Unreal numbers

Corbyn is a lunatic.

He plans to raise money for extra spending, not save money by stopping all the ridiculous lifestyle-control groups that waste so much on policies that are designed to not work.

Of course they are not intended to work. If antismoking worked and we all stopped, what happens to their cushy jobs? If antifat and antisugar and all the other food Nazi policies worked and we all got thin and type II diabetes didn’t exist, what happens to their cushy jobs? Now we have antivaping, another pressure group we’ll all pay for and they want their own income stream from a vaping tax. Really. A tax on steam!

All these pressure groups depend on not succeeding. If they succeed they are out of a job.

Anyway, Corbyn plans to fund his Utopia by getting all the rich people to give up bothering to work any more or simply move to another country. He plans to raise corporation tax to 26% which will move every big company out of the UK. A lot of small ones too. Good luck finding a cheap alternative to the Royal Mail if Corbyn gets in. They’ll all be based in Lithuania.

He will not get the tax take he projected. He might not get anything at all. He’ll spend it anyway.

I’m certainly not building a business on a 26% corporation tax rate, plus tax on anything I earn from that business personally, plus VAT plus business rates plus council tax etc. I won’t have much left for all that hard work.

If Leg Iron Books gets to be a big success it won’t be in the UK any more.

Okay, scrapping university tuition fees, I’m good with that. But why not get the money by stopping the tax-funded lobby groups? If the lobby groups feel that strongly about their case they can fund themselves. If they have as much popular support as they claim they can survive on donations. Funny, they seem to rely heavily on tax money…

If Corbyn gets in we’ll all be skint again. Next time Labour lose an election there’ll be another note in the Treasury saying there’s no money left. They do it every time.

I don’t want to vote Tory, and I won’t vote SNP or Lib Dem. I’ve never voted Labour and never will. I spent myself into penury once, I’m not voting for a government who will do it for me.

I’d like to vote UKIP but they’ve gone a bit strange. I’m not sure where they stand now.

For me, the biggest issue is the Nannying. Just leave me alone! Okay, I know salt and smoking and whisky isn’t good for me but I like those things. I might die before I get to the adult nappy and thinking it’s 1967 while drooling in a wheelchair years but trust me, I’m okay with that.

I’m not costing the NHS anything. I’m on no medication and the local medical centre doesn’t know who I am. I am not obese and am on no benefits of any kind. I have paid far more into the NHS than I could ever use.

I’ll vote for a party that has one core promise. A promise that they will not try to control what I eat, drink or smoke. A promise that they will not try to run my life for me. In any way at all.

Basically, promise me that once elected, you’ll leave me alone, and you get my vote.

Funny money

I only found out today that the Bank of England paper £5 note becomes valueless at midnight, May 5th. Yes, May 5th. If you’re reading this in the morning, that’s today. Only the new plastic ones will be valid from midnight.

If you’re reading this on Saturday and you have a jar full of paper fivers, then you have a jar of kindling. They have no value at all. Banks are not obliged to change them either. You can use them as toilet paper or Monopoly money, they have no other use.

It wasn’t too well publicised, I think. There’s a good chance of a lot of people being stuck with worthless money… just before an election. Someone wasn’t thinking ahead here, were they?

The Scottish paper notes are to be phased out – as the banks get them, they’ll be burned and new plastic ones issued. The Bank of England will simply declare the English note ‘not money’ from midnight.

Don’t accept paper bank of England £5 notes in change . Alternatively, suddenly think of something else you need to buy and hand them back to the assistant who gave them to you. They then can’t declare them invalid without admitting they knew they were defrauding you with stuff that isn’t money.

There’s also a new £1 coin. The old ones still work until October, and the new ones are already appearing on eBay as if they were worth something. I’ve seen a lot of listings claiming the new £1 dated 2016 is rare. It was first issued in 2017.

I’ve only seen four of the new coins so far. All of them were dated 2016. I don’t think that constitutes ‘rare’ even if it is a very small sample size.

Better to keep back a few of the old £1 coins. Those will become rare in the future and if you get one in excellent condition, you might interest a coin collector. If you have one of the uncommon ones you’ll interest them now.

The main thing to watch out for at the moment is the Bank of England paper fiver. As of midnight, May 5th, it’s completely worthless.

May 6th could see a lot of people getting really quite angry…

 

O Lucky Man

Great film. If you haven’t seen it, do. It is full of the music of Alan Price and wonderfully strange. It tells the story of a simple coffee salesman…

Any road up, it gets almost as strange as real life sometimes. Apparently the UK is talking itself into a recession that does not need to happen. Isn’t that true of pretty much every recession ever? They don’t need to happen. It’s all about money, and most money is as real as a cartoon monster on your phone.

My daughter put a nice twist on it today. What if you see the monster on your phone, move the phone away and… it’s really there? Wouldn’t that be fun?

But now it seems that if we don’t waste money on shit we don’t need, the economy will collapse. I am not buying a vast TV I can’t afford and won’t watch. I am not getting a loan to buy a car that can’t go any faster than the old blue Ford I have now because it already reaches the speed limit. It might be capable of exceeding it, obviously I would never attempt such a thing.

