The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]


Big Enough To Matter, But Not Big Enough To Count …

Recently I was reading an article on Brexit when I came across a comment that stopped me in my tracks.

The reason for it is that in a few words – literally a few – it not only highlighted the issue with many of the shortsighted fools who voted for leaving the European Union – and likely voted for the election of Boris Johnson and Liz Truss – but also could be used to explain the decline of so many companies, institutions and individuals.

This is it …

What a perfectly constructed sentence.

A devastating set of words that places you perfectly in a corner you can’t get out of.

It’s almost a Hollywood movie line it’s so crafted in its underlying viciousness.

But of course, the people it challenges won’t accept it.

They will continue to refuse to acknowledge their complicity in the situation millions now face.

Because as I’ve written before, people has difficulty understanding something when their credibility and reputation depends on them not understanding something.

It’s why they will continue to cast blame on everyone else.

Why they will continue to claim the opposition are more dangerous than the government they voted in … the government that has brought an entire nation to its knees.

But let’s be honest, the reason for their attitude is even uglier than not wanting to own up to what they contributed to. Because for all their claims of wanting a ‘better Britain’ … the real reason behind their choice was to create a barrier between them and people they think are beneath them.

A way to feel socially, morally, professionally superior to those around them, while conveniently choosing to ignore they were either given great advantage from birth over the vast majority of people or seek to mitigate their situation by blaming everyone else for what they have not achieved, despite starting from greater advantage.

I get it. It’s kind-of human nature. It’s also the unspoken truth of democracy – where the reality is we tend to vote for what works for you rather than what’s right for the nation.

Of course the unspoken truth is still better than the alternative … however given the way politics and business are increasingly allowing spin, vitriol and lies, it seems we’re seeing ‘post truth’ as an accepted and embraced business strategy.

And that’s why the independent voice has never been so important.

Not just in the public domain, but within organisations, governments and individual groups.

Not to attack, destroy or dethrone – as is the current trend – but to protect.

To ensure the people making decisions – or the people asking to decide on the options – are aware of the range of possibilities and outcomes that could occur rather than just blindly following a blinkered promise of what will happen.

Not delivered with hyperbole or exaggeration, but with quiet, informed context and facts … delivered by an individual or organisation without political affiliation and respected for their independence.

It doesn’t mean it will stop things like Brexit happening, but it will ensure people who knowingly bend the truths to suit their own agenda or were deliberately ignorant to the choices they made are held to account. Because without that, we carry on down this sorry path where governments, organisations or individuals can choose to ignore previous choices they made, ignore the passing of time that changes the context of everything and ignore the realities others may have caught up and left us behind.

I am under no illusion that the truth hurts, but delusion damages us forever.

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Respect Is Through Actions, Not Words …
October 18, 2022, 8:15 am
Filed under: Attitude & Aptitude, Authenticity, Brand, Culture, Death, England, Respect

So enough time has passed for me to post this.

Let me be very clear, the delay was not about respect, but just because I wanted to avoid being lumped in with all the other posts stating: ’10 Things You Can Learn About Brands From The Queen Passing’.

Despite being 96, the death of the Queen stopped the World.

As as I said at the time, I’m not even a royalist, but her passing affected me way more than I imagined.

And while brands all over the World expressed their sorrow – with some adopting a very as a broad interpretation of appropriate, it was impressive to see Apple drop their entire sales pitch – as they did with Steve Jobs passing.

What made this even more impactful was they had only just revealed their new iPhone, iWatch and AirPods the day before, so it was a big move on their part.

The picture at the top of this post was taken from a mate of mine, Ian McDonald.

It’s his compilation of the top 20 brands [according to Interbrand] homepages.

It’s interesting that for all those 20 brands claims of values and beliefs, only Apple and Google adapted to the news.

At least to that extent.

At least on that day.

And while there are a lot of issues and complexities relating to the Royal Family – as a concept, let alone as people – what Apple did was a class act.

Because in that moment, they – more than anyone else – showed they understood there are times where respect trumps self-interest.

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Welcome To Lord Of The Flies …
October 14, 2022, 8:15 am
Filed under: Attitude & Aptitude, Culture, England, Mum, Mum & Dad, Social Divide

I’ve talked a lot over the years about a lesson my Mum drilled into me – ‘care about what others care about’.

Looking back, that lesson has played a huge part in my life.

It’s influenced how I do my job.
It’s shaped how I work with others.
It’s encouraged me where I have chosen to live.

I say this because recently I saw a photo that stopped me in my tracks.

It was this …

For me, that sums up everything wrong with society right now.

Selfishness over selflessness.

Of course it’s always been that way, but right now the division within society is insane.

