Tag Archives: Obama

Heads I win, Tails I….er…win?

The American Dollar is on its way up because everyone has woken up and is rushing towards it as fast as they can. Why this sudden (but expected) reaction? Because no matter what happens in the USA as a result of the battle between the Republicans and Obama, the dollar is the one world currency which will always trade and will always bounce back.

Never mind that hundreds of thousands of poorly-paid American employees aren’t being paid, never mind that America is quite likely to default on its debts as a result of Congress possibly blocking the raising of the $17 trillion debt ceiling. Those things just DO NOT matter. Why? Because of the numbers.

To every other country on Earth a debt ceiling of $17 trillion seems beyond huge! It appears to be beyond management…but you have to remember that the USA’s  annual economy is worth approximately the same amount! In addition,  the worldwide trade in the American dollar is about $4 trillion PER DAY  and even though much of the trade is by algo-trading, such vast volumes mean that there is little chance of business suddenly drying up!

The dollar trading volume  every FOUR DAYS is roughly equivalent to America’s entire debt! So, even if the USA defaults on its debt, the worldwide dollar trade will continue.

A very high percentage of these trades will be in derivatives and high-speed meta trading. Whatever the views are on this modern equivalent of the three-card trick (blink and you’ll miss it), as the owner of the world’s reserve currency, America can get away with economic choices and techniques open only to it.

Whatever happens in the States, the global economy, especially within the Eurozone, will remain fragile.

The American economy has given a very good impression of having been in recovery for several quarters but the maximum collateral damage that the current Washington crisis can cause, will be to make the ersatz recovery look even more unconvincing. That’s unlikely to give the Fed, Obama or even the Republicans too much of a headache.

The whole affair will not be dealt with by means of finesse or any subtle change in policy. It will be the equivalent of a fiscal sledgehammer! Uncle Sam’s customary solution to any issue!

We live in a  “meta-money” driven financial system which sits above (and below) the “real” economy. It manages to both influence and to be driven-by the real economy which gave birth to it (that’s the old-school economy which is based on profits derived from either manufacturing or providing a service).

Stockmarkets, whose original purpose was to raise capital to fund business are now no more than piles of gambling chips to be plundered (mainly) through the medium of high-frequency trading – a mutation of “simple” capitalism.

The goings-on in America will generate billions – no matter what the outcome, because bets are currently being placed on all scenarios and outcomes. In the main, it will be Republicans or, strictly-speaking Republican-supporting business placing the bets.

That’s because Washington’s political agenda is being driven by right-wing business because it is they who are funding the Republican right-wing and ultimately, their agenda is very straightforward. They want Obama out. The Republican left-wing has to go along for the ride.

The outcome will be similar to that which has developed in the United Kingdom over the last few years – big business (specifically Banking) and not the electorate will drive the political agenda.

They have the chips AND the cash.

(The IMF’s Christine Lagarde has just made the customary panic announcement that the Americans should sort themselves out. “Vite! Allez!!” ….Calm down, love…let them finish the game.)

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

Obama “launches campaign”. Obama “seeks donations for healthcare law”. Obama “urges Congress….”. Those are the verbs of a struggling leader. Getting the increasing feeling that The President’s power is dissipating and he  is gradually becoming purely ornamental…….

The Petulant One

“I condemn you, Gaddafi!!”

William Hague briefly came out from behind America’s voluminous skirts a couple of days ago to announce that the Libyan embassy was to be cleared of pro Gaddafi officials and that they would be replaced by rebels.

Has there ever been a more puerile sign of frustration from a grown-up politician?

The thwarted Western powers, represented by NATO have made little progress since the initial Benghazi protests and riots six months ago. The protesters shouted “democracy” and as usual, the politicians came running. Most neutral observers have learned that any Middle Eastern protest is absolutely nothing to do with democracy, free speech or any of the other Western indulgences that we have become used to.

It has always been about power and economics. The poor, the impressionable young and the students riot, whilst the intelligentsia and the military plot behind their king’s back. They are the ones who enjoy the spoils of war. Life doesn’t really change for the poor and the young. Life rarely changes for the poor.

Decisions made by politicians in respect of Libya seem to have been made with one eye on the oil with the other on the opinion polls. In spite of the rhetoric, this has never really been about “The Libyan People”

President Sarkozy of France had hoped to make a victorious announcement on Bastille Day because all that he’s thinking about at the moment is re-election. Hopefully he will soon accept that it is not going to happen for him and that although he somehow made it to the top of the greasy French political pole, his grip has never been that strong and he has been sliding back down ever since. His involvement in the Libya bombing should help him along on his journey south.

William Hague on the other hand has been handed the Foreign Office as a bit of a consolation prize, following the disaster of his leadership and the years spent in comparative obscurity . Rather worryingly though, he remains one of the more talented members of the Cabinet. From the beginning he has looked not only out of sorts but out of his depth when dealing with a soldier-politician as slippery as Col Gaddafi.

Obama has much bigger things on his plate at the moment and his own re-election chances may also have been dealt a fatal blow by Libya – although his advisers seem to have foreseen Gaddafi’s intransigence. A small blessing for Obama is that  America went into reverse gear on Libya a few months ago. He had little choice in the matter.

We’ve had sanctions, we’ve had “no fly” zones,  we’ve had bombing and we have had strong words. Libya’s assets were frozen, the Gaddafi family’s assets were stolen but still, the mad Col continues to elude all attempts to oust him. Surprisingly, to some, it was predictable from the very beginning. Unlike Mubarak, Gaddafi sees himself as Emperor of Libya – the first of a dynasty. Imperator Muammar l.

One wonders what ever happened to the  “that’s up to the Libyan people” mantra? It seems that everything is up to the Libyan people apart from who rules over them. That appears to be in the gift of the West. Even if two-thirds of the 6.4 million population of Libya have abandoned Gaddafi, that still leaves him far more support than Obama, Sarkozy or Cameron enjoy back home.

The propaganda machine has convinced us that Gaddafi is a BAD person. However, it is not Gaddafi who is dropping high-explosive on someone that he does not approve of.

Why is it that whenever we see any sort of conflict, we feel that we (United Kingdom) have to elbow our way nearly to the front of the queue, stand behind the the muscled bully-boy friend that is the United States of America and jump out occasionally to yap like a  toothless, castrated old Jack Russell.

This so-called “Arabs Spring” is a headline writer’s nonsense. It is no Solidarność and it is no knocking down of the Berlin Wall. It started with a bunch of vandals and students waving placards believing that the mere act of defiance would be enough to remove Gaddafi. They chanted the “D” word.  D E M O C R A C Y!

What they would prefer is a box of food and a TV set.

Yes, they fooled us into thinking and believing that what they want is democracy. In fact all they want  is a fair share of the oil spoils, more money in their pockets and a State which cares  about them.

There is little doubt that Gaddafi has gone way past his sell-by date and that he’s no longer even fit to run a British Nursing Home. Unfortunately, it usually takes a country a few years to realise that things are better than they were but not as good as they could be.

Gaddafi used to be a hero as he had liberated “his” people from the oppression and the years of Stone Age “nothing” under King Idris. As has been shown in many other states from France to Iran, deposing one set of royals invariably results in a temporary euphoria, followed by the installation another set of unelected “royals”.

Gaddafi ( just like a French President) has developed into their new King, his children are his heirs and his primary method of ensuring the faithfulness of those who matter, is through the medium of the bestowal of  money and favours. Nothing unusual in that! That what kings do!

Six months ago, the West’s initial reaction to the Libyan friction was the usual formulaic stuff. It had recently been practiced on Mubarak. Our governments “condemned” Gaddafi’s actions. One day the United Kingdom and others will realise that words such as “we condemn” or “we call upon……”  no longer frighten “the natives”.

