Blog: Dave LeggettRoller? No, ta all the same

Dave Leggett | 7 May 2010

How would you handle it if you woke up tomorrow and realised that you'd become an UHNWIs – Ultra High Net Worth Individual. That means a stash of US$30m or more. Okay, you may have investment portfolios to optimise, and there's the real estate stuff, but then there's the money to play with.

And automotive product would surely be getting some attention (for most people).

I've got my preferences but I'm not a naturally 'showy' person. Hey, don't get me wrong: I like nice things and human nature is geared that way. We're not here for long, so make the most of it. I have been known to push the boat out at times. But I don't flaunt what little wealth I have and I am not overly exercised by the material things (well, that's my view of me).

Rolls-Royce cars are a funny one. To this day, if I see one on the road, I give it a second look – just like I did as a kid. Who's in the back draining the gin? The personalised plate – who do we think it might be? In short, you are making a Very Big Statement by being in a 'Roller'.

I heard Paul McCartney being interviewed on the radio the other day. He sounded like he has a pretty good perspective on his unusual life. You could bump into him at B&Q. And I bet he doesn't have a Roller with a registration plate 'MACCA' or anything of the sort.

But for all the hippy values of the Beatles, he has enough money to enjoy life and be very comfortable. And what's wrong with that? He deserves it.

The thing I got out of listening to the interview on the radio, while bombing down the M5 after work, is that he's no zealot. So, he's still promoting vegetarianism, but is pragmatic about it. His 'meat Free Mondays' campaign is based on the notion that it is beneficial for the world if us meat-eaters lay off the dead animal muscle tissue a little bit. Fair enough. He's not ramming his vegetarianism down our throats (sorry for that turn of phrase) and can see a way to influence people at the margin for the greater good. He came across as an extremely level-headed guy. His not inconsiderable wealth does not define him; it's not what he's about or how he rates 'success' in life. 

And I'd bet he's not travelling from Macca Towers to the local B&Q for nails (he said in the interview that he enjoys DIY) in a cheapo brand car. Why do that? May as well be comfortable and have some enjoyment at the wheel. But why do you need anything more than, say, a Mercedes-Benz S-Class? That is perfectly comfortable and discreet - it won't get a second glance. At the end of the day, who really wants the second glance? Just like Sir Paul, I know I wouldn't.

Good that Macca appreciates that cows are a bigger global warming demon than cars. And I'm with him on the nostalgia for the 'one phone under the stairs'. Click the link below to hear the full interview. I enjoyed it. 

Sir Paul MCartney BBC interview

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