1544 days ago
I have written before about how I do not celebrate the death of anyone, not even a bloody murderer like the IRA's Martin McGuinness. But are there some folk whose demise really should be celebrated. I think of Sally Jones, a graduate of SOAS who lived her entire life on benefits in Britain before marrying a home grown jihadi and eloping to Raqqa where she has been a key recruiter for ISIS.
1572 days ago
In 2013, Sally Jones a, then, 45 year old former punk rocker who has never worked in her whole life moved to Raqqa to join ISIS with her younger husband. happily he was wiped out by a US drone strike but living off his widow's pension Sally, or Umm Hussain al-Britani as she would rather be known, has continued to fight the good fight. Until now.
Her young son was shown on video being taught how to behead infidels. She ranted on line about wanting to behead Christians with a blunt knife and to kill Jews. She and her late lamented husband were shown to have been involved in more than a dozen attempted terror attacks in the West. Working for ISIS in Raqqa she is believed to have recruited dozens of other Western women to the cause, persuading them to also flee to Raqqa.
But now Sally has let it be known that she wants to come "home".
2368 days ago
I had a routine doctor’s appointment at 11 and was dreading it. “How much do you drink? Do you know smoking is bad for you?” “No doc, when I said a bottle I meant a day not a week and no is it? When did they find that out?” But I was spared this little treat by Oakley, my morbidly obese three legged cat who started screaming at 10.40 and then showed himself unable to walk. His sole back leg was just being dragged along the floor.
I thought back to the demise of poor Kitosh, my old cat who behaved in this way as
2430 days ago
I am pre-booked elsewhere so shall not be getting out my passport to satisfy border control at Kenilworth but for those of you who do live in the Grim Northern post-industrial wastelands there is an interesting event run by my pal Paul Jourdan of Amati – a very switched on fund manager – in Birmingham next Wednesday Morning. I did not know that they had hotels in Birmingham, I thought everyone lived on Benefits Street with White Dee but apparently Paul has found a nice venue.
On the agenda
2446 days ago
Once again apologies to any pervs who are disappointed having found this page via SEO. For the first time Tara ( the sleek but greedy cat) and the morbidly obese three legged Oakley are in action (or lack of it) together. As you can see Benefits Street when fully sprawled out takes up half a double bed. He thinks it is his bed. The Mrs and I used to think that it was ours.
2448 days ago
I guess some of you might have arrived at this page via google or whatever expecting something different. Sorry pervs, this is just another video of Tara, the lifelong friend of my morbidly obese three legged cat Oakley. Unlike Benefits Street who will play up to the camera, Tara seems terrified of it. As I prepared to shoot she was waving her paws around for no apparent reason. The camera appears and she just stares at it - very sweet but more inaction than in action
2450 days ago
Tara, who makes her video debut below, may not be related to Oakley but the two have lived together for all of their 13 years. She may be sleek and slim but she is the capitalist cat. Oakley does nothing all day and is thus sometimes referred to as Benefits Street. Tara believes that Greed is Good and thus eats far more than Oakley either from her food bowl or by snacking on human food whenever she can grab it. I guess she has a higher metabolic rate than Oakley and she also takes plenty of exercise patrolling the garden.
I first met the two of them in the Isle of Man after the sudden death of my previous cat Kitosh. His ashes travelled with me in the years that followed and are now buried in a wooden cat shaped urn underneath a newly planted thyme bush at the bottom of our Garden in Brislington.
At the MSPCA sanctuary as I wandered along seeking a replacement for Kitosh the sweet young kittens grabbed all the attention. But in one cage there were two much older cats Tara and Oakley. Well I was told there were two. Oakley
2464 days ago
Oakley is somewhat in the doghouse after yet again leaving a deposit on the doormat and so today both he and his friend Tara are confined to the kitchen with myself. No run of house is allowed for either. But Oakley, who now weighs a disgraceful 9 llbs, has just three legs and is also known as Benefits Street becuase he dos nothing all day other than eat, sleep and watch trash TV with the Mrs, is the hero of the day.
For Oakley spotted another cat - almost as large as him wander into our garden. The normally fearless Tara did nothing. And so the old boy hopped off the sofa, hopped
2717 days ago
It is entirely likely that thanks to Labour dirty tricks, that is to say the Mrs neglecting to put me on the electoral roll, I shall not be able to vote at all this week. We will troop over to the polling station near her old flat on Thursday and find out.
