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Monday, 31 December 2012

TO ALL POLITICIANS - "HAPPY NEW YEAR" !!!


You all have a fervant character, you all defend your opinions, whether you are on the right or the left.  You may be white, black or coloured but you are forthright, whether others agree with what you say, or not !!!

Critics hit back at you but you have the thick hide of  mammals. You know how to embarass your critics and  adversaries, but you also know how to defend yourselves !!!

You may be an elected leader like Obama, Putin, Cameron, Merkel or Hollande, (there are so many others) and also some who are retired, who hit the headlines regularly.      

May I and the readers of this Blog, just like other critics, Sincerely wish You All , 

    - A Happy and Prosperous New Year 2013 !!! 

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Sunday, 30 December 2012

PRESIDENT HOLLANDE FACED WITH UNEXPECTED PROBLEMS !!!


One of the aims clearly expressed by François Hollande, among his 60 historic promises when he was the Socialist Candidate in the Presidential Election was to tax the income of  "over rich earners".

When the law was drafted this became a tax on those who earned more than 1 Million Euros ! 

It ignored the rules of the taxable basis of a family !  It was thrown out by the Constitutional Court for this reason ! It was against a fundamental Principle of the Constitution.

Socialists are in uproar because they consider that the intended Law was thrown out because the majority of the members of this Court are "Right Wingers" !  The reality is that the law was badly drafted and contravened the Rules of the French Constitution. 

Former President Sarkozy, now a lifelong member of this very Court, also had a law invalidated in 2009 !

The current  problem revolves on the principle that one must respect the rights of all citizens !  The rules must specify the rate of tax but must also recognise the allowances already available.

Many "Tycoons" who want to avoid additional high taxes envisage emigrating to more favourable tax countries, not to say tax havens.

Ultimately President Hollande may have to weigh the "pros and cons" to decide how far he wants to go !  This is but one additional problem that has surfaced recently.
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Saturday, 29 December 2012

MARIAGE POUR TOUS: LA DUPERIE !


Pour ne pas heurter l'opinion, le mariage homosexuel  est présenté par le Gouvernement Socialiste comme "le mariage pour tous" !  Cette expression est à la fois inexacte et trompeuse.

A cet égard, l'argumentaire de l'église catholique est tout à fait intéressant.  Il y est rappelé qu'un mariage, c'est une union entre:
   - deux personnes,
   - deux personnes de sexe différent,
   - deux personnes qui ne sont pas de la même famille.

Le "mariage pour tous" ne concerne pour le moment que l'extention du mariage à deux personnes du même sexe.  Cessons donc l'utilisation hypocrite de la formule "mariage pour tous" !

DML

BASIS OF QUALIFYING FOR BRITISH "HONOURS" MUST BE UPDATED !!!


Once again "Honours" have been bestowed on worthy people.  But, have all those who have been "gonged" or "honoured" really earned what they have got ?  

In Victorian times there were no "Sportsmen or Women". But later there were Politicians and Civil Servants. Even later leading Civil Servants and Politicians "expected" a "Gong", to be elevated to the rank of "Sir or Dame".

I think it is high time that one should rethink the "Honours System" !  It needs to be modernised, completely revised.  How can politicians or Civil Servants expect "Gongs or an honour" just because they are in their job, presumely doing what is expected ?

To be quite clear, a one time hero, or a Sportsman or Woman, like Sir Bradley Wiggins, who is not destined to dominate his sport as an Athlete into the unforeseeable future, needs national recognition.  There are also other "Sportspeople", but who have not been "recognised", or let's say, rewarded, for their efforts !

If British Honours are to retain their value, should the Prime Minister not provoke a "re-evaluation" of the entire system to avoid a devaluation of the "initial" intentions ?
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Friday, 28 December 2012

FRANCOIS HOLLANDE: EN VISITE "SURPRISE" A RUNGIS !


Dur, dur pour François Hollande de se démarquer de son prédécesseur Nicolas Sarkozy!

Sur les traces des Présidents Sarkozy et Chirac, François Hollande s'est ainsi rendu au marché de Rungis ce jeudi le 27 décembre à 4 heures 30 du matin avec les ministres délégués de l'agroalimentaire et de la consommation pour une "visite surprise" de 5 heures!

Mais pour qui était la surprise ?  Certainement pas pour les journalistes déja présents en nombre!

On se souvient, lorsque Nicolas Sarkozy s'était rendu à Rungis en 2007 et en 2008, pour saluer la France qui travaille et se lève tôt, François Hollande, premier secrétaire du PS s'était gaussé: "se préoccuper des Français, ce n'est pas se lever nécessairement tôt le matin, c'est être capable de répondre à leurs questions."

Souhaitons à François Hollande d'apporter aux Français les bonnes réponses au cours de l'année 2013 !
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Friday, 21 December 2012

CRICKET : INDIA BEAT ENGLAND IN THE 20 TWENT0Y SERIES OF MATCHES !


INDIA won ! Well done !

But should England not have chosen Panesar or Swann to play ?  Would they not have had the capability to "dumb down" the Indian sloggers ?

