Thursday, 30 April 2015

Please Teacher

One of the family sent me this link, it is about security and the vital role of further education for preventing terrorism.

Is this why our political leaders are promising vast funding for the training sector?

The Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 has introduced the Prevent Duty for various bodies including all FE colleges, adult education providers and independent learning providers with SFA funding or with over 250 students enrolled from 1st  July 2015 and Ofsted are already including an assessment of its implementation in their inspections.

This is what it is about and there is a lot to read and understand.  But here is a very small taste:


A commencement order for the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 was made on 26 March 2015. This specifies that the ‘Prevent duty’ (i.e. section 26) of the act comes into force on 1 July 2015, save in respect of any specified authority to which section 31 (freedom of expression in universities etc) is expressed to apply.

In effect, this means that the duty will not commence on 1 July 2015 for the proprietor or governing body of any institution which provides further education (within the meaning given by section 2(3) of the Education Act 1996); or which provides courses of a description mentioned in Schedule 6 to the Education Reform Act 1988 (higher education courses).

It will commence on 1 July 2015 for all other authorities specified in Schedule 6 to the act.


This should put a spanner in the works.

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Decisions Decisions

The postal vote has to be dealt with and minds have to be made up.

We could vote for the member of the late government who is our MP at present, perhaps out of inertia it being a relatively "safe" seat that may not be that safe.

But second childhood irresponsibility and rebelliousness argues against it.  We are said to have a "good" member but that may be because the media adviser is better than most.

There is a hyper local Lib Dem councillor who works very hard, or at least says he does claiming to do a great deal, unluckily a lot of this gets up the sensitive nose and his party is neither liberal or democratic.

The Labour man seems steady and is not one of the lout or loony end of the party.  But it is his superiors who give me the twitches or perhaps even the shakes.

UKIP is on offer, at least opposed to the EU, if they knew what they were doing.  It might seem a protest vote or it might be just another daft idea or product of a hangover.

The Green seems to be delightfully batty in the right sort of eco-way, which is warming to the heart, alas the other policies which ought to attract bring on cold shivers.

We have a lady from one of the Ultra Left groups who wants to take us back to the delights of one or other of the Soviet satellites of the 1950's, but we do not want to go at any price.

Then there is a protest health candidate who at first seemed to have a point.  Unluckily the flyer that came had a paragraph in it that gave his other ideas all quite barmy.

Decisions like this get my goat but at least the one above knows which way to jump.

I think.

Monday, 27 April 2015

Seacole, Nightingale And Others

The business of the St. Thomas's Hospital and the proposed Mary Seacole statue is one of those strange debates that tell us more about our prejudices of the present than of the past.

If they are looking to remember a lady who had a role in nursing in the Crimean War of 1853 to 1856; who has been forgotten and might have a statue to overlook the House of Commons they should think about Lucretia Whittam.

In 1854 when she embarked among the 38 "forlorn hope" of "chosen ladies" to go with Florence Nightingale she was over 50 and had been widowed the year before.  Her husband, George, had been one of the most senior Clerks to the House of Commons.  He had succeeded his father in that work.

So this was a lady, resident in Cadogan Square, Belgravia, London and evidently wealthy and very well connected.  Not only that but her father had been Francis Rogers Parslow, a leading London surgeon and senior in the medical profession.  Few would have had better "clout" than this lady.

Florence was not simply the leader with the led, she had with her what looks to me like a highly capable team of ladies, some well connected such as the two Le Mesurier's.  It is not easy to be certain of who exactly many of the other's are but an extensive search shows that ladies of standing with major housekeeping experience are probably there as well.

If there is one common element to this team it is that they are likely to have been devoutly religious and holding to the ideal that their lives were ruled by, for and always with God.  It may be this that makes them anathema to modern history or perhaps that as intelligent, capable, indeed formidable ladies of some status, one way or another, they do not fit our current dogmas about the past.

One interesting feature of all this is derived from the picture below.  It is an extract from the Lloyd's Weekly Newspaper of 5 November 1854, the same day as the ladies landed in The Crimea.  It shows that the Nightingale story was already in place before they had emptied their first bed pans.

