fullandfrankexchange

Posts Tagged ‘UK’

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.

Advertisements

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.

Posh bloke to marry posh broad….

In Britain, Current affairs, Politics, Royal Family, UK, United Kingdom on November 17, 2010 at 12:22 am

TODAY THE world stopped as it was announced a posh bloke of German extraction will marry a posh broad.

She’ll wear a posh frock at an event his mum (posh with lots of dosh) will pay for. The rest of us will play “find the chin” when they broadcast the big event as the posh get together away from the prying eyes of the great unwashed.

Meanwhile, unemployment will rise and frontline public services will be cut as  a posh prime minister and his posh chinless chancellor cut more than the wedding cake.

Can we get on with our lives now?

Let Lumley loose in Lancashire

In Current affairs, Politics on November 5, 2010 at 12:58 pm

Who's been a naughty boy then....?

NAUGHTY PHIL Woolas might just get his comeuppance after being found guilty of making false statements about his Liberal Democrat opponent in May’s general election. A rerun of the poll has been ordered by the courts.

However, with the LibDem approval rating now in single figures after their sell-out decision to get into bed with David Cameron, simply turning up to claim Oldham East and Saddleworth just isn’t an option.

So, in these austere times of budget cuts and self-flagellation, we propose something that should brighten up our bleak political landscape.

Today we launch the “Lumley for Oldham” campaign. Yep. Having handbagged feckless Phil over the Ghurka issue, we think there’d be no better sight than watching her kick him out of the commons altogether.

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!

A defence of Wee Willy Hague….

In Current affairs, Politics on September 12, 2010 at 10:18 am

FULLANDFRANKEXCHANGE’S father-in-law is a deep thinker and a great bloke. Yesterday he weighed into the debate on William Hague sharing a hotel room with his advisor Christopher Myers and came up with this gem.

“Well what if he needed some advice in the middle of the night?” he said.

You don’t get that sort of wisdom with a pisspoor degree.

Dave denigrating the few is nothing new……

In Current affairs, Politics on August 5, 2010 at 9:42 pm

WHAT IS it about British leaders and the US that makes them prone to rewrite that bit of history the Irish like to refer to as “the emergency”? World War Two to you and me.

Posh Dave Cameron has been out talking to the great unwashed to prep them for the savage cuts to public services ahead (thanks again bankers).

But it seems everytime slick Dave opens his posh gob he just changes feet.

Today he reckoned Iran had a nuclear weapon. The day before he said Britain had been the junior partner in the fight against the nazis in 1940. Before that he pissed of the whole of Pakistan. That’s some going!

The latter point will rankle more than a few, but it’s an interesting insight into how the Brits view that period of history. On September 20, 2001 Tony Blair stood beside George Bush junior just days after the attacks on the World Trade Centre and said: “My father’s generation went through the experience of the second world war, when Britain was under attack, during the days of the Blitz.  And there was one nation and one people that, above all, stood side by side with us at that time.  And that nation was America, and those people were the American people.  And I say to you, we stand side by side with you now, without hesitation.”

Almost nine years later, after his “junior partner” gaffe irritated a voter, Dave Cameron said:

“There was no senior partner. We were on our own in 1940 … You are absolutely right and I was absolutely wrong.”

The PM said: “There were a few Polish pilots, there were a few French pilots, [but] on the whole it was Britain standing completely alone against Nazi Germany. It is the proudest moment of our history and we should be incredibly proud of the fact that we stood alone against Hitler.”

Without taking anything away from Britain’s magnificent refusal to bow to the little Austrian twit with a moustache, let’s face a few facts. The Americans didn’t want to touch the conflict with a barge pole, Churchill was delighted when Japan bombed Pearl Harbour in 1941 (note the date Dave et al), and a few former dominions – Australia, New Zealand, Canada, India and the West Indies to name a few – might have something to say about just how alone the UK was.

Blair was so keen to impress the Americans that it’s not worth correcting his moronic error, but we can’t let the new bloke off the hook so easily. For the record the RAF Roll of Honour for the Battle of Britain recognises 574 non-UK pilots from July 10 to October 31 1940, alongside 2,353 British pilots.

The foreign contingent included 145 Polish pilots, 127 from New Zealand, 112 from Canada and 88 from Czechoslovakia. There were “only” 13 Frenchmen, but in total, that’s more than Dave is making out, so he’s managed to insult a whole new demographic. Well done old chap!

Next time, leave the existing foot in your gob and save yourself a bit of time. Ok?

Libya, lobbying and US hypocrisy….

