Saturday, 31 January 2009

The Apostles Creed Abolished At Sandhurst: A Replacement?

His Grace Archbishop Cranmer has dealt with this definitively and at length.

How above this for a new creed:

Throw the grenade
And not the pin.
Stab, twist, withdraw.
If in doubt
Make a brew.
I believe in the value of fighting this war
Against people who despise all of my values
Yet who will be claiming a council house and benefits in England before I get home.
Because they have a well-founded fear of persecution in their homeland.
My kit is adequate but at the expense of units not in theatre.
If I am wounded or I die
I will not be visited in hospital or rehab by the politicians who lied to send me here,
Nor will they pause a moment to mourn my death as they phone X Factor contestants.
The locals are shooting again.
Oh F***

The EU and Bankers and Competition When It Suits Them

I'm really annoyed by the French company Total awarding a construction contract to an Italian company which has imported Italian and Portuguese tradesmen to do the work when skilled British workers are unemployed. Europhiles will argue that free movement of labour is one of the cornerstones of the Common Market/ EU and I will acknowledge that many British construction workers worked in West Germany in the eighties ("Auf Wiedersehen, Pet") during the recession. But, conveniently, that was at a time of a skilled construction worker shortage in Germany. This time, there is a worldwide recession and the costs and benefits are unbalanced. British workers, who need to earn salaries sufficient to pay British mortgages (do you claim the credit for house price inflation, Gordon Brown?) are being forced to compete with foreign workers who are financially prepared to live on floating hotels/accommodation barges. That would indicate that their outgoings are significantly less than their British rivals.
Which brings me to the legions of foreign workers in the City. Do they live on accommodation barges moored alongside Canary Wharf and earn less than British finance workers? No, they are paid the same because the free market requires that the best people are paid the going rate. No competition there. But then they are in the blessed banking and financial services industry whose sins and errors are instantly forgiven and forgotten by them and paid for by the rest of us.
So here is my possible solution to the unfairness of the present system of free movement of labour from low wage economies to countries with a higher standard of living (and vice versa for work): increase the thresholds for goods and services contracts that must be advertised in the European Contract Journal and, in the longer tem, adapt the PDO and GI systems for foodstuffs and other items to "ringfence" products of strategic industries in individual countries. Oh, and house bank executives on Thames rubbish lighters prior to their trial and hangings for treason to reintroduce the feelgood factor to the rest of the nation.

Friday, 30 January 2009

Two Brains Are Better Than One

Except when two prisoners make a bolt for freedom in New Zealand:

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Church of Ireland Primate Offers Peanuts To Families Of Terrorist Murder Victims

A Primate Engrossed In Thought

A £12,000 "Recognition Payment" to the families of everyone murdered in the Northern Ireland "Troubles" ? Other people's money well spent, Robin Eames. I want the Church of Ireland to pay for British Humanist Society adverts on the sides of buses: any chance of that happening? There is a difference between a member of a terrorist group sent to meet his maker for judgement of his sins (isn't that what Christians like Eames believe?) and innocent victims of a nasty civil war started by psychopathic republican criminals and soon joined by murderous unionist* extreme-protestant bigots. Normally, religions are big on moral things like right and wrong, thou shalt not kill and don't do that. But this report smacks of taking the easy path of appeasement.

If any money is to be paid out, it should come from the capacious coffers of the competing and divisive religious denominations in Northern Ireland, ideally from a winding-up auction of their assets. Additional moneys could come from the politicial establishment in the Republic of Ireland that only ever did the minimum to fight the terrorists and from those collectors in America whose tins stopped rattling on 12 September 2001 after the romantic notion of the heroic freedom fighter was definitively extinguished in the rubble of the Twin Towers.
Surely the best option for spending this money is by continuing to fund voluntary groups in Northern Ireland that encourage people of all traditions to mix and ignore their religious affiliations.

* in the sense of devolved government at Stormont Castle and subsidies from England.

Has the "Nice" Socialist Who Left A Comment On My UNWRA Post Read This Article? Update

I was unjustifiably accused by somebody the other day of making a snide comment about about a former BBC journalist now working for UNWRA. My intention was to highlight the cosy old school tie relationship that present and former BBC employees appear to have; rather than casting aspersions on someone's impartiality. The post, the comment and my rebuttal resulted in me receiving an extremely disturbing comment that prompted me to delete the two posts relating to the DEC Appeal andOperation Cast Lead.
But today I read this on Melanie Phillips' blog. On reflection, I was wrong to delete the posts.

