Archive for June, 2015

forget about skinny jeans, sort out fat men’s belts and boa-constrictor-like inertia reel seat belts.

June 24, 2015

I sent this in a response to a piece in the daily express, which had, itself, arisen from the item on skinny jeans (24/6/15):
The warning on tight clothing may hopefully draw manufacturer’s attention to the problem of fat men’s off-the-peg trouser’s, which no longer have buttons for braces.
The only braces available for the mass market are snap-lock attachments, which are not up to the task and so prone to embarrassing failures.  
The consequence is that a belt is required.
A belt tight enough to ensure a good grip on belly flab, whilst standing, is going to cause severe constriction when seated.
Hopefully the present awareness of restrictive clothing may see some mass market clothier address this problem.
While they’re at it, perhaps manufacturer’s of inertia reel seat belts could address the problem of the continually tightening effect on the arteries supplying the heart of motorists.
On motorway journey’s, I frequently have the distracting experience of feeling a tightening in my chest, until I recall that the imminent heart attack merely reqiuires a gentle pull on the seat belt.

Instead of vainly trying to define the subjective, legislate enabling law on less problematic issues.

June 24, 2015

sent to daily express 24/6/15:

The House of Lords is debating the definition of psychoactive drugs and finding it very difficult.
No matter what definition they come up with, it’ll end up being tested in court, where the intent of the legislation could, after a very costly court case, end up being overturned by the twisted logic of one of our peculiar judges.
why not short-circuit this process by relying on the political nous of whoever happens to be Home secretary.
Instead of trying to define which substances we think should be outlawed, set up a Law which lets the Home Secretary add substances to a list of illegal highs.
The time from the release of each new legal high, until the time it’s added to the list of illegal highs, could be reduced from years to days.
Instead of trying to objectivise a subjective issue, we rely on one person’s subjective assessment.
An extra benefit is that whereas a judge’s decision would be permanently in place, a Home Secretary’s decision can be reversed, if politically desired, with a click of a mouse button.

Would a privatised BBC show the Women’s FIFA World Cup?

June 24, 2015

sent to daily express (23/6/15) and published:
It’s been a delight watching the women’s world cup. No girlie kicking of a decade ago. definite skills and physicality and very little of the gamesmanship in modern men’s football. The only down side has been some of the referee-ing but maybe the women’s game could lead the way with the video ref. Best aspect is it’s on BBC not Sky and BT.

Published 24/6/15:
It’s been a delight watching the women’s world cup. No           kicking                 .      PLENTY OF skill  and physicality and very little of the gamesmanship in modern men’s football. The only down side has been some of the referee ing but maybe the women’s game could lead the way with the video ref. BUT THE Best aspect is THAT it’s on BBC not Sky and BT.

letters, written to a newspaper might not get printed but they are read and could influence the thinking of columnists and editor’s. For instance this was published but even if it wasn’t, it would have reminded the editor that a privatised BBC could be detrimental

Can you support imposition of Sharia on UK, without tacitly supporting ISIS?

June 24, 2015

Sent to Daily Express (20/6/15). not printed:

I’d add to this, that one can’t support the imposition of Sharia Law on the UK, without tacitly supporting ISIS.
The nine deaths, in the Charleston, South Carolina, church shooting, arose from a religious culture in that part of the USA.
Many people in the Southern States are brought up to believe in the Bible as an infallible source of truth.
Selected parts, therein, are to be accepted without question (eating pork seems to be a noted exception)
The insistence on Creationism and similar bronze age religious teachings is what lays the ground for extremism and fanaticism.
It can’t be coincidence that so many gun crazies emanate from this background.

 Nearer home, we have David Cameron asking Muslims to speak out against those, amongst their number, who preach support of Isis, yet ignoring the impact of political opportunists, such as Baroness Warsi, trying to place themselves as apologists for any lack of action.
Yet further ignoring the “non-violent” but tribalist preacher’s, who, like the Baptist Minister’s in the US South, preach the same insistence on orthodox interpretation of selected parts of their Holy Book.

It is these devout Muslims, who lay the ground for the Isis criminals, enabling them to seduce their young people into believing that God wants them to murder innocent people.
If the moderate Muslims of Britain want their young to grow up in a happy and secure country, they need to reject orthodoxy and look at the spirit of their prophet’s message, as Most British Christians have done.
 A start might be to ask if it was the prophet, who insisted that women should wear veils.
If the answer is “no”, then perhaps they should discard such trappings of orthodoxy and cut away the basic blind obedience to it, which allows the insidious and unscrupulous to seduce their children into depravity.

my Dad did not like Churchill but his actions may have saved his life

June 12, 2015

Interesting that El Alamein might never have happened if Churchill hadn’t insisted on an attack on Greece.

Apparently, instead of finishing off the Italian’s, pre-empting any need for The German’s coming to their rescue, we lost men and material in a pointless attempt to validate his “soft underbelly of Europe” thesis.

On the plus side, my dad was on his way to face the Japs, when his mob had to be diverted to Egypt to help oppose Rommel.

It’s the EU way. salami politics, or slice at a time.

June 12, 2015

According to Fullermoney:
“Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government may be satisfied with Greece committing to at least one economic reform sought by creditors to open the door to bailout funds, according to two people familiar with Germany’s position.”
Merkel’s not stupid but I don’t think Tsipras is either.

Hopefully he realises that if he takes the bait, then next time there’ll be another piece of poisoned bait and so on.

His voter’s will realise that he is allowing them to be screwed a bit at a time.

It’s the EU way.

D John Akerman is right: what is the point of the EU?

June 12, 2015

I liked this lead letter from The Telegraph:

SIR – In the coming months, I must decide whether I want to remain in the EU. Right now I am having severe difficulties in working out what the EU is actually for.

Clearly it is not for delivering economic excellence for the benefit of its peoples, as the EU was doing pretty badly when things were going fairly well, and since 2008 it has been a disaster area.

It is certainly not for helping poorer members gain or regain prosperity when things turn nasty, if its behaviour towards Greece is anything to go by. It can’t be for the enhancement of our security in a dangerous world, because we already get that from Nato.

It is surely not for the delivery of superior governance or enhancing democracy since it operates in an alarmingly undemocratic manner in most respects.

As far as I can work out it is for one thing above all: closer integration between members to achieve some undefined, and quite possibly indefinable, end.

What is the point of that? Who benefits and how (apart from the rather well-paid and weakly taxed EU ruling class, that is)?

D John Akerman
Selsey, West Sussex

Does David Cameron want an early EU referendum, in case a Grexit leads to a Brexit

June 12, 2015

This is a reprint of a reprint which I’ve blogged as a reference:
Roger Bootle: Why is Athens still refusing the free lunch of a Grexit?
Here is the opening of this interesting and topical article, published by The Telegraph:

It is widely accepted that a return to the drachma, involving a major fall in the exchange rate, would, on average, impose heavy costs on ordinary Greeks. This may indeed be widely accepted, but it happens not to be true.
There is a serious lack of understanding of the economics of devaluation – even in some surprisingly high places. What passes for wisdom on the subject is heavily influenced by the experience with fixed exchange rates, which the UK, and most of the world, gave up in 1971-72. In the classic cases, when countries resorted to devaluation it was because of a “balance of payments” crisis, an excess of imports over exports.
Typically, the economy was at full, often over-full, employment. Essentially, there had been a binge, involving rampant spending by governments or consumers, or both. Hence it would only be possible to boost exports and/or reduce imports to shrink the deficit by cutting government spending, investment or consumption. Accordingly, in many cases, including the devaluation of sterling in 1967, the drop of the currency was accompanied by spending cuts, tax rises and credit restrictions.
That undoubtedly resulted in lower average living standards. It had to: fewer resources had to be devoted to providing for domestic citizens so that more resources could be shifted into producing exports.
But Greece is not at full employment. Since 2008, it has suffered a 25pc fall in GDP. Unemployment is at 25pc. A lower exchange rate is not needed to improve the balance of payments. Indeed, last year Greece ran a surplus. The lower exchange rate is needed to boost demand.
How would this work? If a lower exchange rate encouraged increased net exports, as both theory and experience suggest it would, this would generate extra income. The beneficiaries – companies exporting and those producing goods and services competing with imports, and the people employed therein – would increase their spending. Moreover, instead of devaluation being anticipated and feared, once the deed was done, confidence would return. Spending, output and incomes would all increase, drawing in imports to match the increased exports and providing the wherewithal for increased living standards.
Look at it this way: if Greece manages to produce extra GDP as a result of a devaluation, who will enjoy the benefit? The answer is not foreigners. Greece does not need to export more without importing more. It is Greeks who would benefit.

    David Fuller’s view
I assume Greek’s shipping and tourist industries would benefit from Grexit.  Additionally, a significant amount of cash which has fled the country over the last year or more would most likely return.
I have always maintained that while the Euro remained Europe’s main currency, with additional countries able to join it, some others would inevitably leave.  However, Euroland’s unelected bureaucrats and the leaders of most EU member states appear to regard the possibility of Grexit as a dangerous precedent.  If that public view is also held in private, then some sort of compromise deal to keep Greece in the single currency will be agreed, for better or for worse.

Why does Government put onus for illegals on lorry drivers and not Ferries

June 12, 2015

written in response to attacks on British lorry drivers at Calais. My suggestion is that if Government was serious about stopping illegals, they’d make it the responsibility of those ferrying the lorries, who could actually take effective action. (but at a loss of profit)

Sent 6/6/15

The situation with our open borders has become farcical.
The recent exposure of Polish Lorry drivers, exploiting their EU rights to capitalise on the situation is making Government, of all political parties, look beyond incompetent.
We are now reading of British drivers being intimidated by immigrant gangs, partly because of our Government’s adherence to devolving State responsibility onto the private sector.
By fining driver’s, caught with illegals aboard their vehicles, they have attempted to shed a policing role onto individuals, who lack the power and authority to implement it.
If the responsibility must be passed onto the private sector, it would have made more sense to impose the role on the ferry companies, who have the wherewithall to organise and fund the role.

One can only assume that the ferry companies are in a position to refuse, whereas lorry driver’s aren’t.

Is the EU referendum a complete fake-out?

June 12, 2015

I wrote this before Cameron’s faux pas over a pretence of a free vote.

It was a letter to the Daily Express in response to what looked like misinformation by Leo MKinstry that Cameron might really favour a Brexit.

Sent 8/6/15

It would be nice if Leo McKinstry was correct in thinking that Cameron might come out against staying in the E.U. but the phrase “clutching at straws” comes to mind.
The evidence seems to be against Leo McKinstry’s conjecture and that once more it will be Hobson’s choice with only a Tory “yes” campaign and a Labour “yes” campaign: Both vilifying the “Kippers” as racists and nutters.
That the three main parties of the previous G.E. wouldn’t even contemplate a referendum argues against a true democratic choice.
The statements by Juncker and Obama added to the falsity of Cameron’s negotiating platform and the increase in tax-payer money to fund the campaign do not inspire trust in the claim that this will be a fair, or balanced referendum.
Why bother with an expensive exercise in futility, where the outcome may have already been decided.
I suspect that within a year, or two, we will have ceded sovereignty.

David Cameron will have no need to step down as P.M., because that post could well be redundant.