Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Sick silver-lining

To-date 790 British service personnel have been seriously injured in Afghanistan while working as part of ISAF (the International Security Assistance Force.) That's 790 fit young men (and occasionally women) who have lost a limb or two but came back alive. (There have been 219 fatalities.)

So we should be doing well in the London para-Olympics in 2012!

Link: BBC
Link: Wikipedia casualty count

Sun puts final nail in Labour's coffin

Having carefully studied the Mori opinion poll out yesterday (see previous post) the Sun newspaper (prop: Rupert Murdoch, readership: 10 million) has decided they don't want to be on the losing side of the next general election (expected May 6th, 2010) and so, in best rat tradition, have jumped off the sinking ship.

But don't make the mistake of thinking this changes their position at all. If you have actually read a copy of the Sun anytime in the last five years you will have seen that it was actually virulently anti-Labour. Top brass at News International may have called the paper Labour-supporting but the message never reached the newsroom - it's been knocking copy for years now.

So nothing really has changed. All that happened is the Sun execs who used to be chummy with Gordon Brown waited until the Leader's speech at the party conference and at what should have been his finest hour - slid a metaphorical knife in his back.

And let's face it - he deserved it.

Link: Sun

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Labour in 3rd place

Labour have fallen to third place in UK politics - during their national conference.

That's a bit embarrassing, to say the least. Conferences are supposed to boost ratings, and now they are behind the Lib Dems - albeit by just one percentage point.

Mori seem to have ignored the nationalist parties such as UKIP and the BNP, not even offering them as options on the survey. It would be interesting to know what their support is running at now - I can't see it being less than at the Euro elections earlier in the year.

Link: Mori

Friday, 25 September 2009

Petition the Prime Minister to sack Baroness Scotland

Amazingly Number 10 have just allowed a petition to sack the Attorney General to be put up on their website. Sign here...

I know for a fact that a few people have tried putting up a petition in the last couple of days and it has been disallowed. Now suddenly it's allowed. Either the PM being away in America for the G20 has left some out-of-his-depth junior in charge, or the dodgy Baroness no longer has support at the top.

The Attorney General now counts as low hanging fruit.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Sterling is feeling poorly

Or, rather, if you're holding sterling you're poorer. Today it has dropped below 1.10 euros. It has been lower in the past, down as low as one euro five cents, and recovered. But there's no obvious reason why it should recover this time.

Stephen Hesford: an honourable man?

Just so you don't think I'm always critical and negative, meet Stephen Hesford, Labour MP for the Wirrel, and until yesterday a Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS).

Stephen Hesford: resigned

Hesford resigned because he no longer wanted to be associated with disgraced Attorney General, Baroness Scotland.

A PSS is a minister's little helper in parliament. They don't get paid; they aren't members of the government. Hesford's connection with Baroness Scotland was rather tenuous - he wasn't her PPS, he worked for the Solicitor General who is the Attorney General's deputy in the government's Law Offices.

The only real point of taking a job as a PPS is to get your face out there. You get to rub shoulders with members of the government and just occasionally you may deputise for your minister - if none of the ranks of more junior ministers want the job on the day. The only point of being a PPS is to get seen and promoted to something more significant.

So one cheer for Hesford. He has given up the prospect of a glittering government career, which in fact in this government of the living dead he never had. On the plus side by resigning he has got his face on national TV - and I for one, had never previously heard of him. Clearly a man who can spot an opportunity.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Who is employing illegal immgrants

Further to Baroness Scotland's £5,000 fine for employing an illegal immigrant I though it would be illuminating to see who else is employing illegals.

Here is the UK Border Agency's list of offending employers in London and the South East for June: Link

Can you spot who the offending classes are? Hint: the word "Tandoori" appears 23 times.

The Americans are starting to think about quantitative tightening

Just think about it mind you. The New York Fed has done some preliminary work on setting up Reverse Repurchase Agreements where they "sell" some of the trillion dollar plus worth of assets they've acquired under TARP and other deals - for cash. "Sell" rather than sell because it's only for a fixed period and then the deal reverses. The effect is to take cash out of the economy for the period in question. The aim being to nail any inflation before it even starts.

So, Bank of England, where are you in all this?

Link: Bloomberg

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Baroness Scotland "fined" £5,000

So she's just been "fined" £5,000. I say "fined" because it's not a real fine from a criminal court, because that would take a trial and she could argue not guilty due to being deceived by the illegal immigrant in question. Nope, it's a New Labour fine, one of those you're-guilty-because-we-say-you-are fines where your legal rights don't apply.

