Ed Balls doesn’t understand basic economics

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In my industry, which is video games, large numbers of technical staff (who UK taxpayers had paid to educate) left to work in Canada and pay their taxes there. This was because our then Labour government thought that this industry was irrelevant whilst the Canadian government realised how economically important it is. The game industry is bigger than the TV or Film industries, which the Labour government did support like crazy and which did do well here.

We live in a world where labour and capital are very highly mobile. Both can switch country overnight and will do so given good reason. So for the UK to prosper we need to give labour and capital very good reason to be here. And with the current government we are succeeding, just four years ago our economy was trashed, now it is creating more jobs than the rest of Europe put together.

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Let’s look at France, who are currently burdened with the awful socialist government of François Gérard Georges Nicolas Hollande. They believe that envy should be a government policy, that successful people who have generated wealth for themselves should be punished. Work hard and earn well in France and you pay 66% tax, with your employer being forced to top this up to 75%. So the wealth creators have voted with their feet and left the country. London is now the sixth largest French city, 50% of young French people want to emigrate, their prospects are so bleak. This is the evil of socialist dogma in action. And this is what Ed Miliband and Ed Balls want to bring here.

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UKIP talk about British jobs for British people, but this really is dogma for the hard of thinking. We are, for instance, desperately short of engineers. At ARM in Cambridge, at Jaguar Land Rover in Coventry, at Dyson in Wiltshire. So we are importing large numbers of them from all over the world to work here, add to our economy and pay our taxes. Does Nigel Farage think that our badly educated feckless dependency underclass are capable of doing these jobs? Remember that 20% of British adults are functionally illiterate and 40% are innumerate. Perhaps the best thing that we could do would be to replace our teaching “profession” with immigrants.

The British problem here isn’t immigrants. It is a massively over generous benefits system that encourages British people not to work and encourages a small number of foreigners to come and live here as parasites. This creates a bad press because the vast majority of immigrants come to Britain to build a life, to work hard, to pay taxes and to become a part of British society. We are lucky to have them here.

The two most important things in a modern economy are profit and productivity. Maximise both and the country becomes a better place for everyone. It is no surprise that our awful trade unions, who have trashed our economy so many times and cost the jobs of millions, hate both these concepts.

Red Robbo

Profit is the reward for looking after customers. For providing people with the goods and services that they want. Profit is the generation of wealth that pays for new jobs and for investment. When I was young a doctor or architect had a lower standard of living than a bus driver or shop assistant has today. This immense improvement in life quality has been paid for by profits earned by British businesses. You might say that you work in the NHS or Police service, so what do profits matter to you? Well it is other people’s profits that pay your wages. Profit is the oxygen of our economy without which nothing else is possible.

Productivity is the amount of work that a person gets done. The history of human advancement since the beginning of the industrial revolution had been the relentless increase in productivity. It is only by our society making more stuff that the people in it can have more stuff. Our Luddite trade unions don’t understand this simple truth and seek to have less work done by more people, inflicting vast economic damage and harming everyone in the country. The Chinese do understand productivity, creating ever more goods as efficiently as possible, often growing their economy at 20% per annum. Putting many unproductive union bound British manufacturers out of business. And the Chinese people are benefiting like crazy, already the average Chinese apartment has a far bigger floor area than the average British house.

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Just now the trade unions in Britain are campaigning for everyone to be paid more money. Without earning it. They want us to have the rewards of increased productivity without actually delivering that productivity. If the trade unions actually understood economics and really worked in the best interest of their members then increasing profits and productivity would be at the top of their agenda. Instead they vehemently oppose both. Socialist envy blinds them to the truth.

Now Ed Balls has an answer to giving people more money. He is going to extort it from the “rich” in yet another display of nasty envy with a Mansion Tax that will mainly be paid by apartments and semi detached houses in London. But already successful wealth generators are massively overtaxed, people earning over £160K a year are just 1% of the population, yet they pay a third of all income tax. And we know from France exactly what the results will be, large numbers of the people who power our economy will emigrate and take their money with them. To New Zealand, Singapore, Canada, wherever the government isn’t run on envy. And everyone in Britain will be poorer.

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Ebola science. Facts even worse than thought

This is the third Ebola article on this blog.
The first, Ebola, gave an informed overview of the disease based on proven scientific facts. Some people criticised this, they preferred the lies in the popular press.
The second article, It is probably time to really worry about Ebola, is fully cross referenced to scientific facts. Yet still it received criticism. Cognitive dissonance at work when some people are confronted with  truths that differ from what Fox News says.

Let’s now look at the latest thoughts on transmission. The disease is doubling exponentially every 20 days, despite everyone trying not to catch it. It is killing lots of health workers who are trained not to catch it. So Ebola is vastly more contagious than some other viral infections, like Aids. Senator Rand Paul is a medical doctor, he has looked at the science and he thinks our governments are misleading us. The fact is that Ebola is airborne, you can catch it by breathing in droplets created when a contagious victim coughs or sneezes. The only debate is whether it only persists in large droplets, which fall to ground, or in miniscule aerosol droplets that remain suspended in the air. This University of Minnesota fully cross referenced article looks at the facts and concludes that it does and that health workers need a high level of hazmat protection to counter this.

