9 days ago
I must be the least well known person ever to record a podcast with the celebrated conservative journalist James Delingpole. I doubt his regular listeners will ever have heard someone count to ten in Vlach before. To say our discussions were wide ranging is an understatement. Delingpole was a great friend and ally of my late uncle Christopher Booker and we start and end with him. In between, it’s Neil Woodford, fraud fighting, the corruption of the MSM, death threats, lockdown madness, Wales madness and a disagreement on the enrichment of Ireland. And much more. You can judge for yourselves HERE.
23 days ago
This patch is the far end of the area formerly known as the jungle. Behind the wall is the lane down to the hovel and on the opposite side of it is the only other chap in the village who is cursing the defeat of Ireland by Wales today. Eight rhubarb plants went in last year and eight have emerged this year. They are now all covered with pots which, I am told, gets them shooting ahead faster. Round the edge are the surplus lavender plants from the lavender hedge we are creating, and in the middle one of the cherry trees planted 14 months ago along the edge of the garden and which is coming along very well indeed. So I hope for another bumper rhubarb harvest to make rhubarb gin for the Mrs, rhubarb crumble for Joshua and er…what else do you make with rhubarb?
51 days ago
So says daughter Olaf who has repudiated her father’s DNA and is now identifying wholly as Welsh. She is perplexed that I laugh at the Welsh and its certifiable political class, predict that Independence in the short term would be an economic disaster for Wales as well as Scotland yet support the cause, as a Welsh resident, most strongly. Our starting point here is that my daughter is a teenager, lives in Islington and is a bit of a lefty. As such, she, by definition, does not really believe in jokes and many of my comments about cottage burners are said in jest and, thus, she does not understand them.
58 days ago
The last time I posted on the Facebook page of the last village in Wales was to say that if folks wanted to walk across our fields then they would be more than welcome to do so. At the height of lockdown, it seemed a decent offer and I had even cut back the grass so folks could do so in a socially distanced manner. That was met with overt hostility from some who saw this as an act of wicked selfishness.
80 days ago
It would not be Christmas without the Guardian newspaper filling its pages with angry and unseasonal comments about how beastly and miserable life is. Anything that can provide joy to a man or woman must be dragged down. Today’s winner is a long article by James Wong “Other arts are political, why not gardening? -Gardens make strong statements even when they don’t!.”
224 days ago
As a part time resident of Greece, I am most delighted by the EU bailout. Not only does the mightly Hellenic Republic have almost no cases of Covid now, but we are also going to get shed loads of cash from other EU countries for our politicians to steal. Oops… I meant to invest wisely in rebuilding the economy. Fabbo. As you can see below, Greece is the fourth biggest winner from the great EU Covid lottery and, in terms of per head of population, I think we have (again) topped the handout table. Ouzos all round in Greece. Elsewhere, others are not so happy.
323 days ago
As you can see below, the Fenian scum are today celebrating their murder of an innocent man 99 years ago. He is a man I feel some bonds with. For the Fenians of IRA/Sinn Fein I feel a mixture of revulsion and pity. How can one glory in such an act?
387 days ago
Only two subjects today. Firstly, and most importantly, my father and I were expecting to console ourselves with the thought that at least Olaf will be happy. But I am delighted to say we need no such consolation. I refer to Ireland’s triumph today. Then Versarien (VRS) and a stack more questions for multi millionare Neill Ricketts and a personal challenge to Neill…
561 days ago
In today’s podcast I start with how Roger Lawson wants laws changed that will shut ShareProphets down and is using Burford (BUR) as his pretext. I look at how the AIM demise of Avanti (AVN) shows how wrong Lawson is and at lessons we can all learn. I cover Providence Resources (PVR) and its dirtbag fat cat boss Tony O’Reilly Jnr, at Cabot Energy (TOAST), Mysale (MYSL) – another mark of shame for Burford’s Nomad Macquarie and for Sir Philip Green – and at IMC Exploration (IMC) which is toxic.
872 days ago
Forgive a brief historic digression at the start of this podcast but I start with a history lesson for those misguided souls who think that SinnFein/IRA brought peace and happiness to Ireland. Then I look at some other tossers from Ulster, First Derivatives (FDP) and the 3Xs. I comment briefly on Purplebricks (PURP) and Versarien (VRS) then move via BCA Marketplace (BCA) to Neil Woodford. Then it is onto MySquar (MYSQ), Symphony Environmental (SYM) and on to UK Oil & Gas (UKOG) with a few words for Dominic Frisby on the nature of bitcoin and its bubble ahead of our bust up next week in London.
987 days ago
I was flamed on twitter by a cluster of IRA apologist Republicans yesterday for suggesting that their approach to reconciliation and bringing communities in Ireland together was somewhat lopsided.
988 days ago
Hell's teeth: I do not even support England, but the sneering elitism of the metropolitan elite, as exemplified by the little read Independent newspaper (below), almost makes me want to. For the avoidance of doubt, with no Irish team in Russia, I am hoping that England triumph. I would not go as far as some of my neighbours in flying the cross of St George but I understand their pride in their country and why they do so.
1010 days ago
On Friday, the Irish voted to legalize abortion at up to 12 weeks. It is now Sunday and the BBC - my only English language TV here in Greece - is still covering this story with a manic obsession. "What a modern nation Ireland has become: a gay PM, abortion on demand, the Church in tatters, cue picture of joyous crowds." Okay, it does not mention its joy at the collapse of the Irish church but it makes its views clear with pictures of nuns scuttling away from polling stations looking miserable.
1052 days ago
A few weeks ago, after a nine week trial, two Ulster and Ireland rugby players, Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding, were found not guilty of rape. At once the hashtag #Ibelieveher started trending and hundreds of protesters gathered in Belfast and other cities across the island of Ireland. You will note that those tweeting and protesting were not in the Court room or on off-site visits with the Jury but, based only on what had been reported in the media, they asserted that the jury, who had been there, had got it wrong.
1062 days ago
I take mental health very seriously and would never trivialise it. My mother killed herself when I was 8. I have suffered from bouts of severe depression and have been open about having a serious breakdown some six years ago when everything went wrong and I just could not cope. That I met the woman who is now my wife at my lows as I considered diving into the abyss I thought I faced, may well have saved my life. I do not joke about or trivialise such matters.
1081 days ago
Sorry it is rugby day. C'mon Ireland. As you can see Joshua is getting himself ready...
1088 days ago
It was 2009 and the Ireland team of Brian O'Driscoll had just won the grand slam. For my father it was the second triumph for the Old Country in his lifetime. The first was in 1948 when Jackie Kyle from Belfast lead the men in green to the first ever clean sweep in what, was then, the five nations.
1102 days ago
My father has been watching the rugby like a hawk. Here in Greece I have been unable to watch but have kept in touch via the internet and calling my father after each game. Now this may not go down well with England supporters but in an Irish supporting family it was a perfect team as both our favourite teams won.
1121 days ago
As a lifelong supporter of Ulster and Irish Rugby I was this weekend celebrating a famous and thrilling win in Paris. My father said he could almost not bear to watch the final minutes but he managed it and was euphoric.Our brave lads were led out by skipper Rory Best of Ulster but if you check out social media you will see that in the run up there was a most hateful campaign against Best. His "crime?"
