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dylanisabaddog

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7 hours ago, Barbe bleu said:

I read as far as a school report from 1981 and couldn't be bothered to go any further. I'm not going to judge anyone by who they were at 17 and who they were before I was born.

Besides, a self-centered MP, who'd have thunk it!?  You're be telling me that some are a bit arrogant, ambitious and like having status next.

I dont really like his politics and fear his influence on, especially, the environment.  But that doesn't mean his is all the other things pwople say he is..

To save you reading the rest, he ignored his own party rules and paid his wife £40k a year out of his expense account as an MEP. At the same time he was also using his expense account to pay his mistress of 10 years. 

Not mentioned in the report is that whilst an MEP,  he made a fuss about the EU effect on our fishing industry. As a result he was co-opted to the EU fishing committee and went on to attend 1 of the 41 meetings held until we left the EU. 

He is an extremely dangerous narcissist (says an ex colleague quoted in the report). 

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12 hours ago, Badger said:

1. I don't know where the £15 billion (£14.7 billion) comes from. I have seen it in a Guardian article (below) but going to the University (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/dec/02/water-renationalised-without-compensation-activists-shareholders-england#:~:text=Estimates of the cost of,if company debts are included)  of Greenwich itself I found the figure of £49.7 billion. (https://www.gre.ac.uk/articles/public-relations/nationalisation-would-save-uk-billions-greenwich-research-reveals). the University of Greenwich points out that this would not be a "market valuation" of the business and would make the govt liable to legal action (although U of G calculates that the risks of significant extra compensation is unlikely). 

Even at a cost of "just" £50 billion, it would not establish a very good precedent to nationalise assets largely owned by foreign owners (a lot to Canadian pension funds) to renationalsie at below market value. It would certainly run the risk of making the UK a less attractive place for international capital, which we will need if the govt is to be successful in it attempts at investment led growth. Renationalisation at market values is likely to be nearer the £200 billion figure quoted (probably lower now).

2. Of course, the cost would not stop there. There is the additional cost that would come from purchase in that it would be necessary to take on the water companies debts at well. This would appear as a big liability on the nation's balances and would leave less room for more productive borrowing.

3. In addition, to actually improve the quality of water would require further billions of borrowing and investment which would now have to be funded by public borrowing at a time when there are many other requirements on the public purse.

4. If you accept that there has to be some ceiling on public debt, which I think most would, you would have to ask which is more likely to see a rapid growth in the UK economy - changing the ownership of the water companies, without actually increasing productive capacity at all or spending £50 billion on new capacity, particularly imo in clean energy + infrastructure? If yo ucan only spend the money once, surely it is wiser to do so by creating new capacity and putting something there which currently does not exist?

5. The state of the water is a national disgrace and something must be done about it, I agree. However, a far more efficient way to do this would be by firm regulation - no sewage in the water could hardly be seen as an unreasonable request. If water Companies fail to meet this they should be liable to massive and escalating fines. To achieve this may well require extra capital investment by the water companies which actually levers in extra investment to the UK economy on top of the 350 billion extra that they have could have by not renationalising water. The extra investment would decrease profits as private water companies were required to do what they should have been doing in the first place if it had not been for lax regulation. Decreased profits would drive down company prices and make make repurchase cheaper at a future date when (probably not in my lifetime) the government was "flush."

Again I don't disagree with you in principle. Clean water is an essential priority but it can be achieved through regulation and fines. There is so much public investment needed, it is better to concentrate on other areas where there is to little infrastructure - clean energy being an obvious start with affordable housing and the NHS very closely behind.

I've read your view and the sentiments of canary Dan (sorry, defeated by technology and can't link you) I can't say I know much about the economics of nationalising the water companies but I don't think that fines and regulation will help. You have talked about the damage to pension funds and our reputation if the Government simply takes back what is rightfully ours. The main issue is that the water companies have paid out billions in dividends which is basically corporate theft as the companies haven't done their job properly. If we now respond with enormous fines and increased regulation the dividends will dry up, the share prices will collapse and the pension funds will have lost out anyway. 

I feel let down that Labour appears to be almost ignoring a huge issue. This is yet another problem caused by the misguided short term policies of the Thatcher government and the lesson to be learned is that private involvement in national utilities hasn't worked and never will. 

So what is to be done about the quality of our water?  This isn't just an environmental issue, people should be able to use the rivers and sea for exercise and enjoyment without fear of becoming ill. That's not much to ask is it? In my mind, those are the most important issues and that's why we should take back our water as cheaply as possible. 

