/ Welfare reforms

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confusicating on 02 Jan 2013
Ooooh that there government. Oooh them.

The proposed welfare reforms make me incredibly angry. I can't describe.

That's all really. Totes psyched for some government take-down this year though. People are angry, can you feel it?



Happy New Year, lovelies.
Edradour - on 02 Jan 2013
In reply to confusicating:

Why do they make you angry?
Sam_in_Leeds - on 02 Jan 2013
In reply to confusicating:

In what way exactly? The government realising we can only spend less than we collectively earn? That borrowed money needs paying back with interest?

There needs to be a sense of fairness?

People who don't work don't get as much as people do work hard?

People who pretend to be disabled but are actually more than capable of working having to work?

The taxpayer (i.e. me) no longer paying £50k a year in housing benefit?

I suspect once you]ve got a job/grown up you'll understand?
Sam_in_Leeds - on 02 Jan 2013
In reply to Sam_in_Leeds:



"The House of Commons research also showed that just 43 per cent of welfare payments are now contributory – made to those who have paid National Insurance – compared to about 70 per cent of benefits paid in the 1960s and 1970s. "

so that's 57% of the country paying for the other 43%? Yes I know everyone's going to say it includes child benefit etc and thus haven't paid any yet but £208billion is, quite frankly taking the piss.
cuppatea on 02 Jan 2013
In reply to confusicating:


Here we go. The good cripple vs bad cripple argument.

I went from paying lots of tax to not overnight. All is not as black and white as the Mail would have us believe.
cuppatea on 02 Jan 2013
In reply to confusicating:

Lest we forget, it was the liebor lot that started the ball rolling, and awarded the contract to ATOS, a French company. Not the condems.
confusicating on 02 Jan 2013
In reply to Sam_in_Leeds:

Haha, you do make me laugh. These are really easy ones!

1) First one is not a question. It is not either-or. I'll leave you to research that.

2) Fariness is good, right? Again, not sure of your point.

3) There needs to be change to minimum wage (look at the living wage for details) such that people can afford to live on basic salaries. Education and motivation are key points here. But I feel I must also point out that most people on benefits do indeed work. You can also look into that.

4) I know no-one who does this. Do you? Government figures are that 0.1% of people on benefits are fraudulently doing so. So of the 20% cuts to DLA 19.9% of people who should rightfully get them don't. Also, again, most people on DLA work a bit (and as much as they can, if they can. In general people want to better themselves).

5) Why do you pay £50k a year in housing benefit? Seems like a daft thing to do. Unless you can afford it in which case good on you!

6) Thank you for your comment on my life which you know nothing about.
Sarah G on 02 Jan 2013
In reply to confusicating:
I love it when the girl down the street from me (two kids with 2 diff fathers, third bairn on the way, all on benefits, full housing benefit, etc- and always have been) describes her giro as herself being "paid". Um, what for, precisely?

Sx
Postmanpat on 02 Jan 2013
In reply to confusicating:
> Ooooh that there government. Oooh them.
>
> The proposed welfare reforms make me incredibly angry. I can't describe.
>
> That's all really. Totes psyched for some government take-down this year though. People are angry, can you feel it?
>
So how do you propose that the State should contain welfare costs and improve productivity in the sector? (which I am sure you understand are necessary things to do)
MG - on 02 Jan 2013
In reply to confusicating: Which aspects make you angry?
Dax H - on 02 Jan 2013
In reply to confusicating: The benefit reforms make me very angry too, they dont go far enough.

The majority of people that I know on benefits have more disposable cash and a better standard of living than the working people that I know earning a modest living of around 18k a year.

The only people on benefits that I know who struggle are the ones that have worked but fallen on hard times, the never worked and dont have any intentions to ever work do quite well.
cuppatea on 02 Jan 2013
In reply to Dax H:
>
> The only people on benefits that I know who struggle are the ones that have worked but fallen on hard times, the never worked and dont have any intentions to ever work do quite well.

This is the crux of the matter. If you pardon the use of the word crux.

The whole system is set up to reward those would have never paid in with a larger safety net than those who have never paid in.

The demonising of the disabled is a good way of uniting the voters eh?
SAF - on 02 Jan 2013
In reply to confusicating:
> (In reply to Sam_in_Leeds)
>
>
> 4) I know no-one who does this. Do you? Government figures are that 0.1% of people on benefits are fraudulently doing so. So of the 20% cuts to DLA 19.9% of people who should rightfully get them don't. Also, again, most people on DLA work a bit (and as much as they can, if they can. In general people want to better themselves).
>
Come out with the ambulance service or police for a day, I know plenty who would do this...

a women in her early 20s with "fat related health problems", she doesn't work, hubby doesn't work, live in a modern, good condition 2 bed house with there daughter, and drive around in an 11 plate golf...her mobility car!!!

Pregnant women in labour with her eleventh baby (and that was a few years ago, so who knows what number she's at now)... kids with a variety of different men, never worked, council flat, free blue light taxi to the maternity unit...

We go whole shifts without going to anyone who has actually contributed enough to cover the cost of the care they are recieving!!!
cuppatea on 02 Jan 2013
In reply to SAF:

I'm trying not to be drawn into this thread, but I would note that it's the extremes that make the best stories.

Hats off to the plod and the nhs, but their clients may not be representative of the country as a whole.
SAF - on 02 Jan 2013
In reply to cuppatea: I could write a really long dull thread of "in december I went too..." if you would like, I could also give many many more "extremes" as you call them, because they simply aren't that extreme, they are a regular occurence!!!

Sam_in_Leeds - on 02 Jan 2013
In reply to Sarah G:
> (In reply to confusicating)
> ) describes her giro as herself being "paid". Um, what for, precisely?
>
> Sx

Tbh, I feel same way about my job somedays ha ha ha ha ha...
stroppygob - on 02 Jan 2013
In reply to confusicating: Life on benefits in now the norm for a third generation or more. There is a sense of entitlement for a whole societal group. Of course there is also another group of hand-wringing middle class lefties who rely on the welfare benefits culture to supply them with their work, and therefore will do anything and everything to support and keep another generation on welfare.
cuppatea on 02 Jan 2013
In reply to SAF:

I'm sure you could, and I'd enjoy reading it if it was as interesting as the inspector gadget blog. Maybe start a new thread?

My point was that the police deal with a certain section of humanity, which thankfully isn't representative of the rest of us.
SAF - on 02 Jan 2013
In reply to cuppatea: I work for the ambulance service not the police, we deal with all sections of society (as do the police), and unfortunately the benefits cheating, 3rd generation benefit families, 21 year olds having there 4th baby in order to get a larger house, 42 inch wide screen TV paid for with benefits, family holidays paid for by the DSS etc is all real. There isn't some conspiracy by the government to conjure up this image so that they can justify benefits cuts, it is like that out there, just most people get to live life within there own social class without seeing how others live, rich and poor.

The Norris - on 02 Jan 2013
In reply to Sam_in_Leeds:
> (In reply to Sam_in_Leeds)
>
>
>
> "The House of Commons research also showed that just 43 per cent of welfare payments are now contributory – made to those who have paid National Insurance – compared to about 70 per cent of benefits paid in the 1960s and 1970s. "
>
> so that's 57% of the country paying for the other 43%? Yes I know everyone's going to say it includes child benefit etc and thus haven't paid any yet but £208billion is, quite frankly taking the piss.

You've got your maths wrong here. There are 2 forms of jobseekers allowance - income based and contributions based.

You get income based JSA if you have no income and your partner also has no income.

If, for example you are married and without work but your partner has a job, if you have not paid any national insurance contributions recently, you wont be entitled to any JSA benefits as your partner will be expected to support you with his or her wage.

However in this scenario, if you HAVE paid national insurance recently, you will be entitled to contributions based JSA, as you have contributed to the 'pot' as it were.

So from your quote, you can conclude that 43% of people have paid enough money into the national insurance pot recently to be allowed their JSA. The other 57% of claimants have not paid into the pot and simply do not earn enough money themselves, or though their partner to be able to get by day to day*.

* note its more complicated than this in reality!
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toad - on 02 Jan 2013
In reply to SAF: 3rd generation benefits families. Got any evidence for that?

Only the Joseph Rowntree Foundation spent quite a lot of time trying to find evidence to support IDS on this point and couldn't.
toad - on 02 Jan 2013
cuppatea on 02 Jan 2013
In reply to SAF:

I'm aware of all that ;-) and your profile suggested nhs rather than job. I was commenting via phone so mentioned police for the sake of brevity.

Hat's off to you too.
SAF - on 02 Jan 2013
In reply to toad:
> (In reply to SAF) 3rd generation benefits families. Got any evidence for that?
>

Since my job is essentially a medical one and not a social one it's not been my place to collect statistics on them, but from my experience seen with my own eyes, they exists, and not in isolation.

toad - on 02 Jan 2013
In reply to SAF: Confirmation bias. We all experience it, Which is why it's important for people like JRF to do the actual research, rather than rely on personal anecdata.
SAF - on 02 Jan 2013
In reply to toad:
> (In reply to SAF) Confirmation bias. We all experience it, Which is why it's important for people like JRF to do the actual research, rather than rely on personal anecdata.

Problem is research is frequently biased on many levels, not least that the JRF needs to justify itself as charity looking after people in poverty. How did they collect there data? My opinion is based on 7 years worth of doing a job that is fairly unique in that people are generally not planning or prepared when they call an ambulance, hence we see inside peoples homes and families "warts and all", this over a wide area both urban and rural, I'll stick with believing what I see with my own eyes not what some "foundation" would like me to believe...Ta!
toad - on 02 Jan 2013
In reply to SAF:
> (In reply to toad)
> [...]
>
I'll stick with believing what I see with my own eyes not what some "foundation" would like me to believe...Ta!

it's ok, everyone does it- coppers believe everyone's a potential criminal, GPs think everyones malingering - you only see the problem claimants, so you assume all claimants are problems.
SAF - on 02 Jan 2013
In reply to toad:
> (In reply to SAF)
> [...]

> it's ok, everyone does it- coppers believe everyone's a potential criminal, GPs think everyones malingering - you only see the problem claimants, so you assume all claimants are problems.

Where exactly have I said that ALL claiments are a problem?!
off-duty - on 02 Jan 2013
In reply to toad:

I am aware of confirmation bias. I am also aware that the police and the ambulance spend a VASTLY disproportionate amount of their time (and thus the taxpayers expense) dealing with the third generation unemployed who live perfectly decent (if not good) lives on benefits.
I find it bizarre that the day to day experiences of front line emergency services are dismissed so easily.
Whilst I accept that spending the majority of our time dealing with these people does not mean they are in the majority doesn't it worry you that they are having not just such an easy life on "free money" but also that the knock on effect of their use of the emergency services has a massively disproportionate effect on the services that a taxpayer will receive.

There are a significant proportion of the population who have a significantly disproportionate drain on tax payers.
KellyKettle - on 02 Jan 2013
In reply to confusicating: Having been on the dole (sorry JSA) twice myself, and having seen my father in the same position after being made redundant... I'm not sure whether to welcome the proposed reforms to unemployment support; I'm a Chemist, I worked flexible hours as a contract cleaner whilst I was at uni and prior to going to university worked in the timber industry, first as semi-skilled man in a sawmill and then an "improver" Joiner...

Went down to the JobCenter, explained my situation and was told "there's not a lot of jobs like that round here, let's put you down for retail" I ignored their insistance that I take the first part-time shop assistant's job that came up and applied for jobs here there and everywhere with both of my major skill bases and any others where I though I had an outside chance using the transferable skills I had and eventually was successful in getting a job some 50 miles away, but it was full time, with shift allowances... so even with travel costs I was able to support myself, unlike with a part-time minimum wage job.

Under the new regime of 3-strikes and you're out, the job-centre staff would have pushed me into taking a job which would have left me dependent on other forms of benefits, in spite of me making dozens of job applications every day for everything from R&D through Secretarial work right down to nightshifts cleaning an abattoir, the only thing I selected jobs on was could I reasonably do it and did the job give me enough hours or a high enough rate/salary that I could support myself.


However... when going down to sign on I also met a great deal of people who had no real intention of seeking any employment whatsoever and stood out conspicuously with my folder full of that fortnight's job applications, dressed at least vaguely smartly. It was when someone came in to sign on blind drunk and got ejected for vomiting in a waste paper bin whilst waiting, that my eyes were truly opened to how flagrantly the system is being abused in some cases.


In short, I kind of support the proposals, but I can see serious implications if the services provided to the unemployed become better tailored to the wide and ever increasing range of people who end up out of work and hard up, rather than simply working to the lowest common denominator...
SAF - on 02 Jan 2013
In reply to KellyKettle: I applied for the job I aim in whilst already working in another job, I had to juggle annual and un paid leave in order to attend a series of assesment days and interviews.

What is stopping peopl on benefits taking the first minimun wag part time job that you describe, that comes their way, whilst still apllying for a specific job that fits there skill sets. That's what people who have no gaps in their employment history have been doing for decades!!!
toad - on 02 Jan 2013
In reply to off-duty:
> (In reply to toad)
>

> [...] doesn't it worry you that they are having not just such an easy life on "free money" but also that the knock on effect of their use of the emergency services has a massively disproportionate effect on the services that a taxpayer will receive.

>
> No. I know there are some real scrotes out there, but they are a fraction of 1% of the benefits bill. As a tax payer, I'm much more concerned about errors by the delivery agencies and ill conceived populist policies chasing a problem that (as a percentage of overall spending) doesn't really exist.

I'm much more pissed off about issues like universal benefits and about (for example) well educated, articulate claimants who don't need the money, but know their rights, browbeat benefits staff and can work the system. But they won't crop up on your radar, 'cos they aren't doing anything wrong.

I know that this doesn't fit the narrative of the likes of "saints and Scroungers" and doesn't help either of you on a Saturday night, but it isn't a black and white issue
KellyKettle - on 02 Jan 2013
In reply to SAF: Had I failed to get anywhere in a reasonable timescale, I'd have taken anything... But it doesn't make sense to go out and compete for a job that i'm not skilled for or good at as the first thing I do... That's a very sensible fall back option, but even then only for positions i'm likely to be competitive in applying for (i was unpleasantly suprised how many people don't want to give a graduate a low level position, the manufacturing and construction sectors seem more willing than the service and retail sector)
Dauphin - on 02 Jan 2013
In reply to SAF:

Fat stupid knackers will naturally form a large percentage of your client group, just call 999 for the big yellow taxi. I know this because you tend to deliver them to where I work, so we can send them home with a bag of pain killers and/or antibiotics (which they fail to take properly) after a CT scan and an overnighter. Normally after a demand for a free cab to get them back to their 60" tele "because you fakkin brought me here!". After many years of doing this I tended to take a dim view of human nature and the genetic puddle that constitutes the threadbare special needs tapestry of dimwitted Britains.

However after straw poll off the top of my head, friends and family, wider colleagues, total legendary punters that turn up with bits hanging off them after a bus journey to get there, old people generally and charvers off UKC would tend to suggest it was the job getting to me.

It's probably better for us if we treat the poor and uneducated with compassion and charity rather then derision and scorn. Travel to any third world shit hole for a month, come back and tell me we've got it all wrong here.

Just keep repeating - The rich and corporates shouldn't be taxed any more (or at all) or the whole world will implode. The poor and feckless are your enemy.

I'm guessing the size of the hole in the economy is about the same size of corporate tax avoidance for the last decade.

Oh yeah before I forget please lets make sure they stay poor and stupid because it keeps me in my highly paid bleedin heart lefty job, pension sorted, hand wringing right blah blah blah.

D
stroppygob - on 02 Jan 2013
In reply to confusicating:I'm in my mid fifties, I've worked since 1975, even when at college I held part-time jobs, and paid in to the system in the UK and Aus.

I have a couple of sisters who are a few years younger than me, both were grandmothers before the age of 36, one is now a great grandmother. Neither has worked, ever.

One married but divorced soon after, one has never married. They have six kids between them, to a variety of fathers, I lose count of the number of grandkids. They have had council houses since the first kids were born.

They both have social workers to help them fiddle the system, so do their kids. They have a large circle of peers in exactly the same circumstances. Both smoke, both have huge TVs, both have all the luxuries anyone on a good wage would expect. One of my sister’s mates went on a three week holiday to India last year, despite being on incapacity benefit.

This is all true, not some “Mail reader’s” imaginary benefits cheat tale, this is my family.
off-duty - on 02 Jan 2013
In reply to toad:
> (In reply to off-duty)
> [...]
>
> [...]
>
> [...]
>
> I'm much more pissed off about issues like universal benefits and about (for example) well educated, articulate claimants who don't need the money, but know their rights, browbeat benefits staff and can work the system. But they won't crop up on your radar, 'cos they aren't doing anything wrong.
>

You don't like social workers either? ;-)
SAF - on 02 Jan 2013
In reply to stroppygob: Just out of interest, what do you think sent you on such a different pathway through life than your sisters?

Dax H - on 02 Jan 2013
In reply to toad:
> (In reply to SAF) 3rd generation benefits families. Got any evidence for that?
>
> Only the Joseph Rowntree Foundation spent quite a lot of time trying to find evidence to support IDS on this point and couldn't.

Would you like me to take you to meet some?. I can think of quite a few that I am acquainted with.

My personal favourites are a pair of divorcees who got together, 7 kids between them and they had 3 more (though one died very young).
Of the 9 surviving kids each one went on to produce between 2 and 12 kids each, sometimes with the same partner and sometimes with multiple) (mr 12 kids has 10 to his current and 2 with his ex but one of the sisters has 5 to 5 different bloke's).
Of the 30 ish grand childern so far there have been at the last count over 20 great grand kids produced but that number is rising fast as the rest of the grand kids come of age.
The oldest of the great grand kids is a 14 year old girl and it is only a matter of time.

Not one person in this family tree works legally and some of them are claiming disability (but the various disabilitys dont stop working for cash from time to time).

Mr 12 kids lives in a converted 5 bedroom house, has 2 Renault mpv's on the drive, goes on holiday abroad once a year and does a week at the seaside in the UK too.
They have sky HD, a mix of X box 360 and PS3's in every bedroom and at last count 7 flat screen tv's ranging from a lowly 26 inch in the kitchen to a 50 inch in the main room (with a full surround sound system).
Almost forgot to add, both parents and 3 of the eldest kids chain smoke too but in the interests of fairness they are forced to smoke roll ups because they cant afford tailor mades.

I dont mind supporting people but lots take the piss and though this is the most extreme cases I can think of I can point out many others.
stroppygob - on 02 Jan 2013
In reply to SAF:
> (In reply to stroppygob) Just out of interest, what do you think sent you on such a different pathway through life than your sisters?

I was fortunate, I had friends with more ambition than just a dole career.

Ben Sharp - on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to Sam_in_Leeds: Yeah, but that's the trouble with the Tories. They say something sensible (like people who work should get more money than people who don't), everyone thinks, yes, yes, that sounds very sensible. And then they take a disabled person round the back and shoot them when no ones looking. It's like that scene at the end of the Godfather where Michael is at the Christening being made godfather to Connie's son while his cronies kill everyone. They say one thing for the camera's which doesn't reflect their evil plans.

"Oh no, not us, we love the NHS, we just want to create a fairer society that's all, we're trying to help the NHS. What, what, privatisation you say, oh no, that's just streamlining. People getting moved away from their homes, jobs and support networks, no, not us, we're just trying to make housing benefits fairer for everyone. We're trying to stop people unfairly claiming incapacity benefits, what what, 1000's of disabled people 'marching' on parliament, mercenaries carrying out work capability assessments so that anyone disabled that has even a tiny capacity for work (which isn't available or likely) can have their benefits cut. Cutting back on scroungers that's what we're doing, you can tie your shoelaces so why don't you get a job doing that? You won't be needing these apples then, wheel yourself down to the job centre I'm sure there's loads of jobs for you. Bloody scroungers. We're making it easier, fairer, simpler to claim benefits, we're all in this together, a fairer britain, a united society, it pays to work. We want to make university education fairer, and more accessible for all. What, well yes we're cutting funding but only to make things better, only to make it more accessible to the plebs...etc. etc."
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off-duty - on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to Ben Sharp:

But unfortunately there is a problem with disability living allowance and carers allowance being exploited. I don't know how big a problem it is but anecdotally from my experience (and undoubtedly that of the ambulance/NHS staff above) a significant proportion of those dealt with by front line emergency staff are in receipt of those benefits which appear entirely due to "being alcoholic" "being obese" "having a bad back" - when in my experience it doesn't affect their ability to commit fairly athletic crime and work on the black.
cuppatea on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to confusicating:


Some interesting numbers here re the amount of fraudulent claims, with link to DWP figures.
http://benefitscroungingscum.blogspot.co.uk/2010/06/dla-clearing-up-confusion.html?m=1

DLA 0.5%
Incapacity benefit 1% (and presumably lower now ATOS are testing)
JSA 2.8%
Income Support 2.9%
TheDrunkenBakers - on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to toad:
> (In reply to off-duty)
> [...]
>
> [...]
>
> [...]
>
> I'm much more pissed off about issues like universal benefits and about (for example) well educated, articulate claimants who don't need the money, but know their rights, browbeat benefits staff and can work the system. But they won't crop up on your radar, 'cos they aren't doing anything wrong.

Exactly, they arent doing anything wrong. Come April this year, we will lose 2 lots of child benefit at over £2k per year for two kids - we have three but one is older than 16. I earn well over the £50k threshold but my wife earns £25k so we have to lose it, even though if we were both on £49,999 we would be OK. That 2k will make a big diffrence to our family, despite the fact that I pay a fortune in NI and IT, well over £30k last year. We dont live an extravagant lifestyle.

Do you consider me working the system? Would you prefer that I get a lower paid job, and pay less tax, so that I can claim the child benefit? Do you consider me claiming for child benefit somehow more immoral than some of the case studies mentioned in this thread already, despite me NEVER having being unemployed since I was able to work, over 20 years ago, and probably contributing close on half a million in tax and NI.
Bjartur i Sumarhus on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to thread: Food for thought.

In August 2010 there were an astonishing 2.6million on incapacity benefit

The coalition brought in eligibility tests

75% (1,950,000 people) failed or withdrew their applications before taking the test
MonkeyPuzzle - on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to confusicating:

I'm undecided on the policy itself but what I despise is the demonising language being used: "...and sees their neighbour still asleep, living a life on benefits", or whatever it was. Basically, in the majority of these cases, these people have been failed; failed by their parents, failed by society, failed by the system (which none of them helped set up), or a combination of the three. If we want things to improve, for everyone, it's in our interests to help these people become less of a burden on society in the long-term, and to improve their own lives (would any of those complaining about the unemployed's cushty lifestyle honestly swap with them?). Of course how we do that will have to be a combination of the carrot and the stick - lefties love carrots, and righties love a good stick.

Basically, I'm as stumped as you all are.
Postmanpat on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:
> (In reply to toad)
> [...]
>
> Exactly, they arent doing anything wrong. Come April this year, we will lose 2 lots of child benefit at over £2k per year for two kids - we have three but one is older than 16.
>
As you know you've fallen into a "trap" that successive governments have tried and failed to find a way to remove. It's a bugger for you and those like you but taking a broader view is the best alternative to keep universal benefits for all, which is very expensive? The problem with trying to create systems of benefits and allowances that are absolutely "fair" to everyone is that they become over complex and even more susceptible to abuse by the cynical.
EeeByGum - on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to Sam_in_Leeds:

> People who don't work don't get as much as people do work hard?

This is quite a rational and reasonable argument until you actually meet these people and discover just how incapable and unemployable they actually are. To cut off their benefits would quite literally involve putting people on the streets.

I have no idea what the solution is, but I don't really want to see families living on the streets of this great nation.
off-duty - on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:
> (In reply to confusicating)
>
> I'm undecided on the policy itself but what I despise is the demonising language being used: "...and sees their neighbour still asleep, living a life on benefits", or whatever it was. Basically, in the majority of these cases, these people have been failed; failed by their parents, failed by society, failed by the system (which none of them helped set up), or a combination of the three.

I think you have forgotten the fourth one, "failed to accept responsibility for their own lives".

MonkeyPuzzle - on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to off-duty:

I think you forgot to notice "...in the majority of these cases...", or are you really that cynical?
Edradour - on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:
> (In reply to off-duty)
>
> I think you forgot to notice "...in the majority of these cases...", or are you really that cynical?

Any evidence for this?

How has someone who doesn't want to work been 'failed by the system'? I just don't understand this reasoning at all.

A couple of hundred years ago you wouldn't have had the option to be 'failed'. You worked for a living and that was that. The majority of people still think like that and struggle to see why someone should get away with not doing so. Similarly with children. I earn decent money but would have to consider whether I could afford each child - that is taking responsibility for myself.

I think that having some form of benefits system is absolutely correct but all this 'failed by someone else' crap is just that: crap.

ChrisBrooke - on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to off-duty:
> (In reply to toad)
>
> I am also aware that the police and the ambulance spend a VASTLY disproportionate amount of their time (and thus the taxpayers expense) dealing with the third generation unemployed who live perfectly decent (if not good) lives on benefits.
>
> There are a significant proportion of the population who have a significantly disproportionate drain on tax payers.

I have a police officer friend and this is his experience as well. There are certain streets, and certain families on certain streets where he spends most of his time. So it's not the problem that most people are like this feckless stereotype, it's that the people who fit the feckless stereotype use most of the resources of time and money. And of course, by fitting the feckless stereotype they don't actually pay into the pot from which the resources are drawn.

It's like my approach to litter droppers who say things like 'well I pay my taxes so someone can clean this up' (and yes I have had arguments with people this pathetic). My reply is along the lines of, yes taxes are spent on cleaning the streets but given a limited pot of resources I'd rather they were spent on text books for schools, medical care for children with cancer, help for the elderly etc.
Postmanpat on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to Fickalli:
> (In reply to MonkeyPuzzle)
> [...]
>
>
> I think that having some form of benefits system is absolutely correct but all this 'failed by someone else' crap is just that: crap.

One of the key ways they have been "failed" by us is by being "educated" to believe that reliance on benefits is a normal and acceptable lifestyle and that their failings are caused by "society".
The argument that straightforward benefit fraud is not that common is not really the point. We have have created a system that makes reliance on benefits an optional lifestye, albeit a shite one and some people take that option.

MonkeyPuzzle - on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to Fickalli:

Someone who doesn't want to work, pure and simple, hasn't been failed by the system, but I think you'd find a lot of people with cripplingly low self esteem who at some point in their life needed help from whatever quarter, and didn't get it, and now we're dealing (literally paying) for the consequences of that). That was the crux of my point. I'm not arguing that there aren't workshy people out there, as I don't think anyone could, but I'm saying the painting of the majority of the unemployed as feckless layabouts does no one any favours. Has it worked before?
MonkeyPuzzle - on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:

I was kind of trying to make that point. I think the real challenge that has been failed is that help for the unemployed shouldn't just take the form of cash being thrown at them to shut them up. More money should've been invested to actually HELP people get their lives moving in a different direction but I beleive successive governments have put that in the 'Too Difficult' pile.
off-duty - on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:
> (In reply to Postmanpat)
>
> I was kind of trying to make that point. I think the real challenge that has been failed is that help for the unemployed shouldn't just take the form of cash being thrown at them to shut them up. More money should've been invested to actually HELP people get their lives moving in a different direction but I beleive successive governments have put that in the 'Too Difficult' pile.


Perhaps we could help them by offering free education, free housing, free money if they have kids, New Deal schemes to generate employment, free jobcentres to offer jobs and free training opportunities, free healthcare.
If we were to couple that with the fact that if they continually failed to be employed, or should that be were continually failed by employers, then the consequences would be, err, nothing.
SAF - on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:
> (In reply to Fickalli)
> [...]
>
> One of the key ways they have been "failed" by us is by being "educated" to believe that reliance on benefits is a normal and acceptable lifestyle and that their failings are caused by "society".

What always amazes me when I set foot in these households is not simply the valuable possesions that they have accumulated whilst on benefits (42 inch TV, laptops, ipads, xbox etc) but the lack of respect they treat these items with, they don't respect them, as they don't represent x number of night shifts, or y hours of overtime. They have not learnt the value of money, as it simply impossible to learn without working...
Nobody (but the most severely disabled) should be entiled to all but the basic essentials without working for them.
Postmanpat on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:
> (In reply to Postmanpat)
>
> I was kind of trying to make that point. I think the real challenge that has been failed is that help for the unemployed shouldn't just take the form of cash being thrown at them to shut them up.
>
Elaborating on the point on benefits fraud. It is reasonable to presume that people living off benefits with no job or prospect of one are more likely than average to a)become depressed b) live an unhealthy lifestyle leading to other health problems.

So when they register for benefits based on these problems they are not "fraudulent" per se but there problems would be less likely to exist if they were working. So the benefits system creates its own vicious circle of reliance on benefits.

GrahamD - on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to confusicating:

> That's all really. Totes psyched for some government take-down this year though. People are angry, can you feel it?

How depressing. You mean this is a precursor for another bunch of malcontent non contributers to run riot, thieve and destroy - leading (yet again) to higher insurance premiums for the tax paying non rioters but otherwise no constructive change ?
MonkeyPuzzle - on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to off-duty:

Yeah, because if your parents are feckless layabouts, they're really going to drive you to do well at school. But of course, five and six year olds should just buck their ideas up and realise that no one's going to just do it FOR them! What a happy coincidence that all these feckless layabouts seem to, generation after generation, appear in the same families.
SAF - on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:
> (In reply to off-duty)
>
> Yeah, because if your parents are feckless layabouts, they're really going to drive you to do well at school. But of course, five and six year olds should just buck their ideas up and realise that no one's going to just do it FOR them! What a happy coincidence that all these feckless layabouts seem to, generation after generation, appear in the same families.

Okay, so what do you do about it then... financially rewarding them for each and every baby they have is clearly not the way forward. So do you take more children off unsuitable parents into long term care, or throw a lot more money at the problem in order to provide better and earlier support. The problem is that evidence is starting to emerge to show a biological reason/change that supports this cycle of generation after generation of poor parenting/life on benefits.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/children_shealth/9637682/Whats-the-difference-between-these-two-br...
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MonkeyPuzzle - on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to SAF:

What a depressing read.

I'd said in my first post that I'm as stumped as the next man but what I was objecting to was the easy stereotyping which, although having always existed, is now being actively encouraged by our friends in Westmeinster. It happens on both sides "Workshy!", "But look what the bankers did!" - I'm not actully that arsed about finding someone to demonise but would rather someone went for the end-result based on something rather than ideological fervour.
Steve John B - on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to SAF:
> (In reply to MonkeyPuzzle)
> [...]
>
> Okay, so what do you do about it then... financially rewarding them for each and every baby they have is clearly not the way forward. So do you take more children off unsuitable parents into long term care, or throw a lot more money at the problem in order to provide better and earlier support. The problem is that evidence is starting to emerge to show a biological reason/change that supports this cycle of generation after generation of poor parenting/life on benefits.
>
> http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/children_shealth/9637682/Whats-the-difference-between-these-two-br...

Scary stuff - once you're f*cked, you're f*cked.

The Early Intervention schemes discussed in that article would be a pretty good use of public funds. MPs from both sides agree. As do their (useless b*stard) leaders, Dave and Ed. But (surprise surprise) naff all is being done to actually get the schemes implemented properly.
Postmanpat on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:
> (In reply to SAF)
>
> What a depressing read.
>
> I'd said in my first post that I'm as stumped as the next man but what I was objecting to was the easy stereotyping which, although having always existed, is now being actively encouraged by our friends in Westmeinster. It happens on both sides "Workshy!",
>
It is one of the downsides of democracy. The electorate is not interested in complex explanations of either the problems of benefits dependency or the causes of the banking crisis; they want villains, scapegoats and simple(istic) solutions so that's what politicians provide.
cuppatea on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to confusicating:


Is this whole thread a massive troll?
I'm starting to regret posting on it, and somewhat surprised I've not been flamed yet. Thanks.
Rob Exile Ward on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle: The irony is that the ruling classes have always had a ready target of feckless, workshy layabouts to fret about and kick since the dawn of recorded history. Partly because they have always existed, and mostly for the same reasons: illness (mental and physical), lack of saleable skills, lack of imagination, self belief etc etc. (And of course they exist at the other end of the social spectrum as well, it's just that if they happen to have indepedent means they are called 'jet set' or some equivalent.)

