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Showing most liked content on 14/09/17 in all areas

  1. 8 likes
    That whole foreign aid thing, and the question of why successive Governments have spent it. It's the result of a pledge, initially conceived of as part of a 1950s post-war Labour policy platform, but adopted by the World Council of Churches in 1958, and ultimately adopted by the Development Assistance Committee of the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development after some work on the definitions of "how much?" during the 60s: All members of the DAC subscribed to the principle as set back then, in 1968. Subsequently, the World Bank appointed the Pearson Commission to come up with recommendations of what the aid (Overseas Development Assistance) target should be - in 1969 they proposed 0.7% of donor Gross National Income (or 'Product', as was the term of the time) by no later than 1980. In attempting to settle on a development strategy in the 70s, the UN adopted this idea, breaking a deadlock between developed and developing nations. (Now would be a good time to stop to consider that all this was developing against the backdrop of having recently had World War 2). On 24th October 1970, the UN General Assembly adopted a Resolution including a goal that “Each economically advanced country will progressively increase its official development assistance to the developing countries and will exert its best efforts to reach a minimum net amount of 0.7% of its gross national product at market prices by the middle of the decade.” Most nations accepted it - The US didn't (obviously! ... as ever with such things), and Switzerland wasn't a UN member at that time. Sweden, Denmark, Norway, and the Netherlands all reached the target by 1978, Finland reached it in 1991, Luxembourg reached it in 2000, and the UK reached it in 2013. No other developed nation has yet reached the target - the average is 0.4%. The UK enshrined its pledge to keep meeting the target into UK law in 2015. Essentially, the aid stems from a very old post war pledged commitment that developed nations, rather than leave everyone else behind, would act as part of the global community in aiming to reduce suffering in the world, and try to help those less well off - and that's irrespective of the rights and wrongs of their Government, as those suffering are still people all the same, after all. It also aims to reduce conflict in the world, both through the practicalities of maintaining funding lifelines, but also but the influence and goodwill that such donations may generate, and by hoping to reach a stage, one day, where there won't be the need to fights and resentments between the haves and the have nots. Frankly, it's actually one of the few places these days where the UK actually continues to lead the world in a positive sense by keeping it's promises and trying to make things better for everyone... ... though to be a touch cynical on the UKs part, it was basically going through the fall of empire at the time all this originated, and was living in the shadow of empire when the UN adopted the resolution: Meeting the generosity of foreign aid was just good politics in an age where Britain had until recently prided itself on "spreading civilization" (even if it did commit a lot of atrocities and leave a bunch of broken peoples along the way! But "Shhhh!"), and donating in foreign aid is one way of asserting and maintaining continued global influence and stature.
  2. 5 likes
    We make payments to nations in the subcontinent for the same reasons that Germany continues to make payments to Israel. It's reparation for past crimes. Really, it's not a bad deal for centuries of exploitation, but you need some historical perspective I suppose. Besides, I thought we were going to negotiate great new trade deals with our old friends in the Empire? I'm not sure removing all foreign aid to those countries is the best opening tactic.
  3. 4 likes
    Every developed nation on Earth has benefited from cheap foreign labour to cover shortages in low-skilled sectors. The origins and nationalities might change, but the ugly small-minded bigotry that welcomes them is always the same.
  4. 3 likes
    Same way the USA apparently chose the least unelectable of their choices... my own belief is that we live in an era where few senior politicians have ever had a proper job, many are career politicians and they've never had to worry about keeping roof over their heads or what happens to their home and family if they don't keep their job etc ... Most folk are too busy scratching a living to get involved at that level. Those that do get involved you probably don't want involved anyway!!
  5. 3 likes
    Yes alexis Joke The real one as England forever on the front with a swastika
  6. 3 likes
    Of course, 0 hour contracts are nothing new, 20 odd years ago I did part time bar work at a local golf course, I had a full-time job, and it was something to give me a bit of extra money. I had a contract, but there were no contracted hours, the phrase '0 hours contract' just had not been coined back then but that what it was. And it suited me fine, the club needed extra staff when it had functions on and to cover holidays, sometimes they had no work when I would have liked it, but other times they wanted me to work but I did not want to or could not work and I had the flexibility to say no. It suited me fine for what I wanted at the time. This is still the case now, 20 years later for some zero hour contracts also suit their needs, for others they do not and they get abused by the system. Like many things, it's not black and white, banning zero hour contracts is not the solution, nor is leaving them so that they can be abused by employers, the answer is probably somewhere in between.
