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Saturday, 30 November 2013

FRANCE WANTS TO BAN PROSTITUTION ? HOW ?


In France the Parliament is debating a law which would mean that if a Man pays a Prostitute he would become a Criminal and he could be liable to a fine of 1500 Euros ! 

To enforce the intention of such a law implies new policing !  Will there be a prevention officer or snooper near all prostitutes ?  

An effective law must be simple and enforcable by the State !  If a law cannot control what happens, it will be ridiculed and ignored ! 

Would official Brothels in France not be the most simple and effective way to control prostitution ? 

                .

Thursday, 28 November 2013

NO EU CONTROLS ON MIGRANTS OR IMMIGRANTS !


There have never ever been any effective controls of immigrants into what is now the enlarged EU.  Once there were 6 countries in the EU, now there are 28 !

An effective control would mean that any "Visitor" coming into the EU must have an official EU document stating how long the visitor can remain in the EU and the punishment if he overstays !

This implies that at all arrival points, Ports, Airports and  Roads documents are checked !  This has never been the case.

In fact Tourists overstay their visit and disappear,  often with the help of friends or relations.  They find work to survive one way or the other.  They marry, have children and the problem increases.  EU Human Rights Laws means they must be helped.

David Cameron wants changes to EU Treaties which do nothing to control Immigrants or unwanted Migrants !  How many non-EU immigrants have entered the EU since the year 2000 ?  No one really knows, and that is the problem !

"Breaking into a house and then stealing" are two criminal offences.  Breaking into the EU is not because of the Human Rights of Immigrants !  The National Taxpayer silently bears all the costs of such people !

This problem is clearly simmering in Britain but also in several other countries as well and not only in non EUROZONE countries ! 

The EU must close its doors and cut costs, otherwise the "Dream" of a EUROPEAN Geographical power-block to combat the other geographical power-blocks of the world will simply disappear !

                  .     


           

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

RETRAITE CHAPEAU: A QUAND LA REFORME ?


Le montant de la retraite chapeau de Philippe Varin qui quittera PSA courant 2014 après un peu plus de 4 ans à la tête de l'entreprise a soulevé l'indignation des salariés de PSA et des politiques à gauche comme à droite: 21 millions d'euros ont à cet effet été provisionnés par PSA engagé par ailleurs dans un accord de compétitivité qui prévoit un gel des salaires !

En termes mesurés, Arnaud Montebourg a pudiquement déclaré: "ces montants me paraissent inappropriés".

Certes ce n'est pas la première fois que le montant de certaines retraites chapeaux scandalise l'opinion publique. 

En  avril 2009, Nicolas Sarkozy avait interdit les retraites chapeaux pour les dirigeants d'entreprises ayant bénéficié de l'aide de l'Etat; mais cette disposition n'était valable que jusqu'à la fin de l'année 2010 et n'avait pas été reconduite !

Pendant sa campagne présidentielle en février 2012, Nicolas Sarkozy s'était engagé, s'il était élu, à interdire les retraites chapeaux pour les hauts dirigents et déclarait alors: "il y a des choses qui choquent et qu'on ne peut accepter."

Aujourd'hui avec l'affaire Philippe Varin, n'est ce pas l'occasion pour François Hollande de frapper un grand coup et de mettre un terme aux retraites chapeaux, lorsque leur montant apparaît disproportionné eu égard à la durée et à la qualité des services rendus par le dirigeant qui en bénéficie ?

 

DML

 

 


CHANCELLOR MERKEL ON A TIGHTROPE !


From reports in the International Press, Chancellor Angela Merkel is being obliged to accept changes to her previous political aims in order to obtain an agreement for a Coalition Goverment.

The concessions she is being made to accept concern in particular:-

     - Introduction of a minimum wage structure in all German Industries and Companies.
     - Ministerial Posts for numerous politicians in the SPD (German Socialist Party).

Other concessions are still being discussed even two months after the German General Elections on 22 September 2013 !

If the hands of Angela Merkel are tied after these discussions this will have a direct effect on future German policies in the EU and in the EUROZONE.

More importantly the next question will be whether Germany will still maintain the principle that no country is allowed to leave the EUROZONE or to default on the EURO.  Likewise will there still be long term Financial aid ?  Will the "Golden Rule" still be retained for Budgets and Results ?

These discussions are on-going.  The aim seems to be that a conclusion should be arrived at before Christmas in Germany.  In the meantime the EU slumbers and the EU Parliamentary Elections in May 2014 approach !

However, Merkel is a fine negotiator, she has experience, therefore we can only "wait and see" !

                                    .    

