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Saturday, 30 August 2014


In spite of all the evidence from various sources such as Satellite Observations and Eyewitness Reports with pictures, Putin systematically denies any direct intervention by Russia, or Russian troops or armaments, in Ukraine !

Either Putin is a liar or he no longer knows what is going on !  For a Head of State to be like this is serious and worrying !

The reality is that Putin is still clinging to his dream of forcing Ukraine to return to "Russian Communist Domination", whether it is by hook or by crook !

If Putin could ever conquer and recover Ukraine, would this satisfy him and his dreams ?   There are several other former satellite countries already in the European Union like Bulgaria, Poland, Romania, Hungary.... !

All these countries and others know what life was like behind the Iron Curtain before the Berlin Wall was breached in 1989 !  Ukraine was also liberated and became independent and had a taste of freedom !

Should all these former communist countries not send a strong message of support to President Poroshenko of Ukraine in his fight against Russia's support of Rebels ? He wants UN support but this will take time.  Could these former communist countries not send some armed support now ?  Russia is already actively destroying Eastern Ukraine. 

Friday, 29 August 2014


The World Cup staged in Brazil was finally a great success and FIFA and Blatter are now basking in the reflected glory !  As one says, "All is well that ends well" ! 

However, it was close to becoming a catastrophy due to the construction problems of stadiums which were not ready on time;  added to this was the Social Unrest by poor citizens who were astounded by the huge costs of staging the World Cup Finals. Additional security forces were used to contol demonstrators.

In view of this experience, has President Blatter and FIFA officially chosen "reserve" venues which could Host the 2018 and 2022 World Cup Finals if Russia and Qatar are judged to be unsuitable ?

To put it quite simply, President Putin and Russia are at present vitually at war with Ukraine.  Russia has sent troops and armaments to help the Rebels in Ukraine !  Sanctions have been imposed by Russia in reply to the sanctions imposed by the West !  The question to be answered is : "Will foreign spectators be safe in Russia in 2018 ?"

Likewise, similar questions exist with respect to the 2022 World Cup venue in Islamic Qatar.  This country financially aids other Islamic countries.  Will western visitors and spectators, men and women, be free to circulate normally there ?  Is there a possilbility that a war could break out between the West and Islamists in Irak ?

If the security of spectators cannot be guaranteed, FIFA and Blatter must adopt "replacement" venues.  Can these not be chosen from those countries which lost the vote to host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups ?

Read also in this blog:
    20/5/2014  Blatter and FIFA on a tightrope !
     4/6/2014   Will FIFA ever change ?   

Thursday, 28 August 2014


It seems that Blatter, the President of FIFA for the last 16 years (4 terms of 4 years), is now already certain of his re-election next year for a fifth term !  It is something which only he with his contacts, and as a worldwide FIFA tourist, could ensure !

Other servants of World Football, like Michel Platini, the President of UEFA, can only "wait" !  As long as the Statutes of FIFA are not revised to limit the number of terms a President can serve, nothing will change. 

If Michel Platini hopes, or expects, that his chance will come in 2019, this supposes that Blatter will resign his "sinecure" !  He may be guilty of neglecting his duties in not changing the Statutes and even profiting from this neglect, but has anyone consulted legal experts to determine what could be done ? Blatter will do nothing !

What would happen if UEFA withdrew from the next two World Cup Finals, in Russia in 2018 and in Qatar in 2022 ?


Wednesday, 27 August 2014


Il y a près de huit mois déjà, le Président de la République annonçait "le Pacte de responsabilité et de solidarité" : moins de charges sur le travail et plus d'embauches.
Le choc de simplification également annoncé devrait simplifier la vie des entreprises et faciliter l'embauche. Dans ce cadre, un nouveau principe selon lequel le silence de l'administration vaut acceptation devrait s'appliquer en novembre 2014.

En pratique, tout a été annoncé mais rien n'est encore applicable...

La simplification du Code du Travail, le relèvement des seuils qui dans les entreprises déclenchent des obligations nouvelles et sont souvent un frein à de nouvelles embauches, restent également au nombre des mesures toujours en attente...
Le changement de quelques titulaires de portefeuilles ministériels suffira-t-il à accélérer le calendrier ?
Trop de temps a déjà été perdu depuis Mai 2012 !


President Hollande and the Prime Minister Manuel Valls last night announced the composition of the second Valls Cabinet of Ministers.  There are 33 members, of which 16 are women.  

A meeting of all 33 members took place this morning at the Elysee Palace and a Vote of Confidence will be sought in the National Assembly in October.

