Lunch with the FT: Sir John Sawers, Chief of SIS – Lionel Barber –

A glorious temple to espionage.

A glorious temple to espionage. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This outstanding, must-read, article is currently top of the FT’s most-read list. Lionel Barber, the FT’s editor interviews Sir John Sawers, Chief of the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), also called MI6. Check it out!

Lunch with the FT: Sir John Sawers –

I very much enjoyed reading this article. I was encouraged that Sir John was educated in Grammar School in Bath and Nottingham University, rather than traditional Oxbridge. His career is quite colorful and one is left with the feeling that SIS is in safe hands.


Opinion – Scotland’s referendum: Britain survives | The Economist – John Gelmini

English: Logo for The Economist

English: Logo for The Economist (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Before Dr Alf and others, like the “teenage scribblers” at the Economist get too full of euphoria, it is perhaps worth looking at what happens next.

Clearly, the Barnett Formula in its present form must go, along with the other subsidies to the people of Scotland and the Celtic fringe.

If the Scots are to have more “tax raising powers”, then so must everyone else, and there has to be a recognition that the taxes the Scots raise must be from their own people and not from the rest of us.

The same has to apply to Wales and Northern Ireland and without wishing to visit a second “Harrowing of the North” on the people of the North-East, they must be left in no doubt that people in the South of England and London cannot be a “Good Samaritan” and Father Christmas every day of the week.

People in Cornwall have their own “Braveheart ” in the person of Michael Ango and already they make demands for the use of their own language and even road-signs.

Like my idle nephew who has left home and continues to want to be subsidized, whilst dreaming of becoming Hertfordshire’s answer to Stephen Spielberg, the people of each of these regions need to be made to understand that there is no more “free lunch” and that with greater autonomy comes a responsibility to stand on your own two feet and shape one’s own destiny.

David Cameron is a weak negotiator and Miliband and Clegg too keen to appease people using taxpayers money.

To my mind, there is no negotiation, just a setting out of the facts of life. But we will be told that it is a negotiation and that in this case it is up to the Scottish people, despite the fact that the other 55 million of us are the ones paying for it all and the ones with no say in the matter.

John Gelmini