Thursday, 30 September 2010

Why Cameron is wrong to have a Business Council to advise him...


I am a member of the “Party of Business” – or at least many of my fellow members remind me often of this. Indeed, in the mythology of past dualist politics, we in the Conservative Party armed ourselves in the great battle with Labour – the “Party of The Unions”. This great duel characterised – indeed corrupted – debate. And that debate was couched in the manner of a war between these two great forces – between business and organised labour.

The result of this was the terrible destructive, protectionism of the peace deals between these two factions – the arrangements that suited the big business and the big union. Everywhere we look – be it agriculture, aerospace, steel, motor manufacturer or mining – everywhere we find the deep scars of that battle of old. A battle in which we all were losers.

It’s OK, there’s no need to panic. I have not suddenly become some advocate of a middle way – I remain unequivocally committed to the irreducible truth of the free market. But I am not “pro-business” any more than I am “pro-union”. These two beasts of that past battle still strut the land baying and bellowing – laying claim to special privileges and trying to guide or control the parties they once commanded to fight on their respective behalves.

It is gross and corrupting that the baneful influence of unions determined who became leader of the Labour Party – indeed that the campaigning arm of those unions were directed to procuring a particular, protectionist, anti-business position from that new leader. I weep for socialists – and other left-leaning folk – who have had their party stolen from them again.

And it is just as gross and just as corrupting for the leader of my party to announce panel of business people – a Business Council. David Cameron is granting a certain set of people – already wealthy and powerful – a special position of access and advice. And this access is granted because they are business people – apparently representing sectors that are strategically important (whatever that may mean) to the country.

Why not a panel of consumers Mr Cameron – of ordinary men and women who do the buying, the eating, the living and the dying across most of the nation? Why not a council of corner shopkeepers? Or a committee of street sweepers, drain clearers and plumbers? Are these people less important? Less valued? Less significant? I fear that is the case.

I fear my party is being taken from me by this coalition of wealth and power.


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