3121 days ago
The theme of this week’s video postcard, as so often, is the UK welfare state with a passing swipe at Food banks. Inspired by watching last week’s “Benefits Street” I discuss three of the feckless spongers who featured and what their story’s say about why Bankrupt Britain is not working.
My weekly financial postcard is a macro view on the markets and a discussion of Shareholder activism and steps I am taking to encourage it. You can watch it here
3251 days ago
I never cease to be amazed at the appalling coverage of basic economics by the national press but today’s shock exclusive from the Daily Mail really plumbs new depths. The headline reads: Government borrowing falls by £3.6billion as the recovery powers on. The sub heads read: Deficit cut from £14.2billion to £13.3billion in the space of a year and Borrowing falls from £50.4billion to £46.8billion. It concludes from this that George Osborne’s austerity policies are working.
Ok. Back in the real world. The statistic the Mail uses is that in the six months to August Government Borrowing was a mere £46.8 billion, down £3.6 billion from the prior six months. But that is not is not TOTAL borrowing just ADDITIONAL borrowing. Total borrowi9ngs are still increasing at almost £100 billion a year. The budget deficit in August was marginally down on a year ago but was still a disgraceful £13.3 billion.
So the correct headline should be: Government borrowing still increasing rapidly. The sub heads should read
3253 days ago
Oh worship the Money Tree, Bow down to the Great Money Tree. Nick Clegg you really are a prize git of the highest order. Your suggestions that all kids under 8 should get a free school meal might grub a few votes from the more innumerate members of the electorate but at every level it shows you for the fool and clown that you are and your party as an ideologically incoherent mess.
We start with the Money Tree basics. The UK is running a vast budget deficit and is heavily in debt. It cannot afford another £600 million. We are going bust. What do the Lib Dem’s not understand about that? Wake up to bankrupt Britain folks.
Aaaaaaah but what about the starving kids?
3326 days ago
I noted here six days ago that MPs (who earn between 4 and 7 times the national average wage) reckon that if they don’t get a £10,000 pay rise they will be forced to fiddle their expenses again. But of course I got my sums wrong. It is even worse that I first thought.
For we learned at the weekend that 150 of the Westminster swine are claiming £50 a week for transport costs for their kids. That is deemed a legitimate expense. £2,500 a year tax free – that is worth £4,500 as a higher rate taxpayer. How many other "little" fittles like that are there which are all 100% legit under rules created by the MPs themselves? One suspects quite a few. And it all adds up.
As a bonus we also discovered that speaker John Bercow managed to claim £84 travel expenses for a journey of exactly one mile. Ironically it was a journey to visit the body set up to oversee MP’s expenses.
The political classes are right now thrashing about in a row about how Labour is bankrolled by Unite and the seeming corruption within Unite designed to fix election meetings. I do not give a damn about this. Or about the various corporates and dodgy hedge fund managers who bankroll the Tories. The real issue is that the entire political class is venal, corrupt and out of touch.
The battle is not between Labour and Tory or between Call Me Dave and Miliband. It really makes no difference who is in charge. Both accept the ultimate supremacy of the Evil Empire, pander to the moral sensibilities of a metropolitan elite and are happy to see the deficit remain out of control as Britain goes bankrupt every more quickly.
The battle is between the political classes who are robbing the citizenry, making Airstrip One ever less free while feathering their own nests and the rest of us.
Every time a new expenses scandal emerges or there is another episode of beltway sleaze newspaper columnists (part of the political media beltway class and inveterate expense fiddlers themselves) write “they still don’t get it do they?” Er… they never got it and they never will and any pre-election suggestion otherwise is mere pretence.
3335 days ago
Over on Shareprophets.com my financial weekly video postcard this week looks at the small resources stocks. It explains why there traditional sources of funding have been cut off and asks how many of them are actually already at a near zero real cash position and asks why they cannot be more transparent about it.
You can watch that video here.
My political postcard covers two topics.
In that vein my next video postcard here on TomWinnifrith.com will come to you from Greece
3335 days ago
And so this week George Osborne laid out his plans for how the Government will spend money it does not have over the next few years. The reactions were sadly predictable and the truth is, my friends, that they are all lying.
On the right there was praise for canny George who so cleverly snookered New Labour with populist pledges about tackling welfare scroungers and who is clearly a safe pair of hands to act as custodian of the nation’s finances. Middle England and the Bond markets are meant to be reassured.
On the left the BBC, its sister paper The Guardian and other associated loons continued the post 2010 narrative of wicked Tory cuts, back to the 1930s, blah, blah, blah.
Both sides are lying although it seems that the BBC/Guardian agenda has won as most folks do actually think that Government spending is being cut. It is not.
3356 days ago
No winners from last week’s contest. Let’s hope for more inspired entries this week. And on that matter as I see I am being bashed on twitter for suggesting that we do not give EVEN more money to the world’s third largest employer because the UK Government has so much to spend I come to Mr Ed Balls, MP.
Apparently Ed reckons that the last Labour Government was not profligate and is now starting to outline his vision for how he will bankrupt Britain within five years starting 2015. Sorry, I meant to say: how he will like Gordon Brown be prudent and manage the Nation’s finances responsibly.
And so here is the picture. Post your entries in the comments section below by 9 AM next Friday.
