Saturday, December 05, 2009

An Inconvenient Truth for Gordon Brown

So, now that the the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit  has been exposed for hiding data which demonstrated that human activity is not a major factor in the currently observable climate changes, our duplicitous and manipulative leader, Prime Minister Gordon Brown, has launched a blistering attack on those who refuse to accept that it is "all man's fault" that much of the Earth is allegedly facing destruction directly caused by our own selfish activities. Gordy has even called us "flat earthers" and "anti-science"; in other words, he has charged us with being  truth-deniers, unlike himself, apparently.

Since he claims to be such a champion of the truth, Gordon Brown should now be prepared to acknowledge the veracity of the remarks made by Ben Bernanke,  Chairman of the American Federal Reserve, to the US Senate recently. Bernanke reiterated what everyone willing and capable of enunciating the truth had previously voiced:
“Over the past few years [Gordon Brown] removed from the Bank of England most of its supervisory authorities.When the crisis hit - for example when the Northern Rock bank came under stress - the Bank of England was completely in the dark and unable to deal effectively with what turned out to be a destructive run and a major problem for the British economy.”
Naturally, Gordon Brown, not to mention his sycophants, toadies, place-men and the Treasury mandarins who backed his 'reforms' - well, it was either back him or be fired - have strenuously denied that the fact the UK faces the worst banking crisis in the World has anything whatsoever to do with Brown's mismanagement of our regulatory system. For those "flat earthers" and truth-deniers, the UK banking system crises was all caused by "World events" and had absolutely nothing at all to do with Gordon Brown's complete incompetence. What hubris, but then we are used to that from this thoroughly discredited Government and their despicable apologists.

The real truth of the matter is that Gordon Brown just wants to be remembered for achieving something other than a complete fuck-up of the UK economy - not to mention diverting us from remembering his support for the continued  wastage of  lives, money and materiel in that corrupt shit-hole known as Afghanistan - so he tries to divert our attention by jumping on the next available band-wagon. His twisted posturing is simply a politician's version of that childish party game 'pass the parcel', and is about as effective as Nero allegedly fiddling whilst Rome burned.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Home Information Packs Are A Swindle

According to the UK Government's website it is now illegal to try to sell one's property without a Home Information Pack (HIP). The preamble states, inter alia:
"The HIP lets buyers see important information on the property at the start of the process, free of charge...This means there's less chance of buyers becoming aware of any surprises at the end of the process."
Amusing, then, that Energy Performance Certificate which is a fundamental part of the HIP is based on mandatory paradigms that must be used by the Government's accredited Energy Assessors but which ignores the actual facts and bases all calculations on outdated and irrelevant so-called standardised data that has little relevance to any particular case.

Thus, in our case, we were amused to read in our HIP that if we carried out all the energy-saving recommendations made by the Energy Assessor, our utilities bills would be more than double what they actually are! Yes, it's true. According to our HIP, the standardised model shows that if we invest over £3,000 now in so-called energy-saving technology, our bills would be reduced to only £67 per month! However, in actual fact we pay only £31 per month currently, and have built up a substantial credit in so doing. So, presumably if we do all that the Energy Assessor recommends, the utility companies will actually pay us for using their products?

Meanwhile, this worthless piece of shit paper has cost us in excess of £400, which is effectively just a tax on selling our house.

Even more risible is that the paradigms used in these stupid calculations do not take into account the time value of money - even assuming that one had the capital to invest in the so-called energy-saving recommendations in the first place. (You are aware of the time-value of money aren't you Gordy? If not, why not, since you and your sycophants arse-licking lackeys like to pretend that you are the greatest Chancellor of the Exchequer the World has ever seen.)

Mind you, one does have to look on the bright side. The introduction of HIPS made it necessary to employ hundreds of Energy Assessors, thereby helping to reduce the soaring dole queues at a time when the Labour Government found them embarrassing.

Unfortunately for the rest of us, the Labour Government has become the greatest embarrassment of all.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Big Pond, Small Fish.

Nothing, except that Alf was an honest working-class man who was true to his political views, no matter how reprehensible they appeared to be to others. Middle-class soi-disant socialists are another thing entirely. Especially when they have spent nearly all their adult life in academia rather than get a real job.

