let's cure our economy by tough cuts and slashing spending

...because that'll definitely work... oh. er... hang on

Irish economy faces double dip recession

Maybe it's time to start thinking differently...

Cable and Webb

You go Vincent. Go Vincent. Go Vincent.

Defiant Cable refuses to retract anti-capitalist as he also turns fire on 'spivs and gamblers' in big banks

Why Vince Cable is no Marxist.

Although didn't they mention his speech had been pre-vetted by the Tories too (like Clegg's had.)

Meanwhile even the DWP's Steve Webb is disquieted by the on-coming Housing Benefit cuts for the long term unemployed - as well he should be. It's monstrous.

London housing crisis: most private landlords will not lower rents in response to housing benefit cuts | Politics | guardian.co.uk

Tories have always lived in a weird fantasy world - totally disconnected from how people at the lower ends of society live - they have always come up with some really stupid ideas. Remember the Poll Tax? that was one of those ideas. See how well that played out. But this new one of capping - and cutting housing benefit - do they honestly think landlords are going to lower their rents in response? When in few months time everyone is going to scratching around for extra money - what with frozen wages, VAT increase and god knows what else is on the way... Landlords aren't going to be in any position to lower rents (not unless they're forced to by law - and someone - councils? start setting limits on rents - limits which if memory served - a certain Thatcher Govt. deregulated. Back then the optimistic belief was that rents might go down - instead they went up and up and up - with Housing Benefit having to compensate. Funny that.

London housing crisis: most private landlords will not lower rents in response to housing benefit cuts

telling them to keep their nerve

In a script pre-vetted by Cameron, the Deputy Dawg PM tells his party to keep their nerve. Ummmm. Well he couldn't tell them to do much else - he can't tell them to keep their election promises - they've all been put in the shredder.

DVD Review: The Venture Bros.

I just liked this review. s'all.

I've got season 2 on dvd and am watching it now.

DVD Review: The Venture Bros. | Noise to Signal

Clegg should end dictatorship over the party by 20 Lib Dem ministers


"I believe that the proposed cuts to housing benefit are spiteful, vindictive, increase poverty, reduce freedom and social mobility and pander to the worse aspects of Tories and the Tory Press."

Mike Hancock

His full letter (pdf format) here.

Mike Hancock is exactly the sort of Lib-Dem I used to support their party for. However this new Torified coalition Govt. version most definitely is not.

Welfare cuts could be more than £4 billion

Wow more cuts on the way.

Funny how we don't get as many headlines proclaiming how we now have a booming shining economy with masses of jobs being created by the hour that are desperate for the disabled, the old and the long term unemployed and the unskilled to fill those jobs - but that could well be because -er, there aren't any.


Just the one story being told over and over. Just the one single idea then?

Welfare cuts could be more than £4 billion - The Scotsman

Nick Clegg tells Lib Dems: accept my Cameron pact

"Party morale will be dented by news that more than half of those who voted Lib Dem at the election now believe the party has 'sold out'. According to a poll for the Independent on Sunday, two-fifths would also have voted differently if they had known in advance about the coalition deal with the Tories."

No shit Sherlock.

If the Lib-Dems want to survive as a party they've got to stop doing every last little thing the Tories want. On account of - y'know how they have been fighting AGAINST every single last bit of the Tory manifesto for the past few decades... *cough* which is why people have been voting for them - instead of for the Tories.

Why is that so difficult for turncoat Clegg to understand?

If anyone can't see that the Tories and for that matter Labour aren't going to do everything they can to screw up the referendum on voting reform - then I have a few thousand pounds in Nigeria I need help getting out of the country.

It looks like the better outcome of this last general election would have been for the Tories to have formed a minority Government and have to have fought every single last inch of the way to get their psychopathic cuts (-but only for the poorest and most vulnerable -if you've noticed) obsessed plans implemented - rather than now having a Lib-Dem party so giddy at the idea they are finally having a part in a real Govt. they abandoned nearly every last principle and scruple they ever had - and just nod through EVERYTHING.

This has totally destroyed the Lib-Dem party forever.

Oh well - with any luck their lost will be the Green Party's gain.

Pope visit:

"Harriet Harman, Labour’s acting Leader, has criticised the Pope for his outspoken attacks on the equalities measures she was instrumental in introducing."

Good on her.

Last Friday morning

So I've got some TV news magazine programme on in the background and apparently the single most important and only newsworthy thing happening in the UK at the moment is the Papal state visit. There sitting in a TV studio is Cherie Blair and she's quietly gushing on and on about the Pope... and it occurs to me just how much I don't understand ANY of it. Here is a supposedly highly intelligent grown up adult woman who is a lawyer - whose husband held one of the most important positions in the country* and yet here she is -for all the world behaving like a starstruck teenager who's only barely able to contain herself in awe of her favourite pop star.

