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Cogs

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Everything posted by Cogs

  1. It was the boomers who voted in New Labour both times. Our generation (20s/30s) has been insignificant in politics over that time and has nothing to do with it, for good or bad. I believe we'd actually have had a hung parliament with a leaning towards the Lib Dems if the majority voted as the tiny minority who did turn up voted. A labour government is what older people vote for to look after them with tax payer's money.
  2. On Thursday I was present at a closing down sale in a supermarket going from being a Somerfield to something else (dunno). Brutal I tell you, the guy with the price gun was pursued by a pack of pensioners who showed "ruck and maul" skills the England rugby team could learn from. As an able-bodied 6 foot plus young-ish chap I was beginning to find the atmosphere a little uncomfortable. Still, grabbed 4 kilograms of tea(!), 70-odd disposable razor blades, 10 cans of deoderant, and 30ish light bulbs and all the canned goods I could lift at 1/3rd of the usual price (tea was 1/4 cos it was 320 for the price of 160 before the discounting) so I'm not grumbling. Sad to say I found this a lot more exciting than the time I bought a new car.
  3. Actually there is another sociological thing in this, it reminds me a lot of the argument that women entering the workplace is relatively new thing. True for the middle-class, not true for the workers. A generation or two ago in working class families the kids would leave school ASAP to bring money in and then stay in the family home until a relatively advanced age as well. The difference was they moved out around the time the household could become financially independent from their income and not the other way round. This is perhaps where the idea of mum looking after adult male son a bit indulgently comes from, but I'm not sure it was 100% optional when work meant down the pit or in the steel works. As a lot of nominally ball-crushing feminist critics have pointed out, it was pretty damn hard for a man to work in those occupations without a support network given what the conditions physically inflicted upon the worker. A chap without a wife needed someone to prop him up, and that would typically be mum or failing that a female sibling/extended family. Not really relevant to today's office or call centre job though.
  4. I assume he sits at a home in front of his PC to type vapid rubbish nobody takes seriously wearing a 3-piece suit and maybe a bow-tie. It makes all the difference.
  5. I'm slightly cynical about this, I think there are shades of the rich get richer. I notice with these stories the KIPPERS always mention mummy and daddy owning in Islington or Kensington. I suppose its OK if your parents live in London in a nice big house where you have your own bedroom, it isn't very practical elsewhere. Many of us commoners and northern oiks had to move away to persue any sort of professional career (or find five minutes peace).
  6. Oh alright then FWIW I think 9/11 has nothing to do with any of the economic issues attributed to it. Not that there was a conspiracy etc. etc. but it has been a convienient "beard" for the damage caused by the dotcom crash. Only you see, a lot of people were very stupid re: dotcom whereas 9/11 was a terrible thing that came out of the blue and certainly nothing the business community can blame themselves for etc etc. So it makes a better narrative for VIs to talk about 9/11 instead.
  7. Thats about right, granny and grandad rattling round a massive house/manor and the closest the grandkid is going to get to it is a single solitary brick. Says it all.
  8. Why do you mention Iraq then? Iraq has nothing to do with 9/11 and Afghanistan. Completely unrelated issues... check out the UN resolution, doesn't mention 9/11 once. The US Government's own report states quite clearly Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. You mention illegal wars, Afghanistan is a 100% legal UN-backed NATO action. I don't think anyone disputes that. Can't imagine why someone would conflate two completely seperate situations...
  9. This chacterful bijou property benefits from a bespoke vanity alfresco-roofing feature consisting of exposed beams which allows easy ingress of natural light and fresh air. Further features to include rustic flooring, original glazing, heavily detailed brickwork, four good sized free-standing corner WCs, and a mature and well-established garden located within the property. Would benefit from modest cosmetic modernisation. The property is situated in a much sought-after investment location some distance ahead of the gentrification curve. Integral grounds provide generous parking for up to two vehicles on brick(s). Included in with the property are original period fittings comprising of both level and angularly-offset shelving and pre-distressed luxury seating. Would suit Buy-to-let investor as the property is sold with a range of itinerant sitting tenants.
  10. Speaking of logic, why is it always assumed renting is a zero-sum game where there has to be a loser (if only we could agree on who the loser actually is)? Seriously. Most business transactions can I think be assumed to be mutually beneficial or they wouldn't occur at all.