 

 

 

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52 minutes ago, dylanisabaddog said:

I've read your view and the sentiments of canary Dan (sorry, defeated by technology and can't link you) I can't say I know much about the economics of nationalising the water companies but I don't think that fines and regulation will help. You have talked about the damage to pension funds and our reputation if the Government simply takes back what is rightfully ours. The main issue is that the water companies have paid out billions in dividends which is basically corporate theft as the companies haven't done their job properly. If we now respond with enormous fines and increased regulation the dividends will dry up, the share prices will collapse and the pension funds will have lost out anyway. 

I feel let down that Labour appears to be almost ignoring a huge issue. This is yet another problem caused by the misguided short term policies of the Thatcher government and the lesson to be learned is that private involvement in national utilities hasn't worked and never will. 

So what is to be done about the quality of our water?  This isn't just an environmental issue, people should be able to use the rivers and sea for exercise and enjoyment without fear of becoming ill. That's not much to ask is it? In my mind, those are the most important issues and that's why we should take back our water as cheaply as possible. 

 

 

 

I agree it's disappointing that Labour are not talking about this issue now, but I am hopeful that they will at some point in the next Parliament, the earlier the better obviously. I am also hoping the reason they are not talking about it now, is that they just want to get elected and kick the present bunch of incompetents out. If nothing is done about the quality of our water fairly soon it will be source of great shame on whoever is in power.

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Unfortunately, water quality, the environment and public health are not a priority for any of the Parties, except of course the Greens.

The Tories and Labour seem unable to admit that taxes must rise to pay for essential services, banging on about how they will make cuts.

I have always voted in General Elections, but I cannot summon any enthusiasm for this one. That really concerns me as I have always been actively interested politically. 😴

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Does anyone know the Labour Party leadership rules? If something unfortunate happened to Starmer what would happen? 

Screenshot_20240615_064757_X.thumb.jpg.b710e719f6239f2e4b8b79da0f14dc70.jpg

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Posted (edited)
23 hours ago, Well b back said:

Part of how it is done

Bot or not: Are fake accounts swaying voters towards Reform UK?

 

Yes, it's interesting on twitter at the moment. Hundreds, if not thousands of pro-Reform accounts are swarming over any posts critical of Fartage and Reform. A lot with paid for blue tick accounts, quite a few pro-Russia sentiments. Their campaign is costing someone a lot of money. Are the tories about to be eaten by their own tactics?

TikTok too.

https://www.itv.com/news/2024-06-14/suspicious-accounts-being-used-to-push-pro-reform-uk-content-on-tiktok

Edited by Herman

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Posted (edited)
17 minutes ago, Herman said:

Yes, it's interesting on twitter at the moment. Hundreds, if not thousands of pro-Reform accounts are swarming over any posts critical of Fartage and Reform. A lot with paid for blue tick accounts, quite a few pro-Russia sentiments. Their campaign is costing someone a lot of money. Are the tories about to be eaten by their own tactics?

Indeed! Russia interfered in the Brexit referendum in favour of Farage, and are doing so yet again. Farage is a major Russian conduit for disrupting UK politics, and it is no surprise at all that Farage described Putin as the world leader he "most admired" above all others (something he said AFTER Russia had invaded the sovereign territory of Ukraine, Crimea). Your suspicion about the "blue tick" accounts on twitter are well founded. I have posted about that issue on twitter myself. Blue tick accounts were virtually the exclusive reserve of celebrities with 100,000+ followers. Now there seem to be tens of thousands of blue tick accounts with followers counted in their tens, and all of whom are supportive of far right (typically Reform UK Ltd) policies. Coincidence? Not remotely.

Edited by horsefly
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1 hour ago, A K Narey said:

Unfortunately, water quality, the environment and public health are not a priority for any of the Parties, except of course the Greens.

The Tories and Labour seem unable to admit that taxes must rise to pay for essential services, banging on about how they will make cuts.

I have always voted in General Elections, but I cannot summon any enthusiasm for this one. That really concerns me as I have always been actively interested politically. 😴

I don't think they ever have been. There is always the journey to the polling station and bumping into someone you've not seen in a while that might make it worth going. You can always spoil your ballot which is still voting. Who knows maybe there's a random party or independent standing. Mind your ID.

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Posted (edited)
42 minutes ago, dylanisabaddog said:

Does anyone know the Labour Party leadership rules? If something unfortunate happened to Starmer what would happen? 

