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Elvis, mad bastards and queues in the streets – Northern Rock revisited

It’s almost exactly 10 years since I was sitting in a large meeting room at lawyers Slaughter and May, surrounded by civil servants, investment bankers, lawyers and consultants, with a colleague whispering in my ear: “The mad bastards, they’re going to do it.” The “it” was the nationalisation of Northern Rock. I’d been working on this project for nearly six months. The team at the communications agency then called Fishburn Hedges was called the day after it was leaked that the Newcastle bank was in trouble. That morning there were queues on the street and we were urgently summoned to help stop that happening again (allowing me to say to the taxi driver, the immortal words “Take us to the Ban

Why I jump lights

When I first started cycling in London, Madonna was topping the charts with “Like A Virgin” and Norman Whiteside scored the winning goal in the FA Cup Final. Initially I was a broke student on a borrowed racing bike, then I became a daily commuter and I’m now a freelancer going across the city to meetings. In that time, and all the thousands of miles of pock marked roads that I’ve travelled, I’ve adopted the following guiding principles: Don’t have too fancy a bike – it’s too tempting to the legions of thieves; Wear a helmet. I’ve not had any accidents but at least one would have been pretty serious if I’d not been wearing protective headgear; Don’t go out in visible lycra – you are heading

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