Amusingly, this Alf lookalike once poked scorn at working-class ex-pat culture on the island of Symi whilst simultaneously pretending to be a champion of the lower orders in the shit-hole that is Caledonia. However, he justified that on the grounds that those he excoriated were English who did not share the allegedly noble Celtic traits which he claims for himself and admires so much in his compatriots.

Needless to say, the victims of this diatribe responded that the accusations levelled at them were inaccurate, unbalanced and anecdotal. They also claimed that the author was a regular and heavy drinker, offensively argumentative, mentally sick and a bigot. Apparently he had even indulged in the violent pastime of brawling. Naturally the ex-pats of Symi claim that he is not welcome back there and that they are not the only inhabitants of the island to feel that way. It was also alleged that they were going to sue the author for his calumnies, even though he was apparently skulking in new Zealand at the time.

Perhaps that's why Dr Sean Damer has moved back to his beloved shit-hole Glasgow and currently is living at G/2, 15 Garrioch Quadrant, Glasgow, G20 8RT; he can be contacted on 0141 561 7838.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

De Gaulle: Coward or Hubristic Creep?

Following on from my previous post, a surprise rummage in The Old Git's attic found a transcript of a radio interview given on Radio Vichy dating from early 1944 by that egregious coward and self-promoting narcissist, Charles De Gaulle, France's most pusillanimous leader, arch-Anglophobe, and completely graceless twat, who famously said that he'd rather that France was occupied by Nazis than let Paris be liberated by the British, Commonwealth and American allies who subsequently saved his country from Germany's brutal domination.

Oh, and if any Francophiles, De Gaulle apologists, or other distorters of historical accuracy disbelieve the foregoing, they only have to inspect the forces' death rolls for the D-Day landings. On that day, 6th June 1944, the historian Andrew Roberts maintains that of the 4,572 allied servicemen who died on that day only 19 were French. That is 0.4%.

Mind you, those 19 brave Frenchmen must be given due credit for their sacrifice, for whilst they were spilling their blood on their sacred homeland, that egregious coward and arch-creep, De Gaule, was dining in complete safety on the finest of wines and food (specially imported from France, naturally) in Claridge's Hotel, London.

Nevertheless, after the liberation of Paris in August 1944, De Gaulle was given a hero's welcome by his countrymen in the French capital when he led the triumphant liberation march into that city (it would appear that the French think that a hero is someone who hides until all the danger is over and then accepts the credits for having single-handedly defeating the enemy whilst skulking in safety and luxury).

Another measure of the De Gaulle's desire to remove the debt that both he, and the country which he came to rule, owed us was during France's withdrawal from NATO in the 1960s. At that time, De Gaulle telephoned the US President, Lyndon B Johnstone, and insisted that he wanted all US military personnel removed from France's sacred soil. Johnstone is reputed to have replied: "Does that include the dead ones who are buried in it?" Apparently De Gaulle seriously considered replying in the affirmative but the only thing that stopped him was the doubt that his tame revisionist historians in the Académie française could successfully rewrite history to expunge all mention of the overwhelming numbers of non-French who gave their lives liberating his largely collaborationist country.

In answer to the question in the title, De Gaulle was neither but both simultaneously. But then history has a way of ignoring the real heroes and awarding undeserved accolades on the completely unworthy like De Gaulle.

Next, some so-called 'worthy' will be denying that The Holocaust ever took place.

It would be side-splittingly funny if it wasn't so fucking pathetically sad!

Tax The Poor Until It Hurts (Them)!

So, according to the BBC, the Government's top medical adviser, Sir Liam Donaldson, has drawn up plans for a minimum price for alcohol which would double the cost of some drinks in England.

Under Donaldson's proposal, no drinks could be sold for less than 50 pence per unit of alcohol they contain. A quick calculation shows that the cost of my usual tipple (Asda's own label Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon red wine) would increase from £3.07 per 75 centilitre bottle to £4.90, an increase of some 60%, with the result that it now becomes unaffordable for me to continue to drink shop bought wine if the Government decides to accept Donaldson's proposals.

On the face of it, therefore, Donaldson's proposals will have achieved one of their allegedly desired results - a decrease in the amount of alcohol purchased from legal sources of supply - but if he, or any other wealthy buffoon who subscribes to his ill thought out proposal thinks that I, and others like me, will cease drinking on the grounds that it has become economically unaffordable, then it is proof indeed, if such were needed, that the rich live in a completely different version of reality from the rest of us.

