Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Well What Do You Lot Reckon ?

Pound Rallies on news of Con Lib Dem Coalition

The pound rallied this morning and investors rushed to buy UK government debt as the City cheered the new Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government headed by David Cameron. There are hopes that the government, formed after a five-day tug-of-war, will take quick action to cut Britain's record budget deficit. The Conservatives' George Osborne is the new chancellor, succeeding Alistair Darling.

Posted by str 2007 @ 11:17 AM (2552 views)
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54 thoughts on “Well What Do You Lot Reckon ?

  • All surprisingly quiet here today considering the huge news.

    Any opinions yet on how this will effect us all.

    I’ve heard the £10k Lib Dem tax threshold will be going through, not sure whn it will be implemented.

    It could be just a short rally, but a stronger pound can only help keep inflation down I’d have thought.

    and of course the ultimate question – will they continue to try & support house prices or will they go for a 2 year corrrection to the bottom, giving them 3 years to rebuild leading upto the next election on 7th May 2015 ?

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  • the market has voted

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  • So let me get this straight the prime minister was a public school boy and is related to the Queen and the deputy prime minister was a public school boy and is related to Russian nobility, I wonder if they go to the same club. Is it me or are we drifting back in time.

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  • mrmickey

    Surely it pays for our visiting dignitay to be well connected and now we’ve got 2 for the price of 1. You should be celebrating.

    Plus, as I understand it the first £10k you and your partner earn won’t be taxed – what’s not to like ?

    And as an added bonus, next time you vote, you’ll be able to vote for whoever you like and your vote will count.

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  • mrmickey, what is wrong with being a public schoolboy, so they had parents with money that sent them to a good school. What is the problem with that? Are they or anybody else that went to a fee paying school supposed to feel guilty or should an attempt at good education be celebrated ?

    Reverse snobism in your thinking. Why not just aspire to something better, is it the fact that they had money, is it the fact that they had a good education that bothers you ? Either way every child has the right to a good education, destroying the good ones be they fee paying or not will not solve the problem.

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  • mark wadsworth says:

    I want to know the answer to STR2007’s question – will they ‘do a John Major’ and let prices crash ASAP, or will they ‘do a Gordon Brown’ and throw everything at reinflating the bubble?

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  • Happy Mondays says:

    or will they ‘do a Gordon Brown’ and throw everything at reinflating the bubble?
    They have only got so much puff, so i like answer A : J Major. But thats what i like!

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  • Market reaction is unremarkable, probably because no-one’s quite sure of the detail of the deals that have been done.

    I have always thought it utterly absurd that we tax people on low income with one hand, and then give them benefits with the other, so the concept of a £10k tax threshold has my support. However, the money has to come from somewhere, and milking the rich won’t work, as the rich can all too easily move their tax liability to another country.

    Tax credits seem to have done more harm than good, and are hopelessly bureaucratic; so I hope they are knocked on the head as part of a general simplification. I would be very impressed if our new government had the courage to stop pretending that national insurance is somehow different to income tax, and merge the two; but that’s probably too much to ask..!

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  • Be sure the economic stone age men (Giddy Osborne as chancellor!) will get down to slashing and burning the public services: its all the Lib Dems and Conservatives have in common.(The public quite likes a mixed economy but they are good deal more sophisticated).Meanwhile when the Greeks find their economy has suffered from public sector profligacy,they get bailed out with Quantitative Easing (backed-by-nothing cheques ).We could easily pay for our public services the same way or by instituting a Land Value tax to make the Tory voters pay back all the capital gains they made on their houses during the Long Inflation.Of course they will squeal at having the pipeline to the value of the land under their houses removed. But as towering hypocrites who deny subsidies to people who work or try to work they should be made to take a running -jump.

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  • Sterling rallied until Uncle Merv wheeled himself out and announced the UK is still rubbish.

    Looks like IR are going to remain low now for a long time and I wouldn’t be surprised to see more QE too.

