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Sunday, 30 November 2008

Government statistics

Having mislead us over inflation figures and unemployment figures for years it appears that
"The Government's official house price index, produced by the Land Registry, has been accused of misleading homebuyers and policymakers after it emerged that it excludes repossessions and auctions on the grounds that they do not reflect the 'full market value' of the sale.

The latest Land Registry figures, published on Friday, showed a 10.1 per cent annual fall in prices across England and Wales, a considerably more benign figure than the indices from Halifax and Nationwide, which reveal prices falling by 15 per cent and 13.9 per cent respectively.

In the past the gap between the figures has been attributed to time-lag differences. But concern is growing that the Land Registry figures, regarded as the 'gold standard' of house price data and used by the Bank of England in setting interest rates, may be fundamentally flawed, as repossessions are ignored."

Is anybody in the slightest bit surprised to learn this? We have been lied to for years by this Labour government and they have been protected by the BBC and other media from proper scrutiny. Only now as their rule comes close to an end do more and more stories leak out. What next?

Have enough MPs had enough of Michael Martin?

The Mail reports that:
"Speaker Michael Martin faces a humiliating revolt by MPs over his handling of the Damian Green affair when the Queen visits Westminster for the State Opening of Parliament on Wednesday.

An all-party group of MPs is threatening to hijack the Queen’s Speech in an attempt to force the Speaker to apologise for his conduct – and may call on him to resign."

Of course if Speaker Martin does have to resign then the inbuilt Labour majority could elect yet another Labour stooge as Speaker, but would Gordon Brown and his cabal dare to try what Tony Blair succeeded with in 1997? What do they have to lose...

How long before Britain is bankrupt?

The First Post have their own ideas and it does not make for pleasant reading. Here's an extract:
"Over the past two months, it has been reported, foreign investors have pulled out around three quarters of the money they invested in UK gilts over the past four years. Short-term gilts, which the government must repay within a couple of years, are trading at record high prices, while long-term gilts are at 30-year lows.

What this means is that confidence in the long-term future of the British economy is roughly where it was during James Callaghan's Winter of Discontent in 1978-79. Anyone who does lend, wants to be repaid quickly.

To return to the bankruptcy scenario, Britain now finds itself with a falling currency and low investor confidence. Anyone looking for a reserve currency other than the dollar or yen gravitates to the euro over sterling. Britain has to go the Argentina route and start offering higher interest rates to potential lenders simply to pay its interest bills.

Meanwhile, the cost of crucial imports such as food and manufacturing goods soars owing to the crippled pound. Inflation takes hold. A financially cautious world wants nothing to do with Britain's key export, financial services. Foreign currency inflows stall.

The hedge funds and private equity firms which propped up London's economy either close up shop due to the lack of any credit or move to Geneva, where the crime level is lower and the tax regime more generous. Britain is suddenly unable to pay its bills or roll over its debts. It is bankrupt. The IMF, the EU, the Americans and the Saudis will have to come to the rescue.

How probable is all this? With nothing more than a finger in the air, I'd say 10 per cent and rising."

Are you worried yet?

Reporting the opinion polls

I have blogged many times about the BBC's habit of only reporting those opinion polls that are positive for the Labour party. It seems that this pattern has not been broken today. Last week the BBC were fond of mentioning that Ipsos Mori were reporting the Conservative lead down to just three points, so supporting the Labour/BBC narrative that Gordon Brown was leading a sustained bounce. The BBC were much less keen to report the other polls that showed 10%+ leads for the Conservative party.

This weekend Ipsos Mori are reporting the Conservatives up 3% at 43%, Labour down 5% at 32% and the Lib Dems up 3% at 15%. Are the BBC reporting this massive turnaround on the last Ipsos Mori poll, although is reality a return to the normal levels of support after a rogue poll? Not that I can see...

True or scaremongering?

The Telegraph report:
"Gold is poised for a dramatic surge and could blast through $2,000 an ounce by the end of next year as central banks flood the world's monetary system with liquidity, according to an internal client note from the US bank Citigroup.

The bank said the damage caused by the financial excesses of the last quarter century was forcing the world's authorities to take steps that had never been tried before.

This gamble was likely to end in one of two extreme ways: with either a resurgence of inflation; or a downward spiral into depression, civil disorder, and possibly wars. Both outcomes will cause a rush for gold.

"They are throwing the kitchen sink at this," said Tom Fitzpatrick, the bank's chief technical strategist.

"The world is not going back to normal after the magnitude of what they have done. When the dust settles this will either work, and the money they have pushed into the system will feed though into an inflation shock.

"Or it will not work because too much damage has already been done, and we will see continued financial deterioration, causing further economic deterioration, with the risk of a feedback loop. We don't think this is the more likely outcome, but as each week and month passes, there is a growing danger of vicious circle as confidence erodes," he said.

"This will lead to political instability. We are already seeing countries on the periphery of Europe under severe stress. Some leaders are now at record levels of unpopularity. There is a risk of domestic unrest, starting with strikes because people are feeling disenfranchised."

"What happens if there is a meltdown in a country like Pakistan, which is a nuclear power. People react when they have their backs to the wall. We're already seeing doubts emerge about the sovereign debts of developed AAA-rated countries, which is not something you can ignore," he said.

Gold traders are playing close attention to reports from Beijing that the China is thinking of boosting its gold reserves from 600 tonnes to nearer 4,000 tonnes to diversify away from paper currencies. "If true, this is a very material change," he said.

Mr Fitzpatrick said Britain had made a mistake selling off half its gold at the bottom of the market between 1999 to 2002. "People have started to question the value of government debt," he said.

Citigroup said the blast-off was likely to occur within two years, and possibly as soon as 2009. Gold was trading yesterday at $812 an ounce. It is well off its all-time peak of $1,030 in February but has held up much better than other commodities over the last few months – reverting to is historical role as a safe-haven store of value and a de facto currency.

Gold has tripled in value over the last seven years, vastly outperforming Wall Street and European bourses. "

I have been saying for three years that gold is where our money should be, maybe Mrs NotaSheep will listen this time...

Matthew Parris may have missed the point

I admire Matthew Parris's writings and his latest piece in The Times is well up to the mark. However in one paragraph he misses something, he writes:
"The common law offence of “aiding and abetting, counselling or procuring misconduct in a public office” sets such a ridiculously low hurdle that thousands of my colleagues in the newspaper industry, many MPs, most Opposition spokesmen, and innumerable helpfully indiscreet police officers would be behind bars if every offence was investigated and prosecuted. Much journalism would become impossible, legitimate questioning and debate by MPs would be ruled out, and activity in the public interest would be outlawed."
What he doesn't seem to consider is that Gordon Brown and his government might prefer it if much journalism was impossible and if legitimate questioning and debate by MPs could be ruled out. Maybe Matthew Parris credits Gordon Brown with more respect for democracy than he should.

A leak enquiry

"To leak is one of the irregular verbs; I make unattributable briefings, you leak, he is charged under Section 30 of the Offical Secrets Act."
Yes Minister as always told the truth as well as made us laugh.

Saturday, 29 November 2008

Precognition becomes a reality

Life in 21st Century Britain just got a little more scary, The Mail reports that:
"CCTV cameras which can 'predict' if a crime is about to take place are being introduced on Britain's streets.

The cameras can alert operators to suspicious behaviour, such as loitering and unusually slow walking. Anyone spotted could then have to explain their behaviour to a police officer.

The move has been compared to the Tom Cruise science-fiction film Minority Report, in which people are arrested before they commit planned offences."

Could this Labour government devise any more surveillance measures to keep us under control? If someone devised an implant that would record everything a person saw and said, does anyone believe that this Labour government wouldn't try and introduce it as a means of preventing terrorism?

The purges have started

"THE Prime Minister last night began the elimination of his enemies as he pledged to cleanse Britain of the virus of dissent.

Crowds cheered and threw rotten fruit at Conservative MP Damian Green as he was dragged from his bed in the early hours by the Prime Minister's anti-treason officers.

The traitor Green was questioned for nine hours before confessing. His whereabouts are now unknown though Downing Street said he was in a place where he could do no more harm.

More arrests are expected today as Mr Brown makes an example of all those who would seek to destroy our faith in his wisdom and kindness.

According to Downing Street the Prime Minister questioned Green personally and was able to secure the names of more than 20 co-conspirators after the application of electrodes and a small wet sponge.

A spokesman said: "Listen well, treacherous scum. We know where you live. Do not try to hide from us. You will simply prolong your inevitable journey into the realms of pain."

He added: "All of those who have at any time questioned the Prime Minister's actions and judgement must surrender immediately.

"We can then begin the joyful process of re-ordering your thoughts and returning you to full productivity.""

Satire from The Daily Mash or reality just a little askew?

