Saturday, 30 April 2011

It's OK to be English again. Perhaps.

The depths of nastiness in Lady Toynbee's spiteful little diatribe in this morning's Guardian is assurance, if assurance were needed, at just how successful yesterday's royal wedding was. Polly is spitting blood. She and fellow republican lefties see it as the reversal of two decades of Socialist drearyness, two decades of trying to destroy our concept of nation, two decades of undermining British institutions in favour of the Rousseau-esque Socialist State, two decades of striving to extinguish every noble character of our national identity. That Polly recognises, and hates it, that this one event has undone tens of thousands of poisonous column inches, billions in stolen taxes and the concerted efforts of the entire Socialist propaganda machine should make us rejoice indeed. Today it's alright to be English again. 


Even the BBC was too busy to send a crew to film Anjem Choudery's petulant ranting, and indeed I suspect many Muslims in the UK were as glued to their TV sets as were the natives. Muslim kiddies will compare the illiterate ignorance and poverty of the local village imam from Bangladesh to the articulate splendour of the established Church, will have seen the Union flag aloft in the April breeze across the realm, and will have learned a valuable lesson. 


For yesterday, like rain after after a long drought, the forces of good and light and truth and right reasserted themselves and banished the baleful evil that has overhung our land back into the noisome shadows. Marriage, loyalty, family, love, kinship, tradition, charity, ritual, Christianity, nationhood and human joy were triumphant. There can have been no clearer message in affirmation of British values.  


The resentment and animosity of the Left, like Polly's, still finds an outlet. Listen to the repeat of the 'News Quiz' at lunchtime today on R4 if you doubt it. Embittered, unfunny third rate intellects posing as 'comedians' - yes, Jeremy Hardy, that includes you - who make their trade by undermining and scorning all that is good. Well, they'll have fewer laughs today.  

Friday, 29 April 2011

William's Hat and stubborn studs

Today, when even the earl of Wessex is allowed into the dressing-up box, Miss Middleton's choice of costume for her betrothed is instructive. She wants him as a Guards Colonel today. It's the bearskin, you see. He could no doubt equally have been a naval Captain or an RAF Group Captain. Naval dress was out - an unfortunate reminder of the weddings of both Prince Charles and Prince Andrew. And the great problem with the RAF is that they no longer have a ceremonial uniform, or rather, a ceremonial helmet. Just an ordinary service cap. If the junior service wants to be represented at dressing-up does, it really does need to go back to the ceremonial dress as worn by the late King George VI at his wedding. So William's a Guards Colonel today instead. 


I shall be listening on the wireless today as I replace a starter motor. I was left with a stud absolutely stuck in the engine block; no amount of WD40, heating with a blowlamp, tapping and brute force with a mole-grip even turned it a nanometer. Two and a half hours I spent in trying to persuade that stud to move. I was reconciled to drilling it out, but as one last hope invested in a 1/2" socket Machine Mart stud extractor. Within 30 seconds out it came, clean and easy as a whistle. And that I think is today's lesson, for a wedding is always a bawdy event. It's all about the right helmet and the right tool for the job. 

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Spend! Spend! Spend! With Cameron

It's taken less than a year for the Mandarins to corrupt Cameron's government into backing reckless and unaffordable spending from the tax-take; today alone we've had notice of 'at least a billion' more on the carriers, plus an extra £917m to HMRC, then another £400m to set up the new PRA. That's £2.4bn just thrown in carelessly in just a few days. It cuts all credibility from beneath Cameron's feet as he pretends to complain about increased EU spending; he's showing he can be just as profligate and exercise just as much fiscal malfeasance as Brown.


As Cameron demonstrated again yesterday, he's a bear of very little brain.Civil Service establishment figures are actually holding steady, and are set to increase substantially as the 'cuts' bite. Those cuts, of course, apply to everything but the Central State and its avaricious, corrupt dags. 


I can taste sick in my throat at the thought that I once almost believed the honeyed lies. 

Europe Day

You may be forgiven for not remembering that 9th May has been designated 'Europe Day' by our masters in Brussels; they're so proud of this, they've even produced a poster that they're urging us all to put up in our workplaces and so on. The official version is HERE but you may prefer to print out and display the version below ....

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Cameron an embarrassment at PMQs

Blushing and stammering like a virginal public schoolboy being put down by a younger street-wise girl from the local comp, Cameron blustered his way through PMQs today in a rictus of embarrassment. Desperately stroking the facing of his Eton 'pop' wes'cut (or where the comfort garment should have been), Call Me Dave struggled to recover from the almost universal disappointment of the House at his comment to Angela Eagle to 'Calm down, dear'. To belly laughs, he then went on to defend Andrew Lansley.