The Minnesota article references a paper in the Journal of Applied Microbiology, “The survival of filoviruses in liquids, on solid substrates and in a dynamic aerosol” which you can read to see the full scientific method. One of its many conclusions is that Ebola virus in aerosols decays at 3.06% per minute, becoming 99% ineffective after 104 minutes. And remember that it just takes one virus to infect you. So a contagious passenger sneezing at the front 0f an airliner could theoretically infect everyone on it. When this fact sinks in people will surely be less enthusiastic about flying.

A problem with Ebola is that previous infections have been relatively small and in Africa, so our scientific knowledge is not great, especially knowing about the medical effects within human beings. So until very recently indeed it was thought that the incubation period was a maximum of 21 days. All our public health measures are based on this and it is what the CDC website is still telling us. Now the WHO say that this is true for 95% of confirmed cases, however the incubation period can be as long as 42 days. This means that everything we have been told about the spread of the disease and the risks from travelers coming from the infected countries is wrong.  And 21,000 students from these countries just arrived in the UK.

Reading about the disease it is obvious that the single most effective prevention measure is keeping the virus from our hands. Frequent washing is good. Alcohol based hand cleaners are not very effective and their efficacy does not persist. The technology that does work is Byotrol, which gives up to 6 hours of protection. This is available in a wide range of products, as you can see from their website.

At long last our governments are starting to take notice of the severity of the situation. The USA and UK government have acted coherently and thrown lots of resources at it. Most other countries are still sleepwalking. We have the capabilities to contain and defeat this disease before it goes truly pandemic. It would help if the press and our governments were more honest with us.

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Internet Trolls are great

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I have been using social media avidly since before Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin existed. I was one of the first to join all three when they became available in the UK. My @Bruciebabe account has nearly 4,000 followers and over 100,000 Tweets. My Linkedin has 1,335 Connections. I founded Artforums.co.uk and have been running it since 2006. I have been very active on many other forums. I have been involved in social media marketing for a number of companies.

All the above is not a boast. It is just my credentials when it comes to understanding Trolling. Trolling is not what the press and politicians seem to think it is. Trolling is writing something that will annoy someone. So if a stupid leftie (the only kind) is on Twitter and I tell them that Margaret Thatcher was the greatest ever British Prime Minster (which is the truth) or that Gordon Brown trashed the British economy (also the truth) then that is Trolling.

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Instead the press and politicians seem to think that Trolling is being abusive and/or threatening. They are wrong. Personally I really like it when people are abusive to me online. It means that I have won and that they have lost. That they have no answer to my arguments, so all that they can do is to be abusive. Obviously I tell them this, then I get rid of them by blocking or muting. There is no point in continuing to engage with them if they have lost and are so limited in their intellect. I have even received a Twitter death threat, from the typical online scouser “victim”. This took all of 2 seconds to block. And the poor sociopathic soul would fill his pants if he met me in the real world. Start Tweeting about Hillsborough and debating where the “blame” could lie and you will soon have a timeline full of badly educated, low IQ inadequates. Talking about Madelaine McCann and her self evidently inept parents who deserted her to go boozing and you can invoke a similar response.

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One thing that is very annoying is when manipulative attention seekers use these abusive Tweeters for their own self publicity. Engaging with them, replying and retweeting to wind the fools up. So their Tweets become more and more abusive. Then, once they are really bad, simultaneously going to the police and to the press. You all know the manipulative people I am talking about. I think that these are the real nasty people on Twitter. They are the ones who should go to prison (hyperbole) for entrapment and provocation. It takes 2 seconds to mute someone and deprive them of a voice. Instead these attention seekers do their uttermost to put the abusers in prison for their own publicity purposes.

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Now I would like to talk about the richness of the English language, the language of Shakespeare. We use many fantastic figures of speech in our daily conversations, hyperbole, irony, sarcasm, facetiousness, satire, mockery, lampoon, pastiche, caricature, parody, ridicule and more. Many of these can be use for Trolling in the true sense of the word. They can also be used for “taking offence” by those who like to take offence. Personally I think anyone who takes offence should be taken outside and shot in front of their family. They are only using it as a mechanic to enforce their (usually politically correct) opinions and views on the rest of the world.

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Now Chris Grayling is talking about putting internet “Trolls” in prison for two years. The man is mad. We live in a world where there are many thousands of child victims of organised Pakistani and freemason paedophilia. The police have done little or nothing about this for decades, even on the many occasions that it has been reported to them. Yet being rude online is somehow more important. Online conversations are just like pub conversations, short term ephemera, quickly forgotten, of zero importance. Yet politicians want to waste police resources on rude inadequates instead of on real monsters. And the politicians conveniently ignore the self publicist wind up merchants who deliberately provoke the abuse. The world has gone mad.

What is really happening here is that we are having our freedom of speech taken from us. That the establishment don’t like the way that social media allows them to be questioned. So they seek to censor it. Even when the existing laws of incitement, abuse and libel are more than adequate to deal with any problem that might exist.

