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Peter Mandelson could well be right – LAB’s poll lead is artificial – politicalbetting.com

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  • LostPasswordLostPassword Posts: 14,956
    edited January 31

    Leon said:

    Re fertility

    I managed to knock out two kids, somehow, amidst the chaos of my life. I never really lived with either of the mothers - in the first instance we tried but failed within months; the second woman didn't even want to try

    And yet even then the responsibilties severely impinged my life for a while, and the whole thing has been horrifically expensive. Albeit now I see it as absolutely worth it, despite all the pain and hassle. The only thing I can really compare it too is Brexit

    So I can totally understand why young people don't want their own personal Brexit. However that does mean the human species will die out

    The predominant feature of Western culture today is me me me me me..

    Anything that might involve any sense of duty, sacrifice or service is dismissed as the individual being a bit of a mug or even sneered at and frowned upon. We are encouraged to have and take whatever we want, whenever we want it, and damn right too, and we don't owe anyone anything or have any obligations to anyone.

    And, thus, a secret emptiness creeps into people's lives.
    This is partly true, but it also relates to any kind of uncynical or altruistic group activities often being seen as naive or silly. These trends come from both the right and the left.

    We are now cynically atomised in an unhelpful way.
    I think CR's post is evocative but too generalised - as others have said about themselves, I know lots of people who knock themselves out for one service or another with no expectation of reward. For example, I know a single woman in her sixties of average health who has been quietly hosting Ukrainian refugees at considerable cost and inconvenience (they aren't all very considerate, objectively speaking) - she is often exhausted, but genuinely puzzled when her friends suggest she take a pause - "they need help, I can give it, so I do", she says, without affectation. It's an anecdote, but I could quote plenty more. It's not very political - some of the ones I can think of are far left, far right, or simply uninterested in national affairs.

    What I think is true is that this sort of effort is now seen as a matter of individual choice, rather than something we should all do. The culture of mutual help has declined, to the point where it's seen as a possible way to live but selfishness is fine too. As a collectivist that does worry me, in quite a political way. That's what leftism means to me - I don't really care about nationalising the biscuit tin industry or whatever, but I think society works best if we all feel we need to give something to it (including cheerfully paying tax and not trying to dodge the rules that make society work).
    It'd be interesting to see figures on this; are people actually doing less of this sort of thing?

    Anecdotally...

    So... are there any figures about volunteering and group participation?
    https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/community-life-survey-202122/community-life-survey-202122-volunteering-and-charitable-giving
  • noneoftheabovenoneoftheabove Posts: 20,544
    isam said:


    Rachel Reeves learning from Sir Keir

    today, just three months later:

    https://x.com/pickardje/status/1752612686355947908?s=46&t=CW4pL-mMpTqsJXCdjW0Z6Q

    You are searching for Starmer drama.

    Keeping an existing cap on bonuses is different to re-introducing a cap on bonuses that was scrapped a year earlier.

    The first creates no extra admin for either government nor businesses, the second does. The pfaff of change can either outweigh the benefits, or move it down the priority list to the not worth changing again pile.
  • turbotubbsturbotubbs Posts: 15,057
    Andy_JS said:

    Leon said:

    Re fertility

    I managed to knock out two kids, somehow, amidst the chaos of my life. I never really lived with either of the mothers - in the first instance we tried but failed within months; the second woman didn't even want to try

    And yet even then the responsibilties severely impinged my life for a while, and the whole thing has been horrifically expensive. Albeit now I see it as absolutely worth it, despite all the pain and hassle. The only thing I can really compare it too is Brexit

    So I can totally understand why young people don't want their own personal Brexit. However that does mean the human species will die out

    The predominant feature of Western culture today is me me me me me..

    Anything that might involve any sense of duty, sacrifice or service is dismissed as the individual being a bit of a mug or even sneered at and frowned upon. We are encouraged to have and take whatever we want, whenever we want it, and damn right too, and we don't owe anyone anything or have any obligations to anyone.

    And, thus, a secret emptiness creeps into people's lives.
    If that was true, I doubt there'd be much of a volunteer or charity sectors in the country.
    It's incredible to me how we can have both such a large welfare state in this country and such a big need for charity/volunteer services. I can understand the need for one or the other, but not both at the same time. The whole point of the establishment of the welfare state was supposed to be to largely supersede the need for charity.
    Arguably there are too many small charities. Many seem to originate in a personal tragedy (someone is murdered with a knife, family sets up a Charity in the their name. Someone dies of a rare cancer, family sets up a charity in their name etc).

    I think these charities are serving a purpose of helping the families feel better, but as actual charities, I'm less convinced.

    I also see an awful lot of charities attached to the teat of the public purse - at which point they are not really charities at all, rather they are providers of X for the commissioning body.
  • DecrepiterJohnLDecrepiterJohnL Posts: 24,137
    Elon Musk’s record $56bn Tesla pay package is too much, judge rules
    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/elon-musks-record-56bn-tesla-pay-package-is-too-much-judge-rules-cwzzpnh27 (£££)

    First world problems.
  • noneoftheabovenoneoftheabove Posts: 20,544

    Elon Musk’s record $56bn Tesla pay package is too much, judge rules
    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/elon-musks-record-56bn-tesla-pay-package-is-too-much-judge-rules-cwzzpnh27 (£££)

    First world problems.

    I'll do it for $36bn if they are interested.
  • OldKingColeOldKingCole Posts: 31,865

    Leon said:

    Re fertility

    I managed to knock out two kids, somehow, amidst the chaos of my life. I never really lived with either of the mothers - in the first instance we tried but failed within months; the second woman didn't even want to try

    And yet even then the responsibilties severely impinged my life for a while, and the whole thing has been horrifically expensive. Albeit now I see it as absolutely worth it, despite all the pain and hassle. The only thing I can really compare it too is Brexit

    So I can totally understand why young people don't want their own personal Brexit. However that does mean the human species will die out

    The predominant feature of Western culture today is me me me me me..

    Anything that might involve any sense of duty, sacrifice or service is dismissed as the individual being a bit of a mug or even sneered at and frowned upon. We are encouraged to have and take whatever we want, whenever we want it, and damn right too, and we don't owe anyone anything or have any obligations to anyone.

    And, thus, a secret emptiness creeps into people's lives.
    This is partly true, but it also relates to any kind of uncynical or altruistic group activities often being seen as naive or silly. These trends come from both the right and the left.

    We are now cynically atomised in an unhelpful way.
    I think CR's post is evocative but too generalised - as others have said about themselves, I know lots of people who knock themselves out for one service or another with no expectation of reward. For example, I know a single woman in her sixties of average health who has been quietly hosting Ukrainian refugees at considerable cost and inconvenience (they aren't all very considerate, objectively speaking) - she is often exhausted, but genuinely puzzled when her friends suggest she take a pause - "they need help, I can give it, so I do", she says, without affectation. It's an anecdote, but I could quote plenty more. It's not very political - some of the ones I can think of are far left, far right, or simply uninterested in national affairs.

    What I think is true is that this sort of effort is now seen as a matter of individual choice, rather than something we should all do. The culture of mutual help has declined, to the point where it's seen as a possible way to live but selfishness is fine too. As a collectivist that does worry me, in quite a political way. That's what leftism means to me - I don't really care about nationalising the biscuit tin industry or whatever, but I think society works best if we all feel we need to give something to it (including cheerfully paying tax and not trying to dodge the rules that make society work).
    It'd be interesting to see figures on this; are people actually doing less of this sort of thing?

    Anecdotally...

    So... are there any figures about volunteering and group participation?
    https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/community-life-survey-202122/community-life-survey-202122-volunteering-and-charitable-giving
    A few years ago…… pre-Covid…… I was at a Citizens Advice AGM, where someone complained that “young people never volunteer nowadays”. I commented that my granddaughter, age 30, was a volunteer for Samaritans and had told me that many of her fellow volunteers were of a similar age!
  • turbotubbsturbotubbs Posts: 15,057

    isam said:


    Rachel Reeves learning from Sir Keir

    today, just three months later:

    https://x.com/pickardje/status/1752612686355947908?s=46&t=CW4pL-mMpTqsJXCdjW0Z6Q

    You are searching for Starmer drama.

    Keeping an existing cap on bonuses is different to re-introducing a cap on bonuses that was scrapped a year earlier.

    The first creates no extra admin for either government nor businesses, the second does. The pfaff of change can either outweigh the benefits, or move it down the priority list to the not worth changing again pile.
    Does it not go back to "Is the cap right or wrong?" If its wrong then don't re-instate. If you think the pay should be capped then re-instate it. Its just waffle to not do it because of the hassle. If that was true why ever change any tax law?
  • DecrepiterJohnLDecrepiterJohnL Posts: 24,137

    Andy_JS said:

    Leon said:

    Re fertility

    I managed to knock out two kids, somehow, amidst the chaos of my life. I never really lived with either of the mothers - in the first instance we tried but failed within months; the second woman didn't even want to try

    And yet even then the responsibilties severely impinged my life for a while, and the whole thing has been horrifically expensive. Albeit now I see it as absolutely worth it, despite all the pain and hassle. The only thing I can really compare it too is Brexit

    So I can totally understand why young people don't want their own personal Brexit. However that does mean the human species will die out

    The predominant feature of Western culture today is me me me me me..

    Anything that might involve any sense of duty, sacrifice or service is dismissed as the individual being a bit of a mug or even sneered at and frowned upon. We are encouraged to have and take whatever we want, whenever we want it, and damn right too, and we don't owe anyone anything or have any obligations to anyone.

    And, thus, a secret emptiness creeps into people's lives.
    If that was true, I doubt there'd be much of a volunteer or charity sectors in the country.
    It's incredible to me how we can have both such a large welfare state in this country and such a big need for charity/volunteer services. I can understand the need for one or the other, but not both at the same time. The whole point of the establishment of the welfare state was supposed to be to largely supersede the need for charity.
    Arguably there are too many small charities. Many seem to originate in a personal tragedy (someone is murdered with a knife, family sets up a Charity in the their name. Someone dies of a rare cancer, family sets up a charity in their name etc).

    I think these charities are serving a purpose of helping the families feel better, but as actual charities, I'm less convinced.

    I also see an awful lot of charities attached to the teat of the public purse - at which point they are not really charities at all, rather they are providers of X for the commissioning body.
    Big charities are run by paid professionals, which many object to, so give to smaller charities where no-one is paid even if the net result is uncoordinated duplication at best to a complete shambles at worst (and that's not counting the Captain Tom debacle).
  • DecrepiterJohnLDecrepiterJohnL Posts: 24,137

    Leon said:

    Re fertility

    I managed to knock out two kids, somehow, amidst the chaos of my life. I never really lived with either of the mothers - in the first instance we tried but failed within months; the second woman didn't even want to try

    And yet even then the responsibilties severely impinged my life for a while, and the whole thing has been horrifically expensive. Albeit now I see it as absolutely worth it, despite all the pain and hassle. The only thing I can really compare it too is Brexit

    So I can totally understand why young people don't want their own personal Brexit. However that does mean the human species will die out

    The predominant feature of Western culture today is me me me me me..

    Anything that might involve any sense of duty, sacrifice or service is dismissed as the individual being a bit of a mug or even sneered at and frowned upon. We are encouraged to have and take whatever we want, whenever we want it, and damn right too, and we don't owe anyone anything or have any obligations to anyone.

    And, thus, a secret emptiness creeps into people's lives.
    This is partly true, but it also relates to any kind of uncynical or altruistic group activities often being seen as naive or silly. These trends come from both the right and the left.

    We are now cynically atomised in an unhelpful way.
    I think CR's post is evocative but too generalised - as others have said about themselves, I know lots of people who knock themselves out for one service or another with no expectation of reward. For example, I know a single woman in her sixties of average health who has been quietly hosting Ukrainian refugees at considerable cost and inconvenience (they aren't all very considerate, objectively speaking) - she is often exhausted, but genuinely puzzled when her friends suggest she take a pause - "they need help, I can give it, so I do", she says, without affectation. It's an anecdote, but I could quote plenty more. It's not very political - some of the ones I can think of are far left, far right, or simply uninterested in national affairs.

