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Wednesday, 31 October 2012


Have-been former Government Ministers are not always the best advisors on current problems !  

Lord Heseltine has proposed that Civil Servants should have pay increases to double their current salaries to render them more "capable" or "competent" in public procurement negotiations !

Likewise, he criticises  the current Conservative Government about what needs to be done about airports in Britain, particularly the London area !!!

Modern life needs modern solutions.  High powered politicians and executives need, want and can afford transport which permits them to avoid cars and motorways.  

More helicopter pads on top of specially designed tall buildings, dotted around not only London but other major cities in the UK, would attract businessmen !

This kind of solution could also encourage the decentralisation of businesses and government departments.  Does everyone really need to work in City Centers ?


Tuesday, 30 October 2012


Many Italians will admit that they think Berlusconi will never spend a night in prison !!!  He has had legal problems for many years but has always managed to avoid the finality of justice which in fact is a prison sentence !!!

Do Italians, does Italy as a nation in fact, feel proud to have had Berlusconi as their leader on the international stage ?  Everyone outside Italy has long been wondering how long it could take to get rid of such a man !!!


Speculation is rife, not only in Britain but above all in Europe, i.e.  in the EU countries.   Will GB quit the EU ?

In fact this would not be the first time ! The last time Britain "quit" it created EFTA, the EUROPEAN FREE TRADE AREA.

Why does Britain "perhaps" want to quit the EU and why would some countries in the EU be happier if Britain "may" or "would" quit ?

Britain has links with many countries which were former "possessions" and which are now more or less independent.  However many have opted to remain in the Commonwealth.   This is their "option",  not their obligation !

The EU wants to establish a new "United States of Europe", the USE as opposed to the USA, a new Federal EU  state.  The real problem is that this takes time and none of the current, active politicians in the EU have the patience required.

They all want one EU Nation, with one EU currency and not to name it, the EURO, with a Centralised system of Government.

The real problem is that of the 27 countries in the EU, there are at least ten that have not adopted the EURO as their currency.   With the current problems in the EUROZONE, can they be blamed, are they wrong ? Wrong to protect the interests of their countries and the interests of their citizens?

The EU has a big "EURO" problem.  This must first be solved.  Afterwards will come the other problems like the definition of the EU Constitution !  The right of all EU taxpayers to elect directly their Members of Parliament,    just like as in the USA and in each EU state currently !

When one remembers that there are many EU Leaders who face re-elections in the very short term, current, urgent, ideas of a USE will certainly fade a little ...

David Cameron and his Ministers have time on their side !


Sunday, 28 October 2012


The wealth, accumulated not by Wen Jiabao, who is about to retire as a Leader of China, but by his family members, was reported by the NY Times as amounting 2.75 Billion US dollars !!!

There has been an immediate reaction.  In accordance with Chinese regulations/laws, the NY Times has been banished in China together with access to its websites.

Just what will happen now remains to be seen !!!  Will all the assets of his family members be seized and confiscated ?  Will Wen Jiabao be imprisoned ?  On the orders of someone who is still innocent and not yet rich ? 

Does China realize that there are millions of Chinese living in Asia and the Western World, the USA, Europe and elsewhere, who regularly read news reports concerning their homelands ?  Do Chinese Leaders really imagine that they could close down the whole of the WEB ?

The more you try to stifle the truth, the more sure you can be that it will be published everywhere !!!  


Thursday, 25 October 2012


Jérôme Kerviel yesterday lost his appeal against the sentence he was handed down in 2010.  The net result is that he owes his bank, Société Générale, 4.8 Billion Euros and faces the threat of spending three years in jail if his next and final appeal is again refused.

However, some extraordinary facts emerge from this whole sorry saga which suddenly exploded in the French press on 24 January 2008.  Kerviel had permission to trade in the name of the Société Générale, but with a total desk limit of 125 million Euros. 

He exeeded this limit several times, in spite of the internal bank controls.  The directors turned a blind eye when he made huge profits, particularly in 2007 when a profit of 1.7 Billion euros was achieved !!!  

When finally it was discovered that he had engaged his Bank with contracts for as much as 50 Billion euros, which approximates to about 1.8 times the net worth of his Bank, it was decided to close out all the contracts as quickly as possible.   The net loss was 4.8 Billion euros (i.e. 6.5 Billion loss minus the 2007 profit of 1.7 Billion euros).

If one is realistic, to want to close out 50 Billion euros of specialized contracts in the space of 3 days trading, is not a realistic timescale to avoid high losses or to ensure low losses !!!

Can Kerviel really be "clobbered" (accused) of making these huge losses ?  Is it not the fault of the "Real Directors" who suddenly realized they must act, and be seen to act, and quickly, to save their Bank ?

