The Bloody Document

I don’t often bother to try to write too much about comedy promotion its self on here as I have nothing useful to impart and no wish to offer my commercial rivals useful advice on how to go into commercial competition with us.  However,  I wish to use this space to potentially start a debate about the London Comedy Circuit’s Worst kept secret.  The campaign to clean up comedy advertising run by Mr Pete Jonas.

As some of you may have noticed a website was launched a while ago criticizing that much loved paragon of commercial virtue Mr Inkey Jones/ Mr John Straw/ Mr Man-of-many-names (London’s Worst Comedy Club Promoter?) and inviting the public to write to the government about him.



Mr Inkey Jones/ Mr John Straw/
Mr Man-of-many-names/ Mr Daniel Peters
of the London Comedy Club and the Wicked Comedy Club
formerly Cheeky Chappies and [Ladies Private Parts] on a Monday
and many other clubs stretching back to the 1990s

I’m sure in an era of increasing public spending cuts implemented by a party that ideologically believes in small government, completely “free” markets and a lack of regulation of all business …that the business activities of Mr Jones are a constant source of heated discussion and debate in the corridors of power.  



David Cameron - Prime Minister

Indeed whenever I vote in an election I am absorbed with worry over whether party A or B has a “policy on Inkey”.  That said it seems that recent changes in the law mean that online advertising can be complained about with the same seriousness with which other forms of advertising can be complained about … if you follow that.  So … well …someone has: Mr Pete Jonas.


Mr Pete Jonas
Director - Leviathan Entertainment

This campaign of Mr Jonas’s has obviously been going on for a while.  At one point the mysterious website who’s provenance I later uncovered even featured Inkey Jones’s real name (Daniel Peters) and, disturbingly, his home address.  This seemed to me to be going a bit far … but I managed to contact via Twitter (the Bullies and Self Publicist’s charter) the architect of the website (Mr Jonas) when I spotted him plugging it there … and soon discovered it to be part of a long running campaign to bring Mr Jones/Peters/Straw to some kind of “justice” .

I suggested to him not a deletion of the website …but a redraft and after a protracted correspondence Mr Jonas in turn explained to me the aims of this interesting and new adventure in promoting promotional honesty in comedy – not a phrase you hear every day.  Mr Jonas said that his original reasoning for publishing Mr Inkey Jones’s address was that since Mr Inkey Jones uses so many aliases it was impossible for anyone with a legitimate complaint to know either who to complain to or about or where.  Which I suppose is a fair point.  Of course it’s slightly ironic that in an “industry” where the entire purpose is to build a profile and not be anonymous Mr Inkey Jones and his various aliases spend all their time keeping as low a profile as possible and trying to be invisible.  Then they wonder why they don’t get anywhere.  Erm…

I explained I had been concerned about the original site for other reasons too -  Not just whether it was crossing the line between satire, activism and bullying (my own hands are not entirely free from blood in this area)……  Amongst them that perhaps encouraging the general public to complain to the government about the quality of comedy nights might be ill advised as any such advice might be taken generally and not, as it was intended, specifically.

Also as Managing Director of London’s 2nd Worst Comedy Club the removal of London’s Worst Comedy Club might not be in our best interests for other less purely motivated reasons too….  


There seemed a level of self interest in these activities that worried me …did some of them want his room? …or simply to eliminate competitors…? …but then perhaps, to paraphrase Adam Smith, it isn’t by goodwill but self interest that society is actually improved.

Mr Colin Barrow CBE
Former leader of Westminster Council

A  main concern of mine was the fact that most Zone 1 politicians are not fans of an industry designed to satirize them so telling them publically it is shit might not be a good idea …then again sweeping everything under the carpet doesn’t seem to work either.  I think this is a subconscious more than a conscious prejudice but it definitely seems to have become less confined to their subconsciouses and more enshrined in legislation in recent years.  Politicians intrinsically distrust the creative mind.  After all they spend all their days repeating the mantras of whatever political  gestalt whips them.  The last thing they want is something with a mind of its own.

