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Optimistic Pessimist

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Everything posted by Optimistic Pessimist

  1. 'How do you define Britishness'? This is how I explain it to the youngsters I meet, or indeed to my nieces and nephews. When I was young, 6 or 7 years old, my mother would get her parents to babysit for me whilst she worked. My Grandfather, who was welsh, would often take me to the park, or entertain me whilst staying in their home. My Grandfather was a quiet man, but someone who I had immense pride in. He fought in the second world war, involved in the Dunkirk evacuation, and later the D Day landings. His wifes brother (my great uncle) lived two doors away, and often my grandmother would take me to see him. He fought in a different area of the conflict, fighting in North Africa, and then progressing up through Italy and losing many friends in the battle at Monte Casino. I could never get the two of them to tell me too much about the war, maybe as I was too young, but I held in awe these two men, as true heroes. My grandfather suffered a stroke whilst I was still young, and my Great Uncle also suffered from poor health, so when I reached an age where I could start to understand what they had experienced it was too late. It was from my Grandmother that I learned what both of them went through. And now when I think back about them, how ordinary they were, how decent and honest, never complaining about their lot, and the great depravity they experienced, that to me is what Britishness is. I dont really think Britishness exists anymore, and I'm sure my Grandparents would be heartbroken to see how much this country has changed. And for your views Mal Volio, it's not that they are unwelcome, more that they seem so alien.
  2. No, I didn't mean that that running out of a finite resource is a conspiracy theory. Just the way in which Peak Oil is sold. Basically we'll reach a plateau of production, demand will continue to increase, production decreases, price will increase, things get worse, we all go to war, then live in some gorge called olduvai ( I made that last bit up). If the implications of peak oil are as they say, then surely big business, government would not be planning on 'business as normal'. Like I say, why plan for a future if it is not going to exist. Either - a) There are plans for a transition, which still allows for the 'Business as usual' or b ) To start to understand the enormity of the task ahead is so great, it's easier to ignore it, and carry on as usual. I'm hoping for A, but starting to believe that B is more probable.
  3. I've been aware of Peak Oil for several years, but I'm not too sure whether the timescale is right. I base this on one assumption; it just seems to be business as usual. By this I mean the decisions that industry makes - 3rd runway at Heathrow, Boeing/Airbus predicting xxx many planes to be built in the next xxx years. Pension companies with their forecasts, 50 year governent bonds etc etc etc the list goes on. The impact of Peak Oil will be massive, yet those that ought to be informed plan as if nothing will change. So is peak oil just a conspiracy theory?
  4. Just asking, how many went through the teachers strike of the 80s?
  5. Discuss Peak Oil? Not a chance. The majority of people want to believe that their future will be better; want to believe that their pensions will be worth something; want to be able to book up their SAGA holidays. Tell them that actually from here on in things will get harder, that we'll all be exposed to fuel poverty, that driving your car on a Sunday out for lunch will become prohibitively expensive. Anti 4x4 lobby, global warming, green taxes, all about preparing people for less oil.
  6. I came across the dieoff website, through HPC, back in 2006, and it had a huge affect on how I felt my future would play out. I'd never considered the possibility of peak oil, actually like most people I was blissfully unaware of what is heading our way. Most people I know are not aware of what peak oil means, and still trott out the 'we have 30 years of oil left' nonsense. There are going to be some really interesting times ahead.
  7. The recession has Barely Begun. I know that this time round it is different, but I left school just when the last boom was coming to an end. I worked for the family business in construction at the time and, when the recession was in full swing, it was dire. No enquiries, no ongoing projects, no orders being placed, and if you were lucky to get an order cost reductions being asked for. At the moment I do not see or hear of anything like this on the scale as before. We have only just started this recession, we have a long way to go yet.
  8. Just adding my two pennyworth, replaced our 3 year old land rover, got an amazing deal on a new one. presumed it was down to the dealership not selling much, but the salesman (i've known him for 18 years) told me they have had their best March ever! Horses for courses I spose. BTW it was a Defender, not a Chelsea Tractor
  9. What have you got against weasels? Seriously though, best of luck on this one. Fook me tho, what an outcome if you bought it off the mortgage company for 50% - 60% less.
