Speak Up features an interview with the “performance coaching” guru Sir John Whitmore. In the interview he talked about the culture of irresponsibility that helped create the recent financial crisis. Here he discusses the role of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan:
Sir John Whitmore (Standard British accent):
Thatcher and Reagan were very retrogressive, in terms of producing a form of economic structure that was very selfish and self-centered: the glorification of the individual. And actually, in the short term, there were some economic benefits in that; in the long term there have been serious social damage from that.
The English-speaking countries have a higher degree of stress and distress among societies, manifesting itself in obesity, childhood… teenage pregnancy; Britain is the worst in Europe in those… in those problems and it all comes out of, it’s all attributable to this focus upon the importance of the individual, and the success of the individual, which actually… meant the failure of the majority. And, of course, other cultures, like the Scandinavian culture and, more so, the Asian culture, are much more collective in their thinking and it was that selfishness that was adopted by America and… and Britain, and passed onto Canada, Australia and New Zealand, that was really the problem. So, yes, they have a lot to answer for. They were a major part of the problem, but they thought they were sort of the solution, at the time. (Sir John Whitmore was talking to Mark Worden).