Landsbanki Guernsey Fiasco Ends after 8 Years. Depositors LOSE 8% in Unsafe “Haven”.

The Landsbanki Guernsey fiasco has been covered here before.

We covered it in these articles:

Landsbanki Guernsey Crisis – UK Government cover up and pressure to close protest websites.

Landsbanki Guernsey Depositors

Guernsey Commissioner’s Meeting 19th Jan 2011 about failed Landsbanki Islands Icelandic Bank

Landsbanki Guernsey Depositors To Get Another 17.5% Of Their Money Back

The short version is that Landsbanki Guernsey collapsed in 2008. Now we are in 2016, the official liquidation is finally concluded and the depositors have lost 8% plus 8 years compound interest.

Guernsey had ZERO depositor protection.

LandsbankiGuernsey

Now they claim to have depositor protection, but could they afford a bank collapse? Probably not.

Banking in Guernsey: That well-known crown dependency of the UK, offshore tax haven and a reliable custodian of your cash.

Or NOT as the case was.

Nestling amongst the allegedly safe banks on Guernsey was Landsbanki, an Icelandic owned bank guaranteed by its huge parent company Landsbanki in Iceland. What could go wrong? All these countries are EU, right? Icelandic banks were well-known and reliable, right? Guernsey was a world-class banking haven insulated from grasping Gordon Brown and not stupid enough to invest in US mortgage debt. Cash was safe in Guernsey everyone thought.

Iceland is not EU. Nor, technically, is Guernsey (although they bow to the EU savings directive and are a UK Crown Dependency).

Well, Guernsey is not safe any more it seems! In October 2008 the Icelandic government nationalized Landsbanki Iceland. In turn, all its affiliates and subsidiaries around the world toppled like a house of cards.

However, what of Landsbanki Guernsey? Well nobody noticed before, but Guernsey lacked depositor protection. Savers relied on its stringent financial regulation [sic] not to let minnows and “Johnny-come-lately” types into Guernsey.

However, while Lyndon Trott – the big cheese on the island – and some of his cohorts were bigging it up in the Orient on Labrador fried rice at the taxpayers expense, Guernsey was wobbling as a trusted financial centre.

Landsbanki Guernsey went into administration. The administrators have paid out 30p in the pound within a couple of weeks of the bank’s collapse, and made further payments in 2009 (25p), 2010 (12.5p), 2011 (17.5p), 2013 (4.6p) and 1.96p at the end of May 2016.

What of the 8% shortfall? Guernsey won’t pay. The UK won’t pay. Iceland has managed to slither out of its commitments abroad even though they nationalised the parent bank.

FACT: In 2016 UK-based and other international savers lost 8% of their cash in Guernsey.

Guernsey is finished as a retail financial centre – simple as that. Nobody wants to invest money in a “financial centre” where people lost their cash – it’s that simple!

If people want risk, they can get that earning 17% interest in Ukraine. They can get a government backed guarantee in Russia and 10% interest with no government stealing some of the interest. Why will they mess about for 4%-6% in Guernsey where the cash has a tendency to do a credible impersonation of Houdini?

Guernsey’s “depositor protection scheme” is worthless. That is called “closing the stable door after the horse has bolted” – Guernsey’s DPS has as much value and credibility as one from Zimbabwe.

This site says: The Guernsey Government should compensate savers for the 8% shortfall. Every other government in the world appears to be doing this in their own jurisdictions. This is called depositor protection.

Guernsey say they cannot afford to pay. Really?

They could use some of the £15m a year they make from information snooping for the tax authorities in the UK, or maybe some of the tax and other monies they made from Landsbanki to date.

Regulation appears to have been insufficient or ineffective.

Landsbanki Guernsey was poorly regulated and inadequately supervised. Until Guernsey pays the Landsbanki savers (dont hold your breath) they will pay the price with their reputation.

Don’t put your money in Guernsey, folks!

UK Petition: Lift EU/US sanctions on Russia to increase trade now the UK is leaving the EU

As we all know, the UK has chosen to exit the EU.

We call this bid for freedom BREXIT.

This means once again we can become an independent country making our own decisions.

The UK has sanctions on Russia.

Russia has reciprocal trade sanctions on the UK.

This means much trade is blocked between Russia and the UK.

Why? 

Because the warmongering USA has the EU as its bitch. The US says “jump” and the EU says “how high?”

