Tag Archives: Liberals

Trademarking idiocy

Is it not great that we have trademarks? You see, a trademark can be used to set a level of protection to names that are unique. Trademarks are granted to protect established brand names from inferior competition. It is in that we could trademark ‘MattHancock’, we need to protect this as such levels of what I regard to be almost Olympian levels of idiocy. When this trademark is widely known we could set the stage that people can be silly, stupid or even idiots, yet you can never get beyond a certain level of idiocy as it is limited to Matt Hancock.

Why is this?

Well, to see that we need to look at actually two elements. The first is the Independent that gives us: ‘Government orders chief medical officer to draw up guidelines on social media time limits‘ (at https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/social-media-time-limit-facebook-instagram-twitter-snapchat-matt-hancock-a8561511.html). When has this ever worked? When we are seeing the blame game with: ““The terms of reference of Facebook and Instagram say you shouldn’t be on it if you are under the age of 13,” he said. “But they do nothing to police that. The guidelines for WhatsApp say you shouldn’t be on it unless you’re 16. But again, they don’t lift a finger.”” We get it; people need to be on a certain age. Yet, how to check it? Well, did Matt Hancock think of the most usual path? Perhaps leave it to parenting, more important, if someone is caught with these apps whilst not being of the right age, how about holding the PARENTS accountable? This is not something for the law, to prosecute, and when you get there, we get a trial that is a joke because the person was underage. How about making the parents prosecutable in all this? This is all about kicking certain players again and again, whilst they are in a corner. This is too much about getting waves and political election cloud, whilst we all know that the setting is a joke from the very beginning. To see that, we merely need to look at the BBC article (at https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-45693143) give us: “A Guardian columnist highlighted the security breach on Twitter and the BBC was also able to access private details of people attending the event. The Conservative Party apologised for “any concern caused” and said “the technical issue has been resolved”. The Information Commissioner’s Office said it would be making inquiries. BBC political correspondent Chris Mason said the technical glitch was “deeply, deeply embarrassing” for the party“, so the one party that cannot get a decent grasp on common cyber sense is going to police time limits on social media? How laughingly stupid can a person get?

So when we are treated to: “One of Labour’s shadow cabinet, Jon Trickett, criticised the Conservatives for the breach and said: “How can we trust this Tory government with our country’s security when they can’t even build a conference app that keeps the data of their members, MPs and others attending safe?”“, can we also take that leap of faith that the overall comprehension of certain parts in all this is beyond the ability of politicians on both sides of the isle?

I can agree that when we see: “Meanwhile, public campaigns such as Scroll Free September have been launched to encourage the public to use social media less. The initiative, from the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH), asked people to stop using platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat during September, or to cut down the amount of time they spend on them“, we need to consider that this is not the worst idea. Just like ditching the car for a day. It is not within the option for many people, but some might be able to see if they can do without social media for a day. The problem is that everyone is focussed on Facebook and Instagram, yet the setting is a lot larger than that and setting this stage to these two is one of discrimination which is a hot potato on several sides. In addition, must tertiary educations rely on social media like Facebook to get their message across not merely on events, but also on causes and interest groups that use Facebook to get their message across, what happens when you are out of time? It is an overall usage where critical analyses of how it is used is close to impossible, because that requires access to data to set the stage, and that caused most of the problems in the first place.

Yet, we also need to see and admit that Matt Hancock does have his heart in the right place. We see this with: ““I am, as a father, very worried about the growing evidence of the impact of social media on children’s mental health,” he told The Observer ahead of the start of the Conservative party conference in Birmingham. “Unrestricted use (of social media) by younger children risks being very damaging to their mental health” and it is in equal part also part of the problem. This is seen when we see ‘Unrestricted use (of social media) by younger children risks being very damaging to their mental health‘, so where is that evidence? I am not stating that it is not true; we merely want to see presented the actual evidence, is that too much to ask for? We get it, there will be risks, there will always be risks and they optionally endanger children and that is one part. Yet, since when are parents no longer accountable for the actions of their children? An entire set of messes, an entire batch of resource wasting and cost sin all this, whilst the stage is simple. The parents can be held accountable for the actions of their children, as well as the impact of these issues on their children.

An entire mess solved by setting the stage of responsibility with the parents and carers.

This gets us to the setting that matters. You see, even as I called him an idiot, he has a good degree and was educated in Oxford and Cambridge, and these two places do not seem to educate fools, so is this merely a setting of wasting our times, or is this about something else? Is this the beginning to set social media censorship on a new dock and in a new ship (the good ship lollipop) and set it afloat like a fireship? Thee tactic makes sense, yet the entire setting is too shallow as I see it. I cannot be the only person to hold the parents accountable in all this (when the social media child is under 13)? So when I see “Mr Hancock hit out at both platforms, which share an owner, over a lack of policing of their rules on age limits“. This seems less about mental health and more about collecting true identity settings in all this. It seems to me that the people behind all this require more data and they are in a nightmare scenario that they themselves created. Now that the setting is overboard the government has no path to solve it all and now they are blaming social media to a much larger extent to police using privacy based data. How can you check the age of an underage person? You cannot! That is the simple truth and holding the parents accountable in all this would have been the first and sensible part in all this, yet that was not done, was it?

So even as the conservative cannot get their own app under control, they are not demanding additional policing that is not policed (and should not) under normal conditions and is set on the same shallow state as the demand of one hour to remove certain data, and the mess is about to get worse with

You see it gets worse with: “Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton introduced the new laws to the Parliament, saying they are needed to help police and spies catch criminals who are hiding behind encryption technology“, in this Australia is setting a more dangerous stage. When we consider the setting that we see everywhere with: “Keeping your password safe. To protect the information in your computer account from unauthorised access: Do not share your username and password with anyone. Except in the case of a shared departmental account, you should never disclose the passwords for your computer accounts to anyone“. So it might be a golden day for whistle-blowers as they claim to be working for the police getting others to give out their passwords. The mere ignorance on common cyber sense will increase the damage well over tenfold and whilst criminals move towards burner phones and more important burnable memory cores we see that the police will have truckloads of data of all people with no criminal intent. In addition, there is every chance that with: “He said this potentially compromises his business, putting it in breach of Europe’s tough new GDPR data privacy laws and he would have to give privacy breach notifications to his clients” some companies will see dangers to their IP and move away from Australia, merely letting them have third tier access and mere consumer base based products. In this setting all developers would eagerly run away from Australia to protect their IP and patent data until the patents were granted, giving Australia additional downturns soon after the bill passes. On the other side, we will start travelling without our devices and rely on an empty burner phone that allows us to work, but will not retain any data outside the cloud. In that setting how were any of these actions anything less than stupid with a capital S?