Does that mean I am putting TV makers and car makers out of a job? Since most of these things are now made in Taiwan anyway, it shouldn’t affect the UK economy at all.

Yet the scare now is internal. Nothing to do with the EU or Brexit. It’s UK people not buying shit made by UK workers who are apparently commuting to Taiwan to make this shit. That’s the scare, and it’s working. The stock market is going ‘Oh no, we’re going to die’. Meanwhile Joe Bloggs is carting home his cinema screen TV from Tesco and sometimes he’s even paid for it.

Brexit is irrelevant to the recession argument here. It’s an argument based on UK people not buying UK made stuff and thereby putting UK workers out of a job. It’s entirely internal. It can happen or not happen with no requirement to invoke the EU at all. Of all the stupid arguments put out there in the Battle of Brexit… well…

soup

As for our coffee salesman, well he really should pay more attention to his background songs because things don’t all turn out as happy as they seem at this point…

Theresa May… or May Not?

So we have a new Prime Monster. The first wench-in-charge since Ol’ Iron Knickers herself. We’ve since had Monochrome Man, the Tiny Blur, the Brown Gorgon and a bad dose of the Cameroids (featuring a walk-on part by Little Clegg). Now we have… well I don’t have a good name for the new one yet so I’ll go with Tessie Maybe until she makes a decision. She’ll earn her true Underdog name in time.

She’s put Boris Johnson in charge of foreign affairs, which shows she has a wicked sense of humour at least.  I suppose Frankie Boyle wasn’t available.

There are lawyers trying to claim the Brexit case was based on lies. Both cases were based on lies. Politicians were involved. What else would anyone expect? If a politician tells the truth, all his teeth fall out and he has to live on nothing but subsidised soup. Everyone knows that.

And yet the people voted and then expected their elected representatives to do as they are instructed. Will they? Well, they don’t have too good a record on that so far. They listen harder to the busybodies who live on tax money than to those who actually pay the taxes. Which reminds me, I have a tax rebate on the way again. Which is nice.

What happened in Nice wasn’t at all nice. A deranged madman killed and injured a hell of a lot of people and the press are claiming it was nothing to do with Islam. He was called Mohammed. They always are. It’s always nothing to do with Islam. If he was called Brian or Malcolm or Quentin there’d be far less scepticism about the ‘nothing to do with Islam’ repetition.

I hear there was a British woman complaining that all this terrorism had ruined her shopping trip. Madam, you are an embarrassment to this nation and to the entire human race. What kind of people are we breeding these days? That one shouldn’t be allowed to.

Back to Brexit, where pundits are trying to find a reason for the ‘out’ vote that doesn’t involve people becoming sick to death of being bossed around by a bunch of suited arses who cost a fortune and who just make shit up during booze-fuelled drug orgies. How else can you explain laws about the straightness of cucumbers and bananas? Nobody could think up that stuff sober.

I mean, claiming the medium-rich middle class were the ones who voted out? Wales voted out, as did Newcastle. The medium-rich are hardly a majority in either of those places. Oh sure, they exist in those places but they aren’t 51% of the populations there.

It’s true the less well paid are better off now. As I’m currently one of them I can attest to this. Raising the tax threshold means I get more of it back. Also the really-rich are better off. It’s the ones who just tip over into the higher rate tax bracket who get hammered. In real terms today, an average middle-level job can tap you into that bracket. You need to get well above it to make legal tax avoidance schemes worth bothering with so if you’re only just in it, you just have to bend over and take it.

And while we’re on the subject of parasitic unelected organisations who are unaccountable and believe themselves to be God, the World Health Organisation (WHO?) are whining that we aren’t doing as we’re told when it comes to letting kids see ads for unhealthy foods they can’t buy for themselves.

A bunch of arrogant, self-important striplings called @tobaccofreekids on Twitter are claiming that tax hikes work to stop kids smoking. How? Those kids can’t buy the tobacco so how does a tax hike affect them at all? It only affects adults who are… adults. The ones who buy stuff and pay massive amounts of tax when they do, even though they’ve already paid massive amounts of tax on the money they earned to buy stuff with.

‘Adult’ used to mean something in the old days. You were a child and did as you were told and adults were in charge. Now we have jumped up whippersnappers telling us that old people should not be allowed to vote and only the undeveloped mind is fit to run the country because they know best because they have been told what is best by the hard of thinking who grew older but never grew up.

The same hard of thinking who are funded by adults who pay tax. We should all fuck off out of the country and leave them to their Utopia of bugger all.

For one of his poems, Dylan Thomas invented the fictional Welsh town of Llareggub. He did it because his publisher told him to cut back on the swear words. The easily twisted young and the unthinkers could call their new unfunded country by that name.

Well, let’s see what Tessie Maybe does. Could we at last have an intelligent Prime Monster? It’s about time we did.

My money is on ‘Oh no, not again’.

