218 days ago
Of course, covid vaccines and boosters are voluntary say our leaders, it is just that we will try to “persuade” and “cajole” you all into having them. First we will start with the grown-ups and then, in Scotland at least, we will be coming for your five year olds. And of course vaccines work don’t they? Sorry did someone mention Israel?
295 days ago
Ahead of the pointless green wankfest that is COP26, folks in the host City are getting hotter under the collar than a solar panel desperately seeking sun on the Clyde, over the fact that Glasgow appears to be over-run with rats amid piles of rubbish. Personally I reckon that is all down to global warming but others think that the blame can be pointed at a more obvious villain. So who is to blame? Is it:
352 days ago
A couple of weeks ago, I showed data from three US states which demonstrated very clearly that wearing a face nappy makes sod all difference to covid spread. Now here is data from closer to home which makes the same point. Can the mask cultists explain this? Of course not so they will insist that I am not a doctor so not allowed to opine. Of course my job does focus on looking at numbers and explaining them but Harold Shipman is more qualified to interpret data than I am. Whatever..
358 days ago
Forced to work in the kitchen by problems with my study ceiling, I am suffering BBC Radio 4, something the Mrs inflicts on me every morning as a punishment for being an evil capitalist. Today’s torture is listening to Positive Thinking presented by Sangita Myska, a “deep dive” into how to end fuel poverty. Natch all the guests agree on one solution with nobody at all challenging a narrative which is patently absurd. This show encapsulated all that is wrong with the BBC.
413 days ago
Though he boasts of his East End heritage, my friend Lucian sometimes says, in his very posh English accent, that he is Scottish as his family has some estates up there funded, one suspects, from the slum housing they once owned in the West Ham heartlands. Lucian is about as Scottish as Rod Stewart or the late Duke of Edinburgh. But tonight he will be filming with a German TV crew in Glasgow.
439 days ago
Nowhere in Britain is free speech more threatened than in Scotland and the woman who is the only person from my old Oxford college with whom I communicate at all regularly has gone quiet. It is not a legal threat which has silenced her but a poisonous atmosphere of fear.
466 days ago
Labour took a hammering across the UK last night and in this podcast I consider this rather crude analogy first used by one of its own leaders with regard to how it views the folks who were its core supporters. with reference to Northern Ireland and Jersey I argue that it cannot close the gap that now exists with its core and as such it can never hope to regain power and in Wales – as has already happened in Scotland – it may well become an irrelevancy. I refer to this piece on Tory sleaze from last week. One day that will matter but maybe it won’t for a very long time.
567 days ago
Let’s be clear, as a resident of Wales, I support Scottish (and Welsh) Independence for the reasons explained HERE. I might add, that with Scotland heavy net takers from the Union, in terms of tax and spend, the rest of us would be much better off if the jocks buggered off as soon as possible. Having said all of that, the demands from Nicola Sturgeon and her inner circle for a new vote should be exposed for what they are, part of a scandalous cover up.
582 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.
594 days ago
With symptoms including a form of tourettes whereby whenever a victim of this terrible disease meets some peasant-like oik, he or she feels the need to explain to them why they are stupid, ill educated, racist and xenophobic, it seems that in parts of Southern England the BrexitDerangementSyndrome pandemic is out of control. And there is a new virulent strain in Scotland whereby folks also seek to show how much they want to be independent by ranting on about their desire to hand back newly won freedoms and rights to their own fishing waters to a foreign power. On Twitter, as some of us prepare bonfires for tomorrow night’s Brexit celebrations, those suffering from this appalling affliction can be seen everywhere tweeting#FBPE and their conviction that they are right about everything and 17.4 million of us are just plain stupid.
623 days ago
To great fanfare, Scotland’s first poisoned dwarf, Ms Nicola Sturgeon, has announced a £500 bonus to valiant healthcare workers across Scotland. And, notwithstanding the grotesque subsidies paid by England and Wales to the feckless heathens, she demands that Boris Johnson makes this a tax free bonus.
