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Posts posted by fluffy666

  1. It seems pretty clear to me that Labour will win the next election with a small majority. UKIP will slice a small but significant chunk of Tory votes, and a medium sized chunk of Lib Dems will drift to Labour.

    Something like:

    Cons 30% (220 seats)

    Lab 37% (310 seats)

    Lib Dems 13% (35 seats)

    UKIP 13% (0-2 seats)

    Others 9% (10 seats)

    Something like that. The system is stacked heavily against UKIP getting parliamentary seats.

    The system is stacked against any national party apart from the conservatives and labour getting many seats.

  2. Anecdotally the beeb are already doing something similar with junior production staff: periodically firing them (well, failing to renew their contracts) for a couple of weeks in order to prevent their own job security policies from ever applying. To be fair this seems to be an incidental outcome of senior production staff protecting their show's budget, rather than a coordinated strategy, but it has driven everyone I knew at the BBC who wasn't from a relatively well-off background to move into other careers while only those with financial security from their parents have been able to hang on long enough to reach more senior positions with greater job security. This, I think, is behind the general biases on show at the BBC: they're accidentally (?) selecting out as many of the young working class as possible.

    The whole system - zero hours contracts, unpaid internships, tuition fees, and of course extortionate house prices and rents - all act as a filter. A far more deniable filter than the class system ever was, as well.

  3. Its interesting why a person like this (a seemingly successful person) would want a job as an MP? I know they trot out the lines to "improve people's lives" but how many of them have the experience of living off benefits or claiming the dole...virtually none of them...

    Career move. Few years of jolly good fun, get to write some legislation, get some serious consultancy money afterwards based on how to get around that legislation..

    May even visit the constituency if it has a decent restaurant.

    (Edit: In the interests of fairness, this guy's CV appears interchangeable with the general election Labour candidate for my constituency. It's like they're all the same or something.)

  4. He is no doubt aware of better seats to fight.

    Besides if he puts in a local UKIP person against this 32 year old Oxbridge lawyer then he will no doubt stand a good chance.


    I do love the questionnaire at the bottom of his page. 'Do you think all of our policies are wonderful, or would you rather be fed to ravenous wolves?'.

    So he leaves Cambridge at 21, spends some time in Pennsylvania, qualifies as a solicitor, and becomes a director of Christie's at 28. I'm sure he's bright but..

    And to be fair, Wolverhampton is not *that* far from Nottingham (by the standards of place-man candidates).

  5. It keeps them off the unemployment line, that's all that matters.

    Can't wait for Carney to offer up zero hour contracts as a reason to keep rates low.

    Just out of interest, I looked up what the Worker's Party (well, Labour) had to say:

    Under Labour's plans, workers on zero-hours contracts would:

    • not be obliged to be available outside contracted hours
    • be free to work for other employers
    • have a right to compensation if shifts are cancelled at short notice
    • have "clarity" from their employer about their employment status, terms and conditions
    • have the right to request a contract with a "minimum amount of work" after six months with an employer - this could only be refused if employers could prove their business could not operate any other way
    • have an automatic right to a fixed-hours contract after 12 months with an employer

    First one is true anyway, I'd expect. Second completely misses the point - if you are free to work for other employers (on zero hours?) then you'll have clashes. Third and fourth are impossibly vague ('Compensation? No more shifts for you. 'Clarity?' Yes, you're fired. Clear?) Fifth and Sixth just mean you'll be sacked for a week every six months to a year.

    I do wonder if the people coming up with this have the slightest understanding of the real world of low-paid jobs, as opposed to their life experience of never being financially insecure and being able to pick what they do.

  6. ALL M&A activity should be treated with huge suspicion, on the basis that things normally go wrong. (Ok, it tends to go badly for customers, employees below a certain grade and small/long term shareholders. The Right People tend to do well.)

    Mergers within a banking sector which already has issues with TBTF banks should go through a 1-step vetting process, which always says 'no'.

