Thursday, 25 October 2012

Big GDP growth...can Labour try and hide their disappointment

So the figures are in...the UK economy grew by  1% in the last quarter at first estimate beating the 0.7-0.8 predicted by most forecasters....this must be excrutiating figures for Labour. They'll be in the TV studios doing the usual 'We welcome these positive figures, but...'

There are no 'buts'. It's good news! The ONS estimate the boost from GDP tickets as 0.2% of that growth but they didn't seem to make note of the lost productivity while the Olympics was on. Also these figures are posted despite the continuing weakness on the continent and slowdown in other major economies.

Ossie, if you're watching feel free to upgrade yourself to first class this weekend...and have some champagne while you're there! Just don't charge the taxpayer for it...but then again, unlike Ed Balls you never have.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

The Fat Burning Blogger: Coffee matters

The Fat Burning Blogger: Coffee matters: As anyone who's followed the other post in this blog will know, I'm starting every day with a cup of Bulletproof Coffee...well, not quite. ...

Unemployment Down...again

So unemployment fell by 50,000 in the 3 months to August and unemployment is now below 8%. And 75% of those jobs were full time permanent roles. Which means Ed Miliband will go for one of two things in PMQ's....either an independant public inquiry into the Saville fallout or an independant public inquiry into #Gategate. Utterly vacuous tosh from the blank sheet of paper. And he still hasn't got back to me on #Catgate either.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

I demand an Inquiry!

Ah, Ed there a bandwagon you can resist? And there's only one thing you like more than leaping on any passing's calling for an independant public inquiry while you're at it. You wanted an inquiry into phonehacking by News International (Never mind that your mates in the left leaning rags have been at it too), one on faulty impants, another last month, two already this month and now you've asked for an independant inquiry into Saville, the Beeb, the NHS, Broadmoor, God, the Universe and everything. Aren't you worried that people won't take you seriously? Don't forget what happened to the boy who cried wolf. After a while people ignored him.

But you couldn't stop yourself, could you? Not when there was a sliver of political capital to be gained...even if it came on the back of a paedophile's systemic history of abuse. I hope you're proud of yourself.

But what's next? Will you demanding an inquiry into CatGate as Larry and Freya's tumultuous relationship came to a head....I wouldn't put it past you. Anyways...this video's for you.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Thick of It meltdown.

The Thick of it just gets better, the addition of the LibDems has been good, making them the biggest unprincipled bastards of the lot has been a masterstroke.

And now an inquiry into spin? How's Malc going to get out of this one> Has he got any dirt on the judge?

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Cameron's Speech

 He stood behind a lectern, he used notes, but how did it fare and what  did it contain?

The speech itself started slowly and I was wondering when it was going to get going but as he revved it up he proceeded to demolish Miliband's vacuous rebranding attempt from last week.

Content-wise was a good speech and spoke to what most conservatives (and most of the country) believe in...making the most of your opportunities in life for yourself, your family and the country at large.But almost as important as the content was the manner and the gravity in which he delivered it.

He took on the attacks on his upbringing which Labour love to use. What is so shameful about being the son of a stockbroker whose parents decided to pay to send him to the most renowned  public school in the country? It's not as if he had a say in the matter anyway so it's a daft attack. He didn't pretend he didn't have a privileged upbringing but instead aspired that every child should recieve as high a quality education. He rightly backed Michael Gove's reform to the hilt and gave tacit approval for Gove to step on the accelerator. He also lauded IDS's work on welfare reform. Most importantly he reaffirmed his commitment to dealing with the deficit, not from a wish to slash the state or break the public sector but instead to free up the private sector. He was also unapologetically beating the drum for our exports in a changing world (We're all Bucanneers together!) and highlighted the drastic growth we're seeing in exports to the BRIC countries and other developing nations.

Some people would have liked more on Europe, me included but with the changes coming in the EU a referendum is all but inevitable so it's pointless throwing your toys out of the pram about it. In fact, the public strength for a referendum does strengthen the UK's hand when it comes to clawing back powers and loosening our ties with the continent. It's Britain's trump card, to be used at the right moment.

On balance he did well, he reminded the audience in the hall why they liked him in the first place and spoke to the television viewer (or internet browser) in a manner that was candid, positive and straightforward...and not at all like a Policy Wonk (Miliband's greatest failing). I'm not  sure about the 'Aspiration-Nation' tag though...sounds a bit like the Thick of It. But a lot of what he was saying will chime with the public and it progressed into an upbeat blueprint for the country with a dash of Churchillian bulldog in the message to fight through and work hard to achieve. It wasn't the best speech he's ever made (His 2005 pitch to become Tory Leader was) but it was pretty damn close.

