Saturday, 29 November 2014

DTel & C@W: Coincidence or What?

Now here's a coincidence.  Last weekend, spurred by a Reader's Request, I dashed off a really quick'n'dirty how-did-we-get-into-this-mess?  piece on the UK power market.  That was 23rd Nov.   

On 26th, the DTel publishes something, errr, similar, from Allister Heath.  Similar?  You be the judge, I couldn't possibly comment. 
The break-up of the CEGB / introduction of competition was a SUCCESS  (ND)
The privatisation of the electricity industry and the introduction of genuine competition was a triumph (AH)
The rot really set in when it was decided to impose a 'green' agenda … Miliband a big early culprit 
The rot really set in when Tony Blair decided to impose a target that a predetermined proportion of energy would be generated from renewable energy …. Ed Miliband’s influence on the UK’s energy policy during his time in government was also catastrophic 
During the post-CEGB 1990's and early '00s …materially reducing electricity prices 
In the 1990s prices fell significantly 
Remember, no country had ever introduced competition at the residential level before 
The pioneering energy market painstakingly introduced by its predecessor … the free market that had been introduced by the Tories and which had worked far better than many people realised at the time 
Blame the subsidy-culture resulting from non-stop governmental meddling that has set in since the green agenda really kicked off. Would-be developers of new PP's have been on investment strike since they noticed that only suckers put their money on the table without demanding a bung 
Almost all sorts of generation that currently take place in Britain – be it zero, low or high carbon – now benefits from handouts or various kinds of price supports … the Government [retook] control of all electricity generation.. started to subsidise heavily certain forms of electricity, it also had to create artificial incentives to make that enough investment remained in other sources

Any sign of the usual hat-tip courtesy ?  I'm not holding my breath.  Imitation, flattery.  Ho hum.

ND


Friday, 28 November 2014

The rise of the SNP - alternative history





Alex Salmond was on BBc's This Week.
He said that the incredible deal offered by the Smith Commission, something far in excess of what was on the table before the referendum began, is a sham document that robs Scotland of its right. The report is a betrayal of what the Scottish voters were 'promised' by Gordon Brown and the whole thing has been a massive betrayal by the ruling London parties.

He could provide no evidence of these additional promises. They aren't reported in any news paper. Or recorded in any speech. But apparently Brown promised them. Even though Brown hasn't been PM for quite a few years, he had the power and did promise Scotland full tax raising powers.

Salmond sounded ever more extreme and unpleasant. Promising the Scots things that the UK can never deliver, and then complaining that when they won't agree to his demands, they are reneging on their promises. 

It may all have sounded a little familiar to history students.

2014 - SNP surrenders to the British  government after failure to achieve a YES vote. 
After years of  political warfare and many, many millions of pounds wasted the result is a stalemate.
Disillusion with traditional political parties rampant. 
The defeated SNP Tartan army is allowed to march back to their homes in good order. The victorious allies decide against occupation of the homeland.
The myth of 'the Westminster stab in the back' is born.

2015 - Alex Salmond discharged from the Tartan Army . Formation of the Scottish FraeKorps from SNP & ex-Labour voters.

2015 - Treaty of AuldLangSyne. Harsh terms are imposed upon the Scots. They have to incorporate the 5 a day fruit regime and minimum pricing for alcohol into their culture. 

2016 -  Adolfine Sturgeon becomes leader of the fledgling new Socialist Nationalist party. She ceases bleaching her mustache. 

2017 - Tennent's Extra Hall Putsch, to forcibly occupy Scottish parliament and expel other parties,  led by Sturgeon and Salmond fails. Authorities fear making them martyrs and sentence them to one month community service. Salmond writes his autobiographical manifesto "Mein Kilt"

2018 - SNP take up seats in the parliament. English students forced to pay for education that is free for non-English.

2019 - 2nd global recession. The Prince's Street Crash. EU enters 10th year of recession and loans to fund Scottish benefits and education dry up. Scotland enters sharp downturn. The Socialist Nationalists blame 'foreigners' for the cut backs that follow. The persecution of the English intensifies.

2020 - Socialists Nationalists and the Green Party take seats from the Communist-Red-Eds. Salmond stirs up his supporters with fiery rhetoric and promises. He demands more powers of taxation and a Scots army and airforce that was [always} forbidden under the treaty of AuldLangSyne.  Running street battles, fires, looting and extreme violence break out in Glasgow and Dundee..Which is quite normal behaviour.

2021 - Adolfine Sturgeon becomes Chancellor of Scotland.

2021 - Holyrood Parliament burns down under mysterious circumstances. Civil unrest in the major cities. And  Aberdeen. Sturgeon demands emergency powers. "English foreign saboteurs' blamed for fire. Oppression of the English, something that has been on the rise since 1968, increased.
New laws banning 'Australian people' from owning newspapers or having involvement in the media passed. Murdoch press forced to sell to SNP supporting moguls.

2022- Night of the deep fries - Green party leaders eliminated under Sturgeon's orders. The Greenshirts are incorporated into the SNP.

2024 - English banned from all public sector jobs in Scotland. Which is basically all jobs in Scotland.
English forbidden to marry Celtic citizens or date people with ginger hair. Sturgeon demands Anchluss with Isle of Man.

2025 - Pact of Steel mills announced with Wales. England calls up all 200 of its reservists. Scotland demands control of Northern Ireland and claims Celtic citizens are being mistreated in that country. Sturgeon says war will follow if demands not met.

