One really does have to wonder whether this challenge is really about legality or simply a smoke-screen for something else - stymying the actual vote or at least watering down the effects so that there is no real change; and why the issues were not raised by MP's rather than the legal system

Background

The question on the ballot paper was unequivocal: Did we want Britain to remain in the EU or leave?

The result was a clear majority of 52 per cent to 48 per cent and the vote was to Leave

MP's voted 6-1 in favour of holding the referendum in the first place

Funding for the Original Case

Perhaps not as transparent as it could have been

A great deal of the funding seems to have been provided by expats and others who have chosen not to live in the UK in the first place, as well as undisclosed businesses with their own agenda

Deir Dos Santos - CASE

Written Case of Deir Dos Santos

Question

Is the UK legal system in place to rectify errors, oversights or wishes of the disenfranchised when Parliament passes Acts?

At the time the 2015 European Union Referendum Act was passed Parliament was quite at liberty to address the matter of the Royal Prerogative and limit its use – as has been done in other instances

Whatever the reasons were, at the time Parliament chose not to do this

Therefore is it appropriate at this stage for the legal system to try to re-write the 2015 European Union Referendum Act to exclude the Royal Prerogative after the event

Surely this approach is an abuse of the legislative process in trying to gerrymander the system in the aftermath of a majority vote that many disagreed with

Original Ruling

Justification for the original ruling seems to have been based upon historic precedents as far back as:

  • 1610 Case of Proclamations. The argument put forward was flawed because the impact of the statement ‘.. Brexit would have a direct impact on substantive legal rights under UK domestic law ..’ 

The actual direct action to trigger Article 50, is an international treaty event (Royal Prerogative), and everything subsequent becomes an indirect domestic (Parliamentary) consequence relating to cause and effect and should not therefore be a material consideration in any judgement

  • 1689 Bill of Rights

‘.. For the reasons set out in the judgement, we decide that the Government does not have power under the Crown's prerogative to give notice pursuant to Article 50 for the UK to withdraw from the European Union ..’ 

Geoffrey Robertson QC 

'.. That’s what the Civil War was about – the right of parliament to stop the Crown doing things that weren’t in the national interest ..' 

However, quoting the National Interest introduces yet another facet - the voting public and a definition of National Interest

Apart from a few pockets, the majority of the population voted to leave the EU, however, in a great many cases their MP representatives in Parliament ignored the wishes of those they represented. Therefore we have a situation whereby the people voted one way and their MP's wanted something else

Where does the National Interest stand in this instance and who takes primacy – MP’s or voters?

Sovereignty

What was the net effect of the 1972 European Communities Act for UK Parliamentary Sovereignty?

This has already been answered and interpreted by UK courts as granting EU law primacy over domestic UK legislation

Therefore, if there was a conflict between an act of the British Parliament and EU law, Parliament would lose out and EU law would prevail. The European Court of Justice (ECJ) became in effect a Supreme Court of Europe, interpreting EU law with judgements that were binding on all member states

Based upon this concept of ‘EU law being granted primacy over domestic UK legislation’ one cannot include the concept of the Sovereignty of Parliament because it has already been relinquished by the 1972 European Communities Act. Until Parliament repeals the 1972 Act and takes back that part of its sovereignty that was lost to EU law, Parliament does not currently have absolute sovereignty because part of it has already been ceded to the EU

Therefore the Sovereignty of Parliament and the 1972 European Communities Act are by definition mutually exclusive 

Royal Prerogative

The Royal Prerogative has always contained powers relating to foreign affairs, which have historically involved the making of treaties at international level. Therefore the ability of the Government to ratify treaties remains a prerogative power, as does the power to amend or withdraw from treaties

However, obligations arising from international law treaties do not take effect at domestic level until Parliament chooses to incorporate all or part of the international law into the domestic sphere, which means a separation between between the two

The EU involves an international treaty and as such falls under the remit of the Royal Prerogative in isolation to separate domestic ratification though Parliament

Is the actual Article 50 an international event or a domestic one? Clearly without clouding the issue by introducing any subsequent 'knock-on' effect, Article 50 falls into the domain of international - ergo: subject to the Royal Prerogative and there can be no other interpretation

In any event, surely the whole point of the Royal Prerogative is that it is a body of customary authority, privilege, and immunity, recognised in the UK as the sole prerogative of the Sovereign and the source of many of the executive powers of the British government

This is especially so where it is recognised that the four major personal prerogative powers which are exercised by the monarch are:

  • The dissolution of Parliament
  • The appointment of the Prime Minister
  • The granting of the royal assent to legislation
  • The dismissal of government

This makes no sense in the context of the Royal Prerogative needing to be ceded by Parliament in this instance – it is already the default position (especially as Article 50 is an international event) and any restrictions needed to be specified at the time of the 2015 European Union Referendum Act.

The assumption of action was implicit when the 2015 European Union Referendum Act was passed - otherwise why bother to have a referendum if Parliament was not prepared to act on the results?

Therefore is it Dominic Chambers who is looking at it ‘.. from the wrong end of the telescope ..’ in his argument

By default Parliament has already ceded the necessary powers and it is up to Parliament to specifically restrict any powers it does not wish to cede – this was not done at the time in the 2015 European Union Referendum Act and one cannot revisit this matter retrospectively after the event because the results didn't go ones way

Arrogance of Dominic Chambers

‘..  Lord Carnwath suggests it would be strange if parliament expressed its will through a resolution but then there was still a need to go back to parliament for legislation to implement it.