People will find a way around it giving the governments less options and a lot more headaches, it never made a difference and the dangerous elements will take additional measures leaving the prosecution services with even less evidence to work with. It is trademarking idiocy on a new level, happy Sunday!

 

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By what standard

An article appeared several hours ago that brings forth questions. The Guardian (at http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jan/03/saudi-execution-call-for-west-to-condemn-killing-of-shia-cleric), gives several causes for concern. The first one is in the title ‘Saudi execution: call for west to condemn killing of Shia cleric‘, why? The subtitle ‘UK Treasury minister describes the killing of Nimr al-Nimr as a ‘worrying development’ as tensions escalate‘ is cause for additional concern. In my (simplistic) viewpoint, why is David Gauke, financial secretary to the Treasury speaking here (read: quoted)? Why is this not voiced by the UK foreign office (and the Home office for that matter)? THEY are spokespeople in this case, well the Foreign Office more than the Home Office in this case, but the home office would be voicing the ‘home front’ feelings. No, it is the financial secretary to the Treasury, whose voice does not count in this situation that is the view that is voiced.

You see, Saudi Arabia is a sovereign nation where the use of capital punishment is based on Shari’ah (or Islamic law). I did not study Shari’ah Law and as such I cannot answer the legality in this, but Saudi Arabia is a sovereign nation with its own set of laws and it is time for people to start understanding that other cultures have other rules and laws. For me, I am still amazed on how capital punishment is not in existence in Commonwealth Law, in addition, I am amazed how targeted killing is still not a legal option, an absence I still believe is more an act of cowardice than anything else (I will address this part later in this article).

So Saudi Arabia has the death penalty, this is not new, it is a given. Yet, what people seem to forget is that when you look deeper into Islamic Banking and Finance that this system is not greed driven, that what is regarded as Sharia compliant finance. It approached the view where Sharia prohibits acceptance of specific interest or fees for loans of money, whether the payment is fixed or floating, which as I understand it implies any excess compensation without due consideration (absent of time value of money), which implies (without deeper investigation, cannot be stated as for certain by me) that the hedge funds nightmare that Wall Street bestowed upon the world would never have happened under Shari’ah Law, I will let you contemplate that thought by yourself!

Let’s get back to capital punishment! When we look at an article by Elizabeth Peiffer (at http://scholarship.law.wm.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1132&context=wmjowl), we see the following on page 508 (page 3 of the article), “The harsh punishments required for hudud crimes are intended to deter those who might commit crimes that are dangerous to an Islamic society“, in additional support there is something I should add from the Catholic Education Resource Center (at http://www.catholiceducation.org/en/religion-and-philosophy/social-justice/catholicism-amp-capital-punishment.html), where we see “At no point, however, does Jesus deny that the State has authority to exact capital punishment. In his debates with the Pharisees, Jesus cites with approval the apparently harsh commandment, “He who speaks evil of father or mother, let him surely die” (Matthew 15:4; Mark 7:10, referring to Exodus 2l:17; cf. Leviticus 20:9)“, in addition I offer “The last case of an execution by the Catholic Church was that of the schoolmaster Cayetano Ripoll, accused of deism by the waning Spanish Inquisition and hanged to death 26 July 1826 in Valencia after a two-year trial” (at http://www.nashuatelegraph.com/news/805877-196/daily-twip—the-spanish-inquisition-executes.html).

We seem to impose ‘our’ values on every nation, yet we do not take responsibility or repair the damage we allow others to make under either a Christian or atheist guise, how just is that?

Let’s get back to the issue that started all this, you see Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr was sentenced to death. The BBC (at http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-29627766) gives us “he was found guilty of seeking “foreign meddling” in the kingdom, “disobeying” its rulers and taking up arms against the security forces“, ‘taking up arms against the security forces’ could be seen as insurrection at best and treason at worst, when I point back to the issue shown in the article by Elizabeth Peiffer we get ‘intended to deter those who might commit crimes that are dangerous to an Islamic society’, is that not the case for both insurrection and treason? Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr was himself a cleric, so how was the consequence a surprise? Because he was regarded as ‘popular among youth’? The sovereign nation of Saudi Arabia has a set of laws, this is known, so again, why do we read that David Gauke sees this as a ‘worrying development’? Shouldn’t the man be playing with an abacus and solving the UK economy issues (the UK has plenty of those)? In addition, he represents South West Hertfordshire, which is part of Hertfordshire, where less than 1% is Muslim, a county where 90% is either Christian or has no religion (27.3%), so again, what gives, personal interest or unofficial messenger?

The blunt cold issue is that a cleric went against the established order and Shari’ah Law intervened directly and definitively, which I admit is my rather simplistic view on the matter.

In an age where culling over 30% of the planets population could solve food issues, housing issues and several other issues, we seem to embrace the solution that does not get us anywhere. Now it is time to get back to an earlier statement and explain my reasoning. In our day and age, capital punishment should not be seen as a bad thing, we should see this as the ultimate form of accountability. Consider the News in Brisbane where “Cole Miller, 18, was allegedly struck in the head from behind as he walked with a friend through the Chinatown Mall about 3.35am yesterday (AEST)” (at http://www.9news.com.au/national/2016/01/03/07/16/young-man-randomly-king-hit-while-walking-through-brisbane-mall-overnight). Why not ‘reward’ Armstrong Renata and Daniel Maxwell with the death penalty for such a cowardly attack? I feel certain that after a few of these executions teens will get hit in the head from behind a lot less. Why was he attacked in the first place? That is still for a court to decide, but too often and for too long the victim and its family gets to suffer whilst the courts ‘go soft’ too often on the transgressors and it is not because there are so many jobs or there are so many apartments available. As stated, it is for a court to decide and there is of course the need for evidence, because we know how it ended, but how did it get started? I do not have the facts, but that is an important element in Common Law, I am just no longer willing to see that the abolishment of capital punishment is a good idea.

