Tag Archives: General Election

“I’d walk a million miles……”

” Gaffe-prone? Me? Not at all. By the way, why do you hold your hands like this when you sing Mammy?”

Gordon Brown waited 10 years for a crack at the top job. During that time, the United Kingdom enjoyed the fruits and prudence of Ken Clarke’s final Conservative budget. The posturing Iron Chancellor gave no nod either in Ken’s direction or even in the direction of the Global Economy. Both had made him look good and deserved his acknowledgement but the Global Economy would not come to prominence in his mind until the country was beginning to “benefit” from his personal brand of  “overdraft” budgeting style. Then it was a case of “Nowt to do with me mate, there’s a Global recession.”

Those 10 years also saw Brown set-up his own “virtual” government at the Treasury  as he waited for Blair to hand over the reins of power. He craved a shot at being Prime Minister to such an extent that it became an obsession which yesterday finally ended as  abdication – and about time too.

He could have “walked” yesterday but has managed to squeeze another four months as leader (and possibly Prime Minister). He is not exercising his constitutional duty, he is hanging on at all costs.

Both his tenures as Chancellor and as Prime Minister have ended in failure and today he probably feels that extremely keenly. History will judge his tenure at no 10 Downing Street as that of an unelected interim administrator and not as the great statesman that he undoubtedly imagines himself  to be.

There will be no “Brownists” as there are “Thatcherites” and “Blairites”. Brown will soon be forgotten as a hastily scribbled footnote in the pages of our political history. Sadly, he has become a figure of fun and caricature with a total lack of leadership qualities or public social skills. Those who know him personally say that he is urbane, witty , funny and extremely good company. That doesn’t matter because what we see is a clumsy social inept who would have difficulty in motivating a gaggle of  orgasming American Cheerleaders.

It is sad to say but during the last few years the once-great Labour Party has had trouble finding a decent leader. Callaghan? Foot? Kinnock? Blair? Brown?  Brown was the ultimate “wrong man in the wrong job”. Some may think of him as a delusional who thought that Blair’s famous “hand of history on my shoulder” was always meant for him.

He has not been helped by a Labour Party which under Blair became a pastiche of pseudo-Conservative thinking with the mad-aunt of Old Labour having been  locked  away in the attic. New Labour was embarrassed about its family background. The weak Callaghan did nothing to help the Unions when they were being butchered by Margaret Thatcher. That was the moment when Labour became observers and not shapers of events. Their current legacy is two shooting wars and a wrecked economy. Brown has been at the centre of both.

Whenever a  modern Labour leader has attempted to be a co-shaper of events, there has been tragedy – as the frequent flights into Wootton Basset, broken British businesses  and evicted families will testify.

As far as the latest General Election is concerned, the rather insipid result is as a result of insipid politics. Every Party has planted iteself in the Political centre, giving the electorate little choice. The Conservatives are afraid to appear too Right-wing. That has resulted in the creation of the Loony Right and the emergence of the BNP and UKIP. Had the Conservatives been honest and encouraged internal debate, voters would have seen that there are Conservatives who make the BNP look like left-wing pinko softies. However, that is not politically correct nowadays because everyone in mainstream politics has to be packaged as a moderate.

Likewise, New Labour was driven into the political centre by Blair and it has remained parked there ever since. By default, Brown sees himself and his party as champions of business  as well as the unions. Friends to both management and worker. There is a saying that you cannot run with the hare and the hounds. Labour has  been attempting that impossible trick and consequently, left the electorate totally confused. The question is “Who do you stand for, boys?”  The answer is that all parties attempt to  represent EVERYONE, the only difference being that the Socialists wear cheaper suits than the Conservatives and don’t have moats, trust-funds or offshore accounts. Liberals have dodgy haircuts.

There was a time when the Conservatives represented business and commerce, Labour was the party of the workers and the Liberals were……..well,  liberal. Today, they are practically indistinguishable. Consequently, we the electors have to rely on the Punch and Judy exhibition that is the televised Political Debate in order to reach an electoral decision.

To add to our confusion, Brown never did tell us which way he was leading us because he did not seem to care. He just wanted to be Prime Minister and that is one fact of which we were all very conscious.

Blair had John Prescott  riding shotgun. Brown has Harriet Harman. Blair knew that he needed a Prescott to keep the Unions sweet. Brown’s lack of leadership and personality means that he could only stand to have people around him who agreed with him – and woe betide anyone who gave him bad news. Like a banana republic dictator, he only wanted the good news, compliance, obedience and adoration.

He imagined himself as a world statesman. He deluded himself into thinking that he had saved the world. (Remember that famous  Freudian slip in the House in December 2008 when he said “We have saved the world”?  The Rochdale gaffe was by no means his first.)

Brown’s tetchiness belies his extreme vanity and enjoyment of the trappings of office. His self-image is of the great statesman looking far into the distance, an enigmatic face refusing to give-up his secret visions of a Socialist Utopia where all men are born equal and have the same opportunities and advantages in work, education and care. Student politics in an M&S suit.

Will we miss him? No.

Cameron Sizzles

What a show it was! David Cameron all shiny and polished in his Saville Row suit and spanking brand new Shakin’ Stevens hairdo. Nick Clegg (in the middle again) looking like a Polytechnic student who’d been dressed by his mum for  his very first Work Experience interview. Gordon Brown appeared to be leaning on his lectern like a supergrass who’d spent the day having the shit kicked out of him by Gene Hunt.

David Dumbledore was the evening’s host and question-master.  The Shaun of the Dead audience leaned on each other as the ceremony began. The moaned quietly because thay had been told by the BBC  “No laughing or clapping. Breathe quietly.”

From the beginning it was easy to see that Brown’s strategy was to ignore Clegg and attack Cameron. The trouble was that his technique is so bad as to make it totally transparent and ineffective. He simply appeared like a minor irritant to Cameron –  a Jack Russell puppy taking the occasional gummy snap at Cameron’s hand-made Lobbs.

At the start of a debate, which was primarily focused on the economy,  Gordon Brown was expected to shine because he is the only one who knows all the numbers and where all the economic bodies are buried. But in his single-minded uni-dimensional attempt to discredit Cameron and his policies, he did not make any use of his insider knowledge.

The run-up to the debate was overshadowed by a blaze of bad publicity for Brown after he had been caught by that lapel microphone calling Mrs Duffy of Rochdale , “bigoted” .

Earlier polls yesterday suggested that the incident had not seriously dented Labour support ahead of the May 6 election but for many it was still the “Elephant in the room” and weren’t we all dying for a reference to Gillian Duffy!

Although Brown swiftly acknowledged his mistake, it is debatable as to whether he should have mentioned it at all.  He had probably been advised to do so in order to pre-empt any barbed remarks from Cameron and Clegg but they, quite rightly had decided to ignore the whole amateurishl- handled affair. 

Brown began by mocking himself in an oblique reference to Mrs Duffy and then stressed his record, trying to convince voters he was the man to secure future growth.  He did this so many times as to make it as ineffective as his attacks on Cameron.

“There’s a lot to this job and as you saw yesterday I don’t get all of it right,” he said. That remark was followed by his trademark scary grin which he should have left behind in Rochdale. In fact, there were occasions when the camera panned across to him when one of the others was speaking and he appeared to be either practicing his grin or auditioning for “The Shining 2”

“But I do know how to run the economy in good times and in bad. When the banks collapsed I took immediate action to stop the crisis becoming a calamity and the recession becoming a depression.”  That seemed to be  a written and practiced paragraph which was “full-stopped” by a raising of the chin and a Benito Mussolini-type puffing out of the chest and brief stare into the distance. Dumbledore was caught out by that one on a couple of occasions , not realising that Brown has stopped.

Clegg once again tried his “rose between two thorns” party trick and would occasionally step-back from the lectern gesture left and right  to Cameron and Brown and attempt to bracket them in the voters’ minds as “the usual” and “the OLD parties”. This time it did not work because we saw it coming. At best, Clegg was competent but maybe crossed the line to “hippy management” by overdoing the “we” should get together and “we” should sort this out. He forgot that there comes a time when the electorate needs to be led by a strong character  who is willing to take charge and not someone who is trying just that little bit too hard to be “right on, man”.

Cameron contrasted the Clegg inclusive approach by once again alluding to the time in the not too distant future when he would be running the show:  ” If I am elected Prime Minister…..”

Brown  warned that the Conservatives’ plan to cut a record budget deficit this year risked plunging the country back into recession. That was not a particularly sound tactic , especially as most of the electorate still needs to be convinced that we are out of recession.

Brown, Cameron and Clegg clashed on a range of economic issues, including taxes, the banking sector and the decline of British manufacturing industry, but all three largely repeated their respective well-trodden party lines.

Consequently, this final debate lacked shine and spontaneity. Most of the time, it seemed like the same old script.

By far the most lively exchanges of the night were prompted by a question on immigration, a topic which has surfaced in each of the three debates and which had triggered Brown’s Rochdale outburst. 

Cameron repeatedly attacked Brown’s economic record.

“This prime minister and this government have left our economy in such a mess with a budget deficit that this year is forecast to be bigger than that of Greece,” he said. When the camera panned to Brown, he appeared to be shaking his head. That was confusing because that particular statement by Cameron was 100% accurate.

Yet again bidding to end 13 years of Labour rule, Cameron promised Britain a brighter future.

“If you vote Conservative , you can have a new fresh government making a clean break and taking our country in a new direction and bringing the change that we need,” he said – although he omitted to specify the direction in which he would lead us. Away from Brown would be a good start.

Normally that would have guaranteed a round of applause but the audience’s enforced silence and torpor coupled with our conditioning to expect audience reaction gave us more than one slightly uncomfortable moment.

Clegg (again) told voters not to return to the two parties that have dominated post-war politics.

“When you go to vote next week, choose the future you really want. Together we will really change Britain.” was Clegg’s parting shot. More of the “together” stuff which by this time had become a bit yawn-inducing and made him sound a bit like a Customer Services trainer rounding-off a week-long residential company course. Whoever gave him that final line should be shot.

Ostensibly, this final debate was about the economy which is the key election issue as Britain struggles with sluggish growth and a deficit running at more than 11 percent of GDP. However, there appeared to be tacit agreement between the three leaders not to frighten the electorate with any of the huge figures which were being bandied about just a few short months ago. It seems obvious that no party wants to be the first to tell the electorate that for instance, the next Parliament may see increases in Income Tax of up to 6% or that another 500,000 jobs may be lost.

All three leaders tempered bits of bad news with lots of positivity – much of it unfounded.

The overwhelming feeling was that this had been one debate too many. All three protagonists seemed to repeat themselves, especially Brown. That was probably because in the previous two debates, he had made a point of running for the cover of what he understands best which is economics. By yesterday’s debate, he’d already blown all of his best lines. 

A Yougov poll for  the Sun comic asking respondents who they judged had won the debate put Cameron on 41 percent, Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg on 32 percent and Brown on 25 percent.

A ComRes poll for ITV found 35 percent thought Cameron had won, against 33 percent for Clegg and 26 percent for Brown. A Populus survey for the Times newspaper put Cameron and Clegg neck-and-neck on 38 percent and Brown on 25 percent.

