Define Money

DEFINE MONEY

UK sterling notes & coins
UK money.

How do we define money?

I have just been reading ~Money~ an unauthorised biography by Felix Martin, according to this book apparently the Greeks invented Money circa 8th to 6th Century BC. Really, so the people of Mesopotamia and the Fertile Crescent, didn’t exchange a measure of grain, the Shekel, for other items? Likewise the transactions recorded on clay tablets, must all be fake? Oh they did, well surely that is money in use?

Here is a crucial philosophical point, define money.

The main problem with trying to define money is, it isn’t what most people think it is. To start with, money can be both abstract and tangible at one and the same time. For example let’s say you dear reader, myself and say an MP (if you are an MP choose another person earning a different salary?) walk into a Pound shop, we each buy an identical tube of toothpaste, and pay the cashier, with a £1 coin. We’ve each spent exactly the same amount, £1, we’ve each handed over, £1, a coin that is quite tangible. And yet it can be easily pointed out, that we have each spent a different amount. Oh yes we have, if you put the purchase alongside our earnings. Suddenly the concrete amount of £1, becomes an abstract amount of worth, of different value to each of the three of us.

here is the slippery-ness of money

Of course as we go about our daily lives the amount we spend relative to another person doesn’t cross our minds. As a side note, if it does give you cause for concern all the time, you will always be unhappy. There are always people wealthier in some way or poorer in other ways compared to oneself. Back to the story, here is the slippery-ness of money, it is both a tactile tool for everyday living on one hand, and a febrile none existent token of worth, on the other?

Lloyds bank branch, wakefield
Lloyds bank one of a number of banks who help to distribute money in the UK.

Many people come unstuck when talking about macroeconomics, two of the biggest myths surrounds Governments and money. Governments do not have any money, if you were led to believe otherwise, you were lied to. Governments cannot directly create money. Yes Governments can mint coins or print banknotes that represent a value, but that value is all relative, and is set against the amount of money in circulation, against what the Country produces, or its wealth in abilities. Yes Governments can introduce legislation that enables private citizens to get on and create wealth, but Governments cannot under any circumstances directly create wealth, or its money equivalent. People working for the Government are not creating wealth, they merely redistribute to a greater or lesser degree, the amount of value in the Country. The money comes from tax receipts, and is then used for either good or bad projects.

life just existed

So let’s have a little history tour to help us define money. Palaeolithic man (Old Stone Age) was a hunter gatherer society, they survived because of some weapons and tools useful for living and surviving. When the number of people exceeded the available food to be picked, they died, the population reduced, and the few remaining went on living again. There was no money and along with no increase in efficiency or as some would say, productivity, life just existed. Palaeolithic people, could no more define money, as fly to the stars.

Along comes Mesolithic people or Middle Stone Age, they have some increases in efficiency, firstly fire, it facilitated a greater release of energy from foods processed through heat, so a higher calorific value could be gained, especially from meat and cooked grain like wheat. The keeping of domesticated animals, goats, sheep etc. started around this time. These feed on different foodstuffs to humans, so there was an increase in the number of calories per person for a similar area, without having to go hunting for it, so more people survived. This also allowed a tribe, to have more leisure time, because along with cooking, they had to spend less time foraging or hunting. But there was still no essence of money, Mesolithic people could not define money.

Palaeolithic man
Palaeolithic drawings

Then came the Neolithic period and the big breakthrough, Farming. It is difficult to over emphasize the significance of the invention of Farming. It revolutionised the human race and its development. As any gardener will know, just tending a garden part time can be productive. Doing so full time gives high returns of food. This resulted in farmers being able to feed their whole family, and have surplus left over, it changed the world.

Then in an area known as the Fertile Crescent, in what is now Iraq, and Syria and south eastern Turkey, the first Cities were built. Ur being one of the Cities, has been extensively chronicled by Archaeologists. Their findings are stupendous, not least, the discovery of the first tax system, the first accounting system, the first written word, the first written mathematics.

the bestest axe head ever made

Now back to define money, and a time just before the Fertile Crescent, imagine our first farmer, Ogg. After a couple of years he has surplus grain. He decides he needs a new Axe head and he also decides he wants the bestest axe head ever made. So he goes to the axe head maker sublime, Ugg and says,
“Look Ugg, I will give you six months grain in exchange for your best axe.”
“Okay it’s a deal I’ll have it ready a week on Tuesday.”

There is no money involved and I will emphasize, there is no concept of what we call money, this is just an exchange?

Sumerian numbers
Sumer in the fertile crescent had a base 60 numbering system.

Now I hear you cry that is just bartering. Hold on, I haven’t finished the story.

Ugg scampers off home and says to Mrs. Ugg,
“I’ve just done this great deal, two months of grain for you, me and little Uggy.” (Note six months divided by three equals two, I haven’t lost the plot)
Then Mrs. Ugg has an idea,
“Look Ugg, we won’t be able to eat all this food, because I’m still going out and foraging, plus it’s been a good season. Also I could do with a new Fur coat, Agg is good at getting quality leather and furs, let’s do a deal with him. We could split half of the grain we get from farmer Ogg, in exchange for some of his hides, and have some brand new clothes, and still eat better.

Here is the crucial bit, there is no word for money, in fact there is no concept of money. However it has just come into existence, you could say invented, but I think this would be overstating the case, it is merely a proto money. The grain will be short lived, that is of no matter it is being used as money.

There is a further point to make, the evidence is mounting that there was no bartering societies as first thought. I not only go along with this, I think it virtually 100%, there was no bartering, in the sense of nothing being used as money.

the rich always have things

Plus Money benefits the poor more than the rich, the rich always have things. In the Neolithic period, many people were valued in Cattle and other such large or expensive items, the poor were obviously dirt poor. Suddenly you have a proto money that can be held for a period of time. Okay grain can’t be held indefinitely, but it is needed by all, in the form of food, and can be exchanged in small quantities. Also this would release the value of other previous efficiencies.

Not least, that boats can transport goods more efficiently than going overland, Agg the person good at getting hides, could now pay for 100 hides to be transported from someone who has too many to use? Flint knapping, this little gem I heard about decades ago. Flint is a Neolithic tool and can be formed into arrow heads much more efficiently than other stones, is sharper and does the job better. Early flint napping sites in England have been found to have an estimate waste from 1,000,000 flint heads? The farmer coming along with this proto money, grain, suddenly makes the best flint knappers wealthy, because they can be paid? If they were being paid, they were receiving money, now define money?

Basically the surplus grain, releases the value of the efficiencies, which have been created in the Mesolithic and Neolithic ages. Efficiency pays wages.

By the time of the Mesopotamians and the City of Ur circa 3,500 bc, metal was being used as an exchange medium. No it wasn’t stamped, no there weren’t coins in the sense we know them, but the written clay tablets show exchanges and accounting not for bartering but buying and selling through a medium of metal by weight. Early on the concept of money was probably unknown. Wittgenstein comes into play here, “Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent”. Wittgenstein was meaning if we don’t have a concept in words, we cannot have a concept in ideas.

At some point the idea of grain, or more probably metal, being an intermediary ‘token’ which could be held and exchanged for any goods, took hold. At this point someone started using a term, for this token, in other words the concept of money was born. It was probably the measure of wheat, in Mesopotamia, namely the shekel.

