Thursday, 20 December 2012

Afghanistan typical

They have started shooting volunteers that are giving children a polio vaccination, they being 'The Taliban'. They are shooting one a day, in the head execution style while the vaccinations are taking place. The message they are giving out locally is that the west is trying to sterilise their children.

It seems odd to me that the only people shot so far are women! Men who are giving children polio vaccinations seem to be immune to the current cull.

Of course, women & work = freedom, something that does not figure in the male dominated Taliban world...

Wednesday, 19 December 2012


This is amazing!

Andrew Mitchell lost his job as Chief Whip in September because of an incident between him and the police on the gate in downing street as to where he can ride his bike, through the main gate or through the side gate.

It was established that he swore at the police and made disparaging remarks like:-

"You don't run the country"
"Don't get above your station"
"You are just f'ing plebs"

At the time there was considerable confusion to what had actually occurred, however, Andrew Mitchell always stuck to his story that a) he did swear at the police [which he apologised for very quickly] but b)  he did not use disparaging terms like 'pleb'.

The story is back on the front pages again!!!

It now appears that Andrew Mitchell's side of the incident is more accurate that anyone else’s.

That of course now highlights the question, was he stitched up? and why?

Monday, 17 December 2012

Gun control

After the awful situation in Connecticut last Friday, the media is mentioning that the call for gun control in America will happen. They must be joking...

The gun lobby is soooo powerful in the USA, there will never be changes. If all the rumours are true, then half of Americans already posses guns and tins of baked beans as they wait for the final judgement. With that sort of attitude in the country, what chance does a gun control debate have?

Friday, 14 December 2012

Margret Moran wins...

The MP who claimed more than £50,000 in expenses she was not entitled too has walked out of court because her solicitor says she is mentally unstable and cannot answer the charge.

Well we knew that, she is an MP...

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Leveson continued...

I am just about finished with the 2000 pages of Leveson and just in time for the announcement that the Prime Minister is going to get the Queen to put her stamp of approval on the new independent body that will control the press in future, as a royal charter cannot be manipulated without government approval.

Downing street has said that they think this is a good half-way solution as the Prime Minister has absolutely no intention of allowing the Leveson report be implemented in full. That statement smacks of  arrogance at the highest level, as though they cannot be bothered to adhere to the recommendations that they have asked for.

I am surprised that the PM is getting away with this.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Balance Liberty & Security

A new bill being proposed by the Home Office is being blocked by the Liberals, who is right?

The Government wants the communications that we make to be recorded, this is not the content of what we say, just who we say it to. It appears to me to be a bit of nit picking which politicians are very good at when trying to preserve their jobs.

Therefore I say publish, because nowadays our security services need all the help they can get...

Monday, 10 December 2012


I, like you cannot predict the future, however, we can speculate.

At the next election in 2015, the public will have two choices, continue with the coalition and see borrowing increase, growth stagnate and we return to recession, or the opposition and we become something similar to Spain or Greece?

It doesn't look good, does it?

Friday, 7 December 2012

Does fiscal stimulus make sense?

That is not quite the same as claiming fiscal stimulus has no effect.

There does not seem to be any awareness in the ‘blogosphere’ about the grotesque absurdity of statements like Angela Merkel’s recent claim that Germany needs fiscal stimulus. You would expect the usual suspects to be all over poor Merkel, mercilessly ridiculing the insanity of arguing for fiscal stimulus at the same time Germany is pressuring the ECB [European Central Bank] to squeeze Eurozone NGDP [nominal gross domestic product] ever more ruthlessly.

If Germany needs more AD [aggregate demand], how can Greece and Spain and Italy and Portugal and Ireland and Cyprus and Slovenia not need more AD!

Could it be that ridicule would lead people to ask some obvious questions about the point of fiscal stimulus, when monetary policy can do the same job without ballooning government deficits? It is obvious than most people still do not see the absurdity of fiscal stimulus.

Another example would be those who call for David Cameron to do fiscal stimulus, when he can simply instruct the Bank of England [BoE] to aim for a higher NGDP target. And if the Prime Minister instructs the BoE to keeping aiming for 2% inflation, he is essentially asking them to sabotage fiscal stimulus. Better monetary policy is a necessary and sufficient condition for more AD.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Autumn statement

I'm not sure how anyone can say this is an autumn statement when I am watching snow fall outside my window.

The Chancellor has announced "we are all in it together" is going to last a little longer, because the deficit has not been cut as it should have and we are [as a country] borrowing more than expected. This is mostly because energy prices, food prices and transport prices have all rocketed up much more than expected, and could not have been forecast in 2010. Growth was to be on the upward spiral but has been reforecast at -1%!

The oppositions view is the usual, we should be spending more, spend, spend, spend! It beggars belief that after all the trouble 13 years of Labour has caused us, the only rhetoric they come out with is 'spend more'!

p.s. Picking on Ed Balls stammer is not called for and underminds the rational argument...

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

A real Warp Drive!

The biggest stopping point of building a working warp drive has been the vast amount of negative energy it would require, roughly equal to the mass-energy of the planet Jupiter.

However, a NASA scientist has discovered a method that may reduce that energy requirement to a mere 1600 pounds of mass. It's still a ways off, as only miniscule amounts of negative energy have been harnessed in the laboratory, but experiments are underway to investigate this further.

Check out the article here.

Monday, 3 December 2012


With Michael Gove's leadership in education we have seen competition return to schools thankfully, the namby pamby liberal way is being crushed. However, what about incentive which I feel is also lacking in school today?

Explaining to your son he is not special to others because it is something that has to be earned through a positive contribution to society, becomes tricky to explain.

How can you do that if you are never told you are not good at something?

This is the problem with today's younger generation, they think they are entitled to something just because they have taken part, not necessarily succeeded, because they have been taught that way. They are not encouraged to put effort into anything, because they are still going to be told they did well no matter what the outcome.

Just because they participated does not mean they deserve recognition, a prize, treat or other reward. How does that promote the desire to develop a skill set for the future?

Friday, 30 November 2012

The Leveson Report

Well it is out and it is BIG!

I have read the first of four books, read not digested, so I am about 25% of the way through. Early this year I was gripped by Leveson, I am not a journalist but I was and still am curious about the connection between free speech and the law.

The first thing I must say is that I think Leveson is watered down, and my reasoning is that the Prime Minister before the publication of the report kept saying that he [David Cameron] would implement in full. Well now we know after yesterdays statement in parliament that he will not.

I am not a socialist or a liberal, but I agree with the opposition in that the report 'should be' implemented in full, if only to satisfy the victims that need redress. But more importantly because it has been worded in such a way as to be the best of both worlds. It will not cripple the press in their freedoms but will make them answerable which is a requirement today.

Lord Justice Leveson said yesterday in his statement that there had been seven enquiries in seven decades and that he hoped there would not be an eighth, I hope he is right, but for that to happen, David Cameron has to stick to his original statement of full implementation...

Monday, 19 November 2012

Middle East

Is Gaza a distraction from Syria or are they inextricably linked?

23rd October was not the first time Israel allegedly attacked weapons caches in Sudanese territory that were destined for Gaza. In January 2009, Israel allegedly carried out an air strike against a weapons convoy northwest of Port Sudan heading to Gaza. Hamas took a major risk in smuggling the weapons to Gaza in the first place, perhaps thinking they could get away with it since they have been able to with less sophisticated weapons systems.

When attacks against Israel began picking up again around 10th November including an anti-tank attack on an Israeli military jeep claimed by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and several dozen more rocket attacks claimed by Palestinian Islamic Jihad and smaller Salafist-jihadist groups, Hamas appeared more cautious, calling the main Gaza militant groups together on 12th November to seek out another truce.

A strong Hamas response would also boost Hamas' credibility among Palestinians. Hamas essentially tried to make the most out of an already difficult situation and will now likely work through Egypt to try to reach a truce to avoid an Israeli ground campaign in Gaza that could further undermine its authority in the territory.

In Tehran, Iranian officials are probably content with these developments. Iran needed a distraction from the conflict in Syria. It now has that, at least temporarily.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Online marketing transparency

There is an investigation into online sales where different people get different prices for the same product, this does not include postage & packing, but more specifically the person as a  target.

The RL comparison given was how a car salesman treats two different customers over the same car on their appearance! Apparently he will give a better discount to the guy with patent shoes, cuff links and a jacket straight out of Saville Row.

However, my view is different, perhaps why I am not a successful salesman. I would give the guy who dressed poorly the larger discount in the hope of selling two cars instead of one.

Does that make sense?

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Liam Byrne says

"The truth is the world of work has changed very radically since social security was set up back in the 1940s and for many people in work they don't actually feel they get much out for the pressures they have to contend with in everyday life, so I think that fractures support and I think that's why we do have to reinvent social security for modern times and the world today."

"The zero-based review that Ed Miliband would conduct if Labour won the 2015 general election would look at the balance between universal and targeted benefits."

"There has always been a balance in the welfare state between universal benefits and targeted benefits and I'm afraid as part of Ed's zero-based review that balance has got to be looked at, but the chief focus has got to be on getting as many people into jobs as possible. It's good for living standards, it's good for growth and it's good for tax."

