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Published: Aug 15 , 2019
Author: John McMillan

My children used to try it; "Dad, just say Yes". But I don’t know what the question is. Just say Yes first. I never fell for that trick. Now we see other grown-ups (?) using the same technique; the pre-condition. Boris Johnson, currently the UK Prime Minister, has said...

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Published: Aug 08 , 2019
Author: Stephen White

I was sorry to read of the demise of the Spudulike chain this week. They are another victim of overblown High Street rents which make life so difficult for retailer tenants of every description. I think with a bit of creative thinking there was a solution for Spudulike. Started in Edinburgh in 1974 it had a simple and compelling rationale –...

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Published: Apr 10 , 2019
Author: Stephen White

Everyone can relate to that devastating feeling when the brilliant presentation you intended to make goes horribly wrong. The symptoms are easy to spot - the audience fails to engage, the negotiating counter-party refuses to buy into the rationale, the boss is obviously underwhelmed. So surely we should have sympathy with Mrs May. Apparently, she was...

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Published: Mar 28 , 2019
Author: Robin Copland

I was talking to a friend of mine from Singapore this week and the subject of Brexit came up. His basic and simple question was this: how can the mother of all parliaments have got themselves into such a mess over the Brexit question? He told me that at 20.00 in Singapore, traffic comes to a screeching halt and, if possible, everyone gathers around a TV to watch the latest instalment of the comedy show from Westminster.

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Published: Mar 21 , 2019
Author: Stephen White

When Philip Green announced last week that his wife’s Arcadia Group, which includes Topshop and Miss Selfridge, is planning a restructure, many members of the public will have experienced a feeling of schadenfreude. But those who are in the front line of deals with Mr Green, particularly the landlords who own the stores which he leases throughout the land, will have sighed resignedly as yet another retailer threatens to ‘go under’ unless they play ball and reduce his rents.

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Published: Jan 31 , 2019
Author: Robin Copland

We have reached another climax in the ongoing saga that just keeps on giving – the Brexit negotiations between the UK and the European Union. On Tuesday 29 January, there was another (of many) momentous days when amendment after amendment to the original negotiated agreement was narrowly voted down. Each of these amendments was designed to address a particular set of interests. Eventually, the House of Commons heard the amendment forwarded by Sir Graham Brady, the chair of the 1922 Committee, a senior grandee of the party and widely seen as the spokesperson of backbench Tory MPs.

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Published: Jan 03 , 2019
Author: Stephen White

The EU continue to claim that the withdrawal deal on the table – Mrs May’s deal – is non-negotiable, capable only of clarification but not of change. Is their refusal to budge from this position a ‘polite refusal’, which might change under pressure, or is it a final position? Look at some analogies. My favourite episode of The Vicar of Dibley was shown again over the holiday period. Geraldine, the eponymous vicar beloved by her congregants, is invited by several of them to their respective homes for Christmas Day lunch.

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Published: Nov 15 , 2018
Author: Stephen White

On August 30th, mid-evening, our home was broken into. We were away overnight. Fortunately, we had recently installed a video doorbell which alerted me about the activity via my mobile phone, and which recorded footage of the offender trying to jimmy open the front door, failing, and then disappearing around the back of the house. He climbed onto...

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Published: Jul 26 , 2018
Author: Stephen White

Years ago I was asked to evaluate a sales-training ‘game’. The player sat in front of a screencast as a salesperson tasked with winning an order from a big corporate prospect. As the story unfolded the player was asked to make decisions from a multichoice selection and then given feedback. My evaluation was based on me being that player/salesperson. The first decision required was...

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Published: Dec 14 , 2017
Author: Alan Smith

The maxim, “it ain’t over till it’s over” is a maxim because it's true. Fans of Queens Park Rangers were lambasted by their manager for leaving before the end, in their recent match against Brentford. At 2 – 0 down and into injury time, many of the QPR fans decided to leave Loftus Road and missed what makes sport remarkable, 2 late goals from QPR bringing home a draw from their local rivals. Ian Holloway, the QPR manager said, "I was disappointed with our fans, I'd like to say. You should have stayed. You might not have missed your last bus, but you missed a treat. For me, it feels like a win, for them it probably feels like a defeat.”

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‘The Shakers’ Are Buried!

If you’re a keen football fan, then you will have seen the unfortunate story unfold of Bury Football Club failing to secure investment, and thus having to finally close their turnstiles on 29 August 2019 - RIP Bury FC. Bury F.C. was inspired by Aiden Arrowsmith, a local enthusiast of two local Bury church football teams. In 1885 Arrowsmith proposed them joining together and creating Bury F.C, so they leased some land at ‘Gigg Lane’ from the Earl of Derby and the rest they say is history.

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