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Money | Anorak - Part 71

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Money in the news and how you are going to pay and pay and pay

Srubya And Soapbama: Cleaning Up With Barack Obama

SOAP firm Scrubya donates 75 percent of its proceeds to nonprofit organisations dedicated to “cleaning up the mess” it blames on George Bush.

Time to come John McClean, or scrub up with Soapbama.

Posted: 22nd, July 2008 | In: Money, Politicians | Comment


The Benefits Of Being Kerry Katona’s Mum

KERRY Katona’s mother, one Susan Katona, “had £46,000 despite claiming she was broke, a court heard yesterday”, writes the Sun.

Susan Katona, 48, has admitted claiming £5,622 income support — despite earning thousands from photographs and interviews about her daughter, 27.

Yesterday she failed to appear for sentencing for a second time — claiming she has agoraphobia.

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Posted: 22nd, July 2008 | In: Celebrities, Money, Tabloids | Comment (1)


Tim Worstall On The Tax Credit Mess

TIM looks at tax credit, which are all but impossible to fathom:

It might just be simpler to raise the personal tax allowance, wouldn’t it? So that we’re not taxing and subsidising the very same people, with the bureaucracy taking its chunk on the way around?

Source

Posted: 22nd, July 2008 | In: Money, Politicians | Comments (2)


The Plan To Ban Happy Hour

DIZZY loks at the plans to rid us of happiness and happy hour:

According to the news this morning there are plans afoot to ban “happy Hour” in pubs and also crack down on sueprmarkets selling multibuy options on booze. The argument goes, and I’m sure it would please the Portman Group greatly, that traders are not being “responsible”, and that essentially we’re all turning into a nation of alcoholics.

It’s all in the name of our health because we are not responsible enough to make the ‘right’ decision (ergo what they want us to do) ourselves. We’re all victims of the evil suppliers of alcohol who tempt us away from the path of light straightheadedness.

Yet it seems that no one in Government has a grip on the market driven reason for the rise in cheap booze and happy hours. Nor do they have a grip on the unitended consequence of their own actions having a direct role in creating the thing that they now see as a problem to be tackled.

Think about this for a minute. Why are pubs increasingly using Happy Hours to attract customers? It’s pretty obvious that you do not start selling off your stock on the cheap unless you have a business issue where you are not making enough money. If you can get them in they might stay or they might eat etc.

So why are the pubs needing to do this though? Well, over 1300 public houses have closed in the last year since the smoking ban was introduced. Smokers leaving the pubs has had a detrimental effect on business in many parts so they need to lure people back.

The Happy Hour; doubles for the price of singles and other offers becomes ever more popular. At the same time, all the people that have left the pubs beacuse they cannot smoke have started drinking at home.

This shifts the competition in the market to the likes of Teso, Morrisons, Asda and Sainsbury, who are all competing for those people to come and spend there money with them. So they all start offering crazy offers on booze.

What is the Government’s repsonse to a situation that it has created? Easy. Ban Happy Hours and legislate to stop supermarkets selling cheap booze. You know what that is in reality? Price control by proxy, yet another parallel between Brown’s Government and the 1970s.

Ban it! Ban it! Ban it! If they like it, ban it! Or, if it’s not totally illegal, tax it!

That was the manifesto for the [insert party name here]…

Posted: 21st, July 2008 | In: Money, Politicians | Comments (9)


Earth Friend Bush And Al Gore For Cheap Petrol

AL Gore, current US Vice President, leader of the Al Goreans, global warming expert, champion of alternative fuels and educator of the ignorant is pictured here with then President Bill Clinton at the apogee of their political double act.

The numbers indicate the price of petrol, showing that when Gore was in power, petrol was cheap and gas-guzzlers affordable.

Now under oil-mad, planet scorching George Bush, oil is expensive and Americans are walking and selling their big cars, and selling themselves.

Which of Gore and Bush is the planet’s friend?

Note: The picture was meant to show how Bush has been bad for the US economy…

Spotter: Karen S.

Posted: 21st, July 2008 | In: Money, Politicians | Comment


Madeleine McCann: BBC Is Live, Peter Wilby’s Right, Stephen Glover Investigates And Tabloid Facts

MADDIE WATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann

Today Portugal’s attorney general, Jose Pinto Monteiro, is to make a statement about the Madeleine McCann case. Reports that the inquiry into her disappearance will be shelved.

This means Kate McCann, Gerry McCann and Robert Murat – the three named suspects – might be cleared.

But what crime occurred? Kidnap? Murder? Paedophilia? Neglect? The Portuguese police have never been able to say for sure.

