Jul 10

Or should that be Let’s hope the Noughties are over? Continue reading »

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Mar 01

Spent a couple of days in Spain and I noticed how in a poorer country than the UK with lots of unemployment there was no litter. No threatening gangs – at least not in my humble one. Continue reading »

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Jan 15

You can get rid of the Labour Govt but attitudes take longer. As he surveys what he left behind Gordon Brown was no doubt smiling at the story of how the Police arrested 114, randomly charged 28 and all because a copper infiltrated them and organised a peaceful protest. Then despite knowing these people were innocent they still went ahead with the prosecution only for the copper who organised the group to consider doing a peaceful protest to blow the call. Continue reading »

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Dec 16

It seems this Christmas that the kids are going to be fed party food whether their mums shop at Iceland or Morrisons or Marks and Spencer. Indeed these veritable feasts of Grot can be purchased anywhere. Continue reading »

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Dec 11

Sadly for people like me who love good beer the UK now has an institution dominating the consumer forums and positions of influence. The ridiculously named “Campaign For Real Ale”, CAMRA. This group campaigns for full measures in glasses and for beer to be kept and served in probably the most difficult way. Now you won’t find me suggesting that fresh cask ale is not the best drink commonly available and that a night of decent beer as I experienced in the Roebuck and Red Cow in Richmond is not as good as it gets. Continue reading »

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Dec 10

It’s an oddity of English life but we seem to accept being constantly lectured. We accept without thought a degree of fascistic state intervention every day in London that would not be tolerated anywhere else. Yet we rail at politicians who mildly suggest we get less fat or don’t drive and rightly so. Continue reading »

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Mar 16

When one looks at the pathetic fans of Portsmouth football club complaining now that their club will suffer minimal privation for years of over spending and over indulging then it’s easy to grab for the moral high ground and sneer at them. Ditto the Greeks who have treated paying their taxes with the same diligence as Pompey and now find a bankrupt gravy train and austerity. It’s easy to be smug.

Unlike Portsmouth though the bounce back for Greece will not be easy. It’s also something the British should consider. Despite no doubt many Brits claiming to have worked hard and pumped a ton of money into the housing asset bubble we have been living beyond our means for a long time. We have never run a trade surplus in my lifetime of knowing about these kind of things.

A little like Portsmouth whose problems are complicated by the leeches and players having first call on the money we still have the massive costs of Gordon Brown’s off accounts PFI to pay back to his friends in the city. Unlike Pompey we cannot just go into administration and have our debt written off. Indeed the UK’s problems would probably thanks to our jack booted warmongering and cheerleading for torture generate the kind of sympathy Leeds United generated in going bust and falling into the hands of “Master” Bates- known as “The Scum” I am told.

Personally my view is like with AGW that we should err on the side  of caution and that unless someone can demonstrate otherwise we need to  pay down the Govt debt as soon as possible. Even if it means sacrificing what will at best be trivial short term growth. Double dip recessions are better than meltdowns. Most of us will still eat, watch TV, have a drink and have somewhere to sleep regardless.

Where I would differ with the Tories is of course I would want to become self sufficient and break the link with Globalised Capitalism. I really do not see how the world will continue to let New York and London leech off transactions on what is increasingly their money forever.

Today the Japanese and China made a small withdrawal from supporting the dollar. Really it should be the lead item on the news but of course we’ll get the familiar domestic tragedies, a bit of party politics and quotes from members of the public. The UK and others can easily have the rug cut from under them.

The good news for Britains is that a lot of the deflation can come from a more realistic valuation of our housing stock. I’d argue for all our hard work that all that has come of our recent increases in paper wealth has been more debts not real wealth – are you actually richer if the same house doubles in price? You still experience the same 4 walls. We don’t have pensions like we used to either.  It certainly has not made us happy.

All this talk this week of grandiose railway projects, wars, paying for the care of the ageing population, World Cups etc is meaningless pop and nonsense without a clear idea of how we are going forward. It’s almost as though the British politicians even those not in power will not admit the truth.

