Sunday, 28 February 2010
The basic reason for almost every problem in Gordon Brown's Britain is that there are many laws, which nibble at profound problems, but they never provide the honest and real means, nor the intentions, to follow-up the problem they pretend to address. Judges and Courts of Law are left helpless !!!
The Bank of England "tap rate" is currently 0,5% !!! One half of a percent !!! Banks can borrow at this rate.
Credit card rates, however, are a banker's dream !!! Banks are skinflints if they have to consider paying interest to customers on deposits, but overdraft charges, like credit card rates, are astronomic.
The Government, led by Gordon Brown, the recent Great Saviour of the World Banking Crisis, no longer knows, or wants to know or understand, the old principle of usurious interest rates. This old principle is no longer recognised or applied by courts of law. Should this rate not be controlled by Governmental Legislation and vary in line with the "Tap Rate" ?
There are a few very simple reasons for this passive inertia. Banks do not want to refuse credit at high interest rates, even if the customers are not really credit worthy. Banks can and will always sell doubtfull debts at a discount to cut their "losses" !!!
The Government does not want to legislate because this would depress trade, sales to the ultimate consumer !!! This is a political decision and would reflect badly on the Government.
The banks are the winners. With a lot of smiles, a lot of small print in their conditions, they can vary their interest rates and protect their performance bonuses !!! With impunity they point out that customers should read the conditions before signing the contract.
However nothing will change quickly for the time being. As far as the Government is concerned these mundane problems are of the past. The fire to fight is the coming election !!!
Can David Cameron understand this gripe by the British electors ? The polls are not moving in the favour of the Conservatives. He must spell out clearly the policies the Tories intend to put into practice !!!
Thursday, 25 February 2010
The Olympic Games reveal perfectly the inner feelings of spectators, who scream with uncontrolled delight when a sportsman from their country competes, or even better, wins a medal. National feelings and pride overflow with happiness or sorrow.
Yet what do we find on the political stage ? The E U has been created, and it has relegated National Pride to the history books. No one shouts in support of E U sportsmen !!! The E U has relegated the role of national parliaments to a secondary function, which is to implement E U laws and directives. Beware he who transgresses, for there is always a sting in the tail called Human Rights, and to boot, an E U appeal court.
British electors, unlike the Irish, have never had the chance to vote on whether they wanted to join the E U. Do British MEPs have a determining influence on E U laws ? Of course not, they are a small minority.
The Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish Parliaments, through their representatives do at least give a chance to their electorates to express their feelings. This reduces the workloads of Westminster MPs. Quangos also reduce their workloads !!!
Except those who are still embroiled with their expense claims, MPs are now increasingly preoccupied with their re-election, probably on May 6. Their E U problems have of course already been hived off onto the MEPs.
Sunday, 21 February 2010
In 1982 Argentina attacked the Falkland Islands. After all, what could a mere woman called Margaret Thatcher do, 6000 miles away in London ? Acting Argentine President, General Galtieri soon found out to his cost !!!
Now the Argentine President is a woman called Christina Kirchner, and as someone seeking to catch votes, she too wants the Falklands !!! But she is prudent and wary, and she is seeking to invoke the help of the United Nations !!!
The immediate question is again "What has Argentina got to offer now to the Falkland Island inhabitants that they did not have in 1982 ?" Anything new or just the same old problems ?
Supposing the UN accedes to the Argentine requests. Does or would that mean that Mexico or the USA could lay claim to Caribbean countries ?
A more realistic claim would be if Argentina looked in the other direction and claimed the strip of coastal land which is at present occupied by Spanish speaking people in Chili !!! Should Argentina not have a bigger and more direct access to the Pacific coast ? And what about that blob of land called Uruguay ?
Thursday, 18 February 2010
Have they ever discussed the problem of refugees in Calais, who have no visas or identification papers, who are in fact simply Illegal Immigrants into France ? Has Phil Woolas ever made it clear to Eric Besson that Britain does not want former Illegal Immigrants who have entered France furtively, to enter Britain ? Have they decided what action needs to be undertaken to solve this problem once and forever ?
If so, what is the date of these discussions and what do the minutes (or records) of these discussions reveal? Where can they be consulted ?
All these questions are asked to-day, 18 February 2010, in the light of the current context, the ongoing or new Calais/Sangatte II or III.
