fullandfrankexchange

Posts Tagged ‘Tories’

Revel in the humiliation of Mucky Murdoch – it won’t last….

In Britain, Current affairs, Media, Politics, UK, United Kingdom on July 13, 2011 at 6:40 pm

A VICTORY, or is it? The mighty Murdoch has finally been humbled and we revel in his humiliation. The level of public disgust at his news organisation has even prompted a former prime minister to call their methods “disgusting”. Of course Gordon Brown has forgotten how he courted the same disgusting people, went to Rebekah Brooks’ wedding, invited her the Chequers and generally failed to rein in the Murdochs while he was in power.

A judge-led inquiry will investigate the phone-hacking scandal and Murdoch has apparently agreed to appear before a parliamentary select committee for a grilling, but is this the end of the road for the Dirty Digger? Probably not, and by some distance. The old bugger has a hide like a rhino and he has been making billions for decades, so to suggest that  this could be the start of his demise risks underestimating him at our peril.

Let’s not forget he faced a far greater danger in the 1990s when he overextended himself on the launch of Sky and nearly went bust. If the folklore is to be believed, one small savings and loan in the US seemed to holding News Corp by the short and curlies until the larger of the 150 or so banks Murdoch was dealing with at the time placed the smaller institution in a similar hearts and minds-style grip and encouraged them to let Murdoch survive.

Murdoch’s lesson from that was to hoard cash, keep the revenue stream flowing steadily and never be beholden to banks again (a lesson the rest of the world could learn and then we’d be teaching another bunch of miscreants a proper lesson). That has served his empire well and will not change. Sure, he has a large omelette’s worth of eggs all over his dial right now, and no-one can understand why Brooks is still employed at this juncture when so many innocents have been booted, but really, are we that surprised that his papers behave in this way? The almost hourly outrage of Labour lightweights like Chris Bryant and Tom Watson is almost as disgusting as the hacking scandal.

In any case he still has 39 percent of BSkyB and a couple of seats on the board. That’s hefty influence in anyone’s money and in the time Murdoch now has on his hands before he can even consider another bid, there’s scope for some serious plotting on how to take the prize. We can expect a lot of grudging contrition from his UK titles in the short-term, but once he sorts out his plans for a Sunday tabloid title (most likely a Sunday Sun) the old Wapping arrogance will be back.

However, while Rupert is a newspaper man through and through – to be admired whatever you think of his politics – his sons and other shareholders are not massive fans. Apart from the News of the World, the others don’t make masses of cash. Even the Sun has to rely on bingo and its fantasy football competitions to turn a quid. With the News Corp share price bouncing after the decision there may be pressure on Murdoch senior to ditch his UK papers on the grounds that all have been infected with the same virus.

But the beginning of the end? Not on your life.

Lord Young joins the rest of us having it so good…..

In Britain, Current affairs, Economy, Politics, UK, United Kingdom on November 19, 2010 at 11:48 am

Tell the one about the "so-called recession again"...

WE’VE NEVER had it so good – official. And now so does Lord Young. Come on in and join the party your lordship, there’s always room for a bow tie-wearing buffoon at this party!

The real Tory party once again reared its unattractive head, although like a true toff, Dave Cameron picked up his rifle and shot it off – for now. Pity Lord Young, he says what he and a lot of his mates think and gets pilloried for it. In a way he’s right, if interest rates were in double-digit territory we’d all be stuffed.

But when one in ten public sector workers is going to lose their job – and who knows how many in the private sector – fuel prices rising and inflation on the up, you can tell that the old fella is losing the plot. Perhaps the only recession that is taking place is the one inside his cranium.

What is more worrying is that the fact that Young and many of his cronies think “Boy” George Osborne and Dave Cameron didn’t go far enough with their cuts….

imagine how good we’d be having it if the loons of the Conservative right started getting their way.

Oh Britain, you’re all fags for the public school boys now

In Current affairs, Politics on October 21, 2010 at 11:18 pm

IN FRANCE they march on the streets, they cut fuel supplies to the airport, they stop trains from running. Why? Because they object to a vertically-challenged president telling them they will have to work until they are 62 instead of 60.

