Gloom and despondency in the UK.

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Bill Sikes
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Post by Bill Sikes »

The ride's going to become bumpier for a decade, perhaps, if we're lucky:

Benefits and pensions targeted to cut deficit - Telegraph

Hang onto your hats, and reduce personal debt as much as possible.
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Post by G#Gill »

Like we can manage on the pensions that we have at the moment ? Looks like there are going to be quite a few more examples of choosing between eating and heating........................... what a lovely situation to look forward to. Why doesn't the government bring in mass euthanasia now ffs? Cameron's asking for suggestions for reducing the spending. Well they can make a good bloody start by reducing MP's salaries and expenses - that would save a few million!
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Post by Bill Sikes »

G#Gill;1314604 wrote: Like we can manage on the pensions that we have at the moment ? Looks like there are going to be quite a few more examples of choosing between eating and heating........................... what a lovely situation to look forward to. Why doesn't the government bring in mass euthanasia now ffs?


It seems to me that the "benefits" for unemployed people of working age are excessively generous, but that retired people (who have already paid their taxes) really feel the squeeze.

As to your latter point.... shhh!

The "retirement age" will probably go up more, soon.
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Post by Snowfire »

This BBC articles highlights very well where the cuts might come and what political risks they carry

BBC News - Where could spending axe fall?

Its gonna be a bitter pill to swallow, however it's administered.

You dont suppose in his rush to sell it off, Gordon Brown might have missed a few gold ingots behind the door
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Post by G#Gill »

Can anybody tell me how much would be saved by removing all our troops from Afghanistan a.s.a.p. ? Apart from the obvious saving of young mens' lives, I'm talking about money.
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Post by spot »

G#Gill;1314630 wrote: Can anybody tell me how much would be saved by removing all our troops from Afghanistan a.s.a.p. ? Apart from the obvious saving of young mens' lives, I'm talking about money.


Far less than would be saved by reducing the entire UK armed forces to just Trident and a single Army Division for national guard duties. The country has absolutely no need for any more than that to guarantee our borders from invasion or civil unrest. If you pull the forces out of Afghanistan they'd still cost as much to feed in their home barracks and they'd only be sent off to quell some other third world victim in a few years, the trick is to demobilize them wholesale so they can't be sent in the first place. If we're going to keep them I'd far rather they were in Afghanistan, where they'll eventually lose their war, than anywhere else.
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Post by Bryn Mawr »

G#Gill;1314630 wrote: Can anybody tell me how much would be saved by removing all our troops from Afghanistan a.s.a.p. ? Apart from the obvious saving of young mens' lives, I'm talking about money.


Barely a billion or two per year as I understand it :-(
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Post by spot »

Bill Sikes;1314600 wrote: The ride's going to become bumpier for a decade, perhaps, if we're luckyIt's quite likely so, but I'm still moderately content with the election result. I think what would make me most livid would be a re-introduction of museum and art gallery charges which would put something of a knife into the vitals of tourism, it would be shockingly short-sighted and Thatcherite.
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Post by Clodhopper »

Cutting MPs salaries would be nothing. A few million? We're talking about between 157,000,000,000 and 170,000,000,000. That's 170 Thousand Million

We need better MPs. I'd quadruple their salaries (with a few checks abnd balances, like they fund their personal office out of it).

No matter how you look at it, it's going to be hell. I really had not appreciated how utterly and totally irresponsible Labour in general and Brown in particular have been.

Forget provision for one legged lesbian dwarfs, things we all really want are going to go. Public transport, I suspect, for one.

Don't see how we can stay in Afganistan, either. If we do stay, it will probably have to be as mercenaries for the Americans. If we aren't already.
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Post by Clodhopper »

Oh, and that's pounds sterling, not dollars.
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Post by spot »

Clodhopper;1314649 wrote: We need better MPs. I'd quadruple their salaries (with a few checks abnd balances, like they fund their personal office out of it).




