Dec 30

This is not a demand for Coal or indeed a desire to go back to the days of deep cast mining. Having all but stopped coal production in the UK to now go back would be insane. Why would we in the era of AGW being the accepted science of Govt and main opposition go backwards? Leaving aside the issue to some fact to me of Climate Change. Why would anyone want the pollution and particulates if nothing else. Talk of Clean Coal is like fat free Suet.

Yet what prompts this blog is that even with 0.5% base rates the UK Govt has apparently guaranteed loans to the oil industry. That and generous tax breaks leads to the question Why? When rates are low only strategic industries should get subsidy, especially in an era of alleged Austerity. To pay for pollution and carbon release defines insanity?

Only a few weeks ago Fracking was still being mentioned in the budget by Osborne. In Norway’s not so much,  fracking gas reserves were estimated at 83 Trn Cubic Feet in 2011 by 2013 the more realistic figure was 0 cubic feet. It’s a technology that does not deliver and any Americans who think it will last to 2030 never mind 2040 as POTUS says, haha.

Equally it is only generous subsidy that allows the lunacy of BP to try to drill for Oil in the Gulf of Mexico and North of Scotland. That its lax attitude to human life added 11 deaths to the 15 murdered in Texas prior can be added to the sheer stupidity of subsidising them to do anything. Yet no fear the UK Govt still subsidises BP deep water drilling – BP also involved in Currency [FX] fraud we now find. The point being apparently it was wrong to subsidise nationalised industries to make Steel and Coal yet we will subsidise the uneconomic environmental rape of Fracking and Oil exploration. Activities so uneconomic even with Base Rates at 0.5% they cannot get funding without subsidy and with the Oil price dropping are not economic even with 0 cost of capital thanks to the subsidy.

It’s 30 years since the miners strike clearly Cameron and co would have been on Scargill’s side had he been a private company head with a credo of corporate manslaughter to his name.

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Jun 12

It was Joseph Goebbels who said “You have nothing to fear, if you have nothing to hide” which Foreign Secretary William Hague so cheerfully threw out the other day. No doubt many tyrants and loons have used the same rhetoric down the years. Continue reading »

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Mar 28

It’s an oddity but charity has become the refuge or obfuscation for the scoundrel. Lance Armstrong and the far more vile Jimmy Savile used the power of fame and charity to achieve their monetary and sexual goals respectively.

Depraved ex ministers Blair, Brown and now David Miliband hide their post Govt pay offs for work done behind charity. These men’s morality and charity best exemplified by conniving with Libya to have people tortured and rendered and a convicted murderer let off so BP could make money. There were of course other vile offenses but sucking the toes of Gaddafi is enough without ranting on. It will surprise no one that Miliband’s charity apparently receives substantial payments from the UK taxpayer.

The only real debate was for me does Miliband have a sinecure? My pal reckons it’s a place to park knowing his equally depraved but allegedly even more stupid brother Ed will be the next PM and David won’t get a shot for 6 years. The Times claim he is far more supportive of a reforming agenda which is of course meaningless pap. The only difference between Tory and Labour is the speed of disillusioning the punters. The direction is the same the speed of travel the argument whichever Miliband is in nominal command of the Labour party.

For me on David Miliband the only point I’d like to make is don’t come back you sick puppy.

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Apr 21

David Cameron has now sent military advisors to Libya. Whilst I doubt this will get to the level of JFK’s military advisors in Indochina one can be forgiven for raising an eyebrow.   Continue reading »

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Jul 26

Maybe I watched too many Ripping Yarns but watching Cameron make the same mistakes as Poodle Bliar in Washington trying to find favour with the bully by being an acolyte made me wonder if the Eton bully had been paid off by Cameron’s charm. That Cameron had escaped a hard night on his arse or a kicking by a lower standard of bullying than one would expect for such an expensive so called education. He appears to have learned less than the rest of us in our comprehensives about the laws of bullies.

Most of us have learned that not being Bully’s friend and standing up to bully gets at worst one serious kicking. Frankly if the price to Britain was the loss of a murdering poisoning BP then so be it. One wonders if in all the rhetoric our commitment to get out of a war they [Lib Con Govt] clearly realise is nonsense in Afghanistan has been delayed. Long term savings from wars, in lives, in not being a party to murder/drone strikes/Rendition/Torture, supporting murdering 3rd world Govts make BP surely a price worth paying? After all we argued it was not British a few weeks ago albeit it was known as Blair Petroleum once!