I also mentioned cowardice earlier, for this I need to address the issue of targeted killing. You see, the law as is seems to revere ‘non-permanent’ solutions. In all that people are faced with dangers and risks. Consider that 70% lives in a legal way, no crimes committed, now we get 29.9991% that does have a criminal side, for that we have the law, I do not oppose this, they are criminals of all kinds, from pickpockets, to robbers to murderers, for those we have the law. There is a very small group, 0.0009%, this group is so malignant, so violent (read: extremely fanatic or terrorist), that their presence is a direct threat to the people and to our way of life. In all this, we ‘hide’ behind Common Law and its settings, like it is a Golden Calf (I am referring here to Exodus 32:1–6), how dare we revere a book to that level whilst knowingly endangering the people we swore to protect, are those victims in that same view not degraded to simple human sacrifices for the existence of a book of rules? How can we sacrifice those lives and are we not willing to take the lives who are knowingly and intentionally threatening those innocent (and some less innocent) lives? Are we not bound to protect the people in any accountable way we possibly can? It is the word accountable that should have opened the door to targeted killing a long time ago, I am not referring to 9/11; I am referring to events even before that. To the days of Baader Meinhoff and the Rote Armee Fraktion. Italy had the Red Brigade, Japan the Red Army and that list goes on for a while. We seem to focus on Islamic groups, yet we forget that the Ku Klux Klan, White Power groups as Christian groups and most other religions have their terrorist organisations, groups with members focused on extreme violence against a specific group or a nation in general, as such, when that government has a direct responsibility to keep its citizens safe, where is the logic to not pursue these extremists with all options, including terminal ones?

So by what standard are we judging?

We seem to push our standards onto others, whilst in most western European nations we have only succeeded in making a bigger mess, whilst not holding anyone accountable for anything, as I see it, Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr decided on a course of action, here (Australia, UK, Canada, sometimes the US too) we all believe in freedom of speech, yet In Islamic nations there seems to be an interpretation that ‘crimes that are dangerous to an Islamic society‘ are strictly dealt with by holding that person accountable. Please consider that I am voicing a view based on the ‘facts’ as I see it published, I am not stating on the ruling of the specific court case of Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr as I do not have all the facts on that case. And consider again, why is the voice of David Gauke quoted and not from the Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP? In this case it is his voice as Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs that sets the tone of how we as a Commonwealth (read: United Kingdom) shall deal with our allies, our connected nations and our enemies, not David Gauke. In Australia Foreign Minister Julie Bishop stated today that the Australian government is deeply disturbed by Saudi Arabia’s mass execution of 47 people that same approach was taken by Canada where Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion condemns Saudis over Mass Execution (including the execution of Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr). So why did the article by Martin Chulov not mention the big names from Canada and Australia within that article? OK, in all fairness, the response from Julie Bishop was only voiced a few hours ago, but the Canadian voice was given yesterday, plenty of time to include that one, it seems to me that the article is about careful ‘voicing’ what does not really matter for the political field that becomes a lot less maneuverable over the coming year, another fact conveniently ignored.

All this regarding the standard a sovereign nations holds. We might not agree and we can voice that, but we must equally accept that every nation has its own rights in dealing with transgressors, even if we are too unwilling to do this ourselves. Consider that hypocrisy is knowingly not practicing what you tell others to do (like having just laws against crime and for victims), now consider that Irony is becoming a judge after illustrating the failure of law.

So is this a mere case of Hypocritical Irony?

 

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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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How to cure economic sickness

The Guardian is bringing me grim news today. As a British conservative and as an Australian Liberal the news presented does not look good, it is slightly beyond critical. It also reminds me of a small gag I heard in the Netherlands 3 decades ago. The one-liner was: “Due to a death, this cemetery will remain closed for the next few days” (source Fons Jansen), yes it seems like a laughing matter, but the Grimness behind it is less amusing and more dread based than we realise. The news ‘Ministers ‘are hiding details of £2bn NHS cash crisis’‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/oct/03/ministers-hiding-details-nhs-cash-crisis) is at the centre of all this. As a conservative my response (with all due respect) to Prime Minister David Cameron is ‘Sir, are you barking mad?‘ I will direct this at the Prime Minister because he is ‘our’ leader, the man in charge. If there is even the slightest hint that he was not aware than a massive reshuffle will be needed within the next 48 hours.

You see, I have forever opposed hiding bad news. Managing bad news will always bite the parties involved in the end. When the implied deficit amounts to 0.5% of all collected taxations in 2014, we have a massive problem which must be addressed and it needs to be addressed sooner rather than later. You see, no matter how trivial this 0.5% might seem. The coffers are down well over a trillion pounds, which requires 100% of all collected taxations for three years to address. Now that act is not realistic, but that show you the massive damage the United Kingdom faces. Economies are slowing down, partially due to Asia, partially due to acts that America is about to do and as such the American economy will soon take another tumble. As I see it, Thanksgiving and Christmas might hide the events, but the end of January through March, especially when the US Department of Defence will make 40,000 people redundant, that economy will shift over the following 4 months. In all this, the UK can no longer afford to hide bad news of this nature. The Commonwealth in general needs to realise that as the US seems to enable greed based corporations, we as members of the Commonwealth will have to stick together. This is no longer about national pride and ego. Our collective politicians are more likely to walk away with opportunities that will guarantee the well-being of their families for more than two generations, whilst in all this the people will end up getting saddled with a debt that will stop them from moving forward in any decent future for decades to come. None of us agreed to such imbalance.

