“The modern world is swept by change. This new world challenges business to be innovative and creative, to improve performance continuously, to build new alliances. It challenges Government to execute a new approach to industrial policy. Old fashioned state intervention did not and cannot work.”
Tony Blair. Prime Minister. Our Competitive Future (1998)
On 2nd May 1997, Tony Blair and New Labour swept to power in a landslide election victory.
The new Government released the White paper, Our Competitive Future – Building the Knowledge Driven Economy. This policy change raised a controversial hypothesis, that small and medium sized businesses did not sufficiently understand the concept of risk and reward to realise their potential. Marry that perceived deficiency with a view the economy vilified failure and the Government considered it serious enough to dish out tough love.
If you were a small business entrepreneur, YOU were now the main barrier to competitiveness. For the first time in history the Government had pointed the finger straight at the entrepreneurial ability of business leaders.
Chapter 4 analyses why the spotlight of intervention shifted away from nuts and bolts advice to deficiencies in the entrepreneurial population itself.