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There's No Place Like Home – Or Is There?

Posted on: 27 Mar, 17

This month Oury and Clark are having another animated discussion about Brexit and challenge our readers to come up with a better place to do business in the world, than the UK.

Oury says...

You know Clark, I fear I may have overestimated our politicians’ ability to see sense... I guess mostly on the issue of good economic sense makes good cultural sense.

Sitting here overly optimistic that despite the public making a rather sad decision to vote Brexit, that this would satisfy some itch and we would balance it with 48% total sense.

I mean, I accepted Brexit. I had begun to accept a hard Brexit even, on the basis of a muddle is trouble. It appears there is now a xenophobic conservative movement hell bent on wanting us to believe we are some chosen race; the reality is that we are a nation entirely built on others.

As someone once said, no one ever came here for the weather or the food. People came for something else.

Oury you seemed to be getting awfully political in your old age?!

Clark says...
Oury says...

We are a nation of pirates. A nation of shop keepers. Traders in language to creed. None of us are really from here. All invaders, migrants or refugees… even our Royal Family is half European!

Royal Family Heritage

Our economy is built on our foreign heritage and historical links and we are subject to the rhetoric of "maximum immigration control".

I know, it's utter madness. You know towards the end of last year, the government had to withdraw the pledge to force companies to list foreign workers because there was such an outcry.

Clark says...
Oury says...

Well that's reassuring - a bit. I mean, are they reading the book of some fallen maniac dictator??? What's next? A declaration of the racial and religious origins of your entire workforce…. The sad thing is, lots of people seem to agree with them and this has resulted in lots of press reports about EU workers leaving the UK in their droves… that could be fake news though, couldn’t it?...

I guess so. I know it's absurd, I'm so upset too. Maybe there is a small case in point that we are just fictional characters of a medium sized professional firm and we’re writing about it. Blazingly and graphically. There is a real problem here, and it seems to be everywhere. Those who love and benefit from globalisation,and those who don't. Or think they don’t, and actually perhaps don’t understand the basics that make our world -and most especially this country, tick.

Clark says...
Oury says...

Patriotic nationalists, still upset by urbanisation. People invading their back garden, or rowing across the channel in boats! They see everything as being in London’s interest, and not theirs… There are no facts that immigrants are bad for this country, or any country. They come from hardship to build a better life and are willing to do jobs that locals won’t do.

No. of immigrants v's quality of life

They all contribute taxes and on the whole, don’t claim benefits, determined to build a better life for their children. They want nothing from their adopted country other than safety and the opportunity to work hard and build a better life. Compare this attitude to that of the entrenched and entitled who expect the country to provide for them.

But - at the end of the day, Oury, there is something here that needs to be discussed and dealt with rather than just swept under the carpet in the typically stoic British way. London gets accused of living in its bubble, controlling and dragging the county kicking and screaming along with it, but it’s where the vast majority of the tax revenue is generated.

Clark says...
Oury says...

I think Londoners DO live in a bubble, and I think they equally need to recognise there is a divide in this country and they need to take the lead to help bridge this growing chasm…

North South Divide

Fundamentally, Londoners get fed up with the rest of the country’s resentment of a city, that we should all be so incredibly proud to have, I mean it is truly one of the great cities of the world…. There are so few of them, and we have one, and we should never resent it.

The Tall Poppy syndrome is alive and well!

I think the danger here is that the PM seems to be siding with the anti-immigration populists, rather than taking the role of healer and prophet…

Referendum results

If she is going to take this right wing position and try and pass it off as middle ground, then we need to speak out about it, put it on the table and not be afraid to talk about it…I mean none of us really like to be divisive, but the referendum results indicate that at least 48% of those that voted see the benefit of being part of a free market with free movement of people… but there’s a bunch of people who seem to have forgotten that our heritage (and our global success) is built on migration. There is growing evidence of friction between these two groups.as there continues to be a shocking rise in the number of racially motivated hate crimes – I mean what does it mean to be British? Accepting and tolerant, I would have thought, but it feels secular and divided and that's a sad state of affairs.

Clark says...
Oury says...

That's deep Clark. You know I’ve been banging on for years about the way everyone makes me look in their eyes, every time we say cheers. And I loathe doing it, and always spill my glass - and it hit me the other day – that’s not British! I never did this when I was younger, I’m just surrounded by foreigners. The Italians do that, the Germans do it (or you get 7 years bad sex), and the Australian’s do it.. – everyone else does it – but not us!

