Well the joke (if that is what it was) was definitely on me: off we went to the local Cineworld for the must see Todd Phillips movie Joker starring Joaquin Phoenix and Robert de Niro. Drawn in by the film taking $96M on its opening weekend and more than $250M to date and counting. Armed with the essential movie buff prop of a bag of popcorn, I had an open mind. 2 hours passed slowly…very slowly. Far be it for me to put you off a film with some good music(Cream), some questionable music (Gary Glitter), a lot, and I mean a lot, of gratuitous violence plus at best a sketchy plot line, but if you are wondering how many times I checked my watch during the showing, the answer is 8.
Proof of identity is part of all of our lives and not having up to date I.D. can be a problem for the unwary.
Every 10 years it is incumbent on British motorists to renew their driving licenses. Armed with the requisite paperwork, I went to the Post Office. Wrong Post Office as it turned out since they did not have the requisite electronic camera equipment connected to DVLA Swansea. On to the next Post Office which surprisingly offered speedy and helpful service plus some clearly superior camera equipment: “ You look a lot younger than you did 10 years ago.” Could not get my card payment out quick enough!
Go on to the UK Passport Office and the Renewal Service and one is confronted with what appears to be a complex process with multiple choices of renewal options. Look carefully because it also warns unwary travellers that the Passport Office is unclear as to what is happening with Europe. There are other countries which may soon also include European countries, that will not accept British visitors with less than 6 months left on their Passports. Then the form says that the unexpired time on a Passport will not be allowed for on the new one. The fee for an online renewal is £75.50 but that is for an anticipated 3 week turn around. Overnight up to £177 or a 1 week service a more “reasonable” £142 cost but an extra £10 if you want a 50 page passport. But you will need to attend an interview at your nearest passport office. What a minefield.
So what is the point here? As previously highlighted by us, if your passport expires at the end of July 2020 (like mine), you will not be able to use it in Europe and elsewhere after the end of January 2020. Given the turn around time of 3 weeks which may be more given the likely rush as everyone wakes up to this, that means that in December you need to consign your passport and documentation to the Royal Mail and hope that your new Passport will land on your doormat 3 weeks later. Not sure whether the colour will be red or blue though!
“Capitalism is using its money; we socialists throw it away.” All Corbynistas should listen to what Fidel said 55 years ago: he knew what he was talking about; if you doubt that pay a visit to that powerhouse of socialism, Cuba, and talk to those who live in that socialist paradise.
Despite what the newspapers say GBP has not collapsed: rather it is holding up well for the time being. However it is vulnerable to bad news on Brexit and Election timetable news due out today. Whatever the news, today will be volatile.
Be safe in these markets and a nice weekend!
Discussion and Analysis by Humphrey Percy, Chairman and Founder