The business on...The Trade, Investment and Small Business Minister
Saturday 17 July 2010
Who's that meant to be?
If only we knew. Two months after becoming Prime Minister, David Cameron still hasn't filled the job.
Isn't that a bit remiss of him?
Well, as Mr Cameron and his colleagues keep banging on about rebalancing Britain's economy in order to boost trade and exports, it does seem a little unfortunate they haven't appointed a trade minister.
So what's the hold-up?
In a nutshell, Mr Cameron keeps asking people if they'd like the job and they keep saying no.
Initially, the Prime Minister hoped he to persuade Lord Davies, the former Standard Chartered Bank boss, to stay on in the role in which he had served under Labour. No luck there. Next, it is understood he approached Sir John Rose, the chief executive of Rolls-Royce, about the position, only to be rebuffed again. Now the Prime Minister is thought to have received a third rejection to his overtures, with BAE Systems' Dick Olver having said thanks but no thanks.
Isn't this rather embarrassing?
Senior figures from business are certainly less than impressed. It doesn't help that the Government keeps promising a new approach to trade. Mr Cameron says he wants his administration to be "messianic" about opening up markets, but can't seem to find a messiah. William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, has talked of a "new commercialism" on foreign policy, but he hasn't had any luck pinching someone from the commercial sector either. The Chancellor, George Osborne, told MPs this week that "we have to sell ourselves a bit more". But first he needs to appoint a salesman.
What's not to like about the job?
Many business leaders who have moved into Whitehall in the past have been bruised by the experience. Look at the criticism figures such as Lord Sugar and Baroness Vadera have encountered, for example. The former CBI boss Digby Jones, who did the trade job for a while, described it as a "dehumanising and depersonalising experience". The politicians don't quite get this, but not everyone sees becoming a minister as the pinnacle of their career.
- 1 PlayStation and Xbox hacked by Lizard Squad
- 2 Katie Hopkins speaks out on childhood obesity: 'Parents of fat children should be prosecuted for child cruelty'
- 3 The Grace Dent Christmas Questionnaire
- 4 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 5 Vagina canoe artist defends herself over ‘obscenity’ charges
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Katie Hopkins speaks out on childhood obesity: 'Parents of fat children should be prosecuted for child cruelty'
iJobs Money & Business
Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...
Not specified: Selby Jennings: Quantitative Research | Global Equity | New Yor...
Not specified: Selby Jennings: SVP Model Validation This top tiered investment...
Highly Competitive: Selby Jennings: Our client, a leading European Oil trading...