Friday, 21 December 2012

A good egg

Clarissa Dixon Wright, celebrity chef and the remaining half of the Two Fat Ladies, has had a nasty experience: she got lost in Leicester.

Normally when you get lost in the middle of a city it's easy to get found again. You just ask the first person to chance by for directions and in all likelihood they will not be lost and will be able and willing to provide useful information.

Ah, but this was Leicester - a muslim heartland. Poor Clarissa appealed for help from passing men in dresses but it seems muslim men do not talk to Englishwomen.

Clarissa: "It was one of the most frightening experiences of my life."

So Clarissa got no help. She could have tried talking to some muslim women but they are required to heel their husbands so if the man is not going to stop to talk the wife cannot.

Later Clarissa wrote about her experience in a book and upset the local bigwigs.

This blog has the following advice for Miss Dixon Wright: avoid Luton as well!

Taliban kills UN aid workers in Pakistan

The Taliban have shot and killed eight United Nations aid workers in northern Pakistan this week. A number of others have been injured. These mainly female workers were part of a UN immunisation programme - giving children shots against polio.

Poliomyelitis (to give it its full name) has been entirely eradicated from the West and only remains in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria. It attacks the nervous system and can be fatal. Those who recover are often left with lifelong disability.

However, according to the Taliban, vaccination is un-Islamic!

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Census 2011 - Religion

Some data from last year's census is now available online. Here is the religion information, for England and Wales only, contrasted with 2001.

Religion           2001         2011    %Change
--------           ----         ----    -------
Christian    37,046,500    33,243,743   -10.26%
Muslim        1,546,626     2,706,066   +74.97%
Hindu           552,421       816,633   +47.83%
Other           480,033       240,530   -49.89%
Sikh            329,358       423,158   +28.48%
Jewish          259,927       263,346    +1.32%
Buddhist        144,452       247,743   +71.51%

As you would expect Christianity is falling away and the Asian religions are taking over. The big winner is Islam gaining more than a million members in the decade.

Some of the others are big percentage winners, but they started from a small base.

Evolution versus Creation

Just for a change let us sort out the big Evolution vs Creation thing once and for all! To put things in perspective, here is a recap of life on Earth...
Years ago           Life on Earth
-------------       -----------------
4,500,000,000       Planet created, molten, no life
4,400,000,000       Still too hot, no life
4,300,000,000       Crust forming, too hot, no life
4,200,000,000       No life
4,100,000,000       No life
4,000,000,000       No life
3,900,000,000       Primitive microbes appear
3,800,000,000       Microbes
3,700,000,000       Microbes
3,600,000,000       Microbes
3,500,000,000       Microbes
3,400,000,000       Microbes
3,300,000,000       Microbes
3,200,000,000       Microbes
3,100,000,000       Microbes
3,000,000,000       Microbes
2,900,000,000       Microbes
2,800,000,000       Microbes
2,700,000,000       Microbes
2,600,000,000       Microbes
2,500,000,000       Microbes
2,400,000,000       Microbes
2,300,000,000       Microbes
2,200,000,000       Microbes
2,100,000,000       Microbes
2,000,000,000       Microbes
1,900,000,000       Microbes
1,800,000,000       Microbes
1,700,000,000       Microbes
1,600,000,000       Microbes
1,500,000,000       Microbes
1,400,000,000       Microbes
1,300,000,000       Microbes
1,200,000,000       Microbes
1,100,000,000       Microbes
1,000,000,000       Microbes
  900,000,000       Microbes
  800,000,000       Microbes
  700,000,000       Microbes
  600,000,000       Microbes
  500,000,000       Six kingdoms of life; 10 divisions
                    of plants; 35 phyla of animals;
                    male and female plants; male and
                    female animals; animals with legs,
                    wings, eyes.
  400,000,000       Nothing much new, some extinctions
  300,000,000       Same
  200,000,000       Same
  100,000,000       Same
      Present       Same

OK, so there has been a lot of speciation after 500 million years ago but no new kingdoms or phyla of life (the big divisions) just alterations to what was already there.The big surprise at (more precisely) 530 million years ago is called the Cambrian Explosion. It took not more than 5 to 10 million years to happen - and may have occurred in a much shorter period of time.

In the Origin of Species Charles Darwin said this was a show-stopper for "evolution" unless some pre-Cambrian fossils could be found so that the diversity did not come out of nowhere. That was 150 years ago and so far no such fossils have been found, despite a lot of microbial fossils having been found.

Evolution or Creation? You decide!

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Autumn statement, 2012

George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer, has just delivered his autumn statement to the House of Commons. In it he revealed that he will fail to reduce our national debt during this parliament as promised but will hand over a few early Christmas presents to mollify us.

Let us start by looking at his growth forecasts....
                
                    Today          Budget in April
    2012/13         -0.1%           +2.0%
    2013/14         +1.2%           +2.7%
    2014/15         +2.0%           +3.0%
    2015/16         +2.3%           +3.0%
    2016/17         +2.7%           N/F
    2017/18         +2.8%           N/F

It is pretty clear that there has been a massive downgrading of expectation at HM Treasury. By now we were supposed to be in the foothills of a steep growth mountain, but instead we are still mired in the valley of recession.

So we might expect borrowing to be shooting up well. But these numbers are a little perplexing...
                
                    Today         Budget in April
    2012/13         £108 bn       £120 bn
    2013/14         £99  bn       £98  bn
    2014/15         £88  bn       £75  bn
    2015/16         £73  bn       £52  bn
    2016/17         £49  bn       £21  bn
    2017/18         £31  bn       N/F

He is claiming that borrowing in the year will actually be £12bn less than he predicted nine months ago back in April. That is weird. Most economists are scratching their heads wondering how that is going to happen. He has factored in a little boost of £3.5bn he is going to get by selling off the 4G radio spectrum to the mobile phone companies - to be sold by an auction which has not yet happened! - so chicken counting going on here, but it's not clear why the borrowing will be so significantly below expectation. Doubtless this will become clear in the next few hours or days. However after this year and next it seems borrowing will exceed forecast (who would have guessed that?!)

The previous plan for the deficit to hit zero in 2017/18 has been jettisoned. There is now no forecast for when we will start making inroads into our one trillion-pound-plus national debt.

The bad news disposed off, Osborne went on to deliver the good: he is going to fund the construction of 100 new schools, an extension to the Northern Line in London, ultra-fast broadband in ten cities and 120,000 new houses.

Also good news for tax payers: benefit increases will be capped below inflation at 1% and government departments will also have cuts to their budgets. The only exception will be HMRC which will be expected to claw extra taxes from people who have stashed money abroad. He thinks Swiss bank accounts should be good for £5bn over the next 6 years. He intents to enact some general "anti-abuse" measures. Since no-one has ever passed a law stopping people from exploiting tax loop holes before, this will be impressive. We have to hope there are no loopholes in the anti-abuse measure itself.

The income tax basic allowance is to rise more than expected, to £9,440 in April 2013. The ISA contribution allowance will increase to £11,020. Corporation tax is to fall to 21% from April 2014 (not much use to Amazon or Starbucks!) It was due to fall to 22%. And then with a bit of a fanfare Osborne announced that the 3p per litre fuel tax rise due for January is cancelled; much cheering from government benches.

The mooted mansion tax was kicked into the long grass - cue grimace from Nick Clegg. However there will probably be some changes to how property owned by companies is taxed in the small print of the statement (the Treasury already leaked this.)

And that was pretty much it. Ed Balls got up to respond for the opposition but fluffed his lines, got confused between debt and deficit and generally failed to make any impact. His one good line was, "the chancellor promised he would not waver - he's not wavering, he's drowning!" Other than that he was repetitive and slightly off-topic since he had obviously written his 'response' before hearing the statement itself. Milliband fed him lines from behind but he did not use them.

In summary, we have a disappointing economic situation but nothing we were not braced for. We have a mysterious undershoot in the borrowing numbers, which of course are still only an estimate. We will have to wait for next year's budget to see the out-turn. On the plus side we have various minor tax cuts. (These days it seems cancelling a planned tax rise counts as a tax cut, at least if you judge by the cheering.)

Friday, 30 November 2012

Good news for the BNP

There are couple of news items that should cheer the BNP today. First the CPS has declined to prosecute Chairman Nick Griffin for his tweets in the case of the two homosexuals wishing to share a bed in a Christian lady's B&B - despite the Cambridge Constabulary trying hard to put him in the frame. This is not really unexpected - the case was a non-starter: Mr Griffin didn't even publish a real address!

