Sep 252016

The following story is totally fictitious and never happened.

Way back in the day, I worked for a multinational which was building a large industrial facility in the UK. One of my jobs was to buy multi-million pound gizmos to make it all work. One of the gizmos was made by a foreign firm but an English factory had just entered the market and could also produce it. However, the English firm had no real life track record so I bought the foreign gizmo as it represented the least risk to my company.

I was then summoned to a meeting in London with a civil servant which I attended with one of my senior managers. The civil servant worked for a UK Government department whose role was to maximise the UK content of these facilities. I was understandably apprehensive at having to justify my decision to Westminster.

I need not have worried. Apparently, the meeting was arranged because the local English MP had tabled a question in parliament asking why the order had gone abroad. The civil servant’s task was to draft the reply for the Minister in charge of the department. The meeting was extremely cordial and together we managed to list several additional reasons to justify my decision.

The end result was that the Minister and his department looked good, the local MP looked good but the English factory didn’t get the work. I always wondered how the factory workers and management would have reacted if they had been able to listen in on the meeting.

Remember, this statement is false.


 Posted by at 12:58 pm

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