The (dis) United Kingdom.

As Rishi Sunak settles in to sort the impenetrable problems of the UK there is a sizeable minority still agitating for national dismemberment into four smaller entities or if you will three and an integrated Ireland.

The wee spicey leader of Scotland is the nearest to achieving independence but none in Wales, Ireland or Scotland have so far have faced the issue of fiscal deficit. Each separate national entity depends, whether they like it or not, on the South East of England including greater London which contributes the by far largest income to the UK Government.

In the meantime everyone is whining about the cost of living, inflation and all. Nichola Sturgeon, in Scotland, Adam Price in Wales and Sinn Fain in Northern Ireland are all to the foe, all omitting the real issues of interdependency, At least Drakeford, the First Minister in Wales professes to be a Unionist, but sees no issue with a cooperative agreement with Plaid Cymru..

In 2021 all countries and all regions had fiscal deficits, London being the lowest but still with a deficit of £800 per head, N Ireland had a deficit twelve (12) times that. But its not all about balancing regional expenditure and income. It is about the fiscal whole of the UK – regional and national home rule aside.

What Sunak faces now, some of his own doing – is an overall deficit whose only short term route to cure is austerity. Whilst cutting money supply we must bring supply and demand into some form of balance. What do we do know? The demands of the Defence of the realm, The NHS, Education and Welfare all have legitimate voracious demands.

Where is the opportunity for growth in all this?

It seems that each region in the UK must front up as a contributor to the UK economy as a whole and not continue either as a begging bowl economy or a separate economic entity. One for all and all for one seems appropriate. That we will suffer in the short term is inevitable, but at the same time we must save personally and nationally. We must stop asking, and politicians must stop giving in to popular demand, be they right or left wing.

The story of the UK must be based on fiscal discipline and fairness in bearing the burden. Petty nationalism does not seem a way to go.

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How big the UK £ pie? Will it go round?

Essentially the title encapsulates the Government’s issues. How to make the pie bigger? Surely that must come first. Clearly we need to pass round larger slices to the NHS, Education, Defense etc etc.

Mrs Truss PM at the time of writing, for reasons which are easy to understand (if not agree with) was entirely focussed on making the pie bigger through some fairly simplistic actions, i.e. Making UK a low tax and attractive base for international talent and corporate investment. A simple and superficial idea, but sadly life is not as simple as that. For the uninitiated, lower income from lower tax base has to be balanced with expenditure, therefore there will have to be radical reduction or radical borrowing certainly in the short to medium term. How the PM and Latin speaker, Kwarteng didn’t take this into account is nothing short of astonishing. Even the most elementary economist knows all about Laffer’s curve and fiscal lag.

How could anyone, be so narrow minded and still be voted in as our leader is a mystery to many, but now the s**t has hit the fan and the UK is now seen as unreliable and chaotic. The consequences are appalling, with the cost of borrowing escalating and adding to the flames of rampant inflation.

The Pie is therefore getting SMALLER, that’s what inflation does!

Enter a new Chancellor – a realist. A steady hand on the economic tiller, ‘Jeremy Hunt’. Guess what? Not only do we face inflation, the only one medium term way out ie to save and save some more – AUSTERITY!!

This is undoubtedly a bad situation made worse by a narrow minded leader who is not qualified to lead the UK especially now. If we had a surplus and Brexit had turned out well, if, if, if only!. But Brexit has not turned out well, the world economy is shot, kind support of the maniac Putin and the UK has become a laughing stock because of the ‘Blue Rinse Brigade Tory Members’ who voted in the hopeless leader Truss.

The pie is smaller, and getting smaller. How then does the Government react. Do they put aspects of incentivised growth on the back burner? Do we go flat out on Austerity?

How do we contain the demands of workers all demanding a salary/wages are hyked to keep up with at least medium turn inflation?

The UK is in danger of abandoning its place as the mother of democracy, the ideal state that can no longer sustain its place as one of the world’s great powers. The mess before our nation is not soluble in the short term unless we have a respected Government Leader, and a population that understands the problems which are vast from; migration to climate change, from freedom to totalitarianism. They are all up for grabs in the medium term.

Truss must go!

Don’t let the silence of Old Age shut you down.

Growing old is not for sissies, or so they say. There is no doubt that the onset of things like arthritis, deafness, sight failure, and other ailments are all hard to bare. Nonetheless, we must take on board that we are lucky to be old, to be still around, and that we may still have something to offer. The real hardship is none of these. It is loneliness and inertia, waiting for an end that surely must come.

Yes, it must, but just waiting is the silliest waste that can be, for now is precious, now is when we can do something, now we are alive. Here are some things we can do: read the paper or a book, listen to music whatever kind you like, paint a picture, even write a blog. . Some of the lucky ones can stare at a stamp collection, or a collection of anything and be happy with an accomplishment that has taken a lifetime. The luckiest can share and rejoice with others at their wonderful achievements.

The others, it is they who transcend all else, if we are lucky enough to live in love then everything else does not matter a jot. Life is worth living and its easy to see why. There is humor and laughter, there is sharing and fighting, there is caring and weeping. There is no silence.

