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Theres a difference between ethical capitalism and capitalism where no one loses out. Ethical capitalism exists to a certain point already. In capitalism people do lose out but thats the way this economic system works... There are always losers in recessions and recessions are a natural part of the business cycle.

Im afraid Im not quite with Cameron here.

"Meanwhile, he also stood by his commitment to support marriage:

"We need to do more to help families and support marriage and commitment and make sure that everyone builds a society where we are responsible for the children we have and for bringing them up. That is a social policy, but it has also got huge impacts on our economy. If we don't help couples stay together, if we don't build strong families, then what we get is family breakdown, which has huge costs.""

This is an important part of Conservative philosophy which needs to be re-emphasised - but by affirming the importance of marriage it does not mean that we force couples to stay together. As a divorced person myself (though without children) I recognise that marriages fail for all kinds of reasons and we cannot and should not shackle unhappy couples together. Couples must recognise their shared responsibility to their children and recognise that even if they choose not to live together and to find other partners, they are always father and mother to the offspring they have had together and they are still jointly responsible for them.

Who's ethics is he talking about ?
What is the measurement of what is ethical and unethical ?
Who decides that ?

In what way can a company include "ethics" in it report to shareholders ?

What PRECISELY is he saying, how do I interpret it, work out whether I agree with it, see whether it is something which can actually work, and whether he's not just talking a load of bore-lax please ?

In general, what he says makes sense but he needs to make a good start. Ensuring that the banks, if freed from Labour's ridiculous 12% repayment scheme, would actually start to lend that money out to properly constituted businesses rather than "pyramid bonus schemes", would be a good beginning.

There are a number of threads floating around separately at the minute that need to be drawn together as a coherent package. The ditching of the tax credits system with a reintroduction of the married couples' allowance, the removal of trivial arrests for chiding (or restraining) children up to no good, the freeing up of teachers to handle disruptive children, etc.

Basically, persuading adults and families to start running society again without fear of persecution and to free the financial and legal straighjackets imposed by Labour.

The family is the core. Adults lead and care for children who are minors and the reduction of the tax burden should advantage those who shore up society in the most beneficial way.

Why does he continually depress so many Conservatives by concentrating on side issues and refusing to get firmly to grips with a dreadful crisis.

The house is on fire and he's talking about new curtains.

"Ethical capitalism" is nothing new. This stance should be the norm and need little discussion. It was a former prime minister talking of a particular scandal as "the unacceptable face of capitalism" (Heath)

He goes blathering on about green issues which if pursued as he wishes will finally ruin us.

He goes blathering on about banks not lending when the banks cannot attract savings to lend because interest rates are rock bottom and going down further it would seem. The state is too big and must be severely cut back. He refuses to do this.

Sally Roberts said: "... but by affirming the importance of marriage it does not mean that we force couples to stay together. As a divorced person myself (though without children) I recognise that marriages fail for all kinds of reasons"

I have often thought that a distinction needs to be drawn here between those who become single mothers through choice or carelessness and those who have it thrust unwillingly upon them through divorce or widowhood.

One group made a choice, the other did not. Whilst the phrase "single mother" describes both it means that widows and divorcees get painted with the same brush as 16 year olds getting pregnant and demanding council benefits.

Posted by: christina Speight | January 02, 2009 at 15:41

I predict the next poll will show 2% fall in support.

Any takers ?

Christina Speight said: "Why does he continually depress so many Conservatives by concentrating on side issues and refusing to get firmly to grips with a dreadful crisis."

I think he can have the odd interview on other topics without losing sight of the credit crunch.

Christina then said: "He goes blathering on about banks not lending when the banks cannot attract savings to lend because interest rates are rock bottom and going down further it would seem. The state is too big and must be severely cut back. He refuses to do this."

There is such a thing as "keeping your powder dry". The problem the banks have is that they cannot do anything else until they pay back Gordon's exorbitant 12% loans.

The banks will lend money. I was speaking to our business bank before Xmas and extending loan and overdraft facilities. Our bank, HSBC, has no govt loans and is still working like a proper bank. Barclays may be doing the same, but RBS who have my personal account... well I do not hold out much hope for them.

