A double whammy to start, misquoting Edwin Starr and being so extreme I’ve turned into a red under the bed. Thank goodness Joseph McCarthy is no longer around to turn me into an enemy of the state.
What prompted this bout of extremism and seriousness from such a jovial blogger? Two stories to be precise, Kraft’s take-over of Cadbury and Royal Bank of Scotland making a huge loss while paying big juicy bonuses to rich people.
I’ve been itching to give my view on Kraft’s take over but wanted to let my egg throwing at the television impulse to subside before commenting. My argument with the Americans taking over Cadbury is not a nationalistic tabloid-style rant but rather about values. They actually lived by the mantra that their employees are their biggest asset and looked after them accordingly. Now where have you heard that before? It comes immediately after maximising shareholder value in the anaemic statements CEOs make on their antiseptic websites. Cadbury was founded in the 19th century by Quakers who cared more about their biggest asset than about shareholder value. In 1893, George Cadbury bought 120 acres of land close to their factory in Birmingham and planned, at his own expense, a model village which would ‘alleviate the evils of modern more cramped living conditions’. By 1900 the estate included 313 cottages and houses set on 330 acres of land.
My second clinching point in this tale of Kraft greed is that Cadbury make great products while Kraft make horrid ones. They couldn’t say it in their prospectus but it’s the real reason why Kraft wanted Cadbury so badly that they were prepared to pay loads more than Warren Buffet told them was sensible. To illustrate my point Cadbury’s Flake or Dairylea cheese triangles anyone? Having convincingly won the battle and the war I have to own up to being a big fan of Dairylea cheese when I was growing up. This heavily processed, not as nice as plastic-tasting ‘cheese’, was every small boy’s fishing bait of choice. I still look back on catching an 18lb Rainbow Trout in the River Tavy many years ago with great fondness. Before you ask, the rules of the river meant I had to throw the fish back and it was the pre-digital camera era.
Moving swiftly to the RBS debacle the morality of this story is so bleedin’ obvious I won’t bore you with more one sentence. A business that makes losses of 3.6bn and was bailed out by the ordinary tax payers of Britain to the tune of 24bn shouldn’t pay bonuses of 1.3bn to very rich people. If they don’t get a bonus apparently the very smart investment bankers they employ will leave in high dudgeon, now that is great news because they are obviously absolutely useless at their jobs. Hopefully they will head off to some American bank and advise Kraft on their next take-over target.
Finally, I can’t help commenting on the latest twist in the John Terry saga and throwing in an aside on the Ashley Cole breaking news. Hats off to Wayne Bridge for refusing to tear the England football team apart and Craig Bellamy for stating the obvious, JT is obviously a very unpleasant piece of work off the pitch. Now Craig Bellamy is unpleasant on the pitch and sometimes a prat off the pitch but at least he does lots of charity work for kids in Sierra Leone which he pays for out of his own pocket.
Top 5s for this week; song lyrics.
‘I am a weapon of massive consumption’
‘Clowns to the left of me, Jokers to the right, here I am, Stuck in the middle with you.’
‘Me, I’m just a lawn mower, you can tell me by the way I walk’
‘War, huh, yeah, what is good for, absolutely nothing’
‘He will never be left on the shelf, Cos Kevin he’s in love with himself’
Correctly name all 5 artists and you could win an ipod shuffle (first right answer out of the hat) – just fill your answers in the box below and press the submit button or e-mail kp (“at” symbol) upandatom.biz. Sorry, prize only applies if you live in the UAE.