For what it’s worth I am torn between
“Crook and bigot, Sir Patrick Mercer dreams about his remaining two years as an honourable member of parliament”
“Islamofascist Hate preacherAnjem Chowdary offers praise to the source of his £25,000 a year tax free lifestyle package”
“Ed Balls takes advice from Tom Winnifrith's deluded lefty partner and assures us that Labour’s spending plans are fully costed”
3359 days ago
Speaker John Bercow is in many ways a horrible little man. However for once I have to applaud him for stating what is a self-evident truth on the matter of immigration – something which the mainstream parties have lambasted him for as they grub for votes.
Bercow stated: "I want to underline the fact that there has been an important wave of immigrants that came to Great Britain from new member states and in many cases they came with aptitudes and a commitment, an involvement we haven't always seen in our labour force.”
He is bang on the money. The growing success of our Real Man Pizza Company restaurant in Clerkenwell sees us again hiring for another waitress/sous chef position. It is hard work and if you play the benefits system well you are better off not taking the gig. Once again the advert goes up and once again I have received a flood off applicants from Eastern Europe and Southern Europe, all keen and in London looking for work.
However the idea of working for £6.50 an hour or may be £7 really does not appeal to native Brits. I have received absolutely ZERO applicants from British born workers. And how many unemployed young Brits are there in London?
Real Man currently has one part time waitress who is British and killing a few months before heading off to set up a scuba diving school. She is the only British applicant (other than one who was utterly illiterate) I have had recruiting for 5 staff posts since Christmas. I have had hundreds of European applicants. Most have degrees and qualifications and are well spoken and presentable.
Bercow is bang on the money. Our welfare system has created an attitude amongst far too many of our home grown “talent” that they will wait for the “right job” or forever and live off welfare. Thank God for immigration.
Bercow is attacked
3397 days ago
Just for the avoidance of doubt I am not a UKIP party member and will not be voting at all on May 2nd. However I cannot say that I am put off UKIP by Tory Grandee Kenneth Clarke labelling its leaders as clowns and anyone voting for it as a racist. In fact such a pathetic attack merely makes me think even less of Call Me Dave’s Tories and of the fat old fool that is Ken Clarke.
Clarke states that UKIP is largely a protest by folks against the established parties. He may be correct. The established parties have produced a political class which has engaged in systematic expenses fiddling and extraction of ever more cash from the public purse. And on issues such as the EU they are almost united in ignoring the wishes of most voters. They are an out of touch elite. And with his cushy non-executive directorships as a sideline and having supported every doomed Euro project from the ERM to Britain’s membership of the Euro, the fat complacent Clarke is a typical member of that class.
Rightly many of us view the lot of them with contempt. If the political class get a bloody nose from UKIP in largely irrelevant local elections on May 2nd they deserve it.
As it happens I disagree with UKIP on immigration. Listening to Nigel Farage’s speech at UKInvestor Show I winced as he touched on the issue and also on that of gay marriage which I support. My partner (female and British Asian) has real problems with UKIP on these sort of matters and I can understand why.
But the EU is an important matter for me as is the way that the mainstream parties are all committed to pissing away billions on tackling the non-issue of global warming and are failing to tackle the appalling finances of Bankrupt Britain. And I do hold the entire political class in contempt for their corruption. And so
3417 days ago
I see that the papers are having a field day with Paris Brown who was hired as a youth crime Czar by Kent police on £15,000 a year to “provide a teenager’s view on policing.” But Paris has apparently spent some time on twitter to boast about binge drinking, drug taking and to make a series of racist and homophobic comments. She should have been in the Sweeney. Inspector Reagan would have felt right at home.
That she is a silly girl is beyond doubt. Apparently she is not quitting and will carry on doing her job. But what is the point of this job? It is not that she should be fired, just that this post should be made redundant. Along with all the other daft non-jobs that our PC police forces create to divert resources away from tedious things like catching criminals and getting them sent to prison.
I wonder what Paris has concluded in her first invaluable report: “The bizzies….er whatever…it’s all my parent’s fault…whatever…like...you know…we just want, like, respect…I’m bored…whatever”
I seem to remember that it was the Kent Police that arrested that bloke for tweeting a picture of a poppy burning. It strikes me that this force is run by complete imbeciles. If they want to hire a “Stop Police wasting money on piffle Czar” I am your man and will catch the first train to Canterbury this afternoon to start closing down the non jobs to try to assist bankrupt Britain to save a few quid. And the first P45 goes to Paris.
3422 days ago
Mick Philpott is clearly a loathsome man. He killed six of his 17 kids by setting fire to a house in order to frame one of his ex-partners. He is off to prison. The true victims of this awful crime are the six children who died. But Philpott is also a victim of the bleeding heart liberals who try to defend a welfare state that is a cancer at the heart of Britain.
Philpott used women to breed 17 children and then milked them all for benefits. He was trousering £60,000 a year in benefits tax free. That would you require you to earn c£100,000 a year. And that enabled him to lead a life fuelled by drink, drugs and doing no work at all. The lefties would tell you that all the children (and Philpott) were living in poverty. But it is a poverty which saw all the kids housed, fed and clothed and Sky TV in all the homes with Philpott still able to fork out vast amounts on drugs and booze (and I bet lottery tickets as well).
The left will defend this system by saying
3454 days ago
It was hectic Friday evening at Real Man Pizza Company. I served up a couple of Linguine Manx dishes which I was really proud of and I left happy, but utterly shattered, after putting in 90 hours in five days. I just managed to catch the 11.30 from Paddington. Of course 30 of those 90 hours I was working for the taxman. That sort of work ethic and work rate just to pay the bills is something the political elite who run all three parties just do not understand and cannot comprehend.
