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Mark Oaten

CEO of the International Fur Federation

Former Member of Parliament and Member of the Council of Europe Mark Oaten became CEO of the International Fur Federation – www.wearefur.com - in 2011 Formed over 60 years ago, the IFF protects the fur trade's interests, promotes innovation and high standards and presents a factual image of the fur industry.
Selling Your House - A Bit Like Selling Your

Selling Your House - A Bit Like Selling Your Life

My pile of bricks and mortar in Winchester is more than the sum of its parts. Like most homeowners - and, come to think of it, renters too - I consider my house to be a part of me. All my stuff, my memories, the physical summation of my life resides within those four walls. And nobody wants it.
10/10/2017 10:07 BST
Tim Farron And The Gay

Tim Farron And The Gay Issue

So yet another twist in this extraordinary election is the resignation of Lib Dem leader Tim Farron. The blunt truth is that although he got more MPs elected, this was a very poor election for a party that went into the campaign with high hopes of kicking off a bounce-back from the disastrous wipe-out of a few years ago.
20/06/2017 11:58 BST
Spare A Thought For The

Spare A Thought For The Candidates

This may be a snap election, but it is already dragging on - and we still have four weeks to go. Politicians may be all smiles on the outside but privately they are counting down the days for when it's all over and they can return to their cosy Westminster world once again.
12/05/2017 10:44 BST
Is Now The Right Time For An Industry As Old As Fashion To

Is Now The Right Time For An Industry As Old As Fashion To Change?

It's time for a catwalk revolution. But why cats? And why are they walking? I want to see a dogdive. A rhinolunge. The catwalk is worn-down, in need of a good scrub. I'm seeing out-of-season clothes being paraded in the same four cities year-in, year-out. This is the high fashion industry.
26/04/2017 17:07 BST
The Workplace Dress Code; A Conundrum For The

The Workplace Dress Code; A Conundrum For The Uninitiated

I know workplace dress codes are usually unwritten and grow out of culture. If you get the memo, so to speak, all well and good. But it can be so easy to stick out like a sore thumb if you fail to read between the lines. When did things get so complicated!
06/10/2016 11:34 BST
The Lib Dem Fightback Starts

The Lib Dem Fightback Starts Here

As the Lib Dems head to the Brighton seaside for the start of conference season, they will face a harsh reminder of how much the world has changed since that agonising election defeat last year. Two years ago security was high, the rooms were full of ministers, and the world's media hung on every word. Now Tim Farron and his handful of MPs will be lucky to get a headline in the Brighton & Hove Independent.
13/09/2016 10:29 BST
Faux Fur is More Than a Faux Pas, it's

Faux Fur is More Than a Faux Pas, it's Poison

A real fur coat can last for 30 years and with a bit of clever restyling need never go out of fashion. Plus it offers extraordinary comfort and warmth. Fakes on the other hand are 'disposable fashion' and hang around in most wardrobes for no more than five years or so, if they're lucky.
01/08/2016 17:00 BST
Could Brexit See the Birth of a New Political

Could Brexit See the Birth of a New Political Party?

It's not the pound that we should be worried about in these tumultuous times. Markets will recover, the economy will adjust to a post-Brexit reality, and we will find a way of protecting jobs, trade and investment.
29/06/2016 13:01 BST
China Needs Good Monkey

China Needs Good Monkey Business

One way or another, as China immerses itself in its New Year celebrations, the Year of the Monkey will be a critical one for business. We'll have to wait and see what lies in store.
08/02/2016 16:47 GMT
Arctic Christmas Scenes Hide the Truth of the Inuit

Arctic Christmas Scenes Hide the Truth of the Inuit Struggle

Every Christmas we're inundated with images of smiling polar bears and Santa and his elves happily putting toys together in his workshop in the Arctic Circle. But these images distract from the truth about the Arctic: it's an incredibly tough environment to actually live in, even more so when unnecessary trade barriers are put up by the uninformed and urbanised elite.
10/12/2015 12:37 GMT
Britexit? No

Britexit? No Thanks

Now the Prime Minster has set out his red lines on EU reform, the real debate can start on the future of the UK's membership of the European Union...
12/11/2015 16:12 GMT
Where Do the Lib Dems Go From

Where Do the Lib Dems Go From Here?

As MPs head off for the summer break this week, one man with little time to rest will be newly-elected Lib Dem leader Tim Farron. No lazy days by a Tuscan pool, I'm afraid, as he has less than two months before his first party conference and a big test ahead as he leads the Lib Dem fightback.
22/07/2015 13:37 BST
How Do the Tabloids

How Do the Tabloids Tick?

When Neville Thurlbeck turned up on my doorstep to shatter my world, I would never have imagined that ten years later I would agree to review his book <em>Tabloid Secrets</em>. But time moves on and I was fascinated to get an insight into what makes a tabloid tick.
29/05/2015 18:11 BST
General Election 2015 - As Seen by the

General Election 2015 - As Seen by the Candidates

There are two weeks to go to the General Election and the pain is really starting to kick in. You're counting down the days and adding up the calories as you binge on Mars Bars to keep the energy levels going. You can hardly face another voter and simple tasks like getting in and out of the car result in aches and pains like never before. It's just not fun anymore.
22/04/2015 16:28 BST
No, We Don't Skin Animals Alive for

No, We Don't Skin Animals Alive for Fur

It's all very well to talk of animals in squalor and deprivation, but the IFF rarely gets any details it can investigate rather than just a carefully edited and helpfully anonymous video designed to tug on the heartstrings.
18/02/2015 14:37 GMT
Why the General Election Needs a

Why the General Election Needs a Risk-taker

With fixed Parliaments, we now all know that there are less than 100 days to go. Whilst it might make for easier planning, the downside for voters is the reality of three months being bombarded with the pre-campaign, launches of this and that, and then a really intense April with wall-to-wall coverage.
30/01/2015 11:46 GMT
Clegg and the Lib Dems: Crisis or

Clegg and the Lib Dems: Crisis or Opportunity?

I feel great sympathy for my old colleague Nick Clegg. Many of us expected a rough ride mid-term, but by now I thought his fortunes would turn as the party matured into government and the tough choices started to reap rewards. With the election looming I was confident that polling would pick up rather than head downwards. So what can he do now?
08/10/2014 10:08 BST