David Cameron flies to Melrose for talks with Sturgeon. He agrees to allow occupation of the Irish border region and Scottish control of the Northern Ireland subsidy in return for a time extension on the naval base at Faslane .
He returns to Croydon claiming "Lease in our time." 
Adolfine Sturgeon posts Cameron back his umbrella that he had left behind "I thought you might want this. It folds up very quickly."


2026 - Scotland occupies Northern Ireland. England arranges to lease St Nazaire so as to have somewhere to base its aircraft-less carriers.
Cameron says, no ifs no buts,Sturgeon will not demand anything more if we just accept this final humiliation.


2027 - Sturgeon demands the port of Hollyhead from Wales. 
Miliband-Cameron coalition formed.

2027 - Kristal-Meth Night . Thousands of shop windows smashed, heavy street fighting and attacks on English owned shops and businesses. The violence erupted after a controversial penalty decision at Wembley in the England-Scotland Euro Qualifier game saw England win 3-2. English taxpayers made to pay for all the damage - so no real change.
SNP passes the Helensburgh laws. All English people must wear a yellow flag of St George and drive a white van. English places of worship, Marks & Spencers and John Lewis are forced to close.

2028 - to the astonishment of the world an SNP-UKIP pact is announced. These two ideologically opposite parties form an alliance.

2028 - Scotland invades Wales. England declares war on Scotland.

Outbreak of hostilities.

Thursday, 27 November 2014

BBC Question Time competition: Straight to A&E edition.



David Dimbleby presents topical debate from Romford in London.
The panel includes chief whip Michael Gove MP, Labour's shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna MP, Liberal Democrat MP Norman Baker, comedian and television presenter Jo Brand, and Daily Mail columnist Amanda Platell.

Usual rules. Usual fools. Not a big fan of Jo Brand. She has been doing those cake jokes since the 80's. Not very funny even then. Gove is more entertaining...Annnnnnyyyyyywaaaayyyy....

BQ thinks:
1. Is the coalition's failure to provide for weekend GP services a result of savage Tory-led cuts to services or Labour's unbelievable decision to allow the Docs to opt-out of weekend provision?
or both?

2. Terrorism: Facebook is to blame for global terrorism. Before the internet there was no terrorism. So its now up to government to read all our emails and service providers to send the spooks all our likes and dislikes and pokes to end world terror. I can feel a parody post coming on. The Gunpowder plot online ? {although that plot was discovered by the social media of the day - a letter.}

3. Thornberry revisited. Did Emily Thorntons tweet reveal the remoteness of the political classes from the electorate. 

4. Jack Monroe ? I don't fancy it as a story but it ticks some boxes. Was she right to be as shrill and abusive as an enraged dementia sufferer? Should people not tweet what they would not say face to face.. some garbage like that..

5. Net immigration. The made up targets are going to be missed. Which says something about the scale of the problem if its not even possible to achieve the easy-peasey-set-the-bar-low targets that the government set itself.


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Wednesday, 26 November 2014

EU to investment taxpayers money in Pyramid schemes

A new one of these would be a good tourist attraction in St Ives
This is great news for infrastructure fraudsters in the EU - masses of new money for them to take from European taxpayers.

A jubilant Jean-Claude Junker has today announced a huge lump of money, 15x smaller than the announced €315 bn (that number is plucked out of thin air using something call a 15x multiplier) to fund fraudsters everywhere.

This is how it will work. A company, let's call it Happio, will say they are going to build a nice windfarm in Southern Spain. They will get an Euro guarantee which they can take to the bank to fund the windfarm. The bank will lend them €100m. Against this, if there is any loss, the EU will take the first €20 million odd.

The project begins, but there are delays and cost overruns because the contractors who won the tender are raping all the money they can and are giving massive backhanders to Happio for winning the contract. Also, planning was only secured after a hefty bribe to the Planning dept so the who project finance was never going to work anyway.

So, after a few years, it is wound up. Losses, €20 million. Oh well, the private banks have not really lost and its only the EU. There are now plenty of wealthy Spaniards but no windfarm.

This will happen in every EU country, including the UK.

So, dear readers, anyone with any wildly ambitious infrastructure investment plans that we can get working on.....

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Thornberry: Polly Toynbee Pronounces Fearlessly

The Emily Thornberry affair is right up Polly Toynbee's street, and she thunders into action in the Grauniad's Comment is Free.
Labour must fight off these bogus Tory attacks on class. It is a glorious tradition on the left that people with money join the fight against inequality.
Whoever could she mean ?

Anyhow, the Grauniad is obviously fearful that she'll be covered, not with glory, but with something altogether less fragrant - because they've not allowed any comments.

What a brave class-warrior, eh ?

ND

UPDATE: After some delay, CiF has now facilitated comments.  As SW says in the thread below, they are not entirely sympathetic.  We may guess the moderator has been busy.

Monday, 24 November 2014

Oil price to continue falling this week; outlook weak



A long time since I put any kind of trading thoughts in a post (given how bad my position were/are, I have no right to comment!).

However, this week there is a nice gimme. Firstly, in an effort to try and keep Iran on side against ISIS the major nations have today extended their talks with them for another 6 months. No agreement could be reached on the nuclear aspirations of Iran, so instead of a reversion to previous stance, another roll of the dice has been agreed.

Next up later this week is an OPEC meeting where Iran and others are keep to try and agree a cut in supplies. Sadly for the cartelistas, but happily for everyone else except rabid Environmentalists, it seems unlikely that much will be achieved.

