As the region waits for a formal verdict on how MG Rover met its end, we are treated to the unedifying spectacle of various parties squabbling over what went on five years ago.
The directors of Phoenix Venture Holdings, who were seen as Rover’s saviours when they bought the firm from BMW for £10, are making the most of the delay before an official inquiry is published.
They have blamed Gordon Brown for “pulling the plug” on MG Rover, in his former role as Chancellor.
And they have accused Lord Bhattacharyya, an academic and Labour peer, of undermining the business by publicly attacking it.
While they have also attacked the Government’s decision to refer the report to the Serious Fraud Office and delaying its publication, it appears they are making good use of the delay in order to get their retaliation in first.
It’s unclear whether former Rover workers will have much sympathy with the men who were each paid an average of more than £1 million a year salaries and pension benefits, during their five years running the car maker.
A spokesman for Phoenix Venture Holdings has insisted the remuneration packages were par for the course.
Not many people have bought a major national business for £10, so it’s hard to know who to compare the Phoenix Four with.
If they had turned Rover into a profitable business with a long-term future, they would have deserved to be well rewarded.
After all, there’s no denying that they faced a major challenge. Rover was in a poor state when Phoenix took over.
But, as we all know, Rover lasted just five years under its new management. The Phoenix directors apparently believe they deserve credit for safeguarding jobs for this long, but it’s still hardly a record to be proud of.
Their argument appears to be that the Government, and particularly Gordon Brown, conspired in some way to kill off Rover by removing funding.
Given Mr Brown’s difficulties in drawing up a coherent manufacturing strategy today, they are perhaps giving him too much credit.
In any case, it’s untenable to argue that the business would have been fine if only the Government had supported it. Its inability to invest in new technology and models probably sealed its fate.
The one bright note is the prospect of the inquiry publishing its findings in 20 days.