Backchat was discussing industry matters over a glass of red and a buffet lunch with a couple of senior figures in two prominent insurers the other day.

Let's just say that one of them sponsors the cricket and the other has just been taken over by – sorry, merged with – NU.

Backchat raised the market speculation that Independent was ripe for a takeover and wondered whether either company would be interested.

Both fellows agreed that taking it over wasn't an option, but crushing it was. Now that's fighting talk, worthy of the “big man” himself.