And my final observation for tonight…
And my final observation for tonight…
I know you are busy planning your absurd Van Rouge tour – but… please… take a minute or two out of your busy schedule to watch this marvellous satire film from Australia about fellow peer Lord Monckton, a UKIP chap (apparently head of research – whatever that means in UKIP terms) …..most amusing.
Aussie film clip where Lord Monckton is mistaken for Sacha Baron Cohen ! CLASS! A must watch.. if you have the time
And, it would appear that The House of Lords is none too keen on him saying he is a member of the House of Lords…. he is not, they say. Mind you… nor am I. I got my peerage for services… well… too modest to say…
I posted this some years ago – but I thought I should and would ‘revive it’.
I see that my fellow peer Lord Mandelbrot is reported in The Daily Mail today, as about to head off to make his fortune in the global dictator market.
I’m Mandy – buy me: Revealed, the shameless letter that Mandelson is using to tout for business from despots and dodgy billionaires
He writes: ‘Global Counsel brings together much of what I have learnt during my career: how best to renew and re-project brands (as I did in the creation of New Labour); how to re-focus large organisations to meet new goals (as I did in successive government departments); and how to adapt and benefit from the impact of globalisation (as I did as European Trade Commissioner).’
My first attempt to locate Global Counsel on the internet produced a startling result: “Global counsel is a professional education and immigration consultancy based in mohali (chandigarh) punjab, india, with years of experience in placing the right student in the right universities.”
I couldn’t see Mandelbrot spending time trying to assist in procuring overseas students keen to keep afloat our fine seats of learning by paying high fees, so I continued my search. I then found this: “Labour peer Lord Mandelson is set to launch an international comms consultancy with backing from WPP Group, it has emerged.”
I rather lost interest in trying to find a website, but I did find this analysis from The Daily Mail much to my taste:
Some estimates say Blair has amassed a £50 million fortune since leaving Downing Street in June 2007. For Blair’s long-time friend, these are very exciting times.
Indeed, Lord Mandelson has already taken a leaf out of Blair’s book by trailing his fingers in the lucrative waters of Kazakhstan, the sinister oil-and-gas-rich regime which has been accused in U.S. government diplomatic messages of ‘pervasive corruption’, deploying ‘torture’ techniques and where criticising the president has been made illegal. But more of their links to Kazakhstan later……”
Despite Gordon Brown saying that he would devote his life to ‘good and charitable works’ as he contemplated a future without the power to fuck up Britain (and he may well still do these good works), it would appear that he, too, is on a fairly lucrative lecture circuit and, they say, he is prepared to chuck in his wife Sarah for a bit extra. I can’t see any problem with that at all. If people are daft enough to pay good money to listen to him, so be it. I have his book. I haven’t read it. I rather think it unlikely that anyone will pay me to do so as in the good old days when I ran the Media, Privacy and Libel Law Bunker at Muttley Dastardly LLP… or the ‘viper’s nest’, as I seem to recall, was your term for it.
Some good news. I had a meeting with a rather unusual Libyan chap the other morning. He arrived in an Apache helicopter which, I can tell you, startled a few tourists at the The Brasserie du Café de Paris in Monte Carlo “the most well known setting for “rendez-vous” in Monaco : its warm welcome extends a promise of enjoyable moments, the decor with its “Belle Epoque” windows recalls that of old Parisian bistros, the atmosphere is glowing and gay.”
He didn’t seem that keen on my advice that he should do a runner, sharpish, to Venezuela before MI6 plugged his location co-ordinates into a cruise missile on one of our submarines. He stood up, held his arms high above his head and shouted “I am not such a dictator that I would shut down facebook. I’ll merely imprison anyone who logs into it” . He stepped away from our table and, after signing a few autographs for passing millionaires, shouted “You are all pig dogs and, remember, were it not for electricity, we would all have to watch television in the dark”. With that out of the way, he climbed aboard the Apache helicopter and headed south at speed.
He didn’t even pay the bill. Fortunately, I still have his Amex details, which he gave me earlier so that I could settle my fee for the ‘consultation’, so I shall be able to recover my disbursements. Old habits die hard.
All the best. I’ll be in town for Ascot. Perhaps we could lunch at your local Lebanese?
Bizarre… but this is what The Sunday Mirror is reporting tonight…. these politicians….they lead unusual lives….. Coulson gone….Johnson gone….. Police investigation into what close protection means…. TB at Chilcot….. what next?
