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Eddie Mair | 12:17 UK time, Thursday, 21 October 2010

The place for serious talk about serious things.


  • 1. At 12:30pm on 21 Oct 2010, The Intermittent Horse wrote:

    Serious stuff!

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  • 2. At 12:32pm on 21 Oct 2010, jonnie wrote:

    I'm curious about the French peoples nature or Psyche that appears to make them more militant than us, here in the UK.

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  • 3. At 12:34pm on 21 Oct 2010, jonnie wrote:

    Re #1 TIH

    Anything is welcome to get away from the Upshares Downshares domination, ;-)

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  • 4. At 12:35pm on 21 Oct 2010, Anna Cardium wrote:

    And I thought it was getting close to last orders (or rites?)

    Suddenly the possibility of a future is discernible!

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  • 5. At 12:37pm on 21 Oct 2010, Anna Cardium wrote:

    2. jonnie

    But are they more militant than us when they're at home, in Farnce?

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  • 6. At 1:23pm on 21 Oct 2010, jonnie wrote:

    Re; Anna #5

    Well they seem to be generally bringing France to a standstill at the moment.

    I'm going to copy and paste an email from a fellow blogger on Facebook which I found to be very intersting - especially as regards to the Funeral Cortege...

    It was quite something to see a few hundreds of squeaking 11 - 16 year-old schoolkids staging a march and a sit-down protest at Neufchatel-en-Bray which effectively barred all access to & from the town centre for an hour.

    They had the battery-powered bullhorns, banners, slogans, the works. We must have gotten into the town centre no more than 5 minutes before they sat down at the traffic intersection and effectively closed it.

    Loads of Gendarmes redirecting traffic and twitching over their batons. I think that what held them back was the notion of clubbing and hauling away kids. Wouldn't look good on TV. Normally they are thugs who wade in, but not on this occasion. Mind you the CRS riot squad makes the Gendarmes thuggery pale into insignificance.

    While this was going on there was a funeral taking place in the town centre church. A well-attended one with many dozens of mourners, huge cortege, etc. When the service was over the hearse was refused passage to the 'cimetière' by the pimply-faced and hormonal strikers. So much for respecting the dead. Making your political point is more important than dignity in death it seems.

    Then the following day we saw a lycée fully shut down in Dieppe with an 'en grève' (on strike) banner covering the main gates. I should think the French Govt. are shitting conkers at the thought of a bunch of kids wagging school....

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  • 7. At 1:29pm on 21 Oct 2010, Adrie van der Luijt wrote:

    Bank levy: why are building societies, which are mutual and have members rather than shareholders, not excluded? If the aim is really to reduce 'risk taking', I would expect the Government to stimulate and encourage mutuality, not to hit it with a 'one size fits all' levy.

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  • 8. At 1:37pm on 21 Oct 2010, Anna Cardium wrote:

    7. Adrie van der Luijt

    Good question, Adrie. Perhaps an email to PM-at-bbc-dot-co-dot-uk to get it raised?

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  • 9. At 1:47pm on 21 Oct 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    France and the strikes.

    We were there last week and saw nothing to hint at the trouble that is occurring in some regions (apart, of course, from reports on the television). I know we were lucky, and had feared problems returning - but thankfully all was well for us.

    I don't think all strikers are as aggressive or bloody minded as has been suggested in post 6. While leading a school trip one year we came face to face with a lorry barricade which was designed to stop all traffic in the direction in which we were travelling. I left the coach to speak to the lorry drivers, explaining that these were school children on a day trip and asking if they'd be kind enough to make an exception for them as they were so looking forward to spending a day in France. The lorry drivers immediately moved a lorry to allow our coach to pass through, and wished us a good journey. We, for our part, wished them success with their protest.

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  • 10. At 4:17pm on 21 Oct 2010, U14638904 wrote:


    Nothing about them getting proper jobs then.

    In the Great Society presumably the impecunious toffs are going to clean the hospitals and lavatories, empty the wheelies and sort the rubbish, fill the pot holes, clean the drains - no, not on the private estates of relative, for the inner cities, of course!


    But why limit it to the impecunious ones?

    PS They're far more likely to get city directorships,.....,

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  • 11. At 4:48pm on 21 Oct 2010, davmcn wrote:

    Sid, I prefer the Ch 4 news as well.

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  • 12. At 4:56pm on 21 Oct 2010, Alan_N wrote:

    The old FB was at about 520 posts when it was closed but now has only 491. This is a clear cover up by Oxbridge PPE educated toffs to deprive us of the posts which are rightfully ours. I demand an apology...


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  • 13. At 5:04pm on 21 Oct 2010, Gillianian wrote:

    Alan_N - there are two defunct FBs on the topical posts list - the most recent one closed with 540 comments ;o)

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  • 14. At 5:22pm on 21 Oct 2010, Looternite wrote:

    2. jonnie

    That is until the Germans appear over the horizon. :-)

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  • 15. At 5:23pm on 21 Oct 2010, Alan_N wrote:

    13 - Doh! I still blame the PPE Oxbridge toffs.

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  • 16. At 5:26pm on 21 Oct 2010, davmcn wrote:

    Hey, Ed, what about the three Labour peers and their dodgy expenses? Nobody voted for them. Get 'em on and grill them. Not likely.

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  • 17. At 5:27pm on 21 Oct 2010, The Stainless Steel Cat wrote:

    Mad Nad does talk a lot of rubbish doesn't she? Anyone who followed her Twitter feed in the run up to the election will be in no way surprised that 70% of her blog is fiction.

    Note she even tried to change her story during the interview to "I meant to say 30% fiction".

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  • 18. At 5:29pm on 21 Oct 2010, David Shepherd wrote:

    Hi Eddie,
    The Banks threaten to move abroad and get away with it. The poor are threatened with fines or prison if they don't comply.
    Why can't the government threaten the banks with a trading levi if they move abroad.??

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  • 19. At 6:11pm on 21 Oct 2010, U14638904 wrote:

    Stephanie Flanders says of this:


    (This shows) 'that today's welfare changes are indeed regressive. The biggest losers, as a share of their income, are the bottom fifth of the income distribution'.

    Stephanie Sauders says of this:


    'There is a very complicated table' (above) that claims to take account of the impact of departmental spending cuts as well - this reaches the same conclusion. The richest fifth are worst hit, but only because of the tax increases which the coalition inherited'

    This table appears to contain a 'add whatever you like' (the effect of RDEL changes) which could include effects due to differential take up of expensive NHS education and local authority funding which are cut.

    Any further comments on Stephanie's conclusions?

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  • 20. At 6:14pm on 21 Oct 2010, U14638904 wrote:

    But please could we have comments a little above the level of


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  • 21. At 6:15pm on 21 Oct 2010, whitburnlad wrote:

    Great to hear the Oliver guy debating with the French student.

    His Bullingden Club membership is now assured.

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  • 22. At 6:22pm on 21 Oct 2010, Sindy wrote:

    20. TheEqualiser

    Not if you're making them, apparently ...

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  • 23. At 6:34pm on 21 Oct 2010, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    How could the interview with the two students be called balanced. The student from Oxford university was so predictable in the light of the expectation that he will walk out of his degree celebrations straight into middle management in a financial job in the city. Probably already been ear marked for him. Either this or into politics, where within five years or so could be a cabinet member. I use artistic license you understand (or maybe I don't), but I wonder what the student from France will be doing when the Oxo is making his first million. So there we have it nations divided as the saying goes. Divided in more ways than one socially and culturally. So I wonder what the purpose of the interview was?

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  • 24. At 6:38pm on 21 Oct 2010, U14638904 wrote:

    Peston against the bank levy (BBC1 6 oclock News), Nick Robinson pointing out the Coalition's 'pupil premium' for poor people's kids (samew prog).

    Of course Alan-N and ej have decreed that any conjecture other than one apporoved by the Lib Dems shall appear here.

    But you want to know why there's this apparent reversal of roles?

    Because the BBC is worried about France spreading here. So things the left storm about will be reported by rightist commentators ('We sympathise' a la Simon Jenkins) and legitimate left ambitions will be poo-pooed by leftist seeming commentators. (''Equality is impossible. Even supertax was ott')

    There'll be more stuff about how cuts are the only way. Taxing the richest 30 percent for current and accumalated debt, wont be mentioned.

    Oxbridge conspiracy, as Alan-N suggests? My friends, Oxbridge are just places where the ruling class young meet, rub noses, compare prejudices and ran them (the degree classification scheme) and conspire against the poor ( : -)

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  • 25. At 6:52pm on 21 Oct 2010, Sindy wrote:

    19. TheEqualiser
    "Stephanie Sauders"

    Who she?

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  • 26. At 10:16pm on 21 Oct 2010, U14638904 wrote:

    You want real surnames used, Sid?

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  • 27. At 10:17pm on 21 Oct 2010, Alan_N wrote:

    24 - Vintage nonsense, as ever.

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  • 28. At 08:49am on 22 Oct 2010, Anne P wrote:

    fjd @23 I often wonder how such interviews are set up. As I don't recall Oxford students ever being at the forefront of sixties radicalism (perhaps my memory is at fault) I'd have thought it more useful to find someone from one of the London universities to compare with Paris. Middlesex once had a strong radical element, or pick some other major conurbation such as Manchester. Indeed perhaps more interesting to do a piece about how student radicalism changes over the years. Sussex was radical in the sixties but I think it went through a 'don't care' phase later one. Don't know what it's like now.

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  • 29. At 09:40am on 22 Oct 2010, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    Anne, You are right. During the sixties and well into the seventies, the atmosphere and freedom of expression at local universities was markedly different to now. Then it was an accepted freedom to be able to organise, demonstrate, and basically have a large say how students organised their uni life. Indeed questioning of the system was almost promoted by the authorities and achedemic faculties as part of what universities were about in my opinion. I remember being able to turn up with a local rock band unannounced at lunchtimes to put on a free concert during the lunch breaks for the students. Then all you needed to do basically was ask were can we set up the equipment, where are the electric sockets?,etc. No one really questioned such things. giving out leaflets, flyers, etc was a normal on lots of social subjects. The freedom to engage in this was never really questioned. Lecturers would like to students to take a large amount of control over their subjects and studies.

    Today. Everything is strictly controlled as, its more of a corporate image that is being promoted at the cost of personal and social experience in my opinion. the competition for bums on seats as made sure that nothing likely to scare the horses will get through. But isn't this true of society in general now days? We want to turn out unquestioning societal models that slip into the main stream suppressed culture that we seem to have become. I mean, even graffiti merchants can end up millionairs now. But, they were probably never radical in the first place.

