Lord Taylor of BlackburnHansard
Transcripts and Original E-mails
Telephone Call to Lord Taylor of Blackburn ("LT")
from "David Thompson" ("Man") of the Sunday
Times, Wednesday 17 December 2008
Telephone CD1 page 25 of 28
[start of call]
LT: Hello, Taylor.
Man: Hello, is that Lord Taylor?
LT: It is I.
Man: Hello. My name's David Thompson. I'm from
a company called Michael Johnson Associates. We've not met, but
the reason I'm calling you is, erm, I have a client who's looking
for some political consultancy work and I wondered whether I might
come and talk to you about it. It is a client in the retail sector.
Maybe I should explain who we are. We're a communications/public
affairs company. Mostly we deal with Brussels and I've been asked
by this particular client to find somebody who might be able to
help them out with work in Parliament and my researcher did some
research. We were looking for someone with good links to Government,
who had a good track record in working for enterprises outside
Parliament, and she suggested your name, which is why I'm calling
out of the blue. I don't know whether this is something, the sort
of thing you would do, I mean, or whether we might be better off
just meeting to talk it through, if you're interested.
LT: Well, of course, of course. Let me tell
you a little bit about myself and then you know. Yes, I've, I
have got a lot of connections with Government, because I am very,
very fortunate in the sense that I have been in the Lords for
30 years and my background was education. Most of the British
education system is based on what they call the Taylor reports,
you know, and so on, and I've done everything that is possible
for a layman to do in education. And even though physically I
think I am deteriorating, mentally I am probably more alert than
somebody, you know, much much younger than myself. And during
that time I've gained a lot of experience. I decided, I decided
a few years ago I was going to retire. I've no need to do anything.
I've got past the stage of seeking monetary rewards or honours
or positions or anything like that some time ago, but it seems
a pity, when I have gained so much experience and so much knowledge,
not to use it.
LT: And therefore I have been working with quite
a number of companies over the years, you know, nationally and
internationally, and given them the benefit .... I decided that
I was definitely going to retire last year and I wasn't going
to do anything, but unfortunately, I'm the sort of bloke that
can't resist a challenge, and depending on what the position is
and what the people want, you know, I will help them if I possibly
can. So I don't have to do anything, can I put it that way to
LT: So I am not seeking anything. It's giving
what I've got, and if it's somebody that I like and I like what
they're trying to do or trying to achieve, I will help them.
Telephone CD1 page 26 of 28
LT: So that is my philosophy.
Man: I'm assuming it would be a paid role, though.
Or are you saying that you might do it for free?
LT: Oh, well I do, it depends on what it is
and who they are and sort of, if it's somebody just coming up
the ladder and starting off, you know, and so on, I would help
them free. It depends on who they are.
LT: Does that ...?
Man: Yes, that helps. Now, are you, maybe we
should just mean, I mean rather than talk on the phone, which
is never quite satisfactory, maybe we should just meet and have
a cup of tea some time ...
LT: Oh, I would be delighted ...
Man: ... to discuss it through.
LT: I would be delighted to do that. When have
you got in mind?
Man: Well, I'm around this week, but then obviously
it's Christmas next week and then it's New Year the following
week, so it would either have to be in London before Friday or
it would have to be early January.
LT: Right, well let me tell you what my plans
are. I've got appointments this afternoon in the House. I've got
appointments with BT tomorrow morning. Then it is my intentions
of going back north. I've got a flat in London and I've got a
house in the north-west.
LT: And it was my intentions of going up to
the north-west tomorrow afternoon and I don't know whether I'm
going to ... I live on my own and I please myself what I do and
where I go.
LT: And I didn't know whether, depending on
the weather and the circumstances, whether I spend Christmas in
London or I spend it in my home in the north-west. I'm going to
Croatia, to Dubrovnik, on about the 28th and spending New Year
over in Dubrovnik, because I've got interests in a number of hotels
Man: Oh, right.
Telephone CD1 page 27 of 28
LT: So I will be spending New Year over there
and then coming back, oh, round about the 5th of January, and
so on. Now if, ... I have got a little bit of time this week.
It would have to be either later this afternoon or tomorrow morning.
Man: Shall we try, how about tomorrow morning?
What sort of time would suit you? I'm free all tomorrow, so I
can fit around you.
LT: Well, is 10 o'clock in the morning too early
Man: No, that would be fine.
LT: Right, well 10 o'clock tomorrow morning
at the House of Lords, then.
Man: And do I just ... I just come in, do I?
LT: Yes, you just ... do you know the House
Man: Yeah. Do I ... what I can't remember ...
I don't go through the St Stephen's entrance, so I?
LT: No you don't.
Man: I go through the next one along, don't
LT: You go along to the next entrance, where
all the cars are parked and there's a statue of Richard Coeur
de Lyon there and you mention to the policeman at the barrier
there that you've got an appointment with me and you go inside
Man: Right, okay.
LT: And I will meet you at 10 o'clock there,
Man: Brilliant, okay. We'll just go for a cup
of tea somewhere?
LT: I can manage an hour, if that's okay by
Man: That would be ample. Well, look, I look
forward to seeing you tomorrow at 10 o'clock then, in that case.
LT: And your name is what, please?
Man: David Thompson.
LT: David Thompson, right.
Man: And I work for a company called Michael
LT: Righto, then. I look forward to seeing you.
Man: Brilliant. Thank you very much.
Telephone CD1 page 28 of 28
LT: Okay, thank you.
Meeting of Lord Taylor of Blackburn ("LT")
with "David Thompson" ("Man") of the Sunday
Times at the House of Lords, Thursday 18 December 2008
Lord Taylor Meeting (1) page 1 of 20
Man: Hello. I have a meeting at 10 o'clock with
Lord Taylor of Blackburn.
Security: Taylor of Blackburn, there we go.
We've got Mr Thompson and Mr Altmore???.
Man: Thompson. I'm the 10 o'clock one.
Security: Do you want to go through security,
please, and take a seat. He said he will come down to collect
[noises as he goes through x-ray, etc]
Man: Change ... mobile phones ... I've got two
mobile phones with me, actually ... Keys.
Security: Stand on the platform. ... That's
[more noises as he retrieves his stuff]
Unknown woman's voice: [inaudible] they're
just hanging around.
[indistinct background chat]
[very very long wait here]
LT: Mr Thompson?
Man: Yes. Hello. Pleased to meet you.
LT: I'll just check this here. [another pause]
Is it Mr Thompson?
Man: It is.
LT: I wasn't sure what your name was, to be
Man: No, you've got it right. It was correct
at the entrance when I came in. Yes, it's David Thompson and it's
Michael Johnson Associates. You're ready to go up north, are you?
LT: Well, my intentions were, I'm meeting you
at 10. I was originally meeting ??Chris Altmore?? of BT,
who is a new finance director of BT, at 11 and then as soon asI
was going to say as soon as I've got rid of himas soon
as he's departed I'm going north. That's why I'm dressed like
Man: Oh, I see, you're, er ...
Lord Taylor Meeting (1) page 2 of 20
LT: Yes, I've got my country coat on. ... Have
you been waiting long?
Man: No, not at all.
LT: I didn't realise it was ...
Man: Oh, don't worry.
LT: Do you know this place at all?
Man: I don't actually, no.
LT: Well, I'm sorry that I haven't got time
to show you round. We start at 11 today, on Thursdays.
Man: Oh, do you?
LT: Yes. Usually we start at half past two,
but on Thursday we start at 11.
Man: And it's the last day of sitting, isn't
it? There's nothing tomorrow, is there?
LT: It's quiet at the moment, but it won't be
like that ???[inaudible]??? but you can never tell at Christmas.
Man: No, I suppose not.
LT: You see, we've finished most of the business.
Today is a sort of tidying-up day. So we have had two new Bills
introduced this week, three actually.
[they enter a busy Peers' Guest Room]
LT: There's more business done in here than
what there is in most Government offices and most offices ...
Man: What sort of business is going on here?
Man: What sort of business is going on here?
LT: Oh, there are all kinds of people here at
the moment. There are officials from various departments ... [inaudible]
and I don't know who these people are. This is where, if I
want to talk to a Minister, this is the place to talk to him.
If I want to talk to a chairman of a company, this is the way
that I would talk to him, in here. And usually from here we would
go in the next room and have lunch or dinner.
Man: So what is this called?
LT: This is called the Peers' Guest Room.
Lord Taylor Meeting (1) page 3 of 20
Man: The Peers' Guest Room.
LT: This is where Peers meet their guests before
they go on for dinner and so on. If one of my companies were having
trouble with the chairman of a company and so on and they're not
sorting it out, if I invite him to come and have lunch or dinner
with me here, in nine out of ten cases he'd accept the invitation.
This is a place where you can't buy a meal;
you know, you can buy a lunch at the Dorchester or the Ritz or
something like that, but you can't here.
Man: No, you can't.
LT: And it's good for people to be seen here,
and they like coming here. So I will get them here and we will
sort the thing out, and then pass it on to whoever's dealing with
Man: So, you sort it out between you and then,
erm, and then
LT: And then it goes on from there.
Man: I see. And, it's veryit's very handy
to have that. You, you already work for several people, do you
Man: You already work for several people.
LT: Well, it all depends on what you mean by
"work". I ... You see, I've got past the stage of working,
in the sense I only do what I want to do, and if I like the people
then I might help them if they've got a problem. If I don't like
them, I won't help them. [inaudible] I'm completely independent.
I've got to the stage of life where my family's been taken care
of. I live on my own, so I do I want to do. The most important
to me is time, because it is limited to me, so I only spend my
time on doing things that that I'm getting satisfaction out of
[inaudible], so that is the way that I work and operate.
I've no need to do anything. Anyway, you tell me ...
Man: Yeah, I'll tell you what we're
LT: Tell me what the problem is.
Man: I'm erm ... It's not necessarily a problem,
erm, but, er, we're ... I work for a company called Michael Johnson
Associates, erm ...
Man: Basically, I, we have for quite a long
time been based in Brussels, doing public affairs work in Brussels.
LT: Yep, yep yep yep.
Lord Taylor Meeting (1) page 4 of 20
Man: Erm, now we've opened an office in London,
and we have Chinese clientwell, it's joint Chinese/Taiwanese
clients who are setting up. We know them because we did some work
for them in Brussels, which is how we came across them, and they're
setting up a chain of retail outlets, probably next year, under
the brand name Emerald, and these are clothes retail outlets.
Now they have a number of issues; we're talking about, probably
about 30, around the country, so, for instance, I mean, I guess
broadly there are two things that they're looking for. One is,
sort of, any help that they can get in streamlining the planning
process, which is obviously going to be quite a sort of difficulty
for them. And they're also looking to actually sort of change
the climate of debate on how you incentivise businesses. I mean,
in this current climate a lot of retail outlets are going to go
LT: Yeah, true, true.
Man: Erm, you know, it's a tough time and they're
hoping that, you know, that they could influence the debate on
incentives such as tax breaks et cetera for businesses who, new
businesses coming in to take up those retail sites. Now, I don't
know, is this the sort of work you do, or is it ...?
LT: Yeah, it is, it is, it, but it depends,
erm ... Go a little bit further down the line. What sort of ...
They do business, but what do they want the retail outlets for,
Man: Oh, to sell
LT: Can we have a cup oftwo cups of coffee?
LT: Fine, thank you.
Man: Erm, to sell clothes. And that's what it
LT: Clothes, is it?
Man: Yep, yeah. It's a, what it is is it's a
joint venture between a very well established Hong Kong clothes
manufacturer and retailer ...
LT: [??I see, right??]
Man: Erm, and they're called Wong Hing.
LT: Wong ...?
Man: It's a family name, you wouldn't have,
I mean ... And, and, er, our client, who is a man called Lu Li
Jiang, who's an importer/exporter; I suppose you'd call him a
sort of dollar billionaire, really.
LT: I see. Where he's based, in Hong Kong?
Lord Taylor Meeting (1) page 5 of 20
Man: And, um, the idea is that they will set
up these, and they're scoping at the moment to sort ofthe
right sites, I mean, some, they're talking about big out-of-town
sites, which obviously would involved [sic] issues you'd
know better about than I in terms of planning, and I mean
LT: Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah.
Man: Erm, I'm sure that's the sort of thing
you would, that you would be used
LT: Yeah, I do know what you're talking about,
Man: ... you'd be used to. And at, you know,
certain times, I mean, for instance, there are all sorts of things
that we might, I don't know, I would imagine that if we were to
have some sort of financial relationship with you, what we would
be looking at for you to do is perhapsand tell me if this
is how it normally workserm, we would be looking for you
to speak in the Chamber on our behalf, erm, ask parliamentary
questions, erm, perhaps amend certain bits of the legislation
and also, I mean, and if possible, I mean, we'd quite like to,
if it might be possible, to meet Ministers.
Man: Erm ... I don't know which, quite, how
that works, whether, or any of that, or any of it is possible,
really. And I don't know, I've sort of, I've given you, what I've
given you is a broad idea
LT: [inaudible] I've got an idea. Tell
me, how did you get my name?
Man: Because my researcher did some work on
... would you like some milk?
LT: Please, after you. Thank you.
Man: My researchwhat we were looking
for, because our Chinese clients have, you know, in Hong Kong
they're very close to the political situation there, as they are
in... And what we were looking for is somethey, they look
for someone with status and experience, but also with a track
record of having dealt with commerce. So, erm, I got a researcher
to do some work, and yours was a name that came up. I don't, erm,
I'm not entirely sure what the criteria she used were, but, erm,
she did some ....
LT: Right. Now, let me explain one or two things.
I have been in the Lords for 30 years, and I've been advisingmost
of my background is educationalist and the British education system
is based on the Taylor reports that I have published from time
to time and the committees that I have chaired, Royal Commissions
Man: So you're an educationalist, are you? Is
that your background? Did you?
Taylor: Yeah, yeah, in my background, but I
Lord Taylor Meeting (1) page 6 of 20
Man: Did you start as a teacher or did you?
Taylor: Yeah, well I'll tell you how I got involved
in the commercial side.
Man: Yeah, oh right, oh right, yeah, yeah.
Taylor: I've been adviser to about 15 Secretaries
of State in education and science over the years and I've held
every position that it's possible for a layman to hold in education.
I worked very closely with Margaret Thatcher when she was Secretary
of State for Education and Science. When she became the Prime
Minister I'd just finished a major report. Now, I'm a great believer
in taking people with me rather than imposing my ideas upon them.
I feel that you get more out of people, especially the teaching
profession and the academic institutions. Margaret got this report
and said, "This is just what I want; I'm going to introduce
it in two major Acts of Parliament", which meant it would
be introduced in two years. I said, "Prime Minister, if you
do that, I'm getting out. I don't want it introducing like that;
I want it introducing over a period of 10 years". "Oh
no, well I don't want it in 10 years. It's just the policy that
we need", and so on. So I told her, "If you do that,
I'm definitely going out". So she said, "Right. You
go". She virtually sacked me and I resigned at the same time.
Ken Baker was the Secretary of State for Education and Science
at the time, and said, Ken rang me and said, "Oh, I hope
you don't mean this, because I need you; I've got to carry this
Bill through", and so on, or "these Bills through",
and "I need you"I said, "Sorry, I'm definitely
going". He said, "Are you sure that you're doing the
right thing?" I said, "I'm positive". Now, remember
that I've been a big fish in a small pond in the UK, and I at
that time was Britain's number one in education. And I'm not boasting
Man: Right. Okay.
LT: That was my role at that time.
LT: I knew every Act, in every page of every
Act, and I used to settle all kinds of disputes within the educational
world, and so on. Right. He said, "If you've made up your
mind, I've got something that you might be interested in".
He said, "I've had a talk with the Prime Minister of Malaysia.
The Malaysians are changing their economy from an agricultural
economy into an industrial economy".
Man: Oh yes.
LT: "And they've realised they can't do
it with the educational workforce that they've got at this moment
in time, and they want someone who's independent, who knows education
well, who will go over [inaudible] and tell them how they
can do this."
So I said, "Well, that's interesting".
So I went over the Malaysia, met the Prime Minister and the Minister
of Education and the Finance Minister and one or two other people
and decided that this was a challenge, and I love challenges.
So I said I would look at it and I would do it. So I spent two
years reorganising the Malaysian education system. The Malaysian
education system was completely different from the UK.
Lord Taylor Meeting (1) page 7 of 20
education system, where most of the schools
are owned by the state. Most of the schools and Malaysian colleges
are owned by private companies, international companies. General
Electric own one or two and one or two other people from China
own them and so on. It was fascinating. This gave me a new scope
and it broadened my vision, working with these companies and working
with the Government there, of how they could change it. And we
were very successful. When I'd finished this, British Aerospace
were trying to get an order from the Malaysians for aircraft,
which was a terrific order. Their competitors were the Americans
and the Russians. Regardless of what has been said due to circumstances,
British Aerospace were the biggest givers of ??lush?? money
that could get in getting orders, especially in the Middle East.
That was the way that they operated and it was the way that the
Arabs wanted it and regardless of the ethics of whatever anybody
says, this is the way that the Arabs work and if you want business,
you've got to work according to what they want. But they couldn't
do this in Malaysia. If they started giving backhanders to Ministers
in Malaysia they wouldn't stand a cat in hell's chance, you know.
Everything had to be as straight as a die there. They said, "How
can we get an advantage over our competitors?". I said, "Well
how are you going to service these aircraft?". "Oh,
well we're going to service them from the UK.". "But
why do you not service them in Malaysia?". "Well, you
can't, there's ???[inaudible] How can you do it?".
I said, "Well why not put, if you are successful, that you
will build in Kuala Lumpur a technical college. You'll get Loughborough
University, which is one of the best at engineering and aerodynamics
and so on, to run it, and we'll train engineers to OND, HND and
perhaps first degree level there. The Malays will run it, you
will supervise it, you will provide for the money for it and Loughborough
will provide the know-how and give you the credibility."
So they put this in the bid and they won the contract. Now, this
was a new idea for British Aerospace, so wherever they put a bid
in now on whatever country they are going in they look at the
needs of the country and they add this, too. And it's worked,
and it's exceptional and it's morally justified, is this, in doing
it this way rather than giving backhanders to Ministers and so
on and, you know, people in influence and so on. So they've done
that. As a result, Dick Evans asked me if I would join the board
of BAE, mainly in looking at their education and working with
universities, working with colleges, working with schools and
so on, but also looking at countries that they were developing
in and giving them ideas of how they should work. At the same
time that this was happening to me, EDS I don't know whether
you know EDS
Man: Electronic Data Systems.
LT: ... an American came into this country and
they wanted a contract from BAE and I happened to be on the board
and the way that they went about it was absolutely stupid. They
thought they were dealing in Washington, not in London. And afterwards
the managing director came to me and said, "Why did we not
get this contract? You know, tell us. You were on the board. You
saw it. You interviewed us." and so on. So I told them where
they'd gone wrong and what they had to do to be able to get contracts
from other companies in the UK, and so on. They could have their
global policy, but their global policy had got to be adapted to
the country that they were working with. What worked in Brussels
would not work in London. What worked in London would not work
in Berlin. But you could still have your global policy. So I started
working with EDS and helped them to get some very, very good,
big contracts. And then I started working with other IT firms,
and it just grew and
Lord Taylor Meeting (1) page 8 of 20
grew and grew, did this. At the same time, of
course, that this was happening, there was a big change here.
Everybody could see that the Conservative Government
was going out and getting tired, and so on, and Labour were coming
into power. Tony Blair asked me, because I'd chaired so many national
committees and I was very familiar with the civil servants of
the day, because most of thema lot of them had worked with
me, and I worked with them very closely and this was a new concept
of Labour, completely different than the Callaghan policies in
Labour, the new Labour, so they asked me if I would do a couple
of weekends with the people that were, he was going to appoint
as his Ministers and Secretaries of State and tell them what their
role would be and what their duties were and the difference between
being a Minister and a civil servant. So I did that with them,
and then I was invited by the Secretary of the Cabinet to do a
similar exercise with the civil servants, because most of the
senior civil servants I've known since they were juniors in various
departments, so I could talk to them in the same way. So when
Labour came into power, I was used then for settling disputes
and all kinds of things within government. This gave me an entrée
into all the government departments, and so on. So I used it.
Now, you said to me afterwards, asking questions in the Chamber.
Never in your life will I
Man: You don't do that?
LT: You don't do things like that if you want
Man: Sorry, I'm naive on this.
LT: Yeah, you are very naive on that. The best
way, you see, because of my position and because I'm accepted,
because even though, you know, I'm a Labour Peer I'm accepted
by all parties because of the work that I've done over the years
with all parties. Remember I worked with the Conservatives for
18 years ...
Man: Yes, as well.
LT: ... as much as I've worked with the Labour
party, you know, it doesn't matter because I'm a UK man rather
than a party politician, so this is the way that I work. Now,
if I want to get a point over to a Minister or a civil servant
or someone like this, this is the place where I would do it, over
this table. I can speak better and they will speak more freer
over a cup of coffee, or a pie and pint, as I say, rather than
over a boardroom table or over a ministerial desk where everything
is being written down, and so on, and asking a question in the
Chamber you'll get the written answerbut that's not what
you want; you want to make your point known to them. So you make
your point to them in, in this particular way rather than what
you would do over ....
Man: I see.
LT: So, and again, you see, being in the position
that I'm in, it's easier for me to pick up a telephone and say
to Peter Mendelson [sic], "Peter, I want to come and
talk to you next week about A, B and C" Right, I'll do it.
Or, in science and technology, Dyson [sic] has just taken
over; I'm having a meeting with him about a particular concern
in gas storage next week. Now, these are the sort of things that
Lord Taylor Meeting (1) page 9 of 20
Man: I see.
LT: Now, so, I do it in a very quiet way, and
so on, without any publicity, I wouldn't want that really, because
you don't get what you want to by ... you only use the Chamber
if you're fighting the cause of society [inaudible] but
not on a commercial dealing would you [inaudible]. Do it quietly
[inaudible] and again, I have got a reputation within government
and within all parties of being a straight, honest operator because
I believe in telling the truth, and in telling the truth you're
far better in doing it the way that I do it, where you can talk
straight to someone, than what you can just in putting questions
down and things like that, very very careful, and civil servants
are very good in giving you civil service language that doesn't
mean anything at all, really.
