Thursday, 31 May 2012

Well Carwyn, for Wales read England.

In today's (£) Times ...
The failings that spell trouble ahead for Britain – one in five can’t read or write.
Politicians dreaming of a high-tech, skills-based economy leading a march to recovery suffered a rude awakening at the hands of the European Commission yesterday. Britain, it says, is held back by having too many illiterate and innumerate adults with no qualifications and is not doing enough to help them.

According to research by the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training, the number of low-skilled jobs will fall by 51 per cent this decade, while medium and high-skilled jobs will rise by 16 per cent and 21 per cent, respectively. The Commission said that Britain could gain “significant economic and social benefits” from doing more to address the needs of people with no qualifications, including increasing their capacity to benefit from vocational training. "Given the long-term trends in demand for higher skills, the UK has not yet addressed its basic skills problems sufficiently. Many challenges remain, and there is no certainty that the UK can ensure that enough of the young people entering the labour market will have adequate skills in the short to medium term," it said. 
A report by the World Literacy Foundation found that one in five adults in Britain was “functionally” illiterate.

Brussels also told the Government that it needed to pursue a long-term strategy to improve the capacity and quality of its infrastructure, such as easing the pressures on transport and energy networks. It said that as part of the Government’s austerity measures, public sector net investment would fall sharply by 2014-15, "exacerbating shortcomings in transport infrastructure". It also said that a lack of housing supply was a potential source of instability. “The high levels of household debt accumulated over the past decade are linked closely to high house prices and represent an important imbalance in the UK economy,” it said

Rachel Reeves, Labour’s Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, said: "This is just the latest international organisation to warn that the Conservative-led Government urgently needs a plan for jobs and growth."

It's all devolved, the responsibility in our green and pleasant land rests firmly in the lap of the Labour led administration at Cardiff Bay.

Monday, 28 May 2012

Carwyn and Co could do well ...

... to read how its done in the real world, there are a few hints in the report as to how businesses might be helped by politics ...
Equipped to deliver on its next-day promise for the catering trade ...

Paul McMahon, M.D. Nisbets

Alan Copps ( The Times 28 May 2012 ) (£) reports on how a cookery business has defied the economic gloom...

From a trestle table for a Jubilee street party to a bow tie for an upmarket maître d’, from a spoon to a fridge to a heavy-duty saucepan, if you’ve eaten out anywhere, in the smartest restaurant or even in a prison canteen recently, the chances are high that Nisbets supplied some of the kit behind your meal.

The name may not be familiar outside the catering trade, but this fast-growing company, operating from two giant warehouses in Avonmouth near Bristol, is rapidly becoming the Amazon of the cookery business. “We’re essentially a mail-order business sending out 5,000 parcels a day,” says Paul McMahon, the managing director. “The biggest thing that marks us out from the rest is the attitude, the culture. We’re a ‘next-day’ business.”

Of the 18,000 products in Nisbets’ catalogue in print and online, more than 15,000, ranging from disposable forks and linen napkins to industrial-size fridges, are kept in stock in Bristol ready to be dispatched within a day in response to any order received by 5pm.

“The catering trade tends to be conservative. Before we came along, it was very regional. We were really the first national, mail-order firm for caterers, and we’re now supplying a lot of wholesalers. We aim to deliver on the next-day promise. There are some very large items we can’t keep in stock and we have to get from suppliers, but we always aim to be precise about timing.”

The firm was set up in 1983 by chairman Andrew Nisbet in a corner of his father’s business, which installed kitchens. “He realised there were a lot of catering students around the country who all needed the same things: a pair of shoes, a coat, trousers, a hat and a set of knives. So he went knocking on the door of catering schools selling them — that’s why, if you look at our catalogue now, the clothes still come at the front,” says McMahon. From there, Andrew Nisbet expanded into the restaurant trade, first through family businesses and then by tendering to chains.

By the time McMahon joined the company in 1998, Nisbets was turning over £13 million a year. “My background was in mail order, and that’s the expertise it needed,” he says.

