Curry meal strategy spiced up British bank bailoutOctober 9th, 2008 - 3:06 pm ICT by IANS
London, Oct 9 (IANS) British Finance Minister Alistair Darling and his team steeled themselves with a meal of spicy Indian dishes as they prepared for difficult night-long negotiations on the unprecedented half-a-trillion pound economic rescue package announced Wednesday.The meal was ordered from Gandhi’s, a south London restaurant that is popular with ministers - and Darling himself went for tandoori chicken.
Darling and around 30 of his key staff ordered the Indian takeaway at around 9.30 p.m Wednesday while finalising the details of the 500 billion pound ($860 billion) government package that is aimed at getting cash flowing through the British economy in the middle of a global credit crunch.
But as staff at Gandhi’s delivered the 32 meals to Darling’s office, a group of senior bankers, seated in another room, were fed only tea and biscuits, the British media reported Thursday.
Night-long negotiations followed the curry meal as some of the bankers reportedly resisted the government offer, which is expected to lead to banks imposing strict limits on executive pays and bonuses.
The government appeared to have won the day - and the first announcements were made on television and radio at around 6 a.m.
The role of the Indian curry in the rescue package negotiations has already been enshrined in the finance ministry and British media, who have dubbed it the Balti Bailout.
Gandhi’s, which opened in 1983, has served members of successive British governments, but is a particular favourite of finance ministers - regardless of party affiliations.
Former finance ministers who have tucked into a meal of spicy Indian curry before diving into the world of drab figures have included John Major (Tory Party) and Gordon Brown (Labour), both of whom went on to become prime ministers of Britain.
There is also Kenneth Clarke, the heavyweight Tory finance minister who never made it as party leader despite having strong support among a section of the party.
The London Times once reported: “Mr (Kenneth) Clarke cheered himself by heading currywards, he took his mob to Kennington Road Gandhi’s.”
The restaurant’s website gives a long list of celebrity clients, including leading politicians John Reid, Jack Straw, Paddy Ashdown and Anne Widdecombe, and celebrities such as TV chat show hosts Richard and Judy.
Gandhi’s is also a restaurant where politicians scheme and plot, say newspaper reviews.
It was named as one of Britain’s top 100 restaurants in 2005 and figured in a list of London’s top 15 restaurants in 2006.
- Curry meal plot spiced up British bank bailout (Lead) - Oct 09, 2008
- Liquor and non-veg fare at Gandhi Restaurants in U.K.! - Oct 25, 2009
- Cruise enjoys chicken tikka - Aug 23, 2012
- Pizzas beat Indian curry meals in Britain - Aug 09, 2010
- Harding finds Indian food spicy - Mar 08, 2012
- Britain's love affair with Indian curry hits 200-year landmark - Jun 25, 2010
- Balti cuisine has 'outrageous' levels of salt - Apr 29, 2010
- Brit tot named after curry house after spicy dish triggers his birth - Oct 01, 2010
- Palak paneer to tandoori - Indian food a hit in Helsinki (Feature) (With Images) - Jun 28, 2012
- Lib-Dems, Tories may agree on 'economic deal' to reassure markets - May 10, 2010
- Kerala food delights to feature on US TV show (With Images) - Aug 29, 2010
- British Speaker leads MPs into curry heaven - Jul 16, 2009
- Tory minister's plans to ask UK taxpapers to fund comedy workshops, prisoners' parties slammed - Jul 23, 2010
- Feasting all night long - at Jama Masjid of course (Feature) (With Images) - Aug 10, 2012
- British PM 'curries' favour with union bosses - Sep 13, 2009