back to article Mandy preps list of UK businesses to save

Lord Mandelson of Foy is preparing criteria to decide which British businesses the government should save if they go bankrupt. Factors such as the number of employees and the amount of R&D a company carries out would help firms get on Mandelson's list. The minister for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform showed his …


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  1. dervheid

    Santa Mandelson's "Naughty or Nice" list

    Should make for interesting reading...

    Will it be;

    Nice - Contributed to Nulabour / Conform to Nulabourian Ideals. = Saved

    Naughty - Didn't contribute to NuLabour / Live in the 'real' world. = Screwed.

  2. TeeCee Gold badge

    I can see it now.

    "Hang on there's a mistake here, isn't that the list of Labour Party donors?"

    "Don't worry, they're the same."

  3. Anonymous Coward

    I wonder what the real criteria is?

    Does anyone trust a Labour MP, let alone this one, to base any such decision on cold-hard facts? Or will it be based more on who paid the biggest bribe, err, donation (probably via shady umbrella companies), gave the best holiday, bought the best wine, or will give the best directorship in the future?

    I think we all know the answer to that one.

  4. Elmer Phud Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Jobs for the boys?

    So that's a big up for the companies involved in militaria for 'police actions', ID cards, privatised jails, massive database projects and hedge funds.

    Oh, and anything involved in nuclear power.

  5. Gulfie

    "No one can foretell how short or long - how painful or painless - the recession is going to be"

    Surely the all-seeing Gordon has already declared that the recession will be over by Christmas, erm, sorry, the next election. How will this honest admission go down next door?

    But seriously, the level of debt the government is willing to put us in hock for is frightening, even more so when you add PFI 'commitments' on top. I can't see the UK being a fun place to live over the next ten years EVEN IF the Great Gordo's plans work out as he predicts, and we all know how accurate his predictions are, don't we (hint: boom and bust)?

    TIme to leave. Last one out turn off the lights please.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My advice to small business - emigrate!

    My boss has had to spend three effing months preparing for a tax audit - three projects have been held up because like many small businesses he is part of the production process. The reason for the audit. He applied for tax credits for the past few years R+D work which is supposedly entitled to.

    He is expecting the tax man to fine him - even though everything should be in perfect order. His words "they always find something to fine you for" he is resigned to losing roughly half of his supposed tax credits in a "fine".

    So as a full time employee, I will probably have to go without pay this month because the tax man wants to make sure my boss does not apply for R+D tax credits next year.

    Thanks tax man - another Xmas fucked up!

    My advice?

    Stuff "saving business" - just stop the tax nazi's from detering small businesses from claiming allowances they are entitled to. It may also help save moeny if you stop doing tax reviews of people like myself who can no longer even afford pension payments and then demaniding a 0.03UKP payment within ten days or a 100UKP fine! Yes I sent the postal order for 3P registered delivery to the tax man! And the years before that it was 7p and 5p.

    I have suggested to the boss that once his children are out of school, we move the entire business abroad - after all we telework for some of the UK's largest national business and

    flying back to the UK for meetings is no big deal - we do that for some clients already!

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Mandy can....

    fuck right off if he thinks BERR can dictate how private company Nominet should run their business

    and, with the assistance of Cowley and Dilbert totally ignore the hundreds of votes of members. Lets see, how did it go. Nominet call vote of members to vote for change in constitution that will give Cowley and Dilbert carte blanche to do what they wish with Nominet. Members vote

    unanimously AGAINST such change. Then BERR suddenly meets with Dilbert and Cowley and says "ok we will write you a letter telling you that you must change or be taken over by Government".

    Dilbert and Cowley then appoint Professor Bob Garratt to carry out a review and see whether they

    can wangle it that he says that the Members should have voted for change after all. So where pray tell is the democracy in that ????. If Dilbert and Cowley dont like the memebers vote then they should resign rather than play games with Mandy. So Mandy, Dilbert and Cowley I hope you

    get the message.

  8. John Young

    "Does anyone trust a Labour MP, let alone this one"

    He isn't an MP - he had to give that up to be a Euro Commissioner. He's a Lord now.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    Post here, write to your government too

    As for me I am convinced that a Labour government has been the best thing that has happened for many a year and readily accept that it is not perfect. It's present weakness seems to be an urgent need to prove itself "worthy" whatever "worthy" might be.

    Now why should the finance sector be bailed out and other sectors left to market forces?

    It would appear to be more people friendly to let the weaker banks and finance organisations go out of business (at world whack of several trillion who needs a finance sector with such a wrongful clout?)

  10. Giles Jones Gold badge

    There is a point to this

    I think they're trying to separate the businesses that were going under anyway from those that are just affected by the downturn.

    Of course, it may be hard to do so and what is the use of pumping companies full of money to stop them laying off employees when the people retained will be sitting about doing nothing (as there's no work)?

  11. Tom Simnett

    The new Doctor Beeching, methinks...

    'Nuff said

  12. Jonathan McColl

    Oh Mandy, you came and you gave ...

