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Everything posted by Sledgehead

  1. Age discrimination in servicesSounds like it's illegal - at least in Scotland. Anyone know whether that applies here?
  2. Any political dimension to this Black Sea country? Bulgaria is to halt work on its Russian-backed South Stream gas pipeline following criticism from the EU and US. The economic crisis in Ukraine has, after all, served Russia well.
  3. Or put another way, we form allies, we betray, we form allies, we betray ... Remember this: And now? What makes it worse is that the guy who delivered the axis of evil speech, is a born again Christian, and by "evil", they don't mean anything that can ever be redeemed. I wonder just how long it will be before Iran finds out how much loyalty the US has towards the Devil? Meanwhile, one can only wonder what the Saudis (Iran's sworn enemy and long-time US ally) makes of this ....
  4. Thanks for the reply. It's pretty clear you disagree with my post, despite the fact that it is pure reportage. As to your post, please forgive me for not wishing to debate its content. I learnt years ago that it is entirely futile to argue with people who do not have a good grasp of english syntax. I could take exception to a particular aspect of your post, only to find you hold an entirely contrary view; not an experience I enjoy. I can see that you are refering to an government in Iraq. I should perhaps point out that no such entity worthy of such a name exists. That fact alone renders your post irrelevant.
  5. And now Blair thinks we can contain the situation with air power. Hey, yeah! What say we impose a no-fly zone, and run frequent fly-pasts over Iraq, with air surveillance? That's gotta be the answer. But wait a mo, that's what we had BEFORE we invaded and was deemed wholly inadequate by 'guess who' : yep, Blair.
  6. I believe you are making a moral case for killing >100,000 Iraqis. Good luck with that one. More informed sorts than you have tried - and failed. Perhaps the most informed and influential of these is Kanan Makiya. Never heard of? Well, maybe you should quit right there, cos he's your and George Bush's (and therefore Blair's) chief war-apologist in general. I'll leave you to wade through his ramblings on why the war was the moral thing to do, though if you've heard Blair and Bush on that matter, you've heard him, cos he was the "intellect" behind the stuff they said. More pertinently he also said this : In case it's not clear what he is saying from that exerpt, maybe you'll get the gist from the title of the piece from which it was taken: THE ARAB SPRING STARTED IN IRAQ. Yep, Bush and BLAIR'S war apologist justified the loss of >100,000 Iraqis by claiming it led to the Arab Spring. Of course, he wrote that just over a year ago. Recent enough for most of us to realise the so called "Spring" was anything but, but presumably still long enough ago for him to fail to realise what a mess Syria, Lybia and Egypt really were and are. Fast forward 14 months and, with Iraq in crisis, who should pop up on telly but our favourite self-publicist, Tony Blair, once again attempting to justify Iraq. Now, apparently, he thinks he can't be blamed for the cluster-f*** now going down in Iraq, because, Saddam or no Saddam, Iraq invasion or no Iraq invasion, we'd have an Arab Spring with all the accompanying instability. So the retrospective intellectual case for invasion was the Arab Spring, which had no causal connection to the Arab Spring. Of course, accompanying this self-contradictory clap trap, are Blair's insults, thinly veiled as entreaties: we need to understand abc; we must recognise xyz.Or put another way, you plebs are dumb and you common folk are blind. Not, say I, without your dodgy dossiers Tony to dull our brains,not without your WMD 45 minute claims to obscure our vision. And for the record (it's a matter of such on this forum) I never swallowed on ounce of that muck.