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  • 30. At 09:46am on 22 Oct 2010, Sindy wrote:

    Joe - if you have 11 and a bit minutes, you might like this:


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  • 31. At 10:02am on 22 Oct 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    28: Anne, Sussex was radical well into the eighties, and the lecturers well beyond that, but the increasing 'professionalism' of students rather rubbed the radical temperament out, unfortunately, as it did in most universities as a result, largely, of Thatcherism and the promotion of the selfish gene. Perhaps that's overgeneralising, but it's close to the truth - as I've had connections with Sussex since 1975, as a student, member of staff, and friend of other members of staff, I've been pretty aware of developments there. Now, sadly, it is all focussed on self preservation, both at faculty and student level.

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  • 32. At 10:12am on 22 Oct 2010, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    Sid, (30) What an excellent 11 minuets. Thank you. Very enlightening. I kind of feel that the best education and communicators tend to be able to put into expressive and persuasive concepts and words what I already suspected I felt in my inner self but needed confirming? Does that make sense? I loved the graphics as an aid to what he was saying. brilliant! Yea more of this.

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  • 33. At 10:15am on 22 Oct 2010, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    Sid, I meant minutes, not a musical interlude.

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  • 34. At 10:16am on 22 Oct 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    I like the idea of eleven minuets, Joe. :)

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  • 35. At 10:33am on 22 Oct 2010, Looternite wrote:

    28. Anne P and 29. funnyJoedunn

    At the end of the 70s when I began installing/servicing scientific instruments in our universities, many of the students were dressed as punks. How many of those "punks" went on to become bankers?
    Two of the salesmen at the company I worked for in the early late 70s early 80s had been members of very left wing parties when they were at uni in the 70s (they only told me in confidence when we had been out on the road, sworn to secrecy as the boss would have gone mad).
    By the end of the 80s however, people were saying that students were no longer radical and had become serious.
    Something did change and it was the 80s that our students changed.

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  • 36. At 10:39am on 22 Oct 2010, Sindy wrote:

    Joe - glad you liked it. If you have plenty of time (!) you could browse round Stephen Heppell's site: http://www.heppell.net/ - lots of interesting ideas about the future of education/schools, and lots more.

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  • 37. At 10:44am on 22 Oct 2010, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    Big Sis (34) (;-)

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  • 38. At 10:53am on 22 Oct 2010, Anna Cardium wrote:

    Excellent stuff, Sid!

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  • 39. At 11:07am on 22 Oct 2010, darkdesign wrote:

    @BendyGirl berates Cameron for cutting the mobility component of DLA to those in residential care:


    Fairness, right?

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  • 40. At 12:15pm on 22 Oct 2010, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    (39) dd,
    The banks (and others) threaten to do their bussiness abroad if they are held to account. What have we come to when a totally shameless, immoral system holds the rest of the nation changed to its immoral, devious practices and pays itself billions. The rich and powerful can choose what nationality they want to be to fiddle their billions in tax avoidance, whilst still being the people who decide political policy here. They juggle houses, shares, company board memberships, all kinds of vested interests whilst conning us into voting for them. They then have the audacity to tell us this is fair as they take away the rug from under the most vulnerable.

    Let the banks go abroad I say. Call their bluff. But make sure they take their depts with them. Lets take our money back from. And wherever they end up Hong Kong, China, Singapore, let their governments bail them out of their greed feeding monster next time.

    I hope the poor are able to organise and stop this tragedy. I will be with them.

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  • 41. At 12:41pm on 22 Oct 2010, DiY wrote:

    David Cameron recently stated " There is no cut whatsoever in the support for our forces in Afghanistan ... we have been and will be providing more for our brave forces in Afghanistan [including] crucially, at last, the right level of helicopter capability."

    So why has he trimmed the order for 22 Chinooks that Labour announced in December 20009 down to 12?

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  • 42. At 1:09pm on 22 Oct 2010, U14638904 wrote:

    With LibCon universities' fees policies like it is, we may yet see Dame Shirley Williams' Oxbrdge elite view of things prevail.

    Before deciding the Labour party was too radical and left wing for her and her Oxbridge chums she opposed the expansion of the University sector root and branch. And as Ed Sec she got her way. The Polys were not allowed to become universities.

    These policies could well slim down the current number back to how our Shirl wants it.

    You see, by her standards the rest of us just aren't good enough.

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  • 43. At 1:18pm on 22 Oct 2010, U14638904 wrote:

    Astute, these nuclear weapons people are, eh!

    Scrap Trident Now. Seriously. Before it scraps itself.

    Another bunch of boffins (the last lot were the maths modelling financial economists) who focus on what works in their theories and ignore what doesn't. To our cost.

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  • 44. At 1:22pm on 22 Oct 2010, U14638904 wrote:

    Och, och,
    They canna cross the loch,

    The whole of Dunoon
    Will be blown up soon

    And the whole o' Sye
    Will be blown sky high

    Unless you scrap the Trident.

    Ban the Bomb

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  • 45. At 1:41pm on 22 Oct 2010, David Smith wrote:

    I wonder if there's any chance of any programme on the BBC covering the extraordinary story of the BBC's Nick Robinson losing his temper and smashing up an anti-war protestor's placard the other day. He was caught on a phone video camera and the film has been doing the rounds of all the networking sites. It's simultaneously hilarious and disgraceful. Go on, PM, I dare you.

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  • 46. At 1:45pm on 22 Oct 2010, theotherdaughter wrote:

    Not sure if this is the right place to ask, but is anyone else as fed up as I am at getting all the news at least 3 times? Once when they tell you what someone will be doing/announcing next week - which is analysed and discussed, again on the day of expected announcement, and again when it has been done - with A&D at every stage.

    Not much of the news is good these days, so I would really rather only hear it when it actually happens than have to worry about it in advance as well.

    Isn't there enough news in each day to be dealt with on the day?


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  • 47. At 1:47pm on 22 Oct 2010, DoctorDolots wrote:

    43. TheEqualiser Couldn't agree more. How Trident helps protect us against terrorists is unclear; identify country of origin of terrorist, nuke country? What if they're home grown, do we nuke ourselves and be done with it? The ludicrous colonel Blimps claiming we need nuclear weapons to maintain our standing and position in the world need to be put in a box labelled out of date, no longer required.

    41. P Nutt Perhaps they've realised the 'war' on Afghanistan [or War on Drugs] is unwinnable?

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  • 48. At 1:52pm on 22 Oct 2010, DoctorDolots wrote:

    45. Wot this?

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  • 49. At 1:53pm on 22 Oct 2010, Sid wrote:

    43. TheEqualiser

    Hurrah! Something Mac agrees with me about!

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  • 50. At 1:53pm on 22 Oct 2010, DoctorDolots wrote:

    46. Was only thinking the other day that the meeja seem to have the news before it happens and tell us what people are going to say days before they say it. Snap.

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  • 51. At 2:00pm on 22 Oct 2010, Sid wrote:

    46. theotherdaughter

    A related example: on The World At One, 7 or 8 minutes spent on a story we know very little about yet (submarine stranded off Skye) - we had an expert trying to guess what might have gone wrong, someone who lives half a mile away asked if he can see any damage etc. What we know can be said in 10 seconds; all the rest was flannel.

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  • 52. At 3:25pm on 22 Oct 2010, Sid wrote:

    Pleased to see that our Lib Dem MEPs voted in favour of a freeze on the EU budget. Shocking that Labour voted for a 6% increase - they really are incapable of stopping spending money. But why has this not got more publicity?

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  • 53. At 4:13pm on 22 Oct 2010, U14638904 wrote:

    Then you understand that your party has reneged on its own manifesto, electoral and constitutional commitment.
    Better still, get your party to.
    We need an election.

    Was there ever a party in government that boasted about electoral dishonesties before. This one has no electoral mandate whatsoever.

    Get thee to a ballot box.

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  • 54. At 4:18pm on 22 Oct 2010, U14638904 wrote:

    The other dangers with this Great Society tosh are scabbing, strike breaking and blacklegging as well as the social neglect and dereliction that will follow.

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  • 55. At 4:22pm on 22 Oct 2010, U14638904 wrote:

    How can we help the French strikers and flying pickets?

    Are their lorry drivers filling up here?

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  • 56. At 4:28pm on 22 Oct 2010, Sid wrote:

    7. Adrie van der Luijt

    "The levy, which will not affect smaller banks and building societies, will be brought in from January 2011."


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  • 57. At 4:47pm on 22 Oct 2010, davmcn wrote:

    TE 53, If you really believe any party lives up to its manifesto, I have a bridge I want to sell you. Manifestos are like busses, another one will be along in a minute.

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  • 58. At 4:49pm on 22 Oct 2010, davmcn wrote:

    Sid 51, Now's the time for a terrorist missile...

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  • 59. At 5:01pm on 22 Oct 2010, davmcn wrote:

    Remember, you have to look where you're going in a submarine...

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  • 60. At 5:13pm on 22 Oct 2010, davmcn wrote:

    HMS Astute, eh? Not very. Time for a change of name?

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  • 61. At 5:17pm on 22 Oct 2010, Anna Cardium wrote:

    53. TheEqualiser
    "We need an election."

    And do you imagine an outcome significantly different to the last one?

    And why and in what way?

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  • 62. At 5:20pm on 22 Oct 2010, Sid wrote:

    60. davmcn

    "Professor Ross said submarines like the Astute would have an outer casing, around half an inch thick with water either side of it, and a pressure hull, which was around two to three inches thick.

    "It's pretty unlikely it will sink," he added."

    Not much use as a submarine, then?

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  • 63. At 6:19pm on 22 Oct 2010, Anna Cardium wrote:

    How it's done in America!

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  • 64. At 7:05pm on 22 Oct 2010, Anna Cardium wrote:

    Ch4 news quote of the day, "They don't move very quickly at slow speed."

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  • 65. At 8:26pm on 22 Oct 2010, lucien desgai wrote:

    53 TE
    LibDem apologists on this blog will talk about the obscurities of the European parliament, about levies at which the banks laugh and about squeaky little cartoon paradigms. But when it comes to the defining mission of their government - punishing the poor with cuts that would cause Thatcher to blush - they have nothing to say.
    Not for the first time, TE, you're wasting your type.

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  • 66. At 00:54am on 23 Oct 2010, U14638904 wrote:

    Too tired to type.

    I promise tomoorow an update on the crisis of capitalism as Ralph M. would have seen it, an update on the raising of the full pension age to 67 in France and an account of Labour's best strategies to win an early election. (Although the Lib Dems are of course too hideously compromised in their Vichy cooperation with Cameron and Osbore, to seek an electoral mandate. And too dictatorial and elitist.)

