Press Release 49 18.1.99

Subject: Attempt to stop the takeover of Birmingham Midshires Building Society by Halifax plc

Midshires rejected our call for a second Special General Meeting (SGM) on the grounds that our 7 resolutions were deemed "frivolous or vexatious".

Storyline. We have a surprise for Midshires! We're not beaten yet and there's a long way to go before it's over.

1)1 have faxed one of my Australian relatives, my cousin Alan Myers QC for urgent advice and possible direct involvement. (if an appeal to the High Court can be timetabled to coincide with a visit by him to his London Practice). Alan is not only a 'big hitter in Australia but is familiar with the UK legal scene. One of his more famous cases involved winning a case for Alan Bond (the Billionaire).

2) SOBS also appeal to the UK legal profession for socially minded barristers to give their services free of charge or "pro bono".

Note to the editor. Although we will be writing to the Building Societies Commission as we understand it the only means of challenging Midshires decision (and their abuse of power) is through the High Court. Midshires of course believe that we as a campaign group of ordinary members of the public do not have the resources to mount such a legal challenge however strong the case. While they have the legal clout to resist it and 'string the case out' as long as they need to. After all I have now sold my one asset the Norman Wilkinson painting; there are no more left to sell!

Note to the Editor 2 "frivolous and vexatious" is a "catch -all clause in Midshires rules which they have used to reject the call for a SGM; intended to allow Midshires members a full say on the future of their society. A SGM the board of Midshires were determined to stop. Our resolutions are not frivolous or vexatious! and Midshires should be expected to justify how our resolutions can possibly be described as such. The resolutions were also designed to be self-contained so that if one fell foul of the rules it did not necessarily bring down the rest.

How Midshires released the decision. In a piece of cynical news manipulation Midshires released their decision to the media right on copy deadlines in an attempt to prevent us having the right of reply. (We were notified the next day!) The Press Association and the Daily Telegraph were quick enough off the mark to record our response. However it did prevent detailed news stories appearing in most newspapers the next day.