Time to declare our position

Is history repeating itself?

Mrs May called a General Election within six months of winning one. It was a massive miscalculation because she and her two autocratic aides had kept all details to themselves.

Now, with the deadly boredom for the public and mounting panic for businesses, that is Brexit, we have no details. Why do I get the feeling that every time M. Barnier and co., report good progress, it means that we have conceded something? The trouble is that the public knows nothing and MP’s are being stonewalled, when the whole plan should have been made available to them. They should be signing off the details, but still Mrs May is silent.

The second problem is that we are being bullied by the EU. If 75% of our exports go to the EU, then what will happen to them if there is no deal? It will be the same as it is for us in the UK, so therefore those businesses should also be panicking. Negotiators for the EU and those for the UK need to show their hands. People on the streets is not a feature of British daily life. Agitators and activists breed in this atmosphere.

You cannot disrespect people’s lives; you have to give them answers. Wearing down Civil Servants and trying to blame them for Mrs May’s intransigence is unfair. If there is confirmation of a ‘no deal’, the possible consequences should be discussed in Parliament and Emergency Plans set up to deal with it, before we bounce out.

Meanwhile, our Prime Minister and thus our country have been insulted by M. C-J Juncker, the Luxembourg President of the EU Commission. He danced into a speech, days after Mrs May had danced the Conservative Conference to a happy conclusion. For publicly mocking the Head of another member state, he should be sacked. Had she been a man, would that have happened? Yes, probably; he does not consider us equal partners, a cheek coming from his small country. I should think his citizens are mortified.

Brexit is not a contest; it is about the future of the UK. The Referendum threw up almost a 52% to leave and 48% to remain. The British have been on the streets, demonstrating, which shows the level of frustration out there. Ignore it at our peril.  However, sack any MP who wants another Referendum; you can’t do that just because you did not like the result the first time.

It is time for Mrs May to show her hand. If she does not do so, she risks civil disunity, never mind political unity. Disappointment is being hurled from all sides.  The teams of negotiators can no longer consider our position; we should declare it. I suppose Mrs May has to trust in MP’s of all hues to bring us about instead of flapping in the wind. We are a fiercely proud island nation, sometimes mavericks, always independent. in our history, leaving the EU will be a blip in trade.

We just have to wake up and look at what other countries are doing,  China’s refusal to accept our plastic waste may mean a boon to putting plastics in roads (British startup). We have numerous Chinese students and financial services’ workers in London; let us keep our friends.

LucyLou

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Mrs May stands strong, alone

Allow Mrs May a customs plan that allows free movement of products and services? If it is cherry-picking, let the EU have a paddy and overcome it. Mrs May has acted with great dignity over the last few days. Being mocked by CJ Juncker made the whole of the UK put their noses in the air. We are a great nation; Luxembourg is a small one. The man should be sacked for mocking an EU partner. (He danced his way onstage to his peers and they all laughed, according to a TV soundbite.) There is no second chance for insult. You can imagine the US going to war over such a thing, yet we are considered weak and how can that be? It seems that every time the EU negotiators says that the talks that day were making ‘good progress’, the more we wonder whether concessions are being given to the EU.

We are sticking to our guns over the Customs Union, as Theresa May rightly sees that there is no trade without it. so why can’t we have one that suits us, rather than Brussels. We should be saying that ‘x’ is what we have worked out and that is our offer on the table.

Every bank is making contingency plans, so should businesses. Maybe they can negotiate customs and Brexit plans for each industry. They know what they need; the government is wavering. Why cannot we ‘cherrypick’? Isn’t that what the EU is doing by rejecting our plans. Let’s be frank; the 27 EU nations have just realised that the loss of the UK’s financial contribution will mean no money for their own infrastructure, so they became M. Barnier’s lemmings. The merest mention of the words ‘general election’ makes MP’s realise that they may lose their comfortable salaries and they panic. This is where the leader must stand strong, which she is doing.

