Archive for category A Rant

Children – should they have ‘rights’? – A compelling answer to this question…

Mirna is an educational psychologist from Stellenbosch. She taught at several schools, amongst others Stellenbosch High School, Bloemhof Girls’ High and Jan Kriel School for learners with barriers to learning. She is a mother, loves art, the ocean and children.

Children

I have been writing on the effects of divorce for the last couple of letters and would like to conclude with this short but powerful voice for the rights of children to be respected when a family is going through a divorce.

I found this at Children in the Middle-and added thoughts I found important for children going through a divorce. It really succinctly encapsulate the essence of going through a “good” divorce.

Children of Divorce’s Bill of Rights

  1. Recognize that we love and need both parents.
  2. Don’t turn us into messengers. Mom and Dad should talk to each other directly.
  3. Don’t say bad things about our other parent.
  4. Don’t grill us about what is going on at our other parent’s home.
  5. Don’t ask us to take sides.
  6. Don’t make us feel like we’re being disloyal to you if we enjoy being with our other parent.
  7. If you have something angry to say to our other parent, don’t say it around us.
  8. We do not want to be used as weapons against the other parent.
  9. Do not bribe us or give us gift because of your guilt or revenge. More than anything we need your time, patience and attention.

If parents who are divorcing could follow these guidelines – they can ensure to go through the separation with less trauma and more secure children. 

I don’t know about you, dear reader, but they make a lot of sense to me.

I would wager that the many parents we read about who kill their children rather than let their spouse have them have not followed these rules. God, but they must really hate. Yes, I know they must be unbalanced, but why and how did they get that way?

Ampers

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I watched this and didn’t know whether it was exciting or frightening – you decide!

Sony showed this to attendees at their Annual Shareholder’s meeting in 2009 but I have only just come across it and think it needs a wider audience.

The frightening thing is when they talk about first year and third year students…

Tell us what frightened or excited you below in the comments!

Ampers

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Which is best for Britain? A monarchy or a republic? You decide!

The following is part of an article from the Adam Smith Institute and you can read the rest of the article here.

Camden Council has effectively banned a street party planned by republicans to coincide with the royal wedding. This is a shame, since those opposed to the monarchic principle should be allowed to express their views. It is not as if they were trying to occupy part of a public space in perpetuity; it was just a day’s party they planned.

It does highlight the debate between those who support our constitutional monarchy and those who favour replacing it by a republic with an elected head of state. To those of a libertarian bent, what matters is not how democratic or representative is either form of government, but how friendly they are to liberty.

On an empirical level, constitutional monarchies have been quite friendly to liberty. A monarch who inherits the office feels no popular mandate to impose their views on everyone else. They did not have to claw their way to the top, but simply inherited it, and are conscious of the limitations this implies.

Our constitutional monarch occupies the top slots, not only as head of state, but as head of the armed forces and the judiciary. As such, they deny these posts to ambitious self-seekers who might wish to use them to promote an agenda. A monarch who simply inherits the position can act as a focus for the nation more easily than someone elected as head of state via partisan politics.

Many, if not most, of the theoretical arguments would win the case against a head of state who came from a family that had emerged by the blood and chance of history to occupy that position from birth alone. Yet in practice the record of modern constitutional monarchies has been a good one for tolerance, for the rights of dissenting minorities to do their own thing, and for upholding the rule of law and the rights of free speech.

The bit that convinces me, hands down, is the passage I have highlighted above, in red. It makes good sense to me as we all know what partisan politics have done for our country since the second world war.

Politicians are, on the whole, hated more than estate agents, and certainly more than bankers. The right question to ask here, is a simple “why?”

It is because they are self-seeking, and on the whole, in it for the power or the money. Certainly not for the peoples of these islands.

Ampers.

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The left, and right, are getting into a real tizzy over the NHS, there is an answer…

Everyone is asking the wrong questions.

The right questions are:

1. Is the NHS working?
And,
2. is it working to the best of its capacity?

We really need to answer these questions, not just of the NHS as a whole, but of each section or department.

Once we have these answers, and only when we have these answers, can we decide how, with the same money, whether we can improve it.

It is not enough for the Conservatives to say, “Yes, we have already asked these questions.” They must prove it to us by itemising each department and not only giving the answers to the above questions in relation to each of the departments, but list what they are doing in each department to improve matters, and by what yardstick they intend to be judged at the next election on each department.

But Governments, whether the Coalistion or Labour, hate (a) explaning too much to the general public, and (b) hate giving any sort of yardstick with which to be judged.

They say the people get the Government they deserve. (Yes, the Libyan’s did nothing about Gadafi for many decades so don’t cite that as an answer against this statement.)  We, in Britain repeadedly get the Government we deserve, by ignoring the smaller parties and never giving them a chance to mature. So, at the next election, I can categorically assure you, you will have a Socialist or Conservative Government – and can you honestly swear that one is better than the other?

On the 12th April, 2010, The nurses union stated:

“The RCN is committed to working with the party that wins the election to improve care for all during this tough financial period. This manifesto makes clear that up to £20 billion will have to be saved in the NHS over the coming years.”

They must have been convinced that Labour were going to win!

And AV is no solution to these problems either.

Ampers.

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28 MPs who secretly handed their fiddled expenses back, and the civil and criminal crimes of other MPs.

In an article in the Daily Telegraph, of all the Members of Parliament who fiddled their expenses, twenty-eight MPs have been given the money they publicly handed back, back to them quietly and without publicity. These are substantial amounts, and the top five who received their “cash backs” in terms of amounts, the total came to £29,910.98!

The following interesting comment was submitted by the nom-de-plume of  dipsplepskik#

What would expect from a group such as this ?

This is unbelievable, but can you imagine working for a Company that has a little more than 600 Employees and has the following employee statistics…

29 accused of spouse abuse
7 arrested for fraud
9 accused of writing bad cheques
17 have directly or indirectly bankrupted at least 2 businesses
3 have done time for assault
71 cannot get a credit card due to bad credit
14 arrested on drug-related charges
8 arrested for shoplifting
21 are currently defendants in lawsuits
84 arrested for drink driving in the last year and collectively, this year alone, they have cost the British tax payer £92,993,748 in expenses!!!

Which organization is this?

It’s the 635 members of the House of Commons, the same group that cranks out hundreds of new laws each year designed to keep the rest of the population of Britain in line.

What a bunch of bastards we have running our country – it says it all…

And just to top all that they probably have the best ‘corporate’pension scheme in the country!!

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Education, education, Education – he had that part right…

… pity he didn’t follow it up.

Pity nobody has followed it up, both before him, and afterwards.

The girl in this video probably went to a private school. The video is all about changing outcomes from using the right words.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but this is not necessarily true if the words are chosen by a poet or educated person.

Enjoy the video, but do reflect on the message right at the end…

Ampers

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Devil take the hindmost

There is nothing new about the idea of an Alternative Voting system.

When the idea was last mooted in 1931, Winston Churchill spoke up against it as elections being determined by “the most worthless votes given for the most worthless candidates.”

Churchill said of AV “it adds new features of caprice and uncertainty to the conduct of each individual election… Imagine making the representation of great constituencies dependent on the second preferences of the hindmost candidates. The hindmost candidate would become a personage of considerable importance, and the old phrase, ‘Devil take the hindmost’ will acquire a new significance.”

As with so many things, Winston saw the danger to democracy clearly.

I am not too sure whether I believe the statement from the No 2 AV campaign which suggest that around 35 constituencies could have their outcomes determined by the second preferences of BNP voters.

However, if they got only one seat, that surely would be one vote too many?

Hat tip: Guido Fawkes

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Die ware Suid Afrika – vandag (in die Engels se taal)

The song is sung in Afrikaans but you don’t have to know the language to understand what it is all about, the video explains it very well
Now ask yourself what story does the video tell and reflect, is it the truth or is it a lie – ask yourself, is it really happening in South Africa as we watch?

Read what Wikipedia has to say about the deaths of Afrikaans farmers. Here is an extract from Wikipedia to save you following the link:

Genocide Watch has theorized that farm attacks constitute early warning signs of genocide against Afrikaners and has criticised the South African government for its inaction on the issue, pointing out that the murder rate for them (“ethno-European farmers” in their report, which also included non-Afrikaner farmers of European race) is four times that of the general South African population. There are 40,000 white farmers in South Africa. Since 1994 close to three thousand farmers have been murdered in thousands of farm attacks, with many being brutally tortured and/or raped. Some victims have been burned with smoothing irons or had boiling water poured down their throats.

