Sunday, March 31, 2013

Say that again??

This morning, there are reports that a WPC in Norfolk is suing a garage owner for damages after she tripped on a kerb.
She alleges she tripped on the kerb and injured her leg (or her pride, maybe?).
She had been called to the garage after a report of a burglary at the premises.
It seems to me that someone should take her aside and have a (loud) chat with her:
"They are your bloody legs! Take charge of them and make sure they point your feet in the right direction! The public seem able to manage kerbs, why can't you?"
If your feet and legs won't behave themselves and go where you want them to go, what makes you think Joe Public will go in any direction you may order?
Sort yourself out and return to planet Earth!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Even more proof we are mental, part 2

Last week, the met office were predicting up to 2 feet of snow in the mountains of, among others, North Wales.
As forecast, the wind blew and the snow snowed and it was pretty horrible.
In today's news (26 March), it is reported that 3 dip sticks from Northumberland had to be rescued from Snowdon and 3 more from Warwick had to be rescued from nearby Tryfan having found the wind and snow were just too much for them.
No doubt these were allegedly intelligent people who decided that, in spite of the dire forecasts, a walk up the mountains in umpteen feet of snow, accompanied by raging blizzards and temperatures well below 0 would be a jolly good wheeze.
Well, if there was any justice at all in this country, these pillocks would be landed with a bloody big bill for the cost of their rescues!
And this on the day the government tells us that their new contract for rescue services will cost £1.6 Billion over 10 years. Doesn't that equate to £160 Million per annum?
Are they seriously trying to tell us that this is considerably less than the current costs? Remember, the units currently operating these services also have other day to day roles, particularly training etc. so their costs will be rolled up into the amount it costs to maintain and operate helicopter squadrons anyway.
The new contractor, Bristows, was originally a UK based company and retains strong links with the UK. I think it is time for a review of directors, shareholders etc in this company. Who knows what may turn up?

And a bit more; this week saw the last boiler at Didcot A power station being taken off line. Didcot, along with Fawley and a couple of others, is being scrapped because of the emissions resulting from their burning coal.
All over the UK, there is an unseemly scramble to whack up new power stations that burn LNG. Smashing, with only half the CO2 output of a coal fired power station, that must be good. Right?
Well, where does this gas come from? Not a lot coming form the North Sea at the moment so it is mainly imported.
In fact, in today's news it is reported that a big gas tanker, the Zarga, has just arrived in Milford Haven carrying 266,000 cubic metres of gas. And another arrived in Kent a few days ago.
hurrah! Just what we need; massive deliveries of LNG.
And between them, they carry enough gas to heat the UK for . . . . 12 hours!
12 bloody hours! Fast forward a little to a time when we need more of these shipments and there will be a solid, slowly moving line of gas tankers, stretching from Qatar to Pembroke.
Oh, and these tankers burn oil. What does burning oil mean? Co2 pumped into the atmosphere!
What is the point? Am I the only one apparently missing it?

Want proof the entire country is mental?

Well, I can offer some.
In today's news, we learn that a school in Essex (it had to be Essex, didn't it?) has banned the provision of triangular flapjacks to the inmates.
This follows an incident when "during a food fight", a pupil was hit by a flapjack thrown by a fellow moron.
Now this school is run by a headmaster who, presumably, had to demonstrate possession of more than a couple of neurons when being interviewed for his high salary job.
Well it seems even they have deserted him (or her). Think on this, idiot:
The incident arose when the inmates were throwing food about.
Get a grip of yourself! Sort out the discipline problems your school is obviously beset with.
Punch a few of the inmates between the eyes the next time they think it is clever to throw food around.
That will fix your issues faster than banning traingular flapjacks!
Oh yes, you should perhaps make a note to self; "should attend geometry classes".
While banning triangular shaped food items, he (she (I don't know)) has approved the serving of square or rectangular flapjacks.
Jones Minor thinking "Whoa! If I take a knife and cut the flapjack from this corner to the opposite corner, what have I got? A pair of triangular flapjacks. Shit hot!"
To use the term "thick" to describe the head of this school does a great dis-service to the word "thick"!

