The sale of The Port of Dover

The sale of the Port of Dover is a sure thing.  Sometimes you just cannot hold back the tide.  The chief executive officer of the Port of Dover has a dream that he be in charge of a multi-million pound business and the bonuses that come with such a position, I guess.

Right now the Port of Dover is a trust, which is a not for profit business that means any profit gets put back into the business.  The idea is that it helps with stability with steady investment.

Modern business practice does not work in such a fashion.  These days the motto is "Invest big, win big".  So the port needs to be a limited company to get a massive mortgage to expand.  A trust cannot get a big mortgage because the lenders are worried that they cannot claim the company if it defaults on its debt.

Our local MP (Labour) is opposed to such a move as are the majority of the population in the area.  The prospective Conservative candidate (elections in a few months) made a bold claim that labour were going to sell the port to the French.  The Daily Mail while not a paper I endorse put it in typical tabloid fashion:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1249194/Dover-symbol-British-sovereignty-sold-French-help-reduce-debt.html

Our Labour MP clearly needed to do something to show that is not his intent so he asked his Prime Minister if Labour will sell the port:
http://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2010-02-10a.902.10&s=speaker%3A10491#g910.4

Which is excellent, to quote the PM: "There will be no forced privatisation under Labour"

So he managed to say the word no but actually meant yes. Of course the conversation in the House of Commons moved swiftly on from there.  The agreement to convert the port into a company is expected to be rubber stamped and will probably come into effect at the start of the next governments 4 year term.

Personally I think the port needs new ideas rather than new building.  Whilst credit is cheap right now I do not think it wise for the port to get into massive debt.  Recent history has proved that running up huge debt saddles you with a burden from which you cannot move when you need to adapt to the future.

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