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Cogs

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Everything posted by Cogs

  1. I bought my dad an iPod for Christmas. I suppose he can wail about being framed when the financial sense police bust him but I've long since shredded recepit and I paid cash so he hasn't got a hope of proving anything. And I've never seen that man before in my life, officer. Actually I don't buy the idea they were ever not frivolrous as a group (I'm sure there are many admirably mean people round here though so don't all write in). They invented the concepts of disposable income (it is what made the youth boom of the 1960s possible), disposable goods (typified by all that 60s plastic stuff), credit junkyism and rampant consumerism. It utterly horrified their parents, especially having lived through a war, to see all that waste, credit and living for today. The idea these things suddenly emerged ten years ago is complete fiction. Having said all that we have to see that the boomers (again as a group only) got away with it in the end. Perhaps in some ways "unfair" but they have. The wrong conclusion to draw is that we should or have much chance of doing the same, however hard that is to accept. They had quite a few lucky breaks it would be hard to count on ever happening again. Some of it is government policy, especially over the long run, they screwed their own parents in the 80s in my view when a lot of what that older generation had built and wanted was sold off, but that is the just the distorting effect a big block of voters with similar interests has. I mean, I know exactly how you feel. Perhaps in twenty years time we should introduce a tax on third-party bum wiping. That'll sort em out.
  2. They already do this now with private Hall of Residence so I don't see why not. I have wondered that given the over-building of city centre flats if the builders might have to branch out into this business model if there were some sort of adjustment in the housing market. Be a good thing really if they were able to raise the state of play as regards service to a uniform, professional level it would be a rocket up the rear for some of the lazier BTLs.
  3. I haven't noticed the price of proper beer has changed much lately... I wonder if this is more to do with city centre rents or something.
  4. Indeed, same report, different spin? What is going on here eh.
  5. This is just anecdotal but I've got a friend who wants to buy a smallholding. It works like this, you post lots and lots of "smallholding wanted" adverts and hope to hear something one day. Not quite 80 customers for every house but certainly the buyers find the sellers, not the other way round.
  6. That is what strikes me as most crazy. They are going to get, what about 150 quid extra a year per property? Their finances are so tight that they would risk antagonising tenants like that for 150 quid tops? Deary, deary, deary me. Imagine being so desperate for money, glad I rent Irony-on-a-bike isn't.
  7. Why do we allow the dollar hegemony that allows a nation bankrupt many times over with no hope of ever repaying its debts to remain the wealthiest in history? In terms of China vs. America I don't think China are necessarily acting in an unfair manner. If they didn't, how far would the US press their (now undeserved) advantage against them?
  8. The main thing that strikes me is it would free up money for investment. Not investment in rotting piles of bricks and mortar but investment in businesses that create jobs and buy plant and machinery and link out to other businesses locally as part of their supply chain. I might have this wrong but I remember seeing the take-up of the stocks & shares ISA component was about 4%! I'm not saying everyone should be a wildly speculating cowboy trader but the tieing up of ever increasing amounts of capital in houses is not the way forward for an economy in my view.
  9. Ugly development in my opinion, this stuff has a definite fin de siecle feeling to it. By which I mean not the end of the century but "an ominous mixture of opulence and/or decadence, combined with a shared prospect of unavoidable radical change or some approaching "end."" Pretentious perhaps but it exactly describes what I think is in the air at the moment.
