Monthly Archives: August 2018

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the fly in the ointment is that the whole premise of going to a shop and looking at a blur of choices is sadly out-of-date.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


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


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.


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Natural Aggressive Instincts Should Be Allowed via Karate and Tai Chi in Prisons


Boxing should be introduced or maintained in prisons. It gives man’s natural aggression an outlet, both in participating and in watching it. News Online says that a Review has been flatly refused. Maybe that is because no MP has ever boxed, has never had to defend himself or herself physically, or who does not understand the need of outlets for controllable aggression.

The ban on Tai Chi is plain wrong. It can be taught as mind and body discipline with slow movements exercising muscles. There is another side to it as a martial art, yet that is a choice, to attend a particular type of class. It helps the mind and the body.

Karate is a martial art, yet it is also discipline for the mind and body. It helps our young men walk confidently in a busy street and it is there as a last resort. The first lesson of Karate is to run away. Only if that is impossible, should they stand and fight. Discipline of the mind can set a soul free; it sounds whimsical, yet how many women do kickboxing? It should be offered to men as well.

A man’s self-esteem increases when he knows that he can defend himself. It is right that it would reduce mindless violence, as more men would be able to defend themselves.

Children, often boys, exhibit the hunter-gatherer response, are labelled as ADHD (Attention Deficiency Disorder) and put onto Ritalin to curb it and keep classes manageable. But what of the child who has natural energy and wants to expel it? It worth noting that the private education sector never banned competitive sports. It should be brought back into the state school curriculum. Maybe the do-gooders would feel better if Sports Day was a subject and competition could be discussed among the children.  It is alright to want to win. Actually, by Year 6, they are naturally competitive. What is not understood by parents is why natural instincts are condemned.

Is there someone who could discuss martial arts with MP’s?

Have a good week



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Psychiatric help before war rather than afterwards


Refugees from both sides of a war are sent here and told to live in peace.  Their bloody experiences attack their minds.

Ask a Psychiatrist about the state of the young man’s mind when he carried out a lethal attack at the House of Parliament.

Are we making this too complicated? We see a man who arrived as a refugee, has tried two academic courses, but left the second one, Accountancy after failing the first year. What support, if any, did anyone give him? It looks like a life gone wrong.

Where did he get the money to do the courses? Where did he get the money to send home to an ailing mother? His sister seems to have called him daily, asking for money.

Everything got too much and his mind did not shatter. Regrettably, it focussed on going out with violence and cruelty.  Thanks to the police and to the barriers, outside the Houses of Parliament, he was thwarted, but only after going through a group of cyclists. Was that a spur of the moment idea? Were his eyes shut so that he did not have to take any responsibility?

Whatever the case, he committed treason against the State. His fate may be to go to prison, where he will be fed three meals a day and maybe the pressure of sending money to his family will stop. Regrettably, he may learn the tricks of the terrorism trade in prison and could end up a pawn in someone else’s war.  Obviously, there was no thought in his head about being repatriated.

He was always silent, according to people who knew him slightly. Maybe the inherent friendliness of other people kept him stable. One would feel sorry for him if he had not hurt people. This case needs to be settled to the satisfaction of the British people. Since much is unknown, we must leave it to the police to decide, but forget a lengthy nonsense through the courts. Repatriation is cheaper in the long run and may, in time, prove the most effective deterrent. Then, there will be money to set aside to help other refugees with mental health issues.

Have a peaceful week


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B+ For Boris On Burkha s


The British Government has fallen into a trap of its own devising.

Let us take this burkha-wearing in Britain to British women who have to comply with dress codes when we go abroad, such as shawls to cover the arms and long skirts and scarves to cover our hair in middle-eastern countries.

When we come back to our own country, Britain, we breathe a sigh of relief and go back to our freedom of dressing.

These burkha-wearing women have fled war in their own country and come here. For some reason, the British government has, for many years, been very weak and allowed female incomers to wear burkhas.

