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DTMark

The Victorian Slum (BBC)

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Have been following this on TV. It's a re-enactment of Victorian times to see how people lived.

London had become a magnet for employment, drawing people from all around. In addition, it also had a significant number of immigrant workers arriving with nothing and who were easy for employers to take advantage of.

Indeed there were so many workers - the available labour pool was huge - that wages were dreadful and living conditions atrocious. Because they could be.

Labour (workers, not the political party) had no voice as such. If you spoke out, you could simply be replaced with one of hundreds of others wanting the same job.

There were no guaranteed hours of work.

This all worked very nicely for the highest echelons of society who reaped all the benefits of this.

This might all sound a little familiar.

The key here is that the size of the available labour pool far exceeded the number of jobs available.

Someone put me out of my misery and help me understand the total cognitive dissonance of those on the political left. Corbyn, to paraphrase: "we cannot limit immigration and I am not prepared to put limits on it".

Why are they so hell-bent on destroying the poorest in society?

Of course, it's simply a case of forcing employers to employ absolutely everybody and then setting a minimum wage, isn't it? That will work. Those evil capitalists need to be taught a lesson.

There are, of course, far more nuances to all of this than I've set out above, deliberately, a little provocatively. It's the immigration aspect that fascinates me the most with respect to "the left". Can anyone help me understand what I am missing here?

 

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Flooding Labour areas with migrants will make the indigenous people poorer and hence, in Labour mentality, more likely to vote Labour.

South Wales has been a Labour heartland for a 100 years but it is still one of the poorest parts of the EU not just the UK. Why has no Labour government done anything to significantly improve the wealth of the Welsh? Is it that perhaps they want to keep a major part of their core voters poor?

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Before I continue, I'll make one thing clear. Hopefully. I do not intend to insult "everyone whose politics are left of centre" by suggesting that they are all stupid. That is not what I believe. Actually, this forum has a couple of strongly left-wing members whose input would genuinely be welcome on this. You know who you are.

I have previously wasted by time and energy by attempting to comment on articles in The Guardian.

The general response runs along the lines of "you lack empathy" and "things must be alright for you on high". There is no debate to be had. Minds are made up. OK, I can be provocative and that doesn't help.

That Sports Direct thing - that's an evil employer. We can take that in complete isolation. There are no dots to join together. If anything, it simply demonstrates how flawed the concept of capitalism is. There is nothing to be learned from this. All hail Corbyn, The Great Protector. I'm being provocative again, I know..

Exercising perhaps a little of the empathy that I allegedly do not have, I can see how, if your parents were poor, and you're poor, you see a particular microcosm of society which tends to "them and us". I get that.

They say "misery loves company".

 

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I consider myself something of a lefty, but also have libertarian leanings so basically an anarchist. 

Left != Labour. Left !=Guardian. Left != Corbyn

I have no particular problem with immigration - and nor do I necessarily subscribe to the lump of labour fallacy (except in terms of automation).  It is possible that immigration can mean a bigger slice of the cake for all.  I do think that the elites like high immigration because it suppresses wages and worker power, while those on the political left like immigration because they hope the oppressed will vote for them and maybe out of some sense of altruism (providing it doesn't personally inconvenient them). 

Similarly, the idea of putting more people into higher education doesn't seem to have worked in the publicly sold way. Some are simply not suited to it. There is qualification inflation for jobs that never previously required a degree. And general wage suppression in graduates. If skills gaps still exist it is because of distorted educational planning, poor wages and lack of employer investment in training which is the issue rather than the population. This has been true of the sciences for years - yet in many science jobs wages have essentially remained static for close on 20 years.  No wonder there is a shortage of scientifically trained people. 

