Friday, 2 October 2015

Before you go Mr. President...

"Guns don't kill people. People do" Yeah, people with fucking guns!
 tweet @rickygervais 

A few hours ago another mass shooting in the United States occurred and another Presidential speech will follow suit, the same speech we heard previously after Charleston, with Mr. Obama wearing a sad face, stating the unavoidable routine of these events.

So... before you go Mr. President...

You said last time that the biggest failure you had in your almost 8 years of presidency was the inability to stop these mass murders. The lax gun controls and the iron corset that the Second Amendment imposes on any attempt to limit the "right to bear arms" makes this an impossibility.

It is obvious that the gun lobby, the National Rifle Association and users (both criminals and law abiding citizens) will always constitute a legislative block and this mass murder will not be the last... and you, the President of the USA are unable to stop this in the "most advanced country in the world" with legislation.

I have to remind you though that you are a leader, the leader of the "most advanced country in the world" and if you cannot legislate you should still lead. You can change people's minds instead of hiding behind a few Washington Chambers, counter lobbying and then concluding that you "tried really hard". You can act.

You cannot stop your people "bearing arms" in your country, that is  their right. Nevertheless you have 2 options: the first one by parallel legislation and the second one by direct action. I shall explain:

You can make compulsory that anyone "bearing an arm" in public should wear an armband (choose colour... I suggest red) to make other members of the public aware that that particular citizen is carrying an object that is deemed dangerous to the public, in breach of Health & Safety laws. Anyone caught carrying a gun without that said armband should have the gun removed and fined heavily on the spot, with the gun license cancelled for a period of time. This will at last put the onus on the gun holder. And how can decent gun lovers and law abiding citizens, defenders of democracy, object to this law?

Or... better and faster... you can do it the other way around... you can wear a white armband as a statement of "#icomeinpeace" - "I do not carry a gun". You can start leading your people already tonight. No excuses, just act.

PS: To Ricky Gervais... you can do the same too.

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Comrade

My reply to this morning's John Prescott email
---------------------------------------------
RE: Hello Comrade

Hello Comrade Prescott,

Yes John we can and should use this tired word more often. Thank you for your reminder on the upcoming Labour Leadership election. I have already cast my vote and there is nothing that can be done now. I had my doubts on my choice but your email and greeting justified my vote completely.

The thing is... Andy Burnham is not a Comrade at all. If we resurrect socialist vocabulary from the last century I would have to say that Andy "has sold himself to the big interests of Capitalism and bourgeoisie". He is a continuous representative of these interests albeit with the cover of Labour. That is why I voted for Comrade Corbyn.

And that is why I urge you, Comrade Prescott, to do the same.  

Best regards

Paulo.
-------------------------------------------------------
Date: Mon, 31 Aug 2015 08:45:46 +0000
From: john.prescott@xxxxxxxxx.co.uk
To: pauloferreira@yyyyyy.com
Subject: Hello comrade!

Hello comrade! (We can still say that can't we?)

I'm going to break the habit of a lifetime and be brief.
This leadership election is nearly over, and it looks like it's down to a choice between Jeremy Corbyn and Andy Burnham.  I was glad I encouraged MPs to nominate Jeremy to get him into this race because we really needed a debate on Labour's future. And what a debate it's been! People are flocking to meetings, our number of members and supporters has tripled and there's a buzz about Labour again. But now you need to decide who's the best person to lead us back to power in 2020. And for me, that person is Andy Burnham.  From progressive renationalisation of our railways to integrating social care into our NHS, Andy has the ideas, experience and passion to unite this party and put our traditional values in a modern setting. We need a leader who won't just lead protests ON Downing Street. Andy's the best candidate to march us back INTO Downing Street. Because if we don't choose a leader who can win in 2020, we'll give the Tory's another five years of misrule to hit the poor and dismantle everything we achieved in Government. So if you haven't yet, please vote for Andy today. The future of our country and our party depends on it. And you'll make me happy too! Thank you and enjoy your bank holiday.
JP

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Why RBS was bailed out

The weekend of the 4th and 5th of October 2008 must have been frantic in Downing Street with the news of a financial collapse that had been looming for the entire year. It is funny how these tragedies occur in a timely fashion on weekends, when bank transfers are closed and you are powerless to take any action until business opens again on Monday morning. 

