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Bluestone59

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About Bluestone59

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  1. My £5 box of Finish was in Poundland. I thought you should be told.
  2. Bluestone59

    i hope he wins and gets damages also

    Thought I'd quote yours, this being a minority interest for the site. The other evening was looking through the footie odds for inspiration when I noticed that PSG (whose odds had been about 1-6 to win in 90 minutes) were labouring to a 1-1 draw in a cup game against Guincamp whom they should have brushed aside. With minutes left G were 47/1 to win the match. It would have been madness not to have a few quid on but when I entered the bet it said "price change, press accept to continue" which I did and it did a dozen times or more until I realised this market didn't exist. The bookie had also thought an upset was coming so they used this to stop any contrarians from denting the profit they expected from the home win and draw bets. They were right, G scored and won 1-2. Bookies didn't do anything illegal but it's pretty much cheating. I closed the account at once. You mentioned Accumulators, up to a few years ago you could make money on these, usually up to trebles were reliable enough to be well worth it. Not any more; odds shrinkage and less predictable footie results have seen to that. Like so many other businesses, bookies have now become the playground of accountants and the chances of getting anything off them are closing in on zero.
  3. Rarely used them as stuff is often overpriced at £1 and sometimes poor quality to boot. So when I asked in one of them how much a pack of Finish x 52 tablets was (thinking it would £2 and something of a bargain) the assistant replied £5. As I didn't immediately know if that represents value, I declined. They must buy a lot of bankrupt stock, not bankrupt enough for retailing at £1. When they go bust presumably they buy it back off themselves - no? Oh wait, that is what they'll do.
  4. Bluestone59

    Smart meters - HPC hive mind

    Good post imho. Wouldn'tsurprise me, you're right it's what "these people" do. Last year was stated on news that electricity price in Denmark is UK X5, maybe they have spotted that. I recall our electric bills rising by half post 2009. Interestingly we also had a new meter then so I can't say what the real increase was because of my experience with meters. On two previous occasions down the years the bills, gas (once) and electric (once) rose noticeably after meters were changed so I have to think the old meters had been under recording. One advantage with the new stuff might be if it's totally accurate or will be quickly obvious if it isn't.
  5. Bluestone59

    Plan to free 'mortgage prisoners' revealed by FCA

    I commend to you a Johnny Cash offering called (I think) "Everybody needs somebody to look down on". As we live in what is euphemistically called a park home we have had people being openly sniffy towards us. I never knew how much pleasure this would give me. It is by some way the best location I have ever lived in other than the mansion the extended family lived in until 1956 and even that had serious drawbacks, the insane cost I believe, though I was too young to understand it then. We paid £35k and have never had a mortgage in this, our second life. The "house" has limitations, space not least, but its quality is not that bad compared with some of the sh1t that passes for housing in Britain at £350k a pop. I suspect the no mortgage bit is what gets at some of them, we do pay £155 month to sit on a piece of ground and road maintenance etc. so we don't get away scot free from the rentier boys. Even so I guess that the anti-housing campaigners mostly prefer to look at open countryside and just wish the building would take place elsewhere. I've certainly met the people you describe but fortunately fewer than ten in a lifetime.
  6. Bluestone59

    Nearing the end of my sanity..

    Tbh I never even look. I really don't care if a house cost £1000 or £1m. But yes, I bet they aren't selling. If I'd never owned one I'd have been a lot better off today. The problem being, if you think you may ever want to own you have to get started a s a p in case they go out of range. That's what is so insidious about the whole thing. In the past you had a chance as some areas were less inflation prone, and still may be, but you can see that the machine is geared to making everywhere on earth as expensive as possible. And always will be.
  7. Bluestone59

    Nearing the end of my sanity..

    I can throw some light on this? Property in the Gatwick area lost a huge chunk of value, allowing for inflation which was briefly quite high, it could be almost 50% over 3 years as was about a third nominal. I happened to be in Newport, South Wales in 1990 and passing an EA's window the price of a 1970s detached, serviceable but unexciting looked to be almost the same as Sussex. Pretty sure nothing was selling in either location. A year or two later I was in the area of those salubrious towns across the north, Kendal, Skipton, Harrogate and they looked mighty expensive. I recall reading at the time they were some of the most prosperous in the country and least badly affected. I went and signed on in Crawley and they told me literally no jobs. Well Father Christmas £5 an hour "but you're not fat enough". Not jolly enough was more accurate at the time.
  8. Bluestone59

    Nearing the end of my sanity..

