Miliband wants to be Santa

'He knows if you've been bad or good, So be good for goodness sake!’ – it's official, Ed Miliband’s outright attack on private equity shows he wants to be Santa Claus.


‘He knows if you’ve been bad or good, So be good for goodness sake!’ – it’s official, Ed Miliband’s outright attack on private equity shows he wants to be Santa Claus.

‘He sees you when you’re sleeping,
He knows when you’re awake,
He knows if you’ve been bad or good,
So be good for goodness sake!’

Ed Miliband’s outright attack on private equity and, by extension, the UK’s entire finance industry, can only be put down to one thing – he wants to be Santa Claus and decide ‘who’s been naughty and who’s been nice’.

There are a number of unsettling visions the Opposition leader outlined at the Labour Party conference this week (indeed also over the summer) but in attacking private equity investment and derided the industry as a ‘bad’ is going a step too far.

While ahead of his speech at the Labour Party Conference in Liverpool this week, Miliband told reporters that he will ‘outline his pro-business views’, in effect, they were anything but.

‘Let me tell you what the 21st century choice is: Are you on the side of the wealth creators or the asset strippers?’ Miliband asks the crowd. ‘The producers or the predators? Producers train, invest, invent, sell. Things Britain does brilliantly.

‘Predators are just interested in the fast buck, taking what they can out of the business. This isn’t about one industry that’s good and another that isn’t. Or one firm always destined to be a predator and another to be a producer. It’s about different ways of doing business, ways that the rules of our economy can favour or discourage.’

At the moment, it appears that the Labour Party wants to regulate your life. It seems they want the power to dictate which businesses you should buy from, who you should accept investment from and how every business should operate.

Not only does Miliband want to tell you which businesses have been ‘good or bad’, but he also wants to penalise ones that he says are ‘bad for Britain’ by slapping them down with hefty taxes.

These same over-regulating tendencies have also reared their ugly heads recently in proposals to control the media. In the wake of the News of the World hacking scandal, Labour Party MPs have flagged the prospect of licensing journalists, regulating media complaints and imposing controls on how media outlets can report events.

Certainly there will be those who say that regulation is needed to reign in the power of private equity and the finance industry as a whole to ensure ‘asset stripping’ does not occur, but the effect will be the stifling of free enterprise and freedom of choice.

The public and businesses should have the right to choose who they want to work with without having the government dictate which ones are ‘good and bad’ businesses. We’re smart enough to figure that out for ourselves.

Todd Cardy

Todd Cardy

Todd was Editor of GrowthBusiness.co.uk between 2010 and 2011 as well as being responsible for publishing our digital and printed magazines focusing on private equity and venture capital. Connect with...

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