Pembroke: A ringing reply

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The Independent Online
THERE IS nothing like a little healthy competition, particularly for those used to wielding monopoly power. Mrs Iain Vallance, wife of the chairman of BT, was visited at her Dulwich home by Videotron, the cable television company. It offered to undercut BT's telephone services by 40 per cent. Her response, according to her husband, was unprintable in this newspaper. It would breach the Obscene Publications Act.

BEWARE the hole in the wall. Police in Connecticut say an automated teller machine installed at a shopping mall three weeks ago was not 'out of cash', but was carefully recording card numbers and personal codes. When the machine disappeared last Sunday, so did large amounts of cash from bank accounts all over Connecticut.

At least dollars 50,000 has been withdrawn from other cash machines by the techno-muggers using counterfeit bank cards encoded with the information gathered by their fake ATM. Police say they have no leads. Even the ATM - picked up 'for repairs' by a team of uniformed technicians - appears to have got away.

WHAT DO they mean? The latest industrials quarterly from Smith New Court informs us: 'Some clients like to rip up our quarterly book, so we have tried to help by providing perforations]'

Are clients so unimpressed by the research that they tear the publication to pieces with their bare hands before binning it? No, they find it so useful they separate out notes on individual companies and keep them for posterity.

QC WARS erupted in a House of Commons employment select committee hearing this week. The committee's chairman, Labour MP for Leicester West and QC Greville Janner, had a spirited go at the chairman of National Westminster Bank, Lord Alexander QC, over small business complaints. The intensity of battle suggested the two might have jousted in the past.

Lord Alexander won on points with a final jab: 'I know your standards at the Bar and I hope they have not fallen since you became a politician.'

WHO NEEDS profit-related pay? The annual report of Perkins Foods states that static earnings per share in 1992 meant no bonuses for directors. Yet the basic pay of Howard Phillips, chief executive, went up from pounds 226,000 in 1991 to pounds 261,000 in 1992, almost compensating for the pounds 46,000 bonus paid in 1991.

A win win situation it seems.

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