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About polkadotspeedo

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  1. I did not deny some foreigners are undercutting low-skilled British workers. But you are wrong in assuming all migrant workforce are grouped in this narrow category. Skilled migrant workers can ONLY get a work permit if they are PROVEN to be better than every other British candidates. So these skilled migrants are inherently better than their local colleagues of the same rank and experience. And no, these skilled migrants are often paid the same wage or more than the locals. That is a FACT. Since when are Brits so eager to be associated with the frogs, ex-nazis, commies, etc? I thought you guys saved all of us from the tyranny of Napoleons, Hitler and Mao? And that your way of life is the WAY to go? ie FREEDOM blah blah blah b*ll*cks? Like it or not, your goverment, be it Tory or NuLab or LibDem ARE all fans of the free-economy, not like France and the rest of EU, which subscribe to a more moderate Social-democrate model that many Brits are conned from adopting by the popular myth that Brussel is out to scr*w your Queen and sterling into Oblivions. So, if you are governed by free-economy fans, then you HAVE to compete with the rest of us. Shape up or ship out.
  2. "multi-culturalism" is just another spin by the media. Only Japan and China (from personal experience by living in these countries) have a quasi-homogenous society; both countries do not preach and lecture others about free-economy and personal freedom like this country does. So both these countries can have a totalitarian control of their borders, China by its sheer number more than anything else. So like it or not, you are stuck with multi-culturalism in this country unless you start a genocide. What needs to change I agree is how you react to "multiculturalism". France, relative to many anglo-saxon countries have a "borg-like" approach to immigration, ie, assimilation. No such nonsense as "tolerance" like you have here. You come to France, you must accept French way of doing things, no building mosques taller than the local church spires, and no burqas. I just do not see the logic of allowing foreigners to come to the UK and expect them not to blend in? "Tolerance" a la Britanique will only spell trouble and create ghettos for the spread of nasty terrorism. B4 you left-wing tree-hunging hippies start on your lecture, I am actually pretty left wing, but when it comes to immigration, the line is drawn here. The nation is wedded to the state for this discussion as I said in my previous post, your country likes to be "portrayed" as such outside the UK. And being an outsider, I can only speak from your country's propaganda, i mean media, spread around the world. Again, I did say the UK is a Freer-economy model, relative to the rest of EU. No need to compare to the US, you guys are commies in comparison to them. But let's not lower ourselves to their level please?
  3. As a country that is often portrayed as totally embracing the "free-economy" model (relative to the rest of EU), and one that is the least critical of Darwinism in its popular media; I'd say there isn't much consistency here. On one hand many here seem to want a "hands-off" laissez-faire government to protect your so-called "personal freedom", and on the other, you want less competition from foreigners by hoping that your government intervene? If you believe in the principals of a free-market and free-society, these principals should also be extended to the job-market. Part of the reason why so many foreigners are being employed is that they are simply better qualified and can offer a lot more "out-of-the-box" input than your local Johnny English. If they out-compete local graduates, then tough. You just have to produce better quality graduates that have a more open mind and more exposure to the globalised world. Closing your gates and hide from the storm will help in the short term, but you will be left out in no time. I work with many locals in my office, and I can tell you that most of the younger grads are crap and rather weak in their intellectual ability. Why? I think your Labour gov really lower the quality of education and exams in this country so as to allow more students to have a degree, in detriment to the overall quality and reputation of your universities. As to the other part of the reason, where foreign labours out-compete locals by charging less for their work. Well, c'est la vie. In a supposedly free-market, under what reason must there be different rates of pay between foreign and local labours? So what if your living standards and expectations are higher than some dirty foreigners? Who cares? Drop your standards and expectations. Unless you put a stop to the free-market concept so prevalent in your country, this argument will hold. And no, no compromise. Yes or No, to a free market. Pick one and stick to it. At least you guys have the choice!
  4. Pierre and Marie Curie Laplace Poincare Emile Zola Lagrange Pascal Pasteur Fourrier etc... Without these people we wouldn't have known life as we do now...
  5. I posted this under the Independent article when one asked why scum bags like PBK are given the platform to "express themselves", but it's not appearing... "These scum bags are given the platform to spread their lies because the media, the very reporter in this article, and the many employees of very many media organisations (especially the main stream ones) all have a vested interest in seeing a house price bounce back since almost all of them own their own houses. So we can't trust anybody in the media until they start publishing their conflict of interest declarations!"
  6. +1 When sensible arguments as the above are put forward, not many pay attention... alas. Britain's net contribution to the EU budget in 2006 was a mere £3.9bn... how's that compared to all the money spent on bailing out UK banks...
