Private Investor: Blunkett takes a tumble, but Tesco strides on - for now

Well, there's no doubt what the big story of the week is. Apart from David Blunkett, of course, although I rather wonder about his investment strategy; a lump of cash placed in the shares of just one company.

What about pound cost averaging David? What about the clear advantages of a collective fund for those with relatively modest sums - say £15,000 - to invest. And what about only investing in businesses that you actually understand? Well, maybe DNA Bioscience actually does qualify on that criteria.

The returns from a shareholding in DNA Bioscience, for Blunkett and/or members of his family may well have turned out to be substantial, even spectacular. But what a lot of risk, eh? Now he's back on his backbencher's salary of £59,095 with a problematic background when it comes to acquiring new company directorships. If I were Blunkett I'd be finding myself a decent financial adviser and looking into some broad based investment trusts ( Foreign & Colonial is my own long term core investment). Has Blunkett got the pension provision in place he needs for his retirement? I only ask.

Then there was that other eye catching tale; the Telefonica bid for O2. I have been buying lumps of O2 actually ever since it was spun out of BT four years ago, when BT shareholders were offered some "free shares" from the demerger plus the opportunity to acquire some more at an attractive price of 80p.

So I bought some more. Then the great telecoms crash sunk O2 and they slumped to half that level, at which point I bought some more. And have carried on buying the occasional slice, the last purchases being only a couple of weeks ago at about 156p. Now we have a cash bid of 200p, so I'm in the money.

Naturally, I have to add that nothing yet seems to have happened to the other smaller telecoms companies I bought into - Colt and Kingston.

By the way, your one share in the old 2001 BT, worth, say, 333p, is now one share in BT worth 210p plus one share in O2, now 200p. So you're better off. Not much, but a little.

However for me the truly significant development in the past week has been the persistent pressure driving even more persistent rumours that the competition authorities might be willing to take an axe to Tesco.

The worrying thing is not where Tesco is now - at 30 per cent of the grocery market - but where it is going. This was explored by Jeremy Warner, The Independent's business editor, in a recent column and it made for interesting reading. Tesco itself says it wants to grow in the UK by 6 per cent a year and it has the land bank and the management expertise to make that happen. It can also continue expanding into almost every nook and cranny of our lives, from car insurance to broadband internet connections. There must come a point when even Tesco's most ardent admirers might wonder if one chain can receive perhaps 50 per cent of all retail spending with no ill-effects.

On the other hand, apart from the businesses that are knocked sideways when a Tesco turns up on their doorstep it is difficult to identify what actual harm has so far come about simply because of Tesco's size.

Returning to the Blunkett affair, the state the Government is in you never know what sort of crowd pleasing stunts they may pull. Knocking the supermarkets occupies roughly the place in our national life that knocking British Rail, the Gas Board and the Post Office did in the 1970s. Except that in those days we criticised them for being too unsuccessful.

Now it seems Tesco, as with the big pharmaceutical firms and fast food companies, is too successful. Will we ever be happy?

Email: s.o'grady@independent.co.uk

Life and Style
“What is it like being a girl?” was the question on the lips of one inquisitive Reddit user this week
News
peopleDave Legeno, the actor who played werewolf Fenrir Greyback in the Harry Potter films, has died
Arts and Entertainment
Armando Iannucci, the creator of 'The Thick of It' says he has
tvArmando Iannucci to concentrate on US show Veep
Life and Style
beauty
PROMOTED VIDEO
Sport
Luis Suarez looks towards the crowd during the 2-1 victory over England
transfers
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

Sport
German supporters (left) and Argentina fans
world cup 2014Final gives England fans a choice between to old enemies
Arts and Entertainment
A still from the worldwide Dawn of the Planet of the Apes trailer debut
film
News
peopleMario Balotelli poses with 'shotgun' in controversial Instagram pic
News
A mugshot of Ian Watkins released by South Wales Police following his guilty pleas
peopleBandmates open up about abuse
Sport
Basketball superstar LeBron James gets into his stride for the Cleveland Cavaliers
sportNBA superstar announces decision to return to Cleveland Cavaliers
Sport
Javier Mascherano of Argentina tackles Arjen Robben of the Netherlands as he attempts a shot
world cup 2014
Arts and Entertainment
The successful ITV drama Broadchurch starring David Tenant and Olivia Coleman came to an end tonight
tv
Sport
Four ski officials in Slovenia have been suspended following allegations of results rigging
sportFour Slovenian officials suspended after allegations they helped violinist get slalom place
News
14 March 2011: George Clooney testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during a hearing titled 'Sudan and South Sudan: Independence and Insecurity.' Clooney is co-founder of the Satellite Sentinel Project which uses private satellites to collect evidence of crimes against civilian populations in Sudan
people
Arts and Entertainment
Balaban is indirectly responsible for the existence of Downton Abbey, having first discovered Julian Fellowes' talents as a screenwriter
tvCast members told to lose weight after snacking on set
Life and Style
More than half of young adults have engaged in 'unwanted but consensual sexting with a committed partner,' according to research
tech
Life and Style
A binge is classed as four or more alcoholic drinks for women and five or more for men, consumed over a roughly two-hour period
tech
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    BC2

    £50000 - £70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Business Analyst Consultant (Fina...

    Programme Support, Coms, Bristol, £300-350p/d

    £300 - £350 per day + competitive: Orgtel: My client, a leading bank, is curre...

    (Junior) IT Systems Administrator / Infrastructure Analyst

    £28000 - £32000 per annum + pension, 25 days holiday: Ashdown Group: A highly ...

    Finance Officer

    Negotiable: Randstad Education Birmingham: Randstad Education are seeking a Fi...

    Day In a Page

    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

    Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
    Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

    Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

    In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
    Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

    A writer spends a night on the streets

    Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
    Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

    UK's railways are entering a new golden age

    New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
    Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

    Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

    Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
    Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

    Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

    This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
    Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

    Why did we stop eating whelks?

    Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
    10 best women's sunglasses

    In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

    From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
    Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

    World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

    No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
    Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

    Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

    18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
    The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

    The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

    A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

    The German people demand an end to the fighting
    New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

    New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

    For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
    Can scientists save the world's sea life from

    Can scientists save our sea life?

    By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
    Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

    Richard III review

    Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice