Sir Bob Jones

Accountants have always borne the brunt of ridicule, namely as timid souls kicking for touch in life’s journey. So be it if that’s what they seek.

Earlier this month I reported one of the big four, namely PWC’s New Zealand boss’s wokest outburst when he announced his firm’s intention, “in the interest of diversity “of increasing his Maori and Pasifika staff. No mention of Asians who number the same as Maori but then again, Asians stand on their own feet without the need for special treatment. The Asian immigration of the last quarter-century is the best thing ever to happen to New Zealand.

That said this wokest accountant absurdity seems to be catching. Now another of the big four, namely KPMG in Britain, has announced that by 2030, 29% of its partners and directors must hail from working-class backgrounds.

First, why 29%? Why not 27.5%, or 32%? This was not explained.

I’m a state house graduate. Both my parents left school at 12. But I never found that background a handicap to do whatever I wanted, here and abroad.

John Key was brought up by a solo mother in a state house. He mapped out the life he wanted and took the steps to achieve it.

In some respects my working class generation were advantaged.

My hordes of children have all gone to the top private schools in Australia and New Zealand. I can say adamantly that the expensive education they’ve received is a joke compared with the great one I enjoyed at then rough as guts 1950s Naenae College. I was the first to go to university (part-time) and had to make new friends. They were middle-class kids from private schools with a standout characteristic of timidity, at least compared with the milieu I was familiar with.

Coming from a working class background is arguably an advantage for an ambitious kid, in providing a broader background about life’s realities. The KPMG British boss may mean well but is simply patronising and foolish.

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Ignorant Accountants
Bob Jones

Bob Jones

Sir Robert ‘Bob’ Jones — now New Zealand’s largest private office building owner in Wellington and Auckland, and with substantial holdings in Sydney and Glasgow, totalling in excess of two billion...