Europe after the kicking France took over Iraq, when it was in the right, has adopted patronising the US without doing anything meaningful as a means of survival. Be nice to bully but walk a different way i.e. don’t send meaningful amounts of troops and do not have them in the front line. The Germans also.

There are many ways to deal with Bullies but the worst is to be the Bully’s friend.

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Jul 23

Two issues struck me as particularly asinine this week: The Megrahi BP thing: The continuing tedious nit picking over Forgemasters’ Loan.

The Megrahi thing is kind of ridiculous as our leaders if they don’t break bread now treat Libya as an ally. If Megrahi committed this crime and he would appear to have more doubt than the Amanda Knoxes of this world then he did not do it as a stateless rogue but as a paid operative of the Libyan Govt. Libya paid a very large amount of money as Blood Money in settlement. Thus detaining him is like in the words of someone I like to agree with once a decade Bruce ‘Brute’ Anderson like holding a WW2 bomber pilot for 20 years after the war.

You’d think Barack Obama, Hilary Clinton and 4 Senators would realise that would you not? They are not stupid? No apparently he is labeled a  terrorist and since the US decided that is now axiomatically bad as it gets and he’s probably also considered E-V-I-L they don’t. Hypocrites maybe but sanctimonious righteous ones certainly.

Anyway BP are linked with al Megrahi’s release at least? Well there is no fact here. BP pushed  for a prisoner exchange deal to get an oil contract but Megrahi was not released under that deal – although to be fair as general agreements go it was probably intended to be about one man. However no doubt the exchange of blood monies by Libya and the USA was pushed by ExxonMobil etc.

This really does not matter since Megrahi was released on compassionate grounds under Scottish Law and hence all this wittering is just a act of stupidity. Indeed Alex Salmond made it clear BP did not contact him or his Scottish Govt at all. It was one of the benefits of devolution that Westminister could pass the buck and leave someone else make if it was an error an error of Commission something 3rd wayists studious avoid.

One has to ask are the Democrats making a big deal of this because: they are funded by rival oil companies (just as complicit in sucking up to Quaddaffi): they see electoral advantage in the feeding frenzy on BP and do not care about facts, “rhetoric is all there is” Rahm Emanuel  (I made that quote up, sorry!): The Obama Administration has been made to look a clown by allowing deep water drilling when we do not have the technology to cope with errors*. The answer is probably a bit of all 3 but most likely the main driver is to appear alpha male just as Labour did on Crime to no positive effect.

* The Obama administration gave up on the whole environment bar the Gulf of Mexico bizarrely yesterday. The ultimate error of Human omission so politically acceptable. If anything reflects the point I am trying to make in this article it’s this juxtaposition between an environmental impact on the news being no 1 priority and a far worse potential problem Climate Change being dropped!

The Forgemasters thing is something I assumed Labour would want to brush under the carpet and the Govt put Mandelson and Balls on charges of gerrymandering, at least if you believe Lib Con logic. The basics are this the Labour Govt just before an election agreed a loan to a private company at a low interest rate. The loan was cancelled rightly by the new Govt  as governments should not be loaning money to random private companies as every company in the country would wonder why they were so favoured. It breaks competition and EU Law potentially as a subsidy and if I was a competitor company I would want a cheap loan as well thank you very much.

Yet amazing the matter was brought no by the Coalition but by Jack Straw. Apparently a Tory businessman who gave money to the Tory party and paid for flights for Cameron lobbied for the loan to be canceled. His motivation apparently to invest in Forgemasters. However this rather makes the point why would the Govt need or have to make a loan/subsidy to a company that many others wanted to invest in?

So is Jack Straw a moron? No, so why is he making such illogical attacks on his own party’s behaviour in fact?  He’s doing it as a smear never mind that nothing wrong was done by the Coalition at least. He’s linking Tory donor, canceled loans etc in the backyard of the Deputy Prime Minister. It’s a scorched earth attack on good Government.

The point being that these two witch hunts where the party in the wrong dons the clothes of  self righteousness and screams like a baby for attention shows where so called liberal politics has gone now. Whatever seam the 3rd way once mined is barren. It’s reduced to nothing more than doing things for political advantage.

It’s coming to something when the Scots Nationalists are the most sincere and honourable politicians?