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Lord Freud got it right and Miliband was playing politics

Ed Miliband is in huge trouble, he is deeply unpopular within the country and even within his own party there are many calls for him to go. So he is desperate. And his behaviour yesterday at PMQs shows exactly how desperate he is. At a time when we have an Ebola crisis, when ISIS militants are bringing mayhem to a swathe of the Middle East, when the Russians are invading their neighbours and when we are trying to fix our constitution to restore English rights, all Miliband can do is make political capital by prevaricating and equivocating.

Miliband’s criticism of Lord Freud was disingenuous. What Lord Freud said was in a private meeting where policy was being debated. It was not a public ministerial speech. Miliband took Freud’s words totally out of context and utterly misrepresented them. Miliband was playing politics. No wonder David Cameron got annoyed.

Miliband quoted Freud as saying that some people “are not worth the full wage”. This is a true fact. If someone can only do half as much work they should not be paid the same as someone who does the full amount. Any employer would quickly go bust if they paid people for doing less. The second Miliband quote of Freud was “something we can do if someone wants to work for £2 an hour”. You can see straight away that Freud is trying to help “something we can do” is the big clue. And when he says £2 and hour he is talking about the employer paying that. Whilst the government pays the rest. This is called a disabled wage subsidy. So the disabled person gets the full wage, but the employer doesn’t have to pay out for someone who can’t work as hard as a full bodied person.

What we are talking about here is decency and compassion in society. What Lord Freud was discussing was how to give a group of disabled people back their pride and purpose. By allowing them to have a job, even if they aren’t up to doing it properly. By the government paying a disabled wage subsidy.

The core of this whole matter is the disabled wage subsidy a mechanism for the government to pay part of the wages of disabled people who cannot do a job as well as a full bodied person. This mechanism is already used by many countries. A quick look on Google throws up Sweden (apparently all the Scandinavian countries do it), Ireland and Australia.

Let’s look at the Irish website, it is very clear in its wording: Sometimes the nature of a disability can restrict an employee’s productivity in comparison with other staff, irrespective of his or her ability to do a job. In situations where this restriction results in a loss of productivity for the employer, the Wage Subsidy Scheme (WSS) allows the employer make up the shortfall through grant assistance. This is exactly what Lord Freud was talking about.

What the world should be asking is why does Ed Miliband think that this is a bad idea.

————————————————————————————————

Lord Freud transcript:

“You make a really good point about the disabled. Now I had not thought through and we have not got a system for, you know, kind of going below the Minimum Wage. But we do have, you know, Universal Credit is really useful for people with the fluctuating conditions who can do some work – go up and down – because they can earn and get…and get, you know, bolstered through Universal Credit, and they can move that amount up and down. Now, there is a small…there is a group, and I know exactly who you mean, where actually as you say they’re not worth the full wage and actually I’m going to go and think about that particular issue, whether there is something we can do nationally, and without distorting the whole thing, which actually if someone wants to work for £2 an hour, and it’s working can we actually”

Lord Freud is a hero

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Lord Freud is is an unpaid Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Work and Pensions. He is a great grandson of Sigmund Freud. He had a very successful career as a journalist and in the city. In 2006 Tony Blair appointed Freud to provide an independent review of the British welfare to work system. Many of his recommendations were implemented. Then in 2008 he produced a white paper for James Purnell, the Labour Secretary of State for Work and Pensions. In 2009 he joined the Conservative party and became a shadow minister for welfare. A subject he is obviously a great expert on. In the current government he is in charge of reforms to the benefit system. His ideas have been massively successful and are partially responsible for the mass return to work of vast numbers of former benefits claimants. Everybody in Britain should be grateful for his work, the country wins enormously from having people working instead of existing on benefits.

At the Conservative Party conference earlier this month Lord Freud was involved in a fringe meeting. I have been to these and enjoy them a lot, they are a great opportunity for everyone in the party to get stuck in to the nitty gritty of finding great policies to make Britain work better and to look after everyone in society.

The discussion was about what to do for the relatively small number of mentally ill people who are capable of doing something, but not capable of the work involved in a proper job. It would be really good for their self esteem if they could find a task to do and maybe it would also help their long term condition. The idea being floated was that they could be paid a wage lower than the national minimum wage by an employer with the Government making up the difference. So they would still get the minimum wage. Thus an employer would be able to employ someone with very low productivity who would not otherwise by economically viable to have in the business. All excellent stuff and typical of the caring, compassionate Conservative party. Remember that the Prime Minister had a disabled child so has an emotional engagement in this area.

Someone tape recorded the discussion and then made part of it public. Here is a transcript:

“You make a really good point about the disabled. Now I had not thought through and we have not got a system for, you know, kind of going below the Minimum Wage. But we do have, you know, Universal Credit is really useful for people with the fluctuating conditions who can do some work – go up and down – because they can earn and get…and get, you know, bolstered through Universal Credit, and they can move that amount up and down. Now, there is a small…there is a group, and I know exactly who you mean, where actually as you say they’re not worth the full wage and actually I’m going to go and think about that particular issue, whether there is something we can do nationally, and without distorting the whole thing, which actually if someone wants to work for £2 an hour, and it’s working can we actually”

As you can see this is all very good stuff. A Government minister doing his best to find a compassionate and sensible solution for this small group of people. Every educated person in Britain would approve wholeheartedly of what he is trying to do.

