Archive for November, 2013

My Kennedy Moment

Posted: November 22, 2013 in Events, Opinion
Tags: ,

JFKAs a young teenager in the 1960s, I was extremely interested in all things American, and followed the career of the Kennedy Clan and the new young president JFK avidly.

I, along with millions of other young people in the world felt JFK was going to save the world. His strong handling of the Cuban missile crisis is well documented, as was his significant influence in the Civil Rights movement. It was therefore with disbelief and shock that I watched the BBC television newsreader, whose name I forget, on the 22nd November 1963 whilst reading this news in a special broadcast. He had been handed a piece of paper and looked towards the camera, with a face I shall never forget, as he announced to the nation that President Kennedy had died after being shot in Dallas, Texas. I was home from school recovering from pneumonia, so was able to watch television nonstop for hours as all the details unfolded.

It is one of those iconic moments in one’s life when you can remember everything clearly as if it happened yesterday. Some years later I went to Arlington Cemetary in Washington to pay my respects to the man who had changed history, and also visited his brother Bobby’s grave at the same time; a memorable visit. As a besotted fan of another icon of the 60s, Marilyn Monroe, who had an affair with JFK, I continued my interest in the Kennedy’s for many years to come.

Volumes have been written about JFK and the Kennedy Clan, many positive and many negative, but for one young teenager in Cardiff, that moment in 1963, 50 years ago, will live with me forever. JFK rest in peace.


What wonderful news this week about the prestigious IAAF World Half Marathon Championships coming to Cardiff in 2016.


After the great success of this year’s Cardiff Half Marathon, I felt totally confident that the Cardiff event organisers, Run 4 Wales under the chairmanship of Nigel Roberts could prevail in the recent pitch to the council members of the IAAF in Monaco. With the very best athletes both male and female from around the globe descending on Cardiff in 2016, with friends, coaches etc this is a huge opportunity to present our capital city to the world.

Let’s give every support possible to Nigel and all involved to maximise this opportunity to promote Cardiff in what will be an Olympic year.

Roll on 2016.

Breakfast ClubOur speaker this month was Stephen Herring, Head of Taxation at the Institute of Directors (IoD). Stephen joined the IoD in September 2013 after 10 years as a tax partner at BDO. He is one of only eight independent members of the Treasury’s Tax Professionals Forum.

Stephen began his talk by sharing with the club the IoD’s recent presentation to the HM Treasury proposing 5 ‘short term’ and 5 ‘medium term’ tax reforms to simplify taxation and reduce its burden on the economy. These are reforms which the IoD believes the Government can afford. Stephen explained that his ‘short term’ reforms are ones which can be employed “without long consultations which delay change” and acted on in 2014. The IoD’s ‘medium term’ reforms are those which they think can be implemented in 2015.

One of the key ‘short term’ reforms Stephen discussed was a proposal to freeze business rates. Stephen explained that in many sectors IoD members have “fed back to us that business rates are becoming an unaffordable cost for entrepreneurial businesses.” He elaborated to say that he believes “it is wrong that businesses pay more rates” and suggested that “at the very least business rates should be frozen before reevaluation takes place.”

Stephen Herring, Head of Taxation, IoD

Stephen Herring, Head of Taxation, IoD

Stephen talked to the Breakfast Club about a ‘medium term’ proposal for the Government to introduce a simplified, alternative pension scheme. Stephen explained that this could be as simple as employers paying into an ISA scheme which cannot be withdrawn from until the employee is aged 55.

Misconceptions surrounding National Insurance was also a topic Stephen covered. He said that “some people vaguely think it’s to do with national health and pensions” and that there is “no separate pot” that it goes into, “it just goes into the Exchequeur.”

Stephen concluded by saying that he believes the future of taxation is in simplifying it and implementing “authentic and sensible tax planning” to “draw boundaries” and support the business sector.

The next Breakfast Club meeting will be held on 13th December, with guest speaker Derek Jones, Permanent Secretary. For further information, please contact or call 02920 549597.

Katie GOur latest GO Wales student, Katie Griffiths, started a 10 week taster placement with us last week. Here’s how her first couple of days have gone…

Being in my last year of undergraduate study, a combination of excitement to be moving on to greater pastures and the pressure of thinking about my future has resulted in the inevitable; asking the question, ‘what next?’ Besides the rather tempting thoughts of taking time off to go travelling and ‘discover myself’, I got thinking about career paths I wanted to pursue. PR was at the top of my list. As a third year student studying Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies at Cardiff University, I have only recently been able to scratch the surface of the PR profession through an optional module this year.  With this in mind and the constant reinforcement that work experience is just as, if not more important, than the classification you come out of university with; I was very keen to get some PR agency experience.

Although learning about the theoretical side of PR has been useful, it was mostly encouraging my urge to gain first had experience. Carrying out a work taster at Petersens is certainly satisfying that urge. When I was chosen by GoWales for the taster, who couldn’t have been more helpful as the in-between team, I was very excited by the prospect of working at Petersens. Considering the reputation and relations that they have built over the last years I was looking forward to being part of their team, discovering their inner workings and completing the day to day tasks they carry out to maintain such a reputation.

On arrival, I was greeted by Sally, who I was lucky enough to meet in her last week at Petersens. She introduced me to Susannah, Louise, Cath and Rob who welcomed me whole heartedly. The relaxed yet productive working environment is clearly what helps Petersens thrive in its field. On my first day I was immediately sorting press clippings, sitting in on briefings and looking over strategies and proposals. This was refreshing and actually useful for me to take away from the experience as opposed to completing trivial tasks. In my second week at Petersens the same remains true and I have been introduced to Eira who is equally as welcoming as the rest.

I now look forward to the coming weeks at Petersens and the opportunities, such as attending the Breakfast Club,  that it will provide.