Skip to main content


Showing posts from 2022

Open the door and let the unions in

Rail strikes have been big news in 2022 (Image: iNews) If there's anything we can take from 2022, it's that people around the world have had enough. This feeling had been brewing for a good couple of years, but the global pandemic put emotions to one side while the majority followed 'the establishment'.  Now government restrictions are history in the UK, Britons have spent recent months reflecting on Covid-19 and their lives more generally. For example, many, myself included, were part of the ' Great Resignation ' crew, by changing jobs and houses. And the total reopening of the economy would have meant businesses were able to breathe a sigh of relief; though we quickly learned there was little chance of that with (over the course of the year)  growth forecasts downgraded , trade deals with powerful nations like the United States stalling , mounting debt , rising interest rates and inflation , markets going doolally over radical announcements - the list goes on

Person of the Year: the 'opposition leader' we didn't want but needed

Martin Lewis (Image: Nottingham Post) Is it correct to say that we approached 2022 this time last year with relatively soft optimism? Even though the omicron variant of Covid-19 came to our lives with some government restrictions, there was a sense that it was the beginning of the end - not of the pandemic (that's still around), but end of the fact that we needed to stay at home for an illness that was now under some control. Thank you, science. However, that optimism was quickly met with sobering fear. While it was fantastic to start going outside without thinking too much about it resulting in spreading disease, there was a sense that nobody would soon be able to afford to go outside. Those industries (hospitality, theatre and retail in particular), who struggled during the height of the pandemic, knew that there would be new challenges on the horizon. The UK government arguably played down the ' cost of living crisis ' to begin with, despite even Conservative backbencher

Musk should be taken seriously and with caution

Elon Musk (Image: WIRED) Up until recently had I not taken an interest in Elon Musk. Any news stories about him, my natural instinct was to blank them out - whatever he did, and whatever business he owned, they had nothing to do with me. It's only when he took over Twitter, for a reported $44 billion , that I felt as though I needed to learn a little about him at the very least, considering I'm one of its millions of users and that, despite me not 'following' him, the vast majority of his tweets still appear on my news feed. If any of you wanted to discover more about Musk, I suggest you watch the fantastic and fascinating three-part documentary series , aired on the BBC earlier this year. It explored his rise to fame, how he became the richest human on Earth, his successes and struggles, and his future visions. We heard from everyone who knew him, including his nearest and dearest, and business associates and colleagues who either hold him to the highest regard, disreg

Iranians cannot solely rely on protests to end regime

Anti-Iranian regime protests have stepped up in recent weeks (Image: Middle East Institute) I last wrote about Iran in August when the country appeared to be on the verge of signing a fresh nuclear deal, which aimed to ease the world's fears that it would develop devastating weapons. Three months on and that deal is still yet to be finalised; probably because the negotiators are wondering what next for Iran, as its regime faces an uncertain future. Let's trace back to 16th September, where 22-year-old Mahsa Amini was doing what any unassuming human would do on a typical day - minding her own business and being herself. That was until the so-called 'morality' police noticed that her headscarf was out of place and before long, her life was to end in almost a flash. Her death was shocking, but sadly not the first in the hands of a regime that thrives on toxicity and tension when things don't go its way. Amini's passing has led to widespread protests; even greater

UK's isolationism will only deepen the migrant crisis

Rishi Sunak's problems are how big? (Image: The Sun Daily) It isn't an overstatement to say that the situation in Westminster is even more volatile now than when I last wrote on here  a few short weeks ago. Days after it, Liz Truss was given the boot - she was Britain's Prime Minister for less than two months. In comes Rishi Sunak, who lost to Truss in the Conservative leadership campaign just weeks previous. The job quite conveniently landed on his lap. He knew that he'd have a honeymoon period, after being praised for his accurate  predictions of the markets' reaction to Truss's economic plan. Sunak's appointment has been met with a somewhat surprising range of reactions; while Tory MPs are keen to move on from the Party's rocky episode, Conservative supporting commentators were split; some believing it's a 'globalist' coup (which is laughable). Away from that, the views remain blunt. Due to the nature of how he got the top job - in that

