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  1. I certainly hope his or her legal "residency" is recinded and deported. Deport someone from the UK, what was i thinking of.
  2. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/labour/8569367/Labour-spending-Gordon-Brown-and-Ed-Balls-ignored-warnings-and-wasted-billions.html By Robert Winnett, James Kirkup and Holly Watt 9:25PM BST 10 Jun 2011 Comment A confidential document presented to the Cabinet in January 2006 asks: "We've spent all this money, but what have we got for it?" It warns that the efficiency of the public sector needed to improve rapidly and insisted that "spending growth will slow". The document drafted by civil servants also says that "ineffective spending" must be "closed down". However, Mr Brown discarded the advice and embarked on a £90 billion increase in spending when he became prime minister. The expenditure meant that the economy was left facing a record deficit as the effects of the recession were felt. The document is among 19 papers disclosed today by The Daily Telegraph that were obtained from the personal files of Mr Balls, the shadow Chancellor. They follow the divulgence yesterday of dozens of documents detailing Mr Balls's central role in a plot to topple Tony Blair. The document is the first official evidence that shows the scale of concern over the activities of Mr Brown and those around him in his time as chancellor. In an analysis of spending plans drawn up in January 2006 for the following year's Comprehensive Spending Review, the document states that any increase in taxpayer expenditure should only be in line with inflation. It sets out detailed plans for cutting spending in more than 12 areas to reduce spending by billions of pounds. However, Mr Brown neglected the advice and increased spending by twice as much as recommended. He only cut the wasteful spending in four of the areas identified. At the time that the Treasury document was produced, Mr Balls was still a backbench MP and would not have been on the official circulation list. However, other files show he was playing an important role in drawing up Mr Brown's policies. Before the October 2007 spending review he was made a Treasury minister then given a Cabinet seat as Secretary for Children, Schools and Families. The Coalition seized on the disclosures as evidence that Mr Brown's "reckless" decisions over public spending left the country in a vulnerable position when the economic downturn hit Britain. A Conservative source said: "This document shows the reckless approach of Brown and Balls which left Britain dangerously exposed to the economic crisis." Michael Fallon, the deputy chairman of the Conservative Party, said: "As recently as last year, Ed Balls and Ed Miliband were denying something we now know to be true. While Britain's debt doubled, welfare spending spiralled out of control and education standards fell, they were obsessing about getting rid of the elected prime minister and putting Gordon Brown into the position. "Instead of owning up to their role in a dysfunctional government and coming up with a credible plan to deal with the problems facing Britain, they are starting to plot against each other. They can never be trusted with government again." Another leaked memorandum warns Mr Brown and Mr Balls that plans to scrap the 10p tax rate would hit millions of poorer Britons and pensioners - but the change was still introduced. Mr Brown later denied that there would be any losers from the tax changes – before being forced to announce an emergency compensation plan. The Daily Telegraph also publishes documents today revealing how Mr Brown's major policy idea to be introduced when he was Prime Minister was a new British constitution. Detailed plans for the bill of rights were prepared, including possible new regulations for the media, but the proposal was quietly dropped after he moved into Number 10. The disclosure of the economic documents in the Ed Balls files comes as the shadow chancellor demands that the Coalition abandons its public spending cuts. Mr Balls has said that the pace and scale of cuts is unacceptable. Last week, Mr Balls demanded that George Osborne, the Chancellor, draw up a "plan B" for public spending if the economy deteriorates. But, Ed Miliband, the Labour leader, is understood to privately believe that some of the cutbacks should be accepted – threatening a repeat of the divide between Mr Blair and Mr Brown over public spending plans. Yesterday, Alistair Darling, the former Chancellor, gave an interview in which he dismissed the wisdom of Mr Ball's "plan B" concept. Mr Darling is currently finalising his memoirs which are also expected to criticise Mr Balls' influence over