Tuesday, June 04, 2013

In the Wash

The Wash from 8,000 Feet Looking North-east
While one side of Britain basks in harsh, cloudless sunlight, cross the Thames Estuary at Southend and there's a solid bank of low cloud which tells me that I'm almost home.

I left Humberside airport at 10:00 am this morning and was back here in Thanet by 12:00. From the photo of 'The Wash' and Lincolnshire from 8,000 feet, you can gain an impression of being able to see for ever, which was a nice change, given the weather we have had this year. Passing over the top of Lakenheath USAF base, I could count seven grey F15 fighters on the ground and three more were joining from the north-east, moving rather faster than me and having much more fun I'm certain.

Looking Towards Norfolk
Up in Grimsby, I was doing a 'Tomorrow's World" presentation alongside William Higham and Jonathan Macdonald. An unusual choice for such an event, I'm sure but Grimsby and Margate share a great deal in common, many of them negative and not least of all, Mary Portas. The taxi driver appeared convinced that St Mary was going to achieve great things for Grimsby and who was I to tell him that I was from Margate?

I was lucky not to have gone by train like my two colleagues. Apparently the landslide of several months ago is still playing havoc with the railway timetable and reaching Grimsby via Kings Cross, required two separate bus journeys from Doncaster. In fact, if I had chosen the train, I would still be on one trying to get home to Kent.

Touching heads with others over the last day, can only lead me to conclude that the worst of the recession appears to be behind us as business confidence is growing. I'm seeing this with almost relentless inquiries but others I know are telling me the same. Perhaps growth is returning, even under biting austerity but whether this means that businesses will start employing again is another question. Most likely, many of them and mostly small enterprises will struggle along while the order books grow, that is until such a time as the pressure to employ new staff overcomes a natural reluctance to expose themselves to the employment risks that goes with it. If it were the eighties, it would be different but a raft of employment legislation over the last thirty years now means that flexibility is lost and consequential recovery may be slower than anyone might wish.

However, I'm optimistic and perhaps it will prove catching!

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