Tag Archives: Gordon Brown

The views we question

This is not a piece of me knowing, this is not a piece of me telling how it is. This is me questioning certain choices and certain actions. When we now see the actions as displayed by the press, is the press correct, was the press played or is the press playing us? To help to you in this, let’s start with two articles, both in the Guardian. The first (at https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/jan/14/nhs-crisis-my-frail-mum-was-forced-to-wait-on-the-floor-for-eight-hours), where we see the emotional start ‘My frail mum was forced to wait on the floor for eight hours‘, I myself have had to wait in triage twice. This happens. There is only so much a hospital can do, as for the wait on the floor? When we see the first story appear we see “It was another seven hours before he went upstairs for an angioplasty and a stent. The A&E staff were under immense pressure, having to deal with far too many patients, but they did an amazing job“, now this person was from Worcestershire, famous for its Lea and Perrin’s sauce. In another case we see “It took 30 minutes for the paramedics to get there but when they arrived they were brilliant“, as well as “I don’t want to blame the paramedics or any staff at the NHS. They do a wonderful job and do their best to take care of patients when they arrive. But the issue is with the government and the lack of funding to our healthcare services” from that same person. Finally the one that is important here is “Dr Liam Brennan, president, Royal College of Anaesthetists: ‘These are no longer winter pressures, but perennial pressures’” with the added quote “In my 34 years as a frontline doctor I have never seen the breadth and scale of the relentless demands across the whole health and social care system that I see today“, in all this, this is the part that is in the eye of the hurricane, because, when we look back to Baron Kerslake, or as he is called in the House of Lords ‘bobby’ (assumption from my side). You see, he came up in an earlier blog, appointed as the Chair of King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. On February 17th 2016, in my blog article ‘Behind the smiling numbers‘, I wrote (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2016/02/17/behind-the-smiling-numbers/), “The title ‘Income tax must rise 3p to stop NHS ‘staggering from year to year’‘, which implies initially that the NHS needs £1.95m, which might be OK. Yet the truth is far from that, the text gives us that Lord Kerslake stated “Income tax will have to increase by at least 3p in the pound….”“, which is another story entirely (and first evidence that members of the House of Lords are gifted with a decent sense of humour)”, which came from a February article in the Guardian. Now when we consider The Royal College of Anaesthetists (www.rcoa.ac.uk), we see “Anaesthetists are qualified doctors who are registered with the General Medical Council (GMC). The first step towards a career as an anaesthetist is medical school. Undergraduate medical training normally lasts for five years and medical students normally graduate with a bachelor’s degree. After graduating, the newly qualified doctor enters foundation training in hospitals around the UK. Foundation training lasts two years and after the first year, trainees become fully registered medical practitioners. Through the second year of foundation year training, trainees apply for postgraduate training in one of the specialties, of which anaesthesia is one. Trainees can apply for the seven years anaesthesia programme or the eight years anaesthesia programme which includes two years of the Acute Care Common Stem (ACCS) programme. Trainees also have the option of completing dual Certificates of Completion of training (CCT) in anaesthesia and intensive care medicine. The dual CCT is similar in principle to achieving dual degrees and will normally take 8.5 years to complete“, so as we see staff shortages, as we see resource shortages, we also see something else, do we not? The quote from Lord Bobby, my apologies for this error, I meant Lord Kerslake, Baron Kerslake no less, it is my personal believe that harsher calls should have been made near a decade ago. In this former Prime Ministers Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and David Cameron should have made larger adjustments towards the NHS. Yes, we know that the Labour party bungled 11.2 billion pounds in that regard, but that was IT, staff is another matter and adjusting for those needs should have been done a long time ago. I have had an interest in becoming an anaesthetist a long time ago, if I had known the dire shortage then, I would have appealed and applied to Professor Peter Hutton in person in 2001. I might not have made it and unlikely I would have been able to do this, but I would have made the effort, a part I now see a failing Lord Kerslake with Lord Kerslake stated “Income tax will have to increase by at least 3p in the pound….“, I believe that if this is going to get saved, Prime Minister Theresa May will have to increase taxation to all working people by £1 every month as per January 1st 2016 and all pensions by £0.50 as per that same date. The treasury coffers will need to make a larger change, yet if anyone in House of Commons, the House of Lords or Parliament has any serious consideration to keep the NHS alive, that action is now needed. It is not unlikely that we will see a 2018 judicial public inquiry regarding the actions, practices, responsibilities and funding of the NHS. There is no telling which Lord Justice would be chosen, yet in these levels of failure, in these levels of events and the inhumane pressures that the medical profession is now under, brings a pain to my heart a lot more severe than a heart attack (I had more than one of those, so I know). The reason for all this is that there is a similar atmosphere all over the Commonwealth and if we want to prevent such a disaster in Australia, Canada and New Zealand, something needs to be done now.

The second article I mentioned was ‘NHS in crisis as cancer operations cancelled due to lack of beds‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/jan/14/health-service-in-crisis-cancer-ops-cancelled-nhs). The second line is the one that brings the beef to the table: ‘Hospital chief warns government must face the truth, as patients lose surgery dates with some only receiving one day’s notice‘, the question becomes how could this have come to such a dire place? You see, this is not just some refugee or illegal immigrant thing, this is what I personally see a categorical undermining of an essential support system. This is a basic view, but is my view incorrect? It can only be seen as such if there is a visible spike of 30%-45% of Cancer patients and I am fairly certain that actually newspapers did not make such a report. In this the quote “Today, writing for this newspaper, the chair of King’s College Hospital, London, Lord Kerslake, a former head of the civil service, suggests Theresa May’s government is not sufficiently in touch with the reality facing NHS hospitals and staff to appreciate the severity of the crisis“, in this I would respond is that Lord Kerslake left the needs of the NHS too shallow in his 3 pence required statement, perhaps I just got that wrong, but if I misread it, than who else did that very same thing? Yet there is another gem in this article and it is shown a little further down that piece. The quotes “Kerslake also sides with Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, who last week questioned the prime minister’s claim about NHS funding“, “Dr Sarah Wollaston, chair of the Commons health select committee, criticised the government for blaming GPs for the crisis” as well as “She said in a tweet: “Pretty dismal stuff for govt to scapegoat GPs for very serious NHS pressures. Failure to understand the complexity or own responsibility.”“. So we have a few political fires going on and the fact that Prime Minister May reacted poorly is just one facet. The one that does matter is “failure to understand the complexity“, you see, it seemed to me for the longest of time that there was too much politicisation with the NHS, which is why I am referring to the essential need of a judicial public inquiry of the NHS. Why on earth has the NHS become so complex? Is that not a valid question too? In this world, is medical care and health care the one item on everyone’s agenda to keep that as simple as possible? In that, we see another part, in advance I will apologise for the upcoming ‘less’ civil words, but why the fuck is anyone handing over £340,000 to PwC? The headline from the Coventry Telegraph ‘Coventry and Warwickshire NHS chiefs fork out £340,000 for advice on how to SAVE money‘ (at http://www.coventrytelegraph.net/news/coventry-warwickshire-nhs-chiefs-fork-12436466), there is in addition a small part if each forked that over, or if this was a total amount. The fact that PwC, you know the ‘idiots’ involved in fallen places like Tesco and BHS, now they are advising the NHS? How much is that going to cost the tax payers after the initial fee that equals 13 annual incomes for most UK working citizens? The quote “The document, released in December, aims to address the need to bridge the local NHS funding gap of £267 million which will exist by 2020 if services stay the same in the region” gives rise to even more worry. Not only is the NHS a quarter of a billion short in roughly 1080 days in Coventry and Warwickshire, to survive they have to move? How will that aid the people in Coventry and Warwickshire? Will they end up with any health care at all, or will the local Romani Gypsies with oils and herbals need to be relied on? You think that I am exaggerating? If so, please feel free to inform me on how those two places Coventry and Warwickshire, with 340,000 and 550,000 people end up coming up short by £267,000,000 in three years? Well if advice comes at £343,000 on private consultants, that shortage might be reached rather quickly, but that is not the story is it? The story is how funding has failed and how much more it will fail over the next three years. So, as such, is my view as I personally see it of an essential judicial public inquiry that far-fetched?

