Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Financial regulator 'urges British banks to prepare for the collapse of the euro'

Daily Mail
"British banks have been told that they need to prepare for the break up of the single currency.The Financial Services Authority told the UK's banking giants late last week that they must 'accelerate their contingency planning for the the break-up of the euro'.'We cannot be, and are not, complacent on this front, said Andrew Bailey, deputy head of the FSA's Prudential Business Unit.The revelation comes after it was revealed multinational companies are drawing up contingency plans in preparation for the possible break-up of the eurozone.Senior executives at a number of leading global conglomerates have hinted that they can no longer assume that political leaders will be able to save the single currency, it has been reported."

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

King Says U.K. Economy ‘Increasingly Threatened’ by Euro-Area Debt Crisis

"Bank of England Governor Mervyn King said the U.K. is being “increasingly threatened” by the euro- area crisis, and authorities must be ready to act if it continues to escalate.

“What we have to do is to be ready and prepared with contingency plans and to make sure that as far as possible our banking system is as robust as possible to withstand whatever shocks that come from the eurozone,” King told lawmakers at a Parliament committee in London yesterday. There are “early signs” of a credit crunch emerging in euro area in the difficulties banks have in accessing funding, he said."

Friday, 25 November 2011

All he needed was a camel hair coat, a cigar and blonde dollybird

Daily Mail
"Parliament's jauntiest geezer was up on his Mystic Megs just before lunch in the House of Lords. I refer, naturally, to Lord Sugar, television personality, property developer, shooter of cuffs. He is also a ‘socialist’ peer, though yesterday he sounded more like a Thatcherite (which I suspect is what he really is). ....Sid James’s long-lost twin is not restful to watch. He will not stand still and he hinges his torso backwards, from the waist, to accentuate certain points. When not rubbing his nipple he places his left hand inside his shiny-pinstriped trouser pocket to give things a bit of a jiggle."

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Australia's very own John Bercow

New Speaker Peter Slipper under expenses scrutiny (Adelaide Now)
"THE Liberal turncoat who accepted Julia Gillard's support to become Parliament's Speaker is being investigated over his "extraordinary" spending on taxpayer-funded travel. .....The Queensland MP, who has been forced to pay back more than $20,000 in wrongly claimed entitlements, also embarked on a lavish six-week study tour in March. With his wife Inge, he spent an estimated $25,000-plus visiting European travel hotspots, including Spain, Germany and the UK, to examine "bilateral relationship" with Australia. Mr Slipper, whose behaviour was detailed in a confidential file held in the office of ex-prime minister John Howard, has regularly spent close to $200 of tax money on individual taxi fares. .....Mr Slipper's generous use of entitlements often during non-sitting periods of Parliament has provoked fury among local constituents, who signed a petition calling for a full audit. This was tabled in Parliament in September."
FOREIGN Minister Kevin Rudd has declined to answer questions about new Speaker Peter Slipper. (Herald Sun)
"He also declined to refute Queensland LNP president Bruce McIver's assertion that Mr Rudd stitched up the Speaker deal when he visited Mr Slipper in his Sunshine Coast electorate last week."
A house of ill repute (The Australian)
"Slipper's career has been punctuated by scandal, allegations of parliamentary allowance misuses and simple stupidity. From high-spending travel entitlements to party defections between the Nationals and the Liberals to finding himself locked in a disabled toilet calling for assistance because he thought the sliding door only had push and pull functionality, Slipper is hardly a model MP."
Gillard may have slipped with Slipper (Andrew Bolt,Herald Sun)
"A very good and fair speaker in Harry Jenkins has been replaced by a man of very dubious reputation who has also betrayed his electorate’s wishes. It looks like a grubby deal with a grubby man to help a grubby government cling to power. It makes the independents propping up Gillard look a bit grubbiier, too, having to go along with this. "
The man the Liberals wanted to sack, but Labor made Speaker

We're paying £50m a day to the EU: Britain's contribution to Brussels rises to £18.5bn

Daily Mail
"Figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that the UK’s contributions to Brussels rose by 5.7 per cent last year to a record £18.5 billion – double the Home Office Budget. At the same time, the money Britain received back from the EU fell by almost a quarter to £8.1 billion, a fall of £2.6 billion in a year."

