Are we being run by idiots? (Euro bailout #2)

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Did you know that when Italy joined the Euro, it failed several of the main criteria set up for countries joining the Euro?

Did you know that “bail outs” of failed economies in the Eurozone are prohibited by EU law?

You may have heard that we (residents of Great Britain – the UK …) are in a bit of financial bother and that for every £4 we spend we have to borrow £1, at around 3.0% from China. This is couched in a wonderful term “the PSBR or Public Sector Borrowing Requirement”  which makes it sound quite normal to have to borrow cash to meet our ordinary annually recurring spending needs. 

Most of us learned from Mr Micawber in Charles Dickens book David Copperfield, the following simple lesson, “Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds nineteen shillings and six pence, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds and six pence, result misery.”  This statement is simple common sense, obvious to anyone other than a politician or financial journalist.

That does not include the future PFI commitments and public sector and funding conventional old age pension commitments.  (Ed: ‘Why not? ‘Answer: “It would make our finances look worse than those of Greece”. Ed: ‘Ah – of course, silly me – thanks.’)

Public sector borrowing is only ever sensible if it is for capital projects like roads, hospitals, railways etc., and then, only if future tax receipts take it into account – even this basic accounts stuff passed by Gordon Brown who criminally borrowed ever more and more without providing control systems to manage what was being spent and why.

The loan interest payments we paid in 2010 were £46 billion and will be worse in 2011.  (Same as the 2012 defence budget) … and, NO I’m not making it up!) See  here.

So then, let’s give another £9.2 billion to the IMF to help out the Euro-zone, i.e. Greece, Portugal, Spain, Ireland & now Italy shall we?

Yes great idea!

This of course is on top of the £12 billion already committed by our leaders last January.

Sounds like a good plan to me!

We can afford it!

Let’s put Gordon & Tony’s pensions up shall we? (Ed:- er, we already have – so would you like us to put them up again? <embarrassed laugh – Ed was not quite sure if I was joking or not …>) The current lot, Cameron and Osborne, are not even attempting to balance the books this year or next!

I am afraid to say that Great Britain (and many other “developed” (ho ho) countries) are in more or less the same “over- leveraged*” position; the USA, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Germany (yes, Germany – but they have a good chance of paying off their debt – or rather did have until Italy went bust last week…).

Don’t check up on public debt positions of countries other than China, Brazil and Arab oil producers if you want to sleep tonight.

Are we being run by idiots?

Yes we are!

The sound of gentle weeping can be heard from my study …

* “Over leveraged” = ‘bust as arseholes’ as a former insolvency accountant acquaintance used to say.

Our Dave gives a master class in arse covering

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David Cameron wriggling but failing to cover his arse

The main theme of meBook  is that “party” politics corrupts the decision making process in government thus ensuring that unforgivable errors are made in managing Britain’s resources.
The last few days have made me glad to be grumpy – my cup runneth over with material for a grump-fest not seen since Blair made the BBC apologise for telling the truth about his mad, bad, god inspired decision to invade Iraq.
Politics” (original meaning = ‘of the people’) has come to mean (‘of the politicians’) and this subtle and ego driven corruption has spawned the current media frenzy.

Meanwhile, in the real world we, with the time and inclination to see, can see the soap opera for what it is – a mad panicky attempt to maintain the power base of our political masters and their support base of journalists who earn their salaries by talking about power mad egocentric marketing executives (that’s the current and last government if you were wondering…

Dave’s speech yesterday was straight out of chapter 1 of “Arse Covering for Idiots” and fooled no-one, well, not me … 😉 Please watch Dave  “taking full responsibility” … by staying in his job to save his arse, pension, credibility and salary. (55 seconds of skin crawling fake humility …yuk)!

Clueless government + petty minded Unions

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The news is full of mass strikes “the like of which we have not seen since the 1926 General Strike”.

For the want of some honesty & simple common sense we are all going to be in the doodoo again. I refer you to my last post on the 6th June 2011.

I simply despair of the petty mindedness of both the Unions and the hubris* displayed by all our party politicians.

The solution is painful but obvious! You, the government, must let the bad banks fail, the hedge funds must “take a haircut” and the rest of the solution is sharing out the financial pain fairly (see my post 6th June 2011)!

* ‘hubris’  : insolent, contemptuous disregard (‘we know best, trust us we’re politicians’; ‘calm down dear’ etc.)

We’re all in this together – but don’t dare strike says our Vince!

