Friday, April 30, 2010

The Death of Politics

That debate was an absolute disgrace. If this is the intellectual capacity of the three men who will be charged, either jointly or individually, with leading the UK out of economic crisis, then you may as well tow it out to the middle of the Atlantic and sink it.

I turned it off after half an hour, because not one of them has a grasp of even basic Economics, and not one of them can suppress the populism coursing through his veins like fire. Brown YET AGAIN gets away with this ludicrous statement about the Tories taking 6bn out of the economy. Why? Because CMD doesn't understand how to counter the argument. I have gone through this before and won't waste time repeating myself.

Not one of them can answer a question properly. Not one of them can debate properly. Nick Clegg's pathetic re-use of his "I didn't hear your name. is it? Well , you're absolutely right" goes unpunished. Brown just appears to have no idea what he is being asked, so utterly indoctrinated in his own nonsense is he. CMD is just so utterly weak and feeble when faced with frankly terrible opposition, that he is actually going to balls this election up, and if he does win it will be despite his myriad failings not because of his leadership.

So what next? I have no idea, but it's pretty bleak. They can talk all they like about restarting the manufacturing industry, but this isn't a planned economy and they don't work anyway. They can talk about getting the Banks to lend again, but if you tax them AND regulate them at the same time that won't work. Cutting benefits is a step in the right direction I suppose, but it won't be enough as long as there is this obsession with frontline services and a refusal to consider reducing foreign aid.

Thursday 6th May will be remembered as a terrible day for the UK, no matter what happens. It will be the day politics finally came off life support, and couldn't breathe on its own.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

King Canute

There was much excitement in the financial world yesterday as the Euro collapsed following a relentless stream of negative news on Greece and Portugal. Things are a little brighter today (ish) after the IMF talked about increasing the bailout size, however Germany is clearly still not overly keen on helping the Greeks out, and who can blame them.

There is a monumental amount of denial going on here though. Even if Greece is bailed out, it won't solve any structural problems, but merely buy some time. This time will be used to spend the bailout money, and we'll be back in the same boat as before, but this time 60bn Euros poorer, and with Portugal and Spain also on the brink.

The whole thing looks to me like trying to push the tide back. Eventually, no matter what you do, you'll be like King Canute, up to your neck in it. Better not to spend the money in my view. It's actually quite hard to see how we're going to get out of this one really. I just hope there's some bailout money left for the UK!

Monday, April 26, 2010


I became a father for the second time on Saturday, another little boy. Really puts all this election bullshit in proper perspective. Feel much less angry about it, I just can't get excited about three charlatans pissing about each pretending that their the only one to save us from the perils of a hung parliament.

I also realise that my job is to make sure my kids are well educated, independent and cynical enough to ask the right questions. I can't do much about their future, but I can prepare them well for it.

He's uber-cute by the way, like his brother.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Six Thousand Million Pounds

Why is Brown allowed to get away with statements like this?

"So the dangers of the Conservative policy of cutting ten time this amount - six thousand million pounds - out of the economy as they propose for an emergency Budget in June are as grave as they are misjudged," he said.

For God's sake, why doesn't Cameron explain that this is NOT money out of the economy? We are the frigging economy, not the State! The 6 billion (and Brown's patronising explanation of how big the number is annoys me as well) came from the economy. This is basic stuff, and begging for Cameron or Osborne to just crush this nonsense.

Not only that, but Brown is using the fear of a double-dip recession to try to win votes. Again, why he is being allowed to get away with this? He should be torn to pieces, crushed like an ant, taken down to Chinatown in a rickshaw driven by Tory Bear for this crap (sorry, got carried away, amusing mental image though).

No wonder we're heading for a hung Parliament when CMD ignores a gold-plated opportunity like this time and time again. Time is ticking, and Dave's time is now, unless he wants to be remembered as the Tory that couldn't beat Brown.

From the Times

Happy St. George's Day

I hereby recommend you:

Here in Switzerland, I shall be celebrating by:

  • Reminding everyone I work with that it is St. George's Day and they should all speak English to me today (amusing)
  • Have lunch with two Englishmen (and an American)
  • Having a barbecue this evening with my English pal, whereby we shall drink French lager and eat Swiss beef at an English pace

Have a good day all!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Cameron misses the point

In an interview with the Times today, CMD misses the point horribly with the following statement:
"We need to win a whole series of arguments about the problems of a hung Parliament".


