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Why we need firm leadership at No.10


When the coalition Government was voted into power in June 2010 I for one viewed it optimistically for two reasons:

  • Two heads have got to be better than one
  • Certainly better than the prospect of a Labour Government that admitted to having left behind a catastrophic trail of economic blunders and destruction in their wake

But it appears to be proving difficult.


What the country lacks is firm and decisive leadership.

As a business owner-manager, the start of 2012 heralded a feeling of optimism; the tide was beginning to turn albeit slowly.

There was a perception that businesses were ready to start making and taking decisions but it all fell foul when the Greek crisis reared its ubiquitous head, business owners were left shaken.

From that point on, seemingly the economy ground to a halt.

Simply put, nothing in the world happens until a sale is made.

This may sound glib, but it is true.

Until company A makes a decision to part with money and buys from company B then the process of buying and selling stagnates. When?

This isn’t rocket science.

British businesses need to see a parting of the sea and have confidence in the economy before spending. When that happens the UK will edge out of the recession it finds itself in.

It may well take until 2015-18 before we see and experience improvement.

A lot can happen in five years, wars can start and end and businesses can come and go.

What we need is a new age of enterprise, individuals, entrepreneurs, and companies willing to take a risk and be bold.

Sadly no decisions are being made and this appears to be reflected at the door of No.10.

If businesses perceive a lack of rigor, a lack of decisiveness and see bureaucratic paper shufflers and dragging of heels in Government, businesses won’t have the confidence or motivation to make business decisions through fear and uncertainty.

Why does every decision in this country seem to take such an eternity to come to fruition?

We can’t get rid of a terrorist – Abu Hamza who resides in our beloved country yet we find it impossible to grant an application to stay in Britain to a former British army soldier from Jamaica who served in the 1st Royal Tank Regiment.

Seriously have those in government lost their marbles. Those in the highest office seem incapable of being able to make clear and concise judgments without having to debate it for what seems like an eternity.

1,000 indecisions (source: The Daily Mail)

What time should an ice cream van turn off its musical chimes?

Should pig movements be recorded electronically or on paper?

How much do people like eating scallops?

Is this really the best that our coalition government can do?

Steve Hilton, the prime minister’s former policy advisor reportedly stated in the Sunday Times that No. 10 hears about policy changes being made via the media in the inference being that the PM is making decisions but they are not being implemented by WhiteHall.

Not a good advert for a government determined to push through social change, tackle the national debt and create a more family orientated society.

With all these ‘special advisors’ for ice cream van chimes, pig movements and debates over whether the public prefers scallops over fish fingers, the civil servants must be so weary trying to weigh up these life-changing decisions.

If business owners took that long to make a business decision they wouldn’t be in business.

If politicians show decisiveness and determination even in the face of strong opposition or adversity then this has a domino effect and permeates into businesses.

Boris Johnson said in his speech at the Tory conference in October 2012:

“We need to go forward now from the age of excess under Labour, through the age of austerity to a new age of enterprise in which we do what we did in the Olympics and build a world-beating platform for Britain for British people and businesses to compete and win and we need to do it now under the Conservatives and it begins here”

iStock_000008266083SmallIf 51 percent of the decisions made are right and the remaining 49 percent wrong or don’t work out as hoped then that isn’t a failure.

Discuss it, agree it, move on to the next decision.

Umm I can’t make up my mind, can you?

What do you think? How are you finding business? Drop me a line and let me know what influences your decision making?

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