I do think there are massive issues with non-integration and support of new arrivals - and that dumping them in poor already resource starved areas causes easily anticipated problems.  I also wonder what we consider to be a reasonable holding capacity. Is it 70m, 80m, 100m or more? Because I don't see much of a plan or discussion on this. Simply cheap shots being thrown by both sides of the debate. I don't think we are in a tragedy of the commons situation (yet) but I can easily see us sleepwalking into that situation because unlike the US there is no real sense of what being British is in terms of values, expectations etc.  That could mean that the very thing that attracts people here - namely a reasonably fair rich, safe and peaceful life is eventually jeopardised by failure to support new arrivals in understanding that. Personally, I think most kind of get it by osmosis (cf the average Filipino worker here) while a minority do not. 

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 "It is possible that immigration can mean a bigger slice of the cake for all"

 

SSC, I don't get this. For all to have a bigger slice of the cake, all would have to be contributing. For that to happen, all must have jobs and pay taxes.  For all to have jobs, the value of jobs and, therefore workers, would have to drop. 

This is is already happening. Workers are being treated like machines. Having left the NHS after a stroke in 2003, I rejoined part time in 2009, albeit at a much lower level that my previous senior managerial post.  I was and still am shocked at the changes that have taken place in six short years. We're all treated like automata. Draconian sickness policies add stress and worry when staff are most vulnerable: when they're ill. 

Jobs are devalued and staff disincentivised. I'm part time so I don't get paid overtime. My friend is whole time so she doesn't get weekend enhancements. The system is weighted against us coalface workers. At the other end of the scale you get people like Catriona Percy, who was chief executive when her trust failed to investigate hundreds of unexpected deaths. She was paid £200,000 a year and until recently had been moved sideways into an advisory role at the same pay
Not only doesn't the NHS care for its staff but it's making it difficult, or even impossible, for staff to care for patients. 
Management is poor quality and lacks the basic knowledge to manage. Senior management don't care what's happening lower down each organisation. This is now endemic throughout the NHS. The NHS is finished

Rant over. 

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34 minutes ago, Bossybabe said:

 "It is possible that immigration can mean a bigger slice of the cake for all"

 

SSC, I don't get this. For all to have a bigger slice of the cake, all would have to be contributing. For that to happen, all must have jobs and pay taxes.  For all to have jobs, the value of jobs and, therefore workers, would have to drop. 

This is is already happening. Workers are being treated like machines. Having left the NHS after a stroke in 2003, I rejoined part time in 2009, albeit at a much lower level that my previous senior managerial post.  I was and still am shocked at the changes that have taken place in six short years. We're all treated like automata. Draconian sickness policies add stress and worry when staff are most vulnerable: when they're ill. 

Jobs are devalued and staff disincentivised. I'm part time so I don't get paid overtime. My friend is whole time so she doesn't get weekend enhancements. The system is weighted against us coalface workers. At the other end of the scale you get people like Catriona Percy, who was chief executive when her trust failed to investigate hundreds of unexpected deaths. She was paid £200,000 a year and until recently had been moved sideways into an advisory role at the same pay
Not only doesn't the NHS care for its staff but it's making it difficult, or even impossible, for staff to care for patients. 
Management is poor quality and lacks the basic knowledge to manage. Senior management don't care what's happening lower down each organisation. This is now endemic throughout the NHS. The NHS is finished

Rant over. 

Don't know about the private sector, but what you describe is endemic in the public sector.

 

the bit I work in, staff are very poorly paid for the level of qualification required.  Those at the coal face, i.e., those who actual earn the money for the organisation are abused and exploited whilst those above fanny around with their own particular vanity projects. Staff are expected to work over contract on a regular basis, all of the time and not just when there is an unforeseen emergency.  It is frowned upon to take holiday. There is an expectation to be available and answering email on days not actually employed. 

Of course, I don't buy into this shite and work part-time.  I make sure that by and large I don't do significantly over my contract.  I was accused by my line manager of not being committed :lol:

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48 minutes ago, Bossybabe said:

 "It is possible that immigration can mean a bigger slice of the cake for all"

 

SSC, I don't get this. For all to have a bigger slice of the cake, all would have to be contributing. For that to happen, all must have jobs and pay taxes.  For all to have jobs, the value of jobs and, therefore workers, would have to drop. 

