Ominous signs

Beware election year complacency. There are signs that crises could be created that SMEs won’t like.


Everyone is being way too complacent. We wake up in the morning and think same old, same old.


But there are three X factors – three major weaknesses – that will send the nation’s SMEs back to their strategic drawing boards. We now have a number of advanced warning signs suggesting that, in this election year, people should be keeping a weather eye on the creation of another crisis designed to shore up incumbent administrations, raise fuel prices and create an atmosphere of fear and insecurity – a crisis that could collapse both consumer and business confidence.


First weak sign: The coming change of government in October or November. The combined Rein/Rudd team (the new power couple of politics) is putting unprecedented pressure on John Howard. At last it will dawn on all those in the Industry portfolio who focus on the big end of town that they must listen to (Small Business Minister) Fran Bailey, who really understands this sector.


The Government must recover from its terrible position and it will do so by an unprecedented focus on independent contractors and small business. But as the election grows closer, nervousness will spread.


Second weak sign: A major change in the European alliance is looming with the handover of the poison chalice from Tony Blair to Gordon Brown. My view? Blair did not want to deal with a further commitment to the Bush/Cheney plan for containment of China and Iran. The US insists it wants to resolve the Iranian nuclear crisis through diplomacy, but has never ruled out the prospect of military action.


Third weak sign: Trouble in Iraq, with the majority of members of Iraq’s parliament signing a draft bill that would require a timetable for the withdrawal of US soldiers from Iraq and freeze current troop levels. The development is a sign of a growing division between Iraq’s legislators and prime minister that mirrors the widening gulf between the Bush administration and its critics in Congress.


Those relying on the reconstruction of Iraq should think again as the Democrats try to put skids on US debt.


This year is about enormous change with elections coming for all leaders of the Coalition of the Willing, and many strategies will be determined on this.


Dr Colin Benjamin is chairman of the independent Melbourne think-tank Marshall Place Associates and director-general of Life. Be in it International. Colin has a professional doctorate in business administration at the Australian Graduate School of Entrepreneurship and is widely known in marketing circles as the author of the Roy Morgan Values Segments.



To read more Colin Benjamin blogs, click here.


Marian Kiely writes: Who funds the “independent” Melbourne think-tank Marshall Place Associates and what is “Life”.  The statements above are based firmly in a particular belief system and are therefore flawed and not objective. This is exactly why Howard is losing many SMEs (besides the lies, corruption and sycophantic following of US dogma).


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