Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Retail Detail

Is it just me? I went to Pets At Home at the weekend. I appreciate that often there is a not a huge amount of competition regarding pet supplies (well not if you need mixed corn and layers pellets as well as Bakers Complete), so a certain disregard can creep in to a retailer, but does it have to just be a warehouse? It isn't of course, its a standard retail estate unit of barn like proportions, but really it is a riot of brightly coloured (why?) toys and packaging of pet foods stacked high.

But most annoying of all (and it is an absolute rule with this shop) fully half of the people in the store will be queuing at the till. How do they manage that? And then as you put down a myriad of items they ask you 'did you find everything you wanted?' Now this either infers that you are pretty stupid in the shopping department, their store is spectacularly badly laid out so it is highly likely that you would struggle or they are giving you an opportunity to say 'well actually...' because you were too timid to ask otherwise, as you thought it might hurt their feelings.

But. But, if you wanted say a bell shaped parrot treat that you have seen before but couldn't find today and you say so at this entreaty, they usually just drone 'no, we haven't got any of those left'. Excellent, thank you for just giving me a glimmer of hope there, only to dash it by proving that the empty space on the shelf did actually mean that you hadn't got any, as I originally supposed.

They are usually sweet kids in the store and don't mean any harm and the stupid question clearly isn't their idea, so you can't maintain a rage about it all. Just a dread of going back.

The Euro

Governments, if they want you to know anything at all, will try to make sure that your view is from the perspective of their choice. Hence there is a 'eurozone crisis' but it is being dealt with. But there isn't really a eurozone crisis is there? There most certainly is a crisis in the eurozone, but it is an EU crisis, because that is the root cause.

Having a single currency across multiple countries was never going to work (and the eurocrats knew it, they just thought it would cause the countries to succumb to EU hegemony, such as they now are), just as countries have in the past tied their currency to the dollar and then couldn't sustain it.

The crisis is that the EU doesn't work, that the rules and regulations it spouts are just about political control and power and not good sense or even reality, but that they will not stop. It is like suggesting that it was the bullets and shells that were to blame for the Second World War, not the ideology and mental derangement of Adolf Hitler.

The EU doesn't work. It is as simple as that and the toy we have tolerated for so long is now dangerous and threatening us all. Our baby crocodile is no longer the entertaining plaything it may once have been supposed. The EU doesn't work and it won't stop. It has the power of a USSR and the ideology of the Nazi party and just like those it seeks to grab land, to build an empire. Who will stop it? It has been likened to the Emperor with no clothes, but it is not a fairy tale, it is a dangerous, warlike entity, that may soon have to decide what to do when denied its 'due'. Just as Hitler did, when he decided it was 'Poland next'.

What if Greece or Portugal, or Ireland decide that they don't want to allow the EU to buy their country, to invade with their bailout armies, what will they do? Will they accept it or fight it?

It's The Stupid Economy

If you read the papers (in paper or online) you get bombarded with all sorts of figures about the economy. Slight recovery, manufacturing doing better than expected, double-dip recession on the way, euro going to pot. Are we slowly but steadily getting out of the mess Labour left (with a generous hand from their friends, the bankers), just as The Little Engine That Could? Or are we mired in a self feeding depression from which the sides are too steep?

Well, as even 'Eyebrows' Darling said when he was financial liar in chief after Brown (apparently) gave it up, it is the private sector that is to drag us out of the recession and grow the economy back to strength. Not the public sector then? The sector that absorbed most of the extra money Labour borrowed to give Britain an imaginary 'good time'. No, because the public sector is a drain on an economy, not a useful part.

Some jobs have to be done centrally, by this 'public sector' such as policing, emptying the bins, doctors; you can identify which because the authorities will be loudly shouting about them, as they cut them back. To 'save money.' The jobs you won't hear being cut back will be the drugs outreach workers and the lesbian and gay carnival organisers and the white line monitors and translation services. Local and national bodies will not stop refurbishing their offices or building new ones. Or awarding their 'executives' pay rises.

Then there are the Quango's. Quasi Autonomous Non Governmental Organisations. Unfortunately a bad idea from the Thatcher years, to distance government from unpalatable decisions. If the Quango was responsible for implementing some necessary but much disliked service, then the Ministers could hold up their hands and say 'nothing to do with us'. Except, who gave the Quango the power and who pays for and backs those decisions? Oh, yes.

Quangos like Ofgem to watch energy companies and the Independent Police Complaints Commission are useful bodies of course, if they would actually do their job, which currently they are not. But do you realise that we pay for a Quango called the Potato Council? Do you buy potatoes as a result of their wise words? Or ever looked at their website? What possible reason could there be for a potato council?

No, councils and central government don't need to 'cut back on services', they need to stop wasting money. They need to stop doing things we don't need them to do. Labour may have opened the UK's borders and ignored immigration both illegal and otherwise, but the influx of people who cannot speak English is a real issue. Government services, desperate to spend as much taxpayers money as possible (these people in the main of course are kindred spirits, as they are a drain on society too), employ armies of translators, thus alleviating any need on the part of these 'guests', to learn the language of the country they have chosen to descend on.

If you could not get access to services without knowing the language, or paying for translation yourself, then guess what. Most wouldn't come (particularly if the only outcome of the first -translated- conversations is to establish what level of benefits they will receive). That is a not unreasonable expectation.

And there you have it. An out of control, over-mighty government, bequeathed with a massive debt by the authoritarian regime of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, the Laurel and Hardy of politics. It has left us with empty coffers but plenty of people still demanding, with none of them contributing. To grow an economy you need to understand an economy and you have to want to serve the nation and its people, not just inherit the style and swagger of the snake oil salesman.

Cut the waste, maintain the services the people want and pay for. Cut taxes so people can help industry grow by buying its products and get tough on parasites. A major underlying reason we had rioting recently was probably because, deep down, these people realise they may be in the last chance saloon. That their friend and mentor, Tony has gone and the replacement may not always be inclined to be as stupid.

Friday, 26 August 2011

How Ideology Destroys

Ideology is the dangerous moment someone decides that their idea is correct, in every way, perfect. There is no shifting them and yet it is still only an idea. A way of thinking or of doing things. For instance, ideology told Gordon Brown that he should sell much of the UK's gold reserve. Gold was he said, old hat. This notion that wealth runs to gold in times of crisis was an ancient and out of date concept.

Not only had Brown ended the boom and bust cycle, his ideology told him, thus making crises a thing of the past, but also economic theories such as he cleaved to, proved that currency not gold provided stability. So, after announcing the sale in advance, thus driving down the price of gold, Brown achieved a remarkably small price for a large slice of the nation's treasure. With the proceeds he bought bits of paper, mainly Euro's. Brown had passed 'Go'.

