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Brits remain pessimistic about the where things are heading – politicalbetting.com

SystemSystem Posts: 11,818
edited January 2023 in General
imageBrits remain pessimistic about the where things are heading – politicalbetting.com

One of the regulars in R&K polling is this question about whether people are pessimistic or optimistic about where the country is heading.

Read the full story here

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    londonpubmanlondonpubman Posts: 3,431
    It's cold, prices keep going up and Watford are losing at home to Rotherham 😡.

    And I don't think that under Keir that 'Things can only get better'.
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    GardenwalkerGardenwalker Posts: 21,009
    edited January 2023
    The amount of ordure produced by Johnson in three short years is astonishing.
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    GardenwalkerGardenwalker Posts: 21,009
    Brits are rationally pessimistic.
    The country has been in free-fall for some time.
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    Scott_xPScott_xP Posts: 34,496
    @SkyNews: Nadhim Zahawi said his father took founder shares in YouGov and that HMRC later "disagreed about the exact allocati… https://twitter.com/i/web/status/1616831550020091912
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    GardenwalkerGardenwalker Posts: 21,009
    Zahawi also forgot the bit where he instructed lawyers to make libel menaces to the blogger who first uncovered “irregularities”.
  • Options
    Westminster Voting Intention:

    LAB: 50% (+2)
    CON: 24% (-4)
    LDM: 8% (+1)
    GRN: 5% (-2)
    REF: 5% (+2)
    SNP: 4% (=)

    Via @Omnisis, On 19 January,
    Changes w/ 12 January.
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    kle4kle4 Posts: 93,559

    A YouGov poll for The Times found that the public overwhelmingly back the UK government’s stance and reject the Scottish parliament plans for self-identification.



    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/0ac3a0da-98f7-11ed-a130-baced48eb788?shareToken=244b2a081e8765d7ea17ad54488ab213

    Those proportions genuinely surprise me.

    Why on earth was it thought appropriate for Zahawi to “negotiate” his tax bill WHILE Chancellor?

    It’s probably handled at arms length but the “optics” are absolutely atrocious. Why give your opponents so much ammunition?
    I'm not sure any level of arms length would make it ok for the second most senior person in government.
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    kle4kle4 Posts: 93,559

    Why on earth was it thought appropriate for Zahawi to “negotiate” his tax bill WHILE Chancellor?

    Standard operating procedure under HMG = His Majesty's Grifters?

    Clarification: Only formally, as KCIII is actually responsible for their grifting, as much as he is for their governating.

    For one thing, he and rest of The Firm are HIGHLY competent at doing their own grifting, don't need Z, BJ & etc., etc. to do it for 'em.
    I dispute KCIII is competent at doign his own grifting, he personally debased himself to collect 1 million in cash so desperate he was to get his hands on it.
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    CarlottaVanceCarlottaVance Posts: 60,101
    Badenoch believes that self-identification — the ability to change gender without medical diagnosis — puts women and girls at risk from predators. “We have no problem with that in the sense that we want people who are trans to be able to live their lives freely and as they wish,” she says. “The problem is that self-identification also makes life a lot easier for other people we don’t want to have those sorts of freedoms. Predators would be able to exploit any system that says you can just say you are what you are.”

    “It’s also quite bad for trans people. They then get conflated and associated with the predators and people who are looking to do bad things. That’s why having a stricter regime rather than a loose regime is quite important. The problem is around the rhetoric. Rather than having a disagreement on whether you think self-identification is OK or not OK, people who have a different view are then abused, insulted, called transphobic. That’s what has really toxified the debate, and made a lot of people scared to say what they think.”


    https://archive.ph/rhZBt
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    Westminster Voting Intention:

    LAB: 50% (+2)
    CON: 24% (-4)
    LDM: 8% (+1)
    GRN: 5% (-2)
    REF: 5% (+2)
    SNP: 4% (=)

    Via @Omnisis, On 19 January,
    Changes w/ 12 January.

    No Tory poll leads for 1 year, 1 month and 15 days.
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    CarlottaVanceCarlottaVance Posts: 60,101
    kle4 said:

    A YouGov poll for The Times found that the public overwhelmingly back the UK government’s stance and reject the Scottish parliament plans for self-identification.



    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/0ac3a0da-98f7-11ed-a130-baced48eb788?shareToken=244b2a081e8765d7ea17ad54488ab213

    Those proportions genuinely surprise me.

    Why on earth was it thought appropriate for Zahawi to “negotiate” his tax bill WHILE Chancellor?

    It’s probably handled at arms length but the “optics” are absolutely atrocious. Why give your opponents so much ammunition?
    I'm not sure any level of arms length would make it ok for the second most senior person in government.
    The polling in Scotland has been pretty consistent so it shouldn’t be a surprise.

    I suspect the negotiation with HMRC started long before he got to the Treasury - what’s he supposed to do when appointed CoE? Stop discussions? As more comes out I suspect it will actually be less bad than people think but be perceived as worse…..
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    squareroot2squareroot2 Posts: 6,428
    Relentless negativity
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    GardenwalkerGardenwalker Posts: 21,009

    Relentless negativity

    Is all that’s offered by the current government.
    They need to be booted into oblivion.
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    Badenoch believes that self-identification — the ability to change gender without medical diagnosis — puts women and girls at risk from predators. “We have no problem with that in the sense that we want people who are trans to be able to live their lives freely and as they wish,” she says. “The problem is that self-identification also makes life a lot easier for other people we don’t want to have those sorts of freedoms. Predators would be able to exploit any system that says you can just say you are what you are.”

    “It’s also quite bad for trans people. They then get conflated and associated with the predators and people who are looking to do bad things. That’s why having a stricter regime rather than a loose regime is quite important. The problem is around the rhetoric. Rather than having a disagreement on whether you think self-identification is OK or not OK, people who have a different view are then abused, insulted, called transphobic. That’s what has really toxified the debate, and made a lot of people scared to say what they think.”


    https://archive.ph/rhZBt

    If you’re gay you don’t have to prove you’re gay. Her rhetoric is identical to the anti gay hysteria of the 80s/90s

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    StillWatersStillWaters Posts: 7,267
    kle4 said:

    A YouGov poll for The Times found that the public overwhelmingly back the UK government’s stance and reject the Scottish parliament plans for self-identification.



    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/0ac3a0da-98f7-11ed-a130-baced48eb788?shareToken=244b2a081e8765d7ea17ad54488ab213

    Those proportions genuinely surprise me.

    Why on earth was it thought appropriate for Zahawi to “negotiate” his tax bill WHILE Chancellor?

    It’s probably handled at arms length but the “optics” are absolutely atrocious. Why give your opponents so much ammunition?
    I'm not sure any level of arms length would make it ok for the second most senior person in government.
    The problem is that tax law is so darn complex. I suspect he tried to be a little cute without trying to evade tax. He would have been advised on that by lawyers. HMRC clearly disagreed on the structure and challenged the outcome & won or Zahawi settled to make it go away.

    *If* (and we don’t know) the fact pattern was as above it shouldn’t be a resigning matter - it’s not a matter of ethics, just an error.


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    Westminster Voting Intention:

    LAB: 50% (+2)
    CON: 24% (-4)
    LDM: 8% (+1)
    GRN: 5% (-2)
    REF: 5% (+2)
    SNP: 4% (=)

    Via @Omnisis, On 19 January,
    Changes w/ 12 January.

    No Tory poll leads for 1 year, 1 month and 15 days.
    Don’t worry MoonRabbit can give an incorrect prediction
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    GardenwalkerGardenwalker Posts: 21,009

    Zahawi also forgot the bit where he instructed lawyers to make libel menaces to the blogger who first uncovered “irregularities”.

    Of course, without the blogger’s research, Zahawi would have got away with multi-million pound tax fraud.
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    kle4kle4 Posts: 93,559

    kle4 said:

    A YouGov poll for The Times found that the public overwhelmingly back the UK government’s stance and reject the Scottish parliament plans for self-identification.



    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/0ac3a0da-98f7-11ed-a130-baced48eb788?shareToken=244b2a081e8765d7ea17ad54488ab213

    Those proportions genuinely surprise me.

    Why on earth was it thought appropriate for Zahawi to “negotiate” his tax bill WHILE Chancellor?

    It’s probably handled at arms length but the “optics” are absolutely atrocious. Why give your opponents so much ammunition?
    I'm not sure any level of arms length would make it ok for the second most senior person in government.
    The polling in Scotland has been pretty consistent so it shouldn’t be a surprise.

    I suspect the negotiation with HMRC started long before he got to the Treasury - what’s he supposed to do when appointed CoE? Stop discussions? As more comes out I suspect it will actually be less bad than people think but be perceived as worse…..
    Not the opposition to the bill that surprises, but that those who think it is wrong but the UK gov reaction was wrong being low surprises.
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    squareroot2squareroot2 Posts: 6,428

    Relentless negativity

    Is all that’s offered by the current government.
    They need to be booted into oblivion.
    I'd the Govt did something right, it would be criticised.
    I t doesn’t matter what the news is, it will be presented as bad news. It's relentlessly negative.
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    kle4kle4 Posts: 93,559
    edited January 2023

    kle4 said:

    A YouGov poll for The Times found that the public overwhelmingly back the UK government’s stance and reject the Scottish parliament plans for self-identification.



    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/0ac3a0da-98f7-11ed-a130-baced48eb788?shareToken=244b2a081e8765d7ea17ad54488ab213

    Those proportions genuinely surprise me.

