Myeloma UK – Cancer Charity

Please support Myeloma UK, a charity which provides support services to those suffering from this blood based cancer.

Myeloma UK

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Why you should never bank in Britain!!

For years I warned people in the UK about the dodgy practices of British banks, in particular the use of excessive fees to bankrupt individuals and businesses so that the self-same banks could in turn buy the assets back on the cheap. Then sell them for a huge profit later. There were a few stories about this when I lived in the UK in the mainstream media and I had heard of excessive fees being used to punish people who without the fees would have been perfectly ok. Now after years of passing this message around it is official, Royal Bank of Scotland has been ripping off it’s customers for years (allegedly) by putting perfectly healthy businesses in to it’s Global Restructuring Group so that it can either extract massive fees from them or so even less ethically it can sell the assets on the cheap to one of it’s own subsidiaries. In one case a senior RBS executive sat on the committees of both its restructuring unit (designed to help) and the property unit (which later bought up the assets). Of course when your annual bonus benefits from such decisions who can blame him?

According to leaked emails on Buzzfeed and an investigation by BBC Newsnight the practice was widespread and involved more than 16,000 businesses. Of these 16,000 less than 6% were returned to normal banking facilities. It should be said the aim of this unit of RBS was officially to help companies return to financial strength and not make a profit. It was never there to make a profit, until leaked documents from an insider pointed to it being a core profit centre for the bank. You can also hear a first hand account of the actions of Royal Bank of Scotland in the above episode of Kaiser Report. Why one should always take the Kaiser Report with a pinch of salt, most of the time the underlying stories are spot on! So well done to Max and Stacy for banging on the corrupt drum for some years!

On the face of it this may sound like nothing but the effect for many people was the loss of their home, marriage and in some cases their lives. The GRG behaviour sadly resulted in suicides. But as any UK Bank executive will tell you death can also lead to a profit for the bank!

Bank of Scotland, I suspect you are next… better get those document shredders going!

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UK Governments Refuses to Guarantee Safety of EU Nationals

“I am disturbed by the increase in hateful attacks in Britain aimed at the citizens of EU member states”. (Bohuslav Sobotka , Czech PM)

As the UK Government presses ahead with plans to name and shame companies which hire EU nationals, equally sinister is the Governments silence on recent spate of assaults, abuse and two killings of EU nationals. Post Brexit the number of assaults and abusive incidents against EU nationals rose by 58% although it now “just” 14% higher than the same period in the previous year (Source: The Independent). There may be some reasons for this, for example a greater willingness to report such crimes, however even taking that into account the trend remains shocking.

“The Czech government finds it unacceptable to see Czechs attacked because of their origin and being treated as second-class citizens,” Sobotka told May. “Therefore I asked the British prime minister … to let me know what measures her government will adopt to stop these hateful attacks.”

While assault, verbal and other forms of abuse are clearly unacceptable. What cannot be masked is that to date two people have been murdered from Poland and the Czech Republic. In both cases Brexit appears to be to blame, although in the case of the Czech national the Government moved quickly to dismiss the Brexit link. Despite there being no reason to deny it so quickly. The situation against EU nationals, in particular Poles and other Eastern Europeans is now so bad that both EU leaders the the Czech PM has even raised the matter, so despite official denials it is clear that others are not buying the UK Government’s excuses.

These sad attacks should be put in context. May has already refused to guarantee residency rights for EU nationals in the UK post Brexit and has so far refused to acknowledge the rise in attacks or guarantee the safety of EU nationals. May has however privately said that the attacks have no place in the UK – which given it was not said in public does not really go far enough. One can only imagine her Government is frightened of upsetting Tory, UKIP and BNP Brexit supporters who now make up their core vote. In essence her Government tacitly tolerates the violence and hate crimes in order to shore up it’s vote. It will certainly never be overly critical in public about them!

Sadly the level of hate before and during the Brexit referendum was entirely predictable. The debate started about keeping Eastern Europeans out of Britain, quickly moved to legitimate discussions on the laws and costs of the EU but in the final days returned to the thorny subject of immigration. There are no doubt many who voted for Brexit who are not racist and did so for their own reasons (which should be respected, as should the result) but sadly the racism genie is now well out of the bottle in the UK.

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Boris’s Brexit Jitters

Zemanta Related Posts ThumbnailTwas the day of the glorious victory, when finally having effectively destroyed David Cameron’s career and taken Britain out of Europe, Boris finally realised what he had done. Anyone who watched his victory speech could be forgiven for thinking that he didn’t look that happy. Perhaps it was just tiredness or more likely some form of “oh shit what have I done” moment.


Fast forward to now and one can only imagine how Boris is feeling. He is a social liberal in more ways than one; just ask the various women he has socialised with in the past. He has previously championed amnesties for illegal immigrants. He is therefore a pragmatist, deep down he knows from his time as Mayor of London that a growing economy with an aging population needs foreigners to prop it up and pay for the Brexit pensioners. Therefore he know’s that Marine Le Pen’s recent policy statement (sorry meant to say Amber Rudd’s) is a recipe for trouble in the UK and is also at odds with his own beliefs. Even after the vote he was quick to distance himself from anti-foreigner views and he is certianly not racist. Boris’s views are therefore the total opposite of the Home Secretary who called for Nazi-era identification of businesses who employ foreigners.

