PRIVATE EYE

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Foureyes
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PRIVATE EYE

Post by Foureyes » Tue Apr 08, 2014 7:06 pm

Interesting letter in latest issue of Private Eye (4 April 2014; p15).
There has been some discussion in the rag about the tax affairs of the John Laing Construction Co. The letter-writer, one David Briggs, is upset by the criticism of a company renowned for its charitable activities and goes on to say: "…I write as one who benefited from their largesse as they paid for me to attend school at Christ's Hospital."
I was not aware that there was some form of Laing scholarship - can anyone throw light on this?
David :shock:

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Re: PRIVATE EYE

Post by sejintenej » Wed Apr 09, 2014 11:36 am

ISTR there was mention of the concept a long time ago. Some companies did contribute to the education of the children of some of their staff. Although he doesn't know it (I found out only recently) Comerford's presentation, via a circuitous chain, came from a major bank. I suspect that these were and were treated like the other 'lifetime' ones (Comerford's was) rather than the continuing ones like the GLC etc
Last edited by sejintenej on Fri Apr 11, 2014 6:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Adrian
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Re: PRIVATE EYE

Post by Adrian » Wed Apr 09, 2014 1:46 pm

My fees were paid for by a firm of Solicitors in Sheffield, whose founder set up a fund to pay for one kid from the city to be at CH in perpetuity (I must have been a smart 10 year-old to win the scholarship, I wish I could say the same for me as an adult). As I left another boy from Sheffield started, and I guess there's a child from the city on the same scholarship now.
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Re: PRIVATE EYE

Post by Jim Rayner » Thu Apr 10, 2014 11:14 pm

Foureyes wrote:Interesting letter in latest issue of Private Eye (4 April 2014; p15).
There has been some discussion in the rag about the tax affairs of the John Laing Construction Co. The letter-writer, one David Briggs, is upset by the criticism of a company renowned for its charitable activities and goes on to say: "…I write as one who benefited from their largesse as they paid for me to attend school at Christ's Hospital."
I was not aware that there was some form of Laing scholarship - can anyone throw light on this?
David :shock:
There was a David Briggs (known as Bernie) in ThA in the early 1970's who I certainly remember being very enthusiastic about John Laing and what a wonderful company they were. If he had a scholarship funded by them that would make sense. At the time I assumed he planned to and work for them, but whether or not he did I have no idea.
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Re: PRIVATE EYE

Post by rockfreak » Fri Apr 11, 2014 9:52 pm

Foureyes wrote:Interesting letter in latest issue of Private Eye (4 April 2014; p15).
There has been some discussion in the rag about the tax affairs of the John Laing Construction Co. The letter-writer, one David Briggs, is upset by the criticism of a company renowned for its charitable activities and goes on to say: "…I write as one who benefited from their largesse as they paid for me to attend school at Christ's Hospital."
I was not aware that there was some form of Laing scholarship - can anyone throw light on this?
David :shock:
Private Eye is not a rag. Investigative journalism would be much the poorer without the constant digging of The Guardian and Private Eye. Big companies can pay their taxes and fund the odd scholarship as well.

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Re: PRIVATE EYE

Post by Foureyes » Sun Apr 13, 2014 8:41 pm

"Private Eye is not a rag."
"Rag" is an affectionate name for newspapers used by journalists - or was, when I was one. I certainly do not mean to disparage Private Eye, to which I have subscribed to for some 20 years.
David :shock:

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Re: PRIVATE EYE

Post by rockfreak » Mon Apr 14, 2014 6:20 pm

Foureyes wrote:"Private Eye is not a rag."
"Rag" is an affectionate name for newspapers used by journalists - or was, when I was one. I certainly do not mean to disparage Private Eye, to which I have subscribed to for some 20 years.
David :shock:
Sorry! No offence intended. It's incredibly serious these days, isn't it? Apparently Hislop wanted to angle it more towards serious, properly checked stories when he took over and cut down the libel writs they were attracting in the Peter Cook days. The days of endless in-court wrangles with Sir "Jams" Goldsmith.

