Daniel Defoe was the author of The Complete English Tradesman. There are chapters in the book on the subject of reputation and credit. Let’s just suggest what sort of advice he might give today to Greece. I think he would say that the priority is simply to stay open for business. Greece has a lot of income from tourists, so all tourists, but particularly German tourists, must be made to feel welcome. They must at all times be able to withdraw cash from any ATM. They must not be plagued by civil commotion, beggars or anything else. We all know Greece has problems, but they must not be inflicted on a principal source of revenue.
Likewise, the English, particularly those who speak with Oxford accents, must always be made to feel welcome in Scotland. If you don’t follow Defoe-style advice, don’t expect any sympathy from me. We all know you had a hard childhood and you’re a victim of the capitalist system, but so is your customer.
David Porthouse & Co are accountants in Carlisle serving clients in Cumbria and North West England. They have a principal interest in new technology and are developing an optical number recognition/datepoint system for scanning bank statements with the intention of reducing the cost of accounts preparation. They also have a spreadsheet system which can be e-mailed back and forth.