Tag Archives: Cameron

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”.

Corbyn and Cameron – Taxi!

corbyncameron

 

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.

UNBELIEVABLE!

Brexit – the Highlights

There were only two highlights:

  1. 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!
  2. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn reciting his ‘Remain’ speeches with all the enthusiasm, delivery and expression of a bipolar Santa undergoing a prostate examination.

 

Referendum After-Shock

crycam

 

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.

 

DC and Gideon – The screw-up of the century?

hard hats
Look George! It’s one of those..er…’workers’!

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!

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.

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.

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!

 

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?

The Ugly Spectre of EU Self-interest……

burning euro

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.

 

The Queen’s Speech

carriage

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

gidders

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:

  1. 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.
  2. According to Bloomberg , of the world’s top ten fastest-growing economies, not one is a member of the EU.
  3. 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.

Lagarde, Brexit & Panic

gideonLagarde
Je T’aime …..moi non plus!

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?

Mark-Carney

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.   🙂

EU Brexit

 

chipsDC
Poisson Tempura al fresco

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.

 

 

Tax Return? Don’t Make me laugh!

THIS is a Tax Return:

corbyntax    

 

 

 

 

 

 

THIS is NOT a Tax Return:

cameron-tax-returnPNG

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 & 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.

Wrong again!

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!

Cameron ignorance.

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!

Ill Gotten Gains, Dave?

Let’s not beat around the bush……London is the money-laundering capital of the world. In addition to that, it is Britain which has all those ex-colonial islands and protectorates scattered all over the world. They have become the tax-free-no-questions-asked home to all the world’s drug and crime proceeds as well as the repository for a sizeable chunk of the aid money the West continues to dish out to the Third World …..in the full knowledge that much of it will eventually land in a Swiss numbered account while it waits to be properly buried in some obscure Caribbean offshore trust.

London is the crossroads of such a high percentage of the ill-gotten gains of corrupt politicians and criminals, that if our government genuinely had the stomach to legislate in order to clean-up all this cash-trafficking, it would put such a large hole in our Gross Domestic Product that our economy would collapse.

Our manufacturing represents only 15% of our GDP. The rest relies far too heavily on virtual as well as  illegal money….but unfortunately, after so many years, the economy has become totally addicted to it. All that our senior politicians can offer is the traditional mixture of fine words, promises and inaction.

Cameron’s family is the personification of the moral-free, double-standard, innocence-feigning disgrace that Britain has become.

….and the consequences? The odds are that once again, nothing will change. The media will have lots of fun, the Panama Papers will be milked until we all become bored, the politicians will find something else to distract us with.

Anyone for blini?

Cameron’s offshore shenanigans

Apparently, David Cameron was probably the only rich kid for whom a Trust Fund was never set up. A startling omission by his father because it would have been the most efficient way to put cash or any other type of asset away with junior as the beneficiary. A Trust has ‘trustees’ who usually exercise their discretion in how much is paid to the beneficiary and when it is paid. Trusts are not only useful for passing down assets to the next generation but also keep assets out of a settlor’s estate, thus reducing any Inheritance Tax liabilityIt is therefore VERY surprising that Cameron Snr did not think of that!

However, it is nevertheless always a good idea to listen very carefully to the words written for any Cameron statement. For instance, the latest denial issued by Downing Street contains the following sentence:

“There are no offshore trusts or funds that the Prime Minister or his immediate family would benefit from in future

One can only assume that the trustees have exercised their discretion very recently as well as very suddenly…….unless of course Cameron Snr indeed did not follow his own advice!

Panama Papers

PutinCameron

The Panama Papers reminded me of something that I have been thinking about for many years. What makes senior, specifically LEADER politicians so rich? Very often, all they have had is a career in politics, which as we all know, does not pay very well and yet they suddenly appear at the top of the pile with both the A-list film-star lifestyle as well as the mega-bloated bank account plus the services of sleazy bankers and agents for offshore tax havens.

As far as I can see, the only advantage they have over normal mortals is not ability, diligence, a business sense or even an entrepreneurial spirit. The only thing they do have is proximity to tax payer cash. For instance, the salary of a KGB colonel is not all that great and neither is the salary of a President-Prime Minister-President measured in millions. How then is that individual managing to measure his wealth in BILLIONS? It’s a conundrum.

