Friday, 29 February 2008


Just in case you missed it, this: (from Informed Comment)

'Mixed in with Queen Elizabeth's blue blood is the blood of the Moslem prophet Mohammed, according to Burke's Peerage, the geneological guide to royalty. The relation came out when Harold B. Brooks-Baker, publishing director of Burke's, wrote Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher to ask for better security for the royal family.

''The royal family's direct descent from the prophet Mohammed cannot be relied upon to protect the royal family forever from Moslem terrorists,'' he said. Probably realizing the connection would be a surprise to many, he added, ''It is little known by the British people that the blood of Mohammed flows in the veins of the queen. However, all Moslem religious leaders are proud of this fact.''

Brooks-Baker said the British royal family is descended from Mohammed through the Arab kings of Seville, who once ruled Spain. By marriage, their blood passed to the European kings of Portugal and Castille, and through them to England's 15th century King Edward IV. '


Gordon Brown is confronting plastic bags - seriously.

You really have to give it, don't you.


Thursday, 28 February 2008

Buffy in Bloomsbury

Bloomsbury sounds so different from Holborn and St Pancras, but the London enclosed by the Euston Road, Gray's Inn Road, the river and the Tottenham Court Road is one entity bound together by its gardens and squares, its universities and libraries, hospitals and research institutes, Inns of Court and professionals' pied-a-terre in pretty edwardian blocks, its museums and art collections, and diversity of shops and restaurants. Bloomsbury conjures up georgian splendour while Holborn and St Pancras brings council blocks to mind;both are here and as integrated as the population, in all their diversity.

Which is why we all put our stakes into our handbags and coat pockets and went to the Stakeholder Workshop on the Bloomsbury Corridor (refreshments provided), despite the effort it took to find out where and when - having emailed our acceptance of the inaudible invitation. They had underestimated our bush telegraph. And us. They've been doing that for ages; they want to end the community that lives in such a desirable, central quarter between the City and the Government; we aren't their sort. So spurning their sandwiches and juice, we set to on the vampires of undemocratic governance.

They fought hard. Each stake holder was required to state name and number - and the names rolled: the British Museum (a Slayer and his Watcher);the University of London (a lone Slayer but with wonderful braids);the Vicar of St Pancras (he had no stake with him but his church, with its caryatids, has one of the finest organs in London); the chairpersons of the Bloomsbury Square, Russell Square, Tavistock Square, any Square you can bring to mind, (and their Watchers); the Marchmont Street Association, traders and residents (Slayer and Watcher); our local, elected Councillors.....and a resident Angel.

They had us sign in and leave addresses; our lips curled like their sandwiches.

Then the self-designated Chair of the meeting told us the order of business: the last item would be Questions and we would possess our souls in patience until then as there was much to get through.

Item 1 - Welcome. We all understood how welcome we were and the platitudes petered out.
Item 2 - Project Background. Woburn Place, east side of Tavistock Square, Russell Square, Southampton Row, and Kingsway into the Aldwych needs to be turned into a race track for the Olympic delegates and press who will be quartered here. A barrage of questions and well-yielded stakes turned presumptions (and presumption) into dust. The agenda collapsed.

The Transport Liaison Officer of Camden (lead apparatchik) was separated from the Consultants, who took their chance to begin demonstrating (with passion, and film and graphic representations) their alternative plan for the reconstituting of a unified series of Bloomsbury Squares and the ending of the division of the quarter by the trafficking of Russell Square.

Slayers, Watchers and Angels, backed by their Councillors roared them on with helpful contributions ( notable was the Slayer for Russell Square who explained the Acts of Parliament governing the great Bloomsbury Squares and their design and planting; the opinion that there was a sub-agenda to cut off grander, institutional west Bloomsbury from livelier, residential and trading East Bloomsbury, as there has been for decades so that East Bloomsbury's poorer sectors can be 'redeveloped', was greeted with cries of 'Well said, that Angel' from the West Bloomsbury grandees, who eat, shop, and go to the pictures too. )

Camden's apparatchiks seized the Chair from the Consultants, who had the bit between their teeth by now, and were showing film from European cities of re-pedestrianisation techniques, and discussing plans for a great North Entrance to the British Museum from Montague Street, linked by these means to the University of London Senate House area (both of these public and private spaces being currently used as coach and car parks), for social mingling. "It is not your brief to discuss the coach parking which is crucial to the Olympic needs" the Lead Apparatchik roared in pain as stakes sank into him. Mingling, not coach parking for Olympic delegates, was winning. And, worse, the assembled company, whose joint IQ, and social, cultural and political connection was stratospheric, were demanding that he speak up, speak clearly, use consonants, stop mumbling, and sit up properly.

