The Aged P

…just toasting and ruminating….

12 November
Comments Off on Tax Boss Really Shocked By Suggestion That Taxpayers Should Receive Good Customer Service

Tax Boss Really Shocked By Suggestion That Taxpayers Should Receive Good Customer Service


Lin Homer, Chief Executive of HMRC since 2012, is back in the news. It appears that we, her employers, are being unreasonable in expecting good customer service.

The boss of crisis-hit HMRC has urged taxpayers to contact them online rather than by phone to avoid huge waits.

Lin Homer apologised for her department’s ‘poor service’, but said she would respond failures by telling people to go online instead of boosting the number of call centre staff so people can get through by telephone.

It follows the admission that just half of calls to HM Revenue & Customs were answered between April and June, with some having to wait three quarters of an hour.

But then since 2005 Mrs Homer has frequently been accused of alleged incompetence in a variety of taxpayer funded roles

Chief Executive of Birmingham City Council 2002-2005

In 2005, Homer was criticised by the Election Commissioner for failings in her role as returning officer during a postal vote-rigging scandal in Birmingham in 2005

The petitioners also accused the city’s returning officer and chief executive Lin Homer of failing to discharge her duties in accordance with electoral law.

Judge Mawrey said that Ms Homer “threw the rule book out of the window” to deal with overwhelming numbers of postal vote application forms received.

He also  said fraud in the city ‘would have disgraced a banana republic’. He described Mrs Homer’s decision to allow postal ballot papers to be transported to the count in shopping bags as ‘the direst folly’.

Head of Immigration Service 2005-2011

She was then chosen by the Home Office to run what was then called the Immigration and Nationality Directorate – this time on £200,000, plus bonuses.

Already in chaos, it was on her watch in 2006 that we learned of the mistaken release of 1,000 foreign criminals. It later emerged some 450,000 asylum cases had not been dealt with but left in boxes at the Home Office. The new UKBA was meant to clear up the mess, and Mrs Homer became its first chief executive, on an astonishing £208,000 a year. But among a fresh run of scandals was the revelation that nearly 400 of the 1,000 foreign prisoners were told they could stay in Britain and dozens remained untraced.

2011 Chief of Dept for Transport

Mrs Homer was the Permanent Secretary at the DfT throughout 2011 when details of the new rail franchise business model were being thrashed out.

She was named by Sir Richard Branson last month as one of a handful of officials at the department whom his Virgin Rail team met during 2011 to voice concerns over the bid process.

Those concerns were ignored, said the rail boss whose warnings proved correct last week when the Government U-turned on its decision to award the lucrative franchise to his rival First Group due to an alleged catastrophic business model error.

The mistake is estimated to cost taxpayers £100million and the DfT has now been labelled “not fit for purpose”.

Her record of apparently gliding through disaster after disaster with immunity has not gone unobserved

Douglas Carswell MP (UKIP) “We seem to be governed by a clique of mandarins who bounce from one highly remunerated job in Whitehall to another and there doesn’t seem to be any proper democratic scrutiny as to whether they’ve done a good job in one role before they get the next one.”

Matthew Sinclair, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance  “The public bodies for which Lin Homer has worked all appear to have been plagued by problems and left taxpayers paying the price of failure.

You’ve missed the point, gentlemen. In 21st century Britain if you are in government or politics, unlike almost any other aspect of life, incompetence is rewarded.

After all, it’s only taxpayers money, isn’t it….and at the moment Lin Homer is collecting it….


Pic h/t: This Is Money

05 November
Comments Off on I Couldn’t Care Less About Her Legs – It’s Her Taxpayer Funded £93k Non Job That Concerns Me…

I Couldn’t Care Less About Her Legs – It’s Her Taxpayer Funded £93k Non Job That Concerns Me…


Wow – such a storm over a woman crossing and uncrossing her legs during a TV interview…

A woman politician has created a storm of anger for describing a new government official as a ‘cocky little £93k madam crossing her legs Sharon Stone-style’. Former mayoress Ruth Price, 56, hit out watching deputy police and crime commissioner Sophie Howe giving a TV interview

Ruth Price’s remarks cause the sort of twitterstorm so beloved of the Daily Mail because itmeans some cheap hack can stay in the office and cut and paste tweets without having to expend any shoeleather. But, oddly enough, nobody seemed to be too bothered about her new job – funded by the taxpayer at a rate of £93,000 per annum.

Ms Howe, 38, was on a programme talking about her new government role as the future generations commissioner for Wales.

Excuse me?

