Sunday, 26 April 2015

Back to the '70s with Red Ed

Rent controls, Price and Wage controls and central State Economic Planning are three of the failed Socialist dogmas last tried by Labour and the Unions in the UK in the 1970s that led to, er, high unemployment, rationing and economic ruin. Having already screwed the UK economy almost to the point of no recovery once in the past 10 years, wreckers Labour and their mafia Union bullyboys want to do it all again.

Labour have proven time after time that they simply can't be trusted with the welfare of the UK economy. With the best intentions but with incredible stupidity, they have ruined Britain's economy time after time. Labour have never once left government with unemployment lower than when they took power. 

As most readers will know all this I'm probably wasting space writing it, but I'm just astonished - gobsmacked - that Red Ed should be so damn stupid as to propose rent controls at this stage of the campaign. Even Ed Balls knows that all rent controls achieve is a shortage of secure rented accommodation and the degradation of condition of private housing stock as owners can't afford repairs. 

Any idiot not yet convinced should spend a weekend in Porto to see the results of decades of Socialist rent controls; gorgeous 18th century buildings in the city centre roofless and abandoned, others with collapsing facades, defective rainwater pipes, rotten window and doors and sagging, gaping roofs. All because the Socialist idiots thought the levers of power would bring Utopia when we know that what they mostly bring is ruin.  

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Bent Bastard Rahman OUT

Well, right and justice came good in the end and bent Pakistani crook Rahman has been kicked out of the Mayorality of Tower Hamlets, with the election to be re-run.

Meanwhile, Islamist Dog Anjem Choudary claims that voting is un-Islamic and that all Moslem voters are 'apostates'. It's unclear which part of their anatomy Mr Choudhary wants to chop off in punishment for their participation in democracy, but you can take it this Jihadist nutjob is under close surveillance. I strongly defend the rights of Moslem electors to cast their legitimate votes honestly and without fear of intimidation.

All in all, a decent turn for equity and democracy all round.

Managerialism eats itself

The big corporates are big and successful because they never try to get things 100% right. Amazon, Ebay and the like are happy to hit their 'sweet spot' - simple, problem free, low cost transactions where nothing goes wrong - and not to waste money solving the problem transactions. Hence if something goes wrong you can't contact them except through call-centre hell and if the problem transaction has lost or cost less than £20 a fair number of us will rather write it off than try to fix it. The point is, their sweet spot is somewhere around 90% and upwards.

What they're doing is passing the transactional costs of customer service back to the customer; customers need to spend their own time solving their own problems through automated systems. Of course there are always subversives such as yours truly - who write a proper postal letter to the company secretary with only a return address (i.e. no phone number or email address). Your chances of getting the Cockroach Letter today are remote.*

When State bureaucracies reformed by Managerialism try to adopt the same tools as the big corporates one critical factor is missing - the need to retain satisfied customers. The State doesn't really care. We have known for years of course - but the Guardianistas are just waking up to the fact that it's hurting them, too:-

"The right has some semblance of critique: bureaucracy is the enemy of free enterprise, it is about jobsworth pen-pushers who work for the government, restricting the release of honest red-blooded capitalism. Perhaps in response to this, the left has assumed that defending (or being silent about) the smothering prevalence of bureaucracy is all about defending the state. Well, it’s certainly one of the best things about being rich that one is spared having to spend too much time dealing with the council or the government in general – the worst bureaucratic offenders."   

The problem is that the left sees bureaucracy as a benign force - a damper on political change and enthusiasms, an enforcer of a comfortable mediocrity, the triumph of group decisions over maverick entrepreneurship, low risk and high continuity. Perhaps up until the 1960s this was even partly true. But combine Managerialism with Bureaucracy and what you get is a nightmare Kafkaesque prison of 'no can do'.  

* In response to a guest's complaint about sighting a cockroach, a famous hotel wrote back "..never in the history of this hotel has this happened before, and we have immediately mobilised skilled operatives to investigate the sighting. Rest assured that your complaint is being actioned with the utmost priority at the very highest level and all the hotel's resources will be exhausted in ensuring we continue to maintain the superlative standards of hygiene and service for which we are so well known." The problem was that a post-it note was stuck to the back of the letter instructing "send this guy the Cockroach Letter".