An ICM poll for the Guardian newspaper was the only one not to rank Brown in last place, putting him second behind Cameron.

“It was Cameron’s best performance of the three debates and he won it narrowly from Nick Clegg,” said Simon Lee, politics lecturer at Hull University.

 In spite of the bad news, Gordon Brown has no choice but  to “up” his fight in order  to retain power, with less than a week to campaign. For Clegg, the election cannot happen quickly enough because it seems that his popularity has tended to peak during and immediately after the debates but decayed quite alarmingly during the weeks following.

David Cameron finished the debates on a “high” and has visibly improved week-on-week.  Clegg started strongly but peaked as early as Week 1. Gordon Brown was flat-lining when he started and has since deteriorated. 

The one thing that these debates have shown is that whereas in the past, a Party’s policies were of paramount importance , our gradual decline into superficiality and the deification of “celebrity” has moulded an electorate which is now firmly focused on the cult of personality.

At last politicians have realised what we PR , sales and marketing boys have known for years. You don’t sell the sausage. You sell the sizzle.

Currently, it is DC who is sizzling.

Clegg Rules.

I have just finished reading the reviews of last night’s debate between our party leaders. It would seem that impartiality is a forgotten journalistic art. Either that of many of us were watching a different debate. For instance, the Commie red-tops such as the Daily Mirror have published reports indicating that Gordon Brown had “wiped the floor” with the other two leaders. No he didn’t and I suggest that in future, the Mirror journos record their opinions after the event  – otherwise the facts are in severe danger of being overlooked.

Nick Clegg was the easy “winner” with David Cameron a distant second and Gordon Brown a faller at the first fence. Today, the Socialist commentators are all referring to Gordon’s quip about posters and airbrushing. He preambled into that little joke and it was scripted for him. He doesn’t do ad-libs  so don’t get too excited, boys and girls.

David Cameron found it difficult to look relaxed and gave Gordon Brown absolutely no eye-contact. His appearance of being ill-at-ease was further compounded by the fact that as the debate progressed, his face went from pale pink , through pink blush to what appeared to be Antique Rose (see Dulux Colour Chart).

Only Clegg managed to retain his composure and look increasingly relaxed. So what was his secret? As a professional presenter, unfortunately I shall now lapse into a bit of “presentation-speak”. That will enable me to identify why Clegg did so much better and made the others  look like a nervous groom at a Gypsy shotgun-wedding.

Here are some simple figures which will explain the most important aspects of a presentation: The surprising first fact is that for a presentation to be effective, the actual words spoken contribute only about 15% to the effectiveness of the message. Another 35% is contributed by the delivery – they way that the words are spoken and that includes the quality of the voice, the voice  modulation, the volume etc. The remaining 50% is provided by the speaker’s APPEARANCE.

So, if you look like Quasimodo with a voice like Joe Pasquale, it won’t matter how wonderful your words are. The message will not travel or deliver well.

That may all seem terribly superficial but that’s the way it is nowadays and may help you to understand the reasons for all that make-up and voice-coaching.

Let’s have a look at them is reverse order.

GORDON BROWN

1. Appearance. The poor man seems to be suffering from terminal sleep deprivation. He looks oh so tired and there are days when he appears to have been on the losing side of an argument with Mike Tyson.  He has the sort of portly build which will never look good in either a suit or casual gear. He wears “policeman” shoes – plain with rubber soles. His quivering jowls and general demeanour suggest “old for his age”, “clapped-out” and “yesterday’s man”. His face has acquired the shape and “hang” of an individual who rarely smiles. That is why his smile appears so unnatural and macabre in that Jack the Ripper way

2. Delivery. His voice ought to be his best asset. It is deep and resonant. The Scots burr is usually an attractive asset because it suggests “honesty” and “straightforwardness”. Unfortunately, all those pluses are negated by that annoying “tick” when his mouth snaps shut like a gin trap and he does not posses any spontaneity. He runs for the cover of well-worn phrases which again tend to be very annoying and distracting. He rarely uses adjectives or metaphors  and hence his prognostications appear to lack depth and style. His pre-rehearsed attacks on Cameron were ill-conceived and amplified his own negativity and desperation.

3. Words. Because he is an Analytical, he enjoys wallowing in a morass of numbers and detail. He does not realise that any “sale” of ideas is made on an emotional level. He should learn to use the link phrase “which means that”. For example, “we will be raising National Insurance” is a phrase with which he is constantly being beaten up with by Cameron. If Brown knew how to turn bare facts into benefits that voters could understand, his ideas would be far more palatable. For instance ” We will be raising insurance and using the extra cash to help our pensioners which means that none of them need be hungry or cold ever again”. Unfortunately, he would find the last ten words of that sentence very difficult because they are designed to tug at the emotions and that to Brown, is alien territory.

DAVID CAMERON

1. Appearance. He isn’t a “looker” either. He has an old-fashioned haircut – although he has recently (nearly) lost the arrow-straight parting. He always wears white shirts which do little for his pointy little pink face which tends to look as if it had just been enthusiastically scrubbed by matron with a starched towel. He should try another shirt-colour. Yesterday, during the debate, he did not smile until it was all over – although there was the flicker of a smile when Brown delivered that scripted quip about the posters and the airbrushing. You may have noticed that Cameron does not possess any laughter lines. He may well be a funny guy when he is with his friends and is a glass or two of claret to the good but his thin lipless mouth-only smile suggests an ungenerous spirit. His top set of teeth is rather small and “gappy” which discourages him from smiling under the gaze of studio lights. His over-smooth pink features make him look a bit “slimy” and insincere. According to many women I’ve canvassed, he does not seem to appeal to the ladies as much as he should.

2. Delivery. Cameron’s wife Samantha talks in Estuary English which is basically a posh person attempting acceptance through the watering-down of an accent borne out of a private education. Cameron has made no attempt to water down his accent and continues to sound like a toff. Nothing wrong with that except that  it makes him sound elitist, distant and uncaring. However, he used to be very good in short bursts during the soundbite heaven that was the  half-hour at the Dispatch Box when he used to attack the stuttering and bumbling Brown. He should stop writing his own speeches and seek advice – but not from Michael Gove who is as out-of-touch with the common man as he is. Remember that it was Cameron who wrote all those memorable John Major “funnies”.

3. Words. Firstly, he should not mention his son Ivan again. He is in danger of making us all cynical. Leave it, Dave. The words he uses are good but largely wasted because of the negative personal image.  Yesterday both he and Brown seemed “locked into” their scripts and crib sheets. Much of what he says appears insincere and designed to make him look “ordinary” and a “man of the people”. He can never find the right words to say “I understand your pain” because he doesn’t.

NICK CLEGG

1. Appearance. He is fresh-faced and good looking with a slightly less formal haircut than the other two. The haircut does on occasion look as if it had been cut by a nanny who’d had one-too-many Crofts but even that gives him a lovable air. He wears a suit well but is more M&S  “off the peg” rather than “bespoke”. Yesterday, he smiled more than either of the other two participants and when they were speaking, he often turned and looked directly at them. By half-way through the debate, he was standing with one hand in his pocket which made the others looked like tensed-up club bouncers. He appeared totally at ease and that helped him to “think” whilst talking – not an easy trick and unlike the others, he was not a slave to his notes. As soon as the three protagonists were introduced last night, Clegg had scored points. Cameron and Brown were wearing dark suits which gave them an air of stiff formality. Clegg on the other hand, wore a lighter suit which immediately suggested informality and a relaxed state of mind.

2. Delivery. Clegg’s delivery was slow, measured and his voice was lower and huskier than usual. That gave him an air of believability. He did not involve himself in any bickering and stopped talking when he was told to do so.  We all noticed that in the “wash-up” he had noted all the questioners’ names and referred to them. Cameron attempted the same trick but only managed to name two of the participants. Occasionally when Brown or Cameron made a point that Clegg did not agree with, he gave an exasperated smile and looked at the audience in order to involve them. He was only naughty once and that was right at the end of his own summing up. He was going for applause when he finished with “Thank you” and a nod of the head. That always produces applause. I suspect that he’d had a bet with Vince Cable. His delivery was helped by his openness and readiness to smile at the appropriate time.

3. Words. None of the debaters produced any memorable phrases or soundbites but Clegg was the one who kept away from jargon and spoke to the people in very simple terms. He used the phrase “Those two” several times which distanced him from Cameron and Brown, thereby bracketing them in our minds as a pair of habitually squabbling villains.

Today, as is the case in any political contest, there were three “winners”. That is the nature of politics. In reality however, Nick Clegg demonstrated PR  and communication skills which were a million miles ahead of anything that either of the other two will ever be able to produce. It was very apparent that Clegg had been coached by a British PR man, whereas the other two had been coached by Americans.

Clegg’s credibility will now be enhanced by Cameron and Brown turning on him but only through having realised too late, what a real threat he is. The mere fact that they will inevitably begin to forensically dismember the Liberal manifesto tells us nothing more than the fact that there’s a new sheriff in town and that this is no longer a two-horse race.

The Tory-Labour cartel may well be heading for trouble and their joint fight for survival is about to get dirty.

(It is too late but the most revealing debate would be one without lecterns or notes.)

 

Crimbo Limbo

 

This is the fag-end of a year which needs to be stubbed out as quickly as possible. The presents were as disappointing as ever, the bathroom scales are telling lies again, the Roses tin is down to the orange creams and the fridge is full of Tupperware boxes and foil-wraps which we’ll bin next week.

New Years Eve will never be the same since we found out that Jools Holland records his show in October  and the TV is full of little-known newsreaders. Radio stations are inviting  anonymous pundits who tell us what is obviously Crofts-induced crap. For instance, this morning on the wireless,  there was an assistant economist from a well-known organisation that I’d never heard of telling me that the economy had “turned the corner“. Sheeeesh!

Mind you, at this time of year, very few “experts” would come on and say  “the economy has puked all over itself and is lying face-down in the gutter being rogered by the banks”.  We need good news.

Gordon Brown (the Prime Minister) will be delivering  a sort of RabbleRousingBudgetStatementQueen’sSpeech in which he will tell us that:  A. He will make us all prosperous again and that B. He will ensure that Britain maintains its global strength.

“Our strategy is to go for growth, because we want to build our country up, not talk Britain down.”

 That’s sorted then – and you have four months in which to deliver, mate.

Meanwhile, the Conservatives are peeing their pants – not because of anything to do with the Labour Party’s  economic dexterity, war-mongering tendencies or  recent “trial separation” from the banking industry. It’s the Alec Douglas-Home effect which is taxing their collective expensively-educated brain.

David Cameron and the rest of the Shadow Common Room know that the Labour spin doctors and focus groups are very likely to nail them, not because of their proposed policies and views but because of their wallets.

If they do not produce a decent counter strategy, they will be Eton alive. It’s the perception thing again. 

Forty-five years ago, Alec Douglas-Home lost a General Election to Harold Wilson because he was a toff who appeared monarchical and above ambition. Wilson, on the other hand, cultivated the image of a modern hard-working man  from a humble background who knew about economics. Sound familiar?

