Perhaps Digby Jones can throw some light on the matter. The director general of the CBI has blamed, er, a flawed business model (backed up by a report from the Cambridge-MIT Institute Centre for Competitiveness and Innovation). Sir Digby had more to say, though:
'If you, as four people, take £40m out of the company - quite legally, honestly, openly and transparently - on your way to burning £600m in cash and end up putting 6,500 people on the dole, I think your behaviour has been appalling. I say you have to look at the moral position.'
A reader writes to tell me of a survey in Professional Engineer magazine, which surveyed 400 engineers. 33% of them blamed the current management and about the same blamed the previous owners. A massive 7% blamed the government, while 4% thought the unions and workers were to blame.
So, still no support from anyone outside the inner circle of Birmingham Liberal Democrats for John's theory about the DTI. The forthcoming inquiry will be very revealing and I suspect that it will blow his idea clean out of the water - I believe that the Phoenix management knew that Rover was doomed some weeks or even months before the final collapse. Sadly, I also suspect that what they did to the company was probably strictly legal. Whether it was moral or ethical is an entirely different matter.