Tuesday, 31 July 2012

How London became the money-laundering capital of the world

"There is a world of difference between having rules which are meant to be obeyed, and doing everything within one’s power to avoid providing any meaningful form of compliance with the rules. The purpose of the regulations is to make it as difficult as possible for people who have acquired their money illicitly, anywhere in the world, to find a safe haven in the international banking system. So there are rules and regulations which impose a burden on banks and financial institutions requiring them to ensure that before they accept money from a client, that they have a clear picture of its provenance, that they know as much as possible about their clients, their businesses, the sources of their funds, and if they have held high political office, to make sufficient enquiries to ensure that the monies being deposited are not in fact the proceeds of international aid payments which have been stolen from the country’s Treasury. These rules are routinely flouted by the financial institutions."

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Cheapskate Beckhams...

Victoria Beckham attempts to get iPad replaced for free after Brooklyn breaks £600 Apple tablet (Daily Mail)
"With their millions, it’s hard to imagine the Beckhams quibbling over the cost of anything. But when Brooklyn, 13, smashed his iPad, his fashion designer mum was not keen to fork out £600 for a replacement. Victoria, 38, took Brooklyn to Covent Garden’s Apple Store last week and allegedly made it clear she would not be fishing out her credit card. ‘Victoria explained her son had smashed his iPad and wanted another one,’ reveals a spy. ‘But there seemed to be no question of her paying for it. In fact, it was made quite clear she expected a freebie’. And what Posh wants, Posh gets."
ED: They have form on this... 'only the little people pay'

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Christians Flee from Radical Rebels in Syria

"Thousands of Syrians are fleeing into neighboring Lebanon -- not entirely due to fear of the Assad regime. The country's minority Christian population is suffering under attacks waged by rebel troops. In the Beqaa Valley in eastern Lebanon, Christian families are finding temporary refuge, but they are still terrified. ....Soon, an outright campaign against the Christians in Qusayr took shape. "They sermonized on Fridays in the mosques that it was a sacred duty to drive us away," she says. "We were constantly accused of working for the regime. And Christians had to pay bribes to the jihadists repeatedly in order to avoid getting killed." Grandmother Leila made the sign of the cross. "Anyone who believes in this cross suffers," she says. ......Jawhar, a Lebanese national and commander with the terrorist group Fatah al Islam, died that day in the Syrian city. An explosives expert, Jawhar had been in Qusayr to teach rebels how to build bombs and accidentally blew himself up while trying to assemble one. Until his death, Jawhar had been the most wanted man in Lebanon, where he is implicated in the deaths of 200 people. Lebanese authorities confirmed his death in Syria. The fact that the rebels had worked together with a man like Jawhar fomented fears after his death that the ranks of insurgents are increasingly becoming infiltrated by international terrorists."

Conflict of interest? Only for the whites...

The Black Steam Train
"If you've read any of my previous posts, you'll know he's the pale fellow on the left. A man of many talents, Mick is an Aboriginal Elder, Traditional Owner, Business Owner and also holds several important positions the Indigenous Industry. He is on the Board at Mt Buller, the Board of Native Title Services Victoria (NTSV), and a Council Member of the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Council (VAHC). Not bad for a man who didn't find out he had Aboriginal heritage until he was 25. ..... Mick has claimed often and with great passion about his strong connection to country and has spoken emotionally about the dispossession of his ancestors from their 'cultural home'. Surprisingly, it is a place he today, chooses not to live. Instead, you will find him living in Gippsland, far away from his 'stolen land'. ......Don't be fooled by the Message Stick in his hand. Like most Fauxborigines, he's using it wrong and paying it no respect. It is in his hand not for some deeper spiritual or cultural reason, but, as a prop to fool unwitting watchers into believing this guy knows his stuff. Cultural credibility that he manufactured in his own workshop, no doubt.....Note also the Possum Skin Cloak draped across his knee. While happy to crap on about the patterns on the cloak, Mick is not so forthcoming in this particular interview about the ancient techniques used to create such a piece of art. ....See how easy it is to spin a little cultural bullshit? All you have to do is waffle. I like how Mick waffles. Most Fauxborigines, when talking about their heritage or culture, will often resort to this very same trick. They talk in circles, often spending an inordinate amount of time describing small, inconsequential things. Like a shield they once saw, or an Elder they spoke to. Often, they'll use a small smattering of an Aboriginal language they've revived in a windowless room in a University to punctuate their speech with more credibility. It is quite an art form, but ultimately, they do horrendous damage to a culture they have no right to speak of."

Friday, 27 July 2012

Ministry of Defence spends £2.5m a year on full-time union staff despite cutting thousands of troops

Daily Mail
"The Ministry of Defence is squandering £2.5million a year of taxpayers' money on full-time union staff while forcing crippling cuts on Britain's Armed Forces. The cash-strapped department is shelling out the fortune in public subsidies for salaries so activists can carry out union duties. The bloated MoD is footing the bill for the equivalent of 123 civil servants to spend a staggering 27,000 days a year on union business - or 220 days each."

