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Sunday, 27 June 2010

England's footballers must be worried

Why would anyone pay £100k a week to John Terry, Fat Frank, Rooney or StevieG, when Carlos Kickaball and Gunther Schweinhund can run rings round them? Same goes for the overpaid footballers in the French and Italian teams.

Roman Abramovich could buy the entire Uruguayan team without blinking. For that matter, he could buy most of Uruguay.

Saturday, 19 June 2010

'Nice to see your own fans booing you'

Well it's not nice Wayne. But I expect it's because, unlike you,. the fans have paid their own way out to South Africa, and most of them earn a lot less in a year than you earn in a week.

And I daresay that if you and your teammates can't be *rsed to make a go of it, then most of the fans would be happy to take your place show you the meaning of commitment even if they would probably make a hash of it.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Can you hear me Brigitte Bardot?

Charles de Gaulle, Jean Paul Gaultier, Edouard Manet, Jean Baptiste Poquelin (Moliere to you pal), Carla Bruni (by adoption). Can you hear me Carla Bruni? Your boys took one hell of a beating. Your boys took one hell of a beating.

I like a seal with a sense of humour

An Act of God?

A six-storey figure of Jesus in Ohio goes up in flames after being struck by lightening.

Monday, 14 June 2010

That didn't take long

Barely are the Tories back in power, than the sex scandals, mostly trivial, but serious for the party of the family, and particularly from the hectoring evangelical wing of the CofE, start to appear.

First out of the blocks is Caroline Nokes from Romsey, disappointing because she has been carrying on for a long time, apparently without any of her constituency noticing, and secondly because I know a lot of people who helped her campaigns in 2005 and 2010.

2 world problems solved for the price of 1 (a continuing series)

The New York Times is reporting that there are $1,000 billion worth of unexploited minerals in Afghanistan, a fact probably understood by the Russians while they were there, but not possible to exploit due to 30 years of war. But there may be a solution to multiple problems.

Consider the following:
  • The Chinese need minerals, particularly lithium for battery production.
  • The Chinese are good at putting down discontent amongst religious groups, mostly because they have different ideas about "peacekeeping".
  • The western powers are sick to the back teeth of being bombed in Afghanistan.
  • The Chinese have plenty of cash; the western powers do not.

$250 billion for the keys to Kabul sounds like a fair price.

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Robert Green can thank his lucky stars

.... that he wasn't playing for Colombia.

They are prone to be a tad less forgiving. Next season he can expect to hear opposition supporters to shoot once they get the ball in the West Ham half.

Monday, 7 June 2010

You read it here first

David Cameron Announced today that the economy was in a worse state than the government had realised. he should have read the Financial Crimes last year:


Up a creek, no paddle

So this is how it looks this morning.

  • Public sector net borrowing was £19.9bn in May, double the level of one year ago.
  • The total outstanding government debt has risen to £774.8bn, £150bn more than one year ago, and equal to 54.7% of UK GDP.
  • Capital Economics estimated that the total public borrowing was now on course to reach £200bn, or 14% of GDP.
  • Corporation tax receipts in May down 27% year on year.
  • VAT revenues down 18%.
  • Income tax receipts down 11%.

So how bad is that? In a word, appalling. Do the maths. Public sector borrowing is just shy of £20 billion per month in an economy with an annual GDP of £1,416 billion, or £118 billion a month.

Let's say the government share of spending is near as dammit half that figure of £59 billion per month. So £19.9 billion of that £59 billion about 34% is not paid for by taxes but has been stuck on the national credit card.

And that doesn't take into account the growth in unfunded public sector pensions, which is growing at £3 billion per month or the off-balance sheet liabilities that are growing with new PFI projects.

Heavy borrowing, but on a lesser scale, might be understandable in a developing nation with huge capital requirements for investment with a likely future payoff, but in a mid-sized post-industrial nation with limited growth prospects, expiring natural resources and few competitive advantages, it is a sign of impending disaster.

£1 in every 6 that is being spent in this country this year is being funded by extra government borrowing with no particular reason to think it will be repaid. Just think about that the next time you are in the supermarket. One person in 6 shouldn't be there, one car in 6 shouldn't be on the road, one commuter in 6 hasn't really earned their train fare. More importantly, one third of all our doctors, teachers, nurses, policemen are paid for by the thrift of other nations.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010