Author: Richard Ruzyllo
China has closed and so will the USA. Ireland has closed schools and banned large gatherings, Italy is in the process of closing everything. Meanwhile, Spain has also closed its schools and banned some more stuff.
Here in the United Kingdom, unlike Johny Foreigner, we have the rather jolly Cheltenham Festival (OK as long as you wash your hands!) while in London, the Coronavirus is managed through the medium of the meeting – the most important of which is the COBRA which is the 1947 Dom Perignon Brut of meetings.
In the UK’s Corporate and Political world, there are three things we like: MEETINGS, the phrase ‘WE NEED TO’ – as in ‘We need to look after our elderly’ or ‘We need to allocate some money for the homeless’ and….
A word which is most definitely the politicians’ favourite and I have used it above. It is the word ‘ALLOCATE.’
Politicians or more specifically, Ministers of the Crown, love to allocate funds. What you may have noticed is that while they allocate with gay abandon, they never tell us how to go about getting our hands on the allocation.
This time, they will be allocating ‘resources’.
Let’s have a look look at the overall favourite – the meeting. Many management scientists have shown quite clearly that meetings are a waste of time and prawn sandwiches. Unless of course, you feel that the primary function of a meeting is for the meeting leader to spend an hour-or-so is full male-display mode, flexing his mouth and impressing the underlings with his wit and rhetoric and if you are an underling, it is the status which an invitation to the meeting bestows upon you.
Another quite valid attraction of attending the meeting is to spend some quiet time making sure that you get not only a prawn butty but the egg and cress, while you fantasise about important matters such as what goes on under the Finance Director’s jumper as it strains under the pressure of her mouth-wateringly sumptuous decolletage while she overreaches when pointing to crap Powerpoint slides.
With the COBRA meetings, on top of all of the above nonsense, we have the drama of statements which appear to have been written by an intern from the Ministry of Stating the Bleedin’ Obvious. Here’s today’s example from Prime Minister Boris Johnson after the latest Cobra meeting: ‘(Coronavirus) is the worst public health crisis in a generation.’ followed by: ‘…many more are going to die.’
So why not make a decision and do something about it. Stop dithering!
For example, Mark Carney, the outgoing Governor of the Bank of England pushed the red button only hours before COBRA began and lowered the BBR by 50 basis points.
The statisticians and analysts are having such a wonderful time producing lots of numbers and graphs which clearly point to the inevitability that some of us are going to die. Yes INEVITABILITY!
The other important thing to say is that because it is inevitable it is difficult to comprehend why our leaders are in meetings whilst watching the Coronavirus express heading towards them as they cower, prawn butty in hand , shielding their eyes against the glare of its rapidly approaching lights. Next stop? Pain and Death.
We don’t want to stay at home washing our hands every five minutes wondering what to with that spare room full of toilet rolls – so the answer is not in COBRA meetings and platitudinous statements but in aggressive action.
Now would be a good time.
Brexit to where?
The attempted Brexit is a prime example of the saying ‘A Camel is a Horse designed by a Committee’. We were sold the promise of a graceful and sleek thoroughbred ready to jump out of the starting gate but what we have instead is a broken-down old camel with nowhere to go.
But our Brexit comedy hasn’t been all bad because we have learned a great deal.
Firstly, we have learned that Westminster is too big. Too many MPs with too many opinions and too much pathological self-interest.
Secondly, that ghastly Westminster mélange of lawyers, councillors, teachers, union men, media people, public school retards, political researchers, hedge fund managers, celebs, graduate socialists and professional nationalists is no longer fit for purpose….and forget that ‘Parliament has to reflect Society’ mantra. If that is indeed the case, we have to bear in mind that the average UK citizen is a knuckle-dragging thicko who cannot calculate percentages and struggles to put together a sentence (in English). Just watch any vox pop on the evening news.
Thirdly, we have learned that leadership is not an option. It is a necessity and parliament does not have it (on any side).
Fourthly, it has once again been confirmed that Analyticals rarely make good leaders. Our Prime Minister is a Geography graduate and ex-Bank of England wonk who finds it impossible to create a consensus. Gordon Brown was the last analytical leader and his decision-making and leadership credentials are equally legendary.
Finally, the most overused phrase in politics is ‘We need to……’ as in ‘We need to show some consensus’ or ‘We need to do something about knife crime.’
What the United Kingdom really needs is a new cheerleader, some joined-up management and an urgent cull in and around London’s SW1A postcode.
Wise Brexit words.
It is very surprising that so many mistakes have been made during our negotiations to exit the European Union, when you consider how many ‘experts’ we have on the subject – and I am not including any politicians in that statement.
Today, the media big boys are all very wise after the event and tell us what SHOULD have happened and HOW the negotiation should have been conducted. Yes – Nick Ferrari, Andrew Neil….and even Piers Morgan plus many others appear to have the answers.
The sad fact is that the job was left to badly-led British politicians who for some reason agreed to negotiate with an unelected EU bureaucrat. There was never going to be any REAL negotiation and so it has proved to be the case – especially bearing in mind that the EU’s Chief Negotiator is a French (Gaullist) politician whose default position is ‘Non!’ .
Here’s an example of how the present shambles is viewed abroad. This expert is Sky’s Peta Credlin. In spite of its very high cringe coefficient, it is worth watching as it delivers a very eloquent summary of the British government’s biggest cock-up since the Conservative Party’s election of Theresa May as leader.
It was Cameron wot done it!
There is a very important question which no-one is asking: “Why did David Cameron’s government do nothing about Britain’s Exit from the European Union?”
All that Cameron managed to achieve was several months in a very fetching hard hat/high- viz jacket combo, doom-mongering whilst being ably assisted by his sidekick Chancellor Osborne. Gideon’s job was to spout highly coloured statistics and fictitious numbers which were designed to frighten the country’s lame brains (Britthicks). The gruesome twosome were convinced that we would vote to remain within the European Union rather than seek independence and remove ourselves from beneath the velvet jackboot of Brussels bureaucracy.
In fact ‘remainers’ Dave and Gideon adopted exactly the same tactics as those who were promulgating our exit. They too lied and treated us to even more outrageous comedy statistics….but the Brexiteers had xenophobia on their side, coupled to the electorate’s rabid dislike of the Cameron-Osborne double-act.
The referendum result achieved something that many of us could only dream of. It was the sight of Cameron’s rapidly disappearing flabby backside as he headed for the hills because he could not cope with the bitter taste and shame of defeat. His own hubris had shown him the door.
That and the fact that he knew the game was up because he had not even considered that the British public would vote for Brexit.
Consequently he had failed to prepare for the eventuality of us leaving the EU and….. as the very model of a modern fair weather manager….. he had to go.
The Conservative Party then launched into the process of choosing a new leader – an operation that had been manifestly unsuccessful since 1990 when John Major became the compromise leader – and that was only because Hesteltine had too many enemies and had shown the sort of burning ambition that only ‘new money’ is brazen enough to exhibit.
John Major was a bit ‘flattered’ as an election winner and leader, purely because the Islwyn Prattler, Neil Kinnock was the very scary Labour alternative. That situation lasted until 1997 when Tony Blair arrived to create the new ‘socialist’ Camelot.
Subsequent Conservative leadership elections are far too depressing to describe in any detail but here is the list of who they chose: William Hague, Iain Duncan-Smith, Michael Howard….followed by Cameron in 2005. He is noted for not having been able to win an overall Conservative majority until the 2015 General Election. That majority was 12 – and that was with the terminally gauche Ed Miliband as Labour leader!
Once Cameron saw that the British people had voted to exit the EU, we were treated to a hissy fit and his resignation – with the added bonus of Gideon flouncing off in the direction of the Evening Standard. That created another shambolic leadership election with candidates who were all eminently suited to fight a Parish Council election but this was for the leadership of the once-great Conservative Party!
Enter Theresa May and her advisers.
As they watched the Labour Party begin its once-a-generation process of digesting itself from the inside, followed by the election of a truly hopeless leader, Mrs May was advised by her (former) advisers to announce a snap-election in June 2017.
She managed to negatively optimise (lose) Cameron’s majority of 12 and convert it into a hung parliament…..and she was allowed to get away with it because as usual, there was no obvious successor. (There never is.)
Since then, we have been waiting for another General Election but unfortunately before that can happen, the Conservative Party has to launch the next leadership battle.
All the obvious candidates are in the Lords, dead, sectioned or in prison ….so the likelihood is that the next Conservative leader will once again be a Home Counties lame duck with an imminent sell-by date …….and because the vast majority of MPs are terrified by the prospect of an election, the cycle of incompetence and excuses looks set to continue ad infinitum.
That’s a crippling shame because it is today, during probably the most sieismic sideways shift in British History, we need a leader …………….and I don’t mean Boris, Gove or even the power behind the drone – Sarah Vine.
It is an age where Plutocratic Incompetocracy has become the norm and the current abysmal standard of MP suggests that it is here to stay.
Government Strategies For A Dead Horse
I have been studying the decision-making and initiative delivery record of Theresa May’s government and as far as I can see, she manages by delivering statements of intent , plus a very clever device which appears to be problem-solving action but in fact, is totally meaningless.
It begins with three words: “We have allocated…..” This phrase is followed by a large number.
Grenfell? “We have allocated……….”
NHS? “We have allocated…..”
This muddly and often protracted management method can be explained by analogy and the wisdom of those without PPE degrees, MBAs and other letters after their names.
The well-known and slightly modified analogy below should also be studied carefully by the real experts in dead horse flogging – Tory High Command – especially when choosing Party leaders.
The tribal wisdom of the Dakota Indians, passed on from one generation to another is that if you find yourself riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.
However, in modern government, because of the heavy
investment and re-election factors to be taken into consideration, other strategies
need to be tried with dead horses, including the following:
Remember Hale and Pace when they were funny? This isn’t about them – but it is about Management, Organisation and Decision Making – with maybe a quick nod to Leadership.
The context? The ramshackle mélange of lawyers, doctors, local government employees, lecturers, teachers, journalists, farmers, political organisers and city types which makes up the UK Parliament.
Some of them even end up running Departments of State with massive resources and budgets which are measured in tens or even hundreds of millions. Many are unsuitable for management and even less suitable for leadership but………. with a system which promotes from within a very limited talent pool, the strangest of people rise to the sort of power which those of us who grew up in a mostly meritocratic and competitive corporate environment can only marvel at.
Four out of our five most recent Chancellors were either Lawyers or History graduates! Our present Prime Minister studied Geography. Our Foreign Secretary is an Oxford Classics graduate (that’s Latin and Greek to you and me) and our Defence Secretary has a degree in Social Sciences!
There are English graduates and Philosophy degrees. There’s a medical doctor and even a media person. There’s a statistical sprinkling of those ubiquitous Politics, Philosophy and Economics graduates but some say that PPE graduates never quite learn enough about any one subject…….ideal MP fodder!!
But you may ask ‘What has a degree got to do with anything?’