economic policy under Mr Brown's premiership. Yesterday, in the wake of The Daily Telegraph's disclosures over his role in plotting to replace Mr Blair with Mr Brown, the shadow Chancellor denied he had acted improperly. Mr Balls also effectively accused Mr Blair of lying to the electorate in 2005 about his intention to serve a full third term as prime minister. Labour began discussing the "transition" from Mr Blair to Mr Brown even before the 2005 general election, Mr Balls claimed. Mr Blair fought and won the 2005 election on a promise to serve a full third term in office. In 2004, he declared: "If I'm elected I would serve a third term. I want to see it through." But, in a radio interview, Mr Balls alleged that talks between Mr Brown and Mr Blair about a transfer of power began before the election. "The discussions about how to make that transition work began before the 2005 general election," he said. He was asked: "Even though publicly Mr Blair had said he would serve a full third term, he wasn't saying that privately?" Mr Balls replied: "Yes." The claim was last night disputed by friends of Mr Blair. One said: "Ed is basically saying Tony deceived the British public at the 2005 election. That is not true." Mr Balls has previously denied any involvement in any plot – which this newspaper disclosed was codenamed "Project Volvo" because of Mr Brown's reliable but dull image - to force Mr Blair from office. Yesterday, he said he had taken part in "difficult discussions" about Mr Blair's position. "There was not a plot but there was genuine and open and sometimes difficult discussion," he said. "There were tensions, there were arguments." Mr Balls said he and Alistair Campbell, Mr Blair's aide, had tried to calm those tensions. He said: "Should Tony Blair and Gordon Brown have done things better in that period? Probably. Were people like me and Alistair Campbell and others trying to hold things together? Absolutely." Mr Campbell later appeared to raise doubts about Mr Balls' role in relations between the two camps. Mr Campbell said yesterday: "It is right, as Ed Balls says today, that he and I worked together at times to try to keep TB-GB in a better place, but I think Ed would have to admit he was doing so very much from a GB perspective, whereas I always sought to see things from a team perspective too." Mr Miliband, the new Labour leader, said he was focussed on the future and described the revelations as "ancient history". However, he side-stepped questions over his role in the plot and declined to defend the secret talks as Mr Balls had done. The Cabinet Office announced it was launching an investigation into the source of the leak of the Ed Balls files, which yesterday gripped Westminster. Volvo, the car company, also attempted to distance itself from being linked to Mr Brown's image. Peter Rask, Regional President of Volvo Car UK, Ireland and Iceland, said: "If only the Labour party had been like today's Volvos - dynamic, agile and innovative - perhaps the UK economy would have been in a better place than it finds itself today!" with a credible plan to deal with the problems facing Britain, they are starting to plot against each other. They can never be trusted with government again.” Another leaked memorandum warns Mr Brown and Mr Balls that plans to scrap the 10p tax rate would hit millions of poorer Britons and pensioners, but the change was still introduced. Mr Brown later denied that there would be any losers from the tax changes, before being forced to announce an emergency compensation plan. The Daily Telegraph also publishes documents today revealing how Mr Brown wanted to create a British constitution. Detailed plans for a Bill of Rights were prepared, including possible regulations for the media, but the proposal was quietly dropped after he moved into No 10. The disclosure of the economic documents in the Ed Balls files follows demands from the shadow chancellor that the Coalition abandons its public spending cuts. Last week, Mr Balls demanded that George Osborne, the Chancellor, draw up a “plan B” for spending if the economy deteriorates. Ed Miliband, the Labour leader, is understood to privately believe that some of the cuts should be accepted, threatening a repeat of the divide between Mr Blair and Mr Brown over spending plans. Alistair Darling, the former chancellor, gave an interview yesterday in which he dismissed the wisdom of Mr Balls’s “plan B” concept. In the wake of the disclosures over his role in plotting to oust Mr Blair, Mr Balls denied he had acted improperly. He also effectively accused Mr Blair of lying to the electorate in 2005 about his intention to serve a full third term as prime minister. Labour began discussing the “transition” from