|Did last years big freeze damage the economy?|
West Bromwich Albion striker Nicholas Anelka has been charged over making a racist gesture when celebrating scoring a goal. The striker made a "quenelle" gesture, widely associated with far right/nazi groups. Mr Anelka claims it was nothing of the sort, simply a getsure of solidarity with his mate, who happens to be an anti semite. Anelka claims in France the gesture is simply anti establishment. Given that the Nazi's invaded and did unspeakable things to many people in the French establishment, it is always possible that he is just a complete moron. If someone tood outside a synogogue in Golders Green performing Zeig Heil salutes and was arrested for incitement, a defence that they were simply showing solidarity with vegetarians and dog lovers, as Hitler was both, would be laughed out of court. Anelka performed his gesture in front of thousands of people and a TV audience potentially of tens of millions. I'd never heard of the Quenelle before or the racist thug who invented it. Mr Anelka has succeeded in promoting the vile gesture beyond his wildest dreams, with Nazi morons photographing themselves making the gesture outside all manner of sites associated with the holocaust. I rather hope that Mr Anelka is banned from playing football in the UK for good. That will cost him a fortune and it will serve as a warning to the next moron who wants to behave in such a manner. In Barnet we have a large Jewish population, many with familiy ties to holocaust victims. I personally do not want any scumbag who insults the memory of the these innocent victims to be allowed any platform at all.
This week, Ed Milliband and Ed Bollocks launched a commitment to reintroduce a 50p top rate of tax for the highest earners. The Tories have a long term ambition (meaning when and if they can ditch their Lib Dem partners) to reduce the top rate to 40p. I find this to be a very interesting debate, as it won't really affect anyone apart from a small band of "the slightly rich" . Millionaries employ accountants to ensure they pay nothing and the majority of rest of us don't pay it. The Tories claim that by cutting tax rates, more people simply pay up and don't employ accountants to avoid it. So if we did a straw poll of multi millionaires and said would your rather pay tax at a rate of 50p, 40p or nothing, what do you think they'd say. In truth to get multi millionaires to pay income tax, you'd have to cut the top rate to 10p in the pound. Then they would probably not bother to avoid it. I discussed the matter with a couple of friends who were accountants. They said that if you borught in a top rate of 10p for earnings over £1 million, the treasury would rake in zillions. I am not an accountant so I have no idea whether this is true. When I asked why no government has ever proposed this, they laughed and said that the accountancy firms who advise the government keep schtum because it would be like turkeys voting for Xmas to let the cat out of the bag. Who would employ an accountant if it was cheaper and easier just to pay tax.
Being British, we all love a good moan about the weather. We have certainly had a lot to moan about this winter. Last year it was absolutely bloody freezing at this time of the year. This year, it is warm and wet. As a dog owner, it has been a nightmare. The garden is a quagmire and every comfort break for our two hounds results in the mop coming out. Many areas such as Arrendene, where we like to exercise the mutts are almost impassable. Having said that, as a businessman it has actually been great for business. Last year, the big freeze caused hellish travel disruption. This resulted in mass cancellations of sessions at our studios and the weather probably cost us £50,000 in lost revenue one way or another. Just for example, our takings last week were approx 45% on the same week last year. If people aren't going out, they don't spend money. I believe that Mill Hill Music Complex wasn't the only business to suffer due to the freeze. I am of the opinion that the reason for the poor economic figures this time last year, with stalled growth, were largely due to the freeze. On Friday night I attended our football club late Christmas curry at the Mill Hill Tandoori restaurant. Every table was full and Mr Lemon who runs the establishment said it was his best night for years, even without our party of 14. Which leads me to a very interesting conclusion. Could it be that the result of the next general election will be defined by the weather next winter? If we get another big freeze, then Osbourne's recovery will stall. If we get mild and pleasant weather, the economy will power ahead. In a week when UKIP announced that the wet weather was the result of God's opinion of the decision to pass Gay Marriage legislation, a cool rational view is that as it has boosted the economy, it will also boost the chances of Osborne and Cameron getting elected. Given that God is the supreme intelligence (assuming you accept the premise that God exists), then it is most unlikely that God failed to take into account the effect of this weather on the election chances of the party that passed the legislation. Of course trying to figure out exactly what message God is trying to send us by watching the weather is perhaps a little bit futile. I'd suggest that UKIP would be far better taking account of the story of the "Good Samaritan". The moral of this story is that despised foireigners (The Jewish population of Israel at that time despised Samaritans) can be as good, if not better people than the rest of us.
We started with football, so we'll end with football. This week has seen two rather extraordinary games. The victory of Sunderland over Manchester United at Old Trafford was perhaps the most extraordinary game of football I've ever seen. United ultimately paid the price for being so conservative at a time when they had the advantage. What was extraordinary, was the fact that so many professional footballers, men paid a kings ransome to kick a ball, having been trained since the age of six or seven, couldn't hit the target from ten yards. Then we have the performance of Watford at Manchester City yesterday. City have swept all before them, yet Watford played without fear and were desperately unlucky to lose, with their young goalkeeper making a howler at 2-2. Unlike United (and many others) Watford went to the Etihad and threw the kitchen sink at City. At half time they lead 0-2. City sent on the big guns and pulled it back, but all credit to Watford for having such a go. As a City fan, I was relieved at the end, but my many watford supporting friends can be proud of their team. A special mention to Sergio Aguero. Yet again he was the saviour for City. He is a sublime talent, unlike Ed Milliband he is admired for the way he can use his talent to Ed Balls and score ! (groan !)
Have a great Sunday.