Is Brexit a Total Con? And can we Rise Up and be a Nation of Small Shopkeepers Again?

If so, we better get a move on… before we have no shops left that ordinary people can afford to shop in..

Apparently, Napoleon never said his ill-fated and probably correct remark above. The phrase was first used in an offensive sense by the French revolutionary Bertrand Barère de Vieuzac on June 11, 1794 in a speech to the National Convention.

But it’s true nonetheless. The secret sauce of the commercial success of England – is down to to the innate work ethic of ordinary British people, building their little businesses, into larger businesses.

And yet, if you believe the analysis on last night’s UK TV – the Brexit vote to Leave will not deliver, and has never been designed to deliver – the protection and job security for the masses. It will create precisely the opposite, where the very rich become even richer – at the expense of the middle class, who will become lower class, and (as seen on this programme) – Local Councils will no longer be able to afford to house their poorer residents, the single mums, the people who have fallen on hard times, the homeless. The non-availability of affordable housing for our sons and daughters, is a key plank of strategy for enticing very rich non Dom residents not the UK, with the now proven fallacy that their wealth will trickle down to the rest of us.

Because the fact is – no it won’t, and no it doesn’t. In reality it is the opposite. Unless you are very lucky, and happen to work in the key financial and legal sectors, our hard work for the larger corporations or the coffee shops and public services, – simply serves to enlarge the financial gap.

This is due to the fact that non Doms are placing their money into property, at ever increasing prices, – because it is a sound investment – but it takes that property and available pricing, away from the middle class on which Britain depends. Similarly, the low or negligible tax regime, only benefits those who can afford to exploit it. The rest of us don’t have the money to do so.

So why Brexit?

Because the Leave campaign of Brexit is financed by the very high net worth individuals we have discussed above. Leaving the EU will remove us from the social protection that is Europe. In fostering a climate of low taxation, we are deliberately supporting the very people whose interests is theirs, but not those of the UK.

In short, the lower and middle classes who voted to leave – far from voting to protect their jobs, have voted to ensure their own demise.

A key and well referenced Article by Anna Williams, explains this in a nutshell;

https://tweetydoesdemocracy.wordpress.com/2017/03/02/welcome-to-new-britannia-our-green-pleasant-land/

This has gone way beyond simple envy or jealousy. This is now about the key attributes of our valued psyche, the reason that ordinary people still love to come here. The day that only the very rich people can afford to shop in our West End playgrounds of boutique labels, will be too late for our next generation, on whose income we depend for our pensions and other social costs.

The question is – as we walk by the streets of empty shops in all of our local High Streets – is how long will it take us, to understand this Con. Or are we the victims of Fake News indeed!

Why is friendship so difficult?

We look at why do your European friends desert you when you need them most?

There’s this girl I know, she found me on Facebook. I don’t know why. She invites me to be her « friend ». I don’t have a problem with that, so sure, I say, why not. Who are you? Tell you what, (I say) – give me your phone number and we can have a chat.

“No, sorry, (she says) – I only give my number to my friends.“

My colleague in Vilnius Lithuania, is connected. A very smart guy. He calls me and says, « you know what I am hearing Richard? The rumours here are that the local EU people are aiming to make it as hard as possible for the UK to leave the EU with anything much – a sort of deterrent to stop any other countries from following suit. ».

This is not alas the first time we have heard these stories. So, at a time when British troops and planes are currently defending the space of all of the Baltic States – and are committed to continue – what is it about friendship that can be so one-sided? True friendship is a rare thing.

The problem is this. If your « friends » do not support you when you are down – and the UK is in a « down » place at the moment – then what was the point of the relationship in the first place? And it is self perpetuating, because it means that for people like me – who voted absolutely to Remain in our fateful Referendum, and who was not taken in by the lies and total myopia of our Leave cousins – I am now – dare I say these awful words, wash your mouth out Richard – thinking; hey, maybe we are indeed better off out of this Club. They can keep their ball. We don’t want to play any more.

And then you start to think.

The UK culture is at its best when we are in a tight spot. We are an island mentality. Somehow or other, against all the odds (goes the romantic story…)… we somehow survive and keep the home fires burning. We love it when life is unfair. It offends our innate tolerance and sense of fairplay. You don’t need any more motivation that this.

And for sure, the good people of Scotland have already worked out they will sell gallons more whisky if they don’t have to abide by EU rules. And down in Devon/Cornwall, our fishermen and farmers are similarly upbeat. Somehow or other, we have generated a revenue stream that provides for all of us, with quality of life, and that remains a Mecca for immigrants who prefer to set up camp at Calais rather than stop en route a Lille or the tech hubs of Valenciennes nearby.