       

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

WHY MIGRATE TO BRITAIN ? THAT IS THE QUESTION !


Why Migrate to Britain ?  That  is "the real" question !

Britain is bound by EU rules which do not take into account the costs of British benefits for citizens who have not normally qualified by their contributions during  their working lives.

The EU Commission, under the guidance of its President, Manual Barroso, has always preached ultra socialist principles, not to say left-wing principles !  His time as President will expire shortly after his two terms at the head of affairs in the EU.

Britain and other EU countries like France, have not yet factored into their liabilities the cost of future obligations due to the increasing longevity of future pensioners.   

David Cameron seeks support to make changes to EU Treaties, concerning not only "migrants" but also immigrants, who have never contributed anything but still want everything under EU rules !  Such a change is also favoured by other countries across the whole EU !

In Paris we have "Roms" (Roumanian Travelers) on almost every key corner of main roads !  They are not workers, they are miserable beggars and their "masters" organise them !  They do not enrich France !

Angela Merkel has already offered to help David Cameron but is at present fighting for her job as Chancellor of Germany where certain of her hitherto policies are now much less acceptable to the SPD, the German Socialist Party.

Changes are coming in Germany and will come in the EU as a result.  Two months ago Merkel did not "win" the German Elections and this is why no new Coalition has yet been agreed !

All this needs to be said and clearly understood in the current context.  How long can future Social Security Systems be guaranteed or maintained with present contributions and principles ? 

Will Manual Barroso ever try to explain that ! 

                           .

                

Sunday, 24 November 2013

"LEAVING PAYMENTS" SHOULD BE APPROVED BY SHAREHHOLDERS.


There seems to be a flaw in the law concerning "pay- offs" to Directors who leave companies before the end of their "employment contracts".

Should Shareholders not have or be given the right to "vote" on all proposed severence payments to at least all Board Directors ?  Should such proposed payments not be retained and only made "payable" after the AGM ?

The CO-OP case is only the latest where Directors "want to cash in" even while the "going is not so good" and not to wait until the end of their contractual period of service.

Any Director should be obliged to wait until the end of his service contract to be "judged" by shareholders.  If he has no service contract a Director can be sidelined without compensation, but such a case is rare these days.

Should George Osborne not tighten-up and propose changes in the Companies Act ?
                           .        

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

GOLDEN "GOODBYE" LEAVING PAYMENTS , WHAT DO THEY REWARD ?


Recent and On-going events have highlighted serious deficiencies in Company Law concerning Directors who "flee" when a scandal is about to become public ! 

Payments made when an "executive" leaves or is "retired" or "sacked", should be explained very clearly and made publicly available for shareholders and investors on the Stock Exchange. 

When high powered Directors, who often have service contracts which protect them to the end of their period of employment, are "thanked" for the "mess" they have left, something is wrong !  

Legislation is necessary in many countries on this issue.  Disclosures of details why the payments made were justified and who authorised them, needs to be part of basic Company Law ! 

                           .     

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

CO-OP BANK FIASCO CHAIRMAN RESIGNS !


In this Blog yesterday our article clearly posed the Question of who was responsible for the appointment of the Reverand Paul Flowers as Chairman of the CO-OP Bank. (read  "CO-OP BANKING DISASTER : WHO'S FAULT IS IT ?).

It has now been reported that Len Wardle, the Chairman of the CO-OP GROUP and leader of the Committee which finally selected and appointed Paul Flowers, has today resigned with immediate effect as Chairman and with the intention of retiring in May 2014 !

He states that the CO-OP Group needs to update its procedures and that it is time to leave his post.

The absence of normal due diligence procedures aimed at vetting the candidature of Paul Flowers and any Internal Financial checks on the way he operated is inadmissable !

Did the CO-OP Group get a clean Audit Certificate on is accounts ?

Did no one on the Board of Directors, at any time before the scandal recently broke, ever notice that he, the Reverand Paul Flowers, was in fact a Drug Addict ? 

This is the latest Banking Scandal and there will probably be many others !  Alas it is also rare that anyone guilty of neglect and responsible for huge losses, does not get a Golden Handshake "Goodbye" !      

                      .

  

 

Monday, 18 November 2013

CO-OP BANKING DISASTER - WHO'S FAULT IS IT ?


The Reverand Paul Flowers, a Methodist Church Minister, was selected and became Chairman of the Co-op Bank although he only had 4 years work experience in "Banking" !

During his reign the Co-op Bank made losses of 700 Million Pounds Sterling !

When he was questioned by the Treasury Select Committee he was unable to reply competently to even simple questions !