The Cabinet includes six new faces and discussions  took longer than expected because for personal reasons some candidates refused the posts they were offered.   This reveals a certain malaise on the left of the Socialist Party after the services of the Minister for the Economy, Arnaud Montebourg, were not retained.

What are these hidden problems ?  So far only the composition of the Cabinet has been decided.   What remains to be decided can be sumarised as follows;

   -  Since early 2014 Hollande has modified his political policies and objectives with his Pact of Responsibility  which rewards the creation of new jobs in Industry.  The Socialist Left of the party is wary of this Policy.    
   -  Will this new government take into account the reasons for the set-backs in the results of the 2014 Municipal Elections and in the 2014 EU Parliamentary Elections ? Other parties are watching !
   -  How will Hollande reconcile the left wing of the Socialists and the Trade Unions with his new policies ?
   -  Will the Government make big direct investments in Capital Projects (Motorways, Housing, Railways) to reduce unemployment and get the wheels of industry turning ?
It is President Hollande who will be judged by the results of this new Government, not Valls !  He cannot blame only the EUROZONE (and Merkel's 3% principles) for the problems France is facing now, after dithering during almost two and a half years of his five year mandate at the helm !

French electors, particularly on the Left, are hurting and they are disappointed. Opinion Polls have revealed that only 17% of voters are satisfied with Hollande's performance.  They and the Trade Unionists will soon be Marching in Demonstrations if solutions to current problems are not found quickly !

Monday, 25 August 2014


After a weekend of outbursts against President Hollande and the Socialist Government led by Manuel Valls, it was quickly decided to replace the outspoken "trouble makers".   As Al Capone would have said "A team must play as a team" !

Our article yesterday stated that President Hollande was being pilloried for his disasterous conduct of French interests during the first two years of his five-year mandate.  This theme is being used by all political parties in France which are already preparing themselves for the next Presidential Elections in 2017.  There are many eager candidates to replace Hollande, convinced that they can do a much better job !

The result of the reshuffle can be expected tomorrow, Tuesday August 26, in time for the resumption next week of parliamentary sittings after the Summer recess !

One of the favourites to be axed in the reshuffle is the outspoken Arnaud  Montebourg (aged 51).  He has been in the forefront of French Politics as Minister since May 2012 and is at present the Minister of the Economy.   He was one of the beaten Candidates in the Presidential Election in 2012 and may want to stand again in 2017 !

There are others who have crossed the "yellow line" in the Socialist Coalition and everyone in France is waiting with bated breath the announcement of the new Valls Cabinet.  It is not Valls who will be judged, but President Hollande !  However, if this reshuffle does not work he may feel obliged to call a new Parliamentary Election !



"Le message de l'Ile de Sein est que les hommes et les femmes décident eux mêmes de leur avenir et du destin de leur pays."
C'est ce que vient de déclarer en substance le Président de la République dans le cadre du 70ème anniversaire de la Libération.
Aujourd'hui n'est ce pas le moment de redonner la parole aux français en dissolvant l'Assemblée Nationale afin qu'ils décident eux mêmes de la politique sociale et économique de la France ?

Sunday, 24 August 2014


Suddenly there is a scramble by would be candidates to position themselves in time for the Presidential Election in 2017 !  They come from all sides of the political spectrum.

There are two reasons for this sudden urge:

   -  Through his hesitent and disasterous leadership since his election in May 2012, Hollande has lost the confidence of Socialist voters and Unions. 

   - Several seasoned politicians now aged 60+ know that the election in 2017 will be their very last chance to become President.  There have been only 3 since 1981; Mitterand served 14 years as President, Chirac 12 and Sarkozy 5.

To be quite candid, Hollande is already doing all he can to sweeten lower paid workers but this does nothing to solve the crisis which France facing as a member of the EUROZONE.  As Prime Minister Valls has said, after the summer holidays, at the end of August, things are going to get tough !

Others go further by saying that if Hollande tries for a second term it would be a complete disaster for France and the Socialist Party !  Some members of the Socialist Coalition are already leaving the sinking ship !

Perhaps the real question for his Union sponsors is now  "Can Hollande realistically expect to win a second term ?"


Tuesday, 19 August 2014


The Eurozone reported zero growth during the second quarter of 2014.  France has reported zero growth for the first and second quarters of this year !

President Hollande has been pilloried by politicians from all parties, even by those in his Coalition Government.  Journalists and electors, even Trades Unions, are not pulling their punches with their criticisms.  The situation is worse now than a year ago.