You need to win the election by explaining to people why they should vote for the Conservatives.
You need to win a whole series of arguments about why the Conservatives should lead this country.
You need to win a whole series of arguments about why we can expect anything different from you.
You need to appeal to people who are thinking "stuff this, I'll vote BNP/UKIP/LPUK/Green/Monster Raving 'cos the big three all look the same to me"*.

The argument can't just be "vote for me, otherwise we'll have a hung parliament and that's no good."

The lack of ambition is palpable, and a huge disappointment.

*Not lumping together or dismissing these parties, or commenting on them per se. Just illustrating my point that a lot of disillusioned people may well vote elsewhere than the big three not because they want a Hung Parliament, but because they want something else. This is the point that escapes Cameron (and the other two).

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Immodest Women & Earthquakes

Those harlots, synchronised adulterous bonking is what it is!

On Portugal

Engaging Finance Hat...

Much fuss has been made about Greece being bailed out recently, and rightly so. Bailing out a country whose national pasttime is tax evasion, in which "95 percent of taxpayers declare annual income of less than 30,000 euros", is a lunacy. However, Greece is the least of our worries.

Portugal may well be the next shoe to drop. The Portuguese entered the Euro at too high a rate, and this has shafted them well and truly. They are also a poster child for the impact of the economic largesse of the EU on a previously relatively well-run country. As the Telegraph article points out, Portugal was run much better than the UK in recent years, and yet they have drifted into crisis due to the pain of maintaining an overvalued Euro and an explosion of private debt.

The most disturbing issue here is that the IMF probably can't bail out Portugal, a much larger economy than Greece. If Portugal falls, there may be major pain in Europe, and a Euro break-up would look very likely indeed.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Read This

Powerful stuff, needs a wider audience.

Great Debate

Pretty tedious really, found it so hard to concentrate. Agree with Dizzy though, Clegg came over really well and looked worryingly like a leader. Brown was actually not as car-crash like as I might have expected. His first answer was mystifying but after that he warmed up, tough for the incumbent even if he is an idiot. Repeated himself too much though.

The big failure was Cameron. The Tories are so bloody terrified of putting people off, they shy away from every single opportunity. When Brown was banging on about taking 6bn out of the economy, over and over again, Cameron had a golden opportunity to explain that no, the money wouldn't leave the economy, it would leave the Government's coffers. As any fule no, privately spent money is usually better used than public spending, so the 6bn would probably be used better. Instead he hemmed and hawed and didn't really get anywhere.

CMD will need to step it up for the next one, because if he doesn't own these debates, then hung parliament all the way, and with Brown's "Nick and I agree..." parroting in evidence, that is something to be scared of.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Freedom to Chewse

In the US, it seems the Major League (of Baseball) want to ban players from using smokeless tobacco while playing. To be clear, they are referring to chewing tobacco. The reasons? Health risks and a bad influence on the children.

So a grown adult will now be banned from using a product that is completely legal and has absolutely zero negative impact on anyone other than the user. This adult is not allowed to look after his own health, and of course we have the "won't anyone think of the cheeldren" argument.

“The highest prevalence of smokeless tobacco use in recent years has been observed among young adults, especially males,” Pechacek said today in prepared testimony. “Few adults 26 years or older reported initiating smokeless tobacco use,” he said, citing data from 2002 to 2007.

The key word there is "adult". So now, a man under the age of 26 is so impressionable that he will start chewing tobacco purely because a baseball player does it.

The utter contempt with which we are treated (and it's the same in the UK, although not in Switzerland yet thank god) is truly depressing.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Had a funny thought

I had a strange half-awake dream this morning. It's the Cameroid, about 3 days before the election coming out and basically saying:

"Labour keep nicking our policies, or lying to undermine them, so we've kept these beauties under major secrecy until the last moment", then laying out a proper badass manifesto involving an EU referendum, savage spending cuts, a proper quango bonfire that doesn't involve another quango to manage, a single tax rate and various other bits that I can't remember because I was half asleep. Naturally he went on to win by a massive landslide, as about 20% of the country who weren't planning to vote said "sod it, I think I will".

I know it won't happen, but I can't think for the life of me why not. He could crush NuLab this way, they just would not have time to respond at all.