Monday, 31 October 2011

Seven billion people

The world's seven billionth person was born this morning at 7.20am in Uttar Pradesh, India. She is the daughter of a poor farming family from a small village. Whether Nargis Kumar will now be famous for life, or forgotten by next week, remains to be seen. My money is on the forgotten option.

That said, of course she isn't really the 7,000,000,000th person. No-one can know even to the nearest million how many people there are in the world. In any event she will lose her crown to the eight billionth person in 14 years, in 2025 and then by 2050 we will have the 9th billion and the 10th billion by the end of the 21st century, maybe sooner.

The history of the human race is one of growth and starvation cycles. The population grows, reaches the limit of the land to provide sustenance, and starves until a solution is found and then the population starts to grow again. So human history can be summarised as: breed, starve, invent hunting, breed, starve, invent herding, breed, starve, invent agriculture, breed, starve, invent fishing, breed starve, invent the domestication of animals, breed, starve, invent fertilizer, breed, starve, invent mechanised farming. And that's where we're at right now.

We have been very successful at pushing back the limits of the land; often faster than our population has grown so the starvation phase has been short and even in some places non-existent.

We could probably keep the current geometric growth rate sustained until the end of the 22nd century when the world would host 100bn humans. But the quality of each individual's life would be appallingly low. Even today in 3rd world countries the continual subdivision of land into smaller and smaller blocks by peasant farmers is causing hunger. To progress to the next population level countries like India, China, most of North Africa and the Middle East will need to clear the pastoralists from the land and institute mechanised megafarms. The people will need to be herded into the cities and live like battery chickens themselves. They will be surplus to economic requirements, but will still eat and breed.

In the animal kingdom there is a population growth spectrum which features high quantity low quality at one end and low quantity high quality at the other. This is known as the r/K reproductive strategy spectrum. At the "r" end animals produce a large number of offspring but invest little effort in developing each one, at the "K" end an animal produces a small number of offspring but puts immense pains into nurturing each one.

Human races exhibit a similar dichotomy. Europeans, including their cousins in North America, are slow breeders, even breeding below replacement rate in many European countries but invest inordinately in the education and development of their children. They are breeding for quality. Meanwhile Africans and South Asians breed many more young but invest little in their development. They do this in Africa and Asia, and when they migrate to the Northern Hemisphere they continue the same behavioural patterns, although fortunately for them the state then pays for the investment in their young. (There is also a "chav" class amongst Europeans which breeds fast and invests little, certainly invests little of their own resources, but even they do not approach the breeding rate of Asians and Africans.)

The growth in the world's population is entirely caused by the "r-strategist" ethnic populations. And these populations clearly maintain their habits when they move from the 3rd world to the first world.

This poses an existential threat to the European peoples. The resources of the world will be consumed by the r-strategists. If these rapid breeders were confined to their own areas they would simply expand to fill the carrying capacity of their own lands and then hit the hard limit. However they are largely free to move into the homelands of the K-strategist peoples. Hence the threat.

As the population of the world grows the proportion of that population which is "slow breeder" shrinks. In nature this doesn't happen because the highly nurtured young of the slow breeders compete successfully with the carelessly bred hoards of the fast breeders. But in human affairs this doesn't apply. We move over to make room for the incomers, and they in turn consume our finite resources. Hence we face extinction; not imminently, but eventually.

And after we are extinct, then the fast breeders will also starve, because they live off our productive capacity.

So to save ourselves we must deny the fast breeders access to our lands. They will breed and starve in their own lands, but we must not allow them to come here. And long before actual starvation becomes an issue the quality of our lives in the slow breeding North will be compromised if we continue to welcome and harbour fast breeding migrants.

Try this experiment. Go out onto the streets of any large British city, especially London. Look at the people; not the adults - look at the young in the pushchairs. What ethnic group are they? Are they mainly European? No! You may see equal numbers of European and ethnic adults but the children will mainly be ethnic. Therein lies the problem.