I was brought up amongst Afrikaners as a child and although they can be a prickly race and if you get three of them on a street corner talking politics, you will never get one agreeing with another. Having said that, they are a warm and friendly people. One story was, my mother with her British accent was travelling a long journey on a train and five Afrikaners (a family) got on the train. When they found out she was a Brit, they exchanged a few polite sentences with her, and lapsed in their Afrikaans and ignored her. When it was lunchtime, they got out their large hamper and automatically set out six places. They wouldn’t have dreamed of not sharing their food, even with an accursed Brit (in the Boer War approximately 27,000 Boer Women and children died in Kitchener’s “Konsentrasie Kampe”) – I will leave you to work out the translation. Here’s a tip – Hitler copied the idea from the British and used it in WW2.

Finally, Look at our British Parliament and the way our politicians behave. Would you like foreigners to look at our parliament and say, “look at those Brits, that’s the sort of people they are”. Or would you rather them look at parliament and say “look at those politicians, the poor Brits having to put up with them”. If you are American, just transpose Americans for Brits. It is very much the same in South Africa, the shower running the country pre 1994 did not reflect the white races, and as you watch the video and wonder how these killers can get away with three thousand murders – and wonder further whether the ANC government have turned a blind eye, reflect that the people in Government do not reflect most of the black races at all. Just like Britain. Just like America. Look at Iraq, our governments are even worse than the ANC!

Ampers

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An army of Lions lead by a sheep?

An old African saying reads: An army of sheep led by a lion can defeat an army of lions led by a sheep.

The question to ask here is, which of the following seems like a sheep, and which one seems and sounds like a lion?

David Cameron – sheep or lion?
Nick Clegg - sheep or lion?
Ed Milliband - sheep or lion?
Nigel Farage - sheep or lion?

Take a look at this website – I show an extraction below:

Annual Costs of EU Membership

The net cost of the EU to Britain is £20 billion pa. But the actual cost is much more than that.

The European Union costs us £65 billion gross every year.

That’s about £1,000 each every year for every man, woman and child in the UK. And it increases every year.
Direct and Indirect Costs of the EU

Estimates of the true cost of the EU are difficult to come by. MPs have called many times for a cost-benefit analysis, to prove or disprove the benefits of membership. Successive Governments, both Labour and Conservative, have refused, on the grounds that the “benefits” are self-evident. In truth they are afraid of what such a study would show. The Bruges Group have finally produced an authoritative study.

(http://www.brugesgroup.com/CostOfTheEU2008.pdf)

The second question to ask is what can you do with an extra £1,000 for you, an extra £1,000 for your spouse, and an extra £1,000 for each of your children each and every year? Or, to put it another way, what could our country do with an extra £65B each year to go towards paying off our debts?

This is a very hard question to ponder over, so I’ll go away and leave you to it!

Ampers

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It could never happen here.

I was watching the story unfold in Egypt over the last few days and thought “This could never happen in England.”

For one thing, successive governments have made us far too reliant on the state and no matter how evil the politicians become, the people who actually have the time to take to the streets won’t want to knock the status quo.

Yes, I know of the students riots and the poll tax riots, but these are riots with a hidden agenda, orchestrated by a hidden agenda!

Then there is television and radio. No way will people riot in the street if they have to miss EastEnders or Coronation Street, not to mention the Archers or Neighbours!

Finaslly there is the molly-coddling of the young. I grew up in Africa and had access to a little bit of danger – in fact I had access to a huge amount of danger but my parents never found out! Kids nowadays aren’t allowed the slightest bit of danger so grow up into pretty strange human beings.

There are many other examples, but these should suffice to explain why we have been slowly conditioned by our political masters to be completely docile. Even young soldiers have difficulty coping, mentally, with war any more. They come home a bag of nerves and need serious treatment, even those who haven’t been physically wounded and it’s not their fault! And our government doesn’t do enough for them when they do!

We could never riot tomorrow, but we could start to toughen ourselves up politically. Here is a 5 point plan if you want to take a more active part of life in your country. I have also added a bonus item!

  1. Take more of an interest in politics. If you have digital TV watch, not just BBC or ITV news, but watch Sky news as well – they keep winning the annual prize for being the best news programme. Go to meetings, the Adam Smith Institute have many free meetings in London. Attend the occasional local council meetings, this is permitted and you can see how awful democracy works locally. Understand what ALL the parties stand for, even those you hate. I keep an eye on them all, even the obnoxious BNP!
  2. Watch less TV. You are going to hate this but don’t watch any programme which is not self-contained into one showing. This means the soaps and anything that is serialised. This locks you into the TV. Get a good magazine which shows next week’s programmes, highlight only those you really want to watch. After a few months, become even more strict, choose one weekday and one weekend day where you will not turn on the TV. If you really “have” to see a programme, watch it next day on iPlayer or record it! Work towards eventually getting rid of TV and take control of your life again.
  3. I know you have a computer as you are reading this. Investigate RSS feeds and how they work. I use Google Reader to “collect” any additions to a lot of websites and read them all at once. You can read every article in your newspaper’s on-line edition very quickly this way. Read my blog on how it works at http://ampers.wordpress.com/2008/06/05/google-reader/ this can reduce an hour’s searching for news ino 60 seconds!
  4. My mother used to say to me “Believe nothing of what you hear and only half of what you see.” This is an ideal philosophy to have when watching or listening to anyone in the political classes spouting on the box or in print. Ask yourself Cui bono (who benefits) or Cui malo (to whose detriment) or perhaps, what is their hidden agenda in saying this? All this is important as there will always be a hidden agenda, and whatever they do will usually be to our detriment and to their benefit.
  5. Know where you are on the political spectrum. Those of you who are a little older and can remember their school maths, will understand it when I talk about the ‘x’ axis and the ‘y’ axis. With politics, knowing where you stand in the political spectrum is important. The ‘x’ axis tells us where we stand between left and right but this is only a third of the picture. More important and counting for two-thirds, is the ‘y’ axis. This tells us exactly how much of a statist, centist or libertarian we are. If you aren’t sure, the statist believes the government should run the economy and also run people’s lives. The socialists are statists. A centist believes the government should run the economy but people should run their own lives. It is debatable whether the Conservatives are true centists but they lean a little towards that position. Libertarians are at the top and believe people should run their own economy and their own lives. To work out what you are, go to http://www.theadvocates.org/quiz and complete the ten questions. However, so that you can get proper results, spend a few minutes with every question, no matter how cut and dried they seem to be, and consider the implications of each before you tick the box.

    For example. Should we legalise drugs? Instead of letting your emotions run riot, mull over the fact that, for decades, we have not halted illegal drugs, we are not just losing the battle, we have lost the war. And it is costing the country billions. If we legalised drugs and you could buy them cheaply in Boots, then they would be ”clean”. Every drug dealer in Britain would be out of work, kids would not have access to drugs at the school gate in return for “deliveries”, muggings and burglaries would go down. If you still say “no” tnis is OK as you would have thought it through and would be making an “informed” decision..

  6. Bonus: This brings me to my last point, Thinking things through. You will never be free of the current political oppression unless you learn to think for yourself, to think everything through before making any decision. This will also help in your personal and business life.

My own politics are for me. I am not running this blog to try to influence you, but to attract like-minded people who like what I have to say and follow me.

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Why I moved to OpenSource

I am often asked why I moved over to Linux from Windows. A question which is difficult to understand when replied to verbally, but a little easier when written down. A few years ago I had a wonky hard drive and kept on having to reformat and reload Windows. After I had done this a few times I received a message on my screen asking me to ring a number (Microsoft’s) immediately.

The guy on the other end introduced himself as Microsoft’s fraud department and demanded to know why I had tried too many times to use the same disk to load up Windows. I was furious and called him a few names and told him I had trouble with my hard drive. He wanted to know where I got the disk.

I suddenly saw how I could have some fun at his expense and said a lady in a London club gave it to me. He became very alert and asked me details of the person. I gave her name and a Reading phone number which he wrote down and suddenly he said, but that’s a Microsoft head office number in the UK. Yes, I said, I am an IT Journalist and she gave it to me at a Microsoft event in London and if he’d prefer, I could scrap this disk and get her to send me another one. He then grudgingly gave me a code to enter into my computer to release Windows. I was amazed that he believed me though!

But it got me thinking. I evidently hadn’t bought the software but the cost is expensive for most, and that this proved most windows products are only on loan, you are not entitled to do anything you like with them, as you wood a book for instance. Lend it to a friend or resell it. Similar to DRM and Music CDs, they are not yours, you have to obey the rules laid down by the music company. Even Kindle books for example can’t be lent to a friend, it has to stay on your Kindle.

It was then that I decided that I would never rent anything again. I would only buy products which were mine to dispose of how I wished. With music I had to be allowed to make up a backup copy and MP3 files for my portable music. I had to make this concession else I’d never buy CDs.

I flirted with several distributions of Linux and decided to settle down with Ubuntu as it seemed the best behaved. And two years on, I have never looked back. I have a choice of a single click download of 43,000 programs which automatically put themselves in the right menu on my computer, I have just counted the number of programs I use, it comes to just over 100! And, these don’t include the administrative files there to help you run the operating system.