The quote “Heidi Alexander, the shadow health secretary, said on Saturday: “This appears to be a cynical attempt to suppress bad news ahead of the Tory party conference. It makes a mockery of Tory claims to be committed to transparency in the NHS, and leaves Jeremy Hunt with very serious questions to answer. These figures must now be published in full as a matter of urgency”” gives weight to this. Part of me is also very cautious on her statement, let’s not forget that it was Labour that squandered 11 billion from the NHS and they have not been forthcoming at all, so let’s realise that this still remains an issue of the Pot calling the Kettle black.

The next part is set over two quotes. The first is “Professor Chris Ham, chief executive of the King’s Fund think tank, recently said that the NHS’s fast-ballooning deficit was leading to “panic” at the health department and “denial” at the Treasury. The service’s overspend was so large that it needed an emergency injection of £1bn in the comprehensive spending review to keep functioning, added Ham“, the second quote is “Without extra funding, he argued, the NHS would end up unable to cope, “most likely during the winter when many hospitals run out of money … With NHS hospitals unable to go bankrupt…, the Treasury will be forced to intervene or accept a rapid decline in performance.”“. The issue is in more than one part. In the first we must question how the NHS ended up short by 2 billion. We have heard all the wild accusations in the papers, but what news there has any reliability? No matter how little of it is true, Jeremy Hunt has an official problem, because if he has kept facts away from the public than he has no right being in his position, if he is falling on his sword for the party, we have an even larger issue. Because the conservative members feel that they should be told the facts, good or bad. We cannot fix when things remain hidden. We within the Commonwealth will become puppets to those operating the machines. It is a fake freedom which does do no one any good.

Yet the NHS has issues on several levels. One level was discussed in my blog article called ‘In Greed we trust‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2015/09/22/in-greed-we-trust/). Here we looked at Turing Pharmaceuticals AG and the little caper they pulled on Daraprim. They weren’t the only ones. The Financial Post (at http://business.financialpost.com/investing/global-investor/valeant-pharmaceuticals-international-inc-shares-plummet-as-525-hike-in-drug-price-draws-fire) gave us “Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. shares fell as much as 20 per cent after Democrats in the U.S. House asked to subpoena the company for documents relating to drug price increases, the latest move by politicians seeking to curb price hikes on acquired drugs“. When we see places like Turing Pharmaceuticals ‘hiding’ behind places like PrWeb and PrNewsWire, you better believe you are facing marketing from the bottom of the barrel. Yet in all this serious demands from the government looking into these companies who bought up niche medications and driving up prices by hundreds of percentage points is a matter this government (as well as the previous one) did not have to content with and as such the NHS will receive even more pressure. This is exactly why I have pushed for close to two years towards a stronger Commonwealth coalition. India with its Generic pharmaceuticals that will become one of the pillars of salvation for the NHS. This needs to happen now, before the Australian government (as well as the previous one) does something irreversibly stupid like signing the TPP. We must recognise here that it was not Australian Labor or the Australian Liberals asking the questions that had to be asked, it was New Zealand that put up a fight against the TPP issues. So have we been watching a media event by Martin Shkreli and Turing Pharmaceuticals?

Because we all need to realise clearly that once the TPP is signed, the signing government will have placed a knife on the throats of nearly 21.7% of the population of Australia, whilst that group will be left with no medical alternative!

That part reflects on the NHS!

When we consider some information from the ABPI (at http://www.abpi.org.uk/our-work/library/industry/Documents/OHE%20ABPI%20Medicines%20Bill%20Forecast.pdf), we must also acknowledge that they, the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry, represents commercial enterprises, a branch not to favoured, or flavoured towards generic medication. They are given, as I personally see it (read: speculate) the inside track from ‘friends’ on how far they must lower the price to remain seated. It is a form of let’s say branded exploitation that can no longer be afforded. Now, we must be clear that there is nothing illegal on branded exploitation, but we have to acknowledge that the NHS can no longer afford to play that game (a 2 billion deficit is ample proof of that).

Within the ABPI we see plenty of information, now consider this one quote from one of their presentations: “Loss of exclusivity of some major brands is projected to yield £3.4bn cumulative savings to the NHS between 2012 and 2015 with £5.4bn cumulative lost revenue to industry“. Do you think this is about the savings to the NHS, or the revenue lost to industry? If you think that this is about ‘savings to the NHS‘ than you, the respectful reader, will be slightly too naive than is good for you! I cannot fault the ABPI, because it is doing what it needs to do, represent its industry, we all forgot that they are not living in a symbiotic relationship with the government as they provide THEIR solutions to the NHS. The people the ABPI is representing, is a commercial group. They want to get the most out of whatever they can. Culling their needs by having stronger ties with Generic brands, even Indian ones is essential. They might cry about their low prices, but the reality is different. These players claiming the high costs are hoping you forget about news from 2001 (and many other years) where we saw “The UK government is introducing tax incentives aimed at persuading British-based pharmaceutical companies to boost their research into diseases affecting the world’s poor, such as AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria“, so they get the tax breaks for research, they have the inside tracks on ‘maximising’ product pricing solutions, yet overall they still complain. Which in light when we consider the ABPI document showing a 15% growth in spending on medication to be another issue. This is was a projection over 4 years (up to 2015), yet the facts remain, the NHS needs another solution and we agree that generic medication will not be as strong, however a medication that needs to be taken 10% longer might be preferable to medication that is 30% more expensive. Clarity is what matters here and for the implied accusation that Jeremy Hunt was keeping people in the dark should be offensive to all of us. There is one more side to all this, which is shown in that same presentation. The Office of Health Economics (OHE) is stating with their key message 6 that: “By 2015, new branded medicines launched between 2012 and 2015 will account for less than 2% of the total medicines bill. This underlies the issue in the UK of slow uptake of innovative new medicines“. From an analyst side I want to offer this thought to you. the quote ‘new branded medicines’ implies not that they are new medication, but new versions of existing medications, which means that rebranded and possibly marketed solutions is now implied to be below 2%, yet whatever deal is in place, it could also imply that this 2% is also a group that for now cannot be replaced by generic mediation. This is a speculation on my side, yet these kinds of presentations are never about ‘informing’ the people, it is about awareness on which questions to ask and what solutions to push for. Both tend to be expensive exercises for any NHS.