Personally, I, and no doubt many like me, will simply start manufacturing our own beer and wine, but whilst I will do so purely for my own benefit, many others will be manufacturing their own alcohol and selling it to the less technically capable, with the result, so often commonplace in Ireland, that many people will either go blind or die from drinking poorly made (and non-potable) potheen, or 'bootleg alcohol'.

As for the quality of the beer and wine I am capable of making, well suffice to say that I have won accolades for it in the past from discerning judges, so the quality is there. What's more, I can make a pint of extremely palatable beer - stout, heavy, bitter, or lager, depending on my choice - for approximately 80 pence at today's prices, and a bottle of equally good quality red or white wine for £1.25 to £1.00 respectively. More importantly, perhaps, is the fact that I still have all the equipment I need stowed away in my attic, so all I have to buy is the raw materials and I can be back in production tomorrow.

Admittedly I am a bit older now, and the work involved is rather heavy and tiresome at times, but only 20 years ago I was producing 100 gallons of beer and 10 hectolites of wine per annum, and I see no reason why I cannot still match that.

True, the wine won't be drinkable for some time, but whilst it is maturing, I can always console myself with a nice glass of beer, since that takes no more than 3 weeks for the first batch to be quaffable, and my cellar of shop bought wine will surely last me that long.

So much for Liam Donaldson's bright idea. Next he'll be proposing a punitive tax on chocolate and a complete ban on MacDonald's Muckburgers (now that is a good idea, Liam)!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Ian Cross: A New Kind Of Low-life

Recently I offered an item of furniture free on our local Freecycle group. Immediately there was quite a lot of interest, including an e-mail from someone calling himself Ian Cross which simply said, 'Is the item still available?' I replied by return, saying in similar terse fashion, 'Yes it is - it has only just gone on offer.' I heard nothing more that day from Ian Cross, but several other people were more forthcoming in their emails and one of them sounded like a worthy recipient of my generosity. So, I decided to give the item to that person, made arrangements for its collection, immediately posted an 'Item Taken' notice on the Freecycle website .

Over 24 hours later, and after the item had been collected by my chosen recipient, Ian Cross sent me a surprising email which stated, 'When can I come to collect the item, and what is your address?' I replied, 'Sorry, the item has gone - I posted a notice to that effect on the Freecycle forum.' Imagine my surprise, therefore, when Ian Cross immediately replied with an extremely offensive and threatening e-mail claiming that I had promised the item to him, that he'd had to hire a van to collect it, and that I had cost him the £20 non-refundable deposit he'd had to pay to book the van. There is no doubt in my mind from the threatening tone and mendacious nature of Ian Cross' e-mail that he was trying to extort money from me, and I wrote back to him rebutting his claims, and pointing out that his threats and demand for money amounted to extortion.

A wiser person would have left it there, but Ian Cross is not such a person, so he replied in an even more abusive fashion bleating on about how it was 'appauling' (sic) to accuse him of extortion, and that I am 'pompus (sic) and snobby' for refusing to reimburse his alleged financial losses, and that I 'should get a grip with reality'. At that point I reported Ian Cross to the Moderators of our Freecycle group for his threatening, abusive behaviour and his attempts to extort money, but not surprisingly I have received no response from them.

Frankly, I doubt that this is the first time that Ian Cross has tried this despicable technique of his to extort money from less able or vulnerable Freecyclers, so if anyone out there receives an email from him or one bearing the e-mail address then they should immediately trash it after marking it as spam, for he, if it is indeed a he, is nothing other than a duplicitous, mendacious cheat and low-life would-be extortioner.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Lest We Forget

So it's the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month - as if those magic numbers have any relevance per se - and 90 years to the day when the horror to end all horrors ended, yet once again we are exhorted to remember the 'heroes' who gave their lives for for the rest of us.

Fact, 11, 11, 11 is not a magical incantation.

Fact, most of those who gave their lives were not heroes, whatever is meant by that word.

Fact, rather than showing our respect to those who died, we should excoriate those who permitted that atrocity to happen - not forgetting that our leaders were the ones who took great care to ensure that their paltry lives were safe and sound whilst ensuring that they were never likely to make the 'great sacrifice' that they sent millions to endure on their behalf.

