Friday 28 September 2018

Musk Down!

Always interesting how often this can happen - Elon Musk is in big trouble in the US for his, allegedly drug-fuelled, tweets about Tesla - another mighty titan on Industry on his way down.

Musk is a genius in the true sense of the word, able to dream and realise things that most people cannot. However, he is also human and hubris affects everyone.

Now made of money and with a multi-million fan club, Musk is now like a tinpot dictator - listening only to acolytes and also rich and powerful enough to ignore everyone else.

Until he screws with the markets, by saying he was going to privatise Tesla and had funds lined up he massively moved the market - it is a fairly open and shut case. He is going to be in deep trouble and the US justice system is brutalist in its construction. Of course, liberal use of highly paid lawyers may save him, but even this might prove hard if the SEC just wants to make its point.

Tesla of course has been struggling, unable to make the cars quick enough to sell - which should really be a saving grace given they lose money on everyone they sell! The economies of scale seem to be more elusive and Musk is too involved to let it go. On his rocket adventures the science is beyond him so he has to leave he technical to experts - as such, the business burns his money but with a much better success rate.

Anyway, we will find out pretty soon how well Tesla does with out him!

Thursday 27 September 2018

EC Iranian Sanctions-Busting? Won't Work.

Now this is a headline to make anyone pay attention:
EU, China and Russia in move to sidestep US sanctions on Iran: Special Purpose Vehicle aims to keep Iran in 2015 nuclear deal with barter system
Federica Mogherini, the EU external affairs chief, said the SPV was designed to facilitate payments related to Iran’s exports – including oil – and imports, so long as the firms involved were carrying out legitimate business under EU law. The aim is to make the SPV available not just to EU firms but to others ... it could underpin a sophisticated barter system that can avoid US Treasury sanctions ...  without any funds traversing through Iranian hands or the banking system. A multinational European state-backed financial intermediary would be set up to handle deals with companies interested in Iran transactions and with Iranian counter-parties. Any transactions would not be transparent to the US, and involve euros and sterling rather than dollars. The proposal is additional to a blocking statute passed by the EU in August that theoretically makes EU companies immune from sanctions imposed by the US in pursuit of its Iran policy.

Well.  The technology exists, for sure (the City can do this stuff standing on its head, as I've often said whenever the EC claims it will "ban London from dealing in Euros").  A total return swap (TRS) is a clever, flexible device with many uses in creative hands.  It's quite interesting that anyone's even trying, on such a scale.

But.  The fact is, no company I've ever met will trifle with US sanctions in any way, however much is is intended to be "not transparent to the US".  Case in point: I was involved in a deal over the summer where a particular asset was in play.  The asset is in Europe; the main parties concerned are a very big UK co, a very big French co, and an Iranian player (this is all energy stuff).  There are several Eu banks and miscellaneous smaller Eu parties.

Not a single one would cross any line the US authorities choose to draw - not by an inch.  Energy, see?  It's international.  Everyone will be travelling to the States one day.  It's very effective self policing.  CU has made this point before.

So good luck with your SPV, fellahs.  But be it ever so technically sound - it ain't gonna work.


Wednesday 26 September 2018

Polly Toynbee's Fallen In Love Again

...  and this time it's ... John McDonnell !

A highly entertaining compendium could be published of all her simpering articles in this vein over the decades.  Gordon Brown would feature several times of course; though she lost interest in that one years ago and now merely refers to him wistfully - in the McDonnell piece - as 'hapless'. **

These pieces are generally written after she's been flattered with a private lunch - you can easily tell.  I remember with fondness the fawning piece she wrote about Patricia Hewitt when the latter was Secretary of State at the DTI and had assured Polly-Wolly there'd be no more nukes.  "No new nuclear power plants!" gushed Toynbee.  That was just before the 2005 election of course.  The day after polling, Blair replaced her with Alan Johnson and told him to get right on with a new nuclear programme.

Polly, when will you ever learn?  They are all playing you for a sucker!  


