“This country is not the free-trading nation that it once was. We have become too lazy and too fat on our successes in previous generations.He continues
“What is the point of us reshaping global trade, what is the point of us going out and looking for new markets for the United Kingdom, if we don't have the exporters to fill those markets?”
“People have got to stop thinking about exporting as an opportunity and start thinking about it as a duty - companies who could be contributing to our national prosperity but choose not to, because it might be too difficult or too time-consuming, or because they can’t play golf on a Friday afternoon.”To No.10's embarrassment, it was the second time in a week that it had been forced to describe comments by a Cabinet minister helping to pursue Britain's EU withdrawal as a private view.
“Whatever form of words we use, the point we all want to make is that Britain can trade its way to greater prosperity, with the well paid jobs and security that entails.
“Dr Fox is committed to supporting the full range of businesses in the UK so that they can best take advantage of the opportunities that Brexit presents.”This Blog is no fan of Business Leaders but any fool can see if you want to present yourself in the best light as a Nation that is seeking new partnerships with the world after Brexit describing them as "Fat and Lazy" is not the way do go about it.
It is reminiscent of Gerald Ratner the formerly chief executive of the major British jewellery company Ratners Group
Although widely regarded as "tacky",the shops and their wares were nevertheless extremely popular with the public, until Ratner made a speech addressing a conference of the Institute of Directors at the Royal Albert Hall on 23 April 1991. During the speech, he commented:
|"We also do cut-glass sherry decanters complete with six glasses on a silver-plated tray that your butler can serve you drinks on, all for £4.95. People say, "How can you sell this for such a low price?", I say, "because it's total crap."|
He compounded this by going on to remark that some of the earrings were "cheaper than an M&S prawn sandwich but probably wouldn't last as long." Ratner's comments have become textbook examples of why chief executives should choose their words carefully. In the furore that ensued, customers exacted their revenge by staying away from Ratner shops. After the speech, the value of the Ratner group plummeted by around £500 million, which very nearly resulted in the firm's collapse
Those of us who opposed Brexit may well be proven right in that it will be disastrous for the economy of these Islands . But few will take much comfort from saying "I told you so".
But we have a Government that seems intent on screwing up the implications of the Brexit vote and ruining any chance that we may survive the need to renegotiate and find new markets, with the business sector intact and a economy that doesn't go into permanent free-fall.