20th October 2016

Sterling Devaluation

Financial times
FT money

So Sterling has declined around 17% this year, mainly due to #Brexit, there is both good and bad to come out of this.

it will be ‘bad’ inflation

First let’s deal with the bad, Oil, which is priced in dollar$ and so is up, this has a knock on effect on all prices, due to the basic fact we need things moving from one place to another. So all goods in the shops will be negatively affected, in other words the price will edge upwards. Also all the goods being imported, will now cost the purchaser around 17% more, this doesn’t mean the cost in the shops will rise 17%, because the purchase price is only a percentage of a product’s overall cost. But it does mean prices of all imported goods will rise, this will hit inflation, also it will be ‘bad’ inflation, meaning it will affect “The Pound in your pocket”. This is a timely point to note that the £ Sterling being devalued is nothing new. On November 19th 1967 Harold Wilson made his famous speech, using the now infamous words, “The Pound abroad is worth 14% or so less in terms of other currencies.” ………“That doesn’t mean, of course, that the Pound here in Britain, in your pocket or purse, or in your bank, has been devalued”, yes it did Harold, you disingenuous little toe rag. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-IHVQU9BSks Also 16th September 1992 otherwise known to British Manufacturers as Golden Wednesday, (and needless to say to the wretched Socialist BBC as Black Wednesday) led to a resurgence in the export and manufacturing sectors of UK economy. However this is pointed out with a caveat, the Government didn’t back up this ‘Golden’ opportunity with macro economic stimulus to those parts of the UK economy.

As I have said in other blogs, there needs to be a move away from consumer spending, to savings and investment in trade and commerce. There is the appetite for it, and look around and there are the signs the British economy keeps trying to expand into sectors deemed lost for ever, they aint.

Some currencies shown here no longer exist?
Some currencies shown here no longer exist?

Boaty McBoatface has had its keel laid, at the Cammell Laird Shipyard in Liverpool, an acorn planted to start building larger vessels in the UK again. The Raspberry Pi Computer, manufacturing has been moved from China to Pencoed in Wales. href=”https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/made-in-the-uk/”>Raspberry PI These are just two examples and obviously nothing to do with #Brexit. It does show the desire and abilities are there, but also with Sterling down, UK can be so much more competitive.

Germany has benefited from an undervalued Euro since shortly after its inception. From the German perspective, the Euro is dirt cheap, and hence they can export at ridiculously low prices, and still make a profit. This is due the PIIGS Countries, Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain pressuring the Euro down, Greece especially. If Greece could be persuaded to leave the Euro, the knock on effect for UK would be the re-valuation of the Euro, with Greece out, the Euro would rise, at which point, Portugal, Spain, Italy would look to bailing out of the Euro, because their Economies wouldn’t stand it, Ireland would probably come out but for more and different reasons. At this point the Euro would be well past parity with the Pound, perhaps 90 cents, possibly as low as 80. How much your Beemer and Merc then? No such thing will happen in the short term of course. It would require too much imagination for any UK treasury official to think they could wreck the Euro, and make dosh underwriting a Drachma. But someone needs to, with un-employment so high, especially youth un-employment, the PIIGS countries need a break.

what a shed load of tripe

#Remoaners are now saying we must stay in the customs union, what a shed load of tripe, firstly why would Germany block vehicles going over to Germany, when all it would mean is German imports to UK stop. I think somehow Mercedes Benz, Audi, VW, BMW, Dortmunder Union Brewery, Dortmunder Action Brewery, multiple other Breweries, plus all the electrical, pumping, chemical, and engineering industries currently exporting to UK may have some objection to that? I’m sure the French wine industry will happily stop selling us there products?

The problem for #Remain, is they have no real argument, their main criteria to #Remain was economic, but it doesn’t add up, Japan does very nicely, by not having a single market agreement with any trading bloc, especially a trading bloc that is sclerotic, like Europe.

Now that Sterling is trading at much closer to where it should be, the Government needs to put Economic stimulus and incentives into boosting trade and commerce overseas. We need to cast off the shackles of inwards looking Europe and its Socialist dogma, and to start looking at the direction the world is going, and it’s a technological future, with more and different types of jobs. This is guaranteed, because there has just been a flurry of talk over how jobs will be lost due to robots doing all our work.

Yeh, right just the same as all the jobs that were lost, due to mechanisation back in the 18th and 19th centuries? Things are different this time I hear the cry. No they aren’t, efficiency pays wages and creates spare wealth, which always finds ways to spend that wealth. Dog walking anyone?

Oil Rig
Oil Rig

Meanwhile back on the inflation front, it means the amount of imported goods will either reduce, or go up in price, at which point UK industry will start to step in and produce alternatives. But the main benefit will be the trade deficit, it will drop. Unfortunately it won’t disappear, we haven’t the spare capacity to move from deficit to surplus, so quickly, however if Mark Carney were to start moving interest rates upwards, people would start saving more, which would mean there would be more money to lend to Industry and Commerce.

However we are then back to the fact that this Government does not look as though it will change policy from consumer spending, to trading and overseas commerce.

meaning it will hit your pocket

Inflation has so far, not been affected much by the Pounds decline, but it is building up, and as I said it is bad inflation, meaning it will hit your pocket, and those with least will be hit hardest, or correction, he says thinking of himself, it will hit those who spend money on consumer goods. A thing I’m notoriously bad at, why should I go and spend lots of money, when I can get pleasure from eating a slice of buttered toast?

The jobs market is booming at the moment, but this will slow dramatically as the uncertainty over where the UK will be in five years starts to dig in, but it will be short lived. Some of us have been here before, and it is small businesses that start up under these circumstances, a few people see opportunities while the majority are wondering what the hell is going on. It would be boosted were mark Carnage to increase interest rates by more than ¼ of 1%, in the next month. Any bets he won’t, and 3% by spring is a none runner, but the upside were he to do so, would be he would then have manoeuvring space, when inflation has run its course and deflation set back in.

He has been warned.


6th October 2016


Harold Bayeux tapestry
October 14th 1066, the world didn’t know it, but it changed, for the better.

We arrive at the 1st #Brexit Conservative party conference, and new Prime Minister Teresa May, has been in full swing and full of confidence. Why not, she has played a blinder, while the Referendum soapbox was steaming ahead, she kept a low profile, nominally supporting her Prime Minister David Cameron, but at the same time leaving her options open by not criticising the #Brexit campaign, and keeping a low profile, and largely keeping schtum.

One side note before we go further, on 14th October 1066 England underwent its greatest upheaval for centuries, the Normans, led by William Duke of Normandy successfully invaded and conquered the Country. There followed many years of upset, but basically the result was the Britain you see today, the next few decades will probably be decisive for the world?

Teresa May was quite right to take that line, and the reason being I suspect, she was like me, basically a ~don’t know~. Not a don’t know in the sense of I have no idea what is being debated, but a don’t know in the sense, do we really know what is going on, and what are the fundamental long term arguments.

it was Democracy that decided #Brexit

Many of my followers on Twitter, thought I was four square for #Brexit, not a bit of it, I was all for, what was best for the Democracy of UK. All my posts are still there, to check out, I was worried about Sovereignty and Democracy, with a smidgeon of the economic consequences, all the other arguments were confetti that would be blown away in the aftermath. I made my final decision to #Remain or #Brexit, in the voting booth, and it was Democracy that decided #Brexit, or more accurately the absence of any way of reflecting within the European Union, the will of the people in a Democratic manner. The EU is Fascist, oblique Socialist, in design, hence it fails to reflect the will of the people.

Finger post
Which way now

Jean Claude Juncker, a modern Mussolini, with his arrogant attitude, towards UK certainly put a few nails in the EU #Remain coffin. Here was some cretinous jerk, starting to make dark threats about the consequences of voting leave. But it was the fact he said nothing about the way the EU is constructed, and that we the people could not vote him out, along with its lack of representation of the will of the people, that I believe helped the #Brexit campaign win.

And here I suspect is the key to how many voted, a lack of any way the will of the people can be reflected. This manifested itself with most people as ‘give us our borders back, but also our ability to decide our own Laws. I say this with some confidence, purely because I have had a chat since the vote, with a couple of #Remain voters, neither will object to being labelled ~older~ ladies.

The first is called Annette, and her words were, “I voted #Remain, because I listened to what the younger people were saying. I voted for the future, they saw ahead.” However she now regretted it, purely because she had realised that Sovereignty and ability to have your voice heard by Government, counted just as much as the Economic argument, for being the member of an elite club. Most of this argument had surfaced after the Referendum, but none the less crystalised in her mind, that the people had made the correct decision.

The second (a beauty who shall remain nameless, purely so I am alive to write my next blog lol) is my ex Girlfriend, she voted for Economic reasons, she had been in conversation with someone, who had put the economic case very well. Here is where the #Remain side had their strongest case.

But she regretted her vote, not because she thought Britain would do better economically out of European Union, but simply because she thought that Brussels didn’t reflect the will of the people, put another way, Sovereignty over un-democratic processes. Again it was driven home forcefully after the Referendum, when various foreign dignitaries started to threaten Britain. The Ex is not one to fume, but Juncker and his ilk started to make her blood boil. Mrs May, whom the Ex was wary of, is starting to win over her confidence.