654 days ago
I have, in the past, viewed President Emmanuel Macron as a poseur in the mould of Tony Blair. He was, I thought, Europe’s equivalent to the ridiculous Justin Trudeau. His views on the rights of French fisherman to plunder British waters and his “helpful” interventions in the process of Brexit have not endeared the child husband to me. But maybe I was wrong.
701 days ago
David Hume was a great philosopher but, writing in 1753, he made remarks about black folks which even then were a tad offensive and today are viewed as utterly racist. Given that we now judge folks’ utterances and actions of 267 years ago by the mores of today, in the year of madness that is 2020, Hume was toast. A building named after him at Edinburgh University has been renamed. I suspect that there will be calls to remove A Treatise of Human Nature from the curriculum and so future generations will come to know the man, not as I did as a student, as a philosopher but as just another dead white racist male. So where next with the purge? Might I suggest Scotland’s national poet Robert Burns?
869 days ago
The twitter exchange below is self explanatory.I despair…
1634 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.
1734 days ago
Finally it looks as if the SNP is going to get its way and from next year if you buy booze from a shop in Scotland you will have to pay a minimum of 50p per unit of alcohol. Scotland sets a world precedent in stupidity.
1909 days ago
The spendfest demanded by the people of Wales, Ulster, Scotland and the North of England is paid for by the hard working folks of London and the South East. That might sound like a provocative and unpleasant jibe at the expense of idle celts and workshy Northerners as they roam the welfare safaris. But it just happens to be a statement of fact as you can see below.
1981 days ago
You may remember that the leaders of the EU, backed by that imbecile Dave Cameron, agreed to give President Erdogan's Turkey $6 billion if it promised to stop migrants flooding to Europe. Forget that Erdogan gags and shuts down a free press, fires teachers who do not support his crackpot ideas, discriminates against gays, has offered overt support to Islamofascists in Syria, bombed Kurdish civilians and does all sorts of other things we are not so keen on, the EU thought it had secured a cracking deal.
2007 days ago
I do not normally pay much attention to what folks on neighbouring tables say when watching the world go by in the Kourounis taverna in Kambos, the village closest to the Greek Hovel where I hope to spend most of the rest of my life. I just tap away at my keyboard or think about olives. But today I exploded as a fat and smug German explained to a couple of timorous Brits why hard Brexit would screw England and thus why we should "obey orders" and fall into line with what Germany, sorry the EU, wanted. I exploded.
2020 days ago
As of yesterday, Scotland accelerated its quest to become the Greece of the North as it passed a budget making it the highest tax region of the UK. Higher rate taxpayers in the Celtic welfare safari will pay £400 a year more tax than those earning £43,000 or more anywhere else in the UK. Fine. Sooner or later the Money Tree worshipping heathens will discover that the Laffer curve is no laughing matter.
2111 days ago
A process that was meant to take just four weeks has taken four months but heck this is Greece we are talking about, the Scotland of the South. A third of adults in Greece work for the Government but nothing ever gets done. But today we have learned that the Architects Council has okayed our plans to redevelop the Greek Hovel. Phew.
2115 days ago
The October edition of the UK Investor Show magazine is live features 7 buy tips, including 5 our writers believe will beat ASOS. Plus a feature on why the Bubbles are About to Pop, in Trump vs Clinton - who is the biggest loser from this contest, and why Scotland can't afford to leave the UK.
2129 days ago
Once again Nicola Sturgeon is insisting that if the evil right wing Tories take Britain out of the EU then she will do her utmost to get Scotland to leave the Union. Is her contempt for democracy more alarming than her delusional failure to grasp basic economics? It is hard to say.
2179 days ago
Sarah Smith is, as I write, prattling away on Radio 4 about how Scotland likes to boast that it is different from England & Wales. And as evidence of this, Sarah tells us that 4 of 6 party leaders in Scotland are openly gay, Nicola Sturgeon is promising the most transgender legislation in Europe and Sarah tells us that Scotland is the most gay friendly country in Europe. Great. Happy days. I shall get out an old John Inman video and book my holidays now.
