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Electric Elections: Conservatives Surprise and Turkish Delight

Part 1: Conservatives Surprise

The UK General Election in May 2015 brought an unexpected win majority win for David Cameron’s Conservative Party, with red faces for the pollsters.

The Labour Party had a disaster, almost being wiped out in Scotland and Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls losing his seat in West Yorkshire, frankly they have a mountain to climb as big as they faced since Michael Foot’s 1983 electoral defeat. The new UK and Scottish Labour leadership requires fresh faces with new ideas and a lot of patience, especially in Scotland where the SNP won a staggering 56 of 59 seats, to regain once loyal voters lost to the SNP by political attrition and inertia over decades. Read more

UK General Election 2015: In a Democracy, the People Get the Government They Deserve, Whether We Vote for Them or Not…

The comment is attributed to C.19th French political writer Alexis de Tocqueville with my additional quip to his observation in light of the 2015 election debate. Our politicians represent our current political wants, wishes and prejudices in a system of our choosing. The democratic system, in the UK at least, was hard fought for and took centuries to achieve.

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Pensions, Political Parties and Popular Appeal: Will they lead to OAP’s Queuing for Prison?

3 separate stories connected through political fear, isolation and tensions from the UK, to France and over to Israel engrained in the past and sure to rise again in the future.
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2015: Double, Double Toil and Trouble; Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble…..a Witches Brew? (Macbeth*)

The year continues where it left off with a plunging oil price causing all sorts of economic tensions for oil producers and benefits for oil importers (although materialising more gradually). Terrorist attacks in Paris connected to the Islamic State conflict in Syria and Iraq caused shock and revulsion around the World.

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I’m a fracking nutter!

I think Ineos should drill as many wells as possible across Scotland to develop the UK shale oil revolution. It’s self-sufficiency staring us in the face.  It won’t be like the US boom and regulators and environmentalists can and will play their part. Luddites and statists should stop moaning and realise the opportunity- if they still harbour their dreams-a vibrant shale oil and gas sector along with North Sea and the West of Shetland oil fields, wind, solar and tidal projects elsewhere Scotland could be a powerful self-sufficient exporter of energy.
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Down and Up the Markets Go, Eurozone Sucks and Middle East Blows

Where are we headed is the question?

Will oil be the issue of 2015 or Eurozone deflation?

There’s been some volatility in recent months for financial markets were the VIX index, referred to as the fear index for markets, showed larger peaks appearing as investor concerns rose over issues like the ending of QE in the US, weak Eurozone demand or Russian actions over the Ukraine and more over.
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Will the Cradle of Civilisation Ever Recover its Illustrious Past: US Starts Bombing Iraq to Rid the Region of the Islamic State.

Once again the US Air Force has commenced a bombing campaign in Iraq. This time in support of the Kurdish Peshmerga forces fighting in north western Iraq against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (now simply called IS). The RAF sent Tornado fighter bombers to conduct surveillance missions with a combat role now beginning.
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Scottish Independence Referendum 2014: Do You Want To Be a Foreigner in Berwick, Leeds or London?

According to Albert Einstein “Nationalism is an infantile disease; it’s the measles of mankind.” I couldn’t agree more.

The Scottish independence referendum 2014 has entered its final phase of campaigning with polling day on September 18th fast approaching.
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How To Do It and How Not: Peaceful Separation or A Changed Union for The UK Opposed to Chaos in The Middle East and Despicable Actions in Ukraine.

The friendly Commonwealth Games are underway in Glasgow. The Test Series between former British colony and now Commonwealth partner India continues in Southampton in Hampshire. The Golf Open and Wimbledon Tennis Championships are already past. The UK is enjoying some pleasant summer weather along with economic growth and GDP finally back above 2008 levels (though not per capita).
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Peace, Hope and Progress versus Strife, Despair and Calamity: Any Predictions How These Will Turn Out?

In June 2014, I attended the 105th AGM of the Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust PLC (SMT), a fund of nearly £3 Billion of assets spread around the world with a total return objective. It’s managed by Baillie Gifford (BG) here in Edinburgh. As a small shareholder it’s useful to meet who governs and directs one’s portfolio from time to time and I would recommend attending such events on occasions, being an active shareholder is something a private investor should enjoy and not just for the coffee and sandwiches. I happened to know one of the directors as he’s from where I grew up and another Professor John Kay is a regular columnist and worthwhile read in the Financial Times. The board are usually available after an AGM to pose a couple of questions over those cups of coffee I mentioned.
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