Investment Special – Redemption Roasters – Happy Chanukah – iCloud

Investment Special

I would like to start this week’s blog with a piece of inside information. I have decided to make my first crypto investment in an initial coin offering called YouNow, which is great little company intent on disrupting YouTube. Having shared this, I can say with utter certainty that bitcoin and ethereum, and the entire market for initial coin offerings, will collapse sometime over the next few days.

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Welcome back – Motor bike imports – Programme for reform

Dear all,

Sorry for the lack of Fat Gladiator blogs the last month or so, but work has been super busy. I am pleased to say that we have spent most of this week working on the Christmas special, which I think could get a bigger viewing than the Vicar of Dibley on Christmas Day, so please bear with me, I hope it’s worth the wait.

It’s been a great week in the Fat Gladiator house, my youngest son got 10% in his Latin exam, beating my best-ever result by a clear 7%, so we are all made up. It’s lovely when you get to see the next generation progressing and learning from the mistakes of the past, ”just keep improving” has always been my message to the kids, and it’s great when they listen.

I was somewhat overwhelmed by the response to my last blog, which took a fresh look at UK politics. Having dedicated so much of my time to making people laugh at the weekend, it clearly came as a massive shock to most that I posses a brain. Thanks to everyone for writing in, I got some amazing messages of support. comments like: “you never wrote that”,  “you boring twat”, and “not bad for someone with a degree in textiles”.

One person even suggested that I run for Prime Minister (thanks Mum) and another asked me if I would consider joining a government think tank! I responded “yes” but I got an email back saying “only joking it’s not your ideas that are the problem, I just know you could never sit still in a meeting for long enough”.

Anyway, no doubt, as someone who voted to Leave, I feel a certain responsibility to fix the economy single-handedly and get relations with our European neighbours back on a sure footing.

The first thing I would say is that appreciating their sense of humour is always a good place to start, and we may need to import more motorbikes like the one in the video below if we are to find common ground.

If you don’t like serious stop here!

The terrible pain of Brexit, which neither side wished to occur, will inevitably lead to a brighter future. The staple diet of cheap imported labour drying up will undoubtedly cause change that will enforce faster technological adoption and more automation, and encourage investment in UK agriculture and technology as labour costs rise.

The UK shouldn’t model itself on Canada, Switzerland or Norway, but Israel. Not exactly surrounded by friendly neighbours, and considered a controversial trading partner by some, the country has built the second most important tech hub in the world, turned deserts into fertile land, and has a rock solid economy and currency .

This was achieved by placing education and technology at the epicentre of policy. No one should doubt the UK’s ability to carve an incredibly bright future alongside our European neighbours, whose commerce and friendship we should treasure, it is the quality of the leadership needed to implement the programme that scares us all.

Here is my programme for reform:

1. Unilateral declaration of friendship

Lead by example and allow all Europeans currently working in the UK to reside here as permanent citizens. The idea that these people can be used as a bargaining chip is simply ridiculous. This decision would be made immediately and unilaterally without any need for European reciprocity because it is simply good news for the UK to have talented tax paying citizens as part of the fabric of our society.

If the European nations want to kick out Brits that are living and breathing life into their economies on the continent, let them. It would be a terrible decision for them in the same way it would for us, so they will not do it. Politicians on both sides of this issue are behaving illogically under the pretence that they are protecting the rights of British citizens abroad, when actually they are just dragging out the inevitable, an agreement for our countries to reciprocate.

2. A quick divorce – Don’t let the lawyers get rich

In a protracted divorce, the lawyers get rich whilst the family is dragged through unnecessary pain. Brits are smart enough to know this, pay up and extend the time period that the money has to be paid over as a compromise.

The lingering uncertainty of Brexit is currently doing more economic damage to both UK and European trade than any one off payment. Stop the pretence that you can drive a hard bargain. Logical arguments trying to accurately assess cost ignore the big picture. We need to concentrate on what matters, which is giving growth and transparency back to business.

Those who say that money is needed for public services are really only interested in promoting their own political agenda. Without a functioning growing economy no one will get the vital public services or pay rises they so separately deserve.


3. Issue 250,000 technology visas with immediate effect

Establish a Ministry of Technology to oversee the appropriation of 250,000 technology visas (the current number is 20,000). The newly-set-up ministry would also be responsible for regulation of existing disruptive technologies like virtual reality, AI and autonomous cars and all new technologies.Rather than holding back change, its purpose would be to harness the power of good technology and minimise unwanted side effects in much the same way that the FDA does with new drugs.

