Thursday, February 28, 2013
While it is a fair argument that the incessant pursuit of economic growth is one of the main reasons why the British and global economy in general has been in a malaise for the last five years, it has now become clear that new growth must be considered and drawn up fast. However with the conservatives and Liberals currently at the head of the table , don’t hold your breath for the serious risk of falling into a state of unconsciousness. It would be a fair assessment to deem the coalition government led by the conservatives to have mastered the ‘day late and dollar short art of governing as the coalition have made poor policy decisions, even those of a political nature.
Prime Minister David Cameron Yesterday doubled down on the government favoured programme of austerity measures in an effort to reduce the deficit in spite of increasing calls for a plan for growth and the UK losing its triple A rating, which will make any borrowing the government makes expensive thus making the deficit even worse. The lack of a plan for growth and the dogged insistence for austerity indicates that the coalition has no idea how to stimulate growth while the answer seems remarkably simple.
The government has been pumping cheap capital into banks for last five years in the hope that it would at once keep banks solvent and provide capital for banks to make loans and invest in businesses but have received very little return on their investment the banks other than international scandal and merit-less ‘performance’ and retirement bonus payments that have left the public seething with anger.
A much better strategy would be to loosen the capital requirements that force banks to hold onto capital ironically derived from cheap money pumped into them and place conditions stipulating that it should go to new loans primarily aimed at new businesses. But this will never happen as the coalition’s aim to is not to improve the economy but to keep the markets happy and content.
This ‘keep the markets happy’ mentality that has become the official economic strategy for every British government since Margaret Thatcher and has not been contradicted even when it has become more than necessary to do so. David Cameron unwillingness to break the irrational but enduring cycle of throwing money at the banks and getting burned for it down the road in the form of economic turmoil has not brought about progress but has seen one of the greatest transfers of wealth from the taxpayer into private hands.
However, there is signs of change as the Bank of England’s nine member Monetary Policy Committee, contrary to the wishes of its head Mervyn King, voted to freeze the bank’s Quantitive easing program, which triggered an adverse reaction in the global markets. However this is normal as the markets are predicated on short term interests, a country however cannot and should not be held hostage to the whim of market speculators hungry for quick profits at the government’s and indeed the country’s expense.
In sum , a plan for growth is needed and should be implemented soon but, I repeat, do not hold your breath.
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
We are more and more being measured by the results we produced as workers from productivity to levels of imagination and creativity but politicians remain immune to this focus on performance with George Osborne being a major case in point, with the British heading into yet another recession and having lost its triple A rating (which means that it may cost the country more borrow money), the question is how is George Osborne still chancellor. People across Britain would be justified to ask this question but a better question would be why on earth was he appointed a Chancellor of the exchequer in the first place?.
Osborne would be much more effective as a strategist in the PM office alongside David Cameron instead of facing attack from all quarters every time more dismal economic indicators are publicly published.
His political skill is second to none proved by his ability out do shadow chancellor Ed Balls despite the economic horror show taking place under his watch. He has also done pretty well in making Labour scramble on many of the issues Labour should dominate and have dominated in the past such as the welfare state and pensions. However, for all his skill as a strategist, he cannot manoeuvre his way out of negative economic indicators many have laid at his door.
The Conservative strategy to excuse the lack of economic progress has been to place blame on the Labour government mishandling of the economy but with Labour soaring ahead of the Tories in most polls available, such a strategy is clearly not working.
Labour has issued attack after attack against the Conservatives policy of austerity which has experienced some push back globally with many countries seeing the need to have a growth strategy. Despite this growing need, Osborne, to his and government’s detriment, has stuck doggedly to a programme of deficit first and all else be damned approach which at the same time is not working and is tarnishing any hopes he may have to lead his party.
You always know that a minister is in trouble when his predecessors are coming out the wood work and throwing in their two cents about what needs to happen next and potential rivals for the conservative leadership are urging the minister in question to change his position which has both happened to George Osborn over the last few weeks.It seems that only thing that is keeping him in office is the Prime Minster who has refuse to press the trigger on Osborne in spite of the fact that it may be for the better for Osborne and indeed the economy.
