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Thursday 2 July 2009

Tesco? Who Said Tesco?

Newsnight (aka The Inquisition of Pax Jeremiah) is a programme I don’t often see. But yesterday was another hot and sticky one, and I tuned in more to catch any major news events than anything else, having missed the main news.

Paxo was trying – not too successfully – to prod Lord Myners into saying something other than what was on the Good Lord’s script. It wasn’t in the “riveting” category, more the stuff of routine. But then there was a discussion on matters financial, featuring among others, the World’s Most Agreeable Politician (tm) Vince Cable. During the discussion, someone said Tesco.

What, I wondered, did Tesco have to do with the economy, other than their rather large share of the supermarket part of it? Then I got a handle on what was being said: that Tesco were being mentioned as a bidder for the currently state owned Northern Rock bank.

That was news to me: it’s clear that whoever is in power, organisations like Northern Rock will ultimately be moved out of state control, but maybe not yet. Unless the Government really, really needs to do some asset selling in order to get said asset off its books and make some money in the process.

And, it seems, rumour is all that the media have to go on (a piece in the Guardian gives some of the background and arguments). The source of the rumour, as the article points out, is the Times, part of the Murdoch press, which isn’t well disposed right now towards Pa Broon. So it could be mere pot stirring. But if there is some substance in the story?

That would be very bad news indeed for Labour. One to watch.

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