Anyway we… Well actually you… digress – Ahem… So anyway I’m not sure if anyone else agrees and in the end - We are a professionals – with hats and umbrellas and sensible thoughts – so let's have some sensible chat - what are businesses really going to do about Brexit?

Clark says...
Oury says...

Well… change means opportunity and… we need to exploit the change, the problem is, no one knows what that change will really look like even though the PM has delivered her 12 point plan for Brexit.

The way I see it, we were among the first to colonise. We industrialised first. We separated politics from religion in 1534 (thanks Henry VIII). We have led the way so often and now we just seem to be heading in the wrong direction. It really feels like a more extreme right wing are back and they’re everywhere.Last year, Australia has announced it will no longer grant visas to any immigrants who arrive by boat, and they have made this retrospective back to July 2013.People are chanting fewer Moroccans on the streets of the Netherlands. Trump’s going to build “The Wall” and create a new executive order for his immigration ban to get around the decision of his “bad judges”.

Sensible people seem to be concerned about this... But, like the Battle of Cable Street, or the Grunwich dispute, my hope is that London will not sit here and let ignorance and prejudice take over. We will fight. And in this small way, this tiny amount of digital face, this is the acorn of our fight, the politicians and the people need to stop blaming immigration and start looking deeper at the source of the skills gap. Short-comings in schools and education, a lack of discipline, changing values... it’s human nature to fear the unknown and seek to blame, but this is 2017, it’s not medieval England… if things are tough, don’t automatically blame the immigrants. Look outward Britain don’t look backward… and don’t fuel the fire of the xenophobes….

And that all being so, let’s celebrate what’s to celebrate. Whatever happens with Brexit, we are leaving the EU, we are not leaving Europe. EUROPE ROCKS in all its shapes and forms. It’s a beautiful and amazing place and god damnit chaps – we’ll say it again, we are sorry about Brexit. What a balls up. You can resent us all you want – but just know – we love ya. All of ya. Particularly you Italy, with your lovely food. And Germany – love, and I mean love the cars… and the sausages. And the wine you don’t tell anyone about…

Oury...

Clark says...
Oury says...

Yes sorry. RIGHT. The point is this, we don’t want to be miserable, we need to be positive – and we want to get to the facts. And maybe Britain has gone a bit mental this time. If I was a citizen of the world and wanted to build my business empire – I have to ask myself whether there is a better place in the world to do business than the UK? If I had to choose somewhere else in the world to set up a business now, where would I go?

Oury, that’s a genius question, why don’t we ask a load of people?

Clark says...
Oury says...

We could…

Right, so we are going to offer £1,000 to the best answer to that very question. Which city or place would you goto set up your business, work with groovy people and have a groovy time – in the world? We will pay for your flight and hotel up to £1,000 to go and check it out and show us how you are right… in every possible way. And if you get there and you come to the realisation that there is no place like home, then you still have to write us a little story about your travels and tell us why you were wrong... and how much you love rush hour!

Clark says...
Oury says...

YEAH. Go on – just try it – just try and make us feel even worse about Brexit.

Quiet Oury…(we might find there is no better place!)

Clark says...
Oury says...

Sorry…

Win £1000 by sending in the best answer to our Brexit related question

Enter competition
Key Points

Competition now closed.

We want to send a big thank you to everyone who participated in our contest and helped make it a success!

And a special congratulations to Justin Taberham with his winning entry below.

Competition entry: Canada, because publishing is rapidly developing into a sector where you can be located anywhere in the world - most of my authors and editors are outside the UK and we use Skype and email to communicate and develop book content. Many Canadian towns, such as Vancouver, have a climate not dissimilar to London and more beautiful scenery and wildlife. Canada, as a country, is future-proofed economically by the fact that is is sparsely populated yet has significant natural and mineral resources. It has a stable economy and democracy and its population is becoming more diverse, to the degree that the answer to the question 'What is a Canadian?' has become 'Someone who lives in Canada' rather than a stereotypical white person who likes snow! What does the UK have going for it? A politics now dominated by xenophobia and the lesser educated masses and an economy based on education and the recycled cash of a service economy. Time for those with a world view to go out into the world!

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We are but two fictitious characters throwing out ideas and comment to stimulate debate and collect information. As professional service firms, we are open minded people and think independent thought and debate is essential to help understand, as well as navigate, complex problems. By joves – doing business across Europe (and the world) is set to become a whole lot more complex in light of recent seismic political events. As businesses - we provide information and hopefully some wisdom - and we see this blog and its caricatures merely as a much more fun, perhaps slightly controversial way, of stimulating debate and collecting ideas. We’re searching for some true pearls of wisdom, and as we find them, we’ll share them with you.

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