Tag Archives: Tony Blair

The political winds

It all started nice and slow this morning. I had one task that is due in 4 hours and 34.3 minutes (roughly), so the unnatural act (for me) of sleeping in commenced and it was nice. So there I was morning ritual all shot to smithereens and it was 2 hours until zero hour. My ritual of checking breaking news gives me the BBC and the Saudi Tankers, an interesting part, but the intelligence on the events are missing, even in open source intelligence it is too much on ‘decent confidence’ and ‘statistical probability of certain parties’. One source gives an implied presence of Hezbollah in Shinas (Oman), yet there is zero reliability as well as the fact that any attack would have required different tools as well as location does not add up, as it is at that point that Israel Hayom gives me ‘Saudi Arabia retaliates hours after Houthis attack oil facilities‘, the fact that we see “Houthi rebels in Yemen, who are backed by Saudi Arabia’s arch-rival Iran, claim attack on Saudi oil pipelines“, this is indeed a different status and I will dig into this when i get more data, this event could escalate matters fast. As such the defence needs of Saudi Arabia will explode (pardon the pun) soon enough.

Yet this is about UK politics and the issues will relate soon enough. The Independent (at https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/jeremy-hunt-conservative-party-wall-street-journal-london-a8914171.html) gives us ‘Jeremy Hunt appears to struggle for an answer when asked why people should vote Tory‘, you see as a conservative (yes, I am a Tory) I struggle too. There is no shame in this, we need to walk a tightrope and keeping balance is actually a lot harder than you might imagine. So when we see Jeremy Hunt give us: “Because we are not going to solve this problem by retreating to populist extremes” he has a point, it is clear and he is correct, yet the problem is that we are looking at the wrong extreme. Nigel Farage is not the populist extreme, the European Central Bank is the populist extreme, just not a populist extreme for the people, they are the populist solution for the IMF, Wall Street and American commerce, three that they were never supposed to cater for and the European ignorance is just amazing. Also, the view that the media remains silent on many issues involving the ECB, Mario Draghi and their acts of non-accountability have become too staggering. And as the media is in denial in one side and then bashes Nigel Farage at every opportunity gives additional light to the fact that the media botched plenty of issues.

The people have been misled to a much larger degree and now they are willing to try Farage and the Brexit party, not because they like him, but because they largely mistrust all other parties including my own conservative party. That is the realistic stage, so why vote Tory?

The problem is not easy but the biggest issue is the debt, both sides (mainly the Labor party) have pushed again and again and left the British nation with 2 trillion pounds of debt. Even in the most optimal stage it will take well over a generation, it is passed in two parts. The first is no less than £20 billion in interest payment and an optimal £20-£50 billion in annual debt decline; if this is not done soon it will be too late for everyone. The benefit is that the UK without the Euro can steer shallow and deep waters, all having their own risk (and rewards), all having options, but the drag of the Euro 27 nations and their bad choices as well as the ECB and their unacceptable acts will no longer be part of it. It will be the first clear stage of resolving the issues that politicians are too hard to solve. Still, it will take a generation, perhaps two to resolve it and when there is momentum in the first 5 years that will signal economic improvements as well as economic opportunities.

Immigration

If that was not the case, do you think that the refugees would be racing and running to make it to the UK as fast as they possibly can? No, the people in the lower tier are actually seeing the lack of progress for the people all over Europe, and for now the UK is in a similar stage, but it could improve, the UK is in a stage where it could improve faster and better than anywhere else in Europe. Do you think I would sit on billions of IP if any official in the EU27 could be trusted? The EU27 and America are all in the stage to fill their pockets as much as possible before it is too late, I would rather make all my IP public domain and watch them all fight each other on claims that they were first and not giving actual evidence. That is why Google, Huawei and optional Saudi Arabia are seemingly the few parties worth talking to at present.

Google and Huawei have shown to be pushing innovation, not iteration. In addition, the acts we see in Saudi Arabia on renewal and Neom City are showing a push for larger changes, changes that the US and the European Economic Union is no longer able to make, they are stuck with a mountain of debt making everything a discussion, and no resolutions. The fact that for the most tax laws have NEVER been properly been adjusted so that the large corporations (FAANG group) make proper payment has never been addressed, it is a failing on both sides of the Isle, both Tories and Labour have fault at that. the BBC news in March 2018 gave us ‘Google’s tax bill rises to £50m‘, and we get two parts in addition: “The technology giant’s annual accounts show that the company will pay corporation taxes of £49.3m on UK profits of £202.4m” and “The total value of Google’s sales in the UK is about £5.7bn a year“, now I have nothing against google, as a matter of fact, I love Google (platonically mind you). Yet the numbers do not add up. When we consider that google is making 202 million out of 5,700 million, it amounts to a profit margin of 3.54%, considering that the Google Pixel 3 is well over £700 makes me wonder. Yet let’s not forget that Google is not alone here, Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, SAP, Facebook, Amazon all have profits that go into the billions (well the FAANG group players at least). So the tax image is wrong and the people get to pay for the cost of commerce, not exactly fair, is it?

This is the realisation that has been sweeping through the lower tiers of the population and they have had enough, and I get it. We see all these utter BS approaches on what we can sell to the government of Saudi Arabia and we cannot even sort out proper taxation to big business? Small businesses have been driven out of shops through large corporations working from abroad, the Britons have been dealt a raw deal and it bites, the Tories did way too little to deal with it (opposing the Labour party who did nothing at all when they were in charge). So the people have gotten to the point where they will try anything, especially give Nigel Farage and his Brexit party a chance.

Yes, how would I vote? Well, I am all for Brexit, yet I remain a Conservative. The issue is not Brexit, it will happen (read: it should), the issue will be about what happens after that, it will be a mess for close to two years and issues need to be resolved and it will take time and it will take serious discussions, Nigel Farage has charisma, he has knowledge yet what about his team? The players like David Coburn, Julia Reid, Nathan Gill, or Raymond Finch? I am not sure any of those people can hold proper seats like Home office, Foreign office, Defence, or Treasury. That is the problem the UK faces. Getting a proper government in place, Labor was never trustworthy and even as Tony Blair did a lot of good, he bungled plenty too. In that regard whatever came after Harold Wilson (1976) was pretty bollocks by the view of some (a view I only partially support).

These parts matter, the failings form the past are now part of the current battlefield and the failings are important to consider with a debt of 2 trillion, that is why the Brexit party is likely to be the biggest player, yet I remain a conservative, the mess needs to be cleaned up and whilst labour will indiscriminately spend money that they do not have, the Nigel Farage side lacks the true experience that the people need to clean the overall mess up, Brexit is an essential first, but the Brexit party is in my humble opinion not ready to properly deal with the 20 steps that follow.

Was there not a Saudi side?

Yup and we are getting to that now. You see the economy is only one side. Military hardware is only one part of optional commerce, the national growth of 5G will benefit the UK, yet these parts can also be sold to Saudi Arabia, there is more than Huawei and even as the UK needs to catch up, and catch up fast, the sorted problem is not merely military hardware, that part needs services and whilst the UK can be a push forward there, they are up against American Giants and it is a fight worth fighting. The infrastructure for Neom City and even beyond that all the way to Riyadh represents an initial £350 billion, with more on the horizon. When I set the stage for my £2,000,000,000 IP, one part was that I did look beyond one side and since then found four more avenues where people merely accepted certain solutions and never looked at what else was possible. From Marketing, Awareness creation, communication, applied applications on the setting of streaming (yes, that was a pun and a puzzle all at once). And the biggest parts are not big business, it is a small business approach with global ramifications, and the nice part is that Huawei was nice enough to implement part of it in their 5G prospective and not look further, so happy, happy me (for now that is).

This is not merely one part, all the players (and the FAANG group) all want access to Saudi Arabia, so who do you think they will hand options too? These hypocrites who decided to suddenly revoke export to Saudi Arabia whilst ignoring the activities of Hezbollah and Iran, or those who stood by Saudi Arabia and their right for defence? Let’s not forget that the aid of Saudi Arabia was called on by the legitimate government of Yemen, a part most seem to ignore again and again.

Saudi Arabia is trailing in technology on several ides and they are trying to address this and those who facilitate for the progress of that will find themselves with the sweetest deals. More importantly, the UK will need proper trade partners to a larger degree. The US is all about export and the fact that export needs to exceed import, several nations are in that stage. The list that place true value to import to goods and services is small, so having the proper foreign office in place is going to be essential in the next 5 years, the Brexit party cannot deliver on that and that will make matters much worse down the Brexit trail. The Conservative need is easily shown when you look a few degrees beyond the current point of exposure. It is when you look towards the applied stage of the long game, that is where you see that the bulk of all politicians fall short. They will merely tell you: ‘We will solve it when we get there‘, or ‘We have a plan and we will present it at the proper time‘ and it is way too late to take that approach, it is well over a decade too late for that.

If they cannot clearly show you a plan, they are extremely unlikely to have one, which is not a stage the UK (and many other nations) can survive on at present. As such the political winds are blowing, top some degree those who we are willing to trust lack the power and know-how to make it work long term, most of the others are no longer trusted to the degree that they need to. I remain conservative inclined, yet they too need to realise that not only is the party over, facilitating in that direction is no longer an option, making that heard loud and clear is essential.

