Friday, 17 December 2010

BNP vs CEHR - BNP victory!

This morning at 10am at the Royal Courts of Justice the verdict in the Commission for Equality and Human Rights vs the British National Party was handed down.

Verdict: BNP victory!

The BNP will now of course seek all its costs from the CEHR. In your face Trevor!

Details here.

Commentry from the BNP here.

Friday, 10 December 2010

Balance of trade - UK vs EU

One of the most important policies of the BNP is leaving the European Union. This is because we see no reason to be governed by foreigners, and have no desire to govern them. BNP policy is that we would remain within the free trade area (aka the customs union) and so trade would be unaffected.

However, the EU could try to make that difficult for us, so it's worth looking at what the implications would be of them saying, "no deal, get lost entirely." If the UK had no trade with the EU, would we gain or loose?

Here's a map showing trade balances with the EU for 2009. (You may need to click on it to see a bigger version.)



The countries shaded red or pink have a negative trade balance with us, ie, we lose out trading with them. The countries in grey are positive, we sell them more goods and services combined than they sell us.

Clearly in the EU only the Republic of Ireland and the Netherlands are significant to us, although Sweden, Finland and Romania are slightly positive. All the other countries are either slightly or strongly negative - we lose money by trading them.

Now let's aggregate that by looking at the same maps for the entire world.



and...



From the upper image you can see we are negative overall with respect to the EU and Asia, but positive with Africa and Australia/New Zealand.

The lower image shows that we are positive with respect to all the Americas and the USA is our most important trading partner.

Here's a table showing the actual value of trade with our beneficial partners (2009).


The "profit" is how much more we sold them than they sold us. Contrast the above table with the same for our two big neighbours.

So you can see that if we cut off trade links with the EU we would lose £14.7bn profit from Ireland and the Netherlands, but gain by not making a £18.7 loss on trades with France and Germany, and of course gain even more from not trading with the other EU countries.

All this means the EU is very unlikely to make it difficult for us of we choose to leave. They would just be hurting themselves.

Two other factors need considering.

1) Most of the UK's exports are "services" while our imports are "goods". Goods are easy to block with trade barriers because they are tangible, services are not. Services can be sold through a front company in the target country. For example a UK software house employing 1,000 people could start a ten person company in another country and pipe the software in through the internet. Financial services can be slipped under borders in much the same way.

2) The UK is Europe's premier tourist destination by value. Foreign tourism is worth £115bn a year to us and the UK leaving the EU free trade area wouldn't change that.

So putting it all together we have little to fear from leaving the EU.

Now if someone were to suggest joining the North American Free Trade Area (NAFTA) that would be an interesting option to explore.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

World Infowar I

The story so far: allegedly one Private First Class (2nd rung above civie street) Bradley Manning of the US army, whilst on a tour of duty in Iraq, reported to work with a Lady Gaga CD, wiped the music and overwrote the CD with 260,000 classified documents (possibly using several CDs over several days to get the complete set.)

PFC Manning

The documents were available on SIPRNet, a parallel internet run by the US Department of Defense, hosting the same applications as the regular internet, eg email, web pages and the like, but in a secure environment. This network hosts documents up to the level "SECRET". Access to this network is restricted to about 3 million personnel, both military and civilian.

This data was then passed to Wikileaks, a web site devoted to hosting leaked documents. Wikileaks has an obscure origin; it is thought to have over 1,000 people involved in running it on part-time basis, but its self-proclaimed Editor-in-Chief is one Julian Assange, an Australian with a background in hacking. (The identity of those who actually own and run Wikileaks is unknown - possibly Assange is also the owner but that is by no means certain.)

Julian Assange

Shortly after Wikileaks started releasing these 260,000 documents Mr Assange was accused of two sexual offences (one rape, one harassment) during a visit to Sweden; his Swiss bank account was frozen, and MasterCard stopped processing payments to Wikileaks. Assange was arrested in London, refused bail (not unreasonably since he refused to provide the court with a UK address) and at the time of writing resides in HMP Wandsworth (a London prison.)

Some people think to see dirty tricks in this concatenation of misfortune to assail Mr Assange at this time.

But the harassment is not all one sided. "Hacktivists" have come to Assange's and Wikileak's defence. MasterCard's website has been attacked by a Denial of Service attack and effectively taken down (although the system used by stores is still working.) The Swiss bank, PostFinance, has also been targeted and their website rendered inoperative. Their press release said, "Access to www.postfinance.ch and thus also e-finance is currently overloaded owing to a multitude of online enquiries."

"Online enquiries," in one way of describing a DOS attack.

The Swedish public prosecutor's office has also come under fire.

So it seems World Infowar I has now broken out. The US government is determined to persecute the person it holds responsible for the leaks, and the Internet community is equally determined to hit back.

The opinion of this blog is simply: why on Earth did the Americans ever expect documents available to three million people to remain secret?

Monday, 29 November 2010

Total fiscal union?

So Ireland have had their bail out. There's no guarantee it will last. Irate Irishmen are known for blowing things up. They may still walk away from the deal after signing, say in a few months when the inequities highlighted in my previous post are better known.

Next fiscal basket-case in the bond markets' cross-hairs is Portugal. Eleven million people (compared with the ROI's population of 4.5 million) but much the same GDP. The Portuguese are poor! 200,000 of them eat out of soup kitchens. That's serious poverty.

Then after Portugal is bailed out (basically by the Germans) attention will switch to Spain. Spain is economically six times larger than Portugal; in population terms four times larger. Spain is richer, but that's bad because it means Germany cannot afford to bail out Spain. No-one can afford to bail out Spain. If Spain needs help the euro is toast.

So how to stop it getting that far? Well, the answer is total fiscal union. Instead of there being Irish bonds and Portuguese bonds and Spanish bonds and German bonds - merge the lot. Henceforth there are only eurobonds, issued by the European Central Bank in Frankfurt. Then the bond markets cannot pick on weak members of the eurozone.

But how does that work? Some eurobonds are issued, who gets the cash? Well, that's where total fiscal union comes in. The ECB hands out the cash according to some formula. Eurozone countries no longer have any borrowing powers of their own. To borrow they must go begging to the ECB. Yields on the eurobond will be some weighted average of the existing yields. Every member country is equally responsible for the redemption of eurobonds although probably every member country will retain its existing national debt, which has to be financed with new bonds as old bonds expire. So old national bonds will continue to exist but only as a legacy product. You won't be able to buy new ones.

It could just work! It does involve a massive transfer of sovereign power to the EU though. The participating eurozone states would be reduced to a status equivalent to American states vis-a-vis their Federal government. Frankfurt would be telling them how much they can spend in the future. (Another apt analogy would be the relationship between Scotland and London. Scotland decides how to spend the money, but London tells them how much they can have.)

Does every eurozone state have to join this fiscal union? Well, all the weak ones have to, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece. If Germany doesn't join there's no point. France might try to stay out, but the German public would be a bit pissed off if the French aren't seen to be pulling their weight. The smaller euro users would probably be bullied in, eg Malta. In practice if a few smaller euro nations wanted to stay out of the union it probably wouldn't matter. They would be paying a premium in the bond markets for their independence.

Ireland, a nice little earner

So the deal is done. Ireland will be borrowing €85bn from a number of sources, including the UK and Germany and her own pension funds.

Ireland will be paying 5.8% interest on the loan. The UK will be borrowing to fund our €7bn share of the loan, at 3.34%. The Germans will be borrowing at 2.74%.

Nice!

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Media coverage of Derby rape cases

Nine men have been convicted of abusing 27 girls aged 12 to 18, including raping under-aged girls and forcing them to work as prostitutes.

Horrific, I'm sure you would agree. But also horrific is the media's blatant ignoring of the fact that the perpetrators are mainly muslim Asians and the victims are all white girls.

In this latest case, the "Derby rape trials", which have been on-going since February this year the convicted persons published by the BBC are:

Abid Mohammed Saddique
Mohammed Romaan Liaqat
Faisal Mehmood
Mohammed Imran Rehman
Naweed LiaqatFarooq Ahmed
Ziafat Yasin

They don't give a complete list of names. But it's pretty obvious that most of the criminals are muslim, for starters they are called "Mohammed" more often than not. (Mohammed is now the most popular boys' name for babies born in the UK this year - provided you include all the variations in spelling, Mohamed, Mohammet etc.)

And it all goes back to the Prophet Mohammed. He married his wife Aisha when she was 7 years old and started having sex with her when she was 9. This sets the standard by which some muslims live; paedophilia is endorsed by their religion.

Yet somehow the BBC fails to notice the muslim connection. And the rest of the media seems to go with "Asian rape gang". Asian? You don't see many Sikh or Hindu rape gangs! It must be pretty gutting for them to be lumped in with these animals.

Last night Newsnight did a long report on the Derby case without once mentioning, or even appearing to notice, the muslim connection. They had a representative from Barnardos who claimed these rape gangs now operate in every town and city in the country and thousands of girls are involved. (It seems unlikely to this blog that this is literally true - not everywhere in the UK has been enriched by a muslim presence yet, thankfully.)

