Monday, 9 November 2020

"I'M OUT!"

Dragon’s Den and The Bidding Room are TV programmes where these words are heard.  People who displease their peers are “ghosted” or “cancelled”. Rejection is sadly part of our culture now.

Still, it was a surprise when a friend who’s always been engaged in events and current thinking sent an e-mail saying he’d had enough … so no more USA, land of lost souls and close to Civil War (again) – no more Guardian (the paper which just tells you what’s wrong with the world) - no more FT (the paper that always knows best) – no more Boris and “the schoolboys round him” – no more Twitter, WhatsApp, Facebook – no more Nigel Farage (oh no, not him again surely?). In short, he’s “out”. Like Leslie Bricusse’s and Anthony Newley’s musical he’s declared “Stop the world – I want to get off.”

I sympathise even empathise but I won’t accept that things are so awful that they cannot be lived with any more. 

The biggest threat to the UK economy is this retirement malaise leading to a collective sense of unproductive despair. The continued furlough makes things worse because many people can afford (just) to carry on not working. After a year of being in semi-retirement getting the car out of the garage and expecting it to start first time (let alone start at all) may be rather harder than the government hopes for. 

My suspicion has always been (and this has intensified) that the opportunities now are enormous. Opportunities to restructure radically, to relaunch, to be enterprising and free from the shackles of a treadmill clinging on to withering businesses, to break away from terrible management practices (private equity, hang your heads in shame), look for growth potential  and, finally, put your foot on the optimism accelerator and floor it.

I’m in. Otherwise I might as well be dead.

But not yet. Not yet. 

We need to give our politicians a kicking – all of them – because their lack of resolution and constant looking over their shoulder at what the Mail, Express or Guardian is going to write the next day or what trends on social media leads to sloppy thinking and bad decisions or no decisions at all.

We need to start planning for a new future not a back-to-normal. It’s winter and gardeners throughout the world are pruning, removing old plants, replenishing the soil and planning for the future. They are thinking, researching and are full of hope. Let’s think like gardeners not like MBAs.

And we need to think of new strategies. The Financial Times asked the right question of what a post Brexit Britain might look like. Professor Ian Angell wrote in his prophetic book, ‘The New Barbarian Manifesto’, 20 years ago, about a new kind of Britain which broke free of the Union and became a Singapore solely within the M25, in GDP per capita, a world beating entity. The Financial Times considered this concept more recently.  Venice even after they lost their unique benefit of being the only gateway to Asia when the Portuguese discovered a sea-route there, continued with a population of under 200, 000 creating wealth and success for two centuries until they became addicts of hedonism and went potty. 

We need to keep our brightest and best on side playing their best game. At worst our politicians and governments last only a few years. We, who believe in ourselves and our potential last much longer than they do.

Be in. And if I hear anymore of this “out” nonsense I’ll get cross.

1 comment:

John Eustace said...

Stop the world indeed. I don't think you ascribed the 'I give in' to me but it was close to a message I issued to my readers. 'I'm not going to talk about it' was my message. My reason being I need to be kinder to my fellow man and stop exposing the crap but reposition myself to be wholly positive in the face of ineptitude.
ONWARD Richard, excellent thoughts, thank you