    Bet you can't wait.

    Meanwhile, sleep and angst. 'Cos I'm tired and 'cos the absurd outdated patterns that PM observes means its reactions to the Wikileaks will be on hold till...Monday!!!

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  • 67. At 07:11am on 23 Oct 2010, lucien desgai wrote:

    66 Te
    Sorry ... but you're no Ralph Miliband. :o)

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  • 68. At 08:53am on 23 Oct 2010, Sid wrote:

    65. lucien desgai

    I'm guessing (since I mentioned the things you allude to) that this is addressed to me - though I note that like your friend Mac you don't do me the courtesy of using my name.

    I regret that I have nothing to say to someone who thinks that 'the defining mission of their government - punishing the poor with cuts that would cause Thatcher to blush' is rational argument. I objected before to your use of the word 'Quisling'. I also object to your use of 'apologist', and Mac's use of 'Vichy'. You are plainly people who have no sense of history.

    I have tried to explain the current situation from my point of view. It's not a situation I would have preferred, and there are many things I'd have done differently. However - as a teacher I always found it difficult to deal with children who pretended to be stupid when they weren't. Now I'm retired, I don't have to engage with them - so I'm off (again).

    Bye all - some of it's been fun!

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  • 69. At 11:45am on 23 Oct 2010, lucien desgai wrote:

    I'm someone who might have voted LibDem (had they been the main opposition to the tories where I live), and I'm genuinely angered by their behaviour.
    The LibDems chose to join the tory government, the thatcherites in their leadership don't just accept the cuts, they relish them. And when it's demonstrated that those least able to withstand the cuts, those least responsible for their justification of the cuts will feel most of the pain ... they dismiss the analytical truth as 'nonsense'.
    If LibDems are happy to laud Nick Clegg's pre-CSR distractions on this blog then they should also be prepared to discuss and defend (as best they can) the spending review and its consequences.

    Before the election many of us thought we could trust the Liberals to stand up for fairness, to stand in the way of tory attacks on the poor.
    Had they wanted to the libs could have forced the tories into a minority government and could have given themselves far more power to block the most cruel of the cuts.
    As things turned out they made a different choice based on different priorities.

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  • 70. At 12:52pm on 23 Oct 2010, U14638904 wrote:

    The 'What would Ralph have said?' corner:

    That the crisis of capitalism, this intensification with its cusp the year before last, is always a crisis of consciousness, of class consciousness, is axiomatic.

    The notion that the banks, which ultimately had claims on the houses owned by sub-prime mortgagees, were broke was itself the belief that was required to precipitate the crisis.

    Such a patterning, of house price crashes, had been used before in Japan.

    In a sense from the socialist point of view, the banks WERE bust, because the homes are not theirs but their occupiers, no matter what obfuscation and mystification capitalism has created.

    But within capitalism it is a mystification to see owners of such assets as bankrupt, and that is what the banks are, ultimately, under captialism.

    Thus the intensification could be seen from capitalism's point of view as a crisis in liquidity****.

    This had the effect of making the solution to the crisis of capitalism appear to be the huge transfers of money assets from governments to private capital.
    This huge liquidity is held in reserve by capital in readiness for the next speculative asset boom.

    The contradiction, that lack of liquidity is the problem, and, now, that government deficits are the problem, has been obscured by the alacrity and thoroughness with which the Labour governement provided 350 billion of capital to the banks!

    The further impoverishment of labour by government cuts is of course the next stage in this attempt to create (cf realise) surplus value.

    Internationally the case for arguing for the social ownership of housing is imperative. China is more problematic.

    What then is Labour's best strategy? One key point is that the 'debt' arises because the rich are rich and resist paying their proper share of governement expenditures, and have done effectively since the end of the 1980s.
    To say that without cuts our children will be in debt is to neglect the extent to which the debt is itself held by the rich here - 50 percent of it at least.
    Indeed the demand that our children befree of cocerns about debt can be interpreted as a pleas for socialism now - so that the children of the poor do not have the chore of expropriating the childen of the rich, who'll owe them, innit.
    We should not leave the burden of achieving socialism to our children, I think.

    (****See Althusser on capitalism's need for the same sum of commodity money to be simultaneously commited in ways not co-possible.)

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  • 71. At 1:31pm on 23 Oct 2010, Alan_N wrote:

    69 - Lucien - There are indeed some very unpleasant individuals in the Conservative Party who clearly relish cuts of any description, presumably on ideological grounds. I have no time for them and happily they seem to be in a minority. I guess that they are the same people who thought it acceptable to defraud the taxpayer with their expenses claims. The other group who seem to be on dodgy ground is the group that is equally ideologically opposed to any cut of any description and who argue that the state has no right to review the way in which it delivers services, no right to ensure that public funds are only paid in cases of genuine need and no right to ensure that the machinery of the state itself operates efficiently. Neither point of view has much in the way of weight behind it, in my opinion.

    The problem with the 'analytical truth' as you describe it is that it seems to me to be selective about what is ruled in and what is ruled out. Clegg pointed this out a couple of days ago. The same was said about the budget earlier this year - regressive only if it was viewed in complete isolation from all the other things happening at the same time. I guess the detail that we can expect to see over the next few weeks will show who was right and who was wrong.

    As for forcing the Conservatives to form a minority government, the last thing that our economy needs at the moment is weak government. The disastrous state that Mr Brown left would not have been eased by indecision or by nibbling at the edges.

    Incidentally, Giles Coren wrote an interesting piece in the Times this morning which of course I can't link to, but if you have access to a copy it's worth a read.

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  • 72. At 1:55pm on 23 Oct 2010, lucien desgai wrote:

    71 Alan
    Cuts of this magnitude are cuts for pleasure. True you can find a few city economists who say they are necessary; city economists who never predicted the crash in their own backyard and who have a vested interest in obscene inequality. But look to the academic economists, the nobel prize winners, the economists who saw disaster coming and you find the far more plausible analysis that the CSR measures will restrict and possibly reverse growth, remove what little demand is left in the economy and increase unemployment. Government revenue falls, unemployment payments rise and we still have a deficit - everyone loses except the financiers and their friends in high places.

    The Institute of Fiscal Studies is a independent body, expert and thorough in its research and friend of no political party. Nick Clegg was simply trying to make its conclusions a matter of political controversy because by doing so he affects how the BBC will cover IFS analysis and reporting.

    Here are some non-Murdoch links which are also an interesting read.


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  • 73. At 2:57pm on 23 Oct 2010, U14638904 wrote:

    UEA may be off the hook for dishonesty and obfuscation in respect of climate change, but it is still up for the chopper in respect of voting theory.

    It is the home of certain theories 'supporting' democracy against philosophical attacs. Sadly the theories function more effectively as addenda to the attacks!!
    One such shows that 'regret' can entail irrationality and then argues that democracy can exhibit the same irrational pattern. Since it's all right for regret (the notoriously two sided potentially destructive emotion we are often advised to avoid) it must be OK for democracy. it's argued!!!!.

    The enquiry into charges of data manipulation at UEA was necessary to preserve trust in the vitally important science of global warming.

    Equally UEA social science needs an examination of its theories of democracy.
    Trust in theorists and theories of democracy is vital, more so than ever. For we now have a government in important part composed of a party supporting voting 'reforms' which are anti-majoritarian. And, as we now know, majority decsion making is central, crucial, the very heart of democratic decision making*.

    That a University prides itself on having Faculties which pride themselves on the hegemony of its theorists promulgating theories detrimental to democracy is dangerous and needs examination.

    (*Second preferences are important here. Imagine all those who voted for either Miliband putting Balls second, all other votes unchanged (in the Labour leadership case). Then the RESULT would have been exactly the same (under the AV system used) but Balls would have beaten all other candidates under majority decision making (MDM). In multi-member constituencies STV can also violate MDM)

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  • 74. At 3:39pm on 23 Oct 2010, skoubhie_dubh wrote:

    Wayhey! another one open.

    #51. Sid wrote:
    46. theotherdaughter

    "...(submarine stranded off Skye) - we had an expert trying to guess what might have gone wrong, someone who lives half a mile away asked if he can see any damage etc."

    Don't know what you heard as I didn't hear the interview. But probably the same one that was aired up here. Maybe you have picked up the question wrongly of course. Maybe the concern was about damage to the Isle of Skye. The submarine lot do have previous when trying to barge little chunks off the island.

    However, later on, some of the quotes were a little misleading. It is generally reported that the sub was 'just off Skye' and that could imply in the Minch or Little Minch side where there is a bit more water to play with. Alas, it was actually trying to get between Skye and the mainland from a later report, just beside the bridge. Obviously failed in its task of dodging the Malaig ferry and a wee bridge as well as all the other underwater items - lobster creels, fish farms, etc.

    The question should be 'what have the Navy got against Skye - or Lochalsh for that matter?'. Why do they keep using them as targets?

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  • 75. At 3:45pm on 23 Oct 2010, skoubhie_dubh wrote:

    #62. Sid wrote:
    ""Professor Ross said submarines like the Astute would have an outer casing, around half an inch thick with water either side of it, and a pressure hull, which was around two to three inches thick.

    "It's pretty unlikely it will sink," he added."

    Not much use as a submarine, then?"

    Maybe they should consider rubber bumpers like at the dodgems.
    anyway, the water at Lochalsh it not deep enough to sink it anyway. It was already touching the bottom and the top was still sticking out. The H&S helecopter that is used for training oil rig workers in the swimming pool gets deeper..

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  • 76. At 3:56pm on 23 Oct 2010, Anna Cardium wrote:

    74. skoubhie_dubh
    " Why do they keep using them as targets?"

    Difficult waters are good training grounds (pun unintentional). How one gets in charge of a vessel that size without knowing the dangers of falling tides is the pertinent question.

    In the 'old days', all major traffic on the tidal rivers was done before high water, regardless of coming into port or leaving. Only a fool tries to navigate shallows or channels when the water is falling.

    In these parts, the water drops as much as ten meters in six hours, 400 inches in 360 minutes is over an inch a minute average, and more near top and bottom. By the time you realise you've touched bottom, you've lost an inch...prepare to await the next tide.


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  • 77. At 4:16pm on 23 Oct 2010, U14638904 wrote:

    AC There, 70! That's how Miliband could win an election now, outright!

    A_N. No. In percentage terms the Lib Dems have cooperated in a regressive policy.

    David Alexander fudged that nicely during his Paxman interview this week.


