Thursday, July 2, 2009


I have seen no finer explanation regarding how our economy is working at present. So with thanks to those inventive thinkers who created this example...

A Rudd Stimulus Story

It is the month of April, on the shores of the Black Sea . It is raining, and the little town looks totally deserted. It is tough times, everybody is in debt, and everybody lives on credit.

Suddenly, a rich tourist comes to town.

He enters the only hotel, lays a 100 Euro note on the reception counter, and goes to inspect the rooms upstairs in order to pick one.

The hotel proprietor takes the 100 Euro note and runs to pay his debt to the butcher.

The Butcher takes the 100 Euro note, and runs to pay his debt to the pig grower.

The pig grower takes the 100 Euro note, and runs to pay his debt to the supplier of his feed and fuel.

The supplier of feed and fuel takes the 100 Euro note and runs to pay his debt to the town's prostitute that in these hard times, gave her "services"
on credit.

The hooker runs to the hotel, and pays off her debt with the 100 Euro note to the hotel proprietor to pay for the rooms that she rented when she brought her clients there.

The hotel proprietor then lays the 100 Euro note back on the counter. At that moment, the rich tourist comes down after inspecting the rooms, and takes his 100 Euro note, after saying that he did not like any of the rooms, and leaves town.

No one earned anything. However, the whole town is now without debt, and looks to the future with a lot of optimism.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how the Government is doing business today.

Sunday, June 28, 2009


In the UK we have many ancient traditions. One of these is that in our Parliament, the mother of parliaments, we have a Speaker of the House. His duty is to supervise the behavior of our elected representatives, the Members of Parliament.

The Speaker, once elected, becomes neutral to the political prejudices and party controls. He must be above reproach, have total integrity and possess the gravitas considered necessary to command respect from everyone in Parliament.

Normally the election of the Speaker is pretty much a certainty for the man or woman who has been considered a safe pair of hands by most Members. However these times are not normal.

The outgoing Speaker, Michael Martin, had to go because he had lost respect and control. He also had the misfortune to be in office when the whole political process unraveled; when many members of parliament have been found to be involved with varying degrees of dubious expense claims, malfeasance, fraud and inappropriate claims mostly born out of arrogance, greed and corruption of an epic scale.

Last week John Bercow was elected to the post of Speaker. I don’t know the man. I witnessed him make his successful pitch to be elected. I saw that he was most widely supported by his natural political foes in the Labour party, whereas his own party, the Conservatives, presently in opposition, appear to despise him. Ever since Bercow was elected there has been an outpouring of scorn and hatred aimed in his direction. One of the headlines in today’s Sunday Times is “Little Mr Turncoat in an awfully big chair” another is “The titchy Tory married to a leggy Labourite.” Another called him, "The Squeeker".

Make no mistake the man is hated with unreasoning hatred and vitriol. I have watched him in his new job and he hasn’t been outstanding but he has not been terrible either. Compared to his immediate predecessor he has been terrific.

So why have so many media pundits and highborn Conservatives evidenced such contempt, hate and scorn on John Bercow? I believe the answer is another ancient tradition in the UK. It is called anti-Semitism. Almost every negative article or opinion piece, and there has been many, stated that Bercow is pushy, duplicitous, greasy, short, over ambitious, oily and yes, you guessed it, Jewish.

To attack anyone in this manner is unacceptable and would be considered dangerous if this man were a Muslim or a black man but its OK to ascribe supposedly “Jewish” negative traits to the new Speaker. Judge Bercow for what he does now that he has fairly won his democratic election, not for what he is.

The closet anti-Semites who have run their despicable and demeaning whispering campaign against the man and the democratic process should crawl back under the slimy rock they usually inhabit.

Monday, June 8, 2009


During the last year or so I wake up every day wondering what disaster has happened overnight in our once stable and fair land. There is a common misconception in far off foreign lands that the UK is quaint and quiet and never changing. Oh how I wish that were so. Nowadays it seems as if this once peaceful land is on some kind of universal speedy drug. Too much happens too fast and for all the wrong reasons. I long for the social and relative political continuity and stability of the USA, Canada or most of mainland Europe.