RBS closed for business on Friday afternoon and a few hours later (after New York closed too), pulled all their global accounts and looked at their financial position. And then Fred Goodwin's phone call arrived on Saturday morning (very early morning???), asking for Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling, stating that the biggest bank in the world, "The Royal Bank of Scotland" had ran out of funds and he would have to call the administrators on Monday morning. Panic ensued. And it didn't get any better when Buckingham Palace also called... Why?

Because of Coutts, the Posh Bank of the Posh. You can see here their most famous customer.

RBS bought Coutts as part of the Natwest acquisition in 2000. And they were doing really well until October 2008. Had RBS gone into administration all their subsidiaries would have their assets frozen with immediate effect. You would have seen people queueing at all RBS branches, Natwest branches (just like Northern Rock one year before). You would have also seen people queueing at Coutts branches, if not in person at least with their authorised representatives.

Their accounts would be frozen and the maximum they could get as compensation from the Financial Services Compensation Scheme should be in the region of £40,000 (currently £85,000). The Palace would have had to submit a claim to the FSCS and wait until this was assessed and eventually refunded (months if not years). In the meantime there would be no cash to pay for salaries, utilities, groceries until this situation was resolved and if all financial assets of the Royal Household were managed by Coutts then the Windsors would have to file for bankruptcy.

It was not only the Royal Family that had accounts with Coutts... I am sure that at the time this bank had an incredible golden portfolio of customers, and the impact of it going bust, in a city that prizes money so much and entices and facilitates people with it to settle in (as all financial deals are possible), would have been everlasting damaging. The Queen's endorsement to this bank would also be incredibly damaging to a country where an image of financial competence is advertised to the rest of the world. Not all the international customers in Coutts would have been dented forever, but their cash (or what was left of it) would have moved overnight somewhere else, adding to the already dire financial landscape of the United Kingdom economy at the time. The national elite would have also been hurt badly.

And that is why RBS was bailed out in its entirety (well... almost 80%, 85%) along with Lloyds Bank (this one partially). HBOS was allowed to fail and hid under the Lloyds bailout package. No other UK bank (let's mention them here with pride — Barclays, Abbey, Clydesdale, HSBC, Nationwide) felt the need of accepting a bailout.

I have the feeling that if Queen Elizabeth II was banking with Barclays, RBS would have disappeared without a trace. God did not save the Queen. Joe Public did.



Tuesday, 9 June 2015

The Biggest Nail House on the Web



While surfing the web this morning I came across this little gem of Twitter account @apple. Surprisingly this account has not published a single tweet yet. Not one, nothing, zilch, nada!!! It is at present in the "freezer" waiting for better days. It has however 33.5K very very distracted followers 

So... what's going on? What's happening?

The John Doe that opened this account was probably shocked to see that as late as September 2011 he was able to grab the name @apple on Twitter. When Apple noticed this, it was too late. Too late in or after September 2011! Not 2007! Now Apple, the biggest company in the world, missed the train big time as, for all practical purposes, it is not on Twitter!!!!


@apple / John Doe, as I mentioned above, has not posted a single tweet... Apple most probably tried to buy out the name from John and was then shown a bill for $100,000,000.00 (late arrival penalty) or more. The silence of this @apple account (not verified account by the way) shows that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL worth $727 billion!) was not willing to pay, and as a consequence, surely a court injunction was filed to impede John to publish anything on that Twitter account. 


This is for sure the biggest Nail House we have on cyberspace at present, and as all Nail Houses are, this one is incredibly funny.



Good luck John Doe. I hope you'll get your dough soon. 





Monday, 18 May 2015

Oh when the Saints...






"The saints are the sinners who keep on going."
Robert L. Stevenson






... to Louise Mensch

Hi Louise,

Apologies for the late reply but I had a bog standard long day at the office and only now I got time to resume our little "skirmish" from yesterday, as I feel I had no opportunity for a "last word".

It was quite endearing how the news of the canonization of two Palestinian nuns by Pope Francis went semi-viral. Funny how a society that is so detached of Roman Catholicism and Religion in general, suddenly had to pontificate (boom boom) about a subject they know so little. I would had given a little miss on this "contest" but then I came across your tweet:
Non-Cathoilc media including BBC shows its utter horrific ignorance by calling these nuns first Arabic speaking saints - google broken?

This made me smile (no not ignoring the spell check on Catholic)...there was a mix of BBC bashing, Catholic hat dressing, Middle East languages, Internet savvy all condensed in the straight jacket limit of 140 characters, the essence of Twitter.

