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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted -  11/01/2009  :  06:04
New Year, new topic. If you want to see the old one do a forum search for same title but 2008.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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stanley at barnoldswick.freeserve.co.uk
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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 22/04/2009 : 16:26
I've filled Rebecca's response form in. The reason I ditched the Barclaycard instead of just reducing the balance to zero was that by doing so I halve the chances of credit card fraud. I don't trust them....

Listened to Cameron doing the knee jerk reaction against Little Darling. OK, he has a point in some ways against Godron but LD had a hard row to hoe this afternoon and to do him credit he hit most of the right buttons given the circumstances. It is a mistake to make this a party political matter, everyone was fooled and it was Thatcher who first embraced the market and rabid monetarism. What we need now are measures to protect the worst hit who did no wrong. I wonder though what there was in the budget for the older unemployed...


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 22/04/2009 : 16:32
Easter 'bomb plot'. I see they have now released all the 'suspects' with no charge.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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frankwilk
Senior Member


3975 Posts
Posted - 22/04/2009 : 16:47
What caught my attention was Yvette Balls trying to explain how a cut is not a cut. Recycled efficiency savings  mmmmmmmmmm that's  a new one.
Stanley, Thatcher was a long time ago. Godron is the now and I am afraid he made a mess of it. Bet the Tories start to recycle the Budget in which Godron stated  Boom and Bust is over.



Frank Wilkinson       Once Navy Always Navy Go to Top of Page
Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 23/04/2009 : 08:12
Frank, so was the Black Death but its effects still reverberate through our history. It was the wholesale rush to monetarism, pre-eminence of the market and deregulation of the financial systems that got us to where we are now. It was a failure of government not politics and yah-boo politics isn't going to solve the problem. The really big problem remains the same, the distribution of wealth. I firmly believe in meritocracy but our tax systems are skewed against narrowing the gap between the richest and the poorest. This means that the lower down the scale you are, the less the opportunities. It's one of the very few things that all economists and historians agree on and pay lip service to. Problem is that nobody has any real will to do anything about it. Far too many people rail against the state of the country and 'sink estates' but see nothing wrong in a part time job on minimum wage being decribed as employment. This isn't a new problem, have a look at Luke 10:7 where the writer argues that the evangelists chouldn't feel bad about being fed by the people he was preaching to because 'the labourer is worthy of his hire'. The most recent figures from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (2006/7) show that 13 million people in Britain (22%) live in low income households. Very little was done about this during the boom years and more needs to be done. It's a paradox but a time of finacial turmoil is as good a time as any to address this problem. We are after all one of the richest countries in the world.

There is one thing that can be done which wouldn't cost the government anything but could make a huge difference. Instead of making gas and electricity charges lower as consumption increases, apply the lower rate to the first and lowest tranche of consumption and the higher price to the heavier users. This would relieve the burden on the poor, encourage heavy users to cut back and the higher prices would fall on those most able to pay. Much is made of falling inflation but if you spend most of your disposable income on essentials like food, housing and energy you are spot ball for higher inflation than the mean.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 23/04/2009 : 08:14
PS Frank, I do not excuse Blair and Godron for anything they have done. My point is that nobody can take the high ground except perhaps the Liberals because they never had power.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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frankwilk
Senior Member


3975 Posts
Posted - 23/04/2009 : 10:45
What I find difficult is that the minimum wage falls into the taxable bracket, so when it is increased the tax take increases !!!!
that can't be right..
What Cameron said that I do agree with, is that we need to look at a different way of delivering public services. The old ways need to change. Look at the Hospital set up, we have more hospitals than we need !! yet try to close one and the Local MPs position is under threat . We need a first class A&E response not Victorian Hospitals in every town, but then the centre of Excellence needs to be just that.



Frank Wilkinson       Once Navy Always Navy Go to Top of Page
Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 23/04/2009 : 16:34
Trouble is Frank that every now and again we have an old-fashioned Victorian epidemic of flue or similar and need the beds. I agree that the NHS needs to be controlled by the experts and not the burocracy, and I don't mean simply the consultants. Do you remember the programmes where the tycoon went into the NHS and was appalled by the lack of management? Plenty of regulation and targets but actual management was thin on the ground.

I listened to the R4 programme on the budget today and it was amazing the number of reports back from the grass roots about the invisibility of certain initiatives for the unemployed. Like the man who wanted to do a course to qualify him for a job but had to pay for it himself and get a job in that field before he could claim the cost of the course back. Bit of a gap between the sound bite and the delivery!


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 24/04/2009 : 06:43
One of the advantages of being retired is that I can listen to a lot of good radio programmes. There was one on yesterday in the series 'saving the planet' and it was very interesting. They were talking about the importance of having the large data servers near to the places where the data was being used by the financial services. Evidently the biggest 'data cluster' in the world is inside the M25 and it is this asset of high speed servers near to the centre that makes London so attractive to the finance industry. However, they are running into a problem. The demand for raw power to run London is exceeding supply and the man who was the centre of the programme was saying that it is becoming a significant factor in expansion particularly since construction for the Olympics started.

