Wednesday, December 22, 2010

TMP's 2010 Message to the Nation

Most of us live in a country where the rising price of beer and heating a house is more immediately pressing than the impact of distant financial cock-ups in US trailer parks, but Waynetta and Billy-Bob's mortgage arrears are clearly now our problem as much as theirs. 2010 will be remembered for the mind-boggling numbers being used to describe the debt owed by this country as a result of the final reckoning of Gordon Brown's 13 years of miscalculations; and all the while, the sinking state of the UK employment and bankruptcy barely causes a flicker on the global trade seismometer, as the UK becomes ever more insignificant in a fast changing world.

Yes indeedy, the tectonic plate shifting antics of greedy US financiers and their dumber disciples means that your livelihood is being squeezed, and those who live outside the considerable cocoon of our massively inflated public employment sectors will find it harder to turn a pound in 2011.

Having now been oversold all the "benefits" of globalisation by banks and other "big" companies assuring us that it's good for us to plough through a 15 minute phone interrogation in order to talk to someone with a barely comprehensible accent, we know that globalisation means that Bill Clinton's vote-buying mortgage scandal in the trailer parks of the US can lead to a run on a UK bank, adjustments of interest rates around the globe, and a worldwide recession.

In a country the size of the US, many bankers will be stupid and ovine, but they ain't all going to be stupid, and some of them have made a lot of money from selling junk to the gullible. Moreover, amongst the various gullible "chicken roosts" are numbered Chinese financial institutions on whose goodwill the US and the rest of us are completely dependent. Should they ever decide they have had enough of providing a home for the junk dollars funding their trade surpluses and our deficits, you should immediately electrify the garden fence and plant potatoes in the hanging baskets. "Ugly" is not the word for what will be happening.

Globalisation means that although the exposure of the UK finance industry was relatively small to the sub-prime problem, the consequential matter of confidence and the credit squeeze in a country like ours that is addicted to funding through credit and government deficit rather more than than any other in the EU, lead to a recession without any obviously new means of exit. The supercilious and supine nature of our financial institutions, exemplified by the fumbling of the bankers bonuses, virtually assures it.

In times of recession, people and businesses are required to focus on what they really, really need. Do they need high streets packed with £3 a cup coffee shops, £5 a sandwich shops and phone shops that sell the most overpriced services (eg cellphone contracts) on the planet? What on earth is the point of a bank or building society having a costly physical presence any longer? And the remaining few shops are struggling to ship piles of Chinese-made products, before they are all inevitably overwhelmed by online traders, as their ever increasing overheads have to pay for an army of mostly pointless local and national government work creation schemes, that devise impositions that few other countries' business communities have to face.

If you work for a large "globalised" business that still has a presence in the UK rather than one of the EU tax havens like Ireland, then bear in mind that the previous experience of recessions is that multinationals protect their home markets first. All business travel slumps, and global operations dump their foreign marketing adventures which they feel they can manage from afar. And never before has it been so simple and attractive to manage anything from afar.

Remember that the US business ethos that forms the core of many globalised businesses has a scant heritage of respect for their "foreign workers" that began with the cotton industry. Most other countries that now house global companies such as Korea, Russia, Japan and China are also a bit short on historical evidence of generosity towards stupid Europeans who are down on their luck. And TMP cannot imagine India feeling warmth towards the mother country that will soften any hard financial choices that they may face.

Long before sub-prime mortgages, a US establishment, jealous of all that pink on the map, had asset-stripped much of the UK and required us to pawn the family jewels. It began in earnest when the US required the dissolution of the British Empire as the price of "saving our sorry limey asses" in WW2, yet, ironically, if we hadn't been obliged to concede the outrageous US terms and impositions in order to eventually drag them into the war in Europe, Germany would have had the A bomb first - and the means to deliver it. The US would now be speaking German along with the rest of us; and David Irving would probably be in charge of rounding up the remaining Jewish bankers and sympathisers on the streets of New York.

Without an empire or a role, the UK drifted and declined largely rudderless through the 50s, 60s, and 70s, living on heady combinations of nostalgia, debt and hope; but we did have some world class innovators left in our industrial base, as well as media and entertainment. Plus above all else, we had the English language, without which we would have been completely stuffed in the swinging 60s. TMP doubts if "Elle vous aime" would have caught on quite as effectively as "She Loves You", and "Je ne peux obtenir aucune satisfaction" would have certainly bombed for "Les pierres de roulement".

So let's not forget the proprietor of that precious language, HM the Queen - whose timely appearance on FaceBook is another seismic event in media for those paying proper attention. God bless you Ma'am; but don't you wish the BBC has shown the wit to use its early dominance of the web to achieve what your obstreperous former colonists have since managed?

Sadly, the BBC's bloated and subsidised presence on the web did the same to the fledgling British online industry that it's earlier decision to support Acorn computers did for the UK's personal computing industry - it broke it. Don't forget that a Brit - Sir Tim Berners Lee - is grudgingly accepted even by (most) Americans as as the father of the web, and BT actually had an interesting patent concerning hyperlinking that any American company would probably have sued to success long before now. Instead, BT rather clumsily chose to include Prodigy and AOL in the test case in 2002, and New York District Judge Colleen McMahon duly delivered the traditional result when a foreigner sues a US company in a US court. Doh...

If an American could have laid claim to the English language, you can be certain that they would have managed to copyright it in some way that meant anyone speaking or writing it anywhere in the world would be paying a fat royalty in perpetuity, but we Brits simply aren't that cute. Instead, they canny yanks waited for the right moment and then tried it on with the next best thing - thelingua franca of computing. So now we have the MS Windows Tax; for the time being at least ...

The post-war period of UK decline witnessed many world class British economic disasters as the result of political expedience, interference and social engineering in the shape of the mismanaged and misguided nationalised industries, and especially the pantomime of British Leyland which has only just about run its course, symbolically ending up in Chinese and Indian hands.

