Novelist. Author of APSARAS and tales from the beautiful Saigh Valley. First person to quantify spiritual values.

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Thursday 28 October 2010

Europe. The new reality

The prime minister says that he may have no option but to rubber stamp the EU's demands for an increase to its budget. This at a time when every single person in the country is having to accept deep cuts in personal living standards. But who in Government cares what the British public wants. If Governments did what the public wants we'd have the death penalty back for murderous perverts like Ian Huntley.

If the UK is indeed 'sovereign' why can't Cameron just say 'NO'? The truth is the UK is now tied into treaties that cannot easily be reversed, a situation that has been steadily achieved over the years without the public being fully aware of what has been happening. When they have been aware, as with the Lisbon Treaty, they were promised a referendum by the then PM, Gordon Brown, who subsequently renaged on his pledge to the electorate. He was the only person in the country who maintained that the treaty did not effect a change in the constitution. I bet he knew what he was doing.
This Europeanisation of the country has been completed, little by little with the full collusion of the UK Government. Now we are helpless as they run Europe as a single state. You have to admire their gall. They couldn't have done it by being honest.

The Telegraph reports that the new EU Foreign Minister, Baroness Ashton, will open new 10.5 million euro premises to house her diplomatic team in the Spring. A diplomatic team no less. It's no wonder David Cameron doesn't seem that bothered that the two new aircraft carriers won't be equipped with British fighters. He knows that when they come into service, they will be Britain's contribution to a European fleet, complete with French Mirage aircraft, Italian, Agusta helicopters and armed with Swiss, Oerlikon, made ammunition.

Why don't they come clean? We might understand or even approve. Our Army will be trimmed to a level needed by the EU Generals for fighting new battles against possibly new foes; perhaps against old allies. As the big powers realign themselves in the fight for the world's diminishing resources, perhaps we'll need to unite the European forces to preserve, say, oil reserves in Arctic territories against Russian land grab, or maybe the Falklands from combined South American nations.

The point is, I think it's time the people of the United Kingdom were told the truth about Europe. What is happening?

Wednesday 27 October 2010

Pension funds

The Government have announced new compulsory legislation requiring all companies to set up Pension Funds. It applies to all employees that have been with the company for a minimum of three months. It will require that the company puts in a minimum of 3% of the salary into the fund. This at a time of recession when inflation is still increasing. This is another tax on employment and as such, smacks of a Liberal Democrat measure that forms part of the  conditions of coalition.

However, in some ways I think it makes sense. People, particularly the young, are reluctant to put money into something they won't need for decades and it makes sense to make it compulsary. My big problem is that this money will probably finish up with the traditional financial services firms that traditionally drain the funds of HUGE percentages of their clients money and charge commission when the fund doesn't perform and leave people wondering if years of thrift and saving was all worth it.
The public need a fund that isn't motivated by excessive greed, invests in guaranteed assets that are not at the whim of speculators and is answerable to an independant organisation. Parliamentarians are human after all and have friends in the massive financial services industry. We must see that that the new rules are not feathering the nests of their friends. The government must put a sensible lid on commissions and expenses for these pension funds.

I, for one, will be watching.

No win-no fee deals to be abolished

Justice Secretary Ken Clarke announced yesterday that no win-no fee deals are to be abolished. For too long these arrangements have made the legal profession look sleazier than it is. Let us hope this results in a huge reduction of frivolous cases coming before the courts.
Remember, lawyers are people who do not create, grow, sell or make anything. Its difficult to know how they generate wealth (and therefore good) for anybody but themselves. One can't help but think that it would be a wonderful world without them.

It's great news! Let's hope the common sense continues and the current Human Right legislation get's abolished or at least an overhaul and the Doctor Kelly case is re-opened.

Monday 25 October 2010

'Sin bins' for football?

