Yet in the real world, gainful policy requires extensive contact with commercial voices and lobbies. Effective government also requires constant cross-fertilisation between the two, and yes benefits enormously from a revolving doors approach to personnel.
The problem in public policy is not too much influence, but too little. What hope for informed industrial strategy, for the climate change challenge, for the productivity drive, or indeed the levelling up agenda if business is excluded from the decision making process?
Sorry to keep banging on about the economic success story that is Singapore, but the city state’s business leaders are positively required to do their time in government, not just as an act of public duty, but so that private sector needs can be better understood and responded to.
Private and public are deeply intermingled in pursuit of common, nationally determined economic goals, in a way that might be regarded as semi-corrupt here in Britain, but nevertheless seems to produce consistently positive outcomes.
As it is, excessively complicated, inadequately policed and often ambiguous UK rules governing the demarcation lines between public and private sectors seem repeatedly to get the politicians into trouble. Involvement with businessmen twice forced Peter Mandelson to resign from Tony Blair’s government.