Bravo. Routine tabloid denigration of MPs is one of the reasons the brightest and the best of us end up avoiding the exposure and ritual humiliation. The best investment the country could possibly embark on is recruiting effective MPs. It's amazing that the ones we have are as good as they are, and an indication that public service is still a viable calling despite all the mud that gets thrown.
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Post by Clodhopper »

Yes. It' an argument against my proposed salary increase, but I also am pleasantly surprised we have as many good MPs as we have. We lost Susan Kramer here and my disabled friend had been very impressed with the trouble she took to get his situation discussed at Ministerial level.

We'll wait and see if Zac bloody Goldsmith takes that sort of trouble.
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Post by flopstock »

what is this?



Ministers refused to rule out means testing child benefit for the middle classes
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Post by Clodhopper »

means testing child benefit for the middle classes


Any woman with a child was entitled to a government handout to help pay the costs of having a child. This government is saying well off people shouldn't get this benefit. Maybe they are saying it should be completely removed, but if so, this isn't clear at present.
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Post by spot »

flopstock;1314664 wrote: what is this?



Ministers refused to rule out means testing child benefit for the middle classes


It's to do with the poverty trap.

Some people have income and savings so low that if they had to fend for themselves they'd have no way of keeping fed and housed and medically treated for chronic nor acute conditions. Rather than have starving unhealthy vagrant citizens, the UK provides a safety net which firstly tests the means - the income and savings - of the potential poor and then tops up their resources from taxation if they qualify for relief.

It's a poverty trap because anyone receiving those benefits who then increases their income or savings has the benefits correspondingly withdrawn, so for a significant range of incomes it makes no difference whether you manage to earn more because you end up just as poor as you were with the benefits instead of the income. It's a disincentive for self-improvement.

One way to avoid a poverty trap is to make the benefit universal - to give it to everyone who qualifies regardless of their income or savings. One such untested benefit is a payment of (I'm not sure of the amount these days) maybe $50 a week for each child in the family, as a supplement to cover some of the costs of feeding and clothing it. Whether you earn a lot or not, the child benefit is the same for everyone with a school-age child at home.

No political party in the UK is going to reduce the safety net to the point where we have significant numbers of starving unhealthy vagrants, the electorate wouldn't allow them to stay in office if they did that. Means testing child benefit adds to the poverty trap. My own preference would be for all benefits to be universal - a simple adjustment to the tax system would achieve that, giving (say) a tax credit of $20,000 a year to every adult in the country regardless of income or savings. Then every extra dollar earned, less tax, would increase the individual's income, and there'd be an incentive toward self-improvement for both poor and rich alike.

Oh - the "middle classes" - they're traditionally regarded in the UK as being self-sufficient, as opposed to the working classes who traditionally have had trouble keeping body and soul together. As a term it's inaccurate but useful shorthand for those who can manage their finances.
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Post by G#Gill »

spot;1314642 wrote: Far less than would be saved by reducing the entire UK armed forces to just Trident and a single Army Division for national guard duties. The country has absolutely no need for any more than that to guarantee our borders from invasion or civil unrest. If you pull the forces out of Afghanistan they'd still cost as much to feed in their home barracks and they'd only be sent off to quell some other third world victim in a few years, the trick is to demobilize them wholesale so they can't be sent in the first place. If we're going to keep them I'd far rather they were in Afghanistan, where they'll eventually lose their war, than anywhere else.


How many more men, and women, would there be on the unemployment register then? I doubt very much that all these demobbed servicemen/women would be able to find work in civvy street, so the government would have to pay them unemployment benefit. :-5
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Post by spot »

G#Gill;1314671 wrote: How many more men, and women, would there be on the unemployment register then? I doubt very much that all these demobbed servicemen/women would be able to find work in civvy street, so the government would have to pay them unemployment benefit. :-5


That's infinitely preferable to having them deployed killing people whose sole interest is defending their homeland from foreign occupation, not to mention their women and children in horrifyingly large numbers. They're quite sufficiently qualified to go out navvying and there's plenty of new houses needed if they learn how to carry a hod instead of a rifle.
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Post by Clodhopper »

Sorry to say I think I disagree with both you and spot!