One can always rely on twitter to bring a sense of objectivity and proportion….
*Lord Shagger is resident in Monaco – it is a life sentence.
Summer is drawing to its usual conclusion and although I was in town briefly (I have to be careful of the number of days I visit Blighty these days being a non-dom tax avoider) I wasn’t able to meet up with you. Next time?
I see that the Pope is doing his solo tour tomorrow – hardly a sell out event – and that one of his Cardinal jonnies has described Britain as a third world country. The BBC reports him as saying “when you land at Heathrow you think at times you have landed in a Third World country”. Closer inspection reveals Cardinal Walter to be German born. Makes you wonder why his fellow countrymen in 1940 were so keen to have the place – but, on this the 70th anniversary of The Battle of Britain – they couldn’t hack it then and don’t seem to be able to hack it now. One wonders what goes on in the heads of these god squadders – and here we have a ‘head shed’, who one would have thought was a few steps up the scale from some of the unfortunate poor who look up to these chaps, talking nonsense. Mind you, he has a point about Britain being in the grip of secular atheism – long may that continue. God Save Richard Dawkins, as we shout each night at a bar on the Grand Corniche as a toast….God Save Richard Dawkins!
Moving on…. I see that Crow, who resembles a bouncer on a fag break more each day (I can’t remember where I read that description, but I liked it. It may have been on Twitter), is too busy to listen to the Governor of The Bank of England. I’ve heard of people taking revenge on bank managers, but that is, clearly, taking things a bit far. A number of us down here are doing a spot of spread betting on the number of strikes, days the strikes will be called, how many unions will come out in unison on a particular day…that sort of thing. Met a very nice chap from Pakistan who was seeking our advice as to the possibility that a Union could bowl a couple of no-balls and actually not call a strike after threatening to do so. Apparently his contacts in various cricket teams are not too keen to talk to him at the moment. Can’t see why. Much more fun watching a cricket match knowing that one can make £10,000 have predicted accurately that a no-ball will be bowled in the third ball of the fifth over and hilarious watching otherwise talented cricketers dropping catches, batting like prep school boys and generally trying not to give the game away… or…should I say… trying to give the game away. Do appreciate the point that this fixing of cricket games etc isn’t really cricket.
Talking of twitter, my old friend Lord Sugar is on Twitter, tweeting away. Making rather a good job of it, as it happens. The only problem is – because there are so many frauds about the place – and we have a fair number down here in Monaco, they say…. he can’t get anyone to believe him. I know you’ve done your bit to help, but a few of us down here are having bets on who he will appeal to verify that he is, indeed, Lord Sir Alan Sugar! @DuncanBannatyne must be getting fed up saying that it really is Lord Sugar! Never mind, he’ll get his blue Verified badge soon enough. You have to hand it to Sugar – he really does ride bicycles and rather well. A number of us are thinking of following him next time in a white limousine and bet on how many punctures he has, how many times people shout out “You’re Tired” as he rides by…that sort of thing.
I know you disapprove of my non-dom status, now that I have left Muttley Dastardly LLP as a full time partner, but even we were astonished that Sir Phillip Green, whose tax arrangements are most convenient to him and his family – and perfectly lawful, has been invited to advise the government on the cuts. Being a tax avoider isn’t exactly flavour of the month in Britain at the moment… and is hardly consistent with ideals of a Big Society – but, there we are.
Well… probably enough to be going on with. A number of us are placing bets on how many people attend various papal events, if he will be arrested by Richard Dawkins and Geoffrey Robertson QC and whether the Duke of Edinburgh will come out with a famous gaffe when The Pope meets him. I have a pony at 2/1 on the Duke asking him if he had any kids.
On that note….speak anon
Guardian / Observer: Tory party officials say they will return £440,000 donated by Asil Nadir, if former Polly Peck boss is found guilty of fraud
Disaffected pupil? Surely no-one is daft enough to conduct their own defence at the Crown Court?
The long summer continues, albeit with mixed weather, and I continue to spend part of each day being a patriot, supporting British Tourism, by holidaying at Table 14 at a cafe in Battersea Square. I don’t always get to Table 14. It is proving to be a very popular table. So if you see anyone who doesn’t look like me sitting at the table, should you pass by, then in all probability it is not me. I now have a new strategy. I lurk as they put the tables out and then, in the finest Germanic tradition, occupy it.
