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Saturday, 30 June 2012

Something is rotten in the State of Banking.

 Governor's scathing attack on industry's culture of excess as new scandal erupts

The scandalous activities of the banks have been with us for decades. Only now does the Governor of the Bank of England propose that action be taken to control the renegade industry.  "It is time to do something about the banking system," King said."It goes to the culture and the structure of banks: the excessive compensation, the shoddy treatment of customers, the deceitful manipulation of a key interest rate, and today, news of yet another mis-selling scandal." The banks have been caught with their fingers in the till, and they should face the full economic and if established the full legal consequences. The question is will they? From previous experience, there will be a few days or weeks furore in the media, questions in the House and heated debate on BBC Question Time, then after the imposition of self regulation, the banks will return to the status quo.

Friday, 29 June 2012

Jersey's 'secrecy culture'

Graham Power claims he was punished for daring to investigate allegations against some of the island's power players

The Jersey "Establishment" are a very secret society and are more powerful and influential than can be imagined. The scandal of Haut de la Garenne and the wider "Historic Child Abuse" investigation are only the tip of a very large iceberg. Planning decisions,building activities, states housing, changes of use, criminal investigations and much much more, have never resulted in anything more than a letter to the editor in the Jersey Evening Post. As someone who lives on the mainland but frequently travels to the Island to visit friends, it never ceases to amaze me that these activities are rarely if ever discussed, but strangely seem to be widely known. It is as if a collective fear of reprisal grips the ordinary Jersey person. It is for example, "rumored" that a tenant of the States attempted to form a residents association on the estate where he and his family were living. Within days, he was advised that he and any others joining such a seditious organisation, would be summarily evicted from their homes. There are very limited rights of appeal in Jersey, either in employment or civil matters, and the "Clameur de Haro"  is usually, albeit infrequently, for matters affecting land. The residents association was never formed. When someone actually takes on the establishment, and exposes the excesses of their activities, they are immediately subjected to criticism, ridicule, spurious allegations and even criminal prosecution, as in the case of Stuart Syvret. Stewart was elected to the States in 1990 as Deputy for a three year term and then in 1993 as Senator. His activities in exposing wrong doings in Jersey and then his expulsion from the States in 2010, are well documented elsewhere, and demonstrate the odious nature of the Jersey hierarchy and its powers. Even senior police officers have great difficulty carrying out their investigations in this secretive Island as Graham Power and Lenny Harper have found to their cost. No doubt as time moves on, more light may be shed onto the dealings taking place on this beautiful 45 square miles of Island sitting just 12 miles off the coast of France, but this may take some time. The Island is spoilt only by the rustle of money slushing around the corridors and back rooms and the sound of slamming doors as the "establishment" closes ranks.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Daily Mail sinks to new depths in their crusade against working people.

An article which demonstrates the depths of obscenity and distortion that media will sink to when demonising working people and those who represent them.

It's Torquay not Bermuda. You hypocritical morons of the Daily Mail and many of your "comments" contributors, fail to see the irony of IMF/European leaders/G20/etc having lavish banquets and hot air exchanges in exotic locations at other people expense and a guy having a can of beer between seminars. Mail you really are the pits. Print this if you have the nerve. It's also posted on Facebook/Twitter/and my blog so people will read it anyway.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

The young v The Pensioners?

Divide and rule: this time between generations.

Ros Altman actually believing the divisive propaganda of the IFS and then reproducing it on the pages of The Guardian. She would have a difficult time convincing the pensioners who have to choose between heat or eat, and those who face social and economic difficulties every day, that this is just an attempt to create yet another division in society. "The massive rise in State Pensions" was true only in the cash amount paid. In real terms it represented at best, a neutral impact on living standards of the majority of pensioners.
Yesterday, (Tuesday 26th), in response to the story carried by the Independent, I wrote in another place,

"The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) trotting out the usual garbage. The Governments policy of divide and rule spreads to all corners of the "public information" industry. This garbage would be a credit to the Joseph Goebbels ministry of propaganda."
It seems that Ros Altman and no doubt many others, have forgotten that "people will believe a big lie sooner than a little one; and if you repeat it frequently enough people will sooner or later believe it."

