Forget #indyref; what does this mean for the EU?

Why are people surprised at our political establishment and it's army of civil servants failing to create a Plan Y? Accounting for every eventuality and possible outcome requires a certain finesse and creativity that is sorely lacking in the Bubble.

Still it is fun to see this all play out, with an almost chronic failing of attention on the EU implications.

Taking the lead from this Breitbart article we see a potentially devastating vision presented on a scale of soviet disintegration - but this isn't just of the UK but of the EU.

Say Scotland does leave and immediately applies to join the EU; that whole process takes several years of worming through the bureaucratic miasma in Brussels.

Then in the interim we see Catalonia and Basque regions in Spain opt for independence.

Then parts of Germany.

And Hungary.

And Islamic State(tm) annexes part of Turkey, scuppering further integration completely.

Then it becomes necessary to set up border controls with a non-covered Shengen-agreement non-EU state on our northern border.

Then in the offshoot Spanish territories.

This all rolls into an even bigger trade miasma with non-EU or even EEC-recognised states within central Europe.

Let's assume Cameron is still there (ha!)- do you really think his "renegotiation" ploy will get very far?

Me neither.

Scotland marks the beginning of the end for the EU as is; events are rapidly out-competing procedure and crisis management for it to survive.

Interesting days.


Benefits Street

Will be making updates to this POS blog site in the coming days (maybe) and will no doubt come up with an excuse as to where I've been for over a year and a bit (potential answers can be found in the fourth list down here - not saying they're true or anything...)

I may even try to mutter cogently about the changes I've made, for good or ill.

Until then - Benefits Street.

I just finished watching 'Benefits Street: The Debate' and it's precursor aftermath ephemera; admittedly I only watched about half the episodes as I had assignments (more on that later) and note the following:

1. Nearly every single person pleading extreme poverty smoked; a habit I gave up because I preferred the alternative vice of getting laid which was severely impaired by said habit as Mrs. Jerubbaal wasn't a fan.

2. Several of the most hard up, at-evictions-(their own front?)-door seemed to have cash for widescreen tv's, sound systems, smartphones and sky, which is, you know, weird.

3. The education system of the past 3 decades has not covered itself in grace.

4. Smoggy deserves a medal; he's a modern Marks, making life a little more bearable for hundreds; as such he's likely to be chased down and bled over hot coals by Osborne the Clown as I find it hard to believe there wasn't a little tax dodging going on somewhere there.

All in all I liked it; it illustrated to me some of the main problems with the poorest in our nation being more closely linked to a failure to aspire to anything beyond the merry jig they did for they benefits which could be taken at a whim. The debate post show was especially interesting in that the following was pointed out:
a. The vast majority of the welfare bill does not get spent on a lazy, feckless underclass but on pensions for the elderly and the actual system itself; I'm not sure what the difference was from the perceived but it is of a rather embarrassing magnitude (and a point that was definitely conceded to Medhi Hasan and Owen Jones judging by the feeling in the audience.

b. The benefits system is largely about sustaining the benefits system; it is unbelievably pointed towards punishing anyone veering out of the predefined routes for welfare dependency or initiative (call it fraud if you will; I don't think its fair in the case of people like Smoggy with his entrepreneurialism or White Dee and her advocacy.

So with all that said here is my solution for when I become supreme ruler of the world/UK:

1. Make it easier to come on and off benefits: having known several people who have had to suffer through several weeks of no cash flow due to the sheer idiotic beuracracy of the whole welfare system, it is easy to see why so many fall prey to money lenders and fraud just to make ends meet. We should implement a zero base policy, firing everyone involved in its current asinine intransigence and building a system which puts people, not the state, first in queue for other peoples money.
2. Raise the income tax threshold, remove minimum wage requirements, introduce a negative income tax and link it inversely to corporation tax/business rates: simply put let people keep more of their money, let businesses hire more people for what they can attract them for and make business compete through higher wage allocations by lowering the burden on them; doesn't matter how this falls exactly but you could reduce the tax/NI take from SMEs and take out the inbuilt advantage for larger firms a national minimum wage gives them over smaller interlopers.
3. Taper benefits so the loss of them isn't as painful when someone does find work: joining the world of work is painful, never more so when you were just getting your beer vouchers for free - can we really not find a medium between the 2 administered by people rather than form?
4. Recognise the biggest welfare recipient is...the state: given government borrowing is by far the largest impasse for business growth in the UK we need Osbo the Clown to step up his plans for reducing the overspend and demand lower taxes/no taxes on the poorest - the best way to see money flooding the poorest is to increase the velocity of money which means we need less of the state sitting on it.

In any case this goes beyond the old libertarian tropes for benefits and we need an adult conversation as such.


New Year #FacePalm

Good one to start the new year in this mornings Metro (apologies for resolution; trying to take a picture on a moving bus of a thin page is tricky). Moaning about MP salaries whilst you earn nearly 40% above the average wage in this country sucking on the exact same teat as the rest of us is a little presumptive of sympathy right.

FFS you earn twice what I do in the private sector.

My thoughts? Last year I said we should give MPs the ability to moot their own compensation to their constituents at the ballot box who would then be directly liable to pay for them via a council tax levy; stick your desired salary on the ballot paper then convince potential constituents at hustings and hitting the streets. Simples.


