We have all seen the politicians talking about public spending and taxation as the election race gathers momentum.

Most people have strong feelings on the use of public money in the health service, in schools and as support to business.

But I wonder if these feelings would change if people were asked to spend their own money?

Entrepreneurship and enterprise are starting to rise in the political agenda in the European Union and here in the UK. At the heart of such concepts is the philosophy of taking a risk with your own money.

One of the things entrepreneurs and those engaged in investing in early stage businesses know very well is just what it is like to risk your own money. To deliberately put your own money into an idea in the expectation of doing well and making a profit, but knowing that things may go wrong and it could be lost.

In reality life is a risk or to be more accurate uncertain, but I think there is evidence that the culture in the UK is becoming less aware of what real risk taking is all about.

Some people are suggesting that any business with the right amount of support can be made successful. Don't believe it for one moment. Certainly don't put any of your money behind such an idea. Similarly there seem to be some ideas being suggested that risk can be eliminated by having a plan or by having a risk reduction strategy.

Worse still is the approach of some regulatory authorities that if you take a risk, and if something goes wrong then the risk taker needs to be punished for getting it wrong.

A further manifestation on this theme is the idea that if something unpleasant happens, and in an uncertain world things do, then somehow a person who has suffered has an absolute right to financial compensation.

I think these attitudes are the most corrosive for the climate of entrepreneurship and enterprise. They need to be challenged and exposed as a sham.

Unfortunately where it gets a bit confused is when so called public money is at stake. Many people would be happy at the thought of public money being used for a specific purpose, yet those same people would be most unhappy if their own funds were to be spent on the same project.

I am aware of work going on at Advantage West Midlands, our local regional development agency, to set up a fund to finance new businesses out of the Rover situation. It must be right to go down this route rather than try to put more public money into a business which, despite everybody's best efforts over an extended period, cannot find enough customers for its products. Certainly we will try to find investors to back new ideas which will come out of the Rover tragedy.

But they will need to be commercially feasible. Would you want your money going into anything else?