Archive for August, 2015

Scottish Independence: Brown’s Warning

Monday, August 31st, 2015

Gordon Brown, who many credit for saving the Union, now warns that it is again in peril. He sights various details to do with tax powers and votes for English MPs on English issues. He may well be right to warn, but the risk is deeper than the detail. It is about a cultural and political gap opening up between a largely Tory England and Scotland whose politics and social anchor has always been to the left. Scotland has always seen value in collective endeavour  and the value of community in the social structure. Its clan system is founded in these notions. England places its faith in the primacy of the individual. These differences pull the two nations apart more than the ramifications of policy or governance. The more hostile England becomes to the EU, the more the Scots value it. England is determined to keep Trident. Scotland, which hosts it, wants it gone. England pursues austerity as a valid political philosophy; Scotland rejects it.

There is no doubt that the independence issue was not resolved with any finality by the referendum. It is not yet clear if there will be another or when or indeed what would trigger a demand for another try. We can be sure that a vote to leave the EU would be a game changer. But so might the revival of a Labour party with its roots to the left. Time will tell.

How To Print Money: Download .99p Paperback £2.99

Monday, August 31st, 2015

An idea to stimulate economic growth without further government borrowing. Written in plain English and very easy to follow, this is the only really fresh approach out there to the intractable problems of the UK economy, and it is just beginning to be noticed in important places. Buy! Download only .99p Paperback £2.99Product Details

Kindle or Paperback  UK        US           

Tony Blair Misses The Point

Sunday, August 30th, 2015

Tony Blair has once again intervened to tell Labour voters not to vote for Corbyn. Many think that each Blair intervention is worth a few thousand more votes for Corbyn. We shall see. There are a few things that Tony does not understand.

The first is that New Labour is a busted flush with a shattered reputation which walked away from Labour’s roots. In Scotland it suffered an electoral wipe out. In England it has lost between four and five million working class votes. The Tories have moved back to the centre and positioned themselves slightly to the left. The difference between them and New Labour is about arguments at the margin which ordinary people cannot distinguish. It is also the case that the Tories have now restored their reputation for competent government and reliable economics.

The second is that the Labour leadership election is not about winning in 2020. It is about reclaiming the Labour Party as the champion of the ordinary people, the working class or whatever, who look for a voice to challenge the power of capital over their lives. They want a Labour party which will restore  balance with the interests of millions who work in all manner of jobs which will never make them rich, but without whose daily effort the civilised structure of the nation would collapse. That is why the Labour Movement was formed and why it is now becoming re-energised. Once it is, it will doubtless work out how to win and when it does it will not betray its people in the way Tony and his spin doctor cronies did.

There is nothing which connects the public school educated, fortune hunting Blair with any of this. His spell as a peace envoy in the Middle East has seen the inauguration of violence and chaos on an unprecedented scale and his emergence as a global celebrity brand who has amassed a personal fortune estimated at £60 million since leaving Downing Street, while ordinary folk have struggled through the privations of austerity, underscore his utter disconnection with the realities of the hour.

Book Of The Hour: Paperback or Download

Saturday, August 29th, 2015

Set in the mid nineteen nineties, this fast moving thriller lifts the curtain on sex, sleaze and corruption in high places as the long reign of the government totters to an end, following the ousting of the iconic Margaret Thatcher. The novel catches the mood of those times with a host of fictional characters who engage in political intrigue, sex, money laundering and murder, pursued by an Irish investigative journalist and his girlfriend, the daughter of a cabinet minister found dead in a hotel room after bondage sex.


House Of Lords: In Disrepute

Saturday, August 29th, 2015

This blog is shocked, as are many people, by the tawdry list of rejects, toadies and worse who have been elevated to the Upper House of Parliament, of a country which likes to think of itself as a democracy. At one time the only route in was through birth. That was hardly fair and certainly not democratic, but in a perverse way it was honourable. Later appointments of life peers were introduced to modernize the second chamber of Britain’s parliamentary democracy, which itself remained detached from any connection to any process of election. Those early appointments were by and large on merit. Now the whole thing is out of control. It is stuffed with goodness knows whom, chosen for party loyalties, wealth or notoriety and has become the largest government assembly in the world, outside communist China. Nobody of true merit is appointed because any such people would refuse the offer.

It should be shut down and replaced with an elected UK parliament to act as a revising chamber for each of the national parliaments. Until it does or is democratised in some way, this country’s claim to be democratically governed is at best an exaggeration and at worst fraudulent.