2182 days ago
I remember my daughter remarking how wonderful the poisonous midget Nicola Sturgeon of the SNP was a couple of years ago, for there was a time when on both sides of the border this silly woman appeared to be the darling of the left, of the liberal media and the metropolitan bien pensants. Since my daughter lives in Islington, I expect midget worshipping was almost compulsory for her. But how the Sturgeon devotees must be recanting for as every day goes by the Scottish leader seems sillier and more disingeneous.
2209 days ago
The poisonous midget and Jimmy Krankie lookalike Nicola Sturgeon is, this morning, spitting out her porridge as a poll shows that post Brexit most Scots want to stay part of the UK. Bugger. I was so much looking forward to the midget leading her nation of whinging welfare junkies to glorious independence. I am, perhaps, even more gutted than Jimmy Krankie by this news.
Like all humourless lefties,
2221 days ago
Nicola Sturgeon seems amazed that EU leaders are not lining up begging Scotland to join the Evil Empire as soon as possible. It has not dawned on her that, set to lose a major benefactor in form of the United Kingdom (in reality England plus the Celtic scroungers), the last thing it wants is to take back the welfare addicted nation of idlers that is Scotland. Heck the EU alread has the basket case that is the Real Greece why would it want the wannabee Greece of the North as well?
2241 days ago
The UK Investor speaker, Moneyweek columnist and gold guru and professional comedian Dominic Frisby sends me a flyer for his gigs at the Edinburgh Festival. Unlike some want to be writers, such as Ben Turney who are accidental comedians in that we just laugh at them, Dominic really is a professional comedian and is very funny so if you are in Edinburgh this year go see him. His main gig is Tax!
2243 days ago
Poisonous midget Nicola Sturgeon notes that Scotland voted to stay in the EU but that Britain voted out and so she is having another referendum on whether Scotland should leave the UK. We should pre-empt her and just boot it out now.
2323 days ago
If you are prepared to swallow vast amounts of junk food you will probably swallow anything, even the hocus pocus policies of Labour and the SNP. Perhaps it is all those folks mainlining welfare payments as they sit on thair arses which explains the correlation but it is official: Labour and SNP voters are fat slobs as the map below demonstrates with Scottish nationalists being the biggest lardbuckets by a mile.
2340 days ago
The poisonous midget who leads the SNP, Nicola Sturgeon told her party faithful the other day that she was going to organise another referendum on independence come what may. It is no surprise that the midget is so keen on the EU given how she buys into its idea of democracy: the people can vote however they wish in referenda and they will keep voting until they vote the "right" way.
Of course independence would be economic suicide for Scotland. At $100 oil it was spending more than it would have received in tax. 89% of Scots are net takers from the State and the nation is almost united in its belief in money tree economics.
Despite all this spending Scotland gets poorer as the public sector squeezes out the wealth creating sector, and sicker - life expectancy in Glaswegian men is now - at 57 - lower than anywhere else in the EU, indeed in the Eurovision zone which includes Ukraine with its civil war and its Chernobyl legacy.
As an independent nation, Scotland would be the Greece of the North at $100 oil. At $40 oil it would be the Upper Volta of the North which perhaps explains
2352 days ago
Donald Trump's mother comes from the Isle of Lewis in the Hebrides and so the BBC thought it would be a hoot to go Trump bashing by asking the folks up in the far Northern reaches of the welfare safari to say what they thought of The Donald. Well what a surprise ...they don't like him.
2525 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.
2656 days ago
Nicola Surgeon thinks David Cameron has a problem. He does. Does he in Canute like fashion try to save the Union or does he listen to the welfare addicted people of Scotland but also of England and accept the end game now. He might start down that road by giving Scotland and England full fiscal autonomy. As an English taxpayer that would be a mammoth bonus.