Rugfish, the Company I work for, American owned, DOES make a big issue about Business Ethics. Every year every employee from the chaps in the loading dock and stores up to the MD have to take a refresher course in Ethical Behaviour in the Workplace and in dealings with customers, suppliers etc. This is mentioned in the Company Annual Report to what they call "Stockholders" in the USA and which is published.

It is quite possible to run a business ethically and profitably to the benefit of all, Workers, Managers, Shareholders and Customers alike.

In answer to rugfish, I would start with "The Corporation" by Joel Bakan which spends some time one why the (US) corporation acts in a psychopathic manner in its guise as a "person": Psychopathic in this sense meaning more self-centred than deliberately destructive. I would ally this with some of Charles Handy's work concentrating on the stakeholders in a business (owners/shareholders, managers, employees, local community, wider community, consumers). The questions raised on who actually runs companies for whose benefit are valid and worth exploring.
From those, I would postulate Cameron may be arguing that the skewed weight given to shareholders' dividends could be rebalanced towards other stakeholders (Should Utility companies be seeking to maximise shareholder revenue at times such as these? Should there be cycles of stakeholder dominance?).
From Bakan's work, why do you people collectively in Corporations authorise actions which sometimes treat other stakeholders so badly, in ways that as individuals those authorisers would never allow.
No I don't have any answers but that is what Policy Teams are for. I leave it to Mr Cameron and his representatives to agree or disagree with my interpretation.
Sounds a bit more pompous than I would wish, but I know what I mean.

Quite agree, Hawkeye!

"Why does he continually depress so many Conservatives by concentrating on side issues and refusing to get firmly to grips with a dreadful crisis.

The house is on fire and he's talking about new curtains."

It's called an optimistic approach Christina!

Are you familiar with the children's story of "chicken licken" (or "chicken little" as the Americans call it)? The little chicken ran around crying that the sky was falling in and I seem to recall it all ended rather badly....

Yes things look grim at the moment but rather than running around in small circles crying, we should be looking for solutions to the problem. As I have said already, I think during the next few days and weeks we may find ourselves pleasantly surprised.

In terms of the Ethical Capitalsim bandied about above, I would point out that much "ethical capitalism" is actually spin that has a very strong drive on the bottom line.
An example would be touting Green Credentials so that you are more trusted with new developments at the expense of your competitors who do not spend money on touting (sometimes falsely) those credentials.

Posted by: Steve Foley | January 02, 2009 at 15:54

Point taken Steve.
So does the Co-op and it's not much to do with getting elected either.

P.S. I'm struggling to see the meaning of DC's message at New Year in this anywhere, or what purpose it serves the voter to talk about 'business' when he's losing his and being thrown out of work. i.e. It is non-relevant to their lives at this present time.

Further, if he's picking a ball up on ethics then where will he take it ?

Why pick up a new ball when other balls are lying waiting to be picked up and thrown into open goals ?

Posted by: snegchui | January 02, 2009 at 15:55

Thanks snegchui, I prefer to stick with peter Drucker's philosophy of business ethics which was written 40 years ago about precisely what is happening now as a result of not following it. That's what my own are based on however but I could never begin to explain them to someone who "just wants a job".

We should be looking for solutions to the problem.

Posted by: Sally Roberts | January 02, 2009 at 15:59

Hello Sally, I agree with your comment but would edit it to "we should HAVE solutions to the problem(s) now, and the people should know what they are, and they should be hearing them along with demands for a General Election coming from those who have them".

Hello Rugfish! Yes I agree with you. Happy New Year by the way!

Are you implying that Cameron just wants a job and therefore you can't explain your position to him?

Please try and get your thoughts into one comment please rugfish.

Are you implying that Cameron just wants a job and therefore you can't explain your position to him?

Posted by: snegchui | January 02, 2009 at 16:18

I wasn't implying I was stating it as a fact but referring to people who want to vote for him.

Talking about ethical economics is plainly over the head, and the mere mention of the word 'capitalism' in most contaxts will provoke 'hostility'. I wonder why he doesn't know that ?

