back to article Amstrad founder Lord Sugar quits 'anti-enterprise' Labour party

Lord Sugar has declared that he is quitting the Labour Party thanks to its "anti-business" policies. In a statement released on Twitter, the Sugar Baron stated that he intended to remain in the House of Lords "representing the interests of business and enterprise in the UK." The hairy walnut was, however, calling an end to …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Ha....

    ...how Ironic he quits after a crushing defeat for Labour....I wonder if the outcome would have been the same if they had won?

    1. ThomH Silver badge

      Re: Ha....

      I don't know; seat totals aside Labour obtained a +1.4% swing over 2010. So if he wanted to stick it out then he'd have had a pretext. I imagine he stayed in not just to avoid becoming a story during the election (no doubt not just altruistically) but because had Labour returned to office then he could have done more inside than out.

      That said, I don't see the benefit of walking away now and not just doing it quietly in a couple of years, unless he thinks that the slender majority means parliament may not go the full term and he could end up still being a party member for the next cycle.

      But, yeah, you're probably right. Though if I were him I'd at least have waited to find out who the next leader is going to be.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ha....

        It was clever of the Tories to get the "anti-business" label to stick to the Labour party. Mind you it was a bit like taking sweets from a baby as they hardly fought back!

        1. ThomH Silver badge

          Re: Ha.... @AC

          Yeah, it's not so much that Miliband and Balls were anti-business so much as just seemingly not particularly interested in it. The mansion tax and the 50p tax rate would have been bad for the rich but it feels to me like the two are separate issues; business topics should be promoting entrepreneurship, the inevitable "cutting red tape", transport and financial infrastructure, skills-based training, etc.

          I guess stuff like the guaranteed jobs for unemployed young people started to sound a little too much like a state takeover of private business.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Ha....

          "It was clever of the Tories to get the "anti-business" label to stick to the Labour party."

          It was businesses and business leaders that stuck that label to the Labour party...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ha....

        Influential?

        The man responsible for the 2nd best satellite dish in the UK, when there were only 2

        1. Cliff

          Re: Ha....

          >> 2nd best satellite dish in the UK <<

          That's unfair - he also brought us shitty 'midi' stereos full of air with power measured in PMPO not RMS.

          He brought us the emailer phone, which they even carried the pretence on The Apprentice that his 'offices' used them

          He made Sinclairs crappier

          Viglen who?

          The model is buy cheap from China and flog it on, screw the British economy.

          In honesty, he's not a man I'd take business advice from. He did buy a lot of property when the rising tide made most of his money. In fact, in his last series of comedy business light entertainment format The Apprentice, in which he plays Victor Meldrew, he was specifically dismissive of someone buying a cardboard skeleton. The guy met the brief, if the brief was wrong and underspecified that's the wrong brief. In software, would we expect 'I want the system to do what I want, not what I specified - so YOU are wrong'... Not acute business skills IMHO.

          1. PNGuinn
            Go

            Re: Ha....@Cliff

            Yes, AS did foist a s88tload of c88p on the great British public, which many of them gleefully purchaced, but to be fair you have to mention one more item. Joyce.

            AS brought the Amstrad to the market. And hands up who doesn't know what I'm talking about.

            Ok, I know that was the name of the company brand but there was a long time in computing, when "Amstrad" meant small computer system. The PCW. Operating system (CPM) AND word processor (Locoscript) hand crafted to fit on a single 340kB floppy disk with still a tad left over for some data. That's engineering. OK it wasn't WYSIWYG, but it worked. Reliably. It didn't keep crashing. In fact I've never heard of one crashing. No Blue Screen of Death, just a green screen monitor. (It took the might of Microsoft to invent the BSOD.)

            For far less than the cost of a pc you got a green screen monitor with computer built in and one or two floppy drives to the right of the screen, a keyboard and a 9 pin dot matrix printer, Start of Day disk with Locoscript and os, another disk with CPM on its own... There may have been other goodies but I got mine second hand. Lots (for the time) of software became available at (for the time) reasonable prices. He cut costs to the bone - buying up a warehouse of 3 inch floppy drives from the far east for a song because they had lost out to the 3 1/2 in floppy (Remember VHS v Betamax?) and risking a 9 pin printer.

            In fact the thing took off with small businesses for word processing, accounts and all sorts. The 9 pin printer output became almost a status symbol - Our Company's got a COMPUTER.

            It was far more successful than AMS expected, and the supply of floppy drives ran out. The later ones had 3 1/2 in units if I remember.

