Sunday, 29 January 2012

Our politicians ignorance of history costs us dear

As a Scot I was glad to see the darling of our liberal media elite A Marr, a less well educated Scot, corrected this morning on the subject of the break up of the United Kingdom.

Wee Alec trounced big ears Marr this morning on the subject of his wanting to break up the United Kingdom. Wee Eck pointed out the UK was set up by the union of the crowns in 1603 following the death of Lizzie I and accession of Jimmy I and VI and that the SNP supported and would maintain this. What the SNP want out of is the 1707 Union of the Parliaments Act.

Its a pity our political class don't know their history. It would have saved us many lives and much gold in Afghanistan if they had read the history of the Afghan wars in the 19th century particularly the retreat from Kabul c 1840. A British Army of two thousand went in and I think two came out. A bit like Napper's retreat from Moscow and Merkozy's coming retreat from Euro land.

Another who does not know his history is Old Etonian William Legge, UKIP MEP for the South West, who has been making silly statements about the ECHR and what we need
is a return to British  legal values. The ECHR was in fact set up by the distinguished UK lawyer Maxwell Fyffe  in 1946 to bring British legal values to the unfortunate Continentals.

Its the personnel of the ECHR that is the problem not its core principles and values.

I have written little recently on the Eurozone monetary problems. Its been a busted flush for over a year now and has been on life support with constant infusions of newly minted central bank money. As a dog returns to its vomit so a fool returns to his folly. Sarky and his chums are desperate chiens seeking re-election. Admitting the failure of their pet project would be the final nail in his coffin.

As I have previously opined this whole sad business will be settled on the streets of the European capitals with much blood shed and many heads broken but unfortunately not the guilty ones. The boy will vacillate but eventually do what his paymasters demand and support the failed EU project. Another Old Etonian who has not read the history of monetary unions.

They don't seem to do history at Eton even of the last war. Putting an EU German gauleiter into Athens to rule Greece is crazy! Read what the SS did in Greece in the last war Dave and try and learn. 

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Prober outlines EUKIP's failings

There is someone who posts on Butcher's forum under the nom de plume Prober who is one of the few worth reading on that site. Most of the posts are made by anonymous Farage wannabee MEPs eg Gothmog  who are scared to post under their real names and are impervious to huge volumes of inconvenient facts. Click on link to read Prober's latest effort. Its on a thread started by Niall Warry on the topic "What should our Exit and Survival Strategy be from the EU?"

Niall Warry has correctly identified this as a major defect in EUKIP's  largely non-exisitent political strategy. The lack of any coherent strategy is a result of EUKIP degenerating into a Farage cult with talented members being smeared and removed to join the swelling army of former UKIP members which now far outnumbers UKIP members.

I quote Prober's post in full below:

"Clegg says (unchallenged) that UK has to stay subordinate to EU because 2 million jobs and 40% of our exports ( implying 40% of our income) is bound up with EU and would be lost if we pulled out.

One would have thought that ages ago UKIP would have articulated and quantified on its website a vision for a future of and step by step pathway to a UK outside the EU emerging as a global 
outward looking production and bilateral international trading link nation replace the inward looking future of being hampered by a declining high cost EU. An essential part of such public
education would be to identify and realistically quantify the short and long term political and economic costs and and benefits and what would need to be done to ensure that the man in the street is not hit in the pocket and how he would benefit.

In addition, the idea that after (if) UK walks away or renegotiates membership, the EU (despite its problems) is just going to disappear makes UKIP look head in sand ridiculous. To establish its credibility UKIP should have on its website its identification of what a future EU could be like ( an association of free nations in co-operation and negotiated bilateral free trade with no powers over nations) , how it could be structured , how a pathway could come about and what savings would result and what UK's relationship to it would be. UKIP was wedded to election campaignprinciples of "keep it simple just say " NO !" That gets 16% of the vote .

Note that if a referendum on pull out from the EU is held today it would be lost because the "fear factor" would overcome antipathy towards the EU. One would have thought that a prime objective of UKIP would be public education targeted to overcome that fear. Its shop window ( its website) doesnt seem to indicate it is very important.

A party hungry for success would deeply attack the record of big 3 MPS and failure of their parties as cant or wont provide the EU solution in the interests of UK people. UKIP hardly tries except for the odd squeak and MPs can ignore UKIP with impunity. UKIP as a party seems to be an invisible except on displacement activity ( English parliament , MEPs in Pan European party or not, pub campaign) , ... almost an irelevant spectator of events going more or less its way . Despite once having more MEPs than Labour BBC dont invite UKIP on newsnight when economists and EU officials are deliberating EU solutions/problems or the domestic economy is the subject. That fits the concept of a party happy for events to take their course and relieved to disband and support Tories (a la Pearson ) if a referendum is achieved and UK pulls out of the EU. It doesnt fit the concept of a party that has a domestic credibility long term vision."

