Let’s all sympathise for Alex Little, who was caught between a rock and a hard place when writing his article.
Alex is not attracted to Labour at the moment. As a proponent of Modern Monetary Theory – and I’m sure he’ll correct me if I’m wrong – the economic policies of Ed Balls focus too much on deficit reduction and too little on creating a vibrant national economy for his liking.
However, Alex found he couldn’t stay silent when business ‘leaders’ started lining up to attack Ed Miliband and Labour’s pro-business policies.
“If you look at the public statements made by Labour’s detractors, you won’t find much by way of reasoned argument,” writes Mr Little. “The first to break cover was Boots boss Stefano Pessina. Putting aside the fact he is not a UK citizen, resident or taxpayer, in the interview which generated the headlines, he says absolutely nothing of interest:
“The problem is, would they act that way or not? One thing is to threaten and to shout, but it is completely different to be in charge and to manage the country day to day,” he said.
Mr Pessina, a 73-year-old Italian who is estimated to have amassed a £7.5 billion fortune, declined to elaborate on which specific policies he disliked.
“The Sunday Telegraph wrote this up as being “a major blow for Labour’s election campaign”. OK.”
Clearly Mr Little was unimpressed. What about the FT’s interview with Carphone Warehouse co-founder Sir Charles Dunstone? He said:
As a business person I’m frightened of an environment where there isn’t sufficient emphasis put on growing the economy to grow tax receipts to spend more money,
Mr Little’s response: “Frightened? His argument is basically trickle-down theory i.e. if businesses make lots of money there’ll be more tax money to spend on public services. Bulls***!”
So big business has failed to score twice. Will it be three strikes and out?
“The last example, and probably the best came from Yo Sushi! founder and one time Dragon Simon Woodroffe, who came out with a whole bowl of wrongness on Newsnight:
“The world is right as it is. And we need to get on as a country, UK PLC, and make lots of money, be very successful …
You know, it scares me. I was a Labour Party supporter during the Blair-Brown thing and I was a supporter because I am a believer that politics needs to make money, that UK PLC needs to be a profitable business, and I thought they were a good management team.”
“The world is right as it is? Stick that on the election posters! He uses the ghastly phrase UK PLC, making out a government should try and run things just like a business. Politics needs to make money? I don’t even know where to start with that one.”
The verdict is clear: Don’t listen to business leaders – they talk a load of s….ushi.
Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike
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