Monthly Archives: February 2017

REFORM OF THE HOUSE OF LORDS

RULE OF THE FAT CATS

SNOUTS IN THE TROUGH

We Brits are in no position to criticise how other countries are run as long as our upper house at Westminster is allowed to remain in its present far from satisfactory form. 

The Lords is comprised of some 800 members and its primary function is to scrutinise and revise legislation passed by the House of Commons. Only China’s National Peoples Congress is bigger! While some of its Peers across the political spectrum are undoubtedly hard-working, others owe their place in the House to the worst excesses of political cronyism. Many sit there on the basis ‘lose an election to the Commons, get a seat in the Lords’! Currently, almost 27% of its members were previously MP’s. Almost 7% are former political staff or other party hacks.

Members of the Lords can claim an allowance of £300 each day, plus travel costs. Many Peers are said to sign on simply to claim this money, and promptly leave without attending or contributing to any debate in the chamber, let alone staying long enough to vote. 

Over the decades, there have been a number of attempts to radically reform the Lords. Most of these have failed due to insurmountable political pressure from one direction or another, and the problem has been considered an intractable one. Tory Peer Michael Heseltine emerged from the jungle canopy overnight to declare that he intends to rebel against the Government’s Brexit Bill currently being debated in the Lords!

A good number of fat cat Labour and some other Tory Peers, in receipt of huge monthly pensions from the EU, are also expected to obstruct the Brexit Bill, which Mrs May won in the Commons with a thumping great majority. They will thus effectively be frustrating the will of the British people as expressed in the Referendum. Their EU pensions are so eye-watering that for most Brits they are the stuff of fantasy. According to some reports, one well-known Labour Peer is said to be paid nearly £88000 a year, another nearly £40000, and yet another three at least £35000 each!

Its therefore time to introduce much-needed reform to this unrepresentative body. Many approaches to change are being pursued and at a recent meeting of ‘HL Reform Now’ it was argued that the many different views represented could be accommodated, on an interim basis at least, until it is seen how the changes are working. As a basis for further discussion, it was broadly agreed that the number of Peers be reduced from 800 to 500, of which 200 would be political appointees of the right calibre and commitment, 100 would be appointed from distinguished people in the Arts and Sciences, plus other areas of public life, and 200 would be directly elected from all parts of the UK. There was wide agreement against abolition of the Lords.

Once reformed, the Lords would remain a strictly ‘scrutinise and revise’ body as now and would not have the power to block any bill passed by the Commons. Should Mrs May be unable to obtain the agreement of the other main political parties to reform the Lords, the question should be put before the people in a referendum. Action is long overdue

HOW SHREWD ARE THE GERMANS!!      WHO WILL SUCCEED TARULLO AT THE FED?

THE BUNDESBANK IN ACTION AND THE POWER OF BREXIT

In a smart move at the end of last week, Germany’s central bank started to repatriate a hefty chunk of its gold reserves. This huge treasure trove is stored in New York, London and Paris.

After the USA, Germany has the largest gold reserves in the world with some 3400 tons. However, following Brexit, and the rise of populism worldwide which could lead to new governments in France and Italy, there is a growing fear within Germany that the rise of Marine Le Pen and the 5 Star Movement could lead to both countries ditching the Euro.

The conclusion reached by some German economists is that this gold would be required to back a new deutschmark if the Eurozone collapses! How long the EU would last after that is anyone’s guess. Wonder if Nicola and her Nat cronies have seen these reports? Of course, I was forgetting they seem to ignore events which dont suit their fantasy agenda.

We live in interesting times – Watch this space!

A SERIOUS MOVE AT THE FED

The President has signed an executive order limiting the reach of certain aspects of the financial reform law. Also at the end of last week, Daniel Tarullo, a Federal Reserve governor, and a tough enforcer of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law, resigned.

Financial reform activists are reported to view Tarullo’s impending departure as signalling his lack of confidence in Trump’s enthusiasm for Wall Street oversight which ensures the safety and proper supervision of the financial system following the last financial crisis.

One of the Dodd-Frank Act’s most powerful tools is the setting and the enforcement of capital requirements for banks and other financial institutions.

Under Trump, it would appear that the groundwork is being laid for the repeal of the Dodd-Frank Act. How irresponsible is that?

The fat cats are smelling blood.

STURGEON SHOWS HER TRUE COLOURS

A TAX AND SPEND BUDGET

In a shameless deal with the Greens, the SNP managed to get its Budget passed in the Scottish Parliament yesterday. Despite sluggish economic growth and consumer demand, but true to its Socialist/Marxist principles, the SNP deal with the Greens means that hundreds of thousands of ordinary working Scots will pay an extra £400 in Income Tax this year, compared to workers earning the same wages in England!

Sturgeon and her cronies have again shown their lack of economic competence by pandering to the SNP and Greens extreme left wing, Tax and Spend activists. Measures should have been introduced in the Budget to grow the economy by creating better conditions for investment and business, which would lead to more and better paid job opportunities for all of us.

There’s a French saying that every country has the government it deserves. Under Sturgeon, this shameless raid on the pockets of some 370 thousand Scots can only be the thin edge of the wedge in what is becoming a worsening Scottish economy. We Scots certainly dont deserve to be punished financially as a result of economic incompetence by our rulers. Well worth remembering when we next go to the polls!

A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.

THE INCREASINGLY PATHETIC, AND INCOMPETENT, SNP

ONGOING FALL IN SUPPORT FOR NICOLA STURGEON

There is strong support across much of the political spectrum for Scottish Tory Leader, Ruth Davidson’s fresh attack on Miss Sturgeon for trying to bully we Scots into ‘yet another fratricidal conflict’. The result of the 2014 Referendum was quite decisive in that the majority of Scots voted to stay in the Union with the rest of the UK. Sturgeon stubbornly refuses to recognise that her aggressive anti-Brexit position now carries even less weight with voters.

There is obviously very little public support for a 2nd independence referendum, with a weekend opinion poll finding just 27% of Scots want another one before Brexit takes place. This is down from 47% in June.

Instead of trying to heal the divisions in the Scottish Nation, Sturgeon continues with phase 2 of her already failed independence rhetoric, with almost daily irrational rants against one or more, or all of the various aspects of Brexit.

Plainly, in her privileged position, can she be aware of the daily pressures with which we ordinary folk have to deal in the Health Service, Education and Transport for a start, as a direct result of her SNP government’s failed policies? What is she doing about the increasing number of Scots failing to find permanent work? The Scottish budget deficit is now 10% of GDP which is the worst of any nation in Europe, including Greece. Does she seriously think that this is an acceptable criterion for entry into the European Union by an independent Scotland?

Everyone knows that the SNP’s strategy for growth is not working and this fact is not lost on the Scottish voter. Hence Miss Sturgeon’s increasing, near-hysterical desperation.

If Prime Minister May has not already done so, she must make it clear to Miss Sturgeon that she cannot call a 2nd referendum without prior UK Government sanction. If we are to be propelled into one at some future date, it must also be made clear that the terms under which it is held will not be the same as under the last ‘Cameron, shoot from the hip’ one : on such a critical issue, a two thirds majority would be required to win.

Under Ruth Davidson’s leadership, there is little doubt that the Scottish Tories will be a real threat to the SNP at the forthcoming local elections.