There has been some criticism of UK Prime Minister David Cameron because his father was in the offshore tax-optimisation game. Of course, it is manifestly unfair to blame DC because, even though his school fees may have been paid out of an offshore Trust Fund ‘run’ by Nominee Directors of a Brass Plaque ‘Company’ located somewhere in a Central American Banana Republic , he cannot be held responsible for his father’s actions – anymore than the son of a bank robber can be held responsible for being clothed and fed on the proceeds of a bank heist………although bank robbers are often stripped of assets and their offspring allowed to go hungry. But hey….!

Javid and the Three Ps

In keeping with this government’s appalling standard of juvenile speech-writing and verbal gimmickry, Business Secretary Sajid Javid has delivered another priceless acronym. He said that any buyer of Port Talbot steelworks “…..would want to refer to “The Three Ps”. Did he mean the government’s Piss Poor Preparation or was he possibly referring to the three qualities that this government has become so well-known for: Procrastination, Procrastination, Procrastination.

BURIED Steel News.

cameron

This is what is happening while #Cameron dispenses platitudes:

German newspaper Rheinische Post has reported that Tata Steel is in advanced talks to buy a stake in Thyssenkrupp’s Steel Europe, sending shares in Thyssenkrupp 5.2 percent higher to the top of Germany’s DAX index …………Thyssenkrupp declined to comment, as did a European spokesman for Tata Steel.

Tata Steel wants to dump Port Talbot and get into bed with our German friends.

So much for DC’s negotiating skills.

http://uk.reuters.com/article/us-tata-steel-thyssenkrupp-idUKKCN0WY4E5

 

Cameron talking Steel.

The government is “doing everything it can” to save thousands of steel jobs – but there are “no guarantees of success”

The situation at Port Talbot is of “deep concern” and “steel jobs are vital” to workers’ families and the communities.

A “more nuanced” solution is needed in recognition of the global oversupply of steel

“Just continuing to produce steel for which there is not adequate demand isn’t the answer.”

The European Union is  “a vital market for British steel.”

Britain is “having conversations with other Governments”

I’m sure that there is a word for the above type of rhetoric but I just can’t think what it might be!  🙂

p.s. Because the government appears to be treating the Port Talbot situation as some sort of surprise, here’s something I wrote FOUR MONTHS ago. See no.9……..http://www.spygun.uk/richard-ruzyllo/cameron-a-first-assessment

 

 

David “Mr Meeting” Cameron and his Balls of Steel.

The outcome is already a certainty. Cameron, his Ministers will be engaging in Cameron’s favourite pastime – a MEETING. This one is to “discuss” the fate of the moribund British Steel Industry. In fact, the industry’s fate had already been decided even as far back as 1988 when the British public was encouraged to throw its cash away by investing in an industry which has been dying since the end of World War II. British Steel eventually morphed into Indian Steel, with its epicentre on the Sub-continent. Now there is hysterical talk of us being stitched-up by China with its “inferior steel” (commentators are confusing “inferior” with “competitively priced” – and there is absolutely no proof that Chinese steel is, in fact, of poor quality)…..and forget all romantic notions of the “proud steel worker” being “thrown on the scrap heap”. It’s all about market forces, dear boy. Tata!

cams

Cameron deploying his “We’ll do everything we can to help” mantra. This time  it is aimed at the British steel industry. Certain commentators have suggested that Dave is probably thinking about re-nationalising steel! He’d rather be rogered by a pig wearing a red rosette….It won’t be long before we’re importing steel from China. Remember, this government does NOT have a long-term plan – only fine words. Time to say ‘tata’ to our steel industry.

Cameron’s letter to Santa.

gdp

David Cameron is about to send his Christmas EU wish-list letter to Brussels.

As he licks the stamp, he should perhaps reflect on the fact that this is the third renegotiation since Britain joined in 1973 and our second referendum on membership.

It’s not even as if the United Kingdom is negotiating from a position of strength. The rather flaky economic recovery which Osborne thinks he’s sold not only to a gullible British public but also to the EU, is looking shakier by the day.

The much-promulgated “We’ve managed to get the deficit down to 5% of GDP!” may sound good in isolation but the much-maligned Eurozone has a Deficit-to-GDP ratio of only 2.1% ! (The UK figure is actually well over 5.0%). The only three coutries with a higher Deficit-GDP ratio are Croatia, Spain and Cyprus.

If you listen very carefully to Cameron’s referendum rhetoric, you may notice that he has moved from being pro-EU to very neutral. You will also notice that he’s chosen four very flabby areas on which to “negotiate”:

  • Integration: Allowing the UK to opt-out of any EU Superstate nonsense
  • Benefits: Restricting access to in-work and out-of-work benefits to EU migrants.
  • Sovereignty: Giving greater powers to national parliaments to block EU legislation.
  • Eurozone vs the rest: Securing an explicit recognition that the euro is not the only currency of the European Union.

