Richard Branson’s guide to running things you know f**k all about

HI! I’m Richard Branson and you’re probably wondering how I run all these trains and healthcare services when I just used to sell cheap records. Here’s how I do it:

Don’t be a boring guy in a suit, be a groovy, creative entrepreneur. Then do everything ruthless business bastards do anyway, such as avoiding tax like the plague.

Suck up to politicians who idolise the private sector. Fortunately this is almost all of them since Thatcher. They’ll think you’re great even if commuters would get to work quicker in a makeshift cart pulled by their dog.

Don’t let lack of expertise deter you. Doing medicine on people sounds daunting, but how hard can it be compared to signing legendary acts like Beenie Man and It Bites?

Do anything for publicity. Claim you’re setting up a Virgin service from Euston to Mars, and you’re going to drive the first one. It’s clearly bollocks but the entire media will show up if you hire a few models.

Negotiate win-win contracts. You might claim to be a fearless free-marketeer, but sign contracts where the government guarantees you a profit if the service is the same or worse but with trendy logos.

Take over natural monopolies and charge whatever you like. What’s anyone going to do? Build another set of tracks and race you with their trains?

Hang out with celebrities. There’s nothing that qualifies you to run NHS services more than kite surfing with One Direction.