Secondly, if I was talking to him and he was listening, I'd tell him to get on and read up on Peter Drucker who was widely considered to be the father of decentralization and is in my opinion precisely the kind of ethos he should be promoting. I hasten to add that I doubt he's read Drucker because an economist tends to stick with theory promoted at the time. ( That's if DC was interested enough ), but clearly he wasn't otherwise he'd not have chosen to be a politician, he'd have been an economist. You rarely if ever find someone who can be both.

Yes, David, we need a more ethical capitalism. I couldn't agree with you more; pity this message didn't come earlier, when the credit crisis intensified in the autumn of last year.

Could you please now explain why we need a more ethical capitalism to George Osborne and the rank-and-file Tory Party activists, most of whom have spent the past four months sounding off like unreconstructed Thatcherites.

You should have listened and then you would have got the real story of Cameron's interview!

As the BBC (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7808634.stm) reports:

"The government's attempts to boost the economy by temporarily cutting VAT have been an "unbelievable and expensive failure", David Cameron has said. The Tory leader pointed to figures suggesting shopper numbers were down in December, in a BBC interview."

No more of the, 'Unacceptable face of capitalism' 'eh, hmmm seem to have heard that before.

Talking about ethical economics is plainly over the head, and the mere mention of the word 'capitalism' in most contaxts will provoke 'hostility'.

Well I guess I agree with rugfish on that statement. I have mentioned before here and still believe that alot of people do not understand economics beyond how it affects their bank balance and the price of bread/milk/petrol. Ethical Capitalism means nothing to me, maybe I'm just dumb. But no matter, the Conservatives will still have my vote, even if what they say seems like riddles to me, I will in the end, cast the anyone but Labour vote.

Posted by: DCMX | January 02, 2009 at 17:18

You beat me to it.
As you say, this is the real story today.
Well done to David Cameron.

Oh dear what a silly Old Moo Cameron has become, he is clearly disappearing off into the twilight world occupied by the likes of other dodgy economic thinkers like Poly Toynbee.

How can the leader of the Conservative party come up with rubbish like.... "Business is not just about making money. " of course it is if your business doesn't make money you ain't got no bloody business. DOH! Only someone who is lived his live in the closeted world of career politicians could possible come up with rubbish like that! God you really do despair.

As for the rubbish about 'ethical capitalism' , Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear, here we have the bloody Blue Labour Party in all its glory. Capitalism is about the investment of private capital in goods and services to make a profit. ( Can we mention profit on the Conservative web site or is that another word never to be heard again down the halls of the New Blue Labour party?) There is nothing 'ethical' about it, you invest money to make money, simple, and if a Government doesn't like a certain economic activity they can out law it. So its either legal or its illegal, there is no wishy washy rubbish Blue Labour party third way of 'ethical'!

I do agree, the VAT cut story is the real story. That at least I understand. Because it has made no difference at all in my life, nor has the extra child benefit which is about enough for 2 extra loaves of bread. Not sure how the pensioners faired in this big bail. I am quickly coming to the conclusion, especially if things are set to get worse, that child benefit should be scrapped all together or drastically cut back and the money used to offer free meals in all schools.

Let's not get hung up about what "ethical capitalism" means. The headline from this is:

The government's attempts to boost the economy by temporarily cutting VAT have been an "unbelievable and expensive failure" BBC website

We need more of this simple message and it needs to be repeated ad nauseum by our spokesmen in the media.

One problem occurs to me.

Correct me if I am wrong but isn't the duty of a company director "to protect and enhance the return on the investment of the shareholders" If that is so then could there not be conflict with ethics?

Take for example a situation where a factory not only provides employment for 1000 or so people in a town but in addition it provides trade and employment for many other industries in the area and is conveniently located for its own customers. Unfortunately it is just about breaking even in the current financial depression but could well recover given two or three years and start to generate a profit. Alas it would make more money for the shareholders to take the short option, close it, and dispose of the site, equipment etc, throwing the 1000 employees on the dole and having serious economic knock-on effects for that area, the company's suppliers etc. What to do, the Legalistic approach and close it, or the more Ethical and keep it going, perhaps having to make some lay-offs as a result?

