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CR solutions to a lack of political faith

Our faith in politicians may be fatally wounded.

I fervently hope this is not the case.

It’s certainly deeply damaged.

Look at the UK news around rail franchise mistakes.

Consider how Indian politicians flounder as journalists (one of whom started out at Ethical Corporation) reveal corruption and cronyism.

There are many other examples.

The information revolution (yes it certainly is) is leaving our politicians floundering.

We now see how easily companies run rings around them. On tax particularly.

Now and again a scalp is taken. Starbucks in the UK is one perhaps. More on that in another post.

I was on a call with a senior corporate executive this morning who, when the subject of UK politics came up, muttered “they are all utterly useless”.

This is a common refrain. A friend who works in politics told me this week that less and less talented people want to be Members of Parliament in the UK. “What’s in it for them?” he asked. “Not the money, and the power often seems to exist elsewhere”.

But the new breed of “professonal” politicians (who have never worked in anything else) will need our help to improve. It’s one thing to crack down on bad behaviour, quite another to enable better decisions and performance.

This is a long term business and society issue. It’s a “capacity building” issue best tackled by partnership with NGOs and academic institutions.

Eventually companies will understand they can’t just sit on the sidelines and moan, or lobby furiously behind the scenes.

If the way to prevent ethical breaches in factories is to train for smarter business, then surely it follows that the same logic will apply to politicians, one day.