Keeping armed forces in the field is more expensive than having them at home: kit, supplies, logistics are much more expensive when tested and found wanting (as they always will be at the start of a conflict).

But I don't think this will just go away if we leave Afganistan. These are religious fanatics. They'll be on the streets of our cities if we don't fight them elsewhere. I think it's cheaper as well as better to fight them in Afganistan.
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Post by spot »

Clodhopper;1314677 wrote: But I don't think this will just go away if we leave Afganistan. These are religious fanatics. They'll be on the streets of our cities if we don't fight them elsewhere. I think it's cheaper as well as better to fight them in Afganistan.


"They" being Al Qaida, presumably. I don't think there's many of them fighting anyone in Afghanistan, do you?

Since when did the Afghan Taliban ever send any fighting force into Europe or the Americas? Yes they're religious fanatics, that's fine by me, it's their country after all. They're not, and never have been, exporting it to other continents. There's a lot more of them since Afghanistan was invaded, too. Resisting foreign occupation is a difficult idea to argue against. Name me a foreign-occupied country that didn't have a resistance movement.
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Post by Raven »

spot;1314680 wrote: "They" being Al Qaida, presumably. I don't think there's many of them fighting anyone in Afghanistan, do you?



Since when did the Afghan Taliban ever send any fighting force into Europe or the Americas? Yes they're religious fanatics, that's fine by me, it's their country after all. They're not, and never have been, exporting it to other continents. There's a lot more of them since Afghanistan was invaded, too. Resisting foreign occupation is a difficult idea to argue against. Name me a foreign-occupied country that didn't have a resistance movement.
Great Britain. This country has been invaded. Legally. No resistance given.
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Post by Royd Fissure »

spot;1314646 wrote: It's quite likely so, but I'm still moderately content with the election result. I think what would make me most livid would be a re-introduction of museum and art gallery charges which would put something of a knife into the vitals of tourism, it would be shockingly short-sighted and Thatcherite.


From someone that wants to be a tourist in England in about September that hits a nerve. However I am prepared to kick in a few bob voluntarily to play with stuff at the Science Museum :)
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Post by Royd Fissure »

Raven;1314703 wrote: Great Britain. This country has been invaded. Legally. No resistance given.


Well there was the Dutch (illegal of course) in about the 17th century I think it was, did a real job on the villages along the Medway. But since 1066 most invaders have been pretty unlucky. That was illegal albeit William did have some sort of moral claim to the throne. And I'd say the forces marching from defeating the Norse at Stamford Bridge and then nearly beating the Normans at Battle was a pretty good example of resistance. And even though the Battle of Britain was nearly lost (just as well Goering didn't figure out how tough things were for the RAF towards the end of that particular conflict) by the Brits they didn't go under and defeated the Luftwaffe. I'd call that pretty good resistance too. Did I mention the Blitz yet?
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Post by Bill Sikes »

Royd Fissure;1314733 wrote: However I am prepared to kick in a few bob voluntarily to play with stuff at the Science Museum : )


The Science Museum is quite good. See other thread.
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Post by Royd Fissure »

Bill Sikes;1314736 wrote: The Science Museum is quite good. See other thread.


Thank you Bill, I went and had a look and found the site. I appreciate the chance to do so, never realised it was there.

London's and Britain's museums are remarkable, they're an education in themselves, each one of them.

Sorry, this is heading into thread drift territory.
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Post by spot »

Royd Fissure;1314740 wrote: Thank you Bill, I went and had a look and found the site. I appreciate the chance to do so, never realised it was there.

London's and Britain's museums are remarkable, they're an education in themselves, each one of them.

Sorry, this is heading into thread drift territory.


Drift is good, I'm all in favour of a bit of drift, it never hurt a thread. Attacking a thread to take it off course is a different matter.

