Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Fight, Fight, and Fight Again to Save the Party That You Love

Blair/Brown Labour has presided over a disaster. The disaster has engulfed everyone in the United Kingdom in all their statuses, roles and diversity.

Children are not 'lifted from poverty' as is so distressingly documented today. They are finger-printed, put onto government data bases, removed from their parents to meet social worker targets, subjected to aggression and abuse when in state care and denied redress by Labour council leaders, almost half of them are sent from their primary schools unable to read, write or use simple number, and divided from their more fortunate peers whose parents can escape the state-provided 'services' they are constrained by their poverty to use.

Working men are no longer just that. It is no surprise that children are in such distress. Millions of adults are allocated into poverty level hand-out categories - student, in training, unfit, even honestly unemployed job-seekers, so that women can find no partner and no support to bear their children.

Working women - and what woman is not working? - unable to find the partnership that will offer the decade needed to bring a child to near maturity, throw themselves upon the mercy of their fellow citizens to obtain house and miserable basic income. Those engaged in outside work must leave their children to the care of others.

People who have come to the country to work and to improve their lives discover that the gates were opened not because of common humanity and recognition that the free movement of labour has claims as has the free movement of capital, but that they are needed to drive down wage levels and reinforce working and non-working Labour state-dependency. The dislike and aggression towards those playing this role is understandable but the hurt is felt personally and that hurt is inexcusable.

The old - and we will all be old if we are lucky - have been as damaged as the young. The Blair/Brown regime has spent 11 years destroying individual pension provision and with their 'light touch' fiscal regulation has brought down the pension funds of millions still working. Lightly touched is the diagnosis offered for Brown's peculiar presentation of self in everyday life, but 'ruined' is the prognosis for the retirement of most of us looking at the collapse of a stock exchange pension funds should never have been invested in.

The wicked attempt to reassert imperial control over the resources of the earth launched by the Blair/Brown regime has led to failure and to death. The death of a million Iraqi citizens, of our own forces, of our international reputation, of the relations between the military and civil arms of the state itself.
National sovereignty has been weakened both within and without the United Kingdom so that those natural resources that were part of our common patrimony are now at risk of an independence movement set in motion by more Blair/Brown incomprehension of history.

The Labour party was once the counter-balance of the Conservatives. It stood for propriety, dignity and restraint in political relationships. It stood against the use of naked power at any particular time, in the recognition that the balance of power always slips from hand to hand. It was the antithesis of the attitude 'because we can' when the question 'why are you doing that' was asked. It was essentially pragmatic and non-ideological, as was, in fairness, one nation Conservatism. Its focus and its concern was the improvement of conditions of life for working people, both within and outside the home, at all stages in life from childhood to old age. Its methods and practices were co-operative, seeking mutually the greatest good, acknowledging the rewards that must go to innovation, entrepreneurship, skill, and to capital. And insisting on the recognition of work and self-reliance.

The well of the Labour movement has been poisoned by confrontation-seeking ideologists implementing the installation of state socialism (a dead system defeated in the East by popular revolt), and power-seeking corporatists attempting to end democracy and install their permanent governance. An unholy alliance that has captured the enormous goodwill that powers the Labour movement, and perverted its ends. It is no longer acceptable to support Brown and his lickspittles. The Movement must set about removing both the unLabour factions fighting for its control, and reassert its longstanding and worthwhile values, or it will be the worse for all of us in the United Kingdom parliamentary democracy that we all love.

Half Time Score

American People - 1 Bankers - 0

UK Taxpayers - 0 Brown regime - 2

Monday, 29 September 2008

Jonah Brown Strikes Again

President Bush should have refused steadfastly to see him.

The $700bn US bank bailout was today left in chaos after the House of Representatives voted down the plans.

New Labour is an Island of Madness in a Sea of Sanity

It's like emerging from a long and frightening illness. As the policies being discussed at the Conservative conference roll out in all their reasonableness - the defence of market capitalism; the ending of poor regulatory regimes and the return of risk assessment and control to the Bank of England; the freezing of council taxes in London and the ending of stealth taxes throughout the country; the dismantling and closing down of any data base on all the children in the United Kingdom; the provision for thousands of new schools fully responsive to parents and children's needs; the commitment to a complete reconsideration and restructuring of relations with the European Union; the restitution of the rule of law; and more, - it is accompanied by sensible and sane initiatives from Scotland's government.

In Scotland there has been over a year already of repair and replacement of half a century of destructive Labour rule that was topped by 10 years of Blair/Brownism. Brown's debt machine, the PFI, is being turned off and soundly based funding for public initiatives sought from sovereign wealth funds and internal investment. The reasonable question 'where is Scotland's sovereign wealth fund?' starkly demands an answer. Renewable energy resources are being put in place to negate the need for nuclear power stations while nuclear waste will not be buried out of sight and proper control, at least not in Scotland. Norway shows Scotland that people in small, clever countries, rich in human and natural resources, need not live on as benefit recipients from predatory neighbours.

At last some policies for the proper return of the armed forces from Blair/Brown's disastrous military adventurism are in place, with provision for more than reintegration into civilian life and civil society, but the highest value put upon the training and professionalism imparted to our soldiers by their years of service. The universities benefit too from teaching and training people already used to learning within the disciplines of science and technology.

A new administration is formed and ready to offer government in keeping with the pragmatic, non-ideological values of our society. It is time for the Prime Minister to step down and take his wife with him.

Saturday, 27 September 2008

Birthday Girl

Tomorrow is my birthday. I will be setting out, laden with goodies for lunch tomorrow, for the eco house and nature red in tooth and claw. (The screams and yells from the surrounding countryside every night, and the foot prints and paw prints in the garden every morning make the oak doors seem less costly than they did when chosen).

Lunch will be tarragon-buttered chicken and trimmings, as I am cooking it and it needs to be quick and almost attentionless as I will be taken up with opening presents and reading, wearing, and drinking them. My main hopes are for:

a Drizeabone. While not sure quite what it is it keeps appearing in Australian detective stories and I want one.

a ute. Ditto.

one of the tiny computers that cost very little but can be carried everywhere and work from a dongle. I am a macperson but it won't work with the dongle, in the hills, so I have to use Mr HG's pc which is full of important things I might accidentally compromise or even delete. (Not that he would mind, he knows so much all sorts of stuff could disappear from his external world and it wouldn't matter.)

a new handbag.

a glass cover for the pool so I can swim in winter.

moccasini from Monti in piazza Duomo (oxblood, very soft).

story books.

a trip to Berlin.

ditto St Petersburg.

a dacha.

a parrot.

There will be a barbie in the evening which will be cooked by men - they do the fire and red meat thingie.


This was supposed to go on Monculi but never mind. I would like as well some matching gloves for the moccasini.

Out In the Open. What Brown Might Be Organising

Angels is not of the same political opinions as Richard Murphy but has a healthy respect for his professional and analytic skills; which is why his blog, Tax Research UK, is among the Links. This morning a remarkable post appears there. From an Angelic viewpoint it embodies fears about the Brown regime: why it acts with such arrogant disregard for the electorate; and its undemocratic and improper manipulation of the remains of the Constitution it has torn up.

