Thursday, 31 January 2008

Part Time Defence Ministers and Half Trained Soldiers

There are some 5000 British troops doing not a lot, except for being desultorily rocketed, outside Basra airport. At the same time the troops being sent to Afghanistan are reported to be 'half trained'. The periods between active service are being cut so that even properly trained troops return to active duty again and again without respite.

Why are there still British troops in Iraq? Why are there still British troops in Germany?

And for the sheer horror of what is happening in Iraq as the country is talibanised and women are murdered, disfigured or, in the case of countless widows, left to starve to death together with their children as no public role or employment is now open to them, look at Informed Comment (on Links) if you can bear to read it.

Brown Blinks

Mervyn King's reappointment as Governor affirms and continues Brown's long record as graceless; a sulky grudge-bearer. The competence of the Governor's running of the Bank and its delivery of objectives has been marred only by the removal of some of the Bank's powers in Brown's inept and power-grabbing dividing off of any central bank's functions in financial control and regulation, when he was forced to provide an independent central bank as part of the move towards joining the Euro zone in 1997. As Chancellor of the Exchequer he was determined to thwart New Labour project intentions of a smooth accession for the United Kingdom into full participation in the EU and Blair's advance to the office of EU president.

Cutting off his nose to spite his face, he ended with Blair retaining the premiership for 10 years, and the utter public shame of his meddling causing a bank run and the exposure of grossly inappropriate financial practices going unchecked for years in pursuit of obscure socialist agendas in the north east.

The presentation of the meeting between Merkel, Sarkozy, Barroso and Prodi in London as a discussion of measures to deal with financial transparency, regulation and response to the threatened (indeed effectively if not technically, arrived) recession, was the usual misrepresentation; certainly financial regulation and stability were discussed, in terms of the price of permitting Brown to save his Northern Rock face.

The European Union financial regulators will permit his bond issue which allows the pretence of a private solution to spraying £60 billion of taxpayers' money plus further guarantees over the economic and financial debacle in the north east of England. The Prime Minister of the Britain of the Nations and the Regions will deliver the United Kingdom cut and bound into the European Union, without veto, without even representation in some years, but with decorative red lines.

At least Mervyn King is good enough to ignore the insults and continue holding the fort.

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Fathers and Sons

If the Member for Old Bexley and Sidcup paid money for years to his son for work the son was in no position to carry out, yet the son took the money, in what position does that place the son?

Sunday, 27 January 2008


Deep in our hearts we associate green, ecological, reponsible planet-saving behaviour with strict,parsimonious,self-flagellating (metaphorically speaking), severity of life. Going to stay at the newly completed eco house up the hill, I had bought the beds in just this frame of mind. 1930's strength through joy has expressed itself in beds as hard as boards.

Rising woodenly this morning the utter silence was impressive until opening the shutters allowed a rupture in the hermetically sealed indoor environment; if there are layers of glass and insulation to keep in the heat they keep out sound, completely - birdsong, wind, trees, passing fauna, the fountain - being inside looking out is like a silent film, all it needs is a man playing the piano. Listening to the breakfast things being washed-up in the kitchen was not what I'd expected for my first morning's sound track.

It all works: the woodburning boiler for when the solar panels need sunshine; the gravity fed water tanks from springs underground; the ancient Romans would admire the underfloor heating system;the electricity virtually free with an advantageous arrangement with the electricity company; the kitchen garden rampaging with vegetables that can't be eaten fast enough. All that is needed is the collapse of the world as we know it.
'Is this how it will be?'
''Believe in capitalism. In markets and their mechanisms of self-adjustment. It works.'
'What are we doing here then?'
'It's nice for the weekend.'

Saturday, 26 January 2008

Persona in Vista

People in the public eye do not submit their tax returns on-line. The levels of data protection provided by the tax man are not high enough to prevent the theft of sensitive personal information - such as full name, previous names, date of birth, national insurance number, bank details, family status and, by no means least, full address. And lots, lots more.

If this creation of a ruling caste by the Labour regime persists its members will be more than in the public eye - they will be in the public's sights.

Friday, 25 January 2008

Leading Cardinals

A prince of the Catholic Church, and leading Cardinal, Bagnasco, has denied that the unspeakable scenes in the Italian Senate last evening, (when Whips of the extreme right Opposition spat on centre right Opposition senators, and howled 'squalide checche!' - disgusting queers! - as part of the centre right voted to support the centre government in office) are anything to do with the bitter, rabidly homophobic and anti- civil partnership stances engendered, encouraged and manipulated from within the Vatican.

Excusatio non petita, accusatio manifesta.

Thursday, 24 January 2008

Just the One?

'Given the nature of the offence under Section 65 (3) of the Political Parties Elections and Referendums Act 2000, which creates an offence of strict liability which is committed regardless of whether it is deliberate or negligent', writes the Huntsman (on whose legal arm Angels would lay their sleeping head), 'he [Peter Hain] should have gone the moment that he admitted failing to comply with the reporting requirements under Section 65 (1) of the Act in relation to the huge amounts of money his campaign received in the latter half of 2007.'

If Hain then, surely Harman too, and most certainly Wendy Alexander (unless it's different in Scotland - it often is these days).

The Neath Police Dismisseth Us

Leith, actually but - Hic - do Angels care?

Scottish police can do Alexander, and English ones Harman, and international upholders of the law for Brown and his warmongering years with Blair.

