Tag Archives: John Terry

Capitalism, huh, what is good for, absolutely nothing

A double whammy to start, misquoting Edwin Starr and being so extreme I’ve turned into a red under the bed.  Thank goodness Joseph McCarthy is no longer around to turn me into an enemy of the state.

What prompted this bout of extremism and seriousness from such a jovial blogger?  Two stories to be precise, Kraft’s take-over of Cadbury and Royal Bank of Scotland making a huge loss while paying big juicy bonuses to rich people.

I’ve been itching to give my view on Kraft’s take over but wanted to let my egg throwing at the television impulse to subside before commenting. My argument with the Americans taking over Cadbury is not a nationalistic tabloid-style rant but rather about values.  They actually lived by the mantra that their employees are their biggest asset and looked after them accordingly.  Now where have you heard that before?  It comes immediately after maximising shareholder value in the anaemic statements CEOs make on their antiseptic websites.  Cadbury was founded in the 19th century by Quakers who cared more about their biggest asset than about shareholder value.  In 1893, George Cadbury bought 120 acres of land close to their factory in Birmingham and planned, at his own expense, a model village which would ‘alleviate the evils of modern more cramped living conditions’.  By 1900 the estate included 313 cottages and houses set on 330 acres of land.

My second clinching point in this tale of Kraft greed is that Cadbury make great products while Kraft make horrid ones.  They couldn’t say it in their prospectus but it’s the real reason why Kraft wanted Cadbury so badly that they were prepared to pay loads more than Warren Buffet told them was sensible.  To illustrate my point Cadbury’s Flake or Dairylea cheese triangles anyone?  Having convincingly won the battle and the war I have to own up to being a big fan of Dairylea cheese when I was growing up.  This heavily processed, not as nice as plastic-tasting ‘cheese’, was every small boy’s fishing bait of choice.  I still look back on catching an 18lb Rainbow Trout in the River Tavy many years ago with great fondness.  Before you ask, the rules of the river meant I had to throw the fish back and it was the pre-digital camera era.

Moving swiftly to the RBS debacle the morality of this story is so bleedin’ obvious I won’t bore you with more one sentence.  A business that makes losses of 3.6bn and was bailed out by the ordinary tax payers of Britain to the tune of 24bn shouldn’t pay bonuses of 1.3bn to very rich people.  If they don’t get a bonus apparently the very smart investment bankers they employ will leave in high dudgeon, now that is great news because they are obviously absolutely useless at their jobs.  Hopefully they will head off to some American bank and advise Kraft on their next take-over target.

Finally, I can’t help commenting on the latest twist in the John Terry saga and throwing in an aside on the Ashley Cole breaking news. Hats off to Wayne Bridge for refusing to tear the  England football team apart and Craig Bellamy for stating the obvious, JT is obviously a very unpleasant piece of work off the pitch.  Now Craig Bellamy is unpleasant on the pitch and sometimes a prat off the pitch but at least he does lots of charity work for kids in Sierra Leone which he pays for out of his own pocket.

Top 5s for this week; song lyrics.

‘I am a weapon of massive consumption’

‘Clowns to the left of me, Jokers to the right, here I am, Stuck in the middle with you.’

‘Me, I’m just a lawn mower, you can tell me by the way I walk’

‘War, huh, yeah, what is good for, absolutely nothing’

‘He will never be left on the shelf,  Cos Kevin he’s in love with himself’

Correctly name all 5 artists and you could win an ipod shuffle (first right answer out of the hat) – just fill your answers in the box below and press the submit button or e-mail kp (“at” symbol) upandatom.biz.  Sorry, prize only applies if you live in the UAE.

Leave a comment

Filed under Observations

SEO rocks and so does Gil Scott Heron

Another week has gone by and first up a tip.  We have spent a lot of time and energy practising what we preach i.e. optimising our website and it works big time.  Google is king and SEO brings with it lots of enquiries some of which will turn to gold.  The crew at ATOM Digital can do the same for you if you ask them.

Various people have had a bit of a pop at me for not dealing with the controversial subjects that swirl around the city on a regular basis.  Many of these are rumour as Dubai manages to pull off the trick of being a big city and a village at the same time.  Drug fuelled torture, financial irregularity and the Burj Dubai transforming itself into Burj Khalifa have all been much discussed everywhere apart from in the media.  For what it’s worth I’ve got no comment on two of these burning issues but have something important to say on the third!  To me Burj Dubai sounded very flat and boring; Burj Khalifa by contrast has flavour and romance.  Burj Khalifa is a good name for the world to get used to pronouncing.  It’s a truly amazing building and a great testament to the million and one people of different nationalities who made it happen.  Dubai delivered and let’s not forget how long it took us Brits (or was it Aussies?) to build Wembley Stadium or the fiasco that was the opening of Heathrow Terminal 5.  By contrast Dubai opened its new terminal with zero fuss but got very little credit.

Bashing is fine if you are a half glass empty type of person but credit where credit is due.  Furthermore every country in the world has tensions caused by migrant workers and if you really think about it the Arab world is an amazingly welcoming and tolerant place to live.  We make absolutely no effort to learn their language or to understand their culture and yet people still moan that Emiratis behave as if they own the place.

While on the subject of Britishness I am ready to pronounce on the John Terry affair.  Guilty.  Off with his head.  Marital affair aside (bad boy, but it happens and he’s not in Tiger’s league as far as I know, although the News of the World is working on it) he is well dodgy.  Showing people around Chelsea’s training ground for a quick £10,000 and then saying he gave the money to charity but can’t remember which one is a shocker.  John, you earn £140,000 a week, be happy.

I started with a tip so I’m going to end with a tip – check out Gil Scott Heron’s new album.  You can listen to the whole album on The Guardian, just click on the link below and transport yourself to a world of poetic lyrics and raw vocals.  I didn’t go to Nickleback but trust me the Canadian rockers would be in shock and awe.


Last week’s top five guitar inspired songs was a little bit controversial, we even had a vote for Dire Straits.  In case you want to know where I stand on revising my list to include Dire Straits the clue is in the name.  This week in the interests of continuity I’m doing my best ever and ever guitarists (Mark Knopfler look and learn).

Jimi Hendrix

Slash (Guns N’ Roses)

Jack White (White Stripes, Raconteurs, Dead Weathers)

Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath)

Jimmy Page (Led Zepplin)

If I don’t hear from you (click comment) I’ll assume you agree with me…

1 Comment

Filed under Observations