The CEO of UK PLC brings you good news

We have been so busy at UK PLC that I have not written to you the shareholders for some time. Now there is a little August pause I am able to do so.

I am pleased to report that our recently acquired bank subsidiaries remain loss making. Some of you were concerned in case the large losses of 2008 were not sustainable, and even speculated that we might be forced into profits this year. Fortunately we should be able to continue with a satisfactory rate of loss, although it would be unrealistic to expect us to sustain the level of 2008 which was exceptional. We did write off quite a lot of the past losses then, but there should still be plenty to use this year to keep us in the red overall.

The main advance in 2009 is in the successful build up of new debt. Last year we set out to put your company onto a totally new footing. We decided on borrowing £417 billion in just two years, an audacious expansion. We have felt for some time that other sectors of the economy have geared more than we have, and it is high time we geared UK PLC to the maximum possible.

Some said we would not be able to raise this much debt, and wondered if at a time when others had come unstuck by borrowing too much it was a good idea. We are proving them wrong. One of the ways we have ensured that we can raise this much debt has been to authorise our subsidiary the Bank of England to buy up parts of our debt ourselves, thus stimulating demand for it. Our market power, combined with the opportunity to buy our own debt, has ensured that we have dominated the borrowing market, keeping most others out and allowing us to become the largest borrower the country has ever seen by miles.

We have not neglected our other main strategy, to make sure that everyone in the UK is affected by the actions of UK PLC. We leave no stone unturned to make sure people have heard of us and pay us money. Indeed, our revenue raising strategy requires us to find more ways of taxing and fining people, to offset the reductions in revenues we are experiencing as result of the economic downturn.

We have been especially successful at finding new and developing old ways of mugging motorists. We are bringing in extra taxes on fuel, and making as many complicated rules and speed limit changes as possible to raise the fine revenue. Our local subsidiaries are exploring new charges and rules on parking, and have developed an imposing array of levies and licence payments for people wishing to build, run events, operate pubs, clubs and gaming businesses and run taxi services.

We are always on the look out for new ways to let you pay for UK PLC. You must appreciate that whilst we have been able to put more of the spending than ever before onto the company’s mortgage, we have been so good at increasing spending we do need to keep the revenues up as well. We were too successful in encouraging and allowing some of our salesforce to claim expenses and have had to rein it in a bit. The temporary check to that budget will be entirely lost by the extra salaries, bonuses and expense claims elsewhere in the organisation so it will not prevent us recording record spending. Indeed, if you look at the pay and expense claims in our media and banking subsidiaries, they dwarf the salesforce claims.

We have employed good PR consultants recently to capture the essence of what we do -at your expense I am pleased to say. Our two new catch phrases are “Never knowingly underborrowed” and “Making sure you all pay for all that we enjoy”. I am sure you will agree this sums up so well our unique proposition.

The Directors and other senior executives are spending most of their time on attacking the claims of our rivals, Conco, who think they should have the management contract for our great company. We cannot see how they could conceivably spend, borrow and waste as much as us, and will hammer home this message as often as possible.

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17 Comments

  1. WitteringsfromWitney
    Posted August 18, 2009 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    Absolutely superb John! May have to consult my solicitor though, in respect of a possible compensation claim for the pulled muscle as a result of laughing so much!

    • THE ESSEX BOYS
      Posted August 18, 2009 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

      Delighted to see the series resumed but still awaiting the TV show!

      Where are Bremner, Bird & Fortune when you need ’em?

  2. alan jutson
    Posted August 18, 2009 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    Oh I almost forgot, we are exploring the possibility of a new form of home working, given that so many now seem to be at home due to the success of our green policy (higher taxes) on travel restrictions.

    The State funded laying back and thinking of England (sorry UK) Plan should encourage all those not working, to keep fit and be ready for use when we may need them in a few years time.

  3. Colin D.
    Posted August 18, 2009 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    I fear your rival – Conco – will not do enough to reverse this disaster. Consider their response to Daniel Hannan where they promised they will not cut NHS funding. Instead of defending the OUTPUT of the process – doctors, nurses, beds, operations – they have foolishly defended the taxpayer INPUT. What they should be doing is saying that if if they can get the SAME output for less input they will do it. Now they have stupidly got themselves locked into defending the indefensible. They have given a gift to Labour and led the majority of us, who think sacred cows are a thing of the past, to wonder at the IQ of Cameron’s advisers.

  4. Mick Anderson
    Posted August 18, 2009 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    I thought that the essence of comedy was to amplify the absurdities of the real world, not reign back on them.

    The financial mugging will continue until morale improves.

  5. Posted August 18, 2009 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    In other areas of human activity this would be regarded as fraudulent confidence trickery. However, after almost 13 years of total success in making The British people more than happy to wear balaclavas backwards during their waking lives, there is no reason even to bother with elections to The Board.

  6. Posted August 18, 2009 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    As a shareholder I demand an immediate egm so that I may have the opportunity to vote on the competence of the board of directors!

  7. Mark
    Posted August 18, 2009 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    A piece of satire worthy of Littlejohn. I’m sure if you had more time you could work your way to rivalling Swift.

  8. Brian E.
    Posted August 18, 2009 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    “One of the ways we have ensured that we can raise this much debt has been to authorise our subsidiary the Bank of England to buy up parts of our debt ourselves, thus stimulating demand for it.”
    This is exactly what the Icelandic banks did, lent money to people to buy their shares, thus causing the price to rise, making the bank apparently more valuable!
    It seems that our CEO isn’t slow at learning from other people when it suits his agenda

  9. Acorn
    Posted August 18, 2009 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    Dear Chief Exec.
    An excellent report, you have definitely earned your bonus for this year. I am particularly impressed that you are on target to put UK PLC net debt at over the £1,000,000,000,000 in 2010, I never thought you could do it, congratulations.

    I am slightly disappointed that you are not managing to spend more than £119 billion on the company health plan in 2010; and, the £224 billion you have pencilled in for social protection, one could say, is a little on the mean side.

    The company buying its own debt, is a master stroke by our central banking department. What’s more, the shareholders will never understand it; so don’t bother mentioning it at next years AGM.

    I particularly like the idea of getting our treasury to issue more bonds than they need too; in order to get all that spare new cash – reserve balances I think you call them – out of our central bank. You know those “Bonus Boys” will only start getting cocky and lending it to other people at warp factor ten. Who wants to be paying ten quid for a coffee at Costa; know what I mean.

    I have this great wheeze I think we should try. Instead of printing new money, why don’t we just borrow it from those Bond dealer sharpies. We can do it with those short term repo thingies; they’ve got loads-a-money. Not sure how we are going to get shut of all those Bonds we’ve printed though. I know, we will dump them on Conco for five years. Let them whoop it to the people Teutonic style; but only for five years, Conco will be an Enron by 2015.

    Trebles all round guys?

    http://www.ukpublicspending.co.uk/uk_cofog_budget.html#ukgs30240

  10. Posted August 18, 2009 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    Remember Enron, the power outfit who operated in much the same way and one consequence of their management skills was to bring about serious power cuts. Curiously, a number of people are predicting serious power problems for the UK.

  11. Posted August 18, 2009 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    Saw an interesting little article in the Daily Mail earlier.
    You know how Labour supporters just LOVE to endlessly bleat on about unemployment figures of 3 – 4million under Thatcher & Major? Well now it appears it’s now possible to return the favour, and endlessly remind them about how new research reveals the real jobless total under Labour has hit 6million (and expected to rise further still):
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1207230/The-real-jobless-total-Labour-SIX-million-new-research-reveals.html

  12. Posted August 18, 2009 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    Labour list’s offering for today……
    The Tories, except for David Cameron, (who perhaps ought to cross the floor), are secretly determined to privatise the NHS. You can tell this because all the Tory Trolls support Dan Hannan. Gordon is the only person who can save the NHS. This is going to win the election for Gordon.
    Anyway, the Norwich and Norfolk Hospital (sic) has been more or less privatised already, so have some vicious YF prisons. PFI is playing into Tory hands and allowing privatisers to make huge profits at public expense.
    The Labour Party is planning to cut greedy bankers’ bonuses.
    If only the offering even included some of the CEO’s thoughts – just to deny them!
    Do you know what? Either Labour are in denial or else they are seriously misled. I don’t think I have ever seen an article as serious and clued up as the one above on Labour List.

  13. Mark
    Posted August 18, 2009 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    It can be instructive to follow the careers of former Enron employees…

  14. Guinevere
    Posted August 18, 2009 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

    This would be funny if it wasn’t true….! Lord help us all when the lies end and it really hits the fan.

    Recently, I have begun to feel older than ever – is it just me or did journalism use to be about facts and research, not Government PR? Somebody mentioned Littlejohn – well it is to hell in a handcart driven by the media since nobody seems interested in braking before it is too late.

  15. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted August 18, 2009 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

    Dear Chief Executive,
    I wondered when you would find time in your hectic schedule to produce a report to shareholders. I know how busy you must have been borrowing, creating and wasting those gigantic amounts of money, whilst at the same time telling the media how you have saved, not just our own small organisation, but all of those others right across the world. You even found time to tell even more lies about the intentions of your competitor Conco.
    I was a little concerned that you were having some problems with some of your lower ranks but I noted that with the help of your trusty deputy, PM, (is he really a Lord?) you escaped unscathed. A word of caution: it has come to my notice that you have recently taken to “twittering” or some such thing, no doubt egged on by your wife’s enthusiasm for this form of communication. Unfortunately, I have noticed that whenever you try to embrace a new form of communication, as you did with your recent YouTube video, you try too hard to be liked – at least I think that was why you kept on grinning like a demented fool.
    As you know, in less than a year we shareholders shall have the opportunity to decide whether to renew your contract at the general meeting, assuming that you don’t totally usurp your powers and deny us the opportunity. I have to warn you that soundings have been taken from shareholders and it seems very unlikely that your contract will be renewed. I am sure that this will drive you on to even greater acts of reckless spending and borrowing coupled with lashings of more lies about the intentions of Conco. After twelve years it must come as second nature to you now. I expect to hear much more of this from you and your colleagues when you hold your company sales conference in Liverpool next month. I hope to see your excellent new corporate slogan “Never Knowingly Underborrowed” (how much did you pay for that little gem?) prominently displayed on the platform and all company literature.
    Well, a busy man like you hasn’t time to dwell on the ramblings of a mere shareholder. You have work to do in finishing the project you started back in1997.

    Yours in anticipation,
    One of millions of indebted shareholders

  16. Posted August 18, 2009 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

    Whilst concurring with most of what has been said, you must admit that as CEO of UK PLC that the public relations aspects have been slipping somewhat of late. The masses that you so ably laden with the chains of debt are not appreciate of what you have done for them. In such a short time, UK plc has achieved a such near eternal pennance for the sins of affluence and greed of the past few years that the God’s starring down from Olympus must be green with envy.
    But the masses are not grateful for this blissful torment. This is particularly true of the motorists. They fail to appreciate that these financial trials that you need to put them through every time they switch on their engine is for the good of this planet. There should be another Think! campaign that shows that by switching on their engine they could cause the next Indian monsoon to fail, or cause a chunk of the Antarctic ice to fall into the sea with such a crash that the resultant tsunami wipes out Cape Town or Sydney.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, He graduated from Magdalen College Oxford, has a DPhil and is a fellow of All Souls College. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.

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