Three things which got up my nose this last week.
1) I, amongst other citizens of this fair city of Plymouth, learned last week that Plymouth City Council had £13 million invested in the Icelandic banks. Now, I suspect this transfer to the Icelandic Banks was done by PCC in good faith and with due diligence, however I later learned in the media that Tory Party Treasurer Michael Spencer's City firm, Butlers, gave advice to local councils (it is to be seen if PCC was one of them) which led them to deposit around £200 million in these banks. Spencer's company apparently made a fortune providing information to town halls on where to invest their cash. At the same time his firm of brokers, ICAP, took hundreds of thousands of pounds in commission from the Icelandic banks for moving money into them. (Source - Page 9 - Sunday Mirror -Oct 19th). Would it be an idea to ask Billionaire Michael Spencer to hand the commissions to the ratepayers of the cities affected as it will probably be they who will end up footing the bill?
2) It appears that rogue foreign drivers with luxury supercars owe one council (not Plymouth - we rarely have supercars in the city) £4.5million in unpaid parking fines. A Hummer owner who's collected 35 tickets owes £4,000 in fines - A Rolls Royce Phantom owner with 23 tickets owes £3,000 - and, get this, the owner of a Kreidler motorbike worth £1900 owes £45,000 from 400 tickets. Apparently local authorities cannot enforce parking fines abroad - but what's to stop them towing the cars away until the debts are paid? The newspaper reporting it (Daily Mirror 18th Oct - Page 31) even gave the registration numbers of the cars and motorcycle concerned. Come on Westminster Council get your finger out and collect - if it was an old lady refusing to pay her council tax you'd soon sort her out wouldn't you?
3) Churchcastle Ltd (trading as Spencer and Mayfair 2007) have a full page advert in today's copy of the Daily Mirror (page 47) suggesting that people can solve a word puzzle and 'claim' a 'stunning emerald pendant' - however, what it places in print (around font size 6, I guess) at the bottom of the page is that the call to claim one's stunning emerald pendent lasts 3 minutes and 30 seconds (at £1.50 per minute on BT landline - god knows what it would be from a mobile) at the end of that call you will be asked if you wish to transfer to another phone line to receive a 'matching bracelet' - if one does that then the call will last 3minutes (again at £1.50 per minute). So, 6mins 30 secs at £1.50 per min = £9.75! Well at least Churchcastle have dropped the heading of 'Do you qualify for a genuine emerald pendant', which they used in two previous adverts for the same thing last year. Some interesting links - I'm assuming here that the Churchcastle Ltd mentioned is the Churchcastle Ltd of the above - fair assumption?
ASA Non-broadcast Adjudication: Churchcastle Ltd t/a UK Cash Rewards
The Office of Fair Trading: Prize promoter gives undertakings to High Court
This is a really interesting link - it was actually published in the Daily Mirror in 2002 They cash in on trash - Investigations Maybe the Daily Mirror doesn't look at its back copies.
On a rewarding point - Coroner Andrew Walker - keep up the good work. People in power need people like you biting at their heels -- Army bosses should "hang their heads in shame", says coroner - mirror.co.uk News Headlines, Celebs and Football - Mirror.co.uk
On a more personal point the old eyes have been playing up - white lights and floaters. Have to go see a specialist soon - talk of retinas detaching has me rather concerned.
I am on with the final (for the moment anyway) edit - page 104 at present - some rewrite, but overall it's working.
Jo and Leigh are over from Oz - meeting up on Thursday. It'll be good to catch up.
Back to the world of dreams ...
How the Internet Archive Infringed My Copyrights and Then (Kind Of) Blew Me Off - *Posted by Victoria Strauss for Writer Beware* Last month, I wrote about the Internet Archive's Open Library project, which has been scanning donated pri...
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