Thursday, September 15, 2005

The future of the UK - Roger's Manifesto

My thoughts on where the UK should be headed, and what kind of Government the UK should be moving to can now be found at Roger's Manifesto.

Libertarian in outline, small Government, personal responsibility, flat tax and highly democratic.

If people take time to read it, they will see it allows them and/or their organisations to look after the sections of the community they want to.

What it does not do is allow a minority to sequester funds under pain of imprisonment to spend on their own pet projects.

If people take time to read it, they will see it reverses the abdication of responsibility that now occurs, for insufficient spending will be down to YOU, not "the Government". People will not be able to stand there and complain that not enough of other people's money is being spent on their own causes.

Please take a look.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Apple moves to Intel - a wedge in the Great Wall

Forgive me while I become a tech-head...

I think Stevie Jobs has a great opportunity...

1) Right now we have entering the universe a version of OSX via the ADC route (Apple's Developer community is being offered a limited must-return hardware+software package to develop Intel based applications) that boots (I believe) on STOCK INTeL motherboards and Phoenix BIOS*.

2) This version will not be the final deal, IMHO, as I am suspecting we will see Apple using EFI* based motherboards and OSX requiring same with other tweaks.This would be to ensure we have the Mac Experience and not the Plug-and-hang-yourself alternative that is the current WINTEL offering using a 8088 CGI 640x400 16 colour steam powered BIOS.

Where am I going with this? Well, I think it may be an excellent way to allow all those WINTeL clockers, hackers and slackers to take a good long sneaky look at OSX on their beige towers using pirated bit torrent copies without diluting the real deal OSX that will emerge.

When INTeL Apple Macs emerge, they will be EFI rigs. EFI rigs will not work with anything other than Longhorn in WINTEL land. How many clone EFI motherboards will be sold widely in WINTeL land before Longhorn gets loose? Not many, especially as Longhorn is backwards compatible with Phoenix (har har, never free of the legacy, eh, Bill?)

The EFI rigs will be the catszazz. Apple rigs will be top quality and stylish to boot (in more ways than one). The PC crew will by then know OSX. They will look longingly at the Apple lineup of EFI kit and think to themselves that this is familiar OS ground, a superior architecture and drop-dead gorgeous to look at. They will not be scared.

Apple have switchers at the top of the tree asthetically and, frankly, economically. With this move, they may just get the geek-side clocker/board swappers too.

*Phoenix BIOS is the black and white clunky stage PC owners see when they boot. EFI is the Intel replacement.

Thursday, June 02, 2005


The EU Constitution has opposition from both 'sides' - or is it all for corners? Left-Right and Statist-Libertarian. The logic is to kill the constitution in its current form. It cannot be 'mended'. It is not about detail. The problem with it is its very aim.

Opposition groups from all four sides can see that the EU aims to render them incapable of operation should they win power in their own countries. The EU aims to permit only one route, with various marketing details. People will be sold product from a cosy cartel if the EU succeeds in its present form. (q.v. The UK Liberal Democrats who, upon electoral failure, just rebrand and re-package to gain more 'market share').

IMHO the EU constitution needs to be stripped bare and focus on the basics of interoperation and cross border issues of commerce and trade. A separate mechanism for cross border taxation and fiscal issues is one for the Eurozone countries (now, you see the presumption and arrogance of the EU entity in blending them...).

Alas, as others have alluded to, the EU may be unstoppable, like some form of Terminator -

"LISTEN and understand. The EU is OUT THERE. It can't be bargained with. It can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity or remorse or fear and it absolutely WILL NOT STOP...EVER! until you are DEAD!"

Listen here for the original...

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

UK Commentators - Laban Tall's Blog

Monday, May 23, 2005

Brown's "A Mortgage Too Far"?

Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown now proposes a scheme whereby people can ‘rent’ half their new property from the banks/government to enable them to make the first step on the housing ladder.

I, frankly, find this proposal naïve or highly cunning, absurd and in no small part Socialism by stealth, which I shall explain below.

By doing this the government, i.e. Gordon Brown, props up the housing market which allows Gordon to make a smooth segue into the Labour Leadership and the nation’s PM. We are funding his succession campaign.

Alas, what he is doing, as a mere side-show as far as he is concerned, is maintaining and nurturing a bad situation, making it worse, for this will support house prices higher and higher by allowing more first timers to enter the market instead of a natural slowing/stagnation that is ideal after a period of hyperactivity. The peculiar scenario of low interest rates and plentiful credit will be magnified still further.

Not only will it maintain inflated prices, but it will also enable banks to lend when they could not have AND charge rental on ‘equity’ that they did not even have to pay capital for (for ‘lending’ is just creation of money on paper, not passing deposits on). My guess is the government will be charged an admin fee for this ‘service to the nation’.