I enjoy my work so do not take this as a grumble. And I am delighted that RMPC is doing well enough that we will hire another member of staff next week. That is another person to generate tax income for our elite to waste. I mean spend.
I know that some folks, notably those employed by a company that failed to make Real Man profitable, laugh at me for running and working in a restaurant but Real Man will, by April, have taken on a net four new employees and two contractors in the first four months of 2013. I regard creating jobs and so generating wealth for the UK and tax revenue for the Government as an honourable thing to do. To be lambasted by wage slaves for having the nerve to risk my capital to do that says more about them and also about the decline of Britain in terms of our attitude to entrepreneurs than it does about me.
Back to the train. I prepared to fall asleep but within five minutes I was roused by the sound of the woman in front of me vomiting copiously in her seat. So drunk was she that she could not make the toilet. She just vomited on herself, the seat in front and the floor and sat there grinning. What are you going to do about it said her grin? I moved again as did other, clearly tired, passengers and tried to sleep.
I awoke suddenly at Bath as a crowd of 40 students joined the train after a night out. That they want to have fun is great but, with no consideration for others, the last fifteen minutes of my journey was to the backdrop of singing, shouting, swearing and just noise. The student opposite slouched so that his legs dug into mine but, after ten pints of Fosters, he did not give a damn.
That I am subsidising the students does not bother me. As a student I was subsidized by others. What goes around comes around. But the utter lack of consideration and manners shown by all sorts of folks today leaves me feeling like Bankrupt Britain is not a land that I want to live in. The 11.30 from Paddington was Hogarth’s Gin Alley.
Of course First Class, where our leaders travel at our expense, was quiet and pleasant. And the idea they they would be on the 11.30 is ludicrous. For the 140 days a year they do “work” the hours are civilised. They have no exposure to hard work or to the stench of vomit and the rudeness of so many of our fellow citizens. They do not create jobs or wealth, they just suck money away from those who do. As an elite as they become ever more cushioned from reality, I become ever more alienated from them.
At 2 PM I finally made it to bed. Today and tomorrow will be light days. Perhaps just five hours work. And on Monday at the crack of dawn the whole circus starts again. That the Westminster elite think that by “presenting policies better” they will “connect with voters” like me is laughable. They are on another planet and Marie Antoinette had more chance of “connecting” with the Parisian mob of 1789 than those in the Westminster bubble have of understanding how real life is for those they are meant to serve.
3465 days ago
The email below arrived yesterday offering me the chance to pick up $11.5 million. And no, it was not the latest channel partner offering from an unscrupulous financial website group although it is of a similar investment grade to some of theirs.
I just wonder, is anyone on this planet stupid enough to fall for this sort of thing? I guess so otherwise a whole con industry would not be operating. It is a familiar sort of tale and such an obvious con. Indeed just two days ago another chap from Burkina Faso ( Ben Kute) emailed me about another sum of $8 million I could get my hands on.
Clearly money grows on trees in Bukina Faso – no need for us to send any foreign aid there then. Perhaps they could send some to Bankrupt Britain to pay for stabling costs for the horses of the Heather Frost and the other rural jobless in England.
The email is below:
This Message Might Meet You In Utmost Surprise. However, It’s Just My Urgent Need For Foreign Partner That Made Me To Contact You For This Transaction. I Got Your Contact From Burkina Faso Chambers Of Commerce While I Was Searching For A Foreign Partner. I Assured Of Your Capability And Reliability To Champion This Business Opportunity When I Prayed To God Or Allah About You.
3465 days ago
Every day another story emerges which show how the welfare state is just out of control. Heather Frost has 11 kids and no job. She currently lives in two council houses knocked into one. But her local council has managed to do a deal with a developer to sell it land cheaply so that it will build a new six bedroom eco mansion with a 355 square foot kitchen just for Heather. But the ungrateful bitch has today said “It’s being built especially for me. If I go there and I say to them I don’t like it or it’s too small, then they will just have to build me a bigger one, won’t they.”
Why the hell should they? This 36 year old woman opted to breed like a rabbit,
3468 days ago
I am not a UKIP member nor can my support be taken for granted – generally I despise all politicians and which they would just stop introducing laws and go away. And with that caveat I approach the looming by –election in Eastleigh with the conclusion that the ONLY sane and the ONLY honest vote is for UKIP.
The election is caused by liar and criminal Chris Huhne (Lib Dem) having to stand down because he is almost certainly heading for prison. In terms of Government and policy it will change nothing. We will still be ruled by this wretched Tory Lib Dem coalition and Labour will still be offering a principle free crackpot populist opposition. And as such an Eastleigh resident can vote with a clear conscience and on principle.
I start with why each of the candidates from the main three parties does not deserve to win a single vote before turning to UKIP.
3481 days ago
Apologies for the delay in the Friday caption contest – it is all Zak Mir’s fault.
I really cannot think of anything particularly important to prompt tasteless caption entries this week and so fall back on the issue which George Osborne says will be at the heart of the next Tory manifesto and which is guaranteed to bring the faithful back to the Conservative fold.
As you know, I would allow gay marriage. But I cannot say that it is the number one issue on my mind right now. The way that the Tory party is tearing itself apart with half its MPs revealing themselves as knuckleheaded bigots while the other half show themselves as being even more out of touch by making this such a number one priority is almost comical. If the Tories are to tear themselves apart at least they could do it over something that matters like the EU or the fact that Britain is going bankrupt.