Chambers suggests it might be “odd... to the man on the Clapham omnibus” but not to lawyers ..

What a staggering display of arrogance by Dominic Chambers

Surely the whole point of the legal system is to be seen to be fair and understandable by the ‘common man’ and any convoluted argument he puts forward that is impenetrable ‘.. to the man on the Clapham omnibus ..’ cannot possibly be seen to have these qualities

Can Dominic Chambers not understand that this is precisely what the whole thing is about in the first place ‘Elites’ v ‘man of the street’! and once the law and rulings become opaque or obscure the system has failed

David Scoffield QC – N Ireland

He seems to be on different wavelength to everyone else. Is this hearing really about the politics of triggering Article 50 or limited to the legal issues?

Ronan Lavery QC – N Ireland

‘..  It would be unconstitutional to withdraw from the EU without the consent of the people of the Northern Ireland ..’

Don’t be so ridiculous – there was a vote throughout the UK and a clear majority/mandate to follow a certain course of action. Which part of a clear majority does Ronan Lavery QC not understand

Or is he advocating that every settlement within the UK can individually elect to be in or out of the EU? - a flawed argument

Everyone now seems to getting in on the act, pursing their own agenda with little or no regard to the issues

James Wolfe QC – Lord advocate for the Scottish Government 

Scottish Government Stance

‘.. At a constitutional level leaving the EU would limit the competence of the Scottish parliament and the competence of the Scottish government, Wolfe argues ..’ 

Since rewinds over history seem to be in vogue:

  • What about the Darien Scheme (bailout) and the events leading up to the Act of Union - this leads to the heart of historic competence
  • With the benefit of hindsight, the Scottish referendum a couple of years ago could have ended in exactly the same way as the Darien Scheme, with yet another bailout by RUK because of falls in the oil price etc. However, all this seems to have been glossed over by Nicola Sturgeon and her cohorts who backed a potential disaster - this goes to demonstrate present day competence?

Therefore in the light of the two matters above why should there be an expectation of future competence when it has not been demonstrated in the past - and history is oten demed to be a window on the future

Once again a participant not restricting their case to the absolute matter at hand – stick to the topic - legality

Tags: , | Categories: European Union | UK Government

There has been a lot in the press lately about Mark Carney and the Bank of England railing against political interference by politicians

‘.. We are not going to take instruction on our policies from the political side ..’ 

Independent - Bank of England Governor Mark Carney Theresa May

However, Mr Carney seems to have forgotten that he was rather a political appointment in the first place by George Osborne the then Chancellor, so perhaps he should reflect on this before ‘shouting the odds’ – furthermore, if he had been half competent at his job the issue would not have arisen in the first place – and today we hear that he intends to bail-out by possibly resigning

‘Good effort’ – if only the rest of us could bailout of his legacy so easily on the same (pension / historical remuneration) terms as he will undoubtedly receive

Mark Carney may not want advice from politicians but looking back at the performance over his tenure to date, he certainly needs advice from someone because his term in office has not proved to be a resounding success and in fact has only made the whole economic climate infinitely worse than when he took office

Central Bankers as a group, apart from one notable exception Elvira Nabiullina  - Nabiullina named Euromoney Central Bank Governor of the Year 2015 - from the Russian Central Bank, have proved to be THE PROBLEM AND NOT THE SOLUTION

They have made incredibly bad decisions and persistently interfered with the global economy in one form or another over the past 8 years (and before). As a result of the actions of these Central Bankers we have been brought to the brink of a potential global systemic collapse

Throughout, Mark Carney has run with the herd of other Central Bankers by constantly cutting interest rates and printing money, instead of thinking for himself and recognising the potential future problems associated with the BoE decisions – as the saying in the past went ‘nobody was ever blamed for buying IBM’;  although, look at how they were overtaken by others as a salutary lesson for Mr Carney

In fact, for all the performance of this indecisive individual (‘unreliable boyfriend’), with rumours of interest rate cuts which never came to fruition, Mr Carney has been an unmitigated disaster – but then again so has his peer group, but blame is never allocated provided one is part of the herd when there is a collective ‘foul up’

All these failures by Central Bankers, and more, have been outlined in the Bank of International Settlements report - Bank of International Settlements (BIS)

 

Bank of International Settlements:

“Rising debt, lower productivity growth and diminishing room for policy manoeuvre have contributed to a build-up of vulnerabilities that give rise to three threats: macroeconomic instability; the adverse effects of persistently low interest rates; and a loss of confidence in policymaking”

 

All in all, not a pretty scenario and all brought about by the abject failure of Central Bankers of which Mark Carney is one.

By now interest rates should have returned to their ‘norm’ and not sunk ever lower, punishing savers, crippling pension funds and building up huge issues for future generations. The fault of the Central Bankers, those ‘wonders of the universe’, who are not really affected themselves because of huge salaries and very impressive pensions courtesy of the populations they are in the process of bankrupting!

