You’ve probably heard the proverb “empty vessels make the most noise”. If true, it must mean that Tim Martin has little more than hot air between his ears.
As usual, the creator of the unbelievably crass Brexit beermat campaign has taken the opportunity of a JD Wetherspoon trading update to indulge in an ill disciplined rant.
It is aimed at those who think sailing the UK off into Atlantic until it hits Iceland isn’t the cleverest policy idea in the wake of the Brexit vote.
It’s actually kind of funny when he accuses Jean Claude Juncker, the President of the European Commission, of posturing. In so doing, he's lobbing boulders from his glass (public) house.
However, his greatest ire is saved for CBI director general Carolyn Fairbairn, and it’s then that he descends to the level of that beermat stunt.
Ms Fairbairn recently (sensibly) said that that the UK leaving the EU negotiating table without a deal shouldn’t be plan B but plan Z. By the way, she was representing the views of the majority in British business.
Not Mr Martin, of course. “It is doubtful if Ms Fairbairn has ever been involved in serious business negotiations herself, since this is the same as a housebuyer saying to a seller, 'I must have your house at any cost’,” he snarled. “In this case the buyer will not pay the market price, but will pay the maximum that the seller believes he can afford.”
Ms Fairbairn, of course, has been involved in serious business negotiations, regularly, during a glittering career. The former McKinseyite, went on to become director of strategy at ITV, and also launched the hugely successful Freeview service. She can point to a lot more in terms of her acheivements than just a Brexit beermat. There aren’t many people in Briton who boast a more distinguished CV.
Mr Martin’s prescription for Britain’s future, involving walking away from the EU in favour of trading on WTO terms, would impose huge extra tariffs on companies that (unlike his) rely on exports, which the UK badly needs to encourage given its yawning trade gap.
He suggests that the UK should “possibly” offer tariff free access to its markets to all comers, without any reciprocal arrangements. It would make imports cheap, and might benefit his business. But it would cripple the economy in the process.
To follow his lead by using an analogy, it would be like him offering free access to his pubs to any brewer without first agreeing to terms. What, you want a bulk purchase discount? Sorry, bud, you said free access to your pubs so you can whistle. Of course, it'd be a million years before Mr Martin adopted such a strategy, and yet he seems to be advocating it for the country in which he lives.
Business picture of the day
Business picture of the day
Britain's Secretary of State for International Trade, Liam Fox said any trade deal with the US would 'have to include agriculture' paving the way for the arrival of chicken washed in chlorinated water
The Government it will outlaw the sale of new diesel and petrol cars and vans from 2040 in a bid to cut air pollution but environmental groups said the proposals did not go far enough
In a bid to ease paralysing congestion ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and combat a deeply entrenched and destructive culture of extreme presenteeism, Japan is trialling a practice that other countries adopted years ago: remote working.
India’s won't allow self-driving cars as they take away jobs, says India's road transport and highways minister, Nitin Gadkari.
UK farmers are considering moving their operations abroad to Poland as they struggle to fill seasonal jobs post-Brexit referendum.
Channel 4's Great British Bake Off agrees a new sponsorship deal with Lyle's Golden Syrup and Dr Oetker. The upcoming autumn series will be the first since the programme's switch from the BBC. The winner of the final series on the BBC was Candice Brown (pictured)
Bitcoin could soon be used as a currency spent on everyday items. TenX hopes to introduce Visa cards able to convert the crypto-currency into legal tender in dollars, sterling, euros and yen.
Fashion retailer Michael Kors buys out luxury shoemaker Jimmy Choos, brought to fame by celebrity endorsements from Princess Diana. The shoemaker, with stores in New York and London, hopes to boost the faltering fortunes of Kors.
A driver sits behind the wheel of a Mini at BMW's plant in Oxford. The German carmaker announced plans to assemble a new electric Mini in the UK, despite uncertainty over Brexit and free trade.
An aerial view shows rice plants in the shape of the map of China in a paddy field in Zhonghong village, on the outskirts of Shanghai, China. The Us agreed to export rice to China for the first time, meeting growing demand for rice.
11/16 Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley tells high court he is a 'power drinker' and enjoys binging
Mike Ashley has reportedly told a high court judge that he likes binging on alcohol and is a “power drinker”. On the fourth day of a trial in London, where the Sports Direct boss is being sued by investment banker Jeffrey Blue, Mr Ashley was asked how much he had been drinking when he allegedly made a deal with Mr Blue relating to Sports Direct’s share price, according to the BBC.
12/16 Brexit concerns shrink UK's lead as Europe's top finance hub
Brexit concerns have bitten into the UK’s lead as Europe’s top financial services location for investors, new research shows. The UK’s financial services industry has retained its title as Europe’s most attractive location for international investment, but its lead has narrowed due to fears over the impact of Brexit, according to a report by professional services firm EY.
13/16 Longest squeeze on household incomes since 1970s, says ONS
The aggregate real disposable income of UK households has fallen for three quarters in a row for the first time since the 1970s, according to the Office for National Statistics. The ONS said that the inflation-adjusted compensation of the household sector fell 1.4 per cent in the first three months of 2017, reflecting spiking inflation and weak pay growth.
Macrobond, The Independent
14/16 Jaguar Land Rover to create 5,000 new jobs
Britain's biggest carmaker Jaguar Land Rover will hire 5,000 staff as it boosts its skills in autonomous and electric technology, a welcome business endorsement as Prime Minister Theresa May starts Brexit talks after a botched election. JLR, which employs more than 40,000 people globally, said it would hire 1,000 electronic and software engineers as well as 4,000 additional personnel including in manufacturing, most of whom will be based in Britain.
15/16 Japanese bank Nomura chooses Frankfurt for EU headquarters after UK's withdrawal
Nomura picked Frankfurt as the headquarters for its European Union operations after the UK leaves the bloc, people with knowledge of the matter said. Japan’s biggest brokerage will start preparations this month to form a base in the German financial centre, one of the people said, asking not to be identified as the matter is confidential. It will seek regulatory approval and find office space before transferring fewer than 100 employees from London to the city, according to the person.
16/16 The real reason UK employers hire European Union workers
While the end of free movement is presented by politicians as ‘taking control’, for employers it means quite the reverse – it means a loss of control, it means new barriers to recruitment and, for some, the risk of irreparable damage. In our research at the National Institute for Economic and Social Research (NIESR) before and after the referendum vote we’ve detected a gradual change in outlook among employers.
Mercifully, Mr Martin has very little power outside of the pub trade. While he’s proved he knows a thing or two about running hostelries, for the most part his tirades elicit only shrugs. Oh dear, is he at it again? Tell you what, there’s a Fuller’s five minutes away, and the beer’s better there.
The scary thing about living in modern Britain, however, is that there are people who either do have real power, or are close to it, who think like him, are equally stupid, and care nothing for the price their madness will impose upon every man, woman and child in this nation.
Mr Martin is a wealthy individual, so he can afford to pay it. The rest of us aren’t so lucky, doubly so our children, whose opportunities these people are suffocating.