  10. Done. But dont hold out too much hope, the government seem to hold strange views on how to treat our serving personnel. Listen to this bumbling idiot, Des Browne - http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/today/listenag...80412Browne.ram
  11. My pleasure, when i'm next along that part of the coast i'll try to take a photo of the sign so i can post it here.
  12. Ah these songs are from his days with Pink Floyd, if you truly want to be depressed (and maybe cut your wrists), then try some of his solo stuff. The album 'Amused to Death' or the singles ' leaving beruit' or ' to kill a child' are good for starters. Actually I think that Roger Waters is quite a switched on Guy. If you listen to his Amused to Death Album from 1992, it's a sort of narrative of the consumer lifestyle we live, our obsession with religion, the pointlessness of wars and the reason behind our intervention with the middle east (oil of ocurse). It's a bloody good album, and would say well worth a listen. And I would agree, not the music to play whilst maybe reading this site.
  13. Oh yes, albeit a very young one. If I want to cheer myself, other than reading this of course , then nothing better than listening to one of his albums.
  14. I know it's a little bit further a field, but down here in my part of Andalucia, most developments seemed to have come to a halt. I know that there may be an issue with permission etc. but along this part of the coast it's mainly just empty shells. My brother in law, who also lives down here, informs me that on a recently completed new build development of flats in Torre del Mar, they're advertising buy one get one free.
  15. Brilliant Dont worry though, give 5 or 6 years and the whole of the Land Rover/Jaguar operation will be moved to India. Losing tens of thousands of jobs, directly and indirectly. TA TA
  16. Ugly scuffle!!! Take a look at Binge Britain on a Friday Night for what a really ugly scuffle looks like. The comments make good reading tho.
  17. It was an embarrassing sight really. Policeman wearing Halfords style cycle crash helmets running on the outside, with dubious looking chinese athletes/officials on the inside, and then a bemused athlete/ celeb. holding the flame. It looked pathetic, run a few hundred yards, then dash in the bus and skittle off down the road. WTF was that all about. And the response of the police, while at first I thought it was warranted, but on watching the re-runs on the news I'm certain is was heavy handed. When the police made contact with the protestors most just stopped and gave up, and surely all was needed was to just escort them to the side, not this heavy handed rugby style tackle by 2 BMX coppers. Actually what was missing here was Rocky Balboa in the middle, and then it would of been more fitting Be interesting to see what the police are like when the torch makes it way thru other countries. Any one know where next? Cant wait to see it go thru zimbabwe or maybe iraq, that'll be interesting.
  18. I followed the link, read it quickly once, and thought 'I cant find any humour in this'. So I read it twice more, but slowly, and then the penny dropped. It was for real. Who the hell does NuLabour send this type of email too, 5 year olds? The next election cant come too soon.
  19. Thanks for the replies. I'd sort of thought that the savings would be stuffed. So I suppose if there were ever a rumour that Abbey were having difficulties then we'd best move the money pronto. Although going by what happened to NR, we'd have to come back to the UK, as their website would probably be having 'technical difficulties' Thanks Again
  20. I understand that a saver has upto £35k protected if a bank/building society goes under, but what happens to the money that is used to offset a mortgage. We have an Abbey offset mortgage, which I changed to just prior to selling our business, and where I have put most of our savings for the short term. This seemed a pretty good idea at the time, as we are currently getting interest at .49% above bank base rate, tax free. But if Abbey were to have a run on it, and went pop, what the hell happens to that money? As there are some financial geniuses on this website, I thought i'd ask the question.
  21. I worked in the building industry from 1989 to 2006 in Bristol (and farther afield), and from around 1998 a hell of a lot of work was on luxury apartments (flats to most of us). We did a hell of a lot for Barratt Homes, including this development. I had to an out of hours call out to this site, at around 6/7 PM (in Jan/Feb). I couldnt believe my eyes when I finished the call out, and sat on the corner of the wall was one of the working girls that frequent this area. What an area, but it still didnt stop Barratts selling them all. I worked on practically all of the Barratts developments in Bristol (excluding the ones in the Dings ,called the Zone I think), Swindon, Chippenham, W-S-M , and in the early days they had sold signs up on the scaffold even before they had the blockwork out of the footings. Although slower when I left in 2006, they were selling them (although they had problems with that development at the old football ground in WSM, not too sure why) We also did most of the work down at Port Marine for Crest Nicholson, and even a few of the site agents were flipping the apartments and were boastful of the money they made. In fact when I think of it, from around the late 90's we worked on what must of been thousands of flats in the bristol area, and most of them just tiny little shit holes. Even then I was amazed at what the asking price was. What am I trying to say; well people paid dearly in the 'boom' for this flats, but to be fair none of them really stand out, so they are probably going to see the biggest drops.
  22. Ah yes, but what about the picture of Gordon Brown (I think, or maybe Blair) stood up on a podium in front of the word COUNT, except that from the angle the photo was taken they were blocking out the letter O. Hilarious
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