The shortcomings in yesterdays list of ‘5000’ businesses which apparently want David Cameron and George Osborne to continue with their plan has become shredded at the edges. As this blog amply demonstrates there are dozens of duplications. There is no excuse for this, even a database or spreadsheet of 5000 names can be checked for duplications in seconds. There are also a number of businesses no longer operating, charities (this means the Tories don’t understand their own legislation which prevents such endorsements) and people whose role in the business is as an employee or even as a consultant rather than as the business owner. The irony is that there are many businesses that I would have expected to see on the list, small businesses owned and run by well known Conservative supporters. With some 5M SMEs in the UK it would be shocking if 1% of the owners or proprietors did not support one party or another.
Perhaps the greatest irony is the significant mismatch between the culture of this exercise in party political brinkmanship and the culture of small businesses themselves. Typically small businesses are quick to correct errors, because their reputation depends on such attention to detail. They also typically don’t see their clients as a number, but they see them as individuals. The fact that this has been treated so much as a matter of numbers and the failure of the Conservative Party to admit they have made mistakes and issued a corrected list, shows that the Party and its business czar, Karren Brady do not really understand how good businesses operate. This does not auger well for the next 5 years as sadly I doubts if Labour would have handled this any better. We need a Government that treats residents with the same attitude that a decent small business treats its clients. Unfortunately there is no indication that such an aspiration will be met any election soon!