Excerpts from a recent article from the New Statesman, about one proposal for how Britain’s Labour Party can deal with its financial woes:
The party’s impending insolvency is beginning to concentrate minds, not least those of a group of previously Labour-friendly businessmen, who can spot a bargain when they see one. The New Statesman has learned that the unnamed, secretive group—whose members have track records in helping turn round left-leaning institutions in the past—is considering approaching hedge funds with a view to buying out the Labour Party, or rather the remaining individual members, who would be offered shares instead. “Turning the members into shareholders could offer the same opportunities as the demutualisation of the building societies,” says one who is involved.
A business plan has yet to be drawn up, as the group will wait until it hears what the NEC intends to do. But the same source adds: “We have been watching how Silvio Berlusconi created Forza Italia in parallel to his business interests, and we believe that our idea offers a fascinating adaptation to British conditions.”
Quite how those who are courting this rapidly declining asset stand to benefit is unclear. Another businessman who is part of the “Syndicate”, as he puts it, is less guarded. If new Labour became a “limited liability party”, it might be possible, he says—not entirely jokingly—to “sell non-core policies, from a customer perspective, as three-to five-year options on implementation in office”. These could include policy sales to the nuclear industry or to the green lobby. “This,” he points out, “could help ensure that national policies achieve the highest returns. And that could only benefit the shareholders—or, as they used to be known, the party members.”
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