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APOLOGIES
I have been over zealous with political comment lately so have now accepted the offer to assemble and write for two blogs on the WatchingUK website. The "Good News" blog is for items where we have benefited from the Brexit referendum vote and the "Bad News" blog is where others have tried to damage our chances of leaving the EU.

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Monday, 23 January 2017

It's a funny life dealing with the USA

Many years ago, in the late seventies, I purchased Borland's PIM (Personal Information Manager to you).

Sitting in a pub with a few friends, we were complaining because, in the UK version, Borland had to remove the security for the UK version.

A foreign gentleman came over and in halting English said, come to pub tomorrow, same time, and I give you copy of American version.

Naturally, we all came back, and sure enough the guy came in, sat down and gave me an envelope with the copied disks in. He said he was from the Russian Embassy, I guessed KGB as he was allowed out - this was in the cold war period.

How did you get these, I asked? He said, Man in Washington Embassy went to computer shop around corner and bought the program over the counter.

So much for American efficiency and security I thought.

Ampers.

Friday, 13 January 2017

A lesson on negotiating for Theresa May.


One of the most important parts of negotiating is to do thorough research before you sit down at the table.

Second, but equally important, is that you keep your plans to yourself right up to the last moment before briefing your team, unless you trust them!

Although I distrust Theresa May – after all (a) she is a politician and (b) she was a remainer, and possibly still is – she is absolutely right not to discuss her final tactics in Parliament – after all, they are also MPs, and not to be trusted!

It is my considered view that Mrs May should start the talks by saying she is considering scrapping membership of the single market, and relying on World Trade Organisation tariffs. We don't want that, but it will wake them up in a panic.

This would hit German car imports into Britain as, of all new cars sold in this country, 30% are German. This has been estimated as costing Germany a loss of between 3m and 5m jobs. Of course it would hit our own export of motor cars but this is just one company, Jaguar, and we could reimburse their 10% rise of import tariffs from the 10% we collect on German Cars. But this may not be necessary now that our pound has returned to its natural level.

Considering the above, it would wrong-foot the EU negotiators from the start, and enable her to negotiate from strength.

Total trade exports for November 2016 were £29.3 billion. This was an increase of £2.5 billion (9.4 per cent) compared with last month, and an increase of £4.5 billion (18 per cent) compared with November 2015.
Total trade imports for November 2016 were £42.5 billion. This was an increase of £2.9 billion (7.4 per cent) compared with last month, and an increase of £7.6 billion (22 per cent) compared with November 2015.

The UK was a net importer this month, with imports exceeding exports by £13.2 billion.

In an analysis published in 2013, the UK Office for National Statistics reported that if all goods trade with the Netherlands is counted as EU trade, then 50.5% of UK exports go to the EU and 54.5% of imports are from the EU. If, to take an extreme assumption, all trade with the Netherlands is excluded from the EU total, these figures fall to 42.5% for exports and 46.7% for imports. If 50% of trade with the Netherlands is excluded, the figures are 46.5% for exports and 50.6% for imports.

I have printed their conclusion below for those who are happy just with the bottom line.

Conclusion
Combined, the two distortions for exports have grown from an estimated £4 billion in 2004 to just over £10 billion in 2010. Both have very large margins of error as a result of the sweeping assumptions therein. The most likely inaccuracy is an overestimate in the Rotterdam-Antwerp effect, resulting from exports to the Netherlands that are not subject to the same rates of transhipment as fuels or containerized cargo. As a proportion of UK exports of £5-600 billion, the overall distortion is not great. The two distortions are an illustration that patterns of trade are not uniform. Particular commodities, such as oil and fuel, can have very specific markets. Particular accounting arrangements, such as in Luxembourg, can create a focus for international investment.Relations with one country can have implications beyond the purely bilateral.

An interesting article, but one which doesn't seem to have taken into consideration:

German motor imports toBritain [see appendix]
Almost one in three cars, or 810,000 cars sold in Britain, come from Germany, making the British island the biggest export destination for German car producers. It is around a fifth of the total number the industry exports worldwide, according to the German car association, VDA. Britain reached a new market high of 2.6 million car registrations in 2015 – 86 percent of which were not produced in the UK.

French cars amounted to 253,297 which is approximately one car in 10. American cars, Ford and Vauxhall, are the largest importers and their total is 570,309 per annum.