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Jul 19

I detest the Burka it’s a symbol of the ownership of women by men and from all reasonable opinion even the creed of Islam does not call for its wearing.

Most prefer to deal with people whose faces they can see. Then again I am sure when I turn up all 300 pounds of me angry and bull like I am sure people would prefer to deal with someone else.

However much of the objection is from Tory and tabloid sources which views women as chattel or objects at best. It is clearly not motivated by some concern for women or their rights. Indeed given such people it’s hard to imagine they want to look at a woman other then to objectify her as a sex object. Thus we may safely assume that their objections are bigoted at best. As John Cleese would say a bunch of Berks.

The same coalition of Berks actually objects to “Health and Safety” running ranting headlines and spurious articles about the ‘dangers’ of ‘elf [sic] and safety. Many have joined in the ranting demanding instead, one assumes, Death and Danger.  Berks.

Talking of veils and Berks the Tory’s is slipping slightly. All that talk  of caring conservatism reminds me of when I asked a great American what is a Bush “Compassionate Conservative” and he replied same old conservative. Whilst their policies on justice are sense after 13 years of Labour living up to half a line of rhetoric about being Tough on something or other – Labour had tough new policies on hundreds of things most were rubbish. The rest is an assortment of supine behaviour for the benefit of Big Business.

Indeed one wonders if Cameron’s Big Society is an ironic twist on allowing the Food Standards Agency to whither on the vine. Allow the industry to pump us full of fat filled crap short of vital nutrients and packed with salt which makes us eat even more. No chance of a clear traffic light system on nutrients that a harassed working mother could comprehend at a glance. No banning of Trans fats another New Labour failure like failing to clean hospitals.

Of course the biggest berk of the lot is Michael Gove but I rather suspect he is a plot to make his shadow Ed “Bully” Balls look good and become Labour leader. That looks destined  to fail mercifully. Govey today accused Ed ‘Muckspreader’ Balls of spreading  ‘Malicious Falsehoods’ about his plans for education. This may of course be linked to the fact that Gove has not yet produced one piece of factual information about his plans so any comments are false as he changes policy by the hour. A fine pair of Berks.

Britain is already a Big Society dominated by Big Business Big Oil Big Food Big Drinks Big Oligarchs…..

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Jul 15

It’s odd as evidence emerges that not only were the Labour leaders were aware but personally directing the Torture of British citizens one wonders why they have lied all these years. Why did David Miliband  waste public money on lawyers to prevent documents that merely confirmed what anyone knows already? Documents that could be freely read anywhere else in the world. It makes no sense. Indeed why did they not say at the time they supported in every respect Guantanamo rather than let their ally down by leaving the US isolated and pretending they were against it? Why did they not make the case for torture? I am sure the precious support of the Mail, Sun and Telegraph would have followed.

Quite why the Coalition Govt continues to keep 1000s of documents secret to protect them is beyond me. There really are not thousands of documents out there of what we cannot know just what they do not want us to know. In the same way if they feel Balls and Mandelson did spend public money for votes they should be put on charges of gerrymandering. Is it our political class protecting itself? Is Westminister for all it’s backbiting the narcissism of small differences – note how Labour directs all its fire on the Lib Dems the junior partner in the coalition as they are the usurper.

It’s becoming quite obvious that the UK Govt was a cypher for big business and whatever the US told it to do. For instance it may be the only democratic Govt rushing to approve deep sea drilling at present – certainly the only one who would countenance BP doing it. Barack Obama’s administration having had a weasel change of heart for some reason.

Our reward for debasing ourselves or entertaining themselves in Blair and Straw’s cases is nothing. Given how corrupted our political leaders were by their support of the US it’s no wonder the latest episode in the Tiger Woods style BP feeding frenzy has 4 moron sorry US Senators desperate for their party before the mid terms sorry ‘concerned’ (or should that be hoping?) that BP is linked to the release of Megrahi. Indeed they seem to be encouraged by Hilary Clinton.

Hillary Clinton is looking at the request from four senators who claim the firm pressed for the release in the hope of securing an offshore oil deal.

BP asked for a prisoner exchange deal with Libya to be put in place. Of course and I am crediting the 4 Senators and Mrs Clinton with not being morons here Megrahi was released under Scottish Law and not under the prisoner exchange deal. I’ll assume they are motivated by a desire to keep GOP out rather than merely stupid. As it seems a case of hey but why let any fact get in the way of a good argument or even a bad one or pathetic election rhetoric. The whole Megrahi thing showed a complete lack of respect for anyone’s legal traditions.

