Saturday, 26 March 2011

Dear Portugal,

this is Ireland here. I know we don't know each other very well, though I hear some of our developers are down with you riding out the recession. They could be there for a while. Anyway, I don't mean to intrude but I've been reading about you in the papers and it strikes me that I might be able to offer you a bit of advice on where you are at and what lies ahead. As the joke now goes, what's the difference between Portugal and Ireland? The climate, five letters and six months. Anyway, I notice now that you are under pressure to accept a bailout but your politicians are claiming to be determined not to take it. It will, they say, be over their dead bodies. In my experience that means you'll be getting a bailout soon, probably on a Sunday. First let me give you a tip on the nuances of the English language. Given that English is your second language, you may think that the words 'bailout' and 'aid' imply that you will be getting help from our European brethren to get you out of your current difficulties. English is our first language and that's what we thought bailout and aid meant.

Allow me to warn you, not only will this bailout, when it is inevitably forced on you, not get you out of your current troubles, it will actually prolong your troubles for generations to come. For this you will be expected to be grateful. If you want to look up the proper Portuguese for bailout, I would suggest you get your English-Portuguese dictionary and look up words like: money lending, usury, subprime mortgage and rip-off. This will give you a more accurate translation of what will be happening you. I see also that you are going to change your government in the next couple of months. You will forgive me that I allowed myself a little smile about that. By all means do put a fresh coat of paint over the subsidence cracks in your economy. And by all means enjoy the smell of fresh paint for a while. We got ourselves a new Government too and it is a nice diversion for a few weeks. What you will find is that the new government will come in amidst a slight euphoria from the people. The new government will have made all kinds of promises during the election campaign about burning bondholders and whatnot and the EU will smile benignly on while all that loose talk goes on. Then, when your government gets in, they will initially go out to Europe and throw some shapes. You might even win a few sports games against your old enemy, whoever that is, and you may attract visits from foreign dignitaries like the Pope and that. There will be a real feel-good vibe in the air as everyone takes refuge in a bit of delusion for a while. And enjoy all that while you can, Portugal. Because reality will be waiting to intrude again when all the fun dies down. Love, Ireland. Sunday Independent.

The Clever Child Fool Blair.

Blair would have been the hero if he had exposed corruption instead of being part of it; trying to be the smart guy seeming to save British jobs. You can only be Robin Hood when you are Robin Hood and not when you are in fact a sheriff, benefiting everything you do.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Flashback - Friday, 15 December 2006, 17:52 GMT

(Business comes first before ethical foreign policy)
The Serious Fraud Office was investigating claims that Britain's biggest defense firm BAE had paid bribes to secure an arms deal with Saudi Arabia in the 1980s. BAE has always denied the claims.
(Blackmail or?) The Saudis were threatening to pull out of a deal to buy 72 Euro-fighter jets from BAE and deal with France instead.
The Serious Fraud Office was told (from the top) to drop the case, owing to concerns that another multi-million pound Saudi deal would be lost.

When asked about the deal Blair said: "Our relationship with Saudi Arabia is vitally important for our country in terms of counter-terrorism, in terms of the broader Middle East, in terms of helping in respect of Israel and Palestine. That strategic interest comes first." Plus ……. the effect on "thousands of British jobs and billions worth of pounds for British industry" He might have quoted Labour peer Lord Gilbert, a former minister for defense procurement, said: "It's a very very difficult area, one man's bribe is another man's commission payment. You get this sort of ambiguity in the world of commerce very frequently." (yes it happens to me all the time Ha!)
The OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) convention against bribery, to which Britain signed up in 2001, rules that investigations should not be influenced by the national economic interest, or the potential effect upon relations with another state; the allegations pre-date 2001, when the OECD convention was incorporated into British law- but if deemed ethical today ….. (fill in your own thoughts)