Saturday 29 November 2014


The ultimate humiliation for George Osborne, courtesy of YouGov:
Exclusively for Red Box, we asked: "Do you think Gordon Brown was a better or worse chancellor of the Exchequer than George Osborne is now?"

- 33 per cent said better

- 29 per cent said worse
That's right. Gorgeous George loses out to Gordon "Gold selling, pension stealing, city deregulation, world economy wrecking, 'No more boom and bust'" Brown.

That'll be another prominent Tory looking at his place in history and feeling just a little bit disappointed.

Friday 28 November 2014

Tory lies and deceit on immigration, Part 356,000,000

Seems the Tories can't make realistic promise, or keep the unrealistic ones the make.  It seems Tories all live in a sad fantasy land of delusion.  In this benign envirornment - let's call it Bullindonia - it is okay to go about calling her Majesty's faithful servants 'Fucking plebs' for doing things like enforcing the rules on those who think they are only for the little people.  Or, should I say, the little plebs, more.

Unfortunately, as Mr Mitchell discovered, reality has a way of invading Bullingdonia and - faster than you can say Jonathan Aitken - overthrowing it's effete, inbred aristocracy of simpering ninnies and congenital idiots.

Confronted with the awkward fact that immigration might not obediently fall into line with David Cameron's desire that it drop to the tens of thousands in time for next years election, the Tories resort to their usual routine of lying, prevaricating and downright delusion.

Cameron still thinks it might somehow happen, even though the latest figures show immigration going up, stupendously, (rather unlike his credibility):
Net migration to the UK rose to 260,000 in the year to June – 78,000 higher than the previous year. The figure is also higher than net migration in the last year Labour was in government. 
David Cameron pledged to cut net migration to "tens of thousands" before next year's election – a promise which will now be broken.
I doubt Cameron ever thought for a moment that he could really somehow reduce immigration in line with his preposterous target. It seems more likely that he simply planned to get very tetchy, blame Europe (one assumes he had a passing familiarity with the place before he was elected Prime Minster, though one is tempted to wonder if - given his impossible promises and increasingly demented rhetoric on the topic, he had even heard of it prior to perhaps 2012.

Having made a ridiculous pledge to cut immigration to impossibly, stupidly low levels, and done nothing to make it happen (other than trash the British economy, a tactic that may pay off in the long term) he now promises to get tough and reduce immigration.  Just like he promised us five years ago, no ifs, no buts.

Which brings us to the inevitable conclusion - TORIES ARE USELESS LIARS.

And when they can't lie their way out of trouble, they simply try to hide the truth.

Exhibit B, your honour:  Theresa May, a hard working minister who does not sit upon her laurels so much as on reports that might, inconveniently, contradict the way she wants the world to be:
In a damning letter to the Public Accounts Committee, seen by The Independent, John Vine reveals that the Home Secretary is currently sitting on five reports believed to be critical of the Government, one of which was completed five months ago. 
Mr Vine warns the MPs that the failure to publish his reports in a “timely” manner is “reducing their impact” and has “compromised” the independence of his role. 
His letter, which comes just months after he announced he was stepping down early, raises serious questions about the extent to which Ms May’s is attempting to control critical stories about immigration in the run up to the election.
David Cameron might have made an impossible promise and failed to keep it.  George Osborne may have made impossible promises and failed to keep them.

But this cabal of Satanic arrogant clowns has managed to do at least one thing that I thought was surely impossible - they have managed to make the last administration look skilled, principled and adroit.

Highfalutin toff scum brought to justice

Andrew 'Pleb' Mitchell, the gift that keeps on giving:
Andrew Mitchell, the former Conservative cabinet minister at the centre of the long-running Plebgate saga, lost his high court libel trial on Thursday in a ruling that leaves him facing an estimated legal bill of £1.5m and his political career in tatters.

In a devastating blow to the former chief whip, who had hoped to use a victory in the courts to revive his cabinet career, Mr Justice Mitting ruled that Mitchell did use the “politically toxic” word “pleb” during a row with police officers in Downing Street in September 2012.

Mitchell lost his cabinet position, as chief whip, after the Sun reported his comments.

