Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Turkish delight

I'm so glad we have the BBC.  It's not just the TV programmes, it's not just the radio shows, it's not even the BBC website.  What I am most in awe of the BBC for today is that they have finally unravelled the bare bear mystery for me.  No I don't mean naked dancing grizzlies, I mean how to use the words when you're not talking about bears or birthday suits.  The mystery was solved because of the terrible flooding that's going on in central Europe at the moment.  Specifically, the BBC headline which says, 'Flood waters from Czech dams bear down on Prague'.  My money would have been on 'bare' as the right word....I know I've tried to use Google in the past to find out how to bear arms, but to no avail, but at least I no longer have to bear this burden.

So Labour is going to restrict 'winter fuel payments' to the wealthy elderly.  Quite right too...why should those rich feckers get a penny.  Some might disingenuously argue 'because they've contributed more'.  Of course that is ridiculous; how could any one feel that the people who have put most into the system should get anything back.  The chances are, these people have paid for and not used the education system, nor the National Health service either as they've sent their kids to private school and filled the coffers of BUPA too.  I'm not going to dwell on the absolutes of the discussion too much, as I think the major policy announcement is merely the vocalisation of how much the politicians are missing the point.  Tinkering with winter fuel payments will make a difference of a few million at best....it will make no impact whatsoever on the country's financial position.  It does nothing, it says nothing. The truth is, root and branch reform of every aspect of the UK's fiscal system is the only way to solve the problems UK plc faces.  I've said it before, and I'll say it again and again and again.  It would be churlish, of course, to point out that ensuring the international businesses that squirrel away billions out of reach of HMRC pay a proper level of tax would reap unimaginable billions.  I don't even think re-writing tax legislation so that the effective location of business deals is the point of taxation would be beyond the wit and wisdom of any tax lawyer.  Starbucks wouldn't leave the UK now, nor would Google, Amazon or Apple...let alone EDF.  I rather like the idea mentioned by someone the other day, that companies are taxed, just like you and I, on income rather than profit.

The Cat's Mother and I are contemplating a trip to Turkey.  Nay, that is an understatement.  We are definitely booked on a trip to Istanbul later this year.  Well, bugger me, why is it that whenever we decide to go somewhere, the populace start rioting.  They did in Jordan last year, and a couple of years before that The Cat's Mother went off to Syria, and even Lebanon the year before last had seen some trouble.  I've not yet got my head around the Ottoman Problem, but it is unlikely that I won't have a read around to see what the SP is.  In the meantime, if anyone there happens to be reading this...please just cool it until we've been and gone.