Thursday 14 January 2010

Last Refuge of a Mandelson

This, from the Times.

Lord Mandelson will ask Britain’s biggest institutional investors to show ‘stewardship’ by taking a firmer line against opportunistic takeover bidders attempting to pick up listed companies on the cheap .. Mandelson waded into the battle for Cadbury last month, warning Kraft: ‘If you think that you can come here and make a fast buck you will find that you face huge opposition from the local population ... and from the British Government.’

They come in here, buying our companies and marrying our daughters … will someone remind Mandy that it is under foreign ownership that the UK mass-production car industry has blossomed ? And can anyone point to the
downside for UK citizens (or shareholders) of the successive waves of overseas investors that have overpaid, and overpaid again, for our electricity industry assets ? Oil and gas platforms in the North Sea change hands all the time - mostly to foreign companies - and no-one has ever noticed.

Then again, as the Times goes on to remind us:

Lord Mandelson has no statutory power to block Kraft’s bid

So, errr... that’ll be wrapping himself in the flag for election year, then.



Old BE said...

I think voters are nervous of any Cadbury takeover that originates in the US. The Americans just *cannot* make decent chocolate for some weird cultural/economic reason.

I also fail to understand why the yanks can't do cheese.

Anonymous said...

I think this is Mandelson playing a very long game. Basically, the Labour Party as it is now is completely and utterly fucked, and has been for a long time. Things like being beholden to the Unions, and an unacceptably high proportion of economic illiterates and Marxist dinosaurs mean that the current Labour Party is doomed to die, either slowly or quickly.

Mandelson, on the other hand, would dearly like to remain in a position of influence, and a New Model Labour Party is his natural home. Problem is, there ain't space in Britain for two Labour Parties. So, Mandelson aims (I think) to deliberately induce the catastrophic and final death of this Labour Party by keeping the current leadership entrenched in command to fight (and lose) the next election, whereupon Labour's debts will catch up with them.

As things stand, the banks have no reason to call in the Labour Party debts, not when a cosy little means of paying grants to the TUC and kicking them back to Labour has been discovered. Once they lose the election, though, that will stop, Labour's finances will die a death and the banks will call in their loans. This will bankrupt the Labour Party, and since principle officers in it are liable without limit for the debts of the Party it'll bankrupt Gordon and Harriet as well.

This will immediately boot these two simpletons out of their parliamentary seats (a bankrupt cannot be an MP), and create a power vacuum. Mandelson will step in to recreate the Labour Party in his own image, with a lot of the current flaws in the structure corrected, or so I believe his plan to be.

Steven_L said...

Where are all these cheap listed companies then? I'm struggling to find them.

Nick Drew said...

Dr Dan - welcome. You're obviously thinking long as well: I like it

when you are as cunning, creative and proactive as Mandy, ya just cain't stop plottin & meddlin

bankrupt Gordon and Harriet as well - ahh, if only .....
*snaps out of reverie* - unfortunately, in the real world these things never happen!

Steven - spot on (though CU calls a few from time to time)

BE yes, or lamp switches

or telephones

or cars

or forms

it's odd, mmm ?

hatfield girl said...

'I also fail to understand why the yanks can't do cheese'.

They think it's the food of surrender monkeys.

hatfield girl said...

Ummm this liability thing, Dr D. I can't quite remember but wasn't this something to do with the curious way the Labour party is associated, and a while ago it was changed to end personal liability of the Party officers? During one of the dodgy funding rows I think. I'd look it up only there have been so many. But I expect you are better informed on it than me.

Electro-Kevin said...

The Yanks do cheese very well indeed. Ever been to Disney, Vegas ?

CityUnslicker said...

The yansk do Jack.

Bill Quango MP said...

In the UK, chocolate must contain at least 20% cocoa solids. In the US, on the other hand, cocoa solids need only make up 10%.

A Cadbury Dairy Milk bar contains 23% cocoa solids, whereas a Hershey bar contains just 11%.{and US bars have more sugar and additives }
Ghirardelli is the exception though. Quality chocolate.

The rest of Europe won't touch either.
They want up to 40% cocoa solids, more milk and very dark blends.

We do all know about the worldwide Cocoa bean shortage that is going to push chocolate prices right up and bar sizes right down this year?

Budgie said...

OMG and I remember a standard Cadbury bar costing 6d.

Nick Drew said...

do you remember the little 1d ones budgie ?

I'm told *ahem* they were very fine, purple foil wrapper and all

Kev, CU -- *chuckles*

Anonymous said...

The metric system is the tool of the devil! My car gets forty rods to the hogshead and that's the way I likes it.

Budgie said...

The 'metric' system is an arbitrary measurement system just like any other man made measurement system. There is nothing either magic, essential or scientific about it.

The advantages of the British measures are: the system is open to change, developing over centuries; it is ergonomic.

The advantages of the 'metric' system (actually the SI system) is .... well, I don't see any except the claimed multipliers of 10, 100, 1000 etc. For reliability technical people will work without multipliers (like inches and lbf; or meters and Newtons) anyway. So there is no advantage to the 'metric system'.