Unfortunately Central Bankers / Governments / SEC / etc. never seem to learn from history and whereas they should have long ago broken up the big banks (too big to fail – requiring bail outs) and banned derivatives (baskets of goodness know what rubbish); instead of introducing more transparency they allowed greater leverage, destroyed the Chinese wall between commercial / investment banks (Glass-Steagall) - Glass-Steagall: aftermath of repeal - and continued with a whole raft of other mistakes 

Therefore instead of shutting down the problems before they became out of hand, everyone (SEC / Governments / Central Bankers et al) just relaxed the rules and joined the party with less regulation, banks became hedge funds, more derivatives, greater exposure, crazy bank capital rules introducing greater risk … and so on … with nobody taking any heed of warnings

Furthermore, the ratings agencies have also played their part and it is remarkable that they still retain the credibility that they do - Questionable Credibility Of the Ratings Agencies- In Aftermath of 2008 Crisis

Now we are at a point where there are only two ways out of the global debt – either actual default or default by inflation. This is why today’s solution is encouraging inflation to try and reduce the debt by once again manipulating the system. It is almost getting to the farcical situation where they should try the Governments Epiphany Over Perpetual Bonds approach - because we are now in the realms of fantasy with global debt, which under normal circumstance can never be repaid

Which is where we are today – global debt has ballooned from the last financial crisis - and when the next meltdown arrives the Central Bankers will have already expended their armoury after being totally incompetent over the past few years by adopting reckless policies and never learning

The only difference next time around will be size of the problem, which will be far greater than in the past and reflect the magnitude of the oversight of Central Bankers / Governments / etc. in failing to address all these issues long ago when they had the opportunity

And what of the bankers / hedgies / politicians that brought about the problems – they will be long gone – but even if they are still here NOTHING WILL THEIR FAULT and they will once again be underwritten by the rest of us

 

Reference

Bank of International Settlements

 

Tags: | Categories: Bank of England | Economics

Why should currencies move a far greater amount than usual in a short space of time, for no apparent reason and then more or less return to their norm?

This situation is beginning to occur far more frequently than in the past and as with everything in the financial world no-one is ever to blame

Yes, liquidity plays a large part with the imposition of tougher banking requirements but so do algorithms and automated computer high frequency traders (HFTs) which can trigger excessive movement and compound each other

However, why is the concept of market manipulation limited to individual traders / organisations and surely it should be applied to computer models as well or the organisations that run them? There maybe bugs or glitches in the software but no-one has yet managed to explain why this exonerates either the developer or the underlying organisation from ultimate responsibility or even why they should not pay the penalty for what is clearly market manipulation

After all someone has coded the computers to react in a certain way and without ‘fail-safes’ they effectively get into a position where the computer code does indeed manipulate the market for financial gain and furthermore they feed on each others decisions thereby compounding the issue very quickly

For the future this is inevitably the way forward for ‘hackers’ – why bother to go for ‘penny-ante’ ransom hacks when targeting the Forex market by getting systems to place fake/dummy trades can reap huge rewards

Better still if you can get your computer to trigger a knock on effect with the market makers systems the sky is the limit. Simply get your systems to find the trigger points in the ‘algo’ computers and let them do all the work – furthermore, by triggering someone else’s systems to do the dirty work you probably won’t even get found out

Don’t do it too often because that is one way of being found out, but once every 6 months should fund a nice lifestyle

So the message seems to be clear – write systems that ascertain the ‘algo' systems triggers and then use these loop holes to exploit the market using the HFT's own applications to do the work for you

And don’t forget the underlying message that nobody is at fault ‘.. it was a computer that done it – your honour ..’! - and I have no idea how the computer code got written

Tags: | Categories: Currency | Forex

Let us return to the TalkTalk saga of last year when a number of their customers had their details hacked

TalkTalk - Joke Of The Data Protection Act

Now that TalkTalk have crystallised the extent of the breach (despite their CEO Dido Harding not having a clue and yet pocketing a £2.8 million salary) - it would seem that the information commissioner has given TalkTalk a record fine

TalkTalk - fined £400,000 for mass hacking breach

Although one has to question the miserly level of the fine which was £400,000 to cover the theft of the details of 156,959 customers data

Does the information commissioner really believe that a fine of £2.55 per customer breach is in any way appropriate or adequate?

After all assuming that it only takes a customer 1 hour (whereas in reality the time would probably be a great deal more to put right damage caused by this event) at the minimum wage (£7.20) to put right the potential damage or changing bank passwords etc. the fine should have been a minimum of £1.1 million

Furthermore, if a reasonable penalty of £100 per breach was imposed then it would have cost TalkTalk a far more respectable £15.6 million

Bearing in mind the following two comments - one really does have to wonder what planet both the ICO and TalkTalk are on

 

Elizabeth Denham, the information commissioner, said:

“Today’s record fine acts as a warning to others that cybersecurity is not an IT issue, it is a boardroom issue. TalkTalk’s failure to implement the most basic cybersecurity measures allowed hackers to penetrate its systems with ease”

 

 

The above comment by the ICO is complete nonsense!

Bearing in mind that TalkTalk have just stated that fixing the problem cost them about £60m, why would the prospect of a £400K fine actually encourage any organisation to volunteer to spend £60m up front fixing problems when they can simply await a breach and only then be required to pay the cost of correcting their systems

It is simple really - why fork out £60m until you are caught - and even then the fine pales into insignificance beside the cost to rectify the problem

Especially (as in TalkTalk case) where the company makes it incredibly difficult for those who have been affected to break their contract and leave for another provider

 

TalkTalk

“said that the hacking incident cost about £60 million to resolve, was “disappointed” by the decision to impose the fine for breaches of Britain’s Data Protection Act”

 

Oh well! seems that matters are still OK on the CEO/Directors circuit and no-body is held to account - so nothing really changes with the cosy arrangement within big business

Move on and don't create waves - or alternatively, trot out the trite fall-back response about taking it on-board and learning from the incident

Dido Harding should learn from the incident by collecting her P45 on the way out

Reference

TalkTalk CEO Dido Harding Pockets £28m

Tags: | Categories:

With reference to the Hinkley Point C project in Somerset - surely an interesting and pertinent question should be

Why would anyone be comfortable with a foreign power (especially China) being involved with constructing a critical component of UK infrastructure?

