Lai See

PUBLISHED : Friday, 22 July, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 22 July, 2011, 12:00am


HK's 'Turtle' pokes his neck out in UK phone-hacking fiasco

There is one man near the centre of the hacking scandal in Britain that some people may remember from his time in Hong Kong. Edward Llewellyn along with Martin Dinham were political advisers who worked with former Hong Kong governor Chris Patten in the years leading up to the 1997 handover. Edward, or Ed as he is now referred to, is the right-hand man of British Prime Minister David Cameron, working in 10 Downing Street as his chief of staff. Ed has been in the press recently and his name frequently came up during Wednesday's parliamentary debate on the hacking scandal. He was defended by Cameron on account of an e-mail he sent to Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner John Yates not to speak to Cameron about the matter.

Like Cameron, Ed went to Eton College, which has produced 19 British prime ministers, and went to the same university - Oxford. He then joined Patten in Hong Kong where he was regarded as being very politically astute spending much of his time keeping Patten in touch with Conservative party politics. Acquaintances say he left Hong Kong intending to become a Conservative member of Parliament but with Labour in the ascendant, timing was not on his side. He therefore went off to work with Paddy Ashdown, the former leader of the Liberal Democrat party, when he took on the role of high representative in Bosnia.

While he now rejoices in the title of the prime minister's chief of staff, in Hong Kong he was known as something rather less exalted. The two advisers would accompany Patten on his visits around Hong Kong and while he was hogging the limelight they stood behind him nodding. This practice earned them the title of turtles. Ed on account of his diminutive stature was known as 'little turtle'.

Gulfstream's wrong turn in Asia

We recently wrote about Gulfstream's efforts to boost sales of its G250 by changing its name to G280 in the hope that changing the '5' which is linked with the bad old days of the Chinese emperors for the '8' which is associated with prosperity, would change its lacklustre sales. However the absurdity of this move has been pointed out to us by an expert in this field who says that Gulfstream's best-selling products in Asia are the G550 and G450 which have lots of bad old numbers in their names. Our expert writes: 'Having these non-amenable number sequences has not effected the cultural acceptance of these aircraft in the slightest so maybe Gulfstream needs to give the Asian buyer a little more credit and recognise him now as being simply an astute buyer. Simply changing a 5 to an 8 will not address the poor sales success of the G250 in Asia to date and it shows Gulfstream's disrespect towards the Asian buyer to think it will.' Ouch.

Wall Street rises to occasion

We see things are getting back to normal on Wall Street with the police busting a high-end prostitution ring that boasted clients that blow US$10,000 a night on sex and cocaine. Police indicted 17 people, Reuters reported, who were all from the financial markets. The prostitution service, named High Class NY, was run 24 hours a day out of an office in Brooklyn and charged from US$400 to US$3,600 an hour for its services, according to the 144-count indictment. It also provided customers with cocaine and other narcotics, the indictment said.

'The business of high-end prostitution is enormously profitable,' District Attorney for Kings County (Brooklyn) Charles Hynes said. The ring earned more than US$7 million over three years.

Larry Summers vs Facebook twins

Strong words from Larry Summers for the Winklevoss twins, the guys who say fellow student Mark Zuckerberg stole the idea for Facebook from them. When Summers was head of Harvard they moaned to him their idea had been stolen, but he dismissed their complaint. Yesterday, The Independent reports, he told a technology forum: 'One of the things you learn as a college president is that if an undergraduate is wearing a tie and jacket on Thursday at 3pm, there are two possibilities: one is that they're looking for a job and they have an interview; the other is they're an asshole.' He added: 'This was the latter case.'