Op-Ed: War is an expensive business. It is also a complicated tangle of lies, propaganda and hypocrisy.
The bonus for some countries and people is that there is big money to be made from weapons and munitions.
So how come the U.K. is only now looking at paying its World War one debt 100 years after that war broke out?
The independent reports "The UK is taking steps to repay the £2bn debt it originally borrowed to finance the First World War. The debt had not previously been paid off because the Government has to pay relatively little interest on it, having paid a total of £1.26bn since 1917. This amounts to roughly £13m a year, a relatively small item on the Government’s balance sheet in today’s terms."
But "The Treasury is planning to cut the annual cost of the debt even further, however, by re-borrowing money at today’s rates" rates which are at an historic all time low.
Today's news raises questions including:
But western hypocrisy or should that be mismanagement knows no bounds.
In late September according to the Daily Telegraph "The fabulously wealthy Gulf state [Qatar], which owns an array of London landmarks and claims to be one of our best friends in the Middle East, is a prime sponsor of violent Islamists."
Qatar is accused of funding radical Islamist extremists in Libya-groups allegedly behind the killing America's then ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, and trying to murder his British counterpart, Sir Dominic Asquith.
The report in the Telegraph damns Qatar for its links to extremists and terrorists and it is not alone.
Look back to 2013 and a report in the Voice of Russia UK which claims "Lord Ashdown [Liberal Democrat], the former High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina has said huge amounts of arms have flooded into Syria from stocks left over from the Bosnian war, funded by the Qatari regime with help from the CIA."
Having opened a can of worms those same funded "rebels" are now the enemy--a bunch of terrorists.
Qatar has a poor track record on human rights but that never prevents trade. British arms embargoes are in force but not against Qatar.
Early this week the Guardian reported "Britain is planning to increase the sale of arms to Qatar, identifying the rich Gulf state as a “priority market” for its weapons, documents seen by the Guardian show.
Last year the Qatari Amiri Guard ordered more than £3m-worth of British-made Heckler and Koch assault rifles, according to a copy of a “purchase order” document obtained by the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT).
The UK has approved export licences for the sale of £23m-worth of weapons to Qatar since 2008, most in the last 12 months. They include assault rifles and components for machine guns. For the first time, Britain set up a national UK pavilion at the annual Milipol military equipment exhibition in Doha, the Qatari capital, earlier this month."
So let's get this right.
We in Britain are making money producing and supplying weapons to Qatar, a country that we view as a priority market where we can make a killing, monetarily.
We are then taking part in a U.S. led alliance to fight nutters who may have received their weapons via Qatar -- so they could in fact be using British weapons?
We are left wondering if the money we make outweighs the cost of fighting ISIL?
But back to the start of this story.
We are also left wondering just how much debt the British government is stacking up to fight vague wars against vague enemies that were not so long ago allies of the west in their fight against President Bashar al Assad of Syria.
We are getting tired of saying, but say we must, western hypocrisy knows no bounds.
Sources, resources and read more at:
Voice of Russia
Op-Ed: Seems Messrs George Osborne, UK Chancellor, and David Cameron, UK PM, have got themselves into another fine mess!
Once again the EU is at the heart of the problem.
The UK is doing so well, according to the EU, that officials in Brussels are demanding more money from the UK; in fact they want the British government to stump up £1.7bn (€2.1bn) as a commission surcharge.
Sunday BBC News reported profit warnings for various major UK businesses. Another BBC report detailed an increase in low-paid jobs with many workers living on a pittance although working-for-a-living.
Low pay means a decrease in revenue for the British taxman, as too many workers earn less than the tax threshold. It also leaves some having to rely on here-today-gone-tomorrow welfare payments to survive. Austerity measures continue to slash any welfare payments.
Less money in the pocket means less disposable income and sometimes an increase in debt.
If the EU thinks the UK is doing so well it should pay more to keep the European Union gravy train running they need to think again.
The matter of an unexpected hefty bill payable to the EU by the UK could have its political uses though.
If Cameron refuses to pay up and secures a better deal he could be on to a winner. UKIP leader Nigel Farage will be able to gain political advantage from the news no matter how it pans out. As Ukip are anti-EU they are onto a cert. Whether other political parties will be able to utilise this news to advantage is not known.