Apparently the role of the Future Generations Commissioner is to make sure ministers’ actions are made with sustainability and the long-term interests of Wales in mind because, apparently “Planning for future generations requires a real capacity for making things happen across a wide range of policy areas, agencies and institutions”

There has been some concern that Ms Howe is a bit of a Labour Party insider and might therefore be unwilling to criticise a Welsh Labour government

She was a Labour political appointee to the role of deputy Police and Crime Commissioner and also previously worked as a Special Advisor to a Minister as well as being a failed Labour parliamentary candidate. In fact, if you look at her biography it is clear that she has followed the classical modern route of working as a political hack since leaving university.

Sounds just the ideal person to take over a taxpayer funded non job paying £93k which will mainly involve shuffling bits of paper, sending out meaningless memos and fancy declarations while sitting on platforms crossing and uncrossing her legs.

Just fancy – we thought the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party was just a figment of someone’s colourful imagination…but then he wasn’t paid from money taken out of our pockets by the government….

23 October
Comments Off on Those Chinese Chaps Need To Be Taught A Lesson – Coming Here And Offering Us Money, Indeed….

Those Chinese Chaps Need To Be Taught A Lesson – Coming Here And Offering Us Money, Indeed….



Well the state visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Britain certainly provided an opportunity for some stern finger wagging by a bunch of people who sometimes gave the impression that the sun has not yet set on the British Empire.  They were determined to imply that there were still one or two things that Johnny Foreigner could learn so that he could become a decent chap.

….for too many in the UK, our burgeoning relationship with China is not an economic opportunity. It’s a moralising opportunity, a chance to spruce up Britain’s long-faded sense of imperial superiority, a chance to puff their pigeon chests out and reprimand China with a ‘look here, old boy, this human-rights stuff is just not on’. The political and media focus has not been on the benefits – economic and, yes, non-economic – of China’s largesse; it’s been on Britain’s sense of itself, its role in the world, its do-gooding obligations.

Jeremy Corbyn got in on the act, of course, needing to tell the President, face to face, that things in China were still, simply not good enough. Rather strange for someone of Corbyn’s age and political lineage to follow that path, however, since it was his generation on the late 60s and 70s who were waving little red books and wearing Mao suits. They watched Felix Greene’s rosy hued documentaries describing a workers paradise and wanted the same thing here and now in Britain (conveniently ignoring the mass murders, the labour camps and engineered famines and the sheer bloody incompetence of the communist regime.)

So what changed to turn China into a pariah state for the left?


The party retained its political grip on government – but the economy was privatised. Wages rose, standards of living improved by leaps and bounds and China became…prosperous and therefore, in the eyes of the left, a bit dirty….

Hence the need for a few lectures to President Xi Jinping which seemed to me a tad tiresome. I was beginning to believe that I was the only one who thought that all this China bashing was just the standard moralising cant beloved of those who get a buzz from gesture politics. How dare the Chinese transform themselves from economic basket case to business super power in just one generation without the aid of Bob Geldof and a whole regiment of concerned bleeding heart NGOs.

But then I read this

 “But the problem with using a ‘distasteful foreign regime’, and endlessly citing China’s ‘appalling human-rights record’, in order to demonstrate and claw back some ersatz moral superiority, some specious sense of national, global purpose, is that it necessarily entails demonising China. It rests on the creation of an evil-doing other, a China that needs to be corrected by its moral betters. Today’s China-bashers pay lip service to the development that has dragged nearly half-a-billion Chinese out of poverty, that has transformed billions of lives, that has laid the foundations for an increasingly prosperous future. But it’s just that – lip service. Their main concern is to use China to boost Britain’s long-flagging sense of purpose, to affirm some vague moral role that Britain supposedly plays on the world stage.”

Good stuff indeed from Tim Black at Spiked! Yet there is something else about all this fuss which I find jarring. The more one thinks about it isn’t there a tinge of racism in all this… posturing? Fu Manchu. the “Yellow Peril” and all that? Anger that even the saintly Jeremy was forced to wear a white tie and hobnob with a bunch of “feudal relics” in order to pleasure a latter day Genghis Khan….and his wife!!!! For once the readers of the Telegraph and the Guardian were spluttering with rage into their porridge/muesli over this humiliation.

It’s as if the inscrutable Chinese have changed the script. Non Europeans have a place in the chattering class scheme of things. They must be seen as “victims” who showbiz celebs tell us we need to help by digging deep into our pockets. But the Chinese have turned the table. They are coming to us with money to invest.

They have made the biggest mistake of all.