But the BBC seems completely oblivious to the fact that this is one ethnic group preying on another. Or rather they don't want to report it. They are protecting their left-wing agenda and concealing the glaring flaws in the multicultural experiment which has proved a disaster for this country. What gives them the right to use OUR money to promote THEIR agenda is not clear.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Which little pig is safe?

Here are the deficit and debt numbers for a few European nations. (Remember: deficit is the year-on-year borrowing and national debt is the total accumulated debt.)

Click to enlarge

Who do think is the next to suffer the fate of Ireland? The most important metric is probably the deficit as a percentage of GDP. Existing debt must be rolled-over but generally only once every ten years, new debt has to be funded in the markets today. This would indicate that the UK is the next to meet the wolf. However the UK is different, we have our own currency which we can print at will. So running to the IMF/EU is not something we need contemplate this side of a hyperinflationary disaster.

Next in line is Spain.

But really these numbers don't tell you much. Ireland and Greece both failed, but for different reasons. Greece was profligate to the max and doesn't really have a functioning tax base. Meanwhile in Ireland most citizens pay most of their taxes most of the time. Ireland's problem was those two large banks Allied and Anglo. They are stuffed with bad debts from the property collapse but have a taxpayer guarantee. They have been suffering a low-motion run over the last few months - so slow it has been referred to as a bank-walk rather than a bank-run. But eventually crunch time comes. There have been some suggestions in the press that the ATMs would already have run dry in Ireland if the bail-out money hadn't arrived.

So the much mooted "contagion" doesn't really apply. Different countries are suffering for different reasons. If Spain is up next it's likely to be more of an Irish situation than a Greek. Spain has over-built with holiday apartments which stand empty just like the Irish ghost towns. Twin that with, say, Santander suffering a few big bad debts in Brazil, and you might have the making of the next little pig to go running for cover.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Take your money out of Irish banks

The stats page indicates this blog has some readership in Ireland, so here's some advice for you: Get your money out of the bank! Well, some of it at least. Ireland is now in an Iceland situation - it has a couple of large banks, Allied Irish Banks and Anglo Irish Bank which have spread their tentacles around the world and are in danger of over reaching themselves. Their operations are out of all proportion to the banking requirements of the Irish economy.

Of these Allied is the one giving most cause for concern. The reason being that it has greater retail exposure and although 100% backed by government guarantees there might come a time when the government does not have enough cash to honour that pledge.

Anglo on the other hand is government-owned and had little retail exposure. Its debts are huge but they're the government's problem. Allied's debts could be your problem.

So the current EU/UK loan is an exit opportunity for anyone with cash in Allied. Take it out, move it somewhere safer. In fact now is a good time to be holding a substantial fraction of your savings in cash, at home. (Hide it well!) Ireland is entering a time of uncertainty similar to the tail end of 2007. The most likely future is simply that the crisis will blow over. However, other scenarios are possible: bank failure, "long weekends" and unscheduled bank holidays, withdrawal limits, and it's even possible that Ireland would try to break free from the euro (although this is extremely unlikely for the reasons given in the previous post.)

In the event any of these things come to pass - holding a big wad of euro notes in your hands would be very reassuring.

Friday, 19 November 2010

Wall Street Journal attacks Mervyn King

Mervyn King, governor of the Bank of England, has not been popular on this blog for several years now. He has presided over a massive debt bubble and consistently refused to take any preventive or remedial action.

However he hasn't taken much flak from the mainstream media - until now. The august and respected Wall Street Journal has turned on him, saying,
Should in a year’s time the BOE’s forecasts continue to be undershooting actual inflation as much as they have done hitherto, the market’s confidence in King and his colleagues will evaporate very quickly. The solution then won’t just be a very large and very rapid tightening of policy. It will be to replace King with someone whose reputation isn’t riddled full of holes.

Ouch! Read the full article here.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Getting out of the euro

Ireland and Greece and maybe Portugal and Spain could do with getting out of the euro and into a currency they can devalue at will. How easy would that be? Well imagine the Irish government announces that Ireland is breaking free, the euro is to be canned and the punt is coming back. What happens next?

The euro was adopted with a big-bang switch over. All savings accounts, all debts, all contracts were instantly converted to the euro, and cash was changed over the course of a few weeks. In fact Ireland was the fastest switch over country, most cash had changed in the first two weeks. This was made possible by the fact there was a hard lock between each national currency and the euro - everyone knew what they were getting years ahead of time. Reversing the operation you could attempt a hard lock, one punt equals one euro or similar, but everyone would know that the punt was destined to be devalued and they would struggle hard to keep their savings in euros. If their bank account were due to be converted on "punt day" they would move to a foreign currency account, or just plain withdraw euro cash.

On reversion to the punt the Irish government would undoubtedly like to redenominate its national debt into punts. And why not? Long dated Irish bonds were denominated in punts before the euro dawn and would be returning to their original currency. But the markets would regard that as an effective default and would sell up before punt day. Yields would shoot through the roof. The Irish government would be unable to fund its deficit.

In short, converting to the euro was an easy option, getting out would incur the wrath of all concerned. In fact it would be necessary to run both currencies in parallel so people felt secure. Bonds would have to stay in euros to keep the markets happy. People's savings would have to stay in euros to stop runs on the banks. This means debts would have to stay in euros as well. (Otherwise lenders would be out of pocket.) Later when the new punt had found its right level people would be happier to convert, at the going rate.

Contracts would be problematic. If they weren't implicitly changed (eg contracts of employment and salaries) there would be little point leaving the euro in the first place since devaluation is what it's all about, but if they were changed there would be all sorts of problems where a liability remained in euros but payments were converted to punts, for example a contract to supply goods sourced overseas at a particular price.

Clearly it would be massively traumatic for Ireland to leave the euro.

Quite the reverse would apply in the Germany. If Angela Merkel announced the return of the Deutschmark the German people would be extremely happy. They would know that a liberated DM would rise relative to the euro and they would be delighted to have their savings automatically converted. There would be a small number of losers - people with contracts committing them to buy in DM goods previously priced in euros, but most people would be better off, at least initially. Later they would suffer a little by losing market share to cheaper eurozone countries.

And Germany leaving the euro would cause a euro devaluation which would benefit the weaker euro countries without them having to leave the euro.

So it looks like Germany must leave the euro.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Getting out

So the Chandlers have been released after 388 days of captivity. The exact mechanism of their release is being kept secret by the organisers to deter other kidnappers, but the general feeling is about $1m was raised by public appeal, plus a contribution from the Somali government such as it is. This contribution bought the Mogadishu government some "Chandler time" and the Chandlers were obliged to visit the presidential palace for PR reasons. The money was handed over via "tribal elders" and the Chandlers were let go.

A legal super-injunction taken out by the family prevented the media from covering the negotiations with the kidnappers because every time progress was made the kidnappers raised their expectations.

The British government doesn't pay ransoms for its citizens. That's its firm position. Other Western governments do. However, let's not forget that the British also did not negotiate with terrorists, until that is, a peace deal was done with the IRA and it turned out they had been negotiating with them all along. "We do not pay ransoms," is the obvious public position. What happens behind the scenes is likely a completely different story. Quite possibly a lot of public money went into that ransom.

The original response to the kidnapping was bungled by the government. We now know that the Chandlers were taken from their boat under the nose of a British warship. The decision was taken not to intervene in case the Chandlers were hurt. The rightness of this decision can be debated, but we should never have got to the point where Somali pirates feel comfortable operating a few yards away from a warship.

Within a few hours of the kidnapping a team from the Special Boat Service (possibly the mysterious, newly-formed X squadron), based in Poole, Dorset, were in the area and preparing to mount a rescue. At this time the Chandlers were in a known location, on one of the pirated ships. However this rescue was vetoed by London and the Chandlers were then moved to the Somali mainland, to an unknown location and rescue became impossible.

Thus the protracted 388 day ordeal began.

Any sort of punitive military action is hampered by the fact that the Somalis still have several hundred other hostages, mainly the crews of pirated ships, and the exact location of the kidnapping village (these are tribal endeavours) is unknown. What is clear is that the navy must reclaim control of the seas in the area. This means attacking pirate boats BEFORE they actually attempt an act of piracy. Speed boats out at sea for no obvious purpose must be stopped and searched and confiscated if weapons are found. The crews can be returned to dry land with nothing but the clothes they stand up in. Any boat resisting or refusing to stop should be fired on. The harbours where these speed boats congregate should be shelled.

In short the pirates should be driven back onto land.

Meanwhile in Burma, Aung San Suu Kyi has been released after 15 years of house arrest. It remains to be seen what effect this will have on Burmese politics.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

EU accounts rejected again

The European Union has had its annual accounts rejected again, for the sixteenth year in a row. The auditors concluded that billions of pounds of EU funds were spent wrongly, such as farmers being paid for crops that were never grown, or sheep being double counted to get extra grants.

