Saturday, February 28, 2009

Brown to give up his pension as act of contrition? Not!

When Brown is eventually kicked out it will be interesting to see whether he is prepared to forgo his pension. After all, he should not be rewarded for failure, should he?

The Daily Mash has the story:

"Gordon Brown last night dismissed calls to surrender his £123,000 a year pension when he is forced to stop being prime minister next June. Mr Brown was defiant in the face of City outrage despite the UK government's annual operating loss of £100billion, rising to £1.5 trillion when the write-down of its banking assets is taken into account.

The prime minister said: 'I've been building up this pension since I became an MP, it's all completely legal and now you want to take it away because I've been catastrophically bad at my job and you're looking for a scapegoat. What gives?

He added: 'Yes I've been in charge of financial regulation for 12 years, yes I encouraged the housing bubble, and yes I pissed billions up the wall giving pointless jobs to Labour voters, but I fail to see what any of this has to do with me being incredibly well off.

Brown's £3m pension pot is expected to cast the spotlight on the extravagant retirement packages of other failed politicians including Alistair Darling's inexplicable £1.7m and the £1.5m awarded to John Prescott for being a national scandal for 10 years....

"Martin Bishop, head of pension rows (sic) at the Institute for Studies, said: 'It's a fascinating dynamic. The politicians blame the bankers, the bankers blame the politicians, and the ordinary taxpayer is down on all fours with a confused look on his face, being fucked at both ends

You should also read Jeff Randall's article in tomorrow's Sunday Telegraph where he quotes that eminent Labour politician: "John Prescott is demanding that there should be no reward for failure...". Quite!

Harry Potter not nominated for BAFTA by Iranian Film Institute

As someone who has been unable to stay awake when watching any of the Harry Potter films I am probably not the most qualified person to make any sort of critical appraisal of their artistic or cultural merits, let alone explain why J K Rowling has been paid slightly more than Sir Fred Goodwin has received in his pension payout for writing this tosh.

So, I was grateful to Dizzy for pointing me to this explanation of what they really mean. If I had realised that the whole thing has been engineered by that Zionist conspiracy thingy then I would have taken more notice. It's so obvious when you think about.

Makes you wonder what the "real" message behind the Shrek movies is, doesn't it?

Truant plugs his book at conference in Washington DC

I am sure some of you have already seen this YouTube video of 13 year-old Jonathan Krohn speaking to the Conservative Positive Action Conference in Washington DC on Friday.

Apart from the obvious comparison that has already been drawn with the young William Hague, two questions have to be asked: how did he get the day off school and where did he find time to write a book?

Friday, February 27, 2009

The end of white van man?

I pass on this little anecdote for no other reason than it illustrates, yet again, how the economic collapse is affecting ordinary people in the country.

Having a chat with some parents at the U12s rugby training session last evening one of the mums was describing a homework project that her son had been given. The objective was to plan a new by-pass around Chesterfield and it involved carrying out a traffic survey of a short stretch ring road that was built in the 1970s. The lack of "white van" traffic was most notable.

My builder friend confirmed that he had noticed the same phenomenon: on the previous Monday morning he had called into a normally busy builders' merchants to find he was the only customer.

We are only at the start, I fear, of a major and prolonged recession that will devastate parts of our economy for many years.

Don't be a homeowner in Brown's Britain....

If THIS report is true then a lot of people are already in trouble.

".... Over 5m homeowners could be in negative equity by the end of 2009, research claimed. An estimated 3.8 million people either already owe more on their mortgage than their home is worth or are very close to doing so....a further 1.2 million homeowners are expected to be in negative equity by the end of the year if house prices drop by a further 10% to 20%, according to research group GfK NOP."

This is far worse than the 1990s recession - we are going to see "hard working families" made homeless because of the incompetence and stupidity of Gordon Brown's control over our lives for the last 12 years.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Mandy and Ken Show

The YouGov poll in the Daily Telegraph has an interesting little nugget that might cause a frisson of concern amongst Labour supporters. Apart from the Conservatives still having a lead in double digits, apparently "...48% of those questioned said that Kenneth Clarke - brought back onto the Tory frontbenches last month by Mr Cameron - would make the best Business Secretary, against 17% for Labour's Lord Mandelson."

