At the March lunch, Ambassador Paul Arkwright entertained us with his background, together with some insights on the current focus of interest between the two countries. Holland is the second largest market for the UK in Europe, and the third largest overall. CADS can help encourage small and medium businesses in the UK to start exporting here, as the economic and friendly step to building export sales. The two countries share similar cultural interests, and have a rich history of both cooperation and competition.

We presented the Ambassador with a CADS cheque for 2,105 Euros for Sport Relief, raised by our antics in the CADS Sport Relief Olympic Mile at the Amsterdam stadium last month. The Carn team (Mike and Jean) were the major contributors to this, raising 820 Euros!

We also donated 1,000 Euros to Hounds for Heroes last month, to train a squadron of helper dogs for disabled servicemen and women injured on active duty. Well done, everybody!

Marti ten Sijthoff from the European Leadership Platform graciously offered all CADS members the opportunity to attend one of their ‘round table’ events free of charge, and Inder Singh generously presented everyone with a gift of fine Indian tea.

On the 27th of April, we have Chris Lorraine, the official pilot of The Netherlands Spitfire, and the head of Military Aviation, as our speaker. There will be a prize for the most patriotically dressed member, as we are celebrating St George’s Day. As you may know, St George is the patron saint of England –he was Syrian by birth, with a Turkish father and a Palestinian mother, and it is unlikely he ever visited England. The perfect choice, then!

This month is the election for Mayor of London. As well as the normal candidates (Boris, TV star of Have I Got News For You; and Ken, veteran of Militant Labour and the whisky bottle), there is the British National Party (the UK Nazi party). Their candidate is Carlos Cortiglia, a Uruguayan immigrant, who espouses their anti-immigration policies. Carlos was formerly the press officer of the Uruguayan parliament and a supporter of the Argentinian invasion of the South West Scilly Islands (The Falklands, or Las Malvinas in Argy-speak), before coming to London as the BNP press officer. Ironic, and as sensible as the rest of their policies.

No further progress to report in the long-running News International enquiry, but my mole tells me arrest warrants are in preparation in over 100 cases. The first journalist to crack and give up the names of the corrupt officials will get a sentence discount. The others get to stay at HMP.

Finally, the Tory party is coming apart at the seams. Osborne has created ‘the budget from hell’ as a senior Tory described it. He has managed to alienate most charities, pensioners and anyone receiving social or disability support by making large cuts in their income. Meanwhile he has rewarded those who earn more than 100,000 pounds per year with a 12.5% cut in their taxes, and lowered the level at which the top rate is payable, increasing the tax bill of everyone else. The budget strategy was created at a weekend riding party in Chequers attended by guests paying 50,000 pounds per head for the privilege, and hosted by Dave and George. Rebekah and Charlie gave riding lessons, giving the Met police horses a day out and a bit of light relief from their normal duties.