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Friday, 15 June 2012

Dave's Country Suppers

"Ah Nigel! Come in Come in .. Sam, pour Nigel a JeeanTee .. we're eating in the kitchen this evening; Aga's on, and 3D specs for the Moldova match - we put a 42" HD 3D screen in last month. Oh how kind! For us? A fish? you caught it yourself, beachcasting? Dungerness beach? Haha good to see you've used the 'Telegraph' to wrap it in; Sam, take Nigel's fish - we can send it to the fishmonger tomorrow to have it prepared. It's a Sea Bass? Yes, they have them in Waitrose too. Oh yours is wild, not farmed? You'll have to explain the difference. Later.

Just Country Terrine from the chap in the village, then Sam's Spag Bol; she puts chilli flakes in, so I hope you don't mind a bit spicy, eh? And a couple of bottles of Burgundy I thought - amazing cellar they've got here at Chequers. Lager? Oh haha hang on I'll find out ...Wilkins, can we find some pints of Lager for Mr Farage? We can? Excellent!

Now I particularly wanted to talk to you about this - do you play Crazy Birds? I can't get past level two haha there's this magpie you see ... a fag? I suppose so, if you must; the drivers all go out by the wheelie bins; ...... Wilkins, can you show Mr Farage to the fag smoking area? 

Sam! Mwaah! You look fab. Look, do I have any trainers? Farage is wearing trainers ... I've no idea, it's probably what they do in Essex, but I don't want to embarrass him ... my boat shoes? Yes, they'll do.

Ah Nigel, come through. You must get your ghillie to tell my ghillie what fly you use for Sea Bass, eh? We're in Scotland in the recess and I'll give it a try. Look, I particularly wanted to have a chat. We're both ordinary blokes ......."

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Going ...... Going ......

Even six months ago the news that 10 year Italian bonds had risen above 6% would have dominated the news - never mind Spain's going over 7%, which is the national finance equivalent of being 200m away from the lip of Niagara falls in a small barrel. Even France is knocking 3%, about double the German rate, with questions as to whether further rating downgrades will push Marianne into the red zone.

Farage's latest dose of home truths (bottom) couldn't be more appropriate.

Different Brand, same Scum

Like a dog returneth to his vomit, Whitehall returns to intrusive surveillance of free citizens. It doesn't matter whether Tory Pepsi or Labour Coke is the brand in the window of Number Ten, the totalitarian centralist command and control freakery of Whitehall just dusts off the folder and presents it to whichever Home Secretary is dumb enough to fall for the lies, the distortion, the misrepresentation. And Oh Boy have they had some dumb Hoons to manipulate; Blunkett, May, Smith, Reid, with the collective nous of a Sea Cucumber.

These Whitehall Scum are the true enemy of the United Kingdom; they are at war against the people of this nation, shits in silk stockings. They cling like leeches to the system of central government adopted in WWII as a war emergency measure, and having tasted power will not now willingly relinquish it. 

If we are to free ourselves in this nation, we must take the metaphorical axe to their Mandarin fingers. Firstly, this noxious Bill must be defeated.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Burying the Euro myths

As though a veil has fallen from the common vision, the myths used to threaten, frighten and bully the peoples of Europe are standing as nakedly fatuous as the Colleagues. They still have their parrots - Will Hutton in the Observer at the weekend in a singularly crass piece for instance - but they are sounding increasingly ridiculous.

The EU prevents war in Europe: You need two things for war; militarisation, and young populations. Right now Europe is demilitarised, and our ageing population is just too old for war. If you want to know where the next big war is going to be, look to North Africa / Middle East. The US are moving all their assets to the Pacific. For the next few decades anyway, Europe is the most unlikely place for a large scale war. 

A single currency reduces the cost of trans-national transactions: Probably true in the paper-instrument world of 1957, but absolutely false in 2012. Computers have reduced the frictional costs of currency exchange close to zero.

Without the EU, the UK wouldn't export anything to Europe: As we import marginally more from Europe than we export to it, any interference with trade barriers (or lack of) would hurt their economies more than ours; demand for London Dry Gin, Burberry handbags or JCBs remains the same. And we run a considerable trade surplus on services - which if the Eurozone cripples itself by the introduction of a financial transactions tax will grow. 

Free trade areas must inevitably adopt a single currency: Tell that to NAFTA. Neither Canada nor Mexico see the need to change to USD. 

The EU protects the Environment: Tell that to the UK's sustainable near-shore fishing fleet which has seen our fish grounds raped and despoiled by massive EU factory ships hoovering up every living thing including juveniles and breeding populations. Iceland, which regulates its own 200 mile fish zone, has full, healthy and sustainable stocks of Cod and other commercial fish and a healthy industry at full employment levels. 

The EU protects jobs and employment:  Sure. Unemployment levels in Spain of 25%, Greece of 23%, Portugal of 16% and so on demonstrate how good the EU is at maintaining employment. Moreover, the employment model in the EU is dividing into permanent, older, workers with high levels of reward and protection (and high cost) and insecure younger workers on part-time or short-term contracts on pay terms that get around minimum pay costs. Without the EU's interference in the Employment field, it would be fairer to all and help national competitiveness.