The Marchmont Street Traders and Residents were in tete-a-tete with a charming and clever Consultant on the enhancement of Marchmont, through Brunswick, across Coram's Fields and on to the Grays Inn Road; it emerged that this was the object of a separate 'Study' of which no hint had got out. Stake holders handed in their emails and credentials for that meeting too.

The Camden Lead Apparatchik finally got order and faced a cold and ceremonious questioning. The British Museum was surprised this was the second Stakeholder Workshop, what of the first? The University of London had heard nothing of any of this either; as Bloomsbury's main resident it was odd. The Chairman of the Bloomsbury Residents' Association noted that the Camden apparatchiks seemed unaware that 5000 people, many of them shift workers at the hospitals, lived where a coach park was planned for a sports festival. The Councillors enquired where was the public consultation and were given the astonishing reply that 'public consultation' would come when the Executive was good and ready.

At this point a sub prime Apparatchik stood up and began photographing the people present. The Vicar remarked that was a bit much. The photographing and videoing continued.

Walking home, it was agreed that we had seen just a flank of the monster that is the New Order - the arbitrary powers, the pretence of consultation, the hidden agendas, the sheer scale of contempt for us all, even major institutions that are not part of the Project. Most of all, the loathing by all involved, even the Consultants, of the new Order's programme.

But who are they? And why do they want to spoil the world?

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Indefeasible Entitlements and Politicians' Families

The persistent citing of members of politicians' families as complexly and deeply involved in the inapproriate use of allowances and expense claims raises the question of their behaviour, regardless of the insistence by the politicians that no illegal act has been committed and that all is technically within the rules.

While politicians may indeed be acting repellently but legally, is this so of their families, friends and clients?

"Whether the acquisition of an indefeasible title to property is capable of amounting to an appropriation of property belonging to another for the purposes of section 1(1) of the Theft Act 1968." was answered in the affirmative by the Lords of Appeal, as a comment on an earlier post (about politicians' use of allowances, and the involvement of their family members and friends), knowledgeably noted, referring to Hinks.

To accept money or other payments when there is no proper or legal claim is, of itself, a criminal act. Why are all those who have done this not being investigated and prosecuted?

Cleaning Up

John Lyon, Westminster's Commissioner for Standards, has received a complaint that Mary Martin claimed over £4000 in taxi bills; that the statement that she was at all times accompanied by a House of Commons official is wholly untrue, she was accompanied by a cleaner; and that the insistence that the taxi bills were necessary expenses in the proffering of official hospitality in the Speaker's house is completely undermined by the fact that official entertaining is catered for by the Commons catering department.

It is not the Speaker who acted, it is his wife.

It seems this woman and her cleaner have spent over £4000 riding round London in taxis and charged the cost to the Speaker of the House of Commons' expense account. It is no business of the Commissioner for Standards to be determining whether or not to launch a full investigation into this matter. If there is suspected fraudulent use of official funds provided for the Speaker's duties, by another person, then the investigation should be carried out by the police.

Monday, 25 February 2008

Tax, Havens, and Gordon Brown

Condemning the world's various tax 'havens' is widespread currently. So is perverting words from earlier meanings; as a mark of the moral mindset to which Labour's regime subscribes, where 'haven' as a shelter for those in danger of the seas is pirated to those who do not wish to contribute their democratically fixed share to the society in which they float, 'haven' is a fine example.

A decade and more of Gordon Brown in the two highest offices of state has debased the United Kingdom to one of the finest tax havens on Earth.

At the same time, the taxation of the poor to support the even poorer, in the United Kingdom, has reached levels that inflict desperate damage on the modest and reasonable expectation of earning the means to house, feed, educate and care for our families, entertained by people who were brought up with clear ideas of self worth and self sufficiency. Reducing independent members of our society to supplication for means tested doles from tax garnered resources produced by their own work, is profoundly immoral.

Coupled, by Gordon Brown and his decades-long companions, with the whole United Kingdom made available for global sheltering of the resources of the rich in their wholly separate wealth environment - for it cannot be called anything with the word 'tax' in it, as the United States tax authorities have clarified when refusing to offset the £30,000 charge against the taxable income of US citizens - it must be recognised that the United Kingdom is a failed democratic state.

New Labour: the compliant herders of the poor in the playgrounds of the rich.

Thursday, 21 February 2008

Brussels for Lunch

Gordon Brown has fled to Brussels to try and get the European Union to agree to £100 billion of state aid to the economically collapsed northern part of his disintegrating fiefdom. His contemptible, corrupt, lying, so-called Labour Junta has already lost Scotland and will shortly lose most of the natural resources that belonged until recently to the whole United Kingdom.

Now we can see who has to give him permission, even in England, to cover and retrieve his miserable, ill-judged political deviousness and economic incompetence.

What can the European Union buy for £100 billion?