The EU has a yearly budget of £88bn, of which £15.5bn comes from the UK (our bill is up £450m on last year, Cameron having failed to abide by a pledge to freeze our contributions.)

If this were a private company the directors would long since have been sent to jail. Instead we are forced to endure this perpetual kleptocracy.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

English students protest fee increases

English students: skipping lectures

A few posts back this blog noted that Irish students were demonstrating against a University fee rise to €3,000 while English students seemed to be supine in the face of potential fees of £9,000 (and £6,000 as typical fees.)

Well, the English have now revolted in their turn.

They seem to have invaded Tory HQ and smashed it up a bit.

It remains to be seen whether this will have any influence on policy. Probably not. The weak link in the coalition government is really the LibDems. It might have been more effective to invade their headquarters.

Laughing from the sidelines are the Scottish, who pay nothing.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

BNP back in court, day 2 of 2

Day Two at the Royal Courts of Justice; a smaller coterie of BNP supporters outside and just the stalwarts in the court. Of the defendants only Simon Darby turned up, slipping into place half an hour after the start of proceedings. Nick Griffin is apparently out of hospital but did not come to court, much to the chagrin of the Commission who seemed disappointed that their main target is so elusive.

Today was a morning-only session and Griffin’s brief, David Reid QC, did most of the talking. Mr Reid went through the court order that Griffin & others are alleged to have ignored, showing how each clause either didn’t apply, didn’t mean what the CEHR said it meant, or had in fact been complied with.

He also said that as far as he could see the only reason that the Commission were keeping Darby and Lumby in the case was so they could hit them with costs afterwards. (Muttered conversations outside the court also seem to be along the lines of: pay up and we’ll let you off the hook.)

One of the other barristers, previously referred to as the Munchkin, also spoke (in real life Mr Lay it seems.) One might have slightly more confidence in his grip on the case if he hadn’t kept referring to the British National Party as the “G”NP. Rumpole didn’t speak at all.

Anyway after Griffin’s barrister had laid out the defence, taking all morning to belabour some of the simplest points imaginable – one just hopes his written argument was more cogent – that was it. Case done and dusted. Draft judgement will be handed down within seven days, but it will be secret, and there may have to be yet another court day before final judgement.

Without wishing to prejudice the case, it’s not looking very likely that anyone is going to jail here.

Monday, 8 November 2010

BNP back in court, day 1 of 2

Once more to the Royal Courts of Justice in the Strand where the Commission for Equality and Human Rights (CEHR) today continued their attempt to jail Nick Griffin, Simon Darby and Tanya Lumby.

Only Darby was actually in court, Lumby was caught up in travel problems and Nick Griffin is apparently in hospital with kidney stones. The court heard that he has been in and out of hospital a couple of times this last week. (Kidney stones is “renal colic” when you’re a barrister – not kidding!)

However all defendants now have barristers, Griffin was represented by one David Reid, and Rumpole and Munchkin (see previous post on this subject) were in court for the other two. Like on the 7th of September, Robin Allen, QC, BA (Oxon) for the Commission took charge of proceedings and his first act, even before the judges were in, was to order a line of people to shuffle along so that “Susie” the black lady from the CEHR would have somewhere to sit. The line in question was somewhat reluctant and “Susie” had to go sit down in the well of the court.

By 10:45am Lord Justice Moore-Bick and Mr Justice Ramsey had entered the court, each closely followed by a flunkey to pull out their chair for them. (This is a two-judge case therefore two flunkeys are also required.)

Mr Allen QC was then on his feet until the court rose at 1pm. In a long and turgid exposition he recapped the whole sorry saga going back months if not years. In an impressive display of mental fortitude their Lordships on the Bench didn’t fall asleep. Possibly the effort of turning over the pages at Mr Allen’s direction was keeping them awake.

By lunch time the judges had managed to extract from Mr Allen that the Commission’s position was that Nick Griffin had complied with the court order to change the BNP’s constitution in a tardy and partial manner and had sent something by email which he should have sent by post.

The Commission’s case is proceeding like a crab, making small forward progress but mainly shuffling sideways. They ordered Nick Griffin to change the BNP’s constitution and put up a message to all members on the website. So Nick did that. But then the CEHR didn’t like the wording of the change, and didn’t like the fact the message to all members was put on a members-only website, and didn’t like the fact that the clauses they wanted out of the constitution were only “suspended” not deleted – whatever that means.

One suspects that using the BNP members-only website to communicate with the members didn’t involve enough public humiliation for the CEHR’s liking.

However, his Lordship Lord Justice Moore-Bick seemed to know how to deal with crabs and as Mr Allen sidled off on a tangent he brought him on track every time. Mr Allen went downhill a bit as the morning progressed; he started by calling Nick Griffin a liar and saying the means to “sequester” him were close at hand (did he have a room full of cops next door?) but by the afternoon he was back-pedalling, saying he didn’t want to create a martyr, and that maybe a small fine would be an appropriate sanction but he left that very much up to the court.

Of course the CEHR is trying to win this by bankrupting the party with costs, not by winning an argument in court. They’re just looking to throw enough mud to have the costs awarded against the party.

It has to be said Nick & co don’t seem to have done themselves too many favours. Why didn’t they just comply with the original court order in a timely manner? And it seems Nick sent in his evidence in the form of five different affidavits, each one superseding the previous. That’s not very organised, to put it mildly.

Anyway, the case continues. Tomorrow the defence barristers will get a look in. Today most of them hardly said a word. I can’t wait.

Friday, 5 November 2010

The ICT immigration con

Our new coalition government promised to clamp down on immigration and restrict the number of work visas issued. And for a while it looked like they had done as they promised. Sponsoring organisations have been cut back on the number of foreigners they may bring into the country. The Universities have been particularly hit - top research jobs remain unfilled because the number of foreign scientists they can give jobs to has been halved.

Only premiership football has been exempt. Manchester United and friends still get to bring in as many foreign players as they like.

But unfortunately the government (probably deliberately) left the back door open and migrants are swarming through.

The back door is called ICT - Intra-Company Transfer.

If a multinational company has overseas staff it wants to bring into the UK for a couple of years the rules are very lax. The lucky employee needs to earn about £24,000 a year (from which travel and subsistence costs may be deducted so in reality they can be paid as little as minimum wage) and be an "expert", ie have a relevant degree, or three years' experience. The company then gets to employ this person in the UK and no taxes are paid either by the employee or the company for two years.

A big trade in "bodies" has been set up, bringing mainly Indian IT workers into the UK (and the USA under the L1 visa scheme.) These workers have no real connection with the British or American companies they work for, and they displace domestic workers who are more expensive, not least because they have to pay taxes.

Who gains? The employers, whose profits go up. Who loses? Almost everyone else. The domestic worker loses his job and the state loses the taxes the domestic worker would have paid and instead has to pay benefits.

After two years the ICT worker is expected to "go home". But all that happens is that the Indian company that supplied him moves him to another post in the UK or USA.

A number of service companies, eg Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys and Wipro, have got this operation down to a fine art and are effectively running an international trade in contractors, very much not in the spirit of ICT.

This back door needs slamming shut PDQ.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

The Irish are broke

Have a look at this chart...


Would you say it's tending towards infinity?

Do you wonder what it's a chart of?

Well, wonder no more. It's the interest rate the Irish government has to pay to borrow money. (Technically, it's the yield on a ten-year bond.) They pay nearly 8% while the Germans pay little more than 2% for the same thing.

It doesn't look good, does it?

Taoiseach Brian Cowen would be well advised to have the IMF on speed dial!

That said, they are probably OK until the middle of next year due to having sold all the bonds they need to sell for the next few months.

It's QE2, the Americans are printing momey again

Yes, Ben "Helicopter" Benanke, Chairman of the New York Federal Reserve Bank has decided to quantitatively ease another $600bn on top of the $1.75 trillion he has already printed so far. This new money will be drip fed into the US economy at the rate of $75bn a month until the middle of next year. Specifically it will be used to buy bonds thus converting "savings" into cash. Ben will be looking to buy "distressed" bonds (unlike in the UK where Merv only buys gilts with his QE money.)

This is expected to have two beneficial effects (i) money market interest rates should fall, and (ii) banks should hand out more money to companies, because cash earns nothing sitting in their vaults.

In practice what happened last time Ben did this is that new money mainly got spent buying things on the stock market. The banks don't see why they should take a risk lending the money to people when they can just use it to buy paper that yields a nice return. So a stock market boom is to be expected. In fact, it's too late to expect it, it happened as soon as Ben announced the new QE yesterday. (And much of it had already been priced in.)

Now, here in the UK Merv has just today announced that QE will be held at £200bn and the base rate is sticking at 0.5% for yet another month. This must be irking him somewhat. The UK QE is equivalent to 12% of GDP and since our economy only grew about 3% over the last year we currently have a "real" growth rate of -9%. Merv would love to QE some more to fend off the possibility of a double-dip recession, especially since the second dip would be the real recession, much deeper than the 2008 recession.