No doubt you can add a dozen more, but the Euromyths are tumbling like ninepins. 

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Brown's message to Leveson

Brown usefully reminded us yesterday why he remains so universally loathed. If it happened, he said, (a) it was everybody else's fault but his (b) he knew nothing about it or (c) they were all conspiring against him. No, he didn't know Tony Blair, had never met him at all, and if he was Chancellor at the time he certainly wasn't aware of it. As mental as a bucket of eels.

UK's €1 trillion cash hoard - where?

Following from the post below, the last study I can find on the extent of cash hoarding by UK firms is from the Centre for European Reform, back in March, quoted in the WSJ. The CER is fairly pro-EU, but not uncritical. UK firms are holding an extraordinary €1 tn in cash, whilst the Eurozone nations' firms are holding €2 tn between them.

One can only sincerely hope that they're keeping the €1tn cash in bonds, gilts, the Post Office Savings Bank or under the MD's mattress - anywhere, in fact, but on deposit with the Zombie banks.

Monday, 11 June 2012

Unravelling already

Barely had the conference call ended that secured Spain a €100bn lifeline than the deal started to unravel. Imagine a waveform oscillating at first gently with low amplitude and frequency; the bail out sums are relatively modest, and the effects last for months. As time goes on the amplitude and frequency increase to the point where hundreds of billions are moving to secure effects that last for days only. This is the end phase, just before the waveform collapses in chaos. 

So far the game is playing out with just the financial sector and governments as actors; so far the big industrials and corporates have been pretty quiet. Whereas the UK has only 4 non-finance firms in the global top 100 (BP, Tesco, Vodafone ...) Germany has at least 8 (Volkswagon, Daimler, E.ON, Siemens, BASF, Deutche Telekom, BMW, Deutche Post ..) and many of these have been hoarding cash. I have a hunch that there's a point at which these will come into play - but not to save the banks.

It's all moving very rapidly now.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Africa and China deserve eachother

There is a myth of Africa beloved of Western liberals as a sort of Utopia in which a continent of happy but simple natives played their musical instruments, drank millet beer and sat around generally loving one another in an idyllic rusticana. Into this Eden came the rapacious European, who enslaved them, stole from them and infected them with syphilis. So pervasive has this distortion become that a Prime Minister of the recent past actually apologised for it. Let me make one thing very clear; of the 14m Africans transported as part of the Atlantic slave trade, only perhaps a very few tens of thousands were enslaved by Europeans. Almost the entire 14m were captured and enslaved by their fellow Africans. And this was nothing new; before the 15th century, African slaves had found a ready and lucrative market in North Africa and Arabia, and before this the Pharoahs were buying them by the million. Enslaving and selling your neighbour has been an integral part of  African culture since Mitochondrial Eve climbed out of the rift valley. What Europe brought them between the 15th and mid 19th century was a massive new market for a commodity they had in abundance.

The irony lost to Blair and other idiots devoid of any historical perspective is that it was only by the second half of the 19th century that Europeans had the three things that allowed them to move into the African interior from the few coastal forts in which they maintained a trade foothold; without quinine prophylaxis, the breech-loading rifle and steam gunboats, Europeans had been largely confined to their ships since the 15th century. Portuguese sailors who tried to capture their own blacks found the cost was about one sailor dead of disease for each slave captured. They soon learned to leave the hard work to the professionals, and buy their human cargoes from the beach. The irony of course was that when we did come back, it was to enforce the abolition of the trade amongst the native population, much as we banned Suttee in India. We had only limited success. 

Africa has now had half a century in trying to impose the mores and values of a post-Enlightenment Europe on its peoples, and this, too, has had only limited success. Without an endogenous African Enlightenment, our ways are foreign, and may even be described as 'colonial'. Well, things are changing. In an article of remarkable naivity in the Indie, Emily Dugan actually misses the point of a quote she includes;
" If you're interested in states becoming more economically successful, then what is coming out of Africa is good news. But if you are interested in an Africa where human rights are respected and governments take on the attributes of Western democratic countries, including fair elections and freedom of speech, then it isn't good. African states are finding their own ways to economic growth which don't conform to those liberal human rights criteria. Part of that is because Europe is declining, so European prescriptions of how to behave, in terms of governance, is becoming less attractive to African states."
 The commodity that Africa is selling today is no longer human flesh but minerals. While it's quite sweet that those such as Emily Dugan believe the income is being used exclusively to open schools and hospitals, you can bet much more is going on arms and building-up war capacity. After all, when your Cobalt runs out, you're going to have to take your neighbour's ore beds by force. And the buyer, too, is protecting its investment; China's new Aircraft Carriers will be there as part of a game they've learned from us - sell arms to both sides, and when it all kicks-off, send in the Marines and helicopters to evacuate your own nationals then sit back and wait to see who wins before stepping ashore with new contracts.

In a cruel sort of way, they really do deserve each other.