He has also said, 'Look, come on, think about this carefully. It would make much more sense to have a different cap in different parts of the country and let's try and take the politics out of that a bit.'

Now remember this is the man that left a note on the treasury desk when Labour left office saying "all the money has gone - lol" If this is how he considers his responsibility to everyone else, why are we still listening to him?

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Democratic Deficit

What is this?

The new buzz word round town. Today [14-Nov-2012] most of Europe is on strike. Now just stand back and look at that statement.

It is not one company of employees, it is not one group of companies, it is not one town or even one country of employees, it is the whole of Europe! That is amazing.

The strikes are organised by trade unions on behalf of their members and because of last years buzz word, austerity, which is seen by many to be failing and by others as an extravagance.

Countries like Greece and Portugal have had HUGE loans given to them and have raised taxes and have cut expenditure but are frankly still failing. Growth is still non-existent, unemployment is still rising, the rich are getting richer and the poor are falling by the wayside.

How is this going to end?

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Deportation Laws

Today [13-Nov-2012] Abu Qatada is released again!!

Court of Human Rights says that Jordan’s law is ambiguous in regard to evidence giving.

The court says that with a small amendment the deportation can take place. Well, why didn't they say that last time? Is this a different court or the same place? Why has it taken seven years to get this far?

Just how expensive is this process...?

Monday, 12 November 2012


I do not need to say anything else...

Statement from Jeremy Paxman:

“George Entwistle’s departure is a great shame. He has been brought low by cowards and incompetents.

The real problem here is the BBC’s decision, in the wake of the Hutton Inquiry, to play safe by appointing biddable people.

They then compounded the problem by enforcing a series of cuts on programme budgets, while bloating the management

That is how you arrive at the current mess on Newsnight. I very much doubt the problem is unique to that programme.

I had hoped that George might stay to sort this out.It is a great pity that a talented man has been sacrificed. While time-servers prosper.

I shall not be issuing any further statements or doing any interviews.”

Friday, 9 November 2012

Which Hunt

Yesterday [08-Nov-2012] the Prime Minister David Cameron was handed a sheet of paper which reportedly had a list of names on it connected to a 'rumoured' paedophile ring, on live TV without a brief. Without looking at the paper he said it was unwise to invoke a witch hunt over speculation without evidence.

He was right. Not only that but he has already setup an enquiry into this matter.

Online claims about alleged abusers have arisen because of the failure of police and authorities to investigate allegations, this has been said before and will continue to ignite debate until a resolution has been published, so an enquiry is necessary.

The current problem is there are too many enquiries happening at present at there is the possibility of us all getting lost in the woods, which of course means nothing will get done in the end.

Sad times…

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

No Stone Unturned

Still reading...

The common census of opinion at the moment is that this is a huge amount of re-hashed ideas, albeit good ones. However, if that is correct, then why haven't they been implemented?

The picture I am getting so far is devolution of powers from Whitehall to local government, not really a new idea but there are some new names like LEPs, Local Enterprise Projects/Programmes and LGTs, Local Growth Teams.

I think the message is more involvement on the ground locally, but this has been tried before and failed due to corruption, hence big government, so it appears we might be going round that big circle again, and all the time it takes the fat cats just get fatter.

If democracy is people thinking they have more power because that is what they are told but in reality those they vote for do nothing constructive and a dictatorship is people knowing they have no power, what is the difference?

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

I have been reading no stone unturned

and I haven't either finished it or absorbed it yet. However, the immediate point for me is these four:-

> a Prime Minister-led National Growth Council, ensuring all parts of government play their part to support growth and with an independent secretariat to ensure its conclusions are fully and expeditiously implemented

> a very significant devolution of funding from central government to Local Enterprise Partnerships so that government investment in economic development is tailored directly to the individual challenges and opportunities of our communities, and can be augmented by private sector investment

> a clear statement by government of its priorities to guide Local Enterprise Partnerships in the preparation of strategic plans for their local economies

> and for central government, a clear policy for each sector of the economy conceived in conjunction with industry and academia.

There are 89 recommendations apparently, this is going to take a while...

Monday, 5 November 2012

Living Wage Week

A KPMG survey has showed that nearly 5 million UK workers earn less than a living wage, and this is Living Wage Week [4-10 November]. Politicians of all stripes like the idea of private companies paying their lowest-paid workers a bit more, for moral reasons and also because it could save the government a shedload of cash.

In 2010 the Institute for Fiscal Studies calculated that bringing every private sector worker up to the living wage would raise total earnings (before tax) by around £12bn. Around half of that - £6bn - would go directly to the government, in higher tax revenues and lower benefit and tax credit payments. That's a nice bit of spare change for the chancellor, especially one whose government wants to "make work pay". But no-one wants to be seen to be pushing new costs onto businesses at a tough time for the economy - let alone costing jobs. And it is private employers who would pay that extra £12bn (plus another £1.5bn in employers' national insurance contributions, for good measure).

Does such a miraculous thing exist? Many will be understandably sceptical. But KPMG claims that you can pay higher wages without paying higher costs. "At KPMG, we have found that the improved motivation and performance, and the lower leaver and absentee rate amongst staff in receipt of a living wage means that the cost is offset and paying it is the right thing for our business."

The key point is that the firms reporting these positive consequences are the firms that have chosen to pay this wage. So, presumably, they had done their sums beforehand and decided the benefits outweighed the costs.

Economists used to say no: if employers have to pay more for labour, they use it less. Then, starting in the 1990s, academic evidence started to build up about the minimum wage, in the US and the UK, suggesting that, at the very bottom of the labour market, telling companies to pay people a little more did not actually cost jobs.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Hurricane Sandy

New York city is like a ghost town apparently as residents are "told" to leave.

One of the infrastructures affected is the underground metro. Well it is best to be safe than sorry. The trouble is the reason for shutting it down is the risk of flooding as it has been predicted that three metre waves could hit and therefore the city will be breached.

If that is the case, then the underground will be flooded, How will all that water be removed from the tunnels to allow the railway to reopen once the wind has passed? Thinking of our tube system if it was to get flooded extensively, I am not sure there is a way to empty the tunnels that quickly.

On another point, if this storm is one thousand miles across and sweeps across land, that's a lot of downed power lines. How long before electricity is restored?

I suspect that the two to three days of the storm will be frightening and devastating, but the two to three weeks or even months of clear up will be horrendous...

Monday, 29 October 2012

More Spanish misery

Yesterday there were more large scale protests in Madrid, however, one thing struck me.

Early in the day, Police protested [I must point out peacefully and orderly] outside the government buildings against cuts in staff, equipment & services, then they left and made a quick change and returned in riot gear before the main groups of protesters arrived.

I think they should be given credit for this behaviour.

Saturday, 27 October 2012


This week a debate burst into the open.

Sir Mervyn King, governor of the Bank of England, found himself fighting a rearguard action against a groundswell of support for “dropping money from helicopters” – something proposed by Milton Friedman in 1969 as the ultimate cure for intractable economic depressions, described as “Quantitative Easing for the People.”

He had to speak out because the sort of calculations presented last summer started to catch on. The Bank of England has spent £50 billion over the past six months to support bond prices. That could instead have financed a cash handout of £830 for every man, woman and child in Britain, or £3,300 for a typical family of four.

He felt obliged to counterattack on behalf of traditional central banking. In a speech on Tuesday he set out to “distinguish between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ money creation” and denounced “talk about the possibility that money created by the Bank could be used directly to finance additional government spending, or even that money could be given away.”

People are now accusing him of zig-zagging through the economic world sporadically, however, I believe he is trying to get the rest of us to understand slowly the need for change, which is acute...

Friday, 26 October 2012

The bleeding obvious

Hardly a month goes by without some new ‘independent’ report, or TV programme, demanding that we make it even easier for people to wreck their lives, and their families’ lives, by taking drugs.

This stuff – which always includes the claim that ‘the war on drugs has failed’ – is then swallowed uncritically by the BBC and almost all the newspapers.

It is tosh.

There has been no war on drugs in this country for 40 years.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Rent swappers

Every day another new MP is found out to be rent swapping.

Why are they not put in prison for seven days?

When they come out their seat is up for grabs...

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Piers Morgan

Do you remember Piers Morgan saying via a dodgy video link during the Leveson enquiry that he had "NO KNOWLEDGE" of any hacking?

Yesterday the Mirror group lost 12% of it's value in a day, why? It appears he lied.


Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Everyone has a bad day

O.J. Simpson was acquitted of criminal charges for allegedly murdering his ex-wife. He only had one bad day. You also have to consider his football records.

Bill Clinton said, "It's the economy, stupid," I took that to mean the economy is just one issue among many. I don't know how else to interpret that.

Nixon got a bum deal with that Watergate thing. That was just one mistake.

If President Obama decides to give America's nuclear codes to Iran, let's agree to count that as one mistake that should be weighed against all of his good work.

Yes, I'm following the American elections, that is I think I'm following them, I'm rather glad that I do not have a vote in that country...