 The problem is EUKIP's laziness. They don't do the research and homework required to rebut and expose LibLabCon lies. Their back up research where it exists is poor quality. Not surprising as the researchers are appointed because of their unquestioning support for Farage and desire for MEP slots rather than talent and ability. This is  mirrored in the poor quality and lack of effort of many of their MEPs like William Legge, Bloom, Nuttall etc. They just want to pose and preen before the diminishing EUKIP faithful and like Farage hope for invites on to Newsnight etc. The problem is they are empty barrels and have nothing worthwhile to say so the invites have dried up. They are not interested in the hard graft and grind of politics like setting up a decent web site, keeping it up to date with relevant facts and authoritative opinion.

Are the Hamiltons, the face of Tory sleaze in the 90s, the people to change this? I don't think so but mores the pity obviously some UKIP members do. 

I compare them with John Redwood who sends out his email every day to anyone interested. Its well researched, well written and commands respect. Redwood is of course a very able man backed up by able researchers.

Farage and his cabal lack depth of knowledge and ability. They are being exposed as shallow and inconsequential compared to Alex Salmond and his able team. EUKIP has to change and Farage and his cabal have to be got rid of or our leave the EU cause is dead. 

Friday, 20 January 2012

What hold does Nigel Farage have on people?

No ski-ing today as it is snowing heavily so I looked at Junius's blog where he was writing on Nuttall and Greg Beaman. It has always puzzled me how Nigel Farage manages to control some people in UKIP. It is easy to see how he manages it with those who aspire to preferment and want to get on the MEP gravy train. That is the carrot end but there are some to whom this does not apply so he must be using the stick as well.

I do not know Greg Beaman but I have always found his behaviour regarding his 2009 MEP candidacy very puzzling. He spent a long time working to get votes from the North West membership to be on UKIP's MEP slate and came top in the members ballot pushing Nuttall into second place. It is rumoured he then received one or more phone calls from Nigel and having worked so hard for his number one position on the slate he stood down.

Greg Beaman must have had some reasons for his resignation and given it cost him something approaching one million pounds to resign from the EU gravy train they must have been very good ones. It of course left UKIP North West in the hands of Nuttall, a long time Farage associate with results that according to Junius have been dire for UKIP in the region and I would say UKIP over the whole country.

MEP positions are very lucrative as is shown by Yorkshire LibDem Diana Wallis who announced her resignation yesterday. She will be succeeded by her husband Stephen Arnold who was next on the Lib Dem Yorkshire list. That nicely keeps the EU gravy money in the family! 

It seems that Mr Arnold was previously Ms Wallis's chief of staff under an EU loophole that allows MEPs elected before June 2009 to employ their close relations. Now guess who else used that loophole to employ his wife? That's right, UKIP's Nigel Farage! When Mottram raised the issue at the famous Nov 2009 NEC that was the answer Farage gave. It certainly maximises the family income from the EU.

The reported reaction of Denis MacShane, former Europe minister to Wallis Arnold was blistering. He said it was unacceptable," by any standards of nepotism".

North West Lib Dem MEP said the decision would leave a bad taste in the mouths of voters and reinforced the "jobs for the boys" image that many people have of MEPs.

A man is known by the company he keeps. 

Thursday, 12 January 2012

SNP shows UKIP how its done

The SNP is like UKIP opposed in its main policy aim by every other UK national political and the UK national media including the BBC yet the SNP is making real progress to its aspiration of Scottish independence and UKIP is no nearer getting us out of the EU than when it was founded 20 years ago, indeed we are probably now more embedded in the EU than we were in 1992. UKIP in its current EUKIP incarnation is like Italy and its army going backwards.

The reasons why the SNP is succeeding and UKIP failing are instructive and obvious. Firstly they have campaigned and fought in their own country a sine qua non for any nationalist party serious about its independence aims. The SNP leader, Alec Salmond  , resigned his Westminster seat to return to Scotland to further the SNP cause.  EUKIP's leadership spend most of their working time in Brussels working for the EU! They are EU kept men and women but only in Andreasen's case..

Alex S has built up a talented leadership team who can hold their own with other parties and the media. Appearances on high profile TV political shows are shared among the SNP leadership who as a result are now "well ken't faces" North and South of the border. EUKIP is simply a Nigel Farage cult. All high profile media appearances are reserved for Nigel to further his real ambition to become a TV chat show host. 