“Let them be covered up in public. “

It is in direct opposition to our dress code, which, we as women have fought for, ever since Emily Pankhurst won us the vote.

As I have been reminded again today, the letter-box look coined by Boris Johnson is just that, a slit of face visible.  And the all-over look that frightens adults and children is not the face of western style.

The consequence of this weakness is that all sorts of people have declared that ‘x’ is a nod towards their religion, culture, etc., until eventually, we have lost our national identity. Consecutive governments of whatever hue have begged incomers to accept houses and welfare benefits, thus pushing embedded British deserving claimants down the state accommodation lists.

And British men, in general, are bemused by these women, in whom they would have no interest anyway. One friend said it was an insult to his character, to suggest the women should be covered up, as if he would ever demonstrate an interest.

The French, who have a highly-developed sense of national identity, have rejected the burkha as part of it. And maybe, that’s the crux of it. We have so little sense of identity that we take in these women, who bite the hand that feeds them. Then they demand to wear these ugly garments.

Emily Pankhurst anyone? She would be rolling in her grave if she knew, for all the fight that she put in, so that British women could vote and here is the burkha brigade, taking us a huge step backwards in our rights and demanding the right to wear it. They can have no demands; they can have no rights in our country.

Boris Johnson is demonstrating his right to free speech in this democracy. The hardest thing that anyone can accept, is that other people’s views count and if more people vote against you than for you, you lose.

This burkha action is more to do with spite and racial hatred of the host country and any British religious order would do well to keep out of this argument.  Scottish Conservative Leader Ruth Davidson’s comment, actually comparing holy objects in Christianity to Islam, stirs extremism rather than calms. She manages to insult everyone.

Also, sorry to be cynical, but the women writing to Brandon Lewis, Conservative Party Chairman have no family names. Is that because they are one big family? If you think about it, no family name is another breach of our national identity.

Let us join France, Denmark and Belgium in their determination to ban the burkha in public and to keep their national identity intact.

What is our national identity as far as you are concerned?

Have a good week,



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Would Brian Chesky, founder of AirBnB please talk to the British government today!


AirBnB started up as an entity where two sides of an argument can sit down in a room and discuss.

This should have happened 18 months ago, but better late than never.

Today, there is some spurious online talk that Remainers are in secret talks to save Britain.

Plainly, something must be done about the BREXIT talks, yet it should be help to those looking at  BREXIT. To have a ‘no deal situation’ is fatuous. We are so much more intelligent than that. Has Mrs May given up?

A referendum is the easy way out, but the British public is less informed than it was before the last one. Don’t think that by repeating the word ‘Brexit’ a thousand times, that we will capitulate. We want an elegant way out, not the current one of being the fool of Europe,

Why not ask Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel, or all Europe, how they would leave Europe. Of course, they will have their own slant, yet it may be useful.

Of course, the best idea is to talk to Airbnb. Mrs May has just to command the date with no excuses. We are up to our necks in water, (hypothetically speaking). Only the brain is left. Come on Mrs May; we know there are thousands of strands. Each Department should settle its own, then show them to you for discussion.


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Boris Johnson should not apologise – freedom of speech


Boris has described the women wearing burkhas as looking like letterboxes. To go further, it can be frightening, especially to children. The woman, predictably, has complained, but we have freedom of speech here. And the difficult thing to accept is that firstly, we are a democracy and secondly because of that we vote.  To lose is the hardest thing to get over, yet this is how we have kept the peace for 70 years.

To some British men, the burkha is apparently insulting, as if they would attack any of these women.

These women and their husbands come to our shores, demanding asylum with its financial benefits. Then they turn around and kick us in the teeth, by wearing these headclothes.

British and European women worked very hard to get the vote, but would these women have us all wear them?  It is absurd. If you insist on wearing something that threatens our sense of identity, you should emigrate.

The French, of course, have banned the burkha. It is because the French have proper spunk and their sense of identity on the world stage is very strong. The burkha threatens that. Boris Johnson has spunk; let him be.



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