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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 - 05/09/2011 : 14:42
Not really sure what Shirley Williams has a beef with in the Health Act, unless her ideals see Doctors and Consultants actually being officers of the state and fully nationalised rather than the self employed profit generating free agents that they have been since the setting up of the NHS.

I think Darling's memoirs have been somewhat overtaken by the revelations of complicity in extraordinary rendition. Jack Straw is already spluttering, and there must be even greater questions for Milibland D.


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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 05/09/2011 : 15:56
Belle, our posts have got mixed up. My post timed at 11.13 was written earlier and didn't get sent straight away for some reason. I hadn't seen your 10.56 post at that time. So I was replying to your one-liner posted on Sunday. No apology needed for that post, I didn't take it personally! When I said "Much of the bigotry is religion-based" I was thinking of the anti-gay and anti-abortion more than Creationists. But don't forget, I'm talking about America here and about the people who are very extreme, not the ordinary church-going folk. I don't by any means regard the average church-goer as a bigot because they believe in God. It's the people on the extremes who worry me, and America seems to have more than its fair share for some reason, as Stanley was noting. I can cope with people in power whose views differ from mine, but not people in power who are out and out extremists.

Let's choose to differ on whether or not the Earth could have come about by a series of lucky accidents!


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belle
VIP Member


6502 Posts
Posted - 05/09/2011 : 17:15
Thanks for explaining that, I am more than happy to differ on our views of how we come about, I have friends from every take on it, and perhaps this highlights the reall issues, not what we believe but whether we can leave others to believe what they believe without feeling the need to denigrate them if their belief differs from ours.


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 06/09/2011 : 05:47
Michael, perhaps you should find out what Shirley Williams' arguments are. She has a very close eye on the effects of the proposed changes in the light of EU anti-competition law. It's a valid and important argument. Gerry Robinson examined the same question last night of BBC1 but in connection with how the NHS is being managed. Both come to the same conclusion, that the Coalition 'Reforms' are aimed at cost-cutting not improved supervision and management and that private provision, while sensible in some cases is a bad way of pressurising NHS management to innovate and improve. I also believe that the GP control question is an attempt to shift criticism to the GPs and away from central government.

Both Shirley and Gerry have sensible views based on wide experience. Well worth listening to.

Meanwhile, in another part of the forest, the screens went red again yesterday. The markets believe that the global economy is in recession, growth has stalled and that the root of the problem is political inaction and ineptitude. They see no light at the end of the tunnel. In this case, the markets are right but who is listening to them? What meaningful recognition of the situation and reaction do we see from government? The only message I can detect is 'steady as she goes'. Titanic and Iceberg spring to mind.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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belle
VIP Member


6502 Posts
Posted - 06/09/2011 : 10:22
meanwhile the banks are busy making plans to safeguard themselves...sometimes I think we deserve to be bankrupt we are so stupid!


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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 06/09/2011 : 16:34
The London stock market is being what my Grandma would have called `contrary' - it went up this morning, regardless of all the falls in the East earlier this morning. The moneymakers in the City will benefit whether it goes up or down. They make money both ways by buying & selling or hedging and the like, and what they want is instability. A stable market is no use to them, it doesn't generate the big money. The stock market to them is like one of those wave power generators, it only produces anything when the sea is going up and down, not when its calm. So yes Belle, we've let them get away with this for centuries and we still do! We never learn.


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 07/09/2011 : 05:02
Belle and Tiz, both right, the Lords of the Universe indeed. Yesterday's small rise in London was attributed to 'bottom feeding', speculators taking a punt on gold chip stocks that are at a low price. Just what Warren Buffet did with Bank of America a few days ago.

Ossie did as I predicted, made a speech to the City saying we were on course and that policy would not be altered as it is producing the results, a stable economy based on a plan of public service cuts already in place and low interest rates. Problem is of course that in economic terms he is right but his mistake is to think that this means the policy is correct. The corollary is that if he abolished public service spending altogether we would recover quicker and be in an even more stable position.  So why not do it?

A 'stable economy' is only one part of the governance of the country. It is only useful if it benefits the whole of the country and preserves a stable society, industry and infrastructure. The level of public spending pre-cuts was what had been found to be affordable and sufficient to maintain these functions. By cutting, a gradual deterioration of assets and social structures is initiated which puts back progress in these areas which will last for decades and in many cases will demand even greater expenditure to address short term failures in the system. Cuts in libraries have an effect on education. In law and order on crime figures. In education on attaiment levels. In NHS on health. Make your own list up.

Did anyone hear James Naughtie and the debate on the riots on Today on R4? Some very sensible and pertinent comments, often passionate, from ordinary people making points like what example is given to the young by MPs fiddling expenses and bankers walking away from the 2008 crash with squillions tucked in their back pocket? What effect does it have on the young to equate the capacity to consume with social advancement?

And then there are the self-destructive effects of adopting fiscal measures that damage domestic spending and in turn depress the growth rate which our inefficient capitalist system requires to survive. This is happening now on a global scale and is the reason why the screens are red and the opportunities have opened up for the bottom feeders. The markets are an immoral entity, they see only 'what's in it for me' and work on short term profit. A good gardener makes sure he/she replenishes the soil, isn't greedy and expects  occasional bad years. Bottom feeders are not good gardeners, they are greedy, ignorant people who are the first to protest when they see what they call a broken society.

