The Penny Hasn’t Dropped Yet

There is an article in this weeks Economist concerning the job threats of automation to retail workers in the USA. It is a reasonable article but what struck me most about it was its narrowness of view and a failure to grasp the broader, wider implications and realise that this applies right across the global economy and will impact far more than just retail jobs. It will inevitably impinge upon not just the way businesses run but how society reorders itself to deal with the economic consequences.

http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21722020-shopping-mall-not-factory-where-american-jobs-are-most-risk-how-prepare Continue Reading →

The Irrelevance of the EU and Globalisation

Perhaps the most interesting thing concerning Brexit, votes in the Commons on the Brexit timetable and the case at the Supreme Court is just how totally irrelevant it all is to our immediate future as too is ‘globalisation’. Although all the “middle class and better educated” cling onto the idea that somehow the EU and Globalisation are essential benefits to their ways of life in truth they are being total Luddites in their thinking.

Or if you prefer, they are suffering from the same lack of imagination that saw all the guns at Singapore pointing out to sea when the Japanese, being rather unsporting, attacked from the land side which it being the ‘Panto Season’, is definitely a case of “Look behind you white liberal idiots !” Continue Reading →

A Need for Common Sense

The British media, ever ready for any drama has a track record of photographers taking pictures of politicians carrying documents to and from meetings that can be clearly read when the images are enlarged. The obvious question arises is “Just how dumb are our politicians and their staff that this keeps happening ?”

This latest instance involves some assistant carrying hand written notes that ‘may’ indicate the UK Government’s desired objectives with regard to EU negotiations or ‘may well not’ but either way, their exposure should not have happened, folders are available and should be used. However this post is not so much about that specifically but more about what happens when people and ‘systems’ meet. Continue Reading →

The Autumn Statement

Yesterday the Chancellor Philip Hammond gave his Autumn Statement to the Commons in which he outlined his current view of the UK economy and what his dispositions would be to deal with the way ahead as we prepare for Brexit and so forth.

Of course there is no way he was going to please anybody, for the ‘Remain’ camp still licking their wounds, his picture couldn’t be depressing enough, for the Brexiteers, not optimistic enough but his real target were the people who buy UK Government debt. For them he had to present the face of a Government that was responsible and prudent but also nimble enough to seize whatever economic opportunities may present themselves. Continue Reading →

Change Yes But Are We Ready

In my last post I did a “Baldy ramble” about upgrading some of my camera gear and although by the heading picture above it might seem that I am continuing that same theme, in fact I’m not. I will use cameras as an illustration of a basic idea, hence the picture but my primary focus is looking at the economic and political changes that seem about to break over us all and from there asking this question: Are we ready for change ?

However and whilst not going into too much detail, a video review of a particular camera that I saw today did provoke some thoughts I feel worth sharing using the camera industry as an example of how change will impact economies generally. Continue Reading →

Trump Wins the Oval Office

They say a country always gets the government it deserves and Trump’s victory is no exception though what it actually means in practical terms only time will tell though I am sure that “The Markets” will go in a tail spin over it all as people ponder the link, if any between Trump’s rhetoric and practical reality .

What is certainly true is that this has been by far the most depressing American election I can ever remember between two truly awful candidates, the most interesting thing will be to see how following such a divisive contest there can be a binding up of the deep wounds that have opened up during the course of it right across the USA. Continue Reading →

Brexit Is Not Xenophobia

Although hopefully it can be salvaged, the current state of the CETA trade treaty between Canada and the EU is a perfect illustration of just why the UK leaving the EU is the correct decision going forward. For those who don’t know, the deal was rejected by the Wallonia Parliament exercising its right under the Belgian federal constitution which meant that Belgium couldn’t ratify the deal which means the deal can’t go forward as all member states must agree.

Canada unlike the USA, the latter with its very many global corporate giants, does not represent any great ‘threats’ to the ‘European way of doing things’ so obstructing this deal is strange to say the least and certainly bodes ill for any success in more contentious trade deals with countries like the USA, India and China. As for a ‘smooth’ exit for the UK from the EU, I suspect that we can discount that upfront, it is just not going to happen, whatever the deal, there will always be another Wallonia and we need to accept that right now. Continue Reading →

Change Has Already Happened

The head banging desire expressed by the ‘Establishment’ including two thirds of MPs that “Things were fine in the EU and should have remained the same…” with regard to Brexit is not only totally wrong, it is childish because things just won’t remain the same, that is not how the world works, only change is constant.

Regardless of which side of the argument that you were on, rather like a couple where one person has been discovered “having had an affair”, things have changed and the result means that relations between the UK and the EU can never be the same again even if the vote was set aside by the UK Parliament. Now there is only one way to go which is to leave the EU and everybody needs to get behind that fact and do the best for UK plc. Continue Reading →

A Very Realistic Mrs May

At the Tory Party Conference, Theresa May made a very strong speech stating that Article 50 which is the negotiating mechanism by which we leave the EU will be triggered by her no later than the end of March next year. She also made it clear that Brexit means that we can accept neither unfettered movement nor being subject to EU Courts and Rules within the UK.

The various reactions in the media were largely to be expected according to the stance they took during the referendum, joy or gloom and doom. Continue Reading →

Past Lessons

I have just finished reading a book on Henry VIII written by Robert Lacy and whilst it sets out the sequence of events in great detail rather than being an opinion piece or docudrama account, it is in the sequence of events as laid out, very thought provoking. We are a Country rich in history and therefore perhaps we too easily take it all for granted, knowing broad themes but frankly ignorant of the details and yet, the details really do matter.

The past may well be “another country” to many but by reading our past and understanding it as fully as possible, we can also see how these things and these same themes, often play out again in our present today. Continue Reading →