Sunday, August 30, 2009

Why Brown let the bankers let rip

There is still a lot of bemusement why Blair's Labour Party was quite so "intensely relaxed" about bankers getting rich. TMP thinks it has worked it all out!

Who taxed the booming profits of the City of London for 12 years? The City was specifically encouraged to get fat so that sly old Farmer Broon could effectively tax the proceeds of the phony asset bubble, via the finance industry's mega £billion profits and bonuses. Farmers force feed their cows and pigs for much the same purpose. So it was wonderfully ironic that the first crisis to hit the Auld Fraud's phony premiership was the foot and mouth outbreak. God's way of having a laugh.

What is easier to tax? A £1m bonus paid to a banker or that same £1m spread around 1000 of a bank's customers who didn't get crudely overcharged? And then the bonused banker will spend the £500k after tax on a bunch of frivolous consumption items resulting in lots more VAT than the food that a 1000 starving bank customers would have bought.

And don't forget that every bonused banker will also privately educate their kids, and not bother the NHS. More savings. Hell, for a while this worked so well that some of the more gullible in the City even voted Labour!

Concentrating all those profits in the readily taxable finance industry was a very smart move. Letting the people get a fair share of all that cash by preventing the finance industry from raping their customers quite so outrageously, would have been too costly for the exchequer.

Friday, August 28, 2009

The riskless world of the quango

TMP worries about the number of appointees without any experience of "the real world" that seem to float to the top of this wretched junta and its many quangos. How come so many people with backgrounds in academia, consulting and "pure politics" now rule the lives of the rest of us, who live in that real world?

This risk-free club of the unworldly is almost Masonic in its nature and coverage of Labour's establishment. Its members all seem to speak the same dialects of newspeak (ranging from ancient tripe to modern tripe) and for all us outsiders know, they have funny handshakes and other techniques to help them to easily identify fellow travellers, to ensure that no one with a realistic view the world should be allowed in to spoil their deluded view of the world.

Lord "Red Adair" Turner appears to be another fellow-travelling, peerage collecting, hack quangoista, with nothing on his CV that suggests he has ever been involved in what the majority of us plebs would regard as faintly akin to sustainable wealth creation within "the real world".

He lasted less than an year in the only job on his CV that has any resonance with a "real wealth creating business" with his employer - BP - before moving his double first in History and Economics to Chase Manhattan and then McKinsey, who are not famous for pulling the levers at the coal face of the economy, as much as nudging the buttons of rarefied deal makers and bankers.

Before his time at Merill Lynch, his period as DG of the CBI (95-99) was regarded as "disappointing" and the CBI members subsequently may have regretted picking him as a compromise choice, (possibly to appease what in 1995 looked like the inevitability of a Labour government). And then when Blair/Brown duly arrived, Turner seemed instrumental in engineering that brief but disastrous period of rapprochement between the business community and New Labour that set the scene for Brown to raid the pensions industry - and be allowed to get away with it! Just what was that deal about ? Was it a "trade" that allowed bankers to make personal fortunes for themselves, and vast taxable profits for the banks, while the rest of us paid with our pensions?

Had the ever-conniving Brown worked out that allowing greedy (and frequently quite dim) bankers to make vast taxable profits from their dodgy dealings, fairy mortgages, and excessive interest charges (surely against every one of his Marxist principles?), was going to provide the opportunity for the biggest stealth tax grab of all ? Had he simply set up a gullible finance industry to become vicarious tax collectors - effectively taxing the UK's gullible property owners, who eagerly believed in the artificially inflated values - through the medium of mortgage interest ?

During this time, Turner also built a cosy personal relationship with the Labour hierarchy that has kept him in comfortable employment and quangos ever since he left Merrill Lynch in 2006 - at the peak of Brown's phony boom..

In a world where small business founders are routinely expected to put their homes on the line in order to provide collateral, Turner and his ilk seem to spend their time smoozing and networking their way around quangos and government appointments, collecting salaries and pension contributions - and doing what they clearly do best - pontificating without any personal responsibility or financial risk.

Nevertheless, we'd pay to see Lord Sugar take him on in a celebrity Apprentice showdown challenge match - or attempt to pitch a business idea to the Dragon's Den..

Monday, August 24, 2009

The curse of F-level politics

The A-level season is upon us, and once again, flying in the face of all the evidence around us, standards have risen.