Quasi Judicial Bodies, Quasi Legality, And Quasi Democracy

The Electoral Commission is exemplary in fulfilling the purposes of all kinds of quasi governmental institutions. Instead of confessed criminal acts being referred for prosecution, they are referred to intermediate commissions, specifically designed to interrupt democratic and judicial process in the interests of a political caste.

A number of cases of acknowleged illegal soliciting and acceptance of political funds have come up recently (mostly from the efforts of Guido to uncover and pursue them). Yet the shields built into laws passed under New Labour are, for the most part, functioning well. An MSP has just received assurance that his admitted illegal solicitation, acceptance, and determined attempts at cover up, of law-breaking donations is absolved by repayment of the single donation upon which the case was focused.

Quasi governmental organisations in all and every field attract tax-garnered funding that should be administered by elected representatives at local and even national level.

There is distaste at the construction of a nomenklatura of vetted and acceptable-to-the-Executive appointees, swilling down their ill-gotten gains from their creeping, their misrepresentations, their conformity to self-satisfied and ill-founded ideology, displaying their amoral determination to protect members of their caste always and through any vile acts performed, their corrupt purchase of office by both cash and the further misuse of office or job powers that then is reinforcing the whole self-serving structure.

Much worse is the destruction of democratic control over our world in this headlong rush to the pig swill. There is a determined use of the open, democratic society and its institutions to destroy the future controls of that society over its enemies.

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Financial Satement

The Banking (Special Provisions) Bill can be downloaded.

Its definitions and provisions are so wide-ranging it is difficult to understand what is left of the financial world in any United Kingdom jurisdiction that is not to be under Treasury control, at any time and on any terms the Treasury chooses, should any Treasury intervention be Treasury-defined as assistance.

How Much Lower Can Labour Sink?

Northern Rock's small shareholders are no angels, of the North or otherwise. But they have been evilly misled.

The building society was a way in which people could take shares as well as borrow cash to facilitate meeting their housing needs; they are essentially local institutions. It was the Labour party that legislated to permit their demutualisation.

The small shareholders do not make a great distinction between shares and deposits in a local and very familiar organisation that has been there since they can remember. They understand it as still functioning as it always did, and the demutualisation put a bit of money their way for generations of financial trust and loyalty.

Over the years the small amounts they have made have not been cashed-in; often they are regarded as rainy day money, or for meeting special occasions, or for grandchildren's tertiary education. There have been real sacrifices made not to touch the money that is regarded, deposit or shares, as savings.

And now a Labour government has permitted such financial practices as have led their local financial institution into ruin, and nationalised their small resources without compensation. Enhancing a client voter base is one thing, but facilitating apparatchik enrichment by corruption and destroying independent wealth and saved resources is enslavement.

New Labour New Depths.

Nationalisation Without Compensation

The National Union of Students regularly passed such resolutions to end the evils of capitalism. Now that their former officers are in power, (though not in government for governance requires conformity to constitutional and legal provision that the Labour Junta has set aside), we can observe their jejune malignity spreading across our grown-up lives.

The destruction of any assured legal recourse against the damage that has been done to the owners of Northern Rock may at last bring home a widespread understanding of the authoritarian horror that is the Labour Executive.

Who's Next?

Alistair Darling said: "I want to make clear that the Government has no intention at present to use the Bill to bring any institution into temporary public ownership other than Northern Rock."

Sunday, 17 February 2008

Temporary Nationalisation

Might as well talk of temporary death.

People's Socialist Republic of the North East Unveiled

Ron Sandler has been appointed executive chairman of the newly nationalised bank, Northern Rock, which he said would continue to have a "key role to play in the North East"

Mr Sandler is 'well known to Prime Minister Gordon Brown, and worked for the Treasury in developing the so-called stakeholder pension and investment products that were intended to help those on lower incomes save for retirement.' You couldn't make it up, to coin a phrase.

And the key role to play in the North East is either putting people out of their cars and houses and jobs, or removing the North East from the capitalist universe.

Mr Sandler has unlimited access to the taxes paid by the rest of us; the unlimited capacity of the North East's sense of justification and right to those taxes is unparalleled even in the Third Sector economics practised in New and Old Labour's heartlands and amply attested in comments offered to the press and blogs since there was a run on their overblown bank.

Smaller shareholders will doubtless be protected from their own investment foolishness; larger shareholders will probably sue the government.

Tax payers' money will continue to be sprayed across sociocultural 'initiatives' (handouts) by unaccountable foundations, and nominated bodies.


Another language calls for four basic skills. In ascending order of difficulty they are: reading, listening, speaking, writing.

The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority has cancelled the requirement for demonstrating the capacity to listen and to speak in the foreign language being learned, under examination conditions. It has been ruled too stressful for examination candidates.

