The croft in the Highlands scenario just became a viable option

The croft in the Highlands scenario just became a viable option

The REME vehicle mechanics had been working on the engine pack throughout the night. As dawn rose through the mist on the North German Plain Bombardier Clark turned to me and said, ‘Well Sir, I reckon the things properly fxcking fxcked.’ Bombardier Clark had a way with words which I find difficult to better this morning as I survey the train wreck that is the election result. 

Tory passengers noticed before the driver did that something was awry

Tory passengers noticed before the driver did that something was awry

Despite all the opposition parties swaggering around the studios like winners there aren’t any really. Except for Jeremy Corbyn personally, house prices in Scotland and Ruth Davidson. The parliamentary Labour Party have just been handed their worst nightmare. New Labour is history and New Old Labour is here to stay given that Corbyn’s position is unassailable. Theresa May is on political life-support and will in all likelihood be gone by mid morning or will give notice to leave, (although the BBC are now signalling she intends to stay). I expect you could then say that Boris is a potential winner but he, or whoever the Tories elect, will be handed a chalice laced with political arsenic. One of the things I got right, and there weren’t many, was that Ruth Davidson would shine and she has with a genuinely robust set of wins in Scotland which has nobbled IndyRef 2. The SNP though will have more influence at Westminster than before. The Lib Dems went nowhere and UKIP did every bit as badly as we expected.  The Europeans meanwhile are not happy. They wanted a strong and unified set of negotiators on the other side of the table.

As an act of national collective madness this will take some beating. I look at the fact that so many misguided half-wits voted for a man who supported terrorists uninterrupted for 30 years with bewildering incredulity. The not so nice part of me thinks, ‘Stuff it. I hope you get your grand coalition. Your loans might go down but there will be no jobs for you at the end of it.’ The Conservatives have however, only themselves to blame as I explained in a previous post. They might have been hearing but they weren’t listening. That under 30’s, of all previous political hues and family backgrounds, lurched to Labour is an unforgivable dereliction of responsibility by the Tories. 

One thing is for sure and for certain; we will have another election this year. We’re turning into bloody Italy. This morning, the croft plan doesn't seem so silly. The only, and I do mean the only mitigation in staying up all night was Emily Maitlis in that red dress. I think Bombardier Clark would concur.

Shaking The Magic Money Tree


Politicians of all hues are tripping over themselves to shake the Magic Money Tree and over what amounts to electoral bribes to entice marginal voters over the line. If they're not careful, some of those voters might cross the line and fall of the cliff.

Interest rates are at never seen before lows. In fact, you'd have to be a Time Lord to go back far enough, (beyond 1800), to see anything similar. When rates rise then, while some borrowers may have locked their rates in, (that is a must-do for everyone anyway), everything else they have borrowed will rise  and they'll rise steeply. Don't expect any reasonable or fair relationship between modest bank rate rises and say, for example, credit card rates or personal loan rates.

If any of these dunderheeds wanted to present a fair and reasonable playing fields for first time buyers they would equalise the anomaly that leads to English youngsters being £30-40k in debt before they start when they're competing for housing with kids from elsewhere in the UK who have that edge on them. I asked a young man the other day who is newly arrived in the job market if I was right in my assertion that most young people in England don't feel strongly about Scottish Independence. "On the contrary he said, I find a growing resentment that our taxes are paying for benefits like university education that is blocked to us and its tougher for us to borrow for house purchases than someone newly arrived in London from Scotland."


Can I Vote For Basher Neil?

Labour's Jamie Reed in a car crash interview with Chief Dementor Andrew Neil, on Labour's NHS spending plans and taxes like the mansion tax. He is eviscerated.

We're all by now used to candidates and potential PM's saying whatever they think we want to hear while writing make-believe cheques from the Magic Money Tree with carefree abandon. 

That they have been getting away with it is nothing short of disgraceful and a sad reflection on broadcasters. One of the few who, on all our behalf's, actually calls them to account is Andrew Neil and well done him for speaking up for democracy and the electorate.

The example above from the Politics Show is a classic. I don't know if I'm infuriated or just saddened.

Perhaps, if the political class carried personal liability for their stupidity, as do most of us outside the public sector, then they might be more thoughtful and diligent before dispensing financially incontinent decrees.

If I could vote for Mr Neil, I would.


