Saturday, 31 January 2009

Oh God! He's Off On One Again, Please Someone, Tell Him How it Works...

I listened, no, I couldn't avoid hearing, Brown banging on again in Davos. The BBC have an article here.
Basically he is saying that we need a whole load of new 'regulations' that set out how we should all deal with each other, and that all the old models have failed.
Now listen you gormless git, the old ways have not, repeat not failed. What's failed is government. Your government for one. You have failed to uphold the basic responsibilities we have entrusted you with. You have failed to run sound money. You have failed to keep taxes low. You have failed to properly supervise banks (NOT regulate - simple supervision) of the most dangerous, irresponsible and incompetent institutions in free market capitalism. You failed to stop meddling in things that are beyond your comprehension. You have failed to engender free trade, resorting as ever to lefty mercantilism. You failed to provide moral leadership. You failed to uphold the rule of law.
All we need you to do is do what has always worked. There is no need at all to invent new ways to control us. We are all free men. We can sort out our own lives as long as the government, your government stops meddling and just does the things that are your responsibility.
Seems that I am on the same sort of wavelength as the Adam Smith Institutes Dr Eamonn Butler.

Green Tory's? How Exactly?

Conservatism, well my sort of compassionate free market anglo saxon libertarianism, is green. I know that'll wind many of you up, but let me explain:-

1. The Trabant. The product of leftyness. Crap car. Really a sort of death trap pollution machine. Still produced in the 1990's. No significant development for 30 years.

2. The Ford Cortina Mk 1 and The Ford Mondeo. The lineage of the current Mondeo can be traced back to the Mk1 Cortina - the first true repmobile / family car. The Cortina was launched in 1962 and ended its production run as the MK4 version in 1982. Replaced by the Sierra which in its turn was replaced by the Mondeo. The modern Mondeo is efficient, safe, recyclable, low emmitting, economic, reliable (my 1996 version is still going strong at 160,000 miles with no major component change - cross fingers) engineering marvel. Luxury and comfort at low cost. The product of capitalism.

So, working on the evidence it is clear that capitalism conserves resources. It developes efficient products and solutions. That's the point efficient. Driven by competition and ingenuity.

Thursday, 29 January 2009

Banks? They are good for what, exactly?

Classic snippet from a Money Marketing leader that I cannot resist sharing with you:
No-one is phoning their bank to get an opinion as to whether their IFA will survive. As any adviser will tell you, it’s the other way round.

Ha! Ha! Ha!

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Lay off State Workers and Save Money

A headline I read somewhere recently, said that public spending would rise this year since the tax take from employment taxes would reduce as layoffs increased and consequentially benefits payments would increase.

In the recession of the early 80’s unemployment rose to at least 3 million. These mostly represented redundancies from the old model state supported industries. These industries were inefficient, overmanned and produced products that no-one wanted to buy, or simply rationed supply to sustain employment, hence suffering endemic producer capture. In other words the jobs occupied by the redundant workers were not wealth creating jobs at all. The workers were already redundant, they just didn’t know it.

The result of this forced (and painful) restructuring was that most of the UK’s manufacturing sector and private business generally became efficient and not over-manned.

This time the same failed quasi socialist policies have created the same approximately (probably at least) 3 million non-jobs in the direct public sector. The client state has been transferred from non-jobs hidden in inefficient uncompetitive industrial organisations to equally, or more probably even more inefficient and overmanned, direct public employment. The workers are still not gainfully employed, and again they just do not yet know this.

This time, laying off these already redundant public sector employees will not increase the visible costs to the state. It could well reduce them.

If we assume that each of the 3 million public employees is paid at the NAE rate of approximately £24,000 per annum and that total on-costs are factored at 3* times pay the total costs to the taxpayer is £216 Bn. Once these workers are laid off we can assume that the total benefits may well equal NAE plus an administration cost of say 25%. This gives a cost of £90 Bn. In other words a saving of £129 Bn. per annum. (I accept that these figures are approximate, but it is the case that the costs of benefits are less than the costs of employment).