Rubbish Government

Rubbish and its removal is central to any local government; clean streets, well lit - these are prime local issues to be settled by local democracy. Nothing could illuminate better the threat lowering over the United Kingdom and its governance from ratification of the federal European Constitution, than the rubbish going on about the rubbish in Naples.

Berlusconi, (repeatedly indicted criminal saved by ad personam legislation), threatens to bring the people onto the streets, but all he can bring onto the streets is rubbish. Bossi, former communist and leader of the Northern Leagues of racialists and separatists, calls for guns to be used - over rubbish.

The Prime Minister of a sovereign European state is already driven to seek votes of confidence in the Chamber of Deputies (lower house) and in the Senate (upper house) of the Italian Parliament, over rubbish.

Romano Prodi, with far faster political reactions than the United Kingdom's lumbering, state authoritarian, Honecker-style, Labour Leader, has organised his local council leader successor (currently Mayor of Rome), and is hoping to go fry better fish in Brussels and Berlin.

President of Europe is one thing, while clearing up criminal elements' interference with local rubbish collection, or low-level Vatican attacks on anti-discrimination measures against the way people choose to live - a moral and cultural concern, never a political matter - is wholly another.

State-level politics is about economics, foreign policy, the migration of peoples, the relationships of power and individuals and the collective. Not about rubbish, or homosexuality for that matter.

And Prodi, advised by the ultimate Dottor' Sottile, Amato, (who has jailed the real threat to life-style in Italy, the 70 mafia black economy criminals imprisoned since he became Minister of the Interior), is wholly willing to leave the local government of the European Region of Italy to those politicians fitted for it.

Assured in his leaving a tidy desk for his successor as regional mayor, (and head of a consolidated, centre-left, pluralist political party), he can turn his energies and extraordinary political capacities to gaining the prize for which Blair signed the United Kingdom into regional local governance and which, despite Blair's ultimate political act, the betrayal of his country, is not Blair's to grasp or even claim.

If the United Kingdom Parliament permits the ratification of the European Union Constitution signed by Blair in his overweening ambition, and counter-signed by Brown in his mannerless cowardice, it will be left to deal with rubbish, without even the consolation of the presidency of the new European state and a part to play in real politics.

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

The Blair for European Union President Set Up

If the Conservatives can make alliance with large Labour factions to enable the educational reform bills to pass and establish the academies programme, then presumably channels are open to work for a damaging hold-up to the ratification process.

The suspicion must be that the blatant nods and winks in Blair's direction as potential EU president are there to deter such a provision of alliance from Blair's Labour party faction. Should it all go through smoothly, is the pretence, Blair will be in over all charge, and you will be rewarded in the paradise of the New Europe, and old Labour exile will be irrelevant.

But Blair has no credibility or acceptability to the EU hard core (and the new accession states are all to some degree clients of that hard core) - the UK policy of enlarge the Union and dilute the federalist dream has been defused and the EU is merely far bigger than it might have been before this ill-conceived policy was pursued by the UK; but the intention has not been forgotten - and, further, no member-state outside the inner Euro circle can provide a president.

Blair's wing in the parliamentary Labour party should note how powerless they are, both in the mass party and the sectoral (principally trade union base), and form alliance that strengthens their policies, not with hold alliance for a hopeless dream of presidential EU power.

Further, even if they will not act on principle, they can, like the member for Edgbaston, recognize that there might be individual, constituency, electoral advantage in joining to the national, rather than Party, interest in confounding the destruction of UK, (and other European nation state), sovereignty.

People wish to be of Europe, but not drowned in it. And should an election ever come again, will support those of whatever formal Party who put a spoke in the wheel of European federalism.

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Politics and its Practice

Hungary is the only member-state of the European Union to have ratified the Lisbon Treaty, although it has not yet deposited the ratification documentation with the government of Italy. Next in line is Slovenia, which does not seem to be resisting and should have completed the process by the end of the month. Then France in February, followed by the United Kingdom in March. Every other member-state has yet to determine the date for ratification proceedings.

Most member-states appear to be saving their breath to cool their porridge until after March. So there has been: a couple of absolute certs to get the ball rolling; followed by a recalcitrant but governable France denied anything but a well disciplined parliamentary ratification, probably with any fireworks as carefully controlled as Lewes on Bonfire Night, pour encourager les autres; then the non-communitaire United Kingdom, its Parliament used to deliver its people under the Labour majority knout, in return for the European Union ignoring flagrant Labour state intervention to hold together the collapsing Brown economy.

There will be a flurry of ratification procedures before the summer, with Ireland probably earlier than most as the Irish may have to try more than once in their referendum until they get the right answer.

There is almost certainly a majority in the UK for remaining in the European Union, as there is in the other EU member-states for their continued membership; but there is much less certainty on a majority for the form of Union embodied in the new constitution in many member-states. Resistance in our Parliament to ratification lends strength to all those others opposed to the ending of the sovereignty of Europe's nation states, as the carefully orchestrated crescendo of ratification shows.

Is it beyond the skills of the opposition parties to form ad hoc alliances, and political exchanges with parts of the Labour coalition, to slow or halt the ratification process, without withdrawing consent to membership on other terms to the EU? And by that process, too, damage one of the most corrupt, unrepresentative, failing, and incompetent Westminster regimes since Callaghan, or even Eden.

