Business leaders show their Conservative – or ‘self-servative’ – colours

More than a hundred business bosses have declared support for a Conservative-led government in a letter published in the Daily Telegraph.

Signatories including former Dragons’ Den star Duncan Bannatyne, BP chief executive Bob Dudley, Prudential boss Tidjane Thiam, Arcadia retail group head Sir Philip Green, and Nick Robertson, chief executive of ASOS lined up to show their desperation to stab working-class people in the back in their worship of profit.

They said they wanted a government that lowers corporation tax, so their firms don’t have to support public services and can pay more dividends to shareholders and executives.

It seems clear they also wish to deter voters from electing a Labour government that would outlaw exploitative zero-hours contracts that allow them to get away without providing holiday or sickness pay for employees.

Incredibly, they said the Coalition government, led by the Conservatives, had supported investment and job creation. It is hard to imagine where they think this has taken place. Government investment in infrastructure and support for businesses has plummeted under Tory control and, while the number of people in work has increased, 800,000 zero-hour workers is no credit to anybody.

The Torygraph says the letter has five signatories who have previously supported New Labour: the entrepreneur Mr Bannatyne, the hotelier Surinder Arora, chairman of Dixons Carphone and Talk Talk Sir Charles Dunstone , theatrical producer Sir Cameron Mackintosh and businessman Moni Varma. Clearly these rats will jump ship to whoever they think will do them the most good, and the Devil take the rest of us.

What fine examples of moral and entrepreneurial character!

They really demonstrate why Tory supporters have been nicknamed “Self-Servatives”. Clearly they exist only to increase their own wealth at the expense of the people who actually work to make it for them; they are prepared to peddle falsehoods in order to perpetuate this situation, and happy to use their positions as business leaders to influence the outcome of what is supposed to be a democratic election.

Last week, someone called Katie Hopkins, who this writer understands is some form of right-wing irritant, claimed that she would leave the country if Ed Miliband becomes Prime Minister – to a storm of applause across the social media. Many people suggested that she should not wait, but should leave immediately.

Perhaps Mr Bannatyne and his co-signatories should consider taking the same boat.

Here’s the full list, so you know which firms to boycott:


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12 thoughts on “Business leaders show their Conservative – or ‘self-servative’ – colours

  1. Thomas

    I may not like them at all, but they do have the right to say what government they like, and of course they like the dreadful one we have now.

  2. BizzieLizzie

    Not only should we boycott these businesses, we should contact these people directly and let them know why we are boycotting their goods and services. It speaks volumes that the majority of them are OBEs and CBEs. Refuse them your hard earned cash and hit them where it hurts.

  3. Rupert Mitchell (@rupert_rrl)

    100 Bosses may have shown their support!

    I would doubt that their support would be worth the paper it is written on if, by some other means, another party were able to promise them even bigger profits at the expense of proper management.

    Let us hope that there are another few thousand decent employers out there who are cleverer and decent enough to make a fair profit from fair management of their workforces.

    Unless we get rid of this greedy government we will all pay the price in the end.

  4. M de Mowbray

    The oddest thing about British business leaders supporting the Tories is that it is quite clear that this government has been particularly keen in favouriting FOREIGN corporations over local businesses.

  5. lallygag26

    This is a worrying move. There was a lot of evidence that in 2010 the business leaders who wrote to the papers saying Labour ‘couldn’t be trusted with the economy’ had a real impact on voters.
    I’m no fan of Labour, but let’s hope voters aren’t swayed this time. Given the way the corporate sector has been feasting off the impoverishment of the people under the Coalition it would be collective madness for anyone to listen to them.

  6. daijohn

    These sorts of stunts are pulled on a regular basis and we, the majority and therefore those with the power, should ignore them. As J K Galbraith famously said, ” The modern conservative is engaged in one of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy, that is, the search for a moral justification for selfishness”
    More succinctly with regard to the signing of these letters and to (mis)quote Mandy Rice-Davis ” well they would, wouldn’t they”?

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Yes indeed.
      I found it amusing that George Osborne said the move was unprecedented in modern politics. My experience is that something similar happens at every election.

  7. Mikey™

    First of all sorry for the long post, Felt it needed posting so we all know which shops to boycott 🙂 This was on the Guardian website so reposting.

