Thursday, 18 November 2010


Looking with interest and awe at the Irish financial crisis.

First off, awestruck that our government would agree to just hand over 7 billion pounds to prop up Ireland, just like that. Thats a similar figure that the cuts we're having to endure here have supposedly saved. So in effect, we're suffering for nothing: we won't save that money, instead our government have handed it over the EU central bank in order to bail out a country in the Euro zone: a project we're not part of.

Second, the fact that up until today the Irish government was adamant it didn't need help, until IMF and EU officials arrived in the country. Were Ireland forced into accepting a bailout? What is the bailout for? To help Ireland, or alternatively as I suspect to avoid panic in Germany and France?

This is just like black Wednesday: an artificial collection of countries using a single currency, on different economic cycles will inevitably provide opportunities for speculators. Just as there were runs on individual currencies during the ERM years, so there will continue to be attacks on vulnerable countries with the Euro.

After Ireland, there is the question of what will happen to Portugal and Spain. Its a never-ending cycle and these days we don't have bottomless pockets.

I said a couple of years ago that the problems associated with this recession would continue until price inflated markets like housing collapsed to a more realistic level.

Instead our government's plan is to throw our children's and grandchildren's money away trying to prop up inflated prices until inflation kicks off and normalises those prices again. It'll take decades to achieve, decades where the likes of you and me have to suffer the consequences of two decades of uncontrolled capitalism. Don't think that growth in the economy on its own can resolve the problem: thanks to all of the debt and uncertainty growth will be extremely weak for deacdes too. Not until the banking sector have expunged their toxic assets can we be really confident again. Given the usual term for a mortgage is 25 years ( you remember the original reason for the crash was dodgy mortgages), then you can expect the problem to last for at least 20 years , by which time most current mortgages will have matured.

Some days I feel like the best plan for the future is buying a boat, sailing off into the distance and not coming back. Maybe find a country with a more stable economy.


I'm reminded that on black Wednesday, none of the EU countries came to our aid. So where's reasoning behind our obligation to  the Euro Zone?

Sod 'em I say. I'm fed up to the back teeth of "our" government dipping into its pockets to help everyone else except the bloody taxpayers that fund all this madness.

Fuck me, I'm Speechless.

He got off on appeal.

One rule for them, another for us it seems.

Will a member of the Police ever be judged by the same standards that we're supposed to live by? Looks as if our public servants have a lower set of standards just for themselves.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

EU Collapse Imminent?

I wish.

Herman Rumpey-Pumpey is full of it today, issuing edicts and threats to EU countries in order to get them in line and back an Irish bailout, saying if the Euro collapses, so too does the EU.

All I can say is: bring it on!

In reality, I'm sure that eventually all EU states will be forced by the EU commission to pump money into the Euro Zone and prop up a fatally flawed economic idea. The idea that countries like Greece, Spain and Ireland could share a currency with the likes of Germany and France was fine as long as the little countries didn't burden the big ones too much. Now the weaker Euro countries are holding the bigger ones back, its suddenly everyone's problem. Its so predicatable that at some point there would be problems and so predictable that the bigger countries aren't willing to foot the bill for the folly.

To be honest, let the whole thong fail. I don't see why we should spend any money propping up a currency we aren't part of, or being a member of a Union that appears to be a net drain on our economy.

But of course the EU heirarcy can't allow failure to happen. Instead countries will coerced, cajoled and threatened in order to extort money to prop up the whole corrupt, artificial edifice.

Monday, 15 November 2010


I have experienced the most surreal moment. Listening to "Pienars Politics", I hear James Blunt saying he helped avert world war 3 by not attacking Russian soldiers holding Pristina airport. Not only that, but General Sir Mike Jackson is on the same programme confirming this and giving his side of the story too. Not only that, but James Blunt confirms that Boris Johnson was there with the troops as a journalist.

I almost thought I'd been transported into an alternate reality until James Blunt noted that even though the Russians had there big guns pointing in their general direction and an American general was urging the Brits to "destroy" them, all Boris wanted to know was the cricket score.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Government: A Broken System

When I used to work in hi-tech manufacturing, one of the main elements was quality control: measuring how well each piece of kit that exited the factory performed upon installation. After all, its no good shipping equipment to customers that doesn't work: you lose orders and therefore your job very swiftly if that happens.

One of the key tools in measuring performance against targets was feedback: measuring how successful each installation was and feeding that back to the production process in order to affect immediate change if any negative trends in reliability happened. Effectively a closed loop where deviations from predetermined targets effects changes in the process to bring the process back towards those targets.

Now, this is an area where I think government at all levels, national and local is broken. There is no immediate feedback. Sure we get to tell the government how well we think it is doing every five years, but its hardly an immediate system. Engine management systems in cars check the loop several times a second, manufacturing processes should work within days, but our system of government works on a glacial timescale by comparison: huge amounts of damage can and have been done while the country waits to provide its feedback.

This is the nub of where things are going wrong in government: we have a free-running open system, with very little feedback and none of the supposed checks and balances working. For instance the huge majority that Labour had in the last few terms ensured that virtually any policy, no matter how damaging to the country could be effected without any commensurate corrective action to curb it. Today we have a weak opposition and a coalition in government that consists of a major partner able to dictate to a minor one who are so desperate to stay in power they'd sell their granny, children, spouse and a few of their own organs if necessary.

Our system of government is so broken, that the house of commons makes policy and puts forward legislation, but little time is given to debate these measures, so the first part of the feedback loop is nullified.

 The second line of defence, actually voting on a proposal is nullified by party whipping: an MP may think a policy idea is ludicrous, but will be forced to vote by the whips, under verious methods of duress.

The third possibility to effect feedback is the House of Lords, but again, the system rigs the house with patsies of the political elite who will vote any way the government likes, either because they're getting favours, its their party's policy being invoked, or maybe the majority of them couldn't be arsed to turn up and vote against. By far the most damaging factor in this part of the feedback loop is the Parliament Act, whereby the house of commons can push through legislation anyway without the consent of the upper house.

Every piece of legislation requires Royal Assent. But again, we miss a trick here because our Monarch sees herself very much as a ceremonial one, keeping well out of anything political. No matter how damaging to the country she reigns over, she rubber-stamps whatever crap comes out of Parliament.

So, all of the relatively immediate feedback loops are broken, which allows the system to runaway. This is dangerous, because a runaway system allows any outcome, no matter how extreme.And we've seen what would be considered extreme policies in a moderate democracy become law: you name it; climate change legislation, billion pound bank bailouts, detention without trial, illegal wars, RIPA, the list goes on.

The system is broken and it may end up that the 60 million human beings that live here in the UK become the final feedback loop if and when we say no more and put an end to the current system of government. Maybe it'll have to come to that.