    What I think is true is that this sort of effort is now seen as a matter of individual choice, rather than something we should all do. The culture of mutual help has declined, to the point where it's seen as a possible way to live but selfishness is fine too. As a collectivist that does worry me, in quite a political way. That's what leftism means to me - I don't really care about nationalising the biscuit tin industry or whatever, but I think society works best if we all feel we need to give something to it (including cheerfully paying tax and not trying to dodge the rules that make society work).
    It'd be interesting to see figures on this; are people actually doing less of this sort of thing?

    Anecdotally...

    So... are there any figures about volunteering and group participation?
    https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/community-life-survey-202122/community-life-survey-202122-volunteering-and-charitable-giving
    A few years ago…… pre-Covid…… I was at a Citizens Advice AGM, where someone complained that “young people never volunteer nowadays”. I commented that my granddaughter, age 30, was a volunteer for Samaritans and had told me that many of her fellow volunteers were of a similar age!
    I used to volunteer and arguably messed up my degree and career prospects by doing so. In my more cynical moments, I'd like to go back in time and look after number one.
  • noneoftheabovenoneoftheabove Posts: 20,544

    isam said:


    Rachel Reeves learning from Sir Keir

    today, just three months later:

    https://x.com/pickardje/status/1752612686355947908?s=46&t=CW4pL-mMpTqsJXCdjW0Z6Q

    You are searching for Starmer drama.

    Keeping an existing cap on bonuses is different to re-introducing a cap on bonuses that was scrapped a year earlier.

    The first creates no extra admin for either government nor businesses, the second does. The pfaff of change can either outweigh the benefits, or move it down the priority list to the not worth changing again pile.
    Does it not go back to "Is the cap right or wrong?" If its wrong then don't re-instate. If you think the pay should be capped then re-instate it. Its just waffle to not do it because of the hassle. If that was true why ever change any tax law?
    I suspect a consistent tax framework is far more important than minor tweaks such as these so disagree. With or without a cap, bankers will be overpaid, paid shedloads and their boards and senior management will represent the interests of bankers rather than shareholders or wider society.
  • WhisperingOracleWhisperingOracle Posts: 8,502
    edited January 31
    On the question below, there were few things less likely to promote a Big Society of voluntary cross-co-operation than Osborne's sneering comments on people seeing their lazy, shirker neighbours not opening their curtains in the morning.

    This was, again, designed to appeal to the resentfully, cynically atomised ; and society in general hears these things and makes them much less likely to help. An uncomfortable fact is that a strong element of social help for the less advantaged has to be unconditional, which also means re-fighting the hugely simplified nineteenth-century perceptions of poverty as primarily a moral failing, all over again.
  • Wulfrun_PhilWulfrun_Phil Posts: 4,587

    On thread.

    According to the latest YouGov, of 2019 Conservatives who have made up their mind which way to vote in the General Election, only 49% are currently committed to vote Conservative with 19% now choosing Labour (and 29% Reform.)

    I think it reasonable to assume that the voting choices of the 2019 Conservatives who have not yet made up their mind are likely to be subject to no less churn than those that have. That group by definition does not include the Conservative core vote.

    So if the Conservative net lead over Labour in decided 2019 Conservatives is only a net 30% (i.e. 49-19), why should the Conservatives expect to get as much as a net 30% lead over Labour from undecided 2019 Conservatives, if they end up voting at all? The thread header seems to be implying that they will get more than that.

    Any views, anyone?

    I don't see any sign of dissident Con 2019 voters (I know a few personally, and others on here) are particularly motivated to rush back. Or indeed that they prefer LibDems to Lab or vice versa. They have a settled view that the Government is useless, and an open mind on whether to vote for someone else or abstain. The idea that they are all on the edge of swinging back is a fantasy, as it was in 1997 (when many disilllusioned Tories decided on abstention).
    I agree. I assume Nick that like me you've also found loads of disillusioned 2019 Conservatives while doorknocking in recent months, so your views will be similarly informed by a lot of recent experience.

    Mine is this. For those down on the database as past Conservatives but who say they don't know yet about their current voting intention I find the new 1-10 follow up question very useful as it opens up a conversation and generates a lot of nuances you didn't get before. "Well in fact I may not end up voting at all" is a very common response as is the likes of "well goodness knows what I'm going to do but if I do vote it's definitely not going to be Tory next time." Some of course do give you the impression that they may well revert to voting Tory but I don't get any impression that there is a vast latent Conservative vote intending to return to the fold.

    So I'm pretty sceptical about the potential for Conservative recovery from that source. For me the potential black swan is the awful state of the electoral roll particularly in Labour-supporting areas and the knowledge that it will be even worse in an Autumn 2024 election. But on balance with Conservatives deserting their party en masse I don't think that a really lousy register will be enough for them to escape a bad defeat.
  • turbotubbsturbotubbs Posts: 15,057

    isam said:


    Rachel Reeves learning from Sir Keir

    today, just three months later:

    https://x.com/pickardje/status/1752612686355947908?s=46&t=CW4pL-mMpTqsJXCdjW0Z6Q

    You are searching for Starmer drama.

    Keeping an existing cap on bonuses is different to re-introducing a cap on bonuses that was scrapped a year earlier.

    The first creates no extra admin for either government nor businesses, the second does. The pfaff of change can either outweigh the benefits, or move it down the priority list to the not worth changing again pile.
    Does it not go back to "Is the cap right or wrong?" If its wrong then don't re-instate. If you think the pay should be capped then re-instate it. Its just waffle to not do it because of the hassle. If that was true why ever change any tax law?
    I suspect a consistent tax framework is far more important than minor tweaks such as these so disagree. With or without a cap, bankers will be overpaid, paid shedloads and their boards and senior management will represent the interests of bankers rather than shareholders or wider society.
    I don't disagree about the need for a consistent tax framework. But then I also believe in a completely flat tax rate (which many if not most do not). I'd tax everything above X at Y rate and include unearned income in that regime. No cliff edges, no work rounds, no scams just 30% (say) on everything above 20K a year (say).*


    * I have no idea of the correct numbers needed to make it work.
  • noneoftheabovenoneoftheabove Posts: 20,544

    I hereby recant my support for George Osborne from this time forward.

    Former UK chancellor George Osborne has joined the advisory council of cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, as the company faces increasing regulatory scrutiny.

    https://on.ft.com/42hO5m1

    How many jobs is that? At least half of the NU10K seems to be George Osborne.
    George 5K Osborne?
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 62,041

    I hereby recant my support for George Osborne from this time forward.

    Former UK chancellor George Osborne has joined the advisory council of cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, as the company faces increasing regulatory scrutiny.

    https://on.ft.com/42hO5m1

    How many jobs is that? At least half of the NU10K seems to be George Osborne.
    Leon's niblings ?
  • rottenboroughrottenborough Posts: 58,094
    Kaboom!!! Zinger from Starmer.
  • PulpstarPulpstar Posts: 75,877
    edited January 31

    Elon Musk’s record $56bn Tesla pay package is too much, judge rules
    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/elon-musks-record-56bn-tesla-pay-package-is-too-much-judge-rules-cwzzpnh27 (£££)

    First world problems.

    I'll do it for $36bn if they are interested.
    The $56 Bn was passed by shareholders based on specific performance targets which were met. I'm a bit uneasy with a complaint from someone who owns a grand total of 9 TSLA shares complaining to a court regarding a passed shareholder motion and then a judge quashing passed said shareholder resolution.
    Feels like judicial interference tbh.
    I don't own any TSLA - well not directly anyway.
  • noneoftheabovenoneoftheabove Posts: 20,544
    edited January 31

    isam said:


    Rachel Reeves learning from Sir Keir

    today, just three months later:

    https://x.com/pickardje/status/1752612686355947908?s=46&t=CW4pL-mMpTqsJXCdjW0Z6Q

    You are searching for Starmer drama.

    Keeping an existing cap on bonuses is different to re-introducing a cap on bonuses that was scrapped a year earlier.

    The first creates no extra admin for either government nor businesses, the second does. The pfaff of change can either outweigh the benefits, or move it down the priority list to the not worth changing again pile.
    Does it not go back to "Is the cap right or wrong?" If its wrong then don't re-instate. If you think the pay should be capped then re-instate it. Its just waffle to not do it because of the hassle. If that was true why ever change any tax law?
    I suspect a consistent tax framework is far more important than minor tweaks such as these so disagree. With or without a cap, bankers will be overpaid, paid shedloads and their boards and senior management will represent the interests of bankers rather than shareholders or wider society.
    I don't disagree about the need for a consistent tax framework. But then I also believe in a completely flat tax rate (which many if not most do not). I'd tax everything above X at Y rate and include unearned income in that regime. No cliff edges, no work rounds, no scams just 30% (say) on everything above 20K a year (say).*


    * I have no idea of the correct numbers needed to make it work.
    If the elite paid their share then that would be fine with me.

    The tax rates of the very top is very varied. If we could get more to pay their fair share (most actually do but a substantial minority don't) it would make a significant difference.

    "Using anonymised data from personal tax returns, we show that in 2015-16 the average rate of tax paid by people who received £1 million in taxable income and gains was just 35%: the same as someone earning £100,000. But one in four of these paid 45% – close to the top rate – whilst another quarter paid less than 30% overall. One in ten paid just 11%—the same as someone earning £15,000. The rich, it seems, are not all in it together."

    "A new Alternative Minimum Tax could put a floor on the lowest tax rates. If set at 35% on taxable income and gains for all those with over £100,000 per year, we estimate that this tax could raise £11 billion per year."

    https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/research/centres/cage/news/02-07-20-rich_pay_more_tax_than_ever_but_burden_unequally_shared/
  • GhedebravGhedebrav Posts: 3,000

    Leon said:

    Re fertility

    I managed to knock out two kids, somehow, amidst the chaos of my life. I never really lived with either of the mothers - in the first instance we tried but failed within months; the second woman didn't even want to try

    And yet even then the responsibilties severely impinged my life for a while, and the whole thing has been horrifically expensive. Albeit now I see it as absolutely worth it, despite all the pain and hassle. The only thing I can really compare it too is Brexit

    So I can totally understand why young people don't want their own personal Brexit. However that does mean the human species will die out

    The predominant feature of Western culture today is me me me me me..

    Anything that might involve any sense of duty, sacrifice or service is dismissed as the individual being a bit of a mug or even sneered at and frowned upon. We are encouraged to have and take whatever we want, whenever we want it, and damn right too, and we don't owe anyone anything or have any obligations to anyone.

    And, thus, a secret emptiness creeps into people's lives.
    This is partly true, but it also relates to any kind of uncynical or altruistic group activities often being seen as naive or silly. These trends come from both the right and the left.

    We are now cynically atomised in an unhelpful way.
    I think CR's post is evocative but too generalised - as others have said about themselves, I know lots of people who knock themselves out for one service or another with no expectation of reward. For example, I know a single woman in her sixties of average health who has been quietly hosting Ukrainian refugees at considerable cost and inconvenience (they aren't all very considerate, objectively speaking) - she is often exhausted, but genuinely puzzled when her friends suggest she take a pause - "they need help, I can give it, so I do", she says, without affectation. It's an anecdote, but I could quote plenty more. It's not very political - some of the ones I can think of are far left, far right, or simply uninterested in national affairs.

    What I think is true is that this sort of effort is now seen as a matter of individual choice, rather than something we should all do. The culture of mutual help has declined, to the point where it's seen as a possible way to live but selfishness is fine too. As a collectivist that does worry me, in quite a political way. That's what leftism means to me - I don't really care about nationalising the biscuit tin industry or whatever, but I think society works best if we all feel we need to give something to it (including cheerfully paying tax and not trying to dodge the rules that make society work).
    It'd be interesting to see figures on this; are people actually doing less of this sort of thing?

    Anecdotally...