The following would seem to be relevant considerations

  • Allowing the China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) to have such a close access to the UK’s energy infrastructure would give the state-owned firm the potential ability to build weaknesses into computer systems
  • CNNC has military links and developed the country’s atomic bomb and nuclear submarines
  • CNNC was not involved in the original Hinkley although rumour has it that the company agreed in principle to buy half of China’s 33% stake in the £24bn project. Therefore it is gaining 'backdoor' access to a project that it was never involved with in the first place - presumably this means that it was never vetted as a supplier in the first instance?
  • National Security - MI5 and MI6 have been warning the government about China's involvement for months - over national security and links to the Chinese military and Chinese Communist Party. Especially relevant in relation to the UK involvement in NATO and close links with the USA
  • Academic experts have also been warning us - and the government - for months about the dangers of involving China in a nation’s infrastructure construction program
  • The whole matter has been shrouded in a total the lack of transparency from the last Government – David Cameron and George Osborne do not appear to have looked into the background at all, in their headlong rush to 'cosy up' to China, where other considerations take second place
  • The possibility of old technology being used for the reactors - therefore they may well be out of date even before being comissioned
  • Who will build the reactors? - will it be Aviva or will Chinese General Nuclear be involved – if so, then there may well be safety issues
  • It is rumoured that the Chinese own first nuclear power station had building defects and reported minor leakages – however, corroboration is difficult because of state censorship
  • The huge cost of the entire project – both initially and with guaranteed future payments to the consortium building the project. With subsidies nearly 5 times as big as being previously stated - Hinkley Point C cost 30bn top-up payments NAO report - This also potentially breaches the EU’s state aid limits together with the French Governments ‘top-up’ for EDF with challenges coming from Austria & German Greenpeace
  • Eye watering cost to the taxpayer for 35 years from first becoming operational
  • Yet more levels of nuclear waste at a time when no-one has really come up with a viable method of disposing of the existing waste
  • Design of the reactor - so far proved impossible to make work and regarded by some as “unconstructable”
  • Problems exist with the Flamanville plant in Normandy (6 years behind schedule and € 7bn over budget). There would seem to be weak spots in the lid and the bottom which could reduce the resistance of the metal. The head of the French nuclear regulator, Pierre-Franck Chevet, warned any defects could be very costly to rectify - he explained: “This is a serious, even a very serious anomaly as it affects an absolutely crucial reactor component on which no risk of rupture can be taken.” - EDF's real problem is Flamanville not Hinkley Point
  • With all this in mind the Hinkley Point C Nuclear Project can be summed up as massively costly, potentially illegally funded, threat to national security, using outdated & incorrect technology, having safety issues and with a very real prospect of never being finished and costing the UK taxpayer an immense amount of money – hardly a resounding endorsement!

Also never forget the on-going impact of the Fukushima disaster even today with contamination and the very costly failure of the ice wall containment system - Fukushima ice wall a very costly failure

 

Fukushima ice wall a very costly failure

The biggest ticket failure was apparently a $270 million water decontamination system from French nuclear behemoth Areva. Designed to remove radioactive cesium from water gushing from Fukushima Daiichi’s three destroyed reactors, the machine was never fully operational, functioned only three months and processed only 77,000 tons of liquid — in total — a minute fraction of the 300,000 tons of contaminated water flowing from the site (and into the sea) each day

 

And now the Chinese Ambassador is trying to threaten the UK if we do not go ahead with this project - China warns of 'crucial juncture' over Hinkley delay

Quite apart from the USA Government and Companies being under constant threat of being 'computer hacked' by China - although less so since 2014 because they have now reverted to stealing intellectual property

Nevertheless, what price the 'mutual trust' mentioned by the Chinese Ambassador? China Still Successfully Hacking US, But Less - after all trust works both ways and has to be demonstrable not just rhetoric!

 

UPDATE - 11 August 2016

Chinese Hinkley backer is accused of espionage

 

Chinese Hinkley backer is accused of espionage (Times Newspaper)

“Britain’s Chinese partner in the Hinkley Point power station deal is facing nuclear espionage charges in the United States.”

China General Nuclear Power (CGN), a state-owned energy giant, is accused of leading a conspiracy to steal American power industry secrets to speed up the development and production of Chinese reactor technology. Szuhsiung Ho, a senior adviser to CGN, is due in court next week accused of recruiting American experts to obtain sensitive nuclear technology for China in a plot that threatened US security

 

 

UPDATE - 12 August 2016

Australia rejects energy deal with China over security fears

 

Australia rejects energy deal with China over security fears (Times Newspaper)

“Australia blocked Chinese investors from buying the country’s largest electricity network yesterday, citing national security concerns”

The Australian Strategic Policy Institute published a report last week warning that the sale of the network to Chinese investors would make the country’s defence bases and industry vulnerable to interference. The think tank added that Australia would become more vulnerable to cyberattacks originating from China

 

 

Furthermore ...