On the face of it – nothing at all….but it is Organisation and Management which run departments with Leadership showing the way…..and if there is no leadership and an inability or unwillingness to take decisions, there is a lack of progress with decisions being consigned to investigations, reviews, inquiries and commissions – which in reality are no more than misused government devices which cleverly disguise intransigence and moribund passivity into action.
The only other place I have seen such a disparate band of individuals attempting to act as a team was a motley crew of so-called ‘middle management’ in a very well-known company’s marketing department. There were graduates of every flavour imaginable – but they neither had to lead, manage nor take decisions. The corporate damage that they could inflict was negligible.
The clue as to the unsuitability of many (most) MPs to administer billions of pounds on our behalf is to be found in the type of individual who chose to study a particular subject…..but there’s more…..
So-called ‘Communication Skills’, exemplified by an ability to talk whilst being insulted is certainly not related to any ability to lead or manage and yet, it is the skill which is prized above all others.
Currently, (as always) there is talk of future reform of the House of Lords reform and hopefully that is where any reform will remain….in the future.
Before training its beady eye on the Other Place, the House of Commons would do well to pause and think about its own fitness for purpose.
Q: How many MPs work at the House of Commons?
A: About 10% of them.
Tokenism in the Cabinet
Without sounding disingenuous or racist, I was very disappointed that Mrs May chose her new Home Secretary with an all-too-obvious reference to the Dulux Autumn Shades Colour Chart.
Sajid Javid is only average but of course, he does have the advantage of being of Pakistani extraction. He was quite at home being bland and keeping out of trouble in low key ministerial jobs as well as providing the Cabinet with its token Asian.
He is an ineffectual ‘good guy’ who had already been promoted to well above his level of incompetence – an attribute he shares with Mrs May.
However, he does NOT deserve the poisoned chalice of the Home Office.
Kim Philby achieved the professional distinction of being ordered to catch himself. Theresa May is the only politician to have achieved the same status through her fumbling of the Windrush mess. The only difference is that non-one knew about Philby but everyone knows that Mrs May has been the root cause of the government’s current difficulties but no-one is saying it.
Unfortunately, Bunter Soames has been told to express the Conservative Party’s unconditional backing for the punch-drunk and inept Amber Rudd who is taking a media beating on May’s behalf. That usually indicates the beginning of the end.
From Windrush to Bum’s Rush.
Are you 100% sure that the Russians are lying?
Many (including several of the United Kingdom’s most senior Government Ministers) may be surprised to hear that Новичо́к or as we say ‘Novichok’ is NOT the name of a substance.
The word itself means ‘New Kid on the Block’, ‘New Guy’ or even ‘Newcomer’.
‘Novichok’ refers to a series of highy toxic so-called V-agents with the generic formula CnH(2n+4)NO2PS with comparatively minor variants.
For instance, Novichok Nerve Agent VE has the formula C10H24NO2PS.
This particular series of nerve agents was developed by Russia over 20 years (1971-1993) and are collectively considered as the New Kids on the Block because they are Russia’s Second Generation agents with the first attempts having been produced in the Soviet Era – just after WW2. Read More
Power, authority, legitimacy, trust and dependence are the five base ingredients and starting point for creating exactly the right environment, or recipe, for sexual exploitation of the vulnerable to take place.
It is no coincidence therefore that the hot beds of child molestation and sexual exploitation are to be found in some concentration within the types of organisation where the victims often depend on, or ‘respect’ the perpetrators.
Religious groups, charitable organisations, schools, institutions (I include political institutions) and families are all environments which provide an ideal infrastructure for potentially destructive sexual encounters to take place. Read More
Leadership: Charisma or Competence?
In the last few years there has been a growing interest in leadership and leadership theory – in the wake of the appearance of political leaders whose election seems to be something of an anomaly.
For instance, Donald Trump is widely regarded as an incompetent (possibly certifiable) loose cannon and the United Kingdom’s Theresa May as a charmless administrator who has suddenly and by accident, found herself in the top job as British Prime Minister.
What Trump and May do have in common, however, is that they are widely regarded as being a perfect example of the Peter Principle. That is to say, they both appear to have been promoted to way beyond their level of incompetence. Read More
Don’t call me Paki, Mac.
Now that we are seeing EU migrants leaving the UK at an ever accelerating rate, the bleating has started – which is a surprise because when the government announced that it wanted foreigners to arrive in ‘tens of thousands’ rather than hundreds of thousands, there was hardly a whimper. Now we have moaning about labour shortages and how vital cheap foreign workers are to our spluttering economy…..but it’s no more that we deserve.
Our government’s style has rarely been proactive. For instance, once the referendum farce had been settled, the government should have affirmed the importance as well as the ‘safety’ of all foreigners already living and working in the UK….but instead, it played its usual ‘wait and see’ game because anything else would have needed a decision!
However, it is not just political incompetence and intransigence which is to blame for the coming exodus. There is a much more sinister undercurrent at play and it is to do with the Brits’ very strong herding instinct whose tendency is to reject rather than to assimilate. Read More
In Praise of the Psychopath
One of the most misused and least understood words in the English language is ‘psychopath’.
Thanks to the media, as well as the arts, the word is confused with ‘violent psychopath’.
Many years ago when I was still cavorting on the corporate stage, I asked one of my American ‘matrix’ bosses (who went on to head up one of the world’s biggest banks) what his ideal senior manager was. He studied me intently and replied, ‘An entrepreneurial psychopath with an MBA’………….. Read More
Diane Abbott, Emily Thornberry…..Two reasons to vote for……..well…..ANYONE else!!!
Here are a few snippets which confirm what have always been my biggest fears about politicians – Incompetence, xenophobia, racial bigotry and the triumph of bullshit over substance. These two lovelies are among the finest exponents. This is a must watch video:
(Conservatives and Libdems to follow!!)
(With thanks to Politics UK – you NAUGHTY people!)
Beyond Fashion with Paclantic
Beijing Fashion Week reminds us that today’s Chinese designers are very much in demand, both at home as well as all over the world, notably the West, where they are being increasingly recognised by both American and European fashion houses as being totally ‘on-trend’ and pointing the way forward for the rest of the fashion industry.
The exhibitors at this month’s Beijing Fashion Week are going to be showing everything from the high-end of the market, right down to everyday streetwear, including the most highly accelerating sector, which is children’s clothing. Read More
Today’s #EU Summit – IMPORTANT!
Apparently, the #EU Summit is opened by President of the European Council , Donald Tusk who always begins the meeting with a prayer, then asks for the lights to be dimmed as he invites the spirits to join the circle. He then asks everyone present to join hands and close their eyes and recite selections from the Maastricht Treaty.
The group then attempts to contact those on the ‘Other Side’ – for instance the United Kingdom and others who have ‘crossed over’. This is followed by pre-prepared questions about all sorts of important-sounding stuff.
Then it’s lunch.
After lunch the meeting continues (This is known as the ‘Graveyard Session’). Those still sober enough to vote for something which was agreed at the previous meeting, raise their hands – or have their hands lifted for them by a flunkey.
Meanwhile, The European Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker staggers around the table, kissing every delegate, telling them that he REALLY loves them and that they are his best friend.
Then a group photo is taken and Mr Tusk presides over the Ceremony of the Communique (written last month) as he reads out the traditional Holy Positive Words about the future of the European Union.
Then they all fly home.
No Hinkley Decision!
No Hinkley Decision!
Gatwick, Heathrow, HS2, Brexit and the latest – a French built Nuclear Power Station at Hinkley Point.
What do they all have in common?
They are all examples of British politicians’ inability to take a decision without YEARS of meetings, inquiries, meetings, Royal Commissions, debates followed by more meetings.
Unfortunately, high-level decision-taking is a skill which few possess. Cameron’s fondness for inquiries and bad decisions was well-known. In fact, when he was presented with an unequivocal Brexit decision by the British people, he panicked, squealed and ran away.
Theresa May has the manner and promise of someone who is not afraid to take a decision but as one suspects that a French-built , Chinese-financed nuclear power station with what looks like untested technology as well as an open-ended budget is a BAD idea – she should put EDF out of its misery and simply say “Non!”
Love her or hate her, Margaret Thatcher was the last Prime Minister who was not afraid to take very unpopular decisions and treated her Cabinet as no more that lightweight ballast. She took a decision and their job was no more than to deliver a few seconds of synchronised nodding.
This Brexit era needs a PM with an aversion to meetings and inquiries and who is able to give us all a definite ‘steer’.
On this occasion, that may well involve upsetting the French…..but let’s face it…every decision, no matter how difficult, can have its UP-side!
Boris on Africa in 2002
#Boris on Africa in 2002 (Telegraph)
“What a relief it must be for Blair to get out of England. It is said that the Queen has come to love the Commonwealth, partly because it supplies her with regular cheering crowds of flag-waving piccaninnies…. They say he is shortly off to the Congo. No doubt the AK47s will fall silent, and the pangas will stop their hacking of human flesh, and the tribal warriors will all break out in watermelon smiles to see the big white chief touch down in his big white British taxpayer-funded bird.”
The Cameron-Osborne Mantra
The Cameron-Osborne Mantra
If there was ever a Prime Minister fully entitled to bang-on incessantly about “the mess left behind by the previous government”, it is Mrs May.
The Cameron-Osborne ‘mess’ has not been immediately apparent because of the veneer of spurious statistics applied to it like icing over a dodgy cake.
Hopefully with Spreadsheet Phil now in charge of the Treasury, we will be allowed to see some pure numbers, rather than those endless ‘percentages’ which Chancellor Gideon and Dave were so very fond of.
Did you notice that even towards the end of his valedictory address to the assembled hacks in Downing Street, David Cameron could not resist a quick “…and we reduced the deficit by two-thirds!” ?
No you didn’t, Dave and you certainly should not have bolted at the first sign of having to take some real “tough decisions”.
Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, John McDonnell: “Anti Jeremy Corbyn plotters are fucking useless.”
Eloquent and Concise.
Can I say ‘Mother Theresa’ yet ?
It’s becoming a bit of a craze….. The highest office in the land being passed on like an old pair of trainers.
Gordon Brown tried to rule without a proper democratic mandate and now , not to be outdone, the Conservatives are about to crown Mrs May as our next Prime Minister.
The five-year fixed parliament rule means that Theresa May cannot go to the country with a General Election without the approval of two thirds of MPs. Unfortunately, it is extremely unlikely that many MPs would vote for an election – especially those on the opposition benches.
Her Majesty’s Opposition has not yet established how many leaders it needs. It will probably end up with TWO. One for the parliamentary party and one properly elected according to Labour’s own rules…… Chaos reigns. Read More
Blair’s Dodgy Decision Making
Judging by all the searingly emotional and often savage reactions to Tony Blair as a result of the invasion of Iraq, the continuing death toll and the Chilcot Report, purely for balance, I think it would be interesting if there was more understanding of Blair’s decision-making process. Such an understanding may help many to begin to comprehend what prompted Tony Blair to invade and destroy a sovereign state.
