Monday, 31 January 2011

BNP selects candidate for Barnsley Central

The BNP has selected its candidate for the Barnsley Central by-election.

The sitting MP, Labour's Eric Illsley has resigned after being convicted of fiddling his expenses to the tune of £14,000, including false claims for council tax, telephones, service charges and maintenance of a second home.

Behold the miscreant...

Eric Illsley: a man of conviction(s)

Illsley is expected to be going to jail, although he won't be sentenced until next month.

Meanwhile the BNP has selected...

Enis Dalton: local lady fight the constituency in the resultant by-election. At the general election the BNP came 4th, behind the "big three" parties with 8.9% of the vote. Let's see if Enis can improve on that.

UK national debt now over two trillion pounds

Less than two weeks ago I wrote a post marking the moment the UK's national debt passed one trillion pounds. And now if you check the debt clock to the right of this article you'll see our debt is well past two trillion. Have we really borrowed another trillion in less than two weeks?

No, thankfully. What has happened is that the Office for National Statistics has decided to include the cost of bailing out the banks in the national debt. Previously this money was "off balance sheet" and wasn't being counted.

There is a fig leaf of justification for not counting the debt. We used the money to buy some big banks, notably the Royal Bank of Scotland, and Lloyd's. These are now national "assets". In theory, come the good times, we will be able to sell them, maybe even for more than we  paid. So that debt might go away again as fast as it arrived.

In theory.

What has Egypt got that Tunisia hasn't?

Two weeks ago Tunisa was up in arms. The people were rioting. The presidential palace was stormed. Dictator-President Ben Ali fled to Saudi. (His hairdresser wife stopped off at the Central Bank and helped herself to half a ton of gold on her way to the airport!) And the world was largely unconcerned.

Now Egypt is up in arms. The people are rioting. The presidential palace has not yet been stormed and Dictator-Present Hosni Mubarak is still in place, although his wife and two children are now thought to be out of the country. Being a former Spitfire pilot Mubarak is made of sterner stuff than Ben Ali. However the same international community which mainly ignored the Tunisian revolution is all over Egypt's business.

US President Obama has said that he hopes, "Democracy will prevail," in Egypt. Not Mubarak must go, nor Mubarak must stay, just democracy must prevail. Best not to dis the man before he has actually done the runner. If he faces down the revolters the West will still need to do business with him.

But why is Egypt so much more important than Tunisia? Does Egypt have oil? Not really. They had some but it's mainly gone now. However a look at this map and see if you can spot the real problem.

Egypt: check out the land borders

Yup, there's a land border with Israel! Could be awkward if an unfriendly regime took control of Egypt, couldn't it? Better not to antagonise them by supporting Mubarak right now. But also a good idea not to piss off Mubarak in case he survives.
That's diplomacy for you. 

But realistically, could a hostile Egypt pose much of a problem for Israel? Well, not unassisted they couldn't. But oh dear, the USA has spent the last 50 years beefing up Egypt's armed forces with aid amounting to at least a billion dollars a year. 

It must have seemed like such a good idea at the time. Nasser took over in 1956 after ousting the old King and instituted a pro-West regime. He had a heart attack and died and his vice-prez Sadat took over and kept the pro-West thing going. Then he was assassinated in 1981 and his best buddy Mubarak took over as president and he also was pro-America and Europe. Basically the same cohort of Western-trained military men has been running Egypt for the last half century. They were in our pocket at a time when other Arab countries were massively hostile: think Syria, Iraq, Iran and Libya. Egypt could easily have been one of those, but we bought their friendship.

Now, it's all going wrong. All that American generosity could be about to turn around and bite us on the ass and Israel may be facing a Western-trained, Western-financed, Western-armed enemy bristling with US military hardware. 

There is a winner here though. If Egypt falls to Islamic fundamentalists then Iran will be going on the back-burner for a while. So, silver-lining for them.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Lord Taylor

According to stats from London's metropolitan police force, blacks in the city can be up to ten times more likely to be a criminal than a white person. Helping to keep these numbers up is Conservative peer "Lord" Taylor of Warwick.

