Friday, September 19, 2008

A quick catch up.

As I set out below I have been a bit distracted but I have been shouting fruitlessly at the useless politicians and commentators on the TV and radio. I have also been commenting on some of my favourite blogs - reading is much easier than writing when you are pushed for time and I find reading blogs the quickest way to build up a deeper understanding of some of the issues. Anyway, here's some thoughts from the past week or so:

Credit crunch and financial meltdown

I have been breathless by the way the financial situation has unraveled over the past week or so. Whilst I would like to see some of the greedy end of the banking sector get their comeuppance I also see the need to try to engineer an orderly unwind of the bad debts. That is not to say that those who got us in to this position shouldn't be paying through their own bankruptcy.

What has been really been pissing me off over the past few days is the way that politicians have developed even "slopier" shoulders, supported by their cheerleaders in the BBC and seem to be escaping much of the blame. The latest scape goat is short selling and the BBC, especially Radio's 4 and 5, are going out of their way to play to the hard of thinking by blaming short selling. Not one of them seems to understand what short selling is about which means that they can easily (yes I know it can be abused, but that is risky)

Whilst it is good to blame bankers I really don't understand how Gordon Brown has escaped with so little personal criticism for the financial meltdown. As the nation gorged itself at the buffet of cheap credit over the past 10 years or so he basked in the glory of of his ignorant sycophants in the BBC and Guardian who recycled Labour's spin that Gordon was the greatest chancellor ever. During this period we watched house prices soar and people and the country run up huge debts.

All it wold have taken would have been a quick call to the regulators to get the banks to back off excessive mortgage lending and maybe a change of the BoE's remit on inflation. But no, the economic miracle had to be kept going until Gordon reached his true destiny and was installed in Number 10.

Latest Opinion Polls - Tory 52%, Labour 24%.

Maybe the BBC and Guardian haven't noticed and maybe its for the wrong reasons, but the "people" seem to have and its wonderful. If you really want to gloat enter those pole figures in here and look at all the blue on the map.

The down side is the Tories seem hell bent on imitating Labour's policies, especially on the EU but I suppose they can't be worse. Still, as I commented on Leg Iron's blog :

Why should the Tories do anything when they have picked up 52% by letting ereyone see what a mess Labour have made? By staying quiet they can't be accused of playing Punch and Judy politics in this time of "crises"

And lets not forget that old truism - Governments lose GEs, oppositions don't win them.


The EU continues its control freakery by proposing controls of blogs - all in our own best interests of course:
As weblogs represent an important new contribution to media pluralism, there is a need to clarify their status, and to create legal safeguards for use in the event of lawsuits as well as to establish a right to reply, says a recent own initiative report drafted by Estonian Socialist Marianne Mikko. Own initiative reports are drafted by individual MEPs and are not proposals for EU laws. The report was later adopted by Parliament's Culture Committee.
This has, quite understandably and rightly , set the blogosphere alight with indignation. As far as I am concerned people do have the right of reply, its called comments, and we are subject to libel laws. I predict that if this idiocy goes ahead we will find a technology solution, so it will be pointless regulation - oh what am I thinking about its the EU!

As Longrider notes, even the Tories are getting in on the act:
Another politician, this time a Tory, pontificates on the need for yet more regulation:

Cyberspace does not lend itself well to censorship. But while policing every strand of the world wide web would be impossible, that does not mean it cannot be better regulated.

Better regulated. Now there’s a joke. By whom? How? And, ultimately, why?

Longrider provides some of the best, and least swaery, commentry on this issue and I strongly recommend searching his site on this subject. As he says in the post mentioned above:
There is something about the political mindset that when presented with a “problem” sees regulation as the solution. There is no need for regulation of the Internet. It is up to users to exercise their own common sense. Okay, not as common as is commonly supposed, but then the grand socialist experiment of the past four decades is partially to blame for that. That, however, is not my problem. Half-arsed politicians poking about trying to impose regulation whether “voluntary” or not is my problem.

Environmentalists feed people to dragons

I did a double take when I saw this one from The Statistician in my RSS reader and thought it was another of his spoof posts to make a point, but it isn't!
Komodo dragons have been eating a lot of people in Indonesia lately and the locals blame environmentalists, as reported by Yaroslav Trofimov at the Wall Street Journal (a subscription is required; or borrow or buy today’s paper).

Apparently, in Indonesia, people used to hunt deer and leave portions of successful hunts to the komodo dragons. They also used to tie up goats as sacrifices. All of this pleased the dragons, which left the humans alone.

Then entered the Environmentalists from the Nature Conservancy, who sought and were awarded a ban on deer hunting. They also had dogs declared an “alien species”, thus outlawing them. Naturally, being sympathetic souls, they also got a ban on goat offerings. The reason they did all this, according to Widodo Ramono, the policy director of the environmentalist organization, was because he feared the komodo was becoming “domesticated.”

I have to get some work done now so despite having many more topics to rant about so I'll leave you to find out about the dragon's, probably with the same disbelief that I had. These people really are the pits.

It's Ryder Cup this weekend so I'll probably be glued to the TV, luckily TGW has a couple of concerts so houshold harmony will not be disturbed.

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