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Lord Digby Jones talks Trump, Triumph and trading success

“You will notice I wear Union Jack cufflinks …” were the opening words from Lord Digby Jones of Birmingham to underline his patriotic credentials to a packed audience at Triumph dealership Youles Motorcycles in Blackburn on the evening of Wednesday 16 January. 

Introductions were made both by dealer/owner Philip Youles and the sales manager of Triumph Motorcycles, Bruno Tagliaferri. 

The entertaining stories were not just about the fantastic rebirth and success of Triumph in the past 20 years, writes John Featherstone. Youles told of his youthful beginnings, selling MZ from a small workshop in Accrington. 

Lord Jones – Triumph Motorcycles’ non-executive chairman – is well known for his non-political affiliation and straight talking within the House of Lords. He also served for many years as the director-general of the CBI. He spoke for over an hour with observations on everything from Trump and Facebook to a dramatic change in society and his perception of the trading success and taxation needed to generate the pensions of tomorrow. 

His speech addressed the importance of people in business and those elected to control destiny – all interspersed with stories and name-dropping humour (print everything I say, he added) from his business and government dealings over the years.

Jones did not mince his words with his “state of the nation” address which had the attentive audience in either pin-drop mode or greeting his deadpan asides with loud applause and laughter. 

More than 200 bike enthusiasts packed the newly revamped showrooms that house the Triumph, Suzuki and Piaggio brands for the entertaining hour-long “show”, with all book signing and entry proceeds going to ovarian cancer research.


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