The Anonymous Widower

Fruit And Veg Farmers Facing Migrant Labour Shortages

This the tutle of an article on the BBC.

It makes some ontrtesting points blaming the weak pound and Brexit.

Perhaps twenty years aho, I read an article in a msgazine about a team of engineers and scientists working on developing an automatic apple-picking machine.

The article finishes by saying in a couple of decades, we’d only be eating fruit that could be harvested by machine.

We don’t seem to be there yet!

June 22, 2017 Posted by | Business, Food | Leave a comment

Forget Trump: The Private Sector Is Still Going Green

This is title of a piece by Irwin Stelzer in this week’s Sunday Times.

Read the article if you can. It talks about how large companies like Exxon and Shell and individuals like Bill Gates are putting prices on carbon and backing reliable clean energy.

The last paragraph sums it up nicely.

Presidents come and go. The private sector will be engaging in long-run research and long-lived investments, perhaps more efficiently than the government has been doing. The profit motive might just turn out to be more productive than the vote-getting or ideological motives of politicians.

I think he could be right!

Think of all those successful projects, that were were done without any Government support or blessing and think of all those government projects that sunk without trace taking millions of pounds with them.

And also think about all that legal money slushing around the world looking for a home in an innovation that will be a wothwhile investment.

March 28, 2017 Posted by | Business, Finance, World | , , | Leave a comment

Artemis Lives

I was listening to Wake Up To Money on BBC Radio 5 this morning and they interviewed someone from a company called Artemis Optical.

On their home page, their mission statement is.

Improve Vision: to be the Photonics industry’s most advanced manufacturer.

Their about page, says this.

Owned equally by the executive directors, Artemis, a world renowned company

employs 30+ talented staff, with an enviable history of 60 years in the design and

application of high precision, technically differentiated optical thin film coatings.

It sounds so very familiar.

In the interview, their spokesman disclosed that they banked with Lloyds, as did Metier!

And where did our bank manager come from? Plymouth, where Artemis; the company is based.

Very different industries, but same philosophy, same ambition, same bank and same name!

January 3, 2017 Posted by | Business | , , , | Leave a comment

Did The Mind Of Buyers Cause The UK’s Surprise Manufacturing Rebound?

This article on the BBC is entitled Pound jumps as UK manufacturing activity rebounds.

This is the opening paragraphs.

The value of the pound has jumped after a survey indicated the UK’s manufacturing sector rebounded sharply in August.

The Markit/CIPS purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for the sector rose to 53.3 in August from July’s figure of 48.3. A figure above 50 indicates expansion.

The weakening of the pound following the Brexit vote boosted exports, the survey found.

I also think another factor comes into it – The buyers who are purchasing the goods.

My father’s business was ruined by a bent buyer, who was taking bribes all over the place. When this was discovered, all the suppliers were changed and three-quarters of my father’s orders for his specialist printing disappeared to the only other company locally, who could do it.

My father was not amused and he told me so, in no uncertain terms.

There is also the story of the UK department store chain, that cut the foreign travel budget for their buyers, who were sourcing goods to sell. One unexpected consequence was that they increased the proportion of UK-made goods.

I’ve heard so many tales of bent buyers, and suitcases filled of high-value notes, that I can afford to keep some back for later.

Now though, the UK could have a rather strange advantage because of Brexit.

Say you’re a German buyer of components for your company, that are made in the UK.

Could Brexit on the horizon mean that you’re worried that in a couple of years, doing business with the UK will be a lot harder?

So perhaps now is time to have a last business trip to the UK before it gets too difficult.

If the price is right, it’s also a lot easier to go to Birmingham than Shanghai!

Never underestimate buyers, who are always looking out for themselves.

You are probably a straight buyer, but your family will probably enjoy the UK more than China.


September 1, 2016 Posted by | Business, World | , , | Leave a comment

The Bank That Keeps On Losing

This article on the BBC is entitled RBS blames legacy issues for £2bn loss.

This is the first paragraph.