 

According to UK Government - Solar and wind power will be cheaper than nuclear (Times Newspaper)

“Solar and wind power will be cheaper than nuclear electricity before the Hinkley Point power station could be open, according to the UK Governments own projections”

 

 

UPDATE - 14 August 2016

As previously mentioned

May given legal get-out to pull plug on Hinkley nuclear plant

 

Sister Project - Flamanville in Northern France (Times Newspaper)

“Two years ago the EU approved a generous subsidy scheme that the government had agreed with EDF and CGN to underwrite the project. A key part of the deal was a Treasury guarantee for up to £17bn in loans”

“According to article 56 of the Brussels ruling, this guarantee was conditional on “objective evidence” that EDF’s reactor technology worked. This must be proven by Flamanville completing its “trial operation period” by the end of 2020”

“Flamanville is using the same reactor design intended for Hinkley. Under construction since 2007, the French project has fallen years behind schedule and gone billions of euros over budget”

“France’s nuclear regulator, the ASN, last year found “anomalies” in its steel reactor vessel. The watchdog is not expected to report back with suggested remedies until 2017”

 

 

UPDATE - 23 August 2016

China - State-run company’s rigs are ‘strategic weapons’

China takes control of North Sea oil drilling

 

State-run company’s rigs are ‘strategic weapons’ (Times Newspaper)

“A decade ago Cnooc was blocked from buying a US oil company over national security concerns. No concerns appear to have been raised in Britain when the company bought Nexen, a Canadian oil operator with a large stake in North Sea oil, in 2012. Cnooc has also drawn criticism for its operations in the South China Sea, which China has claimed for itself despite an international tribunal ruling to the contrary”

“In 2012 Wang Yilin, Cnooc’s former chairman, told Communist Party superiors that “large-scale deep-water rigs” of the sort used in the disputed region were China’s “mobile national territory and a strategic weapon””

 

 

UPDATE - 09 November 2016

Hinkley firm may have to turn off lights

 

Hinkley firm may have to turn off lights (Times Newspaper)

“The French company chosen to build Britain’s new nuclear plant at Hinkley Point may have to switch off the lights in its home country because of safety concerns over its reactors. With 20 of the 58 nuclear reactors in France out of service, officials fear that EDF, the state-owned energy giant, will be unable to meet demand if temperatures fall this winter”

“The scandal came to light after it emerged that the reactor vessel at Flamanville — where EDF is building a reactor of the sort intended for Hinkley Point — contained potentially dangerous flaws. Amid fears that EDF’s existing nuclear plants could also contain unsafe components, France’s nuclear watchdog ordered a programme of tests on 18 reactors. Analysts said that a drop in output because of the tests was likely to cost EDF at least €1 billion”

 

 

Tags: | Categories: China | Energy | UK Government

The trouble with Government & Central Bank interference in markets is the law of unexpected / unknown consequences and this has been a situation repeated over history

Recessions are the markets way of weeding out potential issues. Inevitably some businesses go to the wall but in theory a severe downturn does leave a stronger more vibrant market with more opportunities, for those who can weather the storm

However, once Central Banks get involved in their misguided attempts to influence markets, a short sharp recession can drag on for years or decades whilst ‘zombie’ businesses are propped up and can keep going despite the fact that they should have been wound up years before

This is where we are today – a global foul up by Central Bankers, who, for some reason, seem to believe they know better than anyone else and continue to implement damaging policies in attempts to bolster consumer spending and all manner of other remedies to avoid a recession. Most of which only make the situation worse by kicking the problem into the 'long grass' for the future

  • Unfortunately they never seem to take on board the resulting fall out
  • Why are houses so expensive that the UK younger generation cannot afford to get a foothold on the housing ladder? - could it be because the knock on effect of low interest rates is increased property prices 
  • Is it really a good thing to encourage consumer spending at all costs – and ignoring the individual debt cost - generally incurred by those who can least afford it?
  • What happens when pensioners who were able to live on the interest from their capital can no longer do this with zero interest rates - inevitably they will go to the State for support to supplement their non-existent interest receipts - so this backfires on the State. After all we are now being told that within 8 years 20% of the population will be over 65 year old - so how many of these have been let down by the BOE decisions & how are they to make up for their shortfall in their income as a direct result of Central Bankers?

Therefore, how does a race to the bottom by Central Bankers benefit anyone with ever lower interest rates, whilst each country tries to 'steal a march' on others by reducing their rates even further?

Furthermore, why is there such a disparity between Credit Card interest rates and the BOE rate? – and what, if anything, has been done about the usury rates charged by Credit Card providers. How about policies such as making Credit Card interest rates no greater than say the Bank Rate plus 10%

And now these 'Masters of the Universal' have hit upon negative interest rates, helicopter money and all sorts of ideas that will only exacerbate the current situation in an attempt to ensure short term fixes at the expense of future problems

Enter Perpetual Bonds – Wow, here is a winner! 

We all know that global debt is pretty much beyond counting so this could be the answer to Government dreams

Essentially Perpetual Bonds - aka Consols but potentially ex coupon - have no maturity date, and when one couples this with zero or negative interest rates, Governments around the world suddenly have an epiphany

Why don’t we issue ‘perps’ combined with zero/negative interest – which would solve the global debt problem. After all if one can get enough ‘suckers’ to buy these bonds then:

  • It is very cheap money (borrowing) – bond holders are paying you interest to hold your paper
  • Here is the kicker, you never have to pay the money back (perpetual bond) and over time the debt will erode to nothing anyway

So why not load up these bonds with the entire global debt and just move on - problem solved

OR SO THEY THINK!

