Über pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline has been successful in obtaining an injunction against animal 'rights' campaigners, who have been targeting GSK shareholders and threatening to publish their names and addresses on the internet unless they sell their holdings in the company within two weeks. The campaigners object to GSK’s business dealings with Huntingdon Life Sciences - a long-term target of the bunny cuddling, animal-worshipping fundamentalists - who conduct animal research for medical purposes.
I saw some protesters near where I work a couple of months ago, hoisting their placards in impotent rage outside a branch of HSBC. I was tempted to make some signs of my own with names and pictures of people I know who would most likely be dead if it were not for sophisticated pharmacology derived by animal experimentation. Presumably the animal ‘rights’ movement would prefer that.
As for this feeble intimidation campaign of GSK shareholders, well, where do we begin? Clearly these people spend far too much time in the company of small furry animals and forgot to engage their brain before embarking on this. They threaten to publish details of targeted shareholders unless they sell their investments within a fortnight? Well, sell them to whom? Here’s how the market works: holder of GSK shares instructs to sell. Interested party pays cash for shares. Interested party becomes new holder of shares and therefore new investor in GSK. So all you’ve really done is transferred the investment to somebody else. Somebody else you’ve got to research, and then presumably write to, informing them that if they don’t sell their shares within two weeks you will publish their details on the internet. You’re just making more work for yourselves! You’re also making money for the brokers who take a commission on every transaction. Yes, your intention is to intimidate people into selling, thus driving down the share price and hitting GSK where it hurts, but it’s not going to work is it? There’s always a buyer for every seller. There’s always going to be people putting up cash for a stake in the company.
Perhaps not the smartest people in the world. As if to illustrate this point, The Guardian has quoted an extract from the letter that was sent out (in crayon, I suspect):
“The only way to hold GlaxoSmithKline to it’s [sic] PROMISE is to target it’s [sic] financial vulnerability. We are therefore giving you this opportunity to sell your shares in GlaxoSmithKline.”
PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) describe animal research as ‘animal torture’. Never mind that, what about the above torture of the English language? “It?s” promise? “It’s” financial vulnerability? I have a rule: never trust the words or intentions of grown adults still unable to use an apostrophe in its (did you see that?) correct context.
Talk about dumb animals. Maybe we should experiment on these people instead?