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Remember this from our mate Dave? (Tory Conference – October 2009 – full text here)

It means showing that we’re all in this together, which is why we’ll freeze public sector pay for all but the one million lowest paid public sector workers for one year to help protect jobs. And it means showing that the rich will pay their share which is why for now the 50p tax rate will have to stay and child trust funds for those on middle and higher incomes will have to go.” + “But if we pull together, come together, work together — we will get through this together.”

Vince Cable upset the GMB union this morning by hinting that the government won’t tolerate joined up strikes protesting against “the cuts”. However, both “sides” of the argument are wrong; Because of the farcically weak position we are in thanks to the “financial markets”; bank bailouts; 2 world wars; and a series of inept and incompetent governments, we simply have to make cuts.

Had our “Dave” shown some leadership by:-

  • cutting, say, all current & future public sector pensions over, say, £40k by, say, 50% until the “deficit is cleared”
  • cutting public sector salaries over, say, £100k by 50% until the “deficit is cleared”
  • freezing public sector salaries for “at least” 12 months or until the “deficit is cleared”
  • dealing with errant MPs in the same way “we” are, i.e. gaol + 100% penalties (instead of letting most get away scot free
    •  even those 4/5 who are jailed don’t pay penalties)
  • reclaiming £6bn  tax avoided by Vodafone
  • reclaiming £285m tax avoided by Philip Green (Top Shop, Arcadia Group etc: “its my wife you have to talk to, she owns the company – oh, by the way, she resides in Monaco .., so you can’t get the tax, tee hee”)
  • not actually then hiring Green to help make efficiency savings! Difficult to make this up but its bloody true! 
  • renegotiating the PFI fiasco started by Thatcher & then embraced by Blair and Brown (£50bn of your cash criminally wasted)
  • reclaiming Fred the Shred’s pension & suing him for incompetence
  • dealing with the casino bankers properly & decisively
  • etc. etc. etc

… then he might have got away with saying we are all in this together and the unions might be supporting him in his attempt to cut public sector pensions for less well off workers.

Strikes won’t help the country either – what we need is some serious, loud debate from journalists, politicians & unionists – do we get it? Do we hell! (*)

* Actually we do – but only in “Private Eye”, as far as I can see…  

Lovely dry and sunny weather isn’t it? Yes, but …

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Sub-title: Sell your Chinese “Emerging Market”stocks soon – you heard it here first. 😯

It hasn’t rained much this year, in fact it is looking like being one of the dryest years ever and the trend is probably going to continue.

So, I ask, where is the joined up thinking, the planning and investment designed to improve matters now before we find out out that it is too late? Answer is there none. That’s because the problem is not really an issue for the owners of our water supply – they will just put the price up to maintain profits – easy; in any case they don’t live here so “not a problem” then…

If you want to see who owns our water supply  you can check at the Office of Fair Trading website for an answer, but to summarise – Northern Ireland actually owns its water; Spain owns Scottish water supply;  but (from here on in the news gets progressively worse); Australia, Singapore, Malaysia and South Korea own England’s water and Canada owns Wales’ water. Hedge funds (of course) are somewhere in there but it is very difficult to find out the detail.

If you, like me, think this is just too daft to be true then … WAKE UP!

When that short sighted, criminally stupid woman (Margaret Thatcher, if you were wondering), sold off our water supply to foreign investors in 1989 she forgot (because she probably didn’t care enough to think) to put terms into the deal that would protect the British public from profiteering bastards (I use the term loosely, because what else can you call men who care only for the creation of immorally created piles of dosh for themselves?).

Perhaps Mrs T can see now clearly that water is becoming a bit of a problem for those in low rainfall areas. Nothing however like the problem that those  criminals in China (the Chinese government if you were wondering…) who are in the early stages of overseeing China’s economic doom for the simple lack of a clean water supply and who have embraced the West’s philosophy of believing that money actually exists.

Britain’s water supply should belong to the population of that country; anyone who says different is deluded.

Britain’s electricity energy grid belongs to the British people not, as it currently seems to be, Germany, Spain, South Korea and Canada. There are many more examples of this past and continuing lunacy in meBook.

Obvious is it not? Apparently not, to successive British governments formed by that strange class of people we refer to as “party politicians”.

This “privatisation” has become a disaster waiting too happen, not just for us, but for the USA, China and many other countries.

The basic problem is that we are close to, if not actually at or past, the point where the world’s population is balanced by natural resources. Governments dare not tackle population control (no votes in that!) and can’t act on resources because they sold them! Those, and many other, natural resources are no longer owned by the people to whom they should belong.