The BBC has its man in Portugal. It’s “live” from Portugal. And we are watching the parents.

DAILY MAIL (front page): “New agony for Kate as Maddie detective cashes in”

Kate and Gerry McCann are expected to be told today that the inquiry into their daughter’s disappearance is being shelved.

But in a heartbreaking blow, a book by the disgraced former head of the investigation will be published on Thursday promising ‘explosive revelations’ about the inquiry.

The memoir by Goncalo Amaral reportedly contains allegations that Madeleine died accidentally in her parents’ care, and that they disposed of her body to cover up the death.

Why would this be agony now when it is a theory already mentioned in newspapers?

Let’s just stick to the facts:

The McCanns, both 40, vehemently deny the claims.

DAILY MIRROR: “Ex-Maddy cop’s book ‘to tell all’”

Former Chief Inspector Goncalo Amaral, 48, was axed from the investigation last October after criticising Kate and Gerry and the UK police.

But the disgraced officer is expected to repeat his controversial claims when the book – Truth About The Lies – hits the shelves on Thursday.

Will the Mirror dare to repeat the claims? The Mirror deals with facts:

Kate and Gerry, both 39, of Rothley, Leics, are today widely expected to be cleared as official suspects in the case, along with Robert Murat, a Brit living in Praia da Luz.

Such are the, er, facts.

THE GUARDIAN: “Murat’s £800,000 – a minor marketing expense”. Says Peter Wilby:

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Posted: 21st, July 2008 | In: Broadsheets, Madeleine McCann, Money, Tabloids | Comments (869)


Bird Nappies

PIGEONS:

Do you ever get tired of the mess associated with owning a bird? Does your bird get restricted to his cage for the sake of a clean Poop Free home? Are you afraid of taking your bird outside fearing your pet will fly off?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, Jungle Wear Birdie Diaper may be just what you are looking for. As you know, birds defecate on an average of every 20 minutes, and depending on the size of the bird this can be a messy experience.

No longer will you chase your companion with a bottle of disinfectant, instead dress him or her in a Bird Diaper.

(via Everlasting Blort, and Presurfer)

Posted: 20th, July 2008 | In: Money, Strange But True | Comments (6)


Surgeons To Get OAP Kill Bonus

“SURGEONS to earn ‘patient survival bonuses’,” says the Sunday Telegraph.

Perhaps to help keep the accounts in order, patients should have their stitching designed to say “I survived [insert surgeon’s name here]”?

Says the paper:

NHS surgeons are to be paid bonuses based on the number of lives they save, in radical plans being drawn up by hospitals across Britain.

Anorak wonder if the surgeons will pay a forfeit for a kill, say, losing a tenner for each year a patient is under 50?

The cadaver should be means tested. If a surgeon fails to save a taxpayer, then so much for the worse for them – the medic will have to wear some of the budget deficit. Fail to cure a benefits claimant and find a tenner in your rubber gloves.

The big money is, of course, in treating the old and frail, those high-risk patients bonus-chasing surgeons avoid. Kill a pensioner or someone who needs round-the-clock care or prescription drugs, and get an OBE.

Don’t get old. Don’t get ill.

Posted: 20th, July 2008 | In: Broadsheets, Money | Comments (18)


Betsy Morgan On How The Huffington Post And New Journalism Screw Writers

HUFFINGTON Post CEO Betsy Morgan (paid) – it’s the “newspaper of the future” – is in conversation with Colby College’s alumni magazine.

Says she:

Not all of the plays have been written yet for this company. That said, we have a very good relationship with our bloggers; we’re unbelievably respectful of them. By blogging, they get terrific exposure and our brand gives them a unique platform.

We’ve had a positive two-way relationship with them. Could that include money at some point? Sure.

But it feels very 1993 to say, ‘Hey, it’s all about the check that I get at the end of the month.’

Money is so vulgar. The site employs 50 staff, excluding 30 moderators who work from home as independent contractors (all paid?).

The Huffington Post is run by Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief Arianna Huffington. She lives “in an 8,000 sq. ft. house above Sunset Boulevard, in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles”. And: “Today she is fantastically rich, due in large part to her failed marriage.”

“What is citizen journalism?” asks Jay Rosen. Answer: unpaid and exploitative…

Posted: 19th, July 2008 | In: Money | Comments (7)


Jerry Pournelle On How The World Works

JERRY POURNELLE ON THE WORLD:

The purpose of modern government is to take money from the folks who save and pay their bills and live within their means, and use that to hire government workers; and to keep their power by using the money to buy votes from those who do not save and pay their bills and live within their means. And of course the money comes from those who work and save and pay their bills and live within their means — who else will have any money for the government to take?