The reasons why people 'choose' such a cr*p lifetyle are infinite, a more interesting topic is what to do about it in the context of a civilised country.
Tall Clare - on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to cuppatea:

Isn't it basically that here at UKC towers, we (that's 'we') believe that all benefits claimants are scum, apart from a) people with no legs, arms, heads, and b) child benefit for the 'pinched middle'?
MonkeyPuzzle - on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

And the really hilarious - although not at all - thing is that, with all the layoffs/redundancies last year, there are a large number of people who have gone from 'hard working families' to 'feckless layabouts', in the blink of an eye. But hey, who wants to have to explain something with nuance to an electorate?
MonkeyPuzzle - on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:
> (In reply to MonkeyPuzzle)
> [...]
> It is one of the downsides of democracy. The electorate is not interested in complex explanations of either the problems of benefits dependency or the causes of the banking crisis; they want villains, scapegoats and simple(istic) solutions so that's what politicians provide.

Exactly.
Postmanpat on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to Tall Clare:
> (In reply to cuppatea)
>
> Isn't it basically that here at UKC towers, we (that's 'we') believe that all benefits claimants are scum, apart from a) people with no legs, arms, heads, and b) child benefit for the 'pinched middle'?

No, it's not.

Tall Clare - on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:

I hope you're not going to accuse me of oversimplifying things.

<cough>
Postmanpat on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to Tall Clare:
> (In reply to Postmanpat)
>
> I hope you're not going to accuse me of oversimplifying things.
>
> <cough>

I was going to accuse you of sounding like a politician :-)

jonnie3430 - on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:
>
> what to do about it in the context of a civilised country.

ME! ME! ME! Target the poorer schools deliberately as somewhere to deliver the best standard of teaching. Reduce class size to 20, pay the teachers extra and set it up as a challenge (supported,) for the best teachers to do.

Raising the average level of education for the country as a whole would be the best way of looking after our future. Because we don't do this, that the average level of education is falling makes me very sad.
Rob Exile Ward on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to jonnie3430: I agree, pour resources into education in poorer areas but with a couple of caveats - it's not just about the national curriculum, and teachers can't do it by themselves, (though they used to think they could, which became part of the problem.)

Perhaps classes could be made more interesting if, say, a discussion of averages showed how much more someone with a few O-levels will earn over a lifetime than someone without; or how much sex a young man is likely to get in university compared to an offenders institution; or what the correlation between weight and life expectancy is in a class of 13 year olds. ('You, eating that Mars bar in the back row - you have 25 years of active life left. You won't see your kids grown up. You, in the front, eating that celery stick - you have at least twice that!')

People think these things are well known and understood, but they're not.
MonkeyPuzzle - on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:
> (In reply to jonnie3430)

> Perhaps classes could be made more interesting if, say, a discussion of averages showed how much more someone with a few O-levels will earn over a lifetime than someone without; or how much CONSENSUAL sex a young man is likely to get in university compared to an offenders institution;...

A small but important edit.
subalpine - on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to confusicating: i expect unemployment to be rising, in spite of their new sanctions charter that is their mandatory jobsearch/snooping website (sanctioned people are not included in unemployment figures)
teflonpete - on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:
> (In reply to Tall Clare)
> [...]
>
> I was going to accuse you of sounding like a politician :-)

That's below the belt ;0)
Sarah G on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:
Come April this year, we will lose 2 lots of child benefit at over £2k per year for two kids - we have three but one is older than 16.

Sot he 16 yr old can go out to work, then- even in fulltime education they can still pick up some work.

I earn well over the £50k threshold

What!? You earn 50k but your still think you should have full child benefit?!

We dont live an extravagant lifestyle.

With 75K coming into the house (around 50k after tax) you're not exactly living in penury, are you?
>
> Do you consider me working the system? Would you prefer that I get a lower paid job, and pay less tax, so that I can claim the child benefit?

No. I would prefer that you stop thinking you are being hard done by.

>Do you consider me claiming for child benefit somehow more immoral than some of the case studies mentioned in this thread already, despite me NEVER having being unemployed since I was able to work, over 20 years ago, and probably contributing close on half a million in tax and NI.

No. What IS immoral is you whinging about losing 2K of child benefit you do not need. As for being a tax payer, that is an irrelevant argument, choldbenefit never has been subject to whther one has, or ought to be, a tax payer.

Blimey. An income like yours, and you have the neck to whine.

Sx

dunc56 - on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to Sarah G: ere - edit your posts better - I thought you were on 50k a year and were arguing with yourself :)
Tyler - on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to Sarah G:

You also forgot to point out that if he has contributed nearly half million in taxes in just over 20 years (I know "over 20 years ago" could be 29 but given the point he was trying to make I suspect it to be just over 20) then he has had an average salary of at least £50k and more likely £60k for every one of those years (not a bad starting salary for 1992) and yet he is still indignant that we are no longer paying him to bring up his own kids.
TheDrunkenBakers - on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to Sarah G: Groan, do I have to respond to you? Did you read and understand the context of the post I was responding to? Do let me know before I waste any time on you again.

Do you alway just selectively understand posts which you objet to and repond with the first thing that comes into your head?



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TheDrunkenBakers - on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to Tyler:
> (In reply to Sarah G)
>
> You also forgot to point out that if he has contributed nearly half million in taxes in just over 20 years (I know "over 20 years ago" could be 29 but given the point he was trying to make I suspect it to be just over 20) then he has had an average salary of at least £50k and more likely £60k for every one of those years (not a bad starting salary for 1992) and yet he is still indignant that we are no longer paying him to bring up his own kids.

You were also missing the point. By a country mile.

doz generale - on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to SAF:
> (In reply to confusicating)
> [...]
> Come out with the ambulance service or police for a day, I know plenty who would do this...
>
> a women in her early 20s with "fat related health problems", she doesn't work, hubby doesn't work, live in a modern, good condition 2 bed house with there daughter, and drive around in an 11 plate golf...her mobility car!!!

What a cu*t! she should just be shot in the face no?

>
> Pregnant women in labour with her eleventh baby (and that was a few years ago, so who knows what number she's at now)... kids with a variety of different men, never worked, council flat, free blue light taxi to the maternity unit...

F*cking liberty! force her to have an abortion, throw all of her kids in Jail, hang on that's expensive too. Kill her and force her kids to work as slaves somewhere.

>
> We go whole shifts without going to anyone who has actually contributed enough to cover the cost of the care they are recieving!!!

If it's such a good life on benefits why don't you do it too? Is it because you are to proud and have principles?
stroppygob - on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:
> (In reply to confusicating)
>
> Basically, in the majority of these cases, these people have been failed; failed by their parents, failed by society, failed by the system (which none of them helped set up), or a combination of the three.

Funny how you totally fail to mention "failed by themselves", as most people who haven't been "failed" have not been "failed" due to being responsible for their own actions.
doz generale - on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to stroppygob:

what proportion of people on benefits are doing so because they have failed by themselves?
Dax H - on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to doz generale: If you want to talk about proud take a look at one of my best mates.
He was widowed 3 months after his first and only child was born. He totally lost the plot and the kid went to the grand parents for the next 5 years whilst he lost everything and took up smoking massive amounts of weed.
After about 5 years he got straight and went to court and got custody of hus son back and lived on benefits as a single dad.
When the boy turned about 8 my mate decided that it was time to get a job and one of the neighbours offered to baby sit the lad after school to facilitate this.
Now this was around 2001, he sat down and worked out that he needed to earn £250 a week just to break even with the benefits including the no council tax and free rent.
£250 a week for un skilled work was a lot of money, in the end he chose to cut back on everything and took a job earning £190 a week.
Basically working a full week for £60 less than he could get for staying at home but it gave him his self respect back.
How many people would do this?

It actually worked out very well for him because a few years ago I was so impressed with his work ethic and attention to detail I gave him a job and he has proven such an asset to my buisiness that I made him a director and gave him a 25% share in the company.
doz generale - on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to Dax H:
> (In reply to doz generale) If you want to talk about proud take a look at one of my best mates.
> He was widowed 3 months after his first and only child was born. He totally lost the plot and the kid went to the grand parents for the next 5 years whilst he lost everything and took up smoking massive amounts of weed.
> After about 5 years he got straight and went to court and got custody of hus son back and lived on benefits as a single dad.
> When the boy turned about 8 my mate decided that it was time to get a job and one of the neighbours offered to baby sit the lad after school to facilitate this.
> Now this was around 2001, he sat down and worked out that he needed to earn £250 a week just to break even with the benefits including the no council tax and free rent.
> £250 a week for un skilled work was a lot of money, in the end he chose to cut back on everything and took a job earning £190 a week.
> Basically working a full week for £60 less than he could get for staying at home but it gave him his self respect back.
> How many people would do this?
>
> It actually worked out very well for him because a few years ago I was so impressed with his work ethic and attention to detail I gave him a job and he has proven such an asset to my buisiness that I made him a director and gave him a 25% share in the company.

Good on him! I've lived on benefits in the past and know lots of people who have lived on benefits and often getting back to work isn't just about the money.

Benefits pay more than poorly paid jobs and this is because poorly paid jobs pay too little. They pay less than the government deems fit to live on . That is the real problem, and it's not just at the lower end of the wage scale. Average wage is about 26k but average house price is 250K! near enough 10 times! All this against the backdrop of the richest getting richer and the the wealth gap widening, the wages of top execs have gone up way above inflation at the expense of the wages of employees. It's now going to cost a lot more to get a university education which is a massive blow to social mobility. I Personally think this is a worse thing to pass to our children then a budget defecit. Getting emotional about a few people at the bottom of society who may be working the system is not going to fix the very big economic and equality problems this country has.
off-duty - on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to doz generale:
> (In reply to Dax H)
> [...]

>
> Benefits pay more than poorly paid jobs and this is because poorly paid jobs pay too little. They pay less than the government deems fit to live on . That is the real problem, and it's not just at the lower end of the wage scale.


Bear in mind that the equation isn't supposed to be does my low paid job pay more than benefits, but rather does my low paid job pay enough for me to live on.

Part of the problem is a paucity of ambition and demands to "be a celebrity" and "be rich" without accepting that many successful people started at the bottom and worked hard, rather than walked in at the top with no effort.
You might not get to be a millionaire if you start in a low paid job, but you definitely won't if you don't get a job at all.

Average wage is about 26k but average house price is 250K! near enough 10 times!

1)Not where I live.
2)The price of houses, shocking though it might be, isn't a reason not to bother entering the employment market.

All this against the backdrop of the richest getting richer and the the wealth gap widening, the wages of top execs have gone up way above inflation at the expense of the wages of employees.

I am sure very few of those executives were parachuted in as executives straight from the dole queue. Some of them started as entry level shop workers.


It's now going to cost a lot more to get a university education which is a massive blow to social mobility.

I tend to agree.


I Personally think this is a worse thing to pass to our children then a budget defecit. Getting emotional about a few people at the bottom of society who may be working the system is not going to fix the very big economic and equality problems this country has.

Neither will burying your head in the sand and minimising or ignoring the problem. Front line emergency service evidence is that we spend most of our time and taxpayers money wiping the bottoms of, and sorting out the lives of, those who have no intention or inclination of working.
SAF - on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to doz generale:

> If it's such a good life on benefits why don't you do it too? Is it because you are to proud and have principles?

You seem to imply that there is something wrong with being proud and having principles and paying your own way in life.

doz generale - on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to off-duty:
> (In reply to doz generale)
> [...]
>
> [...]
>
>
> Bear in mind that the equation isn't supposed to be does my low paid job pay more than benefits, but rather does my low paid job pay enough for me to live on.

This is exactly what I am saying. Low paid jobs do not pay enough to live on. If they did there would be no need for tax credits and other working benefits for the lower paid.
>

> Average wage is about 26k but average house price is 250K! near enough 10 times!
>
> 1)Not where I live.
these are UK averages

> 2)The price of houses, shocking though it might be, isn't a reason not to bother entering the employment market.

I am not saying it is a reason to not work. I am using it to point out that wages are too low across the board at the moment and one of the reasons lots of people are claiming benefits rather then work is that they are better off on benefits. what's better? taking some of the vast wealth from the top paid people and giving it to the lower paid so that all work pays enough to live respectfully or slashing benefits so the people at the bottom have to work for less money than the government feel is necessary to live on?
>
> All this against the backdrop of the richest getting richer and the the wealth gap widening, the wages of top execs have gone up way above inflation at the expense of the wages of employees.
>
> I am sure very few of those executives were parachuted in as executives straight from the dole queue. Some of them started as entry level shop workers.

I think you will find that the people at the top levels of industry, media, politics are from the right schools rather then the dole queue.
>
>
> It's now going to cost a lot more to get a university education which is a massive blow to social mobility.
>
> I tend to agree.
>
>
> I Personally think this is a worse thing to pass to our children then a budget defecit. Getting emotional about a few people at the bottom of society who may be working the system is not going to fix the very big economic and equality problems this country has.
>
> Neither will burying your head in the sand and minimising or ignoring the problem. Front line emergency service evidence is that we spend most of our time and taxpayers money wiping the bottoms of, and sorting out the lives of, those who have no intention or inclination of working.

So what would happen if we suddenly stopped "wiping the bottoms" of these people? Do you think all of these people would suddenly get jobs and become respectable or do you think a lot of people would turn to crime?
Postmanpat on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to doz generale:
> (In reply to off-duty)
> [...]
>
> This is exactly what I am saying. Low paid jobs do not pay enough to live on. If they did there would be no need for tax credits and other working benefits for the lower paid.
> [...]
You will of course have noticed what happen to manufacturing jobs which paid a lot more. They disappeared overseas.
Your point is correct that many jobs pay too little but it is simplistic and wrong to think that somehow the pay can be increased and they will still exist.

> [...]
>
> So what would happen if we suddenly stopped "wiping the bottoms" of these people? Do you think all of these people would suddenly get jobs and become respectable or do you think a lot of people would turn to crime?

What is being attempted is a graduated roll back of of the benefits system complemented by improving the methods and schemed designed to improve the life chances of such people, especially when they are young.
It is meant to be a long term strategy to reduce the problem in the future, not a sudden cure all for the existing generation
off-duty - on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to doz generale:
> (In reply to off-duty)
> [...]
>
> This is exactly what I am saying. Low paid jobs do not pay enough to live on. If they did there would be no need for tax credits and other working benefits for the lower paid.
> [...]
>

So the benefits system has a system to assist those who want to work. At least that minimises the excuse of not working because it doesn't pay enough.

> [...]
> these are UK averages
>
> [...]
>
> I am not saying it is a reason to not work. I am using it to point out that wages are too low across the board at the moment and one of the reasons lots of people are claiming benefits rather then work is that they are better off on benefits.

Exactly - better off on benefits. The lack of ambition coupled with the benefits super safety net means that a significant number don't seem to grasp the concept that living on benefits leads to more living on benefits, whilst starting a low paid job opens the opportunity to get a higher paid job. (Ignoring all the other advantages of getting a job)

what's better? taking some of the vast wealth from the top paid people and giving it to the lower paid so that all work pays enough to live respectfully or slashing benefits so the people at the bottom have to work for less money than the government feel is necessary to live on?
> [...]

What like a tax system that increases as you earn more money....

>
> I think you will find that the people at the top levels of industry, media, politics are from the right schools rather then the dole queue.
> [...]


Very few are from the dole queue. Largely because they got jobs, low paid if necessary, as soon as they could.
The advantages of wealth do cascade down to younger generations - a good reason to earn money rather than just take benefits...

>
> So what would happen if we suddenly stopped "wiping the bottoms" of these people? Do you think all of these people would suddenly get jobs and become respectable or do you think a lot of people would turn to crime?

I'm a cop. They commit crime already. Hence why we are involved with them.
Edradour - on 04 Jan 2013
In reply to doz generale:

A lot of your argument fails to live up to basic economic scrutiny. If wages are pushed up at the bottom then the price of the final good will rise which makes the wage increase irrelevant. Why? Because, whether we like it or not most of the companies that we invest in (i.e. buy their products) have shareholders who pay for a share in the company for a potential future profit. Thereby the company works hard to produce decent products at decent prices to provide shareholders with a dividend which ensures their continued investment and the circle continues. Therefore, wage increases have to paid for somewhere. The existence of shareholders etc is actually quite a good one for most people as it means that their pension value increases over time, their savings gain interest, free banking is offered etc in a massive web of interconnected companies. Is this ideal? Possibly not. Is it alterable? Not wihout dramatic reform which would change the pattern of life for almost everyone in the western world.

Enough with this classist bullshit - do you really think they had much choice of which school they went to aged 7? Or do you just judge them on their accents? People, smart people, are trying to make things better for the population. It shouldn't be 'better on benefits' across a range of spectrums. A working man arriving in a new town chooses where to live according to what he can afford - can the same be said of those on housing benefit? Or a holiday, a child, a TV, a car. The list goes on....
thin bob on 04 Jan 2013
In reply to off-duty:
> (In reply to MonkeyPuzzle)
> [...]
>
>
> Perhaps we could help them by offering free education, free housing, free money if they have kids, New Deal schemes to generate employment, free jobcentres to offer jobs and free training opportunities, free healthcare.
> If we were to couple that with the fact that if they continually failed to be employed, or should that be were continually failed by employers, then the consequences would be, err, nothing.

One of the first things the coalition did was scrap SureStart, just when results were starting to come through (one of the things labour did with a view to the future, apart from wars for oil ;-) )
http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/the-staggers/2011/08/sure-start-centres-cameron

And shortly afterwards, I asked in my job centre what training I could get. A ring binder 50-70 pages was pulled out; most of the entries were crossed through, the only ones remaining were basic/'remedial' maths and english. the job centre advisor said they had been cut since the election.

I'm all for fraud investigations. Thatcher shuffled people off to DLA to reduce the headline unemployment figures, labour continued it..
I'm sure we all know people that cheat the system, work on the black etc. It always astounds me how people get away with it.

max £71 Job seekers allowance and
https://www.gov.uk/housing-benefit/what-youll-get

Lot of people paying for big tellies on HP? Dodging insurance? left over from when they had a job? Nicked?
doz generale - on 04 Jan 2013
In reply to off-duty:
> (In reply to doz generale)
> [...]
> [...]
>
> I'm a cop. They commit crime already. Hence why we are involved with them.

Cant believe you think that they will commit less crime if they had benefits taken away! As a police person you would have to do considerably more "bottom wiping" if these suddenly had nothing.
Postmanpat on 04 Jan 2013
In reply to thin bob:
> (In reply to off-duty)
> [...]
>
> One of the first things the coalition did was scrap SureStart, just when results were starting to come through (one of the things labour did with a view to the future, apart from wars for oil ;-) )
> http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/the-staggers/2011/08/sure-start-centres-cameron
>
> And shortly afterwards, I asked in my job centre what training I could get. A ring binder 50-70 pages was pulled out; most of the entries were crossed through, the only ones remaining were basic/'remedial' maths and english. the job centre advisor said they had been cut since the election.
>
How successful were all the programmes in the ringbinder? The argument, whether true or false, was that a lot of money was beng thrown at failed programmess and that the emphasis has to be on outputs not inputs ie.results.
MonkeyPuzzle - on 04 Jan 2013
In reply to stroppygob:
> (In reply to MonkeyPuzzle)
> [...]
>
> Funny how you totally fail to mention "failed by themselves", as most people who haven't been "failed" have not been "failed" due to being responsible for their own actions.

I don't understand what you're trying to say.
doz generale - on 04 Jan 2013
In reply to Fickalli:
> (In reply to doz generale)
>
> A lot of your argument fails to live up to basic economic scrutiny. If wages are pushed up at the bottom then the price of the final good will rise which makes the wage increase irrelevant. Why? Because, whether we like it or not most of the companies that we invest in (i.e. buy their products) have shareholders who pay for a share in the company for a potential future profit. Thereby the company works hard to produce decent products at decent prices to provide shareholders with a dividend which ensures their continued investment and the circle continues. Therefore, wage increases have to paid for somewhere. The existence of shareholders etc is actually quite a good one for most people as it means that their pension value increases over time, their savings gain interest, free banking is offered etc in a massive web of interconnected companies. Is this ideal? Possibly not. Is it alterable? Not wihout dramatic reform which would change the pattern of life for almost everyone in the western world.

Wages are kept low and many large companies could afford to pay more. When the minimum wage was introduced it didn't have anywhere near as bad an impact as some people were saying. I know that some Companies that still make a healthy profit during the recession will benchmark wages on the employment market and use the recession as a tool to keep wages low.

>
> Enough with this classist bullshit - do you really think they had much choice of which school they went to aged 7? Or do you just judge them on their accents? People, smart people, are trying to make things better for the population. It shouldn't be 'better on benefits' across a range of spectrums. A working man arriving in a new town chooses where to live according to what he can afford - can the same be said of those on housing benefit? Or a holiday, a child, a TV, a car. The list goes on....

Are you accusing me of being classist? i'm pointing out that the UK is becoming more divided and less meritocratic. Things like buying your first house and gaining a university education is now out of most peoples reach. It's widely acknowledged that there is less social mobility now. Personally i don't care where people went to school but those employing senior execs do. I agree that it shouldn't be better on benefits but if you were to reduce benefits to less then the lowest paid jobs then there would be masses of people homeless and starving, crime rates would rise which would ultimately cost the tax payer more.
Cheese Monkey - on 04 Jan 2013
In reply to confusicating: I have to laugh at all the comments about a cushy life on benefits. Try living on £56pw and having bills to pay. Good luck.
Postmanpat on 04 Jan 2013
In reply to doz generale:
> (In reply to Fickalli)
> [...]
Personally i don't care where people went to school but those employing senior execs do.
>
I think that is utter nonsense. Can you prove it?

Postmanpat on 04 Jan 2013
In reply to doz generale:
> (In reply to Fickalli)
> [...]
>
> Wages are kept low and many large companies could afford to pay more. When the minimum wage was introduced it didn't have anywhere near as bad an impact as some people were saying. I know that some Companies that still make a healthy profit during the recession will benchmark wages on the employment market and use the recession as a tool to keep wages low.
>
You've missed his point. Read it again. Incidentally we don't really know the impact of the minimum wage because we don't know the number of jobs it stopped being created.
ads.ukclimbing.com
stroppygob - on 04 Jan 2013
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:
> (In reply to stroppygob)
> [...]
>
> I don't understand what you're trying to say.

What I am saying., not trying to say, is that there is always a degree of personal responsibility involved in our circumstance.

A brief overview of my current case-load would give you 10 young people (age 17-25 yrs) who want to work, go to college and actively seeking to do so, 8 young people who would like to work who are waiting for someone else to make it possible, 14 young people who are happy with, and choose to live on, disability pension.

Dax H - on 04 Jan 2013
In reply to stroppygob: Finding young people who want to work is not easy, I started an apprentice program 5 years ago, there were very very few applications and the feedback I was getting from the job center was that the kids would not work for £110 a week.
Those that did apply seemed okay but I had to sack 4 before I got one that wanted to work and learn.
Apparently coming in late at least once a week and spending all day on the mobile or facebook is quite acceptable at work.
The kid who stuck with my finishes his 4 year apprenticeship in July, he is currently on £250 a week and and has a van plus works phone and full sick pay and come July when he passes out he we will be sitting down on wage negotiations and he will end up on between £20k and £25k a year and have a skilled trade behind him.
Its a pitty that the rest did not want to work towards that level of opportunity.
One actually said that he would work for the money but he refused to go to college because he "finished with all that learning crap when he left school".
off-duty - on 04 Jan 2013
In reply to Dax H:

I'm sorry. I think you'll find that the people you have direct personal experience of, don't actually exist/are unrepresentative due to your selection bias/are not symptomatic of a bigger problem.

In any case it's your fault for having "failed" them... ;-)
stroppygob - on 04 Jan 2013
In reply to confusicating: Thank god for that winky, nearly got me there! How could I have forgotten, it's all somebody else's fault!!
Dax H - on 05 Jan 2013
In reply to off-duty:
> (In reply to Dax H)
>
> I'm sorry. I think you'll find that the people you have direct personal experience of, don't actually exist/are unrepresentative due to your selection bias/are not symptomatic of a bigger problem.
>
> In any case it's your fault for having "failed" them... ;-)

You are of course correct, the simple fact that I employ people makes me directly responsible for all of the problems in the land.
The more I think about it the more I feel I must act to redress the exploitation of the working classes.
Even though some of my engineers salary is more than mine and my co directors I think we need to take pay cuts to fund pay increases for said engineers and maybe start the next apprentice on £25k plus give him/her flexie time and a break allowance of 6 hours during a 8 hour shift to allow them plenty of facebook time.
Jim C - on 05 Jan 2013
In reply to Sarah G:
> (In reply to confusicating)
> I love it when the girl down the street from me (two kids with 2 diff fathers, third bairn on the way, all on benefits, full housing benefit, etc- and always have been) describes her giro as herself being "paid". Um, what for, precisely?
>
> Sx
Did you not read the post you replied to? This is a diversionary tactic, get the little people angry about a few of their own kind that are up to no good, but costs not a lot(and more to prevent) whilst the elite carry on with their very comfortable lives.

Looks like it worked with you.
MonkeyPuzzle - on 05 Jan 2013
In reply to stroppygob:
> (In reply to MonkeyPuzzle)
> [...]
>
> What I am saying., not trying to say, is that there is always a degree of personal responsibility involved in our circumstance.
>
> A brief overview of my current case-load would give you 10 young people (age 17-25 yrs) who want to work, go to college and actively seeking to do so, 8 young people who would like to work who are waiting for someone else to make it possible, 14 young people who are happy with, and choose to live on, disability pension.

Sorry but it wasn't written particularly clearly.

My point is that, by the time some of them meet you, do you not think their arsehole parents might not have had a massive influence?
Blizzard - on 05 Jan 2013
In reply to confusicating:

Great thread. What I really want to know, is on £71 a week, how can these unemployed people afford a large flat screen TV, x boxes AND have money left over for food and energy bills(that are increasing). I read an article in Scotland this week that now there are 100,000 people a month going personally bankrupt cos they are in such a financial mess.

The problem with the benefits system is that it traps people cos the wages of jobs that are available are so low that its percieved that work is not worth it. (especially if they housing and claim council tax) This aids landlords more than anyone.

Whose fault is that?

Incidentally when I lived in London I was earning less that £25K a year, and there was no way I would ever get a foot on the property ladder. That in itself forced me to leave that job after a few years because I couldnt save any money, due to the high cost of living. How people live on dole in London is beyond me. Easy life? How can existing on nothing be easy, and how can not doing anything day after day other that watching TV be rewarding?

Hearing from the posters who know that dole claimants are earning more than those on £250 a week in work, may be a reality, but I personally dont know any of those said people. So where are they? They do exist,(people on here know them) but I dont know them.
off-duty - on 05 Jan 2013
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:
> (In reply to stroppygob)
> [...]
>
> Sorry but it wasn't written particularly clearly.
>
> My point is that, by the time some of them meet you, do you not think their arsehole parents might not have had a massive influence?

The next step being to blame the behaviour of the "arsehole parents" on their own "arsehole parents".
At what age do people have to accept responsibility for their own lives?
Gudrun - on 05 Jan 2013
In reply to Blizzard:

Didn't you know that unemployed people drive around in the latest whip,have two and three holidays each year followed by a cruise in the winter?
I know long term unemployed people who will only dine at 5 star restaurants,buy the FT and have substancial shares in the fortune 500.

Why i was only saying this to one of them last night during a charity black tie event in aid of impoverished property and company owners.
Blizzard - on 05 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin:

No I didnt, but 42inch TV's were only around £400 in Tescos today, so maybe people get them on interest free credit.Everything seems much clearer to me since going on that shopping trip. lol
Dauphin - on 05 Jan 2013
In reply to Blizzard:

Spunk out a few kids. Work on the black. Or a life of crime. Maybe a combo of all three?

I signed on in Finsbury Park in 2005 for maybe 6 weeks - I had a job offer but unfortunately the CRB clearance took months to come through - at the height of New Labour's penchant for Mega-administration.

Salutary lesson, never trust the state to be a safety net for anything.

£35,000 minimum to have any sort of normal existence here.

D
Willie Ellerslike on 05 Jan 2013
In reply to off-duty: What bugs me is the way lots of people - not anyone in particular on here, but if the cap fits... seem to think that there own hard work is all that got them in a comfortable position where they can look down on the less fortunate.
Personally, I feel lucky that I was born into a family of people who had self respect - that wasn't my hard work. I feel lucky that I was born with a degree of intelligence - that wasn't my hard work. I fell lucky that I was born with good health and energy - that wasn't my hard work. If things had been different I'm not at all sure I'd now have a good job that pays well.
And why is it that well-off people need carrots like big bonuses but poorer people need sticks?
Dauphin - on 05 Jan 2013
In reply to Willie Ellerslike:

>And why is it that well-off people need carrots like big bonuses but poorer >people need sticks?

State Capitalism. Doesn't work without it.

D
off-duty - on 05 Jan 2013
In reply to Willie Ellerslike:
> (In reply to off-duty) What bugs me is the way lots of people - not anyone in particular on here, but if the cap fits... seem to think that there own hard work is all that got them in a comfortable position where they can look down on the less fortunate.
> Personally, I feel lucky that I was born into a family of people who had self respect - that wasn't my hard work. I feel lucky that I was born with a degree of intelligence - that wasn't my hard work. I fell lucky that I was born with good health and energy - that wasn't my hard work. If things had been different I'm not at all sure I'd now have a good job that pays well.

Don't get me wrong. I am in no way saying that all, or even the majority of those on benefits fall into this category, but there is a significant minority who do.
Ultimately I am equally thankful as you for my good fortune - but nevertheless I am also conscious that when required I have got up at crappy o-clock to go to a rubbish job, because I knew that if I wanted something I had to work for it.
As previously mentioned when presented with opportunity for an apprenticeship (ie avoiding all the problems you mention) - the majority of those employed weren't prepared to put in the hard work.



Dax H - on 05 Jan 2013
In reply to Blizzard:
>
> Hearing from the posters who know that dole claimants are earning more than those on £250 a week in work, may be a reality, but I personally dont know any of those said people. So where are they? They do exist,(people on here know them) but I dont know them.

you might and not realise it, needing a job paying £250 a week to break even with the benefits does not = being given £250 a week in cash.

If you do a job for £250 a week you have to pay tax and NI £60ish?, rent £60ish, council tax £30ish, school meals £10ish, prescriptions say a fiver, and there were other expenses that I cant remember that my mate would lose out on when he got a job.
I wish I still had the spread sheet we used to work it out, we even factored in the cost of getting to work and the reduced electric and gas costs because the house would be empty for 9 hours a day.
If the child care was not done by a neighbour FOC the wage would need to be even higher to make getting a job viable.



Blizzard - on 05 Jan 2013
In reply to Dax H:

So what you are saying is that job offers need to provide a prospective income of over £250 a week, keeping it simple lets say £300 a week, £300 divided by a 39 hour week means an average wage of £7.69.

Are there that many FULL TIME jobs out there offering that level of pay? Minimum wage is less than that. Herein lies the problem.