Screenshot_20240615_064757_X.thumb.jpg.b710e719f6239f2e4b8b79da0f14dc70.jpg

MP's put their name forward and providing they receive endorsements from at least 10% of MP's or MEP's it goes to a vote of members.

The Leader and Deputy Leader votes are separate, there is no succession from one role to the other.

Edited by A Load of Squit
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One of the things about a general election campaign is the opportunity it affords to point out irony and hypocrisy. I take it as uncontroversial to suggest that current Reform UK Ltd supporters would have been at the forefront of those who would have ridiculed the 2019 Labour manifesto as unaffordable. Thus I invite any Reform UK Ltd supporter on this site to defend the fantasy list of pledges that way exceeds the costs of anything Corbyn promised.  Image

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Daz Sparks said:

 I am hopeful that they will at some point in the next Parliament, the earlier the better obviously. I am also hoping the reason they are not talking about it now, is that they just want to get elected and kick the present bunch of incompetents out. 

It's 2038 and Wes Streeting has called a snap election to seek a second term as a blairite prime minister. Meanwhile, the now traditional  "They will change it from within, won't they? Please say they will this time" is heard in socialist households throughout the country

 

Edited by Barbe bleu

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I’d find it really helpful if I knew what Kier Starmers dad did for a living. I’m surprised he’s never mentioned it 

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2 minutes ago, Virtual reality said:

I’d find it really helpful if I knew what Kier Starmers dad did for a living. I’m surprised he’s never mentioned it 

How do you not know? They made a whole series of films with Arnold Swarzenegger about his work!

image.png.829f3fa1877cdfbc0681a6603c529587.png

To be fair the T101 in the film is a bit more lifelike than the real SKS.

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13 hours ago, Yellow Fever said:

Whatever the rights and wrongs of the water industry, seizing assets at less than market value short of war would simply be a disaster for the country with the markets and completely destroy any and all credibility. Nobody would invest in the country. It would be total madness.

By all means buy back such assets fairly if you can afford them or if they fall back into the states hands as per rail franchises.

Yes, I agree. At precisely the time when we need to encourage foreign investment, there would be a capital exodus.

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Posted (edited)
45 minutes ago, horsefly said:

One of the things about a general election campaign is the opportunity it affords to point out irony and hypocrisy. I take it as uncontroversial to suggest that current Reform UK Ltd supporters would have been at the forefront of those who would have ridiculed the 2019 Labour manifesto as unaffordable. Thus I invite any Reform UK Ltd supporter on this site to defend the fantasy list of pledges that way exceeds the costs of anything Corbyn promised.  Image

Just the first one would bankrupt the country in a month

40,000 new Police Officers made me smile. What could possibly go wrong? 

Edited by dylanisabaddog
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2 hours ago, dylanisabaddog said:

I've read your view and the sentiments of canary Dan (sorry, defeated by technology and can't link you) I can't say I know much about the economics of nationalising the water companies but I don't think that fines and regulation will help. You have talked about the damage to pension funds and our reputation if the Government simply takes back what is rightfully ours. The main issue is that the water companies have paid out billions in dividends which is basically corporate theft as the companies haven't done their job properly. If we now respond with enormous fines and increased regulation the dividends will dry up, the share prices will collapse and the pension funds will have lost out anyway. 

I feel let down that Labour appears to be almost ignoring a huge issue. This is yet another problem caused by the misguided short term policies of the Thatcher government and the lesson to be learned is that private involvement in national utilities hasn't worked and never will. 

So what is to be done about the quality of our water?  This isn't just an environmental issue, people should be able to use the rivers and sea for exercise and enjoyment without fear of becoming ill. That's not much to ask is it? In my mind, those are the most important issues and that's why we should take back our water as cheaply as possible. 

 

 

 

What is to be done about poor quality water - regulation and increasing fines for companies that fail to meet them. As I have said this is likely to reduce the price of water company shares and make repurchase at a lower price more affordable. Some companies would go into administration and be attainable for nothing (Thames water is quite likely, I understand) others, who are properly run would improve the quality of water and the outcome that we all desire would be available at zero-low cost. There is a world of difference between doing it this way, to acting like an extremist state and nationalising below market value, which would be hugely ruinous to our chances of international investment, which is desperately required.

Nobody is defending privatisation or the Thatcher government, which was so economically incompetent - quite the reverse. I think however, that some are unrealistic about what a terrible situation the country finds itself after 45 years of neo-liberalism (different degrees of).

