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Everything posted by kjw

  1. It's a shed! Looks as though a gentle kick would ensure it collapsed like a deck of playing cards. Anyone live in the vicinity?
  2. A small garage on an oddly shaped plot of land in the wealthy London borough of Chelsea is set to become the most expensive in the country after it went on sale for over half a million pounds. Although the 11ft by 7ft installation off the King’s Road is only large enough to hold one car, its asking price is more than twice that of the average UK home, and three times more than last month’s average property price in England and Wales. The Lamont Road garage, which neighbours a row of terraced houses, is said to reside on an “irregular shaped, broadly level site” of about 0.013 acres. [more at link] http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/the-most-expensive-garage-in-the-uk-goes-on-sale-in-chelsea-for-550000-9802314.html
  3. I think the word unwittingly is doing some work here Britain’s top private schools are coming under scrutiny from anti-corruption groups for unwittingly accepting laundered money from wealthy foreign criminals and corrupt officials. [more at link] http://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/education-news/top-private-schools-unwittingly-take-laundered-money-from-criminals-9800001.html
  4. Labour has promised a fan ownership revolution if it wins next year’s general election, vowing to introduce new laws that would guarantee football supporters at least two seats on the board and a minority stake in their club. It has boldly described the plan, to be unveiled on Friday by the shadow sports minister, Clive Efford, with the backing of Labour’s leader, Ed Miliband, as “the biggest legislative shake-up in the governance of English and Welsh football clubs since the advent of the game”. Under the new laws each supporters’ trust in the country – from the Premier League to the Conference – would have the legal right to representation on the main board of its club, with not fewer than two directors. When a stake of more than 30% in any club in England or Wales changed hands, the purchaser would be obliged to offer 10% of those shares to the supporters’ trust at the average sale price. A supporters’ trust would have 240 days to raise the money to buy the shares. The obligation to sell shares would cease once a trust owned 10% overall. Labour claims the proposals would allow fans to hold clubs to account on issues such as ticket prices, shirt sponsorship, ground naming rights and changing the colour of the strip or the name. “Our view is that the time has come for fans to be represented at this level,” said Efford. “It is something we will act on and definitely implement.” [more at link...] http://www.theguardian.com/football/2014/oct/17/labour-board-membership-minority-stakes-supporters
  5. Workers could be forced to pay at least £5 a week into a personal “welfare account” to get higher benefits if they lose their job, under a plan being considered by George Osborne. In a report published today, the Policy Exchange think-tank proposes a shake-up of the welfare system to strengthen its original “contributory principle”, under which the amount people receive in benefits is linked to how much people have paid in. Allies say the Chancellor is keen to extend “personal responsibility” in the welfare system. The report is being studied by the Downing Street Policy Unit and such reforms could be signalled in the Conservatives’ general election manifesto. The Policy Exchange plan would set up a “compulsory collective insurance scheme”, into which everyone working more than 20 hours a week would pay £5 a week. It would be run by private-sector providers such as insurers and fund managers, but guaranteed by the Government. The think-tank calculates that the shake-up would save the Government £2.5bn a year as people became more self-reliant [more at link...] http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/workers-could-be-forced-to-pay-5-a-week-to-get-benefits-9794571.html
  6. A TRAFFIC island which was the UK’s last piece of infrastructure has been sold to the private sector. The island, which boasts assets like traffic lights and red bumpy pavement, sold for £12,200 to a Malaysian street management specialist. Chancellor George Osborne said: “Thirty years ago the people of this country were burdened by an airline, energy network, telephone network, and postal service. “Why, everyone asked, should these things be in the inefficient hands of the British state when they could be brilliantly run by the French or Chinese states? “I am proud to announce from the SportsDirect House of Numbers, formerly 11 Downing Street, there is now nothing left to weigh us down.” The island has now been temporarily closed to allow the construction of a Subway, Caffe Nero and La Senza, leading to 15 road deaths in the last 24 hours. http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/business/uk-sells-last-tiny-piece-of-infrastructure-2014101591715
  7. Chancellor George Osborne has said the Government is seeking bidders for its 40% stake in the Eurostar rail service to help reduce Britain's public sector debt. Potential buyers have until the end of the month to make an expression of interest. The Government said it expected to reach "definitive agreements" in the first quarter of 2015. The sale forms part of the Government's plan to sell £20bn of corporate and financial assets by 2020. Mr Osborne said: "I am determined that we go on making the decisions to reform the British economy and tackle our debts, so we will proceed with the potential sale of the UK's shareholding in Eurostar today. [more at link] http://news.sky.com/story/1351900/osborne-puts-stake-in-eurostar-up-for-sale
  8. One would imagine legislation would also be problematic. Set against low growth, low investment, low pay and underemployment, there is only so much the law can do.
