Baron Rose of Monewden, the former Chief Executive Officer of Marks and Spencer, is due to lead the establishment campaign to remain inside the European Union, reports the Times.
Lord Stuart Rose, a former administrative assistant at the BBC who turned into a serial, successful corporate CEO, is perhaps best noted in political circles for his scathing attack on British workers in 2013. He said at the time: “I think there are a lot of people who complain about their lot”, referring to Britons being undercut by cheap migrant workers.
He told Sky News’ Murnaghan show in December 2013: “I’m a free market economist, we operate in a free market. If these people want to come here, and work the hours they are prepared to work for the wages they are prepared to work for, then so be it.”
But neither Britain, and certainly not the European Union, are actually free markets – as demonstrated most recently by the demand for a heavily regulated trade agreement with the United States entitled the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.
Indeed government intervention, regulation, and bureaucracy are at the heart of both Britain and the EU economies. This is not capitalism, or free marketism, but rather, corporatism.
“I know people will look at me and ‘It’s alright for you’ but I started off with pretty well nothing, I did a lot of menial jobs when I was young,” Rose replied, perhaps detailing his BBC role.
Lord Rose’s appointment is perhaps a boon for the EU Out campaigns. He is believed to be worth around £35m himself, and represents big corporate interests instead of the working men and women of Britain.
UKIP leader Nigel Farage appeared to welcome the announcement, tweeting this morning:
Pro-EU campaign to be headed by Lord Rose, a big fan of unlimited cheap EU labour. http://t.co/qBrVlAefjo
— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) October 10, 2015
Will Straw, the executive director of the In Campaign, and son of Blairite cabinet minister Jack Straw said: “[Lord Rose] brings unparalleled experience of business and enterprise to our board, and he knows the value that Britain’s membership of the EU brings to businesses right across the UK, and what would be at risk if we left.”
In September of this year, Deputy Governor of the Bank of England Ben Broadbent admitted: “We know, for example, that migration flows have risen significantly over the past fifteen years, and that immigrants are more likely to take low-skilled jobs than UK-born workers.
“So if easier immigration has made the overall supply of labour more responsive to economic conditions in this country… it’s probably done so to a greater extent for low-skilled than high-skilled workers.”