TO BE UPDATED AS THE STORY DEVELOPS
Fighting talk is a BBC radio comedy programme which includes a challenge to panellists to defend the indefensible. Entrepreneur Jon Moulton found himself playing a version of the game defending the closure of the delivery firm City Link over the Christmas period
The breaking story is the closure of the parcels delivery firm City Link, with likely loss of over 2000 jobs. The firm was acquired by Entrepreneur Jon Moulton’s venture capital vehicle Better Capital from Rentokil, in a fire-sale offer eighteen months ago [April 2013]. The announcement of the firm’s foreclosure took place on Christmas Day. Employees, many unsuspecting the news, learned of this through the media.
It’s their fault
As every lawyer, politician, criminal and naughty school-child knows, defending the indefensible is a necessary survival skill. Success in the game often involves finding someone else to blame, or finding a less difficult position to defend.
In a press interview, Jon Boulton was reported as saying that the Unions were to blame for the company breaking the news on Christmas Day. His hand was forced, he insisted, by a Union message on Christmas Eve. Better Capital intended to make the official announcement on Boxing Day [the day after Christmas].
Now look what you’ve made me do
The BBC’s Today Programme is a more refined version of Fighting Talk. In a radio interview, Mr Bolton had a chance to reprise his defense of the indefensible. He continued to insist that he could not have behaved in any other way, without breaking the law.
The official announcement which was made public [on 29th Dec, 2014] outlines the matter in legal terms.
Learning from mistakes
Mr Moulton has a knack of learning for his mistakes. His company was named Better Capital, allegedly as an ironic statement of intent to better the financial performance of earlier ventures. Other people including employees of firms acquired by Better Capital are the more obvious losers.
Dec 31st 2014
Jon Moulton reported as having offered assurances to City Link of funding support for a year in September 2014
January 1st 2015
Redundant workers told to check Face Book for job opportunities