**  But does she know what 'hapless' means?  Most Gruaniad writers do not.

Postscript - blast from the past: here's what happened when Polly first fell out with Gordon ...

There’s a one-eyed yellow Scotsman of a dour and sullen hue
There’s a stench of pious bullshit all around
There’s a broken-heated woman dreams of socialism true
And the yellow Scot forever lets her down
He was known as Red McBroon, and he made the Party swoon
Though his cowardice had long begun to smell
But for all he was a wanker he was feted by the bankers
And Polly Toynbee smiled on him as well ...

Read on here ...

Monday 24 September 2018

Could Chequers really be dead?

I was pretty sure to start with that the 'Salzburg Surprise' was a manufactured confection to get the UK and EU populace to see that the concessions about to be agreed by both sides beyond respective red lines, were in fact pragmatic choices in the face of no deal disaster.

Yet, I wonder, perhaps that position was overly cynical and I have fallen at my own low hurdle.

Rule of Capitalists@Work NO.1 (Since 2006) - It is never conspiracy, instead everytime and always rank incompetence/idiocy is the cause - unless 100% proven to be conspiracy, which, by definition is excruciatingly rare (here's looking at you, Alistair Campbell) as it implies competence which in and of itself is highly unlikely in any given situation.

Exhibit 1 here is Prime Minster Theresa May, who has long form for incompetence and no record at all of competence. Aided and abetted by the senior civil service, who, from afar, certainly appear to have all the competence of a vat of sulphuric acid being appointed as guardian to a litter of puppies.

Which means, possibly, the meeting at Downing Street today with the cabinet is actually a real one, where they really are thinking 'WTF.'

As readers here know (see the excellent comments on the last post), there is no way to square the circle of the kind of soft brexit the remainers want with the square of the EU acquisition of Northern Ireland.

I think there is only one way of discovering if this is the case though, because if May has failed as badly as this then surely she will be resigning this week. Talk of an election is for the birds, a definite loss to Labour is not what the Tories will seek. A little bloodletting and someone more at ease with a Canada style deal is surely the only way.

However, incompetence is strong in the government, they may just cling on to May because they are too frit to act decisively. Of course there is the long-shot that this is indeed all negotiated posturing and Chequers will be the outcome.

Friday 21 September 2018

Surprised in Salzburg

You'd have thought that UK politico-pundits were already skeptical enough about Chequers - not to say dismissive in some quarters - before yesterday.  But Salzburg seems to have taken them by surprise.

In the 6 O'Clock news, the Beeb were going, hmmm, that didn't go very well, did it?   By 10, they were pronouncing it a complete disaster, dead on arrival.  Though some would perhaps attribute this to a malign, purely internal pressure-cooker effect amongst people taking a while to find their nerve to stick in the knife, well, personally I'd do them the credit of assuming they'd been doing more than just jerking themselves off in the the four-hours between; and that their step-up in pronouncement was a result of hearing from more participants, and careful editorial deliberation.

It's shaken the Grauniad just as much, but with a different outcome:  an attempt to be calm and, by their own lights, sober, rational, and statesmanlike:
The danger for Europe’s leaders and those in London is that the break-up could become so much more severe than was desired by either the EU or the UK. Each must be careful not to misread the other’s intentions. Both sides must reflect on what sort of relationship they want and how they could achieve it. Let us hope that in the month ahead Downing Street and Brussels show the sort of wisdom required to ameliorate the error of Brexit without recourse to the bitter rancour that we had all thought the continent of Europe had left behind.
Why so shocked?  Well, there's many a pundit who has no practical conception of how negotiations actually work.  (Robbins will spend all this morning telling May it's just posturing ahead of the next round of talks.)  But presumably also, it wasn't just May's Cabinet who bought the line that the Chequers package had been cleared in advance by Merkel.  Perhaps May thought so herself - everything seemed to point to that.  Perhaps it was even true! - and that Merkel has been undercut, or didn't put enough effort in, or didn't read it properly. 

