Tag Archives: Yvette Cooper

2032

The Labour-Liberal Coalition is just about managing to cope with the constant rioting but at least immigration has been halted. No-one wants to move here anymore.

Head Minister Yvette wishes that she hadn’t defeated David Miliband because her life with the 30-stone Ed Balls ended as soon  as he had been defeated in the Leadership election by the elder Miliband. She had felt honour-bound to avenge her former husband’s humiliation and to everyone’s surprise, she had won!

Within two days had been texted by the Leader and asked to either form a government or go into exile to Melton Mowbray in the Mid-Shires.

No-one knows where the younger Miliband is at the moment. Rumour is that he is teaching English somewhere near Beijing – but these days – who knows.

Anyway, it was no joke having to go everywhere totally surrounded by large sweaty Security Guards in too-tight suits. Yvette hated that nearly as much as the Kevlar jacket which she seemed to take off only at bedtime . Even that wasn’t much fun any more.

She was soon to meet the rather wizened President of France. She briefly thought of President Lagarde in those good old days when she had been Head of the now defunct International Monetary Fund. The whereabouts of the money continues to be a mystery – but there are still lingering suspicions as to how well Germany (which used to be known as Europe) is doing.

As she climbed into the human-drawn bullet-proof rickshaw (the Ministerial Jags had been scrapped soon after the Petrol Wars) , out of the corner of her eye, she caught sight of what appeared to be a familiar face. The features were still smooth – even after THAT prison sentence –  but the Buller Boy confidence now looked a little deflated and the sandwich board was not sitting comfortably on the 30 year-old hand-made suit. Sometimes, she thought that the post-incarceration humiliation phase of a prison sentence was a bit unnecessary but it did seem to teach some humility to those who were believed to need it.

The House of Parliament  used to be called Phoenix House and she was once again reminded of the historical episode thirty years ago when someone called Rupert Murdoch had a custard pie thrown in his face within these very walls! The incident had led to the destruction of the entire newspaper industry – Pre-Digi – and was commemorated by a sculpture fixed to the pavement outside.

She looked at the trio of figures. Maxwell, his wife Wendy Deng and pie-thrower Jonathan May-Bowles were depicted in life-sized splendour. Well….that wasn’t strictly true. The “sculpture” was by the Gunther von Hagens studios and rumoured to be no more than the plastinated remains of the three participants. However the bomb-proof glass case in which the sculpture was sealed made analysis impossible – plus there had been rumours that two of the figures depicted had been spotted in various locations – just like Arkle, Lord Lucan and Gordon Brown. Mind you, she mused, without any reliable news….who knows?

When she was awakened by the scream of a knocked-over tourist just outside the main entrance to the Virgin Westminster Palace of Fun, she shouted to the rickshaw pulling-team to stop. She noticed quite a few people wandering about amongst the potholes. They were all wearing those ill-fitting but mandatory jackets with “TOURIST” emblazoned on the back – although many of them were English and from only 30 or 40 miles away.

She decided to take a risk and see whether the person her team had knocked over was OK and stepped rather gingerly onto the pavement.  She reached into her gun-case for a handheld pot-pourri, as the stench of the open street was something to which she was no longer acclimatised.

A few years ago, this would have been what used to be called “an iOpportunity”. A digital image would have been taken of the Head Minister cradling an injured citizen to her Spanx-Kevlar bodice and the image would have been transmitted to everyone who still had an iDevice.

Unfortunately. Electronic signals were a thing of the past and citizens only wore “ the iBox” around their neck or waist for decoration.

However, it was soon apparent that the Tourist had a broken leg. Yvette turned and re-entered the Ministerial Carry-pod. “Deal with it, “ she snapped to one of her guards.

As the door hissed shut and she felt the shudder of the rickshaw slowly gathering speed, she fancied that she heard  a single gunshot….. in fact, as she proceeded, she noticed that there were lots of gunshots……


To be continued/

Foreplay & the Donkey Voter.

Tory Foreplay?

David Cameron’s conference  speech has definitely confirmed one thing and that is that the art of oratory is well and truly dead and buried. This was no “This lady’s not for turning”, “Rivers of Blood”, “I have a dream”, “We shall fight them on the beaches”, or even an “Ich bin ein berliner”. This was a leader going through the motions. The tone and delivery were spookily similar to Ed Miliband’s.

It wasn’t quite down to the Gordon Brown standard. His speeches were only memorable for the fact that they tended to induce an irrational desire to cut off one’s own ears.

DC was always going to have to strike a difficult balance. He was the first Conservative Prime Minister for 13 years to  address a Conservative Party in power, just 5 months after fighting a General Election.There should have been balloons, cake, drink, merriment and general ribaldry – or the Tory equivalent thereof. Mind you, he didn’t actually WIN the election and perhaps remembered that he is  being propped up by that rag-tag band of opportunist Liberals, led by Clegg the Duplicitous. Perhaps out and out triumphalism was not appropriate – but then again, neither was Marvin Gaye’s “It takes Two”. That was about as subtle as Eric Pickles brandishing a shovel in a pie factory.