Not only that but you need to be able to do that job, and keep at it, and want to give up the 'simple, lazy loafers life on benefits.'
SAF - on 05 Jan 2013
In reply to Dax H:
> (In reply to Blizzard)
> [...]
>

> If the child care was not done by a neighbour FOC the wage would need to be even higher to make getting a job viable.

A friend of mine is a single mum with three kids, she was significantly better off on benefits...she gave that up to get a job and a much, much smaller income...why?
Because she doesn't want her kids to grow up thinking that benefits is an acceptable choice in life... her 8 year old is already asking her what jobs she can do to get pocket moment, so clearly the example she is setting is worth the drop in income!!!

Blizzard - on 05 Jan 2013
In reply to Blizzard:

PS that is an annual income of £15,600 p.a working, verses doing nothing for benefits as an equivilent, or have I over simplified the argument?
Dax H - on 05 Jan 2013
In reply to Blizzard: you have not over simplified at all but how many people will have enough pride to decide to work a 39 hour week for the same level of moneh they would get for doing bugger all.
Even on your £7 odd a hour example it only equates to an extra £50 at the top of the note but more like £35 after tax and NI, this equates to working a 39 hour week for a net increase of less than a quid a hour.
Would you work for a quid a hour?
Is the answer to make the minimum wage £8? , £9?, £10
how many jobs will be lost if this happenes, though some big buisiness might be able to afford the increase the resulting loss of return to the investors and share holders will make them look elsewhere to put their cash and the biggest employers in this country, the multitude of small businesses just cant afford it,
we could afford it if we put our prices up but this will A increase imports and B put the cost of buying our products and services up thus canceling out the wage rise in the first place.
The perception is that all buisiness owners are fat cats who wipe their arses on £50 notes, the other side of the coin is that everyone on benefits lives a luxury life.

Both perceptions need to change but I have to say that in my experience looking at my extended peer group the benefits crowd do quite well and the buisiness owners just scrape a living and go to an early grave from the stress of being an employer and finding enough money for the wages bill each week.

ads.ukclimbing.com
SAF - on 05 Jan 2013
In reply to Dax H:

> Is the answer to make the minimum wage £8? , £9?, £10

If you lift pay too high your going to end up with no margin between unqualified unskilled jobs with minimal levels off responsibility and jobs that people have had to undertake training (sometimes at there own expense) and take high levels of responsibility in, with the associated risks if things go wrong. As an Emergency medical technician the stakes are high for £9.53 to £11.16 an hour. So surely people in higher skilled jobs would just push the government for higher pay and that would presumably have a knock on effect.

Dax H - on 05 Jan 2013
In reply to SAF: Obviously higher end jobs would have to go up, why would anyone take on a skilled and responsible job for the same money they could get for flipping burgers.
Raising all wages on a parity scale will have an even bigger effect on the costs of goods and services provided in this country, its all one big endless ever increasing spiral.
off-duty - on 05 Jan 2013
In reply to Dax H:
> (In reply to SAF) Obviously higher end jobs would have to go up, why would anyone take on a skilled and responsible job for the same money they could get for flipping burgers.
> Raising all wages on a parity scale will have an even bigger effect on the costs of goods and services provided in this country, its all one big endless ever increasing spiral.

Maybe the solution is to ensure that people don't see benefits as a lifestyle instead of a safety net. Perhaps we could introduce a system where if you repeatedly failed to accept jobs you stopped being eligible for benefits payments....
SAF - on 05 Jan 2013
In reply to off-duty:
> (In reply to Dax H)
> [...]
>
> Maybe the solution is to ensure that people don't see benefits as a lifestyle instead of a safety net. Perhaps we could introduce a system where if you repeatedly failed to accept jobs you stopped being eligible for benefits payments....

But according to some on here that would amount to an infringement of their rights to shop around at taxpayers expense until they found that perfect job of doing nothing and getting paid vast sums of money...
Dax H - on 05 Jan 2013
In reply to off-duty:
>
> Maybe the solution is to ensure that people don't see benefits as a lifestyle instead of a safety net. Perhaps we could introduce a system where if you repeatedly failed to accept jobs you stopped being eligible for benefits payments....

Well that is one way to look at it, or we could set up a scheme were we pay everyone in the country £50 per hour based on a 39 hour week and let people decide if they want to work or not, I am sure that enough people will want to work so that everything keeps running and producing enough goods for us all to buy with our new found wealth.

Dax H - on 05 Jan 2013
In reply to SAF:
> (In reply to off-duty)
> [...]
>
> But according to some on here that would amount to an infringement of their rights to shop around at taxpayers expense until they found that perfect job of doing nothing and getting paid vast sums of money...

ahh if you see my reply you will see that there will be no infringement of any rights.
I think we have cracked it lads, it could be the perfect fiscal system.

climber_medic - on 05 Jan 2013
In reply to SAF: I did your job for 5 years and decided after that time that it wasn't for me. Why?? I just got fed up with going to the same shit every day. In case anybody doubts this lady I back her comments 100%. People just royally take the piss out of the system to a point where on a New Years eve a few years ago myself and crewmate got sent to the same guy we had been to twice already that day who did his old trick of getting pished in the local and then ringing for an ambulance to take him in for a nice warm bed. A consequence of his actions was that a little boy just up the road from my station died because there wasnt a crew available. Bear in mind the time of year and the fact that people think Ambulances are an infinite resource his selfish actions contributed to the childs death.

I walked away from the job shortly after. No thanks!!

stroppygob - on 05 Jan 2013
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:
> (In reply to stroppygob)
> [...]
>
> Sorry but it wasn't written particularly clearly.
>
> My point is that, by the time some of them meet you, do you not think their arsehole parents might not have had a massive influence?

It happens with those who want to work as much as on those who do not want to work, yes.

In the same ways as young people rebel against straight laced parents by getting into sex and drugs and rock and roll, some young people rebel against their parents "arsehole" lifestyles by working hard and achieving.

Why do you deny personal responsibility and causation?

Willie Ellerslike on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to confusicating: Trouble with a lot of the people adding to this thread is they can't spell. They think that A-N-E-C-D-O-T-E spells evidence.
Still, if you can't beat 'em, hears a couple from this weeke-ends papers - not one of the trashy redtops.
1. A guy has a crash on his motorbike 14 years ago. Lucky to survive, had to undergo two lobotomies to even do that. Hasn't been able to hold down a job since. Has just had to go for his THIRD interview with ATOS to see if he's eligible for incapacity benefit.
2, A nurse with MS has two kids whom she feeds and houses from her £15K salary and the £1K she receives for working tax credit, child tax credit and child benefit. Doesn't drink or smoke. Benefit cap means she'll suffer about 3% cut in her real income while Osborne cuts taxes for millionnaires.

Personally, I prefer evidence to anecdote, so here's some evidence. The Resolution Foundation estimates that 60% of people who will be affected by the benefits cap are at work but because the minimum wage can't be lived on they need the taxpayer to subsidise their employer to pay them.

Heres some more evidence - The Children's Society calculates that amongst the "shirkers and scroungers" who will lose out "in the cause of fairness" are 40,000 soldiers,300,000 nurses, 150,000 primary teachers, 510,000 cashiers, 44,000 electrcians and 1,140,000 secretaries and administration assistants. That'll show 'em.
off-duty - on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to Willie Ellerslike:

Part of the problem is that people seem to ignore the fact that anecdote can also be evidence. One story can be written off as an extreme case, or an unrepresentative anecdote, repeated examples can be bound together to present a case. Look at most sociology papers.

Front line emergency staff time is predominantly taken up by those who do not contribute to the system. The majority of those appear to be living not just on the breadline but in a comfortable manner.

Whilst these may not make up the majority of those claiming benefits they make up a significant minority. Significant because they have a disproportionate effect on the taxpayer. To just pretend they don't exist is naive. The impact of them on society is arguable. I can only say what I see - frontline emergency staff deal predominantly with them.

Blizzard - on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to Dax H:
>
> Even on your £7 odd a hour example it only equates to an extra £50 at the top of the note but more like £35 after tax and NI, this equates to working a 39 hour week for a net increase of less than a quid a hour.
>
> Is the answer to make the minimum wage £8? , £9?, £10
> how many jobs will be lost if this happenes, though some big buisiness might be able to afford the increase the resulting loss of return to the investors and share holders will make them look elsewhere to put their cash and the biggest employers in this country, the multitude of small businesses just cant afford it,
>
>
> Both perceptions need to change but I have to say that in my experience looking at my extended peer group the benefits crowd do quite well and the buisiness owners just scrape a living and go to an early grave from the stress of being an employer and finding enough money for the wages bill each week.

Why havent consecutive governments come up with an answer? Surely it ought to be a cap on benefits, a cap on the payment for number of children, and a limit so you cant claim JSA for life.

What I do wonder is just how many of the jobless actually are UNEMPLOYABLE.

Not only that but people on disability have to be genuine. Under the recent reforms apparently 1 million claimants stopped their claim.

The amount of people with disabled badges in Tescos who are not disabled is ridiculous, as a carer for someone who is disabled we can never get parking spaces and when you see Jaguar or posh cars with a disabled badge, you can only laugh, and not take them seriously.

If running a business is as stressful as you say, which it is, then perhaps the whole notion of capitalism needs to be looked at and reworked. Why would anyone put themselves out for an early grave? I do know one person doing this at present.

There are lots of low paid jobs out there, if I was 18 getting paid £6 an hour would be better than JSA, but if I were 40 and had worked had a degree(along with its debt) and had more skills why would I chose a £6 an hour job? I would not be happy forced into such a job. Which brings the whole notion that people are simply not free in this life. Thus I could link and blather on about human rights.

As a side point the corporations and their senior managers in ivory towers are abusing capitalism through greed, and pay rises well above their workers at the bottom who actually do the work. The system at each end of the payment scale seems unfair and does need reform. Labours recent idea of a 6month guarantee to long term unemployed is a step in the right direction if implemented.
mockerkin on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:

This is exactly what I am saying. Low paid jobs do not pay enough to live on. If they did there would be no need for tax credits and other working benefits for the lower paid.

>> Don't worry, there won't be tax credits etc soon for the low paid workers.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2013/jan/05/soldiers-nurses-teachers-benefit-curbs
Timmd on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to off-duty:
> (In reply to Willie Ellerslike)
>
> Part of the problem is that people seem to ignore the fact that anecdote can also be evidence. One story can be written off as an extreme case, or an unrepresentative anecdote, repeated examples can be bound together to present a case. Look at most sociology papers.
>
> Front line emergency staff time is predominantly taken up by those who do not contribute to the system. The majority of those appear to be living not just on the breadline but in a comfortable manner.
>
> Whilst these may not make up the majority of those claiming benefits they make up a significant minority. Significant because they have a disproportionate effect on the taxpayer. To just pretend they don't exist is naive. The impact of them on society is arguable. I can only say what I see - frontline emergency staff deal predominantly with them.

I think what most people have a problem with is the significant majority being used as a justification for cutting benefits across the board, with Osbourne and Cameron talking about those who get up and go to work and see the curtains still closed of those on benefits who don't want to work. In itself it's worded to not tar all people on benefits with the same brush, but they keep talking about people on benefits with the curtains still closed at the same time as making benefits cuts, it's a dishonest thing for them to be doing, they're no different from Labour in some ways, in thier dishonesty, but it still isn't right.
ThunderCat - on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to Willie Ellerslike:
> (In reply to confusicating) Trouble with a lot of the people adding to this thread is they can't spell. ... hears a couple from this weeke-ends papers - not one of the trashy redtops.

Anyone else spot it?


Timmd on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to ThunderCat:

good heavens, lets tar and feather them! (;-))
Ridge - on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to Blizzard:
> (In reply to Dax H)
> [...]
>
> There are lots of low paid jobs out there, if I was 18 getting paid £6 an hour would be better than JSA, but if I were 40 and had worked had a degree(along with its debt) and had more skills why would I chose a £6 an hour job?

Because it pays more than JSA and you wouldn't be paying back anything on your loan. You can still be applying for jobs whilst working in your horribly demeaning low paid job, pretty much like the rest of the working population.
Willie Ellerslike on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to off-duty: Maybe the difference between us is that I would rather a few scroungers get their benefits along with the majority of genuine claimants, rather than stop the scroungers being paid at the cost of all the genuine folk being hit as well.

I would just add that I'm ashamed to live in a country where the only thing that's growing is the number of charity food banks. That tells you all you need to know about "all in this together" bullshit. There are people at the bottom who cannot afford to lose any of their income. We read of teachers giving the poorest kids money out their own pockets for school dinners. That's the real scandal, never mind a few playing the system it's peanuts compared to tax evasion by the rich.
off-duty - on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to Willie Ellerslike:
> (In reply to off-duty) Maybe the difference between us is that I would rather a few scroungers get their benefits along with the majority of genuine claimants, rather than stop the scroungers being paid at the cost of all the genuine folk being hit as well.
>

i think one dispute is with regards to the proportion of the "few scroungers" against the "majority of genuine claimants"

> I would just add that I'm ashamed to live in a country where the only thing that's growing is the number of charity food banks. That tells you all you need to know about "all in this together" bullshit. There are people at the bottom who cannot afford to lose any of their income. We read of teachers giving the poorest kids money out their own pockets for school dinners. That's the real scandal, never mind a few playing the system it's peanuts compared to tax evasion by the rich.


I'm not convinced that the "only" thing that is growing are foodbanks. Isn't there the reverse of that argument in that the amount of people providing food must have increased as well.
thin bob on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to off-duty:

Foodbanks get food from businesses as well as individuals. There are also organisations that distribute food that would otherwise be thrown away, e.g. Fareshare (www.fareshare.org.uk) Demand grown by 42% in the past year.

"In a September 2012 report for Newsnight, economics editor Paul Mason asserted that hunger had returned to Britain as a substantial problem for the first time since the 1930s. He noted that 43% of those needing emergency food assistance from food banks have been affected by benefit disruption"
Timmd on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to off-duty:
> (In reply to Willie Ellerslike)
> [...]
>
> i think one dispute is with regards to the proportion of the "few scroungers" against the "majority of genuine claimants"

Would be interesting to look at the estimates of the amount of unpaid tax and the proportion of people claiming who are thought to be carrying out fraud, and at the amount paid in benefit in total.

> I'm not convinced that the "only" thing that is growing are foodbanks. Isn't there the reverse of that argument in that the amount of people providing food must have increased as well.

What's that got to do with the price of fish?

The number of people providing food has grown only because the number of familys who can't afford for parents as well as a childran to eat has done. I heard about a mum who collapsed through missing meals so her children could eat, and she was warned by her doctor that she was risking her health, and has since started going to her local foodbank.
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johncook - on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to Willie Ellerslike: The poor kids get free school meals! Teachers paying is a myth,because of this. If they do pay it's because the parents who can afford it are sending kids to school without dinner money, they are scroungers.
Quote from a friend who works at a charity food bank, "Why do we get so many well dressed people, with expensive phones collecting free food, then when you follow them (just out of interest) they go back to a pretty good quality car?"
The nation is now full of people who "Have a right to all they can get free, and let someone else pay." mentality. It is not a class thing but an attitude!
Timmd on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to johncook:

> Quote from a friend who works at a charity food bank, "Why do we get so many well dressed people, with expensive phones collecting free food, then when you follow them (just out of interest) they go back to a pretty good quality car?"
> The nation is now full of people who "Have a right to all they can get free, and let someone else pay." mentality. It is not a class thing but an attitude!

Think there could be some truth in that, but there is genuine hunger and poverty too, that's something we mustn't lose sight of.
stroppygob - on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to confusicating: How about this for a suggestion. You* get nothing out of the system until you have paid income tax for five years.


*Physically / mentally / intellectually disabled exempted.
Postmanpat on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to Timmd:
> (In reply to off-duty)
> [...]
>
> Would be interesting to look at the estimates of the amount of unpaid tax and the proportion of people claiming who are thought to be carrying out fraud, and at the amount paid in benefit in total.
>
As I said above, the issue is not benefit fraud per se. It's the people who have ended up on benefits and the vicious circle of I'll health and depression they can create who might not otherwise have done so.
The usual estimates of tax non payment, apart from being incredibly rough and ready, take no account of the impact of better collection on the motivation to create taxable income ine the first place.
>
>

SAF - on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to Postmanpat: But there are people out there that think not wanting to get out of bed in the morning = depression = disability benefit, now I am not saying that there aren't people genuinely claiming disability benefit for totally debilitating depression, but at the same time, I never want to get out of bed at 5.30 in the morning for work, but I still do and that is why I keep my job!!!
Postmanpat on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to SAF:
> (In reply to Postmanpat) But there are people out there that think not wanting to get out of bed in the morning = depression = disability benefit, now I am not saying that there aren't people genuinely claiming disability benefit for totally debilitating depression, but at the same time, I never want to get out of bed at 5.30 in the morning for work, but I still do and that is why I keep my job!!!

My point is that people who gt into a habit of benefit dependency, partly because thy ca, eventually end in a spiral in which they are mentally or physically so I'll they become genuine claimants

SAF - on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to Postmanpat: Therefore it might take something a little forceful to get them into the habit of working ie benefit cuts, otherwise the vicious circle will continue indefinately...

And for the argument over minimum wage not being enough... who on here is still earning the salary they originally started with, once these people have to shown commitment, good attedence, quality work there pay will most likely begin to increase above minimum wage, that's life.
Dax H - on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to Postmanpat: So by cutting andcapping benefits and forcing people who are able to work to do so we can stop them spiraling down the benefits dependence route.
Blizzard - on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to stroppygob:

> (In reply to confusicating) How about this for a suggestion. You get nothing out of the system until you have paid income tax for five years.
>

Now there is someone talking sense. You have provided a simple solution.

Postmanpat on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to Dax H:
> (In reply to Postmanpat) So by cutting andcapping benefits and forcing people who are able to work to do so we can stop them spiraling down the benefits dependence route.

Not the ones already there. But by a combination of reducing the dependency option and improving the support aimed at enabling people to work, looking at outcomes not inputs,that is the long term aim.
You don't strengthen or arguments by creating false cartoon stereotypes of alternative policies. You're not a politician are you?
marsbar - on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to stroppygob: I had paid in to the system for many more years than that. It just meant I had more forms to fill in than if I hadn't and didn't automatically qualify for free prescriptions etc.
doz generale - on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to stroppygob:
> (In reply to confusicating) How about this for a suggestion. You* get nothing out of the system until you have paid income tax for five years.
>
>
> *Physically / mentally / intellectually disabled exempted.

What about children? Should they be forced to suffer on behalf of their parents?
doz generale - on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to johncook:
> (In reply to Willie Ellerslike) The poor kids get free school meals! Teachers paying is a myth,because of this. If they do pay it's because the parents who can afford it are sending kids to school without dinner money, they are scroungers.
> Quote from a friend who works at a charity food bank, "Why do we get so many well dressed people, with expensive phones collecting free food, then when you follow them (just out of interest) they go back to a pretty good quality car?"
> The nation is now full of people who "Have a right to all they can get free, and let someone else pay." mentality. It is not a class thing but an attitude!


Where is this food bank? I'm amazed that you think that this food bank may be full of well heeled people who could afford to buy food but choose to get handouts. If it's anywhere near me i'm going to have a look for myself.

I've volunteered at a food bank in the past but must have missed the middle class execs pulling up in luxury cars to get their free tins of spaghetti hoops.
Postmanpat on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to doz generale:
> (In reply to stroppygob)
> [...]
>
> What about children? Should they be forced to suffer on behalf of their parents?

What old you do? Keep the status quo? Borrow more money to throw at the problem although fifty years of increasing spending seems to have had little or no positive effect?
Dax H - on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:
> (In reply to Dax H)
> [...]
>
> You don't strengthen or arguments by creating false cartoon stereotypes of alternative policies. You're not a politician are you?

No, I just personally know quite a few scummy bastards who don't and never have contributed anything to society and play the benefits system. Some of them laugh about how dumb the rest of us are for working and paying taxes to support them.
I know that there are lots of genuine people who are really struggling but again in my experience the ratio seems to be 5 or 6 wasters to every genuine person.
Maybe I just know a disproportionate amount of the wrong people.

doz generale - on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:
> (In reply to doz generale)
> [...]
>
> What old you do? Keep the status quo? Borrow more money to throw at the problem although fifty years of increasing spending seems to have had little or no positive effect?

Well if you look at welfare spending as a proportion of GDP (rather then ignore 50 years of inflation) i think its lower now then if was 50 years ago.

http://www.ukpublicspending.co.uk/downchart_ukgs.php?year=1950_2011&state=UK&view=1&expa...

It's all about the money with you righties! Personally i'm happier having a budget defecit and would be happy to borrow money rather then see children starve. I would be happy to cut all welfare and public spending once there is no need for it. Build the society that looks after itself first then take away the safety net not the other way round!
Timmd on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to Dax H:
> (In reply to Postmanpat)
> [...]

> Maybe I just know a disproportionate amount of the wrong people.

I've come across loads of people through BTCV computer and admin courses and other places who are on benefits and genuinely trying to get on.

One thing which has struck me when surfing on here is how the way people view society is shaped by thier life experiences.

It's like we need to remind ourselves that our own life experiences don't equate to an overview of soceity as a whole or life in general.

It's an obvious thing to read but something we all forget I reckon, and a little bit mind boggling to think about.

Postmanpat on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to doz generale:
> (In reply to Postmanpat)
> [...]
>
> Well if you look at welfare spending as a proportion of GDP (rather then ignore 50 years of inflation) i think its lower now then if was was 50 years go.
>
> http://www.ukpublicspending.co.uk/downchart_ukgs.php?year=1950_2011&state=UK&view=1&expa...
>
> It's all about the money with you righties! Personally i'm happier having a budget defecit and would be happy to borrow money rather then see children starve.

Interesting to see how make up of the numbers has changed.

It's about money because a) that's key constraint. Can't you grasp that if you keep borrowing money eventually it gets more and more expensive until you can't borrow any more? And then you'll have no welfare, no education and no healthcare. You're not a talking ostrich are you.

You also seem unable to grasp the simple concept, understood by Beveridge as well as anyone, that giving people money for nothing influences their behaviour.
doz generale - on 06 Jan 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:
> (In reply to doz generale)
> [...]
>
> Interesting to see how make up of the numbers has changed.
>
> It's about money because a) that's key constraint. Can't you grasp that if you keep borrowing money eventually it gets more and more expensive until you can't borrow any more? And then you'll have no welfare, no education and no healthcare. You're not a talking ostrich are you.

Are you seriously saying that unless we cut welfare to children our society is going to unravel at the seams? A bit over the top no? If you cut all welfare it wouldn't make a massive dent in the UKs overall debt anyway. You cant really talk about debt of that size and of that type like a credit card debt. Public spending doesn't necessarily need to be cut to reduce our deficit. There are countries out there that spend far more and don't have a budget deficit. Personally think that more spending in the right way could stimulate the ecconomy enough reduce the need for the structural defecit. This coupled inflation would shrink the overall debt or at least stop it spiralling out of control. Cutting public spending is more of an ideological move then a practical one.
>
> You also seem unable to grasp the simple concept, understood by Beveridge as well as anyone, that giving people money for nothing influences their behaviour.

Still i would rather pay a bit more tax then know that people were starving to death down the local council estate.



Postmanpat on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to doz generale:
> (In reply to Postmanpat)
> [...]
>
> Are you seriously saying that unless we cut welfare to children our society is going to unravel at the seams? A bit over the top no? If you cut all welfare it wouldn't make a massive dent in the UKs overall debt anyway. You cant really talk about debt of that size and of that type like a credit card debt. Public spending doesn't necessarily need to be cut to reduce our deficit. There are countries out there that spend far more and don't have a budget deficit. Personally think that more spending in the right way could stimulate the ecconomy enough reduce the need for the structural defecit. This coupled inflation would shrink the overall debt or at least stop it spiralling out of control. Cutting public spending is more of an ideological move then a practical one.
> [...]
You don't have to be Maynard Keynes or Milton Friedman to understand that there is a limit to how much a country can borrow. The countries with bigger deficits tend like Japan to have very little external borrowing or in the case of the US have the world's reserve currency. You might like to try your theory on all the countries that have defaulted over the past fifty years. Incidentally, none of this is cutting debt. It is aimed at reducing the amount by which the debt rises every year: the deficit.

And your comment about welfare to children is a silly caricature. Health, education and welfare make up the vast bulk of public spending so if you ring fence health everything else gets clobbered. If you ring fence children you take more from somewhere else eg, sick, old etc. The less politically and socially sensitive sectors eg.defence, justice are seeing much bigger % cuts.

Probably there is spending that could help stimulate the economy but the chances of politicians or civil servants identifying it are low. The Japanese spent two decades initiating Keynesian spending plans and all it did was take them from one of the biggest fiscal surpluses in the world to one of the biggest deficits.

> Still i would rather pay a bit more tax then know that people were starving to death down the local council estate.

You might but its a pretty well understood that there is a point beyond which higher tax rates produce smaller revenues so it isn't much of a solution. Not a big vote winner either.

It no doubt makes you lefties feel good about yourselves by claiming that more public money will solve all the problems and if the government won't tax and spend more its because they're nasty. But actually it is the lefties who are intellectually lazy and immoral. Ultimately their policies lead to the impoverishment, material and spiritual,of those they think thy are supporting.

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Timmd on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:I think the founder of The Big Issue might have common ground with you, regarding people being left on benefits for a long time with little incentive to come off them. As far as I know he's a leftie.

Stop labelling and grouping people politically. It doesn't move discussions forwards on here when people do, they just get annoyed with each other instead. It's the details and reasoning(s) which matter.
doz generale - on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:
> (In reply to doz generale)
> [...]

>
> It no doubt makes you lefties feel good about yourselves by claiming that more public money will solve all the problems and if the government won't tax and spend more its because they're nasty. But actually it is the lefties who are intellectually lazy and immoral. Ultimately their policies lead to the impoverishment, material and spiritual,of those they think thy are supporting.

Do you really think that having publicly funded health and education is immoral? Most public services are used by tax payers no?. I think that the amount of tax money that ends up in the hands of the workshy is minuscule compared to the amount spent on services for the general tax paying population. Personally think that dressing up ideological change as something else is immoral.


Postmanpat on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to Timmd:
> (In reply to Postmanpat)I think the founder of The Big Issue might have common ground with you, regarding people being left on benefits for a long time with little incentive to come off them. As far as I know he's a leftie.
>
> Stop labelling and grouping people politically.
>
You mean like labelling all Tories as baby eating blood suckers?

One tries not to stereotype but its but not to when faced with stereotypical posts

Postmanpat on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to doz generale:
> (In reply to Postmanpat)
> [...]
>
> [...]
>
> Do you really think that having publicly funded health and education is immoral? Most public services are used by tax payers no?. I think that the amount of tax money that ends up in the hands of the workshy is minuscule compared to the amount spent on services for the general tax paying population.
>
Do you really think I said that? There's a touch of the Brucies affecting you if so. And I don't doubt your second sentence is correct but it's not the point.
Anyway, bedtime. Sleep well.

Timmd on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:I can see how that could happen.

Happy New Year by the way.
birdie num num - on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to confusicating:
Anyway, what will all this mean for Num Num's benefits? The only'ish thing Num Num can do with his bad back is snooker, a bit of golf (9 holes) and climbing. Manual work is a no no, and sitting at a desk just aggravates it.
The New NickB - on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to Blizzard:
> (In reply to GudrunEnsslin)
>
> No I didnt, but 42inch TV's were only around £400 in Tescos today, so maybe people get them on interest free credit.Everything seems much clearer to me since going on that shopping trip. lol

Unless you are poor. I bought a new TV recently, a Samsung Smart TV, 32' was £350 ish, 40' was £450 ish. I am not in to big TVs so just bought the 32' with cash. I happened to be passing a well known weekly payments store a few days later, they had the 40' in the window, they wanted £1050 for it, but of course it was a weekly payments store, so nobody just goes in and pays cash or puts it on the credit card, those people pay £450 at John Lewis or Currys, their customers are poor so pay weekly, so the £450 TV doesn't cost £1050, it costs £1650.
The New NickB - on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to Blizzard:
> (In reply to Blizzard)
>
> PS that is an annual income of £15,600 p.a working, verses doing nothing for benefits as an equivilent, or have I over simplified the argument?

You have. The majority of people on benefits are working. People dont suddenly lose all their benefits if they take a job. Some benefits are (near) universal such as child benefit, others will be set based on income.

It is an imperfect system and I am no expert, but I am sure over the years you have heard of things like income support, working tax credit and family tax credit. Successive governments have pledged that everyone will be better off working.

It is unfortunate that the current government are trying to make the populus think this is all about scroungers.
The New NickB - on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to Blizzard:
> (In reply to stroppygob)
>
> [...]
>
> Now there is someone talking sense. You have provided a simple solution.

The aim of the system is to provide a safety net, this clearly fails on that criteria.
stroppygob - on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to The New NickB:
> (In reply to Blizzard)
> [...]
>
> The aim of the system is to provide a safety net, this clearly fails on that criteria.

The idea that benefits are a ‘safety net" is as outdated as the idea of sending kids up chimneys to sweep them out. Benefits are now seen as an entitlement by most, a wage by many, and a career by a few.

God knows it would be a good idea to take benefits back to being a safety net.

My proposal stands.
doz generale - on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to stroppygob:
> (In reply to The New NickB)
> [...]
>
> The idea that benefits are a ‘safety net" is as outdated as the idea of sending kids up chimneys to sweep them out. Benefits are now seen as an entitlement by most, a wage by many, and a career by a few.
>
> God knows it would be a good idea to take benefits back to being a safety net.
>
> My proposal stands.

so your proposal is to not pay any benefits until you've paid 5 years worth of income tax? What happens to the children of those who don't qualify? are you prepared to punish them for the situation of their parents?

stroppygob - on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to confusicating: What sort of person would become a parent knowing that would be the case? Do we not have free contraception? Why are you so opposed to personal responsibility?
stroppygob - on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to doz generale: It's a classic technique of the left this, trying to find exceptions to maintain the status quo; "Well if a single parent disabled mother with a child with cerebral palsy, who lives on a slum estate, with no bus services and who has a cat with a verruca, can't get all the benefits she needs to buy a 55 inch TV, then your attempt to change the system isn’t fair and it should remain free money for anyone who wants it.
off-duty - on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to The New NickB:
> (In reply to Blizzard)
> [...]
>
> Unless you are poor. I bought a new TV recently, a Samsung Smart TV, 32' was £350 ish, 40' was £450 ish. I am not in to big TVs so just bought the 32' with cash. I happened to be passing a well known weekly payments store a few days later, they had the 40' in the window, they wanted £1050 for it, but of course it was a weekly payments store, so nobody just goes in and pays cash or puts it on the credit card, those people pay £450 at John Lewis or Currys, their customers are poor so pay weekly, so the £450 TV doesn't cost £1050, it costs £1650.

I agree that these companies (as with payday loans) exploit people, but - I'd quite like a 42 inch plasma. I don't go and buy one because I can't afford it. Does that make me poor?
Fat Bumbly2 - on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to stroppygob: Sick!
A lot can happen in five years, even to the most comfortable and smug. Oh well they are only scummer kids.

They won't starve - they will be robbing you (or each other).
Simon4 - on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to doz generale:

> so your proposal is to not pay any benefits until you've paid 5 years worth of income tax?

Given that the benefit system is, or should be, a form of insurance, that is the only possible way for it to work on a sustained basis, i.e. everyone pays a small amount of money on a regular basis, in case a low risk but high cost/impact contigency occurs. No insurance system can work where there are more people taking out more than they pay in, or where large numbers of people pay out who have never and will never contribute at all. If this was tried, the insurance company would simply go broke, which is what will happen if the benefits system is not reformed to something closer to what Beveridge intended - the entire country will go broke, to the extent that it hasn't already done so. Most benefit systems in Europe have a substantial contributory basis, that we do not do so will become even more catastrophic when our borders are thrown open to Rumania and other very poor states soon.

