7th October 2011
I’m not convinced that the idea of giving people a free burial in return for their body parts to be used in transplants is a good idea. In any event, mine are so knackered I cannot imagine anyone wanting them, even for free! I do, however, see a futures market developing in these parts. I mean, why not? We trade so much on futures markets and here is another wheeze for traders to make a quick buck.
Labour are making hay out of Liam Fox’s embarrassment out of his friendship with his pal Adam Werrity. That’s politics, par for the course. It does, however, show a certain lack of judgement on Fox’s part. There seems to be a very indecent haste on the part of David Cameron to have his enquiry completed within 48 hours. It just goes to show, these enquiries don’t have to last for years when you don’t want them to. I wonder whether Fox has been set up. After all, there are those in the Tory party who don’t like him for his independence of spirit, last but not least – David Cameron. If not set up, then I imagine his actions have been carefully monitored this last year to see where there is a weakness.
The calls for his being sacked are growing louder. Cameron has offered him his support, so that inevitably spells doom. His incredibly poor judgement is indisputable. But then he is in good company on the Tory front bench. Where he gay, on the other hand, there would not be a problem. I wonder why his defender in the media this last 24 hours has been the merry Nick Boles MP. Food for thought.
CAMERON’S SUPPORT OF GAYS
I read with astonishment an article in the Sunday Mail. In essence, aid to poor African countries will be cut if they don’t protect gays within their communities. I mean, it’s OK to give aid to such countries where it is misappropriated by corrupt dictators, but not if these same people are un-protective of gays. Where is this man coming from? Is he worried that the camp sounding leader of our opposition will get the gay vote or what?
What a circus this is turned out to be. There is much one can comment on, but the most outrageous statement yet made has to be the one by our demented Fuehrer. He wants to reintroduce the right to buy your council house/flat. Well, why not on I say. But what about the council flats and houses occupied by immigrants, many, very many of them here illegally. Such a sale might be construed to legitimize their illegal entry into this country. But that apart, what does that mean for the many British citizens who have been denied council housing because such housing was given preferentially to immigrants. A council, when confronted with a family of 10 from Somalia, let us say, are obliged to find them housing. And so it has been for coming on for 20 years. This is a disgusting state of affairs. And what is it all for? Just to raise a few million pounds in revenue.
This Government has just made a commitment to increase overseas aid by £3 billion. In 2009 a total of £11.5 billion was given in aid, much of this to countries that are simply undeserving of it. We have filled with much of this money the coffers of tyrants and autocrats and allowed many more to spend money on armaments. As for the latter, much of this money does come back to the UK in the form of exports by the British armaments industry.
The war in Libya has cost the country some £1 billion, more or less, depending on the reports read. It will cost us more yet, and what will be offer them for reconstructing their economy and infrastructure? The Afghan war has so far cost us £11.1 billion – and for what. What has been achieved. We even have that former staunch supporter of the war General McCrystal telling us the war cannot be won, at least not in the set time frame for the beginning of withdrawal of troops in 2014. This is nothing new. Nine years ago I wrote about the unlikelihood of such a war being won, following this up with further articles. But how outrageous for McCristal and others to come out with this now. One is preparing the scene for an ignominious withdrawal akin to that from Vietnam. Nor should I forget to mention the war with Iraq that cost us some £9 billion. All this money should have been spent on our people. Apart from the money it caused an exodus of inhabitants from these countries, many coming to the EU and of course, where else, but the UK. The cost of accommodating these constitutes a double whammy.
What were our leaders thinking of? Blair’s heir Cameron has gone down the same route as his former master. When one lacks the ability to govern one’s own country competently, one looks abroad for an easy option. That has always been the case. I mean, ask yourself, what on earth is this man doing as UK Prime Minister? He has no qualifications for the job whatsoever, in the same way the George Osborn has none to be chancellor. We cannot afford to give these people on the job training for these positions of the greatest importance and authority. I mean, it akin to taking on a graduate to run Coca Cola. That would be unthinkable.
We were also told not enough is being done to encourage growth in the economy. This is patently untrue and let me set the record straight – NOTHING is being done to encourage growth in our economy. Sound bytes don’t hack it!
All this talk about reducing taxes to encourage growth. A small tax cut, even a number of small cuts over a period will do very little to encourage growth. What inducement should this be to a company to invest? Precious little. I tell you what it means, it means their profits may be a little higher for that year, but it will not encourage growth in any way, shape or form.