But there was no coin worth a shekel.

Which brings us full circle?

Define what we mean by money.

Socialism never works

SOCIALISM NEVER WORKS


 
Socialism never works, it is currently destroying Venezuela, so lots of Britain’s youth cry out for it to be imposed here, why, because they know no better, and lack the wisdom that comes with age.
 
Venezuelan Socialist torture victim
Nicolas Muduro’s Venezuela has no regard for human right’s, these are supposedly written into the Constitution. It is a Socialist Country so they are ignored,

Socialism relies on the fantasy

That Socialism is a disaster and never works, shouldn’t come as any surprise, however Socialism does explain why people like Jeremy Corbyn and John Mcdonnell are so keen on it. Firstly Socialism relies on the fantasy that, people rioting are being Democratic, people who are dim witted believe this is good? Unless like Venezuela, where they are rioting against Socialism, in which case Socialist leader Nicolas Maduro announces the rioters must be backed up with money from the evil Capitalists, why else would ordinary people want to riot against Socialism? Perhaps they want food on the table President Maduro?

Let’s have some definitions. Socialism, it is defined as, a means of organising the Social, Economic, Political and business life of a community, based on the principals that all areas of Society should be run, on Socialist principles.

Joseph Stalin
Joseph Stalin, was responsible for the murder of over 30,000,000 Soviet Citizens. Jeremy Corbyn admires him, and has refused to condemn Stalin for his barbarous regime. & some call Corbyn a decent man?

Capitalism, well first which Capitalism, because there are two, the first was an idea by Karl Marx that there were a number of rich people who held the means of production through their accumulation of Capital (Money) and that they were intent on keeping the Proletariat (all us minor players) exploited by keeping our wages to an absolute minimum.
However there is also a second meaning for Capitalism, which is the one used by many “Capitalists” namely, free trade or Laissez faire means of economics, the two terms of Capitalism are mutually exclusive.

The problem with Socialism and why it is popular, stems from the fact that many people, who are unread, don’t realise, that Marx was writing fiction, this is why Socialism never works. There is no rich cabal of people intent on keeping wages to a minimum, in fact just the opposite, the majority of people who employ others, want the highest production and efficiency. Efficiency pays wages, the higher the efficiency of a company, the higher the wages can be of the employees. After all the higher the efficiency of each person employed, then each employee is producing higher profits, and can be paid more, while still making a higher return on Capital employed, so the owner/stockholder etc can make bigger profits.
 

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

Marx was writing fiction

Marx was writing fiction, so had no time for the realities of life, so another reason Socialism never works. Like the fact that, if no one person has ownership of any particular piece of machinery, then no one is concerned what the condition of that machinery will be tomorrow, so doesn’t keep it in best order. An owner does, and makes sure their employees look after the machinery. Nor is there any concern for efficiency, so it reduces. And reduced efficiency, results in reduced productivity. Hence places like Venezuela, which has a Socialist Constitution, and floats on a sea of oil, is nearly destitute, after all, none of the oil rigs belong to anyone except the State, a Socialist failure writ large.

You can read the whole 350 articles of the Venezuelan Socialist Constitution in PDF, I suggest article 21 followed by 119 onwards for the best laughs, 21 all people are equal, sounds fair, until you read 119, indigenous people are more equal than everyone else lol. Another reason Socialism never works, it tries to be all things to all people. Article 95, any Union member may commit any crime, but cannot be dismissed from their employment? Article 95 also allows the workers to dismiss any Directors or Company Board officials they do not like? Article 112, everyone can be involved in Economic activity, as long as this is approved by a bunch of people who have no idea how to run that particular activity. Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela
 

they want Britain to be like Venezuela?

The above would be quite laughable, were it not for the fact that the people of Venezuela are currently starving, this is no laughing matter, except for Jeremy Corbyn and his pal John McDonnell, who support the Venezuelan Socialist Government, and they want Britain to be like Venezuela?

Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell, are hell bent on promoting Socialism, which is why McDonnell sees riots in the streets as part of Democracy. Rioting by his Socialists, to McDonnell is a legitimate part of the Socialist rise to power. What the dim wit can’t understand is that, many just see it for what it is, Fascism and Nazism. In fact he is so stupid he would be appalled that, it could be seen as Fascist, in his blinkered deluded world, Nazis are the opposite of Socialists. That Nazi was short for National Socialists, and that Hitler’s aims were to have control of the Capitalists and equal distribution of wealth and money, and so is exactly the same as his Socialism, is lost on the poor man.
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Bacon Advancement New Atlantis
Francis Bacon published ‘The New Atlantis’ in 1627 according to this book?

Socialism cannot help but fail, it is based on 16th and 17th century works of fiction. If one reads Francis Bacon’s The New Atlantis, and note how this fantasy world is ordered, it is basically Socialist, but with Christianity as the mover for good, and indeed read it and then read the Communist manifesto, and you will wonder why Marx didn’t just print it and have done. That Francis Bacon did not even allude to how this world would be paid for, speaks volumes on Socialists. Bacon was writing a little Christian flight of fancy.

the rich are not rich enough

The Socialist answer on paying for this fantasy, is to say the rich will pay, well I’ll break this to the Socialists gently, the rich are not rich enough, and it is the poor who always end up paying. Another reason Socialism never works, it takes away ownership, so productivity goes down, leaving the poor poorer, and the rich with no means of creating the wealth, to pay for all the ‘Free stuff’ promised by the Socialists in the first place. When Thomas More wrote Utopia, he had no concept of how money worked, but he didn’t need to, Utopia was a work of fiction, something not based in reality.

Marx wrote fantasy, and then elaborated on it, by inventing an equally fictional economics, namely as the rich become richer the poor become poorer, codswallop of course. After over 150 years we would have a few super rich, and the rest of us would be poorer than our Victorian ancestors, clearly this is not the case.

Socialism impoverishes all, by stopping businesses making healthy profits, starves by reducing people to extreme poverty, tortures those who disagree, and blames the victims for causing the problems, and murders those, who speak out at any injustice caused by Socialism.
 

Minas Tirith Gandalf, Shadowfax, Frodo
Minas Tirith as envisaged in the film, but very close to the description in the book., Return of the King.

noticed something missing

Socialism is doomed to fail, it is just like imposing Tolkien’s Middle Earth, or Rowling’s world of Harry Potter in real life. So there you have Gandalf & Frodo riding into Minas Tirith, have you ever noticed something missing.
No?
Where are all the farms, where are all the neighbouring villages that the farmers live in ,to produce the crops, that a City the size of Minas Tirith would require. Not to say, what work do people do in Minas Tirith, of course the question is irrelevant, Tolkien had invented an imaginary world, the suspension of disbelief is what takes us on our journey to the Mountain of Doom. No economics required.

Meanwhile back in the real world, and the people of Cuba, Vietnam, North Korea, live in abject poverty, and the people of Venezuela are starving, and any protesters, must be extreme right wing and so can be murdered, that is the reality of why Socialism never works, it can’t be any other way, Middle Earth could not exist in the real world, we would all starve?

Savings

SAVINGS

The UK desperately needs to increase its Savings. Running up to the Election, I did some leafleting for the Lib-Dems. My reason for backing them is down to freedoms. They are pro freedom of speech, pro free trade and hence, pro freedom of the individual. However, the way the Liberal-Democrat Election campaign was run, was atrocious.