 

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Is it really Russia?

The independent was making us aware a mere 11 hours ago that ‘Russia and far right spreading disinformation ahead of EU elections, investigators say‘ (at https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/eu-elections-latest-russia-far-right-interference-fake-news-meddling-a8910311.html), now it might be that Russia is trying to make waves, yet the reality is that politicians and their allegiance to big business are already spreading enough misinformation (read: one sided information) to make the people distrust these politicians. I partially discussed this yesterday in ‘The Mental delay‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2019/05/12/the-mental-delay/). So when I see: “It is to constantly divide, increase distrust and undermine our faith in institutions and democracy itself“, my response would be: “Do not worry, Tony Blair is already achieving that, he does not need the Russians to achieve that goal.” So, when we consider that, what is my angle? It is a fair and important question. The matter involving the Brexit party and Nigel Farage have escalated because of inaction and attempts to sway against a referendum that had already been decided. The Business Insider (at https://www.businessinsider.com.au/remain-wars-britain-anti-brexit-parties-tearing-each-other-apart-change-uk-liberal-democrats-2019-5) is giving us: “the prospects for remaining in the EU appear on the surface to be better than ever before, bickering between the country’s anti-Brexit parties now risks throwing that advantage away“, which is odd as the referendum for Brexit was won, so it seems that the voice of the people is openly ignored, and it angers half the nation, so they are willing to let Nigel Farage sort it out for them. Yet the Business Insider also shows another side. With “Change UK instead decided to go its own way, writing off the Lib Dems as spent force and calling on its members to quit and jump ship to Change UK, with the mission of quickly becoming the premier anti-Brexit party“, we see different groups, all wanting to be the captain, so that they can reap the rewards from large corporations, I’ll admit that the last part is my own speculation. You see big business is never about rewarding the group, merely the one keeping them all in check, that is what big business needs and it makes the Bremainers infighters, all wanting a taste of that sweet pie of victory, as well as a taste of the gravy train, the two elements why most people inside and outside the EU want the EU to stop. It cannot keep proper checks and balances and the less said about that monumental failure currently called the ECB the better.

So is Russia Innocent?

I do not think so (better stated, I do not know), and if we are to believe former FBI analyst Daniel Jones (there is currently no evidence that he is not to be believed) we see the act “Senate investigator whose non-profit group, Advance Democracy, recently flagged a number of suspicious websites and social media accounts to law enforcement authorities” is not to be ignored, yet as I see the group that I would personally label ‘stupid political people‘ are doing a fine job by themselves, there is enough distrust to go around for decades at present. Yet there is another part in this. The quote “It is nearly impossible to quantify the scale and resonance of the misinformation. Researchers say millions of people see the material.” the problem is not that it is merely them; the media itself is the problem. The media who is setting the stage by offering one sided stories whilst the bulk of all the people know that there is another side, they are adding fuel to the fire and that is not recognised in the entire data setup at present. The Yemeni war is the clearest example. The bulk of all papers handing blame to Saudi Arabia, whilst they openly ignored the actions from Iran and Hezbollah attacking Saudi Arabia via Yemen, as well as arming the Houthis in all this. Not once, not twice, but consistently, in addition in several events the actions of Turkey was set aside because it was inconvenient towards Turkish talks, that alone should wake you up regarding the one sided exposure and therefor handing out more distrust. So at present I had to giggle regarding Russian Prime Minister, Dmitry Medvedev, as he stated roughly two months ago “Suspecting someone of an event that has not yet happened is a bunch of paranoid nonsense“. He is of course correct, but that does not make him innocent does it? A man is innocent of hoping to screw the prima ballerina of the Bolshoi, and walking around with a condom does not make him guilty, neither is his desire to get lucky, but we can call him out on having the condom on him as he enters the restaurant meeting Svetlana Zakharova for dinner, we can call him out through envy (she is truly amazingly gorgeous), we can call him out on desire (making us wrathful on missing out on the opportunity to be him) the list goes on, yet he is right nothing happened at present. In the end the best thing we have after the event might be the evidence of intent, yet intent after the fact towards something that might never be proven in court is still a huge miss.

And when we make the tally, we can to some degree clearly see that the current politicians made us more distrustful than any Russian action at present, and the media aided in this, they all have their own political agenda side, the media has not been neutral for the longest of times.

Then I notice something that does impact. When I see: “Distinguishing Russian interference from clickbait or sincere political outrage is difficult, even for intelligence services“, that is not entirely true. The analysts are (often) looking in the wrong direction. You see, the stage is not the news; it is the line of forwarding. I noticed that over the last three weeks there were ladies wanting to connect to me, and it came with ‘tit shots‘ and ‘prominent ass poses‘, so they were either cheap ladies hoping to strike an hourly bargain, or they were honey traps (they tend to be the second), so there is piece number one (pun intended), the forwarding started from that point forward and more important, the presence of that account is also a data point to consider. The forwarding news has an origin and Facebook has that original post as well as the originator, so there we see two pieces ready for mining. Even as troll farms have a larger set of systems, they still start at a limited amount of routers, an element ignored. There are not too much masking options in mass spreading, even if it changes per message pushed, the list is decently exhaustive and it is the analysing of the hop path that shows the fake router, and as such we see that a path is now optionally established. That did not take long did it? I did my CCNA 8 years ago, yet that point is there. It is how I designed the cloud intrusion stage. It is a Router_n + 1 approach; it is not the originating router, the two routers after those optionally downscale paths towards the point of origin.

You see, even as we are given: “The digital trail often winds up in one of the internet’s anonymised dead ends“, we see no anonymity in the normal spreading of social media or even sharing of posts, the anonymity gives us the initial red flag; the router path can give us a lot more. The simplest of all solutions has been ignored by the lot of them. When I share news (usually because it is funny, or a nice indecent or Monday morning pun (example added). In all this a clear path can be established, so why is all the other not flagged and optionally removed? There is a right of expression from your own account, should hidden shares not all be auto removed? Was that example perhaps a little too simple for them?

We are all so intent on blaming Facebook for being too big, blaming them for not policing what was never supposed to be policed, it is also time to hold a light to those abusing the options available, in all this there is a lack of truly investigating not social media, but the usage of digital media and digital advertising. And that is where the problem starts, the moment that voice goes to town suddenly we see politicians starting to shout on the infringement of the people, the politicians are part of the problem and seeing that is the first step in recognising that the problem is a lot larger. When we start investigating election fraud versus voter fraud, we see a stage where it is not unlikely that the true mountain is not the voter fraud. And that is not all, when is it voter fraud, when is it logistical error and incompetence? You merely have to Google ‘election fraud‘ you will find issues in Texas and South Africa, but what was exactly the case and when was action taken? What actions were taken and was it in time? All that and when we focus on the European election and the ‘instigations’ by the Russians, I wonder how much an impact they are having, or basically the EU elections has bigger problems to sort out and the media is one of those problems to a much larger degree than anyone is willing to admit to.

This is a clear case where the premise of Oliver Hazard Perry, an American naval commander: ‘We have met the enemy and they are ours‘ (1812), which was freely translated into ‘We have met the enemy and they are us‘, as we agree that we tend to be our own worst enemy, did anyone consider that social media could emphasize this no less than tenfold?

So is it really Russia, or do we need to take a look at what we enable ourselves and facilitate for? Acknowledging that we have a social media usage problem will be the first step in scaling the dangers down.

 

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The mental delay

There is a mental delay; we all have it, the moment between the realisation that things are wrong and the rest of the media finally willing to confess to the wrongful parts after they had been milked to the maximum. This is where I believe the UK is when I see: ‘Poll surge for Farage sparks panic among Tories and Labour‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/may/11/poll-surge-for-farage-panic-conservatives-and-labour). The situation is given through “Support for the Conservatives at the European elections slumps to 11%, less than a third of what the Brexit party is polling“. From my point of view, it is not really a surprise. The people have had enough of the ECB and their lack of control and accountability. The people in Europe are down 3 trillion euro through ill-conceived plans, it gets to be even worse when we consider the march news from the Financial Times ‘ECB unveils fresh bank stimulus amid rising Eurozone gloom‘, a setting that is not unlike irresponsible children using a credit card for which they do not have to pay the bill, the people have had enough. It is emphasized by other media giving us quotes like “Even if we stipulate that Greece’s government is, in fact, as creditworthy as the U.S. government, why would investors accept a lower yield on the Greek bond? And why are they willing to accept the even lower yields on the bonds of other Eurozone governments?“, as well as “Despite the low Eurozone bond yields, investors may expect eventually to boost their returns by selling the expensive euros and buying cheaper dollars and other currencies. Indeed, there is some basis for such a strategy. As of late April, the consensus among analysts was that the euro will appreciate significantly over the next couple of years, and more modestly thereafter; forward markets (where buyers and sellers settle the price of a future transaction in advance) support this consensus view.” Source: MarketWatch.

