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Everything posted by Confused52

  1. Real life politics is about striking an appropriate balance between apparently opposite policies. That is why single issue policy groups such as the greens will always fail as a result of a failure to compromise. The environmental lobby is often childish in its approach because it doesn't have to engage with others. PR is not the answer either because PR give the power to dictate policy to the smallest group that can swing an issue, the other groups other than the coalition lead usual hold considerably less sway. Without personal mobility (i.e.cars) connectivity is essential and always has been at the heart of economic performance.
  2. We will have to pay for their security outside the country in order to make sure that it is reliable. The effects on this country and its foreign policy of one of the Royal Family being kidnapped abroad do not bear thinking about. Terrorists do not count the value of their acts in money and to fight terrorism we have to think like them.
  3. Davy, Quote from https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/veganism-judgment-doesnt-change-employment-law-expert-notes/5102613.article published by the Law Society. "However, Barry Ross, director at specialist firm Crossland Employment Solicitors, noted that the landmark ruling does not affect the law. He said: ‘It is important to remember that this is the judgment of the first instance employment tribunal. It does not have to be followed and does not implement any change in the law. It does give employers guidance in relation to the likely treatment of ethical veganism before the employment tribunal and as such, the types of steps they should be considering for their employees and the workplace.’ So this is not a case that can set a precedent because it is too low a court and in statute law Terrorism is defined and a court cannot change what is on the face of the Act. However you make an interesting point in that if it were, in effect, a religion then it would be protected under the Human Rights Act and the Human Rights Act trumps all other legislation which is required to be compatible with it! What you highlight is why this Human Rights stuff in contrary to common sense and has just gone too far!!!
  4. Happy New Year to all, I fear Sid that it should possibly be feel the girth!
  5. I have heard that one reason for the "flu season" problem is that the staff also get the flu, despite the mandatory vaccinations, and have to stay at home thereby reducing the throughput of hospitals. I cannot help thinking that there must be some degree of multi skilling where staff are moved from departments with less urgent and more manageable case loads get diverted to A&E at peak time and I feel sure that must already happen. Unfortunately though the mortality statistics tell us that older people with their complex problems tend to become ill and die at this time of the year and they often get unwell with a sudden onset that causes the first presentation at A&E for a complex case. The wards for geriatric cases are even expanded in Warrington with extra money from the CCG to cope with this. Warrington's record for the extended stays whiles people wait for social care placements and investigation were better than most places last year, the NHS measures everything! Apart from global warming being real and preventing the flu season I don't yet see an answer!
  6. The total separation of the three branches of government is not a British tradition, rather it is a continental one which the liberal elite have been trying to introduce here for decades. For myself I find that every invocation of this principle has behind it an attempt to reduce the power of the executive and the unlawful prorogation decision was exactly one such decision which invoked separation of powers. Careful what you wish for.
  7. I have heard that discussed a lot recently but the discussion often points to the issues of meaning creep over time that happens with written constitutions. The US constitution on gun ownership being a prime example. We actually have more written constitution than is appreciated what with civil service rules, Standing Orders in Parliament and Erskine May on top of Statute and Common Law. Writing down those things which are conventions has also been done by the Parliamentary Librarians as a record of custom and practice. Given that Constitutional Law cases often quote these sources showing that they are well known I wonder what you want to be different? What if I suggest that writing it all down in one place would offer the lawyers a ready made opportunity to change it as they write it down and that would give the law a larger role than today. Would you be happy with that? I know I wouldn't.
  8. Yes, read what I said again - them being elected is not a good thing of itself because in extremis they can claim an equal legitimacy to the Commons, that is destabilizing. Sorry if it doesn't fit with simple explanations of democracy but it is more stable. Other countries have informal mechanisms to make sure the second chamber is populated by elder statement too, the election thing doesn't bother me because the parties still choose the candidates and there is less account taken of public preference than in our system. The British way is pragmatism and the Hose of Lords is fine as it is. The organ of state you want to worry about is the Supreme Court.
  9. Could not agree more. Unless it take a turn for the worse self medicate and keep away from place where there are ill people who could be made worse by catching what you have.