    I'm tempted to agree but I also think there must be an upper limit to what people will/can pay. Ok you don't have the money, HMG says as you're a bit short take out the biggest mortgage you can, now how much on top do you need? £300k, ok tell you what, we'll lend you that and you don't have to make any repayments we'll just take it out of the proceeds when you come to sell. It won't ever go down in price we'll make sure of that. So what do you think then, deal? Ridiculous example maybe, which I made up for a reason. If they ever get to that stage even the thickest person in the country can see that the emperor has no clothes. And hadn't for a very long time. Then what about non-owners or the effect on confidence? Given that we run a trade deficit what is imported food going to cost? Just thinking aloud. Have to admit they have already succeeded far beyond my expectations but why assume the future must be like the past? It often isn't. Also how far would you trust a government guarantee of any kind? Despite what I just said I am pretty certain that, funds permitting, HMG will "write off" any unpaid HTB before anyone is evicted, probably using the M O above.
  9. Bluestone59

    Nearing the end of my sanity..

    In the South East it seemed dire but that could have been partly because the region had fared a bit better than elsewhere in the past. The downturn did more damage to white collar workers I believe. The credit crunch may well have been worse but then efforts were made to ameliorate it. Do I not recall in the early nineties a government minister saying "if it isn't hurting it isn't working?"
  10. Bluestone59

    Nearing the end of my sanity..

    This may be an oversimplification - I am no economist. In the late eighties, early nineties this place was on its knees. Panorama even aired a documentary (not a very good one) titled "will the South East ever work again?" The situation we have now would be unsustainable but for its similarity to that in other large economies - no? Thereby making a major (pun intended) run on the pound risky and or less likely. Now however, the behaviour of the Americans, the unknown effects of leaving the EU threaten this cosy little set up. Possibly. One will have to guess whether nonsense like HTB or lunatic levels of benefit dependency (if they even are, I don't really know) or whatever, will spark off the biggest denouement of a modern nation since 1923, as some think could happen. The fact that anybody has predicted it really makes me wonder if it will. UK has been written off more times than I can remember in my lifetime. Even so, if I had to guess I'd say that things are not sustainable as they are and there will be a day of reckoning not far ahead. Does our leadership look like it has the skill and talent to deal with that? Er, not really. But DYOR as ever.
  11. This reminds me of something much older. Maybe it's me but I've never seen Bob Beckman mentioned on this site, so far. Easier to Google him than have me explain. Beckman predicted house price falls in he 1980s which eventually came but much later than his prophecy. The Mail in particular ridiculed him for this. When I read later that the hard-line monetarist anti inflation Thatcher regime had expanded the money supply by 400% in a decade it became obvious why Beckman seemed to have got it wrong, in that reasonably accurate timing is part of the value of any prediction. This was just a postponement with the inevitable coming home to roost 1988 onwards.
  12. Have to come out with my hands up in not being able to recall the exact definition. That may be because the increase seemed shockingly large and left me feeling it made the point even without much questioning. My understanding was that it was the increased operating subsidy which I would assume includes the cost of hiring rolling stock and maintaining track but not projects like Crossrail. So I guess quoting a number without being totally clear as to what it means is not that helpful. The lower UK subsidy is reflected in the much higher fares than almost anywhere, allegedly. Allegedly, as I have never used a train outside the UK. Pre 1948 I believe the LNER lost the most money and GWR made a profit. The trend towards innovation may well have come to a halt even without state ownership. It's hard to make money out of rail which is one reason for the Tories' aversion thereto, which to be fair to them is not that bad a reason. Chiltern Rail seem to manage financially though.
  13. Have to wonder whether the Tories' hatred of rail transport runs so deep that they really have been trying to destroy it down the years.
  14. What Ridley didn't choose to mention, unsurprisingly, was something I heard a few times down the years, that the shareholders in the pre 1948 rail companies were paid (by Labour) much more than they were worth due to the poor state they were in. And, as ever, the smart money had probably guessed that the age of the car was just around the corner. Another jolly tale post BR privatisation was that the Swedes sent a team over to check out how things were going as they were considering doing the same. It reported back that the idea would be ok but whatever you do, don't do it the UK way as it's totally bonkers.
  15. Yes, I did say "almost everything". Thatcher's governments swerved privatising Royal Mail, I did wonder at the time whether rail was viewed in the same way. A lot of increased rail traffic must be down to the cost of driving, congestion and difficulty in parking and a bigger population. I don't get the feeling that rail companies, other than Chiltern Rail, should be congratulating themselves too much for this increased usage. As for how much rail should be subsidised, last I heard the extent of it was over 4x the British Rail subsidy. There's a story today that Stagecoach took a £35m divi out of East Coast before handing back the keys. If true, this isn't going to help sentiment. I still believe that trades union stupidity in the past opened the door to this kind of abuse.
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