He writes:

'If the US doesn’t bail out its banks this weekend we’ll be in the biggest global financial crisis we’ve ever seen. ...so far the consequences have been contained... With no package that won’t be possible... Already the banks won’t lend to each other. If they won’t pay each other, which is the next step, then the economy quite literally stops.'

And he goes on to suggest what might be in the pipeline to meet this occurrence.

'1) Printing vast amounts of money. We really might need it. Runs on banks get worse when there is no cash to make settlement.

2) Holding talks on creation of a government of national unity. We might need it. If the banking system fails we’ll have a crisis as bad as a serious war.

3) Planning to suspend stock and secondary markets. They will not help in the current scenario.

4) Preparing emergency powers to control food, water and power supplies. If non-payment becomes an issue these could fail very fast.

5) Preparing to mobilise reserves to maintain law and order. When people are hungry or frightened they act irrationally.

6) Seeking combined German / French / UK and maybe Italian cooperation to bail out banks in places like Belgium, Denmark and maybe the Netherlands where they could not do it themselves. The EU is going to have to act, and if it can’t, it’s leading members will need to do so instead.

7) Preparing to suspend the claim of all offshore companies on banks, even if intra-group. The liabilities of these banks are in mainstream countries. The assets are offshore. Their claim on our states can be broken in this way.

I could probably add to the list after breakfast. That will do for starters. Of course, none of this may be needed. But it would be wholly irresponsible to ignore the possibility. We won’t know if it is happening. I hope it is. I think it that serious.'

This is a clear statement, from one apparently of their own, of what so many have feared and written about for some time. That the authoritarian and unelected Brown will use the financial crisis to impose his regime permanently upon the United Kingdom, using state powers that have been so increased and unleashed by New Labour.

Friday, 26 September 2008

Breaking a Butterfly on a Wheel

In February 1970 a Greek Week was held in Cambridge, with support from the Colonels' regime, and from local travel agents. At the Royal Cambridge and Garden House Hotels there was some minor trouble from demonstrators concerned at propaganda support being given there to the Greek fascist regime. On a Friday evening 'about 400 demonstrators gathered at the Garden House. They picketed to dissuade people from going in to a Greek evening dinner. They also hoped to hear an exiled Greek [democratic] deputy's speech. It seems that some demonstrators went further, such as drumming on the windows. Police reinforcements arrived. Violence flared on both sides, the dinner was invaded [though not by the demonstrating undergraduates, but by the police, Ed.] and the River Suite room damaged. Around 10.30 Police dogs arrived and the violence ended. Six students were arrested [outside the hotel and picked up randomly from the crowd, Ed.]. The Cambridge Evening News called it a riot, starting the journalistic hype. The Proctors were forced to give evidence at the ensuing trial of nine people for inciting riotous assembly. How those people were singled out (seemingly by the Proctors) caused resentment towards the Proctors for many years afterwards.'

Judge Melford Stevenson described by a Court of Appeal judge, Sir Robin Dunn, as "the worst judge since the war", controversially gave long prison sentences to the Cambridge University students for taking part in demonstrations against the military government in Greece.

The Labour government at the time, under intense economic pressure from its failing policies under Harold Wilson and most unpopular with the young, and with its own wider movement, for its illiberal and statist civil liberties stance, was determined to make an example of 'toffs' (Cambridge undergraduates) causing trouble for 'decent, hard working people'.

Lilith's Girl has been charged for taking part in a demonstration against the Iraq war.

Baleful Influence Destroys Bail-Out

It really beggars belief. The Brown regime announces gleefully that the glorious Leader will go to the ball, he will have an audience with the President of the United States (even if the allocation of a twenty past four in the afternoon time slot suggests a three-audiences-an-hour photo opportunity for foreign unexpecteds, and nothing more).

And instantly the $700bn bail-out plan to rescue the finance sector collapses in unprecedented scenes of recrimination and confusion. Jonah hasn't even got to Washington yet, so clearly the malignancy is getting ever more powerful.

Thursday, 25 September 2008

The United Kingdom Should Not Join the Euro

The infamous Five Tests instituted by Brown have been met. That they are meaningless and their sole purpose was to concentrate further power in his nail-bitten hands during his years of destructive waiting does not detract from the political impact of convergence etcetera occurring. And occurring just as sterling comes under enormous pressure from the effects of a decade of economic and financial irresponsibility under New Labour.

Arguments under the ports in a storm category, coupled with a soundly based fear that United Kingdom finances are as exposed as the United Kingdom housing market, will come from the Unionist (European) faction, which is headed by the Leader himself. (cf the EU regionalisation of energy policy expressed in selling off nuclear power sites and development to France, with frilly bits to Spain. Not to mention denied referendums on the European constitution and its ratification by Executive prerogative as that has become too repetitive to be worth it).

The United Kingdom can meet Maastricht requirements at once. The European Union can waive waiting periods as it chooses. Let us hope it does not choose to have Brown or his acolytes as insiders on Euro decisions. After all, the purpose of the United Kingdom's membership of the European Union is to wreck, not to strengthen its objectives.

Brown is desperate though. Desperate to survive and have the focus taken of his failure; desperate to retain power. The row that would break out over Euro-joining would mask his political shipwreck and mask his technical incompetence.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

We Have Given

'A City analyst estimated that a British version of the US bail-out fund would need to be £20 billion in size to rescue 75 per cent of the country's outstanding non-prime mortgages.' (Telegraph.)

Northern Rock and HBOS (whatever went on and has been promised there), is more than enough.

Losing International Face As Well

Going to the United States immediately after the Conference speech must have seemed so statesmanlike, so world stage, so important.

Only the American Secretary of the Treasury won't see him, indeed he isn't asked to Washington at all, by anyone; and poverty got a pretty thorough going over in Rome last weekend, (quite apart from the fact that United Kingdom prime ministers usually have ministers to deal with poverty issues.)

The last reason offered for the US propaganda jaunt, laying the ground for next week's discussions with European ministers on the financial crisis, is the oddest of all. Prime Ministers most certainly have minions to 'lay ground' and European responses might well be thought to be hatching in Europe, not New York.

So shaming. Why won't he just resign - himself and his government?

Universities Discriminate in Favour of the Brightest and the Best, Not by Class or School

"I have always been clear that we must allow the most talented and hard working of our young people to achieve their full potential, irrespective of what kind of social background they came from, or the school they went to.
"This does not mean imposing admissions policies on universities. But it does mean universities recognising their full responsibilities in helping to seek out and develop the best of talents, wherever they are in our society." (John Denham, the Universities Secretary, addressing the Labour party conference.)

This is a deeply offensive remark, indicating an even more deeply rooted and equally offensive mind set common among Labour supporters that 'their people' are discriminated against.

No university admissions tutor would deny admission on the grounds of class, or race or school. The competition for the brightest and the best is ferocious. The expected results that have yielded an interview are just that - sufficient to obtain an interview. The interview is to show what a candidate will be able to do in the context of what the university can offer. They are not a qualification for an offer of a place, although failure to fulfil expectations at a pre-university level examination will be looked at askance - not coming up to the mark before you even start is not good.