In Britain, the government tells the people that they are going to have to share the pain of £81 billion in public spending cuts after the excesses of the banks. And how do the Brits react? Do they take to the streets? Non. Do they mobilise and withdraw their labour in protest? Again, non.

Instead, a Yorkshire mother of three earnestly tells a television reporter that we are going to have to take the pain “until we can get the country back on track”. The Anglo-saxon willingness to self-flagellate is stupefying at times.

Just what exactly does this woman think she has done to deserve years of pain? Did she parcel up crappy mortgages and sell them on like fish past its use-by date? Er, no, she did not. I do believe the fault for that lies elsewhere. Why is the country on some sort of massive guilt trip?

This must be the ultimate political wet dream for the public school boys now running the country. The whole country has been very naughty and now must take its punishment. Bend over Britain – you’re all fags now.

Posh Dave and georgeous George Osborne will be rubbing their grubby little hands together with glee at the big chance now to dismantle the welfare state, and don’t think they’ll stop there, the NHS is well and truly in their sights. They’ve let their mates in the City off the hook with the biggest wimp out of a bank levy. Even the Financial Times says it’s “timid”.

Let’s recap. The banks squealed for years the minute anyone suggested tighter regulation. Then they went on a financial instruments selling rampage and, er, cocked it up. Then they did what comes naturally – they asked (well squealed) for more money. From us. And they got it. The economy went into freefall and who is paying for it? You and me.

Enter George Osborne, stage left, pledging to extract the “maximum” tax from the banks to help repay the deficit they helped to run up.

A whopping £2.5 billion, or 0.04 percent of the value of their assets.

George, you brute.

How are the banks reacting to this? Well once the slithering bunch have finished laughing and then sobered up after celebrating the fact that they’ve screwed the country again, they will no doubt congratulate themselves at hard they twisted the collective nether regions of the Tories and their Vichy coalition collaborators (for there is no other way to describe Clegg and his sellouts) to get the result they wanted. Their highly-paid lobbyists, not least the disgusting British Bankers’ Association, have done their work well. Pity they can’t work for a good cause, like humanity.

Shadow Chancellor Alan Johnson has rightly challenged Osborne’s fatuous assertion that the deficit did not have to be run up. Osborne has failed to explain what the alternative was. He has also lied to the electorate about Britain’s interest payments, claiming that £120 million is building schools and hospitals in foreign countries who hold UK debt. This is arrant nonsense. There is some cash flowing out of the country, but nowhere near the amount Osborne alleges. Still, he remains unchallenged because Britain seems obsessed with birching itself.

Of course Johnson has conveniently left out some inconvenient truths. Not least the role the Labour government played in the creation of a massive debt bubble and the failure to institute a savings culture. All so they could lay claim to an extended period of low interest rates.

Ok, this is the bit where you get to beat yourself  up. Borrowed against the house, didn’t you? Thought it was an investment instead of a place to come home to after a day working for the weirdo who tells you your work isn’t very good and you’re not hitting your “performance targets”, didn’t you? Thought you’d invest in a second property because property never goes down and your mate made 50 grand doing up a garden shed and selling it on after only three months, didn’t you? Maxed out on all the credit cards, didn’t you?

As Gordon Gekko says in the second Wall Street film to a group of students “You’re fucked.  You are the Ninja Generation. No income. No job. No assets.”

So take a bow Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and co…it’s your fault too.

Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs rubs everyone’s nose in it by setting aside £236,000 per employee in “compensation” for the first nine months of the year. That’s a pay and bonus pot of £8.3 billion.

Stop birching and start marching, Britain. Allez!

Should we shed two tears from the same eye at Gordon’s exit?

In Current affairs, Politics on May 11, 2010 at 11:22 pm

What is it about human nature that we can spend months, nay, years slagging off a person for being boring, dour, pig-headed, stubborn, the wrong man for the job and a whole lot worse ad nauseum, yet the second he summons up the dignity to bare his soul in public and do the right thing we are moved to tears?

This evening we experienced such a moment when Gordon Brown emerged from the door of Downing Street and gave the speech we all thought he was incapable of giving. The one that showed he was a living, breathing member of the human race.

