Thursday, 31 March 2011

Shock rise in number of people defaulting on their mortgages as consumer confidence at hits lowest ebb for 20 years

Daily Mail
"The number of people unable to pay their mortgage bills has risen unexpectedly during the first quarter as lenders warn of further defaults if interest rates rise.The result comes despite the bank's base rate being held at the record low of 0.5 per cent while consumer confidence suffered its biggest drop since the recession in 1992."

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

The great cuts lie: The march by state sector workers will fuel hysteria that there's a spending massacre. Nothing could be further from the truth

Daily Mail
"With bitter irony, the TUC has billed today’s event as The March for the Alternative. Yet neither the unions, nor the BBC, nor Mr Miliband ever put forward any realistic ‘alternative’ to the cuts, save for demanding a tax raid on the bankers (a step the Coalition itself took this week).

Nor do Labour acknowledge that, had they been re-elected, they would themselves be implementing sharp cuts.The fact is, with this week’s Budget projecting that Britain will soon be more than £1.2trillion in debt, there really is no option but to reduce our terrifying reliance upon ever-greater borrowing. ....The cuts are not about sending Britain back to the Dark Ages. They are about restoring sanity to our nation’s finances so future generations are not burdened with a crippling, ambition-sapping debt.

"No one, or almost no one, will point out the amazing truth, which is that these cuts — variously described as ‘savage’ or ‘draconian’ or, by the TUC, as a ‘massacre’ — are actually comparatively mild. Far from being ‘slashed’, public expenditure at the end of the process in 2014-15 will be a mere three per cent lower in real terms than it was in 2009-10 before the cuts began.

That wasn’t a misprint. Three per cent lower. In 2009-10, government spending was £669 billion. In 2014-15 it is projected to be £647 billion, if you strip out the effects of inflation, or an estimated £764 billion if it is included. Expenditure will be £710 billion in 2011-2012, so in money terms it has already gone up."

It's okay to be foul-mouthed as long as you work for the ABC and attack only the Liberals

The Australian
"THE Left is never offended by its own off-colour language -- only when it comes from the Right. ..."

ED: This could easily be the BBC
Biased BBC -

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Osborne tosses £3bn gift to the green elite

The Register
"Last week, Chancellor George Osborne announced a new body that would make loans and issue debt. In a harkback to the 1970s, poorly performing and deeply unprofitable businesses will be the beneficiaries – and investors in them will be rewarded for their poor judgement. So much for moral hazard. ......The body bailing out the basket-cases is a "Green Investment Bank", and the remit was written largely by a group of bankers themselves, called the Green Investment Bank Commission. Led by Bob Wigley, formerly head of Merrill Lynch's European investment side, the Commission included executives of Goldman Sachs, Citibank, and management consultancies Logica and the Oliver Wyman Group. The Commission reported last June, and saw an ambitious role for the new quango:"

George Osborne's New Eco-Bullingdon Club (Telegraph)
"What I seriously doubt though, is whether anyone could think of a worse way of spending £3 billion, than on the grotesque and pointless quango that is the Green Investment Bank headed by Bob Wigley.

The point to note about the Green Investment Bank is that it is based on one massive lie, promulgated by everyone from David Cameron to Chris Huhne to Greg Barker to every other two-bit chancer who wants to get on the Coalition, viz: that green investments and green jobs are the future
. "

Sunday, 27 March 2011

How the TUC's day of innocent family fun was destroyed by evil, fascist media

"They came in their thousands from across the land – babies, pensioners, Ed Miliband, both the people who still watch 10 O’Clock Live. Their aims were simple, their intentions pure. They were marching against INJUSTICE. They were yearning for a Better Britain.

They were campaigning for a brighter, nobler, fairer world where:

Britain’s economy can compete on almost equal terms with those of Albania and Burkina Faso.

Media studies, golf course management and windsurfing technology students can watch Bully, Countdown and Fifteen to One, down 15 pints, a couple of special K and a pack of plant growth stimulant in the subsidised Mandela bar before retiring for a night’s gaming on their PS3s unencumbered by the fear of ever having to pay for their vital, economy-boosting education.

All those selfish greedy bastards who work for a living can have more of their money taken by the government and spent on worthwhile causes like million-pound-a-throw bombs to drop on Libya, diversity outreach consultants and communitarian think tanks run by Will Hutton."

UN becomes an Islamist’s air force

Andrew Bolt,Herald Sun (Australia)
"The United Nations’ mission in Libya has - without any public debate or resolution - turned from protecting civilians into joining one side of what is likely to be a long and bloody civil war between a dictator and an Islamist: ..."