This is is already happening. Workers are being treated like machines. Having left the NHS after a stroke in 2003, I rejoined part time in 2009, albeit at a much lower level that my previous senior managerial post.  I was and still am shocked at the changes that have taken place in six short years. We're all treated like automata. Draconian sickness policies add stress and worry when staff are most vulnerable: when they're ill. 

Jobs are devalued and staff disincentivised. I'm part time so I don't get paid overtime. My friend is whole time so she doesn't get weekend enhancements. The system is weighted against us coalface workers. At the other end of the scale you get people like Catriona Percy, who was chief executive when her trust failed to investigate hundreds of unexpected deaths. She was paid £200,000 a year and until recently had been moved sideways into an advisory role at the same pay
Not only doesn't the NHS care for its staff but it's making it difficult, or even impossible, for staff to care for patients. 
Management is poor quality and lacks the basic knowledge to manage. Senior management don't care what's happening lower down each organisation. This is now endemic throughout the NHS. The NHS is finished

Rant over. 

The Economist model for Immigration and economic growth is based around the US esp. in the late 1800s.

Loads of young immigrants turning up and working. No welfare system, so work or starve.

Immigration where they quickly become entitled to welfare at the levels in the UK is a disaster. Rather than attract workers, the UK attracts dossers.

Bit like the current difference in the US + UK with Muslim migrants.

The US really does attract the DRs and engineers. We get TB ridden chicken shack workers on TC.

 

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55 minutes ago, Bossybabe said:

 "It is possible that immigration can mean a bigger slice of the cake for all"

 

SSC, I don't get this. For all to have a bigger slice of the cake, all would have to be contributing. For that to happen, all must have jobs and pay taxes.  For all to have jobs, the value of jobs and, therefore workers, would have to drop. 

This is is already happening. Workers are being treated like machines. Having left the NHS after a stroke in 2003, I rejoined part time in 2009, albeit at a much lower level that my previous senior managerial post.  I was and still am shocked at the changes that have taken place in six short years. We're all treated like automata. Draconian sickness policies add stress and worry when staff are most vulnerable: when they're ill. 

Jobs are devalued and staff disincentivised. I'm part time so I don't get paid overtime. My friend is whole time so she doesn't get weekend enhancements. The system is weighted against us coalface workers. At the other end of the scale you get people like Catriona Percy, who was chief executive when her trust failed to investigate hundreds of unexpected deaths. She was paid £200,000 a year and until recently had been moved sideways into an advisory role at the same pay
Not only doesn't the NHS care for its staff but it's making it difficult, or even impossible, for staff to care for patients. 
Management is poor quality and lacks the basic knowledge to manage. Senior management don't care what's happening lower down each organisation. This is now endemic throughout the NHS. The NHS is finished

Rant over. 

I guess I've heard of it like this.  This will not be very coherently argued as I need to get on. 

It is probably not a coincidence that the richer nations in the world were the first the urbanise and industrialise.  Urbanisation helps to create both innovation in and demand for new products and services.  That enables entrepreneurs to set up businesses to try and service them.  From your corner shop to the likes of Uber.  They all benefit from increases in population - and the population is also enriched as a result. 

There is a school of thought which suggests we are all collectively richer as a result. And in a way they are right. We all have access to better healthcare, utilities, transportation, food, entertainment and labour saving devices that not even a King had a century and half ago - and they are also cheaper too.  The one downside appears to be living space - it's probably better quality as a whole, but I doubt it's cheaper or significantly bigger. 

As spy guy notes we also have to avoid perverse incentives that attract those who don't net contribute. I don't know if the problem has been quantified (there are plenty of hard working immigrants, but they are not the ones we hear about).  But even here they contribute their consumption - and that's still somewhat useful in terms of increasing demand. 