Firstly, desperate countries like Nigeria and Venezuela have no real room to cut exports as they need the money. Secondly, Saudi Arabia seems quite happy to be able to defeat its enemies by creating excess supply. Russia is selling what it can too and is not even in OPEC.

Rather weirdly for Saudi, but also very handily,  low prices cause:

- Problems for US Shale producers
- Problems for Russia and Iran in terms of low prices
- Problems for ISIS in terms of low prices
- Benefits for Europe, China and Japan in terms of helping low prices.

So, why on earth is Saudi going to agree to any major cut? It isn't.

Instead the fall out from today's standstill agreement with Iran and also Thursday non-agreement with OPEC is going to see the Brent and WTI lose another 10% this week in pricing as they head down to the low $60's per barrel.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

UK Power: How Did We Get here?

One of our esteemed Anons asked the following a day or so back:
I'm doing a college essay on "are we in danger of the lights going out and if so, how did we get here?". Anyone know a non-Wiki source of info on annual change in UK generation capacity, ideally showing what's come on stream and what's gone off, for each year since, say, 1997? (My theory is that Blair's dash to close coal and nuclear, replacing with wind chimes and pixie dust, is the culprit, but the facts may not support what seems a likely thesis)
First of all, I don't do the leg-work for college essays.  If you don't like the Wiki page (which admittedly is only a starting-point, and not 100% accurate) you'll see a link to DECC there; and I suggest that Ofgem's security of supply reports, and also the Grid, will be useful sources.

But Old Drew's History Corner can give you a quick top-of-the-head tour of your theory. 
  • yes, we are in danger (well, mild peril) of the lights going out - but more likely they will flicker a bit, then some dirty diesels will swing into action at great cost in £££ and CO2, to save the day
  • how indeed did we get here ?  A question worth posing because it is an absolute bloody disgrace
  • some hark back to the dirigiste days of the CEGB, claiming all would be well if they were still in charge.  This is bollocks: the CEGB gold-plated everything and were inefficient at our expense (no different to British Gas or any other bloated monopoly - but wastrels nonetheless.)
  • the break-up of the CEGB / introduction of competition was a SUCCESS.  A qualified success, which needed much more adroit subsequent regulation in some aspects than it got, see below, but still a success.  Remember: no country had ever introduced competition at the residential level before, and many claimed it was outright impossible
  • it has to be recognised that for approx 15 years during the post-CEGB 1990's and early '00s, firstly under the 'Pool' regime and then 'NETA' (mandatory bilateral trade, much superior to Pool) from 2001, there was no shortage of private £££ pouring into the UK, building a large fleet of big new gas-fired power plants where none (0) (nil) existed before 1991, which effortlessly displaced coal from the #1 slot, materially reducing both electricity prices AND CO2 emissions.  Oh, and the lights stayed on.  Mark well.  (The precise way in which this happened is subtle - but it did not involve government diktat, 'picking winners', or dirigiste subsidies.)
  • unfortunately, in the second half of this period a creeping reintroduction of vertical integration took hold: could have been stopped by regulatory authorities here and in Brussels - but it wasn't, and now it's pretty bad
  • the rot really set in when it was decided (a) to impose a 'green' agenda atop the newly competitive market; and (b) not to rely on the Emissions Trading approach to achieve this (the ETS has its flaws but they could have been corrected, instead of the scheme simply being sidelined.  (To be fair, some say you'd need a carbon import levy as well, which is certainly an arguable point.)
  • don't blame Blair for closing coal.  The EU directive (LCPD) is generally fingered as the proximate cause - but even that's over-simplifying matters.  Only crap old coal plant couldn't make the grade under this directive and the rest will (or could) soldier on for ages (Germany would be dead in the water otherwise). 
  • Blair is a big fan of uranium (as are Brown and Camerosborne). He kept schtumm about this until after the 2005 election - he thought nukes were electoral suicide - after which he hurled us into EDF's arms for a promised "fleet of new nukes".  That was 2008.  Needless to say, EDF has committed to none (0) (nil) at the time of writing, despite bizarre sums of money being offerred to them
  • simplistically, I suggest you blame the subsidy-culture resulting from non-stop governmental meddling (Miliband a big early culprit) that has set in since the green agenda really kicked off.  Would-be developers of new PP's have been on investment strike since they noticed that only suckers (and the Irish, curiously) put their money on the table without demanding a bung
  • finally: why haven't politcians been told the truth about how infeasible the situation is (i.e. that you can't do modern society based on windfarms, or catch up on a decade of non-investment in proper power plants)?  One important answer is that the National Grid gets a guaranteed return on any investment it makes that is mandated by government / regulators.  Their engineers are clever fellows and can 'solve' most problems by, errr, throwing money at them.  So when ministers & civil servants ask: can this be done? the Grid has every incentive to say - yes.  
There are of course other ways of framing this state of affairs but that's my two-minute explanation ...
ND

PS as I have often remarked hereabouts, for a fully-functioning example of a big and equally vital industry that has worked just fine after the introduction of competition & dismantling of monopoly - take natural gas (in the UK as elsewhere).  Excellent levels of competition; massive amounts of new investment without subsidy - in the UK, completely replacing the steeply-declining indigenous North Sea gas production with new import facilities, both pipeline and LNG. etc etc.    

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Guardian Nicely In Touch With Reality

Well this is nice to see: a Grauniad article - in the Money section - on how to save your hard-earned when buying an engagement ring.

