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Confused52 last won the day on January 10

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About Confused52

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  1. The benefits to the UK from a hard Brexit

    Before I start I have to confess that I voted to Remain. However as I believe in democracy and a referendum is the purest form of democracy that the UK constitution (and yes it has one, which is not wholly written) allows I can see the other side of the debate. 1) There is a guarantee that the UK will not lose further sovereignty, that protects out seat on the UN Security Council (which is a significant source of soft power). 2) The EU has changed to using regulation rather than directives which force a one size fits all for new legislation and the European parliament has a larger role in the negotiation of those regulations. The European parliament committees are dominated by extremist minorities to a much greater extent than in the UK. This has been damaging in two sets of recent legislation that I have followed, the Open Internet and the General Data Protection Regulation where costs to businesses have increase for no benefit to UK citizens whatever. This trend is set to continue. 3) There is a political reality that free trade with the USA will be blocked at provincial level in the EU. Given that the USA is such a major trading partner for the UK a free trade deal, which is unattainable inside the EU, will give us a benefit. 4) We are free to continue to adopt EU product standards and by setting no tariffs against the Customs Union the effect on trade is minimal. The key is to maintain the tariffs against third countries in line with the Customs union, that means that there is no point in a customs examination. We can act against dumping unilaterally as long as the electronic documentation exchanged is the source of data. There will as always be little that you can do against smuggling - no change. 5) The UK will cease to be a major contributor to the regional development ambitions of the EU. Instead we will be free to target investment to help British trade rather than the present system which favours German trade disproportionately. 6) We will cease to be affected by supremacy of the European Court of Justice. That means that their particular interpretations of issues which are often at odds with what would be expected from an Anglo-Saxon perspective and case law base grown from the Common Law. We would also be free from case law precedents on new regulation being set by courts of record in other member states which is a very worrying concern for businesses. There is a starter, perhaps others can add more.
  2. Red Flag !

    I expect that the Pension Funds wouldn't mind that much because the proposal is for the comrades to decide the value of energy companies and compensate their owners in gilts, i.e. by printing money! That is why the idiots think it will cost nothing! Of the big 5 energy companies all but one are owned by EU energy companies with some of their shares owned by their respective states. Their owners will not see UK gilts as a suitable substitutes in their investment portfolios. In my view there is no evidence that the Labour Shadow Cabinet have thought this through whilst considering in any way the effect on the public. What foreigners will see is the UK government failing the follow the rule of law and the effect on overseas investor confidence will be catastrophic. That loss of confidence is why McDonnell expects a run on the pound and is right to do so. Expect a far bigger loss of jobs and GDP than Brexit could ever summon up.
  3. Elected Mayor for Warrington?

    My understanding what the promotor (Richard Buttrey) is asking for is for the executive (which must still exist with an elected mayor for a principal council) to be selected on a balanced party basis. With an elected mayor the executive is up to ten people chosen from the Councillors and the elected mayor. ISTR that Richard hints -between the lines- that the votes of those against the PDO could be garnered by a candidate giving such an undertaking to the electorate. It is only those who have looked at PR in Warrington that realise that it is the tories who are most under-represented in seats based on their votes received. I find it difficult to believe that any of the main parties other than the tories would give such an undertaking, since only they have nothing to lose. The Mayor, I have now found out, cannot also be a councillor so the prospect of the current Council Leader taking the role would involve him leaving the council. There is an option for the petition to suggest a return to the previous committee system where committees were filled proportionally on the basis of seats won. That would be a much more appropriate way of achieving Richard's stated aims. It is really important to get the question right, but it seems that may already be too late. Richard seems to believe that the costs of the Elected Mayor could be met by letting Steve Broomhead go. Given that Broomhead is the Returning Officer I don't expect an easy ride on the formalities of the petition as might, for example, be represented by allowing online representations (the law leaves that choice up to councils, I believe). Based on the cost of the by-election caused by Faisal Rashid becoming an MP, which was estimated at £17k for 9000 electors, the borough must have 7919*20 approx. 158k electors so the referendum costs would seem to be about £300k. The original question from Gary was are there sufficient supporters to get a referendum, and I don't think there are. My reasons are that without the enthusiastic support of the parties the task of gathering signatures and then checking that people not actually on the register are discarded may be too great an organisational challenge. It means that gathering signature in shopping centres is not a good way to work. The consequence of that will not suit the folk who make their views known on social media at all as it requires knocking on doors on wet nights. It is possible but I will be surprised if it happens.
  4. T'internet....