In sum. George Osborne may lose his job but not anytime soon due to the prime mister having ample time to get rid of Osborne but refusing to pull the trigger. However with the economy in bad shape, David Cameron may have no choice but to bring his political ally close to him in the interest of the country and indeed Osborne himself.
Friday, February 22, 2013
Marco Rubio has quickly ascended to a major figure of the GOP and is seen as a potential candidate for the presidency in 2016 but will he really be the change that Republicans need in order to become electorally viable again? The Carnage Report doesn’t think so and here’s why. In lieu of President Obama’s re-election and convincing defeat of Mitt Romney, the penny had dropped for Republicans across the land; the GOP had to change in order become electorally viable. The party had long relied on the southern strategy to win the Whitehouse and the 2012 election put paid to classic republican election strategy of being hard where Democrats were soft.
Republicans for years ignored demographics the Democrats have learned to perfect their sales pitch to and have won lost presidential elections because of it. Taking stock of the Democrats appeal to a wider demographic and the fact that democrats and indeed the country is looking to see if the GOP can change its positions or at least be able to bargain with, with immigration reform sure to be the litmus test as it is clearly one of the president’s key policy priorities.
There are signs that the GOP may be changing with Louie Gohmert, A Texas congressional republican who is as right wing as it gets and was against Affordable Healthcare, stating publicly that temporary workers (who are mostly immigrants) should have their healthcare paid for by their employers. However, while it does represent some progress, Gohmert motivation for backing this measure was his anxiety over “immigrants benefiting from tax-payer funded health care programs” in knowledge of the fact that immigrants receiving state benefits are less than popular.
This kind of logic also informs the GOP sudden push for their members to embrace immigration reform in an attempt to attract Latino voters to the party. Marco Rubio popularity is fuelled by this need to make some progress on immigration despite the fact that Marco Rubio is quite conservative on the immigration reform. Upon the news of a leak of the Whitehouse’s draft immigration reform bill that would reportedly “offer more than 11 million undocumented immigrants a pathway to residency”, Marco Rubio stated empathically that should its bill reach the floor of congress “the bill would be “dead on arrival” and called the bill “half baked and seriously flawed”.
Rubio also implied that bill is unfair due to the bill allows for “special pathway” that favors illegal immigrants despite the fact that Rubio has proposed an immigration bill quite similar to the bill drafted by the Whitehouse. The bill mimics the Whitehouse draft bill as it supports the “pathway to residency” clause he outright criticised in the Whitehouse’s version. It can easily be presumed that Rubio bowed to party pressure as fellow republicans publicly attacked the Whitehouse bill with Rand Paul seeing the plan as “untenable” stating that the “bill won’t pass”.
Rubio’s position on Israel is no real surprise but his commitment to Israel counterproductive plan to make Jerusalem it capital was confirmed when on a visit to the country, Rubio revealed he saw Jerusalem as “…the capital or Israel”. Israel has made plans (‘E1 development’) to further encroach into the west bank by building new settlements on land that is seen by many that, if successful, it would make the two-state solution impossible as a policy choice.
Israel unveiling of it plans to increase settlements in the West Bank drew widespread criticism including from numerous member states of the EU, UN, and even the United States. A spokeswoman from the US State Department expressed that the United States “was deeply disappointed that Israel insists on continuing this pattern of provocative action”. The spokeswoman continued to point at the continued hypocrisy of Israeli Leadership as she rightly noted that “Israeli leaders continually say that they support a path towards a two-state solution, yet these actions only put that goal at further at risk”.
However in the face worldwide criticism of their expansion policy regarding the West Bank, Israel has continued its controversial plans to build settlements with the housing the state “issuing tenders for hundreds of housing units in the West Bank settlements of Karnel Shomron and Efrat”. Despite the consternation towards Israel’s settlement plans, Rubio contradicts the position of his own country by siding with Israel’s isolating and conflict inducing position looking to beef up his foreign policy profile by stating his views “on some of the nation’s (Israel) thorniest issues”.
While photo ops with Shimon Peres and Benjamin Netanyahu may help his foreign policy profile, Rubio has supported a position that the people of Israel are clearly split on and may even like to see slow down or stop completely. According to ThinkProgress’s Hayes Brown, “Fifty-four percent of respondents were in favor of a Palestinian state, with only 38 percent opposed”.