Infuriating, isn’t it?

Clearly beyond the ambition and the lust for power exists a man who feels as keenly as the rest of us. But why, oh why, did he save the best until last. Did he get so immersed in the New Labour cesspool of spin and deceit that he forgot who he was? Or are we all just suffering from that usual bout of sympathy we express when someone who is so clearly beaten finally exits the public stage?

We are told that in at least one newsroom people were moved to tears with the dignity of the occasion. The magnificent Sarah Brown, who showed more class in three short years than Cherie Blair could muster in a decade, stood by her man, while, for the first time, the public caught a rare glimpse of the Brown’s two boys. Credit should be given for the way they kept them off the pages of the newspapers.

Perhaps the answer lies in an observation from Mrs fullandfrankexchange, herself rarely wrong on these matters:

“It’s the human spirit that is moving, not Gordon Brown.”

Fair point well made, as they say. Before we get too misty-eyed, let’s not forget his failings, and the impact they have had on a nation. Put away the tissues, you won’t need the for this bit.

While we watched the machinations this week of the power-hungry clawing for their “share” of the spoils after we’d all had our say, a small, but massive, change took place in the running of London’s dilapidated underground rail network. The maintenance contract was moved back in-house.

This signalled the end of the disastrous public/private partnership to upgrade all the lines, which had seen one consortium collapse and saddle the taxpayer with a £2 billion bill and the other make such exorbitant demands that the whole show had to be stopped.

Architect and defender of this mess? Step forward and collect your award Gordon Brown.

Yep, in order to keep what was actually quite necessary public maintenance off the books, old Gordon and his cronies in the Treasury (note, future leadership contender Ed “I’m cleverer than everyone else” Balls has his fingerprints all over it too) insisted on handing the work to a big pack of incompetent clowns who sought nothing more than massive profit for maximum disruption.

Haven’t got a final salary pension? Blame Gordon again. His insistence on removing the tax credit on share dividends crippled pension fund investors, just so he could inflate his revenues. Coupled with his orders that an accounting reporting rule on pension liabilities should be strictly enforced meant that companies who had been living free and easy with their pension surpluses now had large liabilities.

Who wins there? Well it ain’t the poor old employee looking forward to a decent retirement income, we can tell ya. Not when there are shareholders to be kept sweet.

Driving around Afghanistan without body armour in a thin-skinned vehicle that could be blown to bits while your family live in squalid accommodation back in Blighty? Send your complaints to G Brown (constituency office please).

Got a sore toe because someone had a huge temper tantrum and pushed a printer off the end of a desk? Er, sorry Gordo, you again, we’re afraid.

Paying too much for your petrol, travel, booze and fags? Blame all chancellors past and present because the next one isn’t going to cut you a break.

The tax system is too complicated because Brown made it so, he’s doubled counted revenues, stolen ideas that weren’t his, annoyed his EU counterparts more times than you can shake a stick at, moved the economic cycle after he broke his own “golden rules” and installed himself at Downing Street without our approval.

Still crying? You bloody will be when the next lot of jokers move in….

Who should Nick Clegg jump into bed with?

In Current affairs, Politics on May 8, 2010 at 2:53 pm

Ok, which one of you has his hand on my bum....

The clock is ticking, we are told. The LibDems are now holding their own beauty contest to see how many contestants want world peace, to work with disadvantaged children and, er, oh yeah, electoral reform.

Dave Cameron is desperate to run the country, so he’ll dangle all sorts of baubles under Nick’s nose to entice him. Gordon Brown rang last night and it appears the toys went out of the pram at Downing Street when Clegg suggested that Gordon’s removal from the squat was a non-negotiable condition of any shacking up with Labour. Oh to be a fly on the wall….

Of course Clegg has to take any deal to his MPs and the  grass-roots activists, so there’s a fair way to go yet.  Not to mention the fact that a lot of Tories won’t fancy getting into bed with Clegg’s mob, especially as they don’t give a stuff about electoral reform.

