Sir Tankie

The euro idea was always a long term plan for the extremist europhiles but when the Berlin Wall fell both us and the Frogs (Thatcher and Mitterand) were against - and perhaps rightfuly scared of - German re-unification. So what to do? Germans in full whoop mood about re-unification and can't very well send the tanks in and rebuild the wall... I mean we had been saying the wall was 'evil' etc. So the plan was to bind them closer to the French because if they don't fall out the rest us get saved from another bloodbath sorting them out right? Well according to the files I have read this was the theory. Some disagreed, a Cabinet Minister Nickolas Ridley was forced to resign when he said publicly that the EU was "a German racket designed to take over the whole of Europe", adding that giving up sovereignty to Brussels was as bad as giving it to Adolf Hitler. What could Thatcher do though? Oppose the EU but not stop the Franco-German alliance without war, and the US would have none of that unless peace was broken in Europe, ie between France/Germany. Thatcher had no option though she knew that the Franco-German alliance was bad for Britain  - the French thought it was the only hope to save themselves and we being 'allies' had to respect French wishes. In effect that was the moment the French went truly 'Vichy' and quite a few people actualy used that term at the time.

So the result of the French 'Vichy' was the Maastrict Treaty because now we need the Germans fully integrated and under some sort of control otherwise history teaches us the lesson etc... Thatcher made the mistake of signing off Maastrict on the grounds that we had stick with the French.  So first we had the ERM which was the forerunner of the euro. Well the ERM was nothing more than an attempt to tie all currencies to the DM. Fortunately, as it turns out, we in Britain crashed out of the ERM and so never seriously contemplated euro fiasco. When the ERM 'trial run' had had a few years to get the different currencies aligned the plan called for the euro. Democracy etc by this time out of the window - the extremist europhiles now also have an agenda. These are the people that will 'inherit German hegemony' on the continent, thus blunting the German threat to all. These Eurocrats are mostly ex commies etc because naturaly this 'big government' and unelected power is their dream revitalised.

So along comes Phase 2 and the euro with European Constitution and the euro etc. Sadly democracy did away with the 'Constitution' but the imperative of 'wrapping Germany inside the system' remained so we got a rush job that amounts to the Lisbon Treaty, which is totaly full of contradictions (ie. can't leave the euro without leaving the EU). Well the countries that join the euro do so not because they are financialy sound (the EU can overlook that) but because this is sold as whoop time for all. In reality it is done to tie the Germans to them all; hem them into the fabric so to speak. So Europe got lumbered with the euro - or new DM - and countries that didn't meet the requirements (Greece and Ireland) were let in specificaly to pin the Germans down - some Germans knew this at the time so they never had a referendum on the euro as it would not have passed. Well guess what everyone APPEARS pegged to the euro/new DM once it is introduced so everyone gets old DM borrowing rates - free money! Of course the underlying theory of the EU is that this means Germany HAS to be 'woven into the fabric' on the grounds that if I owe the bank £100 that's a problem for me but if I owe the bank £100bn it's a problem for the bank; the old Keynesian theory. So nobody did anything the about credit boom as it added to the general theory of the fabric - same as letting falsified Greek accounts pass etc. They also planned on what in 'EU-speak' they call a 'beneficial crisis'; that is, one that alows the EU to force more integration due to the 'extraordinary circumstances'. Well here "more integration" means more power for the EU so, in theory, disabling any potential German menace - as well as the rest of us but that's just a by product so never mind.

Next came something they were not looking for - the 'Lehmans moment'. Well the US 'sub prime' mortgage selling was essentialy the same cheap credit/free money based problem that Europe was enjoying. Because we in Britain are more closely linked with US via our banks we got hit bad. I remember saying then that the banks should be alowed to go broke but the problem was that Brown wanted to be a 'statesman' and was a Keynesian at heart (all pinkos are), so we propped up the banks who had bought the US credit receits and ended up just about broke when Brown tried to spend for growth. End of Brown and good riddance!