So - Party Conference up soon, and May looking as testy as she ever does; although she was at her 'reliable Head Girl' best last night for the cameras, under severe provocation.  Against all precedent, might she even get so pissed off (even irrationally so), she finds a bit of backbone?  One can but hope.


Wednesday 19 September 2018

The real money-laundering threat in reality is not the City

I have read and seen so many articles of late about how the City of London is a dirty cesspit of financial money laundering. This all helps feed the Corbynista mantra about capitalism being pure evil and all money being dirty (unless it is theirs of course...).

A story out today shows how different the world really is. Danske Bank, the largest bank in Denmark, has long been a Baltic retail bank. Today its CEO resigned after many years when it has been suspected of large scale money laundering from its Estonian branches. The thing is, smaller banks have less compliance and less ability to combat fraudsters. In addition, the regulators in Denmark, for example, are not as sharp as those in London. Plus Danske is practically the only large bank so they have the too big to fail disease in a smaller economy such as Denmark.

Of course this does not make London whiter than white. The shear number of properties acquired by Russians in London in particular is beyond belief. The use of tax havens and the London markets to move dirty money around is always going to be an issue. But the realisation today is that it is even more of an issue in smaller and less regulated markets, less sophisticated ones. The money launderers are actually always going to try it on with a small backwater branch somewhere in Eastern Europe rather than try their games with JP Morgan or Barclays in London.

It is a lesson to the regulators of Europe that in reality it will be the Banks of weaker states such as Cyprus, Hungary, Romania etc that will be used for the majority of money laundering - it is these Banks and Countries that are most at risk, but it suits the French and Germans to blame London in a desperate attempt to get more Finance business to Paris and Frankfurt.

Monday 17 September 2018

The Diary of Boris Wimp

Boris Johnson, Lord of House Starkers, continues his now back-bench revolt.
Undermining the cowardly, craven, psychologically Stockholm Syndromed and thoroughly emasculated Theonsa GreyJoyless while pretending he is supporting her.

 Meanwhile  'Govey' LittleFinger continues his similar, incessant, granting and withdrawing of support to all sides, in his attempts to seize the Iron Throne for himself.

The Tory 'Red Wedding Conference' is just weeks away and..

What? C@W readers have no idea who or what is Game Of Thrones. Most popular television series in the world? Multi  million selling 10 novel series ?

Please yourselves
Here's some early 80's ELO encouraging Boris to get on with it!

Saturday 15 September 2018

Weekend Reading - A Corker

Reed:  read
An America writer well worth checking out from time to time is Adolph Reed, professor of political science at the University of Pennsylvania.  He's an honest leftie with a genuine, well-considered ideology; and as such is highly illuminating, indeed scathing, on identity politics - in particular, that highly significant segment that is the US 'race' industry - as a malign and ego-driven diversion from the proper lefty business of pursuing the wellbeing of the working class as a whole.

My recommendation for the weekend is this essay:  The Trouble With Uplift - How black politics succumbed to the siren song of the racial voice.

Uncomfortable stuff for many on the empty-headed, virtue-signalling, gesture-politicking left.  His own focus is of course clear and specific, but it's easy to extend his arguments to (e.g.) the 'feminist' obsession over whether Jo Brand gets paid as much as Paul Merton.  Some choice extracts:
... projections of successes for the rich and famous as generic racial victories depend on a sleight-of-hand that treats benefits for any black person as benefits for all black people ... In addition to the annual contretemps over whether blacks win enough of the most prestigious Oscars, recent racial controversies in the art world illustrate how easily the narrowest guild concerns can masquerade as burning matters of racial justice
... “racial rent-seeking” - a curiously inflexible brand of race-first neoliberalism has taken root in American political discourse, proposing a trickle-down model of racial progress, anchored in the mysticism of organic black community ... neoliberal race leaders stage the beguiling fantasy that individual “entrepreneurialism” is the key path to rising above one’s circumstances—i.e., the standard American social myth that obscures the deeper need to combat systemic inequalities
... we never reckon with the truly disturbing presumption that any black person who can gain access to the public microphone and performs familiar rituals of “blackness” should be recognized as expressing significant racial truths and deserves our attention. This presumption rests on the unexamined premise that blacks share a common, singular mind that is at once radically unknowable to non-blacks and readily downloaded by any random individual setting up shop as a racial voice. And despite what all of our age’s many heroic narratives of individualist race-first triumph may suggest to the casual viewer, that premise is the essence of racism 

