Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Mostly topical comedy (may contain traces of animal whimsy)

On Sunday, Kevin and I had another look at the papers in, er, John and Kevin's Sunday Papers ; and tried to settle the equally vexed questions of who will win the next election; and why we've been invited to a club by some beagle puppies in frog hats.

And on Friday, I was on The Now Show, talking mostly about scorpions, but also a bit about Vince Cable and the Royal Mail. You can listen to the whole show on iPlayer here for the next five or six days (and you should; it was a good one).

Lastly, if, for reasons best known to yourself, you'd like to own a drawing by me of a seventeenth century philanthropist and his cuddly rabbit, then your luck is in - the Thomas Coram card from the post below is currently being auctioned on eBay. (Incidentally, if you win it, and you'd like me to sign it specifically to you (or someone else), I'll be very happy to do so.)


Anonymous said...

I think I'll need to learn the secret of alchemy to be able to buy that card...

Thank you for the lovely videos, they're brilliant!

Ben Curthoys said...

I thought the Scorpion thing particularly good.

Ben Curthoys said...

Oh. I don't know if you've ever seen the 1994 film "Road to Wellville", but if half of it is sort-of-true, then Dr John Harvey Kellogg would make an excellent subject for an Unbelievable Truth lecture.

Anonymous said...

I'd love the card, but I'd already sold a kidney, an arm, and a leg. I suppose I don't really *need* all of my liver.


Anonymous said...

One of the things I love about Sunday Papers is that by the end of the month I've forgotten it's coming up soon, so I get a big thrill when you post another one. Absolutely loved this one too, and like a commenter on youtube said, they keep getting better and better! Thank you!

PLMR London said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Kevin: And he continues-

John (disppointed): Oh!


On a more serious note, politicians must not be allowed to don animal masks in order to make themselves look more appealing. Grave threat to democracy, that.

Anonymous said...

Please get a pair of concealable mics - the acoustics in your kitchen are terrible!

Anonymous said...

The thing about the scorpions thing is that... the investors did actually do what they were supposed to, which was ensure the flotation was a success. In terms of the analogy, they got to the other side. They were involved, on the terms they were, to avoid the embarrassing spectacle of the flotation failing due to not enough demand, which would have damaged Royal Mail's reputation and prospects as an independent company.

And when they then sold on their holdings (at, indeed, a massive profit) they didn't 'kill' Royal Mail, or anything like it: Royal Mail is now free to make it as an independent company in the same way as BA and BT. The increase in share price is a reflection of confidence that it can do so.

So... not a terribly good analogy. The investors did exactly what they could be expected to given their nature, just like the scorpion; but unlike the scorpion, nothing was damaged, and in fact because they acted according to their nature, everything went exactly as planned. The flotation was a success and Royal Mail has a healthy market capitalisation with which to begin investing in its services in a way it couldn't have done while being owned by the government.

It's just as you said: profit-seeking is not inherently bad, whatever Briggstocke might think, it just needs to be harnessed to produce the desired result. And in this case it did.

(Some people seem to think that the idea of floating Royal Mail was to make as much money as possible for the Treasury in one hit, but this is of course ridiculously short-term thinking: the government is not and should not be concerned with single financial events, but with putting Royal Mail on a long-term sustainable basis, which it wasn't before and now has a much better chance at.)

Moony said...

Always love your posts. And the goodies attached. Like the scorpion fable. (Love the bit about the frog taking the advice of fire. That's singely dangerous certainly!)

Anonymous said...

Why, John, who would you like to win the upcoming election? Which politician in particular, and why?

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