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Animal rights ‘activists’ should do the right thing

Once again the ‘we know whats best’ brigade is out in force, targeting pharmacutical giant GlaxoSmithKline. They are upset about some obscure point of medical research. However the tactics that they are employing are rather sinister, even for the creepy ‘animal rights’ fraternity.

Animal rights activists threatened small shareholders in GlaxoSmithKline, the pharmaceutical company, with public exposure yesterday unless they sold their shares within two weeks.

Shareholders, many of whom are pensioners, were sent anonymous letters saying that their names would be put on a website unless the shares were sold.

GlaxoSmithKline has set up an information page for shareholders, which is welcome. However the company is deserving of censure, or, indeed, of a right-royal kick in the bollocks over this matter. Shareholders have a right to privacy and how the animal rights fanatics managed to obtain shareholder details is a question that the company should make great efforts to find out the answer to.

Given the highly emotive and irrational nature of the animal-rights lobby, this is not a matter that GlaxoSmithKline should be taking lightly.

18 comments to Animal rights ‘activists’ should do the right thing

  • Scott wrote: “Shareholders have a right to privacy and how the animal rights fanatics managed to obtain shareholder details is a question that the company should make great efforts to find out the answer to.”

    From Westby-Nunn’s Company Secretarial Handbook (1988, a little dated but it’s what I have to hand):

    4.2.1 Every company must keep a register of members …

    4.2.4 The register and any index must be open to inspection during business hours by any [member] or the general public …

    In general, shareholders and directors of limited companies do not have a right to privacy concerning their shareholding or directorship.

    So, unless some special protection applies to shareholders of this particular company (and please correct me if it does), the company has done no wrong in this particular regard.

    The real bad guys/gals would seem to be elsewhere, and are beeing sought.

    Best regards

  • Naif Mabat


    Money quote:

    “Access to registers is being tightened in the company law reform bill now before parliament…”

  • CFM

    Anyone want odds on whether the police will do their damn jobs?

  • Julian Taylor

    Wouldn’t it be more of a help for the various animal testing companies to produce a website listing all pooled information about these terrorists? Make no bones (no bad pun intended) about it, these people are terrorists latched onto even a very slender cause permitting them to inflict hurt and begat terror onto others, which is their sole aim.

  • Not Dave

    I think I’ll buy some Glaxo shares today just to spite these bags of shit terrorists.

  • David L Nilsson

    It used to be regarded as an essential quid pro quo for conceding the principle of the corporation as a separate legal person– whose owners possessed limited liability for its debts– that the true identities and whereabouts of its directors and shareholders could easily be traced.

    This has been undermined over the years by devices such as the nominee company (often offshore in domiciles where secrecy is legally mandated) and in the 1980s it became permissible for directors to withhold their home addresses from filings, after some pleaded that IRA terrorists might target them.

    However at risk some may feel, we now have reached a position where it is very hard to find out who is who, and who does what or owns what. This blank wall has helped make the big quoted corporation a law unto itself, with boards fleecing their proprietors and proprietors’ only retaliation being to dump their shares and reinvest in another big outfit, until it too underperforms and misbehaves.

    This rondo of unaccountability and irresponsibility is a far cry from the heroic unlimited-partnership or sole-trader model of 19C capitalist enterprise. It is closer to what Milton Friedman prophetically called pension fund socialism. The need for professional, proxy investors to conceal their own tracks in the poker game of beating the market means that they play along with this phantasmagoria of anonymity.

    The ‘dematerialisation’ of ownership proofs, such as share certificates, has given a further push towards the decoupling of residual ownership, through equity, from control over the company’s direction. Many operators of schemes such as ISAs or online dealing services routinely refuse investors the right to attend and vote at meetings, or even receive accounts, because it is administratively inconvenient.

    Small investors are thoroughly alienated from the management of their enterprises. Equity investment has become little better than slow-motion gambling. Until shareholders come first again– above government, employees and customers, and able to stop directors fur-lining their existences and rewarding themselves for failure– joint stock capitalism will be as great a sham as electoral democracy, where the same impenetrability has bred the same apathy.

  • Andrew Duffin

    Not Dave, you can try to buy some Glaxo shares if you want, but as there’s been no such company for about five years you’ll be struggling.

    Get it right please!

  • rob

    the easiest and best way that you can beat these bastards is to come on the next Pro-Test demo in oxford, which is going to be on the 3rd of june. im sure many of you dont really approve of collective action 😉 but this is the clearest way to show people where the majority stands.

  • Not Dave

    Sorry Andrew – fingers typing faster than Brain.
    Maybe explains why my Missus always accuses me of living in the past!!!!

  • Naif Mabat

    You can so buy Glaxo shares. Their ticker symbol is GSK on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

    In fact, in the first 15 minutes of trading this morning NYSE:GSK is up 1.6%!

  • knirirr

    Rob – there’s nothing at all wrong with collective action, as long as it’s my choice whether or not I join or leave the collective.

    I hope that Pro-Test will carry on hassling the SPEAK nutters – keep it up.

  • Isn’t it possible that the Animal Rights lunatics are simply lying and don’t have the identities?

    It wouldn’t be the first time.

  • Midwesterner

    Specifically attacking only one catagory of shareholder sounds like securities fraud to me. Driving out the small investor gives an advantage to institutional investors. And GSK is probably very content to loose the littles guys. They are usually far more active and opinionated (read interfering) about the management of the company than institutional investors.

    I also strongly agree with the concerns expressed by David L Nillson

  • Henry, Durham

    So, if these people ever discovered they were diabetic, they would refuse to use the drugs on offer because they were all *without exception* tested on animals. Leave the investors alone, how about one of them goes without any animal tested drugs for their entire lifetime, then I’ll listen to what they have to say.

  • Scott, this is pretty ignorant. Shareholders have no automatic right to privacy – the presumption is in favour of transparency, for public companies.

    I expect the animal welfare terrorists (we must not concede “animal rights” as a term) have taken a short position on the stock in the hope of reaping a financial benefit from people selling out.

  • Martin

    I expect the animal welfare terrorists (we must not concede “animal rights” as a term) have taken a short position on the stock in the hope of reaping a financial benefit from people selling out.

    That would indeed be a smart strategy were we not discussing the actions of utter retards.

    Animal rights extremists – what happened when God took his eye off the ball.

  • we dont need need to be so dam cruel to an animal that has no voice we live in a world that is well plain crap! But if there is 1 thing i would want to stop it is stopping cruelty to animals we all have to die but killing a animal is not the way. Die happy with a good consunce IF ONLY WE DIDENT HAVE TECHNOLOGY HEY! PEACE AND HARMONY

  • With all due respect Natalie, without technology and advanced medical treatments, millions would die horrible deaths. What a pity you care more about animals than people.