Wednesday, 20 June 2018

The Duty of Government is not to Care.

I've said it before: Governments of countries have a duty not to care. They have to take level-headed unemotional decisions, some quite abhorrent during their tenure.

puitting soldiers, sailors and airmen in harm's way in times of war for instance. If government cared about them, there never would be war. However, on the flip side, Europe would now be a Nazi super-state and more than likely the United States of America would not exist as it does today.

The fact that the allied governments were prepared to accept huge loss of life in order to protect their way of life ultimately won the war.

The fact that the American government were willing to develop and ultimately use their new atomic weapon with the loss of thousands of Japanese lives not only shortened the war, but saved countless lives on the battlefield.

There seems to be a creeping phenomena that "Government must care" about people and things. The UK government were villified directly after the Grenfell trajedy because they didn't visit the affected familes, leading to accusations that they didn't care.

The same happened in the UK over the migrant crisis, which eventually led (as the Government obsessed about declaring their caring credentials) to wholesale abuse of immigration law as "children" who quite clearly weren't children were bussed into the UK from migrant camps in Calais.

In the USA President Trump is under fire after the revelation that children are being separated from their families at the border with Mexico.

After both of these so-called revelations, I think "so what?"

I. Don't. Care.

And neither should Government.

Crack on and Govern.

Friday, 15 June 2018

Muslim Child Grooming: A fightback?

In the past couple of weeks, just in Portsmouth we have had a couple of reports which hopefully shows that the Police are finally shining a light on the issue of Muslim child sex grooming gangs.

In the report here It's reported that up to 30 victims are at risk in Portsmouth. I'd hazard a guess it could be substantially more.

In this report, the local council have imposed perfectly reasonable restrictions on a Kebab shop that no unaccompanied minors shoudl be present in the shop. I'm not sure how ordering them to train staff in preventing sexual exploitation would go down, it's against their religion. Literally. The Koran mentions the taking of non-Muslim sex slaves.

One thing I do know is this sort of thing is happening in every town and every city. This is not the random acts of a few miscreants, this is a cultural thing. Sure some non-Muslims may get dragged into the gangs, but the gangs are predoninantly Muslim, plus you don't hear of Christian or Jewish child sex grooming gangs in every town and city of the country. But then I don't remember the Torah or the Bible ever mentioning that taking women of a different religion as sex slaves is acceptable.

The judicial system may put d-notices and injunctions in place to hide these cases, but the cat is now out of the bag. In part thanks to Tommy Robinson who highlighted it a decade or so ago, well before the media got on board and forced the Police and local authorities into action. His reward? Yet another prison sentence for highlighting yet another grooming gang court case.

At least now the Police cannot turn a blind eye. The information is out in the public domain and in Portsmouth at least, I'm thankful the the Police are aware of the issue and local authorities are imposing restrictions where necessary.

It's long overdue, but finally public awareness is starting to  make a difference.

Friday, 8 June 2018

The Death of High Street Retail and the Role of Business Rates

For a very long time, I've complained to anyone that will hear it, that business rates are killing er, business.

This week House of fraser, that doyen of the upper middle clesses has got to the point where its high street presence is almost untenable.. When even the upper midle class don't have the spare cash to spend to keep a favourite afloat, you know we are in truly troubled times for the retail sector.

Business rate rises are killing the town centres of this country. Along with the money-grabbing extrotionate parking charges that local authorities charge.

It's a double whammy for business: They are charged huge costs in rent and rates to have a presence on the high street, and then the local authority prevent customers from actually getting to them by charging monstrous parking charges in town centres.

You may say that low corporation tax helps. But only if other business costs stay static. Recently there have been several raids by local and central government on business profits. Business rates, the new national pension scheme, rises in employers N.I. and probably a few more I've missed.

It's as if local authorities down't want shops in town centres any more. Either that or they are very thick and don't understand how business works or at worst disingenuous. It's their job to empower and invigorate the town, not bleed it to death.

Just to spell it out to local authorities, the way business works is you sell a product and hopefully the price you sell that product at covers the cost of heating, lighting, water, rent, rates and wages, plus something in reserve called profit that you can buy more stock with and also re-invest in the business.