Having watched the recent Manchester City v Arsenal match I wonder if the automatic dismissal rule could be amended.
After just four minutes a City defender, who hadn't previously been cautioned, was sent off for bringing down an Arsenal player. Taking place so early in the game robbed the game of its meaning and deprived the paying customers the spectacle they had every reason to expect. They were defrauded because the game was now heavily biassed towards one of the teams for almost the entire match.
How much better it would have been if the player had been 'sin binned' for ten minutes as they do in rugby matches. Punishment exacted and the spectators not swindled. If two such offences are committed by the same player, then sure enough, send him off for the remainder of the game.

Friday 22 October 2010

One Show

I have just switched on to watch the One Show on BBC.  I used to like the programme but because today is Friday it is hosted by Chris Evans. Let me tell you that I have to turn on my computer and look for alternatve entertainment because the man is insufferable. Adrian Childs was bad but this overpaid, talentless waste of time, leaves me cold. Thank goodness for Giles Brandreth, an oasis in a desert. I used to watch the programme more when it employed Carol Thatcher and a Sikh man whose name I've sadly forgotten, because they had talent and spoke correctly, but today the producers have reduced it to a pathetic shadow of what it could be.

Wednesday 20 October 2010


The Lemmings Party are on a hiding to nothing over deficit reduction plans. They got the UK into the mess and they have no credible plans to save the country from bankruptcy. They really have nothing to say yet they must go through the motions of holding the coalition Government to account
Today, Ed Miliband gave the worst performance of any Party Leader that I can remember at Prime Minister's Questions. In a word he was dreadful, no doubt causing many in the Parliamentary Labour Party to wonder how he came to be elected leader. No doubt Machiavelli in the form of Mandelson will be stirring things up in the background, while in the meantime, the former Prime Minister and Chancellor, Gordon Brown, continues to maintain a very low profile; keeping his head below the parapet. He is no doubt that when he does show he will take all the flak for leading the country to the verge of ruin by reckless overspending.*

In this dark place, the word I keep hearing from the Labour party is 'IDEOLOGY'. They accuse the coalition of introducing measures that owe nothing to fiscal prudence, only an ideological imperative to crush the working class. The more they are shuffled into a corner by their own shortcomings the more they need to resort to the emotive posturings that stir the underclasses and the most vulnerable. These are to be found in Scotland, South Wales and the North East where the labour Support is historically strongest. The biggest fear I have is that when the Labour leaders feel rational argument is pointless they will mobilise their supporters, motivate them with revolutionary rhetoric and get them on the streets. At the moment they are helpless to influence policy; their efforts are vilified from every corner, whilst Osborne's plans are welcomed by industry leaders and the international financial watchdogs. Faced with five years of having their failures thown back in their faces, I can envisage a desperate Miliband upping the stakes. By repeatedly insisting that the Coalition's plans are ideologically based, the more resentment will be built up leading to massive industrial unrest. The Labour leaders will fuel the conflict by telling the militants that they have nothing to lose, by which they mean that they themselves are in the same position.

* Has Gordon Brown other things on his mind besides his disastrous tenure as Leader of the UK? As the son of a cleric, his whole life has been influenced by the teachings of the Church and yet I'm sure something troubles him. What is it?

Tuesday 19 October 2010

Affordable housing

There is no doubt that the UK needs more housing. Not only to house the young in the country but also those that come from abroad as immigrants.
Why not use 'pre-fab' housing to solve the problem? After the war, pre-fab houses were built to house the homeless population and some exist today. I remember in Liverpool, when I was younger, thousands of pre-fab houses being occupied , each with a small garden. They looked good and the time they lasted was testament to their durability.
They could still be built cheaply but still incorporate all the benefits of modern technology with respect to insulation and sound proofing. Why not? Let's do away with the many rules and regulations that hold back the construction industry and build inexpensive housing for all. Why can't the council's identify brown site areas, or green sites with poor quality agricultural land, that could support these homes. Not high rise monstrosities such as in the sixties, but homes that come with their own space and a garden and fences that neighbours can chat over.
Stop the nonsence that prohibits the provision of mortgages for houses with non-approved construction. In my country of Spain they build houses by a ring and beam method which is good in areas of high earthquake activity. Why is it unapproved in the UK when it is a relatively cheap method of manufacture?