We fell into a trap similar to the one that Saddam inadvertently sprung (on himself) when he appeared to exaggerate  his own military prowess.

Gaddafi, on the other hand, threatened to “kill his own people”.

That is the “Way of the Dictator”!

Dictators always seems to end up behaving just like the has-been heavyweight boxer who craves recognition and needs to reassert his rapidly diminishing masculinity and popularity. It’s “Dictator Trash Talk”. It’s plastic defiance and paper posturing. It’s NOT real!

And we fall for it every time.

Political Creep

Recently, military men and politicians have been talking about “mission creep” in Libya. There is a certain  inevitability about conflict escalation, yet in spite of tons of historical evidence, politicians ignore the phenomenon – at their peril. Mission Creep occurs when an invading power has only ONE overriding objective. It begins immediately after it has taken that first stride towards its military goal.

That first step is followed by a series of incremental shuffles which are driven by the failure to secure an early result. In Libya, warnings to Gaddafi were superseded by a “no-fly” zone, then bombing, then military advisors, then the deployment of helicopters, then the supply of arms to the rebels. As soon as the first NATO helicopter is shot-down and Gaddafi holds a few NATO hostages, the next step will be justified. “The situation has changed” reasoning will be deployed.

A single focus on just ONE end-game results in the protagonist doing anything to achieve his ambition because politico-military “tunnel vision” kicks-in. Western politicians believe that they have painted Gaddafi into a corner but in having done so, their inflexibility has meant that they have done exactly the same to themselves.

NATO views the Libyan end-game in very simple terms –  a dead Gaddafi. Some may say that there’s nothing wrong with that very laudable ambition but there are alternatives. There are always alternatives.

Meanwhile, Gaddafi’s focus is equally intense – to stay alive. The “big picture”, i.e Libya’s future is largely ignored because there is a dictator to be killed.

President Obama has been advised by his own people to “back off”  in order to allow minnows such as the United Kingdom and France take the lead in the Libyan “mission”. Why? Obama is essentially a man of peace and he knows  that there are alternative end-games in Libya but it is not politically expedient for him to explore the other options. His and the American government’s stance is further driven by public opinion and the rather flaky state of the US economy as well as the relative unimportance of Libya as a strategic jumping-off point.

Nevertheless, cigar-chomping generals are in the driving seat – and once they have a taste of blood, they are notoriously difficult to control. They do NOT understand the concept of  “reverse gear”.

European jets and helicopters are busy dropping explosives over Libya with an abnormal concentration having been dropped on Tripoli – specifically in the vicinity of   Gaddafi’s compound – all in the name of peace and protection of civilians.

Their lack of success and  increasing frustration caused by the failure of  their “Kill Gaddafi” objective will create battlefield escalation and a constant reinterpretation of UN Resolution 1973.  That means that the military invasion of Libya is a forgone conclusion. It is merely a matter of “when” and not “if”.

Obama at the No 10 Barbecue

Large men wearing shades, wires dangling from cauliflower ears and overcoats neatly folded in front of them stand very still. They are watching a little man running about putting the last touches to the seating arrangements. Sweat is pouring down his pink face. He looked quite neat when he arrived with the milk at 4.00 a.m. Now he looks like a sweating anaemic blood orange in a crumpled grey suit. 

At last his master summons him.  “Clegg!” 

The Prime Minister, looking very casual in his white shirt, navy blue suit trousers, black brogues, pulls off his tie and hands it to the hapless Clegg. “Get rid of this. Don’t lose it. When my bestest chums Barack and Michelle arrive, take their coats and put them somewhere safe. Can you manage that? I don’t want any more fuck-ups. Speaking of fuck ups, how’s the Huhne thing going?”

“Well, your Highness……….”stammers Clegg, “I…..I…..I. Sorry your Eminent and Serene…..Highness….”

“Just shut the fuck up and get rid of the tie, Make sure that you fold it properly.”

Clegg scuttles off pausing only to be searched and for the tenth time, have a metal detector waved over him by a gorilla in RayBans.

He runs into No 10, through the French windows, up a short flight of stairs, into the lavatory. He decides to have a quick pee but in his blind haste, he wets the Prime Minister’s tie. “Fuck!”  he mutters. Another bollocking.

Imperceptibly, the mood in the Rose Garden changes. The Special Service psychos suddenly stand a bit straighter whilst the biggest one – the one with shoulders like an overstuffed sofa speaks into his sleeve. They’re here! 

An immaculate and very cool Obama sweeps through into the garden . Michelle, looking casual yet expensively glamorous follows discreetly.

The “Mwwwah! Mwwwah” ceremony between the Camerons and the Obamas is quickly concluded as the rest of the Cabinet lines up for the handshakes. Hague is looking especially resplendent in his New York Yankees baseball hat, multi-coloured Hawaiian shirt, khaki shorts and Argos trainers. Cameron looks across at Hague, just as the Foreign Secretary says to Michelle ” Hello, Nice day”.

“Twat!” thinks Cameron as he watches Sam fuss over the pre-cooked, pre-tasted,  Texan burgers on the grill .

” Would you like a burger, Barack?”  he shouts over to the President who at that moment stands shaking hands with the Home Secretary who once again is wearing her leopard print “Fuck me” shoes.

The President is relieved to have finished the gladhanding , grabs Michelle by the hand and returns to the comparative sanctuary of the blazing-hot barbecue.

Cameron repeats: ” Burger Barack?”

Barack pulls a sheet of paper from his trouser pocket.

“As the white-hot fingers of the London sun caress the pale face of this momentous day in this Rose Garden, I would ask something of you – my fellow  human being and servant of the people…Mr Prime Minister………..something that I am not just asking of you. It is something that I would ask of anyone. Take your wooden tongs , and reach…………yes, reach for that burger bun ( Yes we can!) and having split it with the ice-sharp steel of your artisan knife – thrust into it one , just one  onion-laced beef patty and hand it to me –  for I am like you . I am your brother and I know that you also feel my hunger and the hunger of the people, your people, my people……OUR PEOPLE!  The people of the world! We are the people!  And when you have handed it to me, I will endeavour to accomplish what has been instituted by families up and down this great land of Ingerland since the mists of time parted.  They parted to reveal our forebear – the common man ( Yes we can!). I am not asking for anything more that a bite – or if it pleases you, my dear and gracious Prime Minister Cameroon –  just the opportunity of a bite. Now if that bite seems unpleasant or offensive in any way – we neither make nor demand apology  – we simply ask the one question that matters – ketchup or none? Cheeze or no cheeze I do not yet know the answer but…..we shall begin our journey, this barbecue journey together and  we shall find out! It will be our quest! We may not get it right first time but one day soon  we will know! Maybe even before the end of this great day! God Bless the County of Ingerland and  the United States of America!”

Cameron and Sam are now beginning to look quite ill-at-ease. Sam turns to her husband who appears to have gone into “shut-down”. “What the fuck was that all about. Does he want a fucking burger or not?”

Just  as President Obama pauses for applause an embarrassed Michelle steps in. The only person clapping, jumping up and down, waving an American flag  is Clegg. One of the Secret Service gorillas looks as if he is about to shoot the Limey faggot with the wet stains down the front of his trousers.

Michelle helps the Camerons ” He means ‘yes please’. Can you please give him a burger in a bun. Sorry about that but I’m always having to do this. He does get carried away”

Clegg approaches the great man. He is clutching a worn schoolboy autograph book.

“Can I have your autograph, please?”  He is barely managing to hold back the tears of joy.

” Of course, Clegg. Should I do it ‘to Nick’ ?” Clegg is so overcome, all that he can do is nod.