    So... are there any figures about volunteering and group participation?
    https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/community-life-survey-202122/community-life-survey-202122-volunteering-and-charitable-giving
    A few years ago…… pre-Covid…… I was at a Citizens Advice AGM, where someone complained that “young people never volunteer nowadays”. I commented that my granddaughter, age 30, was a volunteer for Samaritans and had told me that many of her fellow volunteers were of a similar age!
    I used to volunteer and arguably messed up my degree and career prospects by doing so. In my more cynical moments, I'd like to go back in time and look after number one.
    I was a school governor for 11 years, six of those as chair. I gave it up a couple of years ago because I didn't have the time to do it properly any more. Families can take up a lot of time; perhaps a person less prone to distraction and procrastination than me would have managed better but to be honest I also felt like I'd 'served my time' as it were and it was time to move on anyway. I had been elected chair unopposed every time and the rest of the GB needed a kick up the bottom to engage more.

    Volunteering is good and important and as others have noted is something great swathes of people do pretty selflessly - perhaps not even thinking of it as 'volunteering' but enjoying e.g. coaching a kids football team as something just worthwhile doing in spare time and a way of staying involved with something you love.

    I understand your cynical moments though. Looking after yourself is very important too, and there's nothing wrong at all with not volunteering - especially if it would be detrimental to other aspects of your life.

  • rottenboroughrottenborough Posts: 58,094
    Here we go again. Sunak on about the £28b that Labour are dropping.
  • turbotubbsturbotubbs Posts: 15,057

    isam said:


    Rachel Reeves learning from Sir Keir

    today, just three months later:

    https://x.com/pickardje/status/1752612686355947908?s=46&t=CW4pL-mMpTqsJXCdjW0Z6Q

    You are searching for Starmer drama.

    Keeping an existing cap on bonuses is different to re-introducing a cap on bonuses that was scrapped a year earlier.

    The first creates no extra admin for either government nor businesses, the second does. The pfaff of change can either outweigh the benefits, or move it down the priority list to the not worth changing again pile.
    Does it not go back to "Is the cap right or wrong?" If its wrong then don't re-instate. If you think the pay should be capped then re-instate it. Its just waffle to not do it because of the hassle. If that was true why ever change any tax law?
    I suspect a consistent tax framework is far more important than minor tweaks such as these so disagree. With or without a cap, bankers will be overpaid, paid shedloads and their boards and senior management will represent the interests of bankers rather than shareholders or wider society.
    I don't disagree about the need for a consistent tax framework. But then I also believe in a completely flat tax rate (which many if not most do not). I'd tax everything above X at Y rate and include unearned income in that regime. No cliff edges, no work rounds, no scams just 30% (say) on everything above 20K a year (say).*


    * I have no idea of the correct numbers needed to make it work.
    If the elite paid their share then that would be fine with me.

    The tax rates of the very top is very varied. If we could get more to pay their fair share (most actually do but a substantial minority don't) it would make a significant difference.

    "Using anonymised data from personal tax returns, we show that in 2015-16 the average rate of tax paid by people who received £1 million in taxable income and gains was just 35%: the same as someone earning £100,000. But one in four of these paid 45% – close to the top rate – whilst another quarter paid less than 30% overall. One in ten paid just 11%—the same as someone earning £15,000. The rich, it seems, are not all in it together."

    https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/research/centres/cage/news/02-07-20-rich_pay_more_tax_than_ever_but_burden_unequally_shared/
    Too many schemes allow tax to be legally avoided. Get rid of them all. Flat tax and be done with it. None of this setting up shell companies and hiding salary as payments to the company etc
  • OldKingColeOldKingCole Posts: 31,865
    edited January 31

    Leon said:

    Re fertility

    I managed to knock out two kids, somehow, amidst the chaos of my life. I never really lived with either of the mothers - in the first instance we tried but failed within months; the second woman didn't even want to try

    And yet even then the responsibilties severely impinged my life for a while, and the whole thing has been horrifically expensive. Albeit now I see it as absolutely worth it, despite all the pain and hassle. The only thing I can really compare it too is Brexit

    So I can totally understand why young people don't want their own personal Brexit. However that does mean the human species will die out

    The predominant feature of Western culture today is me me me me me..

    Anything that might involve any sense of duty, sacrifice or service is dismissed as the individual being a bit of a mug or even sneered at and frowned upon. We are encouraged to have and take whatever we want, whenever we want it, and damn right too, and we don't owe anyone anything or have any obligations to anyone.

    And, thus, a secret emptiness creeps into people's lives.
    This is partly true, but it also relates to any kind of uncynical or altruistic group activities often being seen as naive or silly. These trends come from both the right and the left.

    We are now cynically atomised in an unhelpful way.
    I think CR's post is evocative but too generalised - as others have said about themselves, I know lots of people who knock themselves out for one service or another with no expectation of reward. For example, I know a single woman in her sixties of average health who has been quietly hosting Ukrainian refugees at considerable cost and inconvenience (they aren't all very considerate, objectively speaking) - she is often exhausted, but genuinely puzzled when her friends suggest she take a pause - "they need help, I can give it, so I do", she says, without affectation. It's an anecdote, but I could quote plenty more. It's not very political - some of the ones I can think of are far left, far right, or simply uninterested in national affairs.

    What I think is true is that this sort of effort is now seen as a matter of individual choice, rather than something we should all do. The culture of mutual help has declined, to the point where it's seen as a possible way to live but selfishness is fine too. As a collectivist that does worry me, in quite a political way. That's what leftism means to me - I don't really care about nationalising the biscuit tin industry or whatever, but I think society works best if we all feel we need to give something to it (including cheerfully paying tax and not trying to dodge the rules that make society work).
    It'd be interesting to see figures on this; are people actually doing less of this sort of thing?

    Anecdotally...

    So... are there any figures about volunteering and group participation?
    https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/community-life-survey-202122/community-life-survey-202122-volunteering-and-charitable-giving
    A few years ago…… pre-Covid…… I was at a Citizens Advice AGM, where someone complained that “young people never volunteer nowadays”. I commented that my granddaughter, age 30, was a volunteer for Samaritans and had told me that many of her fellow volunteers were of a similar age!
    I used to volunteer and arguably messed up my degree and career prospects by doing so. In my more cynical moments, I'd like to go back in time and look after number one.
    A variation of work/life balance, isn’t it. Granddaughter didn’t volunteer until she’d finished her education, although she did a little during her doctorate study time.
  • rottenboroughrottenborough Posts: 58,094
    Sunak seems to have said that people coming off fixed rate mortgages this month wont have to pay more because of something the chancellor has done about extending terms.

  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 62,041
    New US-made longer-range bomb expected to arrive as soon as Wednesday in Ukraine
    The Ground-Launched Small Diameter Bomb doesn’t even exist in the U.S. inventory.
    https://www.politico.com/news/2024/01/30/new-us-made-longer-range-bomb-expected-to-arrive-as-soon-wednesday-in-ukraine-00138566

    It puts a Small Diameter Bomb on top of the (obsolete) M26 rocket motor, of which there are several hundred thousand in the U.S. inventory.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ground_Launched_Small_Diameter_Bomb

    Much cheaper than the M31 missiles currently supplied with HIMARS, which have an export cost of around $500k.
  • rottenboroughrottenborough Posts: 58,094
    Sunak drowning.
  • a

    Nigelb said:

    ...

    Nigelb said:

    Leon said:

    Re fertility

    I managed to knock out two kids, somehow, amidst the chaos of my life. I never really lived with either of the mothers - in the first instance we tried but failed within months; the second woman didn't even want to try

    And yet even then the responsibilties severely impinged my life for a while, and the whole thing has been horrifically expensive. Albeit now I see it as absolutely worth it, despite all the pain and hassle. The only thing I can really compare it too is Brexit

    So I can totally understand why young people don't want their own personal Brexit. However that does mean the human species will die out

    The predominant feature of Western culture today is me me me me me..

    Anything that might involve any sense of duty, sacrifice or service is dismissed as the individual being a bit of a mug or even sneered at and frowned upon. We are encouraged to have and take whatever we want, whenever we want it, and damn right too, and we don't owe anyone anything or have any obligations to anyone.

    And, thus, a secret emptiness creeps into people's lives.
    That's the Tory party you're talking about, perhaps ?

    It's certainly a caricature I don't recognise in my or my family's lives.
    Of course not because you see everything through a partisan prism.
    I thought Nigel was a lifelong Tory disillusioned by Brexit.

    We can't all be non-partisan fence sitters like yourself however hard we try.
    It's obsessives like you and he who keep trying to bring politics into it.

    I was making a general observation about Western society today, which could have unlocked a more interesting discussion right across this board.

    Sadly, though, that's clearly beyond you two.
    No, I just disagree with your thesis.

    And was pointing out that the philosophy of individualism is very much a strand of British conservatism, particularly since Thatcher.
    From "there is no such thing as society" through to can't afford a mortage on my second home so quitting as a minister to take up another job, whilst still wanting to take a full MPs salary too.
    Over many, many years, quite a few people either didn't take office, or left, because they could earn much more money outside. Being an MP has always been supposed to be a part time job.

    Trying to remember which Liberal PM had serious concerns about taking office, until he made a pile in Law? Success in the law came after a long, lean patch.
    Asquith, I think. IIRC, becoming an MP helped him get work as a lawyer
  • david_herdsondavid_herdson Posts: 17,417
    TimS said:

    Forgot to mention, I expect Labour to win by a 3-figure majority. The mood is for change and party alignment is weak. What reasons have the Tories offered for anyone under 60 to vote for them? Add Reform into the mix and it looks awful. Yes, that's a massive number of gains but the Tories aren't all that well embedded in their 2019 gains, they've precious little activist base, they've lost their handle on social media, while mainstream media matters much less these days.

    Labour could screw it up, particularly if the Tories run an effective attack campaign, but even then, I can't see anything worse for them than a hung parliament with a comfortable confidence majority (the LDs and SNP will not let the Tories in under anything like current circumstances). On the other hand, Labour could win by the biggest landslide since the 1930s; the dynamics are there for that and we shouldn't rule it out as an extreme edge case.

    Indeed, of the two, I'd make a Lab 200+ majority more likely than a hung parliament.

    I'm afraid I have to agree with you, David. (Afraid, because I believe a good strong Opposition is conducive to good Government.) We seem to be in a minority here however.

    The majority view, which has Mike's not inconsiderable support, seems reliant on hypotheses and suppositions. The fact is that when people are asked how they plan to vote, a great many more indicate Labour than Tory and I think you need to have very strong reasons indeed to supplant that fact with suppositions, especially when counter-suppositions are readily available.

    Still a long way to go but I agree wholeheartedly with your last para. A landslide is as likely as a hung Parliament.

    And the odds are juicy too!

    We also have the hard facts of evidence from Westminster by-elections, with 20k Con majorities regularly being overturned - and not just by the Lib Dems, who know how to win by-elections (and then lose those seats again at general elections) but by Labour. When seats like Selby, Tamworth or Mid Beds go Labour (despite a hefty Lib Dem effort in that last one), it's clear how big the mood for change is.

    We'll get further useful data in a couple of weeks from Wellingborough (Con maj 18k) and Kingswood (Con maj 11k). Both ought to be straight Con/Lab battles.

    The performance of Reform in both seats (and Rochdale) will also be something to keep an eye on. So far, they've not converted polling into votes.
    It's been unfortunate for the Lib Dems that the 2024 byelections so far aren't promising for them. Byelections are one of the very few news events that get good coverage for the party in an average electoral cycle. The locals in May are the possibly the last remaining good news opportunity for then.
    The Lib Dems would so a lot better concentrating on policy rather than by-elections. They're on a fools mission thinking that random by-election wins form any kind of strategy. However, it's one they're addicted to so I don't expect it to change.
  • MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 44,042

    a

    Nigelb said:

    ...