So meanwhile on the continent the credit boom is wearing off, could only last for so long, and Greece, then Portugal then Ireland need bailouts; not because they have done anything 'wrong' (except false accounting but what the hell the EU does that) but because their currency is the euro - the new DM. Now the old DM rules, and the only reason the could rope Germany in was under old DM rules, say you pay if you have if you owe. A wise policy for long term stability and confidence. Kind of anathema to Greeks, Italians etc though who are more used to fiddling their books. Nobody ever explained to the Greeks etc that the euro was a new DM so the Greeks went off raising wages and forgeting taxes and the Spanish and Irish built lots of new houses all over because money was cheap. I started to get worried after the first Greek bailout when they said it was 'solved' etc as it cleary wasn't. That is when I started looking into files etc. Now of course we have can see the success of the euro; it is clear for all to see and still they bail out more failed Spanish banks (just like Brown in 2008 with Northern Rock etc) and Italy has pay 20% of the Spanish bank debt by borrowing at 6% and getting 3% back. The Germans, quite understandably (although they have benefited most), want the new DM/euro on the terms they agreed to. They were misled as much as the Greeks who were told "never mind about your debts - we can cover them up: Welcome to the euro!". The 'beneficial crisis' has arrived for the EU but in a way it cannot control. It has miscalculated by wide margins yet continues to try to force ever greater. In effect when they went into the euro Germany was told it was one thing (a new DM) and the Greeks etc were told not to worry about anything, false accounts etc, as we are all now in the same family.

So when the US property boom hit (Lehmans etc) it hit growth in the US and UK first as we had to bail out the banks. Thus the banks losses were in effect transferred to the sovereign account leaving us both with larger deficits. This meant we had to cut Government spending to be able to continue to borrow (as Cameron and Osborne claim to be doing) thus public spending goes down and growth declines. The European banks were not so heavily linked with the US derivitative markets on which the US property debts had been sold so didn't at first get hit as badly. However when the recession flue hit the US and UK Europe first 'caught a cold'. This 'cold' exposed the underlying contradictions in the euro system and markets realised the truth it grew ever worse until we see todays European financial 'pneumonia'. The contradictions now manifest themselves in many forms but all stem from the root contradiction that the euro is essentialy NOT a financial project but a political one designed to harness the reunified German power. The trouble is though that a currency IS a financial system, not a political one. Of course the EU was all for it as they stood to inherit overall control and as the imperative was to harness the Germans nobody much cared that EU itself was using anti democratic methods; vote no and you vote again until you say yes and then you never vote again etc. So when the US recession hit Europe the problems, which until then had been overlooked and sometimes falsified, became clear. The central financial problem for the euro is implicit in the in the way it was it was set up; promising all things to all members. Thus the ECB cannot lend to Governments (a German demand) but nobody watched what anyone was doing with their 'free money' because we are 'all in the same family' (for Spain and Italy etc) and maybe this well bring about a 'beneficial crisis' (for the EU). Above all was the central and recurrent theme of intregrating Germany into a 'greater Europe'.

British Policy on Europe

Thatcher opposed German reunification; "We do not want a united Germany. This would lead to a change to postwar borders, and we cannot allow that because such a development would undermine the whole international situation and could endanger our security." After the French 'sold out' so to speak different UK Governments have had little choice but to side, to differing extents, with the EU and to keep the UK within it either as 'counterbalance' (in Conservative terms) or more willing 'partner' (in Labour terms). The central problem still remains how to deal with the reunified Germany? This question is what has brought about the euro crisis of today as the euro is essentialy a French answer to the question and is why our FCO is so largely pro EU. I beg to differ from this view for the following reasons.

Firstly the underlying motive of this entire theory is fear of Germany. It is not said but the implications are often made that if the EU fails then war is in some way a given; and nobody wants war right? But suppose the euro does go under does this mean that Germany necessarily has to invade Poland? Or France? I do not see that this is necessarily the case. Germany is a very different country than it was in the 1930s when they elected Hitler and there is no reason to suppose that can't live peacefuly with their neighbours. At any rate they deserve the chance rather than being tricked into a misguided form of financial blackmail for their past.

Secondly this theory overlooks the role that 'appeasement' made to the last European war. Fair enough we could not forcibly prevent German reunification but the French 'euro-theory' or financial integration theory has done little more than alow Germany to grow; precisely the opposite of what was intended. In effect the discussions now taking place about austerity or growth in Europe/leaving the euro and staying in the euro, amount to how far you are willing to 'appease' Germany. IF you believe Germany is still a threat the answer is not to appease her further but get out of the system that is making her stronger. German exports to the EZ account for 40% of German trade. Devalue and return to Francs, Pesatas etc increases the price of German exports and benefits your trade balance. Staying the system ends you in debt to Germany... 'Euro appeasement' is not working and the 'integrating Germany into the fabric' theory only enhances their power.