If England cannot beat India in the Twenty20 games, India will never accept that they lost against the England Tourists !!! 

Thursday, 20 December 2012

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL CRITICISES GREEK NEGLECT OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS !!!


Amnesty International criticises Greece in its report published today because Greece does not respect the Human Rights of unwanted "Illegal Immigrants" from Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

Is Amnesty International not guilty of the same crime ?  It criticises a country which is financially on its knees, but it does not provide the remedy !  Greece does not have the means to ensure the Human Rights of unwanted "illegal immigrants" !

Is Amnesty International prepared to finance Greece for the cost of providing and ensuring the Human Rights of "Illegal and Migrant Immigrants" ?  Does no one in the Amnesty International Organization realize or understand the Greek problem ? To be quite blunt, Greece is "bankrupt" !!!

Does Amnesty International have the right to criticise Greece ? Is that not too easy, facile in fact, if no real solution is proposed ?  Should it not criticise the EU or the EUROZONE ?  None of their Leaders have ever done anything effective to stem, on a long term basis, Illegal Immigration into the EU ! There are also other places than Greece in the EU where the Human Rights of Unwanted Illegal Immigrants are not respected ! 

The criticisms by Amnesty International are probably very well founded, but misdirected !!!  One should not attack the weak:  one should attack the root cause ! One should not attack the Organisations which do not have the means ! One should attack those which could bring about change yet still do nothing, to change matters !  
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Wednesday, 19 December 2012

DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY, IS THERE ABUSE ?


Origially, the idea of "Diplomatic Immunity"  was conceived in an era when "diplomats", "envoys"', were confronted with real physical harm !

Why now do we see, in Paris where I live, and elsewhere where I do not live, numerous "diplomatic vehicles" which park anywhere they wish, but with impunity ?  

In fact, is the problem not much more profound ?    Should "Diplomatic Immunity" not be redefined from the point of view of those who could or should be covered ?

The smallest "Diplomatic Embassy" seems to have the same rights as those of the "biggest embassies"  in any country !   

That there are abuses is clear !  What is not clear is how anyone could restrain these abuses !  Diplomats are in a club !   Does anyone in the "Club" really want to disturb the comfortable lives of Diplomatic Life ?
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Tuesday, 18 December 2012

HAS PRESIDENT HOLLANDE LOST HIS WAY ?


All recent Opinion Polls in France have been very negative in their perception of President Hollande and his chosen Prime Minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault.  

Although they are old political "buddies" they do not  give the impression that they are working as a team !!!  Ayrault runs his team of "ministers" but in the final ressort it is Hollande who decides what must be done !!!


Socialist aims, entrenched in the "60 promises" made by Hollande to become President, have now stagnated in the face of reality;  one cannot push through idealistic goals when there is increasing unemployment and no money in the kitty.


Many decisions on the "60 promises" made have now been revised, watered-down, or their implementation has  been delayed.


As the Minister for "Industrial Reorganisation", Arnaud Montebourg discovered recently that partial, temporary or total nationalisations are not possible without legislation.  He was overruled but not sacked !


One says in France that electors have a short memory.  That may very well be true but only for fervant party supporters.  Floating voters perhaps have longer memories, but, when the time comes their votes could count double if they change sides ! 

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Sunday, 16 December 2012

ASSURANCES : LA DOUBLE PEINE


C'est bien connu, les assureurs savent encaisser les primes dues par les assurés au titre des contrats souscrits mais rechignent à les indemniser lorsque ceux ci sont victimes de sinistres.

Mieux, lorsque les sinistres sont trop fréquents, la compagnie d'assurances résilie purement et simplement le contrat.

Je viens d'en faire une nouvelle fois l'expérience:

Cette année, je subis un nouveau dégât des eaux imputable encore à l'occupant de l'étage supérieur (mon voisin est dans ce domaine un "récidiviste").

Cette même année, je suis également victime d'une tentative de cambriolage, mais ma porte super protégée résiste vaillamment à la tentative d'effraction et les dommages, bien que limités, entraînent une réparation de 1200 euros. Somme immédiatement remboursée par mon assurance, la compagnie "A..", après déduction de la franchise de 300 euros prévue au contrat.

Deux mois plus tard,l'assurance "A.." m'informe qu'elle met fin à mon contrat d'assurances!

C'est donc une double peine qui vient de m'être appliquée alors que je n'ai aucune responsabilité dans ces sinistres !

Ironie du sort:la société d'assurances "A.." vient de m'adresser un questionnaire de satisfaction !

DML

Thursday, 13 December 2012

NEW GREEK BAIL-OUT WILL COST EU COUNTRIES BILLIONS !


The "Economic Theory" that saving Greece with repeated loans of billions of Euros, could also "save" or "prevent an attack" on the EURO, has never enticed contributors to this Blog !

The national accounts presented by Greece which enabled it, which qualified it, to adopt the EURO as its currency were completely flawed.  All the "Economic" facts were false !

Politicians in the EU "Come and Go".  No one now accepts any responsibility that Greek accounts were not "professionally" audited, but simply "adopted" !