Lord Taylor: I'm from Ealing, me!

Yesterday he was convicted of claiming more than £11,000 in expenses to which he was not entitled by registering a half-nephew's house in Oxford as his main residence. "Lord" Taylor actually lives in Ealing. Said nephew was very surprised to find out that Uncle John supposedly lived with him. He only actually saw him a couple of times a year.

The ignoble "Lord" first came to public notice in 1992 when the Conservatives put him up as a prospective parliamentary candidate in the true blue constituency of Cheltenham. The voters rightly rejected him, perhaps sensing even then that he was a wrong 'un.

As a consolation prize John Major made him a lord and he became the first black member of the House of Lords. Now he has disgraced himself. He's not alone. Several black peers have been dipping their fingers into the public's purse. Let us not forget Baroness Uddin (Bangladeshi immigrant) who claimed £83,000 for a main residence which couldn't be found, and Baroness Scotland (Caribbean immigrant) who claimed £170,000 for an out-of-town house when she actually lived in London.

Strangely, Lord Taylor's website ( makes no mention of his criminal conviction.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

UK economy shrinking again but borrowing down

Today we have a couple of very significant statistics published: GDP for the previous quarter (Oct 2010 through Dec 2010) was -0.5%, yes minus half a percent. Informed opinion was expecting something like plus half a percent. Government spinners are blaming the snowy weather we experienced at the tail end of last year.

But realistically, a 0.5% drop means £6.5bn drop in output. Even without the two or three days of serious snow GDP would have been flat-lining.

Here's the Beeb's GDP graph....

As you can see, it's double dip time. And this dip is looking sharper than the previous one. However we'll need to wait another quarter to see if this is actually the start of another recession (recessions are two or more consecutive quarters of negative growth) or just a blip.

On the plus side the government only borrowed £15.3bn in December, down from £19.7bn in November. The big drop is almost entirely explained in the ONS publication by a fall in "investment". This means the government is spending less building things and buying things. This is probably a good thing.

Monday, 24 January 2011

Ireland going for broke

So, my post last week stating that the Irish government would be lucky to reach the weekend seems to have, more or less, come to pass.

Prime Minister Brian Cowen has resigned as leader of his party, Fianna Fail, but intends to stay on as Prime Minister. However the Greens have pulled out of the coalition leaving Biffo without the majority he needs to rule. Despite this Biffo is determined to stay on running the country for another six weeks or so. Why? Well, the stated reason is the need to pass the Finance Bill, this being the legislation underlying Ireland's bailout loan of €70bn approx from various sources, including the EU, the IMF and the UK. (The Greens are happy help get this law on the books before they dissolve parliament.)

Biffo's real problem is that he has already spent €10bn of the bailout loan, despite not having got the Finance Bill enacted. And if the Finance Bill doesn't get passed then the Irish government risks more or less instant bankruptcy.

Ironically Ireland helped bailout Greece in early 2010 with a €1bn hand out, for which they are receiving 5.5%. Meanwhile they are now borrowing their own bailout money at closer to 6.0% - that's not clever!

Friday, 21 January 2011

Mothers banned for being British

Two mothers were barred from joining a council-funded women and children's group because they were British.

According to the Daily Telegraph Emma Knightley, 25, and Kimberley Wildman, 27, went to the group because it was free, while the other groups in the area charged £2. However, when the organisers learned they were British they were told to leave with their children Imogen, 21 months, and Olivia, 18 months.

The 'Making Links' playgroup in St Neots, Cambs, is funded by public money.

The two mothers accused the group of discrimination. Mrs Knightley said: "The first thing I was asked about was my nationality and when I said I was British I was told we had to leave."

So far an everyday story of discrimination against the native Brits. But this is where it gets more interesting: a spokeswoman for the Equality and Human Rights Commission, said under the Equality Act 2010 it is not unlawful to set up a group especially for a particular ethnic or national group.