It is of course difficult to think of a single thing on which Brown was correct, but allied to his own limited abilities was the fact that he based everything around a misguided ideology. Reality had to fit around what he thought should happen. Which is why gold stands at $1,777 an ounce and the Eurozone looks like a game of Monopoly and Brown says nothing in public, just sitting at home in a chair, I should imagine, rocking back and forth saying 'I'm right you know, I'm right'.

In 1847 Ignaz Semmelweiss told surgeons in Vienna that they should wash their hands before treating patients. They were outraged. This had never been forced on them before and they could see no reason to do it now. While the experiment lasted though, mortality rates dropped like a stone. But they still got rid of the upstart. Ideology rules.

For people who would have been hippies in the 1960's, the idea that humans are destroying the planet is a powerful and beautiful idea (most forcefully displayed in all its stupid inelegance, in the monster waste of time and effort that is the film Avatar).It didn't matter if it was true or not, it fitted want they wanted to believe, their prejudices. It was an ideology. The irony is though, that they think humans can solve the planet's ills. Some even believe that we should use our technology to actually change the world's weather, to counter the affects their ideology (and nothing much else) tells them we are causing.

Ideology has the (usually quite well off, Western) hero wistfully observing, maybe from a train whilst enjoying a slice of Black Forest gateau, a peasant in a paddy field, bent over pushing rice plants into the ground, ankle deep in muddy water. Here, our sated saint feels, is the 'noble peasant' asking for nothing more than a small plot on which to grow a meagre supply of rice to feed his family. He has honour in the way his toil provides for his family.

The peasant of course, glances up as the train clatters by and answers 'piss off you bastard, this is back breaking work that barely keeps us alive. I want what you have'.

Eurozone? Danger Zone

Everyone who wasn't an involved politician pointed out that setting up a European currency couldn't work, at the outset. There was no central control ('there will be baby, there will be' said the politicians) so individual countries did their individual thing tied to a currency set at a level that suited Germany. They were the bankers of this European project (or suicide pact) after all.

In the background was the potential for upset with their neighbour, the French, with each having already threatened war if the other does not step aside on the issue of who actually runs the EU. But the most important problem was the difficulties facing nations that were not Germany. Like Brown in the UK, most Treasuries around Europe decided to ignore fiscal reality and hope the mess they could clearly see would somehow, miraculously sort itself out. Or that daddy Germany would bail them out.

Britain had stayed out of the Euro project and Labour made great claims for their skill in this respect, with Balls and Brown both claiming it was they and they alone who understood and foresaw the problems. Naturally, Labour wanted in desperately and only fear of the people at the polls held them back. Power after all was their exclusive reason for being there and their drug.

So having retained some ability to control our own destiny, we could watch the Eurozone slowly melt. It is clear now that the fecklessness of Greece in particular was due to Greek politicians feeling that all responsibility had been removed from their shoulders and so they just partied. Hard. Similarly, Ireland, Spain and Portugal all came to dislike the EU when the subsidies dried up.

The answer to the current crisis (entirely of their own making) in the minds of EU politicians is to seize control of all Eurozone countries, to run them from the centre. But what centre? Germany has been providing the money but the French feel that they are uniquely gifted in the art of running things and it cannot be foreseen that they would let German hegemony reign in a United Europe, in the final creation of the the new USSR.

So now, I fear we have the horrific confluence of economic instability, power grabs over sovereign nations and the old argument over who should run Europe. This is a mighty driver for a new European war, instigated by the usual suspects France and Germany. And in this regard, the recent rise in militaristic activity by the French is alarming. Their military equipment development has been accelerating and they have been aggressively showing it off to the world, partly to achieve international sales, but also for martial display. This is a clear signal of a nation that thinks it may face a challenge and that has steeled itself for conflict.

The EU has been seen, particularly in Britain as a silly bauble, a corrupt group of, in the main, useless politicians playing a grand game of Risk. They could be left alone to their big salaries, pensions, subsidised shopping and all the other contrivances that they have created, emulating the power clique of the old Soviet Union and its two class system; the powerful and the workers. But it is a dangerous construct and these people, so long treated as children to be ignored have built a monster.

The days of lazy politicians are over and yet that is still all we have. Is the luxury of our Titanic about to meet the colossal dead weight of the EU iceberg? Is the status of Alsace-Lorraine once more of concern in the minds of stupid, but powerful people? Britain could be the country to bring the world to its senses, having seen it all before. But that would require a politician of Churchillian proportions and last time I looked we have only something less than Chamberlains.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

HP Tablet

The wind whistles round the shelves and warehouses that once housed stocks of HP tablets. It was a deal too good to miss of course. HP seem to be committed to maintaining the Apps so interesting times. Strange that some of the accessories appear to be quite expensive compared to the radical price drop on the tablet itself. Surely not an attempt to minimise loss? After dropping the main product to just 25% of its original price! Is the induction charger worth a third of the price of the tablet!?

What else is HP sitting on that they want to get rid of? Laptops? Desktops? iPAQs? What? The desperation feels deadly yet friendly, like shark infested custard.

Customer Service Comes From The Heart

I have purchased an item from Dixons which was faulty on arrival so a replacement is awaited. In the meantime I have had some contact with what passes for Customer Service at Dixons. I shan't go into detail at this time as I am planning, once the replacement proves to be OK to contact someone at the company in a senior position, in an effort to see if changes can be made. It seems to be out of control, disconnected and far too rigid and bureaucratic in operation. It has been designed to serve the company not the customer.

Blimey, this company is in such a good place at the moment, to plan for the future and seize the present but seems to have allowed itself to become becalmed and limp. It doesn't need radical, it just needs focus and a little passion.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Not HP

It seems the company known as HP (Hewlett Packard as was) has decided on a very different strategic direction than the one taken currently. In future HP will not make PC and suchlike products, something they do an awful lot of at present.

Naturally this announcement sent the share price crashing and I don't see what else the bosses thought would happen. The twin questions  I suppose are; why are you doing this and as to the future course in large systems, what is this based on? If you aren't known in that sector particularly, surely you build a new business sector first and then perhaps, move away from something that you see as a failing business.

As an immediate reaction their tablet product has been price slashed with PC World/Currys reducing the base product from £400 to £90. It will worry people about support going forwards, but I would say, at that price what support will you miss? I doubt there will be a large amount of stock around though!

You have to say, the after shocks of a recession are sometimes strange, but make interesting reading. What would you predict for the next surprise announcement? Lego to make pet food?

Monday, 22 August 2011

Well, I Never Knew That

The Mail reports that a deep, cold current in the Atlantic has been found that would make the effects of climate change less severe. What this actually means of course is that the know-it-all, the-science-is-settled brigade once again find something they didn't previously know. The other thing they are not too clear on is why the planet goes through periodic cycles of rising and falling temperatures. Any new spike (or dip) will be due to humans though.

Not for discernible, scientifically provable reasons, but to fit with an ideology. An ideology that has been further warped by the far left who wish to destroy capitalism (because it keeps proving them wrong) and people like Al Gore who just want to get rich on the back of a phoney scare.

