Thursday, 23 February 2012

Anti-business snobbery and the 's' word

The famous snobbery sketch from the Frost report “ I look down on him” written by Marty Feldman and John Law still resonates with us today.

A snob is someone who believes that some people are inherently inferior to them for any one of a variety of reasons, whether real or supposed such as in intellect, wealth, education, ancestry, taste, beauty, nationality, etc. I guess most of us are snobby at some time.

Often, the form of snobbery reflects the snob's personal attributes.

For example, a common snobbery of the rich might be the belief that wealth is either the cause or result of superiority, or both.
 Snobbery also has a cousin  namely ‘reverse snobbery’ where a person is overly proud of being one of /or sympathetic to the common people, and who denigrates or shuns those of superior ability, education, social standing, etc.
Prime Minister David Cameron (himself subjected by some  with reverse snobbery due to his privileged upbringing and private education) used the snobbery word in an interesting way today in a speech to Business in the Community.

"...The snobbery that says business has no inherent moral worth like the state does, that it isn't really to be trusted, that it should stay out of social concerns and stick to making the money that pays the taxes. "

"Frankly I am sick of this anti-business snobbery."

British people have always been snobby about Selling as well.

Despite the fact that there are thousands of people in the UK who sell, they prefer not describe themselves as ‘salespeople’ – Take a look at the role/title on many salespeople’s  business  card and  as likely as not  will be no mention of the ‘Sales’ word.

In the third sector -Charity salespeople are called Fundraisers, in Private Banking salespeople are Portfolio Managers -for conventional professions like private medicine, accountancy  and the law  there are not  such vulgar  things like selling prices to be charged  but fees to be charged etc.- perhaps in still in guineas!! 
Yet apart from technology, an article last year in the Economist pointed out that the three most successful industries of the past 50 years have been finance, pharmaceuticals and energy. Selling has had its part in all of these as well as Technology..
 “…Look at the way those sectors are portrayed in films and in TV dramas and the same attitudes prevail. Financiers are unthinking brutes, whose obsession with numbers is a form of autism. Multinational drug companies are vast conspiracies selling products with fat margins and hiding their deadly side-effects. Energy companies are despoiling the planet….”

So far as the Prime Minister's ‘inherent moral worth’  phrase of Business , the State or Selling,- much moral worth  surely comes from the individuals themselves rather than their trade sector or profession. So if the cap fits......

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