Lord Heseltine agreed. “There is no army of people looking to increase their debt,” he stated, also asserting that this is reasonable in a time of low confidence.
In such a context, Heseltine argued, it becomes ever more important to effectively stimulate competitive spirit. He is confident that his plan to deliver regional business funding, won in competition between 39 local enterprise partnerships, is an effective way of doing this, if coupled with better capability in the nationwide network of the British Chambers of Commerce and sector trade bodies. The UK compares unfavourably with European peers when it comes to the clout and strategic alignment of these networks.
Heseltine’s plan for growth is driven by a belief that the UK must raise its average business performance. “It is easy to find examples of excellence in Britain,” he said. “But the global economy will judge us on our average.”
Negativity ill received
The positivity of Jim O’Neill and Lord Heseltine was well received by most delegates in stark contrast to the negative campaigning of shadow Chancellor Ed Balls. While delegates welcomed news that Sir John Armitt has been tasked with finding ways to reduce the impact of party political interests in long term policy making, most were doubtful that any real difference could be made to such an embedded aspect of British politics.
It was also observed that, while Mr Balls preached long termism and identified the need for an industrial strategy, he failed to acknowledge or respond to the strategy issued by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills last September. He also sidestepped a request from one delegate that Labour should adopt EEF’s industrial strategy, Route to Growth published in November.
Public defender Amy Thompson told jurors during her opening statement that DNA found on the gun didn’t match Balfour, which “absolutely, positively” excludes him as the killer.
But prosecutors claim Balfour targeted the family in a horrific act of vindictiveness against his ex-wife. They believe he became enraged by balloons he saw at the home that he thought were from her new boyfriend.
Prosecutors contend Balfour went inside the three-story house around 9 a.m. and shot Hudson’s mother, 57-year-old Darnell Donerson, in the living room, then shot her 29-year-old brother, Jason Hudson, twice in the head as he lay in bed.
Investigators allege he then drove off in Jason Hudson’s sport utility vehicle with Julia Hudson’s 7-year-old son, Julian King, inside, and later shot the boy in the head as he lay behind a front seat.
Shortly after Thompson and prosecutors laid out their cases, Jennifer Hudson took the witness stand in sometimes tearful, gut-wrenching testimony. Hudson, who was in Florida at the time of the shootings, spoke of her family and her reaction to her sister, Julia Hudson, telling her in 2006 that she was marrying Balfour.
“None of us wanted her to marry him,” the 30-year-old said, her voice cracking as she struggled to hold back tears.
Later, Julia Hudson described how Balfour repeatedly threatened her and her family after she rejected his pleas in May 2008.
If convicted of at least two of the murder counts, Balfour would face a mandatory life sentence.