Passing Observations 2

Vernon Coleman

1. Some inhalers known as metered dose inhalers which are used to treat asthma (and which are wildly overused by children) contain hydrofluorocarbons which damage the atmosphere.
2. We all know that Richard Branson opposes Brexit. But how many know that when Branson sold 31% of Virgin Atlantic to Air France KLM there was a clause in the contract which enables Air France KLM to sell the stake back to Branson if Brexit inhibits flight operations and makes it necessary for the airline to revert to majority UK ownership.
3. When the AIDS scare was at its height (and we were warned that we would all be dead or infected by the year 2000) a number of individuals became AIDS `experts’ and advocates. (I wonder whatever happened to Margaret Jay the former Labour party politician who was a big and outspoken cheese in the AIDS `industry’). The `experts’ now issuing warnings about global warming seem to me to be in the same category.
4. One of the leading contenders to take over from the Canadian at the Bank of England is apparently Ugandan born Baroness Vadera. Before she became a baroness she was an advisor to Gordon Brown and when British Rail was close to collapse she is reported to have infamously dismissed worries about shareholders by saying they were `grannies who would lose their blouses’. Nice. Just who we need at the Bank of England.
5. Smart meters are programmed so that suppliers can switch off the electricity supply without the householder’s approval or knowledge. Still want one?
6. One in twelve people over 70 is still working. Most are not working because they have enjoyable jobs but because they need the money in order to survive. Despite many myths, house prices and share values have hardly moved in 20 years. And thanks to the crash of 2008 (caused by greedy bankers) pensioners are receiving virtually no interest on their savings. Many work because otherwise they would have to choose between eating and keeping warm. Nevertheless, the Government wants to remove their allowances, reduce their pensions and increase their taxes. You can judge a civilised country by the way it treats its older citizens.
7. Small investors who used to own one or two properties to rent out are being forced out of business. But at the same time, the Government and the Mayor of London are encouraging big companies to build blocks of flats to rent. The institutional owners are exempt from the extra 3% stamp duty on rental properties. Is this a result of lobbyists for big companies influencing official policy? (This is, of course, how the EU operates and is a basic principle of fascism.) What a pity to see small business folk crushed to protect the interests of big business.

Copyright Vernon Coleman 2019