Tag Archives: London School of Economics

When wrong is right

There is now too little doubt, I got it wrong, and I will happily and freely admit to it. You see, the entire Salisbury and Novichok was a shamble from the beginning. There was little doubt in my view, as I have been around the world twice, as I saw things on several levels, there was a massive issue with the entire Skripal case, as such I had a massive lack of faith in the reports all over the news. Not merely the setting where we see from the early setting that GRU players were mentioned, the fact that the hit was unsuccessful and the setting that I still see as an event framed in stupidity. A setting with a whole host of issues that could go wrong from the very beginning, how could anyone support it?

And I decided not to do it without clear evidence.

So I was in a stage of impressing denial, plain and simple. Apart from the setting that was brought by the media, there were issue with the evidence as Vil Mirzayanov gave clear evidence that was countered from day one with publications in all kinds of magazines, even the documents in the OPCW gave rise to doubt, but the media all ate it like flame baked chocolate chip cookies. The Guardian brought its version of doubt and also gave us valid questions and in all this the media machines continued with a mix of facts and speculations (as media would have done).

Yet we have seen that and in the stage of all this, the LA Times now gives us ‘Spate of fumbled spycraft may be laughing matter for ordinary Russians, but not for President Putin‘, now that we see that there is a chance that the FSB has messed up to this degree cannot be ignored. So as we are treated to both “Like Russian President Vladimir Putin, the GRU — the country’s military intelligence agency — is more accustomed to being feared than being mocked. But a recently exposed run of bumbling spycraft — think Austin Powers, not James Bond — has made the spy agency the subject of biting humor, at which Russians happen to excel“, as well as “the Kremlin is worried about its “brand, image and reputation as a great power.” And Putin, a former KGB officer whose approval ratings have been slipping, is doubtless “unhappy with the image of Russia as being incompetent, and the potential public perception of themselves as fools,”” Finally we get “Putin-watchers saw peril for the head of the GRU, Igor Korobov. Unconfirmed reports in the Russian press said that after the U.S. indictments of seven military intelligence officers, the Russian president summoned Korobov for an official dressing-down” It is the final part that makes for the entertainment as I wrote yesterday: “How badly are these ladies trained (me stating the need for a well-paid job and replacing Colonel general Igor Valentinovich Korobov), I mean, I could hardly do any worse, could I? Let’s face it, in Australia a general’s pay starts at $235,595 with 0 years of experience in that rank. I’d accept that as a starting wage (LOL), even if it turns out to be merely for a year“. I wrote it in ‘Consideration for dinner‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2018/10/15/consideration-for-dinner/). So now we see that in the end, I would have been a better director of Russian Military Intelligence than Russian General Igor Valentinovich Korobov, who would have thunk it? Yes, I stated that expression and in light of history it would be quite apt.

So as we have been treated to all kinds of sources far, wide and speculative, I have tried to maintain to the facts as much as possible. A few years ago, the open setting of who were GRU officers, who would rely on an operation using unstable elements, the lack of investigating a certain laboratory. Yet, now looking back, there is additional implied evidence that there was a much larger issue and it is not with the UK, it is with Russia. We see this in the writing of Mark Galeotti. We see: “If Putin is showing his anger, it is not because they are spying and hacking and killing, but because they are not doing it well enough“, a statement from a senior fellow at the Institute of International Relations Prague. He is correct. It is nice to see that there is an implied failure on the Russian side and it sets the GRU back to the age of the early cold war where they would walk in the US wearing a weird trench coat, thinking that everyone in the US looked and dressed like Humphrey Bogart. It makes counter intelligence exceedingly easy for the FBI and MI-5, so they should be relieved, but they are unlikely to be that. All these issues are pointing towards a larger game and falling asleep now is perhaps the largest of all failings to embrace. Part of this was tipped on in February by the BBC (at https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-42636245). Here we see the mention ‘Just weeks before Litvinenko died, Russia passed a law giving the FSB authority to act against “extremists” and “terrorists” abroad‘, yet the issue is not the statement, it is the Russian definition of what THEY consider to be a terrorist and an extremist. You see an extremist is someone who holds extreme political or religious views, yet in case or Russia is that a political view that is not their political view? Then we get the part of terrorist. Here we see that this is a person who uses unlawful violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims. Yet is the word ‘violence’ mandatory? We have e-terrorism, which is still terrorism, is it not?

So as we were going into the entire Salisbury debacle, we were treated to two people allegedly called Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov and they were giving us: “insisting they were sports nutritionists on a holiday jaunt to Britain — and that with all the iconic tourist sites available to them in London, what they really, really wanted to see was the cathedral in a provincial city“. I was in disbelief! Someone was going to be this stupid about it? Now, I have heard and seen the folly of underestimating an opponent, yet until this week I had never considered that overestimating an opponent could be so equally deadly. It is like watching that old series The Top Secret Life of Edgar Briggs, where I am thwarted by Briggs, in this case played by Igor Valentinovich Korobov, it feels that unsettling, to face an opponent you rigorously overestimate.

It got to be even worse when they were caught ‘red’ handed, trying to hack into the computers of the OPCW, which in light of the fact that I got most their memo’s merely Google searching them. OK, they wanted the Skripal case documents, which were likely slightly more secure, yet in all that, when we are faced with such bungling, how can we lose sleep over any operation the GRU does when we can read it on page two of The Sun staring at the ‘lung’ section of a page three girl. It seems that the job (for now) for MI-5 is exceedingly simple. So as we are treated to the operandis modi of the Kremlin (according to the LA Times, where we see: ““Step No. 1 is deny; Step No. 2 is to undermine whoever made the allegations,” said Polyakova. “And usually Step No. 3 is to spin multiple versions of the story, to try to confuse the public narrative about what is the truth, and what is not.”” so, if we give a view to Alina Polyakova and her view in this, we need to compare that to the political field, the US political field might be the most apt one. So, the deny part, how did that work out for former president Bill Clinton? Then we see the undermining part, how did that work out for former (being the operative word) FBI Agent Peter Strzok, and the third and final part, the spin part? Well, the spin part is actually decently effective (usually it is), partially as most people can no longer tell the difference between journalistic news sources and morning TV shows that cast some version of the news on a malleable turntable. So that one the Kremlin is seemingly getting right (at least partially), although having a much better trained GRU might not be the worst idea in all this.

If we can keep a sense of humour in all this, we should take notice of Grigorii Golosov, a political scientist who stated: “thanks to the efforts of the two (Russian agents), the word “Novichok” was now better known to non-Russian speakers than “Sputnik.”” Yes, that is certainly true. The LA Times also re-staged the setting of: “the Kremlin not only vehemently denied involvement, but demanded definitive proof of the suspects’ guilt, which seemed at the time like a tall order“. That is where several insiders were, as well as myself, as we saw the train and CCTV footage and saw such a large lack of tradecraft that is seemed a joke to consider it at all, yet the egg is on out faces, I admit that! The fact that my skills surpass these so called Special Forces people at the GRU is just blowing my mind (quite literally). It gets to be even worse (or more hilarious depending on your placing on the table of intelligence) when we consider “seeing the cathedral in a provincial city“. So with the options ranging from Aldershot to Wrexham, they went to Salisbury? How could this be sold in any believable way?

