Spam filter problems

I’VE BEEN having some issues with my spam filter on this site recently.

I had expected a rush of people leaving comments welcoming the recent drops in the Bank of England base rate. After all, many of those who read this blog and who leave comments are Tories who like to complain about how indebted we are as a nation. We are, they constantly claim, a nation of borrowers rather than savers.

So obviously the drop in interest rates, and the consequent cuts in most people’s monthly mortgage payments, is something they would undoubtedly welcome, especially at a time of economic downturn. I mean, can you imagine their howls of anguish if interest rates had gone up to anywhere near half the levels they were under the Conservatives?

So, knowing how fair and objective my commenters are, I simply have to assume that all the comments saying how much they welcome the cut in base rate to two per cent have been accidentally spammed by WordPress. Tut, tut.

So apologies if your comment welcoming the recent cuts as a vindication of Gordon Brown’s decision to grant independence to the Bank of England in the face of Conservative opposition have not yet been published. Please resubmit.



Filed under Blogging, Conservative Party, Economy, Gordon Brown

21 responses to “Spam filter problems

  1. Tom

    have you gone barking mad over the Xmas break?

    You should try and find some savers in your constituency and see how they are feeling.

    Gordon may have destroyed the savings culture in this country, but you must be able to find some.

    Not everybody is dependent on their tracker mortgage payments for their wealth

  2. Perhaps “crown” would like a return to the good old days of Ted Heath’s government when savers could get 15% on their savings or parts of Mrs T’s era when 10% was easily obtained. The only slight problem was that inflation was at 35% and 15% or thereabouts respectively in those far off golden days.

    Over the past 50 years returns on safe investments have generally been about the inflation rate, sometimes higher but often lower. This is as it should be, if safe savings are too attractive no one would ever invest in anything remotely risky and the economy would grind to a halt.

    In the 1950s interest payments were classed as unearned income and taxed more highly than earned income. That was back when the Tories still believed people should do some real work to get a living…

  3. Paul Williams

    I’m rapidly coming to the conclusion, Tom, that you’re some kind of left-wing Jeremy Clarkson.

    Like Jeremy you know exactly the buttons to push to get the response you desire, Jeremy’s targets are environmentalists and feminists; yours seem to be anyone who’s a member of the ‘foaming mouth brigade’ (The ‘foaming mouth brigade’ according to Tom’s OED is anyone who doesn’t think Labour is the best thing since sliced bread or that Mr Brown is God)

    Either way your mischievous ramblings are highly amusing.

  4. Andrew Jackson

    Well, we have a good friend, a pensioner, who lives off her pension and some savings. As a result of the interest rate cuts, the income from her savings is now 1/4 of what it was not that many months ago.

    And it’s really cold down here.

    You really are heartless, Tom. Indeed, NL has instituted a full scale assault on those in the private sector who have tried not to be a burden on the state. My private pension is now worth less annuity-wise than it was before you came to power. Brown’s theft from private pension funds to fund public pensions tells me all I need to know about him.

    The moral is – don’t be thrifty, don’t rely on yourself, spend, gamble, run up your credit card, Gordon needs you to bankrupt yourself so he can stay in power.


  5. Andrew Jackson

    Posted, and not even flagged as awaiting moderation.

    Concur with the above. Brown, with all of his Son Of The Manse, we were poor but helped anyone who came to our door, fly my moral compass high mask, HATES savers, HATES those who do not rely on the state, HATES the thrifty, and DESPISES those with private pensions.

    Else why has he made it so hard for us?

    Tom? Feel free to answer – I know you are a big feartie like your boss, and constitutionally incapable of giving a straight answer to a straight question – but go on.

    (Your line in snide is better than Gordon tho’. He just splutters)

  6. Rapunzel

    So, do your commentors welcome the rate cut or not? It’s still hard to tell.

    I remember George Osborne, at some time in the autumn, saying that what was needed was drastic cuts in interest rates. He never mentioned savers then.

