Greggs vs. Growth.
This is Sir Michael Darrington. If anybody knows anything about growth, it’s him, because for over 20 years he ran Greggs, to whose products I owe a great deal of my personal growth – and I don’t mean that in any spiritual sense.
I heard him today on ‘Any Answers’ on Radio Four. He was just a punter, a caller-in, but he made so much sense that Dimbleby J. could hardly bear to let him go, unlike the general run of callers, who the Dimbler is usually desperate to get off the line. He talked about the consequences of Quantitative Easing, and the bank crisis and the credit crunch in language that I could understand. He dared to lay the majority of the blame at the door of the banks, who are taking huge profits still on the money that they can be bothered to lend. He said that negative growth might not be such a terrible thing, and that one way we could cope with it might be through job sharing. He said that City types and CEO’s are clearly over-rewarded, which is remarkable if you think about it, because mostly capitalists harp on about how they wouldn’t get out of bed if they weren’t grossly over-paid. I thought he sounded like an intelligent, insightful man, who they should probably get on the main panel for ‘Any Questions.’ I googled him. Oddly, he seems to be as thin as a whippet. If I’d run Greggs for more than twenty years, the bargain bags of sausage rolls and jam doughnuts would have taken an even greater toll on my waistline than they already have. It was good to hear somebody who clearly knows what they are on about speaking what sounded like common sense (dread phrase.) Next time I succumb to the lure of bargain pastry products (and, if I’m honest, that will probably be next week), I shall think of Sir Michael, and hope to hear more of him.