Category Archives: Respect

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.


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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.


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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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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Sir Cliff Richard wins claim for financial and emotional harm by the BBC (of all people)


There is a fairly straight line from the person who concocted the idea of entering Sir Cliff Richard’s own home without sufficient cause.  The problem seems to have been that they did not have any evidence. Although there is a result, have the people in decision-making been brought to book?

One person in the policeforce had the idea to go into his home. Another, or the same, decided to leak it to the Press and make sure they were there at the early-morning raid. They were looking for evidence to back up whatever spurious claim they had.

What if the cameras recording the break-in saved Sir Cliff from a worse fate?  What if someone was going to plant false evidence? From the other decisions made up to the break-in, they were already on shaky moral ground.

Which Judge granted the warrant? These are the people who should be investigated.

His other lucky chance was that he was not at home, although watching someone going into your home must make you feel ill.

Sir Cliff has won his claim for lost earnings and emotional consequences, yet the BBC was dodging the bullets on its own TV channel. Unfortunately for the CEO, the buck eventually stops with him.

All of this said, 90% of our policeforce are dedicated to the public’s welfare. Britain’s finest, most of them.

Have a good week



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Congratulations to the Thai, British & International Divers – Thai Boys’ Rescue


How wonderful, the young boys are all out, safe and sound. Thrill and delight for their parents and relief for everyone around the world. It is down to brilliant logistics and Engineers who diverted pumped up water, yet mainly the divers who worked tirelessly to actually get the boys out.

To the filmmakers, you are not operating in a democracy. You will have to use exquisite politeness to talk to people. It would be politic to approach Narongsak  Osatthanarkorn, the Governor of the Chiang Rai region and logistics wizard for the operation to bring the boys out of the caves. A tremendous job and he should be acknowledged for that.

Thank you to the divers who undertook missions to the caves, put full oxygen tanks along the route.  I think they had to do that every day for every four rescues.  It would be good to hear their story.

To the 7 divers from the UK’s Cave Research Council, congratulations on your brilliant work. It is another notch in pride of the UK. I hope that the boys start objecting to their bland diets, always a good sign.

Good weekend!



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Help the Thai boys out in bodybags plus oxygen


Everyone with children knows that ours could be in this situation. You hand over responsibility to the Scout Leader or Teacher on a school trip and hope that everything will turn out alright.

Maybe crazy ideas:

  1. What if the boys could be put under anaesthetic and have oxygen strapped to their chests? If they were put into something flexible or rubbery like a body bag that you see in hospitals, would it be quicker and easier to transport them out of the caves? Maybe it is too fraught with danger, but the Thai SEALS are trying everything.
  2. There is a bore hole that pumps out water. What if a shaft was dug around it and made big enough to extract the boys?
  3. What if it were possible or easier to find or build another entrance that could be further into the caves? Send a drone underwater? One that is less than 2.5 km that they are currently trying to do. Can you map caves from above?
  4. If the boys are awake, they must have one person touching them at all times to keep contact. This will create calm and keep them calm. Are the Thais Buddists as Monks’ chanting can be soothing?
  5. An mp3 player and earphones, playing favourite music? Anything to distract them from the ordeal.
  6. If any idea here could make someone think, not that but maybe this.   They are in the best hands.



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Involve Communities In London’s Policing


The UK London Metropolitan Police announced last night what was obvious  to everyone else, that the direct result of fewer policemen on the beat has led to more deaths. The only surprise is that knife crime spiked by only 15% last year. This may also be a direct result of switching off lights after midnight to save power. Criminals are at home in darkness.

London has a crisis, although Chief of the Met, Cressida Dick, does not think so. Please stop being discreet. If our children are being killed, it is a crisis.  News of 300 police officers on the streets this weekend is a good show of force. We all know that is not sustainable.

The announcement of 120 extra police officers on the problem fills me with no confidence, unless we do a variation on this:

Take  the 120 police officers and split them into 10 teams, each with a chain of command. Target the worst affected areas, although any grieving parent will want their areas covered too.

Put at least six people on the beat in an area and make sure that women are also patrolling the streets, to provide confidence and wellbeing to the community.

Top of the chain officers should be seen in the communities to listen to public opinion. Unfortunately, this invariably leads to one grievance superseding all others, for which, the police already know they will be blamed. Still, they should be there to take the flak. When it is impossible to report a crime, except online or on the phone, where we must persuade a bored police officer, we need to see the visible side of policing on the street.

On TV, we also heard from a young man who lives in London, a budding, brilliant MP in my view. He talked about him and his friends patrolling the streets at night to keep everyone safe. Well done, him. Please have a senior police officer talk to him and act on his ideas. However, it is the job of the police force, to keep London safe.