I am certainly not a fan of Blair’s (and neither am I an apologist for Blair or his actions)…. but I do think it only fair that everyone should at least attempt to understand what he may have gone through in the weeks before he gave the green light for the British military to invade Iraq.
He is often portrayed as some sort of monster-warmonger and yet he was so loved by the majority of the British electorate until the moment that he latched onto George W. Bush’s shirt tails. Plus, he is a barrister and I therefore, I believe him to be a moral and honourable man.
Many decisions delivered by senior people are made on historical data rather than measurement. In other words, whenever a problem arises analogies are drawn between today’s problem and past difficulties with a decision being made on what may have provided reasonable solutions in the past. I hate labels but this is known as ‘decision-making by analogy’. In Saddam’s case it was “Remove the bad bloke and then it will be much easier for us to put everything right.”
The question as to whether it was Blair’s job to ‘put everything right’ is not relevant and debatable but throughout history, removing the bad guy at the top has proved to be the correct fix….and I believe that removal of Saddam was Bair’s core assumption and the premis upon which he based everything that followed.
Nowadays it is widely recognised that the best decision-making method is a systematic logical approach which actually looks at all the alternatives available, together with all possible consequences. This method removes what is known as the ‘gut’ decision and also takes all the emotion out of the decision-making process. This is not an infallible system any more than decision-making by analogy. It is simply the best available to us at this time.
Here’s the simple straight-line thought process:
- Set objectives. In this case it would have been to remove Saddam Hussein and by doing so, to introduce democracy to Iraq.
- Evaluate objectives. For instance, would killing Saddam conflict with other goals and is democracy the right answer for a society with such a complex social system of religion, class, sect, politics and ethnicity?
- Collect information. The intelligence services were so obsessed with a specific type of information that everything else appeared to be ignored. Was the correct information collected?
- Analyse all the information. Then re-analyse it.
- Develop alternatives. In this case, were different methods available? For instance, killing Saddam Hussein or possibly taking him out of Iraq. Did the Iraqi people actually understand what was meant by democracy? In which case, might it have simply been a case of replacing the man at the top rather than relying on people who had neither sense nor experience of government?
- Evaluation of all of the alternatives and then choosing the ‘best’ all-round alternative. For instance, the assassination of Saddam may have done the trick. Remember Gen Colin Powell pointing to possible WMD sites on satellite maps? Would destruction of those have emasculated Saddam?
- Communicating the final decision to all stakeholders – including Saddam and his people.
- Setting up control systems by deciding what was to be measured, how it was to be measured and when. Whatever solution was chosen, its effectiveness and consequences needed to be measured or estimated.
- Implementing the decision after proper preparation and a detailed plan, including several ‘consequence’ scenarios.
- Finally, it’s the evaluation of the decision/solution. If the original objective was to introduce Iraq to democracy – has it been successful?
In retrospect, it appears to be quite obvious that a modern approach to decision-making was not used, and that Tony Blair had made the decision to remove Saddam Hussein as an end and not as a means to an end.
However, when Tony Blair says that he feels that he took the ‘right’ decision, I believe him.
I also think that the root cause of everything that has happened since Blair made the decision to invade Iraq was a total lack of knowledge of a proper decision-making process compounded by an unnecessarily emotional attachment to George W Bush plus a strange and yet-to-be-explained craving for a place in the history books.
Blair has certainly earned his place in history…so it really was a personal ‘Mission Accomplished’….but not as an evil person, merely as an incompetent.
Anarchy in the UK?
Anarchy in the UK?
What with both Cameron and Osborne exposed as no more than bad second-hand car salesmen, the Labour Party Leadership Revolt, those doctors telling Jeremy Hunt where to get off , the Southern Train people not having enough trains to tell people to where, when or even how to get off, the country split in two over a Referendum result, Carney taking charge of the economy and yet another division over the Tory leadership…..is it ANARCHY IN THE UK????
I DO hope so!!! 🙂
May? Leader? I don’t think so! Leadsom to win!
I have trained and coached some very senior people all over the world and at one stage (many years ago) I was hired by Angela Rumbold to train a few individuals at Conservative Central Office in Smith Square.
Unfortunately, I found that they all knew far more that I did, probably because of the mysterious process of knowledge-osmosis which Conservative MPs (and others) are subject to…..It is a mysterious phenomenon whereby once an MP is elected, he or she acquires all the world’s management knowledge and with little or no training or coaching can go on to manage the complexities of one or more of our great Departments of State…..even though they may have only been a lawyer, local Councillor or Trades Union person.
It is a mysterious phenomenon, on par with the migration of the Barnacle Goose.
However, I digress…..and as a leadership coach to several well-known people, my experience tells me that although Theresa May may well be an excellent administrator, she is no leader. For Instance, her ‘leadership’ of our Border Agency hasn’t been anything to write home about and in keeping with her ‘administrator rather than leader’ credentials, all of her solutions to Border Agency issues have been procedural rather than inspirational.
In other words, she’s an an ideal Conservative leadership candidate. Just look at the others: Major, Hague, IDS, Howard, Cameron…..all great leaders of their day!
On the other hand, Andrea Leadsom does appear to have a whole array of leadership qualities, including one which is considered poison by Tory High Command – CHARISMA…….but let us hope that they wake up before it’s too late!
SOMME – “The Old lie”
Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori:
mors et fugacem persequitur virum
nec parcit inbellis iuventae
poplitibus timidove tergo.
Dulce et Decorum Est, by Wilfred Owen
Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.
Gas! GAS! Quick, boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime …
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under I green sea, I saw him drowning.
In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.
If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues, —
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old lie: Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori.
Boris Johnson and the Dark Lord.
One of the great constants in recent Tory leadership elections has been the sudden emergence of Michael Hestletine from his earth-filled coffin.
The man who shafted Margaret Thatcher and who by doing so, not-only failed in his own ambitions to become Prime Minister but single-handedly established the modern dynasty of ineffectual Conservative Party leaders: Major, Hague, Duncan-Smith, Howard and of course, latterly, the toff’s toff, David Cameron.
As a result of Hestletine’s treachery and blind ambition, he consigned the Tories to almost perpetual Opposition and it took until 2015 for them to achieve a parliamentary majority, the last one having been under John Major in 1992. That is TWENTY THREE YEARS – and it was all thanks to Hestletine.
There’s little point in The Bitter Lord accusing Boris Johnson of creating “the greatest constitutional crisis in modern times”.….and that BoJo has “ripped the (Conservative) party apart.”
Looks as if those equity screen monkeys have had their fun. This morning, the FTSE100 is up to 6130. #Brexit
Do not be surprised if those European Union negotiators ‘stonewall’ the United Kingdom delegation for the next two years in order to force them to walk away without any trade deals in place…..as an example to other EU members with exit ambitions.
Roy of the ‘They know it’s all over’
It would seem that former England Manager Roy Hodson was most likely delivering his half-time motivational team talk to England’s pointless prancing prima donnas with a pre-written resignation letter in his pocket.
He didn’t, by any chance, also write those suicide notes that Cameron and Osborne kept reading out before the referendum vote, did he?
Leadership Pass the Parcel
Leadership Pass the Parcel
We have no idea why the Labour Party is becoming so vexed about Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership. As usual, they have the leader they deserve. 🙂
Meanwhile, the Tories are shaping up for their SIXTH leader in twenty years because the current leader can only administer projects he agrees with.
Meanwhile the Libdems are staying with their leader, probably because any barrel bottom can only take SO much scraping.
Corbyn and Cameron – Taxi!
Yes, all you Corbyn supporters – he is a decent man.
Unfortunately, decency is no substitute for competence and unfortunately, Corbyn is to leadership what Osborne is to fiscal credibility.
Let us hope that Jezza does not suffer a protracted political death but a surgery that is swift and clean.
And let us not forget that Cameron’s Westminster equivalent of a Dignitas booking was already in the diary well before his sniveling performance at the No 10 microphone last Friday. It’s just been brought forward.
Remember that in two attempts, he was not able to secure a decent parliamentary majority: Once against the lame duck Brown and then opposite the gawkily wackadoodle Miliband.
Cameron’s management shortcomings have never been better exemplified than by the fact that with at least six years’ warning, he went into a referendum WITHOUT having prepared a Brexit plan!
It’s all very well for the country’s thickos to keep repeating… ‘Those Brexit Winners don’t have a plan. They never had a plan….’.
It is NOT their job to produce a plan.
Government Plans are produced by a government. It is a government’s responsibility ….and the Brexit plan should have been in place for years. It’s not as if the referendum was a surprise!
We are now being treated to the very unedifying spectacle of Cameron gathering his Cabinet today (27th June 2016)….for what appears to be the very first meeting(!!) to decide on a Brexit strategy.
Government lackey and ex-Goldman Sachs director, Mark Carney, who was hired as Governor of the Bank of England by Chancellor Osborne has little choice but to resign.
He has badly compromised the Bank of England’s impartial status by clearly attempting to influence the outcome of the referendum through blatant pro-Remain and pro-Osborne rhetoric throughout the campaign.
The Old Lady of Threadneedle Street needs a Governor untainted by the referendum shenanigans of the last few months.
Osborne – Exit Right.
Chancellor Gideon, who referred to the Brexit campaigners as economically illiterate and ill-informed (probably in a vain attempt to establish some common ground with them), has added: “It’s not the outcome I wanted but I respect the decision of the British people and will do all I can to make it work.”
There is only one way that Gideon can make it work…..GO quietly.
Resignation by Wednesday?
Brexit – the Highlights
Brexit – the Highlights
There were only two highlights:
- Cameron and Osborne in their now customary Bob the Builder fancy dress of hard-hat and high-viz jacket, dispensing their fabulously entertaining post-Brexit comedy “facts” designed to scare the crap out of the British public. Priceless!
- Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn reciting his ‘Remain’ speeches with all the enthusiasm, delivery and expression of a bipolar Santa undergoing a prostate examination.
Juncker’s in a Rush
President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, who appears to see himself as the King of Europe has begun his bullying campaign because HE wants Great Britain to begin the EU-exit process ASAP.
There is absolutely no provision in Article 50 for any sort of time limit or exit standard.
Someone at the F.O should politely tell M.Juncker to F.O.
I am still in shock! Not because Great Britain is leaving the European Union, which, in spite of all the post-referendum whinging, was definitely the correct result …..but by Cameron’s reaction.
Instead of coming to the Downing Street microphone, conceding graciously and then outlining his government’s plan to take our country out of the toxic, over-administered and failing EU, he sniveled like a 1st former telling his housemaster that a senior boy had nicked his bag of sherbet lemons in the tuck shop queue……and did anyone notice that there was no EU exit sequence offered to the nation? No plan. He is just walking away!