Monday, 22 October 2012

Jimmy Saville the star

Panorama has just broadcast a 60 minute programme which leaves no doubt that:-

1) Jimmy Saville was a paedophile

2) the BBC is corrupt to the core

3) We, the public, the institutions, the police are still dragging our feet over this issue.

The latest statement from the CPS says they do not have enough evidence to act, well perhaps they should look a bit harder...


The Home Secretary Teresa May MP has decided that Gary McKinnon will not be extradited to the US to face trial concerning hacking into state computers.

This decision has been based on his health which as he suffers from Asperser’s syndrome a form of autism puts him into the realm of suicide, which is covered under section 3 of the human rights act.

So is this in the public interest, or is the government testing the water?

Friday, 19 October 2012

Energy debate

Today Ofgem has made a statement. After a decade of thinking about it and a year of talking about it, they now say that there should be reform of the energy situation in this country - LOL!!

What they said today could have been said 12 months ago when they made a statement that the measures could be implemented by winter 2012, so in fact they are still dithering and have no intention of pumping up the speed of this issue.

Angela Knight of Energy UK has been speaking today and constantly using the phrase my customers. For people who join late or are only half listening to the conversation will think she is talking about the consumer, whereas she is actually talking about the big six, which I suspect are making sure she does not go without.

She also repeatedly said that the people want choice, the people demand choice. However, the people want the cheapest deal and that does not figure in her equation...

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Energy matters

It appears that the Prime Minister David Cameron has become so frustrated by the current energy situation in this country that he has stood up and spoken. So what is the problem?

Energy prices and energy companies profits have risen year on year at far greater speeds that consumers inflation rates. The current size of energy company profits are obscene compared to the "we are all in it together" statement.

The last 15 years has seen 6 companies become a cartel in energy and I believe the PM has become fed-up at the lack lustre way Ofgem has dragged it's feet in regulating the industry and has decided to start the debate. Considering the row I have just seen in the commons, it looks like the debate has begun.

Jimmy Saville's MP

On Monday afternoon in the House of Commons Fabian Hamilton MP for the area of Leeds that Jimmy Saville lived in, decided to attack the Culture Secretary Maria Miller MP about who and what was being investigated. His main point was that no one should be excempt from investigation into this matter that is gaining ground because of public disgust.

I wonder if Fabian Hamilton will be asked as to what he knew about the vile character of Jimmy Saville and what he did about it!

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Job creation at it's best

The Department of Transport is now asking Virgin to continue operating the service, which runs from London to Scotland, for a further nine to 13 months from December, while it runs a competition for an interim agreement.

A year!!

A year just to decide who should run the railway line?

What a joke...

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Public Debt

Are we now after all the conferences have finished, in a situation where all political parties agree that public debt must be reduced?

Suppose the public debt has no impact on current investment or current consumption, or the entire future path of consumption from now until the end of time.

If the government gives a lot of money to people who are old right now, and as a result they consume more right now, then by assumption the currently young must consume less right now. Since we are assuming no change in the paths of aggregate consumption and investment from now until the end of time, all generations excluding the currently old must consume less, in aggregate.

Suppose the current old generation consumes £100 billion more. Also assume that each future generation, including the current younger generation consumes £1 billion less over their lifetime.  Then assume that after 100 generations Earth is destroyed by an asteroid.  QED.

Now how does that help the one million 18-24 year olds who are unemployed today?

Monday, 15 October 2012

It's a different world...

McLaren is a Formula 1 Motorsport team. It cheated. It obtained confidential information about another team, Ferrari, which McLaren intended to use for its advantage.

This was found out by the bodies that run Formula One (The Federation L'Automobile (FIA) and World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) the FIA's General Assembly). Accordingly they decided that McLaren had broken its rules: the International Sporting Code (ISC) which are enshrined contractually in the Concord Agreement between FIA, Formula One Administration Limited (FOA) and the teams. They issued a fine of £32 million.

Then it got interesting.

McLaren did its tax return and stated that it had a reduction of gross income of £34 million (fine plus related stuff) and what's more this loss is deductible against earnings.

The UK tax authority HMRC disagreed.

There was a trubunal.

McLaren won.


Saturday, 13 October 2012

Chief Whip

The focus has once again turned towards Andrew Mitchell. I have no idea why. Three weeks ago this happened

Now the heat is being turned up again. Is the PM having a rethink, or is someone digging in the background. Either way my opinion still stands, he should have left before, he should leave now.

Move along...

Friday, 12 October 2012


The Syrians might regret bombing that Turkish village.

A Syrian passenger plane forced to land in Ankara was carrying Russian-made munitions destined for Syria's armed forces, ratcheting up tension in the region.

The grounding of the plane was another sign of Ankara's growing assertiveness towards the crisis in Syria. Turkey's chief of staff warned on Wednesday the military would use greater force if Syrian shells continued to land in Turkey.

Turkey has become one of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's harshest critics during a 19-month-old uprising that has killed some 30,000 people, providing sanctuary for rebel officers and pushing for a foreign-protected safe zone inside Syria.

The pictures just shown concerning the hospital that has been bombed twelve times so far, now only has two beds left for the injured. It has to be said that this situation is appalling and I wish more could be done on the ground today...

Monday, 8 October 2012

Double Standards

Jeremy Hunt the health secretary has just said in his personal view that the abortion limit should be lowered to 12 weeks from 24 weeks.

Two years ago he said that the number of children people have is their choice.

I wonder what has happened in the last two years, except losing Rupert Murdoch as friend...

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Chief Whip hides = oxymoron

In what is shaping up to be the most tempestuous Tory conferences in half a decade, discipline is out of the window as Andrew Mitchell announces he is unable to attend in the wake of gate-gate. For the Chief Whip to be forced to hide under a rock is both a humiliation and a real problem for the PM. Mitchell apparently does not want to be a distraction.

Making the statement that the Chief Whip is 'not' going to the party conference is a distraction, so the strategy has already failed. The Chief Whip is responsible for discipline and behaviour and has a hard time with his own path.

It is going to take more than a pretty speech to pull this lot out of the ever deeper hole...

Friday, 5 October 2012

An example

I've been looking this week at the Vickers's Report by the banking commission, which has looked at banking today and what should be done to mitigate future crisis.

It has been said by many commentators recently that capitalism is failing. If that is true what should it be replaced with? No one seems to know, which is a worry. I would like to simply one aspect of capitalism to see if it needs to be replaced.

An employer has a work force at a time when workers are scarce, he has to pay them more than he wants to, to be able to compete with other employers which in turn hurts his profits. If this happens across the entire economy then consequently employers are squeezed and eventually collapse, thereby putting workers out of work. Now we have a situation where there are more workers than jobs and employers start paying less and therefore make more profits.

If this circle was true, then why isn't it happening today?

One of the reasons is change. We need change, we cannot stop change, it is inevitable. So, what's next?

Thursday, 4 October 2012

What are the economic costs of reform?

Regulating the amount of equity that a bank must hold may therefore be reflected in a higher weighted average cost of funding. However, the higher private costs that come from differential tax treatment are not social costs. Government now has a policy instrument – the bank levy, now yielding £2.5bn a year – that directly influences UK bank costs. The higher tax yield from more equity could for example be offset by lowering the levy, should that appear desirable to Government.

There is ample evidence of credit provision pre-crisis on unduly easy terms, for example in parts of the mortgage market. However, the possible impacts on the price of bank credit are very small in absolute terms, and much less than the 0.25% changes in official interest rates that commonly occurred before the crisis.

While the costs to banks of funding themselves would rise as a result of the loss-absorbency recommendations, the increases would be relatively limited and any costs to the economy as a whole would be smaller still.

Using cost as an excuse to "NOT" revert the banks to the way they were [separate institutions] will not wash as the cost to the world of them being amalgamated has been a disaster...

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Vickers's Report - Pros & Cons

If ring-fenced banks were not able to perform their core economic function of intermediating between deposits and loans, the economic costs would be very high. If all current retail deposits were placed in narrow banks, around £1tn of deposits which currently support credit provision in the economy would no longer be able to do so.

Alternative sources of credit could arise – for example if narrow banks could invest only in short-term UK sovereign debt (‘gilts’) the current investors in gilts would need other assets to invest in, since the stock of gilts would be more than taken up by the demand from narrow banks. Thus, those investors might become direct lenders.

Such a system would be less efficient, given that the synergies within banks would be removed, leading to increased costs for customers.

Either way, narrow banking would mean that ring-fenced banks could not be a source of stable credit supply during times of stress. Instead, the supply of credit would move entirely to a less regulated sector.

More issues?

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Vickers's Report - snippet

Scope of ring-fence

Which activities should be required to be within the retail ring-fence? The aim of isolating banking services whose continuous provision is imperative and for which customers have no ready alternative implies that the taking of deposits from, and provision of overdrafts to, ordinary individuals and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) should be required to be within the ring-fence.

The aims of insulating UK retail banking from external shocks and of diminishing problems (including for resolvability) of financial interconnectedness imply that a wide range of services should not be permitted in the ring-fence. Services should not be provided from within the ring-fence if they are not integral to the provision of payments services to customers in the European Economic Area.

