J’Accuse – Christmas

Posted: December 25, 2013 in Opinion

Who ?

Not ‘who’, what, Christmas.

That seasonal Christian event beloved by children the world over ?

Seasonal, yes, the rest is a load of hogwash started by religion to gain power over the populace by usurping the pagans.

Hang on…Christians celebrate the anniversary of birth on 25th December 2000 something years ago

Well no. Firstly there’s no agreement on the year, estimates have a 6 year time span and the month and day ‘set’ 400 years later not coincidentally choosing the same date as a number of pagan festivals. It continues to this day even forgetting the 1582 switch from the Julian to Gregorian calendar.

But ‘Think of the Children‘ ! What about Santa?

Saville Santa

Jingle Jangle

That jovial figure based on a Christian martyr in turn appropriated by religion from a pagan supernatural figure associated with the midwinter event of Yule ?

Anyway it’s your parent(s), usually mummy that buys them with real money, her own, daddy’s or handouts from the state (aka Hardworking Families). The ‘Santa Tracker‘ your ankle-biters follow is just a website knocked up by the US Department of Defense as they got fed up with all the calls as a result of, yes a commercial advertisement for a department store in a newspaper, albeit with a typo. Nowadays, NORAD has become the PR wing of your friendly global spying agency, the NSA.

But the Santa I took my kids to at the local shopping centre sounded..er…not American ?

Correct. These Santas are just some blokes, and elves some young attractiveish women, from your local area, most likely dressed in costumes from some cheapskate store, wishing they weren’t there or chatting up the photographer instead of earning their minimum wage. The delightful children are much more demanding.

Er..But he’s a nice person with a white beard and flowing red cloak. What’s not to like ?

Capitalism. although first popularised in 1902 he’s been used to sell no end of tat since 1915.

Ok but it’s a time to get together and eat, drink and be merry.

Putting aside the alleged 6000 calories for ‘the day itself’ (its your fault when your child gets taken into care when they have the ‘weight’ of an adult by the time they start primary school), it’s not helping Hardworking UK businesses either where the not-so-have avail themselves of the new entrants of German stores, or food banks for the really unfortunate, and the middle class pile in to M&S for their over priced produce which if it includes alcohol, some form of pork product or want to pay by credit card and have the misfortune to be served by a Muslim, results in the customer being subjected to religious intolerance.

As for drinking merry, well it’s now as much of a test of man/woman-hod to see how much you can drink and who ends up in hospital or on the pages of the tabloids. For the women readers, in case you want to know is not your fault that you’ve become as much of a lush as men, just blame Babycham.

A time for the family ?

Nope, they’re the reason you’ve become a lush.

So Mr Scrooge, shouldn’t you just bugger off and let the rest of us get pissed, obese, and broke all by ourselves ?

Cromwell was right; even in the 17th century things were getting out of hand. These days it’s been taken over by the retailers because they know that, in spite of increasing fuel, housing and grocery costs, we all want our shiny tat made in a sweatshop in a third world country – especially at Christmas.

As for what you, dear reader do, I don’t care really; the state wants feeding so make sure you’re back earning your keep sharpish tomorrow; there’s loads of people on benefits that need fed, clothed and housed. Chop Chop.

J’Accuse – Nelson Mandela

Posted: December 13, 2013 in Opinion
Tags:

It’s all your fault, for dying that is, you Nobel Peace Prize winning, 8th wonder of the world commie terrorist. Yes I appreciate that you were 95 but still, leaving your mortal coil has caused unnecessary suffering.

First off we had our (UK) tax funded state media broadcaster clearing the decks and dispatching their 120 troops to cover your memorial. As for interrupting Mrs Browns Boys, they only had to wait 20 minutes for their main news but not that’s wasn’t enough. They not only interrupted the program but devoted the main new bulletin to how wonderful you were and ignoring the worst storms the UK had had in a while causing 2 deaths.

Look; I’m sorry Nelson Mandela is dead. It happens quite often to people in their 90s who have been very ill, even famous people, but I’m sure that doesn’t lessen the sadness for many of us. I never met the man but, on balance, I came to the conclusion that he was a force for good rather than ill. I think I came to that rather banal and broad brush conclusion twenty years ago, or maybe fifteen. So, I’m sorry he’s dead, I wish it were otherwise.

But for Christ’s sake BBC, give it a bloody break for five minutes, will you? It’s as if the poor bugger now has to bear your entire self-flagellating white post-colonial bien pensant guilt; look! Famous nice black man dies! Let’s re-run the entire history of South Africa. That’s better than watching the country we’re in being flattened by a storm.
Rod Liddle, The Spectator.

Of course any criticism of excess was put down by the great unwashed twitterati hoards

This is all of course before we got to your memorial service being overshadowed by everything that went on around the half-empty rain-soaked stadium.