Today, we learn that Greece has again obtained 34.3 billion Euros to comfort the slide into 2013 !!!

When finally Greek citizens decide that they can no longer bear to suffer the pain of continued EU demands to "reduce their living standards", they will perhaps march with their feet and force political changes and elections.

What Greece needs economically is a complete overhawl, a purification !   Every Greek elector knows, better than any Greek politician, or EU politician, what is really required !!!

Greece is bankrupt !!!  All EUROZONE countries will have to  "pick-up the bill" ultimately.  The sooner the better, or is there still more new hope ?  Current top EUROZONE politicians will soon "retire" anyway or will not be re-elected !  Will they "ever" accept to answer for these current problems or anything else after they are gone ?

When Greece votes to abandon the EURO and to adopt the former Drachme, EU taxpayers will finally, perhaps, be able to count the cost !!!
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DEPARDIEU ET L'EXIL FISCAL


Le départ et l'installation en Belgique de l'acteur français Gérard Depardieu afin d'échapper au fisc, a ému et scandalisé nombre de nos dirigeants politiques. Pourtant en l'état actuel de la législation, rien ne s'y oppose...

Certains ont alors proposé d'instituer une déchéance de la nationalité française à l'encontre de ceux qui se domicilient à l'étranger pour se soustraire à l'impôt en France...

Nos politiques jamais à court d'idée, songeront ils  également à sanctionner financièrement les français qui partent à l'étranger  pour y passer leurs vacances au lieu de rester dans nos régions françaises et de favoriser notre activité touristique ?

Passer ses vacances en France serait ainsi élevé au rang d'acte patriotique, d'acte de solidarité au même titre qu'y payer ses impôts ...

DML

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

DSK AND BERLUSCONI, WHAT WILL HAPPEN NEXT ?


These two giant, international politicians, are "Hogging the Headlines", but perhaps not for the best political reasons !  Neither is yet out of the woods !!!

Both face further criminal accusations, either in France for DSK or in Italy for Berlusconi, for accusations of a sexual nature.

Having agreed a settlement with Nafissatou Diallo, DSK avoided a court appearance.  Political commentators are of the impression that he may never again play a part in  politics.  But who knows ?  He will only be 64 on his next birthday in April 2013. 

In the case of Berlusconi matters are "ongoing" !!!  He is a multi-millionaire aged 76 but does not seem to want to realise that the end of the "political" road is near.  He is clearly aiming to become the next Prime Minister of Italy.  

Is his real, private, aim not to recover his former rights when then it could be impossible by law to level criminal accusations against him ?  

Is there really nobody in Italy who is, after all the years when Berlusconi was in power, capable of doing a better job to save Italy and, to be blunt, to save the EU and also to avert the crises on the horizon ? 
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Monday, 10 December 2012

"GAY MARRIAGES", BUT WHAT OBLIGATIONS ?


What are "Gay Marriages" ?  A legal marriage in most countries represents the union of a man and woman, after a legal ceremony, recognised by law, which implies the acceptation by both partners of the obligations of the Marriage contracted.

The consequences of a "marriage contract" are binding until the death of either contracting party, man or woman, unless a divorce is legally pronounced beforehand !!!

There are also other legal conditions which are applicable immediately.  Besides the obligation to mutually support each other, in sickness and in health, the State taxes the family income and provides pensions and benefits during the marriage and even after the death of either the husband or wife.  Likewise inheritance rights are also recognised by the law even if  one or both parties to the marriage contract dies.

In France "gay marriages", known as "Marriages for Everyone", will be recognised by Parliament early next year (2013).  "Marriages for Everyone" means only marriages between two partners: love is not enough to justify the marriage of three people !!!  

Do "gay partners" understand that they may need to divorce if after a certain time they "want to separate"?  

Would "infidelity" or mental cruelty be an acceptable  ground for divorce in a gay "marriage" ? 

It would seem that everyone only ever talks about the rights of "gay" partners !!! Never their "obligations", either to each other or to Society.  Will the Laws, in any country, clearly cover all these aspects, in detail ?  

Saturday, 8 December 2012

TAXING THE "RESULTS" OF INTERNATIONAL COMPANIES AND ORGANISATIONS !!!


This is not a problem which has "suddenly" surfaced ! It has now become evident, because even laymen realise that there has been abuse !!!  It is incomprehensible when international organisations with sales of millions if not billions, avoid paying tax on abnormally low profits.

If this is not a "new" problem, has it not been going on for much too long ?  Have international organisations, Groups and Companies not been burdening subsidiaries  in other countries with barely justifiable costs ?

Are "Head Office" costs for "guiding" or "directing" subsidiaries acceptable to be booked as real costs for the subsidiaries concerned ?  Are invoices for "Royalty" payments for the use of  group inventions acceptable ? 

There must be a limit !!!  No company has the right to avoid paying a normal rate of tax on operations !!!

Countries, wherever they are, must legislate to protect their rights and their citizens !!!  The use of tax havens by companies must be justified !!!  More stringent tax rules must be introduced.

Should the term "pre-tax profits" not be redefined to exclude, to prevent, the booking of spurious costs ?
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Friday, 7 December 2012

IS BRITAIN ON THE RIGHT ROAD FOR ECONOMIC RECOVERY ?