Monday, 15 February 2010
Cela relève-t-il d'un vieux fantasme, ou d'une histoire réelle qui a marqué l'un, mais que l'autre a oubliée ? Doit-il alors s'en vanter ?
Quoi qu'il en soit l'attitude de Monsieur Balkany est fort inélegante !!!
Thursday, 11 February 2010
The only thing that the Socialists have got right in the last 13 years of rule in Britain, is not to abandon the British Pound Sterling, and therefore not to adopt the Euro !!! In my opinion, a country which does not have control of its money, does not have the control of its destiny !!!
To give control of monetary policy to European Burocrats would have been a first class disaster, not only for Britain but also the Commonwealth and for the London financial market.
However, Gordon Brown, who a year ago was presenting himself as the Saviour of the Financial World which was faced with a Global Banking Crisis, now seems to think that billions of British pounds could save Greece and the Euro !!!
Does he realise that there are other bankrupt countries, like Britain for example, who have also wildly overspent in recent years !!! They are waiting in the wings; they are watching how the Greek problem is resolved before they ask for aid !!!
During the coming weeks, what is Gordon Brown going to promise to the electorate, that he has in his secret reserves, to finance the recovery of the British economy after the coming elections ? Just more promises or ideas ?
No !!! The answer is clear and obvious: 5 years of hard Labour by a Conservative Government and its electors !!!
Wednesday, 10 February 2010
Faced by the banking crisis President Obama quite rightly said that Banks are too big. Other leaders like President Sarkozy or Prime Minister Gordon Brown want to limit excessive bonus payments to Bank Directors or to traders, or alternatively tax abusive profits with "windfall taxes".
Politicians are just nibbling at the problem without identifying the root cause of the current problems. The simple fact is that International Banking Groups are too big !!! They cannot be conveniently controled by the Central Bank of a Sovereign State in which they operate. These international banks are in fact often Inter-Continental, which simply multiplies their independence with respect to the Sovereign States in which they operate !!! They operate in their own world !!!
To solve this problem, rules concerning the size of banks must be adopted world-wide. It would seem that what is required is a new type of bank, to be simple, The National Bank, which has no foreign subsidiaries, is quoted on the national stock exchange and has no foreign shareholders !!! Each country could and would probably have several such "National Banks", all quoted on the national stock exchange.
Only "National" banks should have access to low interest "Tap" loans and credits from their Central Bank. Private Banks and International Banks must be excluded !!! This could permit and ensure that countries, governments and their central banks recover the control of their money markets.
It is quite clear that to attain this objective would require a great number of share transactions. That is the cost of undoing monopolistic positions. Big Multinational, Inter-Continental, Banks are just too big to handle as President Obama quite rightly said !!! They must be reduced in size and importance. They have usurped the role of governments and have created the problem the world is facing now and will continue to face in the future if nothing is done.
This is not the time or the place to enter into the detail of additional changes that will be required. If the foregoing or a similar basic structural "National Bank" system is adopted, or not adopted, other changes will have to be considered anyway. The following subjects will necessarily need to be considered;
- should banks not respect liquidity ratios ? Speculative banks seem to ignore old rules and favour modern ratios that tend not to recognise honestly the impact of the possible consequences of speculative situations !!!
- footnotes to balance sheets should be clear and explicit. Should Bankers not supply money values of current "off balance sheet" situations ?
- should banks be allowed to hide behind "secrecy conventions" ? Should Bankers' secrecy rights not be defined by legislation ?
- should the same rules and standards not be applied by all banks in their published accounts and interim reports ?
- should the official auditors of National Banks not be rotated every two or three years in order to ensure that the spirit of basic reporting standards is observed by all banks in a given country ?
A lot of work needs to be done before one can realistically start talking about controlling bonus payments, controlling hedge funds, tax havens or other such things.
To get big profits, risks are taken; where there are big profits, there is greed !!! That is why legislation is urgently needed !!! And there are many other reasons as everyone knows full well !!!
Monday, 8 February 2010
The public will form their own opinions about the smiling Mr Blair, the multimillionaire with a good job, but who still needs taxpayers' help to police his properties in Britain !!!
What appears even more stunning is the simple fact that Labour politicians are not expressing or publishing any comments about the forthcoming election, which at the latest must take place early May 2010.
There is a kind of "cat and mouse" atmosphere !!! There seem to be a lot of people waiting in the wings, or the shadows, with daggers hidden, waiting for others to make the first move, the first blunder !!! It is true the Chilcot Inquiry awaits the testimony of Gordon Brown, this in itself being, perhaps, the reason for these hesitations.