Cameron signs his name. “Now piss off and help with the washing up.”

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

The Arab States (again) see Christians bombing Muslims.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gaddafi – mad, bad or “fitted-up”

Politicians are pack animals and their chosen mode of transport is the bandwagon.  They have now gathered around Gaddafi and individually are beginning to bite lumps out of him and then scuttling back to the pack  in order to give the next one the opportunity to rip-off another strip.  The name of the game is isolationism.

The United Nations is busying itself condemning Muammar Gaddafi while simultaneously, the UN Human Rights Council is about to adopt a report which praises Libya’s human rights record. The report  extols Libya for improving its education and  constitutional framework. Several countries have made a special mention of the new legal protections which Libyan citizens now enjoy and the report praises Libyas efforts in making human rights “a priority”.  

The report was put together as a result of the Council’s November 2010 session but now, because of recent and ongoing events in Libya, it seems that it was all a collective “mistake” ( by 47 countries).

UN Watch, a  Geneva-based quango, is demanding that  the report be withdrawn and “the truth” be printed. It seems that in a matter of days, Gaddafi has gone from hero to zero but more importantly, the principle of “doublethink” exposes the United Nations as an organisation which deals in expediency rather than truth.

A few days ago, with encouragement from the United States, the Human Rights Council council passed a new  resolution condemning Libya’s abuses in response to the latest unrest. The Council has called for an international inquiry and has  recommended that Libya’s membership of the Council be suspended.

We have accepted that Gaddafi is “mad”, “deluded” and “isolated”.  But that seems to be at odds with the rather unedifying sight, just a few years ago of Tony Blair trying to get Gaddafi in a clinch and the unbounded joy as BP signed a deal with Libya. Then we had the rather speedy release of Al Megrahi from prison because of his yet-to-be-terminal prostate cancer.

Gaddafi seemed to have been fully rehabilitated and the propaganda machine painted him as maybe a bit eccentric but definitely doing his best towards his people.

Yesterday, when  Jeremy Bowen, the BBC’s Middle East editor interviewed the Libyan leader, Gaddafi confirmed that the people “loved him” and that his security forces had been ordered NOT to shoot at his people. 

Elsewhere, the Americans are talking about  Gaddafi “slaughtering” his people.

In propaganda battles of this type, the truth is often the first casualty. So where is the truth hiding?

The reportage from Libya is biased against the Libyan leader and most will say “and quite right too”. However, in the interests of balance, let’s look at another scenario – probably ficticious and purely an illustration of another view.

Imagine a leader who lives an isolated life whilst at the same time, delegating the day-to-day running of the country to his family and trusted aides. He is an ex-soldier and not even remotely interested in the more mundane aspects of administration. He sees himself, not as a dictator but as a figurehead. He is a titular Head of State, such as we have here in the UK . He does not manage – he reigns.

One day, his subjects hear and see demonstrations in adjoining countries and think “We can do that. That democracy lark looks good”.

The street activities in Egypt and Tunisia gave the ordinary voiceless Libyan confidence and resolve, courage and hope.  They prepare placards and go out onto the streets because they too want “democracy”. What they all REALLY want is the  affluence which so-called democratic countries appear to enjoy and a fair share of the oil billions which their leader mistakenly continues to  confuse with his own money.

An air force general and a head of security services both see an opportunity. The air force general orders one of his planes to make a couple of low passes and shoot a few rounds into the gathering crowd. He then orders a couple of pilots to fly abroad and denounce the leader. The air force general then resigns and calls a press conference, blaming his leader for giving orders to kill protesters.

The Security Chief is persuaded by a well-known secret agency belonging to a big Western power. He orders  troops to shoot a few more protesters, then resigns and denounces the leader.

Meanwhile, the leader is in his bunker, being fed good news by his flunkeys. After all, people who once gave the leader bad news mysteriously disappeared.

Ambassadors, diplomats and other senior people all over the world suddenly withdraw their allegiance and denounce the leader.  They resign for a variety of reasons, ranging from self-preservation to being participants in a bigger oil-conspiracy.

Meanwhile, the leader is wondering what all the fuss is all about. After all, he loves his country and specifically requested that his people should not be harmed. He continues to be fed good news and (not unreasonably) declares that the people all love him.

However, his son (who was once very popular among London’s tosserati) then blows his democratic credentials by waving a gun in front of a crowd and declaring that they will fight “to the last bullet”.

Although it is very likely that the leader’s supporters are still measured in millions, Western media continue to only interview individuals who are anti-leader. Close-ups of burning vehicles and bodies in the streets give the impression that many thousands of the country’s citizens have been “slaughtered”.  In fact, the big Western power now openly uses the s-word.

The world’s political pack closes the air-space over the leader’s land and his country’s money is stolen by the politicians who by now, sense that the leader is blissfully oblivious of the fact that he is terminally wounded and has no escape.

He has been totally encircled. The politicians have closed ALL the doors and then paradoxically, tell him to “get out”. Understandably, the leader feels very let down and betrayed  because a few days ago, the same openly aggressive  politicians used to be his friends.

The politicians are already slavering over the prospect of rebuilding contracts, mining, oil and of course….more oil.

So what of the bruised and battered “truth”? Well, that’s purely relative.

A few days ago, the United Nations were about to publish a report praising the truth of Libya’s new approach to human rights. Now, the truth is that they are dealing with a deluded murderer who kills his own people. A genocidal maniac.

The truth always depends on where you are standing.

….and here are a couple of reminders from the family album:

and of course:

plus:

“We’ve got a nigger”

Don’t let anyone tell you that the outcome of the American mid-term elections and the rise of the right-wing TEA Party have nothing to do with racism. Many Americans seem so profoundly bigoted that they must have sucked up racism with their momma’s milk. We are beginning to see the  ugly side of an America which many outsiders thought had largely disappeared with the election of Barack Hussein Obama.

Not so long ago, during one of Jamie Oliver’s USA cookery programmes, he wanted to talk to a few mid-western locals about the kind of food that they ate.

He and his crew drove into that modern-day icon of American life – a trailer park. (Economic changes in the States are accelerating at such a rate that even the trailer park  will soon be replaced by America’s new logo – the boarded-up house)

Jamie introduced himself to a local white guy who was necking a beer outside his trailer. ” Hello. I’m Jamie Oliver.  I’m doing a programme about food in America.”

The local (who obviously was not the sharpest chisel in the box) said, “Where you from, Jamie?”

Jamie answered, “England.”

Local: “England eh? You’ve got a Queen and we’ve got a nigger,” he sniggered.

To us, here in England – in spite of the fact that the man was obviously a moron – that one sentence was deeply shocking. It illustrated that the relationship between blacks and whites in America is still not as comfortable as it should be. Never mind phrases such as the homogenised and politically correct “African American“. In many parts of the USA, blacks are still “niggers”. 

That was very uncomfortable to write as well as read but someone has to do it because America is in denial.

In the 1960s, American blacks fought for their civil rights. Today, the TEA Party claims to be fighting for the civil rights of American middle-class white people. They are using extremist language and the focus of their hatred is Barack Obama. “Let’s have a look at the President’s passport and make sure that he was born in the States. All we’ve seen so far is a facsimile.”  ” Is he a Muslim or isn’t he?”  ” His father was a Muslim”  ” We have a president whose first name is Obama and whose middle name is HUSSEIN!”

Those aren’t just undercurrents.

The TEA (Taxed Enough Already?) Party objects to Big Government – especially one run by a black president. The financing behind the TEA Party is by disaffected anonymous rich people whose ambition is to seize control of the Republican Party. Although they already have one eye on the 2012 presidential elections, they have not yet elected a national TEA leader – although they do have some big-hitting main players.