I was utterly outraged a couple of months ago when I wanted to show someone around Westminster Abbey and had a demand for £15 each on the door in order to gain admittance, way beyond my means and a complete impossibility for me to stump up. If the Church of England can't afford to maintain their buildings they should hand them over for safe keeping to the National Trust, damn their eyes.
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Post by Raven »

Royd Fissure;1314734 wrote: Well there was the Dutch (illegal of course) in about the 17th century I think it was, did a real job on the villages along the Medway. But since 1066 most invaders have been pretty unlucky. That was illegal albeit William did have some sort of moral claim to the throne. And I'd say the forces marching from defeating the Norse at Stamford Bridge and then nearly beating the Normans at Battle was a pretty good example of resistance. And even though the Battle of Britain was nearly lost (just as well Goering didn't figure out how tough things were for the RAF towards the end of that particular conflict) by the Brits they didn't go under and defeated the Luftwaffe. I'd call that pretty good resistance too. Did I mention the Blitz yet?
Have you looked around you today? Can you go anywhere where there are not at least 5 different languages being spoken? And how about all the Mohammed adverts in London lately? And what about English babies? All I see in my neck of the sceptered isle is mixed race babies. Mind you, they are cute as all babies are, but still. Britain isnt changing, mate. It has changed.
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Post by Royd Fissure »

spot;1314744 wrote: Drift is good, I'm all in favour of a bit of drift, it never hurt a thread. Attacking a thread to take it off course is a different matter.

I was utterly outraged a couple of months ago when I wanted to show someone around Westminster Abbey and had a demand for £15 each on the door in order to gain admittance, way beyond my means and a complete impossibility for me to stump up. If the Church of England can't afford to maintain their buildings they should hand them over for safe keeping to the National Trust, damn their eyes.


Scratched off my list - just on principle. Fascinating place though, the floor where we had to put little soft bootees on to walk around was a revelation.
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Post by Royd Fissure »

Raven;1314746 wrote: Have you looked around you today? Can you go anywhere where there are not at least 5 different languages being spoken? And how about all the Mohammed adverts in London lately? And what about English babies? All I see in my neck of the sceptered isle is mixed race babies. Mind you, they are cute as all babies are, but still. Britain isnt changing, mate. It has changed.


It's always changing, that's the interesting thing about it, I suppose the good folks that live there all their lives just absorb it all. I have to admit my first visit back to my old homeland in 1978 was a bit of an eye-opener and I saw what was coming. The Catholic Club in Woolwich was a mosque even back then. But you know sometimes you just have to accept that countries change. I mean your average Briton of about the 2nd Century wouldn't know the place now.
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Post by spot »

Raven;1314703 wrote: Great Britain. This country has been invaded. Legally. No resistance given.


You're confusing invasion with immigration, using the first word inaccurately for emotive effect. England's always had immigration and for the last thousand years it's been peaceful. We've the decendants of Frogs and Eyeties and Yids and Krauts - all despised by some element or other in English society when they arrived, hence the abusive name-calling that went on - and they're now established and nobody takes exception to them. You don't take exception to them, I take it? Of course, they weren't any of them black so maybe you think they're not really the same thing.
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Post by Clodhopper »

spot: I notice that there are few bombs in Bali, Spain or on the streets of London since we have been fighting in Afganistan and wonder if Al Qaida/Taliban/whoever is now having to concentrate on Afganistan to survive as a viable movement. This is little more than guesswork, since hard facts are not easy to come by.

Regarding our horrendous debt: I am sure we are all going to feel it. The money must be paid back or we're Greece next. And I don't see Germany bailing us out. It seems to me that the choice is clear and painful: clear the debt or become a poor third world country with starving children on the streets.

We're in a bad place. Fortunately, we know it and can do things about it. It's still going to hurt though.
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Post by spot »

Clodhopper;1314755 wrote: spot: I notice that there are few bombs in Bali, Spain or on the streets of London since we have been fighting in Afganistan and wonder if Al Qaida/Taliban/whoever is now having to concentrate on Afganistan to survive as a viable movement. This is little more than guesswork, since hard facts are not easy to come by.
Your "whoever" sidesteps the fact that there's differences.