Because universities interview before A-level results the role of the candidate's school and particularly subject teachers, is central. It is the schools that are failing their own students if they do not communicate sufficiently well to obtain interviews their candidates can exploit. Once again we can see the devastating effect of the awful schooling and teaching offered to the many, and its role in their life chances. Why is it necessary for universities to be running summer schools and out reach activities to by-pass what should be a crucial school undertaking - assessing and recommending their university candidates?

Point the finger of blame at the teachers who fail their students, not at university teaching officers who can act only on who comes before them, and do, with intelligence, sympathy, understanding and real concern for all candidates and for the universitiy departments in which they teach and research.

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know

Tedious, empty, bombastic rubbish. To put it plainly, I'm not used to being spoken to like that. This was the Leader's speech at the Party conference and he tells me he mended the roof when the sun was shining, that there has been change since 1997, that some children do not have computers and internet connection at home, that there will be some reversal of the policy of charging for National Health Service prescription medicines, that he intends to ensure the regulation of global financial flows and that he is ushering in the British century.

No mention of two armies on fronts in the East. No mention of the securing of imported energy supplies. No mention of the renewal of Trident or of nuclear weapons policies at all. No mention of relations within the United Kingdom union. No mention of the UK's relations with the European Union. No discussion of massively rising unemployment. No regret at 40% illiteracy and innumeracy at 11. Nothing on transport infrastructures from airports to ferries to additional physical links with continental Europe. No discussion of energy distribution networks and investment. Add your own missing elements of any statement on what this regime offers to do in the future. They offer small change.

If the Labour Movement accepts this they have lost all shame.

Brown In a Spin

Gordon Brown told Labour's conference that the world had "spun on its axis" in the last week and a "new settlement" was needed to avoid a repetition.

"... we haven't seen anything this big since the industrial revolution.

"This last week will be studied by our children - as the week the world spun on its axis and old certainties were turned on their heads."

The Earth used to do it daily but with Jonah Brown anything can happen.

Monday, 22 September 2008

What's the Matter With Russia?

The distinguished academic and kremlinologist, Phil Hanson, noted recently the statist involution of the the Russian economy, particularly the dominant role of the state in the oil and gas industry, its rising share in defence industries, and not least its 38% share in banking.

Since last weekend this looks just like the United States. And, mutatis mutandis or ceteris paribus or whatever, it looks like New Labour's 'Britain' too.

So what is the United States' problem with Russia? It isn't communist, it isn't particularly statist on a global measure, its trend is to a more liberal form of capitalism than the trend in the United States and the United Kingdom.

What is politically incorrect? What is there not to like?

Bell Ringing 600 Years Later

The guided missile cruiser Peter the Great, a Kirov-class warship, one of the largest of its kind, equipped with cruise missiles that can be armed with nuclear warheads, accompanied by the Admiral Chabanenko, an anti-submarine destroyer, and two support vessels, has left the northern port of Serveromosrk on Russia's Arctic coast to take part in exercises off Venezuela.

Although Russian navy chiefs insist that the exercises have no political overtones, it might be thought that the Kremlin is responding to Washington's encouragement of Georgia during last month's skirmishes in the Caucasus. Vladimir Putin had said that Moscow would respond after American naval vessels entered Georgian ports.

Pier Capponi summed it up in 1494:

voi suonate le vostre trombe?
e noi suoniamo le nostre campane.

European and United States Objectives Again Divided

Sources inside the German Foreign Ministry say that for months US diplomats have been working to undermine the proposed 745-mile underwater pipeline between Russia and Germany. Michael Wood, Bush henchman and currently ambassador to Sweden now breaks the surface to state that the Baltic pipeline is “a special arrangement between Germany and Russia” that “bypasses the Baltic States and Poland.”, and demands that the EU speaks “with a single voice to counteract the power of Russia’s energy weapon.”

The undersea pipeline will run from Vyborg in Russia to Greifswald in Germany. Chancellor Merkel calls it a “European strategic project.” And she is right. As well as Germany it will supply oil and gas also to France, the Netherlands, and to Italy thank goodness. It will supply the United Kingdom too, but the New Labour regime is keeping very quiet about that. The German Chancellor, on a visit to Sweden, said that Sweden has a right to implement environmental licensing procedures, but nothing more.

“This will be the most stringent environmental assessment that a pipeline has ever been subjected to.”, a Berlin diplomat remarked.

Deputy Chief of Mission John Koenig at the US embassy in Berlin said that he was surprised by the US ambassador to Sweden's statements. 'He underscored that the US position remains unchanged: Washington will issue no comment on the private pipeline deal. Koenig suggested that the article [in which Ambassador Wood protested the pipeline and its avoidance of anti-Russian former Soviet satellite states] may have been insufficiently screened in Washington -- a PR mishap, so to speak.' (Der Spiegel).

This is yet another 'not paying enough attention' explanation - the most inane recently being the explanation of why the President of Georgia thought he had United States' support to attack Russia. The foundations of the long settlement of post Second war Europe are shifting.

A Solution to Knifing in the Public Street

"Of course [people] are entitled to feel unsafe.", said the Home Secretary." "I want to help them feel more confident. I understand why people are worried when they see... people using knives on other... people...

"That is why we need to be very tough with enforcement and send out a clear message: you will not make yourself safer by carrying a knife."

You should be carrying a gun.

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Identity and Its Destruction

English, as a word to describe nationality, became unacceptable to the politically correct because it excluded the people who had settled in the United Kingdom from, principally, the West Indies and south Asia (the Irish having been subsumed, along with the Scots and Welsh, completely). It was the general word for people from the United Kingdom, as it still is in the usage of most continental Europeans. The preferred, inclusive usage was 'British'.

British was no more inclusive than English for those from further afield than Ireland and there developed the usage of British Asian, again abandoned to be followed by all the terminology that skirts around issues of religion and descent. British began to look uncomfortably racialist, if not positively fascist. But it has enjoyed a renaissance in the last decade.

Cementing into place a national identity has become of central importance to Labour. Always weak on any history but their founding heroic myths of the stand of organised working people against the rapacious capitalists, Labour is now discovering the strength of tensions within the British Isles that better analysts of the past and the present have understood always. The loss of Scotland, encouraged by New Labour regionalisation policies, in the interests of its state administration rather than democratic governance agenda, was to be foreseen. But when taken together with the New Labour attempt to regionalise England, what was not expected, least of all by this regime, is the rise of English nationalism which threatens to break not just the Union. In threatening a death blow to the Union, it threatens post Second War power settlements.

The United Kingdom sits at the top table because its physical terrain offers the United States permanent bases in our hemisphere and a complex cultural and historical empathy that lends itself to the highest levels of co-operation. The trashing of these islands' common identity by New Labour, in its blind pursuit of European Union imperatives, provides much more than its own self extinction.