As a Briton, born, bred and educated in England, it is necessary now and again to confront the current options of the British Government (and the Governments of other countries), with some economic truths ?

In the 1920's, after Germany had lost the first world war, when the country was economically in a state of meltdown, financial ruin, Hitler rose to power.  He got the wheels of industry turning, partly, by building Motorways, which became the admiration and envy of many other countries. 

When there is a depression, when the wheels of industry are not turning, should a government anywhere increase taxes and the costs of living ?  Reduce benefits to make cost savings ?

Is the real alternative not to create more jobs by more Capital spending like building Motorways, Railways, Hospitals in the regions outside main towns, new purpose-built Prisons in outlying areas instead of inside big cities and towns and why not, Nuclear Power plants ?  Is this not also the opportunity to encourage the  decentralisation of certain Government departments ?

In this Computor Age, must everything be concentrated in London ?  To reduce endemic unemployment should governments not dangle a carrot to industrialists who want to expand ?

In this way governments could reduce unemployment benefits and restore the hopes and aspirations of the neglected members of our society !!!  That is what they all really want, not to be dependent on Social Handouts.



CRICKET: THE ENGLISH TAIL IS WAGGING !!!


To "tweet" on Cricket in a Blog like mine, can deroute normal readers !!!  Cricket is not Baseball (or Rounders) but a serious Sport or Game played in English speaking Commonwealth countries, but also in one or two other countries like Holland.

To say that the tail is "wagging" is perfectly understood by all adepts !!!  In this case it means that England is doing very well, on top, at a moment when their oponents are suffering !!!  Some players are surpassing themselves !!!

As India is a serious "foe", Englishmen are exstatic whereas Indians are forelorn !!!  This is quite normal.  In England in Summer, up to a million people could be watching or playing Cricket during a weekend !!!  Likewise in other Commonwealth countries !!! 


    

MARINE LEPEN:DECEVANTE FACE A MANUEL VALLS


Manuel Valls était l'invité de l'émission "DES PAROLES, DES ACTES" sur France 2 ce jeudi 6 décembre. Il était notamment confronté à Marine Le Pen forte de ses 18% à l'élection présidentielle.

Manifestement, la Présidente du "Rassemblement Bleu Marine" avait oublié que la campagne présidentielle était terminée.  Le thème de "l'immigré, responsable de tous les maux", n'a été que trop utilisé !

Il fallait plus longuement insister sur le fait qu'accueillir de nouveaux immigrés sans être en mesure de leur fournir un travail qui leur permette de trouver un logement décent et de subvenir aux besoins de leur famille aggrave leur situation et ne peut qu'engendrer misère et désespoir.

DML

Thursday, 6 December 2012

SMOG IN LONDON IN 1952, NOW WHERE IS IT ?


The "Smog" (SMoke + fOG) was an unforgetable experience for all Londoners in December 1952.  I knew my area of London, the Kennington Oval area where the Surrey Cricket ground is still today, like the back of my hand !!!

Yet, when I came home on Fridays from my Boarding School I got "lost" in an area I knew well !!!  The Smog was thick and one could not see more than 10 or 15 feet in any direction !!! Traffic just crawled !!!

I now live in the centre of Paris, but almost each week, on a Sunday morning, I say to my French wife "There is no haze, the Sky is blue, ..."

In fact, there are no cars, or very few, in Paris between Saturday lunchtime and Sunday  evening !!!  There are less foul emissions from cars, and, let's be clear, less Buses !!! 

This problem has now been raised because something must be done !!!  However, politicians should not rub their hands at the thought that this is another good idea to create a tax on Motorists in France !!!  Or on Motorists in major cities in France !!!      

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

DOES EU STAGNATE BECAUSE THERE IS NO DEMOCRACY ?


The European Union gives the impression that its Leaders no longer know how to give it the impetus to solve current problems.

The evident current problems concern,

1) The adoption of the seven year EU Expenses Budget

2) The continued EUROZONE determination to save Greece or any other EURO currency country, from  Bankruptcy

3) The non control of immigration into the EU

4) The denial of Democratic principles concerning elections in the EU !!!

In fact, if one can think clearly, without  preconceived ideas or ideals, about the above problems, one could come to the conclusion that it is the lack of Democracy in the EU that is the root cause, of the stagnation in the EU !!!

Every voter in the EU knows his local Member of Parliament (MP).  Do all voters know the name of their "local" MEP (Member of the European Parliament) ?

The EU has 27 EU member countries and there are several elections each year when local MPs are "voted out".  Does this affect the EU MEPs ?  Not at all !!!  They are elected every five years, come what may !!!  Always at a different date from any National Elections, of course !!! Locally when MEPs are elected they are not really judged on the effects of their efforts in the EU.  The percentage of voters proves this !!!  Should MEPs therefore not also be elected at the sme time as MPs ?

Whatever the problem, if elected MEPs (or even MPs) are not made to account for their efforts, the "gravey train" attitude in the EU will continue !!! It is already a proven, comfortable life-style for failed MPs !!! 

