Personal and undiluted views
The Grim North

223 days ago

Photo Article from the Welsh Hovel - if art imitated life, my Northern cats part 3

We started this tale with my wife suggesting that we buy a cat basket for Sian & Quincey our rescue cats from the grim North, that is to say Liverpool. “Oh no” I objected on their behalf, “cat baskets are for soft southerners, when we were young we lived in cardboard boxes”. I put two out and the cats dreamed of sleeping in cardboard boxes. “In the old days in the North we were poor but we were happy” they said, as in the Monty Python sketch.

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285 days ago

Just how out of touch can The Daily Telegraph be? Its, massively out of date, view on pubs

Apparently pubs are working class and grubby. So say the patrician snobs at the Daily Telegraph as you can see below. How I wish this was the case. It seems to me that almost every boozer around here is now a twee gastro-pub serving overpriced food with folks sitting at socially distanced tables sipping just a glass of wine and texting away like dervishes. And yes I do live in the Grim North. Heaven only knows what it is like in the soft South.

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290 days ago

Lisa Nandy MP, sorry love I just don't believe you

I have a soft spot for Lisa Nandy – the Labour MP for Wigan. I think one of my sisters or maybe it was me sat on the lap of her grandfather Lord Byers once upon a time. In what is termed show business for ugly people, Ms Nandy scrubs up fairly well. Above all, she is, by the, admittedly low, standards of her party a voice of sanity and reason. However, I am afraid that her weekend utterances might in today’s Orwellian world be described as misspeaking, you and I might call it lying.

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805 days ago

Are we at peak coffee?

Hat tip to Andrew Monk for this really very interesting piece on coffee. I pay £2.45 for a take-away here in the Grim North so I must be flushing away a good bit. Is this sustainable? Monk asks “Has the Era of coffee shops peaked and are we now going to see a gradual decline?”

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811 days ago

Photo Article - a Woodlarks training walk up the River Dee

In twelve days time I will walk 33 miles from Horse Hill to Woodlarks with 11 other rogue bloggers to try to raise £40,000 for a charity that really needs that cash. So if you are yet to sponsor me please do so now HERE. Sagturday saw a training walk allowing me to explore the area around my new home, the Welsh Hovel, on the River Dee.

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811 days ago

Tom Winnifrith Bearcast - these companies are just taking the piss as management troughs it

Ahead of lunch with a scouser I encounter someone just out of prison. There you go, life here in the Grim North. I urge you all to follow the lead of Saintly Tech Queen Vin Murria HERE.Greedy AIM bosses screwing shareholders infuriate me and in that vein I cover: Mirriad (MIRI), EVR Holdings (EVRH) and Argo Blockchain (ARB). I also look at FinnCrap (FCAP) where the dam is breaking, Share PLC (SHRE), Frontier Smart Technologies (FST) and Audioboom (BOOM).  

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823 days ago

Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: Another scoop on dissembling POS Bidstack & a strange deal at ValiRx

I am procrastinating ahead of a 24 mile training walk in the Grim North as the wind blows hard and the rain tips it down. As you think of my suffering please please donate now HERE. In consider the 3Xs in light of today’s Pathfinder (PFP) scoop. I apologise to Peter Greensmith, he is not the knobhead in the Bidstack (BIDS) affair and indeed not a knobhead at all. I name the real knobheads and have another scoop on the company showing how firms like Optiva make AIM a disorderly market with their slimeball behaviour. Finally I look at yesterday’s financing by ValiRx (VAL) which looks like a bad deal in so many ways.

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834 days ago

Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: Not grabbing Mrs Chav's Pussy and as Julie Meyer threatens myself and Nigel Wray - how I will respond

In today’s podcast I explain what happened with Mrs Chav’s pussy and also about how the move to Wales and the Grim North went and why this is now a bigger project than the Greek Hovel. I cover Bould (BOU) and systemic market abuse, Telit (TCM) and its dire results and the threats to Nigel Wray and myself from Julie Meyer. I gather the Times has also been threatened and it is standing its ground. How do you think I will respond ahead of a 5PM deadline?  Meanwhile we are now at 25% of our £40,000 rogue bloggers for Woodlarks target and i urge you to check out the rioll call of heros ( even if you are a dripping lefty who thinks my world view stinks) and join them HERE.

