Smoke Signals

                                                                    More doodling on the pad of Greek politics. Word reaches me that the working title of Antonis Samaras’s new political regrouping in Greece is The European Party. One would imagine that this will play very well in Berlin-am-Brussels.

A well-known econometric agency in Athens has, I hear, told the Greek PM that the new Troika demands will lead to an unemployment level of 30%. Thus, this Grand Coalition of Cowards is being perceived as the best way to persuade the Greek electorate – with one voice – that neocon self-flagellation is the only way.

However, the rise and rise of Syriza continues to give the Prime Minister unpleasant nightmares. Watch out for a new proportional representation law amendment aimed at removing the 50-seat bonus for the Party who comes first.

Over-egging the McAlpine pudding. I have been greatly encouraged this afternoon by the receipt of one phone call and an email suggesting that Lord McAlpine’s allies are a tad concerned about his cooking skills when it comes to the Sympathy Suet. The growing view among the protective elite is that his Lordship (who is staggered by his discovery of a hitherto unknown cousin Jimmie) has let his hand slip a bit with the syrup. McAlpine told the Independent today that he has “a very dicky heart”, and added that “Boris [Johnson] got it right. There is nothing as bad as this that you can do to people”.

Allegedly, those close to the Lord close to death (as opposed to De’ath) are suggesting that having a fat prick up your under-sized ring at the age of 12 – and then living with the scars – is a rather more difficult trauma with which to cope. I am greatly relieved that this Peer is at last getting some sensible guidance. For his sake, I hope it continues.

Policing the political police policing the police. A bit of shock-horror here for those enthusiastic supporters of Mr Oliver Letwin’s chief brainchild, elected Police Commissioners. First straw polls back from the field suggest that the voting level as a percentage of those eligible is beyond dire.

At least, this is what The Slog’s Devon & Cornwall Copshop sources are alleging. Of course, on a day in which The Times reported that another five coppers have been arrested over fiddling statistics, I cannot be held responsible for the veracity or otherwise of these reports: for the world we inhabit today is replete with one thing above all others – veiled agendas.

But all does not bode well for Ollie’s boss Dave, who is said to be unabashed by the news….and determined to press on with his Big Society of Small Turnouts.

Meanwhile, for those who missed  The Slog’s Twitter gag today re PCCs, I shall repeat it here: if PCC stands for Paedophile Catching Cops, then we should all vote for it immediately.

40 thoughts on “Smoke Signals

  1. “European Party”!? that sounds soooo 19th century Greece… Back then Europe was Greece’s dream and vice versa. Now Europe is Greece’s nightmare and vice versa again and of course…
    “European Party”… sounds to me like a bad joke. But then of course, I remember that when I first heard of Samaras as chief of ND party and PM candidate, that sounded to me like a bad joke too… O tempora o mores!

    • You are soooo right – on everything!
      Only one comment; Samaras does not realize that noone really likes or respects him (news flash! not even Angie). They all just tolerate him. So who would follow him? of course, as you point out, we never thought we’d see this much…

    • @eryx-t: all option are on the table – lot of discussions.
      One option is the one described by JW. One big center party to act as an umbrella and include center-right, euro-socialists, liberals,..
      The second option on the table is two parties, a center-right and a center left. The center-right will be the successor of New Democracy, the name of “European Democracy” for the successor party is on the table. as it rhymes nicely with the old name.
      The center-left party will include parts of PASOK (Venizelos), Democratic Left (Kouvelis), and some independent socialists which have been inactive. No info on possible names yet.
      We still have to see what the americans will do, as they seem to have no trust in any of the present leaders (and for good reason).

