BCC: Time for a bonfire of the Westminster vanities

As the nation prepares for Bonfire Night – and the commemoration of the unsuccessful Gunpowder Plot to blow up the Palace of Westminster – the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has published a series of provocative articles challenging the cosy Westminster consensus on a range of business and economic issues. 

Entitled Bursting the Bubble: 10 ways Westminster gets it wrong on business and the economy, the leading business group’s new publication urges a “bonfire of the vanities” by detailing ten areas where the rhetoric from politicians and the chattering class doesn’t match up with the reality on the ground. The report highlights the growing gap between the perceptions of businesses and voters across the UK on the one hand, and the ‘metropolitan elite’ on the other. 

Covering debt, productivity, bank finance, education, infrastructure, inward investment, exports, the EU, energy and broadband, Bursting the Bubble challenges a range of myths that have taken hold in Westminster and Whitehall, and argues for more intelligent – and more informed – debate on the big issues facing the United Kingdom. 

Commenting, John Longworth, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, said: 

“Thankfully, in our modern democracy, we can debate the big issues of the day without the need to resort to gunpowder plots or insurrection. 

“But the quality of debate in Westminster needs a real shake-up, and so too do some of the lazy assumptions that guide government decisions on business and the economy. That’s why we’ve set out to bust some of the myths that do the rounds amongst politicians, civil servants and the media – and urge action on the big issues still holding businesses back across the UK. 

“The myths and half-truths circulating round Westminster should be the first things we throw on the bonfire tonight.”

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