1168 days ago
16 year old daughter Olaf believes in Santa Claus as the patron saint of consumerism but like the rest of the metropolitan elite thinks that those of us who think Christmas has anything to do with Jesus are clinging to the "old ways" and are fair game for year round ridicule.
1267 days ago
I have written many times about my Great Uncle David Cochrane who, in 1931, died falling down the mountain now named after him, opposite Delphi in Greece. He was at the time a student at Trinity College Oxford. As my father seeks to de-clutter his house a few paintings have been offered to his children and step children and feeling a stronger Cochrane link than most I took these two below.
1353 days ago
Jew haters rarely use the word Jew when making their despicable claims and demands. A hundred years ago the word Hebrew was used to describe a Jew. My maternal grandmother, in most ways a terribly progressive and tolerant lady had a blind spot here and would talk of "the chosen people," her words laced with Irony. These days the words Jew and Israeli are often used interchangeably. Since we are told repeatedly how evil Israel is, so too must be the Jews. But the current word to use is Zionist. When a Jew hater refers to a zionist he is not describing someone who supports the state of Israel's right to exist, he is talking about a Jew. And that brings us to yesterday's Al Quds Day march in London.
1370 days ago
If you are an entrepreneur whose business makes a profit then having risked your capital and sweated blood to create such a profit is it not right that you get to spend those profits? Of course it is. 70% of businesses starting today will go bust within the next five years. That is the risk so you need a reward. If there is no reward why would anyone start a business? Reduce the reward fewer folks will take the risk. It's so simple even Jeremy Corbyn should get it. But he does not.
1445 days ago
I may be of distant Irish descent but I would scrap St Patrick's Day because it is an excuse for a bunch of idiots across the world with zero Irish links to get smashed and make complete fools of themselves. But it seems that I am missing the point. As the new twitter campaign shows we should end St Pat's Day because it encourages white racism.
1452 days ago
My father was bracing himself all day and watched the rugby to the bitter end. Today he will be with the rest of Shipston's small Irish community in the Horseshoe drowning their sorrows and wishing Scotland the best of luck against the Old Enemy. I could not watch after half time such was my sense of foreboding and - to the delight of the Mrs - switched to watch a Miss Marple I had seen many times before. The Alzheimer's is still at bay, I knew the killer at once and even why he did it.
1668 days ago
I noted yesterday the persecution of Ofsted boss David Hoare for making a number of factually verifiable statements about the inbred chav community of the Isle of Wight and their propensity to crime, poor educational results and poverty. The old fool should have known better than to tell the truth and use empirical data in Airstrip One these days. It is far simpler to blame everything on global warming, the wicked Tories, Maggie Thatcher, Brexit or racism. Naturally my defence of Mr Hoare has already seen one chav from across the Solent send me a semi literate tweet and that prompts me to come up with "A Modest Proposal."
1806 days ago
You will remember that fraudulent and now unlisted joke company US Oil & Gas (USOP) is trying to raise £2.9 million (but will settle for a minimum of £300,000) to keep the lights on. The pure gold comedy genious from our lying friends in Ireland continues.
1962 days ago
The rugby as left me in a bad mood and it is David Lenigas who take the consequent hit. I start with a reposte to a very silly smear posted on ShareProphets HERE. Then it is onto Lenigas Cuba (CUBA) which is listing on the mickey mouse ISDX market. that is not what was promised and it is raising less than was promised at 5p. Do you know what price Big Dave paid for 28% of the company? That's a scandal. the valuation is a joke and the shares are straight onto the bargepole list.
1977 days ago
My Welsh speaking daughter and her mother Big Nose were over the moon. Not only had England been caned by the convicts but there was the delight still to come of seeing Clive Woodward being interviewed. He was unlikely to show much grace. My father is in Spain but had called in earlier to say that he’d be cheering on the Aussies with a pint of Guinness.
Natch in this little outpost of Ireland here in Bristol I was lining up the drinks and shouting loudly as the Aussie walloped a lamentable English side. My England supporting wife had wisely opted to head off out with a Syrian friend. I am not sure who the Syrian was supporting but the Mrs arrived back home to find a couple of empty bottles and the Scottish gin disappearing fast. She does not understand my pleasure. I tried to explain about Clive Woodward and
1993 days ago
I am not sure that I could place Fiji on a map of the world. I know sweet FA about the Country. But that does not really matter. Fiji is playing England at rugby tonight.
And thus like folks across Wales, Scotland and God’s chosen country of Ireland for tonight “I am a Fijian”. There are only two teams I support in this World Cup.
1995 days ago
I am sure that this podcast will not make me more popular but like Comrade Corbyn I stick to principle rather than craving cheap adoration. God Save the Queen is a lamentably poor national anthem and I compare it to those of other countries, notably Ireland. It celebrates servitude not freedom. Surely that is not what it means to be English or British? Corbyn showed no disrespect in not singing this song at the Battle of Britain memorial service and the attacks on him are cheap and unpleasant. I now put on my tin hat and wait for the abuse.
2066 days ago
In today's podcast i start with Greece and also my father, a Nai supporter, blaming the poor Greeks for his expensive pint in Ireland. I shall explain the economics of the euro to the old deluded lefty next week. Then onto Avanti Communications, CIC Gold, China, Velocys, Litebulb and Europea Oil & Gas.
And fear not Champagne Charlie Gibson fans, I had not forgotten about you. Just a reminder of why the Edison analyst is a convicted felon HERE and as a bonus a reminder of how it is not only the poor he screws HERE - and a reminder of why I feel the urge to remind you all HERE
2180 days ago
The great day of reckoning arrives and as I wander along the road towards the Pearly Gates I catch up with my father who with his stick and poorly knee has been making slow progress. We chat and before long we meet up with St Peter.
Inside heaven we can see that it is just like Donegal in the summer. Green, wild but stunning. There is Brian O’Driscoll chatting away amiably with Darina Allen who is cooking up an amazing supper for all. Seamus Heaney is reading poems to Michael Collins. It is a free land. But St Peter shakes his finger and says that my father and I have been found wanting. I think that it is a bit harsh on the Old Man but accept that I have sinned and St Peter ushers us down a little path with a sign marked Purgatory.
As we prepare to enter Purgatory we can hear from inside drunken fools baying about Chariots while other imbeciles belt out the greatest hits of Max Boyce. I feel a tap on the shoulder and it is St Peter. Fear not he says, suffering the unbearable crowing of both English and Welsh rugby supporters on the same day will not last long. You are only in purgatory for a short while. I smile. But then St Peter adds, it will just feel like eternity.
In the days of my youth
2193 days ago
I could not bring myself to find somewhere to watch the match even online but it seems that it is a happy St David’s day for the Celtic world as the Old Enemy have been put to the sword in Dublin 19-9. And it is clear that the result was not unfair. It gets better….
Before the game the English press was full of talk of how if England win they will go onto win the Grand Slam and now the World Cup. It is that conceit and swagger of English Rugby that binds the Celtic nations together in supporting anyone who plays England.
So once again the Wheels have come off the Chariots as the men in green march on. Come on lads, my father waited 66 years to see his second Irish grand slam, let’s make it just 12 months for his third. Sadly my phone is dead so I cannot enjoy what is becoming an almost annual ritual of calling my Ulster born Aunt Valerie Booker to share in the joy. She will no doubt be having an extra Bushmills and teasing Uncle Chris as I write. Have fun!
