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Saturday, 6 October 2012

This nest of treasonous vipers

The Mail excels this morning in publishing full details of the nest of treasonous vipers conspiring to sell BAE to Beijing defence firm EADS, complete with snakes-nest graphic;

In addition to ex-Morgan Stanley boss Jeremy Heywood, now Cabinet Secretary, they include

'Bloody' Blair
Charles Powell
Jonathan Powell
John Scarlett
Alastair Campbell and
David Cameron

One wishes fondly for the whole stinking caboodle of them to be quietly ejected from this realm on a dark rainswept night, as we rid ourselves of Abu Hamza and his own treasonous cabal last night. They are each as poisonous as each other.

Friday, 5 October 2012

More Disraeli

"More than sixty years of a government of singular corruption had alienated all hearts from the oligarchy; never indeed much affected by the great body of the people. It could no longer be concealed, that by virtue of a plausible phrase power had been transferred from the crown to a parliament, the members of which were appointed by an extremely limited and exclusive class, who owned no responsibility to the country, who debated and voted in secret, and who were regularly paid by the small knot of great families that by this machinery had secured the permanent possession of the king's treasury." SYBIL, 1845

"More than sixty years of governments of singular corruption had alienated all hearts from the political class, never indeed much affected by the great body of the people. It could no longer be concealed that by virtue of a plausible phrase power had been transferred from the people to a political clique, the members of which were selected by extremely limited and exclusive party headquarters, who owned no responsibility to the country, whose decisions were made secretly in advance and enforced by whipping in parliament, and who were regularly paid by the small knot of large corporations that by this machinery had secured the permanent possession of the nation's wealth." 2012 

Thursday, 4 October 2012

'One Nation' explained

Labour 'One Nation'
To prevent the fracture of the nation into rich and poor, a powerful Labour central State will take money away from the rich and redistribute it to the poor

Conservative 'One Nation'
To prevent the fracture of the nation into rich and poor, a powerful Conservative central State will reduce taxes for the poor to make them richer

LibDem 'One Nation'
To prevent the fracture of the nation into rich and poor, a powerful LibDem central State will build new windmills in every constituency. Rich and poor will therefore be united in their opposition to windmills.

Disraeli 'One Nation'
To prevent the fracture of the nation into rich and poor, individuals should realise their personal moral obligation to others to ensure social stability. Although inequality is the natural human state, it is incompatible with self-centred individualism in a healthy society

Adam Smith 'One Nation'
The Butcher, the Brewer and the Baker act out of self interest alone. But as it is in their personal economic interest for their customers to be wealthy enough to buy their goods, they participate fully in civil society as school governors, founders of hospitals, undertakers of public health works, magistrates and so on. 

Karl Marx 'One Nation'
Only the proletariat can form a single, united, homogenous class that transcends national boundaries. To prevent the fracture of the nation into rich and poor, the rich must be shot.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

RBS to take €212m hit on Spanish bankruptcy

You won't be surprised that RBS were one of the group of 13 banks investing heavily in Spanish real estate firms Alteco Import and MAG, which have just announced their €1.3bn bankruptcy.

Another thoughtful and well considered move from the bank run into the ground by Fred Goodwin. Goodwin remains at large and unimprisoned.

Monday, 1 October 2012

We don't want brands, we want politics

If they had any hope that the filth that mired them from the expenses scandal would wash away with time they were wrong. And now they're finally waking up to the fact that people don't vote in elections because they're apathetic - simply, they aren't - but because they loath politicians. And both they and we need to be very careful - for we're actually not that far away from seeing the political class lynched from lamp-posts for real

Fraser Nelson reports from Manchester on the Speccie blog on the anger of voters;
“The problem with politics is the politicians,” one man declared, to much applause. When the microphones were turned off, the politicians had a hard time getting out of the room unmolested. Even the cheery Ben Bradshaw was also tackled by an audience member who ended the conversation by shouting: “You’re on another planet! You’re out of touch.”  One remonstrated with John Denham accusing him of lying with statistics. The mood was not so much anti-Labour, but anti-politician. And this is a force that needs to be taken far more seriously than is being done now.
 Above all we need to lance the boil of the dying parties, their mistaken sense of entitlement and the central metropolitan consumer marketing of the party brands. Politics is not a commodity that people consume as a lifestyle choice, it's not a brand to identify with and it's not a product to be bought as a result of a slick advertising campaign. It's not owned by a privileged metropolitan elite nor restricted to the few remaining members of their moribund clubs. Politics is democracy and it's our natural birthright, as participants, as determiners of policy, as voices to be heard be they ever so distant from the Speaker's chair. And they'd better take our anger seriously - for we're taking it back.

