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Cogs

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Everything posted by Cogs

  1. Its amazing they built up such a pension considering that the civil service was only started in 1997. Before that magic elves used to do the work.
  2. Shamefully misrepresented as "any increases in tax will really lose money", its corollary being "we are already taxed at the optimal rate or above". I think Dubya killed this one off as an easy line of rhetoric to be honest with you, he claimed this, cut taxes and then borrowed to make up the huge losses. Turned out they weren't at the optimal level after all. Call him Nworb Nodrog, you can't spend money you haven't got except through borrowing in the end, whichever side you dress.
  3. FFS. Let us pretend you asked a sensible question, the answer is that it would appear part of the definition of 'merit' in the case of Oxbridge is things like; has rich and influential parents, the Headmaster is a friend of mine, or the catch-all euphemism "will fit in socially". It isn't true of all colleges, just some. Problem is, how do you know in advance?
  4. Yes, if only it existed the doubters would be proved wrong and they'd be able to sell Magdalene College to a property developer.
  5. How is that different from the present situation? The loan capital comes out of HE funding, if the students either don't pay it back or don't earn enough to pay it back, we lose the money. Interestingly it would mean that the likes of David Cameron and Osborne Osborne would be the first to be rejected. Trust funds you see, too much risk they'd go off and take an internship or political researcher job in London. We already fund universities at a much lower rate than our competitors and even below the OECD average. Even Willetts admits that universities were neglected by Labour from a financial perspective [EDIT: to clarify, old two brains also identifies the *sector* as having money poured into it, these are not contradictory statements, this is where the problems all lie] Britain is also the most productive scientific publisher per unit funding in the world. (ratios: 11:1 UK, 10:1 USA, 5:1 Japan, everyone else below that level).
  6. Bit out of date, but some reference points. I find the 5% or even 1% elite participation model favoured by many here quite interesting but aside from being a one liner they never discuss it in the context of the wealth of nations. In context I think it requires some explaining.
  7. Joking aside, there is a psychological as much as a physiological issue. I was talking to an American not of ample girth via the interweb who was bemoaning the news he'd been bumped down to a Focus by a car hire company. He was actually panicking about it. "But you don't understand, I can't drive it, I'm a big guy". 5'10", 12 stone. He thought he couldn't physically fit into a Ford Focus without having his feet sawn off at the shins. "Car dysmorphic syndrome".
  8. Not one generally for public sector bashing but I drive past the offices of a PCT every day, to and from work. I've often admired their expansive front court yard and water feature. Anyhow, I had the day off recently but inevitably the phone rang and I was hauled back around lunch time. Turns out the court yard is actually the staff carpark.
  9. Interestingly, Germany have managed the same with 15,000 job cuts. But then they don't have the Daily Mail to tell them what to do.
  10. University spending is about that. Don't recall it being it called "very little" when they took an axe to it and seem set to do more. Not that universities and science are of any importance of course given we are primarily an oil-exporting industrial economy and so on. Edit: It was 1.3% before it was said to be bloated, despite being below the OECD average (half what the US spends for example) and despite being the most efficient in the world by any measure.Any chance you are a VI in the whole "International development" trough?
  11. Good post, thank you. We are told it is axiomatic that the state cannot invest. However, these losses and subsidies were not necessarily to go on forever. This is the approach other European countries take to their car industries and ship yards for example. We walked away from productive activity and left it to others to make a profit on.
  12. Indeed, and what is the response to this mass boycott by five million people?
  13. Its so we can pay for India's space programme and help the Chinese out because they'd rather hoard money than spend it on their own people. Doesn't make any sense to me either.
  14. Are you insane? Reagan did nothing but borrow, he was worse than Gordon Brown. Oh btw, does anyone know when we are getting the "trickle down" we were promised in the 1980s? My cheque doesn't appear to have arrived yet.
  15. Rioting isn't really the crime of choice in conditions of high inequality. Kidnapping rich people's children is. You see this in parts of South America etc.
  16. http://www.guardian....ng-cuts-savings I think I can see an additional 1.8 billion that report probably doesn't mention... you also have to ask yourself why these people work for the Tories, the Lib Dems and Labour for free before each election. Whatever happens its gravy for them.
  17. Everyone is right and here is why. Its quite a common observation that organisations have issues that are commonly recognised but the people who want to change them can't get the power to do so. Eventually some sort of crisis hits or things just become intolerable. Either the consultant is called in to provide cover for finally doing the unpleasant thing or else calling in the consultant marks the point at which the organisation itself is ready to tackle its problems and has sufficient resolve. So the consultant turns up, implements what everyone already knew needed implemented, claims great efficiencies and leaves. This is why so many of them can get away with being 25 year olds working out of the same binder every other "consultant" in their office uses, its not really what they do or don't do, they have a largely ceremonial purpose in proceedings.
  18. Difficult. It isn't really relevant, if we were at war with Afghanistan it would be a different (and much more quickly resolved) matter.
  19. Sorry but no, you are exaggerating. I know its the mood of the times but by any objective standard we are a major power for a nation state that isn't a super-power. We used to be the pre-eminent superpower so this is a colossal fall from grace but "3rd rate" is ridiculous, our ability to project force is significant. Don't misinterpret this as jingoism or complacency but your post is the sort of thing that only a Briton (or an American in a boasting mood) could write, start subscribing to Jane's if you don't believe me.
  20. Its tricky because its an American import of course. The chronology is out for us, but the syndrome is recognisable. The Americans were ahead of us in noticing the collapse in incomes and the erosion of employment rights. The bit is the beginning is because the protagonist has realised that its people who have never had to work in 'sick building syndrome' open plan offices who are keenest on inflicting them on other people in the name of efficiency.
  21. God the Mail is a hateful rag. They have a property feature now on that guy in Cumbria and his brother.
  22. Yes but equally look at the BBC's situation. They invested their pension money and everyone complains whatever they invest it in. What businesses would you be happy for policemen to have a strong vested interest in? Its not just the Government that needs their loyalty.
  23. Yes but why is that 0.5% increase by 2030 (assuming no growth, and honestly if we go 20 years without growth life expectancy is going to make this all moot) the thing that is going to cause us to default?
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