In that part, the PwC will have more to explain. When we see: “The sum cannot be broken down as you request as the work was undertaken on a fixed fee basis but please note that the work was commissioned in line with government framework rates.”, what else was done, how many hours and what data was the advice based on? In addition we see that the payment to PWC LLP, who were commissioned by the STP member bodies to help to develop the STP between July and September 2016 (as quoted), so this Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) gives a solution, which involves:

  • University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust
  • South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust
  • George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust
  • Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust
  • NHS Coventry and Rugby Clinical Commissioning Group
  • NHS Warwickshire North Clinical Commissioning Group
  • NHS South Warwickshire Clinical Commissioning Group

It now becomes a question on where the trimming would need to be, more important if there is an upcoming shortage of a quarter of a billion, is there an oversight of what has been billed, what has been received and with three commissioning groups, should we fear what kind of a gravy train is running here. How many clinical commissioning groups are there in the West Midlands? If every county has one, how much in payments go into those clinical commissioning groups? These are all questions that are not heard by too many places. I think that there is an issue, I am not sure if what I am raising is an issue, but with only part of West Midlands, if they are short by a quarter of a billion, what shortages can we expect to see in Herefordshire, Shropshire and Staffordshire? Consider that the West-Midlands is around 5.8 million at present. Implying a lot, that part you should realise when 15% of a West Midlands is cause for a quarter of a billion in shortage, where is the rest of West Midlands at? Is that such a weird question? Even as there is absolutely no fault to the medical practitioners themselves, there is a fair bit of uncertainty regarding the governance of the medical profession and the governance of the NHS trusts. It is the scent of silence. In this I equally blame the Labour party as they did not change direction funding the NHS as it should have. Now, we know that the financial crises has hit everyone, this is a fact of life, yet the issue we see when the Guardian quote “saying that the real amount of extra cash being given to the NHS in England between 2014-15 and 2020-21 is only £6bn and even that much smaller sum has only come from cutting spending on public health programmes and medical education and training by £3.5bn” was given on October 31st 2016 also implies the partial pressure we see mounting. by cutting £3.5bn on medical education and training, we can see one headline, namely ‘NHS in crisis as cancer operations cancelled due to lack of beds‘ as it changes into ‘NHS in crisis as cancer operations cancelled due to lack of qualified surgical staff‘, when some of these specialists require 8 years of training, that view is not overly pessimistic, it is an actual reality that the UK could be facing from 2019 onwards, yet for how long cannot be predicted because the changes in policy are unknown and they will largely influence for how long this problem will continue, as well as it will continue to grow as a problem.

In light of this, perhaps a light hearted alternative? When we see the BBC (at http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-35121632), how long until politicians will consider: “Nearly 1,500,000 people were killed this year as part of the government’s NHS sustainability cull“. You see, if we do it to the badgers, how long until people are on a similar list to create convenience?

 

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Costing in the key of life

Over the last decade, political parties have squandered the needs of their constituents. Liberals, conservatives and Labour alike in both the UK and Australia. I have seen the pressure as housing is no longer an options for many. It is a skewed approach to a solution that fit only the truly wealthy. It is a system that has been ignored, shovelled all over the place and no one has done anything serious to address it. How much longer can this go on?

Yesterday’s article in the Guardian by Robert Booth is only the tip of the iceberg that sank the good ship lollipop (at http://www.theguardian.com/money/2016/jan/01/london-flats-costing-up-to-1m-outsell-more-affordable-homes). The title ‘London flats costing up to £1m outsell more affordable homes‘ is on one side deceptive on the other side it is illustrative of several administrations that have not considered any solution, just a propagation of the Status Quo. The quote ‘sold more than twice as many two-bedroom apartments costing between £650,000 and £1m as cheaper homes priced at about £300,000‘ is partially deceptive. You see when you see the data ‘Sales of London homes banded by asking price per square foot’, we see the numbers, but what is missing is not ‘what is sold‘ but the metric ‘available places that people can afford‘, Even higher educated barristers admitted to the bar will not be able to show an annual income of £200,000, which means that even the highest educated are not in line for anything decent any day soon. In Australia the Commonwealth Bank of Australia is now marketing the alternative in the trend of ‘Use your spare room to help pay off your mortgage!‘, they voice it like ‘my new business‘, but in the end, it is a risky approach to either a mortgage that is higher than you bargained for or one that was outside your reach an they are voicing the ‘entrepreneurial’ edge to hide the risk. What if that person suddenly gets into a financial wash? What if the Granny involved dies? All elements that take weeks if not months to resolve and the mortgage is still due. In addition permits might be needed. Nothing of that is clearly shown. The entire housing market is in a dangerous place because the political parties have ‘conveniently’ ignored the lower branches of income and in all that the rent is also still rising whilst incomes are not moving forward. So we are in a place where London, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth are pricing their cities into non-sustainable situations and it has been going on for the better part of two decades. All these places have been trailing demand for over a decade by a decadent amount, whilst they should have been ahead of the curve for at least a decade.

When we look at the following quote in the Guardian “Campbell Robb, the chief executive of homelessness charity Shelter. “It is promising to see the government finally focusing on building more homes. But the only way to truly solve this housing crisis is for both the mayor and central government to finally prioritise building homes that Londoners on ordinary incomes can afford to rent or buy, instead of just higher earners.”“, question marks should be clearly placed, because ‘finally focusing on building more homes’ should have started in 2003 in both London and Sydney. Now, we have to accept that the city is no longer an option for many, yet when we look 4 minutes away from there we see the same trend of shortage. We are face with either not enough, or not affordable. A increasingly larger population in Sydney is now confronted that their income will at best support the rent of a mere studio apartment, meaning that the bulk must rely on 2 incomes to get anything above a one bedroom apartment, more than that, the current growth of rent means that any year that an annual increase of 3% is not met or exceeded, the living standard goes down on a quarterly base. These numbers might sound scary, but compared to London it is nowhere near as bad as it gets. The political parties have abandoned its population all for the need and premise of inviting wealth into the UK and Australia, whilst there is no evidence that these people are spending a great deal in those places, other than supporting and funding new unaffordable buildings. This goes far beyond these mere borders, we see a similar evolution in the Netherlands, where the issue is even more interesting as larger proportions of the Netherlands are facing a similar issue we see in London and Sydney. There is no ignoring the act that the Netherlands is only a fraction of the size of the UK (and an even more diminishable part of Australia), which of course drives prices up even faster. The Guardian article shows the most dangerous part at the very end with the quote “Since 2009, the fastest growing locations for new housing have been Barnet, Brent, Croydon, Newham and Wandsworth. In Croydon, the price of dozens of flats in the Coombe Cross development have increased by around a quarter, with one-bedroom flats rising £63,000 to £287,950“, now implying that the outer doughnut is no longer affordable, moreover, the fact that not more alerts are ringing all over Whitehall with an increase of 25% is even more unsettling. The average UK salary might be set at £26,500, but that implies that well over 50% of the UK is faced with a house price well over 1,000% of their income, making it never an option. That same trend is seen in Australia, where the median house price is now set at one million, setting the house price on average between 1,500% and 2,000% of their income, an issue that could have been avoided if the parties a decade ago had set clear paths in motion to battle this dangerous trend. Whilst both places are steering towards the New York unaffordability we are also faced with a situation that our values of life are in equal decrease, because as we move from nations that are no longer ‘working to live’, but nations that moved to ‘live to work’, our values will diminish faster and faster and it is all due to a path of greed and a path of flaccid and unreliable politicians. Labour UK 1997 – 2010, Labour AUS 2007 – 2013, in Australia partial fault is also with the Liberals as John Howard was sailing the good Ship Wallaby from 1996 – 2007. All parties that seemed to forget that not everyone can afford to live on a $100K+ income and we will be paying for their shortcomings for a long time to come.