If you just put 120 policemen and women in an office, they will fail. The need is for information and collaboration with communities. Please do not bleat about vigilantes. Why not transform them into Special Constables and see a rise in pride in those young men and consequently in their communities?

There is apparently a high rate of unemployment amongst young males in London. Why not set up a military-run course to give young men pride in themselves? If they are busy doing something worthwhile, that gives them graded certificates, you will be building a competition between young men, instead of rival gangs. Male bonding is so important to young men, who perhaps are unaware of their role in society. My son’s school taught that boys became men at 15, following the hunter-gatherers of ancient times. This is when male bonding needs to flourish. There are Youth Centres in London. Maybe this is where funding is required. Talk to them and make a plan to encourage young people to stay out of gangs. Maybe take  a short trip to Colombia, where advertisements about coffee showed that young men in jobs did not join gangs.

If these procedures or similar are followed, the gangs will be forced underground. Fine; block their exits with policemen. For the moment, let every policeman who sits in an office, re-engage with people on the streets. This is our capital city; we want people from overseas to settle here, work hard and be members of our communities.

Stop, search, seize should be done by plainclothes, detective and uniformed officers. It is the only way to reduce crime.  Longer-term, you cannot allow arms sales online. Check the local gun shop weekly to check that they are selling to over 18’s with a licence and that the police are aware of these people. Previous convictions means no weapons. Make it harder; you will never stop evil.  This is an out-of-control situation that needs to be stamped upon.

So sorry for this crisis, London, yet every parent in the country is with you as you wait for action for every young person.



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Whatever Next?

“We should understand the way fascism arose in Germany and the circumstances that gave space for the Nazis to grow.”

On 26 January 2018, Mr Corbyn wrote that in the Holocaust Educational Trust’s Memorial Day Book, remembered in the UK as a promise never to allow such evil against Jewish people ever again. He was at best disingenuous.  Has he already forgotten his attempt to build a student army, after promising to pay their current University charges?

Now he is being condemned for not mentioning Jewish people’s suffering in the Memorial Book. The Jewish Leadership Council said it demonstrated “a complete lack of sensitivity”. * It is also an exact description of Mr Corbyn and he appears to be using it, at every opportunity, to draw attention to himself.

Apart from Mr Corbyn, this government has just signed a treaty with Poland. What for? Is Russia going to invade? The Russian Ambassador to the UK was bordering on insulting when he laughed off the idea.

As intelligent people, we will not repeat history.  It sounds like dangerous posturing by some part of the UK’s Ministry of Defence (MOD) to stockpile weapons. If it is Procurement, replace them.  May I suggest that the new Defence Secretary compiles his own ideas, rather than parroting the views of Generals who are happy to go to war with anyone and spend our NHS millions on bombs.

And yesterday’s ‘The Daily Telegraph’ trumpets that Russia has attempted to infiltrate our infrastructure to find out how it works and then destroy it.  Do wake up.  This is the unpleasant facet of all major nations. Ultimately, they want to rule the world, so they start with this small country, which is ready to fight, even in the desert, to uphold its, what exactly?  Freedom? What freedom do we have when we allow the EU to steamroller us?

However, we could have a little joke with them.  They are rightly terrified of Boris. He may say something so complicated that EU translators will be tearing their hair out!  Put him in the UK Brexit team and he will force the Europeans to respect us.

Why did we help destroy Syria, a 3000-year-old trade route? Former Prime Minister, David Cameron had a paradigm shift of an idea, when he suggested that instead of invading countries outside Europe, we should use our skills to put them on a sound economical and cultural level.    Interesting culture means tourists will visit.

His idea could have worked, but sadly, he staked his leadership on remaining in Europe and the British people voted to leave, on immigration and not having EU control over our laws any more.  Not that we do have any control.  A little whisper said on a News programme, before Christmas 2017, that MP’s were sitting late into the night to put EU laws into UK justice.  Excuse me? I understood that UK MP’s were sitting late with a view to amending laws and not instating them left, right and centre.  This small island has the best skilled workers in the world and people come here to live, as they like us.  I hope that Lloyd Blankfein likes sausage.


*Birmingham Mail, UK,

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Take the Americans to task, before they obliterate our trade


We cannot slump out of Brexit, just because it seems too hard.  It has always been the case that an exit on any subject involves a British law or one that needs to be made.  Presumably, MEP’s are pulling their weight and helping to disentangle us.