Outside the court, Mitchell, flanked by his wife and his daughter, told reporters it had been “a miserable two years” but added: “We now need to bring this matter to a close and to move on with our lives.”
That's good, but the next bit is even better:
Friends said that Mitchell accepts that he has no future as a minister, at least not under David Cameron. But they suggested that he was still prepared to stand again at next year’s general election.
Excellent. Nothing like a stupid Tory for not knowing when to quit. Cameron needs this like he needs a hole in the head.

Just think, Cameron could go down in history as the man who lost to Ed Milliband. Now that's a prospect that'll give him nightmares.

Monday 24 November 2014

More rubbish stupid Tories

Back in 2010, George Osborne made some rather stupid promises:
The formal mandate we set is that the structural current deficit should be in balance in the final year of the five-year forecast period, which is 2015-16 in this budget.
In order to place our fiscal credibility beyond doubt, this mandate will be supplemented by a fixed target for debt, which in this parliament is to ensure that debt is falling as a share of GDP by 2015-16. 
Of course, Osborne can argue he can meet the first target, because it isn't actually a promise to eliminate the structural deficit in five years; it's just a promise to forecast the structural deficit will be eliminated in five years from the date of the forecast.  Basically, he's promising to say that the deficit will be eliminated five years from when-ever he happens to make a forecast.

Which isn't quite the same thing as actually getting rid of it, eh, George?  It's always jam tomorrow, if only we work harder and suffer gladly today.

In the real world, not the fantasy land five years from now Osborne wants us to inhabit, things are not looking good for this most optimistic of chancellors:
After seven months of the 2014-15 financial year, borrowing is more than 6% higher than it was in the same period of 2013-14, despite being slightly lower this October than last.

Whoops! Things are not going quite as scripted. At the time of the budget, George Osborne was expecting the deficit to decline by 12% this year, to a little over £85bn.
And here's a pretty picture to go along with it:

Meanwhile, as he manfully fails to make the deficit disappear by the power of positive thought, the debt continues to build up, faster than the sluggish recover can eat it away.  Currently, public debt is running at 90.6% of GDP.

GDP, in fairness, is growing.  Even George Osborne can not keep the economy in permanent recession, though he certainly tried his best.  Fortunately, other countries are doing okay, so pulling Britain up; also, by running a deficit, Osborne has probably, unintentionally, helped stimulate the economy.

Basically, the British economy is doing okay-ish because we're the only country unlucky enough to have George Osborne and because he's too useless to manage to inflict his own insane dreams upon the nation properly.

So Britain may manage to shrink the debt mountain by growing the economy - as GDP increases, so debt will be reduced as a share of GDP.  So having increased debt to over 90% of GDP - the level we were assured (by the Tories) would send the economy into some sort of death spiral - Osborne could claim some feeble vindication by reducing the debt from 90.6% of GDP to 90.5%.

But even that's looking dicey, with the global economy wobbling and the British Chnacellor tryig his best to destroy the British economy by choking off domestic demand.

They lied about the deficit.

They lied about immigration.

They lied about being "all in this together."

They lied about being the greenest government ever.

They lied, and lied, and will carry on lying.

And their self serving allies in the media will continue to try to distract and bamboozle the voters with SHOCKING news about Ed Miliband eating a sandwich.  Or some Labour shadow minister taking a photograph of a house.

Tories admit they are stupid liars

From the Guardian:
Speaking on the Andrew Marr Show on BBC1, May said: “It is of course unlikely that we are going to reach the tens of thousands by the end of the parliament. Why is that? It is because we have seen increasing numbers of people coming from across Europe, partly because our economy is doing better than other economies across Europe. We have been doing what we can in relation to EU migration, but there is more to be done.”
May’s remarks contrasted with Cameron’s unequivocal declaration in April 2011 that the government would bring down net migration to below 100,000. 
Cameron said at the time: “I believe that will mean net migration to this country will be in the order of tens of thousands each year, not the hundreds of thousands every year that we have seen over the last decade. Britain will always be open to the best and brightest from around the world and those fleeing persecution. But with us, our borders will be under control and immigration will be at levels our country can manage. No ifs. No buts. That’s a promise we made to the British people, and it’s a promise we are keeping.”
I don't know which is worse - the easy cynbicism with which they lie, or the dumb eagerness with with people believe the lies.

Time for Dishonest Dave to go.

No ifs.  No buts.