A pathetic performance. 

A bunch of bastards and a bitch

The bitch is Treasury minister Justine Greening, she of the unfortunate squint and the overbite. No doubt in spiteful revenge for being born in the ugly draw, Greening seems set to reduce the number of fags I can bring into the UK without undergoing interrogation by the Tax Stasi from 3,200 to 800. Some 'getting government off your backs' eh?


Listen you mongs. I can bring in as many fags from the EU as I like as a personal shopper and for my own consumption; I can either do this with your explicit recognition, or we can go through a whole panoply of stopping and questioning, legal action and voluminous correspondence, FOI requests, judicial review and the rest to establish the fact. Your choice. We'll drown HMCE in legal actions. 


Just don't expect anything but outright hostility to a Conservative government from this blog from here on. 

Koala threat

H/T to the Englishman for the AGW / Koala story. Which reminds me of a curious tale from Essex - that county whose inhabitants are said to be half East Anglian and half human. 


The chap who owned West Mersea Island in the 1930s planted a large part of his gardens with hardy, drought-resistant Eucalyptus, which thrived in this harsh coastal environment. Shortly before the war, he bought a breeding pair of Koalas from Harrods pets department - some say for his daughter's amusement, some say for sheer mischief. Anyway, the cute creatures thrived, having their own heated enclosure for the harsh winters and spending the rest of their time munching their way slowly through the Eucalyptus leaves that form the sole diet of the sleepy creature. Offspring were born, and these also took their place in the Eucalyptus grove. 


No doubt from the same inquisitive mind that discovered that coffee beans that had passed through the digestive tract of the Civet cat had a unique and desirable flavour, came the suggestion that the droppings of the Koala, being pure fermented Eucalyptus, made an invigorating hot infusion not unlike the Bergamot-flavoured tea favoured by Earl Grey. The dung was duly collected, dried, and infused - visitors to the house invariably being treated to a cup of the unusual brew. Then came the occasion on which one unfortunate cleric, peering at the 'leaves' gently swirling in the pale brew, asked if this was deliberate.


"Quite deliberate" came the answer "The Koala tea of Mersea is not strained".

Last Quarter GDP growth guess

Back on 21st March I wrote:
The expected £8bn tax windfall the Chancellor may expect for 2010/2011 may be supplemented by a spurt of GDP growth in the last quarter of the financial year when figures are revealed in late April that may be as high as 1% - when the official forecast for GDP for the whole of calendar 2011 is just 1.8%.
I'm happy to stick with that - in fact I'll plump for 1.1% GDP growth over the last quarter. Manufacturing is booming, and construction's a game of two halves - healthy big infrastructure work, with Crossrail, the Thames Trunk sewer and Olympics works big here in London, but a depressed homebuilding sector. Our distribution-heavy supermarket sector which is passing high transport costs on through food prices, and a healthy web economy, which is hitting High Street retail but helping distribution businesses, means services are less affected than they could be. 


The experts' ratings are around half mine - 0.2% from JP Morgan, 0.5% from Citi, 0.6% from Goldman Sachs. I could, as they say, be completely wrong.    

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Bank charges to rise to pay for higher regulation costs?

The story started with a snippet in tonight's Standard that the Bank is looking to spend £20m to fit out new offices for the Prudential Regulation Authority, successor to the FSA. The offices are estimated to be 10,000m2. OK I thought, fair enough. £2k/m2 isn't silly money. Building systems - lighting, H&V, IT and the rest - have a reasonably short economic life.

But hang on, what's happening to the FSA's old offices? And from there it starts to get murky. The FSA is in effect being split up, with around a third of staff moving to become the PRA and the rest forming a new body called the FCA which will, er, continue doing the sort of thing the FSA did. From the FSA's Annual Report, it emerges that existing costs are around £310m a year on staff, £46m on accommodation, £26m on IT, and other costs making £415m a year in total. But don't worry - this is charged to the banks and financial institutions that are regulated, or overcharged in fact. To the tune of £435m a year - £20m more than the FSA's costs. Clever, huh? So we pay via bank charges rather than directly through tax. What a clever wheeze!

But where it gets really creative is in HMT's cost-benefit analysis of the changes (p117 onwards). Splitting the FSA into two is actually going to cost quite a bit, it seems. Firstly there are two or three years of 'transitional costs' estimated at an additional £240m in total - including no doubt the £20m office fit-out. Then there are additional costs of £25m a year for a further few years, coming all together to some £400m. But don't worry; the banks are paying £20m a year extra already, so they'll hardly notice the extra extra. And anyway they can recharge the punters, can't they?