You can either have a welfare state (with a substantial contributory basis before you can claim), or you can have open borders, you cannot have both.

> What happens to the children of those who don't qualify? are you prepared to punish them for the situation of their parents?

That is the standard argument of blackmailers and terrorists :

"If you don't submit to my demands, YOU are then responsible for what I do"

Wailing "won't somebody think of the children" is nothing but emotional blackmail, their parents should have thought of how they were going to provide for them before they had them, not assumed that THEIR children were everyone else's responsibility. Its not like their fellow citizens were consulted before these feckless parents decided to have them. Simply reinforcing failure, the classic military error leading to catastrophe.
Sarah G on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to Jim C:
> (In reply to Sarah G)
> [...]
> Did you not read the post you replied to?

Yup.
This is a diversionary tactic,

So what.

>get the little people

Gosh, cheers for that erudite and indepth analysis of my reasons for posting.

>
> Looks like it worked with you.

Nah, I was just chucking in a comment quite randomly. Which, if you read the thread and my post properly, YOU would have realised.

Thicko.

Sx

SAF - on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to doz generale:


>
> It's all about the money with you righties! Personally i'm happier having a budget defecit and would be happy to borrow money rather then see children starve. I would be happy to cut all welfare and public spending once there is no need for it. Build the society that looks after itself first then take away the safety net not the other way round!

Isn't that the approach the greeks took, they were happy having a budget deficit and borrowing money... problem is the children really are starving now!!!!
doz generale - on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to Simon4:

Black mailer and terrorist? you are an odd one!

Look let me make it easy for you.

Forget my political views and answer these practical questions.

If you limited welfare to those that had paid income tax for 5 years what would you do with the people that don't qualify? What would you do to protect the children of people who don't qualify?




SAF - on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to doz generale: But if you keep things the same for these families, by continuing with lifelong benefits, history will repeat itself when these children that you are so concerned about come of age (or before!!). And thus you will have failed them with your kindness.

The solution isn't an easy one, free school meals already exist, maybe breakfast and tea clubs for the same kids might be the solution to stop them starving because of their parents lack of drive in life. But unless you do something drastic about the parents, you will just create the next generation the same... these kids need to grow up learning that if you want a takeaway on friday, a holiday in the summer and a 42 inch TV that you work for it and save...this won't happen without changing the system drasitically.

Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind!!!
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doz generale - on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to SAF:
> (In reply to doz generale)
>
>
> [...]
>
> Isn't that the approach the greeks took, they were happy having a budget deficit and borrowing money... problem is the children really are starving now!!!!

The other problem with the Greeks is that they don't enforce their tax laws. Culturally they don't like paying tax but like to enjoy a robust public sector.

I'm not saying we should borrow more to fund public spending i think we should spend more wisely (not spend more money) so that we can afford to spend as much as is needed on good public services i would rather the gov paid out to get people working then to let people live on benefits long term. I was also pointing out that cutting welfare at the moment is an ideological change being pushed by the right rather then a practical way of reducing our debt. Seeing as there aren't the jobs out there in the private sector I think taking away huge amounts of welfare now would cost more in sorting out the social problems it would cause.
Skip - on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to confusicating:

Seems the government and the right wing tabloids are doing a very good job in divide and rule. Deflect the blame onto a perceived "underclass" who in reality are "responsible" for a relatively small percentage of our debt.Meanwhile those who really run the country (big business) get away with billions in tax avoidance. The "old boys club" is still in charge, and laughing all the way to their multi million pound mansions. It's sad that intelligent people have fallen for the "witch hunt".
Postmanpat on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to doz generale:
> (In reply to SAF)
> [...]
>
> The other problem with the Greeks is that they don't enforce their tax laws. Culturally they don't like paying tax but like to enjoy a robust public sector.
>
> I'm not saying we should borrow more to fund public spending i think we should spend more wisely (not spend more money) so that we can afford to spend as much as is needed on good public services i would rather the gov paid out to get people working then to let people live on benefits long term.
>
But every year we borrow more and the underlying costs are rising as society ages and healthcare becomes more expensive. So against that background how are you going to stop borrowing more without cutting spending?

One of the other central planks of IDS reforms is to focus on the results of schemes rather than simply on the inputs. Isn't that just what you are saying should be done?

The government appears to be following just the principles you adhere to.


SAF - on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to doz generale:

>
> I'm not saying we should borrow more to fund public spending i think we should spend more wisely (not spend more money) so that we can afford to spend as much as is needed on good public services i would rather the gov paid out to get people working then to let people live on benefits long term. I was also pointing out that cutting welfare at the moment is an ideological change being pushed by the right rather then a practical way of reducing our debt.

Of course it's an ideological change there pushing, you make that sound like a negative thing, things need to change since there is a section of society out there that for a multitude of reasons have a distorted set of values in relation to money, work and entitlement.

Cú Chullain - on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to Skip:
> (In reply to confusicating)
>
> Seems the government and the right wing tabloids are doing a very good job in divide and rule. Deflect the blame onto a perceived "underclass" who in reality are "responsible" for a relatively small percentage of our debt.Meanwhile those who really run the country (big business) get away with billions in tax avoidance. The "old boys club" is still in charge, and laughing all the way to their multi million pound mansions. It's sad that intelligent people have fallen for the "witch hunt".

Did you just copy and paste that from the Guardian's CIF pages? If you had included something about 'taxing the rich' and some pithy quip like 'CONdems' you could have called bingo.

doz generale - on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to SAF:
> (In reply to doz generale)
>
> [...]
>
> Of course it's an ideological change there pushing, you make that sound like a negative thing, things need to change since there is a section of society out there that for a multitude of reasons have a distorted set of values in relation to money, work and entitlement.

Not negative just misleading. Cutting services and benefits to the poorer end of society whilst cutting the amount of tax the rich have to pay is classic tory ideology and I would expect nothing less from them. The fact is that these welfare cuts are going to effect mainly working people or people willing to work so saying these cuts are targeting the very small section of society that play the system is misleading.
Skip - on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to Cú Chullain:
> (In reply to Skip)
> [...]
>
> Did you just copy and paste that from the Guardian's CIF pages? If you had included something about 'taxing the rich' and some pithy quip like 'CONdems' you could have called bingo.

My own words.
Skip - on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to doz generale:

Correct. As i said earlier it's classic divide and rule tactics. Sad and worrying that people are falling for it.
SAF - on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to doz generale:
> (In reply to SAF)
> [...]
>
> Not negative just misleading. Cutting services and benefits to the poorer end of society whilst cutting the amount of tax the rich have to pay is classic tory ideology and I would expect nothing less from them.

Of course something needs to be done at the top earners level too, but the two issues need dealing with seperately. Just saying that because they stopped the 50% tax rule, all other attempts to stabilise the economy should stop too because it's just not fair is ridiculous and counterproductive. We could start a whole other thread on what we should do about the richest 10% of the uk population, so that the rich people could come on board and say, well why should I pay more tax if it's just going to buy someone who doesn't work a brand new mobility car, a 42 inch TV or alcohol and cigerrates. Then I'm sure we will just achieve a massive stalemate!!!
The New NickB - on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to off-duty:
> (In reply to The New NickB)
> [...]
>
> I agree that these companies (as with payday loans) exploit people, but - I'd quite like a 42 inch plasma. I don't go and buy one because I can't afford it. Does that make me poor?

Just explaining the reality of 'easy payment' for the poor. The TV example was one that I noticed, but imagine we are talking about more essential items like cookers or fridges.
The New NickB - on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to stroppygob:
> (In reply to The New NickB)
> [...]
>
> The idea that benefits are a ‘safety net" is as outdated as the idea of sending kids up chimneys to sweep them out. Benefits are now seen as an entitlement by most, a wage by many, and a career by a few.
>
You may believe that to be true, but your proposals still fails as a safety net.

> My proposal stands.

See above.
The New NickB - on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to Cú Chullain:

There is a truth to it, the government are making a considerable effort to misrepresent who actually receives the bulk of benefits.
SAF - on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to The New NickB: There are plenty of refurb charities (aiming to recycle/help people struggling financially) in place so that poor people can access affordable cooker, fridges, sofas and TV's problem is these goods are not brand new or up-to-date, and unfortunatley there are too many people who feel they are entitled to the best without having the money to pay for it... a whole change of mentality or ideology is required!!!
The New NickB - on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to SAF:

They do pay for stuff though, they pay three or four times as much as the rest of us.
SAF - on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to The New NickB:
> (In reply to SAF)
>
> They do pay for stuff though, they pay three or four times as much as the rest of us.

No they don't, other peoples taxes pay for the stuff, they don't work the hours that raise the money to pay for the goods!!!
The New NickB - on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to SAF:
> (In reply to The New NickB)
> [...]
>
> No they don't, other peoples taxes pay for the stuff, they don't work the hours that raise the money to pay for the goods!!!

A wrong assumption in many cases, the bulk of 'the poor' work, the bulk of benefits go to working people.
SAF - on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to The New NickB: Yes, and that portion of there benefits that they are choosing to spend on luxery goods they can not afford to pay for is worked for and earned by other people!!!
cuppatea on 07 Jan 2013


I blame the schools.
The New NickB - on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to SAF:

You are on a very, very slippery slope!
doz generale - on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to SAF:
> (In reply to doz generale)
> [...]
>
> Of course something needs to be done at the top earners level too, but the two issues need dealing with seperately. Just saying that because they stopped the 50% tax rule, all other attempts to stabilise the economy should stop too because it's just not fair is ridiculous and counterproductive. We could start a whole other thread on what we should do about the richest 10% of the uk population, so that the rich people could come on board and say, well why should I pay more tax if it's just going to buy someone who doesn't work a brand new mobility car, a 42 inch TV or alcohol and cigerrates. Then I'm sure we will just achieve a massive stalemate!!!


You Are ignoring the fact that most benefits go to people who are not playing the system. The welfare reforms are going to hurt mainly working people.

Out of the 2.5m people unemployed 638,000 are long term (over 12 months) so just over a quarter. It's a lot but still a minority. Also you have to account for there being about 5.2 unemplotyed people for every vacancy. What do we do as a society with all the people who don't get jobs once we take away their welfare?
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Eric9Points - on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to confusicating:

Maybe the Tories should just ditch their addiction to high rates of unemployment and get more people back to work. I realise that killing sacred cows is a difficult thing to do but maybe they should take a leaf out of New Labour's book and ditch some of their old dogmas. It would make them a lot more electable in 2.5 years time.

MonkeyPuzzle - on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to stroppygob:
> (In reply to MonkeyPuzzle)
> [...]

> Why do you deny personal responsibility and causation?

I don't. You've just assumed I do.
Postmanpat on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to Eric9Points:
> (In reply to confusicating)
>
> Maybe the Tories should just ditch their addiction to high rates of unemployment and get more people back to work. I
>
You mean press the magic switch which they won't because they're horrid?

cuppatea on 07 Jan 2013
Sorry to quote you Mr Doz but it was easier to organise my thoughts.

In reply to doz generale:
> (In reply to SAF)
> [...]
>
>
> You Are ignoring the fact that most benefits go to people who are not playing the system. The welfare reforms are going to hurt mainly VOTING people.

The Elephant in the room:
Also you have to account for there being about 5.2 unemployed people for every vacancy.

What do we do as a society with all the people who don't get jobs once we take away their welfare?
Increase the numbers of Police, build more prisons..although keeping a person locked up is more expensive than paying them JSA

We all have opinions on the matter, some more emotive than others. Who would like the PMs job? Not me!
Simon4 - on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to doz generale:

> What would you do to protect the children of people who don't qualify?

Responsibility without power?

I have no say in whether these children are born, nor how many of them, so why do you think I am responsible for protecting them? Even if I had the time or means to protect or nurture them, which I certainly do not, so you are expecting the impossible. Neither I nor anyone else can sign a blank check to fund as many children as improvident parents leading a chaotic lifestyle care to produce. The most foolish and cruel thing to do is to pretend that the state can endlessly pick up the pieces from thoughtless and casual parents.

It is overwhelmingly the responsibility of parents to protect their own children, and to make sure that they can do so before they have them, not mine (or "societies"), that is what sensible and reasonable parents do. Of course individual circumstances can change, catastrophes can happen, but, despite a million Guardian heart-rending sob-stories, that is not what is going on in the overwhelming majority of dependency situations - it is a lifestyle, and one that is as harmful for the individuals concerned as it is for the country.

Dax H - on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to SAF:
How about we stop giving people cash and as well as putting a roof over their heads and covering the utility bills direct to the utility company we also implement food and clothing deliveries.
It would be a win win,
the economy of scale when mass buying food and clothes, saves money.
Deliver good food and not high fat instant meals, healthier people and less strain on the NHS.
Employment of staff for warehousing, delivery drivers and logistics, paid for by the above savings.

The safety net would cover shelter, food and clothing and if people wanted the luxuries in life they can get a job like the rest of us.
doz generale - on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to Simon4:
> (In reply to doz generale)
>
> [...]
>
> Responsibility without power?
>
> I have no say in whether these children are born, nor how many of them, so why do you think I am responsible for protecting them? Even if I had the time or means to protect or nurture them, which I certainly do not, so you are expecting the impossible. Neither I nor anyone else can sign a blank check to fund as many children as improvident parents leading a chaotic lifestyle care to produce. The most foolish and cruel thing to do is to pretend that the state can endlessly pick up the pieces from thoughtless and casual parents.
>
> It is overwhelmingly the responsibility of parents to protect their own children, and to make sure that they can do so before they have them, not mine (or "societies"), that is what sensible and reasonable parents do. Of course individual circumstances can change, catastrophes can happen, but, despite a million Guardian heart-rending sob-stories, that is not what is going on in the overwhelming majority of dependency situations - it is a lifestyle, and one that is as harmful for the individuals concerned as it is for the country.


Ok lets try again.

you want to stop welfare to those who have not paid 5 years worth of income tax.

Lets say in this scenario i agree with you and that the two of us are in charge so we make the change. At the moment there is one job for every 5 unemployed people so these jobs get filled reducing the 2.5m unemployed to about 2m. half of those are under 25 so we can assume that they haven't paid 5 years tax and about 600k are long term unemployed so we can assume most of them have not paid 5 years income tax. We now have about 1.5m people unemployed who don't get any welfare and no more vacancies in the job market.

I ask you. What do we now do with these people and their families?


baron - on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to doz generale: Why do I have to do anything with these people? The idea that anybody should provide you with a job is part of the problem.
So we`have Shipbuilders in Birkenhead and Coal Miners in South Wales who are unemployed because their industries closed years ago and they're still waiting for another job to come along. How about some self employment breaks out - the days of huge, often state owned industries employing thousands of people are mostly gone and they're not coming back.
Mind you, having been on the benefits calculator on the Direct.gov website I'm tempted to become unemployable myself:)

pmc
Gudrun - on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to SAF:
> (In reply to The New NickB) There are plenty of refurb charities (aiming to recycle/help people struggling financially) in place so that poor people can access affordable cooker, fridges, sofas and TV's

Yeah and thank god for these places.
I have a friend who is bi-polar and on benefits she hasn't worked in 10 years( i know! a common scrounger eh?) Anyway she had to go 12 weeks without a fridge because her local charity didn't have one but she didn't moan.

> problem is these goods are not brand new or up-to-date, and unfortunatley there are too many people who feel they are entitled to the best without having the money to pay for it... a whole change of mentality or ideology is required!!!

Pray do tell what is this big change in "ideology" that you want?

And can you back up this assertion?

> there are too many people who feel they are entitled to the best without having the money to pay for it...

Who are these people that "feel they are entitled to the best"?

Gudrun - on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to confusicating:

why can't we just let the unemployed go homeless?Kick them out and let them sleep in doorways or in the woods with their kids as its definately not my responsibility.Rich people are suffering here because of this lot and when did i give them permission to have kids?
Why on earth should we give a toss about other people?Their nothing to do with me.
Look !!!You didn't contribute so we are stopping all benefits and if that means that all you can afford is to eat grass or moss then that's your fault just get on with it and stay away from me.
If it was up to me i'd bring back workhouses and make the blighters pay for their own medical treatment to,why should i fund a commoner who is ill to get better when they will only live and be even more of a burden.

Let them die i say!!!And before any of you Guardian readers say what sort of society would that be i'll tell you ...there's no such thing as society!!!

GOD SAVE THE QUEEN! and throw another peasant on the fire will you dear?
cuppatea on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to confusicating:

Or we could brush them under the carpet.

http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/13672-amsterdams-plan-to-resettle-antisocial-tenants-in-containmen...

Come the Revolution, Brothers!
off-duty - on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin:

I wish people would at least get the quote right :-
"There is no such thing as society. There is living tapestry of men and women and people and the beauty of that tapestry and the quality of our lives will depend upon how much each of us is prepared to take responsibility for ourselves and each of us prepared to turn round and help by our own efforts those who are unfortunate."

I suppose it doesn't really support your strawman though.
Postmanpat on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin:
> (In reply to confusicating)
>
> why can't we just let the unemployed go homeless?Kick them out and let them sleep in doorways or in the woods with their kids as its definately not my responsibility.Rich people are suffering here because of this lot and when did i give them permission to have kids?
> Why on earth should we give a toss about other people?Their nothing to do with me.
>
Why can't we just make things up, ignore the facts, exaggerate for effect, build straw men,live in a fantasy land of black and white, abuse anybody who doesn't think like us, refuse to look beyond the end of noses? We are the goodies. They are the baddies. We can do what we like.

stroppygob - on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to doz generale:
> (In reply to Simon4)
>
> If you limited welfare to those that had paid income tax for 5 years what would you do with the people that don't qualify? What would you do to protect the children of people who don't qualify?

Enable them to qualify. Set up scheme where they could work to earn tax credits.

Gosh, you don't really think very far beyond giving other people's money away to the workshy do you?

stroppygob - on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to The New NickB:
> (In reply to stroppygob)
> [...]
> You may believe that to be true, but your proposals still fails as a safety net.


No it doesn't. It provides a safety net to those who have contributed towards the safety net. That sounds fair. Or, to use a climbing metaphor, should everyone who wants to go bouldering be given free bouldering mats by the state?


(I love these "you're wrong nah nah nah!" answers, ones which totally fail to offer a creditable refutation.)
Wanderer100 - on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to Eric9Points: Yeah, lets adopt old/new labour policies for the new lib/con coalition policies and bankrupt the country even more. The penny hasnt dropped with you has it? More money paid out versue less money coming in equals economic disaster as has been proven over the past 5 years. If more more is done to limit immigration (and all the social and economic problems that brings) then the country could do more to protect those who have a genuine need.
Gudrun - on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:
> Why can't we just make things up,

Hey.... hey... take it easy.
I know this scum makes you angry old bean ,they make me very angry to ...
what what.
doz generale - on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to baron:
> (In reply to doz generale) Why do I have to do anything with these people?

Because taking away their money is not going to make them go away. How will you deal with the rise in crime and homelessness without spending more public money?


Postmanpat on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin:
> (In reply to Postmanpat)
> [...]
>
> Hey.... hey... take it easy.
> I know this scum makes you angry old bean ,they make me very angry to ...
> what what.

To what? Great to have you back sweetheart xx
doz generale - on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to stroppygob:
> (In reply to doz generale)
> [...]
>
> Enable them to qualify. Set up scheme where they could work to earn tax credits.
>
> Gosh, you don't really think very far beyond giving other people's money away to the workshy do you?

Fact is there are not enough vacancies for the number of unemployed. Who will fund these jobs? isn't this defeating the money saving purpose of cutting welfare? I would love to see the government fund actual jobs to get people off benefits but they wont as they want to reduce the state, not use it as a tool to get people off their arses and back into the workplace.

Can you tell me out of the 2.5 million unemployed how many you consider as "workshy"
ads.ukclimbing.com
Postmanpat on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to doz generale:
> (In reply to stroppygob)
> [...]
>
> Fact is there are not enough vacancies for the number of unemployed. Who will fund these jobs? isn't this defeating the money saving purpose of cutting welfare? I would love to see the government fund actual jobs to get people off benefits but they wont as they want to reduce the state, not use it as a tool to get people off their arses and back into the workplace.
>
How should the government fund the jobs? What should the jobs be? What would such jobs do for productivity? And what would such productivity imply for long term growth?
If the government borrows more to fund them what will this do to interest rates and thus to economic growth?

doz generale - on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:
> (In reply to doz generale)
> [...]
> How should the government fund the jobs? What should the jobs be? What would such jobs do for productivity? And what would such productivity imply for long term growth?
> If the government borrows more to fund them what will this do to interest rates and thus to economic growth?

I would love the government to fund manufacturing that makes a profit that gets used to reduce the deficit and improve our public services. Plenty of examples of state owned or part state owned companies that make a healthy profit outside of their own country. EDF energy is one example. I know you will say that the gov doesn't have a great track record for picking good business but we have a lot of great manufacturing already in the uk and it's a shame that it is mainly owned by foreigners.

Postmanpat on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to doz generale:
> (In reply to Postmanpat)
> [...]
>
> I would love the government to fund manufacturing that makes a profit that gets used to reduce the deficit and improve our public services. Plenty of examples of state owned or part state owned companies that make a healthy profit outside of their own country. EDF energy is one example. I know you will say that the gov doesn't have a great track record for picking good business but we have a lot of great manufacturing already in the uk and it's a shame that it is mainly owned by foreigners.

So you think that State planned manufacturing is the way forward. Do you think has generally been a great success?
It's not mainly owned by foreigners but a substantial portion is (although less than the uk owns of assets overseas). Perhaps you should ask yourself why it is owned by foreigners and not by the uk government and hitch has been more successful.

Can you please answer my question about funding, interest rates and growth?
cuppatea on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to confusicating:


OK. Tonights addition to this epic Troll thread is:


No one has mentioned Remploy yet..

Maybe we should have more of their sort of initiative?

Although it seems they are choosing to privatise themselves:
http://www.remploy.co.uk/
"Remploy announced on 6 December proposals for 18 factories and the CCTV business to leave Government control wherever possible."

off-duty - on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to cuppatea:
> (In reply to confusicating)
>
>
> OK. Tonights addition to this epic Troll thread is:
>
>
> No one has mentioned Remploy yet..
>
> Maybe we should have more of their sort of initiative?
>
> Although it seems they are choosing to privatise themselves:
> http://www.remploy.co.uk/
> "Remploy announced on 6 December proposals for 18 factories and the CCTV business to leave Government control wherever possible."

From my understanding of the Remploy debacle a private company was making shed loads of money from the taxpayer contributions and producing pretty much no return. Because the people it employed were disabled the normal critics on the left didn't object, and obviously the private enterprise capitalists on the right were quite happy about it as well.

Then someone did the sums....
Gudrun - on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:

So do we let our young people is it a million who are out of work? just waste their talents and lives being unemployed?

Postie I know a few young people who are long term unemployed but are really desperate to work in fact the husband of one of my friends has become increasingly depressed,to the extent that she is worried about his mental health and he is a shadow of the man he once was.

I see these peoples lives pass away before them,no foriegn holidays,no nights out,no new clothes or iphones never mind computers,no car,getting in debt to buy the kids things...no future.

I know what i would do and so do you but what would you do to help these people? when there is and has been nothing out there for years.
Postmanpat on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin:
> (In reply to Postmanpat)
>
>
> I know what i would do and so do you but what would you do to help these people? when there is and has been nothing out there for years.

There isn't a magic solution. There need to be effective schemes to make people employable but many of the current generation of unemployed may be beyond that a safety net that is just that.
Beyond that we need to create a competitive and productive economy that will create jobs and have an educational system and culture that creates people able to fill those jobs. Simply borrowing money to support people is not a sustainable solution nor does it solve the basic problem-not enough jobs or not enough skills or incentive to fill the jobs.

And frankly and harshly people will need to be more flexible about the jobs thy take. There have been lots of jobs created in the past thirty years which British people wouldn't take, or wouldn't move cities to take.

So, maintain a safety net, improve the schemes to get people into jobs but create the environment for an economy to create jobs and the ability nd incentives for people to tke them. That will take a generation or two.



doz generale - on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:
> (In reply to doz generale)
> [...]
>
> So you think that State planned manufacturing is the way forward. Do you think has generally been a great success?
> It's not mainly owned by foreigners but a substantial portion is (although less than the uk owns of assets overseas). Perhaps you should ask yourself why it is owned by foreigners and not by the uk government and hitch has been more successful.
>
> Can you please answer my question about funding, interest rates and growth?

If the business that our government funded was profitable it would not need any other funding, It would affect growth and interest rates in that same way as any profitable company.

Also there is a difference between state planned and state owned. I am not an advocate of a planned economy. I think the government should be a player in the free market and the profits should be spent back into the country rather then into the pockets of shareholders. If everything is privately owned money pools at the top, that is clearly happening at the moment.

I know our gov has owned manufacturing in thee past and it wasn't always successful but if they had the will to do it properly i'm sure it would not be beyond them. the royal bank of scotland group (82% owned by the taxpayer) seems to be making a healthy profit! maybe we should get the unemployed to work at the banks!
Postmanpat on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to doz generale:
> (In reply to Postmanpat)
> [...]
>
> If the business that our government funded was profitable it would not need any other funding, It would affect growth and interest rates in that same way as any profitable company.
>
>
Really? Why do you think people will be so keen to lend cheaply to a heavily indebted State with no evidence or reason to believe that its investments will generate the profit you hope for?
Gudrun - on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:

So no jobs and no future,what a waste but hey that's wild capitalism for you.

doz generale - on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:

Maybe we could use the 400bn (two years worth of welfare spending) still owed to us by the banks to kick off the initiative?

Hasn't the UK still got a good credit rating?
Postmanpat on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin:
> (In reply to Postmanpat)
>
> So no jobs and no future,what a waste but hey that's wild capitalism for you.

No magic wand but long term changes to create sustainable jobs. That's real life as opposed to unrealisable dreamland sadly.
Personally I think a few years of falling living standards for a few in the West is a price worth paying for hundreds of millions of Asians being lifted out of grinding poverty but I guess it's a utilitarian view and I were one of the losers I confess I probably wouldn't.

Postmanpat on 07 Jan 2013
In reply to doz generale:
> (In reply to Postmanpat)
>
> Maybe we could use the 400bn (two years worth of welfare spending) still owed to us by the banks to kick off the initiative?
>
And kill the banks ability to lend elsewhere?

> Hasn't the UK still got a good credit rating?

Yes, and why do you think that is?
Gudrun - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to off-duty:
I wish people would at least get the quote right :-

Ok -

There's only me and muuuuuney !!!!
Postmanpat on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to doz generale:
> (In reply to Postmanpat)
>
> Maybe we could use the 400bn (two years worth of welfare spending) still owed to us by the banks to kick off the initiative?
>
Incidentally, don't you think it's a little optimistic to think that a State that can't run an IT project, can't run a border agency, indulges in expensive and pointless wars, designs welfare programmes that don't work and has a long and infamous track record of misallocating investment capital is suddenly going to invest in magically profitable businesses despite paying employees a multiple of Chinese workers?
Who do you think has this gift? John Prescott? Jeremy Hunt? Maybe the guy who ran the border agency?

Gudrun - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:
> No magic wand

Speak for yourself i've got one in my cupboard.
Yes but we should punish those who are losing out even more?
cuppatea on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to off-duty:

That's my take on it as well.
If it had been magaged properly without corruption it may have provided some of the answers to some of the apparent issues.

Alas, the greed of a few took away the pride of many.
Gudrun - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:
> Incidentally, don't you think it's a little optimistic to think that a State that can't run ....is suddenly going to invest in magically profitable businesses

The Chinese government seem to manage it.
Postmanpat on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin:
> (In reply to Postmanpat)
> [...]
>
> Speak for yourself i've got one in my cupboard.
> Yes but we should punish those who are losing out even more?

Are you sure that's not a broomstick? :)

See my comments to doz. the vast majority of spending is on welfare, health and education so if the growth in debt is to be slowed down then spending on those has to be contained. Spending on other things is being cut much more aggressively.Nobody has yet explained a viable alternative which provides a way of financing accelerating growth in debt.
I'm off to sleep x

off-duty - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin:
> (In reply to Postmanpat)
> [...]
>
> The Chinese government seem to manage it.

In every reincarnation you get funnier and funnier ;-)
ads.ukclimbing.com
The New NickB - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to stroppygob:
> (In reply to The New NickB)
> [...]
>
>
> No it doesn't. It provides a safety net to those who have contributed towards the safety net. That sounds fair. Or, to use a climbing metaphor, should everyone who wants to go bouldering be given free bouldering mats by the state?

Do you understand what 'safety net' means, you don't seem to!
>
> (I love these "you're wrong nah nah nah!" answers, ones which totally fail to offer a creditable refutation.)

Hilarious!
cat88 - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to Ridge: Odds are you probably wont even get the horribly demeaning low paid job because they will say you are overqualified and unlikely to stay in the job for very long
The New NickB - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to stroppygob:
> (In reply to doz generale)
> [...]
>
> Enable them to qualify. Set up scheme where they could work to earn tax credits.

That is fine, but you would have to pay them, even if at only benefit rates, you would also have to pay people to supervise and ideally train them, starts getting more expensive. It isn't a bad idea, but it isn't a cheap on either. or are you just thinking workhouse?
>
> Gosh, you don't really think very far beyond giving other people's money away to the workshy do you?

To be fair, we could only really comment on your initial regressive idea.

stroppygob - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to The New NickB: Yes I do understand what a safety net is Nick, do you?

And yet again, you offer no refutation of my points, just snide questions. You really don't have the hang of this "debate" lark do you?
stroppygob - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to The New NickB:
> (In reply to stroppygob)
> [...]
>
> That is fine, but you would have to pay them, even if at only benefit rates, you would also have to pay people to supervise and ideally train them, starts getting more expensive. It isn't a bad idea, but it isn't a cheap on either. or are you just thinking workhouse?

If it works it will pay dividends in the long run, and therefore will pay for itself by helping remove the career benefits culture.



> To be fair, we could only really comment on your initial regressive idea.

But you offer no alternative, apart from bleeding the country dry by maintaining the status quo. I take it you are happy with the current system, even if as a safety net it will fail due to being unsustainable in the current economic climate. A worn out and ill-maintained safety net offers no safety at all, ask Greece and Spain about it.

The New NickB - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to stroppygob:

You are not demonstrating that you understand, ie. You are limiting based on contribution not need.

Your idea about schemes to gain 'tax credit' is interesting although not cheap and variations have been tried before.

You seem to get very aggressive about these things and seem to be going out of your way to be confrontational, which is a shame.

Have a good day.
The New NickB - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to stroppygob:
> (In reply to The New NickB)
> [...]
> But you offer no alternative, apart from bleeding the country dry by maintaining the status quo. I take it you are happy with the current system, even if as a safety net it will fail due to being unsustainable in the current economic climate. A worn out and ill-maintained safety net offers no safety at all, ask Greece and Spain about it.

I have offered a number of alternatives previously, it is late here so I won't repeat in detail, but will no doubt provide details in future.

In very simple terms, I think I would favour a much simplified benefit and tax system with a universal benefit that is taxable, with adjusted tax rates to compensate. I am not debating it in detail now though!
Postmanpat on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin:
> (In reply to Postmanpat)
> [...]
>
> The Chinese government seem to manage it.

Er, no.
doz generale - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:
> (In reply to doz generale)
> [...]
> Incidentally, don't you think it's a little optimistic to think that a State that can't run an IT project, can't run a border agency, indulges in expensive and pointless wars, designs welfare programmes that don't work and has a long and infamous track record of misallocating investment capital is suddenly going to invest in magically profitable businesses despite paying employees a multiple of Chinese workers?
> Who do you think has this gift? John Prescott? Jeremy Hunt? Maybe the guy who ran the border agency?

