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Everything posted by mattT

  1. Hmm. As with anything it pays to check the facts. Even 'fact checked' facts. PriceWaterhouse Coopers appear to have 'estimated' the 37% figure. I can only assume they have done so by using the lowest figure they could find for 'average' private sector wage (17K ?? the mean including part time ?) and then divided the 180K figure by 30 to get something like 6K/17K. Therefore they appear to have assumed 0% pension growth above inflation. It's almost, just almost, as if they were attempting to fiddle the figures for a good headline. Either that, or they are hopelessly incompetent. Whichever, this ought to be a place where people examine such claims and figures. That's why we're here, right ? We have calculated that house prices are out of line with the fundamentals ? Come on people !
  2. I agree with your main point. However, the real reason he made 40,000 of false claims is because he loves money. Just loves it. He can't get enough. Perhaps this is why a (by all accounts) very clever man should choose the career of investment banking over other less financially rewarding but more intellectually stimulating careers ? In terms of his homosexuality, claiming aroused (many) more suspicions than if he'd made no claim. There are not many 40-odd year old millionaires renting a room from another man - so publicising it on your expense form seems an odd decision. It is, without doubt, merely a pathetic excuse. Seems to have worked, though.
  3. Me too. I used to get 280 pcm car allowance in the private sector and that was 10 years ago. I kept the cash instead of getting a car, and could then afford to live nearer the office. Each to their own. Some people need to think about what they're reading, who is writing it and why.
  4. Wise words. But... this bit... I do wonder... >> because we do not live in a democracy. We live under a plutocracy. Public's response to the banking crisis ? Elect the party calling for less regulation all the way through the build up. We don't exactly make things difficult for them do we. You could reasonably argue we had no sensible choice left, I suppose. Most days I think we're too thick to realise what's going on.
  5. >> The most disappointing thing about Mew Labour and the idea of socialist fairness is that instead of reining in the excesses and mistakes of Thatcherism, they took it further. Too true. Although I think Blair had more to do with it. Bless the good old british public though, their response is to vote in her very spawn. On goes the managed decline, just at a faster rate. Very sad, unless you are one of the handful of winners in which case it's brilliant, presumably.
  6. Mate - you really, really need to take the advice above. Do a trial run of the commute at 7.30am then see how you feel. Ideally I'd say try it in February but too late for that ! Just make sure your car has fog lights and the heater / fan works Seriously though the countryside is beautiful if you like that kind of thing. Google says 1hr 10 but you'd be looking at a bit more than that I think in rush hour. All recommendations above are good. If you can handle the commute, I'd go for Marple (I wouldn't go any closer to Stocky than that if you need to make it to Chesterfield every day). You can get something reasonable for 150K in any of those areas. Also have a look at Buxton if that's near enough for your other half. As mentioned they all suit someone closer to 50 than 30 - all have good schools etc and are nice places to grow up. New Mills/Disley feel more out in the sticks than Marple & Poynton with the plusses and minuses you'd expect from that.
  7. I was at school in the North West of England at the time. The previous week we'd measured background radiation with a geiger counter. The week afterwards we measured it again. I seem to remember the reading being several times higher. If land 2000 miles away can still be contaminated 30 years after an event, you have to wonder where the move to nuclear will take us. Not all stations will be well designed or run, never mind the possibility of natural disasters.
  8. There are a couple of certainties with nuclear power stations. The first is that more and more will be built until a massive disaster occurs. A massive disaster will occur, sooner or later. It's merely a question of when. So, if it's this time, you might be right. And maybe it's just as well. Building things that can't be safely removed for thousands of years is a very bad long-term strategy.
  9. It really does depend on your point of view. Most people would consider the guardian 'left wing' but not everybody would. Go (back) to Conservative Home for example, and you will find that many of its members consider that the current Tory front bench is terribly left leaning and liberal. Many people would strongly disagree. It is possible that some people will have a different view to your own. In either direction, if you're drawing a straight line between left and right.
  10. Just when I was beginning to think the last intelligent life had left HPC. Good to see there is some still around. Perhaps 10 years ago or so, this history lesson was just that, history. Useful but by no means reflective of the modern parties. Now that we have a victorian government back in (and with Labour heading left again), it becomes all too real once more. Even if you have no appreciation of the policy detail, a quick glance at the Coallition front bench is enough to tell you that.
  11. Allow me to be the first to point out that of course, I'm comparing a recession with (comparative) good times above, and so to find the pattern of debt equivalent partly explains the problem. Go back further though and you'll see some fairly wild fluctuations under both. Worth remembering that Lab's role is traditionally to build up public services and infrastructure to a point we cannot afford to maintain, and Con's role is to let them fall into neglect whilst repairing the balance sheet. Other countires seem to have broken away from that but we show no signs of doing so...
  12. You'll find the figures don't back that up particularly. The distribution of spending may be different. Look at debt as a % of GDP from the 80s onwards. You'll find the recession of the 90s mirroring the period from 2000 to 2007 ish almost exactly. Since then of course, catastrophe. As many have pointed out there was pretty much nobody pointing out the problems in the mid-2000s (the odd lib-dem, perhaps). Instead they were all competing to match each others spending promises.
  13. I suggest you have another look at the numbers. Specifically debt / %GDP for the last few decades, and the same for the defecit. By the old measures, debt in 2007/8 was lower than that in the mid to late 90s. A govt. spending graph will not tell you much. Whilst this is part of the equation you're looking at the wrong measure in order to answer your question. Look instead at the debt / %GDP ratio from 2007, and the defecit from 2007 (there was a surplus at the start of the decade and a medium sized (40 bn) defecit by 2007). The debt was under 40% ish GDP throughout. Then you can see the extent of the crisis. Part of the difference is putting the banks liabilities 'on the books' post 2008. If we assume that banks are too big to fail, then actually they were there all along (they were to all extents and purposes nationalised, or at least their risks were) even if we didn't treat them as such. So to some extent, the alarming jumps you see are effectively down to a different way of measuring things. Theoretcially the govt's stake in the banks are 'worth' something on an ongoing basis, too. In other word the historical measurements ignored what was already a fairly large time-bomb and all that we see now is a truer picture of what had been building since the 80s. Once you start examining the paper value of derivatives you'll see that much of what we get worked up about today is fairly insignificant in the grand scheme of things.
  14. Mine too. I am told that he exhibited great desire and hunger in office, but only for free boozy lunches. And to think he was a member of a Government of All Talents. Laughable really.
  15. mattT


    Funnily enough I was just thinking that would be a better place for this entire thread.
  16. Among the 25% are - the retired (early), students, mothers, fathers, sick. It's not quite as bad as the right wing make out, therefore. However...! On the specific of workless households - 2 things you need to know. One is that they are statistically much more likely in a 1-adult household - and these are on the rise and have been for many years. Second is a historical perspective, which the Labour Force Survey gives us (the BBC give us the latest short term change - remind you of anything ???) In 1979, there were 8% workless households in the UK. By 1996, it had skyrocketed to 19%, rising pretty much constantly each year. It has then fallen very gradually since then, until this year, to its current level of 17%. Set against the demographics and on this narrow measure alone, it's actually *good*, if slight, progress. Remarkable therefore that the Conservatives have made a scene about the figures, and utterly incompetent of the current govenment not to point out the quite shocking recent history (or if they did, i missed it). Still, the UK if full of workshy idlers according to the Daily Mail (and Michael Portillo in the Times). Oh, and on the next page, house prices are going up.... A historical perspective is essential always - not just in the case of house prices.
  17. The day I can hail a black cab and get it to take me to Brixton, I'll believe it... !
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