For a period in the 80s and early 90s we were actually in danger of leading the world in personal IT until the BBC dubiously continued to back the arrogant and presumptuous Acorn in the face of a resurgent and inevitable IBM - and our own Amstrad/Sinclair. An action that condemned more than a generation of UK school kids to largely irrelevant computer teaching that allowed the rest of the world, particularly the US, to catch up and overtake. But Acorn's genes were not entirely wasted - the continued success story of ARM (Acorn Risc Machine) processors is another Great British case of what might have been, if only more City support had been forthcoming at the right time to set up and develop applications of ARM technology in this country, instead of leaving ARM to power new products being made just about everywhere else. But as the result of incentives that favour risk-free asset stripping and property speculation, the UK City simply doesn't do technology innovation.

Latterly, massive advances in database and communications technology (exemplified by the emergence of Google) have meant that a lot has happened in the past 8 years that has completely altered the character of way the world works - and especially the way it advertises and markets itself. The world has changed fundamentally as the result of "because we can computing", which in the UK's emerging police state especially, has led to pervasive surveillance and whole host of consequences around the toxic notions of extended disclosure, risk assessment and due diligence.

So while the fatheads who now hold sway with our innovative industries have used this technology to lead the world in speed cameras and dustbin surveillance, Google has been laying the foundation of massive businesses around the exploitation of BT (no, not that lazy monopoly with the phones and slow broadband, I refer to the practise of "Behavioural Targeting") with "adwords".

The summary of all this is that the UK at the end of 2010, and despite a change of government (in case you had not noticed) is presently royally screwed without an obvious escape plan under the present lacklustre leadership. However, TMP suspects that there really is something worthy about the bloody minded Britishness and inspirational creativity that still manages to come up with ideas like "Strictly Come Dancing". For what it's worth, there is yet another huge opportunity just around the corner for the UK media (and in that we must include events) industry - but hardly anyone seems to have noticed. It's all to do with integrated TV.

The BBC once lead world TV technology, and was still leading most aspects of broadcast innovation when its worthy fluffy-luvvies decided to disband its Research and Designs departments; then by pure accident we lead the world of direct satellite TV for a brief moment with the clueless BSB.

And now thanks to BT's skill at bamboozling politicians, our lack of investment in vital fibre infrastructure means that the UK has been a showcase for the immensely successful Sky platform. This nicely illustrates the efficiency of a monopoly lead by a dictator, versus a quango comprised of space-filling time servers, and a collection of media dinosaurs whose mentality had not changed from the days when ITV was once described in the 50s as a "license to print money".

The latest opportunity we as a nation may be about to fumble is called YouView. It's being billed as "TV meets the internet" - but it is actually so much more than that. Freeview terrestrial TV is severely limited by cost and technical reality; Freesat is a MUCH better idea but barely known about since it has been kept a secret for some reason that must amuse Rupert Murdoch. There will never be more than Freeview 100 channels available - if that - and marginal coverage issues remain largely unresolved. In contrast, FreeSat delivery is 100% predictable and has the potential for 5000+ channels, each at about 4% of the cost of Freeview channel.

Whilst we all hear about broadband delivery being the future of video, the available capacity is at least 5 years away from being able to providing an alternative to live HD satellite broadcast to more than a fraction of the country. The bad news - is that YouView is a consortium lead by an unholy alliance against Sky's domination by the BBC and ITV, who have been buoyed by Freeview's and te iPlayer's accidental success. (Furthermore, Freesat's coverage could easily spill over to Europe and beyond).

"Good grief, where on earth do you find content to fill 5000 channels?" they all ask.

Sky has proved that the major differential element that people are willing to for pay for is live event broadcasting. The Brits and Europeans have a different perspective on "live" to the USA: we live in 2 time zones that for practical purposes can be treated as one. The Americans cannot, and thus combined with the confusion of cable, they will be late into the game.

And YouTube shows once again that the media game is all about content - punters are happy to watch any old UGC (user generated crap) when there is nothing better to look at. But when something better turns up and word gets around, everyone flocks to see.

Maybe now is the moment to sort out the UK video content industry and get it adequately funded to take on the otherwise unstoppable Google; if all that BBC, C4 and ITV content was organised and made available through YouView (and we took a leaf from the American book and sued everyone that attempted to upload any content to one of the US dominated sites) then we might just about have the beginnings of sustainable new media plot.

You and I already own most of that prime content through our licence fees; it's in the bank, and until the past 8 or so years, it was generally way, way better than anything the US could cobble together. Let's also take full advantage of the fact that despite Blair/Broon's best crusading efforts, the US remains considerably more reviled than the UK, and is scarcely credible as a cultural powerhouse. Best of all, what damage has been done to the UK is probably more easily fixed by a world tour of some of our Royals than a flypast by Barack Obama. Especially all those formerly pink bits with their sons and daughters at our universities.

So then, 2011 could be a really interesting year. Let's demand that it is used to leverage our position in the one remaining industry where the UK stands a chance of influencing: English language learning and entertainment. Much of the world was once turned pink at the end of a gun boat barrel; but now it is time to lay down a barrage of super-prime content from a combination of satellite and online, and steer attention back to the UK as the source of all worthwhile visual media - while YouTube mostly offers a volley of Americans lighting their own farts, and dogs on skateboards.

Happy 2011!

PS Now look at and you will see that the above is a virtually unchanged version of TMP's 2007 end of Year message. Plus ├ža change.

Vince Cable: Foxtrot Oscar

The Vince Cable debacle usefully demonstrates why PR (proportional representation) and its promise of never ending coalitions is likely to be a bad thing for the Brits. We simply do not get the idea that a coalition - which by its nature is made up from people who fundamentally disagree about many things, and for whom the idea of "pulling together in the national interest" is not uppermost.

Coalition politics also means that lightweight amateurs such as Cable cannot be fired summarily as we would have once assumed, but has to be kept on in a reduced capacity as a sop to his faction while he is rehabilitated.

And this tale is a further example of the impossibility of discretion, secrecy and any sort of wool-pulling in the age of completely uncontrollable electronic eaves-dropping.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

What sort of society do we want?

It's been a while, and I am grateful to my beloved reader for enquiring after the absence of posts, but it seems like an appropriate period in which to allow dust to settle as the coalition took its bearings and made its first moves. It's been an interesting period, in which Labour have been presented with an open political goal on many occasions, but Ed Milliband has justified every concern that his embarrassing appointment by the Trade Unions would be a brief and dull one.