The UK has endured the global economic collapse, two wars in Afghanistan and Iraq that are tying down many thousands of servicemen and women, and huge amounts of resources. We are also disproportionately in the front line of the global financial meltdown because we are such huge players in that sector. If that was not enough we have now experienced the ignominious and distasteful spectacle of our Members of Parliament abusing our trust with grossly excessive expenses claims.

Late last night the results of the European election started to come through. It quickly became evident that it was another disaster for Britain’s Labour Party. Their share of the votes cast is a derisory 15%.

This is the party’s worst performance in living memory and translates to about 6% of the electorate bothering to vote for the Government of the day.

More rude evidence of the British political malaise is the fact that the British National Party (the BNP) gained two seats in the European Parliament, in which Britain has 75 MEP’s.

Labour limped into third place almost tied with the Liberal Democrats but behind both the currently dominant Conservatives and the anti European UKIP (United Kingdom Independence Party).

We are left in awe as Prime Minister Gordon Brown staggers around Downing Street like Frankenstein’s monster after one electrical shock too many. How does he remain standing, why does he remain at all?

But, and this is perhaps the biggest but of all, perhaps we should pause and consider the implication of all the political madness swirling around our collective head.

Who does it serve for us to demand the head of Gordon Brown right now?

Do we really need another election and yet more uncertainty at this tipping point moment?

We need some stability as we work towards economic recovery. As much as we want to get rid of Brown expeditiously Great Britain Limited might do better to wait.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


You know how it is. You realize that the drug is no good for you, that it can damage your health and well being, but you can’t resist it. That’s me and writing blogs and articles. I tried to stay away, to go cold turkey but I could no longer resist.

I stopped writing my commentary on the world at the end of April and here we are, about a month later and the world has got in an even bigger mess. They needed me.

The real reason for my absence, which you shall hear me mention many times in the near
future, was my readying my book, Twilight of the Gods, for publication on John Blake Publishing this week. Available to order now on, it is, I hope a fun book that you will enjoy greatly!

But I digress. I was talking about how the world has gone even crazier during my absence. I figure there are three really important places on the planet, the UK, USA and Israel.

Everywhere else, all those other places might be fun, even interesting occasionally, but for things that hinge on the fulcrum, you have to look to these three countries. I could write a book just on the subject of why this is so, but its true that these are the three places that grab the worlds attention and never ending fascination. Today I shall keep our attention on the UK, and over the coming days it will be the other two legs of this strangely configured tripod we shall examine.

I, like many of my readers, have good reason to be particularly intrigued by these places because I was born in the UK, my ancestral roots are in Israel and one of my daughters and her two wonderful kids live permanently in the USA.

I am not saying that these countries are the centers of the universe or anything stupid like that, but I do contend that what happens to them, through them or because of them is of hugely disproportionate impact on the world at large. That is why what’s happening now is so crucial as I truly believe we might well be at a fateful crossroads in the fate of mankind.

The story of the seemingly endemic corruption amongst the elected Members of the British Parliament has been growing for the last several weeks. It is shameful and disappointing to see this degree of venality and ineptitude from both our elected representatives and the bureaucrats paid to provide checks and balances. It makes us angry and diminishes us all. Above all it robs us of the vestiges of faith we had in the probity and once proud tradition of our “clean” parliament. Of course the right thing to do would be for the tainted Prime Minister to call an immediate election allowing us the opportunity to clean house. That won’t happen unless it’s forced because our incumbent leader knows that the result will be his losing. The man is clinging on to power by his fingernails despite having no mandate to do so.

The history of the UK is littered with wars, collapses and civil strife as a result of disasters such as the long-term conflicts and insufferable economic problems we are currently suffering. There is a simmering and growing anger boiling just under the surface of this great country that is truly dangerous.
A survey released this week stated that 85% of the population wants a judicial review and oversight group to oversee the future control of the elected House of Commons. This must not be allowed to happen. If it was put in place we will have moved one step closer to a totalitarian regime that we must avoid at all costs. No one in this country can be allowed to have power over our elected representatives. They must be the paramount level of our government. It really isn’t difficult to put in place sensible and simple rules and regulations to govern expenses and allowances. We must not throw away the concepts and centuries of traditional democratic evolution because of the petty misdemeanors and crimes of a few corrupt and contemptible thieves posing as politicians.