I wonder how candidates will get on in Florence railway station asking for a ticket and holding up an irate queue of equally stressed commuters? Not to speak of being questioned by the police, a regular occurrence for English visitors to Europe these days as they mislay infant children, boyfriends, and fellow students, after a couple of bottles of wine.

Saturday, 16 February 2008

Troops Home Soon

Informed Comment refers to reports in Arabic of 'a firefight that broke out on Thursday evening in the southern port city of Basra between the Mahdi Army and British troops. The fighting occurred near the al-Qiblah District in the southwestern part of the city...
A Multinational Forces spokesman said that British forces undertook an air operation Thursday evening along the strategic line that connects Basra airport with Kuwait near al-Qiblah District. The fighting did not result in any British casualties, but badly damaged a tank.' 'I was unable to find any reports of all this in Western wire services.'

Must the Leader of New Labour now prepare an announcement that British troops in Iraq will be home for Easter? Because it looks as if the decision on what happens next is out of his hands and the troops are coming home anyway.

After all, they have been marooned outside Basra airport for months now, nothing to do, under-equipped, vulnerable but for whatever deals the military of the British and Iraqi sides have negotiated, and wholly without any kind of direction from New Labour's Executive.

Brown has to answer for all this.

'I did find some pundit claiming that things were "much improved" in Basra.' remarks Informed Comment's Juan Cole; 'a British parliamentary commission found the opposite last fall.'

That'll Be the Daewoo

The damaging nonsense of building two aircraft carriers in UK shipyards, one of these days or years or millennia, that Gordon Brown announces from time to virtual time, has spread to the real world.

Six naval tankers are to be built in South Korean shipyards if the contract is obtained by BAE Systems. (Herald).

"We do not have the capacity in the UK to meet the MoD requirements and deliver the first ship (by the target date) of 2012," BAE Systems stated. BAE Systems is hoping to be awarded contracts to build bits of aircraft carrier in its yards, for delivery in 2018, or 2022, or one fine day.

The tankers will be built by Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Company should BAE, the 'lead' contractor (or front man) succeed in their bid for the contract for the ships; the contract is part of the Military Afloat Reach and Sustainability (MARS) programme.

And that will teach the Scottish ship yards what having a Scottish uppity government means. Pity about the real work, of which the yards are wholly capable, lost to the English ship yards in Barrow-in-Furness, pity that the building of aircraft carriers is beyond any UK shipbuilding capacity now but the pretence hands weapons to the Westminster regime, pity that £100 billion was wasted on a client base in the north east instead of the re-founding of manufacturing and heavy industry there.

There are always benefits and jam tomorrow.

Friday, 15 February 2008

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

The importance of the case being brought against the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, the Secretary of State for Defence, and the Attorney General by the families of two British soldiers killed in the war on Iraq is shown by the nine Law Lords who have been sitting to hear it during this week.

'The House of Lords has explained that its role is not to reverse errors in the application of settled law...', David Pannick QC writes in the Times today, and 'Since the law lords are concentrating on difficult points of law, they are more 'likely to arrive at the right answer for the right reasons, or at least give the best possible answer when the case concerns a dispute between two rights or between two wrongs, if they draw on the collective brain power and distinct legal experience of more of its members...Further, as Lord Hoffmann noted in a 1998 judgment, there are “cases in which one feels that a slight change in the composition of the Appellate Committee would have set the law on a different course”.

The Law Lords are sitting in full force then, and sitting to set the law on a course.

' The legal argument to be made before the 9 Law Lords is that the right to life, enshrined in Article 2 of the European Convention on Human rights, imposes an obligation on the government to take reasonable steps to ensure that its servicemen do not face the risk of death in military activities without taking reasonable steps to ensure that those activities are lawful. It will be argued that those reasonable steps were not taken by the Government.

This claim was previously dismissed by the Court of Appeal, which stated that the question whether the United Kingdom had acted lawfully in sending its troops to Iraq was not justiciable, since decisions of policy made in the areas for foreign affairs and defence were, in the court's view, matters for which the Government alone was responsible.'( quoted from Public Interest Lawyers).

This case is fundamental to the halting of the degradation of the United Kingdom constitution carried out by New Labour in the last decade.

Can the Executive be held to account for its actions? Once, most certainly; for the Law Lords were part of Parliament, to whom the Executive answers, until the Constitutional Reform Act of 2005 when the then Lord Chief Justice, Woolf, sold the pass.

The Law Lords themselves have been ousted by New Labour, precisely to leave an authoritarian Executive untrammeled by Parliament, but the New Labour authoritarian state has not yet ousted the Law itself. The capacity to enhance law may have been reduced but the power to uphold it remains.