    Nigelb said:

    Leon said:

    Re fertility

    I managed to knock out two kids, somehow, amidst the chaos of my life. I never really lived with either of the mothers - in the first instance we tried but failed within months; the second woman didn't even want to try

    And yet even then the responsibilties severely impinged my life for a while, and the whole thing has been horrifically expensive. Albeit now I see it as absolutely worth it, despite all the pain and hassle. The only thing I can really compare it too is Brexit

    So I can totally understand why young people don't want their own personal Brexit. However that does mean the human species will die out

    The predominant feature of Western culture today is me me me me me..

    Anything that might involve any sense of duty, sacrifice or service is dismissed as the individual being a bit of a mug or even sneered at and frowned upon. We are encouraged to have and take whatever we want, whenever we want it, and damn right too, and we don't owe anyone anything or have any obligations to anyone.

    And, thus, a secret emptiness creeps into people's lives.
    That's the Tory party you're talking about, perhaps ?

    It's certainly a caricature I don't recognise in my or my family's lives.
    Of course not because you see everything through a partisan prism.
    I thought Nigel was a lifelong Tory disillusioned by Brexit.

    We can't all be non-partisan fence sitters like yourself however hard we try.
    It's obsessives like you and he who keep trying to bring politics into it.

    I was making a general observation about Western society today, which could have unlocked a more interesting discussion right across this board.

    Sadly, though, that's clearly beyond you two.
    No, I just disagree with your thesis.

    And was pointing out that the philosophy of individualism is very much a strand of British conservatism, particularly since Thatcher.
    From "there is no such thing as society" through to can't afford a mortage on my second home so quitting as a minister to take up another job, whilst still wanting to take a full MPs salary too.
    Over many, many years, quite a few people either didn't take office, or left, because they could earn much more money outside. Being an MP has always been supposed to be a part time job.

    Trying to remember which Liberal PM had serious concerns about taking office, until he made a pile in Law? Success in the law came after a long, lean patch.
    Asquith, I think. IIRC, becoming an MP helped him get work as a lawyer
    Wasn't there another, who the grandees essentially bankrolled?
  • Sunak seems to have said that people coming off fixed rate mortgages this month wont have to pay more because of something the chancellor has done about extending terms.

    No, he said we are paying hundreds of pounds less. And Sunak now going on to sneer at "Phil in Iceland" now that actually everything is actually better actually.

    PB Tories: the longer you leave this child in Number 10, the worse it will get for you at the election. He is trying to claim the sky is green.
  • PulpstarPulpstar Posts: 75,877
    This sort of language is just bizzare in the Musk ruling tbh... "or perhaps starry eyed by Musk’s superstar appeal"

    Something you might expect from people debating Musk on a board such as this one - but not in a serious court deciding these matters.
  • viewcodeviewcode Posts: 18,531

    TimS said:

    Carnyx said:

    TOPPING said:

    An avocado is manifestly not a savoury perhaps sliced covered in cheese on toast I could just see it although I have never seen it on a menu so let's rule that out. It is a starter.

    Plus it helps to sustain the international drugs trade and often takes water from local villages where they are grown so I've no idea why people are such fans.

    I can't stand the bloody things. A lump of funny tasting lard, hiding inside a shell.

    The best bit is the stone, which can be played with after the rest of the thing has been discarded.
    Bloody dangerous, the stone. It's the way the knife blade slips past it.

    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31303536/
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29465848/
    I was in an A&E waiting room with a man who'd had an avocado injury. Big bandage wrapped all around his hand. Wound not dissimilar to stigmata, he said.
    Slice in half, working around the stone. Twist to get one half off.

    Keeping your hands out of the way, jab the stone itself with a sharp pointed knife - lightly. Once you have the knack, you spear the stone each time. Twist the knife and the avocado half to release the stone

    Dispose of the stone by banging the *back* of the knife on the bin edge.
    Go to shop
    Buy pears in jelly
    Eat pears in jelly
    Yum.

    No knives necessary
  • david_herdsondavid_herdson Posts: 17,417
    Nigelb said:

    .

    Nigelb said:

    Nigelb said:

    Leon said:

    Re fertility

    I managed to knock out two kids, somehow, amidst the chaos of my life. I never really lived with either of the mothers - in the first instance we tried but failed within months; the second woman didn't even want to try

    And yet even then the responsibilties severely impinged my life for a while, and the whole thing has been horrifically expensive. Albeit now I see it as absolutely worth it, despite all the pain and hassle. The only thing I can really compare it too is Brexit

    So I can totally understand why young people don't want their own personal Brexit. However that does mean the human species will die out

    The predominant feature of Western culture today is me me me me me..

    Anything that might involve any sense of duty, sacrifice or service is dismissed as the individual being a bit of a mug or even sneered at and frowned upon. We are encouraged to have and take whatever we want, whenever we want it, and damn right too, and we don't owe anyone anything or have any obligations to anyone.

    And, thus, a secret emptiness creeps into people's lives.
    That's the Tory party you're talking about, perhaps ?

    It's certainly a caricature I don't recognise in my or my family's lives.
    No, it's far wider than that. Look at the intolerance on the left for people with different views, for example - whether of Trans rights or on Gaza, to take two of the more obvious. "Your opinion offends me" etc, as if that's an argument that the other person isn't entitled to that opinion (or, implicitly, any opinion that goes against received acceptability).

    It's the argument of pensioners about the Triple Lock, or Waspi women thinking that they're uniquely entitled to compensation for a change in govt policy.

    It's the argument of Nimbys who believe their right to their status quo exceeds someone else's right to do what they want with their property and assets (or indeed of other people to have the infrastructure to support a healthy society)

    It's the argument of far too many people who are far too intolerant of far too much else.
    I think you're mixing up a lot of different things there, which makes it quite hard to respond to.

    Casino was, I think, talking about service. rather than intolerance ?
    I think it's all part of the same phenomenon.
    That is why you see it as insoluble, perhaps ?
    I think there are a large number of things wrapped up together there, some of which might be individually addressable.

    You can talk to your political opponents on a pragmatic basis. It's much more difficult to convince them of your political theories - or even to get them to listen.
    I think it comes down to a lot of selfish attitudes. It's not about policy differences; it's about what's necessary to keep society functioning rather than 'keeping me comfortable' - which is a false choice anyway: sooner or later, a dysfunctional society makes everyone uncomfortable.
  • So apparently the big rise in my mortgage is Sunak's plan working.

    I get the Tory narrative about "Labour tax rises". But the Tories have just put through a massive tax rise. So what is he thinking? As Starmer put it, are people to believe Starmer's boasts or their own bank accounts?
  • rottenboroughrottenborough Posts: 58,094

    So apparently the big rise in my mortgage is Sunak's plan working.

    I get the Tory narrative about "Labour tax rises". But the Tories have just put through a massive tax rise. So what is he thinking? As Starmer put it, are people to believe Starmer's boasts or their own bank accounts?

    Awful few minutes for Sunak. But wont matter anyway as I dont think Tory polling can go any lower.
  • turbotubbsturbotubbs Posts: 15,057

    So apparently the big rise in my mortgage is Sunak's plan working.

    I get the Tory narrative about "Labour tax rises". But the Tories have just put through a massive tax rise. So what is he thinking? As Starmer put it, are people to believe Starmer's boasts or their own bank accounts?

    What caused the rise in mortgage rates? External factors in the main. Did you believe they would be low forever?
  • numbertwelvenumbertwelve Posts: 5,416
    I wish I hadn’t been FM during Covid, Sturgeon says, voice quivering.

    Say whatever you like about her, but when she is cross examined she is masterful.
  • bondegezoubondegezou Posts: 7,443

    On topic, polls are not predictions. We've been through that often enough over the last 20 years.

    Voting intention will change between mid-term (or, as now, late-term) polling and election, for well-known reasons:
    - DKs deciding;
    - The election campaign itself;
    - Events

    As Mike notes - or implies - the swingback effect is often less the result of people changing their minds from Party A to Party B as disillusioned Don't Knows (but ex-voters) returning to their habitual fold. That may happen this time too. Or it may not. The dynamics for that return - fear of the opposition, support for policies/values and lack of an alternative - don't apply anything like as much now as they did in 2019.

    Of the three points above, the campaign offers the Tories their best chance, not because they've a message to sell but because Labour is so skittish and defensive about selling their own. That lack of confidence and continual folding under attack will do nothing for their support. Where's the inspiration? The vision of a New Britain? Maybe the impulse to GTTO will be strong enough to overcome that. Alternatively, it could lead to even more abstentions.

    Second point of disagreement: Sunak is not the liability he says he is. Which is to say that while he *is* a liability for the Tories, so would any replacement likely be. No-one can fulfill the pragmatic managerial type model because (1) they're all unpopular generally, and (2) there's no record to run on after the last 5 years, while any populist type might unite the right to a degree but (1) then again, they might not, (2) it'd reinforce left-of-centre tactical voting, (3) the real world might intrude, as with Truss. The problem is not (just) their leader, it's their party.

    The political haplessness of the Conservatives means that they're not even boasting about the positives.

    They should be talking constantly about:

    Full employment
    Rising pay
    Affluent oldies
    Extra money spent on the NHS with NHS employment up by 25%
    All the cost of living handouts and holding energy prices down

    And even, in much but not all of the country, that housing is more affordable now than under Gordon Brown.

    Okay there are plenty of negatives as well but governments only need to convince enough of the voters enough of the time.
    Full employment - yes

    Rising pay - pay is still, over the period of the Govt, lagging behind inflation, so no, don’t mention!

    Affluent oldies - yes, in messaging targeted at oldies

    NHS money and staff - inputs are not as impressive as outputs. Not convincing while waiting lists are growing and people struggle to get a GP appointment

    Affordable housing - some improvement on Brown’s time isn’t that convincing when affordability is still poor

    Energy/cost of living - possibly. You need to paint a picture that the problems are caused by the outside world and the UK Govt has done its best to help.
  • noneoftheabovenoneoftheabove Posts: 20,544
    Pulpstar said:

    This sort of language is just bizzare in the Musk ruling tbh... "or perhaps starry eyed by Musk’s superstar appeal"

    Something you might expect from people debating Musk on a board such as this one - but not in a serious court deciding these matters.

    You expect more seriousness and accuracy from a US court than pb.com? Now that is bizarre!
  • david_herdsondavid_herdson Posts: 17,417

    a

    Nigelb said:

    ...

    Nigelb said:

    Leon said:

    Re fertility

    I managed to knock out two kids, somehow, amidst the chaos of my life. I never really lived with either of the mothers - in the first instance we tried but failed within months; the second woman didn't even want to try

    And yet even then the responsibilties severely impinged my life for a while, and the whole thing has been horrifically expensive. Albeit now I see it as absolutely worth it, despite all the pain and hassle. The only thing I can really compare it too is Brexit

    So I can totally understand why young people don't want their own personal Brexit. However that does mean the human species will die out

    The predominant feature of Western culture today is me me me me me..

    Anything that might involve any sense of duty, sacrifice or service is dismissed as the individual being a bit of a mug or even sneered at and frowned upon. We are encouraged to have and take whatever we want, whenever we want it, and damn right too, and we don't owe anyone anything or have any obligations to anyone.

    And, thus, a secret emptiness creeps into people's lives.
    That's the Tory party you're talking about, perhaps ?

    It's certainly a caricature I don't recognise in my or my family's lives.
    Of course not because you see everything through a partisan prism.
    I thought Nigel was a lifelong Tory disillusioned by Brexit.

    We can't all be non-partisan fence sitters like yourself however hard we try.
    It's obsessives like you and he who keep trying to bring politics into it.

    I was making a general observation about Western society today, which could have unlocked a more interesting discussion right across this board.

    Sadly, though, that's clearly beyond you two.
    No, I just disagree with your thesis.

    And was pointing out that the philosophy of individualism is very much a strand of British conservatism, particularly since Thatcher.
    From "there is no such thing as society" through to can't afford a mortage on my second home so quitting as a minister to take up another job, whilst still wanting to take a full MPs salary too.
    Over many, many years, quite a few people either didn't take office, or left, because they could earn much more money outside. Being an MP has always been supposed to be a part time job.

