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Read The Chairman's Latest Column In The P&J

28/02/17


“It could happen”

(Taken from the Orion Chairman's monthly column in the Press & Journal).

I’ve just returned from after a visit to our offices in Houston.

The build-up to become the most powerful politician on earth is warming up in more ways than one.

Whilst I was in town as they say the Republican nominees about 500 or so it seemed, were trying to make headlines, their TV stations were dominated by the Race to the Whitehouse.

Leading contender is no other than Ech’s wind mill buddy Donald Trump. Mr. Trump promises to “make America great again.” He is someone best known for saying "You're fired!"

Donald did try to fire Michael Forbes the small-town farmer who gained notoriety after he refused to sell his 23-acre property to Trump's massive Aberdeen golf resort, despite a coordinated bullying campaign Michael didn’t buckle. In true Scottish style his bottle was recognised in the Spirit of Scotland Awards in Edinburgh where he was crowned "Top Scot". This award given annually to that Scot who "has made the greatest impact in furthering Scotland's reputation at home and abroad,"!
If you saw the documentary you will realise what a character Michael is.

America has its characters too.

Ted Cruz is another Republican candidate. The Texas senator carefully wraps bacon around the barrel of his gun and fires off several rounds!

“There are few things I enjoy more than on weekends cooking breakfast with the family,” Cruz says in his video, titled Making Machine-Gun Bacon with Ted Cruz. “Of course in Texas, we cook bacon a little differently than most folks,” he adds.

“I do not recommend cooking bacon that way,” a FoodSafety.gov representative said “There is no way to accurately tell if the bacon is getting the proper amount of heat using this form of cooking.”

Donald or Ted?? Maybe Hilary then?

I came back to the headlines that in the race to be the next Labour leader veteran left winger Jeremy Corbyn, a 100 to 1 outsider when the contest kicked off in June, could be in with a shot at the top job?

As I write this, a poll by You Gov has him leading his closest challenger, Andy Burnham, by 32 points.

I think that giving the UK electorate a left wing choice as opposed to New Tories, sorry New Labour as concocted by Blair, is a good thing for democracy and what’s left of the working classes.

Evidently Corbyn is a self-described socialist and anti-poverty campaigner. He has campaigned strongly against tuition fees in England, the creation of academies and private finance initiative schemes. He supports the introduction of a living wage, a higher rate of income tax for the wealthiest in society, and an increase in corporation tax to fund public services such as free higher education.

All seems reasonable to me, good luck to him.

Back to Business

The trip to Texas was the latest in a series of visits I’ve made this year to spend time with some of my Orion team.

The Houston team proposed a new division for the Group – Orion Medical. Using our Global footprint of 44 offices, in this case Makati City, we will export Filipino talent to the States to help them with their shortage of skilled Medical personnel – no brainer and its being set up as I write.

We’re all working through challenging times at the moment and as the Chairman, I feel it’s my duty to be on the front line. In the last year alone, I’ve taken in Dubai, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Australia and Papua New Guinea. There are still more visits planned for later this year.

We’re constantly looking at new business streams. Our new executive leadership offering – One Executive dovetails nicely.

One Executive will focus on permanent placements across a broad range of industry.

Together with our other offerings across the nuclear, rail, IT, office, and commissioning sectors, it’s all part of our efforts to secure jobs and leverage off the Orion brand.

“It did happen”

I’m not long back from a fantastic fishing trip in Caithness with my brother.

I won the trip at a recent charity auction to raise funds for the Maggie’s Highland Centre, which recently celebrated its 10th birthday.  The staff at Maggie’s do a wonderful job of supporting cancer patients and their loved ones and it was a thrill to be able to support such a worthy local cause.

Thanks too must go to Lord Thurso for very generously donating the day for auction.

Also thanks to Dougie a very able Ghillie and fishing partner who cast the line whilst I cleverly played and landed my first prize Salmon(d).

Special mention to the Aberdeen Oilman’s Golf Association who have raised enormous amounts of money for charity over the last 37 years. This is one of the best networking events in the world of Hydrocarbons. It’s a pity that some companies, as I have said before, decline to attend for fear of the “Blatter” factor? As members we have worked closely with them and this year from the money that was raised we have secured a cheque for £7,500 for the Highland Hospice New Build Appeal. Special thanks to David Bloom the oldest networker in town!
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