The Commission’s view, in sum, is that domestic retail banking services should be inside the ring-fence, global wholesale/investment banking should be outside, and the provision of straightforward banking services to large domestic non-financial companies can be in or out.

What this does is return banking to what it once was before someone had the bright idea of amalgamating all banks. What goes around comes around...

Monday, 1 October 2012

What's in twelve months?

Age of consent in the UK is 16 and in France is 15, one of the reasons why Jeremy Forrest & Megan Stammers went to France, apparently.

Is there now going to be a debate about the age of consent or will it be passed over? Has this story been brought about because of the age difference? Is it just a coincidence?

What I do not understand is why for the past week has the country been enthralled in a couple on holiday! The coverage has been staggering when you consider what is happening in the rest of the world, Syria being an example as 100+ people a day are still losing their lives as the Regime is not powerful enough to dislodge the rebels.

Friday, 28 September 2012

Inner turmoil

Quoted from an article in the Financial Times by Philip Blond conservative special advisor.

“Conservatives on both sides of the Atlantic are narrowing opportunity, concentrating wealth and protecting monopoly interests. The centre right has almost ceased to do majority politics. It defines national interest in terms of the already powerful and increasingly abandons the middle and lower classes to their fate. They are persuaded by past fictions that what is in the interest of the winners percolates to those below them. In short, conservatives are unknowingly creating an oligarchy, one which will make us all plebs. By following the interests of a vested minority, conservatives may not win a general election for years. Of course, this is not conservative intention or wish but the rhetoric should not conceal the reality.”

The right wing of the conservative party is in a mess. Something has gone horribly wrong!

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Strong talking

The Prime minister David Cameron has addressed the United Nations and the main topic was Syria.

He has spoken very strongly about the current situation and without naming names, pointed the finger at certain countries that have held back from condemning the Assad regime.

Four months ago I said this, my opinion has not changed and the civil war is still raging and there does not seem to be an end in sight...

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

8 years

Abu Hamza and others are to be sent to America to stand trial.

This man had a public platform in Britain where he spread the word of terror. It took far too long to stop this man speaking probably because of the freedom of speech act. However, that does not excuse the length of time it took the British secret service to act.

And according to Frank Gardener on the Today programme even the Queen wrote to the home secretary asking why this man had not been arrested for behaving in such a dreadful way!

The question that still needs to be answered is why has it taken 8 years?

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Lib Dems in Brighton

Vince Cable announces Business Bank.

Run professionally and at arms-length from Whitehall, it will not lend directly but act as a wholesale institution funding via small new banks and "non-bank" bodies.

If I've got this right, a government department will act as a bank and lend to banks at preferential rates, then the banks will lend to business as before. How exactly is this going to help the economy?

Quote of the day!

For the next two years Britain is a two-party system, and the Lib Dems are one of them.
[Tim Farron, the Lib Dem president.]

Monday, 24 September 2012

More apologies than policies

This morning Andrew Mitchell has reiterated last weeks apology to a Police Officer.

He is till refusing to deny that he used the word pleb to describe people below him generally, which can only mean he did and is not prepared to lie.

Now he should go...

Saturday, 22 September 2012

What's the Square Root of Stupid?

I applied for a job to upgrade an antiquated legacy system to modern technology. This is in my remit and something I have done for the last twelve years as an infrastructure architect.

I expected all sorts of "How-would-you xxx?" type questions, but not like this!

Interviewer: How would you calculate a square root using java?
Me: Math.sqrt(double)

I: What if there was no square root function?
M: I would Google for John Carmack's formula to calculate it.

I: What if you could not use Google?
M: Assuming you mean no access to the internet, since I do not happen to know how to calculate a square root, I'd ask someone...

I: What if there were nobody to ask?
M: I am not a maths expert; I would go to the library and get a book on how to do it.

I: What if there were no libraries?
M: Ok, so you want me to come up with a formula I have told you I do not know, in the next 10 seconds, without access to any of the usual reference sources?

I thanked him for his time and got up to leave when the interviewer said "we're not through".

I pointed out that he knew nothing of my skills, but I now knew everything I needed to know about him, that he had failed the interview, that he had wasted enough of my time, and left.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Old debate back at the top

Two police officers [Fiona Bone, and Nicola Hughes] have been killed in Manchester in an incident involving guns and a grenade. A very sad day.

Nearly instantly the question of arming the bobby on the street has risen again.

I have to say straight away that I totally disagree with this idea unreservedly.

Robert Peel, the man given the credit for beginning the Police Force had 9 principles, I won't list them all but the important one for this discussion is:-

7.Police, at all times, should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent upon every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.

That statement says it all, we should not arm the bobby on the beat.

One issue that has arisen from the shooting in Manchester that has surprised me is the fact that there was a ransom of £50,000.00 for the last month on the person concerned in this incident and "NOT ONE PERSON FROM THE COMMUNITY" has come forward!

This is what has to change, the attitude of the public, and we need to go back to not only reporting crimes but we should be reporting criminals...

Thursday, 20 September 2012

An abject apology

At the start of the political conference season, the deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has apologised in connection with student fees.

On the one hand, an MP apologising is a shocker, however, if you study the statement you find he is "not" apologising for the U-Turn on student fees but apologising for making the initial claim that they would be against raising the cost of fees.

This is amazing, the Lib Dems have no credibility at all and if they think they are low in the polls today, it is only going to get worse for them between now and the next election.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

The Impossible Trinity

Most countries trade with one another – which is usually pretty good for all involved – but it does mean it’s a bit harder for each to keep control of its own finances.

There are three things that governments are particularly keen on.

They like to keep the exchange rate stable so that import and export prices don’t suddenly jump around.

They also like to control interest rates so they can keep borrowers happy without upsetting savers.

And they like to let money flow in and out of their country without causing too much disruption.

But there’s a problem when you try to do all of these at once. Say for example, the Euro zone tries to lower its interest rate to boost investment and reduce unemployment. Money flows out to earn higher interest rates elsewhere. Exchange rates drop, which causes inflation, so the Euro interest rate is forced back up again.

You can either fix your exchange rate and let money flow freely across national borders – but have no control over your interest rates. Or control your interest and exchange rates – but then you can't stop the capital flowing in and out. But, like an overzealous tri-athlete, you cannot do all three at once.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Does Austerity work?

As I return from signing-on for the umpteenth time, I have to wonder if austerity is actually working.

By austerity I mean attacking recession by cutting spending and raising taxes – the opposite of Keynesianism, which dictates that if the private sector isn't spending enough money to get the economy moving, the government needs to temporarily step in and supply the dosh.

The UK is committed to austerity, and [not coincidentally] they have seen growth deteriorate and unemployment rise.

In a way, our austerity policies are actually less defensible than those in some European countries. With the price of borrowing so extremely low here, capital markets are basically pleading for our government to borrow and get busy with temporary growth measures. That is not happening in Spain, Italy, Portugal, and Greece and for good reason: government debt in those countries is highly risky, and priced accordingly.

I sometimes wonder if the Bank of England is using enough data to make critical forecasts, it seems to rely on growth and output and not transactional data like supply and unemployment. It also holds a strong line with inflation, but how is inflation monitored? If it does not include all the data how can it correctly forecast?

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Hillsborough - part two

Findings: Failure of the Authorities

First, there is new evidence about how the authorities failed.

There is a trail of new documents which show the extent to which the safety of the crowd at Hillsborough was "compromised at every level".

The ground failed to meet minimum standards and the "deficiencies were well known".

The turnstiles were inadequate.

The ground capacity had been significantly over-calculated.

The crush barriers failed to meet safety standards.

There had been a crush at exactly the same match the year before.

And the recently released report shows clearly that lessons had not been learnt.

The report backs up again the key finding of the Taylor Report on police failure.

But it goes further by revealing for the first time the shortcomings of the ambulance and emergency services response.

The major incident plan was not fully implemented.

Rescue attempts were held back by failures of leadership and co-ordination.

And, significantly, new documents today show there was a delay from the emergency services when people were being crushed and killed.

Friday, 14 September 2012


I am not sure what to say here!

It is now clear that the MP [Sir Irvine Patnick], the Chief of Police [Peter Wright] & South Yorkshire police all concocted a story on the day that was false!

It has taken groups like Hillsborough Justice Campaign, Campaign group for Hillsborough & Hillsborough Family Support Group "23 years" fighting every day to get to this point, I am stunned.

Not completely sure which way to go now, they say a new inquest is needed, they say prosecutions are needed, but what about the 41 people who died slowly and could have been saved...OMG!!

Thursday, 13 September 2012


After last weeks cabinet reshuffle it appears that all the male ministers who were 'sacked' have received knighthoods, while none of the female ex-ministers have received anything!

How does that pan out against the statement the Prime Minister makes when he says "I feel that when a minister has made a contribution, they should be rewarded", perhaps it needs to be altered to say "I feel that when a male minister has made a contribution, he should be rewarded".

It does not look good...

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

One step closer

Benjamin Netanyahu says…

‘The world tells Israel, ‘‘Wait, there’s still time’’. And I say, ‘‘Wait for what? Wait until when?’’ Those in the international community who refuse to put red lines before Iran don’t have a moral right to place a red light before Israel.’