However, underlying all the distractions arising from the stark financial reality that there really is no money, there is a sense of some effort be exerted to get back some of the ground lost to Labour's "project" via control of education and the BBC.

The issue inspiring this piece stems from the very real perception that a pendulum has swung in our society, thanks to the tireless "reforming" efforts where some now feel that it's almost necessary to hold Straight Pride marches in order to re-establish the idea that it's still actually legal and permissible to promote heterosexuality, and families with married parents of different sexes.

It's a fascinating conundrum that much of the 20th century was spent in conflicts where millions were killed to promote democracy based on "majority" rule, yet we now find ourselves in the thrall of a cabal of vociferous minorities that no one voted for, but that have managed to influence our society through hijacking the liberal media and thereby gain effective control of the BBC's ability to undertake massive social engineering projects at the licence payer's expense.

Indeed, the "majority view" is deemed pure heresy to the chattering classes and dismissed as the grubby populism of the tabloid press. Freedom of speech and expression - coupled with the right to reply - should come ahead of attempting to discourage others from saying what they think, and thereby enriching our connection with the real world through the use of "direct" language.

Unlike the mind-controlling efforts of politicians whose existence now depends on offending the least number of people, no longer daring to try and inspire the majority, I would prefer people to make their own minds up on all issues, as the result of taking part in a big debate where anyone can say anything about anything.

By all means engage in debate and criticise an idea, but not the way the idea is expressed, or the debate will always be restricted to an articulate and fluent minority (aka "chattering classes") who are not easily ashamed by self-conscious concerns of their literacy.

The guardians of political correctness tend to chide in that wonderfully condescending "school mistress" mode that has become the trademark psychology of mind control projects such as "Common Purpose" over the past 15 years. As a result, political correction has become the dominant hobgoblin of the feeble minded.

Kids protesting today have only ever known a UK dominated by the left's woolly notions of the "tolerant society". As one who has been around longer, let me assure you that the past 13 years have been a period of unprecedented stupidity, where an ever-expanding welfare state was used to buy elections, using the fairy money that ran out.

This "beyond criticism" welfare state, far removed from financial reality, was a perfect place to nurture and promote the ideas of entitlement that spawned vociferous minorities, and their desire to promote inclusivity and positive discrimination of all sorts, where an individual's abilities were of secondary importance to their score on the scale of PC acceptability.

And now, in order to repay the cost of Labour's failure, we are entering a far more realistic and brutal period where the rules of the life game are going to be dictated by the need to compete with the likes of the Chinese for basic commodities such as food and energy.

Some of us might not like all the consequences of a return to genuine majority rule, but in order to create and manage a society that can survive the challenges coming our way over the next years, we will need to be carried along by genuine majority opinion and not divided by political correctness in all its myriad distractions.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Angela Merkel declares death of German multiculturalism

"Angela Merkel declares death of German multiculturalism - Angela Merkel said it had been an illusion to think Germans and foreign workers could live happily side by side" was announced on the BBC News Channel right before one of their Radio 4 promotional break items extolling the delights of British multiculturalism.

Interesting times ahead. Will austerity reduce the scope for luxuries like self delusion?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Not inspired

The Party conferences came and went. The BBC's institutionalised left leaning staffing continues to shine through despite a growing awareness from above that this has become even more painfully obvious since the election. The left's focus on Nick Robinson as the token closet Tory is as tedious as it is pointless, he's outnumbered about 100:1 and he's not exactly rabid in the same terms that his colleagues cannot help stop themselves fawning over all people and things "leftie". The personal histories of 90% of front line BBC management and front people places them firmly in the conservatory with Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, with the lead piping, dagger, gun and anything else you could think of, at the time of the economic catastrophe. It's a serious problem that will have to be dealt with.

At least David Cameron took the opportunity during his main speech at the conference to remind everyone that the mess is the result of Gordon Brown 's mismanagement over 13 years, ending with Liam Byrne's classic "prawn sandwich" moment for the new boys, with his letter pointing out that there was no money. Alan Johnson's remark about needing to read "Teach yourself Economics" to help him tackle his new role as Shadow Chancellor, apparently for absolutely  no better reasons than his background is the antithesis of his Eton educated opposite. What with all the fellow travelling siblings and spouses, the Labour Party seems more dynastic than Brenda and the Windsor Firm.

So it's politics as usual, and the best interests of the UK, as usual, will continue to suffer as a result - just as the country suffered hugely during Blair's reign from the total absence of a plausible opposition, so the Coalition faces a collection of amateurs and incompetents without any idea of policy; albeit that doesn't actually stop the enthusiasm of the BBC to provide airtime to the has-beens. There aren't even any flighty Libdems to flit about and make outrageous promises that they would never need to back up.

Maybe David Milliband will be persuaded to resurrect SDP2010 by the Blairites and the malcontents of the LibDems. Would Cameron feel obliged to "go to the country" and seek a further mandate, or would the next step be a crisis "government of national unity" where all the parties had to become involved, simply because the shambles and mess is so completely gargantuan that there is no option?

We're getting fed up with living in "interesting times". Bring on the boredom, please.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

We're still here...

Please excuse the lack of noise from TMP, but we're still waiting for something significant to emerge from the maelstrom of presumption and guesswork that results from a coalition where the blending of two manifestos remains wonderfully conflicted and unclear.

The Labour leadership election is - as widely predicted - another big yawn, despite the BBC's efforts to award it an importance it does not warrant. Who ever wins it will have little option but to be doing the Trade Union's bidding because they ain't getting funded from anywhere else.

The Liberal democrat conference reminds us all once more that the LibDems are mostly only concerned to be regarded as the "thinking Trot's Labour Party", with more visceral socialism on parade than has been seen at any recent Labour Party conference.

Cheery things to look forward to include Cameron's promised bonfire of Quangos and reduction of the bonkers excesses of H&S. Other than that, it looks like all pain.

So overall, the world is in a very awkward place. The "private sector" is still overwhelmed by the usual behemoths like banks, telcos and "globalised businesses", who continue to get away with operating cartels and monopolies that are clearly not in the interests of consumers. Less crucially, but still significantly, US media companies are desperate to redefine their roles in a world where there is more media accessible to more people than ever. Efforts like to turn a TV show into an immersive lifestyle experience seems to be trying to adapt the sort addictive environment that is apparent amongst the followings of cult computer games. You only have to mention the word "addictive" within earshot of a marketing person and a campaign is born. Please God, grant the human race the ability to resist this sort of mind-numbing claptrap.

Just in case the summer doldrums have lulled us into a false sense of calm, we learn that August produced the UK's biggest ever PSBR and the worst ever trade imbalance. It's still desperate out there. And it is still pretty much entirely the fault of Gordon Brown's 13 years of fumbled fiscal misdirection where the national assets were frittered away to buy 3 elections.

So it's a good time to sit back and observe.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Bean counters an endangered species?

Great reforming news: the Audit Commission gets dumped- completely!

We are spared more inane claptrap such as:

"This draft strategic plan aligns with the Commission's diversity scheme Value for all, which focuses on the relationship between equality and diversity and achieving more for less. Well-designed, efficient, value-for-money services recognise that, while everyone has the same basic needs, if services are to be effective, some people need them to be delivered differently. They may also need help to locate and use them. Failure to understand and address this issue can lead to poorly designed services that are ineffective, often costing taxpayers more in the long run."

We searched their site with the phrase "cost of audit commission" and didn't get one direct response. But who on earth will want to hire 2000 institutionalised jobsworths?

Maybe Alex Salmond's Socialist People's Republic of Scotland ?

We bet this has put the wind up a lot of Brown's old fiefdoms; send for the next sacred socialist cow, please!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Down the emergeny escape

Hats off to the airline steward who quit in such a grand manner after getting hassle from the public.. 

Too bad the public don't have a similar option to arbitrarily escape the clutches of bad service at the hands of the millions of jobsworths that modern business practises have created in collusion with governments that have permitted mostly unaccountable cartels to take over - because they are easier to regulate and tax than thousands of smaller and more diverse businesses that would have to try harder to survive.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Inconvenient redundancies

Like many other self-perpetuating contrivances of those who have traded objectivity and common sense for a comfy job in the nanny state's many hysteria industries, environmentalists thrive on subjective scaremongering. There's been a very nice reward for those willing to go along with the absurdities of the PC persuasion, and don the peaked cap and uniform of our angst and surveillance society. So why would they declare their work done, and go and find a proper job?

An increasingly possible but inconvenient truth is that that climate change will be capped because we will have run out of oil to waste before the polar bears get their paws wet. It will be those much derided features of capitalism - markets and economics - that actually sort it out.

The speed at which energy saving devices like LED lighting is developing is impressive. Not only can we now get a replacement for a 50W GU10 halogen ceiling lamp that consumes around 3W for £5, it is supposed to last 30-50k hours - 15-30 times as long. And the prospect of viable processes for the liberation of hydrogen for fuel cells (or even combustion) from renewable resources, is not fanciful.

The most serious and potentially intractable issue we face is that of overpopulation: the population of a countries like Pakistan and Bangladesh has increased 6 fold in 60 years (from 30m to 180m). But nature also has a very brutal way of dealing with that problem as well, in extremis.

Speed cameras - a sad loss

The possible end of the speed camera industry is an interesting moment for our risk-obsessed society - yet curiously the biggest losers are likely to be those insurance companies that automatically stick £50-100 a year on the premiums of vicims (regardless of record ...grrr) for the life of the endorsement. 

Speed cameras were introduced by the Tories in 1992, and we'd guess that the amount of cash mugged off motorists by City insurers vastly exceeds the amount taken in fines. 

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

It's simpler than we thought

Lord Mandelson, aka The Pink Baron, has indeed revealed all about New Labour. The chief challenge appears to have been that they were/are all fundamentally not very clever. In detailing the inner dysfunction of the Blair/Brown years, Mandelson himself comes across as a considerable idiot. So how come it's taken 13 years to suss this out? The notion that Mandeslson was somehow a towering intellect has been blown wide own, and the proof that he is merely a scheming chancer in penned by his own oleaginous hand.

If you accept that Blair/Brown and the rest of the Labour politicians were/are actually big on animal cunning and scheming, but low on intellect and intelligence, just about everything can be explained. Cameron, thus far, has begun to remind us again what it is like to have a presentable, properly determined and ruthless leader in charge once again; and one who doesn't need to do it for the cash. It's been a while.

He's even manage to properly neuter the Libdems in the process, and force the Labour party to parade a collection of yet more embarrassing misfits as prospective leaders.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

The invasion of the mind snatchers

When ever TMP looks through any "social media" it is plain that the vast majority of those present enjoy a normal and healthy sense of perspective and humour. Spades are called spades, cynicism is rife and healthy, and the pompous are exposed without quarter.

So what on earth is it about the effect of the presence of "the meedja" when these normal people feel obliged to abandon their innate common sense, and adopt the received wisdom of the knitted-muesli bearded PC classes, and start talking in the strange dialogue of those (relatively few) social inadequates who have decided that nanny state knows best.

These hard core folks have got vast numbers of (otherwise?) normal folks to ride bikes wearing absurd confections that a party balloon bender might create; they have banned smoking yet bend over backwards to try and understand and accommodate addicts of the sort of drugs that are blamed for 50% of all theft crime. They want to bring back people carrying red flags to precede cars in urban streets.

When interviewed just now on "Look East" a fireman who has just extinguished a blaze in a junk yard wibbled on about "protecting the environment" from oil seepage, when the (in)correct/right response was "these pikey dickheads were dismantling cars with petrol in the tanks using acetylene cutters - what a bunch of compete twats..."

Is the industry that denies Darwin his just desserts still so far out of control that some normal people are starting to actually absorb and believe this claptrap..?

James Mays had it right. Never mind dreaming up thousands of wittering laws designed to create work for the nanny client state industry: just "don't be an arse".

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Cuts and opportunities

TMP remains quietly confident that most wealth-dissipating organisations can easily lose 30-50% of their stipends and overheads, without the essential wealth creators suffering any real damage. This time around, the Chancellor has very few options but to try and recreate an economy were wealth creation can take place rather quickly. There is no more family silver to flog, and Brown gave away the gold. Added to which Obama is currently playing some pretty crude politics with what was once the UK's largest wealth creator and tax payer.

The real challenge this time will be to deal with all those displaced from the pampered world of public employment into the real world of common sense where the wages are earned, not gifted. Add to that the number of people on benefits of one sort or another, plus the unemployed over 50s who are now widely regarded as unemployable in the age of modern technology and there is a very big challenge indeed for employers who have grown used to cheap call centre workforces and low-grade staff that are propped up by "on-screen" scripts. 

The only possible answer left is the creation of a lot of wholly new businesses. As luck would have it, technology provides the means for those business to exist and operate with unprecedented ease and efficiency in the 24x7 world that we find ourselves in. Sadly, nearly all of that technology is monopolised by US behemoths such as Google, Apple, eBay, PayPal, Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook etc. - mostly because the US government created (by accident or design) a climate in which those businesses could be funded and grown.

How about a real effort to establish British derived and owned versions of these businesses? Is there any alternative? There is no rocket science involved, just (surprisingly modest) investment, determination and the right climate where the Brits who presently flock to these US-owned behemoths are once again reminded what's good for them.

An All American Disaster

Well then. It's been quite a couple of weeks.

President Obama's hysterics have already written value off BP to the tune of about 30% of the deficit that is presently preoccupying Cameron & Co. The fact the failed rig and technology and operators are all American doesn't cause Obama to moderate his emphasis on British Petroleum - despite the company having dropped that sobriquet in favour of "Bee Pee" some years ago.

For those colonials wondering why Captain America has not sent for the kiss-ass marines to kick the sorry ass of the BP limeys fumbling this leak, and sort it all out using the "Amurcan Way" - the answer is terribly simple. All those involved in the disaster with the exception of a handful of hapless Brits are already Americans.

It suits Obama to play politics to deflect attention from his shortcomings and woeful lack of anything approaching leadership. This crisis appears to have exposed him as the windbag we were starting to suspect he might be,

If there is a move by American sharks to buy up BP at fire sale rates as the share price continues to fall, then there will have to some very big questions asked about the process, and action by the UK government to protect British interests.

Sending the US the license fee for the English Language and then pursuing its collection with the same determination that the US expects the rest of the world to protect dubious US intellectual property assertions might be a nice start.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Doing the Right thing...

As the dust settles on the Great Experiment, and it seems that the Conservatives may have conceded too much in return for LibDem collaboration, the right end of the Conservative Party may well contemplate the  idea that it might "de-coalesce" and re-absorb the UKIP. There are probably  around 50-100 tory MPs who might now be working out how to assess how much support they could muster in the country for The Real Conservative Party.

By allowing Scotland and Wales further independence in return for them losing most of their Westminster MPs, and introducing a PR voting system, the prospects would be much more tempting for minor parties to "have a go". Any number of the factions within existing main parties might pluck up the courage to "go it alone". Five years is long enough for quite few experiments to test ideas on the voting public before the crunch reality of a general election rolled up again.

The Tory Way Forward group was pushing for a minority government that would almost certainly have exposed the LibDems as being duplicitous, irresponsible and generally unsuited to government - although at this moment, it seems likely that Dave is going to find some of his own party are going to be more awkward to manage then the "can't believe their luck" LibDems!

But there's always a chance that this is all part of a very cunning master plan to corner and then impale the LibDems on their own hubris and desperation for power. It obviously suits Cameron to park some election pledges that cost money we don't have - and write them off to the national interest. And having Vince along to properly spank the (still largely unrepentant) bankers is another well-poisoned chalice passed along.

There is little doubt that the country's immediate best interests are now being served by an arrangement representing well over half the votes cast. Can it deliver the huge spanking to public spending that the economic crisis requires - and survive? David Cameron is either the shrewdest operator in Westminster, or the daftest. There's not a lot of standing room in the middle ground.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Pandora alert

However much the truly horrible circumstances left behind by Brown's regime require extreme measures and a government of national unity, TMP remains acutely aware of the dangers to this unique experiment in collaborative politics.

All the main parties in the UK have been coalitions that have traditionally accommodated a wide spectrum of opinion. This has meant the job of leading these parties has always been the management of a "coalition" - and the result has been a relatively moderate compromise, where the absolutely unreconcilable extremists of the main parties have been obliged to depart to the fringe parties, and guaranteed obscurity.

The electoral system of "first past the post" has encouraged the existence of such internal coalitions, and thus far spared the British public the sight of the creation of an Official Pantomime Horse.

But PR makes the creation of a "fringe" party a lot more attractive, so all the main parties are likely to see their factions peeling off into new extreme alignments, and their leaders will no longer be constrained by the needs to manage their own internal coalitions.

TMP will do its best to remain constructive and hope that it all works out - and that the result is the best of all worlds in these extremely dangerous times, and if he pulls it off, Davnick will have achieved a considerable miracle.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

What you wished for..?

So far so good..?

The British public has, by a series of completely uncontrollable quirks, managed to force a revolutionary - but contained - change in the system of its politics that it apparently wanted to see, but was not on offer as any sort of "official" option or choice in the world of tribal politics where 36% of the vote could deliver a working majority for Labour. They snookered Cameron (nice analogy, thanks DM) behind the Brown, and the only way to pot the blue was off the yellow. Given the angles, there was no other possible positive result - other than a re-rack.

Furthermore, the balancing compromises all appear to have been tipped by what is perceived to have been to appease public opinion. No bad thing perhaps if the first acts of this government are to be huge tax increases and savage cuts.

So then, we have a fascinating and unique majority government, and TMP must, by definition be happy to be "in power" at last. The few remaining "embarrassments" at the extremes of the Conservative and LibDem parties are mumbling as they sit bound and gagged and stuffed in their parties' respective closets, and there is much smiling for the cameras. And it is entirely healthy and to be expected that there are sceptics in both parties that have put down markers that they will be keeping an eye on the direction and leadership.

Anything less would be disconcerting and unhealthy.

There's a sense that both Clegg and Cameron are not going to be pushovers and are going to be willing to draw lines - but Cameron (rightly) has the stronger hand henceforward, and Clegg should know it. If there has to be another election, Cameron should be holding all the right cards - and as long as the Labour Party spends the traditional 5 years beating itself to death - Clegg knows he should sail back in.

But Cameron's first internal move to appease the loyal backbenchers (sans maisons des canards) must now be to fire his close advisers who let him down so comprehensively in the election campaign. Not only would that do Dave a big favour, it would appease a lot of powerful party members who must now be mumbling "told you so".

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

All to play for

At least this is going to have to be an open government, and not a secretive cabal of minorities. However much this contrivance may look like a pantomime horse, it represents plenty more than 50% of the votes cast, and is therefore something of a rarity for a UK government in recent times.

The idea of this coalition appears to square exactly with the tenor of Cameron's "big society", and as several of Labour's leery survivors have observed, the LibDem party is itself a rainbow coalition with an astonishing range of nutters and those of limited talent and gravitas, who could not possibly have dreamed of ever achieving office in a "proper" political party. It's a good job Cameron has had the experience of coping with "testing" family circumstances.

A key tone-setter for what lies ahead will have been the jeering mob chanting "Fuck the Tories" that so charmlessly "greeted" Dave and Sam at Downing Street. We trust Broon & Co regard that as a fine example of the sort of poisoned society that they have left behind, and an appropriate valediction for 13 years of his fellow travellers' relentless bullying and overbearing disregard for basic decency and respect. Let's hope another of Broon's many legacies to our nation - the CCTV networks of his Stasi - has clocked those responsible, and that they will find that their BACS transfers cease forthwith, to be replaced by an invitation to get a job..?

We can but hope.

Monday, May 10, 2010

The limpet PM

Brown's delusional squat has now become unseemly and undignified with his latest manoeuvres.

Lord Mandelson has once again cunningly manipulated the feeble occupants of the Westminster bubble who are no longer acting rationally, and who don't seem to care what the markets or the people are going to make of what appears to be - and is - a very squalid attempt to help Labour cling on to power at any cost, and under any circumstances.

Just what is he trying to hide? What horrors are waiting to be discovered in the government filing cabinets? Quite possibly he is trying to conceal revelations that will make the Labour Party unelectable for a generation.

Chancer-in-chief Clegg plainly believes that he can score electoral points by being the hero that forced Brown to announce his resignation, but his nativity and multi-faceted duplicity are becoming more apparent at every twist and turn, and the unsuitability of the Libdems for office has become increasingly apparent.

Or maybe Mandelson is just doing all this to ensure the markets melt down and the Tories get an even worse shambles to unpick than if they had been allowed to get on with a quick and tidy deal in the interests of the country.

The one useful aspect of Brown's parting shambles is that no objective observer watching this play out can still be thinking that PR with its promise of this sort of shambolic horse trade at every election, is a sane and effective way forward?

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Deal or no deal?

Told ya so. (There, we got that out of the way.)

Never mind the impossibility of anyone ever managing to dodge the flying staplers for long enough to work with him, Brown's Labour Party (258 - including 41 Scottish MPs) and the Libdems (57) simply do not command a viable majority and will be hostage to nationalists. The Conservatives (307) plus the cabals of nationalists could also do it - but the obvious and preferred solution (for the English!) is that the Conservatives find some way to work with the Libdems. TMP suspects that a poll of the voters offered the various combo and "bogof" offers, will agree that this is the best compromise.

There is every possibility that the true financial situation we face is far, far worse than we had been lead to believe. There is every possibility that once Brown is surgically removed from office, examination of the Treasury books will reveal that he has behaved like the secretive bank clerk that has never been properly audited, where he has been embezzling funds for years to support an expensive wife: Labour's voters - the infamous but very real "client state".  Like that dodgy bank manager, 13 years has provided Brown with a lot of scope to devise clever ways of hiding the losses, and Brown will have kidded himself that he was going to be able to turn it all round, and replace the cash in the till before it was counted by external auditors.

The result of the election has produced the most exquisite set of circumstances designed to torture our politicians for their manifest misdemeanours. But however you try and spin it, Labour lost hugely; the Libdems lost embarrassingly - but in terms of their cruelly inflated expectations, they lost huge and comprehensively - with no sign of an improved mandate for their traditionally bonkers manifesto strategies.

So there was no mandate for big change in the electoral system, just a further example of a "curse on all your houses". In all the vox-pop interviews, what the people want is honest politicians, a sane electoral process - whatever that might be - and above all else, sound government that sorts out the financial mess of Brown's 13 spendthrift years. The people still want the opportunity to vote for strong government - and one that can be turfed out in its entity when it screws up.

Moreover, we are currently witnessing exactly the typical and unedifying consequences of PR - hung elections with factions of  losers frantically trying to stitch dodgy deals together. Can 5 losers make a winner? It's shambolic.

As a result, if this is handled adroitly, there should be less appetite for changing the system to make this the default process for every national election henceforth.  This crisis seems to arise from the people witnessing what can happen when one party is given too much power for too long, and wanting to spank the increasingly detached political class en masse. TMP suspects that what the people actually want is something like the US system where it is possible to balance the excesses of an over-powerful government by voting for a different flavoured Senate and House of Representatives - and indeed, President.

Gordon Brown has given every indication that he is a self-obsessed sociopath (long before the unguarded bigot comment proved the point beyond all doubt)  and seems incapable of accepting anything less than that he has a divine right to remain as PM. He will undoubtedly try every trick to try and scare Clegg that he will be tainted forever by a Tory deal, where the reality is that all Gordon cares about is that he remains in Number 10.

Of course a LibLab pact might work without the bombastic and messianic Brown as leader; but the idea that the Labour Party could then dump another leader and impose a "PM" on the UK once again is high farce, and the stuff of insurrection. Nevertheless, Labour apparatchiks like Harriet Harman, Ben Bradshaw and the perma-tanned and perma-absurd Peter Hain have suddenly seen the PR light and are rushing in that direction with embarrassing haste. The fact that Harman, Hain and Bradshaw are prime examples of career MPs who could not earn a living in the real world, needs to be kept in mind.

With this complex background, the only possible solution for Cameron was to make a generous offer to the libdems and put the onus on Clegg to be the disruptive one. Which is exactly what he did.

Cameron knows that Clegg is chronically lumbered by his own party's daft constitution that requires a 75% majority of the MPs for any deal, and that the (many) hotheads who have yet to fully appreciate that they they actually lost the election, will block any deal that does not offer a full route the sort of disastrous proportional representation that the wilder-eyed Libs have always craved. So there will be some form of Conservative government - with or without formal Libdem participation, and the plan must be:
  • Restore fiscal confidence
And then, in parallel:
  • Undo as much of Labour's endlessly crass legislation as possible
  • Tackle the BBC's distorting and stultifying influence on crucial new and old media markets in the UK
  • Depart Afghanistan with as much dignity as possible (we may need the soldiers back here to control the food riots)
  • Deal with the the electoral shambles 
The electoral commission quango has been exposed as amateur, and is presently on the back foot and thoroughly discredited, so now is a good time to steam in and reform the entire process. In case there is another election forced early, immediately sort out the insanity of boundaries that favour the outrageous Labour hegemony in its various "client zones" and reduce the number Scottish MPs to around 20 to reflect the fact that Scotland and Wales have their own governments - and England does not! Better still, call the tiresome Alex Salmond's bluff and give Scotland its full independence whether it wants it or not, and tell it to get on with developing its economy based on tidal energy, not English taxes.

Reform the House of Lords that has become a pantomime of a farce thanks to Labour's numerous crass appointments, with a senate-like elected body, using a simple form of PR that would be fine for a revising body which is appropriately intended for vacillation and woolly thinking; but with a similar guillotine process that presently exists in extremis when the government feels that it can justify riding roughshod when it is the only option in the interest of strong government.  It would be lovely to imagine that such a body could be non-partisan in the way that the old House of Lords didn't have to toe any lines other than their own honestly held beliefs and consciences. TMP likes the idea that 50% of such an assembly should be elected from candidates selected by real people - not politicians or the establishment's ideas of Great and the Good.

And how about a qualification that is based on proof that anyone voting for this new "senior" house should have voted in at least 5 local and national elections? This should keep out transient celebrity campaigning, and might encourage all those who proudly boast that they cannot be bothered to vote, to think again.
  • Hold a referendum on the options (and require a 75% turnout to make it stick, using the LibDems own internal policies)
But above all else, deal with Brown's catastrophic fiscal shambles before it runs out of control and petrol rises to £10 a gallon as the jittery markets (who are required to be onside to fund Brown's deficit, remember?) melt down.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Be careful of what you wish for, eh?

Oh dearie, dearie us.You woz warned.

In the fantasy land of modern British politics, can Gordon the Ghastly and his eager helpers at the BBC  really try and pretend that two abject losers make a winner?

Monday, May 03, 2010

13 Years of Labour Misrule comes to a spluttering halt..?

The floating voters are every bit as fickle and flaky as ever, and guess what, Blair Mk2 is the beneficiary. But not the Blairalike who had imagined for so long that he was going to the main beneficiary of Brown's incredibly badly managed period as PM.

Like Blair, Clegg is no son of a miner or any other person acquainted with the real world. Like Blair, he is married to a staunch Roman Catholic, and is thus in the thrall of religious hocus pocus to some extent. It is ironic that the marvellously cunning but ultimately vacuous Nick Clegg and his missus come from even more privileged euro backgrounds than Cameron - the uber-rich shadowy patrician upper classes of Europe have always been rather better networked than the English nobility, who are generally obliged to spend their time worrying about fixing the roof of the decaying family pile and dealing with Death Duties, rather than hob-nobbing at meetings of the Bildeburger Group.

Labour and Libdems have been told by their spin advisers that floating voters have pretty much declared themselves to be weak minded and easily manipulated types who are likely to be fooled by the biggest lies, repeated frequently. The nature of the scare tactics deployed by Brown and Clegg are pretty scandalous, but it remains to be seen if the Tories rigidly positive campaign does them any favours. We suspect that the floating voters are as a dangerously gullible as the spin doctors believe.

Vince Cable is a quite startling lightweight who has not been properly tested at any depth, and on the odd occasion he is tackled on subjects beyond his apparently wondrous prescience when predicting the most obvious bust ever, he is invariably found wanting. His persistent evasion of the moral issues underlying the fact that the Libdems were wedged up by a convicted fraudster's cash stolen from an identified group of real people, as opposed to the usual funding from companies and unions that milk larger and more anonymous herds, ought to be taken out and explored at every opportunity. But for some reason it is not being given the coverage it deserves. Since the BBC's house journal, The Guardian, has come out in support of the Libdems, there is a growing suspicion that the BBC has been has been doing everything in its power to assist the Clegg bandwagon. The replacement of the compulsory BBC licence fee by something more innovative in recognition of everything that is going on in media, is long overdue.

Gordon Brown's exposure as an irascible old boor seems to confirm Cherie Blair's observations of long ago that he simply was not equipped for the PM's job at any level of character. His grotesque stage managed performances in front of carefully picked audiences where he spouts venomous lies in the course of his efforts to terrify the weaker minded of his supporters, are simply amoral.

The UK has suffered horribly over the past 50 years through the over promotion of accountants to run its once-world class businesses. But guess what, they understand the price of everything and the value of nothing - which is why all the best assets in the UK are now owned by foreigners! Gordon is actually one of the few chancellors to make it to the top job, and now we are thoroughly reminded why "those who keep score shall not also bat".

We don't agree with Nick. We think he's a chancer, supreme performer, an opportunist - but mostly just another airhead Blairalike politician with an ambitious and pushy wife who will gladly say and do anything to achieve her ambition, with no thought of the consequences. Clegg is, make no mistake, the 100% heir of Blair.

