When Grant Shapps was demoted to international development, I think most people quite rightly saw it as a sign that his career development was firmly in the past. In a Tory administration, going from Party Chairman to ID Minister is akin to being moved from Marketing Director Europe to Sales Manager Bolivia.
It seems that, a month on, Grant has already been introducing his unique approach to entrepreneurial international development….with a view to having “oodles of dosh by Christmas”. Mr Shapps has set up a business importing fridges from Zimbabwe – using the brand name G4S. A Slog undercover team went down to his new showpiece store Cold Comfort in East London’s Dock Green last week, and overheard the following conversation:
Concerned Customer: Good morning. You sold me a fridge a month ago, remember?
Grant Shapps: Er….might do, not sure, our frooput ‘ere’s mega y’know. Why?
CC: You told me it had a frost free feature.
GS: I probably did squire. I trust it’s workin’ to your full satisfaction?
CC: As a matter of fact no, it isn’t. It’s full of frost.
GS: Er….yeerrss…. and your point is?
CC: You said it was a frost free fridge. It isn’t.
GS: Yes it is.
CC: No it isn’t.
GS: Look, you’ve got frost in your fridge, is that correct?
CC: It is.
GS: And have I asked you to pay for that frost?
CC: Of course not, but that’s my…..
GS: So you ‘ave a fridge full of frost and that frost came to you under the good hospices of Cold Comfort at habsolutely no cost to your good self, am I correct?
CC: Oh for Heavens….
GS: …well then, you are the lucky owner of a G4S fridge, with the frost supplied absolutely free. So what is your problem?
CC: My problem, sir, is that you have sold me a product that is unfit for purpose, and under the Sale of Goods Act….
GS: Ah roight, I see…goin’ the legal route are we? Got a receipt ‘ave you?
CC: Yes of course I do, but look here….
GS: I dunno what it is wiv you people. ‘ere I am a self-made man tryin’ to put summat back into society and help the nignogs out of their unfortunate gigainflation problem and when I offer you a free frost feature you frow it back in my face.
CC: Look here, I’m as concerned as you are about overseas development, but…
GS: Know what you are mate? You’re a non-violent extremist, that’s what: and if there’s any more of this nonsense I shall be calling in my close associate Meraisa Tray at the Homeless Office to sort you out good and proper. I should point out that she ‘as at ‘er disposal the fine officers of the Metropolitan Police, media fitups an’ crawlin’ up political arses a speciality, dismissal of charges tailored to order an’ so forth. Do I make myself clear?
CC: Ah well, hahah… let’s not be hasty…
GS: Au contraire chummy, you can be as ‘asty as you like f**kin’ off out of my emporium.
Our plain-clothes Sloggies were about to leave when another customer walked up to the counter as the previous complainant beat a hasty retreat.
CC2: I ordered a chest freezer from your website, and when it arrived there was a chest in it.
GS: Excellent…….another satisfied customer. It is part of our policy to give every valued customer a free human chest as a starter pack
CC2: Ah. Only that’s not….that is, I mean, it is a bit disturbing to find an entire….
GS: Tell me sir, did you read the terms of business binding agreement tick box here to continue contract page on our site?
CC2: Well, I ticked the box if that’s what you…
GS: Oh dear oh dear oh dear sir. It is plain to me you did not study it in full – in particular with reference to the Robert Mugabe FREE Cannibal Cookbook clause – that ticking that box committed you to lifetime membership of Chests by Post (Harare 2015) Limited.
CC2: No, I didn’t really to be honest, but….
GS: ….Nihil desperandum squire, for like all Chest Clubs this one only requires you to eat eight African chests per year. Why not have a spicey ribs barbecue and invite all your friends to a poolside treat this summer?
CC2: I don’t have a swimming pool.
GS: Ah well, as luck would ‘ave it, I might be able to help you there….
The Slog’s lawyers Messrs Tryle & Errah would like to make it clear to Carter Ruck, Foot Anstey, and Ambulance Chase & Prophet that the above post is devoid of Truth in the best tradition of serious contemporary media.