With Scotland come oil and gas fields, both exploited and unexploited; the Trident bases and the UK's nuclear deterrent; the enormous contribution to the UK's armed forces by the Scottish regiments; major energy resources that are non-nuclear and non-oil based; the only mass population of well-educated young people (and most of the others come from Wales and Northern Ireland); major research and knowledge economy power centres that New Labour, unbelievably, is attempting to cut off from UK research funding in their petty vendetta against losing Labour control in Scotland; and an exemplar of a decent and responsive relationship between government and its electors (which is more important than New Labour would ever understand, being essentially authoritarian and undemocratic).

Brown and his ruling group have a dawning realisation of just what their European Union-guided policies have achieved. In their propaganda attempts to assert Britishness and British values and British common purpose and interest, they try to inject new meaning into 'British'. Now Brown states:

"I will do anything to defend the Union". Including, it seems, facilitating attacks on banks and illegal waivers of competition regulation and market rules.

It is too little too late, as usual with Brown. Trident and nuclear defence policies are up for discussion in parts of the Union he no longer controls. Soon the oil and gas fields will be out of his grasp as are the possibilities of nuclear and other means of power generation which have moved into other hands. The fisheries and management of maritime resources in the north are lost to the Union too.

Reserved powers? Phooey. What is Brown going to do to assert control? The constitution is what we do, New Labour taught us that, with a vengeance. And the vengeance is loss of power and status throughout the world and a collapse of our relations with the US in the name of relations with the European Union. Well, it would be wouldn't it? They have run rings round our New Labour government, while the other great power in our hemisphere effs and blinds our pathetic Foreign Secretary.

New Labour have already destroyed the private lives of millions of citizens in England and Wales. The constant use of the word British indicates a pathetic, too late understanding of what they have done in our civic lives. They must be removed from power before they wreck every aspect of our public and international life.

Saturday, 20 September 2008

Evening All

The Police Federation letter to police officers whose task it is to protect the cabinet and other attendees of the Labour conference, asking them to withdraw any goodwill during the conference. (Manchester Evening News).

From Chris Burrows, chairman of the local branch of the Police Federation:

"Please be professional, friendly, and polite when interacting at the conference. Our code of conduct requires this, and as a GMP officer you treat the public in such a manner without being told to do so. Complete disobedience and withdrawal of our support are not options that are open to us.

"However, there is no requirement for you to do things such as participating in photo shoots etc or going beyond your normal duty requirements to assist the Labour Party in the way that you do on a daily basis for the people of Greater Manchester.

Support and respect

"Would you want to smile or pose with a pickpocket who had a hand in your pocket? Goodwill goes a long way and it is quite right that you act in such a manner with the public who deserve our support and respect, but not with those that have abused that right and not reciprocated in any way.

"I will leave it up to you to decide whether or not that same privilege should be extended to this Labour government. You may choose to reserve that support and respect for those who show us the same."

The letter continues: "Those of you working on the Labour Party conference will now have your duties and have received briefings as to your roles. I hope that this large-scale policing operation goes without incident and if it does that will be because of the planning that has taken place and the large numbers of you that are being deployed to protect the Labour Party, not at full cost recovery, I hasten to add.

"We are not a political organisation, but it is important that I remind you that the current government is the one which failed to ratify your pay award for 2007 as recommended by the PAT (Police Arbitration Tribunal) after all parties were represented at arbitration. This was the first signal that the Prime Minister and the Home Secretary are dishonourable people who place no special value on the office of constable.

"They have gone on to move away from an index that has given many years of stability to negotiations and yet again failed to make a reasonable offer in relation to your annual pay rise which was due on September 1.

"As of yet, no date has been set for arbitration so it will be some time before you see that rise, however derisory it may be.

"This week the Home Secretary has publicly announced that she is to impose a pay review body on us to replace our current negotiating bodies. That is even though the constituents of the current bodies do not believe that they need replacing. In announcing the `consultation' period, she has used petty and petulant language referring to the fact that she is doing so because there was a failure to agree a three year pay deal this year.

"She conveniently omits to mention that even though inflation is now rising that the Home Office refused to build into any three-year deal a safety `trigger point' relating to inflation so that a deal could be re-negotiated. That would have left you even further behind in the pay stakes. I would ask you to familiarise yourself with the recent circulations from the Federation. The latest moves by the Home Secretary have led to a renewed call for her resignation by our national leaders. I put all this in front of you to remind you of these facts when dealing with these politicians. Many are good people who are trade unionists and respect negotiating procedures. Unfortunately, the leadership is not."

So let's hope none of Labour's disfunctional politicians and wannabees thinks to even ask a policeman the time.

Labour Shamed Publicly By the Betrayal of its Beliefs With the Regime's Foreign Policy

Thousands and thousands of people have marched on the Labour Conference in Manchester demanding the end to the illegal, disastrous occupation of Iraq and to the United Kingdom's involvement in the war in Afghanistan, whose people clearly do not want British or any other troops in their country.

A demand to the New Labour junta said:

"We urge you to deliver on your commitment to withdraw all British troops from the illegal and catastrophic occupation of Iraq.

"We also urge you to recognise that the occupation of Afghanistan has involved Britain in an unwinnable and devastating war in a country where the population is clearly opposed to our presence."

"We are here to tell the government that we want a foreign policy based on peace not war.

"We want our troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan and we are appalled at the prospect of the further spread of war.

"Most people around the world want peace but our government plans war policies. Change is needed."

Members of the Military Families Against The War whose relatives have been killed or injured in Iraq or Afghanistan were also at the head of the march.

Hundreds of police officers, mounted and on foot, in riot gear, controlled the enormous demonstration.

Inflation, Inflation, Inflation

mortgage payments: up
electricity and gas bills: up
food bills: up
insurances: up
fuel costs: up
fares and season tickets: up
holidays: up

taxes: up
unemployment: up
small business failures: up
bankruptcies: up
homelessness: up

surveillance: up
levels of functional innumeracy and illiteracy at 11: up
family breakdown: up
street violence: up

Where is the down side?

Banking by Brown

The proposed merger between HBOS and Lloyds TSB smells worse and worse. Questions on lying, rule-breaking and improper assurances on the putting aside of competition law have led to demands for a full enquiry.

The Bank of England is leaking that there was a liquidity facility available at an unlimited level and suggest the deal was a "purely commercial decision" and nothing to do with HBOS's survival. The chief executive of Scottish Widows, (part of Lloyds TSB) Archie Kane said:

"This deal was done for commercial reasons. We would not have got into the situation otherwise. We operate on behalf of our shareholders, we do the best thing for our key stakeholders." (Scotsman).

A commercial deal could not have taken place unless competition rules are abandoned. Brown stated that parliamentary powers would be used in the national interest to set aside the competition laws both of the UK and the European Union.

It is boasted by Brown's propaganda mouths that the deal was sealed between Brown and Lloyds TSB boss on Monday evening at a cocktail party! More sensibly, numerous reports, particularly from Lloyds TSB state that this proposed merger is the culmination of a long period of prior discussions and preparation.

Not, then, an intervention in extremis to save a bank that could not be allowed to fail, but part of the news management of a dubious takeover, and a pre Conference rebranding as a decisive and powerful economic and financial leader in the aftermath of the collapse of Brown's reputation.

