Posts Tagged ‘If I ran the world’

Just read an article today lamenting the cost of operations in Afgahnistan, thought to be in the region of £18bn. It’s a lot of cash. Especially on a day when they’ve released the figures on public sector pensions and how an extra £1.2bn per year needs to be found to meet the commitments. We now face strikes as they ask those earning over £15,000 to pay more in contributions. (BBC says consulations suggesting around 0.6% for those on up to around £26,000 – or a whole £156 extra a year for a final salary pension scheme, wish I could find one at that price)

A thought did occur where a considerable amount of cash dissapeared to, perhaps we should be able to ask Gordon Brown to make good the shortfall when the financial fuckwit blew all our gold reserve?

He sold 395 tons of the stuff in 1999 at an all time low price of an average $275.60/ounce. By way of comparison gold prices hit $1,628.80/ounce last week.

So how much did we lose adjusted for currencies and inflation?

Price sold at
per ounce $275.60
per ton $8,819,200.00
total sale value (395 tons) $3,483,584,000.00
convert to £ (1999 rate 0.62$ per £) £2,159,822,080.00
adjust for inflation (x1.5) £3,239,733,120.00

High Price Value
per ounce $1628.80
per ton $52,121,600.00
total sale value (395 tons) $3,483,584,000.00
convert to £ (current rate 0.61$ per £) £12,599,875,584.00
adjust for inflation (x1) £12,599,875,584.00

Total losses adjusted for inflation and exchange rate

(£12,599,875,584.00 – £3,239,733,120.00) = £9,360,142,464.00

…or to put it another way it went for 34% of it’s current value.

….or to put it another way it would cover the public sector penions contributions until 2020 without even adjusting for interest earned on it. If that was factored then it would probably make the current pensions pot sustainable.

Think on that next time Gordon claims to have saved the banking adn financial world. No wonder the treasury is so screwed.

How would you feel if someone treated your children as a lesser group of citizens? Angry?

Consider then the Scottish National Front. In their race to bleed as much cash from the oh so nasty English before they dare actually allowing a vote on Independance they’ve whacked tuition fees up to £9,000 for English students north of the border.

Whats so bad with that you may wonder, don’t we have that in English Uni’s for all students?

Well, yes. But here’s there kicker.

Scottish students still study for free. As do students from every other EU country. Except England. The problem lies with EU law. It is illegal to treat citizens from other EU countries differently from your own. What is not illegal is to treat people from within the country differently. Hence Alex Salmon* gets to put his racist hate into practise to persecute English 18 year olds trying to study.

Welcome to the racists of the 21st century. Cloaked under the age old guise of nationalism. Apparently it’s fine as long as you’re not English.

+++Updates & Correction+++
*Apologies to Mr Salmond for getting his name wrong. Spellchecker corrected. The rest stands.

I also found further examples of democratic deficit and interesting information as I looked further into Scotland. Scottish MPs can (and indeed did) vote on matters effecting solely the English, such as education discussed above. They are then able to support different decisions north of the border without a recipricol English input. (also known as the West Lothian question). Such as education for instance, in effect Scottish representatives enabled the last Westminster administration to bring in tuition fees in the first instance (whether I think this good or bad is irrelevant), then their own parliament rejected the policy for Scotland. I guess some people in the UK are more equal than others…

As a real anachronism, Scotland is the only european country to maintain a private armed force, the Atholl Highlanders. Perhaps the lead unit in the new Scottish forces following Independance?

…and just in case you missed my post following the Scottish elections

I’ve had the misfortunte to have to try and visit a Post office again. All in the name of trying to renew my passport.

My last enforced sojourn into one of the outer rings of hell involved Stockton town centres sanotorium cum post office. Thinking I would be clever this time I searched their website for an alternative. Norton, near Stockton, somewhere you can actully park within 500 miles of the door and does check and send passport service… or so it claims.

So, with a scant hour for lunch I set off thinking how can it possibly be as bad as last time?

So young and naive was I.

Parking was as expected, leading you into a false sense of optimism. Upon entry you clamber over the assualt course of the newsagents/single mothers outreach society at the front of the shop, having to venture Indiana Jones style to the darkened reaches of the Lovecraftian portal to the post office dimensions at the rear.

Being a lunch time there the usual assortment of people who can’t get there during the other 5 minutes and 30 secs of the day they deign to open. So of course everyone has to collect the benefits at that time as well. I say benefits but really I mean our taxes. Which cheers me up even further.

