Sunday, 30 December 2007
Unfortunately not the Scottish prime minister we are landed with, he's trying desperately to stop all this. All of this is coming from the Scottish Prime Minister of Scotland.
Wednesday, 26 December 2007
The Leader's inability to cope is highlighted by reports from senior allies of Brown that there is need for '.. a new 'go-to man,' a chief executive-type figure... that will free Gordon to concentrate only on the things that he should be concentrating on. The problem has been the flat structure. Below Gordon are about six people who all need to go to him about things. That really takes too much time, so a better filter is needed.'
Brown can continue to micro-manage the Labour party to maintain himself in power - that needs merely his particular and peculiar talents of grubbing like a half-blind mole through the dirt of fixing deals and remembering the minutiae of past compromises and sell-outs. What he has so publicly failed to cope with, is being the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and answering to the pledges on which his predecessor gained power, as well as dealing with other parts of the power elites which are not his to control. As he has sunk into wholesale incapacity and subsequent fury followed by depression, his capability even to control his claim to power - the zombie Labour party - has begun to slip from him.
'It was astonishing that no one close to Gordon was able to sort the Abrahams problem out earlier. And more importantly sound very loud alarm bells about the trouble that was being stored up. ', the Telegraph reports a senior Labour party figure remarking.
A shortlist that includes Wilf Stevenson, long-standing friend of the Leader, and director of the Smith Institute, which is currently being investigated by the Charities Commission for inappropriate activity (it has seemingly acted as a means of running a private office for Brown, making available large sums under guise of research funds, used 11 Downing Street for political meetings, and his henchmen have profited from sinecures there among other things) will be under consideration by Brown after Christmas.
The prospect is that the country will have an unelected Prime Minister, unable to cope, fronted by one of his 'old friends', whose charity Smith Institute is under investigation by the charities' controlling body, who is without even the democratic fig leaf of representing a small group of Scottish voters.
Saturday, 22 December 2007
Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world'.
Christmas time is here, by golly,
Disapproval would be folly.
Deck the halls with hunks of holly,
Fill the cup and don't say when.
Kill the turkeys, ducks and chickens,
Mix the punch, drag out the Dickens.
Even though the prospect sickens,
Brother, here we go again.
O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
thine own from Satan’s tyranny;
from depths of hell Thy people save,
and give them victory o’er the grave.
Rejoice, rejoice, Emmanuel
shall come to thee, O Israel.
Have a merry Christmas, everybody, and thank you for the posts on your blogs and your comments here. The bloggers give a new meaning to the toast 'Absent Friends!'
Thursday, 20 December 2007
They and the socialist corpse they have been animating for the last ten years should get back into their 20th century coffin and close the lid behind them.
Advances in neural imaging have demonstrated the profound effects emotional state can have upon intuitive understanding and expressed preferences. Confidence leads to different behaviours from those generated by its absence, depression. Operating with depressed emotions alters the 'grab' of understanding offered by feeling. And actions then ensue that reinforce the pattern.
Most economic analysis treats risk preferences, time preferences and social preferences as separate kinds of preferences, but what if all three share common neural circuitry for controlling automatic emotional impulses - fear, temptation , and selfishness respectively, - by integrating all the costs and benefits of choices.
Standard analysis in game theory assumes players are in equilibrium; yet one study showed the more skilled using different parts of the brain in making choices while the less skilled showed brain activity elsewhere as if strategic uncertainty was causing the feeling of discomfort.
The social neuroeconomists Fehr and Camerer posit that eventually there might be a biological basis 'for a mathematical characterization of social exchange that is rooted in neural details but can also make predictions about activity in strategic interaction and market trading ... 'and, they add darkly, '...about how behaviour can change when causally manipulated by pharmacology, TMS, and other tools .'
Wednesday, 19 December 2007
Underneath the north east of England is lots of coal. On top of the north east of England are lots of failed bank workers. Presumably their much vaunted cultural traditions still hold; the pouring of tax-raised cash into the region should be directed towards establishing a modern energy industry and everyone can get back to their roots and back into productive employment.
Tuesday, 18 December 2007
'Two-thirds felt security would improve in the short term, while 72% said it would improve in the long term. Only 5% said security would deteriorate following the withdrawal',suggests everything has gone badly wrong, and the British assistance to the Iraqi authorities of southern Iraq in establishing democratic rule, the New Labour justification for our presence there, (let's forget the weapons of mass destruction lies), has been non- existent.
So perhaps the worst defeat of a west European army in a non-European theatre since Dien Bien Phu is played out. It isn't as bad as the helicopters taking off from the embassy roof in Saigon but then the commitment was, to say the least, much less whole-hearted.
Since the Labour election win in 1997 the Labour Chancellor of the Exchequer, now the unelected prime minister of the United Kingdom, has actively and vehemently denied funding to the United Kingdom Armed Forces. He is reported to have refused even to attend meetings at the Ministry of Defence, the first holder of the office ever to do so. He has equally vehemently declared his dislike of the Armed Forces - in keeping with the attitudes of his Party, its supporters, and his and their, political creed.
Which makes the sending to war of British troops on at least three fronts, two of them concurrent, by his alter ego Blair, utterly disgraceful. Lying to Parliament is overshadowed by sending men and women to fight under-equipped and grossly under-funded ; they went without the support of years of the defence commitment needed to fight an effective war, and it was the Chancellor of the Exchequer Brown who denied the funding.
The pretence that Brown invariably sought Blair's discomfiture is convenient, but the truth is that both sought, together, the defeat of all and every part of the United Kingdom establishment that might undermine Labour's permanent hold on power. The Armed Forces must have been a primary target, then the Constitution (currently devastated and about to be re-presented in all his vulgarity of thought by Jack Straw), the office of Head of State, ( destroy the Upper House of the Parliament in its independent revising role and it is so much easier to pass that tendentious but essential authoritarian regulation and European Union acceptance and, inter alia, deprive the monarchy of any channel of influence), politicise the Civil Service and extend the nomenklatura of appointees rather than elected officials at local levels; but first, denigrate and weaken those who might impose another order, by their millitary humiliation fighting with both hands tied behind their backs.
Then send a man with a peculiar moustache to sign away foreign and every other kind of policy independence for the United Kingdom and there is a clear field of fire for managing the next post democratic election.
described in HM Treasury's announcements dated 20 and 21 September 2007 and 9
October 2007 are being extended, at the request of Northern Rock plc, to the
following unsubordinated wholesale obligations, whether now existing or arising
in the future:
1. all uncollateralised and unsubordinated wholesale deposits and other
borrowings which are outside the guarantee arrangements previously announced by
2. all payment obligations of Northern Rock plc under any uncollateralised
3. in respect of all collateralised derivatives, and all wholesale
borrowings which are collateralised (including, without limitation, covered
bonds of Northern Rock plc), the payment obligations of Northern Rock plc to the
extent that those obligations exceed the available proceeds of the realised
collateral for the relevant derivative or borrowing; and
4. all obligations of Northern Rock plc to make payments on the repurchase
of mortgages under the documentation for the 'Granite' securitisation programme.
Wednesday, 12 December 2007
Yet once a monopoly of power has been gained, by whatever means, no regime can just keep smacking the people into line, and politics becomes largely the science and craft of words; rarely and memorably it becomes the art of words. Schiller's:
Freude, schöner Götterfunken,
Tochter aus Elysium!
Wir betreten feuertrunken,
Himmlische, Dein Heiligtum.