            I'll have to get mine out of the shed and fire up the old Z80 (ambling along at 4 MHz if I rightly remember) and see if the floppy drive and start of day disk still work. Have fun getting a new drivebelt for the drive these days I expect....

            You've got me all nostalgic now....

            1. Lars Silver badge
              Thumb Down

              Re: Ha....@Cliff

              Please don't claim CPM or Z80 had anything to do with Britain or Sugar. While you find a Linux distro in almost every European country there still seems to be nill in Britain, shame on you.

              1. Cliff

                Re: Ha....@Cliff

                Hi Lars,

                No, I don't think he had anything to do with either, except obliquely as a consumer, and to misrepresent them, then run their products into the ground.

                Not sure what lacking a 'British' Linux distro has to do with anything - we speak English (and indeed en-gb is well supported, or failing back to en-us is hardly a chore) so I can't really think what that would contribute. We have plenty of contributors to the kernel and other distributions, so I'm not sure I understand your point?

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Ha....

            "Viglen who?"

            You know.. Where Bordan Tkachuk worked? The 25-year director of Viglen, who said on the Apprentice that ISP stood for "Internet Service Protocol"?!

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: Ha....

              "You know.. Where Bordan Tkachuk worked? The 25-year director of Viglen, who said on the Apprentice that ISP stood for "Internet Service Protocol"?!"

              You mean the guy who's now top dog of the merged XMA and Viglen and just took home nearly half a million quid? That Bordan Tkachuk? I doubt he gives a toss about a minor error like that.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Ha....

                "You mean the guy who's now top dog of the merged XMA and Viglen and just took home nearly half a million quid? That Bordan Tkachuk? I doubt he gives a toss about a minor error like that."

                I don't think for one second he does, but he should. The condescending way he said it, to whoever it was, made him look like a tit. He was after all on the panel of interviewers who are supposed to "know all", and he was the technical representative of the bunch. If he DIDN'T know, he should've just kept his trap shut instead of trying to humiliate his candidate. Think it was that Stuart Baggs guy?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ha....

      To support Labour, you either ideally need to be incredibly rich, or a workshy benefits scrounger. As the last Labour government demonstrated, the enduring problem with Labour is that eventually they always run out of someone else's money to spend...

      1. Day

        Re: Ha....

        I support Labour. I'm not incredibly rich and I'm not a "workshy benefits scrounger". I have a well-paid job and I have a good pension. I am mortgage free. I will probably be better off under a Conservative government, but I am not comfortable with hundreds of thousands of people needing food banks in one of the wealthiest countries in the world. It is certainly true that some people who find themselves in absolute poverty are feckless and/or lazy. But I fear that the society we are building means that the children of feckless and lazy people will struggle to escape their background. I have no problem with feckless and lazy people suffering, but I don't believe that children are born feckless and lazy. Obviously the last government is not responsible for all the ills of our society, but I can't support the Conservatives because I don't feel that their priorities are the same as mine.

        1. Cliff

          Re: Ha....

          Entirely off topic, bless those of you who upvoted - i now appear to have exactly 5000 more upvotes than downvotes, so can stop with the clickbait comments (like this one)

          1. Jamie Jones Silver badge
            Happy

            Re: Ha....

            Ahhhh, but what's the ratio?

        2. Loud Speaker

          Re: Ha....

          I am more than uncomfortable with people using food banks, but I do not think this is a problem that Labour will fix. Sure they give out unaffordable benefits, but they also declare that people recieving them are the super rich, and need to be taxed!

          I do not think a government with my priorities (or yours) is likely to occur. I do think there is a serious risk of a re-run of the Gordon Brown "tax the filthy poor" strategy, while Blair-like cronies shovel the money off-shore and declare "the truth is what I say it is!".

          At least the mafia are honest criminals!

          Or, as we used to say on election day "Vote for Scum - everybody else does!"

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Ha....

            Food banks are counter-productive and a positive feedback loop.

            Anyone running a food bank that supplies people genuinely in need of food because their benefits do not supply enough money to purchase that food are letting the government off the hook. If the welfare state isn't up to the job then exert political pressure to adjust it DON'T remove the symptom.

            They are a positive feedback loop because if you offer free food to those in need you'll quickly notice the total number of those in need rising fast. Why make your benefit last the week when a quick adjustment is available from the local handout? Or to put it more succinctly: humans will take advantage of a good thing.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Ha....

          How many of those USING food banks do you suppose NEED to use food banks?

          If you give something away for free - surprise! - people will come..

          How users of food banks do you think spend their money the wrong way around? I know a guy on the dole with two kids - maintains TalkTalk TV, a mobile, Internet and an expensive smoking habit - and he assures me he can get by on what he's given, including the free roof over his head - and hasn't ever contemplated going near a food bank.