My issue is that the writing has been on the wall for a while and whilst we are given “The poll suggests the Brexit party, launched only last month, is now on course for a thumping victory that Farage will, MPs fear, use to back his argument that the UK must leave the EU immediately without a deal“, it was a risk that had been 3 years in the making and now that the time is over, we see panic on a few levels. The need for Status Quo as well as the continued Gravy train is now at a stage that the UK and others have had enough, a stage where the large four are pulling a cart where 20 others have not been doing their bit, not even to the smallest degree. From my personal view, the biggest loser is Tony Blair when we consider: “Writing for the Observer online, the former prime minister Tony Blair says it is vital that Labour supporters go to the polls, even if they choose a party more clearly in favour of Remain than Labour“, in a stage where the ECB does as it pleases, the people have largely lost faith, with the economic anchors Greece and Italy still firmly in place things will not get better, not in a Bremain stage of mind. Even as we accept that things will get worse, there is enough indication that it will be relatively short term, without the anchors, the 15 smallest EU nations will unite against the UK, only to find that the setback will increase, a voice without money is worth the value of the empty wallet at best. The IMF report makes it merely worse, the stage where the three largest EU economies are Germany, France and Italy and their prospects are in the basement for this year, led by Italy with a forecast that is somewhere between 10% and 25 % of last year, and as I took the UK out of this, we will see that as the others slide faster, the UK will suddenly become the place to be, a nation in repair. Then MarketWatch gives us a part that I have been claiming for over 2 years: “Policy makers also underplay the financial risks. They emphasize the decline in government debt ratios and banks’ nonperforming loans from their peaks reached during the euro-area crisis. They fail to note, however, that these vulnerabilities are at present distinctly higher than they were in mid-2007 for virtually all Eurozone countries“, whatever options they thought they had was squandered away by the ECB stimulus plans that did not work twice around and now they are giving us an attempt at option three, with no evidence that the third time has any chance of being a charm.

So when I see “‘northern’ Eurozone governments worry that the ECB may be left holding debt that may never be repaid“, which is nice, but I told that the people close to two years ago. It is nice for others to catch up this late. All this is before we give consideration to ‘Italy budget deficit forecast to smash EU fiscal rules‘ (at https://www.ft.com/content/e3b662d2-70ac-11e9-bf5c-6eeb837566c5) all thanks (in part) to an ECB that cannot restrain itself or its members, the UK is much better out and the sooner they do this, the better it is for all. The problem is not merely the deficit, the economy downturn will hit jobs soon thereafter, so before the end of the year. As such the unemployment rate that was merely a stitch below 11% in February 2019 could hit 14% by October, and with one out of three Italian youths without a job, that situation will worsen. It is already worse than Spain, but it will worsen still, that is merely one of the 4 large economies, whilst the ECB was too worried on the next bonus spreadsheet, we will now end up having spreadsheets where the dominant colour is red, on pretty much every page.

Even as we accept the Financial Times words “The forecasts play down the risks of a no-deal Brexit, saying that it “would dampen economic growth, particularly in the UK but also in the EU27, though to a minor extent”“, the part that I see missing is that the UK economy will recover, the remaining EU27 players a lot less so, which is also why we have seen the fuelled anti-Brexit sentiment all over Europe, not because they lose what they call an ‘economic ally‘, but because their own mess becomes centre stage for everyone to watch soon thereafter.

The other part is that the Northern economies are seemingly slowing down, the Local Sweden gives us: “The Swedish economic boom has reached its peak and the economy is approaching a slowdown, the country’s Fiscal Policy Council wrote in its annual report“, I do not believe that to be correct, you see Ericsson is one of a few having a decent 5G solution, together with Nokia they are the only ones who have a decently advanced 5G solution, they are the only ones who are considered in several nations because those nations are narrow-minded and loudly anti Huawei, so these two profit to a larger degrees. When 3G was starting Nokia broke all records, these two will in similar drive 5G, even if there is a slowdown, it is likely to be a very short one, unless the US stops its Huawei smear policy, these two will propel the Nordic economies to a much larger degree.

So when I see Justine Greening, Sam Gyimah, Alistair Burt, all conservatives, all pushing for a Bremain, a second referendum, or some ill-conceived idea that Brexit needs to be acknowledged, the voters have all realised that it is too late, the EU wanted to keep on playing games and leaving the game at whatever point is to be preferred over more and more unacceptable spending.

Yet the one part that is not pushed for is that the Brexit Party and Ukip are approaching a majority, if they can strike a deal with the greens and the Liberal Democrats (they tend to be great followers), we see a new government with the Labor party and conservatives sitting next to one another in the opposition. A historic first, the entire House of Commons for too long in indecision and the people have had enough, I cannot blame them. So when they want to play the blame game, a lot of politicians merely need to look into a mirror to see the guilty party.

I personally belief that the people are seeing the dangers of non-decisions as well as the added media pressures with non-stop incriminations and a total lack of explanation; It is driving the ‘better out than in‘ mood that seems to be exploding all over the UK. The fact that sources are claiming that Brexit might not happen, or that there is a 20%-30% that it will not happen has the people riled, in the end there was a referendum and the complacent and lazy Bremainers were all in a stage ‘it will never happen’, just like that popular claim ‘too big to fail’, so as that went the wrong way the people have been hit with media after media going wild in allegations and all kinds of managed bad news reports like ‘we could lose everything‘, or ‘you’ll get nationally evicted‘, exponential levels of fear mongering for too long, the people are fed up and the Brexit party is gaining more and more momentum. In France far right Marine Le Pen is again in the lead, the Dutch ‘Forum for Democracy (FvD) party’ is equally pushing forward, is that the Europe that the UK wants to be part of? The extreme right parties are gaining momentum more and more and I personally believe that not having a handle on the ECB was a first step, then we still have Mario Draghi being a member of an elite banking group and the fact that no one was holding him to account is still a factor that the few are disregarding, whilst the 3 trillion of bad conceived spending was never up for debate.

There has been a mental delay with the voters, but the facts are out in the open for too much and the facts are too visible, it has angered the people, so as the news thought it was fun to give the readers the news through “The Hinduja brothers, Gopichand and Srichand, have reclaimed their crown as the UK’s wealthiest people, according to the annual Rich List survey. The Indian-born, London-based industrialists are estimated to be worth £22bn, up £1.35bn on last year’s list“, so yes that was a nice part, as the people cannot pay their bills, have to deal with unaffordable living, someone made an additional £1,335 million pounds extra, all that whilst we get “The list reveals that retailer Sir Philip Green has lost his billionaire status; his fortune is believed to have halved in a year because of a pension black hole in his Arcadia empire. The Sunday Times Rich List has Green’s total wealth free-falling £1.05bn in a year to £950m“, when I lose 50% of my wealth, I go from £1,500 to £750, so where is the ‘half’ and the mere decline of10% illustrating going from £1,05B to £950M? It seems to me that he wealthy people are taxed differently on fortunes having to be halved.

Are you still wondering whilst millions of Britons are in anger and are you wondering why the Brexit party is gaining momentum? Farage has the charisma to exploit the silly news items that are seemingly fun to read for some, but in light of all that has happened, it is infuriating a lot more people in the UK than the media should be happy about. And as we saw Tony Blair, yesterday in his opinion piece ‘Farage cannot be allowed to dictate Britain’s future. He must be thwarted‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/may/11/farage-cannot-be-allowed-to-dictate-britains-future-he-must-be-thwarted) we are given “This is not a vote to choose a prime minister or a government. It is a vote for the Farage Brexit – or against it“. There I respectfully disagree; it has gone way beyond that. It has been about the unacceptable acts of the ECB and the overpaid EU gravy train riders for a much longer time and if Tony Blair had done something about when he was in charge from 1997 to 2007, or perhaps Gordon Brown in the three years that followed, the mess would not be there, in that same light the Conservatives after that did not achieve any significant push to make the ECB come to its senses, and now the people have had enough; they are willing to let Nigel Farage try. Tony should have done a few more things a decade ago and that was never the case. That is why the Brexit party is growing to the degree it is. The lack of kept promises, and the Italian government is merely throwing petrol on that fire, as such the Dutch are finding a person like Thierry Baudet more acceptable than ever before. A status quo play was the worst one to have, but the non-elected officials needed status quo for their wealth and now the gig is up in more than one way.

Tony Blair needs to realise that the Brexit party is not the downfall for either the Labor party or the Conservatives, facilitating to big business was and that is an important elements that none are touching on, the bulk of the politicians are tainted, tainted to the degree that they will stand out in every limelight and their denial in that is just staggering.

The mental delay has passed and now the people are in a phase where they are considering every other solution, except the ones that labour and conservatives offer. It is interesting that no one went on those tracks, the signals and indicators are clearly pushing in that direction.

 

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The truth that kills you

It started in a setting that I observed and wrote about for the last few years, every now and then the NHS rears its ugly head. My look into this started when the Labour party has created a £11.2 billion fiasco that involved IT. When it comes to governmental IT issues, the UK does not score that high. In addition, when you drain a resource in one path, the other path tends to fade away and there were always politicians who claim they could do better, yet experience for over 20 years have shown me that they tend to remain clueless on the matters at hand. The moment they accept it, they go have lunch with friends who all see opportunities and before he/she knows it, the required scope has grown by 250% and soon thereafter it becomes too large to manage. From there onward it goes from bad to worse and that is how the NHS got sliced and diced (just one of many issues plaguing it).