This year, turnover is expected to be around £180 million, 12 per cent up on last year. Net profits are about 15 per cent of sales revenue. Staff numbers have grown from around 90 to nearly 700, and offices have been opened in France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Ireland and Australia. Early next month, Nisbets goes live in the US with an office in Baltimore offering next-day deliveries throughout the Eastern Seaboard.

“It’s incredibly exciting. It’s a £4 million investment — £3 million for the stock and £1 million for the systems and people,” says McMahon. If the investment pays off, there are plans to extend the Nisbets service across the United States. The investment in Australia, funded by profits from the British business, has doubled in three years from $A5 million (£3.1 million) to $A10 million.

“It’s a simple business. I always remind staff: ‘We sell saucepans’. It’s the systems and the processes behind them that make us stand out. We’re very successful, but we’re constantly beating ourselves up about how we can do better — how we can make things easier for our customers. For some reason in catering, whenever anyone wants something, they want it the next day, even when it is a big item like a fridge.”

Meeting that demand is a capital-intensive business. “At any one time, we’ve got about £20 million worth of kit in stock. To do that, you have to generate cash flow, so the payment systems have to work really hard,” says McMahon.

He accepts that growth at the current rate cannot last forever. “We’ve just got to keep doing the right things. Restaurants will close or try to make their kit last longer in bad times. But people will still need to eat, so we’ll always have a business,” he says.

Templates for success

Over the past six weeks, Business Blueprint has showcased the success of some of Britain’s medium-sized companies that are bucking the recession. What has emerged is a picture of carefully financed, sustainable growth in diverse markets, much of it export-led.

This mid-sized group of firms, turning over between £10 million and £200 million a year and each employing up to 500 people, forms a crucial part of the country’s employment pattern, often representing a key element in the local economy and an essential prospect for new graduates and school-leavers.

Those we have visited in different regions of the UK operate across the spectrum of business. Some are long-established businesses that have evolved over many decades, others are more recently founded companies that have seized the moment to exploit modern technology. Many have taken up imaginative joint ventures in parts of the world where they had no previous experience.

But, says David Maxwell, board member for clients and markets at Grant Thornton, whose firm has identified our examples, they all have certain attributes in common: “These companies are looking for new business in areas where in the past British companies used to be reactive. They are identifying new markets and developing the techniques to get into those markets.

“They are also being successful at accessing appropriate funding, identifying the best providers, judging just how much funding they need for growth.”

Another common element is the way that these privately owned companies have looked at themselves. “They acknowledge that times are tough. They have stood back and looked hard at their procedures, their costs through the supply chain and their management structures. They seek to stand out in the market and encourage and retain the best talent,” Maxwell says.

The conclusion must be that, while there is no golden recipe for success, there are still plenty of ways to succeed in British business.

... with an idea and thirty years of hard work its possible !

... how does Wales grow these ideas ?

... education, education, education "

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Salmond bumps his gums in ...

... vain, the rhetoric is a waste of time and energy.  Today in the (£) Sunday Times there are many hundreds of words written, the separatist leader ...

... at Friday’s launch promises to get rid of all the stuff Scots hate:
Westminster, the Tories, Trident nuclear submarines in the Clyde, Scottish troops sent to fight “illegal wars in Iraq”, public spending cuts imposed by a mean-spirited, perfidious Albion. And to keep all the bits they love: oil, gas, financial services and malt whisky.

... when the majority of peoples who inhabit these British Isles understand the true nature of the issue which is :
Scottish or British, a simple choice!

... and the majority don't really care how Scotland votes.

The aftermath will be interesting, because for sure it will be difficult for Scots to vote "No", and will those who do vote "No" be welcomed south of the border, and how soon before the majority British turn their backs on Scotland, reject Tunnock's caramel wafers in preference for Fox's biscuits, a better selection.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

UK, Wales, Scotland, NI et al ...