The longer I stay in Battersea the more I like it. Friendly people. There is always a lot going on – people wandering around, people popping into the various cafes, chatting to each other, militant cyclists streaming by in their strange hats and yellow spandex and…. some pretty serious motorcars. Yesterday afternoon, I had the pleasure of seeing one of those vulgar new Rolls Royce cars waft by with the number plate XXX TAT……Res ipsa loquitur.
But, as summer draws on towards an inevitable slide into Autumn and a winter of a thousand cuts, I may leave Battersea and head North. I am thinking…. the West of Scotland, possibly, Inverary – but first, given that this is deep in Campbell country, I must check that they are not murdering people as they sleep as once they did.
Time hangs heavy on those who do not have enough to do and it is thus with Lord Shagger – who has now chosen to emulate The Prince of Wales by writing to sundry government ministers. He was kind enough to send me a copy of a reply from the Ministry of Justice received on this very day….
The BBC reports with a degree of schadenfreude: “The UK economy faces a “choppy recovery” over the next two years, the governor of the Bank of England, Mervyn King, has warned. His comments came as the Bank lowered its economic growth forecast and said inflation would stay higher for longer than previously forecast.
The Bank now expects the economy to grow by less than 3% in 2011, down from its previous forecast of nearer 3.5%. It added that a lack of bank lending would limit economic growth.
The Press reports: “TENS of thousands of people who have never even been linked with an offence are on a secret North Yorkshire Police database, The Press can reveal.
Details of more than 180,000 people are on the force’s information management system, despite only a fraction being even suspected of any crime.
Privacy campaigners have condemned the force, after an investigation by The Press found information on innocent informants was stored along with that of suspects and vulnerable complainants.
The database contains information on 38,259 suspects and 181,917 people who have simply reported information.
The Law Society Gazette reports…. “The Ministry of Justice will slash £2bn from its £9bn budget in order to meet government spending targets, the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) has claimed. Citing a letter understood to have been circulated to MoJ senior staff today, the PCS estimated that around 15,000 of the MoJ’s 80,000 staff risk losing their jobs as a result of the cuts……”
There are some interesting Police blogs… and I follow several for their perspective on our criminal justice system. Today, I would like to draw your attention to a post from
It hasn’t happened in Ruralshire yet but from readers comments it’s clear that the dreaded “Detection” culture is back. Let us briefly remind ourselves what this meant for the public last time:
# A man from Cheshire who was cautioned for being “found in possession of an egg with intent to throw”
# A child in Kent who was arrested after removing a slice of cucumber from a sandwich and throwing it at another youngster
# A West Midlands woman arrested on her wedding day for criminal damage after her foot slipped on her accelerator pedal and her vehicle damaged a car park barrier
# A 70-year-old Cheshire pensioner who was arrested for criminal damage after cutting back a neighbour’s conifer trees
It goes on… and is well worth a read. The comments are also worth reading. rather depressing but the blog post and the comments will give you a view from the ground…. because these police officers are right on the front line from what I can gather!
Well… as they used to say on Crimewatch…. don’t have nightmares….. and on that point…. I am reminded of the Acronym …BOBFOC – which applies to me…. Body Off Baywatch…Face Off Crimewatch.
Mind how you go…. only 20 weeks until the Christmas Cuts!
I have to say that I am baffled about Keir Starmer QC ‘s statement on Mr Tomlinson and the events surrounding it. As you know, The Guardian reported “The Crown Prosecution Service has admitted that the decision not to prosecute a police officer for the death of Ian Tomlinson rested on the evidence of a pathologist who has been officially reprimanded and is facing 26 further charges of sub-standard practices, including incompetently carrying out a number of earlier autopsies.” It seems that ‘Freddy’ Patel, the pathologist, was not terribly good at his job given the astonishing number of charges for sub-standard practices reported in the Press. Why was he engaged to do the first autopsy? Why did the CPS miss the six month deadline? Why was “Advice to charge police officer over Ian Tomlinson death ignored” ? It appears that there is a marked reluctance to prosecute police officers in Britain. The problem with this and the Sgt Smellie case (not forgetting the 30 years it took to get the Police to make admissions on Blair Peach) is that the reputation of the Police will go down. Goodwill works both ways and while I accept that there are many police officers who are concerned about this, there are, unfortunately, many who are not and who seem to regard it as given that they will be able to err without fear of prosecution. How did PC Simon Harwood, who had ‘anger management’ problems with another force, get into the Met? We’re not talking about a desk job supervising bun eating PCSOs here – we are talking the Tactical Support Group, the spiritual successors of the ill-famed SPG of old…in the eyes of some. Is Keir Starmer up to it? Not looking too good.