But not the Labour party. They saw a political opportunity to use these disadvantaged people as pawns. To selectively quote Lord Freud completely out of context. To be nasty and evil. As you would expect.

This was sprung on Cameron at PMQs and he said that the language used was not acceptable. Lord Freud has apologised to the House of Lords for any offence cause. But, let’s face it, nobody was really offended. The only people “taking offence” were Labour opportunists trying to embarrass the government for electoral advantage. And who care not one jot for the poor people who would benefit from a great idea.

It is probably time to really worry about Ebola

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Let’s look at the facts:

So lets look at a scenario. A Liberian person caught the disease two weeks ago and shortly afterwards flew to Brussels. A week ago he still had no symptoms and traveled to London on the Eurostar. Today he became contagious and traveled on the London Underground (who are not on strike today) during the journey he sneezed several times, the droplets from which were breathed in by 10 people. Many droplets landed on an elevator handrail where they will persist for a week, infecting people who use that elevator.

Similar scenarios to this are definitely happening around the world right now. We can’t see anything and we don’t know anything. We as a worldwide community are a very long way behind this disease, our pitiful efforts have had little impact on its spread. We have no credible plans to contain it. Looking at the maths the current number of people who have this disease and who are walking around without realising is in the many thousands.

This epidemic began in December 2013 in Guinea and has grown steadily ever since. Its exponential nature making its current impact seem very sudden. We should have put in place firewalls a long time ago. As it is we still largely have global freedom of movement. And this disease gets around in people.

Obviously the time has come for us to barricade ourselves inside our homes. But this would be an over-reaction and our society would grind to a halt. So what can we do? Probably the best thing is to buy and use Byotrol on our hands. This will kill 100% of the virus (many gels don’t) and it persists, killing the virus you pick up. It is the best known tool for the job.

 

Postscript. When I published this article some people cast aspersions about the stated facts. They did not think to use Google to check before displaying their ignorance. So I have now added links to the science for all the facts. Those with a genuine intellectual curiosity will find that these links also lead to far more additional information than I have room for in this short article.

 

UKIP “policies”

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Proper political parties have policies, ideas that they want to implement to make Britain a better place. These policies are thoroughly thought through and properly costed. They then come under intense scrutiny from other political parties and from the press. Before an election all the policies are bundled together to make a prospectus. If a party wins power it is held to this prospectus.

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UKIP does not have policies. Instead it has a succession of populist ideas thought up by Nigel Farage then announced by him with no thought or costing. These ideas are often totally contradictory and many are unworkable. Until recently the BBC was promoting UKIP very hard, because they saw it as a way to split the conservative vote. So they gave UKIP and its “policies” no scrutiny. And the BBC have 50% of the total UK news reach.

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All Nigel Farage wants is votes and money. So he says what people want to hear in order to get those votes. There has been no way he is going to achieve power, so he can say anything, he will never have to actually deliver. So Farage uses what in politics are known as “wedge” ideas. These are single issues of discontent designed to split off members from another party. Farage kept coming up with wedges designed to steal a certain kind of Conservative voter. He went after the older person who has not adapted to the modern world and he did this by blaming foreigners. This worked in a limited way, so that with PR voting for the European Parliament he was able to gain seats. However most Conservative voters are bright enough to see straight through him. So the strategy was ultimately limited in its potential.

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Then Farage saw another opportunity to steal votes from another party. The Labour party voted itself a very weak leader, imposed on them by the trade unions. Ed Miliband is part of the rich London political elite. He has no real world experience, doesn’t know what the working class are and doesn’t know where the North of England is. Farage has seized on this by creating wedges targeted at blue collar workers. Just listen to everything he says or look at UKIPs “policies”. And now this tactic is targeting less educated people who are more likely to believe him. After a while the BBC realised what was going on, so they did a quick 180 degree U turn from promoting Farage to demonising him. But late in the day. They have already created a huge profile for him. He has played them beautifully.

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Last week we had the Heywood and Middleton (Jim Callaghan’s old constituency) by-election. A Labour safe seat. In the 2010 General Election  Labour came first with 18,499 votes, over the Conservatives with 12,528. In a mid term by-election you would expect this gap to open up. Instead Labour got 11,633, over UKIP on 11,016. A majority to Labour of just 617 votes for their hapless trade union candidate. It is pretty obvious that the once safe Labour seats of the North are now happy hunting grounds for UKIP. Labour MPs are going to lose their seats in the 2015 General Election.

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UKIP had a “manifesto” for the 2010 General Election, full of Farage ideas designed to create wedges to recruit disaffected Conservatives, he was so proud of it that he signed it. With his subsequent switch to recruiting blue collar workers this manifesto was getting a bit embarrassing, so he disowned the whole thing.

So now we have laid the ground work let’s look at some UKIP “policies”.

