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Wanderer Vagabond

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Wanderer Vagabond last won the day on May 20

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  1. I'm not sure that a national debate would actually achieve anything because the great British electorate don't seem to relate any cause/effect of how they vote. Evidence of this was the example I posted earlier whereby Osborne, promising £12 billion of unidentified welfare cuts was part of a Government that was elected with a majority. When Osborne then began to enact those cuts by hitting Working Tax Credits there was faux shock from the same people who had just elected them. Another example I have often quoted was an Essex council who elected a group who said that they would cut their council tax by a third. When elected they began a programme of selling off the parks and leisure centres, closing libraries and cutting back on elderly care, the electorate again complained in faux shock at what was happening, WTF did they think was going to happen?? If you don't want to pay for something, you ain't going to get it but the electorate seem a bit like children at Christmas, expect all of these goodies to just magically appear. Offer the electorate a tax cut and they will agree to it without any thought of what they might not get as a result. I'd pay more to maintain the NHS, which is pretty much the cheapest health system in Europe (only Ireland and Luxembourg spend less) but we are fed all this crap about how inefficient it is and how 'economy savings' must be made so that when it does eventually collapse due to underfunding, we will all be able to give our donations to far more worthy causes, like insurance company profits.
  2. If we are going to allege stealth taxes, I suggest that we need to keep the dementia tax at the top of the agenda then. May hasn't said that she will put any cap on it, she has merely said that a cap 'will be part of the consultations', so once elected she can then say, "We've thought about the cap in the 'consultations' but nah, we aren't going to cap it".
  3. That is pretty much the point, until you have discovered something how do you know whether or not it will be useful? An oft repeated quote from Ernest Rutherford, the discoverer of the nucleus of the atom (so you'd think he be pretty switched on to it) proves a bit salient, "... The energy produced by the breaking down of the atom is a very poor kind of thing. Anyone who expects a source of power from the transformation of these atoms is talking moonshine....", since he was an expert on the subject I'd suggest he might have been a bit wrong on that one, and he worked in the relevant field.
  4. I find it a bit of a shame that you took what, from me, was intended as an ironic observation,at face value. The point is that Hawking took a subject that fascinated him and developed it immensely, which is, in my view what University education is all about. Why would you expect him to put his mind to biological problems that may well bore the pants off him. One could just as easily say why don't these people who 'waste' their time maintaining outdated, polluting engines such as Bolinders, Listers, Russell-Newberys direct their attention to developing a better modern engine. The reason is because that is where their interest lies, if you tell them to concentrate on modern engines, the interest goes. There are a lot of subjects that don't solve any 'real' problems but I'd rather celebrate the diversity of human thinking than try to channel it only into those subjects deemed 'useful'. You could argue that Drama is a waste of time, I could just as easily read the book/script as watch Olivier,Brando,Bogart or any other great actor performing but I might be missing something to do so
  5. So what that means is the postcodes within that constituency surely. There have been cases where the treatment that you are likely to get under the NHS have been described as a postcodes lottery, it doesn't mean that in just one postcode. For once I'd agree with Mr Nibble in that in some constituencies your vote is worthless. My daughter recently contacted me asking about betting odds since she is deeply unhappy with her MP. William Hill gave betting odds of about 70/1 for most of his rivals to be elected and 1/100 of him being elected, she asked me what the chances are of him not getting elected, pretty much zero was my reply. "So what is the point of voting then she asked", do you want to try to answer her question? I couldn't think of a reason.
  6. I tried to research your anecdote last time you put it up, but there doesn't seem to be a verifiable source for it, although it is variously quoted in a lot of locations but not from the person who claims to be the city worker. This doesn't necessarily make it fake news, just unverifiable. For what it is worth, the only means I can see of the Government operating the system that they propose is to force people to take out equity release on their property unless they have some plans for an extremely unwieldy method of accounting for everyone's care costs and then going back to their estate after their death to recover them. If that is their 'plan' then it will still need to be financed out of taxation until the subject dies and with current government cuts it will remain unsustainable.The logistics of doing it don't really bear thinking about. Consider that 500,000 people die in the UK every year, who is going to check every probate grant to see if any care costs are due? How the £100,000 will be retained also defies explanation. Let us assume that you have a property worth £400,000 and assume that the Tory proposal is that only £300,000 will be used for equity release.At the moment for this money you'd get about £105,000 of equity release. At £30,000 per year that would buy you somewhat less than 4 years of care. Do they think that the equity release companies will continue paying out after this money has run out? Once the person who has taken the equity release dies the finance company will be out to recover their loan of £300,000, who is going to guarantee that the property is going to sell for the amount is was assessed at? Does anyone seriously think that any shortfall will be covered by the finance company? if that is the expectation then the amount of equity release you are likely to get will be massively cut, probably to about £25,000 to £30,000 for the example given, so you give your house to a finance company for about a year's worth of care. Perhaps in the 2022 election their manifesto will include compulsory euthanasia after the money runs out
  7. Oddly the party members kept electing him, so who is in the wrong place, Corbyn or those voting no confidence in him. Perhaps those Labour MP's who voted no confidence need to create a new party
  8. I have to say that I am no fan of May and am more than content to see her being embarrassed, but your link is a heavily edited piece of work. That said, if any campaigner approaches me in the street and makes any reference to either 'strong and stable' or 'coalition of chaos' they may (or may not) live to regret it. Could you perhaps get that message to Conservative HQ who are heavily promoting the Theresa May brand and rather underplaying the 'Conservative' brand. The 'policy' they have come up with on elderly care solves nothing at all except to pass a whole lot of property equity to her friends in finance. Simple question, where is the money going to come from to pay for the care of those who are not property holders? (which, given current property prices and the fall in the number of owner occupiers, will become the majority). Answer, taxation. Is there any proposal of how they are going to continue to finance it (it remains currently unsustainable), answer, No. And this is general credibility? it's as bad as Cornbyn, but at least he gives a costing, the Tories are clearly planning to grow a magic money tree somewhere to finance their plans.