There is one additional consideration and yet it is also a danger. As we are laughing at what the GRU is unable to do, we need to be weary that the SVR has not made these levels of blunders (a speculative statement, I know). In this, we need to recollect the words of Foreign Intelligence Service chief Sergei Naryshkin: “Russia couldn’t have been behind the operation because it was done so unprofessionally“, me and several others agree on that, so if that is the setting of the stage then we need to consider that the SVR might be poised to take over that part and properly train those people, giving us optionally new waves to deal with. Now, in all honesty, one would think that this is never going to happen, yet Vladimir Putin is an SVR alumni, so the thought is not that crazy and being placed in a setting of such embarrassment might make him jump and demand success stories, just as Saudi Arabia has its own optional folly to deal with, getting on board selling non ethical solutions is not beyond any opponent of those relying on overly ethically accepting solutions.

You see as several sources are now all heralding “Saudi Arabia is preparing to acknowledge the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi happened as the result of a botched interrogation” into the media (CNN et al), I need to accept that I was wrong twice, considering that generals have a much better handle on things, so me getting proven wrong twice (so close together) is not the craziest theory to embrace at present. The fact that there is no reliability on the sources at present makes me a little cautious. As CNN gives us: “The Saudis are preparing a report that will conclude Jamal Khashoggi’s death was the result of an interrogation that went wrong, one that was intended to lead to his abduction from Turkey, according to two sources“, there is not just the lack of who the two sources are, there is a larger setting that is still weird, so after we were informed on “Turkish authorities have an audio recording which indicates that missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed“, we see Reuters give us: “A team of around 10 Turkish police investigators had already left after a nine-hour search“, so why not just publicly play the audio? It would have given Turkey huge bonus points with Iran, yet that part we do not see (or hear) do we? We get to hear no evidence for now, which is another matter of concern. As Turkey will not play the audio, they would if the audio is not openly played that they are merely showing that their claims cannot be trusted (here is me hoping that I am not played a fool a third time in a row).

And all the sources, the Sun being the weirdest one give us: Audio and video recordings which emerged yesterday proved Khashoggi, 59, was tortured and murdered inside a Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, by a 15-strong hit team yesterday“, so where is that evidence? And a hit team of 15? This is part of the entire fake news matter and the UK newspapers (if you call the Sun a newspaper) is part of the problem, is it not?

So I might have been wrong, but in the setting where even the news is optionally fake news, I still think that I walked the right path in the end, even as I overestimated the abilities of the GRU to an almost unfathomable distance, I feel that I was bringing the news better, more complete and with the right questions, questions that some parties have never and will optionally never ever be able to answer. So, London School of Economics, I will happily and with a slight case of humility accept my master in Business Intelligence and Master of Journalism.

Thank you very much!

Elvis has left the building, until tomorrow that is!

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One economy crises a day

Yes, it is the Guardian that alerts us to: ‘World economy at risk of another financial crash, says IMF‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/oct/03/world-economy-at-risk-of-another-financial-crash-says-imf). So as we see: “Debt is above 2008 level and failure to reform banking system could trigger crisis“, we think that this is a small issue, but it is not, it is however not the real dangers, merely a larger factor. The quote “With global debt levels well above those at the time of the last crash in 2008, the risk remains that unregulated parts of the financial system could trigger a global panic, the Washington-based lender of last resort said” gets us a little closer to it all, yet it is the phrase ‘Washington-based lender of last resort’ that is a little more at the core of it all. This, or in a roundabout mention towards the US federal reserve is not the only part in this. It is the ECB with its quantative easing setting, now at 3.7 trillion, which in light of the Bloomberg article in 2017 (a year ago now) mentioning ‘Some ECB Members Identify 2.5 Trillion-Euro QE Limit‘ becomes a larger issue. With the US national debt at $21.5 trillion the ECB at an estimated €2.4 trillion bonds as per June ($2.7 trillion), we are going off the deep end soon enough. So as people were all in such a state that I was wrong, it would not happen again and that the economy is great. Consider that I warned about this danger several times between 2016 and the latest in May 2018 with ‘Milestones‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2018/05/05/milestones/). Yet all the parties are stating that I was wrong, and several hours ago, the Guardian treats us to: “The growth of global banks such as JP Morgan and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China to a scale beyond that seen in 2008, leading to fears that they remain “too big to fail”, also registers on the IMF’s radar“. Yes, ‘too big to fail’, or should that be ‘to big too fail‘?

So when we see Gordon Brown getting quoted with: “former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown said last month that the world economy was “sleepwalking into a future crisis,” and risks were not being tackled now “we are in a leaderless world”“. I found his response slightly moronic as there is no leaderless world, there are merely elected officials who know that they are merely in temp positions and they are paving the way for really nice paid futures. There is a distinct difference there. And in that I am still modestly awaiting my honour degree from the London School of Economics, in a pinch one from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania will do too.

So when we see both “Christine Lagarde was concerned that the total value of global debt, in both the public and private sectors, has rocketed by 60% in the decade since the financial crisis to reach an all-time high of $182tn“, as well as “the build-up made developing world governments and companies more vulnerable to higher US interest rates, which could trigger a flight of funds and destabilise their economies. “This should serve as a wake-up call,” she said“. My response will be: “No Christine, you are wrong! The entire setting of a wake-up call is already 3-4 years too late. You have been unable to nurture the ECB, keep governments awake to get spending under control and the fallout will be huge and the people get to pay for it all“. The one benefit is that too large a population will be going through two depressions wiping out all their savings soon enough and in that there is an actual chance of a new civil war that would spread all over Europe. At that point the life of any politician will be £0.02 at best, once that starts, there will be not merely a Brexit, it will herald the end of the EU and it will impact the US in a most disastrous path, not merely wiping economies out, there will be a lack of trust between the US and the EU that will surpass the distrust levels between the USA and CCCP at the height of the cold war. It will redraw global economic maps to the larger degree. That is also seen in the part when we recollect the June 23rd article called ‘They are still lying to us‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2018/06/23/they-are-still-lying-to-us/). There we were treated to “Greece is once again becoming a normal country, regaining its political and financial independence“, remember that part? So how normal is that country as we are treated to ‘Greek Bank Stocks Tumble Amid Concerns Over Capital, Bad Loans’ by the Wall Street Journal a mere 8 hours ago? So when we see “Investors appear to have completely lost confidence in Greek banks,” economists at HSBC said in a research note. The four main banks— National Bank of Greece, Alpha Bank, Eurobank Ergasias and Piraeus Bank—recently submitted ambitious plans to rid themselves of more than half of their soured loans by 2021 to the banking-supervision unit of the European Central Bank, several bank officials said. Under the new plans, which the ECB is considering, the banks would commit themselves to reduce their nonperforming loans to 15%-21% of their total loans, compared with today’s levels of 40.7%-54.7%“. the article (at https://www.wsj.com/articles/greek-bank-stocks-tumble-amid-concerns-over-capital-bad-loans-1538584978) gives us a lot more, but it shows that the banks are trying to shed the bad loans in as creative ways as possible and in this the governments are as I personally see it part of the problem, they were never part of any solution and the people will get to pay for it all as they were treated last quarter to: “as elderly Greeks face losing up to €350 ($416) per month when new pension cuts are implemented as of Jan. 1, 2019“, I believe that as the Greek banks collapse to the larger degree, as the Greek banks are shedding over 50% of outstanding loans, their value would also collapse as will their prospects and the loss of confidence will only increase the pressures. All whilst payments will still be due and cannot be met as it is staged to be at present. So there is a chance that Greeks will lose 50% more than they are currently losing at present in the next quarter, so we will see that the Greeks will start the year in utter poverty and the rest of Europe is not far behind. The ECB with its badly conceived QE plan has achieved that, so when the people are given that danger and handed the loss of retirement funds, utter rage will not be far away after that.

