A Proposed “Amazon Tax”

So the chancellor is considering an “Amazon tax”. You can see the full Sky news article here.

Now I know that some companies studiously avoid paying tax. Some even have tax departments. Staffed by tax professionals whose job role is lower the tax payment to the revenue.

This new potential tax rule however has more far reaching consequences. You see the United Kingdom has long been at the forefront of specialist business. The United Kingdom is home to a large number of small specialist online retailers. British online retail has already had to deal with the mess of VATMOSS, which is a bit of a nightmare. However this is a new spanner in the works of the small specialist business and what it does is attack the small and specialist online retail business under the “banner” of punishing larger businesses who pay what appears to be a lower rate of tax than their turnover would suggest is correct. Remember a small 1-3 person online retailer cannot afford to hire tax specialists in the way that the likes of Amazon can, neither can they afford the complex operations required to carry off the more elaborate operations in the marketplace such as those around intellectual property and image rights.

In short, this will penalise the small business and not hit the large business that it is designed to.

Legalise a new class of light electric vehicles

I personally in believe in the future of Personal Electric Vehicles (PEV’s), they are are more sustainable than private cars or motorcycles, more manoeuvrable than traditional bicycles and benefit owners in other ways too such as health, fitness, safety and accident protection. They are generally cheaper to buy and maintain too. However many of these are actually illegal in the UK.


Living on border of the countryside and a major capital city as I do the possibilities, the convenience and the freedom benefits are easy to see. These vehicles could also take some of the pressure away from public transport, which in England, in terms of capacity is creaking at the seams. I must declare an interest here, I have a number of ranges of PEV’s which are manufactured abroad that I am able to import into the UK and share with the UK marketplace.

If you share similar views to me on Personal Electric Vehicles (PEV’s) I would be grateful if you would sign a petition here.

For more information on my range of PEV’s please fill in the form below

Retirement – The Four Month Update

So today marks four months to the day that I abruptly retired on health grounds. I had no choice really. A strong combination of medical advice and `er indoors “advice” left me in no doubt that after heart failure I could not not go back 60 hours+ a week, the stress of my work and the constant travelling.

A friend of mine said at the time “Court, the thought of you with too much time on your hands is, frankly, very, very scary!”

Truth be told doing nothing all week was not going to work very well and I felt it after a month. I held on to two business interests (Virtual Office and Weekly Deals). I sold out of or exited everything else.

Truth be told, I got too bored too quickly. I still cannot abide daytime TV unless its Bloomberg. With Bloomberg once you have watched the pre-market-open slot you have seen nearly everything that will be on for the rest of the day! I also tired too quickly. There was however no going back to the old lifestyle.

I decided that Weekly Deals needed to be restructured and I changed it to monthly publishing schedule and also gave it a rebrand. This seems to be working really well and I am enjoying building a new venture, whilst only working 20-25 hours a week tops. I am really enjoying the work that goes into creating a publication such as this and I am pleased that this work is keeping me somewhat active in a matter that is unlikely to cause a health issue. My medical consultants were supportive of this when I last saw them nearly a fortnight ago. I have no intention of going over the 25 hour cap. The possible health ramifications are soooo not worth it. I even got back back in to ding  some coding a week or two back. It was a small job (an hour or so) on one of my internal apps to make it work again after it broke! I had not written or debugged code in so long that it was nice to get back to it for a change of scenery. Eagle eyed readers will note a few tweaks to this website too.

I have managed to stay a non smoker after smoking 1-2 packs a day for over 20 years. The wheelchair hasn’t reappeared since my last update and very surprisingly since my last update I have not managed to break anything else. I was most surprised and somewhat annoyed to find out some of my medication is banned in some countries and even more angered to find out how difficult it is to work out what medication is banned in which countries.

Any way, that is all for now folks. I will be back in a month or two with another update.

Travelling Whilst On Medication Was Supposed To Get Easier

Many regular readers will be aware of some serious health issues I have had over the past few years. So much so it feels like I should drive a forklift truck to my local pharmacy when I go to pick up a repeat prescription! Yes there is a lot of medication!

I saw this article while checking some local news earlier and came across this article about a new service that should make  life easier.

Certainly the article helped me a little and I quote:

“Strong painkillers such as tramadol and codeine could see you facing a fine or jail in places such as the United Arab Emirates.”


“In Indonesia, codeine, sleeping pills and treatments for ADHD are straight-up illegal, so don’t even attempt to bring them.”


“The US won’t accept any type of strong painkiller like tramadol, codeine or medication with opiates.”