I wonder if it ever gets properly solved without having to resort to ‘culling’ the population at large.

 

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The danger the UN brings

Yes, the UN has been active, the news in several places including the Netherlands shows a sight that many might not grasp. As one of the sources US News reports ‘UN summit approves 15-year blueprint to eradicate extreme poverty and combat climate change‘, of course many are now cheering on how lives will become better. Will they?

193 countries agreed on this. Like the millennium plans. Not all targets were met, but as some state (like Dutch NOS News), there is progress. The news stated on how poverty got halved. Here I wonder on what grounds that evidence is brought, where the data is. I am not stating it is incorrect, I am stating that poverty shifted and several nations are playing possum on those numbers. Has anyone considered the US numbers on how many people are living below the poverty line? How many need double jobs just to make ends meet? How is that not poverty in its own right? Now they are stating on how businesses need to get involved, moving from charitable to profitable (quote Dutch Prime Minister Rutten).

Here is the danger! You see we have ample evidence on many levels that the bulk of business will not make these jumps unless there is a benefit to them. Like tax breaks, like non-accountability. So as these new plans needs funding, funding many nations no longer have, how much additional taxation will get lost and how will that impact the lives of you and me all?

Is that not a valid question? The Dutch king might be very committed, yet funds are not there. Critics are already in disagreement. The overall lack of environmental improvements have been overly visible for a long time, getting it in an UN speech is unlikely to make change here. Which is just my personal view.

The quote from the prime minister is also very tainting. “These problems are too large for a government to tackle, we need corporations to step in“. This is perhaps the first clear statement from a leading EEC member that governments can no longer hack it. This is what I have stated for a long time. The law stayed its hand and as such the treasuries remain non protected and non-accountability with improper wasting of resources have given weight to a now faltering group of governments. Yet, corporations have to rise to the occasion, to which I ask: ‘At what price?

Feel of course free to disagree, yet in 8 years, see how goals are not being met, not even close and then listen to the carefully phrased excuses people will give regarding not making the targets. The US News article has one quote that needs to be regarded: “Supporters say there is no choice but to go big in a world of expanding population, growing inequality, dwindling resources and the existential threat from global warming“. It is the ‘dwindling resources’ that is at the heart of many issues. We allow the exploitative and imbalanced Wal-Mart to continue, yet we all realise that resources are an issue. In all this that same Wal-Mart will be asked to give support so that they can get a free pass. Does this make the entire UN operation a new chapter in its recognition as a paper tiger?

You only need to look at the Syrian issue to see how the UN is largely ignored. Now we get another ‘issue’, not with the speaker, she is as I see it in all this part of the UN PowerPoint. The quote ““Promise peace to all children in Pakistan, in India, in Syria and in every corner of the world,” Malala implored the leaders“, it sounds nice, it makes for good TV, but there is no realism here. Syria has its issues where the life of a child is conceptual at best. The Indian government has close to no options at all to deal with its child labour issues, the same situation exists in Pakistan. Both nations where the realistic view is to either work or starve. The combined child labour population of Pakistan and Indian exceeds the total population of either Australia or Sri Lanka. That is how unrealistic the issues are. Again, I have nothing against Malala, she overcame more hardship than most of us will encounter in a lifetime, but those in the UN should know better and adding her to this presentation is good for Malala and I wish her every positivity as well as the fact that we should not be silent on these issues, but the delegates of the UN should know a lot better, this issue is one that will not be met.

Another shifted view comes from Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi who said that “the international community has to deal with global challenges that hinder development“. The quote “Egypt has been fighting an insurgency by Sinai militants allied to the Islamic State group. At the same time, security forces have cracked down on Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists“, as well as “El-Sissi also expressed concern that “the tools” to achieve the goals are insufficient, and stressed that richer nations have a responsibility to help poorer ones“. This sounds not even close to nice. The direct option was to engage in a dialogue with Israel on how to deal with the Sinai, Israel is very willing to assist and find solutions here, as the pressure is also on Israel due to Sinai Extremists. No, President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi wants the rich countries to step in. Likely also making sure that some hands are tied in all this. The last one is a speculation, yet in addition the entire MFO situation are set after certain accords, so how will these accords be impacted? The September 17th 1978 Camp David Accords will likely see a different light over that evolving future. Is this truly a ploy to deal with the Sinai Extremists, or a played option to sway a vote to allow more Egyptian troops and military into Sinai, with all kinds of new pressures? I just set into the light three small issues that give worry to the entire 15 year blueprint. Yes, there is benefit and essential growth to eradicating extreme poverty, yet in all this it can ONLY be achieved by overhauling laws on a global level. Changes that players like Wal-Mart will never allow for, moreover, they have a sizeable lobby at their side to make sure that the fortunes of the Walton family remains guaranteed. Wal-Mart spend will over 7 million in 2013 to its lobby to make sure certain pawns were either moved, or not moved according to their needs. As the members of that family grows in fortune a billion a year, 7 million is nothing, even then times that would be a steal at twice the price, the cost of doing business and the laws of the land, the laws of most nations fall short in this regard.

Interesting that this side saw no exposure at all.

In this, the monarchist nations remain the strongest supporters, they are mostly about the nations and the global good, republics are all about the elected principle and the lobbies in the back, corporations rule there! Is it any surprise that Sweden and the Netherlands are so socially inclined? That is the impact of a monarchy reflecting on all the people and the moral and social good of the world. In similar light, how should we see the quote by India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Canadian Global News, where we read: “Modi confirmed plans for a fivefold boost in renewable energy but added two years to the time frame, saying it will take seven years instead of five”, is it because of American politics and what we have seen in the past that this could be seen as a shift until after the next election and that issue will be dealt with after the elections? Will we see an offer by Narendra Modi offering the open gap NTT DoCoMo left to the next mobile player under conditions of renewable energy installations? Will that suddenly count towards the total? In all this, those installations count as a cost, which means that those players will not be saucing the treasury coffers. That is the foundation of problems several other nations must remain aware off and unless the laws are adjusted this all shows like another paper tiger, offered in consideration from a group of people who get paid very nicely on an annual base, so the next 15 years some of these players would be decently well fed. Is that my sarcasm that you read now?

I must admit that sarcasm swims within me as I have seen the faltering side of several branches in law and politics not adjusting the view required to guarantee their nation towards growth, a view that is not an option at present. In all this not enough people are looking onto the sides that long term adjustments are required to make so that any option is realistic, yet with Wal-Mart equals on other shores their game is not dissimilar to the game the Walton’s are playing in a legally correct way, in all this the law has faltered in several nations, with no view of improvements any day soon.

So the dangers the UN bring will impact economies, unless the law adjusts firm and fast that plan is not likely to be made. If you doubt my words then consider the ‘plans’ that were made in 2000, they were not met, in some cases they were met only 50%, it is called an improvement, but from that we must accept that either the plans were never realistic, which beckons the question, why accept a non-realistic plan, in the second there is the validity that progress was booked, yet at what price and in this time and in this economic age what is the realistic chance that such funds remain to be available?