In the past people at least pretended to care about others, but not any more.

We hear so many talk about the loss of community but witness more and more only caring about things that directly affect them.

Or said another way, acting in a way that is the absolute opposite of community.

Of course, a big part of this is because of how many governments behave and act.

Creating policies that actively divide a population.

Forcing an attitude of selfish survival.

Right now, the UK government has to be one of the worst at doing this.

Pandemics.

Poverty.

Wars.

Unemployment.

Energy prices out of control.

Inflation at levels not seen in 40 years.

Schools underfunded and uncared for.

Youth with less opportunities and hope in generations.

And yet, if you watch their reactions and responses, it seem their attitude is to either turn a blind eye or blame everyone else for what is going on.

That’s right, the people who are supposed to represent us, prefer to divide us.

Of course times are tough.

I appreciate there is no silver bullet to sort it.

But cultivating an attitude that if it doesn’t happen to you it either doesn’t happen to anyone or the people it is happening to, somehow deserve it … is utterly destructive.

Humanity is stronger and able to deal with more when it is united and compassionate.

A nation is stronger when everyone feels they are seen, heard, valued and educated.

That we continue to think the structures that got us in this mess will get us out of it, is mad.

Which is why the older I get, the more grateful I am to my Mum … because when you care about what others care about, you don’t just gain understanding, you build community.

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Living In History …
September 9, 2022, 8:39 am
Filed under: Death, Emotion, England

I shouldn’t be shocked.

She was 96.

And yet I am.

I was awake the moment it was announced and seeing that headline knocked me for six.

The end of an era.

The last time a Queen will rule the nation in my lifetime.

And while I’m not really a royalist, I do appreciate all she did and how she did it.

It certainly couldn’t have been easy … and that’s before all the scandals.

RIPYM.

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Politicians Need To Represent Us, Not Judge Us …
August 11, 2022, 6:45 am
Filed under: Attitude & Aptitude, Comment, Culture, Education, England

Rishi Sunak, the potential Tory leader, has laid out a three-point plan to transform education in the UK – including that statement in the photo above.

Yep, he wants to ‘phase out university degrees that do not improve students’ earning potential’.

What the absolute fuck?

Apart from the fact the easiest way to transform education is to actually invest in schools and teachers across the country rather than continue to see anything other than private education as a wasted expense – mainly because they all went to private schools so have a misguided and warped view of what teaching, learning and intelligence actually is or can be – can you imagine what their idea of subjects worthy of a degree actually are?

There will be no arts. [Waste of money]

No history. [Except about Britain, presumably]

No languages. [As it supports Brexit and immigration]

The only thing we’ll see are subjects related to business, maths and maybe law.

I cannot tell you how angry I got reading his ‘plans’.

Those degrees he hates, aren’t worthless. They’re life.

They’re what helps stops society fall down a blackhole of endless repetition, mediocrity and middle-management.

A production line of duplicate attitudes, approaches, values and experiences.

Not only that, those degrees that ‘do not improve earning potential’ contribute far more to the economy than he knows or wants to admit … even with their best efforts of killing it.

Like those gun lobbyists in America whose attitude towards stopping ‘gun attacks’ is to either give more guns out to people or make schools buy bullet proof rooms… not forgetting those pricks who have decided woman can/can’t choose what is right for their own bodies … Sunak and the rest of his Tory scum seem to think the best way to help a generation they’ve actively and purposefully robbed of hope through deliberate acts of underfunding, denial and obstacles is to tell them what they should find valuable and what they should do for the rest of their life.

10 years ago I wrote a post about a Dad who wrote a letter to his son about his impending liberal arts education.

I suggest every Tory – and parent – should read it, even if they will never understand it.

We all want the best for our kids.

We all know education is a vital part of that.

But it blows my mind that so many people – including those in power – fail to understand the better the education we give to all – not just the privileged – the better the chances people, communities and the country as a whole will have to prosper.

Or said another way …

Education can help a nation achieve what all politicians say they are there to make happen.

Which highlights that Tories don’t actually want that to happen. They just want it to happen for people like them. Rich people. Rich, white people.

But here’s the thing, private education does not automatically guarantee smart people come out the other side. Yes, they have more advantage and opportunity … which they would pretty much have anyway given they generally come from affluent families … but there is plenty of evidence to suggest many create more myopic, self-focused and damaged individuals.

And here’s the thing …

In a world that is increasingly encouraging, valuing and producing the same thing over and over again, we need to remember the arts aren’t worthless to society and economies … they create the value in the known and reveal the opportunities in the things Rishi and mob would never see on their own.

Fuck the Tories.

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