  10. TBH I don't agree about the Lords. I believe that the Lords with the Salisbury convention and the Parliament Acts do a better job than the Commons. Indeed the Lords performed better on Brexit even though the government does not have a majority in the House of Lords. It isn't actually broken in my view. I base that on the conventions meaning that as the unelected House the HOL must eventually defer to the Commons and always does even if there is no majority in the HOL. It does make sensible changes to legislation in most case acting as a revising chamber and to be fair most of its members do not turn up unless their expertise is required by the whips. They also bring great amounts of professional experience, most valuably from outside politics, to consider the proposals to change the law. People like Lord Winston are invaluable in considering ethical consequences, that are beyond the cut and thrust of the Commons are valuable even they are political appointees. If the second chamber were elected they would be able to challenge the legitimacy and supremacy of the Commons and I do not think that would make democracy any healthier. Lords reform is just something that feels as if it ought to make things more democratic until you look at in detail when you find that the last 100 years hasve probably done eough and doing more could make it worse. Anyway that is just my two-penneth.
  11. Bill, I find that mostly people accept you have a right to be on any side. However the is one tribe that does not and it seems connected to intolerant youth. In reality they mostly grow up eventually although the odd one doesn't. I suspect that it is the problem I have gone on about before of loser's consent which the young have not been exposed to. In this GE the issue was inextricably linked with Brexit which is a one way decision as the Conservatives got a large majority. Loser's consent depends on the losers realising that they will get another chance and can possibly win next time round such that losing this time is not something that must be overturned. That is not possible with Brexit because the current terms will never be available again, hence the lack of losers consent and the posture of taking no prisoners. This should now be different and the anger will abate as they find something else to obsess about but it is why referendums that chose to do things that cannot be undone are so dangerous without the safety valve of a minimum percentage majority of the vote that convinces the losers that a re-run would not give a different result.
  12. Your suggestion is true and much favoured. However I would point out that the latest Boundary Reviews for all part of the UK has week waiting for the government to have a sufficient majority to dare to implement them. In those reviews the same quota, i.e. electors target per constituency, was used in every part of the country in the four reviews to ensure that the inequality is removed. By implementing those change the whinging power of the SNP is reduced a bit.
  13. I give up. I told you the heating load was predicted by the protagonists to be a peak of 170GW, Ofgem says current maximum demand is approx. 62 GW. Cars are extra and I have no idea how much to add for them. However you say anyone can make up number and promptly do exactly that. We will eventually have to change as Gas runs out but doing it faster than necessary diverts money, including tax receipts, from other projects and services. Using renewables costs significantly more than nuclear or thermal systems because of the extra capacity needed to be installed to guarantee supply. When supporters compare costs of say solar they compare nameplate capacity when the Grid can only rely on 10% of that capacity so the correct comparison is ten lots of solar costed against one lot of spinning generation. Of course the poor will pay more in running costs. The stupid error in the BBC thinking on cars is that the 90% not on the move is not all spent tethered to mains points. The cost of reinforcing the grid to cope with the supply topology being the opposite to what it was designed for is very expensive. It could also be completely avoided by using nuclear.
  14. But the fracking is needed for the status quo not expanding anything. I worry that incentives that require the poor to pay more are not a great plan so I am not in favour at all. The numbers I used were from the people who promote air source heat pumps so I was trying to be fair. However you I didn't include electric cars which make it worse I think. Peak demand on the grid is before cars have docked and also before they have charged up so assuming they will act as a big battery may not be reliable.
  15. Oh dear. We should move away from heating homes with gas and that means we don't need fracking does it? So here are some thoughts on the practicality of that - For existing buildings there is not often space for ground sourced heat pumps so air source heat pumps, with all the attendant noise, will be needed. The Coefficient of Performance is about 3 for such devices and the current domestic heating load goes up to 170 Gigawatts. That means that the extra electrical generation capacity which is in serious trouble at 50GW needs to increase by 60GW, more than double. A point that the eco-warriors always forget is that the renewable systems are unreliable and last year in the UK the use of renewable supply was a record but the amount of total renewable supply capacity (nameplate capacity) was ten times the actual supplied electricity. It is massively inefficient. When they compare costs it is always false, they compare the nameplate capacity cost, with no back-up capacity in the even of a windless night, against the equivalent spinning thermal capacity. The politicians feel they have to follow the media story, because that is what it is. Now the problem that comes next is the hot water that comes out of the heat pump is at not likely to be at 70 degrees C, the design temperature for radiator based heating installations. The pumps work better down at 35 degrees. So for most people they need to locate a heat pump where it will not keep them awake and change the boiler as well as changing the radiators for larger ones or changing to underfloor heating. (Obviously a cinch in homes with a ground floor on a concrete raft!) Then there will need to be better insulation added. Sorry Bill but the idea that the necessary changes to 30 million homes can be done at such a speed and in synchronism with doubling the grid's generation capacity, so as to avoid fracking, is laughable. The time taken to build that capacity and in the wind power the locations offshore for what would need to be around three times the desired output would be such a large undertaking that it is going to take decades. The current promises are risible as are the politicians that spout them and the green morons who know full well that their plans will kill millions. We need fracking and we need it soon to stop Putin making us freeze to death. Fortunately as Stallard will know and others do not, the law in the US is changing to allow America to export its natural gas and we have additional capacity which we cannot currently use to accept the gas because tankers get diverted to Japan for higher prices. However the facilities in the US are planned for the Eastern seaboard to make it cheaper for the US to export to us than to Japan because the ships turn round faster. You may all be more grateful for fracking sooner than you think.