The ways in which the information was broadcast raises further questions. An announcement should have been made at the beginning of negotiations and shares suspended. Instead the BBC was used to let information out piecemeal while trading in the shares continued to reinforce the notion that a merger, initiated and organised by Brown, was the only, heroic, measure that could save HBOS.

'SNP MSP Alex Neil, a former economic consultant, has written to the FSA, London Stock Exchange and the Bank of England demanding an inquiry into the alleged abuse of the market. (Scotsman). He said:

"It appears that there has been a serious breach of stock market rules, which must be investigated".

An enquiry is the least that is needed, and as HBOS is a Scottish bank it should be under Scottish law, regardless of any FSA investigation.

Thursday, 18 September 2008

The United Kingdom is No Longer a Market Economy

'Short-selling of financial stocks is to be banned in the United Kingdom from midnight on Thursday night under rules drawn up by the Financial Services Authority.

The ban, which has been approved by the watchdog’s board of directors, will prevent investors from creating or adding to short positions in all publicly quoted financial companies. The ban will remain in force until January 16, 2009, when the FSA plans to publish a comprehensive review of short-selling rules.'

In a market you can't stop forward deals. Markets include exchange of assets over time, even if the assets are not yet there to sell. London will no longer have a market from midnight. (And the only way to close a market is to shut it instantly, otherwise havoc could be unleashed unnecessarily for three hours.)

After thought

This is corporatism pure and simple. Corporatism of a nazi/fascist brand. Private property but state guaranteeing and monstrous bullying. Be very afraid.

If Only

'Exaggerating the extent of Mr Brown's role in the HBOS deal also carries risks.' remarks the Telegraph.

As one Treasury official noted: "There's a long way to go yet."

'The HBOS deal could still fall apart, possibly dooming HBOS and leaving Mr Brown's fingerprints on the biggest financial disaster in British history.'

What if the real deal was to induce the Governor of the Bank of England to continue buying in toxic mortgage waste in the interests of the entire banking sector, until after Christmas? With the added bonus of cooking Brown's goose.

The State We Are In

Cold, hungry, poor, jobless, homeless, bankrupt, and stuck. New Labour offers them all and insists on their take-up. The most vulnerable have got the lot, plus a poor education and slow, backward health care.

Electricity and gas bills are up by more than a quarter on last year. The cold hasn't really started yet but when it does it will be most of us wincing at the cost of keeping it at bay, some of us shivering at dropping the central heating thermostat, and the elderly dying from cold-related conditions. Nothing has been done to revitalise the power distribution system, which may not matter at the moment as nothing has been done to build greater generating capacity by whatever means; but as the old generating plants, particularly the nuclear power stations, close down one after the other from sheer old age, a more systemic source of cold that has nothing to do with Russian oil and gas control, creeps up on us all.

Fresh food is disappearing from the diets of the many not the few. Not just high-quality fresh food but any fresh food: fish, game, prime cuts of lamb and beef, even offals are replaced by minced everything and frozen nameless protein, and frozen tasteless greenery. Cheese? Processed and conveniently sliced to place on never-ending toast. Food bills are a form of taxation, not payment for desired goods but for standardised supplied goods. We haven't got the ration books yet but their return can be seen easily in the supply of a basket of basic groceries for 'hard-working families and pensioners' to assist during the global down-turn, on registration at the supermarket and presentation of ID. Poor food is better than no food, but food poverty and food inaccessibility will take its toll on health and well being.

Living without work has not been a life-style choice for many, more a life-style imposition for those living at the wrong time in the wrong place in a deindustrialising economy. But at least those who practice it are readier for its privations than the millions who will be thrown out of work in the coming months.
New Labour's new unemployed are about to be cast into the cauldron of inadequate public services their taxes have been ostensibly paying for (although in reality they have been mulcted to fund New Labour's client base of quango-employed jobsworths and infinite varieties of envoys and advisors). The standard of living of the new New Labour unemployed will fall like a stone. No car, no transport. No tutor, no grammar school. No money, no holidays, not even a day out. Above all, no credit. And innumerable wasted hours filling in forms, queueing, hanging onto call centre calls, and dropping into crisis if even the smallest detail on payments in or out goes wrong.

The small print on 'your home may be at risk' is now written in letters of fire for millions as new legislation that requires mere activation by a junior minister, not parliamentary discussion where it would surely be impeded, comes into force. Unsecured debts could be secured upon a debtor's house before, but now the forced sale to pay them has been yielded into the control of the creditor. The sound of credit cards swooshing through must be replaced by the sound of scissors. The time before help can be obtained with mortgage payments by New Labour's new unemployed has been reduced, but that is a sop in comparison with the threat from unsecured loans. The council accommodation offered will not be the council housing so carefully saved for and bought under other government, that is lost.

There must be a general election. These New Labour purblind, corrupt, incompetent, betraying, destroyers - destroyers of a once functioning and growing economy and society at considerable ease with itself in all its diversity, are like a cork in a bottle of fermenting rage. A general election is the civilised, democratic way.

Who could want the cork to blow?

Another Day, Another Run

The photographs of people waiting outside the Halifax to withdraw their money says it all. For the second time a retail run is starting on a UK bank; the virtual run has been going on for days but now the queues are forming.

The announcements in the press of the 'saving' of HBOS by a Lloyds TSB take-over are both premature and too late. 'On Wednesday night' reports the FT, 'some investors in HBOS voiced concern at the speed of the deal. Richard Buxton, head of UK equities at Schroders, which has a 2 per cent stake in HBOS, said: “Why does this [deal] need to happen? The Bank of England’s Special Liquidity Scheme buys HBOS time. How does the deal benefit shareholders in HBOS and what if the short-sellers turn next on Lloyds and then to other banks?” (The Bank of England's Special Liquidity Scheme has been extended to the end of January so that even more toxic debt can be exchanged for government paper, presumably to facilitate this merger.)

Apart from shareholder resistance from small share-holders as well, the deal will bring tens of thousands of job losses, some 40,000 people are at risk of losing their jobs. The trade unions led by Unite are already flexing their muscle for the fight for no compulsory redundancies; workers must be paid enough to leave voluntarily. Who will pay for that? We all will.

We will all pay in lower savings rates, higher mortgage costs, inflationary rises in government spending, but we will all pay too in the flouting and over-riding of rules and laws set in place to prevent our exploitation by collusion between the financial sector and authoritarian government.

All the reports stress the key role played by Gordon Brown in enabling this deal. All experience underlines the key role played by Gordon Brown in causing this financial and social disaster in the first place.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

European Union Competition Regulation and Merging Banks

A merged Lloyds and HBOS would have 28pc of the UK mortgage market and home loans worth £335bn, according to data from the Council of Mortgage Lenders.

Competition rules applying to undertakings in the Treaty establishing the European Union would be worth a quick going-over. It's hard to think such a merger will pass muster.

The Leader of New Labour must think he wasn't signing anything important when he turned up so late in Lisbon.


Robert Peston has stated that: 'The government will announce that in the interests of financial stability it will legislate to over-ride the powers of the Office of Fair Trading and the Competition Commission to block the deal.'

How is the government going to pass any legislation that over-rides the European Union authority here? Is the United Kingdom re-neging on Maastricht (and even earlier treaties).

