Big Firms Get Government "Hotline"

  morddwyd 09:23 24 Sep 11
Locked

The top 50 companies are to get hotlines to individual government ministers.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-15034526

That should make it easier for them to negotiate a decent remuneration package when ministers are sacked or retired!

  Aitchbee 09:40 24 Sep 11

With 'Buddies' like them looking over your shoulder all of the time, who needs enemies? The idea stinks.

  Forum Editor 10:20 24 Sep 11

This is an excellent idea, if it works as intended.

The benefits for the government are that it will be able to tap into information about how its policies are affecting industry, straight from the horse's mouth.

The benefit for industry is that companies will be able to ensure that their message goes straight to the top in an unedited form, without having to percolate through layers of civil servants. The difficulty will be in ensuring that Ministers pay more than lip-service to the initiative.

There will be those who pour scorn on the scheme, but then there are always people who are eager to rubbish anything without giving it a chance, or without thinking about it for more than a millisecond.

  Aitchbee 10:39 24 Sep 11

It used to Czars, now it's Buddies...what's next? Haven't these 'overlords' had their day.Some major change in the government's policy is required. Not gimmicks.

  morddwyd 11:38 24 Sep 11

FE

I accept your points, but I would have thought that big business and the government were already pretty cosy (remember I'm basically a Tory!).

The head of the CBI can fulfil the role you mention, via a direct line to the Business Secretary, with the added bonus of input from the smaller industries as well as the top 50.

I think there might have been quite an outcry had Tony Blair announced that he was appointing ministers to "buddy" with the top half dozen trade unions.

I also think you're being a bit naive in suggesting that this will work without "layers of civil servants".

When any minister gets such a call the first thing he will do, after a suitably publicised announcement, is hand it straight to his Private Secretary to obtain the necessary "background". Sir Humphrey is no doubt already asking departments how many extra staff they will need to cope with the extra workload!

I know I'm a bit cynical, but I think that this is just another bit of government by press conference/soundbite/videoclip.

  Aitchbee 19:28 25 Sep 11

Reminds me of the Ry Cooder track from one of his early LP's, "Jesus On The Mainline"'...tell Him what you want,you can call Him up and tell Him what you want, what you want. The line ain't ever busy.....tell him what you want...' Thanks to Ry, Jesus and the telephone company involved, for letting me make my point, again.

  robgf 21:58 25 Sep 11

Wouldn't it breach EU competition laws, if a company has the ear of a minister?

  Forum Editor 22:37 25 Sep 11

robgf

There are potential dangers, I agree, and these will need to be addressed before any such scheme comes into being.

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