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Company Saying “Buy Phorm” Fined By LSE

Astaire Securities, the company that recently published advice to stockbrokers to buy Phorm shares (in an article that seems to bear a few similarities to a similar document issued by Charles Stanley Securities in April 2008), has been fined by the London Stock Exchange for breaching the rules of the Alternative Investment Market.  The article details the breaches of the AIM rules and the judgement of the LSE.

Just thought I’d mention it.

Now, let’s quickly look at the advice document.  It doesn’t discuss the legal and privacy issues in any real depth (no surprise there) other than to say that there is an “overblown privacy issue”.  To which I respond that the EU clearly doesn’t think so.  What was that quote from Mr Strohmeier again?  Oh yes…

Mr Rudolf Strohmeier stated that in all his years working at the Commission there had only been 1 or 2 other issues which had generated such a high volume of written complaints from the public so they were taking the matter very seriously, which is why they initiated infringement action against the UK Government last month.

It’s a great little quote that.

The classic “We have little doubt that Phorm’s OIX platform complies wholly with the letter and spirit of current legislation”  gets an airing too.  Has anyone at Astaire seen qualified legal opinion confirming this?  You know, the one I’ve been challenging Phorm to publish for over a year now.  The one I am sure Commissioner Vivian Reding would also love to see.  Or are we still in the realms of my back foot cover drive – totally non existent?

Ah yes, here we go again.  Another favourite:  “…endorsed by the UK’s Home Office, the Prime Minister’s Office and The Office Of The Information Commissioner”.  Seems like the author  and those who edit and proofread this advice have missed a few very important facts.  Again, no real surprise there.

It seems from this advice that I’m a “disgruntled blogger” and “self-styled privacy campaigner” who “prolongs the tedium”?

Try and ride a coach and horses through the law and you’re damn right I’m disgruntled.  Try to obfuscate and twist a valid debate and you’re damn right I’m disgruntled.  Launch a petty smear campaign worthy of a ranty teenager and you’re damn right I’m disgruntled.

But you know that one can judge an organisation and its people by how they behave.

Know this: there’s nothing tedious about ensuring the law is enforced correctly.  My challenge to Kent Ertugrul and all the pro-Phormers stands: Prove to me that Webwise is legal under UK and EU law.

It doesn’t matter how often you repeat things, if they’re garbage then repeating them ad nauseam does not make them any more true.  If it did then I might just be opening the batting for England at Cardiff sometime soon…

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