Anyhow, to win an “It’s time to leave” T-shirt please post your captions in the comments box below (Jon Pickles, this has to be an easy Prince Harry one for you)
You can, of course, buy your own It’s Time to Leave T-shirt, hoodie, mug or thermos flask here.
For what it is worth my entry is:
3486 days ago
It is quite clear that, as things stand, anyone in Romania or Bulgaria will be able to celebrate New Year’s Day by coming to live in Britain. We are after all brothers in arms in the EU. Given that the average net wage in Romania is £275 a month, with many earning far less, while in the UK families can trouser up to £500 a week tax free on benefits you do not need the brains of Lloyd George to see what is going to happen next. Yet our political elite seem either not to care or not to have an answer and so they resort to lies and smears.
Is it unreasonable for you and I to object to the idea that Romanians and Bulgarians will in very large numbers make a sensible economic choice and move to the UK? Are we racists for objecting? Of course not. The fact is that the UK has mammoth debts and is running a huge budget deficit. So having to pony up vast amounts in benefits for folks from out East is beyond our means. We cannot afford it. This is not an argument about race simply basic economics. Britain is going bankrupt and this could accelerate that process.
3495 days ago
Comrade Mick Kipper, a good man albeit a deluded Lefty from the grim North asks me for my views on Inheritance Tax. No problems Mick: it should be abolished at once. Trust that is okay with you? Nope you wish me to explain? No problems.
First up this is a taxed on already taxed income. Somewhere along the line the capital one bequeaths was earned and tax was paid on it. Thus this is a double tax. Now Mick will no doubt raise the example of the Duke & Duchess of Snootyland whose family have not done an honest day’s work in hundreds of years. Such folk are a tiny minority of those who pay IHT but the left like to paint them as typical taxpayers. Moreover the landed gentry have been crucified by IHT for several generations so levying another round is, in this case, even more unfair than usual- this is income that is taxed many times over.
IHT means that if I earn a pound and spend in on hookers I am taxed once.
3506 days ago
The Government is meant to be making spending cuts. Of course we all know that the wicked Tories are doing no such thing, spending is going up. But just for a minute let us humour Call Me Dave and pretend that MPs realise that Bankrupt Britain is going bust and that Government spending has to be cut back. So what news do we have today? MP’s reckon that local councillors should get more money for their allowances. Hell’s teeth. Labour MP Clive Betts things that compensation needs to be “appropriate.” At a number of levels this is obscene.
Checking out the website of Real Man Pizza’s local council ( Camden) I see that in the year to April 2011 ( the last available data) its local councillors cost local residents £807,473.47.
3509 days ago
Every time I write about welfare scroungers or fraud I am accused of being a heartless, pampered Tory boy by a range of deluded lefties. I just do not understand this. For starters I am not a Tory. When they stopped believing in low taxes, a small state and started cowering to every EU diktat I gave up on them. Secondly I have worked for everything I have, I am not a beneficiary of inherited wealth. And thirdly if being heartless means objecting to those who work hard having to support either thieves or those who opt not to work hard, sure I am heartless. I believe in a welfare system that acts as a safety net but not in one that becomes a lifestyle choice. To me it is heartless to take away money in tax from those on low incomes to redistribute it to criminals or those who opt for idleness. Het I am not Scrooge but equally I do not see why all those who have been naughty should get Christmas presents paid for by those who have been god. Do you?
There was a damning statistic or two out this week. Firstly we learned that one third of the money collected in income tax is spent on welfare payments. That is an extraordinarily high number. And it is calculated that c 7% or 8% of those payments are made to fraudulent claimants. More damning still was that 43% of those claiming benefits and not working had in fact never worked in their lives. They are on a career of welfare dependency.
3512 days ago
I would scrap all Foreign Aid tomorrow as most of the cash is wasted, few poor folks benefit and Bankrupt Britain cannot afford to piss away £11 billion a year. In the greater scheme of pissing away cash £27 million is not a lot but to hand that money to the frigging Argies who are demanding that we hand over British Land lived in by British Citizens (viz the Falklands) just fills me with the despair.
Of the £27 million, £20 million is our slug of a£450 million loan from the IMF. That the Argies need an IMF bailout at tall shows why its demented President Fernandez is sabre rattling: because under her stewardship the economy has gone down the pan. But why Bankrupt Britain should have to bail the old trout out is beyond me. But it gets worse.
3513 days ago
I have consistently advocated that the UK scrap its entire foreign aid budget on dual grounds. Firstly Britain is almost bankrupt and we cannot afford to be generous. And secondly foreign aid never helps those it is meant to help, it is merely a transfer of wealth from poor folks in rich countries to (the Swiss bank accounts of) rich people in poor countries. You can check out a couple of my pieces on this matter HERE. and HERE. to show that I am not exactly new to this subject. But today comes a damning report on this matter from the think tank Civitas. It is not the conclusions which are worth noting (they are hardly surprising) but what it says about the gaping gap between our political and media elite and the rest of us. You and I. The plebs.
The Civitas study shows that our foreign aid budget which is set to increase by 30% this year as spending on so much else is pared back, does not actually help poor people on the ground. That is damning. But more damning
3513 days ago
Iain Duncan Smith has claimed that the bloated UK welfare budget of £150 billion a year is bloated in part by around £10 billion a year being claimed in benefits as a result of quite deliberate fraud, often by international syndicates targeting bankrupt Britain. For this he has been vilified by Deluded Lefties elsewhere for “picking on the poor” for “ignoring the real target, tax dodging multinationals” etc. What a bunch of tossers.
