Latest links and updates from BOM correspondents:
Crock repayments already slipping
As you will know, the Sandler plan for repaying Northern Rock's £25 gzillion Treasury loans called for us to get our money back by 2010. But just three months in, it's already coming apart.
Last week, Crock Chief Financial Officer Anne Godbehere told the Treasury Select Committee the final repayment date had slipped to 2011. And she also admitted what we already knew: the whole deal is contingent on other mortgage lenders being prepared to refinance Crock mortgages. In current circs, pigs will take wing first.
Taxpayers are stuck on the Crock hook for a very VERY long time (remember also the HMT guarantee on deposits remains in place, with no exit route even slightly visible).
(HTP Joan W)
EU Consumer Re-education Programme
Der Spiegel reports:
"Only a select few VIPs are allowed to park on the paved lot directly next to the entrance to the enormous Berlaymont building in Brussels, the headquarters of the European Commission. The luxury sedans lined up in the parking lot include Audis, BMWs, Jaguars and Mercedes. The chauffeurs keep the engines running in the winter to stay warm, and in the summer to keep their energy-consuming air-conditioning systems going.
The contents of the Berlaymont's parking lot are especially impressive on Wednesdays, when European Commission President José Manuel Barroso and the 26 European Union commissioners gather around the conference table on the 14th floor. They often discuss climate protection, and what ought to be done to promote it."
Now, in furtherance of their selfless eco-crusade, they have decided to impose tough new EU regulations on advertising for gas-guzzling cars. "According to an EU strategy document, the plan is about nothing less than "rebuilding society" and "changing habits in consumption and production."
Indeed, the plans go far beyond car advertising. "From breakfast cereal to Coca-Cola, everything is being classified as being either good or bad for citizens, who apparently have lost the ability to make that judgment on their own. Brussels... is staging "a gigantic reeducation program for consumers and producers."
Did you vote for this?
Well, no, of course you didn't.
Nobody voted for it.
It's just one more example of the fascist superstate doing just what the hell its Obergruppenführers decide. Whatever we may think.
(HTP Joan W - again: thanks Joan)
£39m pa on Police PR
The indefatigable Heather Brooke has discovered that our wonderful police are spending £39m pa on spinning us:
"Police forces across the UK are spending £39m each year on press and PR - enough to fund an extra 1,400 full time officers and more than enough to cover the annual police pay rise withheld by the Government. The force at the top of the league (Police Service Northern Ireland) spends eight times more per person on PR than the lowest (Derbyshire). Meanwhile, forces spend nearly ten times more on PR (what police want us to know) than on FOI (what we want to know)."
As we know, the police and the Home Office have a long-running campaign to convince us that crime is mainly in our heads, in spite of the horrific evidence of our own eyes. Now at least we know what the police element of their propaganda campaign costs us.
The Purple Scorpion has an excellent post on a couple of Green Eco Goddesses: Alice Farr of the Woodland Trust, and Valerie Elliott of the Times.
On the Woodland Trust, Scorpion points out that although it's supposedly a charity, it's actually funded with £3.8m pa of our tax money. And like so many eco charities, it spends its time campaigning for government to impose even harsher penalties on those that do not subscribe to its medieval religion.
When the Tories return to power, they could find hundreds of millions for tax cuts by terminating all funding for such outrageous nonsense (see previous blogs, eg here).
Both Farr and Elliott are squawking about oil exploration in genteel places like Sussex. But as Scorpion points out, assuming it continues to be done discretely, most local residents have no objection whatsoever. Including - Tyler happens to know - the Village Postmaster...
Curmudgeon Mouths Off
We've linked the Village Postmaster several times, and on Saturday he got picked up by The Telegraph's Vickie Woods. Well, not literally picked up, you understand, but used to highlight how our embattled sub-POs are having to fight oppression from all sides, including the EU.
We particularly enjoyed Wood's description of the Postmaster as "a curmudgeon" who produces "one long enjoyable moan about the somewhat embattled job of keeping a business going in the face of desperate odds".
No wonder he welcomes the oil: a few Dallas types moving into the village would do wonders for his trade in T-Bones and Tacos (he long-since diversified way beyond stamps and Sherbet Dib-Dabs).
Ple'ma an bysva?
You might think Britain already faces a linguistic crisis, with our schools submerged under a tidal wave of foreign tongues. But the EU is about to spend some of our hard-earned dosh on reviving the Cornish language, a tongue that died out in the eighteenth century.
Why stop there?
Why not revive Norse? Or Latin? Or whatever those blokes painted blue used to speak?
(Still, the Cornish do make great pasties. Not those Ginsters ones obviously, but the real League of Gentlemen style local ones. Most cruelly, Mrs T doesn't allow Tyler to eat them, on the flimsy grounds that he's not a tin miner and they contain 18,500 calories apiece. But crafty Tyler sneaks off to score from a local real pasty dealer when she's not looking. In fact, he might need to sneak off right now, to steady his nerves after discovering that the top Google link for pasties isn't the Cornish effort at all, but this.)