Is the climate changing? We don't know. If it is, what's causing it? We don't know. Should we stop pumping so much crap into the air? Yes we should.


So the opponents of the Gaddafi regime are in Tripoli, have taken hold of members of the ruling family and it looks like the game may soon be up. The West will be relieved, as the possibility of Gaddafi hanging on haunted them for a while.

But who are the people taking control of Libya? Cameron crows on behalf of Britain that the time is up for yet another Middle Eastern dictator, the suggestion being that 'the people' have risen up against him and a stable, liberal democracy will obviously follow. But what we are seeing all over the world is the real damage colonialism did. Forced by changing concepts of national behaviour, countries such as Britain pulled out of their 'empire' and handed control back to the people living there.

Some, such as the Belgians in the Congo had to be forced to leave. But too often the idiot liberals, so sure of a national right to exist for these foreigners, imposed national boundaries on them. These made-up countries had little allegiance to the nation state they were handed. Palestine, the nation that has never existed, established a claim and places such as Saudi Arabia and Nigeria were given boundaries, enclosing tribes under a state government. Iraq of course, is a tragedy we set in train and have again revisited with more pain.

And the power struggles have simmered and festered for decades. But so dim are these people who know best and rule because of it, that they are now setting up the balkanised state of Europe. It is using a disaster to create the political solution a few politicians desire and putting in place the seeds of major disasters of the future. The EU should be dismantled with all haste.

Britain should lead this Europe-saving drive as we have done, more than once in the past. Those who oppose the EU are referred to as 'Eurosceptics' as if they feel that some things may not be quite right, but overall it is basically sound. Well I am not a Eurosceptic; I oppose it wholeheartedly in the same way and for the same reasons that I disagree with anyone who says 2+2=5.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011


I see George Soros (doesn't he sound like a Bond villain?) says that Greece and Portugal should abandon the Euro and leave the EU. Well, despite being obvious these suggestions coming from Soros must be considered seriously. Soros is someone you must listen to when talking about big capitalist stuff, this is a subject he is good at. The man makes big money.

He is also a socialist, having clear views that the world's ills could be solved if other people redistributed their wealth. A man who was quite happy to cause immense grief and suffering to ordinary people here in the UK, to make himself a billion dollars. That he drove us out of the ERM was actually a good thing, so maybe it was our own fault and we should watch our politicians more closely.

But he is right again. No country would suffer from being out of the EU ultimately. The poor ones will be destroyed by it, the rich denuded. We are told that for Britain to leave would be selfish, a little Englander move, but we are only in the EU because of the selfishness of a few politicians. In fact, by pulling out we would help ourselves, but also directly the other EU nations, it would only hurt the politicians. Which seems a good enough reason to do it in itself, surely?

Monday, 15 August 2011

Cameron Gimmicks?

The Leader of the Opposition has accused the Prime Minister of a knee jerk reaction to the riots and of suggesting gimmicks instead of proper policy. I expect whoever writes his speeches had done that one some time ago; Miliband does have a habit of saying vaguely relevant things as his view of events. He was just waiting for that vague connection to unleash it.

A modern politician suggesting gimmicks? It is the same as saying dogs breathe. What Cameron says doesn't hugely excite, unless his sudden lurch into the territory of a Conservative becomes real and permanent. But the absolute rubbish being spouted by Labour is almost unbelievable.

Miliband comes from a party that, in power actually thought their gimmicks were policy. They had no regard for the outcome of their actions and broke the law when they felt like it, requiring acquiescence from those who should have acted. The riots are the result of years of left-liberal pandering and Labour carelessness after all.

Policing Back To Normal

A small, white, unmarked van has just driven down my street and put an 'untaxed vehicle' sticker on the windscreen of a car. Technically of course, it is an offence and as I pay mine so should others, but it just feels a bit like persecution. Were these police officers (they were just wearing unmarked yellow waistcoats as far as I could see), or some other branch of officialdom out merely to maximise the revenue take?

A bit like my 'late submission' of a tax form that I am currently struggling with. A fine has been applied needless to say and whilst I was a bit close I did send it in just in time. They say I was seven days late (not seven working days, seven real days). This I assume is either the Royal Mail not meeting the time-scales expected of first class post, or much more likely, the sloth at the tax office. Here, it has been admitted, they have been keen to throw post away rather than deal with it. But the state feels entitled to lift £100 in these circumstances; in fact extremely keen to do so.

Naturally I intend to take this to a tribunal, as the state is far too used to bullying those it thinks weak (the law abiding) and ignoring the law breakers or their own failings. I shall also ask if they can point out which law specifically allows the imposition of a fine, thus specifically replacing the 1689 Bill of Rights, a constitutional Act of Parliament.

Meanwhile my son, attempting to register for Jobseekers Allowance has waited two weeks without any contact and when chasing it up gets passed from pillar to post by people who haven't the faintest idea how to do their job, much less care. He now has an appointment to see someone at the end of the third week, so we wait to see if they attempt to keep the honest off the benefits system whilst supporting the feckless. Too many state employees are unemployed salary-takers.

Friday, 12 August 2011


Whilst Miliband (Ed) is a weapons grade pillock, his recent observation, (though actually trying to shift blame), that bankers and politicians are part of the reason for broken Britain is partially correct. Bankers assumed the arrogant stance they did because they believed they were allowed to. Self first, a mantra that the Blair years were filled with.

But you need to get the context right. The rot started with the lies. Blair lied to his party to become its leader, he lied to the people about his intentions in power and he demonised the Tories, through endless lies to make his party electable and to try to make the Tories unelectable. In power he spent his time accruing power and money for himself, careless as to the quality of legislation passed, or what his scurrying infestation were up to, the cabal of ne'er do wells around him.

They set about destroying Britain, its culture and the very fabric of society with their idiotic ideas of human relationships. Through Political Correctness any counter was thwarted with the childish notion 'you can't say that.' This New Labour project was a terrible infection that we failed to identify. It spread the idea that the individual was supreme, that no one can tell you what to do, as if this was the ultimate 'free society'. In fact the objective was the break down of traditional norms that this nihilistic approach would deliver. Then, the left would take more power, to control.

Yes bankers had contracts to be paid huge bonuses whether they succeed or fail, the police insisted that pursuing a revenue driven campaign against the middle class because it was easy was just as important as chasing murderers. The prevention of crime however, was not a concern of theirs. Politicians became convinced of their immense importance and felt entitled to have their homes bought and furnished at our expense and that profits from the sale of properties we bought belonged to them.

The police are useless because of the same attitude of importance and lack of control. The senior officers just had to please the politicians, not do their jobs properly. For goodness sake, the head of the Army medical services wrote to a national newspaper to say that the army did not need casualty evacuation helicopters and certainly not one's equipped with a winch. So soldiers die unnecessarily but he can prove to his masters that he helps keep a lid on spending (except in his office I suspect).