They have become…..uppity….





















































21 October
Comments Off on Celebs Should Have To Pay For Pimping Their Stuff On BBC Chat Shows!!!!

Celebs Should Have To Pay For Pimping Their Stuff On BBC Chat Shows!!!!


Celebs pimping their latest book, film, album, play or tour on TV chat shows….

It’s as inevitable as a starving public sector worker sobbing over Tory “cuts” in a  BBCQT audience – or the presence of some unfunny left wing privately educated “comedian” on HIGNFY.

The reasoning is quite straightforward, of course. It’s a relatively cheap format and certainly not labour intensive. Most of the preparatory planning is driven by publicists, agents and PR drones hustling for a bit of action. The set, once constructed, can be wheeled out time and time again and you can bet your boots that there will be zero tension filled moments. The stage will be swirling with ersatz bonhomie, fixed smiles and false laughter and the celeb will be treated as a veritable genius of comedy or music or whatever.

It’s Polyfilla TV, padding out premium broadcasting space and making life simpler for the schedulers..hence the ubiquitous presence of chat shows on every channel….but especially the BBC.

And it’s the Beeb which must provide us with a particular problem. Over the weeks the celebs tramp though BBC Breakfast, The One Show, Graham Norton and several others all with something to sell. Tickets, books – they are marketing a product, they are ADVERTISING…..

Such a dirty word on the advert free Beeb – yet their publicist or the studio or the record company or the publisher are plumping these celebs in front of the cameras and onto our screens to make money. What’s more, with their appearance fees the celebs are being paid to encourage us to buy more stuff – paid out of the poll tax levy taken out of our pockets and pursed via the TV licence fee.

No wonder they’re all grinning like imbeciles and slapping each other on the back – it’s trebles all round courtesy of the taxpayer.

So here’s a suggestion to balance the scales just a little. From the moment the chat show airs all  payments to the celeb from sales of tickets, records, book etc. should be taxed at, say, 5% and, at the end of the financial year, the total should be re-distributed to TV licence payers as a bonus for putting up with these self-important grinning morons for another year….



15 October
Comments Off on “Youth Flocks To Corbyn”…..ROTFLMAO….

“Youth Flocks To Corbyn”…..ROTFLMAO….


The kids will keep the Red Flag flying….

Mr Corbyn will thrive, his supporters say, thanks to new support from disaffected young people, and non-voters. “What we have is a huge number of young people, very enthusiastic and brimming with ideas,” he told the BBC during Labour’s leadership campaign.

Here we go again – the perennial myth of millions of “young people” on fire with radical leftie ideas, suddenly leaping into the streets inspired by a superannuated beardie from a wealthy family who has never had a real job in his life.

Corbyn is the most recent of a line of PR puffed celebs who have been proclaimed heroes of “yoof” by  a bunch of 40 something media hacks who still like to think they are down in the street with the kids….or should it be kidz?

Billy Bragg was the classic example. A marginally successful folk/rock leftie in the 80s he was for years adopted as a mascot by the Beeb, often the first port of call for a “yoof” soundbite.

Naturally these quotes were almost always fierce denunciations of the “Thatcher Regime”, grist to the mill for the Oxbridge middle class radish revolutionaries who filled the BBC corridors and studios, imagining it to be a reincarnation of the battleship Potemkin.

The tirades kept on coming and the demos marched down the streets with camera friendly placards – and the Tories kept on winning elections.

Fact is Bragg and the other “yoof” voices only ever spoke for a small segment of the art college/student union gesture politics brigade. They certainly had zilch impact on the kids in the bog standard comps where I taught in the 70s/80s/90s. Indeed, digging down into the world view of the those young people  the majority were very conservative in their views. For all their surface bluster they tended to be big on family, recognised the value of getting a job, had fairly harsh views on what should be done to criminals and were modestly patriotic.

More recently the rather farcical “Occupy” manifestation, oddly described as a “movement” by  a slow news day media, was essentially a piece of performing art casted by a coalition of postgrad students, charity interns/professionals and  benefit financed fulltime protesters. The voices were almost all middle class and there were few, if any, who appeared to be from the ranks of the proletariat (too busy working, maybe?)

“Yoof” protest stories are almost always classic examples of over egging the pudding by media hacks who need to pad out a few square inches to justify their expenses and the “Young Corbynista” is  yet another chimera produced by thei fevered imaginations.

14 October
Comments Off on Nobel Prizewinning Expert On World Poverty Says Foreign Aid Is A Waste Of Money

Nobel Prizewinning Expert On World Poverty Says Foreign Aid Is A Waste Of Money


Prof Deaton is the 2015 winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics

“Mr Deaton’s most recent book, “The Great Escape” was published in 2013. In it he argues that foreign aid from western government’s has done more harm than good to developing nations, saying that it has helped prop up corrupt governments and rarely reaches the poor.

