Jump to content
House Price Crash Forum

Recommended Posts

6 hours ago, winkie said:

British gas have not been competitive....they have lost many customers because of this, actually gas and electricity has some kind of competition built in within market choice. If can be bothered to search it is possible to reduce the cost of both therm prices and SC.....collective groups and smaller companies, shopping around......it is water that has the monopoly, why is that?....like the trains, must be the highest priced utility in the whole of Europe.?

Do not pay your water bill they cannot turn you off by law, tell them you do not need thier service  they dare not take you to court for enforcment  plus nearly all the water companys are owned by the French and German 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 101
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Posted Images

23 minutes ago, barrabus said:

Do not pay your water bill they cannot turn you off by law, tell them you do not need thier service  they dare not take you to court for enforcment  plus nearly all the water companys are owned by the French and German 

It is as if we have sold our utilities and infastructure to the highest bidder, or in the case of our social housing stock sold at a discount just to get rid of it.......where is the private investment to keep us in the 21st century or have they become a short-term corporate and dividend cash cow, with in some cases still expecting tax payers funding to help keep them going??

Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, Bluestone59 said:

I have twice met people who have been on a run of years of free gas, though to be fair one dated back to 1953, so pre privatisation.

 A colleague had two suppliers both claiming they were his supplier following a switch.

But no probs for me recently, other than the monstrous cost which isn't really their fault. That I know of.

I remember when the gas lamps were taken out of a street in Hertfordshire and it was discovered that at least one was attached to the private supply side of the meter in one of the shops. The shop had been in family hands for decades and they demanded and got compensation.

I know one new office block in central London that has all the tenant's meters registered as single phase on the national database. They are all 3 phase. As each company reaches the point where the meter reading won't fit in the database field because it has too many digits, the leccy companies start to estimate the bills. Apparently there is no way for individual companies to correct the national meter database, so they don't even try. In the same building one company has two 160A supplies  grafted onto the landlord's meter but the land agent simply ignores this and spreads the cost across all the tenants in the 'common parts' power charge. Shambles does not begin to describe this and I bet its not the only building in London like this.

Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, winkie said:

I would think that a landlord would what a difference more labour intensive service, a normal householder that does have the ability to control who they use would rarely need to contact their service provider all done on-line.....thousands of tennants do not have a choice on who they use or what price they pay for their electricity/gas......why some are on key/card metres that are not the best tarrifs...... don't get me started on so called smart metres......they will make it even harder to change suppliers....?

Multiple accounts struggle on line. 
 

I guess the point is their service is awful and I am sure many don’t need convincing of that. N Power once removed a meter of a heavily disabled tenant (ie under 24 hour care) and reason was previous owner owed £80 from 2 years earlier.  They were well aware of all this but couldn’t join the dots...they came out and sorted only when I advised I would tell the press. Rarely I lose control but I completely lost my temper.  They offered me £250 compensation...I told them to forward it to the tenant. 
 

And generally in terms of tenants (choice or lack of)  I agree completely. First thing I always said to mine was treat the place as it is your own. Gas, Leccy, WiFi, cable etc entirely their control. They can change meters and suppliers. Whatever suits them. If I were still on 118, I would be asking for my sainthood by now ??

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Locke said:

Massive taxation on money directly earned. Put it into a pension a fund and they tax you far less. That is punitive.

Of course most hand over great sums of cash to pension managers....they are immediately 40% up compared with just taking the money!

Heh. Hope you're not thinking of voting lib dem ?

 

Nothing wrong with avoiding State education

Thx.
I see, yep agree. Definitely utilised the pension tax benefits myself....so in turn I am support the system I suggest is corrupt. 
 

Lib Dem only option where I am...which is a very strong Tory seat. Means I tried...but I will take the money anyhow. 
 

Our town is spoilt with quality state schools. Only people who send their kids to private schools have nothing better to spend their money on. Many of the kids who go seem to learn how to spend money but are completely lost commercially and can’t earn the stuff. But I am sure I would feel differently if the local schools were poor. Personally my school (same town and where we sent our kids) was exceptional and taught be the balance between working class hard work and also working smart. I know I was very very lucky. 

