In the news

So the obnoxious dictatorships in Bahrain and Libya are showing their true colours. Using assault weapons on unarmed crowds is just barbaric. The western world should ensure that the perpetrators are called to account. William Hague has already said that he “strongly disapproves” of the Bahrain actions, let’s hope his language away from the media spotlight is a bit more robust. The first F1 race of the season is due in Bahrain on 13th March. Surely huge global brands like Mercedes, Vodafone, Santander and Red Bull don’t want to be toxified by association with such an execrable regime? And who is going to provide insurance cover for the event? The sooner this is cancelled, the sooner the rulers get the message that they are beyond the pale.

David Cameron has announced welfare reforms, using financial carrot and stick he is trying to do something about the dreadful socialist legacy of dependency culture. Hundreds of thousands of people who either don’t want to work or find that it is more profitable not to, either way they end up as being parasitic on the hard working taxpayer. Meanwhile hundreds of thousands of Poles have proven that there are plenty of jobs here if you really want to work. Hopefully these reforms are just the first of many steps to radically reduce the state in this area. A personal lifetime fund would put more responsibility on the individual. And replacing jobseekers allowance with workfare is essential if we are to get to grips with the problem.

This is the last year of disproportionate bankers’ bonuses. Under the provisions of Basel 3, which are meant to make all the world’s banks more secure and less likely to need outside assistance, investment banks will need to pretty much double their capital for a given amount of business, halving their ROE. This is a huge squeeze and something has got to give. Unless they become vastly more profitable this means such big bonuses just will not be affordable. As always the market corrects the situation. The bonuses were really just a consequence of government guarantees that these banks would not be allowed to fail, now they have to pay for their own guarantees they won’t be able to pay the bonuses.

Labour politicians have come out loudly that they are against reform of the NHS. What they are really saying is that they are for waste, that they are for inefficiency and that they are for shoddy medical treatment. As an organisation the NHS is dire, even moderate effective reforms can make it work a whole lot better. But obviously Miliband and co don’t want this.

Finally, if you want to sponge on disability benefits, here is a website that tells you how to work the system.

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