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Second labour day looms large for capitalist pig

City Diary
Cedric the Pig, star of the British Gas annual general meeting a year ago, again took pride of place on Monday at the Labour Day celebrations on London's Clapham Common. The pig was named after British Gas's then chief executive, Cedric Brown, by trades unionists at the GMB to satirise Mr Brown's generous pay increase.

What Monday's gathering of locals, new age travellers and Billy Bragg fans may not have realised is that Cedric the pig is a sow, and a heavily pregnant one to boot. This explains the porker's non-appearance at last week's British Gas agm. We trust the piglets will be named after the board.

It's a hard life being a rebel. Just ask Prem Sikka, the controversial professor of accounting at Essex University, who has come third-from-bottom in an election in which there were no fewer than 19 candidates in the running. And this isn't the first time Mr Sikka has run.

The results of the election of the council for the Chartered Association of Certified Accountants have been greeted with glee by the bean-counting establishment, however. The ACCA's president, Mike Harvey, commented yesterday: "Neither of the 'Reform Group' candidates achieved sufficient support to gain a seat on the council (Mr Sikka being one of them). The results are a ringing vote of confidence in council and a sign that common sense is fighting back." Next time luckier, Mr Sikka?

If you hurry, you may just be able to get your CV in for the job of director of corporate communications at SBC Warburg. Jens Tholstrup, plucked from SBC's corporate finance department 12 months ago to head up the newly merged bank's public affairs office, is returning as planned to his previous role, where he will be specialising in financial institutions. The bank says that it will announce his successor "when it has made a final decision".

The winning applicant will get lots of money and plenty to do, what with continuing defections from the old Warburg corporate finance department.

Speaking of spokespeople, Duncan Campbell-Smith is stepping aside as head of corporate PR and investor relations at Pearson in order to attend a month-long MBA course at London Business School. Mr Campbell-Smith will then take up a new post within Pearson - as spokesman its Penguin subsidiary. Taking what appears to be a step down becomes more attractive when you consider that he will no longer have to answer questions about Mindscape, the venture which Pearson expects could lose up to pounds 46m this year.

Ask the average person in a crowded bar what Macdonald Martin is famous for and you would probably draw a blank. Ask them whether they would like a Glenmorangie and they would know exactly what you are talking about. Thus the Scottish drinks company Macdonald Martin Distillers decided to change its name yesterday to its favourite brand, and will henceforth be known as Glenmorangie Plc.

Time was when Cotton Oxford was the label you saw inside particularly hairy rugby shorts, the long ones with buttons down the front and yarn round the middle, as worn by the late Eric Morecambe. With the current wall of money engulfing rugby and all traces of amateurism being tossed to the wind, the Cotton Oxford name is not surprisingly in the front line. Yesterday Hay and Robertson, a clothing company, reached agreement with Peaco Sport for the exclusive rights to the brand name throughout the UK and Europe. Elmer Jonathan Cotton founded the business in 1911 and the company formed strong links with Oxford University. Today the company is a big sponsor of club rugby with links with the likes of Bath, Leicester and the Barbarians. But the hairy shorts have gone, forever.