But unfortunately Merv has been presenting QE as the solution to deflation, but we currently have inflation, CPI and RPI are about 50% over target. Merv can't bring himself to say: I've lost control of inflation but I'm going to print more money anyway because I've also lost control of growth. (At least in USA they do have some genuine deflation going on, house prices falling, etc. That said, see a critique of Ben here.) None of that here in the UK.

However, I wouldn't totally guarantee that Merv will hold his nerve forever. He may decide to QE anyway. He's got big inflation booster coming up in the form of the VAT rise to 20% in January, up from the current 17.5%. He might claim this is somehow an "artificial" inflation that doesn't really count.

Of course it may not count to him, but you'll still notice it when you go shopping.

The Irish are revolting

Yesterday about 25,000 Irish University students protested in the middle of Dublin. Apparently their fees might be going up to €3,000 a year. They displayed catchy slogans such as "Education not emigration" and "BA Hons not BA to London".

25,000 Irish Students

Two thoughts occur...

1) Our government is threatening to put University fees up to £9,000 a year - why aren't our students demonstrating?

2) Irish students are fully entitled to attend British Universities if they want, and under EU provisions cannot be charged in a discriminatory manner, ie, have to be exempted fees if they are poor, and have to be given loans otherwise, which there will likely be no way of making them pay back.

And while English students are paying £9,000 a year for the privilege, Scottish students will continue to received a free tertiary education in Scotland, although they have to pay if they come south for an education in England. (Strictly speaking Scottish students ARE charged fees in Scotland but the Scottish government pays the bill for them.)

Friday, 29 October 2010

It boils down to: Jim Dowson must go

The satirical magazine Private Eye have written up some of the trials and tribulations of the British National Party in their latest issue (Eye 1274).

The article is a typical melange of snide half-truths and valid points. Let's take it in easy chunks...

THE BNP is on the brink of insolvency. But instead of its usual tactic of threatening blacks, Jews and Asians, it is threatening its creditors instead in a letter from its money man, Jim Dowson, to its “highly valued suppliers and creditors” with a record of “commitment to the British National Party.”

It's sadly true that the party is currently in debt, not as much debt as the mainstream parties of course, but in debt none-the-less. But the party does not have a "usual tactic" of threatening blacks, Jews and Asians. Indeed Asians have featured in its political broadcasts, endorsing the party, and it has Jewish members, and has even had Jewish councillors elected. Not only is threatening these minorities not a "usual tactic" in fact the party does not do it at all.

His letter tells them that it does not value them enough to pay them what it owes. A grave financial crisis was forcing the party to close offices and lay off staff, he says. It was unlikely to “pay its outstanding bills in anything like a normal timescale - if indeed at all.”

No, his letter does not say they are not valued, but it's true that the party is having difficulty paying its bills.

Dowson then tells creditors that “lawyers who have reviewed the underlying contracts to most of the outstanding invoices have advised that most are not enforceable. Many creditors who have supplied good [sic] and services and which were used in connection with the activities of the British National Party may never be paid."
And it is no use suppliers hiring lawyers, Dowson warns. Legal action against the party would be throwing “good money after bad in the shape of futile lawyers’ costs”. Creditors must accept 20p in the pound or risk getting nothing.

Not totally true. It is true that the party cannot be sued for payment, but that's because it's not an incorporated entity. But that's actually a good thing if you want to sue, it means you can sue the Chairman, Nick Griffin, personally, and he cannot hide behind the veil of incorporation like a company director could.

Dowson blames the deficit – estimated at £500,000 – on the recession and “hugely expensive politically motivated High Court actions by the Commission for Equalities [sic] and Human Rights” to force the party to change its racist constitution. He is too modest.

That's not true: Jim Dowson isn't modest at all. As for the other bit, yes, the CEHR (pronounced "kur" in party circles, they prefer to be known as the EHRC) has used taxpayers' money to try to drive a legitimate lawful political party out of business by forcing it to incur massive legal bills.

The party is paralysed by internal disputes. Na├»ve critics have been shocked to discover that its fuehrer Nick Griffin behaves like, well, a dictator. Meanwhile busty “glamour model” Shelley Rose, who stood as a candidate in Luton, has posted a video on YouTube claiming Dowson made unwanted Ugandan advances to her at a hotel near Euston. “I thought it was safe to stay with him because he was a religious and family man,” the innocent 22-year old says. Alas, this turned out not to be the case, and she says Dowson accused her of being “frigid” when she rejected him.

Shelly Rose's video can be viewed here. It seems JD has some serious questions to answer. However Jim Dowson is not the BNP. He is not even a member of the BNP. He's a professional fundraiser hired by the BNP - that's all.

Dowson does not mention one preposterous reason for the BNP’s indebtedness. In the general election campaign, Griffin ripped off Marmite’s “Love it or Hate it” campaign by putting out a picture of a Marmite jar with the slogan “Love Britain, Vote BNP”. He scoffed when Unilever, Marmite’s owner, protested; but the firm’s lawyers then hit him with a breach of copyright action, which cost the party between £100,000 and £170,000.

Yes, Nick Griffin played this one wrong. Putting the jar of marmite in the party political broadcast was very funny - as this blog said at the time - but it should have been removed as soon as Unilever asked. That would have been cost free to the party. Getting antsy and going to court made it expensive. However, do note that this was not an unprovoked act. There has been bad blood between Unilever and the BNP for a while, in fact ever since Unilever produced a series of adverts featuring a "Hate Party" clearly modelled on the BNP. They started it, and it seems that despite getting their way in court, they have backed down and are not using the ads anymore, so it wasn't money totally down the drain.

The BNP operates behind various front companies to place orders without arousing suspicion – the most prominent being Dowson’s adlorries.com. As a limited company adlorries could be sued, which may be why Dowson is offering 20p in the pound on contracts he claims are unenforceable. As a political party, the BNP is an unincorporated association, which cannot technically be declared bankrupt. However, creditors could hold Griffin as its leader and party members who entered into the contracts personally liable for debts.

Yes indeed, but it does look like Jim Dowson is acting to protect his other businesses here.

If senior BNP figures are taken to the cleaners, they will earn a unique place in the history of European fascism: the first neo-Nazi party to have been destroyed by the makers of a yeast-extract sandwich spread.

The BNP isn't Nazi, nor is it fascist. If you must put a label on the party, it's ethno-nationalist which means it supports the native British peoples in an independent British nation.

And if it's destroyed it won't be the Unilever pinprick - it will be the CEHR sledge-hammer.

That aside, it seems Jim Dowson has outlived his usefulness to the party. He's an effective fundraiser but not a member, nor even an employee of the party. He's a businessman who raises money on a commission basis for the party.

But his role is too significant and high-profile for someone who isn't ideologically committed. There should be a parting of the ways, and if that means the cash doesn't roll in like it used to - so be it.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Tiny crack appears in coalition

Oops, a hairline fracture has just appeared in the wonderful edifice that is our 6-month old coalition government. Simon Hughes, deputy leader of the junior partner, the Lib Dems, has failed to toe the party line and given an indication that he may not be supporting the comprehensive spending review. He doesn't like the £18bn cut in the welfare budget.

Simon Hughes, MP: Concerned about the poor

This tiny act of defiance has caused consternation in government ranks with ministers flocking to Hughes to "explain" their policies better.

Does this rebellion stand a chance of success? Let's look at the numbers: there are 650 MPs in the House of Commons. The Speaker doesn't vote so 325 constitutes an absolute majority. The Tories have 307 MPs so they need an extra 18 votes to govern. The Lib Dems have 57 MPs. Guess how many are ministers? Yes, it's 18. So provided those 18 MPs are now so addicted to their ministerial salaries, cars, country houses and flunkies they won't vote for Christmas the government is safe. (The Lib Dems also have five ministers in the Lords, but they don't figure in Westminster calculus.)

My feeling is this foot stamping is not going to succeed. But it is a nightmare scenario. The government has successfully dragged the country out of the PIIGS group of EU members - the UK is regarded by the financial markers as in a safe pair of hands. If the government falls all that confidence will vanish overnight. There would have to be another general election and if there's anything the markets like less than the wrong person's hand on the tiller, it's nobody's hand on the tiller.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Comprehensive Spending Review

George Osborne has today delivered his much awaited spending review. It was fairly brutal.

Boy George: Undoing 13 years of Labour mis-rule

He intends to reduce the deficit every year until 2014/15 when he will balance the budget. By that time we will be spending £63bn a year just on the interest of our national debt, making the total national debt peak at something like £1.5 trillion.

He ring-fenced four areas of spending: health, education, security and infrastructure. The rest was up for grabs. The MOD are losing 8% straight away but the army in Afghanistan is protected by a special contingency fund. The central civil service will shrink by a third, saving £6bn over 4 years and losing 490,000 members of staff. (Natural wastage is 8% so this will be less painful than you might think.)