And second, the BNP has beaten the Tories and Lib Dems in the Rotherham by election. In fact if you add the Tories' and Lib Dems' votes together (a la coalition) the BNP still beat them. The results in full are:

Sarah Champion (Labour)  9,866 46.25%
Jane Collins (UKIP)      4,648 21.79%
Marlene Guest (BNP)      1,804  8.46%
Yvonne Ridley (Respect)  1,778  8.34%
Simon Wilson (Con)       1,157  5.42%
David Wildgoose (EngDem)   703  3.30%
Simon Copley (Ind)         582  2.73%
Michael Beckett (LibDem)   451  2.11%
Ralph Dyson (Trade Union)  261  1.22%
Paul Dickson (Ind)          51  0.24%
Clint Bristow (Ind)         29  0.14%

Labour majority          5,218 24.46%
Turnout                 21,330 33.63%

It must be said that the turnout is rather low at 33%. However it is still a very respectable result.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Immigrant to take over Bank of England

Canadian Mark Carney is to be the next governor of the Bank of England, starting Summer next year.

Apparently we do not have anyone in this country able to do the job. Or, perhaps that should be, willing to do the job. Did all the insiders take a look at how bad the situation is and decide they do not want to be the one to blame? Send for a foreign scapegoat!

Much is being made of the fact the Carney is a former Goldman Sachs employee; something he shares with almost every other central bank governor in Europe. Well, much is being made of it by a lot of people, but not the BBC who don't mention it.

Carney has negotiated himself a tasty deal - a five year contract on twice what Mervyn King is earning. He is on record as not being a candidate for the job but seems to have changed his mind. He will be applying for British citizenship. (Is that really necessary? Surely a five-year work permit would suffice?)

Carney has the same easy money track record as Merv. He's not likely to be rocking the boat at the BoE.

Friday, 23 November 2012

You are 2.1% poorer

The ONS yesterday released stats saying that average earnings of over the last year grew by 1.4%.

Unfortunately prices went up by 3.5%.

The difference, 2.1%, is therefore how much poorer you are this year compared to last year. And this is by no means the first year you are poorer. In fact you are exactly as rich as you were in 1999! Assuming of course that you are a completely average UK resident.

So how can the economy grow if the consumers keep getting poorer? Answer: it can't. This year you will buy less stuff and so the economy will produce less stuff and producers will make less money and employ fewer people and the whole system will wind down.

What we need is those two numbers to be reversed. If inflation has been 1.4% and earnings had grown by 3.5% you would be 2.1% richer - then the economy would be motoring ahead. So, how can the government made this happen?

Well, they cannot make your pay go up very easily. In the private sector your pay depends on what people are earning in Germany and Japan and China. You cannot earn much more than them or your private sector employer would go out of business. In the public sector every extra pound you earn is an extra pound that must be taxed out of the private sector so the net effect is to slow the economy.

What they can control is inflation. Average earnings growth of 1.4% would be fine if inflation were zero. Then the economy would be leaping ahead. And imagine if inflation were negative, say -0.2%, then you would be 1.6% richer this year. Why -0.2%? Well,  because that happens to be the current inflation rate in Switzerland. How come they can control inflation and we cannot?

Monday, 19 November 2012

Fingering Lord McAlpine

Lord McAlpine, wrongly implicated by people on the Internet of abusing boys in decades past, has reached for his lawyers. The BBC has already rolled over and paid out £185,000 of our money. ITV is going to be stung for more.

Sally Bercow, wife of the Speaker of the House of Commons, awaits her solicitor's letter with trepidation after an ill-advised tweet. (Shouldn't Twitter users be called "twits", btw? Oops, I hope that isn't libelous!)

Is it curtains for Sally Bercow?


Others will be dealt with in due course. Lord McAlpine's lawyers have even suggested that if the miscreants come forward of their own freewill they will get off lighter than if they have to be dug out from under their rocks.

Serves them all right, you might think.

But wait a minute. Why is the Beeb handing out our money so freely? What did they actually do?

They ran a package on Newsnight which said an unnamed senior Conservative from the Thatcher era abused a boy in a childrens' home - several times. Unnamed senior Conservative? Does that say Lord McAlpine to you? Is that the first name which leaps out? Or the second? Or the third, or even top ten?

This blog suggests not. The Beeb may have been thinking McAlpine but they never said McAlpine (just as well, or you could add at least two zeros to the pay out!) Not content with giving the last Director-General twice his contracted severance pay after a two-month "career" they are again handing out our money at the slightest provocation.

They should have stuck to their guns and said, "We did not name the senior Conservative so we pay nothing!"

Of course, we give them more money every year so they don't really care.

And let's not forget. The abuse really did happen. We're just not allowed to say who the paedo is.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Zombies attack the ecomomy

Yesterday the Bank of England published its quarterly inflation report and it seems our real problems are caused by zombies!

Specifically, zombie companies. The FT says...
Roughly three out of 10 companies in the UK are now making a loss; more than during the recession of the early 1990s. But the number of insolvencies this time around is far lower. Though the number of liquidations shot up in 2008, they have fallen since and the BoE expects 16,800 companies to close their doors this year – substantially lower than the almost 25,000 that went out of business during the early 1990s. Even during the peak of the 2008-09 recession, the number of liquidations was less than 20,000 a year. (Link)
The trouble here is that there has been no "reset". Failed companies, eg companies with too much debt to trade profitably, should go out of business and make room for new companies to be set up and grow. However the BoE has kept interest rates so ridiculously low, and sprayed QE money into the economy, and behind the scenes has put pressure on the commercial banks to exercise "forbearance" - all to keep failed companies from dying. So these organisations lurch around, dead in all but name, and stop the "green shoots" from sprouting.

This isn't totally bad. It keeps unemployment down, and most people would call that a good thing.

But actually, it's not. Given the choice would you prefer a) to have a job with a permanently failing company which cuts your pay and/or your hours every year forever, or b) have a short period of unemployment followed by a job in a new company which increases your pay every year because it's thriving.

At the moment we are in situation "a". The job stats look good, but look even slightly beneath the surface and you will find the hardship of falling real incomes and ever increasing debt.

In his press conference yesterday Sir Merv "called" the next dip. We've just come out of the second dip of our double-dip recession and Merv is already preparing us for the next. He said:
"Output growth is likely to fall back sharply in Q4 as the boost from the Olympics in the summer is reversed – indeed output may shrink a little this quarter. [...] Despite a resilient labour market– as we saw again in today’s figures – the economy has barely grown over the past two years."
And this from a man whose job includes talking up the economy!

Oh, and inflation, after a brief lull has now taken off again. But what do you expect when you print four hundred and twelve billion pounds. (Economists generally seem to be including the coupon grab in the QE total. So it's an official £375bn plus the coupons at £37bn making a total of £412bn.)

See the previous post for the Great Coupon Robbery.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Bank of England to pass QE coupons to HM Treasury

The story so far. The Bank of England has magicked into existence three hundred and seventy-five billion pounds and used to money to buy UK government bonds. Bonds of course pay a form of interest called the 'coupon'. So naturally, the Bank of England has dutifully being paying interest to itself. It has been keeping the money in a special account called the Asset Purchase Facility, and the cash has been mounting up: there will be £35bn in the account by the end of this financial year (April 2013).

So what to do with all this lovely lolly? (Over-looking for the moment that it doesn't really exist.) Well the government has decided that it is going to transfer the money from the Bank to itself (ie to Her Majesty's Treasury) and spend it. Specifically, they are going to spend it on redeeming government debt. Yes, they are going to pay off the national debt with money they got by buying the debt with money they never had.

George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer, has said as much to Mervyn King, Governor of the Bank of England, in a letter. Merv has replied that that's a very good idea, also can he have a peerage next year when he retires? (Only he didn't put that last bit in the letter.)

If this money-go-round makes your head whirl, that's because it is supposed to. You're supposed to be watching all the plates they've got spinning on sticks and wondering when the first is going to fall. That way you won't notice when they sneak around behind you and take some money out of your pocket.

Monday, 5 November 2012

Another immigrant rips us off


NOT WANTED - FRAUD

Denis MacShane, MP

He was born in the UK of immigrant parents. He changed his name from Matyjaszek to MacShane. He was sacked by the BBC for dodgy dealings and became an MP. And now he has quit as an MP after being caught printing up invoices on his office computer and signing them with various different names, and then authorising them for payment in his own name.

He has pleaded parliamentary privilege to avoid being prosecuted for this fraud.

If he walks away from this it will be both amazing and a travesty of justice.

