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UK politics - Hamsterwheel

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UK politics - Hamsterwheel

Old 27th Feb 2012, 07:48
  #3361 (permalink)  
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A nice juxtaposition here:

1. From Private Eye and reproduced on AARSE:

Defence Housing (Private Eye)

Boom-boom time at Annington

"Times are tough in the property game, where even at the top suits are feeling the squeeze - but not if they are in charge of Annington Homes, the property company that gets its income direct from the desperately over-stretched defence budget.

Recently-filed accounts for the company that owns Britain's dire military family accommodation (see last Eye) show that chief executive James Hopkins trousered £2.56m including bonuses in 2008/09, more than 100 times a squaddie's pay and more than twice the basic wedge of even an RBS chief executive. The year before, Hopkins earned £2.65m; and in ten years since joining Annington from Hanson PLC he has raked in north of £17m.

Annington acquired £1.7bn worth of military housing from the Ministry of Defence (MoD) in 1996 in a deal that the National Audit Office found shortchanged taxpayers by around £140m. Under the contract, Annington leases the properties back to the MoD (which still has to maintain them) even if they are empty, so guaranteeing Annington's income.

In 2008/09 this increased by 2.5 percent to £153m despite a fall in the number of properties following earlier sales. This was because under the contract's generous ongoing rent reviews, payments to Annington were put up by 22 percent over the five years to 2007 (having been hiked by 48 percent up to 2002).

As part of its cushy contract Annington sells properties when the MoD judges them surplus to requirements, repaying the taxpayer a declining share of the profits, fixed at 15 percent last year. This arrangement has generally provided the MoD with around £10m a year; but in the sluggish housing market of 2008/09 it generated just £0.9n - the poorest yet on an already dire deal.

This makes Hopkins' remuneration and the barely less generous deals of fellow directors Barry Chambers and Nick Vaughan, who together with the non-executives earned £7.7m, look all the more extraordinary. For example, the chief executive of Britain's largest private residential landlord, Grainger PLC, which owns a similar amount of property and has a higher turnover but without anything like Annington's captive Markey, earned a fifth of Hopkins' wedge - a still healthy £0.5m - last year. The enormous Annington pay packets nevertheless seem to have passed muster with Chairwoman Elizabeth Filkin, one time scourge of excess as a tough parliamentary standards commissioner (Eyes passim).

The rent paid out of the defence budget that doesn't end up in Hopkins and Co's pockets is paid out to the ultimate economic owner of Annington, Japanese investment bank Nomura, removing all but a few pounds of taxable profit from Britain (and leaving a tax bill of just 0.1 percent Annington's operating profit). Nomura's interest is managed offshore by Annington Management Guernsey Ltd, part of the Terra Firma private group whose directors are themselves the nominal shareholders of Annington's parent company, Le Grand Annington Ltd, and thus the legal owners of Britain's military housing.

The offshore management arrangements make the fees earned by Terra Firma from running military housing both highly secret and highly tax efficient, just like the personal tax affairs of its boss, Guy Hands. Last year he did his patriotic bit for fiscally-strapped Britain by moving to Guernsey in protest at personal tax rises."
2. From yesterday's issue of the Torygraph:

Benefits families could pay off 1m mortgage
Almost 100 families are raking in enough housing benefit to fund a 1million mortgage, raising fresh doubts over the Governments cap, figures released yesterday show.

Almost 100 families are raking in enough housing benefit to fund a 10 million mortgage, raising fresh doubts over the Governments cap, figures released yesterday show.

Some 30 families are receiving 1,500 a week three times what they would be earning on a national average wage to pay their rent while another 60 are receiving up to 5,000 a month, according to the Department for Work and Pensions.

All the claimants, who would be able to fund a seven-figure mortgage at those rates, live in the London boroughs of Kensington and Chelsea or Westminster.

One critic said the figures showed that it was an unfair system that punished hard-earning families who could not always afford to live where they wished.

In total 130 families are given more than 1,000 a week,

including 80 who receive at least 1,100 a week, according to figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

This is in stark contrast to the majority of the near five million claimants, four in five