Half-Empty Stadium

Starting with the star-turn Barry turning up late  and then using the occasion as a meet and greet with and old commie foe and your ex-wife before launching into a 1859 word hyperbolic eulogy written and sub-edited by the usual army of White House flunkies to cast not just you but the speaker is the best possible light

Like Gandhi, he would lead a resistance movement – a movement that at its start held little prospect of success

Conveniently forgetting your party’s (ANC) use of less than savory methods of punishment subsequently bushed under the carpet as part of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

turning his family’s heartbreak into a call to confront HIV/AIDS — that revealed the depth of his empathy and his understanding.

and that you were a denier until that tragedy.

Let’s be clear, this was not about you, people’s memory of you or your legacy but those that attended.

two leaders behaving very chummy

Obama-Castro

a former leader sidelined

blair

a wannabe leader left  feeling like a gooseberry looking at a no-hoper being chummy with an US President tainted with unproven Ugandan discussions with a 22-year-old intern.

gooseberry

and three Prime Ministers having a jolly good time, until that is their spouses get them in private.

selfie

a hypocritical tax avoider and some other celeb I’ve never heard of.

bonoandtheron

all there in the hope that the great unwashed believe their sincere thoughts whilst ignoring the guests real purpose is to get some heavenly stardust from you to land on them.

Echognomics : Debt, Deficit and Deceit

Posted: January 24, 2013 in Opinion

As if having problems with his continental cousins, Dishface Dave is also having problems with his sums. Now public finances are at the best of time a very dry and taxing subject for all concerned, some more than others.

Now before you all go to sleep, this isn’t going to be some lengthy magnus opus like An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. You don’t even need, like I have, an O Grade in Arithmetic and an understanding of log tables; yes it’s more simple than that.

The main concern with the public is the state of the economy and relating to that jobs and public services. You would like to think that the Prime Minster would be honest and say how difficult things and that we’re making progress. He does say both but the latter isn’t quite true.

All politicians lie, it’s in their nature. Just look at what any party has done and compare it to their Election Manifesto. Once you’ve put your ‘X’ in their box and they get elected that’s mostly it for the next 5 years or so until they want your ‘X’ again…please pretty please. This lie by Dishface is a biggie really.

Dave’s latest PR video proports to show that things are not as bad as they seem.

Courtesy of ‘Webcameron’ and YouTube you can see the video here:-

Did you spot the deliberate mistake ? No ? Tsk Tsk.

The first 40 seconds covers DEFICIT and we’re told

Video Still #1 Cropped

wskipgo along now to 2 minutes 10 s when Dave reappears.

He now says

So though this government’s had to make difficult decisions we are making progress. We’re paying down Britian’s debts…

A lot will probably say Debt, Defecit pfft…they’re the same innit ?

Well…no

According to the OED, debt and deficit are defined as:-

debt-definition
 

Deficit Definition

In terms of public finances, what this means is:-

Debt – The TOTAL amount owed
Deficit – The amount by which spending exceed revenue i.e. what the difference was over a fixed period, typically a year

So is the video correct ?

UK Borrowing

Data is Crown Copyright sourced from the ONS here.

Looking at the data for net monthly borrowing, Dave is correct. Net borrowing has gone down

2010 £149,103m
2011 £121,019m
2012 £101,197m

So far so good, but according the the latest forecast by the OBR, borrowing will continue for the foreseeable future (2012-2018).

And what about debts ?

UK Debt

Data is Crown Copyright sourced from the ONS here.

Well, no. We’re still borrowing (£15,232m in December 2012) so obviously our overall total debt must increase (there ain’t a load of green on the borrowing chart); we’re currently at $1,111,380m which equates to £42,098 for each of the 26.4 m householdes in the UK. The ONS and OBR predicts that the UK’s debt will rise to over £1,500,000m by 2018.

Some may say that if we all lived by the Micawber Principle

Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.

we may not all have the shiny baubles and black mirrors we all desire but at least we won’t be boke; however we’re not like that. You don’t need to be Noriaki Kano to understand that we will always place ever increasing demands on all our public services however as yet we haven’t found that ‘someone else’ to pay for it all.

The E Word

Posted: January 23, 2013 in Opinion

rafa-sanudo-cartoon-flower-petals-love-eu

And finally, the long trailed, slightly delayed, Europe speech finally gets delivered and we discover that us lucky Brits *will get a vote on staying in Europe.

*I say ‘will’ however there are some quite substantive caveats

For the uninitiated, in the event of a ‘No’ it is not as if Britain would then cut her mooring ropes to the western edge of Eurasia and, using Her Majesty’s Navy sail off to sunnier climes. No, were it that simple, especially as we seem unable cope with a few cm of crystalline precipitation.

The ‘Europe’ here is the economic and political union of 27 member states (the European Union), as opposed to EFTA, EEA, Eurozone, or Europe, the council of. Here’s a simple explanation:-

Supranational_European_Bodies
Image from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Supranational_European_Bodies.png

Of course it’s not just UK politicians that are getting exercised. Our former colonialists in North America also intervened with their opinions; which doesn’t do anything to counter Britain’s critics that she is America’s poodle in Brussels.

There are a lot of inevitably technical and detailed issues that have to be sorted out for every member of the European Union as it moves forward, but as a broad and general theme, we value a strong UK voice in a strong European Union.