Oh dear! The PoD is losing his touch! The King of Spin has been beaten by the old bruiser. Ken is seen as a safe pair of hands. Good call by David Cameron and George Osborne to bring him back into the Shadow Cabinet.

And isn't it sweetly ironic that Mandy will have to rely on the Conservatives to get his Royal Mail "privatisation" bill through the House of Commons?

Pigs are flying!

Just heard on Newsnight that the price of a pig has gone up about £30 in the last year.

Sounds like a good investment for your pension fund. Then again you could become the chief executive of RBS - less of the mucky stuff to shovel!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Liam Byrne is not (part of) a small cult

The Minister for the Cabinet Office has never been one of my favourite Labour politicians. (Come to think of it, I haven't got any favourite Labour politicians!) And this article he has written for the Daily Telegraph has done nothing for his standing.

It is clear that Labour's main line of attack on the Conservatives will be to continue the old line that the "Tories will drastically cut public services" and that only Labour will support them. (Ask the posties what they think of that argument!)

He refutes "...the charge that Labour have got little for its investment in public services" by saying that this "...fails to withstand an inconvenient truth: the facts. The Conservative legacy we inherited was decades of underinvestment in public services; families still on welfare after two Tory recessions; and social cohesion in tatters."

It seems to me that we have had 12 years of a Labour Government that has raised taxes to unprecedented levels, stored up off-balance sheet liabilities (PFI) and created a vast client state dependent on a bloated public sector and an enormously over-complicated tax credit system that will take a generation to unravel.

But Liam Byrne does reassure us that "...we did all this while over-achieving on delivery of our efficiency targets, delivering £26.5 billion in savings."

So it is possible to reduce expenditure without slashing public services then?

Monday, February 23, 2009

Capitalism - red in tooth and claw!

This YouTube offering via the FT Westminster blog suggests that the US stimulus package has not been universally acclaimed!

Gordon "boogies" with Angela?

Couldn't believe my eyes when I saw this picture of Brown trying to suck snot out of the German Chancellor's nose. Has he no shame?

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Ferrets in a sack

I can recommend this article by Paul Linford which he wrote for his column today in the Newcastle Journal for its analysis of the in-fighting now going on within the Labour Party on whether Brown should be kicked out soon and who would be best placed to succeed him.

I don't usually agree much with Paul but he has a good conclusion: "Until very recently, there was a settled will in the Labour Party that, for good or ill, the party was stuck with Mr Brown until the election, and that it had better knuckle down and make the best of it. My instinct tells me this mood is changing, and that the party may be about to experience a spring awakening. Watch this space."

Indeed! Watch this space too.

"Brown outflanks Merkel and Sarkozy" - oh! and Cameron too!

Why does the BBC keep saying that "it is an undoubted coup" for Gordon Brown to be visiting President Obama on 3rd March? Are they just following the spin put out by No 10 to try to relaunch Brown's fading electoral chances?

Apart from the fact that the BBC fails to mention that Obama has already visited Canada and is due to host a visit from the Japanese PM on Tuesday, it is the use of such fawning language that most offends me. "Undoubted coup", my a*se! All they had to say is that Brown is due to visit Obama to discuss the agenda for the forthcoming meeting of the G20. Instead of that, we had Lance Price, an ex-Labour spin-doctor telling us at length that this visit will show Brown is a world statesman, unlike David Cameron who has no ideas and would do nothing.

The coverage of the announcement that Lord Ashcroft's donations are to be investigated by the Electoral Commission was treated in a similarly biased fashion, although I should say that John Mann, the MP who originally made the complaint, was asked if he was motivated by Ashcroft's effectiveness in raising Conservative support in marginal constituencies. His response was along the lines of "Ashcroft is a tax dodger" and "it's unfair"! Ah, diddums!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Hope triumphs over experience?

Now that President Obama's stimulus package has been signed into law, I thought it might be interesting to look back at this video by Fred Thompson which pointed out some of the pitfalls that might befall us in the coming years.

Prime Minister Cooper? No - it's all Balls!