All three Leader's speeches were viewed as successes by the media but of the three it's Cameron who is still streets ahead as a leader. And in light of recent events across the pond can you see Cam freezing in the headlights of a TV debate? I can't...but Miliband? I'm not so sure.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

The Fat Burning Blogger: Two pieces of great news

The Fat Burning Blogger: Two pieces of great news: I found out two things yesterday that I simply had to share with you. Firstly, this Paleo/Bulletproof dietary plan I've been on for nearl...

Welsh language zealots are going to wreck the welsh economy

I've never been a fan of the Welsh language agenda in politics on this side of Offa's Dyke. It's never made sense. Though  statistics may identify nearly 20% of the population as Welsh speakers I'd wager less than 10% do on a daily basis. The hours wasted at school on Welsh would be far better served on other subjects so that we could halt the academic slide of our schools and the millions of pounds wasted in the public sector on welsh speaking staff and twice as much paper and ink as necessary for any communications is silly. I'd rather they spent that money making the Severn Bridge toll free....that'd do far more to transform the welsh economy than anything the Assembly has done in 13 years.

But now, this stupid and damaging legislation is beginning to affect the private sector...and it'll hit us all in the pocket. Because of the cost in implementing this absurd bilingual legislation, the German energy giant E.on is considering withdrawing from the energy market in Wales (Hat-tip 'thoughts of justice'). And less competition in Wales for energy means our prices will go ou, rellative to England. In fact, they're going to go up regardless as the cost of complying with this stupid regulation will be passed on to the customer...not just in energy but with all private enterprises.

Why? Every single welsh speaker in the country can speak english. In this day and age when we need to maximise our thriftiness and when attracting business here is most crucial why are we wasting money on a language which is not being used. English is the global lingua franca, being an english speaking country is an advantage. Why try and ressurrect this dead language, leave it for the academics and the small parts of North and West Wales where it's actually used. But don't try and force everyone to use it, that's not going to happen and it's counterproductive.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Osborne's Speech - no magic bullet but some new policy

Well, I've just finished watching Osborne's speech to the Tory conference and he's probably never been under as much pressure as he was before this one. 6 months of negative headlines over pasties and caravans and other such trivia have not made him popular. Some argue he's cutting too fast, the Redwood's of this world argue he's not cutting fast enough. I'm an arch pragmatist...given that unemployment is coming down steadily and the private sector job market is also growing apace I think he's judeged it about righr.

What else did he talk about? Well, he took a bazooka to Miliband's 'One Nation' tanks and got them off the Tory lawn but he didn't concentrate on making it an overtly party political attack on the labour party. Unlike his shadow chancellor he actually concentrated the bul on the economy and played on the recent press headlines that the Tories would be seeking to do things for the strivers in Britain...all good red meat for the natural supporter of the Tories and the sort of people who gave Thatcher  their vote in the 80's, which is good because they're still out there. He also nixed the disastrous idea of a wealth tax or mansion tax (and anything that blunts a Vince Cable proposal is welcome). There were two proposals which really caught my eye and I'd love to see some more detail on them.

Firstly this 'Employee Ownership' voluntary scheme. In exchange for less employment rights and regulations employees would receive shares in the company they work for. Now this scheme has a few things that make it worth exploring.

  1. It will make it far easier and less risky for an employer to hire people. If it doesn't work out then the employee can belet go.
  2. It gives the employee more incentive to make the business a success, they have a stake in the future of the company...they'll work to ensure it's future as theirs is tied in to it...meaning the company would be less likely to sack them anyway.
  3. The Treasury would put a 0% rate on any capital gains from these shares.
Personally I thinkEmployee ownership is a great thing, It's like John Lewis writ large. My uncle was one of the Miners who bought Tower Colliery in the 90's and ran it as a successful profitable coal mine for 13 years, in a far better way than the NCB ever managed. I love employee ownership so I think this could be something potentially huge for the workers of Britain,

The second item that caught my eye was the tax relief for Shale Gas. It could be as important to us now as North Sea Oil was to the 80's recovery. And it would also reduce our reliance on overseas oil as well as acting as a stabiliser from increased energy prices. And it indicates that Ed Davey will not be permitted to torpedo it.

He got the tone of the speech right, he's not going to be easing up on the cuts (this is a good thing, the markets will have appreciated that speech and will instead harass the French), he didn't make it a gag a minute but the few jokes he made were well-timed and Mandelsonian (And that is a compliment) in their barbed nature. All in all, while the speech didn't blow the roof off it was a solid outing with a few moments which may prove significant for the future.

