These issues are far more important than getting a penny or two off the basic rate of income tax, or persuading Surrey County Council that it really shouldn't produce more rules than Brussels does. But the Chancellor knows no one is going to put him through the wringer on the aforementioned, more vital topics. PR and the media have created a world in which it is so much easier to focus on the trivial. Peter Montagnon of the Association of British Insurers recently said
there had been far fewer rows about executive pay this year because companies were consulting their shareholders more.
Indeed, they talked more about pay than any other issue.
This is another symptom of the same disease. There is huge media attention paid to executive pay, something that matters much less than company strategy, research and development, innovation, threats, succession, and ability to plan for and cope with change.
These are things companies are much less willing to talk about, and the misplaced PR and media obsession with pay means they are not made to.