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Biffo the Bear

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  1. There's a very easy way to solve the 'problem'. When people talk about public sector pensions creating a problem, what they actually mean are those public sector pensions that are non-contributory. I think that all local authority pensions are fully contributory, and most of them are funded by well managed superannuation funds, just like any other pension. These essentially pay for themselves, so no tinkering is needed here. In fact, I think all new entrants to local authority schemes after a certain date are on career average pensions, with the existing final salary ones slowly disappearing. So this is sorted. When it comes to the public sector pensions that are non-contributory, they simply need to make them operate in the same way as local authorities do i.e. fully contributory into a superannuation fund. However, what I suspect will actually happen is that local authority pensions and the others will all get lumped together in the name of 'reform', the superannuation funds will be raided by local authorities because of a shortfall in funding from central government, and all existing members will be moved onto career average instead of final salary. It'll be a shame to see local authority workers suffering because of the profligacy of the civil service, but that's the way it goes I suppose.
  2. I am sitting in our £25/week bedsit in Seaton Carew in the north-east of England. I will sue anyone who says..... *gibber gibber*.... huge profits that have yet to materialise ....*gibber gibber* ......... NURSE!
  3. I was in Greece not long back. From the locals' perspective, it seemed to be illegal immigrants from the non-EU Eastern European countries that were causing the problems, as opposed to 'boat people' from the African continent. Most of the European people are happy to stay there, under the radar, as they can usually find jobs with the local restaurants etc, who, whilst paying them poorly, still give them enough for a roof over their head in a nice warm country!
  4. The Tories in control of Nottinghamshire want every department to have made plans for 10% cuts by the end of this year apparently. Now, will the overpaid managers be willing to fall on their swords to protect the lower paid frontline staff? I suspect not. Up and down the country we'll have these overpaid senior officers ruling over empty empires and services will suffer, unless the Tories make senior management reviews their first priority in their plans for local government.
  5. How Tory-like; I expected better. http://www.vertical-leap.co.uk/blog/Tories...ds-Keywords.asp http://digitologynow.blogspot.com/2009/06/...cebook-app.html
  6. Is it just me who thinks that that horse looks like Hitler?
  7. No it doesn't, it just perpetuates the hallucination. For all you know, you could be the last person on Earth, and all of this is created by your imagination to stop you going insane.
  8. But are our senses only there to perpetuate a subjective consensual take on reality? I don't think it's possible to prove a definitive objective reality; your blue may be my green, or your triangles my circles, but I will never know unless I saw through your eyes.
  9. Well, I don't think that that's right at all (the 96% bit). I don't see why anyone in the public sector should have access to a non-contributory system, unless of course, it's non-contributory in the sense that entry is compulsory, and if you weren't part of it, then you'd receive the appropriate remuneration in your wages. Regardless, this is what gets my hackles up. People go on about public-sector pensions and how they're all 'gold-plated' and non-contributory. A message to all: not all of us are in non-contributroy schemes that have direct access to the public coffers, and we see that as being a good thing.
  10. Where do you get your information from? Most locla government pension funds don't come from one huge national pot, but are managed locally. I know that the one we've got has been operating with a £50m+ surplus since its inception through good investments on the stock market and property interests nationwide, just like how all those honest big businesses in the private sector maintain their private investment funds. Neither are they free and non-contributory for the employee. It's all funded from the wage packet. Okay, that might lead to the usual issue of our wage packets coming from the tax payer, but that's an issue of semantics; it's still money that we're paying from our wages into a private pension fund that operates well through private investments.
  11. Hmm, well that hasn't spread up here yet, so I stand to be corrected. What's the 'economy' in Swindon?
  12. My 'controversial' view is this: Although we're in a recession, we're actually recessing back to a state of normality in comparison to a period of unfettered 'boom'. I was reading a short interview with a builder somewhere the other day who was saying something along the lines of, "I've been in this industry for ten years and have never known anything like this, it's terrible, absolutely terrible." Now you can see the problem there - everythings being judged in comparison to the boom mentality i.e. "When will it get back like it was?" When it's not; this is how it's going to be. Also, compared to the early 90s recession where it was about getting food on the table, this one seems to be more about sacrificing holidays and not getting a new car/TV every year or two.
  13. Well, there is that. I'm a great believer in social equality, but have slowly begun to realise that the perception of equality in the minds of many necessitates bowing to a collective disregard for common sense. And yes, I've got a good insurance deal - this is the most I've ever spent on anything in my life!!
  14. Well, that's the point, I shouldn't have to be discreet. It wasn't as if I was bragging and showing off (like they did when they used to go on about their houses); it was more of a case of, "Look how cool this is." The thing is, if I'd have bought it 5 years ago (even though they didn't exist then), I'd have been the toast of the town, and then everyone would've gone out and bought one with their MEW funds. I do like King Charles' suggestion, and as much pleasure it'd give me to do it, I won't sink to their level. To me, it's a moral debate. I just dislike the way that if you're not doing what the crowd's doing, but have acted in a completely reasonably and moral fashion to be able to do it, what gives them the right to cast an aspertion on you, because of their own mishandling of their affairs?
  15. 5d Mk II; I'm going to take a picture of my critic tomorrow and then print it out nicely for them, just to make a point.
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