Popular culture query re The Professionals

Saw the end of an old The Professionals episode on Thursday, the episode was entitled "Involvement" and was (Season 4, Episode 4). My query is this, at the end of the episode Patricia Hodge drives up in a car, a rather odd looking late 1970s car, what on earth was it? I seem to remember once finding a website that has this sort of information but can't seem to find it now.

Googling (update 24)

On Google India - bombay terrorist attack - has this blog at position 1
whilst on Google Pakistan - "world economic crisis" - has this blog at position 2

Gordon Brown is a Moses figure!

Well according to The Telegraph, The Guardian reports that Peter Mandelson says
"People really do look to him like some Moses figure who is going to lead them away from this economic mess to the promised land."

Moses figure, pah; I am sure there are better comparisons to other biblical figures... Maybe a Job type figure but one who brings all the suffering upon the rest of the Country rather than himself. Any other/better suggestions?

A trillion pounds of debt

A trillion pounds is an almost inconceivable amount, for context here is a way to think about it.

If on the day that Queen Victoria died you had taken £25 million in bank notes and put them on a bonfire and then you had repeated this exercise every single day since then you would still be two years short of destroying a trillion pounds.

Plausible deniability

The Labour government's defence seems to be that they didn't know that Damien Green had been arrested has, as I blogged yesterday, given them quite some wriggle room.

One wriggle could be that indeed they didn't know that an arrest had been made until after the arrest had been made but that they did know that a search of Damian Green's offices and home was to happen, before it did.

Maybe someone could ask that question of the government, probably best not to wait for the BBC to do so though.


UPDATE:
The BBC are highlighting Gordon Brown's assurances that
"Mr Brown said he and ministers had "no prior knowledge" of the arrest. "I had no prior knowledge, the home secretary had no prior knowledge, I know of no other minister who had any prior knowledge"

I knew about it only after it had happened."
The BBC also faithfully report that:
"Home Secretary Jacqui Smith denied that ministers had been involved in any way in the arrest of Mr Green.

"The Metropolitan Police have been completely clear that that arrest happened without either ministerial involvement or authorisation," she said."


Even the BBC heading makes the specific claim that: "PM had 'no knowledge' of arrest"


Still not a mention of whether they or any minister knew about the upcoming search of Damian Green's offices and his being under investigation. Come on, someone ask Gordon Brown, Jacqui Smith and the ever more sinister looking Jack Straw what they did know about the investigation before the arrest was made.

Friday, 28 November 2008

Gordon Brown's legacy of debt

If receiving a document via a government leak is a crime that the police have to investigate...

If receiving a document via a government leak is a crime that the police have to investigate then Daniel Finkelstein in The Times has 10 examples that he thinks need investigating. Conveniently they all relate to the same (then) opposition politician and I believe the police will find it quite easy to locate him. Here is Daniel Finkelstein's list:
"The Times January 4th 1988:

Mrs Margaret Thatcher was at the cente of the political storm last night after the leak of a confidential Whitehall memorandum disclosing that tough new rules are to be applied to state support for scientific research and development.

Officials at the department refused to comment on 'information that fails into someone's hands as a result of an unauthorized disclosure'.

Sources did confirm, however, that the memorandum from Mr Anthony Kesten, a senior official in the department's official Research and Technology Policy Unit, was genuine. They also indicated that a high-level internal inquiry is likely to begin today into how the document came to be passed to Mr Gordon Brown, opposition Treasury spokesman.


The Times July 2nd 1991:

The government last night seemed to be retreating from plans to include in its citizens' charter tougher consumer protection measures for users of the privatised utilities.

New draft documents leaked by Labour suggest that ministers and officials inthe trade department have dropped proposals for a reiew of the utilities and the performance of their regulators.

Labour claimed the latest document showed that Mr Major's proposed charter was worthless. Gordon Brown, shadow trade secretary, said the draft document had been prepared for the prime minister and circulated last Thursday to be included in the charter. It was drawn up after ministerial and official discussions of an earlier draft leaked by Labour.


The Times July 18th 1991:

[Defence Secretary Tom King] said that Labour claims, led by Gordon Brown, the shadow industry secretary and local MP, that the Rosyth base was to be closed had caused considerable alarm. People were led to believe that decisions had been taken when they had not.

Against a background of noisy protests from Labour MPs, he said that he hoped that the Leader of the Opposition, who was in his place, would consider the way a leaked document had been used and the fact that Rosyth was a defence ministry site used for the refitting of nuclear submarines.

He added: "The Leader of the Opposition will realise that these are grave matters and I am sure that he will be concerned that people on his front bench used leaked documents from such a source as though this was not a matter of considerable gravity.''

He hoped that those who hoped to be the future government would take seriously the fact that people who might be working for them felt free to leak documents no matter what their nature might be.


The Times December 19th 1991:

If Michael Heseltine wanted to leak a government document, he would have had more sense than to do so through a Labour spokesman.

He can therefore be acquitted of responsibility for the disclosure by Gordon Brown of his memorandum to fellow cabinet ministers arguing for a different treatment of EC funds to support the less well-off regions of the UK. The leak, more to the point, is salutory. The case he makes is now assured the public airing it deserves.


Sunday Times June 6th 1993:

Major blamed the party's opponents for spreading ``scare stories'' when he addressed the Tory women's conference in London on Friday. Yesterday, Michael Portillo, chief secretary to the Treasury, followed suit when asked about an apparent leak of Whitehall information to Gordon Brown, Labour's shadow chancellor.

Brown said that a team at the social security department was exploring ways to cut housing and sickness benefits.


Evening Standard June 11th 1993:

The documents the Government was today hit by fresh leaks of its planned clampdown on social security spending.

As ministers tried to brush over the banana skin of last night's leak on plans to tax invalidity benefit claims and make them harder, the Labour Party received more than 30 other pages of documents.

The documents were given to Shadow Chancellor Gordon Brown and his Social Security colleague Donald Dewar


Daily Mirror June 2nd 1993:

Secret papers showing plans for a Government blitz on the welfare state provoked outrage last night.

Premier John Major was accused of threatening cuts ``deeper and more insidious'' than anything contemplated under Margaret Thatcher.

The Whitehall papers leaked to Shadow Chancellor Gordon Brown reveal that seven task forces of senior civil servants have been ordered to examine the system from top to bottom for benefits to axe.


Daily Mirror March 18th 1994:

Virginia Bottomley's appointment as Minister for the Family was exposed as a sham last night. A leaked official document revealed that her ministry has rejected every option for better childcare.

Despite the Government's party-of-the-family rhetoric, the Department of Health has squashed every idea on one of the key areas of family policy. Shadow Chancellor Gordon Brown, who will unveil Labour's childcare plans next week, said: "This shows that Mrs Bottomley's appointment is just window dressing".


Daily Mirror September 10th 1994:

Shock Tory plans to dismantle the Welfare State have been exposed in a leaked Government document. Whitehall committees have been working on how to slash or means-test benefits paid to every family in the country.

Child benefit, pensions, sick pay, and unemployment benefit have all been targetted for cuts, the document called the "Review of Social Security - Second Stage" shows.

Shadow Chancellor Gordon Brown, who was sent the paper, said six of the seven Treasury-inspired committees had already reported.


Independent on Sunday May 4th 1997:

A front bencher from the last parliament said frankly: "None of us has the first sodding idea about what government means, whether any of us will be any good at it, or even what being good at it means....... Some of my colleagues have made a career out of being a conduit for leaks from the Civil Service to the press. That's hardly going to be much good in government." "

What's sauce for the goose... Not going to happen is it? This isn't about leak enquiries, this is about power, control and a Labour government that is out of control.

Would you buy a bond from Gordon Brown

The markets it seems are not:
"The UK and Italy struggled to sell bonds on Thursday in a fresh sign of the difficulties governments are facing because of the debt needed for economic stimulus packages and bank recapitalisations.

The two bond auctions saw both governments forced to pay higher yields to attract investors and Italy scaled back the amount on offer.

Analysts say it is an “ominous” warning that debt raising is likely to become even tougher in the coming months if problems are emerging so soon after government announcements to increase issuance. A record of more than €1,000bn ($1,290bn) of debt is expected to be issued in Europe next year.

Significantly, the bond auctions were for shorter-dated securities, usually the most sought after.

Roger Brown, global head of rates research at UBS, said: “The UK auction was dire. I do not remember one as bad for shorter-dated bonds. It is an ominous sign of trouble ahead.

“It is surprising to us that the UK Treasury should encounter such weak demand for a four-year gilt in only the second auction since Monday’s pre-Budget report, when record levels of issuance were announced.”

...

with economies contracting, lower tax receipts and rising benefit payments mean countries could face higher debt servicing costs as overall debt levels rise.

