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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted -  28/04/2011  :  07:37
Political comment is a high risk activity on the site these days so I thought I'd try again to give those who are interested in politics a safe haven!


Stanley Challenger Graham




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stanley at barnoldswick.freeserve.co.uk
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Tardis
Regular Member


453 Posts
Posted - 02/09/2011 : 10:31
1.1% increase is not to my mind downwards.

Considering the increased taxes are thought to have taken off over 2% of growth, that would make actual growth somewhere over 3%.

That is almost at the limits of economists "unsustainable" because there is obviously a "boom" somewhere.


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 03/09/2011 : 06:31
As predicted, Cameron speaks up about Libyan  incursion because he thinks he can see a good news story. However he sheers away from any questioning as to whether he supports the concept of  'liberal intervention'. This may be because he realises that the ConDem Coalition defence cuts are coming on stream as he speaks and despite his rhetoric our capacity for doing anything is reduced. I note he said that the air forces hadn't missed not having an aircrafy carrier. Really? They liked flying missions from foreign bases where they had to transport their own infrastructure in?

This government is a disaster waiting to happen. It's going to be an interesting back end if the opposition can waken up and remember what their function is. They appear to be paralysed as well!


Stanley Challenger Graham




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tripps
Senior Member


1404 Posts
Posted - 03/09/2011 : 08:45
" 1.1% increase is not to my mind downwards"
This figure implies a level of accuracy of one part in a thousand.  I  am automatically sceptical of it.  To measure  with such accuracy such an enormous amorphous entity which is self reported by the participants is very dubious.  I never believe any research on alcohol or chocolate consumption either.  All rely on self reporting.


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 03/09/2011 : 09:23
Qite. What I said was that it was a downward trend, and so it is. I agree with you David, the individual figures are suspect but more reliance can be placed on say a 12 month trend, and despite the nit-picking it is downwards!


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Tardis
Regular Member


453 Posts
Posted - 03/09/2011 : 11:12
It is good that you are sceptical of government figures, and thus the need to question them. I hope that you challenge those that make them to justify their significance.

Maybe downward trend is to my mind just a symptom of a misunderstanding of mathematics. Most likely an issue with education delivery at the basic level.

It is only downward if the curve of the graph goes down, growth upon growth is compounded, you do not lose the growth you already have unless you have a downturn. After all if you put money in an interest account but the interest rate falls over time, you will still increase your capital, but at a slower rate. It would be utopian to increase always at a standard rate.

On a curve in a physical economic environment there will always be limitations on what is fully possible. This is either capacity or customer demand in the economic sense.

I would also ask you to look at previous output figures after recessions, and there is always a significant "bounce". We have not yet got back what we lost at the beginning despite the largest ever fiscal stimulus. It may be lost forever, and thus the economy has to adapt to bring about more production in different areas. The economy rebalancing itself. This will not happen overnight because of the cycle of new businesses rising and failing as they grapple with competition.

The questions you should be asking are about whether these "new" industries are producing sustainable growth i.e. growth that can not be destroyed? It is to my mind completely obvious that over the Blair/Brown years the "growth" in the financial sector was a complete illusion.

All week the beeboids have been going on about housing and the need for it, well if there was a market people would be building them. Maybe the issue is the price, and until these companies can lower their expectations of "profits" and prices the market will remain sluggish. Supply and demand is simple economics, if people can't afford them they won't buy them. Neither Residential nor Commercial has impacted the "crash" because of the bank bail outs, and the banks are sitting on surrendered title deeds to stuff that is worth less than was paid for, but they can't dispose of it even at a reasonable price at auction. Thus economic stagnation in this market, and the tying up of funds that could be used for something else.

On the opposition, I do not believe that the current team want to win the next election. Darling's prediction of the longest depression is coming true, and at the moment too much of the UK well being is dependant upon the eurozone sorting itself out pronto. Even Nick Robinson is saying that the two Eds will have questions to answer when Darling's book comes out in serialisation. Just in time for party season.


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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 03/09/2011 : 11:33
Tripps, well done for the comments on self-reporting. It's a dubious way of doing a survey, whatever the topic, and is known to throw up false results.

Tardis, your comments on growth and compounded growth are analogous to velocity and acceleration, which also often get confused, especially where it concerns a decrease in acceleration.

I agree with your comments on housing but would apply the same to other areas - many companies are still pricing at the same old high figures and then they wonder why sales are stagnant. If they want to sell in this market then they need to reduce expectations. Last year I was thinking about `self-building' a smaller house, rather than down-sizing by moving house in the usual way. But it's all still as expensive as before the recession, so I won't bother. And I'm not moving the conventional way either because the estate agents haven't dropped their pricing far enough and the choice of houses is too small. Once upon a time a downturn in the market would reduce prices automatically but that doesn't seem to happen now.


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Tardis
Regular Member


453 Posts
Posted - 03/09/2011 : 14:56
I agree Tizer, although the complicating factor is the QE which caused currency devaluation on everything imported so those price increases will have to come through or industry will not be able to "switch the lights on"

The housing market is a home grown bubble which can and should be burst.

It will of course affect many people, but only if they sell


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Bradders
Senior Member


1880 Posts
Posted - 04/09/2011 : 00:57
Come on Boys and Gorillaz......buy  a house  !
Hang on to it and the value goes up.....it does ....and it always has .

Prove me wrong ..... !


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 04/09/2011 : 05:49
Three cheers for Dame Shirley Williams, she has renewed her criticisms of the health service reforms. William Hague says he has 'no knowledge' of documents found in Libya by Human Rights Watch which detail collaboration between Gadafi's intelligence service and the US and UK. Including the rendition of suspects to Libya, presumably for interrogation. That figures! The prospective leader of the Scottish Conservatives says that if he is elected he will abolish the party and form a new centre right party in Scotland, separate from, but collaborating with English Tories. Alastair Darling says that the late years of the last government were riddled with infighting, internal chaos and confusion. I think we knew that......