  16. Milky, the point of the new build was to build new offices which got rid of any rental charges for the council by getting restaurants to pay the interest for the loans as part of their rent payments. The cinema is also paying enough to cover the interest on the loans for the new car park which is intended to provide space for council workers during the day close to their new offices. Finally the new market is to provide a food court to allow the council employees to get low cost food during their lunch times. Any benefit for the public from these arrangements is what is known as upside benefits. The public are not the main concern of this council. Now you knew all that didn't you?
  17. I have no idea because the BBC and SKY are totally impartial and would surely never withhold such a story involving the close family of any politician. Day after day the lack of bias is unremitting, but I just don't see it.
  18. Bill, you interpreted my words "horrendously difficult" as implying an unwillingness because of cost. Actually that is not so, rather it is currently technically impossible to know where calls actually originate because of a lack of technical capability, a commercial set of trust issues and an unwillingness to co-operate by some internationally. The global use of English makes the English speaking world a particular target but even the French suffer too. What they have done is to bar any call which presents from abroad with a French fixed number as a Calling Line Identity. However may British businesses have done that for years legitimately. The calls tend to come into the country via one of the hundreds of ISP/telcos and then get handed on to BT/Gamma/Talk Talk etc as it they are from a UK operator. The worst offenders spread their calls across many countries and incoming UK operators. This means that BT, for example, cannot tell the difference between a genuine call and a nuisance one because the process of mixing calls up could equally well have taken place abroad. If the abroad is in the EU the law currently demands that we accept the CLI and pass it on and the UK authorities have no jurisdiction on the actual operator that caused the problem or mixed up the calls. So to stop it we have to limit the acceptance of calls from abroad to the way it was before the advent of Internet Telephony, when calls were only sent abroad by the likes of France Telecom, AT&T, BT and Cable and Wireless. As an alternative we set up a new system where callers have to prove who they are and operators can lawfully refuse to connect to operators that seem to be dodgy or have high complaint rates. That is the strategy being followed by Ofcom and the FCC using IETF standards but it will take time and business models for UK business models will be up ended. The problem is not just cost but the transition cost for the network and handling the problem of the legacy network do not help. Even if we were changed over technically already the world is not joined up in this particular fight. Sorry for boring the pants off you all.
  19. Bill, Ofcom have told operators that the fixed network is approaching a crisis point because of nuisance calls. The fact is that many folks no longer answer the fixed line because they assume it will be a nuisance call. For some time yet the mobile phone network is simply not as reliable (i.e. available) as the fixed network. The back-up power supply on mobile masts only lasts for up to an hour normally, and whilst you can make a 999 call on any network the way that all the networks share masts will sometime mean that a loss of power will take them all out at the same time. The grid is becoming less stable and such power loss events are expected to happen more often. Of course they affect mobile and broadband but not fixed telephones which are powered from the exchange which also has a backup diesel generator which starts automatically and feeds a battery which acts as an uninterruptable power supply. Cordless phones in the home also stop in power cuts so keeping a line powered wired phone to use in emergencies is a sensible precaution. Scammers also call mobile phones but they don't have the data that links aged folk to the numbers but they will get it if everyone only uses mobiles. Telling us to be careful is not just the easy option. I am sorry to tell you that identifying the calls before they terminate is horrendously difficult and the UK is adopting the same solution as the UK and Canada who suffer the same problems. Fixing the problem when the public is stopping to use the network is not a money making plan, the operators just see growing costs and a dying network. The current fixed Telephone Network is to be replaced by one using broadband and all the highly resilient networks of today are due to be replaced by the end of 2025. You can already get broadband without a phone line in some places in Warrington and elsewhere supplied by Openreach and by Virgin Media. There is lots of financial pressure of the wrong kind involved in this kind of network.
