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About nicotineman

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  1. Here's the same story, at this time of year from the last four years. Ho hum. Shops 'may have weak Christmas' Retailers gloomy before Christmas Retailers face 'bleak' Christmas Retailers still cautious about Christmas sales
  2. There are so many public / private sector threads on here now that I rarely bother to read them any more. Same with the anti - baby boomer threads. It appears to me that it must be very useful for certain parties for the public and private sectors to resent each other. But in real life, the situation is so complex that much of the argument is made meaningless. The creation of wealth sounds like a straightforward matter, but is it? Is it not better to consider the creation of value? Someone mentioned that a hairdresser creates wealth by providing a service which is in demand and which people are willing to pay for, haircuts. There is a demand for healthcare, or education of children. If the NHS was privatised tomorrow, and the state education sector abolished, how many of you would opt out, and how many would continue to pay for a doctor to treat your illness, and a teacher to educate your children? Are that doctor and teacher now creating wealth, as opposed to consuming it as part of the public sector beforehand? I work in a hospital. Some years ago, I worked in a very decrepit and delapidated Victorian hospital. People complained that the building and facilities were unpleasant and poorly maintained. They were difficult to clean adequately, and made it difficult to provide effective modern healthcare. A local campaign for a new hospital started, people complained to their MP. Eventually, a new, modern hospital was built, funded via PFI. Where has wealth been created? Did the building firm create wealth? or the PFI consortium? In the old hospital, the cleaners were employed by the NHS. They are now employed by a large contractor. Do those cleaners now create wealth? If the hospital had been paid for directly by the government, rather than the PFI consortium, has an opportunity for wealth creation been missed? Where did the wealth come from, and more importantly, where does it go? Some new value appears to have been created, in that people are treated in a new hospital. They will pay for this, either through their taxes or through being charged a fee for medical treatment. Our society currently chooses the first option and I happen to think that this is the fairest and most sensible option. When the electricity boards were privatised, did they go from being consumers of wealth to being creators of wealth? Do banks create wealth? Or do they merely extract it, in the same way as an oil company extracts oil, rather than creates it. I do think that there are many jobs in the public sector that are difficult to justify, in that they do not appear to create value. I think there are also many such jobs in the private sector. But things are very far from black and white.
  3. Strangely enough, you aren't the first person to have considered this. QALY, one of the fundamental ways that the NHS / NICE decide what treatment to spend your money on. If you have a better way then do tell.
  4. That number makes me laugh. 1.4 quadrillion!!! Or 1,400 trillion dollars. Or fourteen hundred million million dollars. It makes no sense to me. They have made up over 4000 dollars for every star in the Milky Way galaxy. That can't be right, surely? Feel free to correct me, as this passeth my understanding.
  5. They aren't scum, but they ARE foolish and ignorant, and I expect they very much regret it now. Every day's a schoolday, eh?
  6. Merv has already written his letter Sterling gets the blame.
  7. This thread is fantastic. I'm off to dig out my old Monopoly set.
  8. You've never elected a prime minister in your life.
  9. I saw this as well! They have a nice facebook page. Why not add to their wall? First Time Buyer Magazine "THE TIME IS RIGHT..."
  10. Yahoo Finance Baugur says no problem (Press Association)
  11. I remain convinced that the Govt will do everything they can to hold back the tide of falling house prices. They will act against all reason, go to any lengths, to stem the tide of negative economic news that is killing them. Brown looks like he's going to hang on until the bitter end, and given that his sole solitary attraction to the populace was that he was some kind of economic genius who could run the country better than anyone else, he would do anything to get that back. I think his plan is now to do whatever he has to in an attempt to prop things up in the short term, to give him a perceived chance in the next general election, and then hope that the "global economic circumstances" improve and come and rescue him, regardless of the long term damage this may do to our country. There is no plan B. This is one of the great flaws in our political system - nobody will take unpopular decisions which will have long term benefits because they can't see further than the next election. It will run the country into the ground.
  12. From the same document: Potentially unreasonable restriction Unfair term: [The tenant must not] have any pet on the premises without the prior written permission of the landlord which may be withdrawn at any time. Way of revising term: [The tenant must not] allow others to keep any birds or animals at the property (other than in secure cages or container) without the consent of the landlord such consent not to be unreasonably withheld, delayed or withdrawn. If your pet chews the landlords furniture and damages it, you have to pay to put things back to the way they were. You are responsible for your pet, the same as you would be in any other situation. But it's unreasonably restrictive to say that you can't have pets at all, and the law agrees. The bottom line is that only the courts can decide whether a term is unreasonable or not, but they follow the OFT's guidance. You are a paying customer, who has a business contract with a service provider. Not somebody who's being done a favour.
  13. "No children" has been held by the OFT to be an unfair term in leasing contracts (assured shorthold at least, and I think others as well). It is therefore unenforceable in law. Similarly the no pets rule etc. Basically if you have a letting contract then the leased house is legally your home and you can do all the things that a resident of any home could reasonably do. For a very detailed guide see the OFT website Unfair Contract Terms [PDF] Extract: Potentially unreasonable restriction: Unfair Term [the Tenant must not] allow children on the premises Way of revising term: [The tenant must not] allow children to live in the property without the landlord's consent which will not be unreasonably withheld. So if landlord kicked you out for having kids, against the terms of your lease you could sue them and would likely win. Doesn't stop them refusing to accept tenants with kids initially though.
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