Thirdly and currently most importantly for those of us in Britain is the EU hegemony. The Cameron Government passed a law that said no new power could be transferred to Brussels without a referendum. This of course is lies as the Houses of Parliament pass EU directives every week but means no new Treaties etc we must assume, though of course the Government decides what constitutes 'transferal of new powers'. Well it is now clear that EU is largely powerless without German money. The EU cannot bail out Spain etc... only Germany can, and only for so long. The EU banking idea recently proposed by Barruso (see past post) was immeadiatly shot down by the Bundesbank and will probably never see light of day again. Basicly we also face the same 'German question'. Apparently over 80% of British people want a vote on Europe but the Government fears this will result in us leaving and therefore having no 'counterbalance' so a vote is denied: The 'British appeasement'.

British policy on Europe has for 400 years been based on a 'balance of power' for good reason. If a country becomes too powerful on the continent it may gobble up (hi SW) it's neighbours and then one day us. We opposed Spanish hegemony in the 16th century, the French under Louis XlV and Napoleon, then German. The roots of German power lie back in the Versailles Treaty after Napoleon when Prussia was given Saxony which altered the German balance of power vis a vis Vienna and the Austro-Hungarian older Germanic power centre. Vienna lost and Prussia/Berlin won but we did not forsee what this would mean a century and two centuries later. When the consequences became clear in the Franco - Prussian war of 1870-71 and Bismarks unification we had nowhere to look for an ally to continue the balance the power other than France. Now when Germany reuinified in 1990 the French 'went Vichy' so we got half heartedly 'roped in'. Now however we see our Prime Minister "call me Dave" Cameron advocating ever greater European integration. This amounts to advocating what we have for 400 years sent our soldiers to die in order to stop: A united Europe of which Britain is not a part. In effect Cameron is advising that a Napoleonic 'European System' is good for Britain! A reversal of 400 years of policy. Why? Well primarily for financial and electoral reasons; as alot of British exports go to Europe if Europe is not growing no amount of 'stimulus spending' will help our exports to Europe unless they "sort themselves out" so we suffer, although he has also encouraged British business to find other markets and done alot to promote that. Of course if the British economy is not doing well then Camerons chances of re-election diminish. Essentialy he is prostituting British foreign policy in Europe for a short term financial gain and electoral prospects. Of course when I say 'British foreign policy' I exclude the current Secretaries at the FCO as they are hooked on the 'harnessing Germany theory'. Camerons policy is misguided in my opinion as if one power does one day control the continent this is a direct threat to Britain, and even should a unified EU emasculate a German threat the EU itself becomes a threat as it can dictate terms to Britain.

So there you have it as clear as I can express it. Sixty seven years after the last 'German war' and 22 years after German reunification all of Europe is still scared of Germany and since its reunification has been looking for ways to control it. The answers that have so far been tried are economic solutions to foreign policy problems - the underlying contradiction of the euro - and the undemocratic attempts to form a European Federal State. Both are appeasement and have lead to a stronger Germany. There does not seem to be any reason to suppose that Germany is a threat though and should it become so Britain, and the rest of Europe will need to look to the US and Russia, not prostitute ourselves further. For myself I am not convinced that Germany is a threat nor that in the event that it should become one a better handling of the situation differently than Chamberlains and our current policies could not prevent war. If we fear Germany why are we appeasing? Less Chamberlain needed and more Farage with increased military spending and closer alliance with the Commonwealth and Eastern Europe. You do not prevent war with appeasement. I thought that lesson had been learned...

On a Lighter note

Why "Sir Tankie"? Because aliens do exist! Somewhere out there there has to be life - even single cell disease type life, but mostly because he served his country.

Because truth is not carrots and I am not a bunny wabbit. Nor is:

1. “Spain is not Greece.” (Elena Salgado, Spanish Finance minister, Feb. 2010.)

2. “Portugal is not Greece.” (The Economist, 22nd April 2010.)

3. “Ireland is not in ‘Greek territory.’” (Irish Finance Minister Brian Lenihan.)

4. “Greece is not Ireland.” (George Papaconstantinou, Greek Finance minister, 8th November, 2010.)

5. “Spain is neither Ireland nor Portugal.” (Elena Salgado, Spanish Finance minister, 16 November 2010.)

6. “Neither Spain nor Portugal is Ireland.” (Angel Gurria, Secretary-general OECD, 18th November, 2010.)

