Posts Tagged ‘alan sugar’

Goodbye Lord Sugar. It’s time for a normal relationship between Labour and business

14/05/2015, 08:30:16 PM

by Dan Cooke

It’s a sure sign you’re in a bad way when someone as pugnacious as Lord Sugar takes care to fire you gently, stressing that they don’t want to “stick in the boot”.

In truth, it is the very blandness of Sugar’s announcement of his resignation from the Labour party that is most damning. Sugar apparently did not even feel the need to explain what were Labour’s “negative business policies and general anti-enterprise concepts” that concerned him, or how these compared with policies of Gordon Brown which he praised.  He probably thought he did not need to because the perception that the Labour party is now “anti-business” has become so wide and deep that, for many, it requires no explanation.

Whether it is actually justified or not, this is a totally untenable impression for a mainstream political party to have created in a modern capitalist society. When too many swing voters decided that a vote for the Conservatives was a vote for a strong economy, the perception that companies on which millions rely for their livelihoods were behind the Tories, reflected in high-profile open letter campaigns, will have been a major contributing factor.  It is quite plausible that this impression was even more important than the debate about the causes and consequences of the deficit, on which the party has agonised incomparably more.

How has this happened? Labour, after all, is not the party that wants to put at risk access for British businesses to the single market in Europe and the network of EU-negotiated free trade agreements outside Europe. Labour is not the party that hinders businesses obtaining crucial work permits for skilled workers because of an arbitrary and undeliverable immigration cap. And Labour is not the party that has put ideology ahead of commercial logic with unworkable schemes like the widely mocked “shares for rights” proposal.


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Alan Sugar is right. Nick Clegg is wrong. It’s people that matter, not “progress”.

24/11/2010, 03:30:09 PM

by Anthony Painter

Lord Alan Sugar couldn’t care less where you’ve come from or what university you’ve been to. All he cares about is how you acquit yourself both personally and professionally. Your individual performance matters, but so does your emotional intelligence and ability to work in a team. He judges people on their merits as he sees them. To impress him you have to think on your feet, adapt yourself to the task in hand. It’s not merit in a formal sense. It’s about creativity and worth.

Nick Clegg has sought refuge in “social mobility”. Politicians at a low ebb of creativity and imagination tend to. Let’s take social mobility to mean ending up with a higher status or in a more elevated social class than your parents. In this regard, Lord Sugar is highly socially mobile. Nick Clegg is pretty static. The former was luckily enough to be born into a north London working class family; Clegg had nowhere to go really, but good for him in maintaining his family’s class and status.

Straight away we are seeing how ludicrous social mobility can be as a concept. It gets worse. By focusing on social mobility we exacerbate that very British bad habit of obsessing with class and status. Do we really want the measure of “success” to be your class (economic position) or status (social standing)? In measuring success in this way you only exacerbate social division and stigmatise “failure”. In a highly mobile society, anyone who doesn’t end up with a higher status or in a higher class has failed. And to achieve the supposed idyll of perfect social mobility implies a monumental and brutal task of social engineering, the like of which won’t be contemplated- rightly, because it’s monstrous.

Just before the left gets too smug, it has a similarly divisive view of the world. Nick Clegg’s Hugo Young speech has been adversely criticised by some on the left for failing to appreciate the link between inequality and diminished social mobility. This is just as bad. First, it accepts the end of social mobility unquestioningly. Second, it reduces the means to that end to greater “equality” (a lower Gini coefficient). The attitude is basically “we’ll set you the goal and give you help to fly up the social ladder and when you don’t we’ll compensate you anyway then we’ll play the game again with your kids and their kids”. Politically, it’s a nonsensical proposition. (more…)

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Sunday News Review

03/10/2010, 07:55:39 AM

Whelan wot won it?

Asked to define himself by the BBC’s James Naughtie last week, Charlie Whelan paused for a second before replying. “Old generation – time to move on”. If Mr Whelan, 56, spin doctor for Gordon Brown-turned-trade union political officer, really does “move on”, spending more time salmon fishing beside the banks of his beloved River Spey, and even possibly writing a book, he will do so having brought off an extraordinary political achievement. – Telegraph.


That will be even more difficult. Here in Wales, plenty of party members, AMs and MPs cheered Ed’s victory – he polled a majority here. Hooray, they cry! Here’s the man who will take Labour back to its old-fashioned left-wing roots! And they may be right. But here’s something they forgot: When they were like that, they were massively electorally unsuccessful, getting thumped by the Tories time after time. – Wales Online.

If he gets it right, and quickly, the Labour Party will forget his slim margin of victory and the current unease that they may have chosen the wrong brother. If he gets it wrong, Ed Miliband will become another Michael Foot, a new-generation Kinnock, another Hague or, perhaps worst of all, a regenerated Iain Duncan Smith. – Herald Scotland.

The other brother

Much has been made of what the tumultuous past seven days tell us about the man who lost the crown.Principled, dignified and gracious, yes, but it also reinforces the ­impression that perhaps David Miliband lacks the political cunning and steel needed to reach the very top. – Mirror.

Lord Fired!

Lord Sugar, back in The Apprentice on Wednesday, revealed that the Prime Minister’s aides gave him the news just after the election. “After the election No 10 got in touch and told me that my services were no longer required,” he said. – Mirror.

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