    Why on earth was it thought appropriate for Zahawi to “negotiate” his tax bill WHILE Chancellor?

    It’s probably handled at arms length but the “optics” are absolutely atrocious. Why give your opponents so much ammunition?
    I'm not sure any level of arms length would make it ok for the second most senior person in government.
    The problem is that tax law is so darn complex. I suspect he tried to be a little cute without trying to evade tax. He would have been advised on that by lawyers. HMRC clearly disagreed on the structure and challenged the outcome & won or Zahawi settled to make it go away.

    *If* (and we don’t know) the fact pattern was as above it shouldn’t be a resigning matter - it’s not a matter of ethics, just an error.


    I don't regard it as much excuse. For one thing, he wasn't just anyone, he was Chancellor - someone taking that job should be smart enough with finances to never have then found himself in the position he was, so he was demonstrably unfit for the job and should have tried to wrangle another position instead - imagine if things had been different and was still in that post. There are some roles where mistakes are acceptable and some that are not, and him going now 'I had no idea what I was doing with my taxes' means he should never have been appointed.

    And on the complexity point, I know that is true and so proving intentional actions will be very difficult, but I think that is probably the point of making things so complex in the first place - so that rich people with clever lawyers can attempt tax dodges, and then go 'whoops, my bad' when caught.

    Sometimes that will be genuine, sometimes it won't, and we will not be able to tell the difference because the system seems to be deliberately set up to give people opportunities to grift. And lo and behold, they do.
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    kamskikamski Posts: 4,371

    kamski said:

    kamski said:

    kamski said:

    Olaf Scholz has stuck to his Ukraine musn't lose and Russia musn't win maxim. Another way of looking at it of course is that Ukraine must not win and Russia must not lose. I'm starting to think that is German policy. They do not want a Russian defeat. What exactly do they envisage? And are they really going to wreck their actual alliances for the sake of a relationship with a barbarian empire?

    No. As I understand it, Scholz wants full US commitment to any escalation in terms of weapons supplies. Maybe that's stupid, but I find it easier to understand than the US position.
    The US is sending a whole new tranche of weapons. They've sent Bradleys. The Abrams are very heavy on fuel and will take longer to train on. As well as the logistical difficulties of getting them there. And most of the Leopard tanks aren't even German. I'm sorry it just looks like an excuse.

    https://samf.substack.com/p/proxies-and-puppets
    The point is that an announcement on Abrams tanks (that could have been made 6 months or more ago) would also get Leopards to Ukraine, so why doesn't the US want Ukraine to have tanks?

    You mention Bradleys. Ukraine also asked for these and the roughly equivalent German Marders many months ago. Germany also said "not alone" on Marders, the US said no. When 2 weeks ago the US announced it would send Bradleys Germany announced it would send Marders on the very same day.

    I think Germany should send Leopards, at least allow others to, without a US commitment on Abrams tanks, but it's just a bit weird to hear various versions of "Germany is crazy/wants Russia to win" or whatever from people who seem find the US position perfectly reasonable.
    "The point is that an announcement on Abrams tanks (that could have been made 6 months or more ago) would also get Leopards to Ukraine"

    No.

    The thing that would get Leopard 2's to Ukraine is Germany saying: "Here, have these Leopards."

    Linking it to the US's actions is just perverse. Either it is the correct thing to send them, or it is not.
    And yet Germany, however wrongly, has consistently linked them, as they did with Marders and other types of weapons. This is a fact that you really seem to have difficulty with for some reason.

    It is a simple fact that Leopards will go to Ukraine if the US makes an announcement on Abrams. Why do you deny an obvious reality? It's just weird.
    Germany's position is such that they invoke Schrödinger's tank: the provision of tanks is both linked to, and not linked to, US provision of Abrams. Sometimes they say it is, sometimes they say it is not. They have not been consistent in the least.

    "It is a simple fact that Leopards will go to Ukraine if the US makes an announcement on Abrams. "

    It is not a fact, as it is unproven. I'm dubious about it, given Germany's behaviour so far. They might well give some excuse, or promise them in 2026.

    It is quite simple: if Germany wants Ukraine to have Leopard 2's, give them them. At the very least, let other send theirs.

    They don't.
    They have been entirely consistent on this for months, until somewhat ambiguous statements in the last 2 days seemed to indicate there might be a change of policy - which may still happen.

    Past behaviour supports the idea that if the US promises Germany will follow, but you seem uninterested in facts.

    I think you are being wilfully obtuse on this, or maybe you just can't stand the idea that "Germany" isn't entirely and uniquely and shamefully to blame.

    What do you think of US refusal of tanks? To me it seems worse, and more worrying and more disappointing.
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    kle4kle4 Posts: 93,559

    Relentless negativity

    Is all that’s offered by the current government.
    They need to be booted into oblivion.
    I'd the Govt did something right, it would be criticised.
    I t doesn’t matter what the news is, it will be presented as bad news. It's relentlessly negative.
    Them's the breaks when you've been in power for 13 years and deservedly torched your reputation - you won't get credit even for the things you get right.
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    Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 57,252

    Brits are rationally pessimistic.
    The country has been in free-fall for some time.

    An exaggeration.

    The UK has its challenges, but they are no more profound than, say, the US, France, Germany, or even Sweden or New Zealand are facing - albeit sometimes different.

    The hyberbole on the UK is caused by our self-absorption, ignorance of the challenges that other countries are facing, familiarity breeding contempt, and a mixture of familiarity and confirmation bias.
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    CarnyxCarnyx Posts: 41,074

    The amount of ordure produced by Johnson in three short years is astonishing.

    I'm reminded of the smell of the bovine sharn in the cowshed on a nearby farm. And the time I visited when I was very small and stood unwarily near a cow's backside. The memory of the head to toe soaking in cow's urine has its resonances under the last 5 or is it 6? Tory administrations.
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    Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 57,252

    Westminster Voting Intention:

    LAB: 50% (+2)
    CON: 24% (-4)
    LDM: 8% (+1)
    GRN: 5% (-2)
    REF: 5% (+2)
    SNP: 4% (=)

    Via @Omnisis, On 19 January,
    Changes w/ 12 January.

    No Tory poll leads for 1 year, 1 month and 15 days.
    Don’t worry MoonRabbit can give an incorrect prediction
    On that, let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

    Have you never made an incorrect prediction?
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    CarlottaVanceCarlottaVance Posts: 60,101
    Chap who blew the whistle on Zahawi:

    More questions. If Zahawi just made an innocent mistake and did his civic duty in cleaning it up… why did he threaten to sue people reporting on it? And try to keep those threats secret?

    https://twitter.com/danneidle/status/1616843302564773891
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    kle4kle4 Posts: 93,559

    Brits are rationally pessimistic.
    The country has been in free-fall for some time.

    An exaggeration.

    The UK has its challenges, but they are no more profound than, say, the US, France, Germany, or even Sweden or New Zealand are facing - albeit sometimes different.

    The hyberbole on the UK is caused by our self-absorption, ignorance of the challenges that other countries are facing, familiarity breeding contempt, and a mixture of familiarity and confirmation bias.
    In general I agree with you, I often try to remind people things are not as bad as tend to say, on a historical basis for example. But the last couple of years, even just as a result of the Covid impact, do anecdotally seem to have led to appreciable negative differences. We don't seem to have any ideas to address things either, and the only one offered was Truss's 'Er, cutting taxes solves everything?'.
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    MexicanpeteMexicanpete Posts: 26,101
    edited January 2023

    Relentless negativity

    Is all that’s offered by the current government.
    They need to be booted into oblivion.
    I'd the Govt did something right, it would be criticised.
    I t doesn’t matter what the news is, it will be presented as bad news. It's relentlessly negative.
    Some of you Tory boys crying foul and bellyaching over government bad press are a little naive.

    When things go right the incumbent reaps the rewards, when they go badly the incumbent takes the kicking.

    If the war is won by Ukraine and Boris Johnson is already back in No 10 he will demand all the credit, and he will get a decent share.

    Cast your mind back to the banking crisis of 2008/09, a crisis spawned in the US sub-prime mortgage market, but Brown and Darling took the blame in the UK because they were in charge here. Those are the rules.
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    LeonLeon Posts: 49,492
    Bangkok right now is probably more fun than it’s ever been. Come
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    Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 57,252
    kle4 said:

    Brits are rationally pessimistic.
    The country has been in free-fall for some time.

    An exaggeration.

    The UK has its challenges, but they are no more profound than, say, the US, France, Germany, or even Sweden or New Zealand are facing - albeit sometimes different.

    The hyberbole on the UK is caused by our self-absorption, ignorance of the challenges that other countries are facing, familiarity breeding contempt, and a mixture of familiarity and confirmation bias.
    In general I agree with you, I often try to remind people things are not as bad as tend to say, on a historical basis for example. But the last couple of years, even just as a result of the Covid impact, do anecdotally seem to have led to appreciable negative differences. We don't seem to have any ideas to address things either, and the only one offered was Truss's 'Er, cutting taxes solves everything?'.
    I think the anaemic growth, demographic and productivity problems we have are ones shared across the West. Unsaid, quite a bit of it is probably rooted in the fact the West is no longer commanding top-dog - we've been dining off past glories for some time, but no-one owes us a living.

    There aren't many other countries I'd prefer to live in than here, unless I was very wealthy, and when you dig a bit deeper you realise they have their challenges too.
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    CarlottaVanceCarlottaVance Posts: 60,101
    edited January 2023

    Brits are rationally pessimistic.
    The country has been in free-fall for some time.