So when I saw ‘Shock figures from top think-tank reveal extent of NHS crisis‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/may/05/nhs-lowest-level-doctors-nurses-beds-western-world) I was not convinced that the Guardian had even ruffled the top layer of feathers here. So I took a look. Now, the article is linked to the King’s Fund that has the numbers (at https://www.kingsfund.org.uk/publications/spending-and-availability-health-care-resources). The work by Deborah Ward and Linda Chijiko is actually really insightful, and an amazing read. So let’s take a look and they do not disappoint, the start gives us “Although it can be difficult to find data on health care resources on a comparable basis across countries, international comparisons can still provide useful context for the debate about how much funding the NHS might need in future. There is also precedent for this approach – for example, when Tony Blair famously pledged on the ‘Breakfast with Frost’ programme in 2000 to get health spending up to the European Union average“, I have to consider the value of adding flair of Blair, but it is fair enough (or was that flair enough). Yet, data is everything and proper data rules the setting, this paper recognises that and that is a massive victory.

It is important to add (pasted) the following, because it shows the value to a much larger degree.

Alongside the UK, we have chosen to look at a selection of 20 European or English-speaking countries drawn from across the OECD. For some analyses, data was available for only a subset of these countries. For some indicators, data was only available for services delivered by the NHS and did not include resources in the private or voluntary sectors.

List of UK comparator countries in this report

Australia Czech Republic Germany New Zealand Slovak Republic
Austria Denmark Ireland Norway Spain
Belgium Finland Italy Poland Sweden
Canada France the Netherlands Portugal Switzerland

Unweighted averages and medians have been used throughout this report to summarise data for the collection of countries as a whole. The amount of people who relied on weighted data cannot be underestimated on stupidity to some degree, as we get raw numbers we see that weighting would look better, yet less accurate. In this we do recognise the danger we see with ‘each country is given equal importance regardless of the size of its population‘, especially when we consider that non-rural Denmark tends to me limited to Copenhagen, and rural Netherlands (if there is any rural part left) tends to reflect Birmingham population numbers on average, so when we also take into consideration the truth of ‘The median and unweighted average are often very similar across these analyses, though the median will be less affected by extremely low or high values‘, we know that we are looking at something serious, but in the micromanaged parts (bordering rural/non-rural), there will be the sliding of values at times, not on a national scale, but where we consider certain parts per nation do not properly reflect internationally (the Netherlands vs France or Canada vs Germany).

Now we take a look at certain segments. The first one is “Under the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)’s new definition of health spending, the UK spends 9.7 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) on health care. This in line with the average among the countries we looked at but is significantly less than countries such as Germany, France and Sweden, which spend at least 11 per cent of their GDP on health care“, Sweden stands out as it has a much more refined social based system, so there is a shift there, yet as Sweden has 3 cities (Stockholm, Goteborg and Malmo), whilst the rest are basically villages some no larger than 1600 people (2 of them), the rest are between 2,500 and 140,000 in size, so in that regards, the population spread required an approach that differs from several nations, especially when you consider a place like Skellefteå and Lulea in the north. To give a little more reflection Skellefteå has 33,000 people over 8.39 square miles another 40,000 live outside of the ‘city’ limits. So it is 3,900 persons per square mile that in comparison against Birmingham that has 10,391 Ashton Villa fans per square mile. Different solutions are needed, and more often it the hardware (ambulance/helicopter) is very different especially in the winter season (in Sweden) where they actually have a white Christmas and often a white Easter as well.

Now we get to what initially was considered an issue by me, but that was because Denis Campbell Health Policy Editor of the Observer messed up a little (likely unintentionally). You see the article in the Guardian gives us “They reveal that only Poland has fewer doctors and nurses than the UK, while only Canada, Denmark and Sweden have fewer hospital beds, and that Britain also falls short when it comes to scanners“, now what is stated here is true, yet by stating “Britain falls short in several ways, especially when we compare ourselves to the Unweighted average. When we do that when it comes to nurses, only Spain, Italy and Poland have a less fortunate situation“, the Unweighted average gives a proper light per 1,000 population and that is where we need to look at the start and the King’s Fund research is doing that splendidly and shows that ‘spendingly’, the UK falls behind. It falls behind more and more is still speculative, yet if the coming 3 Financial years do not show a massive increase (read: change to the NHS approach) that will become a worsening situation for the population requiring nurses, doctors and equipment.

In the reports, I find one thing missing, that is, it would be a good idea to have that, you see, in the part Medical Technology, the CT Scanner part is partially flawed, Australia scores massively high, which is nice as I am on that island, but I also recognise the part missing there, even as there is a proper notice given with ‘Data for the UK only includes MRI and CT units in the public sector, so these comparisons should be treated with particular caution‘, the missing element is not the numbers, but the distance. As Australia is an ‘island’ nearly the size of Europe, it has its own problem, most of Queensland is rural territory and when you consider that Australia is twice the size of India, the amount of technology they have is often a burden on the size of that nation and the mere fact that the 5 large villages (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth) merely represent 65% of the population, the rest is rural.

Yet the more I read on this report, the more I respect it, it clearly shows issues that the NHS UK has, partially due to its own flaws (the report does not show that). It shows at the end that there is space for jobs “There are approximately 100,000 vacancies for clinical staff in the English NHS, and nearly half (49 per cent) of nurses do not think there are sufficient staff to let them do their job effectively“, but it does not show the ‘elitist’ approach the UK has had for decades into allowing transference of other nurses (from other nations) to become part of this workforce, yet the impossible standards that the UK have used to stop that falls short of the shortages and lack of services now thrust upon the people in need of medical services. The second part is seen (at https://improvement.nhs.uk/documents/2471/Performance_of_the_NHS_provider_sector_for_the_month_ended_31_December.pdf), here we see: “Providers have not met ambitious cost improvement targets and it is critical that these plans are recovered before year-end

Providers set out plans to deliver a total of £3.7 billion savings this financial year. The sector has outperformed the wider economy by delivering an implied 1.8% productivity improvement. This was supported by cost improvements of 3.3% – equivalent to £2,139 million of improvements in the first nine months of the year, £97 million higher than the same period in 2016/17“, so how to read that? They need to show better for the same amount, they were unable to deliver and they still got paid? Is that how it reflects, because that is merely the setting of a disastrous business model, in that the elitist overkill hire approach of nurses will never be in a proper setting in that way, or solved which would be nice too.

So when we see: “By Q3 the sector had achieved 65% of the forecast efficiency savings for the year – to meet the forecast outturn, providers will need to significantly step up the delivery of CIPs in the final quarter. However, the same pattern was seen in 2016/17, so there is evidence to support the increased delivery in the final quarter“, which sounds nice, but they would still come short by no less than 20%, so even as we complement them by getting better in the home stretch, they still did not make the delivery they promised and no matter how ‘ambitious‘ the goal is, a goal not met remains a failure. So when we do address the shortages on all levels and the setting on how ‘some top think-tank‘ gives us ‘shock figures‘, it still revolved around a much larger mess that has not been addressed for the longest of times and is still nowhere near up to scrap.

The goods we need we see on page 51, with the setting of ‘Nursing vacancy position‘ we see how most other failures are shown to fail merely due to shortages, the fact that the NHS has 35,000 vacancies also shows on how timelines cannot be met, when we see that in regard to the shortages nurses to the job of 1.4 nurses, there will be more burnout and more delays on every field. Throwing money at it will not really solve the issue, because this is the one field where we see the direct impact of service levels versus the impossible demand of nurses. So when we accept that the nurses program requires a larger overhaul in setting the stage we see that this is te first field where the military are actually becoming part of the solution.

How speculative can we get?

Here is a warning that matters, because the changing of settings is essential to shaping the future. Consider two places the first (at https://www.army.mod.uk/who-we-are/corps-regiments-and-units/army-medical-services/queen-alexandras-royal-army-nursing-corps/) where we are introduced to Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps (QARANC), as well as the recruitment (at https://apply.army.mod.uk/roles/army-medical-service/army-nurse). Now consider that the army is charged with the setting of training all applicant nurses to serve the NHS. So immigrants and optionally their children get a short access path to serve the UK on medical terms and it comes with complete processed nationality (after initial screening is passed). So families get the option to become British and part of the society they moved to. Now, this will not always work, yet if you see a 35,000 shortage and you get to lower that by 1,000 each year? Let’s not forget that the shortage is not going away any day soon, so any approach we can take we should consider. Now this is not for everyone, and more importantly an army nurse is still a military function, yet in this setting, there will be training in English, UK values, medical training, language and more importantly the years to come will show whether they have what it takes, in the end we use a structured system to infuse the NHS in operational ways, in addition, as the there is a growing need at the NHS, we see other parts where such reflections would grow the power of the NHS indirectly.