It just goes to show, once a wrong un, always a wrong un.

And after quitting he will continue to rip us off. He will be entitled to 50% of his MP's pay, index linked, as a pension.

Friday, 26 October 2012

We're out of recession, whoo hoo!

Yesterday the Office for National Statistics published its first tentative measure of the last quarter's GDP growth (ie July, August, September) and in this Olympic and Jubilee time it found that the economy had grown by a massive one percent!

The GDP numbers for the three preceding quarters were -0.2%, -0.2% and -0.7%, so this latest number almost wipes out the previous falls. We are almost positive on the year to date.

This means we are no longer in recession. Strangely although economists deem the economy to be in recession when we get two consecutive quarters of negative growth they deem us to be out of the woods when they see a single quarter of positive growth. And they certainly do not include a couple of very important factors.

First, there's the debt growth. A one percent GDP increase amounts to the economy growing by about 14 billion pounds. But over the same period the government  has borrowed about thirty billion pounds and injected it into the economy. And it borrowed the same in the previous recessionary quarters. You cannot reasonably call yourself richer if your debts have gone up by twice your assets. Duh!

Second, there is population growth. Despite the government's pledges we still have a net inward migration of about a hundred thousand people a year. So the cake may have gotten bigger, but your slice got smaller. Total GDP is of far less interest than per-capita GDP - that's the stat which actually makes you feel richer or poorer.

Once we see GDP growing faster than the debt, and inward migration stopped or reversed, then we are really out of recession, and not until. (By the way, the last year that actually happened was 2002!)

Monday, 22 October 2012

Have you heard of Bani Walid?

Not if you rely much on British TV for news, you haven't. The Libyan civil war is still raging and the town of Bani Walid is under siege. It is under the control of "pro-Gaddafi" forces. (You would have thought that "pro-Gaddafi" would be a moribund term by now, but no, they fight on. They fight because the New Libyan Government is not going to let them go unpunished for supporting Gaddafi back in the day.)

Several hundred people in Bani Walid have been injured and possibly as many as a hundred killed this month alone.

But it doesn't suit the mainstream media to cover this. As far as they are concerned: Gaddifi is dead, the good guys won, Libya is free - end of story. There is some American coverage, but the BBC and friends would not want to spoil a perfect ending by giving this story any prominence - just like they did not want to spoil their Christmas schedules by reporting Jimmy Savile's paedopilia.

He walked!

He normally cycles, but Friday last he walked off the job. Andrew "Thrasher" Mitchell quit his job as Chief Whip. That's a bit weird. He was basically home free, and then he quits. Did he think anyone cares about him now we have Jimmy Savile to worry about? Of course not.

(My spell-checker thinks "Savile" should be "Saveable" - how foolish is it?!)

Friday, 19 October 2012

Not under my roof or in my bed

Oh dear, Nick the Griff - BNP chairman and MEP for North West England - is being 'investigated' by the Thought Police (aka Cambridgeshire Constabulary) for having the sheer audacity of suggesting that a campaigning homosexual couple who have successfully sued for compensation for not being allowed to share a bed in a B&B should themselves be the subject of a peaceful demonstration by people who object to perversion being rammed down their throats.


Yuck!

Michael Black, 64, and John Morgan, 59, sued Susanne Wilkinson, Christian owner of a B&B in Berkshire. They were awarded £1,800 each for hurt feelings. Mrs Wilkinson has previously refused unmarried heterosexual couples a shared bed, so her actions are clearly not anti-homosexual as such. She is a devout Christian.

After the verdict Mr Griffin tweeted: "We'll hold demo... for rights of all home owners, gays included, to rent or not rent rooms to whomsoever they wish." He then asked if anyone knew their address.

The relevant information was obviously supplied because a couple of hours later he tweeted: "So Messrs Black & Morgan, at [address]. A British Justice team will come up to Huntington & give you a bit of drama by way of reminding you that an English couple's home is their castle. Say No to heterophobia!"

To the completely uninitiated a visit from a "Britsh Justice team" might seem somewhat alarming. However BNP demos are always completely peaceful on the BNP side. There isn't even any chanting; just a bunch of people standing there holding Union flags and placards; probably not even waving them, just holding them. Any violence always comes from the opposition; the so-called anti-fascists. (Since the BNP is not fascist it is not clear why they are opposed by "anti-fascists".) So Mr Griffin was not suggesting any violence, just a protest against the ever declining standards of public morality.

Time was if you checked into a hotel with your girlfriend you had to use the names "Mr & Mrs Smith". Of course back then homosexuality was illegal and Mrs Wilkinson would have had the full support of the police if she turned Black and Morgan in. Much against most people's better judgement homosexuality was decriminalised back in the 1960s. There seems to have been a naive impression that homosexuals would at least have the decency to keep it behind their own closed doors. Foolish us! That genie is out of the bottle and he is not going back.

The lesson here is: don't give an inch - they'll take a mile.

Friday, 12 October 2012

The second shoe is dropping

At a speech yesterday evening at the Mansion House in the City of London, Lord Turner - a candidate for the position of Governor of the Bank of England when Mervyn King retires next year - made the fatal suggestion that perhaps all the £375 billion of QE'ed money need not be repaid. It could just be written off in a paper exercise. At a stroke of the pen the UK's national debt would drop by a third.

Lord "Print-a-lot" Turner

Just for laughs let us remind ourselves of bread prices in post-WWI Germany; just to see what happens when you print money.

One 400g loaf of bread cost (in Marks)

Year      Price (M)
1914     0.13
1915     0.15
1916     0.19
1917     0.20
1918     0.22
1919     0.26
1920     1.20
1921     1.35
1922     3.50
1923     700 (start of year)
1923     100,000,000,000 (end of year)

After 1923 a new currency was introduced and the situation stabilised. Hitler made his first attempt to take over Germany in November 1923 - and actually became Chancellor in 1933.

What you can see from the prices above is that the end, when it comes, is very sudden; 1921 must have looked like an OK year, 1922 must have been worrying - and 1923 was chaos.

That said, Lord Turner is not favourite for the Governor job. Front-runner at the moment is current deputy Paul Tucker who has been with the Bank for the last 32 years so probably knows where the bodies are buried.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Good news! Keith Vaz in hot water

Yes, the repulsive Asian Labour MP Keith Vaz (his name is actually Nigel but he doesn't like to be called that) is in trouble. His financial affairs are under scrutiny. Turns out his mortgage outgoings were seven times higher than his pay - and the register of members' interests does not seem to explain the difference.

Nigel: Immigrant from the Yemen and MP for East Leicester

But the title said "good news" did it not? Why, you might be wondering is this good news? Well, it's only good news for Andrew Mitchell. He's off the hook now.

Don't call black people "darkies"

If you do call black people darkies you risk the fate of BNP former Stoke-on-Trent councillor Michael Coleman - a conviction in the Crown Court for racially-aggravated harassment; an eight-month jail term, suspended for two years; and an order to perform 240 hours of unpaid work.

Michael Coleman: BNP leader in Stoke

Mr Coleman wrote on his blog (The Stoke Patriot) an article on the 2011 riots that included the forbidden word and was duly crushed by the full weight of the law merely for exercising his Right of Free Speech. Heaven knows what would have happened to him had he actually used a rude word to describe the rioters: maybe the N-word, or the C-word.

In best Internet tradition the offending article is still online and can be read here.

Michael is of course unbowed and unrepentant. He will fight on, fight for all our lost liberties. Sadly he will not be fighting from his former berth - the Stoke council chamber itself - since the most significant effect of the Crown Court conviction is a five-year ban on standing for public office.

Free speech is now dead in this country. If "they" want to get you they will., Anything you say or write will be made out as "racist" - provided they know who you are (hence this blog being anonymous) and since Michael Coleman was brave enough to speak up there was never any doubt about who he was.

Friday, 28 September 2012

Spain falling apart

Spain could be falling apart literally. There has been rioting in Madrid over the last few days and the public is seething at the austerity they are being expected to face. But one region has more cause for resentment that the rest: Catalonia.

The Catalans never wanted to be part of Spain in the first place. They were assimilated by conquest in the early 18th C. and have never really gotten over it. Now the Catalan President is planning to hold an election in November in which complete independence will be on offer.

Catalonia: "We want out!"