My interest in this is that when quite young I knew ladies, born in the 1860's to 1890's, perhaps not of high social status, but who were of this stamp.  There were some remarkable women who lived their lives for others.  Not only now are they long gone and forgotten but we do not understand them or recognise the vital role they played.

Such were the ladies who went to the Crimea and served at least for a time, but it is then of interest to those who came later to join them.  It seems that Mary Seacole was among them to make her contribution.  She is not unique and one of many forgotten.  Another group is that of the Catholic Nuns and we should recall the strong prejudices of the time against the Catholics and the Jews.

The nuns would have been key to supporting the many Irish Catholic soldiers.  If there is to be a statue it might make more sense for it to be a group one representing different elements among the ladies who went to The Crimea to do their work for God, the Queen, the Army and for justice.

There are others in the frame as well. Nightingale for all her work and determination must have needed other high powered people onside, including ladies, with the right connections to get to the confused and incompetent coalition government and civil service and to the media of the day.

There is a candidate for this who sticks out a mile, who lived in Lowndes Square adjacent to Lucretia's Cadogan Square and with the same connections.  Also, in neighbouring streets were others of her family again with extensive connections of the right sort in Westminster and in the military.

It is Harriet Whitbread, about whom a book could be written, second wife of William Henry Whitbread, head of the brewing firm and heavily involved in politics and charitable works.  A niece was at Court, one of the society beauties of the day, a daughter married to the heir to the Earldom of Antrim, her former deceased husband once Master of the Senior Lodge in India and noted scholar.

Another daughter married to Charles Conrad Grey as in the family of Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey and former Prime Minister whose son, also Charles Grey was Private Secretary to Albert, Prince Consort, who acted as private secretary to Queen Victoria while another son and the heir, Edward, was in the Cabinet from time to time.  In short a direct line to the top, the very top.  Harriet was some lady.

When later, the Shah of Persia visited England, he asked for the privilege of meeting her.  He was following in the footsteps of many of the Princes of India who also took quality time to meet with her and discuss matters relating to Asiatic Studies and literature.

To connect Harriet to Florence the answer is one word, Hampshire.  The Nightingale estate at Embley was near to branches of Harriet's own family and Harriet had been there as a child and acquainted with Hampshire society in general.  Did she bump into Jane Austen at any time? Jane does mention her family.

Lucretia Whittam lived until 1891 dying at the age of 88, how much continuing contact she might have had with Florence is not known, but they were near enough in London to talk rather than write.

There are times when the detail can tell us more than the interpretations or theories.

Sunday, 26 April 2015

One For The Pot Promise Of The Day Fourteen

Having just won the London Marathon, must go soon, Chelsea want me in the line up for the big game against Arsenal.  This is a more factual and likely statement than Cameron's inevitable promise of big efforts in the first 100 days, that is, if elected.

In the last 100 or so days, add a few, he came up with new ways of dealing with the pension pots of the pensioners to come.  As a firm believer in the idea of if something can go wrong it will, the article linked below was interesting.

What seems to be happening is that the monetary policies being used to deal with current money problems do not seem to be working at either macro or micro economic levels.

This informed article in Pensions and Investments, "Monetary Policy, Its All Relative" hat tip The Automatic Earth, suggests that the accepted ideas used recently could be having the reverse effects to those intended for a number of reasons.

It is not a long article, intricate, but an interesting read, here is a quote:

When baby boomers were in the sweet spot for housing needs, expenditures on children and cars, etc. 30 to 40 years ago, the effect the central banks were expecting from QE might have worked better, as they expected it would, but that need not be a reliable prediction under the changed current demographic and wealth distribution.

A recent study by the Center for American Progress shows that millions of Americans (as high as 50% of households) are in danger of retiring with insufficient money to maintain the standard of living to which they are accustomed, and the problem is getting progressively worse.

Your previous editorial argues that QE by the central bank may impose unintended costs on pensions, at both the institutional and retail level.


It might be worse again in the UK and Europe.

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Avez Tu Une Cuppa

Despite all the present problems one key issue in the EU is nowhere near solving and may never be.