Anyway, after talking to Mr Jonas he assured me that plan A as advertised on the site (grass Inkey up to Trading Standards) had been aborted on the basis that the council hate everyone anyway …in favour of plan B… (grass Inkey up to the Advertising Standards Authority) and provided me with a letter signed by no less than 8 other Comedy Promoters suggesting to Mr Inkey Jones that he must desist in his duplicitous advertising activities within 5 days or they would be reporting him to the ASA. 

I’m not sure I understand it completely but the ASA and the local Tranding Standards office at the Council are both the first points of call for putting in a complaint to the Office of Fair Trading who run them both …sort of.  This is good as it means no one has to talk to the council.


For those of you who are not up on Zone 1 local politics there has never been a non-Conservative Council in Westminster since the authority’s inception in the 1964.  Indeed so sure are Westminster Council, Hammersmith and Fulham Council and Kensington and Chelsea Council that there will never be a Labour administration there that they  have created a “Triborough Project” in competition with Mayor for power where they act as one.  

The Triborough Council Leaders and Eric Pickles

While they might not censor the comedy circuit directly they come up with some remarkably castrating flyering initiatives from time to time when they’re not trying to put double yellow lines round the whole of Westminster to keep out the plebs meaning everyone will have to park in Camden outside the Fitzroy in Mr Damage’s spot.  Fortunately we here at Pear Shaped are 1 meter over the council boundary in Camden so can be very rude about them all from the other side of the road.   A freedom I enjoy abusing immensely.

So anyway 9 promoters as one have grassed up Inkey.  Exactly why it needs so many paragons of virtue to grass one two bit promoter up to the ASA I am not exactly sure …they’re reporting someone to a quango not executing Charles I … but I suppose there’s a sense of safety in numbers.  After all, if they report him to the ASA he might try pulling the same stunt on them … and, indeed, after contacting Mr Mike Manera I discovered that...



Mr Mike Manera
Director - Piccadilly Comedy Club

 …yes, a tit for tat complaints cycle had already started.  Although Mr Manera told me that the complaint against him was thrown out quickly on the grounds it was too ludicrous…  But I suppose if no one knows what is happening and suddenly receive a letter from the ASA they might pull the same thing on whoever they blame for this… etc …etc …creating a spiral of complaints about complaints about complaints… all of which will make us all look bad?

Of course this is how the ASA is meant to work.  Complainants are anonymous for their “protection” and it’s very much like the Crimestoppers of Advertising – a grassing hub that creates an ever expanding pile of rules and regulations based on previous complaints etc.

Looking into it I discovered that the ASA has some fearsome powers.  After navigating the exhaustive complaints procedures it is possible to get them to do things such as write a letter telling Mr Jones he has been a bad person.  Mr Jones must be soiling himself.  If you want action however you have to get the OFT to enforce the letter which is not easy. 



Mr D Mulholland
Director Soho Comedy Club

I pointed out to Mr David Mulholland that that sounded a little tortuous and I wasn’t sure it was worth it but he assured me confidently that “that WILL happen”.   If you ask me it wont because after he’s led them all down the garden path Inkey will just change all his publicity and come up with a new load of bullshit and they’ll be back to square one.  But then what do I know?

These thoughts raised other issues in my mind such as that a secondary function of the ASA is to collate data for generating policy ideas.  It might generate legislation that we collectively find even less desirable than Inkey Jones.  So is it a good idea to go round giving them lots of free information about the darker sides of the comedy circuit?  What when they get a politician to dream up another policy that we’ll all have to pay to engage with?  For example, those of you who have lists of punter contact details may be unaware that actually you are actually now a “Data Controller” (erm) and as such are supposed to give the government £50 to put your details on another database that they can lose in the post again.  My view is they can come and get it if they they they're hard enough.  Inkey Jones is the downside to a lack of regulation.  If we have more regulation will that create other unintended downsides?  Or am I being paranoid?  Probably both.

