OPENING NOTES

March 25 1991

OPENING NOTES

March 25 1991

OPENING NOTES

Margaret Thatcher re-enters the fray, Soviets córner a porn market, and Charles Lynch makes a friend

THIRD DEGREE

British Columbia's new finance minister, Elwood Veitch, says that his business administration degree from Columbia Pacific University in San Rafael, Calif., comes from "one of the best nonresidential schools in North America." But Bruce Hamlett, legislative director of California's Postsecondary Education Commission, says that it is a "nonaccredited" correspondence school. Although legal in California, all unaccredited institutions, including Columbia Pacific, have come under increasing scrutiny by state officials because of some schools' lax degreegranting policies. Veitch, for his part, admits that his degree would probably not be recognized by Canadian universities. But the finance minister, who is a certified general accountant, says that his Columbia Pacific MBA has no bearing on his new post. Veitch, a longtime supporter of B.C. Premier William Vander Zalm, told reporters: "I'm one of the most qualified ministers in government. You keep your eyes open, see how well I do." Time will tell.

Vander Zalm, Veitch: degree from a ‘nonaccredited’ school

The return of the Iron Lady

During her first 100 days out of office, have a senior elder statesman,” she said.

former British prime minister Margaret “Especially a matriarch.” The Iron Lady Thatcher remained uncharacteristically sistands to conquer, lent. But she now appears ready to join the political fray again. Indeed,

Thatcher, who recently received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America’s highest civilian award, has taken solid steps towards that goal. She already has agreed to be the honorary president of the Way Forward, a group of Conservative MPs dedicated to free-market principles, to be launched this week. And at a meeting of her constituents earlier this month in north London, Thatcher made it clear that she sees herself as much more than a backbench driver. “I think it would be jolly good for the Conservative party to

Thatcher: ‘a matriarch’ breaks her silence

THE BUSINESS OF GENDER

The reaction to a recent fullpage ad for Business Week magazine that appeared in The New York Times was swift and angry. The ad described the magazine as “a silent partner [who] summarizes everything you need to know about business worldwide, ” and then added: “Even though your partner is silent, everybody has heard of him. His name is Business Week. ” The outcry from the magazine’s editorial staff was quick and effective. The ad ran only once. Said editor-in-chief Stephen Shepard: “Everyone agrees it was a mistake. ’’

The green in Soviet blue

At least one Soviet commodity has no problems commanding hard currency in Western Europe: pornographic movies. First-generation prints of X-rated Soviet-made titles command as much as $37,000 in Germany. Although President Mikhail Gorbachev frowns on them, the movies are a windfall for underemployed actors. Said one director: “We offer them specific but well-paid jobs. No one blackmails or seduces them.” But male leads are less willing than their female counterparts to rise to the occasion on-screen. As a result, male actors earn twice as much—sometimes up to $143 a day. From Russia, with lust.

THE GULF WAR REVISITED

The end of Operation Desert Storm has unleashed a new torrent: scores of warrelated products cashing in on the allied victory in the Gulf. Hollywood is already preparing at least two movies about the 42-day conflict:

Human Shield and Desert Shield, which stars screen heartthrob Rob Lowe. On the homevideo front, U.S. Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf takes centre stage in Schwarzkopf: How the War Was Won and General H. Norman Schwarzkopf Command Performance. As well, ABC, CNN and NBC are repackaging their own news coverage of the war into videos. And last month, Falcon 3.0; new videogames

TSR Inc. introduced a board game called A Line in the Sand, in which jg allied forces fight Iraqi troops on a map of the Middle East. Said TSR § sales director Reginald Rutherford: “It’s a fair game. It doesn’t take o any sides.” But the biggest battle is in the lucrative videogame market. According to James Aspinall, a sales clerk at Egghead I Discount Software in Richmond, B.C., the most promising games— ¿ Falcon 3.0, F1-17A Stealth Fighter and Gunship 2000—all take I place in the Middle East. Said Aspinall: “There’s a lot of interest in g these new games.” They are, indeed, the spoils of war.

IN THE WAKE OF A GREAT ARTIST

Toronto artist Harold Town, who died in December, would have been thrilled, his old friends say, with plans to honor him at an exclusive party on March 22. A longtime friend of Town's, Iris Nowell, has arranged a $50-a-head wake for 100 of his former intimates. Guests will include author Pierre Berton, composer Harry Somers and Toronto Mayor Arthur Eggleton. There has been no public announcement of the tribute, but invitations ask people to "like, honor Harold" in the Ming Tomb of Toronto's Royal Ontario Museum—a favorite haunt of his. Nowell was reluctant to elaborate. She said: "Harold was a very private person." But according to the unusual invitation, guests will "Groove on a bunch of Harold's coolest tunes" and "partake of champers and oysters." One last night on the Town.

The top of the heap

The latest so-called network-marketing plan to enter Canada is Nu Skin International Inc., a cosmetics marketing firm that began in Utah. In the United States, it attracted a former lawyer for the Massachusetts attorney general’s office, Bud Corkin. Indeed, an article in the November issue of Boston Business magazine says that Corkin left a $300,000-ayear law practice to gamble on Nu Skin. And Corkin has a close Canadian connection. His sister, Jane Corkin, a prominent Toronto photo gallery owner, is herself promoting distributorships in Canada. So far, other well-known business people involved include Toronto restaurateurs Yael and Benjamin Dunkelman. Yael Dunkelman called the products “fabulous,” but she said that it was the promise of huge earnings that attracted her. Said Dunkelman: “That’s why I joined.” Greener pastures, clearer skin.

Presidential nod

Brian Mulroney and George Bush were barely into their limo at Ottawa's military airport last week when they

climbed out again. And no one was more amazed than Ottawa Citizen columnist Charles Lynch, whom Mulroney introduced to Bush. Mulroney had told him that a recent Lynch column had compared Bush to Franklin Roosevelt. Said Lynch: “When the media saw them getting out, they all came running because they thought one had been shot. ” Merely a meeting of minds.