  7. 3 likes
    Are you quite well? Do you know what life was like under the Soviet Union and in its satellite states and the evils committed in its name? I can only assume you're being deliberately inflammatory. If not then I suggest you read up, 'The Gulag Archipelago' would be a good start. The EU is not like that.
  8. 3 likes
    Good Morning Tomp456, Do you really mean what you post, or do you do so for dramatic effect? If the latter I commend you for adding a bit of humour to proceedings, If the former I feel sorry for you as you appear to be a very bitter extremely blinkered and biased individual. Do you really believe that everything to the political right is wonderful and does not have a thug element. Even a little research would rid you of that opinion. As far as voting for Mrs May is concerned did we really know what we were getting apart from Brexit means Brexit and the elderly would be "clobbered" by the so called Death Tax. Even that Tax had to be consigned to the bin. She has done more turning than Torvill & Dean did in their hayday. Kind regards Dave
  9. 2 likes
    Mylo is growing up. He's 8 months now and he's so beautiful. A challenging lad, life is still play to him, so he has trouble discerning when to stop. He is gradually learning the gentle art of relaxation. He loves the dog TV that these little ones provide (dormice). Although they are on the skylight of the caravan in the photo, they actually live in the now disused gas fire, providing a perfect viewing gallery (see the badly unedited video!)MVI_2933.AVI And we have babies!MVI_293MVI_2933.AVI3.AVI
  10. 2 likes
    Dear god, you are now measuring youth unemployment in km2 / acres? Heaven help us.
  11. 2 likes
    Add in the US and we have a fine set of leaders as being representative of our nations. I cannot believe we have ended up with this lot. Surely the US and UK could have ended up with better candidates. I see Corbyn as self serving as he has changed courses whenever he smells the possibility of power. (Ie the student loans, the withdrawal bill, the immigrant position, etc, etc). May so far has remained constant to the cause of Brexit. I agree that her g.e. performance was pathetic. I hope that May is not for turning and this will be fine ( as she stills sees the referendum as her major objective) , but I have this sneeking feeling. You guys might then see her differently although she will have proved herself to be vey weak. MIA
  12. 2 likes
    Lol superstorm trump ?
  13. 2 likes
    Got to be a better option then Hurricane MayBot !
  14. 2 likes
    A sharp but short lived spike of CAPE showing for early hours of tomorrow in Liverpool bay and coastal areas, probably another trough like this morning. Steering Winds are NW veering NNW 20-30 mph. Let's see what happens.
  15. 2 likes
    Cake buildup? Nice! (i'm presuming auto-correct is being a pain)
  16. 2 likes
    We didn't. We voted for a massively hung parliament, in which the Tories decided that they'd take a load of taxpayers cash and use it to award themselves power as though nothing had ever happened... and then used that power to award themselves the power to bypass normal parliamentary opposition... and are now on the second reading to award themselves what is, functionally speaking, absolute power via the repeal bill.
  17. 1 like
  18. 1 like
    ECM also sends the energy over the top allowing the high to build and quieten things down...could be quite nice if it comes off.
  19. 1 like
    Wages are falling. Incomes are falling. Youth unemployment has stalled at around 12% in 2017, after falling continuously until the brexit vote. Youth unemployment always rises first and falls last; if we see the stall here turn into a rise, the unemployment as a whole will follow in turn. --- UK youth unemployment is 3/4 of the EU average; better, but hardly miraculous by comparison; 8 countries are doing better, some by far. https://www.statista.com/statistics/266228/youth-unemployment-rate-in-eu-countries/ 12.1% is 1/3 of 36.3%. Only 3/27 countries have youth unemployment levels 'around this' or higher. 3/27 = 11% of EU countries. 11% is not 'vast areas'; 90% is vast. This is why people don't believe you MIA; you just make stuff up.