The reason that Thatcher’s potty government made Privatisation seem like a good thing was simply that, even then, Britain had run out of money (Ed: not since before the 1st world war have we actually been in the black) so in order to make herself look good she misused North Sea Oil revenues, sold off Council (sorry “Social”  (yuk)) Housing so she could reduce taxes and fight a New Colonial war with Argentina.

Hose pipe ban? What hose pipe ban …?

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Manufacturing is good for Britain …blimey, at last!

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There was a discussion on the BBC Radio 4 ‘Today’ program this morning which is probably the most important issue for Britain today and probably the world. (Blimey – pompous or what?)

A conference exploring ways to develop British manufacturing will be held at Cranfield University today. Sir Alan Rudge, chairman of the ERA Foundation which funds and advises technology research, and Justin Urquhart Stewart of Seven Investment Management, debate whether more manufacturing would heal our economy or simply serve to denigrate the UK‘s world-leading financial services sector.”

Making stuff is important and financial services are not.’ I paraphrase, but that is really what it is all about.

My point is that this “story” won’t be published by most of our media or indeed heard the British population as a whole because, I suspect, that it is seen to be a bit difficult to grasp. I suppose that might be actually true, BUT that is no reason to bury it – it is bloody vital!  And here’s the thing, “Money does not really exist”.

The invention of ’money’ was one of humanity’s most important “light bulb” moments and has enabled mankind to trade, progress and develop; but it has been corrupted out of all recognition, to the point where its real purpose has lost, and has become a mystical thing in itself.

Money, in its purest and most useful sense, is simply a means of exchange between the man who has some goat’s milk for sale and the woman who wants to buy some bread.

Investment, in its purest and most useful sense, is the link between the woman who invents a technology to make a  better battery and needs money to market and develop that battery (and boy is she going to be rich!) and the man who has some money he does not need just now for his living costs. 

Real stuff is the work people do when they dig the ground for vegetables or iron ore; 

Fantasy is the world of the hedge funds that make money from betting that such and such a venture will fail, or betting on the future price of coffee falling. Now come on – what is the benefit, to you and me, of that? 

Sadly, financial services, are not services at all – but simply and sadly a conduit, a means to transfer value from a gullible cash holder to the exploiters of same., and remember, money does not really exist – people, ideas and the useful work they might do does.

The sense of self worth a person gains for being paid and appreciated for doing something “worthwhile” is real and priceless but China digging holes all over Africa, poisoning Africans (and its own population)  in the process, just to make iPads is not.

Discuss.

What do we learn from the Ryan Giggs affair

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These super-injunctions could make us all look very silly indeed!
These super-injunctions could make us all look very silly indeed!

The media is all excited and discussing endlessly how Twitter is ‘challenging the supremacy of conventional law’; so, once again I am lost for words.

The issue is not Twitter, or Giggs, or the F1 bloke who likes his prostitutes 3 at a time wearing Nazi helmets;  it is that the the English legal system is being misused and corrupted by the rich to protect themselves from exposure from their own crass behaviour.

The issue is that,  behind the scenes, our wonderful government is closing down the best bits of our local legal system – the magistrates courts. In this case centralisation is not good – it just makes the law even more remote.

Even before Twitter and Wiki-leaks, the law was seen, by those who in habit the middle and lower levels of earnings in our society, as remote, irrelevant, quaint, far too costly  and so, not for them.

The legal system is corrupt and is used by the rich, i.e. big business and “celebrities” for their own protection and this government is even more remote from us than the last lot of useless beggars were!  

Discuss..

Ed Miliband v Ken Clarke – who won?

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Prime Minister’s Questions (‘PMQs’) this week , Wednesday 12:00 – 12:30, demonstrated perfectly all the points that I have ever made (in meBook)  about the inherent pointlessness of party politicians.

Ed Miliband, himself a wonderful example of how dangerous AV can be (tee hee, hoho and 😉 ), made a skin crawling exhibition of himself when he accused the Justice Minister of saying that “some rapes are not as serious as others”.

What Clarke had actually said, was that the law recognises different classes of serious crime (including rape), which it has incidentally for decades, and that these distinctions are there to be used by judges when applying an appropriate sentence to the crime. 

This comment made by Ken Clarke, the Justice Minister, (married to the same woman for over 40 years) was misconstrued in an emotional radio talk-in show encounter with a rape victim. He simply used language which was open to misunderstanding because of its technical nature. However, given the emotionally charged situation, it was always going to be difficult to have a coherent discussion; at worse, Ken Clarke might be accused of not choosing his words carefully enough. 

