Market NewsCommentImportant Nothings

Important Nothings

 By Charles Wyndham.

One of the pleasures that I have set aside for myself this summer is to reread as many Jane Austen novels as possible.

Behind Saki she certainly ranks as a favourite author, it is just that having a touch of ADS (it seems so fashionably necessary nowadays to be able to make that claim), Saki’s stories are usually no more than a few pages each. In other words one’s pleasures come quicker.

What triggered my thoughts on this was the opening of one of Jane Austen’s letters to her sister, “Which of my important nothings must I tell you first?”

Rather my view about the publication of the new DTC sightholder list.

I do not want to belittle the importance to those who were either on or were not on the list, as clearly to them it is important; but as an outsider, just how much relevance does this list have to the wider world?

It brings memories of when the school team lists were posted on the Friday night, important to me, was I in or not, but otherwise…?

One interpretation of this latest list, given that this ‘final’ list is post an unofficial announcement to be confirmed once all and sundry had been Krolled; really what an arse about tit way of doing things!

The outcome could perhaps be defined as ‘one up, one down, all square.’

A new company to the list apparently failed its Kroll test and slipped off the roll of honour.

It may provide some succour to the company to realise that pretty well all companies that got onto the roll under Gareth Penny seem to have failed to stay on it.

The injection of new blood has clearly not been interpreted as allowing for any transfusion of new ideas, but simply that the DTC’s system is pure bunkum.

It is quite a funny ‘endorsement’ of the robust, objective etc etc system that it should have produced this result or non result.

At least we can all agree that practice has only confirmed our thoughts that it really was bunkum.

Less surprising to me is that the ‘up’ is apparently the very company dismissed, sometime ago, from the roll which went to the Belgium courts who decided that the DTC had no right to summarily dismiss a client of such long standing, now, not just of long standing but still standing, so to speak.

DTC must think of this intruder as what we used to call ‘a bad penny’, it keeps coming back.

Clearly one reason that there have been fewer challenges to the system was the victory by the DTC against Jayam in the case in the English High Court.

I keep repeating that I find the result of that case deeply troubling, not least because the DTC as represented by Howard Davies fabricated false evidence which had to be withdrawn.

The plaintiff’s barrister referred to it as “shocking”, which I consider about the mildest form of rebuke possible.

In fact, to think that Howard Davies is apparently the very person charged with looking at queries about the client selection is pretty reassuring … from the DTC’s point of view.

The contrast between this news and the news I hear that a sightholder has been suspended for some transgression or other is interesting.

Whatever the misdeed of the client who is to measure whether this is better or worse than deliberately generating false evidence to a court?

But the most telling point is that while others may argue about just how efficacious Supplier of Choice was in its selection, none I think can justify the fact that not all clients were Krolled.

We may all fear that, just perhaps, there may have been the odd ‘porky pie’ told by some clients, some mild exaggeration, some smidgeon of inexactitude or some touch of inconvenience with the truth.

In a comparative assessment this is a rather significant issue to measure or find out to try and provide a modicum of an even playing field.

Not something that I would expect Howard Davies to notice, but just maybe Kroll?

I found the explanation that the Krolling was to be done after the selection of the short list as understandable as my physics master explaining something (I never did find out what) using elastic bands.

But then SoC has proved to be the most elastic of any robust system.


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