And, thanks to Haddock, here's a link to them. It appears that there is no "away" to throw things in the blogosphere.

Here's the posts originally uploaded on 25 January:

Why The BBC Believes UNWRA's Line on What Happened in Gaza

The UNRWA spokesman is Chris Gunness, ex-BBC. So, therefore, a throughly decent chap, trained by the BBC, one of us. No need to spend any of the investigative journalism budget to confirm the war-crimes of the IDF. By the way, who gave Hamas a "get out of jail" card for its outrages*?

* sorry, of course they are all proportionate self defence responses against unjustified Israeli aggression

BBC Headless Chicken Management

The BBC are refusing to broadcast an appeal by the Disasters Emergency Committee for emergency aid to Gaza. As I've said before my default position is to support Israel and despise terrorists like Hamas but I take the view that when your neighbour's house is burning you don't ask for your lawnmower back before filling a bucket to put the fire out. Innocent children are in need of the basics required to live - that is all that needs to be said. After World War II Britain introduced bread rationing in order to export wheat to the British administered zone of Germany where there was a shortage. Nearly everyone else disagrees with the BBC's position.The BBC claim that they would lose editorial impartiality - er two words Barbara Plett - something they had no qualms about when former Gaza correspondent Alan Johnston was invited to a sleepover at the home of a local kidnapping clan. And where was the impartiality when the BBC failed to report the post Cast Lead murders of Fatah supporters by Hamas for example?It is also amazing that the BBC has someone called a Chief Operating Officer to explain the decision. Surely this is a job for the Director General. The BBC appears to have fallen into the HR diversity brain swamp and spends licence money on big jobs for any woman who has worked there for thirty years. I hope the Chief Operating Officer does something useful like donating her annual bonus for example.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Post Deletions

Regular readers may have noticed that two recent posts have been deleted. This is because I value my personal safety above my right of freedom of expression. It's a sad world that forces me to do this but there are nasty people out there reading blogs.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Banking and Finance Video 2

Wouldn't it be cheaper and safer if all bank, FSA and Treasury staff spent their days doing this instead of shredding our money?

Banking and Finance Video 1

Just as with Jonathan Ross, things would be better if the monkeys were paid peanuts instead of their ridiculous lottery wins (salaries).

Monday, 19 January 2009

Bank Bailout Plan Number 3

I thought I'd get this ready for mid-March when Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling will do everything they can to help hard-working bankers keep their bonuses with a £1 terabillion injection to guarantee potential intergalactic losses written on another sheet of paper that was inadvertently left on the photocopier when the previous ast submission to the Treasury was drafted.
Oh well, it's not as if it's real money anymore.

Friday, 16 January 2009

That's What I Call Flying Number 2,367

The amazing demonstration of skill, training, cool-headedness and sheer bloody good luck that enabled Captain Chesley Sullenberg to land his aircraft safely in the River Hudson in New York yesterday deserves the ALPA Superior Airmanship Award at least and should be considered for the 2010 Collier Trophy and the FAI Diploma for Outstanding Airmanship.

The accident raises three important points:

1) Pilots are worth their salaries.
2) Your chances of surviving any aviation emergency are hugely increased by listening to the pre-flight safety briefing and reading the instructions in the seatback in front of you. Life jackets are provided to prevent you drowning. So please feel free to heckle any so-called comedians with a routine that mocks aviation safety. Far better they die on stage than you die in an airliner.

3) And this is combined with the Heathrow third runway go-ahead announcement: why shouldn't passenger flying-boats be reintrduced? Just imagine catching the boatplane at the Pool of London then taxying out for a take-off from the Thames Estuary. Admittedly, there are some minor downsides to flying boats like economics and corrosion but these could be designed out or around. It's been forty rears since TEAL ended flying boat operations in the South Pacific, fifty odd years since Aquila Airways stopped its Solent flights,

sixty since BOAC beached its Sandringhams and seventy since the heyday of Imperial Airways' Empire flying boats to South Africa and Australia.

Even the Americans had a fair whack in the thirties with big Sikorsky, Martin and Boeing boats

. So come on Mandy, give me the money to build a Saro Princess with modern engines etc.