    Didn’t Cameron once state he would end QE if he become PM? I take it that idea is out the window now?

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  • @ Mark W,
    I think they will let prices go their own way, drifting slowly down (outside Central London). Very soon, we will be following the Euro and US$ by raising interest rates by 0.25%. This will depress House Prices slightly but will it be offset by those wanting to hold a property asset which they can live in – yes, some FTB’s.

    A rapid crash won’t look good among their supporters or the markets, but they are bright enough to know house prices need to come down.

    This is just a thought, mind you….

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  • Merv said this was a good programme for debt repayment. That should have put Sterling up shirley?

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  • Andrew my dear fellow the point I am making is that both Mr Cameron & Mr Clegg come from highly privileged back grounds who have no incentive to change the status quo unless forced to by an angry mob, remember many of Mr Camerons friends are bankers.

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  • Merv as reported in the FT today – “King welcomes speedy deficit reduction plans”. In summary the BOE got the inflation forecast wrong (higher than expected) but will keep int rates on hold anyway – another letter on its way but this time to Osbourne as Darling is now out.

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/9b275072-5daa-11df-b4fc-00144feab49a.html

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  • tpbeta
    Sterligs coming up against the resistance level of $1.50, hence the brief fallback. I suspect it will finally get up above $1.50 in the next day or so. (But I’m a complete amateur so don’t take my word for it).

    Mark Wadsworth
    For what it’s worth, my opinion is that they’d be foolish to spend good money supporting house prices at this stage as they’ve got 5 years in power now.
    At the moment they can blame Browns profigacy, they won’t be able to in 2 years time if the artificially support prices until then.

    Far better to see a 20% fall now (over the next 18-24 months) for a slow pick up then to take place over the following 3 years leading upto the election.

    They’ve announced the next election date already (7th May 2015) from what I heard. So things need to be buzzing again by then and they won’t be unless they get this debt cleared down pronto.

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  • mark wadsworth says:

    Uncle Tom @8, everything you said is in the UKIP manifesto.

    The significance of £10,000 is that a single person, no children working 30-plus hours earning £10,000 pays almost exactly the same amount of PAYE as they receive in Tax Credits (about £1,000 a year either way).

    So with a £10,000 personal allowance, there would be no need for Tax Credits. All you need to do then is to reduce the income based withdrawal of traditional “out of work benefits ” (like income support) from its present savage 100% of earned income to something humane, like, for example 31% – which could easily be achieved by paying people income support and giving them a PAYE code without a personal allowance – a so called BR code. Or you can do 50% using a K-code.

    Instead of having to report income twice (once to tax people who take a bit away) and then again to benefits people (who take even more away), payments of £64 a week income support (or JSA or whatever) continue merrily, and yer low paid or part time or temporary worker also gets to keep 69% of what he earns on top.

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  • ontheotherhand says:

    I want them to give the Bank of England a second mandate to measure and monitor rapid asset inflation (property, stock market..) above its trend and have a second lever – the power to demand the banks increase reserves held against loans for these assets – when this happens.

    I also want them to control credit cards. This could be ‘sold’ to the public as a measure to protect people from usury. They would set a cap for the interest rate credit cards could charge, perhaps base rate + something. This would have the effect of providers being much more careful about finding out how much cumulative debt a customer is taking on and their ability to repay. This would slowly restore the link between effort followed by reward.

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  • str 2007
    I’d really expected a sterling surge on cable since the uncertainty of a hung parliament is now resolved, there is a more stringesnt deficit reduction plan on the books, and, seperately, the dollar swap lines were re-opened last week.

    Maybe as you say something will still happen, but this seems incredibly muted compared to the big drops we saw last Wednesday and Thursday.

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  • str2007: “will they continue to try & support house prices”

    No they won’t.