    An exaggeration.

    The UK has its challenges, but they are no more profound than, say, the US, France, Germany, or even Sweden or New Zealand are facing - albeit sometimes different.

    The hyberbole on the UK is caused by our self-absorption, ignorance of the challenges that other countries are facing, familiarity breeding contempt, and a mixture of familiarity and confirmation bias.
    Badenoch makes the point in the article upthread that while European business associations go to Davos to sell their countries as great places to invest, the CBI tells everyone how tough things are in Britain (as if they aren’t tough in other countries!)

    As Adam Smith remarked to a catastrophising student “There’s a lot of ruin in a nation”
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    kle4kle4 Posts: 93,559
    Leon said:

    Bangkok right now is probably more fun than it’s ever been. Come

    What an instruction that might be.
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    FoxyFoxy Posts: 46,003

    Westminster Voting Intention:

    LAB: 50% (+2)
    CON: 24% (-4)
    LDM: 8% (+1)
    GRN: 5% (-2)
    REF: 5% (+2)
    SNP: 4% (=)

    Via @Omnisis, On 19 January,
    Changes w/ 12 January.

    And we eagerly await from the lunar bunny the reason this means the Tories storming to victory...
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    GardenwalkerGardenwalker Posts: 21,009

    Brits are rationally pessimistic.
    The country has been in free-fall for some time.

    An exaggeration.

    The UK has its challenges, but they are no more profound than, say, the US, France, Germany, or even Sweden or New Zealand are facing - albeit sometimes different.

    The hyberbole on the UK is caused by our self-absorption, ignorance of the challenges that other countries are facing, familiarity breeding contempt, and a mixture of familiarity and confirmation bias.
    Every country faces challenges.

    The issue for the UK is that it can no longer provide a decent standard of living to an increasing number of its population, and indeed that it is falling behind its peers in being able to do so.

    Add to that the astonishing maladministration of the last several years, and you have what looks like rapid decline.

    Even accounting for the bias of organs like the New York Times, this appears to be the settled opinion of the global commentariat both left and right, of the global investment community, and most of the “thinking” (ie not the Daily Mail) domestic analysts.

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    FoxyFoxy Posts: 46,003
    Dismal game in the freezing cold but at least we got a point.

    A new one for me: Brighton had to substitute a player for an injury received as a result of a goal celebration.
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    FoxyFoxy Posts: 46,003

    Brits are rationally pessimistic.
    The country has been in free-fall for some time.

    An exaggeration.

    The UK has its challenges, but they are no more profound than, say, the US, France, Germany, or even Sweden or New Zealand are facing - albeit sometimes different.

    The hyberbole on the UK is caused by our self-absorption, ignorance of the challenges that other countries are facing, familiarity breeding contempt, and a mixture of familiarity and confirmation bias.
    Every country faces challenges.

    The issue for the UK is that it can no longer provide a decent standard of living to an increasing number of its population, and indeed that it is falling behind its peers in being able to do so.

    Add to that the astonishing maladministration of the last several years, and you have what looks like rapid decline.

    Even accounting for the bias of organs like the New York Times, this appears to be the settled opinion of the global commentariat both left and right, of the global investment community, and most of the “thinking” (ie not the Daily Mail) domestic analysts.

    The truly depressing thing is that there is little reason to see a reverse in our decline, unlike some of our peers.
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    What a guy.
    No jokes about re-entry modules.



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    CarlottaVanceCarlottaVance Posts: 60,101
    Foxy said:

    Brits are rationally pessimistic.
    The country has been in free-fall for some time.

    An exaggeration.

    The UK has its challenges, but they are no more profound than, say, the US, France, Germany, or even Sweden or New Zealand are facing - albeit sometimes different.

    The hyberbole on the UK is caused by our self-absorption, ignorance of the challenges that other countries are facing, familiarity breeding contempt, and a mixture of familiarity and confirmation bias.
    Every country faces challenges.

    The issue for the UK is that it can no longer provide a decent standard of living to an increasing number of its population, and indeed that it is falling behind its peers in being able to do so.

    Add to that the astonishing maladministration of the last several years, and you have what looks like rapid decline.

    Even accounting for the bias of organs like the New York Times, this appears to be the settled opinion of the global commentariat both left and right, of the global investment community, and most of the “thinking” (ie not the Daily Mail) domestic analysts.

    The truly depressing thing is that there is little reason to see a reverse in our decline, unlike some of our peers.
    I’ll take our demographics over many of theirs….
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    Sean_FSean_F Posts: 36,403
    kle4 said:

    Brits are rationally pessimistic.
    The country has been in free-fall for some time.

    An exaggeration.

    The UK has its challenges, but they are no more profound than, say, the US, France, Germany, or even Sweden or New Zealand are facing - albeit sometimes different.

    The hyberbole on the UK is caused by our self-absorption, ignorance of the challenges that other countries are facing, familiarity breeding contempt, and a mixture of familiarity and confirmation bias.
    In general I agree with you, I often try to remind people things are not as bad as tend to say, on a historical basis for example. But the last couple of years, even just as a result of the Covid impact, do anecdotally seem to have led to appreciable negative differences. We don't seem to have any ideas to address things either, and the only one offered was Truss's 'Er, cutting taxes solves everything?'.
    All things pass. For the very large majority of us, in this country and most of the world, this is the best time to be alive.

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    GardenwalkerGardenwalker Posts: 21,009
    Foxy said:

    Brits are rationally pessimistic.
    The country has been in free-fall for some time.

    An exaggeration.

    The UK has its challenges, but they are no more profound than, say, the US, France, Germany, or even Sweden or New Zealand are facing - albeit sometimes different.

    The hyberbole on the UK is caused by our self-absorption, ignorance of the challenges that other countries are facing, familiarity breeding contempt, and a mixture of familiarity and confirmation bias.
    Every country faces challenges.

    The issue for the UK is that it can no longer provide a decent standard of living to an increasing number of its population, and indeed that it is falling behind its peers in being able to do so.

    Add to that the astonishing maladministration of the last several years, and you have what looks like rapid decline.

    Even accounting for the bias of organs like the New York Times, this appears to be the settled opinion of the global commentariat both left and right, of the global investment community, and most of the “thinking” (ie not the Daily Mail) domestic analysts.

    The truly depressing thing is that there is little reason to see a reverse in our decline, unlike some of our peers.
    I don’t agree with this though.
    Britain has OK demographics and multiple strengths. However it needs fundamental reform.

    I’m a little pessimistic about Keir, but I cannot dismiss him, given what he’s managed to achieve for the Labour Party over the past three years.
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    kle4 said:

    Leon said:

    Bangkok right now is probably more fun than it’s ever been. Come

    What an instruction that might be.
    Bangkok’s entire tourist campaign budget could be based on the word ‘Come!’
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    GardenwalkerGardenwalker Posts: 21,009

    What a guy.
    No jokes about re-entry modules.



    I note both have had extensive plastic surgery.

    That’s one of the multiple weird things about the US. It’s basically now normalised if you are old and rich enough (which by default all media personalities and most politicians are) but you still end up look like a fucking alien.
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    GardenwalkerGardenwalker Posts: 21,009
    Sean_F said:

    kle4 said:

    Brits are rationally pessimistic.
    The country has been in free-fall for some time.

    An exaggeration.

    The UK has its challenges, but they are no more profound than, say, the US, France, Germany, or even Sweden or New Zealand are facing - albeit sometimes different.

    The hyberbole on the UK is caused by our self-absorption, ignorance of the challenges that other countries are facing, familiarity breeding contempt, and a mixture of familiarity and confirmation bias.
    In general I agree with you, I often try to remind people things are not as bad as tend to say, on a historical basis for example. But the last couple of years, even just as a result of the Covid impact, do anecdotally seem to have led to appreciable negative differences. We don't seem to have any ideas to address things either, and the only one offered was Truss's 'Er, cutting taxes solves everything?'.
    All things pass. For the very large majority of us, in this country and most of the world, this is the best time to be alive.

    This is surely true but also a bromide.
    At worst it breeds complacency, and frankly there is still too much complacency in the UK.
  • Options
    DavidLDavidL Posts: 52,065

    Brits are rationally pessimistic.
    The country has been in free-fall for some time.

    An exaggeration.

    The UK has its challenges, but they are no more profound than, say, the US, France, Germany, or even Sweden or New Zealand are facing - albeit sometimes different.

    The hyberbole on the UK is caused by our self-absorption, ignorance of the challenges that other countries are facing, familiarity breeding contempt, and a mixture of familiarity and confirmation bias.
    Yep, I agree with this. There are quite a lot of reasons for optimism. We have London with its expertise and tax raising prowess, a remarkable number of the world's top 50 Universities, a healthy respect for the rule of law, a fundamental sense of decency and fairness, vastly disproportionate "soft" influence through music culture, media and the internet generally. There is a lot of potential yet in this country.

    OTOH, we seem to struggle to address underlying problems that we have had for a very long time: excess consumption, insufficient savings, poor capital investment, consequential poor productivity, very ordinary education for those not in our elite and enormous difficulty in just getting on with things. I suspect that most countries have at least some of these problems but they do seem particularly deep rooted here and our political class would rather talk about other things.
  • Options
    Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 57,252

    Brits are rationally pessimistic.
    The country has been in free-fall for some time.

    An exaggeration.

    The UK has its challenges, but they are no more profound than, say, the US, France, Germany, or even Sweden or New Zealand are facing - albeit sometimes different.

