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Ricardo's Ghost
Bristol
Recent Activity
Yes, Farage is telling porkies. He says there is no prospect of British contributions falling below £50m a day. They're already below £50m a day. UK Total Gross Payments = £15bn or £41m/day If you take off the rebate this goes down to £12bn or £32/day If you take off what public receipts we get our Net Payments = £7bn = £19m/day
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A couple of major problems here. Firstly Burke wasn't a reactionary but a reformer. Although fiercely opposed to the Terror, he was no fan of the Ancien Regime it replaced. You can't really invoke him in an argument that demands an institution should never change. Secondly, the Pope's address to the Roman Curia this year attacked the proponents of gay marriage by criticising Simone de Beauvoir - specifically her idea that one is not born a woman, one becomes one. His Holiness is of course, perfectly at liberty to join with the Chief Rabbi of France in critiquing this liberationist philosophy, but the argument for gay marriage isn't liberationist. Liberationists are not keen on marriage at all, viewing it as a tool of oppression. The gay marriage argument is fundamentally a conservative one - there are gay people, who aren't going to change, and therefore the very important institution of marriage ought to be opened to them. Indeed the gay rights lobby would firmly agree with Pope Benedict that one cannot deny one's nature and construct a new identity that one would prefer: gay people cannot choose to alter their sexuality. Given this the question is then what to do about it. The conservative, Bukean answer (I would argue) is to adapt the old institutions to take account of this new realisation about human sexuality.
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Janesville lost it's GM plant, but Rep Ryan forgot to mention it closed during the Bush Presidency. Obama is castigated for not prioritising job creation when Republicans, led by Rep Ryan, have spent the last 3 years insisting that the deficit is the priority. Rep Ryan is outraged that $716bn is coming out of Medicare (because Obama is bringing the cost down incidentally), but obviously forgot that his own budget plan includes those savings. Then he claims he'll strengthen Medicare when in fact his plan is to turn it into a more expensive voucher system and at the same time cut funding a third. Rep Ryan's claims to be upset that Bowles-Simpson wasn't implemented would be more convincing if he hadn't personally spent his time undermining and blocking it. Worries about the debt and demanding the government stop spending money it doesn't have would be more credible if Ryan's budget plans didn't involve opening up the deficits by cutting taxes harder and faster than he would cut spending.
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The Public Accounts Committee is a disgrace. The DCMS Permanent Secretary goes along for a scheduled session to talk about the Olympics. The Committee decide they'd rather ambush him on the more newsworthy Hunt story, and demand he drop his Minister in the proverbial and pre-empt his evidence to Leveson. The Permanent Secretary to his credit, refuses to oblige them. But hey, at least the MPs got their bit of limelight and a couple of minutes of Sky coverage - so it was all worth it...
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Nigel should be careful what he wishes for. If he ends up with a gang of six ex-Conservative MPs sitting for UKIP, how long before one of them starts acting like the Party Leader, and how long before one of them challenges him for the leadership?
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"We are a pragmatic One Nation party not an ideological party like Labour, an intellectual party like the Lib Dems or an out-dated party like UKIP." That may be what we should be. Is it really what we are or where many inside the party argue we want to go?
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Or it's been 20 years to the day since the 1992 General Election. Just a guess...
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The most sensational by-election victory ever, except for: Crewe & Nantwich 2008 - first Conservative gain at a by-election since 1982 Newbury 1992 - biggest Lib Dem majority ever (22,000) in a massive gain of an otherwise safe Conservative seat Glasgow Govan 1988 - the SNP snatch a safe Labour seat when Bruce Millan goes to Brussels Crosby 1981 - the SDP romp to victory with Shirley Williams taking what should have been safe for the Conservatives Fermanagh & South Tyrone 1981 - Bobby Sands wins whilst on hunger strike in prison Hamilton 1967 - Winnie Ewing propels independence and devolution to the top of the Scottish agenda Carmarthen 1966 - Gwynfor Evans becomes the first ever Plaid Cymru MP Orpington 1962 - the start of the revival of the Liberals
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You think the solution is to get rid of Ofwat, and let the natural monopolies in the water industry do as they please?
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So Lord Lawson is one of those who thinks the City shouldn't be regulated, even after the financial crisis. And just in case you thought he didn't really mean the financial sector when talking about deregulation, he helpfully cited Dodd-Frank as an example of zealous over-regulation we should avoid entirely in the UK. Dodd-Frank of course is the act which overhauled financial sector regulation in the US.
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Probably because they've been investing in things like the long overdue repair work to the current network of pipes, and stopping pumping raw sewage into the rivers and sea.
