Let’s talk in­fra­struc­ture, then an­other min­is­ter de­fen­es­trated

Com­ment Martin Flana­gan

The Scotsman - - Business -

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.

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