Chancellor George Osborne knew about the commission surcharge at least two days ahead of David Cameron. Just why he did not immediately take that information to PM Cameron is not known.
Perhaps the UK should simply cook the books and plead poverty rather than trying to show an improved economy ahead of the 2015 General Election?
Cameron and his ministers will want their cake and eat it but Brussels wants its pound of flesh and soon.
The UK now has a December 1, 2014, deadline to pay the surcharge. Cameron is adamant the UK will not pay up.
What will happen if we do not pay is not known.
We wrote months ago that the EU is dead and should be buried. Perhaps it is time it was cremated and fast.
Ditch the Euro part one, Grand Theft
UKIP and its party leader Nigel Farage are celebrating Friday morning. The party secured its first seat in the Commons in Thursday's votes boosting the party's image and ego.
Tory defector Douglas Carswell won Clacton in the South of England but was the electorate voting for their tried and tested old Tory MP or UKIP?
Certainly Carswell is popular in the area which is a right wing constituency but what about UKIPs strong challenge Thursday in Labour stronghold Heywood and Middleton?
Labour won a majority in Heywood and Middleton but it was a reduced majority. UKIP came within 617 votes of success.
Farage has made headlines and news reports across the UK Friday and is now claiming election success is possible in the 2015 General Election.
He said Friday that UKIP could hold the balance of power in that 2015 election but who wants another coalition government?
It is doubtful voters do.
Plenty of senior politicians, especially in the Liberal Democrats, would form a coalition in order to be in government but ultimately that means voters do not get what they signed up for.
In 2010 disenfranchised Labour voters, who could not bring themselves to vote Conservative, opted for the Liberal Democrats. When the two parties formed a coalition government the disappointment was palpable.
It meant that members of the electorate who would never vote Tory ended up with a Conservative led government.
Farage and the media are concentrating on hitting Labour. Both in some cases claim a vote for UKIP helps the Labour party.
In reality it does not. A Tory led coalition with UKIP is more than possible in 2015. That would be a joining of the centre right and the hard right of British politics.
It seems the only coalition condition for UKIP would be the promise of an EU referendum, a vote winner in the UK at this time.
But that does leave them on track to join forces with the Tories in 2015.
UKIP is full of former Tory politicians; those who resigned or defected from the Conservatives.
Farage now calls UKIP the people's party and his tactics at winning votes is working.
The Great British Bake-Off completed its annual BBC TV trip Wednesday with Nancy Birtwhistle, a wife, mum and grandma, originally from our home city of Hull being crowned this year's champion.
Nancy, 60, lives in Barton, a small rural town of the south bank of the River Humber across from her native Kingston-Upon-Hull on the North Bank. But as soon as Nancy uttered her first word at the start of the series I knew she hailed from Hull.
The Hull accent and residents' inability to pronounce vowels properly, including me, is as distinctive as scouse to Liverpool.
Nancy rose like any good cake to the Bake-Off challenge and week after week her work was a hit with judges Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood.
It was fun seeing different gadgets too that her husband had made to help her baking along. She soon was nicknamed 'Gadget Gran' by her fans.
As the Mail Online said "The 60-year-old grandmother-of-eight used a hand-crafted 'drainpipe tool' to help mould her brandy snap as she became the oldest ever winner of the BBC show" but surely her age is immaterial in her win?
In the end the show-stopper of the final was a close run thing Wednesday night. The final was apparently filmed months ago but it was aired last night and the result finally made public.
Nancy won last night's technical challenge bake but the two male finalists gave her a close run race in the showstopper final.
The judges however were quick to choose Nancy as this year's winner after her show stopper cake won on all fronts, that is taste, looks, style and execution.
Unlike other reality type shows there is no huge prize awarded at the end of the Great British Bake-Off.
But there is a lot of pride, reward itself, in beating other exceptionally talented amateur bakers.
The series is more popular than ever and an estimated 13 million viewers tuned in for Wednesday's final. Thursday Nancy with her husband in tow, has undertaken a series of interviews.
Tongue-in-cheek one of Nancy's friends said Nancy should feature in a film - with Nicole Kidman playing Nancy and Bruce Willis her husband - in true Hull style Nancy said 'why not?'
Why not indeed!