Deine Zauber binden wieder,
Was die Mode streng geteilt,
Alle Menschen werden Brüder,
Wo Dein sanfter Flügel weilt.
seems appropriate currently.
Angels are in Berlin till Monday; the German philosophers' Christmas shindig at the Humboldt on experimental pragmatics, which is considering syntax- semantics mismatch and the neural bases of semantic composition, and how pragmatic differences between affirmative and negative sentences are captured in the processes and representations of language comprehension, (and other hot topics), might seem irrelevant to the Leader of the Labour party; not simple enough.
But, speaking with the simplicity necessarily embraced by Gordon Brown: his brain is unable to function at the levels of complexity and emotional responsiveness that are regarded and required as neuro-typical. His unfortunate physical and psychic incapacities have led to death and misery, particularly within our country and in the Middle East. Being Prime Minister , an office for which he is literally not fit, is not his achievement, it is his permanent and public disgrace.
Tuesday, 11 December 2007
Rt Hon Alan Williams, Labour
Rt Hon James Arbuthnot, Conservative
Rt Hon Kevin Barron, Labour
Rt Hon Alan Beith, Liberal Democrats
Sir Stuart Bell, Labour
Rt Hon Malcolm Bruce, Liberal Democrats
Michael Connarty, Labour
Sir Patrick Cormack, Conservative
Mr Andrew Dismore, Labour
Mr Frank Doran, Labour
Hon Gwyneth Dunwoody, Labour
Dr Hywel Francis, Labour
Rt Hon Michael Jack,Conservative
Rt Hon Greg Knight, Conservative
Mr Edward Leigh, Conservative
Peter Luff, Conservative
Rt Hon John McFall, Labour/Co-op
Rosemary McKenna, Labour
Rt Hon David Maclean, Conservative
Andrew Miller, Labour
Mr Terry Rooney, Labour
Mr Mohammad Sarwar, Labour
Mr Barry Sheerman, Labour/Co-op
Dr Phyllis Starkey, Labour
Rt Hon Keith Vaz, Labour
Mr John Whittingdale, Conservative
Mr Phil Willis, Liberal Democrats
Dr Tony Wright, Labour
Mr Tim Yeo, Conservative
Rt Hon Sir George Young, Conservative
you know where your duty lies.
Cancel! Let the Leader go!
Monday, 10 December 2007
The German Emperor remarked "If the Swedes won't let him through, we'll let him through the German lines ourselves."
The German archives held in Berlin have been opened, rather like the Heavens.
Meanwhile, (reports Juan Cole on Informed Comment), Major General Jalil Khalaf, speaking in the city of Basra, said sectarian groups imposing a strict interpretation of Islam, dispatch patrols of motorbikes or unlicensed cars with tinted windows to accost women not wearing traditional dress and head scarves: the Major General added,
"The women of Basra are being horrifically murdered and then dumped in the garbage with notes saying they were killed for un-Islamic behavior ". Khalaf told Associated Press that as well men with Western clothes or haircuts are also being attacked in Basra.
Since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein and the installation of a Shiite-dominated
government, armed men in some parts of the country have been forcing women to cover their heads or face punishment. In some areas of the heavily Shiite south, even Christian women have been forced to wear headscarves.
"Your makeup and your decision to forgo the headscarf will bring you death." say posters throughout the formerly British sector Basra region.
Khalaf said the bodies of women have been found in garbage dumps with bullet holes, decapitated or otherwise mutilated, with a sheet of paper nearby saying, "she was killed for adultery," or "she was killed for violating Islamic teachings." In September, he added, the headless bodies of a woman and her 6-year-old son were among those found. A total of 40 deaths were reported this year. But:
"We believe the number of murdered women is much higher, as cases go unreported by their families who fear reprisal from extremists,"
Gordon Brown, the British Prime Minister, ended his peroration to the British army with the declaration:
"We have managed now to get Iraq into a far better place " .
Today ( from Informed Comment)
Police found an anonymous body of a woman on Hamdan street south of Basra city. Police said that the woman was shot in different areas of her body. '
Sunday, 9 December 2007
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of "Spiritus Mundi"
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
(quoted from http://www.scottishpolitics.org.uk/ which is a fine read for a Sunday morning).
Saturday, 8 December 2007
Cowardice at being seen signing away United Kingdom sovereignty doesn't really cover it; the Leader denies he is doing anything of the kind and must feel intense relief and a glow of political success at delivering the United Kingdom still intact into the maw of the European Union.
Sherpas organize these meetings in advance to the last minute of a country's leader's presence; weeks of negotiation on agendas, consultations and the levels of participants, in matters of concern to particular member-states, take place.
The intervention of the EU Competition Commissioner in the state support being given to Northern Rock must have been pre-eminent on any UK prime minister's agenda, but permission to blunder on until March was flicked uninterestedly to Brown last week. It looks as if no one wants to talk about anything with the UK government.
The Labour regime Leader certainly has nothing to offer the European Union and the Union might think most reasonably that nothing more can be offered to him except his coat.
So the Foreign Secretary will be there, uncomfortably low in diplomatic status and with nothing to say to anyone, while the United Kingdom Prime Minister sits at home alone, picking his nose and biting his nails.
Thursday, 6 December 2007
Well it would, wouldn't it? The glorious Leader has ordered two aircraft carriers from the British (note the 'British' )shipyards, the most important of which is in his electoral backyard in Scotland . So a lot of staff are being taken on, no doubt most of them from Gdansk, but let it pass, let it pass.
The ship building industry in the United Kingdom would be at a total loss as to how to build an aircraft carrier even if you gave them the balsa wood and a stanley knife. The last serious order for a large ship went to Italy, as did the one before that which has just been launched - on time and on budget. Even the ferries are being bought from Poland.
The RAF is flying adapted Comets which ignite in midair.
The Bank of England has one man standing, like Horatius, trying to hold at least the financial and monetary probity of the economy.
Even the statistics and official manufacturing figures are a lie.
Lowering the interest rate will diminish the central bank's credibility as banks do not respond with an alteration in their assessment of risk and continue to lend at rates even more widely detatched from bank rate, encourage inflation, cause a flight from sterling, reward reckless lending and borrowing, and sustain Brown's discreditable economic and financial regime.
Wednesday, 5 December 2007
There will be no veto after the Lisbon Constitutional Treaty is ratified; the Labour regime Leader Brown goes to the formal signing on 13 December, making a nonsense of his puppet's opposition to the Padoa Schioppa proposals yesterday. After Lisbon the United Kingdom can do as it's told, and it isn't told much because of its constant opting out; there will be no opt-out on this.
Tuesday, 4 December 2007
Il Ministro dell'Economia e delle Finanze, Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa, has voiced the consolidated views of the member-states' concerns after the management of the subprime crisis in the last few months in Europe and, while there is agreement that the Central Bank 'acted quickly and decisively in the monetary field.....' and that Ecofin and the Commission fulfilled their regulatory roles, 'the supervisory function appears to have been absent at the European level..' He accepts the IMF's judgement that in a crisis the member- states act on a national basis, 'from a narrow, national perspective..' and exchange minimal crucial information. Also there is a heavy regulatory burden and, at the same time, insufficient safeguarding of financial stability and investors.
He wants a single European rule book and he wants integrated supervision over cross-border market players. '... an enhanced exchange of information and an extended degree of consultation..' under tweaked extant EU powers should do the trick.
An analysis of the problems of European Union financial supervisory powers and actions, and a proposal so fully formed and elegant in its solutions, has not come uniquely from the Italian Ministry of Finance; and it beggars belief that Brown's puppet chancellor or toy Treasury was involved in preparing it.