To solve this problem we must be firm on immigration. It must be stopped, and indeed reversed. If this problem isn't dealt with now your children will suffer, your grandchildren will suffer greatly and you won't have any great grandchildren.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Euro debt crisis meeting in Brussels

Since everyone is getting very excited about the euro debt problem I suppose I should jot down my thoughts.

The story so far...

Yesterday evening our PM, "Dave" Cameron flew to Brussels, met the other HOGs (Heads of Government) of the EU, all 27 were present. He arrived about 5pm, had drinks until 6pm approx, and then settled down to a serious hour's discussion. Then the 17 HOGs from the eurozone went to dinner. But Our Dave wasn't invited to that, he had to go to a less swanky dinner with the 10 non-eurozone HOGs. Misery loves company, and because we've still got sterling we're not miserable enough for the euro HOGs's liking so David had to go and eat at a little table in the corner with the other second class Europeans.

After supper the 17 euro HOGs had more discussions but Dave wasn't invited to those either, so he flew home.

The "problem" can be summarised like this: Greece has €350bn of revolving debt and can't refinance it. If Greece defaults a shed load of French banks will go bust. To stop them going bust Greece must be bailed out, but some of the pain needs to be ladled onto the French banks - only fair. So they will be expected to take a 50% haircut, voluntarily. Why voluntarily? Well, because they long ago took out insurance against Greece defaulting and the providers of the insurance will also go bust if the French banks make a claim. But if it's a "voluntary haircut" then the insurance policies don't apply and the damage is contained. But no one is voluntarily going to give up 50% of what they own, are they? Well, the French banks are majorly reliant on the French government which is propping them up anyway. So pressure can be applied and bankers made to toe the line.

But not all Greek debt is owned by French banks. In fact Greek debt can be, very roughly, divided into three equal parts: 1 - Owned by foreigners, including the French banks, 2 - Owned by the Greek people themselves, for example in their pension funds, and 3 - Owned by Greek banks and other institutions.

So when the Greeks are bailed out anyone who doesn't agree to the voluntary 50% haircut is going to get a massive free ride. Mainly this won't provide much profit for them since they will just get their money back, as opposed to losing it. There is, however, one group who are going to make a killing: American hedge funds.

The hedgies have recently been buying Greek debt at well below cost hoping for just this outcome. They will of course refuse the voluntary haircut and when their short-term bonds mature will demand payment in full, for bonds they bought at a heavy discount. Nice!

ONS projects UK population to be over 70 million by 2027

The ONS says we're going to have about an extra 10 million people in the country in the next 15 or so years; that's an increase of nearly 17% in population size.

Most people find this alarming, mainly because they know there aren't going to be 17% more houses, 17% more road space, 17% more school places, 17% more food grown, 17% more hospital beds, etc.

However this blog is completely sanguine. Yes sir, we don't care if the population goes up to 70 million because we know there are already 75 to 80 million people in the country!

It's the dirty little secret the government won't tell you. The immigrants are already here. It can be worked out from milk and bread consumption numbers from Tescos. Yes, really. The immigrants don't have to fill in paperwork if they don't want to, but they still eat.

Of course, this blog is extremely concerned that another 10 million are coming. (This includes breeding by immigrants already here - second generation immigrants); concerned because of the above resource constraints, and because there isn't the land available to building new roads, houses and make new farms. But also concerned because we know what kind of people these immigrants will be: violent and dangerous criminals!

Not all of them of course. But they will be members of the ethnic groups prone to being bad neighbours and a disproportionate number of them, including the ones born here, will be criminally inclined.

There is really no good reason to allow our country to be swamped with incomers. The benefits they bring are microscopically small (literally, in the case of the diseases they carry) and the downside blindingly obvious: look no further than the London Sharia zone, or August's riots.

Erasing the stain on our justice system

Justice Secretary Ken Clarke is all over the media touting his sentencing reforms. The big headline he's looking for is: mandatory life for second serious crime!

