Often, you know you’re onto a wrong ‘un when someone from showbiz thinks that being a media tart is a reasonable precursor to a political career. But the latest such case, Karren Brady, could actually have some legs. The Apprentice star says that she wants to get involved in politics, and is so determined that she would ‘never accept a safe seat’.
She says: ‘I would always want a difficult seat: being fast-tracked is not something that appeals to me.’ The self-made millionaire and vice-chairman of West Ham United FC has often been the subject of speculation about future Conservative candidates. Some have even suggested that she could one day be the leader of the party. But for the first time, she has nailed her colours to the mast, saying: ‘I want to get involved.’
Brady’s comments come just a week after business secretary Vince Cable insulted the nation’s intelligence by saying that the BBC programme gives ‘a completely false impression about what being an apprentice actually involves’. If he had watched any episodes of the most recent two series, he would have learned that the programme doesn’t actually feature any type of apprenticeship whatever. Instead, it is focused on a group of entrepreneurs pitching for £250,000 of investment from Sugar.
Of course, for the legions of people who were worried that Sugar’s weekly boardroom sackings were representative of life as an actual apprentice, we feel obliged to point out that it is all theatrics. A geniune apprenticeship – if you can get one – should be a rewarding and satisfying experience, OK?
Anyway, Brady reckons that the political sphere could do with some more people with business experience. She said: ‘You need people who are right at the cutting edge. I wish a lot more business people did get into politics. We’d be in a much better place now.’ She’s not the only one who thinks that more politicians ought to have had some ‘front-line’ experience before going into the House of Commons and waxing lyrical about the business community.
Vince Cable may be a bit politically whimsy, but he is pretty much the only front-bencher to have any experience in business prior to politics, having spent some years at Shell. That must count for something…