There are a number of companies that I can see on the high street that I know are struggling. These are the companies that are earning very little in profit and have not had the money to re-invest in refreshing stores to keep up with trends. A classic at the moment is Argos. After a big investment 8 years ago in bringing touch screens into stores, and more recently tying in with eBay to allow in-store collection, there hasn't been much in the way of change. the stores are as they were after that re-vamp 8 years ago and footfall in any Argos store these days is pretty low. I assume the on-line/home delivery side of Argos is still ticking over, although you don't see as many Argos delivery trucks roaming the housing estates of the country as you used to.

The assumption with any store that is looking a bit dated is that profits have dipped below that which allows regular re-investment. The owner can no longer afford to refresh the look. Marks & Sparks were in this position 5 years or so ago. Howvere they seem to have realised what it is that actually makes money for them; food. So they are closing down quite a few of their clothing stores and concentrating on the food side.

But this is where local authorities need to step up and take responsibility. Businesses are not ever-producing cash cows that can be milked for ever. The nature of business is that there is a point where it becomes untenable and more importantly illegal to continue to keep running the business. As soon as the maths stop making sense then the business stops. Those business rates you milked it for stop flowing entirely. Those car parking charges that people paid to visit those businesses dry up.

Eventually the town centre dies.

And that is where we are at the moment. Local Authorities need to recognise their role in the death of the high street. They are not innocent in this. It's no coincidence that buiness rates went up in April by some margin and we've had a slew of business closures.

In the end retail will become wholly on-line. Rent a lock-up and post products out to people. No parking necessary. Why would anyone rent an expensive shop? The number of mobile hairdressers is on the rise, even ones based in vans so you still get the salon experience and no hair on your carpet. After all if dogs can be groomed in vans, why not humans?

The maths of the high street are only going to become worse as wages stay flat and expendable cash from custromers is squeezed and the local authorities place ever heavier burdens on business.

Right now the tax burden on Buiness and private individuals is the around highest it's ever been. That this is happening under a Conservative government is shameful. The party of business and enterprise has lost it's way.

Thursday, 24 May 2018

The Cost of the NHS

A report today finally reveals the financial drain on UK resources the NHS actually is.

An eye-watering £2000 per household is needed annually in increased tax to fully fund the NHS. It shows the cost of the NHS would become unacceptable.

If this doesn't sparks a long-needed great debate on what the NHS is for and the things it can do and the things that are out of it's reach then nothing will.

I've long said the NHS is over-reaching in certain areas. For instance cancer treatment, where phenomenally expensive drugs are being used to prolong the lives of terminally ill patients. Note this is not cure: this is eeeking out the life of someone for a couple of months at a cost that can reach tens, if not hundreds of thousands of pounds for the more exotic drugs.

To me this is not something the NHS should be spending money on. As sad as it is that the people have cancer, it is right that they are getting tens of thousands of pounds to prolong a life that is already terminal for a couple of months instead of using that money to cure or repair an illness?

For instance that could fund several hip and knee replacements, totally transforming the life of a person for decades.

My own personal opinion in that situation is that I would not take the treatment for the greater good of others.

Being such a huge consumer of health products should surely enable the NHS to strike deals with suupliers? Given the vast consumption across the country a national procurement department should be able to negotiate better/cheaper supply of item the NHS requires.

Don't forget the endless lawsuits that the NHS has to settle because of negligence claims. They slurp up almost half the NHS budget. Doing things better with fewer mistakes will gain the NHS a huge portion of the busdget that should go towards care instead of lawyers.

Forget privitisation, because in the long run that increases costs. But there is more to be done to leverage the size of the NHS against the costs the global corporations want to slap on it. Any purchasing manager worth their salt should be able to do a better deal given tha size of their health authority. I say should, but many don't. That needs to change.

As does the mentality that the NHS can rely on an ever-expanding purse and bottomless pockets. There will come a time when the public will start to question the expense.

Monday, 14 May 2018

Inequality of Vehicle Excise Duty

I'm currently looking to buy a replacement car. Note I don't say a new car, because I can't afford one.