Which makes me suggest that the guys who do the currency exchange forecasts etc, have got it rather wrong. Now is a great time to invest in the UK, as this is the very time we take off our jacket and actually do some work.

But it is also a strategic time for the colleagues of the EU to reconsider their approach. Your « friend » will have a much bigger chance of coming back, in prodigal son style, if you support them when they leave. And make no mistake, the EU needs Uk money for its grandiose schemes. In the same way that you and I will never shop again at the store that refuses us a refund – so at the end of a hostile Brexit, there is fat chance of us ever wanting to to get back into a relationship with these robbers who have stolen our ball.

That would be a pity for all of us – but then again, it might not. True friendship is a rare thing. In the words of that great Corrs song – Maybe we never liked them anyway.

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Brexit and your Business

We look at the latest numbers from the ONS and see what it means for your business.

The recent figures from the UK based Office for National Statistics (ONS) – says two things. They  are interesting because they show that; – first, whilst we have persuaded it would appear, less EU residents to come base their life in the UK – it is the EU newcomers and residents who have come and who do come, who are the most work hungry and already have jobs.  It is the Non-EU visitors, who are the most likely to come as a family, and then “look for work”.

The importance is that Brexit was based on a fear of immigration. but as the following example will show – we have succeeded only in turing away those residents who are actually contributing to our own UK economy – and in doing so, we have marginalised ourselves in the UK.

I saw this only this week, in an NHS Clinic, where I was fortunate to have surgery;  the majority of nurses, surgeons, Consultants, etc – were European. The quality of care was second to none.  But individually, they spoke to me with a sense of sadness – they loved the tolerance and relaxed and positive attitude of our society.

This resonates with meetings I had just last week – in international Conferences in Sweden, and in France – where separately, but by happenstance – senior delegates and vendors said to me:

“Look – we have been serious about entering the UK and building a new business there – but we no longer believe that YOU are serious”.

The impression we are giving as UK businesses, is that we do not value the people, and therefore we do not value the market – in Europe.

The question is – how to stop that?

The answer is one of face/face meetings.  We find that “showing seriousness” means getting on a plane. We have never lost a deal because we were, or were not, part of some political club.  But we have indeed lost deals, by not bothering to reach out to our international customers – who do seem more than willing to work with us.

 

How To Survive Brexit

Richard Bloss explains the tragedy of Brexit.

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that the persistent vilification of its allies by another country, will itself destroy its reputation among its friends.
The tragedy of Brexit, is not on a business level. There will be no obvious difference in business, good or bad, and no obvious difference of investment. BMW will still want to sell us their motor cars.
The sadness will be in a human and personal level. The thousands of Poles, Lithuanians, Africans, Syrians, even Russians – who have come to the Uk – have not done so in search of a better life sitting on their sofa and getting our free healthcare. They already have better healthcare at home.
They came because the Uk is the beacon of tolerance, support in adversity, democracy that looks after the little guy, honesty in a world of corruption. They came because they want to contribute to our economy, to support the vision that drove them here in the first place.
We have created in its place, a feeling of disappointment at the heart of our soul, how could they have been so wrong? It is a feeling of confusion mirrored in my discussions every single day in my meetings throughout Scandinavia and Europe;
‘Richard, why did you do it? Couldn’t we have worked it out”
There is an argument that says, without the negative Brexit vote, the rest of Europe would not have taken this seriously. And I get that. But that does not mean we have to accept this folly in perpetuity.
Lets not forget that nearly half of the country – did NOT want to believe the myriad of bigotry and frankly lies that were espoused by the Leavers. And until somebody somewhere puts up a coherent and practical plan that can deliver a better version of what we have already – please tell me where is the benefit in screwing our friends?
So what is there to do?
First – lets publicly confirm that we value the greater European residents. It will send a marker in the send that our values are still intact – but equally important, it will show up those minority of European countries that want to “give us a hard time”.
Lets open discussions, before any binding decisions – but in a spirit of amicality. People do not like being threatened, and so it goes for nations and governments.
Lets apologise for our mistakes, – nobody can counter someone who “apologises” – but encourage others to do likewise.
Lets engage on a country by country basis. Our view in the UK is that every country has its own identities, to be accepted – not shoehorned into some one size fits all. Eww are right to stand up for our views too.
We need to do this quickly. Reputations take 20 years to create – but can be lost in 20 seconds. Business leaders I know, who are shocked by the lack of welcome at Heathrow- are already having second thoughts, and over time this will destroy the one thing that people come here in the first place.

As the Beatles once said; we can work it out.