Osborne has become a drug on the nation and the economy and his singular incompetence in formulating Conservative election policy has left that party bereft of ideology, haemorraging voters to UKIP and with a deeply split parliamentary party. He is no better than Gordon Brown, and must go. He has no redeeming virtues or talent; his economic incompetence is equal to his policy maladroitness. Like Brown, he is also utterly incapable of connecting with voters on a personal basis; Brown's rictus faked grin and Osborne's twisted fake smiley face are as transparent as glass to the public. He carries a look of furtive guilt with him as though discovered by an aunt in adolescent practices, has all the gravitas of Helium in the chamber, speaks with the sincerity of Bernie Madoff and displays all the intellectual calibre of a modern Malvolio. This silly little rich boy would be better placed selling the family firm's overpriced wallpaper to the dowagers of Chelsea than running the Treasury of this United Kingdom.
Saturday, 14 July 2012
Thursday, 12 July 2012
With Spain having to find a further €65bn of spending cuts, I wonder whether innovative answers to unemployment there such as turning the unemployed into cab drivers will be curtailed? If you have ever been to Barcelona airport you cannot fail to remark the hundreds of cabs queued there, many of whom will spend the entire day at the airport without getting a single job. Every half hour or so the queue starts up, moves forward twenty metres, then settles back again. Still, I suppose it helps the comrades in the auto factory.
Whittingdale and Davies, two of the four sleazy MPs who have thrust their snouts into the hands of BT's corporate Olympic hospitality, must be eager for their two colleagues to emerge from shamed hiding to share the flak. Perhaps they may even at this stage forgo the chance of champagne and vol-au-vents and being schmoozed by slick PR girls, blonds with clingy and expensive cashmere woollen dresses and decent legs who come ready-made from some PR factory in Hampshire; perhaps they may raffle the tickets amongst their constituents to allow the Chairman of BT to greet Mabel from the local care home or Bob who runs the off-licence, but I doubt it. They will brazen it out, dripping with the stinking ordure of public opprobrium fouling their best suits as they leer at the PR girls.
Wednesday, 11 July 2012
If you're not a regular listener to either Farming Today (5.45) or the Archers (19.05) it may be that the Milk Crisis is passing you by. Europe has a new milk lake, and as a consequence dairy farmers are selling milk for less than the price of bottled water; in Brussels yesterday they poured milk on the cobbles as the EMB called for a 25% reduction in production. UK dairy farmers heap the blame on the supermarkets, but it's actually a combination of vampire buying by Tesco and the rest, and overproduction. Not helped by the development of a vile process by Aria under the Cravendale brand by which the sour taste of rancid milk fat is disguised by mechanically reducing the size of the fat particles in suspension; Cravendale milk goes sour just as quickly as the rest, only you can't taste it.
The Archers is storylining the rise of US-style cow battery farms in Europe; huge artificially lit sheds filled with rows of Fresians (called Holsteins in the US) with vast udders all restrained from moving about and wasting food input energy on anything but making milk, fooled into thinking it's permanent Summer, the product no doubt advertised with video of happy cows skipping across flower-decked meadows.
If you've never drunk raw milk still hot from the udder, you will have no idea what cows' milk actually tastes like. Even light pasteurising kills the taste, let alone the outrage of the ten day-old rotten rancid Fresian body-fluid sold by the supermarkets. When on morning milking duty after a heavy night out I'd quaff a whole quart as soon as it was out of the teats - a sovereign remedy for a hangover. And the taste of milk is breed, breed and breed - Fresians producing the most tasteless, bland, characterless milk you can imagine.
Give me our old Suffolk Red Poll any day; much lower yields, but the creature will live outside all year (if you give her a little winter shelter) and graze unless the grass is under a foot of snow. Suited to crop marshes and sandlings, she makes milk that makes cheese of superlative quality, bears calves good for meat or milk, she dungs the ground as she goes, and is as pliable and as good natured a beast as man would wish to have.
Tuesday, 10 July 2012
A delve into that nasty tax-avoiding little rag the 'Guardian' often leaves one with the desire for a wash and a change of shirt, but never more so than when the grubby Gee turns its malicious eye on our national institutions. As incomprehensible as it seems to the rag's facile journos, institutions such as the Lords and the City of London are there because they work and serve this country well. Today two fatuous scribblers under the names of Nick Mathiason and Melanie Newman give their readers a distorted and misrepresentative take on the City. Yes, the Remembrancer does sit in Parliament. Yes, the Corporation does put on an annual blow-out for the commercial gents. Two facts, though, are signally absent; that the City contributes £64bn in tax annually to the UK, and that it employs 1.1 million workers. Take a look at this;
With Wales, Northern Ireland, the North East, the North West, Yorks and Humber all spending some £2,000 per head on average per year more than they collect in tax, the City's tax-take subsidises some 32,000,000 citizens in the less prosperous regions. That's 32m who would have to pay an extra £167 a month each in tax if the City didn't pay it.
Monday, 9 July 2012
It's one of the sadnesses of real economics that those least able to afford it often and up paying the most. More often than not it's not malicious; if they don't have a car to reach the supermarket, or don't have the cash to buy a pair of shoes for £150 that will last ten years rather than a pair costing £15 that will last six months, it's just unfortunate.
Then there are firms that deliberately fleece the poor buggers. The loathsome Brighthouse is such a one, as recorded by the Indie this morning. But so too are the mobile phone companies with HP deals on new phones disguised as airtime contracts, not to mention the 'payday loans' sharks, all operating this side of legality. Whilst the middle classes are more immune to the lure of the latest iThing or Wastestation V and anyone with any appreciation of visual quality and rendition will realise that your old CRT television has a picture equal to the latest faddy LCD tvs, the poor are often gullible dupes, early adopters.