Among European countries, the UK and Italy may face the greatest difficulties because of their large debt programmes. The UK announced plans to raise an extra £37.4bn ($56.5bn) in gilts this year in the PBR.

This takes the overall total to £146.4bn – an all-time high and nearly three times the amount raised in 2007-08. The Debt Management Office forecasts bond issuance remaining high, at an average of £135bn a year, until 2013."
Not good is it, I wonder if Gordon Brown will react by having the markets arrested...

Is Damian Green a terrorist, is George Osborne, is everybody who disagrees with this Labour government?

Damian Green was arrested by anti-terrorist police, people are asking how can this be. Well this might provide you with a clue (my emphasis):
"the European Union employs a definition of terrorism for legal/official purposes which is set out in Art. 1 of the Framework Decision on Combating Terrorism (2002).[22] This provides that terrorist offences are certain criminal offences set out in a list comprised largely of serious offences against persons and property which;

"given their nature or context, may seriously damage a country or an international organisation where committed with the aim of: seriously intimidating a population; or unduly compelling a Government or international organisation to perform or abstain from performing any act; or seriously destabilising or destroying the fundamental political, constitutional, economic or social structures of a country or an international organisation."


So "talking down the pound" could be defined as terrorism - watch out George Osborne, why do you think Gordon Brown was so keen to attack George Osborne's comments? Criticising Muslim groups for not condemning Islamic terrorism could be defined as terrorism by dint of destroying social structures. Supporting dissent within the EU could be classified as terrorism as it could be seen as destabilising an international organisation. Calling for public protests outside Parliament could be classified as terrorism as that could be seen as destabilising a constitutional structure. In fact if this Labour government want to silence any of us bloggers, they could do so under existing legislation as easy as 1-2-3.

Now are you afraid? I am.


I have long read Atlas Shrugged's comments on Biased-BBC with more than a degree of scepticism; but maybe, just maybe, his paranoia has some foundations.

Now are you afraid?

Just how screwed is the UK economy?

"The United Kingdom is an interesting economy in particular because its aggregate consumer debt alone ($2660 US Billion) is roughly equal to the nation’s total GDP. In this sense, the UK is just like your friend that spends exactly what they make, or even beyond their means to try and impress his/her friends. This is worse than living month to month – it’s like living a month to two months behind! And now, the UK is accumulating new debt at a faster rate than the economy. If the UK were a private citizen, it might be time for him/her to sell off what they can and move to Panama, or declare some type of bankruptcy."

Read the whole article here but prepare to get very, very depressed.

Man Made Climate Change

If you still believe in Man Made Climate Change then read this from American Thinker and you should change your mind.

We are being conned folks, conned.

Have Labour learned nothing?

"We used to think that you could spend your way out of a recession and increase employment by cutting taxes and boosting government spending. I tell you in all candour that that option no longer exists."

- James Callaghan, at the Labour Party conference in 1976

Asteroids Galaxy

If you, like me, wondered who the young blonde girl on last night's Never Mind the Buzzcocks was, then here is the info.... As Simon said last night "The Asteroids Galaxy Tour are musicians on a mission… dedicated to turning pop technicolour, making funk get down with folk and mixing old soul with psychedelia and spaced-out beats." and the singer is Mette Lindberg co-leader of the band along with Lars Iversen. I think this band could go far...

Here's some video:



The Asteroids Galaxy - "Around the Bend"




The Asteroids Galaxy - "The Sun Ain't Shining No More"

The Damian Green arrest

Phil Woolas was on the Today programme defending the Labour government line that the government were not aware that Damian Green had been arrested. I am sorry but I do not believe it, I cannot see the Metropolitan police arresting an opposition minister on a charge resulting from an investigation launched on the instructions of the government without giving some feedback to the Home Office or Justice department at the least. Apparently the police called the Speaker, the Serjeant At Arms, David Cameron and Boris Johnson but not anyone in the government; does anyone believe that? This affair stinks to high heaven and the truth will come out eventually.

Maybe the "out" is that the government are denying knowing that the arrest had happened but not that they knew in advance that it was going to happen. With this Labour government always try and listen to what they have not said as well as what they have said, there is always "wriggle room".

Meanwhile has there been any investigation of who has been leaking information to Robert Peston and other Labour supporting BBC "journalists"? Does anyone think there ever will be?

I am not generally a believer in conspiracy theories, preferring to believe in the cock-up theory of politics; however there is something not right about the way the UK is being governed by this Labour government. I am genuinely scared that something distinctly unpleasant is about to unfold in the UK and we may be closer to the suspension of democracy than ever before.

Damian Green - "conspiracy to cause misconduct in public office".

This government and the Metropolitan Police are out of control, they have once again used anti-terrorist legislation for non-terrorist purposes. As I have said before, this Labour government are turning the UK into a totalitarian police state, dissent is to be snuffed out and any opposition to the government will be deemed to be against the interests of the state. As I said recently,
"Just as Samuel Johnson pronounced that patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel; I believe that using the threat of terrorism is often the first refuge of this totalitarian Labour government."

Anyone else scared of what might happen next?

Guido Fawkes has a rather good take on this and here is his graphic:

The Bombay terrorist attacks - hidden in a BBC article

Hidden away in this BBC article is this intriguing line:
"In a separate development, the Indian navy has taken control of two Pakistani merchant navy ships and is questioning their crews after witnesses said some of the militants came ashore on small speed boats. "

This terrorist attack has upset the BBC's mindset; they are having to associate Islam with terrorism which is hard as they have spent so much of the last years brainwashing us that Islam is the "religion of peace". I am sure that they will be pushing the "we must be careful that there is no anti-Muslim backlash" angle very soon and that that will suddenly become the main story.

India's Entebbe

I see that the BBC are reporting that "Indian forces storm Jewish centre". Unfortunately for the BBC the Indian troops are not killing Jews but rescuing them from Muslim terrorists or as the BBC prefer to describe them - "gunmen", "militants" or "activists".

Thursday, 27 November 2008

It's all the fault of those Jews again

Following my discovery that the Jews are responsible for the world economic crisis, for killing John F. Kennedy and for preparing for the Israeli shekel to become the world's strong currency, today I found out from the Muslim Brotherhood that
"the firing by terrorists began from Nariman House--which is the only building in Mumbai inhabited by Jews."
and that
"Our worst fears have come true. It is clear that Mossad is involved in the whole affair. An entire city has been attacked by Mossad and probably units of mercenaries. It is not possible for one single organization to plan and execute such a sophisticated operation. It is clear that this operation was backed by communal forces from within the Indian State. The Home Minister Shivraj Patil should resign. The RSS-BJP-VHP-Bajrang Dal should be banned. Advani and others ought to be arrested. Today is a day of shame for all Indians and all Hindus. Muslims and secular Hindus have been proven right. RSS type forces and Israel are all involved in not only destabilizing but finishing India. India should immediately snap all relations with Israel."

These Jews are a real menace and have such power don't they? And that enormous country Israel has such reach, such power, such dominance over its tiny neighbouring Muslim countries and the ability and desire to kill Hindus and Christians in India. Or might it be more likely that Muslims terrorists have once again killed the, as they perceive them, Christian 'pigs' and Hindu pantheist believers.

We're saved, Alistair Darling has a secret plan

The Daily Mash report that:
"CHANCELLOR Alistair has a secret plan to keep buggering about with the British economy until he finds something that works, it was revealed last night.

A confidential Treasury memo, published on a government website, proposes a series of tax rises and tax cuts introduced for two weeks at a time over the next five years.

The memo suggests a 75% 'supertax' for pantomime stars between December 5th and January 31st, suspending VAT on forks, cutting corporation tax for companies run by men named Ian and increasing child benefit for families who roam the land singing songs and performing magic tricks.

It adds: "Failing that we can just whack up VAT, murder the aristocracy and steal their houses."

The memo also reveals Mr Darling's secret plan to breed unicorns and sell them to Chinese millionaires.

The chancellor would invest public money in up to a dozen unicorn farms across the country churning out thousands of magical horses which would then be vacuum packed and shipped to the Far East.

Mr Darling believes that at £250,000 a unicorn the government could have paid back its £120bn of borrowing by the time Star Trek becomes reality.

The Conservatives last night dismissed the plan as the latest 'government con', insisting there was probably no such thing as unicorns and that it would simply be a load of donkeys with a bread stick glued to their foreheads."

Magic and no more ridiculous than his real "plans".

Gordon Brown has brought back Mandelson and is rumoured to be bringing back Blunkett, who might be next?



Satire or plausible?


Thanks to Archbishop Cranmer for the spot.

The battle lines are being drawn up

The 1980 Conservative government had to rescue the country from the economic disaster that was the Wilson/Callaghan government and to break the control of the Trade Unions over the UK's life. It looks as though the 2010s Conservative government will have to fight similar battles; arguably the economic problems they inherit will be worse than those inherited by Mrs Thatcher in 1979 and the Trade Union fight will not be over secondary picketing or wildcat strikes but public sector final salary pensions.