2324 days ago
The nature of my mother’s death has been raised by certain “admirers” of mine on Bulletin Boards, the circumstances of my Aunt’s death I have mentioned en passant here before. There are no secrets in the era of the interweb. Both deaths were mentioned in an article by their brother, my Uncle Chris (Booker) in the Daily Mail last week. Slowly I read it early on Saturday morning as it brought a number of thoughts to the surface. Matters not suppressed just forgotten or not reflected upon for a long while. My mother killed herself. My aunt was murdered. There you have it. A shocking couple of sentences.
My mother died when I was eight and my sisters seven and five. She had become terribly depressed in that amazing sun drenched year of 1976 and – as I discovered only later – first tried to end her life at the height of summer while the rest of us were out walking. My father found her, revived her but thereafter she was confined to various hospitals in Northamptonshire, Banbury and finally in Oxford, the City where she had studied, met my father and where I was born. I saw her once that autumn at the Trout at Godstow and she seemed happy. She clearly was not and within weeks she had hanged herself. I remember being taken out of class by a lovely teacher who was almost in tears as she told me that my mother was dead. I cannot remember how I felt or what happened next. I did not find out how she died until I was fourteen.
Not having a mother was a little unusual in those days
2356 days ago
At an emotional level I am sorry to see that my Celtic Cousins in the Greece of the North have not voted for a Scottish Free State. But this prediction of disaster both sides of the border is based on economics and not emotion. I suggest that those Unionists celebrating ponder life in Quebec and think again. Like Proud Edward’s Army.
I start with England. The Barnett formula established by Joel, now Lord, Barnett means that each year every English family gets c£1500 less spent on it by the State than a Scottish family. Given that England generates more in taxes per family (yes including the bloody oil) this is a bad deal for England.
In order to bribe the Sweaties into voting NO, our Westminster masters have now promised them even more of our cash. Barnett Max. Heck it is taxpayer’s cash and politicians always like spending that, but it is English taxpayers money and it is being spent in Scotland.
Given the profound anti English sentiment which is now firmly in the Scottish DNA, in a way that it is not in the Republic of Ireland - as it has moved on - and which is openly expressed in an ever nastier fashion, this patently unfair transfer of wealth will – I predict - cause ever greater resentment in England.
So why is NO! bad news for Scotland? Look at Quebec.
2498 days ago
The Mrs has been to the Peloponnese many times to visit her in-laws but, as far as I can see, has never visited a single site of antiquity. That all changed this holiday and so on her final day we stopped off at Epidavros on the way back to Athens.
As I am sure you are aware Epidavros is an ancient Greek theatre capable of holding thousands of folk which is remarkable because wherever you sit you can hear almost a whisper on stage. The Greeks built this amazing structure when back in the UK we were still living in caves and swinging from trees. It is amazing.
To show her how it worked, the Mrs climbed up high into the upper tiers and I stood centre stage and – in what have must confused a party of Korean tourists – launched into song.
In Dublin’s fair City,
where the Girls are so Pretty
2528 days ago
One wonders how seriously I should take an email received last night from a Mr Tony Hartnett of Ireland ([email protected]) - one could read it as a death threat. Just in case I am found underneath a No. 8 bus this week, I reprint it in full so that the Old Bill can know where to start looking.
Good evening, Shorty
2542 days ago
On Saturday I wore my London Irish shirt from my playing days, I suffered for 95 minutes which seemed like an eternity and I thanked God for agreeing to my suggestion that West Ham lose but Ireland triumph. Today I am asked to celebrate St Patrick’s Day but I will not do so.
For this day is a day when the whole world becomes Irish, hundreds of thousands don ghastly fake leprechaun hats and everyone gets drunk. By midnight the streets of Britain will be littered with discarded fake leprechaun hats, piles of vomit and folks collapsed on the street singing Swing Low Sweet Chariots as they remember who they really are. St Patrick would no doubt be truly honoured.
Party of my Irish ancestry comes from the Mathew family who were great temperance campaigners. The last of the line (named after its founder) died of an alcohol related illness some years ago. I cannot say that I am a man of temperance, quite the opposite.
But as it happens I have made an agreement with my three legged cat Oakley. The vet suggests that, especially has he only has three legs with which to support his body mass, he is a little plump. In fact I think the word she used was obese. So Oakley is on the low fat Iams and is being forced to take some exercise. In sympathy I have been off the sauce since Friday and am also on a Spartan diet. The Mrs reckons, not unfairly, that I could do with losing a few pounds and so Oakley and I are suffering together. As such I have enjoyed three days of complete sobriety which is all rather a shock to the system.
I digress. The wholly commercial exercise that is St Patrick’s Day is not something I shall take part in. On any other day of the year I’ll happily sink a pint of Guinness at the drop of a hat. But today, I will as I now do every year, give the whole thing a complete miss.
2544 days ago
I told God that I did not mind West Ham losing as long as Ireland won in Paris yesterday and so won the Six Nations Championship. And God played ball. West Ham were stuffed at Stoke and Ireland scraped home. My stomach was in knots for the whole game, it was agony but in the end Brian O’Driscoll went out as he deserved with a win.
My thoughts as the match dragged on were of a game in Rome a few years ago. Ireland thumped Italy but knowing that the Championship would be decided on points tried for that extra score and Italy got a freak try. We then sat down to watch France vs. Scotland and with last gasp points France did enough to deprive Ireland of the Championship. It was agony. No doubt as the England team and supporters watched events unfold yesterday they felt the same agony.
2544 days ago
Inevitably I start this weekend’s video postcard with the Rugby. I am sure that most of my English based readers were cheering for France yesterday. To my Celtic brethren who were rooting for Ireland – I am sure that you can share my joy. Gosh it was nerve wracking.
I then move onto the mysteries of my dead Great Uncles. If there is anyone out there who can track down Diana Norman, born 1915 who married (after the death of my Great Uncle Francis) a Mr Caulfield Stoker in 1947 (he then popped his clogs in Guernsey in 1954) I would be grateful. I can find no death certificate for Diana who would be 99 now but for reasons explained in the video and this article I am keen to track her down.
I then move onto Bob Crow. I celebrate no death. Equally I do not mince my words and Crow screwed the poor working classes and that should be noted rather than simply eulogising Saint Bob.
This is a wider issue: how and why the left systematically keep the working classes poor and that this the main theme of this video.
My weekly financial video covers shareholder activism a major theme of UK Investor Show which is now a day less than three weeks away. Tickets start to go out tomorrow. If you have not booked please do so at once HERE
You can watch my financial video postcard HERE
2551 days ago
My new Welsh friend Paul emails me before the Ireland match to say that he is rooting for Italy as part of some diabolical calculation allowing his beloved sheep-shaggers to win the Six nations Championship. Hmmmmm.
Despite a catalogue of errors Ireland utterly routed Italy yesterday. It was an emotional Dublin send off for Brian O’Driscoll, the greatest ever Ireland player. My father and I watched and as BOD was interviewed post match, the emotion poured over in Shipston-on-Stour as I am sure it did in every outpost of the diaspora. The way the points stack up, barring some utter freak, if Ireland can manage to defeat the hit or miss Froggies in Paris, the Championship is ours. Surely God wishes to reward his loyal servant BOD thus?
And now to Wales vs. England. For me there are no diabolical calculations. Indeed shame on you Paul for thinking that way. Paul says that he is so excited about today’s game that he cannot sleep. I would suggest that he tries counting sheep. But I guess that might make him even more excited. I digress.
