Remove 8 zeros from the US national figures and show it as a household budget.
• Annual family income: $21,700
• Money the family spent: $38,200
• New debt on the credit card: $16,500
• Outstanding balance on the credit card: $142,710
• Total budget cuts: $385
Here is the UK equivalent for 2011 (taking off 7 zeros)
Family income: £54,800 (including £25,300 of income tax and NI)
Family spending: £64,800
Credit card balance at start of year: £90,900
Interest on the balance: £4,300
Total amount added to the credit card: £14,300
Total planned budget cuts: £5,000
It all started on September 11 2001 when in audacious simultaneous raids the al Qaeda fundamentalist Islamic terrorist group killed nearly three thousand innocent people. Against this you would not think that there could be a disproportionate response, but Bush and Blair managed it with the invasion and occupation of two countries with the loss of over half a million innocent lives there. But the attitude of the Western media and politicians seems to be that the life of a farmer in Afghanistan is somehow less valuable than the life of a financial sector worker in New York. So the 200 to 1 innocent death ratio doesn’t get reported.
We are supposed, as part of our national mantra, to support our armed forces no matter what they do. They lay down their lives to serve us. This jingoism is conveniently used to hide the reality of our involvement in these two countries. All the rhetoric is about our brave boys and so any questioning of the politics is seen as being treasonable. Which is a pity in a democracy where politicians and their decisions should be held up to scrutiny. Every Prime Minister’s Question Time the various political leaders pay their respects to the latest of our brave military to give their lives in the service of the Queen. When what they should be doing is bringing them home so they don’t get killed.
So why are we in Afghanistan? The government we helped to remove, the Taliban, were in power as a direct result of the actions of our friends, the Americans, meddling in Afghani affairs, because it had a Soviet sponsored government. The Americans (and Saudis) spent $40 billion training and arming the Islamic groups there. So today we are reaping what we have sown. Americans (and Brits) are being killed by people we have armed and trained. Do taxpayers realise that our hard earned money is spent like this?
We are in Afghanistan, ostensibly, to get rid of al Qaeda. There are two problems to this supposition. Firstly why invade and occupy a whole country to get to a few hundred people? Surely there had to be a cheaper and better way? And secondly the al Qaeda just hopped over the border to Pakistan, where they were welcomed. The fact is that India and Pakistan both see Afghanistan as a convenient battleground for a proxy war between these two regional nuclear super powers. And al Qaeda are on the Pakistani side. So, once again, why are we in Afghanistan?
So, just as in Iraq, we are told that the Taliban were a nasty regime who treated their women as chattel and didn’t allow Western culture like Coca Cola and Lady Gaga. But since their downfall things have become a whole lot nastier. The opium industry has flourished, corruption is massive beyond belief and huge numbers of innocent people are meeting violent deaths. This is a country where being a policeman means setting up a road block to extort money to buy drugs with and where many associated with the ruling elite live in new palaces paid for by Western taxpayers. So what are we achieving in Afghanistan?
Which brings us to the Taliban as freedom fighters. They are trying to rid their country of the infidel crusader invaders and the immensely corrupt regime in Kabul. And the fact is that many of us put in exactly the same position would do exactly the same thing. What if London and New York had been taken over by Afghani Mujahideen who tried to impose their world view on us?
The BBC is what is known as a public service broadcaster and it is paid for by a hypothecated tax, the license fee. The principle behind this were laid down by Lord Reith and they became the BBC charter. Two principle aims of which are sustaining citizenship and civil society and promoting education and learning.
But the reality is that the BBC tries to compete against commercial television for viewing figures and in doing so it puts out pure populist rubbish like the soap opera East Enders, which was designed to compete against Coronation street. This soap opera contains very high levels of immorality and lawlessness and in doing so serve as a role model for the rest of society, the exact opposite of what the BBC should be doing as a public service broadcaster.