The police are losing 4% a year, the FCO 6% a year, international development is actually going up, but China and Russia aren't getting aid anymore. The Home Office is losing 6% a year, the Ministry of Justice is losing 7% a year.

Another £7bn will be raised by clamping down even harder on tax evasion.

The BBC is to have the license fee frozen for 6 years and will assume the financial burden of the World Service and BBC Monitor which monitors the broadcast media around the world. This effectively gives them a budget cut of 16%.

The retirement age is to rise to 66 by 2020 and civil servants will have to pay more into their pension funds which are currently 2/3rds unfunded, but they keep their defined benefit pensions.

The MPs' pension scheme will be completely overhauled; stunned silence in the chamber when Osborne said this! (MPs currently get 1/40th of their final salary per year of service, index-linked. It's just about the most generous scheme in the public sector.)

A lot of benefits are to be cut although some tax credits are to go up. For example at the moment if an unemployed person under 25 claims housing allowance they will be paid enough to live in a room in a shared house. After 25 they get their own flat. The transition age is being raised to 35.

Equitable Life policy holders are getting bailed out at long last. Not the full amount but what they would have got if they had put their money in a different company. Cost to the tax-payer: £1.5bn.

Old people get to keep all the perks that were thought to be at risk: bus passes, free TV licenses (over 75s only), free prescriptions.

The shadow chancellor, Alan Johnson, who was only appointed a couple of weeks ago and immediately claimed he needed to get a copy of Economics for Dummies (or words to that effect) rose to reply but really had nothing to say. He warbled on about how the Tories hadn't been calling for cuts back in 2007.

All in all, this CSR is a big step in the right direction. And after the small print has been analysed it might turn into an even bigger step, the true implications of these things are rarely apparent on day one. Of course, the fiscal situation is only one of the country's major woes. There is also immigration, Europe, ethnic crime etc. But those are outside George Osborne's remit so he couldn't really be expected to comment on them.

Friday, 15 October 2010

Philip Green's efficiency review

Sir Philip Green has submitted his review of government efficiency to the Prime Minister. His report catalogs a litany of wasteful government procurement. But it names no names and its recommendations are superficial and obvious. The report is 33 pages of banality and this blog doubts that the government will do much more than file it and move on.

Sir Philip Green, frequently seen with super-model Kate Moss

Sir Philip, billionaire owner of Top Shop, Burton's and loads of other clothing stores, and wanna-be owner of Marks & Spencer, is best known for his ingenious tax avoidance. (More about this in a little while.) But Sir Philip doesn't seem to know how to make things happen in government. All his report really said was: central government is hopelessly wasteful, which we already knew. (Local government is also wasteful, but Sir Philip didn't look into them.)

What he needed to do was, not say: you're bad, the end. He needed to write a detailed transformation plan to transition HMG from wasteful to efficient. He needed to list departments to be closed, jobs to disappear, contracts to be re-negotiated or just plain cancelled, buildings to be sold, areas of endevour to be abandoned, and he needed to work out the consequential legislative changes required. It was a big task, but he tossed it off in a couple of months and produced 33 pages of trivia.

However his report did contain one interesting chart; a pie chart of where the government spends our money. So I'll reproduce it here.

HMG: What the money is spent on

It's quite rare to see public expenditure broken down by type rather than by function. The biggest item, benefits and grants at £270bn looks ripe for the plucking. A tasty chunk could probably be carved out of pay as well.

So Sir Philip hasn't rescued us from the fiscal abyss. I guess he's more used to being a front man and hires clever people actually to run his businesses.

And finally a word on his tax situation. Sir Philip's wife, the Lady Cristina, is widely reported as living in the tax-haven of Monaco. The press seem to be of the opinion that Sir Philip has his wife own all his assets to avoid tax, but this doesn't have to be the case. Remember, under UK law there is no tax on transfers between a husband and wife. So if Sir Philip owns something and wants to sell it without paying capital gains tax all he has to do is: give it to his wife; she sells it, and gives him the money. If Sir Philip has power of attorney for his wife then he could sign all the paperwork and she wouldn't even know that for a few seconds she was a billion richer than normal.

So this is Sir Philip's true genius: persuading his wife to live two thousand miles away!

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Cameron vs Miliband, round I

So, the PM has met the new Labour leader across the dispatch boxes and political blood has been split.

Cameron got off to a good start by pointing out that the wrong Miliband was asking the questions; the Labour MPs wanted David, not Ed. But that was the only blow he landed. Miliband Minor, who looks like a pigeon pooped on his head, got his teeth into Child Benefit and wouldn't let go. He rightly pointed out that a one-earner household earning £45,000 would lose the benefit but a two-earner household on £80,000 would keep it, and asked: where is the fairness?

Answer came there none; although a lot of bluster filled the void. Cameron really had nowhere to go because clearly the proposed implementation of the cuts is unfair. This is manifest. In fact Cameron never said he thought the policy was fair, he just argued for the necessity of the cuts.

The PM ended up asking Miliband about Labour policy. This is very weak. When the PM starts asking questions it becomes clear to all that he hasn't actually got any answers. Miliband should have calmly replied that if the PM wanted to know about Labour policy he was welcome to come around to Labour HQ afterwards and get a full briefing (Hint to Miliband: Don't answer questions from the PM during PMQs; don't even nod your head. These are PMQs, not questions to the Miliband.)

Miliband didn't land a killer blow though. He should have rapidly moved from asking Cameron about fairness to asking if he will reconsider how the policy is to be implemented. He could even have promised that Labour would not exploit a change of heart for propaganda purposes - for the good of the nation, etc. He could have pleaded. He could have begged on behalf of a supplicant country. A pious mantle was there to be picked up, but he didn't.

Cameron is going to have to raise his game though. And the child benefit issue isn't going away any day soon.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

September inflation: CPI 3.1%, RPI 4.6%

The numbers are out. CPI is unchanged at 3.1%, RPI is 4.6%, down from 4.7% in August. This is the seventh month in a row that CPI has been over its "hard limit" of 3% and 8th since it was at its 2% target. And even then it was only at or under target for the preceding five months.

Barbarism in the UK: Halal slaughter

If you have very strong stomach try this video.

(Right click and watch on YouTube for best viewing.)


In this country we have animal welfare rules built up over hundreds of years by a myriad campaigners, but now we have imported a 3rd world population and reverted to the Middle Ages. Throat cutting is a muslim preoccupation. It's how the British engineer Ken Bigley and his two American colleagues were murdered in in Iraq in 2004 by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and his Tawhid and Jihad group.

Countless other "infidels" have been beheaded and their heads kept as trophies.

Let's be in no doubt - they are the animals here.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Male muslim unemployment: 50%, female: 75%

The Commission for Equality and Human Rights (CEHR) have shot themselves in the foot again.

They have produced a well meaning report about the state of equality in the UK, and highlighted some significant issues, but inadvertently they have revealed just how dependent on the public purse muslims in this country are:

Unemployment among ethnic minorities costs the economy almost £8.6 billion a year in benefits and lost revenue from taxes. Half of Muslim men and three quarters of Muslim women are unemployed.

They go on to say that, "the country has a strong sense of tolerance and fair play. However, racism and religious prejudice are increasing, while hostility towards immigration has grown."

Well, is it surprising that we are "hostile to immigration" when we are taxed to pay for their comfortable lifestyles?

As documented in previous posts muslim Asians also make disproportionate use of the health service due to their self-indulgent diets and habit of marrying their cousins. Even those in work are unlikely to be contributing enough in tax to pay for what they take from the system.

Muslim Asians also commit more crime and are taking proportionally more prison places than natives, according to stats from the Ministry of Justice.

Considered in the round it seems the UK would be richer, healthier and less crime-ridden if we didn't have Muslim Asians here.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

House prices drop 3.6% in a month

Today's statistic from the Halifax (prop: Lloyd's Bank) says that the average UK house cost £162,000 in September, down 3.6% from August. This means that houses now cost the same as they did in 2004 and the owner of the (mythical) average house lost about £6,000 in the month.

However, that's only according to the Halifax. The Nationwide claim house prices only dropped 0.1% over the same period.

Why the difference? Well, this blog notes that there has been a policy change in the Lloyd's Group. They no longer offer "interest only" mortgages. Now they require a repayment vehicle, such as pension plan, an endowment policy, or straightforward capital repayments every month. This makes houses less affordable, at least to Halifax customers, with a consequential reduction in the amount they are prepared to pay for a house.

Over the last decade a surprisingly large number of home-owners have opted for an interest-only mortgage. This has made housing much more affordable and contributed to a steep rise in prices between 1995 and 2007. Thus forcing ever more buyers into the cheaper I/O option. Such borrowers generally think in terms of paying only the interest on their mortgage until inflation has substantially increased the value of their house and then selling and buying a cheaper house with the proceeds, perhaps when they retire.

Of course this plan does rely on a buyer being found who is prepared or able to take on their own, larger, interest-only mortgage for a decade or two. The market had become a pyramid scheme reliant on ever lower interest rates, which for many years the government obligingly provided.