I can put aside the fact that the mother of my daughter (Big Nose) will be sitting at home munching nuts nervously as she roots for Wales. I am beyond that for I also know that my daughter will be dressed in a Welsh jersey or National dress, belting out the National Anthem, passionately roaring on the men in red.
This is a simple matter. The Old Enemy are playing. Thus naturally my mind is wired to support the other side. I do not feel this way about soccer – in Ireland’s absence I will cheer for England in the World Cup for as long as its campaign lasts which will not be very long. I gather that England are 33-1 to win the World Cup. For those who do not understand betting that means that if you wager £10 on England you will lose £10.
No, this is just a rugby thing. I think of the swagger
2552 days ago
My poor cats, they must be getting culturally confused. Tara & Oakley were born in the Isle of Man although like 99% of Manx Cats they have full tails. Rescued by me from the MSPCA they then came over to England with me but having to watch me heaping abuse on England whenever the rugby is on. So are we Irish daddy?
Of course on Sunday they will suffer extra confusion as this household stands shoulder to shoulder with our Celtic brothers in Wales. Come on the sheep shaggers please put the old enemy to the sword. Humiliate them!
But the confusion gets worse for in taking them to a new vet for their booster jabs the Mrs made the appointment. Being a deluded lefty, the Mrs is not Mrs Winnifrith but has retained her own (Indian) surname. What say you? Political correctness gone mad?
As such the cats have come back with a form showing that they too now have an Indian surname. Born Manx, naturalised English, adopted Anglo Irish and now finally Indian. Such is the melting pot that is Britain today but it is understandable if Tara and Oakley are this morning feeling a little culturally confused.
Incidentally the vet said both cats were in great nick although Oakley (the one with three legs) was a little on the plump side and could do with a bit more exercise. Plus ca change on that front.
2565 days ago
Whatever one things about the sheep shaggers, and as I explained on Friday I have mixed feelings, an evening match at the Millennium Stadium has a world beating atmosphere. It was a wonderful night. Wales played well, France were abject. I returned to Bristol rather worse for wear on the last train.
Worse was to come with Ireland against the Old Enemy. I really do loathe the swagger of English rugby with a passion. I loathed it when I wore the green jersey of London Irish
2567 days ago
Naturally my sporting thoughts this weekend will be in London. Can West Ham, in our last game before the return of Horseface, defeat Southampton at Upton Park to go into the top half of the table? More importantly can Ireland defeat the Old Enemy at Twickenham to lift the Triple Crown. Oh Lord, as I prepare for sleep tinight I pray of you that you may give your faithful servant BOD this one last triumph. As a merciful, fair and kind Lord I know that you cannot be an England supporter, so how about it?
But a nice man from North Wales has just offered me a ticket to see the Sheep Shaggers take on the Froggies in Cardiff on Friday night. It is but a short trip over from Bristol and so I have accepted. But who to support?
If I think of Big Nose, the Welsh speaking mother of my daughter Olivia and how insufferable she and her countrymen are when Wales win I am naturally inclined to support the Froggies. But then I chatted to Olivia tonight. For some reason she was not keen to discuss the Ireland game ( I cannot think why) but she says that she hopes Wales defeat the French and …it gets better…that what really matters is that Wales go on to beat England. That’s my girl!
And so for Olivia’s sake I am decided. I shall show solidarity with our Celtic Cousins. C’mon the sheep shaggers.
2579 days ago
Last week I expressed my shock that Ireland and West Ham had both won on the same day and wondered when this happened last? You see, I am used to supporting sporting sides that are just not very good. Well blow me down Ireland and West Ham have now both put in back to back wins on the same day – when did that happen last?
For Ireland it was a home game against Wales. Such occasions usually prompt a post-match call between my father and myself “At least Olivia will be happy.” My daughter is like her mother (Big Nose) a proud Welshie. But not this time.
Ireland were ruthlessly efficient and made Wales (who are not hopeless) look just ordinary. The pack lead by Paul O’Connell was magnificent at the lineout, with the rolling maul and in all aspects of secondary play. The scrums were a bit of a mess but overall it was a powerful display. Throw in the kicking of Sexton and the tackling of the backs – and their strength under the high ball and Ireland looked really good.
Next up is the Old Enemy at Twickenham
2585 days ago
As you might have gathered, teams that gain my support on the sports field can rarely be described as consistent models of success. West Ham, Northants CC, Ireland & Ulster at rugby, Eire at football and England at Cricket. The less said about the last on that list the better – for now I have decided that supporting the England women’s cricket team is less painful.
My big loves are, for my sins, Irish rugby and West Ham. For the former I can blame my father. For the latter I have only myself to blame. But this weekend both Ireland and West Ham won. I really cannot remember the last time this happened.
At this stage of the season I usually have a conversation with God on the matter of sport. Heavenly father, will you allow West Ham to avoid relegation and as a trade-off I will give you that Ireland will not win the six nations. But would you mind terribly if we won the Triple Crown? I sense that God is not really interested in such discussions (although why he should have anything against Irish rugby is beyond me, surely he cannot support England?) and thus Ireland will probably not win the Triple Crown and as for West Ham? If the appeal against the red card shown to Horseface (Andy Carroll) on Saturday is successful – as I think it should be – we actually looked like a half decent side.
Okay we are still in the 3rd relegation spot ( 18th) but in theory just one win would put us 11t
2701 days ago
Life is one long bizarre acid trip. I return to London and our quirky Celtic Italian restaurant in Clerkenwell enjoys its best Wednesday in history. I am sitting here listening to Despina Vandi having just sent colourful James off to bed and am now reflecting on my new role as an Islamic spiritual mentor.
2736 days ago
Thanks to St Gerry of Adams, the blood drenched bearded scumbag (ooops meant to say charming bringer of peace to Ireland) for the image...
2841 days ago
The beheading of a soldier in Woolwich today by two men shouting Allah Akbar is a sickening terrorist atrocity by Islamofascist nutters. Quite clearly the two nutters are very much of the home grown variety.
And so when asked to comment on this the local Labour MP Nick Raynsford rightly condemned this as an atrocity but then just could not help himself from saying how there is a multi-cultural community in his manor which sees everyone exist in blissful harmony with the local barracks. This will no doubt be the reaction of the entire political class, a class so out of touch with how we plebs feel that it cannot bring itself to speak the self-evident truth.
The vast majority of British Muslims are good folk who do not support Jihad and who will condemn what happened just as the rest of Society does. But there is a small minority of British Muslims who either actively or passively (by silence) support Islamofascist terror. And with those folks we are at war, just as we were at war with the IRA.
In those bad old days I remember being spat at as I ran on the streets in a London Irish jersey. But most folks accepted that while some people of Irish descent (like Saint Bono) sympathised or supported Saint Gerry and his blood stained friends, most of us despised the IRA and the men of violence. And as such it was perfectly legitimate to say as much.
Raynsford and his ilk just cannot bring themselves to do so when it comes to Islamofascists. This is not a race issue it is just a statement of fact. We find ourselves at war with a group who attack our very way of life. Even if we condemn Israel (I hope we do not) and withdraw from our illegal presence in Iraq and Afghanistan (I hope we do) this small minority will still attack us. And we need to acknowledge that.