    I remember Kenneth Clarke, seen by some Tories as the answer to all their problems, and the ideal foil for the new business secretary, saying that if he were Chancellor, he would cut the VAT rate as it was quick, easy and effective!

    Strange that neither of them has accused the government of stealing their ideas.

    Politics is very confusing at times!

    Now, would you say that being compared to Jeremy Clarkson is a compliment?

    Or not!

  7. Simon

    Of course interest rates would have been much higher if Gordon had decided not to take out house prices from the calculation of inflation. Thus The Bank Of England had no way of controlling them.
    So we have ended up with artificailly high house prices, people with huge amounts of debt, unable to pay their monthly payments, negative equity, and reposessions on the increase. Made much worse by rising unemployment.

    And people blame the banks for not lending 4 or 5 times peoples annual salary for a home.

  8. Had Andrew Jackson put his pension fund into a cash fund rather than an equities based one he wouldn’t have suffered any loss either from the dramatic fall in the market (note that magic word) or even from the much smaller impact of GB’s removal of one of many tax breaks offered to pension funds. Presumably Andrew didn’t because he was hoping for a better return than a cash fund could offer. Should the government perhaps also be held responsible for my failure to back the winner of the Cheltenham Gold Cup?!

  9. ani

    ..”HATES savers, HATES those who do not rely on the state, HATES the thrifty, and DESPISES those with private pensions”…

    For God’s sake don’t be so ridiculous and get a grip on the hyperbole – you’re just spluttering quotes from the Mail by the sound of it – which as it happens is the only paper supporting Cameron’s latest saving initiative according to the ‘Today’ programme this morning. The rest of them appear to have rubbished him – again.
    And his frantic interview the previous day.

  10. Zorro

    So Tom do you think savers/savings are evil? (If not why do you suggest it’s so fantastic of Gordon to punish them??)

  11. Labourboy

    Of course it’s hard for savers – but the answer isn’t NOT to drop interest rates – these have to be dropped for the benefit of the wider economy, as George Osbourne well knows, hence his comments.

    So what would people do to protect savers while dropping interest rates? Cameron’s plan would take £5bn out of the economy this year wouldn’t it?

    Cameron takes £5bn out, Obama puts $800bn in. Hmm…

  12. bupendra bhakta

    I suppose it must be great fun as an MP cloistered from the real economy with a £60,000 salary and £150,000 of expenses or so to draw on, to the extent that you can somehow brag about a state of the economy – driven there by your party – that is so parlous we are going to see interest rates cut to a several-centuries low.

    Might I remind you that you will be reapplying for your job within fifteen months and there is a fair chance you might not get it.

    We’ll see how jokeworthy you find the state of the economy then, when you’re hawking your CV round the TOCs and the Scottish newspapers in the middle of a recession.

  13. Zorro

    “Tories who like to complain about how indebted we are as a nation. We are, they constantly claim, a nation of borrowers rather than savers.”

    “So obviously the drop in interest rates, and the consequent cuts in most people’s monthly mortgage payments, is something they would undoubtedly welcome, especially at a time of economic downturn.”

    And your point is what exactly?

    Low interest rates encourage borrowing and discourage saving. Get a clue Tom.

    Perhaps if you stopped trying to constantly make partisan points you might make a tad more sense?!

    “I mean, can you imagine their howls of anguish if interest rates had gone up to anywhere near half the levels they were under the Conservatives?”

    Interest rates were high due to black wednesday, the ERM debacle. You remember Tom that a certain Mr Brown in opposition at the time supported our membership of the ERM. Remember? Or have the government and pravda had the history of this little incident cleansed???

  14. Simon

    Gordon Brown has given the Bank Of England have one criterea with which to decide on the base rate, and that is to keep inflation at 2%.

    He didn’t ask them to consider savers, or borrowers or even voters.

    So when they decided to reduce the base rate to 2%, and when they sit again to decide to reduce it again, it is only with the inflation target in mind.