4. Hero status – Help for Heroes, but not just the army

Let’s promote social care, nursing, teaching and all of society’s most important jobs to hero status just like the armed forces. Let’s treat them like we do entrepreneurs, with tax breaks, public recognition (awards) and anything that can be done to help encourage talented individuals to take up the most underappreciated but vital of all professions. Recognition for all stay at home carers is vital as well.

5. Environmental tax for online sales
It’s tough to tax online giants based on current global tax treaties so let’s do it by the package, based on the environmental impact, and help drive trade back to the High Street.

Companies like Amazon would pay a fractional payment on every package shipped and consumers would be given an allowance, much like tax bands, with society’s most disadvantaged paying nothing and serial online shoppers (who exceed their allowance) paying more after a certain number of parcels, so the revenue would collect on both sides.

This type of policy could limit damage caused to the environment by parcel packaging and transport, draw people back into physical shops, encourage a sense of community, and limit the evolution of an unnecessary “sale and return culture”. It would be good for the profitability of retailers (lower return rates), good for the High Street, good for the environment, and good for raising revenue if indulgent online shoppers continue to use the internet as a sheer convenience.

6. Give the NHS its independence like the Bank of England and issue 250,000 health worker visas

We should de-weaponise healthcare so that politicians cannot use people’s health as part of their campaigns.  If central banks can be given their independence to stop interest rates being used for political purposes during an electoral cycle then why can’t we do something similar with healthcare.

The NHS should be run by a cross party committee made up of NHS workers, politicians and technology experts, and have funds appropriated accordingly as a fixed percentage of GDP.

7. Political Academy – Make it law for every MP to spend four weeks a year training

Let’s create political academies whose sole purpose is to train politicians at an apprenticeship level and throughout their careers. Use public money to recruit, train and educate people from all backgrounds and political beliefs so that they are better equipped with the skills necessary to do the job. Let them be exposed to some of the scientific and economic case studies underpinning their beliefs so that they can more closely scrutinise the foundations upon which their emotional responses are based.

The institutions should be cross-party training facilities teaching a new generation of politicians about automation, gene sequencing, the environment, foreign affairs, economics, disruption and a host of other different subjects.

Put simply, our politicians are subject to the same laws that govern every single student, teacher, lawyer, nurse and business, let’s train them!

Nick Finegold
Founder
Curationcorp.com

 

Re-establishing political credibility with the electorate, Independent Healthcare

Re-establishing political credibility with the electorate

We live in a crazy world. In the UK we are seeing ministerial resignations for allegations of improper sexual conduct on a “guilty until proven innocent”  basis, and in the US we have a proven sexual predator that boasted about his sexual misconduct on tape, leading the free world on Twitter.

The younger generations sign up for no-frills sex on Tinder with a swipe to the right on their mobile phones and the older generation now seem to be demanding a letter of consent before touching another human being.

I am using extreme examples and have no intention of tackling a subject of such sensitivity other than to say that the world seems devoid of common sense and balance. Gender equality is being confused with unfair pay and unwanted sexual advances being mixed in with rape.

The one thing of which I am 100 percent certain of is that witch hunts deprive society of talented political leadership from both sexes and that the few brave enough to enter public service are set up to fail by a flawed infrastructure regardless of their gender, party or politics. The cost to society is not the loss of the named politicians who may deservedly fall from grace, but the opportunity cost of those with immense talent turning their backs on a political career that we will never get to know.

The most significant problem currently facing the world is not the standard of public health services, the grotesque inequality that exists in society, or even the somewhat terrifying geopolitical risks. It is the quality of the politicians that we entrust to run our countries and address these issues.

The logic is simple, without world class talent running any country how on earth can we attempt to fix the immensely complex problems listed above? For example, did you know that there are currently over a million job vacancies worldwide in cybersecurity and no one to fill the vacancies?

That is because so much policymaking is retrospective as opposed to pre-emptive. This is also reflected by an obsession with taxation as the only mechanism for revenue generation. We rarely ever hear good ideas associated with how we might generate revenue.

The meteoric rise of Donald Trump in the US, Emmanuel Macron in France, or Jeremy Corbyn in the UK have two simple causes:

Firstly, the deflationary impact of technology on earnings has meant that real incomes for the vast majority of the voting public have been falling for over a decade. In practical terms, this means that people have been working harder for less and whoever was in power at this time suffered a popularity backlash.