    (first minute)

    This spells it out:


    Notwithstanding a change in presentation (from quintiles to deciles) the worst off fare worst (in the Expenditure Review, Appendix B) The spending review effect is in green:


    And now with the reworking of how the poor need administration for their benefits, this chart using RDELs now tells the same sort of story, half of the top 20 percent doing better than the worst off 20 percent:

    Given the built in changes before this governement took over, this government's effect is wholly regressive. That's Lib Dems for you.


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  • 78. At 4:20pm on 23 Oct 2010, skoubhie_dubh wrote:

    #76. Anna Cardium
    "Only a fool tries to navigate shallows or channels when the water is falling"

    yes but as they are 'fly by wire' with no steering wheel as such, it must be the computer that got it wrong. Luckily they did not make it up as far as Gruinard. Although it is 'officially' clear now, there could still be a wee bit of anthrax floating about waiting on the unsuspecting tear in the outer shell.

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  • 79. At 5:26pm on 23 Oct 2010, Alan_N wrote:

    Lucian, Mac, Many thanks.

    Interestingly, the Stephanie Flanders piece seems to support at least part of what I was saying. She says Overall, the chart shows that the benefit and tax changes coming down the track hit the richest tenth of households worst. But, as the IFS has shown, that is only because of the decision to retain part of Labour's National Insurance rise and the new 50p rate.

    My point is that the CSR, or anything else for that matter, does not and cannot exist in a vacuum. She says that only the changes to NI and tax already announced stopped the CSR for being regressive - she's right. But the CSR was drafted knowing that those measures existed and were not going to be changed. Such selective argument does not help in understanding the whole picture.

    The other interesting thing about her article is that it seems that she is decrying the loss of income to the lowest quartile as a means to arguing that all universal benefits should be reviewed. As it happens, I agree with her – in fact I would stop any state support to higher rate taxpayers immediately – but her route to the point is rather odd. She seems to suggest that higher rate taxpayers should be punished for not losing enough whereas I simply think that it’s daft that a higher rate taxpayer should have a free TV licence or help with his or her heating bill.

    In any case, Mac, if you insist on looking only at the CSR then you are right – it is regressive and the liberal democrats have been complicit. However, I can see no rational argument for pretending that the CSR – or any other act of government come to that – exists in isolation. Everything must be considered against the background of what else has happened or is happening.

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  • 80. At 5:31pm on 23 Oct 2010, Anna Cardium wrote:

    78. skoubhie_dubh
    "it must be the computer that got it wrong."
    More likely the operator. Or whoever wrote the programme. When it comes to tides, timing is everything.

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  • 81. At 5:43pm on 23 Oct 2010, Anna Cardium wrote:

    80. Anna Cardium
    "When it comes to tides, timing is everything."

    And that includes knowing the lunar cycle. If they had made the same mistake today instead of yesterday, they'd probably be aground for nearly a fortnight, because this morning's tide was probably the highest until the new moon Springs....

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  • 82. At 5:46pm on 23 Oct 2010, Anna Cardium wrote:

    79. Alan_N
    "I can see no rational argument for pretending that the CSR – or any other act of government come to that – exists in isolation."

    "When you try to pick out anything by itself, you find it hitched to the whole universe!"
    --John Muir

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  • 83. At 6:03pm on 23 Oct 2010, Anna Cardium wrote:

    81. Anna Cardium

    Correction: Tonight's tide is the highest until the new moon

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  • 84. At 6:12pm on 23 Oct 2010, skoubhie_dubh wrote:

    Nah! say what you want. I still think it was personal against the Sgitheanach's. Maybe something to do with Charlie Kennedy not liking how his pals in power are conducting themselves. Definitely a personal and sustained attack by the submarine against the island, I'm sure.

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  • 85. At 6:18pm on 23 Oct 2010, Alan_N wrote:

    84 - My money's on the island ;-)

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  • 86. At 6:40pm on 23 Oct 2010, lucien desgai wrote:

    85 Alan
    You sound like a tory fundraiser. ;o)

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  • 87. At 6:44pm on 23 Oct 2010, skoubhie_dubh wrote:

    #85 Aye so's mine. Hard stone in Skye. Definitely not to be messed with. Outlasted the dinosaurs so has a good pedigree.

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  • 88. At 08:07am on 24 Oct 2010, Alan_N wrote:

    86 - Curses my secret is out!

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  • 89. At 09:02am on 24 Oct 2010, Stewart_M wrote:

    Is it BBC editorial guidance that tv presenters have to wear a poppy two weeks before rememberence Sunday? Just noticed CBBC presenters have theirs on now.

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  • 90. At 10:00am on 24 Oct 2010, davmcn wrote:

    AN 88, ld misspelled funraiser.

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  • 91. At 12:37pm on 24 Oct 2010, davmcn wrote:

    Keeping politics aside (YES, LOOTER, MAC, etc, I mean you!), I think we can agree after listening to Desert Island Discs, that Nick Clegg has had an interesting life. Having said that, six out of his eight choices were rubbish (Prince can't carry a tune, the David Bowie piece sounded like a low-rent version of Eleanor Rigby, I wouldn't open the door to hear Radiohead.). Unfortunately, the two classical pieces he chose, Chopin and Schubert, were both piano. Maybe we could do a Desert Island Discs on the Beach.

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  • 92. At 6:38pm on 24 Oct 2010, Anna Cardium wrote:

    91. davmcn
    " Maybe we could do a Desert Island Discs on the Beach."

    Already underway, thanks to mittfh

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  • 93. At 10:12pm on 24 Oct 2010, lucien desgai wrote:

    Yet another Nobel prize winning economist has said the cuts are unnecessary and criticised the Greek justification advanced by Nick Clegg after the election.


    They're doing it because they enjoy it.

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  • 94. At 11:29pm on 24 Oct 2010, U14638904 wrote:

    Alan, 4/5 of the richest 50 percent (ie all but the 10 percent richest of all) fair better overall than the worst off.

    The effect of the Spending Review is to increase inequality, to be regressive, to break Rawls' rule of justice and to expose the Lib Dems as collaborationist.

    The Tories wouldn't be worse without them, they wouldn't be in power.

    LibCon policies are disastrous, but so too is the way they are debauching the constitution. They may JUST be able to redeem themselves and save us all, by bringing on a General Election.

    Sadly I suspect they would be happier wallowing in the world of dishonesty dressed up as an unnecessary political necessity.

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  • 95. At 02:08am on 25 Oct 2010, U14638904 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 96. At 02:53am on 25 Oct 2010, U14638904 wrote:

    Id we had an AM-GB space I'd want to talk about the extent to which capitalist interest is a component of Welsh and Scottish nationalist politics. Nationalism has clearly has been implicated strongly in Tory politics.

    What of the landowners, the industrialists etc of Scotland and Wales? Do they drape themselves in the flag too?

    I'd also like to talk about Japan's Lost Decade, for it sounds to me as if ours is ahead of us.

    In whose interests do we think these periods of industrial stagnation in successive countries occur, when the world could so clearly use the economic effort lost.

    Roads schools hospitals water treatment plants, wind farms, solar panels, rail links, flood barriers, waterways maintenance, ships, food, clothing, ...the world needs them all and the world's most effcient providers of these things languish in their tents,
    Weaker than a woman's tear
    Less valiant than a virgin in the night

    Whose interest CAN that be in?

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  • 97. At 06:17am on 25 Oct 2010, lucien desgai wrote:

    95 TE
    She's not the 'common law Mrs Miliband', she is Justine Thornton.

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  • 98. At 07:01am on 25 Oct 2010, lucien desgai wrote:

    "agonised, doe-eyed apologist"


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  • 99. At 09:41am on 25 Oct 2010, Looternite wrote:

    69. lucien desgai

    Hear, hear, Interesting to note that before the election the Lib/Dems would quote the "The Institute for Fiscal Studies" verbatim for years throughout the Labour years. So much so that it was almost as if the ISF were a liberal think tank.

    Oh how things change, a wiff of power and now the ISF are being attacked by Lib/Dems.

    Attacking the ISF is not fair.

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  • 100. At 09:44am on 25 Oct 2010, Looternite wrote:

    93. and 98 lucien desgai

    Thanks for the links.

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  • 101. At 12:16pm on 25 Oct 2010, davmcn wrote:

    AC 92, Where? I'm already going through my old LPs. Let's see...Benny Goodman, Virgil Fox, E Power Biggs, Carlo Curley, Cleveland Orchestra, The Puppini Sisters, Chris Barber, Stephane Grappelli and Django Rheinhart...

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  • 102. At 12:27pm on 25 Oct 2010, davmcn wrote:

    ld 97, Look quick! Why isn't his name on the birth certificate? My wife's is the same and she has no idea who her real father is.

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  • 103. At 1:46pm on 25 Oct 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    102: Because he didn't realise, when his first child was registered, that he had to be present at the registration for his name to appear on the birth certificate. He's already explained that. And I suspect, given his profile, his child will never have the same problem as your wife had.

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  • 104. At 2:16pm on 25 Oct 2010, Alan_N wrote:

    Oh dear - Has Mac got the boot again? What a surprise.

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  • 105. At 3:45pm on 25 Oct 2010, mittfh wrote:

    Re: Post 104 (Alan_N)

    Only temporarily - I fully expect at some point in the next few days to see a rash of teeny tiny posts by a new user, as mac sets out to free his latest nickname from pre-mod. Unless he rediscovers the login details for one of his three SeriousSoundBiter accounts (which haven't been locked yet)...

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  • 106. At 4:31pm on 25 Oct 2010, Alan_N wrote:

    105 - I suspect you are right!

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  • 107. At 4:37pm on 25 Oct 2010, Gillianian wrote:

    Alan_N (106) He's such a tease, eh?!

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  • 108. At 4:38pm on 25 Oct 2010, Fearless Fred wrote:

    I'd give it 48 hours maximum before we have a spate of emails telling us all how the worlds ills are down to "STV and a cabal of Oxbridge Tosh".

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  • 109. At 4:46pm on 25 Oct 2010, davmcn wrote:

    BS 103, I hadn't heard that. Maybe my wife's father wasn't present at the registration either. Is that a recent 'law'?

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  • 110. At 5:10pm on 25 Oct 2010, Alan_N wrote:

    Now the coast is (temporarily) clear, can someone tell me how one 'debauches the constitution'?

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  • 111. At 5:12pm on 25 Oct 2010, davmcn wrote:

    BS 109, PS Could you get something like that amended?

    You'd love my birth certificate (Pennsylvania). It has my teenie weenie footprints on it. Still can't get all the ink off my feet.

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  • 112. At 5:16pm on 25 Oct 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    David, apparently if the parents are married, either parent can register on behalf of both parents. If they aren't, as in this case, the options are more complicated. Either both have to go together, or the registering partner has to take with them a statutory declaration form from the partner who isn't present at the registration. This has to be handed over at the time of the registration.