It is what to say in France when addressing someone, indeed anyone.

Opinions may be sent on an unstamped post card to President Hollande, La Maison Doss, Paris, near Creteil (twinned with Falkirk).

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Budget Planning Promise Of The Day Thirteen

There's a hole in my budget, dear voter, dear voter,
There's a hole in my budget, dear voter, a hole.

The fix it, dear leader, dear leader, dear leader,
Oh fix it, dear leader, dear leader, fix it.

With what shall I mend it, dear voter, dear voter?
With what shall I mend it, dear voter, with what?

With a debt, dear leader, dear leader, dear leader,
With a debt, dear leader dear leader, with a debt.

But the debt is too large, dear voter, dear voter,
The debt is too large, dear voter, too large.

Cut it, dear leader, dear leader, dear leader,
Then cut it, dear leader, dear leader, cut it.

How shall I cut it, dear voter, dear voter,
How shall I cut it, dear voter, what cut?

With decision, dear leader, dear leader, dear leader,
With decision, dear leader for you to decide.

Decisions are tricky, dear voter, voter, dear voter,
Decisions are tricky, dear voter, to trick.

Spin it, dear leader, dear leader, dear leader, dear leader,
Oh spin it, dear leader, spin it.

With what shall I spin it, dear voter, dear voter,
How shall I spin it, dear voter, just how?

With a bribe, dear leader, dear leader, dear leader,
With a bribe, dear leader, dear leader, with a bribe.

With what shall I bribe them, dear voter, dear voter,
With what shall I bribe them, dear voter, with what.

With money, dear leader, dear leader, dear leader,
With money, dear leader, money a lot.

But money is short, dear voter, dear voter,
We are short, dear voter, dear voter, of money.

Then find some, dear leader, dear leader, dear leader,
Find some, dear leader, dear leader, and soon.

Where shall I find it, dear voter, dear voter, dear voter,
Where shall I find it, dear voter, Oh where.

With debt, dear leader, dear leader, dear leader,
With debt, dear leader, with even more debt.

Where shall I find it, dear voter, dear voter, dear voter,
Where shall I find it, dear voter, Oh where?

In your budget, dear leader, dear leader, dear leader,
In your budget, dear leader, the budget it's in.

There's a hole in my budget, dear voter, dear voter,
There's a hole in my budget, dear voter, a hole.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Migration, Promise Of The Day Twelve

There is much heat, little light, a lot of dogma but few sensible discussions of migration issues at present to support all the promises being made.  Some, for example, EU Referendum on Monday 6 April, point out that it is complex and doing something may amount to a number of joined up things rather than talking big ideas.  Sub Rosa discusses the human side today, Wednesday 22nd April.

There is a great deal of history in human movement and the geneticists can tell tales of the unexpected; because of the limitations of sources of the long past, historians cannot offer the certainties we want.  We know about Attila The Hun and Genghis Khan and such like, but not of many other movements that impacted in different ways.

In terms of recent academic studies at one time population was something that straddled economic geography and statistics with a good deal of theory but not a lot of hard evidence about the nature and purpose of movement.  A result is that demographics has been something to avoid by serious or ambitious academics and others.

One area of study, on the one hand a very minor field left to a few students with particular minds has become a blood sport for a great many amateurs and stray academics to call their own.  It is genealogy and family history.  When done well it can be quite informative but great care is needed.

For me it has the advantage that if I use my own DNA and  family history to illustrate how migration works and if set carefully into the historical background it can be illustrative.  A recent update on just one branch allowed a demonstration of the function of extended families operating in a connected network of families over several generations.

The very recent digitisation of many types of record and source can shed light on many questions. One intriguing finding is that rather than my lot being a law abiding upright sort rather more than expected have migrated shortly after incurring the wrath of the local magistrates.

Also, extended and closely connected families are not always happy ones.  Court records and other legal documents indicate too often endless disputes within and between families which may seem trivial to much later generations seem to have been the stuff of life for earlier ones and running over decades at least.  One choice example in The Lady's family is the ancestor who attempted to gaol the President and Fellows of Magdalene College, Oxford.