Fact. all wars are an atrocity against humanity.

Fact, those who start them never participate directly in them, but always skulk safely in the background whilst exhorting others to risk their lives doing their dirty work.

Fact, wearing a poppy is to exculpate Field Marshall Earl Haig for his cowardice and war crimes.

Fact, those who consider themselves our masters are despicable, cowardly shite who hid behind the "lions led by donkeys"!

Lest we forget.

Thus speaks one who remembers all 90 previous 11th of Novembers.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Ian Rushbrook: Quiescat in Pace

Today I was informed of the sad and sudden death of a former colleague, client, and investment guru, Ian Francis Rushbrook. He was in his 69th year, and his premature death will be mourned by many.

Ian Rushbrook was one of the few investment managers who was prepared to put his own - and his family's money - into the fund he managed. He was, in my opinion, up there with the Masters, such as Warren Buffett and Benjamin Graham.

Ian needs no eulogy from me, but suffice to say that he was one of the few voices perspicacious or honest enough to warn of the financial difficulties that the US and the UK now find themselves in; indeed, he first raised these issues some years ago, long before anyone else in the UK did so publicly, and he was vociferous about it right up to his untimely death on Sunday.

Goodbye old friend, and thanks for everything.

NB: For those who are not familiar with the man, I append extracts from the obituary article published in 'The Scotsman' on 14th October 2008 (which appeared online here):
History offers some poignant examples of men who passed away in the hour of their greatest triumph. One such was Ian Rushbrook. As managing director of Personal Assets Trust (Pat), Rushbrook had, over several years, become convinced that a major dislocation of world banking and finance was looming. As he said with astonishing prescience to Pat's July 2007 AGM (his lucid and searching expositions of the investment outlook were legendary): "Is the financial world sleepwalking into disaster? No. It's worse than that. It's walking into disaster, wide awake.

"The Federal Reserve, the US banking system, the US mortgage industry, the investment banks, the hedge and private equity funds, all know what's happening; yet they carry on regardless ... Credit, debt and liquidity have expanded to extraordinary levels and we are certain this expansion must reverse itself. And the catalyst for such a reversal won't be a butterfly fluttering its wings over Peking. It will be a vulture, glutted on subprime mortgages, falling from its perch on a skyscraper over Wall Street."

Rushbrook's warnings fell on deaf ears and sometimes earned him harsh criticism. Recent events have proved how right he was.

Over the 18 years in which he managed Pat, the company's funds grew from £5.5 million to the present £160 million. He overcame the problem of the discount to net asset value at which investment trusts typically sell by a determination, now enshrined in the company's articles of association, to eliminate it by vigorous and continuing share buybacks coupled to the issue of new shares if demand exceeded supply.

Critics forecast that this would cause the company to shrink significantly. Instead, the confidence the discount control policy gave to shareholders saw Pat's share capital increase fivefold.
PS: He was also a good poker player.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Hello and Goodbye

A few weeks ago I was rather surprised to receive a handwritten letter from someone who claimed to be the granddaughter of a cousin I never knew I had.

Despite the rather homely writing style, the information in the letter regarding my own antecedents was sufficiently accurate and not publicly known, therefore I knew that the writer was genuine and that their letter was not some sort of unsophisticated scam. Nevertheless, I responded somewhat guardedly, since I have long since learned to shun intrusive enquiries into my life - and taken considerable steps to ensure that my privacy is secured.

Imagine my amusement when my neutral yet factual response was met with rather gushing attempts to establish some kind of meaningful blood-bond by this unknown relation from nowhere, as if the fact that we shared some obscure and totally irrelevant ancestor was material to her and implying that it should also be material to me.

All the more amusing to me was the fact that in the follow-up correspondence from this person, they claimed to have investigated and catalogued exhaustively our shared family-tree, yet the details she quoted regarding our shared antecedents - allegedly culled from copies of prime documents that she had obtained - were not only substantially inaccurate, but simply could not accord with the very prime documents she claimed to have copies of in her possession. And I should know, because I was the person responsible for lodging the originals of those very same prime documents all those years ago with the relevant authorities and, indeed, still had the time-worn originals in my possession - and they did not show what she claimed categorically that they did.