 

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24 minutes ago, One-percent said:

Don't know about the private sector, but what you describe is endemic in the public sector.

 

the bit I work in, staff are very poorly paid for the level of qualification required.  Those at the coal face, i.e., those who actual earn the money for the organisation are abused and exploited whilst those above fanny around with their own particular vanity projects. Staff are expected to work over contract on a regular basis, all of the time and not just when there is an unforeseen emergency.  It is frowned upon to take holiday. There is an expectation to be available and answering email on days not actually employed. 

Of course, I don't buy into this shite and work part-time.  I make sure that by and large I don't do significantly over my contract.  I was accused by my line manager of not being committed :lol:

I work part time, too. Apparently, I'm not committed, either. They've stopped trying to make me work more hours (health precludes this) and started chopping and changing my days. My colleague who was the other half of the job share has worked her way up the boss's fundament and got herself whole time. After a month of that, she's gone sick with stress. ???

I've forgotten more about management than my manager will ever know. I keep my mouth shut though and lure her into situations she can't get out of. 

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I seen a little bit of the show. The slum dwellers seemed to have more space to live in than people renting in London these days.

For people who think this mass immigration is a good thing, the stats show that the German "newcomers" are more likely to rape a woman than get a job in one of the top German companies.

Are we not already the most densely populated EU country and not self sufficient in food?

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18 minutes ago, One-percent said:

Don't know about the private sector, but what you describe is endemic in the public sector.

 

the bit I work in, staff are very poorly paid for the level of qualification required.  Those at the coal face, i.e., those who actual earn the money for the organisation are abused and exploited whilst those above fanny around with their own particular vanity projects. Staff are expected to work over contract on a regular basis, all of the time and not just when there is an unforeseen emergency.  It is frowned upon to take holiday. There is an expectation to be available and answering email on days not actually employed. 

Of course, I don't buy into this shite and work part-time.  I make sure that by and large I don't do significantly over my contract.  I was accused by my line manager of not being committed :lol:

I cannot speak for London but I do have a lot of whinging about SBC.

All organisations turn into bureaucracies. Fact!

In the private sector, the need to make money stops this happening. Not in a nice, everybody keeps their job way but more by creative destruction - companies get beaten by competitors and die.

The public sector does not  have this.

Private companies die in recessions, tech changes, etc. The public sector plods on, getting further away from the service they are meant to be providing.

What happens in Northern LAs is that a clique develops. Loads of related people doing non-jobs, paying themselves more + more. Start making up arbitrary job requirements with made up qualifications- degree required. What degree? None specific, just some relative has a degree in Sports management.

The NHS is probably worse than LAs - the number of people andmoney wasted are much bigger.

I had a recent exposure, tagging along with a GP who sits on the health board, or whatever its called.

I checked out who the CEO and senior managers were - all Nurses and porters. Now. Im not against Nurses or Porters working their way up but ...

None of them had any organisational aptitude at all. Nothing.

Meeting was about some digitisation of records. My initial response was- Youve not sorted this yet!

It then went onto me asking how they sort out beds and and the iie, you keep a track of whats available and when - We ring round.

What! So you have the ward nurse ringing another ward nurse to see if a bed available. What if they dont answer. Oh, we ring again.

So your senior nurses spend a large amount of time ringing each other.

Then we got onto patient records. Where a lot are still paper. Theyve had a few incidents where the paper has been lost or muddled, which was why the meeting was happening.

Basically, the current systems keeps a vast number - and I mean vast - in a made up job, with the assoiciated made up management. Despite it being very expensive, inaccurate and dangerous to patients.

Oh, and despite not being able to put a computer system in to sort out the simple, low hanging fruit, they want to go an install various moonbeam complex software systems.

#

 

 

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My jaw dropped when I found out a couple of years ago that at the two big hospitals locally they didn't even have a manual log, let alone a spreadsheet or proper bit of software, to log bed occupancy, current availability, and forecast availability.