In terms of the multinationals, they are not actually breaking the law. If they use Britain’s tax regulations as they stand to pay a low rate of tax it is because their officers have a fiduciary duty to investors to pay as little tax as is legally possible. If the Government wishes to change the tax rules it can do so. But as things stand, the “wicked corporations” are actually doing nothing wrong. They are stealing from no-one.
Those commit deliberate benefits fraud are, on the other hand, stealing from the British taxpayer. It is you and I who will pick up the tab for this theft either now or (as it adds to Government debt) later. It is criminal. I cannot see how anyone could possibly oppose the idea of IDS that we should stamp it out. And in stamping it out IDS is not targeting the poor he is targeting criminals. Who, in the right mind, could argue with that? Even some deluded lefties must admit that there is some merit in stopping handing taxpayers cash to criminals. Yet IDS has been described as creep of the year and lambasted by many of the usual suspects. Tossers.
3527 days ago
This article first appeared in my Tomogrraph Newsletter a couple of weeks ago but prompted my an angry response or two to my article of yesterday (Being on Welfare is NOT a Job) I am goaded into republishing the piece to a wider audience. One chap thinks I am “ bitter and twisted” and a “sad man” for arguing that taxpayers have no obligation to support a life of Sky, fags and booze on welfare. Whatever…folks need to face up to the problem.
This piece deals with those deficit deniers who cannot accept that Britain is heading for bankruptcy and offers up a 13 point plan to deal with the issue – needless to say I do not expect the cowardly Conservatives to adopt even one of my suggestions.
The Autumn statement came and went. George Osborne laughed and smiled. Ed Balls stammered. The left bleated on about wicked Tories and even more wicked cuts. The Tories claimed to be satisfied with the job being in hand. But we are as a nation kidding ourselves. We are all deficit deniers.
Two and a half years into this Parliament, Osborne has missed his forecasts again. Government spending has, in absolute terms risen year on year since the election.
3527 days ago
And so it is suggested by some in the Tories that those on welfare should not get cash but a card which would allow them to buy anything they wanted except booze, cigarettes and Sky TV. Deluded lefties are bleating that this is demeaning for hardworking folks who are just temporarily out of work and that the Tories thus hate the working class. Bollocks.
If you are temporarily out of work you will get another job. You then get off welfare and then start paying taxes. At which point you will resent that cash going to folk on welfare who spend it on luxuries. Welfare is meant to be a safety net not a way of life. It is not a job.
If you plan on being unemployed for a long time or forever that is fine. Well it is not actually. But I cannot see why
3528 days ago
The feeble party of Government is today making great play of how it has frozen bank accounts containing £217,000 belonging to bearded Islamofascist terror lover Abu Qatada, saying it will try to reclaim the cash to get back some of the costs the feeble party of Government has incurred trying to boot Abu out of the UK. Let us hope that it is more successful getting the cash than it has been with the extradition. However, this attempt at hard man PR by the Conservatives does not wash as it begs yet more questions. Viz:
1. How much taxpayer’s cash will be spent on a new legal challenge to recover this paltry amount? I.e. what is the anticipated net return?
2. If Abu is sitting on £217,000 cash why the hell does he get a) legal aid – costs to date c £500,000 and b) free luxury housing for him and his family and c) welfare payments for him and his ghastly family.
The welfare system is meant to be a safety net for those between work – not a way for those with hard cash to preserve that cash as they do not work. But then in Bankrupt Britain anything goes, I guess.
Might it not be simpler simply to cut off Abu’s supply of free housing, welfare and legal aid. Unfreeze his bank accounts. If he chooses to send that cash off to Hamas or Al Qaeda rather than spend it on housing and food for the kids that is fine. Then he and his family can starve and freeze to death. That is all part of the idea of taking responsibility for your own actions. Do you think that anyone would care?
3534 days ago
The chancellor’s Autumn statement was spun by the Tory Party and its supporters in the press as a bit of a triumph. George Osborne was helped by the fact that the riposte from New Labour came from Ed Balls who is nor an impressive orator, appears to have a minimal grasp of his subject and who was part of the Treasury team which created many ( but not) all of the balance sheet issues that Bankrupt Britain faces. But the Tories should not kid themselves – Osborne has not delivered.
Since 1971 Sterling has lost c99% of its value against Gold. To be fair the dollar has lost 98.4% of its value too. The great experiment with the printing press has had a rather predictable result but the weakness of Sterling against not only gold but other paper currencies has been marked. This is a reflection of the fundamental economic problems the UK faces. And the biggest of those problems remains that Government spending is quite simply out of control, notwithstanding two years of “austerity Britain.”
For three years every State employee, student, Guardian reader and welfare recipient has bleated on about the wicked Tories and how they are slashing State spending
3539 days ago
The weekend Tomograph Newsletter will go out on Saturday with all its usual material plus an exclusive article on the deficit deniers of Bankrupt Britain a comment on how AIM placings are rigged and spun and another piece of EU madness – the lunacy of the Evil Empire. there is my editors pick of the week.
To ensure that you receive the newsletter and these articles which will only be in the newsletter and not accessible elsewhere for some days click HERE.
The newsletter should be out by early afternoon Saturday.
3540 days ago
Before he gets paranoid and I get a snotty letter from Kerman’s this is not a story about the life of Dick Gill. Nor is it about life on this blog where we seem to have more and more readers. Unlike certain places I could mention. But it is a true story from the world of academia and Bristol University.