Someone is just itching to press that big red button  :-[

Monday, 10 September 2012

Teddy goes large

Peter Browne, Merv Hugget and Alister Watt have just sent a little Steiff teddy bear into space and broken a world record for the highest amateur balloon with a camera.

The bear went 140,180 feet into the stratosphere by a homemade latex balloon equipped with a camera and GPS tracking system.

The field for the launch in Ardingly, just round the corner from me, was used on the 18th August. I am not sure how long the flight lasted but the bear and equipment landed safely in the village of Good Easter in Essex.

The original target had been 100,000 feet, but the 140,180 is nearly 27 miles above ground.

Well done to the three of them...

Friday, 7 September 2012

Medical scandal

Freddy Patel formerly a pathologist was struck off last month [August 2012] after a career spanning nearly four decades.

This morning on the Radio Four Today programme Andrew Hosken spent nearly 20 minutes listing the catalogue of errors that Freddy Patel has known to have made. In the now infamous Ian Tomlinson case last year, the General Medical Council has listed 68 separate mistakes!

People are currently pleading for an inquiry, why? Why do they need to plead? this should be automatic.

Radio four has contacted Freddy Patel for a response to the allegations, but he has not been contactable.

The GMC were on the programme saying how happy they were with the striking off last year but were unable to say why it has taking over three decades to catch this man! Questions need to be asked...

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Sian Busby dies

My thoughts are with Robert Peston after his sad loss...

UK port capacity

The current speculation is about a third runway at Heathrow.

Apparently "everyone" agrees we need expansion! Really?

Well it is reasonable to assume that as the country grows, the population grows, business grows and everything else grows we need more. We need more homes, shops and transport to deal with the growth.

However, we are being told by various people who are getting the media attention that the government should rule out forever a third runway at Heathrow. How can that be a sensible statement. [FOREVER]

It would be nearly impossible for any government to say we will do or do not do something forever. The statement is final.

So what is behind the move by Boris Johnson to ask the question? Anarchy! He is out to cause trouble, not only does he have an issue keeping his penis under control, it now appears that he has issues with forward thinking...

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Cabinet reshuffle

Well, well, a move to the right. Although the Lib Dem position has not changed, the moves reflect a very strong shift to the right. Is it enough, they are half way through a term so any more shuffles would look like patches.

The media this morning is excited about the Transport Secretary's move to international development secretary, however this only accounts for one item, a third runway at Heathrow. I am sure there are more important considerations than that.

Jeremy Hunts move to health is seen as a massive promotion, I do not understand this, while I understand that the chancellor, Foreign Secretary and Home Secretary are known as the top three positions. I do not understand the hierarchy of the other departments. I do not even understand some of the departments.

Department of Culture, Media & Sport!

Maybe I am taking a far too simplistic view. I can see the need for a government that has to oversee the countries finances [Treasury], security [Defence], health, education, welfare, business & transport, but culture media & sport?

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Dismal science

Apparently this is the label used for today's economy.

David Davies has come up with an alternative economic plan for the future, and he has done this because he feels we are not improving quickly enough.

He produced Switzerland as an example to follow, a country that was in a worse place than us, in the centre of Europe and therefore struggling with exports and yet is now ahead of us.

One point he did not make was that we are currently in a coalition and the conservative side cannot be strong enough when it has to bow to liberalism...

Monday, 3 September 2012


September and the summer holiday is over, Parliament returns...tomorrow [4-SEP-2012] there is a rumour of a cabinet reshuffle, what will the new team bring?

Water is good for you. Unless you're at the bottom of the ocean with an anchor tied to your ankle. Teamwork is like that. It can be a good thing, but more often it's like trying to breathe underwater. Consider a brief list of reasons that teamwork will make any normal individual perform below his highest potential:

1. Your best time for thinking might be the other guy's best time to take a nap. If that's the only time you can have a meeting, one of you isn't going to be operating at peak performance.

2. Credit for success is distributed across the team. So is blame. If you believe people are motivated by a desire for credit, or a desire to avoid blame, teamwork is a blunting force.

3. In any group of three people, there's generally at least one disruptive moron.

4. People have different work styles. Some people like to do everything just right. Others like the quick and dirty approach, fixing things as they go. In a team, you spend half of your time arguing over the best philosophy for every action.

5. To mediocre minds, a brilliant idea and a dumb idea sound identical. A team will vote out the best ideas along with the worst.

6. The dominant team members will get their way over the objections of the meek, no matter how competent the meek might be.

7. In a team, you must continually explain yourself, defending every thought and every action.

8. Everyone has a different risk profile. Your appetite for risk won't be shared by the group.

9. Everyone wants to do the fun stuff and not the boring-but-necessary parts.

10. You eat when the team agrees that it's time for lunch. That means you're often hungry while trying to work, or wasting time eating when you're not hungry.

11. All meetings last longer than they should.

Over the next four months, are we going to get the reform we deserve?

Friday, 31 August 2012

South Africa moves backwards

The miners who were on strike at the British platinum mine must have had their details noted on the day that 34 men died and 78 were injured. There were over 2,000 there on the day, and now have been charged with murder even though the Police did the shooting.


Thursday, 30 August 2012

Cultivate an allotment in a jungle

The title is a quote from Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles on this mornings [30-AUG-2012] Today programme on Radio 4.

He was the former British Ambassador to Afghanistan and he was a guest along side Colonel Richard Kemp, former commander of British forces in Afghanistan .

They both agreed that the primary objective 'HAD' been completed, and if you agree that the primary objective was only to remove the threat of Al Quaeda from Afghanistan, then it is difficult to disagree with them.

What they did not admit too was that all that was really achieved was the terrorist threat was moved next door to Pakistan. To deal with that position we should be aiding Pakistan to eject the terrorists rather than threatening them which seems to be the case recently.

Very soon [2014] Nato will pull out of Afghanistan and every knows that the Taliban will return to power almost immediately, and with this weeks news of the executed party goers, that cannot be good...

Monday, 27 August 2012

No excuse

17 people have been executed by the Taliban in Musa Quala which is north of Lashkar Gah.

Their crime, a party with music!!

We do not need an excuse to revile a political party like this...

Saturday, 25 August 2012

School exams

Teachers are whinging about some of their pupils that did not get a 'C', wot a load of tosh!

Firstly where does the expectation come from, a practice exam that happens earlier in the year. So let's get this straight. Someone takes a mock and they are told they can have a grade [for example C] what do they do for the next six months? well it isn't learn a bit more so that they might achieve a 'B'!!

Secondly the official exams watchdog, the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA), says pupils need to meet grade C standard - so-called "level two" - to function as citizens, so a huge effort is put in for everyone to achieve this, sounds rigged now!

In 2006 it was recorded "Hundreds of thousands of teenagers have such poor mastery of the three Rs they cannot scrape a grade C in the two subjects employers and parents regard as crucial, English & Maths."

Then we had a period where everyone got what they wanted, now we seem to be back to testing correctly and find they are poorly educated again, and who is complaining the most, Teachers...

Saturday, 18 August 2012


Out of Touch

Two year sentences for each of the three women in Russia for Hooliganism, Maria Alyokhina, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Ekaterina Samoutsevitch.

When was the last time a British hooligan got two years of hard labour? Never.

It is quite obvious Vladimir Putin is appealing to the old school in the country, but it weakens his International standing.

Over the top

"Open Fire" someone shouted in the South African Police against a group of miners that were protesting about conditions in a platinum mine.

60 seconds later 34 men lay dead and 78 injured.

The media are quick to compare the event with South Africa's darker days, but back then it was black versus white, this was black versus black.

Two completely contrasting instances in two completely different countries, but the message is the same, don't stand up to your political masters. One day the political masters will realise that they are wrong...

Friday, 17 August 2012

Diplomatic Immunity

I'm not sure I understand what is going on with the Foreign Office and the Ecuadorian Embassy at the moment.

Apparently after PC Yvonne Fletcher was killed outside the Libyan Embassy a law was introduced to allow the reversal of status for foreign embassies, but surely that is an oxymoron.

Either we have an agreement with others for diplomats to exists and operate or we do not. This looks a bit like "we all do the same as each other except for us" which would have serious consequences abroad for our diplomats!

I presume that the law was introduced to deal with situations that could be classed as "embassies being used for terrorism", however, I do not believe that having Julian Assange as a guest in an embassy classes as an act of terrorism...

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Economical disambiguates...

It becomes more apparent as time goes on that the official unemployment figures produced by the government are false, and probably always have been.

In December 2011 the rate of unemployment was 8.3% and there were 2.4 million out of work.

In August 2012 the rate of unemployment was 8.1% and there were 2.5 million out of work.

However the story is unemployment has been falling for six months!

Now there are some mumblings in the background by analysts that the figures do not stack up, who are we going to believe over this?

Thursday, 9 August 2012

No gold medals for UK economy

Yesterday the governor of the Bank of England Sir Mervyn King said "Economy faces headwinds and a black cloud of uncertainty hangs over investment".

He also said "The big picture is that output's been flat for two years, and has continually disappointed expectations of a recovery,".