These are the results of this creed of self importance that the Blair government promoted and certainly lived by. For the feral kids it fitted nicely with their gang culture and has led to the wanton looting of recent days. Miliband and all his ilk should have the decency to hide under a stone. I can't imagine they will ever issue a mea culpa or apologise.

This is not right wing theorising, it is an analysis of the results of the 'experiment' conducted by left-liberals. To try to see it any other way is to claim that blue and yellow do not make green. You do this, this happens; cause and effect.

It's A Deep Infection

I'm not sure if there was some aspect of 'best behaviour' about politicians on QT last night, but for as long as I could stand to watch it even Prescott wasn't being a dunderhead. Nope, we left that to the pretty little things in the audience. I heard several young, well dressed, white girls trot out the stuff most people grow out of such as 'that these people who are already disadvantaged will be made worse by taking away their benefits' and that 'it is funny how riots always happen under the Tories'. (Possibly, and so does austerity. It is called 'cleaning up the mess Labour leave')

I remember the lovely girls at school, deeply concerned about world issues, save everyone, stop the killing and other adolescent chants. That is all they are of course, chants. These people have no idea what they are saying and don't really care, they have the moral high ground (in their opinion) and that makes their view unassailable.

Clearly, welfare dependency has created this problem, but instead of debate, we get political point scoring. It is the same in science now; theories that an entrenched group want to believe cannot be challenged. It is against some new moral law they have thought up. A paper today carried a headline about left and right blaming each other for the riots, for instance. But without anyone noticing, Jo Frost (aka Supernanny) regularly shows on our television sets that children given consistent, strong discipline, clear rules and boundaries become much better behaved and much nicer people. Heck, even the children are happier with their new life.

But, Oh My Divine Being who doesn't exist as every leftie knows, this cannot be translated to the looters. They need understanding, more money, help, a channel for their anger. They must be allowed to find their own way, have their own identity, any piffle as long as we don't address the issue of their amoral behaviour (oops, judgemental) and criminality.

My biggest annoyance with all this though is the reaction to what happened on our streets. It is an outrage, but it is just an explosion; we have ignored the slow burn. These feral animals cause fear and wretched lives on the estates they live on, on a daily basis, but we don't care do we? There are doubtless many decent people who live on these estates, who lead blameless lives but are blighted by these thugs. They live in fear, surrounded by strutting arrogant beasts who make existing a miserable experience for many others.

We hear about clamp downs on 'anti-social' behaviour every so often, but the politicians and the senior police have no idea what it actually amounts to and they certainly don't do anything meaningful about it. The police are fully aware though of the nature and scale of the gang culture and how it has thrived on the estates they run. Because the police have pulled out. The gangs run these areas because the police let them and they do so for one reason and one reason only, cowardice.

To be fair, the police have had no political back up, with Labour politicians ready to hang them out to dry if they attempt to infringe on the 'rights' of the gangs. But in matters of criminality they can act, but by being social workers first and backing away they allowed the culture to grow, now they are scared to face the monster they permitted free rein. So let us take the 'small complaints' seriously, let's evict those who make others' lives a misery, take away their benefits.

It is a deep and infected wound, but there is no argument between left and right. It is now clear and proven that the policies and practices of the bleeding heart left liberals have unleashed a feral mob on us and it is time to deal with it. We do what Jo Frost says and we act to stop this malaise and, amazingly give some life and hope to these deserted youngsters, set adrift by Labour and its misguided, dangerous ideas. Power to the people, not the criminals. Even if this does upset Labour and some stuck-in-adolescence air-head girlies.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Latest From The IPCC

The slow drip feed of information about the shooting of Mark Duggan continues. An insult to the intelligence of a tapeworm, but that is how they choose to do it. We now know that the police opened fire first and that Mark was killed by a single police bullet and another round hit a police officer. Mark had a gun that was converted to be able to fire live ammunition. He was shot during an anti guns operation.

No one can take issue with the police attempting to deal with gun crime. There is no issue with the police firing first. This is not some kind of duel or Western shootout. If the police can see a danger to life they should negate it immediately. They do not need to wait until someone is shot as proof they should shoot a gunman.

However, questions remain. In this 'planned' operation with 'trained' armed police involved, why exactly did they choose to confront Mark whilst in a taxi? In the street? With the driver still in his seat? From the IPCC we gather the beloved MP5 was again the weapon of choice, for an arrest operation that I'm guessing would be designed to be carried out at a range of 6 to 10 feet? (MP5 range: at least 650 feet). And these trained police officers no doubt assumed the tactical deployment we see when shown it on the TV, of standing either side of the vehicle. Directly opposite. Thus enabling them to shoot each other. When are the IPCC going to address these issues? When are they going to insist that the men with guns need to be trained for the situations they face, with a better understanding of tactics. Then clamp down on the idiots that lead them. It is clear the information and the way they are sent out puts lives in danger. And as we have seen all too often, not just criminals lives.

Harriet 'Morlock' Harman

The comic book character (surely no one could really be that evil?), Harriet Harm wreaks destruction across all of her empire. She really seems to believe that rewarding bad behaviour helps to control it and only when we punish bad behaviour will we get riots. Or maybe it is because only by maintaining an uneducated, immobile, dependent mass can the sickness in her head be voted for.

Whilst this odious creature, a blight on all our lives with the taxes she demands to maintain her lifestyle and the underclass she promotes, needs votes to hold power she will continue to fund them. And doubtless she does see them as animals, creatures with whom she has no intention of interacting, just stroking them, feeding them but most importantly ensuring they stay caged. She does this through benefits and just as much by ensuring the education system is of no use to them.

Mostly, she encourages them to absent themselves, by ensuring there is no sanction for bad behaviour, but also by dumbing down the curriculum so they are unemployable even if they try. Application and ambition must not succeed under her rule, that might grow to threaten the 'Queen'. Social mobility under Labour ground to a halt for the very reason that it would threaten Labour's grip on power.

There doubtless will always be lost souls, who will prey on their fellows. It has ever been so and you must believe by her deeds when privileged, that The Harm would be one too. Is one now, but in a different more hidden manner. However, most of Labour's 'disadvantaged' are only disadvantaged because of New Labour. They have been quite deliberately denied opportunity for the political benefit of people such as The Harm.

They have never been shown the satisfaction of a job well done, the feeling of worth at being able to buy something with money earned, to be able to look at something and say with pride 'I did that'. Unfortunately, as anyone knows who cares for their children, this involves compulsion, at least in the early days. It involves commitment. Children will always seek the easy way out and by giving in, by setting no boundaries, by requiring nothing of them we ultimately destroy them. Society gets riots and looting. But just as the child still runs to mother for sweets, so Harman doles out the benefits to get the votes.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011


With the level of organisation being seen in some aspects of these 'riots' it would seem that the lefts' 'useful idiots' have been given a different motivation. In every left inspired campaign, the 'revolutionaries' always lie to get support whether in Vietnam of Tottenham. Here however, a direct appeal to the underclass desire for branded consumer goods has brought them onto the streets to cause the mayhem their masters seek.