Furthermore many non-jobs are sustained on the taxpayers purse through the vehicles of alleged charities and Quangos. More of the same savings are available here.

Every way I look at this current crisis I see two complimentary factors. One massive over-employment in state bureaucracies and their associated tame charities and Quangos funded by confiscatory levels of taxation which deprives private individuals and business of spending power combined with a complete absence of responsible fiscal management resulting in massive increases in money supply, that is inflation.

If these factors cause the problem, the correction of them will by definition cure the problem. That is massive reductions in public expenditure brought about by releasing millions of state employees to find more productive wealth creating jobs in private business resulting in massively lower taxes on private business and individuals.

* I realise that the income tax notionally paid by public employees nets out but I have added back a factor of 30% for pension costs.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Enemies of Freedom and Markets

Another excellent piece from the Mises institute. Will expand this post later.


Reading the above took me to a piece by Mises himself. I quote:

There is no use in arguing with people who are driven by “an almost religious fervor” and believe that their master [Keynes] “had the Revelation.” It is one of the tasks of economics to analyze carefully each of the inflationist plans, those of Keynes and Gesell no less than those of their innumerable predecessors from John Law down to Major Douglas. Yet, no one should expect that any logical argument or any experience could ever shake the almost religious fervor of those who believe in salvation through spending and credit expansion.

The highlighted last sentence says it all really. Why, just why does Brown and New Labour think it'll work this time, when all the evidence of history denies it?

Sunday, 25 January 2009

'Oh My Good Gawd' - Arthur Daley

Quote from BBC website from Andrew Marr Show:

"Speaking on the same programme [as Ken Clarke], Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg said there was a "crisis of confidence in Britain PLC". Nick Clegg: 'We must retain optimism'. He said the economic model of the past 20 years, driven by minimal regulation and subservience" to financial markets, had been swept away and only the Lib Dems could offer the radical changes needed to address these problems. "The future is going to look dramatically different than the past in terms of how we run our economy," he said.

What a complete plonker. Listen and learn Cleggy.

1. Financial regulation has become over-weening and burdensome. It looks, is implemented and managed like nationalisation lite. The FSMA 2000 is the problem, not the solution.

2. There is no need to 'run' the economy. The economy can 'run' itself. As long as it gets the rule of law, government as umpire not player, sound money, the right to enjoy private property, freedom.

3. The 'crisis in confidence' is in inept and nannying and interfering government.

4. We, the people, just do NOT need YOU to RUN anything.

Bugger That...

Excellent Matthew Parris piece in Sunday Times here.

I agree with all of it except the last paragraph. There absolutely no reason at all why the UK should slip quietly into the second league of nations. The 'managed decline' so beloved of post war civil servants.

All countries can avoid this. All of them. But we are better placed than most with our outward looking history and a proclivity for trading.

All it needs is the energy, and the absence of politicians and crucially the removal, or at the very least the severe reduction, of the welfare state. If people have some fear they will try. Pay people to do nothing and they will do nothing, it's rational and I for one would join them if the pay was high enough. So would you. I'd get bored though and go and do something. Now, when I do that something, I am coerced into paying tax at confiscatory levels to support (I calculate) about 12m people either doing bugger all or not more than 25% of what they are capable of. Remove that dead weight overhead and our costs would reduce and we will be able to compete with anybody. Our workers (anyone at any level who turns up and does something productive, whether managing director, dustman or even a merchant banker) are as good as anybody's and work just as hard, but those in the private wealth creating sector are burdened with a huge overhead to support.

Managed decline. Pah!

Saturday, 24 January 2009

What's Wrong with Financial Services Regulation?

To answer the question posed in the title of this post go here. Just keep clicking on the links on the right and make up your own minds.

Done that?

Now, whose diseased brain could possibly be behind such a thing?