"We are navigating rough waters and storm clouds continue to roll in from the Euro area,".

"Unlike the Olympians who have thrilled us over the past fortnight, our economy has not yet reached full fitness."

Apparently it's 5 years today [9th August, 1997] when BNP Paribas Bank closed or suspended certain accounts due to issues with "Sub-Prime Mortgages". BNP Paribas announced that it was ceasing activity in three hedge funds that specialised in US mortgage debt.

It took a year for the financial crisis to come to a head but it did so on 15 September 2008 when the US government allowed the investment bank Lehman Brothers to go bankrupt. Up to that point, it had been assumed that governments would always step in to bail out any bank that got into serious trouble: the US had done so by finding a buyer for Bear Stearns while the UK had nationalised Northern Rock.

Well, where are we now?

This current year growth has been downgraded to 0% and so has next year. Those still employed are still not feeling the effect of recession, never mid depression and the real cuts in the over inflated public sector have still to take effect.

Perhaps there is going to be another five years of the same...

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Olympic euphoria

After all the niggles on route to the Olympics we are finally here celebrating.

The opening ceremony might have been expensive but it was impressive and a surprise thanks to the lack of leaks beforehand. A clever idea of travelling through time to show the progress of the country.

One problem I have is identity as I keep mentioning country, however, there are three countries in GB and four in the UK and all of them are partaking.

The efforts are magnificent and people are being rewarded but to me some seem to have to work harder than others. While I have absolutely no wish to take anything away from the likes of Bradley Wiggins, Peter Wilson & Greg Rutherford for the effort they have put in and achieved within their sport I have to make a special mention for Jessica Ennis and the heptathlon. She had to win seven completely different activities for her gold medal, and I think that is incredible.

Well done.

Monday, 30 July 2012

No medals day one

Unfortunately Mark Cavendish & Team came in rather down the field on Saturday :(

They had been leading for most of the game and finished all the Boxhill runarounds heading back for the Mall, when a huge group [22] sped away to the front.

It seemed as though the team just sat there and watched in disbelief as this pack forged ahead.

I'm not an expert but presumably there was a strategy problem, as I cannot believe that all four of our team had no stamina left and everyone else did!

I also hope it isn't a drug issue...

On another note:

The Olympics Minister says that the empty seats are a difficult issue and LowCog are looking into it, that's nonesense...

The selling of tickets has been a farce from the beginning and the corruption emulates from the top!

Friday, 27 July 2012


At the Battle of Agincourt in 1415 about 6,000 English archers won a surprise victory against over 20,000 French knights.

Shortly afterward the forums exploded with unhappy customers:- [sic]

The French were calling the archer class overpowered, and demanded it to be nerfed.

They also complained that the English had grinded a lot of experience with their archers, and spent a lot of time getting their longbows.

The English on the other hand were furious about server imbalances allowing the French to outnumber them 3 to 1.

Knights having much cooler looking armour apparently made lots of new players choose that class, and the English were worried that the French would just zerg them once their n00bs learned2play. :)

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

UK public borrowing rises in June

Good news from the labour market this week raised hopes that the economy might not be as weak as the official figures have suggested. Today's public finances figures continue the puzzle.

Tax revenues in the first three months of the fiscal year are running 2.5% higher than last year, which is not something you would usually see in a flat or shrinking economy.

The monthly public finance figures are notoriously volatile. Part of the increase in borrowing seems also to be due to a change in the timing of spending this year, which has pushed up borrowing by local authorities even as borrowing and spending by central government has fallen.

But the figures are a reminder that the chancellor wrote his Budget when the prospects for the economy looked a lot brighter. The IMF warned this week that he might have to loosen his Budget plans if the economy did not pick up. Today's figures suggest that that weak growth may be forcing him to do that already.

So how come I am still out of work?

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

IOC chief Jacques Rogge hypocrite

He was whisked from the airport to his five-star hotel in a chauffeur-driven car complete with police escort.

He was transported up the M4 into central London in a chauffeur-driven BMW using the exclusive Olympic Lane and escorted by five police motorcycles.

He has ordered wine from the Hilton @ £1,000.00 a bottle.

He certainly does not live in our world...

Monday, 23 July 2012

Tour de France

Bradley Wiggins has won the Tour de France, congratulations.

It's the first time since 1903 that a Brit has won the event, a magnificent achievement.

He along with Mark Cavendish & Peter Kennaugh are now preparing for the Olympics which starts on Friday 27th July, 2012.

Good luck to them all and Team GB.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

The weather improves the economy

This years weather has been appalling for many reasons, some of them tragic when I think of the couple killed in their car under a land slide!

Inflation is slowly returning to the Bank’s boundary of 2%, in the last quarter it has dropped from 2.8% to 2.4% a significant drop. Put it another way, Britain's inflation rate has halved since last September - to its lowest rate since the end of 2009.

We can not expect inflation to continue to fall quite this fast. There were quite a lot of special factors at work in the June figure, including the miserable weather, which seems to have helped to push down clothing prices by forcing shops to start their summer sales early.

Funnily enough, that is almost exactly what the Bank said would happen, in its November 2011 Inflation Report forecast - a forecast many did not dare believe, given how often - and how wildly - the Bank's recent forecasts have turned out to be wrong.

Perhaps the Bank of England has started weather forecasting?

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

The Olympics

Opening ceremony this Friday and half the tickets are still for sale. Why? Three reasons.

1) Tickets cost £2012 each - yer joking...
2) the Mickey mouse raffle system to purchase
3) failed websites and poor or non-existent sevice!

The greatest event of the year and it's been a farce from start to finish.

We knew that G4S had a problem as been reported last week, however, we didn't know by how much. Today at the select committee Nick Buckles the CEO has admitted they do not know how many people they have employed, how many have been trained or how many are going to turn up. OMG! It's a nightmare.

The two football matches in Cardiff & Glasgow are so under sold parts of each stadium are being sealed off as not wanted, farcical.

As the cameras move round over the next two weeks, huge gaps in all the seating area of the stadiums will become so obvious that it will be an embarrassment for the Government as Ministers try to lobby business that GB is great, some joke eh?

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Central Bank part II

They are at it again. The MPs are asking the Bank of England what are they going to do about Libor fixing and once again the Bank of England is pointing at that it has no powers available to follow this up.

Why are the MPs having difficulty in understanding this???

Monday, 16 July 2012

Lords Reform

Last week a motion on the reform of the house of lords was defeated, or I should say the timetable was, and this is the real point.

99 Conservatives rebelled, and amazing number and exactly the number required to lose the vote, which obviously the Prime Minister and the rest of the right wing side of the coalition wants.

The alleged aggression did not happen, that is why it is not on film. It was one of several staged events to try and show support for a Liberal Democrat motion that hasn't got a snowball's chance in hell.

Eventually the coalition will split and the rest of the term until 2015 will be a minority government...

Friday, 13 July 2012

Neglected to die!

Where did this story come from? A coroner's inquest!

Recording a narrative verdict at Westminster Coroners' Court, deputy coroner Dr Shirley Radcliffe said: "Kane was undoubtedly let down by incompetence of staff, poor communication, lack of leadership, both medical and nursing, a culture of assumption."

The coroner added that the team caring for him failed to involve the hospital's endocrinology team to monitor his fluid balance. The coroner has such grave concerns about the case that it has been referred to police.

I'm speechless...

Thursday, 12 July 2012

A scandal a day

It is not difficult to find a scandal daily in this country at the moment, so no shortage of subjects to write about. Today's gem is G4S.

A company setup to organise the security for the 2012 Olympics, given 553 million pounds to do it, and with two weeks to go, we find out that they are 3,500 employees short. So what happens, we send in the troops.

When the Home Office minister is asked whether the executive @ G4S will be punished for this outrage, he has no answer. So another half a billion disappears into someone's back pocket.

This 3,500 [extra troops] brings the total of the military involved to about 20,000! Is the tax-payer paying for this? Is Low-Cog who are charging hundreds of pounds for tickets going to fund any of this? Will G4S receive any punitive measures because of the failure?

I think not...

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Central Bank

What is the Bank of England for?

Monetary Policy.
The bank sets interest rates to keep inflation low to preserve the value of 'our' money.

Financial Stability.
The bank contributes to protecting and enhancing the stability of the financial system.

Two days ago, and yes it has taken me a while to let Paul Tucker's evidence at the treasury select committee sink in, it was clear as he was being questioned that the bank did NOT see itself as either a regulator or and enforcer of bank laws, and yet the MPs seem to be under the impression that the bank should be doing more.

Well, if that is true, then why don't they [the politicians] make the bank more independent, give it more responsibility and hand over more powers so that the bank can provide the service which the politicians seem to have implied is expected.

I feel as though the MPs appear to be asking a man with his hands tied behind his back, why he hasn't caught any fish today?

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Corrupt British Banking

We keep getting told that bankers should not be categorised as corrupt, and the example of banking hall staff, clerical even cleaning staff are used. This is a misnomer.

Marcus Agius is currently giving evidence to the treasury select committee and is repeatedly being caught out in statements between himself and Bob Diamond who attended the same committee last week.

