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Nick H

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  1. I thought 13th June was meant to be the only summer date which had failed to record at least one 30°C?
  2. Nick H

    Uk Economy

    Fred Goodwin is actually quite a noted supporter of Labour. He was good friends with Gordon Brown until RBS collapsed and it was of course Labour who gave him a knighthood for "services to banking". You'd be surprised how many of these exceptionally rich City high-flyers are Labour men, although it's unsurprising really given Labour's pact with the City over the last 12 years. Lord Mervyn Davies is another one. Lord Myners another one.
  3. Nick H

    Uk Economy

    Hurrah, someone speaking sense.
  4. Nick H

    Uk Economy

    The Tories left Brown a golden legacy in 1997. The last Budget that Ken Clarke delivered before the election could have been - and was expected to be - a giveaway Budget for political reasons. But it wasn't: taxes were not cut and public spending remained tight. Clarke was at least showing fiscal discipline. It is inconceivable that any Labour government would ever leave the Tories such reasonable public finances as Labour inherited in 1997. It certainly ain't gonna happen next year. This is not to say the Tories don't preside over economic catastrophes, the ERM debacle was a cock-up of the first order and Heath's cave-in to the unions was stupid. But no-one can reasonably claim that in 1997 the economy was a disaster - it had been transformed since 1979. But the reason all Labour governments run out of money is because they tax the productive sector into oblivion to pay for the unproductive sector, and when the private sector is bled dry the coffers run dry and government borrowing then has to shoot up. Labour grew public spending faster than the rate of economic growth for 10 years - what other end result could there have been?
  5. Nick H

    Uk Economy

    There have been four Labour governments prior to this one. Show me one which didn't end in economic catastrophe. The unions had allowed millions of unprofitable jobs to exist. They ensured that Britain had simply priced herself out of work by the end of the 1970s. Unemployment at the beginning of the 1980s simply meant that there had been 3 million people on the payroll without a job. Britain produced absolutely dreadful, overpriced goods (Rovers, anybody?), as industrial policy was simply based on pouring huge quantities of money into these state monoliths just to prop up jobs. At least Thatcher realised this couldn't go on. If it had gone on, the pain when it all collapsed would have been three times worse. All manufacturing has gone East now. Europe can't compete on cost with Eastern unit costs as low as they are. The idea that if only we could go back to the "glory days" (yeah right) of 1970s manufacturing then a million jobs would be created is simply nonsense. It is also ludicrous to suggest that our economy is "fundamentally weaker" than it was in the 1970s. The economy has been completely transformed in the last three decades. The UK reversed three decades of post-war decline and has, relatively, put in a better performance than France, Germany or Japan. Yes, we're going through an extremely torrid time at the moment, but we'll still be twice as better off at the end of this slump than we were in the 1970s. All developed economies have undergone the transition from agriculture through manufacturing to service-based economy.
  6. Nick H

    Uk Economy

    Two more... The tax take has risen from 38% to 41% of GDP. Government spending has more than doubled from £300bn to over £600bn (yeah, great value for money that).
  7. Nick H

    Uk Economy

    Nope - destroyed by the unions' restrictive practices which priced Britain out of work. Labour has always destroyed the economy and left the Tories to pick up the pieces and administer the painful medicine. Looks like history's going to repeat itself.
  8. I can't say I remember this particularly but here in the Chilterns we had: 24th 10°C 25th 21°C 26th 8°C
  9. Nick H

    Uk Economy

    Any damage the Tories may have done (i) is pretty small beer considering the economy was transformed from the sick man of Europe in 1979 to the 4th largest in the world in 1997; and (ii) completely pales into insignificance when compared to the absolute disaster the UK economy is now. Like Stu, I don't expect miracles from an incoming Tory government, but I do know that no-one, but no-one, could do worse than the Labour Party, who have wrecked the economy and left it in tatters every single time they have been in government. The New Labour project was a sham. It taxed, taxed and taxed the productive part of the economy to fund the unproductive part by spending, spending and spending....and then it ran out of money after it had milked the productive part. Borrowing shot up. Just like every single previous Labour administration.
  10. Easter Saturday 1984 was very warm and sunny. Hyde Park was as beautiful and as busy in the spring warmth as I've ever seen it (apart from at the dodgy protests/concerts).
  11. Nick H

