Reading about the business fortunes of that prodigy Euan Blair (supposedly worth £420m at one stage - but very much on paper, we must conclude), I felt transported back to the extremes of the dotcom bubble of 25 years ago:
Euan Blair’s apprenticeship company Multiverse has reported a near-tripling of pre-tax annual losses to £40.5m – its seventh straight year of losses since the son of the former prime minister Tony Blair set it up in 2016.
Seven straight years! Wonderful! There was a Doonesbury strip at that time, showing our hero Mike, by then in middle age, presenting his start-up business plan to an insufferable and very young exec at some private equity firm, who says something like: "Hmm - you project a loss this year, and more next year, and even more the year after: excellent! Frankly, Mr Doonesbury, we find that businessmen of your generation generally just don't get it."
Still, who's the fool? Last year, Blair Jnr ...
... was awarded an MBE for services to education. He also bought a five-storey townhouse in west London for a reported £22m. The seven-bedroom residence, which he shares with his wife, Suzanne Ashman, and their two children, features a two-storey “iceberg” basement with an indoor pool, gym and multicar garage.
Oh, but then he goes and spoils it all:
“I’ve always been clear that we believe a sustainable, profitable company is the best institution to deliver our mission, and I am accountable for building it,” he said. “And that’s why this decision needed to be taken.”
Well, well - he wants a sustainable, profitable company: who'd have guessed? What a hide-bound little conventionalist the man is. Careful, Euan, if you go setting expectations like that, somebody will conclude that maybe you ain't the one to build it after all. And that 'decision' of his? Why, sacking 44 of his staff, of course ... His very middle name is 'sustainable'.