Politicians often have to walk a fine line with their communications; the electorate is made up of many parts and they of course, want to do their upmost to try and keep the majority happy. However, the coalition has found themselves in a tricky situation lately trying to balance current public opinion over city pay and being seen as promoting UK businesses.
This week David Cameron has spoken out in defence of companies and the growth they provide to the economy saying rather dramatically; “Business is not just about making money, as vital as that is. It’s also the most powerful force for social progress the world has ever known.” This was in response to, calls from Labour for more responsible capitalism and of course, the city bonus debate that has been hogging the headlines lately.
Firm stance on fat cats
While the government has been keen to show they are taking a firm stance on areas like fat cat pay, they are most certainly aware that keeping big businesses on side is vital for economic recovery and thus their hopes of staying in government. However the Conservatives in particular have been criticised by the shadow business secretary of being confused and inconsistent in their messages when it comes to responsible capitalism. In return UK businesses have been taking aim at Labour, claiming they are becoming anti-business. Of course much of this back and forth can be put down to typical political sniping but if the public start picking sides it could have very serious effects for the government.
It seems that Cameron (like many of us) is starting to tire of the endless bonus stories in the press and wants to give some support to UK companies, but if he doesn’t play it carefully he runs the risk of being labelled an elitist by the left, or even a socialist by the right.
Will Edwards is managing director of media training consultancy Bluewood Training