A number of his extended family were given free tickets to Australia after burning the local workhouse down.  The joy of this is that the Magistrates in question were closely connected to another extended family of mine.  The evidence suggests that this was not the end of the matter, the people sent away carried their disputes with them far across the sea to enliven their new families as well as other rivalries.

Meanwhile, over the water by the Mountains of Mourne the well researched (by others) extensive family network of one of my eight great grandparents were shifting large numbers of their surplus younger sons and daughters across the sea to Liverpool.

It was not long before they had re-established the patterns of their town lands of origin around the streets of Everton and Bootle as well as the marriage patterns and bickering.  While these in the 19th Century were regarded as Irish, the surnames plus the location gave strong indications of extensive movement to and fro across the water, in the past a norm, from all parts of the Atlantic Isles.

This may well have been the root of many and various disputes and rivalries.  Paradoxically, "mixed" marriages only seemed to make matters worse.  One of the features of this particular migration was it went on for generations allowing larger and larger numbers to create a new culture.

Now we call them "Scousers", and this should be enough to warn people today of the terrors of uncontrolled migration of persons unwilling to be diversified.  Years later, some of these claiming to be musicians bullied a craven BBC into letting them control its popular music output.

What was worse was that the money many made out of this racket was moved out to tax havens and the British Government then forced to pay for new airports there for this new celebrity upper class.

As for modern migration from places which have major population increases, economic difficulties and political and religious divisions it is now a lot easier to travel from parts of the East and Africa than was the case from the West of Ireland, the North of Scotland and the scattered locales of the Atlantic Isles to the major urban centres of the United Kingdom long ago.

When they arrive distant from their extended families and put in place both old and new patterns of extended and connected families this is nothing new, it is just that we have forgotten some of our own pasts and now live individually or in "nuclear" families.

With modern communications and media there is no real need to adjust much to new places other than ensuring there is central heating and the relevant retail and other services.

Why watch BBC and ITV, other channels or American when you can see much better programmes and features from back home wherever that may be?

The choice is there.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Scots Wha Hae Promise Of The Day Eleven

We have learned a few things that the SNP are likely to demand of its Labour associates should they form a coalition of sorts after the May election.

These have been the stuff of shock horror stories in the media.  This has had the effect of distracting attention from those other demands which perhaps are better not mentioned at the moment.

One unexpected item may be that the annual Trooping The Colour will be summarily abolished.  Not only does it involve cruelty to horses, will appeal to the Greens, but the ritual praises a form of society which is of the past and is offensive to the present.

Not only are their blatant class distinctions but the higher ranks shout orders at the lower and expect instant and unquestioning obedience.  Not just that but the demeaning business of deferring openly and saluting the persons shouting is required.

There is no mutuality or personal engagement and little respect for mistakes, such as the very easy one of dropping your rifle on the RSM's foot.  By getting rid of the Trooping with its deference to the Royal Family it is then possible to move on to the issues arising from anniversaries of earlier wars.

One example is the D Day landings; a shocking business.  There are no women in sight, on the beaches there is no provision put in place for health and safety, proper amenities and such, never mind facilities for the elderly, children and disabled to take part in the event.

When the paratroops and commando's go in where are the forward elements to engage in positive and meaningful discussions with those of different opinions on the German side?  Where are the compliance officers, therapists and social engagement advisers?  There are none.

Also the new coalition should bring to an end the attention being given to the past events such as the disgraceful business at Agincourt where the deeply prejudiced English would not accept a majority decision.

This "victory" prevented an economic union between England and France which would have transformed lives in that the Auld Alliance between France and Scotland would have meant Scots rule for the Atlantic Isles much earlier than when it occurred in the 17th Century.

For the Battle of Waterloo, represented as a "British" success, the English spite and malignant attitude to the wise, far seeing and reforming Napoleon put back the cause of European Unity for a century and a half.

Again, as the picture above displays, the cruelty to horses was central to the English cavalry.  Had the Auld Alliance still held force this would never have happened.

