Friday, 11 September 2009

The Phoenix Four

So John Towers and the rest of the Phoenix consortium (Nick Stephenson, John Edwards and Peter Beale) are to be debarred from running public companies? The BBC has the background story: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/8244497.stm. There is a LibDem connection: John Hemming MP was involved with the Phoenix bid before being pushed aside.

John has been reluctant to say much about the Phoenix/Alchemy contest, but reading between the lines of his communications on the subject, it seems to me that the Alchemy bid was always going to be the most realistic.

The Phoenix prospectus would not have stood up to close scrutiny. But ministers were not prepared to accept the Alchemy medicine of slimming down Rover to make it viable, preserving some jobs for the long term. They were seduced by Phoenix's promises to keep all the workers on.

How about being consistent, and banning those politicians who were taken in from ever being in government again? The guilty team at the DTI in 2000 were Stephen Byers, Richard Caborn and Patricia Hewitt.

4 comments:

Frank H Little said...

Afterthought: is John Towers any relation to the mountebank Harry Alan Towers mentioned in an earlier post?

Frank H Little said...

I am gratified to see that the Telegraph and a commentor on the paper's blog give credibility to my feelings.

Frank H Little said...

- and John Hemming has commented: http://johnhemming.blogspot.com/2009/09/mg-rover-report.html.

Frank H Little said...

Jon Moulton comments in the Independent. "[Alchemy] had the idea of getting enough money from BMW to wind down the non-sports-car business and to make a good fist of having a globally significant sports-car business. We would have got there but for the intervention of Mr Byers".

This evidence has to be set against the current attempts by Lord Mandelson and others to deny government involvement in 2000.