Could a "Lord" Mandelson be coveting an important job in the "Commons" ? For him, as for others, it is a question of timing. Should one jump before or after the General Election ? Most candidates will only ever get this one chance !!! Such personal considerations are much more important than risking blunders in an election campaign !!!
David Cameron and everyone in the Shadow Cabinet must sharpen their knives now !!! The enemy must be destroyed when he is weak !!! If the Conservatives dither now, this will be seized on by the Socialists later.
The Socialists will promise everything a voter wants to hear !!! Blair set the example. What will the Conservatives promise ?
Friday, 5 February 2010
Many MP's have realised that they have been lax and have admitted mistakes, and they have reimbursed controversial expense claims.
There are, however, certain MP's identified by Sir Thomas Clegg who maintain stubbornly that they contest the amounts claimed !!! Their stubborness in fact brings into question the integrity of Sir Thomas Clegg.
The context is that these are House of Commons rules and that Sir Thomas Clegg cannot accuse MP's of theft, nor punish them, if they refuse to repay claims of unjustified expenses. These MP's, whether they are from the right, the left or the centre of the political spectrum, must be stopped in their tracts.
In fact, criminals are not allowed to present themselves for election to Parliament !!! The theory is that they do not enshrine the qualities needed to represent the electorate !!!
Should Gordon Brown not fast-track in-house rules, and legal rules as well, that would prevent these greedy MP's from presenting themselves for any election for a given period ? A period of seven years would give these MP's time to think things over !!!
Thursday, 4 February 2010
The international size of multinational Banks is such that they are bigger than the economies of many, if not most, smaller countries ! The very fact that they are multinational means that they can limit the effects of any unwanted local legislation in even bigger countries. In this sense they are above the law.
This is because Banks, by their international size and organisation have become monoplies. Is not the objective of monopolies in any area to avoid competition and in this way to ensure profits and outside interference ?
What is needed is an International Conference, properly prepared, not like the Copenhagen Conference on Climate Change where everyone was present but no one knew what had to be decided !!!
The ultimate conference of politicians from major countries and the preparatory meetings, should exclude the participation of anyone on the payroll of a bank !!! Bankers have already gone further than they should ever have been allowed to go !!!
Wednesday, 3 February 2010
Former Minister Clare Short admits, but she is like many others including Gordon Brown and the whole of the electorate, to having been misled by Tony Blair !!!
Alas this on-going saga has not yet stopped !!!
The reality of the situation has always been that Tony Blair does not lie !!! Never !!! His trick is that whenever he talks he only tells half the truth, the part that suits his case !!! That, together with his smile, has always been his style !!!
It is afterwards that his listeners realise, like Clare Short, that they have been completely "conned" !!!
Monday, 1 February 2010
Cette vieille expression française est pourtant bien connue. N'est "pas très catholique" ce qui n'est pas conforme à la règle, à la morale, ce qui est douteux. Savez vous qu'aux Etats-Unis, l'expression se traduit par "not kosher" (pas casher) ? Les chrétiens des Etats-Unis se sentent ils insultés?
Faudra-t-il bientôt, au nom du "politiquement correct" bannir de notre langage de vieilles expressions telles que "filer à l'anglaise", "avare comme un écossais", "saoul comme un polonais", "arriver comme les carabiniers", "être la tête de turc"... ?
David Cameron says burglars leave their human rights outside once they break into properties !!! He is dead right !!!
Alas, Burglars are but a small part of this problem !!! What about Muggers and Rapists and Murderers and Terrorists and Violent Criminals in general ? Do they retain the right to plead they have Human Rights protection ?
Yes, they do have the right to a fair trial !!! They do have the right to a lawyer and to plead. But that is the limit of their Human Rights !!!
When we talk about Human Rights in general this normally concerns underdeveloped, emerging third-world countries !!! It does not, in this context, normally concern developed western countries.
In the United Kingdom there is however, an additional brake or impediment, which prevents the application of normal justice; it is the simple fact that the lack of prison space in Britain does not permit the incarceration or punishment of criminals as the law prescribes !!!
This simple fact means that the spirit of the law is not at present applied. This is all part of the malaise in Britain today. This, in fact, is all part of what a future Conservative Government will have to contend with and correct.