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Insolvency Law

Expert guidance on all aspects of corporate and personal insolvency

31 AUG 2011

Insolvency Items in the news: IPs under attack in two articles that take the award for most boring journalism of the year

Poor old IPs. Sometimes they cannot do right for doing wrong. The most recent example of IP bashing (the easiest form of journalism after listening to phone messages) has appeared in the Evening Standard (ES). In two stories (one & two) the paper focuses on the upcoming Insolvency and Rescue Awards 2011. IPs are under attack for closing down businesses and making people redundant (err their job surely?!) and for general vulgar self-congratulatory back slapping. Not only are the ES pieces boringly sarcastic, they are also plain wrong. It would be fine if these pieces featured some good poolemic, but Christopher Hitchens the reporter is not.

Two examples will suffice. First, the author notes "Ah, the self-congratulatory industry that is insolvency." The ES has got the wrong end of the stick here. These awards provide a valuable opportunity for the organisers of the event to sell space at the event and space in their stable of related journals' advertising sections, something the ES knows something about! The impetus for the event is from the organisers, not from IPs. Yes, IPs have subsequently signed up - but perhaps this is because celebrating saving jobs, rescuing viability and making a valid and calculable input into society is a good thing to celebrate!

The second quote is just sloppy. The author notes, "...Odd, though, that there's no mention of the work which corporate undertakers are usually the busiest doing: shutting down bust firms and axing staff." Has this journalist heard of administration and the thirty year old (plus) rescue culture? Have they engaged with any of the R3 research on the contribution that the insolvency industry makes to society? As with the BBC File on Four programme on IPs last year, this sort of journalism is as boring as it is inaccurate. All journalists should be required to read Professor Muir Hunter QC's The Nature and Functions of a Rescue Culture (Journal of Business Law, Nov 1999, pp.491-520) before picking up their pens to attack IPs. 

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