Er, so why did they take the BNP to court for restricting membership to native Brits?

Alan Johnson resigns as shadow chancellor

This man is out...

Alan Johnson: Resigned for personal reasons

And this man is in...

Ed Balls: Smug frog

Opinions vary as to why Johnson resigned. Guido Fawkes is reporting that a person close to Ed Balls maneuvered him out by threatening to reveal that Johnson had an affair with a civil servant. Meanwhile the Daily Mail prefers the saucier: Mrs Johnson had an affair with their police protection officer.

Laura Johnson: Shagged a copper?

A third theory, preferred by this blog, is that Alan Johnson, having finally finished his copy of Economics for Dummies realised the job was too hard for him so quit. He seems to have no head for figures at all. In a recent TV interview he claimed that employer's national insurance contributions were 20% of salary (actually 12.8% rising to 13.8% in April.) In another interview he appeared to have no knowledge of the scale of the current budget deficit. In fact he seems to have got through his political career by carefully memorising half a side of briefing notes written by his civil servants and regurgitating it in tones of great gravitas during interviews.

Ironically Johnson claimed recently that his elevation to high office proved that you didn't need a First in PPE from Oxford to run the country. He may have been right, but you do at least need to understand the concept of percentages.

So Labour are well  rid.

In comes Ed Balls. His prior claims to fame include expensing a visit to a Bilderberg conference in Canada when the rules state clearly that all participants must attend in a private capacity, shouting, "So what?", at "Dave" Cameron when told that New Labour raised taxes to the highest level ever, and flipping a few houses.

However one cannot deny Balls knows his onions. He used to be Ed Millipede's boss at HM Treasury. He's a stronger character than the rubber-faced Labour leader and, although widely disliked for being too smug, he's likely to call the shots at Labour's top table. His arrival shows up the mistake Milliband made in appointing Johnson in the first place.

So call this the first nail in Ed Milliband's coffin.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Irish government is collapsing

OK, so earlier this week Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen survived a confidence vote of the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party, and the Foreign Minister Micheal Martin his principle adversary resigned instead. Today we have another four ministerial resignations: Mary Harney from health, Dermot Ahern from justice, Noel Dempsey from transport and Tony Killeen from defence have resigned in the past 24 hours. Batt O'Keefe, minister for enterprise, is expected to resign shortly.

Parliament was suspended for fifteen minutes today after the opposition demanded the Prime Minister come into the House and clarify who was in charge of those six ministries.

Previously a general election was expected in March. Now, it looks like the government might not last until the week end.


Tuesday, 18 January 2011

UK national debt is one trillion pounds

It started in the late 17th Century. King William III (of William and Mary fame) needed funds to fight the French. He put together a syndicate of City merchants and asked them to raise money for him. This syndicate later went on to become the Bank of England. Thus started the UK's national debt.

The debt grew during the 18th Century but then fell continuously during the 19th Century. But in the 20th C it grew to fund the First World War, then it grew more to fund the Second World War and post-War governments were profligate and it grew more. By the time John Major left office in 1997 the debt stood at about £400bn.

And today it has just passed one trillion pounds. Check out the debt clock on the right hand side.

New Labour, during their decade of misrule, more than doubled our national debt. Last year every household in the UK paid £1200 in interest payments alone. The scale of New Labour's incompetence has been staggering.

But it's going to get higher; much higher. There are plans to include in the official number the cost of bailing out the banks. Expect another trillion or more to be added before too long.

Monday, 17 January 2011

The Irish are printing euros now

The Irish Central Bank has admitted that it is effectively "printing" euros. It has provided €51bn of emergency funding to Irish banks, not by borrowing from the European Central Bank but by creating the euros from nothing - a procedure which is allowed on an "emergency" basis provided the ECB is "informed" that it has happened.

This is an electronic procedure; it's doesn't involve literally printing bank notes. However German citizens will be reminded of the Weimar Republic when the Reichsmark was printed in such abundance that at the end it was cheaper to burn the notes on the fire to keep warm than to use them to buy logs of wood.