You know what I think? I think there were even fewer bombs in Bali, Spain or on the streets of London before the West invaded Afghanistan. I think they were a consequence of our radicalizing the Middle East by sending armies there and causing the deaths of lots and lots of Middle Eastern civilians. Except Bali, which was a local reaction to Western hedonism in a country where they don't strip to their underwear and puke in the streets for fun.
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Post by Raven »

spot;1314754 wrote: You're confusing invasion with immigration, using the first word inaccurately for emotive effect. England's always had immigration and for the last thousand years it's been peaceful. We've the decendants of Frogs and Eyeties and Yids and Krauts - all despised by some element or other in English society when they arrived, hence the abusive name-calling that went on - and they're now established and nobody takes exception to them. You don't take exception to them, I take it? Of course, they weren't any of them black so maybe you think they're not really the same thing.
Nice try. But that is one bit of fishing that wont work on me. I am not taking exception to anyone here. I am foreign myself. As for blacks, well lets just say I am rather used to having them around. I find it easier when they speak English of course. Their accent is hard to understand at times, but people are people.

Yes England has always had invasion. Immigration is sort of a new thing. All those people you mentioned invaded by force. Starting with the Romans. Others came from persecution, but mostly by force. Your Danes, Angles, Saxons and Jutes.
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Post by Raven »

Royd Fissure;1314749 wrote: It's always changing, that's the interesting thing about it, I suppose the good folks that live there all their lives just absorb it all. I have to admit my first visit back to my old homeland in 1978 was a bit of an eye-opener and I saw what was coming. The Catholic Club in Woolwich was a mosque even back then. But you know sometimes you just have to accept that countries change. I mean your average Briton of about the 2nd Century wouldn't know the place now.
Oh I totally agree. Places evolve. I just think there are way too many people on this island to be able to sustain it much longer. Whatever Britiain becomes.
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Post by spot »

Raven;1314759 wrote: Nice try. But that is one bit of fishing that wont work on me. I am not taking exception to anyone here. I am foreign myself. As for blacks, well lets just say I am rather used to having them around. I find it easier when they speak English of course. Their accent is hard to understand at times, but people are people.

Yes England has always had invasion. Immigration is sort of a new thing. All those people you mentioned invaded by force. Starting with the Romans. Others came from persecution, but mostly by force. Your Danes, Angles, Saxons and Jutes.


My list was especially composed of economic migrants fleeing persecution from their homelands. The French Hugenots were being famously massacred in 18th century Paris, the Jews all over 19th century pogroms in Russia and the Ukraine and Poland, Italian hairdressers and ice cream salesmen at the time of Garibaldi right through to the World War Two prisoners of war camps, and any number of Germans avoiding death and imprisonment at the hands of Bismark. They all had lousy English accents too, the first generations.
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Post by Bill Sikes »

Royd Fissure;1314748 wrote: (Westminster Abbey) Scratched off my list - just on principle.


From their FAQ at http://www.westminster-abbey.org/faq:

Entrance fees: Why do I have to pay to look around the Abbey?

Westminster Abbey does not charge people who want to worship. But we do rely almost entirely on paying visitors and tourists to meet the costs of running the Abbey and maintaining the historic buildings.

It surprises most people to learn that the Abbey receives no funding from the Crown, the Church or the State. In fact, admission charges to Westminster Abbey have been in place for over 300 years and perhaps even longer. In 1697, visitors paid 3d to see all parts of the Abbey. By 1723 this charge had doubled and, by 1806, it had risen to 1s 11d, including a 2d tip to the ‘tomb-shewer’. In the latter part of the last century, entrance charges were 2s 6d in the sixties, £2 in 1989 and £5 in 1998. The admission charge is now £15.

The annual cost of the day-to-day running of the Abbey is around £9 million and the admission charges enable the Dean and Chapter to maintain the Abbey and neighbouring St Margaret’s – as well as meeting the needs of the millions of people from around the world who are very keen to worship at or visit the Abbey.