Monday 18 October 2010

Chilean miners. A 'miracle'?

In yesterday's BBC programme, Sunday Morning Live. the Chaplain to the House of Commons, Rev. Rose Hudson-Wilkin, a Jamaican born Anglican said that she was sure that the rescue of the Chilean miners was a 'miracle'.
The presenter, Susanna Reid, failed to ask her how the minister 'knew' with such certainty. Did she perhaps have priveleged information? From whom and in what manner did she receive this information?
When she said she knew it was a miracle, I'm sure what she meant to say was that she fervently hoped it was a miracle; a divine intervention from a supreme being who exercised compassion, despite his being unable to prevent the accident in the first place.

This 'knowing' with certainty from religious leaders, born from their unconditional faith, is transmitted and interpreted by their followers as FACT. In the same way that shamans of old moulded the will of their adherents, so today the priests and imams  present their unfounded views to the world's most vulnerable people.

Nobody would deny that the Chilean miners, all vulnerable in their dangerous way of life, found comfort in their faith. Why God condemned them to two month's incarceration, wasn't a question to be asked. God takes no credit for the disasters; only for the successful rescues accomplished by dedicated and skilled engineers. Following on from another recent Blog, I believe that we mustn't confuse an unreal God, a figment of man's mind, with the very real 'spirituality' of mankind. This gave the hard pressed miners the inner resolve to survive; to make the most of a bad situation. Men below steeled themselves to survive, with their own and other's inner strength,  whilst men (not God) above tirelessly solved the problems to effect a rescue. These are the facts; not some hazy idea that a supernatural force was at work and the Rev. Hudson-Wilkin should recognize that her words incite others to ignore evident truths and thereby depreciate the efforts of the rescuers.

Others that incite vulnerable people are those at City University who preach anti-racial hatred. Think tank Quilliam said they had evidence of hard-line Islamist ideology being promoted through the leadership of the university's student Islamic Society at City University in central London.

Read more:

I believe it is time that these people were disabused of their perceptions; confronted with the evil they espouse. Their views should be challenged without fear of harm or mockery, because their beliefs are based on no more than a Book of revelations fifteen hundred years old, allegedly given to an Arab by an Angel. Incidentally, no reason is offered as to why an Arab, rather than say a Viking or North American Indian received these revelations. Like the Rev. Rose's posturing, Islamicists insist that what the Book says is undisputable FACT and must be acted upon. If decent minded people don't act now, it will not be the 'meek' who inherit the world but the hardline monsters who rejoice in the beheading of apostates and the stoning to death of female adulterers.

Sunday 17 October 2010

Prison meals

Under new rules introduced by Prisons minister Crispin Blunt, prisoners must now be offered a choice of at least five meals.

WHY? The taxpayer shouldn't be paying for their food in the first place. It's bad enough having to pay to incarcerate them but having to keep them well above the basic subsistence level is ludicrous. They are eating better than some disadvantaged but honest citizens.
Firstly prisoners should be stripped of their human rights. They deprived their victims of theirs and part of the punishment must include this provision. In an ideal world, the prisoner's food should be provided by his family. Why should other families including those of the victim have to pay to feed these bastards.
Apparently, Blunt has also lifted the ban on taxpayer funded parties in prisons. It's crass stupidity, especially at a time when the Government is trying to reduce costs.

In my opinion, we ought to treat prisoners differently. Prisons cost to much to run: they misguidedly heed prisoner's rights: they are higher academies of crime where youngsters learn from old lags: prisoners can still run criminal organizations from their cells. Here's what I would do with serious offenders.
Prisons themselves should be built in remote locations like Gruinard Island. Staff will be minimal and very well paid.
All prisoners will be in solitary. All cells will be 'en suite' with break-proof fittings. If the inmates break them they have to live with the consequences.
Prisoners will have no access to telephones or drugs.
No family visits. Unfair on the family? They should have thought about that before they offended.
Televisions will only show educational or training programmes and suitable books should always be available.
All meals will be delivered automatically to the cells. There will be no choice other than those who have allergies to some foods.