Park Row Grimshaw
Park Row Leeds, painted by local artist J. Atkinson Grimshaw. Park Row is now the centre of Leeds Banking district

Firstly, suggesting a second Referendum on Brexit, stank of revenge politics. The British public have moved on, revenge politics is not a vote winner.

Brexit politics aside, the main problem that the Lib-Dems have is that there is no clear water, between what their vision of UK is, and what the others are offering. One item, that of de-criminalising Cannabis, hardly set the tone for their manifesto. It was overshadowed by the above proposal for a second Referendum.

help those at the bottom of the earnings table

So where should they start, well start with the Economy, and personal savings, they are far too low. Increasing the personal savings ratio, would help those at the bottom of the earnings table, have a chance to improve their lot, surely a Lib-Dem winner, and help those who are thrifty to increase their disposable wealth. Why didn’t Tim Farron challenge, Philip Hammond on his record of making personal savings more worthwhile, this is a policy to attract a lot of older people who do have savings. Why is the Bank of England keeping Interest rates so low? After the Referendum the Pound devalued, there has been ample opportunity to raise interest rates over the past year.

Lib Dems Greg Mulholland Election
Greg Mulholland Former MP for Leeds North

The problem is, most people do not understand Macro Economics, certainly few Politicians do. Increasing savings, lowers consumer spending, but raises investment in Industry and Commerce, an ideal point for the Lib-Dems to score. When people save they want to see a reasonable return on their cash. Where better than backing a new enterprise? Increasing the Savings ratio, increases investment in higher quality companies, requiring higher skills to give these higher returns.

Lib-Dems manifesto

There was no mention in the Lib-Dems manifesto to increase National Savings, even though this is an excellent way to increase the savings pot. However there does need to be a culture change, in Japan they have had little to no growth for over 25 years, yet they have a highly skilled labour force, which demands premium wages, and as a consequence Japan runs an export surplus.

since WW2 the savings ratio in Japan

Why, because since WW2 the savings ratio in Japan, has been at least three times that of UK, let that sink in. It is a cultural thing, apparently due to language, in English there is a distance between what happens today and what happens tomorrow, in Japanese the future tense is inbuilt into the language, so they have the concept that saving today’s money, saves for tomorrow, there is no difference. They have had negative interest rates, for years, and yet their savings are still much higher than UK.

Suzuki name
Japanese Manufacturing has worldwide exports

Japanese Workers savings since 1971

UK savings ratio since 1956

World Bank source Data

In the UK, no Political party since WW2, has concentrated on savings, the problem is, without higher savings, UK Plc doesn’t have the spare Capital to invest in high tech machinery, surely a clear demarcation line, for the Lib-Dems to exploit. Investing in labour saving machinery, leads to higher output, because fewer people are employed by the one company. This leads to higher productivity, which in turn leads to higher job creation, through lots more efficient companies. You don’t believe me. The number of unemployed in Japan is in percentage terms less than UK, Remember Japan has around twice the UK population.

127,000,000 in Japan compared with 65,140,000 in UK .
The unemployment levels are, about 1,815,00 unemployed in Japan compared with approximately 1,469,000 for UK.

The respective Numbers employed are 64,830,000 in Japan, and 31,400,000 in UK.

There is however a conundrum, the comparative GDP figures in Dollars for UK and Japan are as follows.

1988 UK $14,477 while Japan was $23,325 source Economist Vital World Statistics 1991

1997 UK $22,300 and Japan was $35,906 source Economist World in 1998

2008 UK $39,470 while Japan hits $42,310 Economist World in 2009

2015 UK $44,580 but Japan drops to $32,800 Economist World in 2016

Clearly, I hear you say, my prognosis is wrong and flawed. Well no, because Japan was hit by a catastrophic Earthquake and Tsunami in 2011, and had great disruption to its infrastructure, and power producing facilities. Yet it is still running a trade surplus, this helps to keep the Government attaining the required income, to help pay the enormous National Debt. Why, because Japan still has a large industrial output, and although in the last few years its GDP per head has collapsed, at least for the time being, it is still exporting more than it imports, so running a trade surplus. Plus the Japanese are still buying overseas investments. These pay higher than inflation interest, and so the Japanese remain financially sound.

UK needs to change its savings culture

Few Japanese companies get taken over because of the trade surplus, as opposed to UK where it is a frequent occurrence, due to the trade deficit. The UK needs to change its savings culture, it will be a big task, but none of the other political parties, even have the subject on their radar, surely an opening for the Lib-Dems to exploit.

There has been a suggestion made, that the new City Mayors and Councils, should be given the powers to raise funds through bond issues. I totally agree, if a City needs let’s say a new Tram system, that can be shown to improve efficiency, why not let it issue a bond to raise the finances.

M1 Wakefield
UK Motorway

One person’s debt, can be another person’s savings, this all comes with a caveat, there should be NO Government fall back if the scheme fails, and the City cannot fulfil its commitments, it should be declared Bankrupt, savers need to be, beware and savvy? Another way for the Lib-Dems to put clear water between them and the other parties. But the biggest gainers would be those at the lower end of the earnings bracket.

motorway link with Manchester to Tyne Side

Savings and Bond issues, fall in with Infrastructure spending, another area that the Lib-Dems failed to make a bigger issue of. For example why is there no direct motorway link with Manchester to Tyne Side, large sections exist, the M65 is currently under used, and it would not be too difficult to make better access to the M60 around Manchester and also north along the A59 and onto the A61 joining the A1M, other routes are quite as feasible. Why are there no major underground systems outside London? Or overhead rail systems, the Germans have one as a blue print at Wuppertal, OK it is probably a one off, which pays because of the tourists, but there are lots of ways to increase infrastructure.

Wuppertal overhead rail system

National Savings, can be increased with ease, and these being Government backed can come with a ‘Gilt Edged’ guarantee. All the special National Savings Bonds that have been promoted by the Government, have been oversubscribed, surely a Lib-Dems vote winner.

Another area that would put clear water between the Lib-Dems and other parties is house building.

HS2 is going to rape the open countryside

Currently HS2 is going to rape the open countryside, why, because using existing routes and straightening out any sharp curves, would mean demolishing thousands of houses, in Towns and Cities on the route. Currently because of the outdated Town and Country planning act 1947, no one can build large amounts of houses in Towns and Cities. Why because they are full, and the green belts are seen as precious.

Well all you tom fools who think green belts are a good thing, it is leading to the rape of the open countryside. HS2 is raping the open countryside, it is the green belt supporters who are to blame, no one else. Blinkered thinking or what, but then The Town and Countryside Planning act 1947 was a Socialist idea. In other words a fantasy, just like the World of Harry Potter, sounds good on paper, but doesn’t work in reality, except as a theme park. Hence so many people being unable to afford houses, they just aint being built in the Towns and Cities, in large enough quantities, because house builders can’t get the planning permission, on the edges of Cities.

Sterling money. pounds
For some reason, money doesn’t actually grow on trees?

So promoting high value businesses, by improving savings, results in boosting quality jobs, and reducing unemployment. This twins with reducing the balance of payments deficit, through higher quality products.

A bye product of higher savings, would be less cost to the tax payer for care in old age, which was one thing Mrs. May and the Conservatives, got seriously wrong.