The same question could be addressed to the workforce of course, take a pay freeze (or even a pay cut) or have a raise and see some of your co-workers lose their jobs? Some workers have already taken a cut in wages to preserve jobs.

As long as ethical capitalism turns to socially responsible business, then I'll stop yakking on about what he said.

As for Meli and his 2 loaves, I guess I'd vote for someone like Jesus if you need to share them round a bit more mate.

To DC's speech on the Beeb, well done, but I still want to hear the words calling for a general Election also repeated ad nauseum until I am also sick of hearing them.

As to Tim, I apologize for filling up your thread today but I'm on a right one today. Will take more thought in future.

The ethics of capitalism lie in three places:

What incentives apply? In the Banking Crisis that has wrecked economies worldwide, the wrong incentives to churn and sell existed and so froth was delivered. What was the market in? Securities or commissions? Old economic dilemma, Production Manager wants output to stop at point of maximum profit/efficiency, salesman at point of maximum bonus and to hell with most efficient profit. Who dictates the company model?

How do I define and deal with my costs? In the past, especially Soviet Bloc, pollution was dealt with as an external and the cost was borne by its local communities in terms of poorer quality of life in enjoyment of facilities and health. The willingness of companies to relocate from communities that insist the company absorbs the cost of pollution to communities that absorb the cost of pollution themselves(China/India) is the West's current ethical dilemma in Capitalism.

In shareholder capitalism, for whose benefit is the company run? The shareholders, (maximum dividend, sod the investment - when the divi falls because you want to do maintenance I take my cash elsewhere (RWE Water in UK)), the Management (Public Sector AKA Govt) - (big salaries and big pensions, loadsa perks -just keep the divi up and the workforce sufficiently ill-informed not to make row), the workforce (big wages and pensions), consumers/clients - well produced goods at a "fair price" (cost + wages + mtce/investment) - not the way Banks and Utilities are behaving at the moment as they seem to be run for Mgmt.

At present, Incentive Management, both private and public is perverse (my moral judgement), in that the rewards reflect the needs of a narrow group of stakeholders. Externalising costs is a big issue and a downside of globalisation and needs more work.

How depressing.
Any utterance from Cameron or Osborne reported on this site brings instant rebuttles from the usual suspects.
They'll still be moaning when we get a Tory government in 2010. Do they realise they are quoted and described as "Tory grassroots" by Labour-supporting journalists?

Iain said: "Business is not just about making money."

If DC had said "Business is not about making money." then your criticism would have teeth. But DC added a little word in his sentence - just.

In that he is spot on. Many businesses have found that as well as making money, if they look after employees and their areas and communities then they make even more profit.

Enlighted self-interest works.


Steve Foley said: "Correct me if I am wrong but isn't the duty of a company director "to protect and enhance the return on the investment of the shareholders" If that is so then could there not be conflict with ethics?"

No there should not be. A line has to be drawn somewhere and companies that act unethically often get a bad name and little respect or help the excrement hits the fan.

It is obvious that "making money" cannot be the complete raison d'etre for companies or else why shouldn't they consider illegal activities that boost their profits? There are lines that should not be crossed - the legal barrier being one, but ethics should inform company choices.

I suspect this is all about image painting, but,if you want to debate the underlying points seriously, Capitalism and the operation of a Free Market is a vital source of reality.

External to that are Government imposed social policies and regulation of sources such as money supply (sadly lacking in past years). The operation of a free market is the only way of measuring the real results of Government policies and controls.

Personally I haven't a problem with ethical business, I just wouldn't call it capitalism as capitalism is not strictly 'socially responsible' in 'perception'. Practice ( perhaps ), but in the eyes of Harry and Sally voter, you get as far as the gate if you sing a tune for capitalism.

I live in the North East - Labour heartland.
There is absolutely no perception of shades of capitalism, only capitalism and socialism, no "in-between", ethical capitalism. So such terminology might go down very well indeed at the CBI where a round of applause can almost be guaranteed, but where I live it would go down like a bombshell.