The US has almost no trade with Russia. So it doesn’t hurt the US.

Yet thousands of farmers and producers of other goods in the UK are BLOCKED from exporting to Russia.

Why? 

Because the USA funded a coup d’état in Ukraine, removed the democratically-elected president, installed an American puppet, anti-Russian president, and the EU dutifully (albeit unsuccessfully) tried to bring Ukraine into its orbit, away from its natural, linguistic, historical and cultural partner: Russia.

The result of this was a breakaway region in the east many refer to as Novorossiya (New Russia), who self-declare as the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) and the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR).

In addition, the people of the briefly “Ukrainian” peninsula of Crimea (full of ethnic Russians) didn’t want to be ruled by proxy from the USA, so they held a referendum, left Ukraine and reunified with Russia.

What has this to do with Brexit? 

The EU and their transatlantic overlords decided to frame those events as Russia “invading” Ukraine and gleefully pressed the EU to sign the UK up to sanctions on Russia. Sanctions that Russia reciprocally responded to and stopped most imports of foodstuffs and many other goods.

Yup, that means in Russia they cannot buy Cheshire Cheese, British eggs, apples or a host of other stuff from the UK.

Because the EU and Uncle Sam say so.

This is directly taking bread from British tables.

This is inhibiting exports.

This is destroying British business and losing British jobs.

BILLIONS of pounds of trade poured into the UK from Russia’s 140 MILLION people.

But it stopped.

But then we voted Brexit!

So why do we need to participate in US/EU led sanctions on Russia?

We dont! 

We have no horse in the race in eastern Ukraine. Not our business.

Russia is no threat to us (or anyone who doesn’t threaten her for that matter). Russia is our friend. Russia WANTS to trade with the UK.

We can, as an independent country (once more), get those 140 million potential customers back. We can get back those BILLIONS of pounds of trade from the largest country in the world with twice our population.

How? 

Lets use the mechanism that won us our freedom. Votes!

We have a system for this already.

pet

There is already a vote on the UK Parliamentary website asking for exactly this.

Here is the text:

As the UK has chosen to exit the EU, we will be no longer bound by US-influenced, EU sanctions on Russia. We should lift sanctions on Russia as an independent country to regain the millions of pounds of trade we have lost with Russia. We don’t need to participate in EU/US sanctions against Russia.

 

More details

The EU and the US introduced sanctions on Russia over the democratic decision of the people of Crimea to reunify with Russia and Russia’s alleged backing of separatists in Eastern Ukraine. The UK had to participate in this as an EU member. Now the UK is leaving the EU, we need not be dictated to by it. Lost trade with Russia costs the UK many millions of pounds. This is trade that we are now at liberty to get back. Russia is a market of 140m consumers British business needs.

 

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  • Created by Stuart Smith
  • Deadline 7 January 2017All petitions run for 6 months

Observations from an American who lives in Russia when he visited America again.

I have just returned from my annual sojourn to America recently; Texas and California to be exact.

This might have been the first time I had ever been to Texas and not see someone wearing a cowboy hat. Amazing, since I spent 10 days there (14 days in Cali). Equally amazing was not seeing any police, or very, very few in both places.

Nobody shot at me either. Always welcomed.

Nothing really has changed much, but it being an election year, one could sense a palatable shift in the mood of the country; interesting to witness I must say. Living outside one’s country for years will change your perspective and give you a certain vantage point that is quite different obviously, than from someone who hasn’t experienced this. That is assuming that one can stay objective.

One major paradigm shift for me over the years living in Moscow has been to not look at things as good or bad but different.

People are people. Living in Moscow is not that different, all things considered, than living in LA. Cultural attitudes aside, I get up, go to work, meet with friends, enjoy life, deal with problems etc. much like I did in LA.

America is a great country, let’s not kid ourselves. I always have a good time there and the people are generally nice and polite. Stereotypes are blown way out of proportion, so it’s quite easy for non- Americans to take pot shots at the country and its people as if the same assholes don’t exist in their country in some form or another.

“Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown”.

The government takes a lot of heat, and rightfully so. Now it’s time for the American government to change its paradigm and start to work along side countries they have had dubious or mediocre relations in the past. Doesn’t mean putting up with another country’s crap, but not starting any crap of your own as well. Nevertheless, it’s time to stop the do as I say or else nonsense.

