Friday, February 16, 2007

Washington Beckons

Next weekend I am going to Washington for a week to visit my CIA and Christian Fundamentalist paymasters visit some friends and go to a conference. Whenever I go to America the exchange rate seems to plunge just as I am about to order my dollars. And this time it seems it will be no different. Yesterday's news that retails sales plummeted by a massive 34% last month means that interest rates are unlikely to rise in the near future and as a consequence the Pound lost half a cent against the dollar yesterday. I'd better get down to the bank pretty sharpish.

PS And for the avoidance of doubt, the opening line was a joke. Leftist bloggers seem to think that this blog and 18 Doughty Street are somehow funded by some shady Americans. I find it absolutely hilarious. I wonder what they'd say if I accused them of being funded by Hugo Chavez or Castro.

41 comments:

Bob Piper said...

"I wonder what they'd say if I accused them of being funded by Hugo Chavez or Castro."

Hugo, Fidel.... if you're reading this (they are both avid fans of Iain) how about "yes please"... although, of course, I would declare it.

Sabretache said...

"....and as a consequence the Pound lost half a cent against the dollar yesterday."

The £ is still up 1.8% against the $ this year. What do you want? - Jam on it?

mens sana said...

Are you sure its not the masons, Iain

Anonymous said...

Iain, it's hardly any surprise if retail sales are falling. Most of our vast army of shopaholics are in debt upto their necks and even the most determined must be finding it difficult to squeeze any more cash out of their bubble-priced houses or credit cards to continue their spending sprees.

The profligacy of the last few years is now catching up with many, and the consequences will be grim.

Have you noticed the surfeit of ads runing throughout the day on TV and radio along the lines of:

"Are you drowning in debt? Then phone ******** and we will help to wipe out 75% or more of what you owe!!"

It's not just the banks who are losing money this way, it's thousands of shopkeepers, tradesmen, and other small businesses who have provided goods and services only to find they receive no payment from the wasters to whom they provided them.

What sort of a sick society is it that attempts to run an economy this way. It is short-termism in the extreme and will end in disaster for which Brown as Chancellor must take a large part of the blame.

achilles said...

have a good trip

Ed said...

We're now at that stage of a Labour government when the trade figures go sour, inflation takes off, the pound collapses and unemployment soars.

Now all we need are some major strikes and it will be like the late 70s all over again.

Serf said...

Hugo, Fidel.... if you're reading this (they are both avid fans of Iain) how about "yes please"... although, of course, I would declare it.

Mr Piper would take food out of the mouths of Cuban children.

neil craig said...

Hopefully not if they've chewed.

Colin said...

Iain, at the risk of sounding like an economist you'll get a better £/$ rate by using your Switch / Maestro debit card in ATMs in Washington. Just make sure you don't get cash on a credit card - v. expensive! The days of ordering dollars from the bank are long gone ....

Bob Piper said...

serf... it's OK now... Hugo has assured me he will more than make up the difference out of those nationalised US assets.

PJ said...

"And for the avoidance of doubt, the opening line was a joke. Leftist bloggers seem to think that this blog and 18 Doughty Street are somehow funded by some shady Americans."

I always think of George Orwell's experiment of pointing out to conspiracy theorists that if some group were funded by the Nazis, they might occasionally have some money. Certainly if you were funded by the CIA or Rand you wouldn't have to worry about a half cent differential in the £/$ exchange rate. But, he said, this is no use - it doesn't register.

PoliticalHack said...

Serf appears to have suffered a sense of humour failure.

Of course Bob couldn't accept the money, as both Hugo and Fidel would be non-permissible donors to political parties. As Bob isn't a Liberal Democrat, he clearly wouldn't take the money.

I don't think Iain is funded by fundamentalist Christians or rightwingnuts from the US.

Funded, no. Inspired by the pro-Republican media environment in the US, yes.

Enjoy your trip.

raincoaster said...

Do me a favour, wouldja? Tell Huge and Fiddy that their cheques are late this month. Baby needs a new pair of shoes.

Newmania said...

Is political hack actually the dullest person in the known universe or is it an elaborate parody.I can`t tell

Piper I was not impresed that you recently addressed me as "Sonny". we are not on a slave plantation now you know and would ask you to keep your racist attitudes for the fug of the working mens club.
I haveno idea how you would know what colour my skin is but it is all to believable that Al Jolson would be your first point of reference.

Will you never learn !

Essex Boy said...

Iain.

If you could see your way clear. I would love a new MacBook Pro.

http://www.apple.com/macbookpro/

Store Address
1100 South Hayes Street
Arlington, VA 22202
(703) 418-1092

Don't worry about silly little things like customs just put a few emails on it and pretend you bought it here and it's your personal machine.

I'll see you right afterwards.

EB

swift said...

'those nationalised US assets' - also known as property stolen from US companies. Good to see a Labour apparatchik condoning theft.

nullo said...

so what you think of castro is what the left thinks of america? that says it all...

wrinkled weasel said...

I have known all along that you are sponsored by dirty commie faggot Cameron luving rocket eating environmentalist vorsprung durch sturm and drang falafel eatin (have I missed anything out?)in the pay of loud tie manufacturers...but you still rock (I can't believe I said "rock" there..I am over fifty)

Oh, and IF you fly BA I shall never visit this blog again.

yours, drunk as a skunk,
Weas.

Anonymous said...

Iain mr Camaroon is on telly that's one shock ,he mentioned human right's that's two shock's.
Enjoy the US , tell you US backer's ,where's my money .

Iain Dale said...

I am flying Virgin - in the cheap seats. Even with Gordon's APD tax it cost me £247. A bargain I reckon.

Liberal Republican said...

I wonder what they'd say if I accused them of being funded by Hugo Chavez or Castro.