Trotskyoid Dreams Come True

Nationalisation without compensation or go bankrupt. And the choice is not for the banks to make but decided by the state.

Gordon must be gibbering with joy. After all those years of stakhanovite labour in the political salt mines and then in government, he's driven the economy to the brink of the realisation of his dream.

Is Your Money Deposited in a Safe Place?

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme covers the first £35,000 of savings per person, in each institution.

Anyone with savings of more than £35,000 must be considering withdrawing the excess and spreading it across different banks; which means they are also considering which banks are vulnerable and moving out of them completely - you would wouldn't you? Who wants the hassle of claiming and waiting to retrieve their own money. Move anything and you would move the lot and spread it around safer havens. It only takes a few with higher deposits to start moving their money and those with less will do so too, on the hassle-avoidance argument.

Guaranteeing deposits in their entirety would have been a more sensible move than throwing all those billions at Northern Rock. Another run on a UK bank will be the last straw.


And while considering the safety of your cash perhaps it's worth looking at your insurances and who they are with.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Now We See Him For What He Is

Junior colleagues dismissed (and discovering it from interviewing journalists) for querying the ruling Party's response to economic crisis while the Chancellor of the Exchequer talks down the UK economy; members of the Labour Party's ruling council intimidated into not attending crucial meetings; refusal to send out nomination papers for the Party leadership before the Annual Conference; the inadvertent revelation that the Prime Minister had a salaried envoy for trees! (So that's how he avoided facing an election for the leadership).

As the financial world goes down in flames, thousands of workers are leaving their jobs in fears and tears and, for shame, photographed and derided in their misery, future lives and pensions are wrecked by his almost unbelievable incompetence and destruction wrought over eleven years in which his sole aim was to obtain a high office for which he is wholly untrained and totally incompetent. Where is he?

Fixing a Labour party meeting.

Monday, 15 September 2008

De-Coupling From Global Disaster

Looking at the news this morning anyone would be reviewing their actions to protect their living standards and their wealth. So far Angels have sold off United Kingdom property (not at the height of the boom, peaks and troughs are for professionals to hit, the upward slope is what to aim for), invested in agricultural land, exported most of our money into the eurozone, maximised eligibility for regional and national euro-funding in bringing marginal land back into production, developed an eco-house with solar fired heating and electricity, and captured and used its own water supply, set up a cash crop, and a garden for self sufficiency in most of what we eat. (The basis for these actions, the abandoned property left to fall down as marginal if not worthless in the brave new world of global development was fortunately still there).

All this is marked by a single characteristic: disengagement, decoupling from large and faceless service providers, and from financial systems that are out of any control. Which leaves also a huge area of our well being outside of our control. Have our pensions been compromised, all that foregone consumption so that we would be reasonably comfortable when we are old lost for good? Almost certainly yes. At best, what is paid will be devastated by inflation already established and accelerating to lira-like levels. Work till we drop is now the requirement.

Austerity is more bearable when cold and hunger can be diminished by personal hard work, but social disorder is more difficult to face. Not marauding bands but the social disorder of failing provision in essentially social areas: - public health, personal health care, (all of a sudden teeth, eyes, hearing, every kind of physical self-care takes on far greater importance);- transport suddenly slower and costing much more, requiring higher levels of organisation and planning (no more setting off for relatively close destinations for brief sojourns and ephemeral amusements, never mind 'holidaymaking' in distant and relatively undeveloped places without the means to get home in any sudden change of circumstances. No more unthinking reliance on someone else rectifying self-exposure to unnecessary and real danger by leaving home to all intents and purposes penniless and without survival skills). And there is, above all, the imperative provision for education and research to sustain a knowledge environment pleasant to live in and central to economic advancement and problem-solving. That cannot be provided individually.

Building personal exchange networks is now crucial. No more re-inventing of the self, the shedding of past failures and past shames by departure from neighbourhood or record in everyday life. Good standing within family, community, and in the world of work is indispensable: not the respect that is self-ascribed by the narrow rituals of childhood carried too far into the adulthood of gangs and criminality, but the other-ascribed status of being a person who can be trusted in every aspect of socioeconomic life. It is not for nothing that the most powerless among us, in our lifestyles deprived of self-determination, are the children and young adults knifing away in their self-assertion and attempts to control their surroundings, reinventing the wheel and missing the point (but they haven't been taught much in their prison-house schools).

Even if social identity and personal responsibility are restored to their cultural importance, what are we to do about the threat of war? Not war on someone else's territory which millions found they are powerless to prevent in the face of governance immune and wholly unresponsive to democratic will, but war on our own terrain. Few of us were awed but most of us were shocked, no horrified and outraged, by the unspeakable assault on the people of Iraq. And by the subsequent installation across the world of torture and false imprisonment as accepted usage by our own governments.

Extensions of that dreadful assault and all its consequences are threatened, in the struggle to continue impossible-to-sustain life styles by controlling planetary primary resources, in Russia's domain. In this we are in the hands of our national governments and at least Germany, France and Italy seem to have their heads on straight. We must not allow a strand of American policy to even risk precipitating a war on us. We have seen enough of that in the last century. And if it means that desert cities, personal yachts, private jets, as well as client voters and Ninja loans must be given up, then so be it.

It is from the United States, and from 'common' defence policies, and the European Union, that the great, global propaganda lie has come - the global warming, the need for global governance, the requirement to strengthen global institutions, the imposition of global 'democratic' values. Essentially this ideology removes our control from what happens to us.

The commonality of culture and the locality of sustaining economic and social relationships embodied in nation states is where our best interests lie. It could well be that some nation states need to have their borders redefined (the 19th and 20th -even 18th -century settlements are not set in stone), and more local independence asserted. At the same time, inter-relations between nation states will be made open to democratic discussion and agreement. This is as true of the United States of America as it is of Europe, which offers some explanation for the constant search for an external threat by the federal US government to solidify federal feeling, and the permanent underplaying of State individuality and interest in greater local determination. Notably, discussions of inter State relationships and a weaker US federation are few.

As the 'global' financial system comes down it shows up just how little democratic or personal control we have over our own resources (speaking as someone who has spent since 1997 trying to assert just that). Either people take local control over their local circumstance or we face being allocated what can be spared from the rich and the powerful, and it will not be enough.

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Brown Must Be Defeated in Parliament Not By Labour Party Acts of Disloyalty

The end of the New Labour regime should not be decided by causing the downfall of Gordon Brown. That leaves the choice of the United Kingdom's next prime minister in the hands of the Labour Party - hardly the first choice for democratic practice. It is unpleasant also to watch the petty acts of aggression and the faint-hearted disloyalties of 'colleagues' and government appointees whose voting records for 11 years are a badge of shame.

The way to depose a government is by defeat on a major government policy in the House of Commons, followed by defeat in the subsequent vote of confidence. Clearly there are enough Labour dissidents to achieve this and enough major policy votes of highly dubious moral and political worth coming up well before Christmas - deferred in attempts to avoid just this kind of challenge by the current sickly Prime Minister. Shenanigans in the Labour party and at their tightly controlled and therefore infinitely dull conference in Manchester are of no interest to most of us.

