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?