On the positive side, I have noticed that George Osborne’s voice training has had some beneficial effect. He no longer sounds as squeaky as he used to. Cameron in the other hand still sounds like a petulant schoolboy.
Its gone rather quiet around the Big Society. Whatever happened to it? Another failure, another U-turn.
The idea that Russia may be on the brink of forming a new political bloc akin to the former Soviet Union is to be welcomed. We need another power bloc to act as a buffer between Europe and the ever growing might of China. That apart, the synergy brought about by this will be of benefit not only to Russia, but to the many disparate states of the former Soviet Union, most of whom have not prospered since its demise and have seen continual upheaval. The risks for further strive are nevertheless great. One can but be reminded of the brutal war in Chechnya. Perhaps Putin believes such a union will give Russia and its closest allies legitimacy to act decisively to quell any dissent with firmness – and brutality.
THIRD TIME LUCKY?
Third time lucky for Sir Paul McCartney? I certainly hope so and wish him well.
I have been following these protests almost from the day they started. They got little coverage in the UK press initially and it is only now that they are spreading that they are.
Is this the American spring? I wonder. It all depends on the US administration, how they will react and cope with this situation. Their track record on all matters relating to the repair of economy has been poor, and it is how the economy has affected the lives of not only the average American Joe, but increasingly the middle class, that has brought about these demonstrations. The American dream seems to be well and truly dead and buried; can it be resurrected? It is the wanton pillaging by the few, the super rich of the country and its wealth that has at long last struck a note of discord. Does this spell the end of capitalism in the USA? Of course it doesn’t, nor should it. But as I have often said on these pages, unfettered, unregulated capitalism cannot be allowed to continue.
Does this strike a note here in Britain, or in Europe come to that? To me it does, yet I fear the British are fundamentally a subservient nation; a nation of people who will accept almost everything thrown at them by their governments, but I believe there is a line, that once crossed, can never be drawn again. Some 5 million Brits fled the country under Blair and these were precisely the kind of people the country could ill afford to lose, most from what I like to call the old middle class. Perhaps we will see more resistance to the incompetence of politicians in Europe, in France or Italy, although I fear not always for the right reasons.
But the Goldmanism, the Sachsim that has prevailed in the world must be curtailed. The unethical appropriation of money, of profit, no matter what the cost to countries, their peoples, communities, such as we are seeing on an ever increasing scale, cannot be allowed to continue. If this matter is not addressed, then I firmly believe it will have dire consequences in the longer term.
M & S
Marks and Spencers seem to be carving a nice little niche for themselves in the food market. Various new varieties of produce have been introduced. The ones that have stuck in my mind are a type of Super Broccoli which claims a number of health benefits and a smooth skinned Kiwi fruit they call Kiwee, and which can be eaten with its skin. These sell at a premium of course, but M & S’s clientele is used to paying above average prices for food which, for the most part, is of above average quality. Of course, some items are sold at a premium where all that differentiates them from, say Tesco, is the branding. I think here particularly of salads. Having met a manager from what is probably Britain’s largest supplier of packed washed salads, I was assured there is no difference between the salad in an M&S packet and that in one of ASDA – other than the price. I must try the Kiwees.
I watched part two of this series. How slow it is. I fear where producers have a plot, a story line, that is thin, they extend it with boring, unneccessary, slow-moving nonsense in order to fill the the series timewise. However, in this instance the plot appears at least to carry weight, so why thin it out?
I am intrigued by seeing both Osborne and Cameron in the story.
Russell Brand was refused entry into Canada. I can’t shed any tears over that. At least Canadians are displaying some common sense. Perhaps we should refuse him entry back into the UK.
This dreadful woman has been getting plaudits for her speech at the Labour Party conference. I cannot see why. Her judgement in all matters has to be suspect – after all, she married Ed Balls.
Some of the reasons given by Greeks for insisting that the EU help them out of the mire are ridiculous in the extreme. I gather that two that are popular in Greece are that Germany destroyed much of the Greek infrastructure during WWII and they owe reparations. Get real folks! How much more are the Germans to pay? Then it is argued that, as they belong to the EU, the wealthier members of this club should support the less fortunate members. I don’t buy that either.