  9. So we want a good hard Brexit, that'll be under WTO rules in which everything will increase in price by 10%. I'll run with that as long as pensioners have to suffer the effects as well, no inflation increase on their pensions, just rises in line with average earnings the same as everyone else (yes, I am a pensioner).
  10. I suppose that it all rather depends upon how you want to define a 'mickey mouse' degree. it could be said that Nursing is a 'mickey mouse' degree since you don't really need a degree to be a nurse (well you do, but you don't if you see what I mean ). Most of Stephen Hawking's various qualifications may come under the heading of 'Mickey mouse' qualifications since they are all extremely theoretical, but the world would be a worse place without deep thinkers like him. A degree in Media Studies will actually get you a job (daughter is my evidence of this). What is the point of a History degree, you aren't going to change anything? and so the list goes on. I've always taken the view that the purpose of University is to encourage you to think and question coherently, so really the subject become immaterial. There are even jobs for those studying such subjects as Sports Science (Premier League clubs snap them up).The big question these days is the quality of the tutors, and since they are now mainly contract workers, they don't have much connect to the institution that they work for. Whether you consider the subject to be of value or not, there is no point in it if it is being badly taught. What I would call mickey mouse degrees are the one's that you find on the internet, "Send us £50 and we'll send you your PhD", but that falls more into the realms of fraud.
  11. With the line ".... kill Yemeni civilians as the Saudis have been doing (with UK armaments as well)...." I though I made that fairly clear, it doesn't make me feel remotely comfortable though. Just because the guy next door may be getting a good living pimping his wife, doesn't mean that I should be doing so.
  12. I don't think it is particularly Machiavellian it is just something that the Conservatives have tried and almost succeeded at in the last election. Osborne quite clearly stated then that he was going to cut £12 billion from the welfare bill and refused point blank in the election to say where those cuts would be made. When he hit the tax credits with the cuts there was an outcry, but he hadn't done anything dishonest, he just hadn't told the electorate that was his plan. Now they are confident enough in the gullibility of the electorate that, even knowing that the pensioners are going to take a hit, they will still vote for them. Interestingly I don't necessarily disagree with the means testing of the fuel allowance, something the Lib Dems suggested whilst in coalition only to be roundly condemned by the right wing press. I can even go with ending the triple lock on pensions (even as a pensioner) since it was the pensioner demographic that strongly supported Brexit, they need to enjoy the results of their efforts. I would now just link the rises in pensions with the rise in average earnings and discount inflation altogether, if those who are working are going to suffer the effects of inflation, then so should the pensioners. The policy to 'deal with' the elderly care issue is however the one that I would take issue with, since it will barely address the problem. A far simpler approach would be for the retired to continue paying National Insurance rather than the current situation whereby they don't have to on their pensions. As you say there is still a long way to go in the election, but it would be interesting if, after all this palaver, May found herself returned with much the same majority that she had when she called the election, that'd make me smile
  13. That does seem a naive view on life, these armaments are going to be used, to kill Yemeni civilians as the Saudis have been doing (with UK armaments as well) for the past few years. Selling arms is a bit like putting your wife into prostitution, morally rather dubious but if it pays the bills. Given the Saudi links to terrorism I always find it a bit difficult how we (and the US)look on them as such 'good' allies. Daesh are tremendous admirers of the Wahhabi/Salafi arm of Islam, dominant in Saudi Arabia.Bin Laden and the 9/11 attackers who flew into the twin towers were Saudis and yet we still listen to them telling us that it all has nothing to do with them. If it were Iranians who had flown the planes or if an Iranian religious sect were behind Daesh, war would already have been declared, but we tolerate the Saudis, because as Shakespeare once wrote, they are 'honourable' men. If Trump had signed a Trade deal not related to armaments it could be considered an achievement, however selling arms to the Saudis is like shelling peas, they will buy whatever you want to offer.
  14. I don't disagree with your premise but what we have now isn't mass unemployment, it's mass underemployment. A lot of people on crap wages due to either fake self-employment clauses or zero hours contracts. The end result is the same however, they don't have the money to enjoy all this extra leisure time that they now have, they would be willing to exchange it for enough hours to pay their bills without working tax credits/Universal Credit.
  15. It seems to be a facet of the American system whereby they like to put a President in power but elect his opponents into the Senate (as a sort of counter balance), for Obama it rather meant that he couldn't get much done in the latter years, which is why they are still stuck with Guantanamo. A the moment we have a Republican President and a Republican Senate and House of Representatives so getting sensible policy through should be a walk in the park for Trump, sadly he doesn't have much sensible policy. Your final question rather sums up politics of today, is anyone a real enthusiast for any party? I will vote in the forthcoming election but I'm not that bothered what the result is.