Thursday, 19 February 2009

With friends like these

I get all sorts ringing me and getting on my case when they’ve seen me here. But when you are featured in the biggest selling newspaper in Britain, two weeks out of three, the phone goes mental and I get stopped in the street even more than usual. And then when your wife pops up in the local rag, then I start to know what it feels like to be Jade Goody, but without the cancer, obviously.

First off, I’ve never made a secret of the fact that RC Textiles Solutions supplies some of the top High Street chains. For some reason they won’t let me say anything about it. I’ve got this lad who runs it – one of the Indian rag trade boys - I tell you what you know, he’s a good guy. He’s given loads of these women a job. The paper was on about it being a sweat shop, that these women were “slaves”. It’s all rubbish. Number one, they don’t pay tax; two, they claim dole and all the rest of it. By the time we’ve given them some free clothes and a few quid they’re better off than if we did it legal and paid them the minimum wage.

As if the News of the Screws hadn’t had enough of me they then had me bang to rights on the Lloyds Bank ski trip to St Anton as “ordering drinks”, “dancing on tables” and “heading off to a night club”. So what? What do you think we go on ski trips paid for by banks for? The skiing? The food? It’s Austria for fuck's sake; so you get on the lash. I actually can’t believe how tame it was this year. All these lads from the bank are like rabbits in headlights, you tell them to get a round in and they have to call Alistair Darling.

To cap a bad month on the publicity front Mrs C only goes and gets herself in the Wilmslow Bugle. She’s bought this clinic out of administration which does “modern hi-tech beauty treatments”. Tit jobs and botox to me and you.

Now, the reaction to all of this sums up what my so-called friends are like.

When the News of the World came calling Tony Tighe was straight on to me pledging to put my side of the story. Luckily the Indian lad copped most of it because I was away skiing.

Every freeloading lawyer and corporate finance jockey in town knew that the ski sting was just bad luck. By the grace of Roger, eh lads?

But nobody gave the old girl a smidgen of credit for joining the ranks of the Cheshire entrepreneurs. Oh no, just tired gag after tired gag accusing me (me!) of being behind it and asking if they could get a discount on some placcy bangers and a shot of botox for her indoors.

With friends like these, eh?

Thursday, 5 February 2009

I'm buying Nigeria - here's how

I’ve been told to make this column uplifting. Readers don’t want to hear about doom and gloom, they want to hear tales of daring and adventure.

Well, to be fair, I don’t know where to start. I’m doing great, thank you very much.
And things are going to get even better this year. For me, anyway. I’m just about to pull off the deal of the century. Remember where you heard it first.

This doris called Kristen Heather – I think I met her at some charity do at the Sheridan Suite – and if I remember rightly she was wearing this red dress that revealed… (Get on with it – editor).

It started on the first day back after New Year, when I’d just got back from Val d'isere. I got this email marked “private”. Everyone likes one of these. The secretary leaves them for me to deal with so I don’t get mithered by all the muppets chasing unpaid invoices and begging letters from corporate financiers who haven’t done a deal in six months.

This lad at the Kristen Heather Investment Bank in the Isle of Man must have heard that I’m a bit of an international wheeler dealer and all-round entrepreneurial guru and asked for a bit of help. They don’t send these letters to anyone, you know. Anyway, they’ve managed to get this grant from some European fund to back this consortium of Russkis who are banged up in some Gulag in Siberia for backing the wrong side in the last scrap over there.

They’ve got about £2bn in a bank in the Isle of Man and need me to set up a facility to get their hands on it. Basically I get a 10 per cent fee. I love a win-win deal like this, and I’m always keen to keep the wheels of international finance oiled. All they need is a few grand to get in motion – the usual “performance bond”, which is normal in cases like this, and we’re on our way.

So, in the spirit of spreading my joy around, once the cash clears I’ve already got my eye on one of those Bombardier Global Express XRS jets and a new Ferrari 599, just like the one Cristiano Ronaldo pranged in the tunnel on Altrincham Road (the wall was never ten yards away – boom boom). I also quite fancy one of those islands in that resort in Dubai that’s shaped like a map of the world. Trouble is, where would you buy? Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have already bought Ethiopia, which is mental, and some Russian has bought Iceland.

I mentioned all this in the email to the lad who’s setting it all up for me. He said I should buy Nigeria. Strange choice.