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Archie Gemmill

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About Archie Gemmill

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  1. Last week's New England had a long discussion piece on how to make American Health Care more like the NHS ie cheap and effective. They surmised that this wasn't easy because basically we're Brits, they're Americans and our expectations differ. My point is that in the senior journal of world medicine the NHS was not dispatched as a nonsense or an anachronism. The reality is that the NHS is better after Labour's injection of money. The issues about the failure to deliver perfection or how much is some health care point worth are debated by every health care system in the world. When people on th
  2. The standard of living in Australia is great. This is largely made up of good weather, great sport and space. But make no mistake the cost of living is very different. All those people converting pounds to dollars and thinking everything's rosy are very mistaken. I lived in Australia up to the end of 2004. I worked asa doctor. Rent as aproportion of my income was more in Northcote in Melbourne than it was in Highbury in London. I was given a car by friends. They bought it for $5000. It was a banger. A similar car in the UK would have cost £500. Cars are expensive in Australia. Partly because o
  3. Yeah. I'm seeing someone on Monday who finds land to see how feasible it is. Land prices seem to be easing off, so that may diminish as an issue. The problem is I believe the usual:finding a decent reliable builder and controlling costs. If you want to live in a house that isn't out of a packet and isn't the usual victorian /edwardian pastiche/parody then its the only way to proceed.
  4. You seem like a canny investor. Perhaps you could tell me the difference between the US mint and the Franklin mint.
  5. I currently rent a 4 bedroom house in Hampshire for £1150 pcm. I think it would sell for in excess of £500,000. A mortgage on 95% of that amount would be over £2.5K pcm.
  6. I have to say one of the tiresome aspects of this site is the Daily Mailist tendency of a significant number of posters. Blunket has been an **** on more than one occasion; but let's be clear he has not resigned because he has done something wrong; but because he might have or it could appear he had. At the tail end of the last Tory regime, people were resigning left right and centre because they were taking money and gifts to promote the interests of people other than their constituents in parliament. That was a genuine scandal. This is sad for Blunkett; but if the ambition of the right is no
  7. Don't knock Grand designs. Those involved are as far removed as one could get from the the lazy something-for-nothing attitude that fuels housing market speculation. They usually bring enormous energy, take great risks and apply an unswerving integrity to their ambitions. And more often than not through their efforts they may have been enriched; but so has their's and our surroundings.
  8. I am reminded of the media storm about MMR, when I think about the reporting of house price growth. The whole story could have been extingiushed in a moment if the media had been prepared to ever report the fundamental truth versus gossip, opinion, fear,nonsense, conjecture etc. But too many people had too much to gain by spinning it on. Every blip, every slip, every advance, every reverse gets examined as if it is a wholly new thing, For the housing market it is the credit boom that has resulted in an asset boom. Nothing else. We aren't so rich because we have added so much to the world. We m
  9. I think your analysis is spot on. But it's the wrong country. Syria is next; trapped between Turkey, Lebanon, Israel & Iraq and the security council getting interested in the death of Hariri. It's small, it's got no oil and there aren't millions of battle hardened soldiers like in Iran. That's the next one and they'll call it the Damascus Dividend.
  10. I'll hold on to my "Knees up Mother Brown" thread then.
  11. Economics occasionally collides with every day life, neatly articulating how we got to be here. Western Governments flood the world with cash to stave off a recession. We start to buy stuff-houses, cars, DVDs, holidays. House prices go up first because they aren't influenced by cheap foreign labour. China and India keep pumping out goods and services to meet our demand. Oil as our energy source of choice gets consumed to make and run these goods. The global economic machine is getting hot. We can't stop it or it'll break. We're scared if it keeps going at this rate it will also break. What wil
  12. There is little doubt that dual income families have an impact on house price inflation. This is a long-standing phenomenon. A male professional in the 60s with his wife at home looking after the children could expect to live in a house and educate his children to a standard that would now require the income of himself and his wife. Therefore there has been inflation, in that his individual contribution buys less. You can think of it as the purchasing power of families having been recalibrated to assume 2 incomes. This didn't happen in the last few years but over the last few decades. It hasn'
  13. Anyone can just plunge in, have children and if they are in any way a competent person cope with whatever consequences arise. And if you want children that is pretty much what you have to do. But, particularly if you are living in London there are real questions to be answered. Giving up a few luxuries will be neither here nor there compared to the serious issue of schooling. In many places in London the local schools are crap. Or else you live in Croydon; the schools are good and the place is crap. Having stretched yourself to get the biggest house you can afford to accomodate your expanding
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