Just for the record, if Teresa May continues the way she has started, she will rank as one of our best Prime Ministers in recent times, it still doesn’t mean I’ll vote Tory?

how much leverage the #Remoaners can muster

Meanwhile the economic outlook is looking rosy, don’t be fooled, it will turn downwards. The FTSE is currently riding high, at around the 7,000 mark, but will take a dive once the actual reality sets in. How much, will depend on how much leverage the #Remoaners can muster, they still have sore heads and are biding their time to pounce.

The Market will decide?
The Market will decide?

The result might be choppy waters ahead, with the pound staying low. Even so, Mark Carney the Governor of the Bank of England, will still not raise interest rates, purely because his political masters will not ask for it. So far there has been no change in policy from Mrs. May regarding consumer spending and business investment. For further reading on this see my previous blogs on href=”http://www.johnashtone.com/pre-referendum-blogs/”>#Brexit.

The bright spot in all this, is the fact that any perceived downturn in Britain’s economy will be just that. Whilst perception is 90% of reality in most peoples (or Markets) minds, the reality of UK’s trading position will remain strong. Much to the annoyance of the #Remain faction, but the economy will remain fairly strong, but the downturn will give the BBC something to crow about, while the markets drop, and comment ‘Despite #Brexit’ will ring loud and clear from the Biased Broadcasting Corporation, but the results in the end will show #Brexit bringing more benefits than disadvantages.

But hey always remember, if it was on the Beeb, and about #Brexit, it was probably pessimistic a pack of lies to start with?


22nd September 2016


Labour appears to be in meltdown, all I can say is good riddance. However I would not write them off yet, or write them off forever, even if they take a severe knock now, after all they didn’t invent idea of NHS, yes you read that correctly, they did not invent idea of NHS. NHS Crisis 2004 They did however manage to convince UK public, NHS was affordable and their invention?


just look at those who play quidditch

People will always believe fantasy, just look at those who play quidditch, a fantasy game from a series of books about a fantasy world. In the books the participants ride broomsticks through the air. This doesn’t stop these enthusiasts from believing they can recreate the original on the ground?

And they do believe, hallelujah, praise be to Joanne Rowling, the philosopher who thought up the game, and is revered alongside Socrates, Hulme, Paine, Locke, and Francis Bacon. The last of whom, wrote a short story called ‘The New Atlantis’ from where Marx stole his ideas. The difference was, Bacon knew he was writing fantasy, with no basis in economic reality, Marx just ignored this and created a fantasy economic world as well. But Marx couched it in words that people could take to believe, so they do, and try and impose this fantasy Socialism, even when it is shown to be a total failure. This goes some way to explaining why UK public have such ‘Faith’ in a 3rd world standard NHS? NHS Crisis & Labour 2002

the total failure that is Socialism

Their argument every time is, well no one has tried Socialism properly, they promptly forecast the downfall of free trade or laissez faire, the latter hasn’t happened since the dawn of money, and the former in its short life has failed miserably every time. That is true belief, in a fantasy idea, the end of a stable reliable economy, that has been shown to work for thousands of years. To be replaced for the total failure that is Socialism that impoverishes, starves, leads to corruption and has no basis in reality?

The problems arise when this continues to be applied even to none Socialist ideas, like the NHS. William Beveridge was a Liberal, and an Economist, grounded in the real world, in November1942 the report he chaired was published on what he saw as the five giant evils facing the modern world. His report has been abused and re-appropriated by the Socialists in their fantasies ever since.


The two most misused are welfare of the family or squalor, and health. For reasons to do with dogma of the Socialists, the Politicians and supporters of many colours, have today this odious idea, that Politicians should meddle in the running of the home, and that they know best how to run all manner of things, that quite frankly have nothing to do with Parliament, or Government, squalor being the main one, after certain situations have been resolved, it is generally self-inflicted, I shall return to this in future blogs.

Which brings us back to NHS, NHS Crisis 2005 since when did the average M.P. know how best to run a Hospital, a health centre, a doctor’s surgery. The people keep up this fantasy that they do, and support four square the idea of the NHS?
So ask the simple question, would you prefer your local group of GPs to run your local health centre, or a collective of MPs to run it, and a clear message comes back, the MPs.

Except of course ask the question like that and one is laughed at, which is why Blair and Brown had such a field day, they could delegate a Labour M.P. to run the health department, and they in turn would dictate, what the policy was. And I use the word ‘dictate’ purposefully, dictate they did.

And then what uproar, when the Tories make changes to allow health professionals to be able to juggle the money and use it as they see fit? It is an improvement, but it is also fraught with faults.

Let’s start at 1947, NHS Nursing Times archives 1948 is structured all wrong, and will never work, plus it now covers items that have nothing to do with general health, and are specialist areas that should not be free.

The original setup just Nationalised all Hospitals, and the setup put all teaching Hospitals under the direct control of Aneurin Bevan, the person responsible for this farrago, and hence why it was such a shambles.

Also it is a different world, I regularly tweet there is no poverty in UK and get abuse, but the fact is, what we call poverty is merely people unable to handle the money they have, or just plain irresponsible, and nothing to do with Government. But the Socialists believe it is, and they are backed by a Tax funded propaganda media outlet called the BBC.


The NHS has been chaotic from day one. I came across this purely by accident more years ago than I care to admit to, but let’s say, the World Wide Web had not been invented. I’ve long forgotten what I was looking up, at the local Library, but I was going through the old Newspapers, on microfiche, they covered 1947, and one news story I came across on numerous occasions, were the queues and chaos in the newly formed NHS. Now this struck a chord, because I remember the chaos of the 1970s, in the NHS and funding crisis, I looked up the 1960s, well the stories lessened, but didn’t go away. Even with the Wilson Government, there were constant problems, mainly a shortage of money and queues, sound familiar.

The plain truth is, the NHS NHS Crisis 2001 again Labour? was set up wrong and had too wide a remit, today it is the ‘rights’ of this or that to drugs or procedures, gender change anyone, breast implants, gastric bands etc. etc. etc all free on the NHS, why?

because health is total

Here is the bit that the Socialists or any other economically ill-informed person will not wish to read. There isn’t enough money in the world to properly fund NHS, because health is total, and just like the speed of light, the nearer to complete funding, the more its requirements expand exponentially, and more in some cases, so there is never quite enough.

Also there is no local answerability, it is all central, when people go into Hospital and say how wonderful the NHS staff are they are living a lie, go into any Hospital around the world, whether India or USA, you will find dedicated staff, who work beyond what is expected. Speak to people in UK and they believe it is only NHS that provides this type of dedication, my brother living down in Spain disagrees, but then he’s only had to have the services of Spanish health and NHS, and wouldn’t want to be ill in UK?

Next where the money actually comes from, again the Socialists are in for a big shock, because I’m putting the figures, in an easy to understand format.


I will start with the wealth of the Nation, but first some ground rules, with populations I’m rounding to nearest tens of millions, for the purposes that will become clear, it doesn’t affect the outcomes. Income to the nearest $1k and it’s in Dollars for ease of comparison.

So population of UK 60 million, now here is the first shock, around 14 million in UK don’t earn any income, simply because they are under eighteen and dependents. According to the Office for National Statistics, the number of people employed in autumn 2015 was around 31.4 million.

These employed pay the majority of the taxes required to fund NHS. Mainly because the previous line of tax, was funded from tobacco, but that has been decimated, by Labour?

As people smoke less they become more of a burden on the health service, opposite to the lie expounded at the time by Labour that stopping smoking would save the NHS £billions, liars no it doesn’t, Labour you lied, but that is natural with Socialists. The burden to the Health service in UK is rising dramatically, as those who would have a happy life smoking their lives away, are now miserable sods who don’t have a good laugh and drop dead aged 72, from tobacco related disease. They moan, feel more put upon have less optimism because of the stress from not smoking, and suffer longer illness, while they live out their extended lives to 78? Also once over 66 they don’t earn as much, many are on pensions, whether State or private and even when on both contribute substantially less in taxes.

top 5% at around $33,000

This now brings us down to those earning, and here again there are some shocks, if you are earning more than £10,000 pa ($13,000) you are in the top 16% of earners in the world, in fact just living in UK puts you in the top 20% of richest in the world, that includes the none earning under sixteens, because they have access to wealth via their parents, etc. One of the prime movers for immigrants wanting to come to UK is the fact they are more likely to get regular work, and so put themselves in the top 8% of the world’s richest, and most look to the top 5% at around $33,000 (£25,000) by putting in the hours and hard work, welfare is seen as a fall-back or for the wife, we are talking Muslims here.

Back in 2007 when the world was in chaos and Lehman brothers were collapsing, there was a teacher on the TV, she had a simple answer to the crisis, echoed by many, tax the bankers, oh how the Socialists chimed in agreement. If she was a Maths teacher, she should have been sacked on the spot for being useless and totally wrong.

Each Spring the Sunday Times newspaper publishes a rich list, unfortunately it doesn’t give annual income and is sometimes thought to be nearly correct about their wealth? However on the principle the top 10,000 people in the country earn over $650k (£500k), this gives a figure of $6.5 billion. Now unfortunately for our teacher, few of the 10,000 will be bankers, but let’s be generous, and say 1,000, or 10% of them are, now let make the pips squeak, and tax their income at 99%, if your ahead of me, and these easy figures you should be, the income to the treasury of the top 1,000 bankers would be $643 million, or £495 million, less than half a billion sterling, and that is with 100% efficiency, at 99% of their income.