I had to reply, I had... could not let this go past. So I threw a wobbler just for testing

Milking it a little bit aren't you Louise? If you read the Gospel all the Apostles spoke Arabic so stop nit picking.

Disappointing reply...

none of them spoke Arabic. Embarrassing fail for you there. Aramaic is not Arabic.

I don't know what hit you... maybe you checked my profile and thought that I would need to be taught that Aramaic is not Arabic; or for "illustration purposes" to your followers, to show of your knowledge in Christian Dawn languages. But you missed it by a Mil(e). You lost immediately your Catholic hat, your Internet kudos, your Middle East awareness and your Faith became... faith.

In the meantime there were people raging that St. George was the first Arabic speaking Saint, a bit a la Goodness Gracious Me "Everything Comes From India", in a bizarre contest to demonstrate that the patron saint of England was Syrian and would speak Arabic???? Why??? No need for WMDs from Tony Blair if only he would have been aware of this little fact.

What did you miss then? The Bible, and don't get me wrong I am no religious zealot, I just like stories. If you remember this one (as a good Catholic?) at Pentecost:

4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
5 Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. 6 When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken.7 Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans?8 Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? 9 Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontusand Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome 11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!”12 Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?”
13 Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.”

The devil is in the detail. The 12 Apostles spoke Arabic unless I "had too much wine". As I said, language is not what you convey, it is what you perceive and they should be one and the same.

See you around...


PS: To finalise my "last word" against your "Got it? good" should be
نعم ماجستير










Sunday, 10 May 2015

Rescission

Goodbye England!






"Don't look now but there's one too many in this room and I think it's you." — Groucho Marx






The results of last Friday morning could not be more clear. Scotland nation is on her way out... and yet still on Friday morning, exactly in the same way as the other Friday morning after the Scottish referendum, David Cameron came up with "promises that he will govern as a party of ONE nation". These words sounded ominously like Vladimir Putin's stance toward Ukraine. ONE nation means the English nation, the Westminster Establishment.

Unfortunately there is no such thing, there has always been TWO nations, England (and Wales) and Scotland. Cunningly the Act of Union has permitted for centuries to dilute the presence and cohesion of Scottish MPs by splitting them into established Union parties and making them feel (through bribe and flattery), that they are part of a bigger picture, a better together, a union of equals. That has now ended and the 56 SNP MPs represent a new paradigm that the United Kingdom will be unable to digest.

On my previous blog entry I said that the Cameron's words of the referendum "being a choice of a generation, put this to bed for hundred years" were spoken from the point of view of the abusive husband receiving his estranged and battered wife back home, after she dared to flee for a couple of days. Life should resume as usual or worse after this daring stunt.

I also mentioned that the referendum could be recalled at anytime and the first test would be this General Election. The SNP passed this test with full marks and could and should take ownership of this fantastic turn of events. However calling for a referendum is ill advised... and here is my penny for Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP...

As the full representative of the Scottish voters in Westminster, you have now a highly visible mandate to do what you were voted for. You were not voted to make deals with Westminster, you were voted to leave Westminster. Trying to get Cameron to fulfil his promises on devo max is playing devious corridor games and that is not what you were voted for. It is a game where there will be one loser only, Scotland.

Now... the 56 SNP MPs should rescind the Act of Union publicly making it null and void. Some will say that there is no such get out clause on the Act, which in a way will reinforce even more its invalidity. The Scottish independence should now be fought in the Courts of Law. A battery of Scottish constitutionalists and law makers should enter an Act of Rescission immediately in the Scottish Supreme Courts. If favourable, that would automatically mean Independence.

Please do not misjudge the undercurrents of Westminster. I can foresee people on the streets in Edinburgh and Glasgow followed by tanks and riot police and the odd bomb attack to justify a military presence and compliance of Scotland. I would not be surprised in the near future some Shetland and Orkney militias returning to the Highlands to defend the "self-determination" and rights of the local population. Ah and the odd airliner being shot down for the sole purpose of playing the blame game.

If the above suggestions are a bit far fetched do not ever call a referendum for independence (why call for something that is outright yours?). Just call a succession of mini-referendums (once a month) like:

  1. Should Scotland raise and manage their own taxes?
  2. Should Scotland have their diplomatic corps and raise their own passports?
  3. Should Scotland have their own Armed Forces (or have Armed Forces at all... a Switzerland model would be most appropriate)?
Have you thought how much you are going to charge for renting the Faslane Trident Submarine Naval base?

It is all in your hands now. Don't loose it.

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