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Protests in Ireland, violence in Greece, strikes in Spain and cuts expected here.

Is it going to be a summer of political action and unrest or do we only have to worry about our holiday destinations? What do you think?

Spanish workers' strike

Violence in Greece

Angry protests on Ireland's streets

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Protests in Ireland, violence in Greece, strikes in Spain and cuts expected here.

Is it going to be a summer of political action and unrest or do we only have to worry about our holiday destinations? What do you think?

Spanish workers' strike

Violence in Greece

Angry protests on Ireland's streets

I think people are gearing themselves up for the budget announcement on June 22nd, Pat but if it is as bad as they are intimating there could well be trouble on the way.

I think there tactics are interesting - cutting governement department spending and engaging the public in deciding priorities for cuts. I'm not sure what to make of that. Is it the new politics, or are we just being softened up for the really, really, bad news?

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It matters not a jot, we bought ourselves into this mess, now we have to pay our way out. Easy peasy.

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Guest westtender

I think people are gearing themselves up for the budget announcement on June 22nd, Pat but if it is as bad as they are intimating there could well be trouble on the way.

I think there tactics are interesting - cutting governement department spending and engaging the public in deciding priorities for cuts. I'm not sure what to make of that. Is it the new politics, or are we just being softened up for the really, really, bad news?

Cameron's speech yesterday was sobering. There was a whiff of - god help him - honesty about it. I'd like to think there will be major public consultation, which should hopefully result in starting with the bleeding obviouses, such as top paid peoples' obscene wages being well slashed.

Majorly incompetent sorts within Labour whose fiscal abilities were such that they clearly should not have been left in charge of so much as the school tuck shop, have left a huge, huge financial crater. Of staggering proportions.

"I have now been in office for a month. I have spent much of that time discussing with the Chancellor and government officials the most urgent issue facing Britain today: our massive deficit and growing debt.

How we deal with these things will affect our economy, our society – indeed our whole way of life.

The decisions we make will affect every single person in our country. And the effects of those decisions will stay with us for years, perhaps decades to come."

"...George Osborne has said that our plans to cut the deficit must be based on the belief that we are all in this together – and he means it."

" But what I can tell you today – and what we did not know for sure before in fact what we could not know, because the previous Chancellor of the Exchequer did not make the figures available is how much the interest on our debt is likely to increase in the years to come.

Now we have looked at the figures. Based on the calculations of the last government, in five years’ time the interest we are paying on our debt is predicted to be around £70 billion. That is a simply staggering amount.

No wonder the previous government refused to publish the information. Let me explain what it means. Today we spend more on debt interest than we do on running schools in England. But £70 billion means spending more on debt interest than we currently do on running schools in England plus climate change plus transport.

Interest payments of £70 billion mean that for every single pound you pay in tax, 10 pence would be spent on interest.

Is that what people work so hard for, that their taxes are blown on interest payments on the national debt? What a terrible, terrible waste of money. So, this is how bad things have got. This is how far we have been living beyond our means. This is the legacy our generation threatens to leave the next."

http://www.number10.gov.uk/news/speeches-and-transcripts/2010/06/prime-ministers-speech-on-the-economy-51435

Terrific. We sure are 'all in this together' - up to our necks in shit, and so are our kids, and so are the kids not even born yet. Thanks, so-called brilliant chancellor Broon. A monkey could have done a better job with the country's finances than you did.

No doubt a seat in the Lords awaits.

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Guest westtender

It matters not a jot, we bought ourselves into this mess, now we have to pay our way out. Easy peasy.

Erm. We didn't 'buy' anything, and we have no money to 'pay' our way out of anything.

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Don't be silly, of course we bought into good times and of course we have the money to 'pay' our way out. Has it not always been so?

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Guest westtender

Don't be silly, of course we bought into good times and of course we have the money to 'pay' our way out. Has it not always been so?

:):o :o

You cannot possibly be serious.

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Looks like a case of "Live then Pay now". UK can get out of the hole it dug for itself but it will take some effort & a lot of cost cutting. I am so glad you didnt join the Euro

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From the Guardian, 24th November 2009 - the cost of borrowing was well heralded. Wonder why Cameron is being disingenuous?

