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Published: Jun 18 , 2020
Author: Stephen White

I have been driving an electric car for over 4 years. At the beginning my friends scoffed about ‘range anxiety’ and their disbelief that anyone who drove long distances, as I do, would accept the risk of running out of power in the middle of nowhere – or even worse in the middle of the M1. My smug retort was to point out the difference between the price they paid for fuel and the price I paid for electricity. I was definitely an outlier but in those 4 years we have all become much more aware of climate change, we have learned much more about the noxious fumes emitted by diesel engines, and the range of electric vehicles has significantly increased. As a result many more people were looking to replace their ICE (internal combustion engine) vehicles with electric equivalents. The high price of fuel, and an expectation that prices will keep on rising has also helped. Until lockdown.

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Published: Apr 23 , 2020
Author: Stephen White

Few would deny that Donald Trump’s thinking has been all over the place in terms of the virus. He consults with scientists and relies on scientific advice, and then tells the Great American Public that the metrics he will use to determine when and how to relax the lockdown are ‘in here’ (pointing to his head). He says he understands the need for lockdown but encourages insurrection by those who want to ignore social distancing and ‘liberate’ America. Confused, or what?

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Published: Mar 12 , 2020
Author: Tom Feinson

If I was to say the word “vulture” what would spring to mind? I would predict images of parasitic, ugly creatures feasting on rotting carcasses, there may be even a slight tightening of the stomach and an unpleasant taste in the mouth. The human comparison is that of ruthless unpleasant people who prey on the weak. However, I learnt this weekend that the generally accepted view is wrong. As a family, we...

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Published: Jun 28 , 2018
Author: Robin Copland

Consider the words of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, delivered at the unveiling of Thomas Jefferson’s sculpture on Mount Rushmore in 1936: I think we can wonder whether our descendants, because I think they’ll still be here, what they will think about us; and let us hope that they will at least give us the benefit of the doubt, that they will believe that we have honestly striven in our day and generation to preserve for our descendants a decent land to live in and a decent form of government to operate under. Bear in mind when these words were spoken...

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Published: Feb 15 , 2018
Author: Stephen White

The FT front-page headline last Monday said it all. ‘New Era of Volatiliy Dawning on Markets’. But it was wrong in one respect – this is not a new era. Every follower of economic fashion has long known that political stability, economic predictability and demographic certainty, each a major factor which underpins share prices have been increasingly volatile for some years. The Brexit Referendum, the popularity of the Labour Left Wing, the antics of...

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Published: Sep 14 , 2017
Author: Stephen White

At about the same time as this blog is being published we are hosting a webinar entitled ‘Negotiating in Uncertain Times’. If you missed it, a recording is available here. During the sign-up process we asked participants if uncertainty was affecting their business. Most of the audience didn’t comment; I suppose their interest in attending the webinar with its very transparent title was evidence enough of the problem. Those who did comment made some interesting observations. The most common sentiment was that ‘business unusual is the new normal’,...

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Over the years I have spent quite a lot of time in Bradford. My wife, at that time my girlfriend, went to Margaret McMillan College of Education in the town, we were regular visitors to the Alhambra Theatre, and later on I taught numerous managers working for Grattan’s, the mail order catalogue company. It is a fine town, populated by great characters. In 1981 Bradford made headlines when it declared itself to be a nuclear-free zone. No one quite understood what that meant in practice, but the literal interpretation was that if...

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