Want some more proof?
The government is about to dump some of the finest services this country has; the helicopter borne air/sea rescue service currently operated by HM Coastguard, the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force. The Coastguard is currently being eviscerated anyway with stations being closed, staff being sacked etc.
Don't worry, the services will not just disappear. They are being given to an American company, Bristows, to operate. They are based in Houston. The current operators of the service, mentioned above are based in the United Kingdom. For now, anyway. Who knows when the government will privatise the Navy? Oh. Hang on. The previous lunatics had already begun that process with the Royal Navy operating 3 River class offshore patrol boats leased from BAE systems. That lease arrangement ran from 2003 to 2013 when the government bought the ships from BAE for £39 Million. Given that they cost an average of £20 Million per year in running costs, they seem a tad expensive at a minimum of £239 million.

And how about the railways? The government announced today they are hell bent on the rail privatisation plan they recently screwed up (West Coast lines?) and their first priority is to get the East Coast line back into private hands. 4 years after National Express walked away from it, leaving the tax payer to pick up the tab.

I am going for lie down in a dark room.

Sunday, March 24, 2013


Chris Huhne:
Remember him?
"It wasn't me honest... It wasn't me honest... It wasn't me honest... It wasn't me honest..."
"OK fair cop, it was me. I was only kidding" (or looking for another sap to share the dock with).

Well, I don't know about you but I have noticed over the course of the last couple of weeks a number of prominent people such as politicians, limp wristed luvvies and so-called celebrities saying they thought the sentence was too harsh.
Too harsh? Hmmm.
Forget the speeding offence, he was in court and sent down for perverting the course of justice. If he had a half decent lawyer, he would have pointed out the maximum sentence for this is life. That is life as in many years, lots of years in fact. Never mind 8 months!

Anyway, he has recently been moved to a nice comfy lodging at HMP Leyhill; a nice country estate style open prison where he can expect to live in relative comfort, with a few minor irritations.
Other people have served years for the same offence.
Remember Ali Dizaei? The scourge of the Met. He got 4 years for the same offence.
So shut up, all you tree huggers, yogurt knitters and fellow travellers.
Huhne got what was coming to him.
Now let's see how episode 2 works out when the CPS apply for some massive costs.

Yet more government ignorance

Today's news says that David Cameron will announce tomorrow that local councils will be told to keep immigrants off housing lists for 2 years in order to stop them getting immediate access to 'social' housing.
Immigrants are people who have been granted the right to come and live here. Essentially, they have been told the government are happy for them to come and live, work, pay taxes here etc. So, they should go to the bottom of any council housing lists in exactly the same manner as would a British citizen moving from one council's area to another.
Maybe in his Bullingdon club induced trance, he is confusing 'immigrants' with 'illegal immigrants' and 'asylum seekers'.
It is an easy mistake to make if your are racist, elitist and xenphobic into the bargain.
A bit more difficult to explain when you are supposed to be the leader of the government!

Having mentioned the Bullingdon Club, I have to say, I have just found an allegation in the Daily Mirror that as part of a new member's initiation, they have to burn a £50 note in front of a beggar.
Thoroughly good chaps, what!

BBC Reaches New Levels of Silliness

Every day, one of the first things I do is check the BBC News website. Often, I find myself tutting and shaking my head at some of the silly headlines but it seems today, the BBC has reached a new level of silliness.
Reporting this morning on the death of Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky yesterday in the "England" section, the headline is "Berezovsky found at Berkshire Home".
No kidding!
That's a bit like saying "Occupant found in his house".

And how is this for an unfortunate choice of language:
Reporting on an ordeal a British woman suffered in her hotel in Agra recently, when she was terrified that the hotel manager was intent on assaulting her sexually, their headline is "Agra hotel jump woman recalls ordeal".
Think about the use of the word "Jump", BBC!

Today's award for clumsy use of the English language is perhaps "Body of man found in snow by farmer".
How about "Man's body found ...etc"?

Maybe they employ ex Premiership footballers as headline writers ("We gave it 120%....We displayed a lot of grit & determination (after losing 10-0)".

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Tax and how it hurts (part 1)