Man: Yes, that's true.
LT: So, but in doing it the way that I'm doing
it with you now is the best way. So that's the way that I operate.
Man: So the way you operate is through informal
LT: Exactly, yeah, in the way that we're meeting...
Man: Yes, in the way we are.
LT: ... we're meeting this morning. Now, again,
because I have got a reputation and because I have got ... I will
not lose ... My credibility means a great deal to me, because
at my age I'm not going to lose my credibility just for a few
pounds or anything like that. That doesn't mean anything to me,
more than my reputation means to me, so I will not do anything
that I think is dodgy or crossing that line. I am privy to all
kinds of information that would not go further than me.
That doesn't mean to say that if your client
is doing something that I don't think stands any chance of doing,
I will tell you, but I will tell you in a roundabout way so that
you will understand what I'm saying to you without going down
that particular road. Again, my [inaudible].
Man: Can I ...?
LT: You can, sir, yes, you can join the rebels
Man: Oh, there's one there. I've always been
a rebel, so ...
LT: Well, you're very welcome to join ??? them
??? So that is how I operate in this particular way.
Man: How does that have ...?
Lord Taylor Meeting (1) page 10 of 20
LT: But remember, remember, when I spoke to
you yesterday I told you that I am not seeking work. It was my
intentions of finishing. It was because you just whetted my appetite
a little bit to see what it was all about. So, you know, it's
Man: In fact, it's what we are talking about,
it's you helping us out with any problems that come up in the
process of setting up this retail chain in the UK.
LT: Yep, yep, yep, yep.
Man: I mean, there are certain issues, for instance,
that have already been identified. For instance, there's the Business
Rates Supplement Bill, which you may or not know ...
LT: Yeah, I do know, yeah.
Man: Which is going to be quite onerous on retailers
in so far as it will allow an extra 2% on corporation tax.
LT: Yeah, yeah.
Man: I don't know how you feel about that but
my own employers feel that the legislation could be amended so
that a business, for instance, would, when it's first setting
up, be able to apply to the local authority, appeal to a local
authority, for an exemption.
LT: Yeah, yeah. Well, these are the things where
I can come in quite well. I don't know whether you know Capricorn
Experience in this country.
Man: Experience? No.
LT: Experience are the company only, have got
a terrific amount of intelligence and information. They are the
people that advise banks on your creditworthiness, and so on.
Man: Oh yes.
LT: They will blacklist you or they will tell
you how good you are. Also they do a lot with Government on ID
cards and things like that that are coming in and so on because
they've got all sorts of information. For example, I have been
working with them on amending a statute that's coming out, or
was coming outI've got it delayed nowwhereby it
was going to be difficult for them to get certain information,
and so on. So I've got that amendment and you do it quietly behind
Man: How did you manage to do that?
LT: Oh, I ...
Man: Do you actually put in amendment yourself?
Lord Taylor Meeting (1) page 11 of 20
LT: No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. We don't
do things like that. That's stupidthat's the way that you
don't get things done. What you do is you talk to the parliamentary
team, the draftsmen, and so on, that are going through, and you
point out to them the difficulties that the retailer will be having
on this and how things are working, and so on, and you get them
to amend it that way.
Man: I see.
LT: Oh no, to do it, you're too late when you're
putting amendments down and trying to persuade them because they
don't want loss of face. But if you can get it done to them when
it's in the draft form, it is far better because you know what
the principles are.
LT: And if you know what the principles are
of the Bill that's going through and you know what they're introducing,
for example, in the 2% and so on, what you do is you meet the
Minister, you meet the various people and it's not always Ministers
or the Secretary of State or even the Permanent Secretaries that
do this, but it's some little chappie who is half way down the
grade ??? in employment ??? that does all this drafting.
These are the people. It's identifying the decision-makers; it's
identifying the people that make the recommendations. They are
Man: How do you do it in a case of, say, that
Experience one that you got amended? How do you identify?
LT: I know the department. I know how it works.
I chair various Cabinet meetings, and I know how the Cabinet works
and I know the people that are the decision-makers. I know the
teams in various government departments and I will identify them.
For example, if you want to build a power station in the UK, you
want a Section 36 notice to do it. Now, you'll make the necessary
application and it will go through and it will have to be approved
by the Secretary of State. But long before that there's a little
chappie called Gary [inaudible] who works in Victoria Street,
who does all the recommendations to the various Ministers and
civil servants. He's only a very low-graded man, but he knows
more about energy than everybody else. What you would do, if somebody
came along from you and said, "I want to build a power station
in Chester. What are my chances of getting this Section 36?",
Gary would tell him what his chances were.
If Gary said "You don't stand a cat in
hell's chance ..." forget about it, mate. No matter how you
try and no matter how eloquent you are in a debate, you'll never
get it because, you know, the shutters will come down.
Man: Can you not persuade Gary?
LT: Ah, now that is different. Then, if you
can persuade Gary then you are in and you can do what you want
and you point out the logic of doing it that way.
Man: Have you ever done that with him?
Lord Taylor Meeting (1) page 12 of 20
LT: Oh [inaudible]
LT: [???I've done a number of things with
Man: And it works, does it?
LT: Oh yes.
Man: And in terms of
LT: Maybe I've not been clear to you. It's not
a question of you interviewing me. It's me, whether I will join
you. You need me more than I ... I don't need you, with the greatest
of respect, you know.
Man: No, I know. I can see that.
LT: So please, please remember that. That is
the way that it goes. I'm interested. What I would like to do
is talk more to you in the new year. And this is only a kind of
introductory meeting today.
LT: And then we'll talk more in the new year.
You see, you're coming to me this morning with fixed views that
are entirely wrong in the way that you use words. You're going
completely off, ... [inaudible] and working the way that
you think you ...
Man: No, it clearly doesn't work like that at
all. I'm sorry, I'm not, I'm quite naive in this.
LT: Yes, you're ignorantand I say that
with respect to you in some waysof how the system works
and how you've got to work and how you've got to know people and
how it all knits together, you see. Please, I'm not being rude
Man: No, no, no.
LT: I've been absolutely straight and honest
Man: Obviously, from our point of view this
would be something we would remunerate you for, and there sort
of wouldn't be a question of that, and I don't think money's necessarily
and object in that sense.
LT: No, no, no.
Man: But what I would ask you to do, I think,
is for you to give me some sort of idea of how much, what a fee
structure would be.
Lord Taylor Meeting (1) page 13 of 20
Man: Or not a fee structure ...
LT: This is absolutely difficult. This is very
difficult for me, because some companies that I work with will
pay me a hundred thousand a year.
Man: A hundred thousand?
LT: Oh yeah. That's cheap. That's cheap for
what I do for them. And other companies will pay me 25 thousand.
It all depends on what I'm doing and how much time I think I'm
going to spend on it.
Man: Well that's not, I mean those fees are
not impossible. They are all fine.
LT: Yeah, but these are the sort of fees that
I get. Please, I'm being absolutely honest with you. I'm not exaggerating
at all. It's just whether I want to do it or not, that's the thing.
And you've got to whet my appetite to get me to come on board.
Man: What more would you want from me, really?
LT: I want more detail. And what I would like
is a one sheet from you of where you feel that you need help.
LT: That's what I want from you.
Man: So that you can see specifically
LT: Exactly, yes, whether I could give you that
help or whether I would be just wasting my time. And I don't want,
as I started off by saying to you, the most important thing to
me is my time, because it gets less the older I get.
[At this point LT talks to briefly to another
man, who appears to have nothing to do with this conversation.
Other Man: Thank you for your hospitality.
LT: You're more than welcome. I hope somebody
Other Man: Oh yes, yes, I'm being generously
treated by Baroness Golding.
LT: Right, well all the very best to you.
Other Man: All the best to you.
LT: And have a good new year as well.
Other Man: And you, too. Thank you.]
Man: Yes, I see your point. So what we do is
we do something very specific and give you an idea of ... but
I can do that. That's not a problem at all. I can certainly draw
that up for you.
LT: And maybe have some more details about you.
You know, how legitimate you are, and so on.
Man: [nervous laugh] Okay. I can give
you all ... I mean actually, do you want ...
Lord Taylor Meeting (1) page 14 of 20
LT: I'm watching that clock ...
Man: Because you've got another meeting, haven't
LT: Where actually are you based, then?
Man: I'm in Waterloo Place, which is just down
Man: So, just so I have some sort of idea, that...
Quite interesting, what you said about the amendment with Experian-ce.
What, what specific information did they get excluded from the
LT: Well, what they wanted was the position
about directors, and directors' addresses, and, erm, erm, on top
of that, directors' shareholdings in companies, and so on.
Man: And they wanted to be able to keep getting
hold of that?
LT: They did.
Man: And was the Bill going to stop them getting
hold of that?
Man: Seems like a good thing anyway, doesn't
LT: Exactly, yep. Yeah.
Man: Yeah. Er ...
LT: But it was a way of getting it so that it
would protect the interest of the directors and yet give the information
to the City for what the City wanted, you see.
Man: Oh, I see.
LT: And what their clients wanted, which was
the City in this case, was Experience.
Man: They didn't want to close the information,
they wanted to open up the information.
LT: Exactly, yeah. They wanted it in a way that
would protect anybody, and it was getting the right sort of wording
in the statute to make it sound and easy for everybody. These
are the things, like ... Finance Bills are very, very difficult,
where you've got the 2%. Not as easy as all that.
Man: I know, I can't, I'm not going to be able
to get you to say, "Amend it so it's 0.5%", or something,
Lord Taylor Meeting (1) page 15 of 20
LT: Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah. That is not as
easy, but you see I have got a lot of contacts within the Treasury,
as well with the Treasury teams, from ... erm, Yvette Cooper and
people like that, I've worked with for many years. Remember that
many of these Ministers have been juniors to methat have
been students of mineand therefore, you know, I've been
looked upon as their mentor in various ... over the years. People
like Jack Straw and so on have all worked with me for many, many
Man: So, I mean, so, they'll pick up the phone
to you and they'll come to meetings with you.
LT: Oh, yeah yeah yeah yeah.
Man: Yeah. I mean, if, say, my client wanted
to meet anyone, would that be possible?
LT: It's possible in certain cases [inaudible]
I would advise him as to, you know, whether it was a bit dodgy
or what, but the answer is, on most cases, yes.
LT: It might not be the Secretary of State;
it might be one of the Ministers who's dealing with it.
LT: You know, I would say to them, "You,
the person that your client wants to meet is A, B and C. Right,
well, what we'll do is we'll invite them here for lunch".
And you'd come and have lunch with them we'd do it that way. And
it's surprising what you can do either on this table before you
go for lunch or what you can do over lunch.
Man: Yes, I can see that. Erm, which is quite
useful, isn't it?
Man: Just to have that, sort of, be able to
have that... And presumably with senior civil servants as well.
LT: Exactly. Yep yep yep.
Man: Or, as you say, just the right civil servants.
Man: So ... it's more a quin reporting
back, it's more a, sort of, it's, it's a sort of... what you do
is you help people get to the right people, in effect, yes?
LT: Yeah, and see them through ??ordinarily??,
and I would tell them at the beginning ... See, for example, if
you were going to put in a bid for a particular contract with
government, say, I would do all the research and tell you what
chances you've got of being successful.
Lord Taylor Meeting (1) page 16 of 20
LT: Now, in some of the IT bids you would spend
up to nine million pounds to get the contract. If you got the
contract, if the contract was going into one, two, three billions,
nine millions is nothing, but if you don't get the contract it's
a hell of a lot of money to lose, you know, and prepare, so you
don't want to do that. So I will say to you, "This is my
reckoning: you stand a 50-50 chance". All right? If you stand
less than 50, I would say, "If I were you I wouldn't bother
at all with that. You're just wasting your money because of A,
B and C". Or, if you stand above that, "If you do so-and-so,
you stand a better chance of doing it [inaudible]"
and I will tell you who are your likely competitors. So that would
I will not charge you for it and in the case
of, say, retail outlets, it's meeting more with local authorities
and planning authorities and so on. It is the way that you approach
the local authority, what sort of a local authority it is, what
sort of planning policy you've got there, so that you know their
philosophy before you start putting the planning application in,
whether you do your intelligence work before that. I find that
I would never dream of going to a planning officer with a scheme
and saying, "This is what we're doing, this is where we want
to build it, this is it, and so on. [emphatic banging of teacup].
He will find every excuse in the book to change it or alter it.
You go to him, even though you've made up your mind where you
want to go, what you want to do, how you want it to be beforehand,
you never go and show him that. You would talk to him and in talking
to him you persuade him that what you want is his idea and he
will fall in and help you. This is the way that you work with
local authorities and so on. You get to know the leader, you get
to know what the feeling is of the local authority. I'm working
on a scheme in, just outside of Nottingham at the moment ...
Man: Oh, right.
LT: And so on. This is a very complicated scheme
Man: What sort of scheme is it?
LT: It's new housing and shopping and development
in that area. It's quite a large scheme. The Church Commissioners
are involved in it and also the Crown Agents are involved in it.
Man: And why are you involved in this?
Man: Why are you involved in this?
LT: Because I know what the policy is going
to be and what priorities are going to be and also the reason
why I'm involved in it is co-operation between government departments
because the roads scheme, the national roads scheme comes into
it as well as the planning comes into it, the rivers and the utilities
come into it. I'll see what
Lord Taylor Meeting (1) page 17 of 20
they can do, but it needs somebody that can
look at the whole scheme and not get involved in detail. That's
why I'm involved.
Man: Oh, I see. But are you involved on behalf
of the Government?
LT: No, I am acting on behalf of the consultant
that's dealing with it, Church Commissioners, Crown Agents and
the private developer and the local authority.
Man: Oh, I see.
LT: And I am their adviser.
Man: And presumably, if there are any problems
then you can have a word with somebody.
LT: Yes, but I don't get involved in detail,
but I will tell them what chances they've got, ??what are the
likelihoods, the Government has got priorities??, local government
has got priorities, what to do, what not to do at this moment
in time. So that's where I come into it.
Man: I see.
LT: I will give you the general advice. You
see, remember that I have had 50, going on to 60 years' experience
of working with government departments and because of this I can
use my experience and give you some idea of the way things will
Man: Yes, no, that's
LT: That is why, even though I said to you physically
I am deteriorating, mentally I am very much still there. One of
the things that I don't want to do is to not use the experience
that I have acquired. It is good for me to help young people like
you that are going up the ladder and give you the benefit of my
experience and tell you if I think you need a bit of ??? or
if you're going the right way.
LT: I'm watching that clock, because I don't
want to keep him waiting.
Man: Yes, so shall we ...?
LT: Yes. So, you understand the way that I
Man: Yes, absolutely, and what I'll do is I'll
come back to you as you said.
LT: I want to emphasise one thing to you. I
promise you nothing. That's number one. And I am absolutely completely
honest with you and I will tell you yes or no on any scheme that
you produce as to whether I think you should run. You or your
client will make your own mind up after that.
Man: Right, okay. No, that seems fine. That
seems like a good arrangement.
Lord Taylor Meeting (1) page 18 of 20
LT: I am a great believer in honesty, because
I have got decisions to make. If I've got decisions to make, I
can only make them if I've got the true picture, not what I would
like to see ???, but what I have found out. And I've got
a team of people that work with me or for me who do a lot of research
and so on.
[getting very unclear now. They seem to be
Man: Oh, do you?
LT: Oh, yes. I've got about four of them. This
is why ?????? because what happens is I don't ???
Man: Oh, you have to give it to your assistants.
Are they based here in the Lords?
LT: Erm ... Well, no, they're not, not based
here in the Lords; they work in Gillingham and Chatham in Kent,
but they come in here quite frequently. But there's no need for
anybody to be based these days, with modern technology, with a
Man: No, absolutely. Obviously you have to be,
LT: Oh yeah yeah yeah yeah, I've got to be because
of my personal contact with people, but they haven't got to be.
[another conversation with some other people,
not related to the subject in hand.
Good morning; thank you for everything.
LT: All the very best to you.
Unknown: And to you as well.
LT: And don't let them get you down, especially
Unknown: Do you want [inaudible] represent
LT: I do, I do. Are you going in for an increase
[indistinct; several voices at once]
LT: Right, well I will go and have a go at
them. A big bonus for all of you.
[indistinct; several voices at once]
Man: No, I see.
LT: As you can see, I've got a very good rapport
with all the staff in this place.
Man: Are they ... they're the catering staff,
LT: Yeah, they are.
Man: Yeah, yeah. I guess it's quite a good place
to have, um ... Can you have functions here, or is it ...?
LT: Oh, you can, but you get [inaudible]
quite a number of dining rooms and so on downstairs, and then
we've got the Cholmondeley Room that we hold receptions in ...
Lord Taylor Meeting (1) page 19 of 20
Man: Is it possible to do it for, for ...?
Man: Is it possible to hold receptions for,
erm, businesses, or ...?
LT: Oh yeah, yeah, yeah.
LT: All the best to you, Jack.
Jack Ashley: [inaudible]
LT: Have a good year.
LT: Do you know who that is?
Man: Is that Jack Ashley?
Man: My father's deaf, erm, so [inaudible]
LT: Yeah. He is ... he's deteriorating fast,
is Jack, but, er ... This is enough scandal; you've got to be
careful in this buildinghe's been leading me astray for
Man: Who's that?
LT: [inaudible] general secretary of
the TUC [inaudible] but, you know, Jack is deteriorating.
He's done some fine work, and considering that he's deaf and so
Man: Yeah, no, I, amazing. There seem to be
people in a hurry [inaudible]
LT: [inaudible] because the House starts
Man: I'll just get my coat.
LT: Have you got what you wanted?
Man: I've got what I want, and I'll be back
in touch, basically.
LT: OK, I'll leave it with you now to get in
touch with me. Where's your coat?
Man: Oh, here. I always take my bag everywhere,
it's got all my running gear in it.
LT: I see; right.
Lord Taylor Meeting (1) page 20 of 20
Man: Well, look, thank you very much for that.
LT: That's OK.
Man: And that sounds very promising, I mean
LT: Anyway, all the best.
Man: But it's up to us to convince you, obviously.
LT: Yeah, all the very best.
Man: Yes, thank you. Thank you very much. Bye.
Guard: Bye, sir.
E-mail to Lord Taylor of Blackburn (via Janet)
from "David Thompson" of the Sunday Times, Monday 12
|David Thompson" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon 12/01/2009 09:00
View: HTML I Text I Header I Raw Content
Dear Lord Taylor,
I thoroughly enjoyed our meeting at the House of Lords before
the Christmas recess and greatly appreciated your advice. This
email is in response to your request for a written submission
outlining the proposed consultancy agreement and giving you a
better idea of who we are. I have tried to keep it short and to
the point. I hope that we will be able to discuss this further
over lunch or dinner in the next few days if you have any free
dates in your diary.
Michael Johnson Associates
Who we are?
Michael Johnson Associates is the UK arm of Michael Johnson
Europe, a Brussels based public affairs consultancy established
in 1985. Founded by the American entrepreneur Michael Johnson,
the company is now in the process of expanding worldwide with
offices in Washington, Hong Kong and London. Worldwide, the company
now has more than 400 clients.
The London office was established in 2002, initially to do
corporate communications but has more recently moved into public
affairs keeping businesses informed and offering them the chance
to let their voice be heard in the legislative process. Our clients
receive a bespoke service according to their needs.
Each day, elected and regulatory officials make decisions
that could jeopardise a company's or industry's competitiveness
or complicate a non-profit foundation's mission. Our public affairs
professionals serve as trusted advisors to our clients, helping
them build reputations and influence in the world's power centres,
as well as navigate intensive, short-term policy battles. Our
global public affairs network has the people, relationships, and
expertise to help our clients achieve their public policy and
business objectives by shaping the decision-making process.
We work with our clients to identify the precise targets
on which to focus and then formulate a specifically tailored plan
to deliver measurable results. We understand what success means
to each of our clients for each project. Once we have identified
our objective we work on achieving results.
We believe that everything is achievable. The key to our
success is our people. Our team are dedicated, create thinkers
who can make things happen in an often obstructive world. We have
a clear vision: To provide gold standard performance as one seamless,
global business with a single culture.
For more information go to our website www.mja.eu.com.
Proposed consultancy agreement
We are looking for an experienced and well-connected member
of the House of Lords to help with strategic advice and advocacy
on matters affecting our clients. In the first instance, the client
would be Emerald Group Incorporated, a new venture backed by a
Far East consortium which will be setting up 40 clothing retail
shops in the UK in the next 18 months.
The venturewhich intends to take on existing mid-market
clothes retailers such as Uniglo, Next and Gapwill be one
of the biggest retail start-ups for more than a decade. It is
a joint venture between the Taiwanese conglomerate Wong Hingwho
have more than 2,000 retail outlets in the Ear Eastand
the Hong-Kong based Chinese billionaire financier Lou Li Jiang.
Our firm has a long established relationship with Mr Jiang as
we have acted for him on a number of European Union trade matters.
Obviously, such a big project needs the best support and
advice, especially in the difficult economic circumstances that
we now face. We want to make sure that the government understands
and listens to the needs of business and does not unwittingly
do anything that would undermine Emerald's competitiveness.
This is obviously a point for further discussion between
us because you have a clear idea of how you work and what you
can reasonably do to achieve the best results. We would like to
pay you a retainer as a "consultant" which will mean
that we can seek your advice from time to time and occasionally
ask you to intervene on parliamentary matters which affect our
client. We are willing to pay the market rate for your services,
and will use as our benchmark the amounts paid to you by your
The immediate task
Today (Monday January 12th) is the second House of Commons
reading of the Business Rates Supplements Bill. As you know, the
bill proposes that upper-tier local authorities should be given
the power to be impose additional rates of 2% on business properties
with a value of more than £50,000. The legislation is likely
to come into effect in April next year, at more or less the same
time that Emerald is planning to open its UK retail outlets. All
of Emerald's properties are likely to fall in the over £50,000
The measures were recommended by the Lyons Report into local
government as a "vital tool for councils to promote long-term
economic growth, working with local businesses and the local community".