More Labour Cuts

The ever more impressive Fraser Nelson in The Spectator demolishes Alistair Darling's Pre Budget Report and includes a couple of killer passages (my emphasis):
"To see just how far the game has changed, consider the response last week when Mr Cameron declared Labour’s 2010/11 spending levels unaffordable. Then, he was denounced as a Thatcherite ideologue by Labour and as ‘mad’ by some economic commentators. Yet on Monday, Mr Darling did precisely the same, cutting his own projected spending for the next two years by some £35 billion. By coincidence, this is precisely the sum he accused Michael Howard of planning to cut three years ago. Then, Mr Darling declared such a saving ‘could only be found from cutting deep into front-line public services, including schools, hospitals and the police’. Now he calls it ‘efficiency’."



"Every couple of decades, a financial disaster comes along which destroys a government’s reputation. For Jim Callaghan it came in 1976 when he asked the IMF for a £2.3 billion bail-out. John Major had his in 1992 with Black Wednesday, which cost £3.4 billion. If we take the almost comically optimistic assumptions of the Pre-Budget Report, Britain is now heading for £1,080 billion of national debt. This is the price of the collapse of New Labour. And this debt, rather than a New Jerusalem, will be Mr Brown’s legacy."

Gordon Brown's army

Following my various posts, the most recent being this one, about the reports that
"(Barack) Obama will call on citizens of all ages to serve America, by developing a plan to require 50 hours of community service in middle school and high school and 100 hours of community service in college every year."
I read today on the Labour party's propaganda arm's website that:
"Everyone between the ages of 16 and 25 should do at least six months of "intensive" voluntary work, former home secretary David Blunkett has said.

The Labour MP said such a scheme would foster a "sense of belonging" among young people.

Mr Blunkett said it would also demonstrate that "we have to do things for ourselves", as the global economic crisis develops.

The ideas are presented in a report for Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

Mr Blunkett said the scheme - involving six to nine months of voluntary work within communities - should be tested in three or four cities before being rolled out across the UK.

The MP for Sheffield Brightside, who was education secretary before he went to the Home Office, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme it would emphasise "the identity of people, the sense of belonging".

It would also give a perspective on "what's happening to them in other parts of their lives".

He said: "If we can get people to volunteer, particularly young people, and we can change their view of themselves and the world around them, that will restore what I call the glue [of society]."

When asked whether the scheme should become a form of compulsory national service Mr Blunkett replied: "It's been reinforced to me in the last year that you can't have volunteering unless it's voluntary."

Instead, he called for a system of incentives to attract young people.

Mr Blunkett said this would mean a return to "the old Labour adage to give us the opportunity to do things for ourselves".

His proposals are contained in a pamphlet for the Fabian Society."

I presume that the re-education camps for those of us too old to volunteer will follow shortly after this is implemented along with the punishment camps for those who refuse to volunteer. Fascism seems to be alive and kicking on both sides of the Atlantic and as usual it is fascism of the left.

Labour "cuts"

Even as a teenager in the 1980s I worked out that the Labour party's accusation of Tory cuts when all that was happening was that that the size of the planned increase in spending was being reduced not actual spending. Oddly the BBC never seemed to work this out, or rather decided to push the Labour line.

Now that the Institute for Financial Studies is reported to have
"worked out that the revised 1.2pc growth rate of public spending, coupled with the freeze in capital investment means Gordon Brown will have £37 billion less to spend on services than initially planned in future years."
will the BBC be running a similar scare campaign? Somehow I doubt it.

It's not as though the country is short of money

Another Conservative politician who was all but destroyed but concerted Labour/BBC attacks on him whilst he was a minister in the last Conservative government was Peter Lilley. The Labour/BBC axis added him to the list of John Redwood, Michael Portillo and others who they hoped they had destroyed forever, just as Sarah Palin was attacked without mercy and often without truth in the recent Presidential election.

However Peter Lilley has not gone away and has come up with a terrifying report on the amount that fighting "climate change" is going to cost the UK.
"...cost up to £200bn; that's £10,000 from every family in the country.

I'm not talking about rescuing the banks. That involved loans which we should eventually get back. This is real money in taxes and lost incomes - money you will never see again."

Read the whole report that has been given hardly any publicity by the BBC on their website here.

As John Redwood says:
"Neither Parliament nor most of the media bothered to discuss the cost of one of the most immense projects ever adopted in this country. Indeed, Parliament wafted it through without even discussing its cost and with only five votes against.

In my experience, our biggest mistakes are made when Parliament and the media are virtually unanimous and MPs switch off their critical faculties in a spasm of moral self-congratulation. That is what happened with this Bill.

We all want to save the planet from overheating, just as we all want to save the financial system from meltdown. We accept that both rescues may cost us a lot.

But a healthy democracy should at least debate the cost, compare it with the likely benefits (or costs of doing nothing) and consider whether we can achieve the same ends at less cost.

Had MPs or commentators bothered to read the government's own estimates of the potential costs and benefits of the Climate Change Bill - the Impact Assessment - they would have found some extraordinary things.

Admittedly, on this occasion government failed to publish copies of the assessment in the normal way so it took a little effort to obtain. Apparently, I was the only MP to obtain a copy.

The contents of the Impact Assessment are astounding. Whereas it puts the Bill's potential cost as up to £205bn, it says the maximum benefits of this massive expenditure is £110bn.

I am all in favour of taking out an insurance policy, as the government describes it, against the threat of global warming.

But would you insure your home with a company if they charged premiums which could be double the value of your house? There must be a better insurance policy than this.

Moreover, the government admits that their estimate of the "maximum" cost is far from being the real maximum since it omits three huge items.

First, the Impact Assessment admits that it is "unable to capture transition costs which could be 1.3% to 2% of GDP in 2020".

Second, they make the fantastically optimistic assumption that all businesses will know and instantly adopt the most cost efficient technologies to achieve carbon savings.

Third, the assessment "cannot capture trade and competitiveness impacts"; in particular, the "relatively high risks of the transfer of productive capital to countries without carbon policies".

In other words, if we pursue the policies in the Climate Change Bill unilaterally, without others doing the same, we could end up driving UK business abroad without reducing carbon emissions because they will still be spewing forth carbon.

Yet this bill legally binds future British governments unilaterally to spend billions of pounds on trying to prevent climate change even if other countries do not follow our lead.

...

The bill originally bound governments by law to meet targets for reducing carbon emissions by 26% by 2020 and 60% by 2050.

The new climate minister, Ed Miliband, amended it to raise the final target by a third to 80% - thereby increasing the likely cost by at least a third, although no-one deigned to mention this. He has refused to reveal the extra cost until after the bill becomes law.


We are lied to and ripped off by this Labour government on an almost daily basis and nothing seems to be able to be done about it. The people are getting angry Mr Brown, the people are getting very angry.

The collapse of the High Street has started early

I have blogged before, including here and here about the upcoming collapse of the retail sector in the UK.

I predicted that:
"Many retail companies are just holding position and hoping for a good Christmas, when that does not come true there will be big losses, company failures and huge job losses. I expect to see many high streets and shopping malls with over 15% empty units by the end of 2009 Q2."

It looks as though I may have been slightly optimistic although my end thought bears repetition:
"I don't wish to sound like the harbinger of doom, but... "


This recession is going to be longer and deeper than most people believe is possible and Alistair Darling/Gordon Brown's predictions in the Pre Budget Report are so ridiculously optimistic that they are risible.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Radicals!

The BBC have plumbed new depths tonight, a BBC Radio 4 news report described the perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks tonight as "radicals". Radicals! These terrorists have killed over 80 people, injured many others and are holding an unknown number of tourists, many of whom are likely to be British (that's British as in the first B of BBC) and the BBC call them radicals as if they are a group of left-wing intellectuals not murderous terrorists.

In my view the BBC have crossed a line tonight and I require an apology and the resignation of the head of BBC radio news or my TV licence will not be renewed when it comes due.

An Indian tale in America

An updated version of an old tale:

It was the first day of a school in USA and a new Indian student named Chandrasekhar Subramanian entered the fourth grade.

The teacher said, "Let's begin by reviewing some American History. Who said 'Give me Liberty, or give me Death'?"

She saw a sea of blank faces, except for Chandrasekhar, who had his hand up: "Patrick Henry, 1775."

The teacher said. "Very good! Who said 'Government of the People, by the People, for the People, shall not perish from the Earth?'"

Again, no response except from Chandrasekhar: "Abraham Lincoln, 1863" said Chandrasekhar.

The teacher snapped at the class, "Class, you should be ashamed. Chandrasekhar, who is new to our country, knows more about its history than you do."