Moses needed just 10 rules. Works for me.
Since drafting this yesterday I found more supporting evidence for the scrapping of the FSA and the whole 'regulatory' structure born out of Brown's Bonkanomics.
First, an excellent article in the Telegraph from Philip Booth here.
Second a linked post from the ever excellent Adam Smith Institute here.
Both of these pieces exactly mirror all that I have been saying about the complete fatuousness of the current regulatory system since, well, since it was created. Working within it and meeting and speaking to its apparatchiks over the last 9 years demonstrated clearly to me just how hopeless it was.
My business works on the basis that if we do what is right for the clients and adopt good practice as to how we document and record what we advise, compliance will be automatic. Experience has taught me that the reality is that the FSA needs to work out how to comply with us.
We are now in an endgame. There are two possible outcomes. One, a future of dispiriting, unfair and immoral bureaucratic capitalism, or two, a bright future of freedom and responsibility with massively smaller bureaucracies and government.
The FSA realises this and is now resorting to ever more Draconian and coercive behaviour towards market participants as it desperately tries to rebuild its collapsed credibility, shift the blame for the financial failure away from itself and hence justify its continued existence.
To anyone working in financial services (with the exception of the Bankers) the FSA's wish to ever recover its credibility is deluded. Trust, like virginity, can only be lost once.
As to whether we are condemned to a cartelised, bureaucratic, dispiriting and hopeless future depends entirely on us. Our vote, when Brown deigns to allow us to exercise it, will decide on that, or possibly not given the current crop of pathetic statist politicos of all creeds.

Friday, 23 January 2009

It's My Money and I can Always Make Better use of it than the Bloody Gummint

Lovely Ludwig von Mises quote to share:

...There is need to emphasize the truism that a government can spend or invest only what it takes away from its citizens and that its additional spending and investment curtails the citizens' spending and investment to the full extent of it quantity...

Shove that up your stovepipe New Labour.

The Banks - Bust Since When!?

Very interesting piece of analysis on the Banks published by Bedlam Asset Management here. This is Bedlams most recent investment bulletin, you can ignore the writing and just look at the table if you like.
Basically, the Banks are bust.
Since their launch in 2002 Bedlam have said that they have never owned a western bank share.
If Bedlam knew these ratios, and knew the problem (a problem I also suspected), why did this not occur to the bloody gummint and it's provisional wing the FSA?
The words 'swords' and 'falling on now' spring to mind as to how the FSA and gummint should behave. How likely is that? Not very.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

"O brave new world, That has such people in't!"

Welcome to the New World Order. Erich Honecker would have been pleased with my day. He would have smiled at the intransigence of the apparatchik I confronted. He would have known that all would have been well in the supervision society. The police state could rest at ease knowing that it could inflict misery and loss on the citizen. That power was where it should be, in the hands of the State.
Today I accidentally suffered a bank charge. My operational account is with Natwest, that is RBS. Funnily enough, seeing as how they are bankrupt, I don't trust them and do not leave much headroom in that account and because I got confused about the collection date of a DD and did not have enough funds in the account they bounced it. Fair enough. But what they call the 'service fee' was £38 -thirty-eight quid. Please note I cannot remember the last time I had a penalty charge. So I went and asked for my money back.
Bearing mind that we now own this crock of shit masquerading as a viable business, and that each of us has handed over North of £20,000 to keep it, well trading is not the right word, but you know what I mean, and hence saved all the little smug childish tossers that turn up at these places daily to get in the way, from losing their jobs, one would have thought that a little gratitude was to be expected. Not the abject grovelling gratitude that we actually deserve, but at least a bit of humility.
But, of course, nope. Just arrogance and supercilious smugness. Clearly the clerks have cracked that they are civil servants now and there is no longer any need even to pretend at some small demonstration of customer service. Here we have the first inkling of the kind of State bank we are going to get as Gordon the Moron's meltdown gathers speed.
I console myself by imagining them in the guise of the marketing department of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation, a bunch of jerks who were first up against the wall when the revolution came.*
Be afraid. Be very afraid.
(PS. I WILL get my money back)
*See the 'Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy'.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Good Grub for Blokes

Mrs Lola is on a mission tonight. Hours march away. So cooking for self. I like to cook. In truth I like to eat. Furthermore a lesson learned young was that one of the most certain ways of earning sexual favours from the delicately nurtured was to cook for them.

