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the owl of minerva

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About the owl of minerva

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  1. population density of Germany is about 229/sq km population density of England is about 395/sq km Scotland and Wales certainly have plenty of room for building, but that doesnt hold true for England , which is where the vast majority of the expected population increase will occur . Do you propose to scrap the Green Belt and create one vast suburb in the South East ? Quite a lot of people would find that unacceptable
  2. Great post from some-one who knows what they are talking about. I have 3 sisters and my old Mum who are all or have been nurses , and they did so much more actual caring directly for patients than seems to be possible in the NHS set-up we have today. Vast funding is devoted to the accountants who organise and administer the labyrinthine internal market with every health body paying every other health body, and to the armies of bureaucrats needed to amass the statistics required to run the 'management by targets' culture . Shiny New Labour also adores shiny new buildings which they can point at to show off their achievements and more importantly act as a mechanism to siphon enormous sums of public money off to their wealthy corporate friends via the PFI system. Mindbogglingly expensive and usually unneccessary new building programs always win out over simple cost-effective investments in proper nurses, doctors and cleaners. And due to the evermore complex systems dreamed up by parasitical and self-serving management consultants exploiting our governments obsession with private sector 'expertise' , we have become wildly extravagant in the amount of paperwork and administrators we think we need to run the NHS . The old devoted vocational nursing by responsible and self-motivated people seems almost unwelcome in the new NHS . Sorry to hear about your father , I lost mine a few months ago.
  3. Spain in the 1930's had a fairly left wing elected government which upset a lot of the conservative religous establishment and in 1936 there was a military uprising led by a rightwing army officer called Franco . It developed into a full scale and extremely nasty civil war which lasted until 1939 and in which about 300,000 to 1 million people died. Franco was supported by the fascist leaders Hitler and Mussolini with arms, planes and men . Britain and France had a policy of non-intervention and embargoed arms supplies to the elected government , which caused popular resentment here and led to many leftwingers from around the world to go and fight as volunteers in the International Brigades . Stalin supported the left with arms and men but also spent a lot of effort trying to liquidate other leftwing non-Communist groups like the anarchists / socialists / trotskyists etc ( read George Orwell, he was there and became very disillusioned by the communists ) . Franco won in 1939 , and when the second world war started shortly afterwards Hitler wanted him to join Germany but Franco refused as Spain was so completely devastated already and stayed neutral throughout the war. Franco ruled as basically a fascist military dictator until his death in 1975. Altogether a very sad story and it's great that Spain has become such a stable democracy in the last 30 years ( current economic disasters aside)
  4. i love the way the climate change deniers nowadays like to paint themselves as the poor free-thinking brave independent minority fighting against 'big business' and big government - in fact the reality is that the whole denial movement was set up by the richest and most powerful oil companies and families on the planet , desperate to preserve the status quo and their own economic interest at any cost and prepared to let the rest of the world go hang. They relentlessly attacked and ridiculed the independent scientists who first studied the problem and warned about the future dangers. I grant you that the deniers now are indeed a minority , but thats only because over time , just about every impartial logical scientist on the planet has now looked at all the evidence over the last few years and agreed that the problem is real and very very scary and needs to be tackled pronto .
  5. hello - very longtime lurker but very uncertain about the simple mechanics of posting - i suppose i could be classed as mildly eccentric oddbod , fascinated and appalled by the property market, the economy , civil liberties or lack thereof and most of the rest of the eclectic stuff debated here - now plucking up my courage to overcome technophobia
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