So, the good news for 2010 is that we are in for one hell of an election  scrap which will eclipse Celebrity Big Brother, X-factor, Planet Beckham and all the other loboto-fodder which we crave.

It’s going to be a fun 2010.  (I need to go now – I have the Samaritans on “Hold”) 

Twenty-one 2010 predictions

On 15th May 2008, I predicted the nationalisation of British Banks. 

On 20th April 2009, I predicted that by the end of the year the FTSE 100 would fall to below 2500

On 3rd November 2009, I predicted the collapse of the dollar and of the pound-sterling 

The first prediction has come to pass – in all but name. The third prediction is about to come true. The FTSE 100 prediction of 2500 was out by a factor of over 100% – so what happened? Quantitative Easing is what happened. Very few of us could have predicted that the Bank of England would start to generate free money, hand it to the banks and allow them to use it to gamble on the stock markets and continue to declare false profits.

Currently, the FTSE 100 stands at over 5400 but this value is totally unsustainable. It is a false dawn. Bankers are now daring to predict that we will not have a “double-dip” recession and that everything seems to be looking rosy. When the dollar and pound collapse and the pound is worth the same or less that the Euro, we will see some real (genuine) action on the world’s stock exchanges.

The critical time in 2010 will not be the first quarter but the second –  because Q2 will contain not-only the beginning of the new tax year but also the General Election and the frightening spectre of the Liberals holding the balance of power. The only good thing that would come out of such a result would be Vince Cable as Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Here are the 2010 predictions.

1. The collapse of the dollar and the pound – with the pound achieving a value of 0.9 Euros and the dollar achieving parity with the pound.

2. An accelerated move away from the concept of Anthropogenic (Man made) Global Warming.

3. The United Kingdom being down-graded by the rating agencies – based on its inability to service its current debts.

4. Bankers, Financiers and financial journalists will finally run out of metaphors to describe the apalling state of the British economy.

5. Conservatives will win the  General Election but without an overall majority.

6. Stock Market crash  .

7. 10% more British retailers to go out of business.

8. Arsenal to win the Premiership.

9. The beginnings of civil unrest in the United Kingdom. 

10. AFNAJ ( Artist formerly known as Jordan) hospitalised – inevitable progression. Woo Woo land beckons.

11. Another scandal involving Jeffrey Archer – it’s about time and will include at least one of his editors or maybe Jeffrey’s well-travelled trouser department or maybe the Kurds’ missing millions. We’ll see what we can do.

12. A well-known rock star will succumb to “prescription drugs”. (That’s an easy one because it is an annual event.)

13. The Queen will visit China. It’s about time and someone has to hold the begging bowl.

14. United Kingdom unemployment will be over 3 million.

15. At least one large bank will move its operations offshore.

16. The Americans will threaten to invade Iran. The Russians and Chinese will tell them to “butt-out”.

17. The cost of an  iPhone will be halved because of competition from Google and Android.

18. iSlate will be the “must have” 2010 Christmas present. (Apple has just bought islate.com)

19. The Miliband brothers will be tasked with rebuilding the Labour Party.

20. Gordon Brown’s wife Sarah will write a book and become a television chat-show host.

21. Someone from Goldman Sachs will tell the world how Executive Order 12631 has been abused both to their and the US Government’s benefit.

Have the Tories blown it?

A ComRes poll, commissioned by the Independent appears to show that the TORIES are losing ground to Labour.

The general flow of the poll is that voters do not think that the Conservatives offer an appealing alternative to Labour and the electorate also thinks that a Conservative government would mainly represent the interests of the well-off.

The Conservatives have been trying to convince the electorate that public services such as the NHS would be safer in their hands but the poll shows that voters are pretty neutral on the topic and not really favouring either party.

Currently, the Conservative lead over Labour is 9 points which indicates a hung parliament  and the unpleasant spectre of the balance of power in  Liberal hands.

The one single most important thing that the Conservatives must remember is that the majority of the electorate makes voting decisions based on perception and not party policy.

The current perception of the Tories is that of a rabble of millionaire toffs which has no conception of how the majority of the electorate thinks or lives. The fact is that there are hundreds of thousands of Conservatives who are ordinary working people and who were definitely born with a plastic spoon in their mouth. However, Labour has (very subtly) been driving voters’ perception and emotions back to the old “them and us”  days of class division.

New Labour was originally elected because the electorate perceived Tony Blair as competent and a “good bloke”. He had learned the lessons of Bill Clinton’s “cult of leader-personality” campaigns and had the benefit of a very cleverly orchestrated PR (spin) machine which suddenly made him a modern “man of the people” and not the opportunist also-ran that he really is. The electorate’s perception was that they were electing a “cool” , competent leader and New Labour famously encouraged the electorate to think that they had become a party of the Centre and not the Left. All that was achieved with words and without evidence – yet collectively, we bought into the idea – and it wasn’t even a new idea.  In reality, we had merely been fooled by the new packaging, which itself had been “borrowed”. New Labour was not a new concept. SEE HERE.

During the post-Thatcher years, the Conservatives have had several bad attempts at electing leaders: John Major, William Hague, Iain Duncan Smith and Michael Howard were the potential electoral cannon-fodder prior to the arrival of David Cameron. John Major only won an election because of the sudden and fatal shift in perception that Neil Kinnock managed to self-engineer just before the voters went to the polling stations in 1992.

That’s how finely balanced the May 2010 election will be.

The Conservatives should not become too “hung-up” on the “Eton Senior Prefects’ Common Room ”  image that they have acquired over the last year-or-so.  They have to create a perceptual shift which will indicate to the voters that life under the Conservatives will be fun and that the future will be brighter than under the yoke of a bumbling and incompetent  Labour administration.

The fact that some of them attended Eton, if handled correctly will not make any difference as to how the voters see them. For instance, look at Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London. He is an Eton-educated toff but has managed to persuade most of us to perceive him as a trustworthy “doer”. Consequently, there is an embryonic but  rapidly-growing “Boris for Leader” campaign. Boris has shown that a good leader transcends party politics and is elected in-spite-of  and not because-of Party policies.

The Conservatives have made several tactical errors. They should never have become embroiled in a Commons debate over Inheritance Tax because they were always on a hiding to nothing. George Osborne should not have delivered such a negative speech at the last Conservative conference. He was trying to be perceived as an honest realist who would not be making extravagant promises but unfortunately, he had been ill-advised. Instead, he came across as a “devoid of ideas” depressive who appeared to promise hardship, austerity and misery. Perception always wins out. His speech, immediately following Alistair Darling’s recent Budget Statement compounded the image problem.

There is little doubt that George Osborne is very clever and  will make a very competent Chancellor but he still has to fight and win the perception battle.

The third tactical error was the Zac Goldsmith fiasco. Millionaire toff, safe Conservative seat and a close chum of the Party Leader. A PR disaster which allowed Labour to reinforce  our view of the Conservatives as the “haves” during a period in our history when the number of voting “have nots” is on the increase.

The Conservatives will do well to remember that currently in Westminster they only occupy 193 seats out of 646. Labour has 350.

There are two enemies that they need to face and defeat before they take-on New Labour. Their own complacency and the public’s perception.

New Gordon

I admire Gordon Brown’s political skills nearly as much as I admire Joseph Fritzl’s parenting talents. However, during Prime Minister’s Question Time yesterday , Gordon Brown looked far more relaxed and confident than I have ever seen him.

Assuming the he had not been at the “sunshine in a bottle” stuff, he made Dave Cameron look quite ordinary. OK, he gave the same answers – which aren’t really answers but questions to Cameron about Conservative policy but his attitude had shifted.

There were a couple of Blair-type put-downs and I do believe that he is looking like a potential winner.

One very noticeable and unsavoury thing though – it is obvious that Labour are going to be playing the Class card in the run-up to the election. Eton was mentioned at least twice. Not very clever  – but fair game.

It is hoped that the “Goldsmith Factor” does not return to haunt the Conservative Party.

Even the BBC has said that we haven’t had Eton blokes in charge for fifty years – since Alec Douglas-Home’s day – not a great link.  It will be easy for the New Labour spin machine to portray a Tory election victory as a regressive step.

The message to the Tories is this: Don’t be complacent and do not under-estimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

Yes, I mean the voters.

Conservative Party Conference week.

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      • Boris Johnson once again has showed his leadership credentials by being approachable, witty and engaging. He does make the rest of them look a little bit pedestrian. In spite of his shambolic image, you can sense a rod of steel running through both his speech and personality. One to watch for the future. Imagine   a TV debate between Boris and Gordon Brown. It will never happen – but what a prospect.

 

  • Boris Johnson and friend

 

  • George Osborne’s department lined up like a row of fairground ducks was quite diverting. George Osborne is gradually shaking-off his Tim Nice-but-Dim image.

 

  • It’s very brave of David Cameron to allow Ken Clarke a voice – bearing in mind his strong Euro-sceptic stance. The Conservative Euro-sceptics should not attempt to embarrass David Cameron at Conference. They all seem to think that the next election is already won.

 

  • Custom dictates that when any Party is in the middle of its Conference, the other Parties keep quiet and do not make any pronouncements. So, Alistair Darling’s crudely populist announcement of cutting the incomes  of GPs and other high earners leaves us in no doubt that the Election campaign is now in full swing.

 

  • Retirement at 66? Purleeeze George – you can do better than that! Many will still retire at 65 and most of those who have not retired will be out of work – unless there is a local B&Q. The ACTUAL money saved will be negligible and it was hardly worth the leak.

 

  • It appears that as far as cutting Public Expenditure, the main Parties are now engaged in what can only be described as a peeing contest.

 

  • It was good to see that old duffer Kenneth Brown. So there is life after death!

 

  • The Editor of the Sun did not have to buy a single drink in the Conference bar last night. Hardly surprising but the Sun’s move to withdraw support from the Labour Party caused some disappointment among Conservatives. About as much disappointment as finding out that Gary Glitter can’t babysit tonight.

 

  • On a completely separate subject, the annual yakfest that is the 11th Pride of Britain Awards took place last night. One is never sure why only some kids with cancer attend the show, why only the kids whose parents managed to inform the media of how their brave 2year-old “dialled 999 whilst motherwas having a seizure in the bath” receive bravery awards and why Gordon Brown has to make a “surprise” appearance. We all like proper heroes but nowadays it seems that we have developed a real “need” to worship – as long as it involves lots of celebrities. If Michael Caine is made to feel any more ” ‘umble” I shall throw up. Having said all that, I’ve never managed to watch the show. This year there is a teacher whose Maths lessons contain RAP (one presumes that the “C” is silent). Then there’s the lady who stood between a small child and a Rottweiler. The best one is an ex-heroin addict with 176 convictions who now helps “young people to change their lives”.. As long as Simon Cowell, Tess Daly and Davina are there plus a room-full of tear-wracked luvvies we can rest assured that all’s well. Now where can I buy a Rottweiler? I’ve just noticed something and it is the final piece of jigsaw in a theory that I have been working on for some time. Here goes. I believe that Christopher Biggins is God. Why? because God is everywhere.