Tonight I was in invention mood and the result was very successful, so being of a generous disposition I thought I'd share it with you. By the way it is based on the 'usie uppie' principle.


4 modest sized thick sausages
1 rasher smoked back bacon
1 red onion
1 half red chili de-seeded (or not - Some Like it Hot)
1 can plum toms
enough new pots.
Mushrooms -several
Red Pepper small and sliced.
Paprika 1 teaspoon ish.
Salt pepper
White wine splash plus.
Italian seasoning.

Wash and chop to medium sized new pots. and boil until soft-ish.
Cook sausages until done then chop into 20 mm lengths - ish.

Meanwhile chop onion and chili and soften in saute pan in 1 tbsp olive oil until golden ish.
Add red pepper and cook for 5 mins
Add bacon and brown
Add white wine
Stir in paprika
Add can plumb toms.
Cook for 5 mins
Add cooked sausages
Add potatoes
Add 1 tsp Italian seasoning
Season to taste.

Cover and place in moderate oven for 15 mins.

Take out and dish up. Accompany with a nice red. Beaujolais works for me.

Now feeling happy and relaxed with coffee percolating away.

I even had a fleeting sympathetic thought for Gordon Brown. But only very fleeting.

I'm moving to China...Possibly

Excelllent daily thought piece here by the Ludwig von Mises institute comparing China and the USA. The same comparison applies to the UK. Read it and weep.

Monday, 19 January 2009

The Philosophy of Drain Rodding

We have our own mini sewage works. It's made by Klagester and was installed by a bunch of cowboys (my fault). It has always been a bit of a problem, with the feeder drain runs regularly blocking (not enough fall). A couple of years ago the Klargester floated out of the ground (!) and we had the whole thing re-engineered to my spec. Nevertheless one of the runs still blocks occasionally. Today was one of those days and I had to set to in the pouring rain before going to work to rod it through. This means opening up the cover on the sewage works and checking that it is OK.
This got me thinking.
On inspection it was clear that the treatment works was working well, with a nice crust on top of the effluent and all the solids nicely sinking to the bottom.
Now, I quite like drianage. It is interesting ( I was - still am actually - an Engineer in a previous life). So to see a nicely working treatment works was satisfying. With all the floaters sinking nicely as the microbes get to work. No turds floating on the top here.
Which, of course, is the complete opposite to politics where all the shits seem to float to the surface.
Shit or politicians? Which is more reliable?

Brown Has Bankrupted Us

I am going to post this again. And I am going to keep posting it - or a version of it - on an ad hoc basis to add to the 'noise' - in the hope that sooner or later Brown is held properly to account.
The UK and its banks are in the state they are because of Brown's bonkers policies. It takes two to Tango. The stupid banks could only get themselves into this mess if they were 'helped' by equally stupid political policies promoted by Gordon Brown. He provided the unsound money - great gushing gouts of it - at a price that was set far to low. He also designed and implemented an entirely flawed regulatory system that, incredibly, both managed to be massively prescriptive on all and sundry and ludicrously relaxed as regards bank capital requirements. Brown also taxed and spent capital, a guaranteed wealth destruction policy.
Given these simple factors (and ingnoring many other spending mistakes and massive off balance sheet borrowing by the State) it is clear that Brown's sticky and incompetent fingers are all over this crisis.
Please God, make him resign soon. There's no hope of salvation until the management is changed as Brown is incapable of change.

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Banks, you couldn't make it up.

Ms Knight was in R4 this a.m. Reviewing the papers on Broadcasting House. She could not resist the old 'the current crisis, which started in America' mantra.