The Harrogate Agenda: The Wife Test

Many of us gathered yesterday at a conference centre in Leamington Spa for the follow up meeting to ratify The Harrogate Agenda; I need not cover the contents as it has been more than adequately covered by Autonomous Mind, what remains unsaid will be revealed in short enough a time to all.

It was 9.30 by the time I got back from the meeting and, with a young family waiting and a wife who had lost her husband for a third weekend in a row* there was obvious interest in why I had spent a lot of money and time travelling to random towns to sit in hotels and talk for hours on end.

So I showed her the draft pamphlet with our six demands.

And these are her observations:

Observation 1. My wife is a very clever lady - a science teacher of several years, but she will be the first to admit that she hates reading; beyond the bible and her text books when preparing or studying for lectures she avoids it like the plague, maybe managing 1 book a year if the mood takes her, so getting her to read a 30 page pamphlet was just not going to fly - will need to be shorter and punchier if it is to appeal to the "man in the pub". Probably more visual too.

Observation 2.
"So your grand idea is to let everyone do what they want regardless of the consequences?" "What?!?" "This but here: pt.1 talking all about sovereignty..."

pt1. deals with individual sovereignty and whilst I understand it to mean that we are ultimately the masters in our relationship with the state and that our demands make this implicit notion (well to most of us) explicit; for the record we are not inviting anarchy to reign, merely that the mechanisms in society be firmly in our grasp rather than a self-selecting elite.

Observation 3.
"ye gods you expect people to turn up to multiple referendum on every piece of legislation?" "No sweetheart that's not what pt.4 actually means and you can read about what it means on page..." "Sod that give me the abridged version." "Okay well [here follows a 5 minute dissertation on the difference in negative and positive ascension of laws, statutes and treaties in parliament and our proposed changes]" "sorry I kind of zoned out there, can I finish watching Transformers 2 now?

Definitely need to make this point visually and as simple as possible.

There would probably be more but sadly Optimus Prime had jus risen from the robot-dead and was kicking ass so had to leave it there.

But it is a good start to getting a view external to our talking shop.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


Albert The Anaconda

So old Billy Hague has been given a monumental kick-in by the MSM and bloggers alike...over a stuffed snake; it's as if we have descended into an episode of Yes Minister.

As the FoI request shows this is a historic snake; it was given to Colonial Secretary in the 19th Century and represents a piece of history; I believe we need to preserve artefacts like this for all our benefits and wonder if the simplest solution to this embarassing problem is to ask for donations to Alberts upkeep? Am sure Billy can set up a Just Giving account?


Sir Jimmy Saville.

Some moons ago I was watching an episode of Never Mind The Buzzcocks presented by Simon Amstell (so somewhere between 2006 - 2009, or was it earlier and Mark Lamarr?)  where the general dirge of conversation turned to a still alive Jimmy Saville.

After a few mandatory funny jokes about the weirdness of Sir Jimmy I noticed that the show had been cut and pasted to a different point in the episode; panel contestants had shifted in their seats massively, their character and behaviour having gone from lively to calm and sedated; the conversation that had started on Jimmy Saville had been promptly cut short and the take restarted at the next round of the quiz.

Whilst I am certain cutting panel quiz shows down to size is common practice I have never in several years seen it so obviously done.

Aunty Beeb knew about this. A huge number of entertainment professionals in the industry knew about this (hence the redirection of the panel from engaging in mere innuendo about Mr. Saville's proclivities to something more meaty) - the scandal was big enough for a relatively minor BBC2 panel show could get some exec/producer killing the unsavoury bits (and as any avid watcher will know this show can get unsavoury) before broadcast.

More to come methinks.


A Reminder

That our lords and masters really think their turd smells of warm cinnamon rolls with gold nuggets in it:

“Open these gates, I’m telling you – I’m telling you, I’m the chief whip and I’m coming through these gates. Best you learn your f***ing place. You don’t run this f***ing government. You’re f***ing plebs.”

Don't for a minute think the last lot were any more dyed in the wool - they just wore a different rosette.


Quote of the Day

Via jgm2 on the following Guido article; the following cannot be said enough.

jgm2 says:
August 22, 2012 at 11:13 am
Biggest insider dealing scam of the last 10 years? Labour politicians using ‘expenses’ to do up multiple properties knowing full-well that the government would do everything possible to maintain runaway house pr*ices.

Turn a blind eye to reckless lending? Oh yes.

Ignore house price inflation to justify low interest rates? Oh yes.

Change from RPI to (lower) CPI to justify lowering interest rates? Oh yes.

Employ one million bedwetters, box-tickers and bastards on job-for-life deals and set them loose on the limited housing stock available? Oh yes.

Reduce interest rates to 0.5% to artificially prop up house pr*ices even more. Oh yes.

Guarantee mortgages to the (newly) unemployed for two years. Oh yes.

No wonder the likes of Alistair Darling flipped five (was it?) flats.

C*unts. Destroyed the UK economy so they could make a few quid in property speculation.

Darling, Balls et al, not to mention the Bory's, were all at it - whilst I think this was merely a symptom of a deeper malaise it is but a gold seam to add to a rather thick and luxurious noose we should be hanging the lot of them by.