Yet medication is only one side, it is the one side we can clearly fight for with the possible reward of direct savings, but other sides need to be considered too. This we see in the comment article in the Guardian called ‘This junior doctor contract puts patients in danger‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/oct/04/junior-doctor-contract-patients-danger). Can anyone explain to me how the stupidity of “The contract that the Department of Health is threatening to impose on junior doctors once again raises the prospect of 90-hour weeks being written into rotas“? I went to University with some of these upcoming doctors, the pressure on them is just beyond harsh. How can a 90-hour contract be allowed? apart from that being a step just one hair fraction away from being regarded as slave labour, the pressures on these people will result in a certain harm to them self, an implied certain harm to their patients and a long term harm to the NHS as a whole. Because this will fall over within 2 years after which there will be no doctors left, there will be nearly no nurses left and the UK gets to rely on the medical care we can import from Siberia and Africa, how would that end well?

As a final year student in Intellectual Property law I call upon my peers to aid the NHS, give aid to them by creating strong patents for Generic medication, for patents that  lessen the stranglehold on prolonged exclusive medication. In 2008 in the Financial Times, Yusuf Hamied, stated: “I am not against patents, but India cannot afford them. I am against monopolies”, he is correct! In addition, now 7 years later the UK and many other nations cannot afford them either. That part has been ignored on many governmental levels all over the Commonwealth. The response the article gives: “he is a “pirate”, an opportunist who has exploited others’ intellectual property to swell his own profits. In the process, they say, he is undermining investment in future medicines, including the next generation of HIV therapies“, this fake response is flame baked with emotion, the reference to ‘the next generation of HIV therapies‘ does that. You see they had a patent, they had exclusivity for 20 years, but the people in that house became lazy and greedy and now they do not want to give it up. They try to revamp the drug to the tiniest part (they will call it an innovative new drug) and then they reshape it with a patent for 20 more years of exclusivity. They are now learning that this is not always successful. As a Patent Attorney (if I make it to the end) I would want to work on the patents of Generic medications, lowering the barricades to NHS on a global level, which is one of the reasons I oppose the TPP. Governments (including the UK) have squandered the position they had by prolonging a solution that never worked and voila, here we have the trillion pound deficit!

OK, I admit it is not a completely accurate statement and as such the issues are more complex, but we must fight the wars we can win and the NHS war could be won, however if Mr not so bright, I am hiding the numbers Jeremy Hunt MP is indeed hiding the numbers, any NHS solution will come too late, which puts 68 million in peril.

I feel that I am on the right track. Some will question my view towards Generic Medication Patents. When I consider my duties as stated in the Code of Conduct for Patent and Trade Marks Attorneys 2013, I see section 11 that a registered attorney must act as a patent attorney or a trade marks attorney in the following:

  • In accordance with the law; and
  • In the best interests of the registered attorney’s client; and
  • In the public interest; and
  • In the interests of the registered attorney’s profession as a whole.

The first two would carry for certain, the latter two are the debate. I believe that Generic Medication and protecting these is in the public interest on a global scale, I never believed that ‘reworking’ a patent, unless it is truly a new substance was in the public interest. You see exclusivity is a right given to the actual innovator, not giving in perpetuity, which only propagates exploitation, the last part is that the profession as a whole relies not on the cash of the rich client. It relies on driving true innovation, when we start repackaging the same solution with a new delivery method (which costs less than $15 dollars to make), the price hike from $20 to $175 is not just a tough pill to swallow it is a dangerous escalation in our greying population. The fact that Patent Laws as well as Patent Regulations have not been properly updated (even though this example is specifically for the US, not the UK) should give warning to other parts that needs to be overhauled.

This all hits back to the NHS. The Independent showed a few sides which reflects mighty badly on Jeremy Hunt. You see the quote: “it was his intention that no one should lose out financially” might sound nice and perhaps the change to a schedule where doctors work 7 days a week might not be an avoidable part, yet in all this the 90 hour a week part is still one of the deadliest issues. That person might not feel a financial ‘pinch’, but I guarantee you that these hours will drive most doctors bonkers within 2 years. How can the NHS survive when by 2018 23% of the medical GP’s are in a sanatorium? Did Mr Hunt add that risk to his spreadsheet?

So how will this end? Well, for Jeremy Hun MP not all that good I reckon (speculation on my side), but we have to wait to see all the facts to place judgment on this. In all this, as I see it, I started with the title: ‘How to cure economic sickness‘.

The answer in my case is by changing direction, by changing it massively. There is now more than half a decade of data and Business Intelligence that the US only considers the US and there they falter and fail as they refuse to deal with Greed. They hide behind more and more emotional stories (especially when there are school shootings), even there the US legislative branch is failing its people. The Commonwealth cannot afford these steps. We the Commonwealth must unite as never before. We the people of the Commonwealth must also realise that to make this work we must be willing to make large changes if needed. I always lived a global live, so if I am required to move to the UK, Canada or perhaps even India, than I will! In this day and age, holding onto your one little hill (especially those with tertiary educations) we must consider a global (read a complete Commonwealth field). The UK must start to realise this too, because they have squandered too much funds on solutions that never worked. Australia is moving into that direction as well as Canada, they just move in that direction more politely than the other players.

And finally my message to David Cameron. David, your Conservative party can be the solution, we all can be part of that solution, yet in all this we must know how bad things are and the playbook you currently use needs to change, the US can no longer be seen as a potential ‘solution’, they burned that bridge by themselves. Our Commonwealth can grow towards the empire it was, we have the skills, we have the innovators, we have the drive and (most of us) the loyalty to the crown, yet in all this, not enough drive towards a Commonwealth Union has been made. The SNP is partially evidence of that. They now realise that their oil revenue is not making it work, they need to realise that together we are stronger. Yes, perhaps that will be as an independent Scotland, but then it should still be a Commonwealth Nation, we must propel on all sides to show both the US and China that the UK is the 5th largest economy, yet as a United Commonwealth we can surpass China and become the second largest economy! The next 12 years will be about the innovators that propel ideas in many fields. We will see a growth in Trade Marks, in Patents and in Business solutions and all this will be resulting in new avenues of growth, yet as a single nation the UK can no longer compete to the extent it needs to. The costs are too high, the NHS is the first and clearest piece of evidence.