    I remember Ed M saying that they hadn't appreciated the situation when his partner went to register the birth. I believe it is possible, in certain instances, to reregister a birth.

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  • 113. At 5:18pm on 25 Oct 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    David: This link tells you all you need to know about reregistering a birth.


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  • 114. At 5:28pm on 25 Oct 2010, davmcn wrote:

    BS 113,

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  • 115. At 5:32pm on 25 Oct 2010, davmcn wrote:

    BS PS Forwarded to you know who.

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  • 116. At 6:59pm on 25 Oct 2010, Fearless Fred wrote:

    Alan_N (110) Especially an "unwritten constitution" at that....

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  • 117. At 7:25pm on 25 Oct 2010, lucien desgai wrote:

    My constitution is regularly debauched.

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  • 118. At 10:17pm on 25 Oct 2010, Alan_N wrote:

    116 - It's not 'unwritten' it's just not all written in one place.

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  • 119. At 11:22pm on 25 Oct 2010, JohnTheRedKnows wrote:

    The pension reform will help people who haven't worked and wouldn't get anything extra from means testing.

    The idle rich in other words.

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  • 120. At 07:05am on 26 Oct 2010, Alan_N wrote:

    Welcome back Mac. I see your glass is still half empty.

    The most significant group to benefit will be those women who, for whatever reason, didn't work but instead stayed at home. I'd hardly describe my granny as the idle rich.

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  • 121. At 09:33am on 26 Oct 2010, Anne P wrote:

    Moreover, if the pension is treated as income it will be taxed like any other, thereby taxing the rich and not those below the tax threshold - which is where anyone for whom the pension is their only income will be.

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  • 122. At 09:55am on 26 Oct 2010, Fearless Fred wrote:

    I see my estimate of 48 hours was far to lax, mac. Any chance of you actually trying to comment based on facts, rather than supposition?

    For instance, you claim: "The pension reform will help people who haven't worked and wouldn't get anything extra from means testing.

    The idle rich in other words.

    Like Alan N's case at #120, my mother worked part-time whilst looking after our family. She would be a direct beneficiary of this review, and she in no way could be described as idle rich. When are you going to take off your blinkers and look at real life? Time for you (who by your own admission must've been part of the elite to have been offered a place at Oxford) to escape from your isolated idealogical retreat and see what's really happening, I think....

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  • 123. At 11:01am on 26 Oct 2010, Alan_N wrote:

    117 - Lucien - Is that boasting or complaining? ;-)

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  • 124. At 6:27pm on 26 Oct 2010, JohnTheRedKnows wrote:

    'The pension reform will help people who haven't worked and wouldn't get anything extra from means testing'.

    That is TWO categories. Your deserving grannies should get the extra and presumably sayed at home without the benefit of nannies, home helps and

    So my comment refers to:

    'The idle rich in other words'.

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  • 125. At 7:41pm on 26 Oct 2010, Looternite wrote:

    During the 1970s there was cross party support for the pension reform at that time.

    I attended meetings whereby us in our 20s would have decent pensions that would be in 2 parts.
    A basic pension and a second pension based on earnings called SERPS. All the parties, the Tories, Liberals and Labour all hailed it as a fantastic reform that would end pensioner poverty. However, in 1979 Thatcher's Tory government decided due to party political dogma that state provision of pensions was wrong and so from the early 80s it was to be private pension provision. Then we had the pension mis-selling fiasco (kept quiet by the Tory biased media I notice).
    So instead of state pension provision via the basic and earnings related pensions being updated throughout the 80s we had the government turning a blind eye to the shenanigans going on ie pension contributions holidays by employers although these contributions were part of employement contracts.

    Anyhow, it looks like all my payments into the SERPS funds are going to count for nothing when I retire.
    Have I been cheated or swindled or just plain lied to?

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  • 126. At 7:44pm on 26 Oct 2010, Looternite wrote:

    Oh by the way I retire in 2015 which will mean that as I left school at age 15, I would have been paying in for 50 bloody* years.
    I think I am entitled to a decent retirement don't you.

    *other words available *

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  • 127. At 10:02pm on 26 Oct 2010, Stewart_M wrote:

    Looterite, Yes you should be entitled to a decent retirement.

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  • 128. At 10:56pm on 26 Oct 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    Looternite, I think the SERPS bit will enhance your pension, even now. Not much, but a little.

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  • 129. At 11:44am on 27 Oct 2010, Stewart_M wrote:

    NEST! Mmmm. This idea of a national pension fund. Employers and employees to contribute. Thought that this was partly what National Insurance is for.

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  • 130. At 11:52am on 27 Oct 2010, Alan_N wrote:

    No. NI goes to fund current pensions although it's often portrayed as a savings plan for your own pension.

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  • 131. At 12:58pm on 27 Oct 2010, Stewart_M wrote:

    Alan, and you trust the Government to not "borrow" this new money pot?

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  • 132. At 1:23pm on 27 Oct 2010, Alan_N wrote:

    Not at all, which is why I think it might be a good idea for a prohibition against pension holidays or 'borrowing' being enshined in primary legislation.

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  • 133. At 9:17pm on 27 Oct 2010, Stewart_M wrote:

    Alan I am one of the small businesses that will have to implement this. Just an extra layer of admin I could do without.

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  • 134. At 9:19pm on 27 Oct 2010, Alan_N wrote:

    133 - think of it as performing a civic service!


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  • 135. At 10:47pm on 27 Oct 2010, JohnTheRedKnows wrote:

    So, expecting to get them cut by George, the public sector and the building industry agreed to finalise all their contracts outstanding by ... October.

    A little creative accounting was required to make it all legal which upped the growth rate nicely thank you contributing a solid quarter of the Q3 growth.

    That, plus the over rated rating agency's re-rate of...us, is good PR stuff for everyone to enjoy except Mervyn King.

    For he has the problem of persuading us that it is reasonable to start up the printing presses gain and give us more Quantitative Easing.

    Which is what, no doubt, George has charged him with.

    Because that is how the Lib Dem Con government is treating the economy. The QE money will pour into the usual short term stock boom, so beneficial to the rich, whilst the poor of the economy, the worst off, below the average, 60 percent of us, will get even worst off. Our own recession continued whilst the rich prosper .

    So QE is on the cards. It's the way we bribe the rich not to get their chums in government (the Cabinet Lib Dem Con millionaires) not to hit us any harder.

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  • 136. At 10:52pm on 27 Oct 2010, JohnTheRedKnows wrote:


    Excellent re-cycling of an old joke, kindly humour.

    There's a current advert for anemergency service at the mo', which sports another of the original comedy team.

    But these reprises in their exactly opposite ways remind one of how laden with class prejudice the team were, their humour little omre than the constant re-iteration of ... class prejudices.

    Well done TIH for escaping, nay transcending, the tradition.

    The arrogance of some of the original team reminds me of how much of it is still to be found in British public life among the self-professed talented.

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  • 137. At 00:07am on 28 Oct 2010, JohnTheRedKnows wrote:

    The Guardian has caught up with the fashion of quoting Warren Buffett. Sweet dear old fahioned things (though on the money on the Lib Dem Con fiasco government), so often 20 years behind, but still:

    'I try to buy stock in businesses that are so wonderful that an idiot can run them. Because sooner or later, one will'.

    Which seems to be the dual of the epigram that most captures the spirit of capitalism:

    Any fool can save a system that is ao awful it emands that the rich dominate the poor. Simples. They make the rich richer and more powerful and the poor poorer and weaker. And we produce queues of them. You know who they are/were.

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  • 138. At 00:37am on 28 Oct 2010, JohnTheRedKnows wrote:


    All the Trotskyists were locked away

    Now it looks as though they're here to stay.

    Relax, it's just a song.

    Anyway it was the anniverary of the 1968 demonstration against the Vietnam War, when London bridges were red with the banners of the demonstrators.

    A summary of the year is here:


    (without the murderous intent of some of the opponents of the demo during the run up)

    Anyway, Ralph was compulsory reading then.

    Ed was at the planning stage.

    Why did it all go wrong for them?

    The wrong class saying the right thing and the right class saying the wrong thing. You can't have revolution from the top down, but you can have reaction that way round.

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  • 139. At 08:59am on 28 Oct 2010, Looternite wrote:

    138. JohnTheRedKnows
    Thanks for the link. In 1968 I was 18 and we were looking forward to a future of peace and retireing at 50.

    What happened?

    Oh yes, Ted Heath and the Tories winning in 1970 perhaps!

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  • 140. At 09:17am on 28 Oct 2010, Anne P wrote:

    Looternite, or just a set of aspirations fed by the same happy false optimism that was going to give us all free electricity, abolish all illness and have us wearing disposable knickers.

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  • 141. At 09:34am on 28 Oct 2010, Looternite wrote:

    140. Anne P

    Ah yes, those were the days of youthful optimism.
    Disposable knickers.... By the look of some of the underwear young ladies wear nowadays I cannot imagine them standing up to a blast in a washing machine.

    That’s a point though, where is my jet pack.

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  • 142. At 09:44am on 28 Oct 2010, Looternite wrote:

    Following on from the Today prog this morning I Googled Professor John Wells.

    I found this link: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/09/08/english_spelling/

    It's about time we let our spelling go free from the archaic straight jackets that mean our spoken language bears little resemblance to the written language.

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  • 143. At 10:35am on 28 Oct 2010, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    On this day in 2015;

    The newly elected communist government is about to pass legislation that will see many people from the most affluent parts of our inner cities having to down-size, move out, or risk losing their homes altogether. Reports indicate they will swept out to the more run down, higher crime and poverty stricken estates on the margins. Their present homes will be ear marked for occupancy by those who strongly agree with the new legislation and sympathizers of the new government. The new legislation will bring in a statutory limit on the size and value of properties that individual families enjoy regardless of their needs to occupy such properties. Many owners and tenants of penthouses, and Thames waterfront properties, along with mansion living residents of Kensington, Chelsea, Westminster and other affluent areas say,'this is nothing short of the highland clearances experience'. Critics have also stated 'its nothing short of ethnic cleansing in an attempt to get communist party voters into the areas they need to take full control of'. It is thought that many inner London properties will be converted from what is described as inappropriate affluence and size to more realistically priced flats and apartments. Government spokes person comrade Ivor sleazinsky, stated, 'why should it be that hard working families who get up early, doing a full days hard work can't afford to live in a place where others just inherit the title deeds from there parents'. 'They have to walk down the same streets but can't afford to live there'. He went on to say, 'our policies are about fairness and the broadest shoulders carrying the most burden' Comrade Sleazinsky said, 'there will be funds available in helping the smooth eviction of these people'. 'Its all about giving people the incentive and help they need to come into the real world, perhaps some of these, in future may have to catch a bus as, no doubt 4X4s will be inappropriate in the places where they might find themselves living. Comrade Sleazinsky went on, 'We belive this is fair and will not be changing our policy'. One Westminster resident of a 5 million pound property was asked for a way forward and said. 'Well, I popped over to downing street, politely knocked on the door and said, look here old chap can't we have just have a quiet pleasant chat about this old boy'? As yet, he awaits a reply.