However, the bill has been very unpopular amongst retailers,
especially as they are already facing an above inflation rise
on business rates to 43p in the pound. There is also a question
as to whether the bill is necessary as there are already mechanisms
such as Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) which raise funds
for local investment. Retailers currently pay £5 billion
a year in business ratesmore than any other sectorand
BRS would see them forking out an extra £160 million a year.
When you combine this with other property cost increases, including
the 2010 Rates Revaluation and the end of Empty Property Rate
Relief, this is a considerable burden to retailers.
One of the main criticismslevelled by organisations
such as the British Retail Consortium and The Forum of Private
Businessis that government is introducing a new tax purely
to finance London's Crossrail project, which only benefit a limited
number of businesses.
Since the government seem determined to press on with the
bill, we are hoping that it can be quietly amended to make it
less onerous for businesses. There are two possible amendments
that could be suggested.
At the moment the bill says local authorities must consult
with businesses before levying the charge. We want this to go
much further. The legislation should say that the charge can only
be levied if the majority of businesses who pay the charge are
in favour of it. This would entail a vote.
Secondly, the over-riding concern with a recession looming
should be to encourage start-up businesses to keep the ecomony
going both locally and nationally. The bill should be amended
so the business rate supplement does not apply to new businesses
for the first two years, thereby giving them the chance to become
Michael Johnson Associates
According to the Sunday Times (see p TaST 7), this
email was followed by a phone call to Lord Taylor who invited
"David Thompson" and "Claire Taylor" of the
Sunday Times to lunch in the House of Lords on Thursday 15 January
2009we have not been provided with a recording or transcript
of this telephone conversation.
Meeting of Lord Taylor of Blackburn ("LT") with "Claire
Taylor" ("Woman") and "David Thompson"
("Man") of the Sunday Times at the House of Lords, Thursday
15 January 2009
Lord Taylor Meeting (2) page 1 of 62
[Inaudible till 2:06]
LT: Hello. We did say 12.15, didn't we? We're both in good
Woman: Hello, Lord Taylor.
LT: Hello. Delighted to meet you.
Woman: Nice to meet you.
Man: Hello [inaudible] I'm Tom.
LT: I've got 12.15 in my diary and I thought, "I will
come down a little bit early".
LT: And how long have you worked for this company?
Woman: A couple of years.
LT: Have you?
LT: Do you get on all right with him?
Woman: I do.
LT: Does he look after you?
Woman: He does, he's very nice.
LT: And your name is Taylor as well, isn't it?
Woman: Yes, that's right.
LT: My grandfather had a bike. He travelled all over the
Man: Really? Is the, is the House sitting today?
LT: Oh yeah, very much so today. We start at 11 today.
Man: Do you?
Lord Taylor Meeting (2) page 2 of 62
LT: Normally we start at 2.30, but on Thursdays we are sitting,
well, we sit on Thursdays at 11 o'clock. We sit once every month
on Fridays and, er, we start at 10 in the morning.
LT: Have you been in here before?
Woman: Yes, I have.
LT: Oh, have you? Good.
Woman: Though I must say I don't know my way round very well.
LT: You've been in the Lords before?
LT: We've got [inaudible]
LT: No, I, er ... yesterday we had a statement on business.
You know, the new arrangements with the banks, you saw. And, er
[inaudible]. What would you like to drink?
Woman: Can I have an apple juice please?
Man: What are you having?
LT: I'm having a water, but you can have whatever you want.
Man: Can I have an orange juice?
Waitress: Orange juice.
LT: Water, please.
Waitress: Still or sparkling?
LT: Still, please.
Waitress: Thank you.
LT: Now; so I just picked up the Hansard for ??yesterday??
Lord Taylor Meeting (2) page 3 of 62
Man: Was Stephen coming along or not?
LT: No he isn't.
Man: Or was it John?
LT: John. Yeah, yeah, John. No he isn't coming along. I decided.
Man: I wasn't sure who he was.
LT: I decided. He is one of my team that works with me. So
I decided that it would not be appropriate at this stage for him
to come along and so that's why I decided not to bring him.
Woman: Okay. Do you have many people working for you?
LT: I have a group of people who work for me, who are all
particular specialists in their own right and it is a question
of bringing them in to do whatever I'm dealing with.
Woman: Oh, I see.
LT: And using their expertise.
Woman: So they're kind of consultants for you, more or less.
Is that right?
LT: Exactly, yeah, yeah. I am very, very fortunate. I don't
know what our colleague has told you about me. Has he told you
much about me?
Woman: A little bit.
LT: Right. Right, it's er ... I'm completely unorthodox.
I do things to get results and I do them my way and not always
the accepted way because, you see, I'm looked upon as one of the
senior statesmen in the country, and I am used by government and
I am used by all kinds of people, because I don't have to do anything
if I don't want to do it, you see.
Woman: Yes. That's a fortunate position to be in, isn't it?
LT: Yes. So, being in that position I please myself whether
I do it or I don't. If I don't like the people I will not [inaudible]
LT: Cos there's not need for me to, er, to do it. But I enjoyed
my conversation the other week, when we got together. And I thought,
"He's got a lot to learn, has this man, in many ways".
Lord Taylor Meeting (2) page 4 of 62
LT: He is sure [inaudible] but still very much in
the what I would call civil service mood. You know, A, B, he needs
to [be B, B, C] and so on. And it doesn't always work out
like that. Even in the fax that he sent, I thought, you know,
he's a bit [inaudible], and after taking down the [inaudible]
Man: I'm glad you've got it, anyway.
LT: ... as he goes along; and you see, I believe in telling
the truth, not what people want to hear.
LT: My, my role is to look at the possibilities, cases, in
the government policy and so on and say, "Well, in my opinion,
this will work or it will not work" and tell them why it
won't work and tell them why, how, it can work and so on. And
if I don't think it's worth them doing it, I will say, "Keep
away from it; you'll lose money on it" and so on.
LT: So that has been my role, and I have established this
with government Ministers and civil servants and so on, as well
as with people in commercial life. So that's where I fit in. And
even though I decided that I wasn't going to do anything anymore
for anyone, I thought that it was a little bit cheekyof
course, it's a little bit cheekyI'll talk to him a bit
further and see what he really wants and how I can help him to
progress. Because most of your work has been in Brussels, hasn't
Man: Yes it has.
LT: And now you want to establish yourself in the UK.
LT: And you want to move to clients who can do it in the
LT: So let's make those [inaudible]
LT: So [inaudible]
LT: So, have I ... have you got what you wanted out of me
at this particular stage?
Lord Taylor Meeting (2) page 5 of 62
Woman: I think I've got a ... maybe a, erm, a
Man: Your background is education, isn't it?
LT: Oh, yeah yeah yeah yeah, yeah, but it's not [inaudible]
on top of education as well, you see [inaudible] I
was looked upon as number one in education in this country. Most
of this education system is based on what we call the Taylor system.
Erm ... Then I ...
Woman: Well, it's so well named, you know, ha ha ha.
LT: Exactly, and then I had a row one day with Margaret when
she was Prime Minister and reorganised the Malaysian education
system, and this brought me into contact with all kinds of commercial
companies throughout the world. I have worked with most of the,
I've either been a director or adviser to people like General
Electric, BAe and EDS and ... erm ...
Woman: So lots of big players then?
LT: Yeah. Quite a number of the big companies.
LT: But I'd made up my mind that I was going to retire at
the, well, at the beginning of, at the end of last yearbut
I've been doing this for years, that I'm going to be retiring,
and then... I'm a glutton for accepting challenges, and especially
if there's something that I can feel that I can contribute to
Woman: And of course if the work's interesting, then it's
quite a nice way to pass the time, isn't it?
LT: Well, true, true.
Man: Yes, you were saying that you know quite a lot of the
current ministerial team because of your [inaudible]
LT: Well, I, you see ... With the ministerial team and with
the civil servants, before they came into office I was the one
that's trained them and worked them up, and I've worked with a
lot of the
Woman: Oh, have you?
LT: Ministers and Secretaries of State for years,
and also with the civil servants, because while I've been here
they've started as juniors and now they've become permanent secretaries
Woman: Oh, really?
Lord Taylor Meeting (2) page 6 of 62
LT: And then I have been responsible for bringing other people
into government and into the Civil Service from...
Woman: Oh, have you?
LT: ... from outside as well.
Woman: Business people?
LT: Yeah. So, you know, I advise the Government and Prime
Minister [inaudible] Labour [inaudible]
Woman: So you advise them on, on bringing people in?
Woman: Oh, OK. Oh, well, that's a great thing to, erm ...
LT: So that is my role, you see. I'm very much involved with
[inaudible] and this is why I work, you see. For example,
I think in your letterand actually I picked them up [inaudible]
I was going to read it before I came out, to refresh my mind.
But you were talking about this retail company that's, er, that
you're interested in and how it's affected by the rates and so
Man: Yes, the business rates supplement Bill.
LT: Yeah, well, you see, I would never dream of doing it
in the way that you would think that I would do it, by putting
a question down and so on. The way that I would deal with it [inaudible]
is that I will [inaudible] other channels [inaudible]
find out who's behind it, who's brought it up and so on and
so [inaudible] when I talk to the Minister ?? in every
cabinet ?? before it becomes legislation, draft legislation.
I'll do it in the draft stages.
Woman: Oh, I see. It's when it's in the draft stages.
LT: This is a far better way dealing it before it gets too
far down the channels.
Man: It's had its second reading in the Commons on Monday.
LT: Yeah, it did.
Man: That's not too late, though.
LT: Oh, no no no no no no, that's, that's just early days.
Woman: Oh, I see.
Lord Taylor Meeting (2) page 7 of 62
LT: There's a lot of water to flow down the Thames before
it gets [inaudible] It's in committee now and starts going
through all kinds of procedure in committee and I should watch
what's going on in committee, and then when it comes in here I
will do more with it [inaudible]
Man: So there's the point at which it comes to committee
in the Lords. So you've had a committee session in the Commons
and then we have a committee in the Lords.
LT: No. Let me explain it to you. Right. Some Bills start
in the Commons, some Bills start in the Lords. It depends on what
they are and what time of the year we are in [inaudible].
The Lords are the last people to deal with things, so most Bills
start there. For example, let's say the coroners Bill that's coming
up shortly: that will start in this place because it is really
more concerning the Lords because we are the legal people and
so on that will deal with it, and we will deal ... and then it
will go to the Commons. We will go through, first of all, and
beg leave to introduce the Bill. That's just a formality. And
then we have Second Reading. Second Reading is when they start
declaring themselves and make speeches and statements of intent,
what they think should have been in the Bill and what should be
in the Bill and what they think about the Bill itself. Then that
automatically goes through: there's no vote on the Second Reading
in ?? this House ??? Right? Then it goes into Committee,
and that's where all the work is done, when it gets into Committee.
You know, line by line, paragraph by paragraph. We are not like
the Commons where they have got a time limit, we can go through
it very expertly and everything is discussed, and so on. And then
it comes back for Report stage, and then, again, there are amendments
put down to it at Report stage. By then you've cleared most of
the stuff but there are still things that you're not happy about
and then it goes on to the Third Reading stage. At Third Reading
stage, those who have real concerns, people who have not got their
own way and feel strongly about it try and push Divisions on that
one. Now, as you're probably aware, here, no party has complete
control in the Lords.
Man: No. [inaudible]
LT: Yeah. Therefore, the Liberals and Conservatives can join
together to vote the Government ??? down ??? When that
happens, it goes back then to the Commons, and the Commons will
express their wishes and in nine out of ten cases, we will accept
the Commons because they are the elected representatives. They
are there to carry out the wishes and they've got to stand at
the next election. So be it, even [inaudible] feel very
strongly about that they will not pressurise unless it is something
really, really [inaudible] that they feel so strongly about
that they want it go [inaudible] Parliamentary Act, which
they really can change. So that is the procedure of how it works,
and the same thing applies in the Commons. We've had Second Reading
in the Commons now and it will mean going into Committee, that
they will get time limits. What happens, if a Bill in the Commons
has only got so far by such a time, the rest of it will be leftthey
won't discuss it. We don't have that, so we go through things
that the Commons don't go through.
Man: Oh, I see.
LT: Right. So that's ??? where/why ??? we alter it.
Being in the position that I'm in, very often I will talk to civil
servants because, againI'm repeating myself.
Lord Taylor Meeting (2) page 8 of 62
Man: No, don't worry.
LT: I will go and discuss that with them and say to civil
servants, "Look, let's talk about what a, b and c are. Have
you realised the consequences of this on to them?" For example,
yesterday the Banking Bill was going through. People have not
realised that new directors, say, of the Royal Bank of Scotland,
where we own 56% of the bank, and so on, that we would have directors
from there. The Government don't want to mandate these new directors
that they are putting on so that they are not carrying out government
policy. They will carry out the best commercial practice for the
LT: Therefore, if they are obliged to take notice of the
general feeling of the Government and the country, they are not
obliged to carry it out. For example, the way that the banks are
being awkward at the moment in not lending money when they've
got money there in some cases, you know [inaudible] they
will use it and the people that are going in will use their commercial
expertise in formulating the policy of that company, as I would
do as a non-executive director of a company, and so on. I will
be taken notice of, remembering that my responsibility as a director
is to the shareholders. It doesn't matter whether the shareholders
are insurance companies, private people or the Government. You
are doing your best for them, and you are doing your best accordingly.
I'm not getting this over, where these people who [inaudible]
take part in [inaudible] and are formulating policies
so it gives them, the directors, the independence that they need
and they don't have to come back in a meeting and talk to the
Treasury and so on.
Man: Who are you acting on behalf of? The Treasury? Or on
behalf of the Government?
LT: On behalf of me.
Man: Because you just think
LT: Yeah, because of my experience, yeah. I'm not acting
on behalf of any of these things. I think, and because of the
experience that I've had, I am using my experience because [inaudible]
For example, the oneDrax Power comes to mind. I was
a non-executive director there and all the directors resigned
because all the executive directors were paid a [inaudible]
and I was left for two weeks carrying the responsibility of
one billion, nine hundred and twenty-six million pounds. So [inaudible]
quickly, six banks that had one billion pounds in, and the
[inaudible] knew what I was doing and they came to my rescue
very quickly in front of the directors also, and I became the
chairman and then we, after a time, went public but that's another
story. These are experiences, er,
Man: Is Drax still going?
Lord Taylor Meeting (2) page 9 of 62
Man: Is Drax still going?
LT: Oh yes. Drax is the biggest power station
Man: Is it still coal-powered?
LT: Yep. Coal powered. In Europe, it's the largest one and
it's doing a very good job. It's very efficient and produces quite
a lot of money for the [inaudible]
Man: There's a lot of talk about having more coal power.
LT: Yeah, but I don't want you to get involved in that today,
because it'll take you down the road they'll not want [inaudible]
I mean, diversity of policy on what's wrong with wind and
oil and gas and coal and nuclear.
Man: 'Cos you've got interests in that sort of area, haven't
you? Although at the moment we don't actually have any energy
clients, do we?
Woman: No, not at the moment.
LT: How many clients have you got?
Man: Well, the company as a whole, worldwide, has got about
400. We've got something like 15 here in the UK, and there's,
you know, they can be people who we do a lot of work for or people
we do a little bit of work for. So, for instance, we have Trevor
Hemmings, who's up in Blackpool. He's, er ...
LT: He's not. Trevor's at Exeter, not in Blackpool, but he
owns Blackpool Tower and he owns the thinghe owns the [inaudible]
Oh, I know Trevor very well indeed. I was chairman of the
central Lancashire new town development when Trevor started as
a builder. I've known Trevor for years and years and years.
Man: Well, he's been very disappointed about the lack ofyou
know, there was going to be a supercasino in Blackpool.
LT: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Were you involved in that at
Man: Yes, up to a point.
LT: Did you know a man called ??Mark Etchers?? at
LT: Well, ??Mark Etchers?? worked for Trevor for quite
Man: No, it doesn't ring a bell. Maybe we didn't deal with
him; I don't know.
LT: No, you wouldn't deal with him on [inaudible]
Woman: I didn't deal with him either at this end.
Lord Taylor Meeting (2) page 10 of 62
LT: But did you ??look at?? Trevor's interest in Blackpool
Man: Yes. Certainly onwe did some work on the supercasinos
at the time, but not
LT: Do you still do any work for Trevor?
Man: Yes, in theory. We don't actually have any active at
the moment, but
LT: Because, you see, Trevor made most of his money out of
Scottish and Newcastle.
Man: That's right, yes.
LT: That's where he made his money from, and he was the one
that brought leisure parks into this country and I helped him
a great deal with getting planning permission for two of his leisure
parksthe one at Longleat, which was in an area of natural
beauty and so on.
Woman: Oh, so it must havewas it quite tricky for
him to get the permission?
LT: It was, so I took them down through the minefield on
LT: That's howand the man that was running it was
a man called Peter Moore.
Woman: He was running the, that planning process?
LT: Yep. So I was very much involved because I have got a
reputation for guiding people through difficulties with planning
applications and so on.
LT: I did quite a lot for Whitbreads for many, many years,
and, er, erm, building controls and so on.
Woman: What's the best way to, erm, help people with planning,
er, decisions? Is it by, kind of, identifying the people that
are making the decisions, or ...?
LT: It all depends on what you wanted to do. The best way
of dealing with it is, first of all, you make up your mind what
you want, then the client makes up their mind what they want,
and so on, and then you, before you do anything more than that,
you go and talk to the planning officers.
LT: You don't go and present your plans to a planning officer,
because planning officers don't like that. They like to feel that
they have done everything for you. So if
Lord Taylor Meeting (2) page 11 of 62
you can take them with you... and then the next stage is
that you get the public and the local councillors, the parish
councillors on your side and you work with them and you get them
and you carry people with you all the time ...
LT: ... and make sure that the people, the community know
what you're really wanting to achieve. And you get all the fears
that you're going to build a big massive factory or a brewery
with large chimneys [inaudible] all kinds of difficulties
with it, but then you, and then, before you go any further, when
you've got your ideas and worked with a planning officer, you
hold public meetings and you have anot plans stuck on walls,
but if you can get a model made of what you want ...
Woman: Yes. So they can see it.
LT: ... with the right sort of design round it and trees
round it, so that people might see that sort of thing, and you
take people with you. You don't, you don't impose your ideas upon
them; you make people feel that it's their ideas, that they're
getting what they want, and then you can do it that way. If you
do it that way, in nine out of ten cases you are successful.
Woman: Presumably, it's quite helpful if you're familiar
with the local area and you know people around there.
LT: Oh, exactly, sure, sure. It's taking people along with
LT: But no, Trevor and I have had a very good relationship.
In fact, I gave him his first jobs in [inaudible] worked
again, another man called ??John Rigby/McBeale?? who was
a [inaudible] and so on [inaudible] all kinds of
things, and then of course he got involved with Scottish and Newcastle,
then he got involved with buying pubs and so on and, er, involved
with betting shops ...
Man: He has done very well; I mean, he seems to own most
of Blackpool, as far as I can tell.
LT: Well, he owns quite, he owns quite a bit of it, but unfortunately
it did not develop in the way that we wanted ...
LT: ... and as a result it's a tragedy for Blackpool ...
LT: [inaudible] The North-West Development Agency
are [inaudible] quite a lot of money [inaudible] it's
not got the impetus that a new casino would have done. I was
Lord Taylor Meeting (2) page 12 of 62
all in favour and did everything I possibly could for that,
but then of course it became a bit of a tug-of-war between Manchester
and Blackpool, and both of them have come out [inaudible]
Woman: Yeah, it's a shame, isn't it, especially for Blackpool.
Man: So Gordon Brown came in and just ditched the whole lot.
Woman: Yeah, it's tricky.
Man: Which I suppose is not entirely surprising. I mean,
a Labour government which would have introduced a supercasino
struck me as slightly surprising. It doesn't seem that naturally
it would want ...
LT: It all depends what you mean by a Labour government.
You see, this is not a Labour government that I joined fifty,
sixty years ago. They are more conservative in this government
than the previous Conservative government. They have given more
business to private companies than any Conservative government
in the past. Before Labour came into power I was working very
closely with EDS, which is very much connected with IT work and
so on for governments and what have you, and they started crying
in Dallas [inaudible] if Labour comes in, it's not going
to give us any business. I had to go over and say to them, "Don't
be stupid [inaudible] and you'll find that you get more
work out of them", which has proved to be the point.
Man: Yeah, yeah.
LT: [inaudible] they've made billions out of
Man: Yeah, yeah, absolutely.
LT: ... out of the IT world and so on.
Woman: Are you still working with them?
LT: No, No. I ?? earn/had ?? enough. These are things
that I've only given up these last ... so ...
Man: But you still have some interests, don't you, as I remember?
With Experian, for instance, yeah?
LT: Oh, with Experian, yeah, oh yeah. [inaudible] I
told them [inaudible] to use because there's no [inaudible]
with ID that they're very much interested in.
Man: Is that the companythat's the company law Bill,
Lord Taylor Meeting (2) page 13 of 62
Woman: ID cards?
LT: [inaudible] cards, yeah.
Woman: Oh. Oh, I didn't know they were doing ID cards.
Woman: I didn't know they were involved in the whole ID cards
LT: Oh yeah, Experian are involved [inaudible] got
a lot, they are not the leaders. IBM are the leaders and Jujitsu
are and there's a third firm as well. They are working together.
But they all need basic information that you've got with Experian.
Woman: Oh, I see.
LT: And you've got with BT, you see. They are leaders, but
below them are the sub-contractors.
Woman: Oh, I see, so they sub-contract it out.
LT: [inaudible] Experian and so on are sub-contractors
feeding them with information.
Woman: Oh I see.
LT: So this is where they come into it.
