Hello again and goodbye

Hello again; it’s been a while. I can only apologise for the length of time it’s taken to get me back on this site. Due to a mix of being too busy at home and pessimism on the state of national and international politics, it just hasn’t happened sooner.

So, Mrs May has finally decided to go. Far too late in my opinion. She should have gone sooner, much sooner. Good riddance, I say. This woman has failed at everything she has touched whilst Home Secretary and PM. An incompetent spiteful bungler.

As Home Secretary this woman presided over, amongst other things, the Windrush scandal, the decimation of public sector pensions (dating back 20 years!), the shambles of the Passport Office, the injustice of the labelling of certain protesters as ‘non violent extremists’ and being met with stony silence after addressing a meeting of the Police Federation in 2012. They clocked her early doors, didn’t they?

As PM her tenure has been dominated by Brexit or Brino (Brexit in name only) for the more cynically minded. Make no mistake, I blame David “I think I’d be rather good at it” Cameron for starting this mess, all to thwart a the right wing of his own party then running away like a wee lassie when he failed, leaving others to clear up his mess. And what a mess it’s been. It was started off by him putting party before country, a position that Treeza picked up and repeated time and again right up to the last. Of course all of that is well documented in detail elsewhere.

I will remember her for, rightly, describing the Tories as ‘the Nasty Party’ and her ‘really hostile environment’ for much more than illegal immigration. I will also remember her for repeatedly saying one thing and doing the other, her playing fast and loose with the truth about many things, misleading Parliament more than once and ripping up constitutional convention, all for the sake of the Nasty Party, at the expense of ordinary people, quite literally in the case of the DUP. An utterly dishonest woman, through and through.

So, take your crocodile tears, stick them up your jumper and begone – never to darken public life again. I will not mourn your passing. Like other of you ilk, Bliar and his bunch of charlatans, the aforementioned Cameron and his economically illiterate sidekick Gideon, IDS (sic, IBS) and Dr Fox (who should have stuck to the Chart Show) I will be glad to see the back of you.

Iran Nuclear deal

I just don’t get it. How can Donald Trump take the US out of the Iran Nuclear deal and still expect Iran to honour its part? According to President Trump it was a deal which was “defective at its core” yet by all accounts Iran was sticking to its part of the deal. Surely this then must have made the Middle East a safer place for everyone and that conversely, President Trump breaking that deal makes it a less safe place?

Worse still, according to him, if Iran resumes its nuclear programme it will face “severe consequences” – from the man who broke the deal…If he didn’t want Iran to resume its nuclear programme, why did he break the deal that seemed to be achieving this end?

I couldn’t blame Iran if it did re-start its programme, because the deal was binned by Trump; and re-start it quick, because of the threat of severe consequences which might not then take place if Iran has nuclear capabilities.

I should say at this point that I’m no fan of nuclear power, either for civil purposes (Chernobyl and Fukushima, nuclear waste and what to do with it) and for military purposes (Nagasaki, Hiroshima and the war fields of Iraq and the depleted uranium weapons and the consequences for the people and planet).

So, why? Why no “Jaw, jaw”?

I’ve seen a number of reasons suggested for this move. The first one is to shed the Obama legacy. This seems like an incredibly juvenile reason but I don’t dismiss it, having seem Trump’s behaviour over the last couple of years.

The next reason I’ve seen suggested is that Trump is getting behind Benjamin Netanyahu and his recent revelations about the Iranian nuclear programme. But most of the responses I’ve read suggest that none of this was information which wasn’t already known…and it’s from the leader of a country which is widely believed to have its own nuclear arsenal, but denies it.

Another reason I’ve heard is down to a change in Trump’s staff. Gone are HR McMaster and Rex Tillerson, to be replaced by Mike Pompeo and John Bolton. Surely a US Army General (who knows well the horrors of war) and an oil man with international experience (oil being Iran’s biggest export, remember) who seems to favour the diplomatic route would be a better choice than a former Director of the CIA and an open supporter of the Iraq invasion in 2003 and who favours regime change in a number of countries. This last reason strikes me as the most likely and the scariest. Both Pompeo and Bolton are considered ‘hawks’ aka warmongers.

Has Trump lost his mind? I just don’t get it.

 

RBS – again

Given the news headlines over the last few days about the Royal Bank of Scotland,

(http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-business-43920450)

where despite them reporting profits of £792m for the first 3 months of 2018, Chief Executive Ross McEwan has indicated that the bank will press ahead with the closure of 52 branches. This would suggest to me an attitude of profits before people or providing a service to the public, a public whose money was used to bail the bank out after previous calamitous decisions. It would seem they’ve learned nothing in the last 10 years and care not a jot in any case.

Disgusting.

RBS Radio Adverts

Whenever I hear the new RBS adverts on the radio, I never know whether to laugh or cry; “Not just the Royal Bank of Scotland but the Royal Bank for Scotland.” it proclaims. Who are they kidding (apart from themselves)? This from the bank which recently stated its wish to close 62 of its branches, more than a third, across Scotland and put 158 people on the dole. Am I the only one to see a disconnect here?

I also have to wonder at the gullibility of the Bank executives who accepted this nonsense for their adverts. Do they think that a charm offensive will change people’s minds about RBS as an institution – honest we’re really, really nice now…please like us…

Frankly, since the financial meltdown of 2007/08 when this bank’s shady dealings started to come to light I went from being a shareholder to seeing this organisation as being little different from the Sicilian mafia – not the ordinary people who work at the tellers and branches, but the ‘Fred the Shreds’ at the top – none of whom went to jail for their crimes, thanks to David Cameron’s clear reluctance to act.

You don’t need me to rake over the ashes of this enterprise’s misdeeds and I must admit that whilst I don’t want to see 158 people put on the dole, never mind the many thousands RBS employs, I wouldn’t shed any tears if RBS collapsed. That’s not going to happen of course, not with the UK Government shoring it up with public funds.

I suppose that what I’m saying is that this bank is no more ‘for Scotland’ than a flea in the air and that we, as customers, should drop it as quickly as it wants to drop us and move our banking to building societies and banks who give a damn about their communities.

More to follow.

Ft.com

I’ve just clicked onto the FT.com website to do some work on my mother-in-law’s shares and what did I find? About a quarter of the the front page, at the top, is devoted to a banner advertising that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who’s over in the UK from Saudi Arabia, is ‘opening Saudi Arabia to the world’. Talk about ingratiating yourself!

This is the country which has sentenced a blogger to 1000 lashes and 10 years in jail for ‘insulting Islam’, where the extreme sect of wahhabism holds sway, beheads criminals publicly and which is responsible for so much suffering and thousands of deaths in the country next door, Yemen. At least in the first two instances above these actions are so far removed from our own beliefs (the third I fear is too much like our own history of interfering in the business of other countries) that I am appalled at the bowing and scraping going on just because this man and his family has a bit of money. Have they no dignity? But I think it’s the third point which is the important one; we want to sell them more weapons of war to use on their neighbours and they want to buy them. I shake my head…

Dipping my toe

Hello there.

This is my first attempt at blogging so please forgive me if this blog comes across as naïve and simplistic. As time goes on and I find my voice I’m sure things will get better.

Firstly, let me be honest and say that the main purpose of this blog is for my own benefit; to focus my attention on current events which concern me, research same and lay down my thoughts in a reasoned framework. I should also say up front that the single point which underpins these events is my growing dissatisfaction with politicians who appear to forgotten that they are supposed to work for the interests of the people who put them in their positions of power and the number of businesses which seems to have little or no interest in providing a service to the public beyond parting them from their money by pretty much any means.

More to follow.