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Everything posted by spyguy

  1. Story of all my working life: Big companies getting smaller, Organisations getting flatter. Great if you're good + competent. Not so good if you;re the typical UK middle-manager type.
  2. I was sponsored by IBM during my degree in the late 80s. Insanely good deal - £100/week at Uni, plus 2 summers of work. Being a povo, I had a full grant too, so I was pulling in the equivalent to a decent wage. Clueless why I got it. I did not apply. IBM just seemed to have been doing scenario planning and concluded that they need x'000 people to keep going. This was at a point where the traditional IBM, which had been going for since WWII, was about to hit a brick wall. I could not see how they could compete against those cr.ppy Amstrad all-in-ones with a golf ball typewrite + support. At that time, the IBM sites I visited - offices rather than manufacturing plants - were about 50/50 employees/contractors. I wiggled out of the job offer as I did not fancy the culture. 'But you'll have a job for life' said a couple of people I knew in the company. And they meant it - IBM used to move you around a lot and yank your chain, but if you played the game you got good pay and conditions and a great pension. Or at least they did til about 94-ish. Then it went wierd. Big layoffs - IBM never used to layoff employees. It didn;t need to 50% of heads on site were on contracts. Big shock for the IBMers. Shell shock doesnot describe the response. A bit like the archbishop of canterbury losing his religion. Robert X Cringley has nailed it on IBM. Read his site.
  3. True. Remember the big accountancy firms in the 90s? Always used to make a big thing of recruiting the brightest and best of the best. And then putting them into a job which you could do with an A level maths. Then they started doing all these things with computers, or other clever schemes that blewup in their faces sometime later down the line.
  4. This is the problem the anti- anti-immigration have. In the 70s it was easy to make a case against a load of NF boot boys causing problems for the 'darkies' or p a k i s. Now, most people under 50 are wiser to the different cultures and traits and how much they'll cost the country: Mipuri (hill billy pakistanis/afghan border types) - not with a barge pole. Somali single mums with 10 kids - no thanks. Misc. african non-working single mums - nope. African middle class working - not a problem. Ugandan indians - fine Cantonese - great. Beveridge set up the welfare state when France was a long way away and people worked or starved.
  5. I'm not against immigration. Some of my best friends are dagos . . . However, you have to be very careful of the stats. Surveys like this have a tendency to add the income and ignore the outgoings. I've yet to here any discussion of benefits talk about tax credits. Because of browns cretinous tax credits, a family with kids would require an income of 40k+ to make a net contribution. Never mind cost of NHS and state pensions. Chuck in stuff like housing benefits and there are massive incentives NOT to work. Looks at the London population and housing benefit stats. People who paint a rosey picture about immigration's tend to be basing there conclusions on the USA, who have a more work or starve benefit culture, or Oz, which sets a very high bar - unqualified people with dependents need not apply. A counter to these arguments is: 'If immigration makes such a positive contribution then why is the UK running such high budget deficits? And, no its not bailing the banks. Take out all tax credits - £25bln/year spent and still no one loves Brown - and the UK would be in a much better position.
  6. Spent some time yesterday explaining gross +net to some 30 odd year old dinner ladies. Never worked (thank you gordon + your tax credits). Wait til they have to work full time + income tax kicks in.
  7. There's a big arbitrage between the cost of education at a school and getting a tutor.
  8. True. This is in the SW. Back in my home region of North Yorks coast nothing is really selling. You get a couple of sales a month but then there are about 20 odd houses piling up each week. It looks almost like a mass evacuation. In reality its lots of probates (when OAPS are no longer retiring to the seaside) and people trying to exit their ill-advised holiday home investment. OOO are totally screwed. Buyer's market does not do the situation justice.
  9. And lack money. Last year saw a bit of activity on my street - Jan-March saw about 3 houses exchange. Doesn't sound a lot but nothing had sold for the last 6 years. Then activity ground to a halt. I thought it might be that banks are only allocating a small amount to any area and once thats gone, its gone. Maybe a token 'we're selling mortgages' thing. This year. Nothing. I think last years activity occurred due to a small window between FLS money being released and before the affordability checks were enforced. All the sold hosues were small - 2 up, 2 down type. I know one has a couple (mortgagee) plus 2 adult lodgers - to help pay the mortgage Im told FFS.
