Alan Sugar, The Apprentice and the soul of business
The appointment of Alan Sugar as Business Tzar in the UK exposes the bankrupt ideology at the heart of this government, and deep within our cultural psyche. The character of business that The Apprentice TV show espouses, of unalloyed greed and competitive aggression, is a sadly limited and deeply immature understanding of an institution that can transform society in a profoundly positive way. It shows Labour’s impoverished insight into how this society must change, and speaks volumes about their lack of vision for a new economic framework that could rejuvenate a country hamstrung by debt (and the greed that created it).
Business can enrich lives, eradicate poverty, and build deep communities – when entrepreneurial ambition and innovation is enhanced with moral compassion, pioneering vision and deep roots in the communities that support the business as employees, suppliers and, above all, customers By importing American-style business ideals without their community conscience, optimism and vision (google, ebay or apple anyone?) it could only have ever led to the problems we now face. Alan Sugar’s peerage simply reinforces how out-dated the views of our politicians and policy wonks are. They seem to be operating on a survival of the fittest model of business which died – or should have died – when Loadsamoney was finally killed off. Rather than celebrating this bankrupt version of business – and teaching a whole generation of young people that business means greed, violence and unashamed egotism this – and successive governments – need to celebrate the rich rewards of business when it is a flourishing driver of a thriving community – as it has been for millenia all over the world. And can be again.