To return to the period 1944 to 1945, had the London government of the day sought to have come to terms with the vision of European unity of that time rather than insist on purely aggressive military intervention it is possible that mutual concessions could have meant a united Europe in the late 1940's.

But all this is history and how we might see it.  One matter the SNP could demand is that the government should lobby the EU to move on from the outdated tune from Beethoven's 9th Symphony and replace it by one more suited to the present day.

This anthem from the past in Wikipedia, "Partant Pour La Syrie" would be a happy choice and which can be found on youtube here with pictures which would be uplifting to us all.  Personally, I prefer Chant de L'Oignon, but you can't have everything.

But the great question that when Labour and the SNP sit down together, unless of course Labour have to stand, where will Nick Clegg be?

Making the tea?  Green, of course, without milk or sugar.

Monday, 20 April 2015

Promise Of The Day Ten Pop Goes The Weasel

The doomsters are also men who make promises.

If this one is right all political promises are off.

Hold on to your seats.

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Promise Of The Day Nine Learning Difficulties

Among the outpouring of promises have been many and various about education.  This is not just a left over from the Blair and Brown education x 3 = infinity ideas it is a necessary prayer to the whatever gods are up there allocating the votes.

When I were a lad the great majority of voters had actually been at work for a few years before they were able to take a pencil to their ballot paper, now they are barely out of school with hands and minds unsullied by the need to provide for themselves or family.

As education is now much more extensive so the trade unions and interest groups and those attached have gained greater influence.  As the amount of state spending has increased so have the number of businesses and providers for whom this is a ready market have come to rely on these money flows.

One effect is that to show its love and appreciation for all that is fine in education any government needs to be always "doing something" and running agencies such as Ofsted that are also to be seen and heard in a frenzy of activity, paperwork and IT functions.  Busy, busy and more busy is the whole purpose of running education services.

That this may not be a good thing and indeed counter-productive is the case put forward by this article in The Engineer. This is to do with the unfashionable and lower class sector of Further Education work and job training.

Creative destruction may be popular in abstruse political theory but as to getting things done properly and providing coherent structures and systems for this key part of both manufacturing and service basic functions simply does not work.

You cannot train people or give anyone confidence in a system if there is continual chaos and uncertainty.  If what you set up is likely to be overturned and trashed in a few months this is a disincentive to attempting to deal with the real need.

Instead you go for the option of satisfying the eccentric lunacies of the state and its hirelings rather than trying to do the job that ought to be done.

It may well explain that across so many sectors of so many activities there is so much wrong headed and bad practice.

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Promise Of The Day Eight Lux Lumine

Energy and its implications and complications seems to have gone back down the queue for attention and interest as the Bedlam Syndrome sweeps our politics.

We have been promised that the lights will be kept on.  To do this needs electricity and that needs power, lots and lots of it, especially with a rising population who demand more and more.

In the muddle of ideas, all costly and mostly inadequate to the task, see tidal booms in the Bristol Channel, wind farms for every bit of farm land and other wheezes there has been the nuclear option as a key part.

Our wise and expert government has done what it always does these days, goes for advice to people you would not trust to do your shopping, in this case the French.

The Independent today tells the story that has been around the web for a little time now and that is the new build French nuclear reactors are not only way behind time, they are way behind specification and may never work at all.

As we are to rely on Chinese money to build them; heaven forbid we could find our own; if they say not this will mean a very large hole in the accounts.

Which brings us back to oil and the situation developing is very complicated, there are many uncertainties and the overall issues barely understood in politics and government.

The Our Finite World blog is one place to pick up some clues although what exactly we should be doing and at what cost is far from clear at present.

My advice is to stock up on candles, buy wax now while they are cheap.  Those forced to use tallow candles in the future will find them smelly and unreliable.

Also pile up the timber so you can have hot food occasionally as a special treat.

Friday, 17 April 2015

Promise Of The Day Seven Health

It is long ago but there was a time when I was involved in running the NHS, if only in a very small way on the committee of a local Area Health Authority.

My chief experience of medicine had been the number of people taken to the Casualty Ward during the course of rugby matches, notably medic's from hospital teams who became patients rather than doctors.