However the next movement in base rates must surely be up. The MPC met this week and today announced that rates would be held at 0.5%, but both CPI and RPI are way above the 2% target and there are big price increases coming down the line, such as a VAT rise in January next year. Unless the government really lets inflation rip rates must rise sooner or later, and if house prices are falling at 0.5% then they will fall so much harder when interest rates return to a more normal level.

That said, it's possible the government really does intend to "let inflation rip". The trouble is these days wages are globalised; they won't go up just because the prices in OUR shops have gone up. A British worker cannot have a wage rise unless his German counterpart also gets a wage rise because market share will simply move to Germany.

The way out of this is to devalue the currency. If sterling falls but the euro doesn't then the German worker has effectively had a pay rise relative to the UK. The government would love sterling to fall, but unfortunately every other government in the world is also trying to get its currency down so in relative term they are staying the same.

At the moment we're in an undeclared trade war with rest of the world where, instead of erecting tariff barriers against each other we're competitively devaluing our currencies.

The way to devalue your currency is to reduce interest rates. But this is a war we're doomed to lose (except vis-a-vis the USA) because Germany has more cutting room than us. The euro base rate is 1.0% At 0.5% we're nearly on the floor already. And with CPI above target the MPC wouldn't have the cheek to drop another notch.

The Americans have a base rate of 0.25% - they've got even less room to maneuver than us.

Monday, 4 October 2010

Equality Act

On Friday last the new Equality Act came into force, so this blog should probably say something about it. It's a giant dog's breakfast of an Act, 251 pages long, highly repetitive and self-contradictory. It repeals about twenty other Acts of Parliament and brings together and strengthens their provisions.

The basic idea is that there are "protected characteristics" and people must not be discriminated against or victimised due to any of these protected characteristics, which are:
    Age
    Sex
    Sexual orientation
    Gender reassignment
    Pregnancy and maternity
    Marital state, including civil partnerships
    Race
    Disability and health
    Religion and belief
"Race", in case you're wondering, is defined as "colour" (it doesn't say "skin colour", just "colour", even the legislators are so politically correct these days they daren't write what they mean in Acts of Parliament!) or "ethnic origin" or "nationality".

The rules apply widely, to employers, to associations (a dig aimed at the BNP here) and to private individuals when providing a public service, or disposing of property. For example it is now illegal to favour a Christian buyer when selling your house. The Act also applies to prospective employers.

The press picked up on this last bit; it is now illegal to ask a potential employee about their state of health. So you have to hire them first, then find out they take every second day off sick because they are chronically ill. Subsequently sacking them would be discrimination because you are then treating them less favourably than a healthy person.

However a few clauses down from the clause which says you cannot ask potential employees about their health is another clause which says you CAN ask them about their health, provided you are doing it to encourage diversity or to discriminate in favour of disabled people.

Although the Act was intended as a stick to beat the BNP with, lovingly crafted by Labour during their last months in office and enacted in Parliament's wash up period, it ironically has put a spoke in the wheel of the CEHR's current court case against the BNP because it repeals the Act under which the action is being taken! That's not joined up government.

A little noticed clause abolishes the common law requirement for husbands to maintain their wives. Wives up and down the country have not been up in arms.

Child benefit scrapped for high earners

It's Tory party conference time in Birmingham and Chancellor George Osborne has announced his latest wheeze: scrap child benefit for higher rate taxpayers.

Of course "higher rate taxpayer" is a bit ambiguous these days, does he mean the 40% rate or the 50% rate? Well, he means anyone earning over £44,000 a year (ie, quite a bit closer to the 40% than the 50%.)

But he's not considering both parents together. So if two parents each earn £30,000pa they get to keep the benefit, but if one parent earns £60,000 but the other stays home to look after the children then they lose the benefit.

This is blatantly unfair and it will be interesting to see if Osborne manages to make his policy stick.

Child benefit is worth about £1,000 per year for the eldest child and £700pa for each subsequent child. The total cost to the country is about £11bn per year. (Most parents are also able to claim child tax credit.)

Child benefit has long been criticized because it is paid to the needy and the affluent equally. So cutting it isn't such a bad idea. But doing it in such an unfair manner is dire.

Thursday, 30 September 2010

Baroness Warsi alleges Labour benefited from Asian vote fraud

Baroness Warsi, who she? Well, amazingly she's the current chairman of the Conservative Party and a Cabinet Minister in the government. Her claim to fame is that she's just about the only muslim woman in the Tory party. She tried to become an MP, was roundly rejected by the electorate and got made a baroness by way of a consolation prize.

Although notionally a muslim (she was once married to her cousin, you don't get more muslim than that) she has since divorced and largely alienated the muslim community. She needs a police escort in muslim areas - even most whites don't need that yet.

Warsi: semi-detached muslim

And now she has pointed out what we all know anyway: Labour-supporting Asians have been engaged in voter fraud. She claims at least three constituencies were "stolen" from the Tories by fraud during the General Election. She won't name them though.

Of course Asians coming to the UK and then breaking the law is not news. Asians collecting up postal votes; Asians registering ten or more fictitious individuals at their address; Asians operating fraud-factories, all these things we've seen before. In one court case the judge said the UK was turning into a banana-republic!

However, it can't hurt to hear it from the horse's mouth.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Defence budget cuts

Every party has its sacred cows, its areas of spending that it is unable to rein in for ideological reasons. For New Labour it was "schools 'n' ospitals" - every time the Tories pointed out that too much was being spent for too little return the Labour government would howl in outrage and demand to know which school or which hospital the Tories would like to see closed.

This way they managed to shut down debate on their prodigal spending habits and the end result is the current trillion pound national debt, and the £160bn year on year deficit. (Although that £160bn may be quite a bit less after the government's spending review on October the 20th. Latest suggestions are it might be down to a mere £100bn.)

The Conservatives have their own sacred cows. When they came to power they said the overseas aid budget would be protected from all trimming. Why? Heaven knows! It was probably just one last cringe under Labour's holier than thou lash. Old habits die hard. The opposition stopped opposing years ago.

The British National Party has but one sacred budgetary cow. It's not overseas aid. That can go swing - a BNP government would use it to coerce compliance in the area of taking back failed asylum seekers and criminal immigrants. (And all asylum-seekers would fail under a BNP government.) Any 3rd-world country not playing ball would get nothing from the BNP. Our aid budget would serve OUR interests and nobody else's.

The BNP's red line is defence spending. Not all of it, but when you send your finest abroad to fight and die for their country then you owe it to them to equipment them with the best you can afford. In war, such as in Afghanistan right now, there is a direct trade off between spending money and spending blood.

An example: our forces patrol in Land Rovers, a civilian vehicle designed for farmers, slightly adapted for military use. (Mainly by welding on metal plating. You don't want one of them behind you on the road - the brakes haven't been upgraded!)

It isn't robust enough to protect its occupants from an RPG shell or a land mine. The Americans use Bradley fighting vehicles (manufactured by British Aerospace) when they must deploy on the ground, and Blackhawk helicopters otherwise - and consequently they take fewer casualties, per capita.

Our forces would love to have some Blackhawks, also some Chinooks for heavy lift and some Apaches for combat situations but they're not going to get them. No, they get to go places in Land Rovers. (The MOD has announced a Land Rover replacement, but it will still be a ground vehicle based on a civilian truck and hasn't happened yet.)

Another example: a bit more subtle this one. Since the body armour fiasco of the Iraq war all our soldiers have body armour. In fact, since the politicians took such a beating over body armour, this blog understands so much body armour has been sent to Afghanistan that there are piles of it lying around warehouses in Camp Bastion.

But there's armour and armour. There's heavy cumbersome body armour, and light convenient body armour which is more expensive but equally effective. Guess which one our forces have? Yes, they have the heavy one, and as a result when performing an awkward task like defusing an IED they have to take it off! Not surprisingly IEDs account for a lot of our fatalities.

So when the Defence Secretary Liam Fox argues that the defence budget should not be cut, he can count on Nationalist support. We think that saving money by spending blood is a betrayal of our soldiers.

But this doesn't mean we give the military a blank cheque. No, but for equipment they want and need, and every squaddie on the ground can tell you what they really need, there should be no parsimony.

Monday, 27 September 2010

New Labour leader: Ed Miliband

The Labour Party, the members, the MPs, the MEPs, have spoken, and chosen David Miliband as their new leader. Then along came the unions and changed the outcome to Ed Miliband. Apparently the leaders of the biggest five unions met in London last week and "did the deal." What Ed promised in return is unknown.

The Milibands are an immigrant family of Polish Jews. Despite being Polish, Grandfather Samuel was an ardent communist and fought with the Russian Red Army in the Soviet-Polish war (1919-1921) against his own countrymen, and not surprisingly later fled to settle in Belgium, where Miliband father Adolphe (he preferred to be known as 'Ralph') was born.