More emphasis by the Lib-Dems to increase house building, should have been made. One proposal is to let local Councils build more houses, but again, the Town and Country planning act would have to go. The ten major Cities in UK all need to expand, it is not currently allowed.

Bunkum of the highest order

Bunkum of the highest order, there are now over 10 million more people in UK than in 1951, housing stock has not risen to keep up with demand. Basically the Town and Country planning act 1947, has in recent years, prevented those on lower earnings, from owning their own houses, and in their later years, being able to live on a lower income, because of no rent, and enjoy the benefits this freedom gives.

Lib-Dems are not Socialists and should distance themselves from these fantasists, but also they are not Tories. Lib-Dems stand for freedom, it should be the objective, higher savings gives freedom, this gives clear distance between themselves and the other parties.

 

Debate

TV Debate
31st May 2017 BBC TV debate

I am just about to watch the live TV debate, with six of the party leaders plus the Home Secretary Amber Rudd, standing in for Teresa May. Labour think they have hit gold, because Jeremy Corbyn has lifted his ratings with his broadcasts. On Twitter Labour supporters are gloating, this might be a tad premature, Tony Blair avoided all live TV debates, and still won? In fact he benefited from it, because he sidestepped major policy questions, which could have caused a major upset. 19:30 Wednesday 31st May 2017

20:30
There have been some slight glimmers of enlightenment amongst a mainly bickering seven poor players, strutting and fretting their hour upon the stage, sound and fury signifying little. I admit they have said more than nothing, but not much more.

GE2017 rolls on, the electioneering is now in full swing, and the surprise so far has been Jeremy Corbyn not making a complete hash of things. His gains have mainly been because, Teresa May has not capitalised enough on the Conservative Party’s strengths, and has been relying on the Tory image of wealth creators. Corbyn has not improved Labour’s persona, he has merely tapped into a fantasy idea that somehow endless n be found to fund Government. How it will play out by next Thursday and polling day remains to be seen.

At the moment there is a swing to Labour, it will take some serious effort not to lose the momentum. There have been some large gaffs made by senior Labour front benchers. Dianne Abbot is a regular car crash, and is unable to do simple sums, her only saving grace is that most of the people interviewing her, are equally useless at Maths and Economics so keep to the safe ground.

John McDonnell, Labour Shadow Chancellor, and the person responsible for producing Labour’s spending plans, has no idea about Economics, except that under labour they would have a magic money tree?

Sterling money. pounds
For some reason, money doesn’t actually grow on trees?

This has meant that Labour has been careful about what it says, and has kept to broad brush policies, this is good, because it allows the freedom of generalising, something the Conservatives as the sitting Government doesn’t have.

The Conservatives are stuck with #Brexit, which isn’t as high on peoples list of worries, as many Political pundits figured it would be. Changing policy over care for the elderly, just after the manifesto was published, made the Conservatives look amateur, and tarnished the impression of consistency. Also Teresa May’s status as a potential #Brexit negotiator, is being worn away on a daily basis, nothing serious at any one time, just little knocks and chips, but they are starting to tell in the polls.

The Lib Dems have put themselves at a disadvantage, by aiming their manifesto guns at staying in EU, and suggesting a second referendum on #Brexit, this is a policy out of touch with the majority of voters on the streets. Most people in UK accept the result of a vote, even when they voted the opposite to the result, it’s called Democracy, and the Lib Dems are ignoring this at their peril.

The Lib Dems do have a manifesto built on strong Economic foundations, and will gain quite a lot of votes in the areas where the #Remain vote was strong. It will get those votes, because it has economic policies that make sense, and play to its strengths. Also, because when push comes to shove, the voter in some of these constituencies, will vote tactically. When all said and done, if you voted #Remain, then voting for a party that will at least fight your corner, and looks on paper to be able to handle the economy without nay major disasters built in, is worth a punt against either the Conservatives, who are hell bent on getting us out, or Labour who are hell bent on saying one thing and doing another?

The next week will of course be crucial, the final days of candidates out rallying support on the stump, always is. The main gains and losses will result from what people ~perceive~ to be leadership, gained from following the various media.

Wee Jimmy Krankie and Nicola Sturgeon
Actress Janette Tough on the right in her role as Little Jimmy Krankie, it winds up Nicola Sturgeon leader of the SNP that her image is often shown along side Ms. Tough.

At the current time, Ms. May looks has stumbled, now is the time for any of her opponents to grab the initiative. It is worth noting Nicola Sturgeon the SNP leader was also absent from the TV debate, in her case she had too much to lose by appearing, and although she has one game to play, namely Scottish Independence, she is an astute political animal, her absence was part of playing this game.

Jeremy Corbyn has some decent advisors, whether he is up to taking their advice, we shall see, Tim Farron suffers from a lack of presence, it is not something that is gained in a couple of weeks, in fact some people just don’t have it, but he could gain just by being a little vague on some topics, and not pin himself down.

At the beginning of the campaign, the Conservatives, in the form of PM Teresa may said she thought it unlikely that the outcome would be what the polls were suggesting at the time and that it would be a closer race than many were thinking. She is being proved correct, the Conservatives will romp home to victory, but with only a slightly increased margin. Jeremy Corbyn will hang on as leader because he will not lose by the numbers first predicted, and the Lib Dems will limp in with an increase in MP’s but not the breakthrough it should be.

We now await June 8th for the outcome.

manifestos

MANIFESTOS GE2017

So the Labour and Lib Dems have published their GE2017 manifestos.

Labour have gone for quantity, and covering all base points, however the major flaw the Labour party suffers is, costing, or lack of it. Typically it is unashamedly Socialist, so has no basis in reality. It is high on ideals, and unfortunately the ideals, are basically fantasy that leads to disorder. Anyone doubting this only has to look at events in Venezuela, where there are currently riots. Venezuela has a Socialist constitution, all 350 articles, some of which contradict each other, so average Socialist nonsense. The Labour party in the UK has elected an out and out Socialist, this was done in the belief, and I’m using the word belief in its religious sense, of not based in an Earthly reality, that a truly Socialist party has a real chance of winning a British election. Even the Biased Broadcasting Corporation, hasn’t gone for that one.

There is a ~grass roots~ Socialist movement called Momentum, who backed the extremist MP Jeremy Corbyn, for the party leadership. There is however a joke hidden here, before the election of a new leader, the Labour party had changed the rules for joining, and being able to vote for a leader. The intention of this rule change, was to encourage a younger, fresher membership, but the trouble was, it was numpty Socialists dreamt it up, and naïve half-wit Socialists implemented it, result an own goal.

So let’s put you in this position, you are a Conservative party member or long time Conservative party follower, and suddenly the main opposition party to yours, namely the Labour party, gives you a chance of voting for the worst possible candidate to represent them as leader, are you going to take it, you bet your little cotton socks you are. The changes in the Labour leadership voting rules, allowed anyone who registered as a Labour Member in January 2016, to vote in the next leadership election, the cost £3.92 (about $5.57 at the time) in fact if you were a student you could vote for £1 (or $1.42), and thousands did, all intent on voting the un-electable Jeremy Corbyn as Labour party Leader. The biggest joke is, that the Socialist pressure group Momentum are so stupid, they still they voted @jeremycorbynmp in as leader, well many did, but equally as many Conservative voters did, Jeremy Corbyn is un-electable. Momentum believe the only reason the current polls are not showing Jermy Corbyn higher in the ratings, is the BBC and all the media show their leader in a poor light.

