March 2011

Don't mention the war?

Certainly don't talk about the costs!

A 10, expensive lossA 10, expensive loss
The war, actually it would be churlish not to mention it as so many people have put so much effort onto it! But not in the case of Angela Merkel, her effort has gone into staying out of it. Although she does this for the same reason as Nicholas Sarkozy who is desperate to play Napoleon and lead the willing. Both have a domestic agenda. Both see the Libyan crisis as an opportunity to tip the polls in their favour. So that's a united EU then! By contrast Barack Obama seems to have dithered and then been engulfed by events. Even though US forces are dominant, so far, it still makes him look more foolish than wise. The final big name in this is David Cameron. He does not have elections at home looming, thus so far has fared better than others in the, sadly, all important image stakes as it would seem his motives on trying to establish a NFZ are less complicated. Even so he has made the odd mistake. For example saying that Libya is "not another Iraq", how does he know that?

But back again to Merkel, she's tried all sorts of things, like creative accounting to inflate the German economy. This involved the German government borrowing money from German banks then passing off these transactions as evidence of how well Germany was doing! She has declared that multiculturalism has failed.

Yet another look at the UK economy

Revolutions and earthquakes abroad could cause trouble at home

Made in the UKMade in the UK
The UK economy, how's it doing? Well Mervyn King is not exactly confident is he? There's less talk of domestic matters now since the revolutions in North Africa. These events are pushing oil prices to painful levels and it is this price rise that will cause all sorts of trouble. A recent post on EU Referendum suggests the older age group is to see a rise in debt problems. This age group tends to own a house so could be thought of as having great potential wealth. At the other end of the age range students will find university fees rise to the maximum permissible, so their debt burden will also. This means their grasp on the housing market further weakens unless house prices fall. This may well happen and for more on students debt problems see HERE.

The always fragile Buy-to-Let market sector could well be heading for trouble again, see HERE.

The no fly zone meets the no oil problem

Merkel the mouth, again!

Merkel quick to moan, slow to helpMerkel quick to moan, slow to help
Oh how funny! Also typically hypocritical. About a fortnight ago Angela Merkel, the Guardian told us, had been angry -

The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, has sternly rebuked the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, in an unusually fractious telephone call, according to media reports.

It all began in Barnsley?

Trouble in the north, and not just for Nick Clegg

Modern Barnsley, oh dear!Modern Barnsley, oh dear!
It had to happen. In the Barnsley Central by-election the coalition has hit the floor and what they have to face is that there will be rejoicing. And no, not only from the supporters of Labour. From the outset the coalition has not satisfied grassroots supporters of either the Conservatives or the Liberal Democrats. It's ducking out of the issue to pretend that, as the LDs and Conservatives stood as separate parties, the result is a disaster for only the LDs who lost their deposit. For they are, the rest of the time, part of 'the coalition'. They are together in victory and defeat. Nor will it do to point out this is a northern town with all the usual tendencies of political tribalism.