Mr Blair to Mr Brown even before the 2005 general election, Mr Balls claimed. Mr Blair fought and won the 2005 election on a promise to serve a full third term in office. In 2004, he declared: “If I’m elected I would serve a third term. I want to see it through.” But, in a radio interview, Mr Balls alleged that talks between Mr Brown and Mr Blair about a transfer of power began before the election. “The discussions about how to make that transition work began before the 2005 general election,” he said. He was asked: “Even though publicly Mr Blair had said he would serve a full third term, he wasn’t saying that privately?” Mr Balls replied: “Yes.” The claim was last night disputed by friends of Mr Blair. One said: “Ed is basically saying Tony deceived the British public at the 2005 election. That is not true.” Mr Balls has previously denied any involvement in any plot – which this newspaper disclosed was codenamed “Project Volvo” because of Mr Brown’s reliable but dull image - to force Mr Blair from office. Yesterday, he said he had taken part in “difficult discussions” about Mr Blair’s position. “There was not a plot but there was genuine and open and sometimes difficult discussion,” he said. “There were tensions, there were arguments.” Mr Balls said he and Alistair Campbell, Mr Blair’s aide, had tried to calm those tensions. He said: “Should Tony Blair and Gordon Brown have done things better in that period? Probably. Were people like me and Alistair Campbell and others trying to hold things together? Absolutely.” Mr Campbell later appeared to raise doubts about Mr Balls’ role in relations between the two camps. Mr Campbell said yesterday: “It is right, as Ed Balls says today, that he and I worked together at times to try to keep TB-GB in a better place, but I think Ed would have to admit he was doing so very much from a GB perspective, whereas I always sought to see things from a team perspective too.” Mr Miliband, the Labour leader, described the revelations as “ancient history”, but side-stepped questions over his role in the plot. The Cabinet Office announced an investigation into the source of the leak of the files.
  3. http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/finance/jeremywarner/100010510/scandal-of-britains-700bn-overspend/ Here’s a startling, though depressingly unsurprising, factoid I came across while – sad ******* that I am – digging around in the Office for National Statistics data base. Britain has not had a surplus in trade since 1982, or nearly thirty years, and even back then, it was only the gusher of still relatively new North Sea oil development that sustained it. The current account, which includes income on overseas investment, looks little better. There’s been no current account surplus since 1984. I’ve added up the numbers in this sad history of shame, and the brutal truth is that since 1984 Britain has spent a sum more than it has earned equivalent to well over half of the country’s entire national income, or in round numbers, £700bn. I’m reminded of Mr Micawber’s famous recipe for happiness. “Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.” In Britain, we long ago forgot about the importance of living within our means. The consequent misery visited on us in the financial crisis is the modern equivalent of the debtors’ prison to which Mr Micawber was eventually condemned. Yet still we don’t seem to have learned our lesson. Despite a near 25pc devaluation in the pound since the start of the financial crisis, one of the biggest devaluations ever – which should in theory make British goods and services more competitive – we are still importing far more than we are exporting. Last year, the current account deficit was again on the increase, to 2.5pc of GDP. I'm showing my age here, but can remember when the trade figures, good or bad would be the lead item on the news.
  4. According to Ahmed or whatever his name was, it's all the Nigerians fault people don't get allocated council houses. I assume he meant Nigerian councillors. It wouldn't surprise me if a lot of council places are allocated on who you know. Did building workers in the fifties really wear collar and ties on site.
  5. This was highlighted a few years ago when Panarama did an immigration program from Slough called "How we lost count". When a council spokesman was interviewed whose department was resposible for enforcing the law on the dwellings, just came out with the usual council excuses. Not enough resources, would only be able to check one or two a week etc. Glad to see they are going to do something about it at last. In a Slough Express a few weeks back, the council said they were determined that Slough would not become the "Soweto of the UK" !!!!!!.