    Trying to remember which Liberal PM had serious concerns about taking office, until he made a pile in Law? Success in the law came after a long, lean patch.
    Asquith, I think. IIRC, becoming an MP helped him get work as a lawyer
    Wasn't there another, who the grandees essentially bankrolled?
    Not a PM, but John Simon, perhaps?
  • rottenboroughrottenborough Posts: 58,094
    Even tory backbenchers are asking why things are so shit. In this case an MP from Devon about lack of dentists.
  • rottenboroughrottenborough Posts: 58,094
    Why is Bridgen wearing a large paper clip on his suit?
  • MexicanpeteMexicanpete Posts: 24,919
    ...

    So apparently the big rise in my mortgage is Sunak's plan working.

    I get the Tory narrative about "Labour tax rises". But the Tories have just put through a massive tax rise. So what is he thinking? As Starmer put it, are people to believe Starmer's boasts or their own bank accounts?

    What caused the rise in mortgage rates? External factors in the main. Did you believe they would be low forever?
    Like this externality? Key paragraph is about two thirds down.

    https://www.niesr.ac.uk/blog/truss-kwarteng-mini-budget-one-year#:~:text=The Mini-Budget was delivered on 23 September 2022.,rate of 2.5 per cent.
  • numbertwelvenumbertwelve Posts: 5,416

    So apparently the big rise in my mortgage is Sunak's plan working.

    I get the Tory narrative about "Labour tax rises". But the Tories have just put through a massive tax rise. So what is he thinking? As Starmer put it, are people to believe Starmer's boasts or their own bank accounts?

    From a purely tactical perspective, Sunak played the mortgage payments wrong. He should’ve dumped on that on Truss and said sorry for the actions of that government, and moved forward in that vein. That he doesn’t ever give an answer to the topic and avoids it means it has been pinned to his legacy too.
  • DecrepiterJohnLDecrepiterJohnL Posts: 24,137

    a

    Nigelb said:

    ...

    Nigelb said:

    Leon said:

    Re fertility

    I managed to knock out two kids, somehow, amidst the chaos of my life. I never really lived with either of the mothers - in the first instance we tried but failed within months; the second woman didn't even want to try

    And yet even then the responsibilties severely impinged my life for a while, and the whole thing has been horrifically expensive. Albeit now I see it as absolutely worth it, despite all the pain and hassle. The only thing I can really compare it too is Brexit

    So I can totally understand why young people don't want their own personal Brexit. However that does mean the human species will die out

    The predominant feature of Western culture today is me me me me me..

    Anything that might involve any sense of duty, sacrifice or service is dismissed as the individual being a bit of a mug or even sneered at and frowned upon. We are encouraged to have and take whatever we want, whenever we want it, and damn right too, and we don't owe anyone anything or have any obligations to anyone.

    And, thus, a secret emptiness creeps into people's lives.
    That's the Tory party you're talking about, perhaps ?

    It's certainly a caricature I don't recognise in my or my family's lives.
    Of course not because you see everything through a partisan prism.
    I thought Nigel was a lifelong Tory disillusioned by Brexit.

    We can't all be non-partisan fence sitters like yourself however hard we try.
    It's obsessives like you and he who keep trying to bring politics into it.

    I was making a general observation about Western society today, which could have unlocked a more interesting discussion right across this board.

    Sadly, though, that's clearly beyond you two.
    No, I just disagree with your thesis.

    And was pointing out that the philosophy of individualism is very much a strand of British conservatism, particularly since Thatcher.
    From "there is no such thing as society" through to can't afford a mortage on my second home so quitting as a minister to take up another job, whilst still wanting to take a full MPs salary too.
    Over many, many years, quite a few people either didn't take office, or left, because they could earn much more money outside. Being an MP has always been supposed to be a part time job.

    Trying to remember which Liberal PM had serious concerns about taking office, until he made a pile in Law? Success in the law came after a long, lean patch.
    Asquith, I think. IIRC, becoming an MP helped him get work as a lawyer
    Wasn't there another, who the grandees essentially bankrolled?
    Not a PM, but John Simon, perhaps?
    One former Liberal and later Conservative Prime Minister who needed to be bailed out several times was Winston Churchill. That was back when the PM's salary was the equivalent of around half a million pounds a year.
  • PulpstarPulpstar Posts: 75,877

    ...

    So apparently the big rise in my mortgage is Sunak's plan working.

    I get the Tory narrative about "Labour tax rises". But the Tories have just put through a massive tax rise. So what is he thinking? As Starmer put it, are people to believe Starmer's boasts or their own bank accounts?

    What caused the rise in mortgage rates? External factors in the main. Did you believe they would be low forever?
    Like this externality? Key paragraph is about two thirds down.

    https://www.niesr.ac.uk/blog/truss-kwarteng-mini-budget-one-year#:~:text=The Mini-Budget was delivered on 23 September 2022.,rate of 2.5 per cent.
    I think Hunt has largely eliminated the Kwarteng premium and we're where we would be ex Truss. He's not much loved but he does have the confidence of the money markets. Hopefully Reeves will too !
  • Andy_JSAndy_JS Posts: 26,334
    Never seen so many glum faces on the Tory benches.
  • FF43FF43 Posts: 15,639

    So apparently the big rise in my mortgage is Sunak's plan working.

    I get the Tory narrative about "Labour tax rises". But the Tories have just put through a massive tax rise. So what is he thinking? As Starmer put it, are people to believe Starmer's boasts or their own bank accounts?

    What caused the rise in mortgage rates? External factors in the main. Did you believe they would be low forever?
    Indeed, but then you shouldn't claim halving inflation as your masterstroke. The inflation rate drives mortgage rates and both are higher than they were.
  • BarnesianBarnesian Posts: 7,986

    TimS said:

    Forgot to mention, I expect Labour to win by a 3-figure majority. The mood is for change and party alignment is weak. What reasons have the Tories offered for anyone under 60 to vote for them? Add Reform into the mix and it looks awful. Yes, that's a massive number of gains but the Tories aren't all that well embedded in their 2019 gains, they've precious little activist base, they've lost their handle on social media, while mainstream media matters much less these days.

    Labour could screw it up, particularly if the Tories run an effective attack campaign, but even then, I can't see anything worse for them than a hung parliament with a comfortable confidence majority (the LDs and SNP will not let the Tories in under anything like current circumstances). On the other hand, Labour could win by the biggest landslide since the 1930s; the dynamics are there for that and we shouldn't rule it out as an extreme edge case.

    Indeed, of the two, I'd make a Lab 200+ majority more likely than a hung parliament.

    I'm afraid I have to agree with you, David. (Afraid, because I believe a good strong Opposition is conducive to good Government.) We seem to be in a minority here however.

    The majority view, which has Mike's not inconsiderable support, seems reliant on hypotheses and suppositions. The fact is that when people are asked how they plan to vote, a great many more indicate Labour than Tory and I think you need to have very strong reasons indeed to supplant that fact with suppositions, especially when counter-suppositions are readily available.

    Still a long way to go but I agree wholeheartedly with your last para. A landslide is as likely as a hung Parliament.

    And the odds are juicy too!

    We also have the hard facts of evidence from Westminster by-elections, with 20k Con majorities regularly being overturned - and not just by the Lib Dems, who know how to win by-elections (and then lose those seats again at general elections) but by Labour. When seats like Selby, Tamworth or Mid Beds go Labour (despite a hefty Lib Dem effort in that last one), it's clear how big the mood for change is.

    We'll get further useful data in a couple of weeks from Wellingborough (Con maj 18k) and Kingswood (Con maj 11k). Both ought to be straight Con/Lab battles.

    The performance of Reform in both seats (and Rochdale) will also be something to keep an eye on. So far, they've not converted polling into votes.
    It's been unfortunate for the Lib Dems that the 2024 byelections so far aren't promising for them. Byelections are one of the very few news events that get good coverage for the party in an average electoral cycle. The locals in May are the possibly the last remaining good news opportunity for then.
    The Lib Dems would so a lot better concentrating on policy rather than by-elections. They're on a fools mission thinking that random by-election wins form any kind of strategy. However, it's one they're addicted to so I don't expect it to change.
    I find that most people aren't interested in policy. They are more interested in performance - do things work - and trust - are you on my side. The Tories are clearly failing on both.

    The LibDems on the other hand are focused on building up a reputation at local council level of good performance and trust together with an army of activists. That's why I believe that the LibDems will surprise on the upside at the general election.

    By-elections are the cherry on the cake. And good practice for activists.
  • dixiedeandixiedean Posts: 27,901
    edited January 31

    Why is Bridgen wearing a large paper clip on his suit?

    He needs help keeping himself together.
  • noneoftheabovenoneoftheabove Posts: 20,544
    Pulpstar said:

    Elon Musk’s record $56bn Tesla pay package is too much, judge rules
    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/elon-musks-record-56bn-tesla-pay-package-is-too-much-judge-rules-cwzzpnh27 (£££)

    First world problems.

    I'll do it for $36bn if they are interested.
    The $56 Bn was passed by shareholders based on specific performance targets which were met. I'm a bit uneasy with a complaint from someone who owns a grand total of 9 TSLA shares complaining to a court regarding a passed shareholder motion and then a judge quashing passed said shareholder resolution.
    Feels like judicial interference tbh.
    I don't own any TSLA - well not directly anyway.
    Uncomfortable as well but not sure the court is wrong.

    https://corpgov.law.harvard.edu/2018/07/13/further-thoughts-on-elon-musks-compensation/

    The argument for corporate waste seems fairly strong on the grounds of it being 1) excessive at the time 2) not needed to tie Musk in as he owned a significant slice of Tesla already 3) not effective in tying Musk in as he has spent loads of time on twatter, space, human implants and challenging rivals to cage fights.
  • noneoftheabovenoneoftheabove Posts: 20,544
    Andy_JS said:

    Never seen so many glum faces on the Tory benches.

    That's alright, I am fairly sure there will be significantly fewer next year.
  • turbotubbsturbotubbs Posts: 15,057
    FF43 said:

    So apparently the big rise in my mortgage is Sunak's plan working.

    I get the Tory narrative about "Labour tax rises". But the Tories have just put through a massive tax rise. So what is he thinking? As Starmer put it, are people to believe Starmer's boasts or their own bank accounts?

    What caused the rise in mortgage rates? External factors in the main. Did you believe they would be low forever?
    Indeed, but then you shouldn't claim halving inflation as your masterstroke. The inflation rate drives mortgage rates and both are higher than they were.
    Cannot disagree. You cannot claim to be controlling inflation when it is on the way down and blame external factors when it is on the increase.

    I locked my mortgage at 2.78% for 10 years 1.5 years ago as I could see what was going to happen. In the long run I may be overpaying, but I don't think I will be, Others could have done the same.
  • LostPasswordLostPassword Posts: 14,956
    FF43 said:

    So apparently the big rise in my mortgage is Sunak's plan working.

    I get the Tory narrative about "Labour tax rises". But the Tories have just put through a massive tax rise. So what is he thinking? As Starmer put it, are people to believe Starmer's boasts or their own bank accounts?

    What caused the rise in mortgage rates? External factors in the main. Did you believe they would be low forever?
    Indeed, but then you shouldn't claim halving inflation as your masterstroke. The inflation rate drives mortgage rates and both are higher than they were.
    Every government tries to claim credit when the sun shines, and then blames "external factors" when it rains, and the public's reaction to these claims is a pretty good guide to how popular the government is.

    The Tories are in such a difficult spot right now partly because the public is so fed up with them that no credit is given even for genuine government successes*, while any misfortune is blamed on the government.

    Massive tax cuts? Grumbles that they wouldn't be able to cut taxes if they hadn't put them up so much.

    Stub your toe? Effing Tories!

    * Granted, I'm struggling to think of any.
  • MarqueeMarkMarqueeMark Posts: 50,042

    I wish I hadn’t been FM during Covid, Sturgeon says, voice quivering.

