MPs' Expenses: Another Cover Up


Hands up! Who among you has ever heard of the Authorised Records Disposal Practice? Well, this so called practice allows the destruction of MPs expenses claims after three years. So everything that the Telegraph revealed about the fiddling antics of the political class is now in the shredder. So what, do I hear you say, well, it means that people like Maria Miller, with historically dubious claims will not be pursued. Indeed, the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, Mrs Hudson, has already declined to investigate second home switcher, allegidly, Isle of Wight MP, Andrew Turner. Mr Turner claimed £103,000 between 2004 and 2010 for his second home on the island, a five bedroom house and said his one bedroom London pad was his first home? Anyway, Mrs Hudson says there's not enough evidence now to pursue him. That's all good then, more evidence of democracy at work.

Fast track anti-terror legislation

In a hardly democratic piece of trickery, the government proposed to rush through DRIP, the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill. The Bill has a sunset clause, meaning it is supposedly temporary, expiring on 31 December 2016.

The back story here is simple. The European court of justice overturned the European data retention directive on 8 April 2014. Thereby making the government's current snooping activities illegal, certainly of no value in a court of law. Solution, introduce national legislation that makes your wrong doing legal.

The purpose of data retention is for investigating serious crimes, not for investigating the whole population but that's what it will be used for.

Sir Cliff gets raided


South Yorks Police, working in tandem with the BBC decided to raid Sir Cliff Richard's mansion in Yorkshire. The raid was prompted by allegations that Cliff had malested a young fellow at a Billy Graham money making rally back in 1985. David Crompton, the Chief Constable, found the aftermath a trifle unconfortable as he attempted to explain how the BBC had been signed up to the Operation Yewtree team? Apparently, the Chief thought the BeeB were just going to film but not report.


And the free enterprise award goes to?


Well, how about The Right Hon Matthew, 5th Viscount Ridley, otherwise known as Matt Ridley, the former chairman of Northern Rock. Remember that, back in 2008, all those citizens queuing around the block to get the their cash back. Suffice it to say that Ridley's free enterprise activities then had left the public with a decided lack of trust in his bank.

However, Ridley's gong was not for actually doing anything ground breaking like destroying a bank, no his award was for churning out written material that the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) thought worthy of its annual free enterprise award.

If you have not had much to laugh about lately we recommend a visit to the IEA website, far funnier than anything that Michael McIntyre is ever likely to come up with.

The Right To Be Forgotten


New "right to be forgotten" legislation coming out of Europe is set to restrict information on the Internet by taking down links from search engines. Information available on sites like Wikipedia will remain in place but you will not be able to access them. Links to newspaper articles and the BBC website will also be affected.

In May, the European Court of Justice ruled that citizens could ask search engines to remove particular links from results for a search made under their name, if the material was deemed to be out of date, no longer relevant or excessive.

By 18 July, Google had received 91,000 takedown requests in total, relating to 300,000 pages. Its privacy counsel, Peter Fleischer, revealed it had refused around 32% of them, asked for more information on 15%, and removed 53%.

Note, these take down requests were not concerned with accuracy but were rather with wiping the slate clean for the individuals concerned. You'll be pleased to know that the all the big Internet players have a 'council' in place to discuss the issue - well that's a relief.

The Trojan Horse Saga


A letter, alleging that Islamists were taking over schools in Birmingham, now said to be a hoax,  led to a panic tantamount to that of the  Zinoviev letter during the  General Election of 1924, that too was a hoax but it destroyed the credibility of the moderately socialist Labour Party. The Home Secretary Theresa May blamed Michael Gove for not dealing with the Jihadi governors who were taking control these schools, claiming his department had known for years that so called Islamisation was taking place but did nothing about it. Gove retorted that terrorism and extremism and such were matters for the Home Office not the education department. Ms May's special adviser struck back by publishing internal correspondence May to Gove on the Home Office website criticizing Gove, she was sacked. Dave took a hand, Gove apologised to May, both were left looking less than grown up.