Not the most rivetting fact I know but it flags up the enormous complication of the systems which run our world and it makes you wonder how robust they are to future shock. True, these centres have enormous back-up generators and even spare capacity in case the emergency generators fail but the signal to me is that in a period when it's essential to put as brave a face as possible on progress out of the recession nobody is talking about factoring in the next crisis, whatever that is.

The other thing that strikes me is the parade of 'experts' giving their 'predictions' (guesses?) as to the depth and length of the recession. These are the same people who completely missed the fact that we were heading into melt-down and like all forecasters, the only time they are on firm ground id when they are dealing with retrospective data. I'd like to see more emphasis placed on innovative thinking, going ahead with coal-fired power is one such move. The outcome won't be perfect but it will stimulate the technology of carbon capturewhich in the end will be a good thing. The other important benefit is of course that we can avoid reacing a situation where there isn't enough power to run the country. The man who was talking about the data cluster said that 'brown-outs' where voltage was reduced during peak demand periods have started now and are more common than the public thinks. Complicated isn't it.....


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 25/04/2009 : 07:21
The outbreak of Swine Flu in Mexico is alarming for anyone who has read the history of 'Spanish Flu' in 1916/17 in Iowa from the same source, pigs. I hope it isn't as virulent a strain.

The EEC has rescinded the regulation against farmers leaving dead animals out in the fields for the vultures to dispose of. The vultures have been moving into the towns looking for carrion.

The good news about the Ghurkas being given the right to settle seems to have been spoiled by a hedge of restrictions to do with length of service. The Jobsworths have once again spoiled the chance to right a wrong  by over regulation. Did they really think we were going to be flooded with fierce little men in turbans? Funny how we didn't bother when we needed them to do our dirty work for us. A well-dressed man in the bank yesterday told me that Asian immigrants and students shouldn't be in this country.  The same argument applies, we didn't complain when they helped us fight two world wars.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 26/04/2009 : 05:48
The Ghurka story gets worse. It seems that the only people allowed to serve 20 years are the officers. I heard a government minister trying to justify the restrictions on Question Time and it was pathetic. I almost (but not quite) felt sorry for him.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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handlamp
Senior Member


1100 Posts
Posted - 26/04/2009 : 14:47
By this action to drastically reduce he numbers of  Ghurkas allowed to settle here I'm afraid the Government must have lost what little bit of decency they had left in the eyes of the vast majority of voters. The sooner they're down the road the better, they just stagger from one atrocious act to another.


TedGo to Top of Page
frankwilk
Senior Member


3975 Posts
Posted - 26/04/2009 : 15:30
I also think it's time this lot went. Only problem I see if Dave carries out the cull on Public Services that they talk about, we could be heading for a couple of years of real strife. The whole lot needs a radical rethink, Police & Fire Sevice retiring at 55 needs to move on with the times. It could be moved on 1 year every 3 years so in 15 years time they work till they are 60 it's the only way, otherwise we won't be able to fund the pension pot.!!!!
How do you deliver local services locally ?? now that is a big one !!!



Frank Wilkinson       Once Navy Always Navy Go to Top of Page
HerbSG
Senior Member


1185 Posts
Posted - 26/04/2009 : 20:52
After watching coverage of recent demonstrations by questionable groups for whatever reason I can't help thinking that maybe it's time for all current or past servicemen/women or others with an interest in the GHURKAS to get together and demonstrate.  In particular those of us with pretty reliable knowledge past on from family who served in Burma for example, must like me cringe to think that the government can follow a path of such disloyalty.


HERB


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frankwilk
Senior Member


3975 Posts
Posted - 26/04/2009 : 21:20
We took 600 hundred Ghurkas from Singapore up to Hong Kong when the Mao riots took place in 1966. They soon quelled the troubles.



Frank Wilkinson       Once Navy Always Navy Go to Top of Page
Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 27/04/2009 : 07:23
I note this morning that Godron's knee jerk reaction re. changes to MPs expenses has hit the rocks and he is now in the position of either rescinding the vote or trying to force his views on parliament by arm-twisting. He must be the most politically inept PM we have ever had. He doesn't just keep digging when he's in a hole, he starts another hole! Why didn't he just keep his head down, pressure the enquiry for an early report and get on with business? Mny of us thought Blair was bad and entertained a hope that Godron would be an improvement but on his track record so far he is not only politically inept but devious, over-controlling and manipulative. I have supported Labour all my life but am in despair. Problem is I can do nothing about it even at an election because our MP Gordon Prentice is a good principled man and an excellent constituency MP. I have to remain loyal to him.

Have you noticed how all economic news is devoted to assessing how soon we will recover. Just a small reminder, the problem started 40 years ago with de-regulation, was compounded by giving freedom to greedy bankers who chased 'easy money', was aided by governments falling for the lure of the 'new economy' and resulted in the collapse of real grass roots wealth. A complete failure of both government and financial institutions. My question is what is being done to rectify these faults and bring retribution down on the culprits? As far as I can see it is business as usual and the voices of the little people count for nothing. A change of government won't cut it. We need a new model to manage society. On the evidence we have seen this is far too important to leave to the politicians and Lords of the Universe. 


Stanley Challenger Graham




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