    The Google et.al. defence is based around established principles which doesn't suit governments. The information they provide is generated by others and they act as a "Common Carrier", that does not change the content. That is why they will aggregate or take down stuff by will not let their people edit things. Algorithms are not employees or agents for which they are responsible in law. There are similar restrictions on the telcos in the UK. My own view of the prosecutions for jokes that I have heard of are that they are abuses of process. The judge should have asked himself whether had such a joke been made in a newspaper article or a letters column the judgement would have been the same, and I suspect not. I am becoming concerned that we are moving to a era where thought crime alone is sufficient for punishment. It used to be that evil action had to be accompanied by intent. It seems that today it is unlawful to even be tempted to do bad things and that is very worrying. The problem is that the Internet cannot be policed by a single state unless it is accompanied by the equivalent of the great firewall of china and repressive laws. Asp is quite right about this. At the moment we lose more than we gain from blocking the internet and that was recognised by the folk who designed the Internet structure and ensuring that it stays like that it a key premise in the evolution of the Internet and the protocols that make it work.
  5. Failed City of Culture bid

    Thanks for the response. I have to agree with you that it should have been closed down quite early on. However I suspect that if it was done in the usual brainstorming manner - the rules are that no idea is bad at the outset - it can allow many red-herrings to run their course to nothing with resulting costs to give nothing that can get in the document. Their should be an initial gate after brainstorming to stop that. A potential problem is that using consultants does not allow the organisation to retain all the lessons learned in these exercises. The obsession with New City was a very odd thing to put in. However, overall, it just said the wrong things. It was supposed to say why the "festival effect" of Warrington being chosen would make the notion of a City of Culture more popular and successful with the British public at large than anywhere else could in 2021. Instead it said why Warrington would gain from it. Reminds one of the JFK'ism parodied as "Ask not what the country can do for your Town but what your Town can do for the country"! I am more sanguine than you perhaps about the Great Sankey Leisure Centre delays. The reason is that the fault in the ring beam was said to date from initial installation so the blame for it not being recognised as a risk lies with the poor processes by the Borough Council in inspecting the asset as it was handed over from the New Town. It would have been reasonable to expect that the failing by the council would be a risk they had to bear because the staff (along with any skill deficit) for Livewire came from the council too and the assets remain in council hands so that they can competitively tendered. It seems to me less that the council is bailing out Livewire than it is using Livewire to deflect criticism of its own poor performance. The downside of my view is that there would not have been millions to spend on arts facilities. However the latest clarification that borrowing for commercial property purchase to make a profit is not regarded as prudential borrowing and therefore improper will hopefully cause a major rethink. Borrowing to improve the town is permitted and could be possible once more when the new funding formula is established in 2019 and beyond.
  6. Failed City of Culture bid

    Many thanks for the document grey_man. It is interesting in that it contains nothing which could justify not being published before. Were you told it had to be redacted before you could see it? Secondly it is just as vacuous as I had expected. It must have made it very easy to let DCMS decide which bids to discard. It demonstrated to concrete plans of any kind but relied on the efforts of others. The lack of vision is painful to observe.
  7. Post Box Collections

    Asp, The quoted url in your last post is a business courier service. I fail to see the connection between using that service and the original issue raised that ordinary post boxes no longer have actual collection times on their "next collection" tabs. Turning to the suggested same-day service, an indication of the costs incurred for it (during the day- prices vary by time and destination) - From an address in Warrington to London £265.78, from the Town Centre to Birchwood Park £26.40. You are essentially hiring a taxi (in the form of a red Royal Mail van) to carry your parcel or packet. This is, of course, neither an answer to the original problem or a rational way for private individuals to behave. It would mostly be cheaper to deliver - "By Hand". The original requirement by Milky of "quite urgent" does not really fit the costs of using this service, particularly since if high value was involved or proof of delivery it would have needed to use recorded or special delivery which both require a visit to the post office.
  8. Taking the p££s -

    From a short look at the EU Exit Bill as at today there will be no change to the effect of the directive ( which is applied using UK regulations under the European Communities Act and will become part of UK law on Exit day). The Drivers Hours regulations will similarly be retained by incorporating them in UK law. There will be no changes to the UK regulations either, other than changing the way they refer to EU regulations perhaps. It is that sort of change of wording which is the subject of the squabble about Henry VIII powers, the remainers in Parliament want to decide all those very important words rather than leave it to a civil servant or parliamentary draughtsman, I suspect that in reality they just want to derail and delay. So to sum up Davy you should expect no change, that will last until the end of the transition period. The details of the transition and what ends up in the Exit Act are all subject to change though!
  9. Taking the p££s -

    That is because we already committed to pay the money to 2020 like idiots so the tweak on the deal is a quid pro quo, or no money.
  10. Taking the p££s -

