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Everything posted by IanD

  1. Of course a racing driver who risked his life to pull a colleague out of a burning car after a crash *would* be a hero -- but not because he's a racing driver... πŸ˜‰
  2. The natural resources issue is a red herring, what matters is overall GDP -- a lot of ours (a massive amount!) comes from the City which Scandinavia doesn't have anything like, and of course this is a problem for everyone who disparages the finance industry, it makes a lot of money for the UK. The system in Scandinavia is simply more generous to the disadvantaged, whether that is state pensions/unemployment/health/social/maternity/housing, and it's paid for by a generally higher level of taxation -- IIRC >50% of GDP as opposed to <40% in the UK. Your last line is precisely the problem, and it's largely one that has emerged in the last forty years or so, driven by government policy and the relentless drip of misinformation from papers like the Daily Mail and the Telegraph about benefit scroungers and council house single mothers and... [too many to mention], all aimed at blaming "other people" -- including immigrants, which was a large driver behind the Brexit decision, but let's not reopen that can of worms here... All you have to do to see how pernicious this has become is look at the public surveys where people are asked about things like what proportion of benefit is fraudulent, how many immigrants there are in the UK, how many single mothers there are on benefit and so on -- the answers are always wildly wrong and bear no relation to reality, IIRC the public estimated >20% of benefit claims are fraudulent when the reality is <1%. I suspect I'd last about a day before throwing my toys out of the pram and storming out due to the sheer level of political idiocy and point-scoring that debate in the UK had descended to, and to which I suspect it will return after the Covid-19 crisis is over... 😞
  3. My opinions may be socialist in the sense of being in favour of fundamental infrastructure-heavy services like health/social care/water/gas/electricity/rail being centralised and government controlled, because the evidence shows that when run properly such services are delivered with higher quality and lower cost than fragmented privatised ones, and that in order to pay for these services a reasonable but non-punitive level of taxation is needed, and that whinging about or evading such taxes -- especially by the better-off -- is hypocritical. This may not be full-blown socialism which says that all the means of production should be state owned, so maybe such a viewpoint needs a new name? However I'm also a realist who understands how business and countries and taxation works, and that such a well-supported -- yes, call it "socialist" if you want -- society which provides for the unfortunate and destitute and ill has to be paid for, and this only happens if society as a whole (especially the rich) agrees that it wants to do this. This works in Scandinavia but doesn't seem to be the case generally in the UK, people have been brainwashed by the "government is bad/privatisation is good/tax cuts are good" mantra for so long that they're now suddenly surprised when Covid-19 shows how poorly funded our essential infrastructure has become. You can equally well bet that if after this is all over the government (Tory or Labour) says that this isn't good enough and we want to build a fairer society but that taxes will have to go up to pay for it -- regardless of whether this is taxes on income, property, inheritances, shares, petrol, flights, or closing tax loopholes -- there will be almighty uproar from the right-wing press/media and a huge number of UK citizens, who don't seem able to grasp that you can't have a Swedish-style society with US-style tax levels... 😞 P.S. I don't see "Socialist" as derogatory, though it seems that perhaps you do...
