Reasons to be a little more optimistic

By TIM HUTCHINGS chief executiveHertfordshire Chamber of Commerce and Industry AS A callow youth I always thought that my generation would make a far better job of running the country than the one that was in power at the time. Events have shown that the reality has been very different. Contemplating the optimism that seemed to be t

AS A callow youth I always thought that my generation would make a far better job of running the country than the one that was in power at the time.

Events have shown that the reality has been very different. Contemplating the optimism that seemed to be the vogue on that spring day in 1997, when for the first time we had a Prime Minister who shared the same school year as me, I reflect that ultimately we have made something of a 'pig's ear' of it.

We have a financial system that is in intensive care; a serious lack of economic ambition; and a political system that couldn't slide any lower in public esteem if it tried to.

A cause for depression, one might think. But actually I am a little more optimistic about the future than some.

In Hertfordshire we have an energetic business community, bright creative young people and a will to move things forward that, if nurtured, will ensure an economy that can be sustained way into the future.

Hertfordshire already has many world leading companies in sectors such as aerospace, pharmaceuticals, space technology and computing. It also has the support of a wonderful range of support industries. We need to build on this to ensure that they are able to grow and adapt to the changing world in which they operate.

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We need to ensure that the people who live here develop the levels of aspiration and skills necessary to provide the workforce they need.

We've had rhetoric and spin from politicians in abundance, we now need action inspired by what's best rather than political expediency.

We do not need politically correct legislation acting as a brake on business growth; we do not need initiative after initiative; we do not need our public services spending more time measuring what they do instead of delivering them.

Frankly at a time when all our efforts should be concentrated on moving the economy forward neither do we need our Government to be bogged down sorting out years of mismanagement.

Oh, just in case anybody thinks it's too late for my generation to rectify its own mistakes don't be too sure. There's plenty of life in us yet.

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