REFERENDUM ON EU
I trust this is nothing but a sound byte, well, why should it be anything more than that. I cannot imagine it coming to anything, and yet should it could be a very dangerous route to take.
I am all for a referendum, but it at all depends on what question is asked and how it is phrased – as with all referendums. To ask the simple question whether we should remain in the EU or come out it, as both UKIP and the BNP have been calling for, is not the way forward. I suspect the result may even be that we should remain in it, although the result could be close.
I would be happier for the question to be asked whether Britain should re-negotiate the basic treaty. And yet, unless certain matters that were to be renegotiated were set out as part of the referendum, this may also not advisable. Those who would be charged with re-negotiting the treaty would argue that to put such parameters into the referendum would impede their ability to negotiate, after all, how can we show our cards up front. There is something to this. I see no other way forward, however. The problem is that no matter what any of the three major parties say they will do in respect of re-negotiations, preceding a referendum, they are not to be trusted to adhere to this. That has been amply demonstrated.
28th September 2011
THE LABOUR PARTY
Are Labour beginning to learn a lesson? Ed Milliband at the Labour Part conference gave a speech setting out his thoughts and potential policies for Britain and more importantly its economy. Much of what he said will find some resonance with the British middle class. The problem it is he who says it, and he, nor Labour for that matter, have any credibility. They caused most of the problems we now face, and to present this volte face is quite revolting as far as I am concerned. A number of commentators have argued that this is old fashioned Labour class war on capitalism. I don’t agree. This touches more on Cameron’s Big Society than the Tories would like to admit; and Labour know it. As ever, they are so much smarter than their Tory counterparts in analysing the status quo, as also their own predicament; and yet I have no doubt that they are unable to capitalize upon it – no pun intended. They, as do the Tories, operate with sound-bytes, but these ain’t half a bad ones.
I quite like the Daily Mail from the perspective that it is a crusading newspaper. I don’t like its headlines or its overall tone. The worst thing about it is that they dredge up old news, again and again and, may I say it, again. OK, they need copy to fill a lot of space.
I did so enjoy his appearance on Newsnight last night. Like Nigel Farage, he does speak his mind and that is something that is needed in British politics. OK, to call the representative from Brussels an idiot, and that on more than one occasion, was a little near the knuckle, but then again, so what. I was amused, but not surprised, to see the man leave the Brussel’s studio before the discussion had ended.
I wrote some months ago that I felt Tesco was peaking. It had somehow lost its way. Well, Tesco appears to have come to this realisation themselves in that they have caught their opposition on the wrong foot with their recent price cuts, which are substantial. Price on some items have been almost halved and the results are making themselves felt in their trading figures. Let Sainsbury and the rest follow. They will have to do something.
As for UKIP, their party conference came and went. Little was reported in the national media. Even Nigel Farage did not manage to get many interviews. The problem with UKIP is that they are a one issue party. They will argue that they are not, but that is how they are perceived by the British public, and I don’t see that changing. They are also a one man party – and that man is of course Nigel Farage. Until they can both broaden their policy horizons and get this across to the electorate and, more importantly, get some good quality people on board, they have not a chance in hell of succeeding in British politics. The same applies to the BNP, to a lesser degree. It is therefore a shame that the Tory right is scattered over a number of political parties and interest groups. I say Tory right, although I must state that I don’t associate myself with their views other than on the issues of immigration and the EU. As far as the latter is concerned, it is foolhardiness to suggest that we can leave the EU. However, it is imperative that all attempts by the Brusselcrats to force a federal state upon Europe must be resisted at all cost, by any means. Should this not be feasible, then yes, we must leave the EU. But I don’t believe there is a common desire in Europe to see a federal state. One has to work much more closely with other political groups in Europe who share the same views.
The Brusselcrat who appeared on the Newsnight program epitomizes for me all that is wrong with the EU.
We had radio, then television and the next thing is Radiovision. How so? Most radio programs have an on-line presence, especially the BBC ones. They have often shown stills from a webcam, or movies, but now we have the Tony Livesey show on BBC Radio 5 Live going a step further. In short, we will have Radiovision. However, that too will be short-lived.
In maximum a decade I see every house in the country having a media-box, for want of a better word. This will distribute television programs onto screens, big and small, hand held, mobiles… you name it. The same media-box will supply us our internet connection, our telephones, our dinger to turn on the lights, run the bath water, turn off the oven…. and much else. Oh happy days! Or not?