Tuesday, June 05, 2012

The Apprentice – or who wants to work for a bully?

When I could drag myself away from the Royal Circus on the Thames, I
watched the final of The Apprentice. For those of you unfamiliar with
this theatre of cruelty the main character is a pantomime villain,
Lord Sugar, who gets to set tasks of varying degrees of daftness and
then humiliate the participants.

Sugar is a Labour Peer and acts like a less charming version of Lord
Vader. He urges his apprentices to give in to the dark side. After a
day of teamwork they are all forced to humiliate and denigrate each
other in the boardroom.

And what great ideas did these finalists come up with? One was yet
another bloody call centre – even one of Lord Vader's stormtroopers
thought this was a tawdry idea! Then there was a website to enable
people to buy ingredients for recipes. Lord Vader derided the whole
idea that people plan their meals before they cook them. One assumes
his Lordship has someone else to do that for him. A recruitment agency
proposed by someone who already runs a recruitment agency was the
winning idea.

And that leaves one. A fine wine hedge fund. If you want a symbol for
the degeneracy of capitalism this will do fine. This is not for people
who actually drink wine. No. It is for people who want to invest in
fine wine as a hedge against the economic crisis. You can see how this
is an idea to set the nation alight and improve the lives of millions
of ordinary people. Or perhaps you can't.

The apprentice is undemanding entertainment but if it is an exhibition
of the best in British entrepreneurs, heaven help us all.

Derek McMillan
Mid-Sussex Socialist Party

Thank you for the opportunity Lord Vader

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