Growing up, I remember faulty appliances being fixed by either my grandad or at a local repair shop - where a man with a never-ending array of tools would get the job done. We bought when we needed, not when we wanted. We wasted nothing. And I'm not talking about the middle of the 20th Century; I grew up in the late 90's.
As Autumn Statements go, this latest one went leaving none of us much clearer about the future course for the UK economy.
The substance behind the style of our Prime Minister is beginning to reveal itself. But she should turn to the luxury goods sector for more than her kitten heels. As within the stitch-work is woven national salvation.
Pulsing music is the beating heart of our capital and its rich tapestry of personalities, coming together when the sun sets and they've escaped daytime responsibilities to talk with strangers, dance, create, explore... live.
There was just one mention of "future generations" in Wednesday's Autumn Statement. The Chancellor announced that he was saving a large stately home from collapse for future generations. The fact that he was saving a home for the future was not lost on those of us working for a fairer deal for younger and future generations. It seems those to come will get a house - just not one that they can live in.
Philip Hammond has missed his first opportunity to formulate a proper response to the country's long term challenges; with a target that is not flexible enough to allow for significant, proactive investment. There is still much work to do.
As the Prime Minister has said, we simply need to build more homes. Today her government backed up that rhetoric with action, announcing an extra £1.4billion for more affordable homes as well as flexibility over how housing investment is spent.
Wednesday's Autumn Statement announcements may help families who are "just about managing", but what about those who are just plain struggling? Despi...
The Government has an obligation under the Public Sector Equality Duty to have due regard to the impact of its policies on equality. But they've not exactly been keen to make that a reality... The Treasury refused to send a Minister to answer the Committee's questions about equality impact, saying that individual Government departments were responsible for doing this analysis... do they have something to hide?
The Commission I chair hopes those reforms can be captured by government in A Ten Year Plan for Social Reform. It will take time and effort, as well as new thinking and new approaches, to create a level playing field of opportunity in our country. But that should be the holy grail of public policy, the priority for government and the cause which unites the nation to action.
Donald Trump saw no reason to spend nearly a billion dollars as his Democrat rivals resorted to. And yet he was able to connect directly to people from all walks of life, even though some chose not to listen. But he was there, speaking about their everyday problems. He especially emphasized the economic woes of many. And the medium was none other than social media.
Social media meninists and radio shock jocks will ask - in synthetically sympathetic tones - whether this isn't just a fuss over nothing. But the pay gap isn't a generational overhang and it isn't going away any time soon. Discrimination isn't a game. Poverty isn't a game.
The pace of technological change is increasing. Which means some paradigm shift might be accelerating towards us, about to transform our lives in even more dramatic ways. To unexpectedly (mis)quote Donald Rumsfeld, right now, we don't know what we don't know. But that doesn't mean we can't shape our own future or control our own destinies. The Tories will leave all this to chance because they are ideologically wedded to outdated orthodoxies about the primacy of the market. But that isn't an adequate response to the tidal wave of change that is about to wash over us.
A few weeks ago I was pleased to be able to ask the Prime Minister to honour her predecessor's commitment that the needs of the UK's ceramic manufacturers will be catered for as part of the Brexit negotiation process.
This research points out that businesses are right to be concerned about mental health at work - with discrimination, fear and shame in play, it is very hard for the massive potential of mental health as an asset to be realised. It is time this changed. The report calls on British businesses to rise to one of the defining challenges of our time and create a culture in which mental health is valued: where disclosure is encouraged, support is present, and everyone feels that their work and the benefits they receive contribute to their wellbeing.
It is a fact that the world's successful economies do not lean on one single superpowered capital, but a network of strong, well-connected regions. As the UK prepares for Brexit, having strength in our regions is more important than ever. Our economy cannot prop itself up on an overcrowded, overpriced capital. Building strongholds in regions to attract international and national businesses are a must, and with its position at the heart of the UK, the Midlands will be crucial to economic success.