 

  • Safety campaigners are saying that if the Conservatives axe speed cameras, the accident-rate will increase. Here’s a compromise – and it will be comparatively cheap to implement. How about a sign that says “SPEED CAMERA IN 50 YARDS” on either side of every single speed camera in the country.  Not a good idea, I hear you say. Why not? Oh I see. What you really want is speeding motorists that produce a revenue and not necessarily slow motorists who do not.

 

  • Sir James Dyson managed to look like a prat when his autocue failed. A Dyson Vacuous.

 

  • Liked the announcement today that the Conservatives will begin a process of ridding us of Government forms and red tape. THAT’S the sort of thing we like to hear.

 

  • Conservatism SHOULD be the politics of giving everyone in Britain the ability, opportunity and tools to look after themselves and their families – without the smothering State intervention that is the hallmark of Socialism – even when it is wearing the thin veneer of New Labour. That should ALWAYS be, of course, coupled to the State taking care of its weakest citizens. Call it benevolent Conservatism if you like. Simple.  THAT is  the message that David Cameron and his rejuvenated Parliamentary Party should be promulgating. Needless posturing and name-calling should have no place in the modern Conservative political toolbox. David Cameron should look straight down a camera lens and explain what modern Conservatism is. Unsurprisingly, there are those who have never heard exactly what modern Conservatism represents because their views and opinions are still being distorted  and influenced by New Labour spin.

 

  • George Osborne is looking very promising.

 

  • So why DOES Jordan look as if she’s wearing a gumshield? Is in “hommage” to her cross-dressing new beau and professional thug Alex (Max – you’re running out of crap copy!) or has she been “done”. I think that we all know the answer to that one.

 

  • David Cameron has been photographed with a glass of champagne. Big deal! I shall simply repeat a previous report: The biggest consumption of champagne at  Conference time is by Labour. That was told to me by a former Chief Barman at the Grand Hotel in Brighton. Hypocrites.

 

  • Today, all the Socialist rags are laying-into  George Osborne who has introduced a bit of realism into our understanding of the economy. One suspects that once the Conservatives are in power and manage to have a good look at the books, they will see that things are far worse than has so far been admitted by ther present incumbents.

 

  • We are still living in cloud-cuckoo land as far as the economy is concerned. The FTSE is UP. House prices are UP, Gold is UP, Tesco shares are UP. In fact – everything is UP. Sounds great doesn’t it? So why aren’t we all feeling more positive. The fact is that the FTSE is up because  money is being invested on the Stock Exchange as a result of bank savings rates being so derisory plus, much of the money currently being invested is foreign so it could leave us at any time. The money that is being invested by British banks is not all real money. Some of it is the stuff that has been printed by the Bank of England and handed to the banking system. Mr Quantitative Easing strikes again. Gold has been creeping up for months. It is normally viewed as a “hedge” – somewhere to run when equities and commodities are down in price. That is not the case at present.  Something that has gradually been creeping into our collective peripheral vision is the slow-collapse of the dollar. There are strong rumours that very soon, oil will no longer be traded in dollars – there is foreign plotting afoot! Once the dollar really does go into freefall, share and commodity prices will tumble very quickly. The British economy has much to fear because the factors that it has traditionally relied-upon to buttress the economy have all but gone. The City of London USED to be the world’s financial centre. That is no longer the case. WE used to MAKE things and export them. Nowadays, that is down to about 17% of the country’s total economic output. Finally, the British economy and Governmemt are “over-borrowed” with little realistic prospect of repaying much of what was borrowed. If George Osborne had been in possession of ALL the facts, I don’t believe that he would have wished to even beigin his speech yesterday. He did very well and reminded us that we need to take a more collective and inclusive approach to heal the economy.

 

  • Yesterday I said that I would probably throw -up if Michael Caine was once-again “umbled” at the Pride of Britiain Awards. Apologies to Michael as it was Joanna Lumley’s turn to be “humbled and overcome”. Please make it stop.

 

  • So Boris and Dave are ex-Bullingdon boys and used to piss it up, throw bread rolls about, get toffed-up  and pose for silly photos. Go to any Comprehensive School on Prom Night (American import, I’m afraid) and watch scores of youngsters, toffed-up, arriving in ridiculous stretch limos and being encouraged to be extremely silly. So where’s the difference between our Grease wannabees and the Bullingdon Boys. Apparently, it’s only OK to dress like a posh prat and behave outrageously if you’re NOT a posh prat. It seems that those aspirational working classes are being herded by the Labour media back towards a concept which one hoped had been left behind – The Politics of Envy.

 

  • There was a great photograph of the Pride of Britain winners outside No 10 Downing Street. Sarah Brown looked very vivacious – so why did Gordon Brown look as if someone had inserted a six-inch ruler between his cheeks? Oh I see. Smile, eh? Wow.

 

  • Are we, as a nation, losing our sense of humour? We all remember Boris Johnson insulting Liverpool, Portsmouth and rather bizarrely – Papua New Guinea. He acknowledged all that in the introduction to his speech at Conference this week. Whatever you think of Boris, you have to admit that he carries a very mischievous sense of humour. That reminds me of a pilot who was censured by his bosses for the following Tannoy announcement: “Ladies and gentlemen, we are about to fly over Liverpool. Would you please ensure that you have placed your hands over your wallets.”

 

  • This woman’s husband, Andrew George was taken ill but has now been discharged and is being comforted by his family: 

  • She used to work at Little Ted’s Nursery and is a pervert. Although her husband does have our sympathy, one cannot help but think that at some stage during the marriage, he would have benefited from a visit to Specsavers.

 

  • The Conservatives have announced that they will deal with binge-drinking and teenage violence through the medium of taxation. Surprisingly, this is the first Conservative initiative that I disagree with. Remember that some drugs are far more expensive than alcohol, yet, money is still found for them. The alcohol genie is so far out of the bottle that there are no initiatives that will ever change the Brits’ uneasy relationship with alcohol. Social Engineering through taxation does not work. Let’s face it, Brits drink to get drunk – and then they drink some more. A few more pence on booze will make no difference whatsoever. Practical tip: The increased tax will be on cider and strong lager so do what kids do already, buy normal lager and tip cheap vodka into it. Now what?

 

  • Could it be true? Avram Grant is returning to Portsmouth as Director of Football? That should cheer the place up. Here is a photo of Avram practicing his Gordon Brown smile.

 

  • Sharon Shoesmith has  launched judicial review proceedings against Haringey Council, Ofsted and the Children’s Secretary Ed Balls. She was in charge of Haringey Social Services during the Baby P murder. One of the great British traditions is that if there is a screw-up on your watch then you fall on your sword. Ms SHOESMITH DID HERSELF NO FAVOURS during her few TV appearances when the Baby P affair was at its peak. She seemed aloof, smug, unrepentant and unapologetic. ” I was following orders” is the usual excuse. Hers was “We followed all procedures”. That neither exonerated her, nor did it go down well with the public.  Had she cried, begged forgiveness and made some sort of admission, the public would have been a little more sympathetic. As it was, Ed Balls did exactly the right thing in instructing Haringey to sack her without compensation.

 

  • Labour bleating noises have been heard again today. General Sir Francis Richard Dannatt, GCB, CBE, MC is our most distinguished soldier and tomorrow (Thursday) he will be officially announced as a Conservative Life Peer who will be advising the Conservatives on defence. General Dannatt was our highest-ranking  soldier and Chief of General Staff. He was going to be promoted to Chief of Defence Staff , which means that he would have become head of all of our armed forces – not just the Army. However, Gordon Brown personally blocked the promotion and General Dannatt was instead given the consolation prize of Constable of the Tower of London. Traditionally the Chief of Defence Staff is principal military adviser to the British Government. Gordon Brown was miffed because of General Dannatt’s “repeated calls for better pay and conditions for servicemen”. So General Dannatt’s sins? Speaking his mind, not being a Brown “yes man” and caring about his soldiers’ safety and welfare. Gordon Brown really has no idea whatsoever – probably because he was dealing with a proper  leader. It’s patently obvious that Brown does not recognise the species. He should learn that leadership is much more than Benito Mussolini-type posturing with overworked, overtired, adjective-free, moribund speeches.

 

  • Obama wins the Nobel Peace Prize. Quite right too. Climate, Democracy, Nuclear Disarmament – in fact, everything that he has touched so far. It looks as if Zimbabwe’s Morgan Chanderai was the runner-up. There is already talk  and discussion of whether Barack Obama deserves the Nobel Peace Prize with only nine months in office. The fact is that the Nobel committee can see that in spite of the fact that Obama’s actual achievements so far  are comparatively modest – he is by far the most influential individual on the planet as far as the short and medium term futures of the Earth are concerned. The progress that he has made in the last nine months is nothing short of remarkable.

 

  • It appears that today is probably the last posting day for Christmas. If you  want to send cards abroad, you’re too late. Christmas parcels should have been posted by March 31st. Why didn’t Crozier stick to football. This is yet another case of a Business Model triumphing over the Customer. Perhaps Royal Mail should be renamed Royal Lemming.

Friday October 2nd 2009

  • Ethiopia has suddenly become the focus for all anthropologists. An ancient  skeleton was found in 1992 and it has taken 17 years for the research team to rebuild it. Why all the excitement? The skeleton belongs to an in-between species of humanoid about 4.4 million years old. It has been designated Ardipithecus Ramidus. It is not “the missing link” but by extrapolation, it appears that it is probably about 9 million years since the division between apes and humans. So where was John Prescott this week?
  • The East of England Minister Barbara Follett is to stand-down from Parliament. She is (was) Minister for Culture, Creative Industries and Tourism. Her reasons for leaving? Yes, it’s the old chestnut: “For family reasons – to spend more time with my family”. Heard her name before? She’s the MP who claimed £500 to repair a Chinese rug ( don’t we all?) and she also claimed £25,000 “for security reasons”. She has since repaid all of the money. So how could she afford to sign such a large cheque? Her husband is millionaire pulp fiction writer, Ken Follett. Barbara and Ken epitomise the “champagne socialist” and are chums of Tony and Cherie Blair.
  • Jobs for the boys. Former Northern Rock boss, Adam Applegarth is now an advisor to Apollo Management. They are an American Equity firm. Adam is advising them on the purchase of bad loans, including parts of Northern Rock bank, the former Building Society he brought to its knees. Perhaps a touch ironic but perfectly legal. He will earn about 200,000 per year which is a lot more than the thousands of people who lost their jobs at Northern Rock. It’s all very worrying.
  • Today, Ireland will vote in favour of the Treaty of Lisbon. It’s their second attempt. The Irish economy is currently in such an appalling state that they appear to have little choice. However, if they do not support the Treaty, then it’s curtains for the Treaty.
  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is predicting that the British economy will grow by 0.9% next year. That’s about four times the current politicians’ prediction. House prices have returned to their pre-crunch 2008 levels, the FTSE 100 index is UP. As one of the few people who predicted nationalisation of the banks, I am still not sure whether to put the Bolly on ice just yet.
  • Vanessa George, Colin Blanchard and Angela Allen. They are the three baby-abusing perverts who are spread all over the newspapers today. Angela Allen is the one from Little Ted’s Day Nursery in Plymouth. She photographed herself sexually abusing babies as young as 12 months. Whichever prison they end up in, they are guaranteed some very close attention from other inmates. The burglars, drug dealers, fraudsters etc look almost honourable professionals next to these degenerates. I do hope that the other prisoners are not too gentle with them.

