Relax to the sounds of the City

MOST City workers down a speedy sandwich during their lunch hour, while others make a dash for the gym – but how many actually relax when away from their desk?

This is the question being posed by the City of London Festival, which is touting its annual free Winter Concerts programme to encourage us all to spend 55 minutes listening to music in churches around the Square Mile.

Jazz features heavily this year, but there are also classical recitals on the bill.

Sadly, there is no sign of Lord Mayor Roger Gifford’s name on the list. Gifford, who has recently set up The City Music Foundation to nurture emerging talent, is an accomplished pianist and a dab hand on the recorder, not to mention a choirist in several choirs. The Capitalist wonders why he isn’t relishing the chance to show off his musical skills, for the greater entertainment of the City, obviously. All in favour, say aye.

■ The Capitalist reported only days ago that HMRC chief executive Lin Homer had been voted Most Influential Person in the annual Financial Power list compiled by Accountancy Age. Quite an unexpected accolade given all the recent chatter of HMRC’s lack of action towards Starbucks, Google and other multinationals’ tax arrangements. Rather embarrassing then, that members of Homer’s department seemed unable, to put it bluntly, count. A press release sent to City A.M. bearing the title “HMRC’s affluent unit to double in size” went on to explain its numbers would be rising from 200 to, err, 300.