Both logistical and engineering sides of the Military could spell equal options to grow the NHS, or at least grow the ability of taking care of itself sooner rather than later. When we consider that the cost of agency nurses are close to astronomical (at http://www.kentonline.co.uk/medway/news/trust-spends-11m-on-temporary-nurses-180427/) gave us “Medway NHS Foundation Trust spent more than £11m on temporary nursing staff last year, a Freedom of Information request has revealed“, so when we consider that, is calling the army to aid in setting the boundaries back by a fair amount that much of a farfetched call? When we also see “There is a shortfall of 40,000 nurses across the UK, which has been driven by a lack of nursing training places in recent times“, is my call to call in the army and its instructors that much of a leap? Now we can all agree that it does not work on all fronts, but we can either stare at the missing beaches we have now, or start creating our own beachheads and see if we can see how new solutions could be implemented. There is no certainty, only the certainty that at the present course there will never be a solution that is what needs to be addressed. We need to accept that the current approach towards solving the NHS issues is not realistically set. When we look at merely one source (at https://www.nurseuncut.com.au/how-australians-can-get-nursing-jobs-in-the-uk/), we see the language that is given even after you get the NMC (the Nursing and Midwifery Council), you passed the tests, you have shown that you are who you are, your medical knowledge has been assessed, we then see “The hard work isn’t over after this point though, as you will obviously still need to find an actual job within the NHS. Fortunately, there are places designed to help – such as agencies like Nursing Personnel, where you can find a range of jobs across different disciplines and in different UK cities“, so we see that the agencies are set as a buffer, filling their pockets, so they never ever want to see that changed. In addition there is “Following this, you must apply for and then receive a valid work visa to ensure you can legally work in the UK. Finally, when all the pieces are in place, you can begin your new nursing role. Good luck!“, So even after that path is taken, after you get your NMC pin, there are still two iterations to get through, even as the Army, or even directly via QARAN, we could see that the entire path, towards the NMC, especially by those who have a nursing degree. That was never an option? Not even as I discussed such a path almost 4 years ago? When we see the shortage and the non-actions in this, can we even have faith that those around the NHS want anything fixed? It seems that they get ‘rewarded’ no matter what, especially the agencies, so when we see the money in that, why would they want to fix it? I say start by fixing this for the nurses first, which will get delays down and will give additional rise to finding as the agencies get less work, it also states that the invoices form them disappear meaning that millions become available. More staff and alternatively also more equipment could be the beginning to solving two issues to a larger degree. After that we can start looking into addressing the shortages on doctors, yet I also feel that once the nurse shortage is addressed, the doctor shortage might partially take care of itself. Even as the Financial Times reported last year that almost 400 GP’s a month quitted the NHS, addressing the nurses shortage will lower that number and when there are enough nurses we will see that it might lower to almost zero (speculative), yet as one fixes two other issues, we will suddenly see that when nurses reach above the unweighted number of 10, other numbers are guaranteed to shift too, because as agencies make millions less, those millions will shift to optional beds, medication and technology. Suddenly the UK will not look so bad overall. Now, let’s be clear this is a path that would take no less than 3 years to see certain parts turnaround, but it is a realistic path with a realistic curve of improvement. So even as we get served “Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust has 9,264 4 hour breaches (25.5%)“, we can also see from the other numbers that a larger extent is due to a shortage of nurses, so when we accept that they could climb to 85%-90%, we see that the entire setting suddenly looks less grim, so even as we need to realise that there is a setting (based on location) that the overall need of 95% performance is ideal, the question becomes is it a realistic setting, when all matters are equal it might be, yet at present all things are not equal and that is the part that requires attention, it is not the top 5% made that sets the standard, it is the acceptance of those in the 90%-95% range that requires merely some scrutiny, the question becomes, which one alteration might get those in the 90%-95% range there? I believe that nurses are merely one part, technology is the second part and as we deal with nurse shortages, there is a setting that technology gets fixed to some degree in the process. This paper (Spending on and availability of health care resources: how does the UK compare to other countries?) does not answer it, but gives light to the path that requires attention, the paper gives a path to investigate and that is equally massively important, so when we consider figure 2, can the change between New Zealand (10.3 nurses) versus he Netherlands (10.5) above the unweighted average of 10.4 show that difference of attaining the ‘revered’ 95% score or higher? Because of ‘irregularities’ that national needs tend to have, it is a cautious approach, yet the idea that it solves it is one thing, yet the one part not shown here (hence I took these two reports) is that even a we accept that they cannot be used in comparison, the setting of getting the 95% mark is still an essential statistic (by some) and if so, we accept that we go by the Unweighted average as a mere indicator, is that the right indicator to use (read: rely on), or is there a number missing? Is there a ‘Nominal Coverage‘ missing that is an indicatory number that aids us towards the A&E 4-hour standard setting and the attainment of the 95% score? Now it remains indicatory as there will always be a shift towards nominal nurses and actual nurses, but we need to start somewhere and if additional nurses are the first requirement to start turning this around, these numbers will become a lot more important, that part is not addressed (which was never the setting for Deborah Ward and Linda Chijiko), yet it is an issue for the NHS and the writing and results by these two ladies, might be a first step in actually getting there. When we look at the simplicity of it, was it really that far-fetched? I am merely asking, because my flair for oversimplification can be overwhelming for a lot of ‘experienced analysts’.

Yet, my mere focus has always been, how can we fix/improve the current NHS?

It is the path to solution that we need to care for, how it can be fixed, if it can be fixed. I have forever opposed the Jeremy Corbyn approach to throw money at it, because in the current setting the only one getting a better deal are the agencies and they are already cats that are way too fat. Hence I look at the directions where training and education sets the pace and in that pace we need to find opportunities for the NHS to pick the fruits form the yard, it is merely a different set of spectacles, the spectacle is not merely about the presentation, it is about setting the right focus, because focus shows us where the flaw is and where we can initially start the focal point of repairing the situation.

The weird part is that Canada, the UK and Australia have similar issues, so there is a foundation of repair missing which is equally a worry. In all this someone is getting rich, is it so hard to look at those getting rich and why that is? The fix could have been underway as early as 2014, the fact that it is nowhere there is worthy of many more questions, yet the bulk of those who could ask them, do not seem to ask them visible enough for all people to wonder how certain matters could be fixed and when one is fixed how much the other problems diminish, an equally important question. Even if it is merely for the reason that not finding these answers could kill you, either in an ambulance, or in a corner of a hospital awaiting a nurse to get you to the proper place for treatment, would that not be nice too?

 

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The Update

This is not about specifics; this is about the latest updates on a few sides. First we get back to ‘The successful and the less so‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2018/04/26/the-successful-and-the-less-so/). We had the rundown on the Marvel movies and Spielberg’s Ready Player One. My view remains the same, the three movies were awesome and there is no denying that. What is however a shift is the impact that the Avengers: Infinity War had, I knew it was going to be big, but a 3 day global total up to April 29th of $640,000,000 (rounded down) is beyond what I would have ever expected (read: imagined). The total revenue of Ready Player One was surpassed in 3 days with 20% to boot. It will get worse (depending on your point of view). You see, I am hearing all around me that people want to see it again. There was so much to see. So not only will it surpass the one billion dollar marker in a 10 day stretch, the revenue of Infinity war on 4K and Blu-ray will surpass most records to date. It could even spell a drive for people to look for a 4K TV and a HD 4K player merely for this movie alone. So if there is a Christmas release planned, it will likely be a $999 deal for the 4K TV, the 4K Player and the movie, all neatly gift wrapped. Those who do not have a 4K TV at that time might leap at the option offered. Techspot gave us “the movie’s Sunday box office performance – Infinity War reportedly raked in a whopping $69.2 million, breaking yet another domestic record“, implying in part that the movie is set to break the records that the number 3 top placed movie has, as Infinity war is likely to surpass it. I don’t think that it will make the current number three sad, it took three years for a movie to do that and records were always meant to be broken at some point.