Monday, 21 January 2008

Leading Cadres

Reports have appeared .. that the Greater London Authority has not answered questions [no need to ask questions, the political record of these people is public knowledge, they are leading members of an extreme left organisation most recently known as Socialist Action, though given the speed at which these groups splinter and spawn, can probably deny the group even exists today] regarding the political views of members of staff. This misunderstands the legal relationship between the Greater London Authority and all its staff. [No it doesn't. All are quite aware of the legal position of an employer. That does not alter political interest in their employees public, often expressed allegiances, agendas and their actions while members of staff in the London Mayor's Office] The Greater London Authority does not politically vet potential or existing employees, nor carry records regarding their political views, [that is not what is being discussed. What is under scrutiny is the political and socio-cultural and economic agenda and it's implementation by key staff appointed by Livingstone] and it would indeed be unlawful, and a breach of employment and human rights, for it to do so. Employees of the Greater London Authority are therefore entitled to hold whatever political views they choose within the law [again, the matter is what are they actually doing, what objectives have they been pursuing and implementing in the Mayor's Office, and is that responding to democratically expressed preferences of voters or answering to another political set of imperatives altogether?] and the Greater London Authority will vigorously uphold the right to do so.

The only important, and lawful, [we're not doing law here, we're doing politics and, under the Third Way and its Third Sector objectives, the current laws and current political practice are widely and demonstrably separating, with politically sanctioned action - legal or not, winning hands down] criteria [quite wrong, the criteria are for the electorate to choose to set not their state servants] regarding the record of Greater London Authority staff is to be found in policies that have been successfully delivered. [the policies have been delivered but have they been what was wanted? what was needed in the capital of the United Kingdom, not the capital of some socialist authoritarian post democratic nightmare?] These have directly contributed to making London a more successful city. [Angels refers readers to other bloggers, try Newmania, on London as a successful city, and the flight of families from the capital].

Nor is there mystery regarding policies of the people referred to in reports of Martin Bright’s Dispatches programme. All have been employed in leading positions in the Greater London Authority for more than seven years and the policies they have implemented or developed under the Mayor are therefore matters of abundant public record. [and just look at the state the capital is in - even the Home Secretary dare not walk alone in London streets after dark, and she's got a bodyguard. Children murdering children, pensioners beaten to death, robbery rampant, policemen walking the beat in Angels' part of London are at hens' teeth levels, a public transport system not just inadequate but laughable in comparison with Paris, Brussels, any major German city, and the whole under a miasma of greasy dirt and trodden in fast food] They hold high reputations for competence not only in the Greater London Authority but in the areas of policy and activity for which they have responsibility under the Mayor. [hardly likely to be otherwise as they are also the owners of considerable reputations as work bullies and excluders of those not part of their group or its clients] To take the senior staff named in reports concerning the Dispatches programme the Greater London Authority therefore specifically rejects the assertion that these persons are other than highly competent in the discharge of their functions and therefore states that they are properly employed by the Greater London Authority. [no-one says their employment is improper under the rules or the law. Their employment is unacceptable under the exercise of democracy and answerability to the people who pay their various taxes both in London and, for the rest of the country taxes that contribute to the funding of central government and the European Union] Specifically, under the Mayor:

* Simon Fletcher has served as the Mayor’s Chief of Staff since 2000. He is responsible for overall relations with the government, for day-to-day co-ordination of activity by the Mayor’s Office and Directors, for liaison with the functional bodies of the GLA Group, and the practical preparation of major policy statements by the Mayor. This role has, in the last seven years, assisted in effectively delivering the programme priorities set by the Mayor’s including on public transport, investment in the police service, policies to protect the environment and tackle climate change, increase affordable housing, measures to ensure all Londoners can participate in London’s success, such as concessionary fares schemes, and support for London’s character as a tolerant and diverse international city.... [Londoners would prefer policies to reflect London's status as their home town and as capital of the United Kingdom, rather than emphasize an internationalism that expresses itself in schools where English is now a minority language, where illegal immigrants are security staff in government offices, where the criminality of underdevelopment is imported to compete at the highest levels with a perfectly satisfactorily provided home-grown criminality, that frightens all ordinary citizens into locking themselves and their lives in at night and for much of the rest of their social, cultural and economic existence, where there has been a collapse of such proportions in simply counting the numbers of incomers that public services cannot cope for those already here or those arriving].

* Redmond O’Neill is Director of Transport and Public Affairs. He has worked with Transport for London’s senior management on all major transport issues in London on a day-to-day basis for seven years. He oversaw the development of the Mayor’s Transport Strategy, led in the Mayor’s Office on negotiations with government which secured the first big increase in transport grant for the capital and worked closely with TfL senior management on the introduction of the congestion charge, and the huge improvements to London’s bus system. [But it is the Underground that is and has always been London's principal transport system, and it is both a disaster now and a killing disaster waiting to happen, running only a limited number of hours in 24, breaking down for lack of planning and investment - 7 years this socialist authoritarian boasts of, and still without any solution to investment and a proper maintenance programme -] On Public Affairs, Mr O’Neill has been responsible for the broadest programme of community engagement in the UK, including the establishment of London’s series of major community events ranging from St Patrick’s Day to the Jewish Simcha on the Square, to the Olympic Torch Relay and the now internationally famous annual New Year’s Eve fireworks display at the London Eye. [Now we know who has been spending our taxes to maintain the circuses element, we know already who was doing the bread part, for the clientele]

