Ifrogman ifrogman

Thursday, April 29, 2010

European Union Blues

Isn’t it lovely to see and feel the return of spring once again. The leaves are unfurling, the flowers blooming, and the insects, my food, are taking advantage of this fresh new season. Oddly, and quite unlike certain members of your government, Bob has built his own duck house, although none have actually visited it as yet. Anyway, for the moment, I’m taking advantage of this floating masterpiece to compose my blog. Ribbit!!

Once again, I have to own up and say that I’m hopping mad. Why is it that humans always seem to believe in the things that they assume can do them the most harm, rather than in the opposite? Here, I’m talking about the European Union and those among you who advocate that Britain leaves it. In other words, they want the British to becomes isolated once again. Croak!!

Let’s get one thing straight. Leaving the union could turn out to be one of the most harmful events that the British could bring upon yourselves. Why? Because, among other things it will make doing business with the European market suddenly very, very expensive. I dread to think of the countless thousands of jobs that will be lost. All businesses that currently trade between themselves and the community, would suddenly find that they are no longer competitive with their former European market traders. As you are well aware, your manufacturing is already in tatters, unfortunately a legacy of the Thatcher years, and since then continued by the Labour party. Can Britain truly afford to isolate itself from Europe and go it alone? I really don’t think so, Croak!!.

On top of this, what is it about you all that drives you bite the hand that feeds you? How many very expensive community projects throughout Britain, have been completed to date, and every single one made possible only through your membership of the European Union? I can tell you that it’s thousands, and worth a total of hundreds of millions of pounds in EEC grants. Yes, this country does put a lot into being a member, but don’t forget that it also takes a whole lot out of it too. Ribbit!!

Many people today, scattered throughout all political parties, have never liked Britain entering the European Union. These people often talk about losing sovereignty, a poor excuse if you ask me, and since when has anyone had a hold over what the British government wants to do? Do you really want the old system to return, the one that saw you pulling out your passports every time you went from one European country to another? Have you any idea as to just how much the British would be hated by all the European states, if it was to actually pull out of the union at this time? This is already being discussed in certain European countries, and they are serious. Croak!!

I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again for those of you who missed it the first time round. Why do you think that Britain, or at least certain people within Britain, don’t want you to have the Euro? I’ll tell you, it’s partly because a great many very greedy people make money, pots of money, every time you leave and return to Britain on your holidays or casual visits, like shopping sprees, etc. Even more so, it’s when British businesses deal with the European states. The greedy people want the British currency to stay this way, simply because trading in currencies is worth millions to them. However, since the Euro is worth about the same as the pound in your pocket, you’d actually lose very little, if anything, from a change in the deal to take on the Euro. However, greedy currency dealers would have to look elsewhere to ply their trade. Ribbit!!

Perhaps it’s that you are one of these people who think that we should keep the pound, though technically, there is no advantage to Britons in doing so. Perhaps it’s that you like to look at the Queen’s portrait every now and again, if only to give you a sense of belonging? I should think that the only people who would fear, or be terrified by a change of currency, are those who stand to lose heavily by it happening. I mean to say, imagine that you are some kind of crook, and that you have millions of crisp pounds stashed away somewhere, a place that remains hidden from prying eyes. If a change of currency was to come about, you’d feel more than a little ticked off about it, now wouldn‘t you? After all, you could hardly wander into your local bank and casually ask them to change it for the new currency, now could you? The bank would have much more than a few questions to put to you, though it would probably coincide with the dulcet tones of our boys in blue, speeding round to help the bank with their enquiries. Croak!!

Seriously though, trading with others has been a part of social life for thousands of years, but suddenly, Britain, or certain people who live here anyway, find the need to stand alone in society. Britain’s economy cannot afford to go it alone, as they seem to think. Do you seriously consider that this country can survive on tourism alone, because this is about all that Britain has left to offer. Trade means jobs and security for everyone. Take that trade away, and the economy will most certainly crash. How do you think that you get along without jobs, or the means to live in society? Croak!!

Don’t believe anyone who tells you that Britain, and you lot, would be better off by pulling out of the European Union. These people would be among the very first to leave a sinking ship. Talk about European Union Blues... Ribbit!!


