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The welcome return of corporate hostilities

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The welcome return of corporate hostilities

In TV series The West Wing, vice-president “Bingo” Bob Russell is mocked.

He’s a corporate tool, a none-too-bright mediocrity with little to offer.

He has won elections as a Congressman only because he is in the pocket of the mining industry, who back his campaigns.

Then, when the White House faces a nuclear weapons related crisis, Russell is suddenly invaluable. The time he spent on corporate jollies schmoozing the mining trade means he knows more about uranium than anyone else. He saves the day.

And that’s my defence for spending as much of the summer as possible in fancy boxes at the Oval and Lord’s.

On the face of it, those days out are just bribes, expensive ways for big companies to be friendly to over-privileged hacks.

But something else always comes out of them. Mis-understandings get corrected. Ideas are discussed. Chatty finance directors spill way more than they should after about 4pm…

For most of the last 18 months there hasn’t been any corporate hospitality. Days out at the cricket were non-starters, because there wasn’t any cricket.

If you’re a bean counter, you might look at the expense of entertainment and decide it is a clear waste of money.

Wouldn’t that hospitality money be better spent on outright hostility?

I think for the next little while, as we get to know each other again and remember how to socialise politely, those things are money well spent.

Even the sorts of do’s I swore years ago never to attend again, are lately looking quite tempting…

Press release of the day

Towards 12 million people in the UK have received an inheritance in the last 10 years, with an average windfall of £65,000 says this from equity release firm Key.

The average age of the recipient is 47, which makes me wonder where my money is.

Inheritance tax receipts hit £5.4 billion last year, HMRC figures show. People in the South East are least likely to get an inheritance – it would be interesting to know why.


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