    Say whatever you like about her, but when she is cross examined she is masterful.

    So she can remember being FM? That's an improvement I guess...
  • FF43FF43 Posts: 15,639

    FF43 said:

    So apparently the big rise in my mortgage is Sunak's plan working.

    I get the Tory narrative about "Labour tax rises". But the Tories have just put through a massive tax rise. So what is he thinking? As Starmer put it, are people to believe Starmer's boasts or their own bank accounts?

    What caused the rise in mortgage rates? External factors in the main. Did you believe they would be low forever?
    Indeed, but then you shouldn't claim halving inflation as your masterstroke. The inflation rate drives mortgage rates and both are higher than they were.
    Cannot disagree. You cannot claim to be controlling inflation when it is on the way down and blame external factors when it is on the increase.

    I locked my mortgage at 2.78% for 10 years 1.5 years ago as I could see what was going to happen. In the long run I may be overpaying, but I don't think I will be, Others could have done the same.
    I think the political problem for the Conservatives is they are completely blind to cost of living challenges and have no interest in the people facing those challenges, when this is the No 1 political issue. Mortgage payments are one part, but the Cost of Living crisis is much bigger than that
  • eristdooferistdoof Posts: 4,874

    So apparently the big rise in my mortgage is Sunak's plan working.

    I get the Tory narrative about "Labour tax rises". But the Tories have just put through a massive tax rise. So what is he thinking? As Starmer put it, are people to believe Starmer's boasts or their own bank accounts?

    Awful few minutes for Sunak. But wont matter anyway as I dont think Tory polling can go any lower.
    The tories at the moment have terrible polling. The need to start getting better results. So it does still matter, if it reduces the level of swing back at the GE.
  • squareroot2squareroot2 Posts: 6,302
    edited January 31
    As soon as I read the Times headline about Sturgeon giving evidence... I thought...

    https://youtu.be/oejZKuaukig?si=aBfs6LRp4jKUwlkl

    The headline has changed. She was apparently choking back her tears.
  • Andy_JSAndy_JS Posts: 26,334
    "Harry Cole
    @MrHarryCole

    EXC: Tory MP who said he cannot afford to live on £120,000 accidentally sends 110 colleagues his knighthood nomination on Whatsapp

    George Freeman swiftly deleted the letter recommending him for a gong after publishing it to the entire One Nation group"

    https://twitter.com/MrHarryCole/status/1752391367177765074
  • eristdooferistdoof Posts: 4,874

    FF43 said:

    So apparently the big rise in my mortgage is Sunak's plan working.

    I get the Tory narrative about "Labour tax rises". But the Tories have just put through a massive tax rise. So what is he thinking? As Starmer put it, are people to believe Starmer's boasts or their own bank accounts?

    What caused the rise in mortgage rates? External factors in the main. Did you believe they would be low forever?
    Indeed, but then you shouldn't claim halving inflation as your masterstroke. The inflation rate drives mortgage rates and both are higher than they were.
    Cannot disagree. You cannot claim to be controlling inflation when it is on the way down and blame external factors when it is on the increase.

    I locked my mortgage at 2.78% for 10 years 1.5 years ago as I could see what was going to happen. In the long run I may be overpaying, but I don't think I will be, Others could have done the same.
    Even if you do over pay a bit you have considerably reduced your risk.
  • rottenboroughrottenborough Posts: 58,094

    Matt Chorley
    @MattChorley
    ·
    10m
    Replying to
    @MattChorley

    We have spoken to both branches of Iceland in Warrington and they don't know a Phil...
  • PulpstarPulpstar Posts: 75,877
    edited January 31

    FF43 said:

    So apparently the big rise in my mortgage is Sunak's plan working.

    I get the Tory narrative about "Labour tax rises". But the Tories have just put through a massive tax rise. So what is he thinking? As Starmer put it, are people to believe Starmer's boasts or their own bank accounts?

    What caused the rise in mortgage rates? External factors in the main. Did you believe they would be low forever?
    Indeed, but then you shouldn't claim halving inflation as your masterstroke. The inflation rate drives mortgage rates and both are higher than they were.
    Cannot disagree. You cannot claim to be controlling inflation when it is on the way down and blame external factors when it is on the increase.

    I locked my mortgage at 2.78% for 10 years 1.5 years ago as I could see what was going to happen. In the long run I may be overpaying, but I don't think I will be, Others could have done the same.
    Depends...

    Did you chop your prior cheaper fix less than halfway through and swallow an ERC ?
  • eristdooferistdoof Posts: 4,874

    Andy_JS said:

    Never seen so many glum faces on the Tory benches.

    That's alright, I am fairly sure there will be significantly fewer next year.
    There won't be any Tories on those benches next year. The few who survive will be sitting on the other side.
  • noneoftheabovenoneoftheabove Posts: 20,544
    eristdoof said:

    Andy_JS said:

    Never seen so many glum faces on the Tory benches.

    That's alright, I am fairly sure there will be significantly fewer next year.
    There won't be any Tories on those benches next year. The few who survive will be sitting on the other side.
    There will still be "Tory benches". Their location is not pertinent to the number of glum faces upon them.
  • algarkirkalgarkirk Posts: 10,455

    On thread.

    According to the latest YouGov, of 2019 Conservatives who have made up their mind which way to vote in the General Election, only 49% are currently committed to vote Conservative with 19% now choosing Labour (and 29% Reform.)

    I think it reasonable to assume that the voting choices of the 2019 Conservatives who have not yet made up their mind are likely to be subject to no less churn than those that have. That group by definition does not include the Conservative core vote.

    So if the Conservative net lead over Labour in decided 2019 Conservatives is only a net 30% (i.e. 49-19), why should the Conservatives expect to get as much as a net 30% lead over Labour from undecided 2019 Conservatives, if they end up voting at all? The thread header seems to be implying that they will get more than that.

    Any views, anyone?

    I don't see any sign of dissident Con 2019 voters (I know a few personally, and others on here) are particularly motivated to rush back. Or indeed that they prefer LibDems to Lab or vice versa. They have a settled view that the Government is useless, and an open mind on whether to vote for someone else or abstain. The idea that they are all on the edge of swinging back is a fantasy, as it was in 1997 (when many disilllusioned Tories decided on abstention).
    I agree. I assume Nick that like me you've also found loads of disillusioned 2019 Conservatives while doorknocking in recent months, so your views will be similarly informed by a lot of recent experience.

    Mine is this. For those down on the database as past Conservatives but who say they don't know yet about their current voting intention I find the new 1-10 follow up question very useful as it opens up a conversation and generates a lot of nuances you didn't get before. "Well in fact I may not end up voting at all" is a very common response as is the likes of "well goodness knows what I'm going to do but if I do vote it's definitely not going to be Tory next time." Some of course do give you the impression that they may well revert to voting Tory but I don't get any impression that there is a vast latent Conservative vote intending to return to the fold.

    So I'm pretty sceptical about the potential for Conservative recovery from that source. For me the potential black swan is the awful state of the electoral roll particularly in Labour-supporting areas and the knowledge that it will be even worse in an Autumn 2024 election. But on balance with Conservatives deserting their party en masse I don't think that a really lousy register will be enough for them to escape a bad defeat.

    A Tory deal with Reform, a populist gimmick or gimmicks both pre elections and in the manifesto, a couple of Labour stumbles, continuing unconviction about Labour and Starmer, and a medium size Black Swan; this is all that is needed to bring about NOM.
  • EabhalEabhal Posts: 5,876


    Matt Chorley
    @MattChorley
    ·
    10m
    Replying to
    @MattChorley

    We have spoken to both branches of Iceland in Warrington and they don't know a Phil...

    A Phil from Warrington used to post on PB, I vaguely recall?
  • noneoftheabovenoneoftheabove Posts: 20,544
    Andy_JS said:

    "Harry Cole
    @MrHarryCole

    EXC: Tory MP who said he cannot afford to live on £120,000 accidentally sends 110 colleagues his knighthood nomination on Whatsapp

    George Freeman swiftly deleted the letter recommending him for a gong after publishing it to the entire One Nation group"

    https://twitter.com/MrHarryCole/status/1752391367177765074

    Are we supposed to be nominating ourselves?
  • IanB2IanB2 Posts: 47,164
    155mph wind gust recorded in the Faroe Islands…
  • FlatlanderFlatlander Posts: 3,874
    edited January 31

    Andy_JS said:

    Leon said:

    Re fertility

    I managed to knock out two kids, somehow, amidst the chaos of my life. I never really lived with either of the mothers - in the first instance we tried but failed within months; the second woman didn't even want to try

    And yet even then the responsibilties severely impinged my life for a while, and the whole thing has been horrifically expensive. Albeit now I see it as absolutely worth it, despite all the pain and hassle. The only thing I can really compare it too is Brexit

    So I can totally understand why young people don't want their own personal Brexit. However that does mean the human species will die out

    The predominant feature of Western culture today is me me me me me..

    Anything that might involve any sense of duty, sacrifice or service is dismissed as the individual being a bit of a mug or even sneered at and frowned upon. We are encouraged to have and take whatever we want, whenever we want it, and damn right too, and we don't owe anyone anything or have any obligations to anyone.

    And, thus, a secret emptiness creeps into people's lives.
    If that was true, I doubt there'd be much of a volunteer or charity sectors in the country.
    It's incredible to me how we can have both such a large welfare state in this country and such a big need for charity/volunteer services. I can understand the need for one or the other, but not both at the same time. The whole point of the establishment of the welfare state was supposed to be to largely supersede the need for charity.
    Arguably there are too many small charities. Many seem to originate in a personal tragedy (someone is murdered with a knife, family sets up a Charity in the their name. Someone dies of a rare cancer, family sets up a charity in their name etc).

    I think these charities are serving a purpose of helping the families feel better, but as actual charities, I'm less convinced.

    I also see an awful lot of charities attached to the teat of the public purse - at which point they are not really charities at all, rather they are providers of X for the commissioning body.
    Big charities are run by paid professionals, which many object to, so give to smaller charities where no-one is paid even if the net result is uncoordinated duplication at best to a complete shambles at worst (and that's not counting the Captain Tom debacle).
    Mrs Flatlander is a trustee on a small charity which is a bit shambolic at times, mainly because she doesn't have time to sort it out properly and the original founder's family isn't really up to the job.

    It manages some land and the land is still there and not trashed, so in that sense it still works despite everything.

    The large organisation for this kind of thing would be a local Wildlife Trust. Unfortunately they aren't really interested in small pieces of land - even when part of a larger whole - as they are difficult to fund.

    As an example, they (the Wildlife Trust) were recently offered a piece of land (limestone grassland) with an important collection of rare plants but refused the gift as the site was apparently too small. Presumably this wouldn't attract enough funding from DEFRA for High Level Stewardship (or whatever the equivalent to this will be) and thus there would not be enough income to pay the staff who would have to manage it.

    There's definitely a role for the small charity that can deal with fiddling small change and not have to pay a Chief Executive.


    On the general 'civic society' front, I have found that a lot of local clubs and societies have declined or folded or now have age profiles above 70.
  • noneoftheabovenoneoftheabove Posts: 20,544
    dixiedean said:

    Why is Bridgen wearing a large paper clip on his suit?

    He needs help keeping himself together.
    You could have saved yourself three words there.
  • MexicanpeteMexicanpete Posts: 24,919
    Eabhal said:


    Matt Chorley
    @MattChorley
    ·
    10m
    Replying to
    @MattChorley

    We have spoken to both branches of Iceland in Warrington and they don't know a Phil...

    A Phil from Warrington used to post on PB, I vaguely recall?
    Perhaps Starmer was just having a Laff(er).
  • eristdoof said:

    So apparently the big rise in my mortgage is Sunak's plan working.

    I get the Tory narrative about "Labour tax rises". But the Tories have just put through a massive tax rise. So what is he thinking? As Starmer put it, are people to believe Starmer's boasts or their own bank accounts?