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

The UKIP Water Vote

After a few glorious days up on Europe's roof I was negotiating the adrenaline-pumping hairpins of the Wurzenpass with a new Slovenian chum. The news broke last week that Heineken had bought Slovenian brewer Pivovarna Lasko and I asked whether he feared a loss of local beers in favour of the Dutch factory stuff. "It's not about the beer. Heineken wanted the water - Lasko have access to brewing water sources that Heineken can use without treatment in all its other plants" came the surprising response. Europe faces a coming water shortage; the Alps, source of much of Europe's farming and drinking water, have had successive poor snowfall. Groundwater is being depleted. Heineken are ahead of the game. 

However, this has promoted such anti-global corporate feeling in Slovenia that a new law is making its way through the legislative process that effectively outlaws private ownership of water. It is a region where most water supplies are managed by local councils of areas of 2,000 people and involve little more than a tank half way up the nearest mountain to collect the year-round snow melt and moss-water and a network of pipes to distribute it. I laughed as I explained that London's water is owned by an Australian-Abu Dhabi and Chinese consortium. And that London water is also very pure, having been filtered through the kidneys of seven Londoners before distribution. And that after a few days your eyes stop watering and you get used to the Chlorine. 

Again, this is just the latest in a series of comments that echo each other that I have heard first hand across Europe in recent years. Yes to free trade, yes to free movement, no to borders and tariffs, but a deep distrust of Commission and political corruption and particularly a deep distrust of the way in which the EU has sought advantage and power for the global corporates across Europe. 

And It's as simple as that. LibLabCon are all in the pockets of the global corporates, are all Euro-Federasts and UKIP isn't. Plus here in this London constituency the Labour candidate will get in anyway - there's not even a contest. So a UKIP vote makes perfect sense. 

Saturday, 18 April 2015

The Wrong Mans

The collapse of the anti-journalist trials inspired by Leveson, hacked-off and a bunch of wuzzie luvvies including the alleged actor Hugh Grant follows an equally high profile series of trials - somewhat hit and miss - in which celebrities from the 1970s were accused of groping. Neither have done any credit either to the police who investigated them or the politicised lawyers who took forward the prosecutions. They were and are political show trials, intended to offer red meat to the public to distract attention from our masters' failure in other directions. 

And their most grievous failure has been the failure to put their own on trial. It is now clear to the British public that the political class is also criminally corrupt in protecting its own from the law - whether for child abuse, theft, fraud or Blair crimes.

Whilst a rioter stealing a 30p bottle of water can get three years, an MP stealing ten times as much every day of the week is described as a 'trivial' offender and escapes justice. Queer rapists are pushed into ermine and the Lords. Files are lost or destroyed, Chief Constables suborned, witnesses threatened. No wonder we hold them all in such contempt. 

Posting may be patchy for a few days - reliant on a tablet.

Friday, 17 April 2015

They that go down to the sea in ships

For any non-mariner readers, there are two telling and compelling reflections upon the character of those that go down to the sea in ships manifest in the law of the sea. The first is in COLREGS, the code of practice that helps prevent ships colliding. Rules for which vessel stands on and which gives way are never absolute; every vessel has an absolute responsibility to avoid collisions and no 'right' to be bloody minded. There is no 'right of way' at sea in the sense of the same on our roads; if another vessel is in the wrong, there is a duty to give way to avoid colliding. Compare and contrast to the attitude on the Highway.

The second is the universal and timeless battle amongst those that do business in great waters to save lives from the sea. Assisting those in peril is not optional for mariners; there is an obligation to do so as strong and universal as the force that compels us to breathe. We are, humans all, in constant struggle with the watery realm for our lives. 

Thus leaving African migrants to drown in the Mediterranean is simply not an option for the master of any vessel making passage there and capable of assisting those in danger of drowning. No merchant ship, no warship of any nation can ignore the maritime cry for help. If they are in a position to do so. 

Italy alone cannot be expected to bear this burden. Nor can she maintain her fleet of warships on sea duty solely to help migrants. All of Europe must act to stop them leaving the ports of North Africa in the first place, despite Cameron's vainglorious crowing over removing the only authority in Libya that was willing to stem the tide. The traffickers must be blocked from buying end-of-life merchant vessels; European navies should cleanse the coasts of the Maghreb with inshore vessels, sinking burning and destroying all vessels over 5m. Ports of departure must be blockaded and vessels disabled and towed back to port before the 3 mile limit. 