Harrow and Eton are different and aren’t really schools....rather a club where networking is established. I guess many who could, would send their kids to these top top schools. I never would but I know and understand I might be a notable exception. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, barrabus said:

Do not pay your water bill they cannot turn you off by law, tell them you do not need thier service  they dare not take you to court for enforcment  plus nearly all the water companys are owned by the French and German 

Yes, B R Gas charge a fortune, I'm surprised they've got any takers. My workplace changed to Scottish Power and the annual cost ended up similar but in a year of record price rises, sorry can't recall how much.

What we are seeing here is imho a sign of national decline, who else sells off, or needs to, anything like this quantity of (mostly) good income stream businesses?

National Lottery is even owned by a Canadian pension fund, I had already refused to do it. If I have to queue in a store while someone buys a lottery ticket I have an urge to talk them out of it or just get really angry about the whole thing.  That it is their choice is the one thing that prevents me from exploding.

Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Pop321 said:

All voted for by shareholders who must be happy at the performance. He’s the best boss and will go abroad if we only pay him say £800k. 

Oh wait, the main shareholders are pensions and asset companies who are run by....wait for it...other directors on big million pound salaries. That is a nice little club to be in.

 

This is as really good point. Employees pay into a company pension, which the directors then use to enrich each other at the expense of the worker. It's a huge driver of inequality. There should be no voting rights for shares held by company pensions or the employees should be the ones voting.

As to nationalisation, as a general rule it does not work. It's been tried many times. Look at what happened to Brititsh industry in the seventies. There are some obvious reasons for the failure of nationalised companies. Governments are not driven by commercial interests. They are interested in politics. This drives them to make poor decisions. Profits are not invested in capital or R+D, they are taken and spent on other things, like the NHS. Losses are bailed out, and poor products are not scrapped or improved.

That said there are some natural monopolies that probably should be state controlled. Water, for example.

Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, Biggus said:

 

This is as really good point. Employees pay into a company pension, which the directors then use to enrich each other at the expense of the worker. It's a huge driver of inequality. There should be no voting rights for shares held by company pensions or the employees should be the ones voting.

As to nationalisation, as a general rule it does not work. It's been tried many times. Look at what happened to Brititsh industry in the seventies. There are some obvious reasons for the failure of nationalised companies. Governments are not driven by commercial interests. They are interested in politics. This drives them to make poor decisions. Profits are not invested in capital or R+D, they are taken and spent on other things, like the NHS. Losses are bailed out, and poor products are not scrapped or improved.

That said there are some natural monopolies that probably should be state controlled. Water, for example.

As I say...I am a liberal leftie so I do agree. Ie nationalisation has an awful track record.  

True socialism and true capitalism tend to work until humans get involved. I imagine if you nationalise then someone running the company has their own agenda, goes power mad (for either socialist or capitalist reasons) and ruins everything. 

We need people who have great business acumen (eg will make redundancies if need be and progress the business) but are not greedy for themselves....they want to leave a legacy of achievement. As you say...never really happens.

I would do it....but can’t be bothered anymore. ?

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Biggus said:

 

This is as really good point. Employees pay into a company pension, which the directors then use to enrich each other at the expense of the worker. It's a huge driver of inequality. There should be no voting rights for shares held by company pensions or the employees should be the ones voting.

As to nationalisation, as a general rule it does not work. It's been tried many times. Look at what happened to Brititsh industry in the seventies. There are some obvious reasons for the failure of nationalised companies. Governments are not driven by commercial interests. They are interested in politics. This drives them to make poor decisions. Profits are not invested in capital or R+D, they are taken and spent on other things, like the NHS. Losses are bailed out, and poor products are not scrapped or improved.

That said there are some natural monopolies that probably should be state controlled. Water, for example.

Nationalisation mostly seems not to work, I agree, and that happens - may I suggest - because politicians rarely are willing to pay the rate for the sort of talent needed to run large undertakings. When they for once did, they got Beeching.  Politicians also don't generally want to invest public money, better to spend it on the NHS or benefits to buy votes. And socialist politicians are also often not businessmen and so don't understand the need for investment despite their hardly being able to complete a sentence without using the word "investment". Gordon Brown for a start. I never felt he knew what it meant.

