Wednesday, 17 October 2007

So the big question is...

So the big question is... just where did Simon Hughes, Nick Clegg and Chris Huhne get to at PMQs today? Were they under orders to absent themselves from proceedings just in case the House made fun of the Lib Dems' current leadership woes? If so, it failed!

I thought Gordon clearly got the better of Cameron today. But we needs some more work on the "Look at me and think of Arnold Schwarzeneggger" soundbite - there's a great joke in there somewhere, but we haven't quite found it yet.

After PMQs I popped into the TGWU lobby of parliament on manufacturing issues, and met a group of about eight workers from Cadbury's, fighting the planned factory closure in Keynsham. I've agreed to do what I can to support them. Cadbury's wants to move production to Poland from 2010 and the union reckons that, once the actual cost of the transfer - £182m was quoted - is taken into account, Cadbury's won't start breaking even on the move until 2016, i.e. it's only then that they can start making a profit based on their ability to pay lower wages in Poland. But wage inflation is currently in double figures in Poland, because the exodus of skilled workers to other EU countries has caused real labour shortages - so the question is being asked, whether Cadbury's have based their calculations on current wage rates or on what they are likely to be if the current trend of economic migration from Poland continues - although presumably as average wages rise in Poland, that trend will slow.

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