A great deal has changed.  During the 1980's, Ken Clarke, still around and still ever fond of telling people they are totally wrong and he and only he is right, threw it all up in the air and was amazed that when it came down it was not what he intended.

In the last quarter century it has become a rite of passage for Health ministers on appointment to do a reorg' on the basis of old and unreliable data and with the advice of 'org' and man' consultants hoping to retire on the proceeds rather than medical consultants whose needs are more complicated.

Most of these have seemed fixated on the methods of mass production as applied to hospital throughputs together with management structures borrowed from retailing sectors that have either gone bust, been taken over by financial corporations or operate on pre-computer age structures.

The diagram above, Corporate Capture Of The NHS came from Spinwatch making the point that the NHS is now in the hands not of local and regional interests trying to achieve a balance of provision that matches needs but of the money providers.

They are being given deals that Croesus would envy while the election promises are for more and more government money to be thrown at them rather than the actual service providers.

Sadly, this money will be needed largely to try to contain rising deficits by increasing debt which loads more costs to add to future deficits.

If the expectation of life figures start to fall how will the spinners deal with that?

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Promise Of The Day Six Property

Property, property all is property.  As the promises surge from the media spinners of the political parties the ideal of a property owning population comes very close to the populist and Distributist ideas of a century and more in which Three Acres and a Cow (see Wikipedia) were to be the right of all families.

Note, the word "democracy" is omitted, because in some ways it might not be like that at all as George Orwell observed.  This policy was one promoted by the then Liberal Party of the 1880's and Joseph Chamberlain and one way or another had a substantial following for some time.

See here for why this is relevant to current ideas on so many of us being property owners.  Inevitably, at the time it was a powerful political ploy given the extension of the franchise and the rapid changes occurring in the economy and population structure.

One reason why blogging has been thin recently arises from the history of one branch of the family tree which has led to some heavy work on the primary sources of that period.  It is typical of the experience of so many families and much of the population.

A key feature was that the combination of industrial urbanisation and communications and rapid population growth meant that there had to be a major leaving of the land and the land itself had to become far more productive in many sectors and together with mechanisation this meant large units.

In the present day we are seemingly in a very different world but it is possible that the forces that are in play now may mean that our recent notions of property ownership and distribution are as doomed as the ideal of Three Acres and a Cow was a century ago.

A small example is not far down the road.  Vacant offices are to become flat developments, the spending on this is lauded as economic growth.  But nobody is counting the effect of the 300 white collar and professional jobs lost and the reduction in business activity.  So while property prices keep going up it means that those who can really afford them keeps going down.

What we do have is increasing personal debt and if you are in debt then you are in thrall to the financial agencies providing it. Given the charges and costs of moving house and rising prices then a higher proportion of the population is in hock to the money men and these are the people funding the politicians who like the prelates of old throw out pence to the peasants who are tied to the land.

An essentially servile population largely tied to the land or its property equivalent or dependent on rentals governed and often allocated by a politically entrenched elite with the money flows controlled by an interwoven financial sector is not democracy in any real sense.

Back to the land is all very well but these days most rely on the supermarkets.  In the property market there are winners and losers, we are being tricked into believing we are all the winners but in reality if it does all go wrong then we will all be the losers.

Don't bet on it.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Promise Of The Day Five

The sweltering heat in the South and East of England arises from a plume of high pressure caused by hot air movement unusual for this time of year.

This is due to a surge of political manifesto's some scientists argue may be more dangerous than even the venting of methane gas.

They affect the nervous systems of politicians in such a way as to cause them to emit vapours that are potentially toxic.

It is easy to diagnose those most affected.  Their immune systems go into overdrive to become manic which affects the voice and the key symptom is to claim that the manifesto's are fully costed.

This derangement is potentially highly dangerous if those affected are left in charge of money, health services, children, armed forces and other sensitive areas.

Under no circumstances should they be taken to Europe or any of the other continents.

Also, they should be avoided to the point of staying away from ballot boxes, poll booths or postal voting forms.

Should you have serious concerns and suffer stress related reactions to TV and radio services covering this period of high tension it might be best to totally ignore it.

