Friday, January 21, 2011

Social but no class




There's nothing new about ex-politicians, or even current politicians, taking directorships, in fact somebody once explained to me, many moons ago, how having a 'name' on a company's headed notepaper did in some cases attract business. I'm always uneasy when Members of Parliament manage to inveigle their way onto boards of companies who are involved in either the health or arms trades, being the two biggest recipients, either directly or indirectly of taxpayers money.

Lord Mandelson, former Secretary of state for business appears to lack conscience, class or respect for those British workers who lost their jobs on his watch when Kraft took over Cadbury last year. The Government were not in a position to refuse the bid but the fact that Kraft raised the required finance from RBS, that's the bank that we the taxpayers own, was not popular at the time. As Vince Cable put it, "It doesn't seem right that UK taxpayers money is being used to put British workers out of a job."

While in government, Mandelson warned Kraft not to seek a "fast buck" when buying Cadbury, and said overseas headquarters could prove a long-term "disadvantage" to UK manufacturing. He also supported a review of the country's takeover laws to protect against the loss of other cherished national brands, which has led to proposals that could make hostile deals more difficult in Britain. We already have some of the most lax takeover laws in Europe, offering none of the protectionism that is afforded workers in Germany, France and Holland for example and the moves, prompted by Mandelson's office of state, were seen as good and progressive at the time.

It's been the worst kept secret of the business world for the past week or so but fortunately for Mandelson the news was released by Lazard (the bank that helped finance the Kraft deal) on the day that the Conservative party were up to their necks in the Coulson affair and so has slipped down the back of the news sofa.

4 comments:

Span Ows said...

Once a sliemball always a sliemball...ironically the "good day to bury bad news" accusations have been coming thick and fast from both sides re Coulson. Blair news buries Coulson or Coulson news buries Blair (and Mandy...) I guess that depends whether your the BBC or the Guardian (Coulson trumps anything) or one of the others.

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