UK Rates To Move Before The US?

3 mth (Short Sterling) Interest Rate Future

I’ve previously noted, as has just about everyone else, how sanguine markets have appeared in the face of potential nae, probable post election chaos.

That may be changing.

Short stering, (which we invert, ie subtract from 100, to translate into anticipated 3 month LIBOR) above, is falling on volume.

This could be a result of concerns about a minority government, which might precipitate a rate rise to steady the pound, or anticipating the return of a Conservative government indicating continued good eco news flow which would also require a rate rise.

Barclays are suggesting the drop is because of swaps being unwound.

I think it is probably a combination of factors which is triggering the volume spike. The takeaway here is that volatility in UK related assets is increasing and will stay on that track in the coming weeks.

The Empire Strikes Back

It's with some hilarity that we learn this morning, courtesy of analysis from the Insight Consulting Group via Guido, that should Labour be elected some 25.51% of MPs are likely to be Oxbridge graduates. Interestingly, the number drops to 20.86% in a Conservative-led Parliament perhaps suggesting that slightly more Tories have held real jobs than have the policy wonk stuffed Labour party who are mostly cradle-to-grave political Moonies. 

Well, they don't make any bones about what they're about on their website. The time is coming to reclaim the management and leadership of the Kingdom from this cosy union.

I've written previously about the bizarre grip that the Oxford PPE course has on British politics and political reporting, (it's a very long list, read and be amazed). Perhaps its why they are all so grey and mostly follow the same dreary agenda's with just a different lick of paint on their buses. No long term strategic thinking and no imagination with precious little grip on what passes for Planet Reality for the rest of us. They've buggered up just about everything they've touched and done a mind trick on the Public which mostly believes in the sequential Great Con's perpetrated in their name but not for their wider good. We're in a place where a more or less malleable and supine population is governed by the intentions of a few thousand people in marginal seats.  Nothing could suit the PPE lot better; their grip is tightening but it won't last. Bad things never do.

Selective Memory

Ed Balls says abolishing the nom-dom statuses would be costly for Britain In an interview on BBC Radio Leeds in January,

I’m not yet sure if I should feel uplifted by the bountiful entertainment we receive daily through election campaign mishaps or if we should feel dispirited and dismayed that some of these utter buffoons might actually get elected on the day and god forbid, some of them might end up with the keys to something important.

Labour are of course leading the way with a daily car crash and this morning’s furore over non domicile residents is especially notable. In the spirit of “knock out a quick policy announcement, grab the headlines and don’t worry about the detail,” Labour did just that this morning and it was all going swimmingly until someone had the temerity to look at the detail. The whole nonsense has been unravelling ever since. First we discover that Ed Balls in an interview with Radio Leeds in January said, “If you abolish the whole status it will probably end up costing Britain money because some people will leave the country.” Quite.

Shabana Mahmood chucks some keroscene on the flames

Then we discover that Labour has befitted from some £12m in donations from non-doms various. Ed Balls appears to have gone missing from the airwaves and his aides have been stumbling through interviews making up more stuff as they try to make sense of the mess they've been abandoned to.

Quite frankly, I care as much about non doms as they do about me which is very little indeed. The problem here is that Labour are running an election campaign based on envy. If it doesn't fail, as it deserves to, then the economy will certainly do so in quick time shortly afterwards.

Here’s a take from my chum Marcus Ashworth at BESI,

It's the Equality stoopid... this election is coming down to two words Economy vs Equality. And I defy anyone who says this is all dull, it's a right humdinger and to misquote Samuel Johnson if you are tired of this election then you are tired of life. Golly even the sainted Nicola Sturgeon was booed as she made clear that the 2016 Holyrood election SNP manifesto would likely include a call for another independence referendum.

All the rules are being broken as Bliar is wheeled out from his political banishment despite the Labour manifesto writer John Cruddas being really rather rude about him only recently. UKIP rather enjoyed Europe having its five minutes but surely the man who tried to give us the Euro and doesn't trust the hallowed British public to make up their own minds is an odd ploy for Miliband who has fought and expects to win an election on a very clear rejection of everything New Labour? Maggie died 2 years ago so what next? My how things have changed since her time as the Marxist Kraken awakes from its slumbers.