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The EU. UKIP really have had their thunder stolen on this one because only the Conservatives can and will deliver a referendum. So Farage has been reduced to lying to cast doubts that the Conservatives will actually do this. Anyone with a brain realises that Cameron desperately wants a referendum. It gives him a huge stick to beat the EU with in his renegotiations. And remember that only three British PMs have ever stood up to the EU. Margaret Thatcher and her rebate, John Major with his Maastricht opt outs and David Cameron with his Eurozone rescue opt out and his EU budget reduction.

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HS2. UKIP utterly oppose this white elephant vanity project that is supported by both Labour and the Conservatives. They can project this as hard working Northerners subsidising rich Southerners (which is true). As a bonus they win many thousands of NIMBY votes along the HS2 corridor. Expect Labour to do a U turn sometime soon on HS2, even though it was their idea, they are desperate to get some votes back.

Immigration. UKIPs core is bigotry, they don’t care about the immense benefits that immigration has brought Great Britain, they just appeal to the ignorant by making huge noises about the small number of areas where immigration has been less than ideal. The UK is creating more jobs than the whole of the rest of Europe put together and needs people to do those jobs. UKIPs bigotry would massively damage the country. And Farage is married to an immigrant!

They say Westminster is the establishment, it is out of touch and it is corrupt. You could argue that UKIP is the most corrupt political party both in the EU and in local government. And they themselves are a Westminster party now!

Everything else is soundbites, pathetic populist wedges, or wrapped up bigotry. “The law of the land must apply to us all” for instance and “Prioritise social housing for people whose parents and grandparents were born locally”.

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It is obvious that there are enough uneducated people and bigots in Britain for UKIP to progress. Farage is a charismatic, populist leader. However UKIP internally is an ongoing train crash that will continue indefinitely under his dictatorship. So far I think he has been good for the country because he has forced people to think and has questioned establishment stupidity. However if he ever got real power he would be a disaster for us, trying to run it like he runs UKIP and implementing policies based on populism and bigotry.

Carswell joining UKIP as an MP is interesting. Unlike Farage he has intellectual coherence and real beliefs. In the past Farage has destroyed such people in UKIP when he perceived them as threatening his position, he only wants yes men. But Carswell is an MP, which makes things different. And he is not going to jump when Farage tells him to.

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How ignorant Americans are one of the biggest Middle East problems

 

Created by @destroyoislamo

Created by @destroyoislamo

In the USA there is a huge lobby of pro Israelis who have a massive influence on USA policy, especially it’s unequivocal, unconditional support of Israel, both financial and military. It is this policy that allows Israel to steal land and ethnically cleanse with total impunity. They can imprison 1.8 million people in a concentration camp and mass murder them any time they feel like it. They can deprive millions of people of their basic human rights. And American politicians say nothing.

If, at this point, you would really like to know some truths then I suggest that you watch these videos, mainly made by and featuring Jews. They really will open your eyes.

So what characterises these lobbyists:

  • They are mostly not Jewish.
  • They are very pro US military and are very gung ho.
  • By consuming propaganda they have de-humanised Palestinians and Arabs and no longer see them as human beings.
  • They are very poorly educated and cannot carry on a reasoned discussion.
  • They actually know very little about Israel and the Middle East.
  • They have never traveled abroad, except perhaps with the military. Certainly never to Israel.
  • They carry huge prejudices and bigotry.
  • They tend to be very religious. The sort of religion that denies evolution.
  • They have no understanding of what terrorism really is and use the word as a general insult.
  • Their first response is to personally attack anyone with opposing views.
  • They get their “education” from Fox News.
  • They are Republicans. Conservative Republicans.
  • They are a disgrace to America, to civilised people everywhere and to humanity.

If you want to see what these people are really like then go to their Twitter accounts. You will be appalled. Larry Putnam. Darknight. The Destroyer. Tyrone Biggums. Oaktree76. Cos… And very many more. Go to one account and you will find herds more retweeted. Much of what they Tweet would be illegal in Great Britain. Just pure race hate bile based on incredible ignorance.

I must say that I really like it when people in debate are abusive towards me. It shows that they have no real answer to my argument. That they have lost. And I have found that these bigots resort to abuse straight away when they come across views different to their own, as you can see above. All they are proving is that the USA education system has self evidently failed them. They actually don’t understand what they are saying, they are just repeating a mantra without knowing its meaning.

There are so many of these people, a significant proportion of the population, that America really does have a problem. Maybe the US military should send all their recruits on a PPE course!

Kobane, explained

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The wonders of the Sykes Picot agreement is that it divided the Ottoman Empire up like a cake, with no concern about who was living where. This was bad news for the Kurdish people because their “country” was split up between Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey. They have been trying to fix this ever since, both peacefully and with violence, so they have been brutally suppressed by all four countries. Nearly a century of conflict has made them very tough indeed.

