I came across a reference to this tucked away in the financial pages of the Guardian so I did a bit of digging around and found the original source.

So there’s this big old important South African guy, Graham Boustred, or at least, a guy who used to be really big and important in the SA mining industry, but he’s been retired a while now and only he thinks he’s still important. Back in the day he was a really big cheese: he was “Deputy Chairman of the Anglo American Corporation, and Chairman of Anglo American Industrial Corporation, Anglo American Coal Corporation, Scaw Metals, and the Richards Bay Coal Terminal Company; he was also on the boards of several other companies.”

This is from a speech someone gave when he was presented with some kind of achievement award in 1990:

Those with whom he works credit his success to his leadership, which is of the very best kind-by example. He is particularly well known for his toughness in business, although this is contrasted with a soft-hearted concern for people’s welfare. He admits that he enjoys big and complex problems, and draws much satisfaction from working with people who feel motivated and who are proud of what they are achieving.

Graham Boustred is also very much a family man. He is married and has five children, and they enjoy the outdoors when his rigorous schedule permits.

So, an all round good bloke then, on the face of it.

Now I won’t pretend to understand what’s going on in the mining world at the moment (or indeed ever!) but I think the general gist is that there’s been a takeover bid by one big company for another big company, resulting in Boustred deciding to invite some journalists into his home, so that he can give the mining/industrial world the benefit of his great wisdom.

And that wisdom is?

“Do you know why it’s difficult to find a female CEO? It’s because most women are sexually frustrated. Men are not, because they can fall back on call girls, go to erectile dysfunction clinics. If you have a CEO who’s sexually frustrated she can’t act properly.”

Lovely, just lovely.

It seems that Boustred’s not impressed with Anglo American’s current chief executive, Cynthia Carroll, but rather than find fault with her management style, or with her organisational abilities, he’s chosen to go off on a sexist rant.

Oh, and then a racist one, although for some reason the Guardian left that bit out.

When asked why he’s after a UK visa (yep, scary thought eh?) Boustred tells the interviewer he’s mulling over the idea of moving to the Isle of Man. Why there you might ask?

There are no Muslims, no blacks. It’s got a good healthcare system. It rains a lot, but so what? I’ll get under-floor heating and I’ll get a good mackintosh…. I’m going to the Isle of Man, for Christ’s sake.”

As the Business Day report concludes: ”

We thank him for the interview and leave. For all his modern car and large house, the world of Graham Boustred is an anachronism that is growing smaller all the time.

It’s apt that he brought up Thatcher. He is to Anglo what the Iron Lady is to the UK Conservatives — once strong and to be feared, but now increasingly embarrassing. Thatcher is politically irrelevant, but Boustred’s tirades are a desperate attempt to influence the present before the fast-receding past takes him with it

For the sake of the inhabitants of the Isle of Man, let’s hope something takes him, and soon.

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