…We have a growing relationship with the European Union as an institution which has a growing voice in the world – and we want to see a strong British voice in that European Union. That is in the American interest

Philip Gordon, the US assistant secretary responsible for European affairs

So what did Dishface actually say ?

In summary, this:-

Wordle: David Cameron EU Speech at Bloomberg 23-January-2013

The whole text is here if you’re suffering insomnia.

What was the reaction ?

Well, what did you expect…

The Europeans

We need Britain at the heart/in the fast lane/pick-your-own-analogy of Europe. Not that we value their opinion you understand, but for their net contribution to the coffers and their influence with the USA.

The Chinese

We have enough problems with America on its own without your help.

The Labour Party

Er…all we’re saying is that we don’t want a referendum now.

The Lib Dems

This isn’t just any European In/Out, it certainly isn’t a Lib-Dem EU In/Out vote, we tried that already. No, this is a baby-eating Tory EU In/Out hokey cokey policy. Chutzpah ? Pfft!

UKIP

This was our idea in the first place, we’ve been banging on about this for years. Secondly you’ve no chance in getting any powers handed back so just give up now and save us the wait until 2017.

Tony Blair

I tell you, I couldn’t be the official Envoy of the Quartet on the Middle East without being nice to my European colleagues and it’s been very lucrative work promoting democracy.  My chums the Kinnocks had a really good time and so did Peter [Mandelson]. We must look after future labour leaders. I’m still after the top [EU] job you know.

So what will happen come the referendum in 2017 ?

Well what Dave is after first is a renegotiation of powers as members of his party don’t like the ever-closer union among the peoples of Europe bit of the EU, first initiated, as we all know, with The Treaty of Rome.

Assuming that he get’s something, it’s likely that if he feels it’s enough two things will happen:-

  • He’ll lead the ‘Yes’ campaign, alienating some of his backbenchers who feel that either they will lose the vote or that he didn’t get enough powers repatriated or both
  • He’ll quietly or otherwise abandon the policy; he has form you know.

Either way the endpoint of his leadership has been set. Bojo are you reading this ?

It’s very unlikely that we’ll even get to a vote, assuming we can survive the next 4 years of meaningless debate, because as soon as Dave asks for something, the others will want to know what their quid pro quo is. All we’ll get is more infighting and grandstanding but on a European scale.

Additionally, the vote is contingent on Dave being PM in 2017 which, given the state of his party, the coalition and the electorate, isn’t a racing certainty at all.

Another question is who will lead the ‘No’ team. It doesn’t really matter as ‘The Establishment’ of the majority of Westminster MPs aided by the state broadcaster will just conspire to characterise them as a bunch of swivel-eyed loony little-Englanders only marginally removed from the Neanderthals in the BNP or EDL. It’ll be like 1975 all over again.

Image at top of post taken from http://e-cynical.blogspot.de/2013/01/should-i-stay-or-should-i-go.html

HMV RIP

Posted: January 15, 2013 in Opinion

Image

The news this morning is that HMV is now in administration with the potential loss of ~4,500 jobs . It joins other recently departed ‘high-street’ retailers, most recently Jessops, and has generated the usual meaningless comments from MPs and ‘celebs’.

HMV is a national institution that has been a feature of our high streets for over 90 years so this news is deeply worrying. For the sake of HMV’s employees, we hope a way can be found to keep the business going. The demise of HMV – a national institution – would be a sad loss for British retail.

Chuka Umunna MP, Labour’s shadow business secretary

Jake Humphrey HVM

Putting aside the meaningless comment that it’s a national institution (really Chukka ?), my surprise that’s its managed to last so long given what’s happened. Rising rents, business rates, vat and management inaction have all contributed to where we are now. In the eyes of many, music to listen to, as opposed to experiencing the performance, has now become a digital commodity. Hastened by the launch of iTunes and other electronic downloads, *cough* BitTorrent *cough*, consumers now prefer this as their means of getting the tracks they want and don’t need anything physical.

The purists will of course say that nothing beats vinyl, and several thousand pounds worth of kit no doubt, not including speaker cable at £11 grand a metre, however they are in a minority these days with the majority, me including, listening to music on portable, fruity or otherwise, devices.

The UK music industry is also as deluded as the HVM management given that they appear to want to buck consumer trends and still want generic music on ‘bricks and mortar’ stores. As we’ve seen with the rise of Amazon and play.com, consumers know what they want and, in general, price is the deciding factor. Despite select committees in parliament, actions by the UK Government, consumers are now dictating to the industry and retailers that they are in charge.

Laudable comments around the value of being able to touch and feel cameras, computers, CDs, DVD’s etc is irrelevant; those stores that do (or did) just became a free shop window to browse and buy elsewhere. I suspect that all that will survive will be specialist retailers targeting certain consumer groups that are not well online. There’s a local example to me that does both.

The question to other retailers that provide items that aren’t for direct consumption i.e. food, it’s a question of who is next and when; books maybe ?

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