POLITICS CORNER

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Stanley » 06 Feb 2020, 04:48

Just one small example of the changes that face us. We are going to see more and more of them and not only connected with climate change! This is already exposing the flaws in the way the UK is managed and governed. There are too many examples and they can't be ignored much longer.....
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by plaques » 06 Feb 2020, 08:46

Trump survives the impeachment inquiry, which is not surprising if you can control who gives evidence. This trial is not solely about Trump but whether the Republican Grand Old Party, (GOP) would survive if he was impeached. The GOP is backed by big big business and at the moment they are doing very nicely thank you. Trump isn't out of the woods yet, there is still the question of his tax returns. For those not familiar with the history of the laws behind behind this demand goes back to the 'Teapot Dome Scandal' Teapot. the outcome of which still stands today that all Americans on subpoena must declare their tax returns. Trump is muddying the waters by saying it doesn't apply to sitting presidents. We shall see but knowing the power of business interests which is endemic in American politics they will try to keep it very low key until it is forgotten about. .

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Tizer » 06 Feb 2020, 10:15

This will appear to be in the wrong topic at first but read on and you'll see the political aspect. The Daily Telegraph has this on its front page today...
`EU rules limiting contactless payments leave customers baffled. RBS has been forced to issue replacement cards to thousands of its customers as it seeks to comply with new EU regulation.' Telegraph
`A Brussels crackdown on contactless payments could cause mass confusion for millions of customers and trigger a €57bn (£48bn) hit to businesses across Europe, experts have warned. The new Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) rules require banks to verify a customer’s identity every time they make payments totalling €100 (£85). It means that if customers breach this limit through repeated contactless card payments, they will be forced to type their pin into a machine. There are fears that the changes – which have already been introduced by Britain's biggest banks – will baffle customers, meaning many walk away rather than paying...'.


The Telegraph is still following its policy of blaming everything it dislikes on the EU regardless of whether our own government was the cause. These rules were devised by the EU some time ago and came into effect in September 2019. They mean that each time your cumulative total of contactless payments reaches the equivalent of £100 you will be asked to enter your PIN number. It's a sensible precaution because the contactless method was intended to be used for relatively small payments. The UK government welcomed the rule and entered it into UK law, saying they would retain the rule even after Brexit. However, our government also decided they would not launch it immediately but would roll it out over an 18-month period. (See this October 2019 article LINK ) Little has been done by the government or the banks to explain this to the public and the Telegraph now takes the opportunity to blame it all on that nasty EU! :smile:

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Tripps » 06 Feb 2020, 10:57

Tizer wrote:
06 Feb 2020, 10:15
There are fears that the changes – which have already been introduced by Britain's biggest banks – will baffle customers,
They don't have a good opinion of the intelligence of the customer do they? My Starling account has done this for a while. I am not baffled - it's no problem. I rarely use cash at all now. Just keep my day to day money in Starling, and use it till it runs out, then top it up. :smile:
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Tizer » 06 Feb 2020, 16:00

What happens when it runs out, does it just simply reject the next transaction or does it go into overdraft if you forget to top up?
What's the minimum amount to be kept in the account (if there is a minimum)?

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Tripps » 06 Feb 2020, 19:16

A bit off topic, but started with a political decision.

I don't think there is any minimum. I'm still a bit cautious about the account, since they are a new 'challenger' bank. I just keep more or less as much as I would have in cash in my wallet. They've offered me an overdraft facility, but I have not yet accepted, so I guess if I go negative, the transaction will be refused. The rate for O/D is 15% - which is quite modest by current standards.

If I lose the card I can lock it from the phone - which is good.

I like it, and I think I'd recommend it. the fact that you pay at the till, and your phone gets the update message almost instantaneously still intrigues me. :smile:

You can't access the account online, just business customers can do that. They say they're working on that. They do a lot more - no wonder bank branches are closing.
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Stanley » 07 Feb 2020, 03:15

Big business and US politics. It was once said of Standard Oil in the run up to Anti-Trust rules that the only thing in New Jersey they didn't refine was the legislature.....
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Stanley » 08 Feb 2020, 07:08

More trouble about Huawei surfaces this morning. Old Sparky in PE, who is usually abreast of these matters says that there isn't much point barring Huawei equipment connected to sensitive points like power stations when the Chinese are the main contractors for the new Sizewell nuclear power plant. He thinks they can learn all they need to know there. Sounds like a valid point to me.... (Does Trump realise we are going to use them?)
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Tizer » 08 Feb 2020, 10:46

Trump doesn't `realise' anything - his brain is hard-wired to Fox News. :extrawink:

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by PanBiker » 08 Feb 2020, 13:00

Back in the local forest we are just back from the Pendle Constituency Labour Party nomination meeting for leader and deputy leader of the party. STV voting system was used for the ballot and after various members spoke on behalf of the candidates on offer we moved to the vote.