  20. 1 like
    Storm Kim-Jong (that could actually be a reality if he starts letting his nuclear rockets off)!
  21. 1 like
    SS quoting from the State broadcaster! Whatever next? What dont you understand?! Restructuring costs, development, pensions, etc account for big fall in profits. You're a doom and gloom merchant with your own anti-UK agenda. From now on i'll be quoting you with 3 Ss not just SS......you are now SSS. The added "S" standing for "Selective"
  22. 1 like
    Fair points Dave , I should have been clearer , I was not actually alluding to the Intrest rates themselves more the tone that was being struck with regards to the economy and wages . Having moved on to the housing ladder quite late in life interest rate increases are indeed something I worry about , that being said an increase to 0.50 from a all time low of 0.25 is hardly making me have sleepless nights and I'm certainly not full of money , if the trend was looking at 1.5% or so I would be more inclined to worry this would put £200 on my Morgage I better hurry and get a fixed term but at the moment I see no one predicting this . Anyway a snippet to what I was alluding too , a big craveat is inflation which is not mentioned . "If the economy continues to hold up, and there are clearer signs that wage growth is building, then the first hike could some somewhat earlier than we had previously envisaged, possibly as soon as the next meeting in November alongside the Inflation Report," he said.
  23. 1 like
    There is an increasing chance (~55-60%) of La Niña during the Northern Hemisphere fall and winter 2017-18. http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/enso_advisory/ensodisc.shtml
  24. 1 like
    Cool and cyclonic conditions in the short term but an array of potential weather types through the remainder of September. View the full article
  25. 1 like
    A thought ... let's say the UK had voted to remain last summer ... how would Junckers latest speech be going down? Not great I guess:
  26. 1 like
    Indeed, but the violence at EDL rallies is usually started by the "anti fascist" rent-a-mob. ... and I wouldn't call the EDL a far-right organisation... how is opposition to a religion by mainly white. working class men far right? I read the EDL charter and can't see a whiff of far-right politics anywhere.
  27. 1 like
  28. 1 like
    14.2 to the 13th 0.1 below the 61 to 90 average 0.7 below the 81 to 10 average ___________________________________________ Current high this month 15.1 to the 5th
  29. 1 like
    Yes I mean what I post, I am extremely biased, I will admit that. What has the right got to do with anything? its the left that throws hissy fits and violent tantrums when they don't get their own way, its the progressive leftists that are shutting down free speech Example: Trump. Remoaner may is toast! Does Jeremy Corbyn support Brexit? I guess it depends on waht day of the week it is. Bernie Sanders would have voted Remain, as would darling of the left Noam Chomsky. The party of European Socialists don't want us to leave the EU, I'm sure I would type out a proper reply but your imply I'm xenophobic so I won't bother. The EU commissioners who are not elected by the people of Europe propose the legislation and the Parliament votes for or against. If they vote against it the commissioners will slightly change the legislation until they get what they wanted. That is not democracy, and I realise that democracy is not perfect but that is not democratic at all. It's like Iran where the people can vote for a candidate who's been pre selected by unelected Mullah's. IMO should sort out our own country before giving any overseas "aid" unless a humanitarian emergency. We're giving hundreds of millions of pounds each year to countries like nuclear armed Pakistan and nuclear armed India with a space project! I cannot see how donating hundreds of millions of pounds to despots and countries where illiterate mobs riot on the streets over a cartoon published thousands of miles away (Pakistan), among many other things, helps the world! £300m odd to Syria in "aid" .... to jihadists no doubt! its a joke! On another note, I find it very amusing that socialists think socialism is great until it goes wrong (like always) then its suddenly no longer socialism
  30. 1 like
    I will watch the extensive coverage on the BBC. They provide coverage of the Orange marches over here on the 12th of July so I expect some impartiality.
  31. 1 like
    Latest from @Bristle boy's 'middle England barometer'.