It was one of the reasons why I kept close eyes on Salini Impregilo. Even as Europe is going proverbially down the drain Salini Impregilo has been making headway on a global scale, foremost in Saudi Arabia and as their projects are kicking off, the infrastructure needs for Saudi Arabia grow. Their needs for dash boarding, reporting and data analytics will rise over the next two years and will require more and more knowledge and infrastructure with any additional building they are assigned. The entire project of the King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) drew it even further to the foreground, merely because the required concrete levels that can be delivered seem to be at 30%-40% of what is required soon enough. It is an opportunity for Saudi Arabia and the UAE, but also optionally for Egypt. All these shortages ignored for now, yet when we see the image from 2012 and what was required then, and we consider that Neom will require close to 15 times that, where will the concrete come from? And it is not merely the availability; it will be about the proper planning of resources. Even as Salini Impregilo is merely a larger player of several projects, they in the end all need their concrete and where will that come from? So at this rate I expect to see the delays making the forefront news from 2020 onwards. Even as some places are increasing as much as they can afford. I expect it to fall short by a larger degree soon enough and when we are introduced to the heart of the matter. Smart cities will need smart infrastructure and the wiring will be well over 20 times what the entire Boeing 787 Dreamliner fleet required and that is a lot. the skills, the training to get the amount of people fuelling this is short on every level as I see it, so as Europe collapses with the debt, Saudi Arabia gets the option to buy staff cheaply soon enough. No merely getting the knowledge they need. Yet the brain drain to that extent has never been seen before anywhere in the world and that is where the ECB will suddenly realise that the fuel required to fix any acts of stupidity in the last 10 years will no longer be available and at that point Wall Street will wake up getting to live the perfect nightmare. It is not merely that there will suddenly be a boost of economy because there is no unemployment, getting the people trained up will take decades, stopping economic growth right quick and for much too long.

And as other players open up the doors for a guaranteed decent lifestyle, the setting is changing. We see that in the European Pensions last July, a mere 2 months ago when we were given: “European pension schemes are becoming increasingly attracted to the high returns and diversification benefits offered by frontier markets” This is the setting of: ‘more developed than the least developing countries, but too small to be generally considered an emerging market‘, yet as the high returns are estimated, the risks are also higher and there seems to be the risk ‘risk premiums are more greatly affected by political, economic, and financial factors‘ that is seemingly ignored to a larger extent. We see that part when we consider both “MSCI Frontier Market Index is the most widely used benchmark for equities. However, even this is highly concentrated in certain markets and sectors – financial stocks make up 46 per cent and the top three countries make up 53 per cent“, as well as “Argentina, which makes up around 22 per cent of the index, and Vietnam, 15 per cent“. So, now consider that the very same Christine Lagarde treats us to: “The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has agreed to increase a lending package with Argentina by 7.1 billion US dollars (£5.3 billion), seeking to calm markets over the country’s ability to meet its debt amid growing economic turmoil” a mere week ago. Do you still think that I was kidding or merely trying to kick the dead donkey? I am not stating that this is the fault of Argentina. I am speculating that too many parts of Wall Street are banking on the failure of others and it opposes the setting of returns on those seeking success, in this setting the pensions will lose, optionally they will lose every time without fail and the people are left with an empty bag not worth the price of that empty bag. Do you think that people will sit down and accept that? No, they will be beyond furious and the setting of Johan de Witt and Cornelis de Witt blamed and lynched in The Hague, the rioters were never prosecuted. So, there will be enough motivation on more than one level. It is something for the current European politicians to keep in mind, because this could happen again and the setting that the people face over the next 10 years is a lot worse than the ones that the population faced then. At that point, when this starts, I truly hope that those politicians will have the option of a quick getaway out of Europe, because they will not know safety ever again in that place.

So whilst we see the distancing of politicians on all fields whilst trying to drench themselves in non-accountability, whilst they will try the path of ‘It was a miscommunication and we were given the wrong advice‘, the people will no longer accept that as the evening news. They will want their pound of flesh and a bucket of blood and the regard of the value of politicians at that point will have been degraded to zero, and their ‘post life’ Facebook profile image might optionally look similar to the painting of the brothers De Witt as it was in 1672. You might think that it is mere speculation and it is, yet the trigger is not my speculation, it is the message of economic crises after economic crises as the governments are not acting against the banks and the exploiters that hide behind ‘too big to fail‘. The people all over Europe, if not on a global setting as they are mistreated to overly optimistic futures that cannot be met and have not been met for over a decade, you see, if that was actually true debts would have been receding, would they not? The only ones that did that harshly were the Germans and they are indeed in a much better place. It is the difference between being popular and doing what needs to be done and in that Angela Merkel was not about being popular, yet now those Germans are in a much better place than most other nations. It is something for you to consider as you notice your pension is gone and you want to take it out on someone.

so whilst we consider the final line in the Guardian, which was: “Without a rise in investment economies remain vulnerable to financial stress“, we need to consider that the setting is not merely about ‘investment economies‘, it is about the setting where large corporations come in and use that setting to ‘invest’ whilst draining away the gained momentum, so the economy that once was in that stage has been drained and those momentum profits are relocated to other places where ever those boards of directors are fuelling their personal wealth accounts, leaving those nations in a post investment era that is now merely regarded as a consumer fuelled economy whilst those people never gained the better economic standing to spend the money fuelling it further.

A setting where the equilibrium of economics fails as there was never a state of balance, merely a stage of relocating available wealth and the frontier markets are no help, they are merely an optional stage not unlike the CDO issues of 2008, in my view a way to avoid taxation and move whatever they could to a non-reporting nation. Or as one source stated: “the smarter operators no longer use filthy lucre but instead employ modern financial devices such as Interest Rate Swaps (IRS) and Total Return Swaps (TRS) to evade tax“, a setting where some take a 4% loss to avoid 26% taxation, it still wins them 22% and many had to live of a bonus a lot more shallow then that and from a base amount massively smaller than the one moved away.

One crises a day, I wonder what the bad news we will get treated to next week.

#HappyWorldAnimalDay

 

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Ding, Ding! Round two

It is always nice to get to have additional entertainment at the same price. Some people are partially that gullible. So when I see: ‘Labour hits out at ‘false’ claims over Corbyn cemetery visit‘, I thought it was only fair to address the accusations and defence, one must after all be willing to stand ones ground.

So here I am looking for the setting that they claim is ‘false’.

We start with “the commemoration for the 74 people who had died was attended by “mainstream leaders”, including a Palestinian authority minister“. Well, that would be fine, but who are exactly those ‘mainstream leaders‘? The absence of names is a first indication that the entire setting was wobbly from the start. Yet now we get to the stuff that matters. They also state “None of those who carried out the Munich massacre are buried in the Palestinian cemetery at Tunis and there was no ceremony held for them“. This is important, as I basically used all kinds of journalistic sources (read: newspapers) for my findings. Yet now when we revisit: “a wreath-laying for individuals behind the group that carried out the Munich Olympic massacre“. Here we see the issue, you see. I decided to find all of them, which did not take that long. The mastermind Mohammad Daoud Oudeh is at the Martyrs Cemetery of the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp on the southern outskirts of Damascus. This is supported by France 24 (at http://www.france24.com/en/20100703-mastermind-behind-munich-olympics-attacks-dies-abu-daoud-palestine-israel). So are we being duped again by the publications of the Sun, the Daily Mail and the Evening Standard? Let’s continue with the Attackers. Luttif Afif was buried in the Sidi Munaidess Cemetery, as were Yusuf Nazzal, Khalid Jawad and Afif Ahmed Hamid. The issue around Adnan Al-Gashey is a controversie. Mossad reported Al-Gashey died naturally in Dubai in the late 70’s. We see that in ‘Striking back : the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre and Israel’s deadly response, 2005‘, yet the documentary ‘One Day in September‘ gives that the Israeli Mossad ‘healthcare cancelation team‘ deleted his existence as well as Mohammed Safady who is as far as I can tell still alive at present. The other remaining member Jamal Al-Gashey is apparently hiding in North Africa (read: Egypt) in fear of his life, married with kids.