Rebecca Long-Bailey was chosen for our Leader nomination

Angela Rayner was chosen for the Deputy Leader position.

Both candidates won in the first round gaining more than the required percentage from the members present.

All sorted in a couple of hours. This is the nomination from the local CLP, the all member vote will determine the final outcome.
Ian

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Stanley » 09 Feb 2020, 03:02

Noted Ian.
One of my American friends mentioned 'sovereignty' in an email. Here's my response: "'Sovereignty' is, was and always shall be a myth to keep the lower orders satisfied. This country is run for the benefit of an elite group headed by the royals. 'Sovereignty' is what they can get away with. Nothing has changed basically since the Vikings invaded us in 1066."
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Tizer » 09 Feb 2020, 11:37

`Labour accuses Keir Starmer campaign team of data breach' LINK
This is a strange business. Under the party's leadership rules, any candidate who makes it to the final stage of the contest later this month will be entitled to receive details of party membership and registered supporter lists, containing names, telephone numbers and postal addresses. Keir, Long-Bailey and Nandy have already qualified for this. Last week Rebecca Long-Bailey circulated links to volunteers capable of allowing access to the membership database. Now Starmer is accused of hacking into the party's membership database. If they are given access to it how can it be described as hacking and surely Long-Bailey is as much involved as Starmer? He is accused of "data-scraping" - in other words unlawfully hacking information from a membership database capable of helping to target their efforts to drum up support'. If he and his campaigners really didn't have permission to use the data it would be a stupid thing to do because the use of the addresses etc would be immediately detected - such databases are always seeded with names and addresses of people tasked to feed back a report if they are contacted.

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Stanley » 10 Feb 2020, 03:33

Same thing occurred to me Tiz. All I am certain of is that it signals how nasty the contest is getting which is to be regretted, they all have to work with each other when a leader is chosen. Not a good sign.
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Stanley » 11 Feb 2020, 05:06

Ireland..... The success of Sinn Féin in the Irish elections is a seismic change in Irish politics. Apart from the effects domestically the party's aim is still the reunification of Ireland and under the Good Friday Agreement a referendum in N. Ireland has to be held on this question as soon as there is evidence of a majority for change. Bertie Ahern said yesterday that this was getting very close and he believes that it is inevitable. (LINK)
It seems a long time since Richard Broughton alerted us to the Irish component of Brexit but my god, was he right. I said at the time that I could see reunification rearing its head again, not a popular or urgent matter then but it is now.
Consider what would happen if the referendum was triggered. Never mind about the result, it would immediately trigger massive agitation in Scotland for the same privilege. So far, the border in the Irish Sea has been the focus, all this changes now, we are looking at an unintended consequence of the Brexit vote, the break-up of the Union starting with the complete loss of N Ireland.
I warned about unintended consequences, this is only the first of many. The Brexiteers have opened a Pandora's Box and it can't be closed.
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by plaques » 11 Feb 2020, 08:22

De facto deputy PM says nearly all EU imports will be subject to checks from next year. Didn't I hear someone, can't remember who it was but repeated it several times, that there would be no customs barriers between the UK and the EU?
Boris has said there could be a bridge built between Ireland and Scotland. Another dead cat hits the table.
£5b towards bus and cycle facilities, Good news for pensioners who can still ride bicycles. Manchester Rd may be a bit difficult and the Skipton Rd too dangerous but there's always the canal bank tow path.
Still waiting for the Brexit bounce or is it going to be a dead cat bounce?
Expect HS2 railway to be given approval today. I shall probably be part of the landfill before it gets up here.

All in all. Good news all round :disappointed:

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Stanley » 11 Feb 2020, 08:29

I saw the large pink pig flying that is the Bridge across the North Channel. Come to think, it's not a pig, it's an enormous red herring....
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by PanBiker » 11 Feb 2020, 09:52

They have also confirmed that they are going to throw gazillions at HS2 to shave 20 minutes off a typical journey. Dennis Skinner has it right, after the announcement he said the cheaper option was to get up half an hour sooner and get an earlier train. :smile: :extrawink:
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Tizer » 11 Feb 2020, 10:10

plaques wrote:
11 Feb 2020, 08:22
Boris has said there could be a bridge built between Ireland and Scotland. Another dead cat hits the table.
Oh yes, that's the one where the pillars will be built on top of unexploded bombs. Will Boris volunteer to dive down and remove them, I wonder?... :smile:
`Boris Johnson bridge over Irish Sea munitions dump is lunacy, says Irish economist' Belfast Telegraph

The millions of tons of explosives are in Beaufort's Dyke, a natural trench 30 miles long, 2 miles wide and 700–1,000 ft deep. A massive explosion could cause an underwater landslide which in turn could trigger a tsunami, endangering both coastlines. (By the way, if that isn't enough to worry about there is also nuclear waste down there. Have a nice day! :smile: )

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Stanley » 12 Feb 2020, 03:31