There are unwelcome noises about the pressure to do a deal before the financial markets open on Monday. Really, this is irrelevant, and undemocratic. We had our say, and we couldn’t pick a clear winner, so the people we did vote for can get around the table and sort this out. As for the markets, well they can sod off. It’s the wide boys of the markets who played fast and loose with OUR cash and got us into this mess in the first place. The last thing we need is a load of bankers, financiers and Digby Jones moaning about uncertainty over the repayment of 170 billion quid in debt. We wouldn’t be in debt if it wasn’t for them, so fellas, take a powder and go lie in a dark room.

Something’s gotta change, they’ll never get in…er, they’re all the ****ing same..

In Current affairs, Politics on May 6, 2010 at 8:49 pm

Never let it be said that we don’t keep our ear to the ground here at fullandfrankexchange. This afternoon we were in a builders’ merchant in Sarf London (slight pressure from Mrs fullandfrankexchange to get that shower fixed) and we overheard the following conversation.

“Oi Vince, have you voted and who did you vote for?”

Amid the woodscrews, our ears prick up, completely oblivious to the fact that we’re looking for PLUMBING accessories (moron). This could be gold dust – the internal poll the other parties haven’t got.

Vince, for it is he: “I’m voting later tonight. I don’t know who I’m gonna vote for yet. I’m going to make up my mind when I get there.”

Ahhh, a serious undecided I detect.

Vince continues: “My old man is voting Lib Dem. You know I think I might vote LibDem as well.”

Man behind counter: “I think everyone is voting for them aren’t they? Problem is, they’ll never get in.”

We are now in paints, gloss enamels to be exact and we edge closer to the debate. (No No! I hear a cry from North London, PLUMBING you idiot!!!!  When am I getting my shower back?????)

Third man from office joins in: “Yeah, they won’t get in, but something’s gotta change hasn’t it. We can’t go on like this.”

Second man: “So who get’s your vote Vince?”

Vince: “Anyone who turns up at the door with a biscuit.”

Brilliant – all they needed to secure a vote down here was a packet of bloody digestives. We edge past hand tools. (Dulcet tones in my head hear: “You’ll get a hammer in the feckin’ skull if you don’t move your tijuana brass to the plumbing section sharpish sunshine.”)

Man in office continues: “The thing is, at the end of the day, they’re all the f***ing same. They’ll say anything to get your vote. They’ll cut taxes, they’ll do this and that, but you just end up with the same old crap.”

Vince: “Yeah you’re right. Sometime’s I wonder what’s the point.”

As we move into the pleasant May sunshine, we ponder what this could mean. The polls are about to shut. Has Vince had the vote-securing offer of a biscuit? Will he follow his dad? Did he even bother after a day at work? What will men one and two do? This is what has made this campaign a refreshing change.

Plus, Mrs fullandfrankexchange is going to be really inpressed with this carpentry set I bought…..

Time to go and have OUR say…plus an in-depth guide to the manifestos UPDATE

In Current affairs, Politics on May 6, 2010 at 8:44 am

Polls have been open for four hours. Had a nice cup of tea, bowl of muesli, quick wash and strolled down to the polling station with mrs fullandfrankexchange to have our say. Still a nice steady stream of punters  making their way in.

Mrs fullandfrankexchange says she spotted some Tories in our neck of the woods (Hornsey and Wood Green, held by LibDem Lynne Featherstone)  yesterday – rosettes and all. Honest. Odds on a yeti sighting anyone? We think they must have got lost en route to la la land because they’ve got buckley’s of taking this seat. Still, it was nice of them to visit and they certainly weren’t tarred and feathered and run out of town on a rail, which shows we do live in a tolerant society.

So, what are you going to do today hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm? It’s a nice day, get off the laptop, get off Facebook, finish reading this (obviously) then go and do it!!!

We don’t care who you vote for, unless it’s the BNP who are, let’s face it racist nutters who would bankrupt the country in a week handing out free lager to all their mates. However, if they’re not your thing, then get out there and have a say.