HS2 Beanos on the taxpayer

HS2 Limited, the company running the high speed rail that few seem to want, have spent £300m over the past three years. All this spending has taken place before a shovel has been put in the ground and before parliamentary approval has been given for the scheme to go ahead.

Looking at an itemised list of HS2 Ltd's spending it looks like the children have been let lose in a sweetshop. Much of the spending has gone to propaganda and support for all and any parties allying themselves with the project, so, lots of spending on beanos, and consultants and lawyers. The waste of money here even extended to paying pollsters Ipsos Mori £500,000 to gather intelligence on the effects of the rail line on 'blighted' areas.

Computers and the MoD

Phillip Hammond, now in charge of the MoD, is currently presiding over yet another failed computer scheme. So far the MoD has managed to waste £15m on something called the Recruitment Partnering Project. This project is all to do with Hammond's scheme to make regular soldiers redundant and replace them with reservists. The computer project, if it ever gets completed will be run by Capita, over 10 years, at a cost of £10bn.

The consortium responsible for putting in the IT recruitment system made a mess of things, as did the civil servants who selected the cheapest bidder. Now Hammond plans to pay Capita to build the whole system, for a mere £50m. It's worth remembering that all this spending is only needed because some bright sparks decided to close down recruitment offices and sack the recruiters. (Does anyone at the MoD know what they are doing?)

Getting your head around what's going on at the MoD is not made easier when they invent silly names for things, like the Recruitment Partnering Project. Basically this project attempts to remove human administration from the recruitment process. All very interesting when you consider that the Army is being cut from 102,000 to 82,000 by 2020, while the newly-renamed Army Reserve - formerly the Territorial Army - is being expanded from 19,000 to 30,000. Clearly, we need some kind of system in place to manage such change but who are the Partners?

It certainly can't be the USA, they have now decided that our armed forces are too small to partner them in their foreign interventions.

Universal Credit in the red zone


The Government published its annual review into the progress of around 200 projects representing £400bn of public spending – and rated each on a risk scale of green, red or amber.

Curiously, only one project did not get a mention - universal credit. Iain Duncan Smith said he was not hiding anything under the carpet. However, The Independent says that IDS "vetoed the publication of a damning internal assessment of universal credit".

The Major Project Authority (MPA) had rated universal credit as “red”, signifying that it is “unachievable within reasonable timescales and to a reasonable budget without urgent remedial action”.

The excuse for not allowing universal credit to be included in the MPA final assessment was because the scheme had been "reset" and the speed of implementation had been changed.

A minor historical point, introducing universal credit, back in 2010, was costed at £3bn, that figure now stands at £13bn over the life-time of the project.

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French Fries Back on the Menu


President Obama hasn't done much in his time in office, one of his finest moments this year was putting French fries back on American menus, having decided that France was America's new best friend.

Mr President took French fries off government menus in 2013 due to France's refusal to engage in the sack of Iraq. However, France agreed to partake in the killing of IS fighters in Iraq and Syria this year; so French fries and French toast are back on the menu.

The Interview


Reinvigorated by a plate of fries, Mr President decided to launch another major intervention. This time he instructed Sony not to bow to pressure from North Korea and show their new film The Interview, the central theme of which is the assination of Kim Jong Un.


Eurostar: another selloff


Unasbashed by the fisasco of the Royal Mail sell off, the coalition decided to blunder on with a 40% sale of Eurostar. And remarkably they intended to use the unremarkable USB as advisors once again on this new sell off.

George Osborne told us his aim was to "reform the British economy and tackle our debts". A minor detail but the Eurostar sale will only raise £300m, the National Debt is £1.435bn. Only George knows how £300m is supposed to tackle our debts?

Assisted Dying, not this year


All the Lords a leaping spent ten hours discussing Lord Falconer's Assisted Dying Bill and ended the day by nodding the notion through to a second debate.