A full report with reform recommendations is to be readied for April discussions on the lines of the Padoa Schioppa proposals. The current interchange of information between member- state financial institutions is to be increased now, the common rule book will have to wait until the April report and discussions. The proposals were welcomed by all but the German Socialists (who split from the German Christian Democrats' support for the measures ) and Gordon Brown's British Labour regime, which bitterly opposed the whole idea.
Monday, 3 December 2007
On 13 December this imposed, failure of a political leader intends to sign the Lisbon Treaty and betray: his own tiny, Scottish electorate; his party’s manifesto on which the defenestrated, democratically elected Labour Leader obtained a majority; his country, whose government under the SNP wishes to hold a consultative referendum on the Treaty; and our country.
The new Polish prime minister, elected after the Lisbon negotiations and with ratification of the Lisbon Constitutional Treaty as part of his platform, has stated that the commitments of the previous elected Polish government on the Treaty will be honoured; the unelected United Kingdom prime minister is unable to offer any such assurance, for his regime cannot evaluate the worth or validity of ‘opt-outs’ that are supposed to render the Treaty not a Constitution, and he is unwilling to proffer any election.
Brown’s formally secure position on driving the ratification of the Lisbon Constitutional Treaty through Parliament, using Blair’s electoral majority in the Commons, could well be undermined in the reality of open politics rather than Labour party secretive factionalism, bullying, and subservience to the trading of special interests and ‘stakeholding’.
NewLabourNewDawn had thought to pen political discourse permanently within Labour’s sordid confines, but open politics and the unfolding results of this unworthy goal of installing permanent statist governance have chosen otherwise.
Undoubtedly, on a formal vote of confidence in the Commons, Blair’s majority would hold for Brown; but how many times can this be used to prop up government failure to carry the House? Westminster is not the Italian House of Deputies and even there the persistent recourse to confidence votes to drive through government policy was criticized as bullying not governing. And on such an issue as the surrender of the United Kingdom’s sovereignty to a federal Europe, whipping could well not hold on substantive votes. The threat of facing the electorate has lost its sting when the electorate will reward those who oppose the swallowing up of the country by the continent.
Blair could carry his policies with cross party support; no such option exists for Brown in his dislikeability, barely constitutional status, lapped by the visible corruption of his party, driving a policy objectionable to much of the electorate he failed to consult.
Should Labour try for a third leader without a general election then even our Head of State might feel obliged to act as such, rather than just a procedural validator, and advise a general election.
Northern Rock has put those in Granite; the Bank of England 's $60 billion is collateralised with what's left.
Saturday, 1 December 2007
Tuesday, 27 November 2007
Sunday, 25 November 2007
Prime Minister of Denmark Rasmussen is to give Danes a say 'in joining the euro and ending Denmark’s opt-outs from Brussels', because staying outside the single currency and retaining opt-outs on defence, justice and home affairs are damaging Denmark's relationship with the European Union.
The Danish referendum will be 'the sixth time that the country has held a popular vote on an EU issue since Denmark joined in 1973. Although Britain joined the same year, the British Government has held only one referendum, in 1975.', notes today's Sunday Times.
"It is the Government’s view that the people in this parliamentary term should have the opportunity to take a stance on the Danish EU opt-outs. We have always said that the Danish exemptions are a hindrance for Denmark. It is the right time to take a decision.” Mr Rasmussen said.
And well said, as we are bundled, hurly burly, into accepting the new European Union constitution; it is simply silly to go on pretending that there exists a whole-hearted support for the UK's membership of the European Union or, as a fallback, that UK reserve can be met by 'opt-outs' that suit the control freakery of the Labour Leader and his regime for micro-managing the United Kingdom in their own interest. And, insofar as referendums are only ever advisory under our dying constitution, an election is needed on the issue.
Scotland's prime minister may yet put this whole mess to the Scottish people, and there is no foregone conclusion; Scotland has excellent economic and institutional reasons to reject continued EU membership and adopt a Norwegian relationship with the EU.
That would be one in the eye for England's Scottish prime minister.
Saturday, 24 November 2007
Except in England; not because the pulling down of the elected Prime Minister was not justified, by the usurpers of power, on the grounds of Blair's support for the United States' Iraq war, for it was a major part of their claim that they represented the true Labour majority. But because, despite these claims, their Leader has lost the courage, and the opportunity, to withdraw Britain's army.
Over 5000 British troops encamped outside Basra airport have been doing nothing in recent months but be ready to defend themselves from attack. Southern Iraq is not just wholly beyond their control, it is wholly out of bounds. After politically imposed, dangerous delay for weeks, under US order, the British troops besieged in the city of Basra were allowed to join the main force at the airport.
The improper accession to power by Brown and his regime was not accompanied by the decision to withdraw the army; it was accompanied by a dishonest pretence that troops who had already left Iraq would be leaving in time for Christmas, and that further numbers would be withdrawn who were never there at all.
No courage; not the courage to risk US disapproval fully faced up to by Mr Zapatero and Mr Prodi as they were democratically chosen for office to replace Aznar and Berlusconi; not the courage of Poland's prime minister, Mr Tusk, as he orders the return of the Polish soldiers and rejects missiles on Polish soil. Not the courage of the Danish government, and certainly not the courage of the French and the German governments who refused to invade at all.
And yet, for all the falsity of the flags under which Brown seized power, for all the pretence that he was doing something to meet the demands of Labour voters who had abandoned their party because of Iraq, for all the fearful refusal to withdraw British troops or even allow the relocation of those 500 in such terrible exposure when he had the political strength and opportunity to do so at the beginning of the summer, any of which is utterly distasteful, the Leader is on worse terms with America than are Spain, Italy, Poland, and Denmark, than are France, Germany and, doubtless, Australia.
Brown's persistent and consistent contempt and underfunding for the armed forces of the United Kingdom over the decade of his Chancellorship has not just been exposed in these last days, but has been exposed as having led directly to the detriment of the armed forces' effectiveness in Iraq and Afghanistan; which has led, in turn, to the public deriding of Britain's role in southern Iraq by American generals.
And the speeches, remarks and displayed attitudes offered by Douglas Alexander and 'Lord' Malloch-Brown towards the United Kingdom's major ally have grossly disturbed the UK's relations with the US.
The new Australian government will withdraw its troops safely, and safeguard its relations with the United States. The United Kingdom's troops remain transfixed outside of Basra, and relations with the United States are at an abysmal low.
Jonah does not begin to cover it.
Wednesday, 21 November 2007
“Gordon will also know that his real friends remain steadfastly loyal. I don't just mean Labour MPs. [no, that would be unwise, the PLP had no chance to vote on the Leader, a condition they share with all other sections of the Labour party electoral college, the Constituency Labour Parties and the individual, mass membership], I am talking about the trade unions. This group of nearly seven million people is much-maligned and often derided, but its support for full employment, the minimum wage and parental rights has benefited the whole country... They are not about to give up on their party and see their members and their families suffer under a Tory government.
Actually there are almost 6 million people of working age living on various forms of state benefit, and millions more in work relying on state support as their wages are so low, under the Labour regime .
And with the exposure of every family in the country to the theft of their identity and the raiding of their bank accounts we are looking at a social, no longer just a political, meltdown .
With the exposure of the nation’s children on the mountainside of the Labour regime's politically degraded civil service, we are facing danger from organized criminality entering any home in the United Kingdom.