If the duck house, moat cleaning crew got on your nerves, go and say so. If the disgraceful sight of Labour politicians acting like prostitutes to get a bit of post-election work sickened you, go and say so. If you’ve had enough of the old two party system that essentially presents us with the same boring choices, go and say so. You have NO right to whine about the government if you don’t cast a vote, so go and do it.

One of our readers (Sam, not his real name) evaluated the three manifestos. Here is his handy guide:

Labour = We stuffed up, but the other mob are real bastards.

Tories = The other mob stuffed up. We’re not bastards. Really.

LibDems = They’re both bastards. You can vote for us. Really, you can.

Oh, and to those at The Sun who produced that front page – you should be fucking ashamed of yourselves….

Some pre-UK election bed-time reading…

In Current affairs, Politics on May 4, 2010 at 11:07 pm

We will be asking questions later….

http://www.libdems.org.uk/our_manifesto.aspx

http://www2.labour.org.uk/manifesto-splash

http://www.conservatives.com/Policy/Manifesto.aspx

Then you can tell us what’s in them….

Looking for a heavy to run UK plc…and give us YOUR manifesto ideas

In Current affairs, Politics on April 22, 2010 at 6:05 pm

Our best mate has been on to us again today.

“Will a leader with gravitas please stand up?” Stephen (not his real name) asks, well, demands actually.

Fair point. Grumpy Gordon is looking as fresh as a set of tyres on a banger in a used car yard. Dave Cameron is playing with men in chicken suits while doing his impersonation of a parrot. “Vote for change, vote for change, vote for change.” Squawk. Ok, Ok , we get the message Polly, er, I mean Dave. You might get the change you weren’t banking on sunshine.

I vote for change every day. Fresh socks and clean underwear are always vote winners in my house. Mrs fullandfrankexchange also endorses this policy.

On May 6 we could wake up and find we are wearing one red sock and one yellow sock, or a blue one with a yellow one. All because Nick Clegg has now given us what we all needed – a choice. We’re not saying he’s the right choice, that’s for you to decide by getting out and casting your vote, but the humdrum nature of what could have been a dreadful campaign leading to a poor turnout has been dispatched.

Of course tonight he is going to be like the quarry pursued by a lot of Dave Cameron’s mates. The poor old fox chased by loads of chinless wonders across the countryside in the name of sport. Nick has stopped Dave’s bandwagon, and will come right under the big, hot spotlight in the second TV debate. It should make good viewing.

However, we made the point recently that a debate performance should not be the final arbiter of selection for prime minister. It’s policies that count. This led us to think: shouldn’t WE dictate a manifesto?

So here’s your chance – give us all your ideas. We’ll publish all of them and see what sort of Britain you want to have on May 7. Go on, no idea to big, small, insane…they’ll get a run. You know you want to.

Seven words you thought you’d never hear…

In Current affairs, Politics on April 20, 2010 at 2:12 pm

Why shouldn’t Nick Clegg be prime minister?????

Fullandfrankexchange was having a chat with a friend last night. Our mate was mildly annoyed.

“Now I’ve said I’m voting LibDem everyone else is jumpring on the bandwagon!”

He was, of course, joking, but went on to give a fairly insightful analysis of the state of British politics in the wake of Clegg’s good performance in last week’s television debate with Gordon Brown and David Cameron.

“I think people are going to want to have their say,” he told us. “Everyone hates Brown and Cameron is just a cheaper version of Tony Blair. At least now there’s a decent third alternative and maybe it’s what people have been looking for.”

Our friend, also an excellent golf partner, is right on the money. Clegg has given the election campaign the spark it was sadly lacking, and the two main parties the bloody good fright they both needed.

Ok, so here it is…would it be that bad if the Liberal Democrats took power? Or at least ruled in a coalition? Vince Cable is a qualified economist and is streets ahead of Brown and Alistair Darling. “Boy” George Osborne isn’t fit to share his calculator. Parliament itself has been completely discredited after the expenses scandal, and MPs from the two main parties were up to their necks in  it. And that includes Dave “I’m going to clean up politics” Cameron.

Our mate is right. This time, people are going to have their say. Make sure you have yours. Pin up your electoral registration card where it will remind you for the next two-and-a-bit weeks, then go out and take care of business.