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Saturday, October 7, 2017

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Sunday, June 18, 2017

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Friday, February 17, 2017

Sex, Drugs & the EU

If proof was needed that EU politicians and unelected officials have finally lost the plot, read on!

The EU has decided that the GDP* figures for all 28 member states are inaccurate, and this means that the distribution of the EU’s large budget – which is based on the size of each country’s GDP – is also inaccurate. At least this is what they say but it is also possible that the by artificially increasing GDP countries are made to look financially healthier.

Clearly, it’s sensible to make statistics more accurate, but there are serious questions about the way in which the EU is proposing to do this. Wait for it – they plan to include estimates for the sales of mainly illegal activities – namely drugs, prostitution and trafficking!!

The madness doesn’t end there either – there will be categories and sub-sections that will explain what will contribute to GDP and what will not. So, for example, fencing stolen property is allowable, but actually nicking it in the first place is not!!

Of course, if any of the parties are not voluntary participants, then the sales will not count towards GDP. So does this mean that a person conned into being trafficked is a willing participant? If yes, then this is a ‘legal’ illegal activity and part of GDP – if not, it’s an ‘illegal’ illegal activity and not part of GDP. Imagine all those well-paid bureaucrats carefully working out these distinctions!

It becomes so much clearer when a cigarette manufacturer sends billions of cigarettes to a tiny country with low tobacco tax, then they are smuggled back into Britain, and Osborne will be able to count these ‘illegal’ sales as part of the most invisible economic recovery ever seen!

The Bank of Italy estimates that by including criminal activity in the GDP figures, it will increase GDP by around 10%1. Prostitution is not illegal in Poland, and the authorities are trying to work out how to estimate the average cost for a range of ‘services’ 2. In Spain, brothel owners are being phoned to find out how much they charge3 – initially owners thought it had to be a prank!

So once the authorities, politicians, bureaucrats, Government statisticians, police etc have worked out how to estimate the earnings from these different activities, there may well be a more ‘accurate’ figure for GDP. Certainly, the morality of counting the proceeds of crime as part of GDP has to be questioned. But also, we need to ask whether the politicians and the unelected bureaucrats have actually been truthful about why they are so desperate to increase GDP?

Here is a possible suggestion – the Treaty of Maastricht has five Convergence Criteria for a country to join the Euro, and two of these are dependent on GDP. A Government’s budget deficit can be no more than 3% of GDP, and the Government Debt to GDP ratio no more than 60%. It doesn’t take an Einstein to realise that since the bank crash of 2007/8, numerous countries in the Euro are breaking the convergence criteria. Budget deficits and debt are not going down any time soon, and certainly not while the ECB (European Central Bank) keeps imposing more austerity on the whole of Europe.

By increasing GDP, the budget deficit and debt ratio automatically go down. Obviously, some bright wunderkind thought of including sex, drugs and trafficking. This will show the EU countries’ economies improving, but it will just be a cynical optical illusion, perpetrated by overpaid immoral politicians and unelected bureaucrats. You couldn’t make it up!


*(A country’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product) means the market value of all the goods and services produced by that country in a fixed period, normally for one year.)





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