Here's a final thought on Michael Bloomberg's annoying flirtation with a presidential campaign, which ended with his declaration in the New York Times today that he wasn't running. The commentators have noted that a short Jew with no political base had no shot at the presidency. But even the New York mayor's supposed managerial competence, his main claim to credibility, wouldn't have stood up to the political spotlight.

No one is questioning Bloomberg's entrepreneurial chutzpah: he built the financial information service which bears his name into New York's most valuable private company. But Bloomberg's judgment in people is about as questionable as that of his predecessor, Rudy Giuliani. One cannot claim that any of Bloomberg's associates have mob ties that match Giuliani's aide, Bernie Kerik. But Bloomberg has left Lex Fenwick and Matthew Winkler, as nominal CEO and editor-in-chief, respectively, despite their evident failings as managers.

You've heard the audio tape of the irascible Winkler yelling at dissenting reporters; here's a former employee who can't believe that Bloomberg's corporate record has gone so long without proper examination.

Something that strikes me as odd in all of the will-he-won't-he stuff about a Mike stab at the White House is that no one seems to be looking at the company he founded, with its peculiar management culture, surely one of the most spiteful and lowgrade, given the generally high standard of the workforce, that there is. Would his running of the United States be as nasty, with all the effing and blinding and ass-pinching that he brought to corporate culture ?

There is not only the vile Winkler, truly an unstable and unsavoury piece of work, but `humans' like Lex Fenwick, the purple-suited ****-sniffing bald coot all the way from Britain, who strangely masquerades as the CEO when even the cleaners know the real boss is Grauer. Educated (more like interned) at Downside School, the disgusting specimen affects a Cockney accent to cosy up to the underdog. One person who hates our Lex with a vengeance is Emma Gilbey (of the Gilbey's Gin family), the wife of the NYT executive editor Bill Keller. Her brother was at school with Lex …

A singularity is how Bloomberg News encourages the mediocre. Anyone with any spirit, any inclination to say `yes, but' rather than snap straight into action no matter how ludicrous the order, and, my God, the orders can be so stupid, is crushed and sidelined. Thus, the horrid Winkler prevails with his no buts, no despites, no announceds and the rest.