She heard a loud whisper: "F*ck the Indians."

"Who said that?" she demanded.

Chandrasekhar put his hand up: "General Custer, 1862."

At that point, a student in the back said, "I'm gonna puke."

The teacher glared around and asked "All right! Now, who said that?"

Again, Chandrasekhar answers,"'George H.W. Bush to the Japanese Prime Minister, 1991."

Now furious, another student yells,"'Oh yeah? Suck this!"

Chandrasekhar jumps out of his chair waving his hand and shouts to the teacher, "Bill Clinton, to Monica Lewinsky, 1997!"

Now with almost mob hysteria someone said "You little shit. If you say anything else, I'll kill you."

Chandrasekhar frantically yells at the top of his voice, "Michael Jackson to the child witnesses testifying against him, 2004."

The teacher fainted. And as the class gathered around the teacher on the floor, someone said, "Oh shit, we're screwed!"

And Handrasekhar said quietly, "I think it was the American people, November 4, 2008."



Thanks to various for this spot.

Quiz time, answer

Yesterday I asked what the following cities had in common:
Sofia, Bulgaria
Delhi, India
Mumbai, India
Beijing, China
Istanbul, Turkey
Paris, France
Tehran, Iran
Tokyo, Japan
Bogotá, Colombia
Podgorica, Montenegro
Algiers, Algeria


The answer is the boring, yet interesting, fact that they (and they alone) have a friendship agreement with London.

The lights will be going out all over the UK

The Telegraph reports:
"The UK is at "real risk" of imminent power shortages as a result of attempts to shift to more environmentally friendly methods of electrictity production, a report has warned.

The study, which was carried out by Capgemini, a global energy consultancy firm, also claims that electricity generation has fallen to its lowest level in ten years.

The shortage has been caused by the increase in the level of demand for energy combined with a growing tendency to build wind turbines, at the expense of other, more reliable, electricity sources, it says.

The report estimates that around one quarter of the UK's energy plant capacity will close by 2015 as the country struggles to balance its carbon emissions targets with production of new energy sources.

An added problem is that Britain is moving from being self-sufficient in oil and gas as North Sea production declines, the report states.

In 2005, the UK became a net importer of gas. By 2010, imports could account for 40 per cent of British gas needs; by 2020, 80 per cent to 90 per cent.

Nuclear reactors currently account for about 20 per cent of Britain's electricity, but this will shrink to 6 per cent in 20 years as ageing plants are closed down.

A spokesman for Capgemini said that unless new power stations are built "the lights will go out".

He added: "Last year the system very nearly ran out of power and situation is still very tight. We have a large number of power stations that are going to close between now and 2015.

"There are stations that are planned to replace them but these stations are being built fairly slowly and the planned output of the new power stations will not necessarily cover those that are closing.

"We still have time to sort this out but over the next few years we may well be facing a shortage of energy."

The report also warned that the credit crunch had slowed down investment into utilities infrastructure across Europe and warned that governments should expect a "difficult wake up" once the recession is over.

It estimates that an investment of at least 1 trillion euros (£790 billion) is needed across the continent over the next 25 years.

Last year a report by Logica CMG, a business consultancy firm, warned that demand for energy could outstrip supply by almost one quarter within eight years.

The loss to the economy could be £108 billion each year, it said.

It comes just a fortnight after energy experts warned that Britain faces blackouts within ten years as power stations go out of service.

They claimed that government dithering had failed to guarantee the construction of new plants.

Nine oil and coal-fired power plants are to close by 2015 because of an EU directive that aims to limit pollution.

At the same time, four ageing nuclear power plants will also be shut.

Dr Jon Gibbins, of Imperial College and many other industry experts are concerned the UK is becoming increasingly reliant on imported gas, which can show sudden price hikes.

It also puts Britain at the mercy of gas rich states in the Middle East and Russia, which is increasingly flexing its muscles as the world's first energy super-power.

Dr Gibbins said it is vital that Britain has a diverse source of electricity, from nuclear, renewable sources, such as wind power, and coal fired power stations where the carbon emissions are captured and stored under ground.

Dr Gibbins was one of 31 experts quizzed on the issue by BBC News.

The Government is aiming to cover 20 per cent of electricity needs from renewable energy sources such as wind and wave power by 2020. This would require a multi-billlion pound investment which does not appear to be forthcoming, the experts said.

Energy minister Michael O'Brien insisted the UK is building sufficient new power stations. He pointed to the fact that the French company EDF is committed to spending £12.5billion on delivering new nuclear power stations."


I have blogged previously about the way that this country is going to have severe power generation problems in the very near future. As I have said before, buy a generator.

Alistair Darling chickens out

Tony Blair showed impeccable timing by leaving his job just before the economy went phut. Gordon Brown succeeded to the role as Prime Minister without anything as messy as a general election or even a Labour party leadership election. Alistair Darling was made Chancellor of the Exchequer, a vile job under this control freak Prime Minister, and now he has chickened out of leading today's PSBR debate leaving it to Yvette Cooper instead.


UPDATE:
It looks as though bloggers like myself have shamed Alistair Darling into leading this afternoon's "debate".

Zo and Obama's "evaporative economics" and more



A lot of sense and passion from Zo, shame not enough people listened...

The BBC and their love of Communist dictators

The BBC's love for Fidel Castro the butcher President for life of Cuba was well documented and they have more recently fallen for the iron man charms of President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela. It is therefore unlikely that the BBC will allow stories such as this one in The Telegraph to sully their coverage of the great man.

"Several senior opposition figures have been banned from standing for office by the government-controlled judiciary.

Leopoldo Lopez, who was the favourite to win the elections' top prize, mayor of Caracas, was barred on the grounds of corruption despite having no conviction or any pending trial.

"The façade of democracy is crumbling," said Mr Lopez, 37, from his offices in the exclusive district of Chacao in Caracas.

"A court has ruled I cannot hold political office until 2014, ensuring that I cannot stand for these elections, those of the national assembly in 2010, or for the presidency in 2012."

Other opposition candidates, including Mr Chavez's former wife, have accused the controversial Venezuelan leader of effectively becoming a dictator.

Marisabel Rodriguez, standing for mayor of her home town of Barquisimeto, said: "Chavez wants to control every aspect of our lives. He will not be happy until he had set up a Cuban-style dictatorship here." "

"a man has to feel like a man"

Miss Snuffleupagus explains it well, as always.

In fact after you read the above linked piece, do yourself a favour and read some more of Miss Snuffleupagus, most of her articles make me think more about education and "racism" than any other blog.

Thank you Miss Snuffleupagus.

How aware are you?



Well?

Have the EU gone too far with their lifting on "bent cucumber" restrictions?

The Daily Mash think so:
"FIVE people were killed by a bent cucumber last night just hours after the European Union scrapped its controversial regulations on twisted fruit.

Police believe four of the victims stabbed themselves while trying to slice the cucumber, while one man may have died after a failed attempt to sit on it.

...

Conservative MEP Denys Hatton said: "This sort of carnage is inevitable when unelected bureaucrats go around releasing insane cucumbers and legalising carrots."


Do go and read the rest...

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Are drawings of spiders legal currency?




Channel 9 News has the details...





Thanks to Dizzy for the spot.

Has Gordon Brown "lost it"?

The Daily Mash think so:
"THE Pound is not just great, it's fabulous, the prime minister confirmed last night.

Gordon Brown said he could not understand why anyone would say the Pound had collapsed in value by around 30% in the last three months when that was obviously not the case.

He added: "According to this top secret report from MI5, a pound is now worth at least $47 while my network of spies has established beyond doubt that the Euro is simply a figment of your imagination."

The prime minister spoke out following shadow chancellor George Osborne's nervous breakdown and his outlandish claim that the Pound seems to be doing particularly badly at the moment.

Mr Brown added: "It saddens me when a young man such as Mr Osborne loses his mind and starts inventing fantasy exchange rates and fictional currencies.

"This is a time when politicians of all parties should be in agreement. With me. It is certainly not a time to go around pointing things out like some kind of homicidal maniac."

Meanwhile Mr Brown will today outline his latest plan to kick-start the British economy with a series of tax cuts funded by "starlight, sunbeams and happy, happy thoughts".

He will also unveil dozens of multi-billion pound infrastructure projects, including a state-of-the-art hospital for damaged fruit and a high-speed rail link to the undersea kingdom of Atlantis."

Satire or just a mild exaggeration?

Quiz time

What do these cities have in common?

Sofia, Bulgaria
Delhi, India
Mumbai, India
Beijing, China
Istanbul, Turkey
Paris, France
Tehran, Iran
Tokyo, Japan
Bogotá, Colombia
Podgorica, Montenegro
Algiers, Algeria

Answer tomorrow...

What type of blogger am I?