The most breathtakingly audacious part of this cosy spend-fest is the financial benefit that HMT claims will produce a positive NPV of £1.4bn by "a reduction in frequency of severe financial crises in the UK". Really. You couldn't make it up.  

And the boys and girls at the FSA not only all continue in their old jobs but in spanking smart new offices - trebles all round, I think!  

Oh dear what a shame - Olympic tickets all gone

Lawks a mercy! Oh my ears and whiskers. It seems the UK's complete allocation of Olympics tickets has ended, and no more are available. And there was me all agog to see the women's 400m weightlifting and the high-board cycling hurdles. I was actually looking forward to having my can of Pepsi confiscated and my Nike T-Shirt  duct-taped by the ODA's boot boys at the gate, quite happy to be held in a side road for hours in the August heat as the Zil Lane is kept free for some chiselling crook of an IOC official to sweep through, more than satisfied that all the 'Ind Coope' and 'Courage' gable walls in London would be replaced with Heineken ads. Still, there are compensations. The estimated 10,000 Lithuanian tarts setting up shop in East London for the event are keeping rents high and no doubt East Londoners are enjoying the benefits of the acclimatisation period and discount training events. 

Labour unleashes attack-dog Mandelson

The invert Peter Mandelson is set to replace cross-dresser Edward Izzard in fronting the 'Yes' campaign. Labour's stance on AV to date has been as much a triumph of equivocation as the sexuality of its frontsmen; only hard-line political dags and groupies can tell you whether 'Red Ed' is actually for or against, whilst in the public mind other senior Labour figures are evenly divided between the two camps. In contrast, few could easily identify any Tory figures in favour of AV but there is a high level of recognition that Cameron is against it. Mandelson's strategy for the following week will be simple - to identify Labour wholly with the 'Yes' group in an attempt to turn the Referendum into a straight Labour-Tory vote; if he succeeds, the 'No' camp's solid lead will wither over the next week as an appeal to tribal loyalty overcomes a cross-party neutrality. 


The tactic is pure, classic, poison Mandelson and indicates the desperation of the 'Yes' group. He's prepared to sacrifice the cred of any Labour figures on the 'Yes' side (and no doubt will rejoice at any political harm he can do to John Reid) and accustom disenchanted LibDems to voting in the Labour lobby. Loathe him or loathe him, there's no denying that Mandelson's still one of the sharpest political manipulators around. 

Marr breaches own injunction

Andrew Marr, an archetypal member of the metropolitan political class, a dag on the arse of democracy, seems to be in breach of his own injunction today in 'fessing all to the Mail. It seems he's having second thoughts about being associated with the loathsome crew of super-injunctors. Now there will be many amongst you who can see little moral daylight between Marr and Alisher Usmanov or Fred Goodwin, two injunctors I am permitted to name on here. Let alone the others whose identities you surely all know by now. 


Fame and wealth have always had an aphrodisiac influence; not only do otherwise unattractive men become babe-magnets but the exposure seems to have a Viagra like effect on their libidos. The unsophisticated, the morally weak, the lustful and the avaricious will take advantage of this condition. In this Marr is no different to an inarticulate footballer or a dumb thesp. Uxoriousness is always a good measure of public worth; those loyal to their marriage partners are also less likely to cheat, steal, lie, distort and manipulate. For this reason, it is very much in the public interest for the fidelity of public figures to be a matter of common knowledge. That Marr can lie to and cheat on his solemn partner is not a good indicator that his work for the BBC is impartial, balanced, fair and truthful. 


A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Being an adulterous public figure is corruption enough; using wealth and the power of the law to conceal it is doubly evil. By their fruits shall ye know them.    

Monday, 25 April 2011

AV referendum: How the voting works

It seems many people are still confused at the Supplementary top-up system to be used for counting the 'yes' and 'no' votes in next week's referendum on AV. The process is actually very simple;


1. The initial 'yes' and 'no' votes are counted
2. 50% of the difference between the two figures is then either added or subtracted to the initial votes to close the gap
3. If neither vote achieves 62% after this, the remaining 50% of the difference is either added or subtracted to the result of stage 2 above.
4. 'yes' and 'no' votes should now be exactly equal, in line with Labour and LibDem policies on compulsory fairness. 
5. Mrs Vince Cable will toss a coin to determine the result, which will be 'yes'.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Fairness

As Janet Daley points out in the Telegraph today, a YouGov poll for Policy Exchange confirms that the British public's notion of fairness chimes exactly with mine own and is at complete variance with Labour's Big Idea. I make no apology for repeating below the post I made in September 2009 when Brown unveiled 'Fairness' as the centrepiece of his campaign strategy:-

Gordon,

Fairness, like courage, is a concept with which you are wholly unfamiliar. Yet it won't stop you making the word the centrepiece of your speech today. 