However there should be a transparent and speedy examination, and where necessary, after due process, prosecution and trial of all the miscreants. The punishment for those found guilty should be precisely the same as that given to any other criminal guilty of stealing from the public purse. Certainly no less or more just because of who they are.

I remember, not too many years back when the MP’s in the UK were either rich white men who were Conservatives or working class white men who were sponsored by the Trades Unions who were Labour. Because the wages became a little higher and the allowances were (too) loosely administered we found ourselves with a new and different political elite who actually was much closer in identity to the people they were representing. We must not lose sight of the advantages this break from the past of privilege and class warfare gave the UK. We mustn’t return to that inglorious and unworthy past.
It’s good to be back!

Sunday, April 26, 2009


I want to be amongst the first to write briefly about the first 100 days of President Obama. To achieve this I shall cunningly write this article before he hits the magic number on April 29 in the meantime I have to travel the north of the UK on academic business.

During the Democrat primaries it became obvious that candidate Obama was a great orator, an excellent communicator and a leader who can and does inspire. Furthermore, and a little less evident was the fact that he is a terrific political strategist, but not so wonderful as a tactician.

We then saw these attributes become clearer in the race for the White House. Obama would wait while others raced to take a political position and Obama would assume the Noel Coward stance of masterly inactivity. Then Barak claimed the middle ground making everyone else look hasty and far out on the loony edges of political suicide.

Now we are just a few days from the American government declaring its findings on the financial robustness of the country’s banks. This is going to show progress but not totally assured solvency for all these former colossal and sound institutions.

The President now needs to act with his economic team to clear up the toxic debts. He is still to do so, and he has been slow, some say too slow, but now he must sort this out. Until he does so there can be no lasting solutions to the American and world economic crisis. This is perhaps the biggest test facing the President.

President Obama ritual grade for his first 100 days in office will be compared to FDR and his first 100 days, perhaps to a lesser extent JFK's. But it is not a fair comparison. FDR faced the worst economic crisis in American history. JFK faced the Russians over Cuba but relatively few domestic problems. President Obama falls between the two.

Perversely Obama is looking much more like President George W Bush, his immediate predecessor. There are strange but clear similarities in the way both men handled their first 100 days.

The Bush legacy is considered truly dreadful, but it didn’t look that way when he began his tenure. Like all recent American Presidents he got the same first 100 days pass from voters that Obama received. In April 2001 Bush’s popularity poll numbers topped sixty percent, which matches those for Obama in April. A Washington Post/ABC Poll of the time even gave Bush high marks on his handling of the economy.

Bush, like most new presidents during the first heady hundred days used the customary early public goodwill to make politically favorable appointments, sign executive orders and shove through Congress programs that later would never get through, whilst making certain he had almost total executive power. Even at the start he was concerned to cement his historic legacy. Obama has followed more or less an identical approach.

Bush introduced his $1.6 trillion tax-cutting program to Congress, whist launching the "Faith-Based" Initiative to help local charitable groups, and his "New Freedom" Initiative to help disabled Americans. In his first address to Congress, he, copying Prime Minister Tony Blair in the UK, cast himself as the education president, talked about health care reform. He even made vague promises to tackle paying off the national debt. Obama has followed pretty much the same script.

Bush and Obama worked hard in their first 100 days to look good overseas and this usually becomes the refuge of the Presidential last 100 days.

Bush took stabs at bipartisanship but later reneged on all of them. But that hasn’t stopped Obama make these same type of initiatives his priorities also.

Bush's most controversial early cabinet appointment was the Bible quoting, fundamentalist John Ashcroft as Attorney General. Obama picked Eric Holder as Attorney General, which stirred similar controversy over his partisanship and ideology.

Bush totally supported the construction of a national missile defense system in Europe. So to has Obama, albeit to a lesser extent. He called a missile defense system in the Czech Republic and Poland the most cost-effective and proven defense system. He tied his decision to go ahead with it directly to Iran's nuclear threat and international security concerns. Critics hotly disputed the need for the system when Bush backed it. They will continue to dispute its need.