The cheapest they mention in the article is £3,000; and one of the rings pictured weighs in at paltry £1,110.  Importantly, their expert advises: "Go for the very best you can afford ".

But they are not really trying, are they ? - because the most expensive mentioned is £11k.

We can imagine the editorial session when the journo was given the brief for this piece.  Now then, the diamond puff-piece: Emma, keep Ratners out of this, none of our people would dream of that would they darling.  Price range? yeah, tricky.  I'm thinking 4 figures min.  But we'll get letters if we go Liz Taylor on them. OK, you can mention Argos - but just a quick mench, yah, coz our readers don't want any of that cubic zirconia crap.  Aspreys?  No way!  Jeff says they wouldn't take an ad.  But there are a couple of online links you've got to work in.  And hey, you can give that Rupert of yours some ideas ...

ND

Friday, 21 November 2014

Social media - pitchforks and torches.

Emily Thornberry parks outside her Islington home
Labour's Emily Thornberry has resigned from the Labour front bench over a tweet she sent during the Rochester and Strood by-election campaign. She tweeted a picture of a white van parked outside a terrace house that was flying England flags.

And that was it. No terrible comments. No questionable views. Just the subtext. Which was

'Look at this UKIP paradise of a place -White vans,the Sun newspaper and Footie flags.How ghastly."

But she never said that. She just tweeted the picture.

Twitter
 

On the previous post I mentioned 'lucky Ed' being the first labour leader who would not have the Murdoch press as a serious problem to either hug, as Blair did, or suffer with, as Kinnock.
Ed has social media which is now taking on even TV as the accepted method of receiving news.

But the problem with it, is the positive direct access it gives for engagement is often offset by its angry, raging, mob mentality. Giving people a voice means they want to be heard.

Politicians find themselves in the ancient Forum world. Roman emperors had to constantly offer lavish spectacles and circuses. And show trials with executions.  Heroic Triumphs with chests filled with gold coins being tossed into the crowds. And the grain dole. And the odd senator who had upset the population too much losing his head.

So it is with social media. 8 hours after Thornberry tweets a picture, she has to resign from the shadcab. The now 'Unlucky' Ed Miliband was reported to never have been so furious. He knows this tweet will overshadow the Tory loss and UKIP gain. He knows that he needs to retain all his remaining Labour, working class voters, to win the election. So he quickly had Emily sewn into a sack with a jackal and thrown into the Tiber to appease the plebs.
Apparently she had a council house upbringing herself. So could probably have brazened this out. It would be forgotten by Saturday. But Ed didn't fancy the risk. So .. a thumbs down from him.

And


Britain's Home Secretary Theresa May banned entry for Julien Blanc after the techniques used by controversial 'pick up artist' were deemed "racist and sexist".
He had committed no crime.  Was not coming to the UK to commit any crime. He is just a controversial man who says he can teach other men how to bed women.
This is not acceptable to the Twitter. This is an outrage. The mob could have turned up to his show and made their displeasure known. But its a lot easier to send 140 characters on a tweet hashtag #ANGRYMOB.
Or to tweet a scientist to tears for wearing a shirt that is on general sale in shops without requiring some special permit. Not a banned shirt. Just a sexist shirt. Which is only sexist if you think it is. I don't.
APphoto_Germany Comet Landing Shirt 
I wouldn't wear it myself. But I've seen, and sold, far, far worse.
The old PORNSTAR label springs to mind. 

An attempt to hold a reasonable debate about abortion in Oxford was called off after students threatened to disrupt it. Tim Stanley tried to have a discussion, at a college in Oxford, but the guardians of free speech decided instead to call the whole thing off. The Facebookers were not tolerating 'men' discussing an issue they cannot understand! That's Oxford university giving way to the power of the mob.

So maybe this social media isn't such a good thing for Ed. Maybe having the Murdoch back would be better. At least Ed knows what Murdoch wants.

This FacetweetInstagram  - Its irrational. Its uncontrollable. Its very angry. And it demands sacrifice.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

BBC Question Time - Are the voters being Reckless ? edition


David Dimbleby presents Question Time from Birmingham.
On the panel are Conservative former chancellor Ken Clarke MP, Labour's shadow health secretary Andy Burnham MP, UKIP's Douglas Carswell MP, columnist on The Independent Yasmin Alibhai-Brown and the political director of the Taxpayers' Alliance Dia Chakravarty.

I make that 2 liberals - 1 labour - 2 ukip.  No Tory.
{even I have given up on Ken. He used to be so good too...sigh!}

BQ predicts - 
Dimbleby tie - White with just a hint of purple

1. is UKIP now the established 3rd party of UK politics? 
2. EU arrest warrant - left over from last week
3. Myleene Klass and the mansion tax
4. That bloke being banned for 'possibly' inciting some ill-defined crime. {Ken is going to give some home truths about free speech and no right to not be offended.. and the twitter mob are going to burn him alive}
5. Hmm... Band aid or student march? .. But probably some boring NHS is being privatised/not being privatised flam for Burnham-Carswell to point score over.



Your predictions in the comments please. ....



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Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Ed Miliband - don't feel too sorry him.



  1. Of course Ukip won't condemn its racist new partners ...www.telegraph.co.uk › NewsPoliticsNigel Farage22 Oct 2014 - Ukip has allied itself with racists and Holocaust deniers - but as long as that's OK with Nigel Farage, the cult leader, don't expect a peep of ...