'He (Mervyn King) said figures from the International Monetary Fund and those underpinning the Bank's inflation report suggest that from pre-recession levels between 5% and 10% of Britain's entire economic output – about £100bn – will be be lost for the "indefinite future".'

We are definitely being softened up for something. Cameron is losing no opportunity to point to the debt mountain and say we have to cut our costs to bring debt under control.

The only thing he has control of is public spending, so that is what he will cut. And the biggest items of public expenditure are defence, health and education and it also looks like he'll have a pop at Pensions and benefits as well.

What he is not so keen to do is to tax the wealthy. The miniscule impact of an increase in Capital Gains Tax has had the Mail and Express unleash a full broadside. Just think what would happen if he proposes a rich bankers' tax.

Cameron has borrowed Thatcher's notion that running a country is just like running a shop. "We've too much debt so we have to cut our spending". Sadly as we found to our cost under the blessed Margaret, a country isn't like that. Cut back our spending on public services and we end up spending more on welfare and policing and we lower the tax take. Cut back too much and businesses go to the wall with a further depressing effect on the economy.

Brown was wrong to declare that boom and bust was finished. All he did was adjust the timing and scale of the cycle. But Cameron is equally wrong to think that fiscal policies can get us out of the bust cycle - only time, sell off of the banking assets and careful increase in tax rates can achieve that.

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It matters not a jot, we bought ourselves into this mess, now we have to pay our way out. Easy peasy.

Thats funny because I don't remember going hog wild and borrowing millions and neither did the majority of the country. The crisis started with a major financial meltdown because the great and the good were gambling that property prices would never go down and of course the made up sham of an insurance system they created around about that belief.

World wide deficits are there because banks and financial institutions had to be bailed out to the tune of trillions not because Mrs. Smith borrowed 500 quid on a credit card to pay for a holiday. IMHO it is a lie to tell us we are all in this together when in actual fact we are all paying for disgraceful behaviour of a globalised financial sector which gambled and lost and then had its losses swallowed by the taxpayer.

Also, if you have the time this is worth a swatch.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/adamcurtis/2010/02/the_economists_new_clothes.html

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I'm contented that I don't let what little extra brain cells I have left over delve too deeply into politics however it doesn't stop me speculating.

Cameron is asking the public where they should make the cuts? yeah right = easy excuses when it all goes pear shape.

Of course there's going to be protests - remember the huge bonuses to *ankers and golden goodbyes etc etc

I'm interested to see how they can cut benefits now cut public sector jobs etc etc YET HAVE no flamin jobs to put people into????

Personal story coming up ;)

My OH has been out of work for just over a year from the building trade - he's not trained to do anything else. He enquired about learning to drive machinery or HGV licence and/or getting a full time security job. ALL required new certificates brought in in the last few years by the last "bureaucratic making" government fair enough you want to know that your workforce are well trained (when I say well-trained we're talking a condescending powerpoint presentation and a wee tick box test) :lol: and safe however to complete these courses would cost anything from £400 to a couple of thousand pounds. So if you've used up all your savings being unemployed ..????

People have a responsibilty not to get into debt but so had the f***** governments

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I'm contented that I don't let what little extra brain cells I have left over delve too deeply into politics however it doesn't stop me speculating.

Cameron is asking the public where they should make the cuts? yeah right = easy excuses when it all goes pear shape.

Maybe he just doesn't feel ready for the job yet. Might be better asking where not to make the cuts.

Of course there's going to be protests - remember the huge bonuses to *ankers and golden goodbyes etc etc

I'm interested to see how they can cut benefits now cut public sector jobs etc etc YET HAVE no flamin jobs to put people into????

No jobs, no training strategies and no hope for many. Maybe he should take a tip or two from Tony Benn - (see other thread) but doubt we'll see much anger against injustice or fanning the flames of hope.

Personal story coming up ;)

My OH has been out of work for just over a year from the building trade - he's not trained to do anything else. He enquired about learning to drive machinery or HGV licence and/or getting a full time security job. ALL required new certificates brought in in the last few years by the last "bureaucratic making" government fair enough you want to know that your workforce are well trained (when I say well-trained we're talking a condescending powerpoint presentation and a wee tick box test) :lol: and safe however to complete these courses would cost anything from £400 to a couple of thousand pounds. So if you've used up all your savings being unemployed ..????