  10. Compared to the vast majority of people on this planet we lead charmed lives of utter luxury.
  11. The fine on buses is enforced by a local bylaw, you've missed off the small print. Without that I might as well fine First Huddersfield on any spurious basis I want to as well. The main problem is that banks can fine you directly out of your pocket which not even a police officer can do in the same unequivocal immediate manner. It does require regulation, the banks don't want it regulated, which is we are seeing these little scuffles, I have no sympathy for either side really. I'd have a little more interest in the banks' argument if they weren't making out like bandits on BACS by making money disappear for up to five working days at a time which in itself sometimes causes people to go overdrawn despite the fact they would have the money if it weren't for this trickery. Banks manage to be a little more prompt on the continent so it must be something they choose to do here and again, they don't fancy being regulated any more strictly so they pay out instead. There is also the issue of using fines as a source of revenue rather than as a source of redress or compensation, which the banks are clearly doing, the notion of which again gives banks more powers than the police or HM customs. Don't be fooled by any of this, the banks could quite easily make sure people never go overdrawn by suspending their accounts and they could quite easily sort out BACS as well, just as easily, as you say, as their irresponsible customers could keep better control of their finances. Funnily enough neither side wants to do this and are both happy with little tit-for-tat games so neither group has to face up to what it doesn't want to, banks being regulated properly and customers having to live within their means. Its all a game.
  12. Coincidentally, this story was actually broken in Private Eye's "In the back" column in the same issue I quote from above. It isn't just satire, it seems like they are the only people doing serious investigative journalism. Which is somewhat ironic really.
  13. From this week's Private Eye and the "Nooks & Corners" column. "More depressing news from suburban Liverpool. A year ago as the city council decided to demolish another 3,000 decent houses while encouraging developers to build as much as they want in the city centre, one street was reprieved from John Prescott's insane Pathfinder scheme for mass demolition. Ruth Kelly, who took over responsibility for housing and planning from Prescott decided that the Victorian houses in Prescot (no relation) Drive overlooking Newsham Park laid out in the 1860s should not be bulldozed. The council had owned these handsome and interesting buildings - which stand in a conservation area - for some years and had allowed many to become derilict and the subject of arson attacks. Ms Kelly ordered the council to dispose of the properties so they could be renovated. However, Liverpool council has failed to implement the order and has consistently refused to accept any orders to purchase. Nor has it looked after the houses or kept them secure. The inevitable result, to the dismay and terror of occupants of other houses in the street, is that they have been subject to more arson attacks. Last month three "went on fire" (as they say in Glasgow) in one night. A council member of Merseyside Civic Society commented "The council has been turning down written offers from reputable refurbishment specialists effectively delaying a decision while Rome burns...This is demolition by stealth. I can only surmise the council has another agenda". Typed up by me, so apologies for any errors. This is what happens, I would suggest, when a council planning department gets it badly wrong and doesn't want to admit it. Lots and lots of empty newbuilds in Liverpool city centre that need to be filled. I wonder how many more houses they will either bulldozer or allow to go up in flames to force people into them?
  14. That is a funny idea. I suggest also using the phrase "Gordon Brown has promised to listen and learn..." It makes it easier for the journos if you help them to a self-writing article If he indeed sneaks/marches past, I suggest indicating that he has broken his promise after only 48 hours.
  15. This is very bad news. Manufacturers like Creda tend to bind their suppliers to them quite tightly with their process model (supplier is obliged to locate their inventory for sale at the plant for example and rent the floorspace as their own; its called "Kamban" or something, Japanese idea to reduce standing inventory). Its going to be like Longbridge, the plant is the headline but the pain gets spread widely across the community and will also pop up in odd places to destroy the working life of some small town or village a hundred miles away as well who happen to make boxes or fittings for certain factory machines or whatever it is. Never trust politicians on this when they want to make out these things are localised problems; they are just more acute in certain places which isn't the same thing. That they have the infrastructure, logistics and supply chain now in Poland to do this is worrying from a competition perspective. Ain't ever coming back and a lot more will follow unfortunately. At the risk of sounding a bit weird, these days putting together a washing machine profitably requires a very high level of organisation, its an indicator of the level they have reached. This is like the Polish Sputnik going up or something.
  16. Oh no! More competition for the discounted bread at closing time in Tescos. Its bad enough as it is. Some of those old women have very sharp elbows.