  7. Of all the European countries that I have lived in, the UK (if she can be considered as "European") is the most anti-EU that I have ever seen. This feeling is purely from reading local newspapers, national TV, speaking to people I know here, and reading online fora like this one. I've search out both pro-EU and anti-EU organisations' (in the UK) website to read about their opinions and both sides seem to have many reasons that they claim to be rational, to support their view-point. After some brief thoughts, I think our stance in this question of pro or anti EU basically boils down to the question of upbringing. Some people are basically programmed to be pro or anti-EU, and there can never be a truly objective reason(s) to be one or the other... We seem to seek out and chose to see all the statistics that prove our beliefs anyway, so I don't think this debate can be resolved rationally... unless people actually believe in absolute truth these days. Having said the above, "Sovereignty" seems to be a popular cause to champion for those anti-EU camp. Listening to people argue about the shame if the UK were to lose their "sovereignty" to Brussels, makes me feel giddy. What makes these people think that the Sovereignty of other EU countries is worth less than British Sovereignty? Those countries that chose to be closer to the ideals of EU are more amenable to losing some of their Sovereignty, for what some perceive to be for the greater good. I can already hear people crying "They can do what they want with their Sovereignty, we do what we want", but that is not the point is it? One plausible reason for the theme of Sovereignty to be so prevalent here might be the British pride of "winning" both WWs, and the reluctance of the victor to succumb to the wishes of other countries that the victor helped and defeated... If this is indeed true, I guess there is no cure to this emotional attachment. Economically speaking, I think there is a danger for the UK to be closer (ie joining the Eurozone for eg) to the EU. The lay British people are far more materialistic than its Continental counterparts, especially when it comes to property. With mortages in UK so tied with BoE's interest rates, I do see great concerns of many people in the UK, if pounds were to be replaced by the Euro.... All said, although I am pro-EU, I also see the British's conundrums vis-a-vis the EU and EURO. Being an idealist, I cannot stand the present British status-quo in many areas of its dealings with Brussels, all these "opt-outs" are ridiculous and these sub-standard compromises are detrimental to the development of the EU. As such, if the UK are persistent in their opt-out policies, I think there is no reason for them to be in the EU or ECC, and they should therefore be kicked out completely from the EU. This might prove damaging to EU's reputation, but I do not see a better way. Can you?
  8. In clinical research papers, we constantly put our blind faith in this thing called "p-values" as a measure of statistical significance of any trends in a measurable variable. I wonder why haven't I seen a similar tool being used in economics. I mean, a fall of 1.7% in Apr, compared to a fall of 1.9% earlier this year, were they statistically significant to the preceding month? Surely there is another layer of lies, I mean, statistic that we can apply, right?
  9. I just paid £250 in fees to my letting agency yesterday and it was painful to part with that amount of cash for their "service" (we are in West Sussex). Moreover, we had to fill in all the forms ourselves... I was moaning about it, but my partner said, it's best to keep a good relationship with the agents, just in case incidence such as deposit dispute arises? I've already negotiated 15% off the asking rent, so maybe I shouldn't push it too far. But I still think that I'm an idiot, and find it ridiculous... It also depends on the house/flat. The one we want is inside a National Trust property, and the agent is the sole agent. So we can't "shop around", and we're too lazy anyway. Nice detached house in a rural setting, sans chavs loitering around your gate in West Sussex isn't easy to find.
  10. Thank you all for your very helpful thoughts. I've never been good at calculations dealing with energy efficiency. It all look so subjective to me, especially when a huge influence in the calculation would involve the insulation afforded by the construction of the rooms/house. It is this that bothers me when I thought of renting again, as this factor cannot be changed without doing much structural work. I don't think any landlord, especially not NY; would obliged in this domain. I was thinking of wood burner precisely for its reputed efficiency in heating up a room. At our present house, a late Victorian 2 up 2 down, we have a working fireplace in the living room, and during the winter months, the whole house is absolutely freezing due to the lack of any form of insulation. The windows are single glazed, none of the 4 fireplaces are blocked, drafts are everywhere, no loft insulation; and the wooden floor has nothing underneath. I could feel the winter breeze under my feet! Even at full blast, the gas central heating was ineffective. So we tried using the open fireplace, and to our great surprise, it actually warms the rooms better than the central heating! The damp was removed and the drafts was bearable.... Coming from Paris, fireplaces were a novelty to me... It got interesting when I visited my partner's brother pub in North Devon that was just fitted with a wood burner! And the feeling was amazing. The fitting can be a complex DIY job, but looks promisingly doable, if the chimney has been lined. So that's why I was thinking of putting one into this new house. Not so much for its capability to save cost, but more for the benefit of a more comfortable and warmer room in winter... Further, this house is not as remote as described by Refugee. We are still in the SE England :-) Now, we just have to secure it and convince NT to rent it to us... The more I think about it, the more renting appeals to me...
