Believe it

As I write this we are dropping exploding things on Iraq in the hope that an amoral despot will come to heel. I won’t bore you with the arguments but do spare a thought for the peoples living in the vicinity. Not just the unfortunate Iraqis but also their neighbours.

Before Christmas I trotted off to Egypt to learn how to scuba dive. At that time of the year the resorts on the Red Sea should be bulging, but if the memory of the massacre in Luxor about a year ago wasn’t keeping people away then the threat of Sadam starting up his shenanigans again was.

The Egyptians had every right to feel victimised, put upon, depressed none of it : or at least it wasn’t showing. To a man they determinedly reiterated that it would get better at Christmas, after Ramadam, soon. There was no sullenness, no sulking and no self pity. What a shame I couldn’t bottle it.

If, with everything against them the Egyptian tourist industry can remain optimistic, there must be some hope for British industry which has so much going for it. Unfortunately we seem unable to view any turn of events optimistically. Strong pound equals can’t export, weaker pound equals imported parts and equipment are too expensive. Why is it never reversed. We complain that all British industry is now in the hands of foreign powers but complained bitterly when the government was shoring up the industry we had. We don’t like people spending on credit and like them less when they don’t spend at all. We complain about failure and despise success. Miserable bunch aren’t we. And now we seem absolutely hell bent on talking ourselves into a recession.

Almost every company I speak to admits to be doing pretty well and yet there is a nervousness that this can’t last and failure is just around the corner. Now I’m not saying be reckless, but how about just a touch of optimism after all, we might be doing something right and maybe we can sustain a good level of business.

If we believe we can do something about Sadam, surely we can believe in our own ability to turn a profit.