Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Standing on the shoulders of bloggers.

A busy day, and I've been beaten to all the main stories. Scotland wakes from its drunken stupor tomorrow and things start getting back to normal. About time too. The Endless Holiday is all very nice if you're on a wage but not when you're self-employed.

Here, both January 1st and 2nd are holidays, as are Christmas day and Boxing day. This year, both sets fell on Saturday and Sunday so the holidays carry forward to the following Monday and Tuesday. Tomorrow, finally, it ends.

I've been spring cleaning. I know it's not spring yet but if I'm going to get this office into any semblance of tidiness I have to do it while business is quiet. Once work fires up again the paper piles will re-establish and it would be nice if the previous paper piles weren't here any more.

Anyway, as others have comprehensively raged at most things today, I'll settle for a link-heavy summary.

The VAT business hit today. I checked on that Kindle and it's only £2 more than when I ordered it, but that's £2 in my pocket. In fact, I'll take a £2 coin out and wave it at a picture of Ozzy the Chancellor. You didn't get this one, you hideous little oik. I hope you were £2 short for a round while you enjoyed a holiday on your 'you lot are all in it together' break.

Then again, while the Cleggeron Clones are buying rounds, we are to be 'persuaded' not to any more. It doesn't apply in Smoky-drinky, which gives us another reason to abandon pubs.

Back to that VAT. Snowolf notes that this won't raise a lot of extra cash because it's just going to repay the EU for that 15% VAT level. So until that's paid, the treasury gets nothing. When it's repaid, they think they'll be raking it in but as Guido shows, even when the money gets to stay at the treasury, it's still less than we hand over to Herbie Remploy-Van and the Collective.

My spending this year will be more minimal than usual. So minimal that Aberdonians will be asking me for lessons. Most of my lab equipment is already second hand, recovered from junk or borrowed. I fix things rather than throw them away. I never replace anything that isn't broken. Nothing gets upgraded just for fun.

My one VAT-vice is gadgets. That's controllable and will be clamped down on hard. Tobacco? Man with a Van isn't VAT-registered and I have seeds that would get me jailed in Bhutan. Booze? I won't risk a still because getting it wrong is deadly, and getting it right is only marginally less deadly, but beer and wine are no problem. 2011 is the Year of the Demijohn. And the freezer.

Another interesting note on VAT comes from Guthrum. 20% brings us in line with the EU. So the chances of it coming down again are about the same as the Large Hadron Collider producing a spontaneous hamburger.

That VAT will crank up petrol prices too. Why would I care? I don't have a car and my petrol mower has been replaced by a cheap electric one now that I only have a little lawn left. I care because all the stuff I buy is delivered, either to here or to the shops I visit. I also use buses and trains. Higher fuel costs mean higher transport costs for me and for the stuff I buy, even for the letters I post. It's not just a case of increased costs in the shops. It's also a case of increased cost of getting it here.

There's a post about money that is still nagging at me but it's complex. I think the base message it's trying to tell me is this - that humans now exist for the purposes of moving money around. I know people who choose their house decor based on what they could get for the house if they sold it, rather than what they like. Okay, if you plan to sell, paint the whole thing some neutral magnolia but why live with that for years? This room is powder-blue. The living room is terracotta. The kitchen is white, but that's because of my job. I need to see when there's dirt in there.

I keep hearing 'we must save the economy' as if it's some mystical being we are put on this Earth to serve. Why must we save it? It seems to me it causes nothing but problems so let's kill it and grow a new one. This time we'll grow one that knows its place and doesn't think we work for it. But that's a long and complex rant that's still festering in a dark corner of my mind. When it shows its teeth, it'll be ready.

On a different tack, the Moonbat thinks he owns my house. Yours too. Fine. He can pay the bills. I'll have them forwarded to him. Since it's actually his house, he owes me a hell of a lot of back-mortgage-payments too.

The sensible thing would be to leave the country, I know, but where would I go? Switzerland?