Or am I unduly cynical? But you ain’t seen nothing yet.

Lottery winners are not taxed in the UK…

Posted: 19th, July 2008 | In: Money, Politicians | Comments (2)


Man Knifed By Sandwhich

TO New York, where John Agnesini is risking life and innards on a Cold Cut Trio Subway sandwich.

No slight on the gut-stretching loaf of “sliced turkey, bologna, turkey ham and turkey salami with your choice of fresh vegetables and condiments served on freshly baked bread”. As if.

More a comment on the 7-inch (18-cm) blade baked into the foot-long snack.

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Posted: 19th, July 2008 | In: Money | Comments (3)


A Tip On How Hillary Clinton And Barack Obama Got A Bad Deal

PSSST! Want to know how to save money on your political campaign?

The US Presidential race is an expensive affair: Republican agonist John McCain has total receipts of $100.4 million for the whole campaign, less than half of Barack Obama’s total of $266.6 million since January 2007.

Hillary Clinton’s failed campaign to secure the Democrat Party’s nomination cost $212 million.

Big money.

But it could have been all decided for less, much less. No, not by a game of Russian Roulette, rather by aping the New Labour project.

The Deal, Stephen Frears’ “prequel to The Queen” is having its “world theatrical premiere” at an American Cinematheque screening at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood on July 23.

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Posted: 18th, July 2008 | In: Money, Online-PR, Politicians | Comment (1)


Equities Bounce On A Dead Cat Trampoline

WHATS this? US shares are soaring JPMorgan Chase, the mega US investment bank, revealed that its second quarter trading is ahead of analysts’ gloomy expectations. Yes, it is the same JP Morgan Chase that has been hit by a 52 per cent fall in profits.

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Posted: 18th, July 2008 | In: Money | Comments (2)


Summer Holidays With Cameron And Brown

CLASS war in the Mirror where hackette Julie McAffrey is given the task of visiting “posh” Padstow, Cornwall, and “sophisticated” Southwold, Suffolk, where, respectively, David Cameron and Gordon Brown and spending part of their summer holidays.

When he wasn’t prime minister, Brown was a regular visitor to Cape Cod in the US; now he’s in charge he stays in the UK, offering us no respite and him no rest.

(Picture: Beau Bo D’Or Website)

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Posted: 17th, July 2008 | In: Money, Politicians, Tabloids | Comments (5)


Mick Hume And Johnathan Pearce On Cristiano Ronaldo’s Slave Labour

JOHNATHAN Pearce looks at Cristiano Ronaldo’s slave labour, and Mick Hume’s reaction:

But the recent comments that Ronaldo’s contract amounts to a form of slavery is stretching the use of language to breaking point, contrary to what Mick Hume, a self-described “red” both in political and sporting terms, says. If a person signs a contract to work for a bank or football team for a minimum of say, four years, he must serve that contract out, unless there was any clear proof that he signed under conditions of duress. A footballer who signs terms with a club binding him into a four-year contract is not selling himself into slavery. It is not as if Mr Ronaldo was kidnapped, frogmarched into the club and forced to play. It is not even as though he was starving, and so desperate for a job that he was prepared to do anything to get a job. Marxists of old like Mr Hume used to argue that workers, who had no reserves of cash to live off, were “coerced” into signing work contracts and hence exploited, an argument that might have just about held water in the early 19th century when thousands of people were living on the edge of starvation, but hardly applies now.

He can always withdraw his labour, or play badly and see how Ferguson treats him then…

Posted: 17th, July 2008 | In: Back pages, Money | Comment


South Carolina Is Sooo Gay

LAST one to South Carolina’s a…

A state employee has resigned and officials have disavowed an international advertising campaign that led to calls for an investigation of tourism posters proclaiming “South Carolina is so gay.”

Not soooo gay, then..?

Posted: 16th, July 2008 | In: Money, Online-PR | Comments (5)


Swindon Bans Speed Cameras, Maybe

FERGUS Shanahan says, “Well done Swindon Borough Council, which is axing all its speed cameras because they are, in its words, ‘a blatant tax on the motorist’.”