Sorry how many tens $billions did the bailout require, but back to the original point the NHS 1978 NHS is the Winter of Discontent and health costs. Again assuming an average $6.5 billion income in the top 10,000 people in the country, and define income, I was a lowly shopkeeper, and could rarely tell you my actual earnings, only that they were offset by tax reductions and capital investment? At 40% with 100% efficiency in collection it still only amounts to $2.6 billion or about £2 billion.


Now here’s why Chancellors of all colours tax the poor, there are around 31,000,000 people in the work force, they contribute the bulk of the $200 billion (£155 Billion) in Income tax revenues. Hence why Gordon Brown and Labour were so keen on taxing the poor, 10,000,000 of the poorest still contribute a vast amount more than 10,000 of the richest, after all there are 1,000 times as many of them.

It was the Lib/Dems forced the hand of the Conservatives to increase the Tax allowance, from the 2005/6 rate of £4,895.
It is now £11,000 so much for Labour helping the poor? First they unload a 3rd world system of health, the NHS, and if any thing goes wrong, which it always does, blame everyone else, the irritating thing is, in the face of the facts, people believe Labour lies.


8th Sept 2016


Burghers of Calais they certainly got a better deal, than the one that persists today
Burghers of Calais they certainly got a better deal, than the one that persists today

There really does appear to be a problem living in France these days, which must be the reason so many are heading for Calais. Once upon a time it was easy, learn to speak French, retaining a slight accent, plus the mandatory gallic shrug, and generally they took you to their hearts.

in built dislike of Johnny foreigner

So why are there packs of immigrants, in the Calais jungle, many of whom speak French, heading towards Britain? After all aren’t the English supposed to be racist, insular with an in built dislike of Johnny foreigner, and our only saving grace is to be good mannered. Well the liars at the BBC would have us think that, but it seems all these immigrants at Calais disagree, except possibly about the manners. “I held a gun to this Englishman’s head, and he replied, ‘Sorry old chap but do you mind not pointing that peashooter in my direction, the bally thing might go off’, and then apologised that he wasn’t giving me any of the money I was demanding?”

There is one underlying reason Johnny Foreigner is heading for Britain, it is the same reason many head for Germany.


Ooh you’ve got a wicked tongue, as the 1940s comedian Rob Wilton, would have said. Alright many of the immigrants in Calais have weighed up the advantages of welfare, but they get welfare in France, it is the job opportunities that are lacking in la belle France.

As soon as Johnny Foreigner (I’m not hyphenating, for Johnny, read both sexes) hits our shores, he/she checks any welfare and somewhere to live, then gets a job. And how do they do that so easily, the same way I did with the temping agency ‘Flame’, they apply, then turn up on time?

Band Slade Flame album cover
Flame the film by Slade, this depicts the Album cover.

Some years ago, the Union leader Paul Kenny accused the jobs agency Flame, of giving preference to Polish workers. They had advertised in Poland, probably because they were having success, and knew what they were doing. Unions of course have no idea on running businesses and hence cock up all the time, think Arthur Scargill, numpty. Now as it turned out, I had some months earlier worked for Flame, in the place where they were accused of only employing Polish workers. How had I got the job, I saw an ad online, for Flame Rotherham, I phoned up, only to be told I needed to be registered with them. Well I’m registered with the Wakefield branch, said I. Their reply, you need to be at South Elmsall within the hour, I got into my little car and tootled down to South Elmsall. I was hired, immediately, yes many were from Poland, but a few were not, how had they got jobs, they applied?

Yes Flame had advertised in Poland, so what, we were (and still are as I write) in the Common Market, what was the problem the Unions were having with this, simple, the puerile little minded socialists were excluded. They were not in control, well guess what.

western Europeans, question everything

The hordes in the Calais jungle like that idea, that no one is in total control of them, they are free to choose where they work. Many of course are Muslims, and have difficulty getting their heads around the idea, that having the freedom to get any job they wish, is bound in with freedom to question anything and everything. Part of the problem with many Muslims, is they have been led to believe, by Socialists, that they are immune to questioning, especially by any person with a sense of humour. In reality western Europeans, question everything, hence why Britain voted to leave the Common Market, 17 plus million people questioned the abilities of numpties like Jean Claude Junkers to be able to run a bath, let alone be answerable to the electorate. He failed in his abilities to be answerable to the electorate of Britain and was too dim to understand, that Brexit, meant #Brexit. The Muslims get upset that their God of peace is seen as a joke, and certainly not a beacon of peace?

Britain stopped lopping off heads, just after we removed the bonce of King Charles I for having the impertinence to suggest he could Tax us without our having agreed to it. Big mistake Charlie, the peoples elected representatives in Parliament, decided they were the ones who should set the tax and how much should be extracted. So for Charlie’s trouble, Oliver Cromwell, who was big in Parliament at the time, said orf with his head, and orf it came.
The current monarch ‘Her Maj’ decided she wasn’t going to risk it on the head lopping front, and decided she’d pay tax, but only on condition din dins for the Corgis was tax deductible. I made that last bit up, but it put a smile on my face penning it?

Personally I think Jean Claude Junker’s mother still has to feed him and wipe his bottom, he certainly doesn’t seem grown up enough to run a hot bath?

But it is the French Government and its Socialist policies about work and the inability of companies to sack, or lay people off, that is one reason France has high un-employment, make it easy to sack workers, and employment goes up? Get rid of the Euro, and that would also help unemployment in France fall, this would take some of the pressure away from Calais.

A Labour MP, courtesy of Daily Mirror
A Labour MP, courtesy of Daily Mirror

I notice Chuka Umunna has been getting hold of the wrong end of the stick, in a committee meeting, he was grilling some #Brexit bloke, and demanding that there should be a date for Europeans to become British and so be allowed to stay. Unfortunately the person at the receiving end of this didn’t have the nous to give the definitive answer, namely the courts will decide, once an arrangement has been decided.

stay in, mainly on the Economic points.

In fact in many ways Umana’s summed up #Remain’s problem, they are fixated with the immigration question, when in fact most people voted about Democratic Sovereignty and Britain’s ability to self-determination of Law by Democratic process.
The ex-girlfriend ‘accidentally’ bumped into me yesterday, at my Mum’s, I asked her how she had voted, and it turned out to be Remain. She added that it was someone she had been talking to who had convinced her to vote to stay in, mainly on the Economic points. When I said I voted out on purely Democratic principles, in that there was a lack of them in Brussels. Her response was, she had since thought about the lack of Democracy and regretted not voting #Brexit.

I still ended up in the doghouse, with the ex, something about the lack of snogging, while we nipped out for five minutes in my car? One time decades ago when I suggested lingering for a romantic moment, under one of the Gas Lights that Leeds Council still maintains in the City Centre. I was given the cold shoulder, with the explanation she didn’t want people looking at her, there wasn’t a soul about. Yesterday we were on one of the busiest arterial roads in Leeds?

25th August 2016

Smiley Bales John Ashtone
Smiles make people happy, more than any promises made by a Politician

Quantitative-easing = wrong strategy

So which twits in the Bank of England and by extension the Treasury think quantitative-easing is needed. Also what do they hope to achieve, because whatever it is, it’s failing big time. The Bank of England, has just had to pay a premium for the purchase of Government bonds of some of the latest stimulus package. Which raises the question, have either the BoE or the Treasury any idea what they are doing.

List of International Government bonds
UK Bank of England is buying Government Gilts.
Gilts are gilt edged securities, namely they are guaranteed by UK government.

Contained within the quantitative-easing package is £100 billion of loans that the Banks can make to industry, it sounds a lot, however, it is chicken feed, compared to the deposits British people could raise, if instead of having cut interest rates, Mark Carney had raised them, and quantitative-easing would be unnecessary.

According to the Office for National Statistics, between 1988 and 1992 household savings ramped up from just below 4% to a smidgeon short of 12%, so a three-fold increase, now to just take the top 10% of savers who currently have around £60,000 in ready money (liquid as opposed to illiquid assets like pensions and bricks and mortar) I make that a cool £720 billion that would head for the banks if the Government were to raise interest rates, and guess, what?

a figment of imagination, for people with a lack of imagination

Savings lead to an expansion of industry and commerce, yes it is slow, but the increases in efficiency outweigh any slowness in action, the real impact from 1992 was seen by Gordon Brown five years later, who then promptly made a hash of it, but that is not the point, this idea that we need to keep interest rates low, to stimulate the economy to avoid a recession is all illusory. Mainly because we are not about to enter a recession, it is a figment of imagination, for people with a lack of imagination, the whole thing is not currently about to happen, that is at least eighteen months to two years down the line.

Stock holding Companies buy stock out of cash generated by sales, but profits increase when investment in Capital spending increases, for this borrowing often helps, the more deposits banks receive, the more they lend to Businesses.

This also prompts the question, what happens when we hit recession, do we go into negative interest rate territory, and why, there is no need.