This follows on from Solid Speeches by Shapps, Hague and Hammond yesterday. It looks like the Tories have had enough of rope-a-dope and are up for the fight....about bloody time!

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Sounding off....why not!

Cam revealed to the Telegraph he was fine with the blond mop sounding off from time to time. I'm sure he meant me.

The Fat Burning Blogger: Tale of the tape (Part 1)

The Fat Burning Blogger: Tale of the tape (Part 1): My progress after 2 weeks.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Kay Burley...WTF?

Displaying her usual tact and diplomacy, Kay Burley blundered in with a pair of size 12's on people looking for the missing 5 year old, April Jones.

Seriously...couldn't you engage your brain for a minute before speaking for once...just once? Someone at Sky News needs to give her the Spanish Archer..that was sub Alan Partridge.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

The Fat Burning Blogger: Athleat meats

The Fat Burning Blogger: Athleat meats: As promised in one of my first posts I'd post up a reply from Athleat with regard to their meat products. Here's what they sent back :- ...

US presidential debate

Well after the Romneyshambles of his trip to Europe and the stench of death emenating from his campaign lately, Mitt Romney completely surprised me. He was coherent, enthused, confident, likeable and all things considered....presidential. And Obama, curiously, wasn't. Now the presidential debates rarely change the outcome of a race but they're rarely as one sided as this. Even Dubya managed to hold his own a bit better against Gore and Kerry and he was a moron.

Romney won on economic matters easily, especially job creation. He also won on healthcare in my eyes which is surprising since I'm someone who's always had a statefunded healthcare platform (While I recognise that the NHS has flaws I don't think it's completely worthless...well, except maybe in Wales where it's going down the tubes fast). Obama basically praised Romney's Massachusetts programme, And he won on the role of the state and the closing statements.

Was this complacency from Obama or have the scales finally fallen from people's eyes? Only time will tell but if Romney has two more performances like that and remains gaffe free until election day then it could get very interesting.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

The Fat Burning Blogger: Recipe: Steak w/Hollondaise sauce

The Fat Burning Blogger: Recipe: Steak w/Hollondaise sauce: One of the great things about eating a Paleo/Bulletproof diet is that you get to eat some utterly delicious food. This one's so good I'd r...

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Red Ed...prolier than thou!

So this is Ed's great strategic objective this week. To convince the electorate he's just a simple comprehensive schoolboy made of our own. Pull the other one, Edward. You were born with a silver spoon in your gob and nothing offends us proleteriat like a posh boy looking to gain kudos by slumming it with the plebs.

You may have gone to a comprehensive, but it wasn't a crappy comprehensive where hope was at a premium for the pupils. In fact you probably only went to a comprehensive because old Ralph the marxist had an overwhelming belief in the state. You went to the same primary school as Boris and the same university before a spell in Harvard. I'm sure the factory workers in the Midlands can relate. You interned for family friend, Tony Benn and got yourself ensconsed in the Labour party due to family connections. There you came under the wing of Gordon Brown and alongside Ed Balls you 3 helped to engineer the biggest economic balls up in the UK since the great depression. Don't pretend to be one of us, it's an insult. Cameron and Clegg came from similarly priviliged backgrounds but at least they don't try and hide it. In fact, maybe you should take a leaf out of Clegg's book and apologise for the economic shambles you left behind.

Oh, and last night's COMRES've got to laugh!

Monday, 1 October 2012

Ed Balls Leadership speech (he wishes!)

Blinky was at it again, with another spending promise to add to his recent list (remember the £20 billion he wanted to borrow on a VAT cut and National Insurance Holiday), this time hewants to spend £3 billion (a pittance!) on building 100,000 affordable homes and a stamp duty holiday for first time buyers (Which made no difference to first time buyers the last time they did it). This is not to be no borrowing though, according to Balls....oh no, remember, he was the advisor to 'Prudence' himself. This was to be funded from the sale of the 4g licenses estimated at £3 billion pounds. The trouble is, that there's no guarantee it will raise that figure and in anycase £700 million was already allocated from that in the last budget. So yet again blinky has flunked the with that a dismal failure, let's move onto the politics...his speech had the look and feel  of a leadership speech. If I were Ed Miliband I would avoid getting onto a train to Bradford any time soon!

The Fat Burning Blogger: Why real food is better for you

Here's a link to my other blog for those of a portly persuasion...but this post is good for all of us.

The Fat Burning Blogger: Why real food is better for you: On previous posts I've gone over the types of foods that you should be eating. Well today I was emailed a link on just why these are good f...