A group of over 50 British entrepreneurs has signed a letter urging voters not to support the "anti-business policies" of Clegg or Brown. Reprinted in The Times, it expresses concern about plans for capital gains tax increases (LibDem), the NI hike (Lab) and also the Tories' decision to cut the premium bottled water supplier Ofcom down to size.
The signatories include some familiar names: music svengali Tim Clark of ieMusic, Robbie Williams' manager, and Rob Lewis, founder of Silicon.com and Omnifone. But... what's this?
It's a spam, arriving in my inbox. The subject line is "Open Letter to the Entrepreneurs of the United Kingdom" and it begins, rather ambiguously:
Dear Friend of Ariadne, of Julie, Entrepreneur and/or Investor
Yes, it's our dear friend Julie Meyer, the dotcom socialite and founder of investment go-between, Ariadne Capital.
As you may well know, I was one of 55 entrepreneurs who wrote a letter to The Times yesterday, warning of the dangers for British business of a Liberal Democrat/Labour coalition government...
Her social network Entrepreneur Country is...
...dedicated to supporting entrepreneurship and building growth and wealth in the UK and Europe.
But what kind of enterpreneurship and wealth creation does she have in mind? Last year Meyer gave her very public backing of a company she called "the first major technology success story out of Europe". She added that the press were out to get it, and were being sexist too.
When the final accounts of the company in question were revealed, we learned that in its final two years it received revenue of just £10.77m, and lost £101.74m. It was paying more in interest on loans than it was receiving in income. The CEO had agreed to pay back money incorrectly booked to the company for tax purposes. This, of course, was SpinVox.
In the most recent filings Ariadne Capital made a profit of £170,385 for 2008, following losses of £325,374 the previous year, £396,923 for 2006, and £590,771 for 2005. The profit and loss account was £3.5m in the red.
This is just the sort of trailblazing wealth-creation Britain needs - so pay heed to Jules, and don't put it at risk. ®