Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Horse Sense

Oy oy! I’m back from Nam – Cheltenham, the biggest and best horse racing bash you can get, unless you’re really into orange Scouse birds who’ll do anything for the price of a blue WKD and a lift back from Aintree Ladies Day to a booth in the Newz Bar.

Won a few quid this year as it happens and we had a good laugh superglueing some lad’s head to one of those floppy Guinness top hats on St Paddy’s Day. It was all sorted in time for his wedding photos on the Saturday though, and his intended is apparently very understanding where such banter is concerned. It’s always about the banter, never forget that.

We didn’t have any runners at this year’s festival, which is probably for the best as you can relax and get bladdered, rather than fretting that the nag that’s just gone down like a sack of shit at the first fence is yours – all those yard fees for nothing. There’s a few tales of that sort of thing going on at the moment.

Word is a load of the Irish boys who’d gone in too deep on the property boom over there are having to have their horses shot. Actually buying horses isn’t a problem you see, especially in Ireland – the damn things are running all over council estates over there, like rats round a Rusholme kitchen.

The cost comes with getting a roof over their heads, hay in their bellies, and paying some little muppets to give them a bit of a test drive (probably not the technical term) every morning or whatever. It doesn’t come cheap, and as the Micks are all skint now and have to ask Angela Merkel for so much as a Euro pocket money, they’ve nowhere to turn but the gun.

There is an alternative. Not that I’m entering the market to buy any more nags – our little syndicate’s got more than enough on its plate with the glue factory candidates we already own, such as Flash the Cash and Rampant Roger.

But I’m brokering a deal in classic Cashman style. The French, as we all know, will eat anything and it just so happens I’ve been cultivating a contact in the meat trade there. He’s desperate to get his hands on as much cheap flesh as he can, so poor old Dobbin needn’t live a wasted life.

The logistics are looked after as well. I met a Geordie lad at MIPIM, who’s made a million by buying up old choppers and planes from the MoD. He reckons we can get more horses in one of those big troop carrier planes than die in the first lap of the National every year. The only thing we need to sort out is getting some cargo in for the return leg – and as much as the little devil on one shoulder whispers “Asylum seekers” I’m just too nice a guy to get involved.

Monday, 7 March 2011

If you go down in the woods today

I’ve been stitched up by the so-called coalition government. A while ago me and a few of the Alderley boys – and some lads from the Ribble Valley we go shooting with - hatched a cunning plan that could have accelerated the government’s deficit reduction scheme. It would have been a job-creating enterprise and made better use of the land resource of this green and pleasant land. It would even have contributed to the tax take, because we were even going to register it here, and not in the Isle of Man (just this once).

One of the lads had a word with our MP, George Osborne. The plan, as you’d have guessed, was to let us run the forests. Great idea, we were told. Keep quiet, we’ll rush it through as a “consultation” and everything should have the green light in no time.

We were going to start with Grizedale Forest as a unique leisure destination, the first of its kind, and then a national roll out. Think Center Parcs for stag do’s: a casino, quad bikes, shooting, football, paintball, dirt bikes and hot tubs. Import a few rare species for specialist hunting, maybe even a few lions and elephants. And to crown it all, lap dancers around the camp fire – who could beat that?

We also wanted to set up a supply chain for a new network of wood burning power stations – you know the Chinese are doing that, don’t you? – and there will have been loads of grants for this sort of green stuff. We, George and the good old taxpayer would have been quids in.

But just because of a few tree huggers, and the usual lefty types who think the state has to run everything, all our investment and business planning is up in smoke, if you get my meaning.

To be honest with you, I think this lot are losing the plot. I still can’t get my head around this big society lark – giving money to charity? No problem. We all do that, and you don’t see a bigger supporter of sick kiddies than me. But apparently they want me to let our staff out early to do a bit of volunteering. Are you having a giraffe?

I don’t think they have any idea how hard it is to motivate a workforce like ours. Give them a bit slack, even for just a minute and they’ll be leaving on time every day. I didn’t build this business by helping old dears cross the road and running youth clubs – isn’t that what social workers do?