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 French Presidential Elections

The Presidential race did at least produce a ‘surprise’ in that the two candidates through to the second round are both outsiders to the mainstream political parties that have been in power for more than 50 almost 60 years. However between Macron and Le Pen in the second round, it must be certain that Macron will win hands down as the supporters of the other failed candidates rally around him just to keep Marine Le Pen out, it is the French way of doing these things. Continue Reading →

For Heaven’s Sake Man

I cannot imagine a man less qualified to talk about Brexit than our former Prime Minister Tony Blair especially as without the restraining hand of Gordon Brown, the idiot would have had us abandoning Sterling and being part of the eurozone. The result of this would have been on a par or worse for the UK than the consequences of the Iraq war Blair got us into on the basis of total “misinformation” and flawed intelligence.

Regardless of which way they voted in the EU Referendum, I can’t imagine many who would give Blair much credence for telling the truth plus, he is clearly part of the political and wealthy elite who really didn’t understand what ordinary people were thinking or why they voted Leave. Continue Reading →

A Change is Coming

I’m no fan of Donald Trump but to be fair to the roughly 50% of American voters that did bother to cast their ballot, they really didn’t have much of a choice as both candidates were distinctly lacklustre in one way or another. However unlikely it seemed 12 months ago, “The Donald” ended up with the job and has been duly inaugurated.

Clearly we have no idea what kind of President he will be, as I wrote to my Uncle who lives over there: “… either Trump is the thin skinned, egotistical narcissist he appears to be in which case and given “The American Way” of doing things, he won’t last long then it will be “Hail President Pence” or…he might turn out to be a very smart President who really achieves great things, only time will tell.” Continue Reading →

A Good Job, Now We All Wait

As far as can be possible, Mrs May in her speech outlining her aims towards negotiating Brexit from the EU was a reasonable presentation and nothing she said was illogical indeed she picked up on the comments coming back from the EU and acknowledged them fully in the points she raised. She has quite rightly refused to “give a running commentary” but obviously needed to stake out her ground at some moment in time and prior to formal negotiations starting.

So having done her bit, we will wait on the EU but it is going to be a wait for most of this year due to there being general elections in the Netherlands, France and Germany, this will take us all the way through to October/November before anything meaningful can happen. Continue Reading →

Remainers Having to Face Reality

It was reading an article on the BBC website written by Sean Coughlan in which he discussed “post truth” with “AC Grayling, public thinker, master of the New College of the Humanities, and Remain campaigner, who views the post-truth world with undisguised horror” that prompted me to pen this post. ( http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-38557838 )

Essentially in reading the above it suddenly struck me just what is wrong with the “Remainers” who lost the referendum. It isn’t just that they haven’t accepted the result, it is much more than that, they haven’t even started to grasp the significance of the event in its British context which is surprising as so many of them would consider themselves far better educated than “those clods” who voted to Leave. Continue Reading →

A Changing Pattern

Sadly, the majority of the articles published on the BBC website are rarely thoughtful let alone thought provoking but once in awhile, someone writes something good and Mark Easton has managed to do that: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-38301495

Given that the vast majority of the metropolitan latte supping classes have yet to accept the result of the EU Referendum, it is a refreshing change to see someone especially from the BBC actually trying to grasp and explain the context in which that happened, well done and about time. However the EU result was just a beginning, it is not the end either for the UK, the EU or the Global Economy, lots more things have yet to take place. 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 →

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 →