Our Prime Minister has just returned from a cozy retreat in Davos, Switzerland at the World Economic Forum. She was not alone, joining leaders of other countries and the CEOs of very large companies, some celebrities and CEOs of a few International charities. Even the Archbishop of Canterbury was there along with a representative of the Pope. Part of the speech by Theresa May was on big business and how unpopular it is with people on low incomes. She challenged these companies to consider how their work could do more for people who were not used to visiting Davos on such occasions. A few days into the New Year an announcement was made that we had reached the point in 2017 when the CEO of these companies, had earned the same as it would take most of their workers to earn by December 31st. Perhaps it was that statistic which triggered the speech by Mrs May. One hopes that she too will have used her time away to reflect on who she speaks and listens to. She has had her few days with the elite, we now need her to concentrate her focus on the rest of society, both here and overseas. Indeed the same research that suggests big business is unpopular with people, tells an even worse message about politicians. The sort of issues that Mrs May could now concentrate on include how in Yemen, British munitions sold to Saudi Arabia have helped displace some 3m people who are now seeking new homes. A few days ago it was announced that the Home Office intends to deport a profoundly deaf Iraqi refugee along with his family, even though the community in Derby where he lives have asked the Government to let them stay. The Home Office claims it is deporting them in the interests of fairness. Perhaps Mrs May could discuss what that means with her old colleagues! There are numerous ways in which the Government could turn its attention to the poorest in society. The most important thing is that Theresa reflects on her own words and then acts on them.
A shortened version of this blog appears in todays Argus newspaper as the opinion piece.