Monday, 27 June 2011

Annabelle Fuller

Annabelle Fuller is a very close friend and long time associate of Nigel Farage. I saw her at the first UKIP NEC meeting I attended when she seemed to be allowed by the chairman to wander in and out of the meeting at will. She has featured previously in the tabloid press baring her victim status for all interested to see and read. The first incident was written up in the Daily Mail, click on link to read it. Despite the menacing nature  of these phone calls she claims to have received she never reported them to the police but it did provide a good story for the Mail.

The date of this 'story' was very close to the time Del Young a UKIP NEC member received phone calls threatening he would be killed. Del did report these threats to the police who traced these calls to some misguided youths. I often wonder who was guiding these misguided youths? To the best of my knowledge Del's death threats were not published in the media.

The next time Ms Fuller came up at the UKIP NEC was when John West, a long time UKIP activists and potential UKIP MEP candidate for the Eastern region,  had his confidential media test interview with Clive Page, UKIP's press officer and nominally Ms Fuller's boss posted on YouTube from a Morocco ISP address with the very damaging title, 'How not to do politics'. The video tape  copy of this interview was kept on Ms Fuller's laptop which she subsequently claimed she had left in a London taxi and which was returned to her by the cabbie two days later. Her story  relayed to the NEC by chairman Whittaker was the taxi driver may have posted John's interview on YouTube. He presumably flew to Morocco and back to do so and carefully selected John's interview from the hundred or so interviews on the laptop. Some taxi driver!

Del Young, David Abbott and I pressed for a full NEC investigation into how personal confidential material on a potential UKIP candidate ended up on YouTube. Chairman Whittaker said he was not minded to take this matter further. I wonder why not?  To this day Ms Fuller continues her association with UKIP and Mr Farage.

Her latest unsettling experience is documented in yesterday's Sunday Mirror and today's DT. Click on link to read. Note the similarities in these two stories with the much earlier Mail story. Yet again despite the clearly serious nature of these events Ms Fuller has declined to press charges against the Tory MP Andrew Bridgen, married with two children  who is named in these articles. He is quoted as below in today's DT.

"Naturally, I remain hurt and angry that such a ludicrous, false and unsubstantiated allegation should have been given the attention it has."

"The allegation was unfair and hurtful not just to myself but to my wife and children, who bore the brunt of huge and unwarranted media intrusion.”

Exactly! I hope Mr Bridgen will be minded to pursue this matter!

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Back to more of the same

I returned from France late on Friday to find nothing much had changed. The Greeks need yet more money, Dave is supporting the Euro for all he is worth and Annabelle Fuller is keeping UKIP's profile to the fore in the Sunday Mirror, click on link to read. I do hope for their next piece the Sunday Mirror research Ms Fuller more fully.

The Greek situation has been like a slow motion car smash for many months but slowly it is dawning on the media that this crisis loans are all about trying to save the Eurocrat's faces and highly paid jobs rather than helping Greece. Indeed the current extra loans can only worsen things for the Greeks. The money will go straight to the banks and  Spiros will be left to foot the very large bills. Its the usual privatise the profits and nationalise the losses that bankers love as it keeps them in bonuses.

To this end I read with some amusement the article by in today's Sunday Telegraph by Jim O'Neil chairman of Goldman Sachs whose solution is to issue common Euro bonds to fund roughly 50% of Greek debt at near German interest rates.  That's called talking your book in the City with lots of lovely commission for Golden Sacks selling such bonds and of course receiving the money for all that Greek junk that Goldman's and vulture funds have been rumoured to be recently buying. Its an ill wind that does not inflate the bankers bonus pool.

