Night of the blunt stilletto

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  • RavenousRavenous Frets: 1443
    Fretwired said:
    Bollocks. The 1970s weren't 40 or 50 years ago.

    2017-1970 = 47 :s

    Hey there's a lot of guitarists here :)
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  • ClarkyClarky Frets: 2878
    Octafish said:
    Clarky said:
    I don't get how a boss can sack someone and they say 'no I'm staying'..
    and end up actually staying..
    I just cannot get my head around that
    I guess it's not too hard when the boss is intrinsically weak and stupid. May is in charge of nothing, just think how laughably pathetic it must look to the outside world. The EU must be pissing itself at out 'strong and stable' leader.
    as utterly useless as she is proving herself to be... what's the alternative?
    that's the thing that worries me most..
    play every note as if it were your first
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  • FretwiredFretwired Frets: 16220
    Clarky said:
    Octafish said:
    Clarky said:
    I don't get how a boss can sack someone and they say 'no I'm staying'..
    and end up actually staying..
    I just cannot get my head around that
    I guess it's not too hard when the boss is intrinsically weak and stupid. May is in charge of nothing, just think how laughably pathetic it must look to the outside world. The EU must be pissing itself at out 'strong and stable' leader.
    as utterly useless as she is proving herself to be... what's the alternative?
    that's the thing that worries me most..
    I assume you're not a Corbyn fan. In fairness to May whilst she dithers and does nothing the economy is growing, the EU seem to be panicking and backtracking on access to the single market, and the country isn't getting trashed.

    The only problem is the NHS crisis .. I fear her solution is head down and wait for the flu epidemic to go away after which many people will have lost their lives in the back of ambulances in hospital car parks. The question is would Labour do a better job? Unfortunately I think the public would go mad at the thought of another election.

    Something has to change.
    My pump-action drivel gun is smoking hot today!
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  • GarthyGarthy Frets: 1689
    Clarky said:
    Octafish said:
    Clarky said:
    I don't get how a boss can sack someone and they say 'no I'm staying'..
    and end up actually staying..
    I just cannot get my head around that
    I guess it's not too hard when the boss is intrinsically weak and stupid. May is in charge of nothing, just think how laughably pathetic it must look to the outside world. The EU must be pissing itself at out 'strong and stable' leader.
    as utterly useless as she is proving herself to be... what's the alternative?
    that's the thing that worries me most..
    While she is 'strong and stable', at least she has a functioning government, which currently something Merkel does not have and might not even survive tonight as leader of her own party. According to the latest polls the current Italian President may need to seek a coalition partner because 5 Star Movement are starting to pull ahead which suggests no clear winner in their upcoming elections. Austrian President Sebastien Kurz has had to go into coalition with far right FPO to form a government.. I bet he'd trade a billion quid and a handful of DUP members in a heartbeat to rid himself of tonight's headlines and Spanish PM Rajoy has even more trouble than all of the above put together.

    I'm certain the 'EU' isn't pissing itself laughing with May, as amazing as it sounds they just have even bigger worries.
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  • capo4thcapo4th Frets: 3181
    thomasw88 said:
    Fretwired said:
    thomasw88 said:

    I don't remember the pain with Blair's government at all tbh.  Sure they were inefficient in many ways but in general I remember the country being in a much better state than it is now.  Iraq war was a clear massive mistake, but again at that time all the major parties supported it


    From what I can see they are making a total mess of health.  I think education is going that way as well -  , and by starving councils of funding whilst increasing their responsibilities and costs local infrastructure is going to total sh*t.

    Also with your point about comparing us to USA or india/China -  its not the same  we had decent services and infrastructure and under this government  they are going backwards.  

    I think you'll find a big reason we're in the shit now is down to Blair and Brown. For example:

    • Iraq war ultimately led to the migrant crisis and attacks in Europe
    • The banking crash - removing the BoE's role and letting bankers supervise bankers was a mistake
    • PFI - the total debt is now over £300bn and is crippling the NHS
    • Brown sold most of the UK's gold reserve after the price of gold crashed losing the UK billions
    • Blair introduced tuition fees for students
    • Blair supported free market reforms that stifled wages
    • Blair's GP contracts reduced the time GPs had to work and caused more people to go to A&E
    • Blair introduced privatisation allowing firms to make a profit out of NHS services
    • Blair promised to end zero hours contracts but changed his mind and helped expand their use
    • When Brown left office the country was broke .. (no more money memo)
    • Brown saddled the MoD will the costs for two useless aircraft carriers

    I could go on ....

    With regards to the NHS Blair holds some responsibility for the state it's in now. From 2003, successive waves of independent sector treatment centres (ISTCs) were opened throughout England. Run by private companies for profit, ISTCs were contracted (often on very favourable terms) to provide solely NHS elective procedures, creating extra capacity in the system to bring down waiting lists, and at the same time forcing existing providers to polish up their act if they wanted to hang on to any of their more “profitable” work. In parallel, the best NHS hospitals were able to apply for the new foundation trust status, which freed them from public-service constraints to operate more like private businesses.

    Out of this market-making grew a new logic: that as well as deliberately inserting private provision inside the NHS, the health market should be opened to external competition. In 2009 Labour introduced the “any qualified provider” (AQP) initiative, which allowed the private sector to undertake NHS work outside the ISTC programme. It is under AQP that the vast majority of my patients who require elective procedures now choose to spurn both our local district general and the ISTC in favour of referral to the nearby private hospital run by Circle.

    Labour also closed numerous hospitals. My local hospital was closed and all its services moved 20 miles away. In fairness to the coalition they did invest more money so some of the damage was reversed.