He has totally ignored our two biggest gripes: The £6-20 BILLION (depending on who you talk to ) net annual contribution to the EU and that obscenely inflated money-pit that is the Brussels bureaucracy. THAT is where the changes ought to be!

However, we can take comfort from the certain knowledge that WHATEVER our Prime Minister “negotiates” will be proven statistically to be a great (statistical) victory for the UK taxpayer.

 

 

Sharm el-Sheikh Sabotage

It’s a great shame that even when Cameron makes an absolutely CORRECT decision in halting flights to and from Sharm el-Sheikh, people still complain. As evidence accumulates, it looks increasingly likely that the Russian Airbus 321 was brought down by a catastrophic event which occurred inside the plane. DC is taking no chances – and quite right too!

No Syrian conflict for Dave.

An influential Commons committee has urged David Cameron not to press ahead with a vote on UK air strikes against Islamic State militants in Syria.

The Foreign Affairs Committee – which has a Conservative majority – said the Prime Minister should instead “focus on efforts to end Syria’s civil war”.

The committee also raised concerns about the legal basis for any UK action.

Downing Street has strongly denied reports Mr Cameron has abandoned plans for a vote altogether…….but Oh YES, he has!

There’s no way that he can risk another Commons defeat, Lords humiliation or be seen doing to Syria what Blair did to Iraq.

He has taken the line of least resistance.

Export worries.

cameron and osborne

David Cameron and George Osborne both appear to think that meeting other politicians somehow creates international trade. The fact is that politicians have very little influence on commerce and none at all on corporate trade-related decision-making.

The three months to September 2015 saw British exporters experience the weakest growth in orders since the second quarter of 2009 when the country was in the grip of recession.

Admittedly, manufacturing represents only about 10% of GDP but nevertheless it is worrying to see the UK’s export drive going into reverse at exactly the time when the government is dispensing such positive economic mood-music.

Yes, we understand that the UK economy is in better shape than most other European countries but then again, in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man IS king!

Our overall economic growth has slowed to 0.5% per quarter but it is most likely that almost all of that growth is as a result of domestic demand – which is certainly not particularly encouraging within the global economy.

A Markit survey published yesterday shows that  in spite of the rhetoric, the construction sector also slowed in October.

We not only want our cake……….

camcart

 

Chancellor Osborne is off to Germany next week to outline how he wants to protect London’s financial services industry in a reformed European Union. The fear is that ever-closer integration of the eurozone could leave London sidelined in financial policymaking, affecting its banking sector. In fact, London’s status as a European financial centre has already been compromised by Cameron’s dithering and inability to put down on paper the exact changes he is (apparently) negotiating. The continuing lack of detail on his demands for new EU membership terms, is causing both frustration, bemusement and a level of confusion among EU leaders.  Cameron has now had to “do a Chilcot” by promising to send them his wish-list by next week.

Blue or Red corner?

We are constantly being reminded that that the May General Election, rather than being an ideological battle between the two usual suspects, it is much more open…..but is it?

The main two protagonists have been standing toe-to-toe in the middle of the ring for some months now…but it is is the Blue Corner’s “second” who is twitching on the slab, hoping for a last-minute crumb of absolution from the electorate. The mauve circus continues to be led towards that mythical New (EU-free) Dawn by their gurning ringmaster…hardly spilling a drop as he marches through town…always steering towards the Main Event but aware of the fate which befell the man on the slab. There are the tree-huggers flitting in and out like Noddy’s goblins…but there will always be tree huggers. The REAL Green Controller is staying well out of this Rumble in the Westminster Jungle.

The UK 2015 General Election IS a Beauty Contest but with only two contestants. No matter HOW many votes go to the Mauve Circus, the Man on the Slab or the Green Goblins, it is (and always has been) either the man in the Blue Corner or the Man in the Red Corner who will become Champion.

So which one should our money be on?

Blue Corner

Very light on his feet (No! NOT in that way!), trains hard by performing endless U-turns and making vague promises about the future. Puts on a brave face but beginning to suffer mild stabbing pains between the shoulder blades. He likes to start fights but rarely finishes them (see European Union) but likes to say that everything will improve, if he wins his next fight. His “previous”  as a former speechwriter to John Major (really?) and special adviser to Norman Lamont (in 1993!) does NOT look too good on paper but his shouting skills at the Despatch Box have become legendary…plus he has perfected the art of giving the same answer to every question! For example: “Good afternoon, Dave”  “It would have been a much better afternoon if we didn’t have to clear up the mess..left behind….etc” Invented but unfortunately mislaid The Big Society.