Saturday, 26 March 2011

All the talk of 'cuts' hides a real rise in Government spending

Christopher Booker,Telegraph
"The increasingly surreal state of our public finances was highlighted by several events last week, not least the Budget, which George Osborne claimed was intended to encourage growth in the economy while continuing to remedy the hole in our bank balance created by the last government’s reckless overspending. Despite the general impression that our new Government is cutting back on public spending – as Channel 4’s Jon Snow put it, we are facing the most severe cuts since World War Two – the Budget revealed that our spending will in fact increase even faster than we were told it would last October.

In the small print of last year’s spending review, Mr Osborne told us that annual spending was due to rise from £696 billion to £739 billion in four years’ time. In the small print of last week’s Budget, spending is projected to rise from £694 billion this year to £743.6 billion in 2014-15, an increase of some £50 billion. "

You might have guessed Libya was Rudd’s fault

Andrew Bolt,Herald Sun (Australia)
"Let’s check on who is being helped most by Rudd’s no-fly zone:

Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi, the Libyan rebel leader, has said jihadists who fought against allied troops in Iraq are on the front lines of the battle against Muammar Gaddafi’s regime.

In an interview with the Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore, Mr al-Hasidi admitted that he had recruited “around 25” men from the Derna area in eastern Libya to fight against coalition troops in Iraq. Some of them, he said, are “today are on the front lines in Adjabiya”.

Mr al-Hasidi insisted his fighters “are patriots and good Muslims, not terrorists,” but added that the “members of al-Qaeda are also good Muslims and are fighting against the invader”.

His revelations came even as Idriss Deby Itno, Chad’s president, said al-Qaeda had managed to pillage military arsenals in the Libyan rebel zone and acquired arms, “including surface-to-air missiles, which were then smuggled into their sanctuaries”.

Mr al-Hasidi admitted he had earlier fought against “the foreign invasion” in Afghanistan, before being “captured in 2002 in Peshwar, in Pakistan”. He was later handed over to the US, and then held in Libya before being released in 2008.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Australia to repay royalties under mine tax

(Reuters) - Australia's booming mining companies have won a major concession over a plan to tax their profits, potentially saving them hundreds of millions of dollars and helping cool industry opposition to the tax.

The Japanese disaster PROVES the value and safety of nuclear power

Daily Mail
"Because here we had an ancient, creaking plant. It contained several design flaws; most notably the questionable decision to store spent fuel rods perilously close to the reactors, on the roof. There seems to have been some skulduggery over the years involving the plant’s operators and the nuclear regulators in Japan. Profits were put before safety, corners were cut, lies were told. And yet, and yet, this cannot be stated loudly or often enough – we have not yet seen A SINGLE DEATH which can be attributed to radiation. .....To put it in perspective, he said, the rise in background radiation in the Tokyo metropolitan area immediately after the accident (thanks to dispersal and natural radioactive decay it will be lower now) was from about 1.5 millisieverts (the sievert is a rather oddly defined unit of radioactive exposure in the body) per year to maybe 3-4mSv.

So a doubling – a tripling even. Sounds terrifying. But the thing is, the natural background radiation level in the UK is about 2.5mSV per year. In parts of Cornwall, much of which is underlain by mildly radioactive granite, levels are probably 3-5mSv/year. If you live in an old stone cottage, whose walls are seeping radon gas into your living room, your radiation exposure levels may be an order of magnitude higher again."

But he's spending billions to shore up his LibDem allies

Daily Mail
"The second Liberal issue to be given a major boost yesterday was the environment.

First, Chris Huhne got his way as the Government pledged to introduce a carbon price floor from 2013. This obscure-sounding change will herald a profound and expensive shift in electricity generation in Britain. It involves taxing conventional – gas and coal – energy producers, pushing up their costs, and forcing them to raise the price they charge for electricity as a result. This then benefits renewable energy producers – and nuclear power – because they can get away with charging more for their more-expensive-to-generate electricity.

The result will be to push up the cost of electricity for all of us, at a time when it’s rising anyway because of world oil prices increases. This will be hard for ordinary households, with average bills up 6 per cent by 2016, and difficult for industry as well.

Yes, it raises money for the Treasury – £1.4billion a year by 2015 – but however green the Tories are these days, it’s unlikely they would have embraced it so enthusiastically outside the Coalition.

Nor is that the end of the cash for greenery. Another pet Liberal Democrat project, the Green Investment Bank, which is supposed to put funds into green projects, has already been given £1billion of Government cash, and is now to be handed another £2billion of our money to invest. We can be fairly certain that much of the money will be thrown away as civil servants hand out cash to dubious green causes without proper financial checks. After all, if these green investments are so brilliant, why aren’t they getting cash from conventional banks?"