“The idea that global poverty could be eliminated if only rich people or rich countries were to give more money to poor people or to poor countries, however appealing, is wrong”, he wrote in 2013.”

As someone once said, government’s using taxpayers money for foreign aid = taking money from poor people in the first world to give to rich people in the third world. A lot of us have been saying this for years but were labelled hard hearted, fascist etc. The reality is that the whole purpose of “foreign aid” is to make the middle class liberal left chattering classes feel good about themselves via the usual route – using other people’s money…..

So, Mr Cameron, how about spending that £11.6b on something a little more closer to home…..infrastructure might be good for starters……

08 October
Comments Off on Leon Brittan – An Ideal Target For The Mob..A Tory…Big In The Thatcher Govt…And Maybe Because He Was A Jew..

Leon Brittan – An Ideal Target For The Mob..A Tory…Big In The Thatcher Govt…And Maybe Because He Was A Jew..



The Westminster paedophile scandal deepened last night with disturbing new allegations against former Home Secretary Leon Brittan.

Thus screamed the Daily Mail last July

The Tory grandee was named as an abuser by an alleged abuse victim during an appearance on Australian TV show 60 minutes.The man claimed that, like the late Liberal MP and prolific paedophile Cyril Smith, Lord Brittan was a regular visitor to paedophile parties at Dolphin Square in Pimlico, Central London.The alleged victim, referred to only as Darren, said: ‘He (Lord Brittan) liked boys to dress in women’s underwear and he liked to be alone in the room to punish you for wearing underwear.’

Yet we now know that “Darren” is possibly not quite the most reliable of witnesses

Indeed an in depth BBC Panorama investigation appears to undermine the very foundation of the “case” against Lord Brittan. There is a suggestion that accusations could well be a tissue of lies and fantasies. What is even more disturbing is that certain politicians and media figures might well have “helped” some very vulnerable people to frame their accusations – and then pressured the Metropolitan Police to pursue enquiries even though many officers believed these claims to be unsubstantiated.

Despite being terminally ill Brittan and his family had to endure a media feeding frenzy. Even when he died the location of his grave had to be kept secret for fear it would be vandalised by an angry mob.

The current deputy leader of the Labour Party, Tom Watson MP, went as far as to compare Lord Brittan with Jimmy Savile

Watson compared Brittan to DJ Jimmy Savile, whose headstone in Scarborough was smashed and removed when the scale of his crimes came to light. “How those journalists who wrote tributes to Savile must regret them now,” said Watson. “Savile was protected by a culture that worshipped at the altar of celebrity. Was Brittan protected by a misplaced sense of deference to the powerful?”

The Metropolitan Police have not covered themselves in glory either. Ten months after Lord Brittan’s death they contacted his widow.

“Scotland Yard has apologised for causing distress to the bereaved widow of Lord Brittan by not telling the couple before he died that he had been exonerated of a false rape claim. In a letter to Lady Brittan’s lawyers, seen by the Guardian, deputy assistant commissioner Steve Rodhouse confirmed that the former home secretary would have faced no further action over the allegation.

Reading between the lines this rather mealy mouthed statement seems to be saying “Sorry – even when your husband was dying from his terminal illness we knew there was no case to answer but, frankly we really couldn’t be bothered. Then after ten months we heard you might lawyer up so the boss told us to dig out the file and scribble some hasty apology. Lessons learned, time to move on, stuff happens. etc etc…you know the routine. Anyway have a nice day…..”

So why did certain politicians and journalists appear to relish the idea of ripping into Lord Brittan?


He was a Tory and, after Labour left office in 2010 any ammunition against the new Conservative Prime Minister would provide grist to the political mill.

Even worse he was a senior member of Margaret Thatcher’s 1980’s government and to the left she, and anyone associated with her becomes a target of sheer unadulterated hatred – because the left have never forgiven the British people for voting her and her party to office over three successive elections.

But I also think that a third factor might well have turned Brittan into the perfect villain – the fact that he was a Jew. There was always an implicit suggestion that his Jewishness made him a bit…well…shifty – and those stories of abusing helpless, vulnerable children…echoes of the Damascus Blood Libel?

Always useful fuel to fire up an angry mob….


05 October
Comments Off on If We Have To Pay That 5p Plastic Bag Levy Then Let It All Go To LOCAL “Good Causes”

If We Have To Pay That 5p Plastic Bag Levy Then Let It All Go To LOCAL “Good Causes”

AM38GT Man looking at bill in grocery store. Image shot 2007. Exact date unknown.