Enter Sarah Palin with her own particular flavour of folksy and shallow Right-wing moonshine and claptrap. She is the party’s darling and is the party’s public face, although she has already stated that she is not interested in becoming leader. Either she has honestly reviewed and appraised her political talents and decided that she does not have either the intellect or personal attributes to succeed or she’s playing “hard to get” and will “allow” herself to be persuaded.

The other player in all this is one Glenn Beck. He has a show on the Fox news network as well as a nationally syndicated radio talk show. He is a Mormon, a recovering alcoholic and former drug addict and is descended from German immigrants. His party trick is to cry during speeches and he above anyone else personifies the blurring of the boundaries between politics,celebrity and show business. He has become famous in the US for his outlandish and sometimes undecipherable quotes.

That makes it seem as if the TEA Party is being steered by two political misfits but there are important heavy-duty big-hitters  who are pulling  strings and gradually turning up the volume.

The first is Dick Amey. He is a former economics professor and  as a politician he was House Majority Leader and  former  Texas Representative . He is currently chairman of FreedomWorks which is an organisation that shows citizens how to mobilise themselves, how to conduct rallies and  how to garner support. Coincidentally his views are for  “lower taxes, less government, and more freedom.” He has showed the TEA Party how to connect not-only with the people but with politicians and funding organisations.

The other main player is Matt Kibbe who is President and CEO of FreedomWorks. He is also an economist and was a  very influential financial journalist. He is a regular guest on Glenn Beck’s shows.

This year, Kibbe and Amey released a book entitled  Give Us Liberty: A Tea Party Manifesto. It became an immediate best-seller, struck a very powerful note among disaffected Republicans  and the rest is history.

The TEA party is named as a salute to the 1773 Boston Tea Party when colonists destroyed British tea rather than pay a tax which they believed violated their rights to “Taxation without Representation”.

The modern Tea Party (which has not yet become a properly constituted official political party) feels that history has repeated itself as a result of recent bank and motor industry bailouts by both Obama and Bush. Specifically, they are objecting to  the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 and  the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The government simply grabbed money and handed it to the bankers and the moribund American motor industry.

The final straw was the series of Obama’s healthcare reform bills with the main objection being that the provision of some sort of healthcare insurance for  all American families should be mandatory.  There is a feeling that Americans should not be told that they have to own something which , for all intents and purposes is a privately marketed product. “What next?” they say “Are we going to be told what type of car we have to own or which refrigerator?” 

Barack Obama has inherited the poisoned challis of  twenty-first century American economics. Whereas Martin Luther King had a dream, Obama, with the help of the TEA Party, may be about to preside over a nightmare.

Halliburton, BP, Obama?

 “This is what you call milking an oil spill”

The first thing that our television companies do when there is a disaster somewhere in the world is to send a team of reporters, maybe set up a studio and pump bulletins at us. They search for human interest stories to titillate us as we “ooh and aah!” at the tragedy of it all.

The Gulf of Mexico oil spill , if the American version of events is to be believed, has affected thousands of inhabitants, ranging from fishermen  and hoteliers to whores and oil rig workers. So where are their stories? Why aren’t the BBC , ITV and all other Media outfits over there interviewing and filming? Is there a news blackout? Is there really a “no-fly” zone over the spill? Are the rumours of people with cameras being arrested really true? Why has it been assumed that BP was responsible – because for all we know, this could have been an act of sabotage which would automatically affect BP’s liability? Why does the Goldman Sachs name keep popping up?

Have  the current CEO and Chairman of BP been set-up?

Let’s rewind  to the beginning and attempt to establish some links, unusual behaviour patterns and personalities.

The Deepwater Horizon explosion and subsequent oil spill happened as oil-company and BP contractor Halliburton which is the world’s second-largest oil services company was completing the final cement work on the exploratory well beneath Deepwater Horizon. 

As we know, there was a failure, gas escape, explosion , followed by the ongoing oil spillage.

Halliburton has not had the same volume of publicity as BP, although the whole failure happened on Halliburton’ watch.

What has not been publicised is that just over one week before the Deepwater Horizon spillage, Halliburton had negotiated the purchase of Boots and Coots , which is the world’s largest oil-spill cleanup company. The company deals with fires and blow-outs on oil rigs and oil wells. You may recall that it was Boots and Coots which extinguished a large number of fires in Kuwait at the time of the first Gulf War. Currently, the Halliburton/Boots & Coots deal is under scrutiny for “possible breaches of fiduciary duty and other violations of State Law”

Coincidentally, in the week prior to Halliburton’s acquisition of Boots and Coots,  investment bank Goldman Sachs sold 44% of its BP stock. There is a strong rumour that Goldman Sachs is now heavily invested in Halliburton.

It may also be worth mentioning that former US Vice President Dick Cheney is a former CEO of Halliburton and that the company also has links to the Bush family.

It is Halliburton’s name which appears on the majority of the lawsuits filed since the Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill.  Many  businesses affected by the catastrophe claim that Halliburton is responsible for the disaster.

Halliburton has been awarded many “no bid” US Government contracts in the Middle East and the Balkans and has the distinction of being the only company to be referred to by Osama Bin Laden as a  a major company benefiting to the tune of  “billions of dollars” from the various Middle East conflicts.

Currently, Halliburton is under investigation after the serious oil spill in the Timor Sea off Australia in August 2009. The investigation is in respect of   “improper cementing.”

Yesterday we heard the rather clumsy statement from the current BP chairman, Carl-Henric Svanberg as to how he sympathises with the “small people”. Nothing sinister there – only a language problem. Mr Svanberg’s appointment was announced on June 25th 2009 but he did not fully take up the reins as BP chairman until 1st January 2010. His predecessor was Peter Denis Sutherland.

Peter Sutherland was chairman of BP from 1997 until 2009 and is also chairman of Goldman Sachs. He is also on the steering committee of the Bilderberg Group.

His most surprising role however is as principal financial advisor to the Vatican. He is known as the Consultor of the Extraordinary Section of the Administration of the Apostolic See. Unsurprisingly, it is investment bankers Goldman Sachs who steward the Vatican’s billions.

There are two more players in this saga, one of whom may help to explain what is effectively a media blackout in the Gulf of Mexico. 

PNFYC (the Partnership for New York City) is the the world’s leading petrochemical-pharmaceutical-biotechnology consortium. LLoyd Blankfein is co-chairman of PNFYC, together with Rupert Murdoch who is  founder, chairman and chief executive of News Corporation. 

Oh yes, Loyd Blankfein is CEO at Goldman Sachs and holds shares in both BP and Halliburton. President Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign received $994,795 in donations from Goldman’s political action committee and Blankfein has been a regular visitor at the White House.

The rather over-zealous attacks on BP by Obama appear to mirror a degree of panic among the movers and shakers in the global oil village and in financial circles close to the American government.

There is blame to be apportioned for the Deepwater Horizon spill but currently it looks as if  mysterious and powerful people are pulling the politicians’ strings and are simply using the American President as a mouthpiece for the unacceptable, shady faces of politico-capitalism and the  American establishment.

Obama compared the Gulf of Mexico spill to 9/11 – and he was right.  Too many unanswered questions and early talk of some kind of conspiracy.

 

 

 

 

 

Someone shut Obama up.

“Oil – an American addiction”

President Obama is  on a 2-day visit to Mississippi, Florida and Alabama and thanks to his speech-writers, he has brought a new “angle” with him. In between talking tough and hoping to disperse oil with generous sprayings of testosterone, he struts  between  oil-covered Louisiana beaches   in no-nonsense-macho display mode.

He limbered up with “In the same way that our view of our vulnerabilities and our foreign policy was shaped profoundly by 9/11, I think this disaster is going to shape how we think about the environment and energy for many years to come.” 

