Life’s a marathon: The Bitchfield 5k 2015: UK Cash Cowboys’ Cleopatra LeGrande on how she persuaded BNP thug Barry ‘the persuader’ Coalman to race with her
The Bitchfield Evening Standard’s Ainsley Fibber caught up (literally, the lanky six footer was running in her training gear) with UK Cash Cowboys’ fascist CEO Cleopatra LeGrande during a last-minute training run at 6.20am this morning, on the cobblestones of the city of Edinburgh, where she lives in one of her £10 million mansions. LeGrande is in training for the 2015 Bitchfield 5k which takes place tomorrow. It’s the biggie, with 35,000 athletes, celebrities and fun runners from all over the world descending on the tiny Lincolnshire village, along with the world’s media. Headlining this year’s event are former Marathon star and Olympic athlete Paula Dumpit and F1 racing driver Lotus Zip.
I asked LeGrande why UK Cash Cowboys, who have a 5 year sponsorship deal with the Bitchfield 5k, were supporting the event. “Why do you think, sweetheart? Because we want to sell loads of shit to our customers, so I can become stinking rich. I mean, who in their right mind is going to buy one of our pensions or insurance policies, they’re absolute rubbish. So what you do is support some good cause like the Bitchfield 5k that’s going to get you a lot of good PR in the press, and bingo, before you know it you’ve got ISAs flying off the shelves like shit off a Teflon-coated shovel.”
LeGrande was keen to talk about her running partners for the Bitchfield 5k, the BNP spokesman for bullying issues, Barry ‘the persuader’ Coalman, and her training partner, reformed bank robber and violent criminal Frank Nutter, who she’d managed to get sprung from prison to run in the event.
“I bunged the warder a pony and told him either Frankie walked or he would find out for himself how difficult it was to walk on broken legs. The warder, that is. And Frankie’s like, ‘tops Cleo, I fort I was down for a twenty stretch there. Let me know if you need anyone sorting out at UK Cash Cowboys, and they won’t cause you any bovver any more, you with me?’ Cheers Frankie, I told him, I’ll bear that in mind. So it turned out to be a right win-win. Of course, as soon as Bazza heard Frankie was on the outside, he signed up for the Bitchfield 5k too. He wants to talk about a little rumble Frank’s got going on in Hatton Garden, but I can’t say too much about it, yeah? Suffice to say, the 5k is a great cover. We can go over the planning and shit while we’re jogging round Bitchfield, smiling at the cameras, and the world will think we’re supporting lepers in Africa or something, while really we’ll be planning a nice little earner. Bosh.”
When I asked LeGrande how she’d fallen in with two notorious criminals, and didn’t she think they were rather unconventional bedfellows for the CEO of a high street bank to be associating with, she was unequivocal in her reply. “Shows how much you know about running a bank, sweetheart. I learned everything I know about business from those guys. I’ve heard people say the way to build a successful business is to be nice to people. Complete bollocks. Five minutes watching those guys go to work in a bar-room brawl soon puts you right on that score. You be nice to people, they take the piss. You get your retaliation in first, you with me? Do some right damage, then nobody ever fucks with you again, ever. Job done. I’m talking next level thinking here. I learned from Frank and Barry that the best way to run a successful mob is to terrorise the shit out of everyone. Staff, suppliers, their families. Make sure everyone knows who the fuck you are, and they don’t forget it in a hurry. At UK Cash Cowboys staff are either with the programme, or not, if I can put it like that. If they’re not on my bus, they go under it. That’s how I run my companies, with steel. With blackjacks and baseball bats. Workers’ rights? Fuck off. Fear, intimidation, bullying, exploitation and slave wages, that’s what I learned in business school. But the good thing about events like the Bitchfield 5k is it makes me look like some pussy patron saint of good causes who people think must be the most philanthropical CEO to work for, ha ha. Fuck it, I say, if they’re dumb enough to swallow that shit I’m happy to smile for the cameras then take my staff round the back of the office and give them a right good kicking in the alleyway, where no-one can see. Why you looking at me like that? Wanna do something about it? Well do you? Do you actually know who Barry Coalman’s associates are? Then take that stupid look off your face, unless you’d like to become more intimately acquainted with Barry’s friends.“
As we trudged along Princes Street, I asked LeGrande if her fascist style of running a business has brought UK Cash Cowboys success, and what we might expect from the challenger bank in 2015. “Nosey bastard aren’t you,” she said. “Let me tell you, bullying and intimidation works, period. Profits have never been higher. If you pay someone 90p to make a widget you sell for a quid, that’s only 10p profit. Meh. But if you chain them to the desk, slap them around a bit and tell them to make them for 1p, or their kids die, that’s 99p profit. Keynesian economics, sweetheart. It’s not my fault I was born more intelligent and important than everyone else. It’s all about the pecking order, and people understanding their position in life. Not everyone can be at the top. If people think I don’t deserve five million in bonuses, come and have a go, I say, if you think you’re hard enough. Next fucking question, and it better be a nice one.”
I asked her what her favourite colour was.
“Red,” she said, without a hint of irony. “The colour of blood. It reminds me of a slacker we had to take care of in Marketing last year. Well, I say slacker, he forgot to curtsey when he passed me in the corridor one time, the cheeky cunt. And he had the audacity to ask for a 1% pay rise when he’d already had one five years ago. Listen dickhead, I told him, how the fuck do you expect me to trouser my £5 million bonus next year if greedy cunts like you keep asking for 1% pay rises? Don’t you know there’ a recession on? You should be grateful you’ve even got a job licking the dogshit off my running shoes in the first place. Then I got Barry and Frank to take him round the back and give him his personal end-of-year appraisal, and some one to one feedback on his performance. Basically that’s the technical term for beating his face to a bloody pulp with knuckledusters and tyre irons. Looked like he’d been in a car crash when they’ve finished. Real craftsmen are Barry and Frank, you don’t see their like anymore. Not in high street banking, anyway. Won’t get any more shit about pay rises from that little jumped up piece of shit, you with me? Yeah, my favourite colour is red. Like our logo. Hold up, shhh, look smart, photographers up ahead. Hi there! Lovely day isn’t it! Let’s hope we get sunshine for the big race tomorrow, so we can raise lots of money for all the children and the poor people, and make the world a better place! Love to everyone! Cheese!”