  11. After two failed attempts to buy a house in the past 1 year (first due to gazumpting, and second due to surveyor down-valuing the house), we have finally decided to continue renting because we will soon be kicked out as our present landlady has sold the house. So we just found this very remote house inside a National Trust property. It looks nice and we decided to go for it as we need to move soon and no time to be choosy. The problem is, it has LPG central heating, and from what I've read, LPG could be expensive. If I do stay until winter 09, I'm interested to use a wood burner as the house has functioning fire-places. I've read at the forum of moneysavingexpert, the landlord is obliged to provide the tenants the most efficient heating system under some law? Is that true? I couldn't find any source for this information. The reason I'm asking is to convince NT to let us install a wood burner if we can prove to them that this option would be more economical and ecological than LPG. Any thoughts?
  12. There are some truth in what your relative said. No matter how "qualified" you are, you will never get an executive position in a well-known French company. It not so much nepotism really, nor is it racism, but more "elitism". To ensure a good executive position in France, you need to have the right "Diplome" from the right "Grande Ecoles". If you have an engineering diplome from X or Normale sup or Centrale, you are hired almost instantly even though you have no experience in anything other than mugging for exams. If you have a diplome from a "Universite", your CV will go st8 to the bin. If you have an Oxbridge degree, they may keep your CV for future references... And almost anybody, be it foreigners or locals, can get into these illustrious engineering schools, IF you can go through their PREPA of course with flying colours. So they are a "fair" society if you have VERY VERY VERY good mathematical abilities. France is a country that worship intellect and especially, numerical intellect. To the question of integration into French society, speaking French fluently is not enough. The French believe in complete assimilation of immigrants, not the softy "tolerance-based" approach in Anglo-saxon countries. To integrate, you have think, eat, sleep, breathe FRENCH. View the world from the French perspective and leave behind your original upbringing. They are really like the Borg, assimilation is imminent, resistance is futile. I wouldn't have left France with my good job and all my friends if I didn't fall in love with an English :-(
  13. I knew that the "Australia and Canada" argument was coming my way. Well, 1) I do not agree with their immigration policies either, and by the way these two countries were also anti-Kyoto Protocol I believe? So I try not to take their short-sighted stance in any international issues very seriously... ; 2) Australians and Canadians do not appear to ride the moral high horse all the time. This is the crux of my discomfort you see. The UK and the US have always proud themselves are saviour of the world democracy and freedom. Invading other countries who do not susbscribe to their form of democracy/freedom in the name of peace. Telling everyone that they are better and fair, that they set the standard of what is right and what is wrong. Showing off your prowness of economic performances. And then put yourself in the shoes of those living in "oppressed" societies without any freedom and democracy, wouldn't you want to get to the UK and US by all means due to their promises of freedom and fairness? Nobody told them that these freedom and democracy and all the fancy fairy-tales of a better life are for natives only. They discover that upon arrival at your doorstep. So, I can accept the UK being cautious and conservative in their immigration policy, but I would hope that they'd be less hypocritical about their position of what constitutes freedom/liberty/democracy, and stop lecturing other countries on what they should and shouln't do. My views are not naive, they are Utopist. "And how do you square this idealism with the fact that by admitting these folk to the UK you are denying their countries of origin the benefits of these great `writers ,artists and composers?" Errr, they choose to leave their country of origins, so I presumed that they might not be able to flourish very well there, wouldn't you think?
  14. My statement wasn't awkward, it was ill-prepared. And you gave a very good point that I have not considered. However, being a left-wing tree-hugging idealist, it is against my principle to screen/discriminate people based on their differences and/or abilities. I find it rather distasteful to cherry pick immigrants that may contribute positively to the economy and turn your back from those that can't. Everytime I voice my opinion with friends and at work about the plight of lesser qualified immigrants, most locals would comment "Oh you shouldn't worry, you are highly qualified with a higher than average income and have skills that not many locals have. Our country needs you". I've always felt uncomfortable faced with such comments, comments fringing on being qualified as racist in some countries. Other than my lorry load of paper qualifications, I don't see how am I different from those seeking asylum from Africa/Asia/Middle-east. Although the latter may not serve immediate economic returns to the host country, I've always believed that one day he/she may contribute significantly to the host country if they were treated with respect and dignity, and that their host country actually takes the effort to view them as an asset rather than a threat. Great artists, writers, or composers can not be screened from their paper qualifications. Deprieving them a chance to flourish in this country would mean a culturally poorer country in the long run in this ever increasing globalised world. You as the locals of this land are of course entitled to say yes or nay to guests in your land, but before you say nay, please ensure that your message to the so-called "third world" countries around the world is clear, concise and consistent, ie "we are a country of freedom, we cherish our freedom and civility, and we may even go to war to protect our freedom, BUT this only applies if you are of immediate benefit to us, scums need not apply".
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