Archive for May, 2010

The Second Home Owners are just as much as the banks the very people who should be paying more tax.

The very real consequence of "buy to let"

The second home owners and the “buy to letters” in particular are the people who gained from a property boom that they themselves helped fuel. No real wealth was created, they often needed no real cash to invest. Provided that they could get themselves a tenant they did not even have to pay for anything at all towards “their investment”. They just needed the artificial equity caused by the hyper inflation on their existing home.

They created no employment. They created no new business, in fact by fuelling hyper inflation in the property market they caused an immeasurable level of harm. The property price inflation that they were fuelling stopped people getting “a foot on the ladder”.

Capital Gains taxes for firms are very different to a capital gains tax on profits generated by a deliberate level of high inflation left in he economy for nothing more than political advantage.

Buy to letters have already been the beneficiaries of wealth redistribution, from the young and those without a home of their own to those who have multiples of houses.

They helped kill the dreams of home ownership for thousands, perhaps millions. They also helped foster self-declared mortgages aka liar loans, which became the only way to buy a house in the UK.

There is no justification for the Telegraph campaign. Buy to let was not “prudent saving”. It was Government enabled generational theft.

Even worse, many of the rentaquote MP’s out to fight this are also beneficiaries of that very hyper inflation in the property market, what is worse is that we all paid for that. They should be repaying tax at 100% on those “capital gains”.


Parliament is still too white and too male

May 16, 2010 2 comments

Spot the difference. All Oxbridge. All posh.

This Parliament sees an increase in the number of MPs from ethnic minority backgrounds from 14 to 27. This is still unrepresentative of the UK population but is a considerable improvement on recent years.

In numbers
8 per cent of the UK is of a black or minority ethnic (BME) background
4.6 per cent of the 2010 intake has a BME background
2 per cent of the 1997 intake had a BME background

11 Conservative MPs have a BME background
13 Labour MPs have a BME background
0 Liberal Democrats have a BME background

Dr. Krishna Sarda, CEO of the Ethnic Minority Foundation (EMF), welcomed the increase in the number of MPs from BME backgrounds. He told Total Politics: “It represents significant progress comparatively to 2005. Since 1997 there have been a number of key milestones for BME communities in politics.”

Dr Sarda credits the Labour Party for the initial progress made, pointing to a number of firsts since 1997: the first Muslim MP, first black cabinet minister, first black leader of the Lords, first black and female Attorney General, first Asian and Muslim minister to attend cabinet, first Asian minister in the Commons and first black female minister in the Commons.

There are a number of firsts in this Parliament too, including the election of the first female Muslim MPs (three, and all Labour), the first black female Conservative MP (Helen Grant), the first Asian female Conservative MP (Priti Patel) and the first African female MP (Labour’s Chinyelu Onwurah).

There are still not enough women in Parliament. Just 22% are now women.   The Conservatives doubled their proportion of women MP’s to 17%, which is still too low (and is the same proportion of women in the US Senate).

Labour has done a good job making the Commons more reflective of the Country as a whole, as have the Conservatives. The Liberal Democrats have not even made a start, they have no ethnic minority MP’s at all.

Republicans learnt one thing from the Nazis. Tactics

May 15, 2010 2 comments

When the American right were being taught second world war history in their youth, they did not learn anything about the horrors of the period they learnt how to modernise the NAZI tactics of spreading fear and hate.

Lunatic right-wing bloggers have started a campaign against a “mega mosque to be built on the ground zero”. There is no such plan. The bloggers on the right doing the most to spread this are doing it oly for their personal and political gain at the expense of slandering a religion and enraging Americans. It should be of no surprise that Fox News will be getting in on selling the bigotry. Fox have invited Pamela Geller of Atlas Shrugs and “Executive Director” of “Stop the Islamification of America” (whose equivalent group is very closely related to the Neo Nazi British National Party) to spread her lies.

Geller has already been on Sean Hannity’s radio show spreading her lies.

Here is a quote from one of the right-wing blogs spreading her lies.

