Prominent People = Poor Quality (in ideas for improving life in Britain)

Prominent People = Poor Quality (in ideas for improving life in Britain)

In October 2011, just before the Tory party conference, the Financial Times Magazine (normally a pretty dull read) had an article where certain prominent Tories were asked for five ideas each for David Cameron.

The people selected were David Davies, Archie Norman, Tracey Emin, Baroness Warsi, Lord Tebbit, Tim Montgomerie (editor of Tory activist website), Claire Perry (MP), John Redwood, Andrew Roberts, Sajid Javid (MP), Tom Greeves (stand-up comic and speechwriter), Lord Archer, Nick Boles (MP), Michael Spencer (wealthy founder of the broking firm ICAP), Lord Wolfson (CEO, Next), Edwina Curry, Jo Johnson (MP) and Mark Pritchard (MP).

Guess which of the above gave, in my opinion at least, the best ideas?

Among the gems(!) suggested were:
- “we need completely new relationship with the EU. This may require a referendum”
- “ turbo charge our free schools policy”
- “make the system as good at deregulation as it is at regulation”
- “ a bigger say for Conservative members”
- “read the Beveridge Report”
- “recruit more northern candidates”
- “close women’s prisons”
- “create three new UK retail banks”

It is, in a way, disappointing to announce (because the initiator is least well placed to influence policy) that the one who gave the best suggestions was Tracey Emin. She grasped that schooling, apprenticeships and getting graduates into worthwhile work are crucial to changing the mindset of future members of society and would help to make sure that we encourage vocational skills that can generate income for individuals and the country.

As for the others, they gave a pretty dire set of ‘ideas’, revealing muddy thinking and shallowness of pool of thought. Further proof, if it were needed, that politicians and others in positions of influence do not have the answers to our problems, at all.

Neil Thomas

Published on Nov 29, 2011 by Neil Thomas