Friday 14 September 2018

Tourism in Salisbury and Saxony

Shouldn't laugh about so serious a matter; but, really.

Many years ago, when dinosaurs roamed the earth (Brezhnev, Chernenko, Andropov) I spent some time in East Germany.  Naturally, one was followed around almost everywhere, by tag-teams of Stasi operatives.  They came in two flavours:  superannuated coppers in grey trenchcoats and trilbys - and guys who looked exactly like this.  (Some of them, incidentally, were gay honey-traps.  So we were told.)

Tall story ...
Anecdote.  One day I was out and about in Wittenberg, looking for a suitable present for Master Drew - then a pre-school kiddie.  I saw a bookshop and popped in to scan the children's section.  There, in the shelves marked Für 4-6 Jährige, was the following attractive offering.
I had a quick scan, and it turned out to be ... an anti-NATO propaganda tract!  Well, obviously I bagged it right away and joined the check-out queue.

At the time, my follower was the ageing Herr Trenchcoat, who desperately wanted to see what it was that had seized my interest.  So he grabbed the nearest book to hand, and joined the queue behind me, straining over my shoulder to see what I'd got.  I turned to look, and there he was, carrying a copy of - Windsurfing for Beginners!

I forebore to ask him if he had a trip planned to Warnemunde.  GSOH was not a requirement for his employ.

PS, I also bought my lad a really fine die-cast model of a BTR-60PB, as good as any Dinky-toy, if not better ...  One day I'll turn it up and post a pic. 


Thursday 13 September 2018

Will May and Barnier really dance?

Poor Prime Minister May, forever trapped by Brexit. She never wanted to do anything other than a very small, Brexit In Name Only deal. Yet the suave Monsieur Barnier could see through only his francophone goggles, a way to smash the UK.

So, after nearly 2 years of negotiation we have actually done precisely nothing towards Brexit. A deal is on the table that will be rejected and there are not enough back-up options to fallback too The rock is rolled up the hill, only for it to come tumbling down again.

No side is covered in glory, the Remainers acting like a fifth column in the UK help egg on the EU to do their worst deal with the UK in the hope of forcing a second referendum. The Leavers in the Conservative party have hung around, unsure of their own position and too lazy to come up with a workable alternative to the BINO proposed by May. The EU themselves have sat in their smug utopia casually shrugging at what is actually an existential crisis for the Union.

But I can't see Chequers, as much as it is in reality a better deal for the UK than the EU would like to do, really working. The EU will insist it is watered down and that will mean it won't keep May in power if the Leaver Conservatives can manage to topple her.

Where this would leave the UK is in a bad place, the basics of an exit deal need to be completed to prevent economic and social dislocation next year. Perhaps Barnier will see sense, but I think this is hard as the current UK offer is not great from the other side of the channel - it is exactly the pick and mix they have said they want to avoid and so whilst is still BINO will create an itch for the EU.

After months of hiatus, Brexit is going to be sorted in the next two months at last - in terms of whether the UK falls into political chaos or a BINO deal is done. I reckon it is still 50-50 at best for May.

Wednesday 12 September 2018

Tinfoil Times

Around these parts we do not tend to encourage tinfoil-hat conspiracy theories, but I'm putting down a marker here for future reference.

Having been in Paris myself on Sunday I couldn't fail to notice that a fairly prominent mass stabbing took place there - with two British tourists hurt - apparently perpetrated by an Afghan nutter run amok.  It promptly featured in UK news outlets, as you'd expect.