Currently, Muslims are attempting to build “a Mega-Mosque” near the site of the World Trade Center — to celebrate the murder of 3,000 Americans by Muslims on 9/11/01 by installing a mosque near Ground Zero as Islam’s way of claiming victory over America. Having a mosque so near the site of Islam’s worst attack on America, where their call to prayer will echo out into the streets where thousands of people ran for their lives on the day “The Religion of Peace” decided to prove, yet again, how peaceful it really is would be beyond shameful. It’s an absolute disgrace.

Here’s how we stop it folks — and all it will take will be enough wealthy conservative, independent, and moderate private individuals in New York City to commission public works of art to line all the sidewalks in a three block radius of where that “Mega-Mosque” is supposed to be built.

Pig sculptures.

Pig fountains.

Pig murals.

A vast procession of pigs leading straight to where this Mega-Mosque is supposed to be built, so that any Muslims making a pilgrimage to this building to celebrate the murders on 9/11 will appear to join all of those giant pigs headed straight for the mosque as well.

Never mind how disgusted people should be for the suggestion that the victims of 9/11 should be modelled as pigs. People should feel disgusted that that quote is from a now mainstream Republican blog. What would the reaction be if this was written about the building of a synagogue?

Yet you have a national news network, that is syndicated in many Countries across the World helping to sell this crap.

So what is the truth?

No mosque is being proposed for Ground Zero. It is a complete and utter lie designed to spread hate.

What is actually proposed? A cultural outreach building to counter misunderstanding and fear about Islam that will have within it a mosque.

From the developers site:

Why the Cordoba House?

In recent years the global public has shown an increased interest in Islam and the Muslim world. Many facets of Islamic life, religious, cultural and artistic, remain underrepresented and misunderstood. The Muslim community must provide an opportunity to educate individuals about Islam through education and organized experiences of art, culture and entertainment.

A need exists in New York City, America and the world to integrate Islamic education, spiritual development, the arts and culture under one roof. The Muslim community in NYC will build a world-class facility to promote tolerance, self-awareness and self-recognition within society. Both community driven and globally oriented, the center will serve as the platform to launch a broader vision of Muslim-West harmony and interdependence. The community center will satisfy the current need of a prayer space in the lower Manhattan area, making it the only prayer area opened for the five daily prayers below Houston (greater lower Manhattan).

Where is it? Not on Ground Zero.

Slandering a religion and creating the politics of fear did not work out well in the 1930’s. The difference between then and now was that the far right did not have a 24 hour news network to back them.

I really do worry about America. An election defeat should have given the right an opportunity to look at their principles and beliefs and offer something to the American people. Instead they are promoting the only beauty queen to have never called for world peace as President, one who is busy endorsing convicted war criminals for Congress. They are creating and fostering a culture of fear and hate.

Appealing to the very worst of peoples fears and bigotry should never again be acceptable. It is shameful that hate has become a mainstream Republican viewpoint.

Now that was quick.

Caroline Spelman, helps to keep piggy snouts in the trough..

Colour me impressed. Guido Fawkes has yet again spiked the stupid press and looks as though he may have claimed his first scalp of the new Liberal Democrat and Conservative Party Government, the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Caroline Spelman.

He certainly has found what could amount to a real scandal.

He reveals:-

“Spelman spent her days before becoming an MP in the agri-business, with a lobbying focus mainly on sugar beet, one of the most heavily subsidised crops in Europe. She was the Sugar Beet Commodity Secretary for the NFU in the early eighties before becoming Deputy Director of the International Confederation of European Beet Growers. Seemingly well connected in the field, Caroline and her husband Mark went on to set up “Spelman, Cormack & Associates” in 1989 as a food and bio-technology lobbying company.

For over ten years the new Secretary of State, along with her husband, lobbied the very department she now runs. Caroline resigned as a director less than a year ago and conveniently transferred her share of the company to her husband. The company address was also changed from her constituency home, for which Spelman claimed around £40,000 on expenses for cleaning and bills, to their million pound London flat. According to the company accounts last year, no rent was paid on this “office” subsidised by the taxpayers.”