No one needs to show the wretched man in a bad light, he is quite capable of doing that himself. Equally, the Labour policies in the manifesto are based on a magic money tree, the Labour shadow chancellor is so ignorant of Economic basics, he truly believes the fantasy of the rich getting richer as the poor become poorer, which is obviously untrue, because we are all richer than previous generations. A cornerstone of the Labour manifesto is re-nationalising the Railways, Water and other utilities, along with investing more in the NHS, a total oxymoron.

The Pre natilised railways produced the finest example of steam locomotives in the world, this is the Class A4

Steam Locomotive Sir Nigel Gresley A4
Class A4 LNER Sir Nigel Gresley the Locomotive named after its designer

The 1st time the Railways were nationalised, they were starved of funding, because the money was ALWAYS spent on the NHS, John McDonnell, is obviously as ignorant of basic Economic as he is of basic Politics, look after health and education and have a strong military. We’ll gloss over Labour’s spending plans on defence, to save them embarrassment, they boil down to being crap, and would leave UK in a more parlous state than it already is.

Meanwhile the Lib Dems have at least admitted they won’t win the next General Election, that’s a good part of the Manifesto, de-criminalising marijuana, is nearly in the right direction, but it is a faint bleat in what could have been the start of something decent.

After that it is unfortunately either barking up the wrong tree, or simply chasing phantoms that are already dead. Barking up the wrong tree, is subsidising loans for first time home buyers. Nearly, but not quite hitting a bullseye, is ensuring 300,000 homes are built by having local Councils build them. Where does the money come from? Money aside, it is a good point in the Lib Dems manifesto 300,000 homes, is a step in the right direction, and having local Councils build them might just work. But this doesn’t address a fundamental, of getting rid of the Town and Country planning Act 1947, to enable these homes to be built in Towns and Cities. One is left to presume the Lib Dems are going to rape the open Countryside further, by either building new towns. Or just expanding all the Villages and Towns throughout the Country. There are certainly no where near enough brown field sites, to build 50,000 homes, let alone 300,000. This policy would still leave a housing shortage of between 1,500,000 to 2,500,000 houses. Although it is better than no policy at all.

The Lib Dems are also going out on a limb, by suggesting an extra penny on income tax, will be enough to fund its promises, and that people won’t mind, a single penny. It doesn’t work like that, a single penny does raise a lot of money, however, it is counter productive, and this is where the Lib Dems come across as being a bit tired, if not outright lame. There are no major ideas, on how to boost trade post #Brexit, especially outside the EU as well as within. This is due to the Lib Dems absolute faith in EU, a faith that has always resulted in failure.

Another good point badly done is having a multi billion Pound increase in infrastructure spending. This is one of a number of good ideas, which should have more prominence, and the promise of more money. Forget another referendum, look at boosting industry and commerce, a Government can do this by increasing efficiency, and efficiency pays wages. Higher efficiency pays higher wages, so spending on infrastructure projects increases employment, and with it higher wages, this is only a half hearted idea from the Lib Dems, it should be being given a higher profile.

The main plank of the Liberal Democrat GE2017 Manifesto is another vote on leaving the EU, this is a plain embarrassment, we have already voted to leave, we are leaving, suggesting a further vote is un-Democratic, the people have voted, the results are in, we are leaving.

Brexit jubilation
The Democratic Revolution is here. Socialists were given a metaphorical kick in the teeth, when Britain voted #Brexit

Here though we have a failure of the Lib Dems leader Tim Farron, he has missed a trick, big time. Namely admitting we are leaving, but then suggesting better Economic tactics in dealing with EU. Here is the problem, Tim Farron is convinced the majority of British people are aggrieved with the #Brexit result. Well they ain’t. I have had various chats and listened to lots of people, those still aggrieved are so far and few apart as to not worth bothering about. My wife voted #Remain, and her view is, the people voted, we are leaving, let’s get on do it and get the best deal possible when dealing with the duplicitous un-elected EU Eurocrats. She voted #Remain purely on Economic factors, in that we were doing most of our trade within the EU, leaving would be disruptive. She was not impressed when informed by the BBC, that a second referendum was in the Lib Dem Manifesto.

Even I am surprised that the #Brexit vote is proving more beneficial in the short term than I predicted. I didn’t expect any melt down, I did expect exports to increase due to the lower Pound, I didn’t expect that the Stock market would reach new heights, this far down the line.

But the Lib Dem manifesto by saying we should have another vote, is the wrong side of History, and although it will gain some marginal votes, the losses of people who are looking to move on from the Referendum will be a lot greater. The gains will be by the Conservatives, whose Manifesto is released later today.

Negotiations

NEGOTIATIONS

Mannekin pis
All dressed up and doing the same to other Europeans, as they do to Brits, piss on us all.

There are lots of people getting their knickers in a twist over the opening shots, in the negotiations for Brexit, with Brussels meddling in the UK General Election 2017 (GE17).

Theresa May is, quite rightly, being given a hard time, the problem is, most of the brickbats thrown at her, are over her telling Brussels to sod off. Now were this merely that she was making a hash of the handling of the Brexit negotiations, it would be fair comment. The trouble is, the negotiations proper haven’t started, and already Brussels is as leaky as a sieve. Making things worse for EU was the fact, the first leak was via Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (or FAZ) newspaper, which as the name suggests is a rag produced in Frankfurt am Main. The City that, via its bankers, controls the Euro.

The News story in FAZ was about a meeting between Jean-Claude Juncker EU President, and Theresa May UK Prime Minister held at 10 Downing Street.

Juncker climbed the EU greasy pole

Oddly neither of the two participants in this reported exchange, is directly elected to their respective posts. Juncker climbed the EU greasy pole and was voted through EU Parliament, so hadn’t been elected by any system that allowed the citizens of EU to have a say, making his position as President of European Commission, not very Democratic.

The 5 Candidates for Conservative Leadership election. May, Fox, Gove, Crabb, Leadsom courtesy Guardian Newspapers

Theresa May became Prime Minister of UK, was elected into her position, by the Ruling Conservative party. This post became vacant, due to David Cameron standing down, because of the result of the Referendum last year. The position is not directly voted for by the Electorate, it is usually held by the person who can command the largest backing in Westminster, after a General Election has been called. In Theresa May’s case, there had been the Referendum deciding Britain should Exit from EU, Cameron was sure Britain would vote to stay in the Union, he made the wrong call, and Theresa May was then voted in by her fellow Conservative MPs.

There was no Constitutional reason

In my blogs back then I suggested she would go to the Country in October or November last year. My reasoning was simple, Theresa May MP really needed the backing of the Country, to help in her negotiations with Brussels. There was no Constitutional reason she needed an election. As it turned out, she chose not to bother, however in many ways her hand was eventually going to be forced. From a Political point of view it is better to call an election earlier, rather than when she was trapped by events.

This she has done, with the intention of winning the Election and so getting a clear Democratic mandate from the British people, over the Brexit negotiations.

A remarkably sober looking President of the EU Commission.