  32. 1 like
    UKMO shows high pressure never really getting over the UK parts of the south may see some longer drier spells for a time but on the whole, no significant spell of settled weather is shown
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  34. 1 like
    So, you support the idea of the Government using power it doesn't have, and upending parliamentary sovereignty, ignoring the opposition of, you know, the opposition, and promising to give away taxpayer money it has no right to give away in exchange for power (thus undermining democracy itself)... but only as long as it's to ensure that the views that you agree with are the ones that prevail. Because that's what you've just said. PS: I'd love to know what you think Marxism is, why you think socialism is horrid (not that this country has ever seen proper socialism), what you think about the existence of the NHS, whether you like having paid holidays and days off at work, and whether you think that being safe at work is a good thing. Not because I'm a Marxist or a socialist, but mostly because I rather suspect (perhaps erroneously - there's always a chance), that your position there just doesn't hold water, and is based more on polemic reactionary tribalism than on any meaningful consideration.
  35. 1 like
    Yeah... they did know... and she didn't get enough votes to form a workable minority Government, and didn't have the coalition options to form a majority Government... until she bought votes from the DUP, which IS NOT how the electoral system works, and is not how Parliament is supposed to work. May was not voted in. Full stop. In fact, if the electorate did anything, it was to severely damage her. She's only hanging on because it's convenient for the ERG, funded by parliamentary expenses accounts of a sub-group of Tory MPs, to play her like a puppet and get what they want regardless of either the view of the Cabinet, or the view of Parliament itself.
  36. 1 like
  37. 1 like
    Storm Aileen was so bad York blew into the North Sea !!
  38. 1 like
    That was a bit wild! The strongest winds here occurred between 05.00 and 06.00 this morning with a max gust of 50 mph at 05.07. The lawn at the end of my back garden is littered with broken-off small branches from my four trees.
  39. 1 like
    Just as a slight nod of interest here is the GFS ensembles & the CFS runs relating to the 10MB zonal wind The GFS continues to show a surpressed zonal wind with it running mainly below the average for the time of year- Its not that significant & wouldnt be 'that' significant until we land in December as we found last year !! What raised my eyebrow is the CFS control run which brings the zonal mean into negative territory which it would be well outside the 'norm' here it is S
  40. 1 like
    Sunny Sheffield at 13.6C -1.8C below normal.
  41. 1 like
    "Blair is, I think, now the least trusted politician in the UK. I cannot think of another ex PM who is treated with so much disdain. Brussels is listening to people like Mike (his believes are represented by only a small percentage of the public), Blair and soon Corbyn and they are destroying any hope for us not going for a hard exit., They just have no idea. Which, I guess, is the real reason we are leaving. I repeat their 'plan' is to force a further referendum in the UK." I think it depends from the viewpoint you re looking at this from - you have already demonstrated your rigid points of view, which is your entitlement, many times before. Latest polls show the ratings of Theresa May below that of Jeremy Corbyn and I have little time for either. Her tenure of No 10, to date has been calamitous - she has been duplicitous and still apparently without a clue as to what he is doing and in my view and that of many others the worst prime minister of my life time. I have the impression that her strings are being pulled by others with their own vested interests in a brexit which excludes consideration for the country as a whole and there is anecdotal evidence to back this up. In fact the messages coming out of Whitehall and the right wing press are nothing more than repeated dogma and propaganda designed to keep the 'faithful' on side. I was opposed to Blair's entry into the Iraq war because I did not believe his weapons of mass deception, as I do not believe the weapons of mass deception bandied about by the leave side at the time of the referendum and now. However apart from a couple of ginormous cockups, that being Iraq and the other in not applying the 7 year block to automatic entry of the new eastern European citizens, overall his tenure of No 10 was reasonably good and I say that having never been, or voted labour in my life. I am accompanied in my beliefs by a large number of the population - in fact recent polls suggest that if the referendum were to be run again now the remain side would win. This brings me to point of asking why shouldn't there be a further referendum? Circumstances have changed in the past 15 months and more is known or can perceived about our possible brexit future now - then it was hollow (now shown to be correct) promises of the glorious uplands of Utopia - current evidence indicates that this is far more easier said than achieved - I still do not have any reason at all to be optimistic about the UK making a success of brexit because our country is still subject to underlying problems which prevent this - it is a point I have mentioned to you many times but you have declined to answer. But with the changing circumstances and more knowledge available why shouldn't there be a further referendum? - would this not be fair to do this before committing us into an unknown future? Doesn't democracy have a right to change its mind? I suspect that you would be against this because you would be afraid of losing. Basically there are three main choices: The first is remain as we are, full a member of the EU, which, in my view is the best option. The second would be keeping some attachment, such as the Norwegian style, but that would not be so good as the first, some advantages for the leavers but on the record to date in negotiation it is likely to be a fudge which ends up not really satisfying anybody. The third would be a hard brexit which would involve going off into an uncertain future which is likely to continue alienate half the population now, but more with the passage of time for many years to come. As a result of the last, as a result of the demographics of the young being considerably more pro EU than us old farts, we are likely to reach a situation whereby your beloved conservative party will not be forgiven and this will result in the party being consigned to the political wilderness. It is such a pity that this once creditable party ever allowed the tail to wag the dog but once I could see that this was happening I ceased to vote for it and changed my allegiance to the Lib Dems, as did many others, though not necessarily the Lib Dems.