  7. Can I just point out how anti-Conservative this is. The Torygraph have in the past attempted to frame H2B as the new Right to Buy: let's hear it for Lady T's devoted acolytes! [email protected]! say I. H2B v1 may be the lesser of the two evils, but it is the antithesis, the polar opposite, the anti-matter to R2B's matter, and something doubtless causing Maggie to spin in her coffin like a turbo-charged donner spit. See, R2B was all about putting assets in the hands of the public. It was, indisputably, PRIVATISATION. H2B v1 on the other hand, involves government taking an equity stake in an asset owned by the housebuilder - a private entity - alongside a mortgagee. This action is without question, NATIONALISATION. And if you want a shorthand for what separates Conservatives from the Left, I'd say you could not go far wrong with the Pro-Privatisation vs Pro-Nationalisationdistinction. To put it bluntly, Michael Foot would probably have instituted H2B if he thought he could have gotten away with it. So now, having explained this in a fashion even the dimwitts in the telegraph editorial dept might understand, let's think about this new measure : Government sponsored equity release. Well, the property / asset starts off in private hands - the owner. Then a form of equity release is deployed by the government so that, over time, more and more of the asset becomes the property of the state. Now I'm no expert on this scheme, but it's pretty clear to me that again we are looking at a form of NATIONALISATION. I get the impression that the only diff between this lot and new labour is their approach to the free market. New labour tolerated it, this lot want to destroy it completely. As Maggie would doubltess say: "Bunch of F***ing lefties!"
  8. I saw this piece too. It annoyed the [email protected] outta me. Single mum, when asked about how her finances got out of control, says : "First there were the RENT ARREARS, then the COUNCIL TAX, then I had a large energy bill and now the water rates." Switch to the BBC correspondent: "People are getting in to debt, not because of luxuries bought on credit card, but because of day to day living expenses, such as electricity, gas, water and food..." Me: "Yeah, but those expenses are not only much smaller than property costs, they were refered to by your vox-pop girl AFTER property costs, yet you failed to mention those costs as a problem. Like WTF (that last bit admittedly barked out in a fashion likely to make regular tourettors blush with vicarious embarassment)" Switch to studio and anchor : "So what is pushing these people in to debt?" Debt advice woman : "Believe it or not it's water bills." Me : "Well I'm glad you gave me that choice because "believe it or not" I'm gonna plump for the latter!" Some hours have passed since this incident, and, despite the red mist having lifted, I'm left wondering how anyone could believe a water bill, averaging ~450 quid, could be blamed for pushing people into debt, when those same people are shelling out perhaps 14 to 26 times that figure in RENT and COUNCIL TAX. See that? I'm all upset again. Point me in the direction of a bed in darkened room .... Starting to believe there is a countrywide conspiracy between government, MSM, charities and regulators to ignore the elephant in the room.
  9. So the Care Quality Commission have made 34 recommendations to avoid future neglect and premature death in our elderly care homes. The relatives want a full enquiry to determine what really went wrong. As in so many cases, if you are looking to blame somebody at the coal face, you are looking in the wrong place. The seeds that led to the shameful neglect and premature deaths were sown far away from the individual homes. In truth, Orchid Views failings were not about staff training, but property, leverage and financial mismanagement. Just take a look at this Guardian article written at the time of the collapse. In that article we find that Orchid View's owner, Southern Cross, hit a massive speed bump when it's property sale and lease-back activities found themselves unable to meet a 43 million mortgage payment on property they were unable to sell and lease back. that was just the start. Austerity cuts meant LA resident numbers and fees fell, whilst rents Southern Cross had to pay kept rising - unsurprising considering what the new owners were paying for the Southern Cross properties they were picking up. Things came to a head when Southern Cross management demanded a 30% reduction in rents. The alternative for the landlords was to stand in line for payments as the company put itself into admin. Within days Southern Cross decided that the latter option was in fact preferable. And while all this property and leverage garbage was being played out, management was looking elsewhere for something to balance the books. Cue cuts in staffing numbers and staff quality. the results were predictable. The lesson to be learnt is simple: we can not fund our retirement and elderly care with property, simply because the price of that care will start with the cost of care home property. Add to that care costs and there will always be a deficit. Attempts to financially engineer our way around this truth will always end badly. Whilst Southern Cross's sale and lease-back wheeze worked, they were flying high. When it failed, residents and staff suffered, and ultimately people died. But don't expect this conclusion to be amongst the 34 drawn up by the CQC. Here's my 35th suggestion: limit property leverage.
