Glass and a half…

In Uncategorized on September 4, 2011 at 13:22

“Take nothing on its looks; take everything on evidence,” this to Charles Dickens was the best way to measure expectations. Therefore I would argue that all that glitters is not brass, one swallow does not a summer make, there`s many a slip twix cup & lip, and so maybe many a mickle may not make a muckle – but who really knows?

As we ponder upon these historic couplets and urban myths my thoughts turn to tradition and history and I ask myself (Carrie Bradshaw like) should we not be looking outside of the normal social acceptability’s and become more robust in our defence of our UK businesses – well what remains of them anyway. Someone once said that the best way to get a man to defend a situation is to convince him he`s under attack. I assume this was said well before the days of politically correct manners. So for `man` let`s read `person` so it is more inclusive shall we?!

Is yours half full or half empty? More likely to be half full if you live near Bourneville in the Black Country. Those Crafty management types at the plastic cheese slice empire that is Kraft foods have decided – in their wisdom – to move their chocolate head quarters back into the old Cadburys HQ thus creating 54 new jobs for the folk down there. Call me cynical but I reckon it is nothing more than a political move by our cousins in the U.S. who have been taking a battering since reneging on their initial commitment to the employees and people associated with Cadbury UK. Making Bourneville its chocolate centre is a no brainer as the tourists coming over from the U.S. do love a bit of tradition with their coco. Good marketing move in my book.

Talking of plastic cheese. Plans are afoot at De La Rue (the makers of our money) to change our cotton based fivers into a more flexible and robust plastic type, a bit like our mates in Australia did some time ago. Such is the pace in which fivers now change hands, that the old girl can’t keep her looks in order for as long as she`d like. Now she`s a cheap & cheerful low denominator note she whizzing through cash dispensers, wallets, purses, pockets and kids money box`s at a right old rate of exchange. Gone are the good old days when a `flag` (cockney slang for a fiver I believe) could get you 20 fags, 8 pints and some chips. She`s slipped in the value ratings faster than managers change out at premier league football clubs. Let`s see if the new polymer based note comes into being and we can all look forward to peering at our drunk mates through her see through plastic window which often adorn such things.

They will need more than a few robust dollars down in New Orleans (I think their currency is still made with cotton).  The poor buggers are facing a fresh bout of grief as mother nature once again decides to be some population re-alignment down in the home of the blues and those films `Angel Hart` and `The big easy`.  No doubt Nestle and other vultures will be looking forward to investing in the re-building of schools and public venues and creating a mass market for their product through subliminal architecture, careful placement of vending machines and corporate sponsorship – endorsed by the politicians they support financially. Corporate profiteering following natural disasters is not new, and the outturn of this type of behaviour is the folly of the poor who find themselves re-aligned and socially adjusted by the gerrymandering of big business (see Naomi Klein`s work for more on this subject).

As one superpower takes a bath the emerging one that is India, prepares itself to – maybe – become one.  Some moral crusaders are now looking at how corruption and intimidation can be made a thing of the past as this emerging global giant begins to stretch her paws across `the village` that is now global.  There are 50milliion folk in India who now believe themselves to be middle class, set against what criteria I can only guess. It is a vicious cycle, as their expectations raise so must the behaviour of large corporations who can keep them in their new found (relative) wealth.  As their economy begins to outpace China they need to step up to the plate and get their house in order before someone in the west starts to ask more serious questions about moral and ethical obligations.  And as the west casts it’s watching eye over India, its other one is focused on the prospects out in North Africa now the mad dog has been unseated and taken out of the game.  Corporate global is no doubt racing to the shores of Libya smelling new opportunities for growth and development for their corporate brand as they masquerade as helpful interventionalists – if such a word exists!  The institutional arm of the US military, so called `Africom`, will be busy establishing what should be done in relation to power broacherage, and setting up legalised infrastructure projects in its attempts to secure new business for its masters.  I feel sure that the good people of Libya will appreciate their intervention in terms of security but will not miss the obvious fact that stabilising this part of the African continent will serve for a convenient base from which the US can go about its global business whilst at the same time securing itself a new foundation from which to fight global terrorism.  Not that there is anything wrong with wanting to protect your people or your interests, it`s just the cynical stuff that pisses everyone off!

China and India will also be in their looking at economical opportunity`s and they will be viewed as good economic allies, whilst France, UK and the USA are handy to develop a strategy to deal with the social phenomena such a change of government will ultimately bring. Let’s hope the lessons learned to date in Iraq and Afghanistan are taken into account before initial moves are implemented to stabilise and develop the economy for the longer term.

Gabriela Coleman has written a good piece of work about the impact of `digital direct action` known amongst the anonymous as `Distributed Denial of Service` (DDoS). We have all witness this organic growth of peaceful alternative action most recently during the Libyan crisis but also during the Arab springs, the London/UK riots, Syria, Tunisia and Wikileaks. PayPal and MasterCard were recent victims of computer warfare when DDoS decided to clog up its servers by inundating its servers with countless hits.  There are no more secrets any more (to mis-quote Hugh Cornwall of the The Stranglers!) and nothing is kept under wraps for too long these days.  This leaves the FBI scratching its head as to what crime, if any, is being committed by the anonymous masses and who or how it can legislate against cheeky buggers with their lap tops, iphones, Blackberry’s and mobiles – after all, global companies developed and designed them, and the governments make revenue when they supplied them and the world economy is now underpinned by them.  We pay tax for them, many are employed because of them and they are now an integrated part of everyday life for more or less everyone who wants one across the globe.  A tricky balance indeed, so let`s see.

Whilst we pontificate upon the global situation why not go and buy a `thinking about you card` from Clintons for Peppa pigs owners `Entertainment One` who`s profits are through the roof thanks to Peppa bringing home the bacon.  If she brought it home wrapped in Clintons wrapping paper it might also help the struggling retailer.  They could do with the increase revenue because they can`t pay the rent this month due to cash flow problems!

And, still no sign of things improving for Noddy either, maybe he should think about selling his car?!

TTFN Globalagogogo…


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