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Posts posted by 'Bart'

  1. Why don't you do what we used to do when we lived in London years ago: get to Victoria Bus Station and get on the first bus to somewhere outside of London and stay for a night in a B&B.

    And conversely, as someone living beyond the blessed radiance of our shining capital, it is thankfully possible for me to drag my provincial ass onto a train (2 hours 5 minutes) and visit the many and varied wonders to be found in the mighty City of Oz Londinium.

    Here are some of the unique sights I beheld on my last trip, all sadly lacking in my dismal burgh.


    Exotic eateries.


    A much higher quality of litter than is allowed north of Watford.


    A bus with two decks. Astonishing!


    The traditional cheery "bobby".


    Futuristic, hi-tech transport.

    Yes, it truly is another world. Where else in Britain could you shop at Marks & Spencer, eat in Burger King and ride on a double decker bus?

  2. Why does this utter failure get high paid speech dates????????????????????????

    they call it campaign contributions, adults call it bribes and payoffs

    Gerald Celente

    I've often wondered if these lucrative speaking engagements are a strange form of money laundering. Millions of pounds can't just appear in Tony Blair's accounts (or can they?) so if anyone asks, he "earned" it through speaking engagements.

    $250,000 for a 90-minute speech? Yeah, sure, whatever. That certainly seems like value for money. :rolleyes:

    He is widely believed to be the highest paid speaker – commanding even more than former US President Bill Clinton – and has reportedly earned over £5m for his speaking engagements. Last year he earned almost £400,000 for two half-hour speeches in the Philippines.

    Following this bribes and payoffs approach to its conclusion, Blair earns more than Brown because he rendered longer and better service to those who pull his strings. Gordon was a bit of a disappointment (isn't he always?)

    The alternatives are:

    1. Blair really deserves his money

    2. Some people have money to burn

    3. It's a scam to hide otherwise blatant payoffs for services rendered.

    $42.5 million for "advice" is taking the pi$$ though.

    Kuwait was invaded by Iraq in 1991. Tony the Quisling acquiesces in the invasion of Iraq in 2003 ("Your man has got cojones" as Bush put it). Tony the Quisling subsequently gets $42.5 million from Kuwait.

    Yep, that all seems above board.

  3. there is no more secure tenancy from this month onwards.

    From 1 April, the law on social housing changes for new tenants. The rights of existing social housing tenants will not change.

    Councils can now offer new tenants a shorter tenancy, known as a flexible tenancy. A flexible tenancy will be for a minimum of two years, but in most cases it will last for five years or more. If you're given a flexible tenancy for a fixed period of time, the council will review your circumstances before the tenancy comes to an end to see if you still need social housing or not.

    Councils don't have to offer flexible tenancies, and even if they do, they still have the option of offering 'lifetime' secure tenancies.

    Housing associations can also grant shorter tenancies of at least two years, but in most cases they will be for five years or more.

    Housing associations and councils may also charge higher rents to new tenants, known as affordable rent. This could be as much as 80% of private rent on the open market. The extra money from affordable rent homes goes towards building more new social housing.


    Not good news if you're a new tenant.

  4. My GF brother has just been offered a social housing home

    Is this home a flat in a "mixed" block, i.e. some private, some owned by a housing association?

    I'm trying to think of a scenario where a social tenant would pay service charges.

    If I bought my council flat I would no doubt get a bill every so often for the (intermittent) cleaning of the communal areas. At the moment, it's covered by the rent I pay.

    Not sure how Housing Associations work it.

  5. There's been some weird sort of step change in the past few days. Maybe the Tories are signalling they want an IR change.

    I was surprised to learn recently that a friend of mine, who'd always had money problems in the past, was still in bovver.

    The reason for my surprise was that with both him and his wife working and both getting decent money, it seemed that their problems were finally behind them.

    Last year they were able to put several hundred pounds a month away as savings. Now, that surplus is mostly accounted for by increases in the cost of living (they both run cars for a start).

    Now this about face seemed a bit extreme to me, but I've no reason to doubt his word.

    Maybe the Coalition is worried about the effect of inflation on the "squeezed middle" and their future voting intentions.

    Or maybe they just don't have a clue what to do.

  6. Ex-Prime Minister Gordon Brown sells at Dundee car boot sale for £1.50

    Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown was sold at a Dundee car boot sale on Sunday for a knock-down price of £1.50. Vendors Eric and Maureen Anderson, who were manning their stall at the Errol airfield site, said they were having a de-clutter and felt that it was the right time to let the former Labour leader go to a new home.

    ‘It’s amazing what rubbish you accumulate in your home,’ said Mrs Anderson. ‘The Gordon, as we call him, has been moping around the house for some time now so we thought we’d try to get a few bob for him along with the carpet offcuts that have been in the attic for years and that horrendous vase that Great Aunt Mary gave us for our wedding.’

    ‘I suppose it must be almost two years since we came by The Gordon,’ recalled Mrs Anderson. ‘He knocked on the door one evening mumbling something incoherent about losing his fiscal stimulus. We offered him a cup of tea and sympathy and the next thing he had moved in with what he called some ‘anti-boom-and-bust policy initiatives’ and a good deal of baggage. Of course, the policies were soon ditched but the baggage remains. He carried it around with him from room to room like a lost soul.’

    ‘At first, it was quite a novelty having our own Gordon, and, if we had friends around for dinner, we would trot him out towards the end of the evening guaranteeing that guests would never outstay their welcome. But while it’s quite fun to see a real Prime Minister doing his stuff in your living room, there is no off button for when they start waffling on about how they never got the recognition they deserved for saving the global economy. And the man’s shocking language when ranting about his predecessor wouldn’t even meet the 11 o’clock watershed, let alone the nine o’clock one.’

    In the end, the Andersons were happy to see their Gordon go for £1.50. ‘After all,’ admitted Mr Anderson, ‘he was rather a sad sight sitting there under the wallpaper pasting table. And he needed new batteries.’


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