    The rental return on BTL is marginal at best. Up until now, the expectation of capital appreciation is the only thing that made it attractive. The planned large increase in CGT will effectively spoil the capital gains party. ‘Legacy’ owners might not sell their btl’s but there will be far less people entering the btl market, which will remove support for house prices at the bottom rung. The Tories are also planning large spending cuts, which will put further downward pressure on house prices (unemployment will increase in the short-term). The Labour government supported rising house prices (and sold gold etc) because they desperately needed revenue to support their spending binge. The Tories are planning to spend far less, so in the long term there will be no need to stoke damaging asset bubbles, to help pay for profligacy.

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  • mrmickey: You’ve had your time. People (in England at least) are sick and tired of the kind of class warfare rhetoric encouraged by Labour and its supporters. In today’s climate, you will find that people are increasingly hostile to any kind of inverted snobbery or hatred based on social class. People really do want to give the new govt. a chance. The other lot are in power now, so it is best if you accept that you are out of step with the times. If you are Scottish, then of course you are amongst friends but you should accept that England is massively Tory. If you can’t wish the new government well, then at least give us some peace until the next election

    btw: your comment “remember many of Mr Camerons friends are bankers” is the sort of desperate scaremongering that lost Labour the election . Let it go. It’s over

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  • mark wadsworth says:

    STR, Flash, I hope you are right, but you are assuming that they will act rationally.

    If they were determined to win in 2015 (as if the coalition will last that long…) then they’d want to get the crash over with ASAP, so that they can blame it on El Gordo, and in 2015 go for the Home-Owner-Ist vote big time by pointing out that “house prices have been rising for the past four years”. Not that this strategy did John Major much good. The more I think about this, the more I like John Major.

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  • mrmickey, give them a chance they haven’t even warmed up their seats yet.

    Really, could it get any worse than the non public schoolboy (some of whom were educated at a public school) Labour crowd, that used tax payers money to prop up the banks and then allowed those banks to payout billion pound bonuses.

    Never mind your perceived incentive, lets see what actually happens first.

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  • Flashman

    Good to hear your views.

    I guess interest rates will be another significant pressure on house prices, should they start to rise.

    Is it your impression that if Sterling came under pressure again and or inflation continued to tick up high (or remain where it is) that the ‘New’ government would consider Sterling at this level already ‘devalued’ enough against other currencies and start to put some support in with a rise in interest rates ?

    Or is it your opinion that interest rates will be staying on the floor for the forseeable future ?

    IMO they are a good tool to fuel things along a bit leading upto an election, but only if you have somewhere to cut them from. Therefore surely they need to start lifting fairly soon.
    IE at 1/4% up every other month, it’ll take 3 years to get them back upto just 4.5% which is still pretty low by historic standards.

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  • To say it’s reverse snobbery because someone is asking questions about the leader of the country’s provenance is starting to grate. Its lazy. It isn’t that being public school educated is a bad thing, absolutely not, its the potential for corruption that goes with any kind of in-crowd or interest group. We call it corruption when deals are done on a nod a wink and a handshake or when laws are passed to benefit a few. It was always the case with Labour that their union connections and funding was rightly (even before ’97)scrutinised by the thinking press, but it’s reverse snobbery if we do it to the nice boys? Please – can we have a bit more thinking about the actual questions being asked instead of just flinging insults. Its also not class warfare to ask the question. Labour were corrupt in so many ways and the adage to never trust a politician means we should all be on guard all the time, well those who care about it should. So can we not be so blinded by His Holiness the Dave’s seraphic light we miss the warning signs because we’re all calling each other toff’s and oiks?

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  • str2007: In my opinion our governments are quite fatalistic about the value of the Pound. If it plummets or soars, they might try to control it a bit or make supportive/detracting comments but ultimately they are well aware that the Pound will go where it wants to go. The ERM lesson has not been forgotten. Their attitude to interest rates is similarly fatalistic. Of course they would like to keep interest rates as accommodative as possible but the bond market and inflation rate will eventually dictate where interest rates go. QE and other policy measures do have a short-term effect but the market juggernaut will always have the final word.