    The hyberbole on the UK is caused by our self-absorption, ignorance of the challenges that other countries are facing, familiarity breeding contempt, and a mixture of familiarity and confirmation bias.
    Every country faces challenges.

    The issue for the UK is that it can no longer provide a decent standard of living to an increasing number of its population, and indeed that it is falling behind its peers in being able to do so.

    Add to that the astonishing maladministration of the last several years, and you have what looks like rapid decline.

    Even accounting for the bias of organs like the New York Times, this appears to be the settled opinion of the global commentariat both left and right, of the global investment community, and most of the “thinking” (ie not the Daily Mail) domestic analysts.

    I don't take the word of the global commentariat as law - they share a conviction that Brexit is terminal for the UK, rather than it actually just creating additional trading barriers (which is all it does) and it impinges on their forecasting.

    To the extent that the UK has challenges, it's in the speed of its global export recovery and FDI post pandemic, but that's a stretch to rapid decline and, indeed, our firm's analysis is that UK shares are underpriced and the UK economy will grow by 1.9% in 2024 and 2.3% in 2025.
  • Options
    Sean_FSean_F Posts: 36,403
    DavidL said:

    Brits are rationally pessimistic.
    The country has been in free-fall for some time.

    An exaggeration.

    The UK has its challenges, but they are no more profound than, say, the US, France, Germany, or even Sweden or New Zealand are facing - albeit sometimes different.

    The hyberbole on the UK is caused by our self-absorption, ignorance of the challenges that other countries are facing, familiarity breeding contempt, and a mixture of familiarity and confirmation bias.
    Yep, I agree with this. There are quite a lot of reasons for optimism. We have London with its expertise and tax raising prowess, a remarkable number of the world's top 50 Universities, a healthy respect for the rule of law, a fundamental sense of decency and fairness, vastly disproportionate "soft" influence through music culture, media and the internet generally. There is a lot of potential yet in this country.

    OTOH, we seem to struggle to address underlying problems that we have had for a very long time: excess consumption, insufficient savings, poor capital investment, consequential poor productivity, very ordinary education for those not in our elite and enormous difficulty in just getting on with things. I suspect that most countries have at least some of these problems but they do seem particularly deep rooted here and our political class would rather talk about
    other things.
    Our political class is dismal, it’s true. It does seem to have become more incompetent and more dishonest over my lifetime.



  • Options
    MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 45,628
    This is the End…

    https://twitter.com/sputnik_not/status/1616828577374248966?s=46&t=XpXXqqaqv0sfuf1dfEqFoQ

    Steven Seagal threatens to make more movies if the US continues to arm Ukraine.

    Time to switch off Radio 4 and send the launch message to the Trident subs.
  • Options
    GardenwalkerGardenwalker Posts: 21,009
    DavidL said:

    Brits are rationally pessimistic.
    The country has been in free-fall for some time.

    An exaggeration.

    The UK has its challenges, but they are no more profound than, say, the US, France, Germany, or even Sweden or New Zealand are facing - albeit sometimes different.

    The hyberbole on the UK is caused by our self-absorption, ignorance of the challenges that other countries are facing, familiarity breeding contempt, and a mixture of familiarity and confirmation bias.
    Yep, I agree with this. There are quite a lot of reasons for optimism. We have London with its expertise and tax raising prowess, a remarkable number of the world's top 50 Universities, a healthy respect for the rule of law, a fundamental sense of decency and fairness, vastly disproportionate "soft" influence through music culture, media and the internet generally. There is a lot of potential yet in this country.

    OTOH, we seem to struggle to address underlying problems that we have had for a very long time: excess consumption, insufficient savings, poor capital investment, consequential poor productivity, very ordinary education for those not in our elite and enormous difficulty in just getting on with things. I suspect that most countries have at least some of these problems but they do seem particularly deep rooted here and our political class would rather talk about other things.
    One of the (it seems to me) unique issues for the UK is that the current elite do not seem to really partake of a nation-building ideology.

    All other countries see themselves as explicitly needing to build something either as a “new” country (USA, post-colonial countries, Italy, Germany), or a “recovering country” (China), or to “protect” themselves (France, even Russia).
  • Options
    algarkirkalgarkirk Posts: 11,221
    Is it possible, probable, likely or certain that a question about "The general direction in which the UK is heading" has no meaning, and that the answers have no meaning either?
  • Options
    FoxyFoxy Posts: 46,003

    What a guy.
    No jokes about re-entry modules.



    Wanted, elderly man for marriage. Please send picture of ECG and bank statement.
  • Options
    MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 45,628

    Brits are rationally pessimistic.
    The country has been in free-fall for some time.

    An exaggeration.

    The UK has its challenges, but they are no more profound than, say, the US, France, Germany, or even Sweden or New Zealand are facing - albeit sometimes different.

    The hyberbole on the UK is caused by our self-absorption, ignorance of the challenges that other countries are facing, familiarity breeding contempt, and a mixture of familiarity and confirmation bias.
    Every country faces challenges.

    The issue for the UK is that it can no longer provide a decent standard of living to an increasing number of its population, and indeed that it is falling behind its peers in being able to do so.

    Add to that the astonishing maladministration of the last several years, and you have what looks like rapid decline.

    Even accounting for the bias of organs like the New York Times, this appears to be the settled opinion of the global commentariat both left and right, of the global investment community, and most of the “thinking” (ie not the Daily Mail) domestic analysts.

    I don't take the word of the global commentariat as law - they share a conviction that Brexit is terminal for the UK, rather than it actually just creating additional trading barriers (which is all it does) and it impinges on their forecasting.

    To the extent that the UK has challenges, it's in the speed of its global export recovery and FDI post pandemic, but that's a stretch to rapid decline and, indeed, our firm's analysis is that UK shares are underpriced and the UK economy will grow by 1.9% in 2024 and 2.3% in 2025.
    Over the years, I’ve noticed that the global commentaries seems to suffer bouts of elation and depression, with mood swings so rapid that lithium might be prescribed. This is predicated on the lightest of evidence that has floated to the top of Google’s search…

    Bit like @Leon, really

  • Options
    GardenwalkerGardenwalker Posts: 21,009

    Brits are rationally pessimistic.
    The country has been in free-fall for some time.

    An exaggeration.

    The UK has its challenges, but they are no more profound than, say, the US, France, Germany, or even Sweden or New Zealand are facing - albeit sometimes different.

    The hyberbole on the UK is caused by our self-absorption, ignorance of the challenges that other countries are facing, familiarity breeding contempt, and a mixture of familiarity and confirmation bias.
    Every country faces challenges.

    The issue for the UK is that it can no longer provide a decent standard of living to an increasing number of its population, and indeed that it is falling behind its peers in being able to do so.

    Add to that the astonishing maladministration of the last several years, and you have what looks like rapid decline.

    Even accounting for the bias of organs like the New York Times, this appears to be the settled opinion of the global commentariat both left and right, of the global investment community, and most of the “thinking” (ie not the Daily Mail) domestic analysts.

    I don't take the word of the global commentariat as law - they share a conviction that Brexit is terminal for the UK, rather than it actually just creating additional trading barriers (which is all it does) and it impinges on their forecasting.

    To the extent that the UK has challenges, it's in the speed of its global export recovery and FDI post pandemic, but that's a stretch to rapid decline and, indeed, our firm's analysis is that UK shares are underpriced and the UK economy will grow by 1.9% in 2024 and 2.3% in 2025.
    At the end of the day, though, this just reads like more complacency and smelling your own farts.

    I agree by the way that UK shares are underpriced, but the underlying issues, which including Brexit, are not going away. The UK is a downgraded entity.
  • Options
    DavidLDavidL Posts: 52,065
    Sean_F said:

    DavidL said:

    Brits are rationally pessimistic.
    The country has been in free-fall for some time.

    An exaggeration.

    The UK has its challenges, but they are no more profound than, say, the US, France, Germany, or even Sweden or New Zealand are facing - albeit sometimes different.

    The hyberbole on the UK is caused by our self-absorption, ignorance of the challenges that other countries are facing, familiarity breeding contempt, and a mixture of familiarity and confirmation bias.
    Yep, I agree with this. There are quite a lot of reasons for optimism. We have London with its expertise and tax raising prowess, a remarkable number of the world's top 50 Universities, a healthy respect for the rule of law, a fundamental sense of decency and fairness, vastly disproportionate "soft" influence through music culture, media and the internet generally. There is a lot of potential yet in this country.

    OTOH, we seem to struggle to address underlying problems that we have had for a very long time: excess consumption, insufficient savings, poor capital investment, consequential poor productivity, very ordinary education for those not in our elite and enormous difficulty in just getting on with things. I suspect that most countries have at least some of these problems but they do seem particularly deep rooted here and our political class would rather talk about
    other things.
    Our political class is dismal, it’s true. It does seem to have become more incompetent and more dishonest over my lifetime.



    And even more fundamentally, Sean, more irrelevant. So much of what they want to talk about is actually peripheral to our real and substantial problems. Scotland is an extreme example of this. Not only have our political class obsessed with the constitutional chessboard for the last 40 year but we now have this ridiculous trans issue dominating our discourse, something that affects a very small proportion of 1% of us.
  • Options
    Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 57,252
    DavidL said:

    Brits are rationally pessimistic.
    The country has been in free-fall for some time.

    An exaggeration.

    The UK has its challenges, but they are no more profound than, say, the US, France, Germany, or even Sweden or New Zealand are facing - albeit sometimes different.