  42. 1 like
    A lot of trees now turning and dropping leaves round here. Looks lovely though me thinking its early is probably more a reflection that they've seen no real heat since July and we finally have a seasonal September. I do hope we get a cold and sunny October though. Last year produced wonderous colours.
  43. 1 like
    The conker trees are about 2-3 weeks ahead of all the other varieties. We'll lose a lot of leaves tonight
  44. 1 like
    Interesting, if that pans out then a below average September could be in the offing. Only two thirds of the way through the month in a week's time but still, the potential is there. (NB feel free to mercilessly mock me for using the dreaded p word)
  45. 1 like
    That is an interesting topic, and some studies were done about it, but i cant remember the authors or titles. Anyhow, I decided to take a look myself at the basic raw data. Making a correlation of DJF 500mb and the atlantic ACE index prior to the winter, looking at years 1980-2016. The obvious -ve NAO tendency falls out. The correlation factor is not too high for great confidence, but its enough to show a potential signal. So I decided to make a graphic with ACE, AO and NAO, for future reference. It is to be used to look at any specific years. There are some years that have high ACE/-ve NAO and vice versa. So I decided to make a scatter plot. Here we can see that lower ACE years are pretty random with AO and NAO. But, as we go higher, especially above 150, the tendency for more negative -AO/NAO increases. The exceptions are 98 and 99, being strong La Nina years. This is just raw data and a lot could be analysed further down the line. And a bonus graphic, a correlation of autumn polar vortex with ACE. This basically shows a small indication that the polar vortex might tend to be weaker with higher the ACE goes.
  46. 1 like
    Sunday morning snowfall at 2130m. This picture above the resort of Gargellen close to the Swiss border.Gargellen is one of my favourite ski resorts. Hope to make a visit during the season. C
  47. 1 like
    Snow lying at the top station , 1950m asl. Should see a good covering on the Weiderbergenhorn Peak tomorrow morning. Will take a ride up to get my fix tomorrow ! Meanwhile , damp , cold and miserable this evening in the village. Fire lit. Funny enough this exact time last week was having a BQ and sat outside having a cold few beers. C
  48. 0 likes
    Taking the Pulse of the Planet How fast is Earth warming? Ocean heat content and sea level rise measurements may provide a more reliable answer than atmospheric measurements. https://eos.org/opinions/taking-the-pulse-of-the-planet#.WblJZIj-6CU.twitter
  49. 0 likes
    A notably chilly few days ahead will knock the CET downwards into the 13's by the end of the weekend. Long time since we had such a cool first half to September.. Some chilly nights also on the cards, single digits for many, lower in the countryside. There is still alot of the month to go though, and whether we return a below average month is difficult to predict. A warm up of sorts early-mid next week is being forecasted, and near or slightly above average temps could then see the rest of the month out. I am not seeing a major warm up though.
  50. 0 likes
    14.3 to the 12th 0.1 below the 61 to 90 average 0.7 below the 81 to 10 average ___________________________________________ Current high this month 15.1 to the 5th
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