Is Business Important Enough in British Society?
At last! The views of businesses of all shapes and sizes are finally reaching the great British masses. Not a moment too soon!
This morning’s Today Programme (Radio 4’s news flagship) provided useful and significant coverage on all sorts of business.
How interesting it is that, all of a sudden, the voices of business leaders can be heard regularly across the length of the broadcast. Of course, there has always been that special slot shortly after the 6.00 am weather forecast, squeezed in before the sports news. There has even been some prime time coverage devoted to major events – although normally presented as bad news of closures and job losses or announcements of the sales of our national treasures.
Now though, the voice of business can be heard throughout the morning. Even better, we are hearing from everyone. Not just the Corporates, but the shop corner entrepreneur, the medium sized manufacture and the back street inventor.
That strikes me as being hugely welcome. Perhaps even a new dawn in my daily news coverage? Until recently any listener asleep until 6.35 might have been forgiven for wondering whether businesses had any role at all in the workings of British society.
Not any more. Editors are finally waking up to the reality that the wealth and welfare of the nation depends on healthy companies. I have even heard tacit admissions that profits can be a “good thing”.
There is lots of discussion about how Covid-19 will change society. A lot of it strikes me as being accurate but rather depressingly narrow: more home working; a redefinition of essential workers; shorter supply lines. All those things are probably true in part but there may be some really important changes hidden away in the future.
I hope that one of those is that the country learns that commerce matters.
Businesses can be well or badly run. They can be genuinely ethical and moral entities or they can be slavering beasts intent on maximising profits and oppressing the masses. What is always true is that their success, their profits, pay for everything in society. Businesses generate our National wealth. Without them there would be no salaries and no taxes. They are essential to a society where all people can thrive, where health and welfare lead the way, where children are educated and the elderly are properly cared for.
It’s time the UK’s media acknowledged this by exposing it to the wider audience. Let’s hope that one real “Covid change” is the everyday inclusion of a wider spectrum of business in our National consciousness. That way we can have a proper discussion about how the slavering beast of uncontrolled capitalism can be channelled to provide the wealth and happiness that society wants.