The proposed 'cuts' should be thought through again. A reasonable society would cut back on police spending along with everything else, but we have had 13 years of New Labour unpicking the fabric of a decent society and so cannot call ourselves a reasonable society at present. So no, the Armed Forces need strengthening and the police need their budgets at least maintained (but get rid of Blairism in the force and introduce efficiency).

Savings really can be made (and a lot of people have put themselves forward by looting) by reducing and deleting the benefits of those who do not and will not contribute to their community, let alone those who destroy it. Cameron should protect and enhance those organs of state that we need and serve us well and get rid of the rest. No more pussy footing around with Westminster bubble politics, face the real world. Get out of the EU. Stop building pointless wind farms and stop believing in the 'carbon reduction' tripe the same people who organised the rioting came up with.

I mean that. Whilst Richard Curtis may feel comfortable with murdering people who oppose his point of view, I am sure many people who haven't thought too much about Global Warming, do believe what they have been fed. But a lot of the real pushers are motivated by anything but the pains of the planet. They have used it to push an agenda of hate, designed to undermine Western capitalism and democracy. And they use the simple-minded as well as the easily led politician, hence we get looting and CO2 taxes.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Big Society

And out comes the spirit of the nation. People are now putting themselves forward to do positive things and help clear up the mess. Where real communities exist (the Mail shows Turkish/Kurdish) they are rallying to each other's support to resist looters. The TV news spoke of people turning up with brooms and spades. Brooms I guess to sweep up the mess and spades for the looters. There have been questions asked about where all those caught looting can be kept. Maybe we could have a special extension to Highgate cemetery.

Interesting to see armoured cars deployed in London, to chase away the mobs. I did think that, with the constant running away they did just need to drive at them. And use weapons of reach, water cannon possibly, baton rounds definitely and if the courage can be summoned, live rounds. The level of danger they represent has reached that point I feel. The Army is another matter. They are not really equipped to deal with it, but could be used to build and guard containment cages for the low-lives whilst awaiting process.

But I cannot say this often or loud enough; their benefits must be cancelled. And urgent deportation used wherever possible, including revoking UK citizenship. If they were born here, then very long jail terms, are you listening Cameron? Don't ask the judges or, heaven help us, the EU. Leadership. Give it a try. This is a seminal moment for you. An opportunity, don't let us down. A chance to turn Britain away from this Blairism we are seeing on our streets.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Rioting: The Outcome of Too Little Socialism

After years of New Labour emphasising the importance of self and the destruction of the family unit, to make people reliant on the state for everything, including instructions to do anything. Even the speed we must drive in our cars is ruthlessly regulated. The Middle Class has been systematically undermined. All of this is designed to bring about an ideal socialist state.

However, the problem, as evidenced today, is that the project has not been quite completed and the full control of an authoritarian state is not in place. So the weakened populace and nanny state exists, huge amounts of welfare, state handouts are available and the police are not allowed to lock up people for years for the simplest of crimes and shoot people who offend the state. Hence the unchecked looting.

Basically we have way too much of a communist utopia without the Gulags and large, armed force necessary to control the people who provide the riches for the elite. Safe in their Dachas. It is interesting that, unlike previous riots the local people are condemning the violence and looting. It is they say, wrecking communities. At last,even people at the bottom of society's wealth scale have set a standard! They want the police to be more active. If so, they must dob the criminals in, not hide them this time.

This country needs to generate wealth to get out of the financial mess we are in, and the people can respond if allowed, but they are held back by the socialist junk politics we have had for so long. Enforced welfare dependency. If you have voted Labour, well done London salutes you, you have brought the country to this. I know Tony lied to you, but honestly, he is a bit obvious surely.

The News We Have To Endure

Admittedly the violence in London is deliberately spread and is just about theft and destruction for the sake of it, so difficult for the police to locate and deal with. But even so, from what we are seeing and hearing the police are deployed where nothing seems to be happening, none where break ins are taking place and fires are being left to burn, despite no-one being in the area. I am lost as to what the tactics the police are using.

They seem to be trying the standard containment and preparing for confrontation. But there are no confrontations, these little shits are just stealing stock from certain target shops and running away to another location if the police turn up.

The News though, Oh My God. I have been watching Sky because they are less likely to suddenly wheel out someone from the Left who will give all kinds of moronic, blame the cuts comments. But even Sky haven't a clue. They ask questions to emphasise the drama, but give no analysis. Most annoyingly they keep referring to unrest and links to the shooting of Mark Duggan.

It is not unrest, it is straightforward criminality and it is not linked in any way to the shooting, nor supportive of the anti-police stance. These people need to be found by any means, and once convicted and in addition to any custodial or financial penalty, they must have their benefits removed. If children, then their parents benefits. People like this do not fear authority, because they don't lose anything.

If you own your own house, it can be lost, if you have always relied on the state to house you and give you pocket money while you trade drugs, or burgle houses to fill your spare time, then what can be taken away? Their liberty and in particular their benefits. It will introduce a new level of respect for the law. It will provide a boundary, just like children need.

From early this evening it has been clear to me, as the thieves have been confronted by the police they run away and the police need weapons of reach to deal with them. With the level of lawlessness and the serious arson taking place I think if baton rounds are used and extensively used, it is not the time to consider how much they might sting. Or the whining leftie who earlier said you have to go careful as there are children about. So?

As I write Kevin Maguire has been 'interviewed' on Sky and ah, bless the poor luv had to talk sense as even he couldn't find an angle to support these people with their legitimate grievance, which would be the nonsense he normally spouts. But no, he can see no reason for the behaviour and he is happy to define them as morons.

But again, what are the police doing? Another challenge, another failure.

The Shooting of Mark Duggan

A year ago I wrote here about the relaxed approach the IPCC have to the use of deadly force by police officers, in an article about the shooting of Harry Stanley. He was killed basically because the armed officers were told he had a weapon and so accepted it as a fact and further assumed that he would use it. So when he turned round on hearing 'Stop! Armed Police' having no idea who they were shouting at, the police interpreted it as his intention to shoot them and so opened fire and killed him. By the uncritical report they produced, it is clear the IPCC are happy with this type of police action and the public should expect it to happen routinely. As is possibly the case in the shooting of Mark Duggan. Here the bullet that hit a policeman was from a policemen (chump score 1) and that by Sunday they had found a weapon that was not 'a police weapon'. So not the easy to find gun clearly seen by armed officers thus fearing for their lives who opened fire. Chump score 2. The evasive nature of the police response to questions about the shooting clearly indicates they know something didn't go right. (Bearing in mind that the police shooting someone is never seen as a failure. The thought of even an armed man being arrested rather than shot is completely off the scale for them, it seems).

