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Sunday 6 March 2011

Enemies Of Enterprise Beware!

Young Dave has, this afternoon, declared war on the “Enemies of Enterprise”. It sounds pretty forceful stuff. But what is he on about? Where, in the political mainstream, is anyone to be found who fits Cameron’s characterisation?

Well, there isn’t anybody thus qualified. But what appears at first sight to be meaningless waffle is actually part of a carefully constructed plan. It is also a very good way of signalling what is in the forthcoming budget, without his jolly good pal the Rt Hon Gideon George Oliver Osborne, heir to the Seventeenth Baronet, breaking any confidences.

So that budget will contain one or more commitments to supporting enterprise. There will, as has already been trailed, be “enterprise zones” with a range of tax breaks. But here we face a problem: this sounds awfully like a job for Regional Development Authorities (RDAs), and these are being abolished, as part of the so-called “Bonfire of the Quangos”.

No matter: some kind of body will have to administer this new and improved help for enterprise, so look for something that is not called an RDA, but looks and walks like an RDA, and may even be run by the same people who ran the previous RDA. This would be no more than a veneer of spin, and so should be called out in short order by any responsible journalist.

Having put in place the assistance for the enterprising and “go-getting”, all improvements in the economies of the areas concerned will be attributed to the new structures, which of course will not be RDAs. Moreover, any indicator moving in the right direction will be held to be a sign that the war is being won, and that the “Enemies of Enterprise” are being banished, in line with Young Dave’s supposed strategy.

Except, of course, there is no new strategy: it’s just dreaming up an enemy that doesn’t exist, thus making the victory guaranteed. This is not a new tack for this Government: Fat Eric told recently how he’d stopped a “War on Christmas” that also did not exist.

And just how desperate Cameron’s rhetoric has become can be seen where he rails against “the bureaucrats in Government departments who concoct those ridiculous rules and regulations”. Yes, Dave, and who is the head of the Government, to whom those bureaucrats are ultimately answerable?

That would be you. Give yourself a jolly good talking to.

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