A glass of simple fruit juice might steady the nerves in trying to work out what might be true and what might not.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Promise Of The Day Four

To paraphrase the one bit of William Shakespeare that we all know; Dick The Butchers cri de coeur from Henry 6, Part 2, Act 4, Scene 2, 71-78, "The first thing we do, let's kill all the accountants."  Our former Prime Minister, David Cameron declares that he did not go into politics to be a high powered accountant dedicated to balancing the books.

No, but he did go into a government system that uses a variety of accounting techniques to help to work out what the hell is going on and why and then try to deal with the consequences and implications.  It is a long word, administration, or if you prefer management.  Politicians are supposed to do it if elected.

But politicians spend other people's money, actual or created.  Even the poorest give them money, via sales taxes and other general taxation.  The issue is that it is popular to give out money and unpopular to take it away.  As the politicians have family, associates and powerful interests to placate they have to juggle the money to benefit these as well as those who want money spent on them.

Thus accountants who do proper and careful accounting are not wanted voyaging on the ship of state.  They have the nasty habit of bringing bad news, failing to stick to the political story line and worst of all explaining that all the options each have an unwanted downside.

Luckily, there are other accountants available ready and willing to manage the figures to suggest all is well and everything is possible.  By miracles of finance not only is everybody to be made happy but the accountants responsible will be rich beyond any politicians wildest dreams and these can be really wild.

So when Cameron implies that we can do without the accountants he does not mean this, he is saying that it can all be left to the ones he hires to present the figures in the form that the politicians like leaving them to gather in the benefits for their kind of people.

Meanwhile our modern Dick the Butcher has learned to hire his own accountant to avoid paying up the money that Cameron needs to be a winning politician.

Monday, 13 April 2015

Promise Of The Day Third

The leaders of the ten or twenty leading parties; err, the count had been lost; all solemnly promise that the pledges they make will be acted upon within the first hundred days of their being returned to power.

These pledges are firm promises that their relevant and incidental pledges will conform with the overall contextual promises on which the overarching pledges and promises are based.

I hope this statement makes the position clear.

As for the hundred days the definition of day will be dependent on which planet in our solar system is deemed most relevant, probably Venus.

However, the terms and conditions allow flexibility in determining the solar system which is applied to the issue in question.

I hope this assists with your forward planning.

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Promise Of The Day Second

Hard on the heels of the Inheritance Tax and related giveaways, originally introduced to curb inequalities of wealth, comes the news that leading parties will give free funerals to all.  Not only that but in the spirit of diversity mortality will not mean loss of human rights.

So those wishing to communicate with their once nearest and dearest, or at least relatives will be entitled to claim for the cost of mediums, spiritualists and shamans.  Cameron will assert that he will table the new laws immediately on being returned to office in that Osborne's Treasury already has the relevant expertise.

The Labour Party will take the view that as their policies and practices are already ancient they are the ones to be entrusted.  The Lib Dem's will want to abolish death and replace it with life eternal in the freezer.  The Green's are divided as to whether dust should return to dust or adopt the Parsi methods of disposal.

The SNP view is that an open door policy is the way forward or backward.  In the absence of oil, industry or other forms of work Scotland could welcome the world's deceased.  Also, they would want to repatriate all Scots or their descendants who died abroad.  This would give a huge boost to public spending and the economy.

Jame's Skinner of Skinner's Horse could return from Delhi and John Russell Colvin with his tomb from the Red Fort at Agra could be placed on the lawns of Balmoral Castle as a major tourist attraction overlooking all the wind farms.

Scotland could become the dead centre of the world.

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Aintree Races A Fine Day Out

There has been a lot of excited comment and titillating photo's in the media of members of the plebeian classes, notably female, taking over the Aintree Races for their amusement.

So, what's new?  

Above is a 1937 picture of the patrician classes who also liked a bevvy or ten on a good day out at the races.  I was there, at least down on the Melling Road, when the Royal Car went past and was told got a cheerful wave and smile from the lady.

Sadly, the memory has been lost.  Perhaps I had a few lemonades too many.