Monday, 29 October 2012

I don't do politics but....

Look what I have found

Finally! Exposed! The Deficit Myth! So, David Cameron When Are You Going to Apologise?

"A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on"
- Winston Churchill

As a Conservative I have no pleasure in exposing David Cameron's deficit claims. However, as long as the party continues to talk down the economy via the blame game, confidence will not be given an opportunity to return. For it is an undeniable and inescapable economic fact: without confidence and certainty there can be no real growth.

Below are the three deficit claims - the mess. The evidence comes from the IMF, OECD, OBR, HM Treasury, ONS and even George Osborne. The claims put into context are:

The last government left the biggest debt in the developed world.

After continuously stating the UK had the biggest debt in the world George Osborne admits to the Treasury Select Committee that he did not know the UK had the lowest debt in the G7? Watch: Also, confirmed by the OECD Those who use cash terms (instead of percentages) do so to scare, mislead and give half the story.

Its common sense, in cash terms a millionaire's debt would be greater than most people. Therefore, the UK would have a higher debt and deficit than most countries because, we are the sixth largest economy. Hence, its laughable to compare UK's debt and deficit with Tuvalu's who only have a GDP/Income of £24 million whilst, the UK's income is £1.7 Trillion.

Finally, Labour in 1997 inherited a debt of 42% of GDP. By the start of the global banking crises 2008 the debt had fallen to 35% - a near 22% reduction page 6 ONS Surprisingly, a debt of 42% was not seen as a major problem and yet at 35% the sky was falling down?

Labour created the biggest deficit in the developed world by overspending.

Firstly, the much banded about 2010 deficit of over 11% is false. This is the PSNB (total borrowings) and not the actual budget deficit which was -7.7% - OBR Economic and Fiscal Outlook March 2012 page 19 table 1.2

Secondly, in 1997 Labour inherited a deficit of 3.9% of GDP (not a balanced budget ) and by 2008 it had fallen to 2.1% - a reduction of a near 50% - Impressive! Hence, it's implausible and ludicrous to claim there was overspending. The deficit was then exacerbated by the global banking crises after 2008. See HM Treasury. Note, the 1994 deficit of near 8% haaaaaah!

Thirdly, the IMF have also concluded the same. They reveal the UK experienced an increase in the deficit as result of a large loss in output/GDP caused by the global banking crisis and not even as result of the bank bailouts, fiscal stimulus and bringing forward of capital spending. It's basic economics: when output falls the deficit increases.

Finally, the large loss in output occurred because the UK like the US have the biggest financial centres and as this was a global banking crises we suffered the most. Hence, the UK had the 2nd highest deficit in the G7 (Not The World) after the US and not as a result of overspending prior to and after 2008- as the IMF concur.

Our borrowing costs are low because the markets have confidence in George Osborne's austerity plan and without it the UK will end up like Greece.

Yes, the markets have confidence in our austerity plan and that's why PIMCO the worlds largest bond holder have been warning against buying UK debt.

The real reason why our borrowing costs have fallen and remained low since 2008 is because, savings have increased. As a result, the demand and price for bonds have increased and as there is inverse relationship between the price of bonds and its yield (interest rate) the rates have fallen. Also, the markets expect the economy to remain stagnate. Which means the price for bonds will remain high and hence, our borrowing costs will also remain low.

Secondly, the UK is considered a safe heaven because, investors are reassured the Bank of England will buy up bonds in an event of any sell off - which increases the price of bonds and reduces the effective rate. Note, how rates fell across the EU recently when the ECB announced its bond buying program. Thirdly, because, we are not in the Euro we can devalue our currency to increase exports. Moreover, UK bonds are attractive because, we haven't defaulted on its debt for over 300 years.

David Cameron would like people to believe the markets lend in the same way as retail banks lend to you and I.

Overall, when the facts and figures are put into context these juvenile deficit narratives and sound bites ("mere words and no evidence") simply fail to stand up to the actual facts. The deficit myth is the grosses lie ever enforced upon the people and it has been sold by exploiting people's economic illiteracy.

So, David Cameron when are you going to apologise?

Cameron is playing the blame game to depress confidence and growth to justify austerity. Secondly, to use austerity as justification for a smaller state to gain lower taxes. Thirdly, to paint Labour as a party that can not be trusted with the country's finances again. Therefore, we Conservatives will win a second term because, people vote out of fear. The latter strategy worked the last time in office (18 years) and will work again because, in the end, elections are won and lost on economic credibility. Hence, as people believe Labour created the mess they won't be trusted again.

