Monday, 8 August 2016


I have a Blog Master who places and art directs my blog and bullies me if I haven’t done it. He is Scottish. That’s an observation not a criticism. But unlike Frazer in Dad’s Army, dourly and constantly observing “we’re doomed,” Ian, my Blog Master wondered in a post-Brexit hangover: “whether you should brighten up as you come from Brighton.”

So, starting today from Saturday 4th; it’s a real summer day. I’m awash with vitamin D. I’m invincibly cheerful. In Brighton it’s Gay Pride. As I walk along streets packed with people dressed in tutus, faces smothered in glitter and a gleam in their eye of impending-party-time a mother is addressed by her bemused 4 year old son:
“Mummy, why are we here?”
“To celebrate the day we can show we can love and marry whoever we want.”

Britain is a better place than it once was. 
And here’s more considered evidence.  A few weeks ago I talked to Harry Maitland, sixteen, co-founder of a group called The Basement Effect, voted the second favourite rock band in Liverpool. Harry is very bright (expect GCSE A*s), amazingly mature and poised. The last person I met with that much teenage charisma was Nick D’Aloisio.
Harry said that when they launched their band two years ago they resolved to set up a “Social Media” platform first, putting stuff there 24/7, announcing they were in existence and “inspiring and engaging people”. So when they began to build their fan base by busking they were already known. As their fans gave them money they rushed round giving their fans “business cards” - yes he called them that. Two years later they’ve done 150 live gigs - got 55,000 views of one of them - have been on BBC Radio 6. They are musically proficient and write their own stuff.
Who knows if they’ll make it … but Harry’s created a model approach to marketing today. It wasn’t just his modesty that I loved - it was his certainty that without awareness a brand/band hasn’t got a chance.
And here’s more. A few days ago I was taken to lunch by a very bright 26 year old. He’s  been doing brilliantly and was invited to go on the Board of his company. He said “no thanks, I haven’t quite decided what I want to do yet”. They offered to double his salary to say yes, instead he said: “no thanks, I haven’t quite decided what I want to do yet.”

He’ll start his own company when he’s ready. He’s already declared he’s not an average employee. He’s gone up in my estimation for being free from monetary persuasion.
Recently I have been developing a growing sense that aprés le deluge the post-Brexit-relaunch of Britain could actually work. Smart youth, cunning experience, a mission to clear out the complacently mediocre and drive an energetic agenda of innovation is what we need; this plus an utterly ruthless desire to win.

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