Saturday, April 25, 2009

Real policies to tackle a real recession

Let's park the ideology if we can, and think through the options; although any solution must start by removing the Auld Fraud and his discredited junta to where they can do no more harm.

The FIRST THING we have to do is work out how to employ 2 million - possibly 4 million once the truth unwinds and the myriad of Labour's non-jobs are excluded. Let's anticipate the problem is actually 3m.

At an average of £100 pw, this is directly costing us £300m a week, or £15bn a year. The indirect costs is almost certainly the same again in terms of other costs such as potential tax payments and contribution to the GDP. What other single element of the crisis is worth so much in cash and social consequences? (The 50p top rate may raise up to £7bn, although so estimate that anything over £5bn would be unlikely as all sorts of complex avoidance schemes once again become the preoccupation of the high earners).

But all "large" organisations are now so completely smothered in process, risk assessment, form-filling, and general arse-covering that the process of employing anyone is not HUGELY more complex and tedious than it has ever been. Especially thanks to the legislation introduced in the past 11 years mostly by the Westminster and EU socialists who have never run a business that employs people in wealth creating functions in their lives.

The only way we can do this is to make the creation and operation of very small enterprises - under 20 people - much simpler, cheaper and less onerous. This means undoing just about everything that has been over the past 30 years to create a centralised command and control state, and leech away the liberties and freedoms that were once managed under the heading of "common sense".

Some paranoid Americans have a fascinating conspiracy view on what's really going on with the shadowy and sinister Bilderberg Group - well worth watching...

Friday, April 24, 2009

Still working out how we got here...

Please don't blame anyone but Labour for the sheer enormity of this mess and the lost opportunity.

The most significant advances of the past century all piled into the last decade - and the start of this one, as ubiquitous telecoms and networking transformed the way we all interact.

No government started to begin to "get it" until around 1995 when the first dotcom boom heralded the arrival of globalisation and unprecedented transparency in trade - which filtered all the way down from multinationals to the bloke on the number 9 bus thanks to things like Google and eBay.

And it was Labour who have held power for pretty much the whole of the critical period, with a PM who was proud to boast he knew nothing about computers to the end. And it seems Gordon Brown is still using an early copy of Visicalc that gets the decimal point in the wrong place.

The Labour government wasted a lot of time faffing about with dogma and scared cows like devolution (of all the divisive and wasteful things!) , the House of Lords "reform", and of course, the vital issue of foxhunting. And they left BT to get away with what BT is best at doing - as little as possible for as much money as possible. Only a big effort in the past 4 years has moved broadband along at all - but the key opportunity to fibre the entire nation for £12bn back in 1997 was ignored.

And for 12 years now, a vast raft of legislation has been dreamed up by those who had never run a business employing anyone in their lives. This has piled the agony onto employers and made the creation and operation of small businesses increasingly stressful and unrewarding. It's no surprise that many are taking the excuse of the recession to trim their workforces at a time when everyone has been softened up to expect it.

Any way ahead starts with flushing the present administration down the toilet of history - and hoping that no "floaters" re-appear. We arrived at that crucial point where absolutely anything must be better, some time ago.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

A budget for sabotage, treason and sedition

We all knew the budget would be horrible, and even so were we surprised by Darling's sheer depravity of purpose. It was simply a collection of politically inspired land mines, very specifically designed to blow the limbs off the next Conservative government.

The Damian McBride affair exposed Broon's dirty tricks department and gave yet more substance to the suspicion that Auld Fraud's reputation for personal vindictiveness knows no bounds. The stories of how Broon hounded Blair out of office abound, and the evidence that he is several sandwiches short of a picnic mounts daily - even before the sight of a grinning loon on the Number 10 website promising to restore the dignity of politicians confirmed that he is now probably a picnic short of a picnic.

All the Caledonian Calamity now seems to care about is clinging on for as long as possible in order to leave Cameron with the worst possible legacy and the narrowest possible room for manoeuvre. After the Budget from Hell, it's obvious that labour has no expectation of winning any elections soon, and that all that can happen now is yet more carefully laid ordnance designed to inflict maximum damage on Cameron's government. Manifesto commitments mean nothing, roughing up an MP doing his job means nothing, having an unelected PM means nothing - Labour has been about as discredited as it is possible to be with its clothes on.

So fighting fire with fire, surely Cameron would appear to have every right to turn the screw, and make a dramatic move to bring home the seriousness of the situation to the people in an unprecedented move..? For the sake of the nation, Cameron surely has to try and do something dramatic to stop even more of Brown's H-bombs from wrecking even more of the nation's future prospects? (H for Hubris, by the way...)

Why not tell Brown that unless he resigns within 28 days, the next Conservative administration will pursue the entire cabinet on charges of conspiracy, sabotage, and treason - and make certain that everyone knows he means it..?

The LibDems could easily back up such a move - they will probably win a bunch more seats as Labour gets wiped out - and they'll never be in government and in a position where the opposition can try the same trick on them.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Up that creek, with ever fewer paddles

Never mind long suicide notes, Polly Toynbee's latest Guardian piece may be the longest resignation submission ever, from her role as a fervent paddler of the Labour Party canoe as it disappears ever further up "a certain creek".

