Posted by: Pete | March 5, 2013

Downing Street Bedrooms a ‘Benefit in Kind’

10 Downing Street

Bedrooms at number 10 that are not occupied for at least 200 days per year should be  taxed as a benefit in kind, according to a controversial think tank.

“There is no reason why the Prime Minister and his or her family, should be subsidized by the taxpayer to live in luxury with more bedrooms than they can possibly utilise; they have another home when Number 10 isn’t required for State business.” Says the report.

Under the proposals, MPs living in London will only be allowed basic single bedroom accommodation at the taxpayers expense. Additional rooms will be treated as a benefit in kind and taxed at the current market rate for the appropriate area in London.

MPs, including the PM, will have the option to rent out spare bedrooms with the additional income going to HMRC if they wish to avoid the tax.

The think tank concludes; “In times of austerity, it is only right that the PM and other politicians should lead by example.”


Posted by: Pete | December 24, 2012

Free Kindle Books this Christmas from AB.c

Free Kindle Books this Christmas from AB.c.

Posted by: Pete | December 3, 2012

Tax Avoidance – what a surprise!

Let’s face it, nobody pays more tax than they have to; not the Prime Minister, the Chancellor or any of their business cronies. So why act surprised when corporations don’t either?

It’s up to Government to have robust tax laws that ensure everyone pays their due.

It’s up to corporations to maximise the return to shareholders and that includes legally minimising the tax bill. That’s their job and they would be failing if they didn’t do it.

If the laws aren’t tough enough, blame the Government not the dodgers. Of course, this is just a symptom of greedy capitalism and I would far rather we had a better system, but until we do; let’s not be surprised when it works as designed!

Posted by: Pete | August 17, 2012

Blackberry Cottage now Open!

The months of preparation are finally over and today was our first ‘changeover day’ as one set of guests departed, and another arrived.

Blackberry Cottage already has a good number of bookings, which is very reassuring!

We were also delighted to be awarded 5 Stars by English Country Cottages in recognition of the attention to detail we always hoped to achieve. Now that we’re up and running, I’ve created a website (of course!) which is primarily for the benefit of guests staying in the cottage.

The site includes information about the cottage and grounds, but also lots of details and links to websites on things to do in the vicinity. There’s even a twitter feed to provide regular updates on current events in the area.

You can find the site at the name of our tiny hamlet here in Cornwall;

I hope you’ll drop by or perhaps visit the real thing very soon!

Posted by: Pete | March 31, 2012

Book or no Book? Free copy on Kindle this weekend.

Book is on Kindle free of charge this weekend.

As the ‘Douglas Adams’ style humour may not be to everyone’s taste, there’s a web-link on the final page and those who would like to read more about Book and his entourage of metaphysical beings can subscribe to be notified of the next release in the series.

Here is a brief description and, as mentioned above, you can download Book free this weekend.


In the summer of 2008, a long awaited scientific experiment was started at the CERN particle accelerator near Geneva. The experiment involved the high-speed collision of subatomic particles and the objective was to prove the existence of the Higgs boson, more commonly known as ‘The God Particle’.

To the great disappointment of the worldwide scientific community and the relief of many people who were concerned that this experiment might trigger a reaction that would destroy our planet, a technical hitch caused the experiment to be abandoned at the crucial moment.

Book is the first episode in a humorous journey that began in the chaos of that failed experiment.

God Particles; both elusive and mysterious, contain properties we are only on the brink of understanding. So their ability to evolve into intelligent beings and dramatically affect our life on this planet should come as no surprise. That’s not quite how the humans in this story see it!


Book on (Free Kindle Version)

Book on (Free Kindle Version)

Posted by: Pete | March 14, 2012

FSA Guilty of Bad Practice

You might expect the organisation that polices the financial services sector to be a standard bearer of best practice in its own corporate governance.

Unfortunately, this is far from being the case. The FSA refuses to acknowledge complaints about its own operation and the only escalation is to a complaints commissioner who fails to investigate beyond asking the FSA if they feel they’ve behaved badly. In the unlikely event that they did admit bad practice, the commissioner has no power to instigate a remedy.

This bad practice came to light recently when the FSA decided to open a consultation on Life Settlement companies. Certain companies were strongly suspected of operating so called Ponzi schemes.

Before the announced consultation period concluded, the FSA issued a statement denouncing all Life Settlement companies, an action that directly resulted in the suspension of dealings in one of the largest schemes. As a retiree, I had no knowledge of any concerns relating to this class of investment and I believe the fund in which my retirement money was placed is operated both ethically and professionally. There has been absolutely no evidence to the contrary.

Bearing in mind that the principal objective of the FSA is to protect investors, their action resulted in access being denied to huge amounts of privately held funds. Their premature release of a statement during an ongoing consultation was, to say the least, unprofessional and the wording ill considered. The release gave a clear impression that the professional standards of every Life Settlement company are questionable and it made no attempt to explain that the market, in common with most, contained both poorly run and well run companies.

When I attempted to complain to the FSA about their unprofessional behaviour, I was informed they did not accept complaints of this nature and suggested my only escalation was to the complaints commissioner. He informed me that he was powerless to intervene and in any case did not have the mandate to properly investigate complaints against the FSA, a mandate you might think would be somewhat necessary for a complaints commissioner!

