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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Socialism & Energy Prices

So Ed Miliband has confirmed that he does want a return to socialism.

He intends on bringing in price controls for energy bills, to freeze prices for the first 20 months of a Labour re-election.

This is not very clever, except in terms of populist politics in which case it is very clever.  Let me explain both parts.

Overall consumers are very unlikely to notice any difference to their total energy bills from now to 2020 whatever government is in charge and whatever policy they may or may not threaten/implement.  If this policy of price controls is implemented (or it looks guaranteed that Labour will win in 2015) then energy companies will simply raise prices by 20% instead of the usual 10% prior to the winter of 2014.

Of course this is very clever as all of a sudden, 6 months before the election Labour will be able to spin about how much energy prices have risen under the Tories and how they are going to put a stop to this.  Except hopefully the public are not dumb enough to fall for Labour deceit once again.

By the way gas bills more than doubled the last time Labour were in charge.

May I also take the time to point out the chronic lack of investment in power generation in the UK between 1997 and 2010, and the agreement to costly carbon-reducing EU targets.  This and the fact that we are a significant gas importer are why bills have consistently gone up.

There are ways to reduce your energy bills both in the short-term and medium term.

In the short-term, simply use less energy.

In the medium term, if we want energy prices to fall, then we need sources of cheap energy.  Coal is cheap yet we have/are shutting all our coal plants to meet emissions targets.  Fracking has seen consumer gas prices plummet in America.

But if you really want socialism, as this is what Red Ed is promising, along with alluding to land grabs from companies refusing to build houses whilst land prices are increasing (albeit Boris did allude to something similar in London) then take a good look at Venezuela and the Chavista revolution, and how such socialist policies in an oil-rich company have crippled the economy and had knock-on effect to the population.

What has happened to their energy supplies?  And food supplies?

Don’t fall for socialism.  It doesn’t work.

Oh one last thing.  Who brought in the Climate Change legislation that gave us the EU policy to push up the price of energy?

Monday, September 23, 2013

My New Hairstyle

I felt it was time for a change, but what change?

The 70's sex-god look:


The Margaret-Thatcher admirer look:


The future/what was I thinking look:


The weed-smoking pirate look:






The Liverpool look:


The Racist look:


One of these hairstyles is now mine (albeit maybe it needs a bit more time to be fully refined).

Which one?  Come and see me DJ on Saturday and you can find out.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Women Who Do Not Clean Behind The Fridge Are Sluts

So is that the UKIP poll ratings about to go up now?  Don't worry these are not my words.

The Urban Dictionary gives 55 pages of meanings of the word slut.  I didn't read all the definitions, however I did not find the word 'fridge' in any of them.  A couple of them mentioned the word 'clean' but not in reference to household cleanliness.

Mr Godfrey Bloom, architect of such enlightening views, hater of sending money to "Bongo Bongo Land" (whatever happened to Um Bongo drinks?) and somehow a sodding MEP (who the heck voted him in...oh yeah he represents Hull) is apparently in charge of UKIP's economic policy.  I think.


One does know their policy on immigration, energy and fishing.  I have a feeling that between us, we could work out their policy on the EU.  However, it isn't that easy to work out their economic policy (except leave the EU and go fishing).

This is what I have managed to find:

In their 2010 manifesto, they promised to eliminate progressive tax codes and replace them with a flat tax of 31%.  That isn't good for me.  I don't want to pay more tax.  Champagne socialists and a Tory donors would love their income tax of 45% being slashed to 31%.  They do mention all earnings below £11,500.00 would not be taxed at all, but that is only slightly higher than the intention of the current government.

Then they promised to eliminate 2 million jobs in the public sector.  Probably a good thing.  They would replace 1 million of them with manufacturing jobs.  Assumedly to manufacture guns and bullets to keep those pesky foreigners out.  Not exactly sure how they expect to just magically create 1 million, specifically manufacturing jobs, unless they are proposing nationalised industries.

Other items include building prisons, high speed rail lines, £30bn on flood defences, loads of nuclear power stations so that we get 50% of our electricity from them...all funded by leaving the EU.

That is assuming that leaving the EU doesn't significantly reduce tax receipts, increase costs to exporters, possibly lose our foreign-owned car industry to eastern Europe - not to mention probably actually having to follow all the EU directives so we can actually sell to our biggest export market anyway, and not being able to slash them and save the money that UKIP expect to fund their new prisons and expanded defence.

There are some good policies.  Every party has some good policies.  Even Labour managed to run the economy well for 4-5 years until around 2002 when they started their unaffordable debt-binged splurge and encouraged you all to do so too.

As a Conservative I do fear UKIP.  My head does say they will only get 1 or 2 MPs at best in 2015, but there is always that concern.  They could certainly reduce the amount of Tory MPs by stealing their natural voters so Labour or Lib Dems sneak into Tory-held seats.  Though UKIP also seem to appeal to disillusioned Labour voters so it could work the other way.