... there is probably only one way forward, a Federal Europe, and I'm not sure how I feel about it.  Could the alternative meltdown of European society be too costly for our grandchildren; we have trusted our politicians too much, they have no solution for the crisis that they share a venal complicity.

It might be time to make the call "no taxation without real representation".

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Plaid Cymru alliance with trade union ...

... ( PCS) is no different to an alliance between politicians and any other interest group, it is the imposition of a sectional interest upon the whole of society, in this instance the imposition of sectional interests upon civic society found in Wales.

Following a meeting between  Darren Williams, PCS’ campaigns officer for Wales and Plaid Cymru leader Monday last, he confirmed that the union was prepared to work alongside anybody they believed shared their objectives.  He confirmed that Peter Harris, PCS Wales secretary met Leanne Wood to talk informally about a few proposals for taking forward some campaigning work.

There is a darker side to this alliance, minority politics (Plaid has been reduced to a minority party in Wales) can by association with other radical minority interest groups disrupt the life of people disproportionate to any numerical influence gained at the ballot box.

Is there a positive note that democracy can bring from this alliance ...

... Wood has coupled a trade union with her political party in a public manner, there can be no doubt as to where Plaid Cymru would take Wales, to an even darker place than Carwyn Jones who yesterday suggested WAG might buy Cardiff Airport, nationalisation in the 21st century seems so out of place, so 19th century.

But we get what we vote for in a democracy ....... someone at the Assembly might like to remind the sitting members that they have a job to do that requires a quality of purpose, hot topics such as Education and Health .......... buying airports is such political bullshit ...

... is Carwyn singing to Wood .............. "move over darling" ?

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Leighton Andrews and Ice Cream, ...

... do you see the connection between the Wales administration Education Minister and the favourite summer pudding (in the USA many prefer frozen custard, both are good) ?

In Wales Andrews oversees the failing education of our children, falling standards for the most basic skills, the Welsh baccalaureate qualification that fails to live up to expectations, under funding of education in Wales is a disgrace to the tune of £600 per pupil each year when compared to England, despite education funding being budgeted exactly the same at Westminster.

Leighton Andrews, through his department, instead of solving the problems takes a different tack, on funding it stops publishing figures for comparison, and to excuse the basket case of WAG failure he lays the blame East of Offa's Dyke, he blames ...

... English exceptionalism !

... he dismisses change by assigning a label to disparage its worth, whilst England offers options for education, whilst excellence is pursued as you travel East from Cardiff Bay, in Wales we have a system devoid of ideas, and an inability of politicians to admit they have screwed up, failed at least two generations of children, failed two generations who will watch as the skilled jobs haemorrhage Wales.

And the Ice Cream ....

In the words of Patrick Jake (P. J.) O'Rourke ...
"The symbol of universal salvation is ice cream.  We are blessed with an infinite number of cleverly created delicious flavours.  But we are required by law to use someone else's tongue to lick them."

Monday, 14 May 2012

Does Wales have a Plague Party ...

... in waiting, waiting for that crisis that will send the electorate over the edge into "a plague on all your houses" state of mind.

Today's (£/$) Times has an analysis of Greece where Bill Emmott writes that he would vote for the Greek Plague Party (real name Syriza), Alexis Tsipras, the young head of Greece’s Plague Party (Syriza), says that he intends to call the Germans’ to demand better terms on the financial rescue loan and so stay in the euro.  Angela Merkel is going to agree to that, particularly as she has her own plague party snapping at her heals, in Germany it is called the Pirate Party.

The commonality between Syriza and the Pirate Party seems to be a frustration born out of austerity and disconnected politicians, the aftermath of a decade or more where everybody maxed out on their finances including governments, a frustration that doesn't see any end in sight.  In Wales we have the unusual circumstance that in the face of national austerity, we have a regional administration diametrically opposed to the Westminster administration which has been dealt the most uncomfortable hand of political cards, no opportunity for a plague in Cardiff Bay.