As for my doubts, that part can be seen in the very end of the article (at http://globalnews.ca/news/2242584/un-summit-approves-15-year-plan-to-erase-extreme-poverty-fight-climate-change/) called ‘UN summit approves 15-year plan to erase extreme poverty, fight climate change‘, the quote is “As for finding the trillions needed to implement the goals, Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates said Thursday “we’d be doing very well to have anywhere near that amount of money available by 2030”“. We know Bill Gates to be one of the leading philanthropists. He has not tried to hold on to the massive wealth Microsoft brought him and he has spent a lot, yet he knows how much money this requires, something I expect the politicians involved have no realistic clue about. If Bill Gates shows signs of worry regarding the need of these trillions, how come the governments involved are not extremely outspoken regarding the massive debts they have and that no one has these level of funds. In part only corporations do and my worry is that the price of agreeing to all this will cost us a lot down the road. In addition, it is also interesting to note on how papers have the same stories, the same quotes and the same title, so is the journalistic branch now limited to do the copy and paste action? In that I set Reuters apart. The one issue they show and the other papers did not (as far as I can tell), is the article (at http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/09/26/us-un-assembly-china-idUSKCN0RQ0HW20150926), so as we accept the second quote to be “Chinese President Xi Jinping announced on Saturday that Beijing will establish an assistance fund with an initial pledge of $2 billion to help developing countries implement a sweeping global sustainable development agenda over the next 15 years“. Now if we accept the first quote to be from Bill Gates (the one stated earlier), now compare the statement just given by Chinese President Xi Jinping, controlling the second largest economy on the planet (if we accept the US numbers to be true), than 2 billion (the article states another 12 billion by China too), in light of the statement by Bill Gates “As for finding the trillions needed to implement the goals“, gives the vision that the second largest economy is contributing less than 0.7% of the required amount. So is anyone still considering the realistic view offered by the UN, a 15 year goal that is not realistic is in my view nothing more than a concept in presentations, if you are there and if the coffee was nice, the day might not be lost, but in all certainty, it is unlikely to be a true gain to anyone attending other than Malala, who as a UN envoy achieved what she had to achieve, to shed light on a situation that needs addressing, how that is done is actually on the plate of Gordon Brown who is the political side of the United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education.

In the most worrying closure, I have stated it before, would the culling of our population help? If so how can the UN exist, or even remain to continue when the required solution is to dim the lights for billions of people, a population decline in excess of 90%. This is not humane and equally unrealistic. I want to see realism in the shape and size that we the people are properly informed on what is needed, where the law will properly adjust to hold corporations accountable for steps taken and for profits made. A reality I am unlikely to see happen in my life, so what will be left to the generation that follows me?

I honestly do not know, yet in the light of what I just showed you the reader, did you consider any of the issues that I noticed and that none of the articles discussed and more important, why were these issues not raised by the involved journalists?

 

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Pointing where?

An interesting article is hitting the Guardian, the title ‘Child poverty rise across Britain ‘halts progress made since 1990s’‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/jun/20/child-poverty-rise-uk-halts-progress-charities-claim) is hitting out at choices made, and let us be frank here, we have to point at certain actions and certain choices, but are we pointing at the right one?

In this both Labour and Conservatives are at fault. My own party of choice has made choices (bad ones) in the past, yet is the bedroom tax and are the benefit cuts truly the reason? They might (they do) have an impact, but are they the factors that are central in all this?

The quote “Child poverty is on course for the biggest rise in a generation, reversing years of progress that began in the late 1990s, leading charities and independent experts claimed on Saturday” is important. you see, at minus one and a half trillion cuts need to be made, in all this we need to see that unless the Commonwealth take responsibility in getting a budget, we are all doomed, the children aren’t even the first one to feel this. Both sides of the political isle have squandered their duties to a larger extent. Now, even though the conservatives are working on fixing this, we cannot ignore that certain damage was done under leadership of The Right Honourable Sir John Major. You see, the budget is set on two parts. What is spend and what is received.

It is the ‘what is received’ that is now a global issue. As individual governments were so eager to see industries grow, they decided to give tax breaks as an incentive. It did work, but guess what, it lowered the maximum received coins, which at that point was not a biggie. Now, we have created a different behemoth, as globalisation started stronger in 2002 onwards, no one (me blaming BOTH sides here) was looking at the cookie jar and wondering how continuation of feeding the future would be ensured (or is that insured?). No, many politician went by ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it‘, which gave us a different scenario after 2004. When the banking crises hit, it hit every shore on a global scale. So large corporations decided to maximise their ‘interests’, which I see was divided between shareholders and personal commissions, many combined, merged and used every tax break possible to avoid taxation. Now consider in an age of industry that the largest player (the industry) does not get to be held accountable for the needs of governing. They want their politicians in their pockets, their bonus in the other pocket and protection without invoice. They pulled it off because the parties on both sides did not correctly adjust legislation the way it had to be. Now, 11 years later, much of this legislation is still missing. The corporations see the sustenance of government not their responsibility, it is for the people, let them pay! They might not say it, but they will think it loudly!

So we have created a sea of chaos, and as the larger players avoid taxation, the people will end up with less. Now we get the quote “Ministers were remaining tight-lipped about the release on Thursday of the Ministers were remaining tight-lipped about the release on Thursday of the Households below Average Income statistics. Any increase in the number of children in poverty since 2013 would be an embarrassment. Child poverty fell from 3.4 million in 1998-99 to 2.3 million in 2010-11 – a reduction unparalleled in other wealthy nations over the same period – after the last Labour government promised to eradicate it by 2020. Any increase in the number of children in poverty since 2013 would be an embarrassment. Child poverty fell from 3.4 million in 1998-99 to 2.3 million in 2010-11 – a reduction unparalleled in other wealthy nations over the same period – after the last Labour government promised to eradicate it by 2020“, here is the second reason why Ed Miliband had no chance of winning, moreover, it shows a little more than that. The entire promise of child poverty eradication was never realistic to begin with. You see, by 2007 that given goal was no longer possible under both the economic meltdown as well as the tax evasion numbers, so did either Tony Blair or Gordon Brown inform the people that child poverty was there to stay? I have a hunch that this was not done. You see, ‘Households below Average Income statistics‘ is depending on income and cost of living. Income is still down due to past events, yet cost of living is going up and is going up slightly faster than wage corrections can provide for at present. So as we see these dwindling statistics, there should not be the wondering of how it is happening, we need to look at the way to deal with it. Lowering taxation is not a solution, it must be replaced by other means of taxation, which means that corporations need to pay their fair share, a part still not addressed. By the way, that part is also not addressed in Australia, as we see in the Australian Financial Review, the quote “The Business Council of Australia, comprised of the chief executives of big companies, cautioned the government that “global tax issues require global solutions”“, that the Business council of Australia is working for Global Companies, not for the Australian government. You only need to look at their board to see that they have the Managing Director of Rio Tinto Australia, the Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director of Qantas, the Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director of the Westpac Group, the Managing Director of Origin Energy Limited and a few more, all people very intent on paying as little taxation as possible, for the need of their shareholders and their personal bonuses. Guess, what, the Australian Financial Review does not really state that part, does it? No, they state “The Law Council of Australia has told the government not to enact the laws as they are currently drafted“, which might be a valid part, but valid to what extent? You see, last year I already stated part of the solution, make all purchases taxable at the location of the consumer buying it, or better the point of delivery. You see, the person buying the iTunes track, that video game, those bracelets or that suitcase is buying an item online, instead of in the shop. There might be valid reasons for why it was done, but it affects that nations GDP, so, as such, GST and other taxable parts should be paid there, not in Ireland or another low taxing nation. So, we do not begrudge the sale to be online, but on the same foot, just as a storekeeper pays its fair share of local taxation (read GST and such) the online store should do the same, it is just fair trade).

In all these years, those super clever members of the Law Council of Australia did not come up with this solution? If they did, why did the government not enact it? This directly reflects back to the UK. As taxation is now so unbalanced, the government is forced to scrap things.

No one is happy, everyone complains, but are they complaining in the right direction?