A regime such as this will have a pay-off in that prison sentences will be less because the punishment is so severe and I suggest that re-offending will be less as lags will not want to return.

Saturday 16 October 2010

Katharine Birbalsingh

The teacher, Katharine Birbalsingh has been forced to resign her post at the St Michael and All Angels Academy after speaking at the Conservative Party conference, recently.
 ‘Dr’ Irene Bishop (her doctorate is honorary), the headteacher and Canon Peter Clark, Chairman of the Board of Governors could not stomach the truths she spoke which went counter to the socialist ideology followed by educationalists for years; a period, during which, Universities routinely had to top-up students
English and Mathematical abilities. I recommend looking at the following Blog by Archbishop Cranmer for an excellent review of the affair.

Friday 15 October 2010

Scottish devolution- the cost

A report by the Government Expenditures and Revenues in Scotland ( shows that since devolution, Scotland has cost the UK just under £76 billion. Taking into account oil and gas revenues this reduces to a deficit of £23.5 billion. Scotland's public finances exhibit a structural fiscal deficit, having not been in surplus since 1980-81.

Why then are the Scots allowed to enjoy free prescriptions and free University education?

Tuesday 12 October 2010

Mojácar promotional video

Watch a new promotional video of the magical town of Mojácar, Almeria, Spain


Arbitrage is a financial instrument that makes money by exploiting the variation in the price of commodities in different markets. Sometimes it can be quite complicated when the commodities being traded might, themselves, be complex financial entities such as 'futures contracts'.

It is one of the ways, an investment bank or Hedge Fund might make money. Nothing is being manufactured or a service being provided. It is money making by purely computer based number juggling. Let me give you an example.
A City investment banker goes into the home of a frail old pensioner and notices what is certainly a long lost Rembrandt on the wall above the fireplace. It is dirty and smoke affected, hiding some of the finer points of the painting, but our banker knows a real Rembrandt when he sees one and offers the naive pensioner a tenner. The pensioner who needs the money, agrees and with some sadness, it has been in the family for years, hands the picture over. Six months later, after cleaning, the picture is sold at Christies for £10 million. That is arbitrage. Legal; certainly, but morally?

In the world of arbitrage it is a case of 'sellers, not buyers, beware'.

Is this what we want the UK noted for? In a country that spawned such great entrepreneurs such as Brunel, Stephenson and Babbage, do we really want the country to be best known for Spivs and Shysters. People who exploit the wealth other people have created.
I say, to start with, introduce a world-wide ban on the trade in assets not directly owned.

There has to be another way.

Friendly Fire

Why am I not surprised to hear that Linda Norgrove, the British Aid Worker, abducted by Al Quaeda forces has been killed by her US Special Forces 'rescuers'?
She was killed when the would be rescuers launched a grenade into the compound where she was being held.

British Special Forces have been talking about the 'Gung-Ho' attitude of some ot their NATO colleagues. Sentiment is not helped by the appointment of Maj Gen Joseph Votel as leader of the team, Investigating the affair. Maj Gen Votel is chief of staff of US Special Operations Command, which oversees US special forces teams in Afghanistan, already under fire because of possible previous atrocities.

In a previous blog (30th Sept 2010) 'Secret Iraq' I commented on the 'Gung-Ho' behaviour of US forces. Nobody pretends that fighting in war is anything but awful, but how is it that so called 'friendly fire' deaths attributed to US forces far outnumber that from other forces?

Shit happens in war, but its not that which bothers me most. It's the insistence by Americans, especially the veterans, that their armed forces are the best when we all know that they fall way below the quality of others. I remember talking to people who lived through the second world war who said that when aircraft flew overhead, it was only if they were American did they head for the air raid shelters.