Is the war on Iraq a rogue act by a proper Executive, or do we have a wholly rogue Executive?

If either, in what position does this place British troops currently in the field?

As the QC representing the two families argued in the House of Lords: 'the Government owes soldiers a special duty because they are “under the unique compulsory control of the State and have to obey orders...There is what some people call a military covenant between the State and those who are literally prepared to put their lives at risk for the sake of their country,”.

Soldiers have a covenant too with their enemy: they do not wilfully slaughter the innocent, or even those in arms against them; they do not obey unlawful orders if they can resist duress. They cannot be expected to assess the constitutionality of the Executive.

That is what the nine Lords of Appeal in Ordinary sitting here are for. Holding the Executive to account is their task and their duty.

Thursday, 14 February 2008

The Phillips Curve Is not Vertical

The Bank of England's famous grant of 'independence' in 1997 by the incoming New Labour regime was as cack-handed as everything else Gordon Brown has ever touched.

Did the form of independence "promote effectively the goals of maximum employment, stable prices and moderate long-term interest rates". No, it did not.

Apart from hiving off to a Financial Services Authority the essential controls over banking behaviour and propriety, leaving the Bank of England with the research department and the skills to know what was going on but without the power to act, and the power to act in the hands of a mindless, uninformed Treasury puppet organisation, the form of independence was virtually useless in most economic climates.

All the Monetary Policy Committee can do is move the interest rate up and down

A fat lot of use that is in current circumstances.

Long Live the King!

The extension of unmet mortgage and other credit debt to everyone, not just sub prime borrowers, is well under way. The vicious circle into which the economy has been driven by Brown's blundering incomprehension of the capitalist economy (blinkered as he is by his dead ideologies and personal hubris), makes the United Kingdom one of the most vulnerable economies on the planet. No wonder he displays such fervid interest in Africa and how to intervene in failed economies there.

There are many tacitly accepted (by Northern Rock and other such lenders), self-awarded mortgage holidays being taken now. Yet the recent judgement that timely repossession is required to avoid the establishment of squatters' rights by defaulting mortgage-payers is a spur to end the practice.

If Gordon Brown seriously intends to nationalise Northern Rock we will be watching the spectacle of a Labour government repossessing the houses and cars of its bedrock support. Or we will have the public recognition that vast areas of the United Kingdom are no longer part of capitalism.

Arthur Scargill! Come on down!

In Jobs But Not in Work

Reports that as many as 2400 jobs in Northern Rock and its 'cultural foundation' will go should the United Kingdom's most successful tax avoider, Virgin, take it over from the taxpayer, give a measure of the real amount of work there is in running a regional building society. Benefits in the north east, it seems, are widely available accompanied by a cosmetic (and doubtless approved as therepeutic) pass time.

£100 billion to structure a political client base and maintain Labour authority; imagine if it had been used to develop modern manufacturing and heavy industry and encourage entrepreneurship. There might still be a ship building industry, after all, there is in Italy and Poland.

Still, five hours a week of cultural training should get all those school children up to speed for claiming their grants from the Northern Rock Foundation.

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Money Where Her Mouth Is?

Hillary Clinton has funded her own campaign with $5 million, in the last few days. It is hard to imagine any reason for voting for her, but this outburst of determination appealed. Though there remains the question:

Where did she get $5 million to lend? And who is supposed to pay it back?

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Sinking Under Labour

Recession has beneficial effects. Beneficial for pawn brokers, betting shops, bailiffs and the repossession business; and for driving weaker economic competitors to the wall (the list is in the Guardian of who goes down first). Leaner and meaner is not good, merely inevitable and choice restricting.

With governments it does offer the opportunity for the interventionist state to manage the misery and display fairness, decision, competence and reliability in permanence. In such unavoidable economic circumstances there can be no room for untried hands on the tiller, untried policies threatening the prudent guidance of our ship in the storm of inevitable downturn.

Labour think it's a win win. Unbridled borrowing to fund vote buying and trough guzzling, followed by managing the consequences while sustained by the frightened newly poor.

Only this is not a recession. This is a permanent alteration in global economic and, therefore, all other kinds of power. This is the permanent impoverishment of most people in the United Kingdom, worsened by Labour's abject failure to refound manufacturing industry and entrepreneurship, protect social and cultural infrastructures, regulate and profit from financial markets, install reasonable and just tax structures, encourage educational excellence and technical skills, and secure the modernisation of the state in assisting its evolution into a more effective representative democracy.

Labour's goal was permanent power. What they have achieved is mass poverty and cultural collapse, rising across undefended flood plains in our society.

Monday, 11 February 2008

Ooh Er Missus

European Trade Commisioner Mandelson told us today that Gordon Brown is now

"very firmly in the saddle".