Thursday October 1st 2009

  • A survey has just been published of the world’s top  Broadband Countries – taking into account speed etc. The United Kingdom is languishing in 25th place. The top country? South Korea. Is this another indicator of the rise of the East and the slow eclipse of the West?. 

  • The Daily Mirror has adjusted its reportage of the Tories today – presumably in response to the Sun’s decision to back the Tories. It’s going to be a right mess leading up to the election. The gloves are off

  • BAE systems is about to be prosecuted for dishing out hundreds of millions in bribes. You may recall that when Tony Blair was in charge , there was a bit of a bribery scandal  involving Saudi Arabia, but as they say – all charges were dropped. There is one thing that both our Government and Judicial System would do well to remember and that is that greasing the cogs of commerce through the medium of bribery is normal in many countries – especially hot ones. Many years ago, I sold a yacht for a $1million to an Arab Prince and we shook hands on the deal and arranged to complete the paperwork the following day. That night , my phone rang. It was the Prince’s “Private secretary and advisor”. This is what he said: “Although the Prince is a very rich man, alas he is not a generous man. You will also understand that he always seeks my counsel and almost always heeds my advice. I have yet to advise him as to whether he should complete this purchase – but I am sure that we can come to some sort of arrangement.”  I was outraged! I told him that I did not make a practice of dishing out bribes and that I would report our conversation to the Prince. I never saw the Prince again. Some time later I realised that the Prince had probably been sitting next to his Secretary when he had made the call and it was probably his way of getting a few thousand off the price. I also recall another yacht-owning Middle Eastern client. Whenever we presented him with an invoice, I would ask the staff to make sure that it was itemised and added-up wrongly, but in his favour. Usually by either £50 or £100. Before handing over a wad of cash, he would add-up the bill himself, realise that it was incorrect , say ” Yes, that appears to be in order”  and pay. He was happy and I was happy but more importantly, honour had been satisfied, he had won a little victory and he always came back to us because he enjoyed our little game. We should NOT always be so po-faced about the way that other nationals  do business. It may not be pretty but it works.
  • Is it really the end of the Labour Party Conference? Thank You, God. Harriett Harman is not too chuffed about the Sun’s decision to support the Tories. She said: “Let’s face it, the nearest their political analysis gets to women’s rights is Page 3’s news in briefs.”  It’s only a matter of time before Harriet gets the call from Hugh Hefner.
  • At the Labour Conference yesterday, the jurassic Tony Woodley, leader of UNITE, was cheered when he tore up a copy of the Sun. One presumes that he had looked at the pictures first. He said: “I suggest the rest of the country should do exactly the same thing”. Labour should persuade more progressives such as Tony Woodley to give voice to their views – that way they’re absolutely GUARANTEED to lose not only the next election but several after that. During Tony Blair’s tenure these Brylcreemed 50s throwbacks used to be kept in a darkened room or padded box until after Conference. A dignified silence without even a platform-mention of the Sun would have been far more powerful.

  • Financial Analysts seem to be confusing the state of the FTSE 100 with the British Economy. The fact is that many of the billions invested in the Stock Exchange consists of foreign money. That’s where many of the profits are going – abroad. Instead of flying to Monaco to play the tables at the Casino, many foreigner “investors” are winning lots in the Casino that is the London Stock Exchange.

  • The FTSE 100 has experienced its biggest quarterly rise in 25 years. Once again, this  is being hailed as some sort of success. It simply means that lots of bets have been placed. The punters will be taking their profits soon. Then the Government can once again blame the bankers. Let’s hope that they don’t break the bank again.

  • Politicians are always saying that it is the Pension Funds and Insurance Companies  own most of the assets traded on the Stock Exchange. In fact, between them, they only own about 25%

  • Today the national minimum wage rises by 7p an hour to £5.80 and for 18 to 21-year-olds, the minimum wage increases by 6p to £4.83 per hour. This is also the day when the government legislation on “tips” has changed. From today it illegal for bars, restaurants and hotels to use tips or service charges to make up a minimum salary. That is all very well but in the grand scheme of things, it is a comparatively trivial matter and possibly not a terribly cost-efficient move by the Government. Especially as the Government has already conceded that the changes governing tips will lead to an estimated £60m in extra costs to ensure the legislation is implemented properly. The new code will also lead to higher National Insurance payments. This is an inflationarymove because bars , restaurants etc will simply “up” their prices to maintain their margins. The British Hospitality Association (BHA) estimates the new rules could lead to an additional £130m in costs and up to  5,000 job losses. There are those of course who feel that a tip should be a customer’s expression of appreciation for good service and should not be used by an employer to bring wages up to the minimum. Mind you, both the Federation of Small Businesses and UNITE are both in favour of the changes. The only people who will be really affected are the tippers and the tipees. The customer tippers will experience increased prices and the waiter tippees may suffer up to an estimated 5000 job losses. There is a saying: ” If it ain’t broken – don’t fix it.” Needless to say, one of the few groups who will not be affected is Politicians. You may have heard that when they eat out or stay in hotels – it tends to be on expenses. 

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Monday September 28th 2009

  • Excellent headline grabbing by that jug-eared gargoyle Andrew Marr. He is without doubt a supreme journalist but his questioning of Gordon Brown yesterday was inexcusable. Suggesting that Brown needs prescription drugs to get through the day, followed by Brown’s admission that he has trouble with his eyesight was a direction that no journalist should steer. There is a real danger that if the Tory Press goes down the  ” Brown’s a sick man and therefore unfit for office” route, there will be a swell of pro-Brown sympathy. Then, if the Socialists succeed in portraying the Tory Shadow Cabinet as a bunch of hoorays lounging about in the senior common room with David Cameron as a self-serving Head Boy, there is a very real possibility that Labour will retain office. Undecided voters are driven by PERCEPTION and not by policies  or past performance. Remember John Major’s victory in 1992? He was behind in the polls, yet in that year claimed the most votes in British electoral history. Leading up to the 1992 election, Labour had been ahead in the polls since 1989 plus the economy had entered a recession under the Tories. Yet Major won and remained in power until 1997.  He won because the electorate liked him and thought that Neil Kinnockwasaprat. Nothing to do with policies.

  • Alistair Darling is going to deliver his usual speech on bank bonuses. “Clawback”, “Unacceptable” “Deferred” etc.will all  make their appearances – as they have done for many months. Alistair Darling will “pledge” to clean-up the banking industry. The proposed Fiscal Responsibility Act sounds like another focus group creation and no doubt, there will be another Financial Services Act close on its heels. He is obviously working on the principle of “If you can’t win the argument – legislate”. It’s all a monumental waste of time but look on the bright side – we will be living in a society where the highest earners are footballers and pop singers. Something which our children can really aspire-to.

  • Gordon Brown says that he won’t  ”roll over”. I do wish that his speechwriters would give him words that he is comfortable with. What’s next? “I ain’t goin’ to be no Tory dude’s bitch. Shabba”?

  • Roman Polanski arrested on a 31-year-old warrant. Apparently in 1978 there was a plea-bargain andhewasto receive a nominal sentence if he pleaded “guilty”. The judge then reneged on the deal so Polanski absconded. Originally, Polanski has been charged with rape by use of drugs, perversion, sodomy, lewd and lascivious act upon a child under 14 but the plea-bargain reduced the charges to  a single charge ofunlawful sex with a minor. Polanski was six years old when WW2 broke out and like many Polish children who grew-up during the war, he was damaged. Add to this the horrors of the Manson murders and the killing of his pregnant wife, Sharon Tate, it is doubtful whether Polanski has ever been in what we might call a normal psychological state. However, the fact remains that he did horrible things to a 13 year-old girl and is a convicted criminal who probably still poses a danger. There is no Statute of Limitations for this type of crime but as his victim has forgiven him and so much time has passed, one hopes that the high-level diplomatic activity currently taking place will result in some sort of amnesty. There should be a White House statement soon.

  • The next Labour Prime Minister is the new the darling of Conference. Yes, Peter Mandelson earned a standing ovation and became the Labour Party joker today after delivering an appalling speech. He stumbled over the funny lines, his timing was out and his voice was its usual oleaginous drawl. However, the Conference highlight up to that point had been Alistair Darling and had it not been for Mandelson, they audience would have been engaging in synchronised self-harming. That’s how dire it had been. He is going to extend the scrappage scheme <applause>. Sadly, he appeared to be talking about motor cars and not the Cabinet. The scrappage scheme will keep the Japanese, German and Korean car industries going for a couple more months so let’s hope that their own governments can take over soon after that. 

  • Tomorrow Gordon Brown is widely expected to give “the speech of his life”.  That good eh? He’s probably in his hotel room practicing by reading the instructions on his Corby trouser press – that’s just about the level of excitement that he’ll generate tomorrow. But the Labouristas will clap and there will be a standing ovation. Is it true that the conference-hall doors lock from the outside?

  • Alistair Darling’s speech also had all the excitement of a talk on basket-weaving at the local WI . He obviously had gaps in his script indicating <pause for audience reaction>. Unfortunately, the pauses were more exciting and informative than the text. As expected he did some pointless macho posturing on the subject of bank bonuses  – in the certain knowledge that the whole thing will be picked up by “Boy” George Osborne and lost in the mountain of unfinished business that Labour will leave behind in the May 2010 rush to clear their desks.

  • The British Frigate IRON DUKE scored a decent stash of Colombian Marching Powder, weighing 5.5 tons with a street value of £250,000,000. Apparently , the fishing boat containing the stuff was sailing erratically and suspiciously. That’s Coke for you! The only worry is that instead of sinking the boat WITH the cargo, the frigate is now taking the cargo to New York. Let’s hope that H.M.S Iron Duke doesn’t sail up 34th Street all shiny-eyed and twitchy to tie-up outside Macy’s. 

Sunday September 27th 2009

  • Just down the road in Brighton THEY are arriving for the Labour Party Conference – or should that be the New Labour Party Conference. Did we elect Labour or NEW LABOUR? Anyway, that’s  now just a technicality or a long-forgotten dream of how things could or might have been. Here’s a Labour FACT, given to me by a friend who used to be Chief Barman at the Grand Hotel. More Champagne is consumed at the Labour Party Conference than at all other conferences and he told me stories of vintage Champers being quaffed  – not from a young lady’s glass slipper but from PINT jugs. If I recall correctly, that particular incident involved a gang (?) of Trade Unionists. Now THAT’S Socialism.

  • You know things are bad within the Labour Party when John Prescott begins to look like a Statesman (comparatively speaking). When Johno was Deputy Prime Minister, he used to deliver those grammar-free rabble-rousing “calls to arms” which could have been such fun if we’d understood what he was talking about. This year it’s Harriet’s turn and it won’t be the same. It will be the difference between a drug-crazed, alcohol-fuelled multi-position shagfest anddoingitquietly, Missionary-style with the lights out.