It will be interesting to see who is elected President in the U.S.. The U.S. military industrial complex needs to dial it back, that’s for sure.

One thing that was blatantly obvious while I was in America is how the cost of living has gone up in relation to Russia, and Moscow in particular. I didn’t buy half the stuff I normally do to bring back, because quite frankly it cost more in America than Russia taking the exchange rate into consideration. Yikes, what a surprise.

Moscow, normally a perennial among the top 10 most expensive cities in the world now sits at 192. New York City, San Fransisco and Washington D.C. have all cracked the top 10. I don’t think there has been a time in the last 20 years that 3 American cities have been in the top 10. Honolulu, San Jose, Boston, Oakland, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and Chicago all are in the top 30. This really has to be a first since I’ve been tracking this (since I moved to Moscow) that I have seen so many American cities rank that high.

https://www.expatistan.com/cost-of-living/index

I believe the worst is over here in Russia; I’m 99% sure of it. It’s also a good time for any Westerner to visit given the exchange rate. Oil is at least moving in a positive direction for the country and the country has improved other sectors.

I was pleasantly surprised to see Western businessmen, dignitaries, and diplomats attend this year’s annual ST. Petersburg International Economic Forum after a 2-year absence. It’s quite apparent EU businesses see the Russian economy coming out of a slump and are as Putin says “chomping at the bit” to do business in Russia again. Of course they are.

These sanctions are bullshit and everyone knows this. Sanctions rarely if ever achieve their desired goals and these sanctions have taken a toll on Europe as well. Part of what the sanctions accomplished was to push the Russian’s back against the wall and force them to finally do something productive within the country. Agriculture continues to produce positive results and I see and feel it at check out counter.

America again it seems, have underestimated things with short-sighted policies.

The demise of Russia economically has been greatly exaggerated by the West. There is still a long way to go to get to the boom years of 2000-2007 and recovery is slow to be sure. As with any recession, some people suffer more than others.

Concurrently, it’s good to see Russia reach out to the West as they have done recently. Russia understands its need for the West to ensure a better future for its people. But, it must be done cooperatively, not aggressively or underhanded. I think business between Europe and Russia will start to increase sanctions or not; it’s only a matter of time.

Life is good in Moscow. Certainly not any worse than in most cities/countries.  Summertime is an awesome time to be here and things are looking up. You never know about the future, but it seems there are some rays of sunshine peeking through the clouds of 2014.

My prediction is to look for Russia to show true signs of recovery into 2017 as oil hits $60-70 with relations and business ties improving between the West and Russia.

Danchik

A new Swiss humanitarian convoy for the city of Donetsk

This article first appeared in French on the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation website.

On 22 May 2016, two humanitarian convoys Confederation carrying chemicals for treating water and medical supplies left for Ukraine in the conflict zone.

Part of the convoy with medical equipment and medicine was awarded to the Kurakhove hospital this morning.

The products have been transported by road but also, for the first time by rail .

Sunday morning, a train ferrying chemicals for water treatment left Switzerland to Donetsk, in eastern Ukraine.

The cargo is for waterworks of Donbass, which supply the population with drinking water on both sides of the line of contact.

Other goods, including medical supplies, including spare parts for X-ray machine, are transported by road to Donetsk on trucks.

swiss_convoy

A second convoy of fourteen trucks, is designed to transport some 245 tons of chemicals to the waterworks of Donbass, in the city of Krasnoarmiynsk placed under government control.

A load of medical equipment and medicines by truck was delivered this morning at the hospital Kurakhove.

Convoys benefit from the guidance and support of seven members of the Humanitarian Aid of the Confederation, which is part of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the Swiss Humanitarian Aid Unit (SHA) and as collaborators of the embassy and the Kiev cooperation Office.

This convoy is the fourth Swiss humanitarian convoy for this area of ​​conflict since the spring of 2015.

The SDC is so far the only state actor to organize humanitarian convoys crossing the contact line in eastern Ukraine*.

*Editors note: This last line is absolutely untrue. Russia has sent over 50 humanitarian aid convoys to Donbass. Perhaps the Swiss forgot that………

The New USA -v- Russia Cold War. Seeing the Wood Through the Trees.

I’m not sure why anyone falls for the dishonest media spin from either side.

The current “cold war” situation owes more to an engineered conflict that is agreeable to both sides (EU/US and Russia) to distract the peasants from the domestic economic turmoil.