Janet Yellen looks to be playing a blinder, she was criticised for increasing US interest rates, the doom mongers came out in force, but they have been proved wrong, people in the States are starting to look at saving, and to continue saving. So where is the recession in the US markets, it aint there, simply because although the US economy is not steaming ahead, it aint flat on its back either. The first round of quantitative-easing, probably worked, mainly because the Fed, and BoE had not had the nerve to increase interest rates after Lehman brothers collapsed.

So Joe and Joan Public in the States are beginning to see their wealth grow, because they are starting to just save that little bit more, and the reason is simple. When they put their money in the bank or savings and loans companies, they see a small return. Meanwhile businesses in the US are being able to borrow money that is from the Public sector not Government.

fear of a recession that never quite happened

Now I already hear the Keynesian voices saying yes, but the US went into quantitative-easing big time over the last seven years. And so they did, but after the first round, it got them absolutely nowhere, it just inflated the Stock markets. It is argued that it avoided a recession, well sorry but that is tripe, the first round back in 2007/8 possibly did, but after that, what recession, it was again the fear of a recession that never quite happened, but importantly wasn’t going to happen.

Meanwhile the threat of the US economy imploding under the weight of debt is now receding, and receding fast, savings are starting to recover, and far from interest rate cuts, the betting is that the Fed will raise interest rates, and Yellen has said she would like to reverse the quantitative-easing process.

the main impact would be on savings

It is a shift that needs to happen this side of the Pond. Currently Sterling is depressed, and an interest rate increase, far from making the pound bounce up, would I suspect make it just shift up a tad, but then after the shock it would rise, as overseas investors started to look at their returns. But the main impact would be on savings, yes the high street would be hit, but quite honestly, so what.

Steel Racking
More stock imported for the retail sector.

All that means is there are less imports, the major beneficiaries would be all the people who currently, hold a couple of hundred spare, or few thousand, it would mean that people would be better off financially.

Note an Economic conundrum, as efficiency kicks in and people are sacked to be replaced by a machine or some software, the number of people in employment rises. This is due to the fact that as companies make higher profits, other people invest in that type of business, to get a piece of the action. Also these expanding companies all use services, whether it is banking, advertising, accountants, solicitors, couriers, pizza delivery etc. etc. etc.

the vast majority muddle through

There is another of the many Economic conundrums here, most financial analysts immediately look at the impact on house borrowing and say, raising interest rates would hit first time homebuyers hardest, and within certain boundaries this is true. However, it is amazing what one can find to cut back on, with household spending when push comes to shove, and the vast majority muddle through any interest rate increases. Meanwhile the people who are struggling to get their foot on the first rung of the homeowner ladder, suddenly find, they have more money to put down as a deposit, for the simple reason they are saving more, why because the incentive of interest rates makes saving worthwhile. No quantitative-easing needed, the public are quite capable of investing their money, they just need the incentive, higher interest rates give them that.

So what on the face of it looks like it would be bad for first time buyers is actually good, plus overall the amount of debt in the economy reduces, again this is counter intuitive, because on the face of it increased lending is surely going to raise the debt levels. In fact it is percentages at play, namely the increased savings percentage.

Savings are currently less than 2%, so just raising them to 1988 levels of 4% would be a start, and this then decreases the percentage of debt, while as already pointed out, increases the overall amount available to lend.

the banks had so much money being deposited and hence sloshing around?

I bought a house around 1994, just as the hoo hah over negative equity was dying down, house sales were still in the doldrums, and I was amazed that the bank, were willing to give me a mortgage, at 2% above the base rate, which was around 6% and inflation around 3%, making the mortgage around 5%, which in the 1990s was excellent, in fact the bank manager (yes I still had one, a super chap called Richard Wharton) admitted they were having difficulty reaching lending targets, the banks had so much money being deposited and hence sloshing around?

HSBC branch exterior
HSBC bank Park Row Leeds.

Most of the money went to businesses, and part of the reason when Gordon Brown took the helm at the Treasury he had such an easy time to start with was the result of investment in business over the previous 5 years.

One would assume (always risky) that Teresa May would want a booming economy when she next stands for election. Well if she does, the investment needs to start now. And not piddling £100 billion of invented money, the Treasury could quite easily set new targets for the BoE, not least £1 trillion in savings, more to the point it wouldn’t be invented money, and would be invested more wisely, after all it belongs to someone somewhere.

There is another stimulus that is needed for house building, and that is the Town and Country planning act 1947, it needs scrapping, but that is for another day.


11th Aug 2016

Carney, Wrong, Wrong, Wrong

Yellow smiley face
I’m smiling, because my pension which is rising due to Quantitative easing, is getting ready to be cashed.

The Bank of England under the auspices of Mark Carney has reduced interest rates down to their lowest level ever, or 0.5% just to clarify half of one percent.

The reasoning is, to stop UK going into a recession.

since the Lehman Brothers crash

It is a strategy that satisfies only in the short term, and is wrong, as all the previous interest rates have done since the Lehman Brothers crash.

If Her Majesty’s Treasury, and hence the Bank of England wanted long term growth, then interest rates would have been handled in a completely different manner.

Certainly instead of cutting them, they should have gone up, and be ready to go up again, but that would have meant the Government having a long term strategy, it hasn’t, it’s short termism, so again wrong, and doing nothing for UK industrial and commercial growth.

Specialist FLT
Industry at work

The reasoning behind the B of E’s interest rate cuts, is to stimulate consumer spending and keep the economy from going into recession, it works, but does little for industrial growth.

It has been the policy of all Governments right back to 1945, but is now starting to run out of steam, the reason, simple there are not the savings, to invest in Capital spending.

H.M. Treasury is directed by the Government of the day

Mark Carney the Governor of the B of E, gets his direction from H.M. Treasury, and H.M. Treasury is directed by the Government of the day, and every man jack of them has followed the same short to medium term policy, keep consumer spending going, to keep UK from hitting the recession buffers.

What utter codswallop, it leads to a lack of savings, so putting it on the wrong side of history, this can also translate into increased debt, again a wrong strategy, and with the UK it is the case.

At this point please note, most of what I write about UK also applies equally to USA, although American savings have been just a tad higher and the Trade deficit in percentage terms has not been quite so bad as UK, but US readers can draw the same conclusions, for B of E read the Federal Reserve, for Mark Carney read Janet Yellen, and for ISA read Roth IRA.

Financial Times
Financial Times inside page

Now before we go further it must be pointed out, that at least there has been some attempts by the various Governments to increase savings, not least the ISA scheme, where at least one can save £15,400 per year, and not get hit by the regular taxes. Indeed you can have either a cash ISA, or a Shares ISA, and the shares side of it, has created a few £Millionaires, who have been very savvy with the particular stocks they have purchased, and made sure all the dividends are reinvested, and that is the trick. Keep re-investing the divis and interest starts to build on interest.

Pensions, these were first promoted enthusiastically, back in the mid 1970s, but the backing for pensions has been patchy, Gordon Brown famously stripping £Billions from them, by stopping tax relief, which meant either one paid extra with each monthly payment, or one received less in retirement, and this could be drastic, if you were in your 20s to 40s. Hence why Teachers got it wrong with the general public, and didn’t get the backing they thought was their due, when it was announced they would receive, 10% less pension when they retired, many private sector workers, who had paid into their pensions for years, thought why didn’t I only having a paltry 10% cut?

doesn’t increase the amount individuals have in their rainy day kitty

So people in UK don’t have enough saved in their pensions, along with too few savings all round. Hence why the banks don’t have the cash to lend to industry? But the Government has supplied them the money to lend I hear you cry. Well yes, but that doesn’t increase the amount individuals have in their rainy day kitty. It is this that makes the difference, because, if you have Amy Ambitious, goes along to her bank to buy kit for her ~super duper gizmo company~ and has only her few savings, the bank is, quite rightly, going to want to know how much she can put up as collateral.

At this point I break the story, here is the alternative scenario, instead of an interest rate cut, increase interest rates.

Put interest rates up? Has the man gone bonkers?

Certainly not.

It is one of the key avenues to stimulating savings, yes I realise the Government also needs to enact other incentives, like tax breaks, but increasing Interest rates can boost industrial investment, especially in Capital equipment. This leads to an increase in productivity, and hence to an increase in real wages. It also has the effect of lowering overall debt, and with an increase in commerce and trade, it can lead to a reduction in the trade deficit.

Brand names
Popular brands that sell.

There is a downside, and that is a drop in consumer spending, but even this has a positive side, which is reduced imports, the whole reduces the trade deficit, and as I have previously posted, that should be high on the agenda.

In fact a prime reason for increasing interest rates, would be to increase investment in UK, but at the same time, this should also bolster, savings, which brings us back to Capital.

In Economic terms Capital is both savings, and can also refer to major company purchases, and here we hit one of the many economic conundrums. Let’s say Amy Ambitious’ super duper gizmo company, decides to buy in a new 3D printer, purchase cost £100,000 and then sack 50% of its staff. But the purchase of this piece of kit, makes the company much more efficient. What happens? Well they sell more product, but the nature of selling more product, more efficiently means more people can afford more ‘super duper gizmos’.

This is precisely what happened with Calculators, the first ‘All’ electronic calculator was built and sold by Sharp, the Japanese Electronics company, it retailed for around $240 which translated into just over 3 weeks wages in USA.