  15. bupendra bhakta

    2%, and when they sit again to decide to reduce it again, it is only with the inflation target in mind———————————————————–

    …and do you believe there are fairies at the bottom of your garden as well?

  16. Mr. Charlie

    Ooooh and another. Whilst allowing hugely increased jackpots on one-armed bandits etc, we have this

    What the Great Brown giveth, he also taketh away.

    Dear me. Pretty pickle.

  17. You love to wind us up and then we fall for it. Sheesh. Dita Von Teese has a lot to learn from you.

    The lowering of interest rates has not had the effect that Mr Darling wanted, i.e. the easing of banking strictures and the confidence trick that nobody believed, which was that it’s ok to max out the old plastic.

    First the banks didn’t fall for it, and then the punters didn’t fall for it. Instead we have two problems as a direct result.

    The first is that Mrs Weasel is going to Amsterdam tomorrow but will have to rent a window in the red light district in order to pay her hotel bill. (We have already given up the holiday in Switzerland) The second is that in the next few months, import costs will rise and every little imported thing will either cost more or be absorbed by companies.

    And then there is impact on savings – ok, three problems.

    Now, like most decent people, I have stopped buying tiny vegetables that have been shrink wrapped and flown in from Egypt, but I still
    might need something that has been made, and making things is what people do in China and the rest of Europe. We do not.

    I find myself asking what are the demonstrable advantages of these interest rate cuts?

    Is it that it helps business? Zavvi, Woolworths, Wedgewood, Whittards, et al might say no. And M&S are cutting 1,000 jobs.

    Is it that it’s easier to get a mortgage? Mortgage offers are at an all time low and you cannot sell a house even if you need to.

    Has it kick started a spending spree? No it hasn’t and anyway, it bloody well shouldn’t.

    What it has achieved is that everybody who invests has dumped sterling and gone elsewhere. The pound has bombed and we are effectively printing money. It DOES mean the pound in your pocket, once again, is worth less. Meanwhile, Mr Brown is inexplicably talking about spending us out of this crisis.

    Anyway, I am repeating myself, so I shall give it a break for a bit and think about something else.

  18. richard

    What you have to remember is that with the collapse of the old manual industries the Labour party has had to re-invent itself as the party of the Public Sector and “Benefit” recipients (e.g. the indolent and the indigent).

    Clearly it’s in their best interest to increase the size of both of these in order to improve their chances of holding onto power which is Public Sector employment has doubled since 1997 and why nearly 10 million people are now on benefits.

  19. Chris' Wills

    It all depends who you are.

    If you haven’t racked up large debts and are dependant on a fixed investment for your living (meny pensioners) then the reduction in interest rates is an unmitigated disaster.

    If you have been a spendthrift and have large debts then it may help though;
    1) Most tracker mortgages have a mimimum interest charge written into them so they can’t fall much further.
    2) Credit card rates haven’t tumbled.

    So why do it?
    The only people it might help are bankers as they can borrow funds more cheaply. But as they aren’t lending that won’t do much good.

    Just a cheap grab for headlines.

  20. Zorro

    Agree with everything wrinkled wrote except;

    “The pound has bombed and we are effectively printing money.”

    No, we are /literally/ printing money…

  21. What a splendid collection of “foaming mouth brigade” ramblings! I am proud to count myself among their number.

    Are you sure that you are reading the detailed briefing notes that Peter has been sending you? Surely he told you that the MPC’s main role, completely independent from the Treasury, is to target “inflation” at 2% (or whatever the number is today)?

    Perhaps even you find it strange that the MPC is now likely to bring interest rates down to near zero when, at the same time, we are faced with the prospect of dis-inflation (ie stagflation). Surely, a truly independent MPC would not take this path?

    And when those 75,000 families who will have their homes repossessed in the coming year do you think they’ll be giving thanks to the Glorious Leader for borrowing £118 billion for their children and grandchildren to have to pay back over the next 30 or 40 years?

    That will be the truly tragic epitaph for this sad, sad government of which you are a member.

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