So in that respect, from the evidence that I was able to find, there is indeed no evidence (unless someone hands it to me) that any of those part of the Munich massacre were indeed in that cemetery and in that respect (for that element only) I do apologise, not for the sentiment, which will be illustrated below.

Is there an issue?

Yes! The setting is clear. The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) was created with the purpose of the “liberation of Palestine” through armed struggle, with the focus of violence aimed at Israeli civilians. We can accept that there needs to be a setting of a dialogue with anyone (even with terrorists), it is in the end the essential path towards ending any conflict. Yet attending the funeral event, even as it was condemned might not have been the best setting to do that. In addition, the attack (also known as operation Wooden Leg) was a response to the events of September 25th 1985 when during the Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur, members of the PLO’s hijacked an Israeli yacht near Cyprus, and killed the Israeli tourists on board. The shock of this action was quite large in Israel. The attack was indeed condoned by the UN and nations all over the world, including America. The fact of the matter is that until now well over 171 suicide bombings have occurred in Israel killing well over 800 and close to a thousand were injured. That alone sets the stage to not attend the funeral. I do not think that there should be any condemnation for Jeremy Corbyn wanting to start talks in some way, but from my point of view the venue was poorly chosen.

The Guardian also treats us to “A column in a leading newspaper, Yedioth Ahronoth, warned on Monday that Corbyn’s actions, including a visit to the “grave of the person who planned the terror attack at the Munich Olympics”, were of deep concern“. I could accept that if we knew who was in that cemetery. As far as I could tell the perpetrators were almost all dealt with and none were in that place, neither was the mastermind. The names that do pop up were Atef Bseiso and Khalaf Bseiso. Here we start having an issue. It is my opinion that Khalaf Bseiso was in no way involved. It can be corroborated in two ways. The first is that all the people involved shouted their involvement from every rooftop in Europe (and Africa). That also included the mastermind and other shady figurines. There is close to nothing on Khalaf Bseiso, so little that I cannot tell if he ever accomplished anything as a PLO member. It is different with his brother Atef Bseiso. There are two opposing views; the first is from General Uri Sagi, a very able officer and tactician serving the IDF for 34 years, with a host of active operations, Most notably Operation Entebbe (you might have seen the movie with a youthful Charles Bronson). The opposition is Mossad director Nahum Admoni removed Atef Bseiso from that ‘endangered health’ list, from my personal view I would take the decision of director Admoni over that of General Sagi. Who or why in the background did change the plans does not matter, in that there is a decent amount of ‘evidence’ that Atef Bseiso was not part of it and in that regard, there is now no clear evidence that anyone from the Munich operation is in that cemetery.

The larger issue

It is my view that there is a much larger issue. We see: “Israel’s Labor party secretary general, Yehiel Bar, said: “The grave new discoveries about Corbyn are no surprise“, as well as ““The paradox is that the least anti-Semitic country in Europe is liable to fall into the hands of an anti-Semitic politician,” wrote Ben-Dror Yemini“, in light of the earlier quote by Yedioth Ahronoth we see the larger issue. I understand that we need to fight anti-Semitism, yet is the paint or the brush an anti-Semite setting?

Let it be said that I think that Corbyn is a mistake on many levels, but I will NOT falsely accuse him. There is no setting for the anti-Semite accusations. In this Al-Jazeera gives us “In an August 3 article for The Guardian, Corbyn wrote that anti-Semitism had no place in the party, but added: “It is unfortunately the case that this particular example, dealing with Israel and racism, has sometimes been used by those wanting to restrict criticism of Israel that is not anti-Semitic”“, I actually agree with that. If we cannot criticise our friends, we are not friends of them (merely my personal view). Over time Israel has had its set of bungles and errors, there is 100% statistical certainty that every nation in the world makes mistakes. I also understand that Israel ever since Adolf Hitler had his European tour (1939-1945) 65% of all Jews in the world were massacred, can you truly believe that this will not leave a mark for generations to come? So the fears of both Ben-Dror Yemini and Yehiel Bar are very understandable, yet it needs to be on the focus of evidence and the fact that the larger UK newspapers did not vet and validate their facts is a much larger issue still (I made that same mistake, and I am sorry for that), yet I can go by the excuse that I accepted some facts from ‘professionals’, so in that regard I have a small excuse. In light of all this, if the London school of Economics would be so kind to award me my honorary Master degree in International Journalism and Society I would be most graciously thankful, especially as I have surpassed the factual quality of George Osborne, Martin Ivens and their posse’s (or was that pussies?).

In all this the New Yorker (at https://www.newyorker.com/news/letter-from-the-uk/jeremy-corbyns-anti-semitism-crisis) gives us another two parts. Parts that were mentioned before, but they are important. The first is seen with “On July 25th, Britain’s three leading Jewish newspapers published a joint article on their respective front pages, warning of “the existential threat to Jewish life in this country that would be posed by a Jeremy Corbyn-led government.” When I asked Pollard what that meant, he replied, “They wouldn’t set up camps or anything like that. But the tenor of public life would be unbearable because the very people who are the enemy of Jews, as it were, the anti-Semites, will be empowered by having their allies in government. There is a fear, a real fear of that.”“. You see, the fear is fine, we get that if WW2 does not make you afraid of any Jewish future nothing will, yet in opposition, where is the actual evidence of his anti-Semitism? His setting to be friendly with Palestine does not constitute evidence. It is optionally evidence of poor diplomatic choices, yet in all this, the UK had to move forward with the IRA at some point, a start had to be made and it is the job of UK politicians to do what is best for the UK and its citizens. It might include poor choices, but that does not make them essentially wrong. Someone has to make steps, yet in that I do remains in the setting that visiting that cemetery was truly the poorest of choices.

The second part is seen with “a terrible situation for a party that has been the natural home for most British Jews for the past hundred years. “Jews have no better friends in this country than the Labour Party,” the Jewish Chronicle reported, in 1920. As recently as 2014, Corbyn’s predecessor, Ed Miliband, another trenchant critic of Israel, spoke of his dream of becoming Britain’s first Jewish Prime Minister“. Here we see that a former Jewish speaker, former Labour party leader has been critical of Israel, as I stated before. Good friends will be critical of one another and can you honestly consider the setting of a Jewish politician as an anti-Semite?

So in round two we see that there are considerations that need to be made, but I do stay with the setting that I saw in my yesterday’s article, even the ‘diagnostic one’, although I will admit that a cat cornered will make the weirdest leap, yet equally we must accept that some of the leaps Jeremy made were slightly too weird for many to consider. I am happy that the Guardian informed us in all this, it is not too clear in some regards (as to the cemetery), but that ball is seemingly dropped by all the papers and it is my belief that they all have loads of explaining to do, but perhaps they can give the evidence of those buried at that cemetery and can be proven to have been part of the Munich massacre, I was unable to do that. My defence is that I am not a journalist and never claimed to have been one. So if I am proven correctly I would really appreciate the Chancellor of the London School of Economics to honour me with that honorary degree (as I do believe that I am a better journalist than those with the degree at present).