Arguments were put forward in equal measure for both sides. Those against trotted out the usual stuff about those near to death's door being coerced and, those for, argued for empowering people to decide when it was time for them to die. However, Falconer's Bill is not about introducing Dignitas to the high street. Neither is it about sanctioning state euthanasia, well, not beyond the 1000 killings a year currently taking place.

Precisely, the assisted dying bill would allow doctors to prescribe a lethal dose to terminally ill patients judged to have less than six months to live. The dying soul would be given 14 days to reconsider their decision before any action was taken by the medics.

What needs to be highlighted here is that the medical profession, certainly at the level of all the professional bodies representing all involved are opposed to Falconer's Bill. This apparently has something to do with having taken the Hippocratic Oath not to kill their patients. The strength of opposition from this quarter may well damn any progress that the Bill might make towards a more civilized approach to killing old people. The medics have monopoly rights when it comes to dying and will not be giving them up any time soon.

Meanwhile, they might like to explain what happened to Hippocrates at the Mid Staffs abattoir?

Atos: Good Riddance


Atos, the French IT company in charge of the governments fitness for work assessments, is getting ready to pull out of its £500m contract. Atos says its staff are being threatened on a daily basis by angry benefits claimants. However, Atos said it would not ‘walk away’ from the contract and that it would continue to provide a service until new contractors had been appointed.

Woman Microwaves Cat


Laura Cunliffe, 23, found her goldfish dead and decided the cat did the deed. Execution was the only suitable punishment, so she popped the cat in the microwave for a minute. The cat did not survive the ordeal.

Laura subsequently appeared before District Judge John Foster, a complete halfwitted door knob. He told her this was an "act of utterly horrendous cruelty". He sentenced Laura to 14 weeks in prison.

On this occasion, the judge chose to overlook his own horrendous stupidity. For it turns out that Laura had previously been 'sectioned' under the Mental Health Act 20 times. Clearly, Laura was unwell and someone, somewhere was responsible for Laura - you know, care in the community and all that. That someone should have been standing next to Laura in the dock.

The demise of the cat was clearly a 'joint enterprise', on the one hand Laura and on the other inept medical services.

Naturally, the RSPCA had to have its say and did: "This was such a sad case and clearly this poor kitten would have suffered terribly over a prolonged period of time." (or at least a minute)

Twerp, it was a sad case - for Laura!


Judge Elizabeth Roscoe sentenced PC James Kiddie, 45, to a 150-hour community order for beating up a shoplifter. The judge described Kiddie's behaviour as "an instinctive and immediate retaliation in anger".

Well, that's all right then, isn't it? However, on the lunacy scale, we may wonder how PC Kiddie measures up to poor Laura. For the record, Kiddie was subject to two previous complaints and is due to face another hearing relating to the misuse of CS gas.


Duggan Update


Now we know, Mark Duggan was "lawfully killed" by a police marksman who thought he had a gun in his hand. Is that it then, is there nothing more to know? Will we discover why the taxi was removed from the scene and then returned? Will we discover how the gun ended up in a sock fifteen feet away, that Duggan was said to be brandishing at police? Why did the IPCC brief the press that Duggan had fired on police? Why didn't the IPCC directly question the police invovled in the incident? Why did the police talk to the press but not to the family for over a month after the killing? Why were police so concerned to put out a constant stream of negative reports about Duggan and his life-style? Why were all the policeman involved on the day allowed to sit down in the same room and write their reports?

Chilcot latest: Just the gist then....


Sir Jeremy Heywood, the Cabinet secretary, Tony Blair's glove puppet in a former life, has agreed to let Chilcot to publish the gist of conversations between George Bush and Blair in the run up to the second Iraq war. This decision has apparently been taken to safeguard future conversations.

Now, anyone who thinks this is the correct thing to do should consider that not having a conversation with the Americans ever again could save thousands of British lives. Perhaps we should publish all the detail and send a clear message to the Americans that we cannot be trusted with their secrets and perhaps they would be better off talking to the French or Germans.