Red Corner

Although youthful, his face looks as if he’s been in many fights but apparently, it’s his natural look. He suffers from the same stabbing pains as the other guy but always gives the impression that he is very thick skinned….as you’d expect from someone who once shafted and humiliated his own brother in public. His general  “look” has been described by some as “weirdo chic”, as has his voice, face and hair. His “previous” is as impressive as his opponent’s…his main claim to fame being a very long-standing association with the Old Charmer himself, Gordon Brown…as an adviser and then as author of his party’s last election manifesto. A 2011 Ipsos Mori poll found him to be less popular that Iain Duncan-Smith when he was Leader of the Opposition.

THIS is going to be very close but my money will be on the Blue Corner……Purely on political guile, leadership qualities, contacts and presentation skills. However, they ARE reasonably well-matched with the main issue for both of them being the quality of the people they have surrounded themselves with.

(Who would YOU rather see across the table from Putin?)

Cameron in the “you know what”…..Again!

The judge in the British phone-hacking trial criticised Prime Minister David Cameron  for not waiting until all verdicts were in before commenting on Andy Coulson, his former media chief who is facing jail.

Less than two hours after yesterday’s verdict, Cameron issued what he called a “full and frank” apology, saying he had taken Coulson’s assurances of innocence at the time at face value, something he now realised was a mistake.

The jury was however still deliberating on two further charges on Coulson.

“I asked for an explanation from the Prime Minister as to why he had issued his statement while the jury were still considering verdicts” the judge, John Saunders, said in court.

“My sole concern is to ensure that justice is done. Politicians have other imperatives and I understand that. Whether the political imperative was such that statements could not await all the verdicts, I leave to others to judge.”

In addition, the Leader of the Opposition, Ed Miliband, referred to Coulson as “a Criminal” !

The jury was discharged today after failing to reach agreement on whether Coulson was guilty of authorising illegal payments and it would now seem that Coulson will NOT be tried on the two remaining charges against him because of the premature outbursts by clueless politicians.

In spite of Cameron’s very dramatic waving-about of the Leveson report during PMQs, like some executive Teddy Bear or talisman designed to protect him from any suggestion of wrongdoing in hiring Coulson….he still doesn’t get it!

The Root Cause of this mess is not “I am innocent of negligence because I was given ASSURANCES ” but in the amateurish recruitment procedures on Planet Politics.

“I hear that he’s a good bloke”……….” I knew his father”………… We were at the same school”…….”I shagged his sister”….etc…. STILL take precedence over ability.

Coulson was “recommended”…..and of course, the Conservatives needed to please their benefactor Rupert Murdoch.

( It was Chancellor Osborne who did the recommending…….. What’s his game?)

The Lough Erne Declaration: You SHOULD enjoy it.

I have pointed out on several occasions that many of our politicians but specifically our Prime Minister, David Cameron have fallen into the habit of using a new kind of language. It purports to be all about ACTION, delivered in extremely weird exhortary terms which give the (false) impression of achievement and initiative. It is anything but.

Here is the transcript of the so-called Lough Erne Declaration on tax evasion. There are no dates, no specific responsibilities and certainly no action points. In short….it says NOTHING.

I have highlighted the  “SHOULD” word, which the Coalition Government and its leaders continue to confuse with action or “WE WILL”.

(The first paragraph is just full of “truisms”…..what some might call BS :

The Lough Erne Declaration  18th June 2013

“Private enterprise drives growth, reduces poverty, and creates jobs and prosperity for people around the world. Governments have a special responsibility to make proper rules and promote good governance. Fair taxes, increased transparency and open trade are vital drivers of this. We will make a real difference by doing the following:

  1. Tax authorities across the world should automatically share information to fight the scourge of tax evasion.
  2. Countries should change rules that let companies shift their profits across borders to avoid taxes, and multinationals should report to tax authorities what tax they pay where.
  3. Companies should know who really owns them and tax collectors and law enforcers should be able to obtain this information easily.
  4. Developing countries should have the information and capacity to collect the taxes owed them – and other countries have a duty to help them.
  5. Extractive companies should report payments to all governments – and governments should publish income from such companies.
  6. Minerals should be sourced legitimately, not plundered from conflict zones.
  7. Land transactions should be transparent, respecting the property rights of local communities.
  8. Governments should roll back protectionism and agree new trade deals that boost jobs and growth worldwide.
  9. Governments should cut wasteful bureaucracy at borders and make it easier and quicker to move goods between developing countries.
  10. Governments should publish information on laws, budgets, spending, national statistics, elections and government contracts in a way that is easy to read and re-use, so that citizens can hold them to account.”

