Wednesday, July 27, 2011

So why is UK growth so sluggish?

Well, that is a whole matter of debate, but what I can say is this: Birmingham is no longer quite the industrial hub it once was.

The problem is this: A lot of our industrial output, like cars particularly (but not exclusively) Nissan (capacity 340,00 cars per year), Honda (250,000 per year) and Toyota (137,000 per year) are reliant on parts made in Japan. UK manufacturers have also been affected as they are also reliant upon Japanese imports which have been cut short by the tsunami. In short, 0.2% growth is fantastic under the circumstances.

Now lets get back to the phrase "under the circumstances". It's actually quite important. Making cars in the UK is quite cheap particularly if you only have to deal with one union but making components here is less so when you have to deal with the tax office who want you to write off plant long after you have had to scrap it because it is cost-efficient. This is something for which the whining Ed Balls was responsible when he was telling Gordon what to do, but it was also the case before Labour got into power in 1997.

The boss of Nissan UK thinks he wants to buy more parts in the UK. Good. Get that past the Treasury and we are in a win win situation.

Meanwhile, Japan is recovering from the tsunami and so will our production. Growth next quarter will be 0.6 to 0.9% of GDP which will make Ed Balls look a bit silly.

That said, looking at tax rules on plant would seriously help in growth without being too costly.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

NOTW to close: 200 innocents pay whilst guilty keep their jobs

So, in a move to deflect growing anger of the News of the Wor;ld phone hacking scandal, 200 innocent journalists are to lose their jobs whilst Rebekah Brooks can keep hers, as the News of the World will publish it's last edition this Sunday. You can read James Murdoch's statement here. The BBC has this.

This is disgusting. What's more it looks like Murdoch will be starting a paper called the Sun on Sunday, possibly as soon as the following week. In fact the domain names for and have already been registered. In fact there seems to have been a plan to make the Sun a 7 day week operation (See The Guardian here).

What will be interesting to see if there are claims for unfair dismissal.

So, if the editor and staff of the News of the World want to start a new paper put me down for £100 in share capital. If I can spare more I will.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Should there be a public inquiry over phone hacking?

No. That would cost the taxpayer millions.

What taxpayers should do is just boycott the tabloids, and anyone who advertises with them.

It would be much quicker, more effective and very very cheap.

So ... boycott News International and the tabloid press. Job done.

I also have this on the original story, and this on how the News of the World got Milly Dowler's mobile number.

How did the NOTW get Milly Dowler's mobile phone number?

As readers will know from my last article I had an opinion of journalist that was low, of print journalists doubly so and tabloid ones quadripartitely so to a point that it could go no lower. I have now had to revise that and my opinion has dropped to depths I had hitherto thought impossible.

However a question sprang to mind which is ... how exactly did the people at or working for the News of the World get hold of Milly Dowler's mobile phone number in order to hack it? After all their families home phone number was ex directory and the NOTW got hold of hold of that by unlawful means.

So how did they get it?

From the family? Well, they couldn't get the families home number so I really doubt that they could of got it from the family.

Friends of Milly? Well how many would they have had to have asked to get the number, and if but one friend asked was concerned, that would have blown the operation out of the water so they would have had to have got lucky first time. Does anyone think they would have risked it?

The telephone companies? Well which one? The phone was a pay as you go mobile phone, need not have been registered, and the NOTW would not have known which provider to ask, so would have had to have worked their way through several.

So who then? Well... we do know one group of people who would have had the number and according to Rebecca Brookes in evidence to a parliamentary committee have form for selling information to journalists and that is the police. Seems to me to be the easiest most secure and least likely to backfire method available.

So the police have huge amounts to answer for and indeed this also explains why they have been hitherto completely lax and uninterested in investigating any further than they have been pushed. After all the investigation was and is bound to lead directly to them.

The story has now got much worse, with the Telegraph leading with a story that victims of the July the 7th bombing had their phones hacked as well as the family of the Soham murder victims Jessica Wells and Holy Chapman. (The comments above about how phone numbers were obtained also applies to these cases).

Just how disgusting can this get? Just how up to their necks in it are the police and is that why they have been dragged kicking and screaming to investigate? In fact you have to ask, how can we be sure the police are the right body to investigate?

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Milly Dowler: Boycott News International!

I have a very very low opinion of journalists, from the fantasist (Robert Fisk) to the great fictional writers (Johann Hari), the faux I hate the privileged, but privately educated immensely privileged and overpaid staff at the Guardian, the venal distasteful tabloid journalists and not forgetting the editors on all media who decide what sells papers and frequently decide what the news is and fit the facts to the story not decide what the story is based on the facts.

I was not prepared to have such a low opinion and low expectations lowered still let alone by the degree and manner of the Milly Dowler phone hacking story (Lest we not forget, reported to us by the over privileged, over paid Champagne socialists at the tax dodging Guardian media group).

Lets get this straight. They hacked a 13 year old girls mobile phone message service. Just how low can you go? They deleted messages when the mailbox was full, possibly interfering with a police investigation, in order to get fresh copy to sell more newspapers. This action caused the family to have hope where there was none, and may well have diverted the police investigation.

This is behaviour more disgusting than even I could have imagined. Not surprisingly none of the tabloids mention this on their front pages, because one suspects they would have done the same, if that is, they did not try.

So I call for a boycott of all News international outlets, especially the newspapers, The Sun, The News of the World and the Times (and the Times on Sunday) and if possible Sky News.

I would also ask people not to buy any tabloid. They have kept silent on the phone hacking story, I suspect because of a guilty conscience.