TakingStock – News in brief.

Dinner at the ICAEW’s annual general meeting could have been disastrous were it not for a gentleman’s agreement to leave the battle armour at home.

There again whoever arranged the seating plan was either up to no good or a troubleshooter.

Don Heady, a campaigner against district society reform, and the latest thorn in the institute’s side, was sat with Michael Hockney, architect of those reforms.

Facing the two rivals was John Collier, ICAEW general secretary, who assured members that conversation was pleasant. Collier, we understand, made the two sparing partners promise not to talk about egms or district societies. TS tried to imagine the conversation. Hockney: ‘So Don, how’s retirement treating you? You must have a lot of time on your hands to get up to all sorts of mischief. Er, sorry … I mean …’ Who needs Big Brother when you’ve got ICAEW dinners.

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