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.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

New Schools

Revamping existing schools in some cases appears to be necessary, but the old government approach was spend, spend, spend and has led to the scrapping of the scheme that allegedly committed the country to £45bn (so they say or 'it is said that...' - DA) over the next decade.

Building Schools for the Future

There was never a tomorrow when debts are called in as the consequence of the Labour ideology. Long term dreams that demonstrate the arrogance of power: that a particular government could be in power for its current 13 years and commit a nation to the next 10 years with a totally unaffordable proposed outlay. It suggests education standards are improving when they are clearly doing the reverse. It's the illusion that has always been promoted. The bad times that are really bad. There never were any good times with that Labour government. Smoke and mirrors. However, the extent of the scrapping has been erroneous.

This has had the same result of a parent that lets the child do as it wants. Gets everything it wants. It leads to decline and failure. Sometimes this has to be allowed to happen for some to believe it, yet still many don't.

The definition of a loser could be someone who never learns from their mistakes. Is this country (UK) populated by losers? The answer could be provided by (part of) the electorate's constitutional right to return a future Labour government.

The people would always pay to keep that government in its destructive ideological power game. It was inevitable that any responsible government that genuinely has the interests of a nation as its priority would have to cancel some of these dreams. The dreams of others are the stake and are the delusions of government still hungry for power. That is the betrayal. To raise hopes of improvement knowing that those hopes could never be realised.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

World Cup And English Football

Differences between truly world class rugby and the World Cup football competition demonstrate that the attitude of real professionalism counts for so much. Football can always take lessons from rugby. This has also illustrated the hopeless set-up in England regarding the so-called world class football 'teams' and other world class (national) football teams. Or in more general terms: professional football. The England nation does not even have an English coach. Is there really no English coach that is capable? Foreign coaches are failures in the sense of returning value: highly paid for the delivery of nothing. The Italian Fabio Capello has obviously failed absolutely in attempts to produce even a mediocre 'team' that comprises deluded individuals playing as individuals on the same side. Capello's track record suggests possibilities, though the excuses for failure predictably are made. In other professions if there is a clash of 'personality' between teams and 'chiefs', resignation is likely or sackings for the weakest of reasons. But this is football. Capello revels in fabulous riches for his failure. And on it goes... Hardly a team playing together. It's all about money and getting more for less.

That group of mercenaries who were (allegedly) paid obscene amounts of money to represent their country had no obvious interest in doing well since they were (over)paid anyway. Some would probably have done this for free as the honour of playing for their country would be the prize. It is possible (or even probable) that the 'players' received club wages as a contractual obligation in addition to the mercenary payments while 'training' in South Africa. The amounts for being in South Africa are (allegedly) some £140,000 week, day, hour, game... for the six weeks of turning up. All other expenses paid. It's what is called a 'real jolly' and can give a new insight to the potential misery of not going to play-away-games. At any one moment during the 90 minutes playing time, well over £1m a week (£50m annually) in collective 'wages' was present on the game park. It should be a wake-up call to the supporters who subsidise the wages.

  • Who pays for the so-called WAGS: wives and girlfriends. And why? In a serious preparation for such a competition, there is no free time for any kind of entertainment. No distractions. It's only 6 weeks of serious training time. It shows how 'serious' these players really are in their +£100,000 a week routine league-time.
If such 'rumours' are accurate, it is the very kind of 'player' that is completely unsuitable. Examples of club debt are quite common today and predictably will become more so. Even back in 2006, the eventual highly visible rot was already growing. The question should be asked: why are footballers paid such obscene amounts of money? Questions get asked about bankers, but not footballers: logic and analysis are often misplaced. Occasionally, the lone voice in the wilderness can just be heard, but something is seriously wrong. The issue is just... avoided.

The whole affair is a national joke and brings shame onto England for producing an overpaid group of ineffective 'celebrities' and this reduces the representation to the gameshow. BIG money for nothing in return. Except for the gameshow 'players'. The real losers are those followers who financed their own trip to South Africa in an expectation of being part of something good. Betrayed. Many could well have been bankrupted as a result. That's the pull of football and it's so full of delusions and the deluded. The interests of so many supporters gives the appearance that such salaries are acceptable, when it's more probable that there is just no choice but acceptance. No justification can be made to excuse such a payment. How can these players be 'worth it' when so many clubs are in serious financial difficulties as a result. The income and outgoings of clubs are so far adrift that insolvency is the obvious outcome in many cases. And these ludicrous wages still get paid. This could be a definition of lunacy.