Secondly, every surprise election result across the West is a result of a disenfranchised electorate becoming so disillusioned with all politicians of all parties that they now feel driven to upset the status quo no matter how great the pain.

If one thinks of our countries as socially conscious businesses looking to maximise the tax take to help society’s most disadvantaged, and our politicians as untrained CEO’s placed at the helm of their state or constituency, then it’s easy to see the absurdity of the situation.

It is almost inconceivable that we require continuous and stringent training of our doctors, nurses, teachers, lawyers and even football coaches, but expect our politicians to be fit for the complexities of running the country with “on the job training”.

Perhaps if the UK had trained MPs properly in risk management and compliance, then two thirds of Ministers might not have transcended the parliamentary rules in the Commons expense scandal several years ago?

As I write this article, I hear a section of the audience correctly pointing out that our politicians are surrounded by well trained civil servants and advisors who are experts in their field, but I would argue that this creates a credibility gap.

Due to their poor fundamental grasp of so many complex situations our politicians have become too heavily dependent on unelected advisors and lack real authenticity as a result. That’s why they can so often sound scripted rather than knowledgeable,

I would argue strongly that recent political results suggest voters treasure authenticity almost as highly as their own political beliefs. This goes some of the way to explaining the Trump effect. You may violently disagree with his politics and his behaviour, but somehow people became enchanted by his authenticity, not his politics.

It has been evident for years that the modern media has become so incredibly intrusive that our most talented members of society shy away from politics for good reason. This is what terrifies me about witch hunts for any cause, no matter how morally correct, it shrinks the available talent pool and strips away the desire for talent to enter politics.

It is time that we came up with some really big ideas to help lift the quality and the training of the people in power for, without inspirational leadership, almost any cause is lost; here are just a couple of my own.

Political Academies

Let’s create political academies, whose sole purpose is to train politicians at an apprenticeship level and throughout their careers. Let’s use public money to recruit, train and educate people from all backgrounds and political beliefs so that they are better equipped with the skills necessary to do the job. Let them be exposed to some of the science and economic case studies underpinning their beliefs so that they might more closely scrutinise the foundations upon which their emotional responses are based.

The institution should be a cross-party training facility teaching a new generation of politicians about automation, gene sequencing, the environment, foreign affairs, economics, disruption and a host of different subjects. Students could graduate and specialise with recognised qualifications and, most importantly, reinforce their knowledge with regular and relevant maintenance courses over their careers.  If you study medicine, you very often go on to specialise.

It is unusual to see a brain surgeon being given the job as Head of Oncology and yet with politics that is exactly what happens.  Under the current system, the Finance Minister of any country could be innumerate and then moved on to run Foreign Affairs. Once shifted from job to job politicians become heavily reliant on advisors and the electorate want politicians to be fluent in their understanding of situations and have conviction in their beliefs. Currently, they sound like broken records, reading a script which becomes a breeding ground for electoral disaffection.

Put simply; our politicians are not immune to the same laws that govern every single student, teacher, lawyer, nurse and business.

Independent Healthcare

Finally, let’s de-weaponise healthcare, so that politicians cannot use people’s health as a weapon in campaigns.  If central banks can be given their independence to stop interest rates becoming used for political purposes during an electoral cycle, then why can’t we do something similar with healthcare?

A cross-party body should run Healthcare policy with experts in genomics, liquid biopsy, gene editing, AI, telemedicine, finance as well as a representative body of healthcare employees. Budgets would be set at a percentage of GDP and the institution given autonomy in the same way as central banks. This would achieve two potentially important things; firstly, it would stop politics descending into the abyss during campaigns, which protects both the elected and the electorate and, secondly, it would be fit for purpose in the rapidly evolving world of healthcare.

Unlike many, I believe that our current crop of politicians is made up of exceptionally well-intentioned people, who wish to make a difference. I also believe that they are set up to fail due to a lack of structure in recruitment and training.

What better use of public or privately donated funds than to grow and train the leadership talent pool by investing in the people who run the country and ensuring they are trained continually throughout their working lives.

Fat Gladiator.

Parents and partners – American football fans – Cindy Crawford – Cryptos and theories

The Fat Gladiator has been on the road for a few weeks, so apologies for the radio silence.

Parents and partners

We seek romantic partners who look like our parents, study finds

I read this article in The Independent this morning, which suggests that children often seek romantic liaisons with people who share similar physical characteristics to their parents. It so happened that my daughter sent me a photo last night of guy she had been talking to at a party. I couldn’t help but notice the outstanding likeness and similar physique.

