Tuesday, 30 March 2010
Sunday, 28 March 2010
Saturday, 27 March 2010
Friday, 26 March 2010
Thursday, 25 March 2010
Tuesday, 23 March 2010
Monday, 22 March 2010
Wednesday, 17 March 2010
Tuesday, 16 March 2010
A complete aside from the usual, but it tickled me to see this from my old Cambridge supervisor Christopher Andrew's history of MI5, The Defence of the Realm:
The Cambridge Five were recruited by Arnold Deutsch, a Czech "illegal" working for Moscow Centre. Deutsch was able to enter the UK thanks to his cousin, Oscar Deutsch, vouching for his good character. Oscar was the millionaire owner of the Odeon cinema chain. ODEON stands for "Oscar Deutsch Entertains Our Nation."
This programme by the BBC's Chris Ledgard is well worth a listen if you have a spare half hour. I found it interesting to hear that even thirty years ago, people were saying that the betting shop was doomed. Plus ca change. Same issues, new set of whipping boys. :-)
Good luck for Cheltenham, everyone!
“Fifty years ago, a young fellow entering the bookmakers would place his virgin bet on a horse. These days, an 18-year-old's first flutter is more likely to be on the football or even the winner of The X Factor. And while you can view hours of the beautiful game without ever hearing mention of the word "odds", it's impossible to watch a horse race without constant references to betting. Racing enthusiast and broadcaster Chris Ledgard asks if the people behind the sport of kings have lost the plot and what they can do to turn young people into punters. On a freezing night at Kempton Park racecourse he meets the man charged with changing the sport's image - but the struggling horse owners think there's not a Burlington Bertie's chance of this happening.”
Monday, 15 March 2010
- the call for transparency, from a company which I can never dis-associate in my own mind from that iconic image of your chairman John Brown waving away the media from his front door, claiming that data protection and client privilege meant that it would be wrong to reveal any of the betting patterns behind Man Mood;
- your asking me questions about volume, when that same chairman, in 2001, was the very person who drove through (and hailed) the arrival of the Gross Profits Tax system which rendered volume completely irrelevant;
- your call for the Gambling Commission to be able to get more information from us, when until recently you worked at the Gambling Commission and will therefore know how much more information you were able to get out of us than you were from your now employer.