People have a responsibilty not to get into debt but so had the f***** governments

Bloody sad! I'm sure there are many such examples illustrating the barriers people face, IonaW, I guess the rich/poor divide is ever widening.

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I'm contented that I don't let what little extra brain cells I have left over delve too deeply into politics however it doesn't stop me speculating.

Cameron is asking the public where they should make the cuts? yeah right = easy excuses when it all goes pear shape.

Of course there's going to be protests - remember the huge bonuses to *ankers and golden goodbyes etc etc

I'm interested to see how they can cut benefits now cut public sector jobs etc etc YET HAVE no flamin jobs to put people into????

Personal story coming up ;)

My OH has been out of work for just over a year from the building trade - he's not trained to do anything else. He enquired about learning to drive machinery or HGV licence and/or getting a full time security job. ALL required new certificates brought in in the last few years by the last "bureaucratic making" government fair enough you want to know that your workforce are well trained (when I say well-trained we're talking a condescending powerpoint presentation and a wee tick box test) :lol: and safe however to complete these courses would cost anything from £400 to a couple of thousand pounds. So if you've used up all your savings being unemployed ..????

People have a responsibilty not to get into debt but so had the f***** governments

IWG,

When ah wiz unemployed fur an extensive period of time a few years ago, I managed to get the broo tae pay fer training fur me for "free"

Its apparently available efter bein unemployed fur 6 months, ur sooner dependin on where yoo live.

I received Microsft technical training which is industry recognises, 5 seperate subjects worth (if I had to pay fur it maself)in the region of £6000.

It was a pain tryin tae get the broo tae actually dae anything aboot it though, at that time it wiz called the "training fur work" program

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Thanks Nota :)

Over here in Back o' Beyond UKay they have a scheme where they will pay part of the training costs providing you have a letter from someone willing to take you on ;):lol:

Taken that the biggest and only employer here for say digger drivers is in financial trouble well ........?

They seem to have a free reign for what they charge for some of these courses too and then there's the renewal charges on say the security course every 3 years or so :lol:

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Thanks Nota :)

Over here in Back o' Beyond UKay they have a scheme where they will pay part of the training costs providing you have a letter from someone willing to take you on ;):lol:

Taken that the biggest and only employer here for say digger drivers is in financial trouble well ........?

They seem to have a free reign for what they charge for some of these courses too and then there's the renewal charges on say the security course every 3 years or so :lol:

It is sometimes like that here IWG but ma course wiz free and yoo didnae ned teh offer of work letter

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IWG,

When ah wiz unemployed fur an extensive period of time a few years ago, I managed to get the broo tae pay fer training fur me for "free"

I received Microsft technical training which is industry recognises, 5 seperate subjects worth (if I had to pay fur it maself)in the region of £6000.

Thats exactly what my son is doing courtesy of HM Government. His total cost is $50 pa. He is doing net working & hoping to get Microsoft Accreditation.

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IWG,

When ah wiz unemployed fur an extensive period of time a few years ago, I managed to get the broo tae pay fer training fur me for "free"

Its apparently available efter bein unemployed fur 6 months, ur sooner dependin on where yoo live.

I received Microsft technical training which is industry recognises, 5 seperate subjects worth (if I had to pay fur it maself)in the region of £6000.

It was a pain tryin tae get the broo tae actually dae anything aboot it though, at that time it wiz called the "training fur work" program

That's fantastic, Nota. It would have been terrible if they had just written you off as just another obese drain on the tax payer. And thank goodness they didn't tell you just to get on with it yourself because there were more deserving priorities. That would have been terrible, don't you think? tongue.gif

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http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/10278662.stm

ahhh part of the solution - price a degree out of the hands of the oiks. Its not fair that the offspring of the landed ladies and gentry should have to share the same airspace as the lumpen prols.

