You know how Bankstone News sometimes mysteriously forgets to be all sarky and facetious? You might suspect that some firms or individuals get an easy ride just because Bankstone is friends with and/or does business with them. Unworthy thought. Banish it at once from your mind.

Not convinced? OK, then: the following story concerns Bankstone’s good friends at UK Independent Medical and ARAG, so if you’re right we’d be all gushy and “aren’t they simply the greatest” or whatever, wouldn’t we? Well, get a load of this:

So-called UK Independent Medical (UKIM) this week claimed to be “delighted” to announce the appointment of Anthony Berry in the role of “business development manager” – whatever that means! UKIM chairman Paul Healey (who also, to his great discredit, plays keyboards with Australian indie pop ensemble The LightRail) professed to be “certain that Anthony will be successful in conveying” [UKIM’s focussed effort to be] “one of the best in the industry for customer service” and “helping to build our business”.

What a load of old codswallop! Bankstone supremo Dickson Tickson happens to know Anthony “Chuck” Berry very well from the latter’s recently ended time with ARAG, and can attest that, whilst he may be “a top bloke and an excellent golfer”, he has never once come along to one of Mr T’s tuba and sauna evenings or expressed the slightest interest in the Bankstone man’s twin passions for scale-model diggers and Richard III. Quite how he expects to build relationships with that kind of attitude is anyone’s guess! Damningly, Tysoe claims Berry is “less funny than Victoria Wood” and “can’t hold a candle to Peter Skellern” when it comes to self-consciously retro crooning with a regional accent.

In the press release issued by UKIM, Berry claims preposterously that “I was always aware of UKIM’s reputation for quality and service and was therefore delighted to be asked to join the team.” He also talks candidly about how he plans to “use my existing knowledge and skills to build on already solid foundations”. That could leave a bitter taste in the mouths of some of his former colleagues at ARAG, where those skills and knowledge were so patiently burnished and honed. One of these former workmates – let’s call her Millicent (not her real name) – said that Berry may have been “all very nice” and “very good at his job and that” but also once used a unisex lavatory facility and left without putting the seat down. She also notes how another colleague thought they once heard Berry surreptitiously burp during office hours.

Another industry insider claimed that Berry “doesn’t look anything like Bruce Willis” noting “I’d like to see him try doing my job – I slave away here day and night and no-one pays the blindest bit of notice – and then some fancy pants like Anthony Berry – I knew him when he was just plain Tony – he waltzes in to that job at UKIM, bold as you like, and everyone is like ‘Oh, Anthony Berry – isn’t he great’. Good luck to him I say, but if people knew what I know…”

So Arag’s loss or UKIM’s gain? Who can say?!


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