As I wrote months ago the Greek tragedy will be played out like the Athenian boule of 500 BC on the streets of Athens. Its easy enough to get the well paid and cosseted political elite to vote for austerity that will not affect themselves. Its a quite different thing to eradicate the rampant Greek tax evasion that such austerity measures need if they are to work.  A default by any other name will be just that.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

UKIP's Economic Naivete

I seldom write on UKIP these days as I find it all a bit boring as I will explain. However when UKIP impinges on Eurozone monetary economics in a particularly uninformed manner I feel obliged to comment. I discovered this on looking at and I am grateful for one who calls himself Baron von Lotsov for the link I post below to the UKIP website:

I quote from this site:

"Nigel Farage, Leader of UKIP, today joined UKIP supporters in Westminster while MPs debated whether or not UK taxpayers' cash should be used in future bailouts of struggling Eurozone economies.
Under the banner 'No More Bailouts' he announced UKIP's five point plan:

Stop the Eurozone bailouts - repeated transfusions won't resuscitate a corpse.

Release Portugal, Ireland and Greece from the prison of the Euro, and Spain if they want to.

Write off a lot of their debts so every nation's finances are sustainable.

Re-establish their currencies at realistic values that enable them to grow.

Save Europe's economy and get it growing again. And don't let them rejoin the Euro, or it will all happen again."

The full unexpurgated show can be seen by clicking on link

I recommend a viewing. I think that is Winston MacKenzie on Farage's left and did I see McGough in the background? Its another gimmick to go alongside the headless chickens in the pantheon of Farage gimmicks and ends with a spirited rendition of "There's a hole in my bucket".

Turning now to the 5 point plan, it asks the EU to dissolve in a puff of smoke like Aladdin's genie and just go away and at the same time would wreck havoc in world finances which would make the Lehman's default and resulting bank crisis we are still enduring look like a minor incident.

They are inter-related points some good, some bad, all hopelessly naive.

Stop Eurozone bailouts, result Greece, Portugal and Ireland default their bonds and Spain goes into meltdown.  Every European and international bank would be left with a huge hole on their balance sheet and would immediately request another government bail out and we all now know who ends up paying for that!

Release the PIGS from the Euro. The end of the EU project. Wonderful except Turkeys don't vote for Xmas and Pigs don't vote for New Year.

Write off their debts. Its nice for Nigel to be so generous with other peoples money and leaves again a huge hole in bank balance sheets. Already one LibDem MP is whingeing about the 80% haircut on his Allied Irish PIB.

Re-establish PIGS currencies at realistic levels ie kick them out of the Euro and end the EU as we know it. Just wishful thinking and would leave the PIGS with a huge amount of Euro debt that would have to be repaid in Euros from a depreciating currency. ie more austerity for the PIGS.

Save Europe's economy, get it growing and don't let the naughty PIGS rejoin the Euro. There is nothing wrong with the core EU economy or its growth rate! It does not need saving but the UK economy does, its in a far worse state then core EU, so lets concentrate on that.

All in all a gamma minus, populist  non-plan to a very complex and intractable problem. If you want to influence thinking on this problem you have to get real and get some people in to write the UKIP policy in this area who know what they are talking about like Tim Congdon. Gimmicks won't wash Mr Farage.

I noticed on Butcher's forum another thread entitled, 'Roger Knapman to return'. This is complete rubbish. UKIP have just elected Nigel Farage as leader with 60% of the vote. Roger like me is a democrat and respects the will of the UKIP members. They have spoken and endorsed Nigel Farage. Let us leave Mr Farage to get on with the job.

Roger I know will be concentrating on the salmon in the Tor and Tamar and will continue to be a loyal ordinary member of UKIP which is what he has always been.

For myself I will be kept occupied by my wife as I have always been. I also will continue to be a loyal UKIP member though I would not be human if I did not feel bitter about my expulsion from the NEC based on a document written by the Tory turncoat Bannerman. I leave it to the members to judge who was the loyal member of UKIP and who were the political opportunists.

Due to my wife's plans I will not be posting again until 25th June.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

French court delays ruling to help Lagarde's IMF leadership bid

I wrote only 2 days ago on how France is always prepared to bend the rules to help its own self interest. Now my opiniing has been vindicated. Mme Lagarde is accused of overstepping her authority to help prominent businessman and close friend of Sarkozy, Bernard Tapie over a controversial payment  to BT of €285 million. Mme Lagarde denies the allegations but sarky is taking no chances and has arranged for the court ruling to be delayed until after the French election.

