This government is too close to big businessby David Davis / February 22, 2012 / Leave a comment
Published in March 2012 issue of Prospect Magazine
Troubled relationship: David Cameron, right, has admitted getting too close to newspaper proprietors, says David Davis, left
It is fashionable to declare that the western model of capitalism has failed. Some laud the success of China, but that stems from state capitalism which rests on an average wage one tenth of that in Britain. Others admire the chaotic capitalism of India, but it succeeds for the same reasons. The differences are not always that clear cut; within western capitalism there is a wide spectrum of societies. A recent report by the OECD, the international economic body, showed social mobility in Britain and the US was far lower than in Australia, Canada and Scandinavian countries.
In Britain, the symptoms of western capitalism’s sickness—rocketing executive pay, bankers’ bonuses, shameless tax avoidance and cosy relations between politicians, press barons and business leaders—have become known as “crony capitalism.” Since the term was coined, coalition and opposition leaders have battled to be seen to lead the fight against crony capitalism and all that it entails. But when it comes to crony capitalism, government is often not the solution, but part of the problem.