Of course Baroness Scotland is making much mileage of it being a "civil" fine, claming as it's not criminal she doesn't have to resign. It's really just a fee to get the press off her back. And I expect the £170,000 expenses claim cushions the blow nicely. Hey, maybe she can actually claim the fine on her expenses - let's not forget Said Malik, former "Justice" minister, who claimed his £65 court summons fee for non-payment of council tax.

Personally, what I'd like to have seen, for Baroness Scotland, is a proper criminal trial, followed by deportation on conviction. Cancel the fine, not having her claim £170,000 housing would be all the compensation I'd want.

Link: BBC

Monday, 21 September 2009

Black baronesses beggar belief

Just to remind ourselves, this is Baroness Uddin whom I blogged about here. A Bangladeshi immigrant, she has distinguished herself by claiming an allowance of £83,000 for an out-of-London main residence which the Times cannot find. She does have flat in Kent, until recently unfurnished.

And here another outing for Baroness Scotland, so soon after her last appearance in this blog directly below. Her claim to fame today is the same as Uddin's above: claiming residence expenses as though she lived out of London, despite having a £2m London home. The Times has her £170,000 deep into the taxpayers' pocket.

Both of them are "baronesses" out of sheer political correctness. New Labour wanted them in government but they are unelectable, so they were parachuted into the House of Lords.

The sooner they are both our of our lives and out of this country - the better.

Friday, 18 September 2009

Baroness Scotland in hot water

Meet Baroness Scotland, the Attorney General for England and Wales (but not Scotland.)

She's an immigrant from Dominica and actually has no connection with Scotland at all - "Scotland" is just her family name. Her job as Attorney General makes her chief legal advisor to the "Crown", ie, to the UK Government.

Well, turns out she's being employing another immigrant, this one illegal and from Tongo, as a maid at her London home. Oops! Still, she claims she checked the illegal immigrant's documents when she hired her - it was the "over-staying student visa" trick.

Couple of problems here: one, a student visa doesn't let you take gainful employment anyway, and two, New Labour has bastardised the criminal justice system so much that they actually removed the mens rea defence by creating a "civil offense". So Baroness Scotland could be facing a £10,000 fine in a civil court even if she genuinely didn't know the maid was illegal.

Time to get beamed up, Baroness!

The government borrowed £16.1bn in August

If you annualise that you get £193.2bn which is way ahead of Alistair Darling’s budget forecast that the public sector would borrow £175bn this year. However, due to lower borrowing earlier in the year, the financial-year-to-date borrowing is £65.3bn, which annualised comes out at £156.7bn – which is under budget. It is actually possible AD will meet his £175bn borrowing forecast.

However a former Treasury adviser has accused the government of hiding the full extent of public debt by using controversial accounting rules to take £32.5bn off the books.

An astonishing 87 per cent of private finance initiative deals – under which the taxpayer pays private firms to build and run hospitals, roads or school premises – have not been properly accounted for on the government’s books, the research reveals.

In a controversial move, the government is using a new, internationally recognised and much fairer IFRS set of accounting rules in its internal forecasts – but still using the old system when publishing the national accounts and calculating national debt figures released to the public.

The existence of this two-tier system was slammed last night by the report’s author, professor David Heald of the University of Aberdeen, who until July was a member of the Financial Reporting Advisory Board (FRAB), which advises the government on its accounting procedures.

The external accounts are produced according to the Eurostat system of accounting, required as a measure of collating figures released to the Office of National Statistics (ONS). But Heald attacked these rules as “incredibly lax”, adding: “The government is hiding behind weak accounting rules and pretending the debt is not as high as it genuinely is.”

Philip Hammond, the shadow chief secretary to the Treasury, also hit out at the government, saying: “Only a day after we discovered the Prime Minister misled the country about his plans for spending cuts, we find out the government is trying to hide £32bn of debt off the balance sheet. Labour is taking the public for fools.” (Link )

It seems we’re now at an economic turning point in the UK. If the economy improves from here on the government’s forecasts will be accurate but if the figures keep getting worse it will be apparent to everyone that they’ve completely lost control – at which point expect a stock market and sterling crisis.

(In fact speaking of sterling – it needs watching. The last few days have seen it looking rather unhealthy.)