United States of Paralysis

Daily Mail
"More important still, however, is the vacuum across the Atlantic.
President Barack Obama, who took office almost three years ago amid such high hopes, now clings to the White House amid collapsed poll ratings and a real threat that the American people will evict him at next autumn’s election.

The United States, as that great historian Sir Michael Howard has said, remains ‘the only nation able, and sometimes willing, to get things done in the world’. Yet this mighty country today finds its political system almost paralysed, its leader overwhelmingly concerned with his own re-election next year, rather than with leading the West out of its slough of despond."

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Oh Sally, please: Fresh embarrassment for Speaker John Bercow as wife declares her favourite gadget is a sex toy

Daily Mail
"She's done it again.

If Commons Speaker John Bercow thought his wife Sally would cause him no further embarrassment after openly discussing their 'spicy' sex life on Big Brother he was mistaken for she has revealed her favourite gadget is a sex toy. Mrs Bercow, 41, made the revelation during an interview for a political magazine when asked what her favourite device was. She replied: ‘I was going to say my vibrator.’When the reporter for Total Politics asked if that comment was off the record, the mother of three answered: ‘Oh no, put that one in.’

Something has to give

Dr Richard North

"The headline and first paragraph says it all. But is there any politically mature person anywhere in Europe who would not pose the same question of their own country and government?"

"The evidence is overwhelming: binding fiscal decisions have been made and communicated to the EU before the Cabinet has met to discuss or approve them.

We have, then, three clear instances in which the system of government laid down by the Constitution – collective decision-making by the Government acting as a whole – has been set aside

Friday, 18 November 2011

German minister claims Britain WILL join the euro (and they've got secret plans to block our referendum)

Daily Mail
#Finance minister's astonishing claim comes despite deepening crisis that threatens the existence of the single currency
#PM flies to Berlin today to discuss repatriation of EU powers and 'Tobin tax'
#UK to pressure Merkel to allow euro bank to print more money
#Senior Tory calls for 'permanent, universal opt-out' from European laws
Springtime for Merkel, starring in no particular order...
"This seems like a good time to revive Mel Brooks’ masterpiece, The Producers.
In the movie, theatrical impresario Max Bialystock and his accountant Leopold Bloom set out to stage a musical, Springtime For Hitler, which will be a sure-fire flop. That way, Max can defraud his investors and make a fortune.The euro, on the other hand, was designed to be a sure-fire success and has ended up defrauding an entire Continent."

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Homeless moved on ahead of Obama visit

Sky News (Australia)
"Homeless people are being moved away from Darwin's city centre ahead of the visit by US President Barack Obama for security reasons. Larrakia Nation chief executive Ilana Eldridge says her organisation, which offers support to homeless people, has been given a gentle suggestion by the government to help people move away from places Mr Obama will visit. Ms Eldridge says they'll take them to a place where they'll be comfortable and safe. About two thousand people are thought to be homeless in the Darwin region each night, about 95 per cent of Aboriginal descent, with 20 to 30 staying along The Esplanade, where Mr Obama will travel today."

Abbott 1, Obama nil

Quadrant Online(Australia)
"Tony Abbott’s speech in Parliament today to welcome Barack Obama before his own speech to both Houses was a masterpiece – but one which will sadly go over the heads of most Australian people. It was a Prime Ministerial speech, mercifully devoid of the nonsensical sentiment with which Gillard’s was choked. (You’d have thought Julia had been there like Grace Sullivan, making scones while the Japanese bombed Darwin, before she decided instead to direct Obama to the John Curtin Library in Perth – which I notice is not on his itinerary.)

Abbott’s speech, on the other hand, was brilliant. He showed that he has a far better grasp on what America is, and what her role is in maintaining world peace and stability, than Gillard. He also showed that he has a greater love for America and her abundant ideological gifts to the world than Obama does; the influence of Mark Steyn was unmistakable. (Steyn should be charging Abbott royalties).

Abbott’s speech was a noble one; one which showed abundant respect for the values upon which America was founded – and by contrast, very little for the man sitting there who is supposed to be defending them.