At this instance, perhaps a small digression is in order. It should be appreciated that someone who, like me, describes themselves as an 'The Old Git' is not likely to countenance divagations from the facts with equanimity, yet much to my chagrin this soi-disant relation had the temerity to claim that my corrections of her family-tree were inaccurate, as she was quoting "from copies of the originals" - completely ignoring the fact that only I had the actual originals (and been responsible for their being recorded) - therefore I must be wrong in my claims, which she was kind enough to suggest was understandable due to me being in my dotage.

Naturally, she did not have the grace to apologise when I scanned the original documents and sent them to her by e-mail, together with a lengthy narrative history of our antecedents that proved her so-called 'research' to be as worthwhile as the usual drivel that is passed off as an authoritative academic exercise these days - particularly in the so-called 'social sciences', though real science is no longer far behind in its willingness to publish bogus nonsense as empirical fact simply in order that its authors become noticed.

Even more amusingly, I was able to demonstrate to this obscure relation that her mother, and all her aunts and uncles that she claimed to revere so much, were born illegitimately as the result of a deceitful and bigamous marriage, and that all these people whom she considered worthy of respect simply because they had some sort of tenuous blood-tie to her were actually damaged goods (for reasons that decency forbids me to recollect here), despite more than one of them having been accredited publicly as 'heroes'.

Unsurprisingly, my long-lost, completely obscure, and equally irrelevant relation has not responded to my overwhelming factual ripostes, since facts are facts, no matter how unpalatable they may be to those (like she) who would prefer to believe otherwise, but I do not see why I should participate in some make-believe nonsense just because it makes delusional people feel good in themselves to espouse it.

Thus, the gushing 'hello' with which I was initially greeted has become an effective 'goodbye'.

And from now on there will be two versions of our family tree: the factual one which I participated in directly, and the specious nonsense being passed off by an obscure descendant who claims a tenuous (and entirely meaningless) blood-relationship with me.

Were so-called 'blood-ties' important, a simple DNA test would prove that we were all likely related to each other within the past few generations.

So what?

Monday, August 25, 2008

What A Waste!

The BBC filled the first 10 minutes of its lunchtime news programme today with a report extolling the wonders of the Beijing Olympics and went on gushingly to advise us that the games "cost more than £20 billion" to stage, thereby suggesting that we should all have been impressed by such an extravagant and completely obscene waste of money. It then posted this ridiculous article on its website entitled: "GB Olympic heroes welcomed home." Even more nonsensical, perhaps, was the other claim made by the BBC yesterday, viz: "The Queen has congratulated the UK's Beijing heroes...".

What heroes are they? All these participants did was take part in a sports competition. Name a single one of them who over the past 16 days of bread and circuses put their lives on the line for anyone else, performed a single altruistic act, or achieved anything that benefited mankind one iota. Bet you can't.

Admittedly, the OED gives the first meaning of the word 'hero' as:
"A name given (as in Homer) to men of superhuman strength, courage, or ability, favoured by the gods; at a later time regarded as intermediate between gods and men, and immortal."
However, it does state that the forgoing is an antiquated usage (and, in any event, it is clearly inappropriate for a bunch of people who had a nice holiday playing their favourite sport). The OED then gives the current meaning as:
"A man distinguished by extraordinary valour and martial achievements; one who does brave or noble deeds; an illustrious warrior."
Just like the poor sods in the British Army who are risking their lives for this corrupt New Labour Government by serving in Iraq and Afghanistan - many of whom have died. Now some of those serving in those conflicts are real heroes, so please do not devalue the word by applying it to a bunch of sportsmen and women who have risked absolutely nothing to play silly games that count for fuck all anyway.

Undeterred, Gordy Broon has promised that the UK will be wasting a mere £9.5 billion on hosting the Olympics here, but since everyone knows that all public infrastructure expenditure estimates undershoot the eventual cost by a factor of at least 3 times, you can bet that the UK will waste even more than the Chinese just have by the time the farrago opens here in 2012.

Never mind that we can't properly fund our pensioners, health-care, education, transport infrastructure, etc., - not to mention the poor sods we send to fight and die in our stupid little wars! The BBC will still refer to the participants in the 2012 games as 'heroes', and the hoi-polloi will be distracted by more bread and circuses.

What a waste!