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About hairbearbunch

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    The Wonderland Zoo
  1. Of course, silly me. So there you have the totality of his advice. Declare bankruptcy before they change the law.
  2. Jeezus, The provie...doing well out of the whole mess with 56% APR. Bruce the debt advisor who owes a quarter of a million quid. WTF? Don't do as I do; do as I say. I don't care how much empathy he claims he has, he OWES a QUARTER OF A MILLION POUNDS and he's handing out debt advice, what sort? How to get into as much debt as you can as quickly as possible?
  3. I had to rewind it to check I'd heard properly. The "chunky" couple from Worthing - wife saying everytime she reached the credit card limit the bank wrote to her saying we've increased the limit. She then says "you hope you don't need it but then... life gets in the way again, you just don't have enough money when you're on income support..." I couldn't work out what she meant by "life gets in the way again." Apparently she ran up that enormous debt because disposable nappies are so expensive, her words. She has clearly been eating very well for a long time. I don't want to seem like I'm bashing vulnerable people but this seems like someone with their hand out in the assumption the rest of us have a responsibility to pay her way. Plenty of blame right there as well as with the irresponsible lenders.
  4. Too volatile at the moment to be able to say. Swinging about like the village drunkard from some early Irish novel.
  5. Couldn't agree more. I wasn't really saying tower blocks are a great idea or that sixties planners got it right. Just that at one point for a while they functioned reasonably well. I take your point about the slavery of being beholden to councillors. I did read the FT article when it was printed, the irony of the situation is that people who buy into these places like Thamesmead are in a worse position than we were in our tower block. The tower block was far from ideal and it only worked because at first (10 - 15 years) everyone behaved in a reasonably reciprocal way. I like "The Road to Serfdom" and can't argue with Hayek's point but Orwell also made a valid criticsm of Hayek, that he overlooked the tyranny that grows from a free market. Look at the situation now, bankers and politicians who seem to be beyond the law and who will rig the rules to suit themselves. Its a fantastic political irony that on both the left and right you have systems that effectively give rise to tyranny in different forms. Hayek also thought that sometimes dictatorship was useful. "There's nothing to say we can't have the worst of capitalism combined with the worst of socialism, this will be known as the "British model". " I hope you're wrong regarding this last point but I have a sinking feeling this exactly where we are heading. What, I wonder, would a system look like that combined the best of capitalism with the best of socialism? Edit - To clarify the bit about Hayek and Orwell. Actually I've just reread Hayeks comment about dictatorhip and I take it back. It was much more nuanced than just "Dictatorship is useful." He was utterly opposed to Dictatorship. (Now I'm arguing with myself!)
  6. I take your point but I have slightly different perspective. Collectivism isn't actually that clear cut. We couldn't have contributed to the victory in WWII without state controlled collectivism. Its useful for emergencies. You're right that it is hostage to the weakest link, but look at what is happening at the moment regarding the great unfettered free market. The 60's tower block that I grew up in during the 60's and 70's was a tremendously sociable and neighbourly place. It was a mix of old and young families and single people. Mrs T three floors down was born when Victoria was on the throne and one bloke on our floor had been in a POW camp and was full of stories that we loved. That changed, of course, but not because of some weakness in the model but because of very poor leadership by the owners. i.e The local council which had become a mini politburo. Ironically the weakest linked proved to be the council, who allocated more and more housing to families and people with major problems. Arrears went up, the number of people living there who had jobs dropped. The benefits/victim culture became the norm and everyone who had been a good neighbour found a way out. The blocks became social dumping grounds for alcoholics and junkies. It looks like this place in Thamesmead bypassed the neighbourly years in favour of the Mad Max ending. Edit to add - The build quality wasn't too bad either. couldn't hear anything form our neighbours. Solid walls and floors all round.
  7. Must admit I got a bit twitchy myself at the Brown Darling requirement that on the bailout the banks would be expected to return to 2007 levels of lending. The more I thought about it the crazier it sounded then by yesterday eve, they were backing away from the statement.
  8. It's time again for the Dow's (now regular) spectacular finale. Will it be up or down.... who can tell...
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