- Levelling Up Secretary said corporations focused on superficial diversity
- Warned that a successful free market economy needs freedom from censorship
- Attacked those who profited the most from globalisation and rising house prices
The Levelling Up Secretary claimed in a speech on Tuesday, October 31, that corporations had hired those who manufacture grievance – which he claimed was now Britain’s biggest industry – and tried to make boardrooms more diverse without allowing diversity of thought.
But he warned that a successful free market economy needs freedom from censorship and cancel culture.
Mr Gove also attacked those who have profited the most from globalisation and rising house prices in his address to the centre-right Alliance for Responsible Citizenship (ARC) conference in London.
The 56-year-old said the wealthy had seen their assets grow in the past decade thanks to quantitative easing – central banks printing money – while ordinary people have suffered from the rising cost of living.
At the same time, properties have increasingly become seen as tradeable assets, as homeowners have sought to ‘pull up the drawbridge’ by restricting new developments.
He added: ‘All of these factors together have meant that those who have been privileged, those who already had significant assets, those who are smart and connected, have been able to enrich themselves at a rate that has only exacerbated inequality and therefore led to resentment.’
Mr Gove went on to say that the world’s biggest manufacturing concern is the ‘resentment industry’, which is now in an ‘effective coalition’ with the privileged.
He said those who have done well in the corporate world want to ‘insulate themselves’ from the sense of envy and injustice in society, so have ‘co-opted individuals from the resentment industry’ to be their advisors on Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) and Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI).
But the Tory minister highlighted the structures they have created not only go against innovation but also fail to address inequalities.
Mr Gove said: ‘So the EDI industry doesn’t always go in for diversity of thought or genuine diversity of background. And when we’re addressing equality and inequality, sometimes there are performative exercises about boardroom composition that they go through.
‘But what they rarely do is think hard about the impact on working people in industry, who often find that their participation in the labour market, their sense of economic security, their sense of agency, has been undermined and denied.’
Mr Gove called for an economic system designed for the entrepreneur, insisting: ‘You can only have a successful free market economy that favours the insurgent and the creator and those who generate value and innovation if you also have a culture free of cancellation, free of censorship and free of the marginalisation of those who wish to challenge what is the current consensus.’
Martin Beckford Policy