Nothing will really change if there is a continued lack of Democracy in the EU !!!
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BRAVO WILLIAM AND "OUR KATE" !!!


Britain and the Whole Commenwealth and even other Nations, will be more than delighted with "the" News that William and "Our Kate" have annouced the imminent arrival of a future "Heir to the Throne" !!!

Speculation is rife everywhere.  What will be the name of the future Baby ?   William or perhaps Diana ?  If one then imagines that Twins could finally present themselves that, would be a double joy ...!!!

"Our Kate" has in fact captured the hearts of everyone.  She has with her radiant smile opened the hearts of everyone, including that of William !!!  He was never so radiant before their mariage. 

"Carry-on Kate" is what everyone really wants !!! 




      

Sunday, 2 December 2012

DSK IMPOSES BLACKOUT ON NEWS !!!


Dominic Strauss Kahn, internationally known as DSK, the former President of the IMF, has again hit the headlines.

This time because the Press seems to "half know" that he has concluded an arrangement with one of his adversaries.  What excites the Press is that both parties to the agreement are prohibited from revealing the details of this settlement !!!

There is a "Complete Blackout" on any details that concern this "agreement", which obviously exists !!!

DSK is not yet out of the woods !!!  He still has to face accusations connected with the "Carlton" affair in Lille, but up to now he has never been found guilty of anything, either privately or criminally !!!

In spite of his "Inocence" it seems unlikely that he could return at a high level like when he was President of the IMF !!!  However, as an "After Dinner Speaker" he could have a future !!!  And he, like everyone, needs a "free meal" once in a while !!! 
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Friday, 30 November 2012

FRENCH SOCIALISTS WILL BE PILLORIED !!!


This blog yesterday drew attention to the ridiculous plight of the UMP party which at present is incapable of organising the election of its own Party President !!!  God save France if UMP in five years time are elected to Govern France !!!  

The plight of the Socialist Party, together with its Communist and Green bedmates, is not much better !!!

The big shock of this week has been the declaration of the Minister for Industrial Recovery, Arnaud Montbourg, that, to avoid more redundencies in the Steel Sector, he could envisage the "nationalisation of Acelor Mittal", a private holding company in Europe, but not only in France !

What has sent "Shock Waves" through not only France but the EU as a whole, is the thought that foreign investors could be dispossessed of their investments without legal recourse !

If the EU allow France to act unilaterally in the case of Acelor Mittal, is this a signal to foreign investors that the EU is not a Free Market ?

Foreign attention is now rivited on President François Hollande and the Socialists.  What will they decide ?
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Wednesday, 28 November 2012

SPANISH BANKS ARE BANKRUPT , WILL THE EUROZONE STILL SUPPORT THEM ?


The critical position in which Spanish banks find themselves means that the EUROZONE and its Euro must "bail them out" !!!  There is no other logical solution !!!

Now it is Spain, and next, which country will it be that needs "EURO" help ?   ITALY ?

How long will this "ideal" go on for ?  How long will Germany and its current politicians be prepared to support the costs of this "idyllic" and "euphoric" adventure to continue ?

When countries overspend, they need to reorganize, very seriously, their finances.  This is a basic rule which is even recognized by the EUROZONE dictators !!!

The cost of "reorganising" implies that a country  devalues its currency, unless, of course, it is in the EUROZONE !!!  In that case it can call on EUROZONE help which means that temporary help is available !!!

In the end, what will happen ?  Will German taxpayers and those of other solvent countries, really be prepared to pay through the nose to save the EURO ?
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SHACKLE THE PRESS ? IS THIS A REAL OPTION IN BRITAIN ?


Can any right thinking Briton really imagine that one should limite Press Freedom in Britain ?  Is this really a serious option 

The Press represents the British right of expression !!!  Should this centuries old right now be denied ?

The answer is "Yes" if the Press does not want to curtail outrageous articles on sex and other subjects which denigrate normal British life.  Does the Press really want to control its members or itself, or not ?

On the other hand, if the answer to this fundamental question is "No", that the Press does not accept that there are standards to which it should adhere, the Government must legislate !!!

Do we not see daily, foreign countries which try to deny the  Press the "Freedom to Express itself" ?  The Press in Britain must covet this freedom, but must also merit it !!!
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CAN THE FRENCH RIGHT AVOID UMP SPLIT ?


On Sunday November 17, 2012 the official members of the UMP were invited to vote for the next President of the UMP party. The last one was Nicolas Sarkozy until his election as president of France in 2007.

The two candidates were the Former Prime Minister François Fillon and François Copé, the General Secretary of UMP. 

Copé beat Fillon by 98 votes but since then there has been one almighty verbal fight in which both candidates claim  they have won !!!  Recounts have taken place and forgotten urns have been found. Jupé as an unofficial mediator tried to propose a solution but this was not successful.  Fillon in fact wants a new vote.

Thus, for the best part of the last two weeks, the whole of France has been entertained by this tragic comedy.

One certain winner is the new French President, François Hollande, because the attention of French Voters has been deflected from him and his Government. 

The National Front is another party which has benefitted by gaining numerous new members.

