Thursday, 10 December 2009

Happy Families

Just a Coincidence...

...that the latest batch of Parliamentary expenses were released at 0600 hrs this morning, the morning after the Pre-Budget Report. No plan there at all. Just a coincidence.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Let's Have Some Common Sense

As Mr Eyebrows reminded us today in the Pre-Budget report, we are in the shit. Deep in it. Way past our armpits. There are just a few tufts of hair poking up from beneath the NuLab economic shit that has enveloped us. (And before you Lefties who always email me complain about the bias in that last sentence, remember this: we are the only G20 nation still in recession. Think about it.)

And we also know that we need to give the public sector a haircut. A massive one in fact to reign in public spending. Even NuLab and the Etonians agree on that; they are just arguing about when and how drastic the haircut should be.

So, let me in my sweet simpleminded way suggest some common sense to the thinking behind that public sector haircut.

The social welfare state in the form it has now grown into is ethically and financially out of control and now completely unaffordable. This is the time to be bold and re-model what type of social welfare state we want and can afford.

Four examples of how topsy turvy our social welfare state has become:

1. BOM is a wonderful blog I read daily. I do not agree with all that it says, but I respect its intellectual rigour and common sense economic logic. It had a really interesting post the other day, which in summary and in round numbers said this:

Good thing - 22 million private sector employees (aka the producers).

Bad thing - 12.5 million state pensioners, 7 million out-sourced Government employees, 6 million direct Government employees, 6 million people totally dependent on benefits (of one kind or another), 530,000 employed in further and higher education, 40,000 GPs and 33,000 working at National Rail. Thus 25.5 million public sector employees (aka those for whom the taxpayer pays.

Spot the problem? We have an imbalance. Too few in the private sector paying for too many in the public sector. We need a change.

2. Next, the NHS. Should your next door neighbour pay for you to have bigger tits just because it would make you feel a bit better about yourself? Should the people down the road pay for you to have your cock chopped off if you feel more like a woman than a man? Should the inhabitants of the next town pay for gluttons to have appetite suppressants because they are too fat? Should the taxpayer pick up the bill if you make lifestyle choices that have zero financial implications for yourself but significantly expensive financial implications for the taxpayer, like fags, booze and drugs? You get my drift.

We have an NHS where we have subverted 'no taxation without representation' into 'I do WTF I like and some other fucker should pay for my life choices'. We need a change.

3. Now, employment. Do we want a society where those that are willing to work are worse off if they do because the benefits system is too generous? Don't we want to make work a more attractive option than living on benefits? The so-called benefits trap. Crazy. We need a change.

4. Last, prisons. Under NuLab, we have locked more and more up in prison (and not built enough prisons so then let them out again, but that's another story). However, prison is so cushty that for many of those that end up there it is better than being outside. Here's David Bywater, an ex-prisoner:

"Things can get difficult if you are shoplifting or whatever you are doing. So you think, I will go to a prison for a bit of a rest period. You know you are going to get your drugs, methadone and what have you, so you are better off inside."

Or Andrew Whalley another ex-prisoner recently released after spending 10 years behind bars for a drug-related robbery with a firearm:

"I'm an addict, so if you give me free methadone, free drugs, keep me in active addiction, then release me out of prison, then surely when I come out of prison I've got to commit crime to keep me there." Was he ever offered rehab? "The last course I was offered was a safer injecting course". We need a change.

Now, of course I am being simplistic here. But my main point remains true. If we are to spend taxpayers hard earned cash that we have ripped out of their pay packets, then we should be giving them a good return on investment. Neither of these four random examples are doing that right now. And there are many other examples I could have cited. We need a much less generous social welfare state. Right now, it is too easy to beach yourself there and let the taxpayer pick up the cost. We need a strategic re-balancing.