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Re: PRIVATE EYE

Post by J.R. » Tue Apr 15, 2014 11:19 am

,,,,,,,,,,, and he's pretty darn good on "Have I Got News For You", with of course, the brilliant Paul Merton !
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Re: PRIVATE EYE

Post by Okkersmate » Sun Feb 07, 2016 2:46 pm

Hi
Just found this site with my letter to Private Eye mentioned. Fame at last!

Not sure the John Laing family had an official scholarship to CH but they did pay for my education as my father, who died when I was 2, worked for Laings'. Although I did get an offer to work for them in the end I feared a building site was not for me, now work for the NHS.

Jim Rayner! His memory is better than mine as I had forgot all about being called 'Bernie' although i can recall I was called 'Leaf' in Maine A.

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Re: PRIVATE EYE

Post by michael scuffil » Fri Feb 12, 2016 8:07 am

rockfreak wrote:
Foureyes wrote:"Private Eye is not a rag."
"Rag" is an affectionate name for newspapers used by journalists - or was, when I was one. I certainly do not mean to disparage Private Eye, to which I have subscribed to for some 20 years.
David :shock:
Sorry! No offence intended. It's incredibly serious these days, isn't it? Apparently Hislop wanted to angle it more towards serious, properly checked stories when he took over and cut down the libel writs they were attracting in the Peter Cook days. The days of endless in-court wrangles with Sir "Jams" Goldsmith.
I know this is an old quote, but in the interests of accuracy, Peter Cook was never the editor of Private Eye, but the owner. Private Eye has only ever had three editors. Ian Hislop (1986 --) was preceded by Richard Ingrams, who took over in the very first year 1961/62 from (believe it or not) Christopher Booker. The latter now writes a column in the Sunday Telegraph which sounds like a parody of every ludicrous idea going, but I believe is meant to be serious.

I used to have Private Eye sent to me at school, and I think I have an almost unbroken series from 1962 to 1966 or thereabouts (though heaven knows where).
Th.B. 27 1955-63

rockfreak
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Re: PRIVATE EYE

Post by rockfreak » Fri Feb 12, 2016 1:32 pm

Yes I was aware of the distinction, Michael, with Cook as the owner rather than editor, but one who took a keen interest and guiding hand in the editorial content. Poor Christopher Booker was ejected by an office coup while he was away on holiday with Ingrams taking over. The public's fascination with the posh schools (that 93% of them don't go to) is satirised today in the Eye with the cartoon strip "Dave Snooty and his Pals" which is itself a satire on the strip "Lord Snooty and his Pals" which used to appear in the Beano or the Dandy, comics read largely by working class youngsters. Incidentally, I interviewed Pete and Dud for the music papers when the Derek and Clive album came out in the 1970s; Jayne Mansfield and her crabs, etc, and they were a total contrast as a pair - Cook the elegant, laconic public schoolboy and Dud the lad from Dagenham (who of course went on to Oxbridge). Cook's droning vocal style was apparently copied from the butler at Radley College, and Cook simply took it on to The Footlights, Beyond the Fringe and Not Only But Also.
In his book A History of Modern Britain, Andrew Marr records how public schoolboys like Cook used their humour at school to deflect buulies. And of course the humour was often juvenile and, as Marr observes, since they knew little of women, often toe-curlingly juvenile about sex. I remember when Cook was once asked why his humour was so schoolboyish he replied: "You mean as opposed to the adult humour of Max Bygraves?"

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J.R.
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Re: PRIVATE EYE

Post by J.R. » Fri Feb 12, 2016 4:09 pm

Arr ! Derek & Clive. I still have a very old tape of that. Priceless !

Of course, Cooke always delighted in putting Dud down at every opportunity.
John Rutley. Prep B & Coleridge B. 1958-1963.

