Everyone knows that British politicians need a thick skin, and none more so than the Prime Minister.  The history book of political insults is long and uncompromising.  During his tenure as PM, Tony Blair was variously described as a "pathological confidence trickster" and a "mixture of Harry Houdini and a greased piglet".  Gordon Brown's performances in the House of Commons saw him likened to "Mr Bean" and David Cameron was publicly dismissed by the then Shadow Chancellor, Ed Balls, as a "muttering idiot".  This week, however, marked a new high-watermark in political vitriol.  George Osborne's expressed desire to see Theresa May "chopped up in bags in my freezer" has stirred up a storm of protest and outrage.  The PM, however, remained unflinching. As she so coolly put it, "the contents of the former chancellor's freezer are probably not a matter for me"!  May 1 - Osborne 0.

Back in April, Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable warned of an "Icelandic style financial crisis" if local councils refused to curb their new-found appetite for commercial property.  It seems, however, that his warning has either been dismissed as meddlesome doom-mongering, or has fallen on deaf ears.  This week it was the turn of Warrington Borough Council to hit the headlines after completing the £200m purchase of Birchwood Park, a 123-acre business park comprising 1.2m sq ft of office space.  With councils' finances under pressure following cuts to Central Government funding, and cheap debt on hand from the Public Works Loan Board (PWLB), the relatively high returns from commercial property investment have so far proved irresistible.  In the eyes of Vince Cable, Local Authorities have "a long and inglorious history of gambling in the financial and property markets".  The question is whether the councils have truly hit on the panacea for future funding, or are simply engaged in a gigantic game of Monopoly with taxpayers’ cash?  Warrington will no doubt be well prepared for some public scrutiny.

No one likes sitting at their desk.  Save for an enjoyable 3 minutes spent re-reading The Weekly on a Monday morning (!), it can sometimes feel like you are chained to your seat; head down in emails, reports and spreadsheets.  Yet, whilst we've always known that work is bad for us, it appears that simply sitting at your desk could actually be deadly.  Results of a Columbia University study released this week suggested that desk jobs double the risk of premature death as the average office worker spends around 77% of his, or her, waking day sitting down.  For the occupiers of Derwent's White Collar factory in London, this study should be enough to encourage them upstairs for regular circuits on the 150m roof-top athletics track.  For the rest of us (without the benefit of such an innovative facility), there is now a medically-proven excuse to get up every 30 minutes, stretch the legs, and head to the kitchen for a chat and a chocolate digestive.  Unless, that is, we get told that chocolate digestives are deadly too!

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