Terminology I think is most important for a leader to build immediate understanding with people who neither have the inclination or the time to 'find out what he means'. Therefore, ( speaking for my own experience of my own area of the country ), I'd tend to say socially responsible business, but I'd also describe what that actually means.

It isn't bashing Cameron it is being clear where delivery needs to be aimed at and to who it is for. i.e. People are not all blessed with an economics degree, they expect to understand political language from a guy they want to find reason to vote for.

"Ethical Capitalism". "Ethical Foreign Policy".

Another case of same b****cks different Party.

Why didn't this moron come out with this drivel when he was elected leader? Easy answer: he doesn't believe a word he's saying. Why doesn't he just cross the floor of the House and be done with it? People are struggling to make ends meet and all he can do is bang on about "ethical capitalism". Nobody cares.

Two words. Tax cuts.

"Do they realise they are quoted and described as "Tory grassroots" by Labour-supporting journalists?"

John, that is a very good point! Criticism is fine, but referring to David Cameron as a "silly old moo" really is neither adult nor acceptable.


I can see socially responsible business get a few odd looks as well as it tends to be equated with subsidised businesses, discriminatory pricing models etc.
How difficult language can be sometimes.
But your point of the need for clear statement is valid.
I did think of Balanced Capitalism but unbalanced capitalism as the counter provides too many cheap hits.
A competition in the making?

Are not the great Quaker entrepreneurs the exemplars of ethical capitalism from Victorian times and perhaps John Lewis today?

I have no knowledge of the facts and figures but I doubt that there is the huge disparity in earnings between those at the top of John Lewis and the lowest paid workers that exists in banks and large multinational corporations.

To me the latter disparity is obscene and the cause of much legitimate friction in the workplace. If you could somehow legislate against it effectively, I would be all in favour of doing so.

I think that the main problems where the banks have been concerned has been a combination of greed in some traders and incompetence higher up and, as I have said before, I am of the view that every executive should be aware of every single product offered by the bank and if any products cause the sort of harm that the securitised instruments have, then both trader and executive should go.

However, I tend to agree with the others above who suggest that the conservatives should perhaps rather greet the new year with a coherent alternative strategy for dealing with the banking stalemate to show that they are fully competent to confront a major economic catastrophe.

it's good business sense to be responsible, an important part of the responsibility message. We need to say this cos public need to understand our position. Can't assume they know. Right of dc to point this out.

Posted by: snegchui | January 02, 2009 at 18:42

I still think the point is really irrelevant TBH as Essexboy makes the most valid point which people want to hear. I don't think 'the masses' are interested to hear anything except "how the economy will be restored", what can we do to help it, how much will I lose whilst I'm waiting, what about my mortgage, my job, my bills, my kids shoes etc etc. ( Not really business needs but my needs ) If you see.

I also agree with David Belchamber and Matt Wright. There HAS to be a clear understandable message. I can't recall any point in history where a prospective PM has not been laying out policies clearly and cohesively and understandably - whilst calling for an election - when in the midst of economic crisis brought on by failed government policies. Especially given the long list of other things we all know can be entered here ______________, as to reasons why the country needs to go to the polls QUICK. That's why I think it is imperative to blame Brown for keeping the country waiting, for spinning the fact his policies will not and are not working, and by dithering like a stupid dunce with the public's purse strings - literally.

It isn't so much about borrowing either, it's about "get me out of the hole I'm falling in to or I won't forgive you". Can I make it any plainer ?