You forgot to add that this government is managing to increase public borrowing whilst cutting services and benefits! This is why we need a different government. Not sure that there is an alternative at the moment, but I live in hope.

The welfare system is probably the cheapest way of dealing with people with no jobs so i can't see a viable way of reducing the amount we spend on it without having to spend more somewhere else until there are enough jobs in the private sector. and in real terms we spend less on welfare then we did in the 80s. I agree that it's wrong to perpetuate a benefits class but is the problem really as big as we are led to believe? There are aprox 600,000 people long term unemployed, that's only 1.5% of the working population!
Postmanpat on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to doz generale:
> (In reply to Postmanpat)
> [...]
>
> You forgot to add that this government is managing to increase public borrowing whilst cutting services and benefits! This is why we need a different government. Not sure that there is an alternative at the moment, but I live in hope.
>
Can you answer my questions please?



doz generale - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:
> (In reply to doz generale)
> [...]
> Can you answer my questions please?

Which questions?
Postmanpat on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to doz generale:
> (In reply to Postmanpat)
> [...]
>
> Which questions?

If the government borrows more to fund them what will this do to interest rates and thus to economic growth?

Really? Why do you think people will be so keen to lend cheaply to a heavily indebted State with no evidence or reason to believe that its investments will generate the profit you hope for?

> Maybe we could use the 400bn (two years worth of welfare spending) still owed to us by the banks to kick off the initiative?
>
And kill the banks ability to lend elsewhere?

> Hasn't the UK still got a good credit rating?

Yes, and why do you think that is?

SAF - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to The New NickB:
> (In reply to stroppygob)
>

>
> You seem to get very aggressive about these things and seem to be going out of your way to be confrontational, which is a shame.

Is defence of stroppygob, it is you Nick you has been very aggressive towards me as well as stroppygob...maybe you should read back through some of your earlier posts!!!
SAF - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to cat88:
> (In reply to Ridge) Odds are you probably wont even get the horribly demeaning low paid job because they will say you are overqualified and unlikely to stay in the job for very long

People always try to claim that one, but I have in my experience found quite the opposite. When myself and my brother and various former school friends went off to uni, each holiday (xmas, easter and the summer) we would come back and work at a underground archiving facility, the only prerequisites being, that we new the alphabet and we could lift heavy boxes. The company relied on agency employees during term time, and had numerous problems with them, so they would get rid of them the friday that uni terms finished and we would all be phoned up and asked to come in on the monday, because we were more reliable, productive and accurate at the job. We all had a'levels and were at various points in our degrees, including one lad who was study at Cambridge....over qualification didn't go againsts us... so it seems like a bit of a myth to me!!!
The New NickB - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to SAF:

Not at all, I have argued in a perfectly civil manner!
doz generale - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:
> (In reply to doz generale)
> [...]
>
> If the government borrows more to fund them what will this do to interest rates and thus to economic growth?

If they are profitable the government will not have to borrow. Even if the government did borrow i doubt the effect on growth and interest rates would be anywhere near as negative as the recent collapse of the private sector banking system.
>
> Really? Why do you think people will be so keen to lend cheaply to a heavily indebted State with no evidence or reason to believe that its investments will generate the profit you hope for?

Uk still has a good credit rating probably because our recessions isn't as deep as other similar nations. In order to lift us out of recession we need to speculate and create a vibrant export economy. The private sector is failing to do this
>
> [...]
> And kill the banks ability to lend elsewhere?

The banks owe the taxpayer this money so it will get paid back weather it's over time or all at once. Are you saying that we should let them off?
>
> [...]
>
> Yes, and why do you think that is?

See above

the truth is that the private sector is responsible for the greatest blow to our economy in decades, It's failing! Successive governments have sold off our infrastructure and a lot of the profit generated in the UK now ends up overseas for example we are still the 10th biggest car manufacturer in the world but all the cars we build are German or Japanese.
Sir Chasm - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to doz generale: The uk still has a good credit rating because we are not in the euro and can print money whenever we choose.
The New NickB - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to SAF:

You sound like you were lucky to have such a place near by, plus given your age it will have been in a very different economic climate than today. I certainly experienced the over qualified thing a few times and that was in a much better economy than today.
The New NickB - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to SAF:
> (In reply to The New NickB)
>
> Is defence of stroppygob, it is you Nick you has been very aggressive towards me as well as stroppygob...maybe you should read back through some of your earlier posts!!!

I have looked back at the three posts in which I replied to you on this thread prior to this morning, none of them an be interpreted as the slightest big aggressive, neither have I called you names or questioned your intelligence.

I am now wondering why you are suggesting I have been very aggressive towards you, it isn't based on reality.
Postmanpat on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to doz generale:
> (In reply to Postmanpat)
> [...]
>
> If they are profitable the government will not have to borrow.
> [...]
How will the investors know that, against all past experience, the projects will be profitable? You do understand that the investments have to be made in advance ??

> Uk still has a good credit rating probably because our recessions isn't as deep as other similar nations.
> [...]
No, there are two reasons:firstly because the investment institutions perceive that the government is trying to control the amount of new borrowing cf. Most of southern Europe and even france which have been downgraded. Secondly, the BOE is buying up a large part of the debt (QE)
Do you really understand the mechanics of financing governemtn spending?
>
> The banks owe the taxpayer this money so it will get paid back weather it's over time or all at once. Are you saying that we should let them off?
> [...]
No,I'm asking asking how you think the banks will lend to anyone if they have to pay it back quickly.
>
> Successive governments have sold off our infrastructure and a lot of the profit generated in the UK now ends up overseas for example we are still the 10th biggest car manufacturer in the world but all the cars we build are German or Japanese.

So what? They employ people who consume and pay taxes and create jobs in related sectors of the economy. The profits are often reinvested in the UK and British pensioners own the shares. You sound like some Tory colonel blimp :-)

MG - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to Postmanpat: I am wondering if there should be a Godwin type embargo on Colonel Blimp accusations on here!
Postmanpat on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to MG:
> (In reply to Postmanpat) I am wondering if there should be a Godwin type embargo on Colonel Blimp accusations on here!

That would spoil the fun and Brucie wouldn't recognise it anyway !

doz generale - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:
> (In reply to doz generale)
> [...]
> How will the investors know that, against all past experience, the projects will be profitable? You do understand that the investments have to be made in advance ??

The money owed by banks to the gov can guarantee these loans
>
> [...]
> No, there are two reasons:firstly because the investment institutions perceive that the government is trying to control the amount of new borrowing cf. Most of southern Europe and even france which have been downgraded. Secondly, the BOE is buying up a large part of the debt (QE)
> Do you really understand the mechanics of financing governemtn spending?
> [...]
> No,I'm asking asking how you think the banks will lend to anyone if they have to pay it back quickly.

I didn't say it needed to be paid back quickly. the fact is the money is owed and will make it's way back to the gov (in theory)
> [...]
>
> So what? They employ people who consume and pay taxes and create jobs in related sectors of the economy. The profits are often reinvested in the UK and British pensioners own the shares. You sound like some Tory colonel blimp :-)

SO what? isn't this the whole reason we are in a financial mess? as a nation we don't make enough money to afford the standard of living we have come to expect. We need to make more money as a nation rather then being a conduit for others to make money. I do understand that companies re-invest and uk pension funds own shares but there are many companies where the main shareholders are overseas. Take Tescos for example the top 3 share holders are all foreign. I know tesco provide lots of low paid jobs but for every £1 that's spend there a fair whack of it goes abroad.
SAF - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to The New NickB:
> (In reply to SAF)
>
> You are on a very, very slippery slope!

A comment like that with nothing else in it, simply because I have a different political opinion and life experiences of something!!!
MG - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to doz generale: Do the banks owe much money to the government? I thought then government was a shareholder, in which case, since the shares are still below what was paid, selling them would seem odd.
The New NickB - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to SAF:
> (In reply to The New NickB)
> [...]
>
> A comment like that with nothing else in it, simply because I have a different political opinion and life experiences of something!!!

Nothing to do with life experience or being aggressive! You were suggesting heading down a very slippery authoritarian slope in terms of restricting what people could buy with benefits. I was simply pointing this out. I thought that was obvious. To describe this as 'very aggressive' is wholly unreasonable.
doz generale - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to MG:
> (In reply to doz generale) Do the banks owe much money to the government? I thought then government was a shareholder, in which case, since the shares are still below what was paid, selling them would seem odd.

About 400bn still owed, equivalent to 2 years welfare spend.
Postmanpat on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to doz generale:
> (In reply to Postmanpat)
> [...]
>
> The money owed by banks to the gov can guarantee these loans
> [...]
> I didn't say it needed to be paid back quickly. the fact is the money is owed and will make it's way back to the gov (in theory)
> [...]
Sorry but it's clear you don't understand how bank lending or government borrowing works. Your suggestions simply aren't options. The govt borrows by issuing bonds which the govt guarantees. They don't earmark specific credits (ie.money to them by the banks) for specific projects. These are taken into the overall picture already.
Even if they issued "investment bonds" for specific projects guaranteed by the banks liabilite it would just mean dudcuting those from the government's general assets and.....
You may, incidentally have noticed that investors are very loathe to invest in banks. why would you think they would invest in the banks indirectly on the basis the lending to the government will be repaid by the banks?


> SO what? isn't this the whole reason we are in a financial mess? as a nation we don't make enough money to afford the standard of living we have come to expect.
>
No to the first and yes to the second. We are one of the world's biggest exporters and best investors overseas so we benefit enormously from cross border trade and investment. Would you prefer we had a closed economy?

As far as I can tell your whole argument is that politicians and box ticking bureaucrats are best placed to invest in growth. Well, there are areas of long term investment and major structural projects in which the State probably needs to be involved, but as the major driver of economic growth I would have thought the if there is one major thing we have learnt since 1960 globally it is that central planning is not very good at producing economic growth. Why should it be? Why should one idea from one government department be more likely to get it right than the thousands of ideas of different companies?

To be honest there are plenty of books that will explain all this much better and more comprehensively than I could.




MG - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to doz generale:
> (In reply to MG)
> [...]
>
> About 400bn still owed, equivalent to 2 years welfare spend.

Do you have a lin. As above, I thought it was shares
Postmanpat on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to MG:
> (In reply to doz generale)
> [...]
>
> Do you have a lin. As above, I thought it was shares

The vast bulk of it was in the form of undrawndown guarantees which as far as I can tell are not regarded as assets by the government accounts which would imply they couldn't be used to guarantee other borrowing.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2011/nov/12/bank-bailouts-uk-credit-crunch

MG - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to Postmanpat: Thanks, I didn't know about that. But anyway the 400b or whatever isn't owed by the banks but rather available if needed? Shares plus loans are much less and can be sold when the government thinks it wise?
Postmanpat on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to MG:
> (In reply to Postmanpat) Thanks, I didn't know about that. But anyway the 400b or whatever isn't owed by the banks but rather available if needed? Shares plus loans are much less and can be sold when the government thinks it wise?

That's how I understand it.

doz generale - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:
> (In reply to doz generale)
> [...]
> Sorry but it's clear you don't understand how bank lending or government borrowing works. Your suggestions simply aren't options. The govt borrows by issuing bonds which the govt guarantees. They don't earmark specific credits (ie.money to them by the banks) for specific projects. These are taken into the overall picture already.
> Even if they issued "investment bonds" for specific projects guaranteed by the banks liabilite it would just mean dudcuting those from the government's general assets and.....
> You may, incidentally have noticed that investors are very loathe to invest in banks. why would you think they would invest in the banks indirectly on the basis the lending to the government will be repaid by the banks?

Fair enough borrowing more money to invest could hurt the economy but it could also stimulate the economy and sort out the mess we are in. I'm prepared to try it seeing as the route of auserity and chipping away at the fringes of society are not working. Government borrowing is actually rising anyway so why not try to invest in something that may pay out in the longer term?
>
>
> [...]
> No to the first and yes to the second. We are one of the world's biggest exporters and best investors overseas so we benefit enormously from cross border trade and investment. Would you prefer we had a closed economy?

Not suggesting we stop that or become protectionist, i'm suggesting that we as taxpayers invest in viable business as a way of lifting our economy and providing more jobs and training. The private sector is failing to do this
>
> As far as I can tell your whole argument is that politicians and box ticking bureaucrats are best placed to invest in growth. Well, there are areas of long term investment and major structural projects in which the State probably needs to be involved, but as the major driver of economic growth I would have thought the if there is one major thing we have learnt since 1960 globally it is that central planning is not very good at producing economic growth. Why should it be? Why should one idea from one government department be more likely to get it right than the thousands of ideas of different companies?

Agian i'm not talking about central planning but goverment investment in business the two things are very different. I don't think they are necessarily better then the private sector i just think there is room for government backed business that uses profits to help pay for training and employment rather then to line the pockets of the rich. As i've mentioned before there are plenty of state owned companies around the world that make great profits in the free market.

>
> To be honest there are plenty of books that will explain all this much better and more comprehensively than I could.

Postmanpat on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to doz generale:
> (In reply to Postmanpat)
> [...]
>
> I'm prepared to try it seeing as the route of auserity and chipping away at the fringes of society are not working.
>
If an old acquaintance that you didn't much like and had no experience of investing or running a business except a series of complete disasters 30 years ago called up and ask you to lend him a few grand would you take the same view?

Government borrowing is actually rising anyway so why not try to invest in something that may pay out in the longer term?
> [...]
Because the money is needed to pay for welfare, health, pensions etc. If you were borrowing an increasing amount every year to finance your ordinary life, and the bank was giving you a hard time, would you think "bollocks,I'll ask the bank for more" ?



> Not suggesting we stop that or become protectionist, i'm suggesting that we as taxpayers invest in viable business as a way of lifting our economy and providing more jobs and training. The private sector is failing to do this
> [...]
You seem to be objecting to cross borer investment. Taxpayers can invest in growth whenever they feel like.
> don't think they are necessarily better then the private sector i just think there is room for government backed business that uses profits to help pay for training and employment rather then to line the pockets of the rich.
> [...]

So you think that these companies profits will be so big that not only can they reinvest the profits to keep the business going but can give divert a lot for training and employment?
I'd love to hear about these great investments and so would most peple in the UK.
Sorry, but against all experience you are assuming that government run businesses are going to be markedly better than private ones.

Postmanpat on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to doz generale:
> (In reply to Postmanpat)
> [...]
>
Incidentally, regarding "government borrowing". This term is usually interpreted as the "government deficit" or PSBR. This is the difference between tax revenue and spening. This has fallen both in absolute terms and as a % of GDP since 2009/10.

Government debt almost always rises and nobody thinks that is reason to let it rise uncontrollably (except you it appears?). Rightly or wrongly we focus on the deficit.

Another thing, govt spending as a proportion of GDP has risen from about 30% to 50% since 1950. The biggest increases come under the broad definition of "welfare" which would include pensions, health and benefits. The latter tend to be very cyclical depending on unemployment. I suspect your earlier numbers are skewed bu the changing definitions of the narrow definition of welfare.

Either way, if pensions and health keep rising they are putting pressure on the ability to spend on benefits.
Cú Chullain - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:

The truth is simple, electorates in the highly indebted west dont face a choice between anti austerity politicians and pro austerity politicans but rather a choice between politicians who are willing to tell voters the truth and politicians who pretend that more then a decade of overborrowing can be wished away.
Eric9Points - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin:
> (In reply to Postmanpat)
>
> So do we let our young people is it a million who are out of work? just waste their talents and lives being unemployed?
>
> Postie I know a few young people who are long term unemployed but are really desperate to work in fact the husband of one of my friends has become increasingly depressed,to the extent that she is worried about his mental health and he is a shadow of the man he once was.
>
> I see these peoples lives pass away before them,no foriegn holidays,no nights out,no new clothes or iphones never mind computers,no car,getting in debt to buy the kids things...no future.
>
> I know what i would do and so do you but what would you do to help these people? when there is and has been nothing out there for years.

Good post, I've seen people's lives wrecked by unemployment too and it's not something to be taken lightly. Demonising those who are unlucky enough to find themselves on the scrapheap is simply despicable. Sure there are scroungers but the vast majority of those now bearing the brunt of the Government's economic policy had jobs a few years ago or are just starting out in adult lifepresumably with the hope of finding something useful and fulfilling to do with it. We should be making sure that these people are treated humanely and provided for, not treated like thieves.

"We're all in this together", my arse George. You know what? I earn a fair wedge, enough to pay some tax at the 40% rate. I'm lucky. What I would love is for George to finally show us he says what he means and that he's got a bit of bottle and tell us that the 40% tax rate will go up by 1/2% or so to fund the increase in welfare payments caused by the rise in unemployment, to stimulate new job creation iniatives, protect some public service jobs that are now in jepardy and beef up our Inland revenue to help them collect more taxes from the multinationals who are currently taking the piss. The extra money would be ring fenced and the tax rate would drop again once unemployment falls back to 2008 levels.

Stop feeding me this bollocks about it not being possible to do anything further to help those hit hardest by the financial crisis, get off your arse and show some leadership and imagination or resign and let someone else have a go instead.

MG - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to Eric9Points:

> "We're all in this together", my arse George. You know what? I earn a fair wedge, enough to pay some tax at the 40% rate. I'm lucky.

It's a good point. Raising taxes for the rich doesn't work for all sorts of reasons. But, like you, I earn enough to pay a bit at 40% and am comfortable. I could reasonably pay a bit more tax (particularly since I don't really pay 40%, anything over goes in to a pension and gets relief). Yet I have actually benefited from every budget in the last five years rather than been taxed more! I suppose the "squeezed middle" are good at voting though so increasing taxes is tricky.
MG - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to Simon4:
> (In reply to doz generale)
>
> [...]
>
> Responsibility without power?
>
> I have no say in whether these children are born, nor how many of them, so why do you think I am responsible for protecting them?

Well perhaps from a selfish point of view to avoid having gangs of criminal teenagers smashing the place up and stealing from you? Or to avoid having them dying on the streets of starvation. Self-reliance is all very well, but for a civilised society some group responsibility seems to be required.
neilh - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to Eric9Points:

Unemployment in this country is lower than Spain, Greece etc. If you want desperate for under 25's got to these countrys.

ads.ukclimbing.com
Postmanpat on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to Eric9Points:
> (In reply to GudrunEnsslin)
> [...]
>
>
> "We're all in this together", my arse George. You know what? I earn a fair wedge, enough to pay some tax at the 40% rate. I'm lucky. What I would love is for George to finally show us he says what he means and that he's got a bit of bottle and tell us that the 40% tax rate will go up by 1/2% or so to fund the increase in welfare payments caused by the rise in unemployment, to stimulate new job creation iniatives, protect some public service jobs that are now in jepardy and beef up our Inland revenue
>
How mch money do you roughly estimate that .5% rise in the marginal rate would raise?
Gudrun - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:

> I would have thought the if there is one major thing we have learnt since 1960 globally it is that central planning is not very good at producing economic growth.

Eh some countries did just fine within central planning Postie,just fine.
MG - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin: Do you friends in Czech per per chance?
Gudrun - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to MG:

Many.
off-duty - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin:
> (In reply to Postmanpat)
>
> [...]
>
> Eh some countries did just fine within central planning Postie,just fine.

Yep, what price freedom when before it at least the buses ran on time ;-)
Postmanpat on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin:
> (In reply to Postmanpat)
>
> [...]
>
> Eh some countries did just fine within central planning Postie,just fine.

Of course they did. That's why they had to build walls to keep the people in.
Happy days....

Gudrun - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to off-duty:
> (In reply to GudrunEnsslin)

> Yep, what price freedom when before it at least the buses ran on time ;-)

Here we are free indeed,free to be unemployed,free to be homeless or constant worry of,free to be in a stress ridden life of constant debt,free to be constantly exploited by employers,free enough that you can't afford heating and have to sit in the cold,free to have malnutrition,free to live in a sick and violent society wondering if your turn will come to be murdered,mugged,raped.
Free to become hooked on drugs,free to join armed forces and expect to murder foriegners that do you no harm.Free to be a part of a country that is covered in the blood of innocents from constant wars.Free to wonder where in the world our government will next decide to start mass murder.Free to have super rich elites and a disgusting class system,free to be ruled by some royal family and actually worship them,free to have a media which is fully controlled by the rich.Free to see huge multinationals pay little tax expanding the wallets of the superich even further,free to see workers treated like complete and utter shit while the rich keep turning the screw bleeding ever more out of us.Everywhere you go you are bombarded with advertising designed to make you feel bad,inferior or inadequate.Free to be long term unemployed and watch as everyone has it all while you have nothing.

You can keep your so called freedom.
Gudrun - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:

Really!

Did you think everyone was trying to escape?
Is that what you are saying?
ThunderCat - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin:
> (In reply to off-duty)
> [...]
>
> [...]
>
> Here we are free indeed,free to be unemployed,free to be homeless or constant worry of,free to be in a stress ridden life of constant debt,free to be constantly exploited by employers,free enough that you can't afford heating and have to sit in the cold,free to have malnutrition,free to live in a sick and violent society wondering if your turn will come to be murdered,mugged,raped.
> Free to become hooked on drugs,free to join armed forces and expect to murder foriegners that do you no harm.Free to be a part of a country that is covered in the blood of innocents from constant wars.Free to wonder where in the world our government will next decide to start mass murder.Free to have super rich elites and a disgusting class system,free to be ruled by some royal family and actually worship them,free to have a media which is fully controlled by the rich.Free to see huge multinationals pay little tax expanding the wallets of the superich even further,free to see workers treated like complete and utter shit while the rich keep turning the screw bleeding ever more out of us.Everywhere you go you are bombarded with advertising designed to make you feel bad,inferior or inadequate.Free to be long term unemployed and watch as everyone has it all while you have nothing.
>


Still, musn't grumble eh?

SAF - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin:
> (In reply to off-duty)
> [...]
>
> [...]
>
> Here we are free indeed,free to be unemployed,free to be homeless or constant worry of,free to be in a stress ridden life of constant debt,free to be constantly exploited by employers,free enough that you can't afford heating and have to sit in the cold,free to have malnutrition,free to live in a sick and violent society wondering if your turn will come to be murdered,mugged,raped.
> Free to become hooked on drugs,free to join armed forces and expect to murder foriegners that do you no harm.Free to be a part of a country that is covered in the blood of innocents from constant wars.Free to wonder where in the world our government will next decide to start mass murder.Free to have super rich elites and a disgusting class system,free to be ruled by some royal family and actually worship them,free to have a media which is fully controlled by the rich.Free to see huge multinationals pay little tax expanding the wallets of the superich even further,free to see workers treated like complete and utter shit while the rich keep turning the screw bleeding ever more out of us.Everywhere you go you are bombarded with advertising designed to make you feel bad,inferior or inadequate.Free to be long term unemployed and watch as everyone has it all while you have nothing.
>
every consider emigrating...I here Australia's particulary pleasant at this time of year
ThunderCat - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin:
> (In reply to off-duty)
> [...]
>
> [...]
>
> Here we are free indeed,free to be unemployed,free to be homeless or constant worry of,free to be in a stress ridden life of constant debt,free to be constantly exploited by employers,free enough that you can't afford heating and have to sit in the cold,free to have malnutrition,free to live in a sick and violent society wondering if your turn will come to be murdered,mugged,raped.
> Free to become hooked on drugs,free to join armed forces and expect to murder foriegners that do you no harm.Free to be a part of a country that is covered in the blood of innocents from constant wars.Free to wonder where in the world our government will next decide to start mass murder.Free to have super rich elites and a disgusting class system,free to be ruled by some royal family and actually worship them,free to have a media which is fully controlled by the rich.Free to see huge multinationals pay little tax expanding the wallets of the superich even further,free to see workers treated like complete and utter shit while the rich keep turning the screw bleeding ever more out of us.Everywhere you go you are bombarded with advertising designed to make you feel bad,inferior or inadequate.Free to be long term unemployed and watch as everyone has it all while you have nothing.
>


I'm free to do what I want, any old tiii--iiiime....

SAF - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin: If it's that terrible here, why aren't there people risking their lives in the undercarriage of airplanes and the back of refrigerated lorries to leave?
Gudrun - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to SAF:
> (In reply to GudrunEnsslin)
> [...]
> every consider emigrating...I here Australia's particulary pleasant at this time of year

Australia !!!

Don't get me started on there!
To any Aussies i'm only kidding.

But why should i leave this country i am so ashamed of, its mine as much as yours...no?
Oris kicking out people who don't agree with you a part of this new "ideology" of yours?
Gudrun - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to SAF:
> (In reply to GudrunEnsslin) If it's that terrible here, why aren't there people risking their lives in the undercarriage of airplanes and the back of refrigerated lorries to leave?

oh dear!
Tell you what if you ever decide to make a run for it i'd seriously consider some other methods,hen.
Gudrun - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin:
> (In reply to SAF)

> But why should i leave this country i am so ashamed of, its mine as much as yours...no?

I'd dearly love to live in Cooba though..dearly.
Postmanpat on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin:
> (In reply to Postmanpat)
>
> Really!
>
> Did you think everyone was trying to escape?
>
No idea, better ask the people who made it hard to leave.

SAF - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin:
> (In reply to SAF)
> [...]
>
> oh dear!
> Tell you what if you ever decide to make a run for it i'd seriously consider some other methods,hen.

Why would I want to leave...in this country (even as a women) I am free to access free education up to the age of 18, free to apply to and attend any university dependent on my own achievements, free to apply to work in the profession of my own choosing, free to buy my own home, free to live a stress free life through having my own self contraint and not getting onto constant debt, free to work in a job that gives me 6 weeks of holiday a year/sick pay/ a pension, free to leave my door open when I go running without fear of being mugged, raped or murdered, free to choose not to take drugs, free even as a women to choose to join the british army should I have desired, free to have friends in all social classes (one of the most generous and down to earth is also from the wealthiest famliy I know), free to enjoy the tradition and pride that this year has shown that the royal family can bring to the UK and share in that with others if I so choose, free to express an opinion of opposition against the royal family with out fear of persecution, free to follow any religion of my choosing, free to interpret what a free but not perfect press reports, free to work hard and be proud of what I have and what I've achieved through it!!!
Gudrun - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:
> (In reply to GudrunEnsslin)
> [...]
> No idea, better ask the people who made it hard to leave.

It wasn't hard to leave,people got visas all the time and there was a bit of a cold war on you know?They wanted to keep the Nato forces and assorted fascists from invading and commiting genocide again.

Oh and do you think your celebrated British Empire had no walls and constrictions on its victims Postie?
Sir Chasm - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin: Oh, the Berlin wall was to keep out nasty nato! You should write a history book.
Cú Chullain - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin:
> (In reply to Postmanpat)
> [...]
>
> It wasn't hard to leave,people got visas all the time and there was a bit of a cold war on you know?They wanted to keep the Nato forces and assorted fascists from invading and commiting genocide again.

Wiki has a slightly different view

"Eastern Bloc emigration and defection was a point of controversy during the Cold War. After World War II, emigration restrictions were imposed by countries in the Eastern Bloc, which consisted of the Soviet Union and its satellite states in Central and Eastern Europe. Legal emigration was in most cases only possible in order to reunite families or to allow members of minority ethnic groups to return to their homelands.

Eastern Bloc governments argued that strict limits to emigration were necessary to prevent a brain drain. The United States and Western European governments argued that they represented a violation of human rights. Despite the restrictions, defections to the West occurred.

After East Germany tightened its zonal occupation border with West Germany, the city sector border between East Berlin and West Berlin became a loophole through which defection could occur. This was closed with the erection of the Berlin Wall in 1961. Thereafter, emigration from the Eastern Bloc was effectively limited to illegal defections, ethnic emigration under bilateral agreements, and a small number of other cases."

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Gudrun - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to SAF:

Different worlds in the same country,people i know have studied and worked hard to but still found themselves poor and with no hope.
And a positive assertion of the things i listed doesn't make these things go away,or change the fact that some countries with central planning and Communist ideals banished all of these terrible things.
Ian Black - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to Sarah G:
> (In reply to confusicating)
> I love it when the girl down the street from me (two kids with 2 diff fathers, third bairn on the way, all on benefits, full housing benefit, etc- and always have been) describes her giro as herself being "paid". Um, what for, precisely?





The Gravy Train is about to be derailed!! I feel for the public sector workers that have endured a pay freeze and higher pension contributions. It should be a simple formula. If you want to enjoy the finer things in life, you should have to work for them!!!!!

Gudrun - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to Cú Chullain:

If you look at what i wrote i said "Visa".
You could and people did get visas all the time to travel and visit relatives in W.Germany,France etc
Sir Chasm - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin: Well, shona, if you'd like to move to the communist idyll of cuba you can, no walls or guns or watchtowers to kill you if you try leaving the uk.
Postmanpat on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin:
> (In reply to Cú Chullain)
>
> If you look at what i wrote i said "Visa".
> You could and people did get visas all the time to travel and visit relatives in W.Germany,France etc

Left a few relatives behind though, presumably to make sure they could get back in.

Eric9Points - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to Ian Black:
> (In reply to Sarah G)
> [...]
>
>
>
>
>
> The Gravy Train is about to be derailed!! I feel for the public sector workers that have endured a pay freeze and higher pension contributions. It should be a simple formula. If you want to enjoy the finer things in life, you should have to work for them!!!!!

Yes, it's a bit of a pisser though when you're desperate to work but can't get a job.
Gudrun - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to Sir Chasm:

Yeah to counter the smearing flood of revisionary anti-Soviet garbage that masquerades as historical fact these days.
Sir Chasm - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin: So you lie to counteract the history you dispute? Fascinating.
Gudrun - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to Sir Chasm:
> (In reply to GudrunEnsslin) Well, shona, if you'd like to move to the communist idyll of cuba you can, no walls or guns or watchtowers to kill you if you try leaving the uk.

Yeah.
Did the same apply to the victims of the British Empire?
Hmm?
Gudrun - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to Sir Chasm:

Where did i lie?
Postmanpat on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin:
> (In reply to Sir Chasm)
>
> Yeah to counter the smearing flood of revisionary anti-Soviet garbage that masquerades as historical fact these days.

http://www.chronik-der-mauer.de/index.php/de/Start/Detail/id/659531/item/7/page/0

Should have applied for a visa. Photoshopped I guess.

Sir Chasm - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin: Where did you lie, Shona? Well, pretending that the wall was to keep nato out of east berlin rather than the residents in is a whopper.
JJL - on 08 Jan 2013
.]
>
> Here we are free indeed,free to be unemployed,free to be homeless or constant worry of,free to be in a stress ridden life of constant debt,free to be constantly exploited by employers,free enough that you can't afford heating and have to sit in the cold,free to have malnutrition,free to live in a sick and violent society wondering if your turn will come to be murdered,mugged,raped.
> Free to become hooked on drugs,free to join armed forces and expect to murder foriegners that do you no harm.Free to be a part of a country that is covered in the blood of innocents from constant wars.Free to wonder where in the world our government will next decide to start mass murder.Free to have super rich elites and a disgusting class system,free to be ruled by some royal family and actually worship them,free to have a media which is fully controlled by the rich.Free to see huge multinationals pay little tax expanding the wallets of the superich even further,free to see workers treated like complete and utter shit while the rich keep turning the screw bleeding ever more out of us.Everywhere you go you are bombarded with advertising designed to make you feel bad,inferior or inadequate.Free to be long term unemployed and watch as everyone has it all while you have nothing.
>
> You can keep your so called freedom.

Oh do f*ck off
johnj on 08 Jan 2013 - 86.112.78.158 whois?
In reply to ThunderCat:
> (In reply to GudrunEnsslin)
> [...]
>
>
> Still, musn't grumble eh?