The Catalan autonomous region has its own language, a long coast line, a long border with France and is ideally placed to become an independent nation. Weakness in Madrid is all the excuse they need to ramp up the separatist movement.
Catalonia is the most industrialised part of Spain; the most able to look after itself. As an independent nation they could skip most of the austerity the rest are going to have to endure. As a nation in its own right Catalonia would be as rich as the UK - per capita, and decidedly richer than the rest of Spain, and richer than countries such as Greece or Portugal.

At the moment Spain is essentially a "Castilian Empire" based in central Spain with Madrid as its nexus. The outlying regions have had to be bribed (when the empire was weak) and bullied (when the empire was strong) since the eighteenth century to keep them onside. Now the empire is weaker than it has ever been before. This does not look good for Spain as a nation state.

Monday, 24 September 2012

Movie review: Innocence of Muslims

If you want to see a truly awful movie - here is one: Innocence of Muslims.  

Of course if you're in Egypt, Libya or Afghanistan it's blocked, so here is a still to look at instead.

Mohammed chased by angry wives slapping him with sandals.
The film is 14 minutes long, made by an Egyptian convicted drug-dealer and bankrupt called Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, although for the purpose of making the film he called himself Sam Bacile and claimed to be Jewish.

The cast themselves did not know what they were making. The significant words were dubbed in post-production.
The film itself is confused, in fact incomprehensible, and certainly not a trenchant criticism of Islam. It does have a donkey which becomes the first muslim animal when Mohammed converts it. And there is some suggestion that the donkey may be gay!

Supposedly there is a longer version of the film, and the 14-minute version is just a trailer. At most ten people have seen the full version (if it exists) at a private viewing.

Reactions in the muslim world have resulted in numerous deaths including that of the US ambassador to Libya (although it seems likely that that attack was pre-planned and the film merely came along at a fortunate juncture.)

The Pakistani Railways Minister Ghulam Ahmad Balor has offered to pay $100,000 to anyone who kills Nakoula. The Pakistani Foreign Minister has said that America should reconsider its committment to free speech!

Meanwhile satirical website The Onion has published this picture showing Jesus, Jehovah, Budda and the Hindu elephant god Ganesha enjoying a four-way orgy on a cloud.

Gods behaving badly
The original picture is uncensored and features creative use of a trunk. They think they are being very clever down at The Onion, but if you zoom in to the top-left I think you can just make out Mohammed peeking from behind a cloud!

A pleb apologises

The government Chief Whip (at this exact moment, anyway) Andrew "Thrasher" Mitchell, MP, has apologised for not showing enough respect to the police.

It is alleged that while leaving Downing Street on his bicycle (points for greenness!) his way was obstructed by a closed gate and a lady police officer from SO6 (diplomatic protection) invited him to proceed through a pedestrian gate to which he replied along the lines of, "Don't you know who I am? F*cking pl*b!" (Exact wording disputed) thus committing a Section 5 Public Order offence.

Andrew Mitchell: Checked shirt?! Awooga!!
Fashion error!

Thrasher had been appointed Chief Whip a few minutes previously and was quite reasonably annoyed that his new status was not acknowledged by flunkies rushing to open gates for him. This blog can only sympathize. When a fellow takes the trouble to attend a top Public School, top University, and Sandhurst, and serves a whole nine months with the Royal Tank Regiment and gets a medal for going to Cyprus it must be galling not to have ones achievements recognised.

It must be said that his service with the army was a bit short but clearly they felt in the regiment that nine months from Andrew was as good as a lifetime from anyone else and they should not stand in the way of his progression into the banking industry.

But this blog does have to take issue with his use of the word "pleb". When Andrew sits down at the cabinet table he is surrounded by people who went to Eton and Oxford. Poor Andrew only went Rugby and Cambridge. Surely he is the pleb!

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Indeterminate prison sentences come home to roost

Our previous Labour government had no qualms about knocking away the fundamental pillars of justice if it suited them. Right to silence, double jeopardy, fixed term prison sentences: all got shot in the knees (and let's not forget "executive detention" where people get locked up, albeit in their own homes, just because the government says so.)

Now one of these has turned and bitten them. IPP (open-ended Imprisonment for the Public's Protection) has been ruled unlawful by the European Court of Human Rights and compensation is to be paid.

To the credit of the current government they banned IPPs as soon as they came to power, but we have a legacy of 6,000 people in jail sentenced to serve an open-ended term, basically until they pass a course in public safety. Already 3,500 are over their minimum term and places on the course are very limited.

Already two such prisoners have been granted thousands of pounds compensation, and thousands of others will be toiling over their claims right now. Thanks, Labour!

Oh, and Labour are now 15% ahead in the polls.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Another tram lady: this time black

Emma West has company - we have another tram lady. This one's invective included, "I hate f*cking white people," and, "White c*nts!" In contrast to this lady's rant, Miss West's contribution was a reasoned polemic on the subject of immigration.

Here is the new tram lady...

"White c*nts!"

The complete video may be viewed here.

It will be interesting to compare and contrast this lady's treatment by the authorities with that of Emma West. Emma had her children taken into care, she spent time in prison, and she has been in court three times so far with no actual trial taking place.

This new "tram lady" would seem to have committed a more serious offence, based on the language used and hatred expressed. I trust the authorities will step up to the mark promptly.

Friday, 31 August 2012

London Met U in trouble with UKBA

The last time the London Metropolitan University (LMU) was in the news in a big way it was because the vice-chancellor was proposing to establish muslim-friendly no-alcohol no-talk-about-sex zones on campus; blogged about here.

Now they are back in the public for a less salubrious reason. The UK Border Agency has lost confidence in them for the purposes of issuing "Tier 4" visas which are intended for adult students. (The media is generally reporting they have lost the power to issue visas. This is rubbish, only the Home Office can issue visas - what they have lost is their "trusted" status; ie a letter from London Met no-longer carries weight with the UKBA.)

Somewhat surprisingly the UKBA announced that all existing visas sponsored by the LMU were to be cancelled; this on the strength of a quarter of LMU's overseas students being deemed bogus - not attending lectures, not really students. Surprising, because it rather inconveniences the remaining 75% (about 1950 students) part-way through their courses who now have 60 days to find another alma mater or quit the country. With the academic year starting next week this could be a challenge for them. If any are obliged to leave full-time education they would likely have a good case in the High Court for restitution of their course fees to-date; especially given that the government has placed the entire blame on lax procedures at the LMU.

Some suspect that the LMU is actually running an institutional scam as an immigration backdoor - taking the course fees in return for turning a blind eye to whether students are actually attending lectures or instead have got themselves a black-market job. But since the course fees for overseas students start at £15,000 a year that really makes no sense - no illegal immigrant could get a job that would justify such an overhead.

Nope, if there is a scam here, it is not leaving the UK after graduation; not failing to get the degree in the first place. A University of Exeter study estimated that as few as 20% of overseas graduates actually leave the country when their student visa expires.

After bravely firing its big guns at the LMU there are already signs that the government is back-pedaling. The Education Department is setting up a task-force to place affected students in other institutions, and the 60-days-to-get-gone letters have not actually been posted yet. The government may have belatedly realised the problem is real but the target was wrong.

Obviously this blog applauds the use of the big stick on illegal immigrants. However the government's aim must be improved. They need a way of ensuring that 1) students remain on their courses or leave the country, and 2) students leave the country on completion of their course. These are difficult things to achieve.

One way to keep students on their courses would be to require them to pay the full fees (£45,000 minimum) upfront, before entry to the UK. This would be a large burden on the student, but would at least ensure only a high class of foreign student came to the UK.

Perhaps more reasonably some sort of bond should be required. For example £50,000 should be paid into a local embassy or consulate before the visa is issued; then after graduation it can be reclaimed from the same place when the visa expires. Interest should be paid, eg 3% pa so that if the student has to borrow the money it is largely cost neutral for them.

What this country really does need is a database of people who should not be here; basically the palm-prints of all deported persons, plus all persons with expired visas. This blog, like Nationalists generally, is opposed to ID cards (which would solve this kind of problem once and for all) but a database of the disallowed would not affect British citizens and is not controversial. Such a database could be used to vet foreigners entering the UK from Asia and Africa where most illegal immigrants come from. To avoid the "insult factor" citizens of the Anglosphere and Western Europe should not be scanned unless a border official has reason to suspect them.

Also the police could use the database to check arrested persons. This would catch a surprisingly large number of illegal immigrants as they seem to get arrested far more often than the general population.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Tom Holland, the antidote to Faisal Islam

Finally we have an antidote to Faisal Islam's Channel 4 programmes on Mohammed and the birth of the Islamic religion. Faisal spoon-fed us the oral tradition of Islam over the course of several programmes covering the birth of the Prophet in Mecca, his divine revelations in a nearby cave, his falling out with local polytheistic priests who felt that many gods were better for business than one god, his flight to Medina and his eventual return after triumph in battle.

