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deeplyblue

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  1. Not necessarily. The old Oxbridge entrance exams used to allow tutors to offer places to people who they thought had potential, not just people who were good at passing "A" levels. Of course, it meant that tutors had to read all the entrance papers, and then interview the candidates as well. These days I don't suppose any university in the country could spare the time to have that sort of admissions process. I spoke a little while ago to someone who used to do admissions in an ex-Poly. I asked if they still had the basic "take a look at the projected grades and offer on that basis." He said,
  2. I imagine that's aimed at me - though there are quite a few people who would be totally bemused at the thought of me as a "leftie". Still, perhaps I should clear up one point. I was not saying that you have to keep every "diversity officer" or the NHS will crumple. But some of the "unnecessary" admin is providing the figures that allow newspapers and others to produce, "Waiting times down by x%" or "Total income from parking fines averages £y pounds per month". Not to mention the admin involved in answering all the FoI requests some of which allow disability activists to expose government lyi
  3. What I meant was [1] that they pay tax on their income, like everybody else, [2] that they pay NI like many others and [2] that they pay VAT on the goods and services which they purchase like everybody else. I would go further, however, and say that they "public sector"/"private sector" divide being so assiduously promoted here and elsewhere is less clear cut. Even leaving aside the dubious PFI, so many companies are involved in "public" work - whether it is IT companies engaged in government work (like the appalling ATOS) or companies who make tarmac for roads or who sell medical supplies t
  4. So those who work in the private sector all labour mightily, while public sector employees live the life of riley. It galls you that the taxes paid by advertising executives, those who lie displayed across the bonnet of a new car for the camera or who try to persuade you to buy a new sofa pay taxes to support the public sector. I also assume that you do not believe that flood control officers, nurses, rubbish collectors or policemen either pay taxes or "work for a living." db
  5. That rather depends on her circumstances. Most of the world's population would rather be poor and healthy than "maxed out" on disability benefits and in permanent severe pain. Or paralysed from the neck down. Or so far gone in dementia that they don't know where they are or when they are or who they are talking to. Of course, if she has a problem from birth then 75% of the world's population would not expect her to live to adulthood. db
  6. Agree with you in principal, but there are two things for which, I think, she does carry some personal responsibility. 1) The sale of council houses at very low prices. This was a very important part of the house price boom, because of the huge rise in the price of those homes within a year of their purchase, giving many a big deposit for the next "step on the housing ladder".. It wiped out a large part of the affordable, available family homes to rent sector. It put many more of those who had to rent into the hands of the private landlord. It grossly inflated the housing benefit bill in bad
  7. "But my dear I know this marvellous agency who get girls in from Eastern Europe, who will work for peanuts and don't get nearly as stroppy as the local chavs. Honest too and they don't complain if you sometimes simply have to cancel their day off - or if they do, you don't have to understand what they're saying." db
  8. When we were looking there, quite a bit of Monkseaton seemed very nice. One place we would have bought, I think, but there was glitch in the communications with the EA. It also depends on what sort of property you're looking for. You want Victorian, and Tynemouth is still probably your best bet. If you're after a new "estate" house then you want to be a bit further inland. The Abbots Way houses are just behind the main N Tyneside hospital and it was a bit too much of a mammoth estate for us - but you can get space for a decent price there. Also promising is Preston, I think. Find Pres
  9. Only if you're selling it to a relative (or other interested party). In this case the bloke was selling it to his daughter (IIRC) - she was getting a £350K house for £300K - which HMRC (or whoever) thought was actually a gift of £50K to the daughter which the father was hoping no one would notice. Now if there were money laundering involved (not that I have any reason to suppose there was) or an attempt to hide assets for some other reason, then parties other than HMRC would be involved. One standard reason for this sort of transaction is to try to reduce your assets so that when someone
  10. And of market economies he wrote (in the same poem, "The Gods of the Copybook Headings") However, I think you misread the situation. The areas of highest unemployment are those of the old heavy industries, where once a man could support a family by simple hard physical labour. If you get to the point where lots of people are required to get together and shoot other people, I think you will find plenty of recruits here. That sort of work - adequately paid (who wants lots of disgruntled people with guns and ammo) - active and respectable, that will find plenty of takers. And then when the
  11. No, the premier order of chivalry in England is the Order of the Garter, in Scotland, the Order of the Thistle. The full list of the modern orders goes in the formal list of precedence something like this: The Most Noble Order of the Garter The Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle The Most Honourable Order of the Bath The Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George The Royal Victorian Order The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire So even a Knight Grand Cross of the BE is a long way down the ladder from a Knight of the of Garter. You can't have K
  12. But without the earth, the produce is going to be hard to collect. Bob the Farmer is not going to be able to harvest his corn if, 6 weeks before it is ripe, he has to move. If 2 months after he has put in all the labour of doing the planting, and 2 years after he has built his house the injins point out that this is precisely where the buffalo usually roam, his labour looks wasted. Furthermore, they say, buffalo elsewhere have been killed in large numbers and they need this lot in order to feed their children. And they can't wait for Bob the Farmer to harvest his crop and then agree to mov
  13. Until: - someone makes a package selling dodgy chips which give everyone the same number - someone finds a nice cheap way to replace your chip with that taken from a person who has conveniently died abroad and unregistered. - someone claims that these chips are the Mark of the Beast spoken of in the Book of Revelations and claims that implanting them is a violation of their freedom of religion (this is already a standard fantasy rallying cry amongst the further reaches of apocalyptic-ready Christianity in the US) - a whole group of people are shown to be allergic to the things, or it caus
  14. Bob Settler goes west to the hinterland of the American mid-West. He spots lots of land which seems ripe for growing corn, and clearly no one is doing it now. In fact no one seems to be doing anything with it now. So he builds a hut, plants some seeds, marries and has children. From his labour he has makes enough to feed the children and even enough for a few things from the Sears Roebuck catalogue. Then one day a tribe of "injins" turn up. He tells them to get off his land - they say, "This is our land." "I," says Bob, "Have tilled it, planted it, irrigated it and harvested it. You w
  15. Try going to a forum called gardenlaw.co.uk which is full of people whose lives are being turned upside down by a disagreement over who has the right to call the shots over some very small pieces of land. Land may not be there, but surveyors make a handsome living out of it. db PS And Proudhon wasn't really talking about land in that quotation, but about government and - if I read him correctly here - as much about life in the city as anywhere. As someone else said, in a village we don't need that sort of thing, we have neighbours.
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