The redoubtable Ms Toynbee may once have been a "heavy hitter", but she is now in simple denial - or while she dallies in Africa, maybe she's just up "de nile"? I never thought I'd say this, but it's time to feel sorry for her.

Polly's personal credibility as a political commentator has been hitched to that of the most bullying and unprincipled politician this country has seen in a very long time. Probably ever. It now seems like a supreme irony that caring Polly ends up as another victim of the (unelected) Auld Fraud as he continues to collapse under the weight of spin-sleaze, scandal and simple old-fashioned greed, embarrassing apologies, and towering incompetence.

Never mind feet of clay, Gordon Brown has possibly only one single thing about his body now that is not apparently made of clay, and I'll leave you to work that out.

Polly has used her considerable influence (surely only explained by her family connections, as with many other New Labour apparatchiks) at the red end of the media spectrum for many years - and has been in a position to leverage her authority and "call" the hegemony of this Government many times, but very consciously chose not to do so. After all, she's had more than advice from CiF in recent times.

She sold her soul to New Labour a long time ago, and has been living in the hope that Beelzebub Blair was going to be replaced by someone in touch with her "Old Labour" instincts. Her embarrassing and effusive eulogies for Brown must surely only provide her with humiliating memories. Did she really say:

"Standing at the dispatch box, the towering superiority of his brain ..."

Yes, she did - she really did.

It was obvious that the "principles" of New Labour were miles apart from Polly's simple if old fashioned "soak the rich and give to the poor" lefty ethos as Blair and Brown crudely courted money in the shape of Blair's Bargain Lordships, and Broon's Scottish finance cronies, bought by his mostly "looking the other way". The many subtle but ultimately catastrophic "initiatives" of "the Project" that have created a disastrous client state were miles apart from her simpler angst-driven agenda of social responsibility and fairness.

We know too well that Polly has a personal agenda based on a laudable commitment to social justice (even if she has never managed to produce any ideas or evidence of how to achieve it), and with that in mind she might have looked into the darker recesses of the souls of Blair and Brown rather earlier. There she might just have spotted "power at all costs, never mind who we tread on in the process".

She was Dorothy to Blair's brainless scarecrow and Brown's mechanistic tin man. Cameron was the pussycat pretending to be a lion when he came along, apparently in need of the courage to face down the warring factions of the Tory party. A less blindly dogmatic old girl than our Polly might have worked out which of these towering intellects might actually belie the more principled politician, and she might just have done the deal of the century to finish the terminally tainted Labour party, and provide Cameron's Conservatives with the courage of her convictions.

Such a seismic event would probably have forced the Labour Party to examine it's dishonestly disastrous time in power more urgently and deeply than anything Polly can now achieve by hiding away in largely irrelevant tributaries of foreign policy as set out here. All the damage is done, and anyone pretending to support this government will end up with that same gangrene that is consuming Brown's zombie junta.

After the next election, Polly might as well retire into obscurity and be done with politics, because it will be many, many years before "her" Labour party gets a look in. Maybe he African adventure is setting out the stall for her next career..?

Friday, April 03, 2009

G20: leaders, words and gestures

Some hacks are bemoaning the absence of a bout of decent tub-thumping rhetoric to match the urgency of our times - but when the emotive words are so widely misused and misunderstood by modern politicians through years of abuse and misuse, what's the point?

Was Hitler's Germany really "fascism" or just strong but woefully misguided leadership?

What happened in Russia until recently seemed pretty much like "authoritarian hierarchical government" (the dictionary definition of fascism) yet it was given the antonym of "communism" and even held up as an "aspirational" system by most of the left wing parties around the world. It was originally imposed to shoot a few toffs and get the trains running on time, then extended to slaughter a few million dissidents, and ultimately chug on as an autocracy as the apparatchiks found they rather liked the perks. "-isms" can be unhelpful and misleading things.

Even "war" isn't what it once was. These days we have "conflicts", "shock and awe", "rendition", "insurgency" and all manner of terms that reflect the fact that it's not possible to have good clean war, and blow the full-time whistle any longer.

Overall, TMP suspects that Obama comes across as young, black Regan on his way to becoming Morgan Freeman - thus doing dear old Ronnie's journey in reverse! But we hope we're wrong.

As well as words, there is also "gesture rhetoric" where strong actions speak louder than any words - so if we are after a real show-stopping gesture of leadership and solidarity at this time, what's to stop HM Brenda inviting her new New Best Friend Michelle Obama to front the US joining the Commonwealth and put the "special" right back into the relationship ..?

We're prepared to overlook that little local difficulty back in 1776 if you are, and then the US could enjoy a role with the remnants of the Empire that it once so desperately envied that it bankrupted the UK during WW2, to ensure that we let it go.

Here's the clincher: the Commonwealth countries have the capacity to produce all the food that its member nations would need for the foreseeable (including climate change) future. The UK alone and EU most certainly does not, and on the evidence of the way that the French and German energy companies have played their hand when "sharing" restricted resources recently, TMP really wouldn't want to be left to deal with them when the sh1t hits the fan.

However, we'd never again top the medal league table at a Commonwealth Games, but that's a small price to pay.