Thursday, March 17

Stanislav Bernard to the Castle!


Can we persuade the owner of the Bernard brewery to run for the Presidency? Having read this interview with him in LN, I'm sure he would be far more effective and more inspiring than any of the candidates from political circles, including of course the incumbent.

For a start he has taken traditional Czech skills in brewing and successfully competed against the marketing power of the multi-nationals. He has shown that if you really work hard to create a superior product, you can win in business. I know from discussion with clients at SAB that Bernard is respected as a brewer who does not 'cheat' with ingredients. While I love my "Pilsner from the tank", Bernard is the beer I serve at home, especially when I have foreign visitors, who rate the unpasteurised version with the special top as beer from heaven. I cannot think of a better role-model for young Czech entrepeneurs.

In the interview he says very clearly what most of us know, but few politicians acknowledge; taxes would not need to rise so much, if we simply cut out all the corruption. I admire that he says this, and I admire most of all that he is ready to go public on issues he feels strongly about -and to encourage all of us to do the same. He used advertising to deplore the behaviour of the doctors. I agree, it was a disgraceful campaign, which was in breach of the Hippocratic Oath. That disgrace should be shared by Ewing PR, who seek to take credit for the "success" of the campaign. Any fool can "force an issue up the agenda" by scaring people about their health, but the long term effect in terms of people's cynicism towards doctors and how public service workers should be rewarded, will be very negative.

Now Stanislav Bernard has turned his fire on another disgrace, the armed raid on Czech Television. I find it amazing how blase some people are about this. They talk about it being part of the political disputes between for example Vondra and Kalousek. Does that make it OK? Of course it doesn't. Can you imagine that the British police would make an armed raid on BBC Television Centre? No? So what's different about Ceska Televize, other than that its security guard has a very large dog (the apparent excuse for the arms)? Mr Bernard has prepared another ad campaign making fun of this raid.

I can't agree with Stanislav Bernard when he speaks about the EU, although I understand his opinion. I would vote for him anyway, since in this respect he is no worse than the current incumbent, and in every other respect would be immeasurably better. I am sure for example that he does not think that snowboarding is for "lefties". Of course I cannot actually vote in the presidential election, but it doesn't stop me from stealing the catchphrase from the last UK election..."I agree with Standa!"

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