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Re: PRIVATE EYE

Post by michael scuffil » Fri Feb 12, 2016 6:58 pm

rockfreak wrote:Poor Christopher Booker was ejected by an office coup while he was away on holiday with Ingrams taking over. The public's fascination with the posh schools (that 93% of them don't go to) is satirised today in the Eye with the cartoon strip "Dave Snooty and his Pals" which is itself a satire on the strip "Lord Snooty and his Pals"
Booker and Ingrams were at school together, so I wonder what intrigues or past secrets and animosities led to the office coup. Given that the whole clique that founded Private Eye went to a very posh school (and posh prep schools too), 'Dave Snooty and His Pals' comes across as somewhat ironic.

Booker started getting very solemn and rather self-important quite early on, as can be seen from his book The Neophiliacs. Ingrams, though a conservative, teetotaller and recent Catholic convert, to my mind was always more of an anarchist with a sense of fun. He was TV critic of The Spectator for a while, but was sacked (I think) because he was always forgetting to watch any, and his columns talked about all manner of things, but not TV.
Th.B. 27 1955-63

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J.R.
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Re: PRIVATE EYE

Post by J.R. » Sat Feb 13, 2016 5:57 pm

michael scuffil wrote:
rockfreak wrote:Poor Christopher Booker was ejected by an office coup while he was away on holiday with Ingrams taking over. The public's fascination with the posh schools (that 93% of them don't go to) is satirised today in the Eye with the cartoon strip "Dave Snooty and his Pals" which is itself a satire on the strip "Lord Snooty and his Pals"
Booker and Ingrams were at school together, so I wonder what intrigues or past secrets and animosities led to the office coup. Given that the whole clique that founded Private Eye went to a very posh school (and posh prep schools too), 'Dave Snooty and His Pals' comes across as somewhat ironic.

Booker started getting very solemn and rather self-important quite early on, as can be seen from his book The Neophiliacs. Ingrams, though a conservative, teetotaller and recent Catholic convert, to my mind was always more of an anarchist with a sense of fun. He was TV critic of The Spectator for a while, but was sacked (I think) because he was always forgetting to watch any, and his columns talked about all manner of things, but not TV.
Somewhat ironic in my view.
John Rutley. Prep B & Coleridge B. 1958-1963.

rockfreak
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Re: PRIVATE EYE

Post by rockfreak » Thu Feb 18, 2016 6:27 pm

Andrew Marr's "History of Modern Britain" is excellent on the business of public schoolboys and satire. Here are some quotes from Marr and Cook's biographer Harry Thomson.
"They were rarely politically radical. They were from a privileged elite after all. Cook's father had been a colonial civil servant. Ingrams was the son of an eccentric banker and intelligence agent, a one-time member of the pro-Nazi Anglo-German Fellowship Society, and a Catholic mother whose father had been Queen Victoria's doctor. Both men were brought up to look down on the working classes as essentially inferior and comic, though Ingrams would have his perspective shifted as a soldier during the Korean War. Their satire would be biting with underlying layers of anger and hurt. But it would be very public-schoolboyish too, tittering and often snobby.
"If Peter Cook had any politics they were never consistent and always took second place to a good punchline. Ingrams was certainly no socialist; his independent Tory radicalism allowed him to flay party placemen from all sides and he was compared to that great nineteenth-century radical Tory William Cobbett. Too many of the satirists were public schoolboys, getting their own back on the nation's authority figures just as they tried to get their own back on schoolmasters and bullies. Macmillan was for them, in essence, just the head of a decaying prep school."
As far as Mark Thomas goes, I don't think there's any doubt which side of the barricades he's on. By the way, he was out in London last weekend with Will Self, supporting a "trespass" on a privately owned bit of ground outside City Hall, a sort of urban "Kinder Scout" in what looks like the first in a series of demos against the increasing takeover of our public space by private companies.

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