He carries on, “These are also the people who, together with Gordon Brown, supported democratic change in the Labour Party;” Well, some might think they sought to maintain their own power structures against trotskyite splinter group entryists. This is not ‘supporting democracy’ as it is commonly understood in pluralist democratic societies in advanced capitalist countries. This is the repressive behaviour of the Party in large authoritarian states.
Gordon’s ‘real friends’ in the public sector trades unions and the few, so very few that remain in the once representative manufacturing and heavy industry unions, in all their ‘steadfast loyalty’ , pretending to the role, the reputation, and the honour of long -dead working people, deserve Matthew’s bitter denunciation:
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness.
Monday, 19 November 2007
Up to now the loans and guarantees provided to Northern Rock by the Labour regime and, at its insistence, the Bank of England, approach the UK annual Defence budget.
They are now threatening to mount to half the GDP of Ireland.
Sunday, 18 November 2007
Those travelling between the mainland UK and Northern Ireland (reports the Mail) will be treated as if they are coming and going to a foreign country. A Statutory Instrument under general, non-specific empowering legislation will make its so, without discussion in Parliament.
Travel between the six counties of Ulster that make up Northern Ireland and the rest of Ulster and the Republic of Ireland will require no such formalities.
So it's not just Scotland that will be leaving the Union.
Saturday, 17 November 2007
Friday, 16 November 2007
In the meantime Northern Rock 'borrowed' another £2 thousand million from the Bank of England in the past week alone.
The Labour regime's Lending Front to the Loyal Heartlands financing from the Bank of England has risen dramatically from 'only' £500 million last week. Northern Rock has grabbed close to £25 thousand million since it first got the chance on September 14.
The estimate is based on the "other assets" category in the Bank of England's weekly accounts, which quantifies the central bank's lender of last resort support.
Lowering fuel taxes instead of directing such a grotesquely high level of tax payers' money at such an undeserving object would reduce food-price rises and spread tax-funded largesse to the whole country rather than nationalizing the northeast in its entirety, never mind just its Labour bank.
Wednesday, 14 November 2007
A new forum of headteachers will be convened to find ways to protect pupils from extremist propaganda.
A police and security intelligence and research unit will be set up to identify, analyse and assess youngsters at risk of falling under the influence of extremists.
"There is no greater priority than the safety and security of our people.."
Primavera di bellezza
Nel Fascismo la salvezza
Della nostra liberta.
Tuesday, 13 November 2007
We top Europe. First in football. First in fraud. Italy is fraudulent in agricultural funding. It is fraudulent in structural funds for the development of areas that are getting left behind. And I’m just referring to fraud that has been proved.
Billions of Euros arrive every year from the European Community to Italy. Where do they end up? Italian citizens don’t know. To get information they can only turn to the magistrates. But the magistrates, when they take action, are always blocked by the Government, by the Parties. ...
The financing from the European Community is our money at the end of the day. Italy participates with other countries to create the common fund that is then redistributed. Money goes out and then comes back. Rather like uncontrolled laundering of dirty money. Our taxes are financing European funding whose use the Italian citizens know nothing about. If it is useful, if it is not useful, what benefits it brings, when it ends.
The Vice President of the Community, Frattini,and the Minister of Community Policies, Bonino are very private people. They did not tell Prodi that Barroso had put up 275 million Euro for the integration of the Roma community. Spain got 52 million, Poland got 8.5 million. Poland? Have the Roma people gone to Poland as well? I thought they were all in Italy. For once when we could have used the funding for a good purpose we haven’t asked for it.
And that's strange. Because even our Regions have opened luxurious community offices in Brussels, that we pay for, to get to the funding. They have more office workers than all the other member -states.
The billions of Euro that come into Italy are devoted to useless works: roundabouts, theme supermarkets, the TAV tunnel in Val di Susa and Mediapolis in Piedmont. They finance projects that never serve any useful purpose, like alternative energy. They ended up in the pockets of that grey governance that connects the parties to the companies to criminal groupings.
It is better for Italy to contribute no longer to the common European Fund and in return receive no funding. Then the contributions money can be used by our government in other ways. To reduce our Public Debt, the biggest in Europe, one of the most impressive in the world.
A debt that risks taking us under. The money could be used to reduce taxes. To give incentives to companies to invest in Italy instead of encouraging Italian companies to transfer abroad. ...
It is well worth reading on; he speaks for England too.
Sunday, 11 November 2007
The government has thrown £24 billion - 24 thousand million pounds sterling - at a demutualised north -eastern building society posing as a responsible bank over the last two months.
Presumably the people of Norfolk and Suffolk are not "ours"; nor the land, settlements, infrastructure, culture, history, nor 'entitlement'.
Saturday, 10 November 2007
Those subprime losses need to be recovered : where to turn? A low dollar invariably means high oil prices, and high other- commodity prices too. So now there is a rock bottom dollar exporting inflation to the world, resulting high oil and commodity prices, and the transmission of wealth-seeking in financial markets to rising prices in basic household goods and the disruption of the budgets of us all.
As the distinguished banker and academic Marcello de Cecco states in a complex and detailed argument in La Repubblica, there is no more evidence of demand in India and China, problems in the Gulf of Mexico, or the war in Iraq and threats further afield in the Middle East, causing these high prices than there is for a driven low dollar /high oil and commodity prices scenario.
But while that is nasty for our people, it is the difference between life and death when it comes to kerosene for cooking, bread, and enough warmth to stay alive for the poorest of the earth.
In all the drivelled words from the Leader about Africa and our responsibility to the dispossessed, nothing has been heard on how those who have been beyond accountability must now be held to account.
Thursday, 8 November 2007
The mosca olearia has struck and Al Quaida pales into insignificance beside The Fly. Not being able to drive your car is much more bearable than not being able to dress your food.
Don't buy cheap olive oil this year, you won't like what has been pressed into it. Buy walnut.
It couldn't be worse. The olives lie, like heaps of hail, beneath their trees, melting into the ground , skidding beneath boots. Nothing. There will be no work for all the pickers, no work for the mills, for the commercial distributers and for the farming outlets.
So it was duck stuffed with fennel and roasted with all the kitchen garden had to offer; it was wine from Mr HG's father's cellar, red-brown and tasting of violets (though how do they know the taste of violets? Perhaps something is being lost in inner translation here) and, reminded by Elby's delicious menus, apple crumble with quinces from the garden, though we couldn't match the cream.
And then it felt much better and there is to be a bounteous harvest next year, we feel it in our bones.
The downgrading of the Bank of England's powers in 1997 under the guise of making it independent, so long sung as a paean to the Leader's financial savvy, is at the bottom of the simmering , smelly mess that is polluting the United Kingdom's reputation in financial and banking competence and regulation.
After the Governor's explanation of Northern Rock's descent into not one but, effectively, two runs - the first more discreetly in August when its borrowings were not renewed, the second on the public street - it is clear that none of this specifically nor systemically would have happened but for Gordon Brown trying to cleave power to his horrid bosom.
And still there is no legislation in place, as there is all over Europe, to protect retail depositors, nor a proper reconciliation of the control structures and the reinstatement of a unitary authority where bucks might stop, to deal with the further unrolling of bad risk pricing.
It isn't just Northern Rock, and rockalike other banks; it is to be hoped they are just iffy mortgages. We're onwards and upwards to municipal bonds and their insurance. Mr Draghi, more properly and correctly empowered than Mr King, has acted against those banks he doesn't care to leave to their own devices in these matters - but then he has supervisory powers over the behaviour of financial institutions, and unlike the FSA, arms' length relations with the Treasury.
