I have failed so far to find anyone to define what the term ‘far right’ means. This is important since I suspect that those in the public eye and whom the public expect to get such matters right (the BBC, say) are continuing to use this term as a substitute for declaring that those who are so labelled are merely people with whom the muddled (the BBC, say) happen to disagree. Clearly, last weekend saw some fairly unpleasant people (Robinson et al.) causing trouble, but the term ‘far right’ has nothing to do with them. They are just louts.
Talking of louts, I listened to a review on BBC Radio 4 of the career to date of Anthony Blinken, in effect the foreign secretary in Biden’s government. When he was at Harvard he fancied a career in a rock band, which, at one phase in its development, was presented as the Umlauts. Blinken cannot be all bad. For self-deprecation usually heralds the emergence of a sound fellow.
Blinken accompanied Clinton to Hungary about thirty years ago and, having descended in Hungary from the presidential plane, was greeted by his father, the US ambassador to Hungary, with the advice that he needed a haircut. A family that so conducts itself cannot be all bad. In turn it means to me that Blinken might be a serious presidential candidate in 2028.
Victoria (VCP) held its AGM yesterday and all the resolutions were passed. The voting figures were not disclosed in the RNS but the shares tanked about 15%. The problem remains that qualification of accounts in these circumstances is a serious matter. Therefore I expect the cash position of VCP to be suddenly announced as deteriorating. Given that CEO Geoff Wilding has kept this show going for as long as he has there might be quite a delay. But it is long odds on that it will happen.
About ten years ago I was asked by a longstanding pal and accountant to comment upon his directorship of a small commercial property company. I warned him that his client who had appointed him to the board might be merely a minority shareholder but that her stepsons might demand damages from my pal to reflect their reduced inheritance. I thought no more until the lady in question decided to sue the majority shareholder who was progressively filching her money.
This task supposed that books and records which are essential to such a task would be to hand. They were not (and they would have revealed that the filcher transacted business on a personal level with the company without minuting the conflict of interest that this inevitably entailed). This was of course a serious breach of fiduciary duty and in an ideal world would attract a criminal sentence. However, and quite understandably, the lady’s solicitors reckoned that a much swifter settlement would in these circumstances be rather wiser. So the filcher got clean away.
However, one of the solicitors tells me that he is now heavily invested in Metals Exploration (MTL) a gold miner in the Philippines and where the Candy brothers hold an overwhelming majority of the ordinaries. This has tended to depress the share price since the market is fearful that the Candys might scoop the pot. This fear is not here evidenced for these purposes but were it justified the solicitor tells me that pursuant to the minority oppression action he took ten years ago he is ready at MTL. He expects that if he is so occupied he will win. An investment in MTL at 2p is a bet on geology, the gold price and political risk. It might be a good wheeze.
Incidentally, I am certain that there are many other examples of the corporate misbehaviour that I have here described. For unquoted companies are infested with this conduct. If anybody needs some free advice on such a problem ask me.