Grief at the loss of a loved one is wrapping of ones soul in silence, and there are degrees of grief, believe me. There are degrees of grief, losing your mum and dad, losing your son or daughter, losing your partner. All are different, and all grip your heart and soul in slightly different ways, always with the cold fingers of loneliness and isolation. Here is an end that we hoped would never be, and losing a ninety year old parent does not hammer us as hard as losing a nine year old child. The Blanket of cold loneliness thaws at different speeds and ways.

One of the hard things in growing old is the fear of losing ones partner, whether there is loving dull routine or hysterical ups and downs. It doesn’t much matter if you’ve loved for a day or a millennium the dependency is absolute and the fear of loss even before that awful day can be haunting. That cold silent harbinger of grief overshadows the joy that should be our daily gift.

So my advice to everyone, young and old, is simple, enjoy what you can when you can. Remember you won’t have today again. So care for today, care for everyone who passes through. Be proud of what you did yesterday, and know that when the end comes as it must, you made the best of it. If you’re lonely and cold get warm with whoever you meet.

The Kings and Queens of the Britain

Queen Elizabeth the Second – what comes next?

Anyone who claims to be a democrat would argue that whoever is our Head of State should be elected. The Monarchy is an anathema of by gone days. Yet, the passing of the great Queen Elizabeth the Second, has shown an incredible outpouring of grief, and such a torrent of respect that it would be hard to imagine for anyone, outside our own families.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth was without doubt a Head of State that brought the Commonwealth of Nations into being, a new bastion for democracy, showed a consistency and fairness in all things, and despite the load managed to be loved by so many of her (subjects) constituents.

Many will argue that the privilege of Royalty is an old fashioned concept, no longer needed, and that indeed the late Queen did have deficiencies as a person (Aberfan), as a mother (Returning from Australia to pat young Charles on the head), as a family matron (the failure of her children in marriage and in the wider world). All these reservations have some merit, but, despite them this great lady held the country in her heart, was a great proponent of democracy (The Commonwealth of nations expanded from few to many in her reign). She did it in a way that was constant and kind. She did it with a generosity of spirit that embraced 007 and Paddington Bear, as well as the umpteen Prime Ministers who passed through her door.

Being above politics, for some means that you have to take election, or currying favour, out of the equation. In the British Constitution of parliamentary democracy the Royal Head of State works well with the balance of the elected and non elected establishment. Of course, the House of Lords has become unbalanced in shape and form and needs constitutional reform, a task that the new King will not be able to avoid entirely.

Personally, I must give thanks for the life of Elizabeth my Queen for Seventy years. Her life has been in many ways an example to us all. I sincerely hope that a slimmed down monarchy continues to be head of our British constitution. If I were a religious man I would shout, “God save the King!”

Putting down the mad dog.

President Putin, is clearly not balanced. He has become paranoid about his own role as a saviour of the Russian empire. He has become a pariah to most of the world with the support of a very few authoritarian ,so called , leaders. He is killing men women and children with apparent indifference, whilst the world looks on.

To some extent the free world is afraid to face up to this ‘mad dog’ because he has access to the largest nuclear assets in the world. What does that say about our international control system?

Our failure to defend the frees state that is Ukraine has been predicated on these awful facts. Namely a madman with nuclear resources can do what he likes, and there is no way to stop the murder and mayhem that Putin imposes on Ukraine every day.

Sanctions on Putin and his gang of kleptocrats will have some effect but in the meantime women and children are being murdered in Ukraine every day.

The only way to stop the mad dog is to put it down. It, is the right word, for Putin is inhuman and exhibits all that can be bad in a human frame. He is selfish, power mad, greedy, self obsessed, and paranoid. If he were any sort of animal he would be put down as a danger to other species.

Make no mistake, this lunatic is laying waste to a nation. To families, communities and a young long suffering nation that is just beginning to enjoy the fruits of freedom and fairness. Putin is in fact cocking a snook at freedom as a value. As he sees it, his way as an omnipotent being, controlling, killing dissent as the only way of leadership.

The corruption that is embedded in Putin’s Russia will, we hope, lead to an end to this dreadful scene. Army’s are without conviction, shops without bread, ATM’s without cash all a result of this maniac’s self indulgence. That is what will bring Putin down. How soon? is the question. How many more Ukrainians have to die while the world shows its disgust, but more importantly the Russian people are awakened to the evil that is Putin.

The Russian people are the only power that can bring the mad dog down. Propaganda from the West must be the main weapon couple with extreme sanctions must squeeze the message home.

If Putin is brought down then what will succeed him? Russia most surely will be sorely hurt. The old machine of authoritarian propaganda must be replaced with a democratic model. To do that will take many years and great wisdom. These are questions that must be part of the plan that not only brings the mad dog down, but that looks toward a more democratic future.

Ukraine, Ukraine, long live Ukraine!

Madman murders masses!

