Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Ivan Cameron, a Beautiful boy, may he rest in peace.

No doubt all have heard of the sad death this morning of Ivan Cameron, David and Sarah's oldest son at 6 years old.

It is the normal order of things that children should bury their parents. It is so tragic when a child dies. I have to say I have been deeply moved by the news, which has led every news item since it broke.

My condolences go out to all of the family and friends. In particular Ivan's brother and sister, Arthur and Nancy. They have lost an older brother.

I was surprised to hear that prime ministers questions was cancelled though. After all, it is only one life, people are losing jobs and homes, soldiers are dying on active service ..(continued to page 94).

I am not now though. Gordon and Sarah Brown's first born daughter Jenifer Jane died just 10 days after being born. It must have been so difficult for him in the commons today, and I don't suppose anyone in the commons had the stomach for PMQ's.

Any way, may Ivan rest in peace.

The BBC has this, Politicalbetting has this, Iain Dale has this, Guido has this whilst Dizzy has this.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Gordon Brown to ban 100% mortgages!

According to various papers, including the Sunday Telegraph, Gordon Brown is to ban 100% mortgages.

There are of course a number of observations you could make.

Firstly its too late in many ways. The horse has not so much as just bolted but to quote David Cameron, has in fact gone on to win the 3:30 at Utoxiter.

It gets worse though. Gordon Brown is saying he knows more about banking. Clearly he doesn't.

The banks have for now at least already stopped lending 100% loan to value mortgages.

The really big problem though is that Gordon has in one stroke ensured that first time buyers will for quite some time, be barred from the housing market. This is of course exactly the reverse of what needs to happen.

The real problem has not been 100% mortgages, it has been the multiplier applied to them and self certification of earnings, as in a complete lack of due diligence on behalf of the banks.

What is even more ironic is that Gordon Brown is talking about prudent lending. Presumably prudent borrowing also. This idiot borrowed well up to the so called golden rule 40% and so had to ditch it at the first sign of trouble.

We hear Labour ministers saying they have "paid off Tory debts". Well that is true, but also obscures the bigger truth. Before the 1991 recession the Conservative government had debts of 20% of GDP. After it it was over 40%. It is true that following Ken Clarke's future budgets Labour paid a bit of that off, but it started this recession with a massive budget deficit and debt rapidly approaching 40% (excluding Northern Rock and public sector pension liabilities).

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Is this the end for Jacqui Smith?

Jacqui Smith, the alleged Home Secretary has been in some difficulties over her claiming that her main home in her constituency is in fact not her main home and she really lives with her sister in London.

The Mail On Sunday blows this apart in this article.

The nub of Jacqui's problem is this: She claims that her main residence is her sisters house, some of her neighbours say that she is not telling the truth. They say they can tell when she is in residence by the armed police presence and that that only occurs from Monday mid day to Thursday mid day most weeks, hardly any weekends and crucially not during the parliamentary recess. The thing is this goes directly against what Jacqui Smith has been saying. If these allegations are true, then Jacqui has to be toast. Not only losing her cabinet position, but possibly having to pay back substantial sums in allowances and then going on to electoral defeat.

What I can't understand about this is how she thought she could get away with it? Did she think no one would notice? It is not like she travels incognito after all.

Needless to say the BBC appears not to have anything on the subject, though it does have this on David Cameron's reaction to the affair from last week.

Whistle blowers revenge on Gordon Brown

You will no doubt have heard the controversy over Paul Moore's allegations which caused Sir James Crosby to resign as vice chairman of the FSA. This stems from Paul Moore being sacked for the heinous crime of pointing out, in his capacity as a risk manager that the bank was being driven to the wall.

Well, in today's Independent on Sunday he fires off both barrels at Gordon Brown, blaming him for our banking collapse. He will, according to the article, send a dossier of further documents to the Treasury select committee which he says shows the regulatory failure.

The interesting thing in all this is that it was Gordon Brown who changed a regulatory regime that had worked for a very long time for one that has failed at its first test. What is more, he was told at the time that the system he was implementing would lead to failure.

Before anyone carps on about more or less regulation, let me say that the USA has a very large regulatory regime. It did not work either. The fact that lots of boxes have been ticked does not mean everything is tickety boo.

I wonder what the select committee will make of the evidence they will see next week. John McFall, Gordon Brown's lapdog on the committee and also its chairman is unlikely to be a happy bunny.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Israeli Election; Who won?

And this is of course the problem.

No one has any idea, nor will they for weeks, possibly months.

Who knows what horse trading will go on to form a government, what is clear is that the Israeli people would like a more stable system which they have not currently got.

Apparently though, both main protagonists are claiming a clear victory! Perhaps they should have gone to Specsavers.

The BBC has this.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Why was she not admitted to hospital?

There is a troubling story carried by the BBC. It is a tale of the deeply sad demise of 8 year old Sophie Waller.

If you read the article on the BBC here, the situation appears to have been this:

Sophie was remarkably afraid of dentists.

She had a loose tooth and so would not eat.

As this had happened before, the family GP arranged that the tooth be removed under general anaesthetic.

Not only was that tooth removed, but all her milk teeth were removed on the 9th of November 2005.

She refused to open her mouth to talk or eat.

She was kept in hospital until the 17th of November and given a feeding tube and was then sent home, on the understanding that she would have a bed if needed if things did not improve. (Some minor presumption on my part)

Despite attempts to feed her and contact with a psychologist her health deteriorated.

Four days before she died on the 2nd of December her parents asked for her to be readmitted, that was refused.

There are a number of currently unanswered questions here.

The first of which is who decided to remove all the milk teeth in one go, presumably leaving Sophie very self conscious? Was consent asked for, and if so who gave it?

Who refused re admittance to hospital and why?

The inquest continues, and I hope these questions are answered.

Economy to be worst in 100 years!

It is not a pleasing thought, but that is apparently Ed Balls' view of the economy.

So much for an end to boom and bust, or indeed how well placed we are to deal with it.

The BBC has this

Monday, February 09, 2009

They could face murder charges!

I am horrified by the damage that has been caused by the wildfires in Australia, and very troubled that some may have been started deliberately.

Kevin Rudd has said that those who have started these fires may face murder charges.

Is there no rubbish that a politician will not speak?

If you start a fire that kills people, you can't face a murder charge unless it can be shown that you intended to kill those who died.

On the other hand, in common law jurisdictions you could face a charge of arson recklessly endangering life, (where no one actually needs to die but death is likely) which attracts the same sentence of life in prison.

You do have to wonder though, what sort of scum starts that sort of fire?

The BBC has this