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Showing posts from August, 2010

Labour hypocrisy part 94.

Labour hypocrisy continues to become their standard policy stance. At the 2010 general election they supported immediate legislation to change the electoral system to AV. A few weeks later they now oppose it- on the grounds that the Lib Dems and the coalition are for it. At the 2010 general election they supported the creation of a 111 number to replace the failed NHS direct project. Now they oppose it- on the grounds that the Lib Dems and the coalition are for it. So- since Labour sold their principles for the snake oil promises of Blair and Brown, I suppose we can not expect them to be principled. On the other hand, they could at least be consistent. Every day that passes I see a Labour Party so politically bankrupt that that they will not accept any responsibility for anything they say or do. This probably explains why they inherited a prosperous economy and bequeathed a bankrupt economy. No matter which of the bloodless politicians that Labour chooses as their temporary leader, it

Hussein Obama faces the birthers

I see that 18% of Americans apparently believe Barrack Obama is a Muslim. Frankly it just shows that in the hate filled world of the radical American right, if you tell a lie big enough, for long enough, it will end up being believed. These are many of the the same people who insist that Obama was not a native born American, and therefore an unconstitutional President- the "birthers". The certainty and the spittle flecked hatred with which these people express their views, for which there is not one scintilla of evidence, is truly extraordinary. It is not one step from Fascism. It is Fascism. That is extremely worrying for those of us who like and admire so much about the USA. In the face of the administration mis-steps: calling allies "partners" not "allies"; failing to inform, still less consult those NATO allies on critical decisions; treading quite firmly on British toes over the Falkland Islands, BP and a range of other issues, it is clear that the

So what can we "still" do in the UK?

Britain was once the biggest economy in the world. Britons invented a spectacular array of the most important inventions of the nineteenth and twentieth century. From the steam railway to television; telephones to the jet engine, British creativity provided the foundation for enormous economic power. On the back of this, the country rose to become by far the most powerful state the world has ever seen. Amassing an empire that comprises one sixth of the planet's land and resources and one quarter of its people, it nevertheless took most pride in a democratic system that was substantially in advance of virtually all of its contemporaries. While the United States had bitter arguments over slavery that led to a vicious civil war in 1861, the British Empire had already abolished all slavery a generation before, and on the British mainland it is arguable as to whether slavery had ever legally existed at all. The disparate citizens of the Empire were united in a common purpose, a manifes

Waiting on the down cycle

In theory, the impact of the global credit crunch of 2008 is supposed to be dissipating. The global economy is growing and the banks are back making money. Political and business leaders are speaking about a return to normality. Yet conditions are still very far from "normal". Bank of England interest rates are nominally 0.5%. Yet the historic average interest rate since the Bank of England was founded in 1694 is 5%. Monetary authorities around the world are not only setting negative real interest rates, but also seeking to fill the economic hole left by the credit collapse with new money: the so-called "quantative easing". These are very extreme monetary positions. Although the US policy makers remain concerned about deflation in the Dollar, the UK faces different problems: British inflation is quite high. The general inflation number remains consistently higher than in global competitors, and more to the point, the UK housing market has continued to boom. Where

The Liberal Democrats get established

There has been a whole load of ill informed, wishful thinking in the British media of late. In the face of the (sadly all too common) post election fall in Lib Dem support in the opinion polls, the usual suspects on both right and left have been quick to forecast an early end to the coalition. Yet, despite having no leader, no policies and no principles, Labour continue to hold a respectable poll rating. The journalists who continue to hope for the fall of the coalition do not understand the fact that an early election would probably not lead to a strong majority for the Conservatives: it could even lead to a Labour recovery, which would exclude both coalition parties from power. The coalition may not be a love match, but it is a marriage of convenience, and one where mutual respect has emerged on both sides. Simon Hughes criticism of the idea of ending life tenure for council tenants is not the first breath of a coalition-ending storm, it is perfectly legitimate to voice an opinion on