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Who do these presumptuous Telegraph letter-writing businessmen think they are?

ToryBrandsWhat does it matter what these 103 businessmen say who’ve signed the Telegraph letter? None of them wrote the letter – it was a party political stunt concocted by the Tory party to to get some cheap publicity in praise of themselves. But why does the Tory party think these names matter? It’s not as though business has been such a raging success this last decade that the electorate automatically think company bosses are worth listening to – quite the opposite after libor and forex rigging by the banks, the massive product protection insurance scam, and deliberate artificial, aggressive tax avoidance/evasion on a scale which, if companies paid their tax dues, it would almost wipe out the deficit without any further need for austerity and another decade of cuts for ordinary people. Several of the companies in the list were well-known tax-dodgers.

They’ve got a nerve to try to tell us what to do when they themselves have delivered the flattest private investment record in modern times, the lowest productivity (which is sole source of future growth), the biggest and longest squeeze on wages since 1875, and the worst balance of payments record in British history so that under their policies Britain is no longer paying its way in the world, big time. If they had any decency, they should be hanging their heads in shame, not trying to broadcast their prejudices.

There’s another profound flaw in the Tories’ lionising of business: it’s the assumption that what is good for business is good for Britain. The 2008-9 crash, after blindly following Tory business ideology for years on end, should have put paid to that. What about Oxfam and other charities, the NHS and public services, the churches, and the trade unions representing 7 million members, all of whom are listened to with more respect than business after years of corporate scandals and indulging themselves shamelessly in the trough? Can business expect regard from voters when its leaders – including many who signed the letter – pay themselves 140 times more than the average paid person in their company? Is this a sign of their surpassing skill or their insatiable greed?

So who speaks for Britain? It is remarkable how narrow is the clique of letter signatories which is all the Tories could find to champion their cause. No less than 18 of them were handed out MBEs, OBEs, CBEs and knighthoods by Cameron in the last parliament, and 2 more got peerages from Cameron in this parliament. Maybe many of the other signatories were persuaded to sign up by hopes of a gong in the next parliament?


  1. Barry Ewart says:

    Yes the problem with much of particularly big business today is that they seem to think that the public is there to serve them when in reality they are really there to serve us!

  2. Robert says:

    Bring back Tony Blair he get them on side.

    We all have to join the Progress party but Tony would get those people on side.

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