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Everything posted by Wayo

  1. I was down at the local council tip today and the numbers of old CRT televisions piled up had to be seen to be believed. The government putting up VAT to 20% on Chinese imports is probably as good as anything I can think of. The fumes coming out of the huge picker they use to handle all the metal storage containers would rival a small coal fired power station.
  2. I suspect the phones are ringing off the hook at Mail HQ. It is the most ludicrously made up conspiracy theory I can remember in a long time - even by their standards.
  3. Did any of them riflle through it looking for the latest gossip on Peter Andre?
  4. Pity this paragraph and therefore the major part of this so called story is complete rubbish! http://www.parliament.uk/briefingpapers/commons/lib/research/briefings/snbt-01904.pdf The bit about First Capital Connect was lifted straight from Private Eye - perhaps if they'd got Dr B. Ching to write the rest of the story it wouldn't have turned into the embarrasing howler that was put online. It would be even more embarrassing if this nonesense ever made it to print?
  5. It hasn't taken them long to work out that most advance defence software has to be licensed from the US anyway and buying locally sourced arms at the Farnborough farmer market is far more expensive and unreliable. It leaves us without what we need while BaE work out how to put the stuff together and unable to afford what we need because it is so expensive. Perhaps we should just go and buy M16s and aircraft carriers from the Americans, rather than condemn ourselves to repeat this Eurofighter nonesense trying to pretend that we don't need the Americans.
  6. Why would investors want to "make a contribution", unless she is offering gift aid? Naive or just stupid?
  7. Its no good relying on trains and buses in France - there aren't any! Even when they aren't on strike, which is practically every week to a lesser or greater degree in one region or another. OK there are some TGVs but they have to be prebooked, hardly ideal unless you are going a very long way. Toulouse has an airport shuttle that leaves from the main bus station opposite the main railway station. I don't think I have ever seen another bus using it.
  8. The agent values the house before taking it on, so it is up to them to decide if it will fly. If they think the owner is being unrealistic, they should invite them to find someone else prepared to put it on the market. Having put it on the market, only for it not to sell, and then blaming the seller is sour grapes. Hopefully they won't have a leg to stand on, but agents are usually teflon coated...
  9. Simiar to the private sector, despite the huge benefits there is little incentive to perform and little correlation between performance and reward. There is a self serving merry go round of so called 'leaders' who deliver little material benefit with each appointment. Often the most inept often receive the most money to quietly disappear without drawing attention to themselves, before resurfacing somewhere else with glowing references. The difference is that shareholders can look out for themselves and vote with their feet - the public sector should not be involved in an arms race to outpay the excesses of the private sector. They raise their money not from shareholders but from forced taxation taken out of nurses pay. Higher living standards for everybody? No. Fairer living standards. And £100k doctors and headtechers, £250k Chief Constables paid from taxes isn't the way.
  10. I didn't see any evidence of reconciliation when working during University vacations. PAYE was deducted as though I earned the amount for the whole year, even if little or no tax was liable. Come April, I had to harrass the Inland Revenue to get a refund cheque, which usually took several weeks. This year I needed a tax relief cheque, and sent the requiste certificates and covering letter early in April, only to be told it wouldn't be opened until the end of June. In mid July I was told the cheque had just been processed. It then didn't arrive. I rang them, quoting my address etc... as usual for DPA. I became a little suspicious when I was then asked for my previous address (from 12 months ago). This was about the 4th call on the matter. For "security reasons" the call handler couldn't confirm what address the cheque had been sent to but agreed to cancel it and reissue it to the correct one and update my account with the correct address! After a further 2 months of more calls and broken promises that the cancellation and reissue processes have now been done - no money! Then look at the likes of C & W and Vodaphone let off the hook for £bns that even they had set aside in their own accounts, either because the top brass are smoothing their next career move, or our tax system is so opaque they daren't let it be scrutinised by a court. Harnett shouldn't be apologising, he should dragged by his ankles across stony ground to the stocks and given due punishment in the court of public opinion, followed by a charge of close to £5bn for the deal they did with Vodaphone, which would see him nicely out on the streets. Grrr...