Who should run Ubuntu? Not an easy question to answer, but at the lower end of the scale, if you just use your computer to use email, browsing on the web and word processing, then you should definitely seriously consider it. Get the following three programs for Windows or the Mac: Firefox Browser, Thunderbird email and LibreOffice. Google for them. Use them for a few months and, if you are very happy with them, change over to Ubuntu and load the same three programs into your computer and you are away. Easy Peasy! If you want to remain with windows, remember, the free LibreOffice reads, and saves to, Microsoft Office so you can avoid paying such huge prices for that program.

There are some good programs for editing photographs (Picasa from Google is available on all three systems) and music playing, cd ripping, video editing. And a terrific help forum where you get answers in no time at all. Look at www.ubuntu.com

Most other users would probably benefit unless they either use their computers for serious gaming, or Adobe’s more serious software – although “The Gimp” is almost as good as Photoshop and is available on all platforms.

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The case for decriminalising drugs – by Milton Freedman PhD.

Although I have been saying everything he says in the following video, he says it a lot better than me.watch the video and look at some of the benefits I have listed after the video…

This is excellent and I have downloaded it from YouTube and put it on my phone to show others. There is nothing here that I don’t instinctively know and am amazed that everyone else doesn’t know it as well.

I hate hard drugs, I am already hooked on strong coffee and South African Brandy. This is really too much for me as it is!

But if we took drugs out of the criminal offence bracket there would be no dealers recruiting kids outside of the school gates to get them to deliver drugs in return for payment with drugs.

Muggings and burglaries would go right down as drugs would be cheap enough from Boots or the corner shop.

A&E wings of hospitals would have less injuries to treat, every night and double on weekends.

The police would be able to live with any cuts as we wouldn’t need half as many as we do now.

Tens of thousands of drug dealers all around Britain would be out of work. Now this bit pleases me!

One could go on, but this is enough, I need another coffee… badly!

Ampers

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The difference between Barclays Bank and the Gardian Media Group

The following has been lifted unashamedly from Guido Fawkes website, Order-Order.com

 

On Saturday morning The Guardian decided to give UK Uncut a front page boost.  The protestors managed to shut down three dozen of the 1,720 branches of Barclays bank. Surprised they found any branches to occupy given Saturday opening hours.

The gist of the shabby story was Barclays bankers are evil tax dodgers. The evidence was a hatchet job with the paper making the spurious claim that Barclay’s only paid 1% tax on their £11.6 billion profits. In arriving at a profit before tax figure of £11.6 billion, The Guardian has added the profit from the ongoing business (£4.5 billion) to profits from a disposed business (£726 million) and the gain made on disposal of that business (£6.3 billion) to reach a total of £11.6 billion.

What they chose to ignore however was the total tax take Barclay’s had to pay; payroll taxes, bank levy, non-recoverable VAT, employers NI, SDRT and so on. Over the weekend Tim Worstall and the FCA Blog tore chunks out of the piece:

The article compares the cash paid to HMRC in respect of UK corporation tax in 2009 (£113 million) to the profits generated by the consolidated Barclays group worldwide in 2009. In the UK, tax is paid in arrears, so 2009 taxes would relate to widespread 2008 losses, not 2009 profits.

Multinational companies such as Barclays pay tax in a number of jurisdictions. Generally speaking Barclays only pays UK corporation tax on profits it generated in the UK.  Anything earned outside the UK doesn’t get taxed here. So it’s a howler to compare the UK corporation tax payment to the global consolidated profit. Most of those profits were taxed where they were made.

In 2002 (under Gordon Brown, Chuka), the UK government introduced the substantial shareholdings exemption, a corporation tax exemption for UK businesses disposing of a substantial shareholding in a part of their business. The idea was that businesses should be able to restructure their businesses without having to worry about chargeable gains implications. Barclays are heavily criticised by The Guardian for using it.  The last time that Guido saw this being used was by the, err, Guardian Media Group to save themselves some £60 million of taxes in 2008:

“In 2008 GMG sold half of Auto Trader publisher Trader Media Group and made an exceptional (one-off) profit of more than £300 million. No tax was payable on the return from that sale because under UK law GMG qualified for SSE”

In 2008 The Guardian made £302 million in profits and paid no corporation taxes. The CEO, Carolyn McCall, was paid an £827,000 package. Yet we don’t see the UK Uncut crowd kicking up a stink about The Guardian’s tax structures or their fat cat pay and bonuses.

Over the weekend the Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger (half-a-million a year since you asked) tweeted about Barclay’s offshore holding corporations. Guardian Media Group holds hundreds of millions in assets in a Caymans Island domiciled offshore corporation.

Guido put it to the GMG press office that GMG has £223.8 million invested in an overseas/offshore hedge fund managed by Cambridge Associates which trades currency derivatives. They don’t deny it and have declined to confirm the fund’s structure for tax purposes.

Guardian readers seem to be under the illusion that it is owned by a not-for-profit charity. The Scott Trust was wound up in October 2008 and the Guardian is a for-profit-privately-owned media business, the well paid directors of which confirm in their annual accounts that they operate tax strategies in line with their fiduciary duty to the shareholders – just like any other business.

The old Scott Trust was set up in 1936 to avoid inheritance taxes and wound up in 2008 so that GMG could cynically exploit the SSE capital gains tax shelter to pay 0% in corporation taxes on their £302 million in profits that year. GMG claim that it was about modernising the holding structure, in fact it was a disingenuous cover for corporate venality.

For three quarters of a century the The Guardian has been shirking taxes, Guido has no problem with them acting in their shareholders’ best interests. The hypocritical cant from them however about others doing the same is beyond contemptible…

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The truth behind the Barclays Corporation Tax furore.

From the Telegraph:

Barclays paid out just £113m in corporation tax in 2009, despite making a pre-tax profit of £11.6bn, according to chief executive Bob Diamond.

The revelation came in a letter to Chuka Umunna MP, a member of the Treasury Select Committee (TSC), who put Mr Diamond under pressure to declare how much of the £2bn in tax paid by Barclays to HMRC was in the form of corporation tax.

The vast majority of the tax paid by Barclays was pay-as-you-earn and national insurance contributions, while corporation tax accounted for 5.7pc of the total bill.

Mr Umunna said it was “shocking” that Barclays had paid so little in corporation tax in 2009.

“This revelation underlines the government’s failure to take the robust action needed to make sure that the banks which caused the crash pay their fair share, and will stick in the stomachs of small businesses struggling to borrow and ordinary people feeling the pinch of the government’s austerity measures,” said Mr Umunna.

See if you can spot the error. A clue is that the present Government only came to power in May 2010.

Hattip to: Working Class Tory

I honestly thought, from the noise the left were making about this, that it was the Tories who let the banks off all the Corporation Tax – and now it turns out that the Labour Party made them this enormous present.

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The two Eds – it gets worse and worse

The IMF (International Monetary Fund) told the incumbents at the Treasury (Gordon Brown and Ed Balls) as early as 2004 that it was borrowing too much and spending too much.

But our illustrious duo totally rejected the IMF findings and, further more, bullied the officials into keeping schtum (silent) and not to broadcast their findings to all and sundry. During this time Ed Milliband was the economic adviser to the Government.

A new report finds that information was not only withheld from the public, but from the IMF as well, by our then Government.

In addition, IMF officials were intimidated and because of the withheld information, regulators at home and abroad failed to spot serious risks to the financial sector and the economy.

The story gets worse but I will keep it short here and you can watch this unfolding over the next week or so. One high point in the following week will be PMQs (Prime Minsters Questions) in the House of Commons. On Sky News at noon on Wednesday for half an hour. Look out for fireworks there.

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The sad thing about the Big Society

What really saddens me is that we have had to have the Prime Minister remind us of what living in the world is all about. Where I come from, in Africa, they understand what it is about, they even have a word for it, “Ubuntu” and I am not talking about the Linux software!

But I don’t blame the people over here for this, it is not their fault. It is the fault of various politicians of either party since 1945 who have built into our psyche that the State will look after us from the cradle to the grave.

The Big Society has not been invented by David Cameron! It was around long before the second world war. It is practiced in some parts now such as the military, and until twenty years ago very much in the East End.

It is about small things that make a difference. Helping a neighbour who is ill with their shopping, saying good morning to an elderly person who lives alone and smiling at them. joining a club to get to know your neighbours better. helping a local charity group. Clubbing together to protest at a council injustice. All these little things help grow a community.

Naturally the socialists rubbish the notion of the Big Society, and it isn’t just because it was the Conservatives idea. The whole idea of the big society is against everything they belive in. Their whole philosophy is that the state rules all. Everyone has to be dependent on the sate as, the more people who are, the more votes tend to go to Labour. If everyone learned to do everything for themselves, and to work instead of being on benefits, the Labour vote would deteriorate very quickly and they would never get in to rule the country again.

