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The City rugby emails: part two | Ally Fogg

Following the furore over the supposed ‘Dubai Sevens’ email, our crack investigative team has uncovered another embarrassing memo…

Following the latest alleged embarrassing leak of a City of London email attachment which supposedly devised lurid “rules” for a group of friends to observe ahead of their trip to the Dubai Sevens tournament (among those: “cheating is allowed”, “mentioning of parents’ salaries once a day” and “chants about how rich and oily we are are compulsory”), Comment is free’s crack investigative journalism team have obtained an exclusive glimpse of an internal memo from a corporate insurance company to its staff.

From: Sir Archibald Manley-Smyall. Chairman, Smyall Corporate Insurance Services

To: All staff

I am again obliged to contact you all, more in disappointment than anger, to remind you about the importance of discretion in your workplace communications. For reasons that, I confess, largely escape me, our company and others in the noble realms of finance, insurance and law in the City of London find ourselves under increased scrutiny of late. It seems to be rather fashionable to express resentment and crass jealousy toward our hard-won wages and modest annual bonuses, accompanied by scant gratitude for our immense contribution to making the country what it is today. I dare say it will all blow over soon enough, but in the meantime I must stress the importance of conveying the impression of modesty, humility and austerity in our public presentation. Indeed I said as much to you all at our last monthly profits party in the Savoy champagne suite.

So in light of the unfortunate recent circulation of a rugby tour itinerary from our company’s electronic mail system, I have decided to implement some strict new rules.

1. This is not the sort of company that would seek to interfere with our employees’ private lives, but we do have a reputation to uphold. As the leading global insurance broker, we must insist that the phrase “cheating is allowed” should not be used in any context. It is, and must remain, our little secret.

2. We are proud that the salaries and bonuses we pay to our staff reflect the calibre of our recruits. Nonetheless the public at large who probably earn an average salary of only around £70,000 per annum [NB: CHECK THIS PLS MISS C.] can be irrationally envious of our success. Therefore it is highly ill-advised to chant about how rich one might be when on holiday in foreign climes, however “oily” one’s host environment may be.

3. Every Smyall employee has earned his position here through merit and ability. It would be dreadful if anyone were to wrongly believe you have attained wealth and influence through accident of birth or nepotism. We must forbid you from loudly boasting about your parents’ wealth or position. And I will tell your fathers the same thing when I see them at the golf club at the weekend.

4. I had intended to point out that the barbecue is a rather vulgar colonial habit, unbecoming of an employee of Smyall. But my secretary Miss Cholmondeley informs me that the phrase “spit roast” may have an alternative definition, unrelated to culinary matters. As you all know I am a man of the world, and from Miss Cholmondeley’s description I can understand the attraction of this particular leisure pursuit. Something very similar happened to me when playing for the school first XV against Harrow many years ago. That was a ruck I will never forget, I assure you. Nonetheless, I would strongly advise against photographing such activities, and remain curious as to which of you boys was hoping to be the centre of attention?

5. I will never understand the younger generation’s habit of sharing one’s personal details on the internet, but gentlemen, there are limits. If you must compose a document in which you announce your intention to betray your partners, embarrass your parents, debase yourself, inebriate yourself, insult your hosts and make unsustainable claims about your attractiveness, virility and athletic prowess, it is probably best not to include your full names, employer’s details, university and school. It does rather diminish the deniability factor, shall we say.

6. Finally, let this episode be a lesson to us all. Any communications emanating from this company must adhere to the standards of ethics and morality to which the City has always aspired. With that in mind, please ensure this memo remains strictly amongst ourselves. It would be most unfortunate if it were to leak out. One can only imagine what those oiks at the Guardian might do with it. © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds