Miserable Bastards


It’s probably a horrendous crime in the blogosphere to extract commentary produced by others, but this piece from Martin Vander Weyer which was first printed in the Spectator is just too close to our hearts at ArchOver to be missed and deserves to be read by a wider audience:

My New Year slogan was ‘Pay up, you miserable bastards’, in reference to the practice of late payment of creditors which I called ‘the bane of modern commercial life’ — but I’m sorry to say that the leaders of some of Britain’s biggest businesses have collectively decided to laugh in my face. Diageo is extending its payment terms from 60 to 90 days; Heinz to 97 days; Mars, Mondelez (-parent of Cadbury) and AB InBev (brewer of Stella Artois and Boddingtons) to 120 days. In the industries which these giants dominate, suppliers are typically a fraction of the size of buyers, and have correspondingly higher borrowing costs; and the bigger the company, the more likely it is to be sitting on hoards of cash. The Federation of Small Businesses estimates that £40 billion is owed to its members as a result of late payments; as of last October, FTSE100 companies held net cash of £53 billion. 

There are many differences between the UK and Greece, and one of them, crucial to economic revival, is the vigour and resilience of our small and medium-sized business sector — which is being squeezed by big-corporate fat cats who use each other as benchmarks for commercial brutality. It’s nothing but a damned disgrace.

Read the whole article in the Spectator at:


As you’d expect it’s also doing the rounds on Twitter.

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