          If food banks hadn't come about, and we had "Regal King Size banks".. would we have lots of decent enough nourished people turning up for their free ciggies instead?

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Ha....

          "I support Labour. I'm not incredibly rich and I'm not a "workshy benefits scrounger". I have a well-paid job and I have a good pension"

          My bad. I forgot "or are very gullible".

          "I am not comfortable with hundreds of thousands of people needing food banks in one of the wealthiest countries in the world"

          That's because the last Labour government were running a massive deficit, that we still haven't entirely cleared, and had build up a benefits dependency culture among their core voters. We need to remember that the welfare state was meant to be a safety net, not a hammock!.

          Spending too much money during one government means less to spend during future governments or you eventually go bankrupt...So thanks mostly to Labour, we now have to go through some pain to get back to balanced books.

          And these people don't generally "need" food banks. It's for free therefore of course those on a limited income will try and get all they can...

          "But I fear that the society we are building means that the children of feckless and lazy people will struggle to escape their background......Obviously the last government is not responsible for all the ills of our society"

          The last government is largely responsible for the culture of being feckless and lazy - while thinking they have a right for tax payers to support them.

          1. ThomH Silver badge

            Re: Ha.... @AC

            Fact check!

            The deficit during the Thatcher years was never greater than £12.2bn. The surplus peaked at £4.2bn. The 92/93 recession took that to almost £51bn. By the time Labour took office the Conservatives had reduced it to less than £30bn.

            Labour famously promised to stick to the Conservatives' spending plans for their first two years in office and ended those with a £0.7bn surplus. That continued to grow and peaked at a £16.7bn surplus, before going the other way and turning into a £42.6bn deficit in 2005. The deficit was then reducing, down to £32.2bn in 2006, when the financial crisis hit.

            Labour left office with a £156.3bn deficit. More than triple the 1993 deficit.

            The deficit has reduced but for the 2013 fiscal year it was still £107.7bn. I'm unable to get numbers for what proportion of that is debt repayment (i.e. unambiguously inherited).

            Compared to our major trading partners: the overall shape of the graph is basically identical to that of the US, and both are better than those for France (which doesn't seem to have run a surplus since the '70s, before the current relevant minister had been born). Italy also remains in deficit but — even proportionally to GDP — much less so. Though it seems to have growing debt so that may change as and when loans mature.

            Germany seems to have returned to surplus in 2012, but that was the first in 45 years. Last year its surplus was the equivalent of around £13bn.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ha....

        Thatcher said that, except better in .... 1985 or so ... and that's the enduring problem with the Tories, can't change and can't come up with anything new.

    4. Benjol

      Re: Ha....

      If you'd been bothered, you could have learnt that he deliberately put off announcing this to AFTER the elections so as not cause bad publicity to influence voters.

  2. Jason Hindle

    Given they're between leaders and policies

    You might think he'd give them a chance....

    1. JamesPond
      Unhappy

      Re: Given they're between leaders and policies

      There doesn't seem to be much sense left in the Labour party. All the possible new leaders seem quite happy to throw away the pro-business policies of New Labour that got them elected and continue their lurch to the left in the thrall of the Unions and socialism, which the Briish

      Given the Tories stated manifesto goal of redrawing the current constituency boundaries in their favour before 2020; Labour now seeming unable to win any seats in Scotland; and no chance of PR being implemented as this would not favour the incumbent party, there already seems little chance of a viable opposition being available to the electorate at the next general election, or the one after that. The only glimmer of light on the horizon for Labour is that Mr Cameron is only going to serve two terms so the Tories may have mad-Boris as their leader at the next election.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Given they're between leaders and policies

        Well, it seemed to more that it wasn't so much that the Tories won a small majority but more that Labour threw it away. I don't think that had anything to do with moving to the left (I'm not sure they have) but more to do with a poor leader and no sense of any kind of plan.

        The Tories were just lucky that they were considered slightly better than the utter disaster area Labour became over the last year or so.

        If any party had shown any real alternative I think the Tories wouldn't be where they are today.

      2. Jason Hindle

        Re: Given they're between leaders and policies

        It appears elements of New Labour will be making a comeback, but we'll have to wait and see what emerges from this mess. I have a hard time believing Labour are any more or less business friendly than any other party. Most of it boils down to rhetoric since, as far as I can tell, unless you're one of a certain elite group of companies*, who are subject to Westminster's patronage, I doubt you've ever really felt the love.

        As to everything else you wrote, I agree. Being gerrymandered to death is going to make the next election an uphill struggle for the opposition parties.

