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Everything posted by Rave

  1. I was never short of presents, but equally I was never so spoilt that I ended up felling disappointed. In my family my bachelor uncle was always the one who came up with the big ticket items and we kids loved him for it. He was made redundant in my mid teens and the pressies dried up, but I'm forever thankful for his generosity up to that point. So don't feel bad if you're the uncle who spoils your nieces and nephews . ROFL! Ah, the joys of being 7. In my last year at infant school the ABSOLUTE MOST EXCITING THING EVER was to go and hide behind the temporary classrooms at my school and shout words like BUM! FART! and the like as loud as we could. We thought they were the ultimate in profanity. How times change .
  2. Unfortunately my wife has a LOT of relatives all of whom are fairly generous, which means we can't be too tight in return. They all know that I'm unemployed ATM though and so they haven't had high expectations. We kept the cost down a bit by putting together hampers for some of them with a couple of moderately expensive presents bulked out with cheap but thoughtfully chosen other stuff. They went down really well . I reckon we probably spent about £240 all in (though I really don't want to add it up accurately), about £150 on her family, £50 on mine, and £40 on each other. I never thought it would happen, but having been a gadget freak and general spendthrift for years I'm now pretty jaded with modern consumer electronics. The pressies I was happiest with were the bottles of booze, the socks (no really) and the bundle of cheapo gadgets from poundland (like 4 keyring torches and a little power screwdriver). Oh, and the books of course .
  3. Right hang on- I tend towards the tinfoil hat mindset but I completely fail to see how the government can track you via Sat-Nav? Surely it's an entirely passive system?
  4. I plan to sell (or more likely scrap) my car and pay cash on buses and trains. And wear a hoody;). Still, I suppose all this enhanced law enforcement will have the desired effect of replenishing our declining prison population .
  5. I dunno, TBH. I'm one of the potential FTBs who would encourage a 1. scenario, since I don't really need anything more than a 2 bed flat unless my wife suddenly gets broody (she's 31 now, and no signs yet). If we don't end up having kids I'd quite happily live in a moderately sized place and save our spare income for a holiday home/motorbike/pension/bacchanalian lifestyle etc. .
  6. There's absolutely no shortage of homes in this country if you ask me. Admittedly much of our housing stock is a bit shit, but there's plenty of it. The house price bubble has been caused almost entirely by speculation IMO. Still, as others have said, if there actually were a shortage, measures like abolishing VAT on property renovations and easing planning restrictions would be a far better solution than economic protectionism. 82% of our country by area is classed as being for agricultural use- the highest in Europe, despite the fact that we're a pretty small country. The average new build home in the Netherlands is 40% larger than ours.....
  7. I had to go into Bromley on Saturday to acquire some SCART leads for my mother-in-law (so as not to break a promise ). It wasn't busy- I'm moderately impatient, but the queues were nowhere near long enough to raise my hackles. We bought the leads, spent a further £9 in poundland and then were out of there. We parked in the Glades with almost no bother- in the past you'd sometimes struggle to get a space on ANY Saturday, let alone the weekend before Christmas.... Still, I'm a bear and hence (in this context) a VI, so I must admit that I haven't made a habit of frequenting Bromley to Christmas shop in recent years (though I worked in a shop there until 2003).
  8. I threw a sh1t fit a few months ago and threatened to divorce my wife for voting Labour. Reason being...the ID card bill had just passed the commons, and so she'd voted for a party that intend to put me in prison for refusing to turn up and be catalogued at the Home Secretary's convenience. Mismanagement of the economy is largely water off a duck's back to me, I expect it from politicians, although I still have to refrain from spitting in the face of my friends who think that Labour are the party of social justice. I don't even bother to ask how exactly a Labour government can justify extending the gap between rich and poor- even asking the question sends me close to apoplexy. In the end, I was talked out of divorcing the missus by various members of my friends and family who pointed out that, since I hadn't explained to her before the election that voting Labour was a vote for a police state, I had no right to punish her for her foolish decision after the fact. She knows now though....and if ID cards are still on the table at the next election, she surely will be in the divorce courts if she votes for them again. I was a month too young to vote in '97, and since then I've voted Lib Dem- only once with any success, as it turned out that the sink estate on the edge of Southampton that I was living in in 2000 just happened to be on the very edge of the Romsey constituency. I have a lot of sympathy for Charles Kennedy, as I'm a heavy boozer myself. My dad is the Clerk of the Privy Council and according to him CK is the one and only guy who has sparked up in his office before being made a member of the Privy Council (or however it works) . Still, they're generally a useless weak party and if I was less of a lazy ar$e I'd get off my backside and join them with a view to injecting a bit of spine into the wimps.
  9. I suspect that if the parade was held on Canal Street, a lot of people would miss the point.
  10. My mum goes to Romania a lot and says that it's lovely- but don't kid yourself that it's a first world country. I'm sure there are some people running businesses and doing well....but there are a lot of people living in fairly serious poverty. Their average wage is $313 a month- meaning that your cousin's 30K house (if that's in £) is a moderate 14x the average wage....
  11. Quite. There's an apochriphal story that upon hearing said comment a Tory peer was hear to remark that it was "a bit rich coming from someone whose father had to buy his own castle". Anyone who can show such a callous disregard for other humans while breaking down in tears after shooting a heron is an unforgivable git IMO. Anyway, back OT: I agree entirely with the OP. My plan is simply to opt out of the economy if it becomes too irrevocably skewed in favour of the rich (I can live very frugally indeed if necessary).
  12. I've been lurking for a while, and decided to register to reply to this topic. Really, some of the comments regarding other workers are getting a bit offensive. I was until the end of last month a public sector worker; unusually, my department actually did have its budget cut, and did offer me voluntary redundancy, which I decided to take (realising that I was going nowhere, and that my pension was likely to be fairly worthless anyway). Effectively my job has now been farmed out to the private sector (albeit in a tendering exercise that I know to have been well run and extremely competitive). Anyway, my point is that it's daft to present this as some kind of battle between public and private sector workers, with greedy public sector workers laughing all the way to the bank as those in the private sector slave away to play their inflated wages through punitive tax bills. I personally think that workers, as suppliers of a commodity (labour) in a capitalist society are absolutely right to work for whoever pays them the most. If the job market has become unsustainably skewed towards the public sector then that is clearly the fault of the government who are creating all these non-jobs. You cannot expect people not to take a well paid job just because they know the government's spending commitments to be unsustainable. I, as one individual, cannot possibly make any worthwhile difference to overall government employment policy and so by refusing to take a job in the public sector on moral grounds all I would achive would be to impoverish myself unnecessarily. So let's not make this personal, please.
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