In addition the BBC has employed foul mouthed presenters like Jonathan Ross who think that it is OK swear on air and the BBC seem to have almost encouraged this culture of profanity, despite the fact that profanity is inversely proportional to education. So once again they are letting us down as a public service broadcaster. Lord Reith must be spinning in his grave.
And the BBC have almost unbelievable power, more than the state broadcasters in many dictatorships. The BBC have several television channels BBC 1 to 4, BBC News, BBC Parliament, BBC World News and two children’s TV channels (that is 9 channels). They have national radio channels, BBC Radios 1 to 7 and lots of local radio stations. Then there is BBC online, Europe’s most popular content-based web site. In fact the BBC is the largest broadcast news gathering operation in the world.
An additional BBC problem is that all the power resides with a left wing, liberal, university educated metropolitan elite who are totally unrepresentative of the broader population of the country.
So when we have a major breakdown in public morality, such as happened in the riots it is impossible for the BBC to not take some of the blame. Their power on public conciousness and morality is so great. If the BBC promoted the virtues of moral behaviour, nuclear families, abiding by the law, self improvement and hard work as they should then we would have a far better country. We live in a country where most people don’t even know the basics of nutrition and a healthy lifestyle, which the BBC do little about. My GigaLiving book will help correct this if people read it.
There are many problems with the BBC, it is broken and it needs fixing. It sits at the centre of national life yet it propagates views and lifestyles that are not in the best interests of society.
This is interesting. Gaddafi makes regular spoken pronouncements, there was one yesterday, but hasn’t been seen in a very long time. So the reality is that he could be anywhere in the world. However everywhere he goes he leaves an electronic footprint and there are people in the world who are experts at following such footprints. Just look at how Osama bin Laden was detected.
Gaddafi has a problem in that there is an arrest warrant out for him issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) which limits his freedom of movement. Another problem is the need to look after his large family, which limits his mobility. But there are rumours that he removed a substantial lump of gold from the central bank to pay his way with. So where is he? Here are some options:
Already abroad. Venezuela, Zimbabwe and Algeria have been mentioned as possible destinations, countries that might not do the bidding of the ICC.
Still in one of the pockets of loyalist held buildings in Tripoli, maybe using a mosque or a school as cover.
He moved a while ago to Sirte, his home city, which is being very strongly defended by loyalists and which NATO is still hitting from the air. Once again he would hide, either in a bunker complex or in somewhere innocuous.
He is out in the desert. There is a lot of it, most of which is in nobody’s hands. He always put up the image of a nomad living in a tent. But it would be impossible to remain hidden for long.
He is already dead and his body hasn’t been found or it has been found but not identified.
Of course the £1.5 million bounty is bound to exert considerable power on those who know where he is. And there are certain gentlemen who know the pubs of Hereford well who might be looking for him. So we could get news today, or he could go under the radar for years. Anything is possible.
So Nick Clegg had blue paint thrown at him in Glasgow by an utter idiot, reported as allegedly being Stuart Rodger, who had filled an empty hen’s egg with the paint. You would wonder what went wrong with this plonkers education and parenting when he thinks that it is acceptable to attack another person.
He doesn’t seem to realise that we live in a representative democracy which gives him many routes to express his political views. He can vote in a myriad of different elections from parish level right the way up to Europe. If that isn’t enough then there are countless opportunities to engage in debate with elected politicians. Then if that isn’t enough he could become a party activist or even put himself up for election to see if other people democratically support his views. And of course he always has the option of writing a political blog.
The fact that this idiot chose blue paint presumably was something to do with Nick Clegg’s activities within the coalition. Here the paint thrower was just being outstandingly stupid. The British people democratically elected a stalemate. Clegg had no option but to form a coalition with the party that won the most seats because this is what the results showed was wanted and needed. Any and every such coalition involves compromises being made by the parties involved. The net result is a Conservative government (they won far more seats of the two partners) with very strong Liberal Democrat input.