Ok so parts of the Middle East and Indonesia are out and I most definitely am not planning to pay Donald Trump and his chums a visit any time soon, so for some destinations I know where I stand. So I know where I am, or do I? Well not really! Is Codeine legal in Denmark? I do not know. It gets better I quote the article linked to above again “But a new checklist from the Foreign Office details the medications that could land you in hot water in a different country.”

Ok. There is no link to this checklist in the article that I could see. I accept that I am long overdue to Specsavers! 15 minutes of googling didn’t return anything useful either unless you count an advert for a travel insurance provider useful.

I checked The Foreign Office website for advice on Japan where basics such as Sudafed are apparently banned. I got a link to this website. I couldn’t easily find the answer to the question. I looked at the page on this site for the United Arab Emirates. I could not find a reference to Tramadol potentially landing me in Jail.

Look! I want to know if certain medication is banned in certain countries. Unless I have missed something, which is possible I cannot see an easy way to plan a holiday when I cannot work out which of the 19 different types of medication I am prescribed are not allowed and which countries these medications are not allowed. I cannot find this talked about list that I quoted above. This can now only mean one thing. My 2018 holiday will most likely be restricted to a fortnight in Skegness!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It looks like my holiday plans heave heavily been curtailed so I will leave this here but before I do, does anyone know if Tramadol is legal in Skegness!!!!!!??



Can We Replace The Local GP?

This morning I was out and about looking for new products for The Trade Counter. My “travels” as they usually do took me to a company called Xiaomi. The Trade Counter already runs a very large number and a very diverse range of Xiaomi products and they are very popular indeed with customers of The Trade Counter. They make almost everything!

This latest product that I found is called the HiPee. It looks like a pregnancy test kit. It works by the user urinating on a test strip which the HiPee then analyses against a number of markers.  However, it claims to be at more than that. This is a new type of smart health monitor. It works with various health apps for Smartphones, however I am quite concerned as to how the data is stored. Xiaomi also claims accuracy on a par with the top hospitals in China. This device is not in full production. It is thought that once it is in full production it will retail for $60 ish. Xiaomi are currently advertising this on their own crowdfunding program. The Trade Counter will probably run it for a while once it is production ready too!

Will it replace the local GP? My jury is out on this one. It could potentially save on visits to a very bad local GP or could it? I suspect here that the smart device is going too far. I think that I am not the only one that thinks along these lines on the HiPee. If this was purely marketed as a glorified device for over active couples who spend far too much time practising their baby making skills then it might have a bigger market! Or, it could take the world by storm! I do not think the doctor is replaceable by a smart device yet though.

Happy 6th Birthday To This Website.

Well the official birthday isn’t until 12/06/2018, however I will be extremely busy on that day and may not be able to write a blog on that day.

So what has happened in 6 years?

Well, this site has gone through more than a few changes in terms of look and feel. More than that functionality has changed. Look at the addition of The Trade Counter and DealNet for example. There are more changes planned soon. More importantly the blogs content focus has expanded and developed, from being a blog website to now being a fully functional multi purpose website for both my business and personal interests. This site has grown from 6 pieces of individual content and functionality to over 3,500 items of content.

In terms of visitors this site has gone from 200 unique visitors visitors a month to an average of 11,000 unique visitors taking in an average of 4.92 pages per visit. The best ever month saw 20,759 unique visits.

I am delighted by these figures and even more delighted about the large number of positive business conversations that are taking place with the starting point being this website.

I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to both the occasional and regular reader and visitor alike for visiting, reading and returning!

So Microsoft Have Acquired GitHub

There have been rumours that floating around since Friday and then confirmed today that Microsoft have acquired GitHub.

Normally I get nervous when a Microsoft acquisition is in the offing. In the past this has meant that Microsoft get things wrong with the acquisition. These days this seems not to be the case. Microsoft acquired LinkedIn. I cannot see what they have done with it! I have not for example been offered a free Office365 subscription if I take out LinkedIn Premium.

So what does GitHub bring to the Microsoft Party?

The answer is source code from so many very talented developers. Source Code and the talented that toil over it is the life blood of any software development product. This acquisition gives Microsoft direct access to these talented people and more importantly their work.

About 5 minutes prior to writing this I heard a rumour that there was a mass exodus away from GitHub by a large number of developers being mooted in the light of this acquisition. Many readers will know of my love of self hosting stuff on my small server farm. GitHub is my main one-stop shop for new and exciting stuff to play with.

My main fear is that the most talented developers who publish code on GitHub will be taken advantage of and that would be a crying shame.