He knew what we were all really waiting for and he more-or-less bottled out. Yes. Child Benefits. His inexperience as a policymaker shone through once again.  By now someone should have told him that before introducing new policies, he should prepare the ground – and that does not necessarily mean the “slash and burn”. All that macho nonsense may well produce an odd cheer and the clap that he so richly deserves but it does look as if the headline-grabbing announcements are made too soon. Policies are  published or leaked  in advance of being thought through and without  the electorate being properly prepared and put in the right “mood” through the traditional and well-tested mediums of leak and spin. Not enough political foreplay.

We all like a bit of foreplay before we’re screwed.

Donkey Voting

 Donkey voting is a well known phenomenon in all electoral systems. It is when a voter chooses candidates near the top of the list presented to him. If a voter is presented with an alphabetical list and is asked to select a number of candidates, those candidates near the top of the list are advantaged because as the donkey voter ticks the list, he will select candidates  top-down. He will stop selecting when he has chosen the required number.

This phenomenon has reared its ugly head in the election of Ed Miliband’s  (new) Labour Shadow Cabinet.  Below  is the full list.

Notice that no-one with a surname below the letter “M” was elected!

Perhaps on this occasion, the term “Donkey Voter” is more appropriate that usual and further focuses on the stupid principle of a political leader not being able to hire his own team.

We should also point out that no Welsh MPs were elected.

Douglas Alexander – 160 votes

Ed Balls – 179 votes

Hilary Benn – 128 votes

Andy Burnham – 165 votes

Liam Byrne – 100 votes

Yvette Cooper – 232 votes

Mary Creagh – 119 votes

John Denham – 129 votes

Angela Eagle – 165 votes

Maria Eagle – 107 votes

Caroline Flint – 139 votes

John Healey – 192 votes

Meg Hillier – 106 votes

Alan Johnson – 163 votes

Tessa Jowell – 152 votes

Sadiq Khan – 128 votes

Ivan Lewis – 104 votes

Ann McKechin – 117 votes

Jim Murphy – 160 votes


A grapple for the teacher

“2+2=5”

The Internet compensation society is in danger of destroying the education system. Too-aware pupils know that they have the upper hand over their very vulnerable teachers.

More than a quarter of school staff (28%) have had a false allegation made against them by a pupil, according to a survey. Continue reading A grapple for the teacher

No, No, No!

Yvette “tell it how it is” Cooper.

21st Century heroine.

The Treasury statement on financial support for our banking system has been made! Perhaps this hails the beginning of a new era when the Chancellor can stop flip-flopping from meeting to meeting and knocking-up air miles.

By now he should  have collected enough points to buy a couple of banks.

The Treasury statement  (all 899 words of it) is very light on numbers and has no mention of any changes in governance of any of the banks (and building society) involved.

These are the lending institutions which “have confirmed their participation in a Government-supported recapitalisation scheme.”

Abbey , Barclays,  HBOS,  HSBC Bank plc,  Lloyds TSB,  Nationwide Building Society,  Royal Bank of Scotland, Standard Chartered

Another quote from the statement: 

“In reaching agreement on capital investment the Government will need to take into account dividend policies and executive compensation practices and will require a full commitment to support lending to small businesses and home buyers.”

It appears that the taxpayer is paying the banks to lend. To the taxpayer.

A Socialist is an individual who has nothing and wants to share it with everyone.”

Perhaps that should be the new definition of a banker. 

Last year, the banks declared (mostly illusory) combined profits of nearly £40 billion. There were self-congratulory  dinners, awards, chairmen were frolicking round TV studios and radio stations, chief executives were granting interviews to the media and there was lots of corporate merriment. Sunny days.

These are the same people who, during the last few months have avoided the dark clouds of banking meltdown  by  remaining  hidden in their gold-plated bunkers. They have kept their well-coiffed heads down and  allowed their poorer politician cousins to take-on the stock market bullies.

How many reassuring statements have we heard from CEOs and Chairmen – apart from the very few self-pitying statements after a takeover  or nationalisation? Where have all the numbers gone?

It would be very interesting to see some numbers.

What is the “debt” of each of the above institutions and what does it consist of?

It should no longer be acceptable to keep blaming the American sub-prime market, because the global figures that are currently being bandied about are well-in-excess of the $1.2 trillion apparently written in sub-prime mortgages.

These mortgages are now being discussed as if they are worthless. They are not worthless because at the end of the line, there is a property which has a value. We should see a calculation whereby each bank displays two numbers:

1. How much it spent on bad investments?

2. What is the current estimated value of those investments?

We could also ask why it is that banks stop talking in numbers when they make a loss  and of course, it goes without saying that the govenment will be carrying out a full audit of the banks – or are we still taking their word as gentlemen?