So economic sickness can be cured, it needs the right medication and this can be administered by acquiring the right medication, the current providers have shown that they are not up to the task!

I leave it to the honourable David Cameron to set the right course!

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I have seen this before

It was not a pretty picture this morning. The Australian deficit is about to be blown clearly out of the waters surrounding it. Yes, there was nothing wrong with the initial assessment that Australian would no longer be in the red before 2016. The plan was bold, it was feasible and after the Australian Labor party had blown its spending in the hundreds of billions, from a 57 billion debt, Australian Labor blew the national debt and grew it in excess of 250 billion, in addition, the forward spending spree by Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard would give the Liberals a 600 billion headache, and it is a firm headache, which is about to get a lot worse.

Whether we see it as politics, treason or just incompetence, the Labour government seems to have played an intentional game of silencing certain contracts. It is my view that there is not possible, that after only 3 weeks into the liberal government that the car industry decided to just walk away. This was planned all along and they played nice with the Labor party for the view of whatever benefit game was played. So the Liberals ended up with massive invoices and bills that Labor should never have spent, but this is not about that, this is about a second game that has been in commencement. It has been played for a little longer that the Liberals have been at the helm, but in that instance, I will state that neither party is to blame. This is not political; this is political management of another nature.

For the second game I need to take a little detour to the 80’s. When I grew up in the Netherlands, more specifically Rotterdam, I was all about harbours, ships and engineering. My work with IT systems in the harbours gave me an interesting edge. I had access, I was busy all day programming new container solutions in Clipper and I dealt with cargo of several natures. One of the things I used to see on a daily basis was an enormous mountain of iron ore. It was meant for Germany, yet at times that mountain would not shrink; it would grow and grow and grow. In those days it made no sense to me, little did I know!

Now we get back to today, the current administration is about to bleed out no less than 20 billion for the simple reason that revenue of iron has gone down 40%, not that less is produced, no, iron is worth a lot less now. So, to get even, Australia needs to ship 250%, which is not an option. So why sell it at all? Now we get to an interesting article in the Sydney Morning Herald (at http://www.smh.com.au/business/price-drop-signals-the-end-of-the-iron-ore-age-20140912-10fxr7.html), we see here that the initial rise and fall was all in the previous government, there is also a clear view that not only is this rise temporary, the overall trend shows that the previous government had a lucky break (and still overspend by close to half a trillion), yet the current government is not innocent either as their view on iron revenue should have been downgraded by at least 20%, which would have lessened the impact. Neither is to blame, but also, neither is innocent here. So as we see the solution, we need to worry what will come next?

This is where it gets to be dodgy; it is sheer speculation in my side. I think that someone is playing chipmunk here. I think that a mountain is created using all manners of non-taxation and then they will sell it all off at a massive profit when iron price suddenly makes an upturn. Between March 2010 and April 2010, the price went from 139.77 to 172.47. Even though such a jump is not conceivable, the fact is that if housing improved only a little, iron prices will grow again and it is a global market, so as one person needs more, iron will do better again. so buying and storing when prices are down, transferring to a foreign account and then selling as prices bounce back, will yield massive profits for those non-taxable entities. Is it true? No, it is speculation (from my side), yet we have seen similar acts before, so it is not inconceivable, in addition, the Australian government is bleeding deficits fast, and they are amounting to serious amounts within the next three months.

This part is all on the Liberal side, it is not their fault, but they will need to amend their budgets and forecasts accordingly. And it is not just Australia, the UK has similar issues, yet not to the same extent, but the pressure is there too. The UK will take a 30 billion dive, which is a sizeable amount. This all beckons, why were predictions not made a little less enthusiastically? You don’t skin the bastard until it is dead (and very healthy for the poacher seeking crocs). This again shows the need to take a better look at how certain items are anticipated and budgeted. If you doubt that part, then ask George Osborne and Joe Hockey on how many complications those billions bring and it is not the only worry, because there is a second downside. Whoever has these current mountains of ore, they do have a firm grip on driving prices high soon enough, then what will we do?

So, when did I see this before? Well, that is the fun part; I saw it happen around 1989, when the prices went up a little (16%) form $12 to $14. Yes a mere $2. It becomes an interesting view when we look at the data form the last 30 years. The entire mountain of increase and decrease started pretty much in December 2003, when the price was $13.82. From there it would shoot up to almost $178 (2011), now if it is going back to its foundation price. Why was this not better investigated? How come that a commodity is driven up by 1369%? The final part we see in the Economist (at http://www.economist.com/node/21564559). The quote “In the longer term, overall iron-ore demand will grow as China’s march to urbanisation goes on. Demand in the rich world may be drooping, but Wood Mackenzie, a consultancy, says steel consumption will not peak in China until 2026“. Is that a given? When we consider the site macro business with the article ‘Chinese Iron production is booming‘ (at http://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2014/08/chinese-iron-ore-production-is-booming/), we see the question I had in my mind.  “The one question that nobody in the iron ore sector (or Australia more generally for that matter) dare ask is what if Chinese iron ore production does not close as Australian miners ramp up output. The reason nobody asks it is that the outcome will be calamitous“.

It comes down to, why should China import? They have cheap labour and resources, and they have iron (at http://www.srk.com.au/en/newsletter/focus-iron-ore/iron-mineral-deposits-and-projects-peoples-republic-china), so why import when they can become a supplier themselves. It is not inconceivable that Australian iron moguls like BHP, Fortesque, Rio Tinto and Hancock will see a decline in numbers. There is no way to tell whether it will return to pre 90’s prices, but if China gets their own iron and their demand for it goes down by 70% or more, the hard news hitting us now will be nothing compared to the bash we get when an industry of 250,000 miners will shed part of their people. We thought the car industry was a nightmare, well; consider that under current conditions if 40% less minerals are needed, we might see the shedding of 100,000 people, a level of bad news Australia has never faced before.