I guess maybe I don’t get it a country that says it’s legal to kill 1000s of innocent people in drone strikes finds it offensive Scotland sent a dying man home to die. That they would try to link that for political purposes to a company who their President allowed, with its well known dubious safety record, to do dangerous work that has blown up in his face  shows quite how much the Obama Administration has a vengeful 6 year old’s mentality it has.

One wonders if another rider for the Obama Administration is that Cameron as nicely as he can has signaled the British want nothing more to do with the Afghan policy or Smörgåsbord as it’s known. Bush and Obama may have ended the opposition that blighted the Iraq war but other countries including Britain are learning positive indifference now. Positive Indifference where you say nice things and leave the US to do what it’s going to do. Certainly an improvement on Blair and Straw’s active enthusiasm for torture from a UK PoV.

Might is truly Right and Right Wing.

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Jul 06

It’s tempting to refer to Osbornism as Thatcherism revisited. Indeed so divisive is someone who won popularity and hated contests at the same time that both sides claim this as a positive for their position. The sad truth is that Thatcherism was 12 years of total incompetence. If re-structuring was achieved it was caused by North Sea Oil and latterly the lower pound, EU membership and the resultant inwards investment not to mention a world growth spurt.

Did selling off BA, BP and BT etc make them world class companies? No but commercial pressures certainly made them leaner and in BP’s case meaner and lower down. Still at least with the Gulf of Mexico fresh in our memories no could associate the now mostly US company with US corporate ethics with being British? No one would be that stupid and ill informed? Advertisers made a lot of money out of BT and BA certainly. In the end privatising has saved future generations from pensions and redundancy and forced difficult decisions on workers. You can quibble at the price the Govt got and whether the individual share owning boom it encouraged has done more for con-men than people’s wealth but really at worst it is no harm no foul.

Council Housing sell off. Selling off council housing is a disaster. It has created debt and a lending bubble. One of the real dangers of a house price crash is that the British have built huge personal debts  on assets in a bubble. That house prices are only sustained on for many near zero interest rates should be a warning to the current Govt about cutting too hard too soon. Many of the houses have been sold to people without the wealth to maintain them as well. Whilst some can take a paper profit and leave renovation to someone else many got left with negative equity and a crumbling house. Much of the reasoning against immigration when it is spelt out by barrack room boors like Warren Mitchell’s alter ego Ed Balls is around the lack of housing which has become a cover for an overall lack of housing – immigrants tend to have a very small foot print living in areas and with personal space few of us indigenous folk will do. Councils were forbidden to use the money to rebuild new council houses and created the housing shortage and asset bubble we have now. When Liverpool council alone defied this lunacy they were stripped of office. Far from liberating people it has led to debt and a plowing of whatever wealth people accrue into an asset bubble. Arguably it has contributed to problems in education and child delinquency as more and more couples both work to pay for even a small house.

Falklands. You can take it or leave but a competent Govt would have seen the Argies coming and scared them off. After all one sub sunk their battleship and could have taken out half their fleet. We are still involved in a turf war over resources and now have a stack of dogma and no go areas to prevent a sensible resolution. Certainly we can thank someone their bombs did not go off or the loss of life would have been more. One could argue relative to Iraq and Afghanistan this was a credible operation well run at minimal cost of lives and equipment. Indeed the conversion to Foundation Trust status by 1 health authority killed more Britains so by New Labour standards a roaring success.

The Economy. I’ll accept the economic landscape changed and had to change. Since we were not going to become a Socialist society a sort of Soviet plus state was unsustainable. However the economics of the 1980s were cretinous. What coherent policy has the £ go between $1.06 and $2.47 in the space of a few years? If Britain was able to survive it was because we had oil to sell. We were self sufficient in energy. We grew our own food. However it did not create the dynamic export industries that Osborne thinks will happen now.

To cope with the unemployment that her Govt created they decided to buy off some sections of the poor by putting them on incapacity benefit. Now Osborne and the Thatcher loving media try to present those people as spongers and shirkers. Again a short term answer of such staggering stupidity that New Labour must be gutted it was not their idea.