Although the Abbey relies almost entirely on admissions charges, the Dean and Chapter are keen to make sure access to the Abbey does not become too expensive to those less able to pay and for that reason concessionary charges are lower.
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Post by Raven »

spot;1314762 wrote: My list was especially composed of economic migrants fleeing persecution from their homelands. The French Hugenots were being famously massacred in 18th century Paris, the Jews all over 19th century pogroms in Russia and the Ukraine and Poland, Italian hairdressers and ice cream salesmen at the time of Garibaldi right through to the World War Two prisoners of war camps, and any number of Germans avoiding death and imprisonment at the hands of Bismark. They all had lousy English accents too, the first generations.
what makes Britain think it can sustain the whole world. The sun set on the British Empire a really long time ago. It's only a little island now. The issue really is not about immigration but sustainability is it not?
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Gloom and despondency in the UK.

Post by Bill Sikes »

Raven;1314764 wrote: what makes Britain think it can sustain the whole world.


There are far too many immigrants, IMO. The greater number are from "Europe". There is (currently) nothing that can be done to reduce numbers entering the UK.
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Gloom and despondency in the UK.

Post by Clodhopper »

I don't mind where people come from. It's how they behave when they're here that concerns me. Almost all who do come here buy into our way of life (which might be loosely described as live and let live)

We are the Borg. Your biological and cultural distinctiveness will be added to our own. You will be assimilated. ;)

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Gloom and despondency in the UK.

Post by spot »

Raven;1314764 wrote: what makes Britain think it can sustain the whole world. The sun set on the British Empire a really long time ago. It's only a little island now. The issue really is not about immigration but sustainability is it not?


No, it's not about sustainability, it's about greed. This is mine by inheritance and you can't have any of it, that's what it's about.

The States of the USA all agree by deliberate choice to allow each others' residents free access to jobs, travel and residency rights. Each county in England allows the rest of the English to move into their towns and marry their womenfolk. There are no border patrols along Hadrian's Wall. We all do that because we see economic benefits outweighing the disaster of finding one's son-in-law turns out to have been born in Essex (I speak from personal experience there). The overall benefit to Bristol of having open borders with places east of London outweighs the cultural insult. Back in 1350 the penalty would have been branding for a first offence and death for a second unless the traveler happened to be wealthy and subject to privilege (that's Latin for "Private Law", interestingly - one law for the rich and another for the poor).

The overall benefit to humanity as a whole is the elimination of privilege, especially in the matter of residency and work permits, just as the overall benefit to the European Union members is the elimination of those rights and privileges. The consequence of national barriers to migration is that the rich stay rich in their enclaves and the poor stay poor in the ghettos of Accra and Omdurman. Your insular way of life condemns masses of people to disease, war and an early death. It's self-serving. It's time it ended
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Post by Clodhopper »

Your "whoever" sidesteps the fact that there's differences.

You know what I think? I think there were even fewer bombs in Bali, Spain or on the streets of London before the West invaded Afghanistan. I think they were a consequence of our radicalizing the Middle East by sending armies there and causing the deaths of lots and lots of Middle Eastern civilians. Except Bali, which was a local reaction to Western hedonism in a country where they don't strip to their underwear and puke in the streets for fun.


There were differences between the IRA and INLA. Any movement has factions, splintergroups, power struggles. So what?

We can discuss how we ended up in the war if you want - I think there's a lot of truth in what you say - but we are where we are. I very much doubt that we can just walk away and nothing will happen.There are elements of civil war in Afganistan, also religious war and perhaps even race war. At present the situation appears to be limited to Afganistan/Pakistan. I think if it is not fought there, it will spread and have to be fought elsewhere. Probably several elsewheres.

I see the bombs in Bali, Spain and London as the Al Qaida Syndicate attempt to globalise the conflict. They've been contained and pushed back into one small region. Do you think they'll stay there if we and the Americans pack up and go? I don't.
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Gloom and despondency in the UK.