I'm wondering if 2011 is going to be the year Mr. Brown Stuff meets Mr. Spinny Thing.

If it isn't, I'll be surprised.


JuliaM said...

"I'm wondering if 2011 is going to be the year Mr. Brown Stuff meets Mr. Spinny Thing."

I really, really hope so. It's long overdue...

Anonymous said...

An economical correction is long overdue. The longer it is delayed the worse it will be. However if this economical correction is not accompanied by a political correction we are doomed to repeat the mistakes and our children can look forward to more boom and bust cycles and a virtual dictatorship where pseudo collectivism will determine all that you are allowed to do, say or even think.

What is good or bad for the collective will, of course, be determined by the elite. Individualism for the common man will be eradicated.

Furor Teutonicus said...

XX Here, both January 1st and 2nd are holidays, as are Christmas day and Boxing day. This year, both sets fell on Saturday and Sunday so the holidays carry forward to the following Monday and Tuesday. Tomorrow, finally, it ends.XX

We are lucky here. If a bank holiday falls on a Saturday or Sunday, "Fucking TOUGH! Get on with it, and stop moaning. There will be another one next year".

Chris said...

I think the base message it's trying to tell me is this - that humans now exist for the purposes of moving money around.
I keep hearing 'we must save the economy' as if it's some mystical being we are put on this Earth to serve. Why must we save it? It seems to me it causes nothing but problems so let's kill it and grow a new one.

Charles Stross said something similar a little while back. His thunk was that, thanks to corporate personhood, our culture is run for the advantage of immortal non-human entities entirely without scruples, and that humans are willing, even eager, participants in their own subjugation. Basically: we're living in the aftermath of an alien invasion, and the men in expensive suits are the quislings.

An odd, but disconcertingly logical, way of explaining why our financial culture is so dysfunctional.

Anonymous said...

I'm rather hoping that this is the year Mr Osbourne gets to regret promising before the election that he would use fuel duty to keep fuel prices stable and even out price fluctuations. Granted it'll take a series of fuel strikes to get the message across, but a little pain is character-building, especially for politicians.

Dr Evil said...

Don't you think 20% is incredibly over the top for a sales tax? Purchase tax was, if I remember correctly from when I was young 5% or 6% which is about right. One fifth is taking the piss. I know it was an EEC/EU foist upon us but it is a complicated tax with all this reclaim business and variations in the percentage depending on the goods. Why not just stick a couple of percent on food and have done? Indeed, I do believe that prior to income tax being levied, the whole country was run on taxes raised from purchases. Since there are 10s of millions more of us than way back then is it beyond the wit of government to find a way to reduce or abolish direct taxation and raise tax in a different way via purchases alone? Of course leaving the EU and actually reducing public spending in real terms might help too.

Chief_Sceptic said...

1} The 'Moonbat' - what a complete waste of perfectly good donatable organs ! ...

2} EU warning to Switzerland - fuck, missed that one - means that Norway (where I am) will be next, and the politicians here are all invertebrates ! - still, at least support for the EU is at an all time low - only 30% (and dropping)are now in favour ...

Furor Teutonicus said...

XX Chief_Sceptic said...XX
You do not escape by not being a member.

Ask any fisherman where you are (Norway) how they have to kowtow to E.U rules.

I DO have a link somewhere of the E.U rules the Norwegian ships have to follow to be able to sell their catch to E.U member countries. I will try and root it out.

Furor Teutonicus said...

Na here is some of it;

"Norway and the E.U" PDF.

Published by: Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Additional copies may be ordered from:
Norwegian Government Administration Services
Distribution Services
Fax: + 47 22 24 27 86
Publication number: E-853
ISBN: 978-82-7177-896-5

Can not pull ther link address for some reason.

Furor Teutonicus said...


XX Through the EEA-Agreement Norway and the other EEA EFTA States have taken on the obligation to implement all EU legislation relevant to the functioning of the internal market.XX

Not THE document, but the quote sais it all really.