The Liberal Democrats have brought a huge amount of influence to this coalition, out of all proportion to the number of seats that they won, this is because they hold the balance of power. So Nick Clegg has done a brilliant job for the party in having its political philosophy implemented. This is the first national taste of power and influence for the Liberal Democrats and Clegg is handling it very well indeed.
What did the idiot paint thrower want? For Clegg to not make a coalition with the Conservatives and so not do what had been voted for? Or to form a very weak coalition with the minority Labour party who were totally discredited and politically bankrupt? Either of these options would not have given the Liberal Democrats the power and influence that they now enjoy and would have been bad for the country.
The Notting Hill carnival is the biggest street festival in Europe and the second biggest in the world with up to 2 million people taking part. It has taken place annually since 1964 and takes place in areas of London where social deprivation and gentrification sit side by side. It is famous for its crime with murders and shootings as well as large scale riots. There are very high levels of muggings and other crimes against the person at, and in the vicinity of, the event. It is not a place to go wearing a Rolex watch.
1) The police, stung by the criticism of their former ineptitude get themselves properly organised and bus in big reinforcements from other forces. They adopt a zero tolerance policy and re-establish not only control of the streets but their reputation for keeping London relatively safe. With such a high proportion of the regular street criminals locked up the job is made one whole lot easier. When problems do occur the police use it as good reason to lock up even more street criminals.
2) The gangs and street criminals, though depleted in numbers, see the carnival as a good venue for the next phase in their war against society, get themselves organised on the social media, run amok and take on the police. Very many people who are not criminals but who feel in some way disenfranchised and who see the police as the enemy join in. Maybe firearms are used. We have a massive street battle. Large areas are laid waste. Britain veers sharply to the political right.
3) British common sense prevails and the carnival proceeds as normal with a little less crime because of the larger police presence and the absence of so many of the recidivist, sociopathic, criminal underclass.
My betting is that there will be some trouble as people react badly to strict policing. But with both sides “tooled up” let’s hope there isn’t contagion in the crowd. It could make the riots earlier this month look like a tea party.
Through the 1970s and 1980s in Great Britain we had an even nastier kind of socialism than usual (which takes some doing) called Militant Tendency. They were so bad and nasty that nobody in their right mind would vote for them, so they became a part of the Labour party, where their aims, aspirations, ambitions and policies could be hidden from public view whilst being advanced surreptitiously. They were like a small parasite trying to take over a bigger organism for their own benefits. In politics this is called entryism. It took a long time for the Labour leadership to grow big enough balls to kick Militant out, even though they clearly broke party rules. But eventually they did, before the parasite destroyed them.
Zoom forward around 40 years and we have a similar phenomenon, this time on the right and in America, it is called the Tea Party and it is a more right wing version of the Republican party that is using the party to advance its own agenda.
The United States of America has a fundamental problem. The last two presidents, Bush and Obama, have been abysmal and have spent immense, almost unbelievable, amounts of money that the country simply doesn’t have. With no thought to how it will ever be paid off. They only got away with this profligacy because the dollar is the world’s reserve currency so there is a big queue to buy American bonds.
America grew to be great by implementing libertarian policies with low spending, low tax government. Now they have a total muddle with high spending, low tax government and it quite simple cannot go on. America needs to cut back the size of the state, massively increase taxation, or some combination of the two. We know from looking at the rest of the world that cutting back the state works best, but it is difficult to get the state to realise this, they mostly don’t want to cut themselves back, no matter how inappropriate their spending is. They always want to spend more, just look at what Gordon Brown did.
