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Nine out of ten toddlers demand more chocolate

The Institute of Directors has informed the world yet again that its members are demanding everything they want. Or else.

If George Osborne was a regular visitor to the Reid Foundation site he’d be foaming at the mouth over our endless anti-business agenda. But that is because for Osborne and his gang ‘business’ is a euphemism for ‘permanent revolution’ and does not bear much relationship to the actual concerns of real businesses. Every time this rubbish is thrown into the public domain it needs to be challenged. And it is thrown about a lot.

Let’s get the IoD line. Director Simon Walker says “when you strip down future prospects for the British economy two problems are laid bare. Long-term growth is too slow and the government is too big… We need a supply-side revolution with less tax, less public spending, fewer regulations and less burdensome employment law. The time for tinkering on the supply-side is over.”

Is this really what will save UK industry? To suck ever more demand out of the economy? To slash investment in infrastructure, skills development and so on? Will businesses really benefit if big corporations are further deregulated in ways that encourage ever-more monopolistic practices? And will this myth of ‘competitiveness through insecurity for workers’ ever end?

What is so galling about all of this is it assumes that no-one really understands how the theories of supply-side economics got us to where we are. Even within the real of ‘mainstream’ economics there are big problems that people have identified as being the real threats to growth. These are things like the role of finance and investment, the failures in governance, the problems of demand in the economy, low levels of R&D and so on. None of these are fixed by a tax break for the rich, slashing the NHS and removing any protection for vulnerable workers.

Mibby this will get boring, but who is challenging this stuff? Who is really challenging the IoD to defend these barely-defensible statements? This isn’t economics, it is something more like an attempted coup by the elite which wants to capture any bits of government not already orientated to make them richer and the poor poorer.

“One in two company directors think GDP growth over the next decade will be lower than over the past decade.” They should know, they are deeply responsible. And the fact that nine out of ten want their mouths stuffed with further gold is about as surprising as finding out that a clear majority of toddlers want more chocolate.

Of course you do, IoD. Of course you do.

Robin McAlpine