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846 days ago

Tom Winnifrith Bearcast - another high yielding blue chip Neil Woodford is having to dump & another shite note from FinnCrap

In today's podcast, my last Monday bearcast from the civilised south as opposed to the Grim North,  I start with a look at another blue chip high yield stock Neil Woodford is being forced to sell as a result of the flood of redemptions. Then I have a revelation of shame about Daniel Stewart (DAN) and executive largesse. Then I look at the Yourgene (YGEN) trading statement and the lamentable research note it produced from FinnCrap (FCAP) which I reproduce in full below. Really: it is time to sack FinnCap and get a proper broker on board Finally a look at Adept4 (AD4) and an appeal to you all to join the roll call of heros HERE

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859 days ago

Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: after 30 years of kissing Neil Woodford's arse Jeff Presstrip becomes the penultimate rat to abandon ship

Yesterday's bearcast explained the massive red flag of Neil Woodford having to sell his crown jewelsd, shares in Imperial Brands. Today, his most devoted follower on the sewer that is Fleet Street, Jeff Prestridge of the Mail on Sunday has, after 30 years of loyally kissing Woodford's arse at least once a fortnight, abandoned ship. The ship once swarmed with parasitic and, often unthinking, rats. Now there is just one left, Hargreaves Lansdown. I explian what this all means. If you enjoyed this, almost 100% profanity free, bearcast, follow a bloke from the Grim North who donated enough to buy a whole house in the welfare safari and support the Rogue Bloggers for Woodlarks HERE.

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862 days ago

Tom Winnfrith Bearcast: Brexit bollocks, the real threats to the economy, Crest Nicholson's dividend and Charlie & Lola

Charlie & Lola let me down so sorry for the Joshua interruption today. In this podcast I discuss Brexit and the real threats to the UK economy and then look at Crest Nicholson (CRST), its dividend and, I think, illusory yield. If you enjoyed this, almost, profanity free bearcast, follow a bloke from the Grim North who donated enough to buy a whole house in the welfare safari and support the Rogue Bloggers for Woodlarks HERE.

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865 days ago

Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: if you wait by the river for long enough...

In today's podcast I explain why Julie Meyer has spurred me to battle on, though I do consider calling it a day now and again. I look at Quindell (QPP), London & Capital Finance, Neil Woodford, and flag up that the FCA has opened or stepped up an enquiry into another company I covered in some detail. You can speculate which, more details when Winnileaks comes good.  I look at Red Emperor (RMP), IQE (IQE), Verseon (VERS) and Blue Jay Mining (JAY). If you enjoyed this, I think, profanity free bearcast, follow a bloke from the Grim North who donated enough to buy a whole house in the welfare safari and support the Rogue Bloggers for Woodlarks HERE.

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892 days ago

Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: the Mother in law has some harsh and damning words for me

I am now back from  my weekend in the Grim North where the Mother-in-law had some harsh words for me which have wounded me greatly. I look at Plus500 (PLUS), our coverage and where next and then at the demise of FlyBMI and what that says about Brexit, airline stocks, corks on waves and if the same applies to retail.

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897 days ago

Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: the bloke who did not beat me up makes a critical point re share buybacks

In this podcast I discuss Plus500 (PLUS) again and also share buy backs in general and specifically. I also look at Motif Bio (MTFB) and the general issue of who should sit on a smaller company board. This podcast comes to you from my mother-in-law's in the Grim North.

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897 days ago

Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: From the Grim North my Argo folly compounds itself

I report to you from the Grim North, a phrase Joshua has learned, much to the annoyance of the Mrs who is, herself, from the great post industrial welfare safari. In this podcast I cover Argo Blockchain (ARB), Optibiotiox (OPTI), Plus 500 (PLUS) and Angus Energy (ANGS).

