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Thursday, 30 September 2010

you don't know what you're doing!

George Osborne and Guido Fawkes on how great and safe Irish banks and economy are. Much better than those evil Labour people's.
As factually accurate as usual

Saturday, 25 September 2010

alternatives to the budget cuts

left foot forward, while discussing the challenges facing Ed Miliband as leader, identifies the Spending Review as key.
I, like them, would like to see a different approach to economic policy from the the coalition. no shit.
by sticking to Alistair Darling’s timetable but switching to a 50:50 ration with no protection for the Health budget, departmental cuts can be reduced to 8 per cent – in stark contrast to the Coalition’s 25 to 40 per cuts.
sounds good, so long as the tax rises bring in enough without hurting people and the economy.

Ed Miliband as leader

so, Ed Miliband eh? yeah. erm.
anyway, enough of that, let the work of kicking these useless Tory coalition out begin. This country needs a Labour government again, let's go

Thursday, 23 September 2010

when is a marxist a marxist?

With the talk recently flying around about "Red Ed" Miliband and Marxist Vince Cable, the Economist brings some sense to the debate.
"One of the issues Mr Cable is referring to is the "agency problem" - that managers do not act in the best interest of shareholders. From the figures quoted in the Deutsche Bank long-term asset return study, that is a valid criticism. Earnings per share growth have lagged GDP growth over the long term. Companies have reduced the payout ratio without growing earnings sufficiently to compensate. Since the overall remuneration of executives has grown dramatically faster than GDP over the last forty years, it is not difficult to see where the money has gone.

Or as that well-known Marxist Warren Buffett remarked

"Too often, executive compensation in the U.S. is ridiculously out of line with performance. That won't change, moreover, because the deck is stacked against investors when it comes to the CEO's pay.""

yeah, i'd go with that. free markets rarely work out, and the economist would go along with that to a lesser extent than me, but we broadly agree on the need for regulation:
As for markets being occasionally irrational, we have surely had adequate evidence of that over the last 10 years. Even the renowned free market advocate Alan Greenspan confessed in 2008 that

This modern risk-management paradigm held sway for decades. The whole intellectual edifice, however, collapsed in the summer of last year.

The Economist is in favour of free markets, but both words are important. If banks are too big to fail, then their cost of capital is implicitly subsidised. This creates barriers to entry and encourages risk-taking at the taxpayers' expense; the market is thus not truly free. In an ideal world, we ought to be able to let banks fail in the same way that we let widget manufacturers fail. But since bank failures have a devastating economic impact, we need to have some approach to regulating them. Markets also have externalities, a concept long established in academia; a chemical company cannot be free to pollute a river, for example.

To say that any further regulation is socialism, or that any consideration of inequality is misguided, seems wilfully blind. If banks earn huge profits, and their traders huge bonuses, only because of an implicit state subsidy, that seems a legitimate matter of public concern."

and that's the thing - moral hazard. if banks are unwritten by the tax payer then the taxpayer must have a say in how the money is used. if there's a better way to do that than government involvement, maybe a civil servant or two sitting on the board, i'd certainly be open to it. but for the moment, that will have to do

racist fans and well washed hands

i've heard Peter Odemwingie left Russia because of the racism of the fans. after he left, Lokomotiv Moscow displayed this banner:

to my eye, the banana looks like a racist 'monkey' thing. BUT, cultural differences: In Russia 'to get a banana' means 'to fail a test somewhere'.

Odemwingie spoke in depth about the banana banner claiming that a minority of fans had been involved but alleged that black players are regularly subjected to insults in the Russian league and that the authorities did not act.

"Coloured players feel the open racism there and I recall a game against CSKA Moscow when their fans started the sick noises - I wouldn't have any of it and gave it back to them," said Odemwingie.