So if you almost kill someone twice you go to prison for "life". Not life, just "life" which is a bit shorter - usually about 15 years. And it's "mandatory", the judge has to make the sentence "life", unless he thinks it would be unjust, in which case he doesn't have to. So that's OK then. Do judges routinely apply sentences they consider unjust? No, they don't. So the effect of this two-strikes and you're out rule is... not a lot. But the headlines are good.

Our Ken makes the very valid point that the only reason so many crims are escaping the mandatory "life" sentence for murder is that the doctors are getting good at keeping people alive, even if they are vegetables thereafter. And for murder it's real mandatory "life" - the judge has no choice after a jury has pronounced "guilty of murder" - although it's not real life, just the somewhat shorter "life". (The main effect is to be on parole for the rest of your life after release.) The mandatory bit is real though; no judge's discretion when it's murder.

But the good bit in Ken's reforms are buried in the small print. He's abolishing indeterminate sentences. These sentences allow a judge to say, "You're going to jail and we'll let you out when we feel like it." They are an abomination contrary to all natural justice, introduced of course by the last Labour government who had no qualms about kicking over the pillars of justice.

Crimes should be matched to punishments. The punishment can then be scaled by aggravating and mitigating aspects of the crime; time off for pleading guilty, time off for trying to make restitution; time off for genuine remorse (like turning yourself in before being caught) and time added for abusing a position of trust or picking on a particularly vulnerable person.

The punishment should never be open-ended, simply because all citizens are equal before the law, and rightly expect to be treated equally. A punishment lottery is not justice.

Ken Clarke has called indeterminate sentences a "stain on our justice system," and now he has abolished them. Way to go Ken! If only you were sound on Europe you'd be Prime Minister by now.

Monday, 24 October 2011

August rioters mainly ethnic

From the Daily Telegraph we have a statement of the bleeding obvious. Apparently the August rioters were disproportionately black or brown. Well, who would have guessed that?

The exact numbers are:

In terms of ethnicity, 46 per cent of those appearing in court were from black or mixed black backgrounds, 42 per cent were white and seven per cent were Asian.

So that's 52% black or Asian. And these people account for only 10% at most of our population. Think what fun we'll have when they are the majority of the population, currently forecast for around 2050.

The 42% white will of course contain a large proportion of Eastern European immigrants. How many? No-one can really say.

There's a missing 5% in the numbers above. Oriental? Eskimo? No idea!

Friday, 21 October 2011

It ends in a hole in the ground

At the height of WWII, Adolf Hitler ruled Europe from the English Channel in the West to the Urals in the East; from the Baltic in the North to the Mediterranean in the South. Then a couple of years later he took his own life in a bunker under Berlin.

Saddam Hussein was absolute ruler of Iraq for a quarter of a century. He was eventually found hiding in a dugout with a camping stove and some cans of soup, and was later hanged.

Colonel Gaddafi governed Libya for 42 years but yesterday was found hiding in a drainage culvert measuring three feet across. He was pulled out but died a couple of hours later in disputed circumstances.

What is it about dictators and holes in the ground?

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Government about to be devious

So, yesterday we had September's inflation numbers, CPI 5.2% and RPI 5.6%. April next year these numbers will be used to uprate a whole raft of taxes and benefits. In theory...

But there are early signs that George Osborne is about to pull a fast one. To start with they will increase business rates by the higher index, RPI, and get in another £1.35bn in taxes. Then, in theory, they should increase benefits such as the state pension, child benefit, job seeker's, and the tax thresholds by the lower index, CPI. This is already rather devious - using two different indexes depending on whether they are giving or taking, but indications are they are going to try to avoid handing out the full 5.2% which would cost them £1.8bn in extra spending. They may use a lower number on the spurious grounds that the September number is an "aberration".

This is devious, but not necessarily a bad idea. Government spending is itself stoking inflation. Uprating spending below inflation would be unpleasant for those living on government handouts, and not so nice for taxpayers who don't get the full indexation of their allowances, but it could be virtuous in that it would make inflation fall.

At the end of November, in the Autumn statement, we will see if Osborne has the gonads to try this one on.