    ... without taking?

    Is he with NuLab really sympathasing with all the small shops, where they have lost their post offices and the footfall that went with them, and where someone have spent all Sunday repricing everything to allow for the drop of about tuppence in the pound VAT and will be in shtuck when they come to account for it as the unpaid tax-collectors they are. It'll have been comparatively easy for Tesco's empire of superduperhypermarkets.

    And will it change the economy? I'm not going to rush out and spend my extra tuppences, just be theoretically pleased that my Visa bill will be unnoticeably cheaper to pay off.

  13. DutchOven

    Pull the other one

    The biggest bankrupcy of all is Mandleson's moral bankrupcy. How many other people can you think of who would lose their cabinet job twice for being naughty and then get made into a Lord?

    That must have involved a LOT of "Research" (but maybe not much development). I wonder if he would have met his own criteria for being bailed out. (And does said activity involve young South American boys?)

  14. Matthew Brown

    le sigh

    Why is this weasel still in government? And if Brown wanted to neuter him by keeping him nearby, why did he give him a position like this during an economic crisis?

    Also - welcome to socialism 101: The state knows best in all matters.

  15. Anonymous Coward

    Title: 101?

    To be fair the state probably has responsibilities, duties and a duty of care to discharge.

    Government is, after all, the highest level of power in a democratic country and (in theory) accountable direct to the public with votes, elections, and the such ...

    Now then, in practical and pragmatic terms the civil service and directly or indirectly financed organisations probably have a greater influence as these tend in the main NOT to be accountable direct to the public and do not have to face elections every so often.

    And then (of course) there is the finance sector confident that its customers, taxpayers and governments will get it out of hock whatever it does.


    Power of a transient nature = elected members (MPs, ... SMPs, ... )

    Power of an unaccountable and mostly permanent nature ( (un)civil service )

    Jigger the rest and make lots of money/bonuses with zilch accountability = finance sector)

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lord Mandelson of Foy

    Or just Lord Malfoy for short?

  17. James Pickett

    Oh dear

    No chance for Woolies, then? Too common.

    (Mandelson, visiting a fish-and-chip shop in his then new constituency of Hartlepool and anxious to make a good impression with the locals, is alleged to have seen the mushy peas and requested a helping of their 'guacamole'.)

  18. Luther Blissett

    What's really happening here?

    Shake-out - everyone seems to agree. But with Governments doing the shaking, it looks like conspiracy to create cartels. Pure economic fascism.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ AC re MPs

    "Does anyone trust a Labour MP, let alone this one"

    You seem to be forgetting he's not an MP. Couldn't be. Nobody is daft enough to vote him in so we get him via the "back door".

  20. pctechxp


    Woolies went titsup because the only thing good in there was the pick 'n' mix.

    When did you last see a dedocated sweetshop?

  21. The Other Steve
    Thumb Up


    "When did you last see a dedocated sweetshop?"

    I'm pretty sure I've never seen a dedocated sweetshop, but there are two shops in the laughably nomenclatured* 'city' centre not far from where I'm sitting that only sell sweets.

    *I would expect to have made at least one spelling FUBAR in this post, perhaps that was it.

  22. Warhelmet

    Free Markets?

    And *poof* in a cloud of smoke, they disappear. I would say, largely, those that live by the swords, die by the sword.

    If we are talking about special pleadings for certain companies, would be really interested to see the criteria - probably something like "strategic national interest". I don't see any point in bailing out retail. Most of the service sector is pointless. It's really about manufacturing and hi-tech stuff. Infrastructure too.

    We can live without Woolworths. But what can't we live without? What can the UK not afford to not have the capability to do for itself?

    Are we talking handouts? Partial public ownership or the whole hog of nationalisation? Or perhaps subsidies for export industries?

    Protectionism is a concern. You could argue that in order to help the UK economy, public sector procurement should be biased towards UK owned companies. This will go down like a cup of cold sick with some folks, yet, there are some strong arguments for doing so in terms of firewalling the UK economy against the worst of the global recession. International cooperation is a wonderful concept but... do you really believe that the, say, G8 are going to come up with a cohesive, unified plan of action when their national interests can be so disparate?

    Much as I welcome the election of Obama as representing a sea-change in US attitudes towards race, I do fear that the US may go into one of it's periodic isolationist phases. Parts of the US economy are in such a parlous state that market protectionism might look like a quick fix. I'm thinking of the Big Three auto-manufacturers.

    One of the interesting fings about WWII was that US car plants were turned over to military production in very short order. This shows the strategic national interest in retaining manufacturing capacity. But that would not happen now. Fings ain't wot they used to be. There is too much secret technology and specialist fabrication involved.

    And maybe this provides a ruler that Mandy can use...

    Flame on, because I think I need to put the oven on for pizza.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Atlas Shrugged has arrived?

    Steve - because he's driving the techies to create a world that Atlas Shrugged is set in, where the "Common Purpose" lot:

    instigate a world whereby these the seize assets of the Neo Cons - how ironic!

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