No, it as you say: just ring round the wards starting with the most appropriate ward until somebody answers and they have an empty bed.

It is a master class in how to waste time until you get to go home because they can do exactly that; no challenge and no competition.

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11 minutes ago, Frank Hovis said:

My jaw dropped when I found out a couple of years ago that at the two big hospitals locally they didn't even have a manual log, let alone a spreadsheet or proper bit of software, to log bed occupancy, current availability, and forecast availability.

No, it as you say: just ring round the wards starting with the most appropriate ward until somebody answers and they have an empty bed.

It is a master class in how to waste time until you get to go home because they can do exactly that; no challenge and no competition.

The reason why I was dragged along by the GP was to provide a technical ear.

Theyve all bought into digital records, with a computer diagnosing illness.

Theyve not even got any basic auditing and record keeping in place.

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1 hour ago, Bossybabe said:

I work part time, too. Apparently, I'm not committed, either. They've stopped trying to make me work more hours (health precludes this) and started chopping and changing my days. My colleague who was the other half of the job share has worked her way up the boss's fundament and got herself whole time. After a month of that, she's gone sick with stress. ???

I've forgotten more about management than my manager will ever know. I keep my mouth shut though and lure her into situations she can't get out of. 

What Ive learnt about public sector is that people get on and move up by being able to talk the talk.  Mainly, it's bs. When these people have to actually do anything concrete and practical with defined outcomes, that's when their real lack of talent shines. 

A classic example is that I run a substantial course  when taking over, a third of the student body were failing to get their work handed in on time  I've spent a lot of energy educating both students and staff so that now all students stick to the deadlines set, unless they can provide evidence for not meeting it.  Is this ever mentioned? Oh no.  Don't know why I bothered  just better and easier to play the bs game  

Like, you I try and just avoid the carp but it is wearing. 

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13 minutes ago, spyguy said:

The reason why I was dragged along by the GP was to provide a technical ear.

Theyve all bought into digital records, with a computer diagnosing illness.

Theyve not even got any basic auditing and record keeping in place.

I can well believe this. React rather than forward planning seems to de the modus operandi for large public sector organisations. 

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The NHS's problem is not the number of managers or admits (when if a country the NHS would be the thirtieth largest in the world), but the slowly growing lack of competence and common sense in running paper work and software.

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Is there a solid link between the number of people in a country (or its population density, in order to allow for countries being different sizes) and its wealth? Not that I can really see, which IMO pretty much blows the whole "need immigration / population growth" argument out of the water, particularly when you see all the other effects it has on a country. There's probably an optimum level that we've long passed. It might give a short term illusion of growth, no different from borrowing a load of money with no means of repaying it might do.

The conundrum I've really got if you're making comparisons with Victorian times is that, quite frankly, I thoroughly despise everything that ever gets built these days. All that cheap labour at least meant stuff with some semblence of craftsmanship was created, even though it would've (not unreasonably) pissed off some people at the time, and generally looks much more at its best now than it did then, shorn of the perpetual pall of smoke and poor living conditions. But even allowing for the fact that they hadn't developed the means to build quite the souless concrete crap we get now often it wasn't built to the cheapest means possible for the time (well, a lot of the housing was to be fair). You're far more likely to find more than "minimum expense necessary, only care about functionality, by the technology of the time" on a Victorian railway than a modern motorway, and that can't all be explained by ease of cheaply exploited and badly treated labour.

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There's a modern cutting on a railway near me that was done to accommodate a new road. Only 20 years old and already the reinforced concrete is bleeding rust and it looks crap. Contrast that to some of the stone faced Victorian cuttings that still look great nearly 180 years later.

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8 hours ago, DTMark said:

Have been following this on TV. It's a re-enactment of Victorian times to see how people lived.

London had become a magnet for employment, drawing people from all around. In addition, it also had a significant number of immigrant workers arriving with nothing and who were easy for employers to take advantage of.