Then, radio silence on the Beeb and in the Grauniad.  No updates on Tues or this morning, notwithstanding the clear British interest, and even though more details became available elsewhere.

What price a *liberal meejah* resolution, post-Swedish-election, to minimise such stories? 


Monday 10 September 2018

Emerging Markets on the edge, again

the modern world is so interlinked via financial globalisation. The economies of the world, whilst they have their own rhythm to some extent, after often treated as pawns by the veracity of the global markets.

Some Countries are undoubtedly victims of their own political issues - see Erdogan in Turkey or Putin in Russia, even the South Africans have been busily running their own economy to achieve domestic political ends. (And in Developed markets, the UK too...)

However, just as many are buffeted by the markets. Egypt and India stand out here. Egypt because as a geography and demographic entity it is a nightmare. An arab country with no oil, but also not enough food or water for its fast growing population. Indeed, Egypt must for these reasons alone be one of the most unstable countries in the world as it matters little what its politicians do faced with such a dismal situation.

In India, they have had a strong, reforming government for a number of years and indeed, though no China, things have been going well for India. However, India also has no oil, so the companies there which import are suffering from huge increases in import costs and the rupee has fallen to all time lows against the dollar. Of course, India exports a lot and receives plenty of foreign currency so its stock market and its bit exporting businesses are doing very well - but the economy as a whole still ends up on a knife-edge. Adding to its complex situation, the US is demanding India comply with new oil sanctions on Iran - but India imports a million barrels a day of crude from Iran at huge discounts to market and this helps it to limit the level of oil price inflation entering its economy.

Finally, we have not even mentioned Argentina, itself in another IMF rescue but with a huge government deficit, weak currency and 30% inflation - so trapped is Argentina by its poor performance that even many economists have given up trying to find a way out for the Country.

Collectively, these countries account for a big share of Global GDP - yet all are in crisis somehow even whilst Trump engineers a boom in the US and the EU slowly recovers from the financial crisis and Global growth is strong. Emerging Markets are always at risk of currency flight back to the West and this seems to be happening again with China trying in a limited way only to interfere when it spots resources to be bought on the cheap (hence of these countries, only Russia really appeals).

Will the crisis spill over - it does not seem so at the moment as the causes of the distress are a benefit to the main markets, but politically there are big risks especially in Turkey and Egypt - as well as Russia of course but there at least the Government is safe and there is no foreign debt to worry about.

Saturday 8 September 2018

Man Solo

The Tatooine Times {2}

Man Solo 

A person hotly tipped to be leader of a Rebel Alliance against the Galactic Imperial European Empire, has announced he will now be a Man Solo.

Mr Solo has been booted out of his home on Corellia, by his partner. Marina, of 25 years.

 Ms Wheeler has long complained about his free-booting ways. Smuggling women onto falcons. Using the excuse that traffic was backed up on the Kessel Run Hyperspace cycle lane, for his lateness back from work.

The maverick former Imperial Moff of London has long had a history of indiscretions. Notably Petronella Wyatt and Helen Macintyre. And he famously had to resign from a deputy seat at the Imperial Chamber of Moff Howard, when he was photographed by paparazzi in an embrace with a minor royal.
Solo has denied he has got the embarrassing news out ahead of a possible leadership challenge to Grand Moff May.

He told the Tatooine Times,
 " I am just a poor trader. Whose flings have led him to be flung. So tonight I shall be lonely, Hand Solo. 
I am not attempting to reboot the Tory franchise with a main character spin-off. At least, not until I've checked my support levels in the conference hall."


Diesel Landspeeder? - Up to 2,000 galactic credit scrapage scheme 

Ancient Old Jedi Resigns.
By our correspondent, Master Yoda.

 Vincent Cable resign, has he? Not. Say He. Hmmm.? 
Yes, but also, no. Go, he has not. In time all is possible. 
Events may pass.
"For the many, not the Jawa." AntiJawasism row Page 4
Young Cable. Aged 174

The last of the Jedi, swept away. By break up of the Old Republic.