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and there was me thinking that the wretched AV referendum was the price paid for the boundary changes. The Lib Dems are, for reasons best known to themselves, determined to cement their reputation as the most duplicitous, weak-willed, and incompetent party in British politics. Perhaps we need to occasionally remind them of this: - despite spending an election saying they'd back the party with the most votes and seats in a hung Parliament they desperately tried to hatch a deal with Labour - despite telling voters that tuition fees was such a priority for them it was worthy of its own pledge, when the coalition negotiations got underway they dropped it immediately in order to get a compromise on constitutional change - despite wearing their green and rural credentials on their sleeve they didn't ask to have a Minister in Defra - despite voting for the original Health Bill and signing off on it, they then did an about-turn when it looked unpopular - despite getting their compromises on the Health Bill during the pause, when it was still unpopular they came out against it again - despite agreeing to the tactics over the proposed EU treaty, when those tactics being played out resulted in a UK veto, they howled outrage
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Although to be fair, you'd have to dedicate the part of that £26k that came from housing benefit on housing, and you'd have to spend your week looking after the requisite number of children to obtain the child benefit etc..
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We'll have to remember this reverence for honouring contracts next time someone suggests shredding public sector pensions, or trying to do without redundancy packages.
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All well and good, but are you sure this crony capitalism of "using other people's money to play the financial markets and take a lot of the gain for yourself" only goes back 10 years?
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Please read: "The End of the Euro" by Johan van Overtveldt It, amongst other things, details the intellectual history of the Euro - previous European currency unions being UK-Ireland, the German union in the 19th century, the Scandinavian Monetary Union (Sweden, Denmark and Norway) which lasted from 1873 to 1914, and the Latin Monetary Union (France, Belgium, Italy, Switzerland, Greece, Romania, Bulgaria, Spain, Serbia and Venezuela) which lasted from 1865 to 1927. It isn't obviously certifiable - although plenty of economists across the political spectrum argued that the Eurozone could not constitute an "Optimal Currency Area" and was therefore vulnerable to failure - as there are real advantages to currency unions and fixed exchange rates: trade is easier, competition is improved by price transparency, more certainty as countries can't launch surprise devaluations etc.. Some of the most aggressive free market New Classical economists went so far as to argue that the economic criteria didn't matter because they would be brought about by the existence of currency union (mind you this was the same crowd that argued financial markets didn't need regulating...).
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because some people don't accept the Creed as what defines you as a "member of the club". They prefer to use their own litmus tests - perhaps the doctrine of predestination, or where someone stands on issues of sexual ethics.
Toggle Commented Dec 20, 2011 on David Cameron's Christianity at thetorydiary
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Generally, this is pretty rum stuff from Afriyie. There's a lot of vagueness (calling for "cost-effective" ways of doing things rather than spelling out what he actually wants). But what really grates is the attempt to bounce IPSA into providing a more generous system for MPs but hoping to keep the Commons' fingerprints off it. If I were IPSA I'd give them short shrift. As soon as the public got wind of what's going on they'll howl blue murder, and if IPSA has played along with Afriyie demands and done his bidding, you can bet your bottom dollar the MPs will hand IPSA out to dry and claim it has nothing to do with them - just like they did with the old Fees Office. 1. You can't argue that IPSA is independent then demand it's outrageous that it doesn't do what you tell it to do. 2. I thought IPSA's primary duty was to stop the rampant fiddling of expenses, not support MPs. 3. As if we didn't have enough to worry about, you want a new IPSA to do the admin and to keep the old IPSA to write the rules (except when you don't like them and you'd prefer to write them yourself and get IPSA to rubber stamp them). 4. What is supposed to be "cost-effective"? 6. It's capacity to purchase centrally could be extended to the entirity of the MPs offices. MPs would no longer have to worry about staffing or equipping their offices - it could all be done by IPSA. But they'd hate that, so it won't happen. 7. There's that wonderfully opaque "cost-effective" - you do know it's not remotely the same as "cheap"? 8. If MPs don't want staff and offices to be seen as expenses they shouldn't fund them through the expenses system. 9. Whilst I understand MPs would prefer it if rejected claims were not published, it's cowardly to hide behind IPSA and try to cajole them into doing it. 10. Allowing MPs the option of submitting in paper only is utterly ridiculous. IPSA has to publish the claims - that's relatively easy if all claims are submitted electronically. If they're in paper it means employing someone to type them up because an MP couldn't bring himself to operate a computer. 11. There is no case for merging the office and staff budgets. There is a case for not running these through expenses at all though. 12. IPSA should make a judgement before it's made a judgement? Ridiculous. MPs will know a claim has been rejected, when IPSA rejects it - like the rest of us do. 14. MPs staff to be statutory consultees? Do MPs not talk to them anymore? 17. Regional supplements may make sense instead of expenses for accommodation, but surely travel expenses should be paid according to what travel is actually undertaken?
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Would they be any good though? You could scrap the salary and still find 650 people to sit in the legislature, but that is unlikely to be the best idea.
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BBC Director-General is paid £830,000 ITV Chief Executive is paid £1,400,000 BSkyB Chief Executive is paid £2,800,000
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Indeed. There is another alternative - Ireland could establish a currency board, peggin itself to Sterling. However, both ideas overlook a key detail: Ireland would need to have a controlled devaluation before currency union or board, otherwise it would be trapped in the same overvalued problem it currently finds itself.
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