And if municipal bonds and their insurance don't seem particularly important in the UK context, consider that troubles reported in the US (Evans-Pritchard in the Telegraph) 'could force pension funds, mutual funds, and institutions to liquidate holdings on a vast scale, causing the credit crisis to spread into areas that have remained unscathed until now.'
Tuesday, 6 November 2007
Here is the financial world in crisis because of people with poor credit records, low wages, difficulties various - the subprime mortgage market clientele to whom the woes of the world are being attributed - failing to keep up with their mortgage payments; here we are with falling house prices, just to add to the hurt.
And the Leader announces his vision: building 3 million houses for people with low wages (probably made even lower by his confiscatory tax regimes), difficulties various, possibly damaged credit records . Where is the funding coming from then? If he has an idea perhaps he'd like to whisper it to Northern Rock.
Lowering transaction costs and imposts on the current housing stock would do more, faster and less environmentally damagingly, to meet housing demand; and ending death taxes on main homes passing between family generations.
As lender of last resort any central bank provides liquidity at a penal interest rate to commercial banks against good quality collateral; doubtless the Bank of England, under its estimable Governor, is doing just that right now.
The Bank of England does not lend on commercial terms for commercial purposes, in the kind of operation typical of a soviet-type banking system, where the regime requires the Central Bank, the mono bank, (as was the case with Northern Quicksands as no other bank would go anywhere near it), to lend to undercapitalised enterprises; and even then, loans to those enterprises would be to state enterprises, not to a quasi-fiscal Treasury asset of dubious value.
That Mervyn King had to explain,
"I said to the Chancellor, ''This is not something which a central bank can do ... They don't normally finance takeovers by one company for another, let alone to the tune of £30 billion, which is rather a large amount of money.",
means either the First Lord of the Treasury and the Chancellor of the Exchequer need to repeat Economics 101, or they have mistaken their country and their century.
The Governor praised the Chancellor, saying,
"And I don't think it took the Chancellor very long to recognise that not only was this something which central banks don't do, it's also something that governments don't do."
Monday, 5 November 2007
"It is time it was limited to those who are guilty or under investigation for sexual or violent crime."
(Shami Chakrabarti, director of civil rights group Liberty)
'There are now 150,000 children aged 16 or under on the system, with another 334,000 aged between 16 and 18. In one case, the DNA of a seven-month-old girl was added. Children can be added to the register only with their parents' agreement' writes the Daily Mail; but only if the child is under ten is written consent needed. Some 50 under-tens are on the database.
Once a DNA profile has been uploaded onto the data base there are difficult and narrow routes to achieving its removal. It is expected that 10 million profiles will have been uploaded by 2011. Unpleasant and unethical experiments, without the DNA profile owners' permission having even been sought, are being carried out to determine the 'ethnic profile' of any particular DNA donor.
The Nuffield Council on Bioethics demand that only the profiles of convicted criminals be retained has got nowhere.
"What do they know of England who only England know?"
It is a saying which dates. It has a period aroma, like Kipling's "Recessional" or the state rooms at Osborne. That phase is ended, so plainly ended, that even the generation born at its zenith, for whom the realisation is the hardest, no longer deceive themselves as to the fact. That power and that glory have vanished, as surely, if not as tracelessly, as the imperial fleet from the waters of Spithead.
And yet England is not as Nineveh and Tyre, nor as Rome, nor as Spain. Herodotus relates how the Athenians, returning to their city after it had been sacked and burnt by Xerxes and the Persian army, were astonished to find, alive and flourishing in the blackened ruins, the sacred olive tree, the native symbol of their country.
So we today, at the heart of a vanished empire, amid the fragments of demolished glory, seem to find, like one of her own oak trees, standing and growing, the sap still rising from her ancient roots to meet the spring, England herself.
Perhaps, after all, we know most of England "who only England know".
So the continuity of her existence was unbroken when the looser connections which had linked her with distant continents and strange races fell away. Thus our generation is one which comes home again from years of distant wandering. We discover affinities with earlier generations of English who felt no country but this to be their own. We discover affinities with earlier generations of English who felt there was this deep this providential difference between our empire and those others, that the nationhood of the mother country remained unaltered through it all, almost unconscious of the strange fantastic structure built around her - in modern parlance "uninvolved".
Backward travels our gaze, beyond the grenadiers and the philosophers of the 18th century, beyond the pikemen and the preachers of the 17th, back through the brash adventurous days of the first Elizabeth and the hard materialism of the Tudors and there at last we find them, or seem to find them, in many a village church, beneath the tall tracery of a perpendicular East window and the coffered ceiling of the chantry chapel.
From brass and stone, from line and effigy, their eyes look out at us, and we gaze into them, as if we would win some answer from their silence."Tell us what it is that binds us together; show us the clue that leads through a thousand years; whisper to us the secret of this charmed life of England, that we in our time may know how to hold it fast.
"What would they say"?
They would speak to us in our own English tongue, the tongue made for telling truth in, tuned already to songs that haunt the hearer like the sadness of spring. They would tell us of that marvellous land, so sweetly mixed of opposites in climate that all the seasons of the year appear there in their greatest perfection; of the fields amid which they built their halls, their cottages, their churches, and where the same blackthorn showered its petals upon them as upon us; they would tell us, surely of the rivers the hills and of the island coasts of England.
One thing above all they assuredly would not forget; Lancastrian or Yorkist, squire or lord, priest or layman; they would point to the kingship of England, and its emblems everywhere visible.
They would tell us too of a palace near the great city which the Romans built at a ford of the River Thames, to which men resorted out of all England to speak on behalf of their fellows, a thing called 'Parliament'; and from that hall went out their fellows with fur trimmed gowns and strange caps on their heads, to judge the same judgments, and dispense the same justice, to all the people of England.
Symbol, yet source of power; person of flesh and blood, yet incarnation of an idea; the kingship would have seemed to them, as it seems to us, to express the qualities that are peculiarly England's: the unity of England, effortless and unconstrained, which accepts the unlimited supremacy of Crown in Parliament so naturally as not to be aware of it; the homogeneity of England, so profound and embracing that the counties and the regions make it a hobby to discover their differences and assert their peculiarities; the continuity of England, which has brought this unity and this homogeneity about by the slow alchemy of centuries.
For the unbroken life of the English nation over a thousand years and more is a phenomenon unique in history, the product of a specific set of circumstances like those which in biology are supposed to start by chance a new line of evolution. Institutions which elsewhere are recent and artificial creations appear in England almost as works of nature, spontaneous and unquestioned.
From this continuous life of a united people in its island home spring, as from the soil of England, all that is peculiar in the gifts and the achievements of the English nation. All its impact on the outer world in earlier colonies, in the later Pax Britannica, in government and lawgiving, in commerce and in thought has flowed from impulses generated here. And this continuing life of England is symbolised and expressed, as by nothing else, by the English kingship. English it is, for all the leeks and thistles grafted upon it here and elsewhere. The stock that received all these grafts is English, the sap that rises through it to the extremities rises from roots in English earth, the earth of England's history.
We in our day ought well to guard, as highly to honour, the parent stem of England, and its royal talisman; for we know not what branches yet that wonderful tree will have the power to put forth.
The danger is not always violence and force; them we have withstood before and can again.
The peril can also be indifference and humbug, which might squander the accumulated wealth of tradition and devalue our sacred symbolism to achieve some cheap compromise or some evanescent purpose.
