So it was my pleasure once again to be invited onto BBC radio to discuss issues affecting the UK & wider economy.
I thought I’d share what I didn’t get the opportunity to discuss on air here!
Marks & Spencer Suffering On The High Street
Otherwise known as M&S for short if you haven’t heard f them they are a leading UK retailer held up as a barometer of what is happening with consumers in the UK. Or more to the point middle class UK!
Famous for once selling pants & knickers to a large proportion of the UK population they have diversified into food & other areas. The story discussed their sales figures – loosing ground in fashion & marginally growing in food.
All that I didn’t say on the show – click on the link above – is that I question them as such a barometer as they once were even 5 years ago – they’ve been around along time so they always get reported whatever happens!
With recession, austerity & tight budgets we have a much greater choice where we spend our money now. As was pointed out on the show they have got their fashion choices wrong – no retailer gets it right every season……… Nuff said!
Royal Mail Privatisation Plans
The Royal Mail is the UK’s postal service. It covers the entire country for deliveries even the most rural of areas & islands & highlands. it has clearly been suffering from competition from many private delivery services.
I suggested that privatisation was a cynical ploy by our existing Government to please their party members & by definition funders. I was playing a bit! It is true that ideologically that the Conservative Party are all for private companies & not state run entities.
I personally have no strong feelings either way – I want to be carried out what I believe is the best for the future of the UK.
Previously we have privatised most of the utilities, telecoms, water, gas, electricity, train services, train lines – yes they are separate companies, buses & more.
Our train services are disjointed with a highly complicated ticketing system where peak hour commuters have paid substantial increases year on year on season tickets – mainly due to lack of investment 10 to 20 years ago.
There have been many instances of service being poor privately run with companies even having their licenses to run services removed.
My point – privatisation does not always work for the best. A national post service in private hands will struggle to deliver to the margins – this means that people will suffer. this has happened already with broad band distribution – let alone fibre optic cables.
So if they have to deliver on a Sunday why do they have to be private? They don’t. Yet there is no discussion or debate about keeping the Royal Mail in public hands & innovating for the future with everyone in mind. It is presented as a fait acomplis……….
Privatisation is politically motivated period.
Bank Of England Keep Base Rate at 0.5%
Mark Carney the first non UK citizen to head up the Bank of England (Governor) made a very interesting statement in his first week in his new job. To give money markets stability he has indicated that interest rates will remain low for the foreseeable future. Up until now the bank has made no such statements simply allowing for speculation in the market & waiting for the monthly meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee MPC) to publish its vote ie whether interest rates remain the same or go up or down.
I said on the show that our Prime Minister & Chancellor of the Exchequer “the posh boys at No.10 & No.11 Downing Street” are pinning much hope on him to bring the economy round ready for a General Election in 2014. George Osborne our current Chancellor has been particularly vociferous in this.
The Bank of England are separate from our government & political system officially. So Marks words seem like he is stamping his authority on the situation & bringing calm to the market as speculators have been pushing up the cost of Government borrowing up!
So is this politically motivated after all? Or Mark attempting to take control? The MPC vote on interest rates so it’s unlikely he controls them – how can he be certain where rates are headed?
Or do all the economic forecasts look so bleak that it is highly unlikely interest rates will rise simply because the economy can’t stand it? Time will tell!
Texas Instruments Fondly Remembered
As a small aside Carol fondly remembers her time with Texas Instruments & how they are remembered as a wonderful employer before they consolidated.
Ferrari Banning Email to More Than 4 Staff
Plenty to listen to & hear discussed on the show! The main point – employees need to be trained in how to communicate digitally – not only with email but all forms of digital communication – social channels can be used so much ore effectively as they keep conversations alive without the need to go to an inbox. email has simply replaced snail mail & because of the age of the generation in positions of responsibility & power in organisations – that don’t get social media – more importantly don’t want to get social media – email remains a core communication platform.
Apart from me what did the rest of the panel say ??
Plenty of companies have banned email altogether & survived!
Disappearing Light Bulbs
So a public company – a particularly large one – an energy supplier has been found to have lied & supplied what they promised they had. what wasn’t discussed is that this is corporate fraud & someone should be accountable?? except we got side tracked on how useless these fluorescent bulbs are – i try to redress the balance.
Banks Selling Our Personal Data
So Barclays have indicated that they will start doing this. what do you think of this? well discussed in the program if you are uncomfortable about this change your bank or change your banking habits – use a prepay credit r debit card.
We all have a simple decision we can make – be happy with it or move bank. I wonder just how valuable this data will really be anyway………
Author Ivor Kellock