  11. On the local BBC news just now. "Unprecedented" increase in number of properties for sale (15% up on last year). Gormless FTB: "We ask people why they are selling in case they have bad neighbours or something, they say its HIPS" EA: HIPS is the cause EA: Demand outstripping supply, not enough houses being built etc etc. (eh?) And given the land registry are showing a 0% increase in prices I thought the voice over was a bit sneaky claiming price increases had only "slowed slightly in the region".
  12. Yes and no as I understand it. Social housing is allocated on need. Immigrants, if they rock up with a load of children and nowhere to live have a greater 'need' then a young couple merely stuck at home with their parents. Immigrants don't have preferential treatment they but it seems they are more likely to qualify on the need criteria. This is in my view is not entirely unreasonable if we consider people who have been granted asylum, for example if you've fled your home without anything and possibly you've been victims of torture etc. I would say you and your family are in a position of fairly profound need. You could sort of say that means that 'background' has an influence, although you are being assessed in the same way as everyone else, if Joe Bloggs and his family up the road were also bombed out of their house, intimidated and tortured he'd be doing just as well. However if we are talking about economic migrants it seems difficult to justify importing 'need'. There are of course arguments against the 'need' criterion itself in so far as it it means the less effort you make and the deeper the hole you dig the more likely you are to access social housing. Hence pumping out a few sprogs might be seen as a strategy for securing a free home. But then if you ignore need and use some other system I'm not sure what that means the situation would end up looking like, families sleeping in cardboard boxes and three-bed council houses occupied by single young professionals?
  13. More of a VI perhaps. It hacks me off on both sides really, this success story is what all the "knowledge economy" parasites are hitching their wagons to. Interference and turning what is a pretty lean mean machine (could be a little less mean TBH) that thrives on independence seems inevitable at some point (a big negative in the US obviously). The real question is why it isn't manifesting itself in industry and so on. Its like we're a mining nation that sells rocks to other people to get the gold out of and we just get paid for rocks, I seriously question whether this is anything to be celebrating. Funny how Brown and Boris have both recently started saying how important science is to them etc etc. Everyone wants a bit of it now and thats what this "knowledge economy" stuff is about.
  14. [rant/] The UK is the second largest publisher of new scientific research in the world after the United States. You know, we do a lot more with a lot less than the last generation did, working double the hours for half the pay. In terms of papers per million pounds of research income spent, we lead the world by quite some margin despite having significant teaching and administration loads compared to comparable Western nations. British science is arguably at its highest point in terms of reputation and sheer productivity since the glory days of The Royal Society in the 18th century. Certainly if you want to talk about the 50s or the 60s as some sort of golden age you are crazy, a glance at the CVs of some of the dead wood should tell you they retained their jobs with very lowput and negligible claims on external funding; you'd be shown the door today, not given tenure. The biggest barrier is industry itself which is unprepared to spend the R&D money. Token efforts at technology transfer keep springing up but really the odd office block per campus isn't going to do it if large companies can't be bothered. This is what constitutes the exploitation gap and is why knowledge is being exported. I'm sure it is making money but the issue is it isn't being exploited here because, for some reason, people would rather foreigners made the money. That article is foolishly upbeat, we are regularly taking out golden hens and having them shot. It is however right that great potential exists until such point it is squandered. There are 400,000 EU scientists in the US, most of them British and only 13% of them intend to ever return. No bloody wonder quite frankly. If you do care about British science and technology possibly a first step is to stop casually talking it down. [/rant]
  15. You can quote me on this: the blue line will be the trigger.
  16. Its only a 3k a year for 12 years. Remember in the olden days people used to put together sums like that by "staying in" for a couple of years and not buying iPods... Well yes, so unless you are in the top 10% of earners, have rich parents, forget it unless possibly are a couple and guarantee you haven't/won't be having children and you won't split up for 25 years whatever happens seems to be the situation. Young people planning a career take note.
  17. That would surely be 46k (2 x 23k)? No I think this is the average for people who bought for the first time in April 2007. It isn't that surprising given the average FTB is 34 y.o. and has presumably saved up a typical 38k deposit in that time. Where those stats are not allowing a fair comparison is that I bet the average deposit was a lot lower in 1982. All that "people always saved for a few years and didn't go out drinking", I don't see how a few years of saving could realistically leave you with more than a year's gross salary, much less given FTBs were younger then, more than the salary they would later earn up to ten years into the future (ie. at 34).