        * Thinking Capita, Balfour Beaty, ATOS, G4S, BAe and so on.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Given they're between leaders and policies

        Erm, they're the Labour party? They're meant to have a tendency towards unions and socialism. If I want Tory policies I'll vote for the Tories.

        1. Jason Hindle

          Re: Given they're between leaders and policies

          "Erm, they're the Labour party? They're meant to have a tendency towards unions and socialism. If I want Tory policies I'll vote for the Tories."

          The parties effectively straddle the centre, at the moment, so the best you can hope for is differences in nuance, with the odd big policy (Europe, for example). Of course, it would be a mistake to assume that nuance can't equate to a great deal of difference.

    2. JP19

      Re: Given they're between leaders and policies

      Lol so they are leader and policy free - pretty much the same as they were before the election.

      Labour is dead, no reason for being other than to keep it's career politicians careers going.

      Vote for us because we are a bit left of the Tories and we can't possibly be as incompetent and useless as the last time we were in power.........

      Curl up and die will you so we can vote for some real opposition to the Tories instead of having to vote for them to keep you useless f**kers (with or without the SNP) out.

  3. smartypants

    Alternative headline

    Man who got labour peerage says 'thank you and goodbye, suckers'.

    In fairness to the frizzy one, if desperate politicians are happy to lob a peerage at you to try to seem more credible for a few minutes, it would be foolish to decline.

  4. JimmyPage Silver badge
    Stop

    "...rather than use my decision"

    "to possibly damage the party's chances in the election, I decided to sit back, and watch them do it all by themselves"

    is possibly closer to the truth,

  5. Toltec
    Joke

    You're fired

    Too obvious?

  6. codejunky Silver badge

    Hmm

    A business man quits anti-business party! Are we shocked? Personally I hope labour can dump there extreme anti economic position and become credible. A working democracy requires options and labour really wasn't. What worries me more are the people who did vote for them. I wonder if many of them voted for their policies or loyalty. I do know a few in my area who are the screaming fringe end of the libs (who felt betrayed) who dream of a utopia of money trees and endless milk and honey who voted based on policy. But I refuse to believe the UK has that many nutters.

    1. Doogs

      Re: Hmm

      I expect some of those that voted Labour were actually voting for their local Labour MP. Some MPs can be quite decent people (for pollies), despite their party.

      1. Paul Kinsler

        Re: actually voting for their local [..] MP

        Isn't that /all/ we get to do in any case? There's no box for Party-X, only for named candidates (who can even switch parties at will if they choose to do so). So while many might think that they are "voting for a party", actually they are really voting for the candidate endorsed by that party during the election.

        1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

          Re: actually voting for their local [..] MP

          Until Tony the wannabe-president became PM, the party affiliation wasn't even allowed on the ballot paper. Voting for a person was all you could do, you were expected to know what their politics were instead of just blindly toeing the party line.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hmm

        "I expect some of those that voted Labour were actually voting for their local Labour MP"

        The Labour candidates here they all seem to be recent imports with heathen names that look like someone dropped a Scrabble set (as per Labour's policy under Bliar of letting pretty much anyone in the country in the hope that the largely poorly educated, asylum seekers and other benefits claimers will vote Labour). Hence I voted UKIP.

        1. Elmer Phud

          Re: Hmm

          "Hence I voted UKIP."

          Shirley - 'hence I'm posting as A/C'

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hmm

        > Some MPs can be quite decent people (for pollies), despite their party.

        True... I would vote for the local guy regardless of what party he belonged to... because of the way he has helped people we know; and also he hasn't compromised on principles (basic morality & ethics).

        If only there was a meta-party consisting of all the pols who really aim to represent their whole constituency, irrespective of their position on the left-centre-right spectrum.

        1. JimWin

          Re: Hmm

          Once your constituents have voted you in, you represent everyone in the constituency. You cannot ignore those who didn't vote for you. You would in breach of the code of conduct.

      4. LucreLout Silver badge

        Re: Hmm @Doogs

        Yes, agreed. Jim Fitzpatrick was easily the best constituency MP I ever had - just a shame he belongs to the party of the freeloading or hard of thinking (labour). My current MP (I moved) is Conservative, so the right party for me, but thoroughly uninterested in aiding his constituents. It's a problem.

        1. SImon Hobson Silver badge

          Re: Hmm @Doogs

          > ... but thoroughly uninterested in aiding his constituents

          Not sure about our current MP yet, he came in during the 2010 elections when the previous one retired. But before then, we had a "safe (Labour) seat" career politician, in the cabinet, and as far as I could tell, no interest in local politics or constituents (unless it was something in favour of official policies of course).