If I can vote what should I do? As a dyed in the wool Eurosceptic and someone who believes that the entire political class should be strung up with piano wire my natural inclination is to vote UKIP. After all the European elections do not really matter do they? My guess is that enough folks will view it this way to ensure that Mr Farage and his supporters will be celebrating triumphs in both the local and European elections as I explained HERE earlier.
I do not care if UKIP contains more than a smattering of prize loons that does not deter me.
However, I find that when Mr Farage moves away from Europe, where I agree with him 100%, to other matters I get rather agitated. He is clearly now trying to appeal to traditional Labour voters and so he supports a minimum wage (a tax on jobs) and there is talk in UKIP circles of backing the living wage. This is not a pro-business agenda but it will also not assist the poor since it will destroy jobs.
I remember wincing when I heard him at UK Investor Show 2013
2795 days ago
This photo cropped up somewhere on the internet of Phil the Greek and our beloved leader David Cameron. It is just too good to pass up on. And so please go ahead and post suitable captions in the comments section below. The deadline for entries is Friday afternoon and a Maribelle's voucher goes to the winner
For what it is worth my entry is:
2796 days ago
UKIP supporters are frothing madly at data showing that 600,000 EU citizens are living in the UK claiming welfare – the answer according to the fruitcakes is to stop them coming here. It is a populist line but a nasty one. On twitter I am lambasted: “You diss non-working Brits and ex-pats, but then defend benefit claiming EU folks.” Of course I do nothing of the sort. It is just that I am not an economic illiterate.
Do I enjoy EU citizens turning up her to claim benefits? Of course not. But I am minded that there are many British ex-pats living in the EU enjoying a range of state benefits paid for by the taxpayers of France, Spain, etc. This is not a one way matter as UKIP tries to pretend.
But there is a bigger issue. I am equally disgusted by our home grown welfare bums on Benefits Street. Frankly I “diss” all welfare bums equally wherever they were born. The way to deal with all welfare bums living in the UK is to drastically scale back the level of largesse of the British welfare state – reinvesting the savings in increase sing the thresh-hold at which all workers pay tax.
The answer is not as UKIP pretends simply to stop other EU citizens claiming welfare payments and State benefits (such as the NHS) here. Aside from the problems that would cause our ex-pats when other countries showed reciprocity, it would deter those from outside the UK who wish to come here to work but might take a few weeks to find work.
For the reality is that British workers simply refuse to take low paid jobs. Those jobs are filled by migrant workers from the rest of the EU. Adopt UKIP policies and British businesses would not be able to employ workers who would allow them to remain profitable. We would all be worse off – something Nigel Farage has admitted.
Showing real compassion to those who wish to work (by arguing for tax cuts for them), but also a grasp of basic economics (I'd like British businesses to thrive) I find myself concluding that UKIP is increasingly a party of populists, economic illiterates and frankly just very nasty people.
2801 days ago
White Dee is a character from the Channel 4 shows “Benefits Street”. Until 2007 she worked for Birmingham City Council but was then sacked for stealing £13,000. Has she repaid that dosh or gone to prison? Of course not, this is Britain in 2014.
Today she rakes in £200 a week in benefits tax free and is unable to work because she is “too depressed”. Of that £200 she reckons that £120 goes on junk food for her and her family and then there are the 20 cigarettes a day. I expect they are bought “under the counter” but that will still be another £35.
She cheerfully admits that there are folks out there working really hard to clear £100 a week but White Dee is too “depressed” to join them. Heck £200 a week tax free is the equivalent of £12-13,000 a year working and so why the hell should she work. I do not blame her for choosing a life of being a scrounging parasite, I blame our welfare system for not forcing her to work. That would make her depressed.
Instead she is apparently planning to trouser £60,000 appearing on celebrity Big Brother or to run for parliament as an MP (she supports Labour natch). At least as an MP she would feel at home with the other state fund parasites and thieves at Westminster.
And so I invite you to look at this lazy lardball below and as you think about getting up early tomorrow morning to go to work, think about how she is living off your taxes. Post a suitable caption in the comment section below by next Friday:
For what it is worth my entry is:
“Another victim of the austerity programme of the wicked Tories contemplates how she is being made to suffer."
2814 days ago
I noted yesterday that if life on the Somerset Levels was not unpleasant enough right now, the poor bastards were faced not only with water up to their wastes but with a plague of politicians arriving to promise the earth and do nothing. The flood sound bites yesterday plunged new depths with Farage (UKIP) vs. Pickles (Con).