1. There is nothing left to sell. To quote Harold Macmillan on privatisation:

"First of all the Georgian silver goes, and then all that nice furniture that used to be in the saloon. Then the Canalettos go."

We have gone way past that. We have been selling assets for decades and living off the income for years. Now we've nothing left to sell.

2. Increasingly, the govt has realised this, which is why we have been in almost permanent austerity since 2010, whilst at the same time having hugely increased debt. The Conservative govt since 2010 has borrowed more money that all other governments in the history of the UK put together!

3. The tax burden is at already near record levels.

4. We have alienated our biggest and closest economic partners and customers.

5. The population change means that the working age population is declining sharply. The baby boomers are retiring and being only partly replaced by the much smaller sized population of 18+. Yet all the press wants to talk about is too much immigration 🤯. In a sane world we would be fighting for skilled immigration, once we left the single market.

6. There are two other points that I wanted to make but can't remember - it's the problems of being a baby boomer (just) 😁

My main point however, is in this sorry story of economic crisis (which barely gets any attention in the press*) the highest priority cannot be to spend trillions of pounds renationalising industries that I agree should never have been privatised in the first place. There is so much else which must have a higher priority as the job of rebuilding the economy starts - clean energy, NHS and housing must be where the billions go. Water must be improved through regulation.

The extent of the economic Armageddon would be described as "project fear" / "Labour making excuses to raise taxes" etc. It is impossible to have sensible economic debate without a free and fair press.

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51 minutes ago, Barbe bleu said:

It's 2038 and Wes Streeting has called a snap election to seek a second term as a blairite prime minister. Meanwhile, the now traditional  "They will change it from within, won't they? Please say they will this time" is heard in socialist households throughout the country

 

Like I said, more in hope than expectation. 

However,  Thames Water may very well fall over in the not too distant future,  that will force action from the government of the day. And I do wonder if other water companies will have similar issues in the future. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Daz Sparks said:

Like I said, more in hope than expectation. 

However,  Thames Water may very well fall over in the not too distant future,  that will force action from the government of the day. And I do wonder if other water companies will have similar issues in the future. 

I

The legislation for the government to step in is already in place so a take over has been contemplated carefully already.

I'm not sure I'm in favour of traditional nationalisation.  It's good on paper (natural monopolies etc etc) but reality is often different to theory and some third way similar to how London overground lines are run might work.

Edited by Barbe bleu

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1 minute ago, Barbe bleu said:

The legislation for the government to step in is already in place so a take over has been contemplated carefully already.

I'm not sure I'm in favour of traditional nationalisation.  It's good on paper (natural monopolies etc etc) but reality is often different to theory and some third way similar to how London overground lines are run might work.

I agree somewhat that traditional nationalisation maybe problematic, but water privatisation has failed the ordinary people and benefitted the rich, whether they be individuals or organisations, coupled with that, the executive pay has been grotesque. 

Maybe there is a third way, it should be explored.

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Posted (edited)
30 minutes ago, Daz Sparks said:

I agree somewhat that traditional nationalisation maybe problematic, but water privatisation has failed the ordinary people and benefitted the rich, whether they be individuals or organisations, coupled with that, the executive pay has been grotesque. 

Maybe there is a third way, it should be explored.

I think all water execs should be forced to take daily swims in the rivers (all weathers) just down stream of their outfalls.

 

Edited by Yellow Fever
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5 minutes ago, Yellow Fever said:

I think all water execs should be forced to take daily swims in the rivers (all weathers) just down stream of their outfalls.

 

Give them a Schwedentrunk of their water every day. 😉

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37 minutes ago, Daz Sparks said:

I agree somewhat that traditional nationalisation maybe problematic, but water privatisation has failed the ordinary people and benefitted the rich, whether they be individuals or organisations, coupled with that, the executive pay has been grotesque. 

Maybe there is a third way, it should be explored.

I've long thought there ought to be a category of businesses that should be identified as having something like a "significant public and cultural impact status" that imposes legally binding restrictions and duties. Football clubs would be a very good example. Football clubs clearly have a massive cultural significance for their local area, that ought to invoke restrictions on owners and their  behaviour. How many times have we seen clubs exploited by an owner with no connection to the area, with no interest in the club's fortunes other than to strip of it assets, bankrupt it, and leave the local community devastated. 