Monday, 25 June 2012

Their hidden agenda

 Cameron to urge debate on welfare pay-outs.

Cameron, Duncan Smith,Osborne and the rest of the evil conspirators in the Tory ranks should really come clean and stop fishing for public support by popular sound bites. Their real objective in the medium to long term, is the complete scrapping and destruction of the welfare system in this country.

The conclusion of the Egyptian revolution? Not quite.

Muslim Brotherhood candidate's win is the best outcome of an election that leaves the military as the power behind the throne

 Within hours of the result being declared, and while our television screens were still showing the scenes from Tarir Square, William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, the US State Department, the Daily Mail and many of its readers comments were leaping in with their “advice/instructions”, as to how the new President of Egypt should manage the country. This mind set is primarily associated with an almost obsessive compulsion in the west and with the larger part of the western media, to immediately conclude that any title of a party or group which contains the word Muslim, or Islamist is automatically hostile and must be isolated. The fact that Muslim Brotherhood was a banned organisation and the new President Mohammed Morsi spent many years in prison under the Mubarak regime, indicates the extent to which western opinion is coloured by strategic expediency. In addition, as their preferred candidate, Ahmed Shafik former Mubarak Prime Minister, former General and still closely associated with SCARF, was rejected at the polls, one may assume that the custom of injecting billions of American Dollars every year in aid and military hardware in exchange for political and strategic influence may be compromised. The reality of course, is that the Military Council still holds much power in Egypt and has recently curbed the powers of the President.
The next few weeks or even months will be crucial in determining what path Egypt will follow. Mohammed Moussa, 30, a translator, said ”Morsi is president in name only, there are more battles to come.”
We have not yet concluded the Egyptian revolution.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Conspiracy leading to an illegal war.

Tony Blair blocked the Government's most senior lawyer from explaining to Cabinet the legality of the war in Iraq. According to his former spin doctor, the then Prime Minister feared that the legal opinion was too "nuanced" and would allow the war's ministerial critics Robin Cook and Clare Short to say that the case had not been made.

Now that Campbell has admitted what many of us had known or suspected for years, will the lying hypocrite Blair finally be exposed as the Bush puppet and war criminal that he is?

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Today is the summer solstice.

 The Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year.

It has arrived.
June 21 is the 172nd day of the year (173rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 193 days remaining until the end of the year.
On non-leap years (until 2039), this day marks the summer solstice in the northern hemisphere and the winter solstice in the southern hemisphere, and is the day of the year with the most hours of daylight in the northern hemisphere and the least hours of daylight in the southern hemisphere.
In other words, as from today, the daylight hours decrease and the evenings "draw in" leaving people like me, acutely aware, that in a few short months the clocks will be put back one hour (why don't they leave the bloody things alone) and it will be dark earlier and earlier. I do so hate darkening evenings and even darker nights. It is not, as some people say, nice and cosy with the curtains drawn and the candles flickering over the dining room table and reflecting in the glass of Cabernet Sauvignon. It is to me, cold and miserable, and if venturing outside after 4:00 pm into the swirling mist, it is almost sinister. Perhaps some animals have got it right and go into hibernation during this period. Having been born in the winter month of November, and having experienced many of these gloomy episodes over the years, you may think that I would be used to it by now. Nothing could be further from reality. Even the prospect of Christmas lifts the mood of melancholy only for a brief period as the few days of pleasure and enjoyment are tempered by the commerciality of the occasion, which seems to commence earlier and earlier every year. The driving force propelling me through this time is the knowledge that on December 21st, sanity returns and the hours of darkness begin to shorten, until sometime in March or there a bouts' they will put the clocks forward again, (if they left the bloody things alone, they would not have to select a month to do it), and things start to come back to life. April and May pass then, before you can say "Tempus fugit" Its June 21st and we are back to where we started.

