Get a Grip!

RDO / The Chief Executive blog  / Get a Grip!
19 Dec 2017

Get a Grip!

I apologise for what is going to look and sound like another Brexit based blog – but let’s face it this is the most dominant topic this side of the English Channel. However, I do appreciate there are the upcoming elections in Catalonia this month, when again all attention will be focussed on that region and the outcome will determine whether Spain will be plunged into further political upheaval. Also in Germany it did look until a couple of weeks ago that the Germans would have to return to the polls as it had proved impossible for Angela Merkel to form a coalition – that appears to have been averted for the moment as the Social Democrats will return to the negotiating table after the New Year to discuss terms.

Meanwhile there is a caretaker government in Germany looking mainly inward. At the same time it is hard to see Theresa May turning up to the equivalent of the almost “state like” funeral of Johnny Hallyday as President Macron did last week – Mick Jagger perhaps or Paul McCartney (with apologies to both who are very much alive and kicking), State Funeral at St Paul’s, I think not? I have to confess to being old enough to have listened to Hallyday back in the 60’s and thinking him rather good in a Gallic sort of way, but that was also the era of Gauloise, Anouk Aimee and Jane Birkin (although she was actually English) – when everything French was chic!

As I have stated probably too many times – I am a convinced Remainer – not necessarily for my generation, but for the next and particularly my children and their children. I am convinced, that Cameron never thought, that what he saw as a quick fix for his issues with the far right of his party would have resulted in the potential car crash that is Brexit. We seem to have gone this last week in the UK from triumph – Mrs May managing to fudge the Irish Border issue to get us past Stage 1 of the Brexit negotiations – to potential disaster, defeat on the Withdrawal Bill – where the Government had attempted to exclude Parliament from voting on any final deal until it was agreed in Brussels. So much for the slogan about returning power to Parliament, much vaunted by the Brexiteers during the Referendum.

I should add a further interest here. I have a daughter currently working as a junior doctor in a major UK hospital, having qualified this summer and having heard her daily stories about the results of under-funding on a daily basis, if ever our NHS system needed that £350m a week the Brexiteers promised would go into the NHS post Brexit, it is now – they had better deliver or even more than the 48% of the Electorate who voted Remain, are going to be asking what if any are the advantages of leaving.

As we approach Christmas and the New Year, I find it hard to recall a more uncertain or divisive time. I can (just) recall incidents like the Hungarian and Czech uprisings

In the 1950’s – the Cuban missile crisis in 1962 – but it is hard to recall an equivalent of the present situation with the UK poised to leave the EU without, it appears, any clear idea what it wants in terms of a future relationship with the EU, and Trump rampant in the USA.

RDO works amongst entrepreneurs and corporates and most of us have been involved in corporate acquisitions and/or sales in our time. I defy anyone to admit to going into negotiations without at least having an idea or aim as to what was to be achieved in the end. It appears that our current Government has as yet to apply its mind as to what it hopes to achieve out of stage 2 – the final, and as everyone admits, the most difficult stage of these negotiations on the UK’s future relationship with the EU. The mind boggles, were we always so unprepared?

I think we have all at one stage or another when asked if we had prepared something, would reply with that phrase ”no, I will busk it” but really are we going to do this when the prosperity of future generations is at stake – “Get a grip guys” as the saying goes.


  • paula woodgate
    December 19, 2017 at 7:43 pm

    Great Blog Paul – resonates with me 100% – thanks for sharing your thoughts. Paula

  • joshehamona
    December 20, 2017 at 3:44 pm

    carpe diem

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