Friday, 29 October 2010

Barack on the Box

Serving first term US President appears on popular comedy show.

Initial reaction to this headline might be 'Does he not want a second term?'

But no, this was Jon Stewart's Daily Show and President Obama was seeking a much needed boost to his party's popularity, before the coming midterm elections.

Here in the UK it's rare to see the President in such 'relaxed' settings and it was good to note that he still has the look of the knowledgeable and determined politician that we saw all those months ago, but things have moved on and the initial euphoria has certainly subsided.

He is starting to adopt the world weary air that comes with the territory but it was abundantly clear that his team are there, not to tell him what to do, but rather, how to get things done.

What puzzles me is how the Democrats have cornered the market in personable and intelligent presidents, when the majority of recent Republicans appeared to need an adviser to tell them when to pee.

Very strange.

Thursday, 28 October 2010

The Benefits of Housing the poor

So it's official, Boris Johnson has gone native.

He's only been in the job a few years and now he wants to keep the poor and undeserving in their plush London houses, paid for by our taxes.

Interesting thought, but what's really going on here?

Boris has complained that low income families will be forced to leave the capital in some Kosovo style exodus.

If the Cap fits

Now, it's not for me to be cynical about this sudden change of heart from our elected Mayor, but it's difficult not to speculate that his real issue is not the re-locating of probable Labour voter from the Tory constituencies, but the removal of so many people working for minimum wages.

As with any other old Etonian, Boris must indeed be mightily concerned that this pool of poor workers will be forced to leave the Royal Boroughs and their surrounds, but the 'Ethnic Cleansing' that most concerns them is possibly nothing more than the worry of how much extra they will need to pay their East European cleaners for their extended journeys.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

A Texas Hold Up at the Stretford end?

So the deal is done, Wayne went all-in and the Glazers folded.

Sounds easy, too simple to be true, but that's exactly what happened, and who is any the better, or worse, for it?

Rooney is certainly better off.

His lack of form and extra time activities, have led to a valuation spiralling towards the £25m that Everton sold him for, as a mere 18 year old. Now he earns more than he's worth, with his club again hoping that their investment gamble will eventually pay off.

And United?

Well, they've taken a punt in the hope that Wayne's world will turn full circle and they can sell him on or win enough to keep him on-board.

But if the decline continues, they are in the deepest of deep doodoo.

How long before those playing better than him demand similar wages? How long before his very presence becomes divisive and demoralizing?

And what about Paul Stretford?

Agent provocateur, man on a mission, touch me and I'll chop yer legs off, or disgruntled businessman out to prove he's worth his percentage.

There's little doubt that Joe Cole's recent free transfer from Chelsea has made clubs wary of players refusing to sign new contracts, and this strengthened the player's position, but it still takes some bottle to go all in, and win.

It may be some time before the Glazers know if they gambled wisely, but I already know who won't be invited round for a 'friendly' game of poker at my place.

Number One

Well, here we are.

Half term and the kids are home, it's tipping rain so I'm about to try this blog thingy.

What's been happening then?

Recent announcement of £80bn cuts over the next four years, a significant figure but far less than we lent/gave to the banks. There's also speculation that those forced investments may turn to profit over a similar time-frame, hmm.

Does that mean the next election will be preceded by hefty tax cuts and other inducements with special thanks to those wonderful bankers and captains of industry who made it all possible?

I'm already getting tired of this blog thingy.