 Continue, he can not. 
After lifetime of study. Meditation. 
Training in ways of the Farce. 

Vincent Cable, the rank of Padawan, had he reached.

Thursday 6 September 2018

A strange shade of Green

The ins and outs of the Green Party don't usually interest me; but just lately they've had an eye-catching scandalette, plus a tiny fanfare as their new two-headed leadership was announced.  So I had a cursory look at their website and assorted pronouncements.

(Declaration of interest: notwithstanding my long-term engagement in the energy industry, as a fairly reactionary conservative I consider myself an enthusiast for what I consider *green*, am an active proponent of energy conservation, and an active opponent of crazy 'renewable' schemes such as biomass for electricity.  Energy industry?  "Civilisation is energy-intensive" - Lovelock.)

Well.  What has 'green' to do with the Greens?  Environmental concerns doesn't get any more airtime in this piece than do Brexit, or Windrush.  "we will always campaign with others to oppose Brexit, we think it’s time to say loudly and clearly that the Green party will never be part of any vapid centrist blob ... we proud to say migrants and refugees are welcome here".  Not much doubt - and no surprisies - over which side of centre they take up their stand.

But what green ground, exactly, do they stand on?  Anti-fracking, of course: and pro unicorns & fairy-dust.  But, to invoke one of my touchstones, nothing I can find on their entire rambling website (complete with Philosophical Bases in 50 numbered sections) suggests they have set their faces against the tree-burners at Drax.  This, by the way, is in clear contrast to FoE, Greenpeace, RSPB et al who have long since recognised the 'renewable biomass' nonsense for what it is.

The other one that always bears checking up is Nuclear.  They offer pro forma hostility: "fundamentally opposed to nuclear energy, which we consider to be expensive and dangerous"; but in contrast to (e.g.) many continental greens there is no hint of pressing for anything like Germany's policy and actual programme of rapid closure of nukes.  "Will be phased out" is all we get from our Greens.  

In this, they are much like FoE and Greenpeace UK, who similarly say that nukes are expensive (no, really?) and in the long run should go.   This actually puts them in opposition to many heavy-duty environmental activists who reckon the risks of fracking are nothing compared to those of nukes; want a German-style policy ASAP; and despair over the timidity of their leadership.

I suppose we should politely wish the new Green 'co-leaders' a happy time in office.  But if Windrushery is their idea of carving out a distinctive policy platform, there will still only be one Green MP ten years from now.


Wednesday 5 September 2018

The rapid demise of Liberalism

In watching the disgrace that is the demonstrations outside the Labour HQ tomorrow justifying anti-semitism and seeing how the moderate Labour types are doing nothing, I felt sadness.

The same sadness that I feel when I view the Government actions on Brexit where they are unable to follow any road other than the muddle through middle - the road to nowhere.

Why does this tell me that liberalism failed? Well when I was a young man, I studied and believed in neo-liberalism. It had after all just finished off the communist threat without a major world war. Something of a first for the 20th century.

But liberalism was also in the West, a move of the overton window to the centre-right. Left wing Marxism and social democratic ideas were co-opted in small amounts into the State, but Reagan, Thatcher and Kohl were confident to promote free markets and free countries.

In the 1990's in the UK, Tony Blair and Bill Clinton fought back from the left by basically being centre right politicians, but from the centre left and re-infecting the US and UK with a limited amount of Marxist thinking.

Liberalism  - freedom of people to worship, to consume with options generated by markets, freedom to vote, to own property and to speak freely is everywhere imperilled by the spread of Marxist ideology. Marxism denies gods, limits consumption, agitates against property ownership and finally denies free speech if it is critical of Marxist ideology.

In truth, Blair and Clinton were not trying in any way to destroy liberalism - after all much of it appealed to them personally. But what has come since is deeply troubling.