Finally, as the truth is the greatest enemy of the a lie I urge you to share this on Facebook, Twitter, blogs, text and email etc etc. So the truth can be discovered by all. Finally, have no doubt, people have been mislead by the use of the following strategy:

"If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it" 
Joseph Goebbels

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Saturday, 20 October 2012

A little bit of fishing


A short session today on the middle Trent.
Set off in the mist from home at about 9am arrived by the river, with surprisingly little mist at about 10:30 after meeting my host at the Fox.
The swim

The river looked in prime condition, up and running with good colour.
I set up two rods,one to fish the inside line, the other off the crease.
I had taken my float rod but decided against using it, conditions weren't quite right,and the banks were dangerous to get down to a decent spot to trot.
The inside line got an almost immediate violent take on a large bit of pink stuff,  I wasn't ready for it so thought I would leave it in and let it develop, five minutes later another take and I was into a fish, it didn't move a great deal stuck to the bottom, even under full pressure it only moved slowly the...snap, not a loud crack but just a give.With no knots, just a free lined chunk, I think it must have been a pike!
Both rods remained fairly inactive for the rest of the session, so I tried alternating with lobworm and flake on the second rod, and landed a chub of about 2lb on the worm, That was about it.
Watched a kingfisher sit a while in the upstream bush, plenty of long tail tits chattering in the bankside trees, and a buzzard or two mewing away, one flew over me and was being nibbled at by a crow, a quick wing dip and it was off..
It was a nice day to be beside the river.

Jim's 80th
 My day was cut short because we had an appointment with neighbour Jim to celebrate his 80th birthday.
Eight of us descended on a  hotel just outside Louth for what turned out to be a very good meal , my turn to drive so not too may drinks for me.
When we got in at 11pm The Boss asked if I fancied a nightcap, my response was in the positive, with a long often used phrase when asked the same question, "do bears crap in the woods"?
So, we started and polished off a bottle of merlot whilst watching the highlights of Fulham beating the Villa on the box.

Friday, 19 October 2012


Octavia part two
 I said I would be spending money!
Took the car back in yesterday, after replacing the nearly failed tyre for £69, for the full service, and to check out the parking brake problem highlighted in the MOT.
Picked it up today, after it was explained to me that the adjusters on the brakes couldn't be adjusted further and there was a need to replace the drums and the shoes. £300.00 including the service !!!
So adding on the original bill, the motor has cost me a total of a tad over £820 to make it last a little longer. £16 a week is not bad I suppose!!
The next likely expense could be the turbo and associated on costs, if it fails on me, it's had a whistle for  good while!
I was going to keep her going, having done less than 150,000 miles, but think I may be best served to have a change before next October, so I think I'll start an active search for her replacement now.

So I paid nearly £170 of vat out of that, on top of the usual road tax, fuel tax, and insurance tax, and had no choice about it to keep my car on the road because we don't have public transport in our village!
BUT, this lot can "avoid"  it, so it makes you wonder if it's worth backing the black economy, don't it!
Never mind, fishing tomorrow, and Jim's 80th birthday dinner to celebrate in the evening.

Photo: Starbucks vans with sliding doors are a bad idea.

Tackle Tart
I wonder who he is?
Worth a watch, or a feed or two on facebook

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

An afternoon by an old favourite

The Thames 

I had an afternoon last Tuesday on the Thames, a river I used to fish before I had a vehicle or a mate with one, so somewhere in the early 60's.
My mate Colin Adams and I used to get on public transport and head off down to Hampton Court from Harold Hill.
I can't remember how long it took us, what route, or what tackle we used at that time.
All I can remember is that we fished there quite often,opposite Hurst Park racecourse under the willows and trotted the stream with hemp seed and maggots.
No photo's recording the time or the place!
The maggots got us bleak'd out, and so hemp became the preferred hook bait.
It  gave us good nets of cracking roach, nothing big, but certainly enough to keep us going back on a regular basis.

Anyway, my return to the river, as detailed last week, was to Marlow to fish the weir pool, my aim to catch my first Thames barbel.
From what I had been told by my host, it is a patchy stretch at times, but if I hooked a barbel it should be expected to be of "good size".

Blimey I look tired!

As reported I caught two barbel just before darkness set in.
The fish were not as big as the potential suggested by my host, but equally enjoyable for me and a sure sign to him that the stretch does have long term potential.
It was good to be back on ol'father Thames, and gives me even more reason for us to up sticks and move west to knock an hour of my journey's to the choice of rivers...... at the very least.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Mine's a pint!


