Flymos, potholes and deepfake politics

‘Cossey’s chronicles’ from our Business Development Consultant, Simon Cossey, as he digests this weekends reporting.

Rooting, Recycling & Relaxing

Did you know that 18 March is the average date we get the mower out – for that first cut, always use a high blade (especially if a bit wet), never cut extremely low as it encourages shallow rooting. To help the budding botanist, Flymo have teamed with eBay to recycle and refurbish second hand movers for up to 20% less than new. In a recent study, walking barefoot on real grass increases relaxation, reduces stress levels and blood pressure – recommend lying down for those politicians needing to remove more than your average negativity!

Wet & Mild but Wild?

55,514 shops, cafés and other retail businesses fell by the wayside, a 14% year on year increase, remaining above pre-pandemic levels; as retailers focus on prime and high footfall locations.

Against this, GFK data confirmed that consumer confidence has turned positive, appetite for clothing has rebounded as consumer spending has driven 2024 GDP so far. Hospitality reports that the lunch-time pint is back, real-ale is growing in popularity with younger drinkers and the price of a Weatherspoon’s breakfast (should this be in the ONS basket of inflation goods?) remains at £5.40 for the foreseeable. 

When is a freeze no longer a freeze – fuel duty has now been frozen for 14 years, plus the temporary 2022 5p cut means £50 back in motorists wallets which partly offsets pothole induced new wheel purchases. 

Tory Threesome

Previous PM’s that are Boris Johnson and David Cameron are set to form an electoral ‘Trinity’ with Rishi to thwart reform and out ‘charisma’ Mr Starmer – is this an inspired electoral move or last actions of a man with only 20% voters allegiance. Or is this all part of ‘deepfake’ trickery, will you receive a fabricated audio call from David ‘I was the future once’ Cameron or a life size avatar on the side of a bus from Boris ‘I’m a one nation Tory’ Johnson.

Addressing a Coventry based business audience last week, Mr Sunak insisted that the economy has ‘really turned a corner’, as the shadow Chancellor pledged to only borrow for investment, day to day costs must be met by revenues. Growth through stability and the big business lobby with an enhanced role for the Economic & Growth Unit established by the last Labour Government, all good but this is not vegan growth, where’s the meat on the economic bone?

Laura Trott, Chief Secretary to the Treasury waded in over the weekend. Fastest inflationary fall since the 1980’s, food inflation plummeted from 20% highs, lowest effective personal tax rate since 1975 and a Jim Hacker inspired £4bn landmark public sector productivity plan. No weekend editorial would be complete without obligatory opposition rubbishing, however wonder if she’s working her ‘note’ (should she need it) like her last Labour counterpart.

And finally…

If like me you are looking at your child’s University options, you’ll be pleased to read that the highest unpaid student loan topped £231,000. Others had £54,000 interest added to loans, the average debt stands at £44,940. Unfortunately my children aspire to be above average!

Happy Easter!