Fairies or Pharaohs …. Where are there any ‘Truths’ ?

Fairies do not exist . Or so we are told . Pharaohs do. Or so we are told .

In a world where everyone is questioning everything, or rather everyone has their own version of what is true and everything thing else is fake news. As a consequence few really question what they are told Is true or not . Who knows what is really true?

An inherent consequence of too much consideration of the reality of the truth is that you are sucked into a giant vortex culminating in the creation or membership of a cult . Politics being quite clearly part of this vortex. Whilst the current U.K. Government has proved an extraordinary channel for non truths, let us not fall into the trap in thinking that all political party (present or past)do not use smoke & mirrors as a tool within their armouries . It is just the current Party in power is so blatant and blindingly obvious in its execution.

The following two headlines come from august web journals.

Tesco UK sales fall amid changing customer behaviour and surging inflation

Georgia Wright 17th June 2022 Retail Gazette

The supermarket chain Tesco has reported that like-for-like sales across the group rose 2 per cent in the first three months of its financial year

Richard Fletcher 17th June 2022 The Times Online Business Editor

Both are true.

The first excluded their Booker wholesale business and the second included it.

There are many different kinds of truth:

  • historical truth – truth based on evidence from documents or archaeology
  • artistic truth – something, which people read, see or hear, which appears true through how things are or how people behave
  • moral truth – people ‘know’ what is right or wrong without evidence to prove it
  • scientific truth – established by experiments that can be repeated and always produce the same result
  • absolute and relative truth – people may believe that some things are always true while others things may vary according to situation or circumstance
  • religious truth – people follow a religion and so discover the ‘truth’ which comes from God or a sacred text (bbc.com)

Which is all jolly interesting but not especially useful on a day to day basis. We all have decisions to make all day within our own businesses and often faced the dichotomy , as to whether answers given to questions are correct or truthful.

What is true ? October 31st is Halloween. December 25th is Christmas Day. Paris is the capital of France . Night follows day (or is it the other way around?). There are undoubtedly a bunch of immutable truths but that is not where the problem lies. Having discussed perception in a previous blog , I don’t feel it necessary to go over old ground. But there are often occasions where what is apparent truth to one, is completely opposite to another.

Absolute Truth – Inflexible Reality. “Absolute truth” is defined as inflexible reality: fixed, invariable, unalterable facts. For example, it is a fixed, invariable, unalterable fact that there are absolutely no square circles and there are absolutely no round squares.


My fictional illustration on how we encounter the complications of the ‘truth’ everyday in our businesses

Good Morning my good new supplier Regional Sales and marketing Executive Representative and channel manager.Tell what is your best selling item? That is always a good way to start a new supplier

Good morning my absolutely delightful new customer . How wonderful to meet you and your absolutely delightful store. That is course a very easy question to answer . Our Top selling item is product no 3210678. We sold nearly 2 million last year .

Wonderful ! I will have 50,000 to start with

Perfect , no problem (and a load more sycophantic clichés). Will have them delivered soonest . Thank you very much my absolutely delightful new customer

The Truth here is that the supplier did sell 2 million last year . The absolute truth is that all of those 2 million went to one event that occurred only last year and that was held a 1000 miles away and not one single piece was purchased by any other of that Good new Suppliers customer base. Hence the absolute Truth was something quite different . A somewhat simplistic extreme case , I admit. I would like to think illustrates the point. We are surrounded in every aspect of life with Fake news, Half truths , complete and utter rubbish ( so well documented in recent UK politics) but somewhere in all this we have to determine , on occasion what the truth means to us . We have to ask :

  • Are our suppliers telling us the truth ?
  • Are our customers telling us the truth ?
  • If the answer is an acceptable Qualified Truth (not absolute), is it workable?

Being bombarded daily by facts that are being constantly questioned (as they should be) , it becomes very tough to make considered judgments when you have to question and investigate all your own ‘considers‘ within that judgment call.

Only this week a customer asked me for my opinion, in terms of the economic outlook . They were not asking for a truth but an opinion. Yet have given what I thought was a considered answer , I had to question myself as to whether the truths (in this case past historical events) were in effect absolute or if not whether they had any material effect on my answer .

If we go back to the year 2000 , we were essentially told that diesel cars were not harmful to the environment. Consequently decisions were made because of a half truth and perhaps lack of examination by those making those decisions . Ownership then went from 2 million diesel cars to 7 million. The following examples are two very different lies. One contained a grain of truth , the other contained no grains.


Mr Brown brought in a sliding scale for car tax or vehicle excise duty (VED), to make it cheaper for cars with lower emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), a greenhouse gas which contributes to global warming. This resulted in lower VED rates generally for diesel cars, which tend to be more fuel efficient. But they emitted greater quantities of other pollutants harmful to health, nitrogen oxides and particulates.