    The hyberbole on the UK is caused by our self-absorption, ignorance of the challenges that other countries are facing, familiarity breeding contempt, and a mixture of familiarity and confirmation bias.
    Yep, I agree with this. There are quite a lot of reasons for optimism. We have London with its expertise and tax raising prowess, a remarkable number of the world's top 50 Universities, a healthy respect for the rule of law, a fundamental sense of decency and fairness, vastly disproportionate "soft" influence through music culture, media and the internet generally. There is a lot of potential yet in this country.

    OTOH, we seem to struggle to address underlying problems that we have had for a very long time: excess consumption, insufficient savings, poor capital investment, consequential poor productivity, very ordinary education for those not in our elite and enormous difficulty in just getting on with things. I suspect that most countries have at least some of these problems but they do seem particularly deep rooted here and our political class would rather talk about other things.
    Agree with all of this. And, as we face up to those, let's take a look at some of the other countries issues too:

    France - has poor growth, an allergy to even the most modest fiscal reforms, serious racial segregation problems, and is under real threat of a far-right government next time.

    Germany - has an illogical energy policy, stagnant population growth, growing domestic political discord, and a pass-the-buck foreign policy; it's abdicated internal and external leadership.

    Sweden - has a far bigger problem with violent and gun crime than we do, with several of its major cities essentially now having no-go areas.

    New Zealand - has performed poorly coming out of the pandemic, suffered serious house price falls, a stuttering economy and a crime wave.

    The USA - seems to teeter on the edge of civil war, and has terrible polarisation, opioid addiction and disorder and violence in its cities, with uncontrolled borders.

    Australia - looks good, but has very high house prices and looks like it might catch ablaze anytime soon.

    Where else would I choose to live?

    Possibly Switzerland, if I had the money, or maybe Canada (despite its puritanical public governance) - and I have a soft spot for Portugal - but I'm not sure anywhere in the West looks particularly rosy right now.

    What should happen?

    Probably a "D20" group that binds together Japan, South Korea, India, Auz, NZ, SA (if they sort themselves out), continental Europe, UK, Canada and the US etc with trade, defence, economics, values etc. but keeps them sovereign. Expand Five Eyes too.

    Current geopolitical structures are not fit-for-purpose to defend the Western way of life, and more will need to be done in the decades to come if we're no longer going to rely on China to be the workshop of the world for cheap goods and Russia for cheap energy.

    We've got more expensive inputs just as the demands for higher-value outputs have grown.
  • Options
    kjhkjh Posts: 10,909
    Foxy said:

    What a guy.
    No jokes about re-entry modules.



    Wanted, elderly man for marriage. Please send picture of ECG and bank statement.
    My first thought but she is 63 herself so if she is a gold digger she has waited a long time.
  • Options
    DavidL said:

    Sean_F said:

    DavidL said:

    Brits are rationally pessimistic.
    The country has been in free-fall for some time.

    An exaggeration.

    The UK has its challenges, but they are no more profound than, say, the US, France, Germany, or even Sweden or New Zealand are facing - albeit sometimes different.

    The hyberbole on the UK is caused by our self-absorption, ignorance of the challenges that other countries are facing, familiarity breeding contempt, and a mixture of familiarity and confirmation bias.
    Yep, I agree with this. There are quite a lot of reasons for optimism. We have London with its expertise and tax raising prowess, a remarkable number of the world's top 50 Universities, a healthy respect for the rule of law, a fundamental sense of decency and fairness, vastly disproportionate "soft" influence through music culture, media and the internet generally. There is a lot of potential yet in this country.

    OTOH, we seem to struggle to address underlying problems that we have had for a very long time: excess consumption, insufficient savings, poor capital investment, consequential poor productivity, very ordinary education for those not in our elite and enormous difficulty in just getting on with things. I suspect that most countries have at least some of these problems but they do seem particularly deep rooted here and our political class would rather talk about
    other things.
    Our political class is dismal, it’s true. It does seem to have become more incompetent and more dishonest over my lifetime.



    And even more fundamentally, Sean, more irrelevant. So much of what they want to talk about is actually peripheral to our real and substantial problems. Scotland is an extreme example of this. Not only have our political class obsessed with the constitutional chessboard for the last 40 year but we now have this ridiculous trans issue dominating our discourse, something that affects a very small proportion of 1% of us.
    Wait till you hear about the geniuses that connected the constitutional and trans issues.
  • Options
    Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 57,252

    What a guy.
    No jokes about re-entry modules.



    I note both have had extensive plastic surgery.

    That’s one of the multiple weird things about the US. It’s basically now normalised if you are old and rich enough (which by default all media personalities and most politicians are) but you still end up look like a fucking alien.
    It is weird. Age in the US is seen as an obstacle to be overcome by money and sheer force of will.

    I assume he doesn't give a shit though. His position probably is: yes, I will die in just a few years but, Christ, if I have a chance of spending it with someone hotter and younger who's ok with me, then, hell, why not?
  • Options
    HYUFDHYUFD Posts: 118,210
    Whether Sunak or Starmer win they will still have to deal with high inflation, strikes, a growing tax burden, the war in Ukraine, the aftermath of Brexit etc. No surprise few are that optimistic
  • Options
    CarlottaVanceCarlottaVance Posts: 60,101
    It could be worse…we could be the US:

    https://morningconsult.com/right-direction-wrong-track/
  • Options
    DavidLDavidL Posts: 52,065

    DavidL said:

    Sean_F said:

    DavidL said:

    Brits are rationally pessimistic.
    The country has been in free-fall for some time.

    An exaggeration.

    The UK has its challenges, but they are no more profound than, say, the US, France, Germany, or even Sweden or New Zealand are facing - albeit sometimes different.

    The hyberbole on the UK is caused by our self-absorption, ignorance of the challenges that other countries are facing, familiarity breeding contempt, and a mixture of familiarity and confirmation bias.
    Yep, I agree with this. There are quite a lot of reasons for optimism. We have London with its expertise and tax raising prowess, a remarkable number of the world's top 50 Universities, a healthy respect for the rule of law, a fundamental sense of decency and fairness, vastly disproportionate "soft" influence through music culture, media and the internet generally. There is a lot of potential yet in this country.

    OTOH, we seem to struggle to address underlying problems that we have had for a very long time: excess consumption, insufficient savings, poor capital investment, consequential poor productivity, very ordinary education for those not in our elite and enormous difficulty in just getting on with things. I suspect that most countries have at least some of these problems but they do seem particularly deep rooted here and our political class would rather talk about
    other things.
    Our political class is dismal, it’s true. It does seem to have become more incompetent and more dishonest over my lifetime.



    And even more fundamentally, Sean, more irrelevant. So much of what they want to talk about is actually peripheral to our real and substantial problems. Scotland is an extreme example of this. Not only have our political class obsessed with the constitutional chessboard for the last 40 year but we now have this ridiculous trans issue dominating our discourse, something that affects a very small proportion of 1% of us.
    Wait till you hear about the geniuses that connected the constitutional and trans issues.
    Genuine LOL.
  • Options
    Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 57,252
    Foxy said:

    Brits are rationally pessimistic.
    The country has been in free-fall for some time.

    An exaggeration.

    The UK has its challenges, but they are no more profound than, say, the US, France, Germany, or even Sweden or New Zealand are facing - albeit sometimes different.

    The hyberbole on the UK is caused by our self-absorption, ignorance of the challenges that other countries are facing, familiarity breeding contempt, and a mixture of familiarity and confirmation bias.
    Every country faces challenges.

    The issue for the UK is that it can no longer provide a decent standard of living to an increasing number of its population, and indeed that it is falling behind its peers in being able to do so.

    Add to that the astonishing maladministration of the last several years, and you have what looks like rapid decline.

    Even accounting for the bias of organs like the New York Times, this appears to be the settled opinion of the global commentariat both left and right, of the global investment community, and most of the “thinking” (ie not the Daily Mail) domestic analysts.

    The truly depressing thing is that there is little reason to see a reverse in our decline, unlike some of our peers.
    Only if your field of vision is self-restricted.

    Britain has a huge amount still going for it, and is leading in green energy, finances, creative arts, pharmaceuticals, telecomms and digital - and we have advanced defence forces too.

    We are shit at investment and management, and that's why when we crack a breakthrough our competitors always steal an edge - it's been happening for ages, and is about to happen with nuclear fusion and EVs as well.
  • Options
    Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 57,252

    Brits are rationally pessimistic.
    The country has been in free-fall for some time.

    An exaggeration.

    The UK has its challenges, but they are no more profound than, say, the US, France, Germany, or even Sweden or New Zealand are facing - albeit sometimes different.

    The hyberbole on the UK is caused by our self-absorption, ignorance of the challenges that other countries are facing, familiarity breeding contempt, and a mixture of familiarity and confirmation bias.
    Every country faces challenges.

    The issue for the UK is that it can no longer provide a decent standard of living to an increasing number of its population, and indeed that it is falling behind its peers in being able to do so.

    Add to that the astonishing maladministration of the last several years, and you have what looks like rapid decline.

    Even accounting for the bias of organs like the New York Times, this appears to be the settled opinion of the global commentariat both left and right, of the global investment community, and most of the “thinking” (ie not the Daily Mail) domestic analysts.

    I don't take the word of the global commentariat as law - they share a conviction that Brexit is terminal for the UK, rather than it actually just creating additional trading barriers (which is all it does) and it impinges on their forecasting.