This must of course be the one day every decade that the place is busy at this time, else they would put staff on to support the deaf and blind octagenarian demon who holds dominion here seeking to prevent anything touching the pristine world of the shelves behind her. I narrowly avoid turning to a pillar of salt as she scowls at my barely concealed chuckles as she attends to the innocent looking chap. Obviously some depraved pervert from her expression. He wants to send not one but 3 large parcels. She at first tries to force them through 2 hatches that would stop an Al Quaeda trained ferret, finally giving up and just opening the door to let them in.

She then turns comedy into farce as she abandons all pretence of security by leaving the door open and heading to the other end of the shop to get the scales she forgot earlier.

My turn finally comes 30 minutes after arriving, so first she has to check whether they do indeed to check and send, carefully ascertaining whether she can call the national post office website a liar to make it harder. Then grudgingly she admits they do it and grumpily demands my documents. She scours them minutely to triumphantly declare my visage is no longer alike enough to my previous passport to allow my application without a countersignatory. I respond “funny, passport control didn’t have a problem last time I travlled on it”, which she easily and deftly trumps with, “ah, but if I let it through they could send it back and it would then be our fault!”

I ponder this for a moment, realising they can always shift the reponsibility to the customer this way, then ask “How many check and sends do you ever allow through without a countersignatory?”

She refuses to answer, but the twinkle in her eye and the knowing smile tell it all.

Sunk again….

“Next….”

Sorry no other way of saying it really.

Geoff BuffHoon was about the most unpopular Defence Secretary in modern times. He was inept to put it mildly. He also awarded massive defence contract in 2005 to Monolithic Global merchants of death Augusta Westland to the tune of some £1,700,000,000. Not unusual you might say, the forces have to buy their kit somewhere. What was unusual was that no other company was invited to bid… Amazingly the national archive webpage containing some of those details appears to no longer be up… But thank google for it’s cache! you can see a small part here

Forward to 2010. Hoon is one of the highly principled Labour ministers caught on tape whoring themselves out for a few grand. Ministers in the mother of parliaments indeed.

Anyway, rather than get humiliated at the ballot box, he clung on in there on MPs expenses to the bitter end, suckling at the teat of public money for as long as possible, before denying the public a chance to pass verdict on him.

So where did he immediately head to once unemployed? Well, would you like to guess who has just joined Augusta Westland in an “international role”?

I suppose he is following a well troden path. the Sunlight centre registered this complaint in 2009

In March 2005 when Sir Kevin Tebbit was the permanent secretary the Defence Secretary at the time Geoff Hoon issued a statement announcing the MOD’s intention to let Augusta Westland build the future Lynx fleet of army helicopters.The decision was also made not to invite bids from other companies.Mr Hoon also said that ‘other key partners’ would include Smith industries in Cheltenham.Sir Kevin left the MOD in November 2005 and the final contract agreeing the price was signed off by the Treasury in May 2006.A month later in June 2006 Sir Kevin was signed up by the Smiths board.Then in May 2007 he was asked to be a chairman of Finmeccanica, the company which owns AugustaWestland in July 2007.

But of course it was always about making sure our forces had the best kit…

You corrupt evil lying bastards. People died because you were too busy lining your nest rather than supplying the things they needed to fight your wars.

Sometimes, I really do want to believe there’s a heaven. Because that means there’s a hell waiting for scum like this.

Another good piece here

OK, little bit of boredom and reading through a slow news day which still has the now daily whinings of some sector or other facing some cuts in public spending – that is the spending of money taken from us and spent how someone else sees fit.

So just how fit are they at deciding how to spend?

The numbers defy comprehension a lot of the time. I think that is part of the problem, we cannot get our heads around the billions being sloshed around the public coffers. So I though an intersting exercise would be to relate to a figure we can understand. The average national wage.

According to the 2010-2011 budget UK accounts looked something like this

Total Income £548,000,000,000
Total spending £697,000,000,000
Public Borrowing £149,000,000,000
Interest Paid on Public debt £43,000,000,000
Total Public debt £875,800,000,000
Total public debt including financial bailout commitments £2,252,000,000,000

and the a forecast of cuts to the public sector of £6,200,000,000

So if we relate income to a wage or income of £26,000 we find that in the year 2010/2011 we planned to

  • Planned to spend £33,069.34p
  • that we already owe £41,552.55p (or if we take the bank liabilities into account that we owe £106,846.72p)
  • and we plan to borrow another £7,069.34p despite the fact we are paying £2,040.15p in interest a year already.
  • But to fight this state of financial mismanagement we are planning massive cuts of £294.16p to our spending.
  • Try as I might, I just cannot see how this is right? Any business run on these lines would be bankrupt. Not sure even Ocean Finance would touch the UK at this point…

    Since another lying thief is off to Her Majesties Pleasure I thought a quick round up was in order – Just in case you forgot any!