Westminster is too toxic for more change

Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng (Image: NPR) Conservative MPs are playing a dangerous game with the UK. The cost of heating our homes and businesses has never been higher; their focus should be on working together, to find ways of keeping prices down, so millions won't worry about affording life's basics as the coming months get darker and colder. Their focus should be on tackling homelessness and on reducing carbon emissions. Their focus should be on everything else apart from what they're doing right now - fighting amongst each other and plotting to oust yet another Prime Minister. We saw it with the Labour Party between 2015 and 2019. When Jeremy Corbyn was elected by party members, it wasn't the change his MP colleagues wanted, and they spent years making his life hell. History is repeating itself, this time for the party in blue. Liz Truss has been Prime Minister for a small number of weeks and - despite receiving enough colleagues to support her to be shortlisted in

Public's distrust in the BBC and police needs addressing

Anti-BBC sentiments are on the rise (Image: The Independent) It's difficult to disagree that in an ideal world, we can trust every piece of information received and rely on authoritative figures to hold those who do wrong to account. For decades, pockets of the BBC and police forces across the UK have taken a right battering from the press and politicians for failing to do either of the above, but does this mean we should completely distrust them? For those who aren't frequent readers of my blog, you'll find that I'm a big supporter of the BBC. And if I witness a crime, I'd be more than happy to report it to the police with the understanding that they'd investigate and take appropriate action. Of course, like any other major organisation, they are drowning in bureaucracy and are rightly held accountable for any cover up, mishandling or incompetence. As I'll emphasise, I wish not diluting some of the horrendous actions some forces or BBC individuals have done

Iran's image matters to me - and will to everyone else too

Iran and the West are keen to sign a fresh nuclear deal (Image: CNBC) Being a PR man who has both Welsh and Iranian blood, I tend to follow the news and take what's happening in, or concerning, Wales and Iran personally. Even when it comes to events in the UK, as a Brit, I often wonder how the impact of, say the economy, is having on the country's wider reputation. When the Welsh national football side qualified for the FIFA World Cup , I spent ages looking at how media networks abroad reported on the story. Equally when it comes to contentious issues like when Wales became the first UK nation to introduce a blanket 20mph driving speed limit on residential roads, I felt compelled to see what outlets beyond the Welsh border are thinking about the move. It doesn't matter if I support what's going on or now, but I want the country to be seen as a global force for good. I even get insecure when Wales isn't chosen by big cheeses as the best country for anything. It'

Westminster: stop the shrugging and act on cost of living

Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss clash on how to tackle the economy (Image: HampshireLive) It appears the UK has a government who has a 'wait-and-see' attitude on the British people's finances and an opposition leadership who won't do much to show solidarity to those who are feeling the pinch because Labour isn't a 'party of protest' . Of course, very few of us thought that is the case, but one thing is for certain - this is the summer of discontent and we'll soon to have a tumultuous autumn and winter. Let's summarise where we're at. In April, energy bills shot up as was forecasted . The rise was a shock to the system and on a personal level, I've noticed how bad it's been, even during the warmest days (judging by my smart meter alone). Every other bill has gone up too; including food and fuel. These out of control costs are reflected on the rate of inflation which is edging towards the 10 percent mark - pretty unprecedented. It's also not

The Tories must be toast now, surely?

L-R: Sajid Javid, Rishi Sunak and Boris Johnson (Image: Why do I feel as annoyed by the actions of some now former Conservative frontbenchers as I did six years ago with Labour's shadow cabinet during their failed coup attempt against Jeremy Corbyn? I probably shouldn't because actually, I thought (and still believe) that Corbyn would have led a decent Labour government, and I equally foresaw Boris Johnson's tenure be as turbulent as we'd endured these past three years. You sense that Covid-19 delayed the inevitable in one respect. But as Johnson hands in his notice, you'd think I feel relief that this era will soon come to an end. Instead, I can't help but be annoyed by the whole situation. The week of 4th July 2022 will go written in every British history book moving forward. When Margaret Thatcher was shown the door in 1990, I don't get the impression by those who were there that her departure was as dramatic as this. She had three general