Jeff Immelt, CEO of GE, the worlds largest manufacturing company recently made some unflattering remarks about the Chinese and US leadership, and has been widely pilloried.

What happened to freedom of speech?

We seem to have become immune to the facts, or one persons version of the facts, to the extent that when they are voiced, and we disagree,  we are made sufficiently uncomfortable to attack the person, not the underlying assumptions that led to the view in the first place.

The words of public figures are so widely seen as spin, that we dismiss everything said publicly as tainted by self interest, but by  muzzling the views of a bloke like Immelt, one of the most powerful, sensible, successful and outspoken figures in the commercial world, we risk losing a voice from which we can learn much.