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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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COMPANIES OR GROUPS WHICH PAY NO TAX ?


According to press reports it appears that large American international businesses (Companies or Groups of Companies) declare minimal profits abroad and only pay 2% of their taxes outside the USA !

This is astounding but is the real question not "Are US companies really the only ones which avoid tax to this extent "?

In order not to pay tax Companies or Groups must avoid making profits where tax would be payable.  This can be done by invoicing sales to controlled subsidiary companies at inflated prices or invoicing costs which may not be really justitfied. 

Who cares ?  The Invoicing company, or the Directors of subsidiary companies which are controlled by the invoicing company ?  Anyone ?  No one in fact !!!

When a subsidiary is in a tax haven, who really worries what happens ?

With the increase of computer technologies together with the means, legal or almost legal, and of modern management techniques, how can Auditors of Companies be expected to detect all these possibilities of Fraud ?

Bankers are accused of getting huge "Bonuses" !!!  Are there not other Directors in other branches of activity which also profit from "occult" extras ?

Is the "Real Question" not "Who is Responsible" for this state of affairs ?  Is the person at fault not the Legislator in a given country, or one of the many "International Legislator Politicians" ?  Or is it simply the fault of politicians who want more tax, too much more tax ?

Follow this Blog !!!

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Monday, 5 November 2012

OBAMA OR MITT ROMNEY ? WHOM WILL THEY CHOOSE ,


Seen from Paris, or even from the EU, the U S  Presidential Election has not had a thundering effect on the opinions of Europeans !!!  It has appeared somewhat "haphazard", dealing with American problems only !!!

If Americans want to influence World events, would they want a change in US foreign policy ? Have they, the  electors, had a clear message from either candidate ?

Of course the "Overspending" in recent years has been evoked.  The parity of the US Dollar has devalued, but does this not help maintain US exports ?

There are other silent arguments which could decide the result of this Presidential Election !

Not least of all, Obama has a permanent smile and a  personal touch with the electorate which produces immediate confidence !

There is also a question which has not really been addressed.  Mitt Romney is a Morman !  Can all Catholics and Protestants (and other religious creeds) really swallow all that this could involve ?

Finally, and just by chance, Obama is not quite 100% white just as the US is at a crossroad in its history !  During the next twenty years "non" whites (Blacks) will become the electoral majority. 

It would seem that if Mitt Romney is finally elected as President, he would have to weigh very carefully the consequences of his policies !!!  

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Saturday, 3 November 2012

ANDY MURRAY LACKS KILLER INSTINCT !!!


Everything Andy Murray achieved in getting the "Gold" Olympic Medal and then winning his "First" Grandslam" Tournament in New York against Federer, were reduced to nothing when he lost against a big hitter like Janowicz !!!   All the players will now know that Andy has a "soft spot" !!!

Andy had Janowicz by the throat, he had a match point in the second set !!!  Yet Andy let it go.  Lendel, his Psychologist has again a lot to do !!! Andy must at least  recognise the fact that without Lendle he would not be where he is now !!! 

The whole of Britain is behind ANDY !!!  Its time that you, ANDY, start to reward them for their loyalty !!! 

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