The UK banks have been stupid and profligate. Their management's have failed spectacularly. And she still does the PR job.

Angela Knight - the Tariq Aziz of the British Bankers Association.

Friday, 16 January 2009

The Big Lie Technique

I have been thinking about the Big Lie.
New Labour is founded on the Big Lie technique, as advocated by Goebbels, Hitler and George Orwell.
To quote from 1984 (Thank you wikipedia):

George Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty-Four refers to the Big Lie theory on several occasions. For example:

“The key-word here is blackwhite. Like so many Newspeak words, this word has two mutually contradictory meanings. Applied to an opponent, it means the habit of impudently claiming that black is white, in contradiction of the plain facts”.

“To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed...”.

Note the second of those paragraphs. Remind you of anyone does it?
The thing is there is only one defence against the Big Lie technique, and that is the absolute truth.
If you come across an adversary who uses the Big Lie Technique in competition, conversation or negotiation you are lost unless you use the absolute truth. If you don't know the answer say so, but reserve the right to return to it when you have carried out some checks and looked into the claims of your adversary. Be ready though for the 'are you calling me a liar' gambit when you do this. You have to be clear that at this stage that you are not doing so, but, it just might be that the factoid/opinion/idea held by your adversary has been communicated to them by someone who was not as well versed in the idea of honesty as are you and he, and as the factoid/idea/opinion is so surprising to you you would like a little time to check and improve your understanding. (Of course he knows that you will find out that he is lying).
The difficulty in this media driven soundbite world is that you'll not be able to return to the argument before it has moved on, or until your opponent has moved it on. But never fear, you will meet him again, and next time when he uses the 'are you calling me a liar' gambit you can return to the previous occasion and say 'well, possibly yes, as you may recall in our previous conversation you said X and I checked and it was a lie, so your track record in my experience is not good.'
What's the purpose of this?
Well, Gordon Brown is a liar. So how do the opposition get after him? They use the Absolute Truth Technique. Never engage in anything but boring truisms and follow the guidance above. Pretty soon he will hang himself.
At the moment Cameron still thinks he is the 'Heir to Blair'. He thinks he has the same charisma as the charlatan Blair. He is deluded. Stop being clever and just do boring and honest. The premiership will come to you as Brown digs himself ever deeper into the depths of the deceits he practices.
(PS. I've used this system all my business life, especially in the latter days of my employment with a major housebuilder. This company was so riddled with politics, deceit and lies that it cured me of employment for wages for ever).

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Capitalism - The Answer to All Our Problems.

Brilliant article from the Mises Institute here.

I'll take the liberty of copying and pasting the last three paragraphs below.

Capitalism needs no adjustment. It needs to be understood and put into practice. Not only is capitalism never the cause of a financial crisis, it is always the cure. Government intervention is never ever under any circumstances the solution to any problem, large or small, economic or otherwise. When will men ever learn that more Government is not only never the solution, it is usually part of the problem?

Real capitalism — that is, capitalism based on secure private-property rights, sound money, the division of labor, social cooperation, freedom of contract, freedom of association, voluntary exchange, and the absence of government control, oversight, and regulation — is the answer to the current economic crisis.

Not state capitalism, not crony capitalism, not mixed-market capitalism, not fascism and interventionism under the guise of capitalism, but unfettered, laissez-faire, free-market capitalism.

Go on. Treat yourself. Read the whole article and the books it recommends. I have.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Why we have a recession - Lesson 1

I received the following text from a colleague who runs a retail finacial services advisory business.

