Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Headless Chickens

I was speaking to the landlord of a large number of commercial premises today.  He made an interesting comment.  In common with virtually everyone in business I know he was bemoaning the Government and their pathetic attempts to revitalise the economy.

What he added was that he felt the worst aspect of all was that the constant emphasis on being seen to be 'doing something' was actually making matters worse.  The end result is that, in his eyes Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling are running around like headless chickens.  

"Employment Summit today, bank loan guarantees tomorrow, re-announcing plans to encourage apprenticeships, the list goes on and on and gives the impression they have no clue as to what they should be doing."

I have the feeling he may be right!

Sunday, 4 January 2009

Drugs? All Bad, full stop

The Telegraph has a story saying that Government advisers are recommending that ecstasy should be downgraded from a Class A to a Class B drug.

I'm very glad to read that Jacqui Smith is likely to ignore their advice.

I've seen close up the effect that drug use has.  Those effects can be long lasting, slow to show their effect and can manifest themselves in so many ways, always negative.

To my mind there are no drugs that are good, none that are slightly better than others.  The effects of all of them from cannabis to heroin are negative.  Let's stop kidding ourselves by giving them different designations.

Drugs are all bad.  Full stop. 

Weatherspoons Drink Promotions

The BBC are reporting that JD Weatherspoons are offering beer at 99p a pint under a new promotion.  The promotion is apparently 'indefinite'.

On the one hand I should be welcoming the free market offering a less expensive commodity.  On the other hand it sends a very poor message about alcohol use.

We all enjoy alcohol and indeed I make part of my living through my business selling it at Rubyz.  However, one of the problems with alcohol misuse has become the freedom of its availability.  

Supermarkets are already selling it as a loss leader.  Now Weatherspoons are offering it at a price that simply can't make a profit for them, their assumption must be that those accompanying the customers buying the cheap beer will spend on their other products that do make a profit.

Alcohol sales need to be regulated, with a minimum per unit price invoked, for both 'on' sales (in pubs, bars and restaurants) and 'off' sales (in supermarkets and shops).  That's not going to stop the problem of binge drinking, it will however place a break on the ability to buy very large amounts of cheaply produced liquor for very little money. 

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Prisoners from Guantanamo Bay

Apparently Gordon Brown has agreed to accept prisoners being released from Guantanamo Bay to help President Elect Obama out of a hole.

The thing is, these people will have no link what so ever with the UK.

Presumably they have been held on Cuba becuase they were considered a threat of some kind. They deserve a proper, just, trial and if found not-guilty should be released to where they came from or to make appropriate applications to countries considereing to take them.

So why are we agreeing to take them, apparently without precondition?