* John Ross is Director of Economic and Business Policy. He led the team within the Mayor’s Office responsible for campaigning for, and successfully securing, £16 billion for the construction of Crossrail.[No, he led the team doubtless, he's a Leading Cadre and trousers the pay and perks as such, but Crossrail was a central government decision, part of the price paid by Gordon Brown for preventing challenge to his candidature for Leader, and thus becoming prime minister without an English vote having been fired either within the Labour party or within the country]. He was responsible for determining the economic projections for the London Plan,[ there's a frightening thought, John Ross is an economist to be compared with Brown and Balls rolled together (sorry)] which provides the overall framework of strategic policy by the GLA. He was responsible for the successful reorganisation of tourism promotion in London. [Bit of a policy collision with Simon Fletcher's environment protection delivery there then, mass tourism being the second bane after Brown] He has overseen planning for the strategic future development of the West End. [Did we know there is such planning? Well, yes, those of us in very central London have felt that secret agenda sensation as we struggle to supply a thriving neighbourhood with a secondary school, and interrupt and obstruct our engulfment by the extension of the West End shopping streets, and London University - the big new intellectual supermarket for the globalised world.] He was involved in the successful winning of the Olympic Games for London. [sack him now!] He is responsible for the Mayor’s relations with the London business community and the London Business Board. [London's business community can comment on that themselves].

There are others included in this press release from the Mayor's Office at the GLA but Angels don't know about them so they have become ....

Looking at what these people have responsibility for, and our tax-raised wealth to spend on - bearing in mind this is only their day job work-specifications - the experiment of England's regionalisation of which London is the exemplar, is as saddening and repellent as the coming to power of New Labour.

Sunday, 20 January 2008

The End of the World News

'Where does it go?', I asked at lunch, 'All the wealth that is wiped off the value of stocks and shares every day?'

Here is the response, punctuated by drainings of glasses, more roast potatoes etc., and irrelevant bits of bickering and disagreement which have been edited silently:

'Out of the heads of world investors (actual and potential) into thin air. In physical terms world wealth remains the same every day - give or take the small net effects of accretions obsolescence and collapse. In value terms world wealth is nothing but the capitalised flow of net cash revenues expected of the physical assets capitalised, that is, at the current and expected interest rates.'

"Expected" is the operational word. Future net revenue and future interest rates change, not only from day to day but from second to second, according to what Keynes labelled "the state of the news". It was indeed Keynes who stressed the importance of expectations - expected quantities and prices - instead of actual current quantities and prices.'

Today's world is not just the ultimate keynesian world, it's a hyper-keynesian world with a vengeance.

(one of these days I shall deserve a BSc Econ.)

London Calling

The militant entryist policy was supposedly broken in the Labour movement - unions, constituency Labour party, affiliated organisations, and the youth movement - during Kinnock's years as Leader of the Labour party. Nothing of the kind happened of course, and many that were members of the International Marxist Group and its descendent splinter groups are now high up in the Labour regime's power elites, particularly those associated with Socialist Action, whose modus operandi is to target a particular political figure and support that figure into power and maintain him there.
Of these ultra-loyalist grouplet members, some of the most successful examples are John Ross and Redmond O'Neill, Ken Livingstone's incredibly highly-paid loyalists in the London Mayor's office.
Beneath each of these loyalists grouplets is a network of organised connection into universities, Labour party sections, and various socio-cultural movements and pressure groups such as anti -abortion, anti Iraq-war, multicultural foundations, the teaching unions, and the public service unions; as well as financial structures and privatised public service providers
And if this sounds conspiratorial - it is and they are.

But they are not really the problem any longer. The problem is what has been done and the clientele spawned, as access to resources and power has enabled emphasis on the 'Action' part of this conspiracy.

The clientele, too, and much more extensively, extends into the Labour party power elites, less tightly disciplined, indeed often unaware that it is reflecting the 'vision' of of the bourgeois democratic revolution but, in its self-seeking and power-seeking, embodying and effecting its aims. Aims which are very much part of the Third Sector economic model. The conspiratorial closeness has opened into a received correctness subscribed to much more widely.

The transfer of £60 billion to the North East via the Third Sector, with Northern Rock as a principal financial, economic and socio-cultural actor, has been acknowledged, albeit under duress of external economic and financial normality asserting itself, by the Labour Executive. The share of all UK business in the north east of England was 3%, but the share in Third Sector business was 4% in 2004;in comparison for the West Midlands the shares are all UK business 9% Third Sector 6%; for the East Midlands 7% and 3%. (These figures are numbers of enterprises, not capital, employment or output; but the relative weight of the Third Sector by Northern Rock standards, could be much higher than these ratios suggest.) It might be thought that the North East, then, was such a basket case it was especially vulnerable to Third Sector imposition and experimentation; after all, the rest of the UK was always going to have to transfer wealth to help the people there after the collapse of heavy industry and mining in the UK. Although it could have been done more effectively, and without the power transfers to within Labour regime nomenklaturas, and hidden agendas for regionalisation.

That London has even higher, much higher ratios of Third Sector business to all business 22% Third Sector to 14% all business, is quite a shock. And these are 2004 returns; since then the Office of the Third Sector has moved into the Cabinet Office and has been centrally concerned with increasing Third Sector size.

The antics of The Mayor of London's Office and some of his advisers have been widely described in the press; local tax-raised wealth has been allocated, not indiscriminately, for there has been considerable discrimination, but irresponsibly, to typically Third Sector recipients.