In EUKIP anyone else  who might rival Farage in any way is discredited and eventually leaves UKIP. This of course has created a huge number  of dissidents  characterised by those seeking preferment from Farage as malcontents. There is by now a whole army of people so smeared to the extent UKIP ex-members now outnumber EUKIP members! Its difficult to win a war if your army keeps shrinking. Alec's army on the other hand keeps growing.

The SNP has a solid long term experienced membership who are in the SNP for their cause and put money into the SNP not like many in EUKIP who are there in eager anticipation of receiving the EU's 30 Euros.  There are no SNP 18 year old mayoral candidates still doing their A levels.

Note also the complete lack of Lords a'leaping in the SNP whereas EUKIP is stuffed full of broken down old aristos who live in grand houses and on grouse moors and have no idea how the ordinary people live. These aristos are in EUKIP to gratify their huge ego and vanity or as one once said to me to give him a 'platform for his views'.  The problem is his views are irrelevant to the ordinary voters of the UK and not worth listening to.

There are of course no redundant old Tories with lots of baggage in the SNP.  EUKIP has just saddled itself with the Hamilton's who did so much to undermine John Major's administration to add to Gill, Pearson, Monckton etc. What a collection! Alec prefers people like himself who have done real jobs and have solid talent and experience and no political baggage.

Finally read Peter Oborne and Alan Cochrane's pieces in today's DT for an unbiased assessment of Alec's talents and abilities. "Where he excels is with the broadcast media. A consummate TV performer especially with most London-based presenters." Indeed, he reminds me very much of Denis Healey in his pomp. No TV or radio interviewer ever laid a glove on him. Their questions just slipped of his brilliance and ended up in a little heap at the interviwer's feet.

But most of all Alec believes in the SNP cause and would die for it as William Wallace did. Farage on the other hand only believes in Nigel Farage.

PS I recently registered to comment on the Wall Street Journal articles. They will not accept comments from anonymous sources and demand your proper name and address before they will publish your comments. An excellent policy!

It would do a good deal to clean up EUKIP and elicit the truth if this rule were enforced by Anthony Butcher on his Democracy Forum where libellous anonymous postings proliferate and spread.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Our political class unite to defend the Union, can Barroso and his chums not do the same?

If there is one thing worse than the Boy and Millipede disagreeing it is the Boy and Millipede agreeing to gang up to bash Alex Salmond and his SNP.  It reminds me of the old Bernard Manning politically incorrect joke that we should all love each other and then agree to  go out and bash the Pakis. 

The next group to gang up on a minority will be the EU political elite  on the UK Eurosceptics. Barroso, Rumpy and Frumpy will justify anything they do as preserving the Union. When you agree to gang up and kick someone you have to remember you might be the football one day. I would have expected the Boy to have learned that at Slough comp. (A comp as it admits the less able pupil like the British royals.)

This one will run and run. Alex is a consummate politician and the Boy a mere amateur who loses out to French dwarfs, a bit like England's rugby team. I am going to enjoy this!

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Scottish nationalism and referendum and EU referendum and English nationalism

I am puzzled at the boy wading into this one up to his neck. I can only quote from his DT house journal leader today.

"It is true that Mr Cameron is interfering but he is entitled to do so"

" Mr Salmond by contrast is being characteristically manipulative and scheming in his approach"

Two facts seem to have escaped the DT public schoolboy scribblers.

Alex Salmond won an overall majority in the last election on the basis of the SNP manifesto giving his government complete democratic legitimacy. Cameron did not win the election and governs on a rag bag of policies most of which were never put to the electorate.

The SNP manifsto was quite unambiguous that it would hold a referendum in the second half of its term. Exactly what they propose to do!

Cameron is trying to do a Sarkozy and replace democratically endorsed policies by bureaucratic dictat. He best be very careful because the EU will be quick to refer to his undemocratic actions when and if an EU referendum is called in the UK.

I am baffled by Cameron's stupidity. As a Scot I have been frequently accused of sponging and worse on the hard working virtuous English. The sort of statements that had I a deep and dark sun tan would have enabled me to take these English patriots to court and win.

Without Scottish Labour votes and seats the Tories are guaranteed a perpetual majority in England. They should be supporting Alex for all their worth especially if the spongers argument holds true they would be ridding the English taxpayers of a huge financial burden. This may be lost on the boy but its certainly fuelling a huge, and I would say justified. tide of English nationalism to say nothing of the West Lothian question.