In an survey taken by 600 Israelis, contrary to Israel’s well-earned reputation as a militarized country, 81.9% of Israels “think settlements should be the first source of budget cuts”, even among the Israel’s strong right wing contingent there is majority support for “diverting funds from settlements to help balance the budget”.
However for all the encouraging polls suggesting that the people of Israel would like to see an ease in the building settlements and military conflict, the hopes of this happening are depressing to say the least with a decisive “54 percent of those polled believe that a peace deal with the Palestinians is impossible”. The country, as far as support for settlements are concerned, has no definite position with Support and opposition “split in half, with 43 percent opposed and 43 percent in favour”.
With the evidence available, It was unwise for Rubio to take a position on an contentious issue and is a reliable sources for the international to pour condemnation on Israel and further isolate a country already low on friends and high on military intent.
 I. Volsky, 2013, Right-Wing Congressman Suddenly Embraces Ahealth Care…For Immigrants, http://thinkprogress.org/health/2013/02/05/1543681/right-wing-congressman-suddenly-embraces-a-health-care-mandatefor-immigrants/
 K. McDonough, 2013, Marco Rubio threatens White House leaked immigration bill would be “dead on arrival”, http://www.salon.com/2013/02/17/marco_rubio_threatens_white_house_leaked_immigration_bill_would_be_dead_on_arrival/
 C. Joseph, 2013, Marco Rubio Rejects His Own Immigration Proposal, Because of Barack Obama, http://blogs.browardpalmbeach.com/pulp/2013/02/marco_rubio_rejects_his_own_im.php
 Fox News, 2013, Republicans rip Obama immigration plan ; Rubio calls it ‘dead on arrival’, http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/02/17/report-bill-would-set-8-year-path-to-residency/
 A. Esenten, 2013, Visting Senator Marco Rubio:Of Course Jerusalem I Israel’s Capital, http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/visiting-u-s-senator-marco-rubio-of-course-jerusalem-is-israel-s-capital.premium-1.504963
 H. Sherwood et al, 2012, Israel stands by settlements plan despite growing diplomatic crisis, http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/dec/03/uk-may-recall-israel-ambassador-settlement
 Y. Benhorin, 2012, US: Israel Settlement Plans Provocative, http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4321795,00.html
 Ibid, Quoted by Benhorin
 Ibid, Quoted by Benhorin
 S. McLaughlin, 2013, Israel stop a boost to Marco Rubio’s foreign policy profile, http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/feb/20/israel-stop-a-boost-to-marco-rubios-foreign-policy/
 H. Brown, 2013, POLL: Israels Support Palestinian State But Split On Settlements, http://thinkprogress.org/security/2013/01/04/1398041/israelis-support-two-state-split-settlements/
 A. Zeiger, 2013, Poll: Israels say defunds settlements to balance budget, http://www.timesofisrael.com/poll-israelis-say-defund-settlements-to-balance-budget/
 H. Brown, 2013, POLL: Israels Support Palestinian State But Split On Settlements, http://thinkprogress.org/security/2013/01/04/1398041/israelis-support-two-state-split-settlements/
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Thursday, February 14, 2013
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Monday, February 11, 2013
Last year, we published an article called the 'kids are not alright' and according to numbers recently published by YouGov confirm, our well informed suspicion are vindicated as UK are buried under debt on the tune a of whopping, wait for it, £20bn !!!!
Check out the shocking number by clicking on this link below:
Friday, February 8, 2013
If losing Chris Huhne (one of the better political operators in the party) over the self inflicted speeding points scandal and almost endless stream of personal revelations borne from it wasn't bad enough for the Liberal Democrats, one of their veteran MP's being accused of sexual assault has to be a cherry on top of a very nasty cake Lib Dems have forced to digest.
Portsmouth South MP Mike Hancock, according to the guardian, was accused of fondling a constituent and was reported to have "exposing himself and kissed her on many occasions without consent". It is a sad irony that we always accuse our representatives for not being responsive the needs of their constituents and when they do, it is always for more than we bargained for, certainly in the case of the victim who sought help dealing with "noisy Neighbours" and instead got, allegedly, a "inappropriate relationship" that lasted nearly a year.