The reality of building inland lorry parks before they can begin to transit UK Customs means fewer exports.  This is why we must stay in the Customs Union.  I do not understand why this is a sticking point as the EU will have the same trouble exporting here.  The worst case scenario is that they dismiss the UK market, as import levies and traffic-choked roads is too expensive and time-consuming.

Ah, why not have a Premium Service, which will fast-track regular importers and exporters?  This is designed to keep hauliers in business from Dover.

So what is the UK as a business entity?

We trade with the EU and across the world.  They trade back with us.

Our Financial Analysts are the best in the world (according to ‘The Times’, 8 October 2017).  Companies are ignoring Goldman Sachs slipping away to Switzerland and digging in their heels here, in greater numbers. Great, thank you.

Start-up companies increase year-on-year.

Manufacturing reduces in public spats like the US Department of Commerce, which has temporarily slapped a 220% import tariff on C-series jets to be sold to Delta Airlines, in the US.

The US aircraft company, Boeing, complained to its government at what it saw as unfair subsidy by the British and Canadian governments.  Since all multi-billion projects have inward investment, the complaint looks unfair, to put it mildly.  And that is the problem; we are being too meek, unsure of which way Donald Trump will jump.

A word for the Irish company,Bombardier’s 4,000 highly-skilled workers who make the wings of the aircraft.  Their highly specialised jobs are at risk and for every worker, there are apparently four outsourcing jobs which rely on them.  Northern Ireland needs the UK government to object more strongly.

Sir Michael Fallon, Defence Secretary, said:

“Boeing is a major defence partner and one of the big winners of the latest defence review, so this is not the kind of behaviour we expect from a long-term partner.”

We cannot have Northern Ireland’s economy take a dive, as we are worried about upsetting our American partners.  Hello?  They don’t want to be partners anymore.  The special relationship does not exist in the brain of Donald Trump.  We have to object, or better still, take the Defence Review apart and see where else we can give out contracts instead of to the US.  This attempt by Boeing, which has doubtless had US government subsidies before, to extinguish a competitor, reveals an inward-looking attitude.  This is bad news for trade.

Boeing is one problem.  The import tariff exacerbates it.  The short- and long-term trade with the US, shows where their heart is: in the US.  Britain has been disrespected as a trading partner. They cannot be allowed to get away with it.  Otherwise Boeing is only the beginning.



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Which baddy is going to ruin our Christmas in 2017?

Hello there

Ironically, it is one of Labour’s biggest donors, the Communication Workers’ Union, which has called a strike on 25 and 26 November*, in protest at the planned closure of Royal Mail’s final salary pension scheme.

Last year, Royal Mail delivered 130 million parcels (according to The Daily Telegraph), but there may be darker forces at play here. The Labour Party uses a company called Whistl, for its own deliveries.  This could look like a calculated stab in the back for Royal Mail.  What if Royal Mail were to go out of business, as companies switch their deliveries to Whistl for a guaranteed arrival of presents?

Who is Amazon’s choice of delivery agency?  If it is Royal Mail, it would be useful for DWP staff to advise the potential strikers about the risks they are taking with their jobs.  Loss of business could overbalance Royal Mail, which has survived privatisation, due to some bold operating decisions.  Special Delivery and ‘signed for’ deliveries work very well and are profitable.

Larger companies, registered in the UK, have been closing final salary schemes, since 2000.  BHS, our beloved high street store, fell into administration last year, as its pension scheme was hugely underfunded. For some reason, The Pensions Regulator, part of the DWP (Department of Work & Pensions) decided to claim £350 million from Sir Robert Green, Chief Executive and that deal has concluded.  However it is not the full amount that was taken from the scheme. Just weeks later, BHS was sold to a serial bankrupt.  Are BHS employees being paid their pensions? What about future retirees?

Rifling pension funds was not supposed to happen after the tragedy of Robert Maxwell, who, in 1991, slipped off his yacht after weeks of slander in the media. He took £460 million out of his Mirror Newspaper Group’s pension scheme to repay other debts, especially in his American business.  His companies ended up having more debt than assets; a textbook business failure.  There were supposed to be laws to stop it ever happening again. However, then came BHS. And now Royal Mail.

Do you want Royal Mail to fail, because it cannot fund its pension scheme adequately to pay future retirements?  It has admitted to having to double its contributions from next year and cannot do it.  Therefore, it is commonsense to stop the final pension scheme now.  I am sure that someone behind the scenes has explained this to the CWU, but have they explained to the workers? They deserve explanation from the best : DWP staff, who are used to giving advice.

* These dates signal the start of ‘Black Friday’, the biggest online sales of the year.



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