Tuesday, 2 March 2010

The Dark Lord Sniffs the Mood of the Nation

Peter Mandelson's announcement yesterday that he wants to give employees and other stakeholders a say in whether to approve M&A transactions in the wake of the Kraft takeover of Cadbury will have gone down badly in the City. Then again you could say that anything which benefits the UK's manufacturing base usually does.

Quite how the Trade and Industry Secretary (or whatever his current job title is, Secretary of State?) intends to do this is anyone's guess, but that hardly matters. The real point is that Mandy knows a populist policy when he sees one. There is currently nothing, with the possible exception of bankers, likely to get Middle England frothing at the mouth quicker than corporate raiders revoking promises and leveraging British businesses into foreign hands.

Mandy knows that the coming election will be fought in key marginals outside of London where many of our manufacturing businesses are based. In short, this is not real policy, this is electioneering designed to swing key marginals in Labour's favour which I suspect will be quietly forgotten in a new Parliament.

One other point. For the first time in a long time the Labour Party now appears to be out in front of the Conservatives in terms of finding soundbites and policies which appeal directly to Middle England. If the Conservatives come out against this idea it looks as if they don't care about jobs and saving British 'institutions'. If they come out in favour of this proposal it looks unoriginal.

They don't call him the Dark Lord for nothing.


Post a Comment