• Morgan Fagg

The ART of the Deal

Updated: Jul 15, 2019

We should make politics our business

While drinking coffee with a teacher I work with last week, she told me that she was interested in doing a business course as she felt she was lacking on the business front when it came to setting up an English theatre. I looked at her and asked her ¿porque? (Why?)

Her business is art and theatre, why not focus on that instead? I have a degree in Business Studies if she ever needs someone to play a businessman in a play and besides there are plenty of people that can focus on accounts and publicity for her but her business is the theatre and I hate the way business is touted as something wonderful. You wouldn’t say that someone was an entrepreneur and a great businessman if he was an ice-cream salesman.


Would you worry about the economy of an ice-cream van if he had a bad first quarter in January, February and March? What if his shareprice dropped like a top heavy 99? I don’t think so.

We like when his products are flaky but we don’t talk about his environmentally friendly biodegradable packaging, we just scoff it up and we certainly don’t toot his horn for him, he has a jiggle for that. I want to hear someone introduced as an ethical business man, a local provider etc. Success in business to me sounds suspicious as sometimes people have to step on others to get ahead.

Before I start kicking over stalls and trying to squeeze camels through the eye of a needle, I am looking for ethical trading more than anything biblical. Companies that pay taxes for the roads their trucks destroy and for the schools that educated their workforce.

That is good business in my opinion.


I spent a year working for Michael D and he treated me as a human being and not as an employee. It was very refreshing from some other employers I have worked for.

Take part in your community, support the arts, buy an ice-cream from your local sea-side entrepreneur, tell politicians about the struggles of your neighbours and local businesses when politicians start knocking door-to-door. Buy locally when you can even if the prices are higher than buying online as they rent premises and hire locally too.

Irish Presidential Elections

Each candidate is going to highlight their experience, three business men have come forward and for me, it is is not enough to say businessman. I want to know what you do and how you made your money. Senator Freeman has impressed me as a business person who has focused on her core product, people. Her business is suicide prevention and I am very happy when her numbers are down.

I remember when a friend from school, an actor in my community died. In the aftermath some friends started running for Pieta House and I was delighted to see people talking about Darkness into Light and fair play to Senator Freeman for all her efforts. More people need to run and also run for politics, highlighting important issues too.


I question her funding and financing as it has emerged it has come from a friend in America. If I was her friend, I would be looking to influence her and would ask to be made Ambassador to America like the situation in Madrid where the American Ambassador’s credentials were that was a campaign donor for Donal Trump.

Maybe embassies are full of friends but I have never seen it done so blatantly.


Not the biggest mess for an Embassy to clean up of course especially when we hear about the torture and murder conducted recently in a Saudi Embassy.


Business is business and the US President was well paid when the story broke while billionaire business man Richard Branson pulled projects with Saudi Arabia after the journalist’s horrific death.


If embassies are for sale than please let me know, I will pay you my first year’s Ambassador salary. A bargain for any good business man, sorry that doesn’t sound like good business to most people looking at the difficulties of finding funding for their own residence but if politics is for sale, then maybe we should look at public service like a business and at the moment we all seem to be paying a very high price indeed and Jamal Khashoggi of course paid the highest price in his dealings with a group of ruthless business men when they stepped off a private jet with a bone saw.


Speaking at the Future Investment Initiative, Prince Mohammed bin Salman said that "Those behind this crime will be held accountable... in the end justice will prevail.”

Great to hear Prince Mohammed Bin Salman talking about murder and future investment in the same breath but I guess it is just business as usual despite the negative publicity.


ASSET MANAGEMENT

Even in Ireland thinks quickly get bloody when William Wallace steps of a private jet and a king's ransom was paid to us. While teaching Business English to a group of auditors this week, I was asked what assets are and my response was to describe tangible and intangible assets and how companies might possess intangible assets such as a brand, patent or a good reputation.


I then went on to describe the story which I hope I am describing correctly where the first Minister of Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht picked up the phone and contacted Mel Gibson when he had heard Scotland wasn’t interested in filming a story about William Wallace there.


Hollywood became the destination of choice for making films a century ago as they have 300 days of sunshine annually so it was easy to film there. Closer to 300 days of rain, Ireland didn’t have the same appeal but Ireland did have some surprising hidden assets.


Mel Gibson took a private plane to Ireland and met with our Cultured Minister.

I hope I am telling the story correctly and certainly in the way I tell the story Michael D was asked three important questions.

  1. Did they have permission to film in Ireland?

  2. Did Ireland have castles that could be used?

  3. Did Ireland have 1000 stuntmen that could be used as soldiers?

Ireland was keen to do business and broadcasting rights were not an issue.

Ireland has many castles and it would be possible to film in them.

The Irish film industry was worth about 7 million at the time but grew quickly to 100 million within the short time Michael D was Minister of Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht. Again I am only re-telling the story as I remember hearing it and was only 12 when they filmed Braveheart anyways.


Ireland did not have 1000 stuntmen to play soldiers but we did have soldiers who could play stuntmen playing soldiers. What an incredible use of assets. Castles that might not have been used in years were worth a king’s ransom to Hollywood. Genius.


At Christmas time and for Saint Patrick’s Day I receive a poem or card from the Irish president and I think that is something every member of the diaspora should receive. Let’s print 70 million Christmas cards and 70 million cards for Saint Patrick’s Day too, it is excessive I know but connecting with the diaspora could be very good business indeed.


But maybe I have just drank far too much coffee.




Links: Trump appoints campaign donor: https://www.thelocal.es/20170804/trump-appoints-campaign-donor-and-hispanophile-as-new-us-ambassador-to-madrid


Sir Richard Branson pulls Saudi Investment: https://www.bbc.com/news/business-45833910

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© 2018 by Morgan Fagg.