Not quite the Bernie Ecclestone level of scandal but certainly more interesting than the complaint that giving MP’s the power to dissolve Parliament for the first time in history is somehow undemocratic.

Oh – fear fear scary stuff. Da Moslims are coming. Britain’s Liberal / Conservative Government appoints a Muslim woman to cabinet.

The Great Harpy, Pamela Geller will screech on about Muslims taking over the World and imposing Sharia Law.

Hard right racists will claim that scary Muslims must be blackmailing the British Conservatives.

The far right will get themselves so excited about this that they will soil their klan outfits.

Britain, under its Liberal Democrat / Conservative government now has a Muslim woman in the Cabinet.

Sayeeda Warsi is now Chairman of the Conservative Party, she replaces the pretty awful Eric Pickles who chaired the Party in the run up to the general election. She is a tough political fighter and will make a great Chairman.

She sits in the Cabinet as full voting Member without Portfolio, the role held in the past by people such as Norman Tebbit and Kenneth Baker.

Sayeeda Warsi was born in Dewsbury, Yorkshire in 1971 to Pakistani parents who emigrated from (Bawal) Gujar Khan, Pakistan. Her father was a mill worker. She was educated at Birkdale High School, Dewsbury College, and the University of Leeds where she read Law (LLB). She attended the York College of Law to complete her Legal Practice Course and trained with both the Crown Prosecution Service and the Home Office Immigration Department.

After qualifying as a Solicitor, she worked for John Whitfield, the last Conservative Member of Parliament for Dewsbury at Whitfield Hallam Goodall Solicitors and then set up her own specialist practice George Warsi Solicitors in Dewsbury. She has also worked overseas for the Ministry of Law in Pakistan and in Kashmir as Chairman of the Savayra Foundation, a women’s empowerment charity.

Ending Labour’s politics of fear.

The Conservative and Liberal Democrat conference could prove to be the most liberal government on civil liberties in history. The details of the agreement are out and they make for interesting reading.

The parties agree to implement a full programme of measures to reverse the substantial erosion of civil liberties under the Labour Government and roll back state intrusion.

This will include:

  • A Freedom or Great Repeal Bill.
  • The scrapping of ID card scheme, the National Identity register, the next generation of biometric passports and the Contact Point Database.
  • Outlawing the finger-printing of children at school without parental permission.
  • The extension of the scope of the Freedom of Information Act to provide greater transparency.
  • Adopting the protections of the Scottish model for the DNA database.
  • The protection of historic freedoms through the defence of trial by jury.
  • The restoration of rights to non-violent protest.
  • The review of libel laws to protect freedom of speech.
  • Safeguards against the misuse of anti-terrorism legislation.
  • Further regulation of CCTV.
  • Ending of storage of internet and email records without good reason.
  • A new mechanism to prevent the proliferation of unnecessary new criminal offences.

Watch Labour and perhaps their new potential buddies in the Daily Mail try to paint the new coalition as soft on terrorism.

Categories: Main Blog - General

Alan Johnson is out. The Party wars are starting. It will be fun.

Alan Johnson - won't be able to deliver a leadership win.

Alan Johnson has ruled himself out of the Labour leadership. He has offered to deliver his support to David “Britain does not torture” Millibrand.

Conservative Party staff are already fighting among themselves.

Liberal Democrats will not just be in the cabinet, they will take Ministerial positions, putting the noses of a good number of Conservative MP’s out of place.

On the first day of the “Coalition for Change” Government another awful legacy of Labour’s announced, unemployment is up by 53,000. The claimant count goes above 2.5 million people. 3 million more on out of work benefits needs to be added to that figure.

It is going to be an interesting period between now and May 1 2015, the next date of the General Election if all goes to plan.

I just want a Liberal Democrat to be given the role of taking the Iraq war enquiry to the next level. I want war crimes prosecutions.