The "cry of frustration" from Charles Clarke is evinced by

"a man who has found his bearings, who has his political compass now firmly in his grasp and who is getting on top of what it takes to be Prime Minister."

Saturday, 9 February 2008

The Services and Prayers of a False Religion

Give me Benedict XVI any day before the Archbishop of Canterbury. At least he knows his Catechism.

Friday, 8 February 2008


Standard & Poor are reported to have stated that 'the United Kingdom's "AAA" rating is not yet in danger.'

That's alright then.

Advance Australia Fair

They're building a memorial to the man who wrote the words of Waltzing Matilda - the tune is an old celtic folk song - though the words most of us know are by Marie Cowan. For all who feel like singing out (go on, you know you want to):

Waltzing Matilda

Once a jolly swagman camped by a billabong
Under the shade of a Coolibah tree
And he sang as he watched and waited till his billy boiled
You'll come a waltzing Matilda with me

Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda
You'll come a-waltzing Matilda with me
And he sang as he watched and waited til his billy boiled
You'll come a-waltzing Matilda with me

Down came a jumbuck to drink at that billabong
Up jumped the swagman and grabbed him with glee
And he sang as he shoved that jumbuck in his tuckerbag
You'll come a-waltzing Matilda with me

Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda
You'll come a-waltzing Matilda with me
And he sang as he watched and waited til his billy boiled
You'll come a-waltzing Matilda with me

Up rode the squatter mounted on his thoroughbred
Down came troopers one two three
Whose that jumbuck you've got in the tuckerbag?
You'll come a-waltzing Matilda with me

Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda
You'll come a-waltzing Matilda with me
And he sang as he watched and waited til his billy boiled
You'll come a-waltzing Matilda with me

Up jumped the swagman and sprang into the billabong
You'll never catch me alive said he
And his ghost may be heard as you pass by that billabong
You'll come a-waltzing Matilda with me.

Same difference as Land of Hope and Glory and God Save the Queen or
Va, pensiero sull'ali dorate and Ialia, Italia, really.

Thursday, 7 February 2008


The Leader of the Labour group in the Scottish parliament has confessed to breaking electoral law - law that might be thought of central importance in governing the behaviour of a politician. The Electoral Commission has stated it would not be in the public interest to prosecute her.

So who are they to be making public statements about the public interest and pretending to exclusive powers to decide on prosecution?

Tartan Tories

What is the matter with being Scottish and centre right? In passing the Budget yesterday the Scottish Nationalists achieved for Scotland policies most English and Welsh people would grab with both hands. Scotland's government has been delivering precisely what any rational and civil person would expect in a modern democracy run by sane people.

Scottish Conservatives negotiated worthwhile amendments to the Budget which were willingly accepted by the governing Party; so did the Greens, with the exception that a Green-sought interference with the development of an efficient road infrastructure was refused.

Apart from screaming 'Tartan Tories' at the Scottish National ruling party what did Labour, whose 40 representatives from Scotland in the Westminster parliament sustain Labour's authoritarian, corrupt, incompetent, detumescent elites in power over the English and the Welsh and are employed as lobby fodder in the betrayal of United Kingdom sovereignty to the European Union state, manage to do?

They voted (and abstained) against their own amendments to the Budget; amendments which had been accepted into the Budget by the ruling Scottish Nationalist Party as encouraging better training and skilling of the workforce.

None of us wish to see the break up of the United Kingdom federation of states.

None of us, though, want the 'Britain of the countries and the regions', grubbily fumbled forward by the dirtbag in Downing Street and to be ruled from Brussels, as he denies the referendum his perverted Labour party promised.

Better an independent Scotland than the use of its worthless Labour representatives at Westminster to destroy nation state independence across Europe.

Tartan Tories is a badge of honour, unsullied by that association with supporting Labour borne by the Liberal Democrats throughout the United Kingdom.

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Crystal Balls

Jean-Claude Trichet started a non-renewable eight-year term as president of the European Central Bank on 1 November 2003, expiring on 31 October 2011.

Blair could not become President of the European Union without United Kingdom entry into the Eurozone. The rewards for driving ratification of the federal Europe Constitution through the Westminster Parliament (and removing permanently any UK veto over anything at all), might include the Presidency of the ECB as well if opposition to entry into the Euro is abandoned too.

Blair as the sheriff and Balls as his deputy - poor Gordon. Do you really trust your creature? Are you feeling lucky?

There's still time for a referendum.

Forward not Back

Mrs Clinton can only be described as Back (well, yes - but taking the expletives as givens). Democratic voters need a candidate that belongs in this century, not the discredited remnants of a failed politique that is ending in global economic and financial crisis.

She is the dead hand of state authoritarianism and 'planned' intervention to 'correct inequalities delivered by the market'.

