Branson: OCW “A Good Start”

Eccentric billionaire Sir Richard Branson somewhat surprisingly expressed his support for the OCW movement the other day, admitting they had “very valid reasons” to be protesting.

“It’s now up to the business community to ensure that we show the way so that they can go, the Occupy Wall Street can feel that they’ve done their job and go home, and they’ve made a difference, and I think they will have made a difference, hopefully,” Branson said.

Well, isn’t that special?

Perhaps I’m just an inveterate cynic (or curmudgeon, as some would have it), but as superficially pleasing as Sir Richard’s remarks may seem, it’s difficult not to immediately correlate them with those articulated recently by evil spinmeister Frank Luntz when coaching Republican politicians on how best to undermine the “scary” OCW movement with his cleverly disingenuous talking points:

’I get it.’ First off, here are three words for you all: ‘I get it.’… ‘I get that you’re angry. I get that you’ve seen inequality. I get that you want to fix the system.’

Maybe Branson’s own “I get it” sentiments are genuine, but they could also be a distinction without a difference in terms of the net effect of attempting to blunt the legitimate outrage at the current state of affairs with fake empathy and a nebulous vow to “show the way” in hopes the miscreant rabble will scuttle away, safely deluded in the laughable notion they’ve actually “made a difference”…

7 Replies to “Branson: OCW “A Good Start””

  1. I think you forgot about the ‘We We part of it’, Branson says go home, WE geddit, which he obviously doesn’t.

  2. Interesting that he is looking to business to “show the way”. That is not going to happen, in any significantly transformative way. He should know that.

  3. I wonder if “showing the way” includes picking up the “good” part of the Northern Rock bank in England (at a deep discount) as Virgin Group did recently, while leaving the U.K. taxpayers holding the bag for all of the troubled assets and junk.

  4. (Who is trying to fool? I wish in that moment he was pressed on what exactly meant by “show the way”. Something specific, anything, really, towards moving us forward. It would have forced him to be brilliant on his feet or well, he would have said something entirely unremarkable and wouldn’t have tried that stunt again; either way, we win.)

    And Tergiveasajob will be the word of 2012.
    – Robin, London, 01/12/2011 04:52
    Read more:—means-like-change-mind-lot.html#ixzz1fckSiJjf

  5. It almost makes one yearn for the days when the rich and powerful trampled the people in the streets with their horses and carriages. At least everyone knew where they stood. Oprah, what hast thou wrought?

    I love the can feel that they’ve done their job and go home touch. Too bad Nicholas II didn’t think of that line for the Bolsheviks.

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