Later, our leader Dave said that he expected to catch sight of Chilcot's report by Christmas....

Disappoint: the report did not appear?

Plebgate update

Back in January, Andrew Mitchell sold the Plebgate bike for £10,000. Now he may well have to sell his house to pay his legal bill, having been found less than truthful over the use of the word 'pleb'.


Horizon Scanning Programme


We have learnt that the coalition's Horizon Scanning Programme is 12 months old. And the result of all their scanning efforts? Nothing, that is, nothing worth reporting.

The idea behind this so-called programme is to peer into the future in an effort to figure out what may happen by way of threats, risks and opportunities.

A Commons committee has been looking at the lack of output stemming from this programme and have concluded that it has "substantial weaknesses", is not using the expertise of external experts and that there was a "worrying lack of clarity" about what the programme was about.

Election Choices for May 2015

Dave's Pound Land of Opportunity

There's no need to spend more than a sentence on what to expect from Dave and his Tories going forward, more of the same, as Dave drives resolutely on towards his dream of a new Camelot, the Poundland of Opportunity, Dave will make the future affordable for everyone.

Nick's Land of the Living Dead

Nick and his Lib-Dems can't offer much to the living, however, the undead have an outside chance of a blood transfusion, if Nick can find another party to feed off for another five years.

Ed's One Nation of Sunlight Soap

It's taken a long time but Ed is getting closer to his election master plan, most of it dredged up from the pages of his old history books.

Over the past two years, he's rediscovered Disraeli from 1840 and decided to rechristen Labour as One Nation Labour, then a year on he decided he was Clement Atlee, the champion of the welfare consensus and the savour of the elderly shivering in the cold, now he thinks he's William Lever, the founder of Port Sunlight. And like William he wants to tell citizens what to eat and drink and generally how to live their lives.


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2014 Annual Review


Civilization: Why are we waiting?

Back in February we saw Putin's Cossacks beating up Pussy Riot, the punk group, with whips, pepper spray and not a few kicks and punches because they dared to protest at the Sochi Winter Olympics, we may wonder how much longer we will have to wait for a civilized world to arrive.

Clearly, the Winter Olympics Committee did not want to play any part in the forward march of civilization, preferring to say nothing about the beating of Pussy Riot and pretended it had nothing to do with sport. Obviously, sport transcends protest, existing as it does in some Elysian Field, an enclave reserved for gods and heroes, a place where the nasty, loathsome idiocy of Putin's Russia shall not enter and upset the delicate sensibilities of elite athletes and their sponsors.

Here in the West, we like to think we are far more civilized. How can we be, when we allow ourselves to be led by philistines, indifferent to anything that doesn't turn a penny for them or those they serve. It's an amazing delusion that allows Tony Blair to walk in our midst, to masquerade as a peace envoy for the Middle East, to trot across the globe offering 'reputational advice' to those whose lives are without repute. "Tough up, it will pass", Blair told Rebekah Brooks, who was under siege over the despicable hacking of Milly Dowler's phone. What sort of sick mind takes advice from the man who lied to the nation about weapons of mass destruction. A man who allowed the moron George Bush to use him as a foot stool.

No Tony, it will not pass, Iraq is a basket case, Afghanistan is worse, the suffering of its people immense, lingering like a chronic illness, while you smugly take tea with the barbaric Saudi royal family and discuss their contribution to global terrorism and the marvellous distorting effects of Wahhabism. Yes, 'King' Abdullah, what a wonderful client, how he and Mr Putin would enjoy a tea together. Abdullah believes that homosexuals should be burnt, stoned or thrown from mountains or tall buildings. And like all good believers he puts his money where his mouth is, funding DVDs and books for a host of British schools to share his vile message with young muslims here.

Talking of vile messages, Gambian President Yahya Jammeh gets an A star:

“We will fight these vermins called homosexuals or gays the same way we are fighting malaria-causing mosquitoes, if not more aggressively,” Jammeh said.