Tuition Fees

Fears are growing that graduates in the future could leave University with debts of more than £30000. The worry is that students from a less well off background will be deterred from continuing their education.

When I was a student, I was sponsored by my employer, the Ministry of Defence, in what was then called a 'thick sandwich' apprenticeship. After graduating, I served a further six years before leaving, having, I believe, discharged my obligation to the State. At the time I knew other students who were similarly sponsored by private firms.

Should this type of scheme be brought back? Give Companies a tax break to take on students, put them through University with the promise of a fixed term of employment afterwards. Students who opt to leave the Company early after graduating will have to pay a fee.

Alternatively, students who do 'useful' degree courses in say, engineering, science or computer sciences, will get assistance or pay nothing and those who do lifestyle type degrees such as Theology will have to pay.

Sunday 10 October 2010

China Star rising

Following on from my last blog, I take comfort in the news that George Soros, the internationally famous financier told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that China had a “huge advantage” over international competitors because it can control the value of its currency.
In an article in the Daily Telegraph by Rupert Neate he quotes Soros as saying to the Financial Times:  “Whether it realizes it or not, China has emerged as a leader of the world.

See article at:

The point I am trying to make is that the Chinese leadership believes that by primarily focussing on the Country's interest's, eventually the benefits of a strong Nation will pass down to all the people. I tend to agree.
In the Western Democracies, the leaders, with an eye on the next elections, are always having to heed, not only what their allied Country's say or what the lobbyists for various commercial and other groups want, but they also have to take notice of what their electorate at large wants. Surely, it's too much. Ask any Prime Minister and I'm sure they'll say that it's almost impossible to juggle the needs of all these factions. How much better it must surely be to concentrate on the one objective; securing the best advantages (and this could include collaboration) for the Country irrespective of the wishes of all the other pressure groups. If the country remains focussed and strong, then all the people will ultimately, despite, (historically speaking,) short term hardships, be the beneficionaries.

Friday 8 October 2010

Nobel Peace Prize

Were the Norwegians, responsible for choosing the Chinese dissident, Liu Xiaobo, as this years recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize being mischievous.

See D Telegraph report by David Eimer at:

The Nobel Committee said Mr Liu was honoured "for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China". The 54-year-old activist, was sentenced last year to 11 years in prison for subversion.

In a strongly-worded citation, the committee criticised China's human rights record.

"Over the past decades, China has achieved economic advances to which history can hardly show any equal. The country now has the world's second largest economy; hundreds of millions of people have been lifted out of poverty. Scope for political participation has also broadened. China's new status must entail increased responsibility," it read.

"China is in breach of several international agreements to which it is a signatory, as well as of its own provisions concerning political rights. Article 35 of China's constitution lays down that 'Citizens of the People's Republic of China enjoy freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, of association, of procession and of demonstration'. In practice, these freedoms have proved to be distinctly curtailed for China's citizens."

The point is that Liu Xiaobo wanted to change China and therefore its excellent economic progress giving increased prosperity for all its citizens including the poorest. WHY? The country is dragging itself out of the Communist gutter and embracing the spirit of enterprise. Liu Xiaobo has this idea that democracy is a better system; a system we know in the west is wasteful and inefficient and still not able to satisfy all of the people all of the time. Look at the UK were the last Government brought the country to the brink of bankruptcy but still, 33% of the electorate voted to re-elect them. If anything Chinese problems feeding its population are more serious than those in the developed world and therefore less in need of obstacles such as those thrown up by a no doubt well intentioned but silly man whose ambitions pay no heed to the reality. The general public in any country cannot be trusted to do the right thing because the majority of them are necessarily selfish. They do not have the nation at heart and when a politician promises them something for nothing, who can blame them if they vote Lemming.

Give China a chance. It is going to take some time, there are going to be some disappointments, probably some disasters, but in the end they may give the world a better way of Governing; one that serves the needs of increasing populations more efficiently and fairly. Surely that's what Liu Xiaobo would wish.

