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Saturday 20 July 2019

Poor Doors

Well, what did they think would happen when the planning system forced folk who can afford to buy an £800k apartment and folk who can only pay low rents to a Housing Association into the same block?

The owners are buying lifestyle. They want a 24/7 concierge service to take in mail and parcels and keep out crack dealers from the lobby. They want a clean, well maintained, regularly checked play area for their protected children free from dog turds, needles and spray tags. For this they are willing to pay an eye-watering service charge.

What of the social tenants in the same block? The service charge will be equal to the entire disposable income of many. Should they get these things for 'free' (not free of course - the owner occupiers will have to pay)? Should owning an apartment in a shared block, unlike a flat in a conversion or an Edwardian maisonette or a place in a mansion block, come with a legal obligation to pay directly for social tenants?

Developers have come up with 'poor doors' - separate entrances for the social tenants that do not enjoy the 24/7 concierge service or the standards of cleaning, decor and maintenance in the common parts. Play areas are segregated. Unaffordable service charges are thus avoided. Of course the distinction is humiliating and divisive and undesirable - so much so that councils are now motivated to act to end the practice.

But how? Fairly? Practically? Genuine ask.

Friday 19 July 2019

BBC TV Tax thugs will kill the old

I must admit that when resident in the UK I always paid the TV Tax. To save my buyer from harassment and intimidation from the TV Tax Stasi, I wrote them a letter telling them I had moved and giving them my new address. Outside the UK.

Letters are still powerful - you, the writer, are in control of the process. 'They' want to force you to use their channels - an impenetrable web form, an eternity on a 'helpline', but you subvert the whole process with a letter to the company secretary at the registered head office. Thus have I always terminated phone, utility, broadband and other contracts with wolves and didacts. And civil law is behind you - our pre-EU law has survived intact, making any contract term requiring you to use the firm's contact channels unenforceable. Your letter - with no return channel volunteered except your address, requiring them to write back - can always quite legally give the required notice and request a final account. They hate it.

My letter to the TV Tax Stasi neatly avoided all the bullying of their chosen channels, all their weaselling for information for which they have no right to ask. I had completely forgotten that I paid annually by direct debit, and laughed when I got their airmailed letter telling me that they had refunded my account for several months. That must have hurt.

Twitter is exposing the repugnant methods the BBC Stasi are using to collect their tax - threats, lies. fake stamps, letters made to look like bailiffs' demands or even post office red 'not delivered' cards. And yesterday they confirmed that their thugs would be calling on the over 75s to remind them that they must scrape together the cash for the BBC's TV Tax or be criminally prosecuted. It's the sort of loutish bullying that Ann Robinson or Esther Rantzen used to expose on, erm, the BBC. And it won't take long for the first frail oldie to die of shock and fright.

So I can only recommend that those approaching the age of 75 - say all of you over 40 - write to the BBC (recorded delivery is good) querying the new arrangements and asking for more information. Don't bother with a phone number or email address. And remind them that you can't receive casual callers.

Oh. And you can't visit the BBC TV Tax office at Darlington DL98 1TL - it doesn't exist. Try it on google maps. I presume the post office intercept the mail and redirect it to the real, secret, address. The only thing of interest is a small probably 18th century building with oriel windows next to the Kebab and Grill. If there are any very wealthy BBC haters reading, I would love to restore this gorgeous little building and install a 'BBC TV Tax Advice Centre' on the ground floor staffed by local volunteers. Over 75 preferred.

The real home of the BBC TV Tax? - Crapita, India Mill, Darwen
Capita, Darwen - the origin of the BBC TV Tax thugmail