“As far as I am concerned, LGBT can only stand for Leprosy, Gonorrhoea, Bacteria and Tuberculosis; all of which are detrimental to human existence.”

It's not just gays that Jammeh dislikes, it's anyone who disagrees with him, he's a nasty man. The UN reports that the hallmark of his regime is "forced disappearances, illegal detention, denial of due process, and the abuse and harassment of critics."

The Gambia is the smallest country in Africa but its governance is typical across the continent. Elsewhere across the globe, everywhere we look, we see the same evidence of uncivilized conduct.

We see Kim Jong-un in North Korea feeding his relatives to savage dogs, locking up over 120,000 people in torture camps; while he spends a fortune on luxury goods, behaving like a comic book hero while 'his people' starve. Savage dogs, Cortez was fond of feeding the Aztecs live to his dogs but that was 500 years ago and we are far more enlightened now, well some of us are.

In Sudan, a women sits shackled in a cesspool of a prison, clutching her new born baby and awaiting 100 lashes, before being hung for refusing to relinquish her Christian faith. The Sharia court have postponed her lashing, so that she can recover properly from child birth - lunatics.

In India, two young girls are gang raped and hung from a tree near their village, the police couldn't be bothered to investigate because the girls were from a low caste.

In Pakistan, a young women was stoned by 20 members of her own family. This was a so-called honour killing, the family disagreed with her choice of husband. The police stood by and watched.

And here in the UK, a Nigerian women faces deportation and the certainty that her four year old daughter will face genital mutilation once back in the bosom of the village family. She also fears death for herself since converting to Christianity whilst living in the UK. The Home Office says the woman's case has no merit.

All of which leaves us wondering, how long must we wait for a more civilized world - perhaps when people like Tony Blair stop pimping for a living and use their influence for the common good.


Who is wasting public money?


Austerity, our nutty chancellor tells us, is all we can hope for, until his marvelous policies free us from the spendthrift legacy of New Labour.

Acting Lessons

Someone needs to tell our misspending politicians and civil servants about this austerity business. Reports are circulating that £10,000 has been spent on acting lessons, provided by Rada, for some of our politicians. They apparently needed some help with their lamentable parliamentary delivery since they were not quite reaching the standard required by the ventriloquists' union.

Shameful portraits

Portraits of politicians including Iain Duncan Smith, Diane Abbott and Ken Clarke have cost the taxpayer £250,000. Paying an artist thousands of pounds to immortalise people who further down the road will not even rate a footnote in history is beyond a waste of money, it's a hanging offence. Take a look at the artist's efforts for Diane Abbott, this masterpiece is priced at £11,500.


Abbott's portrait is no more less awful than many others by the same pavement artist. However, it really is mocking the public to hang portraits of failed party leaders like T. Blair, P. Ashdown and C. Kennedy; a grasping liar, a philanderer, and a drunk.


Utility: What's an old person worth?


If you are old, government bean counters are busy asking themselves if you've had a 'fair innings', making judgments about what you are entitled to. Things like life saving drugs, for instance, they need a measuring stick - and they've got one - it's called a QALY.

QALY stands for ‘quality adjusted life year’ and works like this:

One QALY equals one year of perfect health, or two years of 50 per cent perfect health or four years of 25 per cent perfect health. If the cost per QALY is below £20,000, the treatment is deemed cost effective and approved. Once the cost goes beyond £30,000 per year, forget it, you'll have to soldier on without the medication.

The problem here is not the financial calculation itself so much as the thinking behind it, which may be described as social darwinism - i.e. someone is deciding that your social contribution is negative. Clearly, all those past credits you thought you had stored up are being discounted.

Britain at DEF-CON 1

Your Prime Minister announced at a Downing Street press conference, in September, that we were facing "a greater and deeper threat to our security than we have known before". Perhaps the nasty work of the IRA in the 70s and 80s passed our leader by. We may also wonder why he chooses to ignore the terror in Northern Ireland today, that's been ongoing for the past four years but the press here rarely, if ever, mention happenings across the water, unless it involves marching bands.

