Category Archives: Philanthropy

Syria Shows That There Are No Winners

Hello Everyone

This continual tit-for-tat,

“mine is bigger than yours”


“ I am going to let it off”

scenarios prove one thing.

We must get off this planet as soon as possible.

It is not normal, in the UK in August, to have two successive Mondays at 35 degrees C and the rest of their respective weeks at 14 degrees C.

We have to sort out why sunbursts are happening so frequently.  Is this the Mayan Prophecy coming true?  We are on a once in 3000 years’ planetary trajectory and meteorites are hitting us more frequently. One the size of a bus would create enormous damage and we do not know where that will fall.  It makes sense to put more funding into tracing the sky, preferably together.

And in the face of it all, seeming to ignore the danger, there are two men.  The choleric face of Mr Trump fills me with misgiving as does the calm face of Mr Kim-Jon Un.  Two different ideologies.

It is unfair of Mr Trump to ask China to mount sanctions on North Korea, who is a key trading partner.  China may be looking for a way for either side to stop this behaviour, without anyone losing face.  We were cast into World War II for the same reason.  Neville Chamberlain warned Germany that if he invaded Poland, Britain would enter the war.  Surely we have learnt that lesson?  Millions of men died in World War II and a whole generation of women missed having babies as there were so few men.  Could all consider what would happen if the planet imploded or if a string of earthquakes carved us in half, gigantic tsunamis blanking out populations? The Larsen B iceshelf, in the Antarctic will calve imminently: 5000 kms in diameter!

We need to look skywards, so that each of these men can save their nations. As Mr Barack Obama evidently wrote to Mr Trump, Presidents are caretakers.  We are all caretakers of this life to make it better for the next generation.

War is fruitless as Syria knows.  A country has been systematically destroyed and returned to rubble and desert, its people irreparably damaged.

So back to the bigger picture, back to calming the dreadful extremes of weather …  or leave Earth.  Without a planet, all wars and people disintegrate.

In the event that we do not wake up to safety, space-stations could be used as initial living quarters on as many planets and moons that we can reach.  Monitor for the best, easiest or cheapest and send out pioneers.  We should give them hope of return.  Their names will be carved on a memorial with our gratitude, to be passed from one generation to the next. Their faces will be remembered.

There may not be an Earth to which they want to return.


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Thank You, Ariana Grande

Hello Everyone

Ariana Grande became known to us during a fabulous concert for Manchester, almost two weeks after tragedy struck the foyer of the venue.  She is a real gem.  Her kindness beamed from her in the photograph with Georgina Callender, 18, who sadly passed away.  When I first saw the photo, I did not know who was the popstar.  I had to look it up elsewhere.  It is because she is beautiful, like her fan, from within.

Your song ‘Over The Rainbow’ brought us all to tears.  Thank goodness for people like you.


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Can English Finance Rescue Italy

Hello Everyone

Through the political turmoil, everyone is still saying that London is the best financial centre in the world.

As we are now officially out of the EU, here is a question:

Can we offer financial expertise and experience to Italy, its banks and financial services?

What if this would work?  Amongst consultancies, we have KPMG and Deloitte where my brother has a whizzy job.

My prospective son-in-law calculates risk.

I know, therefore, that we can help Italy, at a fee of course and consolidate London’s position as the epicentre of world finance.

Comments welcome.


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UK Retailers Must Change Their Target Market To Survive

There is something disturbing going on in UK retail. The January Sales, which were stupendous online because of low footfall before a rainy Christmas, have never stopped. An upmarket bathroom company did not take enough percentage off in the January Sales and must have had to whip another television advertisement out to catch up with its rivals. In mid-May they are still in 50% off sales mode and have been joined by DIY chains, especially for kitchens.

Everywhere you go, there are 10% off days and up to 30% off stickers in shop windows. Austin Reed, beloved of women city workers has just gone under. You would think that there was room for a high quality tailor but the markets have changed. It seems as if everyone is looking at cheaper clothes, discounted cars etc.

Economists did say in 2012/2013 that there would be less spending by 2016 as a result of cutting the deficit. The result has been higher utility and petrol bills with few or no pay rises. It was thought that the spending of baby boomers taking lump sums from their pensions would fill that gap. However, much of their spending is going on holidays abroad, thereby taking money out of the British economy.

Unfortunately this government does not seem able to consider consequences of its actions. BHS, a beloved retailer, rival to M&S has just gone into administration and the government allows it. Why was the Business Minister, Sadiq Khan not involved in a pre-administration solution? Its 11,000 employees are now looking for work plus 1,200 people working for Austin Reed.
What is the solution? Company boards must go back to basics and find out or confirm who is their target market. For example, there is no point producing high-heeled boots for sale to 70-year old baby boomers.

The highest consumer spending is generally speaking, the sector with the most free cash. This used to be those on welfare benefit, but cuts and refusals across the board means there is another huge group looking for paid work and cutting their spending. Some of them are second-generation claimants.

Let’s hope that the people with jobs become more aware and a little less smug. The UK has just had two negative quarters of growth, i.e., nothing. Banks are writing to their customers saying that they are cutting their savers’ rates from measly to nothing.