And last night (28-Aug-2012) ancient historian Tom Holland demolished the whole thing in a single 75 minute Channel 4 programme called Islam: The Untold Story.

The programme was effectively a spin-off of a book, In the Shadow of the Sword, that Holland has spent the last five years researching and writing. In it he demolishes the oral tradition of Islam both by pointing out that there is no evidence for it, and that there is quite a lot of evidence against it. For example muslims pray facing Mecca because that is where Mo was born. Oops - early mosques actually faced lots of different directions.

In fact there seems to be very little evidence that Mo even existed until about 60 years after he is supposed to have died. He probably did not come from Mecca (mentioned only once in the Koran) but from further north. Holland suggests Azdat in the Lebanon as a possibility.

The Story of Mo would appear to have grown with the telling. When the Arabs moved East after the fall of the Roman Empire they needed a monotheistic religion to put up against the prevailing religions of Christianity and Judaism and so Mo was co-opted; his book the Koran was written (previously it had been an oral story only) and the dogma fleshed out. With the Roman and Persian empires having fought themselves to a standstill the Arabs were able to move into the resultant power vacuum and expanded across the Middle East and Maghreb. Naturally, the new religion, being an instrument of conquest, said that its believers were the finest of peoples and fully entitled to help themselves to the land and property of the unbelievers.

Tom Holland can probably expect a fatwa in the post.

Friday, 24 August 2012

Anders Behring Breivik: Sane and guilty

The verdict is in - Breivik has been declared sane and guilty and sentenced to a possible 21 years in jail with a minimum of 10 years - minus the 445 days he has already served. So it's only the sentence which is insane.

The correct sentence for murdering 77 people is death by hanging.

This is the outcome Breivik wanted. Check out the little smile as the sentence is pronounced.

Breivik: As sane as you or me

His plans now involve a lot of writing. All Norwegian prisons are connected to the internet and all prisoners have some entitlement to use the connection. (All prisoners are entitled to education, and these days that requires internet access.) Breivik was a prolific internetter so perhaps we will see him popping up in his usual haunts such as www.breiviksmanifesto.com.

Inevitably he will have followers. Although nationalists generally abhor his methods - they share his concerns. Some of them will agree that the executing of 'traitors' is a necessary and meritorious act. There is a danger that Breivik will become 'Leader-in-jail' of a significant movement. (Nelson Mandela is also a mass-murderer and was 'spiritual leader' of the ANC during his 27 years in jail. Somehow being inside adds credibility.)

The hope by many that Breivik will now not be heard of for a couple of decades is likely to be forlorn.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Ecuador, land of the free!

Wikileaker-Supreme, Julian Assange, for these last two months closeted in the embassy of Ecuador in London, has been granted permanent refuge in Ecuador. Of course to take advantage of this offer Assange would have to leave the embassy and travel to an airport, and he would be arrested as soon as he stepped out of the front door.

Assange visited Sweden in 2010 where he  had consensual sex with two women who worked for Wikileaks. The two women approached the Swedish police to see if it would be possible to compel Assange to have an HIV test. Assange was questioned in Sweden but allowed to leave the country.

The real problem seems to be that Assange had sex with TWO women during his visit and when each woman found out about the other they decided to kick up a fuss.

Eventually an arrest warrant alleging rape was issued and extradition proceedings started. (In Sweden having sex without using a condom can constitute rape even if both parties are consenting.)

Most likely Assange has nothing to fear from a trial in Sweden. The two women no longer want to pursue any sort of action against him (if he had infected them, they would know it by now) and it would probably embarrass the Swedish authorities if they had to try him. So far no charges have been laid, and the official position is that the Stockholm police just want to question him some more. Assange has offered them the opportunity to question him in the UK but they have declined. All the indications are they do not want this case to proceed. It would show Sweden in very bad light.

Assange's true fear is that once in Sweden he would be taken to the USA. Senior politicians in America have already taken to calling him a terrorist. Newt Gingrich called him an "enemy combatant" - which means he could be taken off to Guantanamo Bay. In the USA Assange fears the prospect of a life sentence in a super-max prison where he would basically never be heard from again. Hence his rather desperate attempts to avoid going to Sweden. (The Swedes would certainly make it a condition of his extradition that he would not be subject to the death penalty - regardless of what he was convicted.)

This does raise the question: would it really be easier for the Americans to extradite him from Sweden than from the UK? The answer has got to be no. The Americans fairly easily extradite even British citizens from the UK on very flimsy evidence. And Assange is an Australian.

So in fact, the Americans do not really want him either. The reason being: it would be difficult bordering on impossible to convict him of any crime in a US court. There is no Official Secrecy Act in the USA. The 1st Amendment (Right to Free Speech) makes it incredibly difficult to convict someone for leaking an official secret unless they are actually employed by the government. And Assange is not even an American, let alone an employee of Uncle Sam. Hence no extradition request from the Americans has been received.

Assange's fears of authority are largely groundless. His over-reaction is more to do with his character than any genuine prospect of conviction. He is a constant fugative; needlessly moving from country to country, forever fighting the governments of the world. His upbringing was in this vein: demos against the Vietnam War, fleeing across Australia rather than facing some imagined legal action. Even setting up WikiLeaks is totally in character. The kind of person who would set up WikiLeaks is the kind of person who will never submit to any form of judicial process.

Likely he will not be able to get from the Ecuadoran embassy to an airport. If by some miracle he does smuggle himself to Ecuador likely he would not stay there long. He would move on; get picked up by some other government - his persecution complex would grow as a result - and the whole cycle would start again.

He might as well give up and get it over with, but he won't.

Harry and Amelia

The BBC has reported that in 2011 the top name chosen for boy babies was Harry, probably inspired by Prince Harry and the boy wizard Harry Potter. The top girl's name was Amelia. The Guardian agrees almost word for word.

There were 7,256 boys called Harry born last year.

What neither the Beeb nor the Guardian found space to report is that if you add up all the variations on the muslim prophet's name (Mohammed, Muhammad, Mohammad, Muhammed and Mohamed) you get a total of 7,907.

Yes, Mo is the real top boys' name in 2011. The muslims are out-breeding everyone else. However the left-wing apologists for the colonisation of our country are having their treachery concealed by the fact that the muslims cannot spell their prophet's name in any consistent manner - at least in English.

Friday, 10 August 2012

Big-Headed Bolt

Jamaican runner, Usain Bolt, has won the gold medal for the 100m and the 200m sprints in the London Olympics, just like he did four years ago in Peking.

That is obviously a great achievement and entirely laudable.

However it seems his mouth runs just as fast as his legs. He has called himself "the greatest athlete" and a "living legend".

Bolt: Legend in his own lunchtime
 
These epithets are debatable but may be true, although as I indicated in the previous post the winner of the decathlon is traditionally regarded as the greatest athlete. "Living legend" is perhaps less deniable.

But the point is, it is not for anyone, in any field, to self-appoint as either greatest or a legend in their own lifetime. These accolades come from public consensus or not at all. To pin them on oneself seems like the boastfulness of a ten-year-old. I cannot imagine any (white) British athlete coming out with such arrogance, and there are many who have won more medals than Bolt. Nor can I imagine the media reporting this type of self-congratulation in such an uncritical manner for an athlete who was not black.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Olympic skateboading

Are you looking forward to the Olympic skateboarding final? It should be quite a spectacle; probably lots of jumps and flips and the occasional broken neck.

If so, you have a few years to wait, skateboarding is not an Olympic sport yet.

Unlike BMX biking which is, also Keirin biking (chasing a motorbike) and Omnium biking (a six event biking equivalent of the heptathlon.)  In fact, in all, there are five cycling track events for men at the Olympics, eight track events for women, four road events for male cyclists, two for the woman, There is also mountain biking for men and women and BMX biking for both as well. Which raises the question: how many medals are up for grabs in just cycling alone? Not so fast with that answer though, some of those are team events!

There is the "team pursuit" with four riders in the male team, and three in the women's team. There is also the "team sprint" with three riders in the men's team and two in the women's team.

So, keeping in mind there is a gold, silver and bronze on offer for each event, put it all together and what have you got? How many actual physical medals are going to be handed out? The answer is: 78. Yes, seventy-eight medals are available to the cyclists. That is 78 medals to be shared between about 500 Olympic cyclists.