I also raised the issue with Mr Manera as to why,  if this issue is of such importance, they hadn’t all also put their complaints in the public domain (for example in a correspondence piece) under their own names in the first instance (so we don’t get the blame) to which he casually replied “I wasn’t aware that it was a secret”.  So … since it isn’t I will share with you Mr Jonas’s letter … if for no other reason that “the Bloody Document” as it is known at Pear Shaped Towers has supplied us with literally hours of free entertainment and so I feel it should be shared more widely …as I have been gossiping about it for ages anyway and am no good at secrets at all …  which is probably why Mr Pete Jonas showed it me in the first place.  And at the end of the line if the complaint is upheld which everyone except us seems determined to make happen it will end up in the public domain anyway by definition.  So …here it is… It reads:

Dear Daniel Peters / Inkey Jones,

I am writing on behalf of several London comedy clubs to express our concern at some of the content in the advertising for your comedy nights, 'The London Comedy Club` and 'Wicked Comedy Club`. We believe that the promotional materials for these clubs (both online and in print) contain falsified reviews and endorsements from notable publications, false claims about awards won by these clubs or their performers, false information about celebrity comedians having played the clubs and fake discounts seemingly available to customers. Full details of these concerns are listed at the bottom of this letter.

We believe that your use of false and misleading advertising is in breach of UK consumer protection legislation and UK advertising legislation. Furthermore, your actions are damaging consumer perception of the live comedy market, in which we all compete. We therefore request that you immediately withdraw any claims in your advertising than cannot be substantiated or are untrue (as listed at the bottom of this letter).


You have five days from the receipt of this letter to withdraw the false and misleading claims from your websites, flyers and online advertising (including Google Adwords). Failure to do so will lead to us submitting a formal complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority.


And is signed
P Gionis (nee Jonas)
Director
Leviathan Entertainment


It is also counter signed by

 J Chamberlain                                         C Knowles                                               C Gilbert
Acts Booking Manager                           Director                                                   Director
highlight Comedy                                      CKP Productions                                 Big Night Out

M Manera                                                    J Woroniecki                                          E McElroy

Director                                                         Director                                                   Director
Piccadilly Comedy Club                         99 Club Comedy                                  Crack Comedy

D Mulholland                                              M Rothman                                       J O'Donnell

Director                                                          Director                                               Director
Soho Comedy Club                                    Top Secret Comedy Club               Big Night Out


The other signatories of the Bloody document : from left to right

Mr Erich McElroy (of Crack Comedy which he bought as one club off Barry Castagnola before expanding into a chain - also business partner of Mr Pete Jonas who promoted the Comedy Tree together),

Mr Jim Woroniecki of the 99 clubs chain,

Messers Jeremy O'donnell and Chris Gilbert of the Big Night Out chain,

Mr Mark Rothman of the Top Secret Comedy Club

Mr Christian Knowles Agent and Promoter of the Boat Show

Julia Chamberlain of "So You Think We've Given this Competition a Patronising Name" and the Highlight chain (Formerly Jongleurs before Regent Inns went into administration and the name reverted back to Maria Kempinska MBE for services to venue poaching). 

It is amusing to read on the Highlight website that "Highlight Reading is the ideal 'big night out' venue for comedy lovers and party animals alike living in the Berkshire area". Which is not at all confusing.

Julia is most famous for her zero star Chortle review of Mr Pete Jonas's show "The Dark Side of the Poon" which she described as having a "small constituency" who "probably won’t make it, as lockdown is at 6.30pm and a ten-stretch for hate crime would keep you away from the festival" and gave a zero star review.  Mr Pete Jonas responded by writing a "letter to a dickhead" asking if she was okay as "experiencing menopause and a mid-life career crisis simultaneously" might be difficult for her and awarding himself 5 stars that were "not filled in". 

Mr Mike Manera, Mr Jim Woroniecki and Mr Dave Mulholland while not exactly easy business allies all the time are well known for their long standing feelings of mutual bonhomie towards each other.

Below is a list of what we believe are false and misleading advertising claims used to promote the 'The London Comedy Club` and 'Wicked Comedy Club`:

I have, of course, been having much fun winding them all up playing devil’s advocate trying to concoct spurious defenses to the points listed below because I am mentally about 4 and it is much funnier when it is not your personal problem.  Here at the Pear we’re just far enough away from Inkey that his antics don’t affect us …and that’s how I like it.  Also I have to say I find the signatories of the document far more frightening and potentially threatening than Inkey Jones and I’m much happier he’s getting on their nerves than moving down the road to get on mine …if and when he’s chucked out of Westminster.  So anyway time for me to do my Horace Rumpole…

1. Falsified press quotes and endorsements - Examples: "The Best Comedy Venue in London" Metro, "Definitely the funniest show in London" BBC, "The funniest show" The Guardian. The advertisements also claims to have endorsements from comedy editors like Malcolm Hay from Time Out and Bruce Dessau from the Evening Standard.
These claims are made on both the www.comedyclubbookings.com and www.wickedcomedy.co.uk websites and 'The London Comedy Club` flyers.


