The Gospel according to Vince…

Vince has spoken the word. And the words have poured forth. The Department for Business Innovation & Skills published its 40 pages long ‘Financing a private sector recovery’ and the eight weeks allowed for consultation are over. The responses will be considered (and rejected). Their influence might be seen in the Comprehensive Spending Review whose approach later this month reminds me of whether JR was really dead as the nation awaited the final episode of Dallas.

For those readers who enjoy breaking secret codes the clue to understanding Vince’s tome is on page 27, 4.2:

“Any proposal must…represent value for money for the taxpayer, and be affordable within the Spending Review.”

There is second clue on page 35, 5.4:

“Wherever possible, the Government’s preferred option is always a market-led solution, designed and delivered by the participants.”

It is also clear that Vince and I operate on different planets. Page 26, 3.51 says:

“… access to finance conditions have improved since the financial crisis, and..the majority of businesses can now raise the finance they require…”.

I wonder if they have recruited Alistair Campbell to lead their PR.

Throughout the whole document there is little mention of the lack of competent, economic financial advice which is the single most important issue affecting Enterprising Businesses.

I attended a meeting of the Enterprise Investment Scheme Association (“EISA”). We were addressed by a member of the Treasury. Nothing will happen for months and months not least because of the Treasury process and EU regulations.

So Vince wants market-led answers. How many accountants understand the present EIS regime let alone the proposed changes?

The respected FT journalist David Blackwell wrote a fascinating article in last Thursday’s (30 September) paper. It focused on two AIM companies which have been put into administration following action by HM Revenue & Customs.

To be fair (and Dirk, our Editor is ‘Mr. Honest’) both businesses sounded unstable.

However, the quote which Mr. Blackwell included from HMRC said:

“the debts that are due from those who have chosen not to pay the tax that is needed to fund the UK’s vital public services.”

Dave, George and Vince. What is needed is for your departments to realise that what is needed is proactive help for enterprising businesses. As they grow, they employ people and pay taxes. That is the solution to the deficit.


There has been a development in the election of the Leader of the Democratic Enterprise Britain Social Party (“Debs”). We have received the following letter:

‘Dear Sir,

I enclose an application on behalf of my boy who wants to be the first Leader of the Debs Party. He is rather depressed at present and bursts into tears whenever he sees a news bulletin on TV. He did perk up when Mr. Tony came round and told him how to make loads of money on the American lecture circuit.

Please make him the Debs leader. He is rather thin but very gritty.

Yours in hope.

Mrs. Marion Miliband

Ps: do you think I should invite both my boys for Christmas lunch?’


Tony Blair and I have reached the end of ‘A Journey’ although TB feels he has ‘much further to go’. Perhaps towards his Swiss bank accounts.

This self-indulgent, self obsessed, 700 pages long, chronicle is extraordinarily dull.

Mr. Blair writes:

“I had always been fortunate in life having a passion bigger than politics, which is religion’.

What he had no feel for, none at all, was Enterprise Britain. I cannot remember one single reference to the millions of people trying to improve themselves by managing their own commercial operations.

Tony Blair failed Enterprise Britain. But there again, Dave and George and Vince are likely to do just the same.

Please leave a comment - we all like them