2656 days ago
It is clear that Scotland now thinks totally differently to England in social, economic and political terms. It is another country and it must be given independence now – more on that later. But there is another country within England – London.
As a resident of the boonies and someone born and raised a small town boy I have always thought Londoners odd. As they wander around buying properties on a sub 1% yield and thinking that is a bargain, paying £100 for underwater yoga sessions and more for regular colonic irrigation the middle classes of London just seem peculiar to me.
And in political terms
2672 days ago
St George’s day used to be an almost forgotten festival on the days when at England soccer matches, folks waved the Union Flag. But for various reasons the past two decades have seen the rise of English nationalism. And in a sense I understand that.
Wales and, more especially, Scotland are grotesquely over-subsidized welfare safaris and it is the English taxpayer who picks up the tab. Of course societies based on welfare dependency rather than freedom and enterprise will not prosper and so the more the Celts mainline the subsidies the more they moan and bleat about the evil English. It is the English who are to blame for the relative poverty of the Celts, for addicts can never accept that their destiny lies in their own hands and so must blame others for failure.
Slowly the United Kingdom is being torn apart. As an economic Englishman I look forward to the day when Scotland and Wales are truly independent and would welcome them being towed off into the Atlantic
2886 days ago
The father of legendary bear raider Evil Knievil is not only the greatest living classical scholar but in his youth played rugby for Scotland (his mother being Scottish). Somewhere the athletic gene passed his 25 stone son by. George Cawkwell (the father) is, like his son, a NO supporter but feels incensed that as an Oxford resident he cannot vote in the referendum.
2888 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.
2890 days ago
I was sitting in lovely Eleni’s Kourounis tavern in Kambos when on the screen I suddenly see pictures of a bunch of loons waving Saltire’s and some other loons waving Union flags. Eleni looks a bit puzzled as the commentator tries to explain to a Greek audience what is going on.
Eleni asks me about Scotland. I tell her that it is a bit like Greece. Very high unemployment, the Government spends more than it takes and the politicians are all corrupt. But it is a lot colder. She says she understands why Scotland is the Greece of the North and we return to serious matters of discussing Greekeconomics – the Kambos Town Hall.
I am one of perhaps 500 people in our village of Kambos where The Greek Hovel is located. But we have a Town Hall and a Mayor. We also have three full time employees who work in one of the largest buildings in Kambos. Doing what? I have no idea.
The village of Kambos is obliged to mend my road by law. But it has no money to do so. I have another meeting there tomorrow to discuss. That’s Greekeconomics for you.
2893 days ago
Scotland is the Greece of the North. 89% of its population are net takers from the State. Its share of the National debt is £108 billion which will be hard to support. It has a bloated Government sector and with oil revenues set to decline its financial position can only get worse. The only answer is independence. It must vote YES.
Yes some companies will redomicile to England. But as they have made clear very few actual jobs will be affected. This and threats from Cameron that the ISIS peril will be increased by a YES vote are all red herrings.
2900 days ago
After a morning hacking away frigana at the Greek Hovel, Tom’s message from the Greece of the South is for the Greece of the North – Scotland.
The independence debate is marked by delusion – on both sides. Tom suggests you watch former oil analyst Andrew Bell explain why the SNP oil numbers are all wrong HERE.
The reality is that Scotland has become a welfare addicted big Government economic failure. It is united with a Country with a different value set and approach to life. For its own sake Scotland needs independence so that its people can again learn the idea of self-reliance.
And English taxpayers have no moral obligation to fund a failed system of Government and economics. Speaking as an English taxpayer Tom is praying for a Yes vote.
2991 days ago
The lies told in the Scottish Independence campaign are almost laughable and I start with a total whopper told by the SNP.
But having said that I regard Independence as great news for Scotland and Wales should go the same way. Only by being independent and learning to stand on their own two feet rather than mainlining subsidies and whinging will these nations thrive.
It would be good news for England too as I explain in this video.