  6. I know it's going back a bit, but didn't "Not the Nine O'clock News" comedy programme do a spoof on the made in Wales advert. Same song but with a long list of firms with the ending FAILED IN WALES.
  7. If it all kicks off here, and we take up the custom of torching cars like they do in France (Nearly 43,000 cars were torched in France over the whole of 2007 — an average of almost 118 per day). They would help a bit.
  8. Should be interesting. Dispatches: Undercover Debt CollectorMonday 20 July 8:00pm - 9:00pm Channel 4Dispatches goes undercover to investigate debt collection, an industry which is booming during the current financial crisis. The programme reveals some of the tactics used to make debtors to pay up, while reporter Tom Randall gets a job as a debt collector inside one of Britain's fastest growing agencies and discovers that some businesses are selling their bad debts to agencies for as little as sixteen pence in the pound.
  9. Condoms are not expensive in Thailand at all. They are just no bloody good. So i'm told.
  10. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economi...ese-dragon.html Airbus rides the Chinese dragon In the time it takes to complete the paper work for planning permission in Britain, a factory in Tianjin has been built and is producing passenger jets. By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard in Tianjin, China Published: 6:38PM BST 30 Jun 2009 An Airbus SAS A320 is rolled out of a hangar in Tianjin Photo: Bloomberg News Once a month, an Airbus A320 passenger jet rolls out of an airy hangar on the outskirts of northern port city of Tianjin, China's window to Western ideas for a century and a half. Within two years these $72m (£43m) twin-engine jets will be emerging once a week. The number of French, German, British, and Spanish engineers "shadowing" the local work force will be down to a handful. By then production of identical models of the A320 workhorse will be tapering off slowly at the Airbus sister plants in Hamburg and Toulouse, starting with a cut from 36 to 34 this Autumn. The Chinese engineers learn fast. This factory kicked off nine months ago, a nano-second in aviation time. It takes longer in Britain to complete the paper-work for planning permission. "It's a miracle," said Lan Xinguo, head of Sichuan Airlines as he took delivery last week of the first Chinese A320 – splendidly adorned in red with dragons – to the sound of the Star Wars film track. "What's been done is beyond our imagination a few years ago." Lawrence Barron, head of Airbus China, said Tianjin jets are geared to voracious demand from local airlines, at least – and here comes the kicker – "in the early years". There is no reason why an Indian, Australian, or European airline should not buy a Tianjin jet one day. It is an odd arrangement. The Tianjin plant is a joint venture with China's Aviation Industry Corp (AVIC), the 430,000-strong speahead of China's drive to be an aeronautics superpower. AVIC in turn holds a stake in the Commercial Aircraft Corp of China (COMAC) which has already launched its own Chinese-designed regional jet, the 90-seat ARJ-21. Under the Communist Party's 13th "Five-Year Plan", it now aims to challenge the West head on with a 180-seat jet. "We believe after six to eight years development, our aircraft will over take Boeing and Airbus," said COMAC chairman Zhang Qinqwei last year. Airbus is taking a big gamble. It is clearly sharing technology with an octopus-like network of state-led enterprises (some linked to the military) that openly boast rival ambitions. Yet it is a risk that Europe's planemaker believes it must take to win the aviation jackpot of the next twenty years, an estimated market for 2,800 big jets and 470 freighters worth $300bn. "There is no co-operaration without technology transfer," said Tom Enders, Airbus chief. "We are protecting what matters most. And whatever happens, I have no doubt that a great and ambitious nation like China – that is already able to send men to space and bring them back home safely – is one day going to build its own aircraft anyway," he said. Safeguarding secrets is not easy. The aging A320 dates back to the late 1980s, but China is also insisting on a 5pc share of the new A350 XWB. Chinese engineers are working on advanced composite materials in Beijing. For now, Airbus in enjoying the downpayment on this deal – a cascade of fresh orders for 410 jets worth $36bn from China's aviation authority – although Boeing is pulling in Chinese orders too, and many