You can also be sure that what you are fed by the media paints a picture of a far greater degree of public sector failure than has actually occurred, conversely always showing private enterprise in the best light possible.

Companies House down the years has been in my experience a model of efficiency rarely ever equalled by private enterprise. Railways were for years run on a total shoestring during which time problems were much more caused by passenger error or strikes than the antiquated infrastructure. East Coast main line made money in public hands which National Express et al failed to do. (Can't say if was a fair test tbh).

Privatised businesses such as gas, leccy, BT don't strike me as especially wonderful, which I said already in a post.

A big reason for indifferent or bad performance of public firms is due to the strength of unions therein. Tories want rid, even if they have to trash whole industries. Unions think they have absolute power and act accordingly.

When the universal next day flat rate postage goes maybe more people will realise the potential wasted by these combatants on both sides of politics.

Once saw a postie get out of a van and empty a post box, not a house in sight, in darkest Herefordshire at 4 pm on an autumn Sunday afternoon.  My passenger, an ardent lifelong socialist, turned to me and said "do you think the private sector could ever do that?"

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Bluestone59 said:

Companies House down the years has been in my experience a model of efficiency rarely ever equalled by private enterprise. Railways were for years run on a total shoestring during which time problems were much more caused by passenger error or strikes than the antiquated infrastructure. East Coast main line made money in public hands which National Express et al failed to do. (Can't say if was a fair test tbh).

Nationalised railways are the accepted model in Europe. Few would argue for the superiority of the British arrangement.

Efficiency isn't the only metric we need to use when we assess the vialbility of network services. Stability matters at least as much. Like knowing that your train is going to arrive and depart at the advertised times and that your expectations of an empty seat are likely to be met.

Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, zugzwang said:

Nationalised railways are the accepted model in Europe. Few would argue for the superiority of the British arrangement.

Efficiency isn't the only metric we need to use when we assess the vialbility of network services. Stability matters at least as much. Like knowing that your train is going to arrive and depart at the advertised times and that your expectations of an empty seat are likely to be met.

Nationalized railways are no longer the accepted model in Europe. When I recently travelled in Italy by train, it was entirely on privately owned trains. Here is a complete list:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_railway_companies

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, onlooker said:

Nationalized railways are no longer the accepted model in Europe. When I recently travelled in Italy by train, it was entirely on privately owned trains. Here is a complete list:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_railway_companies

Italy's principal train operator is the govt owned Trenitalia, a subsidiary of Ferrovie della stato Italiane.

Regional railways are extensively subsidised by local govt.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trenitalia

Quote

The Italian government formed Trenitalia to comply with European regulations. The European Commission's First Railway Directive from 1991 (91/440/EC) required separation of accounting between entities which manage the rail infrastructure and entities which provide the actual rail transportation. On 1 June 2000, therefore, Italy created Trenitalia as the primary rail transportation company and on 1 July 2001 established Rete Ferroviaria Italiana (RFI) as the company overseeing the rail network.[4] However, the separation was only formal, since both are subsidiaries of the Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane holding and are owned wholly by the government.[5] Trenitalia operated freight rail services under the Trenitalia Cargo brand until 2017, when Mercitalia took over state-owned freight rail and logistics operations.[6]

Trenitalia offers national rail transport in Italy and international connections to Austria, France, Germany, and Switzerland.[7] The company operates both regional and long-distance trains.

Regional trains travel within an Italian region or between neighboring Italian regions, and are subsidized by local government at the regional level by "Contratto di servizio".[8

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, zugzwang said:

Italy's principal train operator is the govt owned Trenitalia, a subsidiary of Ferrovie della stato Italiane.

Regional railways are extensively subsidised by local govt.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trenitalia

 

 

Italo is a privately owned and operated, high-speed rail company that connects passengers to about 20 cities across Italy. Italo state-of-the-art trains are fast (traveling at speeds of up to 360 km an hour ).

Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, zugzwang said:

Italy's principal train operator is the govt owned Trenitalia, a subsidiary of Ferrovie della stato Italiane

zz - it seems you're not aware of recent events in other countries - crbyn's fixation on nationalisation is not in line with any EU country  

 

https://www.tripsavvy.com/italo-high-speed-trains-1547087

"Trenitalia, the national train service, used to be the only game in town.

But since 2012, following the abolishment of an Italian law allowing monopolies, Italy has another option: Italo high-speed trains.

Italo is a privately owned and operated, high-speed rail company that connects passengers to about 20 cities across Italy. Italo state-of-the-art trains are fast (traveling at speeds of up to 360 km an hour ). Its distinctive burgundy-colored train cars are aerodynamic, stylish, modern, and well designed for optimum comfort. Special features include large picture windows, reclining leather seats with headrests, TV screens, air-conditioning, and free Wi-Fi.

Some say the enthusiasm and popularity that Italo enjoys has forced Trenitalia to improve its services and undergo upgrades, especially on its high-speed Frecciarossa line.

https://www.italotreno.it/en

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, onlooker said:

Italo is a privately owned and operated, high-speed rail company that connects passengers to about 20 cities across Italy. Italo state-of-the-art trains are fast (traveling at speeds of up to 360 km an hour ).

But my original point still stands, does it not? The Italian railways - network and trains - are almost entirely owned by the State.

As they will be again in the UK after December 12th.

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, rockerboy said:

zz - it seems you're not aware of recent events in other countries - crbyn's fixation on nationalisation is not in line with any EU country 

 

All of these EU countries have nationalised railways:

Portugal

Spain

Germany

Holland

Luxemberg

Switzerland

France

Sweden

Finland

Norway

Ireland

Belgium

Every one of them offers a superior service to the UK's expensive and unreliable franchised mess, which would frankly disgrace the Third World.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, zugzwang said:

All of these EU countries have nationalised railways:

Portugal

Spain

Germany

Holland

Luxemberg

Switzerland

France

Sweden

Finland

Norway

Ireland

Belgium

Every one of them offers a superior service to the UK's expensive and unreliable franchised mess, which would frankly disgrace the Third World.

 

Have you ever tried waiting for a delayed train in rural Spain, before raising it's being delayed until tomorrow?

I'm not saying the British system doesn't need reform, but you're painting continental rail services with rose tinted shades (except Switzerland, which is amazing, and operates as a private organisation owned jointly by the cantons, operating entrepreneurially and very much at arms length)

https://www.dutchnews.nl/news/2015/05/the-fyra-high-speed-train-debacle-cost-the-dutch-state-e11bn/

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/dec/20/trains-on-time-germans-deutsche-bahn-railway

 

Edited by Si1
Link to post
Share on other sites

There seem striking differences in many of the comments on this thread on the versions of reality that commenters choose to decide to advocate, repeat and believe. Opinions and views are one thing but the differences in our beliefs on reality and facts is worrying  

I guess it depends which version of media you follow and what people believe they find things to re-enforce your own beliefs. 

Self doubt and holistic understanding would serve us all well. I guess the world is moving away from consensus...it doesn’t serve the media well and we seem to be re-enforcing this approach with constant left/right propaganda.

Said before socialism and nationalisation work until daft politicians seek their own agenda. Capitalism and denationalisation work until daft politicians, greed and shareholder short terming kick in. 

So we zig zag between the two with polar views and people believing they are right, that they are cleverer than those with opposing views and an inability for decent and sensible consensus. 

Fairly sure whatever we end up with that it will be inefficient and imperfect. But we get what we deserve.  

Nailing my liberal leftie view to the mast....my view below. 

Italian railways are fab...and it is joked about in Italy that it’s one of the things communism did do well, was sort a decent rail service. Tongue in cheek of course because no one wants communism but perhaps therefore Italy is not the best example for DE nationalisation. Rather the contra. Let’s see how it runs in 25 years time. 