Probably ask how you knew

wrinkled weasel said...

Virgin - £247?

You see, folks - Mr Dale's got a heart in the right place. I will pray to Saint Jude that he gets his hair back.

Johnny Norfolk said...

Iain Never lose your sence of humour. Your crossing out really made me laugh out loud. A sence of humour is important as boy we do need one with the present labour lot.

Newmania said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Adam said...

Surely you only want to exchange a few quid ahead of arrival for emergencies when you arrive (or a taxi). Get dollars out of cash machines otherwise, or pay for stuff with a visa card; the dollar is still in the toilet even if it feints towards the surface occasionally.

With regards to your comment on 18 Doughty Street last night about DC being your favourite city in the world, I think you're mad. It's ike London, but smaller, with ultraviolence. A city that is governed by Congress, a fantastic recipe for success.

leon said...

" Leftist bloggers seem to think that this blog and 18 Doughty Street are somehow funded by some shady Americans. I find it absolutely hilarious. I wonder what they'd say if I accused them of being funded by Hugo Chavez or Castro."

Iain I've always liked your blog for your attempts at being fair but this nonsense? Tarring us all with the same brush seems a little rich coming from someone who just days ago appealed for calm.

gordon loves rupert said...

"Inspired by the pro-Republican media environment in the US, yes. "

That's why Gordon Brown keeps pestering Rupert to have tea with him is it?

Yak40 said...

adam says "A city that is governed by Congress, "

Depends what the meaning of govern is, to paraphrase BJ Clinton. True, it isn't a state (on loan from Maryland if I remember right) but it has a city government - Democrats, 'nuff said.

It's also very violent, but handguns are banned. Sound familiar ?

Desperate Dan said...

An American on 5 Live yesterday afternoon said that bloggers in the US are issued with media accreditation during their elections. Get your application in while you're over there Ian.

Anonymous said...

>It's also very violent, but handguns are banned. Sound familiar ?

At least the cops have guns so they can cull a certain number of perps per annum.

Adam said...

yak40: DC does, indeed, have a mayor and city government (incredibly, crack-loving former mayor Marion Barry managed to get back on City Council, which tells you something about the sort of city government DC has), but Congress is just delegating some power to them; Congress itself has the responsibility for administering DC. Scarily, they are probably less bad than the DC city government in some respects.

Banning guns in DC wasn't really going to work; it's not like NYC (bordered by two gun-controlled states), it's a postage stamp right next door to Virginia, where gun control means that you can only buy yourself one handgun a week (seriously).

Observer said...

plummeted by a massive 34% last month means that interest rates are unlikely to rise in the near future

Dream on. The High Street is merely the flip side of the Trade Deficit.

The Bank has been asleep and let Hedge Funds and Housing Speculators make too much money - time for a serious hike in interest rates

C4' said...

I want to be on the CIA's payroll!

Bob Piper said...

Newmania asks... Is political hack actually the dullest person in the known universe?

Not while you are still wasting fresh air, sonny (around here it is a term we apply to immature children, sonny).

no longer anonymous said...

Christian Fundamentalists supporting an open homosexual. Only the far-left could come up with something as demented as that.

CuriousHamster said...

"Leftist bloggers seem to think that this blog and 18 Doughty Street are somehow funded by some shady Americans."

Iain, could you could provide information as to which "leftist bloggers" have been writing about that? The only time I've ever seen that suggested was in anonymous comments made on your blog. These suggestions are very easy to refute and to ridicule.

In fact, in the spirit of "reaching out", if you point me at any leftist blogs making such claims, I'll happily tell them they're talking crap. 18 D... is funded by Stephan Shakespeare, Tory candidate for Colchester at the 1997 G.E. and ex-mayoral campaign manager for Jeffrey Archer. 18 D... is funded and run by British Conservatives, not Republicans or neo-cons.

On a related note, can you confirm that 18 Doughty Street placed an advertisement which stated that it would be "like Fox News"? (Please don't try to spin this; the report I read suggested that 18 D... is a vehicle for the promotion of British Conservatives in the way that Fox News is a vehicle for Republicans in the U.S.)

Iain Dale said...

Curious Hamster, I have seen it on several sites over the last few weeks, ever since the onslaught on me started. People have queried both my funding and that of 18DS. Someone kept editing my Wikipedia entry to that effect too.

As you say, the only source of funding for 18 Doughty Street is indeed Stephan Shakespeare, something we were totally open about right from the start.

On your last point, we are not a news channel. However, if people want to say we are like Fox News, I have no objection to that at all. Fox News is highly professional. I am not aware of an advert that said that, and I think it is a fundamental misunderstanding of both the editorial role of Fox News and the Republican Party.

Fox News is totally independent of the Republican Party just as we are totally independent of the Conservative Party. We have a centre right editorial line, in the same way that the Daily Telegraph does. That does not make us slaves to the Conservative Party and more than the Mirror is a slave to the Labour Party.

The Remittance Man said...

Well, I'm personally convinced that the dealers on the Rand trading desks constantly scan the airline reservations database looking for my name.

It's gotten so bad I'm actually waiting for the Minister of Finance to contact me and offer vast sums of money not to fly anymore just to prevent further damage to the economy.

Adam said...

Iain, Fox News might be 'highly professional', but not at gathering news. It's much better at producing opinion shows (which, coincidentally, are also relatively cheap) but for actual news coverage, it manages to actually be worse than CNN and MSNBC, which is some feat.

Newmania said...

Oh there you are Piper , not biting eh ? Shame.

Well I am an adult not an immature child let us hope this confusion of yours does not persist into your private life.......

PoliticalHack said...

Newmania: Sorry you couldn't spot irony. I couldn't find the html tag for that.