Gina Miller, transparency activist and philanthropist, took to the Futures Stage at the International Business Festival yesterday to close the Festival’s second week.
In a keynote speech that covered transparency, politics, Brexit and business Miller shared her view on the world we are in.
Gina Miller said of capitalism: “It does actually matter how we choose to live our lives – it matters because of our effect on the world. None of us have the God given right to success – every one of us has to earn that right.
“I don’t believe capitalism is a wicked thing but in its present form, capitalism is not good at equally sharing its benefits. Inequality is much more than an unwelcome side effect of free market capitalism: it is a result of political neglect, lazy leadership and lack of innovation.”
Miller then moved on to speak about Brexit and the government’s Brexit Bill: “We find ourselves in a very unhappy, dysfunctional place. What we saw yesterday (Wednesday 20 June) was a total disgrace.
“This government is trying to bypass our own parliament…[they] have sought to diminish the role of parliament in the face of Brexit. To deny our parliament that right is bullying tactics.
“[The government] has criminally neglected negotiating with the EU. A charge I would lay at the feet of both political parties. The public have been wilfully misled and the government continues to do so. Politicians are too cowardly to take us in the direction we need to go – the will of people started this journey and the will of the people should end it.
“They are a zombie parliament – sitting there debating amongst themselves. Your role is to speak up.”
In a question and answer session with author Chris Kurtana, Miller continued: “The country is more divided now than it was two years ago. Irresponsible people called a referendum and got us into a mess, responsible politicians will have to get us out of it. We need to get back to the real case of Brexit – which is not the EU.
“We have the biggest North South divide of any EU country. Everything is too London centric and it’s getting worse.”
Miller went on to explore accountability: “We’ve been lazy in keeping the people at the top to account. We’ve become quite lazy citizens, we’ve become very comfortable. We’ve been neglectful in our responsibility as a collective. We have to be realistic with ourselves that we are part of the problem.”