April 27, 2012

In a fitting birthday tribute to the UK’s, and indeed the world’s, number-one bard, the two former principals of Midlands-based Shakespeare Underwriting were convicted last week of fraudulent trading and perjury at Warwick Crown Court in Leamington Spa.

Both Andrew Booth and his colleague Jayson Hollier were found to have lied their arses off in the course of a trial begun in January this year following the collapse of their scandalous MGA racket back in 2006.

Booth was also convicted of shamelessly pocketing £45,000 in the last days of Shakespeare (soon to be a major motion picture coming to a multiplex near you). The dodgy duo are now due to be sentenced on the merrie merrie 25th of May.

The name Shakespeare Underwriting was doubtless inspired by the firm’s vague proximity to the bard’s birthplace in Stratford upon Avon. A second agency, CIA Insurance Services, and a holding company, the Bentley Group, were presumably named after the pair’s favourite intelligence agency and luxury motor vehicle marque respectively.

Those who argue that the Booth and Hollier’s outrageous lies insult the memory of the great WS, have surely not perused the output of the prolific playwright in any detail. Shakespeare’s plays are, of course, packed with lies and half-truths (along with all those terrible clichés he invented).

Richard III for example is a scurrilous pack of untruths from beginning to end. A grotesque misrepresentation of the illustrious King Dickon, it swallows toxic Tudor propaganda hook line and sinker and has the gall to paint the illustrious monarch as a crippled craven coward rather than the heroic and statesmanlike paragon who bravely went down fighting for his crown.

Never knowingly under-written


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