Right, Olympics over, back to hating each other

We’re all secretly glad, aren’t we?

It was getting too much. This is Britain. More specifically in my case, this is London. Usually if I have a conversation with somebody at the bus stop it’s to ask them politely to stop trying to mug me.

I’m tired of enjoying my trips around town, exchanging amusing pleasantries on the tube with one and all, and I’m certainly no fan of the convivial, non-threatening atmosphere in the carriages. It feels like something bad is going to happen. Like a bake sale.

Every day at the office I veer closer than ever to ‘making friends’ instead of ‘having colleagues’ as we have so fucking much to talk about all the time, basking in our shared experiences and lauding the heroic achievements of our compatriots. It sounds like bloody communism.


I’m obviously pleased that the fireworks and frivolity are over but I am somewhat worried about politicians ‘carrying on the Olympic legacy’. Not from my taxes they won’t. And I am concerned that some of the foreigners who we wantonly let in to do ‘sport’ won’t be so keen to leave again, and some of them are quick so they’ll be a bugger to catch.

But I’m sure it’s ok, I’m sure it’ll be normal soon and we’ll forget this sorry business ever happened. It’ll be back to watching Huw Edwards tell us what’s going to kill us next on the television from now on, none of your physical prowess and elite athletes and sense of togetherness, thank you very much.

I’m sure some do-gooders will fart around for a bit and try and get us to volunteer for the needy or something, but that’ll die down. At some point in the next two weeks an elderly lady will get on the bus, look at the seat next to me and smile expectantly. And I’ll smile back and say “My bag is sitting there, bitch.”

And then, my friends, I’ll be happy again.

George Osborne: We will definitely prop up Europe’s banks

Gideon’s been doing writing! I’ve spruced it up a bit.

Original article: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/9320913/George-Osborne-We-will-not-prop-up-Europes-banks.html

We are approaching a moment of truth for the eurozone. After more than two years of uncertainty, instability and slow growth, decisions taken over the next few months could determine the economic future of the whole European continent for the next decade and beyond.

Sweeping yet pleasingly vague intro: check.

Despite our huge budget deficit and massive banking system – I feel all gooey when I say massive banking system – , our economy is benefiting from safe-haven status because of this Government’s incredibly slapdash plan to deal with Britain’s debts – we have reduced the deficit by more than a quarter in just two years by selling literally everything we have, raiding small children’s pocket money and putting out Nick Clegg as a high class escort. Along with countries such as Germany and the US, investors are putting their money into the UK, driving down the interest rates on our government debt. Lower corporate tax rates and other reforms to make Britain open for business, like a greasy spoon, are also sharpening our competitive edge. But our recovery – already facing powerful headwinds from high oil prices and the debt burden left behind by the boom years – did I just use the phrase powerful headwinds? – is being killed off by the crisis on our doorstep.

This crisis, however, is providing a convenient smokescreen for our own fiscal ineptitude, so I’m going to skim over it a bit in the next couple of paragraphs and play down our involvement. Cool?

I know from watching the Apprenctice that our country is bursting with entrepreneurial spirit and exciting investment plans that are being held back because of uncertainty about the future. That’s why a resolution of the eurozone crisis would do more than anything else to give our economy a boost, and then we could turn the UK into a fucking massive call centre. Glorious.

The latest bout of uncertainty has been focused on the future of the Spanish banking system. Bloody Spaniards. Can’t trust them. There are already signs that a solution will be found, probably involving Germany buying another country. We should acknowledge that as each wave of the crisis has reached its peak, the countries of the eurozone have taken some very difficult decisions to defuse the pressure. But the lesson of the last two years is that treating the latest symptom does not cure the underlying condition. Cunningly, I’m not really going to explain what that condition is.

I have argued for a year now that the eurozone needs to follow the “remorseless logic” of monetary union towards much greater fiscal integration. These political implications were the main reason why I and many others, including The Sunday Telegraph, campaigned against UK membership of the euro. In countries such as the UK and the US we are familiar with the features of a stable single currency area. The solution in the eurozone doesn’t have to be a full-blown United States of the Eurozone, but if it is to be successful it is likely to include most of the mechanisms that make other currencies work: more support from stronger economies to help weaker economies adjust; more pooling of resources, whether through common eurobonds or Germany buying another country; a shared backstop for the banking system through a banking union; and as a consequence much closer collective oversight of fiscal and financial policy.

These are all decisions for the eurozone. The question for us in Britain is what approach we should take to these developments. I have spent the last few paragraphs preaching unity, and am now going to make one of the u-turns my government is so famous for.