Fillon and Copé both have the same ambition, to become the President of France in 2017.  Their current behaviour could ruin the chances of either or both of them because they are disappointing their own supporters.

However, as it has already been said, "French people have a  short memory". 
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Monday, 26 November 2012

UBS FINED OVER LACK OF CONTROLS


The article in this Blog dated Wednesday, November 21, 2012 (UBS Trader Jailed for 7 years) lamented the fact that only the trader was prosecuted and punished.  

The latest reports today state that the Bank UBS has been fined 42 Million pounds as a punishment for the the inadequate controls concerning control of the activities of the Trader, Kweku Adoboli.

Fining a prosperous Bank is not a real punishment.  Banks just like any other operating companies have a responsibility towards their Shareholders and their  Customers.  Managers in Banks are paid (often handsomely) to supervise employees and to ensure efficient controls are in place !!!

Lower down the line, those employees who do not perform are quickly sacked !  Are managers and directors never responsible ? 
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Sunday, 25 November 2012

ENGLISH CRICKETERS ON TOP IN INDIA !!!


The English tail did not "wag" at the end of the first Innings of the second Test against India !!!  They displayed no resistance to the Indian attack !!!

However, India seem to have suffered at the hands of the English attack in their second Innings !!!

Thank God Cricketers are not politicians !!!  The results in cricket at least, are decided on a level playing sportsfield !!!
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Saturday, 24 November 2012

CAMERON DEFIES EU DEMANDS


The echoes of the Speech by Lady Thatcher in 1984 could be heard when David Cameron faced European Leaders in Brussels yesterday on the proposed increases in the EU Budgets for the next seven years !!!

The then Margaret Thatcher asked the question  "Where is my money (British Money) going ?".  She obtained a permanent reduction of Britain's costs towards EU objectives, particularly with respect to subsidies to French Agriculture !

David Cameron yesterday simply said the equivalent of   "While I am imposing economies everywhere in Britain, how can you expect me to glibly accept the increased expenditures contained in the 7 year EU Budget Plans ?".

What he was attacking was the "gravy train" expectations of EU employees, the lack of budget cut backs in forecast EU plans.  Is there still a "golden rule" concerning EU expenditure ?  

Cameron knows that he does not stand alone on any or all of these issues. With respect to the total expenditure there are net receiver countries and net payer countries, but there are also the "pure overhead costs" !!!  Every segment of the Budget must now contribute to a reduction of costs where possible !!!

Not for the first time, Britain has introduced some common sense into EU negotiations !!!
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Friday, 23 November 2012

STAMPS AND CATALOGUES REVEAL MANY HISTORICAL DETAILS;


Many people like collecting things and in my case I have a collection of stamps.  Now and again I look at the catalogues I have, old or new, and I am amazed by the wealth of historical detail that they contain !!!

In fact, stamps reveal the faces of Kings and Queens, Politicians, Dictators and Statesmen at the time they were active and sometimes also when they die.  Assassinations are remembered in a historical context.

Catalogues add historical dates of events and the dates of birth and death of leaders, whether politicians or just notables of the past.

Can you imagine a single book which will provide the portraits and dates dispassionately of leaders like Lenine, Stalin, Hitler, Churchill, De Gaule, Kennedy not to name others ?  Likewise Dictators of the modern era are also "remembered" !!!

When catalogues become old, they are thrown away !!!  After all the cost of stamps varies like the groceries one has a habit of buying.  However, old stamp catalogues can still provide the means for someone who wants to reflect, or dream about, what was and what the world has become. 
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Wednesday, 21 November 2012

UBS TRADER JAILED FOR 7 YEARS


Kweku Adoboli, a UBS authorised trader whose speculative "unprotected, unhedged, incautious and reckless " trading resulted in a loss of 1.4 billion pounds sterling, has been convicted and jailed for 7 years by the Southwark Crown Court in London. 

This is not the first time that a bank has suffered huge losses.  Were there not also the cases of Leeson and Kerviel ?  If banks do not change and do not tighten their control procedures, there will be other catastrophies.

All these traders were accused of fraud and found guilty.     There is, however, another problem.  Were the directors of the different banks not also guilty of negligence due to inadequate control systems ?  Should their shortcomings not also have been judged in court ?  

There is a basic truth in the dictum which states that delegating responsibilities does not mean abdicating from those responsibilities, particularly when one is paid for a responsibility.

Also, sometimes traders make profits, huge profits in fact.  The bank directors know this.  Have they in the past taken steps to control these huge profits or the risks involved ?  Or have they just been too happy that their bonuses have also increased as a result.

Finally one must recognise the fact that banks have completely changed since computers started to dominate daily work.  There was a time when banks borrowed money, paid interest and then reloaned the money and charged interest.  Now banks are more interested in having a quick bet on stock exchange prices !  

Governments everywhere need to decide just exactly what service they expect from banks ! 
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Tuesday, 20 November 2012

COPE BEATS FILLON BY 98 VOTES TO WIN UMP PRESIDENCY !!!


Everyone knew in the end, due to all the animosity and the recounts that the election for the Presidency of the UMP party was going to be close. 

