Culture is King

According to the latest YouGov survey, the Lib Dems would win a General Election if it was held tomorrow. The Brexit Party are a close second. This lends more weight to the idea that politics is undergoing a realignment away from the familiar left/right divide – something I've written about previously.

In the UK, that dividing line is dominated by Brexit. As Professor Chris Grey writes on interpreting the UK's European Election results: "A few days before the elections Jeremy Corbyn tweeted that “the real divide in our country is not between those who voted Leave and Remain three years ago”. That is a profound misreading: it is precisely the divide. To ignore it is as mistaken as the claim from May (when calling the 2017 General Election) that the country was coming together about Brexit, even if politicians were not."

The divide goes beyond Brexit though. The way you voted in the Referendum is highly predictive of your views on things like the environment, immigration and feminism. Forget class warfare – we're now in a culture war.

Come What May 
So far there are twelve candidates to replace Theresa May. A few have a business background – all are vying to position themselves as the pro-business candidate. Here's a snapshot of what we know so far:

– Jeremy Hunt has vowed to cut Corporation Tax to Irish Levels (12.5%).
– Raise EIS relief to 50% and let entrepreneurs in accelerators like Entrepreneur First access maintenance loans, says Dominic Raab.
– Tory Leadership candidate Matt Hancock doesn’t beat around the bush: ”To the people who say ‘f**k business’, I say ‘f**k, f**k business”.
– Leadership longshot Kit Malthouse says: “We must revolutionise our economy, freeing a new generation of entrepreneurs to take risks and build businesses, creating jobs and wealth.”

Grand Idea
As part of nationwide efforts to drive up small business productivity, our friends at Enterprise Nation are delivering free training to small businesses in Birmingham, London, Oxford and Lancashire. Heads Up is worth £1,000 and will be delivered at no cost to the business owner. The focus will be on accounting and finance, sales and marketing, collaboration, and time management. Find out more here.

At The Entrepreneurs Network we're broadly supportive of these sorts interventions as there is plenty of evidence of they work (and Heads Up will help provide more data on what works). This is detailed in our Management Matters report, which is part of our ongoing Business Stay-Up campaign we run with ABE. 

Think of the Children
Today our friends at the Coalition for a Digital Economy (Coadec) have sent a public letter with Allied for Startups to the Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham. Coadec thinks the ICO’s proposed Age Appropriate Design Code poses a direct threat to the startup ecosystem in the UK.

"What started as a well-meaning attempt to treat children’s data more carefully has instead resulted in proposals that could cause age-verification to be enforced for vast swathes of the internet, lead to a huge increase in data collection, and create an internet for kids designed by tech giants." Find out more here.

Read the whole e-bulletin here, and sign up here.