Blog Archive

Friday, July 1, 2022

Remember the Cinema, Warnings for Business, Are Strikes Back?

Remember the Cinema?

We went to the cinema in June for the first time in well over two years!

The city centre cinema was warm and welcoming and the quality of the film projection sound and vision was superb. We were very comfortably seated and for a film relying on special effects and sounds to convey its messages, it was a far superior experience to any home TV.

The film we saw was Top Gun Maverick, the sequel to the 1986 original and it was two hours of quality entertainment on every level. The cinema was practically full and everyone seemed to be enjoying the experience again.

Tom Cruise in Top Gun Maverick

Dire warnings for British businesses - New York Times 8th June 2022

"Britain is staring down the specter of stagflation, a ruinous mix of stagnant economic growth and rapid inflation. The country is experiencing the fastest pace in consumer price growth in four decades — a 9 percent inflation rate. Economic growth ground to a halt in February and contracted slightly in March.

Rising prices are inflicting pain around the world, but there is a concern that Britain faces more persistent problems than many of its neighbors. The country has a tight labor market — partly because of Brexit, which took away a large European labor pool, and partly because long-term sickness has kept hundreds of thousands out of work — and is at the mercy of Europe’s energy crisis.

Disposable household incomes are expected to drop 1.75 percent this year, and, as of April, consumer confidence was at a 14-year low. Businesses are making complicated calculations about how high they can push their prices to compensate for their own rising costs without driving away customers.

Rising costs: Companies that import goods from the E.U. have complained that extra red tape is increasing their costs. Economists say Brexit has pushed food prices up 6 percent. In October, household energy bills are expected to rise by £800, to £2,800 a year."

Are Strikes Back?

The RMT Union seems determined to create as much unrest as possible this summer. With much of the train network and London Underground on strike for most of last week, expectations for chaos on the trains and the roads were very high. However, unlike in the 1980's strikes, the trouble caused was surprisingly muted. There were few, if any, reports of major traffic jams and the few trains that did run were mostly uncrowded. 

I think the Unions will have been very surprised. It seems that our new way of life allows sufficient people to work from home and to change their travel plans at short notice showing a reliance on the railways no longer exists in any great measure. They should take great care that they don't destroy the careers of the very people they claim they are trying to protect.  In the 1970's coal mining strike, the National Union of Miners used this poster:

Will people always need trains? I think we now live in a world where technology is making almost anything possible, so people will find an alternative rather than just give in to strikers. If the train services are great, people will use them; otherwise they won't. Unemployment rates are so low that people unhappy with their jobs should leave and go elsewhere. We are all suffering from increased costs in nearly everything we do. This is the cost of protecting our democracies and stopping Russia taking whatever it wants. It's a price we should be prepared to pay.

Quote for the Month

"It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma but perhaps there is a key. That key is the Russian interest."* "I am convinced there is nothing they admire so much as strength, and there is nothing for which they have less respect than weakness, especially military weakness."#

Winston Churchill in 1939* and 1946# talking about Russia.

No comments:

Post a Comment