Politics

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rockfreak
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Re: Politics

Post by rockfreak » Sun Oct 23, 2016 12:05 pm

He's done it for a second time this weekend! Freaky gets a letter in today's Observer congratulating UK Uncut on a sixth birthday this month when in 2010 the TV news showed protestors occupying Vodafone in Oxford Street in the first throw of public anger about tax avoidance, an issue that had previously only cropped up in the pages of Private Eye.

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Re: Politics

Post by michael scuffil » Sun Oct 23, 2016 6:45 pm

J.R. wrote:And now, unfortunately, with the Labour party in complete disarray, ther isn't going to be an effective 'opposition' here now for many years.

And if Trumpy Pumpy does get in in the USA, may God help us all !!
I've been away from this thread for weeks, and now I return and see this, and must admit to some confusion. John says he voted 'leave', but the general opinion among commentators is that the Trumpeters in the US share the same sort of motivations as the Brexiters in the UK. Certainly Nigel Farage has been throwing his weight very publicly behind Trump, and Trump has intimated that he would have voted for Brexit had he been a Brit.
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rockfreak
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Re: Politics

Post by rockfreak » Sun Oct 23, 2016 9:01 pm

It's difficult to discern the motivations of the Leave vote Michael. Immigration is often cited as the main issue but I believe that that is more a general protest about job losses and job insecurity, which seems to me to have come about as much by 37 years of Thatcherite neoliberalism as by anything the EU has done. In other words, I believe that the ideology that has caused all this inequality and economic dysfunction derives originally as much from Chicago (Milton Friedman) as from Brussels. One of my letters in the Guardian a couple of years ago made the point that only a certain number of countries had actually caused the so-called world recession ; America, Britain, Iceland, Ireland and Spain. All had in common at that time an uncontrolled financial sector and a wild west, get-rich-quick mentality, mostly based around housing (Mortgage Backed Derivatives, Sub-Prime, etc) which then exploded with disastrous consequences. As John Maynard Keynes once said: "Trouble starts when governments tell people they can get rich without working." We can't all be Nicholas Van Hoogstratens with property or Warren Buffetts with shares - and when we attempt to do so we explode the economy with a riot of speculation. The boom and bust of 2007 had uncanny similarities with the same thing that happened on Wall Street in 1929.
Your adopted country along with other western European states seems to have cleaved more to its traditional social democratic roots and to have survived the storms better. What's happening in this country is very sad because immigrants are now being blamed and targeted (anyone with a foreign accent in fact) and the overwhelmingly rightwing press are encouraging a mood of xenophobia and "punching down" rather than blaming the real enemy - the international speculators, hedge fund managers, tax avoiders, and the politicians in their pocket who are bleeding this country dry. I suspect that the Trump vote in America is similar to the Farage vote here: it's a desire to just give a good kicking to an establishment that has for several decades cut the ordinary working guy adrift, and has, in this country at least, laughed at him.

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Re: Politics

Post by sejintenej » Sun Oct 23, 2016 9:51 pm

rockfreak wrote: "Trouble starts when governments tell people they can get rich without working."
Labour policy - don't work and we will pay you and give you everything.
rockfreak wrote:"We can't all be Nicholas Van Hoogstratens with property or Warren Buffetts with shares - and when we attempt to do so we explode the economy with a riot of speculation.
Yes, with shares you can if you can be bothered to work at it. As for exploding the economy, you reckon your car is worth three thousand quid - will you turn me down if I offer six thousand quid because I know Fred Snooks is offering five thousand or will you stick at three thousand? There is no difference whatsoever
rockfreak wrote: Your adopted country along with other western European states seems to have cleaved more to its traditional social democratic roots and to have survived the storms better.
Try living where I did for eighteen years and you will realise that is hogwash. I did twenty years in a related country which has the same problems with the same result
rockfreak wrote:What's happening in this country is very sad because immigrants are now being blamed and targeted (anyone with a foreign accent in fact)
mainly by the left wing press
rockfreak wrote:and the overwhelmingly rightwing press are encouraging a mood of xenophobia and "punching down" rather than blaming the real enemy - the international speculators, hedge fund managers
who make the money which pays for our imports
,
rockfreak wrote: tax avoiders,
thanks to incompetent civil servants who can't frame tax laws properly. If you are talking about the likes of the big US companies that staement is balderdash - they pay the full amount of taxes - in their home countries and do not avoid them.
rockfreak wrote:and the politicians in their pocket who are bleeding this country dry. .
Blair and Brown for starters
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Re: Politics

Post by michael scuffil » Tue Oct 25, 2016 6:05 pm

Your adopted country along with other western European states seems to have cleaved more to its traditional social democratic roots and to have survived the storms better.

I can't speak for other Western European states, but in Germany we didn't notice the recent recession AT ALL.

There is of course a populist party in Germany, and like all populist parties, its name says the opposite of what it is. It's called Alternative für Deutschland, but they put forward no alternative, and they're not 'for' anything, only against. But be that as it may, they're not off the radar like the Conservative Party. They believe in EU membership, they want a referendum on Germany's euro memebership (which they'd lose, as Germany benefits handsomely from the euro), and they're not against EU migration (though they wish the Germans would have more children so that it wouldn't be necessary).