      • Why he does’t call the party “European Spring ” so we can hope it has the success of his ” Political Spring ” ?
        On second thought why he doesn’t call it something more sexy like “European tango” and as i touched the dance floor why he doesn’t name it “Zorba the European ” ? The most of the people that have seen the famous movie they might remember the music and the tavernas but the story was about the mine that they never managed to operate and it collapsed at it’s first day .All that was left was the Syrtaki dance .
        As Zorba was saying in the movie ” life has accomplished its final miracle: it has become a fairy tale.” Stories , lies , deception , monsters , gnomes ,witches , false heroes , fairy-godmothers , fantasies …. but i am sorry to tell you there will be no happy ending in this one .

  2. I went to my polling station (not to vote) at midday. They’d had 39 people into vote (no idea how many spoilt their ballot)

    Outside I asked a few people who told me they would not be voting. It was like a gleeful conspiracy as we told each other that there was no way we’d be voting for this bullshit.

    One said she’d asked her son-in-law, a copper, who to vote for. He’d told her that he’d rather she didn’t vote.

    The press/Government are lowering expectations and saying turnout may be as little as15% but I bet some areas are less than 10%.

    I can honestly say that nobody I’ve talked to is going to vote.

  3. Voted for the only candidate kind enough to stuff her info through the door, the others just didnt bother….no wonder a 10% turnout is abour what we’ll get here in East Sussex. Over the boarder in Kent 5 coppers on “paid leave” for fiddling /massaging crime figures….

    • “Voted for the only candidate kind enough to stuff her info through the door, ”
      You don’t see anything wrong with that action?

  4. Apparently, m’Lord is suing the whole of Twitter. Or something.

    Now I have no way of knowing the veracity or otherwise of the highly libellous (if untrue) allegations printed in the vintage issue of Scallywag magazine linked to severally from hereabouts recently, but if they really were printed back then and there was no legal action, it should make for interesting upcoming legal discourse.

    Btw, I checked and am led to believe that merely the act of linking to a libellous text is considered republishing, at least in England and Wales. Seems a little draconian to me but there you go..

      • Lord McA: No, I really didn’t. I mean, I had all this before with Scallywag, that sort of thing, but you know that was 20 odd years ago. But you know what really shattered me was when all of a sudden this has spread all over the world. It’s a bit frightening when you suddenly find the depth of knowledge about this, er, this libel.

        Bad place to stick an “er” – naughty DT..

    • @Ultra
      This is merely the start of trying to restrain the freedom of expression which t’internet gives us, mark my words.

  5. McAlpine certainly knows something:
    Becky Milligan: It is extraordinary – do you have any idea how that could have happened? I mean it seems an extraordinary story.

    Lord McAlpine: It is an extraordinary story and probably more of it will slowly trickle out, over the years, I’ve no doubt. We’ll find things out. People will say things.

    Becky Milligan: But you don’t have any idea at this point of time?

    Lord McAlpine: Well I have my own ideas, but I’m not about to sort of air them because I strongly feel people ought to be damn sure about something before they air it.

  6. The last of the votes for ND and Pasok where gained in the last scam ooops “election”.

    The folks that voted for ND out of fear have seen their fears materialise anyway so they can call the party whatever they want, remove the 50 seat bonus (why cant they have a bonus if bankers get one) but this wont save them.

    Thing is though, outside of Syriza, Golden Dawn will grab alot of the ND voters, and this is to prove a point.

    The new “Axis alliance” in Europe (you refer to them as Troika) have realised this fact and a Grexit is now well underway.

    Dont forget that for Israel to sell its Gas it needs Greece/Cyprus to pump and dump to Eurozone. The middle east has its own energy resource and to add with whats going on in Gaza/Syria/Lebanon good luck in exploiting an reserves they have.

    So for the Northern Europeans “cough barbarians cough cough” where will they sell there energy (which is around 70% GDP, and materialism goodies BS.

    With the announcement of HP (the americano’s) now wanting to use the port of Pireus as their drop ship point for goods into Europe (others to follow) this move by Americans/Israeli’s will lead into Syriza’s hands.

    So what does a strong Greece mean in Europe?

    Byebye to the Amsterdam port once Pireus bounces back… the Dutch have really destoyed Pireus for their own hiny… its time to strike back!!!