If Raynsford and a political class which grew up thinking that multi-culturalism was a basic tenet of their belief system which could never be questioned, merely spout more platitudes it will alienate we plebs even more. It will foster even more of a backlash. It is time to face up to this truth. Incidentally it is also time that Muslim leaders spoke as one in condemning such acts without any caveats at all.
2855 days ago
Scallions? Aha you are not Irish as is our manager Dominique - we refer to spring onions chopped into a creamy sauce with smoked salmon gently re-cooked in a garlic base. . It looks great and on this cold day it is a warming lunchtime treat. It is today's special (£9.95) all day at Real Man Pizza Company in Clerkenwell.
2856 days ago
Dave Allen, that chap from Father Ted, Oscar Wilde…all great Irish writers of comic prose. And now we can add to that list whichever genius crafted today’s operations update from joke company US Oil & Gas (USOP). Truly you have to be a class one crack-head or have an IQ of less than 15 to own this share.
The statements has all the usual guff about perforations, oil chromograph readings of u[p to 50%, how Ebiana is close to fluid contact points, leprechauns spotted in Nevada with pots of black gold and that sort of encouraging waffle. But er…”average water cut too high for commerciality at present.” Oh cripes, that does not sound good.
Needless to say as the rig is wound down young Brian McDonnell is always keen to put the best spin on it
2857 days ago
A few weeks ago I reported to the Irish Olympic Committee that I had run 100 metres in sub 10 seconds. Since Ireland has never won a sprint gold, the lads were over from Dublin pretty quick to see me. They expected evidence of this claim like seeing a lean mean running machine. Instead they found a slightly overweight 45 year old man smoking a Marlboro light. I said that I had in fact run very fast down the garden path that morning and had calculated that I was a sub 10 second man but did not have my calculations to hand.
They were a tad disappointed. They did not call me a liar. But when some other folks said that my initial claim was a lie I could not argue. I have not actually done a sub 10 second sprint in my life.
And this brings us to US Oil & Gas which reported to the State of Nevada that its Ebiana-1 well was trucking along at a “producing rate of 60 bopd” prompting officials to visit the site. Produce at 60 bopd and there would be stacks of oil on hand (that is a lot of oil). But there was sod all oil on site. And so US told officials that it was “only a calculated rate” and there were no calculations on hand
2860 days ago
The fallout from the Teknomining Scandal and the growing belief that US Oil & Gas (USOP) will turn from comedy to tragedy ( while remaining a long running farce) has had a knock-on at Great Western Mining (GWMO), a company also from the Liam McGrattan stable listed on the AIM cesspit.
If you need a reminder of the TeknoMining & USOP farce – where I accuse certain directors of being liars read on here.
Great Western was, like US Oil & Gas and TeknoMining, founded by Liam McGrattan from his offices above a dodgy drinking den in a ropey part of the badlands of Dublin, Ireland. As is the way Liam himself stepped down some time ago to pursue other business interests (did he dump his stock thereafter?). But he left his long time senior gopher Nial Ring on the board. Ring is Mcgrattan’s senior gopher, young Brian at US Oil & Gas is the junior gopher.
But on 29th April Ring also quit Great Western with immediate effect. This follows a familiar pattern (see US Oil & Gas, Teknomining etc.). What Shareprophets can reveal
2879 days ago
In Greece youth unemployment is c60%. Ditto Spain. In Eire 30%. But these figures dramatically understate, yes I repeat understate, what is going on and it is the Euro that is to blame. An entire generation across much of Europe is being pulverized, systematically smashed and it is the Euro worshipping leaders of the same countries who are to blame. This is almost a crime against humanity.
Why the understatement?
2908 days ago
My daughter is finally getting the hang of supporting West Ham. She has assessed this afternoon’s game and declared that West Ham has a “2% chance of winning.” She may be a tad harsh but she is at last grasping the reality of being a West Ham supporter. We can all fantasise about Fat Frank being sent off, Joe Cole scoring a last minute winner for the Irons on his return to The Bridge, etc, etc. If we win we are on 36 points and within one victory of pretty much certain safety. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
But while we may have turned Chelski over at Upton Park, West Ham’s away form this season has been dire. 9 defeats on the road is as bad as QPR and only Reading has lost more often away (12). Chelski has an 8-4-2 record at home and after today the odds are that it will be 9-4-2. There is simply too much of a gap in class between the big sides and West Ham. We might get the odd result but that is it.
After Ireland’s humiliation yesterday I’d to think that God owes me one and will allow me some joy today. If he is reading I will settle for a goalless draw and Fat Frank sent off. How about that God? But I do not think God owes me one. I fear that my weekend of sporting misery will continue from 4 PM today. I cannot bear to watch.
2908 days ago
I think sound and vision nailed once again. I am finally getting the hang of this. I am meant to be celebrating St Patrick’s Day with some Irish-for-a-day folk which means just mindless drinking. Since they were not Irish yesterday they will not understand why there is nothing to celebrate today. And so I may dodge that for some more writing. Pro tem here is the video postcard for this week
On the Agenda
Approximate Running time 10 minutes
2908 days ago
My formative rugby years were in the 1970s watching on a black and white TV screen with my Dad. Why do we support the Men in Green is asked my Dad: they always lose? Well my father and I still support the men in green. He taught me to do so as his mother had taught him and we have had a great couple of decades. But it is over. The good times have officially ended and we return to what I consider normality. That is to say a battle to avoid the wooden spoon.
This season has been terrible. For the first 45 minutes against Wales we looked like world beaters. Since then it has been just dreadful. Frankly the Irish ladies team (who, I think, won their grand slam) have played with more passion and discipline and – at times – skill.
It is the end of an era. Not once have I had a chance to call Aunt Valerie (an Ulster woman) to share joy in a way that she cannot with her husband Uncle Chris, as Ireland have triumphed. Calls to my father have been sad as we wonder if those glory years – a twenty year period when Ireland were not good but great as opposed to the normal fare of brave also rans – are just over.
I am not even sure that I would describe Ireland as brave these days. Back in the 70s we would pray for the rain to poor down on Landsdowne Road. Keep it tight in the forwards and fight with passion, pray and hope. The late Moss Keane, Fergus Slattery, those were the days. In defeat those Ireland teams were brave.
2911 days ago
Kenmare Resources (KMR) is a company from Ireland that I have followed for ages. The company has from nothing managed to build a world class ilmenite mine at Mona in Mozambique. This was a penny stock. It is now , at 33p capitalised at £868 million and a member of the FTSE 250 Index. It has just released results for the year to 31st December 2012 which – following trading statements (the nice way of referring to profits warnings) were in line with guidance. But, there is always a but with Kenmare.
2920 days ago
The answer to the 1998 financial crisis was to slash borrowing costs across the globe so that we all over-leverages and misallocated our capital. On that occasion it was junk dotcom investments and property. In 2008 another crises and the same solution. The fact is that the world has been misallocating capital for decades, led by Governments freed from prudence by the abandonment of the gold standard in 1971.
With each crisis that crops up, the solution is simply to print more money and to get folks to take on even more debt. You owe too much – heck borrow some more. And so capital is misallocated and bubbles grow ever bigger. But at some stage the party ends. It will. The current set up is simply unsustainable.
And so what will be the black swan event that causes the mother of all reality checks? If offer four runners and riders. Inevitably if one occurs it will trigger the others. And it will probably be a fifth black swan that no-one has thought much about that starts the party. But here goes.