Tags: | Categories: Bank of England | Economics | UK Government

Negative interest rates have been on the cards for sometime and seem to be one of the solutions of Central Banks - who are themselves fundamentally flawed by insisting on interfering with the markets

Why is it that the banking system seems to constantly get away with ridiculous practices that would not be permitted in any other industry - whilst at the same time lining their own pockets with disproportionate salaries?

If zero/negative interest rates are the order of the day then they should apply to everything across the board and not selective areas. Should the banks choose to impose negative rates on credit balances the they also ought be subject themselves to the same interest rates when they lend out money - resulting in the fact that they should pay borrowers interest rather than charge them interest.

This would apply in paying interest to those who hold mortgages or overdrafts and the biggest disgrace of all are the interest rates charged by credit card companies which is bordering on usury at 25% plus, when the Bank of England rate is so low

Yet nothing seems to be done about credit card interest rates by the Government - why not?

However, at the same time nobody seems interested in putting a stop to the banking systems use of 'fractional reserve banking' - unless digital currency puts an end to this practice

All this would seem to be a push to do away with cash and replace it with a digital currency such as bitcoin and if this came to pass the current banking system as we know it would become superfluous. After all why would anyone hold money in the current system with the potential of a run on the banks or RBS scenario when it would be held in a new (revamped) style central bank

Unfortunately once this 'demise of cash' occurs, consumers could be 'forced' to spend a certain amount or otherwise incur penalties and far too much control then passes over to the Central Banks - to abuse their position at will

In the meantime, how do the Central Banks propose to deal with any future recessions under their current policies? After all, the present problem is too much global debt in one form or another and the Central Banks will have used up one of the tools in their armament by forcing down interest rates from sensible levels to levels that bear no relation to risk and will eventually become the new norm for a whole generation 

Making the 'fallout' from even a modest interest rate rise very considerable

Furthermore, what do Governments do when their entire ageing population comes knocking on their door because they cannot afford to live with 0% interest on their savings, which have become worthless?

And as for the farcical 'stress testing' for residual capital on the banks balance sheets after an 'adverse scenario' - whose money is it anyway on their balance sheets and if it were not for the bankers slight of hand, claiming clients money as their own would they even be in this situation in the first place? What about ring fencing client money in the first place rather than claiming it as their own?

Tags: , | Categories: Bank of England | UK Government | US Government

Here are a few reasons for wanting to leave the EU - there are numerous others but these are the fundamental ones

Supremacy of the UK Parliament

'.. it comes down to an elemental choice: whether to restore the full self-government of this nation, or to continue living under a higher supranational regime, ruled by a European Council that we do not elect in any meaningful sense, and that the British people can never remove, even when it persists in error ..'

Brexit vote is about the supremacy of Parliament and nothing else

 

Subsidiarity Has Broken Down

‘.. decisions should be taken as closely as possible to the citizens of the Union in accordance with Article 5 (ex Article 3b) of the EC Treaty ..’

The European Union (EU) Why Is Subsidiarity Not Working

 

Southern Europe is in Real Trouble

Youth unemployment in EU’s southern countries is at an all-time high - 39% youth unemployment in Italy, 45% in Spain and 49% in Greece

The problem here is that being tied to the Euro currency these countries do not have the latitude of being able to manage their own affairs – i.e. devaluation

 

Control Over UK Borders

The UK wants control over it's own borders without being dictated to by an undemocratic EU

Damian Draghici Stupid Statement On Romanian-Migration

 

Immigration Policy

This is allied to control of our own resources and borders

Of course the UK wants migrants, however, the issue is about skilled migrants and being able to determine the volume of non-skilled migrants entering the country – not an outright ban on everyone or as the EU wants an open-door policy to all comers from Europe

Generally ‘first wave’ migrants make a positive contribution to the receiving country – thereafter the results are not quite so clear as populations age etc.

Furthermore, the acknowledged wisdom that migrants benefit the UK does not entirely stack up

Between 1984-2000 the UK ‘real’ GDP growth was 2.6% and immigration was 3.3 million – however, from 2000-2016 the equivalent GDP growth was 1.2% whilst immigration was 7.5 million – in theory greater migration should have led to an increased growth, hwever that did not occur.

Also statistics show that migrants tend to go into part-time rather than full-time jobs – all of which is a cost to the receiving country rather than a benefit; especially when associated with the state benefits system and where in-work benefits are available for the low paid.

This results in employers getting' cheap' labour with the bill for topping up their wages being picked up by the taxpayer under the benefits system

Nevertheless, the UK resources are limited and need to be managed for the benefit of everyone

There are also issues about remitting UK child benefit to dependants of migrant workers in the UK back to children in their own country abroad – estimates are around 34,000 children living abroad and benefiting in the area or approximately £30 million in cost

 

Original Basis Of UK Entry

When the UK joined it was originally a trading alliance and since then the EU has tried to morph into a political and currency union as well - this was not what the UK signed up for originally

We are all in favour of a trading alliance within Europe but not a loss of sovereignty, democracy, Parliamentary control to an unaccountable, undemocratic & self serving EU

Therefore do we really want to be aligned with a declining EU institution, or can we do better being masters of our own destiny?