  2. Chuka Umunna: We must stand up to Ukip and confront ...www.telegraph.co.uk › NewsPoliticsLabour1 Nov 2014 - One of Ed Miliband's most senior allies has called on Labour to do more to “stand up to racism” and confront Ukip head-on for spreading “the ...

  3. Ukip is now a racist party – Telegraph Blogsblogs.telegraph.co.uk › NewsPoliticsDan Hodges3 Mar 2014 - Nigel Farage at the Ukip spring conference. (Photo: Getty) About a year ago I was having a chat with a friend of mine called Nick Lowles. Nick is ...

  4. What Does Ukip Actually Have To Do To Be Called Racist?www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/.../what-does-ukip-have-to-do_n_5350757.ht...19 May 2014 - Ukip defines itself as "non-racist" in its official description on its website. For all Ukip's protestations that all the other major parties suffer from ...

  5. UKIP policies: dangerous, costly, and yes, racist | Left Foot ...leftfootforward.org/2014/.../ukip-policies-dangerous-costly-and-yes-raci...21 Oct 2014 - UKIP rosette The establishment's UKIP strategy is failing, and failing badly. ... I don't think the vast majority of UKIP supporters are racist. I don't ...

  6. UK Independence Party - Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaen.wikipedia.org/wiki/UK_Independence_PartyThe UK Independence Party (UKIP, sometimes styled and colloquially .... it contained members who "are racist and have been infected by the far-right" and was ...

  7. Ukip does deal with far-right, racist Holocaust-denier to save ...www.theguardian.com › WorldNigel Farage20 Oct 2014 - Nigel Farage, pictured here in Rochester, may have saved his Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy group, but will have questions to ...

  8. Ukip supporters I met weren't racist – they felt disenfranchisedwww.theguardian.com › OpinionUK Independence party (Ukip)26 May 2014 - I made the mistake of calling Ukip racist on the basis of the party's incompetence at selecting good candidates, but demonising its supporters ...

  9. 'Of course there are racists in UKIP', says Labour's Chuka ...www.dailymail.co.uk/.../of-course-racists-ukip-says-labour-s-chuka-umunn..12 Oct 2014 - The shadow business secretary claimed elements in UKIP were racist and said 'terrible things' about women and some sections of society, ...

  10. 'Ukip Calypso': Red Cross reject Ukip donation from 'racist ...www.independent.co.uk › Arts + EntsMusicNews23 Oct 2014 - Ukip have criticised the Red Cross after the charity turned down a donation of funds raised by the political party's ill-fated "Calypso" song.

     

    Mr Drew's wonderful piece on the robot probe had some support for the beleaguered Wallace understudy that is poor Ed Miliband. Nobody loves him. And people are being horrible about him. And he's no worse than the other guys, so why are they picking on him?

     

     Poor Ed Miliband indeed. Having to endure some press criticism. from his own side, no less. Though he somehow managed to convince his youthful activists that the socialist newspaper,  The New Statesman, was somehow is in the pay of Rupert Murdoch. As was the equal right wing The Observer, that also ran a story about useless Ed. That's the Observer, owned by the Guardian media Group. As left of centre as you can be before you move into socialist worker Pravda territory. 

     

     Ed made a speech blaming Dark Forces for his troubles. And several commentators here agreed. Which is a surprise. 

     

    Because you don't hear Nick Clegg, someone who has taken his party from 15% in the polls to around 7%, and possibly the second most despised politician in Britain, complaining about the right wing media, then why should Ned? 

     

    David Cameron has never enjoyed the support of the right-wing media. The Sun and the Mail are both skeptical of his apparent wooly wet Conservatism. The Mirror and the Gruniad run nothing but Toff  Dave laughs at bedroom tax food banksters stories.

     

    his soft Toryism has won him not a line of praise from the left wing media. And none from the right either. It was the ex-Tory press that really put the boot into him over the Osborne pasty budget and the gay marriage laws. an attack so damaging that the party has only just recovered, two years later, to its low levels of polling support.

     

    So for Miliband to blame to blame 'Dark Forces' on his woes, like he is a former royal butler trying to unconvincingly sell a book, is laughable.

     

    Yes, he has had a tough time lately. But who hasn't? Does he think Nigel Farage is basking in the glow of a favourable media sunshine? There are no good UKIP stories. The Daily Mail might be the most anti-immigrant paper, but it is not {yet} pro-UKIP. And if there can be a fruitcake-loonies and closet racists story to be found, then all the papers will print it.  The top of this page is just 1 page of 511,000 results (for ukip is racist).

     

    UKIP have to take the mud every day. And they have a lousy organisation, 2nd rate PR personnel,  and a fledgling history to defend them. Farage can't go to one of his millions of Union people and ask for some PR assistance. he can't pop a shadow minister for nothing very much onto the Today program to say the government's latest policy idea on nothing very much is wasteful/wrong/incoherent/we thought of it of first; like Miliband can, and does.

     

    The Green party can't even get on the TV debates, despite having an equal number of MPs to UKIP and about two thirds as much support as the Liberal Democrats. Even those hippies, prone to conspiracy theories and Dark Forces statements, aren't suggesting its ALL just a right wing media plot to keep them from their mission to greenify the world.

     

    And here's the thing. Even if it was a right-wing/left-wing media plot, they only print the polls that have been undertaken. They don't select the people to be sampled. They don't answer the pollsters questions. It was the electorate who said they rated Miliband a big zero. Who thought he would make a poor prime minister. 