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  • 144. At 10:45am on 28 Oct 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    Very good, Joe! :) Sounds like Ivor Sleazinsky is one to watch.

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  • 145. At 11:19am on 28 Oct 2010, Looternite wrote:

    143. funnyJoedunn

    Made me smile old friend. :-)

    Housing benefit is one of the unintended consequences of the Tory policy of the 80s, to flog off the social housing stock. Of course, the most desirable properties went first and in “posh” areas, there is virtually no social housing.

    I know of someone who is in receipt of housing benefit and it is paid to enable him, his partner and their children to live in an ex-council house.
    Since the great Tory idea of the 80s has gone bad, can someone ask the ConDem government how they see the effects of their policy in 10 – 20 years time?
    All they do is sneer and dis anyone who says that this policy is likely to have dire social consequences.
    The very people who do the minimum wage work in these posh areas will have to spend even more of their income on travel and spend even less of their time with their kids.
    Tory and ConDem philosophy appears to be “That’s your fault you are poor so tough”.

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  • 146. At 11:30am on 28 Oct 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    Unfortunately, we can't turn the clock back on the sale of council houses - a policy that I have also considered barking mad (and morally wrong). But I do wonder if it wouldn't be possible to look at the rents that are being charged by private landlords. I know this would be complex, and understand that, if unfairly hit, landlords would withdraw from their role - which could create another problem. Perhaps some research needs to be done on how many landlords are charging rents that represent more than a fair return upon their investment, taking into account, of course, the level of risk that they bear.

    My preferred option, however, would be a return to a system whereby there is affordable rented property, not available for purchase (and not automatically transferable to other family members, btw).

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  • 147. At 12:54pm on 28 Oct 2010, MoC wrote:

    FTSE 100 directors saw their total earnings soar by an average of 55 per cent during the past year in a startling recovery from short-lived restraint during the recession, according to research to be published on Friday.
    No comment necessary.

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  • 148. At 12:54pm on 28 Oct 2010, Anna Cardium wrote:

    142. Looternite
    "archaic straight jackets"

    Really! It's spelled 'straitjackets'!

    Standards, dear boy, standards!

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  • 149. At 12:56pm on 28 Oct 2010, MoC wrote:

    143. funnyJoedunn
    Thank you - joyous

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  • 150. At 1:07pm on 28 Oct 2010, The Intermittent Horse wrote:

    (142) - But then we moight ave difrint spellins depenunt on wot pairt of the contree we lift in!

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  • 151. At 1:41pm on 28 Oct 2010, mittfh wrote:

    This has been doing the rounds for a while - it's usually attributed to Mark Twain, although doubts have been cast as to its true authorship...

    A Plan for the Improvement of English Spelling

    For example, in Year 1 that useless letter "c" would be dropped to be replased either by "k" or "s," and likewise "x" would no longer be part of the alphabet. The only kase in which "c" would be retained would be the "ch" formation, which will be dealt with later. Year 2 might reform "w" spelling, so that "which" and "one" would take the same konsonant, wile Year 3 might well abolish "y" replasing it with "i" and Iear 4 might fiks the "g/j" anomali wonse and for all.

    Jenerally, then, the improvement would kontinue iear bai iear with Iear 5 doing awai with useless double konsonants, and Iears 6-12 or so modifaiing vowlz and the rimeining voist and unvoist konsonants. Bai Iear 15 or sou, it wud fainali bi posibl tu meik ius ov thi ridandant letez "c," "y" and "x"--bai now jast a memori in the maindz ov ould doderez--tu riplais "ch," "sh," and "th" rispektivli.

    Fainali, xen, aafte sam 20 iers ov orxogrefkl riform, wi wud hev a lojikl, kohirnt speling in ius xrewawt xe Ingliy-spiking werld.

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  • 152. At 2:25pm on 28 Oct 2010, Looternite wrote:

    148. Anna Cardium

    Sorry, I am not familiar with the item and so the spelling of it was not strait forward. :-)

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  • 153. At 2:29pm on 28 Oct 2010, Looternite wrote:

    150. The Intermittent Horse
    I thought that we were all supposed to be sounding the same and regional accents were decreasing. Well that's what the experts have been saying.
    Let's say goodbye and good riddance to the "u" in mould. :-)

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  • 154. At 2:42pm on 28 Oct 2010, MoC wrote:

    Perhaps PM could do an item on how many 'units' of social housing could be built if the FTSE directors gave up their 55% earnings increase and it was used instead for societal good. Of course, we'd need to offset lost VAT on Cristal champagne, expensive watches and Spearmint Rhino revenue.

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  • 155. At 3:58pm on 28 Oct 2010, Looternite wrote:

    I understand that Vince Cable chickened out of giving a talk last night at Oxford University.
    He cancelled because students were planning a demonstration.

    Hmmmm... uptill 6 months ago he would have been the "darling" of the students and universities. I wonder what has changed? :-)

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  • 156. At 4:19pm on 28 Oct 2010, MoC wrote:

    Looternite@155 - you've been reading my mind again.
    I liked J. Hardy's portrayal on Saturday's NQ of Vince Cable as Mr. Barraclough in Porridge "oh no, Fletcher, you mustn't.... you have? Oh, well I suppose it won't do TOO much harm..."

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  • 157. At 4:25pm on 28 Oct 2010, Looternite wrote:

    156. MadnessOfCrowds

    Yes I heard that on News Quiz.

    I've not seen much of you about lately. I always read you posts and usually agree with the comments. Some people have ditched their principles and are whole hog signed up to whatever the Tories want. Whoops I used Shamron's favourite word.

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  • 158. At 4:35pm on 28 Oct 2010, MoC wrote:

    @157 - lol, Looter - been working hard for a bit and got out of the habit of checking in here - but needed tocome back to share the FTSE story above.
    To sum up my impressions of the ConDems over the past few weeks:
    Cameron at PMQ's - arrogant, narcissistic and lacking credibility
    Osborne at CSR - disgusting
    Clegg, Cable et al - spineless
    The whole shower of them - lacking in depth and intelligence.

    I've been off looking at new businesses to invest in. Saw a wide range of management teams - some pertinent lessons about the state of the nation and the business world.

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  • 159. At 4:51pm on 28 Oct 2010, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    Thank you to Looter, Big Sis, and madness. I agree with what you say Too.
    Joe (;-)

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  • 160. At 7:45pm on 28 Oct 2010, JohnTheRedKnows wrote:

    The social cleansing that the Cable-Cameron-Clegg-Osbourne government is creating is evil.

    It is of course a fine case of the Lib Dem Con government wanting to eliminate the last vestiges of social integration and equality - to complete the near-complete inequality created by the market system.

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  • 161. At 7:53pm on 28 Oct 2010, JohnTheRedKnows wrote:

    It is wonderful to be learning a British language that is not constrained by the appalling Euro-centric imperious academics who straightjacket English in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

    Expertise in strict English is like a dog walking on its hind legs. Clever but not to be encouraged.

    And marvellous irregularities emerge, infact the irregularities constitute the norm of the tongue.

    The worst thing about the hind leg walking is when it is used as an instrument of class oppression.
    When it is used in that way it is pointless and cruel.

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  • 162. At 11:19pm on 28 Oct 2010, JohnTheRedKnows wrote:

    161 The British (Celtic)language I'm learning is the wonder of irregularity after irregularity, a poetic prose, whilst English is the regimenting language of class oppression.

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  • 163. At 11:58pm on 28 Oct 2010, Looternite wrote:

    162. JohnTheRedKnows

    No it aint cos it's wot I speak. :-)

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  • 164. At 00:10am on 29 Oct 2010, Looternite wrote:

    Just been watching Question Time.

    Now I have a question, Is Ed Davey related to Wayne Rooney. They sure look alike.

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  • 165. At 4:55pm on 29 Oct 2010, davmcn wrote:

    Ln 164, Ask Private Eye.

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  • 166. At 5:08pm on 29 Oct 2010, davmcn wrote:

    Ink toner cartridge converted into a bomb? Do they come in a choice of colors?

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  • 167. At 5:44pm on 29 Oct 2010, Alan_N wrote:

    They do. And it's much cheaper to refill the bomb after it has gone off than to buy a new bomb.

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  • 168. At 10:04pm on 29 Oct 2010, elcej wrote:

    143. (not)funnyJoedunn

    following on from your highly amusing post at 143.....

    On this day in 2020;

    The communist government elected in 2015 have cancelled all further elections and brought in the military to protect their position in power - just like every other quasi-communist country around the world.

    The mass emigration of UK residents to foreign lands has caused a crash in the housing market as supply far outstrips demand. Many low paid workers that purchased properties towards the end of the 2010's now find themselves with unmanageable negative equity. With the Bank of England's base interest rate now soaring to an unimaginable 34% the rate of home repossessions has soared to an all time high.

    Speaking on 'Radio 4Commrade', Ivor Goodidea attacked the communist regime saying "All foreign investment in our country has gone. So too have the vast majority of all the UK entrepreneurs that created the jobs for people. There seems no point in putting in extra effort now since any extra money you make will be taken away by this communist regime. No sooner than people spend a bit of money to make their house look really nice it is then taken away by the government to give it away to someone else. What's the point in trying these days?"

    Many international commentators have drawn parallels with the Mugabe government of Zimbabwe where GNP dived and interest rates soared. The investors in the UK had their assets taken by the government and now there are few businesses to employ people. The poor got poorer and the government was not able to raise enough money through taxes to help the poor and unemployed.

    However, UK President Victor Iamright defended the state of the country. "the ruling government's main priority is to ensure money is taken from those that have it to those that don't. It is totally immoral for people to live in big houses and take foreign holidays while national unemployment stands at 25%. I am sure we can achieve equality between rich and poor but if not then it is better that everyone is poor"

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  • 169. At 11:37pm on 29 Oct 2010, JohnTheRedKnows wrote:

    Those who know me, know that I am not an incautious man.

    The opinion I want to express however may seem incautious, foolhardy etc.

    But I think not:

    The Labour Party should oppose each and every one of the cuts. the atmosphere surrounding the economy is sufficiently optimistic about future eventualities, that such opposition would be met by a surprising degree of support.