My financial postcard covers bubbles emerging in residential housing and popping in IPOs. You can watch that video HERE
3062 days ago
As you know I am a keen supporter of Scottish Independence. A country where 88% of the population are net takers from the State is of no benefit to the rest of the United Kindgom. As far as I am concerned, the sooner that the welfare junkies of the Greece of the North fuck off to wallow in their own brand of unpleasant nationalism and self-inflicted poverty the better.
If Alex Salmond wins the day he will be the hero….of every hard working taxpayer south of the Border.
As such I bring you a map of post-Independence Scotland
3076 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.
3094 days ago
The Winter Olympics is being heralded as a triumph for Team GB and if only we spend even more we are promised even greater glory in 2018 in Korea. Yeah…bollocks.
The claim is that with four medals these were the most successful games for us Brits since the first Winter Olympics in Chamonix in 1924. Er…meet medal inflation.
In 1924 there were 16 events and with one join bronze awarded the UK picked up 4 medals out of a total of 49 medals awarded. That works out at roughly 1 in 12 medals going back to Blighty.
In 2014 there were 98 events (12 more than in 2010) which makes 296 medals awarded so team GB in fact picked up one in 74 medals. As in the book by the Great Melanie Phillips, “All Must have Prizes,” Team GB was six times less successful in 2014 than we were in 1924. Keep on adding the events and Team GB might win 5 next time. How about that new winter sport: The 100 metre swim through icy sewerage to reach the village store? I gather that the Somerset County squad is pretty experienced.
The problem Team GB will have is that we do not get much snow in the UK so for most winter sports the only kids growing up to play will be the offspring of the very rich who spent the winter in the folk’s chalet in Chamonix. And then there is also curling which rivals whingeing about English oppression and trying to die as young as possible by gorging on Deep Fried mars Bars, pints of Heavy and Benson & Hedges as the national sports of Scotland. A post-independence GB
3136 days ago
The weekly video postcard is back from its Christmas break. You know how you do not want to do something so you put it off and it gets worse and worse and harder to do? Like the washing up or subbing a book by Zak Mir? Of course once you start such a task (subbing Zak’s book excepted) it is easy. And so I fear next week’s video very little.
On the agenda this week, prompted by this piece earlier, is Scottish independence and its funding but also UK welfare abuse and reforms.
3136 days ago
The Scots it would appear have negotiated the deal of the Century with England for post-independence financial Armageddon. They get the freedom. The English get to pick up the tab.
The Scots would be able to set their own budgets, their own tax rates and spend as much as they want yet the English taxpayer c/o the Britsh ( or post independence English) Treasury has agreed to underwrite its debt. This is sheer insanity.
87% of Scots take from the State (in terms of services, welfare, etc.) more than they give. And thus Scotland has found itself with an electorate which things that austerity means deep fried mars bars all round on the State being cut back to only 6 days a week. Or only giving free cigarettes to Primary School Children only on alternate days.
Given that you have more chance of finding a heterosexual non child molester presenting a Top of the Pops edition from 1977 than you have of finding a Tory voter in Scotland, its three political parties that matter ( Labour, The Nationalist loons and the Lib Dems) are all committed to more spending and more tax but the ultimate funder is always seen as the great Money Tree.
Scottish economic policy and the prevailing ethos of a land that once gave us Adam Smith is akin only to Greece. Edinburgh is the Athens of the North.
And so post-independence
3292 days ago
I am sure that this will get me into trouble in some quarters but can someone explain why there are so many fat and stupid people in Scotland? I start with its leader Alex Salmond. Faced with the fact that Scotland is the third fattest nation in the world ( after the US & Mexico) and getting fatter the Scots Government says
“We are investing more than £7.5 million between 2012 and 2015 on projects to encourage healthy eating.”
a) How much has been spent on such projects between 2009 and 2012 and did Scotland get fatter or thinner? So why spend more money?
b) You are not investing. Scotland is a heavy net taker from the Union in fiscal terms. So you are taking money from English taxpayers and not investing it (that implies you get a return) but pissing it away creating yet more non jobs.