"We must recognise that we have a great inheritance in our possession,
which represents the prolonged achievement of the centuries;
that there is not one of our simple uncounted rights today
for which better men than we are have not died on the scaffold or the battlefield.
We have not only a great treasure; we have a great cause.
Are we taking every measure within our power to defend that cause?"
(Winston Churchill Paris September 1936).
Enoch Powell: Speech, 1961.
Friday, 2 November 2007
Between the Lines of Gordon Brown’s Liberty
I want to talk today of liberty
(just as I talk of courage, in the hope
that, by association, I’ll be thought
to be their perfect representative)
We are all citizens of our country
With shared and common history, destiny
(unless we’re not ... but let’s not dwell on that.
So - “British jobs for British workers”, eh ?)
It’s not just tolerance; liberty means
Due process against arbitrary power
(which means, in turn, review by a commission
- the Great and Good. Appointed by Myself)
Freedom is only fully realized
When barriers are by society
O’ercome, that stop men being what they may
(and for society, read Gordon Brown:
I’ll be the arbiter of barriers,
and smash all in My path that holds Me back)
But liberty is not the only prize.
The test for any government will be
How it makes choices, weighs priorities
(and I’ve decided ID cards for all)
Now five times fifty are the powers We hold
To enter homes upon authorities’ whim
So We shall bring together all these powers,
For clarity, into a single code
(the better to coordinate Our raids)
The great prize of the information age
Is sharing data ’cross the public sphere
And using biometrics to new ends
Thus We deliver personalized services
(and other ‘personal’ schemes I have in mind)
Clear trends in recent terrorism show
That 28 days may not be enough
(what am I bid? fifty? sixty? yet more?
one hundred ? that sounds round and fair to Me)
To each new generation falls the task
Of redefining British liberty
(and you can safely leave this task to Me.
Yes, safely sleep, and leave this task to Me.)
So why are the shares of Northern Rock trading at a positive, though much reduced, price?
Either the Bank of England (that's you, the taxpayer) will not be repaid in full for the liquidity it has provided; or Northern Rock shareholders are cartoon characters paddling air long after the cliff edge. Tertium non datur.
Who are these shareholders to command such allegiance from the Labour regime?
In seeking a high level of welfare benefit, immigrants have been shown, in various academic and research studies, to be extremely selective of their destination. Where benefits for maternity care, general, (but particularly chronic and old-age), healthcare, education sevices, lack -of- economic -activity benefits, subsidized or even free housing, and poor fraudulent -claims controls coupled with transferability of benefits to country of origin - such as child welfare benefits - are high, these destinations attract the highest immigrant numbers. As is apparent in the United Kingdom.
James Meade, Nobel Prize-winning economist, offered the simplest and most elegant of solutions to all of this: make available to any would -be immigrant the same level of welfare benefits as would be offered to the target country's citizens in the immigrant's country of origin.
If that would not be enough to provide a living then refuse entry.
No admittance merely to enjoy the often high and universally available social wage. And here lies the crux of the immigration problem. Highly developed, advanced capitalist countries have a better standard of living, even without targetted benefits, than many ex-socialist sinks.
Wednesday, 31 October 2007
The Leader, and everything he stands for, belongs in the past and in another country.
Repeated attempts to recast the Labour party into a centre left party representing the social concerns, economic beliefs and limited state interventionism in their support views, of other centre left parties in advanced capitalist societies have been wrecked on the rock of the organised trade union interest.
Constituency Labour Parties, the mass party individual membership, are extremely vulnerable to affiliated groupings, such as co-operative movement and union memberships acting together against any deviation from the line adopted by the Executive, unions and their various sidekicks.
Any access to policy-making, or capacity to command answerability to the mass party by the Labour Executive, has now been completely closed down; indeed this week’s non-election, widely attributed to the Leader taking fright at the adverse opinion polls in marginal seats, was more the result of a threatened election being used to discipline the last Labour party Conference into abject acceptance of all and any policies from the leadership, “we are looking down the barrel of a general election... in the spirit of Party unity you must accept this policy and not push for divisive debate and votes..”, rather than any intention ever of throwing away three further years of power seized undemocratically from the last elected government.
The mass electorate that votes for the centre left both from interest, and from political and moral conviction, has no home but a party tightly, hierarchically organised around an, often non UK driven, agenda to which it has, most determinedly, no access. And the trade unions are not peopled now by productive workers in industry and mining and agriculture; that is the emotional image but the reality is that they are made up of those aparatchicks and members of the Labour nomenklatura who have their hands in your pay packet with their tax confiscations, and their authority derived from undemocratic, unscrutinised rules over your life.
The reciprocal cross-funding from trades unions to the Labour Executive elite, reciprocated by government policy and tax-funded financial resources to the union agenda is a closed vicious circle. It is also a reproach to any notion that the UK is a democratic country.
Tuesday, 30 October 2007
The pile of documents needed to join in ( I am going for the permission to bear arms for sport) includes:
formal request on stamped (10 euros) paper, tick;
medical certificate on headed paper from the local Health Office giving a view on the physical and mental health of the applicant, tick;
an authenticated photocopy from the town hall of the completion of military service, no military service, cross; but a substitute document can be obtained from the provincial offices of the National Target Shooting organisation certifying ability to shoot, yet to be obtained as not yet able to shoot, still cross;
a statement of the make-up of family membership (presumably so they'll know in the first instance who is likely to have shot whom), tick;
copy of certificate of residence (and they'll know where to find me), tick;
were arms being borne to shoot animals then there is an examination in animal shooting required, to be taken under the auspices of the provincial Hunting Association, however, not applicable;
two photographs, one authenticated, tick;
receipt for 60 euros paid to the Tax and Concessions Office, Rome, that can be done after the ability to shoot is certified by the National Target Shooting organisation;
2 euros to the local town hall, ditto;
a copy of my tax paid receipt as a self-employed professional from the local collector of taxes, teeth-gritted tick;
all and any other relevant document or certificate that shows the need to go about armed, (this is the catch-all, what can they want? There is no need, except that everyone else is armed , to go about armed), ignore;
a certificate from the town hall of not being a conscientious objector (there is low blow - the only grounds for refusing military service if called are health - determined by military examination, and previously registered conscientious objection; so if you won't fight you won't need a gun, will you? Sorry about the sport and the hunting but 'thou shalt not kill' is taken as seriously by the state as it is by you. Nowadays women would be called up too, but this doesn't really apply to women as they were not in the past. If required to serve a moral and properly constituted democratic state, I would serve and so accept the discipline of service and so perhaps would have to kill. Not a conscientious objector, registered or no, then, virtual tick;
If requiring to extend the permission to bear arms for sport to bearing arms for personal defence then documentation is needed to demonstrate the ownership of land or a firm, tick;
its whereabouts, tick; and a statement of what kind of gun it is intended to carry and its matriculation number. As Mr HG has ruled no Uzi, not applicable.
The only thing standing between the locals and an armed Hatfield Girl is the instructor at the local branch of the National Target Shooting Association, and practising there is a very interesting way to pass these newly dark evenings.
Monday, 29 October 2007
It is not enough either because the Great Britain of the Countries and the Regions is an integral factor in the rule of the Labour party. The Scottish Labour head needs to be torn from the English Labour shoulders, and the Welsh Labour arms need ripping off too.