Yes, this will violate the sovereignty of the 'Arab Spring' states, but if they can't halt the flood themselves we must do so for them.    

Thursday, 16 April 2015

10 Things the election won't change

10 Things the election won't change

1. Outrageous and bare-faced robbery of public funds by senior public sector bosses will continue unchallenged; no manager paid from tax funds should earn more than £150k or 12x the pay of the lowest paid tier in their organisation.

2. An electoral system as corrupt as third world nations, with an electoral quotient for constituencies way beyond the widest +/-5% mark, let alone the +/-3% mark that advanced first world democracies attain. 

3. An electoral system corrupted with (according to Michael Pinto-Duschinsky) 3m on the voting register who shouldn't be and 3m missing from the register who should be

4. Lowest ever level of party political membership; fewer than one in a hundred voters are now members of a political party

5. Deserted by the public, parties will now steal tax money to pay for themselves. This will include UKIP as willing participants; with 15% of the vote share, they are set to gain £12m a year in tax funds under current proposals

6. Fake charities - those getting more than 40% of their funds from tax, lottery or EU funds - will continue to thrive as corrupt adjuncts to the centralising State

7. The global corporates - the biggest fans of the EU as a body that by expensive over-regulation restricts, distorts and blocks competition in favour the biggest firms - will turn profits from mass consumers into covert political action to support the EU Federation

8. The loathed metropolitan political class will continue to rule the UK whoever wins the election; the politicos, journos, BBC and all their dags will break out the champagne whatever happens. As long as voter turnout is above 35%, they'll live.

9. All parties will smother any moves towards Direct Democracy, Localism and Tax Devolution as soon as the election is over, just as in 2010 they broke every promise made in the campaign to tackle the Rotten Parliament crisis. Don't expect any power of recall either.

10. Bloody Blair will rack up more millions by prostituting his jaded reputation to assorted tyrants, dictators and Arabian misanthropes whilst continuing to evade justice; Chilcot will never be published.   

Post Scriptum
And the loathsome and despicable child abuser and paedophile Greville Janner will continue to escape justice before the grave as yet another DPP declines to prosecute one of their own.  

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

UK beats Kermits into 3rd place

With the smallest land area and lowest population of Europe's big 3, the UK has just overtaken France's sclerotic economy. Now look out Herman .....

Land area '000 km2 Population m GDP position in Europe
Germany 357 80 1st
France 641 66 3rd
United Kingdom 243 64 2nd

Bad housing just part of the experience

I can't recall exactly when I reached the age at which I was no longer content to sleep the occasional night on a friend's floor, but I suspect it was in my 30s. And such carpet-nights probably followed an evening that included music, alcohol and cannabis, the last of which I stopped smoking in my 30s when the decent giggly white middle-class resin became unavailable and the market was flooded with horrid gangsta skunk.

Along with sleeping on other people's floors of course many of them slept on mine - floors in a variety of cheap rented flats and houses called generically in those days 'student'. It meant they didn't have central heating, frequently didn't have wiring installed in the past 40 years, were in areas shared with ladies of negotiable virtue or just smelt too bad for normal people. In one house, the immersion heater only went on once a week to give three baths. Otherwise we used the kettle. In hindsight I'm not sure it made economic sense. 

The reward of course was the experience. I recall waking on the first Sunday morning in a new gloomy basement room off Gloucester Road, to emerge in bright sun a stone's throw from Regent's Park and Baker Street, with shops and cafes already doing a thriving trade. In contrast to deepest Suffolk it was soo Goddam metropolitan it was worth the silverfish. 

It wasn't universal. I can still divide my VIth form into those like me and those who would go from the ordered comforts of their parents' homes to the ordered comfort of a married home with nothing in between. Nor is it universal still; if my nephew is anything to go by, 'student' accommodation now requires double glazing, an ambient temperature of a constant 20deg, a current gas safety certificate, a resident concierge and a parking place. 

But for what I got from it, I wouldn't have swapped all my bad housing, the 'cold water walk ups' in American terms, for all the green teas we so assiduously tasted.