Theresa May told us the threat level was now "severe" meaning a terrorist attack from Islamic State (IS) was "highly likely". Although the home secretary, stressed there was no specific intelligence. "The increase in the threat level is related to developments in Syria and Iraq where terrorist groups are planning attacks against the west."

These announcements from May and Cameron were really quite silly. Saying we face a severe threat, which is highly likely is tantamount to betting on every horse in a race.

Meanwhile the nastiness of the Assad regime in Syria continues apace and the media here continue to ignore it, just like they ignore Northern Ireland. A suspicious mind might conclude that editors have been told to focus on more important matters like shopping frenzies and obesity.


Here in the UK politics became interesting again. The sight of the three main party leaders turning up in the last hours of the Scottish Referendum campaign, promising the Earth for a No vote, was ridiculous. Well, Westminster got its No vote but it lost Scotland.

UKIP set the political agenda for the other parties, with their reductionist philosophy. The shortage of affordable homes, the shortage of hospital beds, in fact all shortages were the fault of immigrants and if the UK was not a member of the EU, then their would be no immigrant problem and therefore, no shortages.

Ed Miliband's One Nation Labour Party are still struggling to find something remotely interesting to say and still struggling to differentiate themselves from the Tory Party. However, if you want to know what Labour will do in office, just read the Tory party manifesto.

The Lib-Dems, otherwise known as the Zombie Party, have been wiped out in the Euro elections, wiped out in the local elections and wiped out in by-elections. You don't need to bookmaker to tell you how things will go for the Zombies next May.

The child sex abuse inquiry


Theresa May, our less than astute home secretary has turned her brief to set up an inquiry into historic child sex abuse into a shambles. Twice now she has failed to select a chair person who is truly independent of the nasty people under investigation. First off, we had May or rather her Home Office minions, trying it on with Lady Butler-Sloss, the sister of Nigel Havers - who was the attorney general during the period to be investigated. Next, they thought they could get away with Fiona Woolf, a neighbour and dinning chum of ex-Home Secretary, Leon Brittan and his wife. Once the public became aware of this cosy relationship, the Home Office made a pathetic attempt to down play the relationship between Wolfe and the Brittans. Woolf resigned.

The failure to select an independent chair person can be explained variously. It may be all part of an establishment attempt to misdirect and manage outcomes, along the lines of most government inquiries, where two years and more are spent data churning, interviewing, scapegoating, report writing and then not implementing any of the of the recommendations that follow.

This intended inquiry is about more than ex-MPs and government ministers hiding in the shadows of the Charlton Club, it’s about institutional failure as well. The behaviour of the police, NHS, schools, social workers, children’s charities, politicians and local authorities towards victims who reported their abuse. However, the Home Office itself is right in the frame of this inquiry and indeed it was that department which ‘lost’ the Geoffrey Dicken’s dossier, that forced the government into this inquiry.


Muddying the waters

Back in 2013, the Home Office commissioned  a review into how it handled abuse allegations between 1979 and 1999. Quite what it reviewed is uncertain since over a hundred documents relating to sex abuse had been ‘lost or destroyed’. 

In July 2014, Peter Wanless, boss of the NSPCC, was asked by Theresa May to review the Home Office review, as well as, how police and prosecutors responded to complaints. The upshot, Wanless found nothing because there was nothing to be found, that is, he could not find any of the ‘lost’ documents. The point of the Wanless Review may be lost on many people but perhaps he might like to consider a review into how the NSPCC responded to child sex abuse victims of the Westminster buggers between 1979 and 1999? It is almost as if someone was trying to persuade the historic child sex abuse inquiry, still without a chair person , that there’s no point in focussing on the Home Office because they do not know anything.

Update: December, the Home Secretary wrote to all the members of this inquiry to inform them their services were nolonger required. She is now considering setting a full judicial inquiry?