Okay, this one is fairly hard to defend…. But I was amused by the insertion of the word “venue” at odd places in Mr Jones’s advertising.  “The Best Comedy Venue in London” is not actually the same as the “Best Comedy in London”.  Tommy Cooper once appeared at the Fitzroy Tavern and Eddie Izzard may have slept at the hotel Inkey is running a gig in…?  Inkey makes much of the fact  his gigs take place at swanky venues …insinuating that the quality of the venue is a reflection of the quality of acts.  Are the five stars for the comedy or the quality of the concierge?  This is quite a good marketing ploy.  So good in fact that we are opening a new branch of Pear Shaped next month: Pear Shaped at the Palace of  Versailles.  



I could say honestly that Alexei Sayle and Frank Skinner have appeared at Pear Shaped.  And indeed they did appear … to have a pint (or a packet of crisps in Mr Skinner’s teetotal case).  They weren’t there to perform.  So saying this would be misleading …however misleading is not lying.

That said some misleading advertising is illegal.  Who makes up the rules?  Well as far as I can figure out the ASA makes them up as it goes along.   The more information you give them the more rules they may make up.  That said inventing quotes by Bruce Dessau and Malcolm Hay is more or less impossible to defend. 



Malcolm Hay of Time Out
may have retired but his opinions are still worth falsifying.
If only he was actually dead like Malcolm Hardee we could just
make up new opinions for him willy nilly.

Particularly since Ben Williams of Time Out has already complained about this practice openly in Time Out (http://www.timeout.com/london/feature/2715/flyer-alarm) and even approached Mr Inkey Jones in person when he said he would remove any false claims.  Perhaps Time Out should think on more punitive action as “a quiet word” doesn’t seem to be doing the trick.  But then again maybe it’s not a big deal to them and they’re busy selling magazines and writing.  I do wonder who really even notices Inkey’s websites other than other comedy promoters  (urlspy had no data) – that said I have seen new acts showreels filmed there and he definitely has more punters than you can count on a mitten on some days.  Actually I know someone not in comedy who is next door neighbor to Mr Hay so I passed it on to him … whether he’ll be amused, insulted, angry or a combination of all three I’ve yet to discover…

2.   False claims about awards - Examples: "As seen on TV", "Award winning shows", acts that have won "Edinburgh Festival Awards", acts that are in "BAFTA nominated TV Shows". The advertisements further claim that the shows are with "award winning professional acts". These claims are made both on the www.comedyclubbookings.com and www.wickedcomedy.co.uk websites and 'The London Comedy Club` flyers. The '"Award Winning Show" claim is also made on Google Adwords.

Of course it is possible that Inkey’s acts have been seen on TV … it just isn’t freeview.  Maybe CCTV …? 

Anyway hasn’t everyone been on TV these days except me because I’m a respectable businessman and even I am behind the curve on that one...  I mean Schillings solicitors now has a “Head of Talent”…?  Also I seem to remember Inkey used to work in TV so it’s not impossible he’s been involved with a BAFTA nominated show. 

There is some distance between this and what is being insinuated that the acts have won BAFTAs themselves of course.  As to awards – anyone can create an award.  I hearby give Inkey a Pear Shaped Award for services to Bad Promotion.  There…  Simple.  It reminds me of the promoter who told me with a glint in his eye that he had put on his advertising that he had “Won an Award in Edinburgh”. 



Paul Ricketts of the Up the Arts comedy chain
at present in financial administration

And that this was true too.  Unfortunately the award wasn’t for comedy.  He may now have a comedy award but he didn't at the time he was running a club.  Mind you this model may have been flawed as some years later the same promoter, tired of losing money rolled up at Pear Shaped asking us if we were willing to engage in a management buyout.  A price of 1p was offered for the Up the Arts Comedy Empire including website but after a detailed analysis of the company's assets Mr Miller decided that it would not be financially prudent to attempt to bail them out.