So as we see this article on child poverty, we also see the new Labour run “Yvette Cooper, who has put the fight against child poverty at the heart of her Labour leadership campaign, said the government’s record was a “damning indictment” of its approach and meant many children were being denied the start in life they deserved. “Their policies have delivered the biggest increase in child poverty in a generation and they have abandoned any pretence of even moving towards the target they promised to meet [to all but eradicate it by 2020].”“, no Yvette, this is not about ‘their’ policies, it is about your lack of realism, you should unite with the Tories to find the taxation that halts corporate greed and hold them to account for the protection they receive, the responsibilities that they should face, when that is correctly done, and as the coffers fill up again (move towards less or no debt), that you will see as a result that child poverty goes down again, yet as you ‘advocate’ your ego, realise that eradicating child poverty by 2020 was never realistic, getting it down by a lot is. By the way, whatever promise Yvette Cooper, or any other runner for the Labour Boss chair makes, make sure you realise that the pounding hammer of ‘interest payments’ is stopping many restorations in social projects, cutting and diminishing the debt is a first need, so as you contemplate that the next government should be labour, then also realise that they will spend it all again, they will do a ‘Gordon Brown’ on the treasury coffers! Now you, the reader, consider what is happening in Greece, when that hits the UK shores, it will be a massively larger and poverty will not be the nightmare. It will be that 23:00 news where they found a baby that starved to death, only because certain politicians had to feed their ego instead of realistic common sense. So where are we pointing? I want to point at a solution, which means properly fixing legislation, properly adjusting sentencing and fines. When you consider that some at the banks are still laughing at the 1.5 billion fine for Libor, than wonder how much they made. When the fine is 15 billion, they will wake up and stop feeding greed!

Oh, and before you think I have it simple, these cutbacks are hurting me a lot too, yet I realise that our future will depend on us not being in debt to the levels we are in now.

 

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If at first you don’t succeed!

That was the first thought I had when I saw the article ‘Academics attack George Osborne budget surplus proposal‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/jun/12/academics-attack-george-osborne-budget-surplus-proposal) and the title reflects on them as well as on me. You see, as stated more than once before, I have no economics degree, but I have insight in data, I am not a bookkeeper, but I know how to keep my own register (I’ll let you boil down that conundrum by yourself).

So as I have a go at 77 of the best known academic economists, I present the first quote, which is: “George Osborne’s plan to enshrine permanent budget surpluses in law is a political gimmick that ignores “basic economics”, a group of academic economists has warned“, here we see the first failing of these economists. You see, the first rule of a basic economy is plain and simple:

Do not spend more than you earn!

That has been a massive need for over 20 years! Some ‘academics’ convincing that the budget could be X (whatever the amount is, now they tell us that X = Y (part of our costs) + Z (the interest and minimal payback on a massive loan that allows us to do more). At some point, one politician was stupid enough (or forced) to do this, but then the next one did it too and so on. Now we have a game, because of a group of flagellationists, we are all whipped into a place we never wanted to be, which is deep in debt!

Were those economists wrong?

They were not IF (a very loud if) the politicians would have diminished the debt, which is now 1.5 trillion pounds. You remember the first formula (X=Y+Z), now let’s take a look. You see, the numbers have been shifted again and again. Some now state that the interest is £42.9 billion per annum (2013 numbers), So now we get X = Y + (42.9 + 30), which is the annual interest and the paying down the debt at 2%, let’s not forget that at this pace it will still take 50 years, that is, if we get a budget that is actually set!

There are other complications that will make ‘Z’ higher, or ‘X’ a lot lower, when we consider maturing bonds and all other methods of ‘borrowing’ funds. You will see that the only winner is the bank. Whomever gets paid 42.9 billion is getting that as a guarantee without ever working for it. You the readers in the UK are doing all the work for that bank. The economists are not trying to tell you that. They come with ‘it is a very complex situation’ or my favourite ‘it would take too long to explain it all’. Yet, in their own words, ‘basic economics’ is actually really simple.

Do not spend money you do not have!

Now we get the quote “the chancellor was turning a blind eye to the complexities of a 21st-century economy that demanded governments remain flexible and responsive to changing global events“, which I see as a half-truth! You see, economics are quite complex, but they are only complex because economists and their friends in the financial sector MADE it complex! They get all this money for free from governments all over the world. They do not want to change that ever!

For the sake of the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth and our sanity, George Osborne is making that change. If previous Labour (especially Gordon Brown MP) had not spend the massive amounts they had, the UK would be in a much better position, but that is not the case. The economic view of ‘flexible and responsive’ is a valid point, but previous events turned ‘flexible and responsive’ into non-accountable overspending of funds that were not available. It will take a generation to clean up. The issues in Greece got so hairy that the President of the United States put his foot down, 2 days later the IMF walks away. An economy so deep in debt, an economy only representing 2% of the economy of the EEC could be able to topple it all. That is what many do not want to address!

This gets us to a linked quote in the article ‘Greece running out of time to avoid default, leaders concede‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/jun/12/greece-running-out-of-time-to-avoid-default-leaders-concede), where we see: “Greece has less than a week to strike a deal with its Eurozone creditors to avoid defaulting on its massive debts and perhaps being kicked out of the single currency area, with German leaders and top European Union officials now conceding that default is the likeliest outcome“, so as you might recall that Greece claimed that a solution was ‘almost’ there, I will show you the ‘flexible and responsive’ side to the word ‘almost’.

You see, “I have had sex with Laura Vandervoort almost every night!” Monday almost, Tuesday almost, Wednesday almost. You get the idea, ‘almost’ here is like ‘as soon as possible’, at times it means ‘Never!’ (it would be so much fun to get a mail from Laura stating that she will be here ‘as soon as possible’, I am not beyond irony and it will make me chuckle for weeks!

Why this example? Well, I have been telling the readers for months that Greece has been screwing us around, you see how the words just fall into place? The economy does not! This is the clear evidence that the law must change. While all the players getting nice incomes were saying ‘tomorrow’ ad infinitum, George Osborne is saying ‘Now!’

The fact that this is essential is also seen through the acts of President Obama. Tax evasion was high on the G-meetings (G-7, G-20, take your pick), yet, when Australia introduced the Google Tax, we see the us Treasury making waves to stop it ‘US Treasury pressures Tony Abbott to drop ‘Google tax’ ‘ (at http://www.afr.com/news/policy/tax/us-treasury-pressures-tony-abbott-to-drop-google-tax-20150428-1mu2sg). They stated it as: “Mr Stack said it was critical that Group of 20 countries like Australia that were participating in global tax negotiations did not pass laws on their own that would contradict international agreements“. In my words, my response would be: “Mr Stack, you and your administration are a joke! You have not acted for over three administrations in reigning in corporate greed, your American corporations were cause of a financial meltdown 11 years ago, a meltdown we are all still feeling. In addition, you have not set ANY solid ground in countering tax evasion, other than the windy speeches we have expected to see, all speech, no action! It is time for the American administration to put their actions where their mouths have been for too long!” Not too diplomatic, but the message is coming across I reckon. The commonwealth can no longer adhere to the irresponsible acts of a nation that is 18 trillion in debt!

So as I see it the quote “they argued Osborne was guilty of adopting a gimmick designed to outmanoeuvre his opponents“. You see, this is not a gimmick, this is a direct need where the banks are no longer in control, the Commonwealth is a monarchy, that is there to give a future to the people and to keep them in a place where they have a future. For now Greece basically no longer has a future. It has spent it all, unless the US treasury comes up with 50 billion (quoting Jean-Claude Juncker), it only has time to find a solution that will not end the existence of Greece.

This is the massive difference that the people keep on forgetting. The UK is a monarchy, with a sovereign ruler who has accepted (or: was given) the responsibility to keep the nation thriving and its people moving towards a happy place that has a future, America is a republic, where the elected official is depending on large contributions, especially from the wealthy. It has given in to big business again and again for the last 20 years. As we see the USA, a nation more and more drowning in civil unrest, we should consider how they got there. The got there by lacking in laws that held big business and government to account of spending. Here we now see “George Osborne’s plan to enshrine permanent budget surpluses in law“, this is an essential first step to get us all back on a decent track where we are not in debt!