Which brings us back to the Champagne swilling Jean-Claude Juncker, and the alleged fissure that opened up during meeting with Theresa May in Downing Street. Initially Jean-Claude Juncker had said the talks were friendly and constructive, the usual diplomatic speak, for uneventful but worth having, and none of his negotiating team present, made any suggestions that differed from this.

Then the bombshell from FAZ, that the talks were far from friendly. The meeting was initially seen by all, as part of the humdrum ongoing talks. So when FAZ prints a report that the chat in Downing street didn’t go well, it gets into all the world’s media. But here is a rather curious thing, FAZ didn’t publish the whole account online, only edited highlights of the worst bits, which were likely to negatively effect the £? That sounds a lot like Frankfurt bankers at work, perhaps I should have swapped a w for a b there, because Sterling going down, is good for British Trade, and helps strengthen the balance of payments, having the opposite effect of strengthening Britain’s trade, oops.

Byzantine way EU is set up

What becomes clear from the FAZ article is that Brussels Eurocrats are determined to have reams of detailed rules concerning the UK break with EU,. However UK doesn’t need them, Brussels needs lots of rules laid out in detail, because of the Byzantine way EU is set up.

One of the so called stumbling blocks in these negotiations is about EU Citizens living in Britain, and ensuring their rights are protected, and here is highlighted the gaping chasm between EU Law and English Law. Let’s just pretend it is the day after UK officially splits from EU, there are a few millions Poles, Czechs, Slovaks, Baltic States etc living in UK, what is their legal position. Well here is what few on either side of the argument seem to have got their heads around, the legal position of all these foreign nationals hasn’t changed, they have the same status before the break as after the break, their health care cover is the same, they are entitled to the same welfare, they pay the same taxes.

A Looky Looky girl selling her wares in Marbella. Spain has serious economic problems due to the Euro. Unemployment is high and imported from Germany, due to the Euro. Hence why Frankfurt has vested interest in UK doing badly.

The problems start to kick in, only when or if, these Foreign nationals choose to travel abroad and return to UK. Even here it is unclear that they would ~not~ have a right to return to a job. Certainly the Courts would defend any EU National who had gained a job legally, return to that job. It is how English Law works, once it enters the Law Courts, if there is no Law banning something, then it is allowed. Try telling that to Brussels Eurocrats, but hey they are so used to inferior European Laws it would possibly short circuit their brains?

the Labour party can be ignored

Jeremy Corbyn is being less than useless, and the Labour party can be ignored, even though under the UK voting system, they will return as Her Majesty’s Official Opposition.

Tim Farron the Liberal Democrat leader is shooting himself in the foot. His stance has been fairly clear, Lib Dems wanted to #Remain in European Union. That’s fair enough, however, once the people have spoken, trying to get the genie back in the bottle ain’t going to be possible. So Farron should be concentrating on trying to stay friends with Brussels, so that UK gets the best deal in the talks.

Farron is throwing his chances away

Tim Farron isn’t doing this, he is continually siding with Brussels, and then saying we shouldn’t be leaving. Political suicide, especially as Lib Dems have the best chance of regaining lost seats, Farron is throwing his chances away. He needs to change his strategy to one of, let’s get the best deal for UK, by staying friends with Brussels. Friends have a quiet word in someone’s ear, when they cock up, and attempt to pour oil on troubled waters. Often this will mean keeping dialogue with both sides. In Farron’s case, he should be saying that Brussels is being less than satisfactory in its leaking stories to the press. And Theresa May should be attempting to keep the dialogue as open as is possible without disclosing all the cards in their hand. May’s megaphone diplomacy is only palying to the #Brexit camp, not to both sides. Farron probably isn’t up to it, but he should try.

The talks will be complex. This is the continuous cry from Brussels, why? Yes there will be complexities, especially with regards to trade, but they don’t need to be needlessly complex, the devil is in the detail, only where people decide there needs to be exact detail, again look at how English Law works. Parliament sets out a Law, but then the Courts decide much of the detail, and if the Law doesn’t work, it is changed, at a later date, but most Laws are basic outlines, it is then for the Judiciary to battle over the detail. In Europe, the un-elected Eurocrats attempt to work out the detail in advance.

It isn’t how Democracies work, it is a prime reason UK voted Brexit.

GE2017

GE2017

Theresa May
Theresa May UK Prime Minister

 
Prime Minister Theresa May, has called a General Election for the UK, 8th June 2017, or GE2017 in Politico speak.

I published my blog as normal back on Bastille day 2016, for those who don’t know Bastille day is 14th July, and celebrates France’s break with a Monarchy and becoming a Republic. In fact the French so love the idea of becoming a Republic, they are now on their Fifth one? My blog for that day, pointed out that in my humble opinion, Theresa May should have called an Election between October or November 2016. She didn’t of course, and I had pointed out I was surprised, because this would give her a proper mandate.

Over the Easter Holidays she revised her opinion, to come in line with mine, so GE2017 was on, as long as Parliament agreed, it did, 13 MPs voting against and 100 abstaining.

Her reasoning is that she needs the whole of Westminster singing from the same hymn sheet, two hopes there. Bob Hope and no hope, and I don’t see anyone resurrecting Bob Hope anytime soon.

Jeremy Corbyn
Jeremy Corbyn Labour party of UK leader

Jeremy Corbyn has said he welcomed GE2017 allowing the people of Britain to have their voice heard. It will, but the voice or more correctly voices, will not be of a Socialist fantasy that Corbyn and his Labour party far left sub group Momentum envisage. There will be two voices in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, #Remain and #Brexit there could well be three voices in Scotland, perhaps even four?

Nicola Sturgeon, the Scottish First Minister will be wailing and doing her impression of Wee Jimmy Krankie, that Scotland needs another once in a lifetime Referendum, on top of the GE2017. In fact she will continue to call for a once in a lifetime referendum, until the people of Scotland, vote as she wishes them to vote. She might just get a surprise, namely a resurgent Liberal Democrat party winning some seats back from the Scottish Nationals.

my brother calls the fishwife

Nicola Sturgeon, who my brother calls the fishwife lol, has a severe problem, namely she has only one song to sing, and whilst there are undoubtedly many Scots who are quite happy with the tune, there are also many who know that the world does not revolve around Scotland, and that there is a time and place for everything, this is not the time.

Alex Salmond the Scottish Nationalist MP, will be hoping he can keep a lid on Sturgeon, as she will not actually be standing as an MP in Westminster, so is only a party worker with regards to the June 8th 2017 General Election. This will not stop her from alienating, the majority of Scots who are intelligent enough to realise they need representing in the #Brexit negotiations, as a #Remain stronghold.

Nicola Sturgeon a wee Jimmy Krankie deadringer
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on Left and Janette Tough who plays Wee Jimmy Krankie on the right

The Scottish National Party, under Nicola Sturgeon is too busy banging on about a second Referendum, to do the people of Scotland justice over, their genuine concerns about Britain leaving the EU, to many this will be a waste, so will not support SNP in GE2017.

Which gives the Liberal Democrats, a good chance of winning back some seats, they previously lost in Scotland, to the SNP. Their leader Tim Farron however lacks charisma or presence, he is unassuming, is light weight and lacks punch. There are though waiting in the wings to support the party, two big hitters, namely Sir Vince Cable, and Sir Simon Hughes. Sir Vince is one of the few Political people, who actually understands the mechanism and fundamentals of Macro Economics and Money.