Sadly the Olympics and PFI are already sunk costs.

Portsmouth fans got an FA Cup win. The over inflating of the UK bubble yielded what? A series of white elephants on the wrong side of London? A lot of fat cats at our expense? We should all be so lucky at Pompey’s fans.

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Mar 03

The problem with almost everything in modern life is that we take what is given and try to manipulate it. Thus the Govt spent massive amounts on 300 regional Health authorities without starting from first principles with an Ethos, Goals and thence to Strategy.

Equally the BBC starts with its relatively massive budget and decides to cut a few things. The point is with its multiple channels on 24 hours a day in an age of relatively unregulated commercial broadcasting do we need the Govt behemoth producing garbage like Eastenders and Radio 1 when both would be snapped up by commercial media without the need for us to spend a penny.

Maybe I underestimate the number of people who need BBC1 and 2 as 40% of the available TV but equally they do not need to produce junk TV like Eastenders. Clearly viable mass audience shows would be a boon to commercial TV so why are they on a free to air no advertising service? Why should the BBC distort the market for popular television in an era when almost everyone of age who wants a TV has 1 if not more TVs?

The license fee does not need to be 142.50 for every family.

The clear thing though is for the BBC ethos and charter to be renewed. I am sure Rupert Murdoch and its enemies would not care if it got out of mass market pap like soaps, chat shows and daytime filler. What the BBC seems to be doing is merely creating a bigger argument and dinosaur by aiming resources at more mass market junk.

At present the BBC has no goals maybe it should have some before we start cutting things, changing and transferring budgets?

At present its main effect is to over pay for presenters and personalities at a time when TV is on its knees.

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Dec 16

It’s clear that the main aim of Copenhagen from a 3rd world leaders point of view is to get money from the developed nations.

The developed countries aims are unclear but with elections a constant sore for them probably do not involve making real cuts in CO2 emissions. They do not need African Nations and small islands which they are harming to cut their consumption related to greenhouse gases. They only need them there to pay them off for allowing Climate Change to kill their populations and flood their homelands.

Paying large sums to the 3rd world is not compensating as their islands will still disappear and their poor still die of starvation. The money will go to an elite and actually make the median person poorer – rich elites make countries their personal fiefdoms and kill any chance of private enterprise like Equatorial Guinea whose people live squalid lives despite high per capita incomes from oil. I can only assume as the likes of the Maldives disappear  their leaders will be safe in Switzerland no doubt with the Western leaders getting their kick back on the blood money pay offs being discussed.

They should be discussing is deep cuts in CO2 stemming from Western consumption – this alone is enough. The compensation and pay offs  should be the least of their concern at this point where it is not an inescapable fact. It is surely a mockery of sense to get 200 odd world leaders together to hammer out a deal. The only logical reason for this gathering appears to be to accept Climate Change as fact and that the damage will come to pass without any real attempt to stop it.

This century’s Stalins are not ideological or paranoid merely weak and greedy.

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Nov 10

You sometimes wonder if common sense referred to by English people is so wrong the only thing sensible about it is the common tag. Consider the story of the McLaren Buggy whereby in the USA they have sent out repair kits to parents but in the UK we are free to chop our kids fingers off  without said kits.

In the UK they are taking no action with the same risks. I think the reasons is in the UK compensation is miserly. We are far more judgemental of our peers here. In misadventures we blame the people concerned first – arguably it’s also a petty jealousy when people get money. Whereas in the States they accept people make mistakes and suppliers should cover the obvious ones.

Saddest of all is that McLaren says their push chairs meet all European Safety Legislation. That is scary. It’s not a high standard they are meeting judged on other European legislation.

In much the same way that sugar and salt filled premature death cereals from the likes of Kellogg’s and Nestle can be sold as healthy! (I guess Nestle consider that 1 up from their baby killing rap when I was a student for supplying powdered milk to third world mums.)

We do not have a compensation culture here nor do we have adequate health and safety legislation.

Common Sense 0 Corporate Profits 1.

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