Bernie Ecclestone has taken the unprecedented step of writing an article for the Times in order to retract and explain the remarks about Adolf Hitler he made to the same newspaper yesterday.
The FOM Chairman was quoted as saying that Hitler was ‘able to get things done’, a remark which got him into hot water in Germany and with some Jewish organisations. While defending his friend and colleague Max Mosley – whose style has been criticised as dictatorial – Ecclestone appeared to have been condoning dictatorship as an alternative to democracy.
This morning Ecclestone clarified his remarks in a personally-penned article for the Times.
“Politicians these days struggle to get things done. They are trying to put themselves in a position where they can win an election, so they constantly have to compromise, rather than saying what they really believe. As a result, when faced with a serious financial crisis, things aren t being done that should be done,” said the 78-year-old, after having apologised for the offence caused.
“In a time of 24-hour news politicians constantly have to answer questions. Their remarks get picked up by their opponents, who can steal their ideas or use their words to pick an argument. Why should someone who has to make decisions all the time constantly have to talk about it? If you were running a business, you wouldn t have to put up with that. You can put up strong barriers,” said Ecclestone.
“The downside of democracy is the belief that everyone should have a say in how things are run; but it s not that easy,” he finished.
Ecclestone’s somewhat tenuous grasp of the philosophical justification behind democracy will not endear him to those who reacted angrily to his words yesterday. The storm of comments on the Times website, while indicating sympathy for his opinion that democracy has failings, overwhelmingly suggest that
Ecclestone leave politics to those who know something about it.