As the IPCC and the police would see such outrageous criticism as anti-police let me give some outrageous perspective. The police issue 'hollow-point' ammunition to their armed units. Hollow-point has also been called 'dum-dum' and is outlawed by the Geneva Convention for military use. The reason it is used at all is that as the bullet's head collapses it causes a bigger wound (more likely to 'take down' a target) and also loses energy more quickly (so less likely to injure anyone else by passing through a target). I fully support the use of this ammunition as it helps to reduce the danger of an armed suspect to the police officers or members of the public in the vicinity. The police however should  restrict their shooting to situations where they know there is a clear and present danger and the IPCC should have the guts to criticise them when they don't


The first thing to say about this situation of course is that the rioting has nothing to do with the shooting. If some incident can get enough people onto the streets, then the 'entitled' will use that as cover for theft and 'entertainment'. It isn't that they don't fear the police, they don't fear the judicial system. Being caught means that you might have to put one of the laptops you stole on ebay to pay the fine (with a little left over naturally). Then we come back to the chance of being caught. Not high, not when you consider the ineptitude of those running the police.

The amount of looting and destruction by fire was more due to the late response of police in numbers (apparently) than the volume of the mob. Whenever senior officers are forced into public view they do seem to have been promoted on the principle that no one brighter than the man (woman) above should be elevated. This is even more evident when they talk about incidents. Curiously the shooting on Thursday of Mark Duggan has had scant space in the papers, no detail available. That is the first alarm bell ringing; the police love to talk about shooting people when they get it right. Then there are the strange press releases, prone to 'amendment'. In one of the first reports I heard on the shooting it was said that 'police don't yet know the order of shooting, just that one of their officers was shot and they returned fire'. Sounds like an order of shooting to me. Then, later we learn that the officer's injury could have been more serious if the bullet hadn't hit his radio. But still no word about the gun Duggan was carrying, why he was targeted for armed arrest whilst in a cab nor how many shots he fired. Now we understand police have, at last, found a gun that was 'not a police weapon'. What curious terminology and why mention this on Sunday, when the shooting occurred on Thursday? When the police don't mention stuff like this, they are trying to get their story straight. OK so we have moved on from the days of Ian Blair and smear campaigns against those wrongly shot, but still, why admit that you made a mistake?

Again, if this does turn out to be a mistake on the part of armed officers, it will likely be down to the planning and tactics, rather than the actual quality of the individual armed officer (though there is room to be cautious about police quality full stop). Did we have another situation where officers were sent out, wound up to arrest someone likely to be carrying and not afraid to use a gun? Did they encircle the cab, thus increasing the likelihood of shooting each other? Why this perpetual love of the dramatic arrest in the street (in a cab!) at gunpoint, rather than catching someone alone and away from other people?

I am no friend of the criminal and would rather see them shot than police officers, so I have no problem if the police open fire first. When they know they are in danger and also when their training and tactics have given every opportunity for them to stay safe, the public to be reassured of their safety and the criminal the chance to surrender peacefully, then they should move in. But all of us are put in great danger by the gung-ho and militaristic mentality of armed police officers. They are deployed too readily, to unproven 'armed incidents' and always assume a guns pointed attitude. I'm sure in their defence the police would say that in a country where guns are banned, only bad people would be carrying them. Which doesn't explain the reckless endangerment of a man's life, when he has guns pointed at him because a member of the public has said he has a gun, which is completely unverified and it turns out to be a child's toy. Or the actual killing of a man with a chair leg in a bag. In the US where in many places the carrying of a gun is legal, officers trained the British way would approach everyone with their guns drawn. But they don't because a) they don't know there's a danger until they know there is a danger and b) because they know how easily accidents happen.

It would be most useful if the training of armed police in the UK became more professional and oriented towards protecting the public rather than shooting people and if the police generally understood that mistakes do happen and it is how you respond and learn from experience that matters and on which they will be judged. Currently, cover up and lie is their first option (remember of course, that the current crop of senior police are from the era of Tony Blair, so are merely copying the style of government they have been brought up under). Of similar utility would be an Independent Police Complaints Commission that actually investigated and pointed out faults and options for improvement. Instead we have a supine body that seeks to minimise public knowledge of police ineptitude. They are lucky that we no longer have investigative reporters in this country (well, non celebrity obsessed ones anyway).

Friday, 5 August 2011

Pollytical Toynbee

I followed a link on James Delingpole's Twitter to an article written by Pol Toynbee that was so ridiculous I couldn't even finish reading it. She spouted on about how the Tea Party are directly responsible for the wonderful Obama not being able to save America (his plan, keep borrowing) and that they only exist because of Murdoch and his Fox News. Now you could say that the people in the US are seeing two sides to the story (we can't in Britain as our broadcasters are all left wing) and are making their own minds up. This would still offend Polly as she is stridently of the opinion that only noble, well-meaning souls such as herself should be allowed to organise the world. In fact, she seemed to be suggesting that Obama did not have enough power personally, so that as a latter day Sun King he could order people at a whim and then all in the garden (that he and Toynbee would inhabit, naturally) would be rosy.

Her beef continued with the outrageous suggestion that a smaller state (thus needing less money) was in any way useful. To her the state and all it's works are a manifest good. She then started wittering on about climate change deniers and people who cherry pick which bits of science they will adhere to and quote to support their case. Of course there are very few climate change deniers, but many who adopt a scientific approach and question the theories of others. In fact, it is (as was proven by the Climategate emails) those insisting on AGW who cherry pick, for the very simple reason that they know they are wrong. Toynbee realises this which is why she is also an advocate of allowing no debate on such subjects. But the funding dries up when the phrase 'no AGW, nothing to see here, move along' is the result of your research. It would be like Oxfam curing hunger.

I did see she included the AGW shibboleth that the 'deniers' are funded by big oil (the inference being I suppose that small oil are an altogether different, more collegiate bunch). There is no and never has been any evidence for this, but plenty that the AGW promoters are extremely well funded. If she wants to attack 'big oil' she should ask why we are struggling to replace the internal combustion engine, or at least one running on fossil fuel. Now that may well be because anyone coming up with a replacement would overnight destroy a massive, worldwide infrastructure for the extraction, transporting and refinement of oil based products. A bit like when Dyson couldn't get anyone interested in his amazing bagless cleaner, that he was trying to sell to companies who make most of their money from selling bags for their cleaners. Think about it. Electric cars that are as useful as a concrete bookmark have actually made it into production. They cost much more than a useful car, they have a theoretical range of 100 miles (as long as you don't accelerate quickly, or use the aircon or lights), take a very long time to recharge (using electricity generated how?) and the batteries in which cost several thousand pounds and may last only 5 years. How has something so clearly impractical made it into production? Simple. The EU insists car manufacturers reduce the 'emissions' of the fleet of cars they produce and it distracts you from the fact that they haven't come up with a proper replacement technology yet. Or perhaps to convince you that to do so may be beyond the wit of Man.