    Latest in the dock. Elliot Morley. This convicted liar and thief who stole over £30,000 from you. When first challenged he stated it had been a “genuine mistake” and would seek to prove that he was not guilty of deception. Funny then that he pleaded guilty?

    Prioir to that particular thief we had David Chaytor. Who again when first challenged denied he had done anything wrong, but when confronted in court of his crimes, including the forged documentation he supplied to support his theft pleaded guilty. He then had the barefaced cheek to try and get his sentence reduced. Result? Currently serving 18 months for stealing over £18,000

    Eric Illsley again at first denied he had done anything wrong since the;

    lax Commons allowances were designed to “supplement” the income of politicians.

    He then went on to plead guilty and is now doing a year at her majesties pleasure.

    My personal favourite Labour MP, Jim Devine, even went on channel 4 to proclaim his innocence in one of the best tv suicides in history. Again he denied he had done anything wrong, and even tried to pin it on his office manager, to whom he still owes £35,000 in compensation the employment tribunal awarded for his behaviour.

    He got 16 months for his lying and theiving.

    Former Conservative peer Lord Taylor, also made it into this select group of thieves, thought stealing £12,000 of our money was “in lieu of salary”. Obviously a tricky one to understand for a man who qualified as a barrister, whether forging documents and lying to obtain money you were not entitled to was stealing?

    So 5 down.

    Some other notable cases you may feel should have followed their esteemed colleagues to a cell…

    Jackie Smith, of porn film fame (no, not that sort of fame..urgh!) managed to get away with over £100,000 by fiddling homes allowances with her sister

    Harriet “man hater” Harman again did the well trodden routine of denying she had crashed a car whilst talking on a phone and refused to give her details at he scene of the crash after all, as she said at the time to witnesses

    “I’m Harriet Harman, you know where you can get me.”

    Of course come the day in court the QC, ex-privy council member and a former solicitor general. pleaded guilty, proving she had lied before.

    Every case that has come before a court they plead guilty, just as when first challenged they denied everything. Lying shits, every one of them. Hell Chaytor even used bloggers as part of his call for a reduced sentence since;

    The sentence also failed to take into account the public vilification Chaytor had been subjected to in some quarters of the media, and particularly in the blogosphere.

    “Calls for his death, pictures of him mocked up being hung – it really was quite a horrendous time,” said his representative

    Really? Was it really upsetting? Did he cry like a lying thieving baby caught with their hand in the till? If he did I demand photos, so at least I can have some to cheer me up when I think of all the cash these bastards stole from us. At least we can get some moneys worth out of them.

    and yes I’m still waiting for the first one to jump off a bridge. I think it’d deserve a pint to celebrate.

    Anyway, Mrs Spider arranged a week away from the madness of everyday life to a quiet cottage retreat (which was fantastic), allowing me to calm down for a while. Now we’re back and I’ve had to go back to work and made the mistake of reading the news.

    Making the news today was the aftermath of the “protest” in London village over the weekend. Well, they say protest, more like a parade of those with a vested interest in taking your money and deciding what to do with it.

    First up were the trade unions, those fine organisations still battling to repeal the corn laws and save chimney sweeps I think. Certainly not political organisations who protect the idle and incompetent whilst previously profiting from massive government handouts in the form of the union modernisation fund, which spookily corelated to the donation they made to the Labour party – their de facto bought and paid for government in waiting, managed like fiefdoms by their own special brand of hypocritical fatcats

    Then all the Public servants, well again I say servants when what we really mean is those who would like to decide how we can live, those who decide you must register a childs name immediately so it can be taxed and indoctrinated, those who take your earnings by threat of force without any contract stating the minimum you can expect in return, those who pensions you pay for as well as your own, those who decide what you should eat, what you should drink, what you should drive, what you can read and that everyone should become a compliant slave reliant on state handouts they control…those who ensure they get a slice of what you can get in return for supplying your skills.. except for them of course, they are entitled to those expenses, and how dare you want to look at how they spend your money.

    Or the very comfortable leader of UKuncut, whose wealthy family enabled him to profit from his 1st from Oxford and now suckles at the teat of public cash running a theatre. Guess he won’t be hoping for any of the £40million that the Fortnum and Masons owners donated to charity and the arts last year then, or the events they organise….

    Even the police, whom I’m sure do their best at the frontline, but there’s never a vested interest to ensure trouble illustrates oh so well the need for the continued levels of police funding, and they really must have BMWs and Mercs and not those nasty cheap Vauxhalls…..

    …and lastly with supreme irony the So called Anarchists who are protesting at the threatened reduction in the state via spending cuts. Surely a smaller government was what they wanted?