I spent a happy Sunday afternoon in a Bristol pub last week celebrating West Ham’s triumph over Chelski and met two academics who had been encouraged by the University to write a joint blog article for an in-house blog. That they had done and seemed to have enjoyed the exercise. So, er how many folks will read the piece I asked?
Easy, they replied. We can track it. Our article has been read by one person.
3541 days ago
My Guardian reading father is an incredibly generous contributor to Christian Aid. But still they want more. It is after all better to give than to receive and they are just helping to save his soul. And so once a week he gets a call asking him to up his contribution. Bad luck Christian aid. My father is at a funeral and so when you called today and asked for Mr T Winnifrith I replied truthfully that they were speaking to Mr T Winnifrith and…
3544 days ago
The Daily Mail carries a piece today alleging that a key aide to deputy PM Nick Clegg personally intervened to get £12 million of taxpayers cash fast tracked to a charity ( BookTrust) of which Mr Clegg’s wife is a prominent supporter. Apparently emails have just emerged showing that while other charities must bid for Government cash, this one just got it. Hmmm.
The piece manages to find a rent-a-quote Tory and Labour MP to demand an enquiry. Oh, another one. An enquiry a day, hip hip hooray, more money to pay, what more can I say? Do politicians ever do anything in life apart from call for enquiries? Personally I do not see why taxpayer’s cash in Bankrupt Britain is handed to charities at all. Booktrust may do great work but it a fake charity. It is now an arm of Government. That to me is a scandal.
As for Cleggy I ask you one question:
3546 days ago
How many clubs in the Premier League make a profit? Er.. Man United sometimes bit not much of a profit and certainly enough to justify its market valuation. But the rest are all losing money and so in an industry pursuing Hari Kiri economics it is no surprise that last year the top 20 soccer clubs in the UK pissed at £77 million on agent’s fees alone. Leading the way was Man City with £10.5 billion frittered away but it is the next few big spenders that says it all.
The next most generous were Liverpool (£8.6 million) and QPR (£6.8 million) not far ahead of Harry Rednapps’s Spurs. Liverpool have had one of their worst starts to the League in decades. QPR are bottom of the league and have already fired their manager.
3550 days ago
It was not UKIP that called for a pact but a Tory MP who wears the silliest syrup on this planet – Michael Fabricant. But Downing Street has today ruled out a pact between the Tories and UKIP.
That is good news for UKIP. I took me about one minute to think of 10 very good reasons why I’d be less likely to vote UKIP if they aligned themselves with the Conservative Party.
Before I start, if anyone in Islington Social Services is reading this, I am not a UKIP member or even a loyal supporter so there is no need to deny me access to my daughter on the grounds that she is half Welsh and so may be damaged by my views.
Ten Good Reasons
3563 days ago
Post the defeat of Romney it was inevitable that “modernisers” within the Tories would draw the conclusion that the way to win in 2015 is to be more socially liberal. And so today George Osborne insists that the “nice” Conservative Party will put gay marriage at the centre of its next election manifesto. Oh saints preserve me. I think I am emigrating.
As a social liberal I actually support gay marriage as well as legalising drugs and a whole raft of other measures which would horrify traditional Tories. If gays want to sign up for marriage with a one in three chance of an acrimonious divorce to follow why not allow them that right? But do I really regard it as a key issue? Does anyone outside certain metropolitan circles (where they are never going to vote Tory anyway) regard it as a key issue, one that should be central to a manifesto? I doubt it.
3564 days ago
We all know that the UK foreign aid budget is a costly disgrace this country cannot afford. Across Africa our money is allowing tyrants to rob their people with the aid we pump in a real disincentive to reform. We help no-one with our efforts but Call Me Dave is so desperate to be seen as “nice” that he keeps on writing cheques. Well Mr Cameron please explain Zimbabwe to me.
A report out today from Partnership Africa Canada, a member of the Kimberley Process, the world regulatory body on the diamond trade, says that Mugabe and his cronies have stolen $2 billion from the Marange diamond fields which lie within his country. That $2 billion has been looted over a period of six years so let’s call that $330 million a year. Funds from diamond sales of that order should have shown up in the State Treasury but have not. They have, of course, headed off to Switzerland. Mugabe says that the report is false. The authors of the report say that the $2 billion number is a “conservative estimate” and it appears that Hitler’s own finance minister Tendai Biti backs up the claims from PAC.
Now what does this tell us? Well first a quick word about Hollywood, deluded lefty celebs and the film Blood Diamond starring Leonardo di Caprio.
3566 days ago
I think I got the sound and the video right this time. I have been thinking in the New Year that I might start doing two short daily audio reports on a) the markets and b) life in general – the world, the evil State and the Evil Empire. I am investigating the technology. Whaddya think?
3568 days ago
A decent man asks me why I do not focus on cutting tax evasion to slash the deficit and save the UK from bankruptcy? Fair point. But I am afraid that the sums do not add up. If only life was that simple. Deluded lefties often confuse tax evasion with tax minimization and that is the problem. The former means breaking the law. It is wrong. The latter means using the system to your maximum advantage in order to pay as little tax as possible and it is neither illegal nor wrong. Why should you pay more tax than you should on money you earn?
3570 days ago
Britain is one of the four largest contributors to the European Investment Bank, a bank owned by the EU itself which lends money to promote jobs and growth in EU countries and, bizarrely, to those just outside the EU borders as well. Those who think that increasing the amount the UK hands over to the Evil Empire each year need to read on as this tale is a disgrace.
