The departure of Labour peer, Lord Adonis, as independent infrastructure advisor to the Government last week highlights a far more serious issue for business than a simple disagreement between traditional political rivals over a controversial policy.
Lord Adonis knew he had to clear his desk before claiming publicly that Theresa May’s administration was ‘pursuing a course fraught with danger’ over Brexit, and, more insightfully, make the observation that it had become ‘hyper-sensitive to any criticism’.
Quite clearly he is correct, as I discovered myself late last year, when I tried to donate money to the Conservative Party, and attend the annual Black & White Ball and fundraiser, as I have done many times before, only to discover that I was not welcome, due to my outspoken views on Brexit.
To be honest it’s not the good Lord himself I’m so worried about, he’s said his piece for the greater good, and paid the price, but I’m sure he’ll be okay. The concern is for the maintaining of good government in the UK at a time in our history when we desperately need to pool all our combined expertise to get us through.
Business people and other non-politicians, myself included, have, over the years, been used as advisors and sounding posts for all sorts of things. For me it’s SME business and skills training, particularly in the area of apprenticeships, others have different skill sets to offer.
Unfortunately we are now seeing a narrowing of the acceptable pool of knowledgeable advisors to a sub-group that includes only moderate to hard-Brexiteers! Yes, getting the right solution to the Brexit problem is huge, but there is a lot more to running the country than just charting our future relationship with the EU.
And yet we have an administration that is so sensitive about one issue, to the point of being prepared to alienate all those with dissenting views from any active participation in running the country for the betterment of all its people.
Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face!