The Tea Party movement is a grassroots, populist movement within the Republican party that seeks to achieve this return to libertarianism and their “Contract from America” contains the sensible policies needed to fix the vast economic problems that they have:
Identify constitutionality of every new law
Reject emissions trading
Demand a balanced federal budget
Simplify the tax system
Audit federal government agencies for waste and constitutionality
Limit annual growth in federal spending
Repeal the healthcare legislation passed on March 23, 2010
Pass an ‘All-of-the-Above’ Energy Policy
It is a pity we don’t have a Tea Party in the UK, these are the kinds of policies we need to sweep away the evils of socialism that are embedded in our society and which cause us an immense number of social and financial problems. The recent riots, for example.
But the Tea Party has a problem. Whilst it is practising entryism on the Republican party there are some who are practising entryism on the Tea party. And what these people are doing is bible bashing. They are people who actually believe in an all powerful divine being, that are religious fundamentalists who want to impose their views on everyone else. And they are very socially illiberal. They don’t even like the knowledge of the science of evolution being taught, never mind homosexuality, the use of recreational drugs or a woman’s right to abortion. In other words they are not the sort of person that the world wants or needs to have with any sort of power in society. We have seen the effect of similar nutters running Iran.
Which makes the Tea Party a bit of a curates egg. Economically they are bang on the nail and are proposing exactly what is needed. But the illiberal Christian fundamentalist nutters who they are carrying along with them as fellow travellers are not the sort of person that any educated person wants to see anywhere near power.
The Arab League is an organisation whose 22 members are mainly the artificial states set up when the Ottoman empire collapsed in 1918 at the end of WW1. These states were power vacuums and mostly ended up being military dictatorships, pseudo-democracies and theocracies. As a result they were very badly run which held their development back and severely disadvantaged hundreds of millions of people. So at the beginning of the Arab Spring only a couple of these countries could be considered to be anything approaching a true democracy.
If Libya, Egypt, Tunisia and Syria all end up as representative democracies (a very big if) then it will be a significant change for the better for tens of millions of people. But still the vast majority of Arab League citizens will be in non democratic countries, deprived of their basic human rights.
So really the job has just begun, there are still more than a dozen Arab League countries that need fixing. To that can be added all the other states in the world that are not democratic. Like Russia, China, Myanmar and most of Africa. The good thing is that the people in these countries can now hold up Libya, Egypt and Tunisia as examples of what is possible, which must make a lot of dictators very nervous indeed.
There is quite a big fashion now for chavs to own a Staffordshire bull terrier. As if owning a dog known for its aggressiveness will make up for their own inadequacies. Before they made the even more aggressive American pit bull terriers illegal there was much interbreeding so many of these dogs are mongrels of both varieties of terrier and the authorities don’t have the resources to genetically test them all.
A walk I regularly take passes near some social housing and I regularly see these dogs taking their owners out for a walk. There is always dog poo on the ground, in an area where children play, because these people don’t have the moral compass to take responsibility for their own actions. The council put up a couple of dog poo bins but these were promptly vandalised, as you would expect from these people.
The amazing thing is that the dog owners are not held responsible when their dogs attack people. The British law just holds the dog responsible, which is plainly wrong, especially when the owners of these dogs typically take responsibility for nothing in their lives, they were bought up under socialism where everything is always someone else’s fault. It wouldn’t be surprising to see the BBC and the Guardian blaming the bankers for the dog attacks, they blame them for everything else.
What we need is much stricter control of dog ownership with every dog chipped and licensed to an individual owner who pays a realistic annual license fee. And everything that a dog does wrong should be the fault of the owner with criminal proceedings taken against them when appropriate. And if an owner gets caught twice not picking up the poo the dog should be put down and the owner banned from buying another one for life.
As discussed many times before on the blog the creation of the Euro (the world’s biggest currency) allowed counties to behave differently than when they had their own currencies. It gave them a higher credit rating so they could borrow more easily and at lower interest rates. To prevent excesses there was the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP) that limited each country to an annual budget deficit no higher than 3% of GDP and a national debt lower than 60% of GDP (oh how they wish these were the case now). With punitive penalties for breaking this. France then did break it and wasn’t punished which opened the floodgates for very badly managed countries to spend, spend, spend (much as Gordon Brown also did in the UK). Presumably with the assumption that ultimately the other member states of the Euro would bail them out.
