You are currently browsing the monthly archive for November 2010.
Before you can blink another G20 Summit is upon us. We must presume that British students and their associated agitprop followers are indeed too impoverished to get there (or do not fancy ” ‘avin some” it with the South Korean National Police Agency-Combat Police Division) so they have decided to burn London instead.
There is much agonising over the next way forward. You know, the Chinese exchange rate; external imbalances; how to rebalance the World economy; currency wars; financial regulation; IMF reform. Then there is the Global Safety Net, the Doha Round trade negotiations, international development and, as we shiver into winter, yes you guessed it Climate Change.
It all seems as usual very complicated and worrying, but look – this is in fact all really very easy. Gordon Brown sets up some rules (very complex ones admittedly) and EVERYBODY says how wonderful he is and naturally follows them to the letter. Problem solved.
Of course, what’s really important about this policy is that EVERYBODY says how wonderful he is.
Lets be clear this IS a very important part of the policy because it is the price we pay for making sure that Brown never never ever ever comes anywhere near being given a serious ‘international’ job.
Some might think it would be OK to give him Africa, but what have the Africans done to deserve that?
Whew, the Large Hadron Collider has recreated the conditions of the big bang – only much smaller. Well its a start. I did not notice the light flickering or feel the ground shake so we must presume as the experiments continue the world will not disappear into its own fundamental firmament.
Apparently our international band of mad scientists hope to prove the existence of a whole new state of matter known as the Quark Gluon Plasma. But what to do with the stuff? Well, The Telegraph breathlessly tell us this discovery could lead in turn to the uncovering of one of the fundamental forces that bind everything together. Out of self interest and personal political bigotry I hope the first available tin of Gluon Plasma is picked up by Dave and Nick. Maybe they could use it in Oldham and Saddleworth.
The return of Labour from its Twilight Zone into real space-time is not something I fancy.
The Archbishop of Canterbury is getting very exercised over the government’s benefits policy. Its good, as usual, of The Telegraph to run this anti-coalition story.
He particularly disliked the idea of people being forced to do unpaid work for their benefits. We can expect the Labour Party to complain likewise.
Unfortunately for those thinking this policy is some sort of uniquely unjust penalty – it was also Labour’s own policy back in 2007 under Blair and Hain
Single parents are to be forced to look for work once their youngest child reaches seven. Those who refuse to try to find a job will lose some of their benefits. The controversial plan, set out by the Government, is among a raft of ambitious welfare reforms designed to get more of the longterm unemployed back to work. Other proposals include forcing the jobless to do unpaid work experience if they claim benefits for more than a year.
and again in 2008 under Brown and Purnell.
Benefit claimants could be forced to sign on every day and join mandatory out-of-work programmes, James Purnell said today … the Tories, promised opposition support for the proposals…
Who will rid us of this turbulent priest? Anyone who thinks God does not work in mysterious ways has clearly not seen the Archbishop of Canterbury. I would prefer Rowan Atkinson in the job.
Still meantime we could have even more Labour hypocrisy to look forward to. Every cloud has a silver lining.
Quote of the day –
Michael Crick, the political editor on Newsnight, which was scrapped on Friday, said: “I haven’t listened to the Today programme. I regard listening to or watching the BBC as strike breaking.”
It seems some of the ‘talent’ are unhappy with the pay and pensions of the BBC hierarchy. Hah! them and me both.
‘Coffee House’ , the web presence of that august journal of The Spectator runs a post agonising over the new housing benefit limits. It prophesies Armageddon. Well that sort of thing sells papers (it even parodies that arch inventor of news, The Sun, by claiming an ‘exclusive’).
Where do I begin? It is a post full of a load of preposterous rubbish. It totally totally misses the point. It also champions a report sponsored by Shelter, hardly a a disinterested pressure group.
I am very (very very) sorry for ‘genuine’ out-of-work in the midst of being retrained etc. But it is not the state’s duty to keep people in a comfortable existence if they are unemployed.
The state’s duty is to alleviate the worst excesses and suffering of people whilst they are unemployed.
I submit that limiting housing benefit to £400 a week is far and away above and beyond what the minimum duty of the state is – not least when it has absolutely NO MONEY to start with.
Just for the record – one just 1 website I found 7,500 houses available at £400pw OR LESS for rent within 5 miles of central London. A similar search found 18,500 flats.
The Spectator’s Mr Howker should stop insulting my intelligence – it is absurdly easy for a govt minister to answer any noisy questioner on ‘Question Time’; he/she says we are limiting housing benefit to £20,800 per annum, which is probably (I’m guessing) equivalent to a pre-tax income of c£30k, and thats just for housing benefit!
Oh and lets not forget shall we …?
IF the state limits its wasteful spending on housing benefits (which solely actually benefits landlords and props up property prices), THEN it could actually spend more on retraining/education of people and creating some real benefit to workers and the economy.
It makes me smile sometimes (it really does) – after 13 years of Labour their idea of success is to have put millions more onto benefits. Such is the brilliance of socialism. Well socialism has been very good to Fred Goodwin I suppose.