Down the Procurement Pub with Trade Extensions, the BBC and Bon Iver

Here are Garry Mansell and Nik Pettifor from Trade Extensions lunching with me (very sober, just the one glass of wine, well, maybe two...) in Simpsons on the Strand. In many years of eating in London I have never been there. Very pleasant, you're paying a premium for the history and setting, but traditional favourites done very well - steak and kidney pudding anyone, or beef carved at the table? We were discussing the Trade Extensions customer conference in Stockholm in a couple of weeks time, which I'm chairing. It is for customers and I guess strong prospects only but if you fall into that category there might still be time to sign up.

To the gentleman on the train from Cardiff to Cheltenham yesterday - I hope you found your 900 missing cases of Snowy Fingers, not to mention sorting out the other problems with the confused stock figures for various biscuit varieties. It was very good of you to let the whole carriage know via your phone calls. "They might be packing some at the moment, that might explain things", but he just doesn't understand how. It's all very confusing, I could barely sleep last night for worrying.

News here that three staff from the North Lanarkshire Council in Scotland procurement and property team have been suspended after allegations of fraud via a whistleblowing letter . We're not clear yet what exactly the fraud might be, but after an internal audit report, the three  have been suspended on full pay while further investigations take place.

"The trio, all members of staff from North Lanarkshire's corporate property and procurement section, were suspended after the authority launched a probe into multi-million-pound deals signed during the previous regime at the Labour-run council. Police Scotland has been informed of the move, which, at present, remains an internal and not a criminal matter".


East Enders is the BBC's flagship "soap opera", and has run for 30 years now, winning numerous awards and featuring some of the best acting and actors you will ever see anywhere. The set on which much of the filming is done recreates a "typical" east end of London square, with a pub, a cafe, a street market, a launderette ... But after all these years, the BBC is running a procurement process to choose a main contractor to build its new external set for EastEnders.

This will be "a replica in permanent materials of the famous Albert Square external set". In early September the BBC started the OJEU procurement process to find a supplier who will work with the EastEnders programme team in Elstree to create the new film set with a more 'authentic' East London feel, "built with the high-quality materials required for High Definition broadcasting". Will it include a hipster vegan coffee bar, a gallery featuring video installations from an exciting new artist (almost shortlisted for the Turner this year), a bicycle shop, and a gastro-pub specialising in Guatemalan cuisine? That would probably reflect much of the east end these days... Anyway, you can find more details here if you are a potential contractor!

The new album from Bon Iver is amazing, weird, beautiful, challenging, lovely ... all of the above. Much more electronic than his classic debut For Emma, Forever Ago, but perhaps just as good. (Definitely a step up from his second album). We'll review it fully at the end of the month review but for now try this.

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  1. Sheena Smith:

    Hi Garry!

    Loving the new Bon Iver as well.

    Here’s some fun girly power pop for a Friday:

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