I think TM must see Heathrow as a second front. In order to distract attention from one toxic Tory Party row, she's started another one -- and must hope the mutual distraction continues. But she's given Boris a chance to redeem himself. Curious.
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J.R.
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Re: Politics

Post by J.R. » Tue Oct 25, 2016 6:52 pm

May is far far more pro-English than Cameron ever was. 'Call me Dave' had already made his plans early to avoid the sinking ship before the referendum and to walk away and get out. A trypical Etonian and Bullindon Boy - A Tony Bliar by any other name.

The real true fact is that the majority of working and middle class people, from both the left and the right of the political spectrum want England to be England and NOT a politacal puppet of the people across the Channel.

I haven't voted Tory for many many years now, but that time may be coming, unless of course Big Nige makes a return to UKIP and hopefully soon.

However, the Scotish Witch still wants independence and may change things completely.

Let the negotiations begin as soon as possible. It is now time to invoke Article 50 and let the Europeans sort their own mess out. Britain voted out ! Live with it.
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Re: Politics

Post by rockfreak » Tue Oct 25, 2016 7:23 pm

John, in what way are we puppets of the people across the Channel? Name me some issues where we've voted for something important in the EU Parliament and they've overruled us? Surely it runs in the opposite direction: we managed to duck out of the Social Chapter thus giving our workers much less workplace protection than they have in western Europe. Today you have to pay at least £1,200 just to take a case for unfair dismissal to an employment tribunal. Maybe you're a bit adrift of all this, having had the backing of a strong union (the Police Federation, is it?) behind you in your working life.
Please don't give Nigel Farrago too much credence. This guy is an ex-commodities broker with a desire to "keep the competitive edge of the City" free from EU interference. In other words he doesn't want any pesky restrictions that may inhibit the City from getting up to the tricks that brought our economy down around our ears in 2007 and bankrupted our national finances via all that bailout money. The bizarre thing is that since the Brexit vote his old mates in the City are apparently panicking and sizing up whether they wouldn't be better off with their companies quartered in Frankfurt, Paris or Dublin. What a delicious irony. Well it would be if it wasn't so flaming worrying for our country. I know it's early days but a study of all the important economic indicators will show you that they're all pointing in the wrong direction.

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Re: Politics

Post by J.R. » Tue Oct 25, 2016 9:25 pm

rockfreak wrote:John, in what way are we puppets of the people across the Channel? Name me some issues where we've voted for something important in the EU Parliament and they've overruled us? Surely it runs in the opposite direction: we managed to duck out of the Social Chapter thus giving our workers much less workplace protection than they have in western Europe. Today you have to pay at least £1,200 just to take a case for unfair dismissal to an employment tribunal. Maybe you're a bit adrift of all this, having had the backing of a strong union (the Police Federation, is it?) behind you in your working life.
Please don't give Nigel Farrago too much credence. This guy is an ex-commodities broker with a desire to "keep the competitive edge of the City" free from EU interference. In other words he doesn't want any pesky restrictions that may inhibit the City from getting up to the tricks that brought our economy down around our ears in 2007 and bankrupted our national finances via all that bailout money. The bizarre thing is that since the Brexit vote his old mates in the City are apparently panicking and sizing up whether they wouldn't be better off with their companies quartered in Frankfurt, Paris or Dublin. What a delicious irony. Well it would be if it wasn't so flaming worrying for our country. I know it's early days but a study of all the important economic indicators will show you that they're all pointing in the wrong direction.
I'll get back to later you Dave.

Too busy at the moment with a legal problem. Wrongful arrest. That'll interest you.
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rockfreak
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Re: Politics

Post by rockfreak » Sat Oct 29, 2016 4:28 pm

A copper called John couldn't function
Unless he was waving his truncheon.
A woman named Flo said "thank you but no",
I've already had my luncheon.

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Re: Politics

Post by DavidRawlins » Sun Oct 30, 2016 6:38 pm

I feel that some of the prob lem is, that we are all paying too little Income Tax.
In 95-96 the standard rate was 25%, and came down gradually till 2007-08 when it was 22%. Then there was a 10% cut to 20%.
Now we cannot afford anything!
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Re: Politics

Post by sejintenej » Sun Oct 30, 2016 8:58 pm

rockfreak wrote:John, in what way are we puppets of the people across the Channel? Name me some issues where we've voted for something important in the EU Parliament and they've overruled us?
I rather fancy cooking entremets and a nice tarte au citron goes down nicely. Trouble is lemons and Brussels; go to the south of Portugal and you see large bags of lemons for sale for cents because Brussels has made the sale of those Portuguese lmons illegal. I have to go and pay 35p for one lemon instead of 40p for fifty.
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rockfreak
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Re: Politics