1. The Chinese property bubble. I have written before on numerous occassions about just how mammoth this is and how it really can knock the Chinese (and thus the worlds) economy for six. The answer of the authorities to the slowdown in the PRC in 2012 was to pump more hot air into this bubble. It has to be my top black swan bet. Read this piece out yesterday on Zero Hedge if you doubt me.
My major work from September 2012 on China, the misallocation, fraud an inevitably of a crash is HERE
2. A market refusal to buy US T Bonds in an auction. The US Government is three years away from having a balance sheet like that of Greece just before the crisis. An economically illiterate President and, to show balance, a spineless Republican party in Congress just cannot get to grips with what is happening. The US today is like sick Britain at the end of WW1. But it will take the US far less time than we took to see its currency tank. At some stage folks will refuse to stump up cash for a debt that yields sod all and is clearly unrepayable and unsupportable.
3. Sovereign default across Europe accompanied by widespread Civil unrest. The only folks buying Spanish debt right now are the Spanish state pension funds. Oooh lucky Spanish state pensioners. But those funds are tapped out. Spain is bust and its economy is enjoying an EU austerity driven spanking session which Max Mosley could only dream of. It is not just Spain. Italy, Greece, Portugal are in the same mess. The Irish economy and society has been beaten to a pulp in the name of fiscal responsibility and yet could still collapse. France is heading the wrong way fast as is the UK. The collapse of the Euro as we know it has to be an odds on bet it is a matter of how it occurs.
4. The Arab spring moving to Saudi Arabia. A regime with no legitimacy is kleptocratic, autocratic and barbaric. It bribes the people with a fraction of the nation’s wealth and panders to radical Islam in a most unhealthy sort of way but it is unloved. One day it will fall. Revolution in the world’s largest oil producer could perhaps trigger unforeseen events elsewhere.
Hey, maybe we can all carry on spending beyond our means, leveraging up as individuals and as States for a good while yet. We have been kicking this can down the road for decades so maybe we can carry on for another few decades. Or maybe not. One day something will happen and we will find our noses against the wall at the end of the Cul-de-sac. That day may be sooner than we think.
For more thoughts from Tom Winnifrith follow him on twitter @tomwinnifrith
2931 days ago
Steve Moore and I worked together at t1ps.com from the day he left University. He is a very talented young analyst and a man of utter principle which is why he quit t1ps. He is now working with my on my Nifty Fifty website but also writing off his own bat and I am keen to support that. Apart from anything else he talks a lot of sense. As such I bring you a share tip he has published on Ireland originating Tullow Oil. Steve writes…
I commented on Tullow Oil (TLW) earlier this month as the FTSE 100 oil and gas explorer and producer announced results for calendar 2012. In that analysis I noted the company’s 2012 discovery of a new oil basin in Kenya and its highly ambitious 2013 exploration programme and the company has today updated on its East Africa exploration and appraisal. With the shares currently trading at 1,227p, I review this in the following…
2941 days ago
Oh happy days, I have just received an email from [email protected] (to undisclosed recipients). Apparently the late Mr Robert Adler has left me $20.5 million. Okay, I quit. No more writing, no more pizzas, I am off to Ireland for retirement. Thanks Bob.
Oh, you say this a scam. Drat, I was just starting to make plans. Back to the keyboard I go.
2942 days ago
Greetings from deluded lefty central in Shipston-on-Stour. I think I got both sound and picture right this time! A short video as an afternoon of sporting misery beckons.
On the agenda
3. UKInvestor Show
4. Market rotation bonds vs equities: Tom Stevenson
5. Inflation & equities
6. Gold and silver
7. The ability to price set
8. It is not a matter of life & death it is more important than that.
2942 days ago
The white bear in Shipston seems to be populated by folk who support Aston Villa and England. Given that we are on South Warwickshire that should be no great surprise but as a West Ham and Ireland support I have had enough. And it is going to get worse.
West Ham lost 2.1 and were useless. This is the third time this season that we have given hope of a kickstart to useless sides (Reading, Wigan and now Villa). I hope that we stay up although that is by no means guaranteed. But surely no-one can want another season of this nonsense. At the end of May Fat Sam’s contract is up and he has got to go. West Ham will finish this season between 12th and 18th and with two early cup exits to our name. Enough is enough.
At half time Ireland are trailing and our captain could not catch a cold at the North Pole. So much for the Lions Jamie. My father is earnestly praying for divine intervention at Church right now but I fear the worst and if we are to be vanquished by the Old Enemy I’d rather watch in misery alone than surrounded by cheering England supporters. What next?
Oh, my sister Tabby and her family (England, Man United and deluded on all matters) arrive for supper. I have a long list of restricted subjects which I am not allowed to mention but she has none, I am under orders not to respond on any matter.
Postscript: No rows with Tabby. I bit my lip once but all very amicable. Her husband opined that only aristocrats read the Daily Telegraph ( theirs is a Guardian reading household, natch) and I was unable to hold back then generally all peace and brotherly love.
2943 days ago
Lo and behold a resurgent Wales beat the Froggies (who are now 0 from 2 but were pre tournament favourites), Scotland thrash Italy in what was meant to be the wooden spoon game and today’s match in Dublin could be the Championship decider. Although I would not rule the sheep shaggers (Welsh department) out yet.
England are, of course, the old enemy and when they arrive in Dublin full of swagger and arrogance as they do now, the desire for victory is greater than ever. And there is also the romance: in Brian O’Driscoll’s last season of six nations rugby might the men in green pull off a famous victory? If they play as they did in the first half against Wales they might win. Play as they did in the second half and there will be misery in Sheep Street, Shipston.
For I am back with my deluded lefty father and step mother. It is the former who brought me up to support “the Old Country.” For me tomorrow afternoon is a simple matter. Lunch. Then the White Bear to watch West Ham away at Villa. And shortly before 3 my father will arrive. I shall remove my West Ham hoodie to reveal an Irish shirt, we will switch bars and off we go.
My father has a dilemma. At 4 PM my step mum is preaching in Shipston Church. If Ireland are behind he will not want to watch and will head off to Church to pray for a BOD inspired comeback. If it is even Stevens he has assured my step mum that he will go to Church where he will pray earnestly for an Irish victory. So, I asked him: what if Ireland are 50 points ahead with 30 minutes to go: God vs. Pub, a chance to watch a famous victory with your son, the landlord ( also wearing green) and a bunch of miserable England supporters, or your second church service of the day? Hmmm. He admitted that would be a tough call. But it is – sadly – also an unlikely scenario.
2946 days ago
I spent two years working along Sam Bottell as he worked with minesite.com and oilbarrel.com and he is a good, honest and clever chap. Now that he is starting his career freelance writing as well as an organiser of the UKInvestor Show I have no hesitation in helping him along via this blog as a guest contributor. As such I bring to your attention a share sell tip from TradingResearch Point on Ireland based Petroceltic
2013 was meant to be the year when Petroceltic moved on from corporate activity (the purchase of Melrose) to exploration success and so it is rather disappointing that it has started the year with a duster in Egypt. With sentiment towards the oil mid caps and juniors already somewhat dampened by drill bit failure elsewhere (notably with a range of Falklands stocks HERE) it is not surprising that this news has not been received well. Whilst serving as a reminder that exploration is inherently risky this does not alter the strong buy case for this Ireland based firm.