The net result of this incompetence is that I, and I suspect countless others, remain locked out of life savings because of action taken by an authority set up to protect me from precisely this kind of bad practice.

Posted by: Pete | March 1, 2012

Guernsey hits Number 2 spot in USA!

With over 11,000 downloads in February, 6000 of which were in a single day, the novel ‘Guernsey’ reached the rank of Number 2 in both the Historical and Literary Fiction categories overnight. It also reached Number 30 out of all books in the USA on Kindle, there are over 1 million of those.

The number of downloads soared as Guernsey was placed in a free promotion with Kindle.

So why, you might ask, do we offer free promotions?

The reason is simple, books that achieve these high ranks go on to sell higher numbers when the promotions finish. They’re still competing with large numbers of other books, including some real classics, so customers view a high rank as a positive indicator. This was also my way of launching the title as it was only released a few weeks ago, another reason why the results are so pleasing.

Has the vast increase in Guernsey sales impacted sales of Rachel’s Shoe and the The Causeway?

It seems not, both books continue to sell well. As they’ve been out a little while and achieve hundreds of sales every month, there are no plans to include them in the free promotion. My next title ‘Book’ however, will definitely join the free promotions as soon as it’s released. That shouldn’t be too long now, perhaps just a few weeks away!

Posted by: Pete | February 11, 2012

‘Guernsey’ sales soar to UK number 2!

On Monday and Tuesday this week, a free promotion on Kindle launched the novel Guernsey – Rachel’s Story resulting in thousands of downloads during the two days. It worked, since then all around the globe sales have soared, peaking today at number two in the UK genre for War titles on Kindle and number 11 for Historical Fiction.

Ranked at 350 out of 400,000 titles in the UK and just under 7000 out of 1 million titles in the USA, Guernsey was released for the first time on Kindle last weekend.

I’m hoping the sales trend will continue for Guernsey, and echo the success of Rachel’s Shoe and The Causeway, the two titles that are combined in Guernsey.

You can purchase the novel from here;

…and from Amazon in the USA, here;

Posted by: Pete | February 3, 2012

Guernsey – Free on Kindle for 2 Days!

The combined novels of Rachel’s Shoe and The Causeway are now available in a single, brand new, volume called Guernsey – Rachel’s Story and this is on offer for two days free of charge as part of the latest Kindle Prime promotion!

Monday 6th, and Tuesday 7th February are the days to get your free volume from Kindle anywhere in the world, if you are an Amazon Prime customer.

Follow your link to get your free copy from Kindle here > >> Guernsey (Rachel’s Story) >> Guernsey (Rachel’s Story)

Acclaimed Books Limited has a number of titles that are being offered over the coming weeks and so far thousands have been downloaded, in some cases taking the title to Number 1 in their genre, on Kindle worldwide!

Previously published as two novels, ‘Guernsey – Rachel’s Story’ draws together ‘Rachel’s Shoe’ and sequel ‘The Causeway’ into a single volume. Nestled in the bay of St Malo, the Channel Islands claim the unique, if unenviable distinction of being the only part of Britain to have been occupied by a foreign power in hundreds of years. Life in the islands during the five years under the Jackboot was hard and freedoms severely curtailed, but the spirit of a teenage Guernsey boy called Tom Le Breton was never dampened. This is the story of a dramatic wartime rescue and the romance that grew between Tom and a young Jewish girl imprisoned on the nearby island of Alderney. The story moves from those dangerous but somehow magical days to the heady 1970s, then onto the eve of the millennium when long-since forgotten events return to haunt a small family now settled on the Western coast of Guernsey. Impregnated with the atmosphere of remote islands and their unique history, Rachel’s Story is about the survival of innocence in a world dominated by obsessions for power and wealth.


Despite the continuous ‘What can we do, there’s no money?’ announcements by the Government, there are clear choices and the coalition would rather spend our money on a rail link than education. 

It’s hard to believe a massive £32 billion pounds can be pulled out of nowhere when we’re being told about the need for austerity measures. But if that money can be found, the question must be asked, ‘Where is the best place to spend it?’

This money, like the millions they could save by keeping the 50p tax rate for our highest earners, could send countless young people to university who will otherwise not be able to afford the cost. Whilst the promise was made that only a few universities would charge the maximum rate for tuition fees, it seems most are now doing so. Bright young individuals are wisely avoiding the debt legacy that would stay with them for much of their working lives, but the result will be a less educated workforce. That will cost Britain heavily in future years by crippling our innovation and competitiveness.

So what is the overwhelming need that justifies diverting funds away from education and into a high speed rail link?

The argument can only be that regional economic development will follow further up country. But even if this were true, it simply moves jobs and money from area to another. And it’s hardly likely to be true anyway. The high speed link will only save 30 minutes journey time from station to station, which means the number of businesses that will benefit are a minute number with premises close enough to the stations for that to matter.

Anyone with urgent business needs will fly, which remains much faster. Those visiting out of town premises will do what they’ve always done, they’ll drive, because getting to the station is only part of the journey. The public won’t pay the extortionate ticket costs to visit family and friends, so the only people to benefit will be a handful of wealthy business people who happen to have offices near the stations.

Well not quite, the Government will be able to say the are doing something, even if it’s the wrong thing.

What would you rather do with £32 billion, send more young people to university or shave half an hour off the rail journey to the Midlands, destroying much of our dwindling countryside into the bargain?

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