This could well mean some of our motor importers could well consider opening up more factories in Britain to avoid the swinging tariffs.

The following equation should be borne in mind

Exports mean more manufacturing, which in turn means more jobs
If we sell more worldwide with a weaker pound, we will have to make more.

Imports mean more manufacturing, which in turn means more jobs
If imports cost more from the EU, we can then afford to make our own goods.

If you spot any weaknesses, please comment below.

Ampers.


Appendix

UK Car Sales 2014/2015

Rank Manufacturer Sales 2014 % Share % Change Sales 2013

Total 2,476,435
9.35 2,264,737
1 Ford 326,643 13.2 5.08 310,865
2 Vauxhall 269,177 10.9 3.75 259,444
3 Volkswagen 214,828 8.7 10.69 194,085
4 Audi 158,987 6.4 11.93 142,040
5 BMW 148,878 6.0 9.81 135,583
6 Nissan 138,338 5.6 17.27 117,967
7 Mercedes-Benz 124,419 5.0 13.67 109,456
8 Peugeot 103,566 4.2 -1.77 105,435
9 Toyota 94,012 3.8 6.05 88,648
10 Citroen 83,397 3.4 6.43 78,358
11 Hyundai 81,986 3.3 6.59 76,918
12 Kia 77,525 3.1 7.54 72,090
13 Skoda 75,488 3.1 14.24 66,081
14 Fiat 67,162 2.7 11.57 60,198
15 Renault 66,334 2.7 43.66 46,173
16 Land Rover 56,200 2.3 2.74 54,699
17 MINI 53,661 2.2 3.33 51,933
18 Honda 53,544 2.2 -3.8 55,660
19 SEAT 53,512 2.2 18.1 45,312
20 Volvo 41,066 1.7 25.71 32,666
21 Mazda 37,784 1.5 20.99 31,228
22 Suzuki 37,395 1.5 13.02 33,088
23 Dacia 23,862 1.0 39.17 17,146
24 Jaguar 18,401 0.7 13.52 16,210
25 Mitsubishi 15,805 0.6 74.76 9,044
26 Lexus 11,572 0.5 28.38 9,014
27 Porsche 9,160 0.4 10.9 8,260
28 Alfa Romeo 5,523 0.2 -2.88 5,687
29 smart 4,342 0.2 -18.29 5,314
30 Jeep 3,909 0.2 75.37 2,229


Thursday, 12 January 2017

Menu system for busy people.

Now that we have retired, we found it was very time consuming ensuring we ate a reasonably good and varied diet; as was ordering or buying shopping.

We order most of our food from Ocado, but some of their fresh vegetables and fruit are in larger quantities than we require, so we also shop from Tesco and smaller shops. In addition, some of their meat joints are very expensive so we also buy these items from a nearby Aldi.

Our weekly menus start from Tuesday to Monday, more about these later.

Our main Ocado order is delivered between 9am and 10am on a Tuesday. We walk up to Aldi early Wednesday morning where we also purchase the Aldi items we need, and a couple of their fresh (cooked on the premises) croissants. These are the best we’ve ever tasted outside of France. This makes our mid-morning coffee very enjoyable and is our weekly treat.

We have set up five weekly menus which we use in rotation over a five week period. This gives us a choice of 35 different lunches and 35 different dinners.

Here is an example of the front page of the first of our weekly menu.




The reason one of the lunches is in red ink, and one of the dinners is in blue ink will be covered a little later.

On the back of this page we have added the shopping list. As you can see, there are check marks we tick as we order from Ocado. The shopping list pertains only to that week’s meals. It covers Ocado food, Aldi, Tesco and local shop purchases, and a check list to ensure we have enough herbs and spices in our spice racks. In addition, there is a replacement list should we want to try out a new recipe.



Certain items are in red ink, whilst others are in blue ink. This is for when we are invited out or want to go out for a meal the following week. Food shopping for one of the lunches is printed in red ink; food shopping for one of the dinners is printed in blue ink. This makes it easy to skip those items when we order from Ocado or go to the local shops if we are going out for a meal.

Those who have followed up to now are probably beginning to wonder what happens if we are invited for a meal on the actual day? This is simplicity itself. All we do is to carry one meal over to the next week, and the red or blue ink will compensate; very easy for us. We have a separate check list for household items, vegetables and fruit.
 