Woman: Yes. Oh well, they must bethey've got a lot
of work to do, then, with the ID cards, haven't they?
LT: Oh yeah, yes, so I have been working out the policy.
I did the health IT work when ??Richard Granger??probably
you don't know these people because you're new to the game, but
these have been the leaders in the field of IT here [inaudible]
and with David Courtney from Jujitsu and [inaudible] Wallace
and so on.
Woman: Oh, they're doing health systems, are they?
LT: ??Joe Hemmings from Lucent?? and so on
Woman: Are they involved in NHS systems or something?
Woman: That's good work for them to be involved in, isn't
it? It's massive.
Lord Taylor Meeting (2) page 14 of 62
LT: Oh yes, these are massive. You see, I will tell you whetherwho
is likely to get the next contract, because if you're bidding
for some of this workfor example, if you're bidding for
the ID contract, you are going to spend, roughly it's going to
cost you about nine million pounds to put a proper bid together.
If you get the contract, it's chickenfeed; if you don't, it's
a hell of a lot of money.
Man: To lose, isn't it?
LT: Yeah, to lose. But, you see, this is where I come in.
I will give you a pretty good idea of where you stand and what
you're likely to getif you've got a 20% chance, 75% chance
or more, judging by the amount of work that you've got on and
what you're doing with other government departments and so on,
and what you can provide and what have you. You see, that's where
my speciality has been.
Man: Because you know people who you can ask?
LT: Exactly, yeah, and I can work out who the situation is.
Woman: It's very useful, isn't it, if you can speak to the
people who are making the decisions? I suppose the civil servants,
LT: You see, it's not always Ministers that make decisions.
It's not always Permanent Secretaries. It's identifying who are
decision-makers in government departments and sometimes it can
be down the line, and it's getting to know people like that. Now,
I'm a great believer in working over what I call a pie and a pint
more than over a ministerial desk or going to meetings, because
of the position that I am in and the contacts that I've made over
the years. What I'm telling you is in confidence and I'm being
absolutely honest and open with you. It's easier for me to talk
over a pie and a pint in this room here and explain what the client
wants and what we're trying to achieve and so on, and what the
story is behind it, rather than over a ministerial desk, where
everything is being taken down and the Ministers are reluctant
to say more than yes or no and so on or "I'll consider that"
and so on. Here, they can come back and ask you questions and
you can answer those questions and so on.
Woman: You can invite them here.
LT: You can get the client in in certain cases and get them
together, so that it gets in the technical sideI don't
want to get involved in the technical side of things, 'cos I can't
even timeI can barely use a screwdriver, you know. [inaudible]
Man: [Because] there are people who can. People have
LT: If you got them together, you can get all these things
LT: And what's more, it's not recorded, it's not official
and so on, it's just a nice family conversation.
Lord Taylor Meeting (2) page 15 of 62
Like, next week I've got a couple of people coming in to
see ??Peter Binns?? They're coming and having lunch and
we'll talk over lunch, and we'll talk just before we go in and
so on, and get to know you, whereas [inaudible] Peter would
be very careful what he said to the Minister in [inaudible]
And it's the same with companies, for example. EDS and BT
are having a bit of a war about something that's gone on in America.
They are not working together as they should be on one particular
contract. So I got Bill Thomas from EDS and Chris ??Alborn??
together and said, "Now, let's sort this one out here
and now. Let's get it all straightened out". And within half
an hour we'd got it straightened out in principle. The details
came in when they had gone away. But you can do it this way. This
is why I had to smile at you when you wanted to put questions
down to the Minister, "You will do this, this and this."
as instructions [inaudible]. You've got a lot to learn
??about how this works??
Woman: Well, we do. That's the thing. And that's why it's
so useful for you to tell us how it works.
LT: I would not put any questions down. That's the last thing
that I would do. I am very, very aware of the credibility that
I have achieved in over 50 years of working with government departments
and I am not going to put myself in an embarrassing situation
or do anything that I think is illegal or using my position as
a way for monetary [inaudible]. You know, after all these
years I am not going to do that. I will work within the rules,
but also rules are meant to be bent sometimes and the way that
I will use it, I am telling you the way that I work is completely
different from a lot of lobbyists [inaudible]. I am a doer
and a sorter out of problems more than anything else.
LT: And it's easier for me to pick the phone up and say to
someone, "Come and have a talk to me" or, "Look,
we're having a bit of trouble in your department. Tell me, who
is the person who I can go and talk to? Who is the person
Woman: Yeah, who can sort this out?
LT: ... and I will identify the person. Then I'll come here
and then I'll explain to them, and if I can't get it, I get somebody
to come in with me to explain the situation. So that's how I operate.
I don't think you really understood.
Man: It's very subtle, behind the scenes and it's very much
based on your relationships.
Man: ... that have existed ...
Woman: Personal relationships.
Lord Taylor Meeting (2) page 16 of 62
LT: And I'm not being big-headed in saying this to you. I
am unique, because of the life that I've led and because of the
positions that I've held over the years, both with the Conservative
Government and the Labour Government, of chairing Select Committees,
chairing Royal Commissions and what have you and so on. I have
learnt a lot. What I have got is experience and knowledge that
you would never get out of going to a course at a university or
getting a [inaudible]. It doesn't come that way. It comes
with knowing people, knowing how they react and knowing what they
want to achieve and knowing what is [inaudible] of why
they want to introduce thisextra rates for shops and what
have you and so on. And it is also pointing out the difficulties
that will arise if this [inaudible] But also, one thing
that I will say to both of you: I promise you nothing and will
make no promises. The only thing that I will do is I'll do my
bestif I decide to work with you, of course.
Man: You still haven't ...
LT: Because we haven't decided yet. And it's not just a question,
my dear friend, of you inviting me to join you. It's whether I
want to or not. So, as long as you know that. I don't work for
anyone. I haven't worked for anyone for years. I've worked with
them. And there is a difference. I don't have to do it if I don't
want to do it, but what I do enjoy is, I enjoy, where there is
a problem, sorting it out. I enjoy working on a problem and accepting
that as a challenge of how you can do things.
And I get as much kick out of doing that ... I'm a bit nosey.
It keeps the adrenaline in me. There must be a way of doing this
if we can only get through, you know. Everything can be achievedit
can't. It would be foolish to say that, but most things can be
if you think about them and you go the right way about it and
explain to people and take people with you.
LT: But if you go to people, if you go to civil servants
and say, "Oh, look, I think you're stupid," they'll
do their damnedest to make sure that you don't get what you want.
Woman: Yes. Are there any particular departments that you
feel you have the strongest contacts in, because you have relationships
with people or is it spread across
LT: I've had a very strong relationship with most government
departments and most ???teams??? [inaudible] over the years.
Woman: That's very useful, isn't it?
LT: I've been very fortunate that I have a very interesting
and a very interesting ??life?? and therefore I've had
fingers in all kinds of pies. And that's why I've been very useful
to Ministers coming in. I was able to explain to them what their
role is, where they fit and what the difference between a Minister
and second Minister and a civil servant is and where their different
Lord Taylor Meeting (2) page 17 of 62
LT: And where they overlap. It's the same with a chief executive
and a chairman of a company: what their roles are, because sometimes
it's very difficult for a chief executive, he's got a chairman
that's been chief executive before him and he still thinks he's
chief executive and he doesn't realise that he's got a different
role to play within that company. He's got to let the chief executive
get on with the job, and he's there to assist the chief executive.
He's there to keep the shareholders and stockholders happy and
so on. He is the face of the company where the chief executive
is the doer as the person [inaudible] the management team,
and so on.
Woman: Okay. Do you think it's generally more helpful to
speak to a civil servant about a problem?
Woman: Is it more helpful to speak to a civil servant about
a problem or a Minister? Or does it just depend on the ...?
LT: Oh, it depends, it depends, it depends on what the particular
problem is, and then you work it out accordingly. Shall we go
in and have lunch?
Woman: Yes, that would be nice.
[Noise of getting up, etc. Lord Taylor greets some other
people as they walk to the Dining Room]
LT: Are you all right there?
Woman: Yes, fine thank you.
[More sitting down noises]
Woman: Thank you very much.
LT: What would you like to drink?
Woman: I don't mind. Are you having wine?
LT: You take wine. You would like wine?
Woman: Yes, a glass of ...
LT: Red or white?
Woman: Only if you're having some...
Lord Taylor Meeting (2) page 18 of 62
LT: Red or white?
Woman: Probably, well I don't mind actually.
Man: A glass of white.
Waiter: Sparkling water or still water?
LT: Still ... I don't drink now.
Woman: Not at all?
Man: Have you ever?
LT: I haven't drunk alcohol for 17 years. I'm an alcoholic.
Now that might surprise you.
LT: Yes, but I haven't drunk for 17 years because I am still
an alcoholic. If I had one glass of wine than I would want another
one and another one and another one. So therefore I do not ...
but I enjoy my guests having a glass of wine. If you came to my
home, you could have whatever you want, but I look upon it as,
Woman: I'm not having any red.
LT: I look upon alcohol as, if I was a diabetic I wouldn't
take sugar; as I'm an alcoholic I can't take alcohol.
Man: What made you realise?
LT: Oh, I was drinking far too much, and about 17 years ago
I realised. People were telling me I was drinking [inaudible]
but I knew better than what they did. [inaudible] afternoons
[inaudible] glasses of wine, then I realised I was drinking
too much [inaudible] I was going to lose everything I had got,
so I decided ...
LT: It's no good [inaudible] social drink. So therefore
Woman: Mmm. But it's breaking a big habit, I suppose.
LT: As it goes along you get stronger and stronger and stronger.
And most people don't mind if I just have a glass of water. I
do quite a bit of entertaining [inaudible] receptions [inaudible]
and I had up to last year a role [inaudible] Buckingham
Lord Taylor Meeting (2) page 19 of 62
[inaudible] the Queen [inaudible] and so on.
Wonderful person ... I'll just have a glass of water ...
Man: Yeah, it's a bit like smoking. My wife could quite happily
just have one cigarette every couple of days.
LT: Yep, yep, yep, yep.
Man: But I had to give up completely
LT: Yep, yep, yep. It made a big difference to me, cutting
out alcohol, because I became very truthful with me. I admitted
to me that I had a problem.
LT: And once you become very truthful with yourself, you
become very truthful with other people as well [inaudible]
it grows upon you, doesn't it, and you can remember everything
that you said last night, every ... yesterday, everything that
you promised you would do, and so on.
LT: And things take a different turn in life, where you know
exactly what you're doing, where you're going, and things that
you took for normal at one time become great things: to be able
to walk down Victoria Street in the morning and not be dabbing
your face because you've cut yourself shaving or something like
that. You know, all kinds of simple things. It's a good day today,
even though it's pouring down, because you remember those simple
Woman: You appreciate things all over again.
LT: In the same way with business, because of that you can
be very, very truthful with people and you can tell them the truth.
I mean, I would never dream of saying to a lady, "You look
ugly" even though she is ugly, but, you know, you don't carry
on like that.
Man: Have we got to order for lunch?
LT: We've got to order or else she's going to be cross with
me. Keep away from Dover Soles or anything like that. If you stick
to the middle part, there ...
Woman: Yes. Is there anything you'd recommend?
LT: No, everything's good here except the staff I
mean, including the staff.
Man: Could I have the Parma Ham followed by the ?? brie
Lord Taylor Meeting (2) page 20 of 62
Woman: Thank you. Can I have the halibut and prawns followed
by the beef, please?
LT: I'm going to have the soup and I'm going to have the
?? brie ??
[general "thank you"s]
Man: So do you know Peter Mandelson well, then? How do you
think he's doing so far?
LT: He's brought a breath of fresh air into the place. [inaudible]
It's been good for him to go to Europe, as well. It ??
broke?? him out a little bit. Being in the comfort of the
////. He has ??earned/learnt?? a lot by it.
Woman: Yes, I bet.
Man: Do you see much of him?
LT: I see him every day when the House is sitting, just for
a few minutes, because I sit just behind the Ministers.
Man: Oh, I see.
LT: So I am there to whisper sometimes ??when?? they're
saying the right things and so on [inaudible]
Man: How does it work? Who does he have as his opposition?
Do the Lords have to create a Conservative opposition spokesman?
LT: There's always an opposition, a shadow opposition spokesman
for every minister and so on. There is always a shadow.
Man: Because you would expect that normally they would go
to the Commons.
LT: Yes, but in the Lords it's exactly the same, because
you see you've got all kinds of Bills and as we spend more time
on Bills than the Commons, it's a different thing, you see. The
majority of us in the Lords had a lot of experience. Most Lords
here have been appointed because of the experience that they've
had in [inaudible] for example, they have been president
of the Royal Society or that kind of thing, people of that ilk
being brought in as Life Peers and then you get also former Cabinet
Ministers and so on who are often brought in because of their
experience [inaudible] in fact, the majority of them are
not seeking [inaudible] It's giving back what we have learnt
in a lifetime's experience, so you're passing this on to [inaudible]
so that's what we are fortunate [inaudible] Mandelson
[inaudible] years ago [inaudible] when they were
in the Commons [inaudible]. Yeah, they made noises while
he was at the Dispatch Box behind the scenes. You see, if I'm
referring to somebody on the Labour side, I refer to them as my
noble friend. If you're on the opposite side: the noble Lord.
You might be their friend [inaudible] and so on. We've
got all kinds of thing [inaudible] judge [inaudible]
noble and learned Lord [inaudible]. We have all these
[inaudible]. We give way to each other; the Speaker doesn't
choose who's going to
Lord Taylor Meeting (2) page 21 of 62
speak. If we have three Members on their feet at the same
time, two will give way and the Lords will shout "Smith",
you know, which means they want him to speak and the other two
will take their turn. So it's a different place. Very, very friendly
Man: You've said that before. A lot of people [inaudible]
presumably on behalf of outside
LT: You see, you can't buy your lunch here.
Man: I was hoping we'd be able to pay for it ...
LT: No, you can't pay. If we do a deal, then, when it comes
along, then you pay for it, but I will pay for it and Janet, who
looks after all my financial stuff, will every month send you
the accounts. But you see, if I want to get on with someone; say,
I want to get on with the Chairman of Marks & Spencer, if
I ring the Chairman of Marks & Spencer [inaudible]
LT: It's good for them to be seen here.
Woman: Yes, yes, it is good to be seen here.
LT: So that's how it works, and this is why it's easier for
me, where you are negotiating with a client and you want to impress
them, to bring them here [inaudible]
LT: ... You know, let them know that you've got contacts
LT: These are little things that, you know
Man: Our client, I'm sure, would like to meet Peter Mandelson
LT: Because this is to your advantage.
Lord Taylor Meeting (2) page 22 of 62
LT: And then again, you see, we've got certain rules about
entertaining downstairs. You can take 20 or 30 people that you
Woman: You can book a room downstairs, can you?
LT: Yes, but I've got to do it in good time because they
are all in great demand.
Woman: Oh, I bet.
Man: Is it possible, for instance, would it be possible to
bring our client in to meet the Minister?
LT: Oh yes, yes, on certain occasions, depending on [inaudible]
You've got to be very careful that you're not seen to go over
the mark. I've got ??suggestions?? on where we are now.
Sometimes it's not always good for the client to meet the Minister;
it's far better for the client to meet the civil servant down
below because the civil servant down below gets annoyed if he
feels is the Minister going to tell him to do something, and it
could be vital [inaudible] You talk to the civil servant.
If you've got him on your side, then you can [inaudible] after
that but you've got to
Man: Oh, I see, but you've got to be careful.
LT: You've got to be careful. I mean, I don't know where
you fit in your company. I don't know whether you're the principal
Man: No, I'm the principal within the UK but not within the
LT: Right, okay, well let's assume that you've approached
me. I then approach your principal and say I'd like to talk to
you about this [inaudible] you would be extremely annoyed
Woman: You'd be a bit miffed.
LT: So you don't do it that way. Okay. You might think that
sometimes it's to your advantage to be invited here to have lunch,
especially if [inaudible]. Then we would do it but I've
got to know who I'm working with. So this is what [inaudible]
with civil servants.
Woman: And is it normally senior civil servants or Permanent
Secretaries that you would meet with? I was just trying to work
out where they are within the structure, the best people.
LT: Well, in the structure you've got a Permanent Secretary,
they you've got a Deputy Secretary and then you've got a huge
army of people of different ranks below them. But sometimes, for
example, if I wanted to build a power station in this country,
I would require from Government what is called a Section 37 notice.
It is extremely difficult to get a Section 37 notice.
Woman: Is it?
Lord Taylor Meeting (2) page 23 of 62
LT: There's all kinds of [inaudible] surrounding them.
[End of part 1 of recording of second meeting]
Lord Taylor Meeting (2) page 24 of 62
LT: Now, as much as I am friendly and I would have the Minister
in and all the rest of it, I would never dream of doing that.
There's a chap [inaudible] in Victoria Street called Gary
LT: I would say to Gary, "What are you doing at lunchtime?
I want to talk to you". We'd go across to the Albert in Victoria
LT: *** [inaudible] ... Now, when I've got Gary's blessing,
then I would ask him. I would do it that way.
LT: Got it?
Woman: How do you know Gary? Just from ...?
LT: Oh, because he gets to know who's who and he works the
[inaudible] in government departments. Remember that I've
been at it for a long time. So, if I don't know, because there's
always a lot of changes that take place ...
LT: But I always have somebody at the department who has
been there, knows the people who know the people who ...
Woman: Yes, who can tell you.
LT: Yes. So, this is the way that you work it.
Woman: Yes. When we were having ...
LT: Do you know, I'm telling you two too much.
Woman: No. Well, it's good for us to learn how it all works,
Man: It's interesting, I have to say. There's a very constructive
??role?? Because, obviously, we don't really understandwe
think we understand, but, obviously, our understanding is slightly
more...It's a lot more subtle than you would think.
Lord Taylor Meeting (2) page 25 of 62
LT: I have a partner. She's a business partner, and she has
worked with me for 20 years. There's no sex ??relation?? between
us at all, but we have worked together. I stole her from theshe's
a scientist, a chemist. She has been working with me, and we have
got an absolutely wonderful relationship. It's gone on, as I say,
for 20 years.
Man: Is this Janet?
LT: Yes. When Janet got [inaudible]. I said, "Oh,
LT: She said, "You're not taking anything more on, are
you? Please don't". And I said, "But it's interesting".
Man: Obviously, we need to speak to Janet as well.
Woman: Yes. I think we need to have lunch with Janet [Laughter].
Man: She clearly knows about [inaudible]
Man: Where is she based, then? Is she based in London?
LT: [Inaudible]. When Janet started working [inaudible]
she used to come in every day. She then lived in Gillingham. It
took her an hour and a half in the morning and then an hour and
a half in the evening.
Woman: Oh, dear.
LT: We did that for two years, and then I said to her one
day, "Let's look at what we're doing. If you got a computer
terminal that's compatible with mine, if you had a fax machine,
if you had a photocopying machine [inaudible] you don't
have to come in every day, do you?".
LT: No, we don't. So, she started coming in for two days
a week. It worked so well. Then, she started coming in for one
day a week.
Woman: Yes. Truly transformed her life, I imagine.
LT: [Inaudible] After a time, I thought, "She's
going a bit strange is Janet". And I thought, "The reason
why she's going a bit strange is that she is working at home all
the time". She had her little son(s), but she wasn't meeting
Lord Taylor Meeting (2) page 26 of 62
LT: She's missing this. She's got to do something about it.
LT: She would make an excellent magistrate. So, I had a word
with the Lord Lieutenant's office in Kent [inaudible] the
committee for appointing magistrates. Lo and behold, they decided
that Janet was the right sort of person to be a magistrate.
LT: That's what I had done. I didn't realise. I'm a retired
Woman: Oh, really?
LT: So, she puts in at least one day every week. She's chairman
of the family courts and so on.
Woman: Oh, is she? Fantastic.
LT: So, she's got a lot of training and what have you. So,
it takes [inaudible] and I can't say a word about this
because it was me that recommended her.
Woman: Yes, exactly.
LT: You see, we have a system whereby ... See, I live on
my own and I'm a bit of a workaholic, and I would work all kinds
of crazy hours. It doesn't matter when you're on your own, and
[inaudible] the work's got to be done, it will be done,
you know, and we work all kinds of unsocial hours. For example,
when we've been working a great deal with America, and especially
with Malaysia, a lot of our work has been done seven, eight hours
after our day has, you know, finished.
Woman: Yes, of course.
LT: But, so, you know, you get the compensation.
Man: Well I guess, working here, you're here until 10.30
anyway, aren't you? You're quite often ...
LT: Most nights, yeah.
Man: That's quite a long ... it's a long daywell,
especially today, because it starts in the morning, doesn't it?
LT: Yeah, but we'll finish today round about five o'clock.
Woman: Oh, right, yeah.
Lord Taylor Meeting (2) page 27 of 62
Man: Oh, I see, so [inaudible] Is that to enable people
to go home? Ah.
LT: But you see, as I told you, I live right on the coast
in Morecambe Bay, and I see from my window my window right on
the sea shore. But I'm not going back this weekend; I've got to
do things. I've got a friend who's had an operation yesterday
and I want to go and see him this weekend, so I'm staying down
here. I've got a flat in Buckingham Gate ...
Woman: Oh, have you?
LT: ... which is just off Victoria Street.
Woman: Yes, it's very handy.
LT: So, you know, and, it, really and truly [inaudible]
this weekend [inaudible] so I'm better off in London
[inaudible] so I stay down here. Next week I'm staying
down here because I've got a function [inaudible] because
I'm very much [inaudible] presiding at court meetings there
and I'm going up to Lancaster for that.
Man: Just to come back to somewhere exotic, I can't... Was
it Dubrovnik [inaudible]?
LT: Dubrovnik, yeah.
Man: Was that a holiday, or was that working [inaudible]?
LT: No, I'm the president of a company that have six hotels
in Dubrovnik, and I can get to Dubrovnik nearly as quick as I
can get to [inaudible], so I go over there once every month.
Woman: Oh, lovely.
