As the nights draw in, hospitality and goodwill abound, from friendly Swedish engineers, an extremely generous salary offer and a kind invitation to take up residence in a caravan

Let’s go to Inga land

You can hardly move these days for tales of consultants smugly sending their latest batch of workers overseas to work in the Gulf and eastern Europe as the jobs look scarce in Blighty. However, after exhaustive research and no small amount of sacrifice, I can exclusively reveal the reason why UK firms are flocking overseas: the Swedish. Or more specifically Swedish engineers. Actually, it’s female Swedish engineers. “Ever since our client found out that we had a Swedish division, we were the only business for them,” says one enlightened consultant engineer. The Nobel prize for international relations surely awaits.

Boris’ little helper

Last weekend was a big one for the future of London – and not only because mayor Boris Johnson managed to visit an English city without seriously offending the locals (well, not yet anyway – good citizens of Birmingham, there is still time!). Two of the biggest jobs in the capital were advertised on Sunday. One is to be the chief executive of the Greater London Authority. This will basically mean being responsible for clearing up after the mop-headed one – so good luck to the winner. The second is head of procurement at Crossrail. Although the overall brief is to deliver a “world-class, affordable railway”, the £16bn task comes with a “highly attractive six-figure package” salary. One possible area of cost-cutting does spring to mind …

… di dum, di dum, di dum

MJ Gleeson boss Paul Wallwork is clearly one to look on the bright side of life. After announcing a £21m loss in what the company described as “the worst conditions in living memory”, the agreeable boss was asked how it felt to go into work every day under such circumstances. “It could be worse,” he said, “I could be the chief exec of an airline company.” Who, I wonder, do airline bosses look down on?

Well, you’ve got to try these things …

The relief over the outcome of the Office of Fair Trading’s inquiry into housebuilders may have been matched by red faces at the competition agency itself. Given that the 15-month investigation failed to find any evidence of illegal business behaviour, some are asking whether the study was the best investment for the British taxpayer. Heather Clayton, director of infrastructure at the OFT, responded: “It would be wrong for these things to be determined in advance.” As if.

On the upside

Despairing bankers, worry not! I bring glad and reassuring tidings that the government is indeed on top of things. You may be about to lose your job, your home and your shirt, but there is a light at the end

of the tunnel. Back in 25 September, when all hell was breaking loose in the global financial markets, the communities department hit back with a bold, decisive plan to ensure that the occupants of mobile homes cannot be evicted from council-owned traveller sites if it would impinge on their rights to “respect” for their home life. Homeless bankers can all breathe a sigh of relief – and move into a caravan.

Whistle while you work

Mace and client Sellar Property may still be locked in negotiations over the final price for building the 310m Shard at London Bridge, but perhaps they may finally have seen the light. Mace’s project team arranged for everyone to get together at nearby Southwark cathedral and sing their hearts out to raise funds for Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital which neighbours the Shard site. A grand total of £300 has been raised to date – times are tight, but surely Mace boss Steve Pycroft and Irvine Sellar can whistle up a little more than that?