          Whenever I wrote to him, I would seldom get other than a boilerplate regurgitation of Labour policy on the matter. Or a boiler plate regurgitation of Labour policy from whichever department my enquiry got forwarded to.

  7. All names Taken
    Paris Hilton

    Labour Party schmarty?

    Under Mandies proposals and continuation of the same moderately suspended since Blair and then Brown went AWL (absent with leave usually expressed in terms of going forth to multiply or breed?) but huh!?

    whatever?!

    The result is the same and merely without formality and with oozes of informality confirms Labour Party as the political wing of UK civil service?

    I mean, what other Party gives (un?)civil servants in UK cause to Party and even more endearingly spend spend spend while lining its and theirs own pockets?

    Huh!

    Huh!

    Huh!

    Thought so ...

    1. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

      @ All Names Taken - Re: Labour Party schmarty?

      You are amanfrommars1, and I claim my £5

      1. All names Taken
        Unhappy

        Re: @ All Names Taken - Labour Party schmarty?

        I'll take that 5 you claimed and another 5 as u looz :-)

        Dear amanfrommars I do apologise. It may be a fame thang or just merely confusion amonngst the confused and hope you are not too offended or slighted by the allegation I am he

    2. Little Mouse
      Facepalm

      Re: Labour Party schmarty?

      "I mean, what other Party gives (un?)civil servants in UK cause to Party and even more endearingly spend spend spend while lining its and theirs own pockets?"

      Seriously? You can't name one other party that's purely in this for the gravy?

      Go to the back of the class.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So, he was going to sit back and let Labour get in despite him believing enterprise would be harmed. Out of loyalty. So, No loyalty to the businesses and enterprises that he alleges he will support in the Lords.

  9. John Deeb

    sick on a stick

    He noticed rather late Labour became the proverbial sinking ship -- or sick on a stick?

  10. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      When billionaires talk about "pro-business policies", it's not usually corner-shops and independent contractors they're concerned with.

  11. phoenix
    Alien

    Beam me up Scottie

    The headline sounds like something that might be written about a tiff at a Star Trek convention rather a than a filler in a slow news day. On a lighter note "joke" Mr Farage has decided to stay on the bridge of the good ship UKip.

    1. John Bailey

      Re: Beam me up Scottie

      "On a lighter note "joke" Mr Farage has decided to stay on the bridge of the good ship UKip."

      Is that the one with the rather famously NSFW figurehead?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    becoming "disillusioned"

    no ministerial post then? Oh dear, he must be very disillusioned...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: becoming "disillusioned"

      "no ministerial post then? Oh dear, he must be very disillusioned..."

      Nah, he wanted a knighthood...

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: becoming "disillusioned"

        He already got one. Then he got promoted to lord.

  13. 45RPM

    I hope he doesn't join the Liberal party. They've had a bad enough week as it is, and the shock might finish them off.

  14. x 7

    Sugar

    Specialist in marketing crap products.

    WTF does he actually know about the REAL manufacturing industry? Nothing.

    Labour are better off without him

    1. SImon Hobson Silver badge

      > WTF does he actually know about the REAL manufacturing industry? Nothing.

      Actually I'd suggest he understands very well. As mentioned earlier, his products were famously "not the best", but people bought them because they were cheap. So he understood the demand side very well - if you sell something that's "good enough" then people will buy it if the price is right. The supply side is that you need to know how to make something that's "good enough" and can also be sold "cheap enough" for people to buy it.

      History is full of examples of products that were either "very good" but too expensive so people wouldn't buy them, or very cheap but not good enough. The vendors often didn't survive.

      1. x 7

        no - his expertise is in fooling people to believe that crap isn't crap. A Ratner who kept his mouth shut regarding the truth. None of his products were any good - he just used misdirection to make people think they were

  15. John Savard Silver badge

    Unusual

    I'll have to agree that it's unfair to jump to conclusions, although it seems odd that he discovered that Labor was anti-free-enterprise only after they lost the election. But that depends on what he meant by that; some people call anyone to the left of Margaret Thatcher an enemy of free enterprise, but if he had held such an attitude, he would never have been part of the Labor party in the first place.

  16. Mark 85 Silver badge
    Holmes

    Gee...

    Change the names and parties and I'd swear you all were talking about American politics...

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Alan Michael Sugar Trading sold me the world's worst stereo system back in 1991.

    He is the tabloid newspaper of business men. A jumped up barrow boy (literally).

  18. SharkNose

    I've heard SAS has applied for a broadcom license so he can start an internet service protocol...

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019