  10. Skelwith group. Im very very very interested in anything you can tell me about these. Is he trying to flip these as SIPP investments too? Years ago, I would have rushed to live in York centre. Not now. And its not due to me getting older. York centre is not nice at night. York's always been rough - despite the Minster, York is pretty much a blue collar, regional centre. Now, York has become a popular place for Middlesbrough scum to come on the train, get pissed and fight.
  11. My living costs (rent + bill) were 50/week - this was 91. My wages were an extra 10k compared to a job I could get back home, which would give me no experience.
  12. It was for me too. Forget 'paying off LL mortgage cr.p'. I had to move South for a job so house shared for a few years. The commute would have been >200 miles. Its doable as long as you are all roughly the same age and same sort of work. Splitting bills 4 ways makes it very cheap. In fact, my living costs were cheaper than a co-workers commuting costs.
  13. Wierd. Looks OK. Flood plain? Old mine? Given up trying to sell it to an OOO?
  14. Strange one this. 'Tens of thousands of buy-to-let landlords face a huge rise in insurance premiums due to government plans to exclude rented homes from its long-awaited flood insurance subsidy fund, the property industry has warned.' http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/0d982dc4-82b5-11e3-8119-00144feab7de.html#axzz2r6mwQM7S Is Ashford near a river?
  15. No it doesn't. On a rough estimate, it'd be ~1K (tax credits for kids) + HB rent. How did the jounro check the income? Did she properly break down income and outgoings - doubt it.
  16. 3 mortgages for 90% LTV. None are cheap. Mind you, the 60% LTV re-mortgages arn't cheap either. Majority are for 80% LTV or less.
  17. There was the 'white heat of technology' BS from the Harold Wilson/Labour in 63: http://www.theguardian.com/science/political-science/2013/sep/19/harold-wilson-white-heat-technology-speech (Oh, made in Scabby too, I didn't know that). The gist and thinking behind this speech goes along the lines of: - The other party (COns) are idiots. - We are genuises. - By applying our genius to the UK working man we will hugely increase production and profitiabilty in 20 years time. - So lets start spending the money! oops we mean investing. A quick revisit to the 70s shows what geniuses they were. Labour always repeat the same sort of speech. Moron Brown re-warmed this replacing 'industrial' investment with 'financial'/city - a big state state funded by big finance.
  18. Organised fraud is very high in London. Tax credits are a foreign fraudsters dream. Incapacity benefit is the UK fraudsters choice. A quick comparison of DLA in the North East (Im northern) to the South East is shocking. But then the doing the same for housing benefit would be reverse. I know of cases where the kids 'inherit' the parents trained sympton routines to get a claim. The GPs share a lot of blame in a lot of these cases.
