Archive for February 2013

Eeny meeny miny moe

Following on from the launch of Inspiration Mars, billionaire Dennis Tito’s project to send a middle-aged couple on a non-stop a return trip to Mars, I had to wonder who my readership would want to send (involuntarily) on this trip.

Tony and Cherie Blair?
Ed Balls and Yvette Cooper?
Chris Hunhe and Vicky Pryce?
Neil and Christine Hamilton?
John Major and Edwina Currie
David and Victoria Beckham?

Or are these all people we’d like to send on a one-way trip?

The comments section is open for further suggestions…

One question…

Dear Mr Burbridge and Mrs Guthrie,

I am sorry to hear about the fate of your father, Wing Commander Bransome Burbridge. Alzheimer’s is a cruel thing to suffer and I hope his last days, however long they may be, are as comfortable as you can make them.

Your efforts to cover his care costs are commendable and the decision to turn down offers of help must have been a difficult one. However I do have one question for you both.

Assuming you are quoted accurately across the two articles in the Telegraph, we have the following quotes from the 26th:

Mr Burbridge said it is a shame they had to sell the medals but feel they had no option in terms of financing their father’s care.

“After his working life he doesn’t have that much [in savings] and it isn’t enough to cover the costs.

“We thought, as he is the person who won these decorations, it is only right he should benefit from them in some way while he is still alive.

“Our family wouldn’t want to sell them if he wasn’t going to benefit. We’re reluctant to do it but we believe it is the right thing.

“It’s a shame but we are quite philosophical about it.

“I don’t think there is some sort of huge debt he is owed. He was happy to do the remarkable things he did and he survived. We value him more than we do his medals.”

and this from the 27th:

He said other families were not lucky enough to have such memorabilia to help fund their relative’s care, with some forced to even sell their homes.

My apologies if I have got my facts wrong but it seems to me after reading these quotes that the one thing you value more highly than your father and his medals is the house he and his wife lived in before she died and he went into care. Could this be because it will be worth more to you once he dies than the sentimental value of his medals?

Misanthrope Girl

That 10% tax band proposal

The members of what passes for the Labour Party’s Brains Trust (no laughing, please) have finally, possibly, maybe, made some marks on that blank piece of paper and come up with a policy. Not a new one though but a rehash of an old one: a 10%* tax rate.

The details provided are sketchy but the press is reporting that it would apply to the first £1,000 of taxable income, in contrast to the previous incarnation which applied to the first £2,500.

However, whilst I am very much in favour of governments stealing less money, this ‘policy’ is about as pointless as when Millipede Sr and Dave Prentis called for the Living Wage.

As a result of this policy, basic rate taxpayers** would retain an extra £100 of their salary each year. Oh, be still my grateful heart!

The current government, as useless as they are, have raised the personal allowance (PA) from £6,475 in 2010/11 to £9,205 in 2013/14 – an Income Tax (IT) reduction for basic rate taxpayers of £546 a year.

Raising the PA to £12,070.50 (37.5 hr week at the National Minimum Wage) would save everyone a further £573.10 in IT alone.

Sorry Eds but this policy can only be described in one way: #fail.

* Or 35% once National Insurance is factored in.

** No doubt the threshold for the 40% IT band would be reduced by £1,000 at the same time.

Spot the difference

Last night (and I assume also this morning), one of these images was causing outrage amongst the professional offended whilst the other went fairly much unnoticed.

Front page, The Star, 15th February

Front page, Daily Star, 15th February

Would anyone be able to explain to me why this should be the case without using the word ‘Murdoch’?

Horsing around

That the horse meat story is still going, long after the jokes got tired, is a source of bemusement. And whilst it may not be something that we Brits are used to eating, the French (and no doubt other nationalities) certainly are.

The problem as I see it is not so much that the meat is in the certain parts of our UK’s food supply but that someone has been lying about the provenance of it.

Wasn’t all of the legislation (both domestic and EU) which followed the BSE scare* designed specifically to prevent people not knowing where their meat was and where it came from?

Clearly another stunning success from big government…

* Remind me, how many people upped and died of vCJD?