I think I saw somewhere recently where Yvette Cooper was described as having a better understanding of economics than Gordon Brown. Well, my great aunt Nellie could probably claim that too - and she's been dead for the last 40 years!

Now, there is laughable story doing the rounds that "the elfin-faced one" is a possible contender to become Prime Minister if and when Gordon Brown steps down (or is sectioned under the Mental Health Act). We all know it's just a smoke screen to distract attention away from her real goal - to get hubby Ed Balls into the pole position when it all kicks off. Good for her!

But take a look at this (which I have shamelessly stolen from the excellent Lord Elvis of Paisely) to understand why she (or her husband) should never be allowed near any of the levers of power ever again. They have already done enough damage.

Don't you just love Andrew Neil?

How will the "Client State" thesis play out in the general election?

Just thought you might be interested in this blog by Mike Smithson over at Political Betting .

What appears to be the most significant point is that "....Conventional telephone polling seems to reach many more public sector workers than their numbers in the adult population suggest and in each poll since the change (in its methodology) MORI has (had) to scale their influence back quite considerably. In almost every monthly survey the public sector respondees have been well over double what they should be and the numbers adjusted accordingly."

As a former public sector worker myself I always had the feeling that most of my colleagues - oh, sod it, I'll just come out and say it - all of them, were more likely to vote Labour as they felt the money would just keep coming in to expand their own particular little empires and increase their salaries beyond their wildest dreams.

But why are they so over-represented in telephone polling? Ideas?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Obama is excited at the prospect of meeting Lulu in Kirkcaldy!

No! Seriously. Gordon has been busy planning for his best buddy's trip to the G20 summit and where they can hang out together in between saving the world.

I gather that Lulu has cancelled her world come back tour so she can give a Marilyn Monroe-esque performance for Mr President at the Battle of the Clans Heritage Hotel in Kirkcaldy.

It just wants to make you...Shout! Shout!.....

Carry on spinning, Gordon!

"I want to get on with the job I'm doing. My priority is to help people in this country. I believe we are making progress by putting in place all the measures that are necessary." said Gordon Brown.

"The Prime Minister is pinning his political future on agreeing a global response to the crisis with the G20 group of world leaders at a London summit at the start of that month. He is also considering possible tax cutting measures in the Budget later in April as a way of stimulating the economy and boosting his popularity. The high-risk strategy adds to the pressure on Mr Brown who is currently 20 points behind in the polls."

"Economy could begin to recover in April, claims Gordon Brown."

Compare and contrast these three statements. Is he: (a)firmly committed to helping people in this country; (b)protecting his political arse; (c) talking bollocks?

You have 45 minutes starting from now...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

"Britain can be fixed – but not by a PM who wants to save the world"

Thank God Simon Heffer is away! We now have the definitive article by Irwin Steltzer in the Daily Telegraph which shows why Brown and his abysmal government should be sent into oblivion at the first whiff of a general election or a challenge to his so-called leadership, whichever is the sooner.

I could copy the whole article but a few key quotations should tempt you to read it yourself and wonder why Seltzer has just got around to launching this devasting critique of a man who he routinely used to praise as having a great intellect.

"The country would benefit if Gordon Brown spent some years in the wilderness and returned as an elder statesman."

"It is a pity that Gordon Brown has decided to substitute truculence for calm reason when confronted by his critics. For my guess is that when the history of the Brown era is written, he will realise that his defensiveness; his unwillingness to admit a single error; his dishonest effort to paint the Tories as a do-nothing party, despite the fact that some of their ideas were so sound that he filched them, detracted from his real accomplishments."

"Soon after stepping into Tony Blair's shoes, Brown travelled to America to meet George W. Bush. The Prime Minister managed to insult the President by keeping his distance, refusing to reciprocate when praised, and scorning the President's gift of a bomber jacket. All to appease his Left, which was anyhow irritated with him for consorting with the hated Texan warmonger."

"Then there was the Lisbon Treaty. Break an electoral promise to hold a referendum, and sign the unpopular document. But not in the full glare of television lights or within the sound of popping champagne corks; sneak down and sign Britain on as if no one would notice so long as the pomp and ceremony were avoided. Result: furious European allies, already irked at Brown's habit of taking off his headphones at meetings when they were saying their piece, and angry voters who had been denied the promised referendum. Brown's decision to write books that admire the courage of others only highlighted his lack of it."