BBC Martin Rosenbaum 2017


Charles Ponzi, an Italian immigrant, made a fortune off of lying to people. In fact, he was so good at deception that the government named a type of fraud after him—the Ponzi scheme. In 1920, Ponzi tricked thousands of New England residents into investing in a postage stamp speculation scheme. He promised investors that he could provide a whopping 50 percent return in just 90 days. Each time a new investor gave him money, he’d use those funds to pay off earlier investors, creating the illusion that they were profiting from a legitimate business. At the height of his huge scam, he raked in $250,000 a day, about $3 million in today’s money. But his days of scheming and scamming caught up to him in August of 1920, when he was charged with 86 counts of mail fraud.

Ashley Lewis -Readers Digest June 2022

So it’s a bit like fairies and Pharaohs. We like to believe in Fairies, if we think we can make a fast buck (even though no one has ever seen one.)We believe in Pharaohs because historians tell us they existed, even though it was 2000 years ago and no one living has ever seen one.

“History is a pack of lies about events that never happened told by people who weren’t there.”

George Santayana : 19th Century Philosopher & Novelist

Make of that what you will.

How Was it for you ,Your Maj ?

Twenty years ago, I was a Royalist. Twenty years of discussions with Julia, I ceased to be a Royalist . However, I have a lot of respect for the Queen. Not the Institution (Monarchy) but the person.

I don’t believe any of us are subjects of anyone else

I don’t believe anyone should curtsey, kneel or bow to anyone (Unless they are Japanese, or our Dog Ari who I have to kneel to give him a cuddle)

I don’t believe anyone has the right to rule over anyone, no matter how lightly, by dint of birth

So that’s my much vaunted Knighthood gone the drain, for all those years of supplying loads of party items to many parties that had something to do with Royalty.

None of which is the point of this post. The question here is how strong is the effect of a Jubilee and other similar pageants or events .

What will the Jubilee weekend mean for the economy?

The claim of £1 billion being spent could also refer to the amount the public is predicted to spend directly over the period, rather than how much the celebrations will cost the taxpayer.Estimates we’ve seen for this vary wildly. For example, the Mirror quoted a retail analyst who estimated the Jubilee could mean a sales boost of between £1 billion and £2 billion at pubs, shops and other venues on food and beverages, depending on the weather. Meanwhile the Centre for Retail Research has estimated that new retail spending relating to the Jubilee will amount to around £408m between April and June (www.fullfact.org)

The satirical magazine Private Eye , has a section called Desperate Marketing, where it gives examples of Product/ service Suppliers making extremely tenuous links with various events. The following three images were taken from the Times Newspaper over the Jubilee Weekend.

One of this company’s Product USP’s is that you don’t need a fridge as you can store them in your Pantry !
Wild Alaskan Salmon, canned for over 70 Years !
All Italian Recipes !

But what are the realistic pluses and minuses of such an event .

Moneysupermarket.Com estimated that everyone spent £83 per person on the Jubilee. I don’t doubt it . Or rather, I do question where that number came from. Understanding that it is hardly scientific , I, personally, know very few people that actually spent anything. That said me being a miserable git, it may come as no surprise. But where do these numbers come from . If someone bought a couple of bottles of wine on the jubilee weekend , is that included, no matter what the reason for the purchase.

Cynicism aside, there will, of course have been an uptick in retail sales on drink, food , and party decs, and probably hospitality but much of that would be confined to London (hospitality that is) but beyond that my limited imagination does not stretch. I expect many restaurants over the weekend were quieter than usual. Julia and I happened to be in two town centres and one major shopping centre during the four days and they were eerily quiet. This week I was in Glasgow and to my surprise they were saying that the Jubilee had been very good for them (retailers selling party ware).

There is that unquantifiable feel good factor , that sometimes comes into play , but considering the industrial outlook (railways et al) and energy costs I can’t see that lasting long.

Then there is the other questionable statistic ,the loss to the economy of an extra Public Holiday .

In 2012, a study by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) think tank estimated that each bank holiday costs the British economy £2.3bn through lost productivity.

The number of people visiting shops in the Jubilee week increased over 17% on the average for May. The BRC reported that for the rest of May, there was evidence of rising inflation deterring the public from spending. Footfall for the Bank Holiday Thursday (2 June) was 45.5% higher than the May 2022 average.

Helen Dickinson, BRC’s chief executive, commented: “It was great to see so many people out celebrating and shopping at their favourite local destinations – a welcome boost for retail businesses reliant on store performance, particularly on the high street.-partyworldwide.net

I really struggle with this. Again, Julia and I were in a local independent women’s fashion retailer on that Saturday . He is always busy on a normal Saturday , but he said ‘Today there is nobody about’. There will have been many out and about but I really don’t see that many of them were shopping.

As unscientific as they maybe, you must have conclusions ……..

The Party Market

Great and much deserved fillip after the previous tough years . After the Diamond Jubilee, I suspect few expected there to be a Platinum one.

The UK Economy as a whole

Questionable but perhaps marginal uptick .


Short Upturn .

Her Maj

I believe from the genuine smiles on her face (especially as she was able to avoid the more tedious events, and the worst extremities of her family) She enjoyed it .