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924 days ago

Photo Article: Joshua's Goat

 My two year old son Joshua has a tendency, these days, to say that everything belongs to him. So it is "my house", "my car" and pictured below is "my goat." Of course it is not.

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930 days ago

Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: It looks as if the move to the Grim North is full steam ahead

Well so much for a slow housing market! It looks as if it is full steam ahead on a move to the Grim North! Away from that, in today's podcast I look at Revolution Bars (RBG), Photonstar Led (PSL), Debenhams (DEB), Flybe (FLYB), Gear4Music (G4M) and Goals Soccer Centres (GOAL). And I commend to you Gary's fine piece on Eqtec (EQT).

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934 days ago

Is my wife’s Bristol "tradition" just a middle class fantasy? Anyone want a broken pushchair covered in cat hair?

The house is now on the market as we prepare for a move up to the Grim North. We already have five viewings lined up for Saturday so keep your fingers crossed. Ahead of that day I have been working hard at clearing out six years of accumulated junk in the garage.  There have been one or two rather good finds. There was a package marked fragile.

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966 days ago

The Mrs has to give a lecture on “Greed is Good” – will she do so as well as Gordon Gekko?

The Mrs has been to see her new colleagues in the Grim North and has been given her lecture schedule for next term. And on it is a talk called “Greed is Good”. Of course it damn well is.

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967 days ago

Photo article from the Greek Hovel - take that Bernard! Mr Fire is here

During the week that he was here, ShareProphets reader Bernard from the Grim North of England, c/o Donegal tried manfully to get my new wood burning stove going. It is jolly chilly at night. He failed. Over to the maestro.

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968 days ago

Day 5 of the Olive harvest at the Greek Hovel and a final P&L – Don’t all laugh

I have been sitting on this account of the final day of the 2018 olive harvest for some days as I am rather cross. I know the sums involved are trivial but none the less….

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1089 days ago

A tale of two crimes on the way back from Birmingham and the Grim North - my own moral maze

My business at the Greek Consulate in Birmingham was done with all the efficiency you expect of Greece - that is to say with long delays, over-runs and numerous stamps impressed on my piece of paper. I then hurried back to the civilised south of England as fast as I could.

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1855 days ago

Is the Mrs reading Grazia Magazine grounds for divorce?

Back in the UK I sit at my desk looking out on a quiet surburban road. It is all very different to the view from the rough table at which I write at the Greek Hovel. I see people, cars and neat brick walls rather than olive trees, sheep, the abandoned monastery and the wild of the Mani countryside. Here in Bristol, I also spot in a magazine rack next to my desk a copy of Grazia magazine.

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2367 days ago

New Oakley Video: cat inaction in bed with the Mrs

It strikes me that videos of my morbidly obese three legged cat Oakley are now getting more views than some of the writers on ShareProphets. Perhaps I should fire a few of the scribes and just go into business with my cat? Maybe not. As Oakley is a 14 year old obese cancer survivor the actuaries would not rate this long term business model.

Oakley regards our marital bed as his own and gives me a dirty look when I intrude on him and the Mrs. Normally fishy breath snuggles up to the deluded lefty and gazes adoringly into her eyes. And she reciprocates and they talk about Coronation Street and other matters that concern folks from the Grim North. But if he hears my footsteps he heads off to the other end of the bed and plays all innocent.

And so as the public sector worker

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2439 days ago

Explaining the difference between cocaine and washing powder to a Northern git

On top of my fireplace at the Greek Hovel in a picture I published the other day is a large bag of white powder. At once the self-styled Northern Barons my good pals Doc Holiday and Brokerman Dan were tweeting in a frenzy that I had a large stash of coke with me. Dan reckoned I was going to dose my Albanian workers tomorrow and get the olives harvested at record speed. I am sorry to disappoint the Northern gits. 