Thursday 18 July 2019

Con Coughlin lunches with the right MoD briefer this time

Back in 2015 this blog was something of a lone voice in advocating kicking Turkey out of NATO for its support for ISIS and Sunni terrorism in return for stolen Iraqi oil - oil that made Erdogan's son very rich indeed. It was also a time at which Turkey had practically isolated herself - I wrote
Erdogan is now skating on very thin ice; the EU is reeling from his policy of actively pushing migrants into Greece, with Turkey's old ally France in particular grief at this betrayal, he's lost Russia's support and now the US has turned against him. The generals must surely now be taking quiet soundings from these international players as to the likelihood of sanctions and international opprobrium if they act to remove Erdogan. If they get an answer that a coup will mean a deal of disapproving noise but nothing concrete followed by a swift move to co-operation if Turkey both halts the migrant flow, takes the pressure from the Kurds and closes the border to ISIS then Erdogan's days are numbered.
Well, the coup was tried - and failed. Tens of thousands of civil servants have been dismissed, hundreds of the most senior military officers imprisoned, and at least a score of them judicially murdered in custody ('fell out of a window' 'had a heart attack' etc). Erdogan appreciated his isolation and moved to make an ally of Russia, with $20bn of arms purchases. It is pertinent that at least some of that money comes from the EU, the billion-Euro bribes for not sending migrants across the Greek border. Again, I wrote back in 2015
Make no mistake; Turkey and the KSA are our real enemies, and the real threats to peace. We need to pour money and troops into Greece to secure Europe's Eastern flank against Turkey, and give full support to Russia, Syria and the Kurds in blocking Turkey from the South. Only then will peace start to return to Iraq and Syria, and the tsunami of migrants into Europe actively facilitated by Turkey start to stem. Oh yes. We need to kick Turkey out of NATO.
Maybe we should have kicked Turkey out of NATO in 2015 - but the US then needed Incirlik for its anti-ISIS operations. Well, now Erdogan has forced the move again; his purchase of Russia's S400 system has forced the US to exclude him from the F35 programme. And our old friend Con Coughlin has, for once, been lunched at the expense of the right MoD briefer; he writes in the Telegraph
When Turkey joined Nato back in 1952, the idea was that it would help to protect Nato’s eastern flank from Moscow’s aggression. Now that is clearly no longer the case, and European leaders should join their American counterparts in facing up to the fact that Turkey under Mr Erdogan is a lost cause. The days when Turkey had a genuine interest in cementing its ties with the West by joining the European Union are long gone. Instead, we have a country that openly associates with those who wish to do us harm.

Consequently, now that Mr Erdogan has demonstrated that he feels more at home in Moscow than he does in Brussels, we should acknowledge where Turkey’s true interests lie, and terminate its Nato membership.
There is one matter that Con has missed - perhaps his briefer avoided it. It's the US loan of B61 nukes to both the EU and Turkey - in 2017 I wrote 
As I've posted below, I think the timing is important. EU free-riders will not now increase their NATO spending by a cent. The EU is calculating what's needed to make a Common EU army and national expenditure will be so directed; the spending may be badged as 'NATO' in the short term, but this will be mendacious. They've almost certainly also got an outline idea of how to fudge the divorce.

Which brings me to an interesting footnote - shared Nukes. The US, to help little countries without the bomb to feel included, has distributed 180 B61 air-launched nukes to Turkey, Germany (?), Belgium, Italy and the Netherlands. These 'dial-a-yield' devices can be set on loading to yield from 0.3 to 170 kilotons (Hiroshima was 15) and they can be launched from a variety of national NATO aircraft - but need US consent to 'unlock' them. Will Mr Trump now ask for them back?
Well, I ask the question again - with vdL now in post with an almost fanatical commitment to German EU militarism, and Erdogan off the NATO chums list, will Trump now arrange to have the US's 180 B61s shipped back home? They are dangerous toys to leave in the hands of not-really-allies.

Wednesday 17 July 2019

Selmayr OUT - VdL squeaks in by 9 votes

Rejoice - Selmayr is OUT. The Telegraph, having the wool pulled over its eyes, reports 
Martin Selmayr, the German controversial secretary general of the commission, announced he would resign in accordance with Brussels tradition that dictates no two people of the same nationality can hold the EU’s executive’s most powerful posts.
It's rubbish of course. No such restriction applies to the head of the EU's 30,000 strong civil service - a permanent job normally awarded through competition - rather than the undemocratic political appointments of the five Presidents, fourteen Vice-Presidents and scores of Commissioners and their assistants.  The truth is that Selmayr's corrupt appointment by Juncker stuck in the craw of even the EU, so mired itself in corruption that such things normally go almost unnoticed. Politico EU has the true story
The procedure by which Selmayr and his boss, Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, engineered his transfer from chief of Juncker’s cabinet to head of the entire Commission secretariat was an act of such chicanery and skulduggery that it stains the record of the entire Commission.

That Selmayr is, like von der Leyen, a German Christian Democrat, made the prospect of his continuing in office a provocation to those of other parties whose support she sought. But it was the nature of his ascent and his argument that the post is a political one that made his departure inevitable.
VdL herself was humiliated by the European Parliament, barely scraping in with just a 9 vote majority. Her 383 fell far short of the minimum of 400 that demonstrates the EP's confidence in the senior unelected functionary. Since she scored only 51% of the vote, we should expect the Remain lobby to call for a second vote - but of course this hypocrisy applies only to the Referendum result.

So the EU have lost a ruthless Machiavelli and gained a semi-competent duffer stained with a record of failure and corruption. Can't be bad.