On the Labour side the opposite holds true. They need Scottish seats to form a UK government. For that reason they will fight tooth and nail to scupper Alex.  Its sordid party political interest that drives that side of the argument. The Tories only hold one seat in Scotland, abit like in Liverpool. So its Old Etonian arrogance and stupidity versus Labour party interests.

And what about the LibDems? They will side with Labour for the same reasons. The current Scottish Secretary is a Lib Dem. Many like me will remember that before the LibDems and the gang of four there was a Liberal party that had around four MPs for many years with about half coming from Scotland. In the coming LibDem meltdown they will want to preserve their Scottish base!

And what of Alex? He is for my money the ablest political operator current in the UK mainly in comparison with such incompetents as Boy Dave, Millipede, Wee George and Cleggon. Alex will do nowt. He just has to sit there by the side of the Spey and the bodies of his enemies will drift pass one by one. The Tories will still be firmly attached to their salmon rods and Labour to their cloth caps.

Monday, 9 January 2012

Tourettes & Farage's EUKIP

I was mildly amused to watch how quickly the boy Dave moved to retract and apologise for his Tourette.s jibe against Ed Balls. I faced a similar accusation from EUKIP's sometime lawyer Zuckerman at a NEC meeting. It was a lie as I do not nor ever have suffered from Tourette's syndrome.  I have never received an apology from Zuckerman or his then boss Farage.

It is of course deeply hurting to those who do suffer from Tourettes to have their condition used as a term of abuse and insult by the likes of Cameron and Zuckerman.

Serious politicians like Cameron know when to apologise and even Milliband knew when to order Dianne Abbott to apologise to those she insulted.  Farage has shown himself not to be a serious politician ie one the public will treat seriously. Worse, the great British public will never treat EUKIP  as a serious political party whilst he leads it.

Friday, 6 January 2012

Political interference generates death of final salary pension scheme

Shell announced yesterday it was shortly to withdraw its final salary pension scheme for new entrants. It was the last FTSE company offering such a scheme to new entrants so now there are none as Diane Abbott might say.

This process started just a few days after the May 97 glorious revolution and coronation of our sun king Tony when the new chancellor Gordon and Ed etc were seeking a quick obscure source of funds for their crackpot schemes where the pigeons would not come home to roost for many years. This is a characteristic of our sordid politicians that I first met as a junior civil servant when at a meeting a minister declared that he was "not interested in solving the next government's problems". Reading between the lines the more problems that could be left to, or even created for, the next government the better was the message as Liam Byrne articulated when leaving office in 2010.

So Gord and Ed came up with taking tax breaks away from pension schemes to fund their payroll vote buying activities. These tax breaks were put there of course to encourage companies and employees to provide their own pensions! But who cared while the sun shone out of Tony's rear parts.

A few years previously a former Labour MP one Cap'n Bob Maxwell had perpetrated a gigantic fraud on the Mirror Group pension scheme which he treated as 'his' money. He could not have done this without the compliance of the pension scheme directors who were terrified of him. When this story broke the politicians reacted in the usual way with more rules and regulation culminating in the MFR or Minimum Funding Requirement legislation which whilst well intended had the unfortunate consequence of bankrupting many pension schemes. But who cares? The politicos had acted decisively to produce yet another pensions cock up.

That was when I first met Ros Altman. The effect of the MFR was to force pension schemes in trouble to invest in index linked government gilts whose price went up and yield went down as did the scheme members pensions! Worse if the scheme went belly up, usually because the company went bankrupt, existing pensioners were protected totally by putting the fund into indexed gilts. Who paid? Well those who were not yet drawing a pension ended up with virtually nothing. So if you retired the day before the bust you got what you had paid for and if you retired the day after you got zilch.

Another glorious page in the annals of liberal socialist cock ups. Your pension scheme might have survived one political 'solution' but two was one too many!

Panicked by the public response to this multiple cock our MPs rushed to feather their own nests in the usual way and with Cock Robin Cook in charge voted themselves a diamond encrusted gold plated pension which only needed 20 years arduous service fiddling their expenses to get in full. Poor Mr Cock did not live long enough to collect his succumbing to the Scottish disease at an early age. Too many deep fat fried Mars bars I opine.

The problem as with the banks later was not lack of regulation it was failure to enforce existing rules. The principal culprits are the so called independent non-executive directors who are all recruited from Three Wise Monkeys college in Slough. These like our useless House of Lords were all men and women of sound judgement and great experience of saying nothing, doing nothing and seeing nothing.

I do hope the unions get their act together and get workers representatives on the boards of companies and pension schemes and curb excessive executive pay and bonuses as well.