He wants to  to  “Move forward in a bold way in a direction that finally gives us the kind of future-oriented … visionary energy policy that we so vitally need and has been absent for so long.”

“One of the biggest leadership challenges for me going forward is going to be to make sure that we draw the right lessons from this disaster,” he said.

It’s all  “Me, me, me, I, I , I.”

All that his audience needs is someone to clean up the f*****g oil and hand them some cash.

Never mind the musings and politico-philosophical ramblings of a president regretting that he ever said that the “buck stops here”.  When he uttered that phrase, he obviously had no idea that the oil would still be gushing  weeks after the original accident.

So,  has he  only just realised that the United States is a hopeless oil junkie?

Obama said he could not predict whether the nation would transition completely from an oil-based economy within his lifetime but that “now is the time for us to start making that transition and investing in a new way of doing business when it comes to energy.”

We cannot blame him for taking this opportunity to pre-empt what will not doubt be a tranche of  populist  pseudo-environmental legislation designed to take everyone’s mind off  the moribund state of the US economy, the unemployment, the poverty, the sliding dollar and the continuing debate about his proposed (and unsustainable) healthcare system.

“Mainlining” crude has been an American problem for years. Perhaps regular visits to Petrolheads Anonymous might do the trick but there is absolutely no chance of the USA weaning itself off oil and its products . When the Earth has been sucked dry, they’ll grow it.

9/11  – or as I prefer to call it, 0.818181  is becoming a great symbol for American politicians – especially when they need a shortcut to their electorate’s emotions and outrage. Personally, I don’t understand the reference because I’ve found them all to be very friendly. Oops! Sorry! I was thinking of 7-11! But for those who are interested, July 11th is America’s 7-11 day!

Obama is showing himself to be a “talker” and not a “doer”. The fact is that he is 100% dependant on BP tackling the problem.  He can stand on the shore bull*******g while BP sorts the problem out but all that his misinformed words  achieve is to bite the BP hand that feeds crude oil to a very confused nation.

If he imagines that the risk of bankrupting BP will somehow speed the process up, then he knows even less about economics than we all suspected.

As a matter of interest,  an American economist pointed out this evening that the colossal value of the reserves that were being accessed by BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig, relegates the cost of any Gulf of Mexico clean-up to  minor collateral damage. The value of the oil reserves is measured in TRILLIONS.

So please Mr President, cut the crap and show some support for  your BP Americans who are trying to solve your problem.

Obama – Oil spill is Cameron’s fault.

 

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

A:   Mr President.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Obama and his jingoist morons

The REAL face of American BP

This is directed at all Americans who (obviously) can read and those whose computer screens are not too obscured by their own drool or by greasy Big Mac smears as they run their finger along the screen while they read.

American have an image of the Brits as an  “arrogant” race which thinks that it is always right. Our image of the Americans is much kinder. We think of them as uneducated, fat, loud, opinionated and parochial – for instance, only 20% of them have passports.  

The REAL American mentality is now coming to the fore as a result of the BP oil spill. The primary American reaction to anything is anger and aggression. We are currently seeing their aggression directed at the Brits as the result of an oil-accident. There were no English present when the accident occurred. In fact, there wasn’t an English oil-worker present within 3000 miles. The oil  spill was caused by American corner-cutting and stupidity. 

American aggression is a way of life – just look at the wasteland that was Vietnam. That was preceded by Korea and before that the Yanks were very happy to sit on the fence and watch Europe being raped by the Nazis. That is until that slight misunderstanding when the Japanese bombed their fleet at Pearl Harbour. These days, chasing terrorist ghosts and drinking Coke in Afghanistan are their chosen pastimes. 

Because of their crassness, Americans do not think or deal in facts – just the headlines. (It must be the big writing). For instance, the latest piece of misinformation that their slavering mouths have been fed is some nonsense about British pensions. This is a fact: The maximum that pension funds invested in BP will suffer by is about 0.5%. That’s it.  We have all been the victims of hysterically deluded and fact-lacking editorials in British Newspapers – notably the Daily Express.

While the misguided and uneducated Yanks are baying for British blood, the value of BP assets in the States is effectively zero. That suits us fine. It’s not our fault. It is the fault of their big-mouthed president who is currently busying himself papering over the cracks of his own shabby administration. To him, he BP “scandal” must seem like the cavalry which has suddenly appeared on the horizon in order to draw the attention of the drooling masses away from the difficulties that he’s having in pushing any legislation through the cumbersome and racist American political system.

President Obama has the attributes and makings of a great President of the United States – in spite of his politics. More reason therefore for him to stop behaving like a dick in respect of the BP oil spillage. He appears to be relishing the fact that he is dealing with a wounded BP CEO. His White House ivory tower affords him the opportunity to take on the mantle of the playground bully who is happy to insult the weakened adversary because he has the buffer of (temporary) public opinion on his side.

For a change, he and his people have a common enemy. Currently  his PR people have him flip-flopping backwards and forwards to the oily sea – for what reason? It’s a  pity that the previous administration could not show the same enthusiasm after the Hurricane Katrina disaster. It is nearly five years since the hurricane devastated New Orleans on 29th August 2005. Believe you me, as it was an act of God and  if there was a heaven, the USA would have bombed it by now in retaliation.

So what are the facts?  British Petroleum merged with AMOCO in 1998. I won’t explain what “AMOCO” stands for but let’s hope that at least some Americans can work it out. The merger between British Petroleum and Amoco resulted in a company named BP – although it could quite easily gone the other way. BP is listed on both the United Kingdom and U.S. stock exchanges. Some parts of the company are even owned by Russian billionaires.

BP is no more British than Obama is  a full-blooded “African American”.

Obama is “summoning” the chairman of BP. What is he going to say to him? “Bring your flippers and a bucket of concrete.” ?

Oil spills in the Gulf of Mexico have increased dramatically under the Bush and Obama administrations. The federal Minerals and Management Service has recorded some 330 significant spills – those over 2,100 gallons – since 1964.  Nearly half have taken place during  past 10 years.

Walter Hang head of the American Toxics Targeting has said ” There have been thousands of spills from 1990 to 2009. While many were small, the sheer number of incidents is mind-boggling”

The spills  include scores of oil platforms and rigs that were destroyed by hurricanes, wells that “lost control”, deep-sea risers that became detached or severed, boats that collided into oil platforms and sank. The Deepwater Horizon spill was a major accident just waiting to happen.

America has 5% of the world’s population and uses 25% of  the world’s oil.  One could argue that it is America’s  hopeless addiction to crude oil which is the root cause of the latest spill.

The Deepwater Horizon oil rig was built in 2001, in Korea. It is  is owned by a company called Transocean registered in the Marshall Islands.  The Marshall Islands are a Pacific Archipelago which was added to the U.S.  Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands during WW2. In 1979, the islands became independent and in 1986,  signed a Compact of Free Association with the U.S.

The Marshall Islands are an Associated State of the United States of America. (Somewhere along the line, the United States indulged in another of its traditional activities and tested a few nuclear bombs in the vicinity.)

In 2008, the Deepwater Horizon rig was leased by BP until 2013. The rig flew the Marshallese flag.

When the accident occurred on April 20 2010, the well was in its final phase. The drilling had been completed and American company Haliburton, based in Houston, Texas  was cementing the final casing into place.  A geyser of sea water erupted from a riser on the rig, followed by mud which contained methane.  The methane ignited, causing a fireball which killed eleven people. The Deepwater Horizon eventually sank on April 22nd. The oil-flow was not stopped before the rig sank.

