Yesterday’s strike – a message that mattered?

We’ve just had the biggest public strike in Britain in years. I was expecting some intelligent debate about it in the media but no, what everyone wants to talk about are the comments from that reliable rent-a-gob, Jeremy Clarkson.

Jeremy, to anyone who doesn’t yet know, suggested that all strikers should be shot in front of their own families. It was an opinion made in jest, spur of the moment and very typical Clarkson, tongue in cheek, but has provided plenty of fodder for the tabloid press and radio phone-ins today.

I’ve run many a discussion show over the years and am fully aware that it is important to book someone who you are secretly hoping will be terribly opinionated and indiscreet. There is indeed a certain cynicism that creeps in when you’ve been doing the job for a while where it is tempting to deliver the most entertaining speaker to the audience rather than the argument. Jeremy is a dream guest in that respect and I’m sure part of the reason that he was booked on The One Show last night was because they knew he would say something outrageous about the strike.

Having the words come from the mouth of someone earning a telephone number salary just adds to the controversy.

If public sector workers have a good argument to make, it’s about time they made it clear. The Mail was definitely out to discredit public sector workers as it sent journalists and photographers to shopping malls yesterday to interview strikers. Bad publicity all round but few would be concerned about how they spent their time on strike if it seemed like there was a good case.

It seems to me that public sector workers are becoming demonised for daring to strike.

There is real anger about the cutbacks we are all facing but I’m not sure many people want to live in a divided society of them and us. Those of us in the private sector have struggled with employment and pay rates since 2008 and have learnt that we need to be more adaptable. While we are arguing about public sector versus private sector pay, nothing has changed at the top of society. There is still a huge disparity between the income of the super-rich and the rest of us. The banking crisis hasn’t changed this.

Unless public sector workers present a better case for their industrial action, the politics of envy will take over and the government won’t have any ‘wiggle room’ to offer a compromise.

Hidden businesses who don’t realise their worth

I’ve just spent a week in Scotland combining work and pleasure with a trip to various places from Edinburgh and Scotland.
It’s been over a decade since my last visit so I really enjoyed the chance to travel around and enjoy the beauty of the scenery – wow, Edinburgh is wonderful.

One of the places I stayed was the Leny Estate near the small town of

Callander, about an hour from Glasgow.

I had stumbled across it on the internet and the idea of a log cabin on a Scottish mountainside appealed to me.

I didn’t know what to expect from this booking – although this business has an internet site, it’s little more than a brochure, and most contact was through leaving phone messages and trusting that a receipt would arrive for money paid.

Don’t get me wrong – I enjoy trust, it’s so important. But usually it’s something that’s built up over time.

Although the vibe from this company was good, its social media standing is close to zero in a market place that’s bursting at the seams with similar offerings.
But when we got to the Leny estate it was simply breath-taking – beautiful, private, secluded, a small stately home (five-star), six small log cabins which were perfect (four star) and elsewhere on the site some small cottages for hire.
In the four days we were there, we had everything we needed, we were not bothered by anyone, the scenery was beautiful, I cannot praise it enough. The only small problem we had was an ill-fitting sheet for one of the beds and once reported, a new sheet was on the door step within the hour.

I could not believe that only two cabins appeared to be occupied in the first week in August. Why, oh why, is this business not shouting about itself from the rooftops?

In these times of economic woe, can any business of this kind afford to have empty rooms? empty spaces? Perhaps they can.
As we travelled around, it was clear that there are log cabins, holiday homes, cottages, B&Bs all over the place. All the more reason to stand out from the crowd.


All the more reason to invest in some good PR to make sure you are head and shoulders above the rest.
Did I leave my business card? Am I hoping that the owners read this blog? Yes on both counts.
Even when something is exclusive, it’s important to shout about all of those positive factors about your business. Be proud, ask for endorsements, ask for recommendations.


It’s not enough to hope that people will stumble across your website,

now is the time to be proactive – it’s one of the keys to survival.

leny estate – great place to stay, where’s the pr

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