Alex Salmond of the SNP has a degree in Economics and is totally ignorant about the subject, so much so, during the Scottish Independence referendum, he lost many votes by refusing to admit Scotland would need a separate Central Bank and Currency, could we have our money back for the Degree course you took Alex?

Cable being on the hustings will add sound Economics to the voice of #Remain and certainly bolster Lib Dems cause, there are lots of votes to be gained with some savvy politicking north of the border.

voters want to be treated fairly, Socialism excludes that

Jeremy Corbyn could hold some ground in places like London, and the old industrial heartlands, that are staunch Labour. However many of the voters want to be treated fairly, Socialism excludes that, North Korea, Venezuela and Cuba all prove it. Labour party in UK will not come out of this Election well, however the fatal wound will not happen this time, it will continue to struggle on under the bearded leader, in much the same way as the Fat Boy holds power in North Korea.

Theresa May will see an increase, in the number of Conservative MPs, Labour will lose a few, the Lib Dems will gain because they have stuck to their guns and stayed true to their policy of voicing that they think UK should have stayed in EU.

And the BBC will continue to spout its claptrap and tell us what we should be thinking, happy days.

Savings

SAVINGS

Articulated Tractor units
Keeping the wheels of Industry moving

The savings ratio in UK drops again, and promptly HM Government does ~nowt~. There is an ideal window of opportunity being allowed to pass by. Currently £ pound sterling, is down due to the Brexit upheaval, so raising interest rates would not cause too much distress to exports.

However interest rates are only part of a savings strategy, the main thrust needs to come from the Treasury, via the Budget, and there are no signs of any commitment to increasing the savings ratio and thus changing the direction of the UK Economy to a higher savings mentality. The figures compared to Japan are startling. Here’s some figures from http://www.tradingeconomics.com/united-kingdom/personal-savings It shows the highest UK quarterly savings since 1955 was 15.5%, now a word of warning the Japanese figures are Monthly, nevertheless 49.7% is blooming high. That meant in one particular month, the Japanese saved 49.7% of their disposable income. The lowest Japanese savings was -9.9%, so even if we add the 49.7% to -9.9% and let’s say the lowest figure was duplicated so add another -9.9% it still leaves a figure of 29.9% savings in one quarter. Compared to UK’s best at 15.5% which is pasty looking at best?

The reason I bang on about savings, is because it is one of the primers towards increasing productivity. There are other factors of course, infrastructure and lack of corruption are two main components. Infrastructure is high on Donald Trump’s to do list, he realises that having good transport links, and excellent communications connectivity boost the output per person, of an Economy. Corruption in the G20 Countries is not a serious debilitating problem, whilst it can always be improved, a separate Police and Judiciary are capable of keeping corruption in check.

Cars for sale
More cars for sale at the side of the A61 into Sheffield

Transport improvements are sorely needed in the UK, I suspect 95% of people in UK reading this will have their own stories of hold-ups or bottlenecks in getting oneself or goods, from one place to another. I have been working in Sheffield, this last week, and from Wakefield the shortest route into Sheffield City Centre is to come off the M1 at junction 36 and take the A61. This is the northern access into Sheffield, and so any trucks wagons coming down from Leeds, Newcastle etc it is potentially the most efficient route, except it is a single carriageway, and includes its own local bottlenecks, like traffic lights, sharp corners buses stopping and starting?

In other words, it’s a pain, and the alternative approach is to go a further 20Kms (about 12 miles) south and trundle down a dual carriageway called the Parkway, an appropriate name three weeks ago when I was effectively parked on it for over 40 minutes, making me 20 minutes late for work?

Meanwhile, on a visit to Manchester in March I was stuck for three hours getting from Wilmslow to Hyde, a distance of about 25 Kms (16 Miles). M25 anyone, but even the M25 pales compared to M6 between Junction 3 and 11. A Nightmare. Plus all the Villages without a by-pass, and all the major Town and Cities can become car parks in their own right, just by an inconvenient breakdown?

But the biggest increase to productivity comes from high investment, and high investment can only happen with high savings, the Government needs to act. Will it, no because it isn’t on the Political agenda.

Democracy continues

DEMOCRACY CONTINUES.

Martin McGuinness and handgun
Martin McGiunness turned from violence to peace

Martin McGuinness, the one time terrorist turned peace negotiator and peace advocate, has died aged 66, after an illness. He had resigned his post as Northern Ireland’s Deputy 1st Minister, back in January due to ill health. As a Youth McGuinness had risen through the ranks of the Provisional Irish Republican Army, (Provisional IRA) and become its Quartermaster, in other words the person who dispensed the guns, bullets and bombs to kill UK nationals. Much of this was indiscriminate, hence many casualties of ordinary people (Children included) going about their daily lives, Democracy continued unabated through all this.

killing arm of Sinn Fein

He was brought into peace talks back in the 1980s, when Willie Whitelaw started secret negotiations with the Provisional IRA, which was the armed and killing arm of Sinn Fein, the Republican movement in Ireland that tried bringing Northern Ireland into the whole of the Irish Republic. Later when the great Mo Mowlam was conducting peace talks, McGuinness appears to have started to change his attitude towards peace talks and taken them up with vigour.

Mo Mowlam Northern Ireland peace broker
Mo Mowlam Northern Ireland Secretary of State who did more than any others to bring peace in Northern Ireland

As time progressed and age along with it wisdom, started to show him talking was a better way to advance his Politics, than killing people, he came over to the talks side with full vigour. Michael McGuinness, was a person who started out hating, and learnt that talking and listening to ones opponents had superior attributes, than killing people, unfortunately he was directly responsible for many people, children included, being killed, in his last years he learnt that talking, peace and Democracy were superior. In fact part of that seems to have come home to him with his relationship with his one time foe Ian Paisely, the two were renowned for their banter, so much so they became nicknamed ~The Chuckle Brothers~. Unfortunately there will be many victims families not having a smile on their faces, however to his credit, in the end he did show remorse, and backed talking, over bullets to the full.

the deafening silence from the many prominent Muslims in the UK

Terrorist attack

There has been a in Westminster, one lone person, four victims. Worse has happened, Britain will continue to prosper, Islam will be the worse for it. One thing to note is the deafening silence from the many prominent Muslims in the UK. It doesn’t wash and it doesn’t go unnoticed, if Islam wants to become mainstream in UK, it needs to change its stance. There is a line by Richard Burton as the eponymous hero in the 1956 film, Alexander the Great, ~Greece isn’t a place it’s an Idea~. Islam doesn’t seem to understand that the same could be said about Britain, it isn’t just a place, it’s an idea, Britain continues despite having had the greatest Empire the world has seen, but gave it up voluntarily, because the time had come to change. Britain was built on a vague idea of fairness, whatever that means, but it adapts, it accommodates, Britain built the modern world, and continues to help shape the World, Islam just seems intent on taking it backwards, the flow of History has passed it by.