Although it may be immoral I have to say I have hours of fun watching Inkey Jones and, indeed, other promoters …if not lying then stretching the truth to molecule thin layers.  But should I really?  Maybe I should grow up.  But then I am supposed to be a comedian.

3.  False claims about acts - The www.wickedcomedy.co.uk website claims that the following acts have played the shows: Jimmy Carr, Ross Noble, Frank Skinner, Russell Hound, Tim Vine, Lee Mack, Harry Hill, Russell Brand, Michael McIntyre, Rhod Gilbert, Jim Jefferies, Andy Parsons, Mark Watson, Stephen K Amos.


Now this is quite hard to defend but again it’s not impossible that some of those acts have played Inkey’s club.  Stephen K Amos has tested material at Pear Shaped. 



Mr Steven K Amos
is not as funny when you cannot understand a word he says

It didn’t go very well … he tried MCing, doing material …everything really to stoney silence.  To be fair this was probably because the audience didn’t speak a word of English.  We had taken a group booking that night.  What we didn’t realize was that it was a group booking from a local language school who had been taken to the club by a tutor who wanted to show them “a comedian” in much the same way that they might show them Big Ben or Nelson’s Column. 



Although his audience banter is poor
Admiral Lord Nelson is never short of punters

They were there to endure a sort of cultural ritual – not to understand it.  I guess many of the tourists at Inkey Jones’s nights which are clearly aimed at tourists are experiencing a comedy night for the same reasons – it’s something to do … with the same results.  The fact they may not understand the words does not matter.   They’re not there to be emotionally involved they’re just there to stare.  Maybe Inkey reveals a deeper truth about promoting round Leicester Square that the “pros” don’t want to see … that it isn’t that hard?  I’ve certainly done small gigs with Rhod Gilbert and Russell Brand in the long ago past.  Lee Mack and Harry Hill and were all too established to be doing silly gigs even before we started so this is much less plausible. 

Michael McIntyre has a powerful and slightly scarey agent
who is not afraid of litigation
http://www.chortle.co.uk/news/2010/09/09/11695/lee_evans_sues_jongleurs

Michael McIntyre …I don’t know although I noticed his agent recently sued someone for misleading advertising and, being a man with real power, doesn’t fuck about with quangos like the ASA.  He’d probably sue Inkey if Inkey had any money …but I bet the reason he cant be arsed is Inkey doesn’t and clearly has mental health issues and isn’t a real threat to him in any way.  Anyway while some of Mr Jones’s claims might be fiction it’s possible that they aren’t all.  I checked with the CAP (the helpdesk end of the ASA) and as I suspected the burden of proof in these situations is on the advertiser.  How many people can really back up everything they say?  Something may be true but there’s some distance between knowing something is true and being able to prove it.  Personally I think the real problem is that Mr Jones no longer knows the difference between fiction and reality and there’s a structural failure in the Care in the Community scheme but there you go...  The exact regulation is

3.7 Before distributing or submitting a marketing communication for publication, marketers must hold documentary evidence to prove claims that consumers are likely to regard as objective and that are capable of objective substantiation. The ASA may regard claims as misleading in the absence of adequate substantiation.


…so that’ll be why Martin Besserman photographs everyone.



Martin Besserman Promoter of Monkey Business and not a signatory of the bloody document
always photographs himself with every famous act he's booked (in this case Harry Hill)
in anticipation of a load of vexatious litigation from the ASA?


                The adviser added that…

In light of the above, you are correct in your understanding that advertisers must hold substantiation for objective claims made in their marketing communications.  In this case, the relevant booking forms or associated invoices are likely to be considered sufficient.

  I also decided to ask the CAP if I could submit a response to the letter through them highlighting what I thought was true and untrue in Inkey’s advertising.  For example it is true that he used to regularly book Patrick Monahan.  However, it seems that while anyone can grass anyone to the ASA submissions about ongoing cases are disallowed unless they come from the accused or the accuser.  Witnesses for the defense it seems can bugger off.  An interesting system.

