Archive for the ‘Europe’ Category

Bad marriage

August 19, 2010

Helle Thorning-Schmidt, leader of the Danish Social Democrats, was ahead in the polls and on course to win Denmark’s forthcoming general election. Sadly she is married to Stephen Kinnock a member of the World Economic Forum in Geneva and son of the notorious family of EU gravy-boat sailors. Recently she called for Denmark’s crippling tax rates to be raised even higher to cope with the recession but it now it appears her husband has been on the tax fiddle. He induced her to confirm he spent less that 33 week-ends per annum in their home in Copenhagen allowing him to save £40,000 by paying his taxes in Switzerland. This has caused an up-roar since Danes are clearly unaware Labour Party grandees and their families ignore laws set up for the “little people”.

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The Seattle One

July 20, 2010

The case against Amanda Knox was flimsy and there was not one iota of physical evidence placing her at the crime scene.

The piecemeal leaking of salacious information about the American girl by the prosecution was a disgrace.

She was subjected to a relentless, corrosive character assassination that she never had a chance of fighting.

She has been demonised simply for being a sexually active woman. The evidence struggled to even to reach the realm of the circumstantial.

Nothing in the facts sustains the Italian prosecution’s belief that the murder was a she-devil’s sex game gone wrong. It is conjecture, pure and simple.

Starting Over

July 2, 2010

The future role of Britain in our rapidly changing world has been outlined by William Hague in his wide-ranging first speech as Foreign Secretary.

He said that our relationship with the USA should remain strong “but not slavish” and that we needed closer links to the smaller, often overlooked states of the EU.

He stressed the need for fresh ties with the emerging economic giants of India, China and Brazil as well as improved relationships with the Middle East and South America.

During the past 13 years the wider strategic interests of the country were neglected while Labour leaders strutted and postured and indulged in foolish military adventures.

It is good to see a fresh start being made at the re-vamped and strengthened Foreign Office under one of the most formidable political intellects of this generation.

Stripping out the non-essentials

July 2, 2010

Industrial Europe is gradually being surpassed by other economies, especially in Asia, that are growing faster, producing more efficiently and at lower costs.

It also has the problem of keeping afloat the Club Med banana republics foolishly allowed into the EU with their toxic fiscal systems and work-shy populations.

To keep any sort of show on the road, Europe will need to ditch its cradle to grave welfarism and the chronic featherbedding inherited from its socialist past.

It should also bin its crazy “20/20/20” policy, which aims to cut CO2 emissions to 20% below1990 levels by 2020 and ensure energy supplies are 20% renewable energy.

This insanely expense scheme will not measurably benefit the environment while its Byzantine regulations will cause major economic damage and political strife.

The Pretendy Currency Endures

June 21, 2010

It is clear that the establishment of the eurozone has failed to bring about the promised economic growth, reduced inflation, and protection against economic disruptions.

Far from converging, the eurozone economies remain split in two camps: the bourgeois north and the Club Med south – with Ireland and France in between.

The founding decision was totally political and took little account of the gross unsuitability of this group of countries for a single currency project.

While the initial exchange rates may have loosely reflected the economic reality of the time, the economic performance of individual nations has been hopelessly divergent.

However so much political capital has been invested in the project that it may well stagger on at huge cost even to nations like the UK who kept their own currencies.

Turkey crash in prospect

June 12, 2010

The sole achievement of Gordon Brown in his otherwise disastrous time in high office was to keep Britain out of the euro.

Of course it was inadvertent and done mainly to annoy my Lord Mandelson as his later, shameful, refusal to hold a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty made plain.

In addition he was obsessed with personal power and would not have been able to behave for so long like a mediaeval despot if he had been under orders from Brussels.

However today we should be thankful for Brown’s vengeful arrogance and vanity because the political choreography around the euro now verges upon the absurd

How this turkey has flown for so long is a mystery but I suspect we are about to see an economic debacle of unprecedented proportions in the eurozone.

Greece is revolting – again

May 7, 2010

The sight of the street loonies creating havoc in Athens is nothing new and the US and UK embassies have tellingly been constructed like fortresses. As usual, the rent-a-mob of anarchists has draped the Acropolis with hammer-and-sickle flags and their Molotov Cocktails have left three charred bodies in a bank. It is reminiscent of the nasty little civil war of 1946-49 when the communists were ejected – though they later filtered back to form a Cuban-like anachronism in the heart of Athens. The truth is that corruption is rife in Greece as can be seen in its dodgy EU application, its Olympic Games in 2004, and the deceit of well-paid public sector, non-jobs. It is an archetypal Club Med banana republic and the problem is that there are others just like in the EU and a similar giant, toxic, public debt infects the UK.

Interesting Times Ahead

May 7, 2010

Greece is the canary in the mine. It is that it is the first developed country to reach the limit of its borrowing capacity and is no longer in control of its economic policy but must obey the IMF and ECB. It has been bailed out for a couple of years but it is still not clear it will be able to get its debts under control and avoid some kind of default in a few years’ time. As a result the costs of borrowing will rise for other Club Med countries with large deficits and high debts such as Portugal, Spain and Italy. Five years ago it was inconceivable that a member of the Eurozone might be unable to repay its sovereign debts. However, we should expect our own politicians to sound more like Papandreou in the future than the insane hubris and boasting we heard from Gordon Brown in the years that the locust has eaten. Brown encouraged us to blame the bankers, though ultimately the bank crash was a policy failure of regulation and monetary control. The fact is that governments will be strapped for cash, year in, year out, for a generation. A shrinking workforce, paying through taxation for a rising number of retirees, will redefine concepts of fairness and equality. Is it “fair” to tax hard-working young people to pay the pensions of people who have not been self-disciplined enough to save for their own retirement? Or to pay for the health care of people who have undermined their health by smoking and not taking any exercise? In the decades ahead, we too will live in “interesting times” when these questions will be answered.

It can be done

May 7, 2010

Greece was small and thus easy to bail out despite the fury of German voters, but what happens if one of the large southern banana republics such as Spain defaults. The only solution would be for the European Central Bank to step forward as a buyer of last resort for all Club Med bonds. Of course the ECB is prohibited from doing so by the Maastricht Treaty but EC laws are not meant to be taken seriously and can easily be circumvented. However, Latvian Premier Val Dombrovskis, who transformed a deficit of 20% of GDP into a surplus of 8%, remarked, “Real reform only starts when government money stops.” He achieved the turn round by cutting 30% of public sector jobs and reducing the wages of remaining public sector workers by 25% thus setting a new standard.

A Balkan Warning

May 7, 2010

On the 19th of May, the front runner of the PIGS was expected to default on its loans and fall into the abyss. Over the weekend, however, Athens, Brussels and the IMF cobbled together some sort of dodgy bail out deal. It has yet to be seen whether the German parliament accepts its huge part in this largess or if the Athens street loonies agree to any cut-back whatsoever in Greek government profligacy. If the deal does not hold, Greece will join Argentina and other international basket case economies by returning to the drachma and monumental devaluation. On the bright side, Europe will surely hesitate before allowing Greece’s disreputable neighbours entry to the EU with equally fictional economies.