I see that you covered good old David Davis’ nonsense about Brokeback Coalition. He’s right of course. Many of us are seething that we have to waste time with all these huggers from the LIb-Dems. Clegg doesn’t appear to know the difference between holding personal views and speaking as a Deputy Prime Minister. Given that the Liberals haven’t had a taste of power since the days of Lloyd George I suppose he can be forgiven for not being wholly versed in the machinations of rule and government. I rather lost the will to live after watching Clegg talking about his remarks about the ‘illegality of the Iraq war” on Channel 4.
I rarely spend an evening at the Chien et Canard in Monaco without debating The Boer war with some retail millionaire. Sometimes we even get the odd rich parvenu or fugitive from justice, who didn’t find Spain to his taste or who has decided that the Cotswolds is not a tax friendly environment, who chips in with nothing of any value at all in terms of the conversation.
Krishnan Guru-Murthy: You learnt a lesson at the Dispatch Box this week, you can’t really say what you think, you have to speak for the government rather than your own personal opinions on things like the legality of the Iraq War.
Nick Clegg: I disagree on some things as hugely important and divisive as the Iraq war. People are still debating the Second World War, the Boer War. This is a debate that will run and run and run.
I remember when I was at Eton many years ago…..some boys were so eager to impress that they had a certain slightly unctuous and creepy look about them. Cameron has that look and certainly seems to have swallowed much of the public school bollocks. Usually old boys from public school get over their attachment to their old schools within a few years of being mocked by those who came after them when they keep turning up for events at the alma mater. Cameron gives the impression that he is still keen to impress those in authority and hasn’t quite grasped the whole point of being Prime Minister…that he is The Authority. But there we are.
As for Clegg… I thought this quote from Hamlet might amuse…
“In the most high and palmy state of Rome,
A little ere the mightiest Julius fell,
The graves stood tenantless, and the sheeted dead
Did squeak and gibber in the Roman streets.”
– William Shakespeare, Hamlet, 1.1
I suspect that the end game will see Clegg wondering around some television station shouting…
A vote ! a vote! my kingdom for a vote!
Richard III. 5. 4
Good to see that BP has started drilling off Libya. This will, no doubt, irritate those senators issuing invitations to all and sundry – who, sensibly, have declined an invitation to be humiliated in public by the Yanks – and will do wonders for the BP share price. Timing, dear boy.. timing. Timing is all…as every litigation lawyer knows.
Yahoo News – and there is even a film you can watch!
Guardian: Milibands, Burnham, Balls and Abbott uniformly condemn peer’s ‘destructive and self-destructive’ account of party in-fighting
After my decision to resign my seat in the Lords, following an entirely misguided change in the law (no doubt introduced by sundry tree huggers and hand wringers in the Lib-Dem part of the new government) I am no longer able to play my part, nay divine right, in governing unless if I pay United Kingdom taxes. Democracy is a curious concept enabling a large number of people who have absolutely no idea what is going on – many do not even read newspapers, let alone party manifestos – to have a say in who governs this country at general elections. I suspect that AV or worse, PR, will make the situation worse. Many people in the far reaches of the United Kingdom have only just mastered the idea that one puts an ‘X’ in the box adjacent to the candidate of choice to cast one’s vote. How these people will manage with anything more complex is anyone’s guess. But there you are. I digress.
Charon has been kind enough to make space on his blawg from time to time to allow me to report on my views as to the The State of the Nation. For this I am grateful. Let me say at once that I am preparing an action under the Human Rights Act claiming that exiling those of us who wish to spend more time with our money is a ‘cruel and unusual punishment’. Not mentioning names, of course, but some of my fellow British tax avoiders out here really are beyond the pale and some look as if they would be more comfortable being fugitives from justice in Marbella or some other chavved up part of sunny Spain. But, noblesse oblige: I bear my trials, vicissitudes and tribulations in the manner of a stoic.