  10. Here's Alistair Heath's view : Let Pfizer buy Astra, there is no room for nationalism in business Sums it all up nicely, as he did with Help to Buy : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dpA7Fg53x04 Alexw can bang on all he likes, but watch his reaction when I tell him he can't sell his car etc to whomsoever he wishes. Shareholders invested in AZN. they have the right to do with their shareholdings as they see fit, because without them, the company would simply not exist. Alexw needs to acknowledge this and try taking on a few equity investments himself. In this life it ain't all about imediate self-gratification mate. I don't know what you are spending your money on, but it doesn't sound like you've ever invested in a business, so you've never chosen to fund somebody elses wages instead of investing in your own sun tan, fag habit etc. Yep, that's right you don't have the moral high ground. Why don't you just go takeover somebody elses country and subject them to famine, instead of pretending to be Britains answer to Jesus?
  11. Sorry, didn't read that bit. Now I realise I'm talking to a communist. Good luck with that one.
  12. Apparently saturated fat isn't that bad for us after all. I raise this point because, although the body is a complex system, the opposite was previously believed to be the case and with some certainty. I also remember, prior to that, dietary cholesterol was considered bad. The thing is, economics is just as complex as human metabolism, and yet here you are declaring with 100 % certainty that this takeover can only have negative outcomes, and adding for good measure that my words are nonsense. It's now my turn to be "sorry" and inform you that you could be the living embodiment of Newton, Clark Maxwell, Bohr and Einstein and yet you could still not say with any certainty that this takeover will prove to be "bad". It's banning on the other hand will turn me off equity investing. That is a certainty.
  13. Agreed, but, and here is the question, is this not equally true of property? Do property prices not depend almost entirely on government intervention (restricting of land for development, supply of cheap credit, equity stakes, unchecked supply of new buyers via open door immigration policies)? Do we hear anyone objecting to the invasion of prime london property by the world's money launderers? Is this point ever raised in select committees? And if not AND we allow government to crimp the price and desireability of other investments, what MUST this mean for property prices?
  14. Agreed, but, and here is the question, is this not equally true of property? Do property prices not depend almost entirely on government intervention (restricting of land for development, supply of cheap credit, equity stakes, unchecked supply of new buyers via open door immigration policies)? Do we hear anyone objecting to the invasion of prime london property by the world's money launderers? Is this point ever raised in select committees? And if not AND we allow government to crimp the price and desireability of other investments, what MUST this mean for property prices?
  15. The only point worth considering here is that you made a CHOICE. What do you think everybody else is doing? Make equities more unattractive by making up all kinds of silly rules, the outcome of which for jobs etc is uncertain, and you have one certain result : equity investors like me becoem increasingly disenchanted and conclude the only place for my money is property. Personally I fight shy of this choice because I just know I could not be kicking people out of their home just to pay a stupidly large mortgage, but if the only winner in town is CHOSEN by government to be property, what is one supposed to do? You made a choice. Now ask yourself, which of the above would you rather the world's rich spend their money on? Personally I'd love 'em to spend it on art, antiques, gold, diamonds and "fine wine", and yes, equities also.
  16. Rant Let me ask you a question. Which is the most attractive investment: - shares - gold - wine - diamonds - savings account - stamps - oil - yen - dollar - swiss franc - ... ... - UK property ?
  17. "Capitalism has so few real aficionados they could probably be rounded up and shot in an afternoon". - Bill Bonner, 2nd May 2014
  18. It will be good if Putin is prepared to go along with it too!
  19. Now the government are involved we can be assured of an ethically correct outcome. Take for instance their involvement in the BSkyB proposed takeover. They blocked that, on the grounds that media companies must be owned / run by fit and proper persons. Never had any trouble with Murdoch myself, but I can tell politicians had. So blocking him from taking BSkyB private had to be a good thing. You have to be constantly vigilant in such matters. You wouldn't want a potentail enemy of the state having influence over sections of the population, would you? Putin shakes the hand of KGB oligarch Lebedev, owner of The Independent, The Evening Standard and I
  20. Funny how my defence of Astra shareholders right to sel is a rant and stuff like the above is not. As for support of uni research, IF this is of national importance, let the government fund it, seeing as £27k a year per student clearly is not enough. You guys think that the ability to make profits in shares is somehow linked to rising house prices. I wonder how many of you invest in shares directly, and how many of you can identify what's really going on?