  7. Another...UK house prices are booming , indirect marketing story.

    The sooner this nonsense ends and we see the end of this sort of thing the better.

    Although it may spike the net migration numbers. After all, previously the outflow to Spain presumable offset some of the inflow from Poland. But it's OK, I'm sure our housebuilders will spring into action to build enough accomodation for them all.

  8. Sometimes it's more fun staying at home on the internet. Something we didn't have in the 80's and 90's

    When I was an undergraduate we were not allowed TVs in our rooms, most people didn't have a PC, no mobile phones, no no computer games. We had no choice but to go out..

  9. I probably overthink these things but I wonder if there isn't more to the current political situation than is obvious.

    With Telegraph, Spectator etc. running a lot of anti-HPI pieces in last 12 months - maybe Gove or similar is heavily pushing behind the scenes for some sanity on it - and these right-wing press reports are just part of that offensive.

    As I've said before, these guys are going to be at dinner parties weekly where senior medical/legal professionals are beating them up over cost of London property.

    A married couple of very senior professionals can't afford more than an ex-LA near a good school right now.

    It's probably more a case of newspapers having to reflect their readership.

    In the 2000-06 bubble, a lot of people gained. RTB, anyone who had bought pre-2000, those getting into BTL.

    Now, though, there are far fewer 'gainers'.

  10. I await the day with great anticipation when someone says to me..."people must have lost their senses".

    I still want a list of banks who are lending on these places ( i would guess the government funded one ), for those banks are going to hit a brick wall soon

    I am ashamed to have voted for the tories, better to have left labour in situ and let them face their music.

    P.S. Just over-heard a conversation at work where this young lass is saying her friends have been viewing houses and offering 20% ABOVE asking prices only to be told by the agents someone has out bid them. Captain. We have a problem.

    No doubt the BoE will step in soon to stop this madness and stop these silly young people destroying their futures and return prices to the long term average.......................................

    From the best buy charts, some of the smaller building societies (Yorkshire amongst others) may be going for it..

    The cynic/conspiracy nut in me thinks that TPTB have decided to dispose of the remains of the mutual sector by 'persuading' them to lend anything to anyone. A bit like the way the Co Op was bankstered into oblivion.

    Still, what's the worst that could happen..?

  11. Someone paid £260k for it not even 2 years ago.


    I mean, doesnt it feel *slighty* strange offering £500k for it?

    I guess at least its nearly 100 feet away from the south circular rather than actually on it, thats something :blink:

    You've given me the mental image of a 'house' being sold that is in fact a big campervan being driven around the North/South circular in a continual loop..

    'Great location, ever changing views, convenient for all of London, more spacious than the average luxury apartment, unlikely to be broken into, no communal fees (apart from £2k a month for diesel, plus the wages for the drivers).

  12. Well ive just turned down a 6 weeks contract in Belgium as im only allowed to work 50 hours a week, as opposed to the 84 that is the norm for this kind of job in the O and G industry.

    So your idea is wrong, people should be allowed to work any hours they want.

    Why the fck some bureaucrats who has never had dirt on their hands thinks he knows whats best for me is staggering.

    12 hour days, 7 days a week. Let's hope it doesn't involve heavy machinery or any kind of judgement.

    How are your feelings of occupations like Airline Pilot, Bus/Lorry Driver, etc having people being allowed to work however many hours they want?

    Thing is, my day job is in software development, in which trying to persuade people that there is a limit to how many hours a person can usefully work in a day seems a losing proposition. Much better to have completely exhausted people writing gibberish code, apparently. This is why I'd prefer to see a limit implemented through mandatory, escalating overtime payments, it would focus management minds a lot better than a hard limit that would get forgotten about.

  13. Depends on how ill and infirm your parents get. Not everyone ends up in a care home, however it's clearly a spin of the roulette wheel about what happens. For the plebs it's down to luck if you get to inherit any wealth or if the lot is lost with expensive care.

    It would be fairer, of course, if IHT came from a fairly low threshold (say £50k) and was explicitly used to fund elderly care, to remove the lottery element.