It is NOT Boris Johnson’s or Michael Gove’s job to have a plan. It was up to Cameron to have a contingency plan ready – but then , it is easy to forget that he works on expediency and not organisation. Plus his own vanity would have prevented him from even considering having some sort of ‘exit road-map’ ready – just in case.
Nevertheless, it is still hard to believe that the United Kingdom does not have an off-the-shelf exit timetable ready. Even that incompetent, overpopulated, self-serving Brussels bureaucracy which underpins the EU certainly has a plan…….. and by having a plan, it, yet again, has placed itself in the driving seat.
Both Cameron and Osborne are ‘fair-weather’ managers who, as I have suspected for several years, would be utterly useless in a crisis – even one of their own making….and I have finally been proved right.
Make no mistake, all you Remainers…..it is NOT the electorate’s fault that we are leaving the EU. The fault lies with Cameron, Osborne and their advisers.
No more “I love my country” bollocks please, Mr Cameron. If you really loved your country above yourself and your career, you would NOT have resigned.
You would be eyeballing those Brussels Commissars across a table and explaining the new facts of life to them…….and NOT sneaking off like a thief into the night and leaving others to clean up YOUR mess.
“Pournelle’s Iron Law of Bureaucracy“ states that in any bureaucracy, the people devoted to the benefit of the bureaucracy itself always gain control…… and those dedicated to the goals the bureaucracy will gradually have less and less influence and often will be eliminated entirely.
The #EU administration in Brussels and Strasbourg is such a bureaucracy…….and if it continues to be ‘fed’, it will soon exist for its own sake and behave like a quasi State.
In fact, it is comparatively easy to see that the process has begun and is already at quite an advanced stage.
EU Referendum – the last word.
As a UK taxpayer, ask yourself whether you are happy with continuing to contribute so very generously to the salaries and pensions of the 85,000 (and counting) unelected employees temps, contract staff, family and friends within the #EU bureaucracy as well as subsidising their homes, offices and vehicles. At least 10,000 of them are now receiving over €70,000 per year. The top grades earn up to €20,000 per month. A “President” earns about €350,000 per year plus an allowance for a residence equal to 15% of salary as well as other allowances including allowances for children’s schooling and household expenses – say about half a million euros – NOT counting expenses.
Incidentally, you may not know that the EU pension scheme is a ‘defined benefit’ (final salary) scheme of the sort that we in the UK have decided is unaffordable…. and many EU functionaries will be retiring on up to 70% of their final year’s salary. Look out for inevitable ‘pension hole’ in the not-too-distant future!
If you are happy with the above numbers and honestly believe that we are TRAPPED within the EU for ever, you should vote for us to Remain.
If however, you believe that those fabled EU excesses mean that it is time for the CTRL+ALT+DEL buttons to be pressed simultaneously, then it is definitely time for BREXIT.
George ‘Greed is Good’ Soros is at it again.
Writing in the Guardian, currency speculator George Soros has said sterling would “decline precipitously” if the Leave camp won Thursday’s referendum vote. Once again, he is talking as if sterling will be throwing itself over a cliff. Nothing could be further from the truth.
In effect what he is doing is putting the United Kingdom on notice.
Currencies such as sterling do not fluctuate by themselves. They fluctuate because people such as Soros and their armies of Forex screen monkeys bet against the currency in the pursuit of profit.
Nothing in the UK will have changed by midnight on Thursday – except Soros and his ilk kicking off a worldwide currency trading orgy : “Let the sell-off begin!”
We voters should understand that everything bad that Cameron and the Remain camp have been prophesying in the event of Brexit will have its roots in the future behaviour of the banking community. It is they and heads of companies who owe them money who are calling the shots – not the politicians. Just think back at the ‘suits’ who have been squealing the loudest for a Remain outcome!
Soros has warned of “serious consequences” for British jobs and finances if the country leaves the EU.
It is time we all called the bankers’ and the financiers’ bluff. They could quite easily have said that in the event of either a Remain vote OR Brexit, they would offer full support to our economy.
Even the Governor of the Bank of England has failed to confirm that he and his bank will do everything that they can to support the British economy irrespective of the referendum outcome.
They have failed us yet again.
Jo Cox – The Elephant in the Room.
The EU Remain campaign has received a boost from the tragic death of the Member of Parliament for Batley and Spen.
Since the Jo Cox murder, there has been a swing of up to 5% (depending on the poll) in favour of David Cameron’s Remain fantasists.
Jo Cox – her last speech.
We are all fed up with political hypocrisy – so after listening to parliament’s well-meant but in some instances self-serving words of condolence, appreciation and tribute, here is Jo Cox delivering her very last House of Commons speech on May 3rd 2016…… to surprisingly depleted government benches:
Loving the way that Forex and Equity screen monkeys all over the world are blaming a probable BREXIT for market uncertainty.
The real culprits, chaps …… are too much debt, not enough growth and clueless politicians.
I find it terribly sad (but not surprising) that so many senior British politicians feel themselves incapable of governing our country without the ‘support’ of the 85,000 Brussels Bureaucrats who are bleeding-dry an organisation which began as such a great concept.
Our politicians’ blind panic is all too evident in the words of doom and misery which they have been spraying around since the EU referendum campaign launched only a few weeks ago.
Yes, standing alone can be scary but many of us do NOT believe that we should remain purely because Cameron is telling us that we are PERMANENTLY TRAPPED within the EU – which is exactly what the all REMAIN campaigners have (wrongly) concluded.
Judging by the words words of trepidation and hopelessness we have heard over the last few weeks, it would also appear legitimate to assume that Cameron and Osborne are no more than Sooty and Sweep to the Banking Establishment’s Harry H Corbett.
DC and Gideon – The screw-up of the century?
By nominating themselves as the main spokesmen for the EU referendum IN-vote, Cameron and Osborne have made a gross error of judgement.
Not for reasons of personality or presentation skills – those are abundantly evident 🙂 – but because they have come to believe their own publicity.
Let’s spell it out: The Conservatives did NOT win the last General Election either because they were liked or even because voters believed their rather flaky economic predictions and even flakier claimed economic achievements.
They were elected because the alternative (Miliband) was TOO horrible to contemplate. It was not Sir Lynton Crosby who won them the 2015 General Election, it was Ed Miliband.
There aren’t enough high-viz jackets, hard-hats or factory production lines in the country to convince the average British voter that there is some sort of “connect” between themselves, DC or his sidekick.
Cameron and Osborne should stop all the nonsense of posing among ‘ordinary’ workers in factories owned by aspiring ‘Sirs’ and spouting their dystopian EU piffle.
They should both go back to Downing Street and wait.….and a couple of phone calls to Pickfords wouldn’t go amiss either!
What is it with Chancellor George Osborne and bankers?
This morning, when he issued his ultimatum to the British public with threats of tax increases if they voted in favour of Brexit , he was standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Morgan Stanley director Alistair Darling.
Yes, they’re all at it….. For instance Darling’s former boss Gordon Brown has also ‘transitioned’ and is now ‘adviser’ (ahem!) at global investment management firm Pimco.
Is it coincidence that they all want to remain within the EU?
Another fine mess…Gideon!
The Conservative government looks as if it will soon implode as a result of Chancellor George Osborne’s latest EU referendum-related threat.
In spite of winning the last general election on a “no income tax increases” ticket, he has said that he will have to slash public spending and increase taxes in an emergency Budget to tackle a £30bn “black hole” if the UK votes to leave the European Union.
He added that this could have the effect of raising income and inheritance taxes and cutting the NHS budget.
Unfortunately for him, so far 57 Tory MPs have said his position would be “untenable” if he tries to cut NHS, police and school spending.
That would mean that his post-Brexit Budget would be voted down and hopefully he would finally be free to pursue a career away from Westminster.
He and Cameron have created an economic as well as a political mess.
They are truly the Laurel and Hardy of UK politics.
p.s. Today, Chancellor Gideon has probably added another 100,000 to the Brexit vote!!
EU – The political Hokey Kokey.
Have you ever wondered HOW the handling of the EU referendum by Cameron and his Cabinet is perceived in Europe….and indeed, by many in the United Kingdom? (See above)
Sadly – it’s quite justified.
Now that the experts have finally realised that every TV appearance by Cameron OR Osborne adds 100,000 to the Brexit vote, we may not be seeing so much of them or hearing any more of their transparently Munchausenesque pronouncements.
Hopefully it’s not too late to persuade the wavering voter that if we leave the EU, life in the UK will NOT look like Chernobyl after a weekend visit by the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
Cameron’s tales of Pestilence, Famine, War and Death have been grossly exaggerated for dramatic rather than factual purposes.
As the magnificent FDR said during his inaugural address :
“The Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself”
Deep down…..we KNOW what to do.
The EU Remainers – a short summary of their arguments.
What Cameron et al have been indicating by their prophesies of doom and gloom, if we should democratically opt for Brexit, can be summarised as follows:
The EU and its 90,000-strong Brussels bureaucracy have us by the balls and we can NEVER leave…. even if we wanted to.
There are salaries and ‘expenses’ to be paid, pensions to be distributed plus dodgy grants and loans dished out to relatives and friends!
WE ARE PRISONERS.
Cameron has failed to notice those Europäische Union signs.
OK – we accept that Cameron does not feel capable of managing the UK if we vote to exit Die Europäische Union (EU).
What with a post-brexit economic collapse, rising interest rates, falling house prices, a collapsed currency, no export market and being overrun with unwanted migrants – it would take someone with abilities far above those enjoyed by Cameron to steady our country with its already flaky economy and drive it forward.
The latest is his pensions forecast which unsurprisingly is also laced with doom-laden suppositions which really do suggest that the United Kingdom is UTTERLY TRAPPED within the EU for ever. That is to say that we are permanent members of an organisation which is really nothing more than a ready-made export market for Germany…….. with NO WAY OUT.
We are a PRISONER ECONOMY.
The only question is WHY have successive Prime Ministers (including Cameron) and their governments failed control a situation whereby one day we would be so inextricably tied to the EU, that if we ever even THOUGHT about leaving, EVERYTHING would collapse…….
Or, perhaps Cameron and his cronies really are scaremongering?
Surely not! 🙂
Cameron looking exhausted (with thanks to @elliotwagland)
The strain of the EU Referendum debate and the spectre of a Mad Max Brexit future beginning to take its toll?
Mind you, six years of meetings, announcements and inquiry commissioning are quite stressful!
EU Pseudo Facts
It’s a bit rich when Dave ‘The Voters’ Friend’ Cameron accuses Gove and Bojo of pseudo-factual inexactitudes! That’s only because it would be unseemly for him to refer to them as ‘f*****g lying b******s!!’
Cameron is achieving the double-whammy of not only losing the argument but he is beginning to act as if some of his marbles have gone astray. He is stressed out and, as any decent shrink will tell you, stress is all about the future. Yes, DC does look as if he should be taken to a place of safety – but that place is NOT the European Union.
