Wednesday, 3 July 2013
To be “business secretary” in Britain it is essential to know nothing about business.
There is a great article by Peter Mandelson, the UK’s former business secretary, in today’s Financial Times. It’s about why he and his Labour Party favoured the proposed new £40bn HS2 railway from London to the north of England.
The Labour Party’s decision was according to Mandelson “politically driven”.
Never in the world!!
Another reason for the project according to Mandelson was that the projects was a “bold commitment to modernisation”.
Yep, “modernise” was very much the fashionable word in Labour circles at that time, and you can’t argue with a fashionable word or phrase. If the currently fashionable phrase was “Seig Heil” or “death to infidels” then any politician criticising the phrase would be laughed out of court.
And the Labour Party were also “keen to paint an upbeat view of the future”. Now that’s a brilliant reason for spending £40bn, isn’t it?
Plus “we were focused on the coming electoral battle, not on the detailed facts and figures…”. Facts and figures – you don’t need to bother with those, especially when spending £40bn. Anyone with a qualification from a business school can tell you that.
Have you ever heard such appalling, low grade drivel?
This is a classic example of Parkinson’s Law: “The time spent on any item of the agenda will be in inverse proportion to the sum involved.”
Come back unbridled capitalism red in tooth and claw - all is forgiven.