    In the context of this small world of PM and the PM blog,the activity around Upshares Downshares demonstrates exactly the consciousness that I claim is very widespread.

    When there is a crisis we all play our parts, all have our agendas, all hope for what we hope for and work for it as best we can.

    Of course there will be voices that are over-optimistic just as there are over-pessimistic voices, some optimists hoping nothing will change, pessimists that everything will. Others, knowing the response to the crisis IS the crisis, hoping to prevent the solution, diverge to over-optimism and to over-pessimism.

    But we are not in that sort of crisis now, and my view is not one of strategic over-optimism.

    The support that my view has is buried, of course, both in the country and in debate conducted by the politial class in the media, by the same thing. It is the non-question, 'What would you DO?' It is that very question that prevents the development in all our minds of the idea that no cuts are needed.

    And oh. boy, is it a KNOWN feeling! Whether on the left of the Labour Party, the right of the Tory Party or in the stuttering embarrassment of Liberal Democrats with consciences.

    All know the 200 billion of QE merely reinflated the assets of the rich(Upsharing). All know the banks didn't need the 350 billion of 'support'. They were solvent anyway. Their cries were of self inflicted pain from their own deliberate asset destruction.

    The farce of governments proving they could create financial assets faster than banks could destroy them was born of the belief that there WAS a crisis. The crisis was designed to impoverish working people and it is doing that via government action, now.

    The spirit of Upshares demands we oppose all cuts. Cuts are the last vestige of the purpose of the crisis. If we know the crisis to be a farce then cuts are an irrelevant cruelty.

    So, in reply to the question, I say 'Restore the cuts. Not even our most vociferous debtors still believe the 'crisis'-makers will win and the crisis do its job of our impoverishment'. Unless we agree to cuts.

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  • 170. At 00:37am on 30 Oct 2010, Looternite wrote:

    Did anyone watch "A Life Without Work" on BBC 2 tonight. I watched the first episode last week also.

    I think the ConDems need to show a bit of humanity before they trash the welfare state.

    My advice to Clegg, Cable, Osborne and Cameron is lift your eyes away from the bloody spreadsheet and take a look at the bottom rungs of society.

    The LibDems used to have a social conscience but it just goes to show the power of 12 pieces of silver to change people.

    Back to the Nasty Party when the Tories knew the price of everything and the value of nothing.

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  • 171. At 11:52am on 30 Oct 2010, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    Looter (170)

    Agreed. I purposely didn't want to watch the program as, I felt there had been too much depressing stuff just lately. My hard drive is full at present.

    As I have listened to the arguments and reasons for the (I won't call it reform as, to my mind, reform means going to something better as an alternative) welfare cuts, the more I have seen through the ideology which is put forward as progressive and fair.

    For instance, the thing about people not being able to afford to live in London due to 'poor' people taking the housing, subsidised by the government. Where though is the credible evidence that when this cleansing (and it is cleansing) has taken place, that shows those people who can't afford housing due to the 'poor' will be able to afford to rent/buy the properties cleansed of the 'poor'? Would they want to live in those cleansed properties as, as far as I can see the vast majority will be among communities and tower blocks the aspiring classes wish to avoid anyway?

    Secondly, any fool can see through the prejudice of making work pay by cutting poverty level benefits. Follow this logic through and the government become no more than a national devious gang master who blackmail their workers by keeping them on perpetually low pay, thus, keeping them in perpetual hock. The vast majority of media reports conveniently ignore the 'bleeding obvious'. Namely, work don't pay for many people due to low wages, not generous benefits.

    Thirdly, those that prostitute the propaganda that the rich will be paying proportionately more than the poor in these cuts are liars. People on JSA get will lose 10% of their housing benefit after a year, on top of the VAT rises, on top of the withdrawal of services the well off middle class rarely use. This is on top of the cap on housing benefit they already get. So, add all the percentages up and you will find the poorest are not only the worst hit, there the worst hit by a long margin.

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  • 172. At 1:50pm on 30 Oct 2010, lucien desgai wrote:

    It seems that the money saved by throwing poor people out of their homes is going to be put toward corporate welfare for big pharma.


    If this report is true the government is going to abolish the organisation which deploys evidence based research and analysis to stop the drug companies helping themselves to NHS funds ... at the same time it is handing NHS purchasing authority to private healthcare companies linked to the same big pharmaceutical corporations.

    When this was tried in the US, the Medicare system was ripped off by the very same companies now lining up to offer budget management services to British GPs. But I don't expect evidence to get in the way of the tories and libdems shovelling our money up to multinational corporations.

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  • 173. At 2:35pm on 30 Oct 2010, Looternite wrote:

    You may be interested in this article about the Housing benefits cuts:

    Daily Mirror research shows that the vast majority of people affected by the housing benefits cuts are in fact working families. Of course they are low wage earners and so its OK for the ConDems to give them a good kicking after all its apparently "fair".

    We are all in this together.

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  • 174. At 2:42pm on 30 Oct 2010, Looternite wrote:

    On "Any Questions" Sayeeda Warsi spoke about the extremists of the "English Defence League" what she did not mention was during the run up to the election she was verbally abused and was hit by eggs when she visited Luton.

    It was not the EDL who attacked her but members of a muslim group, apparently she is not a proper muslim in their opinion.

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  • 175. At 3:16pm on 30 Oct 2010, Looternite wrote:

    172. lucien desgai

    Thanks for the link. So back to "good old days" when drug companies could charge what they like and doctors prescribe over priced medication that may not be any better than cheaper alternatives.
    Oh happy days, for big pharma at least.

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  • 176. At 4:27pm on 31 Oct 2010, davmcn wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 177. At 6:39pm on 31 Oct 2010, JohnTheRedKnows wrote:

    There are of course two sorts of prosperity..

    There is prosperity in scarcity and there is prosperity in plenty.

    Under prosperity in scarcity the rich get richer building up their war chests by asset inflation. Wages are depressed by the unemployment. The economy booms, but in luxury goods - second homes, bigger and fancier cars, expensive holodays and hobbies.
    The social atmosphere is one of desparation on the part of the poor, the unemployment, the sick and the old and of arrogant exuberance on the part of the rich, the financiers, the industrialists, the bankers, the land and property owners.

    Yep, a Thatcher - Blair - style boom.

    Propserity in plenty has a different atmosphere. The bossess and owners complain about the low rate of profit (Let them!) Houses, homes, are built, roads improved, schools rebuilt, automated factories opened, doctors and nurses and teachers trained, railways reopened. And so that people can afford the very prosperity they are producing, TAXATION is highly REDISTRIBUTIVE.
    The bus company owners complain about the taxes but ordinary people can afford the fares!

    The Condems are aiming, EVENTUALLY, for prosperity driven by scarcity.

    We need prosperity driven by plenty and by widespread wellbeing and affluence.

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  • 178. At 07:44am on 01 Nov 2010, Mindclearly wrote:

    I'm thinking of writting a comedy on 14millionaires and their approach to managing the welfare of a country if they were in charge.

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  • 179. At 07:59am on 01 Nov 2010, funnyJoedunn wrote:


    Taking a look at the government front bench - you couldn't write it.

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  • 180. At 08:12am on 01 Nov 2010, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    Edwardjeckle, 168

    Na, your just being silly now. Rather concerning, you seem to have worked out all the facts and figures to a pedantic degree. You don't don't have a secret manifesto do you?

    How do you know when a politician is lying?

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  • 181. At 3:53pm on 01 Nov 2010, JohnTheRedKnows wrote:

    Missing so much news at the moment!

    Please help!

    The bombs posted from Yemen (?):

    I've heard/read 'Well made' 'Sophisticated''Viable' and details like semtex type explosive, zinc oxide fuse and SIM card ignition.

    Which leaves me puzzled. Why/How did we escape the detontations?

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  • 182. At 4:18pm on 01 Nov 2010, davmcn wrote:

    JTRK 181, They forgot the phone number.

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  • 183. At 4:41pm on 01 Nov 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    Very good, David! :o)

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  • 184. At 11:42pm on 01 Nov 2010, Looternite wrote:

    What depressing programmes tonight. Despatches, Panorama and Coppers.

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  • 185. At 08:53am on 02 Nov 2010, Looternite wrote:

    So Cameron is going to sign a defence treaty with the French, er shouldn't we have a referendum before the government signs any more treaties. I thought that was what they were saying before the election.

    Still I suppose, the French can run the kitchens for the British Army.

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  • 186. At 10:05am on 02 Nov 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    I think there could be a new comedy programme in the making, Looternite. Imagine the potential for misunderstandings as the two nations, both of which have form for not speaking the language of the other, 'co-operate' in the field of battle. Or even, for that matter, on the parade ground.

    Any script writers amongst us? :o)

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  • 187. At 11:03am on 02 Nov 2010, davmcn wrote:

    Ln 185, When did Labour have any referendums? (yes, pedants, I know)

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  • 188. At 11:18am on 02 Nov 2010, Looternite wrote:

    On Coppers last night Channel 4 http://www.channel4.com/programmes/coppers/4od#3134011

    was a total loser Danny who at the end repeated a poem he says he penned whilst in jail, about 45 minutes in.

    If he put his poem to a rap beat he might be on to a winner.
    Rather strong language though.

    Don't the police have to put with some dregs?

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  • 189. At 11:20am on 02 Nov 2010, Looternite wrote:

    186. Big Sister

    We have enough misunderstandings with the Americans and we supposedly speak the same language.

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  • 190. At 11:27am on 02 Nov 2010, The Intermittent Horse wrote:

    Big Sister (186) - There will be no problems with the language. Both militaries have been watching old episodes of 'Allo 'Allo and have agreed to adopt the speech patterns of Officer Crabtree. Simples.

    "I am Officer Crabtree. I wark for British Ontelligence bot I have disgeezed maseelf as a poloceman so I am oble to move aboot with complate frodom. I was piising by the door, at half pist sox, when I heard two shats. You are holding in your hand a smoking goon; you are clearly the guilty potty."

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  • 191. At 11:30am on 02 Nov 2010, Looternite wrote:

    187. davmcn
    Labour referendums, let's see well there was the EU referendum in the 1970s, then there were the devoluton referendums in Scotland and Wales and of course the Northern Ireland referendum.

    Hmmm...how many referendums were there under the Tories or Lib/Dems?

    I can't remember any, there may have been local referendums about bin collections, road schemes etc but nothing major.

    Oh yes the GLC was scrapped by the Tories without a referendum and Labour re-established a London mayor with a referendum. So it ain't Labour that has been shy of referendums.