"This recession will end: there is indeed boom and bust, or with proper reforms, ups and downs. That's why we call it the business cycle. Brown will be remembered for his refusal to accept any responsibility for the prior period of excessive credit and undetected excesses in the financial sector, for his insistence that his blameless management of the economy had been nullified by the Americans, for some ineffectual anti-recession measures such as the cut in VAT, and for the genuine accomplishment of preventing a complete collapse of the banking system."

"Brown's legacy will also include a bloated public sector that has reduced portions of the country to complete dependence on public-sector jobs, and that will so burden the wealth-creating private sector that economic growth will be stunted for decades to come."

Please read the whole article and then take a deep breath. You know Stelzer is right but do you really want Brown to re-emerge as an elder statesman? Given the choice I'd rather bury him in a lead lined box about 20 feet down in the Kirkcaldy graveyard with a precautionary stake through his heart. But I'm prepared to show leniency as long as he never again appears on a TV screen near me!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

ietnsirnetg ermxinpeet

fi yuo cna raed tihs, yuo hvae a sgtrane mnid too Cna yuo raed tihs? Olny 55 plepoe out of 100 can.

i cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno't mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whotuit a pboerlm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Azanmig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt!

Htiatp: Dnaol Bnaley

Gordon - yes you can - get another job!

I am attracted to the idea that has been floated by Jon Craig in Boulton & Co that Gordon Brown and President Obama will hold a rally at Wembley when the G20 meets in London in early April. As Craig points out, this would have the potential to turn into a 1992 Sheffield Rally moment when Kinnock made himself and Labour look like a bunch of smug triumphalists.(No change there, then?)

But it ain't going to happen. Obama would be a fool if he let himself get dragged into that sort of pointless public jamboree - unless he could link it to an announcement that Brown had agreed to accept, with immediate effect, the job of Very Clever Finance Thingy Person in the bowels of the IMF. But that's just me and my wishful thinking.

Better still would be Obama treating Brown with the obvious disdain that Brown used when he was George Bush's guest - remember the infamous golf cart incident?

Can we trust the Irish to do the right thing?

A worrying report in the Irish Times today which reports a poll showing 51% in favour of the Treaty of Lisbon (aka "The European Constitution").

More work to do, my friends.

See, I told you so - Brown is going to rule the world!

This report in the Guardian about Gordon Brown "...making reform of the international monetary fund, its governance, funding and powers of surveillance, the centrepiece of a 45-day diplomatic drive in an attempt to make the G20 summit in London a turning point in remaking the international economic order..." proves he's on course to be the Chosen One.

It's also significant that he also wants to: "....give the (new) fund powers to direct nation states to respond to its surveillance reports. He also wants to give the G20 a permanent secretariat, so making it a powerful body overseeing finance and largely eclipsing the G8."

Apart from the fact that he has only ever agreed with the IMF when it complimented the economic performance of the UK or criticised other countries' performance, it is significant that he wants to set up a powerful secretariat - "... but we have never given anybody sufficient teeth so that their views are treated so seriously that people will immediately have to act when that early warning is given. We still lack the means for financial supervision...(the International Monetary Fund)...cannot have a role that is simply commentating on the global economy, it must have a surveillance role that is effective".

Job done! He's written his own job description now all he needs to do is get his CV sorted out - might be a few problems there but I'm sure it can be tweaked a bit - and then sit back and wait for the invitation to the interview.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Jumping on the Alan Johnson bandwagon?

I quite like the sentiments behind this post by Paul Linford, another blogger based in Derbyshire, about the rising tide of support for Alan Johnson to oust Gordon Brown by September.

Nothing against Johnson - he has the 'common touch' and does not appear to be dangerously ambitious. Where I do start to worry is the suggestion that the coup would be led by Bananaman, David Miliband. I just don't see it happening. Still, anything to stop Harperson or Balls getting anywhere the levers of power.

All this is predicated on the hope that Brown is carted off by the men in white coats and/or takes the job of Lord High Clever Financial Regulator for the World - which is also being touted as an alternative denouement for the worst Prime Minister for 250 years.

