Friday 31st August 1984

Cooler breeze on a fine day made working more comfortable whilst I work on BMMG affairs warn The Economist of Japanese threats as many dockers are out on strike


Up on time and the morning paper. Much speculation on the docks strike and news of last night’s successful meeting between the TUC and NUM about next week’s TUC congress. Reporters this morning find very few dockers at work in Tilbury – the vast majority are out on strike. Felixstowe vote today and will likely keep working. Confirmation this morning of my forthcoming meeting with Rob Wilmot.

Thursday 30th August 1984

To London for press interviews with Electronics Weekly and by telephone with Tessa Curtis of Computer Weekly as all eyes and ears are on a possible docks strike

Another hot and sunny day. Up at 7.30am, to breakfast and then to the office by 9.00am to check the answerphone, telex and mailbox stores and the business mail. Another new applicant to the BMMG – Imtec Computers of Stanmore – and I phone to arrange a visit when conveniently in town. Several phone calls including a similar one to Alistair Jacks secretary of MPSI and a telephone interview with Tessa Curtis of Computer Weekly. Lunch with the family and then the afternoon typing in my BMMG report onto the word processor, unfortunately delayed by a call from a consultant unduly affected by DTI revisions to the MAPCON scheme. This morning I also received the contract notes from de Zoete and Bevan for our gilt purchases. I had just added the totals (£369,250.39 for me and £249,126.07 for Diana – total £618,376.46) when Nickolas de Zoete phoned to compare figures. I then instructed the bank to transfer the money by telegraphic transfer and put the rest of my money on a fixed 7 day deposit. Come 4.30pm I showered, changed and set off by car to my Kings Cross appointment with Mary Fagen of Electronics Weekly.

Wednesday 29th August 1984

Feeling better on another hot and sunny day so as to be able to invest another £620K with gilts favoured from my own researches and after advice of De Zoete’s about a forthcoming stock market crash


A rather late start to the day and I ask Diana to call us up a lot earlier in future than the 8 o’clock morning tea we had today. A quick wash, dress and breakfast and eventually to let the ducks out and take my place in the office. The ducks are moulting heavily at the moment but the egg count has returned to four a day and things are looking up. First thing I worked out the investments I wanted to make in gilt edged securities after receiving a very helpful analysis of index linked and short dated yields from de Zoete this morning. I had also been checking with the Prestel business data base and found out that, whilst the equity market had risen sharply today, short dated gilts had not changed. All seem to agree that the present upturn in the stock market has come to a plateau and prices will fall during the next year. Prospect of even less economic activity, which ensures that unemployment will rise even further. By my order later today, £620K of our remaining £930K cash was thus converted, but it still leaves us a £300K+ cash reserve which is more than enough.

Tuesday 28th August 1984

Eventually getting help to fight my chest infection whilst  I get to work on BMMG standards issue as massive police presence being used to get even single rebel miners to work for government propaganda purposes

Up together at 8.00am and after breakfast and 9.00am Diana booked me an appointment at the Doctor for an hour later. The Doctor looked at my chest and listened to my symptoms and then prescribed antibiotics which I collected from Boots the chemist. I also bought a range of electrical fittings to equip my office with sufficient power sockets, collected some money from the bank and my City Connections reference book from the Post Office. Home to a morning installing the equipment and, later, making a number of BMMG telephone calls. I call back Mr Roy Porter of Export IT and agree to meet him for lunch on Friday week. Also agree to chair a press conference for Dr Bill Unsworth’s U-Microcomputers later this year. I phone Nick de Zoete and discuss a range of investment alternatives including Jaguar and 1988 Index Linked gilt edged. I telex ICL about an appointment with Rob Wilmott and ask Nigel Smith to write to Paddy Ashdown about the IBM/BT issue and also follow up on our request for a ministerial meeting.