Monday, 21 March 2011

Japan: whatever happened to the nuclear meltdown?

"Amazing, isn’t it, what a little light military intervention can do to a nuclear crisis?

One minute, the world is facing nuclear meltdown armageddon to rank with – ooh, Three Mile Island at the very least, and quite possibly Chernobyl. A few (shockingly expensive) missile strikes over Benghazi and Tripoli later, though, and the Japanese nuclear crisis has all but vanished from the face of the earth.......One of those ridiculous people is – inevitably – the noisome Energy Secretary Chris Huhne. In true Rahm Emanuel style he is using the perceived crisis as an excuse to push forward his anti-nuclear, eco-loon agenda. He claims:

“We can do the 80 per cent reduction in emissions by 2050 without new nuclear, but it will require a big effort on carbon capture and storage and renewables.”

If implemented this will most assuredly cause brown-outs and tremendous economic damage by the time the energy gap begins to widen in 2020. But since Huhne will no longer be in office then and since he is wealthy enough not to have to face the consequences of his political stupidity this is unlikely to bother him."

Friday, 18 March 2011

The Forgotten Millions By PAUL KRUGMAN

"More than three years after we entered the worst economic slump since the 1930s, a strange and disturbing thing has happened to our political discourse: Washington has lost interest in the unemployed. ......So one-sixth of America’s workers — all those who can’t find any job or are stuck with part-time work when they want a full-time job — have, in effect, been abandoned.

It might not be so bad if the jobless could expect to find new employment fairly soon. But unemployment has become a trap, one that’s very difficult to escape. There are almost five times as many unemployed workers as there are job openings; the average unemployed worker has been jobless for 37 weeks, a post-World War II record.

In short, we’re well on the way to creating a permanent underclass of the jobless. Why doesn’t Washington care? "

Miliband fails to learn Labour spending lesson

"Telegraph View: 2011 Budget - Ed Miliband offers nothing but banker-bashing and yet more spending .....Six months after becoming Labour leader and four months after saying that “in terms of policy, we start with a blank page”, Ed Miliband has finally started to fill the void. His joint press conference yesterday with Ed Balls, the shadow chancellor, was billed as a pre-Budget economic policy statement. It was nothing of the sort. About the crippling deficit Labour left behind, there was barely a word. Instead, we were treated to another round of banker-bashing populism combined with a promise to spend large amounts of money. Has Labour learnt nothing from its decade-long spending spree that left the country in penury?

Fukushima Update: From Reliable Non-Hysterical Sources

"Of course the situation is very serious, but very likely nothing like what the chronic habitual alarmists portray it be. Look – it’s a messy job cleaning this up and things will neither go smoothly nor happen right away when you want them to.

Right now you’ve got hundreds of thousands of poor earthquake victims outside freezing in the bitter elements and it would be nice if the media focused on them and did something to lift their spirits for once."

Greater Danger Lies in Spent Fuel Than in Reactors

"Years of procrastination in deciding on long-term disposal of highly radioactive fuel rods from nuclear reactors are now coming back to haunt Japanese authorities as they try to control fires and explosions at the stricken Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. .......Central to Japan’s plans is a $28 billion reprocessing facility in Rokkasho village, north of the quake zone, which would extract uranium and plutonium from the rods for use in making mox fuel. After countless construction delays, test runs began in 2006, and the plant’s operator, Japan Nuclear Fuel, said operations would begin in 2010. But in late 2010, its opening was delayed by two years."

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Yes, nuclear power plants are dangerous. But for Britain, the alternative is to start hoarding candles

Daily Mail
"Chris Huhne, the British Government’s Lib Dem Energy Secretary and a crusader for renewables, is a dogged opponent of nuclear power.Only yesterday he called for more ambitious carbon emission targets to cut Western energy use, even though many economists believe such policies will grievously erode our industrial competitiveness.Huhne is likely to be prominent among ministers who argue that the Japanese disaster reinforces the arguments against new atomic power stations. Yet some of us believe that if his brand of woolly sentiment prevails, it will deal a body blow to Britain’s future. .....Accidents in the oil and coal industries have killed and continue to kill far more people than nuclear power ever has.

Almost every course of action that societies adopt demands a balancing of choices, acceptance of some risk.