  4. Which in turn is due to the fact that a company (or football club, or bank) can pay its employees what the company thinks they're worth *to the company*, regardless of what the outside world thinks of the worth of what they do. So a trader who does nothing but moves numbers from one account to another and makes a fortune for a trading house gets paid millions, because he makes far more than that for the company -- though many would say he's not making any positive contribution to society, the profit from trading margins is eventually paid for by companies who actually make something which means their goods cost more which means the trader is really paid by you and me. Same for a footballer -- in the days of worldwide sports which rake in masses of money from advertising, sponsorship, match/merchandise fees, TV rights, a star player can increase the income of the club by a huge amount, much more than the millions he's paid, especially if the match wins and his "star value" increase the income of the club even further, and in the end this is all paid for by the football fans. Many non-football-fans would say this is a terrible waste of money, even some fans would say the top salaries are "obscene", but from the club's point of view the players are "worth it". As long as there are jobs like these where individuals can make *huge* amounts of money for their employer -- not just millions, but tens or hundreds of millions -- they will be paid massive salaries, because they make lots of money for the company/club, the job of companies/clubs is to make money, and it's up to the company what they do to maximise their income. I don't in any way think that these superstars are "worth" anything like the vast sums they're paid, but without extremely restrictive laws to control how companies spend their money it's impossible to stop this -- and if such laws are enforced by one country the company will very likely move to a more friendly one where they have the freedom to keep paying the superstars what the company thinks they're worth and therefore make more money. If the government imposes punitive taxes on the footballers they move to Monaco (or wherever) and keep the massive salary. In comparison essential jobs like nursing are poorly paid no matter how much people think they're worth because they don't make money for their employer, they're an "expense" which has to be paid for out of taxes (in the case of the NHS), and to be blunt many people don't like paying higher taxes even if they're happy to indirectly pay the footballer's wagers via a Sky subscription or going to matches or buying merchandise. All this is extremely unfair but almost impossible for governments to fix without worldwide agreement on taxation and companies (which is not happening and probably never will), and in the end it's partly the fault of the huge number of people across the world who would rather channel their money into football (or whatever) than pay higher taxes for things like the NHS... Equally people are free to spend their money on whatever they want regardless of whether I think it makes sense or not, they probably think us having a front room with tens of thousands of pounds worth of musical instruments (all played) is stupid -- I'm not in any way saying people shouldn't spend their money on football if that's what they want to do. But anyone who does so while objecting to "obscene" salaries, whinging if their taxes go up, while complaining that our sainted nurses are underpaid, needs to take a good hard look in the mirror... πŸ˜‰
  5. Because you're the one spreading sh*t all over the forum and he's just one of many people who don't like the smell? Here's a clue -- look at the number of people liking his posts asking you to stop vs. the number liking yours saying you're going to carry on...
  6. The Johns Hopkins University says it had nothing to do with any of these posts. [just spotted, somebody beat me to it, serves me right for answering before reading all the way to the end of the thread...]
  7. Stop it now -- not everything is about Brexit ... πŸ˜‰
  8. If you look at where and from whom all the slagging off of GT actually comes from, it's very easy to explain: -- rightwing "news" sources and websites with strong ties to political parties who are lobbied/financed by the fossil fuel/petrochemical/aircraft/car industries -- people (often older) who have a comfortable lifestyle which is built on energy from cheap fossil fuels and don't want to change it -- people and politicians (often older) who *hate* being told what to do by an uppity girl who is 50 years younger than they are For people who do see GT as a force for good (like David Attenborough only younger and *much* more willing to annoy the establishment) there's little point arguing with the above people, because they simply don't want to hear the unpleasant truths about climate change, pollution, plastics, fossil fuels, necessary lifestyle changes and so on -- or of course they know they're true but fixing them would trash their businesses or lifestyles, so they publicly deny them (like big tobacco did for many years). When they can't face the facts they either make up their own or shoot the messenger -- so maybe more enlightened people should be glad that GT is getting a load of flak, it shows that the dinosaurs are getting worried she might help force change on them whether they like it or not... πŸ˜‰
  9. Go on then, there's your challenge -- do better than GT to raise awareness about climate change. Off you go, chop chop...
  10. So, it's very well documented that GT tries to travel everywhere by train and ship and refuses to fly even if it's quicker and cheaper, because she fundamentally objects to the high CO2 cost of flying -- a quick search will throw up any amount of evidence from reputable news sources showing this. For example, when she spoke at Davos there had been hundreds of flights and private jets used by all the high and mighty delegates to get there, and she went by train. When she visited the UK she took the train from Sweden even though it took a day instead of a couple of hours and the tickets cost more than flying. Since you're the one claiming she doesn't do what she -- and many other *reliable* news sources --- says she does, it's up to you to provide your evidence to support the assertion that she jet-sets around the planet ignoring this. Don't just quote one example ("the exception that proves the rule") where there was no choice but to fly, look at all the trips she's made in the last couple of years. Don't use sources like Fox News or the Daily Mail or right-wing propaganda sheets that have zero credibility. Over to you -- put up or shut up πŸ˜‰
  11. Quite the opposite to what Naughty Cal said, GT tries to travel everywhere by train or boat where possible and only fly when there's no alternative. Thought sometimes this goes wrong, like the highly-publicised crossing of the Atlantic to the Rio climate summit on a racing yacht when the summit was cancelled when they were in mid-ocean. Still it got a lot of publicity for climate change, which was after all the whole point... You could say that some airlines should go bust; the aviation industry pays few taxes (especially on fuel and certainly not on the resulting CO2 emissions) and its prime objective is to increase traffic, which is in no way compatible with reducing CO2. If that means people won't be able to fly to Prague for a stag weekend for 50 quid, well they shouldn't be able to πŸ˜‰
  12. Equally some people's children become Nobel prize laureates. Just sayin' like πŸ˜‰
  13. Yes you're correct, I was quoting from memory and didn't bother looking up the quote word-for-word -- but the meaning is of course the same πŸ˜‰
  14. It's a general comment, like "flogging a dead horse". Or "a closed mouth gathers no feet". Or "better stay silent and let people suspect you're a fool than open your mouth and prove it". Many other similar aphorisms are available... πŸ˜‰