Indeed there were so many workers - the available labour pool was huge - that wages were dreadful and living conditions atrocious. Because they could be.

Labour (workers, not the political party) had no voice as such. If you spoke out, you could simply be replaced with one of hundreds of others wanting the same job.

There were no guaranteed hours of work.

This all worked very nicely for the highest echelons of society who reaped all the benefits of this.

This might all sound a little familiar.

The key here is that the size of the available labour pool far exceeded the number of jobs available.

Someone put me out of my misery and help me understand the total cognitive dissonance of those on the political left. Corbyn, to paraphrase: "we cannot limit immigration and I am not prepared to put limits on it".

Why are they so hell-bent on destroying the poorest in society?

Of course, it's simply a case of forcing employers to employ absolutely everybody and then setting a minimum wage, isn't it? That will work. Those evil capitalists need to be taught a lesson.

There are, of course, far more nuances to all of this than I've set out above, deliberately, a little provocatively. It's the immigration aspect that fascinates me the most with respect to "the left". Can anyone help me understand what I am missing here?

 

It would be wrong to view these things by modern standards. What we see as awful jobs now, were dream jobs back then. Indoors (it was so cold then that the Thames would freeze in winter), reliable, relatively safe. Often with attached housing projects that were a dream compared to the loft in a cow shed they might get on his lordship's estate. Life was brutal for the poor back then and even crappy factory jobs represented a big step up.

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7 minutes ago, crashmonitor said:

There's a modern cutting on a railway near me that was done to accommodate a new road. Only 20 years old and already the reinforced concrete is bleeding rust and it looks crap. Contrast that to some of the stone faced Victorian cuttings that still look great nearly 180 years later.

Quite. There are some concrete exceptions, such as the Glenfinnan Viaduct (although that's pretty old), and the Kylesku Bridge is something that by all my normal criteria is something I should despise but somehow it just works, but even those generally don't look great close up. The question is are the changes we have now necessary to not go back to typical Victorian living conditions? The stone faced cutting would've taken a lot more labour, and still would now compared to the concrete one, and probably be more prone to needing maintainance.

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1 hour ago, Riedquat said:

Is there a solid link between the number of people in a country (or its population density, in order to allow for countries being different sizes) and its wealth? Not that I can really see, which IMO pretty much blows the whole "need immigration / population growth" argument out of the water, particularly when you see all the other effects it has on a country. There's probably an optimum level that we've long passed. It might give a short term illusion of growth, no different from borrowing a load of money with no means of repaying it might do.

Density apparently not correlated with wealth, but size may be:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/joelkotkin/2013/04/16/megacities-and-the-density-delusion/#5442084a2e22

Your Google search may vary. 

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The only suggestion I can give is that those at the top on the left and the right know that the whole thing is a ponzi scheme that depends on never ending growth to stave off collapse. Thus immigration must be continued in order to expand GDP. That many immigrants are lazy feckless crims and directly or indirectly add to the welfare bill isn't an issue as long as the government can continue to borrow since borrowed money counts in the GDP calculations just the same as taxes raised.

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3 minutes ago, Rare Bear said:

The first thing I asked myself was 'How much worse must it have been in the countryside for people to want to move to the city to live in those conditions?'

Does it have to be a lot worse for people to move in search of higher pay? The pay was certainly better in the cities. I wouldn't be surprised if the work, although hard by today's standards, was less physically demanding and less long hours. Actual living conditions may not have been much different (and in some ways worse, the countryside wouldn't have been as soot and smog choked, unless you live somewhere like I do, which probably had the air always full of lime dust).

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12 hours ago, DTMark said:

The general response runs along the lines of "you lack empathy" and "things must be alright for you on high". There is no debate to be had. Minds are made up. OK, I can be provocative and that doesn't help.

Yes, that does wind me up no end.   It's almost as if ruinous policies that wreck lives are A-OK, to be encouraged in fact, so long as your heart is in the right place.

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