Labels: , , , , , ,

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A Tangled Web

Well, what can I say about you human beings? I cannot go away and leave you all for five minutes, not without some of you are bringing your country’s economy down right around your ears. Leaping toads, Why? Ribbit!!

I spent a great deal of my precious time explaining to you all about what was going to happen if you carried on in the manner you were doing. You ignored my pearls of wisdom, because you thought you knew better, and so you paid for your foolishness. Talk about being completely idiotic. Has someone actually got to spell everything out to you, or is it that you simply couldn’t believe in a talking frog? Ribbit!!

It was actually you who brought about your own financial doom and gloom. I find it odd really, no, actually it’s funny! I told you what would happen if you continued to buy houses and other property, at prices that you couldn’t afford, especially when those said properties were being sold at prices far beyond their true worth. Did you listen to my advice? No, you certainly didn’t! And you still think that prices will go up again. Oh dear, oh dear. Tell me, did you take my advice as to what would happen to the stock market, if the world market continued to go the way it was? No, you damned well didn’t! So, whose fault is that? Croak!!

Now it appears that your government has not only allowed your bankers to poise on the verge of total bankruptcy, but they took pity on them and rescued them with your money. Yes, your money!! It’s unbelievable. Croak!!

Let me ask you this tiny question. I’ll keep it simple so you can understand, but only because it’ll go over your heads if I don’t. Did these same bankers show their undying gratitude and appreciation of what you did for them by bailing them out? Ribbit!!

That’s right, I was told they damned well didn’t, and not only this, the ungrateful gits, they laughed right back at you. From what I’ve been told, it is a whole lot worse than this, because for these same bankers, it’s business as usual and they continued to pay themselves in huge bonuses. Even worse is the fact that following their promise to support small businesses, they chose to flatly ignore their requests for financial help. The result of this was that large numbers of you lost your jobs and your homes too. How’s this for so-called gratitude? Crumbs, I’d rather turn into a toad, warts and all, than to ever trust a banker, not that I ever needed one. Croak!!

By the way, I also heard that your government told you that they rescued the banks to save your savings. Toad crap!! Now that’s a real belly laugh for you. They did it to save their own savings, not yours. Let’s face it, they stood to lose a darned sight more money than you lot ever did. Croak!!!

What you should be asking yourselves is this, how long will it be before they, the banks, get into more difficulties and lose all your savings again? Croak!!

If I was a human, I’d be shaking my head from side to side in absolute disbelief right now. Bob, the gardener, where I live, tells me that you have elections coming soon? Tell me, do they truly believe that they can help themselves to your tax money, paying for, and buying personal items for themselves and their families, and then truly expect you all to actually vote for them? Please, someone out there, anyone, tell me that it simply isn’t true? Croak!!

Bob, for those who know him, is a pensioner, and he has explained to me, and rightly so, that he isn’t going to vote at all. Why? It’s as plain as the nose on your face. He doesn’t vote for anyone who would steal from him, more especially when those same people think that everyone has forgiven and forgotten their actions against the good taxpayers of this fair land. Bob is still undecided as to what was the worse thing they did to everyone in this whole sorry mess? Helping themselves to money that didn’t even belong to them as MP’s, or to trying to hide the fact that this has been going on for decades? Yes, that’s what I said, decades. Croak!!

To add more fuel to the fire, I understand that your Mr Brown insists that he has helped the failing economy with what he calls, and these are his words, not mine, ’a fiscal stimulus’. Let me tell you this much. Reducing the rate of VAT by two and one half a percent, is by no means a stimulus, fiscal or otherwise. If he truly thinks that it was, then he needs a stimulating kick up his fat backside. Ribbit!!

Don’t you lot see what’s going on out there? He was expecting you to pay for the mess he, and his ilk, got you into in the first place. Hey! If you lot fall for sweet talking of that sort, vote for me as your next government leader. I promise that I could do a far better job of things if this is what you lot have come to expect from the so-called leader of your country. Honest, Frog‘s honour!!!