I'm sure that our separatist party in Wales would welcome an opportunity to wear the plague party mantel if it thought it could tip the electorate over its edge into independence mode, Alex Salmond has managed a scottish pseudo plague party that might just succeed, but in Wales the commonality is we can always combine to create an opposition to Westminster, we create temporary plague parties at the drop of a hat by combining the unconventional.

For Greece its Plague Party could begin a domino effect upon the Euro where the European underbelly jumps ship, in Germany its Pirate Party is nudging the electorate to ask the question "do we need to share our prosperity with the rest of Europe?"  If I were a banker I would be dumping the Euro, if I were a industrial leader I would be looking for opportunities elsewhere, if I were the UK government I would probably be making preparations for opposition.

In Wales UKIP is probably the party in residence to take up the "Plague Party" mantel, not Plaid Cymru, UKIP can appeal across politics left to right, and there is nothing in its constitution to cause undue concern to the electorate ........ after a crisis everything would return to normal ...

... what's normal in Wales ?

Sunday, 13 May 2012

What a to-do ...

... the Aneurin Bevan Health Board fined £70,000 by the Information Commissioners Office for sending a report containing explicit details relating to a patient’s health to the wrong person.

 Hat Tip Valleys Mam

The safeguarding of personal information by public and private bodies, should be awarded the gravitas the public apportion it, but what about the Aneurin Health Board …
It serves an estimated population of over 639,000, approximately 21% of the total Welsh population?

435,013 patients were seen and treated in Outpatient clinics during the year 2010/2011?

21,103 outpatient appointments were carried out in mental health?

Between April and July 2010, 1476 bins of waste medicine were collected from pharmacists in the Gwent area? Placed end to end this would be the length of 79 double decker buses.

2.5 million GP consultations take place every year in the Health Board area. 88,000 calls were made to the GP our of hours service, 60% of these were made over the weekend?

47,244 operations are carried out in our acute hospitals, Caerphilly District Miners' Hospital, Nevill Hall Hospital and the Royal Gwent Hospital.

There were 150,712 new patient attendances at our Accident and Emergency Departments.

There were 10,529 new patient attendances at Minor Injuries Units in community hospitals.
 Unfortunately having to pay the fine of£70,000 this record of service will be reduced, my prediction.

 So my question to those that impose the fine ...
As a taxpayer and patient of the Aneurin Health Board ...

... why are you penalising me and every other of the 639,000 people served by the Aneurin Health Board because an otherwise excellent clinical organisation has a problem with its administration.
The politicians that created a legislative structure that penalises innocent patients because of administrative mistakes smacks of political duplicity, the inability to formulate the means to protect

personal information is juvenile. We don't need fines,

But when the Information Commissioners Office head of enforcement, says
"....... organisations across the health service must stand up and take notice of this decision if they want to avoid future enforcement action from the ICO."
He confirms the actions of the Information Commissioners Office were an attempt to bully other health service organisations into submission, better if this organisation became proactive amongst the disparate taxpayer funded organisations, help them get better ....... but the fine is the easy way out, all mouth and trousers by un-civil servants.

Friday, 11 May 2012

Leanne Wood, what's behind ...

... the eyes,

what was behind the words when she said ... would take time to come up with an economic plan "to turn around the weak economy in Wales".

"We need fresh thinking, we need new thinking,"

BBC Wales' Dragon's Eye 10 May 2012.

... watching her yesterday evening I felt sorry for her for a brief moment, then I remembered that she had appealed to the young turks of Plaid, those turks with nothing to offer other than distant social media.  I wonder, has she been abandoned by the intellectuals of her party, because for sure last nights performance was not a First Division performance, she was unprepared, lacking a brief, and the eyes ... Ieuan Wyn Jones at least spoke with a passion that sprang from his eyes .......

Could there be a clue where she said  "We need fresh thinking, we need new thinking", could it be she was appealing for help ....

I had been expecting to witness a political conflict erupting from Plaid following her recent election as its leader, to have a very real Left Wing politician in Wales politics seemed manna from heaven ......

