Gordon Brown has the keys to Number 10, so I wonder what the baking industry can expect from the new Prime Minister. It’s probable that high on his agenda will be health, education and welfare.
The National Association (NA) is the voice of the craft industry; it is there to deal with the continual raft of government legislation and EU interference that seems to bombard us on a monthly basis. It also has to lobby the government of the day on behalf of its members; sometimes it may seem to be an endless task.
As long a go as November 2000, in my capacity as chairman of the NA Parliamentary Committee, I asked fellow bakers to write to their local MPs asking why the government had taken no action despite the Competition Commission’s conclusion that some supermarkets were selling certain items below cost.
To date I still have the replies from Margaret Beckett and Stephen Byers, who agreed with our concerns. They may have moved on, but the Competition Commission still rolls on.
At least we had the opportunity to give representation to the Low Pay Commission asking for a more manageable percentage increase in September. Indeed, the increase announced is the lowest for the past two years - hopefully our words were taken into consideration.
Maybe green issues such as reducing carbon footprints will be a high priority.
Let’s just hope Gordon Brown walks to his local bakery in Fife instead of taking the ministerial Jag!