Creating political theatre and ‘threats’ allows governments to run loose economic policy and pour money into defence without taking a beating on the markets.

The ISIS/AQ threat is better persecuted by special forces. To be able to dump billions into new defence projects and soak up blue collared workers into a standing military you need a credible threat.

China doesn’t work so re-igniting the cold-war provides a convenient dog and pony show to distract everyone from our politicians inability to extract us from the economic quagmire they put us in.

There isn’t a single military expert who believes any conflict between NATO/Russia can ever be won by either side, regardless of the military technology employed, since as soon as either side crosses a certain line, then it would escalate to tactical nuclear options, followed by wholesale destruction from the ICBM arsenal.

Putin knows exactly how much rope he has to play with, NATO isn’t going to risk anything over places like Georgia or Ukraine, it is fairly doubtful they would do much over the Baltics. Putin would have to launch an invasion of Finland or Poland before you’d see any kind of response.

Really this is the stuff of Tom Clancy. Any war between major superpowers would plunge the entire global financial system into a collapse, global trade is too interwoven for anything over than skirmishes over non-relevant world economic players.

It’s well known that the UK could no longer even repeat the task force needed to defend the Falklands, but Argentina doesn’t gain anything from trying to take them by force again.

Putin is never going to invade Ukraine, he has the capability and stated he could be in Kiev in 2 days if he wanted (which he could). But occupying a sovereign country would bankrupt Russia and likely lead to his own regime falling.

He is a smart guy and knows real wars are now fought with the media. Market manipulation and information warfare not armour and foot mobiles.

The military talk up a threat to get bigger budgets and new kit, the media toe the line because fear sells more print than Kim Kardashian’s arse, and Putin gets to hold his political control by playing the archetype Russian bear.

Behind the scenes they all discuss what their plans are and laugh at us little people.

Whatever is said publicly the west want to keep Putin in power. He is predictable and capable of holding the country together in a manageable state. They would rather have Putin than some irrational unknown hardliners trying to be a Putin without the smarts of knowing where the line is drawn.

The west don’t care about Russian domestic policy. What they care about is stability of regimes not spooking the markets and causing economic collapse.

No doubt Putin told the US exactly what he was doing in Crimea – he’s not so stupid as to antagonise a nuclear superpower. And no doubt the American administration agreed that the strategic importance of Sevastopol was sufficient grounds for them to protect their interests without interference knowing the potential instability Ukraine was facing.

Anyone who thinks what politicians say and do, or what the media report is in any way representative of what goes on behind closed doors at this level of geopolitics has clearly fallen for the body of lies entirely woven for their benefit.

Remember. War is good business. Most of our enemies like Bin Laden and Saddam were created to serve economic purposes. Suddenly Putin is the bogeyman and Iran is our new best mate. When they want to give China an economic haircut, they’ll be next.

Don’t fall for the rhetoric from either side.

 

Mr Black

BBC pressure leads Paxman to bin article criticising EU

This article first appeared in the Sunday Times

BBC pressure leads Paxman to bin article criticising EU

It is not easy to muzzle a journalistic pitbull, but Jeremy Paxman has withdrawn an article critical of the European Union from a forthcoming issue of Radio Times after coming under pressure from the BBC.

The article was commissioned by the magazine to coincide with Paxman in Brussels, a BBC1 documentary about the EU presented by Paxman and due for transmission on May 19.

Typically pugnacious, Paxman expressed doubts about the EU, its bureaucracy and, in particular, the loss of Britain’s sovereignty. While he stopped short of advocating Brexit, Paxman’s strongly expressed views raised concern that the impartiality of his documentary could be compromised.

In publicity material for Paxman in Brussels, the BBC states that “Jeremy Paxman takes an impartial look at the fundamentals of what actually goes on between the UK and the EU”.

It is understood that Paxman had to deal with a senior BBC executive over the article and was unhappy with proposed changes so decided to pull the piece. Radio Times, which was sold by the BBC in 2011, has a weekly circulation of around 800,000 as well as a substantial online audience.

This weekend, the magazine said it was “disappointed” not to be able to publish the article. Paxman’s documentary, during which he meets EU officials and politicians, is one of four about Europe from senior broadcasters. The other presenters are Nick Robinson, whose programme has already aired, Laura Kuenssberg and Mishal Husain.