Tony Blair - he walks on water!

As seen on Guido's blog, Tony Blair is to be awarded $1 million by the Dan David Foundation for his "exceptional leadership"!

Ye Gods! The world really has gone mad. Apparently, the Foundation is "headquartered" (!) at Tel Aviv University and the "laureates" are expected to donate 10% of their prize "to graduate students in their respective fields, thereby contributing to the community and fostering a new generation of scholars."

I hope Blair (and his money-grubbing wife) have the good grace to donate the whole $1 million to the Middle East community - if that's not an oxymoron.

No doubt Gordon Brown will be having a chat with the Pope about the possibility of him converting to Catholicism when he meets him this week. It obviously opens up all sorts of doors. (NB: I was brought up as a Catholic by my Irish mother and am now considering resurrecting my membership!)

Dolly's last days in the bunker

I know everyone has got this but I want to watch it over and over again!

British jobs for British workers - McNulty's smoke and mirrors

Although we are constantly told that there are half a million job vacancies in the economy, Tony McNulty, the Employment Minister, has been given (deservedly) a right royal pasting over the few days about the effectiveness of Job Centre Plus and he has waffled and spluttered his way around the TV and radio studio circuit with his usual brand of bravado and attack-dog style.

Faced with, literally, thousands of emailed complaints to the various broadcasting organisations, he has blithely said that he will examine everyone of the individuals' complaints and address them directly. Yeah, sure he will.

But there is a bigger question to answer here. Unemployment figures, as measured by the number of people claiming job seekers allowance, is touching 2 million. So, even if these half a million job vacancies actually exist and they actually match the skills and salary aspirations (and their locations) of those people currently unemployed there will still be 1.5 million people who will not have a job.

When there are over 3 million people unemployed in a year's time will they still be saying that there are half a million vacancies and the Conservatives are the "do nothing" party?

Friday, February 13, 2009

Lloyds TSB - for the journey - into oblivion?

Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling must be turning in their 'political' graves. Oh, no, they are not quite dead yet are they? Silly me. Wishful thinking.

I am sure you know what I'm getting at, don't you? But here's a thing - “Prime Minister Gordon Brown said bank shares bought by the British government as part of his rescue packages will ultimately make money for the taxpayer. ’I believe over time that the value of these shares will rise,’ Brown told a panel of lawmakers today.”

When did he say this? Last year? Last month? Last week?

No! It was yesterday, Thursday 12th February 2009. And today we are told that HBOS (that's the old Halifax Building Society and the Bank of Scotland for my older readers) and which is now part of the Lloyds TSB group, will make a loss of at least £10 billion.

So much for the judgement of the man who was once described as the most successful Chancellor of the Exchequer for 250 years! How can we ever trust his judgement on anything ever again?

Behavioural economics

This article "Worst-case Scenario" by David Brooks in the New York Times gives a fascinating insight into why the economy might not recover because of social factors.

Although the points he makes are US-centred they could apply here too. It doesn't paint a very optimistic picture for an early recovery, indeed he suggests that behaviour has probably changed for good and, essentially, he concludes that society has lost trust in the old systems.

Personally, I think that has been happening for the last decade or so. It should come as no surprise that people (in general) are tightening their belts - well, except perhaps Ed Balls it seems!

Star rating? I don't think so!

The more sharp-witted amongst my readers - what am I saying, you are both sharp-witted - will have noticed that I have added a widget to this blog which invites you to give a star rating to my little utterings. It also offers you some further links to other sites which may interest you.

This is an experiment and I don't expect either of you to be impressed but indulge me for a while, if you please. Have a go at rating my blogs - I'm not expecting 5-stars every time - but a realistic assessment of what I am doing right or wrong would be interesting. I'm going to let it run for a month or so and see what happens. I will let you both know the results.

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Is Gordon going to confess to the Pope?

I hear that Gordon is going to talk to the Pope next week. Wonder what his penance will be? Three Hail Marys and an Our Father?

Or perhaps the Pope will tell him it's too late - he's doomed to burn in Hell for eternity!

Time to lobby the Vatican, methinks?