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Why we should sack our police and employ Ghurkas

February 3, 2011: For the last five months, India has been celebrating and honouring a retired Ghurkha soldier (Bishnu Shrestha) who, single-handedly killed three bandits, wounded eight and drove off another 30. This incident occurred five months ago, and since then Shrestha has been given medals, cash and accolades for his outstanding valor and prowess. The Indian Ghurkha regiment he recently retired from persuaded him to return to active duty so he could receive a cash award and a promotion. Bishnu Shrestha father had also served with the same unit, and retired from it 29 years ago.

All this occurred because Bishnu Shrestha was on a train where about forty bandits, pretending to be passengers, suddenly revealed themselves, and, armed with knives, swords and pistols, stopped the train in the jungle, and proceeded to rob the hundreds of passengers.

When the bandits reached Shrestha, he was ready to give up his valuables, but then the 18 year old girl sitting next to him was grabbed by the robbers, who wanted to rape her. The girl, who knew Shrestha was a retired soldier, appealed to him for help. So he pulled out the large, curved khukuri knife that all Ghurkha soldiers (and many Ghurkha civilians) carry, and went after the bandits. In the narrow isle of the train, a trained fighter like Shrestha had the advantage.

Although some of the bandits had pistols, they were either fake (a common ploy in India), inoperable, or handled by a man who didn’t want to get too close to an angry Ghurkha. After about ten minutes of fighting in the train isles, eleven bandits were dead or wounded, and the rest of them decided to drop their loot (200 cell phones, 40 laptops, lots of jewellery, and nearly $10,000 in cash) and flee. The train resumed its journey promptly, in case the bandits came back, and to get medical aid for the eight bandits who had been cut up by Shrestha (who was also wounded in one hand). Shrestha required two months of medical treatment to recover the full use of his injured hand.

Read the rest of the piece at: http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htinf/articles/20110203.aspx

Forty to one? This surely means we could hire a thousand Ghurkha ex soldiers for our police force and “retire” 40,000 of our police. That would go a long way towards saving on expenditure. And, if we let them keep their khukuris, we’d also save on trials, and reduce the prison population. Every way you look at it, it has to be a plus

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It’s easy to put fear into the politicians.

I was watching the story unfold in Egypt over the last few days and thought “This could never happen in England.”

For one thing, successive governments have made us far too reliant on the state and no matter how evil the politicians become, the people who actually have the time to take to the streets won’t want to knock the status quo.

Yes, I know of the students riots and the poll tax riots, but these are riots with a hidden agenda, orchestrated by the Labour movement. Have you noticed that the riots are always when the Conservatives are in power? And, that the Labour Government always seem to “break” our country, and the Tory governments always try to fix it? Not that they ever make a good job of it!

Then there is television. No way will people riot in the street if they have to miss EastEnders or Coronation Street, not to mention the Archers or Neighbours!

Then there is the molly-coddling of the young. I grew up in Africa and had access to a little bit of danger – in fact I had access to a huge amount of danger but my parents never found out! Kids nowadays aren’t allowed the slightest bit of danger so grow up into pretty strange human beings.

There are many other examples, but these should suffice to explain why we have been slowly conditioned by our political masters to be completely docile. Even young soldiers have difficulty coping, mentally, with war any more. They come home a bag of nerves and need serious treatment, even those who haven’t been physically wounded. And our government doesn’t do enough!

We could never riot tomorrow, but we could start to toughen ourselves up politically. Here is a 5 point plan if you want to take a more active part of life in your country. I have also added a bonus item!

  1. Take more of an interest in politics. If you have digital TV watch, not just BBC or ITV news, but watch Sky news as well – they keep winning the annual prize for being the best news programme. Go to meetings, the Adam Smith Institute have many free meetings in London. Attend the occasional local council meetings, this is permitted and you can see how awful democracy works locally. Understand what ALL the parties stand for, even those you hate. I keep an eye on them all, even the obnoxious BNP!
  2. Watch less TV. You are going to hate this but don’t watch any programme which is not self-contained into one showing. This means the soaps and anything that is serialised. This locks you into the TV. Get a good magazine which shows next week’s programmes, highlight only those you really want to watch. After a few months, become even more strict, choose one weekday and one weekend day where you will not turn on the TV. If you really “have” to see a programme, watch it next day on iPlayer or record it! Work towards eventually getting rid of TV and take control of your life again.
  3. I know you have a computer as you are reading this. Investigate RSS feeds and how they work. I use Google Reader to “collect” any additions to a lot of websites and read them all at once. You can read every article in your newspaper’s on-line edition very quickly this way. Read my blog on how it works at http://ampers.wordpress.com/2008/06/05/google-reader/ this can reduce an hours searching for news ino 60 seconds!
  4. My mother used to say to me “Believe nothing of what you hear and only half of what you see.” This is an ideal philosophy to have when watching or listening to anyone in the political classes spouting on the box or in print. Ask yourself Cui bono (who benefits) or Cui malo (to whose detriment) or perhaps, what is their hidden agenda in saying this? All this is important as there will always be a hidden agenda, and whatever they do will usually be to our detriment and to their advantage.
  5. Know where you are on the political spectrum. Those of you who are a little older and can remember their school maths, will understand it when I talk about the ‘x’ axis and the ‘y’ axis. With politics, knowing where you stand in the political spectrum is important. The ‘x’ axis tells us where we stand between left and right but this is only a third of the picture. More important and counting for two-thirds, is the ‘y’ axis. This tells us exactly how much of a statist, centist or libertarian we are. If you aren’t sure, the statist believes the government should run the economy and also run peoples lives. The socialists are statists. A centist believes the government should run the economy but people should run their own lives. It is debatable whether the Conservatives are true centists but they lean a little towards that position. Libertarians are at the top and believe people should run their own economy and their own lives. To work out what you are, go to http://www.theadvocates.org/quiz and complete the ten questions. However, so that you can get proper results, spend a few minutes with every question, no matter how cut and dried they seem to be, and consider the implications of each before you tick the box. For example. Should we legalise drugs? Here you would mull over the fact that, for decades, we have not halted illegal drugs, we are not just losing the battle, we have lost the war. If we legalised drugs and you could buy them cheaply in Boots, then they would be ”clean”. Every drug dealer in Britain would be out of work, kids would not have access to drugs at the school gate in return for “deliveries”, muggings and burglaries would go down. OK, you might still say no, but at least you would have thought it through.Bonus: This brings me to my last point, Thinking things through. You will never be free of the current political oppression unless you learn to think for yourself, to think everything through before making any decision. This will also help in your personal and business life.

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Mobile phone companies charging new VAT for December

Take a look at:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/8286170/Mobile-phone-firms-charged-20-VAT-for-Decembers-calls.html

It seems like several cellphone companies are charging the new rate of 20% VAT a month earlier.

I am not accusing the companies of dishonest practice but of pure laziness of not wanting to work out which parts of the bill attracts which rate. But it should be noticed that they are erring in their favour not ours.

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I could separate the Banks investment arms from their high street banking in five minutes flat!

I have been following Cameron’s attempts to persuade them to split up over the months and wonder at the ineptitude of it.

If I were Prime Minister, I would make a phone call to the newspapers saying that the Government will be withdrawing the £50,000 savings guarantees for peoples savings as from 31st December 2011, and after that will only guarantee the savings of savers who save with banks who do not have an investment arm.

There, it will be done.

You can bet your bottom dollar than by the end of this year, most of the banks will have separated the two business otherwise they would have dead high street branches.

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What is Ubuntu

Ubuntu, in Xhosa or Zulu means a shared progress0 for the help of all. The Linux program Ubuntu was based by a fellow South African, Mark Shuttleworth, on that premis and it has expanded rapidly in the five or so years it has been in existence.

I have been dabling with Linux on and off for ten years now, First with SuSE and then with Ubuntu, and for the last two years have used Ubuntu solely on my desktop and for one year on my Notebook and on my Netbook.

And have never looked back, or spent a penny on software.

Take a look at their latest software. It is quite impressive.

If you only use a wordprocessor, spreadsheet, browser and email program, then it is foolish not to use this. If you also like software to edit and watch videos and photographs, then it is foolish to use anything other than this. If you like to play music and edito mp3 files for your cellphone, then this is the operating system to use.

There is only one “lie” in the entire video. It states there are thousands of free programs available. This is wrong but I understand why they have said this. There are, in fact, tens of thousands of free programs and I have said this here as I am sure my readers will be able to get their heads around this fact.

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Use the “nudge” Mr Cameron!

Our government is, naturally, worried about the habit of over-drinking amongst the British.

However, as usual, and this applies to both major parties, they are clueless on what to do about their problems.