The story only gets worse as the woman involved has "a borderline personality disorder and is registered as a vulnerable adult". the power disparity between the MP and his constituent is further brought to light due to her claim of abuse being hampered by the police and the parliamentary authorities.
According the guardian, the woman's legal counsel investigation were been hampered by local authorities as "the woman complained to the police in 2010 but the inquiry was dropped". A message was clearly sent the woman when the parliamentary commissioner for standards, incredibly, "told the woman's legal team in October 2011 that he did not have the remit to examine Hancock's behaviour" and the party chose not to investigate as in light of the police withdrawing their interest in the case and "parliamentary authorities" avoiding responsibility, they had "no case to answer".
The local council also do not come out of this case smelling of roses as they, incredibly let Hancock shut down council hearing that "was due to hear the woman complaint last Friday but the meeting was suspended the day before because Hancock presented a certificate of illness".
The plot thickens further due the fact that Hancock has previous. A former employee of Hancock claimed that she "had a four year affair with him" and Hancock, in court revealed that "he had a "close and affectionate relationship with a 17-year-old girl who had worked in his office, but insisted it has not gone beyond kissing and cuddling". While it is never wise to come to conclusions about people you don't know let alone people you hear about in news reports, it isn't much of a stretch to say that a man who has previous in stepping out of his marriage on two separate occasions is clearly not beyond a third.
In sum it has been hell for the Liberal Democrats but a hell inflicted by senior members in their party, one with a clear ambition to be party leader (which are now in ruins) and another with a well documented weakness for the opposite sex.
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Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Match Fixing or cheating in general in sport is nothing new with the numerous scandals that have come to light over the last few years notably in cricket and cycling but some reason, cheating or match fixing in football has been greeted with shock with the news of a Europol investigation into the sport finding that “380 matches across Europe… (were) fixed”. Europol also the widespread involvement in match fixing scheme run by a ‘organized crime syndicate’ citing that “around 425 match officials, club officials, players and criminals (are) under suspicions”.
In their investigation, Europol made public their suspicions that unbelievably, “World Cup and European Championship qualifiers, two Champions League ties and "several top football matches in European leagues"” were fixed. Some may ask why Match fixing has taken place and the answer is rather simple, money. According to the guardian, “Criminals put 16 million (euros) on rigged matches and made 8 million (euros) in profits”.
However for all Europol’s findings in their investigation into the beautiful game, it has been met with ire of footballs biggest football, namely, the FA, UEFA and FIFA due to Europol not giving the football authorities a heads up to their investigation. In light of Europol suspicions that match fixing took place a champions league game in England, the FA went on the defensive stating that “"The FA [is] not aware of any credible reports into suspicious Champions League fixtures in England, nor has any information been shared with us."”. this also corresponds with FIFA’s calls for greater “cooperation with law enforcement agencies” and UEFA restating it stance of ““zero tolerance” for match fixing” .
While Europol’s claims come across as sensational, it would be unwise to argue that football is free of instances of match fixing. Just last month, FIFA took swift action by banning for life 41 South Korean players “who had been involved in prearranging matches”. Key football figures have warned of the threat Match Fixing poses to football with FIFA official Jerome Valcke citing it as a disease and a threat (that) is on a worldwide basis” . Michel Platini , head of Europe’s ruling football body UEFA, cited match fixing as the “greatest threat to football” as he imagined a scenario that "If tomorrow, we'll see a game and we already know the result, football is dead". However if match fixing will kill football, it has definitely had taken its best shot in recent years, particularly in Italy.
The most infamous case of match fixing in recent years took place in Italy with the Calciopoli scandal which ended with the relegation of Juventus and the stripping of their recently won Serie A title. It is an scandal that still haunts the Italian game with participants in the scandal still making headlines.
The game in Italy has been blackened further with revelations of match fixing taking place at the higher reaches of Italian football once again with a number of players and managers investigated and eventually banned, including Lazio player Stefano Mauri and Juventus’s championship winning coach and former player Antonio Conte.The investigation even disrupted the national team’s Euro 2012 preparations when Italian paid a visit to their training base “to speak to Zenit St Petersburg defender Domenico Criscito as part of a wide-ranging investigation into match fixing” .
Italy, unfortunately is not the only country affected by match fixing as the crime has proved itself, like a growing number of crimes, to be a global phenomenon. The Europol investigation found that “in total, 380 European matches are under suspicion, with a 300 in Africa, central and South America and Asia also identified”.
