Friday, 29 June 2012


I went to Wimbledon today and watched some great matches over a grey sky with occasional high lights of blue.     I decided I didn't like Sharapova.   She won in two sets and although she's a great tennis player, it became very clear to those watching she's a bad sport. I'm sure in other countries all this psychological game play is fine but it's just not tennis in England. (perhaps that's why we lose someone said to me today).   Choosing to change racquets just as her opponent is about to hit an important shot, those orgasmic grunts of hers like battle cries I'm sure she doesn't need to make. I hope one day someone does a Meg Ryan, or EVERYONE does a Meg Ryan in the stands and mimics her.   She did a lot of things that were meant to put off her opponent which weren't necessary and gradually, shot by shot, those watching cooled to her.  And commented.  Her final wave of success was greeted with polite applause in recognition it was fake.   I liked her before I met her. Now I've seen her at play. I don't.

Thursday, 28 June 2012


I attended the First Women Awards this evening, not I am disappointed to admit as one of the nominees, all of whom are extremely focused and inspirational, but as a supporter of friend and nominee Gina Miller who has worked extremely hard to bring the 'true and fair' campaign to the fore, ironically at a time when the City is showing itself to be neither. At the entrance two half naked girls twirled long pieces of red ribbon which I thought an unusual way to introduce women breaking the glass ceiling and business and commerce only to realise they were promoting the bar 'swag' or was it  or shag - I can't be sure - on either side of the entrance to the Connaught Rooms.   Anyway I think they were.   The confusion continued as I entered the main room and a woman politely tapped me on the shoulder.  "If this happened to me I would want someone to tell me," she said meaningfully looking into my eyes, pausing perhaps for me to finish the sentence for her.  Perhaps this was some sort of First Woman initiation I thought.   If it was I was failing.  "We can see your knickers." she said as if it were some sort of female Masonic code.    Thank you I said marching quickly to the ladies and making sure I looked knickerless which in the circumstances might have been more appropriate.

The man who introduced the proceedings said it was wonderful to be in a room of 75% women, so much more fun, so much more like a party.   Oh dear.    Shere Hite, who won the overall award, the internationally recognized expert in the field of psychosexual behaviour spoke hauntingly about her work and life admitting she had enabled women all over the world (and now in China) to realize and be comfortable in the knowledge that most women only come with clitoral stimulation.  Those two words hummed around the room for quite some time.   How could clitoral stimulation be bettered? The man who introduced the next award admitted he couldn't. Bless.    Every word of her speech was like a blistering bruise against a glass ceiling she had knocked against all her life so that others could follow without the criticism she had had to take.

Nothing really beat the big opener, although other high lights included one nominee being described as 'Queen of Drilling' which only our table thought was hilarious but perhaps we were still in clitoris mode.  And then there was the minister, Chloe Smith who presented the award to best First Woman in Finance (which Gina was up for).   She was allegedly demolished by Paxman on Newsnight a few nights ago (although I've just watched it and I just think she had a cough, was thirsty and was briefed by Osborne to not answer Paxman's questions which she did. They all do, just she didn't do it eloquently and has absolutely no charisma. She would probably procrastinate if you asked her what the time was).      This audience were gentler. She said very little and left, something that wasn't lost on host Clare Balding who thanked her and then said 'we'll leave it at that then." .   Theresa May, Home Secretary smiled and made a joke about specsavers but did little to motivate, inspire a nod or smile after that.

Each nominee was announced like a beauty Queen, which was odd and inappropriate.   Of all the speeches of the night that hit the right tone, Clare Balding possibly made the best mentioning author Nora Ephron who died of cancer this week. Ephron said women should be the heroine in their life, not the victim and make things happen in their life, not let things happen to them.    And that women should be trouble in life and if they haven't caused trouble by the time they're forty, they haven't lived their life right. I like that.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012


Email to a friend - 

I verged on hysterics this evening. thought I was having a breakdown.   I met some very talented people today
who are almost suicidal because they can't get their money out the bank and then learnt that Hester had stopped the bankers sipping champagne at Wimbledon because it was costing the tax payer £1m and thought it 
'inappropriate' as people couldn't get their money.  And now they've been caught for moving the interest rates to suit their own cause for years and years.  its not capitalism, it's criminal and it's theft.  I hate the bankers.  and I've just heard RBS are the next ones to be charged with interest rate rigging.   I'm so angry I could write a blog! 

Tony Blair edited the Standard today, his victory lap I suppose.   In a previous blog I suggested the best way to deal with anger, or I found the best way to deal with anger was to think of Tony Blair on a toilet. But it doesn't work any more, because now when I think of him on a toilet I realize the British public are the ones he is shitting on. Sarah Sands did London an incredible disservice by allowing him to edit the paper.

And Hester has said that it is not appropriate to entertain the clients at Wimbledon because it costs tax payers a million to do so, when they can't even get the money that the bank hasn't managed to call their own - yet.   The tangible hatred toward the City is well deserved. I just wish it would turn into something that would make them hurt as much as they have hurt business and commerce.   If they are going to be fined, fine them obscene amounts and choose where it comes from wisely. Take that money and give it to our state education system and our health system. Transfer it straight way. Don't allow the bankers to say they will donate the money for charitable purposes. Fuck that. Just take it and don't allow them their tax rebate for being charitable.  It's like saying well done to a thief for giving money away that he's just stolen from you.   Separate the investment from the retail arm so that the mortgage side is protected and the gamblers crash and burn as they should have done in 2008. I'm told if it is that simple they would have done it.   I don't believe that. I believe just like the Leverson Enquiry will be buried by a government that doesn't want mud on it's face, this will be buried too because the politicians and bankers are so intertwined - Christ some of the cabinet are ex bankers.