Same old cliches'

Banks to get cheap money to lift UK lending

The government and the Bank of England have been trotting out this sort of garbage for over 2 years. The words "Get the banks lending" or "Encourage the banks to lend to businesses and individuals" and the like have become cliches' in  the media and in parliament. This initiative will go the same way as all the previous initiatives.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

A coalition for Greece?

A coalition for Greece or the Troika?

From all the available reports, it seems that after weeks of confusion and uncertainty, the Greek people will finally have a government. PASOK have agreed with New Democracy, to form a coalition which may include the moderate Democratic Left. The irony of this solution will not be lost on the Greeks or anyone else. The two parties, New Democracy and PASOK who have been the government of Greece for around 40 years, and who are responsible for negotiating with the Germans and the Eurozone, the most draconian package of austerity measures and cuts in exchange for a 130 billion Euro bailout which was poured straight down the drain directly into the banks, and did nothing for the Greek unemployed, the homeless, the pensioners who rummage in dustbins for food or any of the other consequences resulting from the previous governments duplicity. It is difficult to conceive how the scenes on the streets of Athens and other cities across Greece can exist in Europe in the 21st Century. However that is the reality of life today in Greece and may well be the case in other European countries in the not too distant future.
In contrast, the “markets”, the Eurozone banks, European leaders and the “Troika” are relieved that the prospect of a Syriza government has been averted and with the reiteration from Chancellor Merkel, that Greece will not be allowed to dodge its austerity agreement and there will be no renegotiation of the terms, the status quo has been maintained at least in the short term. The question of course is where can the new government go to, if in the event that they are unable to gain any concessions from Merkel and the Troika, and they are faced with imposing the already detailed austerity measures together with even more (if that can be possible) austerity on the people of Greece, when as will inevitably be the case, the next tranche of bailout money is required.
It is interesting to note that amongst all the speculation, comment and euphoria in today's media coverage of the events in Greece, there is precious little, if anything, on the effects that the election results will have on ordinary people in Greece.
It seems that in the view of the media, Merkel and the Troika, the markets and the Euro project are infinitely more important than people.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Troika win in Greek elections.

On Sunday 20th May this year, I wrote an item on this Blog under the heading of, “The dinosaur of economic dogma”. The theme of the piece was to argue how fear would be employed, by the International Monetary Fund, European Central Bank and the European Banking Authority, now apparently known as the “Troika”, as a weapon, “to frighten the voters of Greece into electing those parties who support German dictates of further austerity”. With the result of the election in Greece now confirmed, it seems that the tactic of injecting fear into the democratic process has achieved the objective, namely by ensuring that New Democracy has gained a victory, albeit by a small margin, and will be invited to take the first attempt to form a government. Of course it remains to be seen whether Antonis Samaras and his New Democracy party can or will deliver the promise of renegotiation of the bailout package, and what will happen should Merkel retain her “no renegotiation of the bailout agreement” stance. In the short term at least the worries of the Troika, have been averted as Alexis Tsipras and Syriza have only managed to achieve second place in the polls. However, the problems of the Greek people have not gone away. Soup kitchens on the streets of Athens and other cities across Greece, food banks for people who have no jobs and little prospect of finding work, temporary foster centres for children and all the other odious ramifications of austerity remain and in all probability will intensify over the coming months. This time at least, the fear generated by Merkel, Lagarde, and other “European leaders” has resulted, in an election result which satisfies the vested interest of banks, speculators and the Troika. This may be for them, a pyrrhic and very short lived victory.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

European leaders employ fear as a tactic.

 When fear is employed as a weapon to influence voters, it is obvious that the scaremongers are very worried.

The first sentence of this article says it all.
"European leaders yesterday piled pressure on Greek voters to reject Left-wing parties threatening to rip up the country’s bailout deal – a move that could leave the euro on the brink of collapse." They now use fear as a weapon to conserve their untenable positions. The "European leaders" who in collaboration with the banks,the IMF, the speculators of the markets, caused and perpetuated this whole mess in the first place, and incidentally got very fat in the process, "PILE PRESSURE ON GREEK VOTERS" to elect New Democracy or any other party who will continue to impose austerity. These same "European leaders" who have no concept of the reality of austerity but theorise on the measures to enforce it, over one or more of their innumerable banquets at their endless stream of "crisis meetings". Their time would be better employed discussing austerity while standing in the queue waiting for a handout at one of the numerous soup kitchens in Athens. I sincerely hope that the Greek voters tell these "European leaders" that "enough is enough, austerity is the price of your incompetence and self interests", and elect Syriza. 