Syrian Kurdistan is called Rojava and is in Northern Syria It is mainly governed by the PYD and their armed wing the YPG, also known as the People’s Protection Units. In over two years of fighting they have been successful against both the Syrian Army and against ISIS and they had reached the stage where they were just sitting there minding their own business. Then ISIS invaded Iraq, renamed itself Islamic State (IS) and captured large quantities of heavy American weapons in Mosul. They brought some of these weapons back into Syria and used them to attack the YPG again. This time the YPG were losing very badly because they had no answer to these IS heavy weapons. Very many civilian refugees fled over the border into Turkey, many more were not allowed in and are camped against the border.

Kobane is a major Kurdish city very close to the Turkish border. When it was attacked the Turks did nothing to help and IS used their equipment advantage to start taking the town. Then the Americans woke up and put special forces in to designate targets for air attack. This cancelled out the IS equipment advantage and allowed to YPG to retake territory. Casualties on both sides are probably in the order of about 1,000 fighters each.

Overall this is a brilliant template of how to beat IS. Committed, well organised local fighters on the ground backed up by American and Allied air-power with special forces forming the essential interface between the two.

The big problem is politics. America’s #1 concern is not IS. They are vastly more concerned about international terrorism and al-Qaeda. So when they started attacking Syria they used IS as a pretext, but mainly hit the Khorosan who are part of al-Nusra which in turn is part of al-Qaeda. Al-Nusra are one of the few forces effectively fighting Assad but as a result of the USA attack now say they will support IS. But the the USA are not concerned about Assad at all and are doing nothing against him. Yet Assad is very many times more evil than IS. He daily commits many atrocities against civilians with around 200,000 deaths in the conflict so far. This totally dwarfs everything that IS have done.

Turkey have completely different priorities. They have a huge, high quality, Army and Air Force, up to full NATO standards and could walk through any of their neighbours with ease. However they have been fighting the Kurds since the 1920s. The armed Turkish Kurdish resistance (the PKK) was formed in 1978 and there has been a low level civil war ever since. There has been a ceasefire since last year but there is a lot of bad blood. Meanwhile the Turks see getting rid of Assad as their #1 priority. They want NATO to enforce a no-fly zone over Syria and then to use air power to finish Assad off. Turkish concern about IS is a far lower priority.

So, whist the Turks could easily evict IS from Kobane in hours they aren’t going to because they are quite happy to see the Kurds taking a pasting. Likewise they are not allowing NATO countries to use Turkish bases against IS. So the US are having to fly vast distances from the Gulf for every mission. From a USA perspective the Turks really are the awkward squad. From a Turkish perspective the Americans have got their priorities all wrong and are making another fine mess of things. But within Turkey the Kurds are not at all happy about Kobane and there is widespread rioting that could endanger the PKK ceasefire.

There is no doubt that Sykes Picot was wrong and that Kurdistan should be a country for the Kurdish people. There is also no doubt that they will continue to fight for this till they achieve it. Eventually Turkey will have to face up to this reality. Meanwhile the Kurds are using the Syrian and Iraqi civil wars to carve out territories in those countries. Just so long as they can fight off IS whilst doing so.

 

Ebola

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As a result of the Thalidomide disaster new drugs have to go through incredibly thorough testing before they are licensed for general use. This includes three phases of human trials and the criteria are so very strict that very few drugs make it through the entire process. It is also incredibly expansive, some use a ballpark figure of a billion pounds to get one molecule from the laboratory for the market. So it is little wonder that there is no treatment for an obscure African virus that was only identified in 1976 in Africa. The small number of previous outbreaks had only killed hundreds of people which is a drop in the ocean in Africa compared to diseases like Malaria, HIV, Pneumonia and Tuberculosis.

Ebola exists in nature in a reservoir in other species, probably fruit bats, and is transmitted to humans when we come into contact with them. Many diseases do this, the 1918 influenza pandemic came from hens, as did SARS and we had a recent flu epidemic that came from domestic pigs. In the African bush there are probably many such potential diseases and we have experienced some of them, including HIV, Lassa Fever, Lujo Virus and Marburg Virus. Because our bodies have no developed immune response to these alien pathogens they can be particularly dangerous, as history has shown us.

All transmittable pathogens have a route from victim to victim. Some viruses survive in the air and can be transmitted just by breathing. These are very contagious indeed and human influenza is our best example, rapidly spreading and infecting millions of people. Other viruses, like HIV, can’t survive outside the body so can only be caught by a penetrative exchange of body fluids. This is why HIV remained with a very low profile after it first transferred to humans in the 1920s. It was only modern travel and social behaviour that allowed it to blossom into an epidemic. Ebola sits somewhere between these two contagion extremes. It is not airborne (yet) but can persist on a surface exposed to the air for about a week. Certainly it has infected a lot of health workers who were taking all reasonable precautions.

Ebola is probably killing about 70% of those infected (previous outbreaks have varied between 25% and 90% fatality). The current epidemic has officially killed about 4,000 people. But lack of communications in the bush, weak state institutions and deliberate obsfucation mean that many think this figure can be doubled. And, because Ebola has an incubation period of up to three weeks, the real position is far worse than what the current news is telling us. Epidemiology is the science of studying and predicting diseases in society and there are many people in the world who have huge expertise and computer models to tell us what is going to happen. They have been tracking and predicting the current epidemic and they have consistently been very, very wrong. It has got out of control in a way that none of them predicted. On 19 September CDC were predicting half a million cases, by 23 September they were predicting 1.4 million.

