Having been out of the professional business and journalism loop for the last year, the item in the news today that caught my ear was that The Conservatives wheeled out their 100 business leaders as signatories backing another parliament of blue bosses.
It seems that, in retaliation, The Labour Party said that “zero hours contracts” were a problem and their vote winner.
So what’s the issue here?
First up is the usual red v blue issue. Punch and Judy politics is not dead. In fact it is very much alive and very much kicking. Despite there being red, blue, yellow, green, purple and all the other myriad colours of politics in the UK, we’re supposedly back to the two horse race. My concern here is that if the media only report blue or red then people will only know about blue or red and vote blue or red.
The second issue is the original media story – 100 “key business leaders” signed a letter to The Daily Telegraph, a bastion of Tory viewpoints. Even if the letter was not to a right wing newspaper, you have to question the fact that the letter was from some of the country’s richest people.
Let’s take a look at these people’s wealth;
- Surinda Arora – £225 million
- Duncan Bannatyne = £175 million
- Sir Charles Dunstone – £605 million
- Sir Cameron Mackintosh – £675 million
Let’s just stop there, shall we? Those are the top 4 signatories that The Telegraph story touted. They are worth more than a billion pounds between them. Even the “poorest” of those men is worth more than what a worker on an “average wage” could earn in over 5,000 years1.
My point here is that, just looking at the top 4 of these “headline grabbing” business leaders, they are “in another world” compared to your average worker/voter.
So who are “The Torygraph” appealing to? Other businesses? Other big businesses? Millionaires? Billionaires?
I have no political allegiances but this story is a blatant plug saying that if you’re a wealthy business person vote Tory. If you already have wealth beyond what the average worker could earn over many lifetimes, vote blue.
These 100 signatories, pardon the unintended pun there, are voting to stay rich. Personally, I think everybody should be rich. It’s not just the big guns, who are the small businesses voting for?
1. If Duncan Bannatyne is worth “just” £175 million, and the “average” British worker earns £30,000 (which is a HUGELY optimistic over-calculation) then Mr. Bannatyne’s personal wealth can only be earned by your average British worker in (175,000,000/30,000 = 5,833) which means over 5,000 years worth of working. Obviously you can’t work for 5,833 years to get what DB earned so you would have to earn that in 119 lifetimes. ((175,000,000/30,000)/(65-16))