Leo & Karen’s California View – March 2012
“PROUD TO BE a Brit and to be flying our flag” is how the enormously talented 23-year-old singer and song writer, Adele, accepted her award in London last month before being cut off by those men in “suits”, who she flipped her finger to. Hey, who’s the draw here? Yes, she does need to be a little more articulate and focused when addressing the general public. But her British “heart’s” in the right place. Like good wine, she’ll mature with age. Go get ’em girl!!
Watching her in LA sweep the Grammy’s with her album 21 with six awards for her and the UK, congratulations!! She’s from Tottenham and made it to the top of the world at 23. She wasn’t alone, here in LA her supporting act was that “young man” from Liverpool, Paul McCartney, who also showed a lot of promise with his new song Valentine.
Paul closed the Grammy Award’s with a rousing rendition of The End by a lesser known group nearly 50 years ago called the Beatles. When you think there’s a lull in Britain, along comes Rock and Roll, again, making the Grammys a very British affair.
Rock icon Mick Jagger passed the mic to President Obama at a recent event in the White House and got him to sing the Blues with BB King! What next, a picture of President Barack Obama reading the UJ? Hey, ex-prime minister Margaret Thatcher used to enjoy the UJ and we had her picture front page. (See “Celebrity Readers” www.ujnews.com)
Did you see the January front page of the UJ with Malcolm McDowell, who gave us a superb interview? Did you see him on this week’s episode of CBS’s Mentalist? This is someone who should get an OBE for his life’s commitment to the arts. Check www.ujnews.com for the entire interview with Malcolm under our January column.
Great British business is what we Brits are all about, so with business in mind, Chris McDonald, Business Development UKTI, stated that during his visit to Los Angeles, New York Consul-General and UKTI USA Director-General Danny Lopez attended a 150 person client reception at the residence of Los Angeles Consul-General Dame Barbara Hay. The reception was a great opportunity to highlight the services of UK Trade & Investment, the GREAT Campaign, and the 2012 Olympics. Lopez gave a short speech at the event about the future of UKTI and continued UK innovation.
On his return to NY CG Danny Lopez sent us this letter:
“On July 29 2011 I landed in New York to take up my new role of Consul-General in New York and Director General of UK Trade & Investment in the US. To say that I couldn’t wait to get started is an understatement! I lived in New York in the early 2000s working for Barclay’s and I always hoped to return one day. Over the years I have traveled extensively across the country and have visited 27 states; this is a country I love.
Our nine UK Trade & Investment teams across the country work hard to unearth opportunities for UK based companies and deliver attractive propositions for US investors. Last year alone, our US based team supported 190 US companies either setting up or expanding operations in the UK and worked with over 3,000 UK based companies looking for opportunities in the US. We live in challenging times, the global economy looks very different to what it did when I last lived here but one thing hasn’t changed, the US is still the land of opportunity.
The US has the largest and most technologically powerful economy in the world. It is the UK’s largest export market, responsible for our largest trade surplus and it is our largest source of inward investment. This is of course a big country with big opportunities.
Our Prime Minister recently highlighted the importance of unlocking global trade in order to achieve our economic potential. In my first few months I have found it re-assuring to rediscover that there is still a lot more business to be done with this, our largest trading partner.
The sheer size of the country and vast cultural differences across the regions mean that it should often be treated as a series of regional markets with varying characteristics. UK Trade & Investment in the US has 120 staff members with teams in nine cities: Boston, New York, Washington D.C, Atlanta, Miami, Houston, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Companies often ask me what they should be thinking about when taking the step to expand to the UK or in the case of British firms, securing a foothold in the US. The answer is simple, they should look us up! As I said to Karen and Leo Lewis, whom I had the pleasure of meeting in LA last week, that is exactly what we at UK Trade & Investment are here to do, work hard to increase the great transatlantic business relationship both our countries enjoy.
This is a GREAT year for Britain. With the London 2012 Games and the celebration of the Diamond Jubilee we have a wonderful platform to promote the many reasons why Britain is a great place to visit, study in and do business with. I am very grateful to Union Jack for the opportunity to share these thoughts with you. – Danny Lopez”
Locally, head of Trade & Investment, Andrew Lewis OBE, sent us an email reminding us that “well over one million people go to work here every day for the UK based firms like Tesco, BT, Rolls Royce, Jaguar Land Rover, Glaxo Smith Kline, and HSBC, among the most well-known, and today Britain is the largest foreign investor in the US as of year ending 2009 the UK had $454bn invested here, which is 20 percent of the $2.3tn of FDI in the US.”
And to show that the economy is improving: The Lookout Pub in the Channel Islands Harbor of Oxnard celebrated its Second Anniversary with a champagne bash. Jannette Rawlings has done a fine job making her Pub known to the Community! And in Ojai, Plaza Pantry celebrated its 30th Anniversary with owner Beryl Tognazzini holding an open house offering an array of her home made specialty British foods. 30 years in business is a huge accomplishment!!
I’m in recovery stage two from my near fatal car accident, physical therapy (torture). I’m enormously grateful to my Russian born Doctor Alex Oparin who is a qualified surgeon, grew up in Samaka, Russia, 1,000 miles SE of Moscow, emigrated to the US and was retrained to become a family practitioner in medical school in Kentucky. To Sue Walin PA-C who has listened to me whinge for two months. And to get revenge, they sent me to Rowena at the Community Memorial Hospital in Ventura.
This gorgeous five-foot tall, 90 pound Filipino gal (her husband serves in the US Navy) must also be in training to be a Sumo wrestler. She’s exacting moves I never knew possible. Do you know I can now touch my toes and I don’t even have to bend my body. I can stand on one leg and wrap the other one around my neck. “Let me see that British posture” she exclaims! If she wasn’t so nice I’d complain to Karen. Would she listen and understand. No!
On a sadder note: the British Community lost Suzanne Clewer, wife of Brian Clewer the radio host of the longest running British radio show Cynic’s Choice in LA, of the Continental Shop in Santa Monica, who had worked there since 1982. She married Brian, taking over the reservations for their charter flights to the UK, then doing the food purchasing. Their customers were like family and dear friends.
March Birthdays: Nik Kershaw 53; Roger Daltry 67; David Niven 101; Chris Martin 34; Daniel Craig 43; Paul Cattermole 34; Rachel Weisz 41; Rik Mayall 53; Lord Snowdon 81; Prince Edward 47; Adam Clayton 51; Michael Caine 78; Sean Biggerstaff 28; Timothy Dalton 67; Andrew Lloyd Weber 63; Elton John 64; Michael York 69; Piers Morgan 46; Robbie Coltrane 61;