Just wondering if it had this on it recently...
Just wondering if it had this on it recently...
Iain Dale interviews Margaret Thatcher - well, not quite Margaret Thatcher, but someone in drag. I have to admit that I found some of this quite funny, with some great lines on the current state of politics in the UK, e.g. on Gordon Brown getting up and smiling in the morning, "...just to get it over with"; and on Europe the Labour party needs a phrasebook to say "no" in Portuguese when negotiating; and on Mandelson we have "...here's a shiver looking for a spine to crawl down, isn't he?"; and on Cameron, he's "...a bit too friendly..." and he's "...the sort of man, you know, who would call John the Baptist, Jack..." It's all a nice bit of satire.
Meanwhile, the real Margaret, Baroness Thatcher is recovering in hospital after a fall. A few years
...for the lack of crime fiction at the moment, but real life events have taken over. When not seeking a job, I am immersed in the detail of what is being disclosed in respect of MP's expenses and the impact on our Parliament and democracy. It's a shame that this boil has been allowed to fester, only to be involuntarily lanced right now, because we all know that the state of the economy is paramount in the minds and lives of so many in the UK and Europe and elsewhere, at the moment. A bunch of self-seeking, damage limitation headless chickens is not what we need right now. But, unfortunately, it's become part of the culture of governing and thus it's also par for the course and needs to be dealt with, with immediacy.
The DT has criticised Ken Clarke for basing "his entire political career on his financial acumen but when it comes to filling in his expenses forms, his book-keeping leaves much to be desired" and also said the "shadow business secretary had to be reminded repeatedly to submit receipts for claims running into thousands of pounds for security and cleaning at his second home in south London".
I can understand that: call it a busman's holiday.
Tax-payers should fund an MP for fines on being tardy? That's really taking the mick.
With more disclosures in this morning’s Daily Telegraph, it is no surprise that I have spent a good bit of today reading about MPs’ expenses. I recently commented on Welsh monikers when I wrote about Mari Strachan’s The Earth Hums in B Flat, so I thought I’d lighten the mood a bit and apply Welsh monikers to some of the MPs. (Quotes in italics are directly from the DT.) Please feel free to add your own in the comments.
On Wednesday on the train home from London I read the Evening Standard to catch up with budget. It carried a headline that the national debt will add up to £1.2 trillion by 2012/13. It also listed some other countries for comparison. Earlier, I looked up the 2007 GDP figures for these countries on the OECD's site. (Ukraine's and Egypt's are estimates from wiki, with Colombia coming from the CIA's site.) I applied the sterling/USD exchange rate from Sussex university's site (1.4315) and converted the trillions to billions for the relevant countries in order to make the stats comparable. Gordon Brown once said that borrowing should not go above 40% of GDP. Here are the estimates from my sums.
|Debt tr £||Debt bn £||Debt tr USD||Debt bn USD||GDP bn USD||%|
If we don't have a vote of confidence and a general election soon, it looks like I'll be emigrating. But not to Italy, the USA or France.
Now there's an entrepreneurial business opportunity for someone...
It wasn't a quiet Easter for some and yesterday I found myself glued to the emerging news of "Smeargate" in which those who serve this country were exposed as having considered a smear campaign against the Tories. All on a personal basis to cause "destabilisation" within the party. All in bad taste. All in the spirit of if you've got nothing positive to say, destroy your enemy.
Yes the New Labour Spin Factory Ltd. is alive and kicking. Indeed, it's the only factory in the UK still working at full capacity. Thousands of redundancies
There are some things that our Prime Minister says which I do believe. One of them is that this is a global recession. We live in times of a global economy, so that's going to be the case and sadly, we can see the deck of cards falling down across the globe. Thus it is good to read the news from other countries' sources and achieve a broader view. Researching a topic, I came across a Croatian news website. Guess who said the following? (Answers below in the extension of the post.)
"This biggest worldwide economic crisis arose by getting into debt. You can't fight a debt crisis by getting into more debt. That's why we need to proceed very carefully."
Here is a salient reminder about the risks and potential consequences. It wouldn't surprise me if our EU friends in Brussels come up with some new laws on blogs soon.