It’s difficult not to feel sorry for my kids’ old toys when the shiny new toys come along and command all their attention. The older toys appear forlorn and unloved, if that’s even possible. Such anthropomorphism (attributing human characteristics to objects) isn’t uncommon, and has given momentum to the ethical vegan movement, attributing perceived human levels of suffering to animals (not ignoring the climate change benefits, just not discussing them here). Ethical veganism embraces anthropomorphism and opposes speciesism – where one species, for example that which produced Shakespeare, Mozart, Einstein and Sinatra, believes itself morally superior to another which, say, does little more than provide milk and leather (actually our bodies could do that too but let’s not go there).

Whether one sympathises or not, these -isms aren’t rules, but merely a means for description of a philosophy. I am guilty of anthropomorphism regarding my dog, but don’t think twice about the species-ist snobbery of squashing a mosquito. Rules aren’t so easily avoided – while I can kill the mozzie, it would be legally frowned upon to murder an ex, let’s say, however much they flaunt.

Ideagen thrives by ensuring that myriad laws, rules and regulations are applied correctly and recorded properly. For industries where the consequences of failure are severe and even fatal, regulations keep us safe – from pharmaceuticals to food manufacturing to aeroplane construction to engineering, enterprise responsibility is established and preserved by regulations and standards.

Generalising contentiously, the UK led the world in developing trading and quality standards. The British Kitemark was first used in 1903 in trams, expanding in 1926 to further products. The British Standards Institute was founded in 1901 and persists today proffering its BS standards, often replicated as the basis for (International) ISOs. In many cases, our little island is responsible for those very regs we love to hate, such as formulating the basis of much of MiFID.

Brexit is an even more British invention, and is set to inspire a festival of red tape. No longer will we have to merely abide by European rules, but also our own new variants – and without the European trading bloc behind us, also the specific rules of everyone else we want to trade with, as part of their Ts&Cs. If you want an –ism, I’d suggest that it’s masochism in this case. That which keeps the regulators and standards makers busy, however, keeps Ideagen holders happy.

Further political consequences will benefit Ideagen in 2020. As a consolidator of smaller Integrated Risk Management (IRM) businesses, which typically lack the corporate infrastructure to grow their sales, we think IDEA’s M&A team will have a busy year- now the General Election has passed and given us some certainty, vendors of businesses may be more prone to unfreezing their exit plans.

Happy Friday