For behind the bag is a box marked Tide. This is a product called “washing powder” which in the South of England we use to wash our clothes. In the North I guess they just hang their shell suits out in the rain until they are marginally less grubby and then leave them to dry next to the pigeon loft. The next time that my good friends trek down from the welfare addicted wastelands of the Grim North I will try to explain to them what this is all about. 

The picture below is of the washing powder but also a larger bag of yellow powder which is Sulphur which I use on the edge of the garden to keep snakes away.  For readers in the Grim North who might not understand what a snake is it is a bit like a Quindell shareholder. That is to say it has a small brain but some varieties are poisonous and no-one likes any of them. The only difference is that snakes can be worth a bit of money.

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2466 days ago

The Northern Petroleum Rampathon, Proactive Investors and Crony Capitalism on AIM

The pre rescue bailout placing ramping exercise of Northern Petroleum (NOP) continues on Wednesday with a presentation somewhere in the Grim North organised by Proactive investors. A missive from Proactive sales bird Sophie Barrowman (pictured) last week tells you all you need to know about how the AIM Casino operates. Sophie gushes in semi-orgasmic tones:

We are very excited to announce our third company for next week's line-up, Northern Petroleum which we expect to significantly outperform over the next 12 months. The shares jumped almost 20% on Tuesday due to outstanding flow rates from a well drilled in Canada. The first of THREE new wells drilled at the Keg River project has tested at a rate of 1,300 barrels of oil per day. Northern has a market cap of just £15mln… it will rerate

Ends.

Where do I start?

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2494 days ago

Thinking about grapes in Bristol and at the Greek Hovel

The Bristol vine harvest was completed last weekend. About enough liquid for ten to fifteen bottles now sits fermenting in a bucket. We have added sugar and yeast and must just wait for a week before straining and decanting into a demi-john. I may try to make grappa with what’s left as an experiment.

Our Bristol grapes were red but small and of varying degrees of sweetness. They were not the lush bunches of grapes you’d expect at a Roman orgy. Nor the lush bunches of sweet grapes that hang around the Greek Hovel.

My guest this summer gave me firm instructions as to how I must assist the vine for next year by pissing against it. As a woman she was not able to assist but urine is a great source of nitrogen and so I followed her instructions every day. I am not sure that I saw any immediate response from the gnarled trunk. But I guess we will find out next summer.

It is the end of my first working week back in the UK. Right now my friends in Kambos are gathering at lovely Eleni’s Kourounis taverna. It is starting to get dark. I would at this point be tapping away for another couple of hours before Vangelis – the man in the pink polo shirt – said in Greek, it is not if you are drinking but what are you drinking. And we’d be off. Back in Bristol I prepare to cook supper for the Mrs instead and to learn more about life in the Grim North by catching up on this week’s episodes of Coronation Street. It is a life of contrasts.

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2595 days ago

I have a terribly guilty confession and is Manchester packed with homosexuals?

I have a terribly guilty confession. It really is shameful. But I am open with you and so confess that …I have started watching Coronation Street. It is really quite gripping to discover what life is really like in the Grim North.

The Mrs – hailing from the entrepreneur free, economic wastelands of the welfare addicted Grim North, that is to say Nottingham – is a lifelong Corrie fan. Until recently we have agreed that when I am there she records and when I am away she gorges and catches up. But then I started watching. It really is fascinating.

I had no idea that life in the North was so interesting. Apparently there is a murder on the Street about once every six months. Folks disappear for unexplained reasons (because the actor who plays them is on trial accused of being a nonce, a rapist or both) and no-one lives with their actual parents. In the North it is apparently compulsory for kids to live with a step parent and their new partner while their actual parents both live with new partners and the children of other folk.

It is all very confusing but since The Mrs is a sociologist she is able to explain it all to me. Right now someone called Tina who seems to have had sex with every man in the street (apart from the large numbers of homosexuals camped out in Corrie) has been murdered. The main suspect is a white man whose son by his first marriage appears to be black and lives with his white ex-wife. Go figure. The main suspect lives with the wife of his father (currently a “disparu”) who is not his mother.  The other suspect is the main suspect’s wife (not yet divorced).  In fact the killer is the brother of the main suspect’s wife whose girlfriend is the sister of the main suspect. Or is it half-sister? Whatever. As you might gather it is all gripping stuff.

