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Thursday, 19 March 2015

If this is austerity ...

... God help us.

The UK National Debt is still rising at £5,170 per second.  That is the amount the government borrows because it is spending more than it raises in taxes.  To put that in perspective, the French borrow 2,665 euros per second, while the Gemran government manages to get by with a mere 1,556 euros on the never never. Allowing for exchange rates, our government is 4 times as profligate as the German government, who serve a larger population.

The simple fact is that the Conservative government has failed to reduce the deficit as they promised, but the idea that we are on some austerity drive is a pure fiction, mostly got up by those with a vested interest in the splurging of cash at the expense of your grandchildren, public sector workers, their unions and the Labour Party.

The truth is that we are still in the midst of the largest artificial stimulus in UK economic history, which is why employment levels are so high. Long may that last, but don't believe a word of the doom merchants warning against spending cuts. Can't happen soon enough, for all our sakes.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Missed opportunity

Yesterday morning the interviewer on the Today programme got a good doing over by Lord Grade, not that he was gratuitously offensive or even at all agressive.  The issue was whether the PM should be obliged to appear in the television debates, and Lord Grade repeated the theme of his newspaper article, that it is up to the TV channels to propose the format of the debate and up to the politicians to decide whether they want to appear.

Lord Grade's point, as expounded in the papers, was that to threaten to empty chair the PM was a political act by the broadcasters, and it is contrary to the BBC's charter to do so.  Of course many people would like to see a televised debate, but it is up to the broadcasters to propose a format and for the politicians to decide whether they want to appear.  Of course the PM has the right to choose not to dignify the :eader of the Opposition with a 1-1 debate.  the broadcasters may not like it, but it is not for the BBC to act politically. Lord Grade won that "debate" 8-0 despite the splutterings of the interviewer.

But then the interviewer tried to switch the discussion to Clarkson, which Lord Grade swept aside, thereby missing an open goal.  If the BBC was willing to empty chair the PM, why wouldn't they empty chair Clarkson instead?

He could also have mentioned that Sue Inglish, the head of political programmes at the Corporation who is leading talks over the debates for the broadcasters, is married to John Underwood, who succeeded Peter Mandelson as the director of communications for the Labour Party.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Motes, eyes etc

I expect others receive the same number of calls from universities trying to gouge cash from their alumni. We probably get more than our fair share because with three grown daughters having fled the nest after graduating from Oxford, we get calls from their respective colleges who have not been given a forwarding address.

Well now I have a new brush off line. "The day when the Vice Chancellor of your university sacrifices so much of his pay that he is paid no more than the Prime Minister and donates the rest, is the day that I will donate to your student hardship fund."