Furthermore, at that time the UK joined, the EU accounted for 38% of global GDP – today it accounts for 17% of global GDP. Some of that decline can be put down to the growth of China etc. but the actual EU decline is far greater than would be expected even with these influences

 

EU Has No Democratic Accountability

Unelected administrators with no democratic accountability are the core of the EU

  • Mario Draghi: The unelected President of the European Central Bank and a Goldman Sachs alumnus
  • Jean-Claude Juncker: The unelected president of the European Commission, and former Prime Minister of Luxembourg
  • Jeroen Dijsselbloem: The unelected Brussels Commissar and “President of the Eurogroup”, and former Minister of Finance of the Netherlands
  • Donald Tusk: The unelected “President of the Euro Summit”, and former Prime Minister of Poland
  • Martin Schulz: The unelected President of the European Parliament, and former Mayor of Würselen

 

CAP And Land Ownership

The distribution of wealth and CAP payments to the already wealthy - fewer than 6,000 people own 70% of the land in the UK

Are EU Farmers Todays Benefit Clamiants

 

Common Fisheries Policy

Give the UK back their fishing grounds

The UK & Ireland used to own 60% of EU fishing water and now the UK’s quota has been reduced to 13% of what is now a ‘common resource’

UK EEC Referendum Will UK Get Their Fishing Grounds Back From EEC Original Illegal Theft

 

Other References - General

Other Countries Views on UK Brexit-from-EU

BREXIT Would You Vote to Join the EU Today

Cyprus EU Failures are Architect of the Banking Problems

Farcical European Wide Social Security Benefits Encouraging Benefit Tourism

 

References to EU Direction & Goals

The Five President’s Report: Completing Europe’s Economic and Monetary Union

EU Basics - Your Guide to the UK Referendum on EU Membership - This is issued by an organisation called the “European Movement”. The 16-page colour and high gloss booklet argues for Britain to stay in the EU. Who and what is this “European Movement”, and who is funding it?

This little-known organisation seems financially powerful enough to drop a high-quality print booklet into every household in the entire UK

In the 1950s and 1960s, the European Movement was funded by the CIA. America regarded it essential to rebuild Germany as an industrial power under the cloak of the peaceful EEC to stand as a bulwark against Soviet Russia in the Cold War

 

The declassification of formerly secret records has solved both mysteries. For as it turns out, they are connected. In the words of Nottingham University academic Richard Aldrich:

The use of covert operations for the specific promotion of European unity has attracted little scholarly attention and remains poorly understood. … the discreet injection of over three million dollars between 1949 and 1960, mostly from US government sources, was central to efforts to drum up mass support for the Schuman Plan, the European Defence Community and a European Assembly with sovereign powers.

This covert contribution never formed less than half the European Movement’s budget and, after 1952, probably two-thirds. Simultaneously they sought to undermine the staunch resistance of the British Labour government to federalist ideas…

It is also particularly striking that the same small band of senior officials, many of them from the Western [note: this means US] intelligence community, were central in supporting the three most important transnational elite groups emerging in the 1950s: the European Movement, the Bilderberg Group and Jean Monnet’s Action Committee for a United States of Europe [ACUE]

Finally, at a time when some British antifederalists saw a continued ‘special relationship’ with the United States as an alternative to (perhaps even a refuge from) European federalism, it is ironic that some European federalist initiatives should have been sustained with American support

 

 

 

UK journalist and former Brussels correspondent Ambrose Evans-Pritchard was the only journalist to report on such academic research findings, in two articles in 2000 and 2007:

“DECLASSIFIED American government documents show that the US intelligence community ran a campaign in the Fifties and Sixties to build momentum for a united Europe. … US intelligence secretly funded the European Movement, paying over half its budget. Some of Europe’s founding fathers were on the US payroll….

“The documents confirm suspicions voiced at the time that America was working aggressively behind the scenes to push Britain into a European state. Lest we forget, the French had to be dragged kicking and screaming to the federalist signing table in the early 1950s. Eisenhower threatened to cut off Marshall aid unless Paris agreed to kiss and make up with Berlin. France’s Jean Monnet, the EU’s mastermind, was viewed as an American agent – as indeed, he was. Monnet served as Roosevelt’s fixer in Europe during the war and orchestrated the failed US effort to stop de Gaulle taking power.

“One memorandum, dated July 26, 1950, gives instructions for a campaign to promote a fully fledged European parliament. It is signed by Gen William J Donovan, head of the American wartime Office of Strategic Services, precursor of the CIA. … Washington’s main tool for shaping the European agenda was the American Committee for a United Europe, created in 1948. The chairman was Donovan, ostensibly a private lawyer by then. The vice-chairman was Allen Dulles, the CIA director in the Fifties. The board included Walter Bedell Smith, the CIA’s first director, and a roster of ex-OSS figures and officials who moved in and out of the CIA. The documents show that ACUE financed the European Movement, the most important federalist organisation in the post-war years. In 1958, for example, it provided 53.5 per cent of the movement’s funds. The European Youth Campaign, an arm of the European Movement, was wholly funded and controlled by Washington.

“The leaders of the European Movement – Retinger, the visionary Robert Schuman and the former Belgian prime minister Paul-Henri Spaak – were all treated as hired hands by their American sponsors. The US role was handled as a covert operation. ACUE’s funding came from the Ford and Rockefeller foundations as well as business groups with close ties to the US government.

“The head of the Ford Foundation, ex-OSS officer Paul Hoffman, doubled as head of ACUE in the late Fifties. The State Department also played a role. A memo from the European section, dated June 11, 1965, advises the vice-president of the European Economic Community, Robert Marjolin, to pursue monetary union by stealth. “It recommends suppressing debate until the point at which „adoption of such proposals would become virtually inescapable”.

 

Nothing is what is seems at face value in the world of the EU! 