Dioclese said...

I was expecting this year to be the winter of discontent all over again, but I think that now may well be next year. This year will see the Milipedes and the Unions plotting together to bring the government down. This will I believe then be put into effect over the winter of 2011/12.

Let's hope they've learned from Maggie and made sure the coal and oil stocks are kept high because, mark my words, the reds are at work!

Someone should explain to these cunts that not even Russia is communist any more.

Furor Teutonicus said...

Dioclese said...

Trouble is, talking to commy bastards, you are talking to pratts that think North Korea is just missunderstood, and has a really GREAT Government.

They are thick, like that.

Bill Sticker said...

Leggy, the landfill is about to hit the wind farm.

My advice; Duck (And wear a disposable waterproof, metaphorically speaking).

Bucko said...

Ta for the link!

Anonymous said...

"I think the base message it's trying to tell me is this - that humans now exist for the purposes of moving money around."

I have thought of that often, when I sit and watch a hill of ants, what are they doing other than holding bread crumbs and bits of food high on their backs and marching them in a line back into the ant-hill for the benefit of the commune and of course, it's top ruler, the omnipotent queen ant of the ant hill.

I also get this image of days of yore back in Egypt when for a handful of grain, or back in China for a handful of rice, or in some other ancient land, a handful of beans of whatever the main crop was to stay alive, was handed out amongst the workers - and if someone was particularly obedient, then they would receive two or three handfuls of whatever the "stuff" was and be given the power to rule over others less subservient than himself, to be set up as example of the "good" little ant, or bee.

That's all money is really. It's like bits of crumbs, never enough and always required. If governments spend too much, they inflate away its value and thus the government's obligations - the prices go up as a result, beginning with the demands among the highest echelons of society - the banks, the manufacturers, the traders - and only then, after prices have adjust upwards, is there some small trickle made down to the wage levels, just enough to put everyone back in the position of the lowly little ant, with that crumb on his back, having to high-tail it if he wants enough food to eat for the day.

And thanks to advanced centrally controlled propaganda among the upper echelons, the entire thing gets pulled off in broad daylight and the majority of ants haven't a clue of the actual reality of the world in which they live.

It's a perfect, fool-proof system, designed to last for as long as mankind lasts - unless someone can figure out a way to blow the lid off the lies and have the truth of the matter become realized. But that also takes a two way street and it means the little ants need to be willing to accept the harsh reality of the situation too, not run and hide, fearfully.

This is why they currently need to undo 2000 years of culture and actual knowledge among people, so they can get themselves a new generation, totally dumbed down, fearful, who will make sure to not see the whole picture.

And, I dare say, the smoking-bans are a prime force they are using as that really makes a sudden break from the past and also makes it difficult for people to associate freely in public, during which time they might just discuss this idea of "people carrying money around" being nothing more than ants carrying crumbs, for their masters.

Anonymous said...

Just listening on the radio to some council's (sorry, didn't catch which one) plans to introduce "wet zones" for all those naughty, troublesome drunk people to go to to indulge in their wicked vice and to keep them away from all the "nice" people and their cheeldren. In the space of the first sentence of the first report the presenter switched from using the word "drunks" to using the word "drinkers." Subtle, eh?

As you've said before, Leggy, and in the words of the great Rolf Harris - "Can you see what it is yet?" I guess pretty much all smokers will, but the rest? Doubtful.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, quick addendum to the above. Might we, unwittingly, have been signed up to some kind of Framework Convention on Alcohol Control by this present Coalition lot - who certainly seem from the outset to have nailed their colours to the mast in terms of who their Health Bad Boy is going to be - in the same way as the last lot secretly signed us up to the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (which ultimately is the reason why protests against the smoking ban in this country are so obviously and blatently side-stepped without so much as a cursory glance every time they arise from any quarter).

opinions powered by