  • Gordon Brown is to introduce a law which is currentl;y being referred-to as the Fiscal Responsibility Act (FSA) (running out of ideas,perhaps?).The Act will oblige all future Governments to reduce the country’s borrowing by a set minimum amount. Needless to say, the amount and timescale are yet to be decided – probably a commission or enquiry… So what will happen if a Government fails to repay the minimum amount in a given year? A fine? Arrests? I suggest firing squads.

  • The Labour spin doctors have decided that David Cameron will be portrayed as a shallow toff – a script and autocue-reading “hooray”. Normally, that would upset the Tories but then they remembered the alternative.

  • Quote from Gordon Brown: “By 2015 we want our country to be fairer, greener, more prosperous and democratic.”  Seems to me that we have several Labour admissions in that sentence.

  • Lord “Darth” Mandelson has referred to David Cameron as “hugely arrogant”. Not really much more to say on that one.

  • Mandelson has said that he believes that the forthcoming election is “up for grabs”. Yes it is – by the Tories.

  • Great interview in the Sunday Mirror today. Vincent Ross interviews Mandelson and re-defines the phrase “butt-kisser”. Perhaps a spin-job awaits at No.10?

  • Iran is launching missiles today. So, they have missiles and they’re developing the capacity to stick nuclear warheads at the missiles’ sharp-end. I am now off to have another “No shit, Sherlock” moment. I shall report when I’ve worked it all out.

  • Why are the authorities making such heavy-weather of Baroness Scotland and “CLEANERGATE”. If they announced an amnesty for all illegals, they would have to hire at least one Wembley Stadium to fit them all into. Leave the Baroness and her cleaner alone. Is it because she’s clever, female, attractive and black? Mind you, she is Labour. See what you mean.

  • Ken Livingston has just married. At London Zoo. There are some things which are way, way beyond parody.

  • “I want this so badly” “It’s been a great journey for me” “Singing is my life” ” I’m doing this for my (sob) brother/mother/ sister etc”  and ” I’m sure he’s looking down on me” The last one is about Simon Cowell. He’s not dead – just incredibly condescending.

  • Great quote from Strictly Come Dancing’s Brendan “Shagger” Cole on Jo Wood. ” One of Jo’s big strengths is that she’s alive.”Considering how long she lived with Ronnie Wood- it has to be worth a mention and maybe a box of chocolates. We all hope that Ronnie Wood is reunited with Jo as soon as possible-he is currently risking his life. Some of those Russian girls will do anything for a bowl of Borsch and clean sheets. Anything.

  • In 2008, the NHS collected £112 million in parking charges. With such figures, perhaps the NHS should concentrate on parking and stop the healing and surgery  activities which probably distract them from where the REAL profits are. Perhaps a joint-venture with NCP beckons? Worryingly, £28 million was collected from its own staff. It’s a great wheeze. Tax the sick, tax their families and tax those who look after them. Who helped with the Business Model? Gordon Brown?

Saturday September 26th 2009

  • The  American Fed has issued the following statement:   To provide support to mortgage lending and housing markets, and to improve overall conditions in private credit markets, the Federal Reserve will purchase a total of $1.25 trillion of agency mortgage-backed securities and up to $200 billion of agency debt.”  Now we can watch the demise of the once-mighty American Dollar. Fund Managers and Investors will now start dumping dollars like confetti. A TRILLION is a million millions and in this case, it represents more Quantitative Easing or to be strictly accurate, the purchase of toxic assets with “printed”  i.e non-existent money. The sort that caused the global banking meltdown. This is a case of throwing bad money after bad.

  • President Obama has announced tough new capital requirements for banks as well as more stringent rules on bank borrowings. If you were to ask what these rules are likely to be or when they are to be implemented, the answer would probably be “We haven’t really decided but it will definitely happen later.”  They are saying that  the rules will be phased-in once financial conditions improve and recovery is “assured”. Leaders have been discussing a cap on bank bonuses for a while  but they still haven’t agreed any numbers or timescale. The only thing that they have agreed is that bonus payments should not be guaranteed for many years, should be deferred in part and should not exceed a percentage of the bank’s revenue. That is how vague it is at the moment. When the global economy has healed itself and both governments and banks return to generating profits, most of this will be forgotten because by then, the balance of power will, once again have shifted back towards the banks and the next boom-bust cycle will begin.

  • The least entrepreneurial profession of all is banking. There is a vastly different mental attitude between say, an entrepreneur such as Richard Branson and say, MervynKing, the Governor of the Bank of England. That rule works all the way down the line until we have the small local businessman and the small-town banker. Chalk and Cheeze. Incidentally, when I say “entrepreneurial” – I am referring to people who take risks with their own assets.  Just to reinforce the cultural difference – bankers will gladly take risks with other people’s money – especially in very large amounts – as evidenced by the cause of the current Global Banking crisis. However, when a local business goes to its local bank in order to borrow say £20,000 to purchase a machine, lots of fiery hoops are assembled for the business to jump through, fees are charged, personal guarantees are demanded, forms need to be filled out, cash flows and business plans are sought . So when a  small businessman goes to his bank – the MOST likely answer (especially nowadays) in “NO”.  Perhaps unknowingly, the banking profession is not-only killing itself but it is also slow-strangling the business community. The banker chose to work in a bank because he didn’t want the worry of not having a pay cheque at the end of the month, he did not want to work a 16-hour day and he didn’t want to cold-call  people in order to drive his business forward. What he needed from his life was predictability, order, neatness and a company pension. This is the paradox: The banking profession has managed to evolve itself into something which it was not designed to be and  it has managed to do it by what is known as the “Halo Effect”. There is a saying “Get them by the balls and their hearts and minds are bound to follow.”  Banks now have “business advisers”  ; mostly young people with degrees who cannot possibly have ever tasted the fears of an entrepreneurial businessman.  Bank management has developed a culture of self-importance and inaccessibility.  Remember the time when a bank manager tried to impress you in order to win your business? Now , you have to ask him to welcome you to his club so that he can look after your money. He is now doing YOU a favour – unless it’s ” I’d love to help you but the System  ( or those upstairs) say “NO”. The banking tentacles have moved further into he business community. Local Enterprise Organisations and  Business Clubs are now both Governed and heavily populated by more bankers. Entrepreneurial andmanagementadviceisbeingdispensed by a profession with little or no practical or first-hnd business experience or knowledge. That is the Halo Effect. Put simply, because the banker knows about money and has you by the balls, you assume automatically that he is able to dispense Tax Advice, Marketing Advice, Sales Advice, Organisational Advice, Training Advice, Recruitment Advice, Purchasing  Advice and any other Advice that you need.  The total power of the banking community is evidenced by the fact that Chancellors, Prime Ministers and even  Presidents are having to say “Please do something about your bonuses Mister Banker.”  Banking has developed into a multi-headed all-powerful Frankenstein. It is not a simple case of imposing a few rules. What is really needed is a massive cultural change within the banking industry and a massive perceptual change from both private and business clients. If you’re a businessman or work for yourself in any way, ask yourself – ” Am I comfortable with taking business or financial advice  and all the other captive-audience advice that they like to dish-out, from an organisation populated by people who obviously did not heed their own advice and lost billions but have no idea what really happened?”  WATCH THIS SPACE.

  •  I received a letter from a Member of Parliament today. He addressed me by my Christian Name. What’s going on? Paranoid? Moi?

  • The airlines appear to be learning from the banks. British Airways will be charging us again AFTER they have our business. We book a flight and then pay an additional fee  to get a seat. Genius! Can you bring your own seat and pay corkage?

  • There’s only one thing wrong with an Indian Summer. The Global Warming Mullahs will wake from their torpor and deliver the usual speech about our emissions. I think that 4X4 vehicles should be compulsory. Have to go now and have my dolphin steaks and light the coal fire.

  • In the last two years, 150 teachers have been sacked for sexual misconduct. A loss to the teaching profession but what a bonus for the Vatican’s recruitment team!

  • Gordon Brown has been voted World Statesman of the Year – mostly for giving away any leftover taxpayers’ money that Mervyn King has not given to the banks. Brown has been generous to Africa and quite right too. In addition, he has enjoyed many politicians’ or Pope’s ultimate wet-dream. An embrace from Bonio who , apart from being big in the dog-biscuit trade, is (apparently) some sort of Irish pop singer. He plays in a popular beat combo named after some American spy-plane. U2, I think. Crucial.

  • Remember Gordon Brown selling off the UK’s gold to China a few years ago? Who better to value, melt-down anddoitallover again with that pile of  gold Anglo-Saxon tat recently dug up in Staffordshire – wherever that is. Middle Earth?

  • There’s a very exclusive TV Club – the old dears who used to read the news and appeared on the Christmas Morecambe and Wise show in the 50s and who did high kicks andeithermarriedapolicemanorshagged Jon Snow or went to live on a farm in Scotland. Pretty soon, the pre-teens running the BBC andthecommercialchannel will be  playground-bullied into re-hiring these venerable oldsters.  Prepare for News at Ten to look like a re-run of Macbeth, Act 1 Scene 1.

  • In 1959, Typhoon Vera struck Nagoya in Japan. There was a 20 ft tsunami, 150 mph winds and 5000 people died. Did you know that they managed ALL that without Global Warming! They could do stuff like that in the 50s. We have a lot to learn.

  • TV’sDoctorGorgeousappearedtohaveeverything – but he was struck by the one affliction that even he could not cure. He lost the ability to keep it in his trousers. Marriage, Mistress, Divorce, Mistress, two-timed Mistress, Girlfriend.  Best of luck mate. The definitive case of “Surgeon heal Thyself”.

  • In an average week, I speak to 5 or 6 Chief Executives – guys I’ve either trained, coached or who I know personally. This week I had the most weird experience with a company CEO and company owner. He fancies himself as a “leader” but  is just realising that he has recently reached the upper limits of his incompetence. The stress-levels are phenomenal and I shall devote a whole article to him next week. Look out for it – it WILL be libellous!

  • Fantastic evening for crumblies. ITV is celebrating 250 years of Cliff Richard. He hasn’t changed one bit – apart from wearing Frankie Howard’s old rug. Well, it’s either that or a  very quiet ginger cat.

Friday September 25th 2009

Friday September 25th 2009

  • The mole who leaked the MPs’ expenses information to the Daily Telegraph has revealed what motivated him to do so – apart that is, from the £110,000 fee that he was paid. It now appears that his primary motivation was not money but the fact that serving soldiers were “moonlighting” at the House of Commons. They were working in the Security department and protecting the Civil Servants who were dealing with confidential matters – one of which was Members’ expenses. Apparently, it wasn’t long before the soldiers realised the extent and extravagance of MPs’ expenses and so glimpsed the comparative opulence and excesses of the politicians’ lifestyles.  The very people who represented them and who had sent them abroad to be shot at. The sums of money involved in the claims that they either saw or were told about were further amplified by the fact that the soldiers were doing this extra work in order to buy decent boots and body protectors and other items which would make their soldiering duties easier and safer. It is currently very easy for us to feel very emotional  when they hear stories such as this – but we should proceed with extreme caution because it now seems that the mole is trying to justify his actions in leaking the information. He appears to be telling us that he now feels vindicated because of the “poor” soldiers and because MPs have to-date returned over £500,000 in mis-claimed expenses. Planes bearing dead blown-to-bits soldiers, processions through Wootton Bassett and full-page photographs of a recently mutilated soldier paying his last respects to his blown-up dead buddy certainly do tug at the heart-strings. Great propaganda andimmaculatetimingbyourmole. Now the facts: The mole received £110,000 pounds from a right-wing paper. Currently each soldier receives Osprey lightweight body armour and£3500 – worth of state-of-the-art equipment – including boots and shoes. The mole’s motives for leaking the information would not be in question had he not accepted such a large amount of money – which one presumes has been donated to the Army Benevolent Fund. I am not a great supporter either of this Government or of the pointless shenanigans in Afghanistan but sometimes there are over-sugared pills which are just too difficult to swallow.