Whatever happens on June 23rd – whether we Brits decide to stay within the cosy confines of the Europäische Union (oops…sorry….typo!) or whether we leave and expose ourselves to the risk of mega-economic success and a new social sparkle through REAL independence , Cameron will be made an offer he cannot refuse.
No matter WHAT the great British public decides, he cannot call two senior colleagues , (one of which happens to be the Lord Chancellor), ‘liars’ and then expect them to serve in his Cabinet.
By referring to the ‘NO’ politicians as fibsters, he has managed to remind the voter of his and Chancellor Gideon’s own numerous fantasy claims about the ‘consequences’ of opting to leave the EU…………… Pot-Kettle and all that!
We cannot wait for the next two weeks – when the referendum debate is set to become really offensive and hopefully, the language somewhat less moderated!
Caprice is the WORD!
Caprice is the WORD
The ICM survey of 2,000 people conducted over the weekend, showed 48% of Britons would vote to leave the EU. That’s up one percentage point on last week, compared with 43% who said they would vote to remain – although there other statistics which show the number in favour of Brexit to be much higher.
One cannot help but assume that the recent surge for the OUT vote has to be credited to David Cameron , Chancellor Osborne and their comedy predictions. Rather ironically Dave and Gideon are now accusing the Brexiteers of also dispensing fiction. What fun!
And on that subject, why was John Major wheeled out yesterday on the Andrew Marr show?
John Major ruled over the most divided Conservative Party ever – apart that is, from today’s two-class Tories and their bringing back of the class system into very sharp focus, through their callously indifferent ‘Toffocracy’.
Major on Marr was certainly Euromatic and wilfully Schismatic but unfortunately he continues to be very Tediomatic!
(apologies to Grease and the T-birds)
Enjoy Cameron’s ‘no ifs, no buts’ !
Here’s Cameron’s ‘No ifs, no buts’ on net migration. Spin that!
Cameron’s ‘no ifs..no buts’ returns to bite him on the (referendum) farce.
We referendum voters (us) prefer to debate and discuss topics which affect us directly.
Unfortunately, just like the average clueless Chief Executive who talks to his junior staff about RoI, RoE, company profits, expenses overruns, fiscal drag , dividends etc., Cameron bangs on about “the economy” which even Osborne admits is affected largely by the Global economic environment – whether we are IN or OUT of Europe.
What affects the population directly is rampant immigration, living costs as well as this government’s inability to provide adequate housing , schooling and healthcare…..whether we are IN or OUT of Europe.
Cameron does not want to debate immigration because of his pre-election net immigration pledge.
You may recall that he won power in May 2015 on a “no ifs, no buts” election pledge to bring net migration down to 100,000…..and by the way, have you noticed how quiet Home Secretary Theresa May is these days – which is surprising, especially as migration is the NUMBER ONE issue on voters’ minds?
It has become increasingly obvious that Cameron has absolutely NO respect for the intelligence of the average British voter because he now says that controlling immigration will be easier if we remain IN the EU (!).
Such arrant nonsense suggests that he is desperate because he knows he is losing the immigration argument and we have all obviously failed to understand the logic of his economical claims…..and when I say ‘economical’, I mean economical with the truth.
The EU Remaniacs are handing it to the Brexiteers!
Most of us have become used to the rather unedifying sight of Cameron and Osborne (often looking silver-spoon-awkward in hard hats and high-viz jackets) talking-down the United Kingdom by expressing their belief that without continental support, we are useless, worthless scum who would surely perish outside the EU.
They have both called on various organisations and individuals to reinforce their doom-laden scare-mongering….but whatever possessed Chancellor Gideon to seek approbation from the Chief Executive of a company which was at the epicentre of the 2008 financial crisis and so far, has managed to rack-up nearly £30 billion in fines for financial naughtiness?
Producing JP Morgan’s CEO Jamie Dimon like a rabbit out of a hat and then sitting and simpering while the American spouted threats of redundancy, general economic malaise and national catastrophe was arguably Osborne’s greatest-ever blunder and a sure-fire vote-winner for the Brexit camp.
It’s all very well inviting one’s likely future employer to the party but Osborne’s judgement has now been exposed to be nearly as suspect as his arithmetic and may have finally bought him a well-earned one-way ticket to political oblivion.
He and his sidekick Cameron have not-only mismanaged the whole “Stay in” campaign but in doing so, have trashed their own already flaky reputations and currently appear to be handing votes to the Brexiteers by the shed load.
Both Cameron and Osborne seem to be working under the misapprehension that they are liked and respected not only by Brussels but by those uber-nationalistic, self-serving, Brit-hating European leaders.
They should both wake up and smell Der Kaffee because they are being USED.
Cameron & The EU – more Chamberlain than Thatcher?
Have you noticed that in the post-WW1, post-Empire era, the British Establishment’s default position in respect of any perceived trouble from a foreign “authority” has been appeasement?
Remember Edward VIII cosying up to Hitler? Chamberlain’s piece of paper? Churchill handing Eastern Europe to Stalin?
More recently, the policy of appeasement in North Africa and its despotic dictators has resulted in the out-of-control tsunami of mass migration.
Thirty-five years ago, the United States put enormous pressure on Margaret Thatcher to pursue a policy of appeasement towards Argentina after it had invaded the Falklands. She had the courage to ignore them. Yes, there were sacrifices but we prevailed and can do so again.
‘Appeasement’ used to be a conscious policy designed to avoid confrontation and war…. and with very few exceptions, that is the policy which is still prevalent. For instance, consider Putin, Crimea and our collective inaction.
Today, the Establishment believes that if the United Kingdom exits the European Union, there will be an economic and social war….and that is the single premis upon which we are being asked to vote to remain within the #EU.
Before the Brexit campaign began, I, along with many others felt very neutral, assuming that whether we were IN or OUT would make little difference to our lives – and that is probably far nearer the truth than EITHER side would have us believe.
However, having listened to Cameron and Osborne and their Establishment friends describe a Brexit-fired apocalypse and the dystopian neo-Dickensian gloom into which we would be plunged if we had the temerity to vote against the wishes of Frau Merkel, the Brussels Commissars and the Banking establishment, many of us have changed our minds.
Our vote on June 23rd is not merely an IN-OUT vote or even an expression of the majority’s anti-Cameron sentiments……It is a LEGACY vote. The vote is not just for us and should certainly not be decided on the basis of the Establishment’s dire forecasts.
Our vote will be for the generations to come and THEIR place in a world.
A world which is rapidly degenerating into chaos – with The Middle East, North Africa and mainland Europe at the forefront of these seismic and probably irreversible changes.
A sharpish Brexit seems to be the only option.
It’s all Dutch to me…..
It’s all Dutch to me…..
Today, David Cameron, emboldened by yet another pointless meeting with Dutch PM Mark Rutte said that leaving the European Union would “crash the economy and increase migration.” If you say so, Dave….
Rutte, by profession an HR man with a History Degree added helpfully that Brexit would trigger “an inevitable, unavoidable race to the bottom”. He should know – he had a decent career with Unilever before entering politics 🙂
When these two giants of the world political stage met in Chequers two years ago their discussions focused on EU affairs, specifically how to reform Europe to make it drive economic growth.
That went well.
It’s a shame that there isn’t the same outcry about the 1000 people who drowned in the Med this week or the 1000 who are going to drown next week, as there is about a gorilla being shot in an American zoo.
The United Kingdom’s wake-up call will come when bodies start to be washed-up along the Kent and Sussex coasts. Of course very little will happen now but, you never know – when the body count becomes embarrassing, perhaps David Cameron might convene a meeting and make a statement.
That sinking feeling.
It was May 31st 1916 when the Royal Navy clashed with German warships off the coast of Denmark’s Jutland peninsula.
Today David Cameron led the Battle of Jutland commemoration. He hosted the ceremony in Orkney because one hundred years ago, the Royal Navy sailed from the Orkney Scapa Flow base.
Among the visiting dignitaries were German President Joachim Gauck and our own Princess Royal who appeared to be sporting more medals than Idi Amin.
It would seem that DC is continuing to develop his ‘sinking’ theme in tandem with his EU Referendum campaign.
Poll shows Brexiters in the lead!
A Guardian ICM telephone poll of a few days ago clearly shows the Brexit enthusiasts in the lead.
Credit for this turnaround has to go to two people: David Cameron, George Osborne and their Comedy Statistics.
Surely, all that the Brexit campaign has to do now is keep Farage out of the limelight and rely on DC and Chancellor Gideon to produce yet more dodgy arithmetic to generate a 55.8345%** chance of the UK voting to leave the EU to its rubber rafts, bureaucrats and failing economies.
( ** They started it!)
EU and those pesky Economists!
Apparently 90% of economists say that the United Kingdom should remain within the European Union.
Is that the same 90% which wanted us to abandon the pound sterling in favour of the euro?
Or perhaps it’s the 90% + which didn’t see the 2008 financial crisis until 2009?
Maybe it’s the same crowd which can never predict GDP growth, interest rates or inflation?
Remember, economics is not an exact science……It is a cross between arithmetic, guesswork, politics, history and bullshit.
Bus for Cameron!
It continues to defy belief that Cameron decided to lead the pro-Europe, ‘IN’ referendum debate.
Had he taken the correct option and organised the campaign only slightly differently by remaining neutral, we would not now be hearing dark mutterings of resignation and a vote of no confidence….but as usual, he did not pause to think.
Immigration is now being highlighted as his major ‘FAIL’ …..and quite right too! Plus, he and Osborne should certainly NOT be leading the migration debate as they both inhabit the ‘double bubble’. Double Bubble? Yes…..the Westminster Bubble wrapped within their personal Uber-Prosperity Social Bubble which means that neither of them need ever live alongside or among anyone who is not white, upper class or (at worst) upper middle class.
No amount of toning down of the ‘prep school boarder’ accent or even those rather affected glottal stops which Chancellor Gideon is so fond of bunging out when he remembers to do so, will change the fact that they are both out of touch with the vast majority of the UK population.
Make no mistake, if Cameron is thrown under a bus by his own party, Osborne will not be far behind….much to the delight of at least two very well-known Conservative harpies-with-a-grudge…(Nadine?….honey is that you?)
Bojo’s Brexit Bus was far more significant and symbolic that any of us suspected!
It’s Toff at the Top – The Brexit Debate errors.
Apocalyptic predictions of a dystopian destiny, fuelled by supposition and opinion-derived numbers masquerading as unvarnished statistics, has been our diet for several weeks. Political reputations have been damaged as has the blimpish and flaky right-wing coalition that is the Tory Party……………Meanwhile, the Labour Party continues to flip-flop aimlessly from principle to principle, whilst trying to decide who it despises more – Corbyn, Cameron or Kim Jong-un.
Prime Minister Cameron has only just realised the dangers of following Osborne’s lead and regurgitating farcical “facts” and predicting a Mad Max future for the British people, should they choose to exercise their democratic right and abandon the moribund #EU.