    Oil/GAS/Rare Earth: no need for importing energy from the North bye bye Soveriegn wealth funds and drop of 30% in GDP. its time to strike back!!! no more paying 1,80Euro at the pump will be after my firms estimates ,38

    No more importing of Goods whether Food/or other useless junk…. a Greek Drahma based on its GOLD reserves will be 80/100 split. This will means Greeks will be running around Europe like arab sheiks run around in Paris.

    You need to realise… never piss of a Greek because no matter how down trotten he is…. he will come back at you!!!

      • Nick, if you dont do something things will never change. I start a new courier company of the back of the Cosco/HP deal to take advantage of transporting goods.

        My firm is now in Greece setting up a Engineering firm courting Engineers and also universities and technical colleges for future prospective trainee staff with the goal of getting oil/gas contracts.

        Why the defeatest attitide? They win this way.Do it for yourselves and change!!! As the only thing you can change is what you see in the mirror…

        However leave the quick buck attitude behind as this will take an entire lifetime to achieve.

    • In the eyes of the ND voters, ND didn’t fail because we’re still in the euro ie “we still have our money”. For ND supporters the drachma is the big fear.

  7. http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/nov/15/john-lewis-chief-fair-tax-plea

    “The managing director of John Lewis has called on the government to tackle multinational companies that pay little or no tax in the UK before they damage the economy.

    Andy Street warned that multinationals involved in overseas tax havens will “outinvest and ultimately out-trade” businesses paying full taxes in the UK, risking driving them out of business.”

    It’s only been going on for about eight years but better late than never!

  8. Greek 30% unemployment …

    Think that is rather optimistic and what is the actual inactive statistic for Greece? Only contemplated because the inactive level in the UK is much larger than the unemployment rate.

    • Mark, let’s take the optimist angle and accept the 30% official unemployment is correct. There’s something more dreadful in those statistics. In the ages 18-25, the official figure is close to 60% !
      Devil will find work for idle hands to do…

    • Now this will sound callous, it is not intended to be.

      Why is it that these people are demanding jobs? Why is it that they must find employment through someone else’s hard work in establishing a company big enough to employ them?

      Remember the Arab spring? It was an orange seller whose death started it. Self employed, making himself a living (I presume he was acting on his own). How many times have I set up a business in a new land? I say these things not because they are easy, but because with a little imagination you can do them.

      Have the Greeks expected to be handed things on a plate for too long?

      I know I haven’t.

      • Gemma: That is crap, pure and simple.

        There are as much entrepreneurs in Greece as there are in other countries. Possibly, the political/administrative set-up in Greece recently is a drag on such individuals, but your comment seems to imply that there are no Greeks capable of launching a successful business.

        Methinks your’re replicating the shit that was peddled in the MSM in the past few months, re: lazy Greeks, as your obviously nationalistic conscience seems bothered by Geli, YOUR CHANCELLOR’S, determination to destroy the Hellenic Republic completely.

      • Gemma this is ridiculous. As far as the UK is concerned, any metropolitan area where europeans feel at home sports a community of greek entrepreneurs. Throughout my working life in London I was surrounded by greek restaurants, delis, travel agents, accountants (!) etc. They are still there, though perhaps less so now- probably, like many small businesses, due to pressure from the multinationals etc.

        As to ‘demanding jobs’, that’s hardly unique to Greeks. Not everyone has your entrepreneurial flair.

      • Please, Gentlemen.

        I asked for your accommodation and got little.

        Affie: you hit the nail on the head when you say “Throughout my working life in London” – yes, London. Not Athens or Thessaloniki. Not out on some remote island lapped by an azure sea. Grey London where foreign entrepreneurs could grasp a foothold.

        Just as we did. Had to. We weren’t given any welcome or help. It was sink or swim. We swam. It wasn’t entrepreneurial flair – it was necessity.

        Perhaps you now know where the entrepreneurial flair is? In Chicago or Melbourne. Where they had to sink or swim, take any job going to eat that day.

