Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Spain faces 'total emergency' as fear grips markets

Telegraph
"Mr Roberts said the collapse in Spanish tax revenues is replicating the pattern in Greece. Fiscal revenues have fallen 4.8pc over the last year, and VAT returns have slumped 14.6pc. Debt service costs have risen by 18pc. The country is caught in a classic deflationary vice: a rising debt burden on a shrinking economic base. “Once you get into such a negative feedback loop, you can move beyond the point of no return quickly,” he said."

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Kid gloves and the damning questions Mr Blair WASN'T asked

Daily Mail
"By the way, at no stage in the proceedings yesterday was phone hacking by journalists at the News of the World discussed — hacking that was so inadequately investigated during the New Labour years. That seems to have been long forgotten.No, it was the Press as a whole that was in the dock, with Mr Blair often the chief prosecutor. Mr Blair created the most lethal Press machine ever known in this country. He sucked up to Rupert Murdoch more than was wise, seemly or necessary. It was he and his propagandist Alastair Campbell who were architects of the News International/No 10 axis — whose malign influence is still corrupting politics today — and I’m afraid his crimes dwarf any accusations he can ever level at his critics. Put Dr David Kelly’s terrible death to one side. The spinning, the media manipulation and occasionally the downright mendacity of his administration eventually inflicted unprecedented damage to the trust between the media and the political class and in the process corrupted public discourse. So it was with some disbelief, and a very heavy heart, that I heard Lord Justice Leveson at the end of the proceedings invite an eager Tony Blair to come back with his best ideas for the proper regulation of the Press. How he must have blessed the innocent judge! The thought of Tony Blair and Alastair Campbell determining how newspapers should behave takes us into hitherto uncharted realms of madness."

Beautiful Day! How Facebook's millions have added to Bono's stunning portfolio

Daily Mail
"There are nine other directors of Elevation Partners and it is thought that Bono owns a little over 10 per cent of the $1.5billion stake. ......Beyond his complex financial interests, the rocker has a property portfolio that includes a villa in the South of France and a lavish Italian-style palazzo overlooking the sea near Dublin, not to mention the £15million penthouse on Manhattan's Upper West side he bought from Apple founder SteveJobs. ..........Bono, whose real name is Paul Hewson, also counts a family-sized Maserati among his fleet of luxury cars and is known for his taste for fine food. He is also a noted wine connoisseur, who will regularly spend thousands on a single bottle at his favourite NewYork restaurants. He and the three other members of U2, Adam Clayton, Larry Mullen and guitarist David 'The Edge' Evans, also invested in Vertigo3, an Airbus A320, to fly them around in style."

Monday, 28 May 2012

Blair allowed to leave Leveson Inquiry early after telling judge 'I never used spin'

Daily Mail
" #Former PM left shortly after 3pm - more than an hour and a half early - when many others asked to come back the next day
#Says his government was not the first to want to 'put the best possible gloss' on its work
#Evidence interrupted by protester shouting 'war criminal' and accusing Mr Blair of relationship with bank JP Morgan over Iraq War before being ejected
#Rupert Murdoch was 'key decision maker' regarding the political affiliations of his newspapers - but Mr Blair insists no deal was made with the mogul
#However, Mr Blair admits 1995 trip to Hayman Island, Australia, to speak at News Corporation conference was a 'very deliberate and very strategic' attempt to win the support of the Murdoch titles
#The former premier spoke to Rupert Murdoch three times in days before 2003 Iraq War - including on March 19 - the day before the invasion
#He says: 'My minimum objective was to try stop them tearing us to pieces. My maximum objective was to try get their support'
#Mr Blair claims his decision to be godfather to Mr Murdoch’s daughter Grace was not made on the basis of their relationship while he was in office
#Former Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating's reportedly advised Mr Blair: 'You can do deals with him (Murdoch), without ever saying a deal is done'
#Mr Blair says he never told Peter Mandelson and Alastair Campbell to brief against people
Comment Tony Blair is a bare-faced liar

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Cuts? WHAT cuts? Ignore the BBC and the Left, public spending is HIGHER than under Labour

Daily Mail "The trouble is that it isn’t. Earlier this week, the City bond trading firm Tullett Prebon produced a report that confirmed what some of us have been saying for months. To all intents and purposes, there hasn’t been any overall cut in public expenditure in the two years since the Coalition came to power. ....Meanwhile, our national debt — what we owe as a nation — continues to soar. According to International Monetary Fund projections, it will increase faster over the next two years than any other leading European country apart from Spain. Proportionate to the size of our economy, our debt is one of the two or three highest in the developed world. When the Coalition took over, it stood at a stonking £1,002 billion. By the time of the next election, it will have risen to an unbelievable £1,613 billion. Using figures produced by the Office for Budget Responsibility, the Tullett Prebon report shows that Government expenditure in 2011-12 was still £22.6 billion, or 3.4 per cent, higher than it was in 2008-09 after nearly a decade of bingeing by the Labour government. That’s how far we have got! And while it is true that the deficit has been reduced — from £140 billion in the first year of the Coalition to £120 billion in the second — this has been achieved almost entirely as a result of higher taxes rather than cuts."

