Let’s talk infrastructure, then another minister defenestrated
Comment Martin Flanagan
The business lobby must feel like putting its head in its hands as no day seems to go by without Theresa May’s government being buffeted by crisis and embarrassment.
. Philip Hammond is urged to be business-friendly in his forthcoming Budget. But the Chancellor is said to be only tolerated by May because of his preparedness to argue for a softer EU exit.
The corporate call for infrastructure fit for the 21st century? Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon and International Development Secretary Pritti Patel are out of the Cabinet on their ears, Fallon for lewd behaviour and Patel for not working out the difference between a private holiday to Israel and secret talks with the Israeli prime minister without telling her own Prime Minister.
The CBI, British Chambers of Commerce etc argue for no additional administrative and financial burdens on Britain’s wealth creators, following on from the Living Wage and Apprenticeship Levy etc. Loose talk by Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson (charismatic but dodgy around the crockery) puts an imprisoned Briton in Iran at risk of an even longer spell in jail amid a crescendo for his Cabinet blood.
In arguing its case, from business rates to getting a move on with another Heathrow runway, business must feel in these strange times that it is not arguing with a UK government but a dysfunctional family in a Christmas from hell.
Firstly it was many MPS taking the money (expenses scandal), then it was taking sexual liberties, now it looks, in their cocooned Westminster selfentitlement, that they are taking the mickey.
And that backdrop of sleaze, incompetence and turmoil cannot help but devalue and make peripheral the business/political conversation.