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Sheer Heart Attack

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About Sheer Heart Attack

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  1. Agreed, EUBanana. For me, Farage's performance was about convincing the people who had already decided to vote for UKIP to actually do so. I didn't particularly sense any effort from him to extend the party's appeal further. I like Farage and am broadly sympathetic to many UKIP policies. I don't have a racist bone in my body - it's not about race or nationality. It's about a profligate, dictatorial central government who can't successfully audit its own books whose open border policy results in brain drains from poorer countries who need their best and brightest and wage suppression/HPI in countries they emigrate to. I don't blame the people personally for coming here or going to Germany, etc - I would in their position. They're looking after their own - no problem with that at all. However, I cringed when he made that comment. In many ways, his point was entirely valid and not anti-gay, anti-HIV, anti-AIDs etc. He could've been talking about cancer or another terrible illness. But it's going to be seen as homophobic and heartless coming out of his mouth even though any one else on that stage who might have said it wouldn't have been judged in the same way (except from Cameron, perhaps).
  2. http://www.adweek.com/adfreak/clever-outdoor-ads-list-cost-their-own-square-footage-if-they-were-homes-england-163417 As an advertising/marketing person, I love the message and the designs. Pity it's 10-15 years too late.
  3. As mentioned in last week's Moneyweek, it is unlikely to affect the housing market too much as, given the age of the people withdrawing from their pensions, they are unlikely to be able to get mortgages. I hope they're right.
  4. Hi all, I got a message yesterday from a fellow forumer asking for an update. To that forum member, thanks for thinking of me for the contribution. The relevant bit of my original post on this thread was... After this point, turnover dropped again by another 15% from the original expected levels. The company was massively restructured, paid all the costs it incurred as part of that restructure and finally went back into, albeit, small profit. Around three weeks ago, it suddenly turned upwards again. We're still trading 25% down from where we originally were but because of the much lower cost base, the profit levels are high. We have a chance of building a bank of cash back up in the next 6 months if this continues...but that's a big if. This upturn has appeared out of nowhere. Dead cat bounce or green shoots of recovery? Time will tell. Anyone have any experiences to share?
  5. Marshmellow, good for you for being so persistent. What a pity though our country has come to this. When I left university in 1996, I had no shortage of places I could work. People like you should be our future in the UK. Unfortunately, you had to leave us. Speaking for people 20 years older than you, I'm sorry it came to this, mate. It shouldn't be this way.
  6. 2014 is certainly not an improvement in many ways. That may be because I'm a 40-yr old family man with bills to pay - not a 20yr optimistic, hard-drinking, hard-smoking, hard-working studo-type. I think what's different is my Dad always said to me that he would never have wanted me to grow up in the era when he grew up - he was happy the world had changed. When my son reaches 20 (some time off yet), would I wish him to live his life and experience his youth in 1994 or 2032? I can't see things changing that much so I think I'd send him back to 1994.
  7. There's another thread on here about UKIP voters wishing to live in the past. Now, I can understand the cynicism many of us (myself included) might feel about someone who would prefer to live in the past than the present or future. It instinctively feels wrong. As a parent, I want my child to have more than I did for example. My parents felt the same about me. It is human nature to want to move forward. So, is it rational for so many UK citizens to want to live in the past? Since reading that article, I've done a bit of thinking and it would be 50/50 for me whether I would stay in 2014 or go back to 1994. I loved 1994. I was at university. I got a grant and had access to very low-interest top-up loans from HMG. I got various jobs to top up my grant/loan and had a whale of a time. I left university with £3,000 worth of debt - that's it. Finding jobs was easy. But living was cheap too - I rented a room in a nice four-bed terraced house for £20 a week. I could go to Netto and eat reasonably well for £15 a week. My eyes weren't ripped out the back of my head for alcohol and tobacco. Believe it or not, housing was still, in the main and in my opinion, considered as not an investment class but somewhere you lived. House prices had been static or declining for years. You could get spacious 2-bed Tyneside flats in Gateshead for £5,000 (now close to £80,000). Council tax was very low - in real terms, probably a third of what we paid today. The internet and mobile phones existed but they weren't mass market. I could actually remember about 20 telephone numbers in my head - now I can barely remember my own and I've had the same contract for 10 years. It was no utopia, that's for sure. But I loved it. I loved my life then. It wasn't carefree but it wasn't so hassled and pressured. This is not a comment on immigration or anything else. I may have the rosiest-tinted pair of glasses on ever. But the past seemed a lot warmer, cheaper simpler and less judgemental to me than the high-price, ultra-conformist, nanny state we grind under today. Am I alone in this? How does 2014 compare to when you were 20?
