This week Andrea Leadsom’s CV has been in the news. Her Unique Selling Point (USP – you can’t baffle me with this business school talk, I watch The Apprentice!) is that she’s a ‘real’ person, has done ‘real’ things. You name it, she’d done it, managed hundreds of staff, managed budgets of millions. Practically everyone she worked for came out and said she didn’t quite do what she claimed, she’d possibly over-exaggerated her achievements. A bit like me saying I am Jeremy Corbyn’s guru on the back of a coach trip to Kent coalfields in 1984 where we were sat in the same pair of seats.
The only things she forgot to mention were her business failures and her involvement in a buy to let company. Perhaps she doesn’t want to associated with this particular racket as she represents the ‘new’ radical Conservatism. It’s not new and it’s not radical. It’s about as reactionary as you can get. In the Leadsom world you would have your employments rights removed if you worked in a very small business of less than 3 staff.
Yesterday she claimed she’d been misrepresented by The Times in their front page where she tried to suggest being a parent made her a better candidate then. That’s goodbye to the votes of those who don’t yet have children, those that can’t have children, and those who choose not to then. Will she beat Teresa May, that ‘bloody difficult woman’ as Kenneth Clarke candidly described. Nick Clegg said of her ‘she has no small talk at all, none’. It will be interesting to see how someone with possibly even less social skills than Gordon Brown manages in the big job.
All of this reminded my of my favourite part of The Apprentice, the interview stage. Who can forget the meeting between one candidate and Claude Rittner (his statements are in bold)
‘I’m Stuart Baggs The Brand’
‘What on earth are you talking about?’
‘You’re a 21 year old kid, you’re not a brand’.
‘But I think when you look at what a brand means it is’
‘No, don’t tell me what a brand means OK? You are not a brand’
‘I think I might be’