Recommended Reading
& Viewing
(books, CDs, DVDs
and Kindle):

Kindle, Wi-Fi, 6" Display
by Amazon

Major Recessions:
Britain and the World,
Christopher Dow

Getting Rich in the Recession:
Simple Techniques
 for Putting You on Top
During a Downturn
Randy W. Kirk

A Recession Survival Kit
for Small and Medium Consultancies:
A Practical Guide
with Twenty Plus Tips
for Surviving a Recession
Tom Taylor and Ed Rhodes

Bound to the Earth:
Creating a Working Partnership
of Humanity and Nature
James Swan

Think and Grow Rich
by Nepolian Hill

Your Personal Environmental Audit
and Guide
Donald Lotter
................................. .......

21 Ordinary Secrets
 of Extraordinary
by David Agunbiade

Feel The Fear
And Do It Anyway:
How to Turn Your Fear
and Indecision
into Confidence 
and Action 
by Susan Jeffers

The Secret 

Your Law of Attraction
 Questions Answered
by Jack Cox


Hooray we're in a recession !!!

It had to come. From individuals to whole countries we have been living beyond our means and now we must pay for our greed and stupidity but what a wonderful opportunity that leaves for the wise and the brave.

We have been living in cloud cuckoo land for far too long. Living on borrowed money is the economics of the madhouse and it had to end. Most of us are old enough to realise we have been here before. In the late 1970s my industrial sales business went to the big receiver in the sky. I was 30 years old and grasped the opportunity to stop struggling for a while and go to university (I had left school at 15 with no qualifications). Our modern day politicians would have been proud of my economics lecturer, he was a cretin too. Of course the Prime Minister then Margaret Thatcher. My grandmother had more good old fashioned sense than all of them put together. She knew better than to live beyond her means, she knew that a penny saved was more valuable than a penny earned. Actually I think that was John Seymore, not my grandmother, but never mind.

Regardless of which politician we would like to be able to blame, now we must all take responsibility for what has happened. It takes times like these to separate the men from the boys, and the women from the girls for that matter. Changed economic circumstances call for new economic strategies, new ways of thinking and doing. And there are great rewards for the men and women who will lead us out of this mess. May our politicians stand aside, borrow no more money in our names, we will work our way back to the good times the old fashioned way.

We have borrowed our way into this mess and our idiot politicians think they can get us out of it the same way. They have rewarded the borrowers by reducing interest rates. What foolishness. What we need is more investment, so we should be rewarding the investors, the savers, by raising interest rates, not lowering them.

So if you are one of the wise ones who have been saving, not borrowing, and assuming you still have some of it left after all these years of political and economic mismanagement, now is your time to lead. With interest rates so low its no good keeping your money in the bank. Now is the time to invest in yourself, in your own best innovative ideas.

During times of recession, fortunes are made as well as lost. Now is the time to think positively, be optimistic and focus on the opportunities offered by these hard times. Just because business is slow it doesn’t mean it stops altogether.

Remaining optimistic can be hard, especially with all the doom and gloom in the media. We need to look at these challenges as opportunities for innovation. If we think negatively like everyone else we will see disasters everywhere but if we think in terms of opportunities then opportunities will present themselves. History suggests that in the next few years we will see the birth of new industries and new companies that will dominate through the next few decades. Recessions wipe old slates clean. What will you write in their place?

Beneath the hard frost of this economic winter, the new buds of spring are forming. Spotting them is the tricky bit but catch them early enough and you will make a fortune. But you will need to think fresh thoughts. You will need to think in terms of sustainability, not short term gain. What the world needs now is ways that work with nature not against her. Sure we can have a high tech future but only if the technologies we create are wholesome and sustainable, powered by clean, renewable energy. We need to think in terms of local, small scale projects, things people can do for themselves. We need to think about technologies that empower individuals, families and communities, not central governments and multinational companies. We need something new, not more of the same old nonsense that got us into this mess in the first place.

During the great depression of the 1930s new industries such as plastics and consumer electronics were created. The personal computer industry was born during the 1970s recession. I wonder what will come out of this one. Lets think what niches need to be filled right now. What challenges can we find solutions to?

Of course its not just our economic systems that need a rethink, its our political systems too. Which powers should we give our politicians and which should we insist on exercising individually. Should we really be allowing our politicians to borrow money to get themselves out of trouble at our expense? Democracy is supposed to be “the government of the people by the people”. When will that start? We soon wised up to the totalitarian systems of the last century that used “the people” as a euphemism for “the government”. So why do we turn a blind eye when the same trick is played by our respectable, upright parliamentary democracies?

The theory is simple. Groups of people get together and elect a representative to speak for them in parliament. Such groups are typically geographically based, all the adult men and women of a village or a particular district of a town or city know as a “ward”. This group of people is called a “constituency”. It’s a great system. Anybody can stand for election but to stop timewasters and no-hopes from clogging up the system, a deposit usually is required. To raise the deposit the candidate canvases for support and donations. Supporters and donators naturally want some control over how their money is spent so they form themselves into a party, the “John Smith Support Party” or whatever.

Then it all starts to go belly-up. They get ambitious and want to put up another candidate in the neighbouring ward. Then they become the “John Smith and Mary Brown Support Party” or whatever. Flushed with success they start putting up hundreds of candidates all over the country. Then they need to call themselves the “Conservative Party”, “Labour Party”, "Democrats”, "Republicans” or whatever. Now the party, not the constituency is the centre of power. Politicians must obey their party before their constituency. Democracy has been thrown out of the window.

At least in Europe we, the people, still have some control left. Any one of us can stand as an independent candidate. Trouble is most of us are too lazy and just want to choose a ready made candidate from one of the big Mafia style parties.

The USSR used to claim to be democratic because the electorate could choose between different candidates. Trouble was that all the candidates were from the Communist Party. Not much of a choice really was it? America claims to be a democracy because the electorate can choose between different candidates. Trouble is that all the candidates are from just two officially approved parties. Not much of a choice really is it?

I hope you are starting to see how all political parties, by their very nature, must be undemocratic. Because the party takes the loyalty, and the accountability of politicians away from the electorate. Okay, two (USA) are better than one (former USSR), just. Three are better than two. A hundred would be better than three. Of course the ideal situation would be if there were the same number of parties as there were candidates, then in effect there would be no parties at all. Each candidate would be an independent, free to represent the wishes of his or her constituency. Then we would be pretty close to “government of the people by the people”. But we can get even closer to that ideal.

I first came up with this idea over twenty years ago. Now I believe its an idea whose time has come. We have the technology, we can rebuild our democracies. Banks trust chip and pin ATM cards to the tune of billions of Pounds, Euros and Dollars every year. Surely we can trust the same technology to enable us all to vote for ourselves in every parliamentary debate, if we wish to. If we are too busy or not sufficiently interested, that’s fine too, we have elected representatives to vote for us, its our choice.

ATM style voting machines would be placed into every public building and every registered voter would be issued with a chip and pin card and a pin number.

The system would work like this. Just say, for round figures, that John Smith MP represents a constituency of 10,000 registered voters. Then for every parliamentary debate, if the computer shows that none of his constituents had voted themselves, he would have 10,000 votes to cast. If Mary Brown PM represents a constituency of 12,000 voters, she would have 12,000 votes at her disposal. Even just that simple change, without anything further, would be a much fairer system than we have now. But it gets a lot better.

Round figures again, if 200 of John Smith’s constituents choose to vote for themselves in any particular debate, then his job would be to vote for the 9,800 who had chosen to leave it to him, so his vote would be reduced to 9,800 for that one debate only. If 800 of Mary Brown’s people voted, she would have 11,200 votes left to cast. At last, we would have “government of the people by the people”. At last !!!

We have the technology, we can rebuild our democracies.

Lets not forget that the world faces much bigger problems than the economy and politics. The two biggies at the moment are climate change and a human population which is rapidly growing beyond the carrying capacity of our planet. Great fortunes will be made by the men and women who can find socially and environmentally acceptable solutions to these two huge challenges. Will you be one of the thinkers and entrepreneurs who will lead us into a brave new world?.

Whether you choose to lead us in business or in politics, this recession is your opportunity to shine forth. When the going gets tough, the tough get going. Hooray we're in a recession !!!

Please let me know what you think about this and other related issues. The best contributions will be published on this website together with a brief bio of the author and a link to his or her website. By sending in your contribution you are automatically giving us permission to publish it. We reserve the right to edit where necessary.