  8. • North East. • 2-bed semi-detached with front and back garden. • Quiet neigbourhood. • Equidistant between regional capital and very large out-of-town shopping area. • Local primary school OFTSED highest rating • Lower-than-average crime I bought my house for £120k in Q1 2006. A virtually identical house on the same estate (with smaller gardens) sold one month ago for £106k. So it appears that, in my part of the world, the nominal price has fallen by more than 10%. The inflation-adjusted fall will be much steeper (although I'm not clever enough to work out how to do that) Yet, according to the Halifax property price index, the nominal house price has risen across the UK from £158,573 to £188,949 in the very same timescale. Am I missing something? Or can someone smarter than me explain how there's been a nominal 19.15% rise in prices that time whilst my little place has fallen by 11.67% at the same time. TIA
  9. We're based in the North East, TheCountOfNowhere. I've got no doubt London is booming as you say. Ad spends by larger corporates seem to be doing just fine so I wish your friend all the luck - sounds like he's landed on his feet and he'll love the work they put in front of him. Our core audience of customers is sub-£1m T/O with between 1-15 staff across the UK. Our products and services are priced and targeted for that user base. Our average order values are down as are the number of orders.
  10. We have an alright position but not as strong as back in Summer 2008. About a month after the second post, we started taking staff on again. Over the course of the following four years, we grew very quickly from a mixture of cashflow management and inward investment into the company. The change in the business from just the two directors to a room full of 40 people was quite profound. It happened so fast I had a little trouble getting used to it all. Back in Summer 2008, our breakeven requirement was £6,000pw - a few years later, it was £37,000pw. I am naturally quite defensive when it comes to staff and cashflow management and I've been in trouble business-wise before (through silly decisions but we've all been there sometimes) so I think we're managing the decline well. However, I am waiting for the bottom to occur so I can plan the next 6 months but I'm not seeing it just yet. Scary times, Venger. Edited - addition of "pw" twice into third paragraph
  11. Thanks, Venger. I'm in the marketing and advertising business. Our downturn funnily enough seemed to coincide with the general media message that all is right with the world again. To be honest, I've found the last few months quite traumatic. As a company, we haven't become rubbish at what we do. Our staff are pretty much the same - brilliant at their roles. The need for our services - I can't see why that would've changed. But it has.
  12. For the last few weeks, it's felt to me like 2007 again. House prices are going up, stock markets at record highs, indebtedness through the roof. Central banks claim to be tapering back on QE. There's talk of interest rates going up. I remember feeling in 2007 like this was a bubble. I knew there'd be a crash but I didn't guess to the extent of it back then, to be honest. And now, I have that very same feeling again. In 2007, my business dropped off a cliff and it took everything I had to turn it around. Fast forward to 2014, I had to let 20% of the staff go because of a sudden and prolonged 30% drop in turnover. Anybody feeling the same thing I am? (Edited 7.47 - typo)
  13. We're in advertising and marketing trading from Newcastle to customers across the UK. Advertising and marketing is normally seen as a squeezed service during tough times. Most of the company's recent history has been hand to mouth battling for small orders but that seems to have changed.
  14. How is the business you own or work for going? I'd be particularly interested in companies from 0 to 250 staff. I never thought I'd say it a year ago but business is booming. Order values are much higher, volume of orders and reorders is much higher and the number of loss making weeks is a lot lower. I have no idea why this is but most of my customers are reporting brisk trade. Did we reach the bottom a little while ago and is the economy genuinely improving? I do understand it's all propped up by QE, ZIRP, etc but this seems to be the new normal now, despite threats of its apparent withdrawal later this year.
  15. We had a pick-up last week and posted a few grand profit. This is however absorbed by two big losing weeks prior and an unremarkable stint of breakevens this year. This week, slow again.
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