£250K prize if you can work out how to leave the euro

This blog has over the last few months outlined a couple of ways of leaving the euro, including the "orderly exit" and the "emergency exit". (Probably only Germany could get away with using the orderly exit, everyone else would need to head for the emergency exit.)

And now there's a prize if you can work out how a country could leave the euro. Lord Wolfson, CEO of Next, has put up a quarter of a million quid for anyone who can figure out how the deed should be done. Actual admin of the prize will be by the Policy Exchange think-tank.

This is slightly weird. Is he desperate or something?

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Inflation numbers for September are scarey

Inflation numbers for September out today...

CPI: 5.2%, up from 4.9% in August
RPI: 5.6%, up from 5.4% in August

But that isn't the scarey bit. No, here's the scarey bit...

Gas and electricity prices are up 9.9% in a single month!

Of course the Bank of England expects inflation to fall back to the target 2% within two years. That said, two years ago they expected today's numbers to be on target.

Here's the fan chart the BoE issued two years ago...

...nicely annotated by FreeTrader at HPC. The big red arrow shows the actual number compared with the fan which shows their expectation.

As you can see, their forecasting is crap. The BoE basically talks a load of balls.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Slovaks kill the euro stone dead

Alright, not the euro, just the bailout. Or rather the expansion to the bailout. The Slovaks have handed over the original €4bn they were asked for, but then yesterday the Slovak parliament voted against the next €7.7bn they are supposed to contribute to the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF). They understandably balked at handing money over to Greece; Slovakia is actually a lot poorer than Greece. The average wage in Slovakia is about the same as the legal minimum wage in Greece.

So that's the bailout dead then. It has to be unanimous, and one of the 17 members of euroland has said no, or more traditionally, non.

But of course this is a European vote. When you get it wrong in a European vote you're given another go. In fact you can have as many votes as you like, until you vote the right way. So in a few days the Slovak parliament will vote again and is expected to do the decent thing and hand over their cash to the Greeks (well, actually the French banks in hoc to Greece) like good little Europeans.

The Slovaks seem to have taken article 125 of the Lisbon Treaty somewhat too literally...

Article 125: The Union shall not be liable for or assume the commitments of central governments, regional, local or other public authorities, other bodies governed by public law, or public undertakings of any Member State, without prejudice to mutual financial guarantees for the joint execution of a specific project. A Member State shall not be liable for or assume the commitments of central governments, regional, local or other public authorities, other bodies governed by public law, or public undertakings of another Member State, without prejudice to mutual financial guarantees for the joint execution of a specific project.

See? It doesn't say you can't bail out banks.

Leader of the Refuseniks, Richard Sulik, explains his position to Der Spiegel here.

Birmingham City Council gets AAA credit rating

There's a whole new debt bubble being born right now. At the moment it's just the tiniest little globule of a bubble. Birmingham City Council has got itself a credit rating, and, thanks to the implicit support of Her Majesty's Government, it's a magnificent triple-A. Yes, folks, BCC rates higher than Uncle Sam with AAA from Moody's and AA+ from Standard and Poors.

So like a kid accidentally locked in the sweet shop after hours, Birmingham now has access to the bond markets. They go can out into the world and borrow for Britain. There will be no limit to the dizzy heights the Chief Exec's salary can now rise to.

I wonder how this will pan out? Perhaps we should take a peek across the pond for a glimpse of the future. US municipal bonds, how are they working out? All hunky-dory? Er, no. There's a ten percent default rate.

But in fact, that's not the real problem. The real problem is when that AAA starts to slide. (Ask any Greek.) When bonds mature they have to be repaid. This usually involves issuing new bonds to finance the repayment of the old bonds. But, oh dear, we're not AAA anymore, we're only AA, or B, or merely "investment grade" so we'll need to offer more and more to the bond markets to get our cash. Thus the screw is turned on the captive taxpayers. They're on a treadmill and they can't get off.

There is another way of borrowing. Councils can go to HM Treasury and ask for a loan. It's a tad more expensive than a AAA bond would be, but it's a fixed rate. It doesn't rely on a credit rating. The taxpayers of Birmingham would be better advised to borrow from HMG; better the devil you know.