More Corruption

Zero Hedge reports, in relation to the circumstances that have led to the relentless climb of gold (my emphasis)
Ultimately you are witnessing a massive expropriation of wealth from the middle classes to the wealthiest - 40% of the bank of England's money printing programme benefited the top 5%. These flows obfuscate the real demand and supply dynamics of the market - central banks are the baddest of bad actors. Using printed money to bid up the assets of the rich in order to manage outcomes is an utter perversion of capitalism. It blinds us to the opportunity cost of economic participation - real cost of borrowing, real expected returns. Worse still is that the money they use is created by devaluing taxpayers after tax savings - is effectively like a second tax. What happens when the market starts to fall, will these feckless un-elected central bankers be buying falling stocks? How will taxpayers react to their money being printed to buy assets that are falling? How would taxpayers like if they received a statement indicating how much money has been printed and the amount they have personally provided. This is not a victim-less crime.
There you have it. Not only are most of us victims of Globalism that has left median incomes in the UK still worth less than in 2008, a Globalism that benefits only the 1%, but the whole of QE, carried out in our name and at our cost, has acted mainly to the benefit of that same 1% by inflating asset values. A reckoning will come - and they have been the authors of their own destruction.

Tuesday 16 July 2019

Will Labour ditch Magic Grandad before the General Election?

As far as Brexit goes, Labour's Magic Grandad is one of the party's few MPs actually standing for both working-class principles and the Party's 2017 manifesto. His commitment to leaving the EU echoes the real (though often misdirected) passion for democracy expressed by the late Tony Benn. As MEPs vote today on Von Der Layen's appointment some fools will call the process democratic. In the video below Benn makes the point that MEPs are not elected in the UK - parties are. Voters have no say on the members returned to Brussels by the parties, and can't vote to get rid of individual MEPs.

Benn's and Magic Grandad's views on the EU - that is it wholly detrimental to the interests of the working class in Britain - are not shared by the new breed of establishment 'progressives' who have adopted the Labour Party for convenience. For most of them it could have been the LibDems or parts of the Conservative Party - the present Parliamentary parties are currently largely homogeneous, Blairite and managerialist in character, opposed to Brexit and determined to frustrate the nation's democratic instruction.

However, these Blairite managerialists are determined to take over the Labour Party, defenestrate Magic Grandad and campaign wholeheartedly on a 'Remain' ticket in the forthcoming General Election. Lady Nugee, with all the bearing and presence of a large garden party marquee (200 seated or 400 standing) said so.

Short of Labour splitting into two parties - a northern, industrial Free Labour Party supporting Brexit and a southern metropolitan Labour House (members only) supporting remain - the managerialists will have to ditch Magic Grandad. And that may prove extraordinarily difficult in the time available. So I guess what we'll end up with is an official Labour front bench that is both on the record as Leave and Remain, depending who is being interviewed. Confused voters will simply desert Labour.

That of course is exacly in favour of the true heirs to Benn's Euroscepticism - The Brexit Party.

Monday 15 July 2019

Will Farage cook Von der Leyen's goose?

It will not be a good week for the German lady who wants a Euro army, and who has warned the UK that she is just as much of a bully as the rest of them. She's mired already in allegations of corruption and incompetence in Germany; so useless do some folk regard her that they are saying that her departing Merkel's government for the European Commission will mean a marginal improvement in the performance of both. However, her corrupt appointment, alien to all principles of democracy, in which the people of Europe had no say, is subject to the European Parliament.

As Politico EU reports, she needs 374 MEP's votes, a bare majority, to scrape through, but anything less than 400 will look like failure. Juncker the Druncker had 422 with 250 against. So far she has just 286 that she can count on.

And Nigel of course will vote against her. As the Express has it
Writing for on Sunday, Brexit Party MEP Matthew Patten warned of upset as the European Parliament approves or reject Jean-Claude Juncker’s chosen successor as European Commission President – German defence minister Ursula von der Leyen.

He wrote: "MEPs across Europe feel betrayed that the candidate was just dumped on them.

"Suddenly parliamentary bars are buzzing with talk about what can be done to get some democracy into the place. What would happen if parliament rejected the new president? Would its largest political party, the Brexit Party, help?"
Will the Brexit Party help? I expect so, Matthew, I expect so.
Von der Layen's Bundeswehr has many helicopters. None of them work.
Update - E-scooters
You may recall I wrote about this new phenomenon back in May. Now the MSM are catching up, after a high-profile fatality. And, as predicted, the reaction of Authority is to move police from murder, gang violence, serious crime and the knife plague to pester Hipsters on electric scooters instead. You couldn't make it up.