Businesses speaking out on Ukraine risky
Why did Vlad Putin put his nuclear warheads on high alert? Well, he says it is because of rash remarks by Liz Truss.
Whatever one thinks of the Foreign Secretary, it’s not like it is difficult to pick sides here.
And we needn’t take anything Putin says literally, though we should probably take it seriously.
So whether a seemingly higher threat of nuclear war is anything to do with what Truss said or not, she did give Putin a sort-of excuse to claim that it is.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov says: “We believe that such statements are absolutely unacceptable. I would not call the authors of these statements by name, although it was the British foreign minister.”
That’s sort of hilarious, or would be if the situation weren’t so serious. Plainly if you are dealing with scary people looking to be provoked, it might be better to say less than more.
This isn’t remotely the same as being soft; it’s just that sounding tough in the face of a lunatic with first strike capability isn’t helpful.
I think that probably applies to the corporate world too. Let’s assume the Kremlin isn’t monitoring Tomorrow’s Business for signs that it is getting too lippy.
But grand statements from big companies will be noted.
So grandstanding, virtue signalling is out. Corporate land can make a difference here. It just shouldn’t look like it wants credit for it too.
In other circumstances, we’d think CEOs failing to speak up is a cop-out. In these ones, silence might be golden.
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