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Everything posted by Cogs

  1. You may believe to doffing your cap to your 'betters' but I certainly don't.
  2. In what way does that describe George Osborne? The idea that money is a motivation towards political power is a bit silly in this country anyway. It might be different in selected Africa nations or maybe Russia. Don't take this the wrong way, but its a 'little people' argument, you'll hear this said in so many words every time a Tory grandee grumbles about the 'rations' he has to live on. The City pays teaboys more than MPs get. We were governed for a long time by rich men largely on inherited wealth as a kind of hobby, the political record as to the physical condition, legal status and working lives of the people of this country should be argument enough. People didn't get back from WW2 and decide they wanted to be governed by the Officer class, there is a reason for this.
  3. This sort of thing: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article7025819.ece
  4. No, its fine for people to be rich and competent, they certainly exist. But it is certainly through some sort of effort and struggle that we achieve both 'things' and character; rich people certainly can do this, its just they have the option of not bothering. Wealth can be a bit of a disability sometimes (a la Paris Hilton), one of the things public schools try to inculcate are notions of vocation and service to counteract this tendency. In Osborne I see no real evidence he has been prepared to put the extra effort in. He's bumbled his way into power largely off the back of being David Cameron's chum rather than 'will to power'.
  5. The Thatcher thing is more vexed. Thatcher in particular claimed she was transforming the country socially and culturally as well as economically. You can't both believe that and then say she had no impact on our present lives. Anyhow, I don't want to derail this thread, we can take up the Thatcher legacy elsewhere if required.
  6. No, the Big 4 are accountancy consultants. Deloitte, KPMG, Ernst & Young, PwC. This wasn't done in secret, they declared the time they were donating at the time of the election. I wrote about it a bit here, nobody seemed very interested *shrug*
  7. The budget was largely written by people from the Big 4. Don't be so naive.
  8. Yes but its in the past. I think a few people here are making monkeys of themselves really by giving Osborne a free pass because he isn't Gordon Brown. Have you heard him give an interview recently? 'Progressive austerity' indeed, he talks utter nonsense.
  9. Picture from the Guardian says it all in fewer words... Amusingly Osborne is being sued by the Fawcett Society now. Worse than that, a Teresa May memo has surfaced where she warns him that she is concerned his budget was illegal. The rule of law may yet prevail and our posh-but-dim rulers will be forced to do it again like the naughty public schoolboy having to redo his Latin homework. If a Chancellor isn't even competent to deliver a budget, what is the point of him? Maybe if Osborne had a bit more real-world experience and a bit less living off daddy's money experience he'd know that it is important to pay attention to the detail. I wonder who his successor will be when his internship in the government ends?
  10. Exiges; just a small additional point. Yes, those scenic views do attract a premium. I understand why people think that this something they've paid for and have a right to. The problem is that typically the people disadvantaged by this aren't the people they paid the money to. And the more you think about it in that way, the ongoing successes of NIMBYism are in some sense just another transfer from the poor to the wealthy. The Duke of Westminster makes a bundle flogging an acre to someone now dead-set on retaining their views, meanwhile the agricultural labourer down the road finds himself unable to find somewhere to live because they keep blocking the building of affordable homes.
  11. Quite right. And whatever happened to the modernist vision? I grew up thinking we'd see these things... turns out we have to live in a rotting sclerotic Victorian theme park because a certain demographic rotting selfish [you know whos] demand it for their retirement decades.
  12. A lot of items of individual selfishness are "understandable". Give and take is required. These people in their 'fairly quaint' village use electricity, they expect clean water, they want gas, manufactured products etc. Other people put up with all sorts so that is possible. This is part of the reason I was agains Key Worker schemes; people in areas that are too expensive for 'key workers' to live in should just have been left to get on with it without the government subsidising their idyllic lifestyles. Teachers can't afford to live within the mandated journey time from school? Make other arrangements. A few years without access to healthcare and education would, I suspect, have reduced the angry letters to the local council planning department. Or perhaps everyone should become a NIMBY and we can just look forward to a medieval existence.
  13. I cry no tears for an industry that indulged in 'payola' and price fixing for decades.
  14. I meant, it has not been recognisable in any country or society at any time in the recorded history of the world. Do you believe in unicorns and the tooth fairy as well?