It now transpires from Newspaper reports that he also had serious drug problems and that he is a cocaine addict !  This has resulted in his suspension from Ministerial Duties by the Methodist Church ! 

The real basic question is "How can a man with no real Banking Experience be appointed to be the Chairman of a Bank ?". 

Was a Management Consultant not retained ?  Who proposed that the Reverand Paul Flowers be employed and who fixed his salary ?  Something seems to be very wrong.  Should other culprits not be named ?

                        .   

Sunday, 17 November 2013

SPORT + DRUGS + MONEY NEED CONTROLS !


When there is money to fuel any sport, like advertising revenues, that sport is no longer totally independant"...!
 Everyone knows money motivates !   

When sportsmen or women, who can win monetary prizes, can be "sponsored" with retainer fees, that person is no longer "independent"... !

When there are no guarantees that National Sport Competitors are regularly submitted to medical controls by their National Organizations, its sportsmen can only become "suspect" !

When Compétitions with monetary prizes are won and when all the leading competitors are not all subjected to medical controls immediately after the event, serious questions must be raised !

These basic incidents must be covered by a "LAW" which covers the control of Competitive Sport !

A "LAW" is required on an INTERNATIONAL BASIS !  Individual Sports Organisations have already proved themselves incapable of punishing leading sport competitors adequately.

Real punishment is not just banning competitors for short periods.  Imprisonment and Financial Fines are necessary, but only available in National Courts of Law.

Not only Competitors but also Trainers and Sport Competition Organisers must be judged when they have had an overwhelming influence on events ! 

Does Sport really not want to put an end to situations like the Death of Tom Simpson in the Tour de France and now the multiple antics of Lance Armstrong ? 

 If so, just do nothing !  Carry on as at present !

                 .  

MEDICAMENTS GENERIQUES: ATTENTION A LA CONFUSION !


Les médicaments génériques fabriqués par un même laboratoire et destinés à soigner des pathologies différentes ont trop souvent une forme, une couleur et une présentation identique.  D'où un risque de confusion pour le patient et un risque pour sa santé !

Par exemple, le générique du "Tahor " fabriqué par le Laboratoire Sandoz (Atorvastatine 20mg ) ressemble à s'y méprendre au générique du "Corenitec" (Enalapril Hydrochlorothiazide) également fabriqué par le Laboratoire Sandoz.  L'un est destiné à réguler le cholestérol, l'autre à lutter contre l'hypertension. 

 Certes une minuscule inscription gravée sur chaque comprimé, deux chiffres pour l'un, deux lettres pour l'autre, permet de les distinguer. Mais Il faut avoir une très bonne vue et être extrêmement vigilant.

 Ce n'est pas forcément le cas de toutes les personnes, âgées ou pas, à qui ces deux médicaments sont souvent conjointement prescrits !

DML

Sur la question de savoir si l'on peut refuser le générique, voir sur ce blog, notre article du 25 octobre 2013.

Friday, 15 November 2013

BARCLAYS TURNAROUND ASPIRATIONS HIT AGAIN !


Senior Executives have abandoned, one could even say "fled", Barclays Bank not just recently but over a number of years !  Two have left unexpectedly !  Is there a hidden uneasiness in the Group ? 

The Libor Rate problem is just one example of what went wrong in the past.   Are there other imminent problems  which could tarnish the reputations of innocent executives ?

Are there other ongoing plans which have not been made public ?  What are their costs and their impact on the future of the Group ?  

Shareholders are the first who are entitled to a clear explanation of the ills which beleaguer the Group at present ! They also have the right to a clear statement of lurking problems which may soon hit the headlines !


When Senior Executives "flee", for whatever plausible reason officially published, the reality of problems is often hidden !  Directors must understand that they do not own the company !  Shareholders by law have the right to be informed and on a timely basis.

When bad news suddenly hits the Stock Exchange it is Shareholders who immediately suffer !  Directors are usually covered by a Golden Goodbye Handshake ! 

                     .
   



  

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

AVOIR LA BANANE ET ETRE MALIN COMME UN SINGE !


Etre malin comme un singe et avoir la banane, deux anciennes expressions populaires françaises...

La première signifie être débrouillard et astucieux, la seconde être en forme et de bonne humeur;  avoir la banane, c'est aussi avoir la pêche ou la patate.

Mettre à la une du journal "Minute" ces deux expressions et les associer à la photo de la Garde des Sceaux s'apparente plus à une stupide "blague de potache" qu'à une injure raciste. 

C'est du moins ce que nous voudrions croire!  Malheureusement, c'est tout une communauté qui a pu ainsi se sentir blessée et humiliée.