Post by rockfreak » Sun Oct 30, 2016 10:01 pm

DavidRawlins wrote:I feel that some of the prob lem is, that we are all paying too little Income Tax.
In 95-96 the standard rate was 25%, and came down gradually till 2007-08 when it was 22%. Then there was a 10% cut to 20%.
Now we cannot afford anything!
The rate has come down just as dramatically for the rich, David. Right up to the time of Thatcher the top band was often 80% or 90%. Indeed it was 60% for nine years under Thatcher until her Chancellors persuaded her to lower it further. Interestingly you'll note that it didn't seem to inhibit business start-ups in the old days. Richard Branson got his start in 1970 putting full-page ads in the old Melody Maker for progressive rock albums by mail order because he perceived a gap in the market. Alan Sugar started up back then, likewise Freddy Laker. Today I believe the greater problem is assets. Always better to tax unearned income than earned. And what is more unearned than the gains made by the Russian oligarchs buying up tranches of real estate in our cities and forcing our people out - as well as buying commercial property and thus making business premises more expensive. One of the reasons that Singaporean oligarchs are making hay with British property is because they're not allowed to do it in their own country. Singapore has a reputation as a thrusting, free market, Asian tiger but as far as its housing set-up goes the government takes a very interventionist hand to see that the working people can be housed affordably.
To return to your main point; in the end we get what we pay for, but the ordinary rate taxpayer can't afford any more. Our taxes may have come down but so have our wages (relatively or absolutely) and our housing costs have gone up, massively. And the people who have benefited from our housing plight are the private landlords. I'm just taking part in a Radio-4 blogging discussion about our current housing problems in which I've pointed out the way that things worked when I first left home, when rents were controlled, local rates (as they were then called) were progressively banded according to geography and income, and there was a lot more social housing provision. A whole different world, the essentials of life guaranteed. Banker Brown seems to have the view that taxation is government stealing. Well I would offer an alternative view by the American judge and philosopher Oliver Wendell Holmes who said that tax is the price we pay for a civilised society. And I can't think of any sane economist or philosopher from Adam Smith to Marx who would have believed it a good thing that banks could get our country into near disaster and then get away with coolly demanding bailout by the taxpayer.

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Re: Politics

Post by sejintenej » Mon Oct 31, 2016 8:37 am

rockfreak wrote:in the end we get what we pay for, but the ordinary rate taxpayer can't afford any more. Our taxes may have come down but so have our wages (relatively or absolutely) and our housing costs have gone up, massively.
"Can't afford any more" after binging every Friday and Saturday night, £100+ trainers, £2000 foreign holidays acting against the interests of the nation, designer wotsits at over a thousand, 42" curved TVs........... Rubbish, rubbish, rubbish
rockfreak wrote:And the people who have benefited from our housing plight are the private landlords.
and I knew one; he was the IT manager where I worked. He worked all hours of the day because he was proud of his system and he used his salary to buy a three storey house. He and his girlfriend lived on the top floor, did the lace up and he let the other two floors. Eventually he used the accumulated savings from the two lettings to buy a delapidated place which he did up and let. No £100+trainers for him, no big TV - it probably came from Lighthouse; they scrimped and saved for their retirement many decades hence.
Youngsters want the best of everythng yesterday. Anyone could have done the same but they waste their money and demand that "someone" pay for their wastefulness and socialists feather their nests by not looking at the situation with their eyes open and waste public assets
rockfreak wrote:when rents were controlled, local rates (as they were then called) were progressively banded according to geography and income, and there was a lot more social housing provision.
rents controlled = stealing from the other rate payers. Rates banded - they already and still are. Banded acccording to geography and income - they are already and now.

More social housing; at least people were given the right to buy their houses and stop what you decried as housing costs (ie renting places) rising. One of the problems is the influx from abroad going to the top of the housing lists.

rockfreak wrote:Oliver Wendell Holmes who said that tax is the price we pay for a civilised society.
and Blair and Brown made it uncivilised
rockfreak wrote:And I can't think of any sane economist or philosopher from Adam Smith to Marx who would have believed it a good thing that banks could get our country into near disaster
A disaster created by George Brown and cronies; if it were not for them speaking out of turn to up their own profile the entire matter could have been (and was being) handled and nobody losing a sou.
“When you arise in the morning think of what a privilege it is to be alive, to think, to enjoy, to love ...”

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Re: Politics

Post by rockfreak » Wed Nov 02, 2016 8:22 pm

OK gang. What do we think of Brexit four months down the line? Good idea or bad? Will Christ's Hospital be exposed to World Trade Organisation Rules? Will all entrants (and leavers) be whacked with heavy tariffs? Will Banker Brown still get the financial passport? Or will he simply decamp to the Cayman Islands and live out his days stewing gently and regaling the locals with tales of his old one-legged housemaster who gave him the slipper on a regular basis? Please feel free to contribute. The world awaits your verdict.

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Re: Politics

Post by J.R. » Thu Nov 03, 2016 11:01 am

I voted 'Leave' and I haven't changed my mind one bit.

What is more worrying at the moment, is, who will be the next President of the US.
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