The Labour party is a wholly unpleasant Left-over, as left-overs usually are, from another economic and social world that ended with the globalised destruction of the United Kingdom's heavy industry and the organised worker- base it generated. That trade union structure has refilled itself with the apparatchicks and nomenklatura of the ever-expanding Labour authoritarian state. There are no more coal miners, or steel workers, or car production workers, or ship builders, or aircraft and defence industry workers but there are, instead, state funded, regional based, arms -length institutions filled with those who should be productive workers: the National Health Service; the education service; regional development; local government; quasi- public (eg cooperative) banking structures; arts bodies; quangoes of all and every hue as long as it's red (well, pinkish); and all imbued with that aggressive, self- assertive notion of entitlement and moral superiority.
And all paid for by London and its globalised economy.
This Honecker-style regime is preventing the growth and putting in place of a popular party of the centre left that could release the use of resources not to retain power in perpetuity for a tiny and disgusting political elite resting on the values and beliefs they would not and cannot subscribe to themselves, but to provide choice and opportunity. Choice and opportunity for all the people to gain an appropriate and interesting education, access to health care that at least matches that available in advanced capitalist societies, that reinstates the civil liberties destroyed to maintain Labour's hold on power and control democratic removal of their rule. Choice and opportunity to end the levels of taxation that cripple every stably- constituted family or the possibility of setting one up, to make house-ownership accessible to the young, and to end a regime that leaves every person present in the country liable to arbitrary and inappellable state action.
Opposition parties' proposals that ameliorate Labour's position are weakening their own, and slowing the growth of a properly constituted democracy.
Wednesday, 24 October 2007
Two weeks ago the Leader was not guaranteeing any British troops in Iraq after next year. General Wall's other two scenarios were reinforcement by the Iraqi army and reinforcement by troops from other nation members of the 'international ' force.
General Wall may not have realised that apart from a tiny and highly specialized Australian group, there isn't anybody else left.
The Turkish army, who were looking extraordinarily well-equipped on the television coverage, air cover and everything, as well as looking extraordinarily scary, which is their wont, are not on our side: though little seems to stand between them and Baghdad except Condoleeza Rice saying 'please don't'.
Monday, 22 October 2007
The subsidiarity principle is reinforced under the Reform Treaty and regional parliaments with legislative powers have greater levels of direct consultation and action within the Council of the Regions and within the EU in general, together with reinforced direct access to EU information affecting their regions, rather than relying on being kept informed by member-state level governments perhaps jealous of devolved lost powers and prepared to seek to recover them by denial of information.
This does not alter necessarily the consideration that the governing party in Scotland must be giving to holding a referendum on accession to the Reform Treaty. Should Scotland choose to remain within the European Union and within a more highly devolved but continued United Kingdom federation, or within the EU but without the UK , or without both, (it cannot choose within the UK but without the EU, obviously), some means of expressing the electorate's wishes is needed.
A referendum on Scottish independence is mooted by 2010. While 2010 is too late for the Reform Treaty acceptance or rejection, it might be possible to bring forward the referendum on independence and organize at the same time (and more competently than Labour's Douglas Alexander's effort the last time more than one poll was conducted on the same ballot paper and on the same day in Scotland), a referendum of the Scottish electorate on accession to the Reform Treaty.
The member for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath might be the recipient of a double whammy.
All that was settled with the dismemberment of the Ottoman empire after the First World War is now undone with the emergence of ethnic and cultural boundaries overridden then by the interests and deliberate divide and rule politics of the victorious western powers.
The Lebanon, Syria, Iran, Iraq are agglomerations of ethnic diversity, of the deepest-rooted cultural and historical difference. The post 1918 frontiers were imposed but never accepted or even formally recognized by many of the peoples involved, not least by Turkey forced by the British to cede Mosul and its region (and its oil), but that concession never ratified by the Turks.
Now is the beginning of the end of a century of uneasy settlement and once more, as the Turkish parliament authorises the Turkish army to act against the Kurds regardless of modern frontiers, the history examination chestnut 'What were the causes of the First World War?' can be asked but terrifyingly recast as "what were the causes of the Third World War?'
Sunday, 21 October 2007
The photographs of Italy's prime minister Romano Prodi's smile, indeed his uproarious hilarity, as he stood next to the Leader; the wide grins and congratulatory obeisances to the United Kingdom's champion from Germany's Chancellor, the beaming, elaborate courtesies of the Portuguese President of the European Union, the grins of the representatives of the newer Baltic members of the federal Union brought nothing so much to mind as:
There was a young lady from Riga,
Who smiled as she rode on a tiger
They came back from the ride
With the lady inside,
And the smile on the face of the tiger.
Friday, 19 October 2007
And do you own, for £16 billion , this grotty north eastern England ex- building society that seems to have the horn of plenty to its mouth? Of course you don't. Has anybody been dismissed? Of course they haven't. Is any part of the Labour regime and its multi-benefitted supporters going to blow the whistle on this off-balance sheet funding of an economically collapsed area of England by grotesquely risky (not now of course, now its the taxpayer, but not counted in the books) means, to an even more grotesque clientele? Anyone want to buy a wholly home-grown mortgage book together with some assets like Northern Rock has to offer?
The Bank of England has paid £ 16 billion up front and still not succeeded, so that's the order of offer required (well, considerably more to make its clockwork keep running), or it could be noticed that it's worthless, unless there is some not immediately visible value.
"The government should have made Mr Ridley's departure a condition of its loan, rather than waiting for him to go. Furthermore there are other directors, including Derek Wanless, who are equally culpable. All of the senior management should have been cleared out on day one.", Vincent Cable MP, Liberal Democrat acting leader and treasury spokesman stated.
Northern Rock, who the Treasury Select Committee accused of destroying "the good name of British banking", “now believe that in the interests of all stakeholders in the company, the time is right to accept his [Ridley’s] resignation as a director and chairman of the company.” He is to be replaced by Bryan Sanderson, a Labour party advisor on competitiveness during the 1990s, who stepped down from Standard Chartered late in 2006 with threequarters of a million pounds.
The Board of Northern Rock, it seems, is “delighted to welcome Bryan Sanderson to the company. He has a wealth of experience in business, banking and working with government that will prove invaluable to Northern Rock when considering future strategic options.”
Northern Rock think it "premature" to discuss how much Sanderson will be paid.
So from the lowliest clerk to the highest members of the board, Northern Rock is still out there, posturing and choosing, lending your money and making appointments at unspecified payment levels to Labour advisors .
You could buy the whole of north east England and a packet of Woodbines and still have change out of £16 billion.
Wednesday, 17 October 2007
(There are, as musicians say, one or two corners). You do not decide to join the Euro, Brown: you decide to apply to join the Euro and, apart from just promising a referendum on a decision to abandon the Pound, presumably using your own criteria for if the UK economy can face (never mind meet) your five tests:
1 Are business cycles and economic structures compatible with Eurozone interest rates on a permanent basis?
2 If problems emerge, is there sufficient flexibility to deal with them?
3 Would joining the euro create better conditions for firms making long-term decisions to invest in Britain?
4 What impact would entry into the euro have on the UK's financial services industry?
5 Would joining the euro promote higher growth, stability and a lasting increase in jobs?
which were total Balls when first set out, but are now, after the monumental mess made in the last 10 years, full of heffalump traps for the unwary but arrogant non-economist; but you might be emboldened to apply.
If you meet the Maastricht criteria, which currently the UK economy does not, then you can be admitted. If not , not.
You need to pull your head in.
Monday, 15 October 2007
The prime minister, First Minister Salmond's outstanding team of economic advisers could readily make a case that Scotland is a net exporter of wealth to the rest of the United Kingdom. And this case extends to taking a careful look at applying to join the European Union in the event of secession from the UK, or continuing to accept that the benefits of European Union membership as part of the UK are real.
