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01 August 2010



Vernon Hill is one of the best retail bankers in the business and he has been for the last 30 years. I thought the Metro Bank launch was squashed after the crisis...glad to see it finally roll out.

He had some bad luck/mis-judgement with a landscaping scandal. One might understand why Vernon is a trifle upset that the regulators made an example of him at the same time that they allowed the property Ponzi scheme to get out of hand. Maybe that's the Singaporean in me talking...neopotism is one thing but incompetence is quite another.

Frankly what puzzles me is Hill's attachment to his Yorkshire terrier (which he seems to be wisely playing up in dog-loving England). Can't stand those yuppy little things....give me a Lab anyday!


So half of the 114-120% Spaniards polled (not including those who identify as Catalans) enjoy watching an animal hundreds of years old prove himself worthy of death?

"Animals of their type..."

Ancient, noble animals...

Turtles get quite old don't they? And they've handy armour to protect them from spears too. Lucky things.


Most people who condemn 'Bullfighting' are grotesquely ignorant about it! As you will no doubt be aware, the percentage of Spaniards who are indifferent about it,(largely because they consider it a vestige of the Franco era,& all that entaled, largely young people), almost equals the percentage of Spaniards who do NOT wish it banned, ie. around 57-60%.
You will also know, I'm sure that the Catalan vote to ban it, is politically motivated, in a desire to separate Catalan from Spain!
Toros Bravos is a breed peculiar to the Spanish Mainland, & all true aficiandos look for a Fiesta of Bulls to demonstrate the best qualities of this noblest of animals. That is what the Art of the Torero is about, to demonstate lack of fear in the face of extreme danger by fighting closely, & with style, giving the bull the opportunity to show his qualities & bravery, & to die a noble death, (what he is bred for over hundreds of years)!
This traditional part of the Culture of Spain is reported in the Culture Section of Spanish newspapers, & is a serious Art Form, in the best sense of the word when well performed. It is unfortunate, but not surprising that there is much uninformed comment by people who make no attempt to understand it before condemning it!
There was an excellent article in last weeks Daily Telegraph explaining this, concluding that the Toros Bravos have a life probably better than most other animals of their type. The comparison between an animal entering a slaughter house, & the Plaza de Toros is at opposite ends of the spectrum!

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