LIIBA Life episode 9 – Ex Factor

Ahh, Wagner, Ray Quinn, Chico.  What is to happen to you now?  And, in the Olympian words of Barry Davies, “frankly, who cares?”.


Whilst on the subject, we are stuck in the seemingly interminable phoney Olympics – that bit where all the silly sports get to be centre stage before the only thing that people are really interested in (the running and jumping) starts.  And so UK has proved itself to be world beating at splashing up and down the swimming pool in various different styleees; jumping into said swimming pool from the side whilst striking a pose; and riding a bike round and round in circles.  Which showcases the phenomenal impact on our sporting prowess the growth of the long weekend at Centre Parks has had on our youth.  Give them some lottery money.

And the sooner Artistic Water Sliding and Synchronised Family Meltdowns are embraced as Olympic sports the better.

Climate fisher

We are continuing to make very good progress on highlighting the crucial role LIIBA members will have to play if the world is to achieve its climate change ambitions.  If you didn’t get to see it live, I highly recommend catching up with the recording of last week’s roundtable debate which you can access here.  You can hear the views of Bronwyn Claire (head of Climatewise – part on University of Cambridge); Chris Stark, CEO of UK Climate Change Committee the independent advisory group to our government; Julian Richardson CEO of Parhelion Underwriting; Sagarika Chatterjee, Director Of Climate Change at United Nation’s Principles for Responsible Investment; and LIIBA’s very own Richard Dudley.  Stellar cast, stellar chat.  Just fast forward in about 1 minute 45 seconds unless you are a fan of the bleep MS Teams makes as new people log on and of certain guests aiming their camera at unfortunate angles.

Trading up

Continuing the theme of plugging excellent webinars you may have missed, can I direct you towards the session we held on opening up new markets with Department of International Trade’s Jo Crellin and Susan Caldwell.  All sort of resources that DIT can put at your disposal plus learn why your loving trade body needs to become more like the Scotch Whisky Association.  Challenge accepted.  Hic.

Apocalypse Now

The cheery folk at Anglia Ruskin university have been looking into where it might be best to hunker down in the event of the collapse of global civilisation.  Something it sees happening in the next decade or so once the tipping point Is reached whereby over 80% of all TV shows across all networks are presented by Maya Jama.

And its good news.  UK is in the top 5.  Although, as is the way with all these sorts of things, New Zealand turns out top.  Apparently its “ability to produce geothermal and hydroelectric energy, its abundant agricultural land and its low population would allow it to survive relatively unscathed”.  Two points on this.  Firstly, what about the whole being sat on a massive fault line issue?  It is all very well being immune from the breakdown of global civilisation but it won’t do much good in the face of another massive earthquake.  And second, this is of only academic interest to anybody not already there because Jacinda is still not letting you in.  Nor, seemingly, does she have plans to do so, ever.  But remember, “be kind”  – by which she usually means “don’t disagree with me”.

And one more point.  How can you trust the judgement of a nation that picks the wrong set of New Zealanders to represent it in the Olympics rugby and thus ends up losing to the other set in the final?

As for UK, whilst we enjoy “generally fertile soils and varied agricultural output”, we do not “have as much agricultural land available because of [our] population density”.  Now, I don’t mean to appear cynical but, wouldn’t the breakdown in global civilisation potentially provide some form of resolution to that problem?

As for transport in the dystopian future, that much is clear.  The report is fronted by Professor Aled Jones.  We will all be walking in the air.

Response Unit

Just to bring you up to date with current consultations we will be responding to on your behalf we have:

If any of you heave ideas on any of these that you would like to contribute, do get in touch.

Diamonds are forever – just not for the next five and a half years

On the face of it, this is a genius heist.  Woman poses as expert valuer for high end Russian diamond buyer and asks to be let into the vault of Boodles – a jewellers apparently, not the Yorkshire supermarket it sounds like.  Then the boss of the jewellers is called away to take a call from the said buyer, “Alexander”, during which the bag of diamonds is switched for a bag of pebbles.  The “expert” then makes her excuses and leaves and flees to France.  Breathtaking in its audacity and simplicity.  How did they ever get caught?

Except, let’s roll it back a bit.  If you read on you do get an inkling of where there may have been a floor in the plan.  One of the reasons “Anna” got unmasked is that there was someone else there who saw her do it.  Which is a bit of a giveaway.  Plus there was CCTV evidence of the “sleight of hand” which cannot have been that sleight or why would Emma Barton, said other person, have asked her not to put the diamonds in her handbag.  I mean, if you saw Paul Daniels had the twenty pence piece in his hand before he “found” it in your ear, you would want your money back, no?

Even still they seem to have failed to find the diamonds in her handbag.  No false bottom or concealed part is going to be that good and yet also allow you to slip the diamonds in relatively quickly.  Plus for some unfathomable reason they didn’t bother to open the safe and see what was in the bad put back in there – discovering the pebbles – until the next day.

Also, did the thieves actually go to the lengths of inventing fake surnames as well.  Or is it standard practice if you wander into a posh diamond jewellers and say “Hi, I am Anna, I have come to look at the diamonds?” for them to usher you straight down into the vault?

Fine effort from the defendant to lob her dead sister under the bus to take the blame though.

The diamonds themselves are yet to be found.  Which, given the general levels of competence displayed on all sides of this charade, is not exactly surprising.

That’s it.  I am off to climb the Marble Arch Mound.  Such a bargain at £6:50 to scrabble up a pile of mud.  Where else could you do that?

Ah, nuts.  It is shut.