Saturday, 21 July 2012

The Wilson scandal: now the Cambridge affidavit

Andrew Bolt,Herald Sun (Australia)
"Ian Cambridge was a joint national secretary of the Australian Workers Union when he discovered an AWU state secretary Bruce Wilson had been siphoning off $400,000. Cambridge also learned Wilson’s girlfriend, Julia Gillard, had done legal work for Wilson and the AWU as a partner of Slater and Gordon.
(For extensive background on this case, listen to Alan Jones’ interview yesterday with Michael Smith. More background here. Note also that Gillard has said she was “young and naive” at the time, being only in her mid 30s and a partner in a major law firm. She denies knowing what Wilson was up to. She denies doing anything wrong or benefiting from Wilson’s schemes. She has in the past two years refused two requests from me and many by others to respond to specific questions.)
Cambridge was represented at the time by solicitor Robert McClelland, who was recently sacked from Cabinet by Gillard. McClelland this month told Parliament the Wilson case convinced him tougher laws were needed to ensure that money wrongly taken from union members by officials was returned. He also asserted an unnamed “third party” may have benefited from Wilson’s scheme. Cambridge is now a commissioner of Fair Work Australia, having been appointed by Julia Gillard on 2009. But in 1996 he signed this scathing affidavit on the Wilson scandal."

Friday, 20 July 2012

Julia Gillard and the Australian Workers Union

Just listen to this ...... Alan Jones is joined by Michael Smith to discuss the Prime Minister and the AWU. [30 mins approx] (H/T Prof. Bunyip)
ED:If you think things are bad here (UK), then listen to this clear case of corruption.

Revealed: Unite boss’s plan to turn clock back to 1983 for Labour

"A few weeks ago Uncut revealed Unite’s political strategy. How the union intends to take control of local Labour constituency parties, influence parliamentary selections and extract maximum political return for their funding largesse. ....So far the Labour leadership has tolerated and tacitly encouraged Unite in their efforts. Partly this has been through financial necessity – the party is now as reliant on Unite funding as William Hague’s late 90s Tories were on Lord Ashcroft and it doesn’t do to upset the banker - but it has also been a way of burying the Blairite past." (H/t Guido Fawkes)

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Britain's non-EU exports now account for the majority of our overseas sales – however you measure it

"Nowadays, though, even the unadjusted figures tell of the EU’s decline. Never mind the Netherlands: we sell as much to China as we do to Spain, and more than to Italy. Our exports to the US, easily our largest market, have surged to £3.67 billion, up £744 million since December. Even without the Rotterdam Effect, our non-EU exports in February were worth £100 million more than our sales to the EU. ......For a long time, partisans of European integration cast themselves as being on the right side of history. Europe was modern, cosmopolitan, exciting; the Commonwealth was nostalgic, sentimental, atavistic. Suddenly, that alignment has been reversed. Now it is the Anglosphere that is the coming force, the EU that looks uncomfortably like a post-war hangover. The future’s bright. The future’s global."

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Nobel prize winning physicist explains why global warming is 'a new religion' and 'pseudoscience'

The Hockey Schtick
"The video of the recent lecture given by Nobel Laureate physicist Dr. Ivar Giaever at the 2012 meeting of Nobel Laureates is now available online. In the highly recommended lecture, Dr. Giaever explains why global warming is a "pseudoscience" that begins with an emotionally-appealing hypothesis, and "then only looks for items which appear to support it," while ignoring ample contrary evidence. Dr. Giaever explains why "global warming has become a new religion - because you can't discuss it - and that is wrong."

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Britain's only EU hope lies hidden in Lisbon

Christopher Booker,Telegraph
"There is only one way in which we could force the other EU states into negotiating a new relationship for Britain. If our politicians, led by Mr Cameron, were actually to read the treaty, they would find this power under Article 50, inserted at Lisbon: such a negotiation can only be triggered if we notify the EU that we wish to leave it. Then, and only then, would our EU colleagues be compelled (rather than “persuaded”) to enter into the negotiations necessary to establish our “future relationship with the Union”.

