Sunday 11 July 1999
RT's favourite company Ashtead Plant Hire to report. The former penny share has put on nearly pounds 500m capital value in a decade, by doing clever things like renting out electronic oil survey equipment to the Sultan of Brunei. Sultan of Brunei to buy 15 per cent of Manchester United. David Beckham to buy 85 per cent of Borneo with proceeds of OK! wedding picture deal.
Unexciting UK RPI inflation figures. Slight increase due to Volvo price- fixing ring and global warming-related seasonal distortions: soaring price of sun block, belly-button piercing, hurricane precaution products, malaria cures, hand-held personal cooler fans, snake-bite serum. Public sector becomes sulky and mildly obdurate.
Slightly less dull UK wage inflation figures likely to show salaries rising more slowly than prices. General strike thought to be unlikely. On the same day, US inflation figures. Also dull. No change in the public sector today. Civil servants to devote day to backward thinking, writing memos to tea-ladies, straightening carpet tassels and sticking heads in the sand.
Stanley Leisure, the betting shop and casino group, to report. The company issued a profits warning moaning that Lady Luck had seen to it that the favourites kept winning horse races and football matches. The group has been expanding its way out of trouble. Although it is thought that any business based essentially on the work of the devil could not possibly go wrong, a turnaround will be difficult now that Satan has added the National Lottery, internet betting and the AIM to his arsenal.
Public sector congratulates itself on surviving another week entirely unchanged. Goes home to enjoy a relaxing weekend of crown green bowling and implacable bloody-mindedness.
This week's public sector reactionaries
JOHN PRESCOTT - Undermined by Faceless Wonders in Downing Street, protector of Old Labour foot- dragging in the Department of Transport, the Health Service and Town Halls.
SIR HUMPHREY APPLEBY KCB, MVO, MA (Oxon) - Chinless Wonder who headed Department of Administrative Affairs, resisted change and frustrated No 10. (Now replaced by Ms Appleby Humphrey MBA (Oxon) on secondment from Touche-Lybrand-Waterhouse-Crosby-Stills-Nash. Embraces change).
POSTMAN PAT - Foot-dragging low-productivity Public Sector employee. Brainless Wonder. Exploits monopoly by driving under-used red van round country lanes at 5mph, singing songs and wasting time helping villagers with heads stuck in buckets. Resists change.
... AND HIS BLACK AND WHITE CAT (JESS) - Deeply uncompetitive public sector fat cat, incapable of learning new tricks and more interested in eating fish than Total Quality Management. Now to be floated.
Commodity news: the ups and downs
Previously: Brent's passionate relationship with US stocks had left him firm but nearing exhaustion. Coffee was stable again, and Copper was feeling perky. Gold was heartbroken when she discovered that two-timing hunk Alan Greenspan saw her as "just another commodity - nothing special". She tearfully realised he would never make her his reserve currency.
Now read on: Drama continues for Gold. After being deserted by her life- long partner Inflation, she had literally been dumped on the street by cruel bachelor Gordon Brown and then led up the garden path by Dr Greenspan. Earlier this week she fell for the handsome but wicked aristocrat Robert Champion de Crespigny of the Australian Gold Council. The vile Champion de Crespigny dallied with her for a while, before refusing her pathetic pleas for a price fix, showing her the door and selling her short. Brent Futures, meanwhile, broke up with his steady date, US Stocks. Last week US caused excitement by pulling down her inventories to an obscenely low level, but now she was satisfied and had had enough of Brent's crude, leaving his spot price floppy. Minor character Onions was banned from leaving India after his crop failed and the Essential Commodities Act was invoked. Ex-glamourpuss Sugar was down again. But everyone else was up - cheered by what was happening to Gold. What next? To find out, tune in next week.
Wellcome Image Awards: The most striking images from the world of science, including breast cancer cells under chemical attack and a photographer’s own kidney stone
Missing Malaysia Airlines plane: Terrorism explanation 'cannot be ruled out', says CIA
Bob Crow death: 'Admired by his members, feared by employers' - Tributes pour in for RMT union leader and 'working class hero' Bob Crow
Oscar Pistorius murder trial: Athlete repeatedly sick as court hears 'graphic details' of Reeva Steenkamp's post-mortem
How climate change helped Genghis Khan: Scientists believe a sudden period of warmer weather allowed the Mongols to invade with such success
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Poor 'live like animals' says Boris's privately educated sister after going on 'poverty safari'
Exclusive: Impact of immigrants on British workers ‘negligible’
Vince Cable: Teachers 'know absolutely nothing' about the world of work
Ukraine crisis: Russia pledges to 'retaliate against sanctions' as Ukrainian president says Crimea vote will not be recognised
The quiet diplomat: Catherine Ashton - recognised and admired in all the world’s troubled countries, yet ridiculed at home
- 2 Family forced to flee home after discovering 'terrifying' nest of spiders in bananas
- 3 First Kiss: Filmmaker gets 20 strangers to make out on YouTube with awkward results
- 4 Grace Dent: Who cares if she spells it Barraco Barner? Gemma Worrall is more employable than some bookish arts graduate
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