    1 Rooney Anand CEO, Greene King

    2 Surinder Arora MD, Arora International

    3 John Ayton Founder of Bremont Watches

    4 Alex Baldock CEO Shop Direct

    5 Lord Bamford Chairman, JCB

    6 Duncan Bannatyne Founder, Bannatyne Group

    7 Robert Bensoussan CEO, LK Bennett

    8 Lord Karan Bilimoria Chairman and founder, Cobra Beer

    9 Charlie Bradshaw MD, Matrix APA

    10 Baroness Brady Vicechairman, West Ham

    11 Graham Chipchase CEO, Rexam

    12 Zameer Choudrey CEO, Bestway Group

    13 Neil Clifford CEO, Kurt Geiger

    14 Steven Cohen CEO, Blue Inc.

    15 Glenn Cooper MD, ATG Access

    16 Andrew Coppel CEO, De Vere

    17 Gerald Corbett Chairman, Britvic

    18 Peter Cullum Founder and Deputy Chairman, Towergate

    19 Ron Dennis Chairman, McLaren Technology

    20 Julietta Dexter Owner, Communications Store

    21 Annoushka Ducas Founder, Annoushka Jewellery

    22 Bob Dudley, CEO, BP

    23 Sir Charles Dunstone Chairman, Dixons Carphone

    24 John Elliott Chairman, Ebac

    25 Mark Esiri Director,

    26 Ralph Findlay CEO, Marstons

    27 Richard Glynn CEO, Ladbrokes

    28 Ben Gordon Chairman, Powerleague

    29 Julian Granville MD, Boden

    30 Peter Grauer Chairman, Bloomberg

    31 Philip Green Chairman, Carillion

    32 Michael Gutman President and COO, Westfield

    33 Wendy Hallet MD and Founder, Hallet Retail

    34 Jenny Halpern Prince Founder, Halpern

    35 Andy Harrison CEO, Whitbread

    36 Aidan Heavey CEO, Tullow Oil

    37 Oliver Hemsley founder and CEO, Numis

    38 Joe Henderson Founder and CEO, Henderson

    39 Vernon Hill Founder and chairman, Metro Bank

    40 Anya Hindmarch Chairman, Anya Hindmarch

    41 Brent Hoberman Founder,

    42 Cassie Hutchings CEO, GCH Capital

    43 Sir George Iacobescu Chairman and CEO, Canary Wharf

    44 Alan Jackson, Chairman, The Restaurant Group

    45 Peter Jackson, Former CEO, Travelex

    46 Nick Jenkins, Founder,

    47 Neil Johnson, Chairman, E2V

    48 Luke Johnson, chairman, Risk Capital

    49 Richard Joseph, Co-founder, Joseph Joseph

    50 Ray Kelvin Founder and CEO, Ted Baker

    51 Nadir Lalani Founder and CEO, 99p Stores

    52 Ben Latham Jones Head of Ealing Studios

    53 Nick Leslau Chairman, Prestbury Investments

    54 Rhydian Lewis CEO, Ratesetter

    55 James Lipscombe MD and co-owner, The Chesterford

    56 Derek Lovelock, Chairman, Mamas and Papas

    57 Ron Mackintosh, Chairman, CSR

    58 Sir Cameron Mackintosh Founder, Cameron Mackintosh

    59 Edward Mellors, Director, Mellors

    60 Tom Molnar CEO, Bread

    61 John Morgan, CEO, Morgan Sindall

    62 Matt Moulding, CEO, The Hut Group

    63 Stephen Murphy, Chairman, Wyevale Garden Centres

    64 Jonathan Neame CEO Shepherd Neame

    65 John Neill Chairman and CEO, Unipart

    66 Nick Newbury, CEO, Original Travel

    67 Jonathan Newhouse, Chairman & CEO, Conde Nast International

    68 Richard Nichols CEO, Instinctif Partners

    69 Mike Norris, CEO Computacenter

    71 Sir Dick Olver, Former chairman BAE Systems

    72 Alan Parker Chairman, Mothercare

    73 Tony Pidgley Chairman, Berkeley Group

    74 Thembalat Ramachandran, CEO&MD, Bristol Laboratories

    75 Nick Robertson Founder & CEO, ASOS

    76 Lord Rose Chairman, Ocado

    77 Richard Rose Executive chairman, Crawshaws

    78 Chrissie Rucker Founder, The White Company

    79 Sir Nigel Rudd, Chairman designate, Meggitt

    80 Rakesh Sharma CEO, Ultra Electronics

    81 Baroness Shields Chairman, Tech City

    82 Jasminder Singh Chairman and CEO, Edwardian Group

    83 Rob Templeman Chairman, RAC

    84 Tidjane Thiam, Group CEO, Prudential

    85 Sarah Thomson, Founder and CEO, Addictive Points

    86 Simon Townsend CEO, Enterprise Inns

    87 Michael Turner Chairman, Fullers, Smith & Turner

    88 Moni Varma, MD and Chairman, Veetee Rice

    89 Matthew Vaughn Owner, Marv Films

    90 Ollie Vigors, MD, Longshot Kids

    91 Robert Walker Chairman, Travis Perkins

    92 Malcolm Walker Founder, Iceland

    93 Paul Walsh Chairman, Compass

    94 James Wates Chairman, Wates

    95 George Weston CEO, Associated British Foods

    96 Nick Wheeler Founder, Charles Tyrwhitt

    97 Mike Wheeler MD, Auto Styling

    98 Charles Wigoder Executive chairman, Telecom Plus

    99 Paul Wilkinson Chairman,Thorntons

    100 Will Wyatt CEO, Caledonia Investments

    101 Sir Hossein Yassaie CEO, Imagination Technologies

    102 Steve Varley Chairman, UK&I, EY

    103 Richard Baker, Chairman, DFS

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