Could there be a worse scenario in 2015 than a coalition between Labour and UKIP?  Wow.  I would instantly do the reverse of Michael Jackson, so hopefully they would repatriate me to a sane country.

By the way, I have never cleaned behind a fridge.  I don't mind you calling me a slut however currently my sex life would not back up any such assertion.

You really wanted a picture didn't you?  Sorry.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Putin's Words

Vladimir Putin has made an appeal to the America people, against possible military action.

Before I start, I appreciate that this awful civil war has more than one side, but this blog post is about Putin and his relationship with Assad.

Let's remember a few facts.

After huge political changes in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, an uprising began in Syria with mass protests, sparked by the torture of children that had written anti-Assad graffiti.

2 years later - 100,000 people have been killed.  1,500,000 are refugees in nearby countries.  4,000,000 are internally displaced.  I do not have figures on the injured but one can only imagine.

Not all of the 100,000 dead will have been killed by Assad and his forces.  But many have.  Any leader of a country that tortures, bombs and quite probably gasses his own citizens should not be allowed to continue in control of said country.

However, as Mr Putin pointed out, international law only allows a country to defend itself, or when authorised by the security council which would tend to be in cases of when one country has invaded another.

So, international law advises that if you are a leader of a country, you should not attack another country - but it is ok to wipe out your own citizens.

Before anyone takes Mr Putin's words too seriously, please may I remind you of his occupation of Georgia, his brutal wars in Chechnya, his cyber-attack on Estonia and gas-blockade of Ukraine in the depths of winter.

On Russian soil, may I mention Anna Politkovskaya's murder?  Guess what she was doing?  Investigative journalism.  On Chechnya.  How many other journalists have been murdered in Russia?  200?

Although we have just proved that killing your own citizens is of course perfectly acceptable.

Perhaps the real reason Mr Putin is so against supporting the Syrian uprising, is that he faced protests of his own shortly after the Arab Spring, after the Russian constitution was changed to allow Putin to run for a third term as president (albeit anyone who believes that Medvedev was really in charge in the 4 years prior is quite possibly deluded).

Of course, arms sales are useful to the Russian economy, and having access to a naval base in the Mediterranean is very useful for future military strategy.  But supporting a fellow-autocrat under fire from protesters looking for freedom and liberty is a useful sign to those back home who may wish to overthrow your regime.

I could even go on to mention the unusual and unexpected deaths of those in the UK, like Mr Litvinenko.  Or the imprisoning of such figures as Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

If you ask me, and this is why you are reading my blog, you put your trust in Assad and Putin in the same way that our predecessors trusted Hitler not to invade Poland.

I do not for a second think the proposed negotiations will be anything other than a Saddam-style cat and mouse game to give Assad more time to butcher civilians in this brutal and complex civil war.  I hope I am wrong and peace soon prevails.

In my view it is absolutely disgraceful that we allow such barbarous regimes to exist.  It is a stain on human existence and I abhor it.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

My Hot Office

Those of you lucky enough to be my friend or have met me once and accepted my offer of Facebook friendship will know that I work in a rather hot office.  31'C kind of hot, on sunny days.  26'C kind of hot on cloudy, wet days.

Albeit during the depths of winter we are all sat here with coats, gloves and scarves on.

I have moaned enough about it so time came to write to my MP to request legislation about maximum working temperatures.  Time at the bar, that was.

****************************************

Dear Alok Sharma,

I work in an office which regularly records temperatures of 26'C during
the summer, and this week has managed to record temperatures of 31'C.

I do not think this is acceptable, but a year of complaining and one
solitary portable air conditioning later, I am at the end of my tether,
as we say up north.

I believe it is having an affect on my health, and that of other
employees.

Is there any legislation I can point my employers towards, to encourage
them to look after the welfare of their staff?

My only other alternative is to contact a trade union. But I am a
staunch Thatcherite and that doesn't sit well with me!

Yours sincerely,
James Winfield

*****************************************



***************************************


Bullshit.

But that was a pretty dumb idea really.  Why write to a Conservative government asking for extra business legislation?  What was I thinking?!

I should have written to my MEP.  Doh.  The European Union will fix it for me.

Thursday, September 05, 2013

RIP Gary Tweddle

Gary was not one of my closest friends but his enthusiasm, spirit of adventure and positive attitude left quite a lasting impression on me.

I was saddened to hear the conclusion to the heart-breaking story, and my thoughts go out to his family and loved ones.

Far, far too short a life, but one that will be remembered by so many others for far, far longer.  That so many people have followed the story to conclusion, with compassion and positive thoughts proves the impact that my friend had.  Having read some very moving tributes from some very close friends, it is remarkable the fondness and affection that so many people I greatly cherish hold for him.

I feel honoured to have met Gary, and spent some time with him, especially those times in Ibiza and I will never forget him.

I guess it will be an empty pint glass.