You know what? Before you vote, if you still intend to that is, take a look through my old blogs. Firstly, those of you who feel that Mr Cameron is the man to ruin, I mean, run your country, remember what I said about being a Tory. There are dozens of them Thatcherites just waiting to get back into parliament, where they will reintroduce Thatcherism and its harsh reality of Tory greed, greater poverty, rampant crime and even higher unemployment. Croak!!

I don’t expect any of you to believe anything I tell you, but my past blogs should at the very least leave you wondering, and perhaps asking a few questions before you do decide to vote. I wasn’t wrong before, and I don’t think for a single minute now that I’m wrong this time either. Cheerio and take care you all. Ribbit!!


Labels: , , , , , ,

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

You talk, but they simply don’t listen

Unfortunately, due to the fact that my garden is asking more of me each day, from now on I will no longer be able to write this blog for Froggy while he’s hibernating. Well, let’s face it, he’s more in tune with what’s going on out there than I am. In the meantime, while you are waiting for dear old Froggy to return in the early spring, this little break will enable you to look back over his previous blogs and catch up with what the little green fella has been up to.

While watching the latest news earlier today concerning the economic crisis we’re all having to endure at the moment, our government seems to be somewhat overly eager to help all of these Banks, and possibly car companies that are suddenly pleading poverty, to push what is now trillions of our tax paying pounds, into their holed pockets. And yet for the life of me, I can see that there are no guarantees that this will actually help them get back on their feet, or save any jobs. To be frank, this action may have saved the banks, but then they put us deep in the shite in the first place. Why isn’t our government putting the money where it will do us all some real good?

I’m going to ask all you people out there a simple question. If our government has had so much of our money to give away, then why didn’t they use it to bring the energy companies back into public ownership? These companies are making real money, a hell of a lot of money according to my recent bills. At least this sort of action wouldn’t be a one way thing. We’d have money coming into the governments coffers, and in turn, we could all have darned sight cheaper energy, and all because the government is not there to make excessive profits as is happening at the moment. They wouldn’t be losing our investment either, which is certainly what they are doing right now.

Wake up Gordon Brown and listen to what we, the electorate, have to say to you. You simply cannot keep on pouring our taxes into a bottomless pit, just because you haven’t the foggiest idea of how to get us out of the crapper.

Unfortunately, and as far as our government is concerned, you talk, but they simply don’t listen, ever…. The days of boom and bust are over, well, the days of boom certainly are. What annoys me these days, among a lot of other things, it’s the continual whining we have to put up with from all those people who forget that during the Labour Party’s first ten years in office, they made a whole pile of money.

Unfortunately, these same people seem only too ready to forget how well they did out of the boom years. Because things are getting a bit tough, they want the rest of us to feel sorry for them. I don’t recall that any of the rest of us ever twisted their arms, telling them where to invest their precious savings. They should recognize that it’s greed that fuelled this period of bust, of which they played their part in it, and what’s more, they shouldn’t damned well forget it.

Our problems are only just beginning. I think that we will soon be hearing about more revelations concerning losses in the investment world. Just as with the banks, other financial institutions will be telling us that they too have lost billions in the coming months.

Now ask yourselves this. How is it that whenever schools, hospitals, public transport and many other important considerations ask for money, it’s never there. The Banks pile tons of their useless debt on all of us, and suddenly there is billions available to help them out. How can this be right?

I’ve said enough for this week, so until Froggy returns, goodbye and mind how you go…

Bob, standing in for Froggy

Labels: , , , ,

Thursday, January 22, 2009

I don’t know about boom, but we’re certainly going bust

Unfortunately, the grip of winter is still with us. This morning, I ventured out and into the cold and very nearly slipped on some black ice at the side of a road junction. What a shame that out of all the money our local council demands from us in the form of council tax, they can’t spare some of it to make our roads and pavements a little safer to walk on. But I guess that while council workers are paying themselves such high wages with their jobs for life, there’s nothing left with which to consider the safety and welfare of the people it’s supposed to be serving.