The final player in this saga is the American Minerals Management Service (MMS) . There is now much doubt as to whether they  exercised adequate control of the drilling rig.  Previously, this organisation is also reported to have said that   BP would be able to respond to this kind of disaster “to the maximum extent practicable”.  The MMS has obviously fallen asleep at the wheel but needs Obama to continue the blame-game in order to conceal or at least postpone the full exposé of their own grubby part in the affair.

Yes, BP has made mistakes. The most serious ones appear to be their various associations with incompetent and “not-fit-for-purpose” AMERICAN COMPANIES.

 

p.s C0ngratulations to all Americans who did not need to refer to a dictionary for the word “jingoist” .  You probably represent no more than 0.001% of the population.

While Rome Burns

 

A million-and-one things are distracting our politicians  – naturally-occurring disasters  such as the  Chile tsunami, the  Haiti earthquake, Global Warming-induced freezing weather. Then there are exceptional occurrences such as the Vancouver Games, the death of Michael Foot, the war in Afghanistan, a non-domiciled Lord  and the impending United Kingdom General Election. All are events which have provided many opportunities to ignore the one great constant, the real “elephant in the room”.  The economy.

If history teaches us anything, it’s that when even ONE major government defaults on its debts, economic chaos can follow. Unfortunately, it’s a lesson that few appear to have learned.  A crisis can unfold in just  in FIVE quick steps:

1. A  single country’s debt default will   cause ALL gilts and bonds to crash, as  investors  stampede for the gilt/bond market exits, dumping as much as they can, as fast as they can.

2.  As the gilt and bond market collapses, interest rates climb and credit tightens. The rates on mortgages, car loans and other long-term debts go through the roof. They are followed by rates tied to short-term money markets such as credit cards and other unsecured loans. 

3. Consumers stop consuming, that is to say, spending goes down. 

4. Corporate earnings and stock prices fall.

5. Unemployment rises.

Our “faux-recovery” would  stop dead in its tracks and we would all be forced  to take a hard reality check because Page 2 of the so-called “double-dip” recession will have arrived. Remember that the current recovery is only here as a result of Western Governments throwing non-existent money at the banks, purely as a stop-gap but in the vain hope that some new and hitherto unknown economic alchemy would miraculously manifest itself and those elusive green shoots of economic recovery would appear out of nowhere.  A triumph of “fingers crossed” political hope over harsh economic reality.

A disturbing tapestry is already beginning to unfold – not just in ONE major Western country but in TEN of them!

We’ve known for some time that Greece, Italy and Ireland are at risk of default — and this week, we saw how investors’ fears and uncertainties caused them to begin dumping British pounds and gilts. The soaring costs of Credit Default Swaps — “insurance policies” that protect investors against default — on the debts of Portugal, Romania, Lithuania, Latvia, Iceland and the Ukraine are a clear sign that investors believe that all of these countries are at an elevated risk of default.

Put simply, it would only take  only ONE sovereign debt default to crush this fictitiously anaemic recovery … but no fewer than TEN major Western countries are now at risk!

THREE powerful forecasting tools are confirming that a  bond/gilt conflagration, stock market decline and double-dip recession are now “peeking ” over the horizon and are about to sneak up on us.

CYCLICAL ANALYSIS:  The cycles identified by the USA-based Foundation for the Study of Cycles have accurately anticipated nearly every major shift in market direction  since the  early 1970s. Its current prediction is that Stocks will begin to fall this year and will continue to do so for the following two years. They also anticipate that by the end of 2011, gold will have crossed the $2000 per ounce barrier. 

POLITICIANS and WORLD BANKERS:  Right now, they’re all fed up with bailouts of failed bankers with their continued  intransigence and hand-wringing.  Politicians can only watch  the skyrocketing  deficits and debts  which they created through initiating out-of-control borrowing by their Treasuries. The  mindless money-printing by the the Bank of England, the Fed and other central banks has only amplified the problem. As a result of their collective actions, there is now far more than just the mere spectre  of higher taxes and savage public spending cuts. There is no other way out because all governments need more revenue as well as lower expenditure.  Unfortunately, politicians appear to be frozen in fear and have adopted the  “Let’s wait -and-see and watch these oncoming headlights”  approach.

In the United Kingdom, we have a General Election within two months and within seven months, the Americans have their mid-term Congressional elections.  The net result is that we are languishing in a sort of economic limbo where  indecision and uncertainty are pushing investors’ nerves to breaking point – which usually means that they develop the urge to sell .

The United Kingdom has another potentially destructive issue which is causing yet more nervousness among investors. The latest polls suggest that after the General Election,  there may be a “hung parliament” with neither of the two major parties achieving an overall majority. That means that there is no clear message or even anticipation as to how the country’s massive budget deficit will be dealt with. There are not-only ideological reasons for the uncertainty but even economists cannot agree as to which will be the best way forward. That makes investors very nervous and is a very good reason for the politicians to say as little as possible – and that is exactly what they are doing.

Massive government debts have forced them  to accept that the days  of Central Bank bailouts and other “stimuli” are numbered.  That, in turn, means that the momentary economic stability  that  the recent government-induced  bursts of consumer spending will soon come to an end.

VOLATILITY ANALYSIS:  Currently, the volatility indicators that  professional traders rely on — in the gilt/bond as well as currency markets etc. are signaling that the economic stability and investment trends that most investors have depended on for the last year or so are coming  to an end. The smart money is now beginning to bet on major directional shifts in all major asset classes — plus, the generally accepted “word on the streets” is that the current ersatz recovery is beginning to unravel.

Meanwhile, politicians are grateful for all the little distractions that appear to be keeping their collective eye off the ball. While the economy burns, if Obama, Brown et al were each handed a fiddle, there is little doubt that they would play it.

Nobel WHAT Prize?

St Obama

This year’s winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, President Barack Obama has finally made up his mind that the best way to achieve peace in Afghanistan is to kill more Taliban – as well as sacrificing more American, British and other NATO soldiers.
He has just announced the long-awaited strategy  and has  said that another 30,000 American troops would be deployed to Afghanistan. Defence Secretary Robert Gates told the US Congress that curbing the Taliban was essential for regional security.
 He did not mention that it will be useful for NATO to maintain a presence in Afghanistan because it sits right next to Iran. He said that the strategy is to defeat al-Qaeda and in order to do so, the Taliban have to be subdued.
So it would seem that any country which harbours al-Quaeda can be invaded. It is hoped that Iran has taken note because one day, there will probably be more “evidence” showing al-Quaeda training camps in Iran or in any other country that the Americans feel like invading.
None of the politicians really know when NATO troops will leave Afghanistan although Obama has said: “After 18 months, our troops will begin to come home.”  Meanwhile, NATO is sending 5000 more soldiers, including 500 more cannon-fodder from the United Kingdom.
So, the total number of American troops will be over 100,000 with over 30,000 from other Nato countries. That number includes 9000 British soldiers.
A Taliban commander said to the BBC today: “Obama is sending more troops to Afghanistan and that means more Americans will die. With just a handful of resources we can cause them even more casualties and deaths.”  Simple words but nevertheless a warning which should be taken most seriously.

 

Gary McKinnon

“Happy Thanksgiving, McKinnon”

In a democracy, we elect Members of Parliament to whom we hand over our decision-making – otherwise, every political, social and economic decision would have to be made by referendum. Each one of our MPs votes on our behalf and in the main, decisions are made roughly in line with public opinion. The voter delegates day-to-day voting power  to his or her MP.

However, sometimes there are difficult issues – usually ones involving conscience, when MPs are allowed a free vote without the interference of their Party machines. Euthanasia and Abortion are two recent examples. The Gary McKinnon case is another example where public opinion is overwhelmingly on the side of conscience  and not political expediency or party politics.

