Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Tories promise not to raise taxes

All parties are bleeding out election promises at the moment, trying to control the news agenda and maintain momentum until the general election next week. Perhaps it's desperation, but suddenly some rather serious promises are being made. The Tories have just pledged not to raise income tax, national insurance or VAT for the life of the next parliament, and to enact a law which ties their own hands so they cannot break their promise.

This is quite a generous promise. Of course they can still raise taxes on banks and oil companies but with that pledge in place its gets quite difficult to scalp the ordinary citizen harder. They would be reduced to inflating the minor taxes such as duty on cigarettes, and alcohol and car tax.

Ironically, they have to promise to enact this promise in law because otherwise everyone will assume they'll just break it in office; let's not forget five years ago they promised to abolish national insurance and it's still there. Which leaves the wanna-be Tory MPs telling interviewers that this a special promise they are not going to break while at the same not admitting they've ever broken any promise.

Still, it's a pretty good promise. Over to you Labour, let's see you raise that!

Friday, 24 April 2015

Hound of Hounslow and legal domain

Navinder Singh Sarao is thought by the Americans to have triggered the 2010 "flash crash" in the US stock markets wiping more than half a trillion dollars off share prices, albeit only for a few minutes. The Americans previously investigated the flash crash and claimed it was just a glitch in the system. Now though, they have fingered "Nav" and want to extradite him.

There is an issue here of legal domain. If Nav broke the law did he break UK law or US law. If he broke US law then that is not an issue because US law does not apply in the UK. If he broke UK law then he should be charged and tried in the UK. Either way there is no substance to a request for extradition to America.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Tower Hamlets mayor deposed

This chancer....

...mayor of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, Lutfur Rahman, has had his election declared void by the High Court. The court found he used corrupt and illegal practices to seize power. The post has been declared vacant and Rahman has been hit with £250,000 costs, although seemingly no actual punishment.

Rahman played the Islam card and the Black card but all to no avail. The judge said, "Even in the multicultural society which is 21st century Britain, the law must be applied fairly and equally to everyone. Otherwise we are lost."

Sadly the Bangladesh-born Rahman will probably not be deported.