  15. I think this can be overstated: http://www.6809.org....gon/xroar.shtmlSooner or later everything will be in and on the cloud. Our temporary limitations with digital storage are just that, temporary. Its still just about in living memory that computer memory was a tube of mercury with a speaker at one end and a microphone at the other.
  16. The work of the much-maligned Frankfurt school was mostly about understanding things like that. Horkheimer, for example, was particularly interested in how Naziism became accepted as 'reasonable'. When it was fashionable to keep bringing this up I asked for some sort of meat on the bones, maybe some page references, but the conspiracy theory is notably lacking in theory. Indeed, American sources don't even seem to undersand what 'critical theory' actually is which is hardly a promising starting point. But as you were.
  17. Up for a game of 'Square Mile Mornington Crescent'? I'll go first. Inverted triple-crowning Mandrake formation with pike. Get out of that one.
  18. I don't really think that is true to be honest. Depends what you mean by engineering perhaps. When a large company or a corporation hires a graduate engineer, they are really thinking of them in terms of being managers by the time they are 30. Its not like anyone that knows anything has hiring authority either, the girls from HR need to interfere to justify their existence. I largely have to base this on situations where people embedded in these companies have requested a reference from me for someone and then gone on to indicate the sort of things I need to say if it were my intention to strongly support a candidate...hypothetically you understand. I'm afraid flexible team-working go-to enablers with soft skills on tap are what they need to hear about.Bottom line is, if it were just about having the skills to do the job, Europe has tens of millions of people happy to do it emerging from cultures that have always valued engineering (this includes the former Eastern Bloc, not just 'West Germany' as is often suggested). Competition, competition, competition, they have the luxury of asking for the complete package these days. Gifted with good technical knowledge and intuition <b>and</b> clubbable, socially astute etc. The one trick pony is headed for the knacker's yard.
  19. Either you also have to accept 'free marketeers' are hopeless utopians or you are going to have to do better than that. Capitalists are very good at sending out the men with guns, capitalism is based on it and have you opened a newspaper in, say, the last 20 years? Lets put it another way; i don't object to our current state of capitalism because I would prefer to be a communist, I object because I don't believe the description you have given is even remotely recognisable as existing in the real world.
  20. In terms of desperately grabbing at anything that looks positive, I am interested to see that social mobility is something that people are increasingly identifying as something they want to see and feel the lack of. Back when public schoolboys were pretending we lived in a 'classless society' this idea vanished completely. Perhaps some good will come of this in the long run.
  21. Churn is much higher in the public than private sector. The sensible thing to do is just not to replace people when they leave. Unless of course you prefer redundancy as a gesture, but thats quite expensive for little or no additional benefit. As to firing the private sector, certainly, what do you expect? This situation was created by previous Tory and New Labour (Tory-lite) ideologues with regard to decentralisation, fund holding, choice, league tables, exchanging in-house capability for expensive contractors etc. Unintended consequences of 'reform' already enacted in some ways. Honestly, I'd rather still have the in-house capability and look widely at what can be done to save money, but you reformers kicked them all out and onto 700 quid a day instead of 25k a year. Ironic.
  22. That made me laugh as well. Can't really hold it against the poster because its so far out of line it really just illustrates how one generation completely fails to understand the situation another finds itself in. File alongside; "don't go out for a couple of years and you'll have a deposit to put down on a semi".
  23. I think that is a very, very good point. Boomer bashing aside, it is a very pernicious evil afflicting young people today. This sense of no second chances is very strong with young students now. I know 18 year olds who walk around regretting not taking some extra-extra-extra-curricular activity when they were 13 and feel their CV has been irreparably damaged as a result. Its easy to nod and agree that things have got more competitive, its quite another to take a good hard look at what that means for individuals, even the 'winners'.
  24. Campervan is on dodgy territory here. The common thread running through the lives of his gilded generation of movers and shakers was Art School, or rather the student grant paid to them for not turning up at Art School. Mary Quant, Pete Townsend, etc etc. Lower cost of living and free money, I'm afraid the current generation just aren't that fortunate. Typical boomer mentality, can't imagine a world without the free money taps running at full force!
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