Man: So you know it well? Beautiful place.
LT: Very well. I've done quite a bit with the Croatians,
and I've been to ??twenty?? universities. I've got a very
good rapport with the prime minister [inaudible, but doesn't
sound at all like "Ivo Sanader", the Croatian prime
Man: Do you stay in the old town?
LT: Just outside of the old town, ??within?? the walls
there, there's an hotel called the Excelsior, er ... We have got
the Excelsior on the wall side, we have got the Palace that we've
been renovating last year, just outside [inaudible] We've
got the Bellevue, again on the other side of the walls, and then
we've got [inaudible].
Lord Taylor Meeting (2) page 28 of 62
Man: It's become an extremely popular tourist resort, hasn't
it? I mean, I ...
LT: It has.
Man: I was there in the summer. It's almost ...
LT: Were you?
Man: Not this summer, but, erm, two, a couple of summers
ago. It's almost ...
LT: Were you there to stay or were you there on a cruise
Man: I was there to stay.
LT: Oh, good.
Man: The cruise ships were extraordinary. In the morning
you'd hear this clatter, clatter, clatter coming right across
the bay with the biggest, sort of, I don't know, it would be sort
of like 100 foot high, and they are absolutely enormous.
Woman: My goodness. I didn't know that.
Man: And when they drop their anchor ....
LT: Yeah. Where were you staying, do you know?
Man: Erm, we were, we were sort of further down the coast
LT: Oh I see, so you were touring, were you?
Man: Yewell, no, we had a, we had a, we had a house
which overlooked the bay, but it was, it was at one of the beaches
which was just a couple of, couple of, I mean, it was, sort of,
I don't know, you could walk to the old town in about quarter,
quarter of an hour.
Woman: Oh, that's nice. I didn't know you could do that.
I didn't realise there were beaches, erm, nearby.
LT: Oh yeah.
Woman: I was thinking about going to Dubrovnik in the summer.
LT: They're small. They're small. They're not ... most of
their beaches are not sand ...
LT: ... they're stone. There are one or two sandy bays, but
they're few and far between. And of course if you're doing the
sailing, some of the islands around the coast ...
Lord Taylor Meeting (2) page 29 of 62
Man: Yes, it's very ... it's actually very gorgeous [inaudible]
Woman: Yeah, I'd like to go [inaudible]
Man: [inaudible] we stayed on one of the islands as
well; I can't remember which island it was. And it reminds me
of sort of Greek islands many many years ago.
Man: Yes. Because it's quite unspoilt and not developed,
because, although, I'm trying to ... certain houses weren't developed
at all because they belonged to Serbians who ...
LT: Yeah, exactly, yeah, yep.
Man: And nobody knew quite what to do with them.
LT: No, no, nowell that is still the problem [inaudible]
If you start taking them over [inaudible]
Man: Yes, exactly. I couldn't help thinking it would be a
lovely place to have a holiday.
LT: Oh yes.
LT: My favourite one is [inaudible] Tito's ??place??
Tito was a [inaudible]
Man: What's it called?
LT: Yes. [inaudible] and, errm, that had wonderful
[inaudible] covered by the water [inaudible]
Man: Yes, it is really picturesque it a great place for ...
You can do all sort of water sports, so
LT: I like it very much, I like the Croatians. They're, they
are interesting people, there is something [inaudible] kind
[inaudible ... for several seconds] come down via Dubrovnik
[inaudible... ... ...]
Man: They are a funny people, they are quite sort of, quite,
Lord Taylor Meeting (2) page 30 of 62
Woman: Are they?
Man: Yes they almost seem a bit stern. I don't think they're
... Not intentionally so.
LT: Yes, they've got that eastern, you know, eastern Russian
Man: Yeah. They are no-nonsense. No, sort of, unnecessary
Woman: What's the food like in Croatia?
Woman: What's the food like in Croatia?
LT: Alright ... er ... very very good indeed. They of course
specialise in fish and lamb.
Woman. Yeah. In lamb.
Woman: Sounds like a nice place to go.
LT: Right, now let's talk about where you two fit in.
LT: You started the UK ... branch?
Man: Yup. [inaudible]
LT: You originally started in the States.
Man: Yes. The company itself started in the States ... um
LT: So the principals are in the States?
Man: The principal's there called Michael ??Golsen?? who
LT: He's an American?
Man: But he's largely ... He's not, erm, really involved
any longer, but still owns it.
LT: I see, but he doesn't get involved in day-to-day activities.
Man: No, I mean, the um [inaudible] he's the former
[inaudible] he worked for um Burston Marsteller for ...
and the Brussels company's been going for a long, long time. There's
a lot of work to do in Brussels, as you can imagine.
Lord Taylor Meeting (2) page 31 of 62
LT: Yeah, yeah, true.
Man: And there's all sorts of legislation and bits and pieces.
And there are all sorts of different bodies. Er ... so that's,
that's been ticking along quite nicely. And recently they've got
a Washington office, and we've also got a Hong Kong office as
well, and the British office originally started off doing, well,
we didn't really do public [inaudible] we did public corporate
LT: That will be right, yeah.
Man: We feel that this is a gap ??there shouldn't be??
It's actually quite important, I mean, it's quite a competitive
field here. There are a lot of people who do it.
Woman: It's better, you know, if we've got some clients that
we're doing communications for, it's better for us if we can also
do their public affairs work rather than anything ... you want
another company to do public affairs ...
LT: Yup, yup.
Woman: ... otherwise, you know, there would be a huge kind
of conflict then.
LT: Yeah, true. Multidisciplinary practice.
Woman: Yeah, exactly.
LT: Go on ...
Man: And the reason we have come to you really is we are
looking for someone [inaudible] about business. You can
acquire [inaudible]. We are looking for someone that we
can sort of have on a retainer, come to for advice. Doesn't have
to be all that often, I mean, maybe, say, one day a month or something
like that. You, er ... On a particular problem that we have, but
I know you can't promise that you will sort them out, but you
would do your best to sort them out. Certainly, things you can't
do [inaudible] point them in the direction, "Of course,
you should be doing". So that, so that, you know [inaudible]
processes as it's going through, so that we're able to ...
which is very very useful to our clients.
Woman: Yes. Don't want to be [inaudible] really [inaudible]
Man: Keeps them much better informed, and it's ... It doesn't
... So I'm [inaudible] won't work [inaudible] It
would be [inaudible] service ... as appropriate. I don't
... I'm not suggesting ... I mean ... [inaudible] ... I
[inaudible] you don't need this [inaudible].
LT: Yep, yep, yep, yep.
Man: I don't want to ... I'm not suggesting ...
Lord Taylor Meeting (2) page 32 of 62
Woman: Thank you.
Man: ... write this down. [Pause] I mean, without
these particular clients I don't think... money's not impossible.
In effect, he will be paying for [inaudible].
LT: All right. I'm enjoying this because [inaudible] I
can [inaudible] my son and we can work together [inaudible]
I'm not joking. Do you want some more [inaudible] advice
he definitely said [inaudible]
LT: We can do it in such a way ...
Man: Yes, absolutely.
LT: And you can see what you want. I mean, what you will
get from me is ... it won't be anything like it. So, you get
Woman: Thank you.
LT: [inaudible] legislation.
Man: The rest of the new potatoes?
LT: I check it through ...
Woman: Yes please.
LT: I'm pleased you've got Trevor Hemmings as one of your
clients. [inaudible] That's enough. Thank you.
Man: We heard some [inaudible].
Man: Well, we've done work for him and we ... I think
we're bound to sign him up with somebody else. [inaudible]
We've had relationships with some of [inaudible] We're
also, one of the things we were looking at, although this is area
that's in flux at the moment is the whole, the ... Mange tout?
Woman: Yes, please.
Man: The whole, er, the general private equity area
Woman: Thank you.
Man: But the problem with the private equity area is that
[inaudible] the City [inaudible]
Lord Taylor Meeting (2) page 33 of 62
Woman: Yeah, exactly. Yes. They're feeling a bit more cautious
at the moment.
LT: I put them there when I'm eating. [inaudible]
Woman: Thank you.
LT: Are you all right?
Woman: Yes, this is good, thank you.
Man: Er, so ...
LT: You need more wine, don't you?
Woman: I've finished my wine.
LT: Do you want some more?
Woman: Yes, I'll have a little bit.
LT: Yeah, but do you want some ... another ...
Woman: Yes, please. Thank you. It does look really good.
LT: Shall we have another one?
Woman: David, do you want some more?
Man: I'm fine.
Woman: Yeah, I probably won't.
LT: Are you sure?
Woman: Yeah, I just eat [inaudible] otherwise.
LT: I don't want you to feel that I'm neglecting you.
Woman: No, you're not. Thank you, that's perfect.
LT: Right, so, you, that is a big question mark at this stage.
Man: It is a bit of a question mark, yeah.
Woman: Yeah. I don't think we can really, kind of, rely upon
Lord Taylor Meeting (2) page 34 of 62
LT: Yeah, right, OK. Well, go on, what else do you want to
Man: Well, we [inaudible] in theory we could develop
in any sector at all, but, erm, it's a question of having the
expertise and we don't necessarily have the expertise or, er,
LT: How many people have you got working for you in London
at this moment, then?
Man: We have, erm... is it 16 or 17?
Woman: Yeah, roughly that.
LT: And have you got enough clients to keep them all occupied
at the moment?
Woman: Erm, they're pretty busy, though to be honest I think
the plan is to take more people on to do public affairs kind of
work. So, you know, David and I will be doing that kind of work,
but, I suppose, as we kind of get stronger in that field ...
LT: Right, now who is in your ... You run the actual British
operation, do you?
LT: Right, and where do you fit in?
Woman: Well, he's my boss.
Woman: So I'm one of the kind of associate director, I suppose,
and, erm, so I have a kind of a team of researchers below me [inaudible]
LT: Why did you decide to allow Miss Taylor to come with
Man: Oh, well, she deals, she deals a lot with our particular
client, Lu Li Jiang.
LT: Oh, I see, so that's why you brought her along. Is she
easy to get on with?
Woman: Ha ha ha ha.
Man: Erm, sometimes.
Woman: Ha ha ha.
LT: Yeah, but she's a woman. And why can a woman not be like
a man? [inaudible]
Woman: I don't quite know what you're saying.
LT: You see, I have been privileged to have worked with two
of the finest women politicians that this country has produced
over the last 40 years. I worked very closely
Lord Taylor Meeting (2) page 35 of 62
with Margret Thatcher when she was secretary of state for
education and science and when she was prime minister, and I have
also worked very closely with Barbara Castle. Now, [inaudible]
they were poles apart, they were so alike in many waysthey
were so assertive, they althey commanded what they [inaudible]
They were women in a man's world ...
LT: ... and they [inaudible] they had to make sure
that their views were being understood ...
LT: ... and so on, and to me, it was a wonderful experience
for me to see how they had to fight to get what they wanted to
... So I have a great deal of sympathy working with women, but
they're not logical, they don't have the same balance that we
have [inaudible] understanding [inaudible] not as
good as we are [inaudible]
Woman: Ha ha ha. Well, perhaps that's, perhaps that's why
you're the head of the company and I'm not.
LT: Yes, now that you've said it, that's the reason why.
Man: Yes, absolutely. Was, erm, Margaret Thatcher easy to
get on with? I'm guessing she was very demanding.
LT: Very demanding. But once, once you got to know her and,
you know, you explained to her why you felt this was the right
policy and why she should do this [inaudible] she would
listen to you. But, you see, she became the Secretary of State
education and science when we had just moved from ??Curzon??
Street to York Road [inaudible] and I had the next
office to her in the department ...
Woman: Oh, really?
LT: ... when she came in, and [inaudible] because
she ... I went in with things that I wanted a decision for in
the morning. She would keep me there for a long time explaining
in [inaudible] detail [inaudible] Most nights she
would have some sort of social function that she would have to
go to ...
Woman: Yes, I can imagine.
LT: ... and she was very particular about having her hair
attended to before she went to these functions.
Man: It was a very distinctive hairstyle, wasn't it?
LT: Yes. So, knowing what her programme was, and knowing
that she would be leaving the office by half-past six, I would
go in at quarter past six with letters that I
Lord Taylor Meeting (2) page 36 of 62
wanted her to signand the next page. Knowing that
she would [inaudible] and she would not [inaudible]. It
worked but, one thing, I never let her down. No, I would never
do thatif it was something important that she might regret.
Because, at that time, I held two offices: I was the chairman
of what was called the Burnham committee. It was looking at teachers'
Woman: Oh, right.
LT: And I was the chairman of the University Grants Committee,
which made the arrangements for universities to have their [inaudible].
So they were very, very influential propositions at that time,
and this is why I had an office in the department. To some extent
I was independent, but I had to work with the Secretary of State
??involved?? with the teacher unions in the case of the
Burnham committee and also with the Privy Counsel on the University
Grants Committee. It was grants for universities.
Man: So when she took over as Prime Minister, which was some
years later, with the ??laws?? that remained of the Callaghan
Man: She then made you an advisor.
LT: At that time, I had just finished a major report.
Man: ?? The Taylor report ??
LT: I am a great believer in people who [inaudible]. Margaret
got hold of this. She said: "It is just what I want. I am
going to use it for two major Acts of Parliament", which
meant that it would be introduced in three or four years. I wanted
it to be for a decade, so that that was the same [inaudible].
She said, "Oh no, I am not having that. I'm having it in
these two major Acts of Parliament". I said, "If you
do that, I am resigning". She said, "Well, you're not
resigning, you're sacked. I'm not having you [inaudible]".
So, I was sacked.
Man: ?? You came out ??
LT: Now, the following day I got a telephone call from Kenneth
Baker. Kenneth Baker was a Secretary of State for Education she
sacked. [inaudible]. He said, "But I've got something
that I want you to think about. [pause] Sorry about this.
LT: He said, "The Malaysians are changing their economy
from an agricultural economy into an industrial economy, and they
cannot achieve this with the workforce that they've got. And they
want someone to come and have a look at their education programmes
and tell them how they can achieve what they want to achieve.
And they want somebody independent. You would be ideal for this".
Lord Taylor Meeting (2) page 37 of 62
Woman: What a great opportunity.
LT: So I had been a big fish in a little pond in the UK,
so I went over and met the prime minister and the minister of
education and the finance minister and decided that I'd take this
Woman: Yeah. Sounds great.
LT: And I spent two years in reorganising the Malaysian education
programme, but the Malaysian educationschools, collegesare
not run by the state as they are in this country, they're run
by private companies, and a lot of them are international companies,
which introduced me to commercialisation that I had never been
introduced to before. So hence I got to know people like Jack
Welch, who owned two schools out there [inaudible] And
they asked me to go the board as governor and then organising
their educational programme, and then getting introduced to power
stations [inaudible] so that's how that came in. BAE wanted
me to start a college there [inaudible] contract so I wanted
to [inaudible] and would I start this [inaudible] university.
So when I came back here I joined the board of BAE. And so it
developed, and this is how I got involved in the commercial side.
Man: How was that, being a board member of BAE? That's quite
a substantial company, isn't it?
LT: Very, very interesting company.
Man: Yeah, very interesting company. How have you ... How've
... They've obviously had difficulties with [inaudible] investigation
by the Serious Fraud Office and all those sort of things ...
LT: Yep, well, let me tell you [inaudible] there is
no doubt [inaudible] they have been giving backhanders
[inaudible] any company that wants to [inaudible] this
is the way that it ??rains?? and the way that they've worked
for centuries and always will, and you'll never stop them. [inaudible]
Now, [inaudible] going on behind the scenes. But as
far as we're concerned [inaudible] Now, when I had just
finished reorganising the Malaysian [inaudible] Dick Evans
came to see mechief executive.
Man: Chief executive, yeah. No longer there.
LT: No, he's doing some work now, he worked as chairman at
Man: Oh really?
LT: Worked for United Utilities. He went on to, erm [inaudible]
one of the Russian states and he's working out there, two
weeks at a time.
Man: Oh, I would have thought he'd be [inaudible] full
retirement by now.
Lord Taylor Meeting (2) page 38 of 62
LT: Yeah, yeah, but people never retire, and he's enjoying
it and he's really, really [inaudible] everybody in a job.
Anyway, he came to see me and said, "Look, [inaudible]
this contract with the Malaysians [inaudible] and the
other countries". Because doing that work for [inaudible]
How are you going to service these [inaudible] places
in the UK? Why do you not get Malaysian engineers and sponsor
them? [inaudible] not paying enough. Secondly, [inaudible]
if I was successful in winning this contract, what I would
do, I would start in Kuala Lumpur a technical college, and I would
train engineers not just to service [inaudible] but general
engineering. I have been in Loughborough ??from?? the UK
[LT speaking] ... a lot better [inaudible] in
some ways, in aerodynamics and so on, right [inaudible] Malaysians
[inaudible] we will finance it. So what happened? [inaudible]
after this, but [inaudible] and look at where we are
putting in a big part and see what extra we can add to the bid.
So the next one was in South Africa, and with South Africa [inaudible]
had immense [inaudible] college [inaudible] Same
with ??Missouri?? [inaudible] company with the sales team
before they [inaudible] see what the company needs. [inaudible]
Man: Much better than offering backhanders.
LT: Oh, much better.
Man: That's a really good idea, and ... working quite well
to the benefit of ... yeah. Erm ...
LT: So this is where I came in, and I did their educational
training [inaudible] and then I got involved with other
companies [inaudible] So that was my role [inaudible]
Man: But you don't do that any longer.
LT: Oh no, no, I've finished with that. No need to [inaudible]
??hotels??. Well, this is where ... they do want to, but this
is where I have said, "Enough is enough". And Dick has
gone, and one or two more people have gone [inaudible] There's
a time when you feel that you've done everything you can and it's
time that somebody has to take over. So that's what I felt with
them; that's why I couldn't [inaudible] Jujitsu.
Man: So from your point of view, if we, we were to have some
sort of arrangement, how would you like it to, erm [inaudible]?
LT: Right. First of all, I'd like to know who I'm working
Man: You'll be working with me.
LT: With you, directly with you?
Lord Taylor Meeting (2) page 39 of 62
Man: Or ...
Woman: Well, I suppose...
LT: I'm only joking, because I think it doesn't matter which
one of you I work with [inaudible]. No, no: what I don't
want is ... you've got 16 people, you said, working for you.
Man: Oh, and you don't want them all ringing you and [inaudible]
Woman: I see, yeah.
LT: Exactly, because I would not know who [inaudible]
priority, because [inaudible] A, B, C and D and so
on, and I would be running round for all of them trying to help
them all, and it wouldn't achieve what you want. So it's better
for somebody to come direct to me and explain it to me, what they
want, and talk to me. We've got to hold an understanding [inaudible]
to meet, well, say once every two months or very month, erm,
but also, when we have a client that I'm dealing with on a daily
basis, you see, you can't put down, or you can't [inaudible]
and agreement [inaudible] that I work so many hours
per week, so many hours ...
Man: No. [inaudible].
LT: It doesn't work like that.
Waiter: All finished, my Lord?
LT: Yes, thank you.
Woman: Thank you very much.
Man: Thank you.
LT: It depends on how much is involved and what we want to
achieve. You know, we could spend weeks and days on [inaudible],
and yet there are certain times when I can do it in a couple of
hours' worth of time, or ...
LT: So ...
LT: You can't work like that.
Woman: it's much better for it to be flexible, I think, hasn't
LT: I think what we've got to do... You see, I've got to
keep the organisation [inaudible] I've got a pay ??channel??,
I've got to pay the researchers and so on,
Lord Taylor Meeting (2) page 40 of 62
right, and even though I don't want to actually ??sell
them?? ... keeping the team going. So you've got to decide
on what you think, what you think, depending on what work you
do. And then, after a time [inaudible] that I think would
take me too much [inaudible].
LT: You know, so that, so that we ... The main thing is being
honest with each other and telling each other, you know, what
would be the [inaudible]. I feel that, also [inaudible] in that
I should also try to [inaudible] clients [inaudible] some of the
people that I work with which you don't know about.
Man: Yes. Well, exactly.
LT: So it can work ... it's not you just presenting me with
a client and a problem; it's me introducing a client to you as
well in case they've got a problem that you can sort out whether
or not you can help them.
Woman: That'd be very useful.
LT: You know, this, this ...
Man: Yes, no, that's an interesting ...
LT: Also, I think what we've got to do is we've got to develop
you a little bit, we've got to get you known, because one of the
things that was said earlier [inaudible] competition in the UK,
and it's better to know who knows who and who can open the right
sort of doors and so on. And you, with the greatest of respect
[inaudible] you're not. And this is it, you see, because [inaudible]
I've had Tom doing some searches for me [inaudible] and he found
very little. And so, because I thought at the last meeting [inaudible]
"Have I opened my mouth too much? Have I told them too much?"
You might even be a reporter from one of the newspapers in disguise,
you know, that has come on to see me, and I'm telling you the
way that I operate, because I was quite honest with you [inaudible]
Man: Yes, you were.
LT: And I wondered whether I'd overstepped the mark. I didn't
know much about you at that time, and because of that I wondered
Man: Did you see our websites?
LT: Yeah, Tom sorted all that out. Tom is Janet's son and
he's an expert on computers and information ...
Woman: Oh, is he?
LT: ... and he knows where to look and what to do and so
Lord Taylor Meeting (2) page 41 of 62
Man: Oh, I see.
Woman: That's very useful, isn't it?
LT: You know, instead of me going and trying to find this
out, Tom will do all that and he will sort these things out for
Woman: Oh, that's great.
LT: See, I've got somebody who's interested in the Olympic
Man: Oh, have you?
LT: Now these are people I'm just talking to at the moment.
I could introduce you to them [inaudible]
Woman: Are they trying to get contracts for the Olympic Games,
presumably? Yes. So many companies ...
LT: Are, are you got anybody in that line?
Woman: Well, actually I was speaking to somebody a couple
of weeks ago who is interested. It's really early stages so I
don't know if they'd go with us or not.
LT: I see. What would you like for dessert?