7. "Spain is not Uganda" (Spanish PM, Rajoy to Luis de Guindos, economy minister… last weekend.)

8. "Italy is not Spain" (Ed Parker, Fitch MD, 12 June 2012.)

9. "Calais is not England and Britain is not Europe" (moi ever.)

A person makes money by selling goods or services. If one works for a company you sell your 'labour' in Marxist terms but labour is another service, if you have expertise or more experience a company will pay more for your service. The company likewise either produces goods or sells a service to make money. Again if a company makes good products or sells good services it charges a higher a premium. If the company does not sell a service or product that has a demand the company goes broke. If you have no skill, labour or product, either as an individual or a company, that the market will buy you are not financialy viable. This is the harsh truth. Sell yourself better or refine your service/product if you are losing money or farewell. 

So much for 'personal' economics but how does a Government get it's money? No Government 'owns' money; all the revenue is borrowed from the people. This is why many countries have a democracy; so the people can have some say in how their money is spent. Those that tax without the vote are essentialy 'thief Governments'. If I make money and the Government demands some of what I earn am I not entitled to ask "what for?". Do I give money to anyone that demands it? Clearly unless a case is explained and I have a choice it amounts to robbery.

While the money the Government borrows from us comes from our wages, which we have some say in how they spend, once the election is over we are cut out of decisions. This may be not altogether unwise as populism is not always wisdom. The Government also needs to employ people - to collect tax for starters - but also to run services; a reasonable law enforcement, defence and health service. They are also called upon to provide for pensioners, disabled and people who cannot find a job. We have been led to expect this almost to the extent as claiming them as 'rights'.

Of course at any time a Government decide to invest more in any specific area - more nurses or teachers or soldiers; a matter of taste almost. However to do so it must either cut other areas (more teachers and less soldiers) or raise tax. Well the people who work for the Government pay tax from their wages and VAT whatever else so every penny a Government spends on employing a soldier, nurse, diplomat or whatever they get back some money - but not all. But even the money the Government gets back is 'recycled': It creates no new 'real money'.

So we have become used to the higher taxation method to pay for Government services. The money to pay for this effectively must come from the private sector. Let me explain: Suppose I work for a successful company; my wages and possibly my pension and healthcare get payed by my wages through the company. I still pay tax to the Government and so does the company. This though is not 'recycled' - the company has sold a product or service, it is 'real money'. When a Government taxes the private sector, the business sector, it detracts from their profits and their investment potential, therefore they are less likely to employ new staff. When a Government is responsible for over 50% of GDP they are depriving 'real money' growth to a minimum and a country cannot prosper. Over tax the private sector and you must print more money to keep the Government employees payed; this leads to inflation or taken to the extreme communism with protection barriers on the domestic market. You cannot afford 'real prices'. Too much taxation and you destroy the tax base in the private sector which makes 'real money'.

All 'political will' is limited within the confines of budget possibility. Sure you can go overdrawn for a while but if you stay overdrawn too long you go bankrupt. If you wish to borrow money - go overdrawn - you can do so, as an individual or a company you have the right to 'speculate to accumulate' as a Government you have no right to over speculate other peoples money on loss making Government jobs. All your policies must be geared to private sector wealth creation, only then can a Government get the 'real money' income to fund it's 'social programmes'. The Keynesian stimulus doctrine MUST be short term. All else is falacy. This year the UK reached 'freedom day' - when the average person finished paying the tax they are likely to owe the Government this year and started earning money for themselves - on the 28th May. The ASI Director said "The stark truth is that this burden costs us all 149 days of hard labour every year.That's not how long a rich person has to work - it is the time the average person must labour for the tax collectors." In the US the 'freedom day' is April the 17th. Can you see why they bounce back from a recession faster than the UK? There is more private money to invest to create new jobs maybe? To create more 'real money'.

Looking on the Brighter Side

Could we not have a Government funded 'programme' on Labour Day within Europe for all the idealist wishful dreamers to blow up balloons with helium or whatever floats for a while. Can the rest of be sponsored by the 'balooners' for our laughing gas...? See it 'work's' financialy; one half sponsors the other and vice versa. We all have a ball until the balloons go pop.

A friend of mine had a bunny wabbit that she used meet and feed at the University of Victoria in Canada. She was greatly attached to this bunny, the whole campus was fond of these rabbits and who can blame them? When they started burrowing under the foundations of the University buildings however they were rounded up and shipped off to the US - illegaly deported! Well this cannot be alowed EVER again so I propose that the next time any institution, be it a bank or a Government runs into trouble from financial undermining we close ranks buy rabbit colonies and let them undermine the banks.

