He was wasting his time helping Michael Howard launch the party's policy for business, though, as Labour effectively trumped that launch with a letter in the Financial Times today signed by 63 supporters from various branches of industry.
“Economic stability and a competitive tax framework have created the environment for business to invest for the long-term, raising competitiveness and creating wealth and employment across the UK.”
Carrying on where they left off in 1997, the Tories plans for business start by putting almost a quarter of a million people out of work through their civil service cuts and start hacking away at the evil empire of bureaucracy in society.
Making the world safe for business also includes making life more difficult for the ordinary person. The Tories want to cut back on employees suing their bosses by forcing claimants to pay a deposit and ensuring that the losing party will bear all the costs of the case. Which means, that if you take your employer to court, they will threaten you with highly-qualified and expensive QCs and experts because the mere threat of massive costs will deter most claimants, no matter how justified their case.
Channel 4's excellent Factcheck has some more on why the Tories have come late to the party when it comes to cutting back on red tape and needless performance monitoring.
So, we know that Howard has alienated senior police officers, NHS managers, the CBI and Rupert Murdoch. Once you add in the list of movers and shakers in British business, then things look bleaker than ever.
The only interesting thing is that there are hints of Howard at this morning's press conference calling for the voters to send a message to Tony, an echo of his Oz 'concession' trick that is supposed to have depressed the opponent's support enough to allow John Howard to sneak in. I still think that this election is more open than people think.