Now, Lefties, before you cry foul and accuse me of being a self satisfied, arrogant fascist who does not care about those less fortunate than myself, consider this:

We are allowing our generous nature to (a) make the most vulnerable in society more dependent rather than less dependent, actually enslaving them to social welfare dependence and (b) bankrupting the country in the process. Is it sensible for the public sector to be larger than the private sector bearing in mind the latter pays for the former? Is it reasonable for taxpayers to pick up the bill for any damage I inflict upon society or myself; should I not have responsibility for my own actions? Should the benefit system pay me more than I can earn with my qualifications and experience? Should the prison system not be taking me off drugs and preparing me for an honest working life hopefully in the private sector?

So as the Etonians are 'blue sky thinking' about WTF they are actually going to do come 7th May 2010, they should be thinking on this: we need to use the discipline of having to downsize Government to re-fashion what Government should be doing and how it should be doing it.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

The Politics of Jealousy

I have always thought that jealousy is without doubt the most unattractive of all human emotions. It is totally negative. It has no redeeming features. And, ultimately, it is utterly pointless. Has jealous behaviour ever stopped a partner or friend from misbehaving? No.

But for the last few months we have been engaged nationally in a monumental act of petty, pointless, vindictive and hypocritical political jealousy on a massive, industrial scale. Politicians and the media have been queuing up to bash bankers. The international political class at various summits have been queuing up to do it too. The French, socialist to their finger tips, have been in the vanguard of pushing for EU action to punish bankers and take away their bonuses.

Tomorrow, Mr Eyebrows will publish his Pre-Budget Report and, we are led to believe by the usual heavy trailing in the media that politicians now go in for, he will enshrine this jealousy into policy and no doubt promise legislation to enshrine it into law as well.

This is all just absolutely ass numbing madness. Let me explain...

1. Political dishonesty - We are in the midst of an enormous 'blame shift' operation being carried out by the political class, led by Gordy's Government. Once again for the Lefties, the stupid and those that have forgotten, the banking crisis was caused by regulation that was too lax. Who regulates? Government. Did the banks adhere to the regulation? Yes, to the letter. Thus who is to blame? Duh!

Let me explain this another way. Suppose you belong to an organisation which has some rules. You keep to those rules to the letter. Then the organisation implodes. Is it the fault of those that ran the organisation and its rules or those that worked within it and kept to the rules?

Now do I think the banks should have spotted that regulation was too lax? Yes, of course. We all should. Some did. Not enough, sadly. But the overwhelming major culpability rests with Government. But they don't want to be blamed, so by tapping into our jealousy of those more rich and successful than us, they have shifted the blame to the banks. As ever, once the media agenda was set, the banks have just had to soak it up. (This behaviour is similar to how the police behaved after the that moronic McPherson Inquiry conclusion that the Met was institutionally racist. Once the media agenda was set, everyone queued up to self-flagellate themselves that they were institutionally racist because (a) this tapped into our first world, post colonialism guilt and (b) it was good for your career prospects because that was the prevailing orthodoxy).

2. Economics for dummies - Supply and demand, children, supply and demand - aka the market rate. If you tax entrepreneurial rich people more than they think is fair, they fuck off. They are already doing it: companies moving to other countries (viz Shire Pharmaceuticals, UBM, WPP, Yahoo), hedge funds moving to lower tax states (viz Amplitude Capital, Odey Asset Management, Guy Hands) etc.

If you tax UK bankers more than their foreign counterparts or bankers from certain selected UK banks (that happen to be part owned by the Government) more than their competitors, then they will fuck off to other banks, other financial institutions, other countries. In fact, they already are. 1000 RBS staff have already jumped ship. QED.

And the loser? The freaking taxpayer you numpties! You muppets tried this in the 1970s, remember? Didn't work then, won't work now.

3. Pissing away our unique international positioning - Banking is an absolutely critical part of the UK economy. It attracts massive inward investment. It is one of our key selling points internationally. Dick around with that at your peril.

What message are Gordy and Eyebrows giving internationally? That we are targeting bankers comparatively more aggressively. That we are going to tax the rich harder than other countries. Hmmm. Good for inward investment, d'ya think?