DML
          .

WHAT HAS HOLLANDE DONE WRONG ?


Hollande has done nothing wrong !  That in fact is the real Problem ! 

He has not acted at all to correct or to encourage anything !  His Policy has been "wait and see" !  He has in fact relied on others, either in France or on the Actors on the "International Scene" of the World !

Other countries have acted to get their "house" in order. Yet Hollande has not reduced the overhead costs of his Administration, i.e. the Civil Service !  He has not launched National Projects to absorb unemployment and indirectly to encourage private enterprise !

His Socialist principles are based on protecting the "poor" not on aiding the rich to get richer even if their efforts would provide employment !

His "inaction" has now come to a head.  Even the poor are striking and venting their frustration due to his Indecision !  They want "Leadership" !

Hollande and France now face Financial  difficulties.  National Income from Taxes is lower than expected or forecast.  His first and immediate reaction has been to increase the income tax of high earners.  This is not at all enough and will never encourage Enterprise !

The second and easiest measure that has been decided is to increase the rates of Value Added Tax (VAT) !  This however does nothing to encourage small businesses ! It also increases the living costs of all consumers, the rich as well as the less rich, particularly those on the poverty line !

Strikes have already started and more social unrest can be expected.  Will the Prime Minister be replaced ?  That is the Question !  What many people in France really want,  Socialists as well as others, is a new President ! 

                                     .     

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

HOLLANDE MUST KNOW THAT "FRANCE WANTS A CHANGE" !


All the Opinion Polls, all the Economic Indicators, most of the Journalists who are normally in favour of the Socialists and the Left, are pointing out the clear fact that French Electors want a change.

It has got to the point where President Hollande is now being booed wherever he goes !

In fact what has irked the French electorate is that he has not delivered on the promises he made so forcefully during his election campaign.

His determination to introduce new taxes to balance the lack of income from normal taxes has been evident.  To want to introduce an "Ecological" tax on French Motorways for Lorries has encountered stubborness from "Bretons" in the north-west of France !  

The "Bretons" have refused !  They have dismantled installations on Motorways, built barricades and destroyed all that they can to prevent the collection of the "ECO" tax !

Electors want change !  What will happen ?  Which heads will roll ?  Could the Head of the Prime Minister, Jean Marc AYRAULT be sacrificed to save Hollande ?  Could Martine AUBRY at last be called on, to then  resurrect the Cabinet which really does need changing ?

This is a wait and see problem which is now urgent !

                      .        

 

Friday, 8 November 2013

GERMAN EURO POLICY KILLS COMPETITION !


While Germany is more than just very prosperous, some EUROZONE countries are struggling to break even.  The perfect example is revealed by the balance of payments problems currently being faced by France compared with the huge surplus which Germany has at present !

Several countries in the EUROZONE are now still struggling even after having received Financial Aid and Loans at low interest rates.

Normally when countries face difficulties their currency is written down on Financial Markets.  This has an immediate effect.  Exports prices decrease which helps Export sales.

If ultimately a country cannot stop the depreciation of its currency, a devaluation results and the consequence is a reajustment of national internal policies. Then everyone suffers financially, both nationally and internationally.

The problem in the EUROZONE is that no country is permitted to "opt out of the EURO".  This means that the benefit of increased exports, within the EU or elsewhere, cannot be obtained !  For example, selling more to Germany at lower prices or competing better with Germany on the export markets is just not possible !

Likewise, being more competitive at home to avoid imports from Asia or other low labour cost countries is not an option.

The basic principle of wanting to defend the EURO at all costs is wrong because it means that countries are not allowed to devalue !  This is the basic flaw in the system !  Ultimately, sooner or later, when Germany and its partners no longer have the means to support ailing partners, the Financial Markets of the World will react !  Also, the suffering of citizens will lead to social turmoil ! 

The dreams of a Federated United Europe based on the EURO will then be over !

                    .       

      


 

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

HOLLANDE NEEDS NEW CABINET, but... !


Everyone in France speculates what President Hollande could do next to restore his evident lack of control of affairs in France.

His "Opinion Poll" ratings are at the lowest point of any President of France in the 5th Republic, i.e. since De Gaulle created it in 1958 !

President Hollande has tried but has not convinced.  All his most recent efforts to restore confidence have failed lamentally and this has gradually destroyed his electorate.

Now everyone in France is speculating on what he will do next !  To be more precise, "what can he do" ?