Okay, so we have established the Scottish Government is thick and as it happens its leader Mr. Salmond is a real lardbucket. So what about the folks he claims to lead?
3324 days ago
The deluded lefty insists that she does not believe in patriarchy, blah, blah, blah. So we have an early morning arrangement that is based on equality and partnership – no exploitation either way. After a hard day’s slog in the public sector she stays in bed until about 7.30 and I make her a cup of tea. I get up rather earlier to be a wicked capitalist but just after 7.30 the DL brings me a bowl of organic fair trade porridge. I think I am right that oats do come from Scotland and Scotland is the sort of third world bankrupt country where deluded lefties try to help poor farmers with fair trade.
Anyhow my point is that I am used to the little woman serving me breakfast by 7.30. Yup, for the avoidance of doubt for any BB Morons out there, my partner is a bird not a bloke.
As such life chez Spiros here in Greece is a bit of a shock for me. I get up – as ever - at between 5.30 and 7 (3.30 and 5 UK time) allowing me to create a string of masterpieces before the UK starts its working day. Spiros, on the other hand displays the work ethic which has made Greece the place it is today (the Scotland of the South) and seems unable to raise himself before eight.
It is now 7.45 and, with five articles under my belt already, I am increasingly in need of a coffee and some toast and so now have to go through the ritual of jumping into the pool and splashing as much and as loudly as possible in order to hint, gently, that it is rise and shine time.
Splish, splash, splosh, wakey, wakey Spiros!
3328 days ago
Andy, you were a miserable git desplaying all that is worst about Scottish chippiness as a young man. You still strike me as a pretty dreary fellow and your cliche ridden post match interviews are really truly unbearable. But you do seem less miserable these days and actually almost quite a nice guy.
Crying last year was a masterstroke as you would have to have a heart of stone not to feel for you. And as such, although I'd rather watch paint dry than sit through a tennis match ( even if involves some delightful young ladies carefully chosen by John Inverdale), I truly wish you the very best of luck today as you seek to end the post 1936 Wimbledon drought.
As they rarely say where you come from...Best of British to you.
3431 days ago
Cupid (LSE:CUP) has today issued a statement denying that it the Scottish headquartered online dating agency does anything wrong. I quote in full:
“Cupid plc strongly refutes all allegations that its business model or practices and procedures are in any way fundamentally flawed, inappropriate or illegal. The directors believe that there has been a great deal of misrepresentation and ill-informed speculation in the marketplace and the Company is currently taking legal advice on these matters.”
The critical allegations are those made in a Kyivpost.com article of 15th March. The journalist responsible has confirmed
3432 days ago
If I had £100 for every time that in my 25 year career that a CEO told me “our low share price makes us vulnerable to a bid” I would right now be sitting in a luxury mansion in the Bahamas. Very few CEOs whose company’s shares are on the up say this. But guess what, in the insider dealing infested snake pit that is the City the companies that receive bid approaches are not those whose shares are tanking but those whose shares are going up.
Those companies who peddle that “vulnerable to a bid” line usually do so in the hope that it will drive investors to buy not because they actually expect one. And so I refer to an article in the Scotsman out today (HERE) which blames me for the collapse in AIM listed Cupid’s share price on Friday
3440 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.
3465 days ago
Robert Sutherland Smith started his City career the year before I was born. He is, I think, 157 years old. He and I have worked together for almost eight years at t1ps.com . He is my friend and he is a very funny and intelligent chap. He is now branching out to celebrate his 158th by doing some freelance writing over at TradingResearchPoint on FTSE 350 Income stocks. Robert is a speaker at the UKInvestor Show on April 13th. He is a great one for focussing on yield. RSS today looks at RBS ( or Royal Bank of Scotland as it was in my day).