are wide-body jets with a higher value. The Americans are watching the Airbus venture uneasily from the sidelines. Boeing buys parts from Chinese suppliers but has stopped short of full assembly. But then the Americans have been burned before. McDonnel Douglas came awry on its venture building the MD-82 in Shanghai in the early 1990s, misjudging the shifting political currents in Beijing. Brazil's Embraer came to grief too. Richard Aboulafia from Teal Group consultants said Airbus China risks the same fate. "The last efforts were disasters, so perhaps it's third time lucky. I think this is a fool's game. Anybody can assemble a jet and put their flag on it. The real value added is in the components," he said. As yet, the Airbus work at Tianjin is final stage assembly, putting together the fuselage, wings, engines, tails, noses, and doors imported from Europe. "We're talking about 5pc to 10pc of the value added," said Maurice Chretien, a floor manager in Tianjin. But the picture is changing fast. Rear passenger doors and the nose landing gear for the A320 family are made in Chengdu, emergency exit doors, wing ribs and edges in Shenyang, cargo doors in Shanghai, and wing boxes and brake blades in Shaanxi. It is the Airbus "Wing Cooperation Agreement" with China that most worries workers at the UK wing plant at Broughton in North Wales. For the time being, Broughton is still "Big Brother". The Chinese parts are sent back to Wales for refinement – a costly way to do business. Under the next phase, the Chinese wing parts will never leave Asia. They will be equipped and tested in Tianjin instead. Mr Enders is brutally honest. "The UK is the supplier of wings for the Airbus family but that doesn't mean the Chinese can't build a good wing. As long as the UK maintains competitive working conditions, Wales is OK," he said. Airbus is coy about how much it pays staff in China. Mr Chretien says cheap labour is more myth than reality. "It is an illusion that you find well-qualified people for nothing in China. I have a laser tracker specialist who earns just 20pc less than his Toulouse colleague here to coach him. The cost advantage is thin," he said. Airbus workers in Europe can be forgiven for harbouring doubts. The Chinese yuan is up to 50pc undervalued against the euro, and China is graduating 600,000 engineers each year. Unless something radical changes in the currency and trade structure of globalisation, Chinese labour will be very hard to beat for years to come. Europe cannot buck history. China will strive to be an aeronautics powerhouse whatever Airbus does. By taking the plunge, the company can at least hope to lash its fortunes to the world's rising force for a quarter century. Take chances where you can.
  11. I believe the conservatives have said along with health they won't touch the International Development Aid budget. Labour have increased it's budget tremendously over recent years. From the treasury website " Over the CSR07 period, DFID's budget will grow by an average of 11 per cent a year, rising from £5.4 billion in 2007-08 to £7.9 billion a year by 2010-11." With the state we are in can really afford these increases.
  12. Why the hell are we giving £40 million a year to China in aid each year.
  13. Should be worth a watch tonight (9th March) on Channel 4 at 8pm. Looks like it could be the sort of programme where your blood pressure goes through the roof. Documentary. Journalist Jane Moore examines claims that the government wastes billions of pounds of taxpayers' money each year. It is reported that public spending wastage has cost every household nearly 50,000 pounds over the past eleven years. This film investigates a variety of controversial public projects including a health service computer system, a digital arts gallery, unnecessary road building delays, tax credits overpayments and attempts to hire psychics to find roadside bombs.
  14. Did anyone catch the statement given by Brown to journalists, followed by a question and answer session after the EU conference at the weekend shown on Sky News. One jouranlist asked, as he keeps telling everyone it all started in America, how did he think when he addressed both houses of congress they would react to being told it's all Americas fault. Of course he just waffled on about coperation between the two countries.
  15. He did seem very sheepish when asked what the build costs came too. I sure he wanted to mention his up coming bonus but thought better of it.
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