More interestingly, how did the Republicans, who by any measure could have been expected to lose the next US presidential election after 8 years of George W., manoeuvre the Democrats into a nomination race between two Democratic candidates representative of essentially unsuccessful groups within American society? Indeed within any society; it may not be fashionable to recognise it, but white males win prizes, they are organized and culturally predisposed to do so.

That Hillary is there to permit the Clinton years to carry on from where they were forced to leave off makes her more deeply unattractive than any other candidate. But it may be that Obama cannot be expected to defeat a trinity of what she stands for, what Republicans want, and deep-seated cultural reserve within American society.

Monday, 4 February 2008

Cats and Dogs

Northern Rock is a billion pound dog for which Virgin is offering two half billion pound cats.

This really has to end. Even Olivant has walked away. Put the thing into administration.


One Privy Councillor writes to another Privy Councillor and requests an explanation of facts so serious that he proposes an answer on Privy Council terms. And he asks for a confirmation that there has been no change in the Wilson Doctrine that leaves members of the UK Parliament free of all surveillance.

The denial that this letter has been received is a dereliction of duty by the Prime Minister. It is his job to have the letter 'found' and reply to it.

Or to refuse to reply to it.

It's so shameful to have a Prime Minister who doesn't know how to behave.


Dear Honourable Member,

Application to become a member of your extended family

Membership of an advantageous affinal and kinship network has been my ambition since I realised that my parents are unable to offer to me the benefits accessed by membership of some sorts of other families. After careful research your class of family has been identified as the most likely to offer self fulfilment coupled with self advantage.

I believe firmly that the right combination of these two life goals is most productive for both employer and employee. It ensures enthusiasm and commitment, on the part of the employee, to the furtherance of the employer's interests, areas of activity, and our returns from office.

* I enjoy working with others and relating with people who are seeking favours that will be mine to dispense and yours to provide while, at the same time, increasing the extent of our influence and clientele.

* I can communicate effectively with those from diverse cultures and of other languages using the 'British' recommended system of communication with foreigners - shout loudly in simple sentences adopting a northern English accent.

* I am ready and able to fit into any kinship category - full, step or adopted - child, sibling, parent, mother's brother, sister's son etc., - or affinal status - wife, harem, in-law, partner, one-night stand, regardless of gender or sexual orientation.

* As a cradle catholic, convent educated girl I can adopt any religious or cultural stance required; there's always confession.

My full curriculum is unprintable but can be accessed at interview.

Seigniorage and Sleight of Hand

Seigniorage is the amount of resources accruing to the state in a given period by virtue of its monopoly on the issue of money. There are various ways of computing seigniorage, the most popular being the real value of the increase in the money supply over that period. This is no small matter, for in a modern economy it amounts to at least 1-2 per cent of GDP.

This benefit accrues, in the first instance, most usually to the Central Bank, or to any other institution issuing the currency. Countries have different ways of handling it but in one way or another it ultimately benefits the government budget, into which it flows wholly or partly as a specific transfer (as in the US, where the Fed pours tens of billions of dollars into the federal budget every year), or as a tax on Central Bank profits (as in Poland), or as an increase in the value of Central Bank assets if owned by the state (as in the European Central Bank where states are shareholders, though they can't sell the shares and cash in the seigniorage unless they withdraw from the common currency). When the Central Bank is wholly or partly in private hands (as in Italy) seigniorage sits in the Bank, even if kept off balance sheet, instead of being paid out to private shareholders.

The arrangements in Scotland are more like a Currency Board, with the private banks of issue having to back Scottish banknotes with pound sterling deposits on a 1 to 1 basis, though only for three days a week. Thus seigniorage accrues to the banks of issue only in the proportion of 4/7. It is not clear who is the ultimate beneficiary of Scottish seigniorage but presumably the Scottish government by one of the mechanisms described.

What is clear is that the Treasury attempt to grab those 4/7ths of Scottish seigniorage (under the pretence of extending protective measures against bank failures equally throughout the UK) robs the Scottish beneficiary or beneficiaries - whether private or public - of their due.

Scotland would be better off in this at least, were it to join the euro, in which case it would retain a claim to a share of euro-seigniorage as a European Central Bank shareholder.

Sunday, 3 February 2008

Yahoo, a Packet of Woodbines, and Change what you could get for our taxes thrown away on boring Northern Rock.

A Run on the Country

Northern Rock is to receive last and final bids tomorrow. There are only two contenders for: a worthless mortgage book - who would want to buy a bog standard house in the north east of England? - a NuLabour clients' pay-outs Foundation, large but unspecified local infrastrucure commitments, and a featherbedded workforce with fully unionised-up redundancy and pension rights.

Unless this socialist, regional experiment masquerading as a bank failure is ended with the placing of the bank in administration where it has belonged for years, there will be a situation like Argentina in 2002; though without a Currency Board perhaps German hyper-inflation of the nineteen twenties will model for us all.