Keep Calm and Slave on Eh?
Gudrun - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:

Some people did try to get to W.Germany did i say other wise?

Now i could show you many many photographs of British atrocities Postie but i don't think we want to go down that road do we?
Postmanpat on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin:
> (In reply to Postmanpat)
>
> Some people did try to get to W.Germany did i say other wise?
>
So you're agreed then: there is nothing particularly unusual about western imperialism except, coming at a time when its technology was transformational and its technological advantages enormous, its extent was larger than most previous empires?



Gudrun - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to Sir Chasm:
> (In reply to GudrunEnsslin) Where did you lie, Shona? Well, pretending that the wall was to keep nato out of east berlin rather than the residents in is a whopper.

Now don't be silly everyone knows why and who built the wall that isn't even up for debate.When i commented about keeping Nato forces and assorted fascists from invading and comitting genocide again....was i lying ?

Tell me?
Sir Chasm - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin: You're just being silly now, shona, the east germans built the wall, to claim otherwise is a lie.
Cú Chullain - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin:
> (In reply to Sir Chasm)
> [...]
>
> Now don't be silly everyone knows why and who built the wall that isn't even up for debate.

Humour us, why was it built?
Gudrun - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to Sir Chasm:
> (In reply to GudrunEnsslin) You're just being silly now, shona, the east germans built the wall, to claim otherwise is a lie.

I didn't say otherwise or lie.
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Gudrun - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to Cú Chullain:
> (In reply to GudrunEnsslin)

> Humour us, why was it built?

why do you say "humour us" ?
Gudrun - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to Cú Chullain:

Perhaps you can humour me by telling me how you are unable to read a post correctly, get it wrong and then say to someone "humour me".
Sir Chasm - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin: Fair enough, shona, so we're agreed that the east germans built the wall to keep their people in and shot people who tried to cross the wall into west berlin, cool.
Cú Chullain - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin:
> (In reply to Cú Chullain)
>
> Perhaps you can humour me by telling me how you are unable to read a post correctly, get it wrong and then say to someone "humour me".

I am interested as you often seem to have a different version/standpoint to historical events. Hence the question.
Cú Chullain - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin:
> (In reply to Cú Chullain)
>
> If you look at what i wrote i said "Visa".
> You could and people did get visas all the time to travel and visit relatives in W.Germany,France etc

Indeed, the very definition of free movement, the requirement of a visa just to leave you own country! And lets not pretend that these visas were dished out like smarties to any punter who wanted one.
mockerkin on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin:
> (In reply to Sir Chasm


> Did the same apply to the victims of the British Empire?


>> Well, if they were all victims, why is it that not only every country that was part of the British empire, except Ireland, is now a part of the commonwealth (not British commonwealth, note) & other countries that had nothing to do with the British empire e.g. Mozambique have applied for and been given entry into the commonwealth? Is it because they all like being victims?


stroppygob - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to The New NickB:
> (In reply to SAF)
> [...]
>
> I have looked back at the three posts in which I replied to you on this thread prior to this morning, none of them an be interpreted as the slightest big aggressive, neither have I called you names or questioned your intelligence.
>
> I am now wondering why you are suggesting I have been very aggressive towards you, it isn't based on reality.

For you being aggressive, read; "passive aggressive", it's been pointed out to you by me before. But take it as a compliment that you are very good at it.

Answering point by saying ; "you're wrong" and nothing more, accusing others of being nasty, telling people you have already answered them when you have done no such thing, that's a broad range of great passive aggressive non-debating techniques you have.

Are you a social worker?

stroppygob - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin:
> (In reply to off-duty)
> [...]
>
> [...]
>
> Here I am free indeed,free to be unemployed,free to be homeless or constant worry of,free to be in a stress ridden life of constant debt blah blah blah whine whine whine, oh god I'm so inadequate, please let the nanny state make a good life for me, one where I do not have to strive at all.....
>
> You can keep your so called freedom.

We will, there are alternatives to your way of life, we embarace and enjoy them. You wallow in your self created misery if you wish. I know misery enjoys company, but please don't try to infect the rest of us with your personality.

Gudrun - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to Cú Chullain:

Well i can safely say all the people i know from the former eastern Bloc had no problem whatsoever in travelling to the West,in fact i know of two people who were asked by relatives to stay in w.Germany and said why we have everything we could want back home.

> I am interested as you often seem to have a different version/standpoint to historical events. Hence the question.

Fine i just objected to your tone and that's why i snapped back.

I see things from the Communist side, as a Russian,Belorussian,Ukrainian,Serbian,Czech and all the others who experienced the full brunt of the German and allied Fascists.
My man is a Czech Communist and i know much about the Eastern Bloc through him and his family as well other friends and my fascination with everything Slavonic. oh and being a Commie myself.
Postmanpat on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin:
> (In reply to Cú Chullain)
>
>
> My man is a Czech Communist and i know much about the Eastern Bloc through him and his family as well other friends and my fascination with everything Slavonic. oh and being a Commie myself.

Well if he's a Czech communist it must be right the. I met some British folk who said Mrs.T was great. Must be true I guess.

The New NickB - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to stroppygob:
> (In reply to The New NickB)
> [...]
>
> For you being aggressive, read; "passive aggressive", it's been pointed out to you by me before. But take it as a compliment that you are very good at it.

You really need to try and undermine people who agree with you in the slightest way don't you. I have been neither aggressive or shown any characteristics of being passive aggressive, if the mental health credentials you claim are true and I have no reason to assume otherwise, you will know that.

> Answering point by saying ; "you're wrong" and nothing more, accusing others of being nasty, telling people you have already answered them when you have done no such thing, that's a broad range of great passive aggressive non-debating techniques you have.

You are doing that quoting thing again. I have never just said you are wrong. I have on occasion disagreed with you and given a reason, sometimes that reason has been brief, but it has been there, it is a function of this form of communication. The fact is, you really don't like people disagreeing with you, your debating technique becomes aggressive and you tend to go in for personal attacks, plenty of people on here have pointed that out to you. As for saying I have already answered when I haven't, I think you are getting confused, I answered something in brief last night that I have discussed on other threads, I didn't claim to have discussed it already on this thread. You will note that I did actually my thoughts out in brief, I would be happy to discuss them some time.

> Are you a social worker?

No I am not, I am not sure of the relevance, I know a few and as discussed on other threads, I know a bit about the profession, my idea of he'll, to be honest!

orejas - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin:
Sorry and he lives where? I rest the case for the UK
Gudrun - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to stroppygob:
> (In reply to GudrunEnsslin)
> [...]
>
> We will, there are alternatives to your way of life, we embarace and enjoy them. You wallow in your self created misery if you wish. I know misery enjoys company, but please don't try to infect the rest of us with your personality.

Haha!

Choice!
You think i create this misery that i see around me?
So now not only are the unemployed completely to blame for being unemployed but they create unemployment.
Yeah all i wrote is a mirage in my mind and doesn't exist.

You can put your head back in the sand now.
Gudrun - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:
> (In reply to GudrunEnsslin)

> Well if he's a Czech communist it must be right the. I met some British folk who said Mrs.T was great. Must be true I guess.

It doesn't wash Postie,i know a lot of Czech people commie and not.
Postmanpat on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin:
> (In reply to Postmanpat)
> [...]
>
> [...]
>
> It doesn't wash Postie,i know a lot of Czech people commie and not.

And I know a lot of British people. I also know a fair few East Europeans.

Gudrun - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:

Look there are figures about the surplus they had in Czechoslovakia when they handed over which shows a completely debt free country.

Maximum employment, illegal not to be.
Zero homelessness.
Full medical care for all.
Zero interest on govnt loans.
Zero drugs.
Zero organised crime.
Extremely low crime rates.
etc etc etc i can give you much more if you are so blindly conditioned by your western propaganda that you are unable to accept it but it is the truth.
But i think you know this from the last time ;)
off-duty - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin:
> (In reply to Postmanpat)
>
> Look there are figures about the surplus they had in Czechoslovakia when they handed over which shows a completely debt free country.
>
> Maximum employment, illegal not to be.
> Zero homelessness.
> Full medical care for all.
> Zero interest on govnt loans.
> Zero drugs.
> Zero organised crime.
> Extremely low crime rates.
> etc etc etc i can give you much more if you are so blindly conditioned by your western propaganda that you are unable to accept it but it is the truth.
> But i think you know this from the last time ;)


After such a wonderful and idyllic life it's a surprise that they have awarded monthly payments of 1800 CZK as recompense to those non-existent political prisoners.
I guess that is just the horrible capitalists way of trying to rewrite history or something.
Postmanpat on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin:
> (In reply to Postmanpat)
>
> Look there are figures about the surplus they had in Czechoslovakia when they handed over which shows a completely debt free country.
>
> Maximum employment, illegal not to be.
> Zero homelessness.
> Full medical care for all.
> Zero interest on govnt loans.
> Zero drugs.
> Zero organised crime.
> Extremely low crime rates.
> etc etc etc i can give you much more if you are so blindly conditioned by your western propaganda that you are unable to accept it but it is the truth.
>
Perhaps you can start by telling us why it put 233 out of every 100,000 in jail when the crime rate was so low?

Stalin didn't have much crime either and he always made his 5 year tractor plans. Funny that.

Gudrun - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to off-duty:

Listen i could tell you incredible stories of injustice that are happening in Czech Republic since the start of Havel's absurdistan.The land given to the Vatican that they didn't have for one.ineed to go to bed now but i'll talk more tmoz.
Gudrun - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:

Ok you are picking one item from a post which shows many things you seemed to doubt.
So now in the face of the truth which you so strenuously doubted you are focusing on one point,do you acknowledge the facts as i presented them?

I will find out about this figure that you have,but for now its beddy byes...sleep tight.
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Postmanpat on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin:
> (In reply to off-duty)
>
> Listen i could tell you incredible stories of injustice that are happening in Czech Republic since the start of Havel's absurdistan.

Is it beyond you ken that even it is not an argument when defending A simply to say that B is crap.?
off-duty - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:
> (In reply to GudrunEnsslin)
> [...]
>
> Is it beyond you ken that even it is not an argument when defending A simply to say that B is crap.?

It's black and white in the world of socialism. Socialism was all good. Anything bad was purely the fault of the capitalists.
It's a similar theme on the actual topic of the thread - all those on unemployment benefit are the oppressed and ill-used victims of capitalism, and those who scrounge and are dealt with every day be the emergency services are a myth, made up by evil capitalists.
Even Marx had a marginally more nuanced view of society.
Gudrun - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:

;)

sweet dreams.
Gudrun - on 09 Jan 2013
In reply to off-duty:

hahaha!

Hear you go again with your same old tactics of padding everything out obscuring issues and strong points with faff,faff and more Off Duty faff.

Faff away i'm off to bed.
;) nighty night.
Postmanpat on 09 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin:
> (In reply to Postmanpat)
>
> Ok you are picking one item from a post which shows many things you seemed to doubt.
> So now in the face of the truth which you so strenuously doubted you are focusing on one point,do you acknowledge the facts as i presented them?
>
> I will find out about this figure that you have,but for now its beddy byes...sleep tight.

I don't doubt that in a quasi police State there are few drugs, organised crime is a State monopoly and not working is illegal. Sleep tight x

Simon4 - on 09 Jan 2013
In reply to off-duty, PostmanPat, Circasm, others : Gentlemen :

You are either dealing with a massively sustained troll, or with someone who is mentally ill.

If Shona/Naedanger/etc/etc/etc/etc is a troll, the normal rule applies, do not feed the troll. If mentally ill, it is wrong to mock the afflicted.

Obviously no sane person can believe that the former Soviet union was some sort of earthly paradise or that the marxists were in any way better than the Nazis, indeed they were obviously pretty much the same as far as ordinary people were concerned. Still less can any rational person think that the UK, for all its faults, is any sort of giant concentration camp where any dissent is punished by immediate excution, with a permanent need to appologise for its past or its present. This is simply a totally irrationaly distorted view of the world.

Equally it would be obvious to any sane person that her "arguments" would never convince anyone of anything, so threadbare and ludicrous are they, not to mention the perpetual self-righteousness that she displays. She has no hope of influencing anyone about anything.

It is far better to ignore her, in the faint hope that she will finally get discouraged, reaction, any kind of reaction, only feeds her delusions and encourages her to stop taking her medication. Lets be a bit more responsible toward the unfortunates among us.
off-duty - on 09 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin:
> (In reply to off-duty)
>
> hahaha!
>
> Hear you go again with your same old tactics of padding everything out obscuring issues and strong points with faff,faff and more Off Duty faff.
>
> Faff away i'm off to bed.
> ;) nighty night.


Fair enough. If you aren't prepared to accept that there were any issues in communist Czechoslovakia then I am sure you won't realise that the only person who appears to be describing the unemployed as one undifferentiated and amorphous mass in this thread is you.
stroppygob - on 09 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin:
> (In reply to stroppygob)
> You think i create this misery that i see around me?
> So now not only are the unemployed completely to blame for being unemployed but they create unemployment.
> Yeah all i wrote is a mirage in my mind and doesn't exist.

You are of course, partially right. You see what you see, and interpret it in your own way, thus;

Hamlet: What have you, my good friends, deserv'd at the hands of Fortune, that she sends you to prison hither?

Guildenstern: Prison, my lord?

Hamlet: Denmark's a prison.

Rosencrantz: Then is the world one.

Hamlet: A goodly one, in which there are many confines, wards, and dungeons, Denmark being one o' th' worst.

Rosencrantz: We think not so, my lord.

Hamlet: Why then 'tis none to you; for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so. To me it is a prison.


Enjoy your self-created hell.
Duncan Bourne - on 09 Jan 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:
> (In reply to GudrunEnsslin)
> [...]
>
> I don't doubt that in a quasi police State there are few drugs, organised crime is a State monopoly and not working is illegal. Sleep tight x

Sounds good what's the catch?
Duncan Bourne - on 09 Jan 2013
In reply to Simon4:
> (In reply to off-duty, PostmanPat, Circasm, others )
>
> Obviously no sane person can believe that the former Soviet union was some sort of earthly paradise or that the marxists were in any way better than the Nazis,

Interesting point on what do you base that assumption?
Not saying that you are wrong or anything but really unless you lived there then your view is going to be filtered through secondhand, possibly biased information. Even if you met someone who lived there you will still get a skewed view. Imagine if you lived in Soviet Russia, all your media would be telling you how nasty the capitalist west was. If you met anyone from the UK it might be Al telling you how evil Maggie was. Anyone who put on a positive slant might be taken for a nasty capitalist. So really it is perfectly easy to understand that some one might view the former Soviet union in a more rosie light than yourself.
Perception is a very individual thing and rarely is a subject black and white
Gordon Stainforth - on 09 Jan 2013
In reply to Duncan Bourne:

Haven't read this thread, been out of UKC for many days, but am disturbed by the idea of someone posting under the pseudonym of Gudrun Esslin, just as I would be by someone calling themself 'Peter Sutcliffe'.
Duncan Bourne - on 09 Jan 2013
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:
I take it from that G E is the name of a serial killer I was not aware.
TheDrunkenBakers - on 09 Jan 2013
In reply to confusicating:

Quite an interesting young lady, it would seem.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gudrun_Ensslin
I didnt know about her either.
MJ - on 09 Jan 2013
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

but am disturbed by the idea of someone posting under the pseudonym of Gudrun Esslin

I assume you know who is behind the pseudonym?
Doesn't excuse it, but probably explains it...
Duncan Bourne - on 09 Jan 2013
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:
Hmmm. One persons terrorist is another persons .......
TheDrunkenBakers - on 09 Jan 2013
In reply to Duncan Bourne: I also find Hitler interesting, it doesnt mean I approve of his actions. I think you may be confused.
Duncan Bourne - on 09 Jan 2013
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:
Incidently I wasn't implying in my first reply that YOU approved of her actions. I was just commentating in general
TheDrunkenBakers - on 09 Jan 2013
In reply to Duncan Bourne: Okedokey
Ian Black - on 09 Jan 2013
In reply to Eric9Points:
> (In reply to Ian Black)
> [...]
>
> Yes, it's a bit of a pisser though when you're desperate to work but can't get a job.





I should have been more specific!! Of course there are lots that have worked most of their adult lives, been made redundant, and desperate to get back into employment. I have great empathy for these people and others that are genuinely seeking work but are unsuccessful...
Simon4 - on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to Duncan Bourne: Well I didn't in fact personally witness the Mongol hordes sacking Damascus and building pyramids of skulls from its unfortunate inhabitants but it seems pretty clear that it actually happened, the historical accounts are quite good by the standards of the time.

Obviously one cannot be certain exactly what happened in some historical circumstance in a country a long way away, so we are all reliant on indirect reports - in totalitarian dictatorships a great deal of effort is devoted to suppressing information about the crimes and brutality of the regime. Nonetheless, there is good historical evidence for the GULAG and that it had an incredibly high mortality rate, for the terror famine in the Ukraine, for the incredibly brutal mass-expulsion of national minorities in the USSR and for many, many more crimes and outbreaks of terror too numerous to mention. The Moscow trials and much of the Great Terror was proclaimed with pride by Soviet media at the time, while the public trials of the purges were certainly attended by Western reporters, even if many of them were sympathetic Marxist fellow travellers.

So the evidence for Soviet crimes and cruelties is as good as that for the holocaust, and rather more detailed and complete than that for say the Armenian massacres by the Turks. Equally, all these regimes attempted to suppress the historical record, so it is necessarily incomplete, rather like the fossil record. Which is no good reason to claim, like some religious fundamentalists, that dinosaurs never existed.
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Duncan Bourne - on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to Simon4:
> (In reply to Duncan Bourne) Well I didn't in fact personally witness the Mongol hordes sacking Damascus and building pyramids of skulls from its unfortunate inhabitants but it seems pretty clear that it actually happened, the historical accounts are quite good by the standards of the time.

I would question "pretty clear", "most likely" would be better. Of course there is plenty of evidence that the Mongol hords sacked Damascus (written sources, cultural relics etc.) but the pyramids of skulls is based on eyewitness accounts which are open to bias. Naturally we go for the most likey and call it fact because history would be pretty boring if we kept saying "probably" all the time.
>
> Obviously one cannot be certain exactly what happened in some historical circumstance in a country a long way away, so we are all reliant on indirect reports - in totalitarian dictatorships a great deal of effort is devoted to suppressing information about the crimes and brutality of the regime.
> So the evidence for Soviet crimes and cruelties is as good as that for the holocaust, and rather more detailed and complete than that for say the Armenian massacres by the Turks. Equally, all these regimes attempted to suppress the historical record, so it is necessarily incomplete, rather like the fossil record. Which is no good reason to claim, like some religious fundamentalists, that dinosaurs never existed.

I agree with you here. and you pretty much back up my statement above. But what is missing is the personal perspective. You said that "no sane person could believe that the USSR was an earthly paradise". Well paradise might be too strong a word, I wouldn't even call the West an earthly paradise, but I don't see it as a mark of insanity to like the USSR regime and I can imagine quite a few who would still declare it "better" than the present. Yes people were arrested, tortured, disappeared etc. but not everyone and if it doesn't happen to them and possibly makes their life easier then some folk are quite happy to accept that, as was the case in Germany in the war.
Gudrun - on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to Simon4:

Little Simon you must try and calm these wee tantrums of yours dear,its not good for your blood pressure.Now wipe the foam from your mouth and have a read.
> Obviously no sane person can believe that the former Soviet union was some sort of earthly paradise

Where did i say it was?Show me,and since you cannot show me why are you lying?

> or that the marxists were in any way better than the Nazis,

Aw bless!So all Marxists before during and after were as bad as Stalin..hmm?Not to mention western imperialists.Such a completely ludicrous thing for you to say but when taken in the context of a seriously angry child throwing insults about then not so unusual.

> Still less can any rational person think that the UK, for all its faults, is any sort of giant concentration camp where any dissent is punished by immediate excution,

No they couldn't but they could see the UK from the view of its victims all around the world,We presided over starvations which killed many tens of millions,we have killed many millions of people from all over the world.As well as invading and robbing them,stealing their land and its riches whilst torturing them and putting in a tyrant to keep the ordinary population
in terror so that some rich British elite could could take everything for as long as they want.

*We have done this in dozens and dozens of countries for centuries *

Britain is at constant war....yes always away in some foriegn place murdering foreign people in a distant far away land.
Constantly murdering,stealing riches,suppressing the foreign ordinary person to keep the rich rich.

> with a permanent need to appologise for its past or its present. This is simply a totally irrationaly distorted view of the world.

Irrational? You should know all about that little Simon.
Have the British apologized for the famines?
For the constant wars and millions of victims?
For invasions and robbery on a colossal scale?
For imposing many many tyrants on the masses of different countries who wanted what was rightfully theirs but were tortured and murdered for organizing into democratic and Communist parties?


> Equally it would be obvious to any sane person that her "arguments" would never convince anyone of anything, so threadbare and ludicrous are they, not to mention the perpetual self-righteousness that she displays. She has no hope of influencing anyone about anything.

Self-righteous? That's ironic.
What is glaringly obvious little Simon is that you seem to be rather obsessed that i would infuence people in fact you get rather frenzied about it old bean.In fact you seem to be rather obsessed with me full stop,I hope i don't have another stalker on my hands.And for your information i couldn't give two hoots what anyone on here thinks and i certainly don't want to influence them, i'll leave the one sided and frenzied evangelical stuff to you little Si.

> It is far better to ignore her, in the faint hope that she will finally get discouraged, reaction, any kind of reaction, only feeds her delusions and encourages her to stop taking her medication. Lets be a bit more responsible toward the unfortunates among us.

Hey and don't give genuinely mentally ill people a bad name by associating them with me please as i'm well radge.
Gudrun - on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to stroppygob:

> Enjoy your self-created hell.

That's a good soundbite but nothing else.

Don't you believe there are nearly 3 million unemployed in the UK or that 27% of British kids grow up in poverty?
Do you see the effects of drug abuse everyday?
Do you wonder if its safe to go out at night without being murdered?
Do you know any long term unemployed?

You seem a bit of a Hamlet figure yourself and i can see why you would know this character ie.deluded.

Get thine head backeth unto yonder sand Stroppethgob!
Gudrun - on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:
> (In reply to Duncan Bourne)
>
> Haven't read this thread, been out of UKC for many days, but am disturbed by the idea of someone posting under the pseudonym of Gudrun Esslin, just as I would be by someone calling themself 'Peter Sutcliffe'.

Yeah.
What about

Che ?

Hmm? The internet is full of Che's ,che this and Che that.

But don't pick a female Socialist revolutionary oh no that's not allowed.
MG - on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin: I don't it was the female or socialist or revolutionary bits that were problematic.
Postmanpat on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin:
> (In reply to Gordon Stainforth)
> [...]
>
> Yeah.
> What about
>
> Che ?
>
> Hmm? The internet is full of Che's ,che this and Che that.
>
> But don't pick a female Socialist revolutionary oh no that's not allowed.
>>
Do you honestly think people would react better to calling yourself Andreas baader?

That Che Guevara has become the favourite fantasy for socialists wankfests is another issue entirely.
Oceanrower - on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin:
> (In reply to stroppygob)
>
>
> Don't you believe there are nearly 3 million unemployed in the UK or that 27% of British kids grow up in poverty?
> Do you see the effects of drug abuse everyday?
> Do you wonder if its safe to go out at night without being murdered?
> Do you know any long term unemployed?
>
>
1. Not quite, and no.
2. No.
3. No.
4. No.

Simon4 - on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to Duncan Bourne: Well apart from the inumerable well-documented crimes and brutalities, we have plenty of first-hand accounts to show that life in the USSR was nasty, unjust and primitive. Certainly no-one in who I met personally either in the late Soviet period or after its demise had a good word to say for it, though their expectations that the primitive and rapacious form of capitalism that were replacing it were pretty idealistic and unrealistic as well. They had been for decades indoctrinated by the Marxists that they feared, despised and loathed that capitalism was wicked and the source of all evil, failure and misery that they assumed that everything the Marxists said was the exact opposite of the truth, so capitalism must necessarily be the source of prosperity, harmony and a good life for all. Which of course is not entirely true either, but then it is seldom wise to lurch from one extreme to the other, even if it is understandable after 70 years under the Marxist yoke.

But despite the chaos that partly replaced it, the USSR had few mourners, especially in the former Soviet colonies of Eastern Europe, which were of course simply enslaved by vicious military force in the closing days of WW II and never wanted to be part of the communist system.

Even in the latter years, when the system was dying and people were seldom dragged into the political criminal system unless they stuck their necks out and challenged the autocracy, they could still fall foul of the arbitary and heavy handed normal legal system, to the extent that it can be described as a legal system. Everyday life consisted of corrupt competion for innadequate goods, which despite being very poor, were largely obtainable only for the nomenclatura elite or for those in a position to offer substantial bribes at every point.

This was largely why as others have observed, the Soviet system was very hard to escape and went to great lengths to imprison its citizens and trap them within its borders, indeed for much of its existence, travel within the borders was very difficult for those who were not priviledged apparatchiks. Needless to say, leaving countries like Britain has always been easy, provided you could get a country prepared to let you in.
off-duty - on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin:

I particularly like the Czech (communist) prison system. Are you lobbying to introduce those conditions to the decadent West : - charging of prisoners for their upkeep whilst in prison, the ability to imprison people for political reasons, supplying them one book and one newspaper per week, the ability to beat them with impunity and maintaining prisons that were as Amnesty reported routinely "below internationally acceptable standards".

I am sure that the government would also love to emulate the Czech (communist) law making political opposition illegal.

After all - who needs free speech in utopia...
Postmanpat on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to off-duty:
> (In reply to GudrunEnsslin)
>
> I particularly like the Czech (communist) prison system. Are you lobbying to introduce those conditions to the decadent West : - charging of prisoners for their upkeep whilst in prison, the ability to imprison people for political reasons, supplying them one book and one newspaper per week, the ability to beat them with impunity and maintaining prisons that were as Amnesty reported routinely "below internationally acceptable standards".
>
> I am sure that the government would also love to emulate the Czech (communist) law making political opposition illegal.
>
>
Don't be silly. There was no crime so there were no prisons. Ah, you say political opposition was a crime..........

Duncan Bourne - on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to Simon4:
Nevertheless I'll bet some otherwise quite reasonable people thought it was great. Really you and Gundrun at the opposite ends of a spectrum both are claiming atrocities by the other side and both are saying that their chosen regime was great (or at least better than the other, quite natural).
It is a chosen perspective
Gudrun - on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to Simon4:

> So the evidence for Soviet crimes and cruelties is as good as that for the holocaust,

Do the many British famines in India which killed 10s of millions count as a holocaust?
What of the 10 million Africans the British murdered in the trans-atlantic slave trade is that included as a holocaust?
Is 1 million dead Iraq's and Afghani's caused by us a holocaust?
Or the Irish famine and 1 million dead ?
Or the Belgian imperialists murdering 10 million in the Congo?
Or Kissinger and Nixon murdering 4 million in Indo-China is that a holocaust?
Or the CIA led massacre of 500,000 Communists in Indonesia is that a holocaust?

No of course because they are foreigners and don't count.Our media and their loyal little lapdogs only talk about holocausts,war criminals and famines if it applies to *their* enemy and not those many more which fill the annals of our and other imperialist countries and indeed are what makes us what we are today.

So the Russians tried to create a more equal society that wasn't at the mercy of the rich.That was anti-imperialist and held the workers at the top and not the few.That despised all rascism and the endless wars of capitalism.
Yes this was corrupted by a power mad psychopath who murdered many poor people as well as all the original Bolsheviks and many brave Red Army communists,who were fighting against tyranny.But to say he is Communism shows complete and utter ignorance beyond words and is yet another way the media,the rich and their faithful lapdogs try to whitewash over the incredible successes of communism and its beautifully noble aspirations whilst whitewashing over their own blood,terror and warring past.

I have stated that a planned economy worked and worked very well in a few countries,not for greedy selfish individual who wanted more for themselves at everyone else's expense but for everyone who wanted to make a fairer and better country with no war or inequality.
Gudrun - on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to Simon4:
> n reply to Duncan Bourne: Well apart from the inumerable well-documented crimes ....

I don't know where to start with the amount of lies in that post.
Gudrun - on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to off-duty:
> (In reply to GudrunEnsslin)

Now who's the comedian?

> I particularly like the Czech (communist) prison system. Are you lobbying to introduce those conditions to the decadent West : - charging of prisoners for their upkeep whilst in prison, the ability to imprison people for political reasons, supplying them one book and one newspaper per week, the ability to beat them with impunity and maintaining prisons that were as Amnesty reported routinely "below internationally acceptable standards".

Did we have political prisoners,internment,hunger strikes a semi-paramilitary police force in the 70s and 80s or it must have been my imagination.
Didn't your lot regularly batter people to get a confession and fit many people up for crimes they didn't commit?
There's more but i can't remember the noo.

> I am sure that the government would also love to emulate the Czech (communist) law making political opposition illegal.

You don't know what you are talking about there were a few parties in Communist Cz. social democrat,national front,peoples party and the Communist party.
Stick to what you know offy.

cb294 - on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

I had a look at the wikipedia article on Gudrun Ensslin, it is not bad but things are probably a bit more complex. The revolutionary / terrorist group first called Baader - Meinhof gang and later Rote Armee Fraktion was a radical spin off of the 1968 student revolt. One major reason this tiny minority of the protesters turned to violence was a total unwillingness of German society to deal with crimes of the Nazis or even engage with the complicity of large section of society in these crimes. Talking about this topic was clearly discouraged and, before the background of the cold war, West German society was highly paranoid with respect to anything sounding like communism (highly simplified, of course, but largely true).


Some prominent persons within this anarchist fringe (e.g. Bernward Vesper, son of Hitler´s favourite propaganda poet) clearly became radicalized because their own parents were part of the Nazi establishment that smoothly and surprisingly quickly became the West German establishment.

For example, until the late 1960s, judges could declare themselves "tainted" and retire with full salaries without having divulge any details and with the promise of no further inquiries into their actions during Nazi times.

One of the victims of the Red Army Faction terrorist attacks was only ever referred to as a leading German industry functionary, his role in organizing slave labour in occupied Czechoslovakia was not openly discussed.

This obviously happened with the tacit approval and active collusion of the Western allies, since a stable and armed West Germany was important to contain the Soviets.

I was only a boy at the high time of the RAF terrorism (early 1970s), but the atmosphere in Germany felt stifling and paranoid, with mugshots of suspected terrorists in every post office or school. I was afraid that the RAF would kill my dad as he worked for Siemens, a company they listed as part of the military industrial complex. With hindsight there was of course no risk, but I way a young boy starting to read newspapers and the media got me exactly where they wanted.

If anyone is interested in this depressing period of German history and the reason a small minority turned to violence, I highly recommend the 2008 film "The Baader Meinhof Complex" with Johanna Wokalek.

The period is interesting beyond Germany because the reaction of the state and the curtailing of civil liberties are a clear prequel to the current, worldwide response to islamic terrorism. The German state used the terrorist threat to take away as much of our liberties as it could, and it took ages to get them back!

Cheers,

Christian

PS: In hindsight it is sad to see how some highly intelligent and socially active students was allowed to drift off into a sick mix of violence and completely deranged far left politics.

Using the name of one of these young revolutionaries / terrorists (delete as preferred) as a pseudonym for spouting crap about the realities of the Berlin wall and the freedom of travelling enjoyed by East Germans is just embarrassing.

off-duty - on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin:

As I have said previously the only person in this thread who appears to be ascribing absolutes to any of the arguments is you.
You appear to think everything about communism is lovely, all unemployed people are victims of circumstance, everything about the West is Imperialist and evil and everyone who disagrees with you is an Imperialist capitalist.