So I bid thee all a good day and remember we are still 111 hours away from Monday morning (or at least I am at this very moment).

#ItsOnlyWednesday

 

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The German domino

The Guardian is giving us another view of what seems to be blunt misdirection, in this case misdirection from the German industrials. The title ‘German industry warns UK not to expect help in Brexit talks‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/jul/08/german-industry-warns-uk-over-brexit) might seem true, might sound true and by their own admittance be hopeful and true, yet in all this, we know that the statement is one that they cannot hold on to. You see, with every step that the UK gets into a slightly better stand, with every step where the UK economy gets a little better slowly yet certainly, it is in that phase that we need to recognise that the Germans are all merely facilitators to their own boards of directors (in multi plural ways). So, when we consider an EU population of 508 million and 13.5% of that population is British, do you actually think that they are willing to throw overboard a 13.5% consumer base? Who are you kidding? So as we see the words from certain players who apparently are trying to remain anonymous the quote “Two of Germany’s biggest industry groups have told the Observer that their main concern during the Brexit process is protecting the single market for the remaining 27 members, even if this harms trade with Britain“, which is a lot of bogus. The other 27 members can openly be single market as much as they like! The issue is that certain players are not part of THAT discussion. You see, do you think that Bayer, the large pharmaceutical wants a situation where they lose a large chunk of 68 million people who are aging? Do you think that they want to offer that multi million unit customer base to Indian generic pharmaceuticals or to American pharmaceuticals? The US loves that prospect, let me tell you that. In addition, once the US and India get a chunk of that base, they will have the foundation to grow stronger into the Netherlands, Belgium and Scandinavia. So suddenly 13.5% becomes 31% and that 31% is actually spending a fair amount compared the the lower 15 on that same EU list. Places like Solingen for metal ware and a few other German players are in that same neck of the woods. In addition there is the car industry; I reckon that Volkswagen is truly looking forward to losing that part to Saab, Volvo or its French equivalent. The UK will happily take decent trade deals with many of them.

So when we consider all this, the amount of bluff we see in the article could be costing the German economy a 2% drop, would that not push THEM into recession? So as I read about Dieter Kempf, president of the BDI, the federation of German industries, I actually wonder how he got his math done. When we see: “The UK will remain a very important partner for us, but we need a fair deal for both sides respecting this principle. The cohesion of the remaining 27 EU member states has highest priority.” This might be true, yet when you consider that the lower 15 are not much of any consumer and that your growth does not exist there, how soon until you weasel your way back into the shadows relying on the quote “I was merely voicing the issues our members were“, which is very likely to be true. Yet when we ask names, how many will you be allowed to phrase? How many members will step forward as the train wreck you yourself created is showing the levels of damage it incurred? At that point they will all hide in the shadows, and we will find their statements to be part of the loom of those weaving their personal private needs, not the ones of any of the industries you claim to represent.

In this the quote “While we will be leaving the single market and the EU customs union, we want to achieve a comprehensive free trade agreement that allows for the most frictionless possible trade. The government has been clear that we want to ensure a smooth implementation of our new partnership with the European Union that is in the interests of businesses in the UK and across the EU.” that part makes perfect sense, yet that comes from the UK side and there is the ball a little smoother. There is a difference between wanting an actual trade deal and others trying to force you into some trade deal that benefits certain people the most. Wanting trade versus bullies and opportunists is never a trade deal. In all this Markus Beyrer, director general of the Business Europe group gives us an interesting side, or better stated, he phrases it almost identical. He states “We want a good deal for business, which means an orderly Brexit and an orderly transition to the future relationship, while fully protecting the integrity of the single market“, this actually sounds good, yet in all this the issue is more and more becoming about the validity of the ‘single market‘. You see if this single market is so awesome the fact that the UK is staying in it is not a problem, in that this same ‘single market‘ would shrug their shoulders, making some ‘their loss‘ statement and move on. Yet did this happen, no it did not! We have seen all levels of bulling, statements of near blackmail and a level of almost feudalistic statements in the air of ‘remain or else’. You see, it is almost like the old communism, ‘be a member of the party or else‘, did you not notice that? So what is it that they do not want the UK and others to learn and find out? Did you not once consider that part? It started when the initial UK economy was going up a little, now it is about 27 members trying to oppose the UK at every turn. It is almost like watching a physician making the patient sick so that he can sell medication.

When was the single market ever about that?

John Longworth, the former director-general of the British Chambers of Commerce who campaigned for Brexit, is on my side. When we look at his quote “The European project is so important to the Germans politically and economically, that the German political establishment are prepared to sacrifice even their own car industry for that outcome“, I wonder if that is true. You see, when the car industry (read: Volkswagen) gets the first dips in their results and when those boards will miss out on several millions of Euros in bonuses, they will call other people and someone will get axed really soon thereafter. You only need to take the revenue from a pimp once for that person to take a less optimistic view of life and the health of his opponents the moment it happens. We have plenty of long term evidence in that regard. In all, the only thing the German industry would do is alienate the British who don’t like to be told by any German, any day of the week, so there is that to consider.

In all this the EU made one colossal error. Even as we have all been ignoring it, the opportunity offered which was quoted in the Economic Times: “India is one of the fastest-growing large economies and is expected to surpass Germany and Japan to become the third-largest economy by 2025. India has become the land of possibilities, and when you consider that the country offers a growing market of 1.25 billion consumers you can see why“, so as this market grows import, it will be on the edge of a razor to grow its export, preferably larger that their import, so as the EU markets are playing hard sale, India is ready to come in and offer all kinds of deals with the UK. With a growing Indian population, the UK (Australia in second place), are the two markets where India has options and opportunity to grow. Once the Germans learn the hard way that they gave away a chunk of their market, how long until the other EU nations come running for some kind of a trade deal?

You see, in all this the UK always had options and as the Europeans are posturing themselves into the UK alienating from them, we will see growing amounts of evidence that these posturing parties were only hurting their own cause.

The most interesting quote comes from Albrecht Ritschl, an economic history professor at the London School of Economics. He states “One thing German industry is clearly worried about is the potential disruption on the way to a free trade agreement because it cannot be negotiated within the two-year timeframe“, which is interesting because why not start to negotiate today with the UK with the start date of that trade deal to be the day after Brexit is complete. Anyone stating that this is not an option is lying to you. The entire industrial industry from 1918 onwards has been set on the smoking cadavers of those who ruined what was before. We see this in the Marshall plan. Even as we see that the plan was in operation for four years beginning on April 8, 1948. There is clear evidence that the preparations started as early as April 5th 1946, these were not the first players, but their reference to the meeting on the ‘preceding Monday’ gives light that actions had been planned for much longer. The Marshall plan, a plan that involved the two players Mr Cohen and Mr C.P. Kindleberger, the appointed member of the US Treasury.

In all this Germany could have been starting their own industrial conversations with the leading UK industrials. It is really weird that they have not actively done so from day one. If this was to gain the UK banking votes that they went about it the wrong way, if it was to continue the old track that is was more than merely stupid, it only shows that the ‘one market’ path is flawed for many players and it seems that too many players want to keep that side of the story between the sheets, yet for what reason I cannot say. I can speculate that this was merely about greed, but that would be too simple and the greed that holds in contempt other players tends to see the light of day quicker than we realise, so I honestly cannot say what we are prevented to see. What I can say is that the entire German boast of them sitting on their hands was not too bright and in the long term they are very likely to hurt themselves a lot more than others.