So, we have five set meals for a five week period which is repeated each five week period. We have two sets of menus, one for the winter period (8 months a year) and one for the summer period where we have a lighter change of menu – less roasts and more salads. You get the drift?

To make life easier, we have a directory on the computer called Meals. Then there are two sub-directories, summer and winter. Under these are five directories, Menu A, Menu B … Menu E and we have the menu file of each meal’s cooking instructions in each sub directory. A further directory is called notes for anything else. And, yes, we’ve made a special week for the Christmas week.

I have included here, a picture of one of our cooking menus for Roast Ratatouille and all our cooking instructions are done the same way. We embolden the ingredients as we are old and used to miss the occasional item!


This does take a little time in setting up and there is nothing to stop you reducing to four weekly menus, not less or you’ll tire of the food. As time goes on, we want to increase to six, or even seven weekly menus. We chose five initially as this should be enough to stop us getting bored.

And, yes, we still need to find more quick nutritious lunches to replace one of the cheese and ham sandwiches, and one of the baked beans! But we do make our baked beans on toast with onions, garlic, ginger, cumin, garam masala, cayenne pepper and turmeric! 

Any questions, other than what happens after we have eaten the baked beans, in the comments section below will be answered.

Ampers.


Friday, 6 January 2017

32 reasons why Obama is alleged to be a Muslim

I cam across this today, and it is sweeping the social media in America. The bit in italics was added by a friend of mine Ted, a hard bitten merchant navy engineer who does not treat fools kindly.
Keep this old adage in mind: If you walk like a duck and quack like a duck; have feathers like a duck; eat like a duck and lay eggs like a duck there is a very high probability that it is a duck!
Mike Gallagher, an American radio host and conservative political commentator. He is the host of The Mike Gallagher Show, a nationally syndicated radio program that airs throughout the United States and the 8th most recognized talk radio personality in the USA, is heard by over 2.25 million listeners weekly has compiled and written the following essay entitled:


"Obama: It was You."


President Obama: This is why you didn't go to France to show solidarity against the Muslim terrorists:

It was you ... who spoke these words at an Islamic dinner - "I am one of you."

It was you ... who on ABC News referenced -"My Muslim faith."

It was you who ... gave $100 million in U.S. taxpayer funds to re-build foreign mosques.
                                                                                                                                  
It was you who ... assured the Egyptian Foreign Minister that - "I am a Muslim."

It was you who ... bowed in submission before the Saudi King.

It was you who ... sat for 20 years in a Liberation Theology Church condemning Christianity and professing Marxism.

It was you who ... exempted Muslims from penalties under Obamacare that the rest of us have to pay.

It was you who ... purposefully omitted - "endowed by our Creator " - from your recitation of The Declaration Of Independence.

It was you who ... mocked the Bible and Jesus Christ's Sermon On The Mount while repeatedly referring to the 'HOLY' Qur'an.

It was you who ... raveled the Islamic world denigrating the United States Of America.

It was you who ... instantly threw the support of your administration behind the building of the Ground Zero Victory mosque overlooking the hallowed crater of the World Trade Center.

It was you who ... refused to attend the National Prayer Breakfast, but hastened to host an Islamic prayer breakfast at the White House.

It was you who ... ordered Georgetown Univ. and Notre Dame to shroud all vestiges of Jesus Christ BEFORE you would agree to go there to speak, but in contrast, you have NEVER requested the mosques you have visited to adjust their decor.

It was you who ... appointed anti-Christian fanatics to your Czar Corps.

It was you who ... appointed rabid Islamist's to Homeland Security.

It was you who ... said that NASA's "foremost mission" was an outreach to Muslim communities.

It was you who ... as an Illinois Senator was the ONLY individual who would speak in favor of infanticide.

It was you who ... was the first President not to give a Christmas Greeting from the White House, and went so far as to hang photos of Chairman Mao on the White House tree.

It was you who ... curtailed the military tribunals of all Islamic terrorists.

It was you who ... refused to condemn the Ft. Hood killer as an Islamic terrorist.

It is you who ... has refused to speak-out concerning the horrific executions of women throughout the Muslim culture, but yet, have submitted Arizona to the UN for investigation of hypothetical human-rights abuses.

