Time for a bonfire of the Westminster vanities

By Anita Jaynes on 5 November, 2015

As the nation prepares for Bonfire Night – and the commemoration of the unsuccessful Gunpowder Plot to blow up the Palace of Westminster – the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has published a series of provocative articles challenging the cosy Westminster consensus on a range of business and economic issues.

Entitled Bursting the Bubble: 10 ways Westminster gets it wrong on business and the economy, the publication urges a “bonfire of the vanities” by detailing ten areas where the rhetoric from politicians and the chattering class doesn’t match up with the reality on the ground.

The report highlights the growing gap between the perceptions of businesses and voters across the UK on the one hand, and the ‘metropolitan elite’ on the other.

Commenting, Phil Smith, Managing Director of Business West, said: “As we start to hear the classic rhyme of ‘remember, remember the 5th of November’ being chanted, this report remembers the times that Westminster gets it wrong.

“The political myths surrounding vital issues such as debt, productivity, education, energy and broadband are a common frustration for businesses in the South West, and Bonfire night gives businesses a chance to point the finger at Westminster on this infamous night.

“Thankfully, in our modern democracy, we can debate the big issues of the day without the need to resort to gunpowder plots or insurrection. But the quality of debate in Westminster needs a real shake-up, and so too do some of the lazy assumptions that guide government decisions on business and the economy.

“The myths and half-truths circulating round Westminster should be the first things we throw on the bonfire.”

You can read the full report here.

Pictured above: Phil Smith