‘A statesman thinks he belongs to the state, and a politician thinks the state belongs to him’

By Wednesday, October 31, 2012 0 Permalink

Prussia propounds and Lord Heseltine delivers! (Well that's my spin anyway). A new report suggests that a move away from centralisation is the way forward to mend our broken economy and stimulate growth. Take a look here. I am glad I am not the only one who thinks like this and am glad I share these thoughts with such august statesmen as Lord Heseltine. (those unacquainted with Hezza, just know he did charisma and hair before, and so much better, than Boris). Though he puts it slightly more impressively and in more detail than I had, his report is one of the most important things I have seen for a while and it deserves more than just a cursory glance. Decentralisation, war psychology, an adult skills based drive and how to spread power and funding out around the country are just some of the common sense highlights. It makes a welcome change to read the news in the morning ...

‘Oh my ears and whiskers, how late it’s getting’!

By Sunday, October 28, 2012 2 Permalink

So, it is that time of year again when we humans see fit to manipulate the time and turn the clocks back an hour so the UK is on GMT. It is my guilty admission that I do have a bizarre mental block when it comes to changing the clocks, Papa used to go round the house before bedtime to ensure that all the clocks and watches had been changed, and would, year after year try to explain it to me. I could never even remember whether we turned them back or forward and it was Mama who would always say that little mnemonic to me,' Spring forward, fall back'. One thing we all agreed upon was, that it was madness and made very little common sense. Disproportionately dark evenings, beginning at 16h in the afternoon means higher energy bills for everyone lighting and heating their homes and workplaces. It causes danger to those ...

Coffee, Tea, or Local Autonomy?

By Thursday, October 25, 2012 2 Permalink

In my more melancholic moments it can be a challenge for me to find something positive to say about Britain but I like to try, not just for my own sanity and because I inhabit the place, but also because I feel I am a bit too young or normal to start espousing the Daily Mail. But even the notoriously pessimistic French report in Le Monde says that we are on our knees! Forgive my lack of excitement for the 'news' that the UK is out of recession. One month of minor growth during the Olympics does not constitute a recovery or even the beginning of one.  Osborne's lack of long term strategy can not possibly be credited for any rise in GDP. While it is nice news it is just a mere blip I am afraid. In a week that elicited a sad sigh from me concerning Newsweek magazine ending it's print circulation and ...

Ra Ra Rosneft, Russia’s greatest company!

However little faith I have for Britain's government I am at least safe in the knowledge they do not manipulate big business and have conflicts of interest which shape the entire economy and political system as Russia does. Though I am sure they wish they were that influential! Rosneft has bought out BP 's 50% stake in TNK-BP for a tidy sum of $27 billion. Nice for BP and nice for Rosneft, but is it good for Russia? It comes after months of wheeler dealing and chitter chatter amongst all parties and the Russian government but I am not so sure it spells good things for Russia as a whole. Modern Russia likes to portray to the world an economy ripe for investment and a nation ready to conduct legitimate business. The reality, if we look at this deal in particular, is far from that fantasy. BP's main reason for wishing to extricate themselves from TNK ...