From now on any customer who wants a plastic bag at the check out of every large retailer will have to pay a compulsory 5p levy. The government hopes that this will reduce the use of plastic bags and help the environment.

Of every 5p paid under the new charge, 0.83p will go to the Treasury in VAT and retailers have been told they are expected to give the rest to good causes.

You can bet your Nectar card that the six figure boss of the RSPCA and his fellow big charity chiefs are rubbing their hands with glee at the prospect of shedloads of shekels being forklifted into their money chests via this plastic bag levy. Some of it might go to the front line but you can guarantee that a lot of it will pay for shiny new offices and extra bonuses for those vital “administrators”….

What’s more Cameron’s government will be getting a slice of the action with that 0.83p. No doubt Samantha Cameron will be persuading Dave to pump that into foreign aid or climate change gifts so that she can feel a warm glow inside at her dinner parties.

So how about we approach this from a different angle. Keep the “good causes” ploy but instead of funnelling it the charity fat cats why not insist that the money raised from the levy goes to charities that are local to each supermarket’s catchment area. Indeed most supermarkets already identify with local good causes.

Then, instead of the supermarket bosses deciding which good cause to support while schmoozing with fellow rotarians at the golf club get the customers who pay the levy to decide for themselves by copying the Waitrose way……giving them a plastic token which they then throw into one of three boxes identifying a local good cause. Every two months three new charities would be identified so that over the year at least eighteen organisations would benefit. Then, at the end of the year, each charity would have to publish, in detail, how exactly the money was spent and make the facts available on the supermarket’s website, in the local media and via a leaflet issued at each checkout.

Oh and Dave…..why not announce that you won’t be taking your cut from the levy so the whole 5p will go to local good causes.



23 September
Comments Off on BBC Question Time Audiences Leftward Leaning? Surely Not……..

BBC Question Time Audiences Leftward Leaning? Surely Not……..



The proverbial Martian who was observing Earth and listened to “Any Questions” on BBC Radio or watched BBC Question Time on TV could be forgiven for assuming that, ever since 2010 the British people have been groaning under the boots of a fascist/capitalist/fatcat banker clique and are crying out for a left wing messiah who will lead them to the promised land of rainbows, unicorns and money trees – and (quelle surprise), welcome hundreds of thousands of “refugees” with open arms

Outside in the real world, of course, that particular type of infantilism fails to resonate.

So – why the discrepancy? Alison Pearson, who recently appeared on one of the panels, thinks she might have the answer

After the recording, the show’s excellent host, Jonathan Dimbleby, sighed heavily and told me it was a constant problem. He and the whole AQ team found it immensely frustrating that Tories simply did not show up on the night to add their voices. The producer said it would cost £5,000 a week to pay someone to assemble a politically balanced audience

Maybe – but one anecdote in the comments painted a slightly darker picture

I applied to join the Question Time audience four times using different details each time. Three times I expressed conservative views and voting and I heard nothing. One time I expressed socialist views and voting, and was invited to take part. Only an anecdote, but perhaps it reflects a wider issue. Question Time’s audience is never balanced. Any Questions is always loaded by lefties who use forums or rely on union shop stewards to urge each other on to go along. But I suppose these people feel at home because the current affairs output of the BBC aligns so closely with their political stance

BBC being rather selective? That can’t possibly be true…can it?






22 September
Comments Off on Trump & The Pundits – Are The Maps Out Of Date?

Trump & The Pundits – Are The Maps Out Of Date?

Notice how the UK media have been very quiet about Trump lately. We were earlier told by the resident pundits that he would fade and the consultant class choice Jeb Bush (Romney 2) would be emerging as the front runner ready to lose gracefully to Hillary in November 2016 having been deserted by the base.

But the Trump “fade” (rather like the UKIP fade) hasn’t happened so far and the “experts” both here and across the ocean are worried. As with UKIP,the SNP and Corbyn it’s a new landscape and their maps don’t appear to be making sense. Seems also that their regular hires from the so called “conservative” Washington punditocracy who inhabit the legacy media and the think tanks are also beginning to hedge their bets.

But in the US it’s not just the liberal/left usual suspects in the MSM who are starting to get angry at their compasses – “conservative” websites are wondering why outsiders like Trump, Carson and Fiorina getting a combined 50% plus in the polls while assorted GOP governors and senators are in single digits.

I suppose it’s beginning to feel a bit like being in St Petersburg in December 1916……

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