The second update is on ‘Flames of the blame game‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2018/04/27/flames-of-the-blame-game/), you see, the Financial Times (at https://www.ft.com/content/c532579a-416d-11e8-803a-295c97e6fd0b) has an issue with data sharing and the Kensington and Chelsea council has been fined £120,000. Now we can have all kinds of thoughts yet the quote “the perception that a large number of properties were left unoccupied by wealthy foreign owners — provoked greater scrutiny of the borough’s housing situation amid calls for empty homes to be used to house evacuees, and criticism of the approach of the Conservative-run council to public housing provision and maintenance” implies that there is a much larger issue in Kensington and Chelsea and that certain steps are being taken. They got an opening to make a shift and the Grenfell disaster gave them an option. The interesting part is that this goes back to 2017. The Guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/aug/02/revelations-about-empty-homes-in-grenfell-area-simply-unacceptable) reported “Labour has condemned as “simply unacceptable” the 1,652 unoccupied properties in the London borough where the Grenfell Tower fire took place, calling for government action to bring them back into use“, which is as I see it, hypocrisy at best. You see the previous Labour government under Tony Blair was very eager to call in the investors, yet down the line no one wants to pay for the fallout. This did not start recently, this has been going on since the late 90’s, the EU reported in a paper  (at http://ec.europa.eu/economy_finance/events/2003/workshop/woodetal.pdf) by Forrest Capie, Geoffrey Wood and Frank Sensenbrenner by the City University, London: “confirmation is provided by the complete absence from mainstream political discourse is the notion that “multinationals” have somehow taken over, or impeded the actions of, national government. All this exemplifies, we conjecture, the relaxed attitude of a major foreign investor. At least at present levels, no-one much worries about “who owns” British industry, so long as British residents have savings somewhere. Foreign ownership is a non-issue in Britain“, a non-issue? Really? This was given in February 2003, so this has been going on for a while and yes the short term gain was clearly seen, millions upon millions, yet the long term play starting 5 years ago, when we see that 1650 unoccupied properties in one council alone is costing the infrastructure, 1650 households not needing energy, not needing food, not needing services, so those services in place is one thing, the fact that this group should be supporting half a dozen shop chains is now off the table. The UK did this to them self when they forgot basic math. So when we learn the setting of ‘a man’s home is his castle‘ and ‘trespass is actionable per se’, we see that these people have painted themselves in a corner. So even when we saw last year “London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, said he would make proposals this year to find a more effective way to tackle the issue” he basically doesn’t have a leg to stand on and now the council might have given it to the press, so that the journalists, in the light of the Grenfell disaster can up the ante by emotional reporting, and it only costs the council £120,000 to allegedly start using the press as a tool of convenience. This allegedly setting is seen in the Financial Times quote ““at the time of the security breach, the feeling of social inequality was running high in this wealthy borough. Such disclosures therefore required guidance and oversight,” the ICO said“, it seems to me that someone decided to play judge and jury on a setting that the government, especially the previous Labour government enabled in the first place. It is not a fluke; there is a whole range of insurances that are covering this. UKinsuranceNET is merely one of many examples. Most are immediately covered by ‘Owner is working away‘, ‘Non-UK residents are accepted‘ as well as:

  • Ensure that you have a friend or family member inspect the property regularly. A minor continual escape of water left for a period of months can devastate a property. This is why escape of water is not usually covered with unoccupied insurance policies without terms and conditions applying.
  • Home emergency cover, should a plumbing or electrical fault occur the person who is looking after your house will appreciate this. Remember standard home insurance will not provide cover as extensive as an unoccupied insurance policy.
  • Speak to your local council; you may be eligible for a reduction in your council tax.

So there is not just an issue, it is a much larger market, you see Huw Evans director general of the Association of British Insurers could have told them that when he had that large issue on the Grenfell building when he was talking about inadequate fire testing.

Yet in all this, these people will not learn. Now, I will accept that Mayor Sadiq Khan cannot be blamed in any way for the latest issue, oh yes, you see with: “London Mayor Sadiq Khan has already given his approval for the scheme“, yet the clarity (that in a very rare instance, the Sun brought), by giving us “Chelsea stadium plans hit by £1b sale of England home to Fulham and NFL owner Shahid Khan“, so even as we accept that ‘Shad Khan, is a Pakistani-American billionaire and business tycoon. He is the owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars of the National Football League‘, he is still a foreign investor and whatever happens next (besides the setting that if the sale goes through), billionaires tend to be modestly serious people and spending £1,000,000,000 on a building implies he can do with it what he wants. If he wants to turn it into a fabulous new Mosque (merely a speculative thought), there might be little to stop him. You can’t play your games on whining games regarding empty house penalties, whilst you are willingly, knowingly selling to a foreign investor. It seems that the slippery legislative slope they put themselves on could be the start of a lot more court proceedings and when you have a large number, followed by 9 zero’s and only after that a decimal point, you could hire 5 lawyers and give them one clear job description: ‘rain proceedings on these councils‘ and you’ll get £400 an hour for as long as you can do that. It could lock a council in legal proceedings for decades. Now that is merely my speculation, but there is a precedent. The ICBA reported a variant in 2016 with “Unlike the patent troll problem that ICBA fought all the way through Congress, however, this new crop of law firms is relying not on flimsy patent claims, but on detailed arguments that are already making headway in the courts“, when you consider that part, how vulnerable would any council or borough be? A dozen cases per council would lock up their legal division for up to two years at least. It ends up that close to nothing could be achieved. Now this is all merely speculation, but it is not that far-fetched with the Guardian reporting on “The number of solicitors qualified to work in England and Wales has rocketed over the past 30 years, according to new figures from the Law Society. The number holding certificates – which excludes retired lawyers and those no longer following a legal career – are at nearly 118,000“, so with 118,000 of them having hungry mouths to feed and the need to get revenue, do you still think that my view is far-fetched?

The Grenfell disaster is making all kinds of issues a lot more visible, one of them has been not to rely on foreign investors and their impact to such an extent, it has been an issue for close to well over a decade and not these birds have gone home (outside the UK) to roost, or is that to roast in the sunny sun at a tropical beach?

So in this, when I saw John Healey, Labour’s shadow housing minister state ““there were about 200,000 long-term vacant homes around the country, “including those bought and left empty by speculative investors”“, as well as “Labour would allow councils to charge a 300% empty-homes premium on properties that have been empty for more than a year and ask them to prepare empty-homes strategies to bring homes back into use in each area. We would also reverse the Conservatives’ weakening of councils’ powers to introduce empty dwelling management orders to bring homes back into use“, at what point would he also state that the previous government under Tony Blair got much (if not most) of  that damage done by opening the flood doors of foreign investors? In this, the end is nowhere in sight and even the councils realise that they are fighting an uphill battle against foundational legislation as the UK has had it for generations. It was part of the sales pitch that sold it so well, unravelling that would end up being devastating to the UK economy and these players know that (read: should truly be aware of the hazards) very well.

In finality there is the update on ‘Ferrari Mario (2018)‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2018/04/28/ferrari-mario-2018/). This is a larger one, because Phil Spencer according to several sources is setting the stage that Microsoft is having its own JRPG on the Xbox One. This is not something to sneer at. In one set of minds it is almost ludicrous and suicidal to go that way, but it is not anyone making that play, this comes from Phil Spencer and he knows games. So there is a play and it is about to be made. Now JRPG games tend to be a real game changer, it is a niche market that has a massive following. If Microsoft pulls that off, it would be such a blow to gaming (to their benefit), one that no one saw coming to that degree, this is the kind of victory shot that Microsoft desperately needs and if they do pull it off it will be a massive one! With that one ‘rumour’, one that came in several ways from Phil Spencer, towards several medium we see that Microsoft is starting to fight back, they will still take massive damage over the coming year but as to the options that limits deadly damage to the Xbox console this is certainly one that will have a large positive impact for Microsoft. Now, I refuse to go into the ‘what if it is a bad game‘ shot, because in the first I haven’t seen it, we will in 5 weeks see either something playable or a serious trailer/teaser that could bring the house down. In the second because JRPG are a vast setting of options and they are not all alike, what is a given is that when it does come it needs to be on a level of excellence that the JRPG fan expects, in story, in user experience, in graphics and atmosphere, to pull it off outside of ‘excellence driven Japan‘ has never been seen as an option, so the pressure will be on for Microsoft. If they do, then it will be one of three essential niche victories they will need, not to stop Nintendo, because that is a lost race. What will matter that three to four of these games would allow Microsoft to optionally regain the number two spot in the future, yet my personal forecast (speculative prediction is more accurate) is that they will need 3-4 of these games to be released in the next 18 months to pull that off, if they haven’t started on the additional 2-3 games at present, they might be too late, but let’s wait to see what the E3 brings before locking that gate, it is only fair that Microsoft gets that option to present that to us.

Three updates that needed to be made as the issues I talked about earlier are getting more traction and they are showing us the change that will come, even as the hearing into Grenfell aren’t seen for close to a month, the media is looking at many sides, many issues and Grenfell will be pulled into every emotional issue these politicians need, Jeremy Corbyn seems to live off that vibe, even as his co-players are not that enthusiastic to mention the previous Labour blunders that caused some of the damage we are seeing now.

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Num, Num, Num

There is a large following that is very appreciative of Jamie Oliver. I was for a long time unsure about the man. I do not mean that in any negative way, I just didn’t know the guy. Literally, my only knowledge of him in the beginning was this ad (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gPiNeIV_WY8). I thought it was funny, I was doing consultancy in the UK for a while and that is what I saw, I would remain unaware of his actions for a few more years until I saw one of his cooking shows. It looked nice, and tended to make me hungry watching it. So I reverted to my famous Bambiburger (whilst watching Bambi, because that’s how I roll) and switched to another movie afterwards. I had noticed a few of his cooking books and they looked OK, but beyond that I moved on, no negativity implied here.