    To the extent that the UK has challenges, it's in the speed of its global export recovery and FDI post pandemic, but that's a stretch to rapid decline and, indeed, our firm's analysis is that UK shares are underpriced and the UK economy will grow by 1.9% in 2024 and 2.3% in 2025.
    At the end of the day, though, this just reads like more complacency and smelling your own farts.

    I agree by the way that UK shares are underpriced, but the underlying issues, which including Brexit, are not going away. The UK is a downgraded entity.
    I am very far from complacent, as I hope my posts on the UK's challenges can attest to.

    But, nor do I think we're disappearing down the plughole.

    This isn't an either or choice - when I eventually pop my clogs (hopefully, in decades to come) I expect the UK will still be a wealthy, powerful and influential country, and very comfortably in the global top ten.
  • Options
    Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 57,252

    DavidL said:

    Brits are rationally pessimistic.
    The country has been in free-fall for some time.

    An exaggeration.

    The UK has its challenges, but they are no more profound than, say, the US, France, Germany, or even Sweden or New Zealand are facing - albeit sometimes different.

    The hyberbole on the UK is caused by our self-absorption, ignorance of the challenges that other countries are facing, familiarity breeding contempt, and a mixture of familiarity and confirmation bias.
    Yep, I agree with this. There are quite a lot of reasons for optimism. We have London with its expertise and tax raising prowess, a remarkable number of the world's top 50 Universities, a healthy respect for the rule of law, a fundamental sense of decency and fairness, vastly disproportionate "soft" influence through music culture, media and the internet generally. There is a lot of potential yet in this country.

    OTOH, we seem to struggle to address underlying problems that we have had for a very long time: excess consumption, insufficient savings, poor capital investment, consequential poor productivity, very ordinary education for those not in our elite and enormous difficulty in just getting on with things. I suspect that most countries have at least some of these problems but they do seem particularly deep rooted here and our political class would rather talk about other things.
    One of the (it seems to me) unique issues for the UK is that the current elite do not seem to really partake of a nation-building ideology.

    All other countries see themselves as explicitly needing to build something either as a “new” country (USA, post-colonial countries, Italy, Germany), or a “recovering country” (China), or to “protect” themselves (France, even Russia).
    One thing that I think is very British is a secret embarrassment at being British.
  • Options
    Daveyboy1961Daveyboy1961 Posts: 3,532
    We are doing shit at the moment because we have erected trade barriers on ourselves, producing a massive drag on our economy, making it even more dificult to pay for our lockdown bills and expanding NHS and social care needs. I can't see anything improving in the short term because we have a shit government from a shit party with tax grifters in all areas of power.
  • Options
    Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 57,252

    Brits are rationally pessimistic.
    The country has been in free-fall for some time.

    An exaggeration.

    The UK has its challenges, but they are no more profound than, say, the US, France, Germany, or even Sweden or New Zealand are facing - albeit sometimes different.

    The hyberbole on the UK is caused by our self-absorption, ignorance of the challenges that other countries are facing, familiarity breeding contempt, and a mixture of familiarity and confirmation bias.
    Every country faces challenges.

    The issue for the UK is that it can no longer provide a decent standard of living to an increasing number of its population, and indeed that it is falling behind its peers in being able to do so.

    Add to that the astonishing maladministration of the last several years, and you have what looks like rapid decline.

    Even accounting for the bias of organs like the New York Times, this appears to be the settled opinion of the global commentariat both left and right, of the global investment community, and most of the “thinking” (ie not the Daily Mail) domestic analysts.

    I don't take the word of the global commentariat as law - they share a conviction that Brexit is terminal for the UK, rather than it actually just creating additional trading barriers (which is all it does) and it impinges on their forecasting.

    To the extent that the UK has challenges, it's in the speed of its global export recovery and FDI post pandemic, but that's a stretch to rapid decline and, indeed, our firm's analysis is that UK shares are underpriced and the UK economy will grow by 1.9% in 2024 and 2.3% in 2025.
    Over the years, I’ve noticed that the global commentaries seems to suffer bouts of elation and depression, with mood swings so rapid that lithium might be prescribed. This is predicated on the lightest of evidence that has floated to the top of Google’s search…

    Bit like @Leon, really

    I think that, if you went to Davos, you'd find very little divergence of opinion on anything and strong social conventions surrounding what was.
  • Options
    StillWatersStillWaters Posts: 7,267
    kle4 said:

    kle4 said:

    A YouGov poll for The Times found that the public overwhelmingly back the UK government’s stance and reject the Scottish parliament plans for self-identification.



    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/0ac3a0da-98f7-11ed-a130-baced48eb788?shareToken=244b2a081e8765d7ea17ad54488ab213

    Those proportions genuinely surprise me.

    Why on earth was it thought appropriate for Zahawi to “negotiate” his tax bill WHILE Chancellor?

    It’s probably handled at arms length but the “optics” are absolutely atrocious. Why give your opponents so much ammunition?
    I'm not sure any level of arms length would make it ok for the second most senior person in government.
    The problem is that tax law is so darn complex. I suspect he tried to be a little cute without trying to evade tax. He would have been advised on that by lawyers. HMRC clearly disagreed on the structure and challenged the outcome & won or Zahawi settled to make it go away.

    *If* (and we don’t know) the fact pattern was as above it shouldn’t be a resigning matter - it’s not a matter of ethics, just an error.


    I don't regard it as much excuse. For one thing, he wasn't just anyone, he was Chancellor - someone taking that job should be smart enough with finances to never have then found himself in the position he was, so he was demonstrably unfit for the job and should have tried to wrangle another position instead - imagine if things had been different and was still in that post. There are some roles where mistakes are acceptable and some that are not, and him going now 'I had no idea what I was doing with my taxes' means he should never have been appointed.

    And on the complexity point, I know that is true and so proving intentional actions will be very difficult, but I think that is probably the point of making things so complex in the first place - so that rich people with clever lawyers can attempt tax dodges, and then go 'whoops, my bad' when caught.

    Sometimes that will be genuine, sometimes it won't, and we will not be able to tell the difference because the system seems to be deliberately set up to give people opportunities to grift. And lo and behold, they do.
    Wasn’t this related to discounted founder shares from when YouGov was established? His father owned them through a Gib trust I think. So years before he was in politics.
  • Options
    kle4kle4 Posts: 93,559

    kle4 said:

    kle4 said:

    A YouGov poll for The Times found that the public overwhelmingly back the UK government’s stance and reject the Scottish parliament plans for self-identification.



    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/0ac3a0da-98f7-11ed-a130-baced48eb788?shareToken=244b2a081e8765d7ea17ad54488ab213

    Those proportions genuinely surprise me.

    Why on earth was it thought appropriate for Zahawi to “negotiate” his tax bill WHILE Chancellor?

    It’s probably handled at arms length but the “optics” are absolutely atrocious. Why give your opponents so much ammunition?
    I'm not sure any level of arms length would make it ok for the second most senior person in government.
    The problem is that tax law is so darn complex. I suspect he tried to be a little cute without trying to evade tax. He would have been advised on that by lawyers. HMRC clearly disagreed on the structure and challenged the outcome & won or Zahawi settled to make it go away.

    *If* (and we don’t know) the fact pattern was as above it shouldn’t be a resigning matter - it’s not a matter of ethics, just an error.


    I don't regard it as much excuse. For one thing, he wasn't just anyone, he was Chancellor - someone taking that job should be smart enough with finances to never have then found himself in the position he was, so he was demonstrably unfit for the job and should have tried to wrangle another position instead - imagine if things had been different and was still in that post. There are some roles where mistakes are acceptable and some that are not, and him going now 'I had no idea what I was doing with my taxes' means he should never have been appointed.

    And on the complexity point, I know that is true and so proving intentional actions will be very difficult, but I think that is probably the point of making things so complex in the first place - so that rich people with clever lawyers can attempt tax dodges, and then go 'whoops, my bad' when caught.

    Sometimes that will be genuine, sometimes it won't, and we will not be able to tell the difference because the system seems to be deliberately set up to give people opportunities to grift. And lo and behold, they do.
    Wasn’t this related to discounted founder shares from when YouGov was established? His father owned them through a Gib trust I think. So years before he was in politics.
    Yes, but it became a live issue for him when he was in office, so he knew it was going on at that point, and the fact he clearly was not up to speed on the issue shows him to not be competent enough for that particular role - and he should have known it could come up and been a huge issue if he were Chancellor. He could have sought a different role.
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    Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 57,252

    We are doing shit at the moment because we have erected trade barriers on ourselves, producing a massive drag on our economy, making it even more dificult to pay for our lockdown bills and expanding NHS and social care needs. I can't see anything improving in the short term because we have a shit government from a shit party with tax grifters in all areas of power.

    Yeah, bollocks though - Brexit is just the scapegoat, as the EU was before.

    We'd be having exactly the same issues inside the EU (and, indeed, it is those that led in large part to the vote to Leave) and so if we want to get past this and to solutions we need to put this aside and focus on the real problems, which are essentially domestic.
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    williamglennwilliamglenn Posts: 49,191

    DavidL said:

    Brits are rationally pessimistic.
    The country has been in free-fall for some time.

    An exaggeration.

    The UK has its challenges, but they are no more profound than, say, the US, France, Germany, or even Sweden or New Zealand are facing - albeit sometimes different.