In sum, Europols’ findings on football match fixing are shocking but not surprising as there has been serious cases of Match fixing is one of the games top leagues and beyond. The institutions involved in policing the game have paid much lip service to the destructive effect that match fixing can have on the beautiful game but have done little to make sure it keep its integrity.
 The Guardian, Europol: investigators identify 380 fixed football matches, http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2013/feb/04/europol-investigation-football-matchfixing
 D. Conn, 2013, Europol’s match-fixing bombshell leaves football authorities in the dark, http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/blog/2013/feb/04/europol-match-fixing-football
 Ibid, quoted by Conn
 P. Pinto and T. McGowan, 2013. FIFA official Jerome Valcke: ‘Match Fixing is a soccer disease’, http://edition.cnn.com/2013/01/23/sport/football/match-fixing-fifa-valcke-football/?hpt=hp_bn2
 The Independent, 2013, Match Fixing great threat to football says Michel Platini, http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/news-and-comment/matchfixing-greatest-threat-to-football-says-michel-platini-8461369.html
 Sportsnet, 2012, Italian Match Fixing Refs Ordered To Pay $5M, http://www.sportsnet.ca/soccer/2012/10/17/italian_match_fixing_refs/
 A.Johnston, 2012, How Italy has reacted to the latest match-fixing arrests, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-18239792
 CNN, 2012, Police raid Italian soccer squad’s base in match fixing investigation, http://edition.cnn.com/2012/05/28/sport/football/football-italy-match-fixing
 R. Scott-Eliot, 2013, Football left in crisis by police report that says match-fixing is rife, http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/news-and-comment/football-left-in-crisis-by-police-report-that-says-matchfixing-is-rife-8480648.html
There are many things you can say about Miami rapper Rick Ross (most of which would be negative), but what can be said for sure is that Rick Ross has portrayed a life that now is coming back to haunt him. Rick Ross repeatedly raps about a luxurious elegant gangster lifestyle in his songs and peddles classic street hustler imagery in his videos to the chagrin of a number of fellow rappers (especially those who have had a taste of the life Ross portrays) and real gang members, who see Rick Ross as fake and is making a mockery of their all to grim reality.
Rick Ross is not the only rapper who has portrayed himself to be a gangster well respected in the streets or claim to rep their hood beyond reproach but very few rappers who have been found out as publicly as Ross to be the total opposite of what he portrays in songs and music videos and stick around to tell the story. Rick Ross made the career defining mistake of starting a beef with 50 Cent who then launched a relentless campaign of exposing Ross by shining a humiliating light on his child support issues to his former employment as a corrections officer.
Many in hip hop community were shocked by the findings of him being a corrections officer in the past, especially due to the fact that Rick Ross has not really been harmed by the revelation. If anything, Rick Ross has gone from strength to strength with a epic brand of music and smooth rhymes littered with heavy references to drug dealing and gang culture. While many rappers have cited Ross as a fraud, It hasn’t made a dent as many in the hip hop community largely overlooked his deception.
Nonetheless, his credibility has never really recovered and his constant references to the drug game and gang culture has now gotten himself in trouble with one of the most infamous street gangs in the United States, the Gangster Disciples. Offended by Ross’s numerous references to Gangster Disciple insignia and its leader Larry Hoover, Gangster Disciple member across the nation posted threatening videos citing that Rick Ross shouldn’t come to Chicago or numerous cities due to loose usage of Gangster Disciples imagery due to him not being involved with the Disciples.
Now his drug and gang references have seen his tour dates cancelled due to serious threats made on his life. Rick Ross, who has made millions selling his gangster fantasy to the mainstream has now put his life in danger and eventually culminated in an attempt on his life. While Ross was fortunately not hurt in the attempt, it is almost certain it won’t be the last as the feeling of dislike against Ross are strong among those who feel that Rick Ross has profited handsomely from a lifestyle he has no first-hand experience of.
In sum, Rick Ross has become a victim of his own gangster creation and now the barbarian at the gate of it how now come crashing through the bravado and imagery which has earned Ross his fortune and now, unfortunately his new found status as a nationwide target for abuse and even worse.