So after all the wailing and gnashing of Slipstream Sport’s collective teeth, bon-vivant and sartorial dandy, Jonathan Vaughters, believes the best way to plug the $5 million hole in his team’s finances is to ask for it on Twitter?
Has it really come to this? Has industry, endeavor and the once sub-rosa details of business planning been reduced to 140 characters of text that roughly 2 billion people* can have a look at any time they like? Personally, I find it quite bizarre. In my day, deals were done either in the boardroom or over several bottles of single malt before heading off to the seedier side of Soho to indulge in the pleasures of Madame Sin. And I know my good friend Pat McQuaid would agree with me there!
So what, I hear you ask, are you bleating on about now, Rumford? In case, like me, you were trading crack pipe stories with Joe Papp last week, sharp-dressed man-about-town Vaughters sent a “tweet” – as is the appropriate appellation, I am reliably informed – to a recently ennobled Lord of Her Majesty’s Realm, one Lord Alan Sugar:
I mean, really! Have some self respect, Jonathan. What we have here is tantamount to sitting outside Sugar’s swanky London mansion in filthy, urine-stained attire and asking the noble Lord if he’s “got any spare change, guvnor?” And I know, young master Vaughters, that you wouldn’t appreciate those ill-fitting garments.
For those that don’t know, Lord Alan Sugar (who has a face that looks like a walnut covered with scrotum skin) is an English entrepreneur who made his estimated fortune of £770 million* from making unbelievably shit computers and black ash covered hi-fi systems in the 1980′s. Recently he has (dis)graced British television screens via The Apprentice; appearing in the role of bully-in-chief to young, mentally-ill men and women crowbarred into shiny suits in the mistaken belief that anyone gives a toss about their business acumen. This role was, of course, made famous by walking corpse and hair-loss denier, Donald Trump.
Indeed, critics have described Sugar as “out-of-touch” and his work ethic as “a model of bad management in the UK. Negative, bullying and narrow-minded… (Sugar) rules by fear”*. Concerns have been raised by anti-bullying charity Kidscape that “publicly humiliating” contestants on The Apprentice may give bullying credibility.*
Regarding the 1970s UK law which states that it is discriminatory and hence illegal for women to be asked at interview whether they plan to have children, Sugar is quoted as saying,
“These laws are counter-productive for women, that’s the bottom line. You’re not allowed to ask, so it’s easy – just don’t employ them. It will get harder to get a job as a woman.”*
In February 2005 Sugar famously predicted that the iPod would be “dead, finished, gone, kaput” by the following Christmas.*
Despite being a thoroughly dislikable little man, Alan Sugar was made Lord Sugar in 2009 and also appointed as “Enterprise Champion” to the then Labour Government*. Worst super-hero name ever, if you ask me.
So, my dear friend, Jonathan Vaughters, please be careful to whom you go cap in hand. We all understand and appreciate that BigMat left you with a sizeable headache (not to mention the embarrassment of having to ask daddy Doug for some more money). But just because some multi-millionaire gets his photo taken while dressed in full Garmin team kit, this does not make him an appropriate business partner for your team. Nor, indeed is whoring yourself on social media sites the way to go about it.