The question for Britain is what kind of Brexit? By this I don’t mean just our relationship with Europe but also the internal politics and views that will sweep Britain. For now the rhetoric is very close to what we used to criticise Le Pen, Wilders and Hitler for – but I guess times and electorates change.

So Boris, how do you feel now? It was after all a squabble between two Eton boys which resulted in Britain leaving Europe. Surely it’s time to admit defeat and desert this racist Tory Brexit policy and fight for your vision of Brexit!


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UK Government continues Anti-Foreigner Onslaught

Photograph by The Government of the UK.

Marine Le Pen MP. Photograph by The Government of the UK.

Britain’s very own Marine Le Pen, Amber Rudd MP (UK Home Secretary) this week announced plans which will force companies to disclose how many foreign employees they have. In a policy not dissimilar to Nazi Germany when symbols were put on Jewish owned businesses, UK companies will now face a similar system. While not using a logo and indeed (I hope) not deporting the foreign employees in question, companies will in effect be put into league tables with those deemed to be employing too many foreigners facing serious questions.

Given the BNP, Conservative and UKIP hate of Poles and other Eastern Europeans it is probably only a matter of time before additional data on the origins of those foreigners will start appearing. I guess though US nationals  will be exempt from such lists. Am I going to far? No, even LBC host John O’Brien noticed strong similarities between a passage in Hitler’s Mein Kampf and Amber Rudd’s racist tirade. Business leaders across the UK have also been quick to condemn this racial profiling of employees and France has even threatened to retaliate against Brits working there!

While this policy is clearly nowhere near as bad as anything which happened to Jews, homosexuals, undesirables and dissenters under the Nazi regime. It’s underlying philosophy is the same, i.g. to stigmatise certain groups and put the blame on them for the last 30 or years of social and economic failure in the UK.

The policy received much applause within the Conservative Party! Tells you all I need to know really.

Sources: FT.Com The Guardian The Telegraph The Canary

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Britain’s Biggest Brexit Failure: Liam Fox

By Government of UK -, OGL 3,

Liam Fox. Photo by Government of UK (Creative Commons/Wikipedia)

We waited, waited and waited and finally the man who described Britain’s bosses as “fat and lazy” (Liam Fox,  Secretary of State for International Trade) made his first major speech about the UK’s plans for Brexit. Yes, I voted remain and lost but I have accepted the outcome of the vote, that’s democracy for you and we need to make the best of it. I only wish that this opportunity (as it is being presented) was actually being handled with people who posses more than three brain cells – between all of them.


So we waited, and live from Manchester the speech we had all been waiting for came, went and disappeared into the great speech heaven in the sky. The speech was certainly long on detail about the benefits of free trade and went to great lengths to repeat again and again the benefits of free trade. I should say that any reader of The Economist, The Spectator or even The Daily Telegraph may already have understood this without need for such a tedious speech. As the speech progressed we were presented by some surprising moments including a section on the benefits of free trade. It is unfair to say that he talked only about the benefits of free trade for example he did talk about how Britain was once a great force for good in the world through colonisation (without saying it explicitly) and how free trade was a key part of this. Indeed I am sure we all celebrate the working conditions on the many tea and sugar plantations across the world and the compensation which was given to many leading Slave Trading Conservatives when their business practices were outlawed. Many of these Conservative families now sit in the House of Lords and have used their slave trading compensation to very effectively to build alternative business empires. Well done to them, it shows that Conservatives are not incapable of change.

Sadly though, beyond pitching a hard Brexit (which means the UK will operate under WTO trading rules) there was absolutely no detail. Ok that is not fair he did say the EU should give Britain full access to the single market and perhaps even a better deal than it has now. I am sure that is going to happen.

Even when given a chance to provide a concrete answer to a question about how the Government would help SME’s who may find it more difficult to get work permits for talented people from the EU post Brexit he did what most lying politicians do i.e. provided a non-answer to a question which wasn’t even asked.

I will give him some credit though, he is entirely right that the UK needs to export more but do keep in mind it is since the Conservatives came into power in the 1980s that the UK has had a near continual trade deficit. Indeed as he pointed out only 11% of UK companies export compared to 47% in Germany. However, it was his own party which created this mess and to this day continues to make it even worse. As Brexit becons, I am sure those in the North who voted to leave will be delighted to see the back of Nissan. Nissan, you are very welcome to relocate your plant to The Greater Region (Germany, Luxembourg, France and Belgium), we already have a thriving car parts manufacturing sector and a ready skills base as companies such as Ford, Opel and PSA are located not far away and of course not forgetting the many excellent German car manufacturers who are not located far away either. Just drop me a line and I will put you in touch with the relevant people 🙂

Frankly if Liam, Boris and Dave are the best we have to handle Brexit God help us. I’d rather have skiing legend Eddie the Eagle Edwards handling our negotiations. After all for many years Britain was content to be the happy go lucky loser at everything, as Mr Edwards skiing efforts during the Thatcherite miracle of the 80s reminds us – it’s not the winning but the taking part that matters. But sadly Brexit means we are no-longer even taking part.


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