Monday, 28 June 2010

In London blacks commit more violent crime than whites

The Sunday Telegraph have prised some hard data out of the London Metropolitan Police on the subject of race and crime. This is a rare success because the powers-that-be don't like releasing stats which show their immigration policy to be harmful to the nation, and harmful it is.

The tables below shows the race of the perpetrator in various crime categories in London in the year April 2009 to April 2010.

The stats show blacks commit more crime than whites in most categories. However, adjust for the fact that blacks are 12 percent of London's population and whites 67 percent. (And "whites" above includes any number of Eastern Europeans and certainly does not mean exclusively native.)

Knowing the population percentages we can calculate how much more (or less) likely a black man is to commit a crime in London than a white man.

What this means is, assuming other factors such as distribution of crime to be equal, a black man is 9.3 times more likely than a white man to commit an unarmed street crime, 13.8 times more likely to commit a gun crime and so on.

The Ministry of Justice publishes some data on the race of prison admissions and, not surprisingly, the ratios accord with the numbers shown above.

This won't be news to readers of this blog. Research in the USA shows the same variation in criminality, in much the same proportions. Although I haven't shown the numbers above, black females are also over-represented in the crime stats.

Some apologists would offer the explanation that the link is not between race and crime but rather poverty and crime. But poverty cannot explain a greater propensity for sex crime.

It becomes more alarming when you factor in the disparate breeding rates of blacks and whites. Blacks are making more babies than whites so the criminal tide is not going to turn back, rather, unless checked, it is simply going to grow.

The same data sets show that blacks are also more likely to be the victim of crime. That's not a great consolation.

The BNP's repatriation policy for non-natives who commit crime is urgently required.


Friday, 25 June 2010

BP treasury operations

BP earns about $250bn a year, Lehman Bros rarely topped $3bn, and of course now are bust.

One was an investment bank, the other is an oil company. So why are we even comparing the two?

Well, there's just a chance, a tiny chance, that BP's current predicament could lead to Chapter 11 or worse. And you might think that all that would affect is the price of oil, until the other majors step into the market share and take up the slack.

Think again! All the big oil companies are major market players across the board. Obviously they play the oil futures market but they are so cash rich they trade all over the place, especially currency and foreign exchange. There was a time they subcontracted this work to merchant banks, but not these days. Nope, these days they have massive treasury operations departments entering into deals the size of which Lehman's could only ever have dreamt of.

BP has earnings 80 times what Lehman's ever had. Lehman's is generally held, in retrospect, to have been too big to have been allowed to fail. Imagine the systemic shock to the financial markets if BP should go bust.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Emergency budget 2010

George Osborne has just finished presenting his first budget to parliament; the "emergency" budget to usher in the Age of Austerity. On standing up practically the first thing he said was that there would be nothing hidden in the small print, unlike Gordon Brown who used to gabble over the bad news and the very bad news he just left out for people to dig out of the paperwork at their leisure.

Speaking of Gordon Brown, was he in the Commons to represent the people of Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath? No, he was nowhere to be seen. Alistair Darling was there but Brown has not been seen in parliament since he left number 10. He doesn't seem to be taking his job as a backbench MP very seriously.

Anyway, on to the budget. The highlights were: VAT increased to 20% from January 4th next year, CGT increased to 28% for higher rate taxpayers but kept at 18% for others, £1.8bn cut from the annual £21bn housing benefit bill, other benefits to be indexed by CPI rather than RPI (CPI is usually lower than RPI), tax credits to be reduced for higher earners, child benefit frozen for 3 years, all claimants of Disability Living Allowance to be reassessed to see if they are still disabled, and various minor benefits are being abolished: health in pregnancy, and Sure Start restricted to first child only.

Osborne drew gasps when he revealed that some families get up to £104,000 per year in housing benefit. (That's actually money into the pockets of private landlords, not cash to scroungers as you might think.)

The government plans to sell some assets, notably: NATS, High Speed One (the train link from London to the channel tunnel), the Student Loan Book, the Tote, and, partially, the Royal Mail.

There was some good news from Osborne. The 10% cider tax has been abolished before it even came in, so has the landline tax. No other duties were raised, not even petrol - the usual sacrificial victim. And Osborne has a plan whereby council tax will be frozen this year, although that depends on the councils playing ball.

Public sector workers will have a two-year pay freeze save that those earning under £21,000 pa (that 28% of them) will get a flat increment of £250 pa, this year and next.

There were a few sops to the business community. Corporation tax for large companies will be reduced by 1% per year from the current 28% to 24%. For small companies it will be cut to 20%. The CGT disregard for the sale of business assets will be increased from £2m to £5m. There will be a new employee allowance against employer's national insurance, £5,000 per employee up to 10 employees, but only outside the South-East and Eastern regions.

