• April 2016

Theo’s Blog: Ramblings of a Shopkeeper, Aged 56 ½

 

Dear, oh dear, oh dear.  Apparently 7 million people are becoming depressed by Facebook.  Isn’t that Tinder’s job?  Perhaps it’s a bit like the world around us – everything that happens has a knock on effect, you set up a sitter in front of goal and someone knocks it in the back of the net, or misses it, but the chain reaction is there.  It’s no longer six degrees of separation but six seconds of interaction and people need to adapt!  One tweet can change peoples’ lives – try and understand that 10 years ago!

There’s a lot going on in the world at the moment and everyone from government to technology companies are struggling to understand their everyday decision-making and how their plan fits into the future.   The days of big corporate domination are numbered.  We’ve reached an age that means that the big corporates will begin to deflate as quickly as they appeared, and for the same reason that they had such fast growth, unless of course they are allowed to abuse the power they have.   Smaller agile organisations will clearly be the leaders of tomorrow, and the CEOs won’t be the playground bully, they will be the clever, cool geeks who understand the world a hell of a lot better than anyone else.  To use the Chinese calendar as an analogy, the Year of the Techy is upon us.

The UK and the rest of the world seems to be in an ever increasingly knee-jerk state of chaos, with not just one big issue on the table but a whole feast to choose from. At home, the Junior Doctors’ strike is a mess.  Safety in hospitals at the weekend is hailed as the big issue that these new contracts will solve, but the weekend death rate data that Jeremy Hunt’s spouting seems to have created a magic mirror of facts that can be seen differently depending on where you’re standing.  If the worst day for hospital death rates is actually a Wednesday, what is the weekend intel all about?

Tata Steel closing its UK operations condemns a whole community to a possible generation of unemployment, while the normally astute Business Secretary found his eye firmly off the ball in the sun. We’re witnessing the biggest exodus since World War 2 with the Middle East refugee crisis, so where the hell is this powerful body of countries that the UK cannot live safely without, the EU, when you need them? And if that’s not enough, in desperate need of a parasol is sunny Panama, exposing even our Prime Minister as a person who at best is ‘frankly, morally wrong’, his words not mine.  Over to you Jimmy Carr.  It was welcome news to hear that some of the Cabinet and Shadow Cabinet, including the PM and George Osborne, have published their tax returns, restoring a bit of public confidence, especially after issues such as the expenses scandal have tarnished MPs’ reputations.  Now they can concentrate on the important issues.   All this is framed by a backdrop of terrorism that is now firmly at our doorstep.  It seems that none of our visionary European and World leaders saw that one coming when they started interfering in other countries’ internal matters.

Don’t even get me started on Brexit.  There’s nothing I can’t stand more than an unfair advantage which people try to justify as fair.  Recent news that the Government is distributing £9m worth of one-sided Vote Stay leaflets, and an eye wateringly expensive website made my blood boil, as did comments that Vote Leave had access to the same funds…which of course they don’t.   This could still backfire on the Government, as people smell a rat.  We’ll see.  With everything else going on at the moment, the vote seems one more blurred fact fest, and this is too big an issue to be amateur on.  Both sides need to up their game, including the self-interested IMF.

The falling sterling, at its lowest point since 2009, is worrying for all.  The IMF’s article titled ‘Exit could cause severe damage’ (BBC.co.uk) was rather misleading, as the key point is surely that a ‘UK exit from the EU would “disrupt and reduce mutual trade and financial flows’.  Scaremongering again.  This story’s true meaning actually does far more for the Vote Leave campaign and some of the conjecture out there, and would be the basis of a far better renegotiation with the EU than David Cameron managed to deliver!  It’s time people started to once again look at how they affect others and the world around us.  The smallest act can have the biggest impact and help to create a world we all want to live and thrive in.   This isn’t a Reality TV Show…yet…although Donald Trump for President and Protector of the Free World?

Published: 13th April 2016