My first real exposure to the man was when I was introduced to his McDonald crusade, or perhaps better stated the fast food crusade. A sample is shown in the Rubin Report (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nSoJzuUgO6c, as well as CBS at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YC0jMeGTJmA), so when I was aware of just how bad it was I stopped going there, I haven’t set foot into Macca’s for a long time, I might get a lemonade on a hot Sunday morning, yet that is as much as I got. I stopped going to Macca’s. He showed a part I never stopped to ponder. He became a silent hero, like my University friend and fellow student Jerome Doraisamy, how started the Wellness Doctrines and showed to be a true visionary. With his second book The Wellness Doctrines for High School Students, he is showing the younger students the path that every young person should read. With “self-help guide for secondary students struggling with academic rigours, vocational concerns and teenage issues“, we see a path that allows those who had given up, that there is a path, there are options and they can make it, there can be success. As Jerome attends to the mind of the younger person, Jamie Oliver has the physical side in mind. In the Guardian we see the goods (at https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2018/apr/29/jamie-oliver-criticism-affect-me-childhood-obesity), with “His transformation from cheeky-chappy Essex boy chef to single-issue crusader, facts and figures to hand, about to appear in front of a select committee, is complete. You would think he would have enough going on – he closed several of his restaurants recently and restructured his business“, in all this Jamie Oliver is focused on the issue of childhood obesity. Two silent hero’s making the world a better place, because if they can tend to the upcoming generation, we would as a humanity move forward too. Now even as we, at times might question “It is not only the food industry that Oliver has targeted. He also champions better nutritional training for GPs and other health professionals“, there is a spoken truth that we ignore, we seem to go to the GP for every useless flu shot, and really useful vaccines, but the setting is that the GP has a narrow focus, he needs to be, he might tell us to see a dietician, yet will we? I know that I eat reasonable healthy, less and less Bambiburgers (the price of venison is near murder nowadays), yet I have my decent mixes of greens, pasta’s (with fresh greens) and the optional spinach stew with beef, all easily made and full of the good stuff. This came with the revelation that even as I am still the size of Dwayne Johnson (yet not in the chest section), I eat a lot better for a long time now and I walk nearly everything I do every day. I also noticed that I eat a lot less, so there is that benefit too, but overall, I could still eat better and that is where Jamie Oliver is making the difference “Oliver seems to be coming at obesity principally as a diet problem, rather than a social one, although it may be too much to ask even someone as energetic and ambitious as him to fix society. Obesity disproportionately affects children in deprived areas“. You see, even when we accept that the lifestyle choices in places like London for some is massively limited, where most are still relying on their daily fish and chips, of if fish is too expensive friend spam, we need to acknowledge that the two people are working pre-emptively. If the children are heating healthier, it could reduce NHS needs by at least 10%, which is a massive saving, when we consider the counselling and other issues that some children face in the light of pressure the writings (the second book) of Jerome Doraisamy could also impact the NHS in a positive way, as well as avoid a whole range of other issues, so making sure that every secondary school in the UK (Australia and Canada too), has at least a few copies of this book (as well as some of the Jamie Oliver solutions), we could set the next generation much better equipped on a future path, one that is healthier and ever so likely pointing towards personal success. In that we have seen so little for such a long time that the visibility of these two crusaders (not caped ones, because I still claim the title of Batman), is becoming more and more essential. Yet Jamie does not proclaim to have all the answers and all the solutions, one would be very unfair to demand that. When we see “he does not entirely understand what it is like to live in relentless, grinding poverty: to be unable to afford fresh vegetables (healthy food is three times more expensive, per calorie, than unhealthy food – Oliver has suggested that the government should subsidise healthy food); to be too tired to cook from scratch every night; to take the financial risk on a lentil recipe that your kids may refuse to eat“, now we can go that children who are really hungry will eat nearly anything, is only partially true, the addictiveness to some foods (read: food groups), especially sugar loaded ones is too tempting as the short term sugar rush is there, so it is like getting them to fight a sugar addiction seems to be more and more prevalent. Yet as it is not a narcotic, the large brands can push sugar onto everyone until it quite literally kills them (usually via some form of diabetes). This gets us to the timeliness of it all. You see, when I was young (I know a really long time ago), diabetes was something almost unheard of. Now in the US, the CDC reported that 9.4% has some form of diabetes. That is up from 8.3% 5 years earlier, so the statistics are screaming danger. Yet we remains unable to act and the fact that Jamie Oliver is pushing for larger changes so that the UK (actually the whole world) improves the stats so that we can avoid a nasty and expensive trap is more than just good thinking, it is the stuff of well-deserved knighthoods. It is in that same range that we should see the efforts of Jerome Doraisamy. The body and the mind are two parts of us, needing equal attention and the fact that we get the next generation on top of it all is massively needed, because the mind can too often work out that the rope to hang yourself with versus the rope that will snap under the weight of the 17 year old as he/she weighs 17 stones takes a mere 25 neurons (speculative), me making fun of this is how it needs to be seen, but in a very deadly serious way. Some issues we can avoid, but if healthy food elevates your mood, makes you feel more energised, and thus empowers that person, making changes to your lifestyle on both the physical and mental front become increasingly important. Not because you are saving the NHS thousands of pounds, but because the next generation could suddenly end up having worked and lived for decades in a healthy and happy way only to receive a letter, to which that person asks “What on earth is the NHS?” They didn’t know, because they were never sick. That is what we hope we could strife for and these two crusaders are making it an optional future. So even when we see in the Guardian “he will be accused on Twitter of being the “fun police”; a column in the Sun will call it a nanny-state initiative that penalises poor people“, even as we see the taken step “It calls on the government to ban junk food advertising before 9pm and unhealthy buy-one-get-one-free offers, among other things. Oliver is proud of it. He looks relaxed, sitting on one of the sofas in his industrial, vintage-styled head office – although he knows the attacks will come“, we see that there is a lot to be done, but he has started the path, and even when we recognise that “addressed to the prime minister and signed by Jeremy Corbyn, Nicola Sturgeon and other party leaders” those undersigning is are not in government, yet when we look back to 2005, we see “In a response to the plea from TV chef Jamie Oliver for a ‘school dinner revolution’, the Prime Minister will say that school kitchens will be rebuilt and equipped so dishes can be cooked from scratch, while dinner ladies are given ‘culinary skills’ to help them create appetising menus“, it was a success as the Telegraph reported “A £280 million initiative to improve the nation’s school dinners was unveiled by Tony Blair yesterday following a campaign by Jamie Oliver, the celebrity chef. Mr Blair and Ruth Kelly, the Education Secretary, produced the money just as Oliver arrived at Downing Street with a 271,000-signature petition demanding better meals“, so what happened to that initiative, the fact that there is a second round, how much success did the £280 million get the UK schools, what was achieved and what was not is also equally a question. You see throwing money at a problem does not make it go away, it merely gets the front page for a week at the most, So when we look at briefing paper 3336, Obesity Statistics called SN03336, attached, we see that the increase from 53% to 61%, and from 15% to 26% is shown on page 3, yet it also shows that the curve on overweight or obese is also leveling from 2005 onward, so there is a shown success, what is less shown is the improvement rate among the young population, we see the statistics and total statistics, but as we cannot see if the those obese have become less obese cannot be determined in such an aggregated state.

Another path shown is that when we compare to the mindset in Japan, where only 4% has obesity, we see that studying the Japanese culture on healthy foods is becoming a lot more interesting. I did see an excellent video by Joanne Lumley on Japan, where we actually get to see two culinary sides, the first is that Japanese prison food is better looking and healthier than anything we can get in any fast food place, second was a visit to a primary school having lunch. They were eye openers, so there is still much to be learned for all the dietary players in the world. The one fact that we do clearly see is on page 12 with “obesity rates in the most deprived areas have risen by almost five percentage points but were unchanged in the least deprived areas“, we could go by the need of income, but more importantly we need to find other ways to solve the food system on a parental level, because giving in the screaming kids demanding sugar and chips will not work. Some might want to give in, but the price down the line will be extremely high. Some have no means to afford decent food and when we see that £36 a day is needed when you are on the basic standard, yet this includes rent, utilities, food and clothing. So when we consider that number, we get a lot less to live on, so when we consider rent increase, energy price hikes and other elements not much is left and that amount is actually decreasing. That is part of the ballgame and even as Jamie does not have all the answers, he is giving us a path to consider. If the school kitchens become better equipped and gives better food, the health risks will decrease as they decrease and the children’s physique improves through sports and actual activities (we don’t all like sports), we get to consider a lot more options and now we merely have the mental option remaining, but that is part of Jerome Doraisamy’s The Wellness Doctrines for High School Students, which is not part of this discussion today.

We can argue on how good or how bad Jamie Oliver is doing it, but the one part that no one can deny is that he is actually doing something and that he is at least on the right path and trying to work on the solutions that could work is why he is one of several silent heroes of choice. A crusader who is not playing Don Quixote, he is trying to do good, not chasing windmills. when I see the Guardian article, I see there is plenty of mentions of failure, his failures, yet in all that there was not one mention of greed, or of some basic exploitation setting, merely, as I personally saw it, he tried too much in too many directions and seemingly all at nearly the same time, I am partially amazed that he was able to avoid a heart attack and a stroke in the process. So when it comes to trusting the health of your children, would you listen to Jamie Oliver or to the Marketing CEO of a fast food chain? Now consider that one of the two will get your child killed 20 years earlier, now who do you trust? Are you scared yet, you actually should be!

That is becoming the ballgame, because when there is no NHS, which with the current crises is not merely a speculative possibility, how will you get treatment for your child when diabetes becomes a fact of life? Oh, and in addition, when you are still on that £36 a day (if you are that lucky), how will you afford the medication and other needs?