But, oh boy, did Miliband show himself up to be the bandwagon burk of the day! There he was, all serious, quiet and controlled with a deeper voice than usual, calmly asking for Clarke’s head “by the end of the day”. Ed Miliband is a disaster for the Labour Party and all party politicians are a disaster for ‘we the people’; ‘we’ are simply not that important anymore, if indeed we ever were, and we are certainly not heard by Westminster Village. 

Miliband used all his allowed 6 questions on this storm in a teacup. Bah Poo & piffle – time for the end of party politics I say, and so, it seems, do the 60% of the population who actually bothered to vote in the May 2010 inconclusive election.

PMQs has become a farce, a reality show watched by saddos like me and Andrew Neil (except he gets paid to watch it ). The questions are never answered by the ‘ohoho so clever’ Prime Minister and waste valuable time that could be used for the benefit of the people. Time for a change methinks …

NHS reforms – makes me want to weep!

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The NHS “reforms” proposed by the new Tory government are not reforms, they are simply a politically expedient way to remove future responsibility from central government by putting private companies in charge. The same principle applies to the schools system started by that self-obsessed idiot Blair and continued by ‘gormless’ Gove and ‘Couldn’t care a less’ Cameron.

All we hear from Cameron is how necessary the reforms are – but never ever any detail. Andrew Lansley’s gone a bit quiet though …

The key reform that you have NOT heard is that “The NHS will cease to be an organisation with a management structure.” Think about that for a minute – then think again. No mention of such radical reforms was made in the manifesto of either the Conservatives or Liberal Democrats at the last general election. This means that the NHS, as you knew it, just disappears.

Here are some reforms I think should be made and they don’t require any expensive re-organisation at all.

  • Firstly – show some grit and cancel ALL the damn PFI schemes started under Thatcher and continued by Blair & Brown – just do it in the name of future generations of British people who are going to be totally screwed for years to come. The saving? At least £50 billion! … and where’s my 10%? (for further details of the PFI disaster – see the section on Alex Salmond below…)
  • Put Senior Nursing Staff back in charge of hospitals and ward sisters in charge of cleaning of their own wards! Remove all private cleaners and private contracts from hospitals.
  • For years drug companies have been funding skiing trips and other expensive bribes for GPs who take their drugs – just stop it! GPs should simply select drugs from a “NICE” list of approved drugs – that’s it. Re-organisation & £2bn saved – I’ll take my 10% fee now please!
  • Doctors who cannot speak English should be removed from service forthwith.! I have had to see two of them over the last few months, about an eye problem, and I was left feeling completely un-served by their inability to hold a detailed conversation. They knew how to fill out the forms alright, but as to advice etc. it just left me fuming! Both were east European and were woefully short of the the mark.
  • Nurses should live up to their name and nurse (verb) rather than oversee medication rotas – perhaps this is a bit strong BUT it is more right than wrong! Put the care back into nursing.
  • I’m sure that any businessperson of 20 years experience in starting & running their own company could propose billions of savings after a matter of a few weeks investigation. You don’t need one of the big 5 accountancy firms to tell you how to do it with fees mounting to millions!
  • Its the bureaucracy that really is inefficient and largely useless. Just get that same chap(ess)  just above to research make some changes – another billion saved! If you remove the NHS management function – who will have the power to investigate and remove duff doctors?
  • The NHS is the flower of British political development – don’t mess with the NHS mate – or we will all come and getcha!

I am right – you probably agree too – so why the bloody hell can’t our politicians do just that?

Most of my suggested reforms would be supported by most of the public but they require political will to be achieved. There’s the the problem – our politicians are gutless, clueless and lost in a funny little world of their own.

To quote Alex Salmond recently, and whilst I completely disagree with him on his desire to split Scotland off from the UK, his analysis on the NHS is spot on!

“Don’t let these three parties destroy your NHS”.

It will not be “National” anymore – the reforms mean a locally run postcode lottery.

It will not be a “Service” – private company profitablility will supercede service – that’s the nature of the beast!

A recent BBC investigation of PFIs (Private Finance Initiatives) found that the 11bn investment made so far will cost us 66bn over 20 years, and that does not include the £600 to change a lightbulb scenario!
(Derek Ruskin says: “600% return to private business – not bad eh? Do you remember voting for that when you voted Blair in? Neither do I!”)

99% of the Royal College of Nursing are against NHS reforms

95% of GPs are against the reforms

Started by new labour forming ‘Foundation’ Hospitals 2003 following on from Thatchers “reforms”.

Scotland has it right – SNHS has gone back to original ethos of the NHS. Alex Salmond for President of Great Britain – hurrah!

An interesting history of the NHS and the “improvements” made by our dear leaders over the years is here – its not a pretty website but the facts are thought provoking.