Saturday, September 21, 2013

Let a thousand idiots bloom !

Those of us who know what a bunch of fools and liars UKIP are were not surprised by Godfrey Bloom's latest outburst.  (NB. Before the Telegraph let you watch Bloom, they make you watch a Gucci advert, the male and female models in which I feel sure have never seen the back of a fridge.)   I really want the electorate to have the greatest possible exposure to this bunch before they vote in European elections next year.   They will surely self-destruct.

I thought that Bloom was wrong in his use of vituperation because he meant "slattern" when he said "slut", although saying that most women are slatterns would hardly have helped his case.  However, my venerable Compact OED (the one you read with a magnifying glass) defines slut firstly as "A women of dirty, slovenly, or untidy habits of appearance; a foul slattern".   Only the second definition gives "A woman of a low or loose character; a bold or impudent girl; a hussy, jade".   The UKIP woman (yes, they exist !) present at the interview can be heard suggesting that the reporter doesn't understand the difference between slut and slag, obviously a point of doctrinal importance to UKIP.  My OED declines to give any definition of slag applicable to a human being.  Interesting how history has provided us with so many ways of being rude about women !

Saturday, September 07, 2013

The last day of Summer

I always think of the Last Night of the Proms as the official end of summer.   A great way to round off a wonderful day visiting Rutland Water with Jonathan Calder and a splendid lunch in Uppingham and... a double rainbow at the Finches at Upper Hambleton.

You'll never walk alone

Just read tomorrow's Observer about Sarah Teather giving up.    Reacted intemperately  thus:
 "So bloody typical of the woman.    Who ever said politics was easy ?   Buggering off will not help and doing it just before conference is just egotistical and very unhelpful.  Too much easy early success.  Some of us have been fighting our corner for decades and won't be giving up."

If she had a real connection with Liberal Democrat members she'd realise that many share some of her dissatisfaction.   She should listen to the Last Night of the Proms singing "You'll never walk alone".

Jonathan Calder also has interesting comment.

Friday, September 06, 2013

The block on the rock

It strikes me that the Spanish government's current tactic of delaying crossings at the frontier of Spain and Gibraltar is illogical.   If they maintain that Gibraltar is part of Spain, they should remove all frontier controls.

People who often question the role of the EU in maintaining peace in Europe are missing the point.   The dispute over Gibraltar is a small example.   Traditionally such disputes were resolved by force of arms. Today the argument is referred to the European Commission and the European Court of Justice.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Keynes, thou shouldst be living at this hour

At the Liberal Democrat conference in 2011 Jeremy Browne, MP for Taunton, was heard to say, "We have taken down the picture of Keynes in the office and put up one of Gladstone".   If it were only the picture !    At the time, I thought Keynes knew a little more about economics than you Jeremy.   It seems now that the Financial Times agrees.   In case you can't get past the paywall, here's a quote:

The lack of growth in the austerity nations should have come as no surprise, with monetary policy transmission channels clogged and the global nature of the slowdown keeping exports weak. In a balance sheet recession banks want to shrink their loan books and consumers want to rid themselves of debt. The role of government at these times is to support economic activity until excess consumer debt has been worked off and a sustained recovery has taken hold, even if this means a higher public debt burden in the meantime.
This is what makes the UK’s latest moves so puzzling. In stoking up a housing boom policy makers are doing the exact opposite, tempting a new generation of consumers into debt in the hope the government can improve its own financial position.

A more supportive fiscal policy would have meant an earlier and less unbalanced recovery. The sales tax would not have been raised, slashing real disposable income early in the recession. Major infrastructure programmes could have boosted the supply side of the economy while creating employment and demand.

The lateness of the UK recovery comes at a cost. The long-term unemployed have lost valuable skills and economic stagnation has seen an unnecessary further rise in government debt.

Sunday, September 01, 2013

The plank in the eye

As an alternative to military action, I looked at proposals for financial sanctions against Syria and against the guys who supplied the chemical weapons amongst other armaments. Why, I wondered, do we not go after them ?

The Daily Record has the answer.