Pyramid Comment

This journal takes an alternative view on current affairs and other subjects. The approach is likely to be contentious and is arguably speculative. The content of any article is also a reminder of the status of those affairs at that date. All comments have been disabled. Any and all unsolicited or unauthorised links are absolutely disavowed.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Political (Democratic) Choice For The Gang

This can be retitled as Democratic Dictatorship since once in power, the so-called democratic process that leads to power then becomes a pseudo dictatorship. In recent times there are precedents to support this: Gordon Brown who failed to honour the promise of a referendum on joining Europe: Treaty of Lisbon or Blair deciding to refuse an investigation that may be 'embarrassing'. The accession to power is not the individual, but the position to wield power through influence and obedience by ('legal') enforcement. Dictatorship.

In this system, essentially freely given votes enable virtual unknowns with unknown goals access to countless (theoretical) £bns and the mechanism to introduce legislation that controls (Rule Over Us).

Anarchy In Democracy Or Democratic Anarchy
Blair And EU Presidency
Blair And The 9 Minute Applause
Blair And The American Trident System (bullet-proof ring-fencing)
Blair And The Laser-Guided Bombs
Blair, Bush, Hypocrisy, Iran and Iraq
Blair Displays Contempt And Arrogance - Again
Blair Pontificates About Conscience
Blair Pressure On SFO Saudi Inquiry
Blair To Cameron: The Transfer of A Legacy
Blair Rules Out CIA Flights Probe - More Hypocrisy 
Blair Wants You! 
Blair's Exit Strategy - Well, MaybeBrown,
Gordon: And Dennis Healey
Brown, Gordon: Broadband And State Paranoia
Brown, Gordon: Chancellor to PM
Brown, Gordon: Change
Brown, Gordon: Exit Strategy
Brown, Gordon: IMF And Gold Reserves
Brown, Gordon: Mr Nice Guy
Brown, Gordon: Snubs (2008) Olympic Games
Brown, Gordon: The Doctor
Brown, Gordon: The Future
Brown, Gordon: Toxicity Warning
Brown, Gordon: More Toxic

Examining the backgrounds of Mr George Osborne and Dr Vince Cable some interesting indications of abilities and credentials when it comes to 'lecture' or 'pontificate' about financial matters are revealed. There are many periods in the background of George Osborne that give only a very vague outline to the years after Oxford (Magdalen College) that followed a private education where he received an upper second-class degree in Modern History and edited the university's Isis magazine. He had originally intended to pursue a career as a journalist, but after missing out on a position at a national newspaper, was 'fortunate' to be informed of a vacancy at the Conservative Central Office.

Osborne joined the Conservative Research Department in 1994 and at 23 (dob: 23 May 1971) became head of the Political Section. A meteoric rise for someone very young and with little experience. Within a year (between 1995 and 1997) he 'worked' for the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF) as special advisor to minister Douglas Hogg (during the BSE crisis) and in the Political Office at 10 Downing Street.

How is the 'special' knowledge to become a 'special' advisor
acquired and what is the definition of 'special'?

Between 1997 and 2001 he worked for then Conservative leader William Hague as a speechwriter and Political Secretary (?)

A speechwriter does not necessarily need to formulate
the content of a speech,just how it should be
worded to convince. Presumably, instruction is given
in the procedure to be a speechwriter as there is no formal course

Professors Stephen Hawking and Richard Dawkins articulate well and know their subjects intimately. They can write their own 'scripts'. Politicians articulate well when reading from a script, but don't need to understand or believe the content of the script.

Considering the background of the individuals who would 'take' high office:

  • The Chancellor of the Exchequer (British finance minister) is the head of the department of the British government that administers the public revenue, including the receipt and expenditure of money for public services. The Chancellor is the Second Lord of the Treasury, but this name is no longer used. The department today is known as HM Treasury rather than the Exchequer 
  • The Chancellor is a senior member of the Cabinet and a member of the House of Commons since all financial measures must originate there. Control is exercised by the Chancellor over finances, in consultation with the Prime Minister, but under the control of the Cabinet. The Chancellor is given credit or blame for the overall health of the economy. The Chancellor's deputy, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, is also a Cabinet minister, reflecting the central role the Treasury plays. Many prominent leaders have been Chancellor and PM Gladstone (1852-1855 and 1859-1866) was himself appointed
  • The Chancellor is responsible for occasional parliamentary business and since there is (currently) no mechanism for MPs to resign from the UK Parliament, to step down they must be given a Crown appointment which automatically disqualifies them from sitting in the House of Commons. Such a position, which carries no salary or responsibilities, is awarded by the Chancellor - some recent recipients being former Prime Minister Tony Blair, the then newly-elected Mayor of London, Boris Johnson and former Shadow Home Secretary David Davis
  • Originally named Gideon, he changed his name to George when he was 13. In an interview in July 2005, Osborne said: "It was my small act of rebellion. I never liked it. When I finally told my mother she (allegedly) said, 'Nor do I'. So I decided to be George."
  •  The Conservative Party have sought to distance themselves from the club as it was considered to be damaging to the new party image
  • Osborne's first job was to provide data entry services to the National Health Service to record the names of people who had died in London and also briefly worked for Selfridges. He had originally intended to pursue a career as a journalist, but after missing out on a position at a national newspaper, was informed of a vacant job at the Conservative Central Office
How is the 'special' knowledge to become a 'special' advisor
acquired and what is the definition of 'special'?
    A speechwriter does not necessarily need to formulate
    the content of a speech,just how it should be
    worded to convince. Presumably, instruction is given
    in the procedure to be a speechwriter as there is no formal course
      • In this role he assisted in the preparation of  Hague for the weekly session of Prime Minister's Questions, often playing the role of Prime Minister Tony Blair. Under the leaderships of Michael Howard and now under David Cameron, he has remained on the Prime Minister's Questions team
      • Elected as the Member of Parliament for Tatton, Cheshire, in June 2001, he succeeded the Independent MP Martin Bell, who had famously defeated the controversial former Conservative minister Neil Hamilton at the 1997 election. Osborne won with a majority of 8,611, becoming (at that time) the youngest Conservative MP in the House of Commons. At the 2005 election, he was re-elected with an increased majority of 11,731, 51.8% of the vote.
      • Osborne was appointed to the Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury
      • Promoted (following the 2005 general election) to Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer at the age of 33 by the then-Conservative Party leader Michael Howard. The appointment to such a senior shadow cabinet post at such a young age surprised many Conservative MPs. Howard had in fact initially offered the post to William Hague, who turned it down and press reports suggest that Howard's second choice for the post was in fact David Cameron, who also rejected the job as he preferred to take on a major public service portfolio (he was made Shadow Education Secretary). Thus Howard turned to Osborne as his third choice for the role. His promotion prompted speculation he would run for leadership of the Conservative Party when Howard stepped down, but he ruled himself out within a week. Osborne serving as his campaign manager for David Cameron's leadership campaign, and kept the Shadow Chancellor's post when, later that year, Cameron became leader
      • Osborne's close friendship with Cameron has led to comparisons with the relationship between Tony Blair and Gordon Brown in the Labour Party in the mid-1990s. Responding to this comparison at the LSE in February 2006, Osborne said that there had been "no deal" between him and Cameron and he has repeatedly denied ambitions beyond the Chancellorship. Asked whether or not he would be willing to sack a close colleague such as Osborne, Cameron stated, "With George, the answer is yes. He stayed in my shadow cabinet not because he is a friend, not because we are godfathers to each other's children but because he is the right person to do the job. I know and he knows that if that was not the case he would not be there."
      • Osborne has expressed an interest in the ideas of "tax simplification",(including the idea of flat tax). He set up a "Tax Reform Commission" in October 2005 to investigate ideas for how to create a 'flatter, simpler' tax system. The system then proposed would reduce the income tax rate to a flat 22%, and increase personal allowance from £4,435 to £10,000-£15,500. The idea of a flat tax is not included in the current Conservative party manifesto.

      This illustrates that essentially there are years when 'credentials' are acquired that enable pontification about matters financial.

      UK Public Sector Government Debt
      How To Avoid Paying Tax
      Inheritance Tax
      Poor Judgment

      Each year between 2006 and 2009 Osborne attended the annual Bilderberg Conference, a meeting of influential people in business, finance and politics.

      Those with enormous clout

      The Oleg Deripaska affair with Mandelson is infamous and shows exceptional poor judgment for Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer especially when the historical parallel enters the frame.

      Electioneering And Snake Oil

      Vince Cable's background is rather different to Gideon George Osborne. There is greater evidence of actually knowing about what he speaks and as a Chancellor may need to know. Cable was awarded a PhD in economics. The expenses revelations have left Cable clean whereas Osborne has a cloud over the affair.

      George Osborne was forced to deny taking advantage of the expenses system following claims he flipped his designated second home from London to his constituency farm house after taking out a £450,000 mortgage on the rural property. The larger the loan then the greater is the expense allowed on interest repayments. The value of the property will probably appreciate. It seems financially advantageous for an MP to secure the largest loan possible. Separately, he was rebuked by the Commons authorities for using public money to fund his "political" website. He also claimed money for a chauffeur-driven car which he has agreed to repay.