I love my American football and whilst visiting my daughter at University, went to watch. The Miami Hurricanes are enjoying an unbeaten season and have developed a habit of winning their matches in the last 10 seconds. Although I take my football seriously, I quickly came to the conclusion that I didn’t take it as seriously as the guy who was sitting next to me.

Anyway, from there it was on to Laguna Beach where I got to listen to some of the world’s biggest tech companies. Also attending the conference was Cindy Crawford, who I can only describe as beautiful, smart, wealthy, socially responsible and entirely disinterested in talking to me.

Lots of people have been asking me about cryptocurrency recently, if you would like to know more, please feel free to email me privately at nick.finegold@curationcorp.com. There is a civil war raging in society between established institutions and “the crowd”, and I suspect cryptocurrency is at the forefront of it. It’s a theory I have been working on for some time – if money makes the world go around, and you don’t have it, why not create your own? I am not sure there is very much governments can do stop it.

Just a quick blog this week as work commitments call.

Have a great weekend,

Fat Gladiator

 

Sports special – Captain Kane – White collar boxing

Harry Kane

Watching Harry Kane lead England out this week at Wembley reminded me to check in on Darren Farley (my favourite impersonator) to see whether he has mastered his impersonation of this gifted young footballer, and the good news is, yes. Kane has to be right up there with David Beckham in his use of grammar and Shakespearean command of language when it comes to articulate England captains. Darren Farley is good, but his Harry Kane impersonation is very good. Check out this video, Harry Kane is second up.

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Night wonders – Danger vote

Night wonders

The Fat Gladiator has an over-active mind. I often lie awake at night pondering ridiculous questions, many of which I can never expect to have an answer. I thought I would make a list and share of them with you – if you’re prone to the same sort of night-time-pondering where you ask yourself stupid questions, please let me know some of them.

1. What was life really like for Hugh Hefner? Was he truly happy?

I guess if there is a correlation between longevity and sex the answer yes.

How much longer do I have left to live for on this basis?

2. What will go on Hugh Hefner’s tomb stone?

“It’s been a long time coming” was the best thing that I could think of as tons of literature made it around social media this week.

3. Would I make it through Bear Grylls’ “Survivor Island” – and is it just a cheaper version of going to a spa or the Meyer clinic if I want to lose weight?

4. Why did Jennifer Lawrence accept $5m dollars for her last movie and then start complaining about pay and gender equality?

Surely, if this issue is of such importance to her, shouldn’t she have checked payments when signing up for it and boycotted the project?

Does she realise that we live in an imperfect world and that not all men are paid the same wage for doing the same job?

Does she not know that Doctor Who is now female?

I hope so.

Danger vote

Did you see this picture on News Night? Labour party delegates were asked to vote on who they considered the more dangerous of the two men.

A quick blog this week, hope your having a great weekend.

Fat Gladiator

 

 

 

Back to school – Be safe Miami – Follower’s photos

Back to school

It is customary at this time of year to rejoice in the fact that many of our children are returning to school or college after a testing, long summer holiday. It has become a Fat Gladiator tradition in September to remind followers of the advertisement that I consider my favourite of all time, so making an appearance in the Fat Gladiator blog for the fourth consecutive year is this Staples ad, which is now about 20 years old.

It is also customary for me to pass on any useful tips that I have picked over the summer holidays. The fascinating thing about being a parent is, just when I feel there are no mistakes left to make, I manage to make a new one. So this year’s handy tip is – never let your eldest son take your youngest son for a haircut, because the results could end up looking something like this:

Jett before

Jett after

 

Be safe Miami

Well what a difference a week makes! One week ago, my daughter (who is studying at the University of Miami) was being taught this ancient American sporting ritual at 10 a.m. in the morning before an American college football game, by some male students keen to integrate her into the hard working ways of American college life.

A week later, and the campus is completely empty. We managed to get my daughter out on one of the last flights and she said that families who had slept at the airport for two nights were literally crying as they got on the plane.

I have quite a few friends who have decided to stay put and ride this one out, so fingers crossed (Gerry,Steve, Rob, Debs, Sharpy and respective families) I have set up a Whatsapp Hurricane Irma group to amuse and distract you during the storm. Good luck.

Follower’s photos

Finally, a few photos sent in by followers this week

 

Have a great weekend,

Fat Gladiator