Pembroke: Cold off the press

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The Independent Online
The City of London police force has been caught in one of those ghastly time warps that can occur when stuff is at the printers. A label hastily pasted to the front cover of its annual report, freshly out yesterday and delivered late at that, says: 'Readers are reminded that this report deals solely with the year 1992 and was written and printed long before the event at Bishopsgate on 24 April 1993.'

Inside is the particular portion of text that prompted the health warning. 1992 was an eventful year, says Owen Kelly, City Police Commissioner, but 'we have adjusted rapidly to combat the increased threat of terrorist attack'.

'In this current year,' he reveals, 'we are hopeful that, with the continuing support and assistance from City business and the public at large, we can deter any further vehicle borne terrorist bomb attacks.'

Elsewhere, the annual report contains the best indicator yet of economic recovery. The drink-driving statistics show that back in those heady, champagne-sodden, reckless days of 1988, 295 people were convicted of driving over the limit. In the following, sombre years, the figure steadily dwindled to 191 and then 178, before reaching a low of 120 in 1991. In 1992, however, there's a sudden jump to 195 convictions. The devil-may-care mood must be making a comeback.

Greater stability through the recession has, however, been enjoyed by the 'buoyant' Household Wraps market. We're indebted to Bacofoil Media Information for the following, spine-tingling details: 'Overall, the values of most sectors in the Household Wraps market have risen during 1992, with Bin Liners declining slightly but still commanding pounds 79.1m worth of the market.'

Ian Williams, press officer at Nationwide Building Society, which has a tied relationship with Guardian Royal Exchange, has been quoted in Money Marketing as saying: 'Having a policy with GRE is better than sex.' We can't vouch for Mr Williams' love life, but GRE's payouts over the last 10 and 15 years have been the lowest among those insurance companies offering with-profits policies. So who is the Oxford graduate in BZW's corporate finance department who's been telling friends that he actually paid his tailor to furnish him with an estimate for incredibly expensive bespoke morning dress? Hasn't he heard about the market economy? Answers on a postcard, please.