Africa has far worse education than we have in the West, so many people have false beliefs. So they often ignore what health workers and their government tell them. If their culture says they must wash down a dead body (an incredibly dangerous practice with Ebola victims) then bury them in the ground then they will strongly resist being told that bodies must be cremated unwashed. So communities will hide cases of the disease whilst acting in ways that maximise its spread. When these people are in the bush, away from easy communication with the authorities, it makes matters even more problematic.

Next we come to the virus itself. It is a relatively simple, incredibly small life form and must reproduce by dividing millions of time in order to infect just one person. These divisions are very prone to mutation, so viruses tend to change their nature very quickly, as we see with Influenza. Most mutations just die out, but occasionally one comes along which works more efficiently, and with Darwin’s work with evolution we know that this natural selection leads to survival of the fittest. So the Ebola virus is becoming progressively more virulent. It is developing into an ever more efficient killing machine. If it mutates to airborne transmission then we will be in incredible pandemic trouble.

So here is a scenario for you. Someone from Africa arrives in London with absolutely no symptoms whatsoever. Two weeks later he is contagious and uses the Tube, holding the escalator handrail. Six days later you use the same escalator and the virus transfers to you. Now you have a 70% chance of death. With no available medicine.

Throughout this entire epidemic the West has acted vastly too slowly and with nowhere near enough commitment. We could have quarantines entire countries and imposed incredible strict travel restrictions. But now there are people all over the world, walking round, carrying the virus. It is spreading exponentially and utterly out of control. It is going to get many times worse before it starts to get better.

 

Redistribution of wealth is wrong

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There are some people who by enterprise, risk taking, investment and hard work generate wealth. There are others who are lazy, feckless and uneducated and therefore poor. It is socialist mantra to extort money from the former and give it to the latter. Every political party in Britain does this, in fact the current Conservative government does it more than the previous Labour government did. Every MP in our Parliament is a socialist.

In extorting money from those who have made it the state are incredibly inefficient. You would think that they would set tax rates to maximise government income. But they don’t. Tax rates are driven by envy and their usual aim is to punish success. There is an economic relationship between a tax rate and the income it produces. This is known as a Laffer Curve. As tax rates go up government income, initially, goes up. But then it peaks and with further rate increases it comes down. So reducing a top tax rate often increases government income.

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Let’s look at UK Corporation Tax which is paid on company profits. This is the worst possible tax because it removes from the economy the funds that successful firms need for investment and job creation. In 1980 it was at 52%. This has very sensibly been reduced till it is now 21%. And the effect of more than halving the tax rate has been to increase government income! Total Corporation tax paid has gone up whilst the rate has gone down. Meanwhile in the USA they have stuck with a 40% corporate profit tax rate and their government take has gone down, from over 6% of GDP to less than 2% of GDP.

UK income tax top rate under the dreadful Labour governments of Wilson and Callaghan was 83%, driven by pure envy and nothing more. They even had an extra tax on investment income (which the economy wants and needs) of up to 15%, making the top income tax rate 98%. For the wealth creators this was too much punishment so they stopped creating wealth. Margaret Thatcher came to power and reduced the top rate to 40%, after which it generated far more income for the government and our economy boomed. Very many people were now able to work their way up to being millionaires.

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When government gives money away to the poor they are also incredibly inefficient. Firstly in the UK poverty is defined as “household income below 60 percent of median income”. So it is actually quite rich, certainly far better off than a doctor or headmaster was when I was young. Yet still the government gives money in some form of benefit to about 30 million people, or half the total population. This is obviously utterly ridiculous and takes up about 30% of all government spending. There are 26 million households in the UK and 6 million of them receive housing benefit. This also is utterly ridiculous, any economist will tell you that putting more money into a market only increases prices. So as more housing benefit is paid housing costs go up and more benefit is needed. A vicious cycle of wasted taxpayer’s money.

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So lets look at some of the mechanics of redistribution. If we take income tax it would be fair if someone earning £30K paid twice as much as someone earning £15K, or if someone earning 100K paid twice as much as someone earning £50K. But they don’t. They pay far more. This is achieved by two methods. Firstly the first £10,000 of income (the personal allowance) is tax free, which disproportionately favours low earners. Secondly the actual rate goes up with income. So up to £31,865 it is just 20%, from there to £150K it is 40% and after that it is 45%. But there is something worse, personal allowances are progressively withdrawn from people earning over £100K, so their effective rate of tax becomes 60%. The effect of all this is stunning. People earning over £160K a year are just 1% of the population, yet they pay a third of all income tax. Poor people and middle earners would have to pay 50% more income tax if it wasn’t for this 1%.

