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July 2008

We're all doomed?

Doomed We're all doomed!" Private Fraser used to pronounce in his distinctive Scots accent during episodes of Dad’s Army. Of course none of the platoon ever took him seriously.  Reading some of the press, and especially listening to radio and tv news media you might think we are all doomed.  But is the economic news that bad?

I was at the Greater Cambridgeshire Partnership Annual Conference today, and came away more encouraged than discouraged.   The Partnership is all about getting the various business, state and other players in the local economy to pull together to achieve growth in the region - and the overall prognosis seemed encouraging.  Rene Buck of  Buck Consultants International - international relocation experts - pronounced Cambridge to be number four in Europe as a location for technology businesses to locate to.   Even if we were - just - behind Oxford at No 3 and London at No 2.  Paris was No1.

Also encouraging was the three "reasons to be cheerful" from Andrew Gowers Head of Communications at Lehman Brothers, a former FT Editor.  They were - paraphrasing slightly - the three things that meant we could remain competitive : (i) Our openness to international trade and investment, (ii) our openness to new people, in particular immigration of skilled workers, and (iii) that we've acknowledged the importance of ideas to the success of the economy - with lots of innovation initiatives working well, university/commerce collaborations for example.

Personally I think things will be tougher, but at least we're not doomed - yet.


A couple more plugs for musical events.

This weekend I am singing in Elgar's Coronation Ode with the Balsham Singers. This is a great piece, which finishes up with Land of Hope and Glory.  Not a piece I'm normally that keen on as I associate it with the mawkish sentimentality of the last night of the proms; but this version is great.   The rest of the programme includes includes Vaughan Williams Shakespeare songs and Folk Songs.

In the first week of June I am performing in Yeomen of the Guard with Swaffham Bulbeck Summer Theatre. This is the second production in the new barn - and an extensive model of the Tower of London is under construction.  Dates are 4th to 7th June.