Ye Olde Mitre Tavern was the meeting place for the International Drinking Society, a tiny pub tucked away in a passage off Hatton Garden, serving Fullers beers.Ye Olde Mitre Tavern in London
For the first time in quite a while we all turned up about the same time, at just before noon and were quickly into the London Pride.
For such a small pub, the staffing levels behind the bar seemed very large, and for a Friday lunchtime no doubt they expected more punters, but as it turned out it was quiet, so quiet the staff were almost fighting each other to serve us, on the first occasion I was asked 3 times what I wanted and I was already being served!
We didn't eat there as it seemed that whilst they listed themselves as a pie pub, that was about it, nothing added to the plate, just a pie and/or a sausage....... snacky!
At about 2o'clock we decided to relocate, primarily for food, as we were just about in need of stodge.
Having chatted to a couple of fellas on my way back from the "outside" loo for a pub still likely to be serving food, the indication was that we would find good food all afternoon "just around the corner".
We found it alright, the trouble is I can't remember it's name, I can say though they did an "award winning pie" and I had one with some mash and veg, it was very good.
After that, and a few more pints, we went our separate ways, Ivan and I arriving at his Woodford Green house where we promptly fell asleep in front of the television watching a game of Heineken Cup rugby on Sky Sports.
Anyway, I having been set a task to find a location for our Christmas meet in early December, I had a good local cafe early morning fry up,and headed off for my 3 hour drive home up the M11, arriving home just in time for the White Hart to open at noon and a hair of the dog........ or four.
I then managed to rustle up a paella without cutting any fingers off, but adding just a tad more chilli than needed,still good though, even though I say so myself!
I then fell asleep listening to Dermott O'Leary on Radio2....just woke up!

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Part three


Still not serviced, as time didn't permit, a new nearside front tyre wanted, it's just about legal due to deterioration of the lower suspension arm which failed the test. The parking brake is just about legal!
New cambelt kit fitted.
A bit more expense to come, but I'll need to get advice from the mechanic early next week and seek his views on the likely expenses for an 11 year old motor. It has to wait a day or so, as I'm driving down tomorrow to meet the boys from  The International Drinking Society in a pub just off Holborn Viaduct, via my Woodford Green "B&B" at Ivan's place.

Anybody know anything about the driving feel of a  BMW X1, not checked out yet, but sort of recommended as a replacement?

Lined up two trips with mates to new venues to me on the middle Trent,  not in my first 10 days of October as estimated, it's the week after next now.
Raining nicely at present, so depending on the car timetable next week, a small river calls.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Part two

By the Thames
I fished a private weirpool on the Thames yesterday, by kind invitation and in the company of Nigel Connor.
I should clarify that, and say it was a charity day auction lot that I won on a angling forum some while ago.
Our home, being about as far away from everywhere, the drive took me what seems to be the usual three and a half hours. Setting off just before 8 am gave me time to arrive at our meeting place adjacent to the Thames at noon, in fact I arrived at 11:15.
We had learned that the fire brigade were due to carry out an exercise in the weirpool in the afternoon, but we decided to go ahead anyway and fished a couple of swims downstream under the willows.The water was up and coloured, must have had a bit of rain further upstream.
All in all a rather unproductive afternoon, but switching from pellet to an apple corer cut, core of garlic spam on a size 8 bought me a sharp bite, which I missed and assumed it was perhaps a chub. Half the core was still on the hook so I immediately put it back on the same spot, a sudden take and what felt like quite good fish in the current turned out to be, to me, a sizeable eel.
Having no idea of the scale of length to weight of eels, after removing easily my barbless hook, I put it in a plastic bag and weighed it just out of interest, it came in at 2lb12ozs.
Pauline asked me later, when I reported in, if I was bringing it home for the pot, my response was in the negative, but I did think about it for a short while, before the thought of rarity and having no smoker at home, jellied and stewed eels are not to my taste, won me over, so I watched it kick and swim off stongly.
Kites overhead all afternoon

The fire brigade moved off just after 4pm so we decided to move up into the weirpool, that was after I had brewed a fresh cuppa rosie lee for us both from my Kelly kettle.Forgot the strainer so standby bags of Assam used.
Did you notice how my East London accent crept back in there! ;o)
I had already booked an overnighter in the High Wycombe Travelodge, which as it turned out proved to be a good investment of £50. We fished until late and I don't think I would have fancied the journey home after a tiring day of fishing.
Anyway, duly ensconced in the weirpool I decided to fish two rods for a while.
By the way, I took my two Young's John Wilson barbel travel rods, it didn't appeal to me to have my other rods on show overnight in a public car park at High Wycombe!
One rod down the inside with my Purist II and the other with my 5010 out into the maelstrom of the pool.
The inside line remained motionless, other than the constant tug of leaf debris, the other rod I decided to try out a new pellet to me, but a batch that had been in my garage for quite a while, Teme Severn Lamprey.
My very first Thames barbel arrived after about an hour, now I had been expecting big fish as I understood from Nigel that smaller barbel were in short supply. My fish at just before 6 o'clock surprised him as it came in at "only" 5lb 6ozs! In fact as far as I can recall my first barbel of the season, having not been in the right frame of mind to fish the rivers more than a couple of times.
Jeff Woodhouse turned up just after this for a fish, but mostly a chat, and was standing with me when within the half an hour the big twitch occurred and I had my second, again a "small" fish at, about 7lb 12ozs.
I was hoping for the off chance of meeting Frank Guttfield turning up as he fishes this stretch. I have been a fan of his writings since the early 60's, unfortunately Jeff advised he wasn't too well, a bit of a head cold.
Never mind maybe I'll get another "invite".
Just before darkness set in we had a break for a chilli, pre-cooked and reheated by Nigel along with a bottle of Adnams finest Ghost Ship. All very nice too and a welcome change to my usual sandwich.
Adnams Ghostship, 8 x 500ml bottles, 4.5% AbvUnfortunately, no more fish were caught by Nigel or myself, but I did learn that many a blank takes place on this stretch, a couple of them by a self proclaimed local-ish expert !
So off to Wycombe for a nights rest, followed by something close to a good breakfast, and then home to help Pauline shift our just delivered wine order from Laithwaites into a "safe" location, in the hope it lasts until Christmas...I very much doubt it will though!!.


