How to kill entrepreneurship!

Recently the UK has been obsessed with the election of a new Prime Minister and much of the talk has been about how each of the two candidates will tackle Brexit.

However, Jeremy Hunt has made much of the fact that he was an entrepreneur. Indeed he does have some cause for making that claim, although it is difficult to identify the really innovative aspects of his business career. That is unless you count his failed attempt to sell marmalade to the Japanese!

But whether you regard a PR Agency or a book company as entrepreneurial is beside the point. What was really scary, and likely to have far more effect on the British economy than even Brexit was his desire to establish a Ministry of Entrepreneurship!

Not since Monty Python created the Ministry of Silly Walks have we had such a half-baked idea; and their idea was supposed to be funny! What this does demonstrate is the effect that the political bubble can have on previously sane people once they enter politics.

Once a politician gets into Parliament then they believe that the only way for them to deal with problems is to control them. By control them, they really mean to put the solution into the hands of civil servants.

Now, with a few exceptions I am sure, civil servants have never been known for their creative ideas or for innovation in problem solving. They are far more likely to legislate and to conform to a set of rules.

Strangely, despite problems still existing in pretty well every ministry of government, Jeremy still thinks that a new ministry would be what potential entrepreneurs are crying out for.

What is much more likely is that the new ministry would spend an eternity deciding what its mission would be. This would then be followed by the appointment of career civil servants to key posts and career politicians to government positions.

Next will come the two-year enquiries to establish the needs of entrepreneurs that will probably be chaired by an aged judge. Any recommendations would then be watered down and any that require significant funding will be axed by the Treasury.

According to the latest predictions Jeremy Hunt is unlikely to win the race to 10 Downing Street. As far as the real needs of the UK are concerned I make no comment on who should win.

However, if Jeremy does not win then at least our thriving entrepreneurial culture will not be released by Brexit only to be ensnared by new constraints defined by their own ministry.

Surely 1984 will have arrived, albeit to late if one has to have a degree in Business Studies, a Masters and an MBA before one is allowed, or even expected to be entrepreneurial.

Can someone please point out to Parliament that the Ministry of Silly Walks was a joke and that a rerun is not needed.



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