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Great British Business - We Can Still Do It

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Normally you see me writing for HuffPostUK on politics. I'm told in LA they call it "showbusiness for ugly people."

This week I managed to break out of my political space and attend a rather more glamorous launch. Not a politician to be seen!

When an invite arrives in the post from Aston Martin to attend their Park Lane showroom and hear about the launch of a new product line - you wouldn't say no - would you?

In the midst of austerity, I thought I would allow myself a little moment of British luxury.

Now, much as I love the fast lane (I am currently learning how to fly), a brand new Aston remains a dream for a while at least. But the brand remains an iconic statement about all that remains best about the UK.

It is a global superbrand that continues to portray excellence and cutting edge technology. It is aspirational and cool. A centre of excellence. It exports 'Brand Britain' around the world.

If only more British businesses - large and small - could depict themselves in a way which drives more business to the UK.

As I sipped my champagne I talked to the other partygoers of Burberry - which this week bucked the gloomy trend with fantastic new business figures.

We need more of this. We can do it.

But Aston Martin had not invited me to try out a new supercar. They invited me to attend the launch of Silver by Aston Martin - a very luxurious silverware collection designed by Grant Macdonald, a rather fine independent London silversmiths.

So a big superbrand is supporting a small, independent British business that focuses on something we remain very good at in the UK - bespoke craftsmanship.

I managed to speak to Grant McDonald, the eponymous creator of the range and his colleague Stewart McIntosh who together struck the deal with Aston.

Grant told me: "The inspiration for the collection is the elegance, craftsmanship and engineering excellence that has been built into every Aston Martin car since 1913."

What a great starting point.

From luxury picnic hampers to replica cars, tableware to gifts, the collection celebrates the very best in contemporary British design.

While the headlines remain gloomy - it's great to see iconic craftsmanship continuing to come to market.

Innovation, excellence, craftsmanship and a big UK business supporting an emerging one. Brilliant.

William Hague has told British business to get on a plane. The Aston Martin/Grant McDonald collaboration is a great example of just that.

Lets have some more of that please British business.

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