  15. When in a hole, stop digging.
  16. With every post you make the real reason you disparage Greta Thunberg at every opportunity increasingly obvious... πŸ˜‰
  17. Indeed he has -- but as I said, by his own admission (and regret) he focused for most of these on the wonders of the natural world (better than anyone else) and has only recently changed his focus to the damage we're doing to it. And he has said that he sees GT as a torch-bearer for this cause, which ought to be enough recommendation for most people πŸ˜‰ Agreed -- though the elderly white bloke in the suit is an iconic figure who is also (like GT) undoubtedly the best in the world at what he does πŸ™‚ The other reason GT is so effective -- which she says is at least partially due to her autism -- is her single-minded youthful focus combined with the fact that she doesn't care whether the high and mighty like what she's telling them, she's going to tell them it warts and all instead of sugar-coating it. Just remember this every time you use "autistic" or "teenager" as implied insults -- they're why she's been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and you haven't... πŸ˜‰
  18. Prince Charles is well-meaning but has had very little real impact outside the UK, or even inside really. Sir David has had a much bigger impact, but even he admits that he wishes he'd been more outspoken about climate change (and plastics...) and their effect on the world sooner, instead of focusing on educating people about the wonders of the natural world -- for which he is undoubtedly without compare. But it's only recently that he's really switched focus, possible helped by the fact that he now feels he can speak out without getting lambasted by programme makers and audiences for being a doom-monger -- his own words from an interview IIRC -- because GT is already throwing the facts in people's faces. The fact remains that if you look at the impact that GT has had in bringing climate change to the attention of the world and especially their leaders in the last couple of years, she has done more than any other single person to push unwilling people into facing unpleasant truths about what humans are doing to the planet. Which might just possibly be why she was nominated for the Nobel Peace prize, and none of the people ignoring and/or insulting her (including those on this forum) were...
  19. Mostly I think they're pointless, but occasionally you see one that makes you smile. I passed a Range Rover on the M4 some time ago -- not the modern plush luxobarges, one of the original 1970s ones with plastic seats and rubber mats that could be hosed out. It looked like it had a hard life, was dull and dented and scratched, but I knew it belonged to a proper livestock farmer -- and one with a sense of humour. P16SHT πŸ™‚
  20. Nobody is saying that Greta Thunberg is perfect, or has the answers off-the-cuff to every question -- but her attitude to climate change and the amount of attention she brings to it by ramming it into people's faces -- because that's the only way they'll take any notice! -- is worth a thousand of the people whining about how she's [fill in irrelevant insult of your choice] because they hate what she has to say -- and they *especially* hate being told it by an autistic foreign teenage girl. Actually that's wrong -- she's worth a million of you, not a thousand...
  21. And your point is what? That we shouldn't take any notice of her because she's a) a girl b) autistic c) a teenager d) not a model e) says things you don't want to hear? Maybe it's worth pointing out that she's done a million times more to raise awareness about climate change than every single one of her detractors combined...
  22. It's one of those recipes with quite a short ingredients list with many of the usual suspects missing (no garlic?!?!?) where you look and think "Really, how can that possibly be tasty?" -- but it is πŸ™‚ We sometimes drop a few whole green chillies in to give it a bit more of a glow so you could do the same, after all cooking is about experimentation -- but you don't want so many as to make it really hot or add much chilli flavour or it spoils the taste, it's not that kind of recipe. Go on, ask me how I know... πŸ˜‰ If you *really* like garlic, here's a [veggie] recipe for you from Meera Sodha. I love the dry humour: "Serve with naans, but not with garlic naans" πŸ™‚ [if you don't want to hand-peel a hundred cloves of garlic (I didn't) you can buy vacuum-sealed 500g packs from Chinese/Indian supermarkets if there's one near you]
  23. Glad you enjoyed it πŸ™‚ Sorry if it doesn't taste much like a restaurant curry, though... πŸ™‚
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