Many sensible economists and industrialists think we should be much more frightened than we are about the prospect that amid worsening energy shortages and rising oil prices, by the end of the decade this country will face a crunch that the Government is doing nothing to avert.I believe that Chris Huhne’s commitment to Lib Dem green nonsense makes him a menace as the Government’s minister responsible for energy.He pretends that renewables (wind generation foremost among them) can solve most of our problems, which is a huge untruth.In the winter of 2009, Britain’s 2,800 hugely subsidised and vastly expensive turbines provided just 0.7  per cent of our energy needs.

The truth is that however many more windmills we put up, nothing alters the simple fact that the wind, especially in southern Britain, blows too little and too erratically to make turbine generation a credible mainstay of our power requirements."

Monday, 14 March 2011

As Afghanistan falters and the Middle East burns, how Obama is missing in action

Daily Mail
"His remoteness reflects an arrogance rooted in a curious lack of interest in people save as a political study. While the world welcomed Obama as a transformational figure, he shows no sign of wishing to fulfil any such grand role.

Indeed, the White House is obsessed with a single issue: how to get its man re-elected in November 2012.

A Washingtonian who has studied the President at close quarters said to me: ‘I think I understand him now. He’s a “pol” - a politico - who learned his business in the Chicago machine.’

Friday, 11 March 2011

Next on the BBC... those wicked Tory cuts in full

Daily Mail
"This morning’s edition of You Couldn’t Make It Up comes courtesy of The Guardian, which reports that the Labour Party is unhappy about the BBC’s biased coverage of the ‘cuts’. That makes two of us. You can’t turn on the BBC without being force-fed lurid details of the apocalypse about to befall us because of the Coalition’s attempts to tackle the massive budget deficit bequeathed by the last government.If you believe everything you hear on the Beeb, by this time next year there won’t be a hospital left open in Britain, the schools will all have been boarded up and the streets will be overrun with old age pensioners begging for a crust after being evicted from their council day centres — probably at gunpoint...... But I doubt much attention has been paid to investigating the massive waste, non-jobs and vast salaries of senior council officers, or the huge increase in expenses and allowances which self-styled council ‘Cabinet’ members have awarded themselves lately.

The anti-cuts agenda is institutionalised at the BBC and infects the entire output, not just news and current affairs."

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Food prices in Britain are rising three times faster than G7 nations

Daily Mail
"Food prices in Britain are rising at three times the rate of the world’s seven biggest economies.Figures from the OECD put UK food inflation at 6.3 per cent, well ahead of the average of 2.1 per cent for the G7 group of nations.The cost of putting meals on the table is also rising much faster than most of Europe.The average annual rise in Ireland is only 0.3 per cent, while it is running at 0.1 per cent in France, 0.8 per cent in the Netherlands and 2.1 per cent in Belgium.The figures will anger British shoppers amid mounting suspicion that UK supermarkets are turning the screw on consumers to boost profits.The OECD said only Turkey, Estonia, Hungary and Korea had a higher rate of food price inflation among the 34 countries it surveyed."

Monday, 7 March 2011

Eurocrats allowed boob jobs, health spas and Viagra - under £3m scheme paid for by the TAXPAYER

Daily Mail
"The details were revealed in a leaked copy of the Practical Guide to the Reimbursement of Medical Expenses.The £2.9m budget for Euro MPs’ medical expenses also covers alternative therapies and new age treatments, including lymphatic drainage - a form of massage that advocates claim helps the body eliminate toxins.The husbands and sons of female MEPs can also claim for private treatment to resolve problems with impotence. Viagra is available if the condition is the result of a serious illness.Critics condemned the cost of the scheme at a time of financial austerity, which have risen by a staggering 36 per cent since last year, when the programme cost £2.2m."

Friday, 4 March 2011

100,000 Eastern European migrants now free to claim full benefits in Britain worth tens of millions of pounds after EU ruling

Daily Mail
"Critics said Labour made a ‘huge mistake’ when agreeing that the rules would last for just seven years and called safeguards ‘paper thin’.Since the EU expanded in 2004, Britain has experienced its largest ever wave of migration – despite official predictions that just 13,000 workers would want to move here. .....More than a million have joined the scheme and figures suggest there are some 625,000 still in work in the UK.

But from May migrants from Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Hungary, Lithuania, Slovakia, Slovenia and the Czech Republic will simply have to pass a ‘habitual residency test’ – showing they have been looking for work for three months.The only other requirement is that they show benefits officials where they live, prove they want to settle here and show any employment history.At that point they can get access to a council tax rebate, housing benefit worth hundreds of pounds a week and jobseeker’s allowance of £65 a week.The change in rules will also lead to a rise in the number of eastern Europeans living in Britain who receive child benefit for children still living in their home country.