But it isn’t just income tax that is used to punish the rich for their hard work. Stamp Duty is 0% on houses up to £125K, 1% on houses up to £250K, yet 7% on houses over £2 million. Inheritance tax is 0% for the first £325K after which it is 40%. And remember that a person has already paid tax once on this money, so Inheritance Tax is double taxation for the rich. Annual vehicle tax for small cars starts at £0 with a first year rate of £0 yet for big cars tops out at £500 with a first year rate of £1,090. And so it goes on. Being successful makes you a victim for government extortion.

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The really horrible thing about this envy based taxation is that wealth is not a zero sum game. So making a rich person poor does not somehow make any poor people better off. And everyone in Britain could retire as a multi millionaire if they had sufficient enterprise, education and hard work. In Britain today it is not that difficult to go from having nothing to being a millionaire. Every government should be trying to make this journey easier. But instead every government runs a tax system that makes it more difficult, that punishes success. Margaret Thatcher was the only post war Prime Minister who understood this. She wanted to make everyone richer and she knew that you don’t achieve this by extorting from those who are already rich, but by enabling everyone to make more money and to keep more of what they have made.

Now let’s take a look at Hong Kong. A HK$ is worth about 8 pence. The personal income tax allowance on which no tax is paid depends on family size. It starts at HK$ 1,620,000 pa and rises to nearly HK$6 million pa for a medium sized family. If you earn more than that income tax starts at 2%, rising to 17% for the very highest earners, the very minimum of redistribution. No wonder that, excluding the value of their homes, Hong Kong has 124,000 millionaires and that this number is increasing at 27% a year. The Hong Kong government does not work with socialist envy, it works with trying to make as many people as possible as rich as possible. We could do this in Great Britain but we don’t have the politicians who are capable.

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Conservative party defections to UKIP

Carswell

Mark Reckless

This is so unimportant that I wasn’t going to write about it. But yesterday at conference I was grabbed by a Sun journalist about it, hence my picture in the Sun today with a quote I did not make. Then this morning Martha Kearney from Radio 4 collared me for an interview, once again about defectors. The reality is that the journalists are vastly more interested in this than the party is. So I thought I would write a bit about it to explain why.

The Parliamentary Conservative party is not a homogeneous whole. It is a very broad church indeed. From the “traditional”, right wing, hang ‘em and flog ‘em brigade who inhabit the Monday Club and Cornerstone right through to the social democrat lefties in the Tory Reform Group, 2020 Group and 301 Group, with the Thatcherite Free Enterprise Group off to one side. So Conservatism is like a group of mini parties united in their aim to make everyone in Britain better off and to fight the many evils of the Labour Party and Trade Unions. This has its strengths in that there is a home within the party for everyone who is intelligent and educated. It has its weakness in that there is constant friction.

Politics is a team game, just like Formula 1 car racing. The MP is like the driver, visible and in the news, whilst behind him is a vast team of workers, paid and unpaid, grafting away. Delivering leaflets and canvassing from door to door hour after hour, day after day, in all weathers being just one of their duties.

Which brings us to Douglas Carswell and Mark Reckless. These guys have been loose cannons in the Conservative Party for some time, the church was not broad enough for them and they were not team players. So obviously a big mistake was made when they were first selected. We should never have invested so much money, so much time and so much work into them. They have zero respect for the other members of the team who put them where they are.

So let’s analyse why they are utterly stupid:

  • They have joined a nasty party with a long history of bigotry and with many policies that are opposed to their own often professed views. Do they really realise what an awful shambles they have joined?
  • They have big egos, their leaving probably more an indication of lack of advancement than anything else. But there is only room for one ego in UKIP, as Neil Hamilton has already discovered.
  • For anti Europeans there is only one sensible vote and that is Conservative. Because only David Cameron can and will deliver a referendum. Not only that, Cameron has said that he himself will vote to leave unless renegotiation of our membership are satisfactory.
  • Both of these guys have resigned in a run up to a general election, incurring the taxpayer in substantial unnecessary costs. Obviously they have done it now, not earlier, to inflict the maximum possible damage on the Conservative party that has made their careers for them. This is vicious, spiteful and ungrateful. Many in the public will realise this and not like it.
  • They will now face the full might of the Conservative election machine. Carswell has substantial local personal support so should win the by-election. The general election next year will be a bigger problem for him. Reckless has no such local popular support and is in very big danger of losing the by-election. If he holds on it will only be till next year, when he will definitely lose.
  • At conference Reckless’ local party chairman said that they had a conversation on Friday during which Reckless said that he was not defecting, then the next day he did, which makes him a deceitful liar. So he should feel right at home in UKIP.

So, quite frankly, we are better off without them. And they will be a lot worse off without the Conservatives.

It is rumoured that another Conservative MP will defect this week. If so we are once again well rid, it will be another ungrateful loose cannon. And once again the action would be despicable, trying to do the maximum damage to the party that nurtured them.

To finish off lets look at the Sunday Mirror and their despicable attempt to trap several Conservative MPs in cyber sex stings. Leading to the resignation of  Brooks Newmark. This is utterly disgusting, tabloids at their worst. If possible they should face criminal prosecution. As for Brooks Newmark, in France he would be promoted! It is about time Great Britain grew up and learned not to be titillated with prurient irrelevancies. What adults do in private is not public news.