Fairness is not a political value - it is a British virtue. Fairness means taking your turn in the queue, it means (to borrow the Australian phrase) a 'fair go' for everyone, with no barriers to any citizen. Fairness is based on common-sense morality; it means not taking advantage by foul means. Fairness means winners get prizes, and losers are encouraged to do better. Fairness in WWII gave every person in Britain, including the King, the same ration card. When there's hard work to do, it's fair that everyone lays their hand to the capstan. Fairness means the same reward for the same risk for everyone. We know what fairness is.

So how fair is it that an increasingly corrupt political class can steal, cheat, dodge, obfuscate and fill their fists with public cash with no sanction whatsoever? Like a protected criminal species, immune from prosecution, their avarice a stench in the public's nostrils and a gag in our throats. And not only do you not dismiss and disown them, you protect and encourage their foul corruption. What lesson is this to our young people? How fair is this to parents struggling to impart the notions of virtue and Right to their children?


And how fair is it that you are using the whole panoply of State propaganda to hide your regime's culpability for Britain's Bust? You, who told the FSA to apply a 'light touch' and not to ask awkward questions; you, who encouraged the nation to live beyond its means, you who engineered an unsustainable bubble boom for your narrow political ends. Wouldn't it be fair for you to hang your head in shame, even at this stage?

And how fair is it that you use the power of the State to protect and shield the 2003 War Criminals whilst mouthing trite platitudes about upholding the virtues of right and justice? If you had a microgram of right or justice flowing in your frozen veins you would have sanctioned a full and comprehensive independent investigation with the power to recommend criminal charges - but no, you wanted a secret inquiry with 'no blame', a neat lengthy whitewash to hide the lies and crimes. It was only the nausea of the Chairman at the stench of your cover-up that changed the terms. How fair were you to the families of our war dead? To those in Iraq who grieve for their dead?

How fair is it that whilst you piss billions away in lunatic social engineering experiments while our fighting forces are dying for want of adequate vehicles and equipment, men and women whose courage is a quality with which you are wholly unacquainted?

And how fair is it that you continue to deny the country the referendum on Europe that you promised, a referendum that an overwhelming majority of us are hungry to have? How fair is your mendacity, your corruption, your spin and your denial of the will of the British people?

Is it fair that even at this stage you're pouring further billions into an ID card scheme that we don't want, won't co-operate with and which will be abolished just as soon as you and your criminal cabal are dispatched in tumbrels? Or an NHS records scheme that's on its knees? Or further lunatic proposals for yet more Leviathan State IT projects?

How fair to the striving, careful, responsible core of this nation, seeking the best for their families, wanting little from your State, is your profligate, asinine and politically corrupt waste of their carefully earned taxes? People who turn over each penny twice before spending it, people whose supermarket trollies have grown more expensive each week, people who eat beefburgers so that your corrupt placemen, prodnoses and jobsworths can eat steak at their expense?

Vomit will stick in my craw at every mention of the word 'fairness' you will make today, Gordon. As mendacious and insincere as everything you say, you simply don't know the meaning of the word. 

'Yes to AV' gagging order

"Good Morning. I'm here today to tell you about the benefits of the Alternative Vote system, but before we come to that I'd like to tell you a little about myself. 


You're not allowed to know who I am, of course, because there's a draconian gagging order issued by Mrs Justice Sharp that prevents anyone identifying me. Or discussing anything to do with that strumpet and the gerbil or dressing up in bondage gear and I'd like to say that I'd never even heard of a gimp mask or a strap-on before that day and the Llama was never in the same room at the same time.


My good lady wife and our two wonderful children would be greatly distressed if those photographs were published, and there is a real risk that the children would be teased at school - and at £4,000 a term each we don't pay to have them teased. As far as I'm concerned, that's an end to the matter.


Now as to the AV system. You need to support this to ensure that more people like me can enter Parliament; people you don't actually want as your first choice, who are not known to you, and who are wealthy and powerful enough to ensure that you can't find out anything discreditable about us. In fact, I'm even in favour of our names not appearing on the ballot paper at all. I, for example, will be identified only as 'CBL'. So vote Yes to AV. Ahem."