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..There's a little Samuel Pepys in all of us..

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The largest of the British mortgage lenders, Northern Rock, has applied for emergency funding from the Bank of England, to prevent the slip into insolvency. Now this does not mean Northern Rock has a lack of equity.. it holds more than £240 billion in customer deposits and mortgage property.. but the knock-on effect from sub-prime lending in the US has finally hit Britain, and hit British equity funds hard..
This influx of funds by the British central bank is not a decision it has made lightly.. it's been allowed only following consultations with executives from the bank itself, the Bank of England, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Alastair Darling. And further, it's a short-term loan from the government, which would lead investors to believe the crisis is only a short-term blip.
Yet, as we have written several times in this blog, the ridiculous rise in housing prices in Britain, had to end in 'tracker mortgages' raising their interest payments beyond the reach of even those who make a decent salary, and who, in a normal economic scenario, would be safe risks for housing financing.
It would appear now, that while for quite a few years now, putting money into and extending credit in real estate was a sound investment for those starting on the housing ladder, inflation and stability in Western economies been exposed to have been a chimera..
It would appear now, that in fact, the government has been 'cooking the books' as far as unemployment figures, and the numbers representing the percentage of the population as a whole who rely on social services in one form or another.
We have seen the cost of the conflicts in the Middle East minimised.. the costs of pumping foreign aid into countries the likes of Zimbabwe and the knock-on effect of the loss of that cash ignored.. the inflated value of the Euro, and in fact, the Pound Sterling itself, completely disregarded.. all, in what is now an obvious ploy by Tony's New Labour, to supply the public with bread and circuses..
We're now looking at taxation lifting the price of a litre of petrol to over a Pound. We're now looking at what may well be an irreversable trend towards wholesale forclosures of family homes. We're now looking down an exceedingly steep slide towards economic instability, not only in the West, but worldwide..
Oddly enough, the latest polls indicate that if our economy is in trouble, the man who lead us into this situation, Gordon himself, has the majority of public support as the man to lead us out again.

Another facet of the British economy, that being livestock exports, has been dealt yet another blow at a time when it can be least expected to weather. Foot and Mouth disease outbreaks have been detected again in the south of the island, just a day after the EU had lifted it's ban on the exports of British beef, pork, and lamb.
This is the time of year when abatoirs are usually at their busiest, and now, because of this latest outbreak of the disease, the largest slaughterhouse in the country has, literally, one days work left for it's employees.
The farmers auction houses are empty, with a ban on transport of livestock in place countrywide. Breeding stock, which for livestock farmers brings in some 80% of their annual incomes, now has to be kept at home.. fed by those who had expected to have seen them sold by this weekend.
It is an absolute shambles. It has been forecast that possibly as large a number as 30% of those who have, for generations, farmed livestock, will be abandoning their fields and their operations this year.
And this, from what apparently is the result of government neglect of one of it's own viral research facilities placed, oddly enough, in the heart of the countryside which supports beef, sheep, and pig farming.

Just a brief return for a moment, to a comment made above.. that concerning foreign aid into Africa.. and into Zimbabwe in particular. The Mugabe government has banned news agencies the likes of the BBC, and British media in general, from reporting from that country. Yet our government, even since the expulsion of white farmers from their ancentral homes, has continued to pump money into that country's economy in the vain, and one might add, exceeding naive aim, to reduce the suffering of the man on the street in the former British colony. The reports which have been smuggled from Zimbabwe indicated that while there is still a lifestyle of luxury and security to be had in that country, it's available only to those supportive of, and involved in, the Muabe government itself.
The average lifespan of a Zimbabwean man is now set at 37 years.. 34 for women..
There are unimaginable shortages of food, water, the very basics of life for the common man in that country.. most homes are without electricity..
Those farms, which while run by the British Kenyans kept Kenya, even when it gained independance and became Zimbabwe as one of the most successfull of the African economies, now lie fallow.. abandoned.. and as a result, the population is starving.
This is a glaring example of what can happen, when in the glow of altruism and egality, an economy is handed over to those who have no interest in creating an independant success story, but who have been from the beginning, fully intent on lining the pockets of those newly in power.
Utter irresponsibility on our part..

But, back to the British economy.
We have over-extended ourselves in our unqualified support of the US, is a war which the American government itself is preparing to abandon.
George is going to begin what will eventually be a complete withdrawal of American troops from the Middle East.. Britain has already done it's job, and is going the same..
But the unimaginable cost of this conflict, while economic at this moment, will haunt us for generations. We have empowered a terrorist movement.. one financed in fact by our own money, spent on our 'addiction to oil'.. and this, in the eyes of Fundamentalist Islam, will be a resounding victory.
Which, in fact, it is.
With the deterioration of our credit market, caused in large part by our 'disposable society', has started a ripple effect which will not only hit Britain, but the EU.. and which will offer countries the likes of China and Russia to claim eminence..
Five years ago, this publication stressed the need for a reduction of our dependence on oil.. on that which was being bought at extortionate prices from countries which certainly had no design to further 'our' societies success.. We have financed our own downfall here, and with a complete disregard of clamouring alarms from multiple analytical reports..
Our Western Society, as a sociological and economic entity, is self-destructing, and once again, at the risk of appearing unendingly repetitive, we must find a common ground from which we can work to remove our economic support of repressive regemes and government which support them, and turn to developing a secure future for ourselves.
The time for hubris is passed away.
The time wherein we thought we could 'civilise' the rest of the world is gone.
The time to repair our own teetering houses is well upon us, and should we not begin to do so, we will become, as did Rome, an historical example of what should not be done.
Sic transit gloria mundi..

Just one more brief note here.. another sign of this developing British society of ours..
Figures released from the Police Commission indicate, that because of 'fear of accusations of misconduct', Officers spend a mere 20% of their time on the job, actually on the street. The rest of their time, is preparing and completing paperwork.
That means, that only twelve minutes of every hour worked, is on the beat.
Twelve minutes of every hour.
Justice takes on an entirely new dimension, with that taken into account.
One would not normally make Biblical reference, but John Ch.11, v.35 sums it up perfectly..

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