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General, Polictics

Blind Advisers

Mr Prime Minister, or perhaps your honorable home secretary.

Who is it that advises you? Really, honestly who cooks all these rubbish policies (for lack of a better  word) about technological advancement, and  innovation schemes? I mean who in their sane mind cooks this crap.

Have you ever asked yourself why lately the UK has not seen a technological giant emerge from within in its borders? And not only technical, not only Why Microsoft, Google, Sun Microsystems, Facebook, LinkedIn or even tweeny weeny Twitter wasn’t founded in Bristol, Manchester or Cambridge? Also, why Berkshire Hathaway (or another of similar stature)  is not headquartered in London?  How many hours have been spent pondering such crucial questions and asking the public, Facebook, and Berkshire Hathaway themselves or whoever else it is that matters, what the deal is?

I’m a positive thinker, and like to believe that while humanity in the long run is doomed  to disaster [i.e. we have pretty much failed to get rid of Malaria, and have absolutely no chance of eradicating TB, H .I.V, Gonorrhea, and the sun, our own  G2V star will one day(millions of years to come) run out of fuel 🙂 ]…most of us are pretty good people (although it really depends what you mean by good). Lets just say in any given sample of the population, not everyone wants to slice another’s throat and drink their blood dry.

But when I hear of all these haphazard attempts by clueless politicians, aimed they say at encouraging technological development, and talk of this big society nobody knows about, I cringe with a stale concoction of agitation, raw anger and helplessness.

To put it in a slightly different way, if you read this, can you honestly say Bill Gates,  Carlos Slim,   Larry Page , Sergey Brin and Mark Zuckerberg would have dished out £50,000 or £200,000 ( or would have secured such sums to start their ventures, long long ago, way before they became billionaires, when they were all poor (sort of)) to come to silicon roundabout , or some innovation zone in the UK, to found a technology company that would rule the digital world?

Ok, lets list the cons on why facebook wouldn’t have been that big if Zuckerberg  left Harvard for,  Oxford perhaps:

-Theres too much cynicism around. Without even knowing my idea, my solicitor carelessly declared that he had great difficulty obtaining funding for a brilliant project one of his mates had 20 years ago. Maybe I should find a different legal representative?

-Zuckerberg would have ended up as some academic obsessed with some never ending scientific research, publishing papers that only PhD students and academics refer to … and doing little else except gracing seminars / conferences, lecturing… and looking for research grants.

-people are too expensive to hire, and if you offer a non paid work experience job, you’re frowned upon as either cheap or stingy. I wish we had more schemes which employers could use to give free work experience to students who have a couple of weeks to spare during their vacations.

-the tax system is messed up, and extremely unfavorable for small businesses. Just ask your Accountant, where in an ideal world he would set up shop?

-property is unjustifiably too expensive. Talk of a landlord conspiracy, and the effects are probably passed into other industries. If I only paid £60 a month for my rent  (which is what I’m told it costs in some places on the planet), my boss could have probably created 2 additional jobs by all the collective savings.

-its not sunny enough.

-people are discouraged from aiming too high. Why not aim high, and miss when you’ve at least aimed too high, unlike aim too low and not fully realising your potential.

– There’s way too much red-tape surrounding business loans, even when one has a great idea (or even merely plausible venture), the paperwork is ridiculous and I wonder how many people enjoy looking through it. Yet its always been done that way, so we’ll continue doing it that way, if not make it worse.

(an elder friend of mine, a Welsh gentleman, drew analogy with decimalization and the hullabaloo it attracted in the early 1970’s, even when changing the currency system from the old sixpences, shillings, half-crowns…etc to …er pounds and pennies, was simpler and much better; How when it was absolutely beyond doubt that the new system was simpler, clearer, easy to use and made more sense, there were scores upon scores of people who still vehemently resisted the change, including demonstrations on the streets by thousands of people)

– there are too many people with nefarious intentions, idlers untalented at nothing else, whose main job it seems  is generally to accuse, threaten and bring down others; too many critics; and no genuine well-wishing spirit other than sarcastic goodlucks. Very few who say, “I think I can see what you are trying to achieve here, and its great,  but look here are the problems you are likely to encounter.  Why don’t we instead try the following options, and I’ll do what I can to help you overcome these problems.”

-And if you are the genuine guy who just wants to help, others view you suspiciously, and call you “aggressive” or think you have too much time on your hands.

Britain appeared to be digging its own graves, and only the very rich (or those with property, and who could afford to turn around tomorrow and move to say Hong Kong if they so wished) would be spared. It wasn’t immigration or Labour that is or had been the problem. It was archaic perceptions and rotten imperialist  thinking of  “we think we are superior so we can cobble together whichever laws we think, and don’t give one about how it affects others or what anybody else thinks…” that was the root cause because if there had been flexibility in the implementation of principles that create wealth, somneone would have helped implement policies that have helped countries like South Korea become competitive.

Like the Welsh chap above said. Certain power brokers thought in the lines of  “We have the wealth, so it doesn’t matter whether there could be improvements. We’ll do whatever we like and if you are not happy with it, then you know where the airport is” . Such an attitude was the reason Britain was unlikely to see a Facebook/ Google type business emerge from within its borders anytime soon.

“So sad isn’t it!” my mate exclaimed “Especially if you can see the untapped potential inherent in the blood of many of the citizens, if only people could think more positively, and if only politicians could actually do something tangible to help, not theoretical mumbo jumbo.”



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