Saturday April 19, 2014


UK Investor Show 2015 – First 21 Speakers announced for April 18: Get your early bird ticket NOW
The Gay Tory Researchers and their Orgies – the ONLY scandal is that the taxpayer is footing the bill
Video & Photos: Finding the grave of Great Uncle David Cochrane in Delphi – Part 2

PERSONAL, UNDILUTED VIEWS FROM TOM WINNIFRITH

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Should Shareholders Oust the Gulf Keystone Board?

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I sense that the tide is turning in Bulletin Board land with regard to Gulf Keystone (GKP). A while back I was universally hated for saying the shares were overvalued. If those who slated me had listened and thought and sold rather than just abusing me they would be rather richer today as a result. Hey Ho. It is their loss. I still think the shares are dramatically overvalued and will see 50p this year. But I sense the mood is changing. These days Todd Kozel is even more hated than me.

There is open discussion about whether shareholders should seek to oust the board. Could they? Should they?

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Globo – See you chaps in Athens on 30th April for a Results Day Video Doorstep

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For the next two weeks I am on holiday in the remote Mani region of Greece, an area with a colourful history of blood feuds and murder. But on the 29th I drop the Mrs off at the Airport and head into Athens and the very next day we have results from Globo (GBO) whose headquarters are in the Greek capital. Oh what joy.

I do not know where Costis and the boardroom motley crew will be on results day but as a bear who has been vindicated to date I thought it only fair to pay homage at the temple of Globo in downtown Athens. My man on the ground says that it is a “mixed” neighbourhood which, given the impoverishment of Greece by the EU, I take to mean a tad on the rough side. Google Maps indicate that Globo towers is on a side street but only a short dash to a main road should I not be well received. 

It all sounds rather interesting

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Time Out knows who has the best chocolate pizza

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Time Out, London's culinary bible for a mere 45 years, has recognised the brilliance of Real Man's chocolate dessert pizza in their latest number.


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UK Investor Show 2015 – First 21 Speakers announced for April 18: Get your early bird ticket NOW

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It is still just over a year until the 2015 UK Investor Show but following the smash success of the sell-out 2014 show, the UK's leading investor show is already able to announce the first 21 speakers who have agreed to appear in 2015!

They are: Nigel Wray, Evil Knievil, myself (Tom Winnifrith), Clem Chambers, Vin Murria, Ben Edelman, Paul Scott, Lucian Miers, Steve Moore, Robert Sutherland Smith, Cathal Friel, Andrew Bell, Marcus Hanke, Amanda Van Dyke, Matt Earl, Thierry Laduguie and..

NEW For 2015: Charlotte Argyle, Ben Turney, Jason Drummond, Dominic Picarda and BrokerMan Daniel

Some failing shows manage only a handful of speakers but UK Investor Show delivers both changes each year AND the big names. Over the coming weeks we will announce more big name speakers as we plan an increased number of sessions as we take on more floor space. Brace yourself for a 50 speaker show!

And there will also be 110 stands for PLCs to exhibit and present from. Already we are almost 20% booked out and we will start announcing those exhibiting very soon.

There are two classes of tickets:

A Golden Ticket guarantees you a front three row seat in any of the days 110 sessions plus a pass to the after show party with CEOs, speakers and journalists. It costs £60 (inc VAT)

An Investor class ticket gains access to any session at the show and costs £12 including VAT.

BUT you can buy either type of ticket with a 50% early bird discount if you book NOW. You can buy your early bird tickets HERE

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The Gay Tory Researchers and their Orgies – the ONLY scandal is that the taxpayer is footing the bill

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The papers are full of lurid details of the personal activities of the lads and lasses who work at the Conservative Policy Unit. Apparently gay and straight alcohol fuelled orgies are par for the course. I do not care. What folks do behind closed doors is 100% their own business. So what if some Tory researchers and MPs like casual gay sex? Who cares? This is 2014 not 1914. It is not as if what they are doing is even illegal anymore.

Yes I find some of their activities distasteful. It is very brave of them to “come out” and admit that they work for a party that contains Maria Miller, wants to gag the press, supports secret courts and intervention in Syria and pisses away tens of billions on welfare, joke University degree courses, foreign aid, etc., etc. Being one of Cameron’s conservatives is pretty embarrassing but they are consenting adults so, though I find it distasteful they have every right to be 2014 Tories.

But there is a scandal here. And as ever it is the brazen way that the political classes abuse the taxpayer. The CPU is funded

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DFID has caused yet again another stink and yet again, it is the British taxpayer whom is set to foot the bill

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My fave libertarian Tory blogger Charlotte Argyle is in fine form once again. The child of Thatcher rightly points out that capitalism not aid is what is needed for both donors and recipients. Over to the pin up girl of Tory blogging:
 

It starts with a chap called Mr O, an Ethiopian Farmer who claims that the £1.3Bn the UK has sent to Ethiopian in the last 5 years has done nothing more than fund a despotic government which has enacted great atrocities on his family and livelihood by using brutal force to annex land and property from hundreds of native villagers to sell off to foreign investors or add to its own little stash of Government chattels. Just to put our ‘good deed’ into context Ethiopia is among the biggest recipients of British aid receiving £38 million in July 2011 alone.