America and Bush had a love affair that didn’t last very long. The same was true for FDR, JFK and every other president. But I think President Obama will do better after his first 100 days than many predecessors because he has been faced with such a terrible starting point for America that anything he does will feel good compared to Bush.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


British Chancellor of the Exchequer, Alistair Darling, the highest financial minister in the UK, today delivered his second Budget report to Parliament amid a dismal economic outlook, fast increasing unemployment and a deflated housing market. Public sector net borrowing is set at 175 billion pounds, 12% of Gross Domestic Product, the highest figure and percentage of this country’s wealth ever. These are truly shocking figures.

The Government borrowing levels are the highest since the Second World War, this at the same time as the economy shrinks, which means that the books will not balance for another decade!

Addressing the Parliament’s packed and rowdy House of Commons, the Chancellor started his report with a prediction that the economy will start growing again before the end of 2009. He claimed the Budget would help get people back into work and support business and homeowners amid the most serious turmoil for over 60 years.

The measures the Labour Government are going to take rekindle memories of old style left wing socialism, red in tooth and claw. They are heavy in yet more borrowing, now at stratospheric levels; approaching three quarters of a trillion pounds, or more than one trillion dollars.

Most depressing in the announced measures was the second major increase of tax to 50% on the highest 1% of earners. This doesn’t actually achieve much additional revenue since these people have good accountants and the ability to vote with their feet. What such petty and ill-considered moves will achieve is the very opposite of their aim. Such high earners are the rainmakers of any economy, people that create jobs and opportunities for everyone by their endeavor. Make UK Limited an unattractive and expensive place to live and they will re-locate.

Before the world woke up to the major failings of laissez faire capitalism it already knew that old style central command style socialism was a busted flush. It now appears as if we might be moving to a new system that encompasses many of the worst elements of both those systems and virtually none of the good bits.

The enormous amount of British debt underpins this governments attempt to spend its way out of the current economic disaster. It is continuing to ramp up public expenditure until it is beginning to become obvious that it is an insupportably large percentage of Britain’s Gross Domestic Product.

The reason that the immediate and necessary tax increases and general move toward a reduction in debt levels is not taking place in the UK is almost totally political. The government has to call an election within the next 14 months and is aware that their popularity is at an all time low. Of course there is the possibility that the all time stupidity of these buffoons is such that they don’t understand this. Put another way, they were almost certain to lose the next election before this budget, now they are totally certain to lose the next general election by a landslide.

"This Budget will speed the recovery," he said. "We have good grounds for confidence."

* New £2,000 car scrappage scheme
* Stamp Duty holiday extended by three months
* Statutory redundancy pay will increase from £350 to £380
* Fuel duty to increase by 2p
* New 50% rate of tax for people earning over £150,000.
* Personal allowances scrapped for people earning over £100,000
* Tax relief on pension contributions scrapped for people earning £150,000

* Expectation that the economy will start growing again before the end of 2009.
"There can be no quick fix or overnight solution," said Darling.

* Darling forecast that the economy would shrink by 3.5% during 2009 - in line with predictions. 2010 will see 1.25% growth, he added, with 3.5% growth from 2011. In the pre-Budget report, Darling forecast a 0.75% to 1.25% slowdown in economic growth in 2009, with 1% growth in 2010.

The cost of the measures being enacted will haunt our grand children. Remember this is the political party that promised it was never going to put up the top rate of tax and it was the government, which had promised an end to economic boom and bust. Just two more broken pledges from a broken government.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


At yesterday’s UN racism conference IRANIAN president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad described the Holocaust as a "pretext" for aggression against Palestinians, prompting European diplomats to walk out of a speech disrupted by pro Israel protesters tossing red clown noses at the hard-line leader.

The myth being perpetrated by the Israel baiting Iranian is that Israel is a racist state partly because it has Judaism as its state religion and partly because it has a law of return that entitle Jews to become Israeli citizens.

The truth is that every other country in the area, including the Palestine Authority, has Islam as its state religion. Israel does not discriminate against the interests of any of its citizens, whatever they are. Contrast this with the country’s Muslim neighbours who routinely discriminate against all non-Muslims, particularly Jews. In addition to which several of these states have their own laws of return for their own people, and again this includes the Palestine Authority. Jordan goes so far to have a law, which explicitly prohibits Jews from citizenship, but only Israel is condemned for its law of return. Why?