In that moment --not having been raised in any religion I simply can't fathom why the Pope is supposed to be adored so - not when he doesn’t seem to do much of anything except wear over-elaborate clothes and make a few speeches that show how completely out of touch with the modern world he is, and that's without the borderline offensive remarks from him and from that Cardinal Walter Kasper who made the 'like a third world' comments.

Moreover I guess I must suffer from a mild form of enochlophobia or demophobia - because whenever I see such large groups of people behaving irrationally like that - I start to despair of the human race. Not that it ever takes much to get me to despair of the human race at the best of times. Still, it'll be over soon and the rest of the country can get back to it's usual muddling through in it's own semi-secular ways.

*I got even more confused when I found this newspaper article from last year where both Blairs are proclaiming to be pro-gay issues, pro-contraception and pro-condom use yada yada yada.

The Third Depression

It’s almost as if the financial markets understand what policy makers seemingly don’t: that while long-term fiscal responsibility is important, slashing spending in the midst of a depression, which deepens that depression and paves the way for deflation, is actually self-defeating.

So I don’t think this is really about Greece, or indeed about any realistic appreciation of the tradeoffs between deficits and jobs. It is, instead, the victory of an orthodoxy that has little to do with rational analysis, whose main tenet is that imposing suffering on other people is how you show leadership in tough times.

And who will pay the price for this triumph of orthodoxy? The answer is, tens of millions of unemployed workers, many of whom will go jobless for years, and some of whom will never work again.

[...and America should have the advantage of not being run by a bunch of clueless toffs as we at the moment...]

trouble ahead

"Police: we can't take care of cuts protests if you cut us

Leading officer to tell home secretary that a confident police force will be required to tackle any disorder professionally."

Mmmm I was wondering about this - I just saw it as symptomatic of the cluelessness of the coalition Government (which in all other respects seems to be relishing it's role as the nasty-nasty-nasty party) in not being foresighted enough to see that what they're doing is going to have people out on the streets - striking, protesting and rioting. No doubt we'll see a quiet about-face and suddenly lots of money will appear out of nowhere to fund the police - particularly riot police.

Well - we are all in it together...


I was a jobseeking STAR (Sod This Appalling Racket) | Owen Hatherley | Comment is free | The Guardian

I've been on schemes like this - they are crippingly depressing and wholly useless. They're a complete scam only being done to make it look like the DWP is doing ---something.

I was a jobseeking STAR (Sod This Appalling Racket) | Owen Hatherley

George Osborne's secret plan to slash sickness benefits

It gets worse by the day.

And this is directly targeting the people who can't march in the streets.

George Osborne's secret plan to slash sickness benefits | Politics | guardian.co.uk

More of this sort of thing please...

George Osborne faces benefit cuts backlash
"Bob Russell, a Liberal Democrat, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "Yes, let's deal with the welfare cheats. But the notion that they are responsible for all the ills of the nation is in fact a smokescreen and it's not very ethical."

Fellow leftwing Liberal Democrat MPs, Mike Hancock and Tim Farron, joined Russell in vowing to vote against such cuts.

Hancock said: "This goes right to the heart of the benefit system in this country. He has a lot of questions to answer and this is not the right way to do things."

Farron said: "The government needs to demonstrate that those who got us into this mess are going to more than bear the brunt and that the most in need will not be targeted. We need to scrutinise where the cuts are made."

Welfare spending to be cut by a further £4bn, says George Osborne

This is insane. Completely and utterly insane.


Not only that...
Everything the Govt. is now doing is MAKING MORE and MORE people UNEMPLOYED!

Not only that if they start cutting people's benefits - because there aren't any jobs - then the only thing left will be people forced into crime!

Why can't they see that?

BBC News - Welfare spending to be cut by £4bn, says George Osborne

Samsung Galaxy Tab vs iPad

mmmm 'terstin'

Samsung Galaxy Tab vs iPad

How Apple plays the pricing game - Business - Bloomberg Businessweek - msnbc.com

Mildly interesting article.

All I know is that Apple stuff is -and always has been, stupidly scarily expensive. Too expensive for me to even contemplate - the only Apple thing I own is second hand ipod touch.

I'm also guessing that 'cognitive dissonance' accounts for the sheer amount of time and energy mac users put into trolling pc forums proclaiming how much better their choice of expensive computer is. I can't help thinking if it was actually that good - that they would be just happily getting on with using it secure in the knowledge of it 'just works' and not waste their time evangelising about it so much.

How Apple plays the pricing game.

Tax blunder: possible loophole emerges

Experts said people hit with an unexpected tax demand may be able to refuse to pay up as HMRC could have exceeded its own time limits in which to ask for the money. Under tax rules HMRC must issue demands for underpaid tax within 12 months of the end of the tax year in which it became aware that people had underpaid.