The Lawson Boom, The Poll Tax, Tracking the German Mark and other manifestly insane and poorly thought out policies I’ll leave you to think about.

Thatcher’s biggest successes dependent on your point of view were

  • Union Legislation achieved by branding the working classes of Britain as an enemy to be squashed and allowing us to be openly beaten up by Police – the legacy is a distaste of the Police that goes beyond just the working classes.
  • The most unequivocal success and one the Tory Party will not mention is the creation of the single European Market and the negotiation of the UK’s rebate. Things that Thatcher’s rhetoric imply she respectively opposed and won. The rebate the British failed to bite the arm off of what was actually on offer with Thatcher using harsh rhetoric to angrily demand what was already on offer!  On the Single European market she gave away 90% of what Right Tories complain about. In addition for all their anti Euro nonsense she tied us to the German Mark! Which resulted in Black Wednesday and the genuine event Tories can trumpet the stewardship of the Clarke Major Govt, truly the only competent one of my lifetime.

The point is not about Thatcherism but that Osborne must know that what Thatcher did has not made Britain dynamic. If anything we are in a worse position than then with Oil no longer significant, importing food, importing energy with massive personal debt. You can trace every thing except the Public Sector deficit to Thatcher and that is only because of the Clarke Major years. If people want to celebrate that as a success or repeat it than they are in denial.

In conclusion one hopes that George Osborne is serious about his economics and not a Thatcherite. She must be the most over rated Premier of my life time. The damage she did took from 1992 to 1999ish to sort out only for Brown Blair to squander that legacy in hubris and put us in a worse position with Public debt and the scars of Thatcherism still with us.

Make no mistake as backward and rigid as the UK economy 1980 was it had slack and scope all of which has been used up by the Thatcher and Blair/Brown Govts to no good end.

The Thatcherism party is over and the problems are still here to greater degrees.

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Jun 11

David Cameron expressed some sympathy with the Obama Administration over the inability to plug the leaking floor in the Gulf of Mexico. Clearly whatever he says in public is not about alaying fears at home but laying the ground work not to show up the savant bully – as discussed on Israel it’s not usual for the Obama Administration to be 2 faced and allowed harsh rhetoric hurts nobody but people sensitive to stupidity. Attacking the US with words is largely futile especially with an administration which clearly has no agenda bar today’s headlines. Plus Cameron has bigger fish to fry like getting out of the neo Con and now worse neo Liberal mess that is Afghanistan. Cameron has this right play the long game and treat the Obama Administration like an angry 13 year old with a gun is what sensible people do – patronise them publicly and privately pity them.

Despite the drilling operation being a joint operation with several US companies, BP being listed in London but fundamentally a US company (by employees and tax yield being 2 UK to 5 to 6 US and more) and the obvious fact no one wants this to continue happening. Nancy Pelosi and the Obama Administration insist on calling BP “British Petroleum” a name it has not used for 12 years. Nancy apparently regales everyone with how she met Cassius Clay once.

It’s hard through the fog of the rapid tabloid British press to tell whether the Obama Administration and their 3rd most powerful person [Pelosi] are merely playing silly games shouting out rude names. Certainly the footage of Ms Pelosi’s smoke blowing would make her seem a natural leader of New Labour. However continually throwing British out as a pejorative rather undermines the change has come to Washington message. Indeed if change has come it’s for the worse now rather than just reactionary policy and inflammatory rhetoric but we get child like insults to boot.

For me it is refreshing as in the UK we are brought up with this nonsense that as we buy their TV shows and they speak the same language the US is anything more to us than Russia. The truth clearly is different and for no other reason than exasperation at their own inadequacy the Obama Administration are shouting out rude names the rudest of which is British.

Whatever the costs and benefits domestically of a slightly less right wing Capitalist Govt from abroad the US is still a dangerous reactionary giant. Whereas Bush and the neo Cons had some ideological and religious zeal this has been replaced by the liberal politicians desperate egotism to think they can change things they do not like with the weaponry of the state.

As for Britain. As Mastercard would put it Cost of Iraq 10s Billions 10s of soldier’s lives, Cost of Afghanistan 10s of Billions 100s of soldier’s lives, cost of sub prime debt crisis from the US 100 of Billions,  not to matter to the USA in the future, priceless.

Time to wake up and sniff the aroma of freshly brewed tea and it’s a lovely refreshing drink with no bitterness.

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