A constant source of irritation in this country is tax, whether it be income tax, corporation tax, council tax or maybe the reviled bedroom tax.
This week, in the Chancellor's budget speech we heard "blah blah blah" (or words to that effect) on the subject of tax.
For example; Corporation tax is to be reduced to 20%. Nice! If you have a company earning you a few millions or whatever, you will pay 20% tax on the profits. Of course, the profits will be managed shrewdly and, dare I say, minimised.
So, 20% tax rate. That is the same as you will be taxed on your hard earned wages.
Never mind, let's ignore the rate for now because, in the case of many companies, it will be irrelevant anyway. Look at the record of Starbucks, Google, Amazon et al.
I know tax avoidance is legal; if the government can't frame a set of rules that cover all the loopholes, rather than create them, then they have no business running an enterprise as large as the United Kingdom.
And to think, most of the numties in Westminster went to expensive schools and colleges, graduating with degrees in the likes of Economics, Law, etc. And they can't come up with a set of taxation rules that stop billions of pounds leaking out of the country annually?
To be fair, we shouldn't put 100% of the blame on the inept government. A large share of the blame should be apportioned to those robbers that once were trumpeted as the "Captains of Industry". It seems to me that their collective record borders on the stupid. They run a company for so long, until their incompetence overtakes them and they find themselves staring at declining balance sheets.
"Hmmm. What can we do to continue giving the shareholders a nice return? I know! Flog the company and distribute the winnings as a dividend".
So the company is flogged off, usually to a foreign investor, the board take a handsome salary/payoff and the government clap hands at the "inward foreign investment".
The new foreign owner immediately takes steps to re-locate to somewhere else and the taxes that had previously been going to the Exchequer now disappear.
Now go to Part 2...

Tax and how it hurts (part 2)

Continued .....

So, how about the very public individuals with less than public tax arrangements?

Well, let's start with Tony Blair, that well known multimillionaire 'socialist' (Socialist my arse!). In 2011, his company (or one of them), Windrush Ventures declared an income of something around £12 Million. In their accounts, they listed all the usual expenses such as rents, salaries etc. along with £8 Million "administrative expenses".
The net profit then was just over £1 Million and tax was paid on this at £315,000. Nobody (as far as I can discover) has been able to explain these "administrative costs". If they had been included in the profits, the tax bill would have been an awful lot higher.

Now; pay attention, this could get tedious: Mr Blair is involved in (owns, perhaps?) a series of companies, chief among which appears to be Windrush Ventures No 3 LP. "LP" means Limited Partnership. Limited Partnerships are not required to publish their accounts.

Still with me? Good!
Windrush Ventures No 3 LP is linked to Windrush Ventures No 2 LP and BDBCO no 819 who in turn are linked to BDBCO No 822. Both of these companies are listed as Dormant so let's ignore them for now.
Windrush Ventures No 2 LP is yet another Limited Partnership so forget about any public accounts there!
Next in the chain are Windrush Ventures Ltd and Windrush Ventures No 1 Ltd.

Would you believe it? Windrush Ventures is trading under the name "The Office of Tony Blair". Now I could link this to the relevant website but it is stated on the Terms & Conditions page of that website that I can include links to the site only with their (his?) permission. So bugger them! Just Google the name.
Windrush, in their 2011 accounts, say they are paying £500,000 rent for their premises in Grosvenor Square. I'll bet you a quid you can't figure out who is the owner of that property., Doh! You got me! Of course it is Tony Blair. His own company is paying him to rent his own premises. (Mind you, I did see evidence a couple of years ago that David Cameron was doing the same with his house. Probably the whole rotten crew are doing something similar).

Oh hang on; there's another company named Firerush Ventures. No prizes for guessing who owns that lot (ACL Blair) and how the company fits into a structure including Firerush Ventures No 2 LP and Firerush Ventures No 1 LP.

If you are still awake, the whole saga can be summed up"What a complex web, allegedly set up to manage Mr Blair's charitable affairs"!
Let's go to Part 3 ...

Tax and how it hurts (part 3)

