First Round: Lord Nash-ing of teeth

Mitt Romney presumably dreamed that he’d be settling into the Oval Office by now. Instead, as all the world knows, he’s back in one of his many houses licking his wounds (and possibly pondering his reinvention as a leading environmentalist ahead of a re-run in 2024, or some such).

However, the good news is that at least one ex-buyout guy was elevated into a position of political power in January: John Nash, co-founder of UK firm Sovereign Capital and former chairman of the British Venture Capital Association, was appointed UK Skills Minister, a move that also necessitated him being rapidly given a peerage.

Having eventually managed to get over the irritation of EVERY SINGLE NEWSPAPER IN THE UK referring to Nash as a venture capitalist (even though it’s about 20 years since he could reasonably describe himself as a such), First Round found itself idly wondering what his appointment might mean for the future curriculum of our feckless youth.

Will teachers be asked to buy into their schools, to promote alignment of interest? Will schoolchildren be tested on the wording of the AIFM directive? Will IRR calculations become a regular part of maths homework? Only time will reveal the answers to these burning questions.

The appointment of Lord Nash – to give him his new title – has inevitably gone down like a lead balloon with the left-wing media – partly because he’s one of those nasty asset-stripping capitalist City types, but also because he’s a long-time supporter of and (generous) donor to the Conservative Party, which is currently the lead partner in the ruling Coalition Government.

Of course, he also has impeccable credentials for the job: having built and run a successful private equity firm, he’s spent most of the last five years (during which he’s only been involved with Sovereign in an non-executive capacity) being a philanthropist – and has been running his own Academy school in London, apparently with great success. But he’s in politics now, where little things like credentials don’t seem to matter as much.

If nothing else, perhaps this highlights where Mitt went wrong. Next time, just skip that pesky election/ democracy business.