The Chancellor's Challenge
By Mike Zeidler
Mr Osborne and his conservative colleagues make no secret of their belief that government needs to 'get out of the way' of business, which is best placed to lead us all to a prosperous future. The Chancellor's budget supported this position, and there's no reason why it shouldn't work - AS LONG AS business does indeed hold our collective future prosperity at heart.
So the way we read it, the Chancellor's direct challenge to business is to act responsibly and pay attention to the environmental and social factors which keep us healthy, peaceful and fulfilled.
Many businesses have fantastic mission and value statements about their part in creating sustainability and/or social justice, and this seems like a great opportunity to encourage people to live up to their advertised positions. As it happens, we're running a Happiness Challenge designed to help people do just that in ways that bring clear benefits to business owners, workers and stakeholders alike.
Sceptics will say that business will never hold our collective future prosperity at heart, but this assums the rules of business will never change and conveniently ignores all the public spirited work already going on. Economic reform is a hot topic right now, and ideas emerging from governmental, financial, legal, academic and enterpriseing circles are building momentum fast. Add to this a general public discontent with inequality, debt and environmental damage, and you have the ingredients for a major shift in prospect.
It seems unlikely the Chancellor imagines he's simply delegated his way out of trouble and now intends to sit back and relax while business sorts things out. We'll write him a letter to ask if we've understood his challenge to business correctly, and if so, what he's going to do to next to help business fulfil its responsibilities to the nation.
Henry Ford once said " Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty" - George certainly LOOKS fairly young, so let's hope he's still open minded and curious. You never know, he might decide to join in with our Happiness Challenge.
Did we say we're running a Happiness Challenge? It's really, really good....