    If you don’t like it then there’s the real world waiting for you. You know the one where you have to actually produce stuff at work and justify your job? Where if you are able to get on and still slack off at least I am not forced to pay for it if I choose not to.

    …and don’t tell me I don’t know what the public sector was like. I managed 12 months in the depressing sinkhole of nepotism and cack-handedness, and felt like battering some idle jobsworth pretty much every single day.

    So everyones favourite retirement home for poorly terrorists continues to descend into a quagmire of chaos and lunacy courtesy of Middle East Peace Envoy, Tony Blairs favourite north African hugging partner.

    Meanwhile, one of the worlds largest producers of bullshit, the UN, continues it’s apologist handwringing debacle as to whether it should do anything other than write a terse note asking the resident African nutjob fascist dictator and ex-chair of the Human Rights Commisson to please stop killing his population?

    Dave C and his buddy Billy Hague wade into the fray, casting themselves as defenders of liberty and open democracy (as long as you don’t want to see their expenses thank you so very much), except their keenness to show the big boys in the US that we can still come out to play in the proposed no-fly zone is somewhat hampered by the fact that WE DON’T HAVE ANY CARRIERS OR CARRIER AIRCRAFT CAPABLE OF DOING THE JOB, and it’s quite a long way to the nearest friendly airfield.

    In fact like everyone in the public services the Nimrod R1s are going to have to work a little bit longer before they can retire just so we can take pictures of Gadaffi murdering people.

    You fucking idiots.

    Sorry, but it needed saying.

    +++UPDATE+++
    They are just pouring salt into a festering wound today aren’t they?

    Whilst we have elected officials managing to show as much disrespect to our armed forces as possible, we also have a government which seems intent on crippling them.

    The recent Defence Review seems almost suicidal in its decisions. We have helicopters and reconnaissance aircraft being cut in favour of low level bombers, compounded with reductions in our ability for defence posturing overseas by the delay and mothballing of our replacement carrier capability. Not to mention the 100% capability shortfall in our capacity to operate combat air patrols for fleets at sea.

    I simply cannot foresee what type of strategic planning our pitifully small number of low level fighter bombers could be useful in? Designed for a cold war where they had to penetrate Russian defended airspace they are now an asset without a cause. In any serious total war scenario they are too few in number, and largely superfluous given the ICBM capability for nuclear counter attack, and now becoming obselete as a defence force with the advent of the Typhoon. Far more useful, flexible and deployable would be an expanded helicopter fleet backed up with an intelligence and reconnaissance capability. This is about the only part of the defence review I do whole heartedly agree with. The Nimrod fleet was vastly over budget, delayed and based on the Comet airframe! Similar equipment could easily have designed into and mounted on a more recent Boeing or airbus airframe without the expensive requirement for bespoke parts required for upkeep. Even better, mount this on AUV platforms for increased endurance, reach and stealth. By way of comparison the MRA4 has cost around £4.1bn for one airworthy aircraft which we have now trashed – compare that with around £1.75bn for a new space shuttle.

    The reduction in carriers and helicopters is almost unforgivable at the strategic planning level. The US Navy describe the big Nimitz class carriers “4.5 acres of sovereign and mobile American territory” And essentially that what a carrier is. It is more than the simple organic fleet protection capability. It is more than being able to control the airspace of the littoral without any host nation support, it is even more than the ability to loiter of a coast as an aid to diplomatic discussions .It is sovereign territory that you can use an airfield, receiving station, accommodation, evacuation point and command platform. It can flex muscle without committing to a war. It’s presence alone is a negotiating tool that does not require UN resolutions, and allows the pre-staging of men and equipment in safe, secure and above all British territory.

    The reach of the carrier is in the helicopter force accompanying it. And these Helos are simply so versatile they are esential for modern forces. They allow troops to avoid ambush laden dangerous road trips, or give commanders the ability to rapidly reorganise or deploy forces to wield them to best effect. They give the capability to quickly and efficiently move large quantities of kit or people without the need for specialist infrastructure. Such as in a civilian evacuation, as we’ve seen before

    Now I can’t imagine where one of those might come in useful?

    All of this, to ensure the RAF has a reason for existing. Madness.

    So from Wikileaks (via the Beeb) it now appears we released a mass murderer because it was politically and economically expedient.

    That’s not what I find most distatseful about the affair, it’s that we all knew why they did it, yet they lied about the reasons,they lied about having 90 days to live, they lied it was basically all down to money, and they lied about capitulating to pressure from the paragon of human rights that is Gadaffis regime.

    Weak willed sycophants.


    … and counting. Shows what a scottish doctors forecast is worth.

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