I can tell you that most of our ails concerning smoking, drinking, carrying weapons, bad behavour etc are caused by a dearth of education. We have to start teaching parents how to bring up children as Governments have molly-coddled the population so much, they expect the Government to do everything for them from cradle to grave. Because of this, certain swathes of the population no longer have any idea of parenting.

However, this will, naturally, take time and we should start addressing the problem now.

I read, in today’s London Metro, a letter by Frank Jacobs, of London E3 of a suggestions which would reduce the number of pubs which are closing at an alarming rate, and encourage the heavy drinkers to start drinking socially by bringing them off the streets and back into clubs. By all means increase the duty on bottled and canned beer, but at the same time, reduce the cost of draught beer.

I think this is a very good suggestion but I would like to take it one step further. Inform breweries what this is going to be on a brewery by brewery basis, and if any brewery pub manager sells too much beer to someone which causes the police to be called, either in the pub, or when that person leaves the pub, the duty reduction will cease for all that breweries pubs for three months, the first time, six months the second time, and twelve months the third time. After the fourth time it should be permanent.

This would “nudge” the street drinker back into the pubs whilst, at the same time, “nudge” the breweries to put the interests of the communities above the interests of the shareholder.

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Tell them why you’re leaving

The English don’t complain verbally, they just complain with their feet.

This may be a way of punishing the shop or supplier, but is it fair to your fellow Englishmen?

For example, if you don’t like a shop because the staff are rude to you, complain to the owner and tell him you don’t need “rudeness” and won’t be shopping there again. For example, I use Virgin and will leave for Three when my contract expires. I will tell them it is because Virgin charge me 10p to call them, and Three don’t charge anything.

OK it may be too late for me, but if enough of us complain about the same thing, the supplier may change his ways.

British management is renowned all over the world for being at the bottom of the list of countries with regard to employer employee relations. This can be partly because we don’t complain. If you hate your boss and you want to leave, state the reasons in full; send a copy of your resignation letter to the managing director (but be fair, add “copy to managing director” on your letter. The MD will do nothing at the time, but if the next person who leaves gives the same reason, he’ll start asking questions and if three do the same…

If you are stuck with a supplier because you are under contractual obligations, start a notebook with all the things which occur that has upset you, date each item. Write a report on all these just before your contract expires and tell the CEO why you are not renewing.

If you are not happy with the Government, write to your MP and tell him why. But to be effective, this has to be for genuine reasons. Of course, this is more potent if your local MP is of the same party as the one in power at the time. The same applies to complaining about local issues to your councillors.

There are advantages of us turning into a race which complains about everything that is not right. Eventually, it could strengthen the country as a whole and your local community in particular.

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Global Warming explained

This video is for all those, like me, who find the argument for global warming rather complex.

After watching this short video you will begin to understand what it really is all about.

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Is it Capitalism which is evil?

There are three listed types of business, I am going by figures a decade ago, although now different EU states have added a category and changed the figures. For this exercise we will use the simpler terms as used a decade or so ago.

Companies with up to twenty employees were known as SoHo, companies between 21 and 500 were known as SMEs and Corporates had over 500 employees. This is really only a rough guide but is useful. The figures are a little hazy but SoHo was around 97.5%, SMEs around 1.5% and corporates around 1%. These refer to numbers of companies in the UK.

International conglomerates are a different kettle of fish and are a law to themselves and are no longer capitalist businesses. They really come under the title of Dictatorships and give good honest Capitalism a bad name.

I show a video here about the drug companies in the USA and this adequately describes what I am getting at. It is a shame that this has been presented by Al Jazeera as it meant I had to check all the figures and companies to make sure they were being truthful. They were.

As I mentioned earlier, these huge international businesses are a law of their own and do not respect the laws, either moral or legal, in any country they operate. Recall in the earlier part of the video how they weighed up being dishonest against the fine, and indicated that they thought it was worth disobeying the legal laws of the country as a good business decision if the profits far outweighed any fines or penalties involved.

I call on the Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition, and David Cameron personally, to re-examine the reductions in taxes he is offering business in the UK.

If the real reason is to create jobs, then the 97.5% of companies which are in the SoHo sector are the ones more likely to employ people. Do away with all Capital taxes including Capital Gains Taxes, and NHS Employee contributions for the SoHo sector. Add a rider on the NHS contributions, so that these will only be on a net increase of staff; this will prevent them firing a few so as to take on another few and avoid the tax (entrepreneurs are wily creatures).

My plan above will probably be lower in cost to the governments plan, but it will be more directly aimed at the entrepreneurial SoHo sector which are then more likely to grow into SMEs.

People have to differentiate between our capitalist system which provides productive jobs (not with the socialist vision of a huge civil service which do not bring in finance) but with the huge dishonest and criminal section of the International Conglomerate sector.

I hasten to add, not all of this massive corporations are disreputable – I am sure one or two aren’t.

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Happy New Year

A happy new year to all my readers.

Many of you, in Britain, will face hardships in 2011 so I have included a video below so you can see that although you may struggle in 2011, you could be living in South Africa. So before complaining too much at our financial woes, pay a small thought to what is happening in South Africa.

 

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Enjoy your Christmas

(Photos below)

The weather in Blighty is awful

The economy in Blighty has been destroyed

But do think of our soldiers, dying for our Government in far off lands!

Soldiers resting

Soldiers still in Iraq

Soldiers resting

A short break in Afghanistan for our troops

Happy Christmas and a peaceful new year to you all.

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Transport and Telecommuting

Our problem here, in England with our transport is that we were the first to establish the railway, we were the first to establish the underground system and, as these occasions took part well over 100 years ago, they are more than ready for renewal.

The real problem is, we have let too many people into this country, too quickly, and all our public services, such as schools and hospitals are over-stretched. The police are over-stretched because of the rise in crime and apart from dilapidations, our railways are increasing due to the increase in customers needing to get from A to B, mainly for work. In addition, our roads are over-crowded for the same reasons.

We need to do something, and the following plan might help.

Telecommuting has never really caught on because our bosses cannot trust their employees. Although, in so many cases, companies who have embraced telecommuting and hot-desking have more than benefitted by greater productivity of their staff.

Take a company with a thousand employees, a hundred of them being office staff. If seventy-five of them worked from home for four days a week, a company can benefit with the space of fifty desks, calling in 20 staff each day to use one of twenty desks put aside for hot-desking. This could mean letting of part of their building, thus saving on expenses.

The trains would benefit by having fifty more spaces for commuters each day. The roads, locally, by having fifty people less driving to the station each day.

Multiply this my 10,000 businesses throughout the company and we begin to see a seat for every commuter, less cards locally on the roads, and less urban space taken up with offices so therefore, more space for housing.

So we have to nudge companies, and the railways, to embrace telecommuting.

The government could introduce a 100% increase in business tax for all companies with more than 100 office staff in one or more offices within a 50 mile radius who do not introduce telecommuting for at least 75% of their office staff. The money to be loaned to the local transport company to increase their throughput. So the reason for the extra tax is to help the local transport system which will benefit the companies concerned. Naturally if they introduce telecommuting, it wouldn’t be fair to tax them extra as the company concerned is doing enough to ease local transport.

The railways could also have a similar rise if they don’t introduce season tickets on a per day per week basis. So a telecommuter can go into work, one day or two days a week and pay prorate a fifth of a season ticket for each day requested.

This could be done on a two year trial basis, starting from six months in the future, to give business and railways the six months to investigate how they attempt the exercise.

If a company or railway does not do anything, hoping to ride the two years out, then they should be told that those who don’t enter into the spirit of things will pay double taxes for the next twenty years.

I know this seems awfully complex but we need to shock companies into trusting their employees. British employers are considered some of the worse in the world and this has been my experience in my working life. I have always performed better, been paid more and have been happier when working for foreign bosses.

 

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Did Enoch really say “Rivers of Blood”?

This has been taken from  the “Working Class Tory” website and you can read the rest of it here.