UEFA have refused to get involved because it's a domestic matter. The Russians say it's not racist. who's right, who's wrong?

terms of debate

if this is true, and it does seem close to the mark at least, it's very sad. i wrote recently about Ed Miliband being called Red Ed and stupid that is, well:
"Why cannot the Business Secretary seek to address a lightly regulated market, or at least question the merits of unfettered capitalism? The acceptable debate has leapt from concerns about banks and the short-term recklessness of some businesses to one about the inefficiencies of the public sector. Savings in the public sector can and should be made, but surely it must be possible for public figures to highlight other issues without being portrayed as revolutionary Marxists.

Yet the younger Miliband has been christened "Red Ed" for daring to argue that the state has a role in regulating markets, and Cable is called a Marxist. Both are compared to Tony Benn for veering a millimetre away from Cameron/Blairite orthodoxy. It seems that the acceptable perimeters of debate in Britain are very narrow. The wacky reaction to Cable reminds me of a brilliant lecture that Gordon Brown delivered in 2003 in which he argued that while markets worked in most spheres, there were limits in one or two areas. The lecture was widely dismissed as a disastrous return to Old Labour."

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

red Ed and paper power

I saw a very worrying article in the FT blog.
Tabloids salivate at prospect of “Red Ed” in charge
Ed Miliband would "be easy to caricature as “Red Ed”, slave to the unions and champion of unreconstructed lefty-ism".
"Another tabloid hack told me weeks ago that Ed had tacked wildly to the left with his socialist policy agenda. Such as what, I asked? “Well, I don’t really know,” he admitted. “Does it matter?” Such is the reality of the Westminster village."

very worrying, and if the following policy positions are taken into account too:
"It may also be rather unfair given that on some issues there isn’t an obvious difference between the brothers.

For example David wants a higher banking tax, a high pay commission, a mansion tax and so on. Where he has set out a different stall is a] his more middle-ground rhetoric, b] his refusal to promise to joining anti-cuts rallies c] his refusal to apologise for Iraq d] his more firm commitment to Alistair Darling’s deficit reduction programme and e] his sticking to New Labour’s (not very liberal) policies on CCTV, ID cards and so on.

Both brothers are committed to the central principles of union rights, a distributive tax system and a fiscal tightening which falls far short of the coalition’s plan.
Further UPDATE (3pm): Friends of Ed Miliband point out that he doesn’t back his brother’s mansion tax nor his tax on private schooling."

so is David in fact to the left of Ed on policy?
i've been thinking for a while that i went for the wrong Miliband.

a mate of mine and i were discussing this over beer the other day and he's worried that Ed M could be characterised as Red Ed. i've heard people talking about him as a Benn-ite, which is rubbish but the fact people are talking about it is worrying from a truth point of view

doing the coalitions bidding

Sadly, for the first time today i saw, i'm sure well-meaning people, taking the heat of the government and blaming innocents for the government's cuts.
there has been a lot of noise around New Cross recently about the possible closure of the library. Now, i've spoken to a mate who is on the council and the situation is that the government has handed down cuts of around 25%. as a result, the council MUST look at ALL and ANY possibilities to make the necessary savings. So i blame the central government for cuts to the budget. but there is a banner near my house accusing the local mayor personally of trying to close the library, no mention of anyone else.
this to me is taking the heat off the government and placing it on innocents, and to me that's not right. it is, after all, the central government's fault for their cuts, not the local council's for having to make the decisions on the front line.
and round here the banner is far more likely to have been put up by the socialist party than anyone further right. if that's the case, it's Socialists defending the Tories (and tory Lib Dems) and attacking Labour. wouldn't surprise me, to be fair, but they are missing their target whoever they are

Wednesday, 15 September 2010


Once again i am back job hunting. The vast majority of jobs i see are administration ones in the private sector. Now, this strike me because the government has set it's stall out to rid us of public sector administrators. But if the private sector can't survive without them, why can the public sector?

Friday, 10 September 2010

Balls on Blair on the deficit

I agree with Ed Balls that reducing spending too quickly could spell disaster, but i disagree that the deficit was not too big previously.
When Brown came in he started tackling a hugh deficit left to us by the Tories, but he abandoned that.
I also disagree on tax as i would prefer to see a rise in direct tax and cuts where possible in indirect tax

the economy

from reading Larry Elliot and others it seems there is a real and significant risk of the world economy folding like a crap chair. one that's made of paper, in the rain.
a double dip is a worry, and what with the looming cuts too, it looks like Keynesianism is our best bet.
but our chancellor, Clueless George, has other ideas.

