant Rea, the former deputy governor of the Bank of England. Incidentally, since you ask, Land Rover recorded the biggest improvement of any manufacturer in the survey. These things are, however, all relative. Sadly it is still languishing in the bottom quarter of the league for sports and utility vehicle makers.

Des Wilson, BAA's director of corporate and public affairs, has been conducting a little tutorial in the airport operator's staff magazine Take-Off. Under the headline, "Life under Labour: what will it mean for BAA?" Des has been answering a few questions about how the company thinks it will fare now that Tony and his team are in the cockpit.

One of the questions is: "Does the company know the new Labour transport team?". Des's reply runs thus: "Yes, we do and we are particularly pleased that John Prescott will be heading up Transport and Environment. He's a former Secretary of State for Transport who knows the issues well, and we have had a useful dialogue with him over the years."

Er, not quite. Mr Prescott has been many things in his life, including a steward in the Merchant Navy. But the nearest he ever got to a ministerial job before 2 May was shadowing successive Tory transport secretaries. BAA will no doubt be getting better acquainted with Mr Prescott in the months and years ahead.

Things are on the up for Broxburn in West Lothian. It is already home to a leading part of Scotland's indigenous sausage making industry through Hall's of Broxburn, whose black puddings were recently voted top of the pops by the BBC's Food and Drink programme. But since last year it has also played host to Glenmorangie, maker of Scotland's best selling malt whisky.

Geoffrey Maddrell, sassenach chairman of the group, was able to reassure traditionalist topers yesterday that he will not be extending last year's pounds 2.5m designer facelift of Broxburn to Tain and the 16 famous employees who "hand craft" the precious malt there.

Glenmorangie tripled its lead over Glenfiddich, Scotland's second favourite Scotch, to 3 percentage points last year, but even so the whisky may soon be eclipsed by sausages. Word has it that Hall's is among the 10 finalists for "Pork Product of the Year", an award given by the Meat and Livestock Commission and Good Housekeeping magazine. Where next for Broxburn?

To a City restaurant where the good people of the Co-op were celebrating their victory over the young break-up artist, Andrew Regan. Their choice of location was appropriate, they felt. The party was held in the Bleeding Heart, a well-hidden eaterie with a rather gruesome history. It was in the yard outside the restaurant where, according to legend, the still- beating heart of a young woman was found, ripped from her breast by her jilted lover.

Involuntary heart operations were thin on the ground the other night but I was curious to know just whose bleeding heart they had in mind when the Co-op executives made the booking. "Whose do you think? Andrew Regan's," they crowed. Though, of course, ripping the heart out, was exactly what he was trying to do to the Co-op.

Out in cyberspace, there is more evidence that Gordon Brown took the Bank of England by total surprise this week. Even by yesterday afternoon, 24 hours after Flash Gordon announced that he was taking banking supervision out of the Old Lady's hands, the Bank's Internet site was carrying no information about the changes. Perhaps the Bank's computer expert was too dismayed contemplating a future working for the SIB.

What a contrast with the Treasury's own web site. The boffins over in SW1 had archived all previous announcements and documents under the heading "previous administration" by 9am on 2 May. Since the new dawn, the Treasury has even been able to broadcast its news by e-mail, just in case anybody had somehow missed it elsewhere.

Suggested Topics
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Game Of Thrones
Uh-oh, winter is coming. Ouch, my eyes! Ygritte’s a goner. Lysa’s a goner. Tywin’s a goner. Look, a dragon
tvSpoiler warning:The British actor says viewers have 'not seen the last' of his character
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave long-running series
Sport
The Etihad Stadium, home of Manchester City
premier league

The Independent's live blog of today's Premier League action

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
people'Bring It On' actress says her legal team will combat the 'vultures'
Sport
FootballGerman sparks three goals in four minutes at favourite No 10 role
News
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: 'Time Heist' sees a darker side to Peter Capaldi's Doctor
Voices
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
voices
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
Dennis Rodman has confirmed he is not going to the Middle East to 'talk to with the leaders of Isis' as claimed in a recent satirical report
people
Sport
Radamel Falcao was forced to withdraw from the World Cup after undergoing surgery
premier leagueExclusive: Reds have agreement with Monaco
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
Sport
A long jumper competes in the 80-to-84-year-old age division at the 2007 World Masters Championships
athletics
Life and Style
Walking tall: unlike some, Donatella Versace showed a strong and vibrant collection
fashionAlexander Fury on the staid Italian clothing industry
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

Senior BA - Motor and Home Insurance

£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT ROLE**...

Market Risk & Control Manager

Up to £100k or £450p/d: Saxton Leigh: My client is a leading commodities tradi...

SQL Developer - Watford/NW London - £320 - £330 p/d - 6 months

£320 - £330 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...

Head of Audit

To £75,000 + Pension + Benefits + Bonus: Saxton Leigh: My client is looking f...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam