First Lloyd’s shamelessly hedging its bets with a Euro base. Then jumped-up former colonial insurance operation QBE relocating its European HQ across the channel. Even Carole Nash is apparently thinking about applying for an Irish passport. Traitorous insurance companies up and down the land are threatening to desert the good ship SS GB at the first whiff of reversion to GTO rules.

And then there’s the EU attempting to bully the Great British public by vindictively moving EU agencies like the European Banking Authority and the European Medicines Agency out of London, just because we’re not going to be in the EU any more! You’d think that would be punishment enough for simply wanting to live free of stupid H&S-gone-mad type regulations.

Apparently not. In the latest challenge to the UK being a global centre of (or at least a gateway to) something or other, it seems the UK could be cruelly stripped of its coveted role as the Whiplash Capital of Europe. Predictably, it’s all the fault of experts. Worse than that, in fact: academics.

Don’t get Bankstone News started on academics. As the old saying goes, those who can do, those who can’t teach, and those who can’t even teach just get massive tax-payer funded grants to research things nobody even wants to know about in the first place. But we digress.

The point is: some unelected professor of something called tort law at Bristol University, Ken Elephant by name, as it turns out, claims insurers’ claims that the UK is the whiplash capital of Europe are founded on a load of old unreliable data. Describing insurers’ claim to whiplash pre-eminence as ‘very flimsy’ Professor Elephant said the UK’s supposed superfluity of cervical soft tissue injuries is ‘largely illusory.’

The original basis for the the UK’s right to the title of International Whiplash Capital was a study by the Comité Européen des Assurances (CEA) published recently in 2004. Describing this study (the last one anyone’s bothered carrying out) as ‘flawed’, Professor Elephant said the available evidence makes clear that several other countries have a stronger claim to the title.

Italy, for example, had nearly 50% more whiplash claims in the period surveyed than the UK, and also paid out more than twice as much in compensation.

In fact the average value of a whiplash claim in the UK turns out to be lower than that in half the other countries from which the CEA study took evidence. Swiss whiplash victims, for example, got ten times as much as UK victims, those in the Netherlands almost six times as much, and Norwegians a mere twice as much.

There’s plenty more debunkage where that came from, but frankly Bankstone News is already too deflated and disillusioned to carry on. And who needs all these head-hurting facts and analysis, when all this country needs to be best at something or other is good old fashioned bloody minded belief.

As far as this weekly electronic news organ is concerned, the UK is now, always has been, and forever will be the Whiplash Capital not just of the World but of the whole damned Universe.

Stick that in your peer-reviewed West Country test tube, Herr Elephant, if that’s even your real name!


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