14 October 2018
It was good to hear this week that plans for South West Mutual, a new regional bank, are still moving ahead. They’re aiming to open their first branches in 2020 and hope to raise £20m with a share offer so they can “put together a team of ethical bankers” (that sounds like an oxymoron doesn’t it?) “committed to serving the residents and businesses of the south west”
Since it’ll be a cooperative, each shareholder will have one vote regardless of the size of their shareholding, very like building societies, with profits being shared between shareholders, savers and borrowers. Its launch is to be announced later this month; anybody interested in learning more can find out more at https://southwestmutual.co.uk/
The government has announced plans for the most expensive car park in the world: it’s thinking of converting part of the M26 in Kent into a lorry park so there’s room for the extended queues for the new customs controls that will be necessary after Brexit.
We’ve finally switched energy suppliers and have chosen Octopus, one of the new energy companies. It costs pretty much what we were paying before and claims to be 100% green. Having signed up, we can now get any new customer who signs up through our link an introductory bonus of £50 and we’ll also get a £50 bonus ourselves which we will donate to Exeter Samaritans, so if you want to go green without busting the bank and make money for the branch, let me know and I’ll send you the link.
Having implicitly accused a respected professor of psychology of being a liar while defending a judge who gave us all an embarrassing demonstration of his total unsuitability to judge even the best turnip at an agricultural show, Trump then compounded his crime by apologising on behalf of all the American people to Kavanaugh for the distress he and his family had been caused. Imagine how differently things would have been if Dr Ford were a man and Brett Kavanaugh a woman.
Then a journalist disappears inside a Saudi embassy and is widely believed to have been murdered there and Trump’s immediate response is to threaten to stamp his tiny foot and cry. Anything rather than risking America’s $110bn arms deal with Saudi Arabia. In other words, he believes that everybody has a price and even murderers can buy their innocence – and that, if people are going to be killed in the middle east, it should be with American armaments.
Our own Supreme Court ruled that bakers do have the right to refuse to make a cake iced with a message that is offensive to them. This will understandably enrage some of the LGBTIQ+ community but my own feeling is that the decision was fair. Just as people should have the right to ice cakes however they want, so should people who feel that certain inscriptions are an abomination in the eyes of their god (or whatever) have the right not to do things that offend them.
Doesn’t all this put the divisions in the UK over Brexit into perspective! In the 2+ years since the referendum, all we’ve really achieved is to realise that it’s complicated and infinitely more expensive than Boris promised, the DUP have threatened not to keep bolstering up our minority government (despite having pocketed the £500000000000 they were given to do so) and MPs on both sides of the house are revolting.
Ireland? International police and security co-operation? Eurostar? Trade barriers? Taking squirrels on holiday to France? Who cares? It’s all worth it so farmers can rewild some of their land after they lose their subsidies for keeping it in cultivable state even if it’s not used. Can we now expect indigenous and endangered wildlife to hold a celebratory march / slither / flutter-by?