"Osborne's belief is that hacking away at public spending will create space for the private sector to flourish. Britain will cease to be so dependent on consumer spending and the state for its growth; instead, resources will shift to manufacturing and exports, thus reducing both household debt and the size of the UK's current account deficit.

Such an outcome is much to be desired but, as today's trade figures show, it remains a long way off. Far from benefiting from the 20% drop in sterling over the past three years, the trade gap in the three months to July was the worst on record. Only the efforts of the City, which boosted the UK's surplus in service sector trade, prevented an even worse outcome. Not much sign of rebalancing there."

i personally think his belief in crowding out is based more on ideological conviction than any fact. the private sector is weak, confidence is fragile. like a 16 year old virgin boy with acne trying to chat up a girl. that fragile. so pulling masses of money out of the economy in order to go on an ideological crusade is madness, utter madness. the deficit is too big, and that is Labour's fault. but ranting at the past won't solve the present, and making things worse is a hell of a risk in the hope of a better future, to say nothing of the consequenes (see Mr G. Howe in the 1980s)


I've now submitted my votes for all positions up for play in this election.
Sadly, I lost my notes so i have no record of who I voted for on the NPF.
On the NEC i voted Akehurst, Baxter, Black, Livingstone, Ware-Lane and Wiseman.
NPF, can't remember.

Ed Balls,
Ed Miliband,
David Miliband,
Andy Burnham,
Dianne Abbott

most influential left wingers

having seen some of the lists, i think people really need to reconsider the definition of 'left wing'. Simon Hughes, Charles Kennedy etc. are NOT left-wing. They are liberals. They may, MAY, be to the left of the centre, but they are FAR from left wing. It's a point of bother to me that people in the centre or on the soft left are called left wing, because they are not. David Cameron and Nick Clegg are not right WING, but they are to the right of the centre.
Is Danny Branchflower really left WING? i don't think so, but he's the only one i think deserves to be in this list

Prophetic and poetic: in praise of heavy metal

Heavy metal is great.
here, others agree with me

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Labour Party Leadership

last night i cast my UNITE ballot, once i get my NEC and NPF ideas together i'll cast those.
as i haven't a clue who most of the people are, it's taking a while

The firing civil servants on the cheap bill

On tuesday, the coalition government passed a bill, the name of which i can't remember, which allows for the cheap removal of public sector workers.
and not one single mention anywhere.
i would have thought it might have been an important issue, but not many others seem to agree

Monday, 6 September 2010

stat of the day

With six own goals in competitive games, Carragher still holds the unenviable record of having scored more goals against Liverpool than for them.

Friday, 3 September 2010

Labour Party Leadership

according to Vote Match I should go for Dianne Abbott. But I won't. Of all the five she's the only one i would never consider voting for.
policy shouldn't be that important in the leadership contest. we are five years out from a general election probably, and the party should have a role in setting policy. we need character, philosophy and who will best beat the tories.
on some of those that horrible David Miliband is improving with me. i don't agree with him on some things, and think he's not a very nice person, and not nearly personable enough to take the fight to Cameron on Cameron's own terms, but he's got a good chance of beating the tories.
ed miliband is good too, and i respect lots of the people who have backed him.
ed balls is a heavy weight, but too brusing and better behind the scenes.
andy burnham is good but too young and a bit lightweight, maybe next time.
round and round and round i go.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

William Hague and his advisor

On his sexuality, I don't care.
On him possibly having an affair, i don't care.
I him possibly using public funds to have an affair, that's would be a problem if true.
On his sharing a room with another man. i don't care, and i don't see why anyone else thinks it so unreasonable.
I've shared rooms with other men, i've even shared beds with other men without having sex with them or anything like it. i'm really shocked people think two men can share a room without getting it on. i think that's the strangest part of this story.