 My only fear is that when and if a revolution comes that the ones who don't deserve the anger - the shop owners, those who live in houses they can just about afford in areas they would prefer not to live in but that's all they can afford to buy or rent are the ones who get targeted. It happened last year it could happen again.

And silly me I turned on Newsnight.   The FSA have found out that Barclays have been breaking the Chinese Wall starting from 2009.  Well it's been going on way way before that FSA and on a much larger scale and every bank has done it.  They've been cheating the system and cheating the public and Diamond (year of Diamonds isn't it) Bob that is, not the Queen, was smiling smugly away saying he would forgo his bonus this year.   And the bank are paying some pittance as a penalty which as a Lord Livesey, who was interviewed  this evening, is pocket money to the bank.    It's a criminal offence they have committed and the government should take the money from their accounts and see for themselves what it is like for their customers to not have money which they feel is rightfully theirs.  They are thieves and liars and while the rest of us are labelled as such they get away with it and smile smugly.  The global system is wrong if it has allowed banks to have the power they have.   I tell my son that. He needs to know that this disparity in wealth isn't natural, hasn't been caused because of a capitalist system working at it's best, but because of corruption and greed.  I hope schools that have careers evenings don't allow bankers anywhere near their buildings nor universities, although they will soon be the only ones who can afford to send their kids there.

This is not capitalism.  This is something else.    Companies that got fat and greedy and ineffective in a capitalist state would fail.  Charitable donations would be made out of charity not because it's tax deductable.   To add insult to injury, the wealthy are giving to charity because it is tax deductable and patting themselves  on the back for their charitable ways when its our money they are giving away.   But the poor, those on lower income, still give more to charity, a larger percentage of their income than the rich ever do.    My son is watching this inequality and think it is natural, that it is the rule of supply and demand, of balancing balance sheets.  That's bull shit.   It's run by liars and cheats and Blair was and is the most revolting of them all.   I'm worried because my son will start to realize the shits get away with it in life. The bullies get away with it in life.  The liars get away with it in life and the cowards do and I don't want my son to grow up believing that.  Be the change you want to see in the world, I think that's what Gandhi said. Well the city has and it's all been about greed.    This country is run by weak men, the banks are run by weak men and it's the strong ones who tolerate the crap who are keeping it up.

Not sure how I will deal with my anger in future.   Blair on a toilet doesn't work for me any more.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012


So much to write about so little time.   My birthday. Forty eight years young and gifts included a pair of high wedges which makes me look about six foot.  I'm not sure if this is a good look or not but at least  I 'm taller than Tom now who without them is taller than me (but only by an inch..or two). And Tom passed his common entrance with flying colours but I'm starting to sound like one of those painful round robin Christmas letters so I will stop there.

Last week, I went to Mauritius.   It was pouring it down in the UK and I got the commission and so I went and Tom went sky diving from 10,000 feet, seeing the island from a whole new perspective.   Knowing my son is jumping from a plane is far more nerve wrecking than doing it myself, which I have.  He absolutely loved it.   I recommend it to anyone who wants to sky dive. Skydive Austral are brilliant.  And we swam in the Indian Ocean and went out on a catamaran with lots of very enthusiastic Chinese who shouted every time they saw a dolphin, which was a lot. The island is beautiful, incredibly lush but only 3 1/2 % indigenous vegetation so some of the areas we four wheel drived round looked like a wild version of Richmond park complete with deer.

One of the journalists who went on the trip played golf and lost 24 balls.   He's a sports editor but that ball sport is not his game but he was fascinating to listen to with his inside stories, none of which are publishable because 'they can't be proven'.

And lastly attended an event launching the online newspaper The Steeple Times, written by Matthew Steeples, who has ruffled a lot of feathers already because he writes the truth.  God forbid anyone should do that, but I assured him he should continue.   After all when the Prime Minister talks of transparency, it's official to be online about the off the record stuff.   Held at Blakes Hotel which has wonderfully decadent bedrooms I am sure for wonderfully decadent clientele, it was very dark in the black, mirror and chrome basement, reminded me of a bachelor's pad, the sort of thing Spencer from Made In Chelsea would aspire to.

I talked to a journalist who worked for CBS who told me incredible stories he should put into a book but said he never will.   He was at the Berlin Wall when it went down (OK so were a lot of others but I was still impressed), and there when Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was shot dead and at a host of other events.   He told me those stories, I told him the time I found one of the first families to escape Kuwait when it was annexed.    

It was also there I met a commodities trader called Haymer, although I doubt thats how it's spelt.   We talked of banks and conspiracy theories.  He thinks JFK were killed by the mafia. I think Diana was killed but don't know who did it.   He feels the banks should have been allowed to crash in 2008, although that's easy to say now. Especially if you work in the financial sector as you've made your money and got ours and can be all knowing because you've hidden it in some off shore fund no one can touch or find.   He also mentioned that it will only get worse and the banks should be allowed to crash now rather than later. (I think he's put a bet on that one.).   And that the RBS technical hiccup (their computer says nooooo....) is because they are bankrupt and they are hiding something. I don't have a clue what they're hiding.

"Greece will be out of the euro." he predicts, "All the wealthy Greeks have taken their money out of Greece, will wait till the country crashes and will go in again and buy up everything. The same thing will start to happen in the UK.  Those who can will take their money out and the working class and the middle classes who have a loyalty to their bank and a mortgage to pay will be the poor bastards who suffer."   I got the feeling I was the only 'poor bastard' in that room.