Recently by Mohammed M-Hasan
Welcome policy makers, journalists, influencers, opinion formers....in short, everyone that the City of Birmingham has always wanted to get to see our city........and love it.
Well here they are, thousands and thousands of them. The Conservative Conference is indeed causing excitement.
And I know that Birmingham will not let itself down. And here is a countdown of some of the greatest things about this city which they will love:
1. The bill will not arrive before you have finished your coffee after dinner
2. The ICC is actually a world class venue
3. Authentic Baltis
4. If you ask someone for directions, people will be happy to help
Ok over to you, what else will they love?
I have rarely understood why , in today's day and age, so many people want to buy a house, when it clearly makes no sense for them to do so.
The actual fact is most people have no idea what it means to own a house, they are in my view blatantly negligent.
The baby boomers had this sorted. They bought houses, they built the equity, they managed their debt. and lived and worked in relatively compact geographies.
Today, or atleast from 1997 onwards and from 2002 onwards in particular, people buy a house, go on an extension 'binge' spend all the equity on holidays and by the time the 2 years of their fixed term are up, they are ready to remortgage.
No really, who does care, or cares enough? (BTW, thanks to Paul Groves for his comments which have arisen me from a mid day slumber today)
I do not mean Greenpeace, or the many campaigners (open toe sandal brigade as someone lovingly called them the other day) or politicians (actually I am not entirely convinced that most national politicians care, I just think they have figured out it is a great way to raise taxes).
I mean who really cares:
I must admit that I am quite tempted to delve into the thousands of pages of Hansard's and dig out the numerous references to the 'abolishment of boom and bust' which were bellowed by our then Chancellor Gordon Brown when he saw off a number of Shadow Chancellors in his heyday.
Those days must seem very far off now. But why are we here?
Is there a recession: No.
Are we suffering from runaway inflation: No.
Has unemployment plagued the nation: No again
Before I begin, I apologise for my inexcusable absence, a combination of too many ideas, not enough time and IT incompetence on my part. However, hopefully I will have learnt from the experience...unlikely!
China, China, China. I have never been and would like to, it seems a lovely place, or at the very least interesting after the latest report on pollution in Beijing.
With the Olympics, they suddenly seem to have become the country to be talked about. Whether it is pollution, human rights, sports, foreign investment, China is the country we want to talk about.
Or do we? Well you answer that question for me...but here are a few of my musings on the subject.
Specifically, one: do we have the right to lecture the Chinese on pollution?
The last few months have been very gloomy across western economies. The US has been in meltdown and more remains to some based on most commentators.
Europe has continued to perform strongly but has suffered form a lack of structural change which has left cost structures in the Byzantine era. This is made worse by the newly found nationalist sentiment in France and Germany in particular.
So where is there any good news and what hope can we in the UK have for future economic growth?
Emerging Markets have long been touted as the key area for growth, with Eastern Europe, Asia and the Middle East being the preferred examples. This either because they have vastly growing middle classes such as in India and China or favourable locations for locating manufacturing facilities such has been the case in Eastern Europe.
The problem with all these assertions though is that they fail to understand the basic opportunities that emerging markets provide.