Getting back to the formula. The last step we were at was: X = Y + (42.9 + 30), you see, the people all over the place have been ‘deceived’ to some extent. Deceived is hard to use, because the word ‘misrepresented’ is a much better word. X is what the UK receives. With large corporations ducking their fiscal responsibility, the value of X goes down, with unemployment issues and zero hour issues, the people get less money and as such they pay less taxation, so X goes down even further. Now we get the set costs. (Y), more and more elderly, means more costs and they do not pay taxation. So the elderly drive down X a small bit and drive up Y a large portion. I do not hold that against them! They worked, they made Britain (and Australia) great! They did their share, so they get to sit down to enjoy the tea and biscuits (an additional fine venison steak would be good too). These are all elements that the economy is confronted with and as these economists have been to enabling to big business, we see that we must put a stop to what is happening. We have no other choice, or better stated we have less and less options. These economists are all polarised into one direction, one direction that has not worked for over a decade. We get misrepresented by ‘managed bad news’ and other forms of information we can no longer rely on.

Consider that I have been on top of the Greek case for some time now, so when we see (at http://ec.europa.eu/economy_finance/eu/countries/greece_en.htm) the fact that the forecast of Greece is 0.5% in 2015 and 2.9% in 2016, I wonder how they got to it all and if such misrepresentation should not be a cause for liability? Is it based upon raw data that we can trust? You see as these economists all rely on the ‘formula’ and all concede that it is a good model and a real predictor, my gut has been a lot more accurate and these economists had to adjust their numbers downwards time and time again. The last part for Greece is seen in the Financial Times, it reflects on what I stated earlier (at http://www.ft.com/fastft/343532/eurozone-financial-fragmentation-hits-5-year-low)!

Initiatives such as the European Stability Mechanism, a permanent rescue fund designed to limit financial chaos that might arise from an event such as a Grexit, as well as the €1.1tn quantitative easing programme, have helped insulate the rest of the Eurozone from Greece“, to ‘limit financial chaos’, is that not weird? Many players downplayed the impact of Grexit (especially France). So this ‘rescue fund’, how much is in it? You see, that will become a debt too and where does it go? France, Italy? They are in deep financial waters. So how much more will be needed to stop France and Italy to go over the edge?

Simple economics is to lower debt, now to throw money from other sources at the interest of debt, which solves nothing! George Osborne was right before, he is right now. The fact that the Economy players, the IMF and America do not like it when others are out of debt, that does not mean that we should adhere. I showed how USA adheres to big business (including banks), it is time to be self-reliant! So as rating agencies set the outlook bar to negative, we should start to wonder, who do they serve? You see, if the ratings are about the ‘now’, so the outlook is moved from Negative from Stable for an event that is not happening until 2017. Guess what, the UK was always stable, and when these ratings are shown to be ‘flawed’, then what?

To be honest, S&P has an interesting paper on this (at http://www.standardandpoors.com/aboutcreditratings/RatingsManual_PrintGuide.html). Here we see the quote “Credit ratings are opinions about credit risk published by a rating agency” and “Standard & Poor’s ratings opinions are based on analysis by experienced professionals who evaluate and interpret information received from issuers and other available sources“. Now we get the final part. The first quote is clear. It makes it known that this is a matter of opinion. The second quote is how they get it. Now tell me, how many of these ‘77 economists’, who were thumping George Osborne on all this, are involved in setting economic predictions? Are they linked to people who do set the ratings? I am not certain of the first premise, but I am decently certain of the second premise!

So are these economists, who claim that it is about ‘governments remain flexible and responsive’, is that it, or is the game getting rigged because the few are willing to sell the larger proportion of a population down the drain for the interest of self?

Consider the information given and work for a place of common sense. You will soon realise that the path of George Osborne is the right one, moreover, when in your life, has debt ever been a good thing and how is the debt working for Greece?

 

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A slave to greed

It is time to take a stance a little more vocal and a little more ‘anti’ certain voices. You see, the people are being led astray, misinformed and basically lied to. It is a clever lie that some people spin, where the involved players (like in Greece) focus on one part of the story and after that story is told, those who think they are getting informed, are told a fairy tale with no concrete connection to reality or to the factual complete truth. Those advocates work from the concept of ‘in the eye of the beholder’, which sounds nice, but when you pay your electricity bill, there is no eye of the beholder, there is just the invoice!

To get this party train started, let’s take a look at the definition. We are looking at Austerity!

According to the Investopedia it is: “DEFINITION of ‘Austerity’ a state of reduced spending and increased frugality in the financial sector. Austerity measures generally refer to the measures taken by governments to reduce expenditures in an attempt to shrink their growing budget deficits“.

Whilst dictionary.com tells us “strict economy

Both apply here!

So when I am looking at an article in the Guardian by Heather Steward called ‘Austerity isn’t ‘good housekeeping’: it’s dogmatic, risky and unjust‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/jun/07/austerity-isnt-good-housekeeping-dogmatic-risky-unjust), it is time to get a few things out of the way. To help me, there is a source I used for part of this, which is at http://www.economicshelp.org/blog/5509/economics/government-spending-under-labour/. You see, in the time 1997 – 2010 several things happened, even though around 2007 the total debt was at a record low, the increase in spending has changed that. The debt is getting out of control, plain and simple. Governments (both sides) tend to hide behind GDP percentages to validate their spending, yet, in the previous conservative government, it was at 40% of GDP, by the time Gordon Brown was done, it was at 45% of GDP, considering that the UK GDP is decently high, that 5% amounts to a lot. Yet, that figure does not tell you the whole picture.

The UK public sector debt went in the period 2008 – 2010 from around 36% to over 65%, which is massive, this current government has been adding to that, but they are trying to stem that tide, which is not done overnight. Now this is not me blaming Labour (which is always fun), Health care spending almost doubled in real terms between 1999 and 2010, which is a Grim Reaper reality. Some were massive bungles by labour, but the added reality is that the UK population is growing old, that is just a natural part and we have always known that. So there is no blame, but it is therefore of a much higher importance to get a handle on it and none of the choices are nice ones.

You see, the source gives a possible connection, but not the reality behind it. We see the mention whether Keynesian economics are to blame, with the quote “Keynesian economics calls for counter-cyclical spending and deficits. Thus, in a period of strong economic growth, Keynesian economics would advocate balancing the budget or even pursuing a budget surplus“, but that is the problem, the politicians, in the era 1997-2004, in such a ‘good’ climate did not adhere to that. The GDP debt is evidence of that. You see, to some extent, politicians are like children, give a 17 year old boy  a credit card with one million pound, stating that he must be careful, and that person will find a reason to get the PS4, the Xbox One and get personal biology lessons at the ‘Steam and Sun Health Club’. At which point that person is feeling that the good life is here, alas, at some point the invoice is due and whilst it is not getting paid, the interest is getting paid from the credit card, dwindling reserves even further, this is EXACTLY where Greece is at!

So now to the first article as mentioned in the beginning!

the spending squeeze the Tories now hope to implement, starting in the current financial year, is intense, as the spreadsheet wizards at the Institute for Fiscal Studies made clear last week. Shortly before Osborne’s statement, Carl Emmerson, the IFS’s deputy director, warned that achieving the Tories’ planned cuts would be “anything but easy”” Here I agree, it will not be easy, it will be hard and it will be even harder on the people, the issue is however that £1.56 trillion comes with the added issue that at 1%, this bill gets an added 15.6 billion in interest, however, the interest is not 1%, it is higher, so we see that the annual cost of servicing (paying the interest) the public debt amounted to around £43bn (which is roughly 3% of GDP). In an age where some people get instant orgasms from reporting a 0.2% increase in GDP, they seem to forget that this amounts to the part that the UK is annually down 2.8% of GDP. If we act harshly (really harshly) it can be dealt with and even be reduced! Which is the real deal. That interest is benefitting banks and foreign investors. It boils down to ‘money for free’. So now we get the second quote “the belt-tightening is likely to be profoundly unfair. Osborne has repeatedly said his cuts plan will involve a £12bn reduction in the welfare bill. Since pensioners are protected, and out-of-work benefits are a relatively small part of the £250bn social security budget, much of the burden is likely to fall on low-wage workers and their children” I agree, it is very unfair, but when the economy was high, no one was shouting loudly to decrease spending as bad times are always around the corner, no one stopped Gordon Brown to give away the keys to the kingdom, which is what he pretty much did!

