Balancing the books… and what happens when they don’t

It’s not often that being a chartered accountant is a good thing. We’re always cast as the boring guy in the movies. The beancounter who likes to say ‘no’. Small children snigger at us behind our backs. And we never get invited to the best parties. But it does have its advantages. I don’t panic when the bank calls. I can do my tax return in under fifteen minutes. And I can spot a looming financial car wreck from several miles off.

And, I can tell you, there are a lot of them about.

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Reclaiming the conversation

I was listening the other day to someone on a video online. He spoke about family. He spoke about personal responsibility. And he spoke about the need for a strong, resilient and just society. I can get behind all of these things. But he then segued into how abortion is evil and how anyone who thinks otherwise is going straight to hell.

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On the passing of time

A few weeks back, one of the gizmos in my home’s heating system started to play up. It seemed like only recently that we’d replaced this particular widget, but a quick look at my ‘gas, water and electricity’ file (don’t judge me) confirmed that we’d in fact fitted a new one over six years ago. And we’d installed the previous one roughly six years before that. While the problem with the heating was, thankfully, easily fixed, it did get me thinking about the way we observe the passing of time.

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It’s a school, Jim, but not as we know it

We’ve learned over the past few months that schools are about much more than learning. The social interactions that they provide and the relationships that they nurture are essential to our children’s social development and to their mental health and wellbeing. And yes, they teach stuff, too. They also allow many parents to go to work. Or to get work done from home.

Consequently, it’s hugely important that we try to find a way to re-open our schools in September to all young people. Especially given that we seem to have found ways to open pubs. But only if – and, to be honest, it’s a massive if – we can do so safely.

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The key to unlocking the lockdown

I think it’s fair to say that we’re all getting a bit fed up with the lockdown. But like most people, I can see why we’re doing it and am happy to play my part in keeping people safe. If some of the newspapers are to be believed, though, things will be back to normal within days. I don’t think for one moment that this is the case. But it does raise the valid question of how, when the time is right, we’ll go about unlocking the lockdown. Continue reading