Several hundred thousand Arabs either ran or were pushed from Israel when it was fighting the Arab armies seeking to destroy it on its UN sanctioned formation in 1948. There is compelling evidence that most Arab refugees left on their own accord.

What is less well known is that simultaneously three quarters of a million Jews were forced to leave the Arab countries they had inhabited for millennia and run to Israel in fear for their lives.

The difference between these two sagas is that Israel took in the Jewish refugees and made them into productive Israeli citizens whereas the rich Arab states kept their co-religionists in festering refugee camps for three stateless generations to make political capital from their awful plight.

It is no surprise to find the Iranian leader expressing such racist and revisionist views, after all he had previously denied the Holocaust and threatened to wipe Israel off the face of the world map. The man is so intensely anti Semitic he would have received honorary membership in Hitler’s Nazi Party, but for the fact that he is a bit too brown skinned to have passed for an Aryan super being.

Mr Ahmadinejad was the first government official to take the floor at the conference, opening on the eve of Israel's Holocaust Memorial Day. Two protesters in clown costumes tossed red noses at Mr Ahmadinejad as he recited Muslim prayer to begin his speech.

A Jewish student group from France later took credit for causing the disturbance, saying that members threw clown noses to "symbolise the masquerade that this conference represents".

Mr Ahmadinejad restarted his talk and delivered a speech that lasted more than half an hour, saying the United States and Europe had helped to establish Israel after the Second World War and victimise Palestinians "under the pretext of Jewish suffering".

That prompted a walkout by some 40 diplomats from Britain, France and other European countries that had threatened to leave the conference if it descended into anti-Semitism or other rhetoric harshly critical of Israel.

All the sneering Iranian leader needs to complete his visible hatred of all things Jewish, Israeli and Zionist is for him to hold aloft his copy of Hitler’s “Mien Kampf”.

The walkout was temporary, with most diplomats returning after Mr Ahmadinejad finished speaking, but the Czech delegation, which currently holds the European Union presidency, said it would not return to the conference.

The US was already boycotting the event, along with Australia, Canada, Germany, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Poland. This was due to the advance knowledge of all participants that like its predecessor conference at Durban 2, this conference was been built on a false pretext. Supposedly devised to combat racism it is, in reality, hijacked by those wishing to demonize and delegitmise Israel and anybody who dares support the Jewish state’s right to exist.

Mr Ahmadinejad went on to accuse Israel of being the "most cruel and racist regime".

Protesters against the Iranian leader held placards reading, "This is a circus. A racist cannot fight racism", and repeatedly interrupted the speech with shouts of "Shame! Shame!" and "Racist! Racist!"

UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon met Mr Ahmadinejad prior to his speech to specifically advise the Iranian leader to avoid dividing the conference. Clearly this advice was ignored in much the same way as President Obama’s peace overtures have been.

Mr Ban, who was plainly both disgusted and angry, added that he was disappointed Mr Ahmadinejad had misused his speech "to accuse, divide and even incite", directly opposing the aim of the meeting.

Mr Ahmadinejad, as head of state, had the right to speak and did not need a UN invitation to the event, aimed at stamping out intolerance worldwide.

Speaking after Mr Ahmadinejad's speech, Norway's foreign minister said the comments "run counter to the very spirit of dignity of the conference".
Mr Ahmadinejad "has made Iran the odd man out", Jonas Gahr Store said.

Sadly Mr Ahmadinejad has been praised in the Muslim world for calling for Israel's destruction and making other anti-Israeli comments. What chance a peace deal in the Middle East with such myopic and evil lunatics in charge of important nation states?

We must remember our history, or we are doomed to repeat our mistakes. No other people but the Jews have endured such persecution, annihilation, pogroms, expulsions and destruction, yet survives and flourishes. No other nation has been hated for so long by so many, yet, is still here, while most of the nations who tried so hard to wipe the Jewish people from the face of the earth, have themselves been wiped off. Think hard about the lessons you might learn from that Mr Ahmadinejad before you cost your people dear.