Some time later today with my children

To The City of London for a BOTB seminar and a day for other Computer Industry discussions with government cuts and reorganisations on the agenda before home to be with the children  as Thatcher fends off strike criticisms in the Commons and loses a key vote in the House of Lords.

Awake early and across to Diana to keep warm on a cold morning. I listen to the farming programme on the radio as Diana gets the tea and hear of the tightening up of anti-pollution measures to eliminate discharges from farming land into the water system. My morning tea and then up for breakfast of toast and honey before into the bathroom before the children’s rush. Washed, dressed and out to the doves as the sun rises. It’s dry, with a fair frost, and they are very hungry and so I leave them a fair quantity of seed to finish at their leisure. In to get quickly changed and then off to the St Neots station. I buy a first class return ticket to Kings Cross with my premier card and the ticket attendants rib me, “for £17, what time would you like the train to come….. and which platform?”  quipped the older of them. A good journey and time to read my Financial Times before arrival, a browse in the newspaper stall before, by tube, to the Monument and to walk along Eastcheap to the City Conference Centre in Mark Lane. I meet the other BMMG representative and, after coffee, we join the BOTB Seminar. Interesting sessions on the Defence Sales Organisation; the need for language skills in business and commerce; and then a forum on the BOTB cutbacks. More government strictures have led to three year plans for zero expenditure growth in money terms. Therefore the budgets have to be effectively reduced both by inflation and by the unfavourable foreign exchange variation.

They are attempting to retain assistance for small companies (less than 200 employees) and first-time exporters, however, and provide up to £150 of services to first-timer’s free of charge. No chance to make my points in the forum and so I will write tomorrow. A swift buffet lunch, a return call to Roy Fuscone of NEDO and then by taxi to Kings Cross and by train home. Company on the train from a distant coloured girl who sidles up afterwards for a lift home from the station because of the cold wind and pouring rain. Home to find Di’s parents looking after Daniella and, after collecting my mail and returning Export ITs phone call at the office, I come back with the phone wonderer for a cup of tea at the house. Out to feed and put away the ducks, in to light the fire, tea of toad-in-the-hole and then to read my mail and journals. Mentions for me in Electronics Weekly on my news on 1985 prospects and the PITCOM policy initiative. Then to play with Daniella and Debbie and to supervise work by Daniel and Debbie before they went to bed. News tonight of more posturing by the Coal Board over conditions for talks. Earlier today the two sides seemed to be prepared to meet, until the NCB insisted on written assurances of the NUMs willingness to negotiate on uneconomic pits. The NUM still assure them of no pre-conditions and will confirm this in writing and so the pressure in on The Board. Prime Minister’s questions were dominated by the coal strike in the House of Commons and Ministers were trying to revel in the chance of glory in ‘victory’. In the USA the first military shuttle, in a veil of secrecy, launches with its cargo of spy satellite, which is designed to intercept Soviet communications. The government has suffered a heavy defeat in the House of Lords over the provision that the Prosecution Council should be concerned in sentence recommendation. Also another defeat for the government as it is forced to withdraw a nuclear dumping site in Cheshire after concerted lobbying. In Belgium there are agonies over the deployment of cruise missiles and they are asking NATO for a delay. Tomorrow being the first anniversary of the GCHQ union ban, three days of protests are being organised by the TUC.