“It’s fair to say that Sir Alan’s appointment as enterprise tsar was met with laughs here in the office,” comments Rhodri Ferrier, co-founder of shaving products firm Bulldog. “Gordon Brown seems to watch a little bit too much TV. Wasn’t it just earlier this week that the prime minister took time out of his busy schedule to call Susan Boyle to see if she was doing alright following her Britain’s Got Talent breakdown? Unfortunately, the men in the bunker seem to think that gimmicks like this are what’s needed by small businesses. What we actually need is practical assistance in the form of less red tape and lower small business taxes. What will we have next, DCI Jack Meadows from The Bill as head of the Metropolitan Police or perhaps Zammo from Grange Hill as the new drugs tsar? Perhaps Gordon needs to get out more.”
The Reading Room’s Margaret Manning doesn’t think Sir Alan would last five minutes in the role: "Can you imagine him taking ‘no’ for an answer?" she asks. "He would take up the reins and starts rattling cages in no time."
“He will make an excellent adviser if he tells Gordon ‘you’re fired!’" comments Ben Gladstone, CEO of IT services firm Conosco.
The entrepreneur behind EasyAccountancy.co.uk, Simon Dolan, is keen to see Sir Alan at Westminster: “If, as business and enterprise tsar, Sir Alan was offered the same kind of authority he wields on The Apprentice, his appointment could only be a good thing. His years of experience in the fast lane of business would ensure that things actually got done. He also has something that very few people in goverment actually have: experience in running a company. The reality however, is that endless hours spent sitting on committees and panels alongside career civil servants would surely result in frustration for Sir Alan and his tenure would likely be very short lived. I wish him all the best, but certainly don’t envy him.”James Finlayson, CEO of City Car Club, agrees: "Sir Alan would be an excellent breath of fresh air if he was to be Gordon Brown’s business tsar. He would provide a strong ear to the government on ways to assist SMEs and his down to earth, straight-talking approach should get changes through at a faster rate than it may otherwise. How long Sir Alan would last at the job is another matter – it would be a big change from the norm for him!"
Mixed reactions all round! Let us know your thoughts.
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