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Everything posted by snowflux

  1. Your confidence is impressive, but have you asked your missus how she feels about pumping out a couple of kids in one year?
  2. No, other way round. Last year the Germans generated just 10.5% of their electricity from gas. In 2012, the last year I can find data for, 28% of the UK's electricity generation was from gas. The rapid expansion of renewables in Germany has helped them cut their consumption of gas, while our foot-dragging has left us very dependent on foreign gas supplies.
  3. For a family with two kids, the cut-off point is about £32K, which also happens to be the average male salary in the UK. So a typical family with a dad on the average wage and a stay-at-home mum would be just on the edge of qualifying for tax credits. The Germans, it would seem, are somewhat more generous to families with kids than we are.
  4. I don't think a couple, with two kids, who were both earning the national average wage would be entitled to any tax credit. I could be wrong on that though.
  5. Since I live in a rock-solid conservative constituency, my vote has absolutely no meaning whatsoever under the ridiculous system that is First Past The Post. So I guess I'd sell it for whatever the going rate was. It's no use to me otherwise. Edit: Obviously, if I lived in a democratic country where my vote actually meant something, my answer would be different.
  6. While UKIP may not have any MPs, their influence on the policies of a Conservative Party petrified about losses on its right flank shouldn't be underestimated. Perhaps that's why Cameron chose to appoint Owen Paterson, a climate change sceptic, as environment minister. UKIP's attitude towards the assessment of the risks to the UK from climate change certainly isn't very promising. UKIP pledges to ban climate change lessons in schools
  7. Yes, it's a false friend for translators and often wrongly translated. The word "Moor" exists in German too, but has kept its original meaning of marsh/bog/fenland, whereas "moor" in English usually refers to uncultivated upland areas. In place names, though, like Moorland in Somerset, it often has its original meaning.
  8. Oh, come on, granddad! Have you got over using your own car to get to work yet? Or using your own phone to call the bank? It's called progress. Other nations have been way ahead of the UK in introducing online tax returns, Germany for one. And it's far easier to do bank stuff online than having to physically traipse over to the bank; I always curse when some Luddite gives me a cheque instead of paying straight into my account. Jeez.
  9. Surely this is basic economics. If people wanted good, personal customer service rather than cheap groceries, then they'd vote with their feet. The supermarkets aren't trying to piss people off for the hell of it! They introduce cost-cutting measures like self-checkout because it allows them to compete more effectively on the price of their goods and, at the end of the day, that's what most people want. Also, what makes you think the workers in local shops are paid any more than supermarket staff?
  10. Na, who needs a stinkin' trolley? Just go up to the counter, hand over your list and wait for them to fetch and pack your groceries.
  11. It's certainly not unknown in Germany. When I first met my missus, she was a student in a small town where accommodation was scarce (limited by geography) and it was hard to find anywhere to live at all. Her place was as poky and her landlord as malevolent as any you'd find in the UK. Later, though, we rented a spacious flat in a corporately-owned complex in a different town that was perfectly fine and professionally maintained. We had no landlord hassles whatsoever there.
  12. The Wikipedia entry says: So yes and no. There are fewer trees than there were in the Middle Ages, but far more than there were 100 years ago.
  13. The Alternative Vote system may not have been perfect, but it would have been a big step forwards from FPTP as regards giving small parties a voice. The 2011 referendum was our chance, and we blew it.
  14. Was it not just a few days ago that Nigel Farage referred to UKIP's 2010 manifesto that he ran for election on as drivel? Was it not his party that did an immediate U-turn on their support for HS2 as soon as they sensed political capital to be made? UKIP are worse than any of the others when it comes to saying whatever they think will get them elected without any regard to consistency.
  15. You've got your analogy **** about tit. I think you'll find the Nazis were the ones who were keen on condemning people for being members of a supposedly evil religious group. Ring any bells?
  16. Careful, you're frothing. As I understand it, the Quran is even more vague and contradictory than the Bible when giving instructions, and it can be interpreted in various different ways. This bloke argues, for example, about the importance of not taking quotes from it out of context. That's all pretty irrelevant though; as far as I'm concerned people should be free to believe what the hell they like. It's actions that count, not thoughts.
  17. Did you even read what I wrote? Of course if isn't practical to allow unlimited immigration; that's why those wishing to immigrate should be assessed on individual merit. You anti-Muslim obsession is blinding you to logic. I'm no great fan of religion, but most of the religious people I've met of various faiths tend to be peaceful folk. Religion is, of course, sometimes used as a tool to incite people to violence, but that's no reason to condemn people for their beliefs. Decent societies judge people by their actions, not their beliefs, and freedom of speech includes freedom of religious expression, by the way!
  18. I can't help thinking that allowing people to immigrate according to their individual merits and needs may yet be a more sensible policy than knee-jerk discrimination against certain groups on the basis of what their future children might do.
  19. I'm just trying to get a handle on your logic. Who exactly do you think should be banned from entering the UK on the grounds that they might carry out terrorist attacks, given that almost all of those responsible for deadly attacks to date were born in the UK?
  20. The 7 July 2005 bombers (the ones who actually killed people) were also British citizens.
  21. The worst terrorist atrocity in my neck of the woods was carried out by Irish Republicans. I don't remember anyone demanding a blanket ban on Irish immigration after that though.
  22. Here's an interesting article contrasting successful (Munich) and unsuccessful (Freiburg) migrations to open source software in Germany. They're pretty much case studies in how and how not to do it: Triumph and disaster: Two migrations to OpenOffice
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