Archive for September 28th, 2008

28 September: Postcard from The Boat

I write, on this day of our lord, from the boat – amused to learn that The Church of England has been accused of being involved in ‘short-selling’ – a wonderful irony after the ludicrous intervention of the two archbishops last week accusing short sellers and  Lloyds TSB et al of being “bank robbers and asset strippers”.  The initial story moved me to dress up in the kit and report from “Lambeth Palace” – but I was moved on by a freelance exorcist. It appears that declared short sellers accounted for only 2% of share sales. Fat Bigot has an amusing (and informative) view on the concept of short-selling for those who are unsure what short-selling is. I have just read it.

There is a degree of schadenfreude in reading the Guardian article.  I quote but a small section: “Jonathan Bartley, co-director of Ekklesia, said: “The archbishops should be extremely careful when attacking City bank robbers for short-selling and speculation. Amongst the billions of pounds that the church currently invests in property and shares are hundreds of millions invested in oil and mining companies.”

This weekend has been most unusual. I met with White Rabbit in “The Pig’s Ear” in Chelsea – a deliberate choice of venue given the way UK PLC seems to be going down the pan.  Also, it has to be said – a very conveniently located establishment to The Boat.  White Rabbit is, as regular readers will know, a barrister, published author and a law blogger who manages to avoid writing about law on his blog. A man after my own heart.  A thoroughly enjoyable evening – despite the problems caused to WR by London’s transport problems this weekend.

The government, in a belated return to socialist principles, has decided to nationalize yet another failed bank. (BBC) This time it is Bradford & Bingley.  As I assume that readers have access to newspapers I shall take soundings on this not from the fourth estate but from the world of the bloggers.

First up… a trip to Guido to see what the commenters are up to over there.  They can usually be relied on to come up with a balanced view: “Love it. All these fukin holier than thou politicians are at it robbing stealing whoring drugs and cash.ohh and eating their own snot live on TV. Stones and glass houses spring to mind.”

And now we go over to Capitalists@Work – a website worth reading every day for a bit of analysis: “The line has to be drawn; this is a small UK lender. There will be no global impact of B&B going bust.”

WebCameron has gone… to be replaced  by the imaginatively (and rather tediously) named “The Blue Blog”.  I am pleased to be able to report, as the Tories gather for their annual conference to hear the wisdom of Cameron,  that today’s entry on THE BLUE BLOG included this fascinating post by someone called Charles Barnwell: ” Something happened this morning that I don’t think has ever happened before. Party conferences are usually about talk. And that moment of reflection set the tone for what’s been a very different conference already. Black Voices Gospel Choir Sang; the council leader told us how Birmingham has become a global city with a local heart; and Karen Brady cheered “Come on you Blues!”

To borrow (and alter slightly)  the aphorism of F.E. Smith, barrister and Lord Chancellor,  “I am better informed….but none the wiser” after reading Mr Barnwell’s fascinating post on The Blue Blog.

Be sure, I shall be going to Birmingham,  for only the second time in fifty years, to bring you a report on what the Tories are saying. It is curious though, that for our second City, there is very little coverage about Birmingham in the national press or television.  I do recall, some years ago, that a soap opera called CrossRoads was set in Birmingham.  I can’t remember watching it that often but I do remember some fat bloke in a beanie hat who was a bit simple called Benny being one of the characters. And who could forget Amy Turtle and Meg Richardson?  I shall log on to Wikipedia and find out more about Birmingham before I go there to report.

RollonFriday.com, normally a place of cheer and amusement, finds itself reporting on redundancies and Minter Ellison lawyers nicking meals this week as the credit-crunch bites.

A short report from The Boat this week – simply because I have had a demanding weekend.  I may well write more later…

As always, best regards

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