When these two events are compared it is very easy for an outsider like myself to think that these two men are talking as though they have worked for two different companies, whereas in fact they have both worked for Barclays Bank and at the same time.

Nearly everything Bob Diamond said last week is different from what Marcus Agius is saying today, and the main reason is because the committee has letters written by Marcus Agius and he is now unable to deny them, which show that Bob Diamond last week mislead the committee. Not Good!

The trouble is this is not a surprise, because they are all at the top and they are all corrupt, we're stuffed...

Monday, 9 July 2012

Natural disasters

I keep hearing people saying how exceptional the local floods are, even though there has been no loss of life, like there was in Russia [side note: wettest June on record in Britain and the water companies have hose pipe bans!] and what a disaster, "once in a century jobbie", of course these are the same people that are convinced that man is destroying his own planet with global warming!

Major disasters in just the last 40 years

Bangladesh   1970     500,000 Floods
Peru               1970      66,000 Earthquake
Vietnam        1971     100,000 Floods
China            1976     600,000 Earthquake
Armenia       1988     100,000 Earthquake
Iran               1990      50,000 Earthquake
Bangladesh   1991     139,000 Earthquake
South Asia    2004/5  285,000 Tsunami 
Haiti             2010      100,000 Earthquake

That is on average every 5 years a major loss of life happens because of a natural disaster, so how on earth can it be exceptional?

p.s. formatting table style does not appear to be available...

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Bob @ the committee

For the last three hours I have listened to a Treasury Select Committee question Bob Diamond former Chief Executive of Barclays Bank.

In my opinion [I am not an expert] this man is very naive and I am appalled that he has been able to command a salary of £20 million pounds a year.

He believes that everything bad at Barclays has been committed by 14 traders who have been sacked even though the period that the committee was talking about was spread over seven years.

It is perfectly clear that Bob Diamond has washed his hands of the affair, resignation is not a problem for him as he is going to walk away what most of us would call a fortune, but he probably calls a just reward.

It is another world...

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Europe referendum - maybe

Dr Liam Fox has just given a speech at the Tax payers alliance.

“There will be those that say that this is the wrong time and that it is politically difficult or even impossible. These are the perpetual arguments for inertia. This is not the time for party political games or tactical point scoring. Our National Interest is at stake and that trumps all other considerations. We must rise to the challenge.”

David Cameron and Liam Fox appear to be contemplating the same sort of referendum - a post renegotiation poll. What separates them is that the prime minister is clear that Britain needs to stay in whereas his former defence secretary is now ready to contemplate getting out. That's the divide that really matters.

Monday, 2 July 2012

Greed at the top of the table again

Matthew Parris explains why we’re in the state we’re in…

“We have been living beyond our means. We have been paying ourselves more than our efforts were earning. We sought political leaders who would assure us that the good times would never end and that the centuries of boom and bust were over; and we voted for those who offered that assurance. We sought credit for which we had no security and we gave our business to the banks that advertised it. We wanted higher exam grades for our children and were rewarded with politicians prepared to supply them by lowering exam standards. We wanted free and better health care and demanded chancellors who paid for it without putting up our taxes. We wanted salacious stories in our newspapers and bought the papers that broke the rules to provide them. And now we whimper and snarl at MPs, bankers and journalists. Fair enough, my friends, but, you know, we really are all in this together.”

Friday, 29 June 2012

NHS Trusts - questions need to be answered

It has become apparent that the NHS Trust in Lincolnshire is more corrupt than any other, it has been using tax payer money to pay off directors with bribes not to release information about bad practices.

Yesterday I said we were living in a corrupt third world country, that was a little flippant and I did not expect more evidence to back it up, however, this story from Lincolnshire is appalling.

The site has now been blocked:

The documentation has now been withdrawn, but questions are still outstanding, it's perfectly clear that irregularities have been committed here...

Thursday, 28 June 2012

OMG the banks have done it again!

Barclays bank has been fined £290 million by the FAS for fixing the Libor rate, and this apparently has affected everyone with loans, savings & mortgages.

This has come about after an investigation that started in 2005. How long does it take to find out that someone is using dodgy practices? More importantly how can it be fixed? Can it be stopped? Should there be prosecutions? Is Barclays the only one?

Perhaps that last question is the most important.

We are living in a corrupt third world country called England, it is sad.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

National Health Service Trusts


Now I have heard everything. One of the privately owned NHS trusts has been losing over £1 million every week. Nationalisation was never as expensive as this. The time has come to recognise that all this money has been used for executive life styles and not medical care.

What now? No idea, I'm not an expert. I suspect that the tax payer will cough up because no one is going to let people suffer. However, are we going to learn that some things should not be privately owned, like the health service, the water board, the energy companies etc,.

I am 'not' a socialist, how can anyone believe that we are 'all equal', but I am fed up with resources being wasted on managers...

Friday, 22 June 2012

Bank Lending

Last night [Thursday 21st June, 2012] on BBC's Question time one of the panellists was Julie White and she was the owner of D-Drill (Master Drillers) Ltd.

When the topic of bank lending cropped up Julie pointed out that she had to borrow from a Swedish bank because British banks would not lend to her, even though she was applying for the most recent schemes.

This situation appears to be even worse than the media is making out, and the Government has to do something about it, as the current “gentlemen's agreement” isn't working.

If we do own RBS like everyone says, then re-name it to "British Bank” [the name doesn’t matter it's the idea I'm trying to promote] and then 'force it' yes 'force it' to lent to British business, whether it is small, medium or large, make them lend...

Thursday, 21 June 2012

A society obsessed with consumption

Yesterday [Wednesday 20th June, 2012] I heard Robert Skidelsky, an economist talking about a statement made by the economist Keynes. A century ago, economist John Maynard Keynes predicted that by now, no-one in Britain would have to work more than 15 hours week because machinery and technology would take the strain.

He finds a society "obsessed with consumption" and people working for more money, simply to buy more.

Well, consumer confidence is actually considered a message of a Country's relative economic strength.

When a load of poor deluded sad-acts are down at the shops running up debts on their credit cards, finance ministers claim that the economy is 'growing' and start celebrating. Recessions are deemed to be over the moment people start spending money which they don't have on things they don't need.

Consumption is synonymous with 'growth' and growth is good. It is always good, whenever and wherever. Hence, clearly consumption is good, all consumption, anywhere, anytime. Judged by the logic of world economics, the death of the planet will be the zenith of human achievement, because if consumption is always good, then to consume a whole planet must be the best thing of all.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012


I'm starting to get a little fed up with excuses, excuses made by employers, or I should say their staff.

In the last month I've been told that I am too old, too young, over qualified and under qualified too introvert and too extrovert, what a load of tosh.

Do employers have any idea what their HR departments are up to these days, or are they just happy to spend the advertising budget on un-fill-able positions.

I wonder how it's going in Mexico @ the G20...

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Why do the names change?

The first point is Rebel as in:-

a person who refuses allegiance to, resists, or rises in arms against the government or ruler of his or her country
a person who resists any authority, control or tradition

Where the rebels were of a type we disapproved of (in Iraq, after the Anglo-American invasion), they were ‘insurgents’. Had they been approved of, they would have been the ‘resistance’.

Likewise, in Syria, ‘our side’ must not be called ‘rebels’ or ‘revolutionaries’. They are called ‘activists’, a word so meaningless that it demands analysis.

Of course support can be given or taken to one side or the other just on the terms used to describe them. This is bizarre...

Monday, 18 June 2012

Nobel Peace Prize

Aung San Suu Kyi finally gave her lecture in Oslo to the officials of the Nobel Organisation last Saturday [16-JUN-2012].

The setting was a grand hall building somewhere in the city, the King, Queen & Prince of Norway were in attendance along with 100 dignitaries.

It seemed a very solemn occasion and although she has not had one of the best lives people can endure, I am sure she would have been a little happier if it was not quite so solemn.

She started her speech with a light hearted remembrance of listening to 'Desert Island Disks' on the radio with her son, but then moved onto the atrocities that have surrounded her in Burma.

She is pleased that it seems the whole world is changing towards a more peaceful place because more of the world is aware of their neighbours, and there appears to be more tolerance in the world today.

During her speech she said "One prisioner of conscience is one too many" and received applause in what had been a remarkably silent audience.

Friday, 15 June 2012

A vicious circle

Last night [Thursday 14-Jun-2012] at the Mansion house dinner both the Chancellor & the Governor of the Bank of England have announced more money for banks. It has a different title but in reality it's still just money for banks.

What they hope is it will make it easier for banks to lend.

The problem here is the banks see two types of lenders [bear with me here I'm making it a little simplistic] good credit worthy ones and bad credit worthy ones.

The good credit worthy ones don't want to borrow at the moment because of the international economy and a severe lack of confidence.

The bad credit worthy ones want to borrow [always] but the banks are reluctant to lend to them, which makes sense to me.

So how do we give confidence to good credit worthy clients to allow them to borrow?

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

An update on the game

As mentioned last Sunday 3rd June I could not play a game, the game belongs to a company called Bethesda.

They have contacted me with a set of instructions which I have carried out and am now back in the game.