3577 days ago
You could not make this up. Just how stupid are the men and women who run the UK and Ireland? The Irish have just suspended its aid to Uganda after a £10 million package from the Irish, Norway, Sweden and Denmark meant to help the poor and needy somehow ended up in the personal bank account of Ugandan Prime Minister Patrick Amama Mbabazi.
No British cash was nicked by just as a precaution the £4 million in aid we already give to Mr Mbabazi’s office has been suspended. However other aid programmes (another £94 million) will continue. Where does one start?
Let us start in Ireland. In case whichever midget is running Eire today has not noticed your country is frigging bankrupt.
3580 days ago
Once again both the sound and picture are all okay. A pity about the window occasionally banging in the background but almost there for the latest video postcard which is fairly wide ranging.
Back in London on the first train Tuesday I plan to record my first CEO Videocast this week. Hopefully no banging windows there. And I cannot say where it will appear. But it will.
The video lasts 12 minutes
3580 days ago
The Daily Mail carries a rather typical scare story today about how the UK will have 80 million residents by 2050. I am not sure that given my health profile I shall be one of them. In fact I know that I shall not be, I am determined to end my years in a rather warmer climate. But the Mail, needless to say, gets its assumptions wrong in a rather desperate attempt to cosy up to its Middle England readership.
3583 days ago
Child Benefit should be scrapped altogether. It is costly, a bureaucratic mess and misguided. I say this as the Daily mail bleats about £36.6 million a year being sent as child benefit to kids living abroad and as chancellor Osborne plans to scrap the benefit for those earning £50,000 a year or more. This is all tinkering.
Let’s start with basic principles. The world is overpopulated. We keep on going on about how folks in the third world should have fewer kids yet across the EU we provide economic incentives (in countries like Spain they are vast) to have more kids.
3584 days ago
Today’s sad episode in the decline of Britain comes from Essex, a country where folks normally seem pretty sensible. But there are exceptions. In the village of Dedham (a lovely place near where Constable painted the Hay Wain) we learn what is on the curriculum at the village primary. Forget the Three R’s. Elf n’ Safey is what matters.
It seems that before the 4 and 5 year olds are allowed to engage in “outdoor activities” a small group of the toddlers are kitted out in yellow bibs and hard hats and sent outside to do a full elf n’ safey assessment.
3585 days ago
Another day and another daft PC missive from an organisation that you once respected. This time it is the Boy Scouts that makes one despair for Britain. The Scouts want to ban nicknames because that can lead to bullying. Oh please…
My brief foray into the Scouts saw some stern ex soldier take us for walks where we made “secret signs” with sticks so that only fellow Scouts could follow the trail. A few more years of that and I am sure that I too could have ended up like “Bear Grylls” who is apparently the Chief Scout today but must henceforth be known as Edward – for that is his real name. We would not want poor Bear to get put upon.
Apparently these days Scouts earn badges for things like recycling. All very twenty first century. And the Scouts now have a chief “safeguarding” officer Sam Marks who claims that
3590 days ago
The Metropolitan Police is once again making itself a laughing stock with its latest edict – Policeman should not have visible tattoos. Does a copper become less effective at fighting crime if he has a Cross of St George or West Ham logo on his neck? No. So why is the Met wasting its time on this rubbish?
3591 days ago
Forgive me Dear Lord, for I am about to defend call Me Dave Cameron against the charge that he sounds like a Conservative. I know that he is not and that he will not do what he says but, and I cannot believe that I am writing this, he is attacked unfairly.
Call Me Dave apparently says that he plans to cut certain benefits as part of his valiant attempt to cut the deficit to prevent Britain going bankrupt. Blah, blah, blah.
3598 days ago
George Osborne is once again the hero of the Tory press. But the press has got it wrong. The man is a fraud and not a very nice one at that. The acclaim comes from his promise to slash welfare spending by £10 billion as part of his work to tackle the deficit. But there are just so many holes in this thesis that it is hard t know where to start.
Instinctively I winced as he heard the plans. Osborne is targeting groups that are unpopular.
3600 days ago
The leader of the Scottish Tories, the feisty Ruth Davidson, has set the cat among the pigeons with a claim today that 88% of Scots are net takers from the State. The reaction is predictable. But this is not a Scottish issue. She articulates THE defining issue for the whole of the West, not just for the crackpot Socialist economic basket case North of Hadrian’s wall. How we react determines our fate. I fear for the worst.
3603 days ago
The wicked Tories are – as we all know – forcing local councils across the land to cut back on vital front line services. And apparently it is the poor in the inner Cities who will suffer the most. Places like Lambeth.
Indeed reading the blog of council leader Steve Reed I see the man pontificate:
3605 days ago
Pimco boss Bill Gross is one for hyperbole. The bond guru said that equities were dead as an investment class just a few weeks ago. They have zoomed ahead since. But in his latest monthly newsletter he is bang on the money. Or rather the lack of it, among Western Governments.
Starting close to home. Amazingly the UK still has an AAA credit rating. Not for long. Gross compares the UK to a drug addict who is hooked on debt and struggling to kick the habit. He notes that:
“The problem becomes if [austerity] is too quick and leads to an economic contraction, which it appears close to in the UK – An economy that doesn’t grow, ultimately can’t resolve its debt crisis.”
Well up to a point. Actually it is worse than that.