The Directors "closed out very quickly" and made a loss of 6.5 Billion euros. Was this really professional on their part ?  Kerviel has now been judged and held responsible for the net loss of 4.8 Billion euros !!!  Is this reasonable ?

When high powered directors do not know how to control, they must recognize their shortcomings and arrive at a suitable arrangement with Kerviel !!!

Monday, 22 October 2012


Lance Armstrong is the example to-day of a cheat who did not expect to be caught out but now must face this ignominity !!!  Alas, he is only the last of many who cheated but many have never been brought to justice and been punished !!!

As a young man I loved sport and I still do.  What I would like is that readers of this blog adopt a healthy attitude towards Sport and "Cheats" !!!

Sportsmen who cheat usually have someone who helps them to "cheat" !!!  If the sportsman is then a winner there is often money involved !!!  Everyone wants to get rich !!!

"Everyone" means all those who eventually "gain" by not stopping cheats straight away !!!  This means or could mean also promotors of any big sports events !!!

The fact that Lance Armstrong has been caught does not mean that he is or was the only cheat who enriched himself.  Nor does it mean that others were completely duped and innocent and never knew anything wrong was going on !!!

What it does mean is that Sport Organisers, who revel in the spotlight it brings them, are sometimes guilty of neglect.  They do not control competitors when they should !!!

The further a sportsman gets the more he must be made to understand that he will and must accept to be tested medically without prior warning !!!

This is the kind of standard that sport followers must demand of every sports organisation !!!  The Minister of Sports in all Governments should be "bombarded" every time there is a scandal by amateur followers of sport when the "guilty" escape justice !!!


Thursday, 18 October 2012


Everyone knows that the Tour de France has battled for many years, without any really tangible results, against the Drug taking of which Lance Armstrong has now been found guilty.

Jacques Anquetil who won the race five times in the 1960s refused successfully to submit himself, I believe, to every anti doping control he was asked to undertake.
He died young at the age of 45.  

The Tour de France was riddled with drugs and in the end Tom Simpson died from what everyone believed at the time was an overdose of drugs !!!  After his death, a new beginning without drugs was to start !!!

Alas it never did !!!  Everyone concerned wanted "their" man to win and the Organisers needed the money from the "Publicity Bandwagon" to ensure their profitability !!!

To put it another way, the rules were not rigid, they were bent when a good reason obliged !!!

Even in the case of Armstrong, every television viewer saw when he "fell off his bike" in a field.  One then saw Armstrong rejoin the race, not where he fell off his bike, but at the bottom of the field !!!  That saved him at least 30 seconds, but no Tour Official dared to penalise him !!!

Penalising Armstrong is absolutely right !!!  Now is the time to enforce doping rules strictly, once and for all time !!!  And let's be clear, not only in Cycling but in all Sports.  

What Sportsman can be proud to be a winner, but also a cheat ?  In addition, any trainers who encourage Drugs in Sport should be banned for life !!!



During the last few weeks there have been numerous reports of Motor Bikes in Paris which have been set on fire and destroyed.  The authorities are wondering why !!!  Really ? 

As a long time resident in Paris, I think this may be due to the increasing exasperation of Parisians. 

The fact is that there is hardly a road inside the ringroad of Paris, which is not near an official government building, where motor bikes are not parked haphazardly on pavements with complete impunity !!!  This is spite of the fact that paying parking spaces for cars have frequently been replaced to provide free parking places for motor bikes, but obvously not enough !!!  

The problem gets worse as time goes on.  Elderly pedestrians, invalids and young mothers with prams, are increasingly confronted with "machines" nonchalently left near where the owner decides is the most convenient for his own purposes !!! 

The number plates of these motor bikes often reveal that many come from communities very near Paris.  The owners do not want to use other slower means of public  transport !!!

There is also a very political reason for this problem !!!  The Mayor of Paris is Socialist, the President of France and his Government are Socialists and no one would ever dream of upsetting their electorate with unpopular legislation !!! 

To build garages for Motor Bikes would cost money and create an inconvenience for the owners: would they be prepared to pay for a parking space particularly if it is not close to where they want to get off their Bike ?  That idea could lead to riots !!!


Wednesday, 17 October 2012


Poland has built a new stadium in Warsaw with a sliding roof but yesterday, when it was teeming buckets of rain well in advance of the start of the football match against England, it was decided not to close the roof !!!

By the time the referee was obliged to postpone the match, with the amount of water on the pitch, it would have been possible to have a game of Water Polo !!!