  • One question remains: Why were security men  -serving soldiers or not- allowed to either view or be given  confidential information.

  • China , India and Brazil are to play a more prominent part in G20 and will also have more IMF votes. Currently, China wields 3.7% of IMF votes compared with France’s 4.9%, although the Chinese economy is now 50% larger than that of France and  in spite of the fact that China has over 20 Provinces which each has a population greater than that of France. This looks very much like the dawn of the Eastern or New economies and the inevitable sunset for the once all-powerful West. Regrettably, not only is it a question of size and manufacturing power but the West is currently “in hock” to China. Chinese and Indian savers enabled all of us to be borrowers. Now economists are saying that the East has to create the same free-spending and borrowing consumer society that we have enjoyed for so many years: just look where WE are now! Are we really so well-placed as to be dispensing economic advice?

  • Another New Labour piece of legislation which has been languishing in the long grass for a while is the changing or possibly the removal of the Statutory Retirement Age. It is a shame that there are ex-teachers, ex-managers, ex-engineers who happen to be over 65 and who are now either shelf-stacking, working at B&Q or watching Countdown. What a waste. The Government says that the matter will be dealt-with in 2010, in other words, by the Tories. Meanwhile, at least 300 over 65s are taking ex-employers to Tribunals and yet again, lawyers have become involved. That is New Labour’s one big success – through their intransigence and incompetence, they have produced the best-ever Lawyer Job-Creation Scheme. The Brits have always been obsessed with 65 being their time to stop work, relax, take long holidays etc. Unfortunately in many cases it’s retire, sit around for a bit, die.  We are changing as a nation and it is not purely because of the recession or plundered company pension schemes that people wish to carry-on working. Our “retirement mentality” has gradually been disappearing and people genuinely WANT to work for as long as they can. OK, there are very physical jobs where at age 65, you’re clapped-out. For instance, building, mining or farming. You can punish your body to such an extent that by the time you are 50, you start looking forward to the day when you can stop. However, nowadays many of us are engaged in non-physical work which means that we SHOULD be as fit at 65 as we were at 45. Policies should not be driven by a Government with one eye on unemployment statistics because as usual, public opinion is against them. It’s now time for the Statutory Retirement Age to be abolished.

  • Iran is the world’s fourth-biggest oil producer. No wonder they need to make such a vast investment in nuclear energy. You never know! Or, could it be that the Mullahs want to produce nuclear warheads in order obliterate Israel and/or the USA. That’s not possible because the Koran says that Muslims want us all to be their chums. Here are three quotes directly from the Koran (or Quran if you know your Peking from your Beijing). Here goes: “O you who believe! do not take the Jews and the Christians for friends; they are friends of each other; and whoever amongst you takes them for a friend, then surely he is one of them; surely Allah does not guide the unjust people.” (5.51)  or :“So when you meet in battle those who disbelieve, then smite the necks until when you have overcome them, then make (them) prisoners, and afterwards either set them free as a favor or let them ransom (themselves) until the war terminates.” (47.4)  or “The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His apostle and strive to make mischief in the land is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides or they should be imprisoned; this shall be as a disgrace for them in this world, and in the hereafter they shall have a grievous chastisement” (5.33) As I said – nothing to worry about. They’re just misunderstood. Talk of fundametalist Muslims being a bunch of fanatical murdering misogynist psychos is very naughty. They want to love us – as we love them. It says so in the Quran. Let them build their nuclear power stations bombs. It’s for our own good. Just think about all that cheap electricity.

Nearly forgot: “O Prophet! urge the believers to war; if there are twenty patient ones of you they shall overcome two hundred, and if there are a hundred of you they shall overcome a thousand of those who disbelieve, because they are a people who do not understand.” (8.65)

  • The often misunderstood and misinterpreted thing which suggests that when a  Muslim blows himself up for the cause , he will be rewarded in Paradise with 40 virgins to shag (presumably) -is wrong. Martyrs in Islam are classified as people who die for their religion whereas people who blow themselves up for women are dying for their own lusts. It’s Hell for them. Presumably you need to die with a hard-on. Not impossible – many men do, apparently.

These are Iran’s main Nuclear sites:

Thursday September 24th 2009

  • The Government has criticised the Football Association for not reforming itself. It has also asked the F.A to spend more time and resources on ethnics and women as well as telling them that they should provide better leadership. Perhaps when the F.A has completed its restructuring it can then give H.M Government a few tips. Talk about Pot-Kettle.

  • A recent U.S survey shows that many Americans think that Tony Blair is the British Prime Minister. Someone ought to tell them who the real UK Prime Minister is. Darth Mandelson.

  • Mandelson has been quoted as saying that Gordon Brown ought to “lighten up”  a bit. Not THAT smile again PLEASE!!!!  NOOOO!!!

  • What is it about meetings beginning with a “G”? Why is our expectation level do low? Is it because we know that the post-meeting statement has already been written? Is it because all previous meetings were such a monumental waste a waste of resources, time and money? Anyway – who DOES write that n-page statement which announces the next meeting in 6 months? Gordon Brown’s LAST such meeting.

  • Is it true that Obama snubbed Gordon Brown? Obama has had one-on-one meetings withotherleaders. Why not with our own Prime Minister? Is it because of the Megrahi affair or could it be because of the increasingly prominent sell-by date on Gordon Brown’s forehead?

  • Banks are currently reducing their assets and hoarding cash because of liquidity requirements. Put in simple terms, that means that the magic conjured-up money – the so-called Quantitative Easing is making it in through the banks’ back doors but the front doors remain only slightly ajar. READ REST OF ARTICLE

  • In 1998, the Saville Inquiry began its investigations into the shooting of 29 Civil Rights protesters by soldiers of the 1st Battalion of the British  Parachute Regiment. Five protesters were shot in the back and two injured protesters were run down by Army vehicles. Fourteen people died. This was the Bloody Sunday Massacre which took place on 30th January 1972 in Derry. The original Widgery Tribunal concluded that the  soldiers actions could be best described as “bordering on the reckless” . Unsurprisingly, the Widgery report was widely regarded as a whitewash. Hence the Saville Inquiry. Now we hear that the Saville Inquiry will report in March 2010!!! Apparently, there’s a printing issue that needs to be resolved. Once again , this 11-year inquiry brings into focus two great British institutions – queueing and inquiries. Not to mention a steady income for a whole “shark” of lawyers.

  • The anniversary of Lehman Brothers going down the toilet has passed anditisnowayearsincethesolidsreallyhitthe air-conditioning big time. For those who do not really understand finance – and who really does these days, here’s the deal. Politicians and bankers knew for at leat 18 months before the collapse that there was not enough cash in the system andthatmost, if not ALL banks were now standing on foundations of sand. It was only when Lehman had to admit that there was no real money – only paper ” instruments” which could be worth cash , that it was realised that the real currency that the banks had been  dealing-in was bullshit and promises. Politicians are now beginning to strike heroic poses as they tell us how they saved the banking system and that they only-just managed to avert a financial Armageddon. The real fact is that they knew what was happening all along and lived in the HOPE that somehow (they did not know how), the financial system would self-adjust or self-regulate itself back to stability . It didn’t and the solution that is being applied today is exactly the same as that which caused the collapse. Imaginary money. Eighteen months ago, bankers and politicians were HOPING that the system would sort itself out and that is EXACTLY what they are hoping for today. What is really needed is a total restructuring of the banking system but there isn’t the global political will to make that first all-important move.

  • There’s a (denied) rumour that Gordon Brown is going blind. Obviously we all hope that he is not. In spite of the fact that he has all the leadership qualities of damp Kleenex, he is a decent man. The rumour that he is blind has obviously been started by someone who is confusing his eyesight with his policies and management style.

Wednesday September 23rd 2009

  • Apparently, there is a small but statistically significant rise in patient deaths when junior doctors start work in August. Perhaps the same survey should be done with slightly different parameters: Before pubs open and after closing time.

  • A friend sent me a cartoon yesterday which, for the first time, explained the constant Midde East conflict . Jewish man  looking up at the sky saying, “Now, let me get this straight God. The Arabs get the oil and you want us to cut the end off our what….?” 

  • This snippet explains better than anything the anonymous nature of the Liberals’ leader. Nick Clegg will be delivering the Leader’s rabble-rousing Conference for the THIRD time!! He will attempt to come cross as a TOUGH leader. Doesn’t compute, does it? He always looks as if he’s just taken a “NICE” pill.

  • Justin-lee Collins has said what many are thinking: Bruce Forsyth should have stopped TV presenting three or four years ago. There’s a touch of the Emperor’s New Clothes about the whole thing. So much so that no-one appears willing to say ” Brucie, you are now coming across as an old twat. Piss off”. Instead the poor old bugger is being patronised, allowed to be unfunny (obviously from the tumbleweed school of humour) and worst of all, he’s being referred-to as “sprightly”.An adjective every man dreads because it is THE word which signifies the beginning of the end. It is NOT a compliment. It means that you are past-it and when you attempt to tap dance avec embarrassing Sammy Davis Jr-esque gurning, you look like a swinging cadaver with a ferret up a wet trouser leg.

  • I have just discovered that Chas & Dave have split up.     p.s. I am writing this on Beachy Head.

  • Kristna Rihanoff whose Strictly Come Dancing partner is Joe Calzaghe celebrated her birthday yesterday. Rumour has it that Joe and Kristina have grown very close. I  wonder whether he had any difficuty in wrapping her present?

  • More meaningless military “sincero-talk”today. Acting Sergeant Michael Lockett was blown up by a roadside bomb in Helmand Province.  “There’s now a gap in our ranks that will be so very difficult to fill”  and  “Sgt Lockett’s raw bravery and seflessness cost hm his life but undoubtedly saved that of one of his soldiers.”  are just two more examples from the Army Book of Fine Words. Meaningless twaddle. Sgt Locketthas left behindastrickengirlfriend and three children aged eight, seven and five. “We take solace in the fact that he died doing a job he was born to do” was more puke-inducing bollocks – this time from his father.  Stop this pseudo-heroic crap and bring ALL of our young soldiers back here to the United Kingdom, where they belong. The Taliban certainly do not see these young soldiers as heroes  –  more like fairground ducks.

  • When will the Vatican be called to account over the tens of thousands of children that have been abused by pervert priests? The Catholic Church has been accused at the United Nations Human Rights Council of a systematic and long-standing cover-up. The Vatican is in breach of its obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Handing out MILLIONS in compensation is really not the way forward. It’s customary to pay for sex up-front , not ten, twenty or thirty years after the event. Let us hope that one day there will be a time when the Vatican can close its child-abuse fund and get on with the business of religion.

