‘Germany 10 – 0 England’

No, don't panic, you didn't miss England taking a penalty thrashing in a vital international fixture. This is just my personal take on the role Germany has in the world these days. How they are superior to England in pretty much most things, yet strangely distrusted and derided. Germany can be summed up as this. Things work there. And they work well. At a dinner party last year I was stunned into silence (it takes a lot trust me) when some casual racism of Germans just slipped into the conversation under the flimsy guise of a joke, which had it been aimed at any other race would have been distasteful to anyone. But seemingly, in 2013 it is socially acceptable to have these views. I am probably bigoted on many things and laugh at un-pc jokes so perhaps I should refrain from commenting, but I can't help feeling that this is somehow different. We all ...

‘Disillusioned at Dissolution’

By Thursday, January 17, 2013 0 Permalink

So, it seems to me that every time I sit down to compose a new blog post lately on what I deem is interesting or relevant, something happens in the world that I feel compelled to comment on as it is shaping our rapidly changing culture.  But this does get in the way of my system (and yes, it may seem arbitrary but it is actually a carefully organised system)! Coincidentally, I was going to write about why customer service has all but disappeared in much of the UK, how the dependence on the internet has killed off individualism and how people have no concept of value for money, partly inspired by two dismal retail experiences I had in an HMV store and a Nails Inc. concession. Then along comes news that HMV is going into administration and Tesco is selling horse meat. Two not entirely unconnected issues. Clearly the impetus for ...

Keep Calm and Carry on Spending

By Thursday, September 13, 2012 0 Permalink

This could be the mantra of the government right now, but it seems also to be true of the British people. Keep spending. That is the cure both personally and nationally. Except it clearly isn’t. Last week the General Secretary of Unite, Len McCluskey said, The minimum wage should increase because if low-paid workers received an extra £40 a week they’d spend it, not put it into some fund in the Cayman Islands More on that here. Now in theory I'm all for raising the minimum wage. I do actually believe it is pitifully low in the UK and is not helping people meet the rising cost of living. But I do appreciate that businesses baring the brunt of this, in particular SMEs, will suffer as a result and this could cause difficulties and in turn raise costs for consumers. However what really vexes me about this comment is the way in which ...

‘Please Sir, Can I Have Some More’?

By Monday, February 6, 2012 0 Permalink

So the UK is in debt to the tune of £1 trillion. To tell you the truth I am not even sure I know how to express that in figures. It's definitely quite a lot though. 64% of the GDP in fact. Apparently it has been worse; 180% of GDP. But that was in the 1940s when there was a world war going on. Britain often likes to point out when matters were worse, (usually governments favour the 'let's blame the previous administration' approach). They also relish  in pointing to countries in a worse situation. This arrogance is a little hard to swallow now however when in actual fact Britain is in a similar, or even worse position than many of these countries previously condemned. To put it into context, Italy's national debt is about 120% and the USA's is 100% when I last checked. Not so clever now are you Britain? ...