In fact Jean-François Copé beat François Fillon by 98 votes out of a total poll of 175 000 voters !!!

It was very close and there will certainly be some squirmishes in the coming months and even beyond.  The Socialists are certainly giggling over all this but in the end could lament a certain resurgence of the right wing of French politics !!!
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Monday, 19 November 2012

POLITICS IN FRANCE DEFY COMPREHENSION !


No one in France or elsewhere, could realistically summarize what the ultimate outcome will be in the next three months !!!   

At present we have a centre-left Government with a comfortable majority.  President Hollande wants to stamp his authority on events, but already six months after the elections the "left" which helped him enormously are unhappy.  The "Greens" were helped by Hollande to obtain seats in the National Assembly, (17 in fact),  they are now going their own way !!!  There seem to be "green" riots everywhere recently !!!

As the previous article in this Blog pointed out, President Hollande is being pilloried from all sides, because he has not done what he said he would do in his election manifesto !!!  He "murdered" the former President Sarkozy because he, also, had not stuck to and introduced the promises in his election manifesto !!! 

All this is only a backcloth, the background, of what is now happenening on the "defeated" right of French politics !!!

The UMP party of defeated former President Sarkozy, is now trying to elect its President (to replace, in fact Sarkozy).  There are two heavyweight candidates: Jean-François COPE, the present general secretary of UMP  and François FILLON, the former sole, permanent Prime Minister of President Sarkozy.

Both say they will never oppose Sarkozy, if he wants to go for a second term, but both want to position themselves, to be candidates in the next Presidential Election in 2017 !!!  What is absolutely sure is that there are also other, young potential candidates in the wings.

At present, Monday 17 00 o'clock, 19 November 2012, the only thing certain is that neither Copé nor Fillon, know who will become the next PRESIDENT of the UMP party.  Both, at different moments during last night, said they had won.

At present Politics and politicians in France defy any prognostic or prediction !!! 

Follow this Blog;  there is so much going on !!!   
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Friday, 16 November 2012

PRESIDENT HOLLANDE'S PRESS CONFERENCE.


The expected and traditional first invitation of the French Press by the President, this time by Hollande,  was preceded by Opinion Polls which classed him as the most unpopular President of the fifth French Republic after only six months in office.

Hollande appeared as a "President" who was searching his way !!!  He had made 60 promises as the Presidential candidate and he had destroyed the previous President Sarkozy because Hollande said he had not respected his election promises !!!  Yet now Hollande looked lost after just six months.  Hence the negative Opinion Polls.

In fact, in the circumstances, Hollande made a two hour presentation which was very competent.  He spoke with conviction and this astounded many journalists !!! 

He avoided many traps.  He did not directly try to cover the soft spots in his recent political orientations.  

Before his election Holland said he will be just a "normal President".  During his Press Conference he underlined that he is a "responsible President". 

What has become very evident is that not only the rich will have to pay but everyone must contribute.  In future  changes to working conditions may have to be accepted in order to ensure and to maintain jobs and general prosperity.  
 

Thursday, 15 November 2012

EU POLITICIANS CHOOSE TO IGNORE REALITY !!!


In spite of the increasing cries of fear and desperation expressed by EU citizens, EU leaders and EU politicians  choose systematically, to ignore the pains of electors !!!

The reality is again visible in newspapers published today, Thursday, 15 November 2012.  There have again been riots recently in Spain, Italy, Portugal and Greece, not just once but on several occasions, against the measures of austerity which are being proposed and imposed.

These measures of austerity are being imposed by leaders of the EUROZONE, in particular by Merkel and Germany, and the sole objective is to "save" the EURO !!!

In previous decades, before the EURO was "born", when a country "overspent" its currency was slowly discounted against other currencies.  In critical cases this even led to a complete and sudden devaluation.

In the case of the EUROZONE this is no longer possible.  This is no longer an option !!!  EU rules must be applied indiscriminately;  "golden" rules must be observed !!!  Ultimately the rich Germans (and others) will feel the pinch, they will not want to pay "the indirect tax cost" of preventing the failure of the EURO !!!

Current EU "political leaders" will ultimately be voted out or retired !!!  Countries like Spain, Italy, Portugal and Greece need the option now to readopt their old currency, to leave the obligations and the debts of the EURO system behind them. They need to reorganise their finances and, why not, perhaps later to rejoin the EURO.     

Is there another, better scenario to end the current crisis of these countries (and perhaps further countries !) ?
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Tuesday, 13 November 2012

PRESIDENT HOLLANDE WILL EXPLAIN !


One hour ago I wrote an article on what any political observer of French Politics could expect if he watched the "interview" by French Journalists, of President François Hollande !!!  

My article dissappeared from my screen !!! The interview can be seen on French Television as from 17 00 hours French time to-day, November 12, 2012 .

I no longer have the time to repeat my article the aim of which was to help observers, French Speaking or otherwise, to  appreciate the "ins and outs" at stake.  President Hollande has had the lowest "popularity" returns of any French President of the Fifth Republic after six months in office, since De Gaulle became the first President !!!