    People often talk about the government’s intentions regarding interest rates & currency but it is a bit of a tail wagging the dog argument. The only way our government can actually have some control over interest rates and the Pound if it balances the books and manages the economy, so that it grows at a slow and steady pace. The last few years has reinforced the lesson that you manage interest rates and currency by first managing your affairs. The idea that you can somehow manage your affairs by first controlling the currency and interest rates has been discredited for now.

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  • I just had a quick look at the LibDem manifesto to see where they stand on housing..

    They make a big noise about the waste of homes lying empty (- good!) and suggest the possibility of needing planning consent to change the use of a home from primary home to second home (interesting idea – might be difficult in practice..)

    They studiously avoid any mention of the need to build more homes however..

    I reckon the Tories will be quite happy to buy into the empty home idea – taxing them at national level would also raise some much needed dosh – and when their supporters who are property hoggers complain, they’ll be able to blame the LibDems..! However, I suspect the second home planning consent bit will get quietly forgotton.

    Both parties are making earnest noises about the need to get people working, and building houses is a well proven way of stimulating an economy..

    ..all that’s needed is a speedy bonfire of the red tape that stifles the construction industry, and a general presumption in favour of residential consent, when land has previously been developed.

    Build, baby, build!

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  • fubar: “It isn’t that being public school educated is a bad thing, absolutely not, it’s the potential for corruption that goes with any kind of in-crowd or interest group”.

    Your argument collapsed at this self-imposed first hurdle. The idea that people who attend public schools are part of an in-crowd or an interest group that has an inherent potential for corruption is laughable (I take it you didn’t attend public school but are nevertheless happy to be an authority on the subject). Using this type of pejorative generalisation to describe a group of people is the hallmark of bigotry. If you used a similar technique for race you’d have your collar felt

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  • flashman I didn’t say that public schools are in-crowd’s by default but that they give rise to them, like any organization. Hope that’s cleared that up for you, but it is nice of you to call me a bigot while missing my point. Who does that remind me of….?

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  • fubar / flah,

    [Aside: I take it that by “in-crowd” fubar means a clique rather than the current fashionable group that other’s generally aspire to be a part of – the usual meaning of “in-crowd”]

    Politics is all and only about the struggle between groups’ interests, so you are both right.

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  • *other’s >> others.

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  • Flash: agree with you on the IR and currency issue. It’s cause leads to effect and not the other way around.

    I’m also seriously glad that we might have a generation fed on more than the usual classwarfare we’ve become accustomed to . Just at work today people talked about something coloured with bias they didn’t actually think to question:- A diet of BBC newspeak. People have been absorbed by Mandleson like the hypnotising Jungle Book snake’s victims. “Giving people a chance” doesn’t mean giving them all “A” grades at school, kicking tyres of 4×4 owners and scoffing at public schoolboys.

    As for an HPC, everyone knows cuts are coming. Who on earth is going to buy now? I can certainly see people putting their houses on the market as soon as possible before the real cuts hit. When the cuts really do hit, there will be more people having to sell.

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  • fubar: I do think that you are a bigot but I don’t believe you mean to be. An anti-public school attitude is a pretty harmless form of bigotry and I am sure that I regularly commit worse crimes.

    I understand your point perfectly well but I do not think that you understand mine. You keep using words like “interest group” or “in-crowd” to describe ex-public schoolboys. That is just as silly as calling State educated people or Circus workers an interest group. Public school educated people are far too many and diverse in nature to be described or categorised in this way.

    To prove that you didn’t understand my point you then explained yourself by writing: “I didn’t say that public schools are in-crowd’s by default but that they give rise to them, like any organization”.