A WISH LIST disguised as an ACTION LIST.

A few months ago, David Cameron led a trade delegation to China. Then he cleverly followed up by having a meeting with the Dalai Lama – which really pissed off the Chinese and screwed up any goodwill he may have accidentally created in Beijing. Today, he is in Washington, meeting President Barack Obama. Does anyone know when DC is meeting Al Quaeda or does he have Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad popping into No 10 for prayers and afternoon tea?

Today’s EU letter to Van Rompuy & Barroso

The letter reproduced below is signed by 11 European leaders. It is addressed to Herman van Rompuy and José Manuel Barroso, although the real audience is the entire European Union.

As I’ve pointed out before, in Euroland, there has been a noticeable increase in the use of  a very strange new language . It has been used by European leaders during their various pronouncements over the last couple of years.

The rhetoric adopted by current Euroean Commissars is frighteningly similar to the Soviet-style nonsense spouted by dead-eyed Party apparatchiks of the 1960s. It is the empty “old-school”  Party-designed exhortatory language of the  now-extinct Soviet official.

In common with the good old Berlin Wall days, these pre-written Euro-statements appear to promise much but actually, say nothing.

It is a very long statement of the obvious and in keeping with EU tradition , there is overuse of the word “must” rather than the word “will”.

This looks very much like a preamble to many , many meetings but it is noticeable that neither Germany nor France has signed it.


To:

Herman van Rompuy

President of the European Council

José Manuel Barroso

President of the European Commission

20 February 2012

A PLAN FOR GROWTH IN EUROPE

We meet in Brussels at a perilous moment for economies across Europe. Growth has stalled. Unemployment is rising. Citizens and businesses are facing their toughest conditions for years. As many of our major competitor economies grow steadily out of the gloom of the recent global crisis, financial market turbulence and the burden of debt renders the path to recovery in Europe much harder to climb.

Europe has many fundamental economic assets. But the crisis we are facing is also a crisis of growth. The efforts that each of us are taking to put our national finances on a sustainable footing are essential. Without them, we will not lay the foundations for strong and lasting economic recovery. But action is also needed to modernise our economies, build greater competitiveness and correct macroeconomic imbalances. We need to restore confidence, among citizens, businesses and financial markets, in Europe’s ability to grow strongly and sustainably in the future and to maintain its share of global prosperity.

We discussed these issues when we last met. It is right that we discuss them again. Building on the conclusions we have previously reached, it is now time to show leadership and take bold decisions which will deliver the results that our people are demanding. We welcome the steps being taken, nationally and at the European level, to address this challenge and look forward to agreeing further concrete steps at our next meeting, with action focused on eight clear priorities to strengthen growth.

First, we must bring the single market to its next stage of development, by reinforcing governance and raising standards of implementation. The Commission’s report to the June European Council should set out clear and detailed actions needed to enhance implementation and strengthen enforcement.

Action should start in the services sector. Services now account for almost four fifths of our economy and yet there is much that needs to be done to open up services markets on the scale that is needed. We must act with urgency, nationally and at the European level, to remove the restrictions that hinder access and competition and to raise standards of implementation and enforcement to achieve mutual recognition across the single market. We look forward to the Commission report on the outcome of sectoral performance checks and call on the Commission to fulfil its obligation under the services directive to report comprehensively on efforts to open up services markets and to make recommendations for additional measures, if necessary in legislation, to fulfil the internal market in services.

Second, we must step up our efforts to create a truly digital single market by 2015. The digital economy is expanding rapidly but cross-border trade remains low and creativity is stifled by a complex web of differing national copyright regimes. Action is needed at the EU level to provide businesses and consumers with the means and the confidence to trade on-line, by simplifying licensing, building an efficient framework for copyright, providing a secure and affordable system for cross-border on-line payments, establishing on-line dispute resolution mechanisms for cross-border on-line transactions and amending the EU framework for digital signatures. We should build on the recent proposals of the Commission, without reopening the e-commerce directive, to create a system that balances the interests of consumers, businesses and rights holders, and spurs innovation, creative activity and growth. We must also continue our efforts to build modern infrastructure to provide better broadband coverage and take-up and extend and promote e-government services to simplify the start up and running of businesses and aid the mobility of workers.