Everyone else appears to understand that the real world is a lot more nuanced, the history of the West is not blemish free, communism was not the utopia you appear to believe and some unemployed people are scroungers.
Postmanpat on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin:
> (In reply to off-duty)
> [...]
>
> [...]
>
> Did we have political prisoners,internment,hunger strikes a semi-paramilitary police force in the 70s and 80s or it must have been my imagination.
> Didn't your lot regularly batter people to get a confession and fit many people up for crimes they didn't commit?
> There's more but i can't remember the noo.
>
Focus girl focus. When you're defending A it is not enough to say B was horrible. People ill think you haven't got a defence. You have to show that A wasn't horrible.
Now, back to A and it's prisoners........
Gudrun - on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin:

> Do the many British famines in India which killed 10s of millions count as a holocaust?
What of the 10 million Africans the British murdered in the trans-atlantic slave trade is that included as a holocaust?
Is 1 million dead Iraq's and Afghani's caused by us a holocaust?
Or the Irish famine and 1 million dead ?

And do we in the present day denounce this countries system which created such industrial murder,thievery,barbarism,racism,fascism, imperialism and elitism as being one that should have been consigned to the dustbin like any descent person with any tiny shred of humanity would have?

No we don't.

Why?
Gudrun - on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:
> (In reply to GudrunEnsslin)
> [...]
> Focus girl focus. When you're defending A it is not enough to say B was horrible. People ill think you haven't got a defence. You have to show that A wasn't horrible.
> Now, back to A and it's prisoners........

Keep in context Postie
and keep it coming more faff keep the faff coming to obscure the points.
Postmanpat on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin:
> (In reply to Postmanpat)
> [...]
>
> Keep in context Postie
> and keep it coming more faff keep the faff coming to obscure the points.

Are you avoiding the subject? Very naughty. You promised an answer and I'm very excited about it!

ads.ukclimbing.com
off-duty - on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin:
> (In reply to Postmanpat)
> [...]
>
> Keep in context Postie
> and keep it coming more faff keep the faff coming to obscure the points.

The only one introducing faff into this discussion is you. What exactly has the "atrocities" of Imperial Britain, the alleged crimes of the CIA and the "utopia" of Communist Czechoslovakia got to do with whether some unemployed people in the UK should get their benefits cut?
Gudrun - on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to off-duty:
> (In reply to GudrunEnsslin)
>
> As I have said previously the only person in this thread who appears to be ascribing absolutes to any of the arguments is you.
> You appear to think everything about communism is lovely, all unemployed people are victims of circumstance, everything about the West is Imperialist and evil and everyone who disagrees with you is an Imperialist capitalist.

Look offy i'm getting really fed up proving you wrong so i'm just gona leave it ok because its getting tedious.

Gudrun - on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to off-duty:
Iknow you like faffing over any real debate but for your short span of attention i'll remind you that this was all started off when Postie wrongly said something about centrally planned economies all fail or words to that effect.

Don't worry though offy everyone will wait til you catch up.
;)
Postmanpat on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin:
> (In reply to off-duty)
> [...]
>
> Look offy i'm getting really fed up proving you wrong so i'm just gona leave it ok because its getting tedious.

Oh no, I have to wait bother day for my newer? Such a teaser :(
johnj on 10 Jan 2013 - 86.112.78.158 whois?
In reply to Postmanpat:

This is like flirting for you old timers innit?
Gudrun - on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin:
> (In reply to GudrunEnsslin)
>
> [...]
> What of the 10 million Africans the British murdered in the trans-atlantic slave trade is that included as a holocaust?
> Is 1 million dead Iraq's and Afghani's caused by us a holocaust?
> Or the Irish famine and 1 million dead ?
>
> And do we in the present day denounce this countries system which created such industrial murder,thievery,barbarism,racism,fascism, imperialism and elitism as being one that should have been consigned to the dustbin like any descent person with any tiny shred of humanity would have?
>
> No we don't.
>
> Why?

Why then do some do this to the USSR ?
Postmanpat on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to johnj:
> (In reply to Postmanpat)
>
> This is like flirting for you old timers innit?

Bruce will appear on his white charger in a minute to protect her :)

Sir Chasm - on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin: Because we have democracy and choose this system whereas there weren't free elections under communism?
off-duty - on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin:
> (In reply to off-duty)
> [...]
>
> Now who's the comedian?
>
> [...]
>
> Did we have political prisoners,internment,hunger strikes a semi-paramilitary police force in the 70s and 80s or it must have been my imagination.

Well, in my opinion not particularly no. I am not sure that being imprisoned for blowing people up is in the same class as being impirosned for disagreeing with the communist party, but I accept that some people may see it as extremes of a spectrum.
I don't think we had a paramilitary police force - unless you are expanding your criticism to cover Northern Ireland? I am aware that Socialists have strange bed-fellows but if you want to lie with the IRA fair enough.
I am aware there was some robust/heavy handed/violent policing of protests, there were riots and problems with sus-laws and perceived racism in the police.



> Didn't your lot regularly batter people to get a confession and fit many people up for crimes they didn't commit?
> There's more but i can't remember the noo.
>
> [...]

Again - I wouldn't have thought it was routine - but it occurred sufficiently often to be an issue.

The beauty of an open democracy meant that trials and verdicts could be challenged and overturned and luckily living in a democracy we were able to repeal the sus-laws, ensure that treatment of prisoners would now be regulated by PACE, publicise and complain about police actions during protests and elsewhere.

This is all a good thing.

Though i appears your position is that it was a bad thing for Czechoslovakia to become democratic and hence change these issues.

I presume you can see the difference.
>
> You don't know what you are talking about there were a few parties in Communist Cz. social democrat,national front,peoples party and the Communist party.
> Stick to what you know offy.

Well I bow to your personal knowledge - I guess those nast charter 77 lot were just Western agitators then.
Strangely there appears to be a shortage of freely available information about life and times during the communist rule. I can't think why...
Postmanpat on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin:
> (In reply to off-duty)
> Iknow you like faffing over any real debate but for your short span of attention i'll remind you that this was all started off when Postie wrongly said something about centrally planned economies all fail or words to that effect.
>
>.
And the only example you have given is China, the salient characteristic of which since the take off of its economy is, er, the reduction in central planning.......

stroppygob - on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin:
> (In reply to stroppygob)
>
> [...]
>
> That's a good soundbite but nothing else.

No, it's actually the basis behind cognitive therapy. "There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so." You should try it.

> Don't you believe there are nearly 3 million unemployed in the UK or that 27% of British kids grow up in poverty?
> Do you see the effects of drug abuse everyday?
> Do you wonder if its safe to go out at night without being murdered?
> Do you know any long term unemployed?


I can answer yes to all of those. But, what is your point? You enjoy wallowing in (other people's) misery rather than creating a better world for yourself. You enjoy it then.


> You seem a bit of a Hamlet figure yourself and i can see why you would know this character ie.deluded.
>
> Get thine head backeth unto yonder sand Stroppethgob!

hamlet was not deluded, and your attempt to "quote" is rather pathetic.

Do you have anything to offer other than misery. Enjoy being you.

johnj on 10 Jan 2013 - 86.112.78.158 whois?
In reply to Postmanpat:
> (In reply to johnj)
> [...]
>
> Bruce will appear on his white charger in a minute to protect her :)

BRUCIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!! :+)
off-duty - on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin:

To be honest, it does become quite tedious.
You introduce some nonsense like China being a wonderful state run economy, then when you get challenged you start on your bizarre version of the wonders of communist Czechoslovakia, the evils of the imperial West, the devils in the CIA, and when anyone challenges you on the facts you resort to the sort of name-calling that is line with your 6th form arguments.
Gudrun - on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to Sir Chasm:
> (In reply to GudrunEnsslin) Because we have democracy and choose this system whereas there weren't free elections under communism?

Did you chose war?
or interfering with other countries democratic elections?

What about removing their leaders,torturing their people and robbing them?

Did you vote for that?
Gudrun - on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to johnj:
> (In reply to Postmanpat)
>
> This is like flirting for you old timers innit?

I'm 41 thats not flippin old !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bruuuce !!
Father Noel Furlong on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to confusicating:

This has to be one of the best threads EVER!!! Political activists compared to serial killers, the Soviet Union was Utopia, the Berlin Wall was there to keep the West out.....?

And to thimk we only started talkng about welfare reforms.....BRILLIANT!!!
Gudrun - on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:
> (In reply to GudrunEnsslin)

> And the only example you have given is China, the salient characteristic of which since the take off of its economy is, er, the reduction in central planning.......

Ohh aye !

Playin wee games now are we?

pretending to be daft.
Sir Chasm - on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin: I'm part of the democracy so I suppose I did, shona. Tricky getting your head round the democratic process isn't it?
Gudrun - on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to stroppygob:

Hamlet was deluded and to say i was attempting a quote shows your ignorance as i was obvious to any who know.... larking about.

Deary me did you think i was bastardizing a quote from the great bard?
johnj on 10 Jan 2013 - 86.112.78.158 whois?
In reply to GudrunEnsslin:

I wasn't classing you with the more senior gentlemen of the forum, just observing that you seem to generate quite a few male on-line combatants!

Yes, yes I know I'm not no spring chicken neither!
ads.ukclimbing.com
Postmanpat on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin:
> (In reply to Postmanpat)
> [...]
>
> [...]
>
> Ohh aye !
>
> Playin wee games now are we?
>
> pretending to be daft.

Keep it coming. You're great, but don't get too carried away. You know what happens.... :-)

Gudrun - on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to off-duty:
> (In reply to GudrunEnsslin)
>
> To be honest, it does become quite tedious.
> You introduce some nonsense like China being a wonderful state run economy, then when you get challenged you start on your bizarre version of the wonders of communist Czechoslovakia, the evils of the imperial West, the devils in the CIA, and when anyone challenges you on the facts you resort to the sort of name-calling that is line with your 6th form arguments.

Hahaha!
Thats all rubbish and you know it(i hope)

I never said China was run by the State but they certainly have a hand in it.
Ther is no bizarre version except in your head put there by years of western propaganda, i tell the truth as it was.

Where have i called anyone a name?Perhaps little Si in retaliation thats all. But you don't critisize him just me ...eh?

Your using the same tactcs as always or you are naturally em ..well anyway you make me constantly repeat myself and interupt the natural flow of a debate.

Good tactics !
use all the tools you have and seeing as you don't have too many use any you have.
Gudrun - on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to off-duty:

Big ;)
Postmanpat on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin:
> (In reply to off-duty)
> [...]
>
> Hahaha!
> Thats all rubbish and you know it(i hope)
>
> I never said China was run by the State but they certainly have a hand in it.
>
Just to clarify for us so we can get on board, what are your respective definitions of "centrally planned and "run by the State".
When you say "have a hand in it" could you elaborate a bit?
Gudrun - on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:

Ok now to be perfectly honest present day China really isn't my sphere but the Eastern Bloc is and was as i said before,a very successfully run economy.That's where i know about and what i meant when i challenged you,just like before,i know its perhaps difficult for your Friedmanian mind and Friedriech Hayeke sensibilities to get around but alas !
there it is.
Father Noel Furlong on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin:
> (In reply to Postmanpat)
>
> but the Eastern Bloc is and was as i said before,a very successfully run economy

Producing what exactly?

Gudrun - on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to Father Noel Furlong:

Everything
Sir Chasm - on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin: Apparently there was a shelf surplus.
Postmanpat on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin:
> (In reply to Father Noel Furlong)
>
> Everything

Trabants were great weren't they?! almost as good as out own State produced Austin Maxis.
In fact the produce was so popular people couldn't get enough of it!

Duncan Bourne - on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin:
> (In reply to Simon4)
>
> [...]
>
> Do the many British famines in India which killed 10s of millions count as a holocaust?

No. If anything the famines were less under british rule.

> What of the 10 million Africans the British murdered in the trans-atlantic slave trade is that included as a holocaust?

No. Unless you want to include just about every other European nation including Russia

> Is 1 million dead Iraq's and Afghani's caused by us a holocaust?

No. That is war. justified or otherwise

> Or the Irish famine and 1 million dead ?

Again no. The potato crop failure was purely down to weather and what happens when you put all your eggs in one basket.
Really if you want to talk Irish Holocaust then you have to go back to Cromwell who managed to kill 40% of the population (Purkiss "The English Civil War")

> Or the Belgian imperialists murdering 10 million in the Congo?

Can't speak for that

> Or Kissinger and Nixon murdering 4 million in Indo-China is that a holocaust?

I doubt it

> Or the CIA led massacre of 500,000 Communists in Indonesia is that a holocaust?

I would say led in co-operation with Indonesian gov.
But 500,000 is a lot (about 25 swimming pools average human body contains about a gallon of blood, large swimming pool contains about 20,000 gallons ergo 500,000 is about 25 pools) so I wonder where those figures came from
>
> No of course because they are foreigners and don't count.Our media and their loyal little lapdogs only talk about holocausts,war criminals and famines if it applies to *their* enemy

Well history is written by the winners

> So the Russians tried to create a more equal society that wasn't at the mercy of the rich.That was anti-imperialist and held the workers at the top and not the few.

but cocked it up

> Yes this was corrupted by a power mad psychopath who murdered many poor people as well as all the original Bolsheviks and many brave Red Army communists,who were fighting against tyranny.But to say he is Communism shows complete and utter ignorance beyond words and is yet another way the media,the rich and their faithful lapdogs try to whitewash over the incredible successes of communism and its beautifully noble aspirations whilst whitewashing over their own blood,terror and warring past.

Hmm funny how every communist leader has wound up corrupt. I detect a flaw in the beautiful system.

>
> I have stated that a planned economy worked and worked very well in a few countries,not for greedy selfish individual who wanted more for themselves at everyone else's expense but for everyone who wanted to make a fairer and better country with no war or inequality.

A fine idea and great in principle I am still waiting for it to occur.

Postmanpat on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin:
> (In reply to Postmanpat)
>
> Ok now to be perfectly honest present day China really isn't my sphere
>
Not, but conceptually how would you define these terms?
Ridge - on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to Father Noel Furlong:
> (In reply to GudrunEnsslin)
> [...]
>
> Producing what exactly?

Trabants and the Stasi?
Then again we did have the Austin Allegro and the SPG, so perhaps I should go and immolate myself in a fit of self lothing.
Father Noel Furlong on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin:
> (In reply to Father Noel Furlong)
>
> Everything

F*ck! You mean my overpriced Mercedes Benz was designed and made in the Eastern Bloc! Those lying bastards!

You're the best 'nutter' on UKC I've seen in a very llong time........
Father Noel Furlong on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to Ridge:
> (In reply to Father Noel Furlong)

> Then again we did have the Austin Allegro

Aaaaah how i remember draming that one day i could aspire to own one of those.....how the girls would swoon......

Oceanrower - on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to Father Noel Furlong:
> (In reply to GudrunEnsslin)
> [...]
>

> You're the best 'nutter' on UKC I've seen in a very llong time........

I think you'll find it's the same nutter as before, but under yet another name, eh Shona?

Although I seem to remember you lied about that before.....
Father Noel Furlong on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to Oceanrower:
> (In reply to Father Noel Furlong)
> [...]
>
> [...]
>
> I think you'll find it's the same nutter as before, but under yet another name, eh Shona?
>
> Although I seem to remember you lied about that before.....

Don't remember her......i dropped out for a few years after Sloper left....

Gudrun - on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to Sir Chasm:

Hey now don't get me wrong there were places not so well run but then there is always a generous helping of westrn exaggeration and propaganda thrown into the mix without fail.

I as you will know if following the thread showed that a few of the Eastern Bloc Soviet were highly successful centrally planned economies and also illustrated the productive effects of Socialism on previously capitalist economies which follows from the works of the great man himself.

No not Messi but a Mr K.Marx.

incidentley i liked the quote from Liam Byrne-

Millionaires will have £107,000 more next year to help them heat their swimming pools,its not Britain's millioniares who are picking up the tab, it is Britain's working families.
Gudrun - on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to Duncan Bourne:

I'll see you after i've done with this lot!
Postmanpat on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin:
> (In reply to Sir Chasm)
>
> Hey now don't get me wrong there were places not so well run but then there is always a generous helping of westrn exaggeration and propaganda thrown into the mix without fail.
>
> I as you will know if following the thread showed that a few of the Eastern Bloc Soviet were highly successful centrally planned economies
>
I'm not sure you actually named them apart from Czechoslovakia. Which others were you thinking of.

Incidentally, you did did promise you'd come back on that country's prisoner numbers. I really need your explanation.

Gudrun - on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to Father Noel Furlong:
> (In reply to GudrunEnsslin)
> [...]
>
> F*ck! You mean my overpriced Mercedes Benz was designed and made in the Eastern Bloc! Those lying bastards!
>
> You're the best 'nutter' on UKC I've seen in a very llong time........

Wow ! no need for that and from a dirty beast tae!

When i said everything that doesn't mean every brand in the world too or do you need me to s-p-e-l-l that out to y-o-u?
Gudrun - on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to Oceanrower:

HEY!!!?@>:<{_+(

Nutter aye but liar ? moi?
Oceanrower - on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin: When I mentioned, on a previous thread, that you might have been known previously as Naedanger or (roughly) gobbyscottishlass you flat out denied it.

I reckon that was a lie.
Gudrun - on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:
> (In reply to GudrunEnsslin)
> [...]
> I'm not sure you actually named them apart from Czechoslovakia. Which others were you thinking of.

Hungary and GDR. incidentally did you know that after the 1989 nonsense the NED poured more than $1.5 million into interfering with the forthcoming 1990 elections Bulgaria in favour of one of their anti-Communist puppet/vulture parties they weren't to pleased when the population voted Communist but no matter they did what the US always do and overthrew them any way.
> Incidentally, you did did promise you'd come back on that country's prisoner numbers. I really need your explanation.

Oh i forgot you were on a promise weren't you Postie but i'll have to keep you waiting i'm afraid as its passed my bed time.Night night.
Oceanrower - on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin: But you can't go to bed yet! You haven't admitted whether you really are Naedanger yet or whether you lied.
Gudrun - on 11 Jan 2013
In reply to Oceanrower:
Sorry i've no idea who that could be.
Oceanrower - on 11 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin: OK Shona, I believe you.
off-duty - on 11 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin:
> (In reply to Postmanpat)
> [...]
>
> Hungary and GDR. incidentally did you know that after the 1989 nonsense the NED poured more than $1.5 million into interfering with the forthcoming 1990 elections Bulgaria in favour of one of their anti-Communist puppet/vulture parties they weren't to pleased when the population voted Communist but no matter they did what the US always do and overthrew them any way.
> [...]
>

I thought that the Communist party (renamed the socialist part) won the democratic elections in 1990 and the country proceeded as a democratic country with a socialist government.
Have I missed a revolution somewhere?



> Oh i forgot you were on a promise weren't you Postie but i'll have to keep you waiting i'm afraid as its passed my bed time.Night night.

As you tend to do with any "unfortunate" facts that you don't wish to address.
Night night.
Gudrun - on 11 Jan 2013
In reply to off-duty:

> I thought that the Communist party (renamed the socialist part) won the democratic elections in 1990 and the country proceeded

It will all become clear tomorrow.

See the wonders of capitalist cultural hegemony before your very eyes all comrades.

night night comrade worker.

stroppygob - on 11 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin:
> (In reply to stroppygob)
>
> Hamlet was deluded and to say i was attempting a quote shows your ignorance as i was obvious to any who know.... larking about.

"A university student whose studies are interrupted by his father’s death, Hamlet is extremely philosophical and contemplative. He is particularly drawn to difficult questions or questions that cannot be answered with any certainty. Faced with evidence that his uncle murdered his father, evidence that any other character in a play would believe, Hamlet becomes obsessed with proving his uncle’s guilt before trying to act. The standard of “beyond a reasonable doubt” is simply unacceptable to him. He is equally plagued with questions about the afterlife, about the wisdom of suicide, about what happens to bodies after they die—the list is extensive.

But even though he is thoughtful to the point of obsession, Hamlet also behaves rashly and impulsively. When he does act, it is with surprising swiftness and little or no premeditation, as when he stabs Polonius through a curtain without even checking to see who he is. He seems to step very easily into the role of a madman, behaving erratically and upsetting the other characters with his wild speech and pointed innuendos.

It is also important to note that Hamlet is extremely melancholy and discontented with the state of affairs in Denmark and in his own family—indeed, in the world at large. He is extremely disappointed with his mother for marrying his uncle so quickly, and he repudiates Ophelia, a woman he once claimed to love, in the harshest terms. His words often indicate his disgust with and distrust of women in general. At a number of points in the play, he contemplates his own death and even the option of suicide."


You know nothing of Hamlet or Shakespeare or psychology, (or anything at all really.)


> Deary me did you think i was bastardizing a quote from the great bard?

No, just bastardising what little intelligence you have.

You sir are a troll, a troll who will get no further response from me.

Gudrun - on 11 Jan 2013
In reply to stroppygob:

you tmoz i've gota work.
Duncan Bourne - on 11 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin:
My quibble is that you pick lousy examples.
The British Empire in India is a very complex thing and for most of its history was a mutual partnership (especially as the Indian caste system and the British class system complimented each other nicely). Only later in the 19th century when the government finally got involved and religious fervour gripped the Victorian mind (no more "going native") did things start to go tits up. Even so compared with other countries there were precious few atrocities and India was claimed back by Gandi with relatively little bloodshed (yes I know there was some), until partition which neither Gandi nor the British wanted. I have a great love for India its people and their history.
Like wise the slave trade, a horrendous episode in world hstory, which the British abolished in 1833, the Russians in 1861 and the Americans in 1865

If you are going to pick holocaust type examples why not go for the British concentration camps in the Boer war or the British/China opium wars?
Gudrun - on 11 Jan 2013
In reply to Duncan Bourne:

> Do the many British famines in India which killed 10s of millions count as a holocaust?

No. If anything the famines were less under british rule.

[No you are wrong indeed British interference in changing the economic landscape of India in the later half of the nineteenth century was the deciding factor in the deaths of 1876-78 and 1896-97 and 1899-1902.]
Karl Polyani Quote-

failure of crops,of course,was part of the picture but despatch of grain by rail made it possible to send relief to the threatened areas;the trouble was that people were unable to buy the corn at rocketing prices,which on a free but incompletely organized market were bound to be a reaction to a shortage.In former times small local stores had been held against harvest failure,but these had now been discontinued or swept away into the big market....Under the monopolists the situation had been fairly kept in hand with the help of the archaic organization of the countryside,including free distribution of corn,while under free and equal exchange Indians perished by the millions.

Mike Davis from Late Victorian Holocausts-

But he simultaneously reified the "market" as automata in a way that has made it easier for some epigones to visualize famine as an inadvertent "birth pang" or no fault "friction of transition" in the evolution towards market-based world subsistence.Commodification of agriculture eliminates village-level reciprocities that traditionally provided welfare to the poor during crises.(Almost as if to say" Oops,systems error,50 million corpses.Sorry.we'll invent a famine code next time")

[The 50 million is including China,which in the later nineteenth century saw 20 million die of starvation.]


> Or the Irish famine and 1 million dead ?

Again no. The potato crop failure was purely down to weather and what happens when you put all your eggs in one basket.
Really if you want to talk Irish Holocaust then you have to go back to Cromwell who managed to kill 40% of the population (Purkiss "The English Civil War")

[Again yes as we were still shipping out food and livestock while the Irish were dying and are you telling me that we didn't have enough surplus on the mainland to prevent 1 million deaths just across the Irish sea?]
Gudrun - on 11 Jan 2013
In reply to Duncan Bourne:
> What of the 10 million Africans the British murdered in the trans-atlantic slave trade is that included as a holocaust?

No. Unless you want to include just about every other European nation including Russia

[Em ....yes it is and i do want to include all other European nations but if you can show me where the Russians were involved in the trans-atlantic slave trade,then i'll eat my Ushanka!]

> Is 1 million dead Iraq's and Afghani's caused by us a holocaust?

No. That is war. justified or otherwise

[Yes.war can be termed a holocaust.]

> Or Kissinger and Nixon murdering 4 million in Indo-China is that a holocaust?

I doubt it

[Well guess what ? Your wrong again]

> Or the CIA led massacre of 500,000 Communists in Indonesia is that a holocaust?

I would say led in co-operation with Indonesian gov.
But 500,000 is a lot (about 25 swimming pools average human body contains about a gallon of blood, large swimming pool contains about 20,000 gallons ergo 500,000 is about 25 pools) so I wonder where those figures came from

[The figures are accurate and possibly underestimated, the CIA instigated the genocide ,that's instigated]

> Yes this was corrupted by a power mad psychopath who murdered many poor people as well as all the original Bolsheviks and many brave Red Army communists,who were fighting against tyranny.But to say he is Communism shows complete and utter ignorance beyond words and is yet another way the media,the rich and their faithful lapdogs try to whitewash over the incredible successes of communism and its beautifully noble aspirations whilst whitewashing over their own blood,terror and warring past.

Hmm funny how every communist leader has wound up corrupt. I detect a flaw in the beautiful system.

Tell me who from Trotsky,Brezhnev...Ho Chi Min...and all the way threw to i duno say Comerade Tito and Svoboda were corrupt because you know.

> I have stated that a planned economy worked and worked very well in a few countries,not for greedy selfish individual who wanted more for themselves at everyone else's expense but for everyone who wanted to make a fairer and better country with no war or inequality.

A fine idea and great in principle I am still waiting for it to occur.

[Well old chap life seems to have passed you by somewhat as these very ideals were being lived out by millions in Russia,the Eastern bloc,Yugoslavia,Cuba and many other places.]
Duncan Bourne - on 11 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin:
> (In reply to Duncan Bourne)
>
> [...]
>
> No. If anything the famines were less under british rule.
>
> [No you are wrong indeed British interference in changing the economic landscape of India in the later half of the nineteenth century was the deciding factor in the deaths of 1876-78 and 1896-97 and 1899-1902.]
> Karl Polyani Quote-
>
> failure of crops,of course,was part of the picture but despatch of grain by rail made it possible to send relief to the threatened areas;the trouble was that people were unable to buy the corn at rocketing prices,which on a free but incompletely organized market were bound to be a reaction to a shortage.In former times small local stores had been held against harvest failure,but these had now been discontinued or swept away into the big market....Under the monopolists the situation had been fairly kept in hand with the help of the archaic organization of the countryside,including free distribution of corn,while under free and equal exchange Indians perished by the millions.

Interesting especially as the Sahukars corruption added to the problem. It certainly highlights the problems when free trade and technology (in this case the railways) combine. The laissez-faire ideology of the government prevented state intervention but I question whether this added to the problem as there is no way of knowing if such intervention would have been benign or exploitive. I was not aware of that thank you for pointing it out. In many ways things hinge on the definition of holocaust. Are we talking about a "deliberate" policy of genocide a'la Hitler or incidental death as a result of various other factors (ie greed, incompetence)

> But he simultaneously reified the "market" as automata in a way that has made it easier for some epigones to visualize famine as an inadvertent "birth pang" or no fault "friction of transition" in the evolution towards market-based world subsistence.Commodification of agriculture eliminates village-level reciprocities that traditionally provided welfare to the poor during crises.(Almost as if to say" Oops,systems error,50 million corpses.Sorry.we'll invent a famine code next time")

A bit like China then really and Mao's programme to centralise food resources.


> Again no. The potato crop failure was purely down to weather and what happens when you put all your eggs in one basket.
> Really if you want to talk Irish Holocaust then you have to go back to Cromwell who managed to kill 40% of the population (Purkiss "The English Civil War")
>
> [Again yes as we were still shipping out food and livestock while the Irish were dying and are you telling me that we didn't have enough surplus on the mainland to prevent 1 million deaths just across the Irish sea?]

Back to my first point really and deliberate killing as opposed to lack of concern. In any famine you will find those who don't starve at the expense of those who do.
But the Irish famine is a very interesting period in history as it brought into focus Irish/English relationships. Basically English policy was to keep the Irish down a concern dear to the heart of Jonathan Swift. As a result many left both for England and the new world, which gave rise to the great Irish families of America (Kennedy for one) and the eventual funding of the IRA by American interest groups.
But still death by complacency whereas Cromwell killed, enslaved and left the rest to famine and plague

Duncan Bourne - on 11 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin:
> (In reply to Duncan Bourne)
> [...]

> [Em ....yes it is and i do want to include all other European nations but if you can show me where the Russians were involved in the trans-atlantic slave trade,then i'll eat my Ushanka!]

They didn't have to they were busy enslaving their own people in serfdom



> [Yes.war can be termed a holocaust.]


I think all this classifying over every mass death by whatever cause distracts and diminishes the Jewish Holocaust which should never be diminished in the eyes of history. I don't mean just here every journalist likes to call any bombing and such a "holocaust".
I much prefer to limit the use of "holocaust" to the deliberate and single minded destruction of a people (as in Rwanda, as in Boer war, as in Cambodia's killing fields)

>
> I would say led in co-operation with Indonesian gov.
> But 500,000 is a lot (about 25 swimming pools average human body contains about a gallon of blood, large swimming pool contains about 20,000 gallons ergo 500,000 is about 25 pools) so I wonder where those figures came from
>
> [The figures are accurate and possibly underestimated, the CIA instigated the genocide ,that's instigated]

Instigated with the co-operation of local governments and warlords. It takes two to tango

>
> [...]
>
> Hmm funny how every communist leader has wound up corrupt. I detect a flaw in the beautiful system.
>
> Tell me who from Trotsky,Brezhnev...Ho Chi Min...and all the way threw to i duno say Comerade Tito and Svoboda were corrupt because you know.

Well you just named a few there with the exception of Trotsky who got assassinated for his pains. If the rest weren't corrupt then they were poor leaders for presiding over corrupt governments
>
> [...]
>
> A fine idea and great in principle I am still waiting for it to occur.
>
> [Well old chap life seems to have passed you by somewhat as these very ideals were being lived out by millions in Russia,the Eastern bloc,Yugoslavia,Cuba and many other places.]

So you say but from where I stand it seems that you are the one with the rose coloured spectacles. I was in Russia in the 80's when the TV station was under siege and it all seemed very far from the communist ideal. But I have no doubt that some people like that sort of thing but it looked a very bleak existence to me.
But personal account aside the problem is that ANY system will become corrupt without checks and with the communist regimes the lack of elections and therefore the potential for change allowed people to gain influence, maybe not financial influence, like which America suffers from, but the influence of power nonetheless.

Gudrun - on 11 Jan 2013
In reply to Duncan Bourne:

> Well you just named a few there with the exception of Trotsky who got assassinated for his pains. If the rest weren't corrupt then they were poor leaders for presiding over corrupt governments

Oh no no no no no, I'm sorry but that just won't do i'm afraid.
You are wrong they were not corrupt and i can name many many more to boot.

> the problem is that ANY system will become corrupt without checks and with the communist regimes the lack of elections and therefore the potential for change allowed people to gain influence, maybe not financial influence, like which America suffers from, but the influence of power nonetheless.

Categorically untrue ...see above.
Duncan Bourne - on 11 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin:
> (In reply to Duncan Bourne)
>
> [...]
>
> Oh no no no no no, I'm sorry but that just won't do i'm afraid.
> You are wrong they were not corrupt and i can name many many more to boot.
>

OK you say that prove it. Otherwise we are simply going round in circles

> [...]
>
> Categorically untrue ...see above.