    That’s just it. Public schools are not an organisation. They are a place where people do A-levels and play cricket. When they leave, some people remain friends, some work together and some dissolve into the general population just like anyone else. Claiming that it is reasonable to be suspicious of our new government because they are ex-public schoolboys, is classic English bigotry

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  • growler: agreed

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  • flashman, I may be a bigot but I am not anti-public school. I don’t really agree with you when you say they aren’t organizations. They seem to exhibit the traits of organizations and some of them even inspire loyalty within some of those who attend. If they didn’t give rise to cliques as 666 described cliques then they are unlike any other school/organization on the planet. I also didn’t claim it was okay to be suspicious of them because they are public school boys, I think I said it’s okay to be suspicious of them because they’re politicians. If it’s okay to say we can’t examine the motives and backgrounds and the potential conflicts that may arise from them then we are destined to be shafted time after time after time. As has been going on for the past thirteen years. Closed groups and narrow self interest has been the one of the biggest problems with politics in this country. No politician’s background is off limits, no politician acting on behalf of an interest group is above scrutiny. I’d also like to point out that David Cameron has said he wants to govern in the national interest, I’d like to scrutinise his definition of the national interest. I may have mentioned this before but I want to be clear I hate Blair, Brown and New Labour and am relieved at the end of that particular dogma. But I am not prepared to sit back and let another one fill the gap without thinking because on the off chance I might sound like a bigot or a class warrior. My view is not party political or based on class, or I should say I try and avoid that being the case.

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  • letthemfall says:

    The notion of class war harks back to the time when the aristocracy filled parliament and only the landowners had suffrage: privilege of birth determined your life. Despite the changes since those times, the inequalities have not completely disappeared; land and wealth remains in the hands of the few – to an even greater extent than 30 years ago apparently. Starting out with the privilege of wealth that allows a public school education is still a considerable advantage, as is a large inheritance.

    Given that the Conservatives are traditionally the party which implements policies that tend to benefit the wealthy (inheritance tax one example), and that Cameron & Osborne are very wealthy, I am not surprised if people are at least a little suspicious. A public school education is (or is supposed to be) excellent and should equip politicians well; but there is always the worry over whether they expect the rest to eat cake.

    With a bit of luck the New Tories will be more caring than the past versions, and the Libdems will I hope have some long term influence.

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  • fubar: OK, fair enough but I must say that I don’t remember anything that resembles your perception: “They seem to exhibit the traits of organizations and some of them even inspire loyalty within some of those who attend”. We really did just do our exams, play sport, lark about. I am absolutely certain that no one formed any sort of club or organisation. I am also certain that no unusual loyalties were formed in support of anything or anyone. When people leave they eventually get married and have kids just like everyone else. People really don’t have the time, inclination or wherewithal to indulge in anything dark or conspiratorial.

    I think you might be falling victim to a Hollywood style mythesised version of public schools. I am getting an image of those films where college frat boys do strange rituals and occasionally kill people who threaten to expose their wicked plans.

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  • “I think you might be falling victim to a Hollywood style mythesised version of public schools”

    Possibly flashman, for that I apologise.

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  • letthemfall: “With a bit of luck the New Tories will be more caring than the past versions, and the Libdems will I hope have some long term influence”

    That’s more like the attitude I was hoping for. I’m pretty sure that you are not exactly disposed to the Tory party but you appear willing to give them the benefit of the doubt for a while. On some level, I can’t help thinking that our society would be more attractive if we wished our opponents well and put our suspicions and prejudices aside until/if it is absolutely proved that they were justified.

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  • Thanks fubar.

    I had a bit of a giggle when you graciously said: “Possibly flashman, for that I apologise”.

    Flashman is a character from Tom Browns School Days, who epitomises the public school villain. I’m not exactly helping the cause with that silly name

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  • LTF, “be more caring” – why is that making me nervous?

    Flash, “society would be more attractive if we wished our opponents well” – spot of cricket old chap?

    I think, a bigot is someone dismissive of all groups other than his own, so fubar, i think you can get out of it.