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Doctors go on strike for the first time in 40 years

When it comes to generating hysteria, The Mail has few equals.

Enough of this pompous hand wringing garbage about holding the country to ransom and the "they get more than others" nonsense.Take away the hysterical hype generated by the right wing press and the misguided populace who actually believe the distortions of the government and its supporters and look at the simple facts.  A, (BMA) freely enters into an agreement with B, (government) for a pension figure, the contribution to that pension and the age of retirement.2 years later B comes along and says (without any previous discussion), that your pension is being reduced by £20k, your contribution is being increased from 8 to 15% and your retirement age is being increased by 3 years. B is not prepared to even discuss the matter. It seems to me that A going on strike for only a day shows remarkable restraint. The dictatorial attitude of this (and other governments) in their treatment of soft targets like doctors, nurses police etc has always been a disgrace.All working people should oppose tyranny

Friday, 15 June 2012

Another boost to loans for busineses?

In a joint proposal between the Bank of England and the Treasury, banks will receive cut-price funds provided they pass on the benefits to their business customers.This new "funding for lending" scheme could provide an £80bn boost to loans to the private sector within weeks and alleviate growing fears of a second slump since the start of the financial crisis in 2007.

These people have been trotting out  "new measures", or numerous variations of them for more than 2 years. Always, the objectives are to boost business and "get the banks lending". The results are invariably the same.The additional funding goes into the banks' balances and reserves, businesses bleat about being unable to invest, more small businesses cease trading due to lack of funding, and then the banks announce increased profits and their executives are awarded nice fat bonuses. The incredible thing is that many people in this country actually believe that these morons are doing a good job for the benefit of the whole economy.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Television football coverage. 

The £3BILLION bonanza: Premier League footballers set to get even richer as broadcast rights are sold for record sum to Sky and BT

Obscene. When money becomes more important than the game, in the long run, its the game that suffers. Is there any connection between falling numbers going through the turnstiles, the decline in performance and ability of players, and the increasing sums of money paid by the media for the "packages" of games?

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

More jobseekers told to do unpaid work

"The government will tell up to 70,000 jobseekers that they must work unpaid for four weeks or lose their benefits for three months under an expansion of the mandatory work activity programme."

A significant number of the 70,000 job seekers would be more than pleased to do 30 hours per week in full time employment. The "stick" of work for nothing or else from Grayling is another example of "lets say something that will be popular" from this inept government. They should be concentrating on growth in the economy by creating jobs and increasing demand rather than the empty rhetoric of threats and austerity.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Guantanamo Bay: a stain on human rights

Guantanamo Bay: the biggest stain on human rights the world has ever seen. If these internees are so dangerous, or have committed such evil crimes, they should be put on trial and have the American allegations tested in law. Once again the Americans demonstrate that they consider themselves to be the worlds accuser, judge and jury and are above any measure of international law.

A Sad Footnote.

 A very sad footnote to the item which I posted yesterday morning both on Facebook and "New Agenda" under the heading of "Can the Olympics work for Weymouth". The junction where this accident occurred is close to the Asda supermarket, and is in my view, the most confusing and dangerous junction on the new system. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this time.


Saturday, 9 June 2012

Blogg comments problems!

I can see by the "stats" page of this blogg that there are a number of "Page views" for each of the entries. It seems that there may be something wrong with the "Post a comment" as I have asked a friend to try posting a comment, an action which has failed. There may be some readers who have tried to post comments which have not appeared on the page. This is not because I have blocked them or failed to moderate any. Its just a case of I have no idea who has commented. I am using the Disqus facility for comments but obviously doing something wrong. If any one has any suggestions, I would be eternally grateful. Please post on my Twitter page, or post in Facebook, or even e-mail me.