  19. 17-Jan-14 Off we go: 1. 3 bed B+B, Sleights. http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-42484240.html?premiumA=true 3 bed rooms!!!!!! 425K!!!!!!!! Award winning B+B mind. Almost 1/2 million to listen to someone have a cr.p and make then breakfast. Award winning is easy. Profitable is hard. Decor gives me migraines. 2 . 4 bed, East sdide, 400K Hmm. http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-33244403.html Looks like a holiday home 3. Gastropub. Apparently http://www.rightmove.co.uk/commercial-property-for-sale/property-44545907.html Its the Pier Inn. Trying to sell 14 years left of a lease for more money than Enterprise or Punch will sell one of their pubs for. Just as well they told me its a Gastropub esp. after theres asign in one of the photo's offering scampi + chips. 4. 4 bed refurb sleights. http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-15626907.html Empty. This has been kicking around for years. 5. 5 bed whitby http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-42431320.html Empty. Looks like a probate. 6. 3 bed stainsacre. http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-44487839.html OOO 7. 2 bed retrement flat. http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-42431317.html I would guess probate + empty. 8. Apartment. Whitehall Landings. http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-43822064.html I would not like to fall and hit my head on that table. Towels on bed. Holiday let. 9. 3 bed cliff street http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-42517999.html Towels on bed. Holiday let. ' Recently set up as a commercial holiday home it would also be suitable for permanent occupation or long term investment. The majority of contents are included in the sale. / 10. 2 bed http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-41691658.html OOO 11. 6 bed semi http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-38974936.html Empty. Probate. 12. 3 bed. http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-42457627.html Empty. Repo or not finished moving out 13. 4 bed st peters rd. http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-41240900.html OOO 14. 3 bed st peters rd http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-42460918.html OOO 15. 2 bed. http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-42457861.html Empty 16. 5 bed http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-42496639.html empty. prpbate 17. 1 bed http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-42509755.html A studio flat. Wierd one. OOO
  20. Pre-2000, peoples investments in the Whitby tourism trade was limited to B+B and hotels. Mr + Mrs From Wakefield get a pay off (miner payoffs in the late 80s were good), sell up + go and run a B+B in Whitby, Scraboro, etc etc. There was a separation between the town residents and tourism. This time, tourism 'investors' have cut a swathe thru the residential properties. Most holiday rentals tended to be dead grannies place that was rented out as the family did not want to lose the house + memories. This has crashed the local population. Look at the squabbling by Whitby, Eskdale + Caedmon. There's only enough funding for 2 schools in Whitby,. There's a battle over which one will go. Previusly you'd get ~500 at Eskdale + Caedmon and 1000 at Whitby. All 3 number's are well down. Whitby did flop there 16 results, and messed up the A levels. Scarborough sixth form is becoming the default choice for A levels. In my day in the late 80s only a handful travelled there. Tourism is tough. Dunsley Hall has just gone belly up. Raithewaite Hall will either go bust or be shutdown by the FSA. Most holiday cottages will be sold. But who too? Even pensioners are avoiding seaside retirement now. Blame councils with filling up the b+B with misc. scum.
  21. Bit like my Mum 'Im sure banks won't lend to people if they cannot pay it back'. Yesssssss. House prices are neither stable or unstable; its a number. Its the debt behind the house price that's the problem.
  22. But they're not are they - Cockernays paid more than the rest. The average wage for London is only marginal more than the UK as a whole. When I first got a job down south in the early 90s there was a difference - I remember a boots girl in Wokingham was earning a lot more (5k) than one I knew in Yorkshire. The minimum wage saw the end of this. Its also the reason why London housing gets hammered when IRs rise - there's so much more leverage and not enough wage in London.
  23. Hi One, There's Sold and there's Sold. Just like there are fingers and bits of sea worn kelp stalks: http://www.whitbygazette.co.uk/news/local/police-say-beach-finger-actually-seaweed-1-6372694 The holiday cottage boom of 2001-2007 was a minor version of the BTL 'boom' that's been going on inland. Only problem is there's even less holiday makers than solvent tenants. The east cliff has seen a huge depopulation of people - christ they were even buying stuff in the Barrett estate FFS! Only problem, now they need to sell these underperforming cottages, they find they've eliminated their seller's base. I'm only old to comment on the 88-91 boom which, fortunately avoided Whitby. At the end of that one, I remember going thru someone's books in 94ish. Chatting to the bloke, I released then that you cannot make money from tourism in Whitby (and probably in the UK) if you need to buy premises. This bloke had been running himself ragged running what was by all account a successful business. It just did not make any money. Anyhow, rightmove did not exist in 89. I was un-interested in residential property then. My Mum was (and still is), pouring over the Gazette's pages. When she see's a price in the paper she thinks that's what it'll sell for. She has conceded that there may be an issue with houses not exactly flying off the pages during the last 6 years. But she assures my they a flying off at the moment. I look forward to printing the LR sales transaction for her. The large number of empty places is a sign of a very dysfunctional market. The empty stock is flooding the market. It's a buyer's market and will remain so for a generation.
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