As Tiz says, we never learn. As Santayana said, "Those who forget the past are condemned to repeat the mistakes".

On another matter, did anyone listen to the first of Dame Manningham Buller's Reith lectures yesterday? As head of the SIS she knows where the bodies are buried and I was heartened to hear her confirming everything I said about the spurious 'War on Terror' and the fact that the incursion into Iraq did nothing to reduce the danger of attacks on us, in fact it was a major factor in triggering the radicalisation of young, impressionable British Moslems. She even referred obliquely to the historic activities of the West, particularly the oil companies exploiting the Middle East. I was attacked for my views at the time but it looks as though I was in good company!

Remember the canard of 'The New Economy'? What we need now is a genuine New Economy based on regulation of the Lords of the Universe and thoughtful gardening. We will not get it with this government. Batten the hatches down lads! You ain't seen nothing yet! The effects of the cuts have only just started to kick in.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 07/09/2011 : 09:35
In the light of the above posts, there is an interesting essay titled `Point of View: The revolution of capitalism' written by the political philosopher John Gray on the BBC web site dated 4/9/11. Basically it says that capitalism is unstable and is destroying itself.

Read it here: LINK

Stanley, on your comment about Warren Buffet - I don't think it was simply bottom-feeding but that Bank of America invited him to buy in at a very favourable (to Buffet) rate because they are desperate for money. They've also sold off a big chunk of assets (Chinese?) for the same reason, otherwise they'll be seeking a bail-out. And that really would be something to frighten Americans if it happened. (I wonder if Americans ever think about how they've got very deep into debt to a country, China, with an awful human rights record and whose government despises the very beliefs upon which America was founded?)

Edited by - Tizer on 07/09/2011 09:42:26


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Tardis
Regular Member


453 Posts
Posted - 07/09/2011 : 10:54
I think that you misunderstand Stanley, I don't understand what direction Shirley is trying to push the debate. It is politicing for no other reason, because the NHS has never been on that ground before and thus I think some of her remarks are generalisations and misrepresentations.

Personally, even though I rely upon the NHS and will do so even more in the future, I wouldn't shed a tear if it was removed. It is unresponsive, unnecessarily expensive, and not achieving expected health outcomes. It is a dinosaur full of vested interests, and not publically accountable for the amount of money or results it produces.


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Tardis
Regular Member


453 Posts
Posted - 07/09/2011 : 11:02
Even Keynes said that Capitalism was unstable, but it was the harnessing of this instability that actually resulted in change which drove production up. Acceptance of "busts" is just a piece of that policy.

Capitalism is about market demand. This will vary through "fashion" and competition and many other factors

Stock markets are about something else entirely, and losses are not actually quantified until the items are sold. Volatility in markets is where the market makers make their profits. Without the "spread" there would be no business opportunity for speculation.


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tripps
Senior Member


1404 Posts
Posted - 07/09/2011 : 13:36
" and losses are not actually quantified until the items are sold."

Or the company goes bust - My losses are well quantified - anyone want three thousand four hundred and fifty seven Woolworth shares? They didn't even say sorry.Smile


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Tardis
Regular Member


453 Posts
Posted - 07/09/2011 : 14:31
there is thatWink

I am only glad that I sold my HBOS shares before they went bust.


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 08/09/2011 : 05:28
"I think that you misunderstand Stanley" Hmm, I wonder why that is?

"It is unresponsive, unnecessarily expensive, and not achieving expected health outcomes. It is a dinosaur full of vested interests, and not publically accountable for the amount of money or results it produces."  

I totally disagree. The NHS is the finest and most altruistic social advance of the 20th century and is the envy of the world. It is also one of the cheapest deliverers of medical services in the world. Like any other large organisation it could and does improve. To write it off in one sentence is unbelievable. 

 The Kids are back in the playground. PMQ's yesterday and the debate on Nadine Dorries' anti-abortion amendment was characterised by a strong sexist element. Like her or loathe her views she deserved better than that. This is not what they are paid for!


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 08/09/2011 : 11:46
quote:
Stanley wrote:
"It is unresponsive, unnecessarily expensive, and not achieving expected health outcomes. It is a dinosaur full of vested interests, and not publically accountable for the amount of money or results it produces."  

I totally disagree. The NHS is the finest and most altruistic social advance of the 20th century and is the envy of the world. It is also one of the cheapest deliverers of medical services in the world. Like any other large organisation it could and does improve. To write it off in one sentence is unbelievable. 
Here, here! You've only got to look to the USA to see what the alternative is - the public ripped off by enormously expensive drugs and services, and less-well-off folk left to suffer. No thanks!



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Bradders
Senior Member


1880 Posts
Posted - 08/09/2011 : 19:51
Tardis . If you can afford to waste your money , go private.(and take some pressure off the system)....

I have family members who have worked in the NHS ....My Daughter still does.....
I trust  the system , as it stands , because I know that the vast majority working in it are excellent at their jobs .
It is fair to say the there could/should  be improvements .......and there always will be that opportunity......It would be a stupid move to scrap it .


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