The IMF has come up with some bail outs, the European Financial Stabilisation Mechanism (EFSM) and the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) were set up but they were always too little too late. But the reality is that if the seven countries listed above start falling successively into default then all the money in the world won’t stop it. The debts are just unsupportable.
For a country going into default isn’t the end of the world. Those that have done it in recent times like Russia and Argentina have come out of it with far better and far stronger economies. It just hurts a lot at the time and that hurt is also felt by everyone who has lent to that country.
If the Euro countries had any sense they would have a simple rule that if any country defaults then it gets kicked out. This would work in so many ways to prevent problems and to handle them when they occur. But the EU politicians are doing the exact opposite, they are trying to keep everyone in, no matter what the cost. But it is something they may well not be able to afford or be allowed to pay for by their voters.
Meanwhile the market would probably like to see Eurobonds as the answer, borrowing jointly and severally guaranteed by all the Eurozone members. This would be fun with Greece going back to spend, spend spend with other people’s money.
So now the people who rioted and looted are going through the courts and are receiving mainly custodial sentences which are of varying lengths in proportion to their crimes. These sentences are obviously far higher than if the crimes had been committed in isolation. This is because they were committed in a riot where an anarchic group tried to take control of the streets away from the government and in doing so there was a total breakdown in the rule of law. They were committing crimes against the state.
People who tried to incite the riots online but who took no physical part in them are maybe even more guilty. They were inciting the riots to happen and they were conspirators in the whole criminality. If this sort of behaviour was allowed to run unchecked we would pretty quickly have no law and order. Society as a whole now knows that you just can’t say anything you feel like to online audiences. People must take responsibility for the consequences of their actions.
The sentences being handed out are very similar to those handed out for previous similar civil disturbances, such as the Bradford riots. And it is worth noting that in Britain in living memory rioting looters were shot. Also the sentences are fully supported by the vast majority of the fair minded, law abiding population.
The number of actual rioters (not opportunistic looters) was very small, just in the low hundreds nationwide. Most of these people were recidivist street criminals who were already well known to the police. Locking them all up in one go will make the streets of Britain a lot safer for the decent law abiding majority. For the courts this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to make a significant improvement to many deprived city areas around Britain. By removing one of the biggest problems they are making life a lot better for tens of thousands of people who suffer from the behaviour of this feral low life.
Let’s hope that the government is bold enouigh to implement long term reforms so that when the scum get out of prison they cannot continue their former activities.
Soya Keaveney publicity photograph when she was 12
So Soya Keaveney is 15 and is heavily pregnant. Her unemployed single mother says: “Once the new baby comes the council will have to find us a place with four or five bedrooms.” Where is the morality of these people? They contribute nothing to our society and live in a dependency culture where hard paying tax payers support their feckless and dissolute behaviour. It is because our country tolerates this that we had the riots.
Soya’s boyfriend, Jake Gray, is 17 and has quite plainly broken the law of the land. Why isn’t he being prosecuted? There is no fear of the law here when they splash their story all over the Sun newspaper. They know that the police will not be interested in their law breaking. And so it is for very many youths across the country, they blatantly and flagrantly break the law without any fear of the consequences.
The family have a history of seeking publicity. This is a part of the horrendous Big Brother mentality where people think that publicity alone will bring them fortune. People want to be the next Jade Goody and become rich without working. This is a sad indictment of what has gone wrong with the socialist welfare state mentality. Why study and get qualifications when you can become rich just by being in the papers? And if that fails the state will still pay for everything. Those suckers who work hard don’t mind paying half of what they earn in taxes to keep dependency culture parasites housed and fed.
The only way to fix this horrendous problem is to bring discipline back to our society. From politicians, from parents, from teachers and from police who actually apply the law.