Daily Archives: November 26, 2014

Gordon Brown the Big Feartie

I do not claim any direct link between my declaration in Kirkcaldy that I was seeking nomination as a SNP Westminster candidate and fancied taking on Gordon Brown, and his subsequent decision to let the media know he intends to stand down and not fight! But it is an act of remarkable political cowardice from a man who so spectacularly promised No voters massive devolution of powers to the Scottish parliament. That Brown promise was given more publicity by the mainstream media than any other event in the entire referendum campaign. The fact that Brown never had any locus to deliver what he was promising was bound at some stage to become acutely embarrassing. He now escapes responsibility for the cynical lies of his pledges, by simply running away.

Brown was always a feartie. He was scared to stand against Tony Blair for leader, scared to call a general election early when he could have averted Labour’s electoral disaster. He was even scared to stick to his guns when for once he got something right and called that dreadful woman a bigot.

Brown contributed directly to the crippling poverty of millions by his disastrous deregulation of the City of London and years of giving the bankers everything they desired. Nor must we allow the mainstream media unchallenged to cement the lie that there was no alternative to trillions of pounds in grants and effective subsidies from taxpayers being given direct to the fatcat bankers, which have crippled the public finances for generations. Letting bad banks go bust and bad bankers go on the dole (or hopefully jump) was a far better option. Contrary to the Brown myth, world recession was not averted. It happened, massively. The only thing saved was the multi-million incomes of the people whose greed and stupidity had caused the collapse.

Brown remains the greatest friend the bankers ever had.

Brown and Darling lead a large phalanx of Labour MPs who realise their best career move is to transit to the benches of the House of Lords while the going is good, and start pocketing their 300 pounds a day allowance for doing nothing but hoovering up comfy directorships.

I fear that they will find that Scottish independence is coming sooner than they think and that gig will soon get cut short too.

As for Brown’s devolution promises, frankly I don’t give a damn about the Smith Commission. Holyrood control of income tax is meaningless if most other taxes are set in London. Fiscal autonomy can only work if Scotland is given all its taxes, including those from hydrocarbons and from whisky. That will never happen. Any tax and spend devolution which reserves oil and whisky taxes to the UK Treasury will be perverted by Westminster, to only result in further public spending cuts for Scotland. Besides, if Westminster can still send our children to fight and die in illegal wars, the money is immaterial.

Which brings us back to Gordon Brown. Remember not only did he first deregulate the bankers then give them huge transfers from poor families’ taxes, he backed Blair to the hilt over the invasion of Iraq. Without Brown’s support, Blair could not have done it, and hundreds of thousands would not have died – nor would we have ISIS and linked chaos now.

Brown is an evil man.

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Save the Fatcats

These are the top salaries at the Save the Children fund.

CEO Justin Forsyth £139,950
COO Anabel Hoult £139,950
COO / CFO & Strategic Initiatives Rachel Parr £131,970
Global Programmes Director Fergus Drake £113,300
Fundraising Director Tanya Steele £112,200
Marketing & Comms Director Sue Allchurch £111,920
Policy & Advocacy Director Brendan Cox £106,029
CFO Peter Banks £102,000
HR Director Paul Cutler £100,980

The UK average salary is 26,500.

StC has just given Tony Blair its “Global Legacy” award. What kind of people like Tony Blair? People who earn over 100,000. I am not sure that if you put money in a tin, or bought from their charity shop, you thought you were paying that many fat salaries. There are also gold plated pensions and other benefits. Justin Forsyth, the CEO, of course worked in Tony Blair’s neo-con policy unit.

As I have written before, very few charities are in any sense independent any more. Save the Children Fund gets 176 million pounds – over half its income – in grants from various governments, including over 80 million from the British government. That compares to 106 million in donations from the public. In 2012 over 70 million pounds was spent by Save the Children UK on its own staff costs. This was reduced on paper to 44 million in 2014 by the expedient of transferring some Headquarters staff from Save the Children UK to Save the Children International. I have an uneasy feeling about some of Save the Children’s accounting presentation. Justin Forsyth’s and Annabel Hoult’s salary of 139,950 sounds a lot better than 140,000 doesn’t it? Rachel Parr’s 131,970 sounds less than 132 grand.

Save the Children’s highly paid and very numerous HQ staff work in a swanky office for which they pay a staggering 6.5 million pounds a year lease. Do they really need their HQ in ultra expensive Central London? I suppose all those high earners have to get home to Islington. Their HQ costs more than all their other premises put together, including all their shops.

I wonder how much all of this is known to the 13,000 good-hearted volunteers who work many hours for nothing to support these people.

I give regularly to charity, by standing order. I am sure so do many who read this blog. If you are giving to Save the Children, I do urge you to re-target your charitable giving.

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