One desktop calculator, three weeks wages?

Sharp started making big money, and large profits, and were soon joined in the game by other competitors. Who started to undercut Sharp, by offering slightly better designs, and improved ‘functions’.

this was all done with ever diminishing retail prices

The important thing to note is, this was all done with ever diminishing retail prices, but yet, companies were able to afford to borrow money to invest in capital equipment which gave huge profits, so there could be money for Research and Development (R & D), and this led to ever cheaper calculators, and drove some once profitable companies out of business, leading to people being sacked, or left unpaid for their work.

But these newer companies could trade on smaller prices, and still make large profits, all due to the fact people had saved, and so the banks had money to lend that they needed to turn a profit on interest, so they could pay their savers higher interest on their savings. And indeed they lent to businesses who then invested in machines that could produce more products using fewer people. So much so, you can go into a Pound/Dollar shop and buy a calculator that has more functions than some computers in 1968?

Desktop calculator
Desktop Calculator and pen

Now here’s the conundrum, there are more people today, employed in manufacturing, pocket calculators, than back in 1968.
These people have a higher disposable income than those employed in 1968, even where tsome are paid only a pittance relative to UK/USA earnings? You can buy a calculator that will perform all the calculations you may need, all for less than a cup of coffee, at a choke and puke café on the local by-pass, for US readers that translates as ‘Greasy spoon’ just off the freeway! But no conundrum the percentage of the workforce with permanent employment, is highest where it is easiest to sack people.

On top of all this, the Bank of England has just started a new round of Quantitative easing, which has gone down like a lead balloon, and is not the stairway to heaven Mark Carney envisaged.

Now for those who don’t know, quantitative easing is where the Central banks buys large amounts of bonds from the Pension and Insurance funds, the bonds equate to debts, and the idea is the funds then can use that, money which was previously debt and now translated into cash, to invest in buying stocks.

There is a problem, all pension funds, are required by Law to have a spread of risk, but also to maximise its returns, now the rules are by nature complicated, because in the UK when you take out a pension, you can elect how much risk you wish to take, and then each pension fund, decides how to spread that risk, and which investments it will put YOUR money into, along with its astronomical administration fees, the pension then grows, on top of the input, of monthly deposits you place into your pension pot.

Fred Karno, sorry Mr. Carney

So along comes Fred Karno, sorry Mr. Carney and the Bank of England Mark Carney SkyNews and they want to translate debt, into cash, so that the banks have money to lend to industry and commerce. They do this by buying long dated gilts, or Government debt, the famous National Debt, from the Insurance companies, Pension funds, and other large Financial organisations who invest on a large scale. Nice idea, but it has a fatal flaw, John and Jane Public aren’t saving more, so debts keep mounting. Yes it reduces the national debt and translates that money into cash, but it avoids a fundamental, of the individual and their friends and family having more capital, and this is the true driving force of increasing GDP per capita.

GDP in UK should be higher, but more to the point should be improving faster than it is. It is stuck in a rut, and it is not dissimilar in USA, and the way out of that rut, is to sacrifice consumer spending for higher savings, this may well cause a temporary recession, but the upside more than compensates for the downside.

Quantitative easing is failing, because the Bank of England, has got it wrong, and is trying to get the big investment institutions to reduce their, returns on capital employed, which in fact breaks their contracts with the people they are their to serve, namely me and thee.

Shares can go up as well as down, but quantitative easing makes them rise, in a slightly false market?

There is also the fact that buying long term gilts is trying to reduce the National Debt, but also the cost of repayments of those debts, nothing wrong with that, but why not boost savings, this will reduce consumer spending, which reduces imports. This combined with increasing the wealth of individuals, because they are saving more, and enables them to invest in a friend or family member who is trying to get the ‘Super duper Gizmo company’ or what ever their idea is, off the ground.

Will Mark Carney in the coming months look to increasing interest rates, stop it, he is a safe pair of hands, plus most important it is not in his remit, that is the new Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, and while he may well put some emphasis on savings, this will be tinkering, because the big push in increasing interest rates will not arrive.

This Government like all the Governments since 1945, will get it wrong.


28th July 2016


DAF Trucks lined up
Industry makes the world richer through efficiency.

The trouble with Macro Economics and GDP is, the numbers don’t add up.

One of the reasons the old joke, about asking a dozen Economists a question, and you will probably get thirteen answers, rings true, is that much of what passes for fact, is no more than opinion.

Eomer, existed as an historical figure

It also doesn’t help when you get someone like Karl Marx taken seriously, when he just invented fantasy ideas with no grounding in reality. J.R.R Tolkien writing, The Lord of the Rings, has more basis in fact, at least Eomer, existed as an historical figure, and the ancients did name their swords, in the way depicted in the books. The rich getting richer as the poor get poorer is so obviously a fantasy, witness we are not poorer than our Victorian ancestors. As the rich become richer, the poor become less poor.

#Brexit, is Britain headed for the Economic Buffers?

#BrexitVote is now more than a month gone and on social media the doom mongers are having a field day, Britain is headed for the economic buffers, big style and it is all the fault of us leaving the EU. A load of codswallop of course, the latest figures include part of the time #Remain was looking to win.

Although the latest figures released yesterday show growth of 0.6% but that is really for April so nothing whatsoever to measure #Brexit effect by.

Brexit jubilation
The Revolution is here

Ireland has just shown an increase in GDP of 26%, no I haven’t missed digital marker, twenty six percent, increase, Ireland, GDP. Being a small sized economy the figures were skewed by a multi-national company, relocating its Head-Quarters to Ireland for tax purposes, it was a large aircraft leasing company, so boosted the Country’s GDP. For the overall economy, there is very little change, Ireland has not suddenly had a 26% boost in personal spending, but that’s what the figures could be interpreted as, should one wish.

GDP was ‘invented’ back in the 1940s, 1950s

This highlights a major problem, GDP was ‘invented’ back in the 1940s, 1950s to enable ‘Macro Economists’ to explain a country’s wealth to the general public, in a way that the average citizen could understand, and to a large extent it worked and still works. If a Country’s GDP per person was $20k and Joe Bluecollar was earning $15k he could see he was a tad under the average, possibly just around where he thought he was. The fact that his partner Jane Part-time, also contributed $10k to the household pot firmly placed them in the about average for their time. GDP figures are largely based on a manufacturing, agricultural economy.

In 1964, four lads from Liverpool were awarded MBE’s for their services to industry, some people became really upset, that the Beatles had received these awards, they had only sung a few tunes and shaken their mop heads, with hair which was far too long? In point of fact they were tapping into an expanding way of making do$h, by manufacturing songs and earning overseas currency, it is called copyright.

Beatles Abbey Road Cover
Four lads from Liverpool, who wrote some fab tunes, many of which topped the hit parade.

I use the term manufacturing deliberately, there is a myth, that manufacturing requires metal bashing or such like, well it is just that, a myth, song writing, film making, computer programming are all manufacturing, that novel didn’t write itself, someone sat down and ‘manufactured’ it. Plus these products often last longer, I’ll lay money you heard a Beatles tune more recently than you saw a 1960s British built car tootling down the road, or watched a pre 1980s film more recently than you rode in a pre 1980s bus or coach?

Here lies part of the problem, while counting vinyl record sales was always fairly easy, counting the digital economy is not, also double counting has always been a fly in the ointment. But there is a much more problematic and fundamental point, that GDP misses quality and relative wealth. This covers health, always a difficult economic metric to measure, but likewise excellence of goods. The British cars previously mentioned regularly broke down, as did all the other makes at that time, quite why the VW Beetle was thought to be reliable, when it was patently unreliable, beggars belief. These days some Honda Cars have a 99.8% reliability standard, plus consider all the extra bells and whistles now included, should lower any percentage figure. yet they remain higher than ever, none of this is measured in GDP.

no air con, the last was provided by a sun roof?

It also causes an economic problem when measuring ordinary growth, the car I have recently bought is averaging 46mpg, it is a 1.6 litre engine, my first car was a Triumph Herald, with a 1.2 litre engine that I was happy to get 32mpg from, and no power steering, no central locking, no electric windows, no air con, the last was provided by a sun roof? GDP attempts to measure efficiency, it falls short.

Part of the problem arises from the human capacity for original thinking, Herman Hauser was on the TV the other dayARM Takeover over the sale of ARM, the chip design giant. Herman was one of the originators of the BBC Micro, which was about 1/3 the size of the IBM PC at the time, but the BBC micro was a lot larger than the Sinclair Spectrum. Efficiency at work while you were watching, also worth noting was, the Sinclair Spectrum plus, used a rubber keypad that is the basis for most full sized keyboards today. Here is just one thing GDP measures, both accurately and inaccurately, number of keyboards, but only in monetary value, not worth to the customer, or reliability.

We are however stuck with this metric, and until some other can be agreed, it will remain.
Meanwhile UK is heading, for the Economic doldrums, and UK’s GDP will suffer, but is it because of #Brexit view, well here comes a good Economists answer, yes and no?