These few steps alone show that not only is Jamie Oliver on the right path, we need to think the long term impact that are limiting the options we remain to keep, because the list of those options are falling faster than you think. When we accept that in the most deprived areas where child obesity went from 27% at the age of 5 to 41% at the age of 10, when you consider that danger for a mere 2 generations, how will you see the economy where part of the labour is no longer being done because those jobs can no longer be done in 3 generations because the health of that workforce will not allow that to be done, so who will do those jobs? Perhaps the kids who are currently growing up in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire or Ascot, Berkshire? You have got to be joking!

We must accept that the previous labour did make steps and we need to see what was not done, why it was not done and what needs to be done, not just done as a mere ‘because we have to‘, but because we desperately need to move away from the downward spiral that too many nations are currently on in the first place.

 

 

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Patsy Ross and the curse of greed

Yes, we can do all kinds of things in Davos, Switzerland. We can enjoy cheese; we can enjoy the white slopes of Davos and not to mention learn about greed in the World Economic Forum. One article to start with Fortune, who gives us ‘Wilbur Ross Tells Davos: U.S. Is Done ‘Being a Patsy’ on Trade‘ (at http://fortune.com/2018/01/24/davos-2018-trump-wilbur-ross-trade-war-tariff/). The article brings up a few things and has a great ending (from a comedy point of view). With: “Ross also issued a warning against misinterpreting the Trump administration’s hardline approach to trade, in what could foretell what Trump himself will communicate to the Davos crowd on Friday. “We don’t intend to abrogate leadership,” Ross said. “Leadership is different from being a sucker and being a patsy.”“, you see if that was actually true than you would have had fairness in mind with the Trans Pacific Partnership. That document is a joke giving all the power to business and leave governments running for the hills as they get sued for diminished profits, in addition the TPP would not have given additional powers to patents leaving the option of generic medication in the basement. That cursed piece of parchment should never have been allowed to be completed to the degree it was, in secret and without proper open consultation. Now, we agree and accept that this was basically before the Trump administration and they rightfully opposed it, yet the dangers that the people of 12 nations are exposed to and exploited by is just too large. Consider the quote “Critics on the left also said the TPP would pave the way for companies to sue governments that change policy on, say, health and education to favour state-provided services“, since when is any corporation allowed to endanger the health of people by suing for damages? How greedy and stupid does a government need to get by endangering their citizens to such a setting? The full text (at https://www.mfat.govt.nz/en/about-us/who-we-are/treaties/trans-pacific-partnership-agreement-tpp/text-of-the-trans-pacific-partnership), also gives other dangers. Part of the deal was that, large pharmaceutical corporations (most of them American) want to extend the life of their patents, arguing that having spent billions to bring their research to fruition they should be entitled to a just reward so they can invest the profits into developing new medicines, the issue is that that timeframe had been given and they merely want to double that profit as much as possible. Yet in light of an aging population the effect is that generic medication becomes a long term inability driving cost up for the retired population by a lot, in some cases well over 100% more. So as we read that “Time Inc. chief content officer Alan Murray, agreed that pacts brokered decades ago “need a facelift,”“, the people are not given a fair shake in all this, it is all about the large corporations, whilst their tax accountability is off the table, making the forum a very imbalanced exercise. So as we saw the Patsy mention of Wilbur Ross, we are treated to no approach to keep the ‘jokers’ of Wall Street in check, there the political wings all fall silent and that is where the kneejerk dangers are. The law has failed the people, the Wall Street gains are beyond normal whilst those getting the cash seem to remains non-taxable, or taxable to merely the smallest possible degree. In this The Financial Times has an additional setting (at https://www.ft.com/content/cb18f700-011b-11e8-9650-9c0ad2d7c5b5). The emphasis on TTIP over TTP, as well as In this we see that he “repeated a willingness to revive negotiations on trade with the European Union“, yet left the United Kingdom unmentioned, which I see is merely a shot across the bow. In this Davos has been making jabs in that direction for 2 days now. In a place where every word and specific mentions are essential, it comes with clear setting on poses, stances and hand gestures, we see the total disregard and consideration regarding Brexit, or Brexit mentions in the same way that toilet paper advertises ‘softness’.

Finally, there is a continuation from yesterday’s blog as we see (at https://www.theguardian.com/business/live/2018/jan/24/davos-2018-merkel-macron-mnuchin-inequality-slavery-wef-day-2-live), the mention “Macron hails French recovery“, which sounds nice, but there is no evidence on that, only overly optimistic views for 2018. So as France still had 9.8% unemployment in July 2017, that against 4.2% in the UK and 3.6% in Germany, France is a long way away from hailing ‘recovery’. In addition, it was the view of Natixis Research that was used by Reuters to give us: “With growing optimism on the health of the Euro zone economy and its equity markets, it’s easy to forget that GDP growth in some countries such as France is somewhat below what one would expect at this stage in the cycle, with forecasts of under 2 percent for 2017 and 2018. According to Natixis’ research, structural unemployment and the rise in numbers of young people with no qualifications are a drag on the Gallic economy and will keep holding it back. “When the structural unemployment rate is as high as in France currently (more than 9%), recruitment difficulties will very prematurely stop growth,” Patrick Artus, who heads research at the French bank“, as such he uses a more academic stance, but our views partially align, France is not out of the woods yet and the Draghi Stimulus will still hit France as well because that money needs to come from somewhere in the end and France stands well over minus 2 trillion Euro. That is the part all the players are ignoring whilst the paths are made for large corporations, whilst the need to dam the flow through proper corporate taxation. None of that is properly in place in Europe (and the UK needs to fix a few things too). And as the people get to hear from Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair on how Brexit is a mistake, the first part of my prediction comes out. I only need to see one of the five as mentioned last week to make a similar remark to make the prediction I made over a week ago come true. Yet in all this there is also a benefit to get soon enough. You see as the US is now hitting others with steep tariff increases, he is directly giving the danger that all the others (probably with the exception of Japan), will hit back by doing the same to video games, when that happens America will get a massive hit to that $130 billion market which is predominantly American, in this the tariffs would equally hit the digital sold titles. In light of the numbers, The US is making a dangerous move that could hit them harder than they bargained for.

The fact that Digital game revenue surpassed $10 billion in December 2017 alone gives rise to the awkwardly bad decision that the US set itself up for. We will see if the last day of Davos gives us a few more pointers on how large corporations will see more opportunities come your way that is if we can believe Breitbart. That is how we got the news from the Washington Post with ‘Breitbart called Davos a collective of ‘leftist elites’ and ‘corporate cronies.’ Then Trump said he was going’, the article is not really giving us anything besides the views that Breitbart has and therefore not really informative, but they seem to touch on the part that I found interesting, is Davos about upbeat presentations, or is it the one informal place where certain power players can align their presentations because there will be large shifts in 2018, France seems to be starting the events that will hit the people in Europe, in this Reuters also reported on Italy’s view with: “Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni sent a message to US President Donald Trump on Wednesday (Jan 24) that leaders can defend their countries’ interests but must respect existing international agreements”, which is a truth, yet as several sides are hitting the European Community, it is a view that raises other questions on current international agreements .

In the end, Fortune dot come gives us two additional parts. The love of blockchain and the need for smart data will be driving elements over the next few years. None of that was a real surprise, but the amount of push towards blockchain was a larger surprise that I thought it would be. Forbes (at https://www.forbes.com/sites/dantedisparte/2018/01/28/one-thing-is-clear-from-davos-blockchain-is-out-of-beta), the power is seen in “While Blockchain and digital assets were widely featured on the main stage at Davos, perhaps the most insightful conversations were taking place in standing room only events hosted by groups like the Global Blockchain Business Council, whose CEO, Jamie Smith, and chairman, Tomicah Tillemann, have emerged as global emissaries helping Blockchain go mainstream. Indeed, Jamie Smith has made it her personal mission to be the explainer-in-chief of this powerful technology so that more of the world can grasp its potential”. I am still not convinced! You see, the Blockchain is clever and it is one that has great potential, yet the push of a solution that is unregulated and in addition to that it is an option for others to skate around the laws, because the use of blockchain will raise legislation to another level. This was partially discussed in the Business Insider on October 20th (at http://www.businessinsider.com/blockchain-cryptocurrency-regulations-us-global-2017-10). With: “Blockchain is the technology of choice for many start-ups. As per research by Outlier Ventures Research Team in May to June of 2016, 200 new start-ups were added in six weeks. Businesses and start-ups popped up around the virtual technology and sprouted with lightning speed. While many countries are supporting the development of the digital currencies, thus encouraging new ways of transacting and new businesses to bud, there are some that have boycotted the new technology, deeming it as an illegal negative disruption that brings financial instability and global economic unrest”. There is no denying the view that Davos is spreading, yet the push (partially implied in the Business Insider) to get Blockchain approved and mainstream by 2025 is a larger issue than some realise. The banking industry that took close to two decades to accept ATM’s to the degree it did in the end is now setting a new digital path in less than 10. That worries me, not because of the digital leap forward, but because of WHY they are doing it and I feel certain that we will see more and more revelations in the next 2 years.

It is my personal feeling that it is a greed driven path and that never spells any good for the people at large around, because they end up paying for it all, one way or another.

 

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