Week Ending: George Osborne; Amin Amiri; and sage advice from Nik Kershaw

LAST week Chancellor George Osborne was in Manchester, again. He can’t keep away from the place.

This time it was to unveil a £60m investment in a second graphene institute at the university and to launch Manchester Science Partnership’s Citylabs office space at the former Royal Eye Hospital.

I’ve seen Mr Osborne speak on several occasions now and each time he has arrived on stage in the same way – with a jaunty skip up the steps but with his arms by his sides.

It resembled someone else whose name eluded me for some time, then in a flash of inspiration it came to me – Michael Barrymore. The Osborne stage approach is like Barrymore’s strut as he went up and down the steps on the game show Strike It Lucky.

It’s just a shame his slogans – “Northern powerhouse” and “long term economic plan” – don’t have the same mass appeal of “Awright!!!”


AMIN Amiri, the Manchester investor who controls around 10 companies through his A2e Venture Catalysts vehicle, holds an annual convention for the management at all his firms.

It’s an idiosyncratic affair which includes a state of the nation-style address from Mr Amiri and a performance by two opera singers. Last year the evening ended with a burlesque strip show.

After taking to the stage he said: “The Lowry has been very kind to create a platform so you can all see me.” Mr Amiri isn’t very tall and the audience laughed.

“That wasn’t supposed to be funny,” he said with a smile which brought to mind Joe Pesci’s famous scene in Goodfellas – “you think I’m funny…”


THE 1980s pop star Nik Kershaw made a lot of money from writing hits such as Wouldn’t It Be Good? and Chesney Hawkes’ The One and Only, so he is well aware of the impact of poor financial advice.

Speaking to the Daily Telegraph he imparted one piece of wisdom which draws an uncomfortable parallel with bad accounting.

He said: “Accountants are like curries – you don’t know if you’ve got a bad one until it’s too late.”