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  • 192. At 4:46pm on 02 Nov 2010, davmcn wrote:

    Ln 191, Scotland, Wales, and N Ireland don't count. When did the Lib Dems have the opportunity to hold a referendum?

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  • 193. At 11:15pm on 02 Nov 2010, JohnTheRedKnows wrote:

    The credit crunch appeared to crunch the rich and the poor alike, but in reality the poor suffered whiilst the rich didn't.

    Just when the crunch was beginning to bite, Blairite Brown's Darling, the Chancellor, and M.A. King, BoE Governor, put shedloads of money in the hands of the rich for them to make...shedloads of money with.

    By the useful accounting device of writing off a series of enormous losses that the rich had made by selling them to the government at full cost price, the rich were able to ennrich themselves further whilst appearing to suffer like the rest of us. (The credit swap, collateral debt, etc, losses to one set of rich parasites were of course GAINS to others)

    With their losses made good by government, the re-capitalised rich bid the stock market back up from 3,500 in April of last year to 5,700 now - a gain of some 60 percent.

    The collapse in stock prices occassioned by the crunch was accounted part of the loss made good by government whilst every gain in the investment casinos were accounted belonging to financiers.

    It was a nice touch that the recovered stock markets were a few percentage points below the previous highs. Oh, how those rich must have SUFFERED!

    Now goverment is implementing the political stage of the economic crunch.

    It's what you should expect from the Tories. No wonder the Lib Dems collaborating gets them called Vichy.

    That we are not in power is Labour's chance to come clean in their duplicity of making the rich richer and the poor suffer, which IS the fully functioning market system.

    Duplicity, OR the Fed, Bush, right wing Republicans and financiers so mesmerised the Labour government that they didn't know what they were doing. Sad if true, 'cos the instinct of Old Labour, from outide the loop, was that the rich were benefiting hand over fist, short term and long term, from the off, whilst the poor were getting it in the neck from the moment that the first attacks on them, the sub prime mortgagees made homeless, to now, when the social cleansing is directly political.

    The money will keep going to the rich until we decide to tax redistributively. And make no mistake reflating the economy is the only way to settle debt. So let's do it by fiscal policies, instead of giving money to the rich who'll just enrich themselves and export capital in search of higher returns abroad.

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  • 194. At 09:21am on 03 Nov 2010, davmcn wrote:

    JTRK 193, Blah blah blah blah blah...

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  • 195. At 12:29pm on 03 Nov 2010, Fearless Fred wrote:

    david (194) That's generous of you; that's two more "blahs" than I would've bothered with...

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  • 196. At 4:15pm on 03 Nov 2010, davmcn wrote:

    FF 195, I was feeling very generous.

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  • 197. At 4:17pm on 03 Nov 2010, davmcn wrote:

    FF 195, I just replied to a Lib Dem email sent from HQ about the higher education deal by saying RUBBISH! Looter would be proud of me.

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  • 198. At 5:12pm on 03 Nov 2010, Looternite wrote:

    197. davmcn

    If clegg and Cable were honourable men they would resign.

    Over the years Lib/Dems have bemoaned the low respect that the population had for politicians.

    Hmmm... how can you have respect for politicians who make a big issue about signing a pledge to fight against any increase in tuition fees and promise to abolish tuition fees completely. Then within months backtrack on all that they said. They even had the cheek to challenge other politicians about signing this pledge.

    197 davmcn

    Yes I am proud of you.

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  • 199. At 5:15pm on 03 Nov 2010, Anna Cardium wrote:

    Why, when benefits are to be capped at £26,000 per year and housing benefit at £400 per week, do some families receive over £1 million in public subsidy?
    one for Looter

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  • 200. At 5:33pm on 03 Nov 2010, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    Now you know why those other European coalitions take a long time in bartering out agreements before the agree to coalesce. The Lib Dems saw a way of feathering their own pockets, (and ministerial pensions)how could they refuse. The electorate is no more than an occupational hazard to many polititians in my opinion.

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  • 201. At 5:36pm on 03 Nov 2010, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    Anna (199)

    Thats easy. Cause all their mates are in parliament and its the old school tie looking after one another.

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  • 202. At 5:43pm on 03 Nov 2010, davmcn wrote:

    Why does a person study theology at Cambridge then want to go into law or the Civil Service after graduating? Is theology like studying Greek or Viking gods?

    Ln 198, All MPs of all color who got a university degree for free should now cough up the money they expext present students to pay.

    I am about to tell my local Lib Dem leaflet distributer that I won't deliver any more until we get out of the coalition.

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  • 203. At 00:35am on 04 Nov 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    199: Thanks for the link, Anna. There's a lot of it around this neck of the woods, too. One rule for them and another rule for the rest ....

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  • 204. At 06:19am on 04 Nov 2010, lucien desgai wrote:

    Good on you dav!

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  • 205. At 10:09am on 04 Nov 2010, darkdesign wrote:

    To the Disabled People of Great Britain And Northern Ireland:


    A call to arms to the disabled.

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  • 206. At 11:37am on 04 Nov 2010, Anna Cardium wrote:

    203. Big Sister
    "One rule for them and another rule for the rest ...."

    Aye, it reminds me of an old "consultation" exercise:

    • "many landowners and particularly land agents expressed doubts about the propriety of public funding going to benefit a small number of individuals and about the longer-term financial viability of some/all of such ventures"
      [crofts, etc.]
      From Scottish Office: Identifying the solutions 4.1:

      "However, many land agents and landowners were concerned that smallholdings and crofts could not be sustainable and would be dependent on subsidy;"

      From Scottish Office Identifying the solutions 9.1:

    The irony is too rich to believe! The comments come from those who constitute 'a small number of individuals', already in receipt of considerable public funding under present subsidies to present practices in farming and forestry, which are demonstrably un-sustainable and totally dependent on subsidy!

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  • 207. At 11:55am on 04 Nov 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    Yes, I've followed that story, Anna. Down here, the 'big' landowners have been stumbling blocks for many years in relation to the South Downs. They hold power in so many ways, and not least because they are so heavily represented on local bodies, so that when consultations are made, they pull the strings. It took a Labour government to cut through the proverbial and finally force upon them the creation of the new National Park - which is heavily supported by the majority of folk living in the area.

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  • 208. At 11:58am on 04 Nov 2010, Looternite wrote:

    199. Anna Cardium

    Thanks for the link. We are all in it together and have a government that is going to put fairness at the centre of policy making.
    Oh yeah... Watch out there is a low flying pig.

    I grew up in a village in Hertfordshire and the Farm owners always moaned about how poor they were. Yet they drove Range Rovers and sent their kids to public schools.

    I understand that the ConDems have or are going to scrap the Agricultural Workers pay board, it is a quango apparently. Maybe someone can correct me on this as I am not 100% sure.

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  • 209. At 12:17pm on 04 Nov 2010, Looternite wrote:

    Re: my 208

    Googled Agricultural Wages Board and found this link:

    Agricultural workers are low paid, work unsocial hours and in all weathers but they just aint poor enough apparently. Must be some fairness there somewhere, otherwise the Lib/Dems would never have OK'ed it!

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  • 210. At 1:07pm on 04 Nov 2010, Alan_N wrote:

    209 - I think the point is that there are better ways of delivering the same outcome. The AWB was fit fur purpose in 1948, but things have moved on since then.

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  • 211. At 1:46pm on 04 Nov 2010, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    Dd (204)

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  • 212. At 5:00pm on 04 Nov 2010, davmcn wrote:

    fJd 200, You line your pockets and feather your bed.

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  • 213. At 5:03pm on 04 Nov 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    Somehow, David, I doubt Joe does either. :o)

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  • 214. At 5:05pm on 04 Nov 2010, davmcn wrote:

    BS 213, I'll bet his pockets have holes in them. Sniff sniff boo hoo...

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  • 215. At 5:16pm on 04 Nov 2010, davmcn wrote:

    Is that Lord Razzle Dazzle?

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  • 216. At 5:38pm on 04 Nov 2010, The Stainless Steel Cat wrote:

    So, no PM tomorrow because of the BBC journo's strike?


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  • 217. At 5:41pm on 04 Nov 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    Well, Cat, "I think we should be told"


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  • 218. At 5:47pm on 04 Nov 2010, davmcn wrote:

    How silly of me, I meant feather your nest. (Beat Sid to it.)

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  • 219. At 6:03pm on 04 Nov 2010, The Stainless Steel Cat wrote:

    I got distracted. Was there a mention? Or can we look forward to 60 minutes of the Upshares, Downshares CD tomorrow?

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  • 220. At 6:05pm on 04 Nov 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    If there was, Cat, it passed right over my head (or through my ears) ;o)

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  • 221. At 6:24pm on 04 Nov 2010, Ellis P Otter wrote:

    Just mentioned on the 6 o'clock.

    I'll have to think of something to feed my news fix.

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  • 222. At 6:42pm on 04 Nov 2010, Looternite wrote:

    202. davmcn
    "I am about to tell my local Lib Dem leaflet distributer that I won't deliver any more until we get out of the coalition."

    I think we can all show some respect for davmcn who has made a principled stand. Well done davmcn at least you have not sold out.

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  • 223. At 7:13pm on 04 Nov 2010, lucien desgai wrote:

    Dav's not the only LibDem with a conscience.
    I just listened to the Guardian's Politics Weekly podcast which has LibDem activist Richard Grayson as a guest. He talks of staying in the party to fight the dominance of the market fundamentalists. I'm not sure how much success he can really expect to have but it's good to hear a LibDem who doesn't see it as his role to defend the Tory cuts.


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  • 224. At 11:27pm on 04 Nov 2010, U14674094 wrote:

    I've posted something similar on Stephanie's blog but its conclusion seems particularly PM orientated: ('Us' is the left)

    You think they're taking notice of us, Mervyn and the MPC members?

    Us saying:

    'QE is the rich people's route to affluence - affluence for them and them alone as they use it to bid up their assests'.

    is not what's motivated them.

    Us saying:

    'Stop making the rich richer. You saved every last one during the credit crunch, as if thir erstwhile wealth was a measure of their value'

    has left them cold.

    Us saying:

    'Your account 'QE lowers interest rates and so weakens the currency and so increases competitiveness as capital inflates the economies of Asian competitors' is nonsense. The currency is weak anyway and exports are unresponsive and imports booming. Anyway, the initial impact is inflationary at home.

    has gone unheeded.

    What's motivated them to hold off from further QE (which WILL come) is the effect the US QE is having HERE, anyway.

    Just on 2 percent on the Ftse in a day.

    Upshares Downshares should be the battle song of the revolution. It's the same game as the TV prog. it comes from. The rich get it all, the poor suffer.

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