Third, we must deliver on our commitment to establish a genuine, efficient and effective internal market in energy by 2014. All member States should implement fully the Third Energy Package, swiftly and in recognition of agreed deadlines. Energy interconnection should be enhanced to help underpin security of supply. Urgent action is also needed, nationally and where appropriate collectively, to remove planning and regulatory barriers to investment in infrastructure to release the potential of the single market and support green growth and a low-emissions economy. We look forward to the Commission’s forthcoming communication on the functioning of the internal market, which should include an assessment of the degree of liberalisation and energy market opening in member States. We also commit to making concrete progress towards the development of a Single European Transport Area and establishing the Connecting Europe Facility.

Fourth, we must redouble our commitment to innovation by establishing the European Research Area, creating the best possible environment for entrepreneurs and innovators to commercialise their ideas and create jobs, and putting demand-led innovation at the heart of Europe’s research and development strategy. We must also act decisively to improve investment opportunities for innovative start-ups, fast-growing companies and small businesses, by creating an effective EU-wide venture capital regime which allows venture capital funds to operate on a pan-European basis, assessing a proposal for an EU venture capital scheme building on the EIF and other financial institutions in cooperation with national operators, and agreeing a new EU-wide programme, modelled on the Small Business Innovation Research scheme, to promote more effective use of pre-commercial public procurement to support innovative and high tech businesses. Reforms to create an effective and business-friendly system of intellectual property protection remain a very high priority.

Fifth, we need decisive action to deliver open global markets. This year we should conclude free trade agreements with India, Canada, countries of the Eastern neighbourhood and a number of ASEAN partners. We should also reinforce trade relations with countries in the southern neighbourhood. Fresh impetus should be given to trade negotiations with strategic partners such as Mercosur and Japan, with negotiations with Japan launched before the summer, provided there is progress on the scope and ambition of a free trade agreement. The deals that are currently on the table could add €90 billion to EU GDP.

But we must go further too. We need to inject political momentum into deepening economic integration with the US, examining all options including that of a free trade agreement; seek to deepen trade and investment relations with Russia, following its accession to the WTO; and launch a strategic consideration of our trade and investment relationship with China, with a view to strengthening our economic ties and reinforcing commitment to rules-based trade. Recognising the benefits that open markets bring, we should continue our efforts to strengthen the multilateral system, including through the Doha Development Agenda, strive for multilateral and plurilateral agreements in priority areas and sectors, and resist protectionism and seek greater market access for our businesses in third countries. Above all, we must reject the temptation to seek self-defeating protectionism in our trade relations.

Sixth, we need to sustain and make more ambitious our programme to reduce the burden of EU regulation. We welcome the commitments made by the institutions to reduce burdens on small businesses but urge further and faster progress across the EU institutions while maintaining the integrity of the single market and the Union’s wider objectives. We should assess the scope for ambitious new EU sectoral targets and agree new steps to bring tangible benefits to industry. We should also make a very clear and visible statement of our intention to support micro-enterprises and ask the Commission to present detailed proposals to achieve this, including possible amendments to existing legislation. We also ask the Commission to publish an annual statement identifying and explaining the total net cost to business of regulatory proposals issued in the preceding year.

Seventh, we must act nationally and, respecting national competences, collectively to promote well functioning labour markets which deliver employment opportunities and, crucially, promote higher levels of labour market participation among young people, women and older workers. Special attention should also be given to vulnerable groups that have been absent from the labour market for long periods. We should foster labour mobility to create a more integrated and open European labour market, for example by advancing the acquisition and preservation of supplementary pension rights for migrating workers, while respecting the role of the social partners. We should also take further action to reduce the number of regulated professions in Europe, through the introduction of a tough new proportionality test set out in legislation. In this context, we ask the Commission to convene without delay a new forum for the mutual evaluation of national practices to help identify and bring down unjustified regulatory barriers, examine alternatives to regulation which ensure high professional standards and assess the scope for further alignment of standards to facilitate mutual recognition of professional qualifications.