Interview with a Heff

Triffic interview with the Telegraph’s Simon Heffer in Total Politics magazine. Some highlights:

Enoch [Powell] said nearly 40 years ago, you can’t have a single currency without having a single economic policy and a single finance minister. Enoch was right about that. Enoch was right about monetarism in my view. He said that you only get a period of mass inflation when you have a government that prints money. Enoch was the trade unionists’ friend in the 1960s and 70s. He said there’s no point in blaming the trade unions for inflation because they ask for high pay rises. Those rises can only be funded if there is money in the economy to fund them, and that was down to the government. He was right about that.
Of course, the really contentious issue with Enoch was immigration, or what his detractors call race. Enoch never made a speech about race. All Enoch speeches that people think are about race, like the so-called ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech, are about immigration. I know very well that he wasn’t a racist, and so did people like Michael Foot and Tony Benn, both great friends of his. He wasn’t a racist. He wanted to spend the rest of his life in India, and probably would have done so, had it not become independent. He had a love of Indian people, of Indian culture. He didn’t make judgements about people, he was too intelligent. He didn’t make judgements about people because of their race. And what those speeches said was we are a small island, we have a largely indigenous population, and if we start piling in people from a very different culture in small parts of that small island then there are going to be problems. And we have them now.
Enoch argued very strongly against what is now called a multicultural society. He wanted people who came here to integrate. And he argued that if you bring in such large numbers of people that integration is impossible. There is going to be a problem. I am very depressed that every time a Conservative mentions the two words, Enoch Powell, he or she is either removed from any job that he or she might have, sacked as a candidate as that poor man in the Midlands was before the election – Nigel Hastilow – or forced to issue a grovelling apology. Perhaps even all three. You can’t mention the words Enoch Powell without everyone thinking that you are about to open a new version of Auschwitz somewhere.

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Flooding the World with Truth

This is an incredible strategy by the Mises institute, when you come to the last paragraph, linger awhile, and read my further comment afterwards.

Flooding the World with Truth

by Doug French

The email said: “Did you see this article on the Austrian School in The Economist?”

The article in question was from last month, which now seems like years ago. Sure, I probably saw it. About 50 such items hit my inbox every day.

Ten years ago, this article would have been amazing. Today it is a blip on the screen. But someone out there will read it and get curious. He or she will look for more and find Mises.org. Then the change happens, that most important change in the world: the mind begins to grasp the idea of liberty. Here is an event that is more important than anything in the physical world. Repeat that experience millions and billions of times and history will conform.

Our time is coming. Of this I’m convinced. The explosion of the Austrian School into the popular media is so large and so vast that it is impossible to keep up. We’re in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, all over the television, in journals and hundreds of books, and in every other conceivable media outlet.

No, they don’t always get the story right. What matters is that these relentless mentions, this constant spotlight on a body of ideas, are potentially transformative.

This is our moment. Ludwig von Mises fought his entire life for this. Murray Rothbard dreamed of a time like this. The Austrian School, broadly considered, has worked for 500 years to get the word out about free markets, sound money, and the wreckage caused by government intervention.

Government and its apologists worked to suppress the writings of the great defenders of economic freedom throughout the whole 20th century. We were supposed to buy into the government’s plans for our lives and everyone else’s, around the world. We were supposed to pay, obey, and shut up.

It didn’t work. They tried to kill Mises, and then they burned his books. He escaped to Geneva and then to New York and went on to write the greatest treatises ever. They dumped Rothbard in a tiny office at a small Brooklyn college, and he wrote and published and made history anyway. So it has always been: the pen is mightier than the sword.

In our times, a major reason, and perhaps the major reason, for the phenomenal progress is the work of the Mises Institute. This is the infrastructure that gives rise to and supports all the rest.

The Mises Institute was founded by Lew Rockwell in 1982, when the cause of sound money was hopeless and Mises’s works were slipping into obscurity. Our first conference was on the gold standard. Everyone said it was a dumb idea. Nearly 30 years later, the whole world is watching those speeches online.

In these decades, we’ve published hundreds of books on economic freedom – some technical, some popular, some serious, some funny. Since the beginning of the digital age, our audience has expanded to millions. Really, there is no way to fully trace the influence of the Mises Institute, but it is pervasive, ubiquitous, and darn near universal.

The reason is the domain name you see in your browser window. This domain has been supercharged through the most brilliant (and some say crazy) strategy ever imagined: We give away as much as we possibly can. We give away lectures, films, books, journals, articles, and information in every conceivable way we can package it.

Read the rest of the article here

When Mises first started doing this, they gave away a major text book written by Murray Rothchild. I downloaded it and read a couple of paragraphs on my computer and was so amazed at this revalation that I bought the book on Amazon. I phoned the Institute and asked whether they think this is a good idea and was told that since they gave the book away for free, sales in bookshops and on the Mises website have shot up. Canonical gives their software away free (Ubuntu) and also the source code (intellectual rights) and have grown from a staff of three, in five years, to over 350 staff in 28 countries around the world. I could, therefore, easily believe this. Since then Mises give away just about everything and are growing at a phenomenal rate.

The secret is, by giving away the main product, people want ancillary services. With Mises, these are courses of instruction and speakers for conferences and with Canonical it is support contracts and engineers certification. Both organisations realise that by giving the main product away free, they increase their customer base for ancillary services.

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Is a University education worth it?

I found this interesting article at an “investment” website called The Motley Fool. It is not based on emotive feelings but on cold economic fact. The main article is a lot more interesting than the teaser, also from the article, I print here/

Oversupply looks to have reduced the value of a degree.

The proposed increase in university tuition fees has been in the headlines for the last few weeks, in large part thanks to the violent demonstrations in central London. Then again live TV violence always sells; as the saying goes, “if it bleeds, it leads.”

It’s human nature to complain about price rises, at least when it concerns those goods and services which you consume. But tuition fee increases are also posing a question that many prospective students should ask themselves; is a full-time university education worth it?

Many have found to their cost that it wasn’t, particularly those who studied subjects that most employers consider to be less worthy. Many would-be students might benefit from being a little bit more selective in what they study instead of focusing upon tuition fees.

Valuing education

It’s hard to put a price on an education because many of its benefits are non-monetary. Education doesn’t just improve a person’s quality of life; education rewards society if only because it should increase tax revenues and reduce crime rates (the well educated are reckoned to be less likely to commit crimes).

Whilst we can value these non-monetary factors (the courts do it all the time when assessing damages for personal injury), I will ignore them for the rest of this article.

What’s a degree worth?

Go and read the rest of the article

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U-Turns and the Government

Why do politicians regard making a U-turn a crime?

And why, when a Government changes its mind, do newspapers blazon Government U-Turn across their front papers?

The answer to the former question is, in fact, the latter question (as an answer).

The answer to the latter question is that they want to sell more newspapers.

But, dear reader, I’d like to offer a different interpretation.

In my book, the more U-turns a Government make the better. I see this as an indication that Government knows it can’t always get things right first time and when they are informed of the consequences of their proposed actions they have the ability to take stock and rethink their strategies.

To paraphrase Labours old saying, this is Joined-up Government. Or better still Grown up Government.

So next time you see Government U-turn blazoned across a newspaper’s front page, you should think “Good, they are listening to us”.

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Julian Assange – 10 questions to ask

Ron Paul, the American Libertarian Senator, asks ten questions about the Julian Assange case and I repeat them here.

1. Do the American people deserve to know the truth regarding the ongoing war in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen?

2. Could a larger question be: how can an Army Private gain access to so much secret material?

3. Why is the hostility mostly directed at Assange, the publisher, and not our government’s failure to protect classified information?

4. Are we getting our money’s worth from the $80 billion per year we spend on our intelligence agencies?

5. Which has resulted in the greatest number of deaths; lying us into war, or WikiLeaks’ revelations or the release of the Pentagon Papers?

6. If Assange can be convicted of a crime for publishing information, that he did not steal, what does this say about the future of the First Amendment and the independence of the internet?

7. Could it be that the real reason for the near universal attacks on WikiLeaks is more about secretly maintaining a seriously flawed foreign policy of empire than it is about national security?

8. Is there not a huge difference between releasing secret information to help the enemy in the time of a declared war – which is treason – and the releasing of information to expose our government lies that promote secret wars, death, and corruption?

9. Was it not once considered patriotic to stand up to our government when it’s wrong?

10. How can the U.S. government charge an Australian citizen with treason for publishing U.S. secret information, that he did not steal?

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New police commissioners to cost £130 million to set up

By Tom Whitehead, Home Affairs Editor Daily Telegraph  9:22AM GMT 02 Dec 2010

Theresa May’s police and crime commissioners will cost the taxpayer up to £130 million to set up and run, the Home Office admitted yesterday.

The full article can be read here.

The problem with Government is that they always get (self-)important people to run various set-ups, rather than just plain efficient executives.

First of all, the weakness here is to have an elected official and a chief constable! Why not just have the chief constable elected? Why duplicate, the Sheriff system works well in the USA and is not politicised. It is madness having two positions for what is essentially one job. Secondly, because of a two tier system, it will be politicised which will mean the chief constables will obey the party rather than look after the interests of the voter. Thirdly, we vote out the politicised police leader and put another in, and still have the same chief constable (sheriff) I can just imagine the howls if they did that in the USA!

To my way of thinking, to save time and money, and give more time to make sure this is set up properly, I would invite “sitting” Chief Constables to change their job positions to that as elected Chief Constables. Then we could do this immediately and set the date of the first elections to go ahead in 2015. The present Chief Constables would only have to defend their positions from now.

Politicians just cannot get “top heavy” out of their system, can they?