Germany dominates

What the EU Ministers are keeping quiet about, is the fact the whole of EU is also heading for a downturn, so why should UK be so much different,#Brexit or #Remain. What they are keeping shtum over, is UK as likely as not, will emerge, quicker, and more robustly, simply because Sterling will react to the Government’s, twists and turns more accurately than the Euro does to individual Countries, within the zone. Germany dominates, so it is useless any smaller economy trying to buck the trend in any meaningful manner, except by efficiencies, and that’s the point. However countries like Greece, that are locked into political dogma that stifles flexibility, are basically stuffed.

UK is set fair, already the Government is keeping the tiller steering for calmer waters, yes there are a few people in UKIP shouting for Article 50 to be triggered immediately, but clearer heads are saying let’s work with our neighbours. The main people upset over all this are Jean Claude Juncker, and the French President Hollande, Juncker should be ignored, and Hollande placated, until he is thrown out of office, in May next year.

Drake playing a game of bowls
SIr Francis Drake famously waiting for the tide, before going off and earning a bob or two privateering, and then going and defeating the Spanish Armada.

Britain meanwhile will weather any storm of leaving the Port of EU, by doing what Drake did, and waiting for the tide, in the meantime, exporters should carry on benefiting from the ten percent reduction in sterling. Savvy importers should look how to reduce their costs, or look to reducing the amount of value they import and where possible look to adding value, within UK, and thus also benefiting from a lower £. Easier said than done, but I did come across someone who had not even given it any consideration?

GDP could go down because of the lower value of sterling, but many in UK could still be better off financially, courtesy of higher inflation reducing the true cost of borrowing. No the figures don’t add up, well they do, but again another good economists answer.


14th July 2016


Here in Blighty there is a distinct whiff of quiet revolution, basically the old order of Leftist dominated Politics is under continued attack. Fortunately this is not just from outside, it is crumbling from within as well.

Brexit jubilation
The Revolution is here

in 1979, the Socialists were fuming

When Mrs Thatcher came to power in 1979, the Socialists were fuming, how could the electorate vote into power, someone whose Politics were based in the real world.

They hatched a plan to take over the Media and Education.

The Media onslaught was never total, nor could it be, there are too many free thinkers and Liberal minded people. By Liberal minded, I mean in the Gladstone sense, not the poncy idiots who believe that Socialism has some good points, it doesn’t. Also Rupert Murdoch was ensuring a certain element of free speech remained, even though the Socialists were adamant he was ‘agin it’, merely proving their fantasy ideas, and hypocrisy.

With Education however there was much more success, because the Socialists took over the teacher training colleges. So Teachers were indoctrinated with the Socialist propaganda from around 1980 onwards. The majority of teachers were unaware of this, they went to learn how to teach, to the best of their abilities, and were quite willing to follow the curriculum of the new order. This was all backed up by pseudo science, relating to how poor the ‘old methods’ of teaching were, so baby went out with the bath water.

Gone in this revolution was any whiff of learning by rote, this left the majority of children or students, who find it difficult to grasp basic principles, high and dry.

I did some adult literacy teaching, in the early 1990s, the chap David was a slow learner, but very dedicated. The first thing I did was teach him his alphabet, he had never been taught it.

Alphabet written
As easy as ABC

The whole thing came as a revelation to him, firstly that reciting the alphabet, made the letters stick in his mind. Secondly when I pointed out that every letter could be said two ways, the abc of the alphabet as recited in rhythm, but also that they could be said Ah Buh Kuh Duh etc. After that he came on in leaps and bounds, my little revolution had worked. I honestly put his lack of Literacy down to poor teaching, and the dumping of basic principles, like learning the alphabet off rote?

I never mentioned to my superiors, that I did rote learning, because I had been told how ‘bad it was’ when doing tutorials on teaching?

Nine times seven is 63, not because I work it out, I just know it from Junior school?

The quicker Socialism becomes sidelined the better.

It is Bastille day in France, when hundreds of French stormed the Bastille to release all the suffering prisoners, all seven of them? The famous old joke went out. Sire the peasants are revolting, to which came the reply, yes they do smell don’t they! It kick started the French Revolution, in point of fact, Louis XVI wrote in his diary ‘Nothing’, which shows how cut off from reality he was. I wonder if the modern Mussolini, none Democratically elected, Jean Claude Juncker, keeps a diary? He is totally unaware of the Revolution happening in hs own back yard, ~June 24th, those stupid British have voted to leave our ‘True Democracy of EU’~

Storming  the Bastille
14th July, another day in the office in France

So Chilcott has finally been published and we can now chew on the fat.

Tony Blair was lied to, and so he told a bigger lie to Parliament and hence the public. He has been labelled a terrorist, yet again, the difference is, this time it will stick. He has also been called out as a consummate actor, another fact we all knew, but again it will stick.

This story is, for the time being, on the back burner, due to the party leadership elections.

the party was elected on a mandate

The Tories have played a blinder, Andrea Leadsom stood down to let the ‘Establishment’ figure of Theresa May take the Premiership of the country.
She has promptly thwarted my thoughts, that she would ‘ask Parliament’ to call an early Election, ruling it out, so that she can get on with brexit, but also saying the party was elected on a mandate which she intends to fulfil, so no echo of the revolution there.

Strategically this is odd, calling an Election in say October or November would have given her a fresh mandate. One based on Brexit, the current Tory mandate assumed we were staying in the EU.

However another way of looking at it, is that she can make up the rules as she goes along. Forget any particular sticking point, as the situation changes, so the strategy to deal with these upheavals can be worked out. All well and good, as long as it broadly corresponds, with the ‘will of the people’, but it can be catastrophic, when it goes out of step.

Brexit changed everything, the Revolution is on, and all the doomsayers were wrong.

Glorious Revolution in England
Saturday nights all right for fighting.
Elton John no where to be seen or heard?

Which nicely leads into, those bunch of over inflated egoists, the ‘Credit reference agencies’, it wouldn’t be too bad, if they generally got it right, when everyone else was wrong, but they don’t, just the opposite.

Their job is to keep abreast of how well a person, company, country etc, is probably able to pay its debts, or keep afloat, when all the other ships are sinking. Now let us be clear, they are taking a long term view, however doing so, without standing back and awaiting a properly weighted opinion, is nearing levity of a particularly virulent form.

Fidgety Fitch were first out of the starting blocks, reducing Britain’s AAA to AA.

Standard and Crap also went from AAA to AA which is two notches, AAA- being in between.

Monday Moody’s, appear to have acted, because they felt left out, it all stinks of herd mentality, they reduced the Britain’s rating to negative. Hardly any revolution here then.

So they now look rather silly and have egg on their faces, yes their original outlooks were based on a reduction in the amount of trade, and this could still be correct, but their reactions were classic knee jerk, and to be honest I expect more from these supposedly august companies.

I was self employed and not a limited company

This begs a question in my own mind, as to why I should hold them with much respect. Some years ago I had a run in with Experian. It’s summer 2007 I keep getting Emails and seeing adverts telling me to check my credit rating. Note I was self employed and not a limited company, I knew I was heading for bankruptcy unless I did something drastic, I had already set in motion the survival tactics eighteen months earlier, my priority save my house and pay my debts off.

So I thought I will have a look and see how poor my credit rating had become. I couldn’t do so because my credit was so bad, Experian wouldn’t accept my credit card?

A year later I try a ‘free credit rating’, no luck Experian would not let me see mine for free, now whether I did something wrong, I don’t know, I didn’t try very hard, it was just curiosity.

So in 2010 when I was formally invited by Experian to open an account, I thought I would first take a look. Fail. Then to my surprise, I was being billed £7.99 from Experian, really I had opened an email and that was it, I certainly hadn’t given my Bank card details. I suspect it was passed on by the bank, and that that was the reason I had had the original Email.

After the run in with Experian to stop the Direct Debit from Lloyds, what happened next opened my eyes from top to bottom, a short time later I had a phone call from HSBC.

This was to do with my, business bank account, and a very nice lady with a lovely Welsh accent was inviting me to review my overdraft facility and bank loan. I stopped her there, explaining I would be blocked because of my wretched credit rating.

She soon put me in my place, ‘HSBC is not interested in what Experian, or any other credit reference agency has you rated as, I am within certain limits, authorised to readjust or increase over a longer term your bank loan payments, and to increase your overdraft. You have banked with us for over twenty years, and have never defaulted, that is your credit with HSBC.

She could be strict with me anytime

She could be strict with me anytime, stockings, whips, sorry back to the subject, it was however so revealing about Credit ratings.

Madame Strict
Be strict with me Please

At the time there was a chap who posted on Money Saving Expert
nothing but how, over rated and generally useless the Credit rating agencies are, whether he still does I wouldn’t know, but I think a persons age has much to do with it. When you are young, yes they have power, but the older one gets, the less use the credit agencies are.

The same goes for Countries.

The EU being young is much more likely to default after this Revolution has got under way, than Britain, which has never defaulted. We may also end up increasing our trade faster then the EU, so the whole farrago of reducing the credit rating in the first place, will merely make those agencies, look a little less mighty.

Revolution, bring it on.


Thursday 30th June 2016


Smiley Bales John Ashtone
Smiles make people happy, more than any promises made by a Politician

Plus how Savings can be Britain’s Saviour

Well what a palaver over the Referendum, some youngsters didn’t get off their lazy fat arses and vote, so it is all unfair, they then throw a tantrum and blame those who did exercise their Franchise, for not voting the way they wanted.