When the cyclists designed their sport they certainly made sure there were not going home empty-handed (or should that be bare-chested?)

Can we find a 'greedier' sport? Well, how many medals are available for Judo? Let us think. Gold, silver, bronze, male and female - is the answer 6? Nope, you forgot to account for the fact that there are seven different weight classes. So the actual answer is 42. The 'judokas' have made a big mistake though - they forgot to include any team events in their sport.

The shooters have also managed inflate the number of medals they can get. Firstly, all events are male or female. There is no obvious reason why men and women should compete separately in shooting - the gun does all the work. Next, you can shoot at static targets or moving targets, you can shoot with a rifle or a pistol or a shotgun, you can shoot standing or prone, and of course there is the ever popular shooting at multiple moving targets at the same time. Put it all together what have you got? Nine events, 54 medals.

Again the shooters do not seem to have been able to design in any team events; foolish, that is where the big medal hauls come from. The rowers have done better. They have team events, and also weight categories - that is clever. For the record the rowing events are for men: single scull, double scull, quad scull, coxless pair, coxless four, and eight-in-a-boat. There are separate events for 'lightweight' men: double scull and coxless four. The women have much the same except they do not have coxless fours in either weight category. (Only two weight categories in rowing! Room for improvement there.) In case you were wondering: scull means each rower has two oars while in the other boats each rower only has one oar. In "eights" there is a ninth person called a "coxswain" who steers the boat - despite not rowing the cox still gets a medal. Anyway, when we do the math, we find that the rowers will be taking home a fantastic 318 medals.

If for some reason your sport does not lend itself to teams or weight categories there is another option: put "synchronised" in the name. The divers have managed to (nearly) double their medal chances by diving from various height platforms, and then doing it all over again - synchronised.

The ultimate Olympic event is the decathlon. Ten sports are contested over two days. The winner is traditionally dubbed "the world's greatest athlete" and his gold medal is known as "the big G." He stands supreme; the Olympian other Olympians bow down to. So how many medals are available to these ultra-athletes? Answer: just three: gold, silver and bronze. There are no teams, no weight categories, no synchronised, and no women's event.

And if you are wondering why I am going on about all this consider the big picture. There are (approx) 10,900 athletes competing in the Olympics and 4,700 medals to be won. That means that almost half of the athletes could take home a medal. Of course some athletes will win several medals so it will not work out like that. The games are rigged; not rigged to make them easier, but rigged to hand out prizes to the most possible participants. The more recently a sport has been added to the games the more blatant the rigging. The traditional track and field events have been pushed to the side in the medal stakes by newer sports which are hogging the limelight. Sadly, the ultimate sporting prize, the Olympic medal, has become devalued.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Olympic opening ceremony

What is a nationalist to think of the £27 million Olympic opening ceremony held last Friday?

Well I suppose we should be glad it went off with no major disasters. The weather was the key variable - if it had rained hard all evening that would have completely ruined the event. But it did not - not a drop - phew!

The ceremony was grandiose, clever, humorous, and a technological tour de force. Other opening ceremonies have had fireworks; in the stadium, at the end. We were treated to fireworks from about halfway through, and not just in the stadium but along the streets leading to the stadium, in the stadium, around the stadium, practically shooting down into the spectators.

The part where James Bond went to Buck House, collected Her Majesty in a helicopter and they both parachuted into the stadium was clever and funny in equal measure. Obviously viewers were expecting Bond to jump, but the queen as well! (Actually neither of the stunt people in the chopper landed in the stadium. The place was riddled with wires - it would have been lethal.)

But juxtaposed with all this cleverness we had some down-right perplexing parts. What was it with all the blacks? Blacks have lived in the UK since 1948, other than in tiny numbers. They form a negligible part of our national history and yet were all over the opening ceremony in vastly disproportionate numbers; backs in top hats playing Victorians; blacks in the typical suburban house; black dancers - the main dance narrative was black boy hooks up with black girl by finding her phone and they both live happily ever after.

This was not subtle 'blonking'. (Blonking is a TV term for briefly focusing on black people in the audience. There is also 'plonking' which is picking out a pretty girl for no obvious reason - other than she is a pretty girl of course.)

TV people love a good blonk. They are mainly left-wing and think it salubrious to shove immigrants in our faces. They think we will start to consider it normal to have black people all over the place. They especially love to place them in inappropriate historical contexts as if to say, "blacks have always lived all over the British Isles. Of course there were black Victorians, and blacks at Agincourt, and Runymede and in Boudicca's army."

But the Olympic opening went beyond any sort of subtle brainwashing. It was very noticeable - it must have sent a very strange message to foreigners viewing the ceremony. "What are the Brits trying to tell us?", they must have asked themselves.

Maybe the luvvies who put the whole thing together thought that we have been blonked so much over recent years that the dose needed to be increased and they just overdid it. Maybe they themselves live in such a blonked world that it seemed normal to them.

Who are these luvvies anyway?

Well, everyone knows that Danny Boyle (director of Trainspotting, Slumdog Millionaire, 28 Days Later) was the Artistic Director of the event. (It had a name by the way: Isles of Wonder.) Less well known are the others in the creative team.

The scriptwriter was Frank Boyce; a long term collaborator with Danny Boyle and a former writer for the magazine Living Marxism. As Assistant Director there was Stephen Daldry, an Oscar nominated director in his own right and a former member of the Socialist Workers' Party. Also assisting was Catherine Ugwu - a writer on the subject of "Black Liberation".

Of course there were quite a few others in the production team, but they were mainly technical - there to implement the vision of the above 'creatives'.

So there seems to have been a Marxist capture of the event. They could not resist the urge to shove their dogma in our faces and as a result they tarnished the event. It should have been apolitical. However, it is perhaps a good thing they overplayed their hand. It makes it more obvious that there was a subtext - and it should prod people to look more sceptically at the output of TV and try to discern what message the magic lantern is trying to slip past their critical faculties and straight into the hind brain.

In a couple of weeks the same team will be bringing us the Closing Ceremony; more of the same probably.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Olympic annecdotals

Not reported by the mainstream media but this blog understands that at an Olympic venue last week 16 G4S guards were expected to attend with Met police also present. Only 2 G4S bods turned up and one of them immediately attracted the attention of the drugs sniffer dog the police had brought with them. Cannabis was found in his pocket and he was dully arrested, leaving only 1 G4S guard on duty.

On a brighter note, early reports from the Olympic Park indicate that the squaddies on duty are very perky - it seems they prefer this duty to Afghanistan.

Monday, 23 July 2012

BBC still blatantly censoring the news

Compare this report from the Sun newspaper...
A CRAZED teenager was floored by security after trying to grab the Olympic torch while screaming "Allahu Akbar" - Arabic for "God is great".
and a report on the same incident from the BB...
A teenager has been charged with offences relating to an attempt to snatch the Olympic torch in Kent.
Notice a few facts missing from the BBC's report? They have completely suppressed the muslim nature of the attack. Read their article in full - nowhere does it mention the boy shouted "allahu akbar".

For some reason the BBC acts like it is the self-appointed defender of immigration and diversity and routinely covers up any news which could cast doubt on the advisability of hosting an alien culture in our country.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Emma West, trial postponed again

Gawd, this is like pulling teeth. Emma West, tram lady, has had her trial at Croydon Crown court postponed again.

Emma West: Tram lady

The timetable for this alleged offence now looks something like this:

Oct 18, 20011, Incident on tram
June 11, 2012, First trial date
July 16, 2012, Second trial date
Sept, 5, 2012, Third trial date

Each time the trial is aborted to allow time for more medical reports. And one must presume, to have her ground down by the system a bit more.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

ONS releases some immigration stats

The ONS has provided a preview of the 2011 census. They have released some bare-bones immigration numbers. The UK population has gone up by four million people in the last decade. This is mainly due to two factors: immigration, and immigrants having children.

Of course we already knew the country has been swamped by immigrants. We can tell just by walking down the street. The ONS seems to be softening us up slowly though. They have not yet released the ethnicity or religion numbers.

As a reminder this is how the country stood in 2001:


It will be very interesting to see how the numbers have changed in the last ten years. I have a feeling certain religious groups will have grown massively. (Once we have two data points we can start making projections.)

Police vehicles banned from Olympic sites

As you will have heard G4S (Group 4 + Securicor, geddit?) has failed to recruit several thousand security guards for the Olympics and police and army personnel are being drafted in to plug the gap. The G4S share price now looks like Beachy Head.

But, horrors, some police are off-message. Their vehicles are not Mercedes - official car of the Olympic games. Rumours now abound that police with lesser vehicles are being told to park away from Olympic venues to avoid brand infringement.

