Will Alan Sugar sweeten business prospects?

While any help singled out for small businesses should be welcomed, the appointment of Sir Alan Sugar as 'Enterprise Tsar' smacks of gimmicky desperation.

The areas ‘Suralan’ will concentrate on – access to finance, prompt payment and how to handle the downturn – are all issues of great concern to small businesses, and certainly need to be given more attention by the government.

And in many ways it’s no surprise that Gordon Brown wanted to ‘hire’ a popular figure to raise his standing. A recent poll from YouGov found that both chef Gordon Ramsay and Birmingham City FC managing director Karen Brady are more respected than the PM.

But with all due respect, is Sir Alan really the best man for the job? His prediction in 2005 that the iPod would be ‘dead, finished, gone, kaput’ may have been a little on the hasty side. Some would also argue that his attitudes to women in the workplace are equally out of touch.

It’s fair to say that Sir Alan’s celebrity as an entrepreneur far outweighs his credibility as a businessman.

However, his appointment does create the opportunity for some compelling TV. You can just imagine Sir Alan taking the chancellor to task over his ludicrously optimistic prediction that the economy will recover by early next year. ‘I don’t like bullshitters, I don’t like schmoozers and I don’t like arse-lickers, Darling.’ Or to the PM over his YouTube debacle: ‘What was you finking, Gordon?’

In fact, with his evident love of reality TV shows (phoning to check Susan Boyle was OK after she appeared on Britain’s Got Talent) why doesn’t Brown go one step further and turn Parliament into a celebrity version of The Apprentice.

Who wouldn’t want to watch the Conservatives led by Cameron and Labour under Brown roll their sleeves up and go head to head in a car-washing contest? It would have the double benefit of engaging more people in politics and taking everyone’s minds off the expenses scandal.

Related Topics

Alan Sugar

Leave a comment