Poor DSK. Had he faced allegations from a chambermaid in France I doubt we would have heard of it and we certainly would not have seen him marched off in handcuffs by the police. Us Brits have a mild dose of the same disease with the Attorney General refusing an inquest into the death of Dr David Kelly. All governments will behave like this if they think they can get away with it. In the US they know they can't which is why I admire the US system, founded in part on the good old Scots declaration of Arbroath around 1410, so much.

A new contender has entered the IMF fray,  the Israeli central banker Stanley Fischer. Now which way will the US government so influenced by the Jewish lobby go now on the US IMF vote?  Its unlikely Mme Lagarde can win if the Yanks vote for Fischer. Sacre bleu!

Meanwhile across the pond in Euroland the ECB and the Krauts squabble over haircuts on Greek bonds and the Greek opposition party is now running ahead of the ruling PASOK party which has been steadily losing popularity since the first bail out and resulting austerity measures. Reuters reports the Greeks are ever more ready to take to the streets.

Mr Farage, what are you and UKIP doing to capitalise on this turmoil in Euroland?

Friday, 10 June 2011

Greek political pressure builds up

Reuters reports the IMF and EU have demanded wider political consensus in Greece before they give the debt-ridden euro zone member more cash. But the main opposition groups have vowed to vote against the new measures, saying they are choking economic growth.

The markets don't like the signs of increasing political unrest although in my experience this usually happens, even in the UK, when the IMF becomes involved. I detect a harder tone in the IMF statements since DSK demised. The Eurozone needs Mme Lagarde in as IMF head pronto.

Greek and Spanish bond spreads to bunds are creeping out again a sure sign of market unease.

During a speech to Parliament in Berlin this morning the German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble referred to a possible second bailout of Greece and argued “we have to insist on the participation of the private sector”. This is anathema to the ECB which currently allows banks across the Eurozone to put up Greek government debt as collateral for finance.

If Greece defaults the ECB cannot, at least according to their rules,  accept Greek bonds as collateral in their refinancing operations but they have broken so many rules and Treaty agreements already what difference will one more breach make? Well it will undermine further confidence in the Euro and its central bank the ECB with Johnny Foreigner.

Her Schaeuble is talking about Greek bond holders taking a hair cut, ie agreeing to a  reduction in the value of their Greek bonds. Its not going to happen Herr S. It will be treated by the ratings agencies as a default with dire consequences on the markets for the other PIGS debt.

Its anathema to the ECB as they are the biggest holders of Greek bonds and stand to lose something like 20bn € under the German plan. Oh dear!

Archbishop tells it how it is, UKIP next I hope

Rowan Williams was spot on to point out the complete lack of democratic legitimacy of Dave and Nick's coalition. Let us hope he turns to UKIP next. Its a party that should be sued under the trades description act. It stands for further involvement in the EU not leaving the EU if Fuerher Farage gets his way. I pity the many loyal supporters who thought they were working for a leave the EU party. Its the Nigel Farage party, or should I say cult, sole objective the promotion of Nigel Farage and the remuneration of his Cabal.

Greece continues, with the IMF indicating they want to see real action by the EU on the problem. I doubt they will get action just more hot air. That is the EU way! I sign off as my internet connection is so slow. So slow in fact I could not get this to post last night so I do it this morning

Lots of interesting stuff is coming out today on Greece and already the spreads to bunds on Greek and Spanish debt has widened appreciably this morning. More on this later today.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Greek strikes increase

I returned from Edinburgh to read of further Greek strikes current and future. Reuters reports,

"Prime Minister George Papandreou is meeting senior members of his socialist party (PASOK) to try to stem an outbreak of unrest over the social cost of the bailout before it turns into a full-scale parliamentary rebellion.

Tens of thousands are protesting regularly against waves of austerity demanded by the European Union and IMF, as well as corruption and state mismanagement, while workers at state firms earmarked for privatisation have called a strike for Thursday."

The Greek PM is pursuing a TINA strategy, there is no alternative. Well there is and its called leave the Euro. I am surprised the Greek government has lasted this long but there will have to be fresh elections soon. No amount of bail out will stop that happening.