Frankly, we just don't need a whole new layer of debt in this country.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Edwina Curry off Strictly

Last night former MP Edwina Curry was voted off Strictly Come Dancing.

Although strictly speaking, that happened Saturday night since they record the results show straight after the Saturday evening show and then pretend it's the next day.

Ola Jordan: not relevant to this post

Edwina wasn't the lowest scored contestant but got voted out anyway.

This is good, because now she realises that nobody likes her.


In fact we have reasons to be grateful in the whole "catflap" affair. (Some people are calling it catgate, but that's missing an obvious punning opportunity.)

The story starts in an ordinary, everyday, kind of a way. A 27-year-old Bolivian student completes his studies in the UK and rather than obey the terms of his visa and go home, he stays and gets a job - illegally.

Of course the authorities don't notice. They never do. No-one checks people out of the country. We just trust them to go when they should.

So, anyway, Bolivian guy, Camilo Soria Avila is his name, is sitting pretty, can probably stay for life if he wants, but, oh dear, gets caught nicking clothes from Debenhams. No surprise here. Illegal immigrants are nicking stuff every day of the week. Cops called. Do they arrest him, take him away, put him before a court, even check his immigration status? Nope, none of that. They give him caution and send him on his way.

Again so far, so normal.

But finally the creaky old justice system splutters into life just enough to realise they've given a criminal record to someone who shouldn't even be here. Barely a year later they've started legal proceedings to get him deported.

And this is where the story departs from the norm. If Snr Avila had been any normal illegal immigrant he would have got some local girl pregnant by now and be wailing that trying to deport him would damage his children beyond repair. Trouble is Avila isn't inclined to take that route. You see, he's a sexual invert. Not into girls. No siree. No kiddies for him. No tearful children to parade before the courts. What to do? Aha! Cunning plan... get a cat!

It's the perfect politically-correct family: Maya the cat, and her two daddies. Bingo! He's got a cat m'lud! Home free! Permanent leave to remain in the UK.

To be fair, it must be mentioned that Avila won his court case on more than just the cat. The authorities bungled the paperwork as well. But, that's par for the course. You can more-or-less count on that.

And we come at last to the good news. There's never going to be the pitter-patter of tiny illegal immigrant feet in the Avila household. You're never going to be forking out for a mini-Bolivian's education or medical bills or child benefit.

So, a silver-lining, surely?

Panorama and Nationalist infighting

A long build-up of Nationalist infighting will come to a head tonight, at 8:30pm, when BBC1 broadcasts the Panorama programme "BNP: The Fraud Exposed". This is billed as follows:

Nick Griffin's British National Party, already under investigation for breaches of electoral law, is facing fresh allegations of corruption. Panorama uncovers new evidence of financial documents being falsified and fabricated in order to deceive the Electoral Commission. The programme also has evidence of the BNP's failure to declare major donations to the party.

As Darragh MacIntyre reports, the BNP, which is better known for its controversial views on race, is in debt and according to its own published accounts appears to be technically insolvent.

Sadly British Nationalism seems to have factionalised into about three different groups, each feuding with the others. In one corner you have the British National Party itself; still run by its recently re-elected (by a tiny margin) chairman, Nick Griffin, MEP. The BNP has been hemorrhaging members, down to about 10,000 from a peak of 14,000, and is in severe financial difficulties. It is fighting legal battles on several fronts: notably from suppliers who haven't been paid and former members of staff seeking wages owed to them and compensation for wrongful dismissal. The BNP's continued existence is genuinely in doubt.

In the next corner you have Andrew Brons, MEP. Yes, the BNP's second member of the European Party is now feuding with the party chairman. The battle is being fought online here. Andrew Brons challenged Griffin for leadership of the party a couple of months ago, but failed by just a few votes.