So let’s get a petition together and then Parliament will have to have another Referendum.

Which has immediately been taken over by bots entering ghost supporters, it appears many come from North Korea and Vatican City, oh dear, fail.
Now read the rules kiddy winkies, it isn’t how Referendums work.

Socialist and stupid are totally interchangeable

The Socialists have a lot to answer for, they took hold of the Education system around 1980 to 81 to undermine the Conservatives, and groom the younger generation into being Socialist born and bred, well guess what, it backfired, because they are stupid, sorry Socialist (Socialist and stupid are totally interchangeable) or to be accurate, they have been brainwashed, and are learning the hard way, that life isn’t fair, and not everyone believes in fantasy stories, made up by a 19th Century privileged Prussian immigrant, who all his life, sponged off other people, because his family had savings and investments he could tap.

One thing in the immediate aftermath of the great British Brexit, was the markets, and the turmoil, the FTSE immediately went into meltdown, the FTSE 100 ending the week 106 higher than it started.

DLG Plc Leeds
Direct Line Group, is a FTSE 100 company, it sells Insurance

No that wasn’t a misprint, the FTSE 100 ended the week higher, and was 10% above its February 2016 level. Carol Vorderman was quick to Tweet that sterling ended the week higher than in February, having bottomed at below the 1980s lowest level, it rose to be higher than in February this year. The £pound going down, is good for the Trade Deficit, in that exporters find it easier to sell goods abroad, when the £Pound is low.

Markets go up and down, and that is what the FTSE is doing.

Meanwhile Gideon Osborne, has not got on his hind legs and produced the much vaunted emergency Budget, that he claimed would be needed, if the result was #Brexit?
He claimed the Budget deficit would be affected, which nicely segue’s into Budget deficit, and Trade deficit. It is clear listening to many Politicians, that most don’t understand the difference between the two.

To start at first principles, Governments don’t have any money, they collect revenue through Taxes, and distribute it around through Government spending. I will emphasise this, Governments have no Money, are you listening all you Socialist nit wits. All the spending they do, is with the Public’s hard earned do$h.

Sterling, otherwise know as the £ Pound. £20, £10 and Pound coins
Sterling, otherwise know as the £ Pound. £20, £10 and Pound coins

So the Government collect Taxes, and then spend our money, to do this they have a Budget. It is simple, the different Departments put in their spending requirements, and are then allocated funds, if they have worked everything out correctly, there will be just enough to go around, with nothing left over. This is a balanced Budget, if there is some money left over it means there is a Budget surplus, this can be used to pay down any debts that may have otherwise accrued.

If there are not enough Tax receipts, then the Government has to raise the shortfall through Government Bond issues, this is the National Debt, and currently the UK’s national Debt is somewhere in the £1.56 Trillion, or 1.56 with 10 zeros behind it, well what’s a few zeros between friends?

the main reason British companies keep being sold to foreign companies

Now changing the subject, the balance of trade is the difference between how much UK incorporated buys and sells abroad. The current level is eye watering, and is the main reason British companies keep being sold to foreign companies, the balance of trade always needs to be balanced.

Again I’m going to hammer this home, the balance of trade is always BALANCED. And for anyone accusing me of being condescending, you are merely in the know, many don’t, so I am unapologetic about stating clearly, what to you, is obvious.

The original idea of floating Sterling, was to end the need, to keep a balanced trade gap, and it works, but only up to a point Lord Copper. This is the reasoning, as export sales go down, so does the currency, this makes it easier for home companies to sell more goods abroad, because their goods or services are now cheaper relative to none Sterling Companies they are competing against. As a consequence sales go up, the Country runs a surplus, at which point the currency goes up, making it easier for foreign competitors to sell to us, so bringing the trade over time, into balance.

HGV Trucks lined up
All lined up ready to deliver goods to anywhere in UK.

That’s the theory, and as any currency does fluctuate, this should work fine. However it also needs lots of other factors to be at work, not least a Government in control of its finances.

believe that, I currently have a Bridge in Central London I want to sell you

Currently the German Central Bank the Bundesbank, is in charge of all the Euro Countries. Supposedly the European Central Bank with its Chair Christine Legarde is in charge of the Euro. Well if you believe that, I currently have a Bridge in Central London I want to sell you, nice location currently allows traffic across the Thames, low price, you pay for dismantling and removal, bargain offer?

I will cover how the Euro benefits Germany to the detriment of Spain and Greece’s young workers on another day.

In an nutshell the Euro is kept low, because of problems in Greece and Portugal, this benefits Germany’s exports, and why it has done well this last few years.
Now back to the trade deficit, when UK companies are sold to overseas companies, it means there are less UK profits, remember the profits are moved about the globe, usually to stable but low tax nations, hence Ireland being a sought after destination. This results in lower Tax receipts, for Her Majesty’s Treasury, which is needed to help pay down the National Debt, pay for Hospitals, Roads, Education, junkets for Politicians, you know the standard fare.

It is this point, where many people get stuck, the Balance of trade has nothing to do with the Budget, but one ~can~ help pay for the other.
The most important point is the drain on Britain’s wealth, in 2013 Vodafone balanced the Trade deficit with a single deal, the £84 Billion sale of Verizon to its US owners, although now Vodafone itself looks vulnerable?

Sterling was allowed to go way too high for too long

The problem can be traced back to 1980/1981, and Mrs Thatcher allowing the £ to rocket up to $2.40, the Chancellor Geoffrey Howe should have intervened and stopped it at $2 or $2.10 at most. Allowing it to rise got rid of a lot of poorly performing companies, but Sterling was allowed to go way too high for too long and killed many top rated very efficient UK exporters, who couldn’t trade for nearly six months, our competitors moved in and our trading status took a heavy toll, the upshot is our trading companies need rebuilding.

A new emphasis on savings needs to be implemented, high street spending needs discouraging, and much more needs to be done to encourage entrepreneurship, stuff the socialists, and their policies of making people poor and forcing an unequal Society on everyone, free up the potential of the young, many of whom are not brainwashed morons, but decently educated people with ambition, and no money, or more correctly no savings.

When the odious Socialists bang on about Capitalism, meaning the Capitalism of Marx, it is a fantasy term invented by Marx, when the City financiers or entrepreneurs use the term Capitalism, they generally mean, Free Trade, or Laissez Faire, they do not mean fiction writer Karl Marx‘s definition of a venal organism, privately owned that exploits people. According to Karl Marx, Michael Marks creation the British retailer Marks & Spencer is a Capitalist exploiter of the people.

‘Don’t ask the price, it’s a Penny’

Michael Marks was a 19th Century Polish immigrant, who started a flourishing market stall in Leeds Kirkgate market, and he would be horrified that anyone should exploit another person, he succeeded with the simple slogan, ‘Don’t ask the price, it’s a Penny’, sales took off.

Secondly, Marks and Spencer is now a Public Limited Company, a Plc, anyone can buy a share or shares, in M & S, and have a say in its running, you may well be ignored, but you can have your say? And most of the staff own shares, and collectively they can bring great pressure to bear, Capitalism of Marx is fiction, in the end Michael Marks, knew more on enriching the populace. He started with a £50 line of credit, dealing with a wholesalers called Dewhirst’s, where he bought his stock for the market stall. Firstly Isaac Dewhirst, had the spare ‘Capital’ to allow the line of credit, but it is the next step that shows what the power of savings can do.

M & S First Market stall Leeds
Michael Marks first stall was in Leeds Kirkgate market.

Michael Marks wanted to expand up from his markets stalls, and into shops, and felt he needed a business partner for advice, help and guidance, Dewhirst wasn’t interested in the offer, but recommended his cashier, Tom Spencer, the two got on and Tom Spencer invested £300 in Capital, this was 1894, and on the principle an average wage would be around £150 per year this is about two years wages of the time, so today about £70,000, how many people today can put their hands on £70,000 cash savings. Precisely, and it is due to the savings mentality of previous eras.

what is wrong with people trading

The term Capitalism has become a word with two meanings, Socialists use it to demean, if they do, challenge them, and ask what is wrong with ‘Free Trade’, they usually stop dead, because of course you are taking the word for yourself, and away from them. And also what is wrong with people trading and owning the Companies they work for. They then have to back track, done enough and the Socialist nasties will start to think about what they mean by it?

But to increase entrepreneurship, savings need to rocket.

Here we hit a problem dual interest rates would help, but would be difficult to police, and ruled out by the bank of England, to help keep the £pound down, they should go into negative territory for overseas Sterling buyers, to encourage saving in Blighty, they need to go up for UK savers, let’s say 5%. How such a thing could be manipulated is difficult to see.

I will look at what happens, when interest rates rise well above inflation, Banks find they have money flooding into their coffers, Joe and Jane Startup are wanting to borrow for Capital investment, they have £50,000 but need, £250,000 for some new kit, this type of borrowing already gives Tax breaks (another way of saying Tax avoidance). So they go to the Bank, where at present they have to fight for all the money they can get. With money flooding in, the Banks would be only too willing to invest in trade and commerce, they want a return on capital employed, and to earn interest to pay the interest on monies held in accounts.