 

 

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Sex Driven Developers

There are always ways to find weaknesses in government; there is a decent chance that we find them on a daily basis. Yet, how must we react when the foundation of those making the decisions are now in a runt of enabling? What happens when the government first decides on cyber rules for the safety of all whilst opening a bordello around the corner so that those in dire need of affordable housing are getting screwed over?

This is what is on the goose feather of Julia Kollewe as she dipped it into the ink jar and gave us ‘Battersea Power Station developer slashes number of affordable homes‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/jun/21/battersea-power-station-affordable-homes-almost-halved-by-developer). She is trying to wake up pretty much everyone with this and it should wake us all up. You see, the next decade is about the dire need of affordable housing, London is in danger of alienating the very population that is the means for its survival. You see, in my mind, greed is not a ‘technical issue‘. Greed merely is and never goes away. A technical issue is when you get the cement batter wrong in one shipment, a technical issue is when you are looking at a square and you calculated for 5 corners. When you have a £9 billion project and you have to redesign 40%, you are in my humble opinion screwing people over for your need of greed and profit whilst ‘putain‘ the 250 people now left outside in the cold (pardon my French). So as we see that someone clever from these Malaysian investors, are now trying to maximise profit by slashing the affordable housing part as we read: “The affordable home proposals amounted to 15% of the total 4,239 homes planned, which included luxury pads ranging from £800,000 for a studio atop the former power station to £4m for a four-bedroom flat (the three penthouses have yet to be priced).” there is no other option but to fight back. In this there are two options left to the government. One is to get the list of investors and they are to be banned from any other real estate investment in the UK for 5 years. The second option would be that if the apartments are uninhabited for over 40% of the time, there must be a large service surcharge to the building services. Once that these investors have to report these surcharges in the upcoming sales bill, they might have to let slip some of their expected profits. In all this, the ‘compensation‘ of mentioned “build the 386 affordable homes three years earlier than previously envisaged, which means residents will receive their keys in 2020. They will be located in apartment blocks near the power station“, is only a small band aid, because it is not just about time, it is about space and location, the space of 250 apartments is now gone! We sometimes state that no man is an island, but the UK kind of is, so that means that once the space is gone, it is definitively gone. We also get the quote “an assessment of the profits the developer expects to make. Independent adviser BNP Paribas advised the council that it is “very unlikely” that the 250 homes will materialise“. So when we see this ‘independent’ party. Have they been on this project from the very beginning? You see, if that is true than we see a feigned level of incompetence. From my point of view, BNP Paribas is not just the largest bank in France; it is one of the largest banks in the world, so when they make an £9B ‘oopsie’, something else is going on. From my speculated view is that they had made for whatever plan they could offer so that they could get the project, whilst down the track they adjusted the view to get the results their investors needed and submitted the new plans so that they end up getting what they wanted in the first place. I cannot tell how deep BNP Paribas is into this as ‘Independent adviser‘ implies that they could have been called in down the track, not initially. In support of this view the article also gives us: “Keith Garner, a local architect who has campaigned against the Battersea project for years, said: “Underlying it, the financial model is all wrong. A developer-led project to conserve, repair and bring back in to use a famous London landmark is turning in to a predictable disaster“. This now gives us two parts. The first is that this is not just coming to view and even as the lord Mayor Sadiq Khan is only now coming into view, his administration as well as the previous one, will now need to show clearly that due diligence was maintained throughout the project including the view and calculations before approval was given. This puts Boris Johnson equally on the hot chair as his team comes under scrutiny. If we are to maintain the push for affordable housing, we cannot accept screw ups of this magnitude. Because once the cashable buildings are gone, it is over and no other option remains. It is the curse of sitting on an island. Keith Garner has been vocal in the past, going back even before January 2015, yet from this point onwards we see Keybridge House in Vauxhall where only 4.5% became affordable (19 out of 419), it seems to me that when we tally that part the failure is a lot larger than most realise. Even then there was a list for the PowerStation with a setting of ‘3,444 new homes at the power station 560, or 16%, will be affordable‘, so the list got slashed before and it got slashed again. Actually, the numbers changed as 3,444 became 4239, so there has been more ‘revamping’ it seems that a project this much in flux implies that certain elements were either never set or set in a questionable way. Now, we get that things change, there are always details that need ‘alteration‘ yet when you ‘suddenly‘ add 795 apartments (which under normal conditions seem to be 2-4 additional towers, we should agree that ‘questionable‘ is very much the better word to use (without getting to rude and rely on the ‘putain’ word).

Another issue is seen in “Officers appreciate the level of stresses a scheme of this size and complexity has and that the main priorities of the scheme have been the conservation and redevelopment of the listed power station building, the delivery of the Northern Line extension and new underground station and the jobs to be created as part of the new town centre“, you see, as investors are always happy to sue the pants of any official, the mention of ‘delivery of the Northern Line extension and new underground station‘ is not a problem to the Malaysian investors, so if the UK government had impeded the development of an agreed project, the government get the invoice. So there is now the implied issue that there was a mere trade off and 250 affordable homes were scrapped. Is that not a view you would envision? In addition ‘jobs to be created as part of the new town centre‘ sounds nice, but how is that part of the powerhouse building project? So as this all comes to heads in “A report by the Wandsworth council planning officer recommends that the proposals be approved, ahead of a meeting of the planning committee on Thursday evening“, there is the speculated issue that the Wandsworth council made a right mess of things and they are trying to appease the situation so that they keep their jobs and possibly avoid the wrath of parliament, there was just the need to scrap housing for 250 people who desperately needed them.

So, feel free to object and oppose my way of thinking, but that is how I see it. I understand that the UK needs economy, it needs houses and it needs jobs, but when a limited resource is wasted to this degree we need to ask questions loudly and there needs to be the revision of policies to make certain that affordable housing remains at the top of the list, and remains the top priority of the list of achievements. Yet in the last 2-3 years, there is additional evidence growing that what was a desperate need is ignored by those, because it does not really impact them.

Yet the 2015 article also gives some opposition. We see this in “Tony Travers, director of the Greater London group at the London School of Economics, says: “In fairness, the developer is being required to pay for a lot of other things. The land has to be used very intensely to produce enough yield to pay for the things that the government used to pay for.”“. OK, this is fair enough. My response would be: ‘I agree, but that is the assessment of an investment opportunity. The numbers are done and in the end it is either feasible or it is not!‘ So the investor could have walked away from it. If the government had found the £9B, it has the option to do it themselves, with a very different balance, and perhaps with only one penthouse, the other 2 could have become 3 3-bedrooms apartment each. In addition, as it is now less about profit, there could have been 900 affordable houses instead of the 636 initially envisioned. As I read the articles over time and the sources given, it seems to me that orchestration might have been at the centre of things from the beginning. That feeling is gotten from ‘The land has to be used very intensely to produce enough yield to pay for the things that the government used to pay for‘, you see, like some naval projects, where voting for adjustments is often much better than being the messenger on a failed project, because those investors would sue, and the eagerness of the Wandsworth council implies to some degree that there would be a case and a court settlement of £9B might not be the best way to go forward. And as we see in the past “Many flats were sold off-plan and, still unbuilt, are back on the market at higher prices. Just before Christmas one unbuilt studio flat in the power station, which had sold for close to £1m, was back on the market for £1.4m. Last week, estate agent Chestertons was reported to have other unbuilt flats on the market for £865,000 – £150,000 more than their original asking price” implies that investors are getting rich fast, so the entire drop of 250 affordable apartments is becoming more and more of a debatable issue.