Royal Bank of Scotland has reported a £2bn loss for the first six months of the year, which the chief executive blamed on “legacy issues”.

The only legacy issue that matters, is that Gordon Brown was stupid enough to rescue it with £45.5billion of the UK’s money, instead of let it go bust.

But then it was all about Scottish votes, as was the two aircraft carriers, that may not be what the navy needs in this increasingly dangerous world of terrorists and rogue states.

Thank you, Gordon!

How can I claim my share back, like I did with PPI?

August 5, 2016 Posted by | Business, Finance | , | 2 Comments

I Am Totally Against Brexit, But Read This!

York Potash are developing a potash mine in you’ve guessed it! – Yorkshire.

This article from the Gazette Live is entitled Work on York Potash mine which could employ 1,000 due to start in September.

This can’t be bad news, as every new job on Teesside is needed. This is also said.

Costs for the project “have moved in our favour”, Mr Fraser told the newspaper. “We are a dollar asset but a big part of the costs will be [paid in] sterling [for] labour… With lower sterling, we will be in a stronger position.”

In the end, I suspect that whether or not we leave Europe, the result will not be a disaster for the country.

The dollar will continue to call the shots, as it moves towards being the universal world currency.

July 7, 2016 Posted by | Business, World | , , | 2 Comments

Now Is The Time To Change

In 1977, the climate for business wasn’t very good. So what did I do?

Together with three others, we started Metier Management Systems to create a ground breaking project management system called Artemis.

Wikipedia says this about the sale of the company several years later.

Metier was sold to Lockheed for US$130m at a time when the US$ and the £Sterling were close to parity. Since then, then company has been sold many times, each time for a considerably lesser amount, and with the company often renamed by the new owner.

The only sad part of this tale, is that the software I wrote in an attic in Suffolk, didn’t fulfil the potential, of which I believed she was possessed.

The moral of this story, is that the worse and more uncertain the times, means the better it is to change what you’re doing and perhaps start something radical.

It might even be the time to marry your long-term partner!

June 27, 2016 Posted by | Business, World | , , | 1 Comment

The BHS Collapse Turns Nasty

The top story on the BBC web site today is entitled BHS collapse: Sir Philip Green demands ‘biased’ MP Frank Field resigns.

I don’t think I would get on well with either Sir Philip Green or Frank Field, but as I don’t have to, it’s very much irrelevant.

Reading Green’s Wikipedia entry, says to me that we have too many differences and a friend once had a serious difference of opinion with Field, which makes me feel that I wouldn’t get on with him either.

My personal view on BHS was expressed in How Many Shoppers Will Mourn The Death of BHS?

I think for a start, it has to be asked, how BHS got into the sorry state they were before the collapse!

I shall be taking strong interest in when Green and Field meet next week.

If the meeting ever takes place!


June 11, 2016 Posted by | Business, News | , | 1 Comment

The London Office Crane Survey

I liked this survey from Deloitte!

November 10, 2015 Posted by | Business | , | Leave a comment

They’re Not So Silly In Suffolk

I once had a letter published in The Times after C died, in which I praised the joined up thinking, between the Registrars and the Council, which got me a virtually automatic Council Tax reduction.

Have you ever wondered what happened to all those businesses, that were displaced by the Olympics in Stratford?

Quite a few ended up in Haverhill, as St. Edmundsbury Council thought that would be a good place to relocate and they had the sites available. So the Council achieved the highest rate of inward investment of any Council in England in 2012, by some intelligent marketing of the businesses to be displaced. One unlikely story, I heard, was that someone from the Council walked around and knocked on doors!

BBC Breakfast was joking this morning that Bury St. Edmunds-based brewer, Greene King have an export boom to China after David Cameron took the Chinese leader to the local pub and gave him a pint of Greene King IPA.

It’s all reported in this article in the Guardian, entitled Greene King strikes gold as Chinese demand soars after Xi Jinping pint.

November 10, 2015 Posted by | Business, World | | Leave a comment