Link: BBC

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Inflation numbers are out

Link: Gov stats

The inflation numbers for last month (Aug 09) are:

CPI: +1.6% (was +1.8% in July)
RPI: -1.3% (was -1.4% in July)

If you strip mortgage interest payments out of the RPI it suddenly goes up to +1.4% (was +1.2% in July.) So we still have the effects of the 0.5% base rate helping keep inflation down.

CPI is being depressed by the moment by gas and electricity price hikes which happened 13 months ago and so have dropped out of the back end of the calculation. The prices are still high of course - but the BoE isn't counting them anymore.

The VAT cut, due to end at the end of the year, is also keeping the numbers down.

My take: inflation is still a greater risk than deflation.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

This vid needs a wider audience

Please stand to attention while watching this video...

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

The great BNP membership issue

OK, the story so far... At the Euro elections the BNP received approx one million votes and got two MEPs elected. This spooked the government enough to try to get the party shut down, so they unleashed the Commission for Equality and Human Rights (CEHR) onto the party like a pack of rabid gerbils.

The CEHR is a quango led by a former journalist called Trevor Philips, for some reason known as "droop lips" in the black community. It has a budget of £70m a year and seems inclined to use most of it to beat up the BNP.

CEHR Chairman: Our Trev

In June the CEHR wrote to the BNP claiming to have received complaints that 1) the white-only membership rule was unlawful, 2) since employees of the party must be members, its recruitment policy was also unlawful, and 3) that BNP elected members were only serving white constituents. (CEHR's Letter)

In August the CEHR applied for an injunction against the BNP in the London County Court and on the 2nd September the first hearing took place. The BNP's lawyer asked for more time because he had only just been briefed and the court granted a seven week adjournment but awarded costs so far against the BNP because they should have appointed a lawyer sooner.

That's the current state of play. The CEHR are represented by a top barrister, and the BNP is trying to raise cash to stay in the game.

However, in this game the deck is stacked. The government has a new Equality Act before parliament whose ostensible purpose is to roll up all preceding legislation into a single Act. The real purpose, of course, is to add in a few more titbits like positive discrimination and the abolition of the BNP, at least in its present form.

So the CEHR knows it will win; if not under the present law then under a new law, largely unwritten so far. (Although, the Equality Bill is supposedly so bloated now that it may actually be impossible to get it passed before this government dies in May 2010.)

Let's turn to the substance of the CEHR's complaints.

The easiest to dismiss is number 3 - that BNP elected members do not attempt to represent ethnic minorities in their constituencies. This is based on a quote from BNP Chairman Nick Griffin to the effect that ethnics will continue to "go to" the Labour party.

Nick Griffin: BNP Chairman

This hinges on what is meant by "go to". The CEHR seems to think it means the BNP wants ethnics to take their problems to Labour politicians, whereas it seems clear from the context the Nick Griffin was simply saying he expected ethnic minorities to continue voting Labour like they mainly do. The BNP has always been clear that its politicians will represent and work for all constituents, not just white ones.

Moving back up the list of complaints we have number 2 - employment discrimination. Now I don't know if employees of the BNP even have to be members; asking for a membership number doesn't mean you won't get a job if you write NONE in the box. The BNP is painfully aware that some people are simply not allowed to join the party. If someone in a profession where BNP membership is forbidden wanted to put in a few paid hours at the BNP on a part time basis I cannot imagine the Party declining their services simply because they weren't a member. (Although most such people would be unpaid volunteers so this is a bit of a non-issue.)

However, precedent has already been set, not least by the Labour party in government, that "political jobs" may be restricted to party members. Think Alistair Campbell, Tony Blair's spokesman, he was technically a civil servant, paid for by the taxpayers, and yet his position was not advertised generally and party allegiance was a requirement. Political jobs are de facto, if not de jure exempt from some aspects of employment law. The major parties would be greatly inconvenienced if this changed.

So that leaves number 1 - the big issue - white-only membership. This issue stems from the fact that the BNP wears two hats. Its first hat is nationalism. It is the Party which advocates nationalism, the ideology, just as other parties advocate socialism or unfettered, globalised capitalism. This hat isn't a problem. A brown or black person could be a nationalist just as much as a white person. Colour or race doesn't determine ideological outlook.

The second hat the BNP wears is more problematic; it's the party which supports rights for the indigenous peoples of the British Isles - who happen all to be white.

