Playing To Win

by | Jul 9, 2024 | Viewpoint

Image Above: Mike Parczuk

Mike Parczuk, Sternfenster’s MD, explains why Tik Tok, Gareth Southgate and prisons could ultimately hold Great Britain back after Labour’s recent landslide victory on July 4.

Liz Truss losing her South West Norfolk seat was the highlight of the recent general election for me. As for everything else? I’m not so sure. It will soon be politics as usual, and unfortunately that doesn’t benefit us as a country.

There are three main reasons why.

Firstly, all political parties fought campaigns that ultimately boiled down to soundbites. They were appealing to a generation of voters who need to have big ideas summarised into short easily digestible clips that could be distributed quickly.

Being concise and clear is good. Stripping away detail so you pursue a populist agenda isn’t so good. What we need in this country are big ideas that will benefit all of us, and we want less red tape to help grow the economy. Instead, we are still bickering over boats in the channel and dredging up Brexit.

This leads me on to point number two, which is that we are already seeing a raft of headline announcements that are more about short term gains than long term stability.

For example, Labour are planning to build 1.5 million homes over five years. Sounds big, but isn’t much more than what we are building now. And ministers are already getting their excuses now: “Can’t build a prison in 24 hours”, or “government has inherited worst set of circumstances since second world war”.

Their desire to be re-elected in five years’ time promotes soundbite policies, and doesn’t address the bigger picture.

I hesitate to say it, but we really do need to put the ‘Great’ back into Great Britain, which leads me on to point three.

You would never have guessed it, but England won their Quarter Final match against Switzerland on Saturday, scoring five penalties and saving another in the process. Yet, all I heard was how England are being too cautious and not bringing on substitutes early enough.

England are through to the semi-finals! And I know from how people came to work on the following Monday morning that winning makes a big difference to their frame of mind and productivity.

It is this we need to tap into. As a nation, we need to stop viewing our glass as half empty, and to develop a positive can-do attitude.

And that starts with companies like yours and mine. Not only is the window industry a barometer for how well the economy is performing, but it is also a bridge between homeowners and the construction industry, feeding into a multi-billion-pound machine that helps drive the economy in the UK.

And we are the ones who keep that machine going. It is up to us to invest in our people, in our factories, in product development and in our customers. A general election is a once in a five-year event – we are the ones who keep the economy moving on a day-to-day basis.

No, we can’t build prisons in 24 hours, and the markets are still recovering from that awful mini budget in October 2022, but with less regulation we can innovate and stride forward, building a country where we can all benefit from our success.


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