Woman: Oh, I haven't even looked.
Waiter: Take your time.
Woman: Thank you.
Man: I'd just like a cup of coffee, please.
LT: Would you?
Woman: Yeah. Yes, I might just have a cup of tea, I feel
very full upby beef.
LT: Are you sure? Have you enjoyed it? I never asked you.
Man: Oh, delicious.
LT: Was it OK, are you sure?
Man: Really [inaudible]
Lord Taylor Meeting (2) page 42 of 62
LT: Right, well I'll just have a cup of coffee [inaudible]
So what we're going to do now is that we're going to leave here
and we're going back in there and having more coffee in there.
Woman: OK, that sounds nice.
LT: Now, so, the reason ... You see, at my age I've got limited
things that I can do, right. First of all, I can't have alcohol.
That has gone completely.
LT: Right? Nobody will have sex with me, so that ... So the
only trick I've got left is my pipe.
LT: One of the things that I enjoy after lunch is smoking
my pipe, but I can't have my pipe now in this place, not really.
LT: But I still retain the habit of... Because I never smoked
in here, I always went and [inaudible] coffee. So that's
Woman: Sounds good.
Man: I would have thought, actually, a pipe is quite good
for your [inaudible] I'd quite like to take up a pipe,
um, as a sort of substitute for smoking cigarettes, which I can't
LT: And let your wife have an occasional cigarette.
LT: Come on, let's go in there.
Waiter: My Lord, was it something I said?
LT: No, it wasn't, my dear friend. My guests have enjoyed
Woman: Yes, it was lovely.
LT: [inaudible] But we're going to have coffee in
Lord Taylor Meeting (2) page 43 of 62
Waiter: [inaudible] Bye.
Woman: Thank you. Bye. Thanks.
LT: [inaudible, in distance]
Man: Thank you very much.
LT: We're back. We decided that we couldn't leave you lonely.
LT: Shall we go and take our coffee here [inaudible]?
Woman: Yes, that'd be lovely. I just might pop to the ladies'
LT: Right, er ...
Woman: Shall I ask one of the girls where it is?
LT: Right at the end there.
Woman: Oh, down this way?
LT: And round the corner.
Woman: OK. See you in a minute.
Staff: Oh, hallo.
Woman: Do you know if there's a ladies' loo this way?
Woman: Do you know if there's a ladies' toilet this way?
Staff: Yeah there is, ma'am. Follow me and I'll direct you.
Woman: Great. Thank you.
Lord Taylor Meeting (2) page 44 of 62
Woman: No problem.
Staff: Right, madam. Through there, where [inaudible]
Woman: Great, thank you very much.
[end of part 2 of recording of second meeting]
Lord Taylor Meeting (2) Extra Recordings page 1 of 11
[Between Parts 2 and 3 of original Lord Taylor lunch recording.
Starting at 1:53:38 on new CD, Track called "Lord Taylor
Man: What do we do about the fee?
LT: I don't know. Honestly, I don't know. I'm embarrassed
Waitress: [something about coffee] I have to get the
coffee somewhere else. The machine just broke down.
LT: Oh, well, look, you want us to go back in there, then?
Waitress: No. Don't worry.
LT: Are you sure?
Waitress: Yes. What I wanted to say, it will take a little
bit longer, that's all.
LT: Okay, right.
Man: I don't know. What's the going rate? Between 5 and 10
thousand a month? Is that ... ?
LT: Yeah, that'll be all right. Is that okay with you?
LT: Okay then. Janet will deal with all this end. You'll
find that I will earn this money for you in no time at all.
Man: Who's your Olympic, erm ...
Man: Who's your Olympic ... ?
LT: They're a Chinese company. They're based in Hong Kong
and they've asked to come and see me next month, but luckily I'm
very friendly with ... ??? the procurement ... absolutely
as clean as it's possible to get. There's not going to be any
dodgy anybody getting favouritism or anything like that. It's
going to be really good. I really admire ... I've gone through
it like a small tooth comb to see how they're going to select
clients and how they're going to do it and it's really good. But
there's one thing that I've got an advantage on is that I've made
contact with the people that are in charge of procurements [inaudible,
microphone moving] going to inform us of the exact dates when
you've got to get it in, what you've got to do as you take us
through, because it's very bureaucratic.
Man: Is it?
Lord Taylor Meeting (2) Extra Recordings page 2 of 11
LT: But if you've got any clients it would be good, because
of all the information that we've got, you know, [more microphone
LT: And Tom, who is the IT ??? he really made it because
he wanted to impress me on this. And then I went and saw ??Colin
Moynihan?? Coe?? [inaudible]
Man: Yes, I mean he's, er, is he still involved? He is still
involved, isn't he?
LT: Oh yes, he's the Chairman.
Man: Oh, he's still the Chairman.
LT: No, I think that we could get on very well together.
I like your attitude. So where does this girl fit in?
Man: She works to me but she also has her own clients who
she looks after.
LT: Because she seems very bright.
Man: Yes, no, she's very good.
LT: Where did she come from? What's her background?
Man: She's come from ... Well she was in, initially, I think
she went to Oxford and then she was in PR for a while and then
she moved on into, erm, now what is the name of that company?
It was a company ... it wasn't a public affairs company, it was
a small PR-type crossover from public affairs and then she came
to us. I just can't remember the name of it. Not a famous one.
But she is very good. We've been very impressed with her. I think
she'll, um ...
LT: Is she married?
LT: So she's got plenty of time, has she then?
Man: Yeah. She has a boyfriend.
LT: Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. No what I was thinking about
that was that, with me doing things at all kinds of stupid hours,
you know, it's getting somebody who can fit in. You know, if we've
got a major client, say, and so on. What I will do, I will liaise
Man: Yes, okay.
LT: You are the boss of the company. You will decide on who,
what, if we working at Haydock Park you will decide who the jockey
is going to be for Haydock Park. If
Lord Taylor Meeting (2) Extra Recordings page 3 of 11
we're at another racecourse, you'll decide on that. And you
will decide, because obviously I don't know the team. It would
be good for me some time to meet the team, you know, and see what
they're doing and ...
LT: So that then it would give me an idea of [inaudible,
microphone noise] use all your facilities and bring them in
to other things as well.
Man: Which would be great if we could do that.
[1:58:20 on new recording. We are now back at the start
of Part 3 of the orignal transcript]
Lord Taylor Meeting (2) page 45 of 62
LT: We've got ??lots?? of time to meet [inaudible]
and see what they're doing and when [inaudible] so that
they [inaudible] and how I can use all your facilities,
and bring them in to [inaudible] other things as well.
Man: that'd be great.
LT: Yeah, but I can only do that if I meet people.
Woman: Yes, that's true.
Man: I was just saying to Lord Taylor, I can't remember:
the public affairs/PR company you used to work for?
Woman: I used to work for Red Rooster.
LT: Oh, I see.
Woman: It was largely consumer stuff, actually; again, there
I didn't do so much public affairs.
LT: Tell me your background.
Woman: Well, actually it was my first job after university.
I went to King's College.
LT: Which university?
Woman: King's College, in London.
LT: Oh, did you? I see, right.
Man: I thought you went to Oxford.
Woman: Oh no, you probably got confused with the King's College
LT: I see. So you went to King's College. What did you read
LT: Oh, so you're good.
Woman: You obviously thought I was slightly cleverer than
LT: And then you got involved with [inaudible]
Lord Taylor Meeting (2) page 46 of 62
Woman: Yeah, and after doing some freelance stuff for a couple
of companiesit was largely kind of consumer things and
a bit of fashion, which was pretty terribleand then worked
for Red Rooster.
LT: I see. Do you both live in London or are you
Man and Woman: Yes.
LT: Whereabouts do you live?
Man: In Richmond.
LT: Ah, the posh end of Richmond, I hope.
Man: Not yet, no.
LT: Where do you live?
Woman: In Clapham.
Woman: So, south London.
LT: It's a lovely place is Richmond.
Man: I know, I like it. I do a lot of running, so I run round
the park quite a lot. It's a very green area as well. It takes
slightly longer to get into work than from a lot of other places
but it's been quite a
LT: Whereabouts are your offices, then?
Man: Near Trafalgar Square.
Woman: Kind of like St James's, really, in between Trafalgar
Square and St James's. If you carried on walking a bit, you'd
be at Piccadilly. It's kind of like down there. So, very handy.
Man: You can walk to there from here.
LT: Do the Americans interfere with you at all?
Man: Very little.
Woman: Yeah, not really; they're quite
Man: They sort of leave us to get on with it, really.
Lord Taylor Meeting (2) page 47 of 62
Woman: Especially setting up this kind of public affairs
arm. I think they understand it's very different from the work
that they do in the States.
LT: Good. This is why I was asking that. Let me tell you
about how I got involved with EDS. I was on the board of BAE,
and I was asked to sit in at an interview where they were looking
for somebody to do their IT work and among the people who put
their bids in was EDS.
Man: I see.
LT: And EDS gave a very good interview, a very good presentation
of what they could do and so on. And then the HR director at the
end said to them, "What is your relationship with staff associations
and trade unions?". "Oh, we have nothing to do with
them; we deal with them in a different way in the States",
and so on. And they went out, and they were crossed completely
off the list. The reason for that was that BAE, over the years,
got away with murder with their staff relationships because they
had a very good relationship with the trade unions. Where they
were going to close a plant, they would talk to the trade unions
beforehand; where they were opening plants they would do the same,
where they were making people redundant. And they never had ??a
day's?? struggle with strikes or lockouts or anything. It
was a first-class relationship. They didn't want somebody coming
in who would have nothing to do with the trade unions, so hence
they didn't get it. A few weeks afterwards, I was asked if I would
see a man called Tom Butler who was an HR [inaudible] for
EDS for the UK and Europe and he became a mutual friend. He said,
"The reason why I have come to see you is `Why did we not
get the BAE contract?'". So I told him, you know, what had
happened, why he hadn't got it, and he said "Fine, thank
you very much". So then he came to me again and said, "Look,
will you help us with British firms?" "Yeah, I would
be delighted to. I accept it as a challenge". So I started
working with them on [inaudible]. Now, I had to go and
talk to them about the difference in working within the UK and
Europe and working in Washington. I had to warn them that it was
unwise of them to get involved in any political parties in this
country. They had worked with all political parties in this country
and they served the elected party of the day,
Man: Mmm hmm.
LT: That they did not show favour to one particular party
or not, as they did in Washington.
LT: And how they got contracts in Washington by paying a
per cent commission. We don't do that in this country. Everything
has got to be above board and then I've got everything [inaudible]
Woman: It's a very short-term view as well.
Lord Taylor Meeting (2) page 48 of 62
LT: Exactly, but this is the way that the Americans work.
And luckily they accepted my advice, and they don't [inaudible].
And the reason why? Experience. Two years ago we ?? were taken
on ?? with an American company.
Woman: Oh, I see.
LT: And I had to explain to the Americans, "Don't get
involved in politics". You see, I'm a great believer in,
if a company that I'm helping
Woman: Thank you.
Man: Thank you very much.
LT: is going through some discussions with the Government,
to keep the Opposition shadow Ministers informed as to what is
going on. The reason for doing that is that they don't then start
asking stupid questions and embarrassing anybody then.
Man and Woman: Mmmm.
LT: So if you keep them informed, you don't tell them any
commercial details, you don't [inaudible] that. You tell
them, you know, how things are ?? manoeuvring ??. So I
speak to the Opposition about it as well as I speak to the government
Ministers at the same time, because it is good to do that, and
it is good to keep them in the picture.
Man: Yes, sure.
LT: So that they are happy that everything is straight and
clean; and you need to do it that way.
Man: You know, that seems a good idea. We report mainly to
Brussels rather than to Americans. We're not
LT: Yes. What are they concerned with in Brussels? Are they
concerned with the number of clients that they've got, or are
they concerned more with the bottom line?
Woman: I suppose one of the things they are concerned with
is that they've got some clients they do work for in Brussels
who also have interests here, so it's a good way to keep that
client happy and to make sure they don't go elsewhereby,
you know, using us.
LT: Well, this is good, you see, because I've got a very
good relationship with Neil Kinnock and I've got a very good relationship
with Peter Mandelson, and both have got a very good rapport with
who is who in Brussels as well.
Man: Absolutely, yes, sure.
LT: And also, on top of that, I've got George Robertson,
who was secretary-general for NATO as well, that fits in.
Lord Taylor Meeting (2) page 49 of 62
Man: He's in here, isn't he?
Man: He's in here.
LT: Yes. I've also got now my girlfriend. I've got many girlfriends.
Woman: Oh (laughs)
LT: You'll have to be very careful. I've got many, many girlfriends.
Woman: Oh, yes.
LT: Who had just gone over to.
Woman: Oh yes, she's [inaudible], hasn't she?
LT: Who's a very good friend of mine and so on. Do you see,
the fact that I am retired now, I could see
Man: You could see how it would work.
LT: [inaudible] because it's not just doing things
here; it's giving a service to clients that you've already got
Woman: Yes, exactly. Keeping them happier with us.
Man: Of course, Cathy Ashton has taken the trade brief, hasn't
LT: She has, yeah.
Man: But then she might get shifted over to somewhere else,
if she stays, I suppose. In the summer they're changing all the
commissioners aren't they?
LT: Yeah, but she's only just in so
Man: Is she?
LT: Yeah. She'll get something.
Man: A very useful person to know. I mean, I'm sure my ??office??
would very interested in that.
LT: So these are the sort of people that I work with. I'm
telling you too much, you know. You see, I'm showing you all my
?? cards ??. You're going to be as clever as me by the
time you [inaudible].
Lord Taylor Meeting (2) page 50 of 62
Woman: But it's good to know how you work, really, so we
can understand it a bit better.
LT: But I'm interested: how did you find out about me?
Man: We got someone to do some work and they identified two
or three people, people who had told them ?? who it is to deal
Woman: Yeah, I think they just had a couple of meetings themselves
and just did a lot of research. It was one of our researchers,
actually, who kind of drew up a list of names that might be worth
[inaudible] and speaking to.
LT: I try and keep a low profile and
Man: Oh, do you?
LT: Yeah, everything nice and quiet. I don't want [inaudible];
I don't want publicity. You know ?? if you keep things ?? nice
and quiet. My satisfaction is achieving what we want to achieve.
LT: You know, that's where I get my, go back and look at
[inaudible] myself. "Well, you've got that".
This is whereit's inside you that you get it, especially
when you live on your own.
Man: Mmm. And how realistic do you think it would be for
us to be able to amend that legislation? Do you think it
LT: I just [inaudible] it a little bit.
Man: I don't expect you to be an expert in any sense at all;
LT: No, I'm not. Looking good [inaudible] Lords at
this particular stage, because what I am hoping to do is I am
going to talk to the team that are going to deal with it in the
Commons [inaudible] in Committee.
Woman: The policy team?
LT: Yes. The [inaudible] and so on. I'm going to talk
to them about it and then I'm going to talk to people here and
see what we can do. If we can get things amended in the Commons
first, we will do; if not, we will try. But we've got two bites
of the cherry: we've got it there, and then we will [inaudible]
Woman: Then you can try the Lords.
Man: Do you think we'd need somebody to table an amendment
LT: Ooh, don't start doing things like that, I should say.
Lord Taylor Meeting (2) page 51 of 62
Woman: Is that really not the way to do it?
LT: No, no, not at this stage. If he can get it done behind
the scenes first; if you can get the ?? lads ?? to agree.
They don't like amendments.
Man: They don't?
LT: They don't like forcing them.
Man: So if they agree it, they'll just write it in themselves.
LT: Exactly. If they can see a way of doing it.
Man: Yeah, that seems fair enough to me.
Woman: Yes, it's less hassle, I suppose, isn't it, than having
to make an amendment.
LT: You see, what you don't want to do, you don't want to
put somebody in a position where they've got to back down.
Woman and Man: Yeah.
LT: If you can get them to think, "Well, this is possible"
as well, and do it that way, and convince them of the argument
behind the scenes, you can do far more that way than force them
by putting an amendment down. Because the automatic way with an
amendment by ?? a civil servant ?? is to resist.
Woman: Yes, I suppose so, because they are heading in one
Man: Yes, especially if they should have thought about it
in the first place.
Man: The suggestion that something's wrong, or something's
been omitted or something like that isn't true.
LT: Right, now, you've got to give me more details about
it, now. Now, we've agreed that we're doing the deal.
LT: So we've agreed on that, then. When do we officially
start? When do you want to start?
Man: I don't know. I suppose... do we have to have a contract?
Lord Taylor Meeting (2) page 52 of 62
LT: Nothing you have to sign, no. You just name the figure
and Janet will send you an account every month. And she'll add
on [inaudible] entertainment.
Woman: And do you normally work on a retainer basis?
Woman: Do you normally work on a retainer basis?
Man: We're just discussed this.
Woman: Oh, have you? I'm sorry.
Man: We've just discussed this. What did we say? We said
between five and ten.
LT: We've said ten. [inaudible] Yeah, that's what
we said. Are you happy about that?
Woman: That sounds fine. To be honest, the client we're particularly
thinking of doesn't seem particularly worried about how much it
costs, as long as the job's done.
Man: Right, I think I'd better just
LT: Yeah, but it's not just this client.
Man: No, no, no.
LT: One client.
Woman: No, but they'll be paying, basically they're largely
going to be paying the bill.
LT: I see, right.
Woman: For this particular piece of work, anyway.
Man: And the rest of it will roll out of that.
LT: Yes, because you don't want me to ring up and say, "I'm
meeting so and so today"? Do you mind if I gave them lunch
or anything like that. You will accept?
Woman: Yes. No, you don't need to do that. That's fine. Of
course it would be nice for us to know after you've had lunch,
"Oh, I had a great lunch, this is what I found out".
LT: Oh, yeah, oh yeah, you'd get all that, you'd get all
Man: I mean, I would be quite interested to know how your
lunch with Peter Mandelson goes next week, for instance. I don't
know whetherthat's something you're doing for someone else,
then, isn't it?
Lord Taylor Meeting (2) page 53 of 62
Man: That's something you're doing for someone else.
LT: Well, it's Peter and I originally, but
Woman: Who is coming along?
LT: I've got about three things that I want to get through
to them as well. Yes.
Man: All that, sort of, intelligence is always useful ??
by itself ??, especially when you're talking to
Woman: And it's nice for us to be able to tell our clients
LT: I've told you, and you can see how I work: I'm straight
and honest, and [inaudible] I will tell you everything
??you want??. If I find that it's on that thin red line
and I'm [inaudible] by my oath, I will not betray that,
but ?? I would do you an offence ?? to tell you not to
do it. Do you understand that?
Man and woman: Yes.
LT: Without embarrassing you or deviating from my responsibility
as adviser to [inaudible]. Because one of the things that
I don't pay a lot of [audible] to is the honours [inaudible].
With me, as well as being honest [inaudible]
Man: Yes, that's fine.
LT: But I'll tell you everything that you wanted to know.
Man: Do you have to notify anyone of our agreement?
LT: Yeah, I do. I do. Janet will take care of that. Janet
will put it in the Declaration of Interests so that it's open
and above board. It is there. And, for example, if I were speaking
about something that you were concerned with in the Chamber, I
would have to declare it when I spoke, you know, as well as it
being declared in the Members' register of interests. But, because
I do it in the way that I do, it would only be if I wanted some
publicity for the client that I would speak in the Chamber.
Woman: Yes, and what you could say speaking in the Chamber
isn't necessarily the best way to get things achieved.
LT: Exactly, yeah. So if you we had a client that wanted
some publicity, it would be done this way. Then I would speak
and declare the interests and mention it and so on. But you only
do it when it's necessary.
Man: Yes, absolutely.
Woman: Yes, most of the time, from what you have been saying,
you can just kind of do it behind the scenes and [inaudible]
Lord Taylor Meeting (2) page 54 of 62
LT: Have you got a card, miss?
Woman: Yes, I have. I'll get one for you in a sec.
Man: You've got mine, haven't you? Do you want it again?
LT: Yes, please. That's me with my [inaudible]
Woman: Oh, great. Thank you.
LT: Oh. And that's me with my [inaudible]
LT: [inaudible] Well, I'm not giving you mine. [inaudible]
considering operations in the UK?
Man: We used to have [inaudible] but not initially
as public affairs.
Woman: Yeah. Just as communications.
Man: Er ...
Woman: Which is a different kind of work, really.
LT: Tell me, do the parent company give you goals to achieve
each year, or what?
Woman: Well, yeah, you do get in terms of, kind ofyou
know, I don't have to deal with this so much, I am practically
aware of how much income I am bringing in from clients ...
LT: Exactly, yeah.
Woman: ... and not losing any of those clients, but I think,
kind of, as an operation you probably have more to do with it
than me, kind of like revenue targets, forecasts that are amended...
But it's not too strict, you know, I think you have those problems
more if you're with a global company that's very controlling,
which often American companies can be, but, erm, in our case they're
not too bad, actually, setting kind of crazy targets, erm, for
every month of every year, though of course you're aware what
you're working towards.
Man: To a large extent, though, it's, it's doing what you
do, in a funny way, which is sorting out problems when they arise.
Lord Taylor Meeting (2) page 55 of 62
Man: So the money, the retainer, is partly to do with just,
you, know, sorting out anything that comes up.
Woman: When it arises.
Man: Which means that sometimes there's very little to do;
sometimes there's a lot to do.
LT: Yeah. But what I want to do is I want to make sure that,
you know, that you're successful and [inaudible] as well
as looking after the people that you've got problems with.
Woman: Yeah. Well, yes, any, erm, companies that you can
suggest that we speak to that might be interested in us helping
them would be great.
LT: And you see, with you especially, getting you known and,
erm, inviting you to one or two functions [inaudible]
Man: That would be useful.
LT: Have you got any family?
Man: Yeah, a wife and two children.
LT: How old are the children?
Man: Er, they are 14 and 13. I always, er, they seem to grow
up so fast that ...
LT: [inaudible] You've got some good schools in Richmond,
Man: They go to a state school.