If the matter came before the House, on a free vote, the result would doubtlessly be to allow Gary McKinnon to be tried here in the UK because that is where he committed the crime. That would be the correct decision and would definitely be in line with public opinion.

Although the McKinnon bandwagon is quite a recent phenomenon, his mother has recently reminded us:“Gary has been in a heightened state of terror for almost eight years.”  It was as far back as 2001 and 2002  when he hacked into 97 Pentagon and NASA computers and had a swift peek at Uncle Sam’s naughty bits.

Consequently, it seems that the US Government is determined to extract its pound of flesh and there has been no hint of a possible Presidential pardon on humanitarian grounds or any thawing of the Pentagon’s or NASA’s  attitude. Uncle Sam feels that he has been violated and continues to demand a ritual sacrifice.

The rights and wrongs of what McKinnon did, his mental health and his excuse that he was looking for evidence of UFOs seem irrelevant at this stage –  and at no time has he denied his guilt. However, the publicity, the legal machinations and the suffering of both himself and his family should now be the overriding considerations.

The root cause blocking any morally-correct positive action by the government is its attitude towards the United States. Tony Blair was in awe of the Americans and his spineless dealings with George W Bush have caused the loss of tens of thousands of lives in the Middle East. The inability of Gordon Brown to say “No!” to the Americans has resulted in the deaths and maiming of hundreds of British Soldiers.

The British Government has to stop its hero-worship of all things American and for once, take a stand.

Yes, there is no doubt that our extradition laws are in need or urgent reform. It is also true that we have an over-cumbersome legal process that now includes “Euro-Law” and allows our own terminally indecisive government to “pass the buck”. But even all those  things are irrelevant.

To put it simply – it seems that the welfare of a British Citizen is secondary to this government’s starstruck attitude towards the USA and its bad extradition treaty.  Recently, even the Commons’ Home Affairs Committee said  that there was a “serious lack of equality” in the way the extradition treaty deals with UK citizens compared to US citizens.

That very very bad one-sided extradition treaty was signed by Labour’s David Blunkett and one cannot help but wonder whether this government would be defending this treaty and its consequences quite so vigorously, had the treaty been conceived, negotiated and agreed by a Conservative minister.

So the mental torture of Gary McKinnon has to stop, not on legal but on humanitarian grounds and as Chris Huhne, the Liberal spokesman on home affairs said: “The Home Secretary should stop being an American poodle and start being a British bulldog,”

Global Warming – the last word!

 

It is unlikely that President Obama will  be attending the Climate conference in Copenhagen. They say that it is because he has other things on his mind. The U.S economy is faltering, the dollar is about to “tank” and the unemployment rate has just crossed 10%. There could be another reason.

He may be one of the few world leaders who is a heretic to Man-made Global Warming.  NOT Global Warming – just the Man-made bit.

Global warming is man-made. It is man-made in the same sense that Anglicanism, vegetarianism, Political Correctness and all other belief-systems  are.

Yes, Man-made Global Warming is indeed anthropogenic . It only exists in the human mind and its doctrines and rituals have  developed into a battle against  a modern evil.  Governments are gearing up for all-out war against Global Warming – a modern crusade.

Some say that we have started to battle an evil beyond our control – an evil which we have created. In the same way that Christians are born with original sin which resulted from the “Fall of Man” . Man’s industrialisation has produced ”The Fall 2″.

Man-Made Global Warming (MMGW) has all the characteristics of a religion. We have created a modern (but Godless) religion which bases its doctrines in Selective Science.

There are  six  main characteristics of a religion:

(1)  The belief in a power beyond the individual

(2)  A doctrine of salvation

(3) A code of conduct

(4) The use of sacred stories

(5) Religious rituals

(6) Intolerance of other faiths and disbelievers or “deniers”.

The essential qualities of a religion are maintained and passed from person to person by sources, called authority, which the followers accept as sacred.

Our new Global-Warming beliefs are propped up  by the  sharing  and passing-on of superficial “knowledge” and half-truths, supposedly based in science. Selective Science.

The phrase “It is the Word of God” is now  replaced by “It has been proved scientifically”.  

There is a fundamental difference between Science and Religion . Science demands disbelief but Religion demands belief.

Science CHALLENGES, Religion ACCEPTS.

One hears statements about “the clash” between science and religion. There can never be a clash because they do not intersect. That is in spite of the fact that various attempts have been made to explain scientific phenomena using religion  and vice-versa.

There is a very subtle aspect of science which is not always understood and that is the FACT that science does not deal with fact – it deals with observation and measurement. Science does not believe. Occasionally science accepts – but it only accepts THEORIES.

For instance we have the Theory of Evolution, Theory of Relativity, Newtons Theory of Universal Gravitation and many other THEORIES.

Whenever a MMGW Mullah tells you “These are the facts – you can’t deny facts. You have to believe the facts”, be very suspicious because it is only religion that demands “belief”. Science demands disbelief. Science does not accept – it challenges. 

Science has none of the arrogance of Religion and the MMGW worshipers ARE arrogant.

In the Middle Ages, Papal indulgences were sold to absolve individuals of sin. Nowadays, we can purchase Carbon offsets to absolve ourselves. We are not purifying our souls, just the atmosphere.

Many  religions demand a devil figure. The MMGW devil is Carbon Dioxide. That is a strange one  because Carbon and Oxygen are the two basic components of life and there is substantial evidence that increases in atmospheric Carbon Dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments.” – that last statement is in quotes because it forms part of a petition created by Frederick Seitz in response to the 1997 Kyoto protocol. The petition was signed by 31,000 scientists and was revived last year as a counter to Al Gore’s self-serving propaganda  film “An Inconvenient Truth” which was so propaganda-packed that even  Leni Riefenstahl would have been proud. 

( Seitz died on 2nd March 2008, aged 96. Obituary here.  The Manhattan Declaration on Climate Change was signed in New York two days later on 4th March 2008. See it here.)

The Seitz petition denies that Man is responsible for global warming.

Carbon Dioxide sits right at the front of the food chain – yet it is now vilified as “chocking”, “toxic”, “poisonous”, “killer” etc. It is truly the Devil.

A religion spreads through missionaries, evangelists and prophets. All religions have some sort of expansionary mechanism. The new evangelists are the politicians , the Cardinals and Mullahs are the Foreign Ministers and Heads of State.

Only one  – the audacious Al Gore  tried to seize the opportunity to become the New Messiah -but he’s been crucified.

The only thing that discredited Gore was the mistake of attempting to present  scientific opinion as fact. Another user of Selective Science.

The threat of eternal damnation and the fires of hell used to frighten the masses. The long-term threat is no longer spiritual but it still involves high temperatures – it is the threat of uncontrollable Global Warming itself.

The Bible had the flood – we are going to have rising sea levels and guess what – we brought both on ourselves through our collective naughtiness. Noah built the Ark. Just watch – architects will soon be designing floating cities.

Those of you with children will know that indoctrination is now taking place in schools – and the beliefs instilled from the age of 5 or 6 will be very difficult to shift in years to come.

The human race used to be able to absorb a new religion in a matter of years. Worryingly – the same process is now completed in months.

Marxism, the political religion of the early 20th century took a decade as did Nazism. More attractive belief systems such as Scientology and Veganism caught on much faster.

The blind belief in MMGW took a couple of years to take hold and it will possess us for years to come.

Looking back through history, there are many examples of  the so-called heretics who showed dissent and whose thinking did not correspond with the majority’s belief. Yes the earth is at the centre of the Universe!” 