Hopefully our Prime Minister will now have a crack at looking and sounding like the heavyweight statesman he imagines himself to be, rather than a 1950s second hand car salesman.
Let’s face it, the Brexit debate HAS to rely on opinion and conjecture because by definition, there are no facts about the future.
Nevertheless, it is a shame that the debate has taken on all the characteristics of a religious argument, with only faith, dogma and prophecy to fall back on.
The next four weeks will not-only be interesting from the debate point of view but after the ridiculous initial Brexit skirmishes, one wonders whether certain politicians will take the opportunity to look beyond the vote and attempt some reputation-mending and maybe extinguish some of those burning bridges.
Darwinism and EU Economic Theory
The European Union is languishing in a perpetual economic autumn whilst bankers, with the connivance of politicians, apply rudimentary quack remedies such as Quantitative Easing in the vain hope that somehow they’ll skip a couple of seasons and as if by miracle, an economic summer will materialise out of the murk.
Last year I wrote that modern global economics owes as much to Chaos Theory as it does to Keynes and has mutated beyond the competence of mere politicians. Economic evolution has overtaken the ability of those who traditionally administer the remedies when economic sickness hits.
The mechanisms which are needed to be put in place to even begin to have any effect on economies are so diverse and complex as to make present economic theory, especially that tainted by political dogma, almost redundant. The best that a politician and his advisers can do is to prod a small corner of the economic matrix in the hope that eventually a positive effect is somehow brought-about.
It is fair to say that politicians are no longer shapers of an economy but have now been diminished to mere observers.
The post-war years have seen such an incredible acceleration in all the factors which affect us – from technology to global financing, that it is only now becoming apparent that old solutions will NOT cure new problems. Sometime in the not-too-distant past, the “butterfly effect” became the wing-flap of the American Eagle – until the eagle itself became subject to bouts of economic coma .
Now it is probably the hot-breath of the Chinese dragon which will burn economies.
It has been universally established (even by China and Russia) that Capitalism is the way forward. However, it is no longer the gung-ho, asset-and-natural-resource-stripping capitalism of the past. A democratic and more ethically accountable flavour of capitalism is now needed.
For instance, “business” ought to be an activity which strives to maximise market share and commercial efficiency, i.e it should be inwardly-focused with profits as the essential by-product which is then used to disseminate wealth.
What we currently have is a business model where the rationale is primarily concerned with the maximisation of shareholder profits which concentrates wealth into comparatively few hands. Hence the 21st century craze for moving money in order to generate money without the added old-fashioned complication of production. A virtual world generates virtual money with a virtual value.
“Ah!” you’re thinking. Socialist!! Nothing could be further from the truth.
Let’s keep it simple and look at the two extremes.
The Left (Socialism, Labour, U.S. Democrats, EU) dreams of public or community ownership and what you might call “forced distribution” which unfortunately needs to be underpinned by bureaucratic control and masses of public expenditure.
The Right (Conservatives, Republicans) dreams of privatisation. That has absolutely nothing to do with the individual. It is to do with corporate power.
So, at one extreme, we have unsustainable and forever expanding bureaucracy and on the other we have unacceptable (to the individual) accelerating corporate power.
Western political systems have now become nothing more than a tension between those two extremes. For instance, witness the “Punch and Judy” politics of America and the United Kingdom, as currently exemplified by the quality of the United Kingdom’s EU referendum debate and the antagonistically offensive quality of the USA’s 2016 Presidential campaign.
Currently, there isn’t a better example of extreme corporate power than that exhibited by the banking system. A debt-fuelled crisis, which was accidentally engineered by the banking system ………aided and abetted by politicians who continue to have absolutely NO idea how to deal with it, except by assuming that the problem has gone away. They have adopted the “rabbit-staring -into-headlights” technique and have even been reduced to appealing to the bankers better nature, by inviting central banks into the economic driving seat!!
Paradoxically, the only people who will be able to clean-up the financial mess are financiers. Unfortunately, the type of financier that is needed is not the traditional self-serving, avaricious, unprincipled type which we have all come to love.
It is an as yet undiscovered species. The socially responsible financier who, with the assistance of the politician can generate new ideas which will, in turn, evolve into a NEW Capitalism which places the individual and not the corporation at its nucleus.
The financial crisis happened in spite of politics and will eventually cure itself in spite of politics. Chaos has its own mysterious mechanisms.
It is obvious though that the Darwinian aspects of world economics have outstripped the development of both our politicians and our economic theories.
…..and as China is demonstrating….it is the Survival of the Fittest…..and as the #EU is clearly demonstrating, the answers do not lie in organisational chaos, bureaucracy and huddling for political and economic warmth with people you wouldn’t normally invite into your home.
EU – Marx was right!
The questions and comedy statistics have all been about the United Kingdom.
It’s time the debate broadened – for instance: Do we see the European Union developing into the economic Utopia that the ‘IN’ camp appears to be predicting?
Germany has always been the efficiently fruitful epicentre of the EU – but Angela Merkel’s well-meaning but misguided aberration in respect of migrants will knock-back the country’s well-earned prosperity by at least a decade.
France, with its reactionary working classes and rapidly evolving migrant-based issues and politics will never achieve proper stability – although admittedly, their international posturing is impressive.
Italy is an economic powerhouse of the future – and always will be.
Economically, Spain and Portugal are both on their knees for the duration.
The former Communist states are all ‘takers’, both directly and indirectly.
Barring a miracle, Greece will remain a basket-case for the forseeable future – and the rest don’t matter…….and the countries lined-up to join are most likely to contribute nothing more than an additional economic ‘drag’ and more itinerant cheap labour.
For the moment – and working ONLY on the evidence, it would seem that the European Union is VERY UNLIKELY to ever achieve proper economic stability and will always continue to kid itself that proper loan-free prosperity will arrive “within 18 months”.
Remember Groucho Marx’s letter of resignation to the Friars’ Club: “I don’t want to belong to any club that would accept me as one of its members.”
Having observed Cameron’s and Osborne’s double act, I cannot help but wonder whether they’ll soon be signed for their own BBC Christmas Show or perhaps take over from Ant and Dec!
On a serious note……The “Stay in the #EU because we are totally trapped” campaign has been SO clumsily scripted and organised that one suspects that many wavering voters are beginning to suspect a CONSPIRACY.
The latest offering was from the (totally independent and well-respected and apolitical – I cannot stress that enough!) bunch of statisticians masquerading under the letters IFS – the Institute for Fiscal Studies. Here’s a sample: ‘Ministers could react to a post-Brexit GDP fall with either deeper cuts, or by extending them.’
Notice the ubiquitous “COULD” creeping into yet another dodgy prophecy.
UKIP leader Nigel Farage said ‘IFS is biased because it was part-funded by the EU.’ – which is something they have in common with Nige.
p.s.Did you see Chancellor Gideon with the low voice and newly-minted ersatz statesmanlike manner at PMQs? Tragic! Although – am LOVING the Caligula haircut 🙂
Cameron crosses the line.
Today, our Prime Minister’s Brexit nonsense about family holidays “increasing by £230” if we left the #EU confirms his total lack of respect and utter contempt for the average British voter.
Not only does he continue to destroy his own credibility and persuade more and more people to vote for Brexit but confirms what many of us have suspected for a very long time: If he was ever to be given an enema, he would fit into a shoebox!
Plus, his prediction that this will be his last term in office will probably be confirmed within the next six months…..or weeks.
A dead man talking.
EU lies? Like S***to a Blanket……..
Listening to many of the Brexit-related vox pop on the news, especially from the older generation makes you realise that not only are many of the interviewees a bit thick , but that many do not appear to read past the headlines…… and that is exactly what Cameron and Osborne are tapping into.
They fully realise that all they have to do is trot out a few memorable short sentences containing lots of “Could” and “Probably”, in the knowledge that all the audience will hear is “job losses”, “recession”, “lower house prices”, “self-destruct” etc with the latest suggestion being that leaving the EU would be “immoral”.
Heavy shit! Of course, that is exactly what it is….Shit.
We are listening to two guys whose prediction record matches that of Dr. Dionysius Lardner who said in 1830: “Rail travel at high speed is not possible because passengers, unable to breathe, would die of asphyxia.”
Or as recently as 1977, when Ken Olson, chairman of The Digital Equipment Corporation predicted: “There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home.”
Neither Cameron nor Osborne has any idea what is going to happen next month. Never mind in twelve months’ or five years’ time.
Because of their tactical rather than strategic mentality, they are predicting what they think will happen to the British economy in the year or so following Brexit.
Proper leaders would be thinking very long-term but of course Dave and Gideon only have to frighten this generation of voters and will not have to apologise to future generations who may find themselves unable to escape from the economic and sociological straitjacket of EU membership.
The fact is that neither Cameron nor Osborne is capable running the United Kingdom without the reassuring comfort of Brussels and its rapidly mushrooming and already considerable population of commissars.
We should also notice that no one who is in favour of remaining within the EU club is even attempting to describe the socialist utopia which is being created right under our noses.
Where is the talk of increased incomes, a recession-free United Kingdom, more employment, a prospering NHS – all the things which are the corollary of the doom-infused nonsense which we are being fed?
Is it because negativity, doom and ruination are not-only more memorable but stick in the mind like s*** to a blanket?
Another BREXIT myth?
Always beware of any sentence uttered by a politician which contains the word “percentage” – especially if that politician is Chancellor Gideon.
The latest bit of statistical fantasy saw Osborne suggesting that if we leave the #EU, “house prices COULD fall by Up TO 18 %.” (!)
Obviously, he has a plan!
Does he intend to stop dodgy Russian oligarchs, newly-minted Chinese billionaires, corrupt African despots and tyrannical Middle Eastern potentates and politicians from driving-up UK house prices by buying up London properties and paying silly money for the United Kingdom’s historic country houses and estates?
Mind you, it’s all a great distraction from the NHS, the tanking economy and our unmeasured, out-of-control immigration.
The Ugly Spectre of EU Self-interest……
A recent survey has indicated that most companies based in the eurozone believe a British decision to leave the European Union would hurt the region as it struggles with a sluggish economy and a migration crisis.
79% of firms based in the eurozone said a Brexit would be bad for the area, with less than 4% saying it would have a positive impact, according to the report from accountants Grant Thornton.
“What’s abundantly clear from our research is that European business leaders overwhelmingly view a Brexit as a negative development for the EU,” Francesca Lagerberg, a senior tax partner at Grant Thornton, said.
She said business confidence was strong considering the various potential threats the region faced from low growth, high unemployment, migration and a potential Brexit.
“Any one of these flaring up over the next few months could see that optimism wobble if the economic shocks undermine business leaders’ ability to plan and invest,” she added.
The survey was based on interviews with more than 2,500 senior executives conducted in January and February.
The result is in keeping with the view of senior business leaders in Britain who are largely in favour of Britain staying in the EU. Most economists expect an exit would deal a blow to Britain’s economy in both the short- and longer-term.