If we think the affairs of Mr Blair are a tad confusing, how about another individual whose affairs are a lot clearer but less savoury?
Let's look at Sir Philip Green. Never mind his early years, they are all available elsewhere.
Let's look a bit nearer to today and a quote from him during the 2010 election run-up:
"Cameron and Osborne understand what needs to be done by giving more tax breaks to dodgers like me They get it."
Yep! Says it all really, doesn't it? "more tax breaks to dodgers like me" indeed!
His various companies seem to be above board, paying the tax due on their operations. Good for them!
However, back in 2005, he declared a dividend in one of his companies, Arcadia, which meant that as the owner of 92% of the shares in that company, he & his family had a £1.2 Billion pay day. How many!
£1.2 Billion, that's how many!
Of course, Sir Philip pays tax on his salary in the UK. So what's the problem?
Well, the company Arcadia is in his wife's name. She lives in Monaco and pays no tax. So the £1.2 Billion went to her account in Monaco and attracted zero tax in this country.
If tax had been paid in the UK on this amount, it is calculated it would have paid for the salaries of 20,000 nurses.
Not to worry though; there is no suggestion that anything he did was illegal.
Under the current 11,000 page tax code now in force, all he did was legal, even if distasteful. He is not alone though; it is reported that there are many rich buggers doing this in the UK; using "legal" tax loopholes.
Luckily for us, the new government in 2010 commissioned a review and report on how to improve government efficiency, including stuff like maximising revenue (tax) and minimising expenditure.
Don't forget, the government drones on day in and day out about the "deficit". This is the difference between government expenditure and income (or taxes). So, one would assume this review would encompass things like tax avoidance loopholes. Bet you it won't. The man appointed to carry out the review was Sir Philip Green!
Nope! I just read the review and tax doesn't get a mention. It is all about how the government spend lots of money on office premises, telephones etc. All depressing reading but not going anywhere near the real issue; a massive hole in the government's tax take.
Back to the corporate robbers; Cadburys was taken over some time ago by the American conglomerate, Kraft. What did Kraft do? Implemented a series of restructuring moves to channel Cadburys profits through Switzerland. According to Uk Uncut, a loss of £60 Million to the revenue.
Diageo is a company better known for its Johnny Walker scotch whiskey brand. Have a look at this report into yet another complex web of comanies here and companies there:
The article reckons that, if the company didn't ponce about and re-route profits etc to offshore operations, the difference in taxes would be the equivalent of the annual tax take from 20,000 households in the UK.
And here is a link (albeit an old one) that gives a clue to the tax arrangements of Tesco:
Isn't it high time we (the silly buggers who foot all the bills) got off our backsides and did something about this? How can we tolerate a government telling us we are a nation of spongers because their tax take is down, while they are going for cocktails, freebie holidays etc with the very people who could make a huge difference to the lives of ordinary, hard working people?

Honest gov, we've got no money!

Well, I have to start somewhere so how about a topical item; the deal allowing West Ham to take over the Olympic Stadium in London's East End.
Now, first get into your head the recent government pronouncements that they have no money.
Skint, broke, nothing hidden under the mattress or in the old biscuit tin.
Got it?
Now, look at this for a government that keeps telling us we are all idle wasters, sponging off the state, spending money we don't have etc:
The cost of building and developing the Olympic Stadium finished up at around £600 Million. Now that is a lot of money but at least it had been budgeted for when plans were drawn up before the games.
Now, it has been announced that West Ham football club will take over the stadium for their new home from 2016.
Before they take up residence, there will need to be modifications and improvements to make it suitable for use as a football stadium; stuff like sliding rows of seats to cover the athletics track, new roof to cover a larger portion of the seating area etc.

The deal announced yesterday includes these costs, expected to be around £150M, possibly (probably?) rising to £190M, the funding of which breaks down roughly as follows:

Contribution from HM Government (aka taxpayers) £60  Million
Contribution from Newham Council (aka taxpayers) £40 Million (a sum that the council has had to borrow)
LLDC (aka taxpayers) £20 Million
West Ham F.C.  £15 Million plus £2M per year rent.
Notice how these sums do not total the guesstimated £150 Million?
They seem to add up to £135 Million but that is using old fashioned arithmetic. Under this government's version of arithmetic they do indeed add up. Honest!
Well, that is what they want us to believe. I am not a betting man but in this case, I will make an exception; the taxpayer will cough up more than £150 Million by the time the dust has settled.
Oh yes, and nobody has factored in the huge expense of maintaining the stadium. I wonder how much Mr & Mrs Taxpayer will be stumping up for that!
So; HM Government repeatedly tell us they have no money to spend on hospitals, the disabled, the unemployed etc.
But they obviously feel quite comfortable about bank rolling a couple of millionaire pornographers, probably worth close to £1 Billion between them.

So there we are; to paraphrase the useless cabinet "Honest gov, we've got no money!".

Back Again!

It is high time I renewed my blogging. There was a hiatus caused by my working abroad in a place where blogging is not necessarily encouraged.
And, since my return to these shores last November, I find the country is in such a bloody state, it is difficult to know where to begin!
What do we have?
Well, government "manipulating" of employment statistics. (Some may call it lying but I am being generous).
Then the attempts to dismantle the National Health Service.
Or how about Tony Blair and his continued war mongering? 10 years after the catastrophe that befell Iraq, he is still advocating war with someone, anyone!
The economy perhaps? Or education maybe? Defence of the Realm?
How about the great British whingeing public? Christ, they can moan! About nothing!
I know! The government plan to create and encourage more misery in the Near East (I was brought up when the Middle East was a long way from the Mediterranean).
I thin kI shall make another cup of coffee and let the blogging begin...