A few pages on and the Sun is less certain:

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Posted: 15th, July 2008 | In: Money, Tabloids | Comment


Why China Backs Mugabe’s Zimbabwe: Money

CHINA supports the Mugabe regime in Zimabawe. Why? Why:

In a series of barely reported developments over the years, the Mugabe regime has progressively “nationalised” – i.e., expropriated – these assets, culminating in a deal with China in 2005 when he sold mining rights to China. The foreign exchange earnings made from this deal have kept the regime alive, allowing Mugabe to buy what he needs, and keeping his supporters financed.

China also keeps Mugabe supplied with weapons to underpin his power base – at enormous expense. In June 2004 alone, Zimbabwe purchased from China 12 FC-1 fighters and 100 military vehicles worth an estimated $240 million. The order actually went above and beyond the $136 million defence budget.
The huge wealth from mining revenues, directed straight into Mugabe’s coffers, the amount of financial leverage that the UK – with or without the EU – can exert is minuscule. In fact, EU aid between 2002 and 2007 was worth €107.5 million and in 2008, the “assistance” is expected to be around €25 million.

This compares with the recent increase in platinum production, from 90,000 ounces per year to 160,000 ounces annually. Additionally, through a parallel deal with the Chinese, nickel production has increased from 1,540 tons to 2,900 tons annually. As a result, reported in May of this year, mineral exports, with the exception of gold, for the first four months of the current year stood at $302 million.

And Gordon Brown condemns it all in the strongest possible terms. No chance…

Posted: 14th, July 2008 | In: Money, Politicians | Comment


LibDems Want Subsidised Flooding Risk

RISK:

Liberal Democrats : Flood insurance must cover those at most risk – Webb

Commenting on the announcement that insurers have agreed to cover households with a flood risk of up to one-in-75 years, Liberal Democrat Shadow Environment Secretary, Steve Webb said:

“It is all very well making insurance available, but it must be affordable to people living in the most vulnerable homes.

And how is that going to work? What he actually means is that he wants people to pay less than the risk demands, do you think the insurance companies are going to subsidize the bad risks?

No. And, er, no…

Posted: 14th, July 2008 | In: Money, Politicians | Comment (1)


Alan Rusbridger And Emily Bell Make The Media Guardian’s 100

THE Guardian newspaper’s MediaGuardian 100 is “our annual guide to the most powerful people in the industry. Candidates are judged on three criteria – their cultural, economic and political influence in the UK.”

This arbitrary test of media might is decided by a panel of ten, including:

Janine Gibson, executive editor of guardian.co.uk and editor-in-chief of MediaGuardian.
Jane Martinson, editor of MediaGuardian.
Brent Hoberman, a non-executive director of Guardian Media Group

The questions is: where does the panel place the Guardian and its editor?

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Posted: 14th, July 2008 | In: Broadsheets, Money | Comment


Only Olympic Judo Winners Get Paid

A SURVEY by the Sunday Herald Sun, Australia, says Britain pays nothing to Olympic champions, except those who triumph in judo.

Given the recent headlines on youth crime and the Jeunesse D’ore’s favoured hobby of kebab-shop-stabbing, the British taxpayers’ money is safe when it comes to awarding trials of unarmed combat.

But why should any Olympic athlete get paid anything? Do you get paid to run about, hopping and swimming all day?

Posted: 13th, July 2008 | In: Back pages, Money, Tabloids | Comment (1)


Bigger Bills For Bigger Bras At M&S

SAYS Beckie Williams, founder of Bust 4 Justice, on Radio Five Live: “That’s fair enough. But they don’t apply the same policy to other clothes that use more material and more resources to make as well.

“I just think it should be one policy for all items of clothing.”

Ms Williams beef is with Mark and Spencer which charges more for some of its bras that are DD cup or larger.

Williams calls it “an unfair tax”. Says she: “This is not something that we have chosen… If you don’t charge a size 20 woman more for a pair of trousers, then why should you pay more for an E cup bra?”

This appears to be an oversight on the part of retailers who will most probably respond to Williams’ campaign by upping the cost of clothing in larger sizes.

Posted: 11th, July 2008 | In: Money | Comments (6)


McDonald’s Responds

THAT McDonald’s response in full…

Posted: 11th, July 2008 | In: Money, Photojournalism | Comment


The Credit Crunch Bites

CREDIT Crunch bites…

Posted: 11th, July 2008 | In: Money, Photojournalism | Comment (1)


Wanted: Blind Air Traffic Controller

SAYS the advert for an air-traffic controller at St Mary’s airport, Isles of Scilly:

“If you require this document in an alternative language, in larger text, Braille, easy read or in an audio format, please contact the Community Relations Officer.”

It’s political correctness gone maaad….

Posted: 11th, July 2008 | In: Money, Strange But True | Comments (4)