Readers wishing to avoid Irish euro notes should note that those with a serial number starting with a T were issued in Ireland. The good ones start with X - they were issued in Germany.

Friday, 14 January 2011

Oldham East: Labour hold

The Oldham East results are in. They are as follows:

As you can see it's been a good night for Labour. They had a tiny majority of 103 which they've increased to 3,558 - a very healthy majority. The LibDems have been treading water, and the Conservative vote has collapsed.

It has to be said Labour worked very hard to achieve this result. They had shadow cabinet ministers out knocking on doors and pulling the vote out. When a face you've only seen on television before asks you to come out and vote it can be quite motivating.

The Tories were expecting their drop in the polls. Their hope was that the LibDems might take the seat.

The BNP result is unfortunate. They've dropped from 4th place to 5th, with UKIP taking over at 4th. This is mainly due to UKIP comprehensively outspending the BNP and luring away a thousand or so voters. However, this was always going to be a big party spat, starting with the previous MP's lies in his literature, proceeding in the High Court and ending yesterday at the election count.

It seems the real losers here are the LibDems. Although their share of the vote has held up, in fact increased by three tenths, it's likely there was a lot of Tory tactical voting to keep Labour out. Strip out the Tory assistance and the LibDem core vote seems to have been decimated. This is the price they are paying for being in coalition with the Tories; they get to share the blame for unpopular policies such as the hikes in tuition fees and the VAT rise.

The longer term effect then will be to strengthen the hand of those in the LibDems who don't want to be in coalition with the Conservatives.

Somewhere this morning LibDem "rebel leader" Simon Hughes will be smiling a grim little smile to himself.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Oldham by-election today

Today they vote in the Oldham East and Saddleworth by-election, which was triggered when sitting Labour MP Phil Woolas was found guilty of "knowingly making false statements" about the personal character of his Liberal Democrat opponent, Elwyn Watkins, during the 2010 election campaign by an election court consisting of two High Court judges. Woolas has been banned from holding public office for three years.

The BNP has a candidate in the running, Derek Adams, a pub landlord and former wanna-be leader of the party. Unfortunately the English Democrats and UKIP are also running candidates which will split the nationalist vote somewhat.

Derek Adams: BNP candidate

Campaigning has been enlivened by a few media storms. First the BNP candidate was escorted out of hustings by the police when Labour supporters objected to his presence. Then the Muslim paedophile rape gang issue went mainstream with even Jack Straw, former Justice Secretary, acknowledging the problem.

Meanwhile the Tories have been wooing the Muslim vote with their Urdu-speaking Chairman (woman actually) the previously-blogged-about failed MP Baroness Warsi, although she occasionally lapses into broken English.

The 2010 general election results were:

(Click to enlarge)

As the Lib Dem candidate was only a 103 votes behind the Labour winner at the general election it's generally believed the Tories are downplaying their candidate to enable the Lib Dems to win.

We should have a result declared by about 2am tomorrow morning.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Chief Inspector says Asian men are pimping white girls

The BNP has been banging on about it for years, this blog has mentioned it several times, the BBC has reported it in meticulous detail while somehow failing to notice the Asian connection, but now a Chief Inspector has broken ranks and is telling the world.

Chief Inspector Alan Edwards: Girls are 'being used as meat'

Chief Inspector Alan Edwards said, "To stop this type of crime you need to start everyone talking about it but everyone's been too scared to address the ethnicity factor. No one wants to stand up and say that Pakistani guys in some parts of the country are recruiting young white girls and passing them around their relatives for sex, but we need to stop being worried about the racial complication."

Of course the Chief Inspector hasn't quite plucked up the nerve to blame the real culprits. It's not an "Asian" problem. It's a "Muslim" problem. For reasons given ad nauseum in previous posts muslims regard under-aged white girls as legitimate prey.

Still it's nice to have this issue coming out of the closet, however tentatively, at long last.

Daily Mail