    “patrol also”

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  • the number cruncher says:

    Flashman “You’ve had your time. People (in England at least) are sick and tired of the kind of class warfare rhetoric encouraged by Labour”

    I think you are wrong – class war is when one class of people exploit another and this is happening all around us, monopolists of land and resources are exploiting their monopolies such as BTL landlords etc. Class war is that perpetrated on the lower classes by the privileged monopolists.

    Labour have not encouraged class warfare they have actually avoided discussion of the real inequalities of class and have furthered income disparities.

    And finally you do not speak for the people of England. They are sick of nu-labour for other reasons than your version of ‘class warfare’. Only you are sick and tired of class warfare as it threatens your simplistic reactionary belief system and right wing views to admit that such inequalities exist and their is no moral basis to justify them.

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  • What exquisite irony!

    A “progressive” party that only 48 hours ago was being courted by the unelected Labour dictators, Mandelson and Campbell, may now be party to the cuts made by those nasty Conservatives.

    http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2514&Itemid=81

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  • the number cruncher: You sound like a 1960’s polytechnic lecturer. You have to face the fact that the Labour party couldn’t possibly get elected in an independent England. The country badly wants to forget your party with its lying, spying, spending and warmongering. You will get another chance in 10 years or so. In the meantime please have the good grace to respect England’s desire to see the back of you and your kind. Mind you, you really will have to ditch the Jurassic age, socialist worker crap, if you want ever get elected again.

    I didn’t even vote for the conservatives but I do so enjoy showing the red card to the last few Labour party fanatics. You remind me of those Japs who fought on in the jungles because no one told them it was over. England desperately wants to move on to a new era of honesty and hope. I appreciate that you extremists don’t set much store in the will of the people but can’t you respect our wishes and bugger off, just for a few years?

    BTW, you never did produce the promised figures to back up your ‘there are hardly any self-made millionaires’ fabrication. History will one day record how the spin doctors of the Blair/Brown era turned lying into an art form. Your kind of systematic dishonesty is just so last decade.

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  • novice pete says:

    flashman @46

    I thought the number cruncher raised some good points.

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  • @Flashman

    To add to your comments:

    Labour can never understand why a majority of people in England reject socialism. Since 1924 there have only been 33 years of labour government, speaks for itself.

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  • krustyatemyhamster says:

    There were three Etonians in a row the last time one of them got into Downing St (Eden, MacMillan, Douglas-Home). I’m sure they all made it there by merit alone and I also believe the moon is made from green cheese. If you think that kind of behaviour is in the national interest then you need your head examining, but the thing is you don’t care about the national interest flashman; you care about your interest and your kind.

    So your defence, flashy, has nothing to do with your own background then?? Who’s the bigot???

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  • … on the subject of turning spin into an artform.

    The BBC News 24 channel introduced the new chancellors big task of sorting the dire finances as a result of the global recession. What an outrageous misrepresentation of facts we’re paying for!!

    If you ever needed proof that the BBC must also have its fair share of polytechnic lecturers of the 1960s – that was it. Let’s forget about the fact that B&B (Blair and Brown) showered cash directly and made off-balance sheet PFI a second art form. Remember the “fiscal rules”? It was always going to crash, and the global recession has proven it not before time.

    As for “one class of people exploit another”. Consider the multiple subjectivism in this statement.

    My point: It’s a matter of perspective. Respect should be both ways not demanded one way. Some people have absolutely nothing at all and are just as valid as those with millions. Complaining about the size of someone elses silver spoon compared to your own has a certain ring to it.

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  • “So your defence, flashy, has nothing to do with your own background then”

    It’s not a defence, krusty. It’s a prosecution.

    Actually, it’s more of an exorcism. I brandished England’s cross and three out of four of HPCs most recidivist class warriors spewed out. There is still one in there. Show yourself, you red devil.

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  • Strange – I posted last night but no show?

    flash: there will always be people who search for fault in others before recognising shortcomings in themselves. Worse still, people use the class system to validate the fact that they are angry that someones silver spoon is bigger than theirs. Some folks have nothing at all.