    They are offering a 21 month period starting on the 1st April 2019 and ending 31st December 2020. The current Commission appointments finish at the end of October 2019 and no new legislation is likely to be started until the new Commission is appointed and gets it political direction approved by the European Council of Ministers (less UK) in about May 2020. There will almost certainly no new Regulations before the end of the transition period and directives are even less likely. So the issue is what is going to be passed between April and October 2019, which will have been subject to UK input and the notion that we are a disinterested party in such law-making can be dismissed while the UK wields all the power it still has. If the UK simply vetoes any new laws from now until the leaving date that are proposed unless they are in the form of a directive and not regulations and requires coming into force dates to be beyond the end of our transition there will be no problem. Hopefully that also means that any regulations coming into force before the end of our transition should have an extended period for our implementation for the UK unless we have consented in consultation with us. For laws in the form of directives there is a need to implement UK legislation which can, of course, be delayed. The infamous Henry VIII powers do not apply to directives, they only apply to regulations which enter force directly into UK law. That is why we should simply not accept such regulations which we still have such a power. EU law making is really not very fast in practice. This is a very small change from what is already on offer and give the appearance of being tough on the UK whilst not actually being so. There is little benefit for the rest of the EU in doing such a sensible thing because the moment we leave the laws which we don't like will be repealed giving no benefit. Furthermore the Lord Chancellor can give instructions to the UK courts to make no references to the ECJ for interpretation from the day of leaving because the requirement for that will have been removed by the repeal of the European Communities Act. The ECJ can only act on complaint the UK has broken the rules by another member state community citizen. We don't have to respond though! So maybe not a vassal state after all, but we could start being a pain in the proverbial in Brussels pretty soon: on anything not involving Brexit we are still a full member and we should be getting our money's worth.
  11. General disorder ?

    Obs, Of course you ask important questions but the statement that the Army is not fit for purpose is a rather tabloid interpretation. I would recommend reading the actual speech by the Chief of the General Staff which can be found here https://rusi.org/event/dynamic-security-threats-and-british-army . It seems to me to be a thoughtful and less alarmist view of the world. He also quotes Trotsky who said "“you may not be interested in war but war is interested in you.” which I see as a chilling answer "No" to your final question.
  12. Cost of cutting -

    Perhaps it was to pay for a space big enough for the all the security folk and TV crew/photographers.
  13. Carrillion ?

    I am not sure it is true that they only sub-contract to smaller firms. The thing which is constant is the type of client, i.e. Government. This used to be the MO of firms like GEC who dabbled in anything that had electrical content where the end customer was a government agency, such as the military or Post Office. The attractive thing was the Cost Plus contracts which guaranteed a return. They all disappeared and so did GEC. Government started to outsource which had the effect of reducing Civil Service numbers and Pensions. The regular revenue of government service contracts and a customer which cannot go bust was irresistible. The companies like Carillion seem to either form their own subsidiaries to address the new revenue stream or form a JV if technical knowhow is needed. Cleaning, School Meals and general service work is something they can set up on their own but scale reduces costs so the government favours building up the scale in those enterprises. I suspect those JVs caused problems for Carillion since the partner can take over and remove the future value of the JV's revenue stream making administration impossible and leading straight to liquidation. Given that the point is to take the workers out of civil service type conditions the answer cannot be to nationalise them again, which is why even Corbyn said no to that. The issue with the building side is surely that the risk and the capital needed to build projects is taken off the Public Sector Borrowing Requirement until the project is complete and there is then a service revenue flow (such as a hospital) to pay back the capital from a fraction of its running costs. Given that the expertise to build these things is in the Private Sector what is to be gained by a National Building Organisation which would just sit between the Gov Dept. and the Contractors. There is a lot of work done by the big companies themselves in design, project management and financing that would have to be done by the contractors or the New Organisation and the skills are reused better by contractors in reality. The simplistic analysis above breaks down when the contractor do work in jurisdiction which are unpredictable or in currencies that are unstable relative to sterling which seems to be what happens to sterling. Then the sterling paid work has to bail out problems with the export stuff and if the ratios are wrong, it is curtains. In the past the foreign export construction jobs were indeed done by Crown Agents but they were originally in Colonies where there were suitable guarantees. For unstable areas there is insurance in the form of Export Credit Guarantees but I think they are limited and may be expensive and reduce profitability.
  14. Post Box Collections

    Milky, I looked at the Royal Mail site and as far as I can tell the 9am time means that the postman who delivers to the area around the box will collect from it at the same time as he delivers mail. It just means he will not start before 9am!! If my understanding is correct it means those who are at work when post is delivered will not be any the wiser and it may as well be collected at 9am, not at all helpful information.
  15. This can't be true can it ?

    Isn't it the case that they claimed that the fence was needed to clear the Japanese Knotweed which they have a duty to do as the landowner whatever the final use is to be? I mean this to show that the approval of this application can't be used as a precedent for the real application which is yet to come, the EIA is no an application it is just an opinion. WBC have had this in the long term plan for some years by the way, but wouldn't say where it was!