Obama kept a poker face throughout, but when he rose to reply, his tone in thanking ‘Leader Abbott’ was unmistakable. "

Number of secondary school children from ethnic minorities soars by 57% in ten years

Daily Mail">
"Study author describes 'irrevocable change' Trend seen right across England In Tower Hamlets, pupils from ethnic minorities make up more than 80%"
Foreign workers take yet more UK jobs as number of Britons in work plunges and youth unemployment hits one million

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

'Pipe-smoking and tweed-wearing university dons': 'Super Mario' names new Cabinet team without a single elected politician

Daily Mail
"Critics have pointed out that Italy will now be governed by a band of 'non elected pipe smoking and tweed wearing university dons' - although Monti does have the backing of all the major Italian political parties. 'This government, ties to banks, to business, to the Vatican, to private universities - to the usual names - is the opposite of what this country needs,' said Paolo Ferrero, leader of Rifondazione Comunista, a tiny, far-left party.Passera also sits on the board of directors of Milan's Bocconi University, which forms Italy's business elite. Monti is currently the head of the Bocconi."

Monti unveils technocratic cabinet for Italy

BBC News
"Mario Monti has unveiled a new, technocratic cabinet meant to steer Italy through its debt crisis after the fall of Silvio Berlusconi's government."

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Blair has sold himself to a foreign power

Yahoo News
"It could become a pub quiz question: who was the first British prime minister to sell himself to a foreign power?

It would be too easy to guess the answer — Tony Blair, who recently signed a multimillion pound contract to advise President Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan. He has reportedly opened an office in the capital, Astana. Other than the president, no-one knows what advice Mr Blair is giving. His client does not need any advice on winning elections: grateful Kazakhs gave him over 95 per cent of their votes in their last presidential elections in April this year. His party already holds all the seats in parliament. Some media reports suggest that he is advising on financial institutions. According to other reports, he is helping the president prepare a bid for next year's Nobel Peace Prize. Again, Tony Blair seems a strange source of advice, until one remembers that the prize was once given to Henry Kissenger."

Sunday, 13 November 2011

The week the euro went up in flames

"As this week’s replacement of elected leaders, largely at Germany’s behest, underlines, this is a democratic crisis as much as an economic one. The EU’s essentially undemocratic nature allowed elites to push through the euro – not something which the people of Europe ever demanded or, in most northern countries, even supported with much enthusiasm."

Saturday, 12 November 2011

The week that proved the europhiles wrong

Daily Mail
"This was the week that should convince even the most zealous champion of the euro that the game is up. For it was the week when the full, catastrophic consequences of imposing a single currency on 17 nations came home with a force that defies denial. On the political front, the euro stands exposed as incompatible with democracy. Economically, it has proved a destroyer of growth, jobs and livelihoods. .....All over Europe, growth forecasts are revised sharply downwards. And the European Commission’s head of economics admits: ‘A deep and prolonged recession complemented by continued market turmoil cannot be excluded.’ Yet even now, there are some who cling to the fantasy that with ever-larger bailouts here, and ever-deeper austerity there, the euro’s problems can be solved without radical reform. Well, that is a matter for the nations of the eurozone. If they can raise the unimaginable sums needed to carry on with their crippling experiment, on their own heads be it.What is clear is that British taxpayers should have no further part in bailing them out, through the IMF or otherwise."

The EU's architects never meant it to be a democracy

Christopher Booker,Telegraph
"So, as headlines scream that vain bids to save the euro threaten us with “Armageddon”, the EU’s ruling elite has toppled two more elected prime ministers, to replace them with technocratic officials who can be trusted to do Brussels’s bidding."

The decline of European democracy

Andrew Bolt,Herald Sun (Australia)
"Italy and Greece are now both to be led by prime ministers who were not elected to parliament but appointed. Is this a perfect symbol of how the European Union is being preserved by undemocratic methods? "

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Eurozone crisis: who is pulling the strings in Europe?