Even though Australia mines a lot more than just Iron, the metal impact could be harshly felt in 2015, if the situation does not improve.

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What goes up…..

The next blog has been bumped to the next blog, mainly because Sky News was kind enough to show the snivelling cry story (me now playing the world’s smallest violin), by the ACTU secretary Dave Oliver, yes, the text in the background ‘join for a better future‘ reads nice, but the story he is giving is intentional misdirection. Holden and Toyota did not leave overnight (which was discussed in my blog on February 12th called ‘The last Australian car‘), this was planned for a long time, as such, what he now calls ‘the opposition’ was at the centre of this entire mess.

When we hear statements like ‘everything is on the table‘ then that person is already deceiving us all. So let’s take a look at some of the things stated at http://www.skynews.com.au/businessnews/article.aspx?id=955273.

Qantas has asked the government to change the Qantas Sale Act to allow more foreign investment arguing the strings attached hampered its ability to compete on a level playing field with its rivals“, which makes me wonder how this remains an Australian icon to begin with.

Some aviation analysts argue the best option for Qantas would be to split the company into three separate companies: domestic, international and ancillary services such as the Frequent Flyer program and freight“, which reads a lot like the ‘bad bank’ solutions we have seen all over the global financial sector, which in the end leaves the taxpayers with an unfair bill.

The Australian gave us (at http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/aviation/pm-failing-australian-workers-on-qantas-actu/story-e6frg95x-1226844413018) the following statements.

the headline is already a first “PM failing Australian workers on Qantas: ACTU“, this is followed by “How did it get to the stage where our Prime Minister won’t even stick up for Australian jobs?” and “Australian unions will meet with Qantas CEO Alan Joyce this week to seek a commitment to minimise job losses, following the airline’s announcement last week it would slash 5000 jobs“.

So, let’s take a look at this all. From the first moment, with all due respect, This Dave Oliver comes across as a man born not too bright and he stopped evolving after birth. Why is this my personal view? You see, one should always keep an eye out for the reasoning. Without that, we have nothing but noise.

First the income side as it was reported by the Herald Sun last September 7th (at http://www.heraldsun.com.au/business/qantas-freezes-pay-of-chief-executive-alan-joyce-but-offers-him-1m-in-bonuses-and-shares/story-fni0dcne-1226713613053), where we see the following: “Mr Joyce’s base salary for the year to June remained unchanged at $2.109 million. But a cash bonus of $775,200 and $387,000 worth of deferred share payments bumped the total remuneration package up to $3.3 million for the year. Mr Joyce gave up his bonus the previous year when Qantas reported its first annual loss since privatisation. The airline, which last week reported a wafer-thin full-year net profit of $6 million, said a general freeze on executive management pay would apply over the coming year“.

So basically, an airline, this large, reports (according to the Herald Sun), a full year Net profit, twice the amount the CEO made in a year. So, the income of the CEO was 50% of the NET profit. This was in the era of labor and this is not inviting any clear statements of outrage or disgust? Let us not forget that the tier of high executives would have been less, but still substantial, which in my view becomes that the Net profit of Qantas was in 2013 a lot less than the income of the board of directors alone. which makes us wonder on how 7 high executives are save whilst 5000 jobs are forsaken to other areas. The positive news was 11 days before the Liberals came into office, and within three months, Qantas analysts ‘suddenly’ misplaced (or lost) a quarter of a billion dollars, how convenient. So Mr Dave Oliver, why do you not stop crying and take a long gander towards this obnoxious fact?

It is not the job of the government to provide for free slave labor (through financial incentives to big business for keeping jobs), mainly because this is Australia!

This all takes another tumble when we see the news (at http://www.news.com.au/travel/travel-updates/qantas-to-cut-1000-jobs-as-ceo-alan-joyce-takes-pay-cut/story-e6frfq80-1226775800430), where we see the following “Mr Joyce’s $3.3 million pay will be cut by at least 38 per cent this financial year because of the airline’s poor performance – which would leave him with a $2 million pay packet” this was on December 5th 2013, in less than three months they went from plus 6 million to: “Qantas said it expected to report an underlying before tax loss of $250-300 million for the first half of the 2013-14 financial year“, which gives us two points at this precise moment. The first is that in my view, the September report was feigned positivity as we were set up for the bad news blows. When you go from +6 million to minus three hundred million you better believe that we the readers and we the workers are getting played. So at this point Mr ACTU, would you like to please change your view from Australian Icon to Australian joke? When a company makes this fast a tumble, there is clear mis-management, mis-representation and mis-organisation, whilst the labor government was run by Miss-NotAllThatInformed (in those day referred to as ‘prime minister’). So whilst Dave Oliver is presenting under the veil of violins speaks out for all those poor poor workers, he should better realise and change his tune to make it sure that this was bungled by labor, for big business and 5000 workers are about to pay a hefty price for such levels of negligence.

So what about Tony Abbott?

Should a government give out a debt guarantee, whilst there is a decent amount of clear evidence that this money could be lost overnight? It is not for the Australian tax payers to lose this amount of money whilst the Qantas top will walk away with millions and with new foreign investors there is still a likely chance that many jobs will go overseas (why else would they invest in the first place). It is also the case that in that same news message (from December 5th) that former Qantas Group Chief Economist Tony Webber left the message that it was too late to help the ailing airline. Is he correct? I am not sure, but I feel certain that he would know a lot more of the Qantas finances then either the ACTU, the ATO or the other interested parties in forcing the hand of government to sign a debt guarantee. The fact that Tony Webber is now managing director of Webber Quantitative Consulting and Associate Professor at the University of Sydney Business School, gives more weight to the value of his statements then the feigned spoken outrage from some of the other players (even if he is not a UTS professor) ;-).

This situation as we ‘suddenly’ see the Qantas debacle was not grown overnight. This has been a failing business dimension for well over a year, because $300,000,000 is not lost overnight, it had to have been known for some time.