Who in Poland is responsible for the decision not to close the sliding roof of the new stadium in time to permit the match to take place as planned ?  Weather forecasts were clear that a lot of rain could be expected !!!

The top official, wherever he is hiding, should be named !!!  He cannot just wait for this scandal to blow over !!!  Will he be sacked or will he personally compensate at least the 2500  English supporters plus the English football team for their hotel and other costs ?  

This top official does not have the option to pin the blame on anyone else but himself !!!  That would convince nobody !!!


Monday, 15 October 2012


The political climate in Britain seems to be moving towards the wish and intention to renegotiate the conditions of Britain for staying in the E U.

There are many indications that not all is well in the EU, not just suddenly but in the recent few years.  The cumulative effect of the world-wide economic recession has also highlighted the weaknesses of the "golden rule" principle so cherished by Angela Merkel of Germany.  

It has become clear that small countries, not highly industrialised like Germany, which are dependent more on the tourist industry or on financial markets, cannot in these changing times, easily or comfortably adapt to, or respect, the Golden Rule obligations at any cost !!!

The recession in the western world, which is underlined by higher unemployment and increased Asian competition will oblige EU countries to adopt more subtle policies particularly with respect to Greece and other aided countries.  Increased rigour would lead ultimately to more social unrest and serious problems for the EURO which even Germany could not help to avoid !!!

What is even more serious is that certain Treaties which are being blindly followed or blindly not being applied, must be urgently reviewed.

To be quite clear, uncontrolled immigration into the EU, uncontrolled migration in the EU, the unlimited and expanding intervention of the Court of Human Rights in National Judicial matters, all need a fundamental revision. These are just a few of the problems !!!

Either EU Leaders must act or Britain must act and decide its future via a referendum !!!  If Britain opts to withdraw, other counries could also decide to leave before the EUROZONE becomes too dominant !!! 



Friday, 12 October 2012


There are articles and comments in the press which now lament the fact that a great sportman like Lance Armstrong has been caught out and has been stripped of his seven victories in the Tour de France cycling race !!!  He used "drugs" and encouraged his teamates to do  likewise !!!

Cheating means doing something against the generally accepted rules to perhaps profit or gain an advantage.  Lance Armstrong won a lot of money because of his victories  in the Tour de France, together with a first class reputation.  Publicity contracts also made him a wealthy man and idol.

Cheats in all walks of life (in business as much as sport) should be punished where it hurts the most, whether it is in the pocket and/or with a term in prison !!!

The methods Armstrong used to win his seven Tour de France victories meant other competitors were illegally denied the chance to win.  They did not win the riches and the reputation they too sought !!!

Will Armstrong share his ill gotten gains with those he illegally deprived ?  Will he compensate them for their ruined careers ?  Will he be obliged to return the money he "stole" through cheating ?  Will someone sue him ?

Is Lance Armstrong really the example of a hero which parents should urge their children to copy ?  Alas, his example has already done its damage !!!



Thursday, 11 October 2012


With respect to "After Dinner Speakers" I have never seen or heard a "report" anywhere, by any journalist in any national Press or when listening to the Radio or when watching Television about what a speaker has said .

What I do know is what the press does reveals, that "A" well known politician will make "an after-dinner speech"  !!!  It is evident that the speaker is not expecting only a free meal !!!

The real question is "What secrets do these speakers normally reveal ?"   Alternatively, do they really reveal nothing ?  Nothing at all, just a thankyou smile for the dinner ? The "Speakers" are normally former Prime Ministers or Presidents !!!  Were they originally elected to later reveal in all secrecy what they or their government got right or wrong ? 

Were they elected to reveal weaknesses afterwards "as fair comment" to "Paying Diners" who could perhaps still profit from former, or even , from current weaknesses in Government Legislation ? 

I think not, although they will certainly plead that there is no law against what they are are doing !!!

Not to name any of them, suffice it to say that British, French, USA, and also EU politicians are on  this lucrative bandwagon !!!  Do any of them declare such income and pay tax on it ?

Is there a reader who is prepared to make a comment ? Who wants to reveal what he really thinks or knows ?                  .

Tuesday, 9 October 2012


The EU wants to and will, invoice all EU Countries for expense overruns !!!  Barroso, the President of the EU Commission has not managed to adhere, even tried, to adhere to the 3% Golden Rule which Merkel so much wants to impose !!!

Is it surprising ?  Theoretically Barroso is at the head of (responsible for) about 50 000 EU "workers".  In fact he is the one who pays them !!!  Will any EU adherent country refuse to pay the overrun of his "Budget" ?

Has the time not come that each EU member country becomes responsible for the remuneration and expenses of all its MEPs ?  And also of other secondary employees ?

