President Trump will be a star attraction at Davos. The world will keenly hear every word he utters and watch every move he makes. He wrested the presidency of the most powerful nation in the world, defying convention and forecasters in 2017. An outsider to politics, Trump grabbed the nation’s attention by articulating causes that nestled deep in the hearts of many Americans who perceived themselves as deprived. Terrorism and economic uncertainty had hurt them. They wanted these issues confronted.
In 2018 and at Davos, Donald Trump will continue to astonish with measures to save jobs for Americans. He may even start constructing the promised wall along the borders of Mexico. Expect the unexpected, from Trump. Trump may amuse or infuriate, however, he will speak his mind bluntly. Expect him to shake up immigration and foreign relations. Await incentives for local manufacture in the USA. Hopefully his business instincts will prevail over his politics.
He is a businessman and may even tackle the American debt of $19.8 trillion (£14 trillion), through ingenious trade deals with China and Japan. He should. A nation like a prudent citizen should live within its income and also save some.
Save our health service
I watched the TV news showing what looked like a war zone hospital, only to realise it was a UK A&E department. I worked as a nurse for 30 plus years for the NHS and never have I experienced such a situation as this.
I was born in 1948, the year the NHS began. We the working people paid for it and have a right to see it funded properly. If this Government is not able to do this then it should hand the running and funding over to a cross-party group to ensure the NHS is above party politics.
Britain's moral decline
The Metropolitan Police report of the significant increase in burglaries in the past year should come as no surprise. Moral standards in society have been steadily declining as it has lost its focus on what is right and wrong, plurality letting each one decide for themselves how to behave.
The traditional provider of morality, the Christian Church, is increasingly being told by our leaders it has no right to teach traditional biblical values, even in a supposedly free society. One reason many people in the country voted for Brexit was the dislike for trends in political and social attitudes in Europe, but our leaders have failed to support the bedrock of traditional "British values" which made this nation great.
If our politicians are unable or afraid to call on the Christian Church to improve moral attitudes, and have no alternative to offer, then crime statistics can only further deteriorate.
Shortage of planning and thinking
The labour shortage claimed for the construction industry is in large part due to a lack of strategic action. Supply and demand causes those who are on single project contracts being dismissed to suit workload fluctuations.
Principal contractors such as “house builders” today do not employ many people – Carrillion may have directly employed 20,000 in the UK but indirectly it was many times more. Those contracts were often agreed on the basis of different (cheaper) economic conditions and in resetting those contracts the employer will be forced to pay higher current market prices. If employers required higher proportions of direct labour those contracts could be taken over under existing T&Cs with less disruption and cost.
The stability of such a labour force causes problems due to fixed costs in the hard times, but with the long term work load this country has to modernise, improve, and make energy efficient governments and businesses should be thinking strategically, not cheaply. It’s like pension investment – it seems unnecessary today but 40 years later you think it was one of the best decisions you made. Through good times and the hard ones.
House builders are interested in one thing and one thing only – profit. They generally have no care for any sort of quality of design or construction – those that do charge royally. They have no care for the number of apprentices employed or the problems and costs caused by shortages. They are relaxed about everything but their bank accounts.
Government often sets the bar high for participants in any publicly-funded scheme. Shouldn’t Help to Buy etc require companies to have relevant in-house capacity, employment and training, to conduct their whole business?
Forget the Boris Bridge – we need an Irish Sea tunnel
Boris Johnson has made infrastructure topical with the Channel bridge idea.
However, what about joining up our own United Kingdom via an Irish Sea tunnel? Such a venture would also lead to a more balanced UK economy and potentially reduce overcrowding in the South-east.
Such a proposal would also be good for the borders area of Scotland as it would necessitate reinstating the much liked rail link between Dumfries and Stranraer in order to facilitate direct freight and passenger trains between London and Belfast.
Well played, Henry Bolton!
Is Henry Bolton a fifth columnist? He seems hell bent on destroying Ukip and, as such, must be applauded for his efforts.
Many many years ago, an old airline hand gave me some tips on how to minimise the impact of lost baggage.
She told me to take two of everything and anything I really, absolutely 100 per cent needed and could not simply replaced. One should go in your hand luggage and the other in your checking luggage. In addition take a set of clean underwear in your hand luggage. The probability of losing both hand and hold bags is very small and a lot smaller the chance of losing one.
Another suggestion was if you and your party have more than one checked in bag, then spread similar items across the bags: ie do not put all underwear in one case but some in the other/s. If there are more of you travelling together then put a few "overnight things" in the others’ bags. Again the reason is probability: less chance of both being lost together.
And finally the most important suggestion – always be friendly and courteous to the airline people you are dealing with to find your lost luggage. This can massively impact on the chances of your luggage turning up and how quickly this happens.
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies