Friday, 30 September 2022

Financial woes? You bet.. thank Labour!

OMG, you would not believe we are living in a country that basically won two world wars against almost impossible odds. Well, alrightie then not on our own but major participants nevertheless! Our people had to use their ‘stiff upper-lip’ for all those years but hey all that was lost yesterday in the panic about a mini-budget. God help us, the Labour echelon and others gleefully jumped on the bandwagon and literally heightened the whole drama up to dizzy heights. And that from a party that claimed it would win the next General Election. Sorry Keir you have been found out as a lightweight and basically as someone who does not know what he is talking about. You are way out of your depth my friend! Also, whilst you are opening the Exit door please tell that Wes Streeting to read a few books and familiarise himself with the NHS. A bit of Accountancy knowledge would help. What a shower and frankly a sizable part of Cons MPs are also part of this drama. The Chancellor did the RIGHT thing! The only mistake is that somehow it was turned onto Pension funds. How and why only God knows. 

What bothers me is that yet again the think-tank of the Treasury did not do its homework. Again I must ask, is there no-one now in the hallowed political circles that has a brain? The Chancellor’s job is to highlight the main plan and it is for the department to fill in the blanks. The plan was simple, loosen the tax burden, drop Income Tax by 1p to 19p in the £, help with soaring gas and electricity bills, drop the NI to its previous level, no business tax increase, and the 45% rate dropped. Now, did no-one think that Labour would not gleefully jump on that one? The other problem was to publicly pronounce that richer people would also get the benefits. No-one seemed to figure out that to increase business activity you do indeed have to decrease costs! Why was there no emphasis put on that point? The other thing Labour forgot to mention is that all major currencies are sliding against the dollar. 

The American Bank has increased interest levels far higher than we have sofar! As a result European cash is moving out, for now. Friends, we are ruled by nincompoops, Etonesque wallabies jumping up screaming ‘I know everything’. All that matters is gender equality. So, call me an idiot for not being non-binary, whatever it really means. Ask Richard Branson of Virgin Atlantic, he apparently knows. Perhaps his business acumen might serve Kwasi rather than the plonkers that run the Bank of England. We need more non-binaries in high places, don’t we?

Wednesday, 28 September 2022

Are the Media dangerous to Life? Well....could be

Day in day out we read about problems with children who simply cannot distance themselves from their mobile phones. You might ask; well, why give them in the first place? The problem is that everyone, literally everyone, now uses mobile phones. Children communicate in some arcane language they seem to understand but most grown-ups raise their eyebrows in the hope that it can make what they read, intelligible! My own family is locked into an app called WhatsApp. One of the most insidious things you will ever have. It is, I know, like a drug. There are people who have them in bed! Whatever turns you on but it has to be said that it does seem to influence your mental state. What I have done in conjunction with my daughter, the grandchildren are governed now by a software program called Famisafe. It allows for controlling what they can do on their mobiles. It is rather simple because you can set up times when the mobiles are blocked, for instance bedtimes or game playing. You can block the Google Play store (a good thing to do!) In fact, you can block most things but also allow those apps that are needed. For instance apps that help with school lessons, history, Wikipedia and so on. There is a cost but as always, good things, useful things, are costly to develop to provide and maintain. For about £50 annually I think it’s not a bad thing to pay for a child’s security. The Famisafe app can warn the overseer parent(s) about the incredible amount of silly and stupid WhatsApp messages that children send each other. Some of my granddaughters school friends are evidently not real friends and the groups they set up are quickly descending into and using, sexual innuendo and words. The app even highlights these words and also shows the name of the person sending them! Plus any replies given by the child will also show up. Good to have noted appropriate action can be taken at the time before it gets out of hand!

Obviously, it has been known that mobiles can facilitate this kind of communication. It crosses all age groups and sexes. It bothers me as well that Meta and other providers are so reluctant to do something about the problem. It does show up humanity in a bad way. Social restraint just goes out of the window. 

Lately we have learned about what damage can be done to young children, girls in particular seem to be obsessed with body image. Recently a young girl called Molly Russell committed suicide. It was found that on her mobile were shown many images and videos about self-harm and suicide. But permit me one observation, how was it allowed? Was there anyone checking the phone from time to time? Or better still was there a responsible adult making the poor girl using such an app as mentioned above? These are also questions that need answering. The truth is that too many adults are providing these contraptions without ensuring proper safeguards. I am not saying that this is the case here but generally speaking you will find it a true situation.  

As a quick remark, these monitoring apps are very difficult to delete. They can be a life-saver, children don’t like them and try almost invariably to get you to ‘Gimme, gimme, more time, more games, allow Google, allow WhatsApp etc etc’. In the end they do like and accept that an adult takes enough interest in what they are doing. It’s simply good to talk!

Sunday, 25 September 2022

Tax cuts galore, we'll all be millionaires!

If one said ‘We are in a pickle’, he or she would be entirely correct. We are in a pickle and not just the war in the Ukraine. Although that could well blow us all up to the ‘hiernamaals’ as the Dutch would say. Frankly if I was still in that lowland I would worry a bit more because a few bits of ordnance, like they are throwing around further east, dropped on the seaside dams would inundate most of the country. Politics is a funny business. Internationally and nationally. I was just watching the BBC, that ‘independent’ broadcaster this sunny Sunday morning when the Shadow Business Secretary, I forgot his name already, spouted the usual crap that Labour and now also the Conservatives, are (in)famous for. 

Apparently Keir Starmer is now fronting a ‘wonderful’ new plan to increase green energy. Everybody will be millionaires. Great! I will vote Labour at the next election. But hang on a mo, here we go again, promises, promises, promises. I have long felt that all these so-called ‘new’ plans are just no more than just ideas but when in power these very rarely, if at all, happen! Over the last 20 years or so and probably way before that, plans were two a penny but I just cannot recall any of them starting. This country in particular is bedevilled by probably well-meaning politicians, yes those we voted for knowing they did not have much between the ears but were the best of the bunch which does not say a lot about the rest. Bedevilled because they all have particular hobbyhorses. Meaning grand ideas about how to solve all our problems in one day! But enough about Labour, let’s look at Ms Truss’ ideas. I did think that to stimulate business is not a bad idea in itself but yet again the PM has not entirely thought it through! Tax cuts are great but they also disproportionally favour the richer elements. To scrap the cap on Banker’s bonuses is inherently meant to get these people into London and not to Frankfurt of New York. 

But as usual it has drawbacks, the general public does not think alike! I find the idea of bonuses across the board a bad idea as it is. Again, it is a disproportional way of rewarding good work. Anyone employed at a reasonable salary should do their best. It would be much better to develop a company wide system where if sufficient profits are made to reward all. Perhaps through the ownership of shares or similar. Again, the Tories are in danger of overstepping their ideas and as they are in power at the moment, could get it horribly wrong. We will have two years of see-saw politics I think and if it works Labour will disappear and other left parties will spring up. If things go wrong, the same will happen to the Conservervatives. In the end we might well get proportional representation and end up with coalition government for ever more. Or a complete federal set-up. It might even work!

Thursday, 15 September 2022

Like Socialism? Or Communism? Well, eh...

It has become pretty obvious as was pointed out on one of the many TV interviews that Russia had no intention to properly deal with their so-called occupation. They merely overran some areas after first having obliterated most of the infrastructure and then proceeded to deal with the population. Rape included as well as taking everything that took their fancy. Even after months the population and their possessions were treated as free booty. There were no attempts to restore services, no attempts to install proper government. In short Russia merely released a horde of gangsters, rapists, thieves and murderers onto another country. This is the year 2022 and it seems now without any doubt that Russia still lives in the 1800’s. Backward and how they ever obtained nuclear weapons is beyond me. There must have been many traitors in the West, those who think that communism is the way to save the world. Well, we have now seen how that works! We merely have allowed a fourth world country to have toys they do not really understand nor know how to maintain them. My Dutch grandfather was such a man. Not violent but a firm believer in ultra socialism. In other words he was just opposing the Nazis, yes there were Dutch Nazis aplenty! The problem was that both systems in the end are exactly the same! Total control over the population! But people like my grandfather would and could not see that. East Germany was still in existence then, although already tottering and holidays, yes ‘holidays, were arranged to see this social wonder. The truth was simple, they would never see the grotty bits but were shown the nice country bits, one hotel that was done up to the nines and daily chats with ‘intelligent’ persons. Yet the indigenous people were starving, never noticed. Much like Russia is today. My local church a few years ago, organised a trip to the land of Hope, Russia. Moscow no, St Petersburg yes. I would not go, I dislike socialism, at least the type these countries follow. However, a similar scenario, the group enthused about the beauty, the wonders and how Russia was a major power. What they did not know was the control exercised. The Russians are very good at that. The visitors only saw what was allowed. In the end we have to, somehow or other, get rid of authoritarianism. Also corruption. Corruption even in democratic systems where it also can be endemic. Lots to do, lots to think about. Perhaps now that one of the longest serving royal, the Queen has died we might have a chance to look at how we want to be governed. Take apart our rules and regulations to see if they are fit for purpose. Lots to do, lots to think about. Ergo, let’s do it! Let’s start!

Monday, 12 September 2022

What went wrong then, my old matey?

Like in the cartoon film Big Hero 6 where one of the characters said, ‘What’s the plan? What IS the plan? There has to be a plan’, Russian soldiers say the same thing. It has quite abundantly become clear, there was no plan at all with the invasion of the Ukraine. It seemed that from the beginning the idea was just to march into Kiev, take the government hostage and go back to Moscow eating borscht. Job done. Puppet regime in and to be followed by a so-called trial for nazi crimes. Putin was ready, already seated at a huge enormous table but now still by himself. There were supposed to be all his victorious generals beside him. Ah, how fate intervenes! Instead what have we got? Russia a laughing stock, an army that proved to be no army but a bunch of farm boys handling stuff dated from WW2 and only then if they spoke or understood the accompanying leaflet ‘How to load and fire the gun’. Most of the Russian weapons were based on foreign designs. Farm boys are not designers or engineers. Although there is nothing wrong with farm boys. Hard workers but soldiers? Especially soldiers in today’s techno world? You simply cannot just pluck people from farms or factories put a helmet on them and send to another country. Telling them to be ready for the victory parade so bring the feathered caps and flags. No need to bring food, there will be plenty when you get there. Enjoy the adoring crowds lining the roads!  

So how did it all turn upside down? Well, the only thing you can say is that the top people had too many assumptions about the real state of the field. Did not consider the changed attitude after 2014, the annexation of the Crimea. Neither noticed the build up, according to western methods, of the Ukrainian army. The establishment of a proper NCO cadre. The increased cooperation of the junior officers with western counterparts and the sacking of Russia-leaning top brass. Or if they did notice, disregarded it as not important. I have been in a western army and know how important sergeants are! It allows for smaller units, fast, mobile action. Russians only depend on vast ammunition stockpiles and artillery battles. What I have wondered from the beginning is what did they expect to be in after they literally flattened a country to just a pile of rubble? A wasteland where no-one could live? That seems a strange goal! So far, all of it has just resulted in the exact opposite of what was said to be the reasons for the invasion (sorry, special military action). The Ukraine has now turned into a rather large enemy, probably will join NATO in the near future. Two other countries have nearly completed joining NATO and all other NATO countries have upped their expenditure.

Even so, we will need to watch because Russia and China both, have now noted the increased resistance and military candour of the western world. Both are now busy projecting their influence to Asia and Africa, even to South America. China is doing so in a financial manner and continuing to do so. African countries are in dire need of finance, mostly because of gross incompetence and corruption but that does not seemingly deter China or Russia. The world will be an interesting place for a while, to say the least! You may wonder what it is all about. Because with the technology around today, warfare is a dead duck, literally! No winners, only losers.

Saturday, 10 September 2022

And so we go on...

The Queen has died. Long live the King! This is the mantra that is said after the dead of the reigning monarch. It is quite funny, I have not seen or heard any Twitterati complaining that we should be more diverse and should have said, They have died, long live Non-Binary It. What a load of trash, time to tell all the Its, Non-Binaries, to shut it and get back to work! Or if in University, do a proper study and leave the Home Cooking and Vacuum Cleaning degrees in their respective bins.

Yes, Queen Elizabeth II has died after one of the most honourable and long reigns which we probably will see no more. Seventy years, it was incredible. She, like many other families did not escape problems, no need to go into them right now, we all know it well but the seventy years did not pass by on a rosy, flower strewn path. Nevertheless, we should all be grateful for her steady, compassionate reign. Her undoubted but not spoken of, political insights, her influence in many areas of life in the UK, her call to duty. So, thank you Ma’m, rest in peace.

 In the meantime, we do have some quite large problems to attend to! Least of all the energy problem. As I have said before, our politicians, our leaders have been caught with their pants down, big time! Putting all the eggs in one basket! Did no-one view the Russian propensity for a type of aggressive politics and actions as circumspect? Did no-one think that the government, i.e Putin, could use the oil and gas card and put pressure on western governments? No? Really??? I have long said that self-sufficiency is absolutely necessary for items of strategic importance. We should already have in place a sound and working plan for energy and whether that is nuclear, wind or waves I leave for others to discuss, but instead we kept importing gas, oil and about everything else as well. We played footsie with the oil companies and gave them far too much power, a virtual stranglehold! It is the oil companies, together with corrupt politicians who have brought this planet to its virtual knees! Today we are in danger of having to say goodbye to life as a species. But not just us, we are taking with us about 95% of species alive today. Vegetation included. Not a very good epitaph, is it? It is however only one of the problems we are facing. Just watch the TV news and read some papers to see what is going on. There is a politics malaise, particularly in the UK. Rudderless non-entities shouting their mouths off across a Chamber. Thinking that is governing. It needs an overhaul of gigantic proportions. Our type of government supposedly democratic is not democratic at all. Did I have a say who is to be Prime Minister? We voted in Boris and so we will have to stick with him good or bad. Unless there would be a general election! But a cabal of grandees and other idiots did not like what they read on Twitter and decided he had to go. It should have been a countrywide decision not just 50 or so people! Well, perhaps some good may come out of it, the good Liz seems to have the measure of the opposition leader.

Sunday, 4 September 2022

The Guardian, a newspaper that guards...what exactly?

If you ever wanted to know why I dislike the lefties in this country, just read the Guardian newspaper. In one of the articles I actually read on my mobile, written by Stewart Lee, I must say I have never read such incomprehensible drivel! He obviously dislikes Boris Johnson and called him a bastard! If that is how a responsible outfit like the Guardian, left-leaning as it is, has journalists of the Stewart Lee standard, the paper needs to be rolled up and set fire to it. Besides, they need to file for bankruptcy. It was indeed one of those vile emanations from woke ultra leftie people you would see. It is sad to have to say this, this guy used the Bard’s (Shakespeare) King Lear to enhance his vitriolic attack on Boris Johnson. Even worse he said that if you voted for him or supported him you were an absolute idiot. He used another few words, best not repeated here. I know I have called people idiotic but I am sure I have never called for the use of language like that. In fact I should consider reporting this guy. He is an affront to the worthy profession of journalism. Unfortunately he is not on his own either. Quite a few are seemingly employed by the Guardian.

Well, there you go, it does show the degeneration happening in this country. The lowering of standards and morals. Anything goes and you might well wonder where this will all end? I suppose it’s all down to the use of mobiles where to be followed is all that matters and where anything goes. There are no fences, there is nothing to hold people back. And it is like all fenced areas, once they have been broken a stampede follows.

In the meantime we are all awaiting the Conservative new PM although we all also know that it will be Liz Truss. She’s sure the front-runner. But it is not over until the fat lady sings. And before you take me to court saying ‘fat lady’. It is a well-known saying in the UK. Perhaps we all should say now ‘well-endowed non-binary biped’. Are we not getting a bit fed up with all this nonsense? Who is driving this agenda? It seems to be small very loud pushy minorities. It is about time someone high up tells ‘m to shut it and go home and kick the dog instead. Oops, sorry can’t say that either anymore. So, I haven’t, it is the gnome that lives in my house. Just wondering how our friends, the Americans, deal with all this nonsense?

To finish this, I am of the opinion that Boris was wrongly got rid of. Yes, he liked a lie, he liked to have a party. The problem he had was that he didn’t think he was PM. In the position he occupied you cannot be one of the boys, you cannot forget the rules or laws you have initiated. Well, he’s gone now but I would not write him off just yet!

Saturday, 3 September 2022

Holidays over, back to the rat-race...

Holidays are over and I have returned to my keyboard! Reading and assimilating information that I did not do on the extensive sands of West Wales! Not only that but the sun kept shining and now I look like I was born in the Mediterranean! I like to observe and on the sands (beaches) I noted two things, everyone had one or even two or more! Dogs and most people were obese! Well, there you go but now back to the drawing board, so to say. 

Not very often you will read something very interesting on the left side of the newspaper feeds. But my eyes were drawn to a Guardian (a UK newspaper) feed on my mobile which was a report of what Bernie Sanders had said about the so-called ‘ruling class’ in the US. Despite the title the article was not so much about politics or the political class but about how three multi-billionaires own more dosh than half the American bottom population which it said encompassed 150 million people! That is an astounding claim but funnily enough I have been thinking for some time about the exact same problem, about this gross inequality. You might think “ Yeah look at who said it – this guy is not particularly poor himself”. True but nevertheless he is right. I suppose the three mentioned, not by name but we can all guess, thinking of Amazon, Microsoft and Meta (Facebook etc) owners. Besides that who owns Google? 

Anyway, the article initially clearly sounded leftish cr*p until you start thinking about it. I am not a socialist, I hasten to add, I abhor the leftish left. I am more of the middle-line thinking persons but this article rang a bell in the recesses of my grey matter. Because this situation crops up even in the UK as well. The UK after hundreds and hundreds of years still has a very class-ridden society. We have the aristocrats, the high earner class, the middle class and that has about three levels and the lower class. The lower class by far is the largest of them all. Just like in the States but for slightly different reasons. The money in the UK, again like in the States is mostly in the hands of the top two classes. What’s more all these get richer by the day. 

This situation is now highlighted by the enormous shift in the cost of energy! It is pretty clear the political class has been found sleeping on the job. That’s the reason also why articles like Bernie Sanders’ should ring alarm bells in the luxurious abodes of these oligarchs and their retinues! The more people arrive in the US and yes, also in the UK through immigration and birthrates in the lower classes (just look it up, there are plenty demographic reports available) the more chances there will be for the whole situation to become incendiary. I predict that will happen before 2050! If the energy situation is not resolved this could be even before 2030! In fact the article highlighted the absurd inequality that is around, even in Russia where the top echelon of society makes themselves richer by billions having usurped power and raiding the riches of that resource rich nation. Frankly, that sounds the same in the UK and US except the extremely rich have not usurped political power but nevertheless have great influence! From my perspective Bernie is absolutely correct, we do need to have a look at this absurd situation and rectify it if we want to live in a coherent and well-working world.