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That's fantastic, Nota. It would have been terrible if they had just written you off as just another obese drain on the tax payer. And thank goodness they didn't tell you just to get on with it yourself because there were more deserving priorities. That would have been terrible, don't you think? tongue.gif

Nae way as wiz gettin written aff either by them ur anywan else - positive atitude - ah akshully wanted a job, unlike a huge number of folk who are signin on. It's amazin how some staff in teh broo actually pick up on the diffrinshes in people signin on, between the lazy gits and the wans who are there "between jobs"

The broo told me hee haw inishully, despite weeks of askin' In life yoo huvtae go and find things oot fur yerself. Unforchoonately therz a huge number of folk on teh broo who aren't in the slightest bit interested in getting any trainin never mind gettin a job

The trainin course ah wiz on, and there wiz a few diffrint wans on the go wiz as a sed free, yoo kept gettin yer broo money plus travel expenses plus an extra few quid as well. Two free exams fur Microsoft quaulifikashuns were thrown in as well.

I was pleasently surprised by the course, it was excellent, having dome many Microsft courses this was the best I had come across. In fact ah ended uop runnin a couple of sessions at it on certain aspects of teh course ah had experince of previously.

But again you have got to want teh training(whatever it may be) Its amazin teh number of people who accept some form of trainin then don't complete it, are disruptive and are only there to give an impreshun of wantin a job

Again its personal responsibility, if yer up fur stuff then fair play to yoo, but if yoo jist fancy livin aff benefits fur the rest of yer life then its time furra shut eye wae a bang

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http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/10278662.stm

ahhh part of the solution - price a degree out of the hands of the oiks. Its not fair that the offspring of the landed ladies and gentry should have to share the same airspace as the lumpen prols.

That might have already started over here http://www.impartialreporter.com/news/roundup/articles/2010/06/03/391566-college-moves-to-stem-the-brain--drain-from-county/

- as the big picture and not just down to geography however I never understand this theory of "brain drain" the reason they leave is because there's no bloody work do they want them to go to Uni and then sit on the dole queue when they've finished. I'm confused you have to provide jobs (in all areas) to retain the young and qualified. We have loads of youngsters here who are finished Uni and they can't even get full time permanent jobs in the pubs/resturants. It's the same all over.

I can see the economy plodding along for a long time - what do the economists say? :lol:

Interesting to see how this cut will pan out in the future ? reckon the interest rate on student loans will go sky high.

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Economists can't even agree about the causes of the Great Depression, so I wouldn't be relying on them to predict what's around the corner.

Peter Schiff and Nouriel Roubini were two economists who correctly predicted the economic collapse of 2008 well in advance, while the vast majority of economists were telling us all that the economy was in great shape and the only way was up. Both of them get a lot of air time on US tv, which you can find on Youtube. Peter's very sharp, but a bit of a self publicist, always pushing his latest book and promoting his investment company etc. Nouriel looks more and more like he could do with a bottle of Prozac. Maybe he knows more than he's letting on. Here's a collection of Peter Schiff TV interviews where he's ridiculed and literally laughed at by other economists as he explains why everything is about to turn pear shaped.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2I0QN-FYkpw

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My once-in-a-generation cut? The armed forces. All of them. We are safer than at any time since the Norman conquest. Yet £45bn is spent defending Britain against fantasy enemies

Simon Jenkins guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 8 June 2010 20.00 BST Article history

I say cut defence. I don't mean nibble at it or slice it. I mean cut it, all £45bn of it. George Osborne yesterday asked the nation "for once in a generation" to think the unthinkable, to offer not just percentage cuts but "whether government needs to provide certain public services at all".

What do we really get from the army, the navy and the air force beyond soldiers dying in distant wars and a tingle when the band marches by? Is the tingle worth £45bn, more than the total spent on schools? Why does Osborne "ringfence" defence when everyone knows its budget is a bankruptcy waiting to happen, when Labour ministers bought the wrong kit for wars that they insisted it fight?

Osborne cannot believe the armed forces are so vital or so efficient as to be excused the star chamber's "fundamental re-evaluation of their role". He knows their management and procurement have long been an insult to the taxpayer. The reason for his timidity must be that, like David Cameron, he is a young man scared of old generals.

I was content to be expensively defended against the threat of global communism. With the end of the cold war in the 1990s that threat vanished. In its place was a fantasy proposition, that some unspecified but potent "enemy" lurked in the seas and skies around Britain. Where is it?

Each incoming government since 1990 has held so-called defence reviews "to match capabilities to policy objectives". I helped with one in 1997, and it was rubbish from start to finish, a cosmetic attempt to justify the colossal procurements then in train, and in such a way that any cut would present Labour as "soft" on defence.

Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and George Robertson, the then defence secretary were terrified into submission. They agreed to a parody of generals fighting the last war but one. They bought new destroyers to defeat the U-boat menace. They bought new carriers to save the British empire. They bought Eurofighters to duel with Russian air aces. Trident submarines with nuclear warheads went on cruising the deep, deterring no one, just so Blair could walk tall at conferences.

Each weekend, the tranquillity of the Welsh countryside is shattered by inane jets screaming through the mountain valleys playing at Lord of the Rings. With modern bombs, no plane need fly that low, and the jets are said to burn more fuel in half an hour than a school in a year. Any other service wasting so much money would be laughed out of court. Yet the Treasury grovels before the exotic virility of it all.

Labour lacked the guts to admit that it was crazy to plan for another Falklands war. It dared not admit that the procurement executive was fit for nothing but appeasing weapons manufacturers. No armies were massing on the continent poised to attack. No navies were plotting to throttle our islands and starve us into submission. No missiles were fizzing in bunkers across Asia with Birmingham or Leeds in their sights. As for the colonies, if it costs £45bn to protect the Falklands, Gibraltar and the Caymans, it must be the most ridiculous empire in history. It would be cheaper to give each colony independence and a billion a year.

Lobbyists reply that all defence expenditure is precautionary. You cannot predict every threat and it takes time to rearm should one emerge. That argument might have held during the cold war and, strictly up to a point, today. But at the present scale it is wholly implausible.

All spending on insurance – be it on health or the police or environmental protection – requires some assessment of risk. Otherwise spending is open-ended. After the cold war there was much talk of a peace dividend and the defence industry went into intellectual overdrive. It conjured up a new "war" jargon, as in the war on drugs, on terror, on piracy, on genocide. The navy was needed to fight drug gangs in the Caribbean, pirates off Somalia and gun-runners in the Persian Gulf. In all such "wars" performance has been dire, because each threat was defined to justify service expenditure rather than the other way round.

Whenever I ask a defence pundit against whom he is defending me, the answer is a wink and a smile: "You never know." The world is a messy place. Better safe than sorry. It is like demanding crash barriers along every pavement in case cars go out of control, or examining school children for diseases every day. You never know. The truth is, we are now spending £45bn on heebie-jeebies.

For the past 20 years, Britain's armed forces have encouraged foreign policy into one war after another, none of them remotely to do with the nation's security. Asked why he was standing in an Afghan desert earlier this year, Brown had to claim absurdly that he was "making London's streets safer". Some wars, as in Iraq, have been a sickening waste of money and young lives. Others in Kosovo and Afghanistan honour a Nato commitment that had nothing to do with collective security. Like many armies in history, Nato has become an alliance in search of a purpose. Coalition ministers are citing Canada as a shining example of how to cut. Canada is wasting no more money in Afghanistan.

Despite Blair's politics of fear, Britain entered the 21st century safer than at any time since the Norman conquest. I am defended already, by the police, the security services and a myriad regulators and inspectors. Defence spending does not add to this. It is like winning the Olympics – a magnificent, extravagant national boast, so embedded in the British psyche that politicians (and newspapers) dare not question it. Yet Osborne asked that every public service should "once in a generation" go back to basics and ask what it really delivers for its money. Why not defence?

There are many evils that threaten the British people at present, but I cannot think of one that absolutely demands £45bn to deter it. Soldiers, sailors and air crews are no protection against terrorists, who anyway are not that much of a threat. No country is an aggressor against the British state. No country would attack us were the government to put its troops into reserve and mothball its ships, tanks and planes. Let us get real.

I am all for being defended, but at the present price I am entitled to ask against whom and how. Of all the public services that should justify themselves from ground zero, defence is the first.

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That would be in my top 5 cuts as well along with obscene golden hello's/goodbyes and every other golden obscene payout in between AND :lol: the banks could do with a make over.

Not so sure about a how much a threat Iran is to the world.They seem to be going to a lot of bother just to sit there and say look what we've got.

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Latest news:

George Soros hints at 1930s style economic collapse;

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601010&sid=aY_SHqr1LQhk

Japanese PM says Japanese economy at risk of collapsing under 'mountain of debt':

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/10290933.stm

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