The curse of Brown

The Daily Telegraph's Jeff Randall has a very good piece in tomorrow's edition about the bankers that have ruined the economy. No, not those greedy and incompetent board members and executives at HBOS, RBS and the rest. He's talking about that other "banker" Gordon Brown and the motley crew he calls his government.

" addition to destroying shareholder value and causing mayhem in the markets, bankers have embarrassed the Government. By their folly, they have helped expose, albeit unwittingly, the ignorance of ministers, flaws in the Financial Services Authority and impotence at the Bank of England. This will never do. What's more, they have established beyond dispute the Prime Minister's inability to pick a winner. Or, put another way, the Curse of Brown."

Frighteningly, he finishes with this little gem: "You can see where this is going. From here, all roads lead to Harare." Harare-on-Thames perhaps?

Prescott continues to mangle the English language

An opportunity for Eric Pickles to get a bigger suit?

I was watching The Daily Politics on BBC IPlayer earlier and noticed that Eric Pickles appears to have outgrown his suit. Anybody out there who can help him out?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

"Britain capitulates to terror"?

I'm not always at one with Melanie Phillips but her article on the Home Secretary's decision to ban a Dutch member of parliament, Geert Wilders, who has made an uncompromising stand against the Koranic sources of Islamist extremism and violence, and who was due to give a screening of Fitna, his film on this subject, at the House of Lords on Thursday is very disturbing.

As she points out: "This meeting had been postponed after Lord Ahmed had previously threatened the House of Lords authorities that he would bring a force of 10,000 Muslims to lay siege to the Lords if Wilders was allowed to speak. To their credit, the Lords authorities had stood firm and said extra police would be drafted in to meet this threat and the Wilders meeting should go ahead. But now the government has announced that it is banning Wilders from the country."

She goes on to say: "So let’s get this straight. The British government allows people to march through British streets screaming support for Hamas, it allows Hizb ut Tahrir to recruit on campus for the jihad against Britain and the west, it takes no action against a Muslim peer who threatens mass intimidation of Parliament, but it bans from the country a member of parliament of a European democracy who wishes to address the British Parliament on the threat to life and liberty in the west from religious fascism."

This a very worrying development. On the one hand we are deploying our armed forces to fight the kind of Islamic fundamentalism that we see as a threat to our national security and on the other we are repressing the right of our Parliament to hear from a democratically elected politician in a European country. It can't be because we don't want to upset the Muslim voters in Blackburn and other similar seats held by Labour MPs, can it?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Bankers and other charlatans - the story of Labour's demise?

Can't resist copying this article on ConservativeHome by Michael Fallon, the Conservative MP who is Deputy Chairman of the Treasury Select Committee.

The killer punch is here: "...Remember: when Gordon Brown first set up his new system of banking supervision, the amount British banks lent out was matched by the amount that they held on deposit. In fact, they were often in overall surplus.By the time he finished as Chancellor, they were lending over £625 billion more than they held on deposit. That’s not supervision – it was sheer recklessness. It’s that funding gap which is the key to understanding how our banks have crumbled.
Never again. We need banks that do banking – simple, straightforward banking. Taking in deposits and lending out against them. Measuring risk properly. Tailoring bonuses to genuine performance and long-term shareholder value. And we need a proper regulator. Brown’s FSA quango has failed us all – it slept through Northern Rock, it didn’t challenge the Scottish banks, and it didn’t warn against the Icelandic banks. 3,000 bureaucrats who didn’t do their job. Thank you again Gordon Brown."

As I have said earlier: When will Gordon Brown say he is sorry for his own incompetence? When hell freezes over?

Update: It appears that Brown is doing his homework on how to phrase his apology, according to Martin Bright on the Spectator blog.

Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch!

It's nice to see the New Statesman being so optimistic for a change. Here they give a list of ministers who are at risk of losing their seats at the next General Election.

There are one or two well-known household names on the list. Apart from la Smith, poor old Bill Rammell is defending a majority of 97 votes in Harlow and that truly awful Barabara Follett is at risk in Stevenage.

I seem to remember that Alistair Darling also has a low'ish majority in his Edinburgh seat too. Hope I'm right as tomorrow the unemployment figures will show that 2 million are now out of work.