...... such is life, my disappointment is probably less than that of the Plaid rank and file.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

In the USA they know how to serve ...

... a dish that is best served cold.

In  New Jersey, a babysitter who pleaded guilty in US District Court Wednesday to the sexual exploitation of a child (that took place on at least two separate occasions in her home) faces 30 years behind bars.

Whilst in Britain a gang of 9 sexual predators, men who ran a child sexual exploitation ring in Greater Manchester, have been jailed, but only for a fraction of the time that the New Jersey pervert will pace the floors behind bars...
... the 59-year-old unnamed leader was jailed for 19 years, he is appealing on racial grounds.
... the judge called him an "unpleasant and hypocritical bully" who had ordered a 15-year-old girl to have sex with takeaway worker Kabeer Hassan as a birthday "treat".
Hassan, 25, of Lacrosse Avenue, Oldham, was sentenced to nine years for rape and three years for conspiracy.
Abdul Aziz, 41,  of Armstrong Hurst Close, Rochdale, convicted of trafficking for sexual exploitation, received a nine year sentence.
Abdul Rauf, 43, of Darley Road, Rochdale, convicted of trafficking a child within the UK for sexual exploitation, received six years.
Adil Khan, 42, of Oswald Street, Rochdale convicted of trafficking a child within the UK for sexual exploitation, received eight years.
Mohammed Sajid, 35, of Jephys Street, Rochdale, convicted of one count of rape, sexual activity with a girl under 16 and trafficking for sexual exploitation, was jailed for 12 years.
Mohammed Amin, 45, of Falinge Road, Falinge, known as "Car Zero", convicted of sexual assault and received a five-year jail term.
Hamid Safi, 22, of no fixed address, convicted of trafficking girls for the purposes of sexual exploitation and sentenced to four years.
Abdul Qayyum, 44, of Ramsay Street, Rochdale, was jailed for five years. He was a driver and was known by the name "Tiger".

... I believe each of the 9 predators should have been put away from society for the rest of their years, a dish best served cold, revenge.

It seems the USA knows how best to serve justice to the depraved. 

Perspective is everything ...

... with Rory Sutherland !

Another contribution to the world by TED.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Abu Qatada, next stop ...

... Jordan ...
... as a panel of five judges rejected Qatada's bid to have his appeal heard by the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights, but ruled his application was made in time, a spokesman for the Council of Europe, which runs the court, said.

The decision by the panel of five judges means Home Secretary Theresa May was wrong when she claimed the three-month appeal deadline from the court's original decision on January 17 expired on the night of April 16.

Qatada's lawyers lodged his appeal late on the night of April 17, which the judges ruled was in time.

A spokesman for the court said: "The panel found that the request had been submitted within the three-month time limit for such requests.

"However, it considered that the request should be refused." 

Mrs May is now likely to refuse any application by Qatada's lawyers to revoke his deportation order and he could be on a plane within weeks. 
 ....... so what are you waiting for Mrs May, shape up and get Qatada shipped out !

In the 12th century ...

... it seems :
5% of the population fought wars.
5% of the population sought divine mercy, probably for those at war.
90% worked to support them.
In the 21st century little has changed :
10% of people are still supported by the 90%.
... and that's the dilemma for David Cameron and his government, how does he influence society to become fair and equitable without taking away from individuals the incentive to create the future. 

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Wales, time for effective education ...

... (there were nearly 100,000 surplus places in Wales last year) must begin with an urgent need for information from both parents, pre-parents and local authorities ...
... from parents what medium do you want to educate your children with, English or Welsh ?
... from pre-parents (boys and girls, men and women without children of school age), as for parents.
... from local authorities, how many surplus places do you have.
... only then can the recommendations of Estyn be implemented. 

Governors and teachers leaders say the issue is more complex and needs more consideration, this position is of course bullshit ...
... the only complexity is the notion that parents might object to busing children to fewer schools, in a world where budgets are very tight the local authorities might like to extend a questionnaire to the whole taxpaying network of its borough, it might like to offer the existing (complex) option as a fourth option ...
... do you agree to keep the status quo and agree to a 25% increase in your council tax.
... the opposition of school governors and teachers becomes less complex when the people who pick up the tab each year are consulted.