Putin is clearly unbalanced. What do we do when a totalitarian Head of State loses his sense of what is normal. We know he is moving toward bombing Ukraine with chemical weapons and the West and China are doing nothing to stop him. How do you stop him? That’s the question.

He clearly has a virtual complete grip on the Russian media, so most Russians, though not all, believe that Russia is not the aggressor but the victim. How the Russian people receive the truth is possibly the most important issue before the West. How do we inform the Russian people of the TRUTH?

How do we defend a free state? Presently it seems that Russia has invaded Ukraine without a second thought. Putin lied about the build up, he teamed up with the other evil monster the President Of Belarus, the west did very little except rely on sanctions which is something, but what further sanctions can we press if Russia uses chemical weapons. Famously Obama failed to respond in Syria, Russia is going to bomb Ukraine flat and follow up with a dose of chemical poison. Will the West do anything? Probably not! That is what Putin is banking on, the West will continue with its self interest and ignore atrocities and the murder of thousands of people, whose only sin was to seek a democratic way of life.

There we have it. In a nut shell, any lunatic with a nuclear arsenal can do anything he wants to independent countries who are not members of a major defence alliance. If the West does not stop Putin now, then there will be no end to Putin’s aggression. Moldova next, then the eastern provinces of Hungary and so on . People will die in their thousands and the world will wring its collective hands.

Obama has a lot to be sorry for, not least he lacked the guts to enforce his red line on chemical weapons in Syria. I hate to say it, but Biden is an old man with a weak mandate. Putin knows the USA has no stomach for a fight.

If we have not got the guts to provide the Ukraine with jet aircraft and heavier aggressive missile systems then we deserve all we get. Putin wins!

Ashamed of my Government, too little, too late!

The UK is moving more slowly to lessen the load for Ukrainian refugees than any other European nation. Despite the fact that Johnson blows his trumpet about how generous the UK is in welcoming refugees, the UK remains the slowest responder to the humanitarian crisis for the people of Ukraine.

The miserable responses and lack of flexibility in setting up visa stations under the guise of security is just laughable. More visa officers would be the answer, not no officers at all. To make refugees who have relations in the UK travel from Calais to Paris or Lille to wait a further five days at least whilst the UK Govt checks finger prints and masses of other unnecessary documentation is both inhuman and completely lacking in sympathy for the plight of the refugees.

Of course there is a security risk of Russian spies slipping through the net into UK, but surely that excludes mothers with children, and those in clear need of medical support. Even if Mattha Hari is about to infiltrate the UK surely there must be a way to follow up once admission has taken place. To pretend that our security comes before compassion is so typical of the selfish British view. Why do we not think other European power are under the same risk factors?

Boris shouts about his own immigrant forebears, most of whom have done very well thank you. Well enough to produce Bullingdon Boy bullies and inveterate liars. No wonder so many are ashamed of being British.

Putin’s shot in his foot will hurt us all.

The invasion of Ukraine is one of the great tragedies of the modern age. There’s no need to elaborate. Putin is the one crazy man who is the sole decision maker, he has now the most dreadful dilemma, his invasion looks as if it is failing by any measure. Further the Russian people are beginning to understand that the war, is a war, that many Russians are needlessly dying, both army conscripts as well as Ukrainian cousins. The cost to Putin is now gathering weight and soon, if the Ukrainians hold out, the bankrupt Putin will no longer afford to wage this useless war.

What then? Will the mad Putin pull the nuclear trigger, or will he sue for peace? It seems unlikely that the Putin we know, will sue for peace. His delusions of the Russian empire resuscitated by the great man Putin will be in ruins, and we must hope that an internal revolution will remove this megalomaniac from the seat of absolute power. If not, then it seems that an escalation of conflict will be his most likely scenario.

In Putin’s mind the West has gone to war economically, but in the minds of Ukrainians Putin has been allowed to pillage a sovereign country without any physical response. Economic sanctions is one thing, but artillery and bombs are quite another. Are we to believe that any nuclear bully can do what he likes and all of us are afraid to escalate physically into what will be the inevitable nuclear war?

By crushing Russia economically we will subject the Russian people as well as the rest of the free world to dreadful depravation, from food to shelter and warmth. What will that say about the west? Will we drive a wedge between West and East for the foreseeable future? Will the distrust be strengthened? Will the Russian people be driven by desperate plight to believing another one-man, strongman ethos to drag them back to an equitable normality?

As an optimist, we hope that Putin has really shot himself in the foot. That the days ahead will lead to the end of his lunatic reign. That Russia and Ukraine will be a family again and that a democratic environment will be re-established in both countries. Only the Russian establishment can bring this scenario into being, by ousting Putin, counting the cost and seeking not only forgiveness but hope for the future.

The west at large will have to bare the burden of reconstituting the smashed fabric of the Ukrainian country, culture and people. The World and United Nations must somehow ensure that nuclear blackmail is made impossible.

Putin has cast the human race down. Some where, some one, must make the difference. Not only of selflessness, but of vision and generosity of spirit that can affect all those in power, be they democratic or alternative. Putin by his cruelty may be saving the world.