When will Brown say he's sorry?

Have a look at this blog by "Burning Our Money". Wat Tyler has the knack of going to the heart of an issue where this Labour government is concerned.

"As we watched the bankers being grilled by the Treasury Committee this morning, it was difficult not to notice that most of the questions being directed at them could equally well have been directed at Brown and Darling." Yes, siree!

The only way we will get an apology from Brown, Darling or any other of the useful idiots in the Cabinet is when they are voted into oblivion.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Neo-endogenous growth theory? It's all Balls!

Now he tells us! Back in the day our dear old Ed was one of Gordon's economic gurus expounding, via his master's voice, his views on how the country could enjoy continual economic growth, with low inflation, low unemployment and prosperity for all.

Now it is reported that he has said that: "The economy is going to define our Britain in the next year, the next five years, the next 10 and even the next 15 years...I think that this is a financial crisis more extreme and more serious than that of the 1930s and we all remember how the politics of that era were shaped by the economy."

When people finally realise that we've been led by a set of donkeys for the last 12 years, even the 28% that still seem to support Labour will want to kick them out.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Oh God! Not him again!

Despite the fact that the Treaty of Lisbon (aka The European Constitution), which provides for a European president to be elected for (if I recall correctly) six years, has not been brought into effect because of the Irish 'No' vote, there is still a movement to get Tony Blair slotted into the post.

According to this report, Sarkozy is pushing his old friend forward.

More likely, they are both trying very hard to keep alive the chances of the Constitution actually being ratified by the Irish in a second vote in the autumn.

A 'yes' vote by the Irish would be a major disaster but Blair becoming the EU president would be the last straw. I cannot stand the idea of all those smug New Labourites feeding off my taxes.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

The "Two" Home Secretary?

Fascinating how these government ministers organise their home lives, isn't it? According to this piece in the Mail on Sunday Jacqui Smith has managed to find a wonderful compromise.

Whatever the outcome of the next general election, and even if Ms Smith loses her Redditch seat, she (and her sister?) has done rather well in financial terms out of the taxpayer.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Another Donal joke about Brown

Donal Blaney is, apparently, one of our 'best rightists' and this is one of his better efforts.

Sometimes I wonder why I bother to read his stuff. He needs to move on, methinks.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Another Lord-a-ranting!

But this 'Lord' is not one of those Labour ones whose nose is so far in the trough that all you can see is his twisted tail. No, this one is an angry blogger who has written a "rant" that should be read by all right-minded people. Read it here.

I particularly liked his conclusion:

"....if there's one thing that I'm sure of, Labour have led us into this folly deliberately and maliciously. I've made my choice to fight, and I implore others to do the same. I don't mean getting out on the streets and rioting, because that just plays into their hands. But we must all do as much as we can to educate ourselves, and our children and friends. There is still a chance, and we must make sure we choose the right path before it's too late."

Not a bad first draft of the clarion call that should go out to the people.

Clarkson to be deported

How dare Jeremy Clarkson criticise Gordon Brown whilst visiting one of our older ex-colonies.

"(In the UK) we've got this one-eyed Scottish idiot, he keeps telling us everything's fine and he's saved the world and we know he's lying, but he's smooth at telling us."

Doesn't he know that talking down the Government like this will only lead to it being kicked out of office and hasten the installation of a Conservative administration? How disgraceful!

I just want to punch the old Labour git in the face!

Sorry Pauline! But he does rather ask for it, doesn't he?

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Will these words come back to haunt me?

It's not often that I am quoted in the International Herald Tribune (which, for the uninitiated, is the international edition of the New York Times):

People in all six countries surveyed thought Obama's election would be good for the United States...."I believe that the U.S.A. will be the driver of the world recovery," said another respondent, Ted Foan of Chesterfield, England. "His leadership will be crucial for engaging other countries, especially if he can change perceptions of America's role in the world."

Given Obama's difficulty in getting his fiscal stimulus package through Congress and the signal that he is prepared to impose protectionist measures against the rest of the world, I am getting a little worried that any recovery in America will not benefit its trading partners as I had hoped.