Merkel calls for ‘political union’ to save the euro

Giscard d'Estaing: The EU Treaty is the same as the Constitution

Tags: , | Categories: European Union

A second referendum petition – created on 24 May 2016

EU Referendum Rules triggering a 2nd EU Referendum

‘.. We the undersigned call upon HM Government to implement a rule that if the Remain or Leave vote is less than 60%, based on a turnout less than 75%, there should be another referendum ..’

At the time of the referendum result was announced the petition had 22 signatures and as such was regarded by those who are currently complaining as having no relevance

All petitions run for a period of 6 months and this one expires on 25 November 2016

However, with petitions of this nature one cannot have a ’one timescale fits all’ approach because clearly it is absurd to allow any petition to be retrospective after an event has already taken place. The event itself should be the cut of date for a Parliamentary debate

Here a few of the petition results as at 26 June 2016

162,227 people were from outside the UK – most of whom did not have a vote in the referendum in the first place i.e.

  • France 17,383
  • North Korea 18,827
  • Spain – 11,016
  • Vatican City 31,379

(To verify these figures just download the Government json file and run it though an online json/csv converter & load in Excel)

The results of the referendum have been announced and they showed a vote for leaving the EU by 52% to 48%

One simply cannot resurrect something because one doesn’t like the result and anyway surely this just epitomises the whole EU ethos surrounding a complete lack of democracy  - which is why many voted leave in the first place

Tags: | Categories: European Union | UK Government

The argument put forward by many in the remain camp is that it would be better to stay within the EU and change it from the inside

However, one only has to look at history & more recently David Camerons attempt only a few months ago to negotiate with the EU on the topic of change from within - we have all seen how well that went, so why should their stance change in the future?

Based upon the EU's track record why on earth does anyone think that the EU is either willing or able to change - even assuming there is a wish to do so - which clearly does not curently exist

Quite frankly those 'in charge' in the EU are set upon an all-encompassing Federalist agenda and anyone who believes otherwise is deluded

Therefore, why should the UK be shackled to an EU, run by an elite whose ideology is totally alien to our own, purely for the benefit of other countries & the rest of the world?

Furthermore, this magnanimity expected of the UK does not come cheap, with an increasing expectation that the UK will provide ever more funding and help solve all the EU's self inflicted problems, where the UK had no say in the original decision (witness Germany unilateral recent open-door policy over migrants) - sometimes to the detriment of our own population as in the case of many decisions by the ECJ (European Court of Justice)

How interesting that according to all the 'remain' pundits the UK is deemed to have little global influence or power to go it alone, and yet at the same time, there seems to be a huge worldwide attempt to prevent the UK population from exercising their vote in favour of Brexit - something simply does not add up!

Does this concerted effort of bullying, threats and persuasion by the 'remain' lobby, by drawing in all manor of supporters from the entire spectrum of ghastly celebrities right through 'captains' of industry and culminating with ex US Secretaries of State, really make any sense?

After all bearing in mind the claims that the UK is a spent power, why should anyone outside the UK care - unless of course there is more to this than meets the eye?

Everyone wants the UK to remain in the EU as a stabilising/moderating influence - but at what price to the UK in terms of Sovereignty, migration and additional financial contributions to a failing EU. Moreover we have an EU that has no intention or will to change despite having had the 'writing on the wall' for a number of years already. The EU simply produces one 'fudge' after another to provide stop-gap solutions, rather than addressing the issues properly with a view to permanent solutions. This must surely the result of woefully inadequate leadership, paralysed by the concept of decision making - i.e. not one statesman amongst the lot of them!

Perhaps a more pertinent question should be - how long will the EU last if the UK does leave and other countries decide to follow suit?

Naturally if Brexit should come about, then the UK will remain willing to step in and help the Europe in times of trouble, as we have done in the past with previous conflicts - but there is really no need for the UK to be part of the unfolding train-wreck of the EU, just to demonstrate commitment to world peace

As for America - clearly they have short memories because they seem to have forgotten the reasons behind their own War of Independence (1775–1783). Why is the wish for Brexit any different?

Anyway does the UK really care about all the US threats over the 'special relationship' because quite frankly we all know that this is a very one-sided arrangement to serve the US only and any assistance to the UK always comes at a price. Let us not forget history and the Anglo-American Loan Agreement, the USA Cash & Carry policy (WWII) or Lend-Lease because the USA refused to enter the war and only engaged after Pearl Harbor, on December 7, 1941. Preferring instead for their 'allies' to do the fighting for them. All this seems rather like deja-vu with the European migrant crisis - America distances itself & Europe picks up the pieces

Whilst we are on the subject of the US, could someone please explain what their contribution has been towards solving the European refugee/migration problems currently being encountered. This is especially poignant bearing in mind that the US were instrumental in being one of the root causes of these issues in the middle east in the first place and now seem to have 'ducked' responsibility

So guys, before standing on the sidelines telling the UK what to do, any advice you offer would probably have more credibility if you started taking your fair share of Syrians, Iraquis, Afghanis and other displaced people that you have helped make refugees in the first place

However, what is hugely disappointing with this entire episode, is the manner in which David Cameron has conducted himself over the referendum, by displaying nothing more than privileged 'bully boy' tactics in an attempt to get his own way.

Considering the office he holds, his obsession and kowtowing to celebrities has always been rather demeaning to the British people, especially as this was not what he was elected to do. Neither is his coterie of Chipping Norton cronies particularly edifying and only brings him into disrepute when favours are handed out

Tags: , | Categories: Economics | European Union