  21. I remember paint and washing soda. How much d'ya reckon they'd be worth now? Nothing or less than nothing? Besides, are generics really the future? On another issue, GSK recently announced a vaccine for malaria. They are virtually gonna give the stuff away. People increasingly object to pay for stuff they need: prescription drugs, gas, electricity, water, rent, elderly care. They believe their money should all be spent on ipods, boob jobs, fags, booze, shoes, cars, furniture, clothes, fine dining, starbucks lattes, holidays. Grownups are regressing. Not only do they watch Game of Thrones, they also view their salary as if it were pocket money: money to be spent purely on fun stuff for them. That's not the kind of attitude likely to produce future bumper profits amongst the pharma majors.
  22. Simple solution for the government IF they don't want AZN to be swallowed : buy the shares in th open market. And the same can be said for members of the public who feel likewise. Here's a few home truths: People, including the government bellyache on about championing british success stories like AZN. Fact is, the champions are the SHAREHOLDERS. Unlike the whingers banging on, they decided NOT to put all their money and 20 times more of somebody else's money into brixenmorta, and instead bought a slice of British industry, and maintained that support through some of the most dire years the stockmarket has ever seen. The same can be said wrt people's attitude to energy company shares. The same people who pretend energy bills are confusing and energy company profits excessive, never thought to buy a £1000 worth of shares. Why not if such shares are such a frikken gold mine? Probably because, instead of choosing to hoard energy (well, that's what people think, don't they?), they chose to join a generation seeking to corner the market in property, going all in and 20 times more. Now faced with crippling mortgage payments, even as base rates hit 300 year lows, these same people desperately search around for somebody else to blame for their predicament. And yet how can it be that a price hike equivalent to less that 1/100th of their housing costs could possibly be responsible? Returning to the AZN situation, imagine being a Lloyds shareholder in the early noughties, holding an interest in a company long denied the chance to expand because of competition concerns. You watch as idiots running every other bank and BS gift mortgages to no-hopers. Your shares languish whilst the competition sky-rockets on the back of paper profits made from writing dodgy mortgages, but that's okay, cos you own a responsible bank. Then the crunch hits: your shares stand firm amid the carnage. Then some pillock running the country promises a knighthood to some crook running your bank if he pays over the odds for the sack of [email protected] they call HBOS: for some reason all previous competition concerns are no longer an issue it would seem! Just one small detail: shareholders are not told about the billions in debt HBOS owes to the treasury/BoE, which have been secretly leant to prop up the heap of [email protected] Next thing you know the shotgun marriage of HBOS and Lloyds wipes 80% off your investment and puts the company largely under government control. Now wind forward to 2014 and the government are again getting involved in your private financial affairs. This time they want to stop a takeover and thus stop you reaping the rewards of a long term investment, and every body in the contry seems to agree that's the right thing to do. But where were the enquiries into the LLoyds / HBOS merger? Apparently Co-op should never have taken over Britannia, because it brought them down: well hello, I don't think HBOD did Lloyds much good either! And where were the enquiries before our gold was sold? After all, that was the COUNTRY'S foreign exchange reserves. They were not PRIVATE assets, like AZN shares. Where were the enquiries before convict,Thaksin Shinawatra, was allowed to buy Man City? Where were the enquiries before Abramovich was allowed to buy Chelsea FC. Where are the enquiries into the takeover of prime london real estate by Nigerians, Ukranians and Russians? Presumably it is claimed our national interests are not threatened. Tell that to londoners who struggle to find a broom cupboard to buy in the capital. Tell that to those wondering why we are so impotent in the face of Russian aggression. It's just all double standards and cheap political posturing. I'm sick to death with the whole chirade.
  23. If you'd read the article you would not have posted that link. These new lot aren't just billionaires, they are professionals - doctors etc - buying £1m and £2m properties. I'd respectfully suggest that's less a case of diversification and more of a brazen "all in". And I return to my question and throw it out specifically to you: how many gazprom shares have you bought, Mr Diversification?
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