As the debate about the UK’s relationship with Europe takes centre stage after the Prime Minister finally made his long overdue speech on the UK’s position in Europe just where has it left us?
I’m always interested when people get onto a bandwagon of opinion and let the momentum carry them away and listening to the radio and reading the papers after the speech I regularly heard the phrase “the public should be allowed the chance to vote to enable them to make an informed decision”.
But just how informed will the public be when offered their choice? Say we hold a referendum and find that UK plc is no longer part of the EU and ultimately lose rather than gain from this seismic change, just where will that leave us and who will the politicians blame then?
One of the central arguments about us leaving the EU is that we are being stifled by red tape and bureaucracy. Is this s a real concern or our beloved politicians and other interested parties creating a smoke screen to hide the real challenges the UK faces?
It is very easy to blame Europe for all of our ills and whilst I, along with many others, feel that there are many things wrong with the European Union, I am left feeling that this is all smoke and mirrors and that there is another agenda afoot.
Unfortunately we have a deep culture of blame in this country, we could be world leaders! It’s always someone else’s fault and it is too easy for politicians to blame red tape and bureaucracy for our own failings.
Will leaving the EU free us from red tape? I’m not sure it will we still have to deal with other countries and comply with their regulatory requirements.
From an employment and HR perspective – will the erosion of workers right s and the ability to hire and fire more easily really make the UK more competitive or are some people fixated on a previous history when Britain really was a superpower and bosses ruled with an iron rod? For all our fantastic achievements, Britain is no longer a superpower and I fear that for all the jingoistic fervour being created, the reality of the UK outside the EU will not be what is being dreamed of.
Looking back in time some of the most successful and long lasting companies from our past recognised the importance of workers to their success and in doing so recognised that the greatest performance was achieved through fairness and engagement, creating environments where employees are valued, inspired and involved. That remains the same today and no tinkering around the edges to score political points will make any difference to that.
We have real talent in this country and the challenge we face is not red tape or bureaucracy – what we lack is vision, inspiration and direction.
Leaders need to inspire us with their vision of what we can become, what we need to do to get there and how they’re going to help. We don’t need posturing and fiddling driven by political infighting – we need someone who wants to use the success of 2012 and the Olympics legacy to challenge us to achieve something great whether it be in high value engineering, bio sciences, green technologies or whatever – we need vision.
However bold the Prime Minister may have been (agree or disagree with what he said, he was certainly bold) it was simply another example of the UK blame culture being used as an excuse for some of our own failings.
A recent report highlighted a significant brain drain from the UK – something that could impact our competitiveness for years to come. Lack of vision and inspiration along with an opportunity for bosses to treat people with disdain through eroded employment rights will only accelerate this problem.
Who will the politicians blame then?