  14. Heard an anecdotal recently that is pub related.

    Local "Skeptics in the Pub" group used to meet in a pub near the station.

    They would meet regularly on a week night when the pub would otherwise be dead. They were given use of a room (for free I think) and in return would regularly bring in 50 to 100 extra punters each time which considering they would have speakers and be there for at least a couple of hours if not all evening, is not to be sniffed at.

    The pub got taken over, refurbed, new manager etc. After the first or second evening under new management, the bar manager tells them that they can't meet there any more because it's too much hassle for her. They point out that without them there would be about 12 customers in the bar on those evenings. She says it's all the same to her as she was just employed by the new owners. She's getting paid regardless and 12 people are easier to serve than 100.

    Strange attitude, as you'd think the owners would be keen to get people in the door?

    Yes, back in the 90s/ early 00s they used to run buses for students to get from cambridge to newmarket as despite being about 10 tens bigger, Cambridge was not known for its nightlife whereas for a small town Newmarket had quite good nightlife. Doubt anyone from Cambridge bothers to go to Newmarket now. Newmarket has gone downhill more than any of the Cambridge commuter towns IMO, not helped by the rabid NIMBY movement there. Im in St Neots now, which isnt too bad. Always disliked Huntingdon, but I think Newmarket may be worse. Think the original owners since of deniros since 1986 got out in 2007 and some other guy moved in, tried to make a go of it but has been downsizing it ever since. Ive seldom gone to Newmarket in the past few years, but the clubs there always look empty. Cant be long now till one shuts down .

    Must admit is was a bit sobering when I went back to Cambridge to see friends a few years ago. Went down King Street, there's hardly anything left..

  15. That happened around here recently (Tooting). Pointless knee-jerk. People were quite shocked when I refused to sign the petition, as though I'd just kicked a puppy. "It's only a signature," seemed to be the attitude.

    There's a great one just outside of Bath (Southstoke Lane) - one sign 'Save Our Green Belt From Teh Evil Developers' (This place is surrounded by countryside, but no matter), and on the same signpost 'Save our local Pub'.

    Do you think that if anyone pointed out to the local Nimbys that pubs do better when they have a local clientele their heads might actually explode?

  16. I've been a poster on HPC for many years and have been through many stages of optimism and frustration of ultimately buying the house of my dreams, without taking on the mother of all mortgages. Well I have the worlds biggest mortgage and have my dream house. I earn a very good salary yet buying the house wasn't a question of income because those I was going against weren't income rich, they were cash or wealth rich. It struck me that simply having a great job, great income and access to whopping mortgages isn't really always enough. What you need is a whopping inheritance, or to have bought a house for say 100k in 2001, ,sell it for 500k in 2014 and hence a 700k house needs a relatively modest mortgage.

    Scary think is that you could do that and still have a £250k mortgage. And critically, if you assume that you bought at the age of 25, you are now nearing 40 and you don't want a mortgage lasting into your 60s.

    It will be.. interesting to see, if and when prices start to drop and IRs rise, what happens to people in this situation.

  17. I don't think I know a single person under 35 who is content with their housing situation. They are all making massive compromises on quality, quantity or cost and telling themselves that it's only temporary and things will get better in the future. When in a few years things are not better (and might actually be worse) there are going to be a lot of angry people.

    Even as a 'winner' (accidentally), I can see that either I have a bigger mortgage than I would have had without a bubble, or more realistically a smaller house.

  18. " rising house prices means votes"

    I'm not sure that's true. I'm voting against the government and labour purely on their stance on house prices, I suspect many others are too.

    In the 'Westminister bubble', rising house prices = votes..

    Bear in mind the sheer proportion of our politicians who have never had any kind of money worries, who have never worked to pay a mortgage, and who have never worked outside of the University politics/Think tank/PR/SPAD/Party area. No wonder that these people have no problem with a basic 3 bed semi in an average location costing two hundred thousand pounds.

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