Remember Sid? Sid was the apotheosis of Thatcherite corner-shop capitalism, launched in the privatisation of British Gas to offer small share ownership to parts of the population who had never before owned shares. For a brief heady period white van man would check the financial pages of his paper before the sports section to see how his £250 shareholding was doing. On the back of it, the UK gained another ten thousand entrepreneurs, another ten thousand risk-takers, eroded the bars to social mobility, advanced equality and challenged Labour's leadership of the working class. So you'd think the Royal Mail privatisation would be embraced with both arms by Cameron's embattled party as an opportunity to repeat the trick, no?
No. The privatisation is being run by Cameron and Osborne's chums Goldman Sachs, whose brokers will fund their yachts and grouse-shoots from the fat fees. And they've decided that the benefits of the privatisation should be restricted to their chums - bankers, large multinational corporations and the like. So they've restricted the sale of 70% of the RM shares to the Tarquin list - leaving Sid to scrabble about for the remaining 30%. It's like a slap in the face with a wet fish for popular capitalism and a gift for Miliband.
When will the Tories ditch that damned useless boy?