  9. The council has a strict policy that prohibits the use of such contracts as a substitute for full-time employment and is committed to not using such contracts to the detriment of its employees. All of our staff are on a minimum of a living wage. We are encouraging our partners to use the same approach. Amongst its recommendations the select committee is calling for a voluntary employment charter that acknowledges good working practices, and asks local employers to do no more than the council is doing itself. It is naming and claiming good employers who are committed to a living wage, equal pay arrangements, and to not using zero- and low-hours as an alternative to permanent staff. Why do this? There are several reasons. We need to know the condition and structure of the labour market in our city, as this impacts on local economic growth and the demands for our services. As the only local democratically accountable body, we can bring these issues into the public arena, and when necessary, represent our most vulnerable residents. We will also make consumers and local businesses aware of which companies are good employers, which we hope will support their business growth. Councils across the country that promote minimum employment standards will have, we believe, a better chance of working with national employers. Finally, we can provide a body of evidence of the support of local businesses, and the positive impact this has on a local economy and the benefit system, to support legislative change. [more at link] http://www.theguardian.com/public-leaders-network/2014/oct/09/liverpool-stamp-out-zero-hours
  10. Indeed, drugs included too so might be an idea to legalise weed and open a few of them as Amsterdam style *coffee shops* I'm sure they'd do a roaring trade.
  11. Boris Johnson is set to approve plans for “affordable” flats that the Guardian understands could cost tenants up to £2,800 a month to rent. The London mayor is expected to grant consent on Friday for the construction of 98 “affordable rent” apartments on the site of the Royal Mail’s Mount Pleasant sorting office in central London in a deal that critics say makes a mockery of the idea that affordable housing is for the most needy. Confidential estimates of market rents filed as part of the application suggest tenants could be charged up to £1,170 a month for a one-bedroom flat and up to £1,690 for a two-bedroom flat. A family occupying a four-bedroom flat in the development could be asked to pay as much as £660 a week. According to a rule of thumb widely used by housing experts that housing costs should represent a third of income to be considered affordable, their family income would need to be around £100,000. Sarah Hayward, the leader of the London borough of Camden, said the expected rents on the Mount Pleasant scheme were among the highest ever seen for affordable housing. “If these rent levels are as claimed, they will not be in any way affordable,” the Labour councillor said. “Boris Johnson is showing his true colours. He doesn’t want poor people living in London.” [more at link] http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/oct/02/boris-johnson-approve-affordable-london-flats-rent
  12. People were saying this sort of thing about Nick Clegg only 4 years ago
  13. Trying to out-tory the tories once again. Good to see Labour have moved on from New Labour and re-setablished their socialist credentials
  14. Breaking news: they're now offering business rate cuts worth £1bn. Sweetener?
  15. Incremental minimum wage increases would probably be able to mask any kind of price shocks that would arise, this proposal won't scare the horses and is in fact in line with the increases Labour made just after its inception. They should also raise the personal allowance in line though otherwise it's pretty meaningless.
