Opinions may be right or wrong. Often they are neither, merely thoughts, observations, comments, expressions, theories or hypotheses. What starts as an idea can become an opinion, but an uninformed opinion, or worse a misinformed one, is dangerous because it can lead to incorrect action. A lie repeated often enough can become the truth. We live in an era where everyone can express themselves through media channels such as this. Daily, we see examples of dangerously ill-informed opinions expressed, often by our own leaders.


My background as an accountant for 35 years advising the small and medium sized business sectors lends some modest credibility to comments on those specific areas. That does not mean that my opinions carry more weight than anyone else’s, and this blog is not about my opinions as such.

Instead, this blog is intended to reflect a style of analysis which has stood me in good stead for many years: analysis from first principles. This method comes from an inability to remember things that are without meaning but very useful, such as mathematical formulae, and so I learned to re-invent them from scratch when I need them.

Living as we do, in a complex world, anyone who thinks that they have all the answers is likely to have missed the point. Few things are ever what they seem. Success often leads to failure, and failure to success. The meaning of success itself is nowadays being called into question. Financial success at the cost of a sustainable world, once lauded, is now despised. We are, and I think it is for the better, on the brink of a whole new way of thinking and of evaluating good and bad, profit and loss.

Yet simply re-inventing goals and measures is not always right. Creating a sustainable world economy will be unsustainable if we fail to include those who do not yet have anything worth sustaining. Just as unsustainable economic success is bound to fail, so must sustainability without economic viability. Our leaders wrestle with this conundrum, but seem to find that their own economic situations lead them invariably to failure.

“Now everything’s a little upside down, as a matter of fact, the wheels have stopped
What’s good is bad, what’s bad is good, you’ll find out when you reach the top
You’re on the bottom”

Bob Dylan, Idiot Wind (1974).

This blog is about personal observation, analysis and comment. Just like everyone else, I want to know what it is all about. This blog is an exploration, because I accept that I do not have all of the answers, or maybe any of them, though it is biased towards the areas in which I or my colleagues hold some expertise.  It attempts to put an alternative analysis on matters of current interest, in short writings.  I hope to avoid causing offence, but if someone tries hard enough, they will always be able to take offence where none is intended – and if that happens, I apologise and will do my best to rectify.

I need to stress one thing. I am proud to be a Principal in Hillier Hopkins, and a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW). However, the views that I express in this blog are entirely personal, and do not reflect or represent in any way the views of Hillier Hopkins or of its Principals or Staff, nor of the ICAEW nor of its Members. I am also obliged to state that no person reading this blog or being told of its contents should place any reliance on its content, nor make any decision based on what is writen in this blog without seeking suitable professional advice. Nothing in this blog is intended to be advice, financial advice, tax advice or in any other way suitable material to be relied on for any purpose whatsoever, except perhaps for amusement. And the fact that I have to say these things, rather says it all, doesn’t it?

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