Ashcroft Shuffles Pack: Loss Making PoliticsHome Sold for £0.00++ Merges With Loss Making Political Publisher Dods' ePolitix ++

Dods plc, publishers of ePolitix.com and the House Magazine, announced this morning that it had acquired the business and assets of PoliticsHome.com, the political news aggregation website now run by Paul Waugh. The sellers were Political Investments Limited and Politics Home Limited, companies which Ashcroft controls. The price paid was zilch.

PoliticsHome has annual revenues of approximately £100,000 a year and lost £500,000 last year.  Rolled up losses on the balance sheet amount to some £700,000. Waugh’s former home, The Evening Standard, reports that the deal could be worth £2 million. In theory true, but in reality that is if, and only if, certain optimistic synergistic revenue goals are met. It should be remembered that loss making Dods plc is itself also 23% owned by Ashcroft. This is basically an all-paper transaction with Ashcroft shuffling loss making assets around. No money is actually changing hands…

ConservativeHome is not in this deal, its losses are subsidised directly by Ashcroft through Political Investments Limited.  Over on the left-hand side of the blogosphere the unions now fund LabourList, LeftFootForward and PoliticalScrapbook directly, which is why they read like press releases from the TUC. Keen analysts of the online political sphere will note that there is now only one politics-only website pure play that makes money as a commercial proposition. Profits which make us proudly independent…

UPDATE: A bean-counting co-conspirator points out that from a “tax management” point of view it is pretty savvy. The rolled up losses of the acquisition can be offset to reduce the tax on overall business. Now you know why he is billionaire…




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David Cowling, the BBC’s head of political research, in an internal memo…

“It seems to me that the London bubble has to burst if there is to be any prospect of addressing the issues that have brought us to our current situation. There are many millions of people in the UK who do not enthuse about diversity and do not embrace metropolitan values yet do not consider themselves lesser human beings for all that. Until their values and opinions are acknowledged and respected, rather than ignored and despised, our present discord will persist. Because these discontents run very wide and very deep and the metropolitan political class, confronted by them, seems completely bewildered and at a loss about how to respond (“who are these ghastly people and where do they come from?” doesn’t really hack it). The 2016 EU referendum has witnessed the cashing in of some very bitter bankable grudges but I believe that, throughout this 2016 campaign, Europe has been the shadow not the substance.”

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