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Showing posts from 2017

Products don't always evolve

I am truly puzzled by a new fad that's sweeping the youth of today. I'm puzzled because it's not new at all. In fact it seems to me to be a retrograde step in the relentless evolution of technology. I'm talking about the Polaroid or Instant Camera. This is one of the originals from the 1960s (in fact Mr Land invented the first 'Instant Camera' in 1948):  And here's the one my son just got for Christmas: In 2008, Polaroid went bust (again!). The world had gone digital. Film cameras had all but disappeared. Serious photographers today use digital SLRs made by the likes of Canon and Nikon. The rest of us use our ubiquitous smartphones. And with cloud storage, we are no longer constrained to the thousands of high resolution images our phones and cameras could store locally. Now our personal picture-taking capacity is limitless. Film and cartridge cameras limit you to a handful of pictures before you had to - expensively - load the camera again. An

What British Means

I went to a property auction today. It was a big one with several hundred lots of various types for large and small properties throughout the UK. Most of the buyers in a packed hotel conference room apparently originated from other countries (in that those I overheard were talking to each other in languages other than English). Without jumping to too many ethnic conclusions, almost all looked as though their origins were middle-eastern or Asian. But the people running the auction were all smartly suited London City types, and in particular I was struck by the auctioneer himself. He and the auction as a whole were quintessentially British. What do I mean by that? I can only describe the proceedings as well-organised, precise, thorough, good-humoured, respectful, and efficient. The amount of paperwork, terms and conditions, background checks on buyers and sellers, legal niceties and finance procedures added up to a pervading sense of  'don't mess with us' and 'trust u

What would a united United Kingdom do differently?

Britain is a deeply divided nation. 48% voted to continue to compete amongst the nations of the EU, 52% believed we can compete better outside it. Part of the Brexit argument is that Britain can win more business by developing its own trade agreements (we have none currently), and that if the Pound does devalue (which it has since the referendum and may continue to slide when we leave in 2019), then our exports will be more competitively priced. Without covering old ground about the pluses and minuses of EU membership, the problem we now face is that whether we like to think of it this way or not, we will become a competitor of the EU. So why would the EU27 agree to anything other than the maximum damage in their power to inflict on a competitor to prevent us winning anything at their members' expense? As the old expression says, you're either for 'em or agin 'em . Brexit means agin the EU. And it doesn't matter how chummy smiley Davis and May try to portray us,

Free Trade Agreement - not such a big deal perhaps

I am wholeheartedly a Remainer. However, 'my side' can from time to time over-egg the dangers of leaving when it comes to Free Trade Agreements (FTA). The first thing to point out is that trade agreements work both ways. When Brexiters state ' they will still want to sell us their cars ' - a reference to VW, BMW, Renault, Fiat and Mercedes putting pressure on the EU to keep trade flowing - the only reason they might face tariffs will not be because of the EU mandating 'punishing' taxes, but the UK's own customs imposing them. It's the importing country who 'fines' other nations' exporters. In other words, if VWs etc attract tariffs, it's because the UK government applies them to force Brits to buy British cars. So when they try to make VWs and BMWs more expensive for British citizens to buy, that's not going to make them popular at home. It's not going to happen. Brits will continue to buy their French, Italian and German cars

EU Immigrants - UK Gov Missing the Point

Lots of talk today about EU immigration from Amber Rudd the UK Home Secretary. The Brexiter demand to 'take control of our borders' but allow in who we want, sounds, on the face of it, to be sensible. But whatever 'process' the government invents to control migration from the EU, it won't work for my business or for countless others who've benefited from having access to a huge pool of talent eager to dedicate their futures to the UK economy. There have been many reasons why people came to the UK to work (if they didn't want to work, they were unlikely to have made the effort to leave their homes). Most, if not all refugees don't possess EU passports, so they already have to apply for visas. I've written other posts about our moral duty to lead the world in showing compassion to these people who would, and have historically enriched the UK anyway. There are two types of EU immigrant workers: EU citizens who live abroad: Specialised recruitment

Socialism is poised to destroy the UK

"A country for the many not the few". The slogan for Labour in the recent 'snap-election' which our cretinous Tory government of Brexit dreamers expected would strengthen their mandate. Even I predicted a hung parliament as the obvious outcome of May's pathetic attempt to 'exploit' in-fighting within Labour ranks (I won on PaddyPower at ridiculous odds of  7:2... but more about gambling and winning later). She forgot that she was elected by Remainers. My problem with Labour's slogan is the implication that the 'few' are bad for the UK and that the 'many' are in some way being unfairly treated by them. Pol Pot had the same idea in Cambodia. That worked out well. Lenin too. In more recent times Hugo Chavez's social spending and high taxation totally destroyed Venezuela. Once a shining example of prosperity in South America, now a horrifically failed state. His Robin Hood politics shattered a successful country. But his popularity wa

Trump's Plan

In case you haven't noticed, Trumpy's got a plan. It's probably not a great one and it's probably not going to be too well thought through, but it seems to be a plan nonetheless. He's using 'expendable' Islamic militants to send messages to Fatty. His military point man, Mad Dog, is advising him to use his reputation for nuttiness (unpredictability and outright lunacy) to scare the crap out of the biggest danger facing the world today. A fat finger on the nuclear button (reference to financial sector keyboard inputting errors causing meltdowns, not being fattist). The supreme leader (Big Un) knows the US is awash with nukes. So Trumpy doesn't have to prove he's got the potential to make S Korea an island. But what he does have to do is demonstrate he's prepared to use them at the slightest (or not even the slightest) provocation - and he's demonstrating this on universally recognised baddies who can't retaliate - at least no more than

Brilliant Inspiring Statues