Tag: Happened to me

Football’s gone away again

When I get nervous watching football on TV, I usually turn to the match statistics in the hope of some succour. Last night I was very nervous. And from very early in the game. At first, the statistics seemed to be a real help until … well, until I realised that the BBC were showing Italy in the “home” team column, despite the match being at Wembley. (The Beeb obviously thought football wasn’t coming home last night.)

Submission to BEIS

In 2016, the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) issued a regulation known as TAS 100, which governs certain activities that are open to anyone to undertake. But the regulation applies only when the activity is carried out by an actuary. This has created the anomalous position that:

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Yes, but who was the wee donkey?

In Hollywood, there is a story-writing guru, Robert McKee. After listening to one of his talks, many years ago, I gained the abiding impression that the most powerful story endings are those that you didn’t see coming and yet, with hindsight, the narrative had been building to that all along. One of McKee’s favourite examples – and mine – is Casablanca

BBC’s Line of Duty cried out for an ending of such proportions. After all, this latest series had been deemed important enough to feature in news broadcasts. (And not just the BBC News. If you haven’t seen the final episode yet, stay away from today’s newsstands: several of the papers have a prime plot point plastered all over their front pages.)

But the writer, Jed Mercurio, seemed to have long ago abandoned any attempt at such a climax.

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I learned to write

I have been rather quiet on these pages, lately. I have been working on another writing project.

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Invitation to a duel

A few weeks ago, I spoke at an international conference on regulation. One of my fellow panellists told me, as we took our seats, that he was against regulation. I rubbed my hands with glee in anticipation that sparks would soon begin to fly. Sadly, the only sparks were the evidence of us getting on like a house on fire. He wasn’t against regulation; it was just bad regulation that he couldn’t tolerate. Me too.

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We disagree … so you must be lying?

From working as an independent expert witness, I know only too well that it is not unusual to find one’s client acting as though nothing the opposing party says can ever be believed. As a mediator, I have seen this attitude taken by both sides simultaneously. Sometimes in a dispute, both sides are inveterate liars. But quite often I would see two parties who were both incapable of seeing that their opponent’s point of view was not built (entirely) on falsehood. It seems that is where we are now with Brexit.

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Reporters Sans Frontieres: not my idea of a knock out

I was disappointed to read recently that the UK has dropped to 40th place in the World Press Freedom Index. Among the 39 countries which are said to offer the press greater freedom than the UK are South Africa, Surinam and Namibia, according to the ranking body Reporters Sans Frontieres.  But then I noticed that the UK’s ranking was three places ahead of the USA which guarantees freedom of the press under its constitution. What’s going on here?

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Is that you, Bobby?

Like many people, I thought parts of 2016 had been something of a nightmare. It had been so unbelievable at times that, when I woke up on 1 January, a part of me even wondered whether I might find David Cameron back in Downing Street, Donald J Trump a rank outsider at the start of the Republican primaries and Bobby Ewing back in the shower. Could the whole year have all been just a dream?

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