Saturday, 4 July 2015

Independence Revised





Unknown to the people of the USA and members of Congress, President Obama has quietly put an end to an ancient wrong.  He has sworn allegiance to HM The Queen in a brief ceremony that reinstates the USA as a devolved entity within the United Kingdom.

This follows the meetings held by Nicola Sturgeon of Scotland with US and IMF officials in Washington in which personal discussions clarified a number of matters relating to the EU and other obligations as well as a fireside chat between David Cameron and The President.

In Whitehall an in depth study of the various Euro treaties had concluded that certain clauses because of their inconsistencies left open the opportunity for former colonies and territories to be allowed should they re-engage as part of the UK.

The effect is that not only the original thirteen colonies are covered but all the territories etc. that they later controlled.  As the spear head of the expansion to the West was substantially led by Scots and Irish this allows the USA as it is be part of Europe.  This is said to have a number of advantages to all parties.

One is population control in the USA and a New Manifest Destiny.  Because of the imminent water shortages and crop reductions it is imperative to redirect population increase from the USA to elsewhere, indeed reduction will occur but now can be managed.

The base line figure for future population is said to be between 120 and 150 million, large enough to service an advanced leading world economy and a related military commitment to retain security.  This could be achieved by returning the surplus to Europe and other places under the terms of the Schengen Agreement.

Also, if the poorer elements were relocated to area of family or group origin then in the USA average earnings, wealth and productivity would all increase sharply with the related consumption and market benefits and reduced calls on benefit expenses.

On the other hand the return of Hispanics to Spain will give a boost to their economy, albeit on a different basis.  The same can be argued for other parts of Europe where policy is that large scale population growth is wanted to allow boosting public spending to procure differing benefits in other ways.

In Scotland, for example, the open door policy coupled with US returnees would soon increase the population to a level greater than that of England with the accompanying political effects bearing on the economic.

Takeover of all Scottish land rights and state re-allocation to create a self sufficient localised croft economy would be paid for by allowing each croft its own wind turbine exporting surplus energy to England who will pay for the installations.

The Scandinavian issue is more complicated.  But it is felt possible that the Norwegian capital fund and long standing state facilities in other nations might accommodate a five fold increase.  With modern systems the search for food that drove people to the USA would no long apply, according to the food processor industry.

There are a number of other population groups.  The large Italian proportion could well return to Italy, albeit the loss of the Mafia might have some effects difficult to foresee.  For other peoples of Europe, there could be localised issues in the Balkans, notably Greece.

It is Germany, however, where a problem might arise.  This might be dealt with by dispersal on a farm by farm basis reminiscent of the former idea of returning Germany to an agrarian economy.

Other sectors of the population will need action on a case by case policy which will entail flexibility.  The African could be given the option of staying or going to a location preferred. For the unknowns or difficult cases the obvious solution is to provide state sponsored transport to Australia.

One small change is that the "Star Spangled Banner" will be dropped and "Lillibullero" will replace it, version according to choice, see Wikipedia.

Thursday, 2 July 2015

A Stranger In Paradise





There I was sitting there with this nice couple and their lovely kids looking a bit puzzled.  They had told me that a local group of Tories had been set up to invite the old and lonely into their homes following the advice of Jeremy Hunt.  Asking politely who he was they told me he was a member of the government, Health Secretary no less.

It was a nice cup of tea but I could have done with something a bit stronger, it was past noon and my usual at that time comes from the home brew still and filter in the spare bedroom.  Something I do not like to mention, especially since the last explosion.

They asked me where I came from so I told them Basingstoke.  It seems to satisfy most people.  If I tell the truth it makes them a little nervous, the Docks in question doesn't sound so good these days.  Especially if your dad was nicking everything he could lay his hands on.

It is awkward if they asked me what I used to work at.  This is a long story of many jobs with many bosses, none of which lasted very long.  As the football bosses put, differences in perception, usually following grievous bodily harm.  A complication is that the employment history has periods in between at Her Majesties Pleasure partly because of work habits derived from my father.

It is simpler to say that I was a council employee who now has a small pension.  The shop lifting racket that provides present funding is not one to advertise because of the nature of the goods targeted.  There is a select gang of pensioners who have got it down to a fine art and with a reliable sales outlet.

Then there is service in the Armed Forces.  My present tale is one of noble efforts for King and Country against the might of our enemies in a distant part of the Far East.  I like to say that I did not do much in a way that leaves people with impression of an unknown modest hero, especially when I show them the medals bought from a second hand shop.

The truth is that for a short spell I was put in the Royal Army Skiving, sorry Service, Corps as a lorry driver.  During this time a lot of lorries went missing and I took the fall.  After release I deserted and was fixed up with another name from the Registrar General's record.  As any amnesty does not cover my case, keeping mum is the policy.