Correction: WE will be charged via our taxes! Thanks, Gordon.

Such credit will eventually find its way to individuals who sell out and downsize. This credit supply and bubble will likely be spent on holidays and imported goods, or, to put it another way, sent abroad in huge steamer trunks bulging at the seams. Of course, Gordon gets his 17.5% cut on this and the generally higher levels of consumer spending that a buoyant housing market supports…

When the housing market corrects, it will still be the hapless buyer who will lose out. They will see their equity hit, but in this case any hit will be proportionately harder as they would have leveraged their purchase – a 10% downward correction on a £200,000 home is double that on a £100,000 that the buyer would have otherwise only been able to afford.

I do not see the banks taking any hit on any corrections.

Further, the cut-off between those who ‘deserve it’ and those who do not will make a two tier market with a sharp edge. Again, NeueArbeit slams the middle-middle class. More social engineering.

Once in place it is a pair of manacles to following governments – who will DARE remove this contraption from the market and trigger a housing crash? We will be bricked in!

Additional social engineering will occur as the housing market gets more frenzied and the percentage rented out rises above 50%. Very soon we will have people with 75%, 80% and 90% rented. New Labour will have simultaneously privatised and nationalised the housing market – spun off is, I feel, a far better term! The banks will not only control our money but will control and own the majority of the homes people live in. A cartel can quickly be formed. Restrictions on movement between ‘rental providers’ will take time to be broken, if at all. Even when established, banks will be set to charge hefty administration and break clause fees at every opportunity. Who will have control over the companies that manage their assets? What fees will they charge to ensure their properties are properly mantained? The spiral winds deeper!

People who own their own homes with minimal debt and mortgage obligations are freer and less willing to be pushed around by government. You can see where this is heading.

"NeueArbeit Macht Frei", as 'Old Holborn' says...

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

George Galloway bitch-slaps the Senate Committee

I could not be considered a big fan of George Galloway, but I do admire the way he as soundly bitch-slapped the US Senate Committee today, leaving them and their evidence looking amateurish in the extreme.

George kicks off with a robust opening that pulled no punches and laid open whole lines of thought that, though commonly held in the UK, I doubt are to be found in the majority of US citizens.

The opening line of the first document was used as an example of what George considered the 'evidence' to be: That they asserted he had met Saddam 'many times' but it was in fact twice - and the classic followup to that, pointing out that "Rumpsfelt" had also met SH twice, but to sell guns and gas. Wonderful.

Robustness like this is the stuff of the UK Parliament and it is nice to see it getting an airing in what can only be described as a pantomime.

"Rumpsfelt"'s ears must be glowing!

Saturday, April 23, 2005

UK "Immigration"? Try solving the growth in underclass first.

Much handwringing over immigration and asylum in the UK. 100,000! Shock horror. Thanks in part to an effective opposition campaign and the odd whistle-blower the UK Government have tightened up the immigration and asylum system. I say 'Government' as I believe little would be different between the major parties on this issue. Thanks to the bravery of individuals and the work of our parliamentary system, faith can and should be restored in the processes so that immigrants and those gaining asylum are not treated with suspicion.

People could complain about 'crowding', but I see the absurd situation of the state funding, without limit, the expansion of the underclass as a greater cause of 'crowding' and a bigger threat to race relations and crime than immigration.

How is the state funding this expansion? It does so by continuing policies which directly or indirectly nurture and subsidise the underclass to remain an underclass and to fund the next generation of that underclass. People can leave school with no qualifications, get housing, get benefit for children, have more children, get additional housing for the familly on and on. Children of parents who have never really worked in their life are now leaving school with no education and no intention of working but every intention of starting a family while the country has to import people to ensure jobs are filled. I have no objection to the latter, only for former.

If people decide not to train or learn that is their choice, unfortunately. If girls get pregnant that is unfortunate too and something does need to be done for those not willing or able to support themselves and their child. What should not happen is that such a thing becomes a 'lifestyle choice'. Young single mothers-to-be often wish to escape a brutal and, frankly, dangerous home and for them a place in sheltered accomodation with resident nurse should be provided. What should not be provided is a council flat where the girl is practically abandoned.

If the girl wants her own place she will need to sort that out herself. If she wants to live with her boyfriend/partner (the secure accomodation should not support couples) the partner should shoulder the responsibility and provide for her.

Should anyone on benefits wish to grow their family then the state should not provide any increases in benefits, child support, allowances, entertain changes in accomodation to reflect that. The benefits and council system should be there to support those who fall on hard times, including those gaining asylum, NOT those who choose their situation.