Down the Procurement Pub with Basware, Rich Doctors, Poor Workers and Tears & Marble

I’ve had a quiet week actually, catching up on writing after a long weekend partly “off work” (family commitments). I had one pub meeting planned, but we had to postpone, so this is a picture from my trip to Lincoln last week (non-exec duties) and the latest beer line-up in the Best Pub in the World, the Struggler’s Arms, beneath the walls of Lincoln Castle. As well as great beer, have I told you that their pork pies are 60p? That’s cheaper than in the shops! And would be £3.95 in Shoreditch.


We forgot to mention in our article earlier this week about the Basware day at Silverstone that it was our first chance to meet Paul Taylor, the firm’s new Senior Vice President of Global Sales. He sits on the top Executive Team too, and both he and Lars Madsen, who joined this year as Chief Marketing Officer, are London based. That’s another sign of the firm shifting somewhat its centre of gravity from the Nordic region to the UK and US, where Basware are looking to generate much of their growth. Taylor has a strong track record in the software world, going back to Lotus and Commerce One days, and we wish him success and good luck in the new role.


We said the cap on agency fees in hospitals wouldn’t work and the evidence suggests we were (sadly) correct. That cap may also have been partly to blame for consultant overtime costs increasing by more than a third over the last two years, according to figures obtained by the BBC.  But the question that jumped out from that BBC report was this – just how does a hospital consultant earn £375,000 in overtime payments in a year? I mean, really? Even if he or she got £2000 a shift, that would be almost 200 additional shifts in the year. It just seems impossible. Or perhaps it is 50 shifts at £8,000 a time? Providing cover every weekend? Anyway, it smacks of incompetence or worse at the Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.


If you’re part of the “Metropolitan Elite” in the UK, still struggling to understand the Brexit vote, an interesting article in the Guardian might help. It claims that “Britain has suffered a bigger fall in real wages since the financial crisis than any other advanced country apart from Greece”.  (Worth noting it is not just zero-hour warehouse people who have seen that drop – for instance, many UK civil and public servants have also seen real wages decline in this period).  Based on OECD data, it says real wages have declined by 10% in the UK since 2007, compared to growth of 23% in Poland, 11% in France and 14% in Germany. Across the OECD, real wages increased by an average of 6.7%. (We have seen a stat saying that FTSE 100 Directors salaries have gone up 14% in the same period by the way).

What is also amusing is that the whole Guardian article manages to avoid mentioning immigration at all as one of the possible causes for this outcome. I’m sure it is not the only one, but it does look like the strong employment numbers in the UK have been built on the back of a flexible but low-wage (for most of the workforce) economy, supported by record immigration. Supply and demand and all that.



We have had some really good ideas for our “best cover versions” summer feature. Thanks to Catherine for suggesting Nik Cave doing Pulp’s Disco 2000 and Divine Comedy covering MGMT’s Time To Pretend both of which are great examples of changing the feel of the song brilliantly.  RJ reminded us of Kirsty McColl’s classic New England and Days, and “bitter and twisted” highlighted the Byrds Dylan covers as well as Louie Louie (didn’t know that was a cover to be honest).

Alex Kleiner gave us last week’s Metallica track as well as a number of other excellent choices such as Turin Brakes initially unrecognisable version of Nessum Dorma. Actually, finding videos of the choices rather than just audio tracks has been a challenge, so that is one reason we have chosen this Tears & Marble cover of What Is Love by Haddaway, recommended by the musical guru that is Alphabet Bands. His other choices are great too. But keep the ideas coming in please… 5 weeks of summer to go!

And we will have our monthly album review at the weekend, so keep an eye out for that. One of the very best albums of the year to feature as well.

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