Meanwhile back in Euroland don't listen to the rhetoric, just watch the bond market. Italian 10 year yields are now at 7.21% as I write!

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Hungary faces default

Hungary has been angling to get into the Euro for almost 10 years. It was the first country to suffer from Prussian directives on how to structure its central bank to fit in with the Maastricht Treaty. The then Prussian dominated ECB demanded the bank president's term should be doubled to 8 years and required similar safeguards regarding the bank's vice presidents. The Hungarians did not like it but had to say Ja Wohl.

Pigeons come home to roost and today's DT business reports the cancellation of a Hungarian bond swap auction, presumably aimed at lengthening the maturity profile of their debt, because there would be no takers. The new Hungarian prime minister has just passed laws giving him the right to appoint all the bank vice presidents plus other powers over their MPC members. This is of course anathema to the ECB but the Hungarians badly need an IMF loan as well as an EU refinancing agreement hence the new law.

I find it vastly amusing as these Hungarian proposals are little different from the UK where the PM appoints the two BoE deputy governors as well as the governor and the four outside members of the MPC. The UK Europhiles led by my neighbour Lord Pantsdown et al, assume we would be welcomed with open arms into the Euro. Not so! The first thing the ECB would demand is a reform of the BoE! So much for the vaunted expertise of the House of Lords. On monetary policy they know Jack Shit and it would be better for us all if these unelected placemen  kept their gobs shut on these things they patently don't understand.

The EU must feel like the little Dutch boy running around putting their fingers in the holes in the dyke. First Greece, then Portugal, then Italy and Spain and now Hungary. Then the Spanish come back for another 50 bn€ for their banks. How long before the EU run out of fingers?

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Eurofanatics are like the Inquisition

This is the gist of an excellent piece by Bruce Anderson in today's DT entitled 'Eurofanatics should join Marxists n the dustbin of history'. Its well worth a read . He compares the plight of Greece to that of Liverpool around 1980 when they could not compete with the South East and London and had to receive a huge bail out. Does he not realise he is writing about Deputy Fuerher Nutall's bailiwick.

Anderson points out how intellectually very able people have throughout history performed contortions to deny fact that does not suit their theory. Papal infallibility, flat earth heliocentric solar system denial etc.

He includes a brilliant quote that we " should allways be afraid of people in possession of what they know to be the truth. They will do anything to see that the facts are changed and whipped into shape to agree with it " - ie their perception of the truth.

Meanwhile back at the ECB the Italian in charge has installed a Belgian as ECB chief economist to replace the hard line Kraut who resigned in protest against money printing. Who are the two most indebted countries in the EU? Why Italy and Belgium now Greece is a basket case. Crank up the ECB printing presses. They are going to be needed big time.

Mean while in the ECB

Monday, 2 January 2012

This is how the Fuerher does a Eurozone rant Nigel

Click on Fuerher

to enjoy the real Fuerher showing Nigel how it should be done. See how many of the cabal you can pick out in the supporting cast. They are all there!

Queen knights bureaucrat for services to the EU

I always get into trouble for saying Betty von Battenberg, to give her her name following standard nomenclature conventions , is probably a decent old stick but cares more about her dogs and horses than she does about our poor benighted country. This always upsets the many who think the Queen is wonderful and omnipotent in the UK. She is neither. She is a constitutional monarch whose only function is to deny the position of head of state to slime ball politicians, a good thing, but a function my granny could perform equally well. As such a monarch she has to sign anything the boy puts in front of her. The last monarch to refuse ended up without his head a fate Mrs von Battenberg wishes to avoid.

Thus it is that in her New Year honours list, Order of St Michael and St George under KCMG we read the name Dr Michael Leigh, former Brussels bureaucrat. His citation is "for services to the enlargement of the European Union". I call upon UKIP's many monarchists to write to Betty asking her not to knight this man who has been working for the dissolution of her realm which also happens to be our country.

Meanwhile, back from an unsuccessful ski trip after a hair raising journey through thick snow and avalanches I find the newspaper headlines not dealing with the Eurozone collapse but the successful recovery of Mr von Battenberg from a potentially fatal blocked coronary artery shown by his attendance yesterday at his wife's local church. I am glad he has recovered and hope the boy will soon be introducing a free NHS helicopter service to Papworth cardiology department for the ordinary taxpayers of the UK.

The boy, to keep the electorate happy,  is going to follow a circuses only policy this year. The bread bit has been dropped because of coalition cuts. These cuts will not of course apply to MPs, MEPs, members of the royal family etc but will apply to the little people, the poor and huddled masses yearning for a crust..