LT: Yeah, but you've got some good schools in Richmond. Do
you not think so?
Man: Brilliant primary schools, fairly average secondary
schools. I mean, the one that my children go to is getting better,
and there's quite a lot of, a lot of, sort of, investment in trying
to make it better at the moment. It's, erm, it's one of those
areas where ... At the point that everyone leaves primary school,
they all just disappear off to private schools. Because there
are so many great private schools around.
LT: Yeah, yeah, that's true.
Man: Erm, and, erm, we believe in sending our children to
state schools ...
Lord Taylor Meeting (2) page 56 of 62
Man: But it does mean that the sort of, the catchment [inaudible]
varied, erm, and, um, the, historically, I mean, Richmond's secondary
schools have just not, just don't achieve the results that the
primary schools do, erm, which is a shame, really.
Woman: Yeah [inaudible] I suppose, you know, all the
kind of brightest children go to private schools so it's going
to lower the average, isn't it?
LT: Why [inaudible]? I'll tell you why, after what
you said. You see, you said that the primary schools are good,
right, and then what happens is that they start creaming the children
off and the high-fliers start going to private schools and so
Woman: Which inevitably lowers the average.
LT: So therefore you have got the average type of child there,
so they can't really receive the high results that the parents
would like [inaudible]. But it all depends on what you
want from the children. I'm a great believer that the best investment
that you can make is in education of your children. That's the
best investment [inaudible] best education they can have
then leaving them money when you die, because it gives them an
opportunity of understanding life itself, and that doesn't necessarily
follow. ??You get involved in?? forcing children. Each
child is different, and each child should develop according to
their different abilities. I've been involved with all kinds of
schools; I started a ??lovely?? experiment that's been
going very successfully for [inaudible] it was done at
a London college; it was a sixth-form college down, er, down,
er, [inaudible] sixth-form [inaudible] 350 pupils
[inaudible] possibly [inaudible]. I started [inaudible]
Mountbatten and a chap called ??Sir George Houston??. We've
now got nine of these colleges. I fell in love with the international
LT: It was introduced into that college when it was introduced
and realised how sound it was, how better it was than the British
A-levels and so on, and how it gave a children a good, better
Woman: It's ??about?? broader, isn't it?
LT: And you specialise ??too early??, where you specialise
with the British A-levels in three, four or five subjects and
so on, but here you get a good [inaudible] and it's far
better connected; you specialise when you get to university and
so on, and I've given all kinds of evidence before select committees
and tried to persuade secretaries of state and so on to accept
the international baccalaureate ...
Man: They won't, will they?
LT: No, no. I thought I was getting very near last year;
I was getting very near, and then they got, erm, weak at the end
and decided no, they wouldn't. It will come in the course of time;
it's bound to come in the course of time, because it's, it's far
Lord Taylor Meeting (2) page 57 of 62
and far easier. But this is where I'm saying, you are doing
the right thing, providing your kids are getting everything that
they need [inaudible]
Man: I mean, they have an advantage because they have parents
who back them up.
LT: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
Woman: Do they help them with their homework, all those kind
Man: My wife is head of the parent-teachers' association?
LT: Oh, is she? Oh, good. But...
Man: Making sure that, you know ... so, so, I mean, they
LT: Is she on the governors as well?
Man: No she's not, actually, but, erm ...
LT: Why is she not on the governors?
Man: I think she's ... I don't know if there was actthere's
actually a spare place on the governors at the moment.
LT: Not a spare place; there should be elections every year.
Yeah, this is what Taylor organised, this is what Taygive
every school the right to have their own governing body ...
Man: I didn't know that they re-elected the [inaudible].
LT: ... their own independence and so on, give them their
own, erm, erm, finances, appointment of their own staff and doing
what they want to, whether it's spend money on staff or spend
money on library books and vice versa. All this was part of what
I wanted for schools. I'm not going down this road; I've got to
deal with you on the commercial side. I get carried away when
we get on this. I'm going to ask you if you'll go now ...
Man: Yes, of course.
LT: ... er, because I've got one or two things I've got to
do. Now, are you quite happy [inaudible] When do we meet
again, when do we go on, and so on?
Man: Let us get hold of you, probably next week.
LT: OK then, that's fine.
Man: Erm, I think that's the easiest way.
Lord Taylor Meeting (2) page 58 of 62
Man: And thank you very much for lunch. I've enjoyed it thoroughly.
Woman: It's very kind of you.
LT: Oh, it's a pleasure.
Woman: You must let us take you somewhere.
LT: No, I never go out, actually.
Woman: Oh, don't you?
LT: No, I don't.
LT: But, er, I want you to know that I think that you're
both good people and I would be delighted to work with both of
Woman: Ah, thank you.
LT: So ...
Man: Thank you very much.
LT: You've got to use me. I'm, I'm there, I've had this wonderful
Woman: It'd be great to bounce ideas off you.
LT: It seems a pity that it would die with me. Things do.
So that's it. OK?
Man: OK. Brilliant.
Woman: OK. Thanks for your time today.
LT: Yeah, what he's doing, he's making the statement now
regarding the, er, Heathrow.
Man: Oh, Heathrow.
Woman: Oh, right.
LT: That's what ...
Man: Yes, yes [inaudible]
Lord Taylor Meeting (2) page 59 of 62
LT: It's ??disguised in that??, that's what it is.
Woman: Goodness me. Big statement, then, isn't it?
LT: What he's doing, he's using it as an infrastructure [inaudible]
Man: Not very popular, though, [inaudible]
LT: I don't know, I'm mixed about it, really. I can see the
need for it, but [inaudible] Liverpool and Manchester [inaudible]
Man: And there's still a lot of people who try [inaudible]
Man: Ridiculous, isn't it, really?
LT: When you go to Brussels, which way do you go?
Man: ??Oh, we fly?? [This might be cross-chatter from
Woman: The Eurostar's fabulous.
LT: The best way?
Woman: Oh, it's so nice.
LT: How long does it take you?
Man: Two hours.
Woman: Yes., You don't have to queue for ages and, you know,
check in or all that kind of thing. It's very fast. You can work
comfortably on the train ...
LT: I've not been on it since the old ... I went on at the
beginning on a free trip.
Man: [indistinct pro-Eurostar noises] although it's
quicker to go from, go St Pancras, but because it's more difficult
to get to St Pancras from my home, erm ...
Lord Taylor Meeting (2) page 60 of 62
Man: ... it actually doesn't make any difference as to ...
Waterloo was much more convenient.
Woman: Yes, and for me as well.
LT: [to passer-by] Sorry.
Man: Erm, but it's quite nice just to think you'll get on
and within two hours you're in Brussels ... You can quite easily
just [inaudible] to Brussels now. It's be quite an expensive
thing to do, but ...
Woman: Well, there's a very complicated time difference.
LT: Well, what is the fare?
Woman: You can get a cheap fare for abut £59 return
if you book in advance, but I think, you know, if you were booking
maybe a week or a couple of days in advance it could be as much
Man: Yeah, it does, it varies. ..
LT: About £250?
LT: Yeah, well. ..
Woman: If you can kind of organise yourself; if you know
that you're going to be...
LT: It's £357 to Preston...
Woman: Is it?
LT: ... first class.
Woman: Goodness me.
LT: That's with a normal ticket.
Man: Who does that, though?
Man: Who does that?
Woman: Is it Virgin Trains, or ...?
LT: I don't ... but you, that's the way that you [[inaudible]
If you were going ...
Man: It seems sort of wasteful [inaudible]
Lord Taylor Meeting (2) page 61 of 62
Man: Because it's not as if first class is such a marvellous
experience, is it, really...
Woman: Apart from on the Eurostar, it's quite fun.
LT: No, but the reason about first class is that you can
read and do...
Woman: You've got a lot more space, haven't you?
LT: You can work and you've got space.
Man: Yeah, I suppose so.
Neil: ??Heads up?? You all right?
LT: My dear Neil.
Neil: How are you?
LT: Very well. I hope you've been a good lad.
Neil: I'm trying. Sometimes I succeed.
LT: Some time I would like to have a little chat with you.
Neil: Please. [inaudible]
LT: Thank you. [sotto voce] You see, that's how things
are done. [inaudible] you know people like that, and you
say to them [inaudible] and if he doesn't know he'll find
out, you see, so... [inaudible] coat?
Woman: Yes, definitely. It's so cold outside today.
LT: Yes. [inaudible] They've got that, they've got
that, so [inaudible]
Man: Oh no, it's all right. My briefcase, though, not as
LT: Yeah well, nice to see you're letting the side down.
[inaudible] For Christmas I'll buy you something better
that you can have.
Woman: [inaudible] hand our passes in.
LT: Thank you for coming.
Woman: Lovely to meet you.
LT: Thank you very much.
Lord Taylor Meeting (2) page 62 of 62
Woman: See you soon.
LT: All the best.
Woman: David, do you want to hand your pass in?
Man: Oh. Go out there with that on ...
Woman: Thanks. Bye.
[end of part 3 of recording of second meeting]
According to the Sunday Times (see p TAST12), Lord
Taylor left a message on "David Thompson's" phone on
Thursday 15 January 2009we have been provided with no recording
or transcript of this telephone conversation.
Telephone Call to Lord Taylor of Blackburn ("LT")
from "David Thompson" ("Man") of the Sunday
Times, Friday 16 January 2009
Telephone Extra Recordings page 4 of 11
LT: Hello David, thank you for ringing.
Man: I'm really sorry. I understand you've made a number
of calls and my office didn't tell me until this morning. I'm
sorry, I was out at the theatre last night.
LT: I hope you enjoyed it.
Man: Yes, it was great. A comedian called Bill Bailey. I
don't know if you know him at all. He's a man who appears on the
telly quite a lot.
LT: Yes, I've heard of him, but I've never had the privelege
of seeing him in the flesh. I can't ???? of course. And
you enjoyed it, then?
Man: Yes, it was great.
LT: ???? yesterday. I had meetings across at the Home
Office and I decided that as my meeting finished early I went
to the Treasury and I have got a meeting next week with Yvette
Cooper, who, as you are probably aware, is the first secretary
in the Treasury.
LT: And we are going to discuss the problem that we have
Man: Oh, the Business Rates Supplement Bill.
LT: What I would like is I would like anything that you've
got, you know, apart from the little brief that you sent me on
??? last week.
LT: So if you've got any information at all, I would be very
Man: So you, basically what you want is a fuller brief so
that you can discuss it with Yvette.
LT: I do. I do.
Man: Yes, all right. Well look, then I'll get that to you.
When's your meeting with her?
LT: It's on Thursday.
Telephone Extra Recordings page 5 of 11
Man: On Thursday. Brilliant. I will ... let me ... what are
your movements today? Aren't you travelling back to Blackburn?
LT: I'm not. I'm in London all weekend.
LT: If you'd like to come into the Lords, say, Tuesday, I'd
be very grateful.
Man: That would be great. What sort of time of day are you
meeting Yvette Cooper?
LT: Well, she's got Cabinet. I'm meeting her after Cabinet.
It'll be about 11.30.
Man: Right. Okay. Do you know her or are you, um ...?
LT: Oh yes, I know her very well. I certainly do know her,
Man: Isn't she the MP for Pontefract, as I remember?
LT: I don't know the constituency she represents. I think
it is Pontefract, yes. I think she took over from Geoff Lofthouse.
Man: That would be right, yeah, cos he was, I mean he's Lord
Lofthouse now, isn't he?
LT: Yes, he is.
Man: Yes, he's the former...
Man: No, but I know Pontefract, it's the reason, I know he
was the MP, the Labour MP for Pontefract for many, many years,
LT: Ooh yeah. They don't count votes in Pontefract, you know;
they used to weigh them.
Man: Yeah, there wasn't really any opposition. I don't know
whether the Tories ever put anyone up there.
LT: Well, they always put somebody up there, but it was just
a sort of token ... I remember at one stage it was the highest
majority in the country and then Geoff became the Deputy Speaker
in the Lords ... sorry, in the Commons, and then he was knighted
and then he came over to us. He's a very quiet chap and he's done
a hell of a lot for the miners, and especially on this compensation
racket that's been going on.
LT: Well anyway, with the greatest of respect to Geoffrey,
he is not there now and we're concentrating on Yvette Cooper.
Telephone Extra Recordings page 6 of 11
Man: Brilliant. Okay. Well, look, I'll get something to you.
I'll send it by email, if that's all right, to Janet, yeah?
LT: Yes, that would be fine. The next thing that I want from
you is that I also last night spoke to a company that's looking
for a public relations company, more in the north-west of England.
A firm called Cantaxx. I don't know whether you know them.
Man: How do you spell that?
LT: Cantaxx. C-A-N-T-A-double X.
LT: C-A-N-T-A-double X.
LT: What they're doing is that they're building, or wanting
to put planning permission in for a gas storage in the ????salt
there???. Now, they've had a public relations firm but they're
not happy about them and I was telling them how good you were
and so on, so they said could I give them some information about
Man: Oh right. Okay, yeah. No, absolutely. Do you want me
to contact them?
LT: No, if you could let me have whatever you've got and
I'll talk to them and then we'll do the contacting afterwards.
Man: Brilliant. Okay, well I'll do that. I'll get that to
you as well.
LT: They are a Canadian-Texas firm, hence the word Canatxx
[this is the correct spelling, in factEd]. Canada
Man: Mmm hmm. And they're keen on gas storage.
LT: Oh yeah. They've been working on it for quite some time
and they are the world's experts on it and there's a good seam
of salt that runs from Preesall to ??? and it's ideal for
storing gas there.
Man: Gas storage is one of those issues, isn't it, where
planning, as far as I remember ...
Man: Are they having difficulties or are they ...?
LT: They've had difficulties. They had a public inquiry about
two years ago and they are resubmitting now.
Telephone Extra Recordings page 7 of 11
Man: Oh, I see. So they are looking to, sort of, put forward
a campaign at the moment, are they?
Man: Mmm. Erm. It doesn't require new legislation, presumably.
It just requires some new ...
LT: It is straightfoward public relations work.
Man: Right, okay. Okay, well that sounds good. And thank
you for that.
LT: Those are the two things that I wanted to get from you,
Man: Yes, of course.
LT: Right, the other thing I was a bit ... er ... what did
you say the remuneration was?
Man: Well, initially I said between 5 and 10 thousand and
then you said 10 thousand, so we left it at 10 thousand.
LT: Yeah, but what are you on, 10 thousand a year?
Man: A month.
LT: Oh, that's better, yeah, because you worried me there.
Leave it at 10 thousand for the time being, because as I say I'll
get this back for you.
Man: Yes, okay.
LT: Now are you happy about that?
Man: Yes, indeed.
LT: Are you sure?
LT: You ???..??? in your mind.
Man: No, I mean I'd have to ... before we finally settle
it up I've still got to get permission from my overall client
before we actually, you know, in effect shake hands and seal a
deal. But that's all.
LT: Yeah, but it won't be just ... you see I'm not going
to do it just for this one client ...
LT: It's all the other things that you want as well.
Telephone Extra Recordings page 8 of 11
Man: No, indeed. But I think he'd be very impressed at how
quickly you were able to get hold of ... get in front of the Minister.
LT: I'm not doing this to impress you. I'm doing it for action.
Man: I know, but, you know ... I think he'll be impressed
by action, shall we say? But, I need ... and I will get ... he
is travelling at the moment so I won't get any final say from
him until next week some time.
LT: Do you want me to meet him at some time?
Man: Yeah, that would be good if you could.
LT: I will do with pleasure.
Man: Mmm. It all depends on when he's in the UK, because
I'm assuming you don't really want to travel outside the UK to
meet him, do you? Or do you? I don't know.
LT: No, not really, but to meet him, that's far better.
Man: Right, well we'll arrange that when it comes up.
LT: They are based in Hong Kong, are they?
Man: Yes indeed.
LT: Yeah, well I did quite a lot with Hong Kong with the
new territories and so on and with the university there. Anyway,
if I could meet him I would be delighted to.
Man: Brilliant. Okay. Well, look, I'll get back to you with
all those things that you asked for and we'll talk again.
LT: Thank you very much indeed.
Man: Thank you. Bye.
[end of call]
E-mail to Lord Taylor of Blackburn (via Janet) from "David
Thompson" of the Sunday Times, Tuesday 20 January 2009
From David Thompson
"David Thompson" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject Briefing of business rates.
Attachments business supplememnt.rtf
Date: Tue 20/01/2009 09:12
View: HTML I Text I Header I Raw Content
Hello. Can you pass this on to Lord Taylor as soon as possible.
Dear Lord Taylor,
I have attached the full briefing on the Business Rate Supplement
Bill to this email. Obviously, not all of it is relevant to the
matter at hand but I thought it might be better if you had a rounded
view of the issues. If you require further reading, it might be
worth having a look at the Hansard, Monday 12 January 2009 (Volume
486, No 11), for last week's debate.
I have passed on your information about Cantaxx to our business
development manager and he will provide me with a package I can
pass on to you. Is it ok if we wait a week as our brochures are
Let me know if there is anything further you require. I'll
give you a call on Wednesday ahead of your meeting.
Supplementary Business Rate Bill
Memorandum for Lord Taylor
January 19, 2009
Strictly private and confidential. For Lord Taylor's use
The rationale for introduction of a supplementary business
1. The proposal for a business rate supplement arises
from Sir Michael Lyon's report into the future of local government,
in which he argued that councils should become more instrumental
in supporting local economic development, for example through
greater investment in local infrastructure. In this context, the
report recognized the importance of having a competitive local
business tax regime and concluded that this could be best delivered,
as presently, via the uniform business rate.
2. The Lyons Report makes an important case for local
authorities to have greater flexibility, and this can be achieved
by giving councils the power to levy a supplementary business
rate (SBR). Sir Michael also notes that there would need to be
limitations on such new powers in order to get business buy-in
and greater trust in the relationship between businesses and councils.
Obviouslyalthough this is not proposedan important
safeguard on this power would be a business vote on whether each
local proposal was acceptable to the businesses that would be
affected by it.
3. While investment in local economic development projects,
particularly transport infrastructure, the Government should not
consider this recommendation in isolation. The overall corporate
tax burden is already too high. The lowering of corporation tax
rates has been a step in the right direction but much of this
reduction has been offset by other adjustments to the business
tax regime. An increase in business rates through a new levy would
be a further concern particularly alongside the proposed changes
to business rates for empty property.
Accountability and approval mechanisms for the introduction
of a supplementary business rate at a local level the
role of business and the wider community:
1. If councils are given the power to introduce a levy
on the business rate its success would rest on genuine accountability
and rigorous approval mechanisms. Sir Michael Lyons presented
two options (voting and consultation) as approval mechanisms,
opting for statutory consultation in his final recommendations
to Government. The CBI, the Forum for Private Business and the
British Retail Consortium all argue that businesses must have
a vote for the idea to be acceptable.
2. The Lyons Report emphasises the importance of building
up trust between businesses and local authorities. Sir Michael
argues that the power to levy a supplementary business rate, if
used to fund projects which were genuinely intended to drive the
local economy, is one way in which this trust could be built up.
However, this can only be achieved if businesses feel that they
genuinely are able to influence the decision-making process.
Consultation simply would not provide sufficient mandate
for councils to levy a supplementary business rate nor would it
demonstrate that affected businesses supported the proposed project.
This could only be achieved through a vote.
3. One of the arguments put forward against the idea
of a vote is that businesses would use it simply to block any
proposal being promoted by local authorities. However, we do not
believe this would be the case. Businesses asked to vote on a
particular development project will make their judgement based
on an assessment of the potential benefits set against the additional
costs to them through the SBR. If the economic case for the project
is strong enough, the vote will be positive. Indeed, experience
with existing Business Improvement District (BID) schemes is that
this is exactly the way in which it works. Business feedback on
BIDs has been very positive largely because they feel they have
had a say in the process. Even where they had voted against a
particular proposal which subsequently went ahead (because a majority
was in favour), they were supportive because of the role they
4. As Sir Michael recognises, unless the approval mechanisms
for a SBR are right there is a danger that this power could see
the relationship between businesses and councils deteriorate rather
than improve. Since publication of the Lyons report, the CBI has
consulted with approximately 600 companies on 10 regional councils
across England. Whilst there was an appreciation of some of the
difficulties associated with a proposed vote, the overwhelming
majority felt that anything less than a vote simply would be unacceptable.
Since a business vote would be so key to the principle of
a supplementary rate, here are proposals for a potential voting
(i) Voting should be weighted according to rateable value.
(ii) Members should have an opportunity to vote on the
specific project plan rather than just the principle of a levy.
(iii) There should be safeguards on re-voting so that
if a vote failed it would be significantly amended before it is
voted on again.
(iv) The exact voting mechanisms should be spelt out
in legislation so as to ensure continuity across all council areas.
Please note: the principle of voting to agree a business
rate levy has already been established through the Business Improvement
The need for exemption for new businesses:
The bill was originally conceived in a government white paper
in 1998, long before the Lyons report. It was a time of boom,
in stark contrast to our current economic predicament.
2) During the second reading of the bill in the Commons
on January 12, 2009, Brian Binley, the member of Northampton South
pointed out some 13,5000 companies failed in 2007, the Forum of
Private Business predict 200,000 businesses will fail, and KPMG
say some 150,000 businesses will become insolvent. Unemployment
is projected to rise to 3m by the end of 2009.
3) It goes without saying that this is not a good time
to impose extra taxes on business. However, if the government
is determined to go ahead with the SBR, consideration should be
given to an exemption for new businesses which will be the green
shoots of a recovering economy. We propose that a two year
exemption should be given to new businesses taking up new retail
premises. In such circumstances, firms will have to be able to
demonstrate that they are genuinely new rather than a relocation
from some other premises. Furthermore, they will have to show
that they are creating new jobs which would not otherwise have
Consideration of implementation issues, including the impact
on local authority tax bills and decision-making in two-tier local
1. Management of projects that were approved by the business
community, via a positive vote, would need to be both transparent
and accountable in order to give confidence that projects would
be delivered efficiently and effectively. The exact mechanisms
would need to be considered but in practice there should be business
involvement in the running of specific projects eg business representation
on any management boards.
