Aside: I’ve decided in future to share my thoughts on local issues primarily through my blog rather than doing media interviews, for a number of reasons. I’m better at writing than I am at speaking, and I’m not as comfortable with the reactive, off-the-cuff and time-limited style that I’m forced to adopt when doing interviews. Sharing here on my blog I get to say what I want to say, at my own speed and in the way I intended, without someone else driving the direction of the discussion or editing my responses.
It’s seems you can’t tune into any sort of political debate on the economy these days without a glut of commentators and politicians lining up to tell us how all our problems can, nay must, be solved by ‘attracting investors’. We must do everything we can, we’re told, to catch the eye of these incredibly elusive and rare beasts, who are constantly on the move and always on the lookout for the juiciest pickings.
I was In Sydney when the UK riots broke out, and I didn’t hear about it until it had become an international story which showed Britain in the worst possible light. Much hay will be made about this over the coming months, but I thought I’d add my tuppence worth. Firstly, there can be no justification whatsoever for this behaviour, regardless of your background or surroundings. But it is a good idea to try to understand it, because locking people up after the fact only goes so far.
So, in our local juristiction we’re finally having the discussion about retirement age, ie raising it to 67 by 2031, and probably higher than that later (not mentioned yet, but it’s bound to happen). Somehow, this is a shock to some people. The fact is that the welfare system, retirement packages, and even the economy in general were just not constructed on the understanding that an increasing number of people would be retired for up to one third of their life.
Over my years in working in the IT business, one thing that’s a constant is that we’re never short of talk about the latest “Process” that we should be following. There have been a shedload of them over the years I’ve been doing this, and I’ve tried a load of them out and encountered them via third parties, and while some are interesting and useful when taken as a basis for adaption to individual circumstances, one thing I absolutely cannot stand is the kind of people that focus on this as a proof or guarantee that their projects are being run well.
I live on an island that often gets bad press for being a ‘tax haven’. Those in the local financial services industry don’t like that term of course, pointing out how standards-compliant the finance industry is, and how many information exchange agreements we have with other countries (the line ‘the lady doth protest too much’ bubbles to the surface in some people’s minds I’m sure at this stage). So, we’re not technically a tax haven according to the OECD definition, but we’re certainly a place for people to stash their money and avoid paying tax on the income they derive from it in the juristictions in which they live.
I generally don’t have a lot of time for politicians. I’m of the opinion that a large number of those who actively pursue political power are also the ones least suitable to wield it, and that even the few that enter the halls of power with the best of ideals will have most of them eroded away within a few years, or be largely marginalised. I live in a jurisdiction which has leaned towards a conservative approach to government for decades (our island has it’s own government, separate from the UK).