Having a boat (therefore wanting a huge boot for lugging stuff around) and wanting a bit of comfort I was looking a at 15-year-old Lexus 4x4. The RX300 is a cut-price cruiser, it does everything and is available at the sort of year I'm looking at relatively cheaply. My budget being around £2000. It also is a 4x4 so has chunky tyres that ironically cope better with the potholes that our Vehicle Excise Duty fails to be spent on year-on-year.

Hoever, looking at Vehilce Excise Duty (VED) for the car, it's an eye-watering £582 a year. A whole quarter of the cost of buying the car. Every year.

Now my Volvop V70 2.4 litre Swedish tank, being made in 1999 and pre-emissions VED, means I onlt pay £180 a year for VED. My current car has 291,000 miles on the clock, is leaking oil into the bores and burning it in a haze of blue. You'd think I would be encouraged by the government to chop it in and avoid adding to the haze of hydrocarbons that surround Portsmouth.

£400 difference is a pretty big dissuader. But it got me thinking:

Why does VED no taper off after so many years? I can understand that a brand new Range Rover has a huge VED bill and because that bill is a fraction of the cost of the vehicle, most people would pay it.

But as the vehicle becomes older,. the VED cost becomes a substantial proportion of the cost of the vehicle. A big cooling factor when buying the vehicle.

The environmentalists would raise a cheer, because that means the vehicle become uneconomic and ends up on the scrapheap sooner. But hang on, that perfectly serviceable vehicle is being scrapped not because it is at the end of it's life, but because of some arbitrary ecomonic price attached to ownership.

That makes no environmental sense. Once the vehicle is scrapped, the envirionmental cost of making a new vehicle to replace it is several years worth of CO2 had the vehicle carried on running.

So why does VED not taper off as the vehicle becomes older? That way there's an acknowlegment that the environmental cost of changing the vehicle is higher than keeping it on the road.

It also recognises the fact that poorer people will buy older cars, people that cannot afford a brand new Range Rover, but would quite like to drive an older model and do what is necessary to keep it on the road.

VED is used as a tool of jealousy, milking the rich that can afford to pay the price, and keeping the poor people that can't afford to pay the price of running an older model once it becomes affordable.

Yet another way that the elite keep the poor down. The "I can afford it but you can't" mentality shoved right in your face coated in environmentalism.

Friday, 4 May 2018

Labour Lose compared to Expectations in Local Elections (trying hard not to laugh edition).

I'll say it until I'm blue in the face, a buch of Chealsea Trots at the head of the Labour party will not get them any traction other than within Severely Socialist areas like in London and Liverpool.

Now it seems the Chelsea Trot set's predictions of massive gains has backfired and they have failed to make the gains they predicted.

All this socialist worker guff they keep spouting needs to stop. It has no relevance and no traction with the wider Labour-voting electrorate.

On Question Time,. the usual Labour guff about building more affordable homes was trotted out. The problem with building homes on that sort of level has to be governemnt-funded, the private sector can't and won't do it on their own.

So who pays for all these affordable homes? They are not self-financing.

To be honest any future Labour government would be mired in lawsuits from the owner's of the utilities they plan to steal back according to John McDonnell that they wouldn't be able to do much of anything else.

The other think to square is the number of homes that would go into negative equity if house prices drop substantially.  That affects those paying mortgages over and above the value of their home and also the banks, that lose substantial assets in the form of all these mortgages and homes.

So how does the government intend to compenste the parties affected by a government entering a massive house building scheme and crashing house prices?

Anyhoo, back to Labour's piss-poor performance last night. And be under no illusion, it was piss-poor given the own-goal the apparently disfunctional Tories appeared to donate.

Of course it's not the trots that have lost Labour seats, it's Brexit... Yes, Corbyn's lack of leadership on Brexit is a factor, but his lack of leadership on ANYTHING from Brexit, Hamas, Israel, to anti-Semetism, to Russian Spies and every other thing a Labour leader should have an opinion and provide leadership on. I've not headr the word spineless used regarding Corbyn for some reason, I expct because of his vindictive streak. But for fuck's sake, when you watch him, you really want him to come down off that fucking fence he likes to sit on. Great policy for a back bencher, but he's there up front at the sharp end, supposedly stating policy in a clear an concise manner. He's not supposed to look like Mr Bean's dad mistakenly got promoted to lead a political party. Jesus, he even makes Boris Johnson, the arch-prevaricator look concise and focussed.