2. If the recommendation to allow supplementary business
rates is taken forward business confidence would rely on transparent
decision-making, genuine accountability and efficient delivery.
These factors would be vital whether the projects were in unitary
or two-tier local authority areas. It is worth noting that businesses
could be wary of agreeing to a supplement in a two-tier authority
if the administration costs were noticeably higher than under
a unitary authority.
3. Clearly where potential projects had implications
for two or more local authorities, perhaps at the level of city-region,
and where regional authorities needed to be involved, implementation
is likely to be more complex. It would therefore be important
for Government to be clear, if taking forward this recommendation,
whether the purpose was to fund local or regional projects and
shape the proposals, including approval and accountability mechanisms,
The impact of a supplementary business rate on equalisation:
1. The case against the relocalisation of business rates
was accepted in part because of the difficulties of equalisation:
the differences in business rate revenue between councils would
outweigh any increased incentive for councils to boost local businesses.
2. If revenue from supplementary rates was redistributed
by central Government through the equalisation mechanism in the
same way that standard business rates are shared out there would
be a danger that the power was seen as an increase in business
rates through the back door rather than a specific levy to hind
local projects. So Lyons recommended that revenue from any supplementary
business rates should be retained locallynot redistributedto
avoid undermining the purpose of the proposed supplement.
3. In recognition of the greater flexibility this would
give some councils over others (ie: those with more businesses
and therefore potentially higher revenue from a supplement) it
would continue to be important for the Government to invest in
those areas that had fewer businesses and therefore a lesser capacity
to generate revenue through a supplement. Councils and central
government would also need to consider the risk that a supplement
could deter incoming businesses, particularly in regeneration
The appropriate scale of the supplement:
1. Lyons proposed that revenue from any supplementary
rate must be entirely additional to existing local government
funding and used exclusively on specific projects that were agreed
with the relevant business community. In the future it may be
increasingly difficult to know whether economic development projects
would have been provided without a business supplement and therefore
whether the supplement was truly "additional". In order
to avoid this scepticism it would be vital for all tiers of government
to demonstrate that spending on economic development projects
had at least kept pace with current investment.
2. Lyons recognised that businesses need certainty and
predictability of their business rate liability and therefore
recommended the idea of an upper limit or cap on supplementary
business rates. A centrally-set cap must be implemented if businesses
are to have confidence in councils to use this power effectively
and efficiently. Where BIDs already exist the cap must include
this revenue and the onus should be on councils to demonstrate
the future benefits for businesses to offset the initial cost.
3. At the lower end of the range proposed by Lyons the
experience of BIDs shows that for certain additional services
businesses can be willing to pay a levy of 0.5-1%. At the other
extreme the 4 pence supplement (effectively almost 10% increase
on business rate bills) implemented in the Rugby BID is atypical
and far higher than the vast majority of businesses would be willing
to pay. We therefore believe the 2% currently proposed is too
4. All parties who benefit from the project should share
the cost. Where those parties include non-business rate payers
councils should demonstrate how the cost burden is being shared
1. In terms of providing businesses with greater assurance
about the parameters of a supplementary there should be a centrally-set
time limit on the duration of a supplement. This would have the
advantage of giving greater certainty to businesses so that they
could plan for the additional cost. It would also provide greater
assurance about the efficiency and effectiveness of delivery since
the project would have to be delivered within that timescale.
2. As with the proposed rate cap it would be within the
power of local authorities to set out in any proposals the appropriate
duration of a supplement for a specific project which could be
lower than the national limit.
3. In terms of providing assurance that a supplementary
rate would not represent relocalisation through the back door
Government should also consider introducing a "freeze"
time to be implemented at the end of one project and before a
new project could be proposed.
E-mail to "David Thompson" of the Sunday Times from
Janet, Tuesday 20 January 2009
|From||Janet M Robinson
|"Janet M Robinson"
Subject RE: Briefing of business rates
Date: Tue 20/01/2009 11:00
View: HTML I Text I Header I Raw Content
Will do. Many thanks
Telephone Call to "David Thompson" of the Sunday
Times from Lord Taylor of Blackburn, Wednesday 21 January 2009
Telephone Extra Recordings page 11 of 11
Automated Voice: Message will be saved for three days. To
listen to your voice messages, press 1. ...[fades out and then
in again] saved message, sent January 21st at 10 am.
LT: Hello David, it's Tom, Lord Taylor. Thank you very much.
I have received the brief, which is excellent. It's just what
I want. I understand most of it. I have been doing quite a bit
of research of the tea man ??? and I know what you want
to achieve, or I think I know what you want to achieve now. I'll
go ahead and I will probably give you a ring towards the weekend
and let you know what first steps I've taken. Anyway, I hope everything's
okay with you. Thank you. Bye.
Telephone Call to Lord Taylor of Blackburn from "David
Thompson" of the Sunday Times at an unknown timethe
position of this transcript in this sequence is our supposition
Telephone Extra Recordings page 9 of 11
Automated Voice: This is a Vodafone voicemail service for
***** ******. Please leave a message after the tone. When you've
finished recording, please hang up, or press the hash key for
Hi Tom, it's David here. Thank you very much for your message
this morning. I just wanted to check, you are still seeing Yvette
Cooper tomorrow. What I wondered was when you are meeting Peter
Mandelson, because I wondered whether it might be appropriate
to raise it with him. Anyway, I'm on my mobile, although I'm in
a meeting from about, sort of, quarter to 11 through till about
12, so I may turn it off for that time, but then I can always
ring you back??. Bye.
Telephone Call to "David Thompson" of the Sunday
Times from Lord Taylor of Blackburn ("LT"), Wednesday
21 January 2009
Telephone Extra Recordings page 11 of 11
Automated Voice: End of message. To return the call, press
hash. [fades out and then in again] message saved. Next
message, sent January 21st at 2.39 pm.
LT: Hello David. I have met Peter Mandelson and I have discussed
it with him and Baroness Andrews, and I've discussed it with her
and I'm meeting Yvette Cooper later on today and I'm also meeting
two of the local authority teams tomorrow morning, so everything
is in hand and thank you very much for your suggestions. Thank
you. I will ring you back when I can do. Thank you. Bye.
Telephone Call to "David Thompson" of the Sunday
Times from Lord Taylor of Blackburn ("LT"), Wednesday
21 January 2009
Telephone Extra Recordings page 11 of 11
Automated Voice: End of message. To return ... [fades
out and then in again] message saved. Next message, sent January
21st at 6.26 pm.
LT: Hello, good evening. Try and get over this tomorrow
morning. I will try and be available, but what I'm doing, I'm
trying to get as much as I possibly can in and I've all kinds
of meetings tomorrow, so please, if you don't get me don't worry,
but you'll definitely get me on Friday morning if you don't get
me Thursday morning. Hope to see you then. Thank you. Bye.
According to the Sunday Times, "David Thompson"
of the Sunday Times rang Lord Taylor on Thursday 22 January 2009
Please see the Lord Taylor Sunday Times transcript (p TaST17),
and the Sunday Times letter of 17 March 2009 (pp W8-9), for the
journalist's recollection of the call.
Failed Telephone Call to Lord Taylor of Blackburn from Michael
Gillard ("Man") of the Sunday Times, Friday 23 January
Telephone CD2 page 2 of 29
Automated Voice: This is a Vodafone voicemail service for
***** ******. Please leave a message after the tone. When you
have finished your call, please hang up or press the hash key
for more options. Beep.
Man: Hello, hopefully I'm leaving a message for Lord Taylor.
Lord Taylor, this is Michael Gillard from the Sunday Times. I'm
very keen to speak to you for a story we're preparing for this
weekend. It's now 1.09 on Friday afternoon. If you could give
me a call on ***** ******, alternatively ***** ******. What it's
about briefly is, I'm interested in talking to you about discussions
you've had with a company called Michael Johnson Associates, who
represent a Chinese client who's interested in the Supplementary
Rates Bill going through the Commons and subsequently the Lords
and having it amended. I'd like to talk to you about that. As
I said, I'm very keen to do that today because we are publishing
this weekend. So, once again, the numbers are ***** ******, or
****. I'll try you on the other numbers I have for you. Bye for
Telephone Call to Lord Taylor of Blackburn ("LT")
from Michael Gillard ("Man") of the Sunday Times, Friday
23 January 2009
Telephone CD2 page 3 of 29
LT: Hello, good afternoon, Taylor.
Man: Lord Taylor?
Man: It's Michael Gillard from the Sunday Times.
LT: Yes, Michael.
Man: Have you got a minute to talk?
Man: I'm interested in talking to you about discussions you're
having at the moment with a company called Michael Johnson Associates
over a Chinese client that they have. Ring any bells?
Man: Johnson Associates.
LT: Oh yes.
Man: Yes, they have this Chinese businessman, Mr Jiang.
Man: ... who they are representing and I understand that
they have contracted your services.
LT: That's right.
Man: What do you know about Mr Jiang?
LT: The only thing that I know about him is that he has been
looking [inaudible] in the Olympic industry for some time.
Man: In the Olympic industry, right.
Man: And what is it that you have contracted yourself to
do for him?
LT: Oh, just assistance as they go forward with their projects
during the various bids that they were putting.
Telephone CD2 page 4 of 29
Man: Various bids for what?
LT: And now they're going for the Olympics in the UK.
Man: Oh, it's for Olympic bids.
Man: Right. And what are they bidding for?
LT: Well, they are, when the appropriate time comes ... the
time hasn't come and we've done nothing for them as yet ... it
will be when they are putting bids in [inaudible] come
forward to the appropriate regulations and so on.
Man: And these are bids to do what? I don't know what they
LT: Oh, they ??provide?? China and so on for the Olympics
and what have you.
Man: Oh, China for the Olympics. Right. What I understand
they asked you to, correct me if I'm wrong, is that they wanted
help in amending legislation around the Business Rates Supplementary
Man: That they wanted to amend the legislation around the
Business Rates Supplementary Bill. Is that not your understanding
LT: Oh, no no. That's a completely different firm that you're
talking about. Oh no, I'm not involved in that. I haven't done
anything. We've just kept on chatting, that's all.
Man: So the Olympic thing is ...?
LT: Oh, it's nothing to do with that, no. I'm mistaking it
for something else.
Man: Oh, right. Who's the Olympic thing?
LT: Oh, it's a Chinese firm from Hong Kong that I've talked
to for some time.
Man: Right, but Mr Jiang, as I understand it ...
LT: Oh no, he's not the same person. It's not the same person.
We're at cross purposes.
Man: Right. Okay. So we now know who we're talking about.
LT: Yeah, I do know what you're talking about. David Thompson...
Man: That was him.
Telephone CD2 page 5 of 29
LT: Yeah, that's right. He had ...
Man: What's that all about?
LT: Oh, they just asked me about what was happening and so
on, and I've given them my advice but I'm not contracting with
them in any way.
Man: Oh, I understood that you'd agreed to a consultancy
fee of £10,000 a month.
LT: Oh no.
Man: No? And that you've already started doing work for them?
LT: Oh no.
Man: You haven't met anyone or pressed any buttons?
LT: No, not yet. No, no, no. I was only in the early stages
of talking to them.
Man: Right. Well, I'm afraid I'm going to have to be a bit
more forceful about what I understand, because in fact the two
people you met, Clare Taylor and David Thompson, are undercover
reporters for the Sunday Times Insight team and the whole conversations
that you had over the last, erm, I think you've had two meetings,
were secretly recorded. And what I understand from the transcripts
of those conversations, Lord Taylor, is that you did agree to
work for them, that the fee structure was at £10,000 a month
and that what you agreed to do was to help amend the legislation
on the business and financial rates and that in that regard you
had already approached Peter Mandelson and Yvette Cooper.
LT: Oh no, no I'm sorry.
Man: You're recorded as...
LT: No, I'm sorry I have not met, you want the wrong Taylor.
I have not met anyone at all.
Man: I'm sorry, but you're on record to these two undercover
LT: Yeah, well I have not met anyone.
Man: You did not meet Yvette Cooper yet.
LT: No, I have not met Yvette Cooper, I've not met Peter
Mandelson or anyone.
Man: But why would you tell them that you had done it, then?
LT: Oh, I didn't tell them that.
Man: It's on record, Lord Taylor.
Telephone CD2 page 6 of 29
LT: No, I'm sorry, I have not met anyone. I have not met
any Government officer at all.
Man: And you're saying that you didn't tell the two undercover
LT: No. To be quite honest, I played them along because I
thought they were undercover reporters and I just led them along.
No, I've not met anyone or touched anything.
Man: Right. And so when you offered to arrange dinners and
hold meetings in the Lords to impress clients, what was that?
LT: Oh that was just a scene because I was suspecting that
they were undercover reporters right at the beginning.
Man: Right. And so when you said, erm, sorry, I'm going to
read you some of the transcripts so that I can get your take on
it. One of the things that's quite interesting is, you said the
following: "I will work within the rules, but also rules
are meant to be bent and the way that sometimes and the way that
they use it." What do you mean by that?
LT: What do I mean by that?
LT: Oh, to explain things to people, that's all.
Man: What, you would bend rules to explain things to ...
I don't follow. The context of that comment in the context of
the conversation was that you were being contracted by a firm
that represented a Chinese businessman.
LT: Oh no, no, no, no, no, no, no. No, I wasn't contracting.
I've signed nothing, I've agreed to nothing at all. Nothing at
Man: But, as I said, I mean all this was recorded.
LT: No, well I'm sorry if you've recorded it, it's recorded
wrongly. I am sorry. It is not. I have signed nothing. I have
agreed nothing. I have met no one. You can get in touch with any
government department. I have approached no one at all about this.
Man: So what were you doing? Conning the company?
LT: No, I was conning two reporters.
Man: So you thought they were reporters?
LT: Oh, yes. Right at the beginning.
Man: Right. And did you notify anyone of this?
Telephone CD2 page 7 of 29
LT: No, because there was no need to notify anyone. I was
waiting to see what developed from it.
Man: Why not? Wouldn't it be sensible to tell the Whips'
LT: Oh no, no, no, no, it wasn't much, because they were
so naive, were the people. You don't do things like that.
Man: If they were so naive and you knew they were reporters,
why was it that you would take them along in the way that you
LT: Because I was interested to see the way that undercover
Man: Right. Right.
LT: No, I was quite amazed at the way that they work.
Man: So your position is that all the claims that you made
on the tape recordings, all the things you agreed to do for money,
you were doing on the basis that you knew you were speaking to
LT: Yeah, because I've not done a damn thing.
Man: And, er, you
LT: And there's no ??? bosun licking?????? or anything
like that and I've not taken a penny and would never take a penny
Man: Would it be improper in your view, then, to have done
LT: Well, it was improper of them to come under false pretences.
Man: Well, putting that aside for one minute, and we can
get back to that, the issue is: is it improper or not for a Lord
to take money or agree to take money from a third party to have
LT: Absolutely it is. Absolutely.
Man: Right. And would you agree that that's what you admitted
doing on the tape?
LT: No, I did not. I would not agree that I admitted doing
that. We were just playing, just playing, that's all. It was absolutely
farcical to do what they thought.
Man: Well why did you go along with it, then?
Man: Why did you go along with it?
LT: Well, because I wanted to see what they were doing.
Telephone CD2 page 8 of 29
Man: Why didn't you just say, "I'm sorry, this isn't
something I could do." I mean, by engaging in
LT: No, because I was interested. It was fascinating to see
how undercover reporters work. And I'm not so naive. It was interesting
to see how far they would go, what they were trying to get at.
Man: Right. So the position is that you didn't contact or
have a meeting with Yvette Cooper.
LT: Not at all.
Man: That you didn't have a meeting with Peter Mandelson.
LT: Not at all.
Man: You didn't speak to the head of the Bill team.
LT: Not at all.
Man: Right. And you have made no approaches to anyone on
LT: None whatsoever.
Man: Right. Okay. Well
LT: None whatsoever. No Minister or anybody has been contacted
LT: And nothing has been done and no money has been asked
for in any way at all.
Man: Well, money was ... there was a discussion about money
and there was an agreement to pay you £120,000 a year.
LT: Well, if there was it was just a verbal agreement. I
never suspected that it would get anywhere near that at all.
Man: Why would you make a verbal agreement?
LT: I didn't make a verbal agreement. I didn't make a ...
I was just completely seeing how far they would go.
Man: Isn't this just a defence that you're putting up now
that you've been caught in a sting?
LT: Not at all. I've not been caught in anything at all.
I'm absolutely honest.
Man: So you have no issue with the transcript being properly
represented in the paper.
Telephone CD2 page 9 of 29
LT: Oh, if you publish, I don't know what the transcript
has to say.
Man: I'm telling you what it said and I'm telling you the
admissions that you've made and the things that you agreed to
do on behalf of this company and its Chinese client.
LT: Well, I'm sorry. We'll have to wait and see when it's
been published and then we can take action when it's published.
Man: Just so I'm clear. Your statement on the record is what?
LT: My statement on the record is that I knew that they were
underwhat do you call it?reporters. I was seeing
how far they would go. I have not seen any Minister or done anything
in any unproper way at all, and would never dream of doing it.
Never dream of doing it. I've been in the House for 30-odd years
and I've been in Government for 50-odd years. I would never dream
of doing that.
Man: Okay. I've got all that down. If I need to get back
to you, is this the right number?
LT: This is the right number this weekend, yes.
Man: There's one more thing before I go and that is that
during the taped conversations that you had, you referred to having
done work to amend legislation on behalf of Experian. Is that
also not the case?
LT: Oh, no. I've worked for Experian for a long time. But
it's not amend regulations.
Man: No, not amend regulation. Amend legislation.
LT: No, not amend, it is pointing out the difficulties about
Man: Well, I'm trying to find the appropriate part in one
of the transcripts and I'll read it to you and then you perhaps
would be kind enough to give me your take on what you thought
you were saying there, because obviously, um ... The conversation
is about Experian, and you say, "Experian are a company.
They have a terrific amount of intelligence and information. They
are the people who advise banks on your creditworthiness and so
on. They will blacklist you or tell you how good they are. Also
they do a lot of work with Government on ID cards and so on because
they've got all sorts of information. For example, I've been working
with them on a statute that's coming out or was coming out, because
I've got it delayed now, whereby it was going to be difficult
for them to get"
LT: No, no it wasn't a statute. What it was
Man: Can I just finish the thing and then you can say what
you want to say. "So I've got that amended. And you do it
quietly behind the scenes, you see." The reporter said to
you, "How do you manage to do that? Do you actually put an
amendment yourself?" And you said, "No, no, no, no.
You don't do things like that. That's stupid. What you do is you
talk to the parliamentary team who drafts the statute as it goes
Telephone CD2 page 10 of 29
through and you point out the difficulties that the retailer
would have on this and how things are working, and so on"
LT: This is true.
Man: ... "and you get them to amend it that way."
LT: Yes, that's true, and you do it through the ??agency??
that's what we've done. Not me, but with the ??agencies??.
Man: So when you say, "I've got that amended."
LT: Oh no, I've not got it amended. I'm using that term.
It is the agents that have got it amended.
Man: Right. So what do you get paid for, then?
LT: For Experian? I helped them in various ways.
Man: And then when you say to us, going back to the work
that Michael Johnson Associates wanted you to do for their Chinese
client, you said, "I've got many contacts within the Treasury,
with the Treasury team and Yvette Cooper and people like that
have been great contacts to me. Don't forget, many of these Ministers
have been juniors to me." You were then asked
LT: They are juniors in age.
Man: Yes, they are. You were then asked, "If my client
wished to meet anyone, would that be possible?" and you said,
"It's possible in certain circumstances. I would advise him
as to whether it was a little bit dodgy or not, but the answer
in most cases is yes." Then you were asked, "And presumably
with senior civil servants as well?" and your reply was,
LT: Yeah, well it is possible to meet them if you go through
the appropriate channels.
Man: You, in other words.
LT: Well, yes, me, and other people through the appropriate
channels. If you've got a suggestion to make you apply to see
the Minister or you apply to see the appropriate civil servants
through the usual channels. This is open government.
Man: Right. Well I think I've got this comment of yours and
that's the one we'll go with, but can I leave a number with you
in case there's anything that
LT: You can, but my answer is that I have not seen any Ministers,
spoken to any Minister or any senior civil servant or anyone at
Man: Okay. Right, let me give you the number and then if
you have any things that you want to discuss with me then I'll
be on the end of this phone. Are you ready?
Telephone CD2 page 11 of 29
LT: Yeah, I don't think that there's anything that I do want
to discuss with you, but
Man: Just in case.
LT: To be quite honest, I'm looking for a pen.
Man: Do you want me to call you back?
LT: Just hang on a second and see if I can't find one. Yes,
please, I'm ready.
Man: **** ...
LT: **** ...
Man: *** ...
LT: *** ...
Man: And it's Michael Gillard.
LT: Michael ...?
Man: Gillard. G-I-double L-A-R-D.
LT: Right. And this is the Sunday Times.
Man: Sunday Times, yes.
LT: Used to be a very good newspaper.
Man: I'll pass on that.
Man: I'll pass that on to the Editor.
LT: You did use to be a very good newspaper. Okay then.
Man: Right, thanks for your time.
LT: Thank you. Bye.
[end of call]
Failed Telephone Call to "David Thompson" of the
Sunday Times from Lord Taylor of Blackburn ("LT") at
an unknown timethe position of this transcript in this
sequence is our supposition
Telephone Extra Recordings page 11 of 11
Automated Voice: End of message. To return the call, press
hash ... [fades out and then in again] message saved. Next
message, sent yesterday at 9.05 pm.
LT: Hello David. I shall be seeing Gordon Brown some time
over the weekend and then I shall be seeing the Queen on Monday.
Anybody else you'd like me to see? You certainly were a little
man, weren't you? Anyway, all the very best to you David. You'd
make a very, very good actor some time, but luckily I knew what
you were up to. Thank you. Bye.
Automated voice: Message saved.
[end of recording]