The future of shopping is online. I bought a winter coat online in the January Sales and it arrived immaculately packed, within two days. Having said that, I saw a dress online in a Sale and went to the store to try it on. I came out with something totally different, probably due to the skill of the Sales Assistant. The prices online and instore were identical. Distribution is the key to profit.

Concessions in larger department stores have worked in the UK over the last ten years. Are they still working? If not, who is looking at the problem and what answers have they come up with? I fully expect to be told it is ‘commercial, in confidence’, but meetings between the top ten retailers can surely help each other.

Any ideas on the way forward, because we are sliding into recession? I hope that the government doesn’t blame possible exit from Europe for a dwindling economy. We have a lot going for us; we just need positive guidance.


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David Cameron, a Moral Politician

David Cameron was right and took a politically courageous and moral position to state that it would be best for Syrians to stay in their country. This was said at a time when a hundred thousand refugees were headed to Europe, and people were being drowned on their way.

Television newscasts have shown 97 refugee families living in a partly-built shopping mall. On other days, some refugees have said that they love their country and do not want to leave. Now there comes the obliteration of northern Syria, a dramatic development, said to be Russian.

Can we in the peaceful world, carve out an independent Syria zone, made up of a 1000 km –wide zone somewhere west of the Turkish border, of land that is fertile, or industrial or electronic, or whatever the majority wants, to ensure peaceful living.

Russia, America and the West must cross their hearts and promise any God they believe in, that they will leave this Syrian zone in peace. There are those who want Syria as a strategic asset. No-one wants to be that. The zone will be carved by people talking. Let them be experienced diplomats and not old Western politicians. Too much is at stake here for mistakes. A good way to move forward,or not?



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Lebanon Has Experience of Migrants

Maybe Lebanon could teach the world how to deal with refugees.

Forty years ago there were Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, living in a shanty camp, their shelters made of whatever materials they could find; mainly heavy duty plastic sheeting and corrugated iron. There were four thousand people to one tap and they were classed as second-class workers, which meant they rarely, if ever, found work. I remember not understanding how they could live without money and also of my beloved father, who knew everything in my child world, not being able to give me an answer.

What happened to those Palestinian refugees? Did they stay during successive wars to the present day and contribute to Lebanon?

Let Lebanon, one of the most beautiful countries in the world, teach the rest of us how to deal with refugees.


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Divert the £20 million to Hospitals

Incomers should learn our culture and customs as well as our language. Some other cultures try our patience.

“hash bit, hasbit”, the woman shouted at the bus driver. She sat back down.

“Hospital?” I ventured. She stared. “Sorry, but that’s in the other direction.”

“Hasbit, husband.”

Oh, your husband, as yet invisible, is coming to meet you. She drew a large-faced watch out of her pocket and frowned. The bus was running a minute late. Had someone timed her bus route in advance and all she had to do, was to get off at a certain time?

She jumped up again and pressed the ‘stop’ button. The bus duly drew to a halt at the next stop.

“Hasbit, hashbit.” She shouted loudly at the driver.

“I can’t understand what you are saying.” Said the bus driver, reasonably.

He waited for her to resume her seat. No such luck. By this time she was distraught and the passengers sympathised with her in a strange place and unable to communicate. Then she waved a dismissive gesture in our direction. The English think this is very rude. You simply do not do it, especially when someone is trying to help you.

I found a pen and notepad, but she just made the dismissive gesture again, which I was starting to find annoying. She stared at the pen and another woman passenger said that she would probably be unable to write it down anyway.

After some legitimate passengers stopped the bus, she continued to sit down and start up every time she saw something she thought she recognised.

Eventually we arrived at a bridge. She stamped wildly, gesticulating between the bus driver and the door.

“I am not allowed to stop here, Madam.”

She started yelling and thumping the door:

“No, no, no, no.”

He let her off. The rest of us sighed in relief. I thought that the bus driver had done a good job, yet he laughed it off. The woman looked Nepalese, religion unknown, with white lace held scarf-fashion with a curtain ring. Maybe she was not Nepalese and I do them a disservice. She was the first to display anger. Usually they are unfailingly courteous, at least in English. And there is the rub.

When they chatter in their own language, a colleague pointed out to me that they could be insulting us. That had not occurred to me, but she says groups of incomers often pass her and snigger in some unfamiliar language. She works in a hospital.

So I ask David Cameron to help these workers learn English. Hospital cleaners are largely foreigners. One, a Portuguese lady, wanted me to teach her English, but she could never find time outside my working hours and hers. If this money were allocated to hospitals, they could use a meeting room at a weekend and bring the workers in by free bus. The incentive is to learn English. Perhaps when certain levels are reached, there will be a nationally-recognised certificate. If the teaching of English as a foreign language, with words for specific disciplines, hospital wards will be a safer place for staff and patients alike.

Please would incomers remember that no-one likes people talking over them. Hospital workers often chatter away and leave the patient upset and out of the conversation. Here in the UK, we do not talk at patients, we talk to them.

Muslim women are not the only ones who need to learn English. Diversion of some of the money to hospitals will benefit patients and staff. It could become the difference between a good and an outstanding hospital.


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