“I don’t believe it”

Victor Meldrew’s catchphrase was voted by Radio Times readers the funniest of all time. Richard Wilson played a cantankerous OAP in One Foot in the Grave.

Last week I yelled out “I don’t believe it”

What was the cause of this emotional outburst?

A – A senior banker used the phrase ‘social responsibility’ and meant it.
B – A pink-faced, mega-rich, Old Etonian MP accepted that he had been a bit naughty with his expenses.
C – The CBI (our friend Richard) admitted they had not the vaguest idea what an enterprising business really is.

Possibly, but “no”.

What precipitated my explosion of shock was the receipt of a copy email sent by the co-founder and editor of Enterprise Britain. It contained the following:

“Mr. Drury’s blogs are increasing in standard and amusement value”

What!? This must be the end of my blogging career.

In 1984, when I was MD of Waterlow Publishers, the owner, Robert Maxwell, took me to one side and told me how highly he regarded my work.

He sacked me the week after.

Football managers across the land fear hearing a Local Radio sports broadcast including the Chairman of the local club saying he was right behind the manager despite losing the last six games.

Gordon Brown told the world what a good job Alistair Darling was doing whilst plotting to replace him with Ed Miliband.

Where have I gone wrong? I have recognised the growing reputation of Enterprise Britain as a result of the outstanding contributions from the other bloggers. I have therefore restricted my blogs to utter drivel.

OK. I bash (quite correctly) bankers (everyone, everywhere), MPs (bit of a problem because some are good friends), VAT inspectors, the Inland Revenue, the self-satisfied egotists who make up ‘Dragon’s Den’ with particular reference to Peter Jones, founder of the ridiculous and expensive National Enterprise Academy.

And, of course, I pour syrup and sweetness over the four million members of Enterprise Britain who receive no thanks from anybody.

I never thought I would sink low enough to be praised by the Editor.

I could be on my way out: I don’t believe it.

I invite you to read the Editorial in The Daily Telegraph for Saturday 24 October 2009.

It was headed ‘Enterprise must return to our neglected regions’.

I quote; “There is no excuse for despair. We still possess advantages over France and Germany – not least, our flexible labour market. Businesses can spring to life faster than anywhere in Western Europe.”

Apart from the fact this was published on the day of the Post Office strike and the week in which the BNP had appeared on ‘Question Time’ the editorial suggestions included “deregulated industry” (have you asked Europe?), tax-free zones (the Isle of Man perhaps) and “do not tax our most creative citizens at 50%”.

This is simply utter rubbish.

Put another way: “I don’t believe it”.

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