Education is the key, says Digby at Warwick talk

Lord Digby Jones, Bridge House Theatre, Warwick, April 12.

WARWICK Books, Kenilworth Books and Warwick Words deserve full marks for succeeding in bringing Lord Digby Jones to Warwick on Tuesday to launch his book, Fixing Britain.

Having achieved personal notoriety as director general at the CBI and a huge increase in that organisation’s membership, Digby accepted Gordon Brown’s invitation in 2007 to become Minister of State for UK Trade and Investment.

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With his beliefs in wealth creation well-formed, Digby embarked on a drum-bashing mission for 18 months. Why not longer? He confidently declared he did not wish to entertain a career in politics - he fought running battles with civil servants who behaved as ‘overseas sales prevention’ teams, insisted on buying Jaguar even though it was not on the ‘availability list’ and when an election appeared on the horizon, decided it was time to exit.

So what does he believe needs to be done to fix Britain?

Fundamental reform of our education system is paramount – every 16-year-old will be able to read, write, count and use a computer; every young person should do a year’s national service before they reach 20; elitism should be based on ability (as it used to be) and not money (as it now appears to be); people need to be inspired and led, and socially inclusive wealth creation (getting on with making money and employing people) must be a government priority. We must generate wealth, or the debilitating underclass in our society will grow.

Clive Peacock