After the war Grandfather Samuel made determined attempts to become a British Citizen, including lying about conditions in Belgium, claiming anti-semitism when there was none. He was eventually successful despite concerns by Special Branch.

'Ralph' lived in Primrose Hill, London, and became a well-known Marxist. He worked as a lecturer at various universities, and married another Polish Jew called Marion. (The house later became the subject of a tax avoidance controversy.)

Both Miliband brothers were born in the UK, second generation immigrants of borderline legitimacy, both studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, both went rapidly from University to working for the Labour party before eventually becoming MPs (Ed for Doncaster North, David for South Shields, neither having any real connection with their constituencies.)

So neither brother has ever had a 'proper' job. Both are involved, as the BNP would put it, in the distasteful practice of coming here and trying to re-arrange the furniture. The whole family has lived off the taxpayer one way or another since first coming here in the 1930s. A worse bunch of parasites would be hard to find.

Hopefully neither will ever be Prime Minister.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Authorities pandering to Islam by the back door

Six lads from Gateshead, Tyneside have been arrested. They were caught burning copies of the Koran to commemorate 9/11 after a video was posted on YouTube. The Attorney General is deciding whether to bring charges of inciting racial hatred. (Last I heard Islam was a religion, not a race!)

Meanwhile over in the USA, one Pastor Terry Jones of Gainesville, Florida, is to be presented with a $200,000 bill by the police. His crime? Well, he hasn't actually committed a crime. He did threaten to burn some Korans. But in America they have this thing called "free speech" which make it difficult for the authorities to clamp down on citizens objecting to the Islamification of their nation.

However, to make him pay anyway, they've decided to slap him with a massive bill for extra police resources they felt they had to deploy in case he burnt a Koran.

The authorities in both countries are noticeably less eager to act when a national flag is burned by muslims, or copies of the Holy Bible. Why do you think this is? Is it because Christians live by the twin doctrines of Love and Forgiveness, while muslims prefer Jihad and Fatwa? Are the authorities simply kowtowing to what they perceive as the stronger force?

If so, then they are a bunch of livy-livered, yellow-bellied cowards.

However, in a way, that's good to know. There may come a time, not yet, but one day, when it is no longer possible to resist Islamification by peaceful political action. When that time comes it will be useful to know how these "authorities" can be brought on-side.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Nick Clegg has really stupid idea

At the Lib Dem conference in Liverpool the party leader and deputy prime minister Nick Clegg has come up with a really stupid idea.

He plans to let local councils borrow money!

The only reason our national debt isn't twice what it already is, is because only central government can borrow money in the name of the taxpayer. Local councils are already massively profligate, wasting money on pet projects and over-paying local civil servants. At the moment they are limited by the outraged squeals of council tax payers whenever they raise the rate, and the fact that most of their income stems from a fixed central government grant.

With unfettered access to the bond markets the town hall spendthrifts would think all their Christmases had come at once. Local taxpayers would soon be left financing a permanent structural debt, the borrowed money having feathered a lot of nests and produced little of tangible benefit.

An object lesson would be Greece which in recent years, ably assisted by Goldman Sachs, has monetised its revenue streams, ie, borrowed against future tax receipts, the borrowing then being frittered away.

We don't want that here.

Monday, 20 September 2010

Political news here and abroad

Yesterday saw a general election in Sweden when the 349-member unicameral parliament, called the Riksdag, elected members for a four year term. For the first time the "right-wing" Sweden Democrats have gained seats. Not all the votes are counted yet but they are expected to have 20 members in the new parliament.

This is thanks to Sweden having a system of proportional representation which gives any party with more than 4% support seats in parliament. This is all the more remarkable considering the party suffers from the same problem as the BNP in not being able to access the mainstream media to communicate its policies to the electorate.

The Sweden Democrats have such extreme policies as:
  • Re-introducing life imprisonment for the most severe crimes.

  • Re-negotiating the terms of Sweden's EU membership.

  • Not joining the euro.

  • Stopping mass immigration.

  • Paying some immigrants to go back home.
Clearly with such extreme policies they are beyond saving and will not be invited to join the coalition government. (It's always a coalition government in Sweden.)

However it's very encouraging news for nationalists. Sweden has been substantially occupied by immigrants, mainly muslims, and they have been suffering for it with soaring crime rates in ethnic areas (no, not Lapland areas!)

Sweden presents itself to the world as Liberal and tolerant. But the truth is they have a nasty, repressive, politically-correct mentality in which criticism of immigration or the behaviour of immigrants is treated as racism and prosecuted as a criminal offence. Successive left-wing "liberal" governments have stifled genuine free speech, but it looks like the ordinary Swede in the street has had enough.

Also, the Liberal Democrats are having their annual conference. But that's not important.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Don't forget the Chandlers

Paul and Rachel Chandler were kidnapped 330 days ago by Somali pirates, and they're still being held hostage.

The Chandlers and their hosts

Doesn't time just fly by?

Dissing the pope

In an hour's time Pope Benedict XVI will land in Edinburgh, the first pope to set foot in the United Kingdom for about 30 years. Is he being made welcome like an honoured guest? Well, no.

Benedict XVI: Unwelcome guest

To start with the British government insulted him by appointing a muslim to lead the Foreign Office team planning his visit. Said muslim circulated a list of things the pope could do while here including launching a range of condoms and doing forward rolls with children.

Then, in the run up to the visit our TV schedules, and especially the BBC, have been dominated by investigations into child abuse in the Catholic church. Now, no one is saying child abuse isn't a serious matter, but plastering this old-news story across our screens in the very week the pope is due to arrive for a visit isn't journalism, it's an attempt to spoil the visit. They could run those stories anytime they wanted. Turns out they wanted to do it the very week the pope is due.

However the Vatican has dropped a clanger of its own.

One Cardinal Kasper has claimed that arriving at Heathrow is like arriving at a third world country, and that the UK is militantly atheist.

Cardinal Kasper: Not wrong.

Cardinal Kasper has been dropped from the papal visit, notionally because he's ill. That said, sources on the inside reckon he really is ill - he's got gout and can hardly walk.

This blog think it's a shame he couldn't come, because he's right. London is turning into a 3rd world city and the country is becoming anti-Christian.

Normally the pope would arrive in a country using an Alitalia flight, and return to Italy using the national airline of the country he was visiting. But British Airways has blotted its copybook. They disciplined a stewardess for wearing a small crucifix over her uniform and made her cover it up or take it off. So in your face BA, no papal patronage for you!

This blog isn't here to endorse Catholicism, and there's no denying there have been some serious scandals in the Catholic church. However, if we invite a world leader here, then we should not use his visit as an opportunity to hurl abuse at him. That's just bad manners.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

More immigrants trafficking women for sex

Check out this ugly trio...

Mahrookh Jamali, 41, Rasoul Gholampour, 30,
Fatima Hagnegat, 24

They have been jailed for attempting to prostitute young women, including offering the services as "dancers" of girls only 13 years old, to Arabs visiting the Jumeirah Carlton Hotel in Knightsbridge, London, as well as offering other girls for sex. The virginity of the youngest girls was to cost £150,000. Older ones could be had for a mere £50,000.

The BBC reports these scum as from "North London" and "Wigan". This blog prefers to call them what they are: Iranian.

And nobody seems to be reporting what religion they and the intended molesters are.

But it's a fair bet that the victims were white and English.

EU mouse sqeaks at French lion

Viviane Reding, an EU VP (who elected her? Answer, no-one!) has thrown a little strop. She banged her little fist on the lectern and told off the French government, calling it "shocking" and a "disgrace".

Vice President Reding: Lost her rag

The cause of her ire is that the French have been bundling Romanian gypsies out of the country. The French have about 300 major gypsy camps; each with several hundred occupants and each the malignant centre of a local crime wave. It's not surprising the French want rid.

And in fact under EU law the French are entitled to kick them out. That's not Ms Reding's beef. She's complaining that each gypsy isn't being considered individually, with a personal assessment for each potential deportee. Instead the French government is rounding them up, giving each one a €160 grant and busing them home to Romania.

This blog says: way to go France!

Of course Sarky's got skin in the game now and can't be seen to back down. But the harpy has the law on her side and France may end up paying a fine to the EU commission.

Inflation not falling

Yesterday the inflation numbers for August were out. CPI was 3.1%, same as the month before, and RPI was 4.7%, down from 4.8%. The unexpectedly high rate was boosted by strong rises in air fares, clothing and food while petrol was down a little, a litre typically costs £1.16 rather than £1.18.

Economists were expecting a sharper fall so sterling had a little boost due to the prospect of the base rate being increased to offset the inflation. That prospect has gone from "distant" to "still a long way off."

