Tragically, the Lady Veronica’s chronic split ends prevented her from accompanying me. However, she has kindly hung the last three issues of The Grocer on their customary nail in the throne room at Pumsey Towers and I notice that little has changed on the Great British retail agenda. Tesco announces a new front in its War on Countries Without a Tesco. Check. Asda puts out a brilliant new press release (“Shit Weather Means Shit Sales of Barbecue Stuff”). Check. And just when we all thought Sir Stuart had become too busy protecting his own rear end to crank out the greenwash, there he is with £11m in savings from carrier bags. Keep going, Rosey, another 94.2 billion bags and you’ll have saved enough to pay for that fart-powered Bentley. Check.
Although my travels took me through some of the world’s most deprived areas, where I witnessed the abject misery of the endless sprawling shanty towns (they really should do something about Crawley, it’s an eyesore even from the air as you take off from Gatwick), nowhere have I seen such an obsession with food prices as I have in the UK. For this was no mere holiday. I had summoned counterparts from all the world’s great democracies from Zimbabwe to North Korea to a global summit on food inflation at the Wakaya Club in Fiji.
And my colleagues advised me that the best way to deal with the moaners is to have them summarily shot. Well, perhaps it is a little extreme, but look on the bright side. Despatching one or two members of the press can only serve to improve the gene pool. And as for Fingleton & Co, there’s no real evidence that a bullet through the skull would hurt them in the slightest.