Where is Mrs May’s support? Why aren’t MP’s standing up and saying that they support her and in their chosen industry, they need such and such. It is for government to amalgamate not create. The lack of it suggests there is no support, yet that may not true. Is an aide keeping MP’s ideas from her. The two previous aides from the General Election, snubbed MP’s and acted like dictators. That would be catastrophic for the UK.

A General Election today would descend into chaos and may bring a Dictator into power, one who does not listen to his own, sends activists into every moderate’s constituency.

A Leadership Election would bore the nation. Those who live in glasshouses, (i.e., have no new ideas) should not throw stones. Social housing in London has been a cause for every government since the Second World War.

LucyLou

 

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Madeleine Mcann – since 2007 – a continuing tragedy

Hello,

Sometimes, social comment gets mired in other stories, like legal ones. It was a tragic story at the time and continues to be, but a substantial amount of money is now involved.

Sorry, but who allows the Mcanns to withdraw legal payment from their £750,000 fund? It was money raised by the public to help find their 4-year-old daughter, Madeleine.. Surely, it should be used for just that. The enormous sums spent on lawyers etc., are one reason that people give up legal actions.

Also the McAnns are high earners, if they have continued their jobs as GP and Neurosurgeon. The action should be stopped immediately or the Mcanns must pay out of their own funds. There has never been a sighting, which is very sad, but they cannot give up and all parents can sympathise, But other parents, who have lost children, do not have access to such funds.

Also, what psychiatric problems are they heaping on their twins, younger than Madeleine? At least, they have been kept out of the public eye.

If this money is withdrawn in legal fees, the search for Madeleine will be over. Instead of withdrawing it, they could give the money to an international fund for missing children, that includes theirs and other parents’ children.

LucyLou

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For Mrs May – Strength comes from evaluating a proposal

Hello

A billion pound company was built by two men, one a marketing man, Clay Brendish, the other a finance man.

The company was Admiral Computing and no deal was done unless a proposal, had been through several levels of discussion.

So Mrs May has put in the proposal at Chequers. Unfortunately, she has some highly dramatic Cabinet members and this one resigned and others threatened it. Then they started thinly-veiled leadership talks within the Conservative Party.  Naturally, Mrs May is irritated, especially as it distracts her from doing her job.

If there is anything the local Party members can do, it is to hold the party line. But and it is a big but, Mrs May must allow her proposal to be evaluated and discussed until it becomes more palatable. It may become a compromise and that would be a success.

Cabinet members and MP’s must stop strutting into our newspapers  of a weekend. The English prefer someone who will get on with the job, like Mrs May. The EU and M. Barnier are becoming more conciliatory. Anyone who proposes a second Referendum should be given to backbenchers who have more insight and considerably more experience.

Thirty years ago on the night train from Paris, friends from Africa would promise Customs that they would become bricklayers or nannies. Today, it would seem to be fruit pickers.

Have a safe week.

LucyLou

PS. Have these hurricanes bounced partly back into the Atlantic from the Carolinas and Virginia and become three smaller amber and yellow storms across the UK? Weather forecasters are calling it the start of the 2018-19 hurricane season. Don’t be daft; the UK does not have one.

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What has she done?

Hello

What has Andrea Jenkyns, PPC for Morley done? As always with politicians, it is the little slip of the tongue, a throwaway remark that dives them into trouble.

She was being interviewed on the News at Ten and what did she say about Mrs May refusing a leadership contest:

“She, (Mrs May) may not have wanted to lose face.”

This phrase has started wars from the Great War 1914-18 to wars ever since.  Some countries in the Middle East and the Far East cannot bear to lose face. They feel it as a great insult. Amongst some men.

Do some women feel loss of face?  I have no idea. Do you?

Maybe we could stop wars by using female diplomats.

Still, it is not a phrase to use, ever. Maybe it will fade away.

