BBC Complaints: The link you need!

Thursday, 1 April 2010


Oh, and now there's another one at it.
Robert Peston's latest post on Peston's Picks tries to downplay the significance of the story of the 23 top businessmen who are backing the Conservatives over national insurance:
His point is that the names of those businessmen don't surprise him. Some of them are Tories, some could be Tories, some think the Tories might be the next government and might profit from sucking up to them...nudge, nudge, wink, wink...

So how to assess today's letter from 23 business leaders backing the Tories' proposal to partly reverse the government's plan to increase National Insurance?

But I should also point out that there wasn't a single signatory who made me think "wow, didn't expect him to be on a list of proponents of a Tory policy".

That doesn't mean that they are all card-carrying members of the Tory party or donors to the Conservatives (some are).
(Who? How many exactly? Two? Eight? Sixteen? Twenty-two?)

It's just that I've observed for some months the likes of Sir Stuart Rose of M&S and Justin King of Sainsbury becoming quite chummy with what you might call New Conservatives', or the leadership clique around David Cameron. (Some might say the same of Robert Peston and New Labour).

And in the business circles in which I mix, there's been lots of chatter in recent months that one or both could find themselves on the Tory benches of the Lords or doing a job for a Tory administration.
(Ah, so they're saying it for purely selfish reasons, you mean Robert? That would make their statements worthless, wouldn't it?

Also, there was a chunk of the letter that gave me a powerful sense of deja vu (or
deja entendu, to be more precise).

It's this bit:

"The state must look to enable our public servants to make savings. This can be done by removing the blizzard of irrelevant objectives, restrictive working practices,
arcane procurement rules and Whitehall interference."

Now I have heard something very similar from the lips of New Conservatives' favourite businessman, Simon Wolfson, chief executive of Next - who happens to be one of the signatories, and is very close to the Cameron/Osborne gang.
(If he's one of the signatories, the fact that you'll have heard him say something similar to what he and his co-signatories say here is hardly a startling coincidence then, is it Robert?)

None of which is to say this letter of endorsement of an important Tory policy from some business heavyweights is trivial (well, it certainly seems to me that that's precisely what Peston is implying!) - just that it isn't terribly surprising.

Spin, pure pro-Labour spin, complete with insinuations and sophistry. It's a classic BBC 'Nothing to see here, move along now' piece.

1 comment:

  1. Can Peston explain why any businessman would support an increase in NI ?


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