But if people provided HMRC with all the information they needed to get their tax code right, it should have used this information within 12 months of the end of the tax year in which it was received to claw back the extra money.

'Millions' protest in French pensions strike

I approve. Would that the UK population should show a bit of gumption and start protesting now - you know, like, BEFORE it's too late.

Why should the working population be forced to work years longer than they need or want to - simply to pay off a Government deficit which they had no part in creating whatsoever.

Plus retirement at 60!!! Lucky, sensible French - It's 65 here and eventually set to go up to 70!!! If I go around the same time as my mother (only 68 and that's pretty likely) I'll never see any where near the new retirement age.

'Millions' protest in French pensions strike - Channel 4 News

our way of eating grass

I made a doodle once - just some text - it said:

Cows are our way of eating grass.

That kind of extends to all the animals we eat - chickens - ate seeds and insects and other stuff they could find.

Goats - shrubs in hard to reach places.

Pigs - eat pretty much anything...

Then more recently humans just liked the taste of meat so much they went into mass production, and something weird and very stupid happened... we got so good at growing food that we started to feed it to our livestock. Of course it makes animals ill to eat stuff their digestive systems hadn't evolved to eat - but that's OK we have medical science - so we can pump them full of drugs and anti-biotics and growth hormones - etc. Ok so it changes the meat to do that but we have chemicals and flavourings and... when we get ill from eating that changed meat - well, medical science comes to our rescue too - statins, insulin, etc.

I think the human race is doomed.

Guardian comment:
I was wrong about veganism. Let them eat meat – but farm it properly.

The bonus season is coming

Oh just as I was wondering about the bankers at the end of my last post... this comes to my attention.
The bonus season is coming – and Ed Balls is right to foresee a train crash - Telegraph

All that scaremongering around at the time of the last election that we were going to turn into the next Greece - was utter nonsense. Although we are pretty much guaranteed to have similar riots next year. Just as soon as the realization just how evil this really coalition is starts to sink in with the population at large.

Housing benefit cuts

(It's on today's broadcast news - but not on the BBC news website (at least not yet) - what's that about?)

Link dump:

Job-linked benefit cuts would hit 200,000
Nearly 200,000 unemployed people will lose around £500 a year if cuts to housing benefit go ahead, union leaders warned today.

When even Boris Johnson has expressed disquiet over the proposals - then something is so clearly wrong it could be written in neon letters a mile high...

Boris fears housing benefit reforms

‘For many households the potential consequences of this are losing jobs to which they will not be able to commute, having to change their children’s schools and being cut off from their local social networks that are essential to successful communities.

‘The end result could be further polarisation between high and low income households in inner London and growing pressure on housing in outer London.’

Treasury minister Mark Hoban: Benefit cut? Then you'll just have to move house.

Is this an admission of social engineering? A plan of moving the poor out of the cities to... -where exactly? So they won't offend the eyes of the wealthy? and where are the poorest people in society going to find the money for deposits, and removal costs etc.?

Housing benefit cutbacks will cost thousands of Londoners £22 a week.

Crisis warns of homelessness over benefit cuts.

How are the Bank's profits and Banker's bonuses so far?

Poverty, inequality and the welfare state

Professor Richard Wilkinson has some very important things to say about our current Govt. in the podcast.

2020 Visions – Episode 2: Poverty, inequality and the welfare state

Pay As You Eeeeer...

from channel 4 news:

"Almost six million people across the UK are about to be told they've paid the wrong amount of tax because employers were sent the wrong tax codes by Revenue and Customs. The first letters will go through letterboxes on Tuesday telling those affected that they will either get a refund, or pay more tax next year to make up the shortfall.

Around £2bn has been underpaid through the Pay as You Earn tax system and the errors have been identified by a new computer system. The average underpayment is £1,400 - which will be a painful amount to lose next year for those families. There is not much you can do - other than check to make sure the tax calculation is correct. Obviously it only affects employees paid through the PAYE system and not those people who are self-employed."
So with various tax credits being cut and various benefits either being frozen or cut - and VAT to go up to 20% in a few months time - those that will have to make up their underpayment over the next year rather than getting a refund will be feeling the pinch even more... A underpayment that has not their fault...

And remember we're only in this mess because of the financial sector going into meltdown - and having to be bailed out by - what was it again? -Oh yeah, lot's and lots and lots of tax-payer's money.

Mmmmm. Something is not very fair here.

Robert Reich (The Real Lesson of Labor Day)

If UK governments will insist on blindly copying US Government ideas - why can't they use ideas like these?

Robert Reich (The Real Lesson of Labor Day)