Friday, 6 July 2012

Fixing Europe’s Budget Mess

"This is both simpler, and harder, than Fixing America’s Budget Mess. .....The problem is a structural one. Germany has a larger stronger productive capacity than the other nations of the EU. It also has a stronger work ethic and more tightly focused and controlled economic structure. Basically they work harder, smarter, and save their money. In the merger of nations that made the EU, Germany essentially got a built in Mercantilist Advantage.
......Part of the basic problem facing Greece, Italy, and Spain is that they are overpriced, being in German dominated Euros. Furthermore, if they can not practice Austerity and cut their expenditures, the only alternative is to repudiate those expenditures and debts. (Higher taxes will not work, thanks to the Laffer Curve). That repudiation can be a formal default, but that is highly disruptive. Still, it has been done. The more polite mode is the slow default of inflation; but that can only be done if the currency inflates.
......I expect the EU will instead go for more taxes, more interventionist central government policies, more tight integration and less flexibility. That won’t work, but it is what I expect they will do. Germans are sure that they can fix things if only they had more control, and the PIIGS are sure that holding tight to the EU and Germany will bring more German money. All of them are sure that they can fix things with enough higher taxes. None of them will want to take the “risk” that a cold plunge into lower taxes and freer economies would entail. Fear and greed. Fear of market solutions and greed for others peoples money."

Why QE is not the answer to Britain’s economic problems

"Monetary policy errors can destroy the economy – but that doesn’t mean clever monetary policy can create a boom. Bad monetary policy is disastrous – but good monetary policy is neutral. It doesn’t mess things up. It allows the private sector to do its thing. QE is not like alchemy. It can’t cure an economy which is suffering from real ailments, such as excessive debt, bad skills, too much regulation, bad incentives and the like. These problems require real medicine, not a bit more money printing."

Thursday, 5 July 2012

For George Osborne and Ed Balls, the Libor scandal is a fight to the death

"No matter what Balls’s title may have been over the 13 years of Labour’s government, his main job was as Gordon Brown’s de facto chief adviser. Together they bear more responsibility for the crash than perhaps any two people in Britain. They personally designed the regulation system which failed so spectacularly. They reprogrammed the Bank of England only to worry about inflation, rendering it blind to the massive asset bubble. They came up with the “golden rule”, which saw Britain’s debt rising massively even in the boom years. And while Brown paid the price at the ballot box, Balls had thought he’d got away with it."
"Perhaps the greatest single cause of the crash was an addiction to cheap debt – and a belief that this was the new normal. Just yesterday the Bank of England decided to print another £50 billion to keep the Government’s cost of borrowing artificially low. Fiddling the interest rate, it seems, is a game that a long list of distinguished people can play."

Bank of England Still Artificially Lowballing Interest Rates

Guido Fawkes
"This morning the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee will meet and in all likelihood order another £50 billion of Quantitative Easing, or money printing. This will again be used to buy government bonds, artifically holding down long term interest rates. This deliberate policy is approved by George Osborne and allows the Treasury to finance government over-spending via sales of government gilts to the Bank of England. It robs the old of the value of their savings and the young who will have to finance the future taxation which the government has effectively deferred.
This monetary experiment will have totalled some £375 billion, it is unprecedented in scale and there is no clear exit strategy to unwind QE. The Bank of England’s balance sheet is now loaded up with gilts that were not sold in the open market, holding down interest rates and allowing George Osborne to point to the bond market and claim the UK is a safe haven. In reality we have an artificial bubble in the bond markets that could pop disastrously if confidence was lost. If it goes wrong, we will look back on QE as the biggest rate-fixing scandal of all time."

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Perhaps it's time Tony Blair explained why he should be let anywhere near European power in the future when his rash actions seem to have robbed Romania of the chance of normal democracy

The Commentator
" In Romania it’s a real start in life to obtain a godfather who wields influence. This was true even in communist times when the acronym of the ruling party, the PCR was widely translated as pile (pull), cunostinta (contacts) and relatiii (relatives).
It is no exaggeration to say that the nation of Romania, or at least the elite segment which has been in the ascendancy in the epoch after communism ,on its own very restricted agenda, has benefited from having a super godfather. This is Tony Blair no less. He has only actually set foot in the country twice but both visits have proven significant.
The first was in May 1999 when he played the lead role in getting NATO and the EU to confront the Serbian leader, Slobodan Milosevic over his tyrannical behaviour towards the Albanins in Kosovo. For its support in a high-risk showdown, Romania was offered the chance to join the EU.
Blair set a precedent by ensuring that Romania could leap from near the end of the queue to receive entry on informal terms. The rules were clear: no country with Romania’s broken-down economy could be considered as it would be unable to compete and be a drag on other members.
Once Blair persuaded European colleagues simply to disregard them, his attention soon turned to the Middle East. Indeed, he seems not to have given Romania another thought for a long time. But he came back on March 26th this year to speak in Bucharest as the guest of groups close to the Social Democratic Party."

Raining June: Last month was the wettest since records began in 1910 after 5.7in of rain fell (more than DOUBLE the average)

Daily Mail
"This June was the wettest since records began, with double the average rain falling during the month, the Met Office said today. Provisional figures showed the UK received 145.3mm (5.7 inches) during June, beating the previous record of 136.2mm (5.4 inches) seen in June 2007 - and more than double the average for June of 64.9mm (2.5 inches) It is the second month this year to see record-breaking amounts of rain, after this April became the wettest in the records dating back more than a century to 1910."