Also, police drinking bottled water that is not Evian are being shuffled off behind the scenes.

You could not make it up.

Monday, 16 July 2012

BBC Television Centre sold

Television Centre, the BBC's television hub, the iconic asbestos-ridden 1960s building, which was the home of all BBC television for so long has been sold to a developer for £200 million - just £3 million less than the annual wage bill for their star performers. Contracts were exchanged on Saturday. In theory the building is Grade II listed and cannot be modified; however it seems likely that the buyer will try to get around that.

Television production has been migrating to "Manchester" over the last few years. "Manchester" because in fact the new site is Salford Quays which is a piece of scrub land on the banks of the Manchester Ship Canal.

The Site has been developed by a company called Peel Group which has built the studio space. The studios are now operated by Peel Media. Peel Group has also built several blocks of luxury apartments to house the incoming television workers. These apartments are available to rent or buy from Peel Property; parking spaces cost extra; and once ensconced the TV worker will be paying a ground rent to Peel Group and buying his/her electricity and water from Peel Power.

Peel Group is majority owned by an individual called John Whittaker. Persuading the government that the Beeb should move north to a patch of land he owns has been a real coup for him. Henceforth, by direct and indirect means a substantial fraction of your license fee will be landing in his pocket.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Diamonds are not forever

Bob Diamond, American banker, life member of The Council on Foreign Relations, CEO of Barclays until 7:30 this morning, has resigned.

Bizarrely, Marcus Agius, British banker, husband of Katherine de Rothschild, who resigned as Chairman of Barclays yesterday, now seems to have unresigned and is taking over Bob Diamond's role, pro tem, until a new CEO can be found.

Bob Diamond is scheduled to appear before the Treasury Committee of the House of Commons tomorrow to give evidence on the general subject of LIBOR fixing (2.15pm, not to be missed.)

Quite why Diamond has decided to walk the plank is unclear at the moment. In an email to all staff yesterday he vowed to stay and work to restore the bank's reputation, but overnight it seems he has had a change of heart and quit. (Incidentally wrong-footing some newspapers which today are reporting in their print versions that he intends to cling on to his job.)

Some people are speculating that after he has been grilled by the committee he would not have a job to go back to anyway, and it looks better to perform an honourable jump rather than be pushed. However he may have strictly personal reasons for quitting: he may have options that vest immediately if he leaves the company and he may want to cash up his holdings in Barclays before the coming storm decimates the share price.

Friday, 29 June 2012

LIBOR goes nuclear

Early days, but there are now suggestions that LIBOR manipulation was orchestrated straight out of Number 10 - by the Brown administration which was desperate around 2008/2009 to get the money market interest rates down.

If governments were actually involved (and the tapes and emails will not have been deleted; nobody discards material that good) then the whole thing moves to another level entirely. Ironically it might give the banks a get-out-of-jail-free card, but it would make phone-hacking, Leveson etc look like small change. Ministers could be doing time before this is over.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Another bad news week

Just for the record: we seem to have had a bad news week.

The Q4 2011 GDP number has been recalculated and it turns out there was a 0.4% fall rather than the 0.3% fall previously announced. The fall in Q1 2012 is confirmed as 0.3%. We will get the first estimate for the Q2 2012 GDP in a couple of weeks. As has been alluded to in previous posts the politicians seem to be behaving as through this will be a bad number.

House prices have fallen, according to the Nationwide, by 0.6% in a single month. They are not expected to do anything other than keep falling as the Olympics dominates people's thinking, and the economy shrinks. The current annualised rate of house price change is -7.6%.

Also, according to the British Bankers' Association net mortgage lending fell in May by £74m. This is actually a small number but it is the first time ever (or since records began, anyway) that this number has fallen. It means people are repaying more than they are borrowing - which with a base rate at 0.5% is probably a good idea. However this is likely to be indicative of house price falls to come, some say by as much as 15% this year.

The UK, especially the South East of the UK, has escaped a lot of the asset price falls that this financial crisis has inflicted on the rest of the world. For example house prices are down only 5% from the 2007 peak in the home counties compared to over 50% down in Northern Ireland, while in Europe and the USA houses in some areas have lost 80% to 90% of their value. But this local defying of gravity may be about to end.

Fixing LIBOR

Barclays Bank has been fined a total of $450,000,000 (approx) by regulators for "fixing" the LIBOR rate. LIBOR used to be an obscure statistic but these days everyone knows it underpins all unsecured lending, and even spills over into secured loans such as mortgages since banks often borrow unsecured to lend secured.

It seems Barclays has been pushing LIBOR up or down according their needs on the day. Sometimes they felt they should under-report their borrowing costs to make themselves look a safer prospect, able to borrow cheaply, and other times they pushed it up in order to win a market "bet". (And do not forget: for every winner of a bet there is also a loser - a loser who may now wish to revisit the bets in question.)

Their traders openly cooked up LIBOR in emails around the bank. There does not seem to have been much covertness or shame inside the bank. If someone needed LIBOR rigged they just asked the right guy and it happened.

There have been suggestions that LIBOR has been rigged before. Back in 2008 a small number of American banks were investigated for under-reporting their LIBOR to make themselves look healthier than they were. To-date nothing has come of this.

However, just misreporting your borrowing costs does not make a big shift in the LIBOR rate. The reason for this is that to calculate the LIBOR the four highest rates and four lowest rates are disregarded, and the average taken of the rest. If a bank made an extreme report it would be disregarded.

Unless of course, it gets together with four or more other, like-minded, banks and they agree to push the rate up or down. Then they can really have a significant impact. And the more banks joining the conspiracy the bigger the bang.

The regulators, by the way, are still looking at more than twenty other banks. Barclays has merely copped an early plea in order to get off lightly. This story will run and run.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Fuel duty rise cancelled

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, has today cancelled the fuel duty hike of 3p that was due in August. That's good news!

It is actually quite surprising. We have been paying up around 145p per litre until recently, and now it is down to 132p approx. The rule with petrol prices is that once the cost of a litre has reached  a new high and the government has seen that the world did not end, then there is no reason for it not to stay that high forever more - so the recent fall caused by the fall in crude prices should have been just the excuse the government needed to slap another tax on.

So why this uncharacteristic generosity?

Osborne is continually tugged in several directions: fear of economic collapse, hence QE; desire to tax more and more; and fear of hyperinflation. It seems this last fear is briefly in the ascendant - he wants to keep inflation down and so has scrapped the tax. Since inflation has actually been coming down in recent months anyway, not as far down as the official target of 2% of course, but down from local peaks, this fear of inflation might seem unwarranted. Most likely Osborne knows something we do not.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Emma West, trial postponed

For those of you following the persecution of Emma West (tram lady to her friends) whose trial for objecting to the invasion of our country while travelling on a Croydon tram was due to be taking place this week, please note the trial has been pushed back to the 16th of July.

This is for "psychiatric reports" - ie, to collect evidence that she is mad rather than the instigator of a legitimate complaint.

It is so much cleaner all round if she can be called mad. That way the actual issues do not have to considered at trial.

Spanish bailout, Señor

The Spanish banks are getting a European bailout of €100bn. Whoopee! Bonuses all round, fiesta time in Madrid. (It is not actually enough but the kick has sent the can miles down the road so let us not worry about mañana until mañana actually comes.)

Even better, the IMF is not involved so no British taxpayers will be harmed in the making of this bailout. But there is a sting in the tail though. Let us have a leetul look at the bailout mechanism.

First German taxpayers give billions of the euros to the European Stability Mechanism (ESM). Then the ESM lends the money to the Spanish government; then the Spanish government passes it on to the Spanish banks who say muchas gracias amigo.

And where does the liability lie? It remains with the Spanish government. Yes, if the banks default the Spaniard in the street must pick up the tab. Carlos and Carlota have had a marker thrust upon them for private banks that were nothing to do with them. And worse, borrowings from the ESM count as "senior" debt. That means if the Spanish government defaults then the vulture pecking order is: Germans first, bond holders second.

Not surprisingly the market in Spanish government bonds has spooked and yields are up 50 basis points today. Bond-holders have just realised they have been pushed down the totem pole.

Monday, 11 June 2012

"Rape? Which one?"

When Mahfuzur Rahman was picked up by police for questioning about an allegation of rape his response was not to deny the offence but merely to query, "Rape? Which one?"

He and an accomplice called Abdul Hannan have been convicted at Bolton Crown Court of raping or sexually assaulting four young women in the region after they were picked up and plied with alcohol.