    The hyberbole on the UK is caused by our self-absorption, ignorance of the challenges that other countries are facing, familiarity breeding contempt, and a mixture of familiarity and confirmation bias.
    Yep, I agree with this. There are quite a lot of reasons for optimism. We have London with its expertise and tax raising prowess, a remarkable number of the world's top 50 Universities, a healthy respect for the rule of law, a fundamental sense of decency and fairness, vastly disproportionate "soft" influence through music culture, media and the internet generally. There is a lot of potential yet in this country.

    OTOH, we seem to struggle to address underlying problems that we have had for a very long time: excess consumption, insufficient savings, poor capital investment, consequential poor productivity, very ordinary education for those not in our elite and enormous difficulty in just getting on with things. I suspect that most countries have at least some of these problems but they do seem particularly deep rooted here and our political class would rather talk about other things.
    One of the (it seems to me) unique issues for the UK is that the current elite do not seem to really partake of a nation-building ideology.

    All other countries see themselves as explicitly needing to build something either as a “new” country (USA, post-colonial countries, Italy, Germany), or a “recovering country” (China), or to “protect” themselves (France, even Russia).
    It seems contradictory to bemoan the absence of a nation-building ideology in one breath, and in the next to say that the biggest problem is Brexit.
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    TimSTimS Posts: 10,783
    edited January 2023

    We are doing shit at the moment because we have erected trade barriers on ourselves, producing a massive drag on our economy, making it even more dificult to pay for our lockdown bills and expanding NHS and social care needs. I can't see anything improving in the short term because we have a shit government from a shit party with tax grifters in all areas of power.

    Yeah, bollocks though - Brexit is just the scapegoat, as the EU was before.

    We'd be having exactly the same issues inside the EU (and, indeed, it is those that led in large part to the vote to Leave) and so if we want to get past this and to solutions we need to put this aside and focus on the real problems, which are essentially domestic.
    I’m the worlds biggest remainer (well perhaps not quite as big as those FBPEs on Twitter) but let’s say my assumptions were challenged last week by some research we’ve done over the last couple of months.

    Watch this space. TLDR maybe there’s hope after all.
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    CarlottaVanceCarlottaVance Posts: 60,101
    Joanna Cherry SNP:

    If I was in Glasgow today I would have feared for my safety. If this is what I face as an MP then what hope is there for vulnerable women who want to raise concerns about the impact of the #GRRBill on their dignity, safety, or privacy?
    https://twitter.com/joannaccherry/status/1616854766335688707
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    Jim_MillerJim_Miller Posts: 2,599
    Correct me if I am wrong about this, but isn't one of the problems in Britain (as in the United States) is that so many people want to move there, legally and illegally? Isn't that a sign that Britain is doing better (or at least not as bad) as many (most?) other nations?

    I am particularly struck by the number who, having reached France, want to continue on to Britain.
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    JonathanJonathan Posts: 21,097
    Britain is great. With a little less conservatism is would be even greater.
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    williamglennwilliamglenn Posts: 49,191
    TimS said:

    We are doing shit at the moment because we have erected trade barriers on ourselves, producing a massive drag on our economy, making it even more dificult to pay for our lockdown bills and expanding NHS and social care needs. I can't see anything improving in the short term because we have a shit government from a shit party with tax grifters in all areas of power.

    Yeah, bollocks though - Brexit is just the scapegoat, as the EU was before.

    We'd be having exactly the same issues inside the EU (and, indeed, it is those that led in large part to the vote to Leave) and so if we want to get past this and to solutions we need to put this aside and focus on the real problems, which are essentially domestic.
    I’m the worlds biggest remainer (well perhaps not quite as big as those FBPEs on Twitter) but let’s say my assumptions were challenged last week by some research we’ve done over the last couple of months.

    Watch this space. TLDR maybe there’s hope after all.
    Is it research that will end up in the public domain?
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    JosiasJessopJosiasJessop Posts: 39,748

    What a guy.
    No jokes about re-entry modules.

    (Snip)

    Buzz Aldrin's autobiography, "Magnificent Desolation" is a brilliant book. Not as good as Michael Collins' 'Carrying the fire', but great nonetheless.

    'Magnificent Desolation' only briefly mentions going to the Moon. Instead, it focusses on what happened to Buzz afterwards: the way an intelligent, driven man in the prime of his life achieves a brilliant feat, and then finds doors closing all around him. The breakdown of his marriage, his alcoholism, and the dramatic loss of sense of purpose are tragic.

    His success ruined him.

    His experience was also not unusual: other astronauts of that era had significant issues post-astronaut career. As did some of their wives.

    IMO Collins did the right thing: after he came back with Apollo 11, he said he would never go to space again, and left the corp on his own terms.

    But I have a big soft spot for cantankerous old Buzz.
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    TimSTimS Posts: 10,783

    Correct me if I am wrong about this, but isn't one of the problems in Britain (as in the United States) is that so many people want to move there, legally and illegally? Isn't that a sign that Britain is doing better (or at least not as bad) as many (most?) other nations?

    I am particularly struck by the number who, having reached France, want to continue on to Britain.

    Yes, that’s encouraging. Not many people wanting to move to China or Russia. I think we still possess a lot of soft power, and it’s being amortised but fairly slowly.

    The phenomenon of people in France wanting to cross to the UK is different though. These are almost uniquely people with relatives in the UK and/or only speaking English. My parents work with refugees at one of the reception centres in the Midlands. Their stories are fascinating, many arrived by boat, but they all have siblings or cousins here.
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    MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 45,628

    Correct me if I am wrong about this, but isn't one of the problems in Britain (as in the United States) is that so many people want to move there, legally and illegally? Isn't that a sign that Britain is doing better (or at least not as bad) as many (most?) other nations?

    I am particularly struck by the number who, having reached France, want to continue on to Britain.

    According to a number of refugee organisations, it is intolerable that the refugees in Calais remain in France, so appalling are the conditions there.

    Any country that can't even host refugees tolerably is a failed state.

    France also has oil.

    The solution seems obvious. Conquer France, implement the Treaty of Troyes.

    Incidentally, this would undo Brexit. With a bit of legal argy bargy. But hey....
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    CarlottaVanceCarlottaVance Posts: 60,101
    Another German scandal might blow in German media.

    Business Insider reports the outgoing Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht banned the military from making an inventory check ahead Ramstein to see how many Leopards are available.

    It was done to protect Scholz from pressure.


    https://twitter.com/visegrad24/status/1616823743350820864
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    TimSTimS Posts: 10,783
    I’m watching Titanic with the kids. It just struck me that Billy Zane’s career is basically being a baddie on a boat in the middle of the ocean. No doubt others have already made this connection multiple times.
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    HYUFDHYUFD Posts: 118,210
    TimS said:

    I’m watching Titanic with the kids. It just struck me that Billy Zane’s career is basically being a baddie on a boat in the middle of the ocean. No doubt others have already made this connection multiple times.

    Well he got a net worth of $35 million off that

    https://caknowledge.com/billy-zane-net-worth/
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    Luckyguy1983Luckyguy1983 Posts: 26,184
    kle4 said:

    Brits are rationally pessimistic.
    The country has been in free-fall for some time.

    An exaggeration.

    The UK has its challenges, but they are no more profound than, say, the US, France, Germany, or even Sweden or New Zealand are facing - albeit sometimes different.

    The hyberbole on the UK is caused by our self-absorption, ignorance of the challenges that other countries are facing, familiarity breeding contempt, and a mixture of familiarity and confirmation bias.
    In general I agree with you, I often try to remind people things are not as bad as tend to say, on a historical basis for example. But the last couple of years, even just as a result of the Covid impact, do anecdotally seem to have led to appreciable negative differences. We don't seem to have any ideas to address things either, and the only one offered was Truss's 'Er, cutting taxes solves everything?'.
    At least she was offering a solution.
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    TimSTimS Posts: 10,783

    Correct me if I am wrong about this, but isn't one of the problems in Britain (as in the United States) is that so many people want to move there, legally and illegally? Isn't that a sign that Britain is doing better (or at least not as bad) as many (most?) other nations?

    I am particularly struck by the number who, having reached France, want to continue on to Britain.

    According to a number of refugee organisations, it is intolerable that the refugees in Calais remain in France, so appalling are the conditions there.

    Any country that can't even host refugees tolerably is a failed state.

    France also has oil.

    The solution seems obvious. Conquer France, implement the Treaty of Troyes.

    Incidentally, this would undo Brexit. With a bit of legal argy bargy. But hey....
    An Anglo-French merger would make a lot of sense. Very complementary, many obvious deal synergies, and would probably solve the Scottish issue given the Auld Alliance.

    Prince Harry as monarch.
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    Correct me if I am wrong about this, but isn't one of the problems in Britain (as in the United States) is that so many people want to move there, legally and illegally? Isn't that a sign that Britain is doing better (or at least not as bad) as many (most?) other nations?

    I am particularly struck by the number who, having reached France, want to continue on to Britain.

    On the whole, Britain is indeed doing better than countries like Afghanistan, Iraq or Albania, the sort of countries where the migrants come from. Large numbers of migrants settle in France and other European countries, but some choose to continue to the UK. This is typically because they already have contacts in the UK, and can speak some English.

    If I had to leave the UK in a hurry, I'd head for Germany because I have contacts there and can speak German. I wouldn't want to settle in France or Belgium just because they happen to be between the UK and Germany, even if they were safe because I can't speak French and I don't know anybody there.
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    TimSTimS Posts: 10,783

    Correct me if I am wrong about this, but isn't one of the problems in Britain (as in the United States) is that so many people want to move there, legally and illegally? Isn't that a sign that Britain is doing better (or at least not as bad) as many (most?) other nations?

