Life is made up of compromises. How do we balance over-population, care of the environment, regulation and making a profit, to pay taxes, to pay got government, to make regulations?
Listeners to BBC Radio 4 on the morning of 25 Oct 18 would have heard Melvin Bragg discussing, with some very eloquent and informed people, the book “Fable of the Bees” by Bernard Mandeville, published 1714. The book argues that it is not possible to be ethical and commercially successful. The historian, Jane Marshall, argues that empires always regulate, over regulate and end up destroying themselves. Many large waste producers in the EU, including the UK, survive the costs and delays caused by over-regulation by “avoidance”, (or is it “evasion”). What we have does not work and can be argued to be counter-productive on all counts. If the economy and the environment are to survive, we need a root and branch review which will give controlled enablement. Possibly, self-regulation by licensing might work.
Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd, 4 November ‘18
“The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed, lest
Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work instead of living on public assistance.” – Cicero, 55 BC
So, evidently, we’ve learned nothing in the past 2,053 years.
Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd, 17 September 18
As I get older, I become more aware of increasing regulation, and Whitehall is actually worse, significantly worse, than Brussels. I see it in every walk of life from farming to hospitals, from construction to “human Rights”. I am reminded of what the historian Jane Marshall observed;
“It is in the history of the world that whenever an empire collapses and for whatever reason, those left in government in the center pass more and more regulations (or whatever they call them at the time) in the belief that they can stop the decline. What always happens is that they stifle innovation and inhibit entrepreneurial activity and accelerate the rate of decline. That is what is happening here (the UK) and now.”
Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd, 2 Sept 18
In the last 40 years or so, I have been privileged to be inside over 4000 organisations with a decision to be made. These were multi-nationals down to one man moribunds, voluntary organisations. If there is one thing that I have learned it is that leadership is everything. I therefore watch with dismay (no pun intended) as the government in-fighting over Brexit leaves that exercise in a mess and the rest of government incompetently over-managing regulation resulting in stifling innovation and inhibiting entrepreneurial activity. I weep for my country.
Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd 15 June 18
Will there be a better tomorrow?Only if we can very urgently cut out a big slice of un-productive costs.
Some years ago, I was working for TACIS (the technology transfer arm of the EU) in Tajikistan. The economy had collapsed and my team’s job was to assist in reviving it. I remember some of the characteristics of that failed economy and draw some ominous comparisons with the UK now. We have increasing crime but have police stations closing on a wide scale. We have a growing population but not enough nurses and are closing wards in hospitals. We have poor productivity and yet we have a growing civil service. Yet we pay more taxes, or some of us do. There was a warning recently from one of the think tanks that the national debt would reach £3 trillion. That will be around £100 million pa interest, maybe more. I remember the historian, Jane Marshal, observing;
“It is in the history of the world that whenever an empire collapses and for whatever reason, those left in government in the centre pass more and more regulations (or whatever they call them at the time) in the belief that they can stop the decline. What always happens is that they stifle innovation and inhibit entrepreneurial activity and accelerate the rate of decline. That is what is happening here (the UK) and now.”
We really do need to urgently axe some layers of government, otherwise the whole lot will go.
Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd 13 June 18
I am not sure that the puzzle of land prices can be sollved; why do people buy land?
I read an article recently, written by a land agent who was talking up the price of land. I found myself doubting it all and thinking of all sorts of reasons why the theme could not be right. Without doubt, there will be fluctuations and some of any such changes may be painful. I did, however, remember two quotations from a long time ago;
- Farm land is still cheaper than carpet.
- Land – they have stopped making it.
Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd, 1st May18
On 20th February, BBC 1, Points West, reported on Prince Charles visiting the British Army Rapid Reaction Force in which around half the members are soldiers and other service personnel from other countries. The visitors were about to go home and several were asked what they would miss about Britain. Several answered with quips such as “the British weather”. A lady soldier with good english and good humour said, “I will really miss hearing people say “I can’t be bothered”. We do not have an equivalent expression in Germany”.
Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd, 21 February 18