Hollande is being held responsible for the stagnant performance by France.  Four months ago he fired his first Prime Minister with the appointment of Manuel Valls and blames the recession in the Eurozone for France's poor performance !  Critics point out that there other countries in the Eurozone which have recovered their growth after painfull reorganisations.

In spite of this Hollande and Valls intend to maintain their current economic policies !

Critics want action, in particular to reduce the ever increasing Unemployment figures which are a drain on the Government´s resources.  

What is needed ?  More investment !

   -  by the State in Capital projects,
      -  Roads and Motorways,
      -  Modernising Railways, 
   -  by Private Industry with more Government aid.

The economic fact is that when the State invests, sub-contractors are revived and employment rises.  More money is spent in shops, more revenues accrue to the State... !

If President Hollande will not change his policies, nothing will change in France !   The recession will continue, but in the end the electorate will force changes.


Monday, 18 August 2014


It seems that the majority of the 300 Russian "aid" lorries for Eastern Ukraine werre only half full when they finally arrived !

They travelled down the Russian side of the frontier with Ukraine and avoided inspection by the Red Cross or Ukrainian frontier guards.

Were these lorries full when they left Moscow ?   If they were full on leaving, where and what was unloaded en route ?

Everyone knows that Russian troops are regularly "trained" close to the frontier with Ukraine;  one also knows that Russian rebels in Ukraine have Russian armaments at their disposal !  But of course the rebels also need food to survive !

What is also clear is that Putin is still stalking the moment when "by hook or by crook" he could again snatch a part of Ukraine as he did in the case of Crimea !


Friday, 15 August 2014


The 13th Protocol of the Human Rights Act 1988 abolished the Death Penalty in all circumstances.  This in fact reflected the general thinking in the years of peace after the end  of the second World War.

Now however, the world is increasingly faced with gratuitous acts of terrorism by Isolated terrorists, by groups of terrorists, by extreme religious movements and by ISIS, the Islamic State.  They do not respect the Human Rights of citizens to live peacefully.

They never declare War but they use military weapons and never hesitate to kill in order to attain their goals.

Many people are now openly asking or demanding that the Death Penalty be re-introduced as a deterrent and punishment for Terrorists and serial killers  A frequent observation is that Courts of Law are often more favourable for Criminals than for their victims.

To provoke changes in laws which affect other countries as well, is never very easy.  However, proposing the adoption of the Death Penalty could be a vote winner !   So perhaps    the best way forward would be to harrass a local MP or the Prime Minister, particularly if an election is coming up soon !

Wednesday, 13 August 2014


There seem to be too many unresolved political and economic issues to convince the electorate to vote for Scottish Independence on September 22, 2014 !

Typical important issues which Alex Salmond needs to evaluate to convince the voters are;

   -  Scotland cannot use the Pound Sterling as its currency.  If it adopts the its old currency of the "Thistle", what will the cost effect be on current calculations ?
   -  When will the new Scottish constitution be ready ?
   -  Have all the shared costs and benefits been agreed with the UK ?
   -  Does every Scottish voter know by how much his pocket will be hit by Independence ?

Voting against Independence now does not preclude the possibility of organising another Vote in the future if life with the Southerners becomes unbearable !   Tolerance now might be better than jumping into an unknown future.


Monday, 11 August 2014


The " Islamic State" has installed itself in Iraq after acts of barbarity and not respecting any principles of war.
 Civilians have been obliged to abandon their homes and possessions where they have lived for generations.
Now refugees, they have fled to neighbouring countries hoping to save their lives.

In the name of Islam,  these extremist Musulman want to introduce charia laws by using advanced  military weapons.

The USA has moved quickly and unexpectedly ( without setting foot in Iraq) by bombing selected  arsenals and parachuting food and medecine to refugees in dessert areas wih temperature of more than 40 degrees and where there is no water!

When will the  EU ( including Germany) and UNO follow the example of  the USA. The Kurds in Iraq want weapons to defend themselves and to attack the barbarous, extreme Islamists.

The " Islamic State " does not respect Human Rights,but like all terrorists will claim their rights if they need help! Is this acceptable?

Finally one must understand that terrorists like these can only be stopped  with all-out military action.


Thursday, 7 August 2014


Is Israel at fault for bombarding tunnels secretly built by Palestinians? Are they not right to defend themselves ?
Are Palestine Muslims at fault for hating Israel for the bombings?
Or are Muslim Extremists fighting a war in Gaza like in other countries to impose a Muslim Extremist State and Charia law ?

So who is really at fault ? Is it not all the international Organisations with very talkative Diplomats, representing all the countries and their leaders, who do nothing individually to declare outright war on Hamas and similar extremist Muslim Organisations?