While what has happened in the North East with Northern Rock and the Third Sector has damaged immensely the United Kingdom's reputation for financial sense and reliability, what could happen in London, with the advance of the Third Sector resulting from a shared ideology between the London Mayor's Executive and that in Downing Street, is a wholesale downgrading of London as a world financial centre. And all that that enjoins for the wealth and well being of the UK economy.

Friday, 18 January 2008


Jonah has done it (again). Floods, (again), pestilence, (again) war, (again), now he brings down an aircraft and Heathrow to a standstill; there will be disruption until his charter returns and he has cleared the surrounding area.

Use another airport until Brown is back in the shielded bunker.

The Chinese are brave letting him anywhere near them.

Thursday, 17 January 2008

The Third Sector

The traditional view of the economy, in terms of theory and policy, is of a two-sector economy made up of private or public ownership and control; the private sector - corporations, firms, and entrepreneurs -seeks to maximise profit or shareholder value; the public sector provides goods and services for consumption by society - public goods - and merit goods for those underprovided for, or unable to access private sector suppliers. The New Labour project of placing the Third Sector at the heart of economic activity and policy was imported into government by Brown and Balls over a decade ago.

The institutional heterogeneity of the Third Sector is reflected in the diversity of 'visions, ideologies, theories and philosophies' held by the organisations within it which cover from small community groups, through the voluntary sector, to national charities, reaching the social enterprise sector which includes large, non governmental organisations, credit unions, banks etc.

Major government support has been offered to the Third Sector since 1997 to increase its role in economic, political and social life and increase, too, the number of social enterprises. The Office of the Third Sector defines social enterprise as:
a business with primarily social objectives whose surpluses are principally reinvested for that purpose in the business or community.

The OECD speaks more clearly:

any private activity conducted in the public interest organised with entrepreneurial strategy but whose main purpose is not the maximisation of profit but the attainment of certain economic and social goals and which has the capacity of bringing innovative solutions to the problems of social exclusion and unemployment.

Petty examples of this economic model are the Eden Project or the Big Issue, 'charitable' think tanks like the Smith Institute; medium sized examples are the private provision of outsourced local services by specially founded companies with Third Sector mission statements, and state-guaranteed contracts

Major examples are Northern Rock and the Northern Rock Foundation, where an entire area of England, suffering from very high levels of economic failure measured by any index you care to use has been provided with a Third Sector financial, economic and sociocultural system whose failure can be measured in the £60 billion of tax-funded transfers made in the last 3 months. The abysmal collapse of this undemocratic and unsung economic and social experiment has impoverished the chances of any proper recovery of the north east for another generation, and burdened the rest of the United Kingdom with taxation levels that have limited their enjoyment of their lives and stunted opportunities for themselves and for their families.

The Office of the Third Sector, now established in the Cabinet Office and not in the DTI, so as to remain under Brown's eye, is exemplary of incorporation of Third Sector thinking into Treaury policy since New Labour came to power. Brown has stated that the government is now:
stepping up efforts to pioneer decentralised public service delivery, and empowering private and voluntary sectors to deliver services in innovative ways which meet local needs. The Leader has called for:
more investment in the UK in social enterprises - projects which have social objectives and are not simply profit oriented. And:
The truth is that much of the best work in communities takes place through Third Sector organisations and their enterprise, a term not widely recognised 5 years ago... 55,000 social enterprises founded for a social purpose, united by a commitment to social innovation....a major role to play in the environment, jobs and investment.
I am optimistic...because of the dynamism and power of what I see as these great forces of change British society; the growing role of social enterprise, the expanding of corporate social responsibility of companies.'

Brown is not just variously odd, he and Balls have indulged a fantasy economic world where even Keynes recognised the 'tunnel of economic necessity.'

And now Brown is in China to beg for the £60 billion he needs to prevent his world from collapsing and the real world intruding on his vision.

False Economy

Gordon Brown and Richard Branson are flying off to China today to try and persuade the Chinese sovereign wealth funds to bail out the United Kingdom government from its disastrous exposure to Northern Rock. The Chinese government has been very severe about investing in banks exposed by sub prime lending and dubious business plans, and denied a similar request from Citibank.

Their journey had an inauspicious beginning when an incoming flight from China missed the runway and passengers had to be evacuated down the emergency chutes, closing the southern runway and causing even more chaos than usual at Heathrow; the Leader's chartered plane was delayed. He should have flown business class.

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

A Parcel of Rogues

Wendy Alexander, Annabel Goldie and Nicol Stephen, the respective leaders of the Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties at Holyrood, are meeting at Westminster today to consult with their London-based parties on how to undermine the SNP Scottish government. Its highly successful rule in Scotland since Labour lost the last Scottish elections has led to repeated defeats of the Labour regime's Westminster policies - the latest being the prevention of the siting of nuclear power stations anywhere in Scotland.

The Scottish government has set in motion large sections of the Devolution legislation which had never been made operative during the decade of Labour rule, and has initiated policies for the further devolution of areas of government policy, that had been held back under earlier legislation, on fiscal policy, environment and future resources-exploitation, and the future of naval bases in Scotland. The possibility of a referendum on the European Union Constitution has not been ruled out by Scotland's rulers.