    This worked for a while as waiting lists fell but ultimately it was unaffordable. Add a massive increase in the population and fewer beds (courtesy of hospital closures under Labour).

    Blair was attacked by members of the public on the BBC - he was shocked when they said that since the GP contract they couldn't get appointments.







    There is an awful lot in there that I disagree with, or would add the caveat that whilst Labour introduced them the Tories have massively grown the programs of privatisation, fees etc far beyond what blair and co would have envisaged.

    BUT, that isn't the point of this thread, this is around what have the current governement done that have actually improved peoples' lives. 
    Thomas if you think things are bad now vote Labour in the next election and watch the shit really hit the fan.
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  • thomasw88thomasw88 Frets: 736



    You claim the millions of new jobs created were nothing to do with government policy, and yet I bet had unemployment risen you'd have blamed them. Unemployment rose under New Labour. For example, in March 2009 unemployment topped 2 million on the widest measure of joblessness, while the claimant count has suffered its biggest jump on record. The Office for National Statistics confirmed unemployment rose to almost 2.03 million in the three months to January – the highest level in 12 years and a rise of 165,000 from the previous quarter. David Blanchflower, economics professor and a member of the Bank of England's monetary policy committee at the Bank of England, called today's figures "truly terrible", and warned that the unemployment situation could soon get much worse. There were more than 500,000 more people out of work when New Labour left office than when Blair won his first election.

    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2009/mar/18/unemployment-and-employment-statistics-recession


    Government policies contributed to the growth in jobs. These included taking millions of people out of the tax system which made working more attractive.

    Claim: Under the Conservative government 4 million people have been taken out of income tax altogether.

    Conclusion: Increases to the personal allowance mean about 4 million fewer people had to pay income tax in 2015/16 than did in 2010/11. Changes to the threshold in 2017 are expected to further reduce the number of people paying income tax.

    https://fullfact.org/economy/4-million-people-taken-out-income-tax/

    Other polices included:

    • Rises in the National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage
    • Cuts in corporation tax that allowed businesses to invest
    • Cut in interest rate to 0.25% that made borrowing even cheaper
    • LEPs providing training and grants to firms to take on staff and apprentices
    • Negative: Cutting benefits and forcing people off benefits and into work
    • Forcing banks to lend money to businesses instead of building their balance sheets

    Is the government perfect ? No. Tuition fees are too high, Hunt should have lost his job over the botched NHS reorganisation, tax cuts still favour the rich, the poor have suffered under the attacks to the welfare budget and whilst the NHS has had more money certain areas, such as mental health and elderly care have been cut, housing crisis. And that's before you get to Brexit.

    If you want to have a political debate fine - stick to some facts and stop calling me a Tory/right-wing mouthpiece ... 

    The Tories do have some good ideas as does Corbyn. I think taking the railways, power plants and water companies back into public ownership makes sense. I think controls on executive pay make sense - how the MD of a mid-sized building company can claim £100 million as a performance-related remuneration package beggars belief.

    We need change.




    Been busy, so not had a chance to reply.

    Regarding your stats on the NHS -  whilst these sound like big numbers they haven't actually improved the service at all have they.
    Public satisfaction is far lower now than it was 7 years ago,  the medics within the profession are far unhappier than they were 7 years ago, the winter crises is getting steadily worse every winter.  Initiatives such as cutting nursing student bursaries is quite frankly a ridiculous plan.

    The service is considerably worse than it was.  The crises over the last two years are getting worse than in recent memory.  

    Funding whilst it may have increased in real times has declined in relative terms to what is required,and  the NHS is having to take up slack caused by the Tory's cuts in other areas.   

    As has been mentioned on other threads, the Tory's have been pursuing stealth reforms/privatisation on a far greater scale than the preceding labour government.        Interestingly enough, they are still using a form PFI as well, which for a scheme that has proven to be expensive is a bit strange...

    https://www.ft.com/content/b933fbd0-9243-11e7-bdfa-eda243196c2c



    With regards to unemployment, again as I mentioned previously (which you have just ignored),  despite there being more jobs created,  the jobs have been poorly paid  and  the countries productivity is appalling.

    From what I've read, the official sources don't really know why/where the jobs have come from, however they do say that there has been a large increase in gig economy jobs, and that people in the 'underemployed' bracket has increased significantly.

    This is all widely available in the public domain.  You choose to compare the figures to 2009 a time when we were in the banking crises.


    With the taking people out of tax -  I would argue that people who have been taken out of tax probably don't feel any better off. I can't prove it but in reality because of the rises in prices and cuts to local services meaning they have to pay for more things than previously.  Private debt is massively increasing, foodbank and poverty statistics are increasing far more under this goverment, so this would support that premise.    



    few other of your points:
    • Cuts in corporation tax that allowed businesses to invest
    How much has been invested what wouldn't have been invested otherwise?   
    • Cut in interest rate to 0.25% that made borrowing even cheaper
    Interest rates are set by the Bank of England MPC,  and have nothing to do with the Tory govt.   

    • LEPs providing training and grants to firms to take on staff and apprentices
    How succesful has this been?  How many jobs have been created?   
    • Negative: Cutting benefits and forcing people off benefits and into work

    The antics of the DWP are well publicised, and the way they are doing it has on serveral occasions been illegal.

    • Forcing banks to lend money to businesses instead of building their balance sheets
    -  Couldn't see much on that , most of what I've read says that BOE are trying to get banks to build up their reserves due to concerns over another crash.


    All the stats you've put forward are fine if taken in isolation, but in a big picture context they don't stack up in my opinion.
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