The Government is clear that it is strongly in Britain’s interests for our biggest export market to succeed; the risks for us of a disorderly outcome are huge. We will also not stand in the way of further political integration among the eurozone countries that any successful solution will require, including a banking union. At the same time it’s entirely reasonable for us to seek safeguards that protect British taxpayers and preserve the single market for all EU members. Far from seeking opt-outs as some claim, we want to deepen and enhance the single market. An integrated single market, including in financial services, is strongly in Britain’s national interest, and indeed in Europe’s too. But the rules that govern it must continue to be determined by all 27 members of the EU.

Equally, further pooling of sovereignty – for example over fiscal policy and financial supervision – must be limited to the countries in the eurozone. If countries in the eurozone cannot meet their liabilities, for example to protect bank depositors, then it is natural for the other eurozone nations to stand behind them, as long as those countries don’t include us. In return, it is understandable that those countries would want a say in how banks across the eurozone are supervised and dealt with in a crisis. That is why a banking union is a natural extension of a single currency. If other non-eurozone countries in the EU, who unlike the UK have a legal obligation to join the euro, want to opt in to a banking union then that is up to them. But we are clear that Britain will not take part, because it is entirely reasonable to demand all the benefits of the Eurozone without taking on any responsibility. Solidarity brothers! British taxpayers will not stand behind eurozone banks, and British voters want their government to be in charge of supervising our own banks, especially in a crisis. I assume.

Who am I kidding, we’ll definitely help them out. Merkel will hit me if we don’t.

I know that the British people have been let down in the past by governments that promised them a say before more power was transferred to Brussels. I can’t give specific examples of course, but this is the Telegraph so it needed saying. Thanks to this Government that cannot happen again. One of our first and most important acts was to pass into a law a referendum lock, so that any politician proposing to give up more power over our own affairs in any new treaty will have to put that choice to the people. Whatever may lie ahead I find that extremely reassuring, and will continue to do so even when I’m eating my own knees after the food runs out.

MI6 Spy death ‘a bit fishy’, concludes coroner

In a shock admission by the coroner’s office today, it was announced that MI6 codebreaker Gareth Williams, who was found dead padlocked inside a large bag, may not have done it himself.

A statement released by the coroner read as follows: “Having weighed up the evidence, it’s difficult to reach a verdict on whether the sad, sinister and ludicrously-reported death of Mr Williams was inflicted by himself or another. On the one hand, he was found dead padlocked inside a large bag, but on the other hand we also found a ladies’ wig in his bedroom and we suspect he may have been gay.

“So frankly we’re stumped.”

“Nothing suspicious here at all…”

As part of the not-at-all farcical inquiry, an ‘expert witness’ was employed to try and padlock himself inside a large bag and then kill himself. After failing once, the witness was forced to repeat his attempt a mere 300 times, with investigators surprised and disappointed that the laws of physics refused to break even once. At one point, it was thought that a muffled cry of “SUCCESS!” was heard from inside the test-bag, but it later transpired that the phrase uttered was “This is fucking stupid”.

The same witness, who as well as being quite good in a tight space is also a specialist in sniffing out the most monumental bullshit, brought his expertise to bear at the hearing:

“I first began to suspect that the man found dead padlocked inside a large bag had not committed suicide when I discovered that he was found dead locked inside a large bag. Admittedly, the usual elements of suicide were present: the victim was dead, but the real clue for me was that he was dead INSIDE A FUCKING BAG.”

MI6 officials are said to be stunned at the verdict, having been strong in their opinion that this was just a run-of-the-mill mysterious spy suicide.

“We were gobsmacked”, admitted one officer, notable for his pixelated face and actor’s voice. “You may think it unusual, but suicides like this happen all the time in the Service. I remember one chap who cut himself into 89 pieces and scattered himself liberally between Minsk and Dubrovnik a few years back. At first some people suggested he might not have topped himself, but we didn’t find any fingerprints at the scenes so it was definitely suicide.

“Then there was old Binky Rogers, who managed to shoot himself in the head from 300 yards away.

“Such imagination.”

A hastily-drafted statement from the Intelligence Community offered a bullish reprimand to the coroner: “Just because something is undeniably true does not mean it is true. We are not prepared to let fact, evidence or reason stand in the way of our overarching narrative on this subject.

“Did we mention he was a cross-dresser?

“Again, truth has no place in this inquiry. It is high time we stood up for our right to let unsubstantiated, defamatory myths triumph over objective fact, and we are appalled that our unsustainable version of events has been so savagely oppressed by this investigation.

“You’re basically all Stalin.”

In a separate event, the coroner also released a statement today announcing that the sun will ‘probably’ rise tomorrow.

So at least there’s that to look forward to.