The delicate issue is one of marriage.  Indeed I had a very happy married life.  This was because when the party and fun were over and a bun was in the oven I left and found another after sampling the choice.  Divorce being expensive and time consuming there are a number of wives still around which could be embarrassing and not easy to explain.

So I just look into the distance and softly say something about a tragic loss now just a memory of a saintly lady who worked to help the poor and sick.  That usually turns them on.  I always avoid silly jokes like still being in the freezer with her mother.

All good things come to an end and it was a pleasant afternoon and a happy memory.  Now I have enough cash to get a new and better still and filter and if anyone is looking for a good laptop, set of family passports and full house of credit cards, just get in touch.

For specialists there is also a near new top of the range BMW in a friend's garage for a knock down price.

With keys, now for some of the cake they gave me.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Don't Bank On It





It is very hot so as little time is to be spent on the machine one looks for a little light reading to get up to date.

It is not widely known but the Bank of England now runs its own blog, "Bank Underground" (geddit?) and the articles therein, not many at present, are largely explanatory or analytical.

Yesterday, Zoltan Jakab and Michael Kumhof explained in an article "Banks are not intermediaries of loanable funds and why this matters" intricacies of bank financing that many find elusive.

It turned out to be anything but light reading, however the end paragraph said the following:

Quote:

To summarize, banks are not intermediaries of real loanable funds, they do not collect new deposits from non-bank savers. Instead they provide financing, they create new deposits for their borrowers.

This involves the expansion or contraction of gross bookkeeping positions on bank balance sheets, rather than the channelling of real resources through banks.

Replacing intermediation of loanable funds models with financing and money creation models is therefore necessary simply in order to correctly represent the role of banks in the macroeconomy.

But it also addresses several of the empirical problems of existing banking models.

Unquote.

Now why, suddenly, am I all hot and bothered?

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Turning Up The Heat





So David Attenborough made it to the White House to talk about Climate Change, Nature and the Environment with President Obama.  It was all quite polite, David is used to talking to people of high status, as in carefully and avoiding trouble.  The President was equally polite, despite being unused to dealing with aged pensioners who worked in button factories.

But there was common ground left unexplored.  The President's job requires him to send US troops to many places.  One of the cutting edge formations is that of the 82nd Airborne Division.  David would have been aware of them as a boy.  They were difficult to avoid spending quality time around Leicester in the early months of 1944, before going to France.

During the period 1940 to 1945 the population of the town was obsessed by weather and climate, which may in part explain David's early interest.  There were two reasons, one was the bombers, incoming German and then outgoing British, American and Allied.  The other was food supplies.  The margins were very tight.

When the 82nd left the area Leicester missed the men and they missed the additional sources of scarce supplies that seeped out of the American stores and eased the margins for many people.  If David seems to be too much of a worrier about weather and sustainability he has memory of what it was like for people to be short and not knowing where the next meal might be coming from.

What he is also aware of is that since that time the world population has quadrupled and the pressure on land, water and supplies has increased.  It has been astonishing that we have been able to provide for so many, albeit with large numbers left without.  The question is how many more can we cope with and can we retain even our existing levels of supplies?

The issue of what climate change may be occurring and with what effect is debated far and wide and can be seen elsewhere.  What we cannot avoid is that in history there have been catastrophic geophysical incidents that have had global effects on population.

Also, what cannot be avoided is the knowledge of the collapse of so many civilisations either urbanised or agricultural for other reasons. The President and David skirted these in their discussions leaving a vaguely academic feel to the discussion.  It might help to persuade more people to take an interest but there is too much in the media claiming our attention for other things.

Another subject not touched upon is that of Grey Owl, see Wikipedia, who so impressed David and his brother Richard in 1936, and later turned out to be not quite what he seemed.  Richard in 1999 made a film about him as a late apology.  Also, absent from any media mention is the younger brother John, despite his abilities, might he have been at the Grey Owl lecture and had been less impressed?

My position is very simple.  If climate has changed in the past, and on occasion radically, then it might do again or even will,  we are only a lump of matter spinning about in vast space.

It is when and not if.

Friday, 26 June 2015

To Calais Glittering In The Sun





Around just over 495 years ago Sir Richard Carew of Beddington was quietly biding his time until  retirement as Lieutenant of Calais when a courier arrived.

It was not a routine scroll from fussy Clerks of the Exchequer querying the accounts that he needed to juggle to pay the bills and fiddle for his families future, it was a directive from the King.  He was going to pay a visit in June 1520.

This was bad news enough, keeping the King and his immediate Court amused and well fed was difficult.  But this time he was bringing almost the entire aristocracy with him and was to meet the King of France, also with his Court and a host of others of high standing.

It was to be a Royal occasion to surpass all others of known history as King Henry VIII wished to be at the heart of Europe and to be seen as a force to be reckoned with in the union of Europe of its day. Embracing fellow monarchs and leaders is nothing new.