Paxman’s has been made by Brook Lapping, a TV production company whose documentaries include Inside Obama’s White House on BBC2, and Putin, Russia and the West.

Paxman: UK’s standing ‘much reduced’ BBC

Paxman: UK’s standing ‘much reduced’
BBC

There have also been minor disagreements over what can be said in the programme. The script is yet to be finalised before the voiceover is recorded.

Paxman presented BBC2’s Newsnight for 25 years until his departure in 2014. He still hosts University Challenge. The 65-year-old has described himself as a “One Nation Tory”.

He was recently quoted as saying that he expects Britons to vote to remain in Europe. “Yet Britain’s standing in the world is now much reduced from what it was,” he added. “The problem with the EU is that it makes that abundantly clear.”

In a speech in March, Paxman said: “For the past 40 years, power has been taken from politicians and parliaments, and given to international organisations …

Norman Tebbit [the Conservative politician] said people do not like being ruled by those who don’t speak their language. It sounds small-minded, but I think there is something in it.”

Paxman declined to comment.

The Reality About Estonia

I have been visiting Estonia for many years. Since the late 90’s.

I have a house there and (now) a Russian-speaking wife.

I think I have a unique perspective that locals  don’t have.

A bloke recently asked me:

What did you like/prefer then? (in pre-EU Estonia) Apart from being one of few foreigners in the country at the time.

Here is my reply:

There were always more foreigners around than you might think, but still relatively few.

I first went in 98 in pre-EU days, and went quite often with bits of business and later with dating. It had this kinda wild west feel about it as Russia still does today.

Nobody was suing anyone when they fell over a crack in the pavement. People took responsibility for their own actions and didn’t expect a nanny state to wet nurse them. I found it quite refreshing. How the UK was in the 70s in some respects.

It was self regulating (as we were in the 70s) but also amusingly lawless. You could buy anything. Expats might just about remember the black market by the railway station. You could buy Kalashnikovs there (if you wanted to). I used to trade British cigarettes for old Russian medals and military stuff to sell on (usually to the US).

Hardly any language between us, but we got by. I still know blokes today I met back then on that market.

Yes, some people were poor, especially those who lived out Lasnamae way. But guess what? Life for those people hasn’t really changed under the EU. Lasnamae, Narva and all the “Russian” bits all look the same as the government do not invest there. Money is only poured into Tallinn and everywhere else has to make its own way.

It used to be a fabulous place with cheap stuff, beautiful women, much freedom, relatively unregulated banking and business, and no noticeable anti-Russian sentiment – and it worked just great as it was. A free, proud and independent state. A great place to be and spend time in.

2004 they joined the EU. 2006 they got a US bred president. 2011 they joined the Euro. Then they had EU regulation, US interference and the place changed. Then they were mostly pretending to be a Swedish suburb.

Everyone borrowed EU money, the place boomed then crashed. Yes the internet got fast and the roads smooth, but there were downsides. Prices went up a lot, McDonald’s were everywhere, women gained weight (thankfully, many are still slim and beautiful) , hemlines and heel height dropped (economists know about this marker) nationalism and anti-Russian feelings increased, and today it is an American client state within the EU.

Now, everyone lives on credit and it is little different to anywhere else in the eastern European EU. It has become homogenised. I haven’t been for a while, I am surprised if most of the expats haven’t  moved on by now. It isn’t what it was.

Is it better now? In some respects, and for some people, yes. But for many others they feel the government has abandoned them. And it has, if they are in a “Russian” bit of Estonia. Like Narva especially.

Now, the place is full of US military “countering Russian aggression” (that doesn’t exist). Toomas Hendrik Ilves (prez) is a US bitch, while he is there it wont change. Might as well have Victoria Nuland as president.  :(

But everyone drives an Audi now on credit, so life is good, yes?

30% of people there are Russian, but Russia is “bad”. A crisis waiting to happen, no? It will end up another country America has fucked up.

Cuba is next to enjoy some capitalism. Soon people there will also have McDonald’s and credit they don’t understand for cars they cant pay for ……..

But they will have a newish Audi and a Visa card, but own nothing, so life is good. Just like Estonia.  :sick0012:

I still have a place there, we used to use it as a dacha. But now I rent it out and manage it from afar. The raison d’être to visit has gone. I can enjoy the odd few days there now, but no more……

So, What’s The Story Behind Donald Trump’s ‘Surprise’?