As an aside: some people wonder - why on Earth do whites need their rights supported? Surely they already have all the representation they need. Well, consider, we natives are probably already a minority in our own capital city and demographic trends indicate we will be a minority in the entire country within most of our lifetimes. Also note that some of our largest growing minorities are noticeably less tolerant of outsiders than we have been of them. You only have to look at how blacks are treating whites in South Africa - 3,000 white farmers killed, endemic black-on-white crime - or how Christians are treated in Muslim countries, to see that us becoming a minority in our own lands will be problematic, to put it mildly.

As the BNP's second purpose is to support and represent the natives, naturally membership is restricted to natives, hence to whites. The BNP certainly does not take the view that whites are superior to other races, nor does the BNP hate blacks or browns. It's simply that the Party's job is to represent people who happen to be white.

The BNP can point to a lot of organisations which are race or religion based. However they are not political parties, and they generally do allow all-comers, at least in the small print. The National Black Police Officers' Association recently changed (or possibly, clarified) their rules to allow white police officers to join. The usual refrain is that this is an association ABOUT a certain ethnic group but not RESTRICTED TO that group, ie, if a white police officer were particularly interested in minority issues he could join the NBPOA.

So the BNP cannot use other organisations as precedents for race-restricted membership. Any minority group that has a formal restriction will be removing it as we speak.

Ironically, one of the more fundamental Human Rights which the CEHR should be exercised about is Freedom of Association, which is both freedom to include and exclude with whom you associate.

But this is an argument the BNP is not going to win. If they win in court then the law will be changed and the CEHR will be back for another bite at the cherry.

One wonders what the CEHR expects to gain when it wins its court case. The most obvious "victory" would be to bankrupt the Party though legal fees and thereby stop it operating (or at least put it on an equal footing with the Labour party which has been bankrupt for years.)

I hope and expect that the BNP will know when to fold; and to realise that it's better to live to fight another day than to die for the principle - at least in this case. The CEHR may be hoping to run up massive bills and then actually pursue members of the BNP for payment.

A second tier "victory" for the CEHR would be to win the court case to establish the principle of open membership and then other organisations could dilute the BNP by having a large cohort of ethnic minorities join and wreck the Party from the inside. This seems an unlikely strategy. It would be expensive and difficult to organise enough people to join to out vote the existing 12,500 (and growing) membership. The anti-BNP political organisations, eg the UAF, are not mass membership organisations. They simply don't have the foot-soldiers to carry out that kind of operation. If they did, they would already have done it using eligible members; they are a small number of very active people, not a solid mass of concerned individuals like the BNP. These days even the large political parties such as the Conservatives or Labour are hollowed-out organisations with no real grass-roots. They consist of a lot of full-time chiefs and some part-time Indians who'll turn out once every four or five years for elections.

So the CEHR is probably expecting to follow its court "victory" with a series of financially punitive enforcement actions: fines for failing to have enough ethnic minorities in the membership; fines for failing to tick the right politically correct boxes and jump through the right hoops; death by a thousand cuts.

The very least the anti-BNP forces can be hoping for is that the Party's top personnel and funds will be tied up in legal action in the run up to the next general election.

So, although it is right for the BNP to defend its position to a certain extent, it would not be right to risk the existence of the Party on this one court case. It's not like this is a fair fight - as I've already said, the deck is stacked.

And one has to wonder - how bad would it be if membership were opened to all British citizens?

The main problem, I think, would not be hoards of blacks or browns joining. It would be disaffected whites leaving. Quite a lot of members are more hardline than the BNP's current leadership - wrongly in my view - success at the ballot box requires not frightening the Great British Public with extremism or overt unfairness. The BNP used to have a "blacks out" stance which required all non-white immigrants to leave. This was not a recipe for electoral success and has rightly been dropped. The current "permanent guests" policy is an easier "sell" to the voter.

However BNP members for whom "blacks out" was non-negotiable have already left, and are either not affiliated to a party at the moment, or have joined a further right party such as the British Peoples' Party. It should be noted though that these "disgusted of Tonbridge Wells" types generally still vote BNP; even the BPP advocates voting BNP unless they have their own candidate in the election.

I suspect the Party could open its doors to all comers without much problem. Few ethnics would join and of those that did many would be more fanatically devoted to the cause than the current white members. Note that white BNP members are alarmed and concerned about Muslim fundamentalism while Hindus and Sikhs hate with an abiding passion (largely a legacy of the partition of India.) Meanwhile the existing white members would see the larger picture and tolerate the imposition.

