“I heard about the proposals and was shell-shocked,” Cheatle said.
“That day I spoke to some of our members and they too were outraged by the implications of the tax increase so I set up a Downing Street petition and a Facebook group against the move and it went from there.”
Soon the petition had attracted 10,000 signatures and Cheatle was being quoted in The Daily Telegraph, Sunday Times, The Times and The Guardian.
“I think it was because we were quick to react and because I’m passionate about the subject. I offered an alternative to the larger business associations. It wasn’t the fist time I’d been annoyed by the government back-tracking on its previous pro-enterprise efforts, but this measure seemed one too many.
“The implications are very negative and I felt obliged to speak out.” Yet it’s not Cheatle’s job to act as a spokesman or media pundit, so how is he getting on? “I did a TV interview for The Daily Telegraph which wasn’t perhaps my finest hour but then I was a little nervous.
But after doing a few interviews you get to hone the message and deliver it a little more concisely.” Yet not all the coverage has been positive. Cheatle: “I knew I’d really made it when a journalist on Money Week magazine referred to my comments as ‘idiotic’. I don’t think she knows what she’s talking about but so long as the story stays in the news I don’t mind what people say.”
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