CBI conference 2014: R2D2 upstages political heavies on big day

Gabriella Griffith
R2D2 on stage at the CBI Conference
Politicians have, in jest, been accused of being a ruling class of automatons, but yesterday’s CBI conference showed that robots can indeed go down well on politically charged stages, if they’re from Star Wars at least.
Ivan Dunleavy, chief executive of Pinewood Studios, entered the stage with R2D2 and performed a little sketch before launching into a chat about a skills shortage. Funny timing for Deloitte, which released a report about UK jobs at risk from automation earlier that day.
The real politicos had their moment on stage of course – a beleaguered Ed Miliband was forced to laugh off a suggestion from the audience that he might have “wished the other guy had won”. Unfortunately apt on the day Chuka Umunna accidentally backed David Miliband instead of Ed in a live interview.
Meanwhile, the CBI was forced to send out a correction for one of its statements, which had accused Labour of “market invention”, instead of “market intervention”, Ah well, you can’t win them all.

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