As the country nervously anticipates the fallout from the looming massive nationwide bender, the latest from ronaland.


Critical threat


Have you ever read a newspaper article and thought “if that were true I would be dead already”? No? Well try this one then.  And if this is not fake news we really should abolish social distancing and all other restrictions immediately.  Because further lockdown is certainly far more of a threat than any virus, however virulent.  I mean you may know in your heart of hearts that you empty the pod drawer of the coffee machine at least a proportionate number of times, but if the truth police determine otherwise then that is five years off your life regardless.  And whilst you may think that your straggly ronabeard makes you seem rakish and somewhat Bohemian, that look says otherwise and another five years have gone. Furthermore, if the occasional San Pellegrino with lunch (especially now you have scored a supply of the grapefruit ones) is going to be deemed the equivalent of a full scale cocaine habit, you are down fifteen already and your house is now a more dangerous place to hang out than A&E at your nearest hospital.  So get out now while you can.  Especially as it looks like some of the sugar off that doughnut you have just had has ended up on the floor….


Reg-ular updates


More news from the Sages of Stratford this week.  Firstly they have agreed with Treasury to delay the SMCR deadline for the first assessment of fitness and properness to March (from December).  This is to allow firms badly affected by lockdown etc sufficient time to comply.


We also have news from the second Case Management Conference for the business interruption test cases.  This agreed to allow the two class action groups to intervene in the hearings and agreed the order of play for the court hearings in July.


And yesterday Nausicaa Delfas gave a speech which provided further encouraging evidence of a change in attitude at FCA with regard to how its rules affect the competitive position of UK financial services.  It included this bit.


“One area that gives an indication of what this might look like is the UK’s approach to the investment firms’ prudential regime. We published a Discussion Paper last week and the Government set out its plans to delegate responsibility to regulators to make detailed requirements – this delegation would be underpinned by a new framework for accountability, that is also intended to ensure that we consider equivalence and competitiveness when we make new rules.


Our approach going forward will be guided by our continued commitment to the highest international standards, and by what is right for the UK’s markets, building on the strengths of the existing UK regulatory and legal system,  This is consistent with our regulatory principles in FSMA and the Chancellor’s remit letter that we should have regard to economic growth, competitiveness and trade, when we advance our statutory objectives of promoting consumer protection, market integrity and competition. In our view, maintaining a strong and robust regulatory and supervisory system, and our commitment to achieving the highest international standards, go hand in hand with the UK’s competitiveness as a global financial centre”.


Home shopping


If a sign of leadership is to be prepared to hold your own family to the principles you preach, then we must praise the qualities of Mayor Higgins of Juan de Acosta in Colombia, whilst at the same time bemoaning another failure by our own Prime Minister.  Now news of whether Toff has skipped off to Greece as well however…


Venetic pursuit


If I have to disappear at short notice before next week’s column, you will know what has happened.  Still, this haul should go someway towards offsetting the costs of the furlough scheme.  For about an hour.  And if the rozzers wanted “55 high value cars” they should have just popped round Steve Hearn’s house.  But there is one person above all others who will be dizzy with anticipation as to what this sting could lead to.  Ray Winstone’s agent.  He and that little bloke from Liverpool who was in Boardwalk Empire are made for the inevitable film adaptation.  Do I get a writing credit?



I am off to give it large at the Rose & Crown in Dunton Green.