4.    Fake discounts offered to customers - The clubs offer "half price" and "better than half price" tickets online yet the tickets are not available anywhere at full price. Ticket prices are stated as "up to £25" on The 'London Comedy Club` flyers, yet the flyers also state that customers can get "Over 50% off tickets bought inside the venue" so the tickets are not sold at full price at the venue. Therefore, full price tickets are not available online or at the venue.

To be fair if you went to Inkey Jones and offered him the full price and said “you’re worth it” I’m sure he’d take the money if he thought you were dumb enough so I’m not entirely sure what point is being made here.  I mean yes, supermarkets get in trouble for fake discount offers but if you’re going to get puritanical about papering the house deals most West End Theatres are going to be …erm … in difficult circumstances? 

Paper
                                              House

People in paper houses may throw stones but
they should probably be careful with scissors
For more paper houses visit
http://www.sticksite.com

As to furniture stores … This one sounded like lets-throw-everything-at-Inkey-and-see-what-sticks to me.  Then again, why not?  Mr Jonas informed me that for what Inkey was offering he “should be charging a fiver”.  Well, Pear Shaped charges a fiver … but that doesn’t mean that I want Mr Jonas, the ASA, the DTI, the OFT or anyone else dictating our pricing structure …or indeed what we can say about the acts. 

Successful Price Structuring is very important in shifting product
as the "Too Good to be $2" store demonstrates

In my view things are worth what you can get for them.  If not being totally honest in business is beyond the pale then Bargain Hunt must be the most immoral program on television? 



Tim Wonnacott
Clearly the most awful spiv on television who makes his money
by buying things for less than they are worth and selling them
to stupid people for more in a series of systematic abuses of trust?

To give an example : A certain professional act always tells me his jokes are worth “hundreds of pounds”.  This may be true … at another venue.  To me they’re worth much less than that as we can only get 40 people in even if we sell every ticket.  If he doesn’t sell himself at a price we can afford then we simply cant buy him. 

A 1 KG gold bar might be worth £35,000 on the open market but if you’re marooned with it on a desert island then it’s just a lump of pretty metal because there’s no one else to sell it to. 


I once saw a packet of green beans on sale in a Barbados supermarket for £10.  Why?  They were the only one on the Island.  This is called supply and demand.

Oistins Barbados where you may be able to sell
a small packet of green beans for £10


Of course outright lying is indefensible but total honesty is not always a good policy either.  For example Mike Belgrave...



Mr Mike Belgrave - previous deputy compere of Pear Shaped in Fitzrovia
until such time as the ASA ask us to provide written evidence and paperwork

..once plugged Pear Shaped in the Comic’s Choice section of Time Out as

Anthony Miller and my Satan worshipping self co-MC and plough our way through some of the most appalling acts in the capital.

While an extremely truthful assessment of the quality of the night at the time this didn’t exactly increase ticket sales.  We might be honest now but were we when we started? I pointed out to Mr Jonas that his and Eric McElroys's own Comedy Tree website reads

"Combining Pete's evil corporate marketing skills and Eric's ability to smile and nod, the two approached management at the Litten Tree Putney and told them a massive pack of lies. The landlord bought it and new chapter in London's comedy scene was born."

Mr Jonas responded that "that's obviously a joke".  But is it?  It's easier to be honest when you're established than when you're starting out.  This is not an argument for allowing people to undercut you by being dishonest just an observation.  Of course the difference between Messers Jonas and McElroy and Mr Inkey Jones is that while they may or may not have told the odd innocent porky in the early days to get started Mr Inkey Jones's lies are far more regular and systematic.  Or as Mr Jonas would put it with antipodean frankness:

"Why are you defending this turd?  He's a con man."

To which I suppose the answer is that the trouble with catching out con men is trying to figure out when the odd general abuse of trust or misleading statement turns into a systematic pattern of abuse that verges from the morally dubious towards the borderline criminal.  Some abuses of trust are fraud which is criminal and some may be worthy of civil litigation while others are simply amusingly naughty.

Of course part of the problem is that due to the wonders of the web the likes of Mr Inkey Jones can now lie not just locally but to the entire world.  When we ran the campaign against flyering bans a few years ago many people said “it doesn’t matter because you can say what you like online?”  Well, now you cant under section 127 of the Communications Act 2003 (see here).  Maybe there needs to be more legislation on internet advertising but politicians when asked to frame legislation to solve problems created by antisocial activity usually come up with solutions that actually just ban social activity.  Banning everything is the easiest political solution.  The most simple structure of political power is, after all, an autocracy.  And that’s certainly how Brian Damage operates Pear Shaped. 