Naturally I am very happy for this little personal service they have given to me, but it still wrankles me that I need an internet connection to play a single player game, I am sure they can find another route to secure protection for their products without having to rely on a third party...

Monday, 11 June 2012

The United States of Europe

This weekend just gone, Spain has accepted 100 billion Euros as an official bail-out.

However, the Spanish government has gone to GREAT lengths to stress that this is a 'bank' bail-out and not a 'country' bail-out even though the public knows that it "is" a country bail-out.

I, like the markets don't really care what the politicians say, the public will choose at the next elections who they want, however, this loan has stabilised the situation in the Euro zone, but once again it is temporary.

The pot must be nearly empty.

Now is the time for all the members of Europe to come together as one.

We have the United States of America, we have the United Kingdom, the next phase is a "United Europe" and that is what it will be called. It does not matter how many members there are, as long as everyone involved has the same currency and the same government...

Friday, 8 June 2012

United Nations

Ban Ki-moon is said to be angry, or as a diplomat perhaps it's frustration.

Yesterday [Thursday 7th June, 2012] he said "How many more times are we to condemn them, and how many ways must we say that we are outraged?".

Good question.

However, we are getting a sense here of the United Nations becoming muted!

There is one country Syria, one government, lead by one man and they are [allegedly] killing their own people, and no one is doing anything about it, so it must be all right eh?

Thursday, 7 June 2012

A new Europe

It appears that there are more urgent talks taking place concerning Europe.

Well the current crisis has been going for over a year, and it is getting worse with announcements that not only are the Greeks leaving their country with huge amounts of wonga, the Spanish are now doing the same.

There are 27 members of Europe [we are one of those] and their are 17 members of the Euro. It does not take a lot to realise that this does not work.

There are 50 members of America [North] and 50 members of the dollar [North], there are 4 members of the UK and there are 4 members of the pound [sterling], you can see a pattern here.

Now I am not suggesting that all 27 members take up the Euro, we for one would not, neither am I suggesting that the 17 become a different country, although out of those two 'extreme' options the latter is the simplest, however, it must be clear now that it has to be handled differently to how it has been.

I think, although it is a bit radical, that the Euro should be restricted to the original 6 members, the other 11 should return to sov fiscal arrangements unless they can show [without cheating this time] that they can sustain the Euro to the same extent as the core 6 members.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

A little miffed

It's Sunday and I feel like a bit of R&R so I boot up the ole PC and choose a single player game to play, my choice.

It's created by a company who now uses Steam, because its using steam built in protection and steamworks features so if you have it on steam it needs to be on when you play. Fair enough.
I login into to Steam successfully and pass all their adverts which have no interest for me and start the game. I receive a message that this game is N/A please try later.

Excuse me!

Where does it say in the contract that I can only play a single player game when you decide its okay?

Why do we put up with this, because we have no law to support us...

Friday, 1 June 2012

Now it's Spain’s turn

The Euro crisis continues and the seventeen members look to be getting smaller.

We don't know yet whether any countries will end up leaving the Euro, however, We do know that quite a few investors are.

The ECB's latest balance of payments report shows there was a record 59.4bn euros net outflow of portfolio investment from the Euro zone in the first three months of 2012.

Of course, the numbers for individual countries are in even more shocking: yesterday we found out that nearly 100bn euros had fled the Spanish banking system in the first quarter.

On the one hand, yes the ECB can just print & print & print money to bail out wherever it is necessary, however, at some point it will come to an end, then what? Obviously the inevitable, the quantity of members will shrink back to the original six, and the countries that leave will have a tough time at first.

I suspect that Spanish holiday will suffer next adding to the turmoil.

Thursday, 31 May 2012

Not a good idea

Yesterday @ Leveson, see I am hooked, Dr Vince Cable & Mr Ken Clarke were present and I was impressed with some of the thinking by Ken Clarke, is this experience or just good sense?

However, I heard an alarming statement by Vince Cable saying that after his experience as a minister he now wants to reverse the decision of twelve years ago and put politicians back in charge of the Bank of England.


It's all very well saying that we have power over democratically elected people it still takes five years, have you any idea how much damage democratically elected people can do over five years?

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Why the secrecy?

Two weeks ago, there was a house fire in Derbyshire, which was more shocking than usual because 5 children [at the time - one more since] had died.

The following day as news was getting out, two people were arrested on suspicion of deliberately causing the fire, they were not the parents. The police at the time stressed that this was not the end of the case and more facts were required. A plea to the public was made.

Not unusual as it can take time to sift through evidence.

However, there has now been another arrest and two completely different people have been arrested. This time it's the parents!

Once again the police stress that this does no conclude the investigation. Well what gives?

Who were the first couple?

Where are they now?

How are they connected?

What's going on here? Where have all our investigative journalists gone?

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Tony Blair @ Leveson

One of the most professional performances I have ever seen.

So far I have considered Lord Justice Leveson to be the right man for the job, because of his professionalism, his objectivity, his realisation of the remit given to him, his patience and control. However, it looked remarkably like he was in league with Tony Blair as the two just continuously agreed with each other through the day.

The former prime minister confessed that he had decided to "manage... not confront" the power of the press. In other words, he'd decided to form a relationship with the media which he described as "unhealthy" - a word he said he preferred to "cosy". He knows the questions which will lie ahead, and so do we, but then we also know - or, at least, can predict - many of the answers.

We could have already guessed the rest, there is very little he can deny, what's important [to him - Tony Blair] is how he answers them.

I have not changed my opinion of Lord Leveson and the challenge he has in front of him, but they made it far too easy for the ex Prime Minister with a golden opportunity that will not be repeated...

Monday, 28 May 2012


The UN has now unanimously agreed that the official Syrian government has gone bad.

It's taken a year.

Can we learn from this? No.

You & I know from day one when the you tube videos starting to appear it was a situation that was connected to what has been labelled the "Arab Spring".

Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Libya, Syria.

What is the main difference between these peoples, it was obvious from the start that the Syrian Regime was not as soft as the others.

One of the startling statements for me was by the Foreign Secretary last year when he said that going into Syria aggressively was not an option as they had a strong army. This was the response to public statements in forums like the BBC's Question Time program where people repeatedly said "Why did we go into Iraq?" and "Why did we go into Libya?" and "Why are we not going into Syria?"

Well now with the UN in agreement, it would appear that [along with other counties] we will be going in...

p.s I've got my popcorn ready for the Blair-Leveson debate ;)

Friday, 25 May 2012

The Leveson Enquiry

I have become engrossed in the Leveson enquiry. On my first day Mr Robert Jay questions Mr Fred Michel and after a few hours Fred Michel is practically agreeing with everything that Robert Jay is saying.

However, on the second day after hours of question between Robert Jay & Adam Smith, Adam Smith is 'NOT' agreeing with everything that Robert Jay is saying, in fact, it gets to the point where Adam Smith is nearly disagreeing with everything that Robert Jay says.

Given that Robert Jay is a professional, it has become clear that Fred Michel & Adam Smith have been coached by two completely different people.

That might be a cynical view on my part but when we get right down to the detail that the Leveson enquiry is doing, then all it comes down to is the English language and how people use it.

I am also not saying that holding enquiries like this is a waste of time, but it does give some people a wonderful platform to get 'their' message across.

I don't believe that Lord Justice Leveson will be able to publish a report at the end of this enquiry that will improve the current situation.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

The Euro

For the last twelve months there has been a crisis [financial] in the Euro zone, a group of seventeen countries that have the same currency.

There has been countless speculation as to how this came about, what is happening and what should be done in the future.

The Euro began in 1999 [with only six countries] and back then some people said that unless there was political union it would not succeed. Now there is seventeen and not only do they have absolutely no political or financial similarity, it has become clear that getting some of these countries in can only be described as a set of dodgy deals!

It has become clear that some people wanted a single currency and did not care about the consequences, well it has come back to bite them.

I'll only say this once, no country should be given a bail out if it fails.

It is exactly the same view that I have over banks. The biggest mistake we made recently was to prop up Northern Rock, it should have failed just like Lehman. The recent sale shows that a few at the top have made a fortune yet again from the man in the street.

Back to the Euro, they say that if Greece leaves [guaranteed in my opinion] it would be a crisis, well two points, we already have a crisis and the people who would loose are the bankers. Why are we worried about them?

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Iran - Israel [alphabetical]

I make the specification in the title so as to try and stay neutral, let's see if I'm successful.

I've been thinking about this for a year now, ever since it was made public that Israel was thinking of attacking Iran. Where do we stand on this?

See, already I've taken sides. I'm from the West and feel I should be on the side of Israel, but in this case they are the aggressor and while the West has aggressed many times in the past, I haven't been around to consider my responsibility. Now I am, so it's decision time.

If Israel go in guns blazing, do I support them. Well our Government is talking about this very subject this week, and in fact are taking legal advice on whether our armed forces can take back in certain aspects. As an example the Navy patrolling the straits of Hormuz, can be seen as aggressive.

So is this situation on automatic?

Will Britain go in automatically?

Would the conflict affect us directly?

How long before we find the answers to these questions and will they arrive too late...