A caveat here, the banks also need discouraging from lending on housing, it is a British obsession, largely driven by a Socialist piece of legislation called ~The Town and Country Planning Act 1947~ introduced by Britain’s worst Prime Minister, empty head Clem Atlee.

Get rid of that Law and it would allow Houses to be built in Towns and Cities, and reduce the rape of the open Countryside.

First and foremost, the savings habits of the British need to be changed, we need to not only reduce debt, but increase savings, and with it wealth, right across the board, only then can we fight the trade balance, and get Britain on track to real prosperity.

With increased savings, will come increased investment in trade and commerce, and with that, the term Made in Britain will make a fast return.



Mud slinging

Smiley Bales John Ashtone
Smiles make people happy, more than any promises made by a Politician

The referendum is now producing more heat than light, with both sides indulging in some old fashioned mud slinging.

The Brexiters are making the most noise, and this is in my view skewering the polls. I have been trying to find out what the younger generation are going to vote, with little success, they appear to be in the remainers camp, but only just. I was dropping two under 30s off, the other night after work. It had just turned Midnight and there was no way I was going to let Gunta, a Latvian girl, walk home, and then Scott lived a bit further, so they piled into my clapped out old Suzuki Swift.

£1400 new and around 50 mpg average

I bought my Suzuki Swift six years ago, X reg 1 Litre engine, three door, with 32k on the clock, it has now done 153k, without a missed beat. It failed the last MOT with £400 of repairs needed, mainly suspension due to the potholes in our roads. So I had the work done and I’m now looking to upgrade, otherwise it had run supremely well, just servicing, tyres and windscreen wipers replaced. £1400 new and around 50 mpg average, it was a brilliant purchase, helping me reduce my debts quicker, and at just over £300 per year I think that is good for any car.

Suzuki Swift 1 litre UK 1998
My Suzuki Swift 1 Litre, that did 66MPG on 1 run, all motorway, but still managed 50 mpg around town.

I have just bought a replacement, a Suzuki SX4, eight years old 54k on the clock, and should be good for four to six years. I went for the SX4 purely for ‘cool’ but it did fill other needs, like having five doors, so the Ancient Parent (AP) can get in and out easily when carrying my two hips replacement Aunt. It also has a much larger carrying capacity, so future plans taken into account.

There is a pile of books on the back seat, of the Swift so some of these had to be moved so that Scott could get in. You know the usual library anyone might have in the back of their car, Economics by Samuelson, 50 Mathematical Ideas, HTML in 24 hours, Herodotus the Histories, general titles one pulls off the bookshelf at home!

I quizzed Scott on the referendum, who promptly told me he doesn’t vote, because there is no point, he was immediately admonished. Not that it would make any difference, he is of the ~if voting changed anything, they would abolish it school,~ a trite quote that doesn’t bare scrutiny.

My conversation with Gunta was equally disappointing, she had said yes she was able to Vote, and that was it, she wouldn’t comment either way, even though I was jovial and made it clear I was just enquiring. Now here’s the thing, through her broken English did she misunderstand my question, and think I was asking if she was able to vote in Latvia, unlikely as I had already made it clear I was on about the upcoming Referendum, or was she embarrassed. This could be for the odd reason she was going to vote out, personally I think it unlikely. But it is just possible, or perhaps I’m interpreting wrongly, her refusal to comment.

Latvian Flag 2016
I wasn’t aware of just what constituted the Latvian Flag?
I do now.

I get the distinct impression the swing will be clear cut, 55/45 at least, but I would still not say which way, from the pollsters point of view these are indeed strange times we live in.

If one looks and listens to the media, the Brexiters are definitely making the most noise, but this is kept in check somewhat, from the high pitched shrill of the Remainers arguments. Both sides are exaggerating, and making out they are informing you with facts about the referendum, when in fact neither side are, and neither side actually knows for certain. Hence why George Soros has come out of retirement to make some do$h. Quite right too, George has a knack of spotting an inconsistency, and here the inconsistency is the price of the Pound £.

£ sterling will rise, so exporters will be hit

This is a little bit easier to explain, if Britain votes to remain in the European Union, £ sterling will rise, so exporters will be hit, imports will be cheaper, negative inflation could tip to deflation, unemployment will rise. So the companies who are affected positively, by these types of changes, are worth buying, and sell short on those adversely affected, by these factors.

The other side of the coin is, should Britain exit the EU, then £ sterling will fall, dramatically, this will push exports up, reduce imports, and lead to a modicum of inflation. Employment is unlikely to be largely affected, one way or t’other, well not initially, it would then depend on the new Government.
Cameron might cling on if there is a large remain vote, but he will be swept away in a brexit result, and Gideon Osborne will go with him.

Certainly the business world hasn’t covered itself in glory, with the likes of Goldman Sachs, HSBC, JP Morgan etc etc. ignoring any information gained when Britain exited the ERM back on Golden Wednesday 16th September 1992.

They all seem to ignore the fact that when the pound fell sharply, British business went on a long steady growth trajectory for the next 20 years. The main problem is that Germany had the advantage that the PIIGS Countries, (Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain) all had catastrophic economies, caused by the high Euro. But here is the catch, for Germany it was always low, if the Euro was linked to the old Day Mark, it would be somewhere around, £1.08 1.12 per Euro not 80p, which would make it around $1.60 per 1 Euro, not the current $1.12.

HSBC Park Row Leeds UK
Main entrance to HSBC Park Row Leeds, when the Leeds Artist Atkinson Grimshaw painted Park Row, this would have been the Midland Bank.

In other words, and to help explain to those who struggle with currency conversion, if a German manufacturer were selling an item into America, the American would have to sell the products at $1.60 not $1.12 as at present, a big difference. Meanwhile if the Euro were at that suggested level for Germany with regards to UK, a decent BMW 3 Series currently somewhere around £33,000 would be in the region of £46,200. The difference would be the price of a British built Honda Jazz?

The truth of the matter is, that no one knows for certain what would happen in the case of a Brexit, although I can say one thing, George Osborne would NOT be presenting an emergency budget. He would be gone along with Cameron, and then there would be a new direction in British Politics.

or Osborne is stupid, no we’ll stick with arrogant

George Osborne’s arrogance that he would be able to present a budget, should the Brexit camp win, beggars belief. Either that or Osborne is stupid, no we’ll stick with arrogant. If the Remain camp win, the man will be unbearable, although with this foot in mouth statement, he will rue the day he opened his gob without thinking. If Brexit win, he will be history within 24 hours, and his complete balderdash, about the Budget will not be in the history books except as a side note on Hubris?

Whatever the outcome, Britain will survive, and under the correct leadership flourish.

If we do vote to remain, then John-Claude Junker’s and his Mussolini style partners in crime, should be given their marching orders, but then that would require someone with more foresight than Cameron, a man with so little bargaining skills, he paid full whack for a Nissan Micra for his wife?

Iain Harris Car salesman selling car PM Cameron
Car seller Iain Harris selling a Nissan Micra to Prime Minister David Cameron for use by his wife Samantha

The chap I bought my car from was advertising at £2,600, about £400 below list price, the seller wouldn’t budge from £2,400, but settled on £2,375 when he’d counted the Adam Smith’s out, lol. An old trick, but it was worth half a tank of petrol. I wouldn’t have expected Cameron to turn up with the readies, it would have smelt of shady dealing to the hypocritical press, but he should have been able to get £150 deducted, if only for the advertising that Ian Harris the Oxfordshire car dealer received from the sale.

Cameron is not a bad Prime Minister, but he is five out of ten, and to deal with Europe we need seven upwards.

Leaving the Referendum behind, I had left my old car at a friend’s, so found myself travelling on the Arriva 110 omnibus, to go and retrieve it, this runs between, Leeds Central bus station and south Wakefield, via the Wakefield bus station. There are two termini in south Wakefield for the 110, one is at Hall Green, a couple of miles on from where I live, which is close to the other Terminus at Kettlethorpe.

The two 110 omnibuses played an excellent game of tag

At about 09:10 hours the peak time morning traffic had held up the Hall Green bus, but the drivers shone and used their initiative. The Hall Green bus pulled round just as my Kettlethorpe bus was leaving, he let the former go first, who promptly drove past a long queue at one of the stops, leaving our bus to do the duties and pickup the waiting passengers, thus reducing the numbers on the bus that was late. The two 110 omnibuses played an excellent game of tag right into Wakefield bus station, the point being, they didn’t leave prospective passengers fuming, but at least kept the late bus closer to its schedule? When the Hall green 110 pulled into the Wakefield bus station, it changed drivers and was away. Our bus seconds later, promptly picked up the 20+ passengers awaiting collection. The drivers were good humoured and polite, which made travelling all the more pleasant. It made an otherwise dull journey a pleasure, my wife travels on this route nearly everyday, and had rarely had a complaint.

So here’s a thumbs up to a much maligned customer service, well done Arriva Sapphire Bus service

The busses have three pin plugs at each seat, allowing one to recharge a phone or connect to free wifi, they are clean tidy, and comfortable, all in all worth my £3.10 to the far side of Wakefield.

All I have to do now is sell my old Suzuki swift, I’ll probably advertise at £295 to aim at £250 but settle at £225 if pushed, it still has six months MOT and has never let me down, so a good little runabout stop gap, for someone?