And what is the smug bloke from Lloyds TSB doing on the list? Eric Daniels is his name, he is their Chief Executive  and the claim was that his bank was OK because of their ultra-conservative investment policy. More hot air? CLICK HERE.

Finally, this is a  time when we do need words – not from the bankers but from the politicians. Warm inspirational words, sentences dripping  hope – a  sunny painting of the world in twelve months time , lots of “doing” words and 100% honesty.

Yvette Copper has provided the most memorably honest quote: ” The bankers screwed -up”.

An understatement, but nevertheles memorable.

p.s. Why are we including the Santander Group and the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation in this scheme?

 

This is the Treasury statement in full:

After consultation with the Bank of England and the Financial Services Authority, the Government announces that it is bringing forward specific and comprehensive measures to ensure the stability of the financial system and to protect ordinary savers, depositors, businesses and borrowers.

In summary the proposals announced today are intended to:

Provide sufficient liquidity in the short term;

Make available new capital to UK banks and building societies to strengthen their resources permitting them to restructure their finances, while maintaining their support for the real economy; and

Ensure that the banking system has the funds necessary to maintain lending in the medium term.

In these extraordinary market conditions, the Bank of England will take all actions necessary to ensure that the banking system has access to sufficient liquidity. In its provision of short term liquidity the Bank will extend and widen its facilities in whatever way is necessary to ensure the stability of the system. At least £200bn will be made available to banks under the Special Liquidity Scheme. Until markets stabilise, the Bank will continue to conduct auctions to lend sterling for three months, and also US dollars for one week, against extended collateral. It will review the size and frequency of those operations as necessary. Bank debt that is guaranteed under the Government’s guarantee scheme will be eligible in all of the Bank’s extended-collateral operations. The Bank next week will bring forward its plans for a permanent regime underpinning banking system liquidity, including a Discount Window facility.

In addition the Government is establishing a facility, which will make available Tier 1 capital in appropriate form (expected to be preference shares or PIBS) to ‘eligible institutions’. Eligible institutions are UK incorporated banks (including UK subsidiaries of foreign institutions) which have a substantial business in the UK and building societies. However applications are invited for inclusion as an eligible institution from any other UK incorporated bank (including UK subsidiaries of foreign institutions). In reviewing these applications the Government will give due regard to an institution’s role in the UK banking system and the overall economy.

Following discussions convened by HM Treasury, the following major UK banks and the largest building society have confirmed their participation in a Government-supported recapitalisation scheme. These institutions comprise:

Abbey

Barclays

HBOS

HSBC Bank plc

Lloyds TSB

Nationwide Building Society

Royal Bank of Scotland

Standard Chartered

These institutions have committed to the Government that they will increase their total Tier 1 capital by £25bn. This is an aggregate increase and individual increases will vary from institution to institution. In order to facilitate this process the Government is making available £25bn to be drawn on by these institutions if desired to assist in this process as preference share capital or PIBS and is also willing to assist in the raising of ordinary equity if requested to do so. The above institutions have committed to the Government that this will be concluded by the end of the year.

In addition to this, the Government stands ready to provide an incremental minimum of £25bn of further support for all eligible institutions, in the form of preference shares, PIBS or, at the request of an eligible institution, as assistance to an ordinary equity fund-raising.

The amount to be issued per institution will be finalised following detailed discussions. If the Government is to provide the capital, the issue will carry terms and conditions that appropriately reflect the financial commitment being made by the taxpayer. In reaching agreement on capital investment the Government will need to take into account dividend policies and executive compensation practices and will require a full commitment to support lending to small businesses and home buyers.

The Government will take decisive action to reopen the market for medium term funding for eligible institutions that raise appropriate amounts of Tier 1 capital.

Specifically the Government will make available to eligible institutions for an interim period as agreed and on appropriate commercial terms, a Government guarantee of new short and medium term debt issuance to assist in refinancing maturing, wholesale funding obligations as they fall due. Subject to further discussion with eligible institutions, the proposal envisages the issue of senior unsecured debt instruments of varying terms of up to 36 months, in any of sterling, US dollars or Euros. The current expectation is that the guarantee would be issued out of a specifically designated Government-backed English incorporated company. The Government expects the take-up of the guarantee to be of the order of £250bn, and will keep this under review alongside ongoing monitoring of capital positions and lending volumes.

To qualify for this support the relevant institution must raise Tier 1 capital by the amount and in the form the Government considers appropriate whether by Government subscription or from other sources. It is being made available immediately to the eight institutions named above in recognition of their commitment to strengthen their aggregate capital position.

The Government has informed the European Commission of these proposals and is actively talking to other countries about extending these proposals and has committed to work together with them to strengthen the international system.

The Government is moving ahead immediately with the internationally agreed proposal for colleges of supervision and other measures to improve supervision of the system. After discussions with the major economies at the G7 meeting on Friday, the Government and other countries agreed on the need for a meeting at heads of Government level.