  17. Mine has gone up a total of 10 pounds in the last 54 months and I'm thinking of moving to get more for less as the rental market widens. This is in a good area and through a rather posh (indeed, rather pretentious) letting agency as well where used-car style haggling isn't really on. Most BTL landlords are a lot easier to push about than their "Rigsby" style predecessors. They owe people money you see, it isn't complicated. As long as people have options, which they do in unprecedented numbers, only very minimal rent increases (the inconvienience value of moving really) are possible as the LL must factor rent vs. void. The fear of voids keeps the market down. You know, this isn't one of those things where we need purely speculate because the situation is quite stark IMHO. This is ultimately why I think being a landlord if you own the place is a good idea but being a BTL is riskier than people believe.
  18. It all depends how muscular they are in seeking to get the money back...
  19. I find the subtle use of rhetoric quite interesting. Mention pensions and it gives an undeserved moral boost to the BTLers case. Pretty clear which side the author of this piece is on. Some might say, myself included, that this regulation regarding deposits was long, long overdue and not mere "red tape". As ever, stay tuned not only to what VIs say but how they say it. I also note the author will not stoop to make the counter-argument to the 'expert''s point so I will: The motivation is that an energy inefficient house is more expensive for a tennant live in, something that will matter more and more as prices rise. Thus given the choice between two rougly equivalent properties I will choose the one with the better energy rating in order to save money and if I was a 'green' myself for that reason as well. Arguably it is actually more important that a tenant is appraised of these issues than a buyer, given you can't exactly fit your own combi-boiler or double glazing into a rental property and you are stuck with the costs owing to decisions made by the LL. Obvious you'd think? Apparently not in VI land.
  20. I was reading this thread earlier and it wasn't. Since then I've had a call from the parents trying to see if I'd be interested in a massive handout! My parents are pretty good with money and have saved and invested in a prudent manner since even before they got married. They know they can't afford it, it seems relentless media reports about what FTBs "have" to do has got to them and (quite possibly against all sense) they do love their kids and have got the idea that if they don't hand me a big fat cheque they are failing me some how. I'm really quite upset about it. Whilst I think I've been quite firm the old man doesn't always listen at his age once he has an idea in his head and is likely to try again and the anticipation of it is upsetting in itself So yes, its personal now. My parents don't deserve to be made to feel like that.
  21. How about: A priced out generation = A generation lost Baby boomer riches = No baby boom (should be a better play on words in there somewhere).
  22. What sort of idiot puts themselves in the position of having a mortgage loading where the cost of a family meal out would plunge them below the waterline? I genuinely find it hard to believe such people exist. I do absolutely believe there are people to whom 60 quid is a hell of a lot of money and you'd never dream of "spending it all in one shop" (as they say), I was one of them not so long ago, but I don't believe they have massive mortgages. If you are running on that sort of margin and the central heating packs up or a few roof tiles come loose what are you going to do? Are we to believe there are people sitting in their living rooms in the freezing cold with water drip-dripping onto their sofas and TVs? Just doesn't seem plausible. I think you'd have to be looking at a few hundred quid minimum as an increase and even then it would take a while to wear people down.
  23. Absolutely not. Quite aside from the galling notion that the priced out will be billed to support those who have stoked the fire of ridiculous house prices, the removal of Moral Hazard is one of the most dangerous things a Government can do to an economy and may in itself cause even worse problems further down the road.
  24. That isn't true, the usual hedonic nonsense. iPods are far cheaper than radios were in the 1950s, but a lot of people had them. A TV, in relative cost, makes a top of the range laptop look cheap. I could go on but you get the picture. There was a thing on 1960s housing on BBC4 a little while back. Gobsmacked 50 year olds tutting at twin tub washing machines and telephones. Consumerism was after all invented by the boomers themselves as they were the first generation to have the concept of a disposable income that made things like the 'Swinging Sixties' possible. No money to waste, no kaftans, electric guitars and Jimi Hendrix LPs. Indeed, in the 1960s buying things designed to be disposable was also invented. One of the most disgusting things I find boomers do is they have a nasty habit of trying to impersonate their parents when they actually committed many of the same "sins" as people today do and that includes wasteful spending of money and rampant consumerism. They'll be telling us they fought in a war next and wearing their dad's medals.
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