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 04/09/2011 : 11:48
Discussing a different matter on the climate thread, Stanley writes "I've never been able to understand why so many Americans are so naive and easily misled." Which reminds me of a piece in The Times yesterday about Fred Karg, the gay Republican candidate, who doesn't stand much chance in the polls but wants to stir things up against the far right Tea Party and similar types. It makes depressing reading when the article describes Karger's main Republican rivals who are Creationists, anti-gay, anti-abortion etc etc. Texas governor Rick Perry derides evolution and says climate change is a "hoax" (note: not just sceptical but think it's a hoax). Michele Bachmann says she submits to her husband because it's written in the Bible. Mitt Romney has porposed an amendment to ban same sex marriage. Much of the bigotry is religion based. Karger believes the Republicans are swaying too far to the Right to be electable, which seems a good thing at first until you think how these people will behave if they lose the next election.


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belle
VIP Member


6502 Posts
Posted - 04/09/2011 : 19:10
There is a current trend that says only scientific answers are right, and to my mind it is bigotted and narrow minded.

Edited by - belle on 04/09/2011 7:14:11 PM


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 05/09/2011 : 06:37
I agree with you all about US politics and am reminded of the old labour politician who, when asked why he had moved from Communism to the Labour party and whether he had learned anything replied "Beware of certitude". When anyone in public life gets to the stage where they believe their own publicity we are in trouble and that's what we see increasingly these days. There is a lot to be said for U-Turns and pragmatism.

The other thing to remember about US politics is that the 'Boss System' and 'Tammany Hall' politics still rule. Election has always been about funding from the wealthy and these days it is big industry and the financial sector. This ethos infected us completely when TV became the major election tool, the party who had the biggest spend on TV had the greatest chance. Selling policies became the same as selling soap powder. This reliance on image started early in the US and led to the advantage to be gained from 'colourful' figures and is still alive an well today. Read the bography of Huey Long and you'll understand the system. This is why an intellectual candidate who actually addresses the problems is at a disadvantage. Logical argument doesn't sell soap powder!

The politicos are back from holiday and Darling's Memoirs are proving very useful as an easy way of scoring points instead of addressing the issues which beset the coalition. Froth like the 'news' that CEO's 'performance' pay has doubled over the last ten years while stocks have fallen  is manna from heaven to a chaotic Coalition. Time for some serious politics! That's why Shirley Williams renewing her attack on NHS reforms is to be commended. (Notice how I avoided the zero genetive apostrophe!)


Stanley Challenger Graham




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belle
VIP Member


6502 Posts
Posted - 05/09/2011 : 10:56
I've always had respct for Shirley Williams. 
Having re read this thread I apologise to you Tizer if my terse reply seemed offensive, it was not meant to be, the point I made, very badly, is that whilst I agree with you, extremists are not people any country needs in power, creationists are not necessarily all bigotted.  The term bigot equally well applies to those of the opposite camp who cling on to narrow views and claim theirs is the only truth.
The truth is for thousands of years people from every continent and race have found enrichment in spirituality of one kind or another and untill very recently, some of the greatest minds in the history of mankind have strongly believed in the existence of a creator. We are in danger of confusing "fashionable thinking" with truth, and using "taboo" to bully people who dare to think otherwise  ..these days it is a brave person who dares to admit they believe in creation not evolution, but I am one of them , not because I am bigotted and small minded or because I cannot think for myself, but because I think a lot and I like to think logically..to my mind, given my experiences of life to date, there is no logical reason I would ever come to the conclusion that our earth, so beautifully balanced on the edge of existence, with it's circles of nature so intrically interdependant, so cleverly woven together, so able to self perpetuate, could ever have come about by a series of lucky accidents!


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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 05/09/2011 : 11:13
Belle, it's not a case of `only scientific answers are right' but rather that `answers based on sound evidence' are more likely to be right than ones without such a basis'.  Scientific answers are not answers given by people in white coats with science degrees but are answers given by anyone who analyses the evidence in order to find an explanation for a phenomenon. You employ a scientific approach when you try to find out why your latest sponge cake didn't rise in the oven. Were the eggs too old?Try some new eggs and see what happens. Did I forget the raising agent? Try it again with raising agent. The tests and their results take you to an evidence-based conclusion. Much better than blaming it on fictitious gremlins and simply hoping it doesn't happen next time!

When debating big issues (even bigger than a failed sponge cake!) it's even more important to base decisions on sound evidence than just accepting what someone else says. Unfortunately the debates are being undermined by the Creationists on the one side and people like Richard Dawkins on the other. I don't support either. Dawkins seems to want to do away with all religion, which I oppose. Stanley's comment  "Beware of certitude" is interesting here. There was an interview with Dawkins in The Times on the weekend and the interviewer concluded that a major characteristic of Dawkins was his `certainty' - to a scientist that's a damning comment and the vast majority of scientists are not like Dawkins.

Edited by - Tizer on 05/09/2011 11:14:16


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belle
VIP Member


6502 Posts
Posted - 05/09/2011 : 14:34
"to my mind, given my experiences of life to date, there is no logical reason I would ever come to the conclusion that our earth, so beautifully balanced on the edge of existence, with it's circles of nature so intrically interdependant, so cleverly woven together, so able to self perpetuate, could ever have come about by a series of lucky accidents!" was what I said...and you said

"Scientific answers are not answers given by people in white coats with science degrees but are answers given by anyone who analyses the evidence in order to find an explanation for a phenomenon".
strikes me that's just what I have been doing.

P.S I don't bake.


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