Tuesday, 22 July 2014


So far the death toll in Gaza is 600 people form a population of 1.8 Million.   A similar death toll in the UK as a proportion of the population would be something like 20,000 people.

The actions of the Israeli Government is illegal under international law and is counter productive in terms of Israel's self interest.

The death toll in Gaza is now 700 - just from this recent action alone.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Thursday, 3 July 2014

We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them

We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.

Private schools - the truth is out ?


Interesting article here by the often dreadful Toby Young

Those educated at state schools – earn an average of £193,700 more between the ages of 26 and 42, to be precise. But this premium falls to just £57,653 once family background and cognitive ability are taken into account.

It may need some more study, but one implication of this report is that for two people of the same ability, one will get an income £58,000 higher (over 16 years) simply because they attended a private school.    The second point is that the aim of making state schools just as good as private schools is inherently flawed, as 3/4 of the advantage enjoyed by private school pupils has nothing to do with their education and the other 1/4 is largely down to the 'old boys network'.

I would add several caveats, not having read the report, but one is the often misleading nature of averages.  Another is the cumulative effect of higher earnings - the very existence of a higher income gives one money to make money.   I suspect that in terms of wealth people who attend private school are much more than £200,000 better off by the age of 42. 

The Curse of Brink's-Mat

By Wesley Clarkson - a comprehensive account of the theft of £28 million of gold bars from the Brink's Mat Warehouse in 1983.

With the increased price of gold and the 'investment', VAT fraud and money laundering the value of the theft and it's impact on other crime is estimated at many times that, up to 100 times.

Ironically, the haul was a mistake, the gang were expecting to find £3 million in cash.

Over 20 deaths are linked to the aftermath of the robbery.  The saddest that of an unarmed over cover police officer stabbed 10 times, supposedly in self defence (his killer was acquitted of murder, but got sent to prison for killing another innocent victim later, that time his self defence plea was not believed.)

Corruption in the Police hindered the investigations and unfortunately low paid clerical staff seem to be a weak link when files go missing and people are tipped off.

Crime has moved on and armed robbers are usually caught and usually quite dim for even attempting it. The trouble with greed as motivation is that it leaves people trapped - incapable of normal relationships, incapable of a normal lifestyle and often betrayed by their inability to keep a low profile.

The life of a gangster doesn't seem to have any attractions - as the police commented about one person involved, they could have been a millionaire quite legitimately had they used their skills as an honest businessman.  Tellingly most of those involved seem not to want it for their own family's and relations. 

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Wasteful spending

Yet more evidence that actually many people aren't better at spending their own money than Governments.


This is probably the tip of the iceburg.  How many millions have a poor deal on their mobile phone, on their

While their is plenty of joy for the canny bargain hunter most people tend to adopt differnent strategies for buying products - such as always buying the cheapest, most expensive, the one recommend, the branded one, etc