Baroness Warsi.

I'm warming to Sayeeda, Baroness Warsi.
The first Muslim to become a Cabinet Minister, she is also Chairman of the Conservative Party and as such she is, these days, asked to appear on programmes defending the Governments decisions. Last night on a BBC Question Time, in front of a very partisan Socialist audience and very suspect presenter, David Dimbleby, she did very well with only a lady Lib Dem panellist for support. She speaks very well with a slight accent, endearingly betraying her Northern upbringing, an asset that David Cameron surely appreciates as he tries to win over the majority of the electorate. I'm sure it's because she is so good at articulating the Coalition's policies that she's paraded in front of the cameras so often but she cannot keep doing this alone. She needs help to stop her commitment and enthusiasm dimming and keep this Tory star shining brightly.

Defence Review-some thoughts

It looks like the Navy is going to be reduced, in terms of surface ships, to the smallest size  ever in the Strategic Defence Review. For some people this is not going far enough. Many in the Socialist Lemming Party want the UK to abandon its independent nuclear deterrent at a time when the danger of attack is at the
highest level for decades, so that benefit payments to the lazy and irresponsible can be maintained and waste and inefficiency allowed to run unchecked.

(It is not hard to understand why. This posturing by a discredited party serves to increase their vote even if it is not in the public interest; another reason why democracy, ultimately, fails the Nation. You see, the vote of a hard working, entrpreneurial millionaire counts one, exactly the same as a dissolute, irresponsible wastrel. The one creates wealth and in so doing serves the country as a whole whilst the other squanders other peoples wealth and serves himself alone. Can this be right?)

The Government has a prime duty to protect the people of the UK from peril, despite the posturing of the Labour Party, whether it is from a direct enemy or other threat. To my mind there is a case for keeping the costs of Trident seperate from the rest of the Defence budget. The UK may have lost its empire but UK interests still exist around the globe. If it's true that oil has been found in significant quantities in the Falklands, do we imagine that Argentina will stand by while the UK reaps all the benefits. Without a navy how can we protect our interests?
The Defense budget is small as it is, being a fraction of that allocated to the NHS and the Benefits departments, but without a good defence, the others will count for nought if we are ever attacked. The independent nuclear deterrent has kept the country safe during the 'cold war' days and continues to do so today when more and more countries, some not friendly, are acquiring the ultimate weapon.

Having a good defence has spin off benefits as well. We used to have a strong armaments industry, with Royal Ordnance Factories scattered across the country manufacturing the hardware, the guns, tanks and ammunition but they have been closed and the work given to overseas companies such as Oelikon. How
stupid is this? All that expertise lost; all those manufacturing jobs gone. And what do we do if our future enemy also manufactures all our ammunition and spare parts.

To be fair some of the problem lies with ex Tory Prime Minister, John Major who oversaw much of the Defence shrinkage with his dreadful 'Options for Change' policy which amongst other things shamefully did away with regiments that had been part of the UK Order of Battle for centuries.
If he wanted to save money, with the cold war over he should have withdrawn all our troops from Germany. I believe they are still there. Why?

Wednesday 6 October 2010

Thieving Bastards

What did Vince Cable call investment bankers? Spivs I think he said. Not much different to a lot of parliamentarians then - thieving bastards the lot of them.

I saw an advertisement tonight where a Bingo company is offering prospective customers an offer - For a £5 game bought, they will will give £25 worth of free games. If it isn't supermarkets using alcohol as a loss leader, we now have gambling firms soliciting clients by offers designed to encourage the vulnerable in society to spend their money on products they don't need. Doesn't the country make goods or otherwise engage in businesses that do not involve drugs or gambling. The Government is going to prohibit the sale of 'cheap' alcohol; it ought to ban these special 'introductory' offers to lure people into gambling, especially online gaming, where 'spivs' routinely deprive hard working but naive people of their hard earned cash. As soon as the economy picks up, television advertising of gambling products, recently approved by the socialist Lemming party, should be banned.

