Business has lost its voice

The business community has lost its voice. Enterprise, entrepreneurs, and wealth creators are barely mentioned by political leaders and decision-makers nowadays.

Whether it is those in the hospitality sector, scapegoated over Covid-19 or owners of limited companies, ignored during the pandemic; or the financial services industry and exporters who have been abandoned on the altar of political brinksmanship and opportunism over Brexit, there is no doubt that the private sector in the UK has never had as little influence over the direction of national government policy, for many a year.

Compare this with other special interest groups, teaching unions for example – and the contrast could not be starker. Can you imagine a Prime Minister using a four-letter word about teachers, in the way our current leader did when speaking about business, and getting away with it?

It is a far cry from the celebration of wealth creators by Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s or the charm offensive Tony Blair undertook on the private sector while he was the leader of the opposition in the mid-1990s.

The financial crash of 2008 appears to have inflicted a lasting damage on the image of the wider business community and not just those small number of bankers who were responsible for that damaging downturn

The private sector has never had as little influence over the direction of national government policy

However, to get out of the mess we are in, the need for innovation, risk- taking and economic bounce back has never been greater.

Both Boris Johnson and Keir Starmer need to recognise that to redistribute wealth someone must create it.

That ‘someone’ is usually an entrepreneur. The sooner they are offered the support and encouragement they deserve, the better.

It’s time for business to be heard once again.

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