According to Typealyzer I am of the type: "ISTP - The Mechanics" and that my type are:
"The independent and problem-solving type. They are especially attuned to the demands of the moment are masters of responding to challenges that arise spontaneously. They generally prefer to think things out for themselves and often avoid inter-personal conflicts.

The Mechanics enjoy working together with other independent and highly skilled people and often like seek fun and action both in their work and personal life. They enjoy adventure and risk such as in driving race cars or working as policemen and firefighters."
Hmm, whilst I agree with the "The independent and problem-solving type. They are especially attuned to the demands of the moment are masters of responding to challenges that arise spontaneously. They generally prefer to think things out for themselves and often avoid inter-personal conflicts." part and "Mechanics enjoy working together with other independent and highly skilled people", I must beg to differ over "often like seek fun and action both in their work and personal life." and as for "They enjoy adventure and risk such as in driving race cars or working as policemen and firefighters.", racing cars yes but Police or firefighter, I think not.

Good news for obese people

MSNBC report that:
"Obese people have the right to two seats for the price of one on flights within Canada, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled on Thursday.

The high court declined to hear an appeal by Canadian airlines of a decision by the Canadian Transportation Agency that people who are "functionally disabled by obesity" deserve to have two seats for one fare.

The airlines had lost an appeal at the Federal Court of Appeal in May and had sought to launch a fresh appeal at the Supreme Court. The court's decision not to hear a new appeal means the one-person-one-fare policy stands."
Pass me another doughnut...

Graffiti


MUTO a wall-painted animation by BLU from blu on Vimeo.

I hate graffiti but this is rather cool.

Alistair Darling really is Gordon Brown MarkII or maybe this was just another Gordon Brown budget

The devil was always in the detail of Gordon Brown's budgets and this PBR seems to follow the same pattern. Amongst the various cons are the fact that the upper earnings limit for National Insurance is going up nearly 10% and that is on top of a 15% increase in April this year. The net result is that anyone earning more than £43k pa will pay £905 more in National Insurance from April 2009 than they were in March 2008. Then there is the 0.5% increase to come. Another little weasely trick is that when the temporary cut in VAT ends and the standard rate returns to 17.5% the increases in duty on fuel, alcohol and tobacco will stay.

I wonder what other Brownies will be discovered in the PBR small print.

Martin McGuinness?

Another piece rescued from "drafts", this one from April 2008.

I read in The Telegraph that:

"Martin McGuinness is to lead an international peace mission to Iraq this summer with the goal of forging an agreement between its feuding factions."



I wonder how that panned out.

Andrew Marr - a study in interviewing technique


Feel the love poodle or attack dog - can you guess which party gets which approach?

The twenty third weekly "No shit, Sherlock" award

This week's winner is the study by The Financial Times as reported in THe Mail, apparently (and I know you will be shocked by this):
"A boom in public sector jobs has propped up employment levels under Labour, according to research today.

The study by The Financial Times found that two out of three jobs created since 1998 were in economic sectors dominated by public services, raising fears that private sector firms may be less resilient to a recession than previously thought."

"No shit, Sherlock"

Monday, 24 November 2008

The world economic crisis is all the fault of the jews - but of course

Here Syrian "economist" Muhammad Sharif Mazloum explains that the Jews are responsible for the world economic crisis, for killing John F. Kennedy and for preparing for the Israeli shekel to become the world's strong currency. Worth a watch just for the fact that many people believe this sort of rubbish. Courtesy of MEMRI here's a transcript:
"The economic crisis began on August 15, 1971, when President Nixon canceled the Bretton Woods agreement, which linked the old gold dollar to the Jewish gold. Thus, the dollar was severed from gold, and became subjected to the whims and schemes of the Zionist lobby, whose goal was, and still is, to take control of the world's gold, which is deposited in Swiss banks or in the central banks of countries as gold reserves for their banknotes, as well as to enslave the peoples and then to impoverish them. With the American political and economic pressure on governments around the world to sever their currencies from the gold standard, the crisis – or the Zionist economic war against the peoples of the world – began.

That is when the purchasing power of the banknotes collapsed vis-à-vis gold, and with it collapsed the purchasing power of the salaries and earning of all classes, including the unemployed in America, as well as the salaries of the workers and the profits of the industrialists and farmers. The collapse reached its lowest point in 1986, when the dollar lost 90% of its gold value prior to 1971, before the gold dollar was severed from the Jewish gold. In 1971, the gold value of $1,000,000 was 1,000 kg – i.e., one ton of gold. In 1986, the gold value of $1,000,000 was reduced to only 100 kg. In other words, 900 kg were lost from every 1,000 kg of gold.

This may be called the period of the first death of the dollar. The world governments and their economic advisors at the time should have stopped using the American dollar, which lost, as I said, 90% of its gold value. If only the governments of the world at that time had awakened, and had saved their peoples from the rule of the dollar, and from the consequences of the Zionist economic war, which ripped apart the peoples of the world, and continues to do so.

The economic research that we conducted in 1989 revealed the economic war planned by the Zionists even before 1944, when they promised the US government to back the US dollar with their gold. Since the America government does not have its own federal banks, it agreed to sign the Bretton Woods agreement, which gave an ounce of gold for every $35 that reached the Federal Reserve Bank, and its branches throughout America, which are owned by the Ashkenazi Jews.

[...]

In the 1960s, President John Kennedy decided to establish governmental banks to protect the dollar, in which the gold that was pouring into America would be deposited. What became of Kennedy? He was killed by the Zionist lobby. This is a fact that nobody is aware of – but a fact it is. That was the reason Kennedy was killed.

[...]

Global Jewry is trying to prepare the ground for a strong currency. What would that strong currency be? People have no confidence in the euro, and they don't keep gold. This strong currency is what [Israel] is preparing now, and even issued in Gaza – the gold Jewish shekel."

"In loving memory of the boom economy"

This flickr slideshow is worth a look, nice job "nolionsinEngland".

A secret of Jodrell Bank

The Telegraph reports the interesting snippet of news that:
"The giant space telescope at Jodrell Bank was secretly modified to track incoming Soviet nuclear missiles during the Cold War, its creator has disclosed 50 years later."
Read the whole piece but the line that caught my eye was this one:
"But he (Sir Bernard Lovell) added that he had written a full account of his time there (in Russia) which he wishes only to be published after his death."
Now that could be most interesting...

"This move is very much in line with our current strategy. If all else fails, just buy the fucker."

According to The Daily Mash those were the words of Gorodn Brown as:
"TAXPAYERS are to spend more than £30bn buying a majority stake in Al-Qaeda after the House of Lords threw out a key plank of the government's anti-terror legislation.

Prime minister Gordon Brown said that if suspects cannot be detained for 42 days the only alternative was to nationalise much of the terror industry.

Mr Brown said: "This move is very much in line with our current strategy. If all else fails, just buy the fucker."

He insisted the day to day operations will remain with a small group of religious psychopaths working out of a cave in Pakistan.

But the government will appoint at least two non-executive directors to the board including Lord Kinnock and TV presenter Mariella Frostrup.

...

Mr Brown said Al-Qaeda had taken excessive risks fostered by an 'out of control' bonus culture that included the fragrant daughters of Afghan warlords and thousands of prize winning goats.

Mr Brown added: "If this had happened three months ago I would not have proposed a massive investment in Al-Qaeda, mainly because I would have been out of a job. Thank Christ you're all so easily distracted."

The Treasury stressed Al Qaeda would eventually return to the private sector though officials have not ruled out a merger with Bradford and Bingley."

And all shall have prizes, the destruction of education in the UK

I have blogged before about the way that this Labour government have systematically destroyed the credibility of the English education system. The devaluing of grades via ever ever higher pass rates and ever easier questions has long been suspected by many and denied by a Government who continually get away with saying that we must not diminish the achievements of hard-working students. Last week The Times reported a speech by the intelligent and geeky, and often unfairly mocked for this by Labour attack dogs, Michael Gove. Melanie Phillips wrote about this recently and gave the following examples that were in Michael Gove's speech but not reported in full by The Times:
"Peter Tymms at the University of Durham has shown that a student achieving an E in A level maths in 1998 would have achieved a B in 2004.And Duncan Lawson from the University of Coventry has shown that students entering university in 2001 with a B at Maths A level displayed the level of knowledge which 10 years before would have been shown by a student with a grade N - or fail.

Indeed students who failed the Maths A level in 1991 performed better overall in tests of mathematical competence than those who secured a B pass in 2001. Dr Jonathan Ramsay and John Corner have analysed maths papers from the 1960s to the present day and found topics which once used to be set for 16 year olds at the old O-level and even the CSE, which was designed for less academic pupils, now crop up in A-levels.

