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The Great British Auctions


“Various PR firms and celebrity figures have hopped on, offering contributions in good faith. The word all round is that important British projects such as putting thousands of soldiers in a desert to stop the terrorists are worthy of carrying through.”

by Peter Demain
Arbitrage Partner Blog
Dirty Garnet

In the face of bankruptcy, the British nation has in desperation reverted to its commercial principles. This means a selling off of many iconic items, all of which carry a national (notional – ed) significance. With both Moody’s and the S&P financial service firms on the brink of taking our coveted AAA ratings, a battery of top auctioneers were notified of the fundraising sales.

“Simply put, we wanted to get all the items we could do without and sell them at a fair but premium rate to investors both foreign and non-domestic. Beautiful relics such as Margaret Thatcher’s first set of dentures will be on sale, as will thousands of unsold porcelain sets commemorating Prince Charles’ marriage to Diana.” – David Cameron, January 16th 2011

Our handsome Prime Minister’s eloquence on the matter of paying off the debt-hordes that haunt the nation had a captivated audience of top-flight upper class emissaries pay tribute. Camilla Parker-Bowles was seen to give twenty of her finest hair rollers to the cause, whilst Sir Alan Sugar offered a lunch.

The antique dentures.

The public did on occasion express an earnestness to join in. However the Cabinet affirmed that even the seats at the auctions were subject to booking based on ‘proper class origins and decorum’. As such, the refurbished Savoy will be for one night converted to an auction hall.

“We’re all in this together, and if that means an exclusive restaurant turning into an exclusive restaurant auctioneers for an evening – then by God we’ll have to be done with it. The struggle is set, the grind is, er, about to be ground, the chandeliers polished and so forth!” – Malcolm Rifkind, January 15th 2011

Rifkind, now revelling in his title of Spook Mastermind was heard to mutter that he’d get MI5 on board, if only to officiate the auctions. However due to the majority of the world’s sexiest spies operating in Russia, Malcolm was advised to get real and auction forth his old tortoiseshell spectacles instead.

The events are set to be the most grandiose and opulent Britain has seen. The Queen herself offered a Corgi smothered in volcanic ash during a Royal trip to Sicily. The ‘legendary fifth Corgi’ as the canny Sotheby’s salesman billed it, is grayish black in tone and is confirmed not to have any dark magic powers by her handlers.

[pullquote]But one area of society was horribly – indeed heinously – frugal … The banking and economics sector[/pullquote]

A lock of Boris Johnson’s hair has been offered. It dates to his Bullingdon youth when a blond hair shortage meant a well-shorn genuine clump would fetch a good fifty quid. Now thanks to Boris’s executive position as London Mayor the lock concerned has been valued at a minimum of seventeen thousand.

Showbusiness enshrined Britons have been quick to donate old props and bits of memorabilia. Whether it be Patrick Stewart’s job lot of Star Trek makeup and costume peripherals, or Helen Mirren’s spare sword hilt from Excalibur – many actors veteran or not are set to auction off bits to aid the ailing British treasury.

Boris Johnson - Purveyor of superior strands

“Tax? Tax is but a compulsory tariff against the people. These auctions show that extra contributions can and shall be made – and not just by those who can afford them. As the Antiques Roadshow so abundantly demonstrated, the occasional working person has stuff worthy of consideration. We may even do uh, economically stunted auctions in the future to honour this profound trait.” – William Hague (to various envoys)

One area where the contributions ran short was unfortunately the media. Cash-strapped and with the newspapers starting to peter out, the journalistic profession was however able to offer one of Andrew Neil’s antique vests which is billed as a ‘simple, manly garment’ in the sales booklet at Claridges.

Thirty million is thought to be the combined sum from all these auctions. Various PR firms and celebrity figures have hopped on, offering contributions in good faith. The word all round is that important British projects such as putting thousands of soldiers in a desert to stop the terrorists are worthy of carrying through. That might cost more than these auctions could hope to achieve, but we’ll be thankful for it once Afghanistan is a utopia, the terrorists truly non-existent, and the people appreciative of British efforts.


But one area of society was horribly – indeed heinously – frugal. The banking and economics sector was seen to contribute an old comedy cassette tape compiled by Mervyn King back in the 80s. Mervyn, seeing an opening in the ‘business alternative’ genre, embarked on a short-lived venture into being funny. One of Merv’s sketches depicted a team of rogue bankers absconding with all of a nation’s money, whilst a hapless Establishment is fronted to shore up the damage.

Never!

by Peter Demain

Arbitrage Partner Blog
Dirty Garnet

In association with:

The ARB Team
Arbitrage Magazine
Business News with BITE

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