Last week, we considered how Mrs Maybe’s Cabinet reshuffle went totally tits up. This week, we consider how mega-corporation Carillion went totally tits up. On Monday it was defunct. This huge company, which was involved in building buildings, building roads, and providing catering and cleaning staff on contract, which had 450 Government contracts when it went under, is carrion for M’Learned friends, armies of accountants and insolvency practitioners, all of them picking over the carcass. Meanwhile, 20,000 employees are facing the scrap heap (although those working on projects for private companies are to work on and be paid until new contractors can be found) and 1,400 Government apprentices have been left high and dry. There are debts of £1.3 billion and a £600m hole in the pension fund. And it is not just the immediate employees in peril, but the contractors who did business with Carillion who will probably never be paid and who will themselves go under and their employees with them, not to mention their sub-contractors and their sub-sub-contractors and so on. As Henry V put it,
That this foul deed shall smell above the earth
With carrion men, groaning for burial.
Not that everyone waited until the body was dead. Carillion’s directors have been doing just fine. In July 2017, the company posted a profits warning, whereupon Richard Howson, the Chief Executive, who had been earning £1.5m in salary, bonuses and pension payments stepped down. A month later, he popped up again, this time as Chief Operating Officer, scraping by on a salary of £660,000 and £28,000 in benefits. Because the company has done so well under his stewardship, they needed to have yet more of him. He stayed until October when he departed yet again, following Zahar Khan, the Chief Financial Officer, out of the door. Both of these titans (and all other senior executives) had clauses in their contracts entitling them to a year’s salary after termination (£425,000 for Mr Khan) and expected to be paid until the autumn of 2018. Despite the fact that there were clearly problems over the past year, the Board continued to declare dividends and to pay themselves bonuses. In contrast, contractors have complained that Carillion was notoriously slow to pay up, once citing a flood in India as a reason not to pay a small firm in England, whilst doing that thing that companies do, underbidding for contracts and then squeezing contractors and quality to make a profit, shaving a little off here and a little off there and screwing all the littler people in the name of Big Business.
The Insolvency Service has now frozen payments to directors and so Mr Howson, Mr Khan and the other dummies on the Board will have to live on their savings. The Insolvency Service also intends to investigate the company’s trading sheets which, pre July, gave off such a rosy glow. They might also ask Her Majesty’s Government why it continued to dole out contracts to this failing monolith, even after the profit warnings had been sounded.
You can bet your bottom dollar that had a Carillion builder dropped a brick off a scaffold or a Carillion out-sourced dinner lady been late dishing out the kiddies’ macaroni cheese at lunchtime, they would have been dismissed quicker than you can say P45. No payoff. No continuing access to the goody-bag. Nothing. But these people have presided over catastrophic failure and yet continued to get paid and expected to be paid even after it all collapsed. And other companies will also suffer the same fate because such is the British way, in politics as well as in commerce – reward failure and let the same people go and cock up something else.
We start our review of the week’s fashion follies with ghastly White House Press Secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
WTF aficionado Joshua La Porte has long maintained that the more Sarah lies, the more maquillage she wears, like an Estée Lauder Pinocchio. The US taxpayer pays for her makeup and hair, but on this evidence, she also needs a stylist. The dreadful dress does not fit anywhere and it is far too short. More pressing is the question of what has happened to Sarah’s knees – has she been playing American football without protection? When WTF tweeted this picture on Wednesday night, several people thought they saw Donald Trump’s face and hair in her patellae, in the same way that people see Jesus’s face in a piece of fruit. Just saying…
Next to LA, and actress Tracee Ellis Ross, wearing Proenza Schouler.
Tracee is clearly suffering from a bad case of discombobulation and is wearing her bra over her clothes. Which is just very silly.
To Paris, where we find WTF regular, actress Diane Kruger at the Chanel party. She is of course wearing Chanel.
Diane has come straight from the Opéra National where she was dancing one of the little cygnets in a production of Swan Lake.
This is Arsenal footballer Hector Bellerin at London Men’s Fashion Week a fortnight ago, wearing a Christopher Shannon coat, women’s Zimmerman silk pyjamas and Gucci fur-lined velvet slippers.
Velvet fur-lined slippers!!!!!!
Fur-lined slippers worn outdoors as much use as a sponge leg in a swamp. (A bit like Hector’s defending). And they cost £645. Is Hector sleepwalking? (Also a bit like Hector’s defending). The whole outfit is an outrage. WTF was already sick of watching Hector play like a prat. Now she has to put up with him dressing like one.
Stella McCartney was flogging her wares in LA. Here is Katy Perry wearing part of the new Autumn Collection.
Katy is dressed as a frilly red bell pepper in pink shoes. Who knows why?
This is actress Yara Shahidi at the Marie Claire party in Hollywood, wearing Shiaparelli Couture.
Only last week, women were at the Golden Globes wearing funereal black in solidarity with their sisters who had been sexually assaulted by groping fat cats, as part of the #MeToo movement. Yet Yara is wearing something suggesting that one of those aforesaid fat cats is standing behind her with his hands fondling her front bits. There is quirky and there is creepy. This has gone way past creepy and is verging on the downright pervy.
You always expect singer Lady Gaga to dress outlandishly because that is her schtick, but having a Minge Moment in a Barcelona street is going far too far. Here she is, wearing Ted Khouri.
Hasn’t Catalonia suffered enough without exposure to the Gaga groin?
Finally, we have two horrors from the NAACP (American National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) Image Awards in LA, starting with actor Algee Smith.
Bare chest, a necklace and bare ankles WORN WITH BROGUES (which WTF hates almost above all things) are bad enough. But a bellybutton triangle in a dinner jacket? As Dorothy Parker used to say whenever the front doorbell rang, what fresh hell is this?
Answer – not nearly as hellish as actress Halle Berry, wearing Reem Accra. Brace yourselves. MAJOR MINGE ALERT!!!!! CARE SHOULD BE TAKEN BEFORE PROGRESSING FURTHER….
The only word here is mingetastic.
Halle is 51 (although she could be 31) and is seriously stunning but that is no excuse to her to parade about in public with her pubis covered by little more than a beaver braid. Reem Acrid – shame on you…
This week’s It’s Got To Go has come from a number of WTF aficionados who are not at all happy, not even at all, with the new Victoria and Albert Museum uniforms designed by one Christopher Rae. Here is why….
The staff seem to have stumbled into a Laura Ashley 1970s reunion in horrible clashes of blue and orange. WTF aficionado Tom remarked that the bald bloke at the far end has been moonlighting as a train guard. WTF thinks the big bloke in the middle looks like a tartan version of Paddington Bear. The staff’s smiles are somewhat forced and with good reason because this is seriously bad. It’s Got To Go…..
OK Readers, that’s your lot for this week. You sent in lovely comments last week which made WTF smile, which is A GOOD THING. Please keep it up. And don’t forget your top suggestions for It’s Got To Go. Let us meet again next Friday where we will digest the SAG Awards Red Carpet. Be good x