My wife says hat Corrie is set in the traditional small c conservative part of Manchester 

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2841 days ago

Friday Caption Contest on a Sunday – the Church of England on Finance Issue

My father has done more than his fair share of work as Treasurer of the Shipston Parish. Its finances are okay – thanks in good part to my father handing over far too much of his dosh – but the finances of the wider C of E are a shambolic disaster. The reason is that it is a failing organisation – it keeps on losing customers to the grim reaper, other faiths and sects or to apathy and it is not replacing them.

One reason for this may be that the Church, like other once respected bodies such as the National Trust and the RSPCA seems intent on straying off its core patch. All three of these bodies have made themselves look ridiculous with their pronouncements on matters such as global warming and hunting of animals. But they just cannot help themselves.

And thus the Archbishop of Canterbury has today waded into the energy price debate telling companies that they should sacrifice profits by cutting prices ( prices agreed with the regulator) so folks are less badly off. Why not instead cut this Government’s ludicrous energy taxes imposed to help reduce our carbon footprint? Er…. Because the Church still thinks the planet is getting warmer (even though we are now in year 16 of cooling).

This is not a moral point the Church and the Archbishop is making but a political one.

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2848 days ago

Escaping from the Grim North back to Civilization

We departed the Grim North (Nottingham) at 5 PM on Sunday. Sadly during my stay I did not sample local culinary delights such as Cock-on-a-stick (Nottingham) or Pikelets and Wrights Pies (Stoke). Instead it was wonderful food from the mother-in-law, who showed great self-restraint and managed to praise Tony Blair only once during our visit). And there was no time to go out and visit the abandoned factories and look at the poor folks who cannot afford shoes as they searched the garbage cans for their next meal. An opportunity missed.


Getting back to the civilised south was the problem. As we moved down the M42 traffic slowed and then ground to a halt. Perhaps there was a problem at passport control as the few thousand Northerners with a work ethic jammed the gates as they headed back to paid employment in the bountiful south after a weekend with the wife, kids and whippets? Actually it was a lorry on its way back from bringing emergency relief to the folks in Stoke, that had jack-knifed and left us stranded in the pitch black for almost five hours. 


At last the Old Bill cleared the hard shoulder and we made our escape finally arriving in Bristol at 12.30. Downton Abbey was videoed and that treat awaits tonight.

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2849 days ago

Friday Caption Contest on a Monday Edition – Polly Toynbee and the Grim North edition

The highlight of the week was Guardian columnist Polly Toynbee, possibly the most annoying and stupid woman alive today, blaming the 2007 death of Baby P on the wicked Tories. I am sure you can spot the flaw in that pathetic smear.

With that in mind I have arrived in the Grim North, where Labour likes to keep folk poor so that they still support the People’s Party, for a weekend with the in-laws. It has rained solidly since we passed passport control in Leicestershire and so I have not ventured out to check out the poverty porn in great detail. But I guess that all those folks whose welfare payments won’t stretch to buying shoes will be feeling pretty cold, wet and miserable as they troop off to the local to blame everything on Thatcher and the bankers.

Since I am assured that no-one up here bothers getting up before midday I shall pop out tomorrow to have a look around. But in this vein, for this week’s caption contest I ask you to supply a witty few words for the picture below.

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2849 days ago

Saturday so far: Filming @PinsentMasons and the pizza triumph

First up I met up with Darren to film a comic video at the offices of uber expensive bully boy City lawyers Pinsent Masons. It will go live next week when an agreed statement between myself, Dan and Sefton is published. V is no longer for Vendetta, V is for Victory! I think the video is funny. I am not sure that our pals at Pinsents will be so amused.