Network Rail isn't great...the new CEO only gets £588k which is less than the last CEO. When the CEO gets £2m and shareholders get decent dividends then we can say it’s a success. That’s important because otherwise our CEO will be running a railway network in another country soon if we don’t pay him more...that’s how it works apparently. The best railway CEO just goes to the highest paying country. Hope that not Kuala Lumper because his wife and kids will go mad..no Harvey Nichols shops  

Passengers, tickets prices and reasonable service are inconsequential and purely a means to an end. CEO pay and shareholder dividends is how we measure things today. If it were profitable NR could kidnap all commuters and take all the money from their pockets...but the publicity would be a bit negative and revenue model won’t work after the initial increase in receipts so best not do that. Maybe one for another board meeting? 

Defending the plc model at the moment does seem odd. The CEOs in most plcs receive massive pay (they are only employees and usually not founder members who risked everything setting up a company) and the shareholder worship rather than customer worship doesn’t seem to be working well. For customers and often for some shareholders. 

The other option is for ‘our’ government to help run things and the public rather than shareholders benefit. Its a shame because although nationalisation could and should work I know in reality meddlers won’t let it either. It’s not ‘our’ government...once in power it’s them and us regardless of politics. Everyone has an agenda. That zig zagging of opinions starts from the top...we just follow like sheep.

Unfortunately I am not sure there is a compromise on nationalisation.  You are in or out.

Never mind...we will get what we deserve. As ever, on my 3 or 4 train journeys a year I will book in advance and make sure the impact on me is minimal. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, zugzwang said:

All of these EU countries have nationalised railways:

Portugal

Spain

Germany

Holland

Luxemberg

Switzerland

France

Sweden

Finland

Norway

Ireland

Belgium

Every one of them offers a superior service to the UK's expensive and unreliable franchised mess, which would frankly disgrace the Third World.

 

Ireland has about 3 trainlines..

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Pop321 said:

Said before socialism and nationalisation work until daft politicians seek their own agenda. Capitalism and denationalisation work until daft politicians, greed and shareholder short terming kick in. 

"Pure" capitalism (that is to say, Capitalism) simply means

  • Keep your cash (no initiation of force)
  • Keep your word (no fraud)

There is no exploitation, because all interactions are mutually voluntary. I find it bemusing when Statists whinge about how their particular preferences wouldn't be forced onto others at gunpoint. "But who would rob the poor to pay for terrible schools?".

If there are politicians, then there is a government. If there is a government, you are not operating under Capitalism. You can compare regimes and say whether they are closer or further from Capitalism, but they all have a degree of violent compulsion.

 

Socialism is, by definition, violent. The use or threat of violence (they're the same thing) is an essential element, because if it weren't, it would be Capitalism.

 

So if Capitalism can be said "not to work" in the same way as Socialism (an opinion which I disagree with), it is at least the moral option.

2 hours ago, Pop321 said:

although nationalisation could and should work I know in reality meddlers won’t let it either.

Well that's the hilarious contradiction right

  1. Capitalism doesn't work, because people are motivated to enrich themselves
  2. Socialism works because people won't exploit State power to enrich themselves
Link to post
Share on other sites

The impression I get about most other countries' rail systems is that they might have more big fancy whizzing shiny plastic rubbish that flies around at silly speeds to appeal to the sort of person who likes that sort of thing for some unfathomable reason but the generally do rather worse at the less headline-grabbing routine local services.

Link to post
Share on other sites
43 minutes ago, Locke said:

"Pure" capitalism (that is to say, Capitalism) simply means

  • Keep your cash (no initiation of force)
  • Keep your word (no fraud)

There is no exploitation, because all interactions are mutually voluntary. I find it bemusing when Statists whinge about how their particular preferences wouldn't be forced onto others at gunpoint. "But who would rob the poor to pay for terrible schools?".

If there are politicians, then there is a government. If there is a government, you are not operating under Capitalism. You can compare regimes and say whether they are closer or further from Capitalism, but they all have a degree of violent compulsion.

You're defining anarchy there, not capitalism.

In any case it's incredibly naive to believe that could work, because people won't keep their cash or their word. That's human nature for you. You always avoid addressing the question about how that should be handled. Even if most people play fair not all will.

You also bury your head to the question about how voluntary any actions really are in practice, when the playing fields aren't level. Even if they start level they'll never remain there, thanks to different goals, desires, abilities etc. Nothing you want could possibly work in reality without a lot of organisation - i.e. government, which then is exactly what you don't want.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.



×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.