Friday, 18 May 2012

Exploding the myth of the feckless, lazy Greeks

New Statesman
"Here is the first myth: This crisis is made in Greece. It is not. It is the inevitable fallout of the global crisis which started in 2008. Are there features in the Greek economy which made it particularly vulnerable? Yes – there is rampant corruption, bad management, systemic problems, a black market. ......The crisis is a financial one. It is not. It is a political crisis and an ideological one. The difficulties of an economy the size of Greece (1.8 percent of eurozone GDP, 0.47 per cent of World GDP according to 2010 IMF figures) should hardly register as a blip on the global radar. The primary reason for the widespread panic is the interconnectedness of the banking sector – the very same systemic weakness which caused the domino effect in 2008 and which the world has collectively failed to address or regulate. The secondary reason is the eurozone’s refusal to allow Greece to proceed with what most commentators have seen as an inevitable default for many months now. Both these factors are down to political decisions, not sound fiscal policy. .....Greeks are protesting because they do not want the bail-out at all (or the foreign intrusion that goes with it). They have already accepted cuts which would be unfathomable in the UK. There is nothing left to cut. The corrupt, the crooks, the wicked, our glorious leaders, have already transferred their wealth to Luxembourg banks. They will not suffer."

Thursday, 17 May 2012

The problem with God is He thinks He's Bob Geldof

Telegraph
"Geldof seems to have fallen victim here to Bono syndrome: the delusion that his saintly outreach work among the world's poor and oppressed somehow renders him beyond the realm of ordinary mortals. So, for example, when you or I slave away at our jobs, the time we spend at work is just time. But when Geldof expends his own time it's so valuable it magically transubstantiates into a form of taxation. Give us a break, Bob."

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Greek Money-Go-Round

Guido Fawkes
"Today Eurozone governments are sending €4.2 billion to Greece to enable it to repay the European Central Bank €3.3 billion for bonds maturing a week on Friday. They are repaying themselves with their own coin."

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

The euro as we know it cannot continue, and we can't ignore this terrible reality a moment longer

Daily Mail
"The euro has always been an anti-democratic project. Now, with these elections, the people of two member countries have spoken definitively against the privations being imposed on them to sustain it. This dose of reality is long overdue. With problems in Spain, Ireland, Portugal, Italy and even Holland, which is between governments because no one can agree on austerity measures, it is clear it will not be the last. The euro as we know it is now on life support."

Monday, 7 May 2012

Those Revolting Europeans

NYT
"Consider the case of Ireland, which has been a good soldier in this crisis, imposing ever-harsher austerity in an attempt to win back the favor of the bond markets. According to the prevailing orthodoxy, this should work. In fact, the will to believe is so strong that members of Europe’s policy elite keep proclaiming that Irish austerity has indeed worked, that the Irish economy has begun to recover. But it hasn’t. And although you’d never know it from much of the press coverage, Irish borrowing costs remain much higher than those of Spain or Italy, let alone Germany. So what are the alternatives? One answer — an answer that makes more sense than almost anyone in Europe is willing to admit — would be to break up the euro, Europe’s common currency. Europe wouldn’t be in this fix if Greece still had its drachma, Spain its peseta, Ireland its punt, and so on, because Greece and Spain would have what they now lack: a quick way to restore cost-competitiveness and boost exports, namely devaluation."

Britain is shackled to the corpse of Europe

Daily Mail "Europe's economic problems are about to get a whole lot worse. For the past three years, governments have tried, however ineffectually, to tackle the debt crisis. Now, though, in country after country, voters are demanding precisely the high-tax and high-spend policies which caused the recession in the first place. Yesterday’s elections in France and Greece were the first of what will surely be many advances by the populist Left. In both places, candidates were elbowing each other aside during the campaign to demand more intervention and an end to cuts. The new French President is an unapologetic Socialist of the kind we haven’t known in this country since Michael Foot. Fran├žois Hollande wants wealth taxes, stimulus spending and a massive expansion of the state payroll."

Au revoir, Sarkozy! Au revoir, austerity! New Euro crisis as French and Greeks reject cuts and vote for return to ruinous spending

Daily Mail
#Euro at three-month low as Nicolas Sarkozy is ousted by Francois Hollande
#Markets tumble as uncertainty grows over country's new Socialist agenda
#Hollande expected to push against German-led European austerity drive
#Exodus of 'le super-rich' to London expected in light of planned 75% tax rate
#Meanwhile in Greece, voters reject policies of tough financial discipline
#Greek stocks plummet 7.6% as country faces weeks of uncertainty
#Analysts warns results could tip single currency into collapse within months

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Judges show we CAN put a block on online porn as they order internet providers to block illegal file sharing site

Daily Mail "The High Court ruled that Swedish file-sharing website The Pirate Bay, which enables users to download files, music and films without paying, must be blocked by UK-based internet service providers. Companies such as Sky, Talk Talk and Virgin Media have been told to prevent their users from accessing the site, The Pirate Bay, which hosts links to mostly-pirated free music and video. Last night MPs contrasted the vigorous action to force internet service providers (ISPs) to block material which infringes copyright with the lack of movement on blocking children's access to online porn."