Snowblog

Jon Snow brings you insights, revelations and perspectives. Join Jon for a ringside seat to follow the news.

August 6, 2016 4 Comments

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.

Continue reading and comment

July 21, 2016 8 Comments

View from America: can the rude outsider win?

Flat. That’s not a word you often hear of a Convention. But Donald Trump’s four day Trumpethon has achieved it. The Cleveland arena ,which is capable of holding twenty thousand

June 24, 2016 89 Comments

A confession

For many this WAS a vote about Europe, but for as many it was a vote about dispossession amid constant images of largesse and greed.

June 7, 2016 12 Comments

Register to vote now in the EU referendum. This is it.

No vote in modern British history has been more important than the vote as to whether to leave or remain in the European Union.

May 5, 2016 13 Comments

Politicians on phones in parliament – a turn off?

Would doctors or nurses in the NHS have been able to get away with playing with their phones while seeing patients?

April 14, 2016 30 Comments

Accountability and the empty chair – Yes Minister, we want you!

We keep asking, but when the constant refrain of Government Department press officers is “no Minister available”, how can we hold those in power to account for their actions?

March 23, 2016 11 Comments

Saudi mosque, exports, oil and the West

The Great Mosque of Brussels is said to remain a centre of Saudi-funded Wahhabi preaching and Salafism.

January 26, 2016 39 Comments

The agony of Sri Lanka’s carapace of peace

Our return to Sri Lanka’s killing fields coincides with the President announcing that there will be no “international component” in any “investigation” of the civil war or

January 11, 2016 11 Comments

The incredible creative life force that was David Bowie

Bowie was emblematic of my generation. He was revolution, rebellion – even in a time when we all rebelled against the given order.

November 24, 2015 11 Comments

Bangladesh poised between agony and ecstasy: the choice depends on us!

If world leaders settle for modest restraints on global warming, I do not want to have to be the reporter sent to see the unfolding tragedy in Bangladesh.

More Channel 4 News blogs

More from Channel 4

Follow @jonsnowc4 on Twitter