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Stratos Ferric

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    Steeton, W Yorks, 270m ASL

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  1. Quality post...that's like saying two weeks ago it was cold, today it is hot: how can that be. I haven't pored over the results, nor have I even seen the primary reports, but accepting at face value the quotes above, and elsewhere, those querying the legitimacy or robustness of the figures would do well to remember that all publically listed companies are subject to considerable scrutiny from the markets where they are listed, from their auditors, and from their non-exec boards. Barclays might, I stress MIGHT, be finding some clever accounting treatment by which to mask certain exposures, but
  2. The average man on the street knows worryingly little about the way that Government operates, for all that he might perceive the outputs and outcomes. Your local council raises funds in two main ways: local taxation, and an allocation from central Government. I'll leave you to figure out what might be happening, particularly if you happen to live in a Tory controlled authority, but given that there are three variables in the equation, not the two that you seem to be assuming, there might be another answer other than the one that you have alighted on - for all that I share your sympathies rega
  3. I agree with all of that, though the long term unemployemnt problem isn't as intractable as you imply. At present the Labour Party has allowed a huge underclass to develop by setting benefits at levels that allow an acceptable existence - not necessarily desirable from where most of us sit, but none the less sufficient to exist on which, if you'd rather not work, rather changes the reckoning. IN addition, the Labour Party buys a lot of votes; just as it does by creating public sector jobs. If there were, say, NO benefits, I wonder how many of those long term unemployed - apparently unemploy
  4. Nope. To the younger members of the forum who are used to continuing growth a dip in the cycle is unknown and shocking, just as the first death of a close friend, or the occurrence suddenly of a debilitating illness when, hitherto, one has been healthy. I've mantained for a long time that Brown's miracle was founded on excessive personal borrowing and exported inflation, as much of what UKplc consumes by way of labour intensive goods has increasingly been produced further and further offshore. There are many different ways of measuring these things, but compared to the early 70s when the count
  5. Mr Peston has a lot to answer for, and I suspect that one or two in the BBC's news and current affairs dep't are quite happy to be mischief making for the Government and the current administration. A few general observations. 1 - many on here are too young to remember anything other than apparent economic "good times". I say "apparent" because, as I have long maintained, the recent boom under Brown has essentially been funded by personal debt (credit cards, store casds, and remortgaging during the property price spike) coupled with imported levels of low inflation (by off-shoring to low wage
  6. That much was true the day the euro was born; there was absolutely no way that the UK could continue to reside indefinitely outside a european economic bloc that had accepted monetary union. Most international businesses in the UK would favour the single currency anyway, and are in various stages of being set-up to switch as and when the day comes. The problem in the UK is the national identity; any move which leads to a perception of reduction in self-interested Government is bound to be unpopular, irrespective of the extent to which it is, in fact, already after the event. You might want
  7. We're probably not far off 6 million already. There's not far shy of 3 million on incapacity since the terms were changed a couple of years or so back (am I the only person for whom the face validity of one in ten of the working population being physically unable to work doesn't really seem to stack up?); add to that 2m or so unemployed and claiming that benefit. Reopen the soup kitchens and poor houses...
  8. This Administration continues to knee-jerk with ill thought through populism. VAT was a daft decision if the desire was to increase spend. It's the equivalent of a 47 for the price of 46 scheme, the likes of which even Iceland wouldn't have dreamed of. In terms of stimulating spending it's daft: if I don't have the money to spend in the first place, requiring me to spend to save doesn't help. It's a pain to implement because most point-of-sale is automated, hyence software needs to be upgraded, or, if you're a small retailer, a patch needs to be purchased if you have an integrated system, an
  9. I'd be staggered if Tescos had major difficulties, and annual leave is usually restricted in multiple retailers at Christmas for what ought to be obvious reasons: it's the busiest time of year. Cash movements (I assume you mean loose cash) always occur daily from any store; retailing is a cash business. If they have increased collections from store it would have no material impact on corporate performance, it might be down to a desire to reduce the amount of cash on site, a potential security hazard. Increased cash movements might just reflect the fact that people are making fewer cashback
  10. Thus prompted by some excellent contributions to date I shall start with my own records from 1978-9 when I was living NW of Leeds. The comments in green are straight lifts from my own weather diary. December December, at first sight, appears to have taken off where November left. However, certain facets appeared which were to signal the start of a winter which was not challenged until late March, and which did not finally depart until May 5th. The first half of December was essentially mild, though the 1st was a freezing day and the second nearly, a continental block only slowly receding e
  11. Not all overhead cables will be I'm afraid. In rural areas it doesn't make economic sense. I don't know what the ratios are now, but when I used to work in policy at BT years ago, it was something like 100 times more expensive to bury a cable than to run an aerial link. The interesting thing about the Times' reports is the sparsity of infornation available back then. Where nowadays everyone has a broadband link and a mobile phone, so the world is dense with potential reportage real time, back then there were very few people putting pen to paper and feedback was painfully slow. Hence, yeste
  12. Winter kept returning that year. My own records show that it snowed pretty much non-stop for 40 hours om the 16-17th, depositing 13" of level snow. It soon warmed up, but even so the snow persisted for over a week. It then snowed again March 27-29th; April 1st-4th; and, April 30th-May 5th.
  13. I think I'd be right in saying that the only time we had the rain-snow that winter was at the very start of the severe period in late December, when three or four warm fronts stacked up and pushed north. I still recall, even on Boxing Day I think, Michael Fish predicting that the warm air would probably win the battle. Most of the other events (and I'd beg to differ with the Eye's suggestion of two main blizzards, there were five decent events that winter, any of which on their own would have sttod very proud in a typical winter) were characterised by warm fronts banging into polar or arctic
  14. He's just getting rid of a load of debt. I'd be very surprised if he hadn't done it with some negotiation with main creditors, but at least it should reduce a significant burden. Ordinarily I'd disapprove, but given some of the people who have been bleeding Leeds dry I have limited sympathy. It's also a bizarre world in which footballers do not have to take a pay cut whilst in contract, even if via their performances their team drops a division. Probably no further. Leeds' turnover will ensure they have the pick of the players at that level. Sooner or later someone with a lot of money wi
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