So what happens with the hung parliament and we witness the efforts of the Irish, Welsh and Scots to call the tune? The English will at last revolt - and about bloody time too. Cameron's efforts to maintain the idea that it's worth trying to keep Scotland's client state and its unremittingly awful MPs (including Broon, Darling etc) in the Union, will have to go. Home rule for England, please.

The most likely consequence of the impending cock-up is that we will be doing all this again in 6 months as the shambles wrought by gullible floaters forces the issue again. Maybe this time honesty will prevail if some form of PR means that no one is ever going to win a genuine majority ever again, and there is consequently less to lose.

Be careful of what you wish for, eh?

Monday, April 05, 2010

Gay wrongs

Efforts by the BBC and its house journal, The Guardian, to whip up a frenzy over eavesdropped comments from the Tory shadow Home Secretary concerning the right of people to decide who should be allowed into their homes, appear to be backfiring in the same way as Labour's poster own-goal.

It is is becoming increasingly apparent that the real choice at the election is between the reintroduction of  common sense conservatism (small "c"), and yet more scope for Labour's cabal of vociferous minorities, with its >3000 petty new laws, introduced over 13 years to pander to its supporting cabals' desires to criminalise normal people and common sense, by manipulating everything from the presumptions around climate change, the overrated threat of terrorism, the (discredited) value of "diversity" and the need for "inclusivity at all costs" that stridently promotes the rights of minorities, whilst defiantly confronting the wishes of the majority.

The libertarian approach that TMP supports would be delighted for any who wanted to offer a "gay only" B&B service, and would not question the right to do so for a moment.

However, the B&B row is actually about religious intolerance; the couple in question hold strong Christian views and were willing to stand by them. And religious intolerance is much older than "gender orientation" discrimination. The gay community's hysterical reaction to this couple's genuinely held Christian beliefs have a lot in common with a bunch of murderous thugs who rode around Judea about this time of year 2010 years ago (give or take), looking  to set examples.

Perhaps the strident secular reaction of the Gay community to the B&B affair is partly designed to deflect attention from what's going on in the Roman Catholic church. For some inexplicable reason most reports seem terrified to mention the "G" word when discussing the assault by male priests on male children.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Well, we've seen some own goals... but...

If anyone still needs confirmation that Labour was woefully out of touch with the people of the UK, this self-inflicted poster campaign must surely be it? Even with the original text from Labour's increasingly desperate spinmeisters, this poster will go down in history as one of the most ill judged ideas of all time. 
TMP suspects it's just about safe for Sam to start measuring up for the curtains, and for Gordon arranging his offshore companies to look after his retirement sinecures.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Don't mess with the Tories

The smug educated lower classes in the Labour Party's creative think tanks prove yet again that breeding is everything. Take for example the rather tedious jibes posted on Labour's feeble effort at "gloves-off" online satire at My David Cameron ...

And then compare it with the original Tory take on the same theme.

Which suggests that however smart the creative on-line classes of North London's smug socialist set might imagine they are, when it comes to genuine "class", they still don't have a lot to offer.

Cameron and Johnson are indeed mere amateurs when it comes to robbing the graves of the nation. Tony "Show me the money" Blair and the Auld Fraud  got there a long time ago; not content with more direct and stealth taxes than ever before in any period of government, Labour are still holding on to an inheritance tax structure that has been grossly inflated by Brown's "fairy money" economy, when he positively rejoiced in the consumer boom built on inflated property values. To describe the subsequent financial bust as "a global recession" takes a lot of nerve, but that is possibly the one commodity that these two both have in common, and spades.

Monday, March 08, 2010

One man's waste is another's savings...

We hope TMP wasn't the only one to spot that Alistair Darling's latest BBC TV interview exposed Labour's weakest spot in the current "we can save the nation through efficiency, not cuts" arguments:-

"If Labour can now apparently make billions in efficiency savings, what have they been doing for the past 13 years, presumably the only answer is that it has been wasting the same tax payer money that is now earmarked for savings on a monumental scale?"

Darling was completely flummoxed around this point.

However, CMD and Osborne are still perilously close to losing it for looking too much like New Labour.  Parading the likes of Clark, Hague and even BoJo reminds the electorate that there really is a big difference. In fact, they might be better off with Ozzy than George. Sharon for PM would also probably work...

And the scary "Smiler Broon" is still always just one step away from throwing a paddy and a stapler. Maybe Andrew Rawnsley can find the Botox and ECT evidence.... the Tories and media should have tried harder to sink Goebbles' heir, Peter Mandelson for good; he's far too good at his evil trade.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

The fat lady clears her throat

TMP has been taking a rest in order to recharge for the coming fray.

It should be clear to just about everyone by now that the next election is going to be about as nasty as anything anyone has ever witnessed. The issues are the same for anyone that wins: how to mop up the shambles that now exists at every level of British society, left behind after 13 years of socialist misrule. (Who is old enough to remember the ultimate chancer - Harold Wilson - and his election mantra when he won in 1964?)

Even the Labour Party itself accepts that it has no record whatever on which to fight an election, and can only rely on rubbishing the Tories. Who aren't doing a bad job of handing round the ammunition.

A key issue might be separating the stupidity from the willfulness. There is enough hard evidence that Labour has specifically set about a programme of "social engineering" to gerrymander the entire nation in its electoral favour (as observed a long time ago in this blog); Blair has stated that many of his questionable and largely undemocratic actions (at least by all previous parliamentary standards) were done in the name of a crusading belief in his own self righteousness. And Brown has happily taken over Blair's"presidential" heritage and mantle and continued to shove anyone that gets in his way, and stick two fingers up the parliamentary process that once formed a large part of our democracy.

What the country needs more than anything now is intelligent team leadership and a return to some effort at consensus, to replace the many undeserving cabals of self interested minorities that have been so damaging to our society for the past 13 years of misdirected social engineering.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Excited, and now Brilliant

We can just about contain our "excitement" when Microsoft and the rest abuse the word lavishly and mercilessly in their lazy PR blather - but when The Daily Mail describes every single one of its contributors as "brilliant", we feel that it is time to introduce the "superlatives charge" and charge these drab and lazy organs £1 times their readership for such tedious and crass abuse of the English Language.