60 Seconds: Coals to Newcastle


60 Seconds: Coals to Newcastle


During the week, I was chatting to some colleagues from the banking industry who raise funds globally, particularly in the USofA.

Their big worry is the prospect of hard-left socialist government in the UK.

These people have long memories and they can recall the 1970s when we last had a fairly left-leaning government with rent controls, three-day weeks, everyone on strike and the IMF at the front door.

Now, as you know, I am politically neutral, although in my youth (the 1970s), I was involved with the Labour Party and campaigned in Ireland for the current President, Michael D Higgins. Not that he remembers.

And as an impoverished young man with a family in the 1970s, I was well to the left, just like so many young people who see little hope of ever getting on the so-called ‘housing ladder’. They’re voting Labour.

Now that I have had a swipe at Mr Corbyn – and to prove my political neutrality –  it’s Mrs May’s turn.

Right now she is in China…selling tea. No. I haven’t been drinking the hard stuff. To help her, she has the able support of Whittard’s chief executive and 50 other captains of industry. Now, as I understand it, China is a major exporter of tea and Whittard is a major purveyor in the UK with such exotic brands as: Lucky Lychee, Jasmine Golden Pearls and Shanghai Chai.

No doubt, Mark Dunhill, the CEO of Whittard will be introducing the Chinese to the joys of Builders’ Tea served in mugs.

It is not for me to tell the PM how to use her time, but perhaps a cuppa with her warring colleagues in the Cabinet, or indeed M. Marcon or Mrs Merkel might be more appropriate.

I am sure President Li could wait.

Have a good weekend.



This week at Curtin&Co

London Plan and Insiders View seminar

This week Curtin&Co was delighted to host a breakfast briefing on the draft London Plan. Deputy Mayor for Housing James Murray was joined by Clare Coghill the Leader of Waltham Forest and Damien Egan, Labour’s Mayoral candidate for Lewisham. It is clear that the Labour Mayor and Labour councils are under considerable pressure from Labour’s re-energised membership on issues like affordable housing, infrastructure, density and viability.


Catherine Senda solves the housing crisis in London Business Matters
This week Curtin&Co’s Managing Director, Catherine Senda, had an article published in LCCI’s February 2018 issue of London Business Matters, highlighting a number of political issues affecting housing delivery in London. To read the article please click here.

In the news

Taking back control of our homes…
Foreign homebuyers blocked in ‘first dibs for locals’ plan

Saving Mr, Land Banks
Greedy house developers face losing right to build

Buy or goodbye 
Sorry, homeowners: London is now officially a “buyer’s market”

Avo’load of that
Forget ditching coffee and avocados, a new startup is helping millennials buy a home with an innovative new Help to Buy-style scheme.

Build or bust
Housing is our priority – we Conservatives know we are doomed if we fail

And finally…

An Apportunity 
Culture Secretary Matt Hancock launches his own app