Monday, 7 May 2012

doesn't like the rich' ...

 ... and said " he loathes financiers ", this from the man that would lead Europe's 2nd largest economy that is spending 54 cents in each Euro created by the businesses of France.

This French political messiah is reminiscent of our Denis Healey, Labour Chancellor of the Exchequer during the 1970's, who once said "tax the rich until the pips squeak", some might remember this socialist who heralded the Winter of Discontent into Britain which came to a virtual standstill by endless public sector strikes.

So with 54% public spending what does he promise, more public servants, higher wages, retire two years earlier;  all to be paid by businesses and the rich who will have their "French pips" squeezed, unless of course they hop on the Eurostar Express to London which I am sure will open its business as usual arms in a generous welcome .........

The people of France could be served better, but not by an administration that will bite the hands that feed its citizens, and the questions uppermost in my mind ........

............. who will lend Francois Hollande the money at affordable rates ?

............. how can Francois Hollande work with Madame Guillotine  Merkel ?

Will the Chancellor of Germany set aside the German economic ethics on the pyre of the Euro I wonder, what is more important to Merkel, Germany or France or the Euro ?

Has France become unbalanced, did Nicolas Sarkozy tip the citizens of France into an abyss of despair ?

Interesting days ahead, how long before Hollande discovers a note from the outgoing president ....

Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité ...
... the cupboard is bare !

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Uncivil ...

... civil servants, the story by Kathryn Cooper, Robin Henry and Georgia Graham of The Sunday Times :

Civil servants use company to cut their income tax to 2%

SENIOR civil servants could be benefiting from personal income tax rates as low as 2% using controversial pay deals that cost the country tens of millions of pounds in lost revenue.  Danny Alexander, chief secretary to the Treasury, said last week his department had identified up to 2,000 officials who could be minimising tax because they are paid through companies or agencies, rather than the government payroll.
A Sunday Times investigation has found the use of these pay deals is widespread across government. In some cases companies can be used to reduce a personal tax bill to 2% a year compared with up to 50% if the individual were on the government payroll. The companies must also pay corporation tax, but the overall tax bill would still be about half that paid by a salaried employee.
Chris Savory, a consultant who was employed as an interim senior manager at the General Social Care Council (GSCC), is one of those who have benefited. He was paid a total of £222,000 by the GSCC through his company, Interim Public Finance Management, for his services from April 2010 to March 2011, on which corporation tax would have been paid. Accounts for the company show it lent him £58,636 that year.
It is common for company directors to take their pay as a loan because tax is paid at just 2% on the interest, compared with up to 42.5% if it is paid as a dividend and up to 50% if it is taken as salary. If a loan is outstanding after nine months it must be repaid or converted into a dividend — although accountants said there are ways round this. Savory confirmed he had been paid through his company and had taken a loan, but said it had been converted into a dividend in the tax year to April 2012. “I am not doing anything that isn’t perfectly legitimate within the rules,” he said.
Adam Morris, communications director at the Youth Justice Board until September 2010, was also paid through his personal service company. The board paid £62,128 to Adam Morris Communication for his services during 2010-11. The Youth Justice Board confirmed Morris had been paid “off payroll” and said it had sought assurances from his accountant that tax had been paid. In future, any civil servants on a contract of more than six months who earn more than £58,200 will have to prove they are paying income tax and National Insurance in full. However, The Sunday Times found that such agency contracts were common across government.
Stephen Park, appointed to the board of the Department for Communities and Local Government as interim finance director between March 2010 and January 2011, was paid £335,135 through an agency. Meanwhile, his own limited company, Ashley Interim Management, paid dividends of £130,000 for 2011 and £100,000 for the previous year.  The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) confirmed that at least three of its senior staff were employed through third parties in 2010-11. Jonathan Dodworth, interim finance director from May until October 2010, and David Clausen-Thue, his successor, were paid £236,183 and £160,516 respectively. A spokesman said: “These individuals were all contracted to the RPA on an interim basis while permanent staff were recruited.”
Ofwat, the water regulator, paid Rob Ashley, interim director of policy and communications between 2009 and 2011, £475,000 through an agency. He also has his own consultancy, Robert Ashley Ltd.
How are these practices condoned by the very same people who insist that those at the bottom of the food chain in Britain are pursued for economic crimes, because lets not mince words, these very uncivil servants are committing crimes against those who pay their very inflated wages.  If the current government were not spineless, these practices would be stamped out Tuesday morning.