Europe and Bliar were sharply shoved back in the closet though as Red Ed lives up to his moniker by promising to revoke something that goes back to Pitt the Younger. The Tories have already pointed out that Labour is not really going to revoke non-dom status as 1. They have no clue how much it would raise (or much more likely in the law of unintended consequences how much it would end up costing us all) 2. Would only apply to those who stay for more than 4 to 5yrs (cue a little spell abroad and hey presto I’m back under a new guise).

Soak the rich class war is the only platform Miliband has left under his Equality drive - Labour is utterly moribund under anything to do with the economy but no amount of further CEOs of FTSE100 companies signing letters is going to influence what is fast becoming the most divisive election since the war (Attlee was a silent assassin). The politics of envy are to the fore and logic is the car crash victim but Miliband has never shirked from believing that the lessons of the GFC are that the moral reprehension so ably stoked by the BBC/Guardianista bien pensant is a major vote winner and hang the inevitable consequences.

Ed sincerely believes it is his mission to change the UK permanently and finish the job Gordy Bruin so nearly achieved. So much for the canard that all the major politicos are alike as Farage trumpets - we have a red in tooth and claw old-fashioned socialist and he wants to alter a country near you. As does his new chum north of the border with her "have it all" message to Scotland that by voting SNP you get rid of Cameron and subsequently the Sassenachs entirely. By definition the 55% who voted for the Union in Sep should logically thereby vote Tory? Unfortunately that is a leap too far sadly methinks.

By rights Cameron should be walking away with this election but Crosby has kept him on a tight leash as he stood by and let Sturgeon and all the other left-wing rabble get away with unmitigated economic illiteracy that makes a mockery of all this coalition has achieved in averting the head on car crash that Gordy drove us towards. Clegg had his chance to be remembered favourably for his unheralded sterling work that kept his unhinged party from ruining the really quite radical work of the past 5yrs.

Unfortunately he has chosen to pick and mix selective memory - if he loses Sheffield Hallam it will be the ultimate irony for the man who petulantly reneged on the Boundary Commission changes - the egregious bias that might really usher in a Miliband Govt. We can't expect Labour to have any shame but any such Admin will be founded on a lie and as with the inevitable consequence of an ending of the Union as the prize that Sturgeon/Salmond will wreak as their prize for supporting a Tories out at any cost mandate then I guess we will really get what we voted for. It's life Jim but not as we know it...


Arguing Not Debating

The unedifying squabbling over the proposed televised pre election debates characterises the campaign so far. It’s full of half-truths, mistruths and untruths from all participants. That not one of them have the courage to face up, or face down the elephant in the room which is the out of control all-consuming monster NHS has become is immoral and appalling. It’s going to have to be dealt with by someone at some point and that point will be when we’re in abject crisis and there is no other choice. Some would say a crisis is now only ever one series virus away. Rather, the debates bring debate down to the lowest denominator with the contenders slinging as much mud as they can articulate knowing that there is no time to refute what they say and hope that some of it sticks. It invariably does.

Lord Grade waded into the television debate today and put television heads firmly in their box by telling them they don’t run democracy and it’s not their place to make pronouncements on who should appear, when and with whom. Well said Lord Grade.

There is rarely an incentive for an incumbent to appear in such orchestrated events. They can go badly wrong as Alistair Darling discovered last year in the Referendum debate. Moreover, the make-it-up-as-you-go-along mudslinging is a very real issue, especially if the debate is not strongly moderated which we also saw last year. I suspect this year that another factor is at work and that is that David Cameron has probably been told by donors categorically that they will not support him if he appears in more than one debate. This is important. There are likely to be two general elections this year, one in May and another in the Autumn to clean the mess up. That will require deeper resources than the parties can currently finance so any quiet conditionality, or “advice,” with donations may have more resonance than might otherwise have been the case.

David Cameron will be aware too that it is always easy to disadvantage the core support you know you can take for granted in order to play to the prejudices of the few floaters over whom the battle is really being fought. Yet the electorate is becoming more fickle and therefore fragmented so it becomes dangerous to take any of them for granted.

Perhaps we ought to remember that Tony Blair ducked debates on the advice of Campbell, something that appears to have been conveniently forgotten. After all, in 80yrs of television we have only had one set of televised debates and it was hardly fair. In my view,  I reckon the squabbling it goes on the less likely they will happen and that perhaps is a mild positive for democracy.