Last week should be the last Davos

Prof Philip Booth writes for ConservativeHome

Apparently, the World Economic Forum – a pre-skiing holiday talking shop for many of its attendees - exists as “an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas”.

If some global business people, journalists and academics wish to waste their own money attending this conference, then I guess we would have nothing to complain about. However, the World Economic Forum, which deliberated last weekend, is also a huge magnet for politicians and public intellectuals to make grand-stand speeches and for politicians to mix with and exchange ideas with major business leaders. It is, in other words, a perfect environment for “crony capitalism” to flourish. Will small businesses be there to make the case against the expansion of regulation such as the EU temporary workers directive? Of course not. They will be hard at work trying to make a living in an increasingly hostile economic climate. David Cameron says that he wants to root out crony capitalism. He should therefore have boycotted Davos.

But, the main objection to Davos must surely be the hubris of those involved. We do not need the “global industry agenda” shaping by self-appointed experts. Industry is shaped by the dispersed decisions of seven billion consumers and millions of busi