        Super F: may I remind you that the Greeks won’t give their money to their government. Can you blame Geli for pressing the same stupid feckless wombats that rule Greece to form a straight line? I know this: left to themselves they would bicker as to the meaning of the word “straight”.

        Oh, and my chancellor is Jan Kees de Jager.

      • Gemma, why don’t you go and set up a business in Greece and show them how it’s done? I think you’ll find that the reason there’s so much unemployment, and why you would fail, is a lack of demand which is being exacerbated and multiplied by austerity economics.

        Orange sellers? Let them eat cake

  9. I listened with no small disgust to Lord De McAlpine’s solicitor, please give freely, Mr Andrew Reidsgreebling, and his sanctimonious and monumentally hubristic twaddle on TWAO: “..trial by Twitter, or trial by internet is an extremely nasty thing for people to do (to anybody) and people must pay..” or similar. As a commenter from Mischcons pointed out, he has already received the most public exoneration that any defamed person could ever imagine. Reidsgreebling was making a not altogether subtle ‘apology’ for far tighter regulation.

    • Well they already control the candidates – how many people can afford to throw away £5K on the chance of getting elected – knowing that the ‘major’ parties are backing the others financially and that all elections are pretty much stacked for the ‘party machines’.
      No publicity as such so the only thing you can possibly know about candidates is their ‘political (party) affiliation’.
      I am not totally against the concept – but this was typically the wrong thing happening at a bad time. Do we really think that these people are going to rein in the rot which has been promoted for 50 years……….when those standing were basically the same as those who caused the rot to set in ?

      There are a dozen ‘issues’ which need to be addressed within the policing sphere – and not a candidate (in their online profile) mentioned any single one of them that I saw.

  10. @Gemma

    You are obviously misinformed. Here in Greece, compared to most european countries, there is a much smaller proportion of people employed by companies, and a much larger proportion of people who have small self-owned businesses, and professionals. Those employed by government agencies or companies are taxed at source. The small businesses and professionals are the ones accused of tax evasion, which is true for some and not others.

    Small businesses suffer in economic downturns. One street with 5 businesses near me now consists of 4 closed premises and an open pharmacy. The closed businesses were a travel agent, a pet shop, a hairdresser and a doddering old pandopolieon, a sort of neighbourhood general store whose days were numbered anyway.

    At the same time new businesses have sprung up. On the ground most of them offer coffee and food, with maximum prices up to 10€. Another growth sector is small accountants specialising in tax! A third growth sector is sales by internet (export). The internet news sector is booming.
    This despite the enormous punitive costs in setting up companies here.

    In the tourism sector, there is a problem of seasonality in which many businesses really only operate for 6 months of the year, especially shops selling jewelry, art, clothes, or car & motorcycle rental etc. Six months of profits pay for the rest of the year. On the islands people turn back to farming or odd construction jobs here & there.

    It’s the first time I hear greeks accused of lack of entrepreneurial spirit, generally we are accused of the opposite. The old Custer’s Last Stand joke being a perfect illustration.

    • Eleni

      thanks for the clarification. I missed this as it was not in the thread.

      This despite the enormous punitive costs in setting up companies here.

      That, I am afraid seems to be a very big part of the problem.

      As mentioned above, most people find Greek entrepreneurs where they live – however that is not usually in Greece. Perhaps if you could encourage a few to come home?

  11. Seeing the mention of Devon & Cornwall Police,
    I have solid concrete evidence
    of their use of Special Branch
    to bury The Truth about Planning irregularities
    at a Cornish council.

    I also have the written report to the CPS
    by a detective inspector on the case,
    and, strangely, not one point of danger to the council is mentioned.

    I have exposed a Plymouth lawyer for sex blackmail,
    and face trial under the Public Order Act on 22 JAN 2013.

    Is”nt it wonderful to have honest police?

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/288748134574562/

    Best wishes, Zen

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