I was a bit surprised when Danny Boyle was asked to devise the Opening and Closing Ceremonies for the Olympics. But he is certainly crestive as his films show.
The first thing to be published about the ceremonies is that the Opening Ceremony will start with a bell and it will also be used in the Closing Ceremony.
But it won’t be any bell!
It will be a bell cast by the Whitechapel Bell Foundry, just a few miles away from the Olympic site. It is the oldest manufacturing company in the UK and can trace itself back to the fifteenth century.
The front page article in The Times is all about how Francois Hollande will change the economic direction of France when he becomes President. I said when rather than if, as the polls are strongly in his favour. He also said he would rip-up the EU’s fiscal treaty.
The psaper gives a detsiled analysis of what his policies will mean and I suspect David Cameron, Angela Merkel and anybody in France, who earns more than the average wage won’t like it. A lot of his proposals would also be against the rules of the single market.
Having read what Hollande said, I think it will be good for Britain and especially London and the City, as his proposed rules will drive entrepreneurs from France. Not that they have had many since Mitterand.
One thing I suspect that he won’t like is foreigners, who keep a house in France. I suspect thery’ll be taxed heavily and a pleasure will suddenly have become a nightmare.
THe BBC is plugging credit unions this morning. I am all for that, as I think they are a good alternative to banks for a lot of people with simple financial needs.
but type in “credit union Hackney” into Google and you get this message.
Hackney Credit Union has ceased trading and the branch has closed.
So not a good start!
Type in “find credit union hackney” and you get some assorted credit check and loan adverts.
You do get this page from Hackney Council, which tells you about credit unions. But it doesn’t give the branches in the borough.
So unless you know about credit unions and where one is located, you haven’t really got much help.
If we want to get more people to use credit unions, then they must get control of the Internet. Especially typing “find credit union” should not get a loan shark.
Credit unions are much more successful in the US, but then they are much bigger with probably more branches. Look at the web site of the Credit Union of Southern California. IT certainly doesn’t look to be a small organisation. Where is the Londonwide credit union?
Could it be that the banks have got their friends in Government to effectively ban them?
A lot of people are outraged about the size of Stephen Hester’s bonus at the Royal Bank of United Kingdom Taxpayers. I’m not because although he got £963,000 it’s all in shares, which means it’s in his interest to raise the share price as much as possible by running the bank to the best of his ability. After all, there are still quite a few small shareholders in the bank and they would be glad to see their worthless investment be worth something. And of course, there’s the big shareholding in the hands of UK Taxpayers. So if Hester looks after himself with these shares, we’ll all benefit.
But if he fails, we’ll have a worthless bank on our hands, which will probably be closed with the loss of many jobs.
I actually think that it should have been liquidated, but that would have been a disaster for all the small shareholders out there. Gordon Brown couldn’t afford all those lost votes in Scotland. Or in England too!