You couldn't make this stuff up. You really couldn't. After tearing our country asunder and cobbling together a new government, it transpires that our glorious leading party has put in place a shower equally as disconnected from reality as the last.
As you've no doubt already read this morning UK chip designer ARM has been acquired by SoftBank, a Japanese telecoms, internet, IT services, finance, media, marketing and, er, baseball company.
SoftBank picked up the firm that designed the chip inside every mobile phone and tablet with an approximate 10 per cent discount based on the recent freefall of our economy, paying £24.3bn.
To put this into perspective, Microsoft recently scooped up the horrid UI and spam-filled wreckage that is LinkedIn for just $26bn. That's £19.6bn in the devalued post-Brexit UK currency.
ARM is Intel's major rival in the technology space and has been sold for a song, plucking the UK firmly out of any remaining competition. Intel couldn't acquire the firm because it would be an undoubted monopoly.
And what does our new chancellor of the exchequer, Philip Hammond, make of this post-Brexit fire sale? He called it a "big vote of confidence in British business". We're still "open for business", he added, as we slam shut the door to our own destiny as a technological power.
Decision by SoftBank to invest in @ARMHoldings shows UK has lost none of its allure to global investors - Britain is open for business— Philip Hammond (@PHammondMP) July 18, 2016
This would be largest ever Asian investment into the UK & would double size of ARM's UK workforce.Big vote of confidence in British business— Philip Hammond (@PHammondMP) July 18, 2016
And Hammond's not the only one. Following obediently behind is our new minister of state for digital and culture Matt Hancock. Literally days after I thought I'd got shut of one digital minister with no actual understanding of our technological culture and the needs of our country, here comes another.
The SoftBank investment, Hancock trumpeted on Twitter, shows Britain's capability to "grow and build world-beating tech companies".
The proposed investment of £24bn in ARM by SoftBank highlights Britain's capability to grow & build world-beating Tech companies— Matt Hancock (@MattHancockMP) July 18, 2016
Yes, but not to keep owning them, apparently.
ARM has been happily growing since 1990, before the double-dip recession and Brexit. Statements on Twitter set a political position in new roles, and these comments from Hammond and Hancock are the same old rhetoric, the same old attempts to gain prestige and credit for something in which they've had literally no involvement.
Well, apart from the aforementioned purchase discount SoftBank received for the economic disaster their party wrought.
Hammond's official statement on the matter described the sale as an investment from Asia "into the UK" that will "guarantee to double the number of jobs in ARM in the UK over the next five years" while turning "this great British company into a global phenomenon".
It's easy to agree with some of this. It's likely that, along with Cambridge tech stablemates CSR (now Qualcomm) and Autonomy (after the messy HP acquisition), ARM will indeed keep its staff in the UK. Chip design is a knowledge-based field that would change its aspect completely if moved abroad.
Political mutterings aside, SoftBank could also be seen as a fairly acceptable recipient of ARM's talents. Despite SoftBank's apparent desire to do a bit of everything in tech, this is company with a 300-year forward plan for itself and the technology landscape, and everything it's doing right now can be nicely aligned to an IoT ambition. The company is the 62nd largest in the world and has liquid cash to burn.
But as a measure of British prominence in the technology landscape it's a sale. Nothing more, nothing less. And the politicians who should be working to safeguard our ailing country's future would do better than to make crass, easy statements on social media to prop up financial decisions that have come about owing, at least in part, to the period of uncertainty they've helped to create.
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