In Current affairs, Politics on July 21, 2010 at 11:15 am

Four US senators have buttonholed Dave Cameron on his “meet the new British guy” trip to Washington and suggested, for want of a better word, that it would be a good idea that an independent investigation be held into whether Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al Megrahi’s release from prison was influenced by lobbying by BP in return for an oil drilling deal in Libya.

Given that Capitol Hill is usually under siege by lobbyists trying to get, er, senators, to see a particular point of view, this is a bit rich, but we’ll give these four fine, upstanding representatives of the people the benefit of the doubt.

We also presume that while they grilled Cameron for 45 minutes they also demanded a full investigation into another small matter…

….whether al Megrahi actually did it.

Seems fair, non? After all, the families of the Lockerbie victims have been asking for the same for years.

Gorgeous George wants a chat does he?

In Current affairs, Politics on June 8, 2010 at 11:39 pm

So, the last lot flushed 700 billion quid around the S bend and now Boy George Osborne wants to have a debate with us about where public spending should be cut to pay it off.

Piffle.

This is a well known tactic in the corporate world, a lot of my old work colleagues will recognise it. It’s diktat masquerading as consultation.

“Oh, but we discussed it with everyone,” you hear them bleat from the HR department (Known as Human Remains in some parts).

Subtext: “Then we ignored what they said and did what we always planned to do – shaft ’em.”

So when you write to Number 11 Downing Street and say: “Um, could we cut back on the money we pour into the pockets of arms manufacturers because they’ve been ripping us off for years with projects that always overrun and the military are morons when it comes to proper business decisions?” Or: “Can we string up the bankers by the short and curlies and make them devote their miserable life’s work to paying off the debt THEY created?” you’ll probably get a form letter/email like this:

“Dear concerned citizen,

thanks ever so much for your contribution to my big debate. We’ve received a spiffingly large amount of top ideas from you common folk. Unfortunately not all of them could make the final round, so, after an awfully long period of consideration, I’ve decided to do what Dave Cameron tells me to.

Sack all those lefty civil servants, and cut benefits for scroungers, I mean, find ways to get everyone back into jobs that don’t exist.

Yours in Chancellorship,

George”.

So, have your say by all means, I think it could fun. Perhaps we could come up with some ideas and publish them here. I do like the idea of stringing bankers up by the nethers. Perhaps we could ask the Camerons, Cleggs and Osbornes to pass the hat round at family Christmas time – they’ve got a bit of wedge between them. And now Nick has sold his principles he must have a few shekels stashed away.

Get ready for the hypocrite stakes (or how I was pro-war until I ran for the Labour leadership)

In Current affairs, Politics on May 29, 2010 at 9:30 am

There’s nothing like having the courage of your convictions, and in recent days we have seen nothing like it as far as some of the candidates seeking the Labour Party leadership are concerned.

Yes folks, it’s official, the invasion of Iraq was BAD. Well, it’s bad now. When they were in power the invasion of Iraq was GOOD. Now it’s very, very, BAD. Got it?

Ed Balls, Ed MiliBand and his brother David were all in favour of Britain’s decision to help invade Iraq. Now they all say it’s BAD.

Ok, maybe we’re labouring (pun intended) this good and bad thing, but, really, is this the cream of the crop from which the party faithful have to choose from? More of the same old nonsense from the Blairites and Brownites? Where’s the true party reformer going to come from?

Then we have the rest of the field – Andy Burnham, nice bloke, but seriously overpromoted during his time as a minister. This was only to keep a Blairite in the Cabinet as the bottom of the barrel marked “talent” was well and truly scraped. Diane Abbot, insufferable, but has at least said the party should admit Iraq was a mistake. She also said something the new coalition should be implementing as policy: bankers should pay for screwing up the economy, not us. However, she blotted her copybook when she suggested that the other leftie candidate, the excellent John McDonnell, did not have enough support to secure the 33 votes necessary to get on the ballot and would withdraw. She also against spending cuts, which is economic madness.

So far the Miliband boys have secured enough nominations to enter the race. Ed Balls, not as clever as he thinks he is, is made hard work of it, but now has exactly 33 votes. Burnham has 17, while McDonnell has six and Abbott a solitary vote, which just about sums up her eligibility for this contest.

McDonnell has too many things working against him. He has principles for starters. How galled must he be to see a ConDem coalition overturn the third runway at Heathrow when his own party was ready to ram the monstrosity right through his constituency without a backward glance.

Meanwhile, while on the subject of hypocrisy, John “I won’t sit in the Lords” Prescott yesterday said “I will sit in the Lords” and took his shilling. What a guy.