It was you ... who when queried in India refused to acknowledge the true extent of radical global Jihadists, and instead profusely praised Islam in a country that is 82% Hindu and the victim of numerous Islamic terrorists assaults.

It was you who ... funneled $900 Million in U.S. taxpayer dollars to Hamas.

It was you who ... ordered the USPS to honor the MUSLIM holiday with a new commemorative stamp.

It was you who ... directed our UK Embassy to conduct outreach to help "empower" the British Muslim community.

It was you who ... funded mandatory Arabic language and culture studies in Grammar schools across our country.

It is you who ... follows the Muslim custom of not wearing any form of jewelry during Ramadan.

It is you who ... departs for Hawaii over the Christmas season so as to avoid past criticism for NOT participating in seasonal White House religious events.

It was you who ... was uncharacteristically quick to join the chorus of the Muslim Brotherhood to depose Egypt's Hosni Mubarak, formerly America's strongest ally in North Africa; but, remain muted in your non-response to the Brotherhood led slaughter of Egyptian Christians.

It was you who ... appointed your chief adviser, Valerie Jarrett, an Iranian, who is a member of the Muslim Sisterhood, an off-shoot of the Muslim Brotherhood.

It was you who ... said this country is not a Christian nation.

It was you who ... said the Muslim call to worship is the most beautiful sound on earth.

Can there be any doubt that Obama is a true Muslim?

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

The silent majority

After Brexit, and Trump, it is becoming evident that the silent majority which hugely outstrips the loud arrogant left, and the bankers, is beginning to stir and, as Corporal Jones said, in Dad’s Army, “They don’t like it up ‘em”!

I’d like to add another phrase of Corporal Jones’s “Don’t Panic” but then, they are panicking. And as James Delingpole said in his recent article in Breitbart News, we are winning the battles, but the war is by no means over.
Dogs who bark when you approach them, seldom bite. The ones which do bite are the silent ones, these are the most dangerous.

Like dogs, the left with their loud voices and insidious attacks on society are relatively harmless. The right have a go now and again but aren’t too worried about them.

But it is the silent ones, who work behind the scenes we have to be wary of. The shadowy figures behind our politicians, Usually rich and powerful bankers – the Rockefellas, the Rothchilds,  JP Morgan are examples.

Their families are vast. For example, the Rothchilds are one of the wealthiest and most influential families in the world. Estimates range from many billions for the head of family to a staggering $700 trillion, split between legions of descendants.

This sort of wealth commands enormous power; look at the poorer George Soros with an estimated wealth of only $23 billion. Look at the damage he does, and just imagine the power of the Rothchilds.

Then we have the Bilderberg Group which meets annually. Little is known about what they discuss but most in the know think it is about their plans for a new world order of one world, one government. I am not so sure, as huge swathes of their wealth come from armaments. One world government would make armaments obsolete.

Underneath this crowd of villains, we have the International Corporates and national corporates. Both groups have the ear of the EU and create enough red tape which they can handle in-house, but work which cripples their smaller SME competitors.

Finally we have all the national bodies which are bribed regularly by the EU. For instance, the BBC have received over £20 million to date and only very recently received a payment for £300,000.

These are the silent ones who go about their business of destroying Brexit and Trump behind the scenes. We have to be wary and watchful at every moment. Trump has wisely sacked his secret service body guards and employed his own for personal protection. We have to watch very carefully to ensure that Brexit goes ahead. Nigel Farage is very kind in his accusations that Theresa May is a ditherer. However, I suspect more skulduggery afoot.

I am, single handed, running the www.watching.org.uk website, but need more help with the following:

1. Checking newspapers and magazines, both on the web and physical copies for information where the thought of Brexit has brought good fortune to the UK.

2. Checking newspapers and magazines, both on the web and physical copies for information where work is afoot to ensure that Brexit just doesn’t happen.
In both these cases, all I need is a web link if from electronic newspapers or magazines, or if a physical copy, the full title, page number, name and date of the newspaper or magazine.
3. help with checking lists of data. This is more involved than the above but would suit someone proficient at using Google to verify facts and data, searching for items etc.

Please ignore this plea for help if you feel that all our politicians are honourable people and would never do anything against their voters’ wishes.

Ampers.