Scotland's wealth lies in its as yet unexploited oil fields, its fisheries, its agriculture, tourism, and a nascent and highly effective financial services sector. There is, too, a relatively well-educated population and a Scottish diaspora in the developed world with the greatest good will towards Scotland, and an interest in aiding the development of a small, rich, and very beautiful homeland.
The Scots will not be considering just a referendum on independence and its form from the rest of the United Kingdom, but a referendum too on whether their interest lies, like Norway's, outside the European Union.
How ironic that we are to be dragged into a newly constituted federal European State by a Scot who represents no English voter.
Away from the fire add four glasses of robust red wine ( amused by its presumption variety) and replace on the ashes - do not let it even simmer - until the whole is melded and red hot. Add a generous shot (after tasting, so as to choose appropriately), of any of the following: brandy (or cognac), grand marnier, fruit brandies, but never whisky or grappa. By now the chestnuts are ready, if they are not drink the hot wine and start a fresh batch while continuing with shaking the chestnuts.
Do not shake your head next morning.
Sunday, 14 October 2007
1. a grandiose sense of self-importance
2. is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
3. believes that he or she is "special" and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)
4. requires excessive admiration
5. has a sense of entitlement, ie unreasonable expectations of especially favourable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations
6. is interpersonally exploitative, ie takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends
7. lacks empathy and is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others
8. is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her
9. shows arrogant, haughty behaviours or attitudes
Any five are required for a diagnosis of NPD.
Must put hand up to 2,4,5 and 6. Saved. There is clear , blue water between me and Gordon Brown.
Saturday, 13 October 2007
I warn you that you must not expect work – when many cannot spend, more will not be able to earn. When they don't earn, they don't spend. When they don't spend, work dies. I warn you not to go into the streets alone after dark or into the streets in large crowds of protest in the light. I warn you that you will be quiet – when the curfew of fear and the gibbet of unemployment make you obedient. I warn you that you will have defence of a sort – with a risk and at a price that passes all understanding. I warn you that you will be home-bound – when fares and transport bills kill leisure and lock you up. I warn you that you will borrow less – when credit, loans, mortgages and easy payments are refused to people on your melting income.
"I warn you not to be ordinary. I warn you not to be young. I warn you not to fall ill. I warn you not to get old."
And look who has brought it all to pass Mr Kinnock.
Friday, 12 October 2007
Yet the one- offness of their improvidence was obscured under a lot of flim flam about exposure to world problems and linkage pulling in other (unnamed) financial institutions and the need to act; while the Bank of England saw no need to act at all, not for that 'bank' anyway.
Still the Labour regime warped the entire policy of the 'independent' Bank of England and displayed the inadequacy of the FSA's monitoring function to prevent a small provincial bank going to the wall.
So who are Northern Rock, to be defended by Labour with such intransigence ? Why did our guest who had returned to remove life savings and inheritance from a deposit account, not unnaturally more than flustered by the queues and the worry, on meeting a banking neighbour get told: 'They'd never let NR go down, no need to have come back at all'. The mind turns to the geographical identity of Northern Rock's home ground .
During the last miners' strike Northern Rock is said to have assured miners not to worry about their mortgages and payments; there is an identity of 'mission statement' from the Northern Rock Foundation (which benefits from a large subvention annually from NR as well as its initial endowment on demutualisation), and the National Union of Miners commitment to defend the interests of miners, their extended families (and seeing as there are hardly any miners now that's quite an outreach over more than a generation), and their 'communities' (surely those have dissolved quarter of a century after the industry collapsed?).
'The Treasury has been ambiguous about how long its guarantee supporting Northern Rock is for ' , says the Telegraph, as profit- taking on share volatility continues. The depositors have got their savings out with the help, as of yesterday, of £ 13 billion of government loans (and we will be last in the creditors' queue, the money is gone, and yes, they can print it but that doesn't help the inflation spread across us all); why were preference shareholders not given their 3 weeks notice so that their dividend was delayed as it could have been - they have trousered their £40 million. What is tax-payers' money being used to prop up exactly, in Labour's heartland?
"the government has become complicit in large-scale and irresponsible lending by the same management, even today, in what amounts to little short of a banking scam," said Vincent Cable, the Liberal Democrat Economic spokesperson. “Are you aware that the same lending practices are continuing today?” Lord Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay, a member of his Treasury team, had rung Northern Rock the day before, reports the Times, to ask about a mortgage. “The terms were quite extraordinary. He was offered 127 per cent of the value of the house, including a roll-up of the arrangement fee, and five to six times his income,” noted Vince, adding, “30 per cent of the loan was going to be unsecured”.
Over 1% of GDP taken up in less than a month and more available . Who are these people?
On Wednesday, the Northern Rock Charitable Foundation appointed Europa Partners, the independent corporate finance house, as adviser.
The foundation gets 5 per cent of the bank’s pre-tax profits. ‘It will receive a stake of just below 15 per cent of the fully diluted equity capital should the bank be sold.’ reports the FT.
'... the Northern Rock Foundation warned against a transaction conducted on “unfavourable terms, simply to meet a self-imposed timetable”. It plans to lobby other investors to ensure any offer is fair.’
The charity, created when Northern Rock demutualised in 1997 , the year of the New Dawn, has received £192m so far and disbursed £156m. Its activities are focused solely on Northern Rock’s heartland, north-east England .
‘Its spending over the decade has, Northern Rock believes, made it the UK’s biggest corporate donor and more than half the region’s voluntary bodies have received support from it.'
They offer a £60, 000 annual North East Writer's Prize, (amongst a veritable sea of grants for those who can cram themselves into Kinnock's famous categories of what not to be) , only you'd have to live there. Thought not.
Why don't we own Northern Rock? After all, we've paid over £13 billion so far and nobody but the Leader and his Treasury value it at much more than half a billion pounds.
The Concordat (give a deal a posh name) has been ignored; the judicial arm of the Constitution has been significantly diminished.
Minister for Justice Straw, and Lord Chancellor, (they couldn’t quite get rid of all those ragged, torn off bits and bobs of our Constitution still clinging to the once great Office of State) told the Constitutional Affairs Committee of MPs this week, the Times Law section reports , that ‘it was understandable that given the past four years, the equilibrium of the relationship between judges and the Executive had been “jolted”.’
So the procedures of the Judicial Appointments Commission, causing “widespread concern at every level of the judiciary” are to be speeded up. The Minister promises to “turn around” recommendations for judicial appointments in 24 hours, or a weekend - though what the Executive is doing interfering in judicial appointments at all is not mentioned.
The Leader's proposals for confirmation hearings or questioning of prospective judicial candidates by politicians have not been dismissed out of hand as out of order, as they should have been, despite the Lord Chief Justice Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers’ strong opposition. Minister Straw merely states, “My default position would be to leave things as they are because they have just undergone change.”
And the review of the setting up of a Ministry of Justice at all? Kicked into the long grass by Straw who offers ‘a small working party, involving a district judge and a senior official, to look at the relationship between the Courts Service and the Ministry of Justice.’
The Minister says that while there will not be agreement with the judges on everything there will be “an absolute understanding on everything”.
They will know their new place.
Thursday, 11 October 2007
The Bank of England has recently distinguished itself as the lender of last resort to otherwise collapsed banks, wholly under the control of the Treasury and the Labour regime; the NHS can be seen as the employer of last resort equally dancing to the tune of Labour party dominated statist clientalism.