Last year was a terrible year for capitalism in Britain.Cameron's speech recognises that fact and tries to point out to those people that question it that responsible capitalism is a far better route to take than socialism that some propose. That seems to me to be an eminently sensible speech. Doesn't seem to have been reported at all in the wider media today unfortunately. It would have been recieved by the wider public better than by the usual suspects on this board I suspect.
I would take a bet with you Rugfish. email me on malcolmdunn@hotmail.co.uk

Malcolm, I shut the book at 7pm mate, sorry. lol

Look, of course capitalism is about making money but then again, there's nothing wrong with Victorian philanthropy, is there? Second, Cameron is playing to the Liberal gallery. In a recent poll, I believe it has been found that the second preference of Liberal voters is now much more likely than before to be the Tory party. Clever Cambo! Third, you'll notice that he exhorts business to behave "ethically" but he has generally left it ito business to sort this out for itself. Clever again. All those woolly, cardigan clutching, noblesse oblige old pillocks who have helped Labour to power three times are having their erogenous zones gently massaged by the soothing Mr C. Ergo, they'll be more likely to support him at the ballot box. And no, this is not another grammar schools blunder precisely because he's been so delectably vague. Most importantly, he is not using the language of socialism. So - my applause to Mr Cameron on a neat bit of fancy footwork.

Sorry Dave, but you're way off the mark here, mate.

First up, people are too busy coping with the fires raging around them to start planning what their new house will be like once the insurance company has coughed up. Timing? Piss-poor.

Second, as a business owner whose clients are largely business owners I can tell you that 99.9% of business people are modest, hard-working, decent folk already. They don't need a lecture in ethics from someone who's never run a business. Target? The wrong one.

Third, by slipping in to Blairite sound bite-ism ("ethical capitalism") the harder messages you wanted to communicate were drowned out. Message delivery? Undermined.

A small handful of greedy bankers, aided and abetted by Brown's woeful regulatory regime, have buggered things up royally for the rest of us. So spare the good guys the lectures and just come out and say that the heads of all banks involved in this debacle, along with Labour, are culpable and help the rest of us by promising:

(1) Cuts in wasteful government expenditure
(2) Tax cuts and public sector debt reduction (the latter paid for by 1, above).

We won't get this country working again by off-target, cuddly bollocks. Hard times demand hard messages and tough leadership. Get on with it.

Fine to talk about ethical capitalism but completely meaningless.The single concerntartion for us all this year must be the hard facts.Brown's "fiscal" stimulus is a disaster our economy is a train wreck and borrowing above our productive capacity is lunacy.

Hammer this home each day every day!!

Well, I am as keen as the next person to see a clear easily-understood message of intent from Cameron and the Front Bench.
However I just feel we are not going to get it until an election date is given or until we get within 6-8 months of the have-to date. On previous postings, even trying to get the principles on which specific policy would be made has met with accusations of being a troll trying to flush out pheasant for the hunt. The "they-will-nick-it" approach appears to be the guiding light at present and I just don't see it changing.
I hope Sally Robert's optimism of the dam of opaque utterances breaking soon is well-founded, but I am still not getting out my wellies.
On these pages, Brown is getting a caning, but elsewhere he is not. So softlee-softlee may have something going for it, but I am not fully convinced.

"but referring to David Cameron as a "silly old moo" really is neither adult nor acceptable."

Well you should be thankful I didn't say what was really thought.

Look we are in a deep economic hole, what we are going to need is ANY business that can trade at a profit and contribute some tax revenue to the Albatross of debt Labour has hung around the countries neck, for Cameron to witter on about 'ethical capitalism' at this time suggests he's completely away at the fairies.

did you hear the lib-dems also are getting access to the civil service, even they are not confident of dave getting a majority.

Simon Denis:
On the grounds a good percentage of the Lib Dems now consider themselves the only true bastion of the left, do you think your analysis bears any real investigation? I would think in certain Lib Dem quarters, Tories talking about Ethical Capitalism will lead to flinging of the crockery.

Scouse Tory's message at 19:11 was bang on the nose.

We're in a hole, no light, no rope and no hope. Please get us out of it with tax cuts and the other remedies you have up your sleeve, but tell the guy who put us all in it that we want him to be gone because he caused the hole to appear and he has no shown no way to stop the rest of the country falling in with us.

I think Brown will do the Captain Smith touch and stay on to the bitter end. Meanwhile we should be manning the lifeboats, not rearranging the deckchairs.

Truth is, capitalism can no more be 'ethical' than mathematics or physics or geography can be 'ethical'.