     

    It was labour MPs saying, on record, that they thought they had elected the wrong leader.

    It wasn't Dark Forces, appearing like Darth Maul to prevent the 'good' Ed from his mission. It was ordinary, sampled,  people. 

     

    The reason Ed Miliband is unpopular in the polls, and has been almost since elected leader, is because he is Ed Miliband. He has convinced hardly anyone who wasn't already convinced that he is the next big thing. That's why his polling for his party has gone from 30% when elected to only 33% now. Pathetic for an opposition party seeking office in 6 months time. He should be on 40% without even trying. More like 47% if he was going for it..

     

    Ed Miliband has every possible advantage an opposition labour leader could ever hope for. 

     

    • A seven year continuing recession.

    •  Full Union backing for labour's leader. 

    • Tory errors pushing public sector workers ever leftwards. 

    • Scotland and all the red mps remaining in the UK. 

    • Continuing economic malaise. 

    • Still unresolved and public unsatisfied banking crisis. 

    • Low wages. 

    • High taxes. 

    • Out of touch ruling government.

    •  Cuts to services. 

    • A hostile to Cameron media. 

    • Defecting Tory MPs taking seats and overturning 10,000 majorities to do it! 

    •  Hostile liberal media. 

    • Students fanatically against the government.

    •  The collapse of the two-left parties overturning the 30 year split of the left vote.

    • The long predicted but only just arrived rise of social media to bypass the traditional right wing media's hold on the public's news access. 

    • Murdoch's once feared media empire now neutered by phone hacking and Leveson. 

    • The Liberals reneging on the boundary reforms that give Labour a 5% head start in the election race. 

    • Stupid government policies designed to inflame voters against them such as homosexual marriage and ring-fenced foreign aid.

    •  Previous unkept promises on a European referendum severely undermining the governments ability to get voters to believe it is serious this time.

    • The old euro-tory splits coming back to divide the party.

    •  Rising immigration untackled. 

    • Rising borrowing unchecked. 

      Thousands and thousands of former Liberal Democrat voters and activists returning to Labour

    • Crowded schools. 

    • Crowded, expensive public transport

    • Crowded hospitals and surgeries.

    •  Cuts to defence at a time of likely conflict.

    •  Government isolated amogst its European partners. 

    • Weak coalition allies. 

    • Left wing, charismatic, democrat president in the Whitehouse. 

    • No money for the usual election bribes for the government. 

    • Lack of faith in the government from both its supporters and detractors.

    •  Full coffers for campaign spending from union donations. 

    • Fired up activists ready to do battle with their class enemies.

    • Fixed term parliaments guaranteeing Miliband knows when the day of action will be so he can save all his goodies for that date and cannot be caught out by a snap election on the good news of a royal baby or something similar. 

       

    Even Brown could win this coming election.

     

    What more could the 'Dark Forces' crybaby want? 

     


Tuesday, 18 November 2014

The Squeaking of the Pips



Rather worrying for many people is this latest report into the ongoing heavy handedness of HMRC. They are increasingly picking on professionals, people living in the South East and the self-employed to investigate. It seems from the Telegraph's FOI request that they are looking at over 100,000 people extra per annum.

Mainly thanks to their fancy new computer system, Connect. My worry is that Connect actually allows the fishing expeditions that the Government and Revenue say are illegal. After all they get bank statements and Land Registry information, decide that a person cannot afford their house purchase and then begin an investigation.

How is that not a fishing expedition?

I am not sat here saying people should not pay tax; after all I personally handover eye-watering sums PAYE every month. Still once a year I get asked for more for some spurious reason post handing in a self-assessment form; it always feels like a stick-up as the process and reasoning are Byzantine but failure to comply ends in a court summons and CCJ in short order.

What to make of this in the medium term though, HMRC is desperate for revenues now, what is it going to be like in the UK after the next election? The Government will be very short of money and stuck with a massive structural deficit that will require big tax rises and a larger tax take from the taxpayers.

But I fear that as you try to make the pips squeak as Labour and Conservatives are want to do, you drive away the desire for wealth creation. After all, if you can't hold on to it what was the point? The situation, for doubters, is similar to pensions today - with the State pension much safer, albeit a lower level, than the Private sector pensions which have been taxed to death, people are saving LESS for their retirement and pushing the burden more onto the state - which can be seen in our deteriorating public finance and vast increases in pensions payments over the past 4 years.

I don't know where this ends, but the future is not rosy for taxpayers or the Government.

Monday, 17 November 2014

G20 - so they do these things because?

#WorldLeaderSelfie: German Chancellor Angela Merkel and friends.
As readers can imagine, the Capitalists are not really big fans of One World Government as our distant relations on the left seek. Indeed, I was rather keen on the Scots going independent, let alone the whole world uniting. This is before we get to the EU.

But over the weekend something magical did not happen. The leaders of the G20 met in Australia. A cause for joy in the press as it generated a lot of pointless headlines around the world. Powerful men and women of these Government spent a long time taking selfies with one another.

The world look sternly at Putin and told him he was naughty. He left. After having a long chat to the Saudi's - no doubt trying to re-kindle the deal he so unwisely rejected earlier in the year.

Cameron and the other leaders declared they had reached a deal to boost Global growth. Sadly, despite a bit of searching, it is pretty hard to find any real evidence of this beyond a headline. No doubt they hope no one will ask to many questions when they all get home.