I agree with Steve. I wonder what would happen if we as a firm asked for this concession from HMRC?
When we have to complete our Gabriel return becuase of course the liability would still remain, even if deferred, we'd fall below our capital adequacy requirement and then the FSA would remove our authorisation and we'd beunable to work to repay the money owing to HMRC!
We've just taken the decision to cancel our intended IT spend, training for potential new adviser (internal development) and my own revision courses for Diploma exams as spending all this reduces our capital/cap ad. On top of that whilst we'd taken on a new part time admin last summer and had just started an 18 yr old as part time whilst he does some colleg courses too, I gave them both their notice today as if there earnings and NI will form part of expenditure based Cap ad, getting rid of them and getting my wife to do more hours for the same basic wage, keeps cap ad needs down!
Do they think ANY of this through? We've got work and business coming out of our ears, but I don't want to tie anymoe of my capital up in a business where the biggest part of a SWOT analysis comes out with the FSA and regulation as the THREAT!

This illustrates two things. FS regulation is bonkers and inhibits trade. And taxes on business inhibit employment.
So, cut taxes and regulation and you get more jobs and more wealth creation.
I mean, how hard can it be?

Brownian Bonkanomics Endgame

Headline piece from Money Marketing 8th January:

Lenders face paying tracker borrowers
Lee Jones - 08-Jan-2009

Lenders may be forced to pay tracker mortgage borrowers if rates continue to plummet.
According to Moneyfacts, as many as 83 tracker products by 33 lenders were offered from July 2007 tracking below base rate. They include BM Solution's tracker at 0.76 per cent below bank rate, and Yorkshire's at 0.61 per cent below bank rate.
The FSA says unless it clearly states in the KFI that the tracker floor is 0 per cent, lenders would have to honour any contractual obligations.
A spokesman says: "Any floor must be clear and must be fair."
Cheltenham & Gloucester, which offered a tracker 0.01 per cent below bank rate from July 2007, says if bank rate does fall to 0 per cent, it would not pay.
There is no mention of any floor in the C&G KFI.
A spokeswoman says: "We will not go further than 0 per cent on our trackers. If it were a savings product, you would not expect the saver to pay the bank. Our contract details the borrower paying us interest, there is no mention of C&G paying the borrower."
John Charcol senior technical manager Ray Boulger says: "I do not know how C&G cannot pay its borrowers if the rate does fall to 0 per cent."

Doh! Why shouldn't savers pay the bank for looking after their money? Secure custodianship is not a nil cost service. So if interest rates are zero or negative, implying deflation - aka money increasing in value - savers should be paying the bank.
Admittedly this would be a disaster for savers, but it also implies that banks would be paying borrowers.
Welcome to the endgame of Brownian Bonkanomics.

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Why Do People Do Socialism?

I've been on a sicky today, so have spent (wasted?) time blogging away.
Why do people take up leftyism? I mean it has never ever worked wherever it's been tried. It has always destroyed wealth and trended to totalitarianism. So why do they keep trying to make it work?
It can only be power.
Socialism sounds good. It makes all the right noises. It promises a life of leisure and free money. It says it wants to make things 'fairer' (meaningless, I know, but it appeals). It says that profit belongs to everyone. It panders to idleness. But as has now been proved again it does not work. Ever. So perhaps lefty's see the opportunity to obtain power by promising the unobtainable. They tell the electorate that milk and honey is available to all if you give them power so they can share things out better. Sounds good. Of course once they're in it all goes horribly wrong almost immediately and they then spend all the time deceiving the electorate that everything really is alright and they just need a bit more money, your money, and they will sort it out.
So lies and deceit, and it has always been so.
Now these people can't be totally stupid. They must know this so why do they do it.
And the only answer can be power. They want it and as they see that they can get it by using 'socialism'. Once they've got it, whoopee, let's look after ourselves and our friends. Let's do everything we can to keep power. And that's it really. Nothing else makes any sense.