Post by Raven »

spot;1314771 wrote: No, it's not about sustainability, it's about greed. This is mine by inheritance and you can't have any of it, that's what it's about.



The States of the USA all agree by deliberate choice to allow each others' residents free access to jobs, travel and residency rights. Each county in England allows the rest of the English to move into their towns and marry their womenfolk. There are no border patrols along Hadrian's Wall. We all do that because we see economic benefits outweighing the disaster of finding one's son-in-law turns out to have been born in Essex (I speak from personal experience there). The overall benefit to Bristol of having open borders with places east of London outweighs the cultural insult. Back in 1350 the penalty would have been branding for a first offence and death for a second unless the traveler happened to be wealthy and subject to privilege (that's Latin for "Private Law", interestingly - one law for the rich and another for the poor).



The overall benefit to humanity as a whole is the elimination of privilege, especially in the matter of residency and work permits, just as the overall benefit to the European Union members is the elimination of those rights and privileges. The consequence of national barriers to migration is that the rich stay rich in their enclaves and the poor stay poor in the ghettos of Accra and Omdurman. Your insular way of life condemns masses of people to disease, war and an early death. It's self-serving. It's time it ended
It's called keeping the gene pool of human kind strong. The gene pool of the Europeans is so weak, that one good disease would wipe out the lot. Nature wont change. It has always been natural selection, and there is no court of human rights ever convened that will change that. Humans will make war with each other because that is what is in their natures to do. And when you pile the whole entire world of every nationality on one small island, then you will see what will happen. And it has nothing to do with economics.
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Post by spot »

Clodhopper wrote: We can discuss how we ended up in the war if you want - I think there's a lot of truth in what you say - but we are where we are. I very much doubt that we can just walk away and nothing will happen.There are elements of civil war in Afganistan, also religious war and perhaps even race war. At present the situation appears to be limited to Afganistan/Pakistan. I think if it is not fought there, it will spread and have to be fought elsewhere. Probably several elsewheres.

I see the bombs in Bali, Spain and London as the Al Qaida Syndicate attempt to globalise the conflict. They've been contained and pushed back into one small region. Do you think they'll stay there if we and the Americans pack up and go? I don't.I don't think we'll walk away and find nothing happens, I think we'll walk away and find the entire country solidly Anti-Western, radicalized by the occupation and spitting with fury. Oh - and run by the Taliban after a few bloodbaths in Kabul to punish the Quislings who cooperated with the Occupation. The French had those too after World War Two. So did the Norwegians. So (to monumental excess) did the Russians. So did the Greeks. So would we English have done if we'd been occupied. So will the Iraqis when the US bases are closed down. If you want to prevent that it'll cost you a permanent presence and the consequent hatred of the locals, rather like the US naval bases in Japan do.

Al Qaida could have been treated as what they were - a criminal group. Instead the Bush Administration enthusiastically grasped their Pearl Harbour moment and unleashed their dogs, just as their Neocon PNAC members had wanted. What you have is blowback - unintended consequences to interference abroad. One can only hope it might deter future adventurers though perhaps that would need a degree of personal privation before the lesson is learned, since voting has no effect on the buggers.

Meanwhile, distinct from Al Qaida, there's the Taliban. They're Afghans (bear in mind that the Afghan/Pakistan border is a political division, not a tribal one), they're fighting on their home ground against foreign occupation, the longer it goes on the more support they get, and they're going to come out of it in control of the country. The longer we stay there the more humiliating the eventual climb-down is going to be. Until we finally grasp that nettle we'll keep losing troops but then, that's what they're for in the first place, they did opt to fight and too many of them are bloody careless about who they kill.
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Gloom and despondency in the UK.

Post by Clodhopper »

And when you pile the whole entire world of every nationality on one small island, then you will see what will happen. And it has nothing to do with economics.