 

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The last Australian car

Australian news has been all over the place. The one thing that is so expected is now on the fritz. Car makers are moving away from Australia. The events have not been out of the air, but what has been a revelation, is the amount of ‘subsidies’ the government had thrown into that direction to begin with. What can we (me, myself and my sources) tell you? First, the four big car makers in Australia were Ford, Holden, Mitsubishi and Toyota.

1. Ford
Last year, Ford announced plans to shut its two Australian plants in October 2016, blaming strong currency as well as high production costs that are hitting the manufacturer. These are all decent reasons, but I personally do not think that this was the whole picture. In addition Ford is cutting 300 jobs this June, which has some worried that Ford will leave before the 2016 announced point of departure.

2. Holden
Holden will be leaving Australia in 2017. Holden’s 2017 exit from its automotive assembly operations in Elizabeth put 13,000 jobs at risk in South Australia. (at http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/jan/21/holden-exit-2017-sa-needs-330m).

3. Mitsubishi
Mitsubishi shuttered its assembly plant in 2008.

4. Toyota
The world’s largest car maker announced it would stop building cars in Australia by the end of 2017 and would operate in this country only as a sales and distribution company. One additional factor needs to be told, which will have bearing down the road. Namely “Toyota is Australia’s biggest vehicle exporter with around 70,000 of the 100,000-plus cars it builds here being sold in foreign markets” (at http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/latest-news/toyota-to-make-major-announcement/story-fn3dxiwe-1226822810074).

So, by 2017 all carmakers will have bailed out of Australia. Why is this all a big deal?
Many will go directly for the job losses. ABC stated “The Australian Council of Trade Unions has warned the decision could cost as many as 50,000 jobs and wipe $21 billion from the economy as the impact rolls through the associated components sector” (at http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-02-10/toyota-to-pull-out-of-australia-sources/5250114).

Is that all the truth? No! Listening to Labour leader Bill shorten is to hear a lot of misinformation and tweaked wordings. Labour had messed up a lot of issues. In my personal view, I personally think that Bill Shorten is not telling the whole truth because his lips are moving! Let’s not forget that the Liberals are not blameless either, the entire situation has covered both sides of the political aisle. Part of the disgrace can be read in the Business insider (at http://www.businessinsider.com.au/australias-car-industry-out-of-gas-after-billions-in-subsidies-that-were-always-going-to-lead-to-a-dead-end-2013-12) the quote “The car industry is estimated to have received a total of $12 billion in direct subsidies and protections over the past 20 years, including $1.8 billion to Holden in the 11 years to 2012.” is at the heart of this. So basically, 4 car makers have enjoyed an annual $600 million in subsidies a year. This is so off the wall it is not even funny! So our taxation goes to an industry who advertises a dozen times a day that they are so great? How can we take either the car industry, or the government in this regard serious? Let us not forget that Labour was part of this all as well. This also links back to the TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership). An interesting link we find is a Japanese site that had the following to say (at http://www.jama-english.jp/publications/tpp_pr_mar2013.pdf) “Japan’s auto market is completely open to other countries’ products. No restrictive customs or other regulations apply to imported vehicles.

What about the exported vehicle side of all this? If we see it in that light, we see that the TPP is opening up borders as it should, so, that from now on Japan (Toyota and Mitsubishi) as well as USA (Ford and Holden) have a dire reason to return to their home flock. The TPP is giving options to get these brands all home build. Whatever assurances we see now on support and spare parts will soon be removed too (like in the month as they leave). Yes, there will be a few ‘exclusive’ distributors, but as the TPP comes to full power, the entire online experience will not just hold books, movies and video games. they will likely include car parts soon enough. If you doubt this all (which would be fair), then consider the following article (at http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/columnists/lies-damn-lies-and-car-subsidy-statistics/story-fnbkvnk7-1226824091831#), where writer Judith Sloan brings a case that Australia has subsidised almost $1900 per vehicle produced. If we take that and we add the initial quote I mentioned “Toyota is Australia’s biggest vehicle exporter with around 70,000 of the 100,000-plus cars it builds here being sold in foreign markets” leaves me with the question whether we have been sponsoring that part too.

Is this just the story? No! I think that there is more at play. Even though several sources are not making any mention of it, Ford and General Motors (Holden) are American companies and i think it is not just about removing plants, I personally think that members of the US government have had talks with all the big boys of industry. The American situation cannot continue. If America is to survive (which is slowly becoming less and less likely), they need taxable incomes. To get this done they will have to get the industry back. This will soon become an era of in-sourcing. This is not a new or a novel thought. It had been on the mind of many in 2012 and several articles had been written in 2013 that in-sourcing would grow big in USA. One of the people outspoken in that area had been Charles Fishman. Even though no one took him that seriously, the man appeared to have been right on the money. I personally think that it was the dumb spending sprees by both Japanese and American governments that forced the in-sourcing hand. This is also part of the pressure we saw in December as President Barack Obama spoke out for a quick closure of the TPP (it still think that the pharmaceutical patents are the largest part, but that I will cover at a later date).

Is it all a bad idea? No!

It is for us, but can you blame these two nations for thinking of themselves? It will however be important for us to find another solution. I already mentioned this on December 11th when I wrote about ‘The Holden circus’. If Toyota is leaving Australia too, then my thoughts on this are not just validated to some extent, they become a lot more important to follow up on. A nation of 23 million needs its own car industry. I do believe that it should not be subsidised, the designers just need to become really clever and we the people of Australia will need to support our own industry. If the Japanese and the Americans are all about nationalism (as we have seen on many occasion), then why not the Australians? If Japan and America walk away from a 23 million customer base, why should we keep any level of loyalty towards them?

We must all realise that we need to adjust our focus, we must change our way of working and thinking. We need to walk away from subsidies and sponsoring. We must move to an age where we design in a more clever way, we must bring to market in a brighter way and we must adhere to a different customer collective. The 4 brand approach to 12 models a year is just not sustainable. If these makers claim so, ten let them refund the subsidies!

When the last car is built in Australia, the eager beaver that launches their brand in Australia will start with the audience of a lifetime!

 

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