So, the term ‘pursuing a budget surplus’ sounds nice, but politicians will avoid bad news whenever they can, so cutting down on expenses will only be done when there is no other option, and preferably in the 11th hour, whilst there is no guarantee that there is a surplus at that point to work with!

More austerity is risky at a time when recovery appears to be fragile against a background of the bubbling Eurozone crisis” this is a clear misrepresentation. You see, the statement is true, but there is no ‘fragile recovery’ at present, Greece is making sure of that by not doing its part. Which is exactly why the UK is contemplating getting out of the EU in the first place. The bulk of the Euro nations are all not balancing their books and getting out now might be the only way to preserve the little gain the UK can get. Now we get to another ‘failed’ view. It comes from Nobel Prize winner Amartya Sen. The statement is “A nation’s debts are mainly owed to someone else within the same society – for example the pension-holders whose funds are stacked full of gilts“. Is that so Mr Sen? Well, if you did your homework on this then please elaborate where the 1.5 trillion in UK debt is? I feel 99.324% certain that a massive amount is in other hands, not in the hands of pension holders, in addition, with the annual increase of needed funds over the next two decades, that amount is about to dwindle to record lows really fast, so where is all that debt?

The next statement is a view that I oppose “a report from the International Monetary Fund, rarely considered a hotbed of fiscal recklessness, warned about the risks of trying to tackle a country’s debt burden too quickly“, what is too quickly? You see 1.5 trillion is not going away overnight, it will take 2-3 decades to truly slim it down, so for the next generation, someone is walking away with £43bn a year, so we should get the debt down soon, preferably by a lot because the annual interest bill is around 7% of the received revenue in 2014, that whilst George Osborne spent 15% more than received, so to cut back on that increasing debt austerity seems to be the only answer.

Now we get the next issue “Paying them down rapidly distorts the economy too much to be worth the risk“, the risk to whom? To banks not getting ‘free’ money? Debt is a kicker, it always has been it has never been different. We will never be completely out of debt, but the debt at present is unacceptably high. You see a debt driven economy is based on the illusion of never ending growth. How did that work out in 2004 and 2008? In that light, how is it working out for Greece? They can no longer pay their bills. Whatever they get now in bail-out will be swallowed by debts and interests before Q3 ends. So, when I read “Debts should be “reduced organically through growth, or opportunistically when less distortionary sources of revenue are available”, the IMF’s researchers argue“, I am reading more misinformation. The theory sounds nice, but in the time when there was the option of surplus NOT ONE government created surplus. President Clinton was the only one who got a true surplus, after that due to circumstances the US could not foresee, the debt went completely out of control. In reflection on Austerity, Germany did tighten the buckle and got part of its debt down, which is why they are in a better position at present.

So this is the first article, Heather Stewart is not stating anything untrue, but the article is missing a lot and some of these points I very much disagree with (figure me, disagreeing with a Nobel prize winner, whilst I have no economy degree).

Now let’s have a go at the second Nobel Prize winner. In this case Joseph Stiglitz, recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences and the John Bates Clark Medal. The article that in centre of this is ‘Greece’s creditors need a dose of reality – this is no time for European disunion‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/jun/05/greeces-creditors-need-a-dose-of-reality-this-is-no-time-for-european-disunion). The first paragraph is the very notion of the beginning of my disagreement. “Athens has met its creditors’ demands more than halfway“. And we care….why? Why is Athens not meeting those demands 100% of the way? You see, Greece took the debt, it went back to the markets and sold 5 billion more in bonds (I still have not figured out the name of the idiot allowing for that act of stupidity). Greece vowed to make payments again and again, yet at present the already deferred TWO payments. Now, let me be frank. They were allowed to do that! The rules were there and they played by the rules, yet we all know that Greece is out of money, there are no more options. This will be the first time that a nation goes extinct through economic inaction! Even when Syriza won, instead of going after their predecessors, instead of sitting down and getting to the tax evaders, we see (at http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/world/europe/article4358352.ece) “The country’s financial crimes police, the SDOE, had begun shredding scores of documents linked to cases of corruption. What remained was stuffed in bin bags and discarded outside the bureau’s headquarters in Athens, in public view” the title ‘Greece shreds files on tax cheating by rich and powerful‘ Kostas Vaxevanis reported this on February 19th 2015. So, why was there no prosecution here? The entire debacle on tax evasion has been treated like a joke by 4 previous administrations, so as they cut their own jugulars, why allow for just a half way approach? So far this Greek administration has not done anything to give ample faith that there will be any level of resolution. Then we get “Greece has made clear its willingness to engage in continued economic overhaul, and has welcomed Europe’s help in implementing some of them“, is that so? So far there has been no overhaul at all, the public sector cuts were undone by rehiring. Greece needs to lower its cost by a massive amount. In all that time, which of the over 2000 of wealthy Greeks ended up in court for tax evasion (from Swiss bank accounts), perhaps one? Oh the Journalist Kostas Vaxevanis ended in the dock too, a massive miscarriage of Justice as I see it!

The one part I do agree with is the dangers of Greece exiting “I believe such views significantly underestimate the current and future risks involved“, this is true, but Greece can no longer be trusted to do what they stated to do and as such, some of the players prefer to get out, before the total debt grows with another 20% which is basically no more than a year away. There is not concrete evidence that the economy will truly pick up and those who have enabled this debt driven event are not held to account either (that small matter of a massive amount of Greek bonds on the market).

Then the last part “The ECB president Mario Draghi’s confidence trick, in the form of his declaration in 2012 that the monetary authorities would do “whatever it takes” to preserve the euro, has worked so far. But the knowledge that the euro is not a binding commitment among its members will make it far less likely to work the next time“, yes, how did it work? By spending a trillion or more one areas that are still not recuperating and will need at least a decade to regain the trillion that was spent in under a year? How is that anywhere near a workable solution?

In all this, whatever should work might have worked to a degree if politicians would control their budgets and that financial institutions would not be as greed driven as they are, which is why it all failed. When we see the quote “16 banks in five years to the end 2014 reveal £30bn increase in payouts, fines and legal bills on previous five-year period to end 2013” and this is linked to a total of well over £200bn. Lloyds alone got £117m in fines, how is this linked? Well, such losses means no taxation in the books as profits are gone, whilst many involved walked out with enough money (read: bonus) to pay their full mortgage in places like Golders Green.

Mr Stiglitz never lies or misinforms, but his view is incomplete. It is very dependent on the people involved doing the right and the correct thing. Politicians and bankers tend to be not those kind of people, Greece has shown it, Gordon Brown has spent it now the Conservatives need to repair the damage, Prime Minister Tsipras is ‘forced’ to play a high stakes game, whilst those involved are no longer willing to give leeway. In my view, that game should never have been played in the first place. By setting austerity, whilst going after the Greeks and their wealth benefitting from all this was perhaps one of the few acts that could have opened wallets all over the place, that act was never done, which is why many see that meeting half way is not really an option.

Austerity might seem unfair, and it is not fair on the payers at present, but someone opened a tap whilst the bulk of those knowing what was going on should have spoken out, and spoken out very loud. This was not done, so behold the consequence of that little caper.

There is one gem in his article at the end that is part of the entire Euro mess, which is fun as I have raised it a few times over the last few years. Not bad for a person devoid of an economics degree!

He states: “Europe’s leaders viewed themselves as visionaries when they created the euro. They thought they were looking beyond the short-term demands that usually preoccupy political leaders. Unfortunately, their understanding of economics fell short of their ambition; and the politics of the moment did not permit the creation of the institutional framework that might have enabled the euro to work as intended. Although the single currency was supposed to bring unprecedented prosperity, it is difficult to detect a significant positive effect for the Eurozone as a whole in the period before the crisis. In the period since, the adverse effects have been enormous

This is true, the one part I have an issue with is ‘Europe’s leaders viewed themselves as visionaries when they created the Euro‘. I think Europe’s leaders had nothing to do with that part. I have always viewed this change as an essential; step by the US. Their benefit of trade with a single currency was titanic in proportions, in addition, the US would keep its option to float the currency as any economy tends to do in times of hardship, whilst the nations that are part of the euro are part of a collective, which removes the option of floating a currency. This was centre in the additional growth (or diminished fall) for the US, yet, even they did not bank on the credit swap meltdown, which did hurt them. The US is getting better, but their 18 trillion in debt is choking them, even with the option to float the dollar, the Euro in the massive debt it is, can only remove the debt by paying it, which is strangling France and Italy. The UK is dealing with it, and the Euro is hurting them, but not as much as being part of the Euro is. Which is just my view on it all.