So, What’s The Story Behind Trump’s ‘Surprise’?

I have been thinking about this Trump thing and how it has been that some folks have simply not been able to understand what was going on in front of their faces.

I don’t just mean the ordinary voters, but pundits, analysts and other politicians.

Here, I will make an aside and not that it is quite likely that many, perhaps most of these groups were fully aware of what was happening but their assigned task was to convince the main in the street that Trump was not as significant as he has been and will be.

I was looking at the process by which a person gets to be president of The Free World.

Setting aside the truth that it probably does not make much difference to the man in the street who becomes the president, it is certainly true that various power blocs DO have a keen interest in who gets to be THEIR representative.

To that end it is necessary to convince a significant minority (not necessarily a majority) of the population that the representative of a chosen bloc should gain the needed votes.

What Are The Primaries All About?

It seems to me that the strategic purpose of the charade that is the primary elections is to give the various candidates an opportunity to build a brand among the electorate. After all, almost all the runners and riders for president are unknown to most Americans at the start of the contest.

The primaries give each prospective candidate an opportunity to build a connection with the public, to get their faces known and to transmit a chosen and groomed persona that is hoped will resonate with the relatively uneducated and unsophisticated proles who are expected to make a choice.

We have had many people telling us that Trump was going to fail, that he’d get nowhere and, in terms of the actions taken to dislodge Trump’s progress he had a reasonably expected point. If I were to look at the machinations against him by the Republican party and by the representatives of the various power blocs, to which Trump does not (at this time) seem to belong then I’d say, ‘Yes, Trump has no chance’.

However, what many, probably most people forgot, or disregarded was what the primaries are all about – building the brand.

Trump came into the contest with a HUGE advantage: like him or loathe him there’s 300,000,000 Americans who knew his name, knew what he looked like and were familiar with his chosen and carefully developed public persona.

No other candidate came close apart from Hillary Clinton! Truth be told, her public profile is almost certainly why she is the preferred candidate in the Democratic party.

Which Other Candidate Could Equal Trump’s Visibility?

More than that his personal brand is one of the strongest in the United States, and even globally.

If he wants to move some steaks – all he need do is put his name and a photo on the box and a few commercials.

If he wants to get cars for free – all he need do is talk to a nice man at General Motors.

It does not matter that not every project does as well as its promoters hope because every new project build the brand incrementally.

The nearest we have had to Trump is Reagan, a man who similarly was blessed with a public persona and the skill to mobilize his name and visage toward his chosen goals, but Trump is way, way more powerful and accomplished.

Some folks have wondered why it is that he can say stuff that appears crass or ill-informed without suffering any loss in momentum. Well, that’s his brand working for him. All he’s done is behaved as people expected him to do. But, here’s the thing, Trump is a very, very sharp operator and he works with very, very sharp people. His public persona is a mask, it is not the man – although I am sure that the man wears the mask more comfortably than many others do their own.

He is excused for what critics see as shortcomings because to 300,000,000 Americans he is a human and, oddly enough, one they trust and respect – even many who do not like his persona. That’s because he has been consistent for 30 odd years. He has grown up with the electorate, they have seen his wives and envied him for his ‘catches’ I am sure that many women would give their eye teeth for the chance to have him divorce them!

The Battle Of The Brands

So, what we have right now is a battle of the brands. Clinton understand this and it is why she is now turning toward Trump rather than concentrating upon Sanders (although that may come back to haunt her as an error of judgement) Sanders has done an extremely good job of branding himself and his message resonate with probably 70% of the electorate, even if most will not vote for him.

As we move forward, and assuming that Clinton gets the nod as Democratic candidate we are going to see brands battle it out. It will not be about politics but about how we perceive the candidates. Trump is already doing well here. He has already removed the ‘Hilary as woman’ card from the game. Henceforth it will not be a winning move for Clinton to mention gender in respect of her candidacy. Trump was EXACTLY right when he said that without her gender she had nothing and so removing her ability to use it was a masterstroke.

Now that Trump has forced the Republican party to fall in behind him he needs to pay attention to a stab in the back, but he is no fool and, I am sure has that under control.

My guess is that Trump will go to town with Hillary, he will remind us of her dishonesty, her lack of skill, her poor health and he will, I expect, win the general election.