Yet the final issue not seen in the latter article is most damning on both the houses of Sadiq Khan and Boris Johnson. The quote “the lack of a master plan for the area” is damning because it implies that the area could lose its identity, and I am willing to buy either a coffee with a cream cheese bagel with Salmon if they can clearly oppose the drop of value for the loss of identity validity. Those who truly move to London want to be in an area. They want to be part of Islington, Hammersmith or Chelsea. Some will prefer Southwark because of Hay’s galleria, yet in reality they might just do it because the hookers give much better value in that borough. Whatever reason we hear the identity of the place matters. And this requires a clear master plan. to some degree when it is in the hands of foreign investors, things go into flux, yet a clear master plan is essential the prevent London of becoming an anonymous place of chaos.

In this we remain at minus 250 apartments. You see, no matter how grand it all looks, the immediate need for infrastructure is simple. When the people have to travel too far to work, the job will no longer be a feasible solution. Even as some are pointing to an extension of the Northern Line, the simple truth is that it is an additional 15 minutes, meaning that some people will travel 90 minutes each way to get to (or from) a place where they can afford to live, on top of that travel costs are rising too. So the new place ends up being a ghost town without infrastructure. How is that an interesting investment when some could go in and out of this ghost town to burglar it into heaven as they get to do that unopposed? How many paintings and electronics need to be removed before the investors seek another place to go to?

All elements that seem to have been missed, all part of a master plan not in place and all linked to investment and economic plans that might have been dubious from the beginning. As I personally see it, a lack of long term oversight, checks and balances all cast aside for the quick profit and the marketable view of mentioning, to merely look good. And now Lord Mayor Sadiq Khan has the mess on his plate and he gets to see what might be salvaged, because when I see ‘A report by the Wandsworth council planning officer recommends that the proposals be approved‘, I wonder what has not hit the light of day yet and what else has to be sacrificed (or additional costs received) in the next upcoming year. Would you not wonder (read: worry) about that very same thing?

 

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Double standards, no resolve (part 1)

This is at the heart of two matters that are at play. The mere notion that change will do anything definite is just a laughing matter. Yet, it is not laughter at the people trying to do this; it is about the next two cogs of grinding that will halt it all. The first issue is Greece. There had been little doubt on Alexis Tsipras winning this, I was holding my breath in favour of Antonis Samaras winning, but it was never overly realistic. The problem is what will happen now. The direct issue is that none have been able to deal with Greek corruption in any way, shape or form. The fact that Kostas Vaxevanis and not those dodging Greek taxation ended up in a courtroom in 2013 is still additional cause for concern. Can we agree that as Greece has not been able to do ANYTHING about the mounting debts from 2009 onwards, a massive change must be made! It goes hand in hand with the quote we see in the Guardian “Priti Patel, Conservative MP in Westminster, just told Sky News that Greece’s economic problems are “a stark reminder that we should never join the euro”“, I will take it one step further, if Alexis Tsipras is not massively careful on what he does next, the downward curve (curve, not spiral) of the Euro will only fuel both British UKIP and French Front Nationale even further, it could also force the German people to feel pressure to leave the Euro in a failing attempt to bolster their diminished fortunes. It is a failing notion because no matter what happens next, those under the Euro will take a hard hit over the next 2 weeks, whatever bolstering will happen, it will only aid the super wealthy and only short term as they recap their non-tied down wealth as I personally see it.

The biggest issue remains corruption and tax evasion in Greece, no matter who comes next, without dealing with those two elements is simply selling a fairy tail (pun intended) to the Greek voters. This is at the heart of Zoe Williams piece that I disagree with (at http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jan/25/syriza-uk-left-labour), the title is already a bit of an issue for me ‘Syriza stood up to the money men – the UK left must do the same‘, which money men are you referring to Zoe? The artful tax dodgers, who are partly to blame for the entire mess, yet no one has the cajones (or any jurisprudential power) to actually prosecute? Or are they the people holding the debts? Let’s not forget that governments got ‘assistance’ under the strict rule of austerity, a promise never kept, because none of these politicians will do anything about them Greek artful tax dodgers.

There is also another side, the fact that less than 2100 Greeks have this much money in unpaid tax debts seems simply ludicrous to me (the Kostas Vaxevanis list of 2100 naughty Greeks), so I wonder how much spending should have been cut for over half a decade, so again we get to Alexis Tsipras, who would need to cut massive spending, for the mere reason that there is no money coming into the coffers. Yet, within the article Zoe wrote, there is a gem, it is out there in the open and it has been there for a long time: “Ukip is often saying something similar to the Greens: business interests aren’t everything. That’s a reality that the majority feels, but that you never hear described; that’s how the Greens overtook the Liberal Democrats, while all eyes were on Ukip“, when we see ‘business interests aren’t everything‘ we need to realise that this is not just corporate greed, it is a majority of corporate greed signs that have been rampant on a global scale. The issue of a 15% board of director’s wealth growth in a 2% margin world; how was that ever a sustainable situation? It is also the deadly option Alexis Tsipras might opt for. As Greece becomes a possible tax shelter ‘for a fee’, to allow for closed bank account details under limited donation of revenue (all for the people approach) where we see the next waves. Global corporations will love the coming step (if it happens), a non-accountable 0.3% tax account, each coming with its own island. It will anger the American IRS (and State Department) to no extent, it will drive the IMF into entirely new problems and the rest of Europe will see a shift of fund flows. This is all assumption (read speculation) on my side, but it could work for Greece, for a very short time. I reckon that this step, if taken, might have one massive obstacle, that would be assuring that another Kostas Vaxevanis list never surfaces, so when you see any announcement on the new Apple iOlympian or the new Google Nexus ‘Theíos’, then you know that Greece will be embracing new tax free shores. The question now is not, what is the solution, but what options are actually open?

We can accept the statement from Professor Christopher Pissarides from the London School of Economics “Greece’s debt pile is simply too high for the country to return to growth and services its borrowing”, in addition, we can accept the words of Yanis Varoufakis MP “Grexit is not on the cards, we will not go to Brussels in a spirit of confrontation. There is plenty of room for mutual benefit”, this all sounds fine, but if no one is actually actively dealing with the list of 2100 of Kostas Vaxevanis you tend to not have that many options, which means you need a decently strict austerity regime, the one issue that got them elected by disposing of.

What is the option of change?

Well, with my law education, I do have another path for Greece, yet, it is an uneven path, but it could be a long term salvation if it works. Now, feel free to object to the notion and if you are a law professional, than those remarks will be met with my personal investigation. So here is the premise!

Issue: The levels of corruption within Greece are beyond several layers of acceptability. We all acknowledge, that any nation will have a level of corruption, however, what can be done to stem the tide in a novel way.

Solution: As the current legal system is in such disarray, the mess will evolve from bad to worse. We might state that it had gone from worse to unsustainable, so what if we change the premise altogether? What if the new Greece will implement a new legal system from a common law system? Instead of making their civil law more draconian, with of course the added danger of more loop holes, what if Greece evolved into a Common Law nation? It will still be based upon Greek constitution and Greek values, but will come with a few centuries of English jurisprudential evolution. The benefit is that it does not need to happen overnight, but can be structured to deal with the tax laws and criminal law (corruption, fraud and such) first. You see, if there is no faith in the Greek courts, would it not make sense to evolve the justice system (this is a choice of words; this does not indicate that a civil law system is less evolved than a common law system).