Toynbee often gets accused of hypocrisy for the robust reason that it is true, but she is also so wrong-headed on so many things. I don't mind a differing political perspective, but when something is wrong, it is wrong. (Please don't now introduce the left's favourite 'narrative'. No there aren't differing truths).

The EU, No Longer A Disaster Waiting To Happen

It is absolutely incredible, but with a global banking crisis having tilted the financial world's spin, the EU continues to insist that politics of power are far more important than people's lives or in fact reality. The Eurozone has a one size fits all currency, so when one country is struggling and needs it's currency to fall in value it can't. Which is why we see the overdrawn countries in Europe now in such dire peril. Yes the Greeks got their economy spectacularly wrong, with careless, reckless and criminal activities but because they are not a sovereign nation any more they cannot rescue themselves. Greece and all the other countries of the EU cannot work their way out of trouble. They cannot say 'oh well, it was nice while it lasted' and get back to the grindstone. They are hamstrung with an interest rate set for the benefit of Germany and France, in particular. Strong economies in other words.

Let us put it in a real world setting. If Greece suddenly started making cars that were as desirable and well made as BMW's (I know, but just go with it for the analogy) and they still had the Drachma, Germans would be queuing up to buy them as they would be as good but much cheaper than the home produced product. But the Germans are protected from this (admittedly unlikely) situation as they control the Eurozone economy and can stop the Greeks undercutting them. And the Greeks cannot do anything about it because they are politically controlled from Brussels. I wonder if that was ever explained to the Greek people? May be it was, because they were taking so much out of the EU it was worth being a member. But we in Britain are certainly not told what our politicians are agreeing to because there is absolutely no way more than a small percentage of dreamers would vote for it.

So we have the spectacle of EU politicians meeting to discuss the crisis engulfing Europe and the man in street assumes they are seeking ways to stop all the bailouts. But in fact they are only interested in how they save the Euro, which is why they get the bailouts. The Emperor has strutted around with no clothes on for some time now and people are beginning to notice. The very fact that they are addressing the wrong issues is what is making the situation worse. The strategy so far has been to blame the banking crisis and hope it sorts itself out. But it is the straitjacket of the Euro that is destroying the stability of these countries and indeed it was the promise of free money that led them into such fiscal laxity in the first place. Lying about the situation hasn't worked, what will they try next? Nothing to save the nation states you can bet, but everything for their own power at the centre. The European Union of Socialist Republics is falling apart as did their model before them. I suppose we have to ask in extremis will the problems we face today lead to another European war, as France and Germany realise their dreams of empire are slipping away?

Sky News Newspaper Review

Well confirm the stereotype and go to the foot of our bed! Last night I caught a bit of the Sky News review of the papers, which featured a ghastly, patronising, rude and persistently sniping man from the Guardian. He absolutely oozed 'I'm right on everything you know' and belittled any opinion he disagreed with. The woman from the Telegraph was treated as if she and her words were of no consequence and, well, you couldn't expect anything more could you, the poor deluded love.

The delightful moment was when, despite him imploring the presenter not to, she mentioned, with the price of gold soaring, Gordon Brown's decision to sell vast amounts of the stuff, cheaply. Having to issue some kind of put down he said (unbelievably) that 'well he didn't just sell it, he invested in something else I believe'. Where to start with that defensive claptrap? Firstly, Brown drove down the price of gold by announcing his sale, thus achieving the lowest price possible. Secondly, despite Guardian man claiming people running to gold in a crisis was bizarre, the value has gone up greatly, during our current difficulties and so Brown threw away wealth. And investment is exactly what the gold represented, as it has gone up in value at a time of instability, but what did Brown 'invest' in? He bought paper money, mainly Euro's. He claimed that it was safer than gold, a tangible and reliable product. He presumably doesn't remember the barrow loads of German Marks it took to buy a loaf of bread. What scale of fool believes that paper has an intrinsic and lasting value?

The same ones I guess who are persisting with their political power game known as the EU. This Franco German construct to avoid war by achieving what they otherwise would have to fight for again, by political means, is currently destroying Europe just as completely (though without actually killing people). The EU doesn't work at any level and yet the politicians for whom it is their life and who never step outside this bubble will not concede as much. So the financial crisis they have created will continue.


I hate the term 'Coppers' as I find it disrespectful, but perhaps I should admit it is probably a better description of the current lack of standards and discipline in our police. Last night for our televisual pleasure we had some interesting views of modern policing. Interestingly it was an 'old boy' who had something like a correct attitude to the job the public expect of him, as opposed to the revenue obsessed, social-worker oriented, lazy, dictatorial policeman that our current crop of useless Chief Constables prefer.

The 'Old Boy' was watching out for 'speeders' at the side of the A6. He explained he wasn't interested in those doing 5, 10 or maybe 15 mph above the speed limit, but those driving dangerously, likely to cause an accident. This was then proven as he and his colleague ignored a car going past at 88. The road wasn't busy and that is just someone driving a modern car, capable of such speed and not causing any problem. The guy registered at 116mph (and braking at the time) was clearly a different matter, he was driving fast for the sake of it and was pursued. He turned out to be a garage employee using a customer's car.

In a later programme we saw the other side. Police who, talking to camera seemed to have their heart in the right place, but otherwise not terribly sure about anything in particular ('is the Hulk the one on the sweetcorn tin?').  And a police officer who was very sure of his attitude, but not of a need for professionalism. He, quite correctly arrested an oik, bleeding heavily from the nose who was just making a nuisance of himself and swearing at the officer. However, we may have barely heard what he said but the street soon became aware as the officer bellowed it several times, to show his outrage. Had I been walking past with my wife, I would most certainly have expected someone repeatedly shouting obscenities to be removed from the streets, but he wasn't because 'he is the law'. The whole episode showed (apart from the fact that young people today have no respect for themselves, let alone anyone else and cannot drink to any level below excess), that police today cannot police sympathetically as they arrive with a sense of importance they don't deserve, nor is it any part of the role of police in British society. Though of course it does fit left-liberal social engineering and a state-led society.

(Footnote: the nature of policing in the UK is that the law is owned by the people and the police are citizens in uniform. In the state into which we are being taken -without being asked or it being explained-  the state exists in itself and the people exist to serve the state. The key difference being that in the historic Britain everything is legal except that which we make illegal. In the French led EU, everything is illegal unless the state says it is legal. A very different balance of power, and why the arrogance of the police, now much more political, is on the rise.)

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Capital Punishment

I read that the House of Commons may well debate the reintroduction of the death penalty (not least due to an e-petition pushed by Guido Fawkes). Whilst not taking comfort that the state can take a person's life (after judicial process I mean, obviously they currently kill people outside of that with an at times clumsy police force and the odd, strange death of government employees adding a possible angle), it would be a very acceptable slap down to the ignorant and unhelpful 'Human Rights' laws, and Cherie Blair.