Two New Blogs Worth Reading

Firstly, the Vocal Yokel, Robin Page has a clog at the Daily Mail. Anyone who is a member of the Countryside Restoration Trust (please join it), a reader of the Countryman (please take out a subscription) or just a bloody minded, stubborn Englishman or woman will be aware of this pen wielding peasant.
Secondly, LibertyMine, a very interesting blog with posts about Israel (and I hereby place on record my support for Israel), British politics and miscellaneous good stuff.

Digby Jones And The Civil Service

Our hero, believes that many civil servants deserve the sack and that government could be more efficient if people simply did what he said. Not a team player, evidently. This story reminds me of the man who was phoned by his wife to warn him of a local radio newsflash that a car was being driven the wrong way up the motorway. "It's much worse than that, I'm having to swerve past hundreds of the nutters," he replied.
Unfortunately, Dogberry doesn't understand that the Civil Service supports Ministers who are accountable to Parliament. Select Committees will grill Ministers, Permanent Secretaries and Agency Chief Executives and MPs and Members of the Lords can ask written or oral Parliamentary Questions that have to be 100% accurate. The alleged weakness of the Civil Service in taking time to assemble information, consider several opinions and develop a consensus before submitting a paper to a Minister for a decision has been proved to work over many decades. The private sector requires profit. Even at company AGMs there is no equivalent of Question Time.
Paradoxically, the biggest obstacle to efficiency in the Civil Service is the continual reorganisation resulting from the implentation of the latest flavour of management bollox from the private sector which has to be more efficient because it makes a profit. Perhaps the private sector, especially the banks, could learn lessons from the Civil Service.

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Shriti Vadera Has Form

How many green shoots can you see in the foreground of this picture?

She (private school and Oxbridge like all the best Labourites) may be squirming out of the totally crass and unsympathetic "green shoots of recovery" comment she made today but I remember how this ex-investment banker and Gordon Brown uber croney described Railtrack shareholders during the court case resulting from its alleged nationalization by theft. They were "grannies" who "added no value to the company" . Call me cynical but if any member of the Royal Family spoke like the fragrant Baroness, the popular and respected MP for Leicester East would have been outraged. But he's not. Offending hard-working people who have lost their jobs because of economic mismanagement or have lost their savings to suit government policy goes uncensured. Double standards or what.

To update the old saying:

"A recession is when my neighbour loses his job, a depression is when I lose my job, but a recovery is underway when Shriti Vadera loses hers."

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

I Know Where Gordon Brown Is Getting All That Money He is Spending To Do Everything To Avoid Recession

Rumour has it that the Treasury has set up an e-finance section to take advantage of joint-venture banking schemes with West African partners. Quite brilliantly, our finest financial brains are investing £50 billion of hard-worked taxpaying families' money in projects that are anticipated to net some £500 billion of otherwise unused money in dormant bank accounts. And all this for providing HM Paymaster General bank account details and the combination for the Bank of England bullion room.
Using Freedom of Information accessed information (well, don't leave your papers on the table on the train when you go for a meeting with McNutley/have a poo), I can reveal the text of one of the memoranda of understanding between HMG and a Mr Ahmed Aba.

Dear Partner,
It's just my urgent need for Foreign Partner that made me to contact you for this transaction.I am a Banker by Profession from Burkina Faso in west africa and Currently holding the Post Of Foreign Remittance Manager in our Bank. I have the opportunity of transferring the left over funds ($7.5Million) of one of my bank clients who died in the World trade Centre in america September 2001. Hence, I am inviting you for a business deal where this money can be shared between us in the ratio of 60%for me / 40%for you alone. Further details of the transaction will be forwarded to you as soon as i receive your return mail,Have a great day. Contact me via this e-mail address:
Mr Ahmed Aba.

According to an eminent British banking executive "It's guaranteed free money because banks and bankers are inherently capable and trustworthy and all due dilligence can be assumed to have been done by the Burkino Faso authorities. Besides, I may not understand it fully but then I didn't understand those ninja derivatives that Rupert and Saskia said were such a bargain. Fair enough, the bank caught a cold on those but good old Darling came up trumps with £10 billion in short order to keep our pensions and bonuses happy."

Saturday, 3 January 2009

Aircraft Recognition 2009

Any ideas about this aircraft?