"As the escalating eurozone crisis has toppled governments in Italy and Greece, decision-making is increasingly being driven by France, Germany and a powerful group of Brussels officials. .....Angela Merkel ,Nicolas Sarkozy ,
Christine Lagarde (unelected),Mario Draghi (unelected),José Manuel Barroso (unelected),Herman Van Rompuy (unelected),Olli Rehn (unelected),Jean-Claude Juncker. "

Compared to this, Greece was just a sideshow. Italy could blow Europe to pieces

Daily Mail
"Italy is the third-largest economy in the EU, and the eighth largest on the planet. Its outstanding debt of €1.9 trillion (£1.6 trillion) accounts for 25 per cent of all the debt in the eurozone. ....What should the EU do instead? It should oversee the phased unbundling of the single currency.

Supporters of the project insist a euro break-up would be technically unfeasible, but this is nonsense. All the countries in the single currency have recently managed to change their currency: that’s how they joined the euro in the first place.It works just as well when leaving a currency union. I asked a Slovakian economist how his country had managed the transition when it divorced the Czech Republic in 1993.‘Very easily,’ he replied. ‘One Friday, after the markets had closed, the head of our central bank phoned round all the banks and told them that, over the weekend, someone from his office would come round with a stamp to put on all their banknotes, and that, until the new notes and coins came into production, those stamped notes would be Slovakia’s legal tender. On the Monday morning, we had a new currency.’

The protestations that it cannot be done will strike British ears as familiar: it’s precisely what we were told about the Exchange Rate Mechanism, a forerunner of the euro in which a basket of European currencies shadowed the Deutschmark and which Britain joined in 1990."

Germany and France 'discuss plans for EU overhaul'

"The discussions among senior policymakers in Paris, Berlin and Brussels raised the possibility of one or more countries leaving the eurozone while the remaining core pushes on towards deeper economic integration, including on tax and fiscal policy. ..."This will unravel everything our forebears have painstakingly built up and repudiate all that they stood for in the past 60 years," one EU diplomat told Reuters."This will redraw the map geopolitically and give rise to new tensions. It could truly be the end of Europe as we know it."

Portugal finds hidden assets ....

SMH (Australia)
"US big-wave surfer Garrett McNamara has surfed glacier-fuelled tsunamis in Alaska but even he broke new ground when he surfed this 27-metre monster (that's 90 feet to the older folk out there) off Portugal recently.The wave, which is being acclaimed as the biggest ever ridden, is believed to be the result of deep water canyons amplifying an eight-metre swell at Praia do Norte off the coast of Nazaré." (Video)

Italy panic sparks $30b sell-off

SMH (Australia)
"About $30 billion was wiped from the value of Australian shares today as Italy emerged as the new centre of concern in the euro-zone debt crisis.Both major sharemarket indices fell to their lowest level in a month over concerns about Italy’s ability to service its debt mountain and the implications for the future of the euro as a common currency."

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Italy debt crisis: what the experts said

"Jeremy Cook, Chief Economist at foreign exchange company, World First

“The markets continue to lurch from one problem to the next and we have now kicked the can as far down the road as is possible. Unfortunately there is very little more that can be done to stop this crisis. The only possible mechanism for the eurozone to haul itself out of this mess is to let the ECB print euros and print them like their life depends on it, because - and I do not mean to sound flippant - the euro’s life does depend on it.

"The ECB have tried to stymie the increase in Italian bond yields by buying Italian debt [bond prices move inversely to yields], but they have not done so in any meaningful manner. If Mario Draghi wants to live up to his 'Super Mario' moniker then he really needs to throw the ‘kitchen sink’ at the problem, not just the plug.

"Without a bold move from the ECB, the euro, in its current form, is in grave danger of imploding.”

Italy's Crisis: Why You Should Worry

Yahoo News /ABC
"Now you might say, O.K., then, I’m sorry for the Italians, I like Italy, but…why does this matter outside Italy?

Remember how markets went south – when it looked like Greece might default on its debt? Well, Italy’s debt is FIVE TIMES greater than what Greece owes. It’s been a messy process (and it isn’t over) as the Eurozone economies have struggled to bail out Greece. It’s hard — almost impossible — to see how the rest of Europe could (or would) muster the political will and actual cash to bail out Italy.

