MichaelCD - The Blog.

The thoughts of Michael Cadwallader. Coffee loving, history book reading, Cheshire man.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


Firstly, from the Mail:
Benefit claims by Eastern Europeans have almost trebled in the past year, official figures show.

The cost of the payouts - to almost 112,000 migrants - is put at £125million a year.

The Home Office figures mean that one in six of an estimated 683,000 Eastern European incomers is living off the state to some extent.

A year ago, only 42,620 were claiming benefits.

Critics say that the welfare bill will rise further because 700 more migrants arrive every day from former Soviet Bloc states.

So, one sixth of East Europeans are on benefits. And it means that another central tenet in the 'economic-benefit' argument for mass immigration from Eastern Europe, falls apart.

Secondly, from the Telegraph:
New Labour has presided over the creation of a quango superstate that spends nearly £170 billion a year - more than five times the budget of the Ministry of Defence.

The figure has been revealed by an investigation into the accounts of nearly 900 agencies, advisory bodies, monitoring boards and other public bodies that are all termed "quangos".

The study also shows massive pay rises over the past decade for those running a slew of agencies, including the Coal Authority, the British Waterways Board and British Nuclear Fuels.

Last year, Ken Boston, the head of the Qualification and Curriculum Authority, received £273,000 in annual pay and benefits in kind.

In 1998, his predecessor received £43,563. Trevor Beaumont, head of The Tote, was paid £369,000 last year. In 1998, an official received £115,000 to do the same job.

Two years before Labour came to power, Gordon Brown spoke publicly of the need for a "bonfire of the quangos". His party's 1997 General Election manifesto sharply criticised the Tories for allowing their number and cost to soar.
A suggestion, then, for Dave: follow through Gordon's excellent idea for a bonfire of quangos, and you could go into the next election promising to balance the books, increase spending on the health service and cut taxes.

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Monday, August 13, 2007

Panic Over?

It looks like the great panic is over, for now. The markets were in the green today after heavy losses last week, including a disastrous trading session on Friday. Being the Stock Market we can't say for certain whether this is the bottom, although I would imagine we are fairly close to it. What it has revealed, and will reveal further if there are any more heavy losses, however, is the knife-edge that the whole debt-based financial system lives on.

To a short-term bull and long-term bear like myself, it doesn’t really look like things have actually changed that much.
Corporate profits are still good and they should be the main marker for the performance of stocks and shares. Moreover, that elusive recession seems to be somewhere on the horizon but is certainly not close enough to really worry about. So in all reality this is solely about debt, and central banks who give platitudes about Adam Smith and liberal markets but to whom John Maynard Keynes is still the role model. That is why I am calm about the near future; central banks will simply not allow the debt-based economy to collapse. At the first sight of any signs that the economy may be in difficulty, liquidity will be flooded in and interest rates slashed.

What about inflation,
I hear people say, haven't the central banks said they are going to fight it? Well, yes, the central banks have talked about inflationary concerns over the last couple of years, and interest rates have been raised accordingly. But, in all reality, faced between the choice of the whole debt edifice collapsing around their heads and inflation being set loose, I think they will choose the easy option. Ergo, inflation will be set loose, and we all know what I believe is the remedy for this.

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Sunday, August 12, 2007

My Broadband Has Been Resurrected

Technology, hey? It looks so easy to use on the box; just set it up and go. Unfortunately, the reality is usually one of devices unable to talk to each other and of long phone calls to tech support in Bangalore.

Anyway, things look like they are back to normal now, so blogging will return soon.

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Saturday, August 04, 2007

The Tribes of Britain

I have just finished reading David Miles' book on the Tribes of Britain. Whilst the first part of the book ticks all the boxes that I was expecting from Miles, a former Chief Archaeologist with English Heritage, in that it contained a mix of demographics, archaeological anecdotes and genetics, the second part certainly does not. In fact, the best description of the latter chapters is as a love letter to mass immigration.

Now the first question that springs to my mind is why on earth would Miles write a book on the British people when they seem to constantly be presented as nasty racists? And if you are going to talk about events you may as well get your facts right. For instance, Stephen Lawrence was murdered in 1993 not 1988 as Miles states.

Also, Miles correctly states that 'in 2003 new British citizens from Africa far outnumbered the combined total from the West Indies, Canada, Australia and America', with most of these coming from Somalia. He then says that this has gone unnoticed because 'they do not present too much of a problem' as they are 'mostly young, healthy, Anglophone and well educated'. Now I know that he wrote the book before two 'young, healthy' Somalians tried to blow-up Central London, but even so it proves his enthusiasm for immigration seriously clouds his judgement. And it is seems even more so when you consider that on the previous page he had exalted the 'Britishness' of a Caribbean island he had recently visited. Now although this is a little trite, it does at least have some truth to it: immigrants from places with similar cultures are obviously more likely to be able to integrate. Yet despite trying, I think, to make that point, a page later he seems to think it is wonderful that we now have mass immigration from Somalia!

All in all, it's a bit of a shame really, because if this book had ended at the chapter covering the 18th century I would have been enthusiastically endorsing it. Now, however, I must say that I won't be reading anything by Miles in the future. And as for English Heritage, an organisation of which I am a member, you do wonder about the sort of political bias that exists within it.

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