There will be a new tax on banks. It will be based on their balance sheets, with allowances for "good" money such as "Tier 1 capital", ie, not short term deposits, and small banks will be exempt. Osborne expects to garner £2bn pa from them.

The big numbers for the financial year are: spending will be £697bn, revenue £548bn, hence borrowing £149bn. Osborne claims to have knocked £6bn off the deficit.

Labour's interim leader, Harriet Harman, responded for the opposition. Most of her speech seemed to have been written beforehand and consisted of irrelevant comparisons with Greece and Canada. She mainly tried to drive a wedge between the two coalition partners, pointing out that the Lib Dems were now voting for things they campaigned against last month. She did land one telling blow: the Lib Dems looked decidedly uncomfortable when she noted that their 22 ministerial jobs would be at the cost of tens of thousands of lost jobs in the country as a whole.

Overall Osborne's budget can be characterised as no more than a step in the right direction. He has kept borrowing massively high - the £6bn cut is a drop in the ocean. He hasn't really got to grips with the run-away benefits bill and other countries have actually cut the pay of their civil servants, not just frozen some at the top end. He seems to have ring-fenced the NHS, despite there being massive waste in that organisation. And pointlessly he is maintaining the overseas aid spending.

He claims to have split the pain 23% tax rises and 77% spending cuts. Frankly it should have been all spending cuts, and there should have been a lot more of it.

Red book
Key points
Document list
BBC article
Where's Gordon Brown?

Friday, 18 June 2010

BP CEO is a liability

Yesterday Tony Hayward, CEO of BP, testified before a Congressional committee, and it was a most uninspiring sight to behold.

Tony Hayward: Out of his depth

Clearly the BP CEO doesn't understand American PR and he hasn't bothered to take advice. The august congressmen were rightly angry. BP has threatened their gulf coastline with the world's largest ever oil spill and they wanted answers, and contrition, and believable assurances that it would never happen again. Instead they got stonewalled. Hayward played a dead bat. He admitted nothing, he explained nothing, he just claimed that investigations were ongoing. He completely failed to understand that he was there to account for his company. Congressmen are representatives of the American people, and the people are entitled to an explanation.

The spill is now two months old. Hayward should have some answers by now. Even if he had to qualify his statements as provisional he should know how the accident happened and be prepared to explain.

Instead, looking a picture of misery, he crawled into a corner and gave nothing. How such an inadequate individual ever got be CEO of a large company is a complete mystery.

Not only did Hayward fail to prevent to accident in the first place, he has also compounded BP's problems after the accident. US law [Oil Pollution Act, 1990] limited BP's liability to $75 million. Hayward went to see the US president and actually signed a document accepting unlimited liability! The chances are he has voided any insurance policies the company might have, and BP shareholders will certainly sue to recover money they didn't have to pay out.

He also failed to rope in the CEOs of the other responsible corporations. When summoned to see the president he should have taken the CEOs of Transocean, Haliburton, Anadarko and Matsui, and if they were reluctant to visit the White House he should have told them not to expect any business from BP ever again.

Hayward should have played the PR game properly. He should have provided a proper explanation, shown proper contrition to the Congressmen and media, but never should he have done anything to queer BP's legal position. He may have bankrupted the company by his actions after the accident.


Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Inflation in May

CPI was 3.4%, down from 3.7% in April.

RPI was 5.1%, down from 5.4% in April.

Good news? Well, CPI is still one and half times over target, and the 2% target itself is rather generous.

Oh, and house price inflation has reached double figures again, not totally unexpected with the base rate at 0.5% - a historic low without precedent. Houses aren't in the CPI "basket" of goods so don't affect the index.

The fall in food prices is actually quite noticeable in the stops. There seem to be no end of special offers on at the moment.

Petrol hasn't fallen, but over the last few weeks there has been a pause in the relentless rise in the cost of a litre. Long may it last.

Monday, 14 June 2010

Birmingham to deploy anti-sniper devices

A new nadir has been reached. Birmingham City Council has decided to buy a ShotSpotter system. This is an array of microphones attached to buildings and some fancy software, more usually deployed to war zones, designed to locate gunfights and pin-point shooters.

The initial roll-out will be to the Aston, Lozells and Soho wards of the city. These are immigrant-rich areas. Lozells, for example, has a population of approximately 26,000 originating as follows:

Pakistan: 25%
India: 18%
Bangladesh: 12%
Afro-Carib: 19.5%
China: 3.5%
Mixed: 4%

This leaves a mere 18 percent native Brits.

It's a sad day when a city has so lost control of law and order that it has to use military technology on its civilian population, but it's also the shape of things to come. How long before London goes the same route? These devices are quite widely deployed in the USA.