The anticipated outcome is that some or all of this group of failures will get an OBE, CBE or some other reward for their failure. This would complete the national joke and make it so absolutely unfunny.

Now that England (quite rightly) are out of this competition, it has enabled the focus to be on some fine world class football and the entire sport has been moved upward as a result. English league football is a ridiculous farce and should be out of such competitions forever. The trading in the meat market of footballers creates this farcical situation. The grotesque amounts of money described as value never explains who actually benefits. The individual 'player': yes. The clubs: yes. The 'supporters' (mugs?): no.

This nauseatingly parallels the

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Coalition Budget

It's peculiar to hear and see Tory Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne presenting a budget ostensibly orchestrated by Chief Secretary to the Treasury: Lib Dem Danny Alexander. But this is the politics of misdirection and spin.

Considering just the single issue of the proposed VAT increase to 20% (from 17.5%): this is patronisingly regarded as saving the country £billions. It is actually all consumers (an electorate of all persuations) subsidising the deficit by paying those £billions in already taxed-income. The nightmare created by the now defunct Labour government of the last 13 years [that now vies and squabbles for the top dog (leadership) position].


The difference in the actual cost of a £20,000 vehicle caused by the (trivial) VAT increase from 17.5% = £3500 to 20% = £4000 equates to an additional £500. Remember that only recently the VAT levy was 'just' 15%, so the relatively recent jump is actually from 15% -> 20% or in the example £3000 -> £4000. An additional £1000 is certainly not trivial for any genuine 'ordinary man'. This ignores the increased new-car (purchase) tax and any interest as a result of the increased cost. The £20,000 vehicle costs escalate substantially. This may be trivial, but must depend on an appreciation of value.

To peddle this hike as fair is very misleading (illusory) and cynical. A similar item bought by a rich or poor person attracts identical VAT. To the wealthy individual, such a tax is more affordable. It has always been an unfair tax, both in terms of the description of value and what it actually represents. An item has value by definition if it is something desired. That (should be) a very subjective evaluation.

  • Even more cynical: food and children's clothes are by such a definition of no value, since tax has not been added:

Energy: Alternative Production

Alternative energy production like wind farms could, in principle, be easily bled off into the national grid. Effective hijacking. This could then subsidise the greater revenue potential of conventional (gas, oil) sources. The approach of oil companies that attempt to illustrate how to be more energy efficient are really just protecting their own future. It is in their interest (and the shareholders) that energy is conserved. The projected rise in global population is constantly mentioned and simply observed with no attempt at suggesting it should be curtailed or reduced. The constant reminder conditions the living (growing) population into acceptance and so does nothing about reducing or slowing the growth. A growing consumer market means more potential profits.

Switching suppliers is constantly encouraged, but this can be viewed as simply an attempt to cover over the ever-increasing energy charges. The misdirection suggests that this could actually save money. Nothing much really if anything and could even lead to higher costs. You cannot know where the advice originates: possibly the energy suppliers? Change supplier and learn all about the new devil that you don't know...


What will not happen is a reduction in energy costs to the consumer. The overall reduction in energy use generally would not be expected to impact much. Progress will be located by energy companies conserving dwindling sources  and increased efficiency. Then charging a higher premium to the growing consumer population. Management of energy (gas or electricity) could involve the consumer and purchased (by the consumer) smart meters. The costs will ultimately be borne by the consumer in their totality. This is simple commercial economics. Greater waste is 'lost' before it can be used. Distribution of power from its very 'creation' is a wasteful process. This compared to any trivial individual consumer savings is staggeringly enormous.

To save energy equates

to reducing any losses

before the residue is used

This, of course, is not commercially profitable: to invest in upgrading the system when it is easier to nothing, but charge the consumer more to recover the costs caused by their ineptitude and greed. Claims are made that consumer bills are already being reduced by 10% and peak demand has been lowered to 15% (as a consequence?). The aim, it could be argued, is to maintain the reduced peak demand, but also lower the amount saved by usage. Making the limited resource go further for the business, but at the same time screwing the consumer. Effectively raising prices though using less. It's ugly.

The London School of Economics (LSE) has allegedly calculated that an investment of £5bn developing a smart power grid could create or retain a quarter of a million jobs in energy and related industries. Any investment must be returned. The wages bill for the same level of employment coupled with such an investment defines a financial yield that could not involve any reductions. Regardless of any rhetoric, costs to the consumer (always the target of commercial enterprises) must in any business model be expected to only...


Profits on the rise, but rather like saving money by raising VAT, it does no such thing. It simply forces the taxpaying consumer to subsidise commercial failure.