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  1. Well that may be a fair point. However there are plenty of areas where there ARE gritters with ploughs which can be fitted when required and the plough driver is well paid during winter for an essential skill and does a separate job for the contract company or council in summer. Again the media is equating London and the South East with the country at large, which it is not. However as London and the South East is so important to the economy and lost working hours will seriously affect output then investment in ploughs AND in trains with steam clearers (which also works against mushy leaves on lines which DOES happen EVERY autumn) is not only justified but essential. Infrastructure investment is a GOOD thing, wages for the idle is not! Lost London working hours due to weather in one year vs the cost of ploughs and then skills/maintenance x15 years. I would suggest that after initial outlay the maintenance and skills training for staff whose main job is something else normally would be cost effective. The vehicles would easily last 25 years with maintenance just like reserve fire engines when we get a striking fireservice. It is what happens at airports (well some non-BAA ones anyway) where Ive seen Air Traffic Controllers who are also trained in clearing the runways as you cant control air traffic if you dont have a runway to land on.
  2. Will it shut down Britain ? Very possible because the average UK worker is either too thick, too untrained or too lazy in the sectors likely to be affected - power generation (on secondary picket this week lads? it might be a bit cold), roads maintenance, public transport. I for one am hoping that one day a government of either hue will be forced (Im not naive enough to think it would choose ) to thin out the unproductive public sector and cut or freeze salaries. Strike action could simply be met with 'well if you dont like it go and work in the private sector, OR actually do something useful for society!' Doctors, Nurses, Armed Forces minus the RAF, Police would have nothing to fear. There may be others but I cant think of any at this moment. Fire Service(vastly overpaid), DSS (no need once the dole is cut), Traffic Wardens(tw@ts), the RAF (extremely wasteful and overmanned), Police Community Support Officers(why not have the real thing?), Local Councils (wasting my council tax on gay adoptions) and HMRC (less need once a flat rate simplified tax system is in place) should be chopped severely either in numbers, wages or both. In Poland, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and just about every other country in Europe that regularly experiences cold weather will be able to cope. The UK cant. Lazy, untrained and thick.
  3. Hmm, he didnt do too badly did he ? Better than the market average. Discipline (to do the work/research when you need to, not when you want to), strength of character (well the weak did go to the wall) - counts for shit in that environment eh ? Some people just dont like the military and ex-military do they? Is it because they tried and failed? Oh well at least it was entertaining and showed people like the shop assistant and daddy's princess for what they are - weak losers and spoiled brats. I just cannot understand why they could not understand they were not there to be nice, to be fair or be likeable but to make money for their employer. Even if they didnt have the ability they still couldnt grap the basic concept of being employed by someone to make money and that is all. Why is it a difficult concept ?
  4. Hi, Im thinking of buying some BP preference shares through my ISA. However Ive never owned preference shares before,so was wondering... Do they have an expiry date? What happens then? Do they convert to ordinary shares? anything else I should know about BP.A or BP.B shares? thanks
  5. Margaret Beckett is a caravan owning freak. Maybe the the thread should reflect this so it will appear in google more often. Of course the whole article was prefaced by IF. Of course it will be a LONG time before demand outstrips supply as MOST PEOPLE HAVE NO MONEY AND ARE LOSING THEIR JOBS! What a C U Next Tuesday. And the Murdoch owned rag is dancing to a familiar tune again. Dont buy Murdoch, dont give him the profits to corrupt our governments.
  6. You have answered your own question you fool. 30 years ago a second income was not even considered towards affordability - it was based on the main income. This then changed to 3.5x single or 3xhigher plus 1x lower wage. This then moved to 3.5 joint and latterly 5-6x salary mortgages. If you are allowed 3.5x joint salary HPI rams the price to the point where you NEED 3.5x joint income to get a mortgage large enough to buy the property you want. These decisions are instinctively anaethema to most people and it is only the gamble of increasing house prices which then get people to sign the paperwork, oping to make enough equity when they sell to move to another property. There are a lot of single working parents who cannot afford a mortgage and those that can are in hock for 30 years, many have negative equity and many have stupidly got interest only mortgages because that is all they could afford instead of renting on long term-ish leases. Social Justice from the left wing perspective? In cases where two parents are working to pay the mortgage and not much else, common sense tells you the children suffer from inattention, supervision and education. Is this unrelated to the uneducated loutish population, lacking motivation and skills thus making themselves unattractive to employers, causing huge expense to the section of society which does work, does produce, and does contribute? Women now NEED to work so how has their 'empowerment' helped them ? No one is suggesting that women do not have a right to work, or ar unproductive - the economy needs women now. However they have less choice as to whether to work or be a housewife and/or mother - it is now the case that housewives and mothers need to work. I havent read the rest of this thread but Im sure many will tell you why it is bad.
  7. "The coal mines were not as heavily subsidised as nuclear power. Everything else she privatised with maybe one or two exceptions was a profitable concern starting with Amersham International." You cannot run nuclear privately or at least not without government insurance guarantee. It is a false argument to suggest that an inefficient industry that is holding the country to ransom should not be privatised and the NUM stranglehold defeated simply because another industry which did not hold the country to ransom was also subsidised (to ensure safety). The irony is that if Scargill and his ilk had been less greedy, more willing to act in the national interest and frankly able to hold a reasonable stance then there would still be a coal industry with many thousands of men still in work in the industry. If an industry is profitable (just) but not enough to lay investment down and thus relying on the taxpayer it is not efficient enough. Let to their own devices they make enormous profits which are then taxed - BP is the best example. The UK could not survive without BP's tax revenue. You are quite correct. There are indeed none so blind who will not see.