One of the consequences of the "further education for all" fixation of the past 30 years is that a lot of not very bright kids are hustled through the comprehensive system because their teachers/tutors don't want to be associated with failure. As a result, a lot of students without any innate common sense seem to have scraped through with the softer options of politics, economics and sociology, and found jobs in politics and social activism in general where they are now doing damage.

The problem is that a lot of these people realise that they got where they are by luck/accident/fraud, and set about trying to solidify their precarious positions by surrounding themselves with people even less competent than themselves. It is a vicious circle.

The really smart and well rounded giants of the last century like Churchill and Thatcher had no such insecurities, nor did they need the money, and so could happily surround himself with the finest brains in the land and not be bothered about being upstaged. At least up to the point where the Tory party judged them to have exceed their shelf life.

Gordon Brown was probably told by Blair (and Cherie) on several occasions that he wasn't up to the job of PM - and this insecurity has lead to him surrounding himself by idiots. Lord Mandelson, being the smart operator that he is, saw his opportunity to get that Peerage he's been aching for, and doubtless played on Broon's insecurity with the idea that it would be safer to have Mandy inside his "big tent", pissing out (prostate permitting), than vice-versa.

And TMP wouldn't put it past the ever-scheming Broon that he has calculated that he can usefully leverage Mandy's legendary hubris to set him to take the fall for something big that goes wrong. Virtually every commentator on the UK political scene has made the point that despite all the fabled Dark Arts, it is virtually inevitable that Mandelson's love of playing with fire would end up burning him yet again.

And the consequence of the limited reserves of intellectual energy being spent on all this intrigue is that Broon and his advisers did not possess the common sense ...

a) not to ambush our once enviable pensions industry, and

b) to see the asset bubble coming.

So thanks to the ease with which not-very-clever people can gain political power in this country (with or without elections), we now have a multi trillion pound disaster to sort out.

We test our kids to destruction and publish the results - why don't we require politicians to face tests? Assuming David Lammy felt he was above the intelligence of his fellows when he took on the Mastermind challenge, than perhaps the infamous Lammy Mastermind calamity might not be the only exposure of scary MP stupidity to look forward to.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Say what you think, at your peril

Many of the lazier commentators in the press appear to have been tuned into the BBC News Channel recently, which is overly engaged with any story that potentially undermines the Tory party, even more so than usual - sensing perhaps that they might conceivably be spared their richly deserved evisceration by a Tory government - if only they can try and concentrate their small arms fire, and see if it can be combined into a sufficient force to hole Cameron below the water line.

But for many others it's a relief to see that political parties can still contain a range of opinions after 12 years of the command and control mentality of Alastair Campbell's dungeon lab.

Dissenters have always existed in all the main parties, and are generally regarded by the press and people as relief from the carefully spun monolithic wall of blather from Westminster. So why not celebrate them and their controversy rather more?

Tory MEP Daniel Hannan had a go at the NHS. Given that the NHS is easily the most expensive thing in the UK, this seems like fair game. Moreover, the experience of the NHS varies hugely. Just because you had your haemorrhoids sorted quickly and efficiently doesn't mean the largest employer employer in Europe and biggest financial black hole we presently support is all sweetness and light - because it isn't. Ask most of the medical staff if they think it could be run more efficiently and less wastefully.

Thanks to years of stupidity, new technology has barely touched the NHS. In fact, the numerous IT disasters have probably reduced the overall efficiency as the system has moved from being based on distributed locally responsible hospitals, to far fewer but much larger centres (of excellence?). But the expected slick "all-knowing" IT has not been delivered to cope with this transformation, and the new much larger units simply have much larger crises, where the inept can lose themselves rather more easily.

Most of us have experienced highs and lows of the medical care - but one thing is absolutely consistent - trying to complain about a bad NHS experience is futile. Sure the "customer service structures" exist, but you or you loved one would be long dead before anything actually happened. So the bureaucratic configuration of the NHS does need a complete overhaul, it was created from a basis of fairyland dogma rather than reality. The notion that no effort can be made to try and separate and prioritise time wasters and those with self-inflicted problems from the more urgent and deserving can be seen in any casualty unit pretty much any day of the week.

As for Alan Duncan, are all you lot now not only in favour of the surveillance state - but one that is covert and operates through subterfuge? Who amongst you has not said something "off the record" that you would not posted on youtube..? The world would be a much duller place without the Alan Duncans and Boris Johnsons.

Churchill could not possibly have survived trial by modern media,und Sie werden viel ├╝ber die Lesung dieser Die Welt -Website..