Should the United Nations Organisation not stop talking but "act "?

Should extremist Muslims who kill not lose their Human Rights protection?
Hamas is fighting a "bloody war" , not preaching acceptable Islamic principles!


Monday, 4 August 2014


When the present Statutes of FIFA are modified after a carefull study by Professional "business" Consultants free to interview key people in football or elsewhere, even the corruption in FIFA could be eliminated.

Sepp Blatter, the President of FIFA for the last 16 years, has investigated the corruption in FIFA ;  currently the Ethics Committee is preparing its Report on the same subject.  For months anyone interested in football is already convinced that there was some corruption !

What everyone wants now is "ACTION" !    

Sepp Blatter has been President for four terms of four years and now at the ripe old age of 78 still wants to serve another term !  Alas, nothing in the Statutes prevents him from standing for another election to again become the next President, if he is elected !  This is because he has done nothing to change the Statutes !

Gary Lineker lamented the current inaction in a BBC interview.   There are many others as well who would like to help, participate in a reorganisation of FIFA !

Instead of electing a new (or old !) President of FIFA, it would seem a 3 or 5 man Steering Committee to work with the Professional Outside Consultants would perhaps be a more practical solution to move forward.  

There are perhaps better ideas, but who could get something going ?

There is just this one little problem.  Will Football kill Blatter, or will Blatter kill Football ?  No one really wants to go to a funeral, do they ?


Sunday, 3 August 2014


It would seem that the Commonwealth Games at present being held in Glasgow, Scotland, do not get the coverage in the international press which it merits.  One can cite the French Sports Paper "L'EQUIPE" which has consecrated just 10 centimeters of one back page column to a report on the Games yesterday.

The Games are due to close to-day, Sunday August 3, 2014 and the closing Ceremony is due to be televised in 71 Commonwealth Nations and Territories.  The Medals table indicates that 37 participating Members of the Commonwealth have won at least one Medal.

Leading, well known sportsmen and women from all over the world are competing and the next Games will be held in 2018 in Queensland, Australia !  This is no small Sporting Event ! 


Saturday, 2 August 2014


All Professional Accountants, in Britain or elsewhere, have encountered the problems which have driven John Vine to resign his post as Chief Inspector of Immigration and Border Controls in Great Britain.

Identifying the weaknesses in systems and procedures  is the first step.  Then reports generally suggest the solutions required and the financial cost or savings of implementing recommendations.

Audit Reports or Operational Reports, are then frequently mislaid, forgotten or buried !   Why ?  The real problem is "who is at fault ?" and "who will get the credit for correcting something ?", which should have been corrected long ago !  Will someone get the sack ?

Whether this is at Ministerial Government level, or at the top level in Companies or Groups, this becomes a very thorny and political issue.  Everyone wants the credit for improving controls, no one wants to hear that the solution should have been introduced a long time ago !

From reports in the Press, John Vine has done a remarkable and competent job in a difficult area.  One can only hope that his next assignment will yield more straight forward, no nonsense reports !



This very weekend, when millions in France are either coming back from, or leaving for, their annual summer holidays, the Prime Minister Manuel Valls "leaks" in a speech that the next unemployment figures will be bad and that tough times are ahead ! 

The expected upswing in trade has not materialised in the EU or in France.  Official figures are expected on August 14, 2014. The timing of this bad news, since most Politicians are now away from their desks, means one can only speculate on the financial consequences with which "holiday makers" will be confronted in September 2014 !

However, there are other purely French problems which explain that President Holland fettered and cannot do what is expected and needed.  Trade Unions hold the Whip.  They never yield when it means modernising old habits that would make work a harder or less profitable task, even if France afterwards could become more competitive worldwide.

Where has President Hollande failed ?

   -  He has failed to control Trade Unions,
   -  He has not streamlined the Civil Service,
   -  He has not made massive State Investments, to galvanise industries and sub-contractors,   
   -  Trade Unions accuse him of favouring only   private industries. 
   -  Can he now still tax the Middle Classes even more  for the benefit of the deprived Lower Classes ? 

The alternatives facing President Hollande are;

   -  France risks infringing the Golden Rules of the EU and the EUROZONE by increasing borrowings,
   -  Increasing taxes and/or cutting benefits to cover current shortfalls in State revenues could quickly lead to Social Unrest !

There is one hidden upside for the Socialists in this ongoing saga.  The Opposition is in a state of complete confusion.  All possible "Leaders" are fighting to position themselves for the next Presidential Elections !  Younger unblemished candidates are watching and holding themselves back !