In less than an hour, François Hollande will start his explanation, of why he has introduced only a few of his 60 election promises !!!  He crucified President Sarkozy because he had not done all he had promised during his re-election campaigne !!! 

It is for you, the reader, to judge !!!
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FRANCOIS HOLLANDE, PRIX DE LA GENTILLESSE !


Il est gentil, François Hollande, c'est même un bon garçon, écrivions nous dans ce blog le 30 mai dernier, après son interview dans le 20 heures de France 2 le 29 mai dernier...

Impression confirmée puisqu'il vient de recevoir le premier prix de la gentillesse en politique lancé par le magazine "Psychologie" !

Aujourd'hui, lors de sa première conférence de presse, après six mois de pouvoir, François Hollande saura-t-il démontrer qu'il est également un Président efficace, pugnace et déterminé, loin des tergiversations qui ont marqué ses premiers mois à la tête de l'Etat ?

DML

Friday, 9 November 2012

BREIVIK UNHAPPY WITH INHUMAN PRISON LIFE !


Anders Breivik slaughtered 77 people, was then found guilty but not insane !!!  He was sentenced to 21 years imprisonment. 

He now pleads, through his lawyers, that the conditions of his imprisonment are an infringement of his Human Rights !!!  Essentially what this really means is that he has a computer, but that he cannot surf the web and in this way express himself and publish his ideas !!!

Breivik killed 77 innocent people !!!  He gave them no chance or option to continue to live.   Yet now he wants the chance to live "a normal life" ?  He must be mad !!!

Readers can and will come to their own conclusion on the rights or wrongs of this case.   What needs to be said in my opinion, is that the Question of Human Rights in the EU must be completely redefined.   

Regularly, everywhere in the EU, criminals plead that they have Human Rights.  Their "rights" must be protected, but at the same time one must also protect the rights of their victims !!!

Breivik killed 77 innocent people !!!  Does he really have an excuse ?  Should he in turn not have been executed ? Strung-up and quartered ?   He suffers a lot less than the families of his victims !!!  Which politicians should provoke a revision of the laws ?

We already know that no politician will dare to move !!!
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Wednesday, 7 November 2012

ROMNEY CONCEDES DEFEAT. PRESIDENT OBAMA WINS SECOND TERM


The eyes of Europeans were glued to television sets early this morning to discover the results of the Presidential election in the USA and to watch the reactions of both candidates. 

Mitt Romney made a very warm speech when conceding  defeat in the Election to President Obama !  He wished Obama success in his second term to lead the USA to more prosperity.

Obama made a very powerful speech, sketching the main principles of what remained to be done to make America great again in order serve as an example for the whole  World.  His speech was that of a real Leader, very fluent, detailed and forcefull.

The Obama message is clear.  He wants the help of everyone including Mitt Romney !!!  As he clearly said, the aims he harbours are not personal aims but those necessary to make the United States of America a better place to live in. 

His apparant ad-lib speech (without notes) was  impressive and foreigners, including World Politicians,  have certainly understood his message !
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FIFA MUST ACT IF IT REALLY WANTS TO CONTROL FOOTBALL !!!


Every week, every day in fact, there are articles in the Press about "racist infringements" in football matches which lead to comments which are not good publicity for Football !!!

The real question is "What is FIFA and its President Sepp Blatter doing to control the situation ?"  Anything active or positive ?

At present, as I understand matters, FIFA does not intervene in the punishment of players who are "carded", yellow or red, by referees !!! This is left to the organisers of the competitions concerned.

Is it normal that FIFA does not intervene ?  Should players who are guilty of "racist infringements" or who are red-carded not be excluded from "ALL" competitions for a certain period (the length of which must be defined) ?

Should all such players not be "fined" by FIFA for the equivalent amount of their contractual salaries with their club and for any "special" fee they may receive for their participation in the match in question ?

If FIFA does not know how to punish players to deter them, to make them think twice, how can FIFA expect to stop racial abuse and other serious infringements ? Is this not one of the missions of FIFA and Sepp Blatter ?

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Tuesday, 6 November 2012

DO POLITICIANS AVOID PAYING TAX ?


Ask any man in the street if he thinks politicians pay a fair amount of tax on their income and the immediate answer is "NO" !

In Britain and in other countries as well, there have been numerous occasions when an MP has been caught out because he has "fiddled" his expenses and tax liabilities ! However, the problem is not just a simple question of whether the tax due has been correctly reported.  

Particularly in international organisations, politicians have generous (tax-free) allowances designed to avoid the submission of expense reports.  They also have rent allowances for their flats.

This is on top of a generous remuneration package which includes (non-contributary ?) pension schemes which are Government funded and guaranteed against inflation ! 

This priviledged situation is enjoyed by not only MPs but Diplomats working for their countries or in an international organisation.  This is the priviledged cream of society. They are normally not bothered with mundane tax matters !

When political leaders are obliged to seek funds to cover overspending, they could profitably analize operations for which they are directly responsible, just like professional businessmen !  Taxpayers would appreciate   that !   

Most of the foregoing is "legal tax evasion", but is this morally right ?
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