It seems that the evolving flexibility of common law is exactly what Greece needs, no matter how good the law is regarded now in Greece; it has failed a nation and its people. This is at the unspoken heart of several issues. There is ample concern on such changes too; the big issue is that no matter how the Greeks feel at present, there is enough concern that Alexis Tsipras is not the new hope, he will be their last hope, because if no solution grows now, Greece will be finished, that much is clear. The reported word from several nations, in many publications is all about reforms. Greek journalist Nick Malkoutzis from the Kathimerini English Edition stated today “Syriza’s top priority should be to reform the justice system, the civil service and the tax-collection operations, to show Eurozone allies he is serious”. He is one of many voices stating issues in this direction. Yet, reforming a justice system is also wrought with the dangers they get when new legislation is passed. It sounds good in theory, but such reforms tend to be time consuming ones and that is one element Greece no longer has. It has been sustaining on borrowed time too long and those holding the debt papers are out of patience (loss of profit will do that to these people). So will common law be good or bad for Greece? I personally do not know, but the current system is not working and so far, the failed system has not been overhauled or tested since the 2009 collapse, which makes the issue more pressing, so as Alexis Tsipras claims it is turning a page, will it be for better or for a lot worse for Greece and for the Greek people. Only time will tell.

 

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View to the North

It is again the guardian that calls my attention to events happening (at http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/jun/22/independent-scotland-startup-costs-200million). It is important to know that I have nothing against Scotland becoming independent. I think that the timing is not great as we are in a massive economic downturn, but the Scots will correctly ask when would be the right moment? Anyway, as this independence is becoming more and more of a reality, we all need to look at what happens after.

The Scots have a few advantages. As the Scots seem to be members of a conservative party with its motto “Let’s not trust a computer farther then we can throw it“, we are set with the positive part that not trusting computers is not at all bad (Yes, as an IT person I am stating this). The downside is that the average Scot can throw a log really far, so tossing a computer might not be such a challenge after all. The issue is in the headline of the article. “Independent Scotland’s start-up costs ‘could be as little as £200m’” and “Leading academic says that could cover duplicating core Westminster functions, but millions would be needed to build necessary IT systems“. I have an issue here. There is an underestimation of requirements here. Yes, overall the costs might seem low, but when Scotland realises that the costs go beyond initial costs and they get to deal with infrastructures, at this point the costs will not be contained that easily.

Why do I care?

Caring is not the best word here. I think that in this case it is more that I like to see goals succeed, even if I do not completely agree with them. Only a real loser is trying to do what they can to make others fail, making others fail is fair when you are at war and we are not at war with the Scots, or with Scotland. The fact that about 3-4 generations ago, my family was from Perthshire (as far as I could tell) does not work in either direction either.

The other quote is “the final tally would be decided in a ‘poker game’ of post-referendum negotiations, according to the leading economics professor who last month criticised the UK government for inflating his figures on the subject“. Since when would anyone decide certain matters in a poker game, is also beyond me. Becoming independent is either tactical or on principle and one should not gamble on the Achilles heel that the people could create in this manner. In that same matter I am not sure if I can agree with the setting that this professor sets. The reference is towards Professor Patrick Dunleavy at the London School of Economics. A person who very likely knows more than 10 times more about economics then I ever will, even if I started to study economics full time at this point.

As stated, I have issues. Scotland will need an infrastructure, services and other matters. Several Scotland, as part of the UK already has and I think they should just be given them, yet Scotland will now need a proper economical system and set up. A national bank, a defence structure and these things all cost money, often a lot more than most imagine. There is however the ‘other’ side. The quote “In May, the Treasury published a detailed analysis of the financial risks of independence which claimed that a previous report by Dunleavy put Scotland’s start-up costs as high as £2.5bn” feels equally overstated. In my view the truth is in the middle and leaning to the cheaper side. In my untrained mind the costs are well over 500 million, but remain steadily under 700 million. This all makes me wonder why the numbers of the treasury are so far off as well (remember, me is a non-economic).

It is this quote that gives a few insides into the views that are shaping within me “In a leaked Scottish cabinet memo, the finance secretary, John Swinney, estimated the costs of a new Scottish tax authority alone at £650m. The Institute of Chartered Accounts Scotland had put those costs at £750m, while other experts suggested a new welfare system would cost £560m“. Is this about independence, or is this about certain people getting ‘their’ greedy fingers in the Haggis called ‘the Scottish economy‘. This is the part I do partially get. We all seem to forget that Scotland represents an economic power in the books of someone, when that falls away into independence, some people will not feel too comfortable and they are all looking for keeping themselves involved.

My question becomes, what can be done and does not cost?

In the age of computers and millisecond decision, I at this time remember my old dentist. He was a Dutch dentist called ‘van Charante’. In the age of computers, this man had the most advanced filing system I ever saw. He had used folders and colour indicators that opening his drawer showed a multidimensional top line table in colours. He saw in seconds something half a dozen tables produced in any analytical system would not tell him in 5-10 minutes. I had heard some IT wannabe’s wanted to convert him. I do not think anyone ever succeeded there. Perhaps that is the direction Scotland should face. It might not be done within the 200 million imagined, but perhaps they could steer well clear of the 2.5 billion someone speculated.

What if the Scottish system reverted to the old systems, not just becoming one Scotland, but in many cases reverting to the 33 counties? Thirty-three areas of ‘almost’ self-management, with a few exceptions, like one police system. They would get a buddy system where the area does what it needs to do and the neighbours come to aid when needed (emergency services). In that case Orkney and Shetland would feel a little isolated, but that might be business as usual for them. The question will remain how to IT some of this, but a system consisting of 33 self-regulating satellites are likely to be more effective, then systems like taxation, healthcare and welfare trying to become three Scottish national systems. If my train of thoughts are correct, then once this is approach is solved, the Scottish system could be an actual WORKING template to fix the failed IT NHS system that has currently costed the UK 10 billion and counting and still not working that well.

Yes, in all this I left out Scottish defence. By the way, has anyone seen what they do with logs and hammers? You really want to run up their hills whilst they smile at you and throw you a gauntlet or two? I for one ain’t that stupid to begin with, but that might be just me.

A final quote from the Guardian is “The debate with Darling, which broadcasters say privately has been tacitly agreed for some time, is now expected to take place sometime after the Commonwealth Games, which end on 3 August. It would potentially be a defining moment of the campaign“, no matter what will be discussed on that day, the truth remains that with two approaches being so far apart, both sides have unresolved issues, without a proper light on both sides these talks will not be the marker of any beginning independence, it could end up being an acceptance on how far views leading to independence are still apart.

So, is my view the correct one? I honestly cannot tell, but I am in all honesty looking for solutions, like any puzzle, an independence remains a logistical conundrum with plenty of loose ends, solving the puzzle is at times the best challenge that can be faced. Getting others to see the puzzle the way I did is the next challenge and implementing that puzzle is another challenge still. Three links in a chain that leads to a solution. Micromanaging these events like the BBC did with their 5 questions (at http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-26836126) seems a little too trivial an approach. Yes, these questions will need a solution and it will be up to Scotland to find them. I reckon the views we seen in regards to the disagreements between Theresa May, the current Home secretary and the European Court of Human Rights shows that the UK has its own puzzles to figure out and they have been at it a lot longer than Scotland.

May we all be one Commonwealth, supporting each other, fighting for each other and at times disagreeing with one another, especially when Scotland is playing England, at that time the disagreements must be loud, jolly and with a few better Scottish players on the Rugby field.

Go Wallabies! 😉

 

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