Here is an example of the contempt with which the Global Warming Establishment treats dissenters. Have a look at this Daily Telegraph link. The Telegraph was one of the few journals to publish anything at all about the Manhattan Declaration signed by 500 scientists in March 2008:

CLICK HERE

Worldwide, the winter of 2007/2008 was one of the most coldest and savage since records began. Even that can be explained  by the Global Warming Clergy. Don’t forget : contradiction and irrationality are part of religion – they add to the “mystique”. The “facts” have to fit the belief because the belief does not always fit the facts.

Ten years ago, el Nino warmed the planet but there has been no real increase in the overall global temperature.  We have seen lots of polar bears on small icebergs but no figures.
 
Icebergs have always been around as have hungry polar bears but nowadays, they are PROOF(!) that the planet is off to Hell on a handcart (or should that be a bandwagon?)

So the polar ice caps are melting and the sea is warmer. Some scientists believe that rising sea temperatures are cause by undersea volcanic activity. The Global Warming mullahs just laugh at such preposterous claims – even though there is data. The laugh in the same way that the Vatican laughed at Copernicus  when he suggested that the Earth was not at the centre of the universe.
 
Surely, if any changes in weather patterns are man-made, the last ten years would have produced quite appreciable changes.  India and China, (to name but two) have been burning fossil fuels like the clappers. So where are the mild winters that we were promised?

The combination of man’s overwhelming desire to believe cemented by his unbreakable and ancient herding and congregating instincts means that any counter-arguments will be ignored and mocked because We have the facts which are ….well….FACTS.  The accepted facts belong to the believers and if you don’t agree – you are not part of this congregation.”

At least the control of the masses through taxation has not changed. The Roman Catholic Church told us that if we gave money and goods to the church we would reap the reward in Heaven. 

Now the principle is the same and the fiscal control isstill  there  but the promise is a ” better world for our children”.  One presumes that “better” means cooler. Incidentally, has anyone completed the calculations so that we know exactly how many degrees less the temperature is going to be if we do as we are told? No? I thought not. What exactly did they decide at the Kyoto Synod?

Science used to be the triumph of humanity over superstition but we forgot how powerful superstition is.

Science is now hostage of the Global Warming superstition. The interesting twist is that we (the human race) have been taught that we are an eternal being. That has given us a certain degree of arrogance which in turn has made us believe that 150 years of human industrial activity has affected the 4.5 billion-year-old Earth to such an extent that there will be irreversible changes.

That’s 150 out of 4,500,000,000.

Where’s Big G when you need him?

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

G19 (+1)

 

“Sorry! That should have read: Monsieur Sarkozy is regarded by many as a cult”

There ought to have been just the one hymn sheet because if there are several hymn sheets, we are in for a very discordant Thursday.

Barack Obama is hoping that: ” G20 countries will do what is necessary to promote trade and growth.”M le President Sarkozy wants to create a Financial Interpol to police the financial services industry. The delusional Gordon Brown’s not-so-hidden agenda is to rescue his image and somehow emerge as King of the World but he persists in spouting inane generalisations such as  “clean up of the world banking system” and “more regulation of tax havens”.

Sarkozy is right. A Global Financial Services Authority is what is needed. If there are at least 20 Financial Services Authorities and the only thing that binds them is the hope of “greater co-operation” then all that is being thrown into the heaving fiscal mix are more junkets such as this G20 and more opportunities for the financial bandits to operate between even wider cracks within the world economy.

Somehow, it has been decided that “protectionism” is bad. Perhaps Mr Brown should spend more time thinking about the United Kingdom’s issues rather than constantly trying to put alleconomic problems in  the context of the “Global Economy”. Where was the Global Economy during the years that he stood at the Dispatch Box preening and accepting the plaudits? There was little credit given to the Global Economy when the British economy was behaving itself and Brown was  self-actualised and not self-delusional . History has already demonstrated that the Iron Chancellor’s image was so frail that it could be shattered and buried by one sentence from Vince Cable.

So the modern-day equivalent of the Tribal Elders will be talking economics but they will be thinking politics. Any summit such as this G20 meeting enables the leaders to discuss world economics but always with one eye on domestic politics.

Brown is very aware  – as are all the other G20 leaders that he is a dead man walking and the long-term fallout from the current economic crisis will be managed not by Brown but by the Conservatives led by David Cameron. (Somebody had to say it!)

So is this G20 summit necessary?

Brown is a historian and knows that Chamberlain was the first Prime Minister to engage in the sport of Summitry. Churchill’s meetings with the American and Russian leaders continued this fine tradition and in the 80s, Margaret Thatcher travelled as did Tony Blair in the 90s.

Currently, the technology is in place to make Summitry an obsolete sport but large numbers of politicians sitting round huge tables  still seems to be a popular diversion. Each already knows the other’s views and the odds are that there will be more conflict than accord. For instance, M Sarkozy is being backed as the first to flounce out.

The fundamental question is ” What is the problem and how do we sort it out?”.  That approach could  be a very fundamental error. In recent years, politicians have grown into the habit of putting themselves under tremendous pressure by asking the above question and then feeling the need to produce almost instant solutions – and of course we have become conditioned to expect that approach and more crucially, so have the media.

Brown the historian should know that the real question should not be “What’s the problem?” ( the modern politician’s approach) but ” What’s the story”  (the historian’s approach),  that is to say – let’s establish 100% how we managed to get into this mess. This approach takes time but in the long term , will produce the correct solutions.

Most Governments have already shown by their random actions of the last six months that they prefer to treat the symptom and not the cause.

In this respect, Gordon Brown should learn from both John Major and Tony Blair who both understood that firstly, the story of the Northern Ireland problem needed to be understood and that the solution would then follow as a by-product of that understanding. The whole process took a very long time but as recent attempts at destabilising the situation have shown, the solution is rock-solid.

This could be a time for reflection and not necessarily the customary politician’s sprint to action.

Where’s that paddle?

 

No Government  can ever act on the basis of certainty. It is  always forced to act on the basis of probability. In other words, there is no REAL idea as to when the current financial mess will end so decisions and actions are based on a “best-guess” basis.

Stock market prices lie in expectations for the future. It is a constant battle between optimism and pessimism. When there is optimism one expects:

  1. Confidence in the Banks and the Marketplace
  2. Consumers confident enough  to engage in long-lasting spending sprees
  3. Rising prices

 During a period of pessimism, the converse is  true.

Depending on whether you are an optimist or pessimist, you will be anticipating one of the following (most probable) outcomes:

  • Uncontrollable money-printing and excess spending on bailouts and stimulus , producing a new, super-inflationary environment with a falling Pound and rapidly accelerating  unemployment. (Option A)
  • A major change in capital flow  evidenced by shifting consumer and bank attitudes, thereby generating a period of deleveraging and deflation that will eventually produce a economic rebalance and a strengthening Pound. (Option B)

Needless to say, the Government is hoping for Option B but at the same time it is running up its (our) budget deficit to historic levels and will soon be printing money like confetti.

The fact that  unemployment is heading for a new record and consumers are spending far less means that the Government has painted itself into a corner and can only lead the country to Option A.

Our collective wealth in stocks and housing has been destroyed and  Sterling is at a 23-year low against the Dollar which, post-Obama, will gain strength, thus further eroding the Pound.

Yes, we are up dirty creek without a paddle.

Notwithstanding the odd Minister-induced  “virtual” green shoot and platitudinous attempts by government to tell us that  “We’ll get through this”, the current perception both within the banking system and the real world is  one of overwhelming pessimism.

The  low Bank Base Rate and lack of consumer confidence in (what are  still laughingly referred-to as)  “lending institutions”  will result in  more and more money being kept under the mattress. The banks are doing it so why shouldn’t we?

The government should set sail for Option B (above). Unfortunately, it appears that no-one has any idea of where to start and the rudder appears to be broken.