Gimme Some Respect

It’s a word we have been hearing a lot about lately but is it in short supply?. CNN journalist Jim Acosta was accused of disrespecting the office of the president at president elect Donald Trump’s first press conference after winning the election race.

Although at same press conference many commentators said Trump had brought the office of president into disrepute because of his barracking style. Trump supporters and detractors, Brexit leavers and remainders, student unions and MP’s to name a few have all been accused of being disrespectful.

Lets examine what the dictionary meaning of the word respect is it’s :

“An admiration felt or shown for someone or something that you believe has good ideas or qualities”. Also:

“I have respect for his ideas, although I do not agree with them although many others do”.

There’s not much respect going on on either side of the debate in my previous examples

Many who accuse others of disrespect are being disrespectful themselves but refuse to accept this fact. It’s a mad world but of course it always has been and their will always be those who think that their opinion is right and everyone else is wrong. So it’s OK for them to be disrespectful in their minds.

In business relationships we need people to be respectful but questioning and on occasion challenging both are very important life skills. If we can’t debate and sometimes agree to disagree but still work together on other projects and issues then we will fail to learn and grow.

What has dismayed me over the past year is that people on either side of many debates I thought were level headed, reflective thinkers who used reason, logic and debate. Have shown a side of themselves I have never seen and its not a nice side. They have become argumentative, sulky, bullying, disrespectful and worse. Maybe it’s time we all looked in the mirror and found our self respect and respect for others. Hopefully then we can have useful discussion and argument that engages and is productive.

I do hope that 2017 ends up creative, energetic and productive and not more divisive and disrespectful. I live in hope. Well that’s a rap and I’ll leave it to the kids to teach the adults.

The Respect Rap

Trump Berates CNN Reporter

Meaning of the word respect


Business Rocks Update Jan 2017


BR 2016 achieved its objectives The event trended 2nd on twitter all around the world for a couple of weeks only the Queens birthday and Prince’s death kept it from the top slot. Saying there was no marketing budget that was pretty remarkable. It also shows the passion people had for the event.


For BR 2017 which takes place on May 3 & 4th at Manchester Central SKY Swipe will be covering the event, the start-up pitch battle cash has increased to £100,000. The number of stages increases from 5 to 8 with a dedicated music stage, Also a virtual reality and thought leadership stage. The event will hold 5000 delegates compared to last years 2000.


The top Virtual Reality developers and those who design Batman comics are flying in. On the thought leadership stage junior developers can rub shoulders with and run ideas by CEO’s and government strategy tech advisor’s


Last year as a new and untested start-up BR founder Jonny Cadden said we were unbackable from a city perspective. After a successful event we now are and we are getting more regional backing and support from the council. The head of innovation for one of the major banks had said he didn’t understand the music piece in BR. But he attended SLUSH in Belgium which is their biggest tech festival with 16000 delegates attending, and when it starts it’s like a rave. He came back and said I now get it and it works.


We are trying to get creativity and entrepreneurship and get those at the top to inspire those further down and the next generation of tech innovators. In addition 500 Generation Z kids from 8 -19 old years from across the UK will be here designing apps, being inspired and learning what diverse careers are open to them in the Tech sector. It’s a cool world working in the tech space and especially in Manchester as we do things differently here.

We concluded the January update with a truly inspiring and uplifting song from Mica Paris which sums up the ethos of Business Rocks.

Mica Paris – Contribution

One world united all shades invited, we all have a contribution to a tech revolution.


Academies – is the future of the nations education safe in their hands?

According to the government yes and educationalists mostly no. Should we be worried about it? In my view yes we should it’s as big an issue for Britain and it’s future as Brexit, Immigration and terrorism.

That’s a bold statement but government’s have always struggled with education policy and it’s successful implementation. The more changes that have been made to make it more effective and successful the further we have slid down the international education league tables.

Academies have have had some great successes and some spectacular failures. Given that up to now they have had more resources and autonomy than state schools the explanations on the failures is quite poor and virtually non existent. That would not be acceptable for state schools.

The government is quick to tell us that one size doesn’t fit all and various solutions are needed to modern issues and problems that face business, government and society. So why when education has always been a huge problem for governments does this government think one size fits all for our schools?

I am an optimist and I hope for our children, businesses and the country that they are right and academies deliver what ministers say they will. However I am a realist and judging on past performance I suspect it will be an experiment that will fail. By the time we realise that academies are not working for many a generation or more of children will have lost out.

The education minister Nicky Morgan said that if we vote to leave the EU it will have a devastating effect on our young people’s life chances. If the academies experiment goes wrong it will have that effect whether we vote to remain or leave the EU.


The way the government is going about this smacks of a communist state, little or no consultation, only one option and parents having less say with no parent governors. Not what one would expect of a conservative government. There are already two petitions with more than a 100,000 signatures against the proposals and planned demonstrations in the pipeline.

Some of the governments comments make sense but many are already being implemented. Schools are grouping together and sharing knowledge and expertise as well as sharing problems within their areas.

Yes schools still need to be teaching real world skills so that young people are “employment” ready when they leave. Businesses can help in this as partners in a structured way. But running schools? Is big business really interested in giving our children a rounded education that will give them better life chances? Or is it a way of big firms making money reducing choice and transparency and ultimately responsibility and accountability whilst milking the taxpayer?

Everyone should read Liverpool Echo reporter Tom Belger’s report on Halewood Academy. No communication, no one is responsible and going to the local authority and even the government does not work. They are not responsible for academies, this is the possible frightening future.

I will conclude by saying I am against all schools being forced to become academies. Those that wish to should be supported as well as those that don’t. I don’t believe one size fits all.


New Education system and Acadamisation White Paper – Department of Education

Nicky Morgan under fire over Mumsnet post on academisationThe Guardian

Leaving EU ‘devastating for young’, says Nicky Morgan – BBC

A Tale of trying to hold an acadamy to account – The Liverpool Echo

Minister Backs Swindon Academy – Swindon Advertiser

PISA tests UK Stagnates – BBC