Monday, 13 September 2010

Nice article on the Greek problem

Michael Lewis, writing in Vanity Fair has encapsulated the basic problem with Greece.
$1.2 trillion debt... systematically looting their own treasury... tsunami of cheap credit... government owed another $800 billion or more in pensions... national railroad has annual revenues of 100 million euros against an annual wage bill of 400 million, plus 300 million euros in other expenses... retirement age for Greek jobs classified as “arduous” is as early as 55 for men and 50 for women... arduous: hairdressers, radio announcers, waiters, musicians, and on and on and on... first thing a government does in an election year is to pull the tax collectors off the streets... an estimated two-thirds of Greek doctors reported incomes under 12,000 euros a year...

It's well worth reading the article in full.

http://www.vanityfair.com/business/features/2010/10/greeks-bearing-bonds-201010

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Nick Griffin's day in court

So Nick Griffin, and his co-defendants Simon Darby and Tanya Lumby, have had their day in court to answer a summons saying, “Notice to Show Good Reason Why An Order for Your Committal Prison Should Not Be Made” – so no pressure there then.

You will be pleased to hear Nick left court a free man (as did the others) in fact the issue of committing him to jail was never even raised.

BNP demo at the Royal Courts of Justice


What actually happened in Court 13 at the Royal Courts of Justice on the Strand this morning is that the lady judge (hereinafter called m’lady) came in at 10:30am to find that only one of the defendants, Simon Darby, was even in court. Nick and Tanya were caught up in a one-day tube strike which half paralysed London. Even this blogger, boarding a tube train at Victoria found himself at Whitechapel before he could get off.

So m’lady “rose” (a couple of times in fact) and the court only got going properly at 11:30am by which time Nick and Tanya were in the room; Nick travelling with his usual muscular phalanx of security guards with curly wires in their ears.

Before court started the barrister for the Commission and the barrister for Simon Darby had a convivial chat injudiciously close to a certain blogger who affected nonchalance whilst straining an ear in the appropriate direction. Things may be looking up for Mr Darby, and by association one assumes Ms Lumby. Clearly the real prize here is Nick Griffin MEP, the Commission isn’t interested in the minor scalps.

There were twenty or so public at the back of the court; the unused jury box (this is a High Court, not a Crown Court remember) held a scattering of bored reporters. At the front of court was the bewigged Mr Allen, barrister for “the Commission”, with his three “pupils” in front but below him and his self-assembly bookcase beside him. (He turned up with an airline-style wheelie suitcase and built the bookcase before m’lady was in the room.) Behind Mr Allen was the only black person in the room: a lady with a slim red file marked “BNP”. Presumably she was from the Commission itself. She took no part in proceedings though; it was Mr Allen’s show.

It rapidly became clear that while Simon and Tanya had their own barristers, Nick was representing himself. Simon’s was a Rumpole figure, overweight but affable. Tanya’s barrister was a little old munchkin dwarfed by his wig and gown whose only contribution was to agree with the other barristers.

Mr Allen was clearly the dominant figure in court. Although he was exceeding deferential to m’lady it was clear she was being led by him. She asked him points of law and for help in finding her way around the law books. He was so formal and polite to absolutely everyone it must have been affectation.

Nick sat at the front and like the barristers was forever bobbing up and down talking to m’lady while Simon and Tanya were effectively spectators. Not sure why Nick has fired his legal team, but it made for a better show to hear from the man himself.

The actually legal proceedings were slightly tedious. Nick, it seems, has filed a motion to have the whole case thrown out as an abuse of process. This motion takes precedence over other business (which may be Nick’s cunning plan) and will take a couple of days to hear. Since the court had only been booked for the morning in fact the only business the court dealt with was scheduling the next hearing, which will be at the Divisional Court, in front of two judges instead of just m’lady, on the 8th and 9th of November. No-one even suggested that Nick go to jail, just come back in a couple of months. However “scheduling a new hearing” did manage to take more than an hour: affidavits by this date, skeleton argument by that date, etc. When everyone apart from the defendants are being paid by the minute there’s no cause for hurry.

The fearful issue of costs was briefly mooted in open court and it was agreed to postpone dealing with them until another time.

Meanwhile outside the Royal Courts of Justice the BNP demo was in full swing: I’d guess, 50 patriots, 5 police, 5 press photographers. There was flag and sign waving, with representation from Scotland and Wales present.(See picture above.) But inside nothing happened except that the financial squeeze on the BNP was turned another notch.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

EHRC now playing serious hardball

OK, click on the image below so you can actually read it. It's a court order. Imagine how you'd feel if it were served on you...

Court order:
Go to Jail. Do not pass Go. Do not collect £200


Well it has been served on three senior members of the BNP. The Equalities and Human Rights Commission are doing their damnedest (using taxpayers' money) to send a democratically elected MEP and two others to jail. They are not using a criminal prosecution, they are using a civil procedure - so no legal aid for these three innocent people to defend themselves. They're on their own. If they fail they go to jail.

Friday, 27 August 2010

Genocide of the Whites in South Africa

Uhuru is coming to South Africa. Since "uhuru" is Swahili for "freedom" that might sound like a good thing. But uhuru has a hidden meaning: it's the time when the blacks will rise up and kill or drive out all the remaining whites.

As there are three or four million whites in South Africa, concentrated in the South Western Cape region, this will be quite a task. However, it seems the determination is there. This blog expects that the trigger for this event will be the death of Nelson Mandela, currently 92 years old. However it could happen sooner. It could happen much sooner. The political situation in SA has taken a turn for the much worse in the last few days. Although not widely reported outside the country there is a massive general strike in progress. A million civil servants are already on strike. Teachers have joined them, and the army and police may also walk off the job. And in South Africa a strike is not just a refusal to work, it's an excuse for mob violence, wanton destruction of property and ethnic killings.

The main target ethnic group would be the whites.

According to Genocide Watch there are eight stages to a genocide:

  1. Classification

  2. Symbolization

  3. Dehumanization

  4. Organization

  5. Polarization

  6. Preparation

  7. Extermination

  8. Denial


First the target group is classified by some aspect. For whites this is obvious; their race. Then they are symbolized, that is given a distinctive group name by which they can be referenced. Usually the genocidal power then dehumanizes the target group by making them out to be less than human, animals or vermin. In South Africa this hasn't actually happened to whites. They are made out to be exploiters or colonisers instead; blamed for all the ills that blacks suffer.

Then you have organization. The state has to make the genocide happen. The organizing power is the ANC, itself controlled by the South African Communist Party. Earlier this year ANC Youth Leader, 29-year-old Julius Malema, led University students in singing the "liberation" song "Kill the boer." Despite this being an illegal and inflammatory act senior ANC officials, including the South African president Jacob Zuma, were muted in their criticism. Even Nelson Mandela has been recorded singing "Kill the whites."

Polarization is built into South Africa. The blacks are mainly poor and badly educated. The whites are rich (or at least perceived to be rich by blacks - their standard of living has fallen dramatically in recent years) and well educated.

The preparation phase is the one we are now in. The black populace is being roused while the white population is being weakened. Guns are being confiscated. Recently the Afrikaner leader Eugene Terre'Blanche was assassinated.

All that remains is for the extermination to begin. Although, actually the extermination has already begun. More than three thousand white farmers have been killed on their land. These are the easiest targets because they live in remote isolated places and cannot easily get help. The killings are usually accompanied by rape and mutilation of the bodies. These are not simple property crimes, but "hate crimes" in a literal sense.

Afterwards, in South Africa, they probably won't bother with denial. Instead they will claim justification, like in Zimbabwe. The whites stole their land and were continuing to oppress them, so killing them or driving them out was natural and right. (This isn't historically accurate. The first European arrivals were Dutch who settled in the otherwise unoccupied Cape area. It wasn't until the British arrived in force that they trekked North and East.) But that won't prevent the average black from believing he has been hard done by.

After that of course the blacks will start to starve since whites produce most of the food. But that won't occur to them until too late. And in fact totalitarian governments prefer not to have domestic food production since food then mainly comes in the form of international aid and they can control who gets it and who does not. The government becomes very popular when the alternative is to starve.

Now this is a British nationalist blog, so we should consider this from a British perspective.

It would be nice to think that when uhuru happens the UK government will send military forces to defend the whites and help establish an independent white state in the Cape region. But we all know that isn't going to happen, short of a BNP government coming to power - which won't happen soon enough to be useful.

The next best thing is to offer white South Africans asylum in the UK. Although nationalists are generally opposed to immigration this is a special case. This is not opening our doors to the dross of the world. These are well-educated, law-abiding, English-speaking people who will integrate seamlessly into our society and would be an asset where ever they settled in the world.

There are in fact several hundred thousand white South Africans already settled in the South-East of England. They have been able to get into the UK thanks to an ancestral connection with the country. This blog has yet to receive any reports of gangs of them marauding around London raping and robbing (unlike, say, Somalians) and they seem to find work and support themselves, albeit often in lower-paid jobs, eg security, than their ability level would justify.

When uhuru happens we should open our doors to them; all of them, including the elderly who may lose everything but not be able to start again. Most will prefer to go to Australia, New Zealand, Continental Europe or of course Canada and the USA. (And who can blame them?) But those who want to come here should be admitted. And if there isn't room, well, send back the Somalians!