  11. Why? Outreach is actually posh council speak for front line. They are people who help the disabled, unemployed and homeless and divert youths from a path of crime. In other words the last people they should be getting rid of, not the first.
  12. Why? Is he planning on recruiting 500 contractors to replace them? Natural wastage is not the answer, the most able and mobile have the highest turnover along with the lowest paid.
  13. The council actually own the course! http://www.musselburgh-racecourse.co.uk/history-of-racecourse.asp
  14. The trouble is BTL attracts scum from both sides and the current law favours bad tenants and bad landlords. On the one hand you get landlords who let unsafe, uninhabitable property and won't repair the hot water systems and try to evict tenants on demand, while on the other tenants who wreck the place and do runners. One witheld deposit or non paying tenant is often enough to demonise everyone else. Baseball bat insurance would be very bad advice, unless your are naturally inclined to act like 'scum' and would likely end with a large fine for harrassment, if not prison were violence to occur.
  15. The last one I watched had two guys who developed a sumersible vehicle. They were pulled apart by Duncan who valued their busines at the end of 2 years as the sum of its profit to date, neglecting the value of the demonstration vehicle on hand or future profitability. He was slowly pulled apart by the other dragons, who one by one opted out because the developers had not had the confidence to challenge this nonesense for themselves. The only funding that day was when Deborah invested in some event organiser, who wanted to develop her 'cup cakes and dressing up' business by opening a shop in Soho.
  16. According to the detail there is a downstairs WC and an upstairs bathroom. A bit daft for a 2 bed really, like all these 2 bed flats popping up with a master ensuite.
  17. Beats having them necking tinnies, scrapping, p***ing in the street and hurling chunks everywhere!
  18. I'd love to know where the money has gone then? Every year they add a section on the council tax about their efficiency savings for the year, but every year the tax goes up, the charges for everything goes up and the services are cut. They don't grit the roads, prune the trees or empty your black bin every week. Meanwhile in Oxfordshire they are talking about following Swindon's 'lead' and switching off every speed camera in the county, because despite the huge fines they apparently cannot afford to operate them. Once the locals get wise to this, the average speed through many towns and villages will probably rise from just under 30mph to nearer 50mph faster than you can say drainpipe exhaust.
  19. You've got to respect their consistency. The massive B&Q hub will be built on greenfield land. But Swindon's rampant expansion (in the geographical not economic sense) must be as fast as anywhere in the UK, with huge swathes of the greenbelt having being built over in recent years. And house prices have always been far below the regional averages. The must need the extra council tax to balance the loss of business rates from all the boarded up retail space in the town centre.
  20. There is plenty of uncertainty. They say government funding will get hit for 30%, yet even £110m a year is less than 10% of the budget. From the figures they do give though, each job costs Cornwall Council about £28k and a great many of those will be part time dinner ladies, cleaners and teaching assistants grossing less than £10k.
  21. There was a piece on TV where the head took assembly in one of the newly opened schools in the West Country. The cost was of the order of £33m, which he pointed out was a three bedroom semi for every child on the register. As the average school class size is pushing 30 to a room, that gives some indication of the fantastic waste of money the project was.
  22. Sloppy journalism from the BBC in the that case! What do you expect from the public sector? The Potato Council is funded by a statutory industry levy (ringfenced) so can't have its income redistributed within the public sector.
  23. Polly Toynbee of all people was talking on the BBC about all of this and making a lot of sense... She said IDS looked as though he had stumbled across this problem for the first time. It has existed for as long as the welfare state and its solution has evaded politicians red and blue. Where there are jobs, there are no houses. There is no housing shortage and we are knocking down houses where there are no jobs. Rents where there are jobs are so high people on low wgares cannot afford them. Cutting housing benefits will mean more claimants concentrated where there are a fewer jobs and lower rents and not the other way round. You could say bounce people from Easington up the list in London, but the London boroughs have chronic housing shortages already, and giving priority to economic migrants might not go down too well! Of course it doesn't address the problem of all the welfare claimants in inner London (clearly not a mobility problem).
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