Monday, 22 June 2009

Quitting the day job

Tory MPs are rushing to quit their lucrative day jobs before 1st July, when they will have to publicly declare their earnings. Apparently as many as 40 of Cameron's top team have other jobs as well as being MPs, and there is some concern that they may find themselves embarrassed when the details emerge.

Interestingly, it seems that about 10 of these people hold directorships of hedge funds. It's been public knowledge for some time that the Tory Party has been benefiting from the activities of these funds, but I hadn't realised that so many of their MPs were active participants as well. It's no great surprise that none of these MPs were particularly keen to discuss their roles.

Whilst there is scope for debate as to how far the activities of hedge funds caused – rather then merely benefited from – the collapse of the banking system, there is no doubt in my mind that short-selling financial stocks on a large scale was a contributory factor.

I don't know which MPs held these directorships or with which hedge funds; perhaps that will become clearer over the next two weeks. But there is surely something very wrong when an opposition party can benefit financially from the collapse of the financial system – and it's even worse if some of them may have had a direct involvement in causing it.

I'd like to think that any members of Cameron's top team who are found to have been involved in short-selling shares in British banks would rapidly find themselves as ex-members of the team – but I'm not holding my breath.


Spirit of BME said...

Mr Dixon, Oh dear lots of misunderstanding in you piece.
Hedge Funds- Not only directors benifit but all Pension Funds and as a result pensioneers.Banks are now only lending money to companies (and keeping people in employment)only if they have hedged their exposure on the market.
Short-selling,a very misunderstood instrument.No one can wait for the AGM to see if your money is safe (if you can interprit their P&L) .Its a safety valve on bad companies,such as the Banks who denied they were in trouble ,well ,the short sellers were not wrong,they saw it as it was, while everyone else was in denial.They never caused the problem they were the whistle blowers.
However, I do believe ,being a Press Officer for chinless cretins who ran them is a job going nowhere.

Anonymous said...

touble is John, many Tories are on the boards of companies because te companies value their or because the Tory MPs have experience of business. Plaid AMs and MPs aren'r on boards - party for good reasons, company directors don't think they can get a short cut to decsion making through them, but also for a bad reason - so few of them have any real experience in money and wealth creation ... only spending money. Plaid come almost entirely (with some notable exceptions) from the public sector. There's a good reason for being wary of MPs on boards of companies, but it's also not healthy that so many Plaid MPs or AMs have very little experience of the business world.

John Dixon said...


Insofar as I understand the point you are making, I think we'll simply have to agree to disagree. I see no benefit to the 'real' economy from short-selling; and many of those trading derivatives don't even understand themselves what they are trading, let alone the risks.


I think it's often their 'connections' rather then their 'experience' which is valued, but I take the point that Tory MPs are often 'better connected', and therefore more attractive to potential employers. That doesn't mean that it should be allowed, of course.

And actually, the point you make about public sector (rather than private sector) background and experience is an entirely valid one; not that easy to change though.

Anonymous said...

Interesting stuff, particularly as your Party's central staff moonlight as anonymous bloggers, doing its dirty work.

Does that count as a second job?

John Dixon said...


'Moonlighting' normally refers to a second paid job. As an 'anonymous' blogger yourself, do you consider yourself to be moonlighting by so doing?

kairdiff West Kid said...

Tory MPs get posh jobs because they've got public school connections and enjoy directorships. Most Tory MPs are still public schoolboys, and most of them do extra jobs which in my book means they shouldn;t be MPs. As for a knowledge fo the business world, that is only desirable if it is also balanced by knowledge of how other things work. There's a balance to be struck.
Tories don;t care about poverty and they don;t care about the poor.
As for your pathetic anonymous trolls, John, I think you showed them the door pretty niftily...