Well done, President Obama, it’s honestly good to see you in office at long last. I have to echo Froggy’s sentiments here, it’s even better to see that Bush has finally gone, and about time too. Whatever happens now, mister Obama, don’t do as Bush did and go and let your people down. The whole world needs good leaders, and you appear to be one of them. But unlike your people, we here in Britain have to put up with a bunch of no-hopers to do our bidding for us.

This week saw the arrival of my latest gas bill. Now I don’t know about you, but as I’m retired I tend to spend a whole lot of my time here at home, though not always in the house. However, because the price of gas has reached profiteering levels again, I realised through using the figures on my bill, that in order to have my heating on for just three to four hours a day, especially as it’s so cold this winter, it would cost me £250 just for a single quarter alone.

Just like many in Britain today, this is way above my being able to afford such exorbitant costs, and even though I suffer with Rheumatoid Arthritis, I’m having to endure regular temperatures that are nearly always below 18C during the daytime, and more so at night. I get no extra money for having to endure pain 24/7, something that could quite easily be alleviated in living in a warm house and not a damned cold one. There are at least 500,000 of us who have RA, so if you don’t believe what I say about the pain, try asking one of the others who have to suffer, often in silence.

Remember, I’m like the rest of you. I pay my taxes, my VAT, my council tax and just about every other damned tax you can think of. I’m not asking for charity, but I am asking that the British government respects my needs as one of its senior citizens, and not to treat me like some money grabbing financier who thinks of nothing more than to bring this country down around its knees.

I’ve just picked up on something that Froggy talked about a while ago. This concerns the behaviour of the former boss of the Royal Bank of Scotland. Despite that we have just learnt of the £28bn losses made by this bank in the last year, this same former boss was given a bonus of £2.8m for his excellent ‘sic’ work within this company. How on earth is it right to pay enormous bonuses to people like him, when they have quite obviously done more harm than good? Must I remind you all that Britain is on the verge of bankruptcy, so why are we rewarding these dimwits for pulling this country down around our necks?

It seems to me that even though millions will lose their jobs because of a few greedy financiers, we British are prepared to forgive and forget, well not me. All I see around me, it’s the constant notion of being crapped upon. We have a government that is next to being bloody useless, no I correct myself, it is bloody useless. And what’s worst of all, they have no real incentive to pull this country off its feet.

MPs and virtually all other government ministers, are paid far too much for what they give back to Britain and those they represent, in return. Where is the incentive to do any better, when these people are paid enormous salaries no matter how badly they do in representing us?

That’s it, I’m off to try and do something constructive around my garden. Politics does my head in. Until next time, take care of yourselves…

Bob, standing in for Froggy

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Trying to understand…

The weather just lately is neither good nor is it bad, it is in fact somewhere in between. There may not be many flowers in the garden at present, but the variations in colour are there to be seen. My winter favourites are the Dogwoods, where I have tall red and yellow stemmed varieties, two colours that are guaranteed to brighten up everything, even the dullest day.

As for flowers themselves, there are always the violets and pansies that seem to bloom no matter how harsh the weather conditions are, but beyond these two, I have very little else that’s flowering right now.

If only the British economy could be guaranteed to give us the same rich rewards as we can achieve with flowering plants. No matter how much of an investment you pour into brightening up the garden, it’s seldom that you lose much, but more often than anything, you frequently gain so much more than you ever seem to lose from your investment.

Now, if there are any of you out there that could enlighten me on the following subject, I would be eternally grateful. I’m going to talk about stocks, shares and the FT 100. Oh, and by the way, this subject would be way beyond the comprehension of our dear Froggy, so, this is also for him.

I’m trying my best to get to grips with the British economy and why it is that the FT 100 loses so much of its value, even when a company appears to be doing well financially. Why is it that these market traders will reduce the value of any given company, even when it is apparently doing well and making a profit? After all, some of the FT listed companies will ride out this downturn in the economy regardless of what anyone else thinks. Supermarket sales are a point in mind, and the Greggs bakery business seems to be another. Let’s face it, everyone needs to eat…

Now, you may tell me that the market reflects what’s happening within the economy in general, fair enough. But then many people will wonder why almost all of the FT 100 shares lost ground quite heavily when the economy took its initial downturn late on last year, and yet not every one of these companies lost the same percentage of their business during this period. So, why the disparity between the true market values and what really happened?