Finally, we must take steps to build a robust, dynamic and competitive financial services sector that creates jobs and provides vital support to citizens and businesses. Implicit guarantees to always rescue banks, which distort the single market, should be reduced. Banks, not taxpayers, should be responsible for bearing the costs of the risks they take. While pursuing a level playing field globally, we should commit irrevocably to international binding standards for capital, liquidity and leverage with no dilution, ensuring that EU legislation adheres to Basel 3 standards to ensure financial stability and meet the financing needs of our economies. Banks should be required to hold appropriate levels and forms of capital in line with international criteria, without discrimination between private and public equities. We also call for rigorous implementation of the G20 principles on banking sector remuneration in line with existing EU legislation.

Each of us recognises that the plan we propose requires leadership and tough political decisions. But the stakes are high and action in many of these areas is long overdue. With bold and effective action and strong political will we can recover Europe’s dynamism and put our economies back on the path to economic recovery. We urge you and the European Council to answer our peoples’ call for reform and to help restore their confidence in Europe’s ability to deliver strong and sustainable growth.

We are copying this letter to colleagues on the European Council.

David Cameron, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of the Netherlands

Mario Monti, Prime Minister of Italy

Andrus Ansip, Prime Minister of Estonia

Valdis Dombrovskis, Prime Minister of Latvia

Jyrki Katainen, Prime Minister of Finland

Enda Kenny, Taoiseach, Republic of Ireland

Petr Nečas, Prime Minister of the Czech Republic

Iveta Radičová, Prime Minister of Slovakia

Mariano Rajoy, Prime Minister of Spain

Fredrik Reinfeldt, Prime Minister of Sweden

Donald Tusk, Prime Minister of Poland

Franco-German Munificence!!

In January 2011, French President Nicolas Sarkozy proclaimed that by the end of the year, France was ready to implement  a financial transactions tax (FTT) to help poor countries. The German Chancellor, Angela Merkel,  also expressed her support.

Sarkozy promised: “My conviction has always been that the FTT is the best form of innovative financing…. France is prepared to implement innovative financing mechanisms even if other countries should choose not to join. Because there is a moment in time where you have to go from discourse to setting an example.”

But, surprisingly, no agreement has yet been reached.

It’s urgent that France and Germany take concrete action to drive this joint proposal forward and to ensure that the revenues will be used to help reach the Millennium Development Goals.

France’s and Germany’s generosity is to be admired and we should do all we can to encourage this initiative, especially in the wake of such momentous upheavals within the Eurozone.

One trusts that our Prime Minister takes the time to gently remind the French and the Germans of  this more-than-generous gesture.

The petition is here: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/825/474/357/

PLEASE RETWEET.

Send for the taxpayer!

In those long-gone antediluvian years before electronic calculators, personal computers, Subway sandwiches, alcopops , female managers and the morning-after pill, there were dusty institutions with mahogany desks, huge ledgers, pound notes and dour-looking men in shiny suits with fountain pens in the breast pocket.

Those venerable institutions  were called Building Societies.

They took money from their saving members and lent it to  their borrowing members who wished to purchase a home. That’s what they did – and they did it all with real money. Leveraging (borrowing), Gearing (borrowing) and Bonds (borrowing) had not been invented – and if they had, it wasn’t the sort of thing that they needed (or wanted) to know about. Life was simple  plus there was the bonus of a typing pool full of straight-backed sexy young typists whose drumbeat was set by the old crone at the front!

Happy days!

Here’s how money was lent and how they managed to lend MORE than the 70% maximum that Banks are currently lending. In those days, banks weren’t even allowed to lend for house purchase (just washing machines and refrigerators).

The mortgage underwriter (in those days, they he was called the mortgage “assistant” ) would decide on whether the “basic” maximum loan that the Building Society was willing to lend was 70% or 75%. Simple! (In very extreme cases – for instance, for properties which were only standing because the woodworm were holding hands – the maximum could be as low as 65% of the valuation).

However, there were MANY occasions when a borrowing member would be granted a mortgage of 90 or even 95%.

“How did they manage that?” I hear you ask.

Let us say that the borrower wanted to buy a nice big five-bedroomed house for £10,000 but could only find a 10% deposit. That meant that the Building Society needed to lend him £9000 (90% of the valuation).

The valuer would recommend a basic loan of say 75% which was £7,500. If the Building Society wanted to lend the borrower the full £9000, it would lend – but only after arranging a form of insurance for the difference – in this example £1,500. In this way, the risky top-part of the mortgage was insured by the Building Society.

So, if the mortgage went wrong, the insurance company  would stump up any shortfall if the Building Society needed  to dispose of the property in a forced sale.

It used to be called the Insurance Guarantee or I.G.