There is still a Liberty ship in the Thames Estuary full of deteriorating explosives. (LINK) Too big to blow up and this was an argument against the Boris airport.
Did you notice that a serious political matter raised by BBC Today was answered by an announcer reading a long official statement? It would appear that political news is being openly managed now and ministers no longer trusted to speak. Add the attempt to ban some correspondents. Press freedom?
Did you pick up on THIS BBC report on the zero growth in the UK economy in the last quarter of 2019? We have the usual explanations about it but I can't help going back to basics. All reputable economists agree that about 2.5% is the minimum for maintaining the economy as opposed to the 1.4% estimate for 2019. Johnson tells us that the unleashed potential of the British economy will kick in and drive us to a golden future. Sounds like whistling in the wind to me because the next 9 months are going to be full of surprises. All good ones?
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by plaques » 12 Feb 2020, 09:20

Brexit bounce, releasing the potential, how much more of this bull can we take. With the GDP at a miserable 1.3% with a projection that leaving the EU will cost another 5% over 15 years it had better be a big bounce.
Customs borders will cause delays to fruit and vegetables from the EU which could also increase prices. According to Michael Gove this is good news because we will be able to import it from other trade deal areas. Meanwhile we will be under WTO rules which impose tariffs on imports. So we can forget about price rises can we? Oh,and don't mention medicines and the affect of price increases on the NHS. Expect an increase in prescription charges to level the playing field.
Ever wondered what happened to all the money we saved on austerity I think we can now safely say HS2.

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Tizer » 12 Feb 2020, 10:07

A bit of good news is that the ONS has now been given access to VAT data at HMRC which means it can now track the UK's performance at a much greater geographical resolution. This means more accurate and reliable information about which regions of Britain are most in need of funding help. Decisions can be made on good evidence rather than only on MPs making demands for their locality.

Oh dear, now we've got the Labour Party embroiled in the `gender identity' debate...
`Labour leadership: Long-Bailey backs call to expel 'transphobic' members' LINK
`Labour leadership contender Rebecca Long-Bailey has signed up to a pledge to expel party members who have expressed "transphobic" views. It is part of a 12-point plan by the Labour Campaign for Trans Rights. The plan has also been backed by deputy leader hopeful Angela Rayner - but critics say it could lead to a "witch hunt" of party members. It comes amid a highly-charged debate on gender identity including potential reforms to the Gender Recognition Act. The recently-formed Labour Campaign for Trans Rights says its 12 pledges will help "rid the party of transphobia". ..'.

If I were a member she'd call me transphobic and expel me. Sex is determined by genetics, not by self-identity.

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Stanley » 13 Feb 2020, 04:30

Two good posts... Is it any wonder that I sometimes entertain the possibility that the world has gone mad?
One of the most useful techniques I was taught when I went back into education in the Open College was 'Study Techniques'. It was a brilliant and mind altering course and one of the most useful things we were taught was to always forensically analyse any statement written or oral. It is automatic now and a good example was Johnson's speech on HS2. It is full of rhetorical tricks and delivered like a stand up comedian working an audience, which isn't surprising because that describes it exactly. Compare it with a dead pan analysis presented by a man like Philip Hammond and ask yourself which contains the most substance.
Thinking about an earlier post on the rise of Fascism in the 1930s it strikes me that in so many 'leaders' today we are sliding back into what was a common concept then, the phenomenon of the rise of 'The Strong Man'. Think Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin to name but three. Trump and Johnson are working the same con-trick and it is incredibly dangerous, not just the fact that 'All power corrupts and absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely' but the other old construct, 'The Big Lie'.
Any dispassionate analysis of what is happening globally at the moment has got to be pessimistic. Economics 101 has been ditched completely and once more we are in the realm of New Economics supported by debt, phantom money and exaggeration of 'positive facts'. What we need is a dose of reality and I fear we may get it very soon.
We are in an Alice in Wonderland phase. The pigeons are coming home to roost and as my mate Bob Smith once said, we may find we have been plaiting sawdust.
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Tripps » 13 Feb 2020, 12:02

Sajid Javid the Chancellor of the Exchequer has resigned - with his position thought to be secure. and budget only days away. They say Dominic Cummimgs called him Chino - Chancellor in name only. Very tasty. . . .

They say Rishi Sunak will be appointed to replace him. He's the MP for Richmond (Yorkshire). I thought he was impressive first time I saw him in Parliament - enough to look him up on wikipedia. Rishsi Sunak

May you live in interesting times. . . . :smile:
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Stanley » 13 Feb 2020, 13:29

I'm mulling it over David. First thing that strikes me is that Dominic Cummings' fingerprints are all over this.
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by PanBiker » 13 Feb 2020, 13:46

It's basically a coup to take over No 11 next door, job done. Lot's of other culls of senior Tories. Only difference between this and 1930's Germany is that Hitler and Himmler had their opposition liquidated. Maybe a bit extreme but in the same vein certainly.
Ian

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