Wednesday, May 10, 2006

GlaxoSmithKline, basic stock market principles and atrocious grammar

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?


tafka PP said...

Can I respectfully point out, on behalf of all the other innocent bunny-cuddlers out there, that attending bonkers animal rights protests and enjoying the company of furry pets are by and large mutually exclusive practices.

- and I'll throw in an extra chortle for your line about the crayon.

Citizen Sane said...

Point respectfully acknowledged and understood. Personally, I'm a huge fan of dogs and cats. Rabbits? Not so much. They eat their own poo. Nice in a pie though. (Rabbit that is, not poo.)

Hardy Farmer said...

It reminds me of what a great man once said. " I don't think you should be against something until you can pronounce it" (spot on Mr Hicks). Well I don't think you should be allowed to spew ill-informed, self-important, bigoted claptrap until you can punctuate it correctly. That'll keep their pea-sized intellects occupied indefinitely I think. Now, back to my tests - come here Thumper!

sparx said...

Yer? Wel yu can orl burn in hel yu borjwar punkchewashon and spelin'g fashist's. De'ath to all!

Raving Vegan Loon said...


While I have to agree with you about the laughability of this campaign and generally join in the derision aimed at the intelectually challenged person who wrote that letter, I would also like to share the reason why I sold inherited shares in Glaxo.

While Glaxo do use animal research for medical benefit, they also use it for cosmetic use. While you can talk about the wonders of medical science being able to help people live normal lives or rehabilitate their health after surgery or disaster, there is no real defence of animal torture for cosmetic research. And so, Glaxo are by no means worthy of your, or anyone's support. While Peta may be stupid, illiterate, and misguided, they are not, unlike Glaxo, immoral (in this instance - I am not defending animal welfare terrorism). And yet for whatever reason, you choose to mock Peta, as opposed to Glaxo, who in one of their tests killed 50 Beagles by poisoning them with deodorant.

Raving Vegan Loon

Citizen Sane said...

Hardy Farmer - I thought you might have something to say on this subject. Nazi pharmo type that you are.

Sparx - Yes, I'm an unashamed grammar fascist. I can't help it.

Vegan Loon - Good point about cosmetic testing. I don't think this can be justified at all. Medical advancement, yes. But testing perfume and the like? No. We should use boy and girl bands to test these.

Re: the beagles. Why is anyone still testing deodorant anyway? We HAVE deodorant! Plenty of it! It works! No further testing necessary!

Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

Ah, but, you see, then 'they' couldn't market the new deodorant as new and improved and make huge amounts of pennies...
Seriously, I think using animals to test cosmetics is appalling, and I refuse to use any that aren't ethically produced (so you can imagine my feelings of betrayal towards the Body Shop). Medicine is a different matter entirely and I'm all for using these so-called 'activists' in the place of animals for experimentation. In fact, I'd expect them to volunteer, to prove their committment to their cause and actually be of some earthly use! But they're probably all too cowardly for that.
I wonder if they would refuse to use a drug or treatment to save their life if it had been developed through animal testing?

D. Cloyce Smith said...

I agree with much of your post, but I do have a friendly suggestion: If you're going to take the activists to task for their grammatical/spelling errors, you should correct the one you made (and highlighted in italics, no less):

"Well, sell them to who?"

Somewhere, the language police is torturing you-know-whom.

ph said...

Its getting worse than Radio 4

Citizen Sane said...

Dammit! You're right. Why I oughta....

*shakes fist*

Anyway. That's been corrected. Erased from history. It never happened...

Devil's Advocate said...

The ridiculiousness of the animal "rights" lobby was particularly evident on Sky News this morning. One of their representatives talked of "thousands of people" (by which he meant animals) being killed every year.

These people clearly equate the life of a guinea pig with that of a human. Therefore anyone, under their rules, is a legitimate target.

Good point on the grammar; another one that's creeping in is "thankyou" which, I think, is even worse.



Citizen Sane said...

Ah, DA. Welcome back.

Dispatches on Channel 4 last night was about animal rights activists. It was an interesting watch.

One highlight was the mother and daughter activists who said they would support terrorism and suicide bombing against anyone involved with animal testing.

Another was the man who "liberated" some chickens from captivity and directly compared their experience to that of prisoners in Nazi concentration camps. Yes that's right. Chickens

tafka PP said...

And to think I used to get quite nostalgic for Channel 4.

Dear God.