The IPCC takes a hand

It would be nice to hear what the man on the Clapham Omnibus made of the Wanless review and to know whether that man was able to disentangle the announcement that the Independent Police Complaints Commission is to investigate how three police forces dealt with information about paedophiles supplied by Canadian police.

This investigation is about to happen because the Essex, North Wales and North Yorkshire police did not deal in a timely or urgent manner with the information supplied. And our own version of the FBI, the National Crime Agency have already apologised for their sloth.

The IPCC says it takes the abuse of children seriously, that’s reassuring. However, this investigation has nothing to do with historic child sex abuse by establishment figures. We already know that the police have an appalling track record in sex abuse cases. The IPCC action is apparently driven by “considerable public concern about how the police deal with sexual offences involving children”. 

The man on the omnibus may well conclude that there is a connection between Wanless and this investigation, both are designed to reassure the public that something is being done - straight from the first page of the Cynics Handbook, ‘being seen to be  doing  something’ may be confused with purposeful action and is therefore highly desirable.


Looking at the world through Foster Grants



sunglassesThe carnage in Syria continued. Assad continued to slaughter his own people daily. Two hundred thousand dead in the past three years. All the liberal democracies of the West, hands rung out, devoid of ideas, leaving things to the UN. The UN gave up and now no one mentions Syria anymore, not even in whispers. Deep down in some subterranean Pentagon warren, men in Foster Grants, have run computer models. Syria's carnage is containable, i.e. it will not interfere with business, so no need to get involved.


President Yanukovych, gangster and Russian stooge, fled the Ukraine following mass protests and violence. The Russians took the Crimea and all the liberal democracies said there will be consequences. Vlad the Impaler said get lost. Well, all the liberal democracies have had a rethink. They are now telling Vlad not to take the eastern Ukraine or there will be consequences. The Foster Grant boys have run the computer models again but it's proving difficult - the machine just doesn't know how to add up two sets of hollow consequences. Perhaps they can let Vlad have the eastern Ukraine after all.

Sri Lanka

In Sri Lanka the persecution of the Tamils goes on. A mother and her 13 year old daughter were arrested on suspicion of harbouring a terrorist. It took 150 soldiers to make the arrest. The woman in question has brought much unwelcome media attention to Sri Lanka's butchering President Rajapaksa. She has been mounting a campaign to find her son, who disappeared back in 2009. A UN report from 2012 says that up to 70,000 civilians are unaccounted for. There's been much talk among the liberal democracies of war crimes investigations against the Rajapasksa regime but the Foster Grant boys will not be running any computer models.


Oxfam 'Working for the few'


Recently, Oxfam produced a report on economic inequality across the globe and made the following stark observation:

"It is staggering that in the 21st Century, half of the world's population – that's three and a half billion people – own no more than a tiny elite whose numbers could all fit comfortably on a double-decker bus."

Here, in the UK, five families have more wealth than 12.5m citizens, that's the bottom 20% of the population.

These wealthy individuals are the wealth creators, the hard working strivers, they are the few... that everyone else works for.

Now, the boys from the Bullingdon Club would have us believe that such staggering economic inequality is simply a function of wealth creation, i.e those people who are prepared to carry out risk taking investment deserve rich rewards.

There's a minor floor in this argument, the wealthy elite do not take risks, some may be reckless but generally risk takers they are not. They prefer to make their money in a rigged market, where the dice are loaded and the cards are marked - by them.

Oxfam says that growing inequality has been driven by a "power grab" by wealthy elites who have co-opted the political process. This is not just about having the political class in their pockets to further their money grubbing aims but perhaps, more crucially, to ensure that the legal system favours their aims. Nothing exemplifies this more than financial deregulation and a tax system skewed in favour of tax evasion for the wealthy.

When the wealthy elite gather together at the Bilderberg Club or a Davos bash, along with their trousered politicians, they do so to tell the world how things will be. And the message is always the same, maintain the status quo; the fatter the few get, the more dripping there will be for the bread of the rest - well, that's according to the theory of trickle down.