First up was the UKIP Fuhrer who demanded that the UK stop spending £11 billion a year on foreign aid and divert the cash to fighting the floods. One thing you may notice about UKIP is that whenever there is a problem that foreign aid cash is the answer. Want more hospitals? Axe foreign aid. Want more money for the armed forces? Axe foreign aid. Want to cut the deficit? Axe foreign aid. And so with floods in the news naturally UKIP thinks we should stop sending our cash off to Johnny Foreigner in Bongo Bongo land and look after folks back in Somerset.
As it happens I too would scrap foreign aid too
2825 days ago
20 miles down the road from me vast tracts of land are underwater. Flanked by the local MPs (a double barrelled Tory upper class twit nonentity and a beardy weirdie Lib Dem wearing wellies over his sandals), minister Owen Patterson visited this week. Yup, shake down the money tree the feckless rich are to be bailed out with your cash.
I am hard on those on welfare who talk of rights without taking any sense of personal responsibility. No-one dares level the same charge against the feckless rich of Somerset but here I go.
The odd household of the 500 or so cut off by water or flooded comprises born and bred locals who have been happily married to their cousin, sister or aunt for years. The vast majority are incomers who have bought privately, often paying an arm and a leg. This is not a place just anyone can afford to live in.
When they bought they were fully aware that once in fifty or a hundred years they would get flooded. But flooding is like tossing a coin. Your two floods in 50 years could come 50 years apart or (as is the case today) in consecutive years. That is the way of nature and the folks knew it when buying.
Would I like a lovely farmhouse next to a fish filled river on the Levels? Yes I would love it. But I would want to pay a stack less than I would for an equivalent property in the hills where I know that I will not be swimming in sewerage once every few decades. In other works you pay for what you get.
The folks on the levels might have bought in relatively cheaply because they took this into account. Or they might simply have overpaid. But it was THEIR call. Now they are demanding that the rest of Britain spends millions on dredging (unproven) and on installing mammoth new pumping systems so that when the next floods come (whether that be 2015 or 2065) they will not be affected. This will naturally make their properties worth more.
If the folks ignored the flood risks and overpaid they are feckless spongers if they now expect the rest of us to bail them out and add to the value of their homes. If they got in at a discount price accepting flood risk and now demand we bail them out so increasing the value of their homes they are also scroungers.
These folks need to accept that they must take financial responsibility for their own decisions and not get bailed out by the rest of us. The fact that the posh folk of the Levels would be the first to condemn the residents of Benefits Street - who also talk of "rights" without accepting personal responsibility for their own actions and decisions - makes me feel even less sympathy for them now.
The taxpayer has an obligation to open up roads by draining off water. After that the folks of the Levels have got to live with the consequences of their own economic choices and if that means going to stay with granny in Taunton until the waters subside so be it.
The hard pressed taxpayer has no obligation or responsibility to bail them out.
Of course no politician will dare say that. All three parties still believe in the Money Tree.’
2825 days ago
Of course Oakley will always be Oakley and later this week we look forward to the installation of a dog flap which allow the obese but adorable creature to venture outside without us opening a door. Currently he can get no more than his head through the cat flap.
The Mrs has fallen in love with Oakley and has started calling him “Darling”. That used to be my name! As an alternative she is calling him “Pudding” which given that she is from the Grim North must be a reference to something that comes in a large portion and is very thick.
My own recently coined nickname is “Benefits Street” on the basis that Oakley spends the whole day in bed, will occasionally do a mess on the carpet because he thinks he has rights without responsibilities, while now and again popping downstairs to demand an extra-large hand-out from the Food Bank.
2825 days ago
The theme of this week’s video postcard, as so often, is the UK welfare state with a passing swipe at Food banks. Inspired by watching last week’s “Benefits Street” I discuss three of the feckless spongers who featured and what their story’s say about why Bankrupt Britain is not working.
My weekly financial postcard is a macro view on the markets and a discussion of Shareholder activism and steps I am taking to encourage it. You can watch it here
2843 days ago
Self-appointed leader of the angry young left Owen Jones reckons that we need to build a million new homes in the next few years to solve a housing crisis. By “we” Owen – as ever means The Money Tree/the ever grateful taxpayer. Heck you pay for your own house so why not pay to build one for someone on Benefits Street as well? Bargain. Except that Owen is 100% wrong on this. To be fair so are most of the political classes – there is no need to build a single new home.
My starting point is the Empty homes statistics for 2012 (the most recent currently available). These showed 920,000 empty homes across the UK. This excludes those unfit for habitation, due for demolition and – critically – an estimated 300,000 empty homes above shops. So the real number is c1.2 million homes.
But how, I can hear Owen whining, do you propose getting those homes back into use? Actually it is very simple. Even a deluded lefty with a tenuous grasp of economics should be able to understand the solutions.