Monday 12 October 2015

Stuart Rose is a poor choice for Remain leader, as Business people normally are for political roles

It is a strange fact of life that business people make for awful politicians and often vice versa.

I met a long time ago Archie Norman - a fantastic businessman who was responsible for building the UK arm of Wal-Mart (ASDA). He really knew how to stick it to Tesco and Sainsbury's as well as building a really good team and office around him. ASDA by all accounts was even quite a good place to work and still is.

So when he became a Tory MP there were high hopes. But they were dashed, shadowing the Government was of little interest and he soon returned to Industry and is now Chairman of ITV plc.

The thing is, in business when you are the boss people do what they are paid to do. bad ideas, good ideas, all are acted upon as directed. In politics, the media, the civil service, your pesky voters; all get to comment endlessly but also, with Unions, have a direct impact on what you can do. After all the Civil Service is the delivery platform but ministers cannot easily sack civil servants.

So a common mistake made by politicians entering into politics is that the energy and insight they bring will serve them well. Stuart Rose will be a case in point. Firstly, he now leads an in-campaign when he used to be fa more equivocal about Europe (you would be as M&S CEO, always a mess there for them...).

Then they will try to order around people and the 'convicing' element is somewhat lacking. After all in the office, you need people onside but they are going to do what they are told overall. This lack of ability to connect and actually persuade people is a hard skill; few politicians are good at it. CEO's mistake their workers for voters at their peril.

Finally, in business you have a good team, especially if you have worked your way to the top of a big and successful company. Those around you are talented and money is not a worry. Again, a political campaign like this EU Referendum one will be challenging and the friendly-fire level will be high.

As a Leave voter I am very pleased a Businessman has been chosen to campaign for stay; let's just  hope the Leave campaigns make some better choices.


Scrobs. said...

Presumably, the Alan Sugar element will be all over the place before the vote, which is eighteen months away!

I'll be seventy then, so please advise my nurse, or doctor (preferably nurse, as she'll be a cracker and will have great knockers), what the hell am I doing plonking a cross on a bit of paper, just to appease people who thought Edward Heath was right...

Bill Quango MP said...

Met him a couple of times. Mrs Q was an M&S employee.
She said he organised the most motivational conference she had ever attended. {Way better than yours..she said to me..}

That was the one they were doing for their 'change of direction.'
It didn't work, but it did convince a good number of the old guard M&S employees that change was necessary.

His speech today was poor. Poor delivery. Poor message.
The Innies are going to need a lot more than "It will cost you £400 if we leave."

Farage can counter that with the £150 each person already pays the EU. And the saving of £x on regulations and such.
Even if the £400 remained true, £8 a week to have all the eurocrats bog off forever is an easy sell.

Dick the Prick said...

These guys have almost been self appointed too - no discussion just bam, we're the leaders; not so err...democratic. Is there something about grocers being pro EU?

It's going to have to be a relatively fact free debate as the EU now sure ain't gonna be what it's like in 5 or 10 years time and Brexit now will most likely incline further referenda from Holland, Denmark, Ireland etc so stats there are normative and assumptive too.

Farage hopefully will resile from leading the out campaign and just be used as a smart bomb deployed to raise spirits - this, after all is his almost singular achievement and if anyone knows how tough it's been, it's him. The outcome is more important than the man and if Jonny come latelies want to steal his glory then they can fool themselves but come VE 2 Day, we all know which unemployed geezer the paps will be doorstepping - geez, the boy's done well.

I likened voting to remain as voting for Hitler in that it seemed vaguely plausible at first - probably a dodgy analogy but not off the wall. Assuming the out campaign get their shit together, I think this could be a bit of a landslide.

Electro-Kevin said...

The point of using a business leader is not what he says our how he says it.

It's that it's HE who says it.

"Business approves of the EU"

"Business approves of mass immigration"

The Left's ideology is already catered for and on the voters on side (in fact the EU is Leftist.) What really needs to be won over is Right thinking people.

How do we get them ?

There's only one way. Get business to speak to them and tell them that the EU is vital.

No facts or figures nor grace needed. Just pure terror about jobs lost and that we'll all be forced to eat only boiled nettles and worms if we leave.

This will only come down to two issues:

"3 million jobs lost" Vs "We're going to be swamped"

For my money if the cost of staying in is taking ten million more people (as it will undoubtedly mean - and more, going on past figures) then we can't afford to keep those 3 million jobs even if it is true that we could lose them.


The Outs need prominent business people and lots of them. The Ins have made a very clever choice. No-one believes politicians anymore.

Electro-Kevin said...

The Left's ideology is already catered for and the voters already on side.

(That's what I meant.)

L fairfax said...

How much did M&S shareholders lose by listening to him and rejecting Philip Green's offer?

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with CU. Rose epitomises the current EU in many ways. The M&S he left is expensive, myopic to the needs of its client customers, and full of bullshit.

Not the best choice.