    Without getting into a philisophical and psychological argument, people get where they are because of hard work, character type (empathy, social understanding) and intelligence. In the past, yes, some people got there because of birthright. But, the importance of this attribute is slipping away as people learn to focus on achievement. Harking back to the class argument paradoxically shows prejudice.

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  • growler: very nice post.

    I started out trying to have a bit of gentle fun at the expense of these Labour party stooges but I have to admit to having a real sense of relief that the 13 years of Labour rule are over. I have very young children and I’d hate for them to grow up in Labours world or faux political correctness and pinch faced bureaucracy. I’ve never voted Tory but I’m starting to warm to Cameron. It might be naive of me but I think he might actually care about the British people as opposed to the recent Labour party signature of power for powers sake. I also think that he might be relatively honest which will be a refreshing change. I used to be a paid up member of the Labour party but I left moons ago, when I realised that most of the party leadership would say anything and do anything to get elected. Almost to a man, they thought that lying was justified because their cause was so great. I was not at all surprised when they became known as New Liebour. I ‘m still in contact with some of my old activist pals from University days. They tease me about selling out, which is a fair cop. In return I always ask them how they can continue to support a party that lied to justify a war. To a man they were/are all pacifists, so it beggars belief that they continued to vote Labour. They also know that Labour stoked the housing bubble and encouraged the City to go nuts but it makes no difference to their voting intentions. The truth is that they only vote Labour because they hate Toffs and Tories. Bigots to a man.

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  • the number cruncher says:

    Flashman – you commit the sin in discussion of a straw man augment:

    You do not answer a question that threatens to examine your deeply held believes, but instead create a ‘straw man’ such as calling us labour party stooges. This allows you to not recognise another point of view and ridicule it.

    I am a very successful business person with no affiliation to the labour party, and i did not vote for them in the election, but that just does not register with your narrow prejudiced view point. Therefore you sink into ridiculing those with opposing view points like mine.

    It pointless having a discourse with you. Read the wikipedia article below – you will benefit enormously and get a lot more out of your posts.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man

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  • the number cruncher: you initiated contact with me by making the following comments:

    “your simplistic reactionary belief system and right wing views”

    “your narrow prejudiced view point”.

    You then have the hypocrisy and diabolical cheek to complain about straw man arguments? How very New Labour of you. You reap what you sow, old chap.

    I think that people like you have enjoyed 13 years where you could moralise, lecture and spout a strangled form of pastiche socialism, with impunity. The disastrous Thatcher years gave you a green light to indulge yourselves but the country grew tired of you. These things are always cyclical. Quite naturally you are finding it hard to adjust to a new world where your views are considered either quaint or just down right unwelcome. It is a new era. You have to evolve.

    On a more serious note, the socialist movement will only be able to move on, when it rids itself of the self-interested frauds and poseurs that currently dominate the Labour party. This is 2010 and the vast majority of people do not believe that it is only possible to get on in life, if a silver spoon is deposited in your mouth. Your views on this subject are erroneous and patronising and they damage the credibility of the cause. You say that you are a very successful businessman. Were you given a silver spoon or do you just think that you are so extraordinary that you made it despite a loaded deck? You see, you really haven’t thought it through.

    You accuse me of having right wing views? I’m willing to bet that I was a card carrying socialist long before you cobbled together a few thoughts on the subject. In all sincerity, I would like to request that, in the interest of the cause, you give your misguided (but probably sincere) views a rest while we regroup into a viable modern unit. There are literally millions of natural socialists who would return to the booth, if the Labour party represented a modern, workable form of socialism and ditched the class warfare bolloc*s.

    One more question: why do you think I regularly write about the iniquity of high house prices? Did you really think I was right wing or is that just something you have grown used to saying when you feel uncomfortable? You’ll have to find a new accusation because it’s no longer fashionable to accuse people of being right wing. Thatcher has been gone for almost 2 decades

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  • That sterling rally seems not to be happening. Looks more like a carry trade unwind to me.

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