The event was known as The Field Of The Cloth of Gold and was held by Balinghem on the D231 between Guines and Ardres in the then territory of Calais.  For just a few days of politicking, fun, jousts and the rest that almost approached such occasions of the present, there would be a temporary tented city created.

It would not be basic or modest.  It was to be a rich, glowing fantasy world at huge expense that would be beyond the imaginations or ordinary men with no expense spared and every known luxury provided and with food and entertainment at the highest levels.

We know those of the high elites who were there.  What we do not know are the names of the hordes of both those who were there to serve and work and inevitably the vast numbers who would turn up on the main chance.  Nor do we know where they went when the tents were folded and the party ended.

Seeing all this would cause them to think that England was the place to go.  If the English could spend on this scale it was impressive.  They could throw money around, build palaces and fine houses and enjoy the good life of the age.  To have a share in this the only problem was to cross The Channel.

By 1520 the miserly austere years of King Henry VII were almost forgotten.  His desire to tax but not spend, storing money away and avoiding debt had been overtaken.

As well as the landed elite there was a network of great religious houses wealthy in their turn from farming and the interlocking wool trade which allowed hospitals, schools and charity to be had.

In London, The City was becoming wealthier having devised new means of moving money and accounting for in great ledgers.  It released new activity in support of all the Kings great schemes and called for greater sums as year followed year.  There was to be wealth for all and all comers.

And when Queen Catherine bore the King a living son the circle would be complete and the future certain.

The sad news was that Sir Richard Carew had died suddenly on the 23rd of May 1520, said to be from over work.

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Posh, Posher, Poshest.







All the talk about "posh" is deceptive in that it muddles a great many things up.  The claims that the best jobs in the higher reaches of finance are being restricted to persons of a particular type from the upper class segment of the population, namely "posh", are nothing new in essence only the jobs involved have changed.

Once upon a time these jobs that the upper segment, allegedly, have taken over recently were done by persons regarded as being "in trade" and of lower status.  In some cases younger sons of younger sons might find their way into them but not often.  Also, spare daughters needing to be unloaded without too demanding a dowry might marry down a step or two if a suitable clergyman was not to be found.

This was because there was a large Empire needing high officials, substantial armed forces needing a lot of well born officers and a relatively devolved local government run by the gentry who then had money from land and inheritance etc. Politics, government and The Court were also their preserves.
                           
As some of these have dried up and the UK does not do very well in picking up top jobs in international organisations etc. the children of the upper segment have shifted ground.  Additionally, all this democracy business has limited opportunities in politics.  The plebians are prone to voting for some of their own at the drop of a promise.

The upper segment has been obliged by the nature of our times to come down to trade and in doing so gone to activities where the loot is, much as their medieval forebears went in for land grabbing.  This has the advantage of enabling them to stay in property, buy the new politicians etc. and call the crucial shots in many ways.

As they have grubbed down they meet some of the lower segments grubbing their way up.  This represents Society at the present day in all its many forms of confusion.  It is displayed in the two pictures above.  One is the Posh on their way to a nosh and racket and you will see the Three Tenpercents; Cammers, Ossers, and Johnners, doing their Alpha Male thing.

The other, which could be mistaken for a group of commis waiters out in the back yard standing perhaps adjacent to the waste bins, is in fact a group of leading political advisers to the Labour Party. On the left is Handy Andy currently bidding to be Leader who made his name prescribing PFI as a Health cure all and increasing the mortality rates as one way of dealing with excess demand.

The first group are determined to hang on to power the second want it very badly.  With power comes the flows of money, as the upper segment know all too well and the lower segment hope will continue for them to get their hands on.  The question is how far the upper ones will retain their Posh and how will the lower ones either try to emulate it or replace it with their own version.

This does not leave the rest of us with much of a choice.  It lies between those who have already and those who badly want to have.  Somebody has to pay and these days it is largely the taxpayer. To add to this both the upper segment and their want to be rivals have made extensive arrangements to avoid paying tax.

POSH once meant Port Out Starboard Home in the ships of old going out to the East and returning back, the expensive cabins avoided the sun.

For us in boiler room it is purely academic.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Rebuilding The Palace Of Westminster





The Palace of Westminster has fallen behind with its maintenance work.  Tell me the old old story.  As ever this means that work is becoming urgent or else and the costings vary.

Numbers of billions of pounds are predicted and the one certain thing is that after they start they will find a lot more to be done.  Also, there will be committees full of people with bright and expensive ideas.

A while back in this blog the suggestion was made that Parliament should go to Tamworth in basic buildings for the key functions.  With all the technical facilities around a lot could be out sourced and for that matter a lot of the members as well.

Of course, there will be a strong case put for tradition, but it need not be the 19th Century one that claimed to have some sort of medieval origin.

My view is that if history is the guide there are much better choices to be had; such as in the picture above.

If this were adopted there would be no problem of public interest or TV coverage and in addition there would be predictable natural wastage enabling the proper management of business.