Can the Olympics Work for Weymouth? Part 2

Where have all the parking bays gone? 

Just a comment on parking. The promenade has had a number, actually most, of the parking bays on the left side when facing the Clock tower, removed and replaced by enlarged pavements containing tables, chairs and other bistro type adornments, as a front extension to the pubs, restaurants and hotels along that side of the road.Having "lost" at least 50 parking bays, many of which were "Blue Badge" I am still looking for the replacements. Incidentally, all the Blue Badge bays outside Marks and Spencer have now gone to be replaced by........................a Bus Stop !


Can the Olympics work for Weymouth?

The Weymouth tower is an example of how the Olympics "will bring employment" to this country. The Tower, was built in sections in Hungary, shipped over to this country and assembled by Hungarian "technicians" on site after the foundation works at the sea end of Weymouth harbour had been completed by foreign workers sent specifically for that part of the project.
Bring employment to the UK ? I do not think so.
The rest of this story seems to be be centered more on wishful thinking rater than reality. The majority of people we have spoken to (and as we live just a few miles from the town, that is quite a few) are not overly impressed with the prospect of the Olympics and its legacy. The town is in fact dying with many retail outlets in the town centre now closed. The recent departure of Condor Ferries, the main employer in the town, due to "structural problems" with the ferry terminal quay has not helped. Notwithstanding the statements from Condor that the move to their Poole terminal is only temporary until November (at the earliest), there is an uneasy concern amongst many people that Condor has gone for good. The cosmetic measures applied to the sea front are noticeable of course, but then so are the awful "improvements" to the road system both on the approaches to the town and in the town itself. Many locals, and those who regularly visit, consider the new junction layouts with their traffic control lights, and the new confusion of long white lines, short white lines and large white arrows pointing in different directions painted, in what seems to be a randomly generated pattern, all over the road surface as confusing and dangerous. 
No matter what the pro Olympics publicity machine may churn out for public consumption, there is not as much enthusiasm for the extravaganza as they would like us to believe.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Clegg attacks pensioners.

What is a "better off pensioner"? Is the numbskull Clegg is talking about the 65 year old who has a state pension plus a substantial private pension or is he talking about the 65 year old who has a state pension plus a small private pension only? At what level of private pension income would a person have their benefits cut? As usual the glib comment is only for consumption by the "lets cut everything" lobby, who see another "soft target" for their assault on the people of this country. It is easy for people like Clegg to have philosophical discussions over large brandies in the Millionaires Club in Piccadilly, while the rest of us choose heat or eat.

Glegg, the two faced hypocrite who prostituted himself and his party for a seat in cabinet.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Another Tory con trick

The expression on his face says it all .The smile of the 21st Century Uriah Heap. Not content with robbing us blind with tax increases and service cuts, Osbourne now tries to sell us another con trick in the same mold as privatisation. The Chancellor has told Treasury officials to find ways to persuade savers to transfer billions of pounds in to new government "growth bonds". Another pot for these parasitic ConDems to plunder for their own bailouts when ever the time suits them. Our money is safer stuffed into a mattress or left where it is, rather than allowing these thieving highway men to get their grubby paws on it.

Monday, 4 June 2012

One night at a Premier Inn costs the tax payer £165.50

Claiming £165.50 expenses is not necessarily wrong as the figure is a flat rate expense. However, coming on the heels of the other revelations since the middle of last month, this latest exposure demonstrates that Warsi can be insensitive when responding. "Staying with a friend"  rent free while her flat was being finalised, an "oversight" resulting in  undeclared rental income, an undisclosed controlling interest in a spice manufacturing company, 17 tax payer funded foreign trips at least one of which was with her business partner, Abid Hussain who has been a leading member of Hizb ut Tahrir, the radical Islamic group the Tories promised to ban while in opposition and now this latest disclosure of  her behaviour.
On my Blog "New Agenda" yesterday (Sunday June 3rd 2012) I wrote, "Like the drip, drip, drip of Chinese water torture, the now almost daily, allegations concerning this patronising obnoxious woman continue to emerge. She should be subjected to a thorough investigation not only by the House of Lords Committee, but also the police."