The Greeks are suffering. Unemployment climbed to 16.2 percent in March, the highest in the euro zone after Spain. Wednesday.'s statistics showed  Industrial production tumbled 11.0 percent year- on-year in April as Greece suffers its third year of recession, public spending cuts and higher taxes.

Employees of state companies due to be privatised have strikes arranged. There are nightly protests outside their parliament buildings. as one Greek politician pointed out the true measure of their achievement is  to have emptied the banks of deposits and filled the city squares with people.

Up in the Athens of the North the Tory idea to have two referendums on independence in case the  Scots vote the wrong way first time shows just how close to the EU the Tories are. its a god send for wee 'Eck. 

Friday, 3 June 2011

Greek tragedy is like Prometheus's punishment by the gods

Prometheus gave fire to humans against Zeus's wishes. His punishment was to be chained to a mountain in Turkey and every day eagles came and tore at his liver and every night his liver regrew so the eagles came again the next day. Thus today every week brings a new bail out statement from the EU leading to a strengthening of the Euro followed by the rating agency eagles  who downgrade Greek debt yet again. Its the Greeks punishment for their un-German profligate behaviour.

How long can it last? I heard last night on the Radio 4 news a Greek economist opining 18 months given the current new bail out and then something had to change. Trichet of the ECB recognises this in his call yesterday for a European Finance Ministry with powers over all European nations budgets. Dave, the DT Tory house journal reports, is deeply concerned but as a true blue Tory he will kow tow to Brussels when the crunch comes.

I am glad to see the DT leader writers read this blog and chose to go on EU students taking UK university places from British students at our expense!

Well I am off to Edinburgh so no more blogging for a few days

Thursday, 2 June 2011

EU students take UK children's university places

'EU students add to university squeeze' is the head line in today's DT. Have they only just noticed. EU students  are subsidised by you the UK taxpayer and are eligible for the same low interest loans except when they disappear back to Europe no one enforces their loan repayments. We must be mad! The situation within our top universities particularly Oxbridge is even worse. That's where these EU spongers are concentrated and that's why Oxbridge is very coy about knowing how many EU undergraduates they have.

For the ardent monarchists can I point out that those students from the last vestiges of the Duchess of Normandy's realm, the Channel Islands have to pay full fees. No UK support for them! What it is to be a loyal subject of Elizabeth Windsor aka von Battenberg aka Saxe Coburg Gotha.

Mean while Dr Frau Merkel was at her Churchillian best stating the EU and the IMF won't quit Greece. Well she would say that wouldn't she. Moodys, the rating agency, take a more realistic view of Greek debt which they have yet again downgraded to junk status. Its now looking increasingly likely that there will be a fire sale of Greek assets to satisfy the Krauts followed I opine by a Greek revolution. Already Greek MP's need a police escort to get home safely after their latest kow tow to the Franco Prussian alliance.

Do not feel left out. Soon the UK like Greece will feel the jackboot of the EU on its throat. Yesterday's UK economic figures reporting a manufacturing slump and fall in mortgage approvals ensures that.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Add two headlines to get the truth

Today's DT business headlines one of its page 1 articles, " Banks  'use soft terms to conceal the truth'". This castigates banks for shifting home owners onto interest only deals, extend terms or even permit payment holidays - some 63% of troubled home loans so benefit according to the FSA. It avoids the banks having to own up to bad debts, non-performing loans or whatever you care to call someone who has defaulted on their repayments. It hides the unpleasant truth from the general public.

The next DT business headline reads, "Markets buoyed by hopes of second Greek bailout". Markets believe this will reduce the risk of Greece defaulting and the nasty Huns will give up their demand for Greek bond holders to take a loss on their bonds. The two situations are exactly analagous so why are the banks castigated and the EU praised for doing the same thing? I presume because the DT does not want to upset boy Dave by telling the truth about his beloved EU.

Damian Reece on page 2 is not so easily fooled. 'Europe's rich can't keep bailing out the poor'. Exactly Mr Reece and as you say, 'hardly a cause for celebration'. Its called chucking good money, your money, after bad or as the EU have it strengthening the case for fiscal union.

Don't worry, the markets will soon be back to irritate the Eurocrats again.