Two of the four victims gave videotaped interviews, in 2009 and 2010 respectively, in which they described being raped by Rahman but criminal investigations were abandoned, leaving the rapist free to strike again.

Bolton Crown Court heard that Rahman went on to prey on a 17-year-old girl living in a children’s home, who he picked up in his car and sexually assaulted in a flat after giving her vodka.

In June 2010 a 19-year-old woman was taken to a flat in Rochdale where she was plied with vodka before Rahman raped her while she pleaded for him to stop.

In September last year, a 20-year-old woman was driven around Rochdale by Rahman and two other men, who got her drunk on vodka before she was raped at a flat by Hannan. (Link).

Even the prosecutor is now referring to this as an "Asian" problem. (Which it isn't - it's a muslim problem. Yes, they are Asian, but that is not the problem.)

However there is new term in circulation: Paedostani. I think we can agree these monsters are Paedostani. (Or "Pedostani" if you're an American.)

Friday, 1 June 2012

Irish say "yes" to fiscal pact

The count is done and the Irish have voted in favour of the fiscal pact which gets them access to euro bail out money.

It was 60/40 in favour of the yes camp, with a turn out slightly less than 50%.

Crisis averted! Until the next one.

Oo-er missus

The former Mrs Chris Huhne, now more generally known as Miss Vicky Pryce although as a Greek her name is not actually Vicky or Pryce, has entered a plea of not guilty to the charge of perverting the course of justice by taking speeding penalty points for her former husband Chris Huhne, MP.

The wronged woman

Her former husband

The lesbian he left her for

Here's the kicker though: Vicky Pryce's reason for saying not guilty is "marital coercion".

This does not look good for Mr Huhne.

Lockerbie conviction falling apart

The recently deceased Abdelbaset al Megrahi, convicted of bombing Pam Am flight 103 which fell on Lockerbie, Scotland, causing the deaths of all 243 passengers and 16 crew and 11 people on the ground, has widely, not least by this blog, been considered to be innocent of all charges.

Now the Scottish Herald has acquired a secret government document which seems to confirm this. The report, shown to the prosecution but not the defence at Megrahi's trail, says that a terrorist organisation called the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command (PFLP-GC) carried out the bombing at the request of the Iranian government.

Flight 103 was bombed in December 1988. It is worth remembering that in April 1988 the US Navy attacked and destroyed two Iranian oil platforms in the Strait of Hormuz (in supposed retaliation for a US warship having been damaged by an Iranian-planted mine - with no loss of life) and in July 1988 the US guided missile destroyer USS Vincennes shot down Iran Air flight 655, a civilian airbus A300 flying from Iran to Dubai, killing all 290 people on board, under the misapprehension that it was actually an Iranian airforce F-14 Tomcat gunning for them. The USS Vincennes was actually in Iranian territorial waters at the time it fired on IAF 655.

Strait of Hormuz: busy old place

The possibility that Lockerbie was not Libyan but Iranian was widely mooted at the time of al-Megrahi's trial (January 2001) and now it seems the government knew this all along.

Many people have questions to answer.

Thursday, 31 May 2012

Irish referendum on the fiscal compact

You remember that meeting our PM "Dave" Cameron had in Brussels where he said, "No effing way!" to their proposals for a fiscal compact and changed the EU from 27 members to 26+1? No? Well never mind, it's just that the others all went ahead with the idea and the since it involves a change to the constitution the Irish have to have a referendum - they are voting today.

The new clause in the constitution, if accepted, will say:

The State may ratify the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union done at Brussels on the 2nd day of March 2012. No provision of this Constitution invalidates laws enacted, acts done or measures adopted by the State that are necessitated by the obligations of the State under that Treaty or prevents laws enacted, acts done or measures adopted by bodies competent under that Treaty from having the force of law in the State.

That paragraph may look innocuous but read it carefully; No provision of this Constitution invalidates laws enacted, acts done or measures adopted... So the treaty completely overrides the constitution; the rest of the constitution becomes subordinate to the treaty. Then, or prevents laws enacted, acts done or measures adopted by bodies competent under that Treaty from having the force of law in the State... So a "measure adopted by a body" has the force of law? What happened to democracy, to elected representatives making the laws? That has all gone overboard. In the future "bodies" will make the law.

The main reason the powers-that-be want a "yes" vote is because the two European bailout mechanisms (the European Financial Stability Mechanism, EFSM, and the European Financial Stability Facility, EFSF) are due to be merged into a single European Stability Mechanism, ESM, by March next year and getting money out of that will be conditional on having ratified the treaty. So Ireland's national budget would be blown out of the water if they vote no. They are hoping to borrow about €17bn next year.

So in a nutshell the options are: give up independence and get money, or keep independence and get no money.

All the opinion polls show a very large proportion of the Irish electorate are "undecided" so it's not clear what the outcome will be. This blog opines that it will probably be "yes" by a whisker, but it is possible the Irish will discover they have a backbone.

Monday, 28 May 2012

Another black baroness behaving badly

OK, strictly speaking an Asian baroness: Lady Warsi, co-chairman of the Conservative Party. This blog has documented the misbehaviour of Baroness Scotland and the repulsive Baroness Uddin, the latter deserving of some kind of record for the amount of dodgy expenses (£125K) she claimed and still has not repaid. Managing to dodge jail was also quite an achievement.

Lady Warsi is a bit of a tyro by comparison. She merely forgot to declare rent she received on a flat in Wembley to the Lords' Register of Interests (but did declare it in a couple of other places so the oversight is probably genuine) and more seriously, is alleged to have claimed expenses for staying in a different flat when the owner of said flat claims to have received nothing.

Lady Warsi wags her finger

The story seems to be that Warsi paid some cash to one Naweed Khan who was the main tenant of the flat to offset the cost of her staying there - cash which she claimed back from the taxpayer. The actual owner of the flat, a Dr Wafik Moustafa, says he got nothing from her or Khan. It looks like Khan pocketed the money - which as main tenant he may have been fully entitled to do, he was one suffering loss of amenity after all. Khan says he did receive payments.

Here the story gets a bit murkier. Naweed Khan seems to be a Conservative Party hanger-on; he ran for parliament as a Tory candidate in Birmingham but failed to get elected. (Warsi also ran for parliament and failed to get elected, she got made a baroness as a consolation prize - perhaps because she's a woman and the Conservatives did not have any female muslim peers at the time.)

Anyway, Warsi (divorced, remarried) and Khan seem to be muckers. Khan is now her special advisor (spad in the jargon.) Which means he is paid by the taxpayer to work for her on a personal basis. Warsi's main job is chairman of the Party, but she is also a minister without portfolio, which means she gets the ministerial perks including employing friends at public expense.

So Khan is standing by his mistress - as you would expect. Which is fortunate for Warsi because it pretty much puts her in the clear: she paid, if he did not pass that money on that is strictly between him and Dr Moustafa.

Moustafa by the way is an Egyptian immigrant. He qualified as a doctor in Cairo before moving to the UK and becoming a GP. Oh, and as I am sure you have guessed by now: he is a failed parliamentary candidate for the Conservative Party. This whole issue seems to have arisen out of a spat between Moustafa and his fellow MP-wanna-bes.

Moustafa founded and runs an organisation called the CAN - the Conservative Arab Network.

Dr Moustafa supports care in the community

The CAN has a mission statement: ...supporting the Conservative Party polices [sic] and raising awareness of British-Arab issues to the British Government, Conservative MP´s, Peers and Parliamentarians, to establish closer links on economic, trade, cultural and diplomatic relations. (This blog reckons it is policies not polices they support, but you never know...)

However its real purpose would appear to be to give Dr Moustafa a platform on which to get photographed with senior Tories. It's a classic case of: move to the UK and try to muscle in on the establishment. But Dr Moustafa's social climbing has been frustrated: despite its name, the CAN has not been accepted for affiliation with the Conservative Party, and that irks Dr Moustafa quite a lot; in fact so much that one might even suspect that he has fallen out with his fellow failed-MPs so much that he is now being indiscreet on the touchy subject of expenses.

What we are looking at here is a spat between muslim immigrants (Warsi was born in the UK, her parents came here from Pakistan) which has all the endearing qualities of three maggots arguing over a corpse.

It appears to this blog that all the participants in this affair are self-interested arrivistes who have lived their entire adult lives off the British taxpayer and the British interest would best be served by them unhooking their suckers from our veins and returning whence they came (or in Warsi's case: whence her parents came, and she visits often.)