The North East and its collapsed Labour planning model presents as much of a threat to the rest of the country now as its unionised heavy industry and mining sector did in the second half of the last century.

The Gift

The Leader of the Labour party in the Scottish Paliament 'has been reported to the procurator fiscal for failing to register her leadership campaign donations' (Sunday Herald).

She now faces a police investigation and possible charges if the fiscal concludes the offence warrants a criminal sanction.

Dr Jim Dyer, the Standards Commissioner, had been investigating Alexander's compliance with the Scottish parliament's rules on registering gifts. The Standards Commissioner had notified Alexander that any donations she received over £520 should have been registered as gifts; he has concluded there was evidence the Labour leader broke the rules on declaring gifts. Alexander and the Parliament's Standards Committee have been notified by Dr Dyer of his actions.

The Memorandum of Agreement between the Standards Commissioner and the Crown Office states:

"..if the commissioner is satisfied, in relation to any complaint that the member has committed the conduct complained about, and the conduct would, if proved, constitute a criminal offence, the commissioner shall: a) suspend investigation and consideration of the complaint; b) submit a report to the procurator fiscal and c) notify the committee".

The Labour parliamentary leader is also being investigated by the Electoral Commission for accepting 'an illegal £950 donation from Jersey tycoon Paul Green.'

Saturday, 2 February 2008

Perverting the Course of Social Justice

Unemployment, bankruptcy, repossession of houses, lack of credit, accompanied by despair, hunger, fear, cold, and powerlessness stare cruelly at us. At us, not other people. Many people are already coping with some of these; all of us are coping wih inflation (the official inflation rate, the Consumer Price Index, is only 2.1%. but that excludes such things as council tax, energy bills and mortgage costs) and even coping with one of these is hard to bear.

Each wave of the recession will take a new and better-defended group; already unemployment is advancing, credit is withdrawn from the weakest (banks have told nearly 200,000 people to cease any use of their credit cards from Monday), remortgaging is harder and so expensive, right now.

Now is the moment when Gordon Brown chooses to withdraw assistance from the poor. He wouldn't act against freeloading when the booming world economy offered the chance to earn their living to all - then his regime bought votes with working people's taxes, and rewarded Party minions with sinecures dressed as work. He wouldn't prepare for the wholly predictable downturn in the economic cycle, for the re-founding of manufacturing industry and provide an encouraging environment for anything other than a giant 'light regulatory touch' (read free for all) financial casino, using its spin-off to reward client voters and construct a tax-funded permanent governance of complacent political appointees.

The enormous shortfall in tax revenues occurring as the credit and spend economy collapses has produced the New Labour New Tough stance on claimants just as claimants begin to be made up of the genuinely unemployed, the genuinely ill thrown into despair by uncontrollable economic and social circumstances created by the fools and knaves of the Brown years; people who have worked and payed their insurance contributions and other taxes to support the client state now face denial of the security for bad times they thought they had paid for.

The man is perverse.

Friday, 1 February 2008

Undoing the Damage

After the Scottish Government's Minister of Finance yesterday told quango and public agency chiefs that they will be forced to move out of under-used buildings, he expressed surprise at some refusing to accept they must move into smaller offices from large, expensive offices .

The Prime Minister of Scotland is delivering on his pledge to cut by at least a quarter some two hundred agencies that were running government services at arm's length when he took office after the Labour regime was defeated, despite their best election-rigging efforts, last May.

A spokesman, setting out the first list of those to be removed or merged, explained that the action is "a significant step on the way, not an end to the process".

These non-departmental public bodies are wholly appointed and unresponsive to direct democratic control. Bluntly, they are stuffed with former ruling- regime Party placemen, and sinecure-holders rewarded for various Party services, enjoying high salaries and terms of service, including gold-plated pensions.

The seeding of governance with out-sourced and out of reach, yet publicly-funded centres of power, in areas from planning, through health and social services, to pseudo cultural, sporting, and formerly charitable functions, is a major source of maintenance in power, even when voted out of office, of the New Labour Project.

Repeatedly these nomenklatura apparatchiks of the former regime have delayed and hindered economic development in Scotland, the latest example being planning body foot-dragging over the renewal and extension of the Aviemore tourist industry; tourism is an important part of the development of the Scottish economy.

Scotland's experience of undoing this New Labour permanent regime structure is an eye opener in the arrogant entrenchment of its personnel, and the determined smearing of their nemesis with false accusations of corruption and political and personal gain, by the Labour party itself.

It is not just a matter of defeating them at the polls, should England have its chance and take it. Their long march through the institutions must be accurately tracked, and their removal accompanied by the dismantling of their state.