"It's critical at the moment for the Unionist parties to work together to demonstrate the fact that the settled will of the Scottish people is for devolution", said a mouthpiece for Des Browne, the part time Defence minister and Westminster Scottish Secretary. It is hoped by pretending to undertake 'constitutional discussions' on devolution, Scotland's resources and its people can continue to be placed at the service of the Labour state and it maintenance in power in England. Gordon Brown continues to regard Scotland as a fiefdom temporarily mislaid, in the province of North Britain.

Fareweel to a' our Scottish fame,
Fareweel our ancient glory!
Fareweel ev'n to the Scottish name.
Sae famed in martial story!
Now Sark rins over Salway sands,
An' Tweed rins to the ocean,
To mark where England's province stands --
Such a parcel of rogues in a nation!

What force or guile could not subdue
Thro' many warlike ages
Is wrought now by a coward few
For hireling traitor's wages.
The English steel we could disdain,
Secure in valour's station;
But English gold has been our bane --
Such a parcel of rogues in a nation!

O, would, or I had seen the day
That Treason thus could sell us,
My auld grey head had lien in clay
Wi' Bruce and loyal Wallace!
But pith and power, till my last hour
I'll mak this declaration :-
'We're bought and sold for English gold'--
Such a parcel of rogues in a nation!

Monday, 14 January 2008

Everybody Out!

The model of economic activity that has labour, capital, entrepreneurship and infrastructure both general and specific to the enterprise, exchanging in return for the creation of wealth, variously divided between the actors, now yields some very out of date political attitudes and institutions. Labour, particularly, which persistently argues for a greater share of the 'surplus' it creates, is the least willing to dismantle its attitudes and institutional defence systems, or its political structures.

The trade unions derive everything they are from their foundation threat - the organized withdrawal of labour until a satisfactory new contract is established between themselves and their interlocutors. Levels of economic and social interdependence are now so high that it is arguably impossible to separate immediate interlocutors from society at large. If the train drivers strike for higher pay, or better conditions they strike at more than the railway employers, and they create utter misery for unfortunate members of society caught up on the field. (The mention of train drivers particularly is because E-K might have time to say something).

No other European state has a political party that is so dominated by trade unions - indeed is the trade unions - as is the British Labour party, and here they are in government; not the Executive elected to power at the last election (and the UK electoral system is such that we do elect the Executive, not the party) but an executive depending from a wholly different balance of power between social democracy and organised labour.

As stagflation envelops our economy attempts to maintain living standards are certain to include devastating strikes. A new means of resolving social and economic dispute and a new pluralist party of the centre left is needed urgently.

United Kingdom Sovereign Wealth Investment

Other countries buy into mineral resources, major solvent financial institutions, port and transport infrastructures, cutting edge manufacturing.... sort of nationalisation of other states' assets.

We, or rather the Labour regime, puts up £55 billion for Northern Rock.

As the Telegraph remarks, we will be watching a United Kingdom government repossessing people's houses for failing to keep up with their mortgage payments under pressure from interest rate rises next - and a Labour government at that.

Now Norway's Sovereign Wealth Fund, built on oil and gas resources exploitation, is a pension joy to behold.

Sunday, 13 January 2008

Fiscal Arithmetic

'A minor Civil Servant accepted early retirement on an annual pension worth, from April 2008, £8515.

The tax free allowance for 2008/9 is £5435 - leaving £3080 as taxable income.

Under the previous regime, £2320 of this would have been taxed at 10% (£232) and the remainder, £760, at 22% (£167) - a total tax bill of £399.

Under the new improved Gordon Brown engineered tax cut, ALL of the £3080 will be taxed at 20% - a total of £616. That’s £216 - over four quid a week - more! Four quid taken from the mouth of a poor pensioner!

Gee, thanks, Gordon - of course I’ll vote for you.'
(comment from Mirthios on Politicalbetting)

The doubling of the rate of tax on the lowest income tranche, from 10% to 20% comes into effect this year.

Friday, 11 January 2008

Take Your Money and Go

There is a quite unfounded belief in the stability and veracity of government and its assurances. Reports that retail depositors in Northern Rock have left some £9 billion in their accounts and that withdrawals have ceased demonstrate a death wish - and the hope, at this point, that they lose every last penny.

They have had long enough to get the money out; Labour's camp followers should have left the battlefield.


A letter to senior staff on December 20, from chief executive Andy Kuipers said the bank's board of directors had agreed "an enhanced remuneration package" for employees deemed "essential to our continuing excellent operational performance".

'He said they will receive a bonus amounting to a quarter of their gross annual salary every three months – effectively doubling their pay if they are paid the bonus for a year.

The arrangement can be withdrawn only with three months' written notice, so the employees are guaranteed at least six months' extra pay.' ( Mail on Sunday)

Now will these retail depositors take their life savings out?

Weather Forecast

Manufacturing output and industrial production in the United Kingdom both weakened at the end of the year, figures released today showed, as the pound today fell further against the euro and the dollar.

Inflation, defined as the experience of not having enough money in the face of unchanged consumption patterns, what might be called 'suffered inflation', which is nastier than all the technical inflation definitions and has an unmistakeable in your face smack to it, rampages on and on.

And yes, we can keep lowering the quality of where we live, how warm we keep it, what we eat and drink, what we wear, how we get from place to place, and what we amuse ourselves with when not working. We do.