Value Thrillers : Downloads 99p Paperbacks from £4.99

Wednesday, August 26th, 2015

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   Hess Enigma: A Novel Whilloe's First Case

Satan's Disciple     The Hastings Option: Romantic Mystery

Labour: On The Edge

Wednesday, August 26th, 2015

History will judge Ed Milliband less harshly than his contemporaries. He kept the party united while edging it away from the vague nostrums of New Labour, but a failure to articulate a coherent and radical economic policy was fatal, especially in Scotland. His loyalty to Ed Balls cost Labour the election and Balls his seat. But the biggest mistake of all was for Milliband to resign when he did. For now we have a Labour party making a spectacle of itself; or put more precisely we have New Labour seeing that its time is up, determined to bring all of Labour down with it.

The idea of throwing voting in the election of leader open to anyone who wishes to take part was an inspired arrempt to extend the party’s reach and appeal and to reconnect it with the voters who had turned from it in despair. Inevitably there will be spoilers who think they can skew the result and nutters who register their pets to vote. So what? The only requirement should have been for the voter to be on the electoral register. The reports that tens of thousands are being rejected for no good reason, many lifelong Labour supporters, others new converts, in the drive to weed out a mythical army of Tory activists and a few dozen goldfish and lamas shows a shocking immaturity among those running the vetting process.

It was a feature of New Labour that everything was controlled from the centre and spun in advance. Even the Cabinet was lied to and hoodwinked. It is to be hoped that the outcome of the election will be decisive and final and that adherents to one of  the most cynical and incompetent political themes in British political history will be driven out. If not the trade unions, who founded the Labour Movement and have funded it from the beginning, might have to start over again from scratch.

Air Disaster In Sussex

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015

It is right that the authorities have grounded the Hawker Hunters of the type which crashed at Shoreham. It is also right that they have imposed strict limitations on high stress manoeuvres by old jets at air displays. Everyone loves to see vintage planes (and cars) but this should involve only minimal risk. Since the terrible accident when the DH110 broke up over Farnborough in the fifties, air shows have achieved an enviable safety record. Indeed the latest tragedy is the worst since then.

Nevertheless accidents do occur, one quite recently at an event organised by Chris Evans. Sadly the pilot lost his life, but no spectators were hurt. At Shoreham spectators once again escaped but the terrible death toll was from innocent passers by on an adjacent main road. This makes the whole thing many times more shocking. Spectators at flying display acknowledge a degree of risk by being there, however theoretical. Innocent motorists going about their business are another matter, making this disaster all the more poignant. They were not part of the risk and they lost their lives because the risk which did exist was badly misjudged. A re-think is certainly called for. It is owed to the many families left grieving for loved ones.

Printing Money: How It’s Done

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015

An idea to stimulate economic growth without further government borrowing. Written in plain English and very easy to follow, this is the only really fresh approach out there to the intractable problems of the UK economy, and it is just beginning to be noticed in important places. Buy! Download only .99p Paperback £2.99Product Details

Kindle or Paperback  UK        US           

Global Debt

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015

The problems in China which are causing so much anxiety in the markets are on the face of it about an economic slowdown in the world’s fastest growing economy which has powered global expansion since not long after the end of the Cold War. It is indeed the case that China has built its strength on becoming the workshop to the world, pouring out vast amounts of  goods dirt cheap for consumption by the developed economies. China has been the engine which has driven global expansion and could be said to be the engine of what has become known as globalisation. It had been expected that China would start to evolve the next stage of its economic development, home consumption, to alleviate local poverty, expand the middle class and increase living standards for its vast multitudes. Here lay rich opportunities for Western business. Suddenly all that is on hold.

Equally suddenly the global outlook becomes uncertain. Markets take fright. The situation is made much worse by the fact that the Chinese authorities escaped the effects of 2007 by funding first a property boom and then a share boom with debt. That has caused assets to inflate way above their true worth and they now have to fall back to whatever that level is. It will be less than the money borrowed to inflate them. That means losses to the lenders and a chain reaction we all know so well. What is not clear to anyone is just now is how much this is a problem for China and how much will spill across the world. Emerging markets are already slowing.

There is a deeper problem. Too much of globalisation has been powered by debt and too little by real money measuring real wealth. Put in a nutshell the world economy has too much debt and too little money. Watch this space.