It seems that Euroland has finaly awoken to the startling fact that through a combination of fraud and mismanagement their political idealism is coming unstuck financialy. Recently the periferies of the EU would -be- Empire have come up with some interesting plans for what amounts to bandage designs or life support systems.

First is the Spanish Design: Now we ALL know that Spain is suffering the effects of a property boom downslide and of course the Spanish banks suffer bad debts from this. Estimates on the amount of bad debt the Spanish banks hold differ widely but the first hints are given by the Bankia fiasco. Two weeks ago Bankia only needed €4.5bn of emergency funding. That was when I read it was 'nationalised'. Now however it seems it needs €23.5bn (additional €19bn). How on earth this 'hole' was 'overlooked' Spanish taxpayers surely have a right know. Well the Spanish 'contingency fund', the FROB, only has €4.4bn so where to find the other €19bn for Bankia? (let alone the banks with bad debt and the regions where Catalonia has €13m debt). Not from the open market as Spanish bonds are nearing 6.5% on 10 year gilts. So a bandage is needed; a 'bailout'.

The Spanish Prime Minister however rejects a bailout;“There will be no rescue of the Spanish banks.”  (He means 'external rescue').Instead he proposes firstly a 'regional bond' so that all the endebted regions can, as it were pool the debts. Ok... but who is going to buy these 'regional bonds'? The markets don't trust the soveriegn; selling ANY Spanish debt is in any case a non starter until we have absolute clarity over how bad the bank situation is.

For the bank problem a 'cunning scheme' is proposed to avoid the dreaded bailout/external rescue which cannot be seen to happen politicaly. This is the issue of Spanish treasury bonds (for  €19bn?) which are then 'swapped' with the banks for their bad debt. So the insolvent Bankia gets an IOU from the (fast becoming insolvent) Government which in theory it can then cash in at the ECB. But writing a cheque and getting it cashed are two very different matters. Firstly this would be a breach of ECB rules as it would be lending to a Government via one intermediary. Secondly even during it's LTRO 'splurge' the ECB demanded collateral and charged 1%. What has Bankia to offer? An IOU that devalues as the Spanish Government writes more IOUs for other bad banks... If the ECB 'honours this cheque' so to speak it is implicitly guaranteeing any cheque the Spanish Government may write. This is not about to happen. So much for 'Spanish bandages'.

The next one is the a German Design.b; the grandly named 'European Redemption Pact': I give it a 'b' because Mrs M has apparently already said "no" to this design. Under this plan all Euroland debts over 60% of GDP get pooled into one enourmous 'bad debt lake' amounting to €2.326 trillion. Each Euroland country would pledge contributions to reduce the 'debt lake' over 20 years. All debts under 60% GDP remain sovereign and presumably this is a 'one off' offer. So in the intervening 20 years until the debt lake (or 'sinking fund' in financial jargon) is syphoned up who stands as guarantor? I mean suppose you can't pay up? "The assets could be taken from the country’s currency and gold reserves. The collateral nominated would only be used in the event that a country does not meet its payment obligations" says the Redemption Pact/Bandage. Each country pledges 20% as 'collateral'... Now HOLD ON....

Firstly this is dangerous democraticly: The whole EZ would be pledge, nigh on to the point of death, to repayments for 20 years minimum; austerity for all as a rule no matter what the people vote? Then suppose one country does default - what then? A Greece in the future, under this plan, loses everything and has no option but default. What happens to an errant debtor that can't pay? Suppose a future Greek case country in this scheme repudiated all it's debts, refused to hand over the gold and currency in it's banks? Tanks? Shunned forever more?

Nor does this 'German bandage' suggest any way that debts that are due in the short term can be covered by the 'bad debt lake'. If the lake holds ONLY short term debts that countries cannot afford to pay back or would rather 'share' in the lake the banks of the lake may well burst. What happens if the lake 'floods'?

Mostly and again and again I find myself saying this: It does NOT solve the problem. The trade imbalance continues as does the productivity divergence. It buys times certainly and maybe 20 years is sufficient to coerce the people of Europe into an unwilling political union but I am not about to change my mind. I have to say though the sheer title of 'European Redemption Pact' makes me want to hang an 'too bent banana' on it.