  16. Works out about 30p increase per year hardly radical
  17. From the article: Houses for sale below the £250,000 stamp duty threshold are thin on the ground in London – quite literally in the case of one two-bedroom property in the north of the capital which is up for auction. Measuring just 84in wide, the terrace home in Haringey, is barely the width of three wheelie bins. The house, which appears to have been squeezed on to what was once a driveway between two more conventionally sized homes, will go on under the hammer on 1 October and is expected to fetch more than the guide price of £235,000. Buyers will have to sit under the stairs in the super-slim living room but they do also get a roof terrace. “I think it will appeal to owner-occupiers or perhaps an investor,” said James McHugh of estate agent McHugh & Co, who is handling the sale. A buy-to-let landlord, he said, could rent out the corridor-shaped home for around £1,300 a month. Wider homes on the same street have been changing hands for much more – a three-bedroom terrace is currently on the market for £580,000 – and in a part of London where house prices increased by 23% in the year to July there are slim pickings for homebuyers who cannot raise considerable sums of money. It is not the narrowest house in London – it is a whole foot wider than a 6ft-wide home in Shepherd’s Bush which changed hands for £549,950 in 2009. [more at link] http://www.theguardian.com/money/2014/sep/03/narrow-terrace-house-north-london?CMP=fb_gu
  18. There are many weasel words about TTIP from our PTB, notably about ISDS and how they are 'consulting' and 'listening to our concerns', but here is the proof of the lie. These are the (redacted) minutes of the LOTIS committee from June - the monthly meeting where the City gives our Government its instructions of what it wants. This comes from a FoI request to the Dept of Business, Lies and Corruption from whatdotheyknow. Check out item 6.4 in which it is made clear that as the UK is the second largest Foreign Direct Investor in the world it objects to any watering down of its investor protection. And note that the EU may be wavering, but it is the UK which is LEADING on this, not being held hostage by the EU! I dread to think what's in the redacted bits... https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/219051/response/556434/attach/5/FOI%2014%2014959%20LOTIS%20Meeting%20Minutes%20June%202014%20Redacted%20Final.pdf
  19. Quote: Britain has signed a £3.5-billion ($5.8-billion, 4.4-billion-euro) contract for almost 600 new armoured vehicles, the government said Wednesday on the eve of a NATO summit in Wales. The deal -- the largest single order the defence ministry has placed for armoured vehicles in three decades -- will support almost 1,300 jobs, the Ministry of Defence said in a statement. Made by the British arm of US defence company General Dynamics, the 589 Scout Specialist Vehicles have computer technology that will help with surveillance on battlefields. "I'm delighted that on the eve of the NATO summit, we can announce the biggest single contract for armoured fighting vehicles for the British Army since the 1980s," said Prime Minister David Cameron in the statement. "Not only will they be crucial in helping to keep Britain safe, they will also underpin nearly 1,300 jobs across the UK and showcase the strength of the UK's highly skilled defence sector." [more at link] https://uk.news.yahoo.com/britain-orders-3-5-billion-armoured-vehicles-071438124.html#yrGnq8E And there was me thinking we were skint
  20. Indeed. The main point of course being that the TPP is not really about trade, it's about changing the regulatory process in ways that would almost certainly be opposed by the people in most of the countries included in the deal. Hence why TPTB have tried their damnedest to keep it all as secretive as possible.
  21. 'The TTIP is an aggressive expression of the ‘free market’ ideology that should have been binned with the financial crash' From the article: In spite of previous suggestions to the contrary, the proposed EU-US free trade deal will, after all, include the NHS, trade minister Lord Livingston admitted on Monday. The deal, known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership or TTIP, is a priority of David Cameron’s government – a “once in a generation” opportunity. But officials have been taken aback by the extent of public hostility. At the heart of this opposition is the fear that the TTIP will give big business vast new powers over public services like the NHS, and undermine rights at work, environmental protection and food safety standards. According to a poll commissioned by Unite, 68% of people in marginal constituencies oppose the inclusion of the NHS as part of the deal. Even among Tory voters, just 23% supported its inclusion. After weeks of the government telling the public that “the NHS won’t be affected”, Lord Livingston has admitted that Cameron won’t exclude the NHS, because the TTIP is too good an opportunity to sell our “world class health services” to the US market. This also means US health corporations would gain new “rights” to sell their health services here. And should they be impaired from doing so by, let’s imagine, a future government abolishing the Health and Social Care Act, those corporations will have the right to sue the British government through a parallel legal structure created by the TTIP. They won’t even have to go through our domestic court system. The same fate awaits other public services and potential public services, from education to transport and energy provision. Protecting or renationalising services will mean the government is forced to “compensate” foreign businesses that want to invest. [more at link] http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/sep/02/eu-us-free-trade-deal-ttip-transatlantic-trade-investment-partnership
  22. Stunned silence filled the GQ Men Of The Year Awards hall as Tony Blair accepted a "jaw dropping" philanthropist of the year award on Tuesday night. The former Prime Minister was recognised for his charity work, but the announcement was received with shock from the crowd and disbelief by fellow politicians and other celebrities. Blair told the crowd: “I would like to dedicate this award to the people that work with and for my organisations. I feel the pulse of progress beating a little harder.” But Labour MP John Mann said shortly after: "It sends the wrong message. This sort of award should go to an unsung hero who has given up their time for charity." [more at link] http://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/celebrity-news/tony-blair-wins-gq-philanthropist-4155706
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