Should a ruling Government not want to have control of employees it indirectly pays in an EU capacity ?  

In Britain and other EU countries, if electors are alerted, or are made aware of the fact, that  a change of Government in their country has absolutely no effect on the "team" which represents them in the EU, would newly elected Members of Parliament, or even their electors who voted for a change, be happy ?

Barroso does nothing to reduce costs !!!  EU member countries will pay !!!


Sunday, 7 October 2012


The EU and Britain have signed-up to numerous wide ranging Treaties with implications and conditions, which now mean that no country wants to embark on the onerous work necessary to revise or change old Treaty basic principles !!!  

The case in point is the question of "EUTHANASIA or not ?"  The Human Rights Act in Britain and in almost every other EU country, discourages any attempt by a suffering person to put an end to his suffering with the help of another person. 

In Britain anyone who "helps" to end the life of anyone else risks being prosecuted for "attempted murder" or a similar criminal act. 

Has anyone in Britain or elsewhere in the EU never suspected that a Doctor or Surgeon or nurse has "exercised his discretion" and let die someone who had no other real hope or future ? 

British and other Nationally elected politicians are scared that any action on this subject would be a sure vote loser !!!  As a result no one wants to act !!!

Is this therefore not a subject which EU Members of the EU Parliament (MEPs) should be obliged, by their President BARROSO, to undertake ?  Should they not update and revise Treaties ?



Saturday, 6 October 2012


The elected Members of the European Union (MEPs)have almost certainly not realised that Britain has at last been able to extradite ABU HAMSA to the USA.  The USA want him for terrorist activities !!!

The EU has blindly imposed, via Maestricht, the obligation of EU members to adhere blindly to the principles of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

Alas, this court has a huge backlog of cases; it has also extended its authority to such an extent that now it considers it is enfranchised to reverse decisions by judges in national courts !!!  Criminals appeal to the court to preserve their Human Rights without reference to the Human rights of their victims !!!  Will BARROSO act ? 

The EU, via leaders like CAMERON and HOLLANDE and also MERKEL, must also understand that there are BASIC problems in the EU to attend to !!!


Friday, 5 October 2012


Not for the first time, Politicians "from the bottom up to the top", have become involved in wanting to be the decision makers in industries that they "own as elected  politicians" but do not in the slightest understand !!!

Simply said they wanted to "disenfranchise" Sir Richard Branson after studies by top civil servants and Ministers lead to the proposal to transfer the franchise to "First Group".

Sir Richard Branson is a recognised "entrepreneur", a professional businessman who understands risk taking in industries such as railways !!!  He was faced by a "team of amateurs" who were seduced by arguments which they did not know how to evaluate, which lead to his appeal against the decision to disenfranchise him.

Apparently it is no one's fault !!!  No minister is at fault !!!  Three civil servants have been suspended !!!  Keep your heads down and everything will blow over !!!

In private industry, large and small, heads roll when there is incompetence !!!  When business is lost, when profits suffer, people are sacked !!!

When governments are incompetent and losses result, it is the unidentified taxpayer who covers the losses !!!


Wednesday, 3 October 2012


It suddenly appears that ABU HAMZA is too ill to face terrorism charges in the United States !!!  His lawyer pleads that he is "unfit to plead" and that it would be "oppressive to extradite him" !!!

ABU HAMZA incited racial hatred and solicited murder and was jailed for seven years.

Last week Human Rights Judges in Europe ruled that he should be "handed over to authorities in the United States ". There he and others are awaited for indictments on terrorism charges.

If ABU HAMZA is now too ill to plead, is this really a defence ?  He has indiscriminately murdered many of his victims in the past and they could not plead "legally" that they were " too ill" to die !!! 

Is someone who kills because of racial hatred, who is a terrorist, still have a legal right to plead that his human rights are being infringed because he "too ill" to stand trial ?  Did he not suppress all the human rights and rights of appeal of all his victims in one foul swoop ?

Finally, should judges and the Justice System not recognise the fact that when any killer kills, he automatically loses his own human rights ?   

Monday, 1 October 2012


The US, against all their expectations after leading 8-4 after the first two days play in the pairs part of the Ryder Cup collapsed more than expected in the singles !!!

When one plays "doubles", I as a "Hacker" know that you have to be prepared to change your objectives as the game goes on !!!  Normally, the best placed player takes the risk to win !!!  The other plays as safe as he can !!!

OK, I will never be an unpaid professional in the RYDER CUP, but I can comment and I must put the collapse of the US team down to their nerves !!!  Do you, the reader, have any other more plausiblbe explanation ?

However, it is not the first time the US team have been beaten on the last day of the Ryder Cup !!!