 

Another year older and deeper in debt

I had the Look of Death from small baker today. It was an innocent and sincere question I asked as she was printing labels instead of finishing off the baking so I could get in there and deal with cleaning it.

“Why aren’t you in the kitchen, woman?”

I mean come on, how could anyone take offence at such a simple question? Yet she did. Perhaps I should not have gone on to explain why women get married in white. It’s so that when you get them home, they match the other kitchen appliances. You even have to carry them in, like a fridge.

Now she thinks I’m some kind of misogynist. I have no idea how these rumours start.

Anyway. I’m old now and yet there are banks out there willing to give me a mortgage. Seriously? Well sure. The bank can’t lose. If I die or fail to pay, they get the house – which will have gone up in value since they loaned me the money so they’re quids in. Plus, they get to keep everything I would have already paid.

There are those who will give me an interest-only mortgage any time between now and the age of 95. Is anyone really likely to be able to pay off the capital by the time they get to 95? It’s unlikely, isn’t it? Unless you’re already rich when you start the mortgage, in which case why not just buy the house outright?

It only makes sense from the bank’s point of view. They convert ‘money’ which isn’t real into ‘house’ which is real and all they have to do is wait for you to die. Targeting the older house buyer means they have a much better chance of winning the game and won’t have to wait long in most cases. Really, not that many make it to 95 and those that do usually end up in a care home somewhere because their body has grown to 95 and their mind has reverted to about 8.

It’s horrible but it happens. No point glossing over it. Your earning potential is going to be affected when you think cassette tape players have just been invented and your son is your brother. You’re going to lose that house. Or have to sell it, in which case the bank gets their money back plus whatever early repayment penalty they wrote into the contract.

Put simply, getting a mortgage in later life is a bad idea. Unless you want your last will and testament full of bills rather than bequests.

I’m not a financial advisor and my past financial record is pretty dismal to say the least, but I wouldn’t touch this kind of mortgage with a bargepole.

I don’t mind dying broke. It’s how I lived most of my life anyway.

I won’t die leaving debts to my children.

Why, Ozzy?

Apparently, if the UK leaves the EU, house prices will fall and mortgages will be more expensive. Ozzy, the Chancer of the Exchequer, and his tax minions have declared it so. We must believe without question.

House prices around here are insane. A perfectly ordinary semi-detached house with no garage will set you back a quarter of a million pounds. On that basis, a fall in house prices is not necessarily a bad thing.

Oh sure, homeowners want their houses to be as valuable as possible but consider – when the time comes to retire and downsize to a little bungalow, how many people can afford your three bedroomed semi-detached for the price you want? There is a limited pool of people who can get a mortgage that big and that pool gets smaller with every new tax.

It has to be someone on a very good income, in a job they can be sure won’t vanish in the near future, and who wants to live where you live now. There won’t be many buyers in most cases and they are going to offer less than you want because they know they have little competition.

So maybe you won’t get as much for your house but then the one you’re moving to will cost less too. In the end, your profit margin is likely to be much the same.

But… is it even true? Will house prices go down? Will mortgages get more expensive? Or is it just a scare tactic to make those homeowners think they might not get as much as they hope?

There’s one crucial question nobody in the news seems to be asking when faced with these doom-laden Brexit scenarios. They simply accept the declared ‘losses’ and don’t question the reasoning or calculations that have led to these conclusions.

Nobody is asking ‘why?’

Why is that?

Hourly rate

I’ve been on salaries most of my life. It’s only in the last three years I’ve been on an hourly rate of pay. It changes how you look at things.

With a salary, some months are hard work, some months are plain sailing, some months you’re on holiday. The end of month income is the same. So you look at things in shops and think ‘Do I have the money? Yes? I’ll buy it.’

With an hourly rate of pay it’s different. I now think ‘Would I work an hour for a pack of cigarettes? Would I work 3-4 hours if all that was on offer was a good bottle of posh whisky?’ The latter answer is a definite yes. The former is a meh, if it’s not too hard work, maybe.

There was a gadget shop in town having a sale. A vast TV that would, in my little flat, be impossible to see all at once was on ‘special offer’ for £800. I thought, I’ll have to work about 120 hours to pay for it. I don’t want it that much. I don’t want it at all.

Actually I haven’t watched live TV for about 20 years. I might get one for  the news one day but really it’s not something I care about. I do get a nice feeling from dropping TV licensing notes unopened into recycling and ignoring them when they call. They have apparently started an investigation into me. Have fun with that, guys. I have no TV and don’t give a shit. I’ll let you know if I start to care.

The hourly rate really does put money into perspective though. It makes you relate purchases to hours spent doing work in a way that a fixed salary doesn’t. It’s a good way of thinking, I believe. It’s still with me even though I have the pension money now and it will stay with me even if I do get back to a salary job. It transcends simple money. It’s a thought process that says ‘How long do I have to work to pay for this thing, and do I want it enough to work that hard?’

Look at it that way and most of the things on sale really aren’t worth your effort.