  20. Milky, the rise to 68 was predicated on longevity increasing but it has not done so. There may well be a revision in due course.
  21. Bill, What you say is correct about Malicious Calls but what most people get are not legally Malicious Calls. Malicious Calls can be set up to be traced within the UK automatically when you receive them. A system was set up by Ofcom to trace spam calls at the insistence of Ed Vaizey, I don't know if it is still working. I think you are wrong about the companies being happy with the situation because people are not using the fixed network because of this problem, BT do not get money unless the call is answered and people don't bother any more.
  22. The callers target oldies deliberately because they are expected to panic and give away information or agree to things. The numbers come from all sorts of publicly available sources and the phone book does not discriminate between providers. TPS works by giving UK marketing firms access to the TPS list which they must check before calling a number in case it is restricted by the list. If a UK caller ignores the list he can have all phone service taken away by all providers after complaints to Ofcom. So they outsource calling to foreign companies who use IP telephony and lie about their calling line number, so you get calls from overseas that say they are from UK numbers. Often they use unallocated numbers in the local are at random so that the systems that track large numbers of calls cannot spot bogus callers. The calls are often made by robo-callers which fire off a batch of calls all over the country and when you answer they connect you to an agent. I usually wait at least 9 seconds, three pairs of rings, then go off hook remaining silent. The calling machines see that behaviour as being an answering machine so drop the call nine times out of ten. If you have a suitable phone CLI is now free from all operators so you can see if it is who you want to talk to before answering. The use of random calling numbers means that most blocking services cannot work. The calls may often originate from the sub-continent but I am told they enter the UK direct via the US and Europe so blocking them based on where they come from doesn't work.
  23. or perhaps because reducing the number of seats in a fractious party would have created meltdown. As for postal voting scams, it requires certain type of electors who are happy to have someone else do the voting for them and the types that have been mentioned in the press are generally not in the Tory's demographic. The practice seems not so much to change voter intentions as to guarantee turnout.
  24. Sid, There is no more water. The claim is simply that as the oceans warm the water expands and take up more space so the sea levels must rise. We measure ocean temperatures using water in a bucket, or some floating Argo beacons else from space with Infra Red sensors. In every case we get the surface temperature. Since the oceans are very deep there will be a temperature gradient to the ocean floor and currents either will or won't mix the warm and cold water. However it seems unlikely that estimating sea level rise by extrapolating surface temperature effects to a body of water as massive as the oceans when we don't understand how they work is going to be accurate. But hey you can make up scary numbers really easily!
  25. Sid, What confuses people is that there are more than one kind of bus pass depending on which council area you live in. There are separate schemes for each of the home countries but here the basic scheme is the English National Concessionary Travel Scheme. It permits free travel on buses, other than tours or coach trips etc. after 0930 until 2300 each weekday and all day on Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays. Each Council is free to augment the scheme as it chooses, Warrington only permits addition free bus trips after 2300 until the end of the day's service and travel in to Wales on buses that go directly from Chester and West Cheshire to a destination in Wales on local buses. In London at Pension Age you get a Freedom Card which give free travel at any time on Buses, Tubes and Trams and TfL run trains within London, plus most National Rail services within London from 0930 each weekday and all day otherwise, as well as the ENCTS conditions in the rest of England. For those over 60 but under Pension Age there is a different card, the 60+Oyster which gives Free Travel in London like the Freedom Card but is not valid outside London. Of use to us from Warrington is that the ENCTS card (with the Rose symbol) from Warrington is accepted on London Buses at any time of day other than for Night Buses with Service number Nxx etc. Greater Manchester has a card from retirement age which is valid on buses, trams and trains inside GM between 0930 and 2300 weekdays and weekends/Bank Holidays. Merseyside has a card from 60 with free buses, trains and Ferries in Merseyside from 0930 weekdays, all day other wise. At Pension age they give a new card which also has the ENTCS benefits. Each of the Councils has its own rules that suit their own circumstances and they are usually more generous in the areas with what used to be called Passenger Transport Authorities and are now called Integrated Transport Authorities. There is not a single simple answer other than the availability of a card with the ENCTS scheme as you come up to State Pension age but even then the benefits vary according to where you want to use it. Of course the English scheme card give you no concession at all for journeys wholly within Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland!
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