We want a general election after the fall of the current government in Parliament. Not the replacement of Gordon brown by Jack Straw. And if Labour tries to manoeuvre the country into accepting a 'safe' pair of hands while remaining in power for another 18 months, shovelling all the blame for their abject failure onto their current sick man, they will let down the Party as well as the country (again).

Saturday, 13 September 2008

Each to His Own

Redistributive capitalism seems to be faring as badly as redistributive socialism. The Governor of the Bank of Italy notes that subprime has already swallowed half a trillion dollars and that there are at least another $350 billion to come.

Ironic that the collapsed socialist states had to turn to capitalist practice to recover, while collapsing capitalist states are nationalising, state guaranteeing, intervening at every level of governance, in the hope of preventing total melt down.

One lot were redistributing to the rich, the other lot to the poor, but redistribution clearly should not be on anyone's wish list.

Friday, 12 September 2008

Juvenile Adventurism Led to the First World War

"... there are times when image is nothing and action is everything." said President Medvedev of Russia.

So that's another lesson for the Brown regime: one for the Foreign Secretary, and one for Labour's Leader. Labour's part time Defence Minister is probably next up - the Russian government is discussing military requirements and equipment with its armed forces.

Georgia's political incompetent of a Head of Government has done incalculable damage to the United States' foreign policy and status, and to NATO and the European Union's credibility as military and politico-economic powers too.


A Russian Teddy Bear

Sergei Lavrov is the kind of foreign minister a country needs. As the Telegraph reports, 'Mr Lavrov has been highly critical of the way that the Russian move into Georgia has been portrayed by the West. He has criticised what he described as a "truly David and Goliath interpretation" of the conflict in which "the plucky republic of Georgia, with just a few million citizens, was attacked by its giant eastern neighbour".

On any balanced reading, the Georgian conflict was a piece of unauthorised silly behaviour by a politically incompetent leader covered up for later by a very cross US administration.

But it is asking Miliband who he is and then telling him in terms that makes Mr Lavrov positively endearing.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Conspiracy Theorist, Me?

It becomes more and more irritating travelling in and out of the United Kingdom. Airports are choc-a-bloc with security lines, and no liquids and pushy people who make you take off all your outer clothes. It takes hours as well. The trains, to which any reasonable European travellor had switched, are now being queued up with engine failures or fires in the Tunnel. There are tunnels and other choke points just as vulnerable all over Europe. But access through the UK tunnel is regularly causing blockages.

If I want to go anywhere in Schengen, I can fly, or get on a train, and be there in the appropriate number of hours, like getting on the bus. This is not true of England. Any journey there has a built-in delay and doubt factor. Why?

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Brown's Generalissimo Moment

'Whitehall sources moved swiftly last night to deny that Gordon Brown was ditching New Labour after the Prime Minister declared that it was "time to adapt and rethink New Labour policy". (Herald).

As Franco said on his deathbed, listening to the crowds chanting 'Farewell Franco',

'Where are they all going?'. Just so Brown denies that he is ditching New Labour.

They are ditching him.

Choosing Who You Like

Alison Richard, vice chancellor of Cambridge University speaks with admirable sense,as might be expected from the head of an institution committed to education, learning and research:

"We try to reach out to the best students, whatever their background. One outcome of that is that we can help to promote social mobility. But promoting social mobility is not our core mission. Our core mission is to provide an outstanding education within a research setting.
As institutions charged with education, research and training, our purpose is not to be construed as that of handmaidens of industry, implementers of the skills agenda, or indeed engines for promoting social justice."

Cambridge gives the opportunity to enjoy any education the heart could desire. Its teachers at all levels are adept at recognising raw brain power, and unimpressed by coached achievement. They are concerned, too, that the colleges enjoy the abilities and characteristics needed to provide a civil environment. Wall to wall pure mathematicians or poets, or sportsmen (for example) are not that, and the social skills of generalists and affability of Etonians are as much part of the mix as any other characteristic.

Examination results are a poor measure of clubability, as is well known, and often an inadequate measure of any kind of ability. What a pity the Cambridge view is not more widespread in our society, rather than the Balls-up the country's education system has been made under New Labour.

Monday, 8 September 2008

Angels and Ministers of Grace Defend Us

"The yearning for fairness, the unremitting quest for it, and the delivery of it in everything we do, is fundamental to our Party.

Our policies today and everything we have done since 1997 are driven by our belief in fairness.

I know there are people who feel that modern Britain has been unfair to them. Some of them are right. But there is nothing that is bad about Britain that cannot be overcome by what is good about Britain, as long as we keep faith with our belief in fairness.

Throughout our history, this nation has repeatedly demonstrated a proud spirit of cautious and practical optimism and we call on that spirit once again.

Fair rules, fair chances, and a fair say for everyone: that is the new deal for this new world." Gordon Brown in his version of the Scottish play.

Fair is foul and foul is fair....

Sunday, 7 September 2008

The Nastiest Man on Earth

Bald, fat, ugly, with a defective heart (in every sense of the term), spiteful, sly, crude in intellect and analysis, Richard Cheney must be the real bogey man. In the frustration of declining power, both for the administration he has guided and the country he has so let down over the last eight years, he has mouthed off in Europe in the most unforgivably arrogant fashion.

There are well-founded and increasingly sharp differences between the member-states of the European Union and the United States of America over the oil and gas resources of the Caucasus, Russia's hegemony over their delivery to the rest of us, and Russia's relations with its former satellites and, consequently, with the European Union to which some of those satellites now subscribe.

The notion that because Poland and the Czech Republic have agreed to provide American missile sites this will lead to the installation of American missiles on Russia's borders is on a par with Kruschev's belief that Cuba's agreement to Soviet missile sites would lead to the installation of Soviet missiles on United States' borders. Any attempt to deliver those missiles will result in the same stand-off and the same turning back. Not in mid-ocean perhaps, more likely in mid-air, for it is hard to imagine their transport across the central European plains of Germany.

Bluntly there is not a global strategy for a single super-power to pursue; there never was, but the Cheney-led strand of American ideology wanted it to be so. There are international relations, as there always were, governed mostly by brute force but with all those of morality and good will attempting to install and observe some level of international law - law that in his years of power Cheney and his ilk have undermined, and ignored, and flouted with illegal wars, torture, and the setting aside of the Geneva Conventions.

Cheney may turn up in person to brief his puppet in Georgia, who he misled into an act of provocation that has resulted in the dismemberment of the country, he may wring his hands in the Ukraine where his weasel words have split the government and released the Crimea into near, self-declared autonomy and Russian protection, but he cannot turn up in Italy and spit the venom of his frustration at us as if we do not understand what and who he is. All he can do is send an American Mediterranean Fleet battleship into a Georgian port in defiance of international accords on who might enter the Black Sea, and look foolish as the Russians ignore benignly this childish display of unusable force.

Mr Barroso, diminishing the role of the US in resolving the conflict in Georgia, told the Financial Times: “The hope for peace is the EU....I’ve not seen any proposals coming from any parts of the world apart from the peace proposal put forward by president Sarkozy on behalf of the EU...We are interested in having constructive relations with Russia. It is important to note what we need. We need cool heads, not a cold war and this is the basic message.” Responding to Russia’s unilateral recognition of the breakaway Georgian regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, Mr Barroso noted that article six of the plan provided for diplomatic discussions over their status.