And there is another corner. It's called Britain First. It's not a political party; it calls itself a "movement". It's actually constituted as a not-for-profit limited liability company. At the moment its long term plans are not very clear. It's just recruiting members, running roadshows and generally raising its profile. So far there is no mention of selecting candidates and standing in elections. However, it's pretty clear this group is intended as an heir apparent waiting in the wings for the death of the British National Party. The BNP portrays Britain First as a simple money-making scam whose sole purpose is to obtain donations from concerned patriots casting around for some life-raft organisation to cling to. The BF on the other hand treats the BNP as a dinosaur about to become extinct - it criticises the Party while being careful to avoid criticising the members, who it wishes to recruit.

Prominent amongst the members of Britain First is one Jim Dowson. He has been mentioned before on this blog. He was employed by the BNP as a fundraiser and he was quite effective at that. However, he was never a member of the BNP, he had no ideological commitment. He was a hireling, not a supporter. Prior to his association with the BNP he raised funds for anti-abortion campaigns, mainly in Ireland. He's from Northern Ireland. It was at his initiative that the BNP set up a call centre in Belfast. Now it seems he has draped himself in the flag and is calling himself a Nationalist.

Other founder members of Britain First used to be senior members and employees of the BNP. They seem, mainly, to be united in a dislike of Nick Griffin.

There's no denying that Griffin has fallen down on the job of leading the BNP. The main problem is the Party finances. Griffin has acquired a reputation as a poor money manager. The accounts for 2009 were submitted late to the Electoral Commission and were qualified by the Auditors. A significant payment of around £40,000 to an individual has been denied by the individual in question, which raises the issue of where has that money gone. The Party made a loss of nearly £60,000 on the year (though compared to the loss of around £200,000 in 2008 this could be viewed as an improvement.) As the Party has no formal overdraft facilities these loses are simply unpaid bills to suppliers and unpaid wages to staff. This inevitably breeds resentment and even fear; fear among the senior staff that they may be held personally liable for the debts. The Party has no limited liability. Not surprisingly, many of them have left.

And the accounts for last year, 2010, have not yet been filed. They are already three months overdue. The suspicion must be that the Party is bankrupt but Griffin doesn't want to admit it.

This is the basic premise that Panorama will advance tonight; that the BNP is bankrupt. The Party itself has not cooperated in the making of the programme, mainly because of the BBC's past record of undercover filming, which led most notably to chairman Nick Griffin and then Director of Publicity Mark Collette's trial at Leeds Crown Court on charges of promoting racial hatred, charges of which they were entirely exonerated it must be recalled.

Meanwhile over in the Britain First corner, they have been collaborating with the BBC; somewhat to their own distaste because the BBC is not loved in Nationalist circles, but they seem determined to deal a fatal blow to the BNP.

Tonight we will find out if they have been successful.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

QE2 is launched today

Today, at lunch time, the Bank of England announced the second round of quantitative easing. This time £75bn is to be squirted into the economy.

Here's how they broach the subject...

The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee today voted to maintain the official Bank Rate paid on commercial bank reserves at 0.5%. The Committee also voted to increase the size of its asset purchase programme, financed by the issuance of central bank reserves, by £75 billion to a total of £275 billion.

Readers of this blog will doubtless be delighted to see the phrase financed by the issuance of central bank reserves in the statement. It's reassuring to know the BoE has this kind of cash just lying around in the vaults. Otherwise, they'd have to print it - and that would be highly inflationary.

And we don't want more inflation. We've already got CPI at 4.5%, more than twice the 2% target, and a rise to 5% is "baked in" due to higher costs coming down the line at us.

Fortunately high inflation isn't a problem. As the Bank says here...

The deterioration in the outlook has made it more likely that inflation will undershoot the 2% target in the medium term. In the light of that shift in the balance of risks, and in order to keep inflation on track to meet the target over the medium term, the Committee judged that it was necessary to inject further monetary stimulus into the economy.

So it seems they expect inflation to fall dramatically in the "medium term" which generally means two years.

In other news today the NHS announced it has discovered a cure for high blood pressure. All patients with a reading of 140/90 or higher will have a 9mm shell "injected" into their hearts, which will cause their BP to fall to 0/0 immediately.

Yes, you can kill an economy, but it's not normally considered the right way to cure inflation.