 

Andrew Wilson – Political Analyst 

Where To Get Long Stainless Steel Barbecue Skewers BBQ

Finding good quality long barbecue skewers  in the UK can be a drag. But you are in the right place to find out more.

BBQ skewers are a sector of the market that cheap Chinese manufacturers and ‘pile em high, sell em cheap’ eBay and Amazon merchants have been all over for some time.

Finding the good stuff at the right price among all the cheap rubbish out there can be hard.

If you want long barbecue skewers, you want stainless steel. Catering grade stainless steel, actually.

Forget all the cheap and nasty mild steel (it rusts), rhodium coated, chrome coated and anything else coated (designed to inhibit rust but eventually flakes off – in your food). You want stainless steel skewers, and only stainless steel.

Now as to what type.

The most abundant are the ones like a stick skewer. They look something like this.

sk

I call these ‘knitting needle skewers’.

The problem with knitting needle skewers is when you try to turn them, the meat stays in the same place and the skewer turns. These therefore, are next to useless. Avoid them.

The type you want are blade skewers. But not any old blade skewer.

These are typical blade skewers.

blade skewers

The problem with wooden handled ones are fourfold. First, where the metal joins the wood they are a germ trap, and second the fitting between the wood and the metal degrades over time and becomes loose. Thirdly, you must wash them by hand taking care not to damage the varnished wood. Lastly, there are only two positions for the skewer – this side or that side. What if you want to cook a little on the sides and turn them halfway? You cant. These are not for serious use.

You need a blade skewer with a twist near the end so they can be located in any position around 360 degrees, like this.

41aT9GgfH6L._SY355_

However, you now have two other considerations: Thickness of metal and length.

Because factories in China who churn this stuff out are looking to sell to bulk online sellers cheap, they need to use less metal and make shorter skewers to keep the price down. That means short, thin skewers.

If you seek out long stainless steel skewers, they are out there.

skewers

But as above, they are still thin – to save metal, weight and shipping costs. This stuff is manufactured to keep prices low in what is a competitive area. Most sales are online where you cant feel the quality. And that usually means low quality.

The problem with thin skewers is when you fill them up with meat and put them over the barbecue, they sag in the middle so what is in the middle burns and what is each end is under-cooked.

You need thick skewers. With a thick skewer, the skewer heats up and assists in cooking by transmitting heat down the length thus cooking from within as well. This reduces cooking times and makes for juicier meat.

Length is another consideration. What one person calls long another might call medium (ask any woman!).

So how long do you need?

Think of it this way, if they are longer than you need, they are future proof (when you buy a bigger barbie). If they are longer than you need, you can just use enough of the blade that you need, so go long. I recommend 70cm (27″) overall length. Remember, you don’t get to use all of that as some of it is taken up by the twists.

In the UK, many of us use the larger fifty odd centimetre across Weber barbecues. You need a long skewer to get across one of those like this.

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Yes, you want to cook above the grill, with the skewer on the edges. Using skewers this way allows you to better control the cooking of the meat, keep them further from the heat source, off the hot grill they might otherwise stick to.

So lets recap what you really need when buying skewers:

  • Long enough – say 70cms.
  • Thick enough – say 3mm.
  • Twist near the handle for partial turning.
  • Stainless steel only.
  • Preferably not cheap Chinese ones.

So where to look?

You look to where cooking with skewers this way is commonplace: Russia, Scandinavia and eastern Europe.

Look how these guys in Russia cook with skewers.

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Those guys know how to barbecue meat! The stuff we get in the UK is just for amateurs and very over-priced compared to what is available out there.

Stuff made in in Russia isn’t what Jeremy Clarkson once said it is: “Made badly by someone who is drunk”. Jezza was being tongue in cheek there, but think about it. China makes every little bit of plastic rubbish you ever had that probably broke.

Russia makes guns, missiles, planes, rocket engines and other manly stuff from metal. To make proper barbecue skewers does not present too much difficulty for them. Russians want to buy skewers that will last a lifetime. And now so can you.

So how about some Russian skewers that tick all the boxes, but are shipped from the UK so no dodgy Ivans to deal with?

Like these for example.

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So your food will look like this.

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70cms (55cm blade length), 1cm wide, 3mm thick, twists in the right place, no silly wooden handles and made from catering grade stainless steel.

Of the exact type shashlik restaurants across Russia, the Baltics, Sweden and Norway use.

