News review: Force jobless to work

By Martin Skinner

A quick rundown of the weekends news for you …

Force jobless to work
Brilliant idea and about time it got implemented – those out of work are currently easily tempted to stay out of work by excess support and centrally planned get-to-work schemes.  As government spending has to contract this is a good place to start.  Abuse of the current system is endemic and leads to long-term community damage.  It’s also good for peoples self esteem to get out and do something productive rather than just sitting at home waiting for their support cheques to arrive.  For more info on this Tory initiative click here…

Tory economic plans
Pressure is building on the Tories to explain what they will do if/when they take power in the next election.  It’s probably been sensible to keep things close to their chests to-date but they now need to demonstrate they’re actually capable of running the country.  Things look pretty good so far on this front (with ideas like the one above) – they do need to move quickly from critical (of Labour plans) to confident and constructive tho’.  Depression-averted now’s the time for some positive thinking.  More info here …

Capitalism defies critics
Many commentators said the over-leveraged Anglo-Saxon economies of the West caused the crash and it would lead to a great depression and the end of Capitalism and free market economies as we once knew them; with new forms of socialism rising to take their place.  However, for the most part, the reverse seems to be happening.  Governments are having to cut back their own overheads and reduce the amount they interfere in their economies.  Those with the free-est markets are adapting fastest to the current environment and driving towards growth again.  Of course there is always a place for good government however the more focussed it’s role and the less it meddles the better.  I don’t entirely agree with his view of the UK (I believe we’ll recover quicker & stronger than he seems to suggest) however Inwin Steltzer has his highly competent say on the subject here ..

Nationwide building society’s report
Nationwide’s numbers this month showed that house prices are back at the levels of a year ago – a remarkable result considering the carnage in the commercial property markets and the fact that they could take 10 years to recover their 2008 levels.  This just proves that investors should focus intently on supply and demand and not just go for the easiest assets to manage.  For a more detailed analysis click here …

General business highlights
 – Taylor Wimpey is considering selling off its huge US operation for around £560m net – would likely provide a good boost to the share price if they did.
 – Begbies Traynor has predicted Christmas ‘hell for high street’.  Retail companies experiencing critical problems were up 37% from August.  I believe internet purchases and consumers re-balancing their spending towards saving (even if only progressively) many high street operators and landlords will suffer.

In other news
 – Vettel won the Japanese Grand Prix while Button managed to stay comfortably ahead in the championship with a point from 8th place.  Rubens Barrichello came 7th and Hamilton came 3rd.  More info here …
 – a pub landlord has turned the tables on council chiefs who removed one of his signs.  He’s taken some of theirs in return.  Neil “Chaz” Charlton, landlord of the Clifton hotel, was told by Weymouth and Portland borough council that it had removed his advertising A-board.  “They told me they had taken it, so I said fine and I went out the back of their yard and piled their signs into my car.  They said they’ll do me for theft so I said I’ll do them for theft.”  Dorset Echo
 – diehard football fan Frazer Boyle, 20, has shocked his family by changing his name to Motherwell Football Club.  Frazer’s mother, Hazel, said: “I was ready to give him a clip round the ear, but he has already been to France and Wales in the past year to watch Motherwell, I think that is punishment enough.” BBC Scotland Online
 – Teacher Nick Hanna was left dumbfounded when a deli counter assistant told him she couldn’t open a brown sauce sachet for him – in case some of the sachet got in his sandwich.  The assistant said if a piece of the sachet went onto the sandwich and he ate it, the store would be liable. Shropshire Star

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