6 Aug 2016

Sir Philip Green and the unwilling paparazzi

Strange. You are an off-duty journalist, taking a summer break in Greece. Suddenly the most ‘wanted’ subject in business reporting pitches up in a vast super yacht at the mouth of the very bay where you are swimming. Do you do anything about it? Go and shout questions at him? Commandeer a fishing boat to chase him?

No. You are on holiday for goodness sake. And yet something gnaws at your reporting soul. Here’s a guy with a brand new yacht – ‘Lionheart’ – which is said to cost £100 million, and is four decks high and 300 feet long. You can’t miss it. Yet I tried to. In the end the hack in me gave way and tweeted a wonky iPhone shot or two.

As we munched our supper in a Greek café, I couldn’t help watching the sea to see if Sir Philip Green would come ashore. He’s stayed silent since releasing a letter last week saying he’s “working towards a solution for the BHS pensioners” – and accusing the MP Frank Field of creating a “false narrative.” I’m sure he has other things he wants to say. But the great bulk of boat on the darkening skyline released nothing, neither ship’s tender, nor human. Then this very morning, sitting on the rusting balcony where we were staying, there’s the Maltese flag of convenience; there’s the slick tender with the big name across the stern. ‘Lionheart’ – perhaps shorthand for BHS workers’ pensions scandal. The tender is bobbing about off the quay. Suddenly it dashes to the quayside and there she is, Lady Green, the offshore tenant of all the monies, or most of them, that Sir Philip has ever amassed. Tax exile, Monaco resident, looking fit. Have I become a paparazzi or am I just doing my job? What job? What does it all tell us?

Apparently we sent our own reporter, Paul McNamara, and crew last week. Despite valiant efforts, Sir Philip’s entourage allowed them to get scarcely closer to him than I am, coincidentally lying on a beach, his yacht distorting the vista ahead.  

The Greens are mucking about in a massive super yacht enjoying their gains. And the fate of the BHS workers’ pensions? Sorry folks, I don’t have a new line on all that…but I know who does.

Tweets by @jonsnowC4

6 reader comments

  1. Eugene says:

    This is capitalism. Whether you voted Labour or Tory, it´s what you voted for. Has Green done anything illegal? There is no cosy, lovable, pink, cuddly capitalism around the corner.

    1. Jack says:

      I agree. I was born in a poor area. My dad worked in a foundry 25 miles away, and came home worn out every day.
      Me, I was educated and pulled from poverty by a Grammar School.
      DID NOT work in a foundry! But I did work, but that didn`t mean govt didn`t steal from my pension!
      My point is…the left have started a mantra aimed at the rich. Compared to MY dad…I am “Rich”….Compared to ME, my lads are “rich”…should the Labour lefties be at it again!? in the 60s it was ban Grammar Schools they are elitist,,Strangely the exact mantra they use for Greene!
      How about politicians,,,and media…are they too rich? I am sure they are richer than their parents! THAT matey, is PROGRESS!! When I was being educated via a state school, men were coming back from the war,and they wanted a different world.
      Today we have got that world, but it looks as if those men who returned have contributed to making GB…despite politicians, Great again!
      Now the posh set who caused the Jarrow marches are determined that RICH is a dirty word…unless of course that means THEM!!
      After all the class struggles with phony demonstrations from a class of phonies, even when you DO make it , there are the media and the classy snobs urging everyone to pull you down.
      As for Greece Mr Snow, the only way MY elder relatives got to Greece was courtesy of the British Forces!

  2. Mark says:

    If he runs this ship aground then will he become an Admiral?

  3. anon says:

    Trump thinks he can love bomb the North Korean Leader so to speak, maybe he could, had a strange thought what would happen if Trump met Green?, could he win him round or vice versa, whose charm would prevail?

  4. Malcolm Garton says:

    Philip would benefit his reputation if he made an early Payment to finish this affair.
    Or if no payment is coming tell them now, don’t leave it hanging

  5. yathching says:

    be generous with your tipping; and spenmd loads oF Euros dracas. The Greeks are still relatively destitute

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