Go away Mr Cheney; your policies are as unwelcome and wrong here as they are on your own continent.

Saturday, 6 September 2008

Post-Imperial Blues

A comment on earlier Angels' posts on Russia, that the shock of the collapse of the Soviet Union could be compared to the loss of the British Empire and its continued effects on United Kindom politics 60 years on, and that it must be taken into account fully when considering Russian policies now, was met by Mr HG with the seriously expressed view that Italy still has not got over the loss of the Roman Empire, and Italy's politics have been reflecting the impact of the barbarians ever since.

2000 years! The United States is getting so dangerously edgy already, and they have only just begun to adjust.

What Will You Put On Your Census Form?

Caroline Lucas, (Green Party) "has reacted angrily to the news that Lockheed Martin has been awarded the contract to run the 2011 Census, saying that the decision puts public privacy and public service planning at risk.

The announcement was made by the Office for National Statistics today - eight months later than planned. The delay was prompted by the Green Party's 'Census Alert' campaign, which raised concerns about links between the arms company and the US government, and fears that the US Patriot Act would mean personal data on everyone in the UK would be made available to American intelligence services."

[Taken from a comment on Craig Murray's blog]

The Third Sector is a Labour Front

With a minister, and working out of the Cabinet Office, the Third Sector is used to distribute tax-raised money to Labour soft-power networks throughout the country, with a particularly marked presence in Labour's heartlands and target areas. Presented as working in charitable and voluntary sectors it often takes over funding and regulatory facilitating that should be passing through local councils, democratically elected and answerable to local people. It also extends regime tendrils into areas that are not the concern of any reasonable governance, which is why originally provision was voluntary and charitable.

The Independent reports that a children's charity providing breakfast and after-school clubs for children whose parents need assistance with child care had donated £15,000 to Labour, half directly to political funds and half to enjoy a Party sports dinner at Wembley where opportunities for 'networking' within Labour were available (and lots of troughing too). The 'charity', benefiting from local authority funds, lottery funding and charity regulation, is exemplary of Third Sector thinking and acting.

Greg Clark, the Tories' spokesman on charities, said: "It beggars belief that Labour should accept money from a lottery-funded charity that surely needs all the money it can get to fund its clubs for disadvantaged schoolchildren. Labour should have known that it was wrong to accept this donation... It is well known that Labour have staggering levels of debt and are scrabbling round for money to stay afloat. But after the cash-for-honours investigation, Peter Hain's resignation and the David Abrahams scandal, taking money from children's charities strikes a new low in Labour's donations history.

A Labour Party spokesman said: "The Electoral Commission has confirmed that the Labour Party did nothing wrong in accepting this donation, which is allowed under party funding rules... We accepted this donation in good faith, but once Catz Club were told that they had inadvertently breached Charity Commission rules, we were asked to return the donation, something we were happy to do."

A spokeswoman for the charity, which receives funding from some local authorities for its work, said: "It was an administrative error that has now been corrected and the Labour Party have now repaid all the money. The situation is resolved and has been closed."

So taking money from a children's breakfast and after school club can be done 'in good faith', after all the Labour regime gave it some of the money in the first place, just taking their tithe. And 'an administrative error', handing over £7,000 for dinner, and another such sum to a political party fund, has been corrected, resolved, closed.

Has anybody been required to pay for their own dinner, demoted, dismissed?

Friday, 5 September 2008

So Where Do You Stand On Heath, Powell and UDI?

Philip Lardner is the Conservatives' Westminster candidate for North Ayrshire and Arran. David Cameron suspended Mr L as a Tory candidate last June after the 41-year-old primary school teacher from Renfrewshire gave his view on Ian Smith, Enoch Powell, and Edward Heath.
Mr Lardner referred to Smith as a "British hero who came from the Empire and fought for his country", said Powell's fears on immigration had "in a small way come true" and to Heath as a "rat", who "lied about the EEC in terms of its effect on sovereignty".

The BNP invited Mr Lardner to join them, but Tory HQ has just announced: "His suspension has been removed. His candidacy has been reinstated. He has expressed regret for any offence caused. The matter is now closed." The candidate had been "hauled over the coals".

Labour found Mr Lardner's words "utterly disgraceful", and the reinstatement "outrageous."
[All this is reported in the Herald Political Blogs this morning].

While it is clear that Mr Lardner would not find a home in the Labour party, with its received political stances and authoritarian thought control to a cheap, ill-considered correctness, what had Mr Lardner said that required coal hauling? We may not like Iain Smith's actions in Southern Rhodesia, but Zimbabwe is precisely what Smith feared; we may or may not accept large-scale immigration into the United Kingdom as beneficial, but Mr Powell certainly pinned a few problems out for consideration; and as for Edward Heath - what Mr Lardner said.

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Who is Running the Shop?

We have a Chancellor of the Exchequer who talks down the economy, a Home Secretary who declares that our increasing poverty will unleash a wave of property crime, a Foreign Secretary whose prime area of interest and only area on which he has made a detailed statement is the future of the Labour party, the head of the Metropolitan Police on the verge of resignation, the population, particularly the poorer population, indebted on housing and credit cards for the rest of their lives although their houses are sliding in value faster than ever before, and where is the Prime Minister who is in denial on every aspect of every one of his failing policies?

In another country giving a talk to Scottish businessmen.

Abolishing Council Tax

Council tax is s a terrible burden for so many people. Its effects warp and control lives in far too many ways: creating benefit dependencies; creating real poverty among vulnerable population groups, particularly the old; creating opportunities for unacceptable levels of snooping by local authorities' employees; enabling many working- age people to pay nothing for local services. Having a beautiful house does not necessarily signal having a high income, it is a choice to devote more wealth to housing than to other consumption.

A local income tax would remove all these disadvantages. And a flattish tax would be straightforward to collect and distribute the costs of local services onto all their users.

Scotland is going to abolish council tax and have local income tax. It already has free care for the old, no university fees, greater availability of health service treatments, no hospital car-parking charges, small class sizes in its schools, and a high level of satisfaction with its government. Which is not surprising given that all this has happened there since Labour were voted out of office.

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Newmania is Right of Centre (but less than some)

'Envy for those above me gnaws my innards and vile arrogant contempt for those below eats at my soul.'

Envy is a perfectly reasonable sin, one of the seven deadlies. But that his soul is eaten by 'vile arrogant contempt' just because he came in ahead of the rest of us gives pause. Particularly those of us left of centre who are One Nation conservatives.

Tuesday, 2 September 2008


Where can anyone buy a house for under £175,000?

Brown Announces Housing Policy for England From Brussels

'Vote for me and I will buy your house' the Westminster Prime Minister announced today. 'What is more, if I pay under £175,000 I will be freed of paying stamp duty which all the rest of you have been stiffed with since I was Chancellor.'

'This offer does not apply to Scotland because Scottish people have refused persistently to vote for me.'