    I am particularly struck by the number who, having reached France, want to continue on to Britain.

    On the whole, Britain is indeed doing better than countries like Afghanistan, Iraq or Albania, the sort of countries where the migrants come from. Large numbers of migrants settle in France and other European countries, but some choose to continue to the UK. This is typically because they already have contacts in the UK, and can speak some English.

    If I had to leave the UK in a hurry, I'd head for Germany because I have contacts there and can speak German. I wouldn't want to settle in France or Belgium just because they happen to be between the UK and Germany, even if they were safe because I can't speak French and I don't know anybody there.
    I’d go to France. Always useful to have a second country.
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    Daveyboy1961Daveyboy1961 Posts: 3,532

    We are doing shit at the moment because we have erected trade barriers on ourselves, producing a massive drag on our economy, making it even more dificult to pay for our lockdown bills and expanding NHS and social care needs. I can't see anything improving in the short term because we have a shit government from a shit party with tax grifters in all areas of power.

    Yeah, bollocks though - Brexit is just the scapegoat, as the EU was before.

    We'd be having exactly the same issues inside the EU (and, indeed, it is those that led in large part to the vote to Leave) and so if we want to get past this and to solutions we need to put this aside and focus on the real problems, which are essentially domestic.
    Rubbish. Trade within the EU is frictionless. They can trade and earn money a lot better than us (along with NI).
    If we were still in the EU we'd be trading and earning more money as a country.
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    HYUFDHYUFD Posts: 118,210
    edited January 2023
    Jonathan said:

    Britain is great. With a little less conservatism is would be even greater.

    There isn't much conservativism in Britain at the moment, it is generally socially liberal (bar trans at 16 without medical approval) and has more non EU immigration than ever. The UK has the highest tax levels for decades and even the King is basically a liberal.

    And that is with a Conservative government and before Starmer gets in and increases public spending and scraps the House of Lords!
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    Luckyguy1983Luckyguy1983 Posts: 26,184
    edited January 2023
    TimS said:

    Correct me if I am wrong about this, but isn't one of the problems in Britain (as in the United States) is that so many people want to move there, legally and illegally? Isn't that a sign that Britain is doing better (or at least not as bad) as many (most?) other nations?

    I am particularly struck by the number who, having reached France, want to continue on to Britain.

    According to a number of refugee organisations, it is intolerable that the refugees in Calais remain in France, so appalling are the conditions there.

    Any country that can't even host refugees tolerably is a failed state.

    France also has oil.

    The solution seems obvious. Conquer France, implement the Treaty of Troyes.

    Incidentally, this would undo Brexit. With a bit of legal argy bargy. But hey....
    An Anglo-French merger would make a lot of sense. Very complementary, many obvious deal synergies, and would probably solve the Scottish issue given the Auld Alliance.

    Prince Harry as monarch.
    Personally, and it is probably a matter of correlation, not causation, I feel that we seem to do rather better when we're in conflict with France rather than in an alliance.
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    DavidLDavidL Posts: 52,065

    We are doing shit at the moment because we have erected trade barriers on ourselves, producing a massive drag on our economy, making it even more dificult to pay for our lockdown bills and expanding NHS and social care needs. I can't see anything improving in the short term because we have a shit government from a shit party with tax grifters in all areas of power.

    This is so delusional. We have a FTA with the EU and our exports to them are at or near record levels (as, unfortunately, are imports). The problems we had when we were members of the EU, funnily enough, remain. Nutter Brexiteers blamed the EU for our own problems. Now remainers do the same with Brexit. Its pathetic, wrong and, even worse, a diversion from our real problems.
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    NickPalmerNickPalmer Posts: 21,404

    Correct me if I am wrong about this, but isn't one of the problems in Britain (as in the United States) is that so many people want to move there, legally and illegally? Isn't that a sign that Britain is doing better (or at least not as bad) as many (most?) other nations?

    I am particularly struck by the number who, having reached France, want to continue on to Britain.

    Number of refugees by country is shown here (click on "Refugees by country" column in the table after you scroll down).
    https://worldpopulationreview.com/country-rankings/refugees-by-country
    UK has 223K, France has 542K, even Russia has 73K, but the bulk are as you'd expect in countries neighbouring the places people are fleeing from. Turkey has more than 3.5 million, making our grumbles about numbers look very small beer.
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    Luckyguy1983Luckyguy1983 Posts: 26,184

    We are doing shit at the moment because we have erected trade barriers on ourselves, producing a massive drag on our economy, making it even more dificult to pay for our lockdown bills and expanding NHS and social care needs. I can't see anything improving in the short term because we have a shit government from a shit party with tax grifters in all areas of power.

    Yeah, bollocks though - Brexit is just the scapegoat, as the EU was before.

    We'd be having exactly the same issues inside the EU (and, indeed, it is those that led in large part to the vote to Leave) and so if we want to get past this and to solutions we need to put this aside and focus on the real problems, which are essentially domestic.
    Rubbish. Trade within the EU is frictionless. They can trade and earn money a lot better than us (along with NI).
    If we were still in the EU we'd be trading and earning more money as a country.
    We had a negative balance of trade with the EU.
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    CarlottaVanceCarlottaVance Posts: 60,101
    Interesting thread:

    https://twitter.com/GresselGustav/status/1616723121238835200

    TL:DR - to supply a lot of Leopards they need to start building new ones. But who is going to want to pay for new ones from an unreliable supplier?
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    Chap who blew the whistle on Zahawi:

    More questions. If Zahawi just made an innocent mistake and did his civic duty in cleaning it up… why did he threaten to sue people reporting on it? And try to keep those threats secret?

    https://twitter.com/danneidle/status/1616843302564773891

    It's the classic petulant whine: That's libel, you can't say that. Yeah yeah, we can is its true. Or an honest opinion. Or public interest. Or combinations of all of them.
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    Correct me if I am wrong about this, but isn't one of the problems in Britain (as in the United States) is that so many people want to move there, legally and illegally? Isn't that a sign that Britain is doing better (or at least not as bad) as many (most?) other nations?

    I am particularly struck by the number who, having reached France, want to continue on to Britain.

    Is it not just a case of the gangs wanting to maximise their revenue by encouraging the longest migration possible…
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    CarlottaVanceCarlottaVance Posts: 60,101

    Correct me if I am wrong about this, but isn't one of the problems in Britain (as in the United States) is that so many people want to move there, legally and illegally? Isn't that a sign that Britain is doing better (or at least not as bad) as many (most?) other nations?

    I am particularly struck by the number who, having reached France, want to continue on to Britain.

    Turkey has more than 3.5 million, making our grumbles about numbers look very small beer.
    I suspect refugee accommodation in Turkey is different to here? The coalition had it right - take vulnerable refugees from refugee camps rather than economic migrants smuggled here by criminals.

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    DavidLDavidL Posts: 52,065

    Interesting thread:

    https://twitter.com/GresselGustav/status/1616723121238835200

    TL:DR - to supply a lot of Leopards they need to start building new ones. But who is going to want to pay for new ones from an unreliable supplier?

    Challengers, on the other hand....
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    DavidLDavidL Posts: 52,065
    edited January 2023

    We are doing shit at the moment because we have erected trade barriers on ourselves, producing a massive drag on our economy, making it even more dificult to pay for our lockdown bills and expanding NHS and social care needs. I can't see anything improving in the short term because we have a shit government from a shit party with tax grifters in all areas of power.

    Yeah, bollocks though - Brexit is just the scapegoat, as the EU was before.

    We'd be having exactly the same issues inside the EU (and, indeed, it is those that led in large part to the vote to Leave) and so if we want to get past this and to solutions we need to put this aside and focus on the real problems, which are essentially domestic.
    Rubbish. Trade within the EU is frictionless. They can trade and earn money a lot better than us (along with NI).
    If we were still in the EU we'd be trading and earning more money as a country.
    We had a negative balance of trade with the EU.
    And the sun is on the warm side. To call that an understatement is kind.
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    Daveyboy1961Daveyboy1961 Posts: 3,532

    We are doing shit at the moment because we have erected trade barriers on ourselves, producing a massive drag on our economy, making it even more dificult to pay for our lockdown bills and expanding NHS and social care needs. I can't see anything improving in the short term because we have a shit government from a shit party with tax grifters in all areas of power.

    Yeah, bollocks though - Brexit is just the scapegoat, as the EU was before.

    We'd be having exactly the same issues inside the EU (and, indeed, it is those that led in large part to the vote to Leave) and so if we want to get past this and to solutions we need to put this aside and focus on the real problems, which are essentially domestic.
    Rubbish. Trade within the EU is frictionless. They can trade and earn money a lot better than us (along with NI).
    If we were still in the EU we'd be trading and earning more money as a country.
    We had a negative balance of trade with the EU.
    So?
    It's even worse now.
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    Jim_MillerJim_Miller Posts: 2,599
    It occurs to me that some of you may like Randall Garrett's Lord Darcy stories:
    "Garrett is best known for the Lord Darcy books — the novel Too Many Magicians and two short story collections — set in an alternate world where a joint Anglo-French empire still led by a Plantagenet dynasty has survived into the twentieth century and where magic works and has been scientifically codified. The Darcy books are rich in jokes, puns, and references (particularly to works of detective and spy fiction: Lord Darcy is modeled on Sherlock Holmes), elements often appearing in the shorter works about the detective."
    source:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Randall_Garrett

    I enjoyed both the stories, and his descriptions of that alternate world.
This discussion has been closed.