Their report pointed out that ‘finding areas and volumes using calculus, which used to be examined at O level are now examined in A level pure mathematics, but it is the O level questions which are harder’ and, perhaps even more shockingly, ‘some applied mathematics CSE papers from the 1970s are almost indistinguishable from the mechanics unit one A level paper, with some CSE topics even overlapping with unit two. One calculus topic from O level pure mathematics is now to be found at A level.’"


Meanwhile, here’s a "science" GCSE exam question:

" Residents have a variety of thoughts concerning the siting of the new power station. Two views are -

1The nuclear power station will provide employment in the area.

2 Any release of radioactive material would be very dangerous.

Which statements are arguments in favour of siting the nuclear power station here - 1 only, 2 only, both 1 and 2 or neither..."

Subjectively I find that most interviewees who received their GCSE and above education in the late 1990s and 2000s have excellent results but often not the ability to match the grades. In an attempt to go along with the "will nobody think of the children" attitude this destruction of educational standards has been allowed to continue for too long but how can it be stopped?

Unfortunately it is my opinion that the system cannot be easily stopped and that it suits this Labour government to have a large pool of people who are so incapable of independent thought that they will believe the lies and spin put out by the Labour government and its propaganda arm, the BBC, and vote accordingly. It is a scandal, it is a disgrace and it will only get worse.

The return of 3/23?

The rumours that Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling may be reducing the VAT rate from 17.5% to 15% set me thinking about how this would or would not affect prices. Since most retail prices are quoted inclusive of VAT and are set at certain price points the decrease will probably make next to no difference for most retailers who will probably just take the extra 2.13% as extra profit, it might help offset the rumoured increases in taxation and the loss in turnover. Wholesale prices will be adjusted as most are quoted net of VAT "plus VAT at the prevailing rate", however as most businesses are Standard Rated for VAT any decrease in VAT will make no difference as it will be accounted for on the VAT return as a reduction in both input VAT and output VAT. There will be a timing difference as businesses mostly still operate on an accruals basis for VAT accounting and so will be reclaiming input VAT at the 17.5% rate whilst paying Output VAT at 15% BUT this still makes no difference to the business's profits.

The one big difference that I can see is that the magic fraction of "7/47" will revert back to "3/23"; accountants will understand what I mean... and will remember the "thrill" when it changed last time. Of course there might even be a system with multiple rates of VAT, with some goods at 15% and some at 17.5% and maybe some at 22%, but that prospect is just too exciting for words and will create much work for accountants and Sage software installers.

Oh Mandy

Another post rescued from "drafts", this one from October 2008.


"I remember all my life
Rainin' down as cold as ice
Shadows of a man
A face through a window
Cryin' in the night
The night goes into

Mornin', just another day
Happy people pass my way
Lookin' in their eyes
I see a memory
I never realized
How happy you made me, oh Mandy

Well, you came and you gave without takin'
But I sent you away, oh Mandy
well, you kissed me and stopped me from shakin'
and I need you today. Oh, Mandy!

I'm standing on the edge of time
I've walked away when love was mine
Caught up in a world of uphill climbin'
The tears are in my mind
And nothin' is rhyming, oh Mandy

Well, you came and you gave without takin'
But I sent you away, oh Mandy
well, you kissed me and stopped me from shakin'
And I need you today, oh Mandy

Yesterday's a dream
I face the mornin'
Cryin' on a breeze
The pain is callin', oh Mandy

Well, you came and you gave without takin'
But I sent you away, oh Mandy
Well, you kissed me and stopped me from shakin'
And I need you today, oh Mandy

You came and you gave without takin'
But I sent you away, oh Mandy
You kissed me and stopped me from shakin'
And I need you!"

Welcome back Mandy; now Gordon has forgiven you for your past straying, is it all fun and fluffiness at Number 10?

Gordon Brown - "non-sequiteurs, exaggerations, half-truths and Brownies"

A must read article by Fraser Nelson in The Spectator's Coffee Shop, entitled "Brown is blasting out his false message", it starts
"Whatever you may think about Gordon Brown, he does deserve to be recognised as a master of his art. I can’t think of a more accomplished confidence trickster ever to enter Westminster. And he’s ready to unveil a whole Potemkin Village tomorrow, the climax of his life’s work. It will be built out of non-sequiteurs, exaggerations, half-truths and Brownies. His interview on the BBC1 Politics Show gave a preview as to how he will conduct himself. He is in full election mode, talking as if he’s in the heat of an election campaign—which, in his head, he is."
and proceeds to list the "non-sequiteurs, exaggerations, half-truths and Brownies" that Gordon Brown is using and will continue to use in order to fool th electorate and win another election.

Supported by a almost completely supportive BBC Gordon Brown might just do it and it looks as though he is looking at a snap winter election, February 2009 looks favourite to me at the moment.

The return of tax them until the pips squeak policy?

The BBC "report" that:
"Chancellor Alistair Darling is due to announce in his pre-Budget report he intends to raise the top rate of income tax in the future, the BBC learns.

BBC political editor Nick Robinson said the move would break a Labour pledge held ever since Tony Blair came to power in the 1997 election.

He said sources suggested that after the next election a new 45% rate could apply to incomes above £150,000 a year. "
The rumoured increase is thought to be planned not to start until 2010, after a general election and the BBC helpfully point out that Nick Robinson said:
"This would allow Labour, if it wins the election, to claim it has not broken its 2005 promise and it had a new electoral mandate"
Of course this is all spin, increasing the top rate of tax from 40% to 45% for people earning over £150,000 will hardly dent the government's tax shortfall but it does throw a scrap of raw meat to the left-wing of the party at a time when many may be moving to the BNP; the Labour policy "wolf-whistle" is being played.

There has of course been no mention of National Insurance contributions, this government still sticking to the lie that National Insurance is in some way different from Income Tax but as there is no National Insurance pot the only difference is that there is an upper limit for Employee National Insurance contributions (currently a 1% rate is paid for earnings over around £35,000). I would expect the announcement of "an evening out" of this inequity and the upper rate being increased from 1% to 5%.

So "tax them until the pips squeak", probably not; but until the juice flows freely, yes.


Of course this could be the usual Labour spin put out by the faithful BBC and their increasingly tame Labour government pet, Nick Robinson. If this is the case, then the tax increase will be less than the 12.5% suggested, for a rise from 40% to 45% is not a 5% increase but a 12.5% increase, so as to make the high earners think that they have got of lightly. It all depends upon how brave Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling are feeling and how bad the economic situation really is.

Another way of look at this "tax cut" is that it is a way of making the Conservative party even more unpopular amongst the Labour party's client state. If the Conservatives oppose the cut in VAT they are seen once more as the "nasty party" and if they have to increase the rate once elected back to 17.5% or even increase it to 22% so as to pay back the massive levels of debt that they will inherit then you can expect the full fury of the Labour/BBC party to be unleashed. Once again is Gordon Brown about to change tax policy in attempt to subvert democracy?

I have previously referred to the possibility that Gordon Brown is deliberately pursuing a "scorched earth" policy of wrecking the economy and massively increasing debt so as to force an incoming Conservative government to take massively unpopular decisions? If this is found to be the case, could there be a case for charging Gordon Brown, Alistair Darling and others with treason?

"More BBC lies about the Tories"

John Redwood seems surprised that:
"This morning the Today programme kept repeating that the Conservatives have done a U turn on public spending.
Instead what they did was do exactly what they promised - agree to Labour spending up to 2009, and then review it. They have now reviewed it and decided spending has to be lower than Labour plans thereafter - and rightly so.
We were also told the Conservatives do not know what to do about the banking crisis - yet I heard them say, again rightly, the government needs to change the terms of its massive bail out package, because it is not working."

Sorry John but that lie and distort the news to favour Labour is what the BBC consistently do and will continue to do until forcibly stopped. You, more than most, must realise the power the BBC have to destroy a politician by endless lies, repetition of unflattering video and cheap jibes - fight back John, fight back.

Sunday, 23 November 2008

The US housing and banking crisis

An interesting article from WorldWatch comes to my attention, it is in the form of an open letter to US papers and makes some rather excellent points, similar to those I made pre the election, about the US media's odd lack of investigatory zeal when it came to exposing Democrat party fault in the housing market collapse. Do read the whole article but here is a long extract from the near the end:
"Your job, as journalists, is to tell the truth. That's what you claim you do, when you accept people's money to buy or subscribe to your paper.

But right now, you are consenting to or actively promoting a big fat lie -- that the housing crisis should somehow be blamed on Bush, McCain, and the Republicans. You have trained the American people to blame everything bad -- even bad weather -- on Bush, and they are responding as you have taught them to.

If you had any personal honor, each reporter and editor would be insisting on telling the truth -- even if it hurts the election chances of your favorite candidate.

Because that's what honorable people do. Honest people tell the truth even when they don't like the probable consequences. That's what honesty means. That's how trust is earned.

