I was amused to see an article last week in Rupert Murdoch’s thelondonpaper entitled ‘Things you can buy for a pound’. Given the paper’s rivalry with Lord Rothermere’s Daily Mail Group, owners of the Evening Standard, this may have been a dig.
Thelondonpaper points to edible g-strings, lottery tickets and Ryanair flights. It didn’t headline it, but it did point out that a Russian oligarch has bought the whole of the Evening Standard for £1.
Graham Norton had a gag in this vein about their office secret santa presents – the limit was £5 and he managed to buy a whole street in Bradford for his PA for £4.99. He was surprised and delighted that she returned the favour and bought him the whole of the Woolworths chain for £1!
I gather you can take your pick these days of regional newspapers, buy-to-let blocks, premiership football clubs, bust dot.coms, mid-market fashion chains, gift shops, car dealerships, Michelin star restaurants and anything that’s been in a sector that got a bit frothy over the Noughties.
But, wait, the government will soon be paying you to take businesses off their hands: car manufacturers, steel firms, coal mines… My prediction that 2009 would be the year for the vulture is coming true. But, vultures are naturally lazy. Don’t jump off your perch just yet because things have got a way to go. Double L