Tuesday 18 November 2014

I was of course, completely right - Little wins

Back in October, I suggested that
For Cunliffe's supporters, Little has the distinct advantage of not being Grant Robertson; for Robertson's adherents, he has the decisive positive of not being David Cunliffe.  Given that it is a preferential voting system, the curious position of being no-one's first choice may serve him well. 
There is precedent.  Ed Miliband won the British Labour Party leadership by being no-one's first choice and everyone's second choice; I suspect the Cunliffe / Robertson camps are so embittered that they will probably find they do the same as the supporters of David Miliband, Ed Balls, Dianne Abbott and Andy Burnham, and achieve curious unity and elect the leader none of them want.
And so it came to pass.  Little won less than 16% of the caucus vote in the first round, and 43% in the third round as Parker and Mahuta's votes swung his way.  The same pattern in the membership vote, surging from 25% to 44%.  Though it is inevitably going to be pointed out that he trailed Robertson in both, and only beat him by a whisker.  The comparisons with Ed Miliband, also brought home by the unions, seem even more apposite than I had imagined.

This means that Robertson will be deputy. Even if Little got to pick his deputy - which he doesn't - the likelihood is he would pick Robertson, given the way the votes fell. He lost caucus and membership votes. If his leadership is to be credible beyond the weekend, he needs a popular, heavyweight candidate.

Mahuta (a popular choice among Standard commentators noted for their lack of attachment to the real world) does not have that support. Ardern lacks the experience. Robertson is the obvious contender.

And - though it will stick in the craws of the partisan self-deluders on the left - it will probably be an effective combination.

I think Robertson, having run twice and lost twice, knows he isn't likely to get it now. If he knuckles down and gets on with being the most effective deputy the world has ever seen, he might be in with a shout in the future, though perversely the better he does his job (and thus helps Labour win) he will postpone that date. But another short-lived, ineffective leadership will simply leave him tarnished as well - either because he refuses to be part of the team, or doesn't play his part fully.

Sunday 16 November 2014


I'm not convinced by the claims that the European Space Agency has successfully landed a probe on a comet.

First of all, we all know 'comets' are actually dragons, tearing through space, going about their business.  It is highly unlikely a probe could have landed on a dragon's back and not been eaten - unless the dragon was thinking really hard about something, and didn't notice.

Second, we've been assured for the last 40 years or so that it is impossible for anything innovative or exciting to happen in the public sector, and the ESA is very much a publicly funded body.  Worse, it is a multiple national Euro-pudding of an organisation.  It defies credibility that they could have the sense and wherewithal to actually bring the paper and pens to a planning session, far less come with a plan, build a spacecraft capable of hurtling through space and intersecting with a comet/dragon and land on its hindquarters.

It's clearly a fake.

In fact,the more I look at it, the more this so called 'comet' look like a bit of wasteland in one of Glasgow's less affluent areas. Like most of the locals, the lander sprawled in disarray amid the debris, possibly clutching a bottle of Buckfast or Whyte & MacKay.

It isn't 'running out of power.  It's just drunk.

If, remarkably, it really has happened just like the scientists say, it is excellent work by Europeans. (And to think David Cameron wants to stop Britain being European. The man is demented.)   And a real triumph for of state funded research and innovation. Public bodies have reached the moon, Mars and now landed on a comet-dragon. And there are all sorts of other probes out there, tootling about and frightening the asteroids.

Let's hear it for the comrades at NASA and the ESA. And don't forget CERN. Massive scale public funded research is doing all sorts of cool stuff.

Private space travel on the other hand ... well, Richard Branson assures us it is going well.  Other than assurances, the private sector has given us ... Britain's Got Talent, and The Apprentice.

That is it.

Nothing else.

(I'll grant the private sector contributed something to deciphering the human genome. But that's it. Nothing else. Reality TV and and a score draw in genetics are all private enterprise has to boast about.)

Musical interlude

I don't think I've listened to Diamond Dogs in a decade. What was I thinking? It's quite Bowie's best album. Except for all the others that weren't released in the 80s.

Take 10 minutes and enjoy.

If Bowie ever dies (or just goes back to Mars) a state funeral and a year of mourning will be in order.

(Note this is from the CD, and there's a distinct pause between the tracks, which you don't get on the vinyl.  Maybe I'd better explain what Vinyl is ...)


 From the Guardian : The  Observer  understands that as well as backing away from its £28bn a year commitment on green investment (while sti...