Terroist held Westminster Bridge
Courtesy Metro Newspaper
A policeman points a gun at a man on the floor as emergency services attend the scene outside the Palace of Westminster, London, after policeman has been stabbed and his apparent attacker shot by officers in a major security incident at the Houses of Parliament. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 22, 2017. See PA story POLICE Westminster. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Islam needs to understand, ~English Common Law~ has been around longer than Islam, (It was 1st written down by St. Augustine in 600 ad, and predates that) it has survived as an adaptable idea, and Britain gave most of the world its idea of Modern Democracy in 18th Century, and then Industrialised the world in 19th Century. The world has changed, Britain has changed and along with Democracy, continues to be a world leader, in a world it has created. Islam is in a civil war with itself, many Muslims choose the texts that are based on hate, and then try to preach peace, it can’t have it both ways, it needs to learn, and pick and choose, until it does, it will always lose, and remaining silent while people die, doesn’t endear itself to people who take time out to contemplate the results of needless deaths.

The EU is doomed, to failure

Triggering Article 50

So March 29th 2017 sees the triggering of Article 50 and Britain’s rise from member State of a none Democratic Economic Union that wants a Political Union of all its member States based on a Fascist/Communist idea Statehood. The EU is doomed, to failure, Democracy continues to flourish and as a consequence Britain is exiting. I suspect there will be no short term fallout, within the rest of the Member EU States, until the proper negations start. Then there will be a drip, drip, drip of opposition, as it becomes clear, Britain is not doomed, but quietly prospers.

Who will be the first EU member to apply to become a Commonwealth member?

The Queen meets Martin McGuinness
The Queen is still head of State of many Commionweatlh Countries, when she met martin McGuinness, he politely asked how she was, her reply was gold dust ~Well I’m still alive~ lol

I’m being serious, once out of, EU, the Commonwealth will become more important, its stature within Westminster will rise up the agenda, with MPs becoming more fervent of its possibilities and the opportunities it brings. As the EU Member States hit the first economic troublesome hurdles, and Britain makes a deal with say, India, Malaysia, Singapore or wherever, the Baltic States, Balkan States, Portugal, Spain, Cyprus, already a member but could that draw Greece in, may look with envy, that Britain has NOT turned into a backwater and just the opposite, has prospered where they are just meandering along, more surprising things have happened in History.

My money would be on one of the Baltic States making the first overtures?

For those from abroad, William Wordsworth (Poet Laureate 1813-1843) wrote one of the most famous English Poems, about Westminster Bridge where the Terrorist attack took place.

Earth has not anything to show more fair:
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
A sight so touching in its majesty:
This City now doth, like a garment, wear
The beauty of the morning; silent, bare,
Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie
Open unto the fields, and to the sky;
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.
Never did sun more beautifully steep
In his first splendour, valley, rock, or hill;
Ne’er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!
The river glideth at his own sweet will:
Dear God! the very houses seem asleep;
And all that mighty heart is lying still!

Canaletto Westminster Bridge
The Artist Canaletto was a Venetian who painted luxurious fictional riverscapes of Venice and England, using factual backgrounds. This is Westminster Bridge, a purely fictional scene.

budget that never was

The Budget that never was

Daffodils
A sign of Spring, The daffodils bringing a ray of sunshine into our lives.

With Labour in disarray, Article 50 still to be actioned, the Liberal Democrats harmless, UKIP looking like a one trick pony, the Chancellor’s 1st and last Spring Budget was never going to be spectacular. No one was expecting ~The Budget that never was~.

Back in the 1950s, one of the best selling war books, made into a film, was written by Lt Commander Ewan Montagu, and called ~The Man who never was~, the book was still a steady seller into the early 1970s, long after the Dambusters and Reach for the Sky had stalled.

German (not so secret) secret agent

Basically the book is a spy story, without a spy, and the hero was a vagrant, who was already dead, when he was hired for the job? Ewan Montagu worked for the Intelligence service, MI17 (in the days when MI numbered around twenty?) and came up with the idea of a fictitious courier whose plane had crashed in the Atlantic, near Spain, carrying secret plans for the coming invasion of Greece by the Allied forces, with the expectation that the body would be washed up on the shoreline close to where a known German (not so secret) secret agent was active. The body was released from a submarine, and with the tide, washed up where they had predicted. And just as predicted, the Spanish Police informed the German agent, before the British Embassy was informed.

Glyndwr Michael
Glyndwr Michael, did more in death than most of us will do in life. Technically M17 (MI17) broke the Law, however the surviving relatives think it was justified.
The old adage, rules are made for the obedience of fools, and the guidance of wise people, springs to mind.

Chancellor Hammond came up with a similar plan, last November at the Autumn statement, he announced that this March would be his 1st Budget and last Spring Budget. Actually during his speech last Autumn, I was so taken by what he announced was going to be in this ~Budget~, and that no further major announcements would be made, until more details over Brexit were known, that I got it into my head, the Spring Budget would be just a statement.

So much so, I was barracking the BBC on Twitter over using the term ~Budget~? Oops.

But on reflection I was correct. It turned out to be ~The Budget that never was~. Apart from the announcement over Class 2 NIC rates for the Self Employed, and where the Treasury would allocate the monies, namely Social care, it was really a statement on how the UK Economy has to be set fair so that it can meet the battering of the coming Brexit storm. Hammond had dressed up the old Autumn Statement into the Budget in the way a vagrant, Glyndwr Michael, who had died from Pneumonia, so that it looked as though he was, a drowned Major, named William Martin.

just a pleasant jaunt

A statement, that is being made in the Spring no longer in Autumn. So no big shocks, no hike in alcohol or Tobacco that wasn’t previously known about, or change in petrol prices, just a pleasant jaunt, telling us that Hammond is keeping a tight rein on spending.

And all the opposition parties were set to get their responses wrong, Corbyn was bound to fail, he is so out of touch with working people, it beggars belief, Tim Farron is ineffectual, pleasant man though he seems to be, but also doesn’t give off the air of someone who is quietly dangerous. He also lacks a point of attack. The Scottish National Party will bang on about independence, and so be totally irrelevant.

In fact Chancellor Hammond is not a difficult target, just go for his jugular, savings, or in his case his lack of incentives for the Citizens of UK to start saving at least twice to three times our current levels, and with it, reduce consumer spending.

Danny Blanchflower oil painting
Northern Ireland Footballer not to be confused with David Blanchflower lol

There is an argument against this idea, Danny (David) Blanchflower points to the danger, that the reduction in consumer spending might not be balanced in any manner by investment in Industry and Commerce, on that point we disagree, but at least the former member Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee knows what he is talking about. Not so, most of the Politicians, the Labour Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell is Economically an ignoramus, but that stems from having a belief that Marx actually knew what he was writing about, he didn’t, it was fantasy with no basis in reality. As the rich get richer the poor become poorer, stop it, we are not poorer than our forbears, by any stretch of the imagination. And for those saying their parents and grandparents are much better off. Stop it, they are rich today, not back in the 80s, 70s and before. Not one of them could buy a Computer pre 1979, they didn’t have the money, and food took up a much larger % of their income.

ended up saving countless allied lives

Just a note on the book ~The Man who never was~ by Ewan Montagu is a cracking read, and part of its charm is the fact that, a man who was a vagrant, had few chances in life, and found it difficult to cope with life, ended up saving countless allied lives. And in death was treated with care and when put into the sea, had a prayer said for him. Plus when he was eventually buried, albeit with a fictitious name, his grave was for many years tended and fresh flowers placed on it, it is now attended by the War graves commission.

So the House of Lords thinks it can block or derail Brexit, Prime Minister Theresa May, needs to just inform them they will be abolished if they try?