    Awful few minutes for Sunak. But wont matter anyway as I dont think Tory polling can go any lower.
    The tories at the moment have terrible polling. The need to start getting better results. So it does still matter, if it reduces the level of swing back at the GE.
    Sunak had a poor PMQ and whilst Starmer did have an open goal he didn't miss

    However, the NI deal is far more important and it seems Sunak and Cameron may not only have got the DUP on board, but also the EU to amend part of the WF

    If that is confirmed and NI government restarts over the weekend, then that will be a major achievement by Sunak and Cameron

    However let's wait and see if it happens
  • eristdooferistdoof Posts: 4,874

    eristdoof said:

    Andy_JS said:

    Never seen so many glum faces on the Tory benches.

    That's alright, I am fairly sure there will be significantly fewer next year.
    There won't be any Tories on those benches next year. The few who survive will be sitting on the other side.
    There will still be "Tory benches". Their location is not pertinent to the number of glum faces upon them.
    I wasn't disagreeing with you!
  • So apparently the big rise in my mortgage is Sunak's plan working.

    I get the Tory narrative about "Labour tax rises". But the Tories have just put through a massive tax rise. So what is he thinking? As Starmer put it, are people to believe Starmer's boasts or their own bank accounts?

    What caused the rise in mortgage rates? External factors in the main. Did you believe they would be low forever?
    T
    R
    U
    S
    S

    I am now paying the Truss Tax.
  • rottenboroughrottenborough Posts: 58,094
    IanB2 said:

    155mph wind gust recorded in the Faroe Islands…

    wow.
  • TazTaz Posts: 10,929

    Leon said:

    Leon said:

    For the sake of balance, I know a couple of guys with lovely kids and apparently happy families.... who are almost suicidal at the way they "wasted" their life on family stuff, and never took the chance to do something "more exciting"

    What can you do. Life's a bitch and then you are uploaded to Neuralink

    I am very surprised that @Leon knows some men who are total selfish negative wankers. Having a family is a gift that should be cherished. There are few higher purposes. These "couple of guys" to whom you refer (if they exist,) need to be grateful and less twatish. It is possible, of course, that they have been such shitty selfish fathers that they have failed to get the positive feedback that they would have had from their offspring had they been more normal human beings.
    Why are you ALWAYS such a gormless wanker? Do you actively wake up and think How can I be a thick wanker today?

    These guys are humans. Humans make mistakes. And not everyone gets fulfilment out of having kids - if you did, good for you

    Studies show about 10% of people regret having children. The figure may indeed be artificially lowered because of the stigma of admitting this
    Lol, I haven't been on here for a while, but I thought it would be fun to wind you up a little. You might think that being able to construct a little bit of Dan Brown like prose in a non-best selling trash novel makes you Shakespeare, but someone that dumbly shows their ignorance of science and the world in general with such monotonous regularity is not in any way qualified to call anyone a gormless or thick wanker, even though masturbation is your own self-admitted subject of specialisation.
    So you have just dropped in to troll a regular poster.

    Quality.

  • IanB2 said:

    155mph wind gust recorded in the Faroe Islands…

    wow.
    I experienced a wind speed of 155mph+ on our expedition ship in South Georgia and it was just amazing
  • kamskikamski Posts: 4,203
    On polling, here is an interesting poll from a couple of weeks back about potential AfD Minister-Presidents in the 3 eastern Bundesländer that have elections this year - in Thüringen and Brandenburg the AfD are currently in clear first place in the polling for the Regional elections, and in Saxony they are narrowly ahead.

    https://www.n-tv.de/politik/Selbst-AfD-Stammwaehler-halten-nicht-viel-von-Hoecke-und-Co-article24665733.html

    But in all three their prospective Minister-Presidents (ie First Ministers) poll really badly. Maybe this is partly name recognition (though surely not in Thüringen where Höcke is extremely well-known). I can't find the actual polling tables, but the article says that only 6% of voters think Höcke would be better than the current (Linke) premier in Thüringen (where the AfD have 36% of the vote with the same pollster), and even worse numbers for the AfD leaders in Saxony and Brandenburg.

    Not sure what explains this without seeing the actual question asked and the figures, but it could be that a chunk of the AfD vote is a pure protest vote - people think that (for now) the AfD has no chance of being part the government at state or federal level, so they can vote for them despite not liking the idea of their leaders actually being in power.

    (though they could be wrong about this in Thüringen see this discussion https://verfassungsblog.de/why-the-afd-takeover-could-begin-much-sooner-than-many-realize/ )
  • eristdoof said:

    So apparently the big rise in my mortgage is Sunak's plan working.

    I get the Tory narrative about "Labour tax rises". But the Tories have just put through a massive tax rise. So what is he thinking? As Starmer put it, are people to believe Starmer's boasts or their own bank accounts?

    Awful few minutes for Sunak. But wont matter anyway as I dont think Tory polling can go any lower.
    The tories at the moment have terrible polling. The need to start getting better results. So it does still matter, if it reduces the level of swing back at the GE.
    Sunak had a poor PMQ and whilst Starmer did have an open goal he didn't miss

    However, the NI deal is far more important and it seems Sunak and Cameron may not only have got the DUP on board, but also the EU to amend part of the WF

    If that is confirmed and NI government restarts over the weekend, then that will be a major achievement by Sunak and Cameron

    However let's wait and see if it happens
    Yes, just reading the live BBC feed on Donaldson's interview with BBC Northern Ireland. He is very complementary about Sunak. The first reason I've been given to reassess my opinion that he is drowning - perhaps.
  • carnforthcarnforth Posts: 3,155

    I hereby recant my support for George Osborne from this time forward.

    Former UK chancellor George Osborne has joined the advisory council of cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, as the company faces increasing regulatory scrutiny.

    https://on.ft.com/42hO5m1

    Makes Greensill Capital look legit.
  • LeonLeon Posts: 46,462
    I'm drinking this, with Wagyu ribeye

    https://www.vivino.com/US-CA/en/haut-rocher-saint-emilion-grand-cru-st-emilion-grand-cru/w/1318125?year=2018

    Excellent

    This may be my policy from now on, only the best wine, but less of it

    Hic

    £30 a bottle in Phnom Penh!

    OK I'll drink two bottles a day, but that's my limit


  • bondegezoubondegezou Posts: 7,443

    eristdoof said:

    So apparently the big rise in my mortgage is Sunak's plan working.

    I get the Tory narrative about "Labour tax rises". But the Tories have just put through a massive tax rise. So what is he thinking? As Starmer put it, are people to believe Starmer's boasts or their own bank accounts?

    Awful few minutes for Sunak. But wont matter anyway as I dont think Tory polling can go any lower.
    The tories at the moment have terrible polling. The need to start getting better results. So it does still matter, if it reduces the level of swing back at the GE.
    Sunak had a poor PMQ and whilst Starmer did have an open goal he didn't miss

    However, the NI deal is far more important and it seems Sunak and Cameron may not only have got the DUP on board, but also the EU to amend part of the WF

    If that is confirmed and NI government restarts over the weekend, then that will be a major achievement by Sunak and Cameron

    However let's wait and see if it happens
    Yes, just reading the live BBC feed on Donaldson's interview with BBC Northern Ireland. He is very complementary about Sunak. The first reason I've been given to reassess my opinion that he is drowning - perhaps.
    You can read the full agreement here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/65ba3b7bee7d490013984a59/Command_Paper__1_.pdf It is densely packed with rhetorical flourishes. It’s hard to make out what actually it entails that is different from what was agreed under the Windsor Framework. On first impression, there’s a lot of windowdressing. Lots of waffle so the DUP can save face. Contrary to what the DUP says, a border of sorts remains down the Irish Sea, but the WF already did the heavy lifting to minimise the impact on goods travelling purely between NI and GB.

    However, I await more detailed analyses from people who know what they’re talking about! If windowdressing and rhetoric is what it took to get the DUP to come back to Stormont, it’s great that Sunak has delivered it. Sunak is perhaps better at these important deals than he is at political campaigning.
  • MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 44,042

    Andy_JS said:

    Leon said:

    Re fertility

    I managed to knock out two kids, somehow, amidst the chaos of my life. I never really lived with either of the mothers - in the first instance we tried but failed within months; the second woman didn't even want to try

    And yet even then the responsibilties severely impinged my life for a while, and the whole thing has been horrifically expensive. Albeit now I see it as absolutely worth it, despite all the pain and hassle. The only thing I can really compare it too is Brexit

    So I can totally understand why young people don't want their own personal Brexit. However that does mean the human species will die out

    The predominant feature of Western culture today is me me me me me..

    Anything that might involve any sense of duty, sacrifice or service is dismissed as the individual being a bit of a mug or even sneered at and frowned upon. We are encouraged to have and take whatever we want, whenever we want it, and damn right too, and we don't owe anyone anything or have any obligations to anyone.

    And, thus, a secret emptiness creeps into people's lives.
    If that was true, I doubt there'd be much of a volunteer or charity sectors in the country.
    It's incredible to me how we can have both such a large welfare state in this country and such a big need for charity/volunteer services. I can understand the need for one or the other, but not both at the same time. The whole point of the establishment of the welfare state was supposed to be to largely supersede the need for charity.
    Arguably there are too many small charities. Many seem to originate in a personal tragedy (someone is murdered with a knife, family sets up a Charity in the their name. Someone dies of a rare cancer, family sets up a charity in their name etc).

    I think these charities are serving a purpose of helping the families feel better, but as actual charities, I'm less convinced.

    I also see an awful lot of charities attached to the teat of the public purse - at which point they are not really charities at all, rather they are providers of X for the commissioning body.
    Big charities are run by paid professionals, which many object to, so give to smaller charities where no-one is paid even if the net result is uncoordinated duplication at best to a complete shambles at worst (and that's not counting the Captain Tom debacle).
    Mrs Flatlander is a trustee on a small charity which is a bit shambolic at times, mainly because she doesn't have time to sort it out properly and the original founder's family isn't really up to the job.

    It manages some land and the land is still there and not trashed, so in that sense it still works despite everything.

    The large organisation for this kind of thing would be a local Wildlife Trust. Unfortunately they aren't really interested in small pieces of land - even when part of a larger whole - as they are difficult to fund.

    As an example, they (the Wildlife Trust) were recently offered a piece of land (limestone grassland) with an important collection of rare plants but refused the gift as the site was apparently too small. Presumably this wouldn't attract enough funding from DEFRA for High Level Stewardship (or whatever the equivalent to this will be) and thus there would not be enough income to pay the staff who would have to manage it.

    There's definitely a role for the small charity that can deal with fiddling small change and not have to pay a Chief Executive.


    On the general 'civic society' front, I have found that a lot of local clubs and societies have declined or folded or now have age profiles above 70.
    One thing I have noticed is that *some* retired people do not make enough allowance for "low time" volunteering.

    Working people can put in a smaller number of hours, often, *on a given day*

    Saying that, if you can't do 6 hours on Tuesday, then you are slacker, is simply wrong.
  • Alphabet_SoupAlphabet_Soup Posts: 2,720
    Leon said:

    I'm drinking this, with Wagyu ribeye

    https://www.vivino.com/US-CA/en/haut-rocher-saint-emilion-grand-cru-st-emilion-grand-cru/w/1318125?year=2018

    Excellent

    This may be my policy from now on, only the best wine, but less of it

    Hic

    £30 a bottle in Phnom Penh!

    OK I'll drink two bottles a day, but that's my limit


    Don't touch the St Emilion 1974. Picked it myself and I know what's in it.
  • FlatlanderFlatlander Posts: 3,874
    edited January 31

    IanB2 said:

    155mph wind gust recorded in the Faroe Islands…

    wow.
    I experienced a wind speed of 155mph+ on our expedition ship in South Georgia and it was just amazing
    At anchor? I'm surprised a ship could survive that without serious damage.

    The worst winds in any inhabited area must be the Piteraq in Greenland (similar cause?).

    Cold air is drawn off the icecap in certain conditions and funnels down the valleys in a freezing cold river at 200mph and -15C.

