Hedge Funds and £19m for the Tories: Because they are worth It

3 mins. to read

Call me old fashioned, or at 48, just plain old, but it would appear what this and every country needs, in a world full of sovereign debt, is wealth creators. They should be encouraged to make cute mobile phones, bag less vacuum cleaners, write songs, screenplays and generally go for gold.

Before these would be millionaires get to their destination they are classified a being “one of us”. But once the cash is in the bank account, the media regards them as pariahs. A good example of this are the people who run hedge funds, most of whom occupy Mayfair, and have transformed it from being the land of Bertie Wooster, to a place where a glass of mediocre wine costs the best part of £10. But at least the drinking there is more affordable than the housing.

Of course, as those who are rich will be aware (not myself), the key issue once a fortune has been amassed, would appear to be the battle to keep it. The logical thing to do in this respect is to help out the people you think were a positive factor in your wealth creation. In the case of this week’s article in The Independent entitled “How hedge fund super-rich donated £19m to Tory party” we have the story, or perhaps more accurately a whinge, about how the great and the good of one of the UK’s most successful industries has been donating to the Conservative Party. Perhaps not too surprisingly the survey was carried out by the Labour Party.

It is not clear from the article whether the socialists are upset about being left out of the donation game, or it is simply sour grapes that being a hedge fund millionaire and having a left wing view on the world are usually mutually exclusive. But given that these hedge funds and their employees are likely to pay significant amounts to the Exchequer / local bars in Mayfair on a regular basis, it really should be the case that Labour takes a more generous view of them.

For instance, one of the world’s greatest sacred cows and least efficient organisations, the NHS, needs to be funded urgently, and wealth creators do this disproportionate – even though it is unlikely that they risk the MRSA lottery as regularly as the rest of us. Of course, given Labour’s Mansion Tax proposal, allegedly being brought in to pay for the NHS, it is not exactly surprising that hedge fund owners aren’t backing Milliband for Number 10. It would effectively amount to a turkey voting for Christmas.

But there is more, if we remain on the avian theme.

Just in case one is not persuaded by the politics of hedge fund envy, a.ka. socialism, which always tries to kill the geese that lay the golden eggs, we have the Archbishop of Canterbury wading into the argument. The moral high ground as represented by Justin Welby is the statement, “with wealth comes power, and with power comes a temptation to abuse power.”

Although this at first glance appears to be a post modern ecclesiastical take on the Al Pacino character’s treatise on power in the film Scarface, I would respectfully suggest that the Archbishop has his wires somewhat crossed.

A hedge fund donation to the Conservative Party is most likely to be with the motivation to preserve / increase wealth, and not necessarily motivated by a power grab. Indeed, for those of a cynical disposition such as myself, hedge funds probably have very little on their wish list in terms of political favours apart from maintaining the status quo, which a second term for Cameron and friends would almost certainly achieve.

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