For me a car is just a method of transport, I keep ours serviced, full up with the essentials and very rarely clean it, but our eleven year old Octavia  is due it's MOT and a full service tomorrow  .
I know it 's due a new timing kit, and probably new bushes on the front suspension, so we'll see what else it needs the keep the ol'girl on the road, or if it's time to buy the replacement I'm thinking about, before she becomes more costly than it's worthwhile to keep her roadworthy.She's served me well.

Barbel Tales, from the Barbel Society   

As I was the collator and gatherer  of many of the chapters for a new book before I resigned from the Barbel Society committee I thought it only right to give the book a push on my blog.

So here are the details

The Barbel Society is proud to announce the forthcoming publication of a milestone publication, probably the most definitive book on barbel and barbel fishing ever produced. The book is a celebration of barbel fishing to date, and of the impact and successes of the Barbel Society in the last fifteen years.
The book is a rich blend of the best of articles published in the renowned Barbel Fisher magazine, and of guest chapters written by a long list of barbel anglers, both those with long-established reputations and with contributions from a host of modern writers.
There will be over 300 pages of barbel fishing stories, advice on baits, rigs and tactics, and this detailed work will include a mine of information on a range of barbel fisheries and rivers.

Guest writers include; 
Peter Wheat,Fred Crouch,Steve Pope, Pete Reading, John Wilson,
Neill Stephen,Dean Macey,Phil Smith, Phil Buckingham,Len Arbery, Bob Buteux, Rob Swindells
Dave Steuart,Ade Kiddell,Simon Asbury, Jon Berry,Trevor Harrop, Budgie Price

Books are available to pre-order on the Barbel Society website, and there will be a total of 50 leathers and 1000 hardbacks.
Leathers £180 inc p&p
Hardbacks £35 inc p&p
First 500 hardbacks are numbered and reserved for members only.
Members may purchase both leather and hardback at a reduced rate of £200 inc p&p

The book will be published in June 2013 and launched at the Barbel Show on 9th June.

Please note, that if purchasing online using PayPal, then a surcharge will apply to cover Paypal costs.
Alternatively, send a cheque for the appropriate amount to :

Monday, 8 October 2012

Part one


Back on Sunday after an 8 night cruise of the River Rhine from Basle to Amsterdam with Viking River Cruises, no they didn't advertise in Barbel Fisher before anybody asks ;o)

It was a trial run really, for our 40th anniversary next October. The Boss wants to see Moscow and St Petersburg. The same company do a 13 night trip along the Volga, Svir and the Niva Rivers .

The cruise on the Viking Sun was really very good.We were in the company of just 190 other river tourists, ranging I should say from their 50's to late 80's,about 160 of those were from the USA.Viking Sun
My aim was to sit with a different couple every breakfast, lunch and dinner, it worked really well,  we got to speak to a wide selection of couples. Some of the Americans were in groups, so an interloper had very little chance of joining them, they were in the minority though.
We met some very nice people, all prepared to talk about themselves, but not selling themselves, well apart from a pair of couples who were with each other all the time, both husbands retired US navy men, one a Captain of a warship and their service wives.
There were also a Welsh couple who seemed to think that North Wales was a different and separate country, and spent the entire trip running everything down about  the cruise and the really excellent staff..
It soon became evident that they had annoyed a good few people!
Funny lot these North Wales folk, I can remember trips up into the Snowdonia region and as soon as you walked in a village pub, there would be silence, followed quickly by Welsh language. This couple confirmed my long held thoughts about the regions people.
Anyway, as I said the trip was terrific, made even better, by an excellent, and he was English, Programme Director Tom Ash.
I'm not going to do a full review, but this one matches our experience if you're interested and don't like the idea, like us of the 3000 people ocean cruisers!.
We will be going to Russia when we work out temperatures for late September early October.
Oh yes,I lost half a stone!!