We know they must do better


Many in business could learn from the ‘can do’ attitude of the British public and do better, argues Lib Dems’ Mike Chapman.

Against a backdrop of some glorious Dorset spring weather, the gold of daffodils along verges, the beginnings of blossom and the return of the dawn chorus, we have had some grim stories with which to come to terms. The line on Ukraine that struck me most forcefully came in a conversation with a
now very elderly soldier. Echoing Kennedy, he said “Ich bin ein Kyiver”. It is so much to be hoped that the active diplomatic, financial, humanitarian and material support being given to which those words allude will
help enable democratic values to prevail.
Some of that high ground was lost, though, with the shocking announcement of the mass redundancy at P&O. Thoughts are with those who have lost a livelihood – but also with the agency staff who will do a tough
and responsible job on much poorer terms. The phalanx of security men escorting employees from the ships was a sorry sight. They might as well have had a Z on their uniforms for all the moral authority they conveyed. There hasn’t been such instant damage to a well- known brand since the infamous comments of Gerald Ratner!
Since we are comparing and contrasting … as a people we seem to embrace the need for a ‘Can Do’ attitude. We are seeing it in the heart-warming stories of the support being mustered for the Ukranian refugees across the nation. We saw it in the Covid vaccination programme and annually in the response to
Children In Need. The contrast is with the inertia of government (and its centralisation and secrecy), with the stories coming out of the DVLA about a culture that seems to be at odds with the ethos of public service, and with the light now being thrown on the prosecution, nay, persecution of so many postmasters and postmistresses. A dishonourable mention must also go to high-rise cladding businesses, profiteering
energy companies and sewage- discharging water companies.
We need to seize the day, hang on to the ‘Can Do’ and turn it into ‘Can Do Better’.


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