    Uk Economy

    I think a gilt auction failed as recently as 2002 and again in 1995 actually. But I agree about all this fiscal expansion nonsense. A complete red herring which is totally unnecessary and likely to be damaging, all because Gordon must be seen to be "doing something". Has he ever stopped to think the cost of doing something might be greater than not doing anything? A recession is quite natural, so just take minimal action, let all the dead wood filter out and start from a clean slate rather than lumber our children and grandchildren with debt that will take years to pay back. This will happen anway. While proven long ago to anyone with a modicum of sense and ration, the claim of (Iron Lady/Atilla-the-Hen/Our Blessed Margaret)* has now been delivered in spades: *delete as appropriate
  12. Nick H

    Make us laugh

    There's a man who likes to drink a lot. His wife has told him if he ever comes home drunk again she will leave him. He goes out, gets trolleyed and throws up all over himself. He turns to his mate in the pub and asks what he can do. His friend replies, "Go home, tell her someone threw up over you, put a £20 note inside your pocket, show it to her and say the other man gave it you for the dry cleaning bill". He duly does this: he explains to the wife and shows the £20 note. The wife enquires, "But why have you got two £20 notes?" "Oh", he says, "the other one is from the man who [email protected] in my pants".
  13. Nick H

    Uk Economy

    Disagree, it may be political suicide but it certainly wouldn't be economic suicide. Indeed, if considerations of the UK's bail out of her automotive industries were to be based on economics alone, it would be a no-brainer. They'd get nothing and would be allowed to collapse. Unfortunately there are a lot of votes in the manufacturing sector and the unions are notoriously vocal. There hasn't been a British car industry for 30 years, there has just been a car industry in Britain. Even when the UK did have a car industry it produced crap cars and that's why it went down the plug in the 1980s. The UK should not be looking to the car sector to fuel a recovery after this recession. The UK has no comparative or competitive advantage whatsoever there. If there is a sector overlooked in the UK it is retail, which this year has to cope with massive rises in business rates, the mess of reverting back to the 17.5% rate of VAT at the busiest time of the year, rises in the minimum wage and continued depression of consumer spending. Unfortunately, there's no votes in it.
  14. Nick H

    Uk Economy

    Microsoft paid $300m in tax to the Irish government in 2007. That means taxable profits were somewhere in the order of (300/0.125) = $2.4bn. That's bloody good going for a country with just 4 million people. Amid all your bluster you still haven't dealt with my point which is that the tax accrued to Ireland is out of all proportion to the profits made there. Microsoft does more research in the USA than Ireland for a start, whilst the %age of Microsoft's turnover apportionable to Ireland is I suspect, miniscule. I think 25pc is a reasonable rate of corporation tax to pay that strikes the balance between encouraging risk taking/wealth generation and a suitable recompense for the infrastructure that a company benefits from. I would also reduce top rate of UK income tax from 40pc to 35pc max when the recession is over. The Tories aren't going to lower CT to 12.5% because they don't want the UK to be a tax haven. It also has 60m people to look after rather than 4m. Yet again you bang on about competition, failing to realise that if everyone had 12.5% tax rate the whole system would be unsustainable. By your own admission (# 911), Ireland can't compete on anything except artificially inducing the booking of taxable profits from where they are actually made to Ireland. That's why and how it steals tax revenue from its partners.
  15. Nick H

    Uk Economy

    You're sounding desperate because you know Ireland is in deep trouble. Ireland is bankrupt and too small to survive without EU help. Yet again you miss the point. I don't know how many times I've made it but you ignore it every single time. The profits made by the companies HQ'd in Ireland are not made in Ireland. The intellectual property is registered in Ireland but the operating profits are made elsewhere. Ireland is depriving these countries of their tax dues. Are you going to answer this point or not? Because if you're not I think I'll exit from this debate. Of course the governor is trying to talk up Ireland because he knows the forthcoming bailout will be a disaster. Do you expect Gordon Brown to say in the UK, "we're finished?"
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