Ten reasons to vote Leave

brexitI have waited a long time for this referendum, all the while hoping that one day we may escape the EU. The thing that has really pained me during the protracted run in to this week’s vote is being painted as some kind of ‘Little Englander’, a Daily Mail-reading xenophobe, or even racist.

To explain why I have voted (by post) the way I have, I can do no better than to repeat, verbatim and with his permission, the final shot fired by Dominic Frisby (MoneyWeek journalist and author of Life After The State and Bitcoin: The Future Of Money).

To me, these ten points address the fundamentals of the question, whereas most politicians have sought populist messages based on immigration and/or questionable projections about how much better (or worse) off we may (or may not) be next week/month/year/decade.  Before I get carried away, time to hand you over to Dominic. Continue reading

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Better business education

profitA friend, who’s the MD of a tech company, is in the good habit of engaging regularly with his staff.  In collecting feedback from a recent staff meeting, ready for the next, he saw that several senior engineers wanted to know what was meant by profit, and why did the company seem to care so much about it.

That they asked these questions was no surprise as most people don’t seem to know (and still less care) much about business.  What disturbed me more was that my friend felt that he had to answer the question indirectly.  The questions themselves reveal an ignorance of basic business reality, and his approach showed that he sensed that profit is a rather suspect motivation. Continue reading

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I’m writing a novel…

luiz de camoesThere. I’ve said it.  It feels like a confession at Alcoholics Anonymous.  I’ve often thought about writing a novel, and now I’m of retirement age I have a lifetime of experience upon which to draw, and more time to spend on personal projects.  But it’s slow going.  My prevarication techniques, aside from writing blog posts like this one, include reading ‘how to’ books and evaluating various tools (this is the 21st century – no-one uses just pen and paper any more, do they?) Continue reading

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How close are we to Molenbeek?

molenbeekTeun Voeten is a cultural anthropologist and war photographer who lived in Molenbeek for nine years until, in 2014, he could stand it no longer and left. The article he wrote after the Paris bombings in November last year is still more resonant after the events of last month.  Can we honestly say that the problems he describes are not present in many places here in the UK?  I believe they are, and that we should no longer be so complacent. Continue reading

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Forgiveness – a life lesson

tom tateSomeone could spend a year writing a novel to illustrate the life lesson that was encapsulated in an extraordinary obituary in The Times this week.  The subject was one Tom Tate, who died at the age of 98 on 19th January. Continue reading

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Use a good bike lock!

Left outside Halfords in Eastleigh for five minutesThe U-lock obviously did its job well, but perhaps it wasn’t wise to park outside Halfords in Eastleigh in the first place.  Fortunately, the tea leaves mustn’t have had a crank removal tool with them, otherwise it could have been a lot worse.

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Old donkeys…

duolingo 36pcI thought that ‘grade inflation’ was a feature of school and university exam results, but I’ve found another example where the desire to encourage has overwhelmed common sense.  In the past few months I’ve spent a fair amount of my spare time using Duolingo, an excellent (and free) website that provides a very effective means of learning a new language, in this case Portuguese. Continue reading

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From Hero to Zero in Four Coolers

As time goes by, and more experience is gained, the length of time between extraordinary occurrences increases. I think it’ll be a while before I experience anything like this again (at least, I hope so). Continue reading

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The Reckless Optimist

Matt RidleyI enjoyed reading Matt Ridley’s “The Rational Optimist“, which I thought offered plenty of food for thought especially for an inveterate ‘glass half-empty’ pessimist like me. However, his article in The Times (19th Oct) which you can find on his blog caused me to rank him above Jeremy Clarkson on my list of candidates for Public Enemy #1. Continue reading

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We have nothing to fear from Artificial Intelligence…

Andrew (HSBC)… at least not as implemented by HSBC.  Professors Dawkins, Hawking et al can relax while this is the best the bank can do: Continue reading

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