    The UK record is about 170mph, BTW. I have been out in c80mph and it seems Mrs Flatlander flies at that windspeed so we have not tried to repeat the experience.
  • MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 44,042

    IanB2 said:

    155mph wind gust recorded in the Faroe Islands…

    wow.
    I experienced a wind speed of 155mph+ on our expedition ship in South Georgia and it was just amazing
    That must have been interesting for the helmsman. I hope that wasn't a beam wind!
  • eristdoof said:

    So apparently the big rise in my mortgage is Sunak's plan working.

    I get the Tory narrative about "Labour tax rises". But the Tories have just put through a massive tax rise. So what is he thinking? As Starmer put it, are people to believe Starmer's boasts or their own bank accounts?

    Awful few minutes for Sunak. But wont matter anyway as I dont think Tory polling can go any lower.
    The tories at the moment have terrible polling. The need to start getting better results. So it does still matter, if it reduces the level of swing back at the GE.
    Sunak had a poor PMQ and whilst Starmer did have an open goal he didn't miss

    However, the NI deal is far more important and it seems Sunak and Cameron may not only have got the DUP on board, but also the EU to amend part of the WF

    If that is confirmed and NI government restarts over the weekend, then that will be a major achievement by Sunak and Cameron

    However let's wait and see if it happens
    Yes, just reading the live BBC feed on Donaldson's interview with BBC Northern Ireland. He is very complementary about Sunak. The first reason I've been given to reassess my opinion that he is drowning - perhaps.
    If I was given £3bn I’d probably be able to say nice things too!

    Getting the NI assembly back up and running - while a good thing to do - probably won’t give Prime Minister Sunak the gratitude of mainland voters. Not sure Peter Hain / Tony Blair got much credit for getting the assembly going last time it stopped (I am sure I recall Hain threatening them with Water Rates or something to push them over the top). Or whoever got the Assembly going again after the Cash for Ash scandal - I want to say Brokenshire / Johnson.
  • WhisperingOracleWhisperingOracle Posts: 8,502
    edited January 31
    I don't think a Big Society is mainly, or only volunteering, though.

    It's also about people asking themselves, quite simply, how much they are doing for those around them, at family, community, or national level, as part of a ratio with what they are doing for themselves. Most of us in the West aren't doing enough currently, I think, and I very definitely include myself in that.
  • FF43FF43 Posts: 15,639

    eristdoof said:

    So apparently the big rise in my mortgage is Sunak's plan working.

    I get the Tory narrative about "Labour tax rises". But the Tories have just put through a massive tax rise. So what is he thinking? As Starmer put it, are people to believe Starmer's boasts or their own bank accounts?

    Awful few minutes for Sunak. But wont matter anyway as I dont think Tory polling can go any lower.
    The tories at the moment have terrible polling. The need to start getting better results. So it does still matter, if it reduces the level of swing back at the GE.
    Sunak had a poor PMQ and whilst Starmer did have an open goal he didn't miss

    However, the NI deal is far more important and it seems Sunak and Cameron may not only have got the DUP on board, but also the EU to amend part of the WF

    If that is confirmed and NI government restarts over the weekend, then that will be a major achievement by Sunak and Cameron

    However let's wait and see if it happens
    Yes, just reading the live BBC feed on Donaldson's interview with BBC Northern Ireland. He is very complementary about Sunak. The first reason I've been given to reassess my opinion that he is drowning - perhaps.
    To be fair to Sunak he's invested in technocratic steps to make Brexit a bit less crap than it would otherwise be. Which is more than any of the others.
  • northern_monkeynorthern_monkey Posts: 1,496
    edited January 31
    ‘UK minister: Brexit checks ‘price you pay for being a sovereign state again‘

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2024/jan/31/uk-minister-andrea-leadsom-brexit-checks-price-you-pay-sovereign-state-again

    Quite the change from ‘Project Fear’ and ‘No downsides’. ‘We will be part of a free trade zone.’ It’s almost as if the lying liars knowingly and repeatedly lied because if they’d told the truth they knew Brexit would never have got through.
  • LeonLeon Posts: 46,462
    edited January 31

    Leon said:

    I'm drinking this, with Wagyu ribeye

    https://www.vivino.com/US-CA/en/haut-rocher-saint-emilion-grand-cru-st-emilion-grand-cru/w/1318125?year=2018

    Excellent

    This may be my policy from now on, only the best wine, but less of it

    Hic

    £30 a bottle in Phnom Penh!

    OK I'll drink two bottles a day, but that's my limit


    Don't touch the St Emilion 1974. Picked it myself and I know what's in it.
    Hah, Wilko

    Phnom Penh is so weird when it comes to wine, for such a poor country - GDP of $1900 per capita, less than Zimbabwe, Mauritania and Haiti

    The selection is generally good (compared to the equivalent nation in Africa, central Asia or LatAm), the prices are reasonable (compared to bloody Thailand), and almost every big wine store will have at least one sensational French red, grand cru, for a spookily reasonable price (compared to anywhere)

    I am buying this St Emilion for about a pound more than it would cost in the UK, in a case

    I get that Cambo has a French colonial heritage, but the ergo-economics of this still perplex me
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 62,041
    ‘Unless You’re a Purist, We Don’t Want You Voting’
    The Nevada GOP wanted to ensure a Trump win. They wound up making the state irrelevant.
    https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2024/01/30/donald-trump-nikki-haley-nevada-00138372

    Love the bit at the end where the woman says she'd vote for Trump even if he'd died, because "he's the change that we need".
  • MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 44,042
    Leon said:

    Leon said:

    I'm drinking this, with Wagyu ribeye

    https://www.vivino.com/US-CA/en/haut-rocher-saint-emilion-grand-cru-st-emilion-grand-cru/w/1318125?year=2018

    Excellent

    This may be my policy from now on, only the best wine, but less of it

    Hic

    £30 a bottle in Phnom Penh!

    OK I'll drink two bottles a day, but that's my limit


    Don't touch the St Emilion 1974. Picked it myself and I know what's in it.
    Hah, Wilko

    Phnom Penh is so weird when it comes to wine, for such a poor country - GDP of $1900 per capita, less than Zimbabwe, Mauritania and Haiti

    The selection is generally good (compared to the equivalent nation in Africa, central Asia or LatAm), the prices are reasonable (compared to bloody Thailand), and almost every big wine store will have at least one sensational French red, grand cru, for a spookily reasonable price (compared to anywhere)

    I am buying this St Emillion for about a pound more than it would cost in the UK, in a case

    I get that Cambo has a French colonial heritage, but the ergo-economics of this still perplex me
    Once you have a temperature controlled container on a ship, the cost of sending it round the world vs a few hundred miles is surprisingly small. A lot of the cost is in the port facilities either end, having a ship to carry it. The actual length of the voyage in between is a much smaller factor in the overall transport cost than you might think.

    That and wine forgery is getting really good these days. Especially now that Rudy is out and selling his expertise.
  • LostPasswordLostPassword Posts: 14,956
    Leon said:

    Leon said:

    I'm drinking this, with Wagyu ribeye

    https://www.vivino.com/US-CA/en/haut-rocher-saint-emilion-grand-cru-st-emilion-grand-cru/w/1318125?year=2018

    Excellent

    This may be my policy from now on, only the best wine, but less of it

    Hic

    £30 a bottle in Phnom Penh!

    OK I'll drink two bottles a day, but that's my limit


    Don't touch the St Emilion 1974. Picked it myself and I know what's in it.
    Hah, Wilko

    Phnom Penh is so weird when it comes to wine, for such a poor country - GDP of $1900 per capita, less than Zimbabwe, Mauritania and Haiti

    The selection is generally good (compared to the equivalent nation in Africa, central Asia or LatAm), the prices are reasonable (compared to bloody Thailand), and almost every big wine store will have at least one sensational French red, grand cru, for a spookily reasonable price (compared to anywhere)

    I am buying this St Emilion for about a pound more than it would cost in the UK, in a case

    I get that Cambo has a French colonial heritage, but the ergo-economics of this still perplex me
    Chinese money creating a small middle class in the capital?

    With that money then leaving the country to pay for imports of luxury goods. Seems to be a pattern seen many times before.
  • Northern_AlNorthern_Al Posts: 7,496
    edited January 31
    On PMQs, I don't mind Starmer pinning rise in mortgage rates on the government - seems fair enough, especially when Sunak wants to take the credit for falling inflation.

    However, I would like to see Starmer taking more interest in the millions of people who rent private property, who have suffered huge rent hikes in recent years. Most of these are younger voters, who need more reason to vote Labour. It's not all about house buyers, Keir.
  • Well I can’t seem to edit my post above - but for those that care the NI secretary when the assembly came back after “cash for ash” was not Brokenshire - nor even Karen Bradley - but Julian Smith. Who knew (well definitely not me).
  • turbotubbsturbotubbs Posts: 15,057
    Pulpstar said:

    FF43 said:

    So apparently the big rise in my mortgage is Sunak's plan working.

    I get the Tory narrative about "Labour tax rises". But the Tories have just put through a massive tax rise. So what is he thinking? As Starmer put it, are people to believe Starmer's boasts or their own bank accounts?

    What caused the rise in mortgage rates? External factors in the main. Did you believe they would be low forever?
    Indeed, but then you shouldn't claim halving inflation as your masterstroke. The inflation rate drives mortgage rates and both are higher than they were.
    Cannot disagree. You cannot claim to be controlling inflation when it is on the way down and blame external factors when it is on the increase.

    I locked my mortgage at 2.78% for 10 years 1.5 years ago as I could see what was going to happen. In the long run I may be overpaying, but I don't think I will be, Others could have done the same.
    Depends...

    Did you chop your prior cheaper fix less than halfway through and swallow an ERC ?
    No - I was on a tracker at that point, plus borrowing to finance an extension.
  • Northern_AlNorthern_Al Posts: 7,496

    Well I can’t seem to edit my post above - but for those that care the NI secretary when the assembly came back after “cash for ash” was not Brokenshire - nor even Karen Bradley - but Julian Smith. Who knew (well definitely not me).

    Julian Smith actually did a pretty good job as NI Secretary, gaining the respect of all sides - no mean feat.
    So Boris sacked him after 204 days.
  • OldKingColeOldKingCole Posts: 31,865

    eristdoof said:

    So apparently the big rise in my mortgage is Sunak's plan working.

    I get the Tory narrative about "Labour tax rises". But the Tories have just put through a massive tax rise. So what is he thinking? As Starmer put it, are people to believe Starmer's boasts or their own bank accounts?

    Awful few minutes for Sunak. But wont matter anyway as I dont think Tory polling can go any lower.
    The tories at the moment have terrible polling. The need to start getting better results. So it does still matter, if it reduces the level of swing back at the GE.
    Sunak had a poor PMQ and whilst Starmer did have an open goal he didn't miss

    However, the NI deal is far more important and it seems Sunak and Cameron may not only have got the DUP on board, but also the EU to amend part of the WF

    If that is confirmed and NI government restarts over the weekend, then that will be a major achievement by Sunak and Cameron

    However let's wait and see if it happens
    Yes, just reading the live BBC feed on Donaldson's interview with BBC Northern Ireland. He is very complementary about Sunak. The first reason I've been given to reassess my opinion that he is drowning - perhaps.
    You can read the full agreement here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/65ba3b7bee7d490013984a59/Command_Paper__1_.pdf It is densely packed with rhetorical flourishes. It’s hard to make out what actually it entails that is different from what was agreed under the Windsor Framework. On first impression, there’s a lot of windowdressing. Lots of waffle so the DUP can save face. Contrary to what the DUP says, a border of sorts remains down the Irish Sea, but the WF already did the heavy lifting to minimise the impact on goods travelling purely between NI and GB.

    However, I await more detailed analyses from people who know what they’re talking about! If windowdressing and rhetoric is what it took to get the DUP to come back to Stormont, it’s great that Sunak has delivered it. Sunak is perhaps better at these important deals than he is at political campaigning.
    Has there been any statement from the EU Commission?
This discussion has been closed.