2950 days ago
The past few encounters between Ireland and Wales have not made my father and I terribly happy. Our parting words after each recent let down have been “at least Olivia will be happy”. The mother of my daughter Olivia is a Welsh speaker, a dyed in the wool cottage burner and I am sorry to say that she has led Olivia astray in that she also supports Wales with a passion. She kindly says that Ireland is her second team but in post match calls in recent years she has not been able to contain her glee. Ha!
Ireland were magnificent in the first half, er…less good in the second. Brian O’Driscoll was inspirational. The Old Country were deserved winners and I will be calling Olivia ( and her mother) later to discuss. I shall try not to crow with Olivia. With her mother there will be no such restraint.
I did note one English reporter on the news commenting that after England defeated the poor Scottish team that the English should have no worries about beating France to win the six nations. He seemed to assume that next week in Dublin was a given. Such is the arrogance and swagger of English rugby right now. A home win in Dublin next week would be all the sweeter for that.
2969 days ago
I spent two years working along Sam Bottell as he worked with minesite.com and oilbarrel.com and he is a good, honest and clever chap. Now that he is starting his career freelance writing as well as an organiser of the UKInvestor Show I have no hesitation in helping him along via this blog as a guest contributor. As such I bring to your attention a share tip & perhaps breaking news from him from TradingResearch Point covering a company from the old country ( er…Ireland)
I argued a few days ago that shares in Kenmare Resources (KMR) were good value but I now flag up a minor caveat – there appears to be a risk of an equity placing. A secondary caveat is that Kenmare appears to have issued a minor profits warning without actually publishing an RNS – it merely guided down expectation via an analyst’s presentation. That is not quite cricket but does this alter the investment case materially?
The presentation flags up that there has been a one month delay in the start of commissioning the Moma mine expansion project – that was due to kick off in December. In the greater scheme of things for a mine with a 140 year life I can live with that but it is another nuisance that that has plagued Kenmare over many years.
More critically, there is an update on the company’s outlook for 2013.
2975 days ago
I spent two years working along Sam Bottell as he worked with minesite.com and oilbarrel.com and he is a good, honest and clever chap. Now that he is starting his career freelance writing as well as an organiser of the UKInvestor Show I have no hesitation in helping him along via this blog as a guest contributor. As such I bring to your attention a share tip from him from TradingResearch Point…
In 2012 the focus of Ireland based AIM listed oil explorer and producer Petroceltic (PCI) was corporate – the merger with Melrose Resources. In 2013 the focus is on growing the business by exploration. Exploration is inherently risky but there are enough, fully funded, diverse projects to offer material upside for the shares which trade today at 7.55p, valuing the business at £177 million. 2013 will be interesting.
2980 days ago
Lucian Miers often finds himself overshadowed by the larger than life figure that is Evil Knievil (Simon Cawkwell). The two men sometimes share ideas and bear raids but on other occasions they disagree. They are very much their “own men.” I sense that perhaps because of his casual and light hearted approach to life, folks underestimate Lucian. That is a mistake.
Known as East London’s most feared short seller, Lucian is about as much of a cockney as myself or Prince Charles. His family used to own rather large amounts of real estate in the area around Upton Park and hence “the Bard of the Boleyn” is a devoted West Ham supporter. But he is (like Cawkwell) quite a posh public school educated fellow. And like Cawkwell he did not quite make it passed the final interview when it came to applying to Oxford. That is not to say that Lucian is not very clever, just that he is perhaps not a true academic.
The highlight of Miers career as a stockbroker was his short selling of Pan Andean Resources as the world and his wife bought the stock on the back of hopes (and puff pieces in the Daily Mail) for South American drilling success, Miers took the trouble to call the site of the well on the phone to be told that it was dry and that the directors were at that stage flying back to Ireland.
2997 days ago
Having bounced back up from 35p to 170p shares in GMX traded joke valuation company US Oil & Gas (USOP) were starting to bubble. The USOPians (folks who chat amongst themselves on twitter and Bulletin Boards) were already discussing once again whether £15 or £200 a share was fair value. But then…. the shares started to fall once again and as I write are back at 90p. This still values the company at a very generous £37 million but why the slide? And what next. I offer three explanations and also a festive greeting to my fellow Irishmen who run this company in our native tongue.
3007 days ago
I was tempted to try to find a caption to reflect today’s news from David Cameron of his new flagship policy to reach out to address the key concerns of hard pressed middle England in these austere times. That is to say, allowing gay marriages in Church.
Having won such praise for our last caption contest featuring the Butcher of Londonderry I considered that in this season of goodwill we revisit Ulster which is still part of the United Kingdom but where, in an act of pure sectarian malice designed to provoke, the Union Flag will not now be flown over City hall in Belfast except on special occasions. If there is a problem what do you do? Send for an O’Clinton of course. The family that has brought peace, love and happiness to folks in Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Libya and the Lewinsky family, can do anything and so the vile Clinton woman met up with Martin McGuinness ( who must have been gutted that the EU rather than he won the Nobel Peace Prize) to sort it all out.
But I cannot think of anything funny to say about McGuinness any more. And so I fall back on the Doha Climate Change conference where Dave Cameron came up with another big vote winner: give two billion quid to African dictators to build wind farms to tackle global warming.
In light of this I ask you for your captions for this photo taken today. To win one of our “It’s Time to Leave” (the EU) T-shirts (which you can buy here.) please post your entries in the comments section below to this picture:
My entry is:
3016 days ago
Tin hat on I offer up a couple of thoughts on our favourite oil and gas joke company valuation play US Oil & Gas (USOP) and a little company on AIM, Great Western Mining (LSE: GWMO). You see they are from the same stable and the connection does not end there. Both companies were set up in Liam McGrattan’s pub in, how can I put this, one of the less salubrious parts of Dublin. It is the sort of place where I try to overcome having an English accent by ostentatiously wearing an old London Irish rugby shirt. These days there are different folks fronting up the operations but if they wanted to they could share on travel expenses as while US’s Brian McDonnell heads off to Nye County Nevada to look for his oil, Western’s Emmett O’Connell heads off to Mineral County Nevada to look for his uranium, gold and silver. And guess what? These two counties are right next to each other.
3016 days ago
Ireland based US Oil & Gas (USOP) – a company which has a joke valuation has today secured orders from the Dublin Courts to secure the names and addresses of certain Bulletin Board posters who, it is alleged, have made defamatory anonymous comments about the officers of the company. I have some sympathy for US in what it has done ( while mainting my view that its valuation is a joke) but I doubt that this course of action will do it any good.
3031 days ago
Apologies to my friends John Teeling and David Horgan who run AIM listed Irish oil explorer Petrel Resources (PET) but the valuation of your company is just not justifiable. At 19.375p the company is valued at £14.4 million. Even the house broker Northland gives a valuation range of 3.6p (base case) to 14p (maximum best case). The share price is simply far too high and here is why.
3033 days ago
My weekend has been spent walking in mid Wales. I needed a break from non-stop writing. And as always I am one who tries to be aware of local cultural sensitivities and so when in Wales…do as the Welsh do.
Hence on Saturday afternoon
3036 days ago
Bram Stoker was born this day in 1847 In Clontarf Dublin – the place where I now and again play rugby with John Teeling. Like all the very best of us he is of Donegal Church of Ireland stock (on his mother’s side at least). His two claims to fame are that he stole the heart of a woman who was at the time dating fellow Dubliner Oscar Wilde and, his only great work: Dracula.