It appears to me that there is only one true way of regaining the lost ground within the economy, and this is to have these market traders put their thinking caps on and to take a good look at a company’s worth for what it really is. Oh! And I wish that they’d stop crapping in their pants every time shares are not going where they want them to go. Start acting responsible and damned well earn these bonuses you reward yourselves with. These are real people’s lives you lot are playing with, and not some tin pot game you’ve just dreamed up to play with.

I see that the media still insists on acting as a scaremonger where our economy is concerned. Everyone should be aware by now that it is the working classes who will be most affected by the media harping on about the economic crisis, not the better off. Any person earning 2k a week won’t even be touched by this downturn, and if you are, you should damned well be ashamed of yourself. I’m a pensioner and I’ve still to receive the bonus and increase promised to those like me by the Labour party last November.

Well, I’ve done enough soapbox shouting for another week, so, let’s hope that everything is looking a whole lot rosier by the time I return for my next blog.

Bye for now,

Bob, standing in for Froggy

Labels: , , , ,

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Media News, or is it?

A very happy new year to one and all….

Even though the weather is still very much against my doing the gardening, there is always something that needs my attention, for example; a little pruning here, some tidying there. It never fails to surprise me just how much detritus gathers in all the out of the way places, dark nooks and crannies. These are the left over’s from late autumn and early winter, and they have to be cleared away if next summer’s garden is to look at its best.

With Froggy still in hibernation, other creatures that are forced to live the winter out in the cold have to search for things to eat. That my garden has its resident robin proves that there is food available, even if it does take some ferreting about to find it. For all the other birds, I do my best to keep the feeders well stocked and some standing water free of ice, something that’s almost impossible where the pond is concerned, it‘s just too big.

This week I want to talk about my views of Britain’s media and the news it provides us with. With all that is happening within Britain’s economy lately, one has to seriously wonder whether the media is not making matters worse in their fight to keep it alive?

Take the winter weather for instance. If we get a bit of snow, these reporters blow it up out of all proportion and usually beyond what I, and indeed most around my age would see as being truly serious. Get a bit of snow on the ground, let’s say two centimetres, and today’s young motorists simply have no idea how to drive their cars around in it. The result, it gets news headlines. I can recall winters that regularly saw drifts of snow as high as ten feet or more and presented us with difficulty in getting into work five miles away, but we got there. Today’s drivers would be well and truly jiggered in conditions like that. I think that they have gotten soft and want a relatively easy time of getting around, just so long as it‘s not snowing.

Only the other day, one young journalist ranted on about a pond being frozen over, well, I had to laugh when the older couple remarked that it was nothing, since in their younger days, they would skate over the pond every time it froze, but it certainly wasn’t damned well newsworthy like it appears to be today.

On to our economy. Have you noticed all of this doom and gloom the media keeps on spouting each and every day? Well, I have and I’m damned well sick and tired of it. You know what? If someone keeps on repeating something for long enough, even a lie, in the end this can be made to sound like the truth. This is what the media is doing to us and our economy. Crikey, I can remember that it wasn’t that many years ago when the FT 100 was around 4,500 and the country was getting along swimmingly. Now that it’s at this level today, the economy is suddenly going to the dogs, if the media has its way.

I believe that if this country is going to pick itself up off the ground and get back to profitability once more, then we really must shake off this cloak of doom and gloom. For instance, all of you people out there who enjoyed the rich pickings of your investments before the world went totally mad and announced a collapse in the economy, why aren’t you investing again for the future? Crikey, the tax payer owns the banks and money couldn’t be safer than it is today. If you keep on believing that these same shares will never rise again, then perhaps that’s just what will happen, but I very much doubt it and so should you.

If you are one of those who fall in line behind the media and believe in what they keep on preaching to us, then you don’t deserve to make anything from the stock market or whatever. The biggest trouble with today’s economy is that we have stock brokers who panic at the slightest hiccough in the market. They are more interested in the massive bonuses they can make from their jobs, than to ensure that we all profit from the way the economy is supposed to grow year in, year out.