4. Cutting off your nose - Large salaries and bonuses are taxed, shortly at 50% (but that's another story). If you don't pay them, then the Chancellor's tax coffers further diminish just when he needs more cash. Duh! (Where's both my feet. Ready. Aim. Fire.)

All this nonsense is just the politics of jealousy. It is always popular with us Proles to tax the rich more. We're just jealous of their success and their money. It is for politicians to rise above this base stupidity, see the bigger picture, take their own fair share of the blame, and not pander to us dumb Proles.

But then again, I may as well just piss into the wind.

(And for the record, before some Lefty tosser emails me, I am not a banker).

Monday, 7 December 2009

Oh, the Irony, the Irony!

1. Having hurled our tax payments at the public sector, ripped out of our pay packets each month for the last 11 years, resulting in civil servants, council officers, doctors, teachers etc - not to mention MPs - earning six figure salaries,

2. Having grown the public sector headcount by 17% since NuLab came into Government,

3. And having presided over public sector productivity actually declining over the last 11 years despite 1 and 2 above,

Today Gordon Brown had the fucking balls to say:

"...I can announce today that the senior civil service pay bill will be cut by up to 20 per cent over the next three years to release savings of £100 million a year...In the wider public sector, some senior pay and perks packages have...lost touch with the reality of people’s lives. Money which should be spent on health, on schools, on policing, and on social services is in some cases going on excessive salaries and unjustified bonuses far beyond the expectations of the majority of workers...It cannot be right that taxpayers fund 300 local authority officials who have salaries over £150,000, or that in total over 300 staff across public sector bodies are paid more than £200,000."

Un-fucking-believable. The brass neck. The balls of the fucker. No shame. Will no one rid me of this troublesome NuLab priest?

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Well Said....

At last someone says what I think. Brilliant post here on Burning Our Money - one of my favourite blogs - about climate change.

Please will someone just give us clear un-spun facts. We're happy to believe in man-made climate change, just prove it for us, then we're good to go.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Confusing Climate-ology

I don't know about you, but I'm completely confused about climate change.

The 'Warmists' exude that smug, arrogance of the self righteous soft Left if you dare to question whether man is actually contributing to this latest rise in global temperatures. And their use of the term 'Denier' for those with an opposing view is a cynical attempt to mimic the 'Holocaust Denier' label, thus anointing themselves with some sort of divine correctitude. Their palpable disdain for anyone with an opposing view irks me.

The 'Sceptics' seem almost rabid in their screaming diatribes attempting to undo the logic used by the Warmists. They all seem to be hysterical, to the point of madness. I struggle with the reality of hitching my intellect to their tow bar.

So where does this leave me?

Well I'd bought climate change. But had doubts. Then Climategate came along. And my doubts have grown. I want my scientists to be free, fair, logical, academic and neutral not lobbyists for a cause, surrounded by allegations (which on the face of it stand up) and thus forced to ‘stand down’ – aka known as asked to fuck off.

Generally, I take the view that governments and scientists don't tend to lie about the big stuff. But they do make stupid errors and pander to irrational and ill-informed public opinion: the ridiculous fuss over microwave ovens when they arrived, the ludicrous nonsense about the safety of mobile phones and their masts, the crazy madness of the Y2K bug, MMR etc - need I go on.

So, I really enjoyed this post on Devil's Kitchen. It was the first really logical attempt by a Sceptic to work the argument through. He seemed to be getting somewhere near to common sense.

1. A scientific and political consensus exists in favour of climate change but the science is far from settled.

2. Before we start down the expensive road of changing everything in the world, actually before the scientific case is proven, should we not explore whether just coping with the impact is cheaper?

Right now, I'm just confused.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Economics for Dummies

On the left, all those G20 countries not in recession.

On the right, all those G20 countries still in reccession.

Don't you just love Guido Fawkes' graphics?