There are some sad things known to man, but ain’t too much sadder than…the fact that the Prime Minister and bloke who is supposed to be our beacon of strength at this time of national crisis can’t even do his own shirt up properly.  What hope have we got?



It may be just me, but if your co-worker was drugging your coffee with a substance that causes fatigue, headaches, drowsiness and muscle pain in order to try and ruin your performance and ensure you are made redundant and not her, what do you think might be the thing that gave you the first inkling that something was awry?  Might it be the fact that you had begun to suffer fatigue, headaches, drowsiness and muscle pain each weekday morning not long after that nice person sitting next to you had put the kettle on?  And that, mysteriously, this did not happen at weekends (unless her husband was at it as well)?  Or might it be, like the victim of this Piedmontese scam, when you drove your car into a tree?  Just seems to lack self-awareness to me.  Surely she knew something was up earlier.  Or perhaps she just thought she had developed a weekday only caffeine intolerance.  Which is not a thing.

Of course it was an insurance company.

Note to self: say “no thank you” the next time Geraldine offers to rustle up a brew.

Are we adequate?

The question as to whether EU will recognise UK as an adequate regime from a data protection perspective remains outstanding (along with a zillion other Brexit related questions).  We have a working party looking in detail at the consequences of adequacy not being granted.  This is looking to circulate a series of FAQs shortly.  In the meantime, if you do have any questions please contact either or

Glen Ramble

The House of Lords European Union Committee has written to City Minister John Glen basically to chivvy him up and ask what the **** is going on?  No equivalence determinations (not that it makes any difference for us) nearly four months after the original deadline and no timetable for publication of these or related documents.  JG is instructed to reply within 10 days.  The sort of thing I do when I am complaining to the bank.  My only surprise is that they didn’t go for that other tactic I favour, which is to add “my standard fee for issuing this category of letter is £25 and I expect you to credit my account accordingly”.  Perhaps, for once, it is not too much to hope for an honest response from a politician.  Which in this instance would read.

Dear Rita

Thank you for your letter.  I hereby enclose a cheque for £25.

In answer to your questions, I have no idea because we really haven’t handled this terribly well.  Your guess is as good as mine.


The Glenster

Oh no you’re not

And just to mop up the last of the Brexit related dirge for this week, the inevitable progress towards the point where UK caves in on all outstanding issues with EU in order to securer a deal Bozzer will declare a triumph and then try and unpick sometime next year when he actually reads what he has signed continues apace with his latest attempt to look all big and aggressive.  This included his already tired gimmick of referring to no deal as meaning we “should get ready for January 1 with arrangements that are more like Australia’s”.  Someone really needs to point out to him that we can’t do that. Our fast bowling unit is not as good as theirs, nor is our spinner and we don’t have Steve Smith.

Time to decide

It has been a somewhat fractious campaign.  The debates at times have been unedifying.  Rival approaches to handling the pandemic have been at the core of the arguments throughout.  But, despite movement in the polls, the somewhat idiosyncratic voting system does seem geared to favour the incumbent again despite not winning the popular vote.  So I am prepared to call it now.

Yes, Jacinda Ardern will be returned as Prime Minister of New Zealand tomorrow with a majority Labour government.  Only question is, will she open the borders in time for the 2029 Lions tour?

For our Belgian members

The ongoing question of professional qualifications in Belgium continues to rear its head and I have had discussions with various of you on this topic this week.  I have attached a very helpful response on the current situation from our boy Stanley at our Belgian counterparts UPCA.  In summary:

  1. New, simplified exam system coming in January
  2. At that point, PCPs will only need to pass one module
  3. There will be a need to translate this exam into English – but LIIBA can organise a whip round amongst you to pay for this if that would be helpful
  4. If you want to hold the exams in London you need a recognised invigilator.  Again we can explore a collective solution to this is you want.

Ducks in a Millerot

Down BIPAR way this week we had a meeting with Didier Millerot the (relatively) new Head of Unit for Pensions and Insurance at European Commission.  He is very much nicer than his predecessor with whom Nic BIPAR waged an ongoing guerrilla war.  Anyhoo, Diddy had the following to say.

  1. Solvency II review – the Commission will receive EIOPA advice by the end of the year and expects to publish the outcome in July 2021
  2. He is looking at how the insurance sector can contribute to the Capital Markets Union to improve access to finance for small firms.  He is also looking at the insurance role in delivering the EC’s Green New Deal.
  3. He will continue the work looking at harmonising compensation schemes across EU.
  4. IDD review will be delayed until 2022 because only 17 of the 27 countries have implemented it fully two years on from the deadline.  And he is not convinced that all 17 have done it properly.  Which is disgraceful.  We are so better off out of this shambles (or not)
  5. There may be some recommendations emerging from the pandemic risks working group early next year
  6. He continues to monitor the performance of Pan European Pension Product (PEPP).  This will include examining questions such as has he adequately replaced Vincent Kompany? Should he play three at the back or switch to 4-2-3-1? And is Gabriel Jesus sufficient cover for Aguero should he suffer long term industry.

And I can tell you that Isabelle BIPAR was a particular fan of that last train of thought on WhatsApp during the meeting.  Once she had googled “Guardiola”.

That is it.  I am off for a short stroll with Jodey Hopcroft.  I mean, she must have realised, surely?