  18. Average amongst FTBs, a self-selecting sample of people who can afford to buy property, not the general population. I did have a rather spiffing spreadsheet that showed the percentile ranges but I've deleted it but... 34k = 90th percentile in most places in England and Wales if I recall correctly. [Oh, and don't forget the average FTB is also going in with a deposit of nearly 40k, I think it was 38k the last time I saw a stat]
  19. "Court yard" eh. Backyard surely. Then again, an Englishman's home is his "Bolthole"...er I mean castle.
  20. The Eye has been reliably covering PFI for sometime now, the whole thing is depressing in the extreme. An interesting thing here is that PFI has priviledged access to public funds; they get paid before anyone else. An example of how ludicrous this becomes was during the recent furore re: housing for soldiers. And then Brown appeared trumpeting a PFI building programme. The truth of the matter was that unless you were going to live in one of these PFI developments (and it wasn't like everyone can, they are only at two locations) he had at that moment signed away any chance there would be money to doing up houses anywhere else in the country as the money from future budgets was already, and irrevocably, spent. PFI is like the devil in that regard, like any significant debt it drastically reduces your options...and it seems to me that the only option it leaves you with (a la Picture loans et al)...is more PFI. And the government did seek external advice at very high cost from the usual big consultancy brand suspects. Who were, as it turns out, playing both sides of the deal and then auditing each other...ra-rar private sector!
  21. Nonsense. The average FTB is 34, what are they and their family going to do with a one-bedroom flat? If the average FTB was in their early 20s, you'd have a point. If they were in their mid-20s I'd still see the merit in your argument, but they aren't. Property ownership is not open to a large number of people in this country due to rampant HPI, end of story. And your notion that people can't afford houses because of a "champagne lifestyle" is also utter nonsense. If you were talking about me or any of my friends you'd lose your bet. Older boomers are the most indebted of all anyway. I'm getting very tired of these utterly irrelevant straw man arguments.
  22. There is clearly something wrong with these stats I think. This is Brum. Apr 2006 Mar 2007 Change Detached £271,968 £118,333 -56% Semi £155,614 £153,726 -1% Terraced £126,071 £128,048 +2% Flat £137,050 £108,735 -21% All £145,631 £133,798 -8% Nice to dream though. You get a very different situation if you go Apr 06 to Feb 07. (ie. detached houses average 300k). Either that or we've had a massive yet somehow silent crash in the last six weeks. Hrm.
  23. I also have my doubts (mainly due to the length of it rather than anything else) although I do know people who have rented from "amateurs" who have for example turned up drunk, written incoherent begging/threatening letters and in one case the wife turned up in tears looking to be put up after a row with her husband on the basis that she owned the house and there was a spare bed, so she wasn't going to fork out for a hotel room. That would be crazy, right? To some extent though I think you are giving people too much credit, pardon the pun. Some people really haven't got a clue how things are done and how the world works and there are more of them around than a lot of people like to imagine. You don't have to pass any exams or tests to be a BTL landlord.
  24. Lot of messing around and dubious practices in fruit picking, did it myself for a few weeks when I was 16, decided it would be better to have no spending money than do it. You get yelled at for not picking fast enough despite the fact that they only pay by the punnet. Then they decide they won't pay for a punnet because of the state of the fruit (which is just a question of time of season, frost etc hardly the picker's responsibility), then when you ask to be paid its "come back tommorrow" and you find your wages rounded down to the nearest pound etc etc. And this is for tiring, dirty work out in the baking sun in the summer months without water or even toilets provided. Farmers are terrible employers really, they only have themselves to blame.
  25. Is it just my imagination or does nearly every sector in the country oscillate almost daily between saying there is a labour shortage and then saying there is a labour surplus? Apparently female graduates need more childcare or there will be a catastrophic labour/skills shortage. Only there are far too many graduates. And too many/not enough immigrants with excellent/no qualifications. I think the moral is that the labour market is a market like any other and there are armies of VIs trying to influence it in different directions at any given time.
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