These G20 meetings are the ultimate junkets - worse than abominations like the Copenhagen summit on Climate Change. At least that had a purpose. I note the key announcement on cutting Carbon emissions by both China and the US were made in the days before the G20 summit - not wasted for the time they were there.

G20 summits are just an excuse to go to Bondai beach, socialise with other world leaders and discuss what jobs you can get next when the electorate or jihadi's have had enough of you. China has signed a small trade deal with Australia that would have happened anyway.

What a waste of time and resources these things are. Is this not what the UN was supposed to be, so everyone could go and show off in New York every now and again?

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Milae Robot Update

The RedRosetta project has issued photos of the Milae robot "in action" before transmissions ceased earlier today.  It is hoped these will convince a skeptical public that the project has been worthwhile.

Milae confidently exploring unfamiliar territory
Milae triangulating
Robot arm extending
Robot arm probing possible life-form on the surface
Batteries almost exhausted


Friday, 14 November 2014

Feeble Signals Heard from the Milae Robot

Milae, the robot launched several years ago on a five-year mission through hostile media to land at 10/DowningStreet, is stuck in an unexpectedly low position and desperately trying to send signals to reassure its project team.  But only a garbled message has been received, with a meaningless phrase "zero - zero" being repeated continually.   Although early reports said Milae had its feet squarely on the ground, this is now severely in doubt.

Conditions seemed perfect for a successful result, but after an apparently satisfactory launch in 2010 and climbing to a high altitude, it set off on a course into the void and then crashed heavily.  Although it may have bounced a couple of times, photos from several angles indicate it is positioned very awkwardly.  There are concerns it is fast running out of time to communicate its message to the outside world and complete its historic mission. 

Awkwardly positioned
The RedRosetta project is trying to devise a strategy for relaunching the robot, but speaking on conditions of anonymity one of the team said: "Milae is in a bad place and not performing as we hoped.  It seems to be stuck, unable to make contact or communicate properly.  Everything we have tried has gone wrong.  The public is quickly losing interest.  We are going to give it one more go in the next few days but several of us are starting to think we should abandon it."

Milae is part of a European project to control as much territory as possible with robots operated remotely from a centre in Brussels.  

13:00 UPDATE:  the BBC reports that the project is "trying to move Milae forward using its own little legs.  But its policies are fast running out." 

Dark Side of the Moon

Watching the news with Quango Jnr, who is almost six years old, we saw the craft land on the comet. 
This prompted him to seek out his Transformers 3:Dark Side of the Moon, DVD.


The premise of the film is that the space race of the 1960s was even more dramatic as the early Soviet and American lunar probes and unmanned landers had discovered a crashed, wrecked space craft on the far side of the moon and wanted that alien technology.

The film has the astronauts using the brief time window when earth cannot receive transmissions to go and investigate the alien crash site..where they discover the Transformers.




There is a mix of real footage and recreation and CGI that give an authentic look to  these scenes.

I explained a bit to junior Quango, in that knowledgeable dad fashion, about the 'low gravity' bouncy movement.The gold visor covers and the dark and light sides of the moon. And I told him that when I was about his age I had watched, on TV,  those actual astronauts land on the moon. And how this was a really big deal as no-one had ever gone and had a look to see what was on the moon before.




"So..you saw the real spacemen?"

"Yep!"

"You saw the spacemen jump onto the moon?"

"Yes, I did."

"Wow! And did they have the American flag?"

"They did..I saw the flag"

"And you saw the Transformers?"

"..erm...well...erm...no..But I did see the spacemen take some photographs with special..er.. space cameras.."

"Photos of the Transformers?"

"..er..well...no...they..ermm.,.they didn't really show you the Transformers."

There was a six year old's thoughtful silence..
Then he looked at me,  patted my arm and said ..

"Try not to be too disappointed, dad."








Thursday, 13 November 2014

BBC Question time game Nov 13, 2014



This week, Cardiff - ground zero for the next non-revolution in British politics.

The panel includes Conservative secretary of state for Wales Stephen  'Crabby' Crabb MP, Labour's first minister of Wales Carwyn 'Carping' Jones AM, the leader of Plaid Cymru Leanne 'Dense' Wood AM, the leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats Kirsty 'not for long' Williams AM and the Spectator and Sun columnist Rod ' The mouth' Liddle.

BQ is with IPSA all this week, oops, probably was not supposed to say that, oh well, so traditional guesses from CU. Not that they have worked much, perhaps after 8 years of this I should change my strategy...

Dimbletie - Green Hillocks.
1. TORIES DESTROY THE NHS - Evil Tories, who do no even run the Welsh NHS, have wrecked the institution from the evil fortress Westminster in the far off land of dragons and magic, Engerulund.
2. DEBT - Those evil Tories again, not even capable of making the poor suffer sufficiently to get the debt down. Milliband is making a speech today so this will feature heavily with a slant on rich people not paying tax. I can personally submit my tax returns which are tear stained that shows the opposite...
3. INDEPENDENCE - Hahahaha, the Welsh are poor, but not stupid. The teet from evil Engerlund flows with sweet Sterling manna and will not really be rejected. Lots of Wind to pretend otherwise.

4. SPACE PROBE ON COMET - Bad news for UKIP. EU achieve something. Only cost a billion quid, cheap at twice the price. Appears to be made of household dust. Nobel prizes all round.
5. IRANIAN GIRL - Nasty foreign types lock up poor girl for protesting about watching volleyabll. Everyone predictably horrified all round. Very sad story really. Individuals standing up to theocratic dictatorships never seems to work out that well.