As I stated in the beginning, the articles are incomplete, misstated, not by inaccuracies, but by incompleteness, which is why people have the skewed view they seem to have at present. In the austerity path, which is unfair to some, we need to add the legal premise and the legal definitions as well as legal obstructions to remove the option of overspending to the degree that was done, we need to make sure that the law will not allow for such overstretching ever again, when that is done, we will return to times when there is hardship, but when there are good times we will all feel it too, in my view, the push of the financial sector to remove the season of ‘financial winter’ resulted in the banks getting by and the rest suffering, this must never be allowed ever again!

 

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Choices we make under pressure

It is an odd day, one day we predict and await, the next day we see how issues are just settled out of media. Now, at times I am all for keeping the media out. Not to put too delicate a point on it, but some members of a group we at times laughingly refer to as ‘people with journalistic integrity’ seems to have a moral view that is only slightly worse than a crack user in Camden. So as I saw that Chuka Umunna was going for the Labour leadership, I took a look at him. I saw just one interview he had just after the elections and I was not impressed. That is not a measurement of anything. You see, when Ed Miliband abdicated, which is a shame in one way, but understandable in another, I expected to see a person equal to the presenting task. Mr Umunna was not it. Now, that is just a first impression. I have no idea about his family, his extended family or anything else, I do not care about them (not meant in a bad way). In my view, it is about the man/woman and his/her political ability. The rest does not matter to me. Doesn’t it seem strange that a person who fights to get on top of things, who works hard to get anywhere, that person should not be measured by anything else but him/her! If I was to be measured by my abusive alcoholic father, I would be a lot better of going to the top of the closest by high building and enjoy the view on the way down (and I do not mean via the stairs or elevator). I am my own man, I fought to get where I got and I did it mostly myself. That is how I would measure Chuka Umunna!

So when it was revealed that he pulled out, I became curious (at https://www.politicshome.com/party-politics/articles/waugh-room/why-chuka-pulled-out). It is this quote “But the 48 hours crystallised his view that he just didn’t want the level of private scrutiny that being a Labour leadership contender, let alone Labour leader or Prime Minister, could entail“, which is fair enough! Or is it?

You see people in high places always had scrutiny, they accept that, but nowadays, the press has taken all of this into a realm that is no longer acceptable. So when you see this quote: “It’s also true that his girlfriend’s elderly grandmother was contacted by the media” in that article, we should consider what level of harassment any person in public office should get, and to what degree their family members are allowed to be shielded from. Remember, this is not the media around the election, this is day 5 after the elections and the pressure is already on. The fact that Chuka is shielding his family from all this for the coming 5 years is understandable but still regrettable.

This reflects back to the beginning. Was my view right? For now, I reckon so! For now he is the starter, the newbie, likely to be prone to all kinds of beginner’s mistakes, but that is what happens in year 0 (as any faction leader would face). Yet, should we accept this? Even as a conservative, I wonder whether the press is now engaging in acts that deprives the British people from proper representation. Is Chuka Umunna the best representation Labour would get? Well, now it seems that the Labour party will never find out, the press seems to have put a stop on that. Let me be frank, as a public figure, Mr Umunna can expect all kinds of exposure, to a limited degree the immediate family too, but the pressure to the extent some people get now it is a lot less acceptable. We get back to the press and how the press is actually abusing its freedom.

Lord Tebbit, former conservative MP for Epping and Chingford once stated: “It’s better to risk the press abusing its freedom than to risk the authorities abusing an unfree press“. In my own way I would add to that, that this might have been true in the days when his lordship was young and innocent, but in today’s society we must truly consider whether the press remains such a force of consideration. The term ‘risk regarding the press abusing its freedom‘ is now with some certainty the issue of ‘the press abusing the rights and freedoms of the people for the need of innuendo and circulation‘. This goes far beyond the old Hacked off issues. From the moment that was settled we saw some articles grovelling, then hyping on how freedom is such a good thing and how the press can regulate itself and that entire matter was not even a month old we got ‘MH370 suicide flight‘, were we ever shown any actual evidence to that? Now it is likely to get worse and many of my readers from the UK have not signed up for their possible political representation to be scrutinised to such a harassing degree. Here I must oppose Ben Bradshaw, MP for Exeter. In the interview in the Guardian, where after only 8 seconds he goes on with ‘but we have a great range of talent out there still hoping to run‘, so the person the conservatives feared the most (me thinks not) is replaced after 8 seconds for the next person. There is something wrong here too. If Chuka Umunna is such a great person, why not fight for him. You see, either Chuka is not that great a politician (fair enough) or this is about the worry on how much limelight labour will get from the press regarding the ‘wrong’ person. That is an immediate threat to the democratic freedom of all. So this is not about NOT looking into a politician, this is about the decent level of privacy the not immediate family is entitled to.

In the Guardian we also see Mary Creagh who was quoted from BBC Radio 4 “Modern politicians with social media, Facebook and emails face pressures even 15 or 20 years ago they did not face … We are expected to be some how superhuman”, is that true, or is there an increasingly skewed action by the press to overexpose whatever is not perfectly spotless and in that manner undo whatever good a politician is trying to do.

In the Daily Mail (I apologise for using a lowly regarded source of information) we see two quotes “Chuka Umunna is the articulate politician who had hoped to make the Labour Party electable again after the humiliations suffered under Gordon Brown and Ed Miliband. But many party workers were worried that this 36-year-old, 6ft-tall, well-dressed former lawyer may be just a little too smooth. The grandson of a British prosecutor at the Nuremberg war trials, Chuka was educated at a private boys’ school, and was a chorister at Southwark Cathedral. His voice can be heard singing the theme tune to the Rowan Atkinson comedy Mr Bean. Mr Umunna thinks nothing of spending £1,200 on bespoke suits from Alexandra Wood, an exclusive Saville Row tailor“.

So why would this be an issue? The terms ‘well-dressed‘ and ‘too smooth‘? The fact that he is the grandson of a former War Crimes prosecutor! That counts! Then there is the Saville Row reference, so this is not about skill, this is about the image that he inherited, the choices he made. Yet this person also decided to give his time to Labour, to champion the workers. He did not become a conservative as rich people seem to be seen as. In addition we get the quote “He was forced to apologise two years ago after it was revealed that he had once commented on a website that London’s nightclubs were ‘full of trash and C-list wannabes’“, so now people must apologise for speaking the truth? Have you seen the trash that comes out of some of these clubs? Smashed, drunk as a skunk and regularly we see how some of these places will have people leaving on all kinds of chemical trips. This is a consequence of binge drinking and slipping 1-2 pills with the white wine. This whilst many of them ladies complain on how they were entitled to VIP treatments in clubs so much better than the one they just crawled out of on all four. So perhaps Chuka Umunna is more than just a little right. Perhaps the press was worried on not having a hold on a person like this and they prefer a person slightly more ‘colourful’ (pardon the pun).

So where will Labour stand? Time will tell. Bren Bradshaw was right in one regard. The Labour party has loads of talent, no one denies that, but they’ve already forgotten that Ed Miliband was plenty talented and to some extent even visionary (in the wrong time as I saw it). So as the second talented member gets pushed off stage, are we seeing the effects of internal power plays and if so, should the press not be held to account for being the tool in all this?

I will let you, the reader mull over those facts and you should come to your own conclusions.

 

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