Another thing that the media is guilty of, and here I speak about certain television channels, and that was to start this whole charade off in the first place. They alone were responsible for driving their viewers to want dreams that weren’t realistically achievable. I speak here about programmes like: A Place in the country. Location, Location, Location. Grand Designs. Houses under the hammer, along with several others. These programmes offered a dream, yes, but to any person with an ounce of common sense, they offered these dreams to those who could obviously afford it, not to those who could barely afford to make ends meet by the end of each month.

Of course, banks were also responsible for lending money that was obviously far beyond the means of the borrower in the first place. I cannot recall any other time in my life where a bank would offer you money, and then not bother to find out if you could afford to pay it back or not. Further, the eventually spiralling price of property fed these impossible dreams like there was no tomorrow. Now, we live in a period where house prices have dropped to an average price of around one-hundred and sixty thousand pounds. From the way I see it, they need to drop to the price they were at before all of this madness began. As froggy once said, a sixty-thousand pounds house is worth just that, no more.

Out of all this chaos, there are many out there, people who don’t get themselves in the news, people who made vast fortunes from this economic mess we got ourselves in. Well, it’s time we kicked back. Nobody ever got something from nothing. How many times do we hear the saying; these’s no such thing as a free lunch? It’s time to accept that this is all true. There are thousands of companies out there in the world today, companies whose future depends upon an influx of cash, your cash. If the economy is left to its own devices, then it will crash eventually and you, all of you who regularly expect to see a dividend from your shares will have lost out, and all because you couldn’t see beyond the news the media keeps on spouting at you.

I well remember a time many years ago, one when the government urged people to back Britain’s economy and buy British. I was one of those who supported this call, and to be honest the result was amazing and the country’s economy blossomed once again. People not only helped British businesses get out of a rut, but it also helped the people themselves. It’s time to consider putting this to the test again.

Well, I’ve got things to do, but one of them isn’t listening to the crap being spread by the media. Bye all…..

Bob, standing in for Froggy until he comes back.

Labels: , , , , ,

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Christmas. What does it mean?

Normally I would be pottering around my garden even at this time of the year, but I’m not stupid, it’s just too darned cold. Put another way, I haven’t done any digging for a while because of the wet weather. I can’t stand it when after wandering here and there and digging all over the place, I end up with a set of built-up soles that seem as though they were more suited to diving to the sea floor than in trudging around the garden only to bring half of it indoors when I‘ve finished.

I hope you all enjoyed your Christmas, for all that it means to you. It’s sad, but even after two-thousand years, those who preach Christianity don’t appear to have learned a single thing. Now, I’m not one for preaching to anyone, but surely I’m not alone in wondering what has happened to those living in the centre of Christendom, the Israelis?

Despite the time of the year, the Israelis seem intent on wiping out those who live on the Gaza strip. Fair enough, Hamas should not have killed even one Israeli, but was it necessary for Israel to kill over three hundred in retaliation?

Israeli people live at the very heart of Christianity, and I find it very difficult to believe that they have any excuse for the taking of lives. Doesn’t the bible say, thou shall not kill? Now if the Jewish community cannot abide by the words of their own religion, then why is there all this fuss over returning to the land they claim as being theirs for over two-thousand years, are they deliberately seeking a war within the middle east?

As far as I’m concerned, nobody in this world owns any of the land on this planet, although most like to think they do. We are merely the keepers, human beings who are supposed to care for the world while we live. There’s simply no room for killing others for petty greed, this no matter who you are. Judging by the way the Earth is being treated, we humans don’t deserve to live on it.

I want to add here what I see as a relevant question: Why is it that most of today’s conflicts are either connected with religion, here it’s the Jews and the Islamic world, or it’s that certain people simply cannot live in peace together? Why then, do we celebrate Christmas, when it’s quite obvious that Christians do not believe in what they preach?

It’s more a belief in consumerism and what we can get out of it, rather than it’s religious meaning isn‘t it?

Support Israel and you support all this needless killing…. It must stop!

I wish you all a happy and peaceful new year 2009.

Bob, for and on behalf of Froggy….. .

Labels: , , , , , ,