The share price of RBS (RBS) has headed due south since my bearish comments on the company last month. Reviewing the share in terms of its future dividend paying capacity in the light of recent history, I observed that in the different world and circumstance of 2007 ( when bank capital adequacy was seemingly almost inconsequential and some banks were running on low or dubious capital or both ) RBS had distributed only 30% of its earnings as dividends. That implied on a totally theoretical, best expectation 30% dividend payout from 36p of earnings per share, a dividend of 11..9p; translating into by way of academic exercise, into an annual yield of a mere 3.3%.
3472 days ago
Just a reminder that my Tomograph Newsletter goes out bi-weekly and the Wednesday shares edition containing that free share tip.
It will be out by 4 PM today and will also include an article on the double Standards of Call Me Dave on the Scotland and EU referenda & on the Philpott Trial and what it says about the mess that is the welfare state.
Want that free share tip plus an Editor’s Choice of the best of the past week plus these two exlusive articles? There won’t be a link on the site!
The only way to get all of that is to
Planned delivery time on Wednesday is 4 PM.
3523 days ago
In the wake of the dreadful slaughter of the innocents at Newtown Connecticut the response of the liberal left has been to argue for tighter controls on gun ownership. In bankrupt Britain the usual suspects at the Guardian and BBC say “is it not time that America caught up with us and banned gun ownership as we did after Dunblane?” In the US, Obama and the other liberals want to go down the British route. They are all wrong. Guns save lives.
One can play whatever games you want with statistics. But here are a few.
3529 days ago
Zak Mir is an old friend and godfather to my daughter. He is a very funny man. He can be incredibly cool and he can also be Geek of the Year – ask him about his fascination with weather patterns. That is train spotting for the middle classes. The one chink in his armour is his deprived education background. Not a reference in a PC way to the oppression of a you Asian lad growing up in a post industrial Glasgow decimated by the evil Thatcher. Oooooo all those nasty white racists and bloody English. Thatcher! How they suppress my fellow Celts. Nope, Zak lived in a posh bit of Glasgow ( I gather there is one) and went to Harrow which is clearly a dreadful school as I have never met an Old Harrovian who could write more than three words (they all seem to be able to manage f*ck off pleb) without introducing some spelling mistake or grammatical error.. .And so we come to Zak’s latest ebook – an ideal TA Chistmas gift.
3534 days ago
I am back with my family in Warwickshire. Being deluded lefties they appear to only get two channels, Pravda One and Pravda 2 and so on the latter I have just found myself watching Newsnight debate the great European question. It was a slam dunk win for the team of Nigel Farage, Terry Smith and a sensible woman from the No campaign in Norway. The only good thing that can be said for the yes side is that their blonde bird talked utter rubbish but was quite fit. That really is it.
The arguments for staying in were utterly spurious. Is Spain really going to kick out the 400,000 Brits living on the Costa del Crime if we quit? Really? Crash the housing market even more. It is not as if those folks take any local jobs they just spend money there. That is rather different to the 27 million Bulgarians and Rumanians who come 2014 can come to the UK to work, claim benefits and use the NHS. Do we really think then Britain is a huge net importer from the EU that the Evil Empire would defy WTO agreements and try to put tariffs on British goods? It is just plain rubbish.
Boris Johnson’s idea that we can stay in the Evil Empire but opt out of CAP, fisheries and anything else we please is spurious.
3565 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
3582 days ago
Hell’s teeth. By accident I find myself listening to the BBC for 30 minutes and I already deeply regret it. It was a mistake that I shall not repeat. My encounter is with the Today programme and first up was the Reverend John Bell from the Iona community who is just absolutely ghastly. He makes me dream once again of Scottish independence in the hope that this dreadful man would not then pollute the airwaves of a free Britain. Scottish independence or shutting down the BBC. Bell needs to come off air.
3586 days ago
What do elected mayors, the Welsh assembly and the UK voting system have in common? Two things: The people got to have their say via referenda and no-one outside the Westminster bubble gave a gnats arse about the result. But there are a couple of issues which are far more important and which folks do care about but the Westminster bubble crowd will just not let us have our say.
