Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Good donations cost less (?) at Sainsbury's

Puzzle #1: Lord (David) Sainsbury (of Turville), as he's somehow (sometimes) come to be called, is known for having handed some loose change to the Labour Party. How much is it?

Answer: Let's go take a look at the Electoral Commission Register. A quick search for donors who have more than £250,000 in loose change gives us the following results (searching back to 2001):

Lord Sainsbury13/01/02£ 2,000,000
Lord Sainsbury of Turville01/03/03£ 2,500,000
Lord David Sainsbury of Turville10/03/05£ 2,000,000
Lord David Sainsbury10/09/07£ 2,000,000

And... why does he donate in so many variations of his 'title'? It's so bizarre, that you could be forgiven for being a little suspicious. Then again, £8.5m is quite a bit of loose change to be giving to anyone, don't you think?

And next, we might just have a look at the big donors elsewhere, but before that, shall we dwell on how your average Mr Sainsbury might just have a vested interest in this sort of donation?

Another bit of checking around, and we find that on 16th Nov 2007, Lord David of Turville held 6.3% of Sainsbury's shares. That's 6.3% of 1.7billion shares, with a 2007 dividend per share of 9.75pence. Yes, he owns over a hundred million shares that in 2007 paid him a dividend totalling £10.3m. Does he have a vested interest in the supermarkets continuing to make huge profits? You bet he does!

Iit doesn't matter if you're not Tesco, because they're all making a huge profit, so long as no one comes along and says "Hey, you're killing our communities, our local economies, and our environment, and we're going to put an end to it!"

Well if that is the case, I doubt if there's a Labour minister who's going to tell his party they just lost a donor who can be relied on for over a million pounds every year!

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