News Ketchup

“I rob banks because that’s where the money is”. So said a famous American villain; but the world is now so completely upside down, in many cases this is no longer true. I imagine you’d still be OK doing a stick-up at JP Morgan or Rothschild, but very probably Bank of America and Credit Agricole are running on empty, so caveat robber and all that. Imagine breaking into the European Central Bank’s vaults, only to find eight billion Greek five-year bonds.

The ECB, in fact, is the one we should all be worried about. I posted just before Christmas on the subject of the inestimable cost of propping up euro*ankers, and in the meantime Earthbound alien John Redwood has written this piece about whether central banks can go bust. The profoundly daft thing about the whole ‘liquidity provision’ process is that, at the current cost running rate, we could forgive all the ClubMeds their borrowing, and give the eurobanks all their risk monies back.

As it is, we have the central banks hosing the private banks down with our money, and those same banks demanding a zero haircut. Only the start of the First World War matches this for unbridled stupidity.

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How long does it take to bury a Korean leader? It’s a good question. After all, you can’t bury the bugger twice, it wouldn’t be seemly. But it seems the funeral lasted two days. I suspect the reason is that, given the depth of mourning involved, North Korean citizens had to do it in waves, so as to avoid congestion.

“The snow is endlessly falling like tears,” said a soldier shown on state television. “How could the sky not cry when we’ve lost our general who was a great man from the sky?” What a complete load of old bollocks. If you’ve ever spoken to people who lived under Communist regimes, then you’ll know that there is no such thing as ‘brainwashing’: over 90% of citizens keep their emotions to themselves, while seeing the Daliesque drivel they’re force-fed for exactly what it is – deranged nonsense.

North Korea remains the world’s most impoverished nuclear power, and it seems to me that the leadership needs a more commercial outlook. After all, an opportunity like the death of a God doesn’t come along that often, so it is amazing to me that no sponsors for the Kim Il-Sung planting were courted.  Interflora, I suspect, would’ve jumped at the chance. And California Cryogenics Inc must be wondering why they weren’t contacted.

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A third of all Brits claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance have a criminal record. Bizarrely, this information was not revealed to an unsuspecting public by the Dacre Mail: the analysis has emerged from a data sharing agreement between the Department for Work and Pensions and the Ministry of Justice.

In turn, 26% of the country’s 4.9 million benefit claimants have been cautioned or convicted in the past decade while many tens of thousands more criminals are also claiming other benefits such as disability allowances. You see, as I’ve often written, we shouldn’t assume that the disabled must be automatically nice: I have it on good authority that 1 in 8 of all safecrackers is entitled to use a disabled parking space. This helps when you’re about the tricky job of breaking into Tesco of an evening.

As always, we are left with the eternal chicken/egg debate: does unemployment make people turn to crime; or does a criminal nature automatically find it easy to burgle houses while defrauding the State?

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Britain faces an “absolute crisis” in social care for elderly people as a result of cuts to services, the director of the country’s leading charity for older people has warned. Michelle Mitchell, the director of Age UK, said increasing numbers of older people with considerable care needs were “getting absolutely no support at all, or poor quality and limited support” as a result of cuts to local authority provision.

Michelle Mitchell – along with the Guardian, where this fiction first appeared – should be absolutely ashamed of themselves. To employ the long-term plight of old people as a propaganda club with which to thwack the Coalition is no different at all in essence to Arab Islamists using children as a human shield against attacks upon their redoubts. For both the Age boss and the Rusbridgers know perfectly well that the crisis in aged care was apparent ten years ago – a decade during which New Labour did zip to alleviate the problem, and then towards the end of its disgraceful record used Alan Johnson as the plausible frontman for a cynical attempt to present £15bn of existing DSS monies look like new expenditure.

It is of course completely unpardonable that banking and fiscal criminals throughout the EU are being showered with cash while our old people die in unpleasant third-rate retirement homes. But to blame this on ‘the cuts’ – when local authorities have great freedom to fire loafers and useless social workers as well as cutting non-essential services – is beyond cynicism. It is in another place, called The Sanctimonious Left. Think Lord Mandelson, and you’ll be on the right track. Think George Orwell, the USSR, and Aleksander Solzhenytsin’s books…and all will become entirely clear.