First up is Scotland. Let the welfare-junkies vote on their future – I am all for it. But how about we also allow the English a chance to vote on whether we are happy with the current arrangements whereby we pay the tax and the welfare junkies spend it. Me: I am all for Scottish independence. It would be good for the Scots to have to stand on their own two feet and it would be great for the English not to have to pick up the tab for Scottish self-indulgence and fecklessness. So how about we get a say too?
Okay that is perhaps a pipedream. But there is a more important issue: should the UK stay inside the EU.
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.
3602 days ago
I could not sleep last night. Harriet Harman’s comments about what goes on her bedroom gave me a series of nightmares. And so my prime entry in this week’s caption contest is in honour of the silly old trout.
Apparently the photo originally comes from Scotland where a man really did get his head stuck in this recycling bin. What was he up to? Did someone tell Charlie Kennedy that there was a half empty bottle inside? Whatever happened to this poor chap I am sure that everyone soon agreed that it was all the fault of the English or the wicked Tories or both.
3614 days ago
Zak Mir was a late starter in the reproduction game but once he got going there has been no holding him back. And so once again I find myself congratulating him and Mrs Mir who gave birth to a boy on Friday, their fourth child. Having sworn to become a good Catholic when marrying Mrs Mir, I am sure that his Holiness is proud of how Zak has followed his teachings in at least one regard.
You are discovering my obsession with Venn diagrams. Rather like my LinkedIn isolation of being a friend of Albania, Israel and a West Ham Supporter, Zak also stands on his own. I cannot believe there are many Glaswegian, Old Harrovian Moslems now following a Catholic life. His Harrow education has left Zak barely literate,
3631 days ago
Okay Mars Inc is not sponsoring the caption contest before is pompous lawyers get onto the case. That is what is termed a little joke in Britain. But Mars provided the highlight of the week. Not you understand that I would eat any of their loathsome 260 calorie, 34.6 grammes of sugar and 9.9 grammes of fat bars even though I understand that doing so will help Mars which is committed to promoting healthy and active lifestyles. Instead it was the way that the pompous lawyers acting for the dickheads who run the US giant have tried to stop some Scottish shop from selling its branded “deep fried Mars Bars.” Mars would not wish to be associated with such a product because of its commitment to healthy and active lifestyles. Yup right. You can read the full story here.
Of course the issue of Scottish health problems is not to be ignored. Life expectancy in some parts of urban Scotland is now, at 57, lower than in the Ukraine. The left blames this on poverty, evil capitalists and wicked Tory cuts. Yup right. Folks do not have to spend their welfare cheques on cigarettes, alcohol and deep fried Mars Bars. It is a lifestyle choice. Living off welfare does not force you to eat crap and drink and smoke. This is a matter of personal freedom, choice and responsibility. Giving these folks far bigger welfare cheques would not turn them into non-smoking, tee-total, tofu munchers.
The issue of accepting responsibility for your own destiny (something the Left cannot abide because the State always knows best and working class folk cannot exist without middle class lefties telling them how to improve themselves) is a matter I have discussed before and shall do again. For now here is this week’s caption contest.
3686 days ago
There are two big soccer stories today both of which make me fall a bit more out of love with a game that is now anything but beautiful. I start in Scotland with Rangers FC who have gone bust and have now been voted into the Scottish 3rd Division. This means three things. Firstly, Celtic will win everything for half a decade because (apart from the brief Fergie driven glory years of Aberdeen) Scotland has only got two decent teams. Secondly, tiny Scottish clubs will get a cash windfall for a few seasons when Rangers come to play them. And thirdly within a decade we will be back to the normal duopoly.
Who cares? Scottish club football has not got enough money. I know Celtic were the first British side to with the European Cup ( 1967) but for two decades Scottish League football has been a third rate affair. We used to joke about how Scottish goalkeepers were all useless. You can make the same joke about the other 10 players in any given Scottish team these days.