But all this is not the result of uncontrollable forces described in distancing statistics. It's not some sort of global weather system we must endure until it passes and be grateful to our Leader for giving us warning it is coming, indeed, is here. We are not protected from global economic and financial forces by the Labour regime; we are rendered utterly vulnerable by the mix of gross wealth transfers to non-productive parts of the population and the country to maintain the Labour regime in power, and the indulgence of financial excess, unregulated and untaxed to generate an economic and social environment for the rich which gives a wealth overflow for the political class and further protection for their maintenance of power.

But if you work in a productive job for your living, if you make and sustain the dwindling private economic sector, if you honestly try to sell your entrepreneurship, your skills, your labour to pay your way and meet your costs of living, now and for the future, there is no government creation of favourable environments for your efforts, there is no tax regime that encourages the wealth and job creation you might achieve; you will struggle against a stony-faced, latter day pseudo socialism that expresses itself through authoritarian controls on resources including most particularly the people trapped in Labour's dystopia. You are the milch cow, fair game, the deservedly ripped off for your unwillingness to subscribe to the post- democratic state and its economy managed for the herded, unionised, right-thinking many, and unbridled for the few.

And when the remnants of the rule of law, the independent media, the sense of propriety that is all but stifled, points at particularly distasteful breaches of common honesty, there is now, and always, corruption in the form of weasel words, false apology and if needed, the big knout of the state.

Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Undemocratic Disunity

Declaring 2008 would be an "important year for the Union", the unelected Leader of the Labour Party, '..when forced into a significant concession in accepting that the debate on more powers for Holyrood is under way.' (SNP spokesman ), had the brass neck to try arguing:

"It's important to remember that two-thirds of the people of Scotland voted in the last elections for the Scottish Parliament for parties that oppose separation; for parties that support the maintenance of the Union."

As a commenter in the Herald noted:

'It's important to remember that two-thirds of the people of Britain voted in the last elections for the Westminster Parliament for parties that oppose the Labour Party.'

Labour received 35.3% of the popular vote, equating to approximately 22% of the electorate on a 61.3% turnout. Labour's vote declined to 35.3%, the lowest share of the popular vote to form a government with a majority in the UK House of Commons in history.

You don't do democracy, Brown; just as, in Alastair Campbell's words, "We don't do God".

You don't do morality either, not when running a close second to the Prince of Lies.

Tuesday, 8 January 2008

Savaged by a Dead Sheep

The Scottish government has informed the part time Defence Secretary in Westminster, who expends most of his efforts on trying to cover up the fact that Scotland is running its own affairs rather than on war in two theatres, that there will be no further nuclear power stations, or nuclear waste dumping, in its territory.

On being told they are politically immature, they fell about laughing.

Building nuclear power stations is one of those big, important, longterm decisions for the future of Britain and its security, to paraphrase the Leader from one of his recent diatribes.

The United Kingdom's grotesque prime minister is still in denial that Scotland itself is not in the future of Britain, not for big, important, longterm plans for security of any kind.

Monday, 7 January 2008

Humboldt, Humboldt

The unnerving promise from the Labour Regime and its 'Minister of Justice', to provide a new constitution for the one we have watched them trash is enough to make the wary turn to Humboldt.

' every attempt to frame or reorganize a political constitution, there are two main objects...neither of which can be overlooked or made subordinate without serious injury to the general purposes;

first, to determine...who shall govern, who shall be governed, and to arrange the actual working of the administration; and secondly,

to prescribe the exact sphere to which the government, once constructed, should extend or confine its operations. The latter object, which more immediately affects the private life of the citizen, and more especially determines the limits of his free, spontaneous activity, is, strictly speaking, the true ultimate purpose; the former is only a necessary means for arriving at this end.'

He adds gloomily, 'And yet, ... it is to the attainment of the first of these ends that man directs his most earnest attention;'.

Then it is up to us all to direct our earnest attention to the limits of state action when the horrid proposals are thrust at us.

Saturday, 5 January 2008

Messieurs, faites vos jeux...

"..the days of waiting for Westminster to do things for Scotland - those days are over...We need to make our own initiatives now, solve our own problems, take our own opportunities.
There is a growing realisation that this country has the talent and ability to stand on its own two feet - and we have got to find the democratic structure that will allow us to do that. That is what 2008 is going to be all about."
(the Prime Minister of Scotland).

"With firm conviction and resolve, we will make the case for the United Kingdom - standing up for the cause of the Union and against secession, showing people in all parts of the country that for so many of the challenges our country faces - from climate change to terrorism - there are no Wales-only, Scotland-only or England-only solutions."
(the Scottish Prime Minister of England and Wales).

Les jeux sont faits. Rien ne va plus.

Friday, 4 January 2008

Elastic Band

Oil at over 100 dollars a barrel is not a record price. Not only are dollars worth much less than they used to be in terms of other currencies including ours, they are worth even less in terms of the real goods that would have to be given up in order to afford oil. It is not just oil prices that threaten recession and inflation for, further, if price were the issue governments could well reduce their tax on oil, which exceeds producers' monopoly profit.

Over the price band of 100-120 dollars our demand is utterly inelastic and, quite possibly, beyond that band, although sooner or later there is a negative income effect impact, but we would be prepared to pay more as long as supply was there.

Only with competitive supply, with a lot more oil available at the going price, would supply be more elastic, but monopolist suppliers restrict output.

It is the security of supply, manipulated not just by geopolitical interests but real supplier fears, that should worry governments.