  8. The simple fact regarding coal mines is that the NUM had previously held the Heath and Callaghan governments to ransom over wage demands which these nationalised industries could not afford.Electricity was mainly generated at coal fired stations and the governments had to give in. In 1981 they held the Thatcher government to the same ransom and she backed down (BECAUSE SHE HAD NO ALTERNATIVE) but decided to put a strategy in of stockpling coal for several years and organising the police to cope with the expected strike the next time it occurred and there was always going to be a next time. Simply speaking the coal industry was shoddily run, because it was government run and the NUM were greedy and put themselves before the country. They were a menace that had to be faced down to stop repeated strikes.They are bitter because they lost but the county is better off for them losing.The heartache and the misery the miners put their families through is their own responsibility. Arguably energy policy since has been equally shoddily run and instead of following a similar model to Norwegian investments and Dubai on the back of North Sea gas and oil it was frittered on tax cuts. There is little storage capacity to face down similar threats for example. Equally the proceeds from the sale of BT, BP, British Gas and the rest has also been wasted instead of invested just like the enormous tax rake Brown has wasted on inflated wages without increased productivity. The Norwich Council executive sacked for gross misconduct for moving into a council home after evicting a pensioner was earning 52k. Why she isnt facing criminal charges as well is beyond me. Sharon Shoesmith was earning over 100k. WORKING FOR COUNCILS for god's sake - this is what your and my taxes are paying for, criminally incompetent individuals earning 2-4 times what the same individuals could earn privately. Soldiers on the frontline are earning as little as 18k for risking their lives. The country could quite easily afford to invest in infrastructure creating jobs, and shifting the tax burden to allow industry to be competitive and investing in capacity to make things people want by having a root and branch reform of Disability Living Allowance, Jobseekers and rent (incentivising people to work because the dole and the rest actually pays MUCH less), allow failed industries to go to the wall like car manufacturers in the west midlands who do not produce cars people want, and most of all cutting the thousands of non-jobs and little Hitlers in LOCAL GOVERNMENT. It wont happen because Brown will inflate the debts away by printing money instead of cutting waste and non-productive jobs. Unfortunately savers will lose all they have got while those with large mortgages will see their debts wiped out - IF they have fixed rate deals and their salaries match or nearly match high inflation. It still wont be pleasant.
  9. If you want to be one of the cool kids in the cafe culture, there is only one choice. Get a Mac.
  10. Any recent knowledge of the current market in the Rotherham area, specifically Swinton ? Im only looking at terraced houses with a large deposit and hoping to pay off quickly in a few years so I can then go to Uni or rent out a room or maybe the house. Looking at 80k and below as Im single and this is what I can comfortably afford. Swinton has train station and close-ish to Sheffield (hoping to go to Sheffield Uni in a couple of years as mature student) but apart from that dont know the area well and dont know Sheffield at all. Was looking at Leeds as well after spending a year looking in the west country but EAs arent playing ball as I get the impression they think 'MUG' as soon as you mention FTB. Any advice ? 40k deposit and mortgage reserved. No need to move and can wait but would like to early next year - I am on a brilliant tracker as I reserved it just before the droght so am 0.74 above BoE baserate.
  11. Ive started to look at flats - to live in not rent. Ever so slightly p***ed off that one that I wanted to look at which was in LS10 the EA could not be bothered to even give me a viewing over a two day period - then when I asked if I could do it next week she hummed and hawed about not having anyone available. DO THEY WANT TO SELL OR NOT FFS! If the EA marketed the right flat number and the Land registry is correct the price was just over 50% off the 2005 price. Maybe they have let most of their staff go. Maybe they are crooks who are trying to get the apartment sold quickly to a friend/relation/business associate as it is probate. Maybe they are jst flying a kite to see what sort of interest that price generates then put it to auction and put a load of ringers in to bump the price. Having looked elsewhere in the country I dont think Ive ever met such a bunch of ill-mannered unprofessional lot as Leeds EAs and that IS saying something. They never phone back or answer emails, never want to discuss actual market values only what the 'client thinks it is worth X'. They seem to think their properties are special and only certain types of people should be allowed to even ask about buying them. I honestly hope the good ones survive - as for the rest I really do hope they are part of the 2m plus unemployed next year. Absolutely talentless C U Next Tuesday's !
  12. Very very true. A city centre Leeds flat will cost around 850-960 in service charges, 150 ground rent, and council tax of 1100 - over 2k. You can live in a 3 bed semi in most nice parts of the country for well under 1400 pa groundrent and council tax! When two bed flats are consistently being sold in Leeds for around 60-70k then the empty flats situation MAY sort itself out - IF there is a range of deals on mortgages that dont charge 7% for less than a 25% deposit.
  13. Hmm cheeky offers... A 3 bed Regency(?) terrace under repossession by a recently bailed out bank in Cheltenham was originally on the market for 215k early this year. Empty now for a year but had previous occupant dossing in it for a while - his sleeping bag is still there ! Two sales fall through after survey as the banks simply wont lend to the offers agreed 190 in May and 170ish in August. I offered 139 in August and they came back to me asking me to up my offer as it was back on the market after 3 months. To which I offered 131 as just over a 40 percent drop. The EA was disgusted and told me the Bank had already refused a higher offer than my previous offer but since the property needs 45-50 grand to do it up internally and fix the subsidence of a supporting wall and complete the cellar renovation not to mention gut every room for a new finish, what do they expect ! ? It would be a lovely house once finished and although I may be ahead of the curve they are definitely behind it. Soon the council will be statutory purchasing. I think Ill buy a flat in Leeds for cash the way things are going ! (Any suggestions? )
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