I have recently blogged on those other thieving bastards, the fund managers in the City who cream off huge commissions from pension funds and other financial products. This exploitation of decent, hard working people has to stop.

A legal ombudsman has been introduced giving members of the public the opportunity to find better value for money in the legal profession. Recently a woman embroiled in an ugly divorce, asked for a breakdown of her £71000 bill and discovered that amongst other scandalous charges was one for £14 for sending her an email. Thieving bastards! How can they justify it? It's not as if we need the legal profession to survive in the same way we need farmers or oil drillers. The legal profession is a man made institution with no obvious place in the food chain; its part of being 'civilized'. The Government should put limits on what they can charge and bring them down to the level of, let me see, publicans. Yes they do similar work; they listen and dispense advice.

Tuesday 5 October 2010

Ryder Cup

Well done Colin Montgomery. Peace has broken out in Europe. After a closely fought competition the European golfers have regained the Ryder Cup from the Americans, winning by the closest of margins.
Well done too, the Celtic Manor resort for hosting such a wonderful event in rain lashed Wales. The wonderful pictures on Monday when the sun shone were beamed around the world and put Wales on the international map.
I couldn't watch the finish - it was too tense as the European lead was whittled away in a fighting US come-back and I feared a heart attack.
Montgomery has had a difficult time in his social life but he has clearly not let that get in the way of his Captaincy. He was not afraid to make tough decisions when selecting his team and his man management skills during the contest itself, have been compared with those of Colonel Tim Collins of Iraq fame. Praise indeed.
For years the Americans have believed they were the world's elite at golf and yet once again they have been humbled. These days, their tournaments, with the largest prize money, attract the best players from around the world resulting in there being fewer and fewer US winners. From the days of Palmer and Nicklaus, when the US was supreme, the signs of challenge were emerging in the sixties with Jacklin and Faldo pressing for honours and now the rest of the world, particularly  Asia, are catching up.
Mr Pavin was very gracious defeat and Montgomery looked forward to doing it all again in Chicago in two years time. Golf remains a beacon of light in the murky world of international sport. It is scrupulously honest and played in 'gentlemanly' way that contrasts sharply with cricket and cycling, for instance. I, for one, look forward to the next Ryder Cup but hope, for my nerve's sake, for a less dramatic conclusion.

Pension Funds

For those of us who have wondered where the money from people's pension funds has gone, we had some of the answers on last night's Panorama programme on the BBC. Once again it's the parasites in the City of London who are creaming off excessive commissions and high charges, not only in the good times but also during the recession. Hard working people are routinely seeing their hard earned money taken by the greedy chancers who sit at computers in air conditioned offices, creating no wealth other than their own.
It's not only Pension funds; its ISAs as well. I remember buying two, investing the maximum I could, £7000, for two years running. Four years later they were worth less than £1500 each but still the thieving bastards were taking fees. Why? Having watched the programme, it's no wonder that now, during a recession with the Banks having to be rescued by the taxpayers that bonuses estimated at £70 billion will be paid to Bank staff.
The Banks point out that £35 billion will go to the Customs and Revenue as tax, benefitting the economy. But these ill-gotten gains are made, not by manufacturing anything but by moving other people's money about. People who often can ill afford to being exploited.
There has to be a better way; a way where people can save for their retirement without losing vast amounts of their hard earned cash. The programme mentioned a scheme in Holland and I hope others will follow.

Monday 4 October 2010

Marr - Cameron interview

Yesterday, I watched the Cameron pre-conference interview on BBC's Andrew Marr programme. I would have liked to hear the comments of the Prime Minister but every time he opened his mouth, Marr interrupted. Whether it was some left wing producer in Marr's ear that brought on this verbosity I couldn't tell but may I suggest to Mr Cameron that if this happens again, he should merely say to the interviewer:
"What is the point of having me on your programme if you are not allowing me to speak? Do you want your viewers to hear what I have to say or listen to you Andrew?"