Birmingham Mail

Thursday, 10 June 2010

List closed for Labour leadership

The lists are closed for Labour's leadership contest. A new leader will be "elected" on the 22nd of September. They will be chosen by an electoral college comprising one third Labour's parliamentary party MPs, MEPs; one third the unions, and one third the actual Labour party membership.

Let's have a look at the contenders.

David Miliband: Oxbridge-educated Jew, 2nd generation immigrant, claimed £30,000 for gardening and repairs to home, never had a proper job although has worked in the media.

For some reason this Miliband was one of the nominators of Diane Abbott, see below. Does he really think she'd make a better leader than himself? In which case why is he even standing. Or is this entire contest just a farce?

Ed Miliband: Oxbridge-educated Jew, 2nd generation immigrant, unmarried father of one, never had a proper job although has worked in the media.

Diane Abbott: Oxbridge-educated black, 2nd generation immigrant, unmarried mother of one, failed to declare £17,000 of TV earnings, never had a proper job although has worked in the media.

Ed Balls: Oxbridge-educated, not an immigrant or Jewish or black as far as one can tell. Claimed £44,000 per year for second homes, which he flipped three-times in two years. Never had a proper job although has worked in the media.

Andy Burnham: Oxbridge-educated, submitted many expense claims which were mainly rejected including £19.99 for an IKEA bathrobe, not an immigrant, nor black nor Jewish as far as anyone knows but never had a proper job although has worked in the media.

Obviously the ideal candidate for Labour leader just leaps out at you, doesn't s/he?

Monday, 7 June 2010

Good cop, bad cop

"Dave" Cameron and Nick Clegg seem to be playing good cop/bad cop. Cameron says there are going to be deep cuts in public sector pay and benefits and Clegg comes straight back with, it won't be as bad as during the 1980s.

Considering they are Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister you would think they'd be saying more or less the same thing.

Well, we'll find out on June 22nd, emergency budget day, just how bad it will be. But until then the Lib Dem back-benchers need to be mollified with soothing words. They are not natural spending cutters, unlike the Tories, and if too much discontent builds up the coalition would be at risk. That's why Clegg keeps pouring oil on these troubled waters. (Unfortunate metaphor, I know!)

Perhaps this is the future: Cameron will be bad-news guy and Clegg will be good-news guy and they will muddle through their term in government with the public continually relieved it wasn't as bad as Cameron said but disappointed it wasn't as good as Clegg led us to believe.

It's one way to govern, I suppose.

Blame the British

The government is worried that opprobrium towards British Petroleum due to their mishandling of the gulf oil spill is itself spilling over into general resentment of Britain and the British by the American people.

This blog's first reaction would be that if you want people to like you - don't pollute their coastline with crude oil.

But the situation is more complicated than that. This whole farrago started when the Deepwater Horizon, a mobile oil exploration rig, hit a high pressure pocket of methane sitting on top of the low pressure oil deposit they were expecting. The resultant blowback caught fire and eleven workers on the rig are missing presumed dead. The Deepwater Horizon was leased to BP, but actually owned by a Swiss/American company called Transocean Ltd. Their motto is: Never out of our depth, and to emphasize their expertise their web site is

The Deepwater Horizon was not crewed by BP staff either. The drilling crew were from the Anadarko Petroleum Corporation of Montgomery County, Texas. They were the ones operating the drill, and if there's negligence, this is where to start looking. All the dead workers came from Anadarko. They were the ones actually working on the drill when it punctured the methane pocket.

Some reports indicate there were a small number of BP staff on the rig at the time, but they were in no way operating the rig or supervising operations.

However the media always wants a big name villain for its stories. Unknown behind-the-scenes technology providers won't do. And government wants to blame the deepest pockets. BP did, in the first few hours after the accident, point out that its involvement was tangential at best but this rapidly backfired as the media then portrayed them as trying to evade their responsibilities. The BP top brass must quickly have realised that the least bad option was to take the blame and lead the recovery.

US law does make it difficult for the large oil companies to duck liability for pollution events, even when contractors are to blame, and perhaps that's just as well otherwise every oil-related activity would be fronted by paper-thin shell companies, apart from booking the profits of course.

Meanwhile the American oil giants, ExxonMobil and Chevron have adopted a studiously reserved stance. On the one hand BP's downfall would be their gain, but on the other if the leak isn't fixed and deep offshore oil drilling is made illegal then they all lose out. BP has some big US government contracts, worth several billion dollars a year, and these could fall to the others if BP is cast out of America. Shell must be glad they don't have British in their name. In fact as their full name is Royal Dutch Shell they've pretty much got a get-out-of-jail-free card.

However, all this blaming the Brits, is just for the media. When is comes to the serious business of working out in the courts who is going to pay how much, that will be a whole other ballgame - and don't expect BP to be anywhere near as accommodating as they are on TV.