Then to Real Man Pizza in Clerkenwell to drop something off before heading off to the Grim North for a weekend with the in-laws. Damn. Super cook Leo was not there and was running very late. And so Maribel and I opened up and pondered whether we would rather have a customer before Leo arrived or not. Shucks a cute young American arrived. We played for time but eventually she summoned me over to order food.

I prayed to God that she wanted pasta which I am pretty damn good at serving up. But maybe he was punishing me for becoming an Islamic spiritual mentor because the bird ordered a pizza. Damn. The chaps have tried to teach me how to make pizza but it is really hard. But I rolled my sleaves up and gave it a go.

I rolled the dough, pushed it out with my fingers and after a while produced a pretty excellent base. I added the toppings and Maribel and I struggled to get it onto the pizza spade and into the oven. “Yes, yeeees, yeeeeeeeeees” gushed Maribel (in a somewhat disturbing manner) as I managed to get the pizza into the oven. Three minutes later it was on the table.

After a while the girl asked for her cheque and said “that was amazing pizza I am so glad that I found you.” I ‘fessed up that it was my first ever commercial pizza. On that high I now announce my retirement as a pizza chef.

And now off to the Grim North… 

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2853 days ago

An Ambassador for the Cultural Quarter of Stoke on Trent arrives at Real Man Pizza

It is a quiet afternoon at Real Man with a nice couple sitting here having a glass of wine or four… They tell me they have travelled 300 miles to come to Real Man Pizza in Clerkenwell. And who can blame them with our great new cook Leo earning rave reviews. So where are you from? I asked. Stoke on Trent they say.

I say that I have correspondents (Messrs Green & Rowley) who try to educate me to the delights of the Cultural Quarter of lovely Stoke. I say “yes you have some sort of pies don’t you.” They explain about Wrights pies but say that the famous oat cakes are even better and that Stoke’s third culinary delight is a Picklet (pronounced Pike-let) which is a bit like a muffin. Whatever…

I have now learned two new “facts”.

1. Stoke is not as I thought in the Grim North. Everything north of the cultural quarter is the North, everything south of it is the south. The cultural quarter is the centre of the universe.

2. If you stick a compass in the cultural quarter and draw a 70 mile radius circle around it you go as far south as Stratford and 70 miles further into the Grim North. Apparently it is a fact that this circle contains the birthplaces or more men and women who changed the world than any other such circle anywhere on the planet.

I sense that correspondents Green & Rowley have been underselling the cultural quarter and I feel like a moth to the flame, increasingly drawn to make a pilgrimage.

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2943 days ago

I am pushed out of the closet (again) by Bulletin Board Moron of the week Jellyman 2

Over on the ADVFN Sefton thread it appears that one or two folks have a few bad things to say today about Jim Ellerton and Sefton Resources (SER) following Brokerman Dan’s shocking new revelations (which you can read here) and my own expose which you can read here.

But Sefton has its defenders. Jellyman 2 lashes out at one critic with this post:

To have contempt for je and sefton is fine, IF you are a holder and are loosing ££££'s. But to spout bollox and ridicule people for losing money shows what small minded, lowlife animal fuckers you really are!!!!!! and all because your gay lovers bmd and tw ARE too SCARED to post here.

Cripes. I think I am pretty open minded when it comes to sex. My partner is after all from the Grim North and is a Guardian reader. I mean how frigging tolerant does that make me?

But a gay threesome involving Dan Levi and some unnamed BB poster? Dan is a very nice fellow but there are limits to my metrosexual liberal open mindedness.

But what is it with BB Morons that they think that being gay is some sort of word of abuse? You will remember that some other BB Moron insisted that I spent my life in gay bath-houses (I have never been to one in my life, for the avoidance of doubt).

There is nothing wrong with being gay. It is not an insult. It is not something to be ashamed of. Now outing yourself as a Sefton shareholder on the other hand… yuk. But I suppose Sefton shareholders are adults who have consented to being financially buggered. If that’s what floats their boat…

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