How do you explain to the poor of Anglesey or the North East of England that they must continue to pay heavy taxes so that the scummy servants can benefit from their poverty ........ and lets not the last government led by the Labour Party get away without assigning responsibility, when did these crimes against the taxpayers begin ?

Well done The Sunday Times ...........

When Leanne Wood asked Carwyn Jones ...

... if he supported 5 job Russell Roberts he twisted the debate cleverly to force Wood into a recorded humiliation she will find difficult to loose...

... the question though has been answered by the electorate in Tonyrefail East, the results :
Paul Wasley Independent 629 votes (elected)
Bob McDonald Labour 610 (elected)

Woods answer
Russell Roberts Labour 576 .......... and rejected by the people who matter.

Phil Doyle Independent 549
Greg Powell Plaid Cymru 430
Hendrik Haye Lib Dem 178

Thursday, 3 May 2012

UK Chancellor George Osborne ...

 ... is right to rejects Europe’s "idiotic" banking deal, a Times report shared below ...

Britain’s relationship with Brussels took another hit last night after George Osborne refused to sign up to watered-down capital requirements for banks that he said could make him “look like an idiot”.

The Chancellor’s comments came as European finance ministers attempted to reach agreement on how to implement Basel III rules that require banks to raise their core tier one capital — a measure of financial strength — to 7 per cent by 2019. Mr Osborne wants to toughen up the EU’S interpretation of the rules, which he says could include loopholes to let some banks in Europe sidestep capital buffer levels. He also wants the freedom to impose higher capital buffers without the need for European permission in order to avoid another financial crisis.

“We are not implementing the Basel agreement, as anyone who will look at this text will be able to tell you,” he said. “I am not prepared to go out there and say something that is going to make me look like an idiot five minutes later.

“People will listen to what I say . . . I represent the largest financial centre in Europe. You have got to allow me to sit down and go through the issues. You have not done that.”

The bad-tempered exchange comes months after David Cameron vetoed a European Union fiscal treaty. 
Michel Barnier, the EU commissioner in charge of financial regulation, suggested that Mr Osborne was looking for an effective opt-out with a proposal that would let Britain impose higher capital ratios than elsewhere in Europe.

Some on the Continent are worried that higher capital levels in Britain could put European institutions at a disadvantage because deposits and other business may be attracted to the UK if it was perceived by investors as being safer.

Mr Osborne rejected Mr Barnier’s theory. “I am not asking for some UK carve out. I will not be painted as somehow anti-european, demanding something especially for London,” he said.

One compromise that was offered suggested that Britain and Sweden, which also has a big financial sector relative to its overall economy, would have the option to tack on a capital buffer, but EU constraints on the decision making would remain. ...........
in full £here

My preference is for a stronger banking system that is never again too big to fail and is viewed by the world as first rate, no compromises with the EU please Osborne, just look at the mess they created with the failing Euro.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

News Corp 1 - 0 British Left Wing politics.

When the British left-wing at Westminster condemned Murdoch, the parliamentary committee concluded that Rupert Murdoch is “unfit” to lead News Corporation was greeted with a combination of derision and bafflement yesterday.

On Wall Street the company’s share price closed up 19 cents at $19.79 in New York, adding $1 billion to its market value.

The market judged British Politics as irrelevant ...........