So it is a bit of a relief to hear that the "Buy American" message is being re-thought. Let's hope Obama has the cojones to see that it is in America's interest to support free trade as widely as possible.

Why I couldn't work for the BBC

Good for Carol Thatcher! She's refused to apologise for making an allegedly racist remark according to a report by the Press Association.

What was her offence? Apparently she called a tennis player a "golliwog". Shock! Horror! The sensibilities of a few BBC-types on the The One Show have been offended and now she has been banned from working on the programme. Oh, well, it's their loss.

When I was in New Zealand last year, we bought a black-faced rag doll called, guess what? Yes, it was a golliwog!

John Redwood - is he right or "wrong"?

John Redwood has, as usual, written a most incisive piece about the difference between "right wing" and "left wing".

He says: "Some socialists try to distinguish communism from fascism, either defending its proponents like Stalin, or claiming that communism as practised was a distortion of the pure doctrine. None of us on what Labour call the “right” in British politics would ever dream of doing the same for fascism, as we loathe it with an equal passion to our loathing of communism."

I tried to make the same point in my previous blog "Extremism in all its forms needs to be opposed" but probably with less effect.

If you don't already follow John's blog I recommend that you start now!

Monday, February 02, 2009

An assisted place for doomed Smith?

Mike Smithson has an alarming blog about the possibility that Jacqui Smith will be smuggled out of her doomed seat in Redditch to a safer place in Wolverhampton.

Why on earth would even the Labour Party want to keep her as an MP? If she is considered to be so talented by them then they really are desperate.

But we knew that, didn't we?

Utterly Butterly - I can't believe he's not buttering us up!

This was Mr Brown, who insisted on BBC's "The Politics Show", that he was "utterly confident" about the future of the economy and the British people's ability to come through the difficult time. "I am utterly confident about the future of the UK economy, utterly confident about our ability to work with other countries to deal with the problem. Britain is one of the countries that will be one of the great success stories of the next period of global change.

"I have an utter faith in our ability as a British people also to come through difficulties to realise problems to be resilient in face of them and then to see that we can solve these problems by working together," he said.

Funny that. Because I am utterly convinced that Gordon Brown has been, and continues to be, utterly useless in governing this country.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Feed the World? Not Likely

Here's a thought. By 2050 it is reckoned that Africa will have added another billion people to the world's population. Speaking as one who is not likely to be around to witness this momentous event and therefore not particular worried about the consequences for myself I am still curious to understand how this could happen.

Billions of dollars continue to be pumped into overseas aid by developed countries (mainly America?) to alleviate suffering from HIV/AIDs, malaria, famine and countless other forms of pestilence and disease. But we are still faced daily by visions of starving children, failed crops, years of drought, violent disputes over the rights to land and internecine genocide. But it never seems to stop these tragedies being repeated again and again.

In the BBC2 Explorer programme tonight on the countries of the Rift Valley the hopelessness of all this was put into stark reality. Are we doing these people any favours when their governments are so incompetent or corrupt that they can let so many people suffer such miserably short lives? For example, we had the contrast of people living in a virtual wilderness herding their cattle in constant fear of attack from other tribes whilst some hundreds of miles to the south broccoli was being cropped for export to the West.

Maybe Dizzy has the right take on this - let Nature take its course. He has a point.

Extremism in all its forms needs to be opposed

Iain Dale has set the hare amongst the hounds with this post "Why the BNP is Left Wing (And Fascist)." Inevitably, there has been a strong reaction from the whole spectrum of opinion.

I have often found that the left/right thing is framed in terms of "Left is 'right' and Right is 'wrong'" so, inevitably, anyone who is seen to be outside the 'normal' acceptable limits of this definition (eg the BNP) are considered to be right wing. On the other the hand, people with views that veer far to the left of the continuum are seen as 'extreme lefties' and usually dismissed as a 'very small minority'.

But surely the point is that these latter two groups are "extremists", either of which would inflict untold tragedy and misery on the rest of us if they ever came to power.

Fortunately, we are not in a position (yet?) where any (either?) of the ruling parties are so bloody far from the centre that the electorate would lurch from one extreme to the other.

But we need to be eternally vigilant!