State Workers Don't Pay Income Tax

This is an argument I have been meaning to pursue for sometime. Would someone please tell me how any state employee pays any income tax?
Consider Mrs Lola - a teacher. She turns up at the state indoctrination centre each day and at the end of the month she gets the old pay envelope giving her details of the pittance rationed to her by Gordon's army. It shows 'deductions'; pension, NI, Income tax.
Now forgive me but how is she paying that tax? My earnings (self employment) are taxed and after being coerced I hand over loads of dosh to the government who then pass this on to Mrs. Lola.
Now also think about 'government'. What is it? Well, it's a convenient fiction to help us organise our lives. It has nothing other than what we give it. Society consists solely of people and things.
So, Mrs Lola's income tax is simply a rebate to me of tax I have been coerced to pay to pay her.
This brings on more arguments. Why have income tax at all? Clearly it is operating as an employment tax, not an earnings tax. And if you must persist in having it should not state employees be paid the net sum? What's the point of the bureaucratic paper chase paying out to and collecting money from your employees. (Even more laughable if you work for the HMRC). And PAYE is a curse. Pay people the gross amount and then ask them for the tax. It is their money. This action would, of course, bring on the demise of income tax as the costs of collection would be prohibitive. PAYE is one of the key techniques the state uses to steal from us.
In my utopia there would be no income tax at all. All it does is distort employment and disincentivise wealth creation.
We could keep NI - but treat it properly as true 'National Insurance', but make it it clear that the state is the insurer of last resort, not a universal benefits provider.

George Osborne - What is point?

He did it. On the Today programme. He went and said it. 'Market Failure'. In regards to the bank lending crisis as well.
Oh Gawd. He don't get it. The bank problems are not due to market failure. In fact quite the opposite. It is markets succeeding in passing judgement on failed government policies.
And market failure is [mostly] tautological. Markets do not easily fail, and when they do they usually 'fail' for one of three reasons - Externalities, Monopoly, Political Interference. In this case the credit crisis has it roots 100% in policy failures by Gordon Brown and others.
And bank lending is now constrained by government policy creating an irresolvable tension between the requirements for the banks to hold more capital against instructions to lend more money.

Education - Bribery and Nationalisation

Headline piece from Telegraph here. The thought occurs that if the government are offering £10,000 each for the 'good' teachers, what are they doing with the 'bad' ones? You can bet that they aren't being sacked.
And if it needs a de facto pay rise to get teachers to work in schools where the work is hard this argues for a free market in education and that the [nationalised state indoctrination centres] schools system should be broken up and the money transferred to follow the child. If parents were paying for their children to go to school, especially these tough schools you can bet your bottom Dollar that they would quickly get involved and sort out bad parents and bad children if they were disrupting the education that thye had paid for.

Tuesday, 6 January 2009


Interesting piece by Iain Martin in the Telegraph today here on Gordon Brown's 'morality'. I confess that this aspect of his personality had escaped me, but on reflection it is clear that he possesses a deep sense of his own moral superiority. This is lethal. Especially when combined with his essential deceitfulness and manic politicking.
It seems to me that when individuals like Brown, who convince themselves that they have superior morals, achieve power it means misery for the rest of us. Whole books have been written trying to define what we mean by 'moral', and still an absolute definition eludes us. Which is a Good Thing. But in the minds of the Brown's of this world no such doubt exists.
In Brown's mind there will be an absolute definition. This is worrying. Firstly because he will inflict this vision on us, which will lead to actions that many of us consider immoral - excess state debt or committing inadequately equipped troops to battle for example. Secondly as time passes his 'morality' will be increasingly challenged by cleverer men than he in a manner in which he cannot answer. This will lead to increasing conflicts within him as he tries to square the circle of these arguments. In this way lies madness.
Maybe this is already happening as the stories about tantrums and rages and broken phones attest.
Who knows what state he is in? But, one thing is certain. Policies that he has pursued are not at all moral. Depriving thrifty and hard working people of their wealth and disabling their ability to look after themselves is, whatever way you look at, morally indefensible.

Monday, 5 January 2009

Who's Killed the Most?

Seen on a blog eslewhere about atheist messages on bendy buses:-
"Bendy-buses, like atheism, are a danger to the public at large "
Stephen Green of pressure group Christian Voice
Erm? Taking a quick tour round your 'O' level History book will teach you that religion has killed more people than atheism - or bendy buses.