Capitalism works by numbers. Numbers are abstract and unencumbered by nonsense ideas like 'ethical' value-judgements. I really wish Cameron would get a firm grip of the real world.

Yet another bizarre contribution from Cameron. Talk of ethical capitalism is a luxury people in the private sector fearing for their jobs cannot afford. What does he mean by ethical capitalism? Capitalism is an amoral system which happens to be the best way of making us all better off. As for ethics, that is a completely different subject. Does he think the law needs changing: I hope not as far as business as a whole is concerned. It was the financiers who got us into this mess. They probably do need better but not necessarily more regulation. And in any event it was the politicians who set the regulatory environment. And talking of the environment, can't Cameron give it a break. The country is freezing with more plunging temperatures to come. People are sitting at home in the cold because they fear the size of their heating bills. The last thing they need to be reminded of at the moment is the environment and by implication global warming. I don't know how warm it is in Cameron's house but most of mine and my neighbours are no go areas it is so cold.

Scouse Tory @ 19:11

Spot on mate.

David Cameron : Prince Charles

Spot the difference....

What an embarrassment your Great Leader is becoming. Tell me, would you all be with him if the Tories were still 12 points down in public opinion polls?

Look, ethics in business means: Don't defraud your stockholders, don't cheat your employees, honor your contracts, stand by your products (or services), and don't break the law. If a manager fails to get the best possible return on investment, he or she is violating his fiduciary duties to the stockholders. That, too, is a breach of business ethics.

Are there ANY Thatcherites left in your party?

I'm a Lib Dem and have no intention of flinging any crockery. I have to say I admire the honesty of the very first poster who basically admitted that this concept is slightly oxymoronic....

If you accept that there being losers is part of there being capitalism then the question becomes what can the state do when people do lose...and that would be my question to Mr Cameron; fine words are all very well but what is your party actually going to do in government for the people who will invariably lose out...

Markets are the best way of delivering goods and services in that they find buyers and sellers to match up. However markets can be, and are distorted, by lack of transparency in knowledge of supply costs and seller and buyer cartels.
The Lloyds of London was an immoral market in that syndicates with insider knowledge preyed on those without such knowledge.
Is the answer to scrap the market altogether and end the insurance market which actually does serve a useful purpose, or to look at the ways a market can be manipulated and try and regulate the market so that such manipulations are not profitable?
Leaving the market as it was, is not ethical capitalism : being open and honest in providing transparency and access for all is a step towards ethical markets (capitalism).
Socialism, command and control, economies do not work as well both in their meeting demand (how can they, demand manifests, it can't be dictated) or organising supply (well if demand is off what do you do about surplus or deficit supply? Go market?)

Why is Cameron knocking business about capitalism - a political doctrine of relevance in 1909 not 2009?

Business writing from the early 1990's onwards saw that the human side of business is the crucial element. Money follows ideas and creativity, not the other way around. People who go back a hundred years to find a political Aunt Sally, a view of the world based on money, are not being too impressive. The capitalist/communist debate is passe and any mention of either term is tedious.

If Cameron wants to catch up with current busness thinking and management knowledge first, before attempting to position himslef politically, it might help both himself and the business he claims to care so much about.

Business is people-centric, first. Doesn't Cameron know this? Capitalism was the belief that money drives activity. It doesn't. Activity and ideas drive money. Come on David. Catch up old boy. Business doesn't need a Conservative knocker, but a recognition that governments cannot create wealth and jobs, but they are well able to fuck business up by excess interference, as they are doing endlessly in Britain particularly, destroying jobs left right and centre.

In the current crisis business needs to be encouraged to build anew, and be admired and congratulated for any survival it can achieve out of the political and economic mess created by politicians.

The last thing business needs is an even longer queue of 19th century political thinkers. Leave that role to Gordon Brown and his Leninist friends. Cameron must get onto a positive footing and tell it like it is - small businesses create jobs. Businessmen must he admired for the role they carry out for society.

Capitalism? It smacks of Edward Heath, and Marxist theory. Surely Cameron must be aware that the world has moved on. Apparently not.

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