LucyLou

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Sir Mike Ashley Saves House of Fraser

Congratulations to Sir Mike Ashley for saving House of Fraser, one of our much-loved department store chains. He wants to make it like “Harrods of the High Street”.  Wow, it sounds great. Just let’s see how many jobs he can save.  It may be a tall order, yet he has a reputation of putting into practice what he promises.

House of Fraser (HoF) fits well with his other enterprises, especially if he keeps to the high-end of the market. HoF will benefit directly from Sports Direct’s lucrative toe in the US market where it holds concessions in Macy’s department stores. Macy is a name that US customers recognize, so the sale becomes easier. Very clever and profitable as he markets aspirational leisurewear and trainers, responsible for the 29% profits’ spike.

What is HoF full of? You’re way ahead: concessions. The stockmarket has already noted that there is a thinner profit margin when targeting the less affluent. However, this asset class is also susceptible to aspirational products like those at Macy’s.

HoF already offers online shopping and it is a real pleasure to pick up your purchase promptly in a pink HoF bag. Wrap your products like Monsoon does and you will have more repeat purchases from more than one target market.

Unfortunately, the fly in the ointment is that the whole premise of going to a shop and looking at a blur of choices is sadly out-of-date.

We need to make it exciting and fun! An idea about department stores with concessions that will see profit go stratospheric, is coming shortly.

I do not know about you but I am bored by department stores. You go in, are faced by a myriad of choice and wander to another department, then go to the café for lunch. Cafés could be the hub of the store, where friends can meet and compare clothes on their ipads or dare I suggest a constant catwalk of real- life models, not waifs, that they can scan into their ipads and have them ready to try on as quickly as possible.

It is time to make department stores more exciting and Sir Mike Ashley may be the one to do it. He is a maverick to the long-suffering stockmarket, who ten years ago, was flummoxed by a company leader who was not bothered about posting profit and loss.

Time maybe to offer bonuses to all of his staff. Incentive is required in the UK retail market.  He rewarded his son-in-law with a £5m bonus (how generous is that), for keeping SPD’s property investments buoyant. The commercial property along with the residential market is stuttering. But commission as part of income makes people desperate. None of us wants to see that. The more generous a boss, the greater the staff loyalty by sheer hard work.

The truth about JD Sports and Mike Ashley is actually that he saved the former by taking a 10% stake, after they hit a low patch and were casting around for a cash injection. The CEO’s had been mates for years. Now JD Sports does not need him anymore, he has sold his stake.

There is every reason for employees to be happy if they step up their sales activities in their department and impress the boss. To him, please save or top up the pension fund, so your staff and the rest of us can rest easy.

LucyLou

PS May purchase of Debenhams be a step too far like HBOS was for Lloyds? No time for enough due diligence almost sank Lloyds. Debenhams has been in the doldrum for years, packed with products in confusing disarray.

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Postcript to Birmingham Prison Failure

Hello

Why not introduce eastern philosophies which revolve around the mind and body as instruments, such as Tai Chi and yoga?

Currently Prison Officers will not enter certain wings of the prison as they fear being overcome by wafting drugs.

The new management from the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) could import masters of the arts, so that prisoners may learn the mindset behind them.

Give prisoners a reward for taking the classes, in kind or monetary, whatever you feel best. Be generous and show weaker prisoners and frightened Prison Officers that you (the new management) have their backs and will be calming the drug-fuelled situation as soon as possible.

A net over exposed parts of the prison to catch drugs?

A patrolled perimeter with dogs behind a high chain-wire fence.?

A policy of shooting down all drones or send your own drones to patrol the perimeter.

It appears that they need non-drug fuelled activity. Of course you may need three zones of sectioning prisoners who are coming off drugs.

The MoJ has been watching the prison for months. Now it has hit the press. Expect frequent updates blaming whoever they can find, or ask them to respect your work.

Good luck.

LucyLou

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