I am a rather modest and self-effacing person (Ed: cut the cr**).
The fact I applied for the job of Director-General of the CBI, and was not appointed, has no influence on the following comments.
I think Richard Lambert, who did get the job, is, in my opinion, utterly ineffective. His was a political appointment anyway. Digby Jones caused mayhem in his last year and so the Board of the CBI decided they needed to restore their relationship with Downing Street. Good old Richard, as Editor of the FT, had been pro-Labour. Another victory for the spin doctors.
My pal Digby (note the name dropping) went off to be a GOAT. A member of Gordon Brown’s ‘Government of all talents’. It really is all too painful.
Back to Richard. What has he done, or said, or written, during two crisis filled years, that is memorable?
What has he done to enhance Britain’s collapsing reputation abroad?
Answer: Not known in Europe, US, India and China.
What has he done to encourage Enterprise Britain?
Answer: I doubt he knows what Enterprise Britain is.
Now some of you are possibly public school educated, rather well off, nice people. I accept you will not be inviting me into your homes.
BUT, what has the Director General of the CBI managed to say during last week’s CBI conference?
Try this for dramatic prose: “Without growth, getting out of this fiscal hole will be very difficult indeed”
He then turned his attention to education. I simply can’t be bothered to reproduce it.
He was not alone (at the CBI conference):
Gordon Brown: “We have put in place a streamlined system for key national infrastructure decisions”
The Labour Government will leave behind them the most centralised, bureaucratic, expensive structure that any democratic country has ever experienced.
Nick Clegg: “Savings in paperclips, pot plants and general efficiencies are not enough. The third principle is rigour”
Whatever he says is irrelevant. He has just missed a golden opportunity of positioning the Lib-Dems as the Party of Opposition (as Labour implodes post election defeat) by running an awful Party conference and then saying he would not agree a coalition with Labour to stop the Conservatives. Plain daft.
David Cameron: “…we will abolish the tripartite system and give overall responsibility for regulating our banks back to the Bank of England.”
Has anybody in the Conservative Party given any thought to what this actually means. The FSA are improving at a fast rate. Lord Turner is an intellectual and class act. Theirs is a huge budget. 40% of our laws come from Brussels (the Conservatives on Europe is a mess). It will not work and stands a real possibility of undermining stability. George: keep things as they are and let the system settle down.
Not a good week for the CBI and one that will add nothing to the daily grind of Enterprise Britain.
When I had finished preparing my application for the CBI job I asked a friend to read it. He said it was brilliant but wasn’t I a bit old (I was 59 at the time).
This worried me. I devised a terrific scheme. I have a rather attractive and young looking wife. So I found a picture of the two of us and put it on the front of the application.
And they chose somebody who is rivalling Methuselah in age…