TH€ PUNT: Hall steps up to plate again – this time for sick children
CHAMPION of distressed borrowers David Hall has a new mantle. He has just launched Bumbleance, an ambulance service aimed at sick children. The bee-themed ambulance, which is wi-fi equipped and kitted out with iPads, toys and mood lighting, can be booked in advance to help sick kids travel in style and comfort.
The idea was spearheaded by Dingle parents Tony and Mary Heffernan, pictured above at yesterday's launch with Mr Hall and Miriam O'Callaghan.
We are regularly impressed by Mr Hall's perseverance towards achieving his goals, and we think parents of sick children around the country will be glad to have him on their side. As director of the Irish Mortgage Holders Association, he has long been a champion of the most vulnerable.
His case last year, challenging the legality of the promissory note, was taken at personal risk under the threat of massive defence fees. When IBRC eventually did present him with a huge legal bill – to the tune of €27,000 – Hall again didn't take no for an answer. He went to regulating body, the Taxing Master, and had it reduced by an impressive 75pc.
Sick kids, distressed borrowers, and anyone who has been handed an excessive legal bill, he's stepped up to the plate for all three. Now if only we can convince him to take on the clampers outside Independent Towers.
Cameron defends British honour
DAVID Cameron was showing off the good old British bulldog spirit yesterday, defending the country's honour after a Russian official at the G20 mocked its size and influence. The official reportedly told reporters that no one pays any attention to Britain and dismissed it as "just a small island".
This prompted Mr Cameron to put the British stiff upper lip squarely on display as he offered a robust defence and tried to remind us all why they think Britain is so great.
"Britain may be a small island, but I would challenge anyone to find a country with a prouder history, a bigger heart or greater resilience," declared Mr Cameron.
"This is a country that cleared the European continent of fascism, abolished the slave trade, and gave the world the musicians Edward Elgar and The Beatles."
Then again, if the Russians feel Britain is a small island with little influence, what must they think of little old Ireland. Mr Putin, have you even heard of us?
Green's low-octane performance
THE Punt has seen a lot of chief executives in our time, and it is pretty easy to discern the type of person who tends to be at the top of successful companies.
Whatever they are like behind closed doors, in public at least they tend to be outgoing, boisterous, and energetic in general.
At Circle Oil's annual general meeting, the chief executive, Professor Chris Green, did not appear to be energetic or vigorous. If anything, it was the opposite.
Granted he was not served well by the set-up of the AGM. Few meetings work well when the directors are physically on the same level as their audience, but, when that is the case, the chief needs to get up and make sure he gets his point across.
Prof Green stood up and gave his presentation in perfunctory fashion, then resumed his seat and appeared to lose interest in the rest of the meeting. He rested his head on one hand and was quite passive for a man at the top of the tree.
It seemed instructive that his seat was wedged at the end of the table, away from his chief financial officer and chairman. He looked tired.
Prof Green's reputation is one of a technical man rather than a hard-charging businessman, and he has enormous knowledge of the oil business. One hopes his performance behind closed doors is better.