With snow falling over much of the UK this weekend, it seems an odd time to be focusing on cricket. However, this week saw England's longest serving Test captain stand down, in typically understated manner. Cook's departure was measured and graceful - just think back to David Gower, by comparison, who was sacked from the captaincy whilst wearing his "I am in charge" T-shirt! However, looking back at Cook's 59 match tenure he can also lay claim to being England's most vilified captain, most infamously when Cook himself claimed to have been "hung out to dry by the ECB" during the Pietersen scandal. The question for Cook now is whether he can slip back into the rank and file of the England dressing room and re-focus his energies on his prolific talent with the bat, and help put one over the Proteas when they visit in the summer!
According to SEGRO, the well-established concept of mixed-development is about to get a new makeover. The group has come up with a more radical solution to both the housing crisis and growing shortage of industrial space in London - "sheds and beds". SEGRO has already partnered up with Barratt Homes to develop an industrial unit of up to 300,000 sq ft on the same site as high-density residential in Hayes, West London. Yet, whilst the initial schemes are likely to involve building housing next to industrial space, SEGRO are confident of delivering London's first multi-level building with jobs and homes on top of each other. Very soon it seems you will be able to pop out of your flat, head to the nearest lift, descend to "warehouse level", pick up your Amazon parcel or Waitrose delivery, and head back upstairs without ever having left the building!
The role of Speaker of the House of Commons is traditionally one played from the shadows. There was therefore general consternation this week (at least among some Tory ranks) when John Bercow took it upon himself to insult the democratically-elected leader of our closest ally, President Trump, by seeking to block him from Westminster Hall. Whilst many in the House supported his principled remarks, there is a wider feeling that the Speaker over-reached his powers as one of the three gate keepers of Parliament. The Speaker's tenure has not been without controversy, but previous Bercow appearances on the front page of the tabloids have usually been orchestrated by his wife. Who can forget the "bed sheet" photo of Sally Bercow posing in front of the Houses of Parliament, her short-lived stay in the Big Brother household, or the more recent libelous Twitter scandal with Lord McAlpine? She even had a leaked, extra-marital affair with her husband's cousin! There is therefore a strong argument that at least it was John's turn to grab the limelight. He should probably make the most of it. William Hill have just slashed their odds of him leaving the post before 2018 to 6/4!