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The Little Interview with Philip Law

Philip Law, British Plastics Federation, public and industrial affairs director

What was your first job?

During my pre-University ‘gap year’ I worked as a  Production co-ordinator for the Transfer Printing division of Storey Bros.Ltd of Lancaster.This was a firm founded in the 19th Century but was one of the first to move into PVC sheet manufacture after the war.I was in at the start up of ‘Transprint’, witnessed all the initial teething problems and the success of securing contracts to clothing suppliers to Marks and Spencer.

What do you like about your job?

I joined the BPF in 1978 and every day has been  radically different.We are at the cross-roads of a major industry and I’ve had a rich variety of experience with a strong international dimension working here. The job is all about supporting manufacturing in the UK’ a more important role as each day goes by.The staff team,just sixteen of us, has an incredible ‘esprit de corps’ - it really is ‘all for one and one for all’.

What’s been your toughest challenge?

During my career there have been several really majorl industry crises prompted by media scares,and two relating to cling film and cot death were particularly demanding and stressful where we had to work out the policy very rapidly in the public eye, maintain cohesiveness in the industry and be cross - examined by hostile factions in the media.There have been a couple of occasions when representing the industry at hostile public meetings I’ve been physically jostled.

What is your favourite food?

Fish, chips and mushy peas and I’m betraying my Lancastrian origins when I admit to this, although these days, pandering to a healthy diet, I take the fish grilled.

Who is your hero?

Field Marshal Montgomery. I know he was probably a pain in the neck and an outrageous self promoter but I admire his personal discipline , his resilience to criticism from the Americans and our own politicians, and his focus on the job particularly in Normandy when progress against the German army’s best was slow.

How do you relax?

I read quite a bit,currently Jonathan Littell, ‘The Kindly Ones’, watch DVDs - I’m a great fan of ‘The Wire’- and I go to the gym sporadically.I swim occasionally but walk everywhere. I was very keen on rowing but don’t get into a boat very often these days.

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