This simply serves to exposure the huge lack of accountability and traceability on the behalf of the do-gooders at DFID when it comes to ensuring that OUR money goes to the right source. It also magnifies the dangers around minimal foreign intervention without a serious approach to risk. To prove my point, imagine the blushing faces last year as DFID had to admit to the National Audit Office that it did not know in which country £530 million of aid was spent nor why a country like Nigeria, which is flourishing into an emerging economy – with the second highest national income of all African countries still receives £275 million from the UK in 2013 and will receive a further £250 million until 2015.  .

So now we have Mr O set to sue the UK Government for hundreds of thousands of pounds – taxpayers pounds, in the name of DFID breaching the Department for International Development’s (DfID) human rights rules (yep breaching their own rules). But here is the best bit, some kind London lawyers (Leigh Day to be precise) have decided to help Mr O taking on the case on his behalf and have already served papers on DFID .

As they feel it is necessary to point out - Mr O is not seeking compensation but challenging the Government’s approach to aid – Well thanks Mr O but I think that slimming down of our ever gout-ridden state letting more people keep more of their own money may have the same effect. One has to wonder how much Leigh Day are set to make on this little case though. Imagine the headline "Ethiopian gets legal aid from UK - to sue the UK for giving aid to... Ethiopia"

DFID’s complete lack of action

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The Death of David Cochrane – more details, the snails and a question for my father

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I am sitting in a little café in Delphi and have found a 95 year old man to chat to. He offers up two more details on the death of my great uncle David Cochrane in 1931, one of which begs a question for my father.

The first is just on how the body was found in 1932 a year after the death. It seems as if the folks from Desfina were on the mountain collecting snails. It is not just the French who eat l’escargot. And it was on the snail hunt that they found the badly decayed body of David. The consensus here is that he was buried in Delphi in the North East part of the churchyard where there are a small number of protestant graves from the 40s onwards. But as I have described before bones are removed after a while and that appears to have been what happened to those of David. I have checked that part of the yard in detail.

The question for my father is what happened to David’s Camera? It was found with his body and like his other possessions returned to England. Did anyone ever develop the film which would undoubtedly have had footage of his last few days in Desfina and possibly of his last walk? Possibly he was shooting the sort of photos I took two days ago when he slipped and fell.

Over to you Tom Winnifrith Snr…

PS A Young man said that they guy at the town hall in Delphi, who I cannot thank enough for his help, has shared my video with him on facebook. He says “ah you are the man…” If anyone has any more details I guess they know how to get hold of me. For my father who terms the internet Beelzebub, you see..it has some purpose. I will explain to him later what facebook is.

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A Sad End to the David Cochrane quest – chatting to the priest in Delphi

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On my way back from ancient Delphi I climbed the seemingly endless steps to the Church and graveyard here for one last look at the small cluster of protestant stones in the corner. As last time, there was no David. But on my way back to my hotel I bumped into George, owner of the excellent Hotel Pitho and we spotted the priest…in a taverna.

He had been told about me and we chatted. No Church records would have been kept of a non-Orthodox burial and as David was a protestant that meant one dead end.

I am certain that having fallen down the Delphi (not Desfina) side of Mount kirthos/Cochrane he would have been buried here. A letter from the foreign office to the then Sir George Young states that my great grandparents wanted him buried “locally”.

Thus according to Greek tradition his bones would have been removed after a couple of decades but after a while the box in the charnel house would have contained nothing but dust. I asked the priest what happens then? “A hole” said he. So that is it, the last remains of David went down a hole with the dust that was one other residents of the Delphi graveyard. His dust now mingles with the Greek soil.

And so there is nothing to take back from Greece to England. Nothing physical anyway. The photos of Cochrane Mountain and tales of how he is remembered via the mountain, even if fewer and fewer folks know the full story, go back with me. I know that various family members have already seen the photos.  This part of the story is now over. There is little more that can be discovered.

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The Great appeal of Greek pop music - not understanding a word

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In a couple of days I shall be on the road again, picking up the Mrs at Athens airport and heading off to the Mani. It is three hours to Athens, an hour to get lost in the City and then five more to the Mani. The Mrs will, no doubt bring CDs so for the last five hours it will be a mix of Nashville with the odd George Michael track (her choice not mine). But until we meet up I will listen to the radio as I love Greek pop.

The beat and some of the strains clearly have a Turkish influence (I hope no-one here is reading this) but there are also very European themes and so I am a big fan. Perhaps that is in part because I do not understand very much of what is being sung.

With English pop I know that 99% of the lyrics are inane piffle. With Greek pop I am sure that the same is true but I can kid myself that the pained lyrics are about the struggles of the War of Independence, the misery of 58% youth unemployment or the tragedy that has been joining the Euro. I know I kid myself but it makes for great listening. Sadly as I start to learn Greek the cost will be that I can no longer kid myself.

The track below from the High Queen of Greek pop Despina Vandi was one that the Mrs and I had on our wedding play list last year.

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