Dave sinks in the South Atlantic

Margaret Thatcher won elections for the Conservative Party, the first being in 1979 when she ousted Labour’s James Callaghan with a majority of 43 seats. By 1982  she was one of the most unpopular PMs of all time. Then along came the Falklands Islands war and the rest, as they say, is history.

Dave has not won an election but, by the fraud of the Coalition Agreement, is Prime Minister. Labour is leading in the opinion polls. In the last week Christina Kirchner, the president of Argentina, accused him of “mediocrity bordering on stupidity.”

Whilst Enterprise Britain agrees wholeheartedly with this observation the president was referring to the issue, once again, of the Falklands Islands. She suggested that Britain is “a crude colonial power in decline.” As we are seeing the start of the break-up of the United Kingdom, she has a point.

Dave has spoken. He told Parliament that the territory must remain British for as long as the inhabitants want it to: “full stop, end of story.”

Except it isn’t. Admiral Sir John “Sandy” Woodward has said that Britain would be powerless to prevent Argentina retaking the islands by force due to the defence cuts. It is thought that the US favours negotiations over the sovereignty issue. Argentina has asked that Britain’s place as a permanent member of the UN Security Council is re-considered. Its replacement, should this happen, could be Brazil which is siding with its neighbour.

So it’s Eton against the world, yet again. Surely Britain’s international status would be improved if Dave adopted some civility with his fellow leaders.


Peter Jones: no apology

Mr. Wonderful, Peter ‘Dragon’ Jones, is at the receiving end of some damaging publicity. This is because Tom Berwick, the former chief executive of the National Enterprise Academy (“NEA”), has written to Business Secretary Vince Cable, making a series of allegations questioning the morality and financial governance of Peter Jones’s use of funds (around £9m although this figure has been challenged) received from the Skills Funding Agency (“SFA”). A first inquiry (when the SFA investigated themselves) cleared Mr. Jones but Labour MP Tom Harris has backed a call for a more “transparent investigation.” Only 260 students have graduated from the NEA against the agreed target of 62,215 by 2015.

Enterprise Britain has been gravely suspicious of the NEA and has run a series of blogs using humour to hint at its concerns. In 2009 I visited the NEA in Amersham to attend an ‘Open Day’ (as advertised) only for it to come as a surprise to the staff. They were expecting companies who might invest skills and money.

From the beginning I thought that the concept of the NEA was an egotistical trip to dreamland. My journey to Amersham cemented these doubts. At the time of my visit I was told that Mr. Jones had never been to the NEA, Amersham.

If he is that smart in generating Government funding I am willing to offer Mr. Jones £1 million for 10% of P. Jones’ Enterprises Plc (subject to due diligence checks).

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