'Oil in the ground is better than money in the bank', said Sheik Yamani in the mid-'70s. The behaviour of banks and financial institutions resulting in the collapsing faith in the banking system isn't helping either.

Thursday, 3 January 2008

Trouble in the Wind

Reports (the Herald) that 200 returning soldiers were required to change from their uniforms into civilian clothes while standing on the runway at Birmingham Airport, rather than being offered showers and a changing room inside the terminal, will fill most Brummies with engulfing rage.

Birmingham must be the heartland of patriotic commitment, regardless of differing views on the wars into which the Labour regime has sent our grotesquely under funded and under equipped army.

While it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, fall be'ind,"
But it's "Please to walk in front, sir," when there's trouble in the wind,
There's trouble in the wind, my boys, there's trouble in the wind,
O it's "Please to walk in front, sir," when there's trouble in the wind.

The Defence of Sterling

The economy in England outside of the London City State is beginning to look very Rocky. While an unforeseen side effect of Northern Rock's swallowing £30 billion of tax payers' money has been to make the sums gulped down by the Regional Development Agencies look less gluttonous, their tens of billions still have done nothing more than provide makework for the Regime's growing nomenklatura infrastructure.

There has been no use of these billions to provide favourable entrepreneurial environments that would encourage manufacturing growth and general employment; nothing but outreach, and empowering, and entitlement, and subsidy to 'players, buffoons, musicians, opera-singers, opera-dancers' - a kind of Northern Rock Foundation spread thickly across non- London with elsewhere, small, embattled encampments of the capitalist economy encircled by the realised socialist heath.

The Wastes of Longbridge, the Former Potteries, the Silent Looms, the Blasted Furnaces of Sheffield, the Pits of the North East, the Empty Harbours, Hull Down - the country could be part of some deadland Tolkien fantasy geography, and the failures of oxymoronic socialist enterprise might well cause more than just the first run on a bank for 150 years. The run on sterling is underway and, while it will be paused this time, the Leader's business plan is just as inadequate and exposed.

London needs to remove this sick regime before it is so damaged by its systemically subprime hinterland that the rest of the world leaves it for safer havens.

Wednesday, 2 January 2008


Consolidation is the watchword of political activity in 2008.

All the unholy work of the last decade has been completed: the rule of law has been uprooted from its centrality in Parliament, literally, physically uprooted to a tidied-up municipal office space off Parliament Square; the Constitution has been distanced as a present force for control of the Executive and enters the realm of political and institutional history, with the exclusion of the head of state in any role as defender of the nature of our consent to government, while the House of Lords sits polluted by a membership of placemen who have bought into the exercise of power, and the Commons is whipped, cowed into submission by self interest expressed either as dull-minded commitment to dead ideologies and tribal allegiances, or straightforward cash in hand.

The established Church has lost its way in the morass of Executive interference in what should have been its pastoral care, and is undermined by fundamentalist, incomparably inferior, belief systems, both Christian and non-Christian. At all levels of public life lying has become more acceptable than acceptance of responsibility or even admission of fallibility. The Seven Deadly sins hold sway throughout their realms in unthinkable ways - from the crossing of human genetic material with that of other species, to young people so lost to all self respect as they parade in drunkenness and undress in the public street, and children kill one another in complete unawareness of the finality of wielding death both for their victims and for themselves.

The instigation of a rejection of the importance of individual human worth, perpetrated by social atomisation - the denigration of status derived from family ties, community good-standing, achievement, self-sufficiency, credit worthiness, cooperation with others, and high value attached to cultural norms, is well advanced.

So high are tax culls that application for subvention, and resultant conformity, to Executive norms is extended to most of the working age group, and to all of those too young to escape it.

The young are the object of particular indoctrination and perversion by the Executive: their biometric data is already delivered, they are numbered, weighed, and will be divided when rule requires it.

The people are among the most highly surveilled on the planet and this is promised to grow worse. What is available to eat is provided for many by supermarket systems deeply integrated into this authoritarian governance; the health provision is, of itself, an enormous area of Executive planning and control within the ostensibly capitalist economic system, as is the state education system and other aspects of regional government removed from local elected authority control.

This year is to be wholly devoted to entrenching post democratic governance systems. Systems impervious to any window dressing votes taken whilst votes are still a civic tranquillizer that will disappear into a controlled irrelevance before 2010.

The division of our society into castes is almost complete. Different tax regimes, travel regimes, health and education regimes, opportunity regimes are open to elites. The pathways between the mass of the children and the children of the upper castes have been more or less closed, and are closely watched for inadmissible intrusions either in terms of numbers that might threaten privileged castes, or in terms of ideologies, or belief systems. The war on terror serves far more than merely containing economically and culturally instigated threats to all of us; its primary purpose is to contain threats from most of us to our power caste.

This year will be devoted to bedding-in, tidying up, beating down; to a new, written infinitely diminished portrayal of what we might be, and were, that will be foisted upon us as a substitute for our destroyed Constitution. Corruption and its occasional emergence doesn't matter, that can be contained primarily by denial, ignoring and, in the end, the unavailability any longer of any kind of redress. Our Parliament is disarmed, our state defeated and overrun from Lisbon of all places, our armies abandoned in far off countries dying for nothing or parked on long-abandoned battlefields.

Far-called, our navies melt away;
On dune and headland sinks the fire:
Lo, all our pomp of yesterday
Is one with Nineveh and Tyre!
Judge of the Nations, spare us yet.
Lest we forget—lest we forget!