I can empathise with the dearly departed 'Sir' Philip Hampton as he decamps to RBS. Leaving King Justin in sole charge of the Holborn crèche, he is stepping into a toxic wasteland (ie Scotland) with a mission second only in difficulty to the incoming US President... or possibly the PR supremo for My Shop Is Your Shop.

Hampton will be sorely missed as the man who, following in the footsteps of 'Sir' Peter Davis, consolidated Sainsbury's meteoric rise from first to third position on the High Street and successfully negotiated that 2007 takeover deal with the Qataris at a share price only several times the going rate. I may have got that last bit wrong.

No-one can say he's not experienced, and moving to Scotland from England has the pleasing effect of increasing the average IQ of both countries. It will be interesting to see what he does with RBS, whose goodwill losses for 2008 alone would buy you the entire UK grocery industry at its current bogof prices.

Still, every cloud has a silver lining, and in this vein, it was good to see El Tel giving the global banking industry a good spanking at the Brussels junket we both attended this week.

Now all he has to do is sort out his own mouldy Brussels, the only foodstuff Tesco's flatulent customer base can afford these days.

Poor Tel and I have had our lovers' tiffs but he's a troubled man these days, and even the half-bottle of absinthe he necked with me afterwards at the Bar de l'Epicier Foutu did little to lighten the Leaheyan countenance (admittedly never an easy task).

I left him doing a fair impression of the Mannequin Pis in the darkened doorway of the local Colruyt. As for me, I'm off up to the RBS HQ at Gogarburn (short for Got a Lot of Gravy to Burn) for a bottle of Bolly with 'Sir' Phil. Crisis? What crisis?