….the figurehead of the mad hatters tea party, Sarah Palin, continued to mangle the English language when she insisted ( or refudiated ) that her use of the phrase ” Blood Libel” was not intended to insult the recently shot congresswoman Gabrielle Gifford (who happens to be Jewish).
I was not aware that ” Blood Libel” had such dark connotations as the insidious suggestion from the Middle Ages that Jews used the blood of christian babies to bake bread, but then I am not an ex-governor of Alaska and I don’t entertain pretensions to assume the American presidency. Neither did I use a map to name my children; Trig, Track, Willow, Bristol…
You would have thought that her script writing aides would have checked the meaning of such a phrase before sticking it on her autocue. Now she insists that the phrase means something else entirely and no offence was intended. Re-inventing history now as well as the language.
…. bankers bonus time arrived again in the City of London ( also in New York, Frankfurt, Tokyo and Hong Kong but we don’t really care about that.) Yes, it’s time to get all shirty about those bloody bankers that we saved and now they are paying themselves millions. It makes a good story but, in my opinion, it’s not really like that. Of the 25 or so major banks based in London only four or five are involved with retail banking and lending to small businesses. Goldman Sachs, for example, are not on the high street and have never lent money to smaller business.
The “star players” in the investment departments make tens of millions in profits and expect to be rewarded. If they don’t get the sort of bonuses which leave the majority of us extremely envious and now seemingly indignant, then they will leave and go to another Bank that will pay them. This is a global business , the major banks can go anywhere they want and are not controlled by any one government. Let them leave , I hear people say, but if they do then those banks that we own ( and would like to sell off our investment sometime soon ) will be worth not a lot because they won’t be making profits and will not represent an attractive buy for other banks.
Compare and contrast Joe Public’s attitude to bankers bonuses with their attitude to footballers remuneration ( who seem to be finding many ways of avoiding tax on their “ill gotten gains” ) Most of the first team squad Premier League players will be earning close to a million a year with the top names earning ,on average, 5 million a year. I don’t believe that Stevie G’s efforts ( or lack of them ), for example, will go very far to rebuilding the balance sheet of “our” Northern Rock or RBS. But then football fans will forgive anyone anything for success; “You’re a exiled crook that wants to launder Thailand’s money in the UK ? Never mind ..come on down.”
….Vang Pao died. Events that sound like the plot of some airport bookstore pulp thriller seemingly pass us by every day. Last week a man called Vang Pao died in California. He was Laotian and a prominent member of the Hmong people. I read his obituary in “The Times” and his life and the world he inhabited was remarkable on many levels. You can find your next best seller plot here . It has echoes of the novel, “The Honourable Schoolboy” by John Le Carre ( As you know, I have read a great many of his works ) Might be a good read for people in Hong Kong.
….the 2022 World Cup venue debacle continued – Sepp ” I didn’t vote for them ” Blatter has now suggested that perhaps it may be an idea to share it around other Gulf states and move the competition to winter. Mohamed Bin Hammam, the Qatari FIFA delegate, has countered that he is not impressed with this concept. Not surprisingly seeing as he now has what he wants . Mohamed Bin Hammam is also a potential challenger to Blatter’s presidency soon and is now refusing to say whether he will stand against Blatter.
All this in a week when Guenter Hirsch, 67, a former president of Germany’s Federal Court of Justice, has resigned from FIFA’s ” Ethics” Committee ( My quotation marks). Guess what , you lie down with dogs and you get fleas.
…. the result of the Oldham East By-Election was announced – yawn. Labour held this seat with an increased majority of 3000 . Ed Miliband , forever now, aka Wallace, not surprisingly heralds the result as a major victory for Labour and a crushing blow to the Coalition. Two things , Ed, firstly the goverment of the day invariably lose By-elections and secondly perhaps more people voted Labour now that they didn’t have to support the execrable Phil Woolas.