Chairman’s Corner February 2013

scheepsvaart Hello sailors!

This month we have a nautical theme. Dr Willem Bijleveld, who some may remember as a fellow member, is coming to talk to us. Formerly responsible for the Madame Tussaud’s museum, he is now algemeen directeur of the Scheepsvartmuseum.

If Willem’s talk enthuses you for things nautical, you may like to know there are plans for a Royal Navy ship to visit Amsterdam later in the year, and we are discussing with them the possibility of inviting all CADS members to a reception on board.

In other news, Lord and Lady Almelo are off to Buck House next month to see HM. We want to give them a good send off, and are also planning a celebratory event later in the year so that medals can be worn… J

Amongst the continuing tragedies and poor results there was some excellent news this month. Exports from the UK to The Netherlands are up, and based on 


provisional results we rank once again as the 3rd largest trading partner with the UK, just a whisker ahead of the dreaded France, who held the position in 2011 (see figure). To bolster and build on this, and help a few of the 200,000 British SMEs who have never exported anything, member Benno Pieters and his partner have published a new book on how to start exporting to Europe without spending a fortune. Do take a look at it. Benno will have a few copies for sale at the lunch.

Amongst other news this month, several more corrupt police officers have been arrested by the team investigating ‘phone hacking, and former Liberal cabinet minister Chris Huhne pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice and is now awaiting a custodial sentence – following the example set by former Tory minister Jonathan Aitken. If you hadn’t heard of Chris Huhne before, he’s the guy who stood as Liberal party leader in 2007 and was beaten by a whisker by a young upstart called Nick Clegg.

Finally, for those of you following Asil Nadir’s case, you might like to know he is now asking for a transfer to serve the rest of his 10-year sentence in Cyprus – perhaps on his large and luxurious estate? Apparently the deal is possible; if he pays back 5m GBP of the 150m GBP he stole. Personally I like the logic, and am planning a major bank heist in London. When I successfully steal 150m GBP, and in the unlikely event that the Met has sufficient officers not yet in jail themselves that happen to catch me and get me to trial, I can buy a get out of jail free card for less than 3% of the proceeds.

Asil Nadir’s defence team cost 1m GBP last year, on top of similar prosecution costs. All funded by UK taxpayers, as Mr Nadir has no assets….