And there would be an upside. It would be a stick to beat the media with. Currently the BNP is held back by a lack of reportage, or biased reporting aimed at discrediting the Party. The tabloids love to print a story about shaven-headed, tattooed, sig-heiling BNP members running amok. The fact that this is always complete fiction doesn't deter them. And the BBC simply ignores the BNP as much as it can decently get away with. The BNP's policies and position on the great issues of the day are not reported and as a result most voters do not realise there is actually a genuine choice - not just three flavours of the same choice. Without the excuse of the party being "racist" the media would have to normalise their reporting. The Nazi image needs to be quashed before the BNP can be truly successful at the polls.

So open membership could actually be turned to the BNP's advantage in several ways. It's not the end - but that doesn't mean I'm suggesting giving up without a fight.

Monday, 7 September 2009

Islamification in action: Churchyard bulldozed to make way for mosque

The BNP website has a pictorial article which illustrates Islamification in action.

I've taken the liberty of reproducing some of the pictures here.

This is St John's Church in the parish of Longsight, Manchester.

This is the attached graveyard, where parishioners have been buried since 1845.

This is what happened to the graveyard after the church was converted into a mosque.

Here are the cherished tombstones, no more than rubble.

And lastly we see the "church" once again open for business with its front door adorned with a foreign script and badly spelt English.

And the story is complete. A small part of our heritage, our historical record, the graves of our ancestors, is wiped out as though it was never there.

Friday, 4 September 2009

The Fed must cough

A lot of people have been trying to get the US Federal Reserve Bank to spill the beans on what they did with the trillion dollars plus that they've handed out to various institutions since the start of the credit crunch in Autumn 2007.

Senator Ron Paul (Rep, Texas) is pushing a Bill requiring a full audit of the Fed: how much? To which companies? For what collateral? There have also been freedom of information requests (FOI) to the Fed, which it has stone-walled.

The Fed's position is basically that the public couldn't take the bad news; there would be mass flight from institutions which have been helped and this would trigger a(nother) banking melt-down.

Unfortunately for the Fed:

Aug. 25 (Bloomberg) -- The Federal Reserve must for the first time identify the companies in its emergency lending programs after losing a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.

Manhattan Chief U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska ruled against the central bank yesterday, rejecting the argument that loan records aren’t covered by the law because their disclosure would harm borrowers’ competitive positions.

So, finally we get to follow the money.

Link: Bloomberg

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Terrorist for oil - is it right?

So here's the question: was Gordon Brown right to do a deal and send Al Megrahi home to die after serving a 14-day per life taken sentence for mass murder in return for $15bn worth of oil?

The Americans think not. But then it was mainly Americans who died on flight Pan Am 103. And these are the same Americans who funded the IRA and gave stinger missiles to the Taliban in Afghanistan, then called the Mujahideen - with the expectation they would use them on Soviet helicopter gunships, and then, embarassingly, had to send a top CIA lady over to buy them back at $1,000,000 a pop before they could carry out their own post-911 invasion.

I'm inclined to discount the US government preaching from the moral high ground - as you might be able to tell. However the feelngs of American families should not be discounted.

And I wonder to what extent we should factor into our considerations the serious doubt now raised regarding Al Megrahi's conviction. It's pretty obvious he dropped his appeal on a promise of repatriation - his lawyer as good as said so to the Judge. His appeal may well have succeeded, which would have been embarassing all round. Remember his co-accused, Fhimah, was acquited at Camp Zeist.

There's a body of opinion which holds that flight 103 was actually downed by Syrian intelligence officers at the behest of Iran in retaliation for the shooting down of Iran Air flight 655, killing all 290 persons on-board, by the American guided missile destroyer USS Vincennes on the 3rd July 1988. (Pan Am 103 was bombed on the 21st of December 1988.)

Given that Magrahi is very ill and possibly innocent anyway I'm inclined to the view that it was right to do the deal.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Public sector debt to-date

In his April budget Alistair Darling announced public sector borrowing this year of £175bn. He also needed to roll over £45bn worth of old debt making a total borrowing of £220bn.

We have just completed the fifth month of the financial year and total borrowings in the year to-date are: £94,193,328,600.

Annualise that and you get £226bn. So we're only $6bn over-budget; less than a billion a month.