Liam Fox is to quote Dr Alf “On the button”; UK CEOs and managing directors are almost to a man and woman, barring perhaps 10% of them, “fat, dumb and happy”,they are largely culturally unaware and they seem to believe that by occupying a chair in a boardroom and doing very little they are entitled to pay themselves 11% to 15% more each year, earn up to 450 times average salaries once bonuses and other emoluments are factored in.
They do as Dr Fox has remarked, spend too much time on the golf course and too little time getting into cars and planes and trying to sell things let alone export anything.
Frankly they are, as my former partner who went to the same school as Mrs Thatcher would say, “Neither use nor ornament” and like the dinosaurs of the prehistoric age they need for the sake of the country to be replaced with better educated, entrepreneurial “streetfighters” who can sell, who have language skills and lead by example.
The evidence for this is the fact that in 1994 we had just 250 world class companies out of 4.8 million registered at Companies House, Cardiff and today the figure sits at 400 out of 6 million. Germany in contrast had 2000 in 1994 and now has 2,500 plus a Mittelstand.
Headhunters and Big 4 Management Consultants, who are fixated by commissions and fees for too many of their waking hours, need to take some responsibility for this state of affairs and the Government instead of trying to marginalise Dr Fox needs to be backing him.
The country needs a German style Mittelstand and the financial incentives to make it work not MEPS, blather from gin soaked civil servants who live in a “Far Pavilions” time warp.
We are going to live and die based on selling things that people want and are willing to pay for and by earning our way to prosperity. Only then should financial engineering and the sort of fiscal gymnastics that latter day Dr Alf’s can undertake in their sleep be applied.