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Daniel Hannan’s letter of warning to America

This is an interview by the Hoover Institution with Daniel Hannan in America about his new book “A new road to serfdom (subtitled: A letter of warning to America” Forgetting politics for a minute, this is one of the best interviews I have ever seen. It is quiet, gentlemanly, and friendly. But, a little warning, don’t look at this until you have thirty-five minutes to spare, it is a long interview and you really won’t want to stop. When you have seen this you may well agree with my feelings that it is no wonder that David Cameron has sidelined this extremely intelligent and informed young man to the EU. He would fear him too much if he were in the British Parliament!

He is not of my party but I am always willing to give credit where it is due.

Ampers.

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Nigel Farage tells them!

Nigel Farage throws egg into the faces of the bureaucrats in Brussels in an excellent speech but the real joy is to see the despondency in the faces of the other MEPs.

Well done Nigel.

It’s a funny old world, over the last twenty years I have joined UKIP four times and resigned three times. One of the times I resigned was because of Nigel, and the last time I joined was because of Nigel! He is an excellent speaker and his voice has just that amount of harshness to remind people of how angry he is with the EU. However, I would be more happy if there was a rule that only one MEP should be permitted to sit on the Party’s NEC (top table).

Ampers

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Students: How dare they!

I am absolutely livid.

How dare these students expect me, as a tax-payer, to contribute towards their education.

Because of my upbringing I had to leave school at under fifteen and work in the wide hard world to earn enough to keep body and soul together. I didn’t have the luxury of adolescence as if I had “put on teenage airs and graces” I would have been fired and on the dole. I have never, in my life, been on the dole.

Why should I subsidise students education?

And the argument that we need better educated people to run companies and run the country won’t wash. Other countries that don’t subsidise education have well-educated people, and these have had to pay for their degrees as they go along. Not have the cushy situation where they don’t pay a penny until they earn over £21,000 a year.

I will be thrilled to see that potential murderer (with the fire extinguisher) go to prison. Buy, will he have a hard time with that baby face. And there is no point going for a degree now as he’d never get a decent job with a prison record. Great!

I would be a lot more sympathetic to their cause if it wasn’t my taxes paying for the education. But it is, and I’m not!

Ampers.

Note: Just noticed a group on TV with a placard saying Liberal Democrats keep your promise. This shows how unintelligent our students really are. They don’t even realise that Liberal Democrats don’t run the country. We really have to have better teachers as the present intake aren’t really good at educating our offspring.

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Be frightened, be very frightened

After watching this video you must ask yourself why this wasn’t on the BBC or ITV news but was on Fox News in the USA (and Russian TV)

You need to be frightened, not of the demonstrators, but our masters who tried to hide this from you.

Another question is, should the police be allowed to shoot to kill if they are attacked by these mobs?

Ampers

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The Euro and the P.I.G.S.

Gerald Celente formed and directs “The Trends Research Institute”, he is the author of “Trends 2000″ and “Trend Tracking” (Warner Books), and also publishes “The Trends Journal”. He has been a trends forecaster for thirty years now.

Don’t mind the American accent, listen carefully to the words.

Ampers

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Understanding the Irish monetary problem

This video gives an interesting insight of the Irish dilemma between 0:37 and 4:10. The whole video is worth watching but if you are short of time, the above start and end times will be the most useful. But you won’t see Nigel Farage.

Andrew

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Financial background of Nigel Farage

Two parts of this video are quite interesting.

The first two minutes is where Nigel Farage gives is business background and what really upset him about the EU. The second part which is worth watching is from 9:15 onwards (right at the end).

Ampers

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Our £4.8 TRILLION debt.

I watched the hour and a half programme, mentioned in the blog below, and have to admit, if I weren’t a pensioner, or if I had brought children into this world, I would have been a lot more horrified and frightened than I am.

On reflection, a lot of people deserve this. I am not referring to voters of any one party as such. I am referring to people who do not take an interest in politics and vote the way their parents voted or their parents before them. These people are really to blame even more than the politicians for the disastrous state the country is now in. My message here is, if you don’t take an interest in politics, you should first blame yourself before you blame others.

The state the country is in is so terrible that it will probably take a dozen generations to repay all the money. 28% of Communist China is the State, 53% of the UK is the State. Bearing in mind that Britain is becoming as oppressive as East Germany was and that, in percentage terms, the State in the UK is twice the size of the State in China, it is no wonder that we are so poor and debt ridden.

The banks cannot be blamed for this.

Yes, the banks cost us dearly, but set against 4.8 trillion pounds, their debt as a drop in the ocean compared with our National Debt. The bank rate is 0.5% per annum, just at this terribly low bank rate, the annual interest on £4.8T is £24 Billion pounds a year, or two billion a month, and that is without repaying any of the capital.

Finally, everybody’s savings are being devalued every day the Bank of England indulge in Quantitative Easing.  QE is just another way of printing more money that we have assets for. This means your pound devalues.

Let’s look at it in simple terms. A small island with fifty people have their own currency. The island has assets worth a million pounds, so the government print out a million pounds of notes and coinage. Then the government decides on Quantitative Easing and prints a further million pounds of notes with no assets to back the currency up with. Where as a note worth £1 was worth £1 we now have a situation that there are £2 million of currency around but only one million pounds worth of assets. So your £1 note in your pocket can only be worth 50p.

So you have been robbed of 50p for every pound you own. The Government has cheated on you and stolen your savings.

It really is as simple as that.

Ampers.

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Margaret Thatcher’s Poll Tax

The Poll Tax would have charged everyone the same tax in an area no matter what their wealth was. Where this fell down is the council would decide how much they needed to run the council for the following year, and payments would be spread equally amongst people out of work and multi millionaires. It had to be tweaked drastically before it would be acceptable to the general public, but the Government were determined to bring it in. And, they did.

Under the guise of the Council Tax The council still work out how much they need to run the council for the following year. Only now, instead of dividing the cost amongst the number of people (the poll tax) they divide the amount by the number of properties in the area. (poll tax version two).

This has enabled them to put all the properties into different bands and charge different amounts for each band. This is still not really fair (a couple of pensioners in their nineties and a state pension who inherited their home fifty years ago, in the same band as a Union Leader or BBC Director, earning hundreds of thousands a year, next door. But it is still a lot fairer than the original model).

However, what I would like to know, and I would welcome any comment on this, is Were the Conservative government going to instate the Poll Tax in its original bad format, or were they going to tweak it to make it fairer. What I do not want to see under the comments is “they were going to tweak it” or “they were not going to tweak it” as these comments on their own won’t be worth the electons they are written on. I am asking for answers with some sort of proof of your conclusions. I have searched the Net using Google and cannot find anything on this part of the subject, plenty of other information.

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The European Union

Before I get into my article I would like to reassure my readers that I love Europe and nowadays, since I refuse to subject myself to the indignities of flying, have discovered that most European cities are far more beautiful and interesting than our own cities.

The next thing I aim to reassure people is that, with regards to the European undemocratic Parliament, I am not a Euro-sceptic. The term Euro-sceptic suggests that one is not sure. I am sure, I hate it and fear the harm it is doing to these islands. So the correct term for me would be Euro-phobic. And, I am intensely proud of being Euro-phobic.

Preamble

In an earlier life I was a salesman and then sale manager. I then became the sales and marketing manager for a large company running a team of twenty-seven. One of the basic differences between an ordinary salesman and a star player is that the former would sell features, whilst the more successful salesman would sell benefits.

Let me explain: This gizmo has a pretty design, it has seven different buttons along the top that will do this, this, this… This is selling features.

Or, you would say to your customer, if you have one of these in your office it will improve productivity, allow your staff to increase efficiency, and they will admire your decision. This would be selling benefits.

It does no harm to imagine that your customer is very selfish and just wants to know “what is in it for him”. Many of them are! Appeal to his head, by stressing money saved and appeal to his heart by stressing the staff will look up to him.

The anti-EU movement

I think that one of the major reasons why the anti-EU movement has a spectacular non-success is that they continue to sell features to the general public.

The evil EU {feature} Costing x millions a day {feature} Britain losing its sovereignty {feature}.

Did you know it would be easy to reduce income and corporation tax by 25% without harming any of our other areas of national expenditure?” {benefit}

We could reduce all the present cuts by a third, and still be able to afford to build new schools, hospitals and increase police and military spending! {benefit}

The above are just a few examples to illustrate the difference of selling benefits to selling features.

The British are not like the French or Germans, we don’t riot in the streets, except when the loony left did in the eighties against the Poll (Community Charge) Tax which, incidentally, would have been a lot fairer than Council Tax if carried out properly! But that’s earmarked for a separate blog.

The entire anti-EU movement needs to reconsider its arguments and perhaps make an effort to recruit a sales director onto their governing boards to advice in this area. Then we will see movement, as all the “concerned citizens” are interested in, is the taxes they pay, the police’s success in their locality, the condition of their local hospital and the choices of schools available in their area.

