Richard North, 01/12/2004  

While the EU preens itself on the fact that it has acquired one Commissioner who “understands business”, a new member of the second Bush administration is the face of business personified.

The egregious Neelie Kroes, of whose shenanigans we have written so often that it is impossible to refer our readers back to all the postings, was supposed to be the business-friendly member of a supposedly free-market and reforming Commission. As we have said before, she is certainly someone to whom business has been friendly. Until her fingers were prized off the various directorships, she had accumulated them in large numbers and had sat on numerous corporate boards.

As we know from bitter experience a good deal of the over-regulation starts from the unholy alliance between big corporate business and the state. Once the small and smart and entrepreneurial competitors have been driven out, the corporations find that they are now left alone with the ravenous state. They they start complaining.

Furthermore, Neelie Kroes accepted the position of Competition Commissar, knowing full well that interests would clash. At least four cases that are in the pipeline will have to be examined by other commissioners. That is being business-friendly in the EU.

From the United States comes the news that the Commerce Secretary who will replace Don Evans will be the CEO of Kellogg, Carlos Gutierrez. A Cuban born son of refugees from Castro’s monstrous rule, he started his “business career” as a truck driver for Kellogg’s, rising through the company till he reached the top. A man who really understand business, methinks, and is likely to introduce business-friendly policies, unlike someone whose knowledge begins and ends with the board room and its many perks.

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