Opinion from Lord Digby Jones

Goodbye and good riddance to 2009

Published Thursday 31 December, 2009

“Business has never been more needed in our societies than in the year ahead” said Lord Digby Jones as the world said goodbye and good riddance to 2009.

“Democratic Capitalism faced its greatest threat over the last year but the economies of the world have stabilised and it is now for businesses the world over to use this more stable (if sluggish) platform to pick up the challenge of leadership and deliver for everyone. Politicians must give them the space to breathe and flourish but businesses must ensure to mould social inclusion into their wealth-creative mix.

The threat of climate-change will only be sustainably and successfully met by the development and implementation of technological solutions coming out of the private sector.

The world's diseases will only be conquered by the continued development of drugs by the private sector.

The huge fiscal imbalances in the western economies will only be addressed by the taxation generated from the wealth created by the private sector.

Businesses must invest even more in skilling people the world over. Politicians must invest more in the knowledge-based aspects of their economies and not flee to the short-term populism of subsidies and tariff-protection of commodity manufacture.

The Public Sector must understand the customer and the taxpayer have skin in this game too. 

And leaders in all parts of our societies must stand up and be counted in providing greater glue in our communities. We must step up to the plate in being there for each other. Winning a hostile bid but losing a sense of worth, getting an extra vote or two but losing sight of the greater prize ... that is not the way forward.

2010 awaits leadership and the renewal of a sense of worth in the component parts of democratic capitalism. Business must be ready to play its part and look to the politicians to do the same.”