It was a marvellous coincidence that the Prime Minister pushed so hard for laws that were poorly thought out and challenged some excellent, common sense UK laws already in existence, when his wife was a prominent human rights lawyer. So the reintroduction of the death penalty might tell the awful woman that she does not run Britain and that the time that her irritating husband did, with too much input from the champagne socialist harridan, really does represent the low point in this nations' history.

You Can't Ignore Argos

On good grief! The new Argos catalogue is out and how big is it? What niche would you say Argos are addressing? Who is their target customer? What does the brand Argos, stand for? Probably best if you don't get a postcard ready for your answers, because the likelihood is you will spend the rest of your life sucking the end of your pen.

Argos don't just appear to sell everything you could ever possibly want but quite a few things you don't. And that is a problem, but so is the fact that they don't just sell broadly they sell so much of everything. When you open the catalogue searching for a particular item, you will find they sell at least half a dozen at very similar prices. As Stewie in Family Guy would say 'what the hell?' And who on earth can actually lift their catalogue? When my Eldest said he was going to pick up an Argos catalogue, because the new one was out I asked him to get me one too. I didn't realise I was putting him in danger of physical damage.

My wife hates going into an Argos store. She not only dislikes the queuing for a number to be called she dislikes some of the people who seem to be 'regular' customers. Me, I quite like the way the store works and certainly the introduction of technology to ease the experience. But the voice calling the numbers is the most irritating in the world. And I don't appreciate finding that the store is unexpectedly busy and so the two people  handing over the products can't cope. Not least when two 'managers' are chatting away to one side about store layout or some such. Either these 'managers' should pitch in to help out, or the company should reconsider the way they staff the stores. The last thing they need is public sector style bureaucracy.

There is clearly a panic settling in at the company though, if the sheer volume of money off, sale, voucher emails I am currently being bombarded with, is anything to go by. Like most people I would guess, the term 'sale' and quotes of enormous percentage reductions pass straight by me as they are meaningless. Do I like the offered price, or not? If ever a store needed to rationalise it is Argos and if ever there was a time it is now. They need perhaps to find some leadership that sets a proper identity for Argos, unburdens the company from the nightmare of ordering and stock-handling that must be prevalent (and an army of people handling the categories!), because it seems to an outside observer that there is a current lack of care. That the ship has been steered into becalmed waters is not the fault of the staff, so asking them to blow into the sails is not the answer. I would like Argos to do well, but I think they need to do things internally well before the customer base will do it's bit.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Understanding Change

Thought I would go for a clever title, impressive eh? What I am referring to is the broad reaction to the 'economic downturn'. The Democrats in America seem genuinely ashamed to have associated themselves with a vote to raise the level of debt hung around the nations neck (hurrah, they say) but with the unacceptable rider that they should do something about it, eg reduce spending. We saw this 'I'm popular when everyone has got money, so I'll keep borrowing' here from the fantasist Gordon Brown. Of course the Democrats would say that they do wish to reduce the debt by increasing taxation. Which is just giving more power, really, to the people who got you into this mess. You may worry about getting into bed with a Republican, but is the suicidal nutcase Democrat really the best choice?

Anyway, we also see pundits, sorry experts, waffling on about which country is doing the best job fiscally and the markets money flows there. Britain seems to be doing OK in their view and whilst that seems sound in itself you have to remember that our position is only slightly more favourable because we are not in the Eurozone, despite politicians desperately trying to join us up. Yes they are that thick; ideology (and personal gain) comes way before actually understanding what they are doing.

Then there are 'retail analysts'. Don't these people make you laugh? They treat companies as entities and address their situation based on 'market sector' and 'buying trends'. In other words, they are actually not applying any intelligence to making predictions they are just recounting statistics, in case you hadn't collected them. Technology companies introduce a new product and the analysts are stumped, because they have no history to rely on. The transistor radio took ages to get established, because industry and its experts said it was a bad idea. Given the choice, people bought them in the millions.

These cherubs sit around in their brain-storming immersion tanks and decide that due to 'discretionary purchasing' being reduced by 'broad economic factors', high street stores will struggle and some will go under. Like a fortune teller in a tent, if vague enough (and couched in 'modernspeak' which is valueless) they will appear to get some of it right. In military circles you do have to study history to understand what happened before, but Generals then, all too often are prepared to fight the last war, not what they are currently facing. So too our analysts. Innovation will be a key tool to beating recession and manufacturers should be investing in R&D (and not asking 'experts' what the market wants!) and retailers should be alive to the possibilities. Look for innovation in your appeal to the customer, understand where the money will be spent and provide those products, lead don't follow and increase efficiency. I know efficiency (and cost reduction) in the minds of the unimaginative managers companies in Britain saddle themselves with, is considered to be redundancies, but often it isn't. If you build a warehouse someone will fill it. Control stock, control distribution. Use your people well. Remember, if everyone follows dopey's example of making people redundant, who the hell is going to have any money to spend on your products!!?

Managers are a key though. Good ones will respond to the situation and find solutions, bad ones will make a bad situation worse. And companies not only recruit bad managers, they almost have a system for finding them. aside from the 'he is a mate of mine, we were part of a team where I used to work', you have the 'tick box' HR mentality (to be fair it isn't just them, but they are the worst). 'We need an experienced manager who has done x,y,z before' runs the formulaic job spec. Why? Because the hiring company lack the imagination to understand what they really need and how a new hire can be a great opportunity to bring in a fresh approach. Naturally the person you look at must have some key skills, but must he have come from an electrical retailer, just because you are? You want him to oversee staff, appraise, motivate, monitor figures and innovate change for the better. If you cannot discover that in any candidate you see, then you should be asking yourself whether you are fit for your role, do you know how to drive the business? A Kennedy said, 'we do not do these things because they are easy, but because they are hard'. The days when Chief Executives think they get the big bucks for turning up should be over. If they aren't then a lot of other, little people will pay with their jobs. And the analysts will say 'I told you so' whether they did or not.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Oh Go On, You Can Afford It

In another display of government oiks reporting the bleedin' obvious (after some time and, of course, large expenditure no doubt), we learn that people retiring soon won't get much in the way of a pension. This is mainly due to Blair and Brown syphoning off money for 'pet' projects and driving down the value of the UK. Then there is the lack of government oversight of the pensions industry which, amazingly is trying to keep a large portion of the mountain of money they are handed every year, for themselves! When the markets were soaring your pension pot did 'OK' and when there was the slightest dip, the result for your fund was catastrophic. Well, the market took a downturn so you would expect it, right? And what guarantees were there after all? You guarantee them money and they don't.

So, with the relentless logic of someone who has something else he would rather be doing, the government has further said (to the sound of gleeful hand rubbing in the industry) that young people should save more for their pensions. That would be save more from the money you have left after the government have filched their wad in taxes, the local authority have lifted a load more and the unregulated (no matter what you are told) state sanctioned monopolies such as the utilities companies and railways, have raised their prices to frankly comedic levels. All helped of course by our imaginary friend, Global Warming.