Firstly in 2008 we had a huge recession, caused in the main by untrammelled use of Capital by big banks and weak or complicit Governments (complicit in the UK for tax revenues). here the freedom to consume and the use of markets was challenged - both because incomes fell and because markets could be seen to have failed.

In the UK from 2003 liberalism has been undermined too by mass immigration. Much of what is now the craziness of political correctness is derived from the beginnings of identity politics. Blair was keen on immigration for cultural and political reasons. He decried those opposed as racist - so began in a formal way the launch of identity politics into Western life. Now, the freedom to speak freely was undermined and the freedom to vote was also undermined by a lack of alternatives who opposed immigration. This in turn had been a side effect of the growth of the EU which pushed the mass immigration agenda and itself was totally undemocratic. There was not way to oppose politically the Liberal elite.

Finally, the last shibboleth, the freedom to worship was challenged in the West by the rapid rise of Islam due to immigration and its idiotic Middle Eastern policies which appeased the spread of Wahhabism by Saudi Arabia whilst at the same time attacking secular Iraq and funding radical groups which would become Al-Qaeda and ISIS in later decades. Political Islam cannot work inside a Liberal democracy they are competing not complimentary ideologies, much as Marxism cannot be aligned with Liberalism.

So by the mid-2010's we had reached a point where all the key elements of Liberalism were discredited. So we saw a rejection of the 'liberalist' centre across the West and the rise of two new competing ideologies to replace it. The first a populist explosion, based on trying to redeem the benefits of liberalism from its failure - in the UK, UKIP railed against immigration and restrictions on freedom of speech. In the US, Trump railed against speech restrictions but also the legacy economic damage of 2008. On the Left, Marxism discovered that identity politics was a like for like replacement for the core principle of class warfare. With this update to Leninist thought in place, a new attack from the Left could begin - if by accident with Jeremy Corbyn and by design with Bernie Saunders.

So now, here we are in 2018 and all I read are rubbish hand-wringing stories about the Labour Moderates and Tory remainers and their respective woes. Their day is done, there is nothing to go back to as they betrayed and destroyed their core value proposition. The new right and left will fight it out for the political future - but the idea that stupid people will somehow realise how wrong they are and come home to the 'centre.'

They won't, the centre did not hold and now does not exist - even as the successors thrash out their new positions so inadequately in public.

Tuesday 4 September 2018

Tatooine Times. Last Defy edition

The Tatooine Times

Bill Quango talks with Jedi Master and spin doctor Master Yoda 

Image result for Hoth
Hoth : Global warming. Tauntaun numbers falling

"Master Yoda. What is the meaning of your words,
'Do or not do, there is no try ?'"

"Do or do not" is a state of mind.  Approach to any challenge, it is.  If into a fight you go, with only mindset of TRYING to win, succeed, you never will.
 But win you could, if you fight believing you will win."

"I see. and ..and will Theresa May ever believe she can win, Master Yoda?"
Image result for tatooine cantina
Mos Eisley Cantina Stabbing: Moff K'han blames

Monday 3 September 2018

What Is It With Farmers?

Just one of those things ...
In my soldiering days I spent plenty of time in the country.   Even dealt extensively with farmers on one occasion, when I was appointed Damage Control Officer on an exercise that roamed over a huge area of private arable land, laying waste as it went (with compo to be agreed between the DCO and the landowners - I may tell the story another day).  But hey, basically I'm a townie through and through.

So what is it with farmers?  They've had a drought this summer and the testimony of the cameras is there for all to see.  But what about insurance?  Like forward contracts and other financial products, insurance was pretty much invented for farmers.  I am no stranger to weather insurance and weather-related derivatives (energy industry, me: we use 'em all the time) and they really aren't difficult to arrange.  All this whingeing about how farmers have already used up the winter fodder and now need to buy in more - that's what insurance is for, all day long.

Hard-hearted?  No, just hard-headed, as far as I am concerned.  So - can someone tell us what's wrong with this robust retort to our country cousins?