Logically and frequently true. The last time there was no corruption in society we were hurling stone axes at each other. It is a simple fact of human nature pure and simple. We are altruistic ans we are opportunistic too. To state otherwise seems fantasy to me and wishful thinking

Gudrun - on 11 Jan 2013
In reply to Duncan Bourne:

Ah but it was you who stated that they were all corrupt or something so the onus is on you to prove your assertion.
;)

Ps.I agree with the comparison you made in respect to the Great leap forward famine and the Victorian famines in china,India and Brazil they are very similar in some respects.
Rob Exile Ward on 11 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin: Stalin - many millions dead as deliberate policy before the war started, and in general a record that makes his Katyn caper (20,000+ of Polish leaders and intelligentsia, Jews etc deliberately murdered) look insignificant. Tito was shagging in a way that makes Savile looks like Cliff Richard. He had 30+? 'official residences' by the time he died. Beria had goons trawl the streets of Moscow for fresh meat that he would shag - or they would die. Sometimes they would die anyway. Mao - well, as in everything else, (deliberate famines, deaths, ethnic cleansing, sex abuse) he just leads the pack. Pol Pot was relatively abstemious - he just liked having lots - millions - of people tortued to death.

Castro - good bloke, probably could have been more flexible but hey.

Not a brilliant score sheet for 'communism', would you say?
dissonance - on 11 Jan 2013
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

> Castro - good bloke, probably could have been more flexible but hey.
>
> Not a brilliant score sheet for 'communism', would you say?

particularly since Castro wasnt really much of a communist initially but rather forced into allying with the USSR by the USA.
ads.ukclimbing.com
Gudrun - on 12 Jan 2013
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

Are you saying Comerade Tito was a peado?

Stalin is like your Churchill a complete manic,who didn't give a toss if the Indians were starving by the million in 1943 in fact he said-

'If there is a famine, then why isn't Gandhi dead yet?

and

"I hate Indians," he told the Secretary of State for India, Leopold Amery. "They are a beastly people with a beastly religion." The famine was their own fault, he declared at a war-cabinet meeting, for "breeding like rabbits."

and

I am strongly in favour of using poisoned gas against uncivilised tribes.

The guy was a racist thug who presided over the deaths of millions in India.Obviously i agree with you about Stalin,perhaps that's why they both hit it off in the end.


Pol Pot and his Khamer Rouge were routed by the Vietnamese Peoples Army and your glorious USA actually tried and fought at the UN up until 1992 to have him re-installed as the rightful leader of Cambodia.As well as funding and supporting his troops that retreated to the jungles.

The USA bombed Cambodia into the stone age by carpet bombing it,was it
Kissenger or was it Nixon who said-

' If it moves kill it'

The Americans genocide murdered 500,000 Cambodians and your CIA admitted that the Khamer Rouge would not have gained enough support had it not been for the imperialists carpet bombing a country solidly for 4 years.

You say Mao caused deliberate famines and sex abuse can you support this ?

> Not a brilliant score sheet for 'communism', would you say?

No,indeed it isn't but if you take this in the context of constant and unrelenting carnage brought about by centuries of imperialists greed behaving no better than animals.whilst using the masses for their endless wars...and i mean *endless* wars,keeping them impoverished in disease ridden slums with no work and extremely low life expectancy.Putting them against each other to protect the rich,whilst sending them to invade,enslave,terrify and butcher some poor peoples,all over the world for greed.Whilst the rich,the priveledged...the very very few lived in a completely different world of unbridled opulence.Then the Communist score card is absolutely nowhere near even the imperialists scorecard for just two of its many many wars ie.100 million.

A change of system to counteract the inhumanity of capitalism and its imperialism,would only be a forward step in human evolution and was indeed a neccessary and predictable consequence.That many lost their lives during the transitions through the psychotic egos of three or four leaders is as terrible as any of the preceeding deaths caused by the previous systems inhumanity.But the Communist system did as i have shown in certain planned economies deliver a much improved social model.
Gudrun - on 12 Jan 2013
In reply to dissonance:

That's right enough he wanted a bourgeouisie revolution in Cuba rather than socialist,in fact the Communist party were telling him to hold off the revolution which he duly ignored.
off-duty - on 12 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin:
> (In reply to Rob Exile Ward)
>
> But the Communist system did as i have shown in certain planned economies deliver a much improved social model.

And if you disagreed with it or dared to try and leave then you would be put in a labour camp or shot.
Gudrun - on 12 Jan 2013
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

I'd also like to add that Stalin,Mao and Pol Pot were three out of dozens of Communist leaders who fought to free their people of imperialist and colonial invaders.
No need to make a list of imperialist mass murderers though as we would be here all night.

Gudrun - on 12 Jan 2013
In reply to off-duty:
> (In reply to GudrunEnsslin)

> And if you disagreed with it

By disagreed do you mean political prisoners and have you ever heard of MacCarthy?

> or dared to try and leave then you would be put in a labour camp or shot.

Yeah.
Shooting people trying to leave a country is a crime in my book,but they were seen,since they were at war,as being traitors who if they would not help our society they would help the fascist enemies and pass on vital state secrets.Do you kid yourself that the USA did not murder and commit genocide to preserve so called"National security"Do you need me to expand?

The Eastern Bloc and Russia had experienced near and undiluted genocide at the hands of Western Fascist countries which collectively traumatized them for generations.Indeed i believe many of us in the west overlook this major factor, since we did not experience at first hand being dragged out of our homes and murdered or placed in a town hall with the residents of your village,young and old as the Fascist set fire to it.

Why did the Russians make it clear that there must never be a united Germany again? Because they didn't trust them,two WW's! British,US and all the other imperialists had invaded Russia before to kill Communism and do their rapacious land grabbing.

Why should they trust these war mongering imperialists who flooded important W.German positions with ex-Nazis,made one the head of NATO. Not to mention the US letting the same thing happen in japan with their evil Fascists.
Put yourself in their shoes and then check this out-

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2007/09/28/391393/--Accidental-Giant-Navy-Swastika-Building-Was-No-Acc...

The Russians would see this from their satellite photography.

Duncan Bourne - on 12 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin:
> (In reply to Duncan Bourne)
>
> Ah but it was you who stated that they were all corrupt or something so the onus is on you to prove your assertion.
> ;)
>

touche! But bear with me here. I admit I know very little of those leaders you mention other than what gets reported in the Western press. A quick google brings up reasonable reports of Ho Chi Min. Brezhnev while not coming up with anything overly corrupt does seem to have been sliding into cult of personality towards the end of his life. So lazy posting on my part re. corruption.
However Brezhnev does highlight my concerns with regimes that do not have regular free elections. In that while a long term leadership COULD be benign as it progresses without check and balances there is an increasing risk of, if not corruption, then poor decision making, personality cult and stagnation. The opposite end of this spectrum is in a constantly changing leadership it becomes difficult to plan and instigate effective programmes of change. So I would say that you neither want a government in constant flux or a government in long term power.
Simon4 - on 12 Jan 2013
In reply to Duncan Bourne:

> Nevertheless I'll bet some otherwise quite reasonable people thought it was great.

Well there were plenty of Germans who thought Hitler was wonderful and the third Reich was the best thing that had ever happened to Germany, and were very idealistic. Not a reason to cry Godwin, as Godwin is about ridiculous comparisons of some everyday event that the person concerned doesn't like, while it is entirely reasonable to compare the Soviet Union with the Nazi period, indeed, there is a large body of scholarship that does so, comparing for example the Gulag with the Nazi camps, quite apart from this famous cartoon :

http://www.cartoons.ac.uk/record/LSE2692

To my amazement, this actually made its way onto the BBC website, so presumably you might view it as a "respectable" source :

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-20157891

Actually the history of the great Soviet census is reasonably well-known and the vanished population was not the greatest revelation. A comparison of the age-classes and their male-female rations showed that there was a greater disproportion in the cohorts worst affected by the purges and the great terror than those affected by the war - despite Stalin's utterly reckless disregard for Soviet life in that conflict.

> Really you and Gundrun at the opposite ends of a spectrum both are claiming atrocities by the other side and both are saying that their chosen regime was great

How so? I am not claiming Soviet atrocities, they happened and there is very good evidence for them. Nor am I suggesting that Western societies have ever been any sort of paradise, just relatively freer and for the most part far less bloody than either the Nazis or the Soviets. Which is scarcely an extraordinary claim, indeed it is peculiar to suggest otherwise.

Given that I am perfectly prepared to debate with you and accept that you are entitled to a radically different viewpoint even if I do not agree that it is well founded, and have no desire to resort to personal abuse directed toward you, I can't see how the other part of your comparision is valid.
Willie Ellerslike on 12 Jan 2013
In reply to confusicating: I can't recognise this thread which I'd been ignoring for a bit. But I came back in to share this letter which is in today's paper.

"Another 800 shirkers unmasked at Honda's Swindon car plant. They had been masquerading for years as loyal and effective workers, even members of respectable groups such as "hard working families". Now they've been shown up for what they really are - shameless scroungers."

Brilliant!
Gudrun - on 12 Jan 2013
In reply to Duncan Bourne:

> I admit I know very little of those leaders you mention other than what gets reported in the Western press.

This is only a natural reaction by anyone conditioned by western propaganda,you are no different to all of us.But this clearly illustrates the clear victory of capitalist cultural hegemony,as you are freely prepared and indeed very adamant in your initial declaration that-

> every communist leader has wound up corrupt.

Even though it subsequently transpires that you don't know too much about it in any great depth,you were still sure that this was the case.This kind of reaction i experience with people all the time.
We in the West are spoon fed selective information and not so subtle anti-Communist propaganda so that an alternative method of government to our own *must* be seen as unviable.The rich and the establishment who own the wealth and their media are very very happy indeed thank you very much and want to retain the status quo at all costs.
A successful economic and social alternative is a major threat to the Capitalist ideological empire,and no matter how small the country is it must not be allowed to succeed with an alternative to Western capitalist imperialism,this has been witnessed successively all over the world since the moves to kill the Communist infant in 1918.
Examples of a successfully working Communist Government *must* not be broadcast in the mainstream,it will be smeared,ridiculed and attacked(Witness the reactionary frenzy on UKC).Lies and falsehoods will be promoted and the only voices to be heard will be those who were against this successful alternative to capitalism.Fully paid reactionaries like Havel,Ruml,Benda and Klaus will be paraded around by the Hegemon to support the lies.Whitewashing over all the success to brainwash future generations in revisionist lies,a flood of new books will be important from capitalist institutions of the establishment and their reactionary elements to give a historical and academic nous to the false representations of their class enemy.A perfect example is seen above in the depiction of Hitler and Stalin which obviously excludes Churchill the other mass killer even though his imperialism was exactley what Hitler wanted to emulate.
Corruption is pervasive in the West to such an extent that we don't even see it.
We will attack a country for not being democratic then remove a democratically elected leader who won't do what we tell him,or god forbid, he does what his people want and not what the wealthy dictate.
We will install special forces in a country who are socialist or left leaning,they will organize thugs,fascists,religious maniacs,gangsters you name it to attack the forces of this country,to prompt increased security and more attacks by CIA/SAS/BND and their chosen maniacs,our media will trumpet the standard formulaic white noise promoting the maniacs as freedom fighters against oppression to fool us enabling unhindered Nato bombing,sanctions and total economic collapse.
Done to death!over and over and over again.
We run the war crimes tribunal which only procecutes our percieved enemies.
We name terrorists but harbour many hundreds of our own,whilst covering up the many crimes of our client states.
We fund and organize opposition forces,students and anti-state unions in countries where the people are brave enough to stand up and vote for a change to exploitation.
We bring down governments,instigate coups and go to war when we feel like it.Whats a few million dead foriegn people if it keeps our wealth accumulating.
This is the tip of an iceberg.
Gudrun - on 12 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin:
Witness the complete exclusion of the enormous 1876 and 1899 famines in India and China caused when the British imperialists went in.
Do you see them noted in British history books?
In Hobsbawm or Landes.
No.
Whitewashed.
ThunderCat - on 12 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin:

Can I ask (and I mean this as a genuine question - not as a 'well if you hate western capitalist societies so much why not go an live in a communist utopia' snipe...)

What is keeping you here?

Chateauneuf du Boeuf - on 12 Jan 2013
In reply to ThunderCat: People don't make their homes based on their political economic outlook, its certainly not a sole determinant anyway. Centre left Britons are not rushing to France now it has a government more suited to them. Just like right wing neoliberals did not (unfortunately) rush to live in Pinochet's Chile, dissatisfied with Wilson or Callaghan.
ThunderCat - on 12 Jan 2013
In reply to Chateauneuf du Boeuf:
> (In reply to ThunderCat) People don't make their homes based on their political economic outlook, its certainly not a sole determinant anyway. Centre left Britons are not rushing to France now it has a government more suited to them. Just like right wing neoliberals did not (unfortunately) rush to live in Pinochet's Chile, dissatisfied with Wilson or Callaghan.

I'm not for a moment suggesting that they do. Then again most people don't seem to harbour such a vehement boiling pit of hatred and disgust of the political and economic leanings of their country of residence. At least not without doing something about it.

Just asking a question out of interest to try and see her point of view on the subject really.

Mike Stretford - on 12 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin:
> (In reply to GudrunEnsslin)
> Witness the complete exclusion of the enormous 1876 and 1899 famines in India and China caused when the British imperialists went in.
> Do you see them noted in British history books?

I won't bore you with links but they are mentioned in plenty of British history books. Just search google books.

Rob Exile Ward on 12 Jan 2013
In reply to ThunderCat: I think your question is valid. There's criticism ... and there's self-loathing.
Chateauneuf du Boeuf - on 12 Jan 2013
In reply to Rob Exile Ward: How you feel about where and with whom you live and the political system of the country you live in can elicit wildly different emotions. Talk to liberals in China, socialists in america, catholics in northern Ireland. They all may hate the political system but love their family and friends, feel attached to the local landscape and hold out hope even in the most desperate of circumstances for something better.

I'm glad people who disagree stay and fight, or write or even privately grumble. What if the suffragettes simply moved to NZ, if black South Africans moved to Zimbabwe. I dislike much of the political economic set up and I don't get overcome by a sense of national pride as I walk past a statue of wellington, Churchill or some Monarch. However, its insufficient reason to liave your entire life behind and move elsewhere.
ThunderCat - on 12 Jan 2013
In reply to Chateauneuf du Boeuf:

>
> I'm glad people who disagree stay and fight, or write or even privately grumble. What if the suffragettes simply moved to NZ, if black South Africans moved to Zimbabwe. I dislike much of the political economic set up and I don't get overcome by a sense of national pride as I walk past a statue of wellington, Churchill or some Monarch. However, its insufficient reason to liave your entire life behind and move elsewhere.

Agree and I totally appreciate what you're saying, it's just that it's not the impression that I get from Gudrun.

There doesn't seem to be any sense of a reason to stay behind, any affinity with the country, the system, the politics, or any sense of redeeming features at all. No desire to change, or any belief that it actually could change for the better. Just a deep seated sense of 'this is shit to the core, and everything else is so much better.

Duncan Bourne - on 12 Jan 2013
In reply to Simon4:
> (In reply to Duncan Bourne)
>
> [...]
>
> Well there were plenty of Germans who thought Hitler was wonderful and the third Reich was the best thing that had ever happened to Germany, and were very idealistic. - it is entirely reasonable to compare the Soviet Union with the Nazi period,

I agreed but you said "Obviously no sane person can believe that the former Soviet union was some sort of earthly paradise or that the marxists were in any way better than the Nazis" and all I say is that some sane people do. That is all. It is perfectly reasonable to expect someone who lived in the former Soviet Union, who lived after the time of Stalin, who was a strong party supporter with no skeletons in their closet, who was fed all the horrors of pre-revolutionary Russia and, if you like, propaganda about the West to feel that they have it good.


>
> Actually the history of the great Soviet census is reasonably well-known and the vanished population was not the greatest revelation. A comparison of the age-classes and their male-female rations showed that there was a greater disproportion in the cohorts worst affected by the purges and the great terror than those affected by the war - despite Stalin's utterly reckless disregard for Soviet life in that conflict.
>
> [...]
>
> How so? I am not claiming Soviet atrocities

You just did! There! With as you see as good reason granted but you are saying that there were atrocities


> Given that I am perfectly prepared to debate with you and accept that you are entitled to a radically different viewpoint even if I do not agree that it is well founded, and have no desire to resort to personal abuse directed toward you, I can't see how the other part of your comparision is valid.

Well yes I will give you the personal abuse one, but I was trying to point out, perhaps clumsily, that each of you has a quite definite stance which it can be hard to see past. Basically G. sees no merit in the capitalist system and you see no merit in the communist system.
I am prepared to entertain the possibility that I am unwittingly the subject of "Western propaganda" as G would call it and in the interests of rational study would be quite interested to view what both sides call "good sources of information" and make my own comparison.
It has been pointed out that historically both systems have committed questionable acts and atrocities but I would like to move away from that and consider how they square up in the modern era. for instance...
1. I would say it is not healthy for any country to have one party in power for a long time. Soviet Russia did not, as far as I am aware, have free elections. I would be interested to know of any communist countries that hold regular free elections (even if it is "you can have any colour you like as long as it is black" [Ford]) and if not how the cult of personality and other problems such as stagnation are avoided?
2. Arrest without trial, curbing of rival political factions, political disappearances were a feature from our perspective of both China and Russia. It could be argued that these things are also present in Western democracy (think the CIA and the actions of America during the McCarthy years) so how do they square up against each other?
3. Freedom of speech and expression. We loudly proclaim our freedom as one of the great benefits of democracy and I believe that it is something worth having and fighting for. If I stood up in a communist state and declared that I thought it was at fault would I get arrested? Certainly in this country I could get chucked out of a political conference, get deported to America, be photographed by police but not legally able to photograph them, etc. but are these faults really equal to the faults of a communist system. Indeed would a communist system consider these faults or benefits? I would like to know.
4. Lastly I like a bit of anarchy and chaos (not a lot mind) and a democratic system which offers the chance for change and differing views seems to me to be more exciting than a system where everyone works towards the same monotonous plan. Am I wrong? What is exciting about communism?
Duncan Bourne - on 12 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin:
> (In reply to Duncan Bourne)
>
> [...]
>
> This is only a natural reaction by anyone conditioned by western propaganda,you are no different to all of us.But this clearly illustrates the clear victory of capitalist cultural hegemony
>
> Even though it subsequently transpires that you don't know too much about it in any great depth,you were still sure that this was the case.

But how do I know that you are right? How do we approach this objectively?


> We in the West are spoon fed selective information

"We"? I thought you were living in a communist state?
Perhaps that was an assumption based on what you said. But I get the feeling that you did live in a communist state which one? Just to recap if you mentioned it earlier.

and not so subtle anti-Communist propaganda so that an alternative method of government to our own *must* be seen as unviable.The rich and the establishment who own the wealth and their media are very very happy

> This is the tip of an iceberg.

I kind of already know about all that and would be the first to admit that the West is far from squeaky clean but really are the regimes any different from each other? I gave Simon a few questions to answer but I am interested in how the differing views stack up and how to see past the "propaganda" of both sides to the truth
paul mitchell - on 12 Jan 2013
In reply to confusicating: I suggest those who really want to know how crafty Western governments are as regards messing up foreign and our own countries' economies should read Naomi Klein's excellently researched book
The Shock Doctrine.Pretty good on Monetarism and the right wing economist Friedman.Buy it and lend it to your mates,or give a copy to your local library.
Mitch
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Postmanpat on 12 Jan 2013
In reply to paul mitchell:
> (In reply to confusicating) I suggest those who really want to know how crafty Western governments are as regards messing up foreign and our own countries' economies should read Naomi Klein's excellently researched book
> The Shock Doctrine.Pretty good on Monetarism and the right wing economist Friedman.Buy it and lend it to your mates,or give a copy to your local library.
> Mitch

Gordon Bennett....

http://www.economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/2007/10/naomi_klein_smackdown_roundup
Dauphin - on 12 Jan 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:

not read it then Pat?

D
Gudrun - on 13 Jan 2013
In reply to Papillon:

Thanks,which and how many books ?
Gudrun - on 13 Jan 2013
In reply to Duncan Bourne:

> But how do I know that you are right?

Don't worry you'll eventually learn that i'm always right,although it may take longer if you are a typical right-winger ie.slow and obstinate.

Hahaha!
Gudrun - on 13 Jan 2013
In reply to Duncan Bourne:

> and, if you like, propaganda about the West to feel that they have it good.

i know i shouldn't be answering someone else's question but it reminded me of what an old pal from Moscow told me one day.

We thought homelessness and gangsters which we constantly seen on British and US t.v. and movie shows were pure fiction and were exaggerations of Communist propaganda.
Gudrun - on 13 Jan 2013
In reply to ThunderCat:
> There doesn't seem to be any sense of a reason to stay behind, any affinity with the country, the system, the politics, or any sense of redeeming features at all. No desire to change, or any belief that it actually could change for the better. Just a deep seated sense of 'this is shit to the core, and everything else is so much better.

You are correct in so much as i will never change because i know what is right ,now that doesn't mean i will not compromise far from it and indeed i will accept that some people cannot help speaking with plums in their mouth as audibly abhorant as this.
;)
Why should i change?
I stand up for the workers,for the disaffected and oppressed...Jesus i sound like Joan of frigging Arc,haha!
I can't help it.

Anyone got a hitch to Cooba?
Postmanpat on 13 Jan 2013
In reply to Dauphin:
> (In reply to Postmanpat)
>
> not read it then Pat?
>
> D

Not a great fiction fan but made an exception for this one :)
Mike Stretford - on 13 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin:
> (In reply to Papillon)
>
> Thanks,which and how many books ?

http://tinyurl.com/baa2hbm

There's a search of books between 1900 and 1989, loads of them published in London. I'm not going to count them for you.

To claim the Great Famine of India has been 'whitewashed' from British history is ludicrous, Western propoganda doesn't work like that.
Duncan Bourne - on 13 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin:
> (In reply to Duncan Bourne)
>
> [...]
>
> Don't worry you'll eventually learn that i'm always right,although it may take longer if you are a typical right-winger ie.slow and obstinate.
>
> Hahaha!

*sigh* I could agree with you but then that would make both of us wrong.
Do you really think I am a "typical right-winger" or is that comment meant for others
Duncan Bourne - on 13 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin:
> (In reply to ThunderCat)
> [...]
>
> You are correct in so much as i will never change because i know what is right
> Why should i change?
> I stand up for the workers,for the disaffected and oppressed...Jesus i sound like Joan of frigging Arc,haha!
> I can't help it.

You come across as very young and/or very naive. Not because of your beliefs but because you seem to have a very black and white view of the world, shy away from constructive argument and often talk in platitudes and cliches. Your insistence that you are "right" and close minded approach to differing viewpoints only underlines this, and cheap insults only serves to create an image of lack of maturity.
I believe that you might have something worth saying but this is not the way to get it across
Duncan Bourne - on 13 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin:
> (In reply to Duncan Bourne)
>
> [...]
>
> i know i shouldn't be answering someone else's question but it reminded me of what an old pal from Moscow told me one day.
>
> We thought homelessness and gangsters which we constantly seen on British and US t.v. and movie shows were pure fiction and were exaggerations of Communist propaganda.

Exactly. So you would be bound to think that you were better off.

off-duty - on 13 Jan 2013
In reply to Duncan Bourne:
> (In reply to GudrunEnsslin)
> [...]
>
> You come across as very young and/or very naive. Not because of your beliefs but because you seem to have a very black and white view of the world, shy away from constructive argument and often talk in platitudes and cliches. Your insistence that you are "right" and close minded approach to differing viewpoints only underlines this, and cheap insults only serves to create an image of lack of maturity.
> I believe that you might have something worth saying but this is not the way to get it across

I alnost entirely agree with this post which is why I have disengaged from this thread following her lastreply to me justifying the shooting of opeople attempting to cross the iron curtain.

Most sane people can accept that there are flaws in whatever system they support, whether that be capitalism, socialism or even the UK police ;-)
Gudrun - on 18 Jan 2013
In reply to Papillon:
> (In reply to GudrunEnsslin)

> To claim the Great Famine of India has been 'whitewashed' from British history is ludicrous, Western propoganda doesn't work like that.

Sorry been away for a week but have to answer.

Right,now i should have said- the actual cause of these great famines has been whitewashed.

Landes whom i mentioned did make a passing note about the great famines but wrongly attributed the blame.
Gudrun - on 18 Jan 2013
In reply to Duncan Bourne:
> (In reply to GudrunEnsslin)

1.The comment was mean't for others.
2.How so? To see things from another perspective makes one -

> You come across as very young and/or very naive. Not because of your beliefs but because you seem to have a very black and white view of the world, shy away from constructive argument and often talk in platitudes and cliches.

I ask you to once again prove your assertion,though i am sure the outcome will be the same as the last time.

> Your insistence that you are "right" and close minded approach to differing viewpoints only underlines this, and cheap insults only serves to create an image of lack of maturity.
> I believe that you might have something worth saying but this is not the way to get it across

Firstly,thanks for the last bit.Secondly it is called having a wee laugh you know? Of course i'm not always right and the 'insults' are just awee bit of banter toward our right-wing UKCERS,god knows they can dish it out when they want to!

> Exactly. So you would be bound to think that you were better off.

So if my Russian pal tells me he thought homelessness and organised crime in the West were communist propaganda because he never seen them in the USSR,how would i think we are better off ?




Gudrun - on 18 Jan 2013
In reply to off-duty:
> (In reply to Duncan Bourne)
> [...]
>
> I alnost entirely agree with this post which is why I have disengaged from this thread following her lastreply to me justifying the shooting of opeople attempting to cross the iron curtain.

I'm not justifying the unjustifiable, do you justify the shooting of 26 civil rights marchers by the British army?

How about the murder of millions of foriegners between say 1950 and 1989 by the british army and our politicians,do you justify that?

> Most sane people can accept that there are flaws in whatever system they support, whether that be capitalism, socialism or even the UK police ;-)

Yes i agree.
Gudrun - on 19 Jan 2013
In reply to stroppygob:

> You know nothing of Hamlet or Shakespeare or psychology, (or anything at all really.)

Well for that you lose straight away,although i did prefer Marlowe over Shakespeare in some respects but for shear brilliance and ingenuity Shakespeare wins every time.

If you had even bothered to read the passage you quoted never mind the tragedy you would see that-

> He seems to step very easily into the role of a madman, behaving erratically and upsetting the other characters with his wild speech and pointed innuendos.

I'm only showing you up because you deserve it and you know it.
Jim Fraser - on 19 Jan 2013
In reply to confusicating:

I'm with Frankie Boyle on this one.

"withdrawing benefits to encourage people into work is like withdrawing medicine to encourage them to become immortal"
Duncan Bourne - on 19 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin:
May be you were a bit drunk on the last few posts which is why I came to my conclusions. It was all the "I am right business" that seemed to brook any contradiction that made me think so.

>Firstly,thanks for the last bit.Secondly it is called having a wee laugh >you know? Of course i'm not always right and the 'insults' are just awee >bit of banter toward our right-wing UKCERS,god knows they can dish it out >when they want to!

This the problem with type. You miss out on all the inflections of voice and body language that indicate banter. I have been guilty of this myself so fair enough.

Anyway......back to topic.

> Exactly. So you would be bound to think that you were better off.

>So if my Russian pal tells me he thought homelessness and organised crime >in the West were communist propaganda because he never seen them in the >USSR,how would i think we are better off ?

Because you would look at all the films of organised crime and think "Wow that is worse than it is here, we are much better off"

On a different (but related note) comparing atrocities doesn't always pan out. If we compared the US and the USSR as two prime examples of global powers of opposing ideologies, especially during the cold war then for every soviet arrest for sedition you would have to compare to McCarthy's anti-American witch-hunts. On the military side it would appear that the US was far more inclined to instigate conflicts in other countries (albeit covertly) than Russia. But we have to bear in mind that Russia's experience of war was different to that of the US. While the US had never seriously been invaded Russia had on many an occasion and more recently (prior to the cold war) by Napoleon and Hitler. On both occasions what stopped the invading armies was Russia itself, specifically the Russian winter (which is not to overlook the defensive action of Russia's people). Therefore it seems that their policy was for buffer zones to curtail potential invasion while America saw itself being "isolated" by the spread of communism over the world. Even so both countries financed covertly both pro and anti communist regimes (the US seemed willing to support even non-democratic regimes providing they were anti-communist, hence all the current problems in the Middle East.)
So if we should compare ideologies then it should really be how it is for the people who live under them. Is one freer under Democracy then under Communism and does it make a difference? Is the penchant of communist countries for long term leadership a flaw allowing cult of personality to develop or does it provide a more stable environment for projects to develop? Does the "Laissez-faire" system create a free for all plundering of people and resources or allow for innovation and enterprise? Is any one system more corrupt than the other?

Duncan Bourne - on 19 Jan 2013
In reply to Jim Fraser:

agreed
Gudrun - on 20 Jan 2013
In reply to Duncan Bourne:
> So if we should compare ideologies

Well its fair enough to say all this but many of these points have already been discussed on here.You say this- 'penchant of communist countries for long term leadership 'Now there were countries who had elections with different parties but it would always be a Socialist party who won in the same way that in the West it would always be a capitalist party that wins ...always!
No difference,now i know many Communist countries stuck to one leader which i see as one of the flaws in the way these places were run although in some cases it was helpful.But if you take Czechoslovakia which i frequently use since it is a very good example of a highly successful planned economy and society.They had 5 different presidents in the space of 35 years which is only 2 less than the USA and one of theirs was murdered after 2 years and another was about to be impeached.
I see the never ending wars of the capitalist system where the wealthy few who own an incredible proportion of the worlds wealth exploit the great masses of the world.Killing a million here and 4 million there and then 1/2 a million then another million and so on and so on as if its nothing.Don't think about it,mustn't think about it,we don't see it so it's just something on the telly with those daft foriegners attacking each other when nine times out of ten it was started promoted and fed by us.It's a never ending war against anyone who won't do what the Nato clique say and its no bloody joke,it's absolutely sick.
As i said before we create and fuel countries run by gangsters and religious maniacs,Taliban !House of Saud, *we* spread Islamic fundamentalism,it's nuts!
As well as this ordinary people live under constant threat of unemployment as well as homelessness ,what was the statistic i read the other day something like 1 in 4 Brits are worried about this and we are one of the richest countries in the world tae.These are only words but do you have any idea how it actually feels to be wondering if you and your family will end up out on the flippin street?
Do you see the effects of rampant drug abuse and the utter devastation that it creates? Organised crime and gang warfare,are you aware of the amount of murders and sickening violence on the streets of Britain?It is an extremely violent culture and we let utter mad maniacs out of prison after a few years,ye know people who have taken a life and still don't care.This is the madness of liberalism gone crazy and a people with no hope ,nothing to lose and a culture of extreme violence,but hey its ok because they don't hang about the posh areas.

A society which provides zero unemployment,skills,homes,a meaningful life and a close society which works for ideals that are above chasing money and keeps drugs out as well as organised crime and hammers anyone who refuses to contribute,or is a friggin psycho/gangster and also promotes a less violent culture of constant war,gangsters,violence and porn then we will have an actually 'freer'society where we care about one another above greed for what i can get over everyone else.
This existed in the Soviets.
ads.ukclimbing.com
Gudrun - on 20 Jan 2013
In reply to Duncan Bourne:

> May be you were a bit drunk on the last few post

Well spotted!
I did what one should never do and that's post when full o the gabby wahter
=)
Sir Chasm - on 20 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin: The murder rate in Russia is 8 times that of the UK, is that a violent culture? Did the fall of communism make more people bad?
Gudrun - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Sir Chasm:

Ah! Lets talk !
The change from Socialism to gangsterism or capitalism as you would call it promoted the very essence of violence,greed,elitism,selfishness and regression.Are you surprised at the outcome ?
Duncan Bourne - on 25 Jan 2013
In reply to GudrunEnsslin:
Very interesting post. Which I would really like to reply to indepth but deadlines are hammering on the door so I shall have to bow out for a while (hence the delay in posting till now).
You have piqued my interest. What would you consider to be good reads for a balanced critique of the communist system?

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