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4 minutes ago, horsefly said:

I've long thought there ought to be a category of businesses that should be identified as having something like a "significant public and cultural impact status" that imposes legally binding restrictions and duties. Football clubs would be a very good example. Football clubs clearly have a massive cultural significance for their local area, that ought to invoke restrictions on owners and their  behaviour. How many times have we seen clubs exploited by an owner with no connection to the area, with no interest in the club's fortunes other than to strip of it assets, bankrupt it, and leave the local community devastated. 

Very true. I have a German friend who despite living here for some time is still shocked by the lack of community. She often asks "why don't they just do it like Germany"?

It is made all the more irritating by the fact that she is usually right. 

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1 hour ago, dylanisabaddog said:

Very true. I have a German friend who despite living here for some time is still shocked by the lack of community. She often asks "why don't they just do it like Germany"?

It is made all the more irritating by the fact that she is usually right. 

Can see that slogan going down well with Reform voters who seem to hanker after World War Two as some sort of halcyon period. Not.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, dylanisabaddog said:

Does anyone know the Labour Party leadership rules? If something unfortunate happened to Starmer what would happen? 

Screenshot_20240615_064757_X.thumb.jpg.b710e719f6239f2e4b8b79da0f14dc70.jpg

There'll be a leadership contest as there was after the death of John Smith in 1994, and the Labour infighting will begin in earnest as the left of the party fights to get control while the right of the party fights back.

Pretty impressive Labour supporters wanting their leader dead before the election is even won.

Edited by littleyellowbirdie
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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Badger said:

My main point however, is in this sorry story of economic crisis (which barely gets any attention in the press*) the highest priority cannot be to spend trillions of pounds renationalising industries that I agree should never have been privatised in the first place. There is so much else which must have a higher priority as the job of rebuilding the economy starts - clean energy, NHS and housing must be where the billions go. Water must be improved through regulation.

The extent of the economic Armageddon would be described as "project fear" / "Labour making excuses to raise taxes" etc. It is impossible to have sensible economic debate without a free and fair press.

An excellent post, one of the best summaries I've read on the problems in the UK economy because it demonstrates a serious realism - and some alternatives... whatever we happen to feel. I recall a R4 programme a while back about the Thatcher privatisations and how much was known about creaking and unaffordable infrastructure in Victorian pipelines, sewerage systems (plus the state of the railways) too. It was ideologically convenient to sell it off and believe that private companies could deliver. Yet, she is afforded such status. The Right to Buy is another example. It helped people onto the housing ladder but a policy of replacement social housing was lacking, and we know why that was.

I'm fairly sure Starmer will have a deep understanding of it all but as you state there are more priority areas that need urgent focus. It's why I am encouraged by his sober approach. Thank god there is not the triumphalist nonsense like we've witnessed over recent years from the current administration....the words of which surely one has only to translate as inverse logic. 

There was a recent critique of neo-liberalism too in the Guardian.(May 10th) discussing the 5 evils (Beveridge) translating nowadays to poverty, morbidity, educational exclusion, poor housing and crumbling infrastructure, bad employment and inability to work (quoted directly). With this has come environmental chaos, political dysfunction (misrule) and culture wars - all distractions, the article mentions, to the horror of the real issues. Worth a read. It is critical of Thatcher, Blair, Truss and even Reeves. The idea that if we keep working harder then we will maybe pay for the services we need as a society. Some day. But likely never. Longer hours for the needs of capital? Certainly. One big trick played on the public is the conclusion.

I don't know the answer but might put forward the idea of a kind of 'ethical capitalism' - if there is such a thing even possible. One where companies realise their wider responsibilities and contribute to local economies. It happens on a small scale, even by larger football teams.  Yet, alongside national infrastructure schemes (realise Keynesian and rubbished in the same article) then we might have a national plan everyone could get behind. Such a thing would need electoral reform not to mention the press being behind it 100%. It took a crisis (the immediate aftermath of WW2) for a Beveridge plan. A national narrative of rebuilding.  So maybe a new version (in whatever guise) 'could' be possible again?

Edited by sonyc
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Posted (edited)
51 minutes ago, Nuff Said said:

Can see that slogan going down well with Reform voters who seem to hanker after World War Two as some sort of halcyon period. Not.

Who won the war anyway? 😂

A bit of advice. If you ever canvass and meet a UKIP/Reform voter and they ask you that question, don't say it was mainly Russia and America. Trust me, it may not end well. 

Edited by dylanisabaddog
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