The third is the EU Design: This concerns banks mostly but in essence every EU (not euroland) country has to set up a 'resolution fund' that would raise money from it's banks 'equivalent of 1 percent of covered bank deposits, using levies on banks or other means.'They get 10yrs to do this starting from 2014. Each 'National Resolution Fund' can then borrow from other nations 'Resolution Funds' under a 'European System of Financing Arrangements'. Various other safeguards toward ensuring 'good banking' are written in but essentianly EU run inter bank European wide lending scheme by 2024.

Well this begs the question what do they do until then? Unless the Comission hasn't noticed the roof is falling in over their heads as ponder dreamworlds where everything goes just fine and according to plan. Secondly doesn't 'Target 2' cover this already? Under Target 2 payments:

A Greek importer, for example, might place an order with a German company. Payments to and from the accounts of the buyer and seller are channeled via central banks, so the German exporter's bank gets a credit with the Bundesbank, which in turn has a claim on the ECB. The Greek importer's bank owes its local central bank, leaving the Bank of Greece with a debit at the ECB.

Now the banks get the money owed under 'Target 2' (though through too many hands). If a person withdraws money from a Greek banks and puts it in a German bank the 'Target 2' still applies so... Well the problem is in the 'claim'; the claim is only 'called in'. The Budesbank has €644bn+ 'claims' on Italian and Spanish banks via the ECB. So the scheme is essentialy about bailing out bad banks. Three problems with this: a. Doesn't this require a standardisation of banking regulation? A single regulatoratory authority? One would think so but this may have escaped notice so far: b. So you want us to prop up MORE bad banks? Did they realise this where we started after Lehmans? There is only so much of this the public will wear. Thirdly this amounts to a pan EU 'bank tax' starting in 2014. The banks are unstable enough and credit is hard to come by for the heralded 'growth plan'. Is taxing Greek banks (assuming they are within the EU in 2014) a wise policy for producing stimulus?

None of these plans have yet been 'approved' thank God. The 'German Design' is essentialy a way of bypassing the German Constitution, which in itself should be sufficient pause for the thought but it would lower borrowing for the weaker members as German borrowing rates are over 5% lower than Spains at present. Essentialy German rates would increase a little and others decrease, until someone defaulted; then we are back where we started but worse for the defaulter. The 'Spanish Design' is of course a back door 'bank trick' that would essiantialy involve the ECB supporting the debts of Spanish Government which it is prohibited to do. Clever 'trick' but not likely to fool investors any longer. The 'EU Comission Design' may have been fine 10 years ago if a single regulatorator had also been put in place but now amounts to castles in the sand with an incoming tide.

Looking on the Brighter Side

Cos I's a cheeful type mostly I shall introduce 'remedies' to the problems I discuss.

It still staggers my belief that 2 weeks ago Bankia needed €4.5bn and now needs another €19bn. I mean seriously how do you get your sums that badly wrong? And we pay you to look after our money? I therefore propose that the Spanish vote here for a person who they wish to 'count' (nudge nudge wink wink) the wages of Bankia's Chief Exective and his Board of Directors.

I further propose a European Carrot Tax. All European debts MUST be transferred into CARROTS within 10 years: All Banks shall cover their Governments and can redeem their carrots from the European Stability Carrot Fund. All accumulated 'bad carrots' will be dumped on Brussels where they can rot.The resulting European Compost Fund will mature in 10 years and be sold on the open market to fund the 'new carrot'.



    I studied Classics and Philosophy at University in England. I did a postgraduate degree in Logic and Theory of Science but read history for pleasure. Philosophicaly I reject Wittgensteins 'Private Language Arguement' but adhere to a Khun-ist view of Science. Historicaly I am pro Sparta in the Peloppenesian War but pro Cato and Brutus against Caeser, though Cato and Brutus must agree the reforms of the Gracchi.

    I am Anglo Polish and have dual nationality though I work and am mostly based around the UK. Politicaly I am a member of the Conservative Party, though a very dissapointed one. I am considering UKIP as a serious alternative. I have moderate personal investments in the stock markets and watch them as closely as time alows.

    I am a Christian and proud of it. Being Polish I am Catholic but have a great respect for our Orthodox brothers and sisters. I am, I suppose, pro Christian in general. I am not at all interested in ethics - how can one know if a moral statement is true? (apart from 'emotively') - but as a cohesive sociological force for good religion has proven its worth; we would not read now had not been for the Church.

    I reject the Athenian demand in the 'Melian Dialogue'.