The classic reaction in politics is to change the "cabinet" !  However, after his election victory he named a very large "Cabinet of Ministers" (34 members) to thank all the small parties of his Coalition !  He cannot now, 18 months later, sack them all !  He cannot suddenly reduce the 34 to a more manageable 17 !  There would be an immediate revolt !

He therefore needs an innovative, unexpected solution to reassert his authority !  

President Hollande is prudent.  Some may say he dithers, or that he has a "wait and see" nature !  In the middle of November he will address the Nation by way of a press conference!  We must wait and listen !

                    .  

Monday, 4 November 2013

KEN CLARKE ACCEPTS MUSLIM VEILS ?


Seen from across the Channel in France the view of Ken Clarke, reported by "The Daily Telegraph" today, appears somewhat "out of date" !

He seems to accept Muslim veils but not in court !  In France covering the face in public with veils is no longer permitted since April 2011 !

France still has problems with hooded "would be" criminals but veils are unlawfull !

Does Britain really still admit hoods and veils which cover the head and shoulders when the person is in a public place ?  If a man having criminal intentions covers himself completely in a veil, dresses like a woman,  what chance do the police have to identify him even with the help of public cameras ?

Ideally it would be desirable that it is the EU who should standardise EU Law on this subject.  In the meantime it would perhaps serve Britain better to modernise its laws immediately ! 

                          .     

Sunday, 3 November 2013

FRANCOIS HOLLANDE: LE CHANGEMENT C'EST POUR QUAND ?

Ce fut le slogan de sa campagne : "Le changement c'est pour maintenant", clamait François Hollande.
  Dix huit mois plus tard selon un sondage Ifop /JDD  publié ce 3 novembre dans Le Journal du Dimanche, 90% des français toute tendance confondue veulent que "quelque chose change". Ils sont 43% à réclamer une nouvelle politique...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Si François Hollande était un poisson, écrivions nous le 15     juillet 2012, ce serait une anguille, celle qui vous file entre les doigts... Mais aujourd'hui François Hollande, pourtant passé maître dans l'art de l'esquive, semble bel et bien enfermé  dans la nasse.

La conférence de presse que le Président tiendra fin novembre lui permettra-t-elle d'en sortir, de rebondir et de retrouver la confiance des français ?

DML

Saturday, 2 November 2013

LACK OF PRISON PLACES = LACK OF JUSTICE !


In Britain the Justice Secretary, Chris Grayling, moans about foreign criminals and the Human Rights Acts which prevent their expulsion !  But he must also know that David Cameron wants changes in EU  legislation !  

In fact, wailing about being unable to prevent expulsions is only one small aspect of the whole problem !


Judges more than just wail when they are prevented from administering "justice" simply because there is no room in prisons !  

Local Councils, British born residents and taxpayers, are revolted to find not just foreign criminals but unwelcome foreigners competing for homes and jobs in their locality in Britain ! 

If Britain will not invest enough in purpose built prisons to deter criminals, particularly foreign criminals, and to aid and permit the Judiciary to sentence criminals in accordance with the Law, particularly habitual criminals, what can the Government expect ? 

Potential criminals are gamblers.  If there is no real deterrent in Britain, they will always try to "win" !

Chris Grayling is distraught, but inaction changes nothing. Government policy in Britain must change. When David Cameron manages to change the EU rules Britain must be ready !  Otherwise illegal immigrants will never be deterred !

                                .          

Friday, 1 November 2013

WHERE DOES "HACKING" REALLY STOP ?


The trial of Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson,  who are accused of " 'phone hacking" while at the News of the World, is widely reported in the Press.

The details of their personal relationship became public during the second day of their trial.  Further salacious details, but of "hacked" (eavesdropped) telephone conversations, also risk being revealed in court.

The real question therefore is, how far can reports in the media be allowed to go which could "incriminate" the participants of eavesdropped conversations even when they are not on trial ?

When well known or other innocent people are "flirting" is this really important news for the media ?

Should the judges in this trial not warn media reporters to abstain from at least publishing the names of innocent people ? 

                      .   

       

MARINE LE PEN : OU EST L' INDECENCE ?


Marine Le Pen s'est certes exprimée fort maladroitement à propos du retour des otages. Toute la classe politique de la droite à la gauche a immédiatement resserré les rangs pour tomber à bras raccourcis sur l'inconvenante Présidente du Front National !

Mais n'était-ce pas plus indécent encore de polémiquer, comme l'ont fait certains médias, sur le versement ou pas d'une rançon pour libérer les otages, allant même jusqu'à évoquer la volte-face du Président de la République (voir ce blog du 31 octobre)? Ceci laissant à penser que les otages auraient pu être libérés plus tôt ...

DML