  • Nothing about Gordon Brown today because he hasn’t said anything new or original. Situation normal. 

Tuesday September 22nd 2009

  • Did you see Darth Mandelson being questioned on the subject of bankers’ bonuses last night? As Business Secretary, he has the power to stop the bankers in their tracks. But he cannot and he would not answer any bonus-related questions.

  • General Stanley McChrystal, the top US commander in Afghanistan has warned that the war there could be lost unless there is an increase in troops within a year. He is asking for an additional 30,000 troops.  This is truly developing into another Vietnam. Currently, there are 100,000 troops in Afghanistan, 62,000 of whom are American. Time to talk.

  • The United Kingdom is needlessly wasting resources by sending too many average and some downright thick students to University. In fact, there are too many Universities. Hence the current funding crisis. The solution is so simple that even an Education Minister ought to be able to work it out.

  • The worldwide recession and the resulting drop in consumer demand has had a profound effect on industrial production. That has had an unexpectedly welcome effect on greenhouse gas emission – it has fallen by over 40%. Perhaps the Global Warming Mullahs will take this opportunity to shut up.

  • Anish Kapoor, the 1991 Turner Prize winner has a solo exhibtion the Royal Academy. This event is unusual because Anish lacks the traditional qualification for such a exhibition. He isn’t dead. If you enjoy abstract sculpture and/or you like spouting pretentious arty bollocks, then this exhibition is for you. Here’s a nosegay from Anish himself: “That sense of the poem being put together as word objects relates to sculpture in a very fundamental way. Sculpture also has this ability to be what it isn’t. It’s kind of about the illusory and the real.”Quite.  Anish is very keen on vaginas so do look out for the odd wobbly red letterbox shape.

  • The media seem surprised that construction companies and builders have been ripping-off Local Authorities and other organisations which are spending other peoples’ money. It’s been going on for years. This is from April 2008 – CLICK HERE– and it includes a scene from the Coconut Club, which you will be hearing more and more about over the next few weeks.

  • This week is Climate Week – a crucial  week in the quest for a global climate deal. World leaders are meeting at the UN in New York and a G20 summit in Pittsburgh. Meetings such as this have been going on for a few years now so let us hope that the current series of meetings produces something that has been sadly missing from previous encounters. Action. In December the Copenhagen environmental conference will hopefully be the real turning point and turn meetings into agreements into action.

  • Global Warming: Predictions are made using computer models and although the general consensus is that Global Warming is occurring, there are scientists (the so-called “deniers”) who have alternative models which suggest that the Earth will cool before its becomes hotter. Regrettably, the religious-like aspects of Global Warming, treat scientists who deny Global Warming as heretics who are often lampooned andmarginalisedby both the scientific and political communities.  The latest of these is a   Professor Mojib Latif, from the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences at Kiel,  who has suggested that the long-term warming trend could be masked – perhaps for as long as 10 or 20 years – by a temporary cooling caused by natural fluctuations in currents and temperatures called the NorthAtlanticOscillation. It all seems to depend on which set of data is plugged into which computer model.  However, it is the politicians who are the true believers who only appear to read data which supports their dogma.

  • Helen Goddard , music teacher has been jailed for 15-months as the result of a lesbian affair with a 15-year-old pupil. How modern. Not nice – but definitely “of the age”.

  • Rumour has it that Louis Walsh, the Irish spud  and pop manager from the X-factor is going under the knife in order to improve his looks. There must be a long queue of knife-sharpening volunteers. Surprising that he hasn’t yet benefited from sitting so close to that pair of  BotoxedBookends – Simon Cowell and Danni Minogue – by osmosis.

  • Sir Bobby Robson’s Memorial service must have been an ordeal for Paul Gascoigne. There was only one photo of Gazza that the snappers wanted – and they got it.

  • This is the sort of medical research that we like:  If you have alcohol in your bloodstream, you are far less likely to die from a head injury, says Dr Ali Salim from Los Angeles. The findings are based on a 5-year study of 38,000 people. You can’t be too careful. Cheers.

  • Nothing in the Press about Jordan today. Max Clifford must be on a long weekend break.

  • Attorney-General Baroness Scotland is still facing an uncertain future. Gordon Brown, her boss is being his usual decisive self. This is what he said this morning: “We will have to find out what has actually happened and I will have to wait for that report this morning and she will want to answer the questions that are put to her. We will have to make decisions.”  Brown obviously has not been watching the news or reading his Daily Worker. The fact is that Baroness Scotland employed someone who did not have authorisation to work in the United Kingdom. In fact, her papers expired five years ago. As usual, the long grass is quivering in anticipation.

Monday September 21st 2009

  • It now appears that Womens World  800m champion Caster Semenya was tested ages ago and there has been concern over her sex for months. The issue did not suddenly materialise at the last Word Championships. The whole thing has been handed so badly that there is every likelihood of IAAF resignations.

  • Baroness Scotland will probably resign this week. If every politician who made a mistake resigned, Westminster would be empty by now.

  • It looks as if Megrahi is going to be the first criminal to be retried on the Internet. We’re still awating an intervention from God and the miracle recovery. There has been one previous miraculous recovery by a convicted criminal. Ernest Saunders (1980s Guinness Scandal) was freed by a judge because he was suffering from Alzheimer’s. So far, Ernest Saunders in the first  and only recorded case of a total recovery from Alzheimer’s. The recovery took place soon after he was released from jail. Speaking of miraculous recoveries – Ronnie “released on compassionate grounds” Biggs has been seen out and about on his mobility scooter. Megrahi or Biggs? I’m off to Ladbrokes to make a small investment.

  • The Liberals are having their occasional rush of blood and putting themselves forward as a party of government. Remember David Steel in 1981? “Go back to your constituencies and prepare for government.”  Forget it boys and girls. There’s Vince Cable and Norman Baker and after that it all becomes a bit anonymous. Nick who?

  • The Liberals want to tax home owners whose properyis worth in excess of a million. They will be the only Party whose policies will be derailed by a property crash andonthatbasisalone, this policy has the depth and solidity of  a closing-time back-of-a-beermat “I really lovvve you”  concept. They’re not sponsored by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, are they? This new policy is the Liberals’ biggest-ever lurch to the left. The sort of thing that New Labour would have done when they were Proper Labour.

  • The elephant in the room – the one that no-one is talking about is still there. I am of course referring to the economy.

  • Several big companies, including a couple of large builders as well as the Royal Bank of Scotland will be coming to market very soon to raise many billions. Watch those share prices.  Here we go again.

  • Have you noticed how Kerry Katona’s nose is looking more and more like Danniella Westbrook’s last nose-but-one?

  • The Education bods are gettinng a bit twitchy at Ed Balls’ suggestions of swingeing cuts in Education. It is the designer-suited BMW-driving “advisers” at County Hall who should think twice before renewing their gym membership or booking that holiday in Tuscany. CLICK HERE

  • I did not see Alesha Dixon’s debut on Strictly Whatsit but it sounds as if she had a list of pre-prepared crap written down, dispensed it quite randomly and personalised it by adding bad grammar.

  • Rules are being published this week which will exempt family and friends from being prosecuted after assisting in a suicide.  It is purely coincidental that these rules are being rushed through just before Gordon Brown’s conference speech.

  • Manchester City manger Mark Hughes is complaining that too much time was added on at the endofyesterday’sderbygame with Mancheser United.  Michael Owen scored Man Utd’s winning goal in he 97th minute. Hughes forgets that his team had the identical extra time in which to score.

Monday September 7th 2009-Friday September 18th 2009

Friday September 18th 2009 

  • There has been some concern that Romell Broom may have suffered mental anguish when two Ohio State officials failed to find a vein in order to deliver a fatal injection. According to Broom’s lawyer, Broom had suffered both “mental and physical injuries” and apparently became distressed and appeared to cry. Broom was convicted of raping and then killing a 14 year-old girl.
  • We’re too fat, we drink too much alcohol, we’re unfit, we ingest female hormones in our meat  and weedkillers from our vegetables and we’re too stressed. Paradoxically, our life expectancy is increasing.
  • Alistair Darling is engaged in a series of meetings in order to decide where spending cuts can be made. If you’re expecting decisions within the next few months – stop being so silly. Although professional pundits do now have the opportunity to make pointless predictions.

  • Andy Burnham is suggesting yet more NHS changes. The God of Change strikes again! This month’s idea is that we will all be able to choose our GP. I would like one that’s qualified, understands human anatomy and is sober.

  • Baroness Scotland should know that in a Court of Law, ignorance is no defence. Mind you, the Baroness is the Attorney General. Hopefully, hiring someone called Loloahi Tapui(clue!) with out-of-date papers was just an oversight and as such, does not generate a witch-hunt. Oh yes – there’s an enquiry. There’s always a feckin’ enquiry.

  • Suddenly, Jordan doesn’t want to talk about “the rape”. It seems that her PR people are running out of interesting stories. The only remaining possbilities are either  ” I was abused as a child” or “I was abducted by aliens”.

  • Bit of a “to-do” about  unofficial sperm donors. Apparently, ladies can contact a sperm donor  on-line, arrange a meeting and either be handed a container-full of the stuff or on occasion have it delivered direct through the medium of sex. Hence the phrase : “”Bottled or draught?”  Sounds like an excellent service as well as an interesting career move, although it could mess-up the old CV, especially if the CV is printed on a sheet of Kleenex. Just realised that if this type of work is a career, the phrase “hand job” begins to make sense.

  • How would the management at Student Loans UK feel if they were told that because of administrative incompetence, their September salaries will be paid at the end of October. They would probably be quite upset. Next question: How do young kids with the incredible stress associated with leaving home feel-when they’re told by Student Loans UK that their University grants will be paid “about” four weeks late? Why is the beginning of the academic year ALWAYS a surprise? For the record and to help Student Loans UK: The next academic year will be starting in October 2010. Hopefully, that’s enough notice.

  • Scientists at Newcastle University have produced human sperm in the laboratory. Didn’t know that there was a shortage. Just take a chipping hammer to any Confessional carpet.

  • Gordon Brown said today “Cooperation between nations at the G20 summit will be crucial to ensure global economic recovery”  That is probably the twentieth version of the same sentence . It is a truism and it’s boring. Here’s another sentence which I hope Gordon finds as interesting as his own deep thoughts: ” The sun is in the sky”

  • Here is a quote from this evening’s No 10 bulletin: “The Prime Minister is launching a brand new podcast series this week talking directly to you about the big issues of the day. The podcasts, which will be available on our iTunes channel andonYouTube, will be recorded at Downing Street or around the world when the Prime Minister is travelling.”  Wow! That Gordon Brown is so “street”  -using that Interwebthingytoconnectwith the YouTube dudes. Way to go, MC Gordo! Soon,  he’ll be buying a pair of those really cool Levi Strauss blue denim casual trousers with the turn-ups, copper rivets and the little red label. Sound! Should go well with the black brogues.

  • Remember what I told you about the American dollar going into freefall. Soon. Continue reading Monday September 7th 2009-Friday September 18th 2009