BAE deal stinks

All it lacks is Bloody Blair to weigh in, but his £3m a year wedge comes from the wrong Morgan; he's signed-up with JP Morgan, whilst it's Morgan Stanley that needs to persuade the government to abandon issues of national security and flog our secret defence know-how to EADS, a company so well-infiltrated by China it may as well have its HQ in Guangdong. 

Morgan Stanley's not doing too bad with its existing lobbying team, though; it's already signed-up the egregious John Scarlett, who failed his country so dramatically over Iraq, and Jeremy Heywood, who served as Managing Director of Morgan Stanley's  UK Investment Banking Division in between top mandarin jobs. Currently hugely influential as Cabinet Secretary, the man described by Peter Oborne as "a perfect manifestation of everything that has gone so very wrong with the British civil service over the past 15 years" is set to see his old firm earn hundreds of millions if the merger comes off. Heywood hasn't ruled out a return to Morgan Stanley if he feels like another change. Morgan Stanley are also trying hard to recruit Nicolas Sarkozy to add even more weight to the arm-twisting asset robbery.

This whole deals stinks like rotten Mackerel, and the involvement of personalities and firms with a track record of venality, greed and self-interest and no track record whatsoever of putting country before bonus convinces me this is a deal that can only harm the UK.

Blunkett still thick shock

David Blunkett was reviled as one of the most authoritarian and reactionary Home Secretaries of the post-war period, a reputation that owed more to his intellectual weakness and lack of nous than to a committed ideology. He was crap because he was thick. A position as minister of state was so far beyond his ability, and quite clearly so to many voters, that he himself contributed to the public's lack of faith in politics. The public wondered why a man clearly not capable of running a whelk stall was in charge of the Home Office and the answer was political cronyism.

Not surprisingly, time out of office hasn't increased his cerebral capacity. In a new pamphlet launched in the Mail this morning, Blunkett accurately describes the slow failure of British democracy and the alienation of the voter from the inward looking political class in terms that could have been lifted straight from this blog. Then he loses it.

Politics is necessary, he says, but should only be open to the big three parties. Good politics doesn't include allowing people to vote for George Galloway or Nick Griffin. Then the government must get closer to the people by becoming a State Consumer Organisation, advising householders which satellite company to sign up with, offering cheap pay-day loans and helping them transfer their bank accounts.

"British politicians have never been so ridiculed and despised" complains Blunkett. If this pamphlet is the best they can do, little wonder.

Sunday, 30 September 2012

The Tyranny of Gas

I just hate being regulated, whether being told I'm not allowed by law to maintain my own motorcycle, or fit a new spur socket, or buy an outboard with a lightweight, powerful 2-stroke engine. Being forbidden to fit my own gas boiler is just on the cusp of acceptability - thinking of the incompetent next door who shouldn't be let within 10 feet of a power drill and who comes knocking for help each time he accidentally destroys some small part of his home. Last time he smashed his clay foul drain while digging a tree pit. No, I wouldn't let him near a candle, let alone a gas supply. But now the bloody gas people have gone too far. 

It's coming to that time to renew my boiler. It's over 18 years old, which is about 90 in boiler-years. I found a replacement model from the same manufacturer and phoned my tame service engineer to quote for fitting. "What's your supply from the meter?" "Uhm, half-inch. Twelve mil. No problem - I checked the boiler spec and it's got a 12mm gas inlet." I replied. "Can't do it, Radders. New law says the feed has to be three-quarters from the meter" "But the inlet's only 12!" "Yeah, we have to fit a reducer". 

The full tyranny of gas regulations is even worse. You can't run a gas pipe in a void any more, and the gas co will insist on replacing the old under-stair cupboard meter with a huge ugly grey box bolted onto the distinguished Edwardian facade of your home. With a big yellow plastic pipe that will mean digging up your exquisite encaustic-tiled path. No way. Particularly as I won't see any change from two grand for the boiler and all the hideous gas works. And gas is about to soar in price as the muppets in government load on the green taxes. Is there no way round this? Yes, I think there is. This:

It burns wood pellets or pelleted smokeless anthracite and is certified to all Euro standards. It can go in an enclosure outside the back door. I can install it myself (though it needs a building regs nod-through for the flue) and maintain it myself. Fuel is currently about the same price per KWh as gas. The cost of the above is about £1.2k or less (bought in Poland), plus say £300 for plumbing bits. But the best bit is that it will almost certainly qualify for a £950 sustainable heating grant from the Department of Energy from this October, presumably paid for by the increased green levy on gas. 

Why not?