Barack Obama is just another politician, and not a very wise one. He has revealed his ignorance and naivete time after time -- and you have swept it under the rug, treated it as nothing.

Meanwhile, you have participated in the borking of Sarah Palin, reporting savage attacks on her for the pregnancy of her unmarried daughter -- while you ignored the story of John Edwards's own adultery for many months.

So I ask you now: Do you have any standards at all? Do you even know what honesty means?

Is getting people to vote for Barack Obama so important that you will throw away everything that journalism is supposed to stand for?


...


It's not too late. You know that if the situation were reversed, and the truth would damage McCain and help Obama, you would be moving heaven and earth to get the true story out there.

If you want to redeem your honor, you will swallow hard and make a list of all the stories you would print if it were McCain who had been getting money from Fannie Mae, McCain whose campaign had consulted with its discredited former CEO, McCain who had voted against tightening its lending practices.

Then you will print them, even though every one of those true stories will point the finger of blame at the reckless Democratic Party, which put our nation's prosperity at risk so they could feel good about helping the poor, and lay a fair share of the blame at Obama's door.

You will also tell the truth about John McCain: that he tried, as a Senator, to do what it took to prevent this crisis. You will tell the truth about President Bush: that his administration tried more than once to get Congress to regulate lending in a responsible way.

This was a Congress-caused crisis, beginning during the Clinton administration, with Democrats leading the way into the crisis and blocking every effort to get out of it in a timely fashion.

If you at our local daily newspaper continue to let Americans believe --and vote as if -- President Bush and the Republicans caused the crisis, then you are joining in that lie.

If you do not tell the truth about the Democrats -- including Barack Obama -- and do so with the same energy you would use if the miscreants were Republicans -- then you are not journalists by any standard.

You're just the public relations machine of the Democratic Party, and it's time you were all fired and real journalists brought in, so that we can actually have a daily newspaper in our city."


Similar points could be made against the BBC in their biased coverage of the US elections and of course against the BBC for the way they shamelessly propagandise
on behalf of the Labour party in the UK.

I'm 84% a man

Gender Analyzer says of this blog:
"We think http://www.notasheepmaybeagoat.blogspot.com is written by a man (84%)."
84% chance of being written by a man, so 16% by a woman, but no goat rating!

Someone else Gordon Brown should have listened to



Yesterday I asked whether Gordon Brown was negligent or a liar and listed some news sources that he really should have been reading. Maybe he also should have listened to Peter Schiff in 2006 and 2007...

I wonder if the other pundits who were laughing at Peter Schiff's predictions in these clips and attacking his pessimism have apologised to him yet, somehow I doubt it.



Thanks to THeo Spark for the spot.

A side affect of the falling £

Sony have announced that as of as of January 1st 2009, they will be increasing their prices by 11%. You can thank our most un-beloved Prime Minister and his failed economic policies which have resulted in our huge recent devaluation against the dollar for this as well as much else that is to hit us soon.

This global warming is a right bitch

Odd how the BBC manage a whole article on the unseasonal snow storms in the UK without blaming the unseasonal weather on global warming. I cannot imagine that they would not bring it into an article but an unseasonal warm spell.

Will the BBC and the others taken in by the global warming pseudo-science realise that the world's climate changes by itself and always has and that our efforts to change it are puny and of no real effect. The snow we are experiencing is no more proof of global cooling than a warm summer is of global warming.

So there’s only one thing for it. We must send for Jeeves.

Hopisen asks "What would Bertie Wooster do?" and answers most amusingly, here's an extract:
"For years we have been told that the money markets were the reserve of testosterone fueled machismo. Banks and Finance houses were staffed by growling masters of universes. Now we discover that these unrivalled ubermensch of finance are mere milk-sops clinging to nurse’s skirts as they bawl their little eyes out. Like Roderick Spode, one only has to murmur “Eulalie” to them and they collapse in a heap."
Do yourself a favour and read the whole piece.

It's your fault Gordon, yours do you hear me?

Well if you don't listen to me, listen to Ruth Lea ex head economist at the IOD and now Economic Adviser to the Arbuthnot Banking Group (my emphasis):
"The pre-Budget report will, we hope, be an occasion for the truth. We hope that Alistair Darling, the Chancellor, will stand up and tell us just how badly the Treasury expects the economy to perform over the next two years.

We hope he will tell us just how horrendously public borrowing is expected to balloon, even without the much vaunted "fiscal stimulus".

Private forecasters are expecting GDP to fall by around two per cent next year, and public borrowing to explode from £36 billion in 2007/08, to £65 billion for the current financial year, to £90-100 billion next year, and to £110-120 billion the following year. These are eye-watering numbers, requiring the sale of around £300 billion worth of gilts over three years, many to overseas investors.

The Treasury must be aware that, in these dire circumstances, the first priority of the PBR is to reassure investors that, even though the borrowing looks shocking now, steps will be taken that will restore fiscal rectitude and ensure the country remains fiscally solvent. This is all the more important as Alistair Darling effectively dumped the last, tattered remnants of Gordon Brown's "prudent" fiscal rules recently. The spectre of the 1976 IMF bail-out should still stalk the Treasury's rather grandiose Edwardian building at the end of Horse Guards Road.

Such a programme, as devised by the current Government, will probably include substantial tax rises coupled with a few spending restraints. My preference would be, however, for minimal tax hikes, or better still tax cuts, and a vigorous attack on waste in the public sector.

Public spending rocketed under Gordon Brown. His dalliance with Prudence was a short-lived affair. His true love was the fiscal equivalent of "spend, spend, spend", from rags to riches and riches to rags. Much of the extra spending has been squandered. The TaxPayers' Alliance has identified waste of around £100bn in an annual budget of around £600bn, so substantial public sector savings should not prove too difficult – if there existed the political will. But the current Government will surely prefer to inflict more pain on the hard-working taxpayers rather than take a scalpel to its benefit-dependent client state and the bloated public sector, even though the private sector will bear the brunt of the recession.

But it's not just the TaxPayers' Alliance that has identified "underperformance" in the public sector. The noble and rather under-appreciated Office for National Statistics has released data which show public sector productivity has fallen in recent years, especially since Gordon Brown turned the spending taps on in the early 2000s, at a time when the private sector has striven to raise productivity. Indeed, such was the fall in health service productivity over the last decade that, if productivity had been flat, about £10bn a year could now be saved. Instead money is dispersed for overgenerous and insufficiently-demanding packages for medical staff, and a host of diversity and other politically-correct initiatives that irritate staff and patients alike.

Suffice to say the endemic public sector waste and the wreckage of the public finances are the responsibility of the man who was in charge – Gordon Brown. And yet not one word of remorse falls from his lips. Indeed some three weeks ago he claimed that increased borrowing in the short-term was the most "responsible" way of helping the economy. I almost choked. Here was the man who had inherited an economic "golden legacy" from the outgoing Conservative Government in 1997, including the public finances which were undoubtedly heading into the black, without ever having the courtesy to acknowledge this fact. And here was the man who single-handedly destroyed the public finances through his own irresponsible profligacy, resulting in Britain having one of the biggest deficit-to-GDP ratios in the OECD.

More recently, ahead of the G20 meeting, he airily announced that he was "leading the world" in mapping a route out of the economic crisis, arguing that other nations would soon follow Britain's lead in launching fiscal stimulus packages to provide a jolt to the economy. Walter Mitty meets political bruiser.

As the British economy enters recession, it cries out for a significant fiscal boost, preferably by cutting taxes. This is especially the case when the impact of monetary policy is blunted by lending constraints in the financial sector as it is now. But given the parlous state of the public finances, the fiscal boost must, very regrettably, be relatively modest. It may well be the current crisis originated in the US, as Mr Brown keeps telling us, but we will experience an unnecessarily deep recession because of his misjudgements and mismanagement when Chancellor.

And then there were his raid on private sector pensions, his tripartite banking regulatory regime which fell at the first hurdle over Northern Rock, his flawed and administratively-complex tax credits scheme and his ineffective welfare-to-work programmes – to name but four. I could go on.

Gordon Brown was not a good Chancellor
."

If the Conservatives want to beat Labour they have to fight and fight harda

"Blogger Johnny Norfolk said...

Do you think Labour would have taken your attitude if it was the other way round. Labour hate the Tories, yet Tories behave like gentlemen to Labour.

Before Blair won his first election he went round like an angry youg man and had a go at anything and everything the Tories said and did.

It may not be pleasant but thats the way it is and there is a massive ammount of naivety from Tories who should know better.

We have to fight and that means using anything to fight as Labour do.

The preasant Tory leadership and supporters need to grow up and become streetwise

November 23, 2008 11:43 AM!

Thanks to Mr Norfolk writing in reply to one of Iain Dale's articles.