3606 days ago
Ed Balls worked with Gordon Brown to wreck UK Government fianances. Even Keynes ( not my idol) argued that Governments should only run deficits in times of recession. In good times they should pay down debt. Balls is quoted today as saying that “Labour d not do balanced budgets”. That is indeed true. As someone said, the trouble with socialists is that they eventually run out of other people’s money. And so Balls was a key part of the team that ran up huge deficits in good times and bad.
As a result, I remind you get again that by 2016 the UK will be approaching a debt to GDP ratio of 90% – the point of no return. If one includes the numerous “off balance sheet items” we are there already. And so Balls has a plan which must win a prize for sheer lunacy.
3607 days ago
In the US the sheer horror of the Student Loan scheme is becoming apparent – it will be the next subprime crises claims Zero Hedge. In the UK we are merely starting the sleepwalk into disaster. It may take 30 years but this is how the disaster will unfold.
Universities used to be for an elite. In a stroke of madness the major parties (and it was John Major’s Tories who were most culpable) decided that 50% of 18 year olds needed to go to Uni. A stack of sub-prime Polytechnics and other colleges were then made Unis. Belatedly the Government realised that this was all jolly expensive. And so after much huffing and puffing we introduced the idea of fees. It was thought that Oxford, Cambridge, etc might charge the maximum (£9,000 a year) and that other Universities would charge less, according to their status. But in fact all Unis decided to go for £9,000. So a degree in media studies at whatever Derby Polytechnic is now called is on a par with pure maths at Oxford? Yeah right.
3611 days ago
The Daily Mail today has a real go at Call Me Dave for boasting to the UN about how the UK is spending ever more cash on International aid. This will play well with its readers but misses the point. There are folks out there who reckon that scrapping the £11 billion or so we piss away on foreign aid each year will make a difference. It will not really.
Do not get me wrong. I do not think that the £11 billion the Department for International Development (DFID) spends, no wastes, each year can be justified. 40% of Africa’s military spending is effectively funded by aid programmes. The poor in Africa see very little benefit, the elites in some pretty vile regimes line their pockets and our cash goes to prop up these regimes. Just as I do not believe in military intervention to affect regime change in the Middle East (waste of money and it just makes them hate the West even more), I do not believe in financial intervention via aid to Africa as that inevitably stops regime change. In the end aid is always a transfer of wealth from poor people in rich countries to rich people in poor countries.
But where the Mail goes horribly wrong is by pretending that were we to abolish DFID tomorrow we could stop cuts in public spending elsewhere. It goes into tedious detail about how many regiments could be saved, nurses not fired
3612 days ago
Life is pretty grim when Nick Clegg is the party leader who is closest to getting it right on benefits. But well done to him for saying that rich pensioners should not get free TV licenses, bus passes and winter fuel allowances. Of course he does not go far enough but it is a start.
Just a reminder. The UK will have the biggest budget deficit in the EU next year. For all the talk of wicked Tory cuts we are hurtling towards a situation where our state finances are in a worse state than those of Spain, France, Italy etc.
3614 days ago
JJB Sports (JJB) shares have just been suspended. Administrators have been appointed and the company says that while assets can, and will, be sold shareholders will get nothing. Nil. Rien. Zippo. Surely everyone can understand that?
3625 days ago
The headline screams out from columnist Alison Pearson in yesterday’s Daily Telegraph. Does anyone actually believe this rubbish? Or have we been so brainwashed that Big Brothers will be hauling me off to Room 101 for pointing it out. Well I shall risk it anyway. La Pearson states:
“Patriotism not being a source of toe-curling embarrassment may be one of London 2012’s enduring legacies. Britons waved their flag, and found that they liked it. The need to be cool was displaced by the wish to be warm. Figures out yesterday show that crime was down in London by 6 per cent. Only nine people were arrested at Olympics venues. Attendance at the Proms themselves hit a record 93 per cent.
Of course, helpful smiles may blow away with the first churlish gale of autumn, but what will remain is the knowledge of what can be achieved when the genius of our people is harnessed.”
Let’s start with waving the National Flag. Most ordinary (I do not use that word in a disparaging sense as you will see below) folk in Britain have never had a problem waving the flag. They have been British and proud of it.
3634 days ago
As we all know the wicked Tories are bashing the public sector with savage cuts in spending and a pay freeze for all staff. Well actually public spending is increasing in real and absolute terms but let us pretend for a second that the Government does actually want to control the deficit and that the Labour party/Trades Unions are not bare faced liars. I digress.
Back to the pay freeze. Well it appears that what has been frozen is not pay itself but the scales of pay that are used. And so a 5 a day co-ordinator working as an outreach worker for disabled lesbians
3674 days ago
Louise Mensch MP is thick as two short planks. That should be obvious to anyone who has heard her talk about her life with Charlie and her thoughts on drug use that resulted from it; or about how falling petrol prices were down to Tory rule or indeed to anyone who has investigated quite how truly dreadful her books are. I promised that I would have just one more look at the sheer inadequacy of what passes for her thought process and so we turn to her suggestion made on April 25th this year that the grateful taxpayer needs to subsidise local papers.
Where do you start with such utter cobblers?
The Mensch thesis is that local papers closing is a “threat to democracy.” Er… please go on. This is because only local rags will cover expense fiddling by back bench MPs and scandals in the local town hall. And so Mensch seems to think that without the local rag, the electorate will not get to hear what a bunch of crooks we have representing us? It appears so.