Strange how perceptions differ. What you (seem) to see as a recipe for disaster is to me one of the most exciting things going on in the world at the moment. All these different peoples and cultures here and by and large it's amazing how we all get on. Our kids go to the same schools and make friends; get older, fall in love...

Mind you, Britain has been doing that for generations. Which people often don't realise.

And more and more we find out that no matter where they come from, people are people with the same hopes, fears and dreams.

The overcrowding issue is rather scary though. We haven't been able to feed ourselves from our own land for well over 100 years. If Hitler had been a little more naval-minded...shudder. I'm not sure what we do about it. We have treaty obligations to the UN and EU that require us to allow refugees and migrants. I gather this government is talking of capping non-EU migration which might help, but I know no details.
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Post by Snowfire »

Raven;1314746 wrote: Have you looked around you today? Can you go anywhere where there are not at least 5 different languages being spoken? And how about all the Mohammed adverts in London lately? And what about English babies? All I see in my neck of the sceptered isle is mixed race babies. Mind you, they are cute as all babies are, but still. Britain isnt changing, mate. It has changed.


I'm 54 years old and have always known the Asian community that blossomed where my Grandparents lived. I dont know it any other way. I embrace it. Always have done. The culture, the food the, odd language. Its not a new phenomenon.

I have to ask. What is wrong with "mixed race babies" cute or not ?

Over crowding is another kettle of fish altogether but as always these arguments always have a racial theme to them. Is it culture, race, religion that we reject or the numbers of people ?
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Post by spot »

Do you know, we've only concreted over around 2% of the UK so far. An estimate of how many people could comfortably live here if we all ate factory-generated food and recycled our waste water efficiently would be interesting. 60 million is peanuts.
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Post by Clodhopper »

Do you know, we've only concreted over around 2% of the UK so far. An estimate of how many people could comfortably live here if we all ate factory-generated food and recycled our waste water efficiently would be interesting. 60 million is peanuts.


I hope you are right, because I reckon Climate Change is going to force us to find out. The only question is "when"? And with sea level rise - well, it won't take much to flood most of East Anglia, which means we'll have to do all this on a much smaller island.

Start working on your tofu recipes, folks.
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Post by Bill Sikes »

Raven;1314776 wrote: The gene pool of the Europeans is so weak, that one good disease would wipe out the lot.


What a very strange and fanciful idea.
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Post by Bill Sikes »

Raven;1314746 wrote: And what about English babies? All I see in my neck of the sceptered isle is mixed race babies.


That is by definition a racist statement. I suggest that you explain your error.
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Post by spot »

Clodhopper wrote: I hope you are right, because I reckon Climate Change is going to force us to find out. The only question is "when"? And with sea level rise - well, it won't take much to flood most of East Anglia, which means we'll have to do all this on a much smaller island.I'm at 250 feet above sea level so I'm alright Jack. You, on the other hand...

If we built up and down as well as sideways I reckon Megacity One, after a 70 metre rise in sea level and excluding the Birmingham Radiation Hole, could easily house a hundred billion people with more actual floor space each than we have at the moment, so we're only at 0.06% occupancy now.
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Post by gmc »

spot;1314793 wrote: Do you know, we've only concreted over around 2% of the UK so far. An estimate of how many people could comfortably live here if we all ate factory-generated food and recycled our waste water efficiently would be interesting. 60 million is peanuts.


You forget how much land is actually unusable for agriculture because of overfarming in the past. There were wholesale emigrations in the past for just that reason. Without the release valve of emigration to the states and australia europe would have seen an awful lot mre warfare than it did. Industrial farming methods have helped increase production but the simple fact is we cannot feed ourselves. In the south east there are too many people and not enough drinking water - it's only a matter of time before that becomes completely unsustainable. It's like watching a car driving towards a cliff and the driver believes the cliff will extend itself.

I'm alright I live in a land with plenty of water, oil, coal but it's getting a bit wearing subsidising the south east of england, I suppose it's only a matter of time before someone decides to pump all the water south rather than dealing with the real issue of overpopulation. It's not racist to point out we cannot sustain such a large population.

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