The Bentonville gang's eagerness to conquer the world received a massive jolt from our side of the Atlantic this week. For it won't have gone unnoticed deep in Wal-Mart's Arkansas bunker that Britain's class act on the supermarket front has chalked up its best set of trading figures ever. And that's despite the fiercest high street competition these islands have ever enjoyed. Even the seriously serious Terry Leahy managed a grin for the cameras as Tesco announced sales topping £20bn for the first time, a profits advance of 8.4% and an expansion package including everything from the ultra cool e-commerce to Far East hypermarkets. So despite slugging it out in a fierce showdown with the gunslingers from across the pond, Britain's top dog has emerged with its shareholders smiling. All the more amusing therefore, to watch grocery retailing's many detractors on the media and political fronts try to put a depressing spin on the results. Despite the better than expected figures, the Westminster Left's self appointed food watchdogs were on Tuesday still muttering hopefully into their lunchtime Perriers about "profiteering supermarkets eventually being stamped on by the Competition Commission". And po-faced tv pundits in designer trouser suits were vainly strutting the aisles in a vain bid to link Tesco with less successful chains by issuing dire warnings about "arrogance and complacency leading to retail downfall." Sure, three UK multiples are struggling to keep pace in the grocery 2000 arena. And there will be casualties as the less efficient disappear in the pressure. But given the Yankee aggressors certainly won't head off into the sunset, and with Tesco we probably ain't seen nothin' yet, surely this points to the competitive, low price scenario even the most fanatical of the Left's consumer champions dream about. Mind you, although Tesco's bandwagon is streets ahead of the competition, its drivers shouldn't be surprised if its success soon tempts a couple of continental juggernauts through the Tunnel. Then the fun really starts. Clive Beddall, Editor {{OPINION }}