Why all this  rheumy-eyed nostalgia?

David Cameron has just announced a new scheme in which banks will be able to lend more than they are comfortable with – and presumably, borrowers will be able to borrow more than they are comfortable with.

The risky top-part of the mortgage will be insured but, in keeping with modern ways, it will be the taxpayer (who else)? and not an Insurance Guarantee company who will accept the risk.

That’s progress!

( I wonder who is advising Cameron these days? I bet he has a couple of fountain pens in the breast pocket)

Cameron, Sarkozy and Obama see themselves as custodians & saviours of democracy.

The Arab States (again) see Christians bombing Muslims.

Presumably, for the sake of consistency, the West/USA/The Coalition/NATO/United Nations – or whichever hat it happens to be wearing at the time,  will bomb any leader that it disapproves of. Luckily, that is something which Middle Eastern leaders have just realised in the same “nick of time” that Cameron, Sarkozy and Obama “saved” Benghazi.

The “bomb to protect” strategy is flaky. Blair and Bush were criticised for not having an “exit” strategy in Iraq. Now it seems that The Coalition has made exactly the same mistake with Cameron citing the Law of Unforeseen Consequences in mitigation. What he’s saying is “There’s little point in planning ahead because we have no idea what’s going to happen.”

Today, we are showering Gaddafi with Cruise missiles at about £1 million each (that’s without even factoring-in the generals’ and politicians’ pension schemes or the £35,000  per hour-cost of keeping a plane in the air) – and the Americans are onto a very good thing. They make the missiles, sell them to us and we drop somewhere in North Africa.  All in the name of democracy.

Within a few days, The Coalition will have destroyed all of the Libyans’ communications capabilities and airstrips. By then, they will also have damaged Gaddafi’s military capability by blowing-up arms dumps, tanks etc.

That will do and the  time to leave will have arrived.

(If Libya’s internal issues continue to bother its neighbours, the neighbours are very well placed to assist them both militarily and economically. After all, we armed them and they will be spending the billions which we gave them for the commodity which is definitely (according to the politicians) what this war is not about.)

Obama – Oil spill is Cameron’s fault.

 

Q:  What do you call something black, thick and  crude which ruins lives?

A:   Mr President.

The oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico has now cost BP £1.1bn ($1.6bn) and the pressure on the oil giant is likely to intensify over the next few days.

Over 51,000 claims have been submitted since the MC252 oil well blew up in the Gulf of Mexico in April, and more than 26,500 payments have already been made, totalling over £42 million ($62m).

Meanwhile, the REAL (American) culprits appear to be playing possum and allowing BP to take all the publicity and blame.

The Build-up of methane in the Deepwater Horizon rig which caused the explosion , fire and subsequent out-of-control spillage  could have been prevented if the valve which had been installed to cut-off the oil flow, had operated properly. The explosion-prevention valve was manufactured and (supposedly) maintained by American oil contractor Cameron International and it was reported to have sprung a leak several hours before the explosion.

BP has not been known as “British Petroleum” for over 10 years, since its merger with Amoco but President Obama still continues his anti-British rhetoric.

The companies standing shoulder-to-shoulder in the dock alongside BP will all be American but meanwhile it continues to suit this misinformed President to mud-sling at the British people.

Cameron International has halted all of its oil exploration activities presumably because there are other such valves on other rigs which now present a danger.

The Cameron BOP (Blow-Out Preventer) is not new technology as it was first designed and produced in the 1920s.

BP’s senior vice president for the Gulf,  James Dupree has blamed the Cameron BOP for the explosion on Deepwater Horizon which killed 11 people and continues to spill 40,000 barrels per day into the Gulf of Mexico. 

Last month,  Democrat member of the Congressional Committee,  Bart Stupak  reported that the blowout preventer “apparently had a significant leak”. He said that the BOP  had also been modified in “unexpected ways,”  and may not have been strong enough to shut the well.

Meanwhile Jack Moore, the Director, President and CEO of Houston-based Cameron International says that until the BOP is properly examined, it is “too early” to blame his company for the catastrophe.

It seems that Obama owes someone an apology and would probably benefit from some coaching in order to learn to engage his brain before opening his mouth. Sadly, he, like BP is beginning to look a little accident-prone.

The most effective thing that he could do would be to adopt a positive stance and invite BP Chief Executive Tony Hayward to the White House and not  try to make a martyr of him.

Finally, I bet the CIA is currently working hard to establish a link between Cameron International and our Prime Minister.