Anyway, I do like it when I'm proved right.

According to most decent non-anarchist, non-trotskyite Labour voter, "Labour can go fuck themselves if they think I'm going to vote for them with that lot in charge""

And so the wounded, weak Conservative party get to limp on, with no-one around to on the opposition side able to deliver the coup-de-grace.

Makes you weep.

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

A Common Purpose.

The phrase in the title of this piece is quite innocuous... "a common purpose" It could be a beneficial thing, as in people working together towards a common goal or purpose, doing something for the common good.

But the phrase Common Purpose has been hijacked. It has bee hijacked by Marxists who use the phrase Common Purpose to define an organisation that has infiltrated the top layers of government, the health service, councils and the military.

Common Purpose identifies individuals in high-ranking positions to partake in their "training courses" (essentially indoctrination) and help form a common governance across layers and departments of organisations that have control over many aspects of our lives. Common Purpose themselves describe it as leading across boundaries, i.e. promoting the same style of management seamlessly across different organisations.

Any organisation that offers high ranking "leaders" of organisations places training courses really needs to be investigated.

But when the people invited covers the whole upper eschelons of governance then alarm bells need to be ringing.

If an organisation takes leaders from Government, Councils, Social Services, Education, The NHS, The Police, The Fire Service, The Ambulance Service, the Army, the Air Force, the Navy, the Legal profession...... and "trains" them, or at the very least brings them all to think and act as one with a common purpose without publicly defining what that common purpose is, you begin to feel a more sinister side to what they are doing, rather than something more innocuous. You would think that what they do and why they do it would be out in the public domain, but it isn't. You would think that an organisation that affects so many of our public services would be higher profile. But they are not.

More importantly our tax money is going towards putting people on these courses and the money is going to this organisation without any oversight. Most people would not have heard of it, but there it is, creeping through the upper layers of our most influential organisation. With no accountability, no information of why this money is being spent or what exactly it is being spent. on.

Just who does this private organisation called "Common Purpose" that influences the top echelons of governance report to? Certainly not the taxpayer.

I just happened to be at an event for one of my Grandkids last night. The amount of subliminal messaging around the event was untrue. The phrases used were innocuous: "Teamwork" "community" that sort of thing. But when everyone was chiming the same song, kids were given cue cards to read out to the audience with the same words on them. Over and over. What does that sound like? Brainwashing. Cultural Marxism.

Of course the teachers lapped it up, they being Common Purpose types themselves.

Once upon a time Education was about er, education. Making yourself fit mentally for life after school. You were an individual and treated as such. Some excelled and were creamed off and went to Grammar School and groomed for a University education.

Some of us at 11 decided we weren't performing ponies and stuck two fingers up to the 11-plus. We took what deliberately underfunded Secondary Modern  education gave us and still excelled. On our own terms. The people that become entrepreneurs and innovators. Because they have not had individuality educated out of them.

Nowadays we have the Homogenous Comprehensive Education system that supplies drones into the world. They act and think as one. They all win at sports because no-one loses, they hide in the "team" and refrain from excelling, they know how to perform well to pass tests, but stick one in a tricky real-world situation and they would crumble. Or cry. Or post on Facebook how unfair the world is. Or not bother and sit at home on benefits.

This is the world that Common Purpose is giving us. A homogenous, Marxist world, where innovation and individualism actual thinking are to be avoided and the herd mentality rules.

Common Purpose trains leaders to lead as a pack, with homogenous rules, all the same. But there is no leadership. When things go wrong (and they will with a Common Purpose leader at the helm because they are too busy following rules about equality, the environment,  etc. rather than actually leading and doing things that actively improve those things.). It's passive management, passive leadership, sleepwalking, you know the type. Full of talk from the Common Purpose Hymn book, but very little in actual leadership. Failure with no consequences, their Common Purpose buddies will save them if they fuck up...

Next time you watch a senior someone on the TV, just listen to the words they are saying. See if you can spot the patterns that identify a Common Purpose Drone. Lessons Learned (but no action taken), going forward (with the same old plan), teamwork (because being an individual is unacceptable).....