It seems to me that the time for such investigations is now overdue

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Israel: State Terrorists.

Airstrikes by Israeli F16's against civilians in Beit Lahia, Deir el-Ballah and Khan Younis , can hardly be described as self defence. The thugs of the IDF hide behind the facade of " .........strength and determination...." when they really mean collective punishment by the use of state terrorism.

New questions for Sayeeda Hussain Warsi.

 Like the drip, drip, drip of Chinese water torture, the now almost daily, allegations concerning this patronising obnoxious woman continue to emerge. She should be subjected to a thorough investigation not only by the House of Lords Committee, but also the police.

Saturday, 2 June 2012
The following text is an extract from a "Google Groups" item on Royal Affairs. For the full text of this story just click the link. It is item which deserves a much wider audience than it will actually get.
 "In 1956 the Queen discovered that Prince Philip was having an affair with
Princess Alexandra. She banned him from her bed and the marriage ended in
the conventional sense. In his book 'Queen Elizabeth II, a woman who is not
amused' Nicholas Davies writes at page 169: It is extraordinary that an
affair involving two members of the royal family, one of them married to the
Queen, has remained a secret for so many years. To the nation and their
beloved Commonwealth, the royals have purported to set an example for all
their subjects. Yet, the Queen's consort, the man married to the Head of the
Church of England whose views on adultery were unwaveringly strict, has been
living an adulterous life for most of the 45 years he has been married to
the Queen. Alexandra's daughter, Marina, almost revealed the secret in 1989
when she became pregnant. Her parents urged her to have an abortion and
Marina was so angry that she decided to tell all to a newspaper. Fortunately
for her parents and Elizabeth and Philip caution prevailed and the affair
remained a closely guarded royal confidence known only to a very few." 

Friday, 1 June 2012

An open letter to Question Time panel. 31 May 2012

An open letter to Alan Duncan, Stella Creasy, Mark Oaten, Fraser Nelson and Victoria Coren, regarding last night's (31st May 2012) Question Time on BBC Television. 
At 24 minutes into the programme, a Mr Simon MacCausland asked “Would the UK be justified in banning Syrian delegation members with connections to the Assad regime, from the London 2012 Olympics?”

The uprising in Syria has been on going for over a year and during that time, there have been numerous atrocities carried out across the country but, regardless of who carried out this latest atrocity in Houla, be it “armed gangs” as claimed by the Assad regime, or Assad's forces and militia as claimed by the opposition, this event in itself should be recognised as a crime against humanity and those responsible should be held to account. The debate and comments during the next 11 minutes was predominately centred on the barbarity of the Assad regime and what, if anything, could be done by the international community to change the situation. It is clear to me that the problems in Syria are intensely complex and achieving a solution will be difficult if not impossible, given the current attitude of at least two of the UN security council members.
The debate among the panel touched on many options ranging from military intervention to more sanctions with Fraser Nelson at on stage saying that “We tend to shape the world rather than be shaped by it. We are the country that helps people who are being oppressed on the other side of the world.”
It was at this point that I became acutely aware of a glaring omission in the exchanges. The killing of civilians, particularly children in systematic attacks by government forces is an odious and unforgivable event. It is no more or less odious in Syria as it is in Gaza or Hebron or any of the other of the towns and villages of the occupied territories and the West Bank. To debate for over 10 minutes, the atrocity of Houla, without one single mention of the daily atrocities in Palestine, is by any standards insensitive. It seems to be yet another example of the media generally and sadly many people, ignoring a situation which has been deteriorating rapidly over recent years because presumably, it does not “fit in” with the accepted perceptions, or Palestinians do not really matter, or Israel is involved so we had better remain silent.
This seems to be the general level of today's debate where the subject of Palestine is concerned.
Ladies and gentlemen of the panel, it was an interesting exchange and I would have preferred to be in the audience to make these points. However, should you be in similar circumstances in the future, please bear in mind that there are places other than Syria where civilians are being terrorised.