Saturday, 28 February 2015

Russia and Mr Putin?

See http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-31669061 .

See http://www.aljazeera.com/ .

So what exactly is Mr Putin up to?

The best way to win friends around the world is to create a truly free and open society, to respect the views of all, to uphold the law created via a truly democratic process and not to pretend Russia is the USSR and in the 1950s.

The latest news from Moscow paints Russia as a nasty place. Whereas in the 1980s I wanted to see it, I have zero wish to go there now. It smacks of corruption and the KGB. Mr Putin, please join us and put the past behind you.

The world wants to be the friend of a free and open Russia.

Friday, 27 February 2015

New on-line shop - wonderful wire artwork

Some nice presents for your wife or partner?

From my French daughter-in-law:
Hi there,
I have finally come around to opening my shop on easy. Spread the word. Hope you like it.
https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/SurleWire?ref=hdr_shop_menu

Stroke - further update

Several people have indicated that it could be 2 years before I feel better. My brain bleed was Sept 2013.  At the present rate of progress, I think they may be right.

I have several serious issues still and progress seems to be slow. What I don't know is how well I shall be finally. I am still hopeful that I'll get back to very nearly the state I was before my cerebellum brain bleed but I am sure no-one really knows.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

FTSE 100 and the 7000 barrier?

At only about 50 points to go, the FTSE 100 could well  go through the 7000 barrier in the coming days. This of course, assumes no sudden shocks. These are entirely possible and the share index could drop hundreds in a matter of days. In a way it is surprising it is doing as well as it is with a General Election now only a few months away and all the uncertainty over Greece and the euro.  It is almost as if  "the herd" is willing it higher.

I am no financial expert, but I can see the index crossing the 7000 barrier and then dropping back considerably later in the year. But who expected oil prices to drop so dramatically?

The May General Election

It looks increasingly likely that the next UK General Election will be a very close thing and the outcome close.  A hung parliament is a likely outcome.   Being a "first past the post" election, voting for the smaller parties could well result in a wasted vote.  So, it looks like I may be voting for the "least worst" option rather than the party I would really choose.

Last time I voted Lib Dem and I voted Green in the European elections. All I know is I shall not be voting UKIP. I don't like some Conservative policies and I find Ed Miliband a useless leader.  Hobson's choice?

Euro exchange rate

Every day the exchange rate of the pound to the euro gets more favorable. It means holidays in the eurozone are cheaper, cheaper imports from the eurozone, but more of a struggle to export goods from the UK to the eurozone nations.

Because of my health, no holidays to eurozone countries have been planned.   I expect the rate will have fallen by the next time we go to Europe.

Come the late summer  I expect holidays to Greece will be very cheap if they go over to the Drachma again.  I know the eurozone wants to hold on to Greece, but 4 months debt extension is no time at all.

Net inward migration into the UK

See http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-31638174.

So, net inward migration is up to its highest level since before the last election. There is no doubt that some people are needed, but surely, on our small island, we should be able to decide who can live and work here?   I am not political and have never voted UKIP (to me this is just a protest party) but I can understand why there is a genuine concern over our rapidly rising population. Yes, it shows people want to come here as we have a relatively decent standard of living and a half decent economy that is growing.

The next government must address inward migration. The current government has totally failed. Our housing is over-stretched as are our public services. We have too many people.