• Brexit – The end of days?

    Bullingdon Club

    I wrote a post about Brexit not long ago. You can read it here.

    This blog is not really intended to be political, but sometimes I can’t resist.

    The terribly dashing chaps highlighted in the photo are the poster boys of the Leave and Remain campaigns. Increasingly, both campaigns are spouting sensationalist rubbish.

    They would have us believe that the day after the referendum, businesses will collapse, or instantly prosper. Our borders will become impenetrable, and fortress UK will sink like a stone, or soar like an eagle. Other European countries will heave a huge sigh of relief, either glad to see the back of us, or delighted that we have stayed in.

    I hate to disappoint. Actually, absolutely nothing will happen. The vast majority of ordinary people in mainland Europe will barely register that we had a referendum, let alone know the result. Should we choose to exit, it will take at least two years to negotiate the terms.

    Mr Cameron has hinted that Brexit will prompt war, pestilence and plague and Mr Johnson suggests that having defeated Napoleon and Hitler, mighty Britain will finally be subdued and made vassal by bureaucrats in grey suits.

    If we are talking war – I would look a little further East to Mr Putin.

    Should we stay or leave, business will get on with it. That’s what business does. The world will continue to turn.

    In my never humble opinion, the EU is finished anyway. While our Eton boys biff away, the Italian banks are once again on the point of collapse and when they go down, they will take the state with it. The European Central Bank will come up with a plan, as it did for Cyprus, Greece and Ireland. Given that the Italian economy is an awful lot bigger, the plan will need to be an awful lot bigger too. Ferocious austerity will be imposed on Italy. (Good luck with that.) There will need to be gargantuan write-offs of debt, and German citizens will need to accept another kick in the living standards to keep Italy afloat: At least until Spain collapses anyway.

    In the past, countries could use interest rates and quantitive easing (printing money) to influence their economies. That option is no longer there, meaning that countries in real trouble are saddled with the exact opposite monetary policy that they need.

    Let me add a disclaimer here. This is just my opinion. I do not work for the IMF, ECB, BOE or even The Economist. But I’m right.

    Grexit, Brexit, Anyexit. None of these will fatally the EU. The EU was fatally wounded in 1999 when the Euro was introduced. It’s just taking a bloody long time to die.

  • The Wrong Kind of Clouds – A Review

    Clouds

    Synopsis

    In Amanda Fleet’s debut thriller, The Wrong Kind of Clouds, Patrick Forrester is in trouble. Deep trouble. Someone wants him dead. In fact, lots of people want him dead, but one of them has taken him hostage. As he’s being bundled away, he manages to call his ex-lover, Summer Morris, and begs her for help…

    Summer Morris, an award-winning photographer with synaesthesia, hasn’t spoken to Patrick for months. With good reason. In fact, she would have been happy never to hear from him again. But, he begged her for help, so she’s trying to help. Along with an off-duty police officer, Detective Sergeant LB Stewart, she gets swept into Patrick’s world of lies and deceit, in a desperate race against time to find him alive.

    Trying to unpick the knot of Patrick’s life takes them from an affair that could help bring down a government, to the dust and heat of Malawi, and a whole heap of trouble in between. If only they knew who wanted him dead, they might find him alive. The trouble is, almost everyone wants Patrick dead.

    Disclosure

    Amanda is my writing buddy. We met through a twitter chat. (#writingchat – Every Wednesday night at 20.00 UK time.) Mostly, Amanda sends me really helpful links and does her level best to get me actually doing something, and I send her internet links of cats doing funny things. So, yes, I may be slightly biased. However, that said, I am not known for my tact or diplomacy.

    Review

    The Wrong Kind of Clouds is a crime novel that rattles along at a great pace. Despite trying to put it down, I read it in a day, which is pretty much the greatest compliment that I can pay a thriller.

    The characters have depth and are interesting – in fact, I hope to hear more of Summer and LB in the future.

    The Police Detective became my new hero when he said,
    “Yes. I really hate bad cooking. I would rather go hungry than eat something out of a packet.”

    How can you not like a half-French detective, living in Edinburgh?

    It’s a cracking book that I enjoyed from start to finish, never quite sure how of how it would finish. Buy it from troubadour.co.uk as a paperback or if you prefer ebooks, then it’s available towards the end of the month.

    Grab yourself a copy. You won’t regret it.

    And remember, you heard it here first.

  • Reflections on the A to Z Challenge

    A-to-Z Reflection [2016]

    Reflections

    The A to Z challenge is difficult. I tried to find a perfect post length, long enough to make a point, but brief enough that people find it easy to finish.

    This year, I had completed all of my posts in advance, which made the experience less stressful. However, one of my reflections is that I felt more detached from the challenge this year, undoubtedly because I was not writing a post each day.

    That said – I am not sure that I have enough to say to post every day. I am reasonably certain that few people have time to come by and read every day. I am absolutely certain that I do not have time to write something every day.

    There is an inherent danger that a focus on quantity adversely impacts quality, and for that reason, I am not sure that the challenge is for me any more.

    Does that mean that the challenge is no good? No, it doesn’t.

    The challenge is an excellent way to practise discipline and to generate some traffic to the blog. My reflections on the exercise have also made me think about how to publicise my blog posts.

    Many people that read my posts, do it from another platform – Twitter, Facebook or Linkedin. Tempting though it is to release multiple messages on each of these platforms directing readers to the blog – it quickly becomes wearing on those people who are connected to me on those platforms.

    I greatly enjoyed the challenge this year, but I suspect that I will not do it next year. My focus will be to post regularly – but advertise selectively. I am grateful to have learned that.