Right, got it, and really, I feel badly for Italy. But why does this matter for us?

Here’s a simple equation to keep in mind: Default + no bailout = Economic collapse. And here are some facts: Italy is the world’s 7 th-largest economy; while Greece makes up 2% of the European Union’s GPD, Italy makes up 17%. As one of my colleagues put it today, an economy that size will not collapse in an orderly way."

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

The EU sunders Greek politicians from their people

"It’s not a national government – not, at least, in sense of a government that represents the nation. The coalition of the two big Greek parties has been formed for the sole purpose of pursuing an agenda that the nation rejects, viz. the Brussels-mandated loans-for-austerity programme. What’s more, the nation is right to reject it. Greeks can see that the bailout money is not coming to them, but to European bankers and bondholders. The interest payments, however, will indeed come from Greek taxpayers."

France cuts frantically as Italy nears debt spiral

"France has unveiled the toughest austerity measures since World War Two despite the looming danger of a double-dip recession, vowing to slash borrowing by €65bn over the next five years in a last-ditch effort to save the country's AAA rating. "

Defend Britain from these euro dictators

Daily Mail
"Increasingly, it appears we are witnessing the death of democracy and the right of sovereign nations inside the eurozone to govern their own affairs. First the overbearing eurocrats — led by France and Germany — bullied Greece into dropping its planned referendum. Then they forced Prime Minister George Papandreou from office and made it plain that the country’s next leader must be a pro-Brussels technocrat of whom they, rather than the Greek people, approve."

Monday, 7 November 2011

the REAL issue that explains the bedlam at our border controls

Daily Mail
"The real culprit is surely a political culture that years ago lost the plot on national identity and race relations — and the legacy of which is an administrative class whose resulting attitudes are simply inimical to the national interest. The crucial milestone in this long-running debacle was 1997, when the incoming Blair/Brown Labour government decided to lift existing immigration controls in order to create a new kind of society, both economic and cultural. New Labour thought that, since the economic dynamism of the U.S. was due to the fact that it was a nation of immigrants, mass immigration would similarly transform the British economy. It also thought that creating a multicultural society would eradicate prejudice and bigotry. Both arguments were, of course, as fatuous as they were anti-democratic. Unlike Britain, the U.S. does not have an ancient national identity that mass immigration would transform."

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Thousand people an hour sign up to e-petitions website calling for debate on migration

Daily Mail
"A petition calling for drastic action to prevent the UK's population soaring to 70million was yesterday backed by 1,000 people every hour. The huge response to the campaign by Migration Watch means it is already one of the most popular e-petitions on the Downing Street website. By 6pm yesterday – 18 hours after its official launch – there were 18,000 signatures. Late last night, the total stood at 24,000."

Greece in meltdown: Government on edge of collapse amid fears of coup as Europe teeters on the brink of financial disaster

Daily Mail
#Greek cabinet vote unanimously to hold referendum on whether to uphold debt agreement
#Generals face sack as coup rumours spread
#Markets plunge as fears for the euro grow
#PM George Papandreou to meet eurozone leaders ahead of G20 meeting
‘It’s all over. The government is about to collapse,’ said one Greek official. Greece’s former deputy finance minister Petros Doukas agreed: ‘The **** has hit the fan.’
Corrupt nation holding a gun to the EU's head
Festering anger, Nazi war crimes and the £60bn the Greeks believe the Germans owe them

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Markets in freefall after Greece calls shock referendum on cuts which threatens to SINK Euro bailout

Daily Mail
#FTSE 100 falls 3.4 per cent after opening
#Germany's Dax falls by 6.2 per cent
#French CAC-40 falls 5.9 per cent
#Dax, Nikkei, Dow Jones and Nasdaq also tumble
#59 per cent of Greeks think deal is ‘negative’
#'No' vote could prompt country's exit from the Euro
#228-year-old US brokerage MF Global goes bankrupt due to euro bonds
#First Greek referendum since 1974 when monarchy was abolished
#Chinese warn hopes of 'red knight' riding to slay euro debt dragon are 'misplaced'
#Experts warn of second global recession and social unrest
#Comes as UK growth figures 'better than expected'