Mr Brian Damage CEO and owner of the vast
Pear Shaped Comedy Club chain which stretches all the way
from the Fitzroy Tavern back staircase to the gentlemen's toilets

So what will actually happen…?  Maybe the OFT really will just kick his bottom but I cant help feeling it isn’t as simple as that.

Note: Do not try and link any of the above claims to previous promotions and comedy nights you have been involved with. There is nothing on any of your current advertising that would facilitate such a link - no business name, no company name, no sole trader name and no promoter`s name.

Of course this hilarious note at the end may actually invalidate much of point 3.  It’s one thing to complain he tells lies - Another to try and enforce retroactive continuity on him.  By doing so they may have actually lowered the burden of proof Inkey is required to provide as it is clear he may have booked some of those acts?  So what if he’s rebranded …?  Highlight rebranded …are they no longer allowed to claim they used to book who they did in the past?  Really… though if ALL your advertising is centered on who you used to book that’s a bit sad.  Many club websites make a big deal of the BIG acts now that they used to book yesterday …that’s common sense.  However, if you sell the gig promoting yesterday you’re not promoting the people on stage today.  Therefore you’re not increasing the acts profiles?  So what’s the point in you then?  Therefore …?  Did I forget to mention William Sommers Court Jester to Henry VIII once played the Fitzroy Tavern?*




William Sommers
veteran of many Royal Command performances

is only one of many acts to have recently played the Pear

The whole thing reminds me of Sgt Chisholm trying to nail Arthur Daley and being thwarted in his attempts by his own over-enthusiasm.  Then again what would the manor have been like if Sgt Chisolm wasn’t there?  Then again maybe I am too cynical.  Maybe it is the fact that none of us trust each other that allows Inkey to slip between the cracks anyway.  To most people with whom I have shared the document the most regular comment is that they cannot believe that so many people who generally don’t like each other can all be agreed on one thing?  Is that a witch hunt?  Or is it the basis of all social structure? 



Mr Mike Fox - Promoter of Throgmorton Comedy Clubs
believes there should be some kind of guild or something
to stop both acts and promoters acting retarded

Maybe we should, as Mike Fox once suggested, have a Promoters Guild or something.  Perhaps it is time to start our own independent ombudsman?  I look forward to a document suggesting everyone should pay their acts punctually and/or that we should never steal each other’s venues either.  I am sure it will be postulated some day.  I am just waiting for hell to freeze over.   Then again maybe I'm just jealous because Mr Jonas is unintentially stealing Pear Shaped's USP of moaning in public about promotion.

Of course if everyone was making money hand over fist and we weren’t in a double dip recession I doubt anyone would have any time for this extremely complicated conspiracy that sounds to me as pointless as the time the staff of Grace Brothers conspired together successfully to get the lazy parasite that was Mr James Lucas the sack only to find next week that he'd been replaced by the equally lazy and parasitical phenomenon that was Mr Bert Spooner.  How the mighty have fallen. 

I think it was Rocky Balboa who once said “only cowards blame other people for their own failures”.  Then again his job was getting repeatedly punched in the face for a living and I’m not up for that either.  So … I thought about it and I don’t know all the answers to this one.  So I’m asking?  Of the promoters I asked what they thought who didn’t know about it (there were many) opinions ranged from “bullying” to “about time” to “it’s a free market” to “witch hunt” to the most often repeated cliché which they all came up with independently “the enemy of enemy is my friend”.

Sigh

Anthony Miller
Managing Director**
Pear Shaped in Fitzrovia



(Counter signed by no one)

*He didn’t it wasn’t built then

**It also amused me that all the promoters above call themselves “directors” when this is a title I invented for myself as a joke.

Arthur Daley was unavailable for comment but his manager George Cole writes to say that he is not happy with his nephew Archie trying to steal the family firm and cash in on his good name.   Ex Detective Sergeant Albert "Cheerful Charlie" Chisholm is standing as a Police and Crime Commissioner