NOT REALLY DESIGNED TO CHEER YOU UP

babs2I’ve been reading a few articles in papers today and it appears that, in addition to reducing the amount paid to sick people (by £30 a week!) from April next year, MPs, who recently received a massive pay increase, also appear to be contemplating charging people for using the health service. (I know that this is an English story, but it will have repercussions here.) I mean, I suppose I wouldn’t mind paying for a visit to the doctor if I could get an 11% boost to my pay, but, of course, for some it will be another case of having to make choices between essentials!

The Financial Times reports that there is a Brexit Black Hole of £100 billion in Hammond’s budget, so I doubt we can expect any relief in the upcoming Autumn Statement. meanwhile, the UK’s debt is heading towards £1.8 trillion at a staggering £5,170 per second.

The UK has just passed a massive expansion in surveillance powers, which critics have called “terrifying” and “dangerous”.  It is said to be the most draconian snoopers’ law passed in a democracy.

babs3And pensioners’ triple lock could be under threat in 2020, because they reckon it will be unsustainable, given how poor the country will be and how many pensioners will require pensions. pensioners used to get rises in accordance with pay increases, but in 1980 Mrs Thatcher decided  that the pension was a “benefit” like Unemployment Benefit, and decided therefore  that pensions should rise in line with inflation. So, over a period of 30 years between then and 2010, pensions lost value, and the British state pension is now one of the lowest in the developed world when compared with the average wage.

babsTo his eternal discredit, and despite lobbying from Barbara Castle, Tony Blair refused to do anything about it, as did Gordon Brown. However, the Liberals in the coalition government introduced the triple lock system, where pensions increased by inflation, wage inflation or 2%, whichever was highest. It remains a mystery to me that the Uk can afford palaces and bombs, but not decency for pensioners. (Yes, don’t judge all Liberal Democrats by the bunch of useless tossers in the Scottish parliament, or the liar in chief, Carmichael. One of two of them may be OK decent people, it seems.)

All in all it does seem to be a depressing country that we live in, and it’s hard to see exactly how Better Together can justify their name…

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18 thoughts on “NOT REALLY DESIGNED TO CHEER YOU UP”

  1. Here’s a bit of useless info, I read somewhere that a trillion seconds = 31,000 years. It was meant to provide some perspective on how astronomical a number it is when applied to finance. I sincerely hope it’s not on Wonga interest rates or we’ll never afford to pay it back.

    Who do we owe it to anyway?

    You just have to see the funny side of that, otherwise madness beckons.

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    1. Is that a British Trillion or an American Trillion?

      I had a bit of fun a while back, taking the price of Trident’s replacement in American Billions (which is how its always reported) assuming that since it was a British paper, they’re using British Billions (which are bigger) and then extrapolating to how much money per person that would give.

      It came out to something like £25,000 per person per year. If I had a soapbox to stand on I would have been louder about it 🙂 “What do you mean, you’re not using Great British Billions? Are we not British? Why are you using those inferior colonial Billions?”

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      1. What you have to realise with the Brits is that, although everything British from cricket to values and from beer to umbrellas is better than anything anywhere in the world, the rest of the world excludes the USA.

        Of course, the colonel and his memsahib know very well that British stuff is far superior, they don’t like to mention it too loudly in case America decides to call their relationship less than special.

        The UK really is the 51st state with slightly less autonomy than Nebraska.

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    2. It does put “trillion” into perspective, Dave.

      I’m not sure who we owe it to, but given the last prime minister’s close friendship with Mr Wonga himself, I wouldn’t be surprised if it were Wonga!

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  2. It’s not going to be paid back. They will either
    a) default… not likely because the rich would lose, or
    b) hyperinflate ie quantitative easing to infinity…the poor lose (see weimar republic), highly likely, or
    c) reset. This involves going back to the gold standardand resetting its price to say $10,000 per ounce. Only those in the know win everyone else loses.
    and/or start a war with Russia and China as a cover up of their theft from the people.

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    1. I tend to agree with that analysis. The debt is unsustainable, and there is little chance of “re industrialisation” in the UK if it is outside the EU single market and competing with China on the free world market. I’m a European, get me out of here.

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      1. I doubt they were ever thinking of re-industrialising, David.

        They had years to follow the example of Germany and update rather than close down their manufacturing.

        They chose to stick with finance. The City’s future seems to be on a shoggly peg if it can;t do business with some of the richest countries in the world. And all the many industrial skills are gone. Where do they go from here?

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      1. Not a politician. Just been watching what is happening and doing a lot of research. I do have a deep understanding of “How money works” and a reasonable understanding of history. Unfortunately trying to persuade people of the reality of the situation is very difficult as most people watch MSM which is just a mouthpiece for the elites and is designed to be misleading.

        If you want a salutary lesson in how they steal your wealth just look at India at the moment. They have declared 500 and 1000 rupee notes obsolete, and tbere is a very convoluted process to change them into new notes. So suddenly 80% of currency is valueless. The ultimate bailin. Who suffers – the poor who have no identification to enable them to change currency and no bank accounts as they just work with cash.

        They will come for your money soon so convert it to something they have difficulty getting at. Gold in your hand for example or bitcoin. Leave it in the bank at your peril.

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    1. I can’t help but agree. Anyone who daily watches the news or reads the latest episode of Terry Entoure’s blog has to be aware of just how incredibly inept they are being.

      Surely, people will see just what a stinking deal we will be getting.

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    1. Good idea. I’d imagine that Stuart’s a bit too busy to bother reading Munguin’s Republic, so he won’t have noticed. Fortunately there is a link to the new blog on the old blog.

      But I’ll email him anyway.

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