On Monday The Times held a forum of business leaders at County Hall and invited their views on policies that the coalition government should be pursuing. The results of the forum were reported on Thursday.
The participants’ main priorities related to the deficit and business growth. Political reform came low on their list: only 2.1 per cent listed it as a policy priority. When asked about political reform, they favoured some change but on the issue of the House of Lords they were against election. According to Rachel Sylvester:
“On the House of Lords, there was universal agreement that it would be a mistake to create an elected second chamber. That would be a ‘political gesture’. A wholly appointed Upper House – made up of the great and the good – would be far better, the businessmen believed ‘They should be like the elders, who can speak out and are not party political’, one said. The aim should be to get talented outsiders into politics rather than to create a Westminster clique.”
Let’s hope the government takes note.