‘The Bachelors’ were a 1960s Irish pop group which had 18 top 10 UK hits.
In the late 1980s I spent a day with Con and Dec Cluskey (John Stokes had left in 1984) around a swimming pool in Spain. Late in the afternoon they sang their most famous song from which the following words are taken:
“I believe above the storm the smallest prayer will be heard
I believe that someone in the great somewhere hears every word
Every time I hear a newborn baby cry or touch a leaf or see the sky
Then I know why I believe.”
I recalled this melody recently when reading an article in ‘The Times’ by Lord Saatchi, Chairman of the Centre for Policy Studies. It was titled :‘Come on David, give us something to believe in’. For inspiration Lord Saatchi suggested the Prime Minister should read either The Sermon on the Mount, the Declaration of Independence by the Founding Fathers of America or the Communist Manifesto.
In what does David Cameron believe? He is being driven by events and the shackles of the Coalition Government. He is following the well trodden path of incoming leaders of getting the bad news out first. Mrs. Thatcher raised VAT in stages to 17.5%. Gordon Brown removed the tax credit on pension dividends. Dave is squeezing anybody he can find who can pay. I leave the financial analysts to comment further.
When Tony Blair stood for election in 1997 he offered a vision: New Labour, The Middle Way, The Third Way, stakeholder involvement. President Obama magnetised young black Americans with ‘change’.
Dave has offered concepts – marriage, community, care – but never with intellect or conviction. Hence Lord Saatchi’s ‘cri de coeur’.
I would like to suggest a possible vision for the PM.
Perhaps the PM might like to believe that ‘someone in the great somewhere hears every word.’
‘Someone’ is code for members of Enterprise Britain. ‘Every word’ is not code. It is fact.
PM, please talk about Enterprise Britain as though you understand and mean it.
Vince Cable (aka Vince the Wince) has said that he is going to try to impose lending requirements on the banks. The only problem is that he and George are planning a windfall levy. This will affect the Banks’ capital adequacy ratios and they will lend less. They don’t like lending to enterprising businesses anyway.
The reality is that nobody in the Coalition is really focused on a true vision for Britain’s smaller businesses.
There are two ways to deal with debt outside rampant inflation. Borrow less and earn more.
The Coalition is focused on the debt side. The key requirement is also to concentrate on the earnings of corporate UK.
Enterprise Britain can play a part and the first requirement is hope.
So, come on Dave, sing out:
“I believe that someone in the great somewhere hears all my words
I believe out there that people commit, people work and people care
I believe that together we can rebuild our business lives and prosper
And when I see a flourishing Enterprise Britain
Then I know why I believe.”