Ronnie “PFI” Cohen is Gordon’s moneybags backer. His Apax Partners is Britain’s biggest Private Equity finance house. The Private Equity sector is one of the hottest areas of profitability in the City and demonstrates the continuing adaptability of capitalism. Apax does the traditional sweat or strip the assets plays of financial engineers of yore and is also a “stakeholder” in New Labour’s PFI deals. Apax, through various subsidaries, is a huge “stakeholder” with multi-billion exposure to Gordon’s off-the-balance-sheet PSBR dodge.
The unions don’t buy into the “stakeholders” and Public Private Partnership (PPP) language of New Labour, they see it as old fashioned profiteering by the private sector vultures of venture capitalism at the expense of the workers. The GMB is calling for 100% windfall taxes and an end to tax relief on debt financed Private Equity deals. So who will Gordon listen to, the unions who oppose him or the PFI-profiteering venture capitalist who backs him?
Don’t hold your breath, it was after all Gordon who secured Ronnie his knighthood and later tried to get him a peerage…
“This is, at its heart, a matter of public trust,” he told the PM, concluding: “I cannot reconcile the terms of the proposed deal with the promises we made to the country in our manifesto at the last election… I believe that the regulatory regime proposed for Northern Ireland presents a very real threat to the integrity of the United Kingdom. I cannot support an indefinite backstop arrangement, where the EU holds a veto over our ability to exit…”