Clearly Mrs Stoker made a good call on dumping Wilde given that he clearly would rather have “batted for England.” But Stoker’s own sexuality has also been the subject of some speculation. Rather like my late godfather Roger whose first wife decided to become a lesbian and then the mother of his daughter made the same call, perhaps it was just that Mrs Stoker was drawn to a certain type of man.
3040 days ago
Hell’s teeth I wave the Irish Tricolour at a sporting event and so I am not sure why it upsets me when folks say that the Union Flag has only recently become acceptable. I think it is a matter of who says it but also that it is so patently wrong. Saturday saw another encounter with folks who are without doubt good people. Nice people. But also, utterly deluded academic lefties. And I lost my temper. The Union Flag has always been “acceptable” to most people in this country. Indeed for most folks it has been – quite rightly – a source of pride.
The thesis of the Guardian reading classes is that somewhere along the line the red, white and blue was high jacked by extreme right wingers of the National Front and BNP and thus became a flag that could not be flown with pride. It was only somewhere between Austin Powers and Cool Britannia (1997) and Mo Farah, the Queen’s Jubilee (2012) that it once again became universally acceptable.
On Saturday, the thesis of the left was pushed even further
3045 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.
3101 days ago
Regularly, we are told that Greece will get another bailout from the International Monetary Fund and the European Union bailout if it agrees to dramatically reform every aspect of its government operations. A few months later we are told that more time is needed to “fully implement” the reforms and another bailout is needed. As these games continue, the misery of the Greek population intensifies to levels we in America or Britain cannot imagine.
3131 days ago
The Olympics has caught fire for me at last. Do not get me wrong, I have nothing much against Australians. Okay, half of them are descended from convicts and most of the rest claim to be Greek. They are a bunch of philistines. And you would not want many of them (apart from Clive James, Germaine Greer and perhaps Peter Tatchell) in your pub quiz team. Why is it that the few really smart Australians feel the need to emigrate?
But generally they are an okay bunch. It is just that when they win at sport they are insufferably bad winners. And, damn it, they are normally pretty successful on the sporting field. I reckon that in 44 years on this planet I have suffered enough Australian sporting triumphalism for one lifetime and so I admit to taking an extreme vicarious pleasure in Aussie sporting humiliation.
3131 days ago
It seemed like a good idea at the time. It was 2.30 PM at Butrint and the man said that the Greek border was only 20 kilometres away. Am I man or mouse? Within a couple of hours I rather wished that I had decided that I was a mouse. Those 20 kilometres were 20 Greek/Albanian kilometres. In other words 30 kilometres. It was 40 degrees. My rucksack seems to weigh a tonne and bites into my shoulders. And having peered down the road to check that it was flat, I discovered after a bend at 5 kilometres (i.e. just out of eyeshot from the start) that it was uphill all the way. Oh, as a bonus for the last 10 kilometres the road turned into a gravel track. But the real problem is that my trousers are falling down.
3136 days ago
One of the minor matters that I have resented during the past few years has been the idea of dressing to a corporate standard. There are greater issues that have caused me angst but this is an easy one to address going forward. When I started t1ps my attire was T-shirt and shorts/jeans. When the office was in my home I used to work in my underpants. It was a time when life was simple, work was fun in that I did only what I enjoyed (mainly writing) and was – I think – quite good at what I did. And no-one told me what to wear. I remember Algy Cluff being a bit surprised to find me wearing Irish rugby shorts and a T-shirt with some vaguely controversial message across the front, but most CEOs judge you on your work, not on what you wear.
Gradually, the pressures increased to smarten up. I found a review of a talk I gave a long time ago where I was lambasted for wearing a crumpled shirt. Heck did the reviewer know that was an upgrade? Looking back I can see some inverse sort of correlation between freedom to wear what I want & to write what I wanted and my move to do other things and an increasing sense of frustration and unhappiness. However that was suppressed at the time. Maybe weight gain was a symptom of that.
And so, going forward, whatever I do it has to be on the condition that I will be looking rather casual as I do it. I guess that rules out a career at Morgan Stanley. Drat. But my lifetime love affair with the T-shirt can once again come out of the closet.
3166 days ago
I am asked by one reader to explain my nasty comments about the IRA yesterday given that one of my blog heroes is Michael Collins. Another reader suggests that I run a caption competition with the picture below. Okay. Here we go.
Lets start with the caption competition which is open ONLY to those who follow me on Twitter. Send your entries by Twitter with a deadline of 4 PM Monday. The prize is a meal for two including a bottle of (Chapel Down English) wine at Real Man Pizza Company. It will be the funniest entry that wins and complete lack of taste is no bar to winning the prize. To set a benchmark the butcher says to Her Maj “If you follow me I have for you a pair of your late Uncle’s deckshoes I kept as a souvenir.” Bad taste is no bar to winning. Tweet your attempts to @TomWinnifrith
3167 days ago
I shall find somewhere to watch the game tomorrow. My head tells me that Spain are the reigning World and Euro champions and will win. My heart fervently wants an Italian victory – it would be a far better result for lifting the human spirit. We shall see.
Spain enjoyed one goal-fest in the group stages. But that was against a very poor Irish side playing without passion, intelligence or – frankly – much skill. Crushing a Hackney-marsh side like that Ireland team told us nothing. For more or less the rest of the tournament Spain have been, for want of a better word, plain boring. Reminiscent of Arsenal sides of old, the Spanish seem to regard a 1 nil victory as a reckless experiment in attacking football.
3172 days ago
There is a painting I own which my father jokingly says was done by Branwell Bronte. It is shockingly bad and rarely displayed. Branwell would have been 195 today and so happy birthday from one of weak Irish descent who likes the odd drink to another of stronger Irish descent who liked more than the odd drink . Who you may ask is Branwell and why do I care?
3182 days ago
If I was Scottish I would no doubt have been cheering for Sweden last night. Most polls suggest that most Scots support whoever England is playing even were it to be Germany, Argentina or an all star Rwandan war crimes XI. As an Ireland supporter I hope that I can take a more grown up approach to the former Imperial masters. When it comes to Rugby, I am afraid that my second team is pretty much certain to be whoever is playing the old enemy. With football it is more complex.
3187 days ago
Now that I am set to establish residency in the City of Lost Causes the mind turns naturally to the football teams that I support as well as to the affairs of the European Union. And tonight whatever anyone else in this house wishes to do I shall be watching TV. Ireland versus Croatia kicks off at 7 PM.
3195 days ago
Historically England prepares for a big tournament thus: Appoint a new national saviour as manager on a multi year telephone number contract. Talk up the Premiership prima donnas as being the heirs to Hurst, Peters and Moore. The nation expects. Go to the tournament and play atrociously but scrape through to a knock out stage and lose on penalties as soon as possible.
3195 days ago
I am not an ardent monarchist. For a start I was brought up to support Ireland at everything. And at an intellectual level if we did not have a Monarch I cannot think we would create one. Except, of course that the alternative is an elected head of state – Queen Cherie Blair, King Trust Me Tony – I would not be a fan. But neither am I an ardent Republican. The Queen is devoted servant of her people, Prince Philip is a hoot and although he has a stack of daft ideas I cannot help but view Prince Charles as likeable. All seem good folk and I wish the whole family a great celebration. But can I really get enthused myself? No.