Your predictions in the comments please. Winner gets a chance to bid on EBAY for some of these LCD telly's BQ seems to be selling in a hurry....


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Wednesday, 12 November 2014

A feel good factor for the UK but not the Government

Good news on both unemployment today for the UK and also for wages.

For the first time in 5 years, wages have grown above inflation - albeit almost imperceptibly.

Another 155,000 jobs have been created too and the stark reality is that most jobs created in the past year are in the professional services and business services sector, with science and engineering close behind. These are no Mcjobs, much to the dismay of the Labour party peddling the self-employed and part-time worker mantra.

SO, when will this good news feed through to the benefit of the Government? It won't do necessarily of course, we saw in 1997 that a strong Tory growth economy did not matter - 18 years of the same Government were enough along with Tony Blair's schtick.

But really, in 2014, it is quite surprising that the Government is not ahead in the polls against such weak opposition. For the many faults, if this was an appraisal you'd be quite encouraged at the progress made, even if you thought things could be better.

So what will it take? It is hard to know, after all the macro picture is deteriorating for next year so things are unlikely to get better and those promised tax cuts are out of the question really...we will find out in the Half year budget statement shortly.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Thatcher, Reagan, Grenada: We Know What Happened

They're dusting off the Grenada story again, this time with endearing taped telecons between Thatcher and Reagan - what a pro old Ronnie was, eh ?  Could front up for anything, that man.

But we know what really happened, don't we ?

ND

Monday, 10 November 2014

CBI demand ever more subsidy for Business

Now as a Capitalist site, you may be surprised about what you read below, thinking we would always back the CBI.

But you would be wrong. The CBI is a useless institution - cheerleaders for corrupt corporatism rather than capitalism. Ably demonstrated by their insane demand that we sign up to more Europe rather than have a referendum or leave the broken project.

Today, in this traditional manner, they are demanding that the Government offer free childcare to working mothers and take more people out of tax, whilst raising the threshold of National Insurance tax so as to remove more people from tax.

All the while of course, the Government deficit of £100 billion a year needs to be tackled

All this because average families are struggling as businesses hold down wages. But surely with inflation at only 1%, wages cannot have fallen too much.

Sadly, as we know, inflation is not 1%. House price inflation, which drives rents, has been over 5% a year. Energy price inflation, once you include Green Taxes to pay for our wayward energy policy, is also around 5% a year.

So no wonder people are struggling. However, for companies to demand more Government assistance to help with low pay is to completely miss the point. The economy is not struggling because mums are not going back to work quick enough - a Dickensian approach to the world anyway, to be expected of the Bosses Lobbyist perhaps.

The economy is struggling as a low inflation wage environment is matched to a mis-matched supply of key resources such as property and energy. If these costs could be lowered, people would have better standards of living and they would also have more disposable income.

To suggest more subsidy for jobs when one of the main drivers of the deficit is exactly the tax credits issue which is already a huge subsidy for jobs is to pile insanity onto recklessness.

Still, a good rule of thumb, if the CBI are saying something needs to be done and this is a good idea, then you know they have it all wrong.

Friday, 7 November 2014

Ed, please stay with us and not HH



As much fund as it is watching Ed Miliband twist in the wind with his abject career already on the line, the sad truth is if Labour got rid of Ed the deputy leader is Harriet Harman.

Harriet Harman.

Once she is in charge and realises there is no real mechanism to get rid of her I can quite see Harriet having a go at a General Election and relishing taking on the Bullingdon and Public School set (her own identical upbringing being of no relevance as she is a woman, natch).

Can we imagine the horrors of a Harriet Harman led majority or minority Government. Even on a Friday this is too much to contemplate.

Clearly, there would be some properly lunatic anti-men policies and positions. So for the comments, what could they be.....

Thursday, 6 November 2014

BBC Question Time: Right to choose more wine edition



David Dimbleby presents the topical debate from Middlesbrough.
On the panel are former leader of the Liberal Democrats Charles Kennedy MP; Labour's shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander MP; Conservative housing and planning minister Brandon Lewis MP; Times columnist Melanie Phillips; and comedian Matt Forde, {nah...me neither..}who describes himself as one of the last defenders of Tony Blair.



Going extra early so as not to miss out another week. Risky strategy...
Dimbletie - Something with cats. 

1. Immigration is a really great thing and we should stop complaining about it and blame bankers or people with more money than us for our woes like normal.- And something about Tony Blair who said curbing immigration would be a disaster.

2. Right to choose to drink a child into deformity. The local authority pursuing this case seems on very unsure ground. Can't see how they can win a favourable judgement. Anyway..story has morphed into a mumsnet fight of the overbearing, lecturing brigade and the right to choose to be totally irresponsible.

3. Yet another of the many, many surprise verdicts as we in the UK attempt remove all logic from our legal, employment, welfare and political systems.
Backpay people holiday pay for their overtime. Not in itself that mental a decision IF the overtime or commission forms a sizeable portion of salary. But if the unions manage to get that back dated to 1996, its windfall time for long service workers and bankruptcy and unemployment time for thousand upon thousands.

4.Merkel. Another anti-ukip opportunity for the QT audience.  Angel tells Dave - Nein. And if he can't stop moaning then to leave the club.

5. Norman Baker, the most unsurprising resignation of the post war era, is supposedly a sign the coalition is over. What is actually surprising is that it isn't. Its been amazingly resilient. probably more to do with its weakness than its strength, but still..very surprising for British politics.



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