Yes, just the ticket! thumbs

Where to buy?

If you want UK Amazon, they are >>here<<.

If you want UK eBay, they are >>here<<.

If you want to pay a bit less and buy directly from the UK importer, go >>here<<.

If you are outside the UK and want to buy in US Dollars, buy >>here<<.

In Russian: Шампура для шашлыка, набор из 4-х штук, длина лезвия 70см x 1cm x 3mm, в Англии

In Polish: Szpikulce do Grilla – Typ Dlugie Ostrze. 70cm x 1cm x 3mm. Wytrzymale. Szt. 4. Szaszlyk Kebab

In German: 4 St Grillspieße Schaschlikspieße Schampur Fleischwender 70 cm x 1 cm x 3 mm

 

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Musing on the EU, the UK and Syrian “Refugees”.

I totally understand the situation faced by the innocent in Syria and its appalling.

Some of the footage caught on camera is truly heartbreaking and something positive needs to been done by the world community to stop the suffering.

That said, opening the back door to the EU and illegally allowing millions of unregulated economic migrants along with some refugees flood in, is simply scandalous.

It’s not the answer and for all the bleeding heart liberals out there demonising anyone who opposes this tidal wave of illegal immigration, they need to see the fruits of their ridiculous tree hugging ideology.

History can provide important facts and it can’t be ignored that dropping large communities of people with different cultures, moral compasses, expectations and needs will only cause divide and friction.

There is no seamless integration and there never has been a successful, multicultural society who holds each others hands and tolerates one another. This doesn’t mean we do nothing but it certainly doesn’t mean we do the opposite.

That’s why I find it truly disturbing that mainstream media rams footage of disabled elderly women and drowned children down our throats so we can all have a competition to see who’s most offended by it.

For the sake of honest journalism, why doesn’t the same media outlets share the social problems that come hand in hand with mass immigration?

I’m far from a bigoted racist but I do see the world for what its become. The liberal ambivalence that allows ethnic groups and their alien ways to be sheltered, under the guise of freedom but anyone with an ounce of common sense challenging modern society is told to shut up and labelled a right wing nut job.

It’s going to come home to roost. Some people are even learning Russian now, so they can move on in the event of Sharia ruled UK. Dramatic in one sense but also a possibility over the next 50 years at this rate.

News feeds being littered with Muslim crime, mass illegal economic immigration, British soldiers being investigated for killing armed militants in the act of war, denying the rape/crime epidemic caused by ‘refugees’, Islamic hate figures preaching their bile on our very own streets whilst on benefits etc.

I could go on but for a so called minority they cause one hell of a lot of problems.

Where’s the daily world news of heinous crimes committed by Chinese, Argentinian, New Zealand, Buddhist, Sikhs around the globe?

Apologies for the rant but Islam has some real problems that need addressing one way or another. I can’t think of another group of people who cause so much suffering, distress and problems for the rest of the world community.

Has anyone read ‘Sapiens, a brief history of humankind’? It’s a fantastic book and part of it addresses Islam and how its shaped the ideology and its sheep.

At this very moment in time, is for us to help those worst affected by the atrocities in Syria/Libya/Iraq.

Anyone seeing the drone footage of cities bombarded to rubble can’t expect people to live there.

That help however, doesn’t include the illegal immigration of hoards of young fit men into the EU, nor does it mean accepting people from all over the Arab world who have decided to benefit directly and take advantage of our politicians unacceptable policies made on our behalf.

Helping the real people includes educating our society about how Syria has become such a mess, millions killed and displaced just because the West didn’t want Assad anymore.

It involves protesting against our governments role in being part of the problem, it involves doing what we can to make their country a safer place. It includes sending aid through the right channels to help refugees caught up in the mess and by aid I mean food, shelter, medicine, clothes and teams dedicated to helping out in disaster zones.

It involves providing security somewhere in that part of the world so they don’t feel the need to flee to Benbecula and of course it involves providing refuge to a sensible number of families needing our assistance, who have been vetted and cleared for re-settlement in the UK.

None of this is unreasonable or unrealistic but the way its being handled is completely unacceptable and those calling the shots should be held responsible.

Right now, the Syrians/Libyans & Iraqi’s are suffering, partly because of the decisions made by our politicians and the end result is that people in Britain will now also directly be affected.

And they call this democracy!! At what point were we consulted or ask for all of this to happen….any of us??


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