Roger Cashman is not a man who pulls his punches. Unlike the woolly liberals and the bleeding heart dithering do-gooders who so often are inexplicably asked to share their opinions by media muppets, I’m a man who tells it straight and doesn’t hold back from baring his soul. But this month, I simply can’t make my mind up on a few things. Read on.
It all started when we were having a cheeky one in The Stag – celebrating Derek “Degsy” Lilley selling his software mob to private equity (ching ching) when one of the lads got a call from an insolvency jockey. Not Dermot Power, the lad with the bow ties who tried to sort Halliwell Landau out, but someone who inserts himself into these sort of deals – you know the type.
Without Dermot knowing, he let us have a peek at the Daily Sport – the thinking man’s newspaper. It’s been going down the tubes for a bit. Personally, I blame the BBC myself. Don’t know why, but everyone else blames them, and they did give that old Sport editor a job, you know who I mean, the scruffy one from Burnley (Tony Livesey, now a presenter at BBC Radio 5 Live – ed).
Next day, we were in. And you’ve never seen a due diligence data room like it.
We certainly sized up the figures, but not the ones our accountant looked at. In the editor’s filing cabinet we found these VHS videos the readers send in. You would not believe what these people do to each other. I have had to have my eyes bleached.
We then rattled through the so-called “reader’s letters” – apparently all the ones they printed are written by the staff – the real ones are – like the videos - literally unrepeatable. Certainly not fit to be repeated in a family publication.
Then we found out how they cooked up that whole “World War II Bomber Found On The Moon” story. They even had the Airfix model and a plastic blow-up moon (and many other inflatables too). Readers, I felt betrayed.
The business isn’t in great shape. The printers had them over a barrel, though thinking about it, there was a readers video involving shafting over a barrel, not that I’m obsessed. But it was too much, even for me. So I made my excuses and left.
But, onwards and ever upwards. Someone must be able to work out a way of making a few quid out of the getting ships past these Somali pirate nutters.
There are two schools of thought, jaw or war. First, they’ve been at it a while now. Whoever’s running the show must need some wealth management advice, alternative investment solutions and, to be honest, if you wrap it up as a service you could even draft some standard documentation on ransoms and hostage fees.
The other idea is to start cracking a few heads. The South Koreans basically just blast the pirates out of the water. Result: their ships don’t get touched. For a basic fee we could get a squad of nutty Serbs and ex-squaddie Raoul Moat types, arm them to the teeth and fight fire with fire. Cashman’s Dogs of War. Worked in Iraq, didn’t it?
We’d charge up front fees to the shipping lines, obviously, and if it all goes wrong, there’s always the film rights. What do you reckon?