The UK Independence Party, at election time, should concentrate on the above issues and work their manifesto claims on the UK finances available bearing in mind that the money would no longer be going to the EU. And, there would be no need to spell this out in the manifesto as you would already have said you’d be taking us all out. Features should be out and benefits should be the order of the day.

One of the successful ways of combining features with benefits (it can be done) is to use three powerful words which means you can combine without appearing condescending. the three words are which means that..., for example,  Britain is losing its sovereignty, which means that other EU countries can extradite people in Britain for a crime which breaks their countries laws but is not against the law in Britain, and have done so recently without going to court – just by informing the local police to arrest them and send them to the said EU country.

There is an old saying: “Do the same and you will continue to get the same.”

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Flying tonight!

I came across the following today on the Big Brother Watch website and it reminded me of a decision my wife and I took when all this airport security started.

You can see my write-up of an incident at Stansted involving a BBW supporter here. She has had both her hips replaced and when going through airport security she was taken off to a room and made to undress to show her operation scars to prove that she had had the surgery claimed.

We had problems flying soon after 9/11 with pathetic over reactions by Heathrow airport and a passenger who objected (gently) had one very tall checker, towering above him, shouting that if he gave any trouble he would be taken off the queue and locked in a room until the plane had taken off.

That, dear reader, was the last time my wife and I have every flown anywhere. We used to spend our annual holidays alternate years in South Africa, and alternate years to other far away places.

Now we refuse to even go to an airport, let alone fly.

We have discovered Western Europe, and I have found out that cruises, now that I am in my seventies, aren’t as bad as they seemed to be when I was much younger.

To help stretch our money, every other year we have just a four day holiday in Western Europe by Eurostar and are looking forward to these fast journeys from Kings Cross/St Pancras stretching, next year to Holland and the year after to Germany. On alternate years we will take a cruise, there are so many to choose from. And you can get good deals if you leave it to the last week before sailing to purchase. Now that we are retired, we can afford to do this.

Now, what do you think the Government and Airlines would arrange, collectively between them, with regards to treatment of air passenger, if all holiday passengers stopped flying? If the only passengers the airlines got were business passengers? What if these business people started to use video conferencing instead of flying?

A couple of years ago I was at a simultaneous press conference at Cisco in West London, with their Paris office. The video conferencing facilities for the two groups of about twenty journalists was excellent, and executives were talking to us from both offices. It was a truly amazing experience.

In fact, on top of all this, I read about higher costs of aviation kerosene, higher airport and flying taxes and laugh, knowing they don’t and will never apply to me.

Ampers.

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The BBC and the noisy left minority

First of all, I am referring to England and not the whole of the United Kingdom.

Most English constituencies are Conservative but listening to the BBC you would well be under the impression that this was a Socialist dominated country. The only reason Labour actually get in isn’t because of the few strongholds in the North of England, it is because of the massive Labour voters in Scotland and Wales.

And, for the sake of argument, let’s say that Baroness Margaret Thatcher is the most hated doyen of the Left. God, don’t they make a lot of noise about her. Any stranger to our shores might be excused for thinking she is the most hated person in Britain.

But is she?

A recent YouGov poll of 2018 people (most of their polls are only 1024 people, so this was a much more accurate sample) conducted a poll to find who was the most influential woman in the world.

People in the survey included Florence Nightingale, Mother Teresa, Oprah Winfrey and Kate Moss. (Kate came last with less than 1%).

However, the winner, with over 32% of the vote was Lady Margaret Thatcher, higher even than Mother Teresa.

Almost two-thirds said commitment was a vital trait, but hard work, intelligence and independence were also important considerations for this poll.

So, next time you hear some insignificant leftie, such as the Harriets of this world, scream that Thatcher was evil, recall this survey and just quietly go about your business, knowing the truth.

Ampers

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John Hurst – tax rebel

The following extract was taken from IanPJ on politics and is well worth the read. I am adding it to my blog as the newspapers may well suppress the information on orders from the Government. After you have read it, and if you want more information, click on the above link.

Council tax, rebellion, and a day in court

Friday 8th October 2010 – A Friday October morning at the Magistrates` Court in the small Welsh town of Brecon seems an unlikely setting for a case that promises to have a fundamental effect on the entire British legal and tax-collecting system. Amongst the usual run-of-the-mill cases that turn up in a small rural community was one involving Powys Council`s application over the non-payment of Council Tax, issued against John Hurst and his wife Tina.

Before anyone jumps to the wrong conclusion, John Hurst is no free-loader. He is a highly responsible and patriotic citizen, a former police officer with an impressive record. His decision not to pay is based on thorough research indicating that councils have no legal right whatsoever to levy such a tax on its citizens. Believing this to be true, John would have therefore committed an offence by actually paying the tax, as the majority of us already have. Given that ignorance of the law is no defence, it places the overwhelming majority of hitherto respectable British citizens in an invidious situation and the courts in an even worse one.

John, a committed supporter of Lawful Rebellion, arrived at the court with his wife, along with her Mackenzie Friend. The court official took down the details but then returned some time later stating that Tina Hurst’s case was no longer listed. This was an extremely odd development, given that Tina is registered disabled with visual impairment and would have hence qualified for a Council Tax rebate, which had not been awarded and for legal aid should she decide to take the case further. It would appear that suspicions of skulduggery would not be entirely unfounded. The official was challenged over this and shortly afterwards brought out a more senior figure, a pleasant young man, who invited the little party into a private office. There he declared that on checking his information, Tina Hurst was on the list after all!

Much later, the group was invited into Court. John Hurst, representing himself, immediately questioned as to why there were only two magistrates on the bench instead of the required three. The Council`s solicitor stated that he had to agree but that this was not contentious. John immediately retorted that it was and insisted on exercising his legal right to have three magistrates present. The court officials had to concede and the group was asked to leave the Court whilst a third magistrate be found.

Amongst John Hurst’s contentions, was the fact that this court had no jurisdiction to make a firm decision on his case. Therefore, it was welcome when the council solicitor appeared, telling John that the court had decided that the matter should be passed to the Court in Llandrindod Wells for trial on Friday 5th November at ten a.m.

The group re-entered the Court shortly afterwards for the formal decision to be announced, but John consequently and successfully challenged the by now hapless and bewildered clerk of the court over a number of legal and procedural issues.

You can read the full report on IanPJ on Politics website.

 

Ampers.

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Ethnic Cleansing

Ian Duncan Smith (or ‘the twins’ as Paul Merton used to refer to him as) said yesterday:

‘Today every working person in Britain is paying almost £700 a year for housing benefit. This is unfair to taxpayers, but also unfair to the people on benefits living in accommodation that they could never afford to maintain if they entered work.
My emphasis. Read the whole article which might open your eyes at the newspaper’s website
Ampers

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Linda Norgrove

No wonder this Highland girl was a caring loving soul, I have just watched her parents talking for the first time and their position is what I would expect from these hardy islanders. Mature and thoughtful.

I cannot say the same for the uncaring thoughtless Police in Lewis in the Western Isles. When word came though of her death they immediately went to inform the parents.

At three o’clock in the fucking morning!

Most readers know I rarely swear on my blog but there are times when one just needs to vent their real anger at the stupidly of some people.

The early hours of the morning is when sleep is deepest, and being woken up leaves the sleeper vulnerable.

For God’s sake, that’s when you go to arrest villains!

Ampers.

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Virgin Mobile don’t get it!

We have moved away from Labour, but not Virgin Mobile. They still think they are part of the nanny state.

They will not allow me to go into certain websites because they think they know better than I do of what is good for me.

I was born in 1939. I am 71 years of age, and they know this as my account on their website reflects my date of birth. However, recently I tried to go into a communication website from their mobile and it wouldn’t let me.

Now if this website was porn they might think they would have a case to stop a seventy-one year old from getting too excited! However, the only thing that truly excites me nowadays is the sexy black shiny bottle of South African Imoya VSOP Brandy!

When I emailed them, they took nearly a week to reply and all that was to say they I should use their secure website as then they would know that the email was from me.

I do understand that in some cases, this could well be a good idea. However, when a seventy-one year old who they know is seventy-one asks them to tweak their website to make sure it now recognises the seventy-one year old is seventy-one, a secure email is not needed. It could be Joseph Stalin, Adolph Hitler or Tony Blair sending them the email, but it would not matter. After all, it is just an email telling them to get their act together.

I will be writing further about companies acting like the previous government so please, dear reader, if you have had any difficulties with Virgin Mobile or, indeed any other company, please write and let me know.

I have given Virgin the right of reply as I believe this is the proper thing to do. However they have not replied but that could be due to the slowness of a Corporate. So if they reply, I will add it as a comment at a later stage.

Ampers

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