Governance is a very serious matter so it gives me great pleasure to read “A Kent MP has apologised for being drunk in the House of Commons and missing a vote on the Budget”. Mark Reckless said he did not feel it was appropriate to take part in the vote in the early hours of Wednesday because of the amount he had drunk, according to the BBC. For the life of me I just cannot see why inebriation, be it Reckless’s, reckless or intentional, extreme or mild, should be a bar to exercising one’s vision and wisdom as a decision in a vote. I shall be writing to Mr Reckless later to tell him to ‘man up’ and not make such foolish statements to the BBC again about never drinking again at Westminster.
I turn now to the matter of Sado-Masochism – or Le Vice Anglais as we call it down here in Monaco. Nick Cohen, writing in the Observer today, tells us we are all having a good flogging with all these cuts and seem to be enjoying it. Popular mythology suggests, of course, following the antics of Germanophile Max Mosley, that the English tend to prefer the ‘M’ part of S&M. Well, I can tell you that when I was at a well known public school, our head master Dr James ‘Flogger’ Chenevix-Sade, was rather more interested in the ‘S’ part. Nick Cohen, once one wades through the salacious (and thereby interesting) bits of his article, was suggesting that we are all going through a period of collective masochism and are actually looking forward to a bit of austerity and stern governance.
This is, of course, complete nonsense. The truth of the matter is that many people, bewildered by our chaps failing miserably at the World Cup, distracted by failure at Wimbledon, the activities of Mr Moat and Mr Gazza pitching up with chicken McNuggets and lager at the most serious manhunt in recent history have not really had time to take in the fact that the proposed 25-40% cuts, the budget and rise in VAT to 20% will actually be rather difficult for many. The sunshine and the complete lack of a Labour Opposition has allowed the new Coalition to escape real criticism. The political bloggers and pundits are biding their time. When the Labour Party finish “Around the houses in Eighty days’ and actually elect a leader and the summer sun turns to Autumn rain which in turn to a winter of discontent as the VAT hits – it will be an entirely different landscape.
May I commend to you –
Writing anonymously, a senior civil servant offers this savage critique of how the service is being targeted by government cuts – and issues a stark warning about the devastating impact they will have on our society, politics and economy (Observer)
Anyway – we may not have to worry about any of this. Charon forwarded to me an email link he received from @Ianpj [Ian Parker-Joseph, formerly Leader of The Libertarian Party UK – a collection of political cats impossible to herd. Ian also blogs] Charon, in his usual laconic style, replied to Mr Parker-Joseph thanking him for the emailed article link and suggested that Ian book his summer holiday now before the world ends in a few months time.
There is a news blackout in force in relation to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. There may well be a good reason for this if this article is to be given any credence.
Helium reports: Ominous reports are leaking past the BP Gulf salvage operation news blackout that the disaster unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico may be about to reach biblical proportions.
251 million years ago a mammoth undersea methane bubble caused massive explosions, poisoned the atmosphere and destroyed more than 96 percent of all life on Earth.  Experts agree that what is known as the Permian extinction event was the greatest mass extinction event in the history of the world. . the planet when they explosively blew from deep beneath the waters of what is today called the Gulf of Mexico.
Now, worried scientists are increasingly concerned the same series of catastrophic events that led to worldwide death back then may be happening again-and no known technology can stop it. The bottom line: BP’s Deepwater Horizon drilling operation may have triggered an irreversible, cascading geological Apocalypse that will culminate with the first mass extinction of life on Earth in many millions of years.
Well, I won’t spoil the pleasure for you in reading of our imminent Departure through Gate 21 – but basically, we are fucked and it is all BP’s fault. That should do wonders for their share price. If you do believe this – enjoy your last few moments on Earth. If you don’t believe it, keep an eye on the BP share price and go long when the price hits the bottom. I think we may well have more to worry about than oil spills once the government cuts start to bite and it would not surprise me at all if the government is in fact getting it wrong – despite many years to prepare. We could be tipped back into recession. Only time will tell. Fortunately, I am in Monaco, and have put a lot of my newly acquired gold into an old war bunker in the Swiss Alps which has been renovated so those of us who are rich can keep hold of our money in a terrorist and nuclear proof facility and emerge with lots more when the Euro goes tits up and things settle down.
I shall write again soon. In the meantime, as we say down here, ‘If you have to ask, you can’t afford it’. As the very best banks are now saying to customers. Don’t ask for credit. A refusal often offends.