The Grant Thornton report showed 68 percent of British-based firms believe Brexit would have a negative impact on Europe.
Parts of the eurozone have struggled with a debt crisis in recent years which, on the heels of the global financial crisis, has stifled growth and left many unemployed. Unfortunately, quite a high percentage of Europe’s unemployed appear to be headed for the UK.
In addition, many recent migrants to the EU stated their first choice of refuge as the UK. Many of those will be arriving here in a few years….when Germany and other states hand them EU citizenship.
The region as a whole remains at odds over how to contain the continuing flow of migrants to the region.
It is regrettable that neither the UK political leadership, nor the Brussels Commissars have any idea about Managing Change on a macro scale because the sociological change within the #EU is probably they biggest issue that will need to be addressed within the next five to ten years.
Both sides are doing their best to frighten the electorate into voting for their point of view. There has also been an attempt at what can only be described as The Blackmail of a Nation – especially by the IN camp and the leadership’s foreign banking and political friends..
The fact is that BOTH sides have valid arguments but instead of helping the average UK citizen to make a reasonable choice whilst at the same time preparing for change, BOTH sides prefer to persuade through the medium of fantasy rhetoric, insinuation and slur.
Meanwhile, mainland Europe, surrounded by the Ring of Chaos, which encompasses Ukraine, then east to Turkey and south to North Africa, sits and waits for more handouts and UK opportunities for its unemployed.
No birds in Muirfield!
If you’re lucky enough to travel to Muirfield to play golf, make sure that you remember to set you watch back 200 years. Forsooth!
A favourite quote
Albert Einstein was asked how he thought that World War 3 would be fought. He said that he didn’t know but that he knew how World War 4 would be fought – with sticks and stones.
|“Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe”
– Albert Einstein
Superbugs and #Brexit
After two years of detailed statistical analysis, the Review on Antimicrobial Resistance has been published and concludes that superbugs will kill someone every three seconds by 2050 unless the world acts now.
The rather alarmist review sets out a plan for preventing medicine “being cast back into the Dark Ages.”
The report calls for a revolution in the way antibiotics are used and a campaign to educate people.
The battle against bugs which are resistant to antibiotics has been described as “as big a risk as terrorism”. because we are simply not developing enough new antibiotics and we are wasting the ones we have.
We now await a statement from the Prime Minister to confirm that if we retain our #EU membership, the risk will be greatly minimalised “because together, we are stronger!” and a counter argument from the #Brexit camp that increased EU migration will doubtless contribute to even more infection ! 🙂
The Queen’s Speech
Sometimes, one cannot help but feel sorry for our Queen. She has to put on a heavy metal hat covered in bling, get togged up in fancy dress and then walk up some steps (what’s wrong with a Stannah Lift), sit on a very uncomfortable looking chair and then read a load of drivel written for her by a Downing Street focus group, handed to her by the Lord Chancellor, wearing a rather fetching off the shoulder black and gold number……(Michael Gove has never looked lovelier).
Prisons, driverless cars and a spaceport were read out in the manner of an undertaker reciting from the the Book of the Dead.
it was not QE2’s fault – after all she is constitutionally obliged to read whatever nonsense the government of the day puts in front of her.
A spaceport is probably very appropriate for this government as it is mostly populated by space cadets and robots….but as the economy appears to be sliding towards the U-bend, it would have been reassuring to hear at least something about the economy. Unfortunately, it appears that Chancellor Gideon has finally admitted that he is a mere observer rather than a shaper of events – just like the Bank of England.
There is very little doubt that QE2 would have been much happier with her feet up, watching Loose Women or Bargain Hunt, rather than have been embarrassed by the unmitigated bollocks masquerading as some sort of government ‘plan’ that she had to recite.
Brexit – Summary , so far……
Cameron’s ‘in crowd’ has expanded offshore to include the foreign senior banking community. Here in the UK, the ‘IN’ conspiracy has now recruited some senior corporate ‘suits’.
Meanwhile, Boris is looking increasingly shambolic and isolated plus, he does not appear to be appealing to the great unwashed.
The two main messages are either “Watch out for hordes of migrants and we could do it alone if we wanted to” or, more worryingly: “The UK is effectively imprisoned within the #EU with no way out without damaging EVERYTHING!”
Both messages are negative – especially now that it would appear that the Cameron camp has admitted that even if we wanted to leave – we can’t. We’re trapped!
Today it was the turn of Spain’s 800,000 permatanned British residents to have the fear of God put into them…..as if the Spanish economy would even think about risking the loss of such a vast slice of revenue!
The one aspect of the debate I cannot agree with and that is the perceived danger from millions of low-level migrants. Once the UK economy collapses, no-one will want to come here.
Now it’s just a matter of waiting for the ECB’s Mario Draghi to pontificate.
Brexit Fun with Statistics
Good to see the Cameron #EU ‘In-Crowd’ adopting the official government policy of spouting meaningless and spurious statistics in order to try and prove that being a member of the European Union is compulsory if one is to maintain economic success , which, incidentally, is something which continues to elude the United Kingdom – in spite of Chancellor Gideon’s creative use of percentages.
Here are some more numbers:
- Six out of ten of the world’s biggest economies are not members of the EU. If the UK Brexited, SEVEN out of ten of the world’s most powerful economies would not be members of the EU.
- According to Bloomberg , of the world’s top ten fastest-growing economies, not one is a member of the EU.
- If we look at real GDP growth rate, the highest performer within the EU is Ireland and is placed only 44th(!) in the world.
What Cameron is REALLY saying is very simple: He does NOT believe that he, Chancellor Gideon and the rest of the current crop of Westminster PPE and History Grads have the collective ability to run an economy without the bureaucratic and legal crutch of the Brussels Commissars.
What have the Europeans ever done for us?
Uncontrolled immigration drives down the average wage. That in turn brings down the wealth of the individual, plus it puts incredible pressure on our social security and health systems.
The United Kingdom has become a dumping ground for the European Union’s unemployed and low paid……..with lots more to come. In addition, the Home Office has consistently proved itself to be utterly incompetent in its quest to exercise ANY sort of workable border control.
A measurable percentage of income earned in the UK by non-British workers is not spent here in the UK – it is disbursed somewhere in the #EU – because that is to where the money is being exported.
YES, the United Kingdom IS necessary to the #EU – but only to re-balance the overall #EU economy …..as what used to be our wealth is gradually being dissipated throughout Europe…….and our government has no control over Paypal and Western Union!!
The legendary EU red tape and despotic restrictions on tax and trade reforms mean that we are no longer the masters of our own destiny. No amount of macho rhetoric from David Cameron will convince the average sane voter that we are anything more than a collection of small islands in the North Sea, completely subservient to Brussels.
Now imagine that we left the #EU and reformed our ties with our English-speaking allies: USA, Canada, Australia, India and New Zealand who all have much stronger economies with far more mid to long-term economic potential than ANY #EU state ……without the restrictive practices and bureaucracy.
Of course the EU Commissars want us to stay within the #EU! We, as an English-speaking nation are the ones who are indispensable allies who can penetrate the markets of the other English-speaking states…………but for whose benefit?
The sooner after June 23rd that the Prime Minister invokes Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, the sooner we can begin divorce proceedings and the sooner the signing of the Decree Nisi…..but like any bitter old divorcee, the #EU will drag it out as long as possible but the temporary discomfort will be very well worth it.
Here is the first sentence of Article 50: “Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements………..”
Great quote from yesterday’s excellent first episode of #BILLIONS: “You don’t have to outswim the shark – just your SCUBA partner.”
Lagarde, Brexit & Panic
It was the IMF’s Christine Lagarde’s turn today.
She says that Brexit would have “assez mauvais to très , très mauvais” consequences but was not particularly specific.
“Pretty bad to very, very bad” is once again a judgement and not a prediction….and if she wants to see “very, very bad”, she should keep a closer eye on Greece’s problems!
Make no mistake, just like Mark Carney before her, prior to issuing her predictable statement, she would have been on the phone to Chancellor Gideon or David Cameron for approval of this latest piece of the well-choreographed scaremongering pro-EU referendum jigsaw. So WHO is next to have been recruited by the ‘IN’ camp?
One suspects that either this weekend or possibly on Monday, it will be the turn of the ECB’s Mario (il Papa) Draghi to instil a bit of ‘panico’ among us gullible Brits!
It started with Obama and they’re travelling East……..
Carney in the Cameron Corner?
The (hired by Chancellor Gideon) totally impartial Governor Mark Carney of the oh-so independent Bank of England said today that if the United Kingdom left the Bruderschaft of the oh-so economically-stable #EU, the risk of leaving “could possibly include a technical recession”……….which by implication suggests that if we stay firmly wedged in Bundeskanzlerin Merkel’s ample #EU cleavage, the risk of recession will be gone! Good news !!
David Cameron then said the warning amounted to “a very clear message” of the dangers of Brexit.
Some have declared that the Governor was spouting unwarranted and unmitigated bollocks with several calling for him to be sacked.
In reply, the Governor’s spokesperson said the Bank had “a duty to make its judgments known.”
As the Bank of England has been so incisive and accurate in all of its previous economic judgments and predictions – the 2008 economic collapse, the subsequent recession and the collapse of RBS, to name but a few – I cannot think of any reason why we should not take Governor Carney’s latest prophecy (it’s NOT a prediction!) VERY seriously. 🙂
I do wish that @bbclaurak at least made an EFFORT to be non-partisan in the #EU in-out referendum debate. She’s never struck me as a #Cameron groupie….or perhaps she just has issues with that other great champion of the poor and oppressed, #IDS?
Believe it or not, I have no particular view as to whether or not we should remain within the European Union but if we are minded to believe the sharp suited Westminster Europhiles (and Jeremy Corbyn), we should not take what is looking increasingly like the foolhardy and dangerous option of Brexit………. Of course, the other team is busy painting a picture of an economic Utopia, unencumbered by the tyrannical drag-chute of EU integration.
The only unsurprising phenomenon about the whole debate is that because we know of no other way, two teams were hastily put together and, as is the case with every other debate, confrontation has been the order of the day.
I would have considered David Cameron far more statesmanlike had he addressed the nation in a far more neutral way, outlining the pros and cons for both possible outcomes. Unfortunately, we only know one way and that is through the medium of opinion-fuelled conflict. Hence the Boris and Cameron camps both treating the debate more like a prizefight rather than what could have been a comradely discussion.
The most outrageous claims have come from the ‘stay in’ camp.
‘Each family will be £4300 per year worse off’, ‘mortgage rates will increase’, ‘house prices will fall’, ‘we are safer within the European Union.’ etc. are all no more than conjecture.
The fact is that whether we are in or out will make little difference to the average man in the street and given the politicians’, pollsters’ and economists’ track records on any sort of prediction, we should all be wary of all the nonsense which has been produced as implied ‘fact’.
Sadly, most of the United Kingdom’s voting population is not very ‘politically-bright’ – hence the outrageous claims made by both sides. It is the only way that they are able to communicate with the slack-jawed Mr and Mrs Average because proper economic and sovereignty arguments are far too complicated without being reduced to single sentence soundbites.
If only the government had had the foresight to produce a single ‘for and against’ document, clearly showing that the argument is largely opinion rather than fact-based, Mr and Mrs Average would not have to be subjected to the increasingly hysterical rhetoric of the Westminster wide-boys.
However, tell someone that their property value is going to fall and contrary to world trends, interest rates are mysteriously going to increase, you begin to understand that scaremongering by both sides is the only way forward.
What is it that we are being asked to keep or abandon?
What is in place at the moment is a self-amplifying bureaucracy which has arrived at the stage where it exists to perpetuate itself rather than be there for the good of the European Community. We have a European legal system whose main function appears to be to impose itself on EU member states plus a European economy which continues to be in terminal decline. There is a massive migration problem-without-end, with the prospect of an increased internal EU migration issue as a result of the proposed future membership of Turkey and Albania. That is the organisation of which we are currently a member.
The question is very straightforward: Do we want to belong to a totally unaudited association of failing and near bankrupt economies, overrun by unwanted (yes!) migrants and presided over by an inwardly-focused, self-amplifying bureaucracy – or should we be looking outwards to the rest of the world whilst maintaining relations only with the European states we can and WANT to do business with – without worrying about regulations governing what we eat or the amperage of our hairdryers and toasters!
The MOST frightening aspect of leaving the European Union is no more than a quite natural fear of CHANGE.
With very few exceptions, politicians have clearly demonstrated that they are incapable of preventing crises and they are certainly very frightened of being accused of creating a crisis such as they imagine might occur if we left the EU.
They surmise, quite correctly, that they would not be able to deal with it, and it is no accident that both David Cameron and George Osborne are at the desperate forefront of trying to keep us in the European Union because they would be the ones expected to deal with any Brexit fallout for which they are not professionally equipped.
Their motivation is fear, whereas the leaders of the Brexit campaign are driven by no more than a misplaced ambition to rule.
The stakes within the EU debate have very little to do with pragmatism or principle. They are to do with power and we as voters would do well to remember that.
The subtext of the Brexit debate is a battle for the leadership of BOTH of our main political parties.
Jeremy Hunt’s #NHS. The end of the beginning?
There is a very good reason why heads of very large organisations command such obscenely huge salaries. They tend to be highly qualified and extremely experienced individuals whose grasp of both finance and organisational dynamics is truly mind-blowing. In addition, there are comparatively few of them….and although we may or may not agree with their vast incomes, they do have responsibility not only to shareholders but for the futures of thousands of employees.
Therefore, it is astounding as well is wrong on so many levels, that a ‘here today gone tomorrow’ politician who commands a salary of about £135,000 is given the responsibility of running an organisation as vast and complex as the National Health Service. If that individual’s qualifications and experience are no more than having been a teacher of English as a foreign language, with a couple of years in public relations, preceded by a Cambridge degree in politics, then the appointment is not only troubling but potentially destructive.
The fact that Jeremy Hunt was a contemporary of David Cameron’s at Cambridge compounds the problem because it is extremely difficult to rid oneself of family or friends that one has hired to do a job which is incontrovertibly so utterly above their competence level.
Being briefed by advisers and devouring the contents of ministerial red boxes is no substitute for the hard slog of a ‘big company’ career.
Secretary of State Hunt is clearly demonstrating his boundless ineptitude by his total inability to deal with the NHS junior doctors. If he does not manage some sort of settlement with them very soon, permanent damage will be done to the NHS.
It is now being suggested that the junior doctors’ strike is a manifestation of them trying to bring down the government! Whether that is true or not, doesn’t matter because the doctors have a great deal of support , whatever their motivation. However, I would tend to believe that they are looking for no more than fairness and understanding from an increasingly confused Secretary of State and unbending dogma-fired Tory High Command.
There is a solution to the problem….. and it is a solution with only one opening move.
The hapless Hunt, who has now completed the journey from promising politician to Cockney rhyming slang, should be asked to participate in an exit interview as soon as possible.
Terribly intrusive reportage by the Mail. They should show John “Shagger” Whittingdale a bit of respect. The fact that this unlikely knobmeister is managing to score at a rate which should at least put him on the England subs bench at Euro 2016 is obviously causing the po-faced ones at the Mail some discomfort. Power to his elbow….and all other parts of his soon-to-be ex-Cabinet anatomy.
Osborne’s Crassness and Stupidity
All that Chancellor Gideon has achieved by stating that if the UK leaves the #EU, MORTGAGE RATES will increase, has been to highlight his stupidity and total lack of understanding of the mortgage market. Presumably he is implying that if we remain in the EU, mortgage rates will NOT go up?
However, it was good to see that in preparation for any backlash, he made the point that his weasel words were, in fact, quoting what “The Americans” said.
Tax Return? Don’t Make me laugh!
THIS is a Tax Return:
THIS is NOT a Tax Return:
I will say this only once!
Cameron, Osborne and Johnson have NOT produced what are being referred-to as “Tax Returns”.
They have produced what look like simplistic spreadsheets which do not even look as if they’ve seen an accountant, never mind HMRC.
I wonder who is going to be the first to notice and ask for their audited accounts as well as PROPER Tax Returns.
Boris Johnson is taxed as both an employed as well as a self-employed person. He should be showing TWO sets of figures – but even he has been allowed to produce a schoolboy Excel spreadsheet.
Only the unfortunate Jeremy Corbyn has produced a Tax Return!
As usual, the British public had its opportunity and blew it!
Cameron’s crap Spreadsheet
Has ANYONE noticed that David Cameron has NOT yet produced his Tax Return?
In their excitement, the media appear to have accepted a very dodgy-looking and simplistic spreadsheet – the sort we could all knock-out on our PCs. The sort of spreadsheet which would be totally unacceptable to HMRC or even to an unqualified book-keeper.
We should see Cameron’s and his wife’s Tax Returns plus any non-PAYE accounts.
Cameron & Gideon….don’t forget the wives!
In order to see number which give a true reflection of Cameron’s and Osborne’s incomes, their spouses tax returns should also be made public. It’s amazing how easy it is to forget having bestowed large amounts of cash on a loved one.
I am not suggesting for one moment that there may have been deliberate movement of assets or cash designed to defraud HMRC but these things can happen for totally innocent reasons…..so while we’re at it, perhaps it would be best to get it all over with in one go!
In addition, I would suspect that at least one of them is part-Schedule E and part Schedule D. That means that apart from PAYE deductions, there may be accounts!
Point of View
Remember that whatever your opinion, whether it’s the #EU hokey-kokey debate or Mr Cameron and his deep and (so genuine!) offshore love for his father, it all depends on where you’re standing …your POV……………… For instance:
Dog: ” I love the way I’ve trained that nice Dr Pavlov to smile, make notes and give me a treat every time I drool”
The Shady in Waiting.
Now that Cameron has released a note of his tax affairs back to 2009 (yet another mistake), it won’t be long before his income prior to that date will be demanded for scrutiny by an increasingly ferocious press.
His priority now should be to sack his ‘advisers’. They have advised him very badly in the past but on this occasion, have excelled themselves. Their talent this week appears to have consisted of no more than pouring increasing volumes of petrol onto the fire.
Yes, Dave, you were quite right, there are things which are a ‘Private Matter’. For instance: “I love my dad. I miss him every day. He was a wonderful father and I’m very proud of everything he did.’ is most certainly private in an awkwardly ‘icky’ sort of way! The tax affairs of a Prime Minister who, for several years, has been engaged in a ‘faux’ quixotic battle against tax avoiders with his sidekick Sancho Osborne are not.
Of course, technically, Cameron and his family have done nothing wrong. What has been done for them with their tax (always blame the accountants!) is no more than ‘naughtiness with intent’, rather than downright badness – the sort of thing we would all do if we had an estate in excess of £325,000.
The next ‘We’re in this together’ clown who should be audited (although I prefer ‘dissected’) is the Shady-in-Waiting, George Osborne. Mind you, with that pedigree, his family is probably much better equipped for papering over the offshore cracks than Dave’s lot.
Painting Cameron into a corner!
Cameron spokesperson: “There are no offshore trusts or funds that the Prime Minister or his immediate family would benefit from in future.”
What about the £300K that your old man left you, Dave? Do and your family not plan to spend it in the future? Have you already spent it? Where did it come from? A Nationwide Super-Saver account? A Halifax Deposit Account? BVI?
What about the residue of your old man’s estate? When your mother’s estate is finally assessed, are you agreeing that you will have no interest in that money either? Where exactly is the offshore stash which your father left? You know the one…the one that you and your immediate family have announced that you will not benefit from in the future.
(We have noticed that Cameron Snr’s Will is ONLY about UK assets.)
Note to self: We really should go easy on DC. The next thing we’ll see is him resigning and Osborne ordering a Pickford’s van to move his gear into No 10…… Too horrible to contemplate!
Excellent #EU insight
The question is very straightforward: Do we want to belong to a totally unaudited association of failing and near bankrupt economies, overrun by unwanted (yes!) migrants and presided over by an inward-focused, self-amplifying bureaucracy – or should we be looking outwards to the rest of the world whilst maintaining relations only with the European states we can do business with – without worrying about regulations governing what we eat or the amperage of our hairdryers and toasters!
Here is a link to Euro MP Daniel Hannan’s excellent revelations which we should all read: http://dailym.ai/1S2A0P6
Government Hunting with Statistics.
David Cameroon, George Osborne and John Pullinger of the Office for National Statistics (ONS) are out hunting.
Osborne shoots at a deer and misses 5ft to the left, Cameron takes a shot and misses 5ft to the right.
Pullinger of the ONS can hardly suppress his excitement and yells: ‘We got ‘im!’
Ah…….that heady aroma of a media-generated mélange of schadenfreude and disinformation!
Ian Cameron’s FUND, Blairmore Holdings was never a “Trust”. It was a Hedge Fund which invested in no more than the sort of equities etc that one finds in any other fund.
Cameron Junior and his unfortunate wife, Sam may well have invested in the old man’s business – probably because the fund was generating very high returns.
One of the factors to be taken into consideration when investing is the tax regime. Here in the UK, for instance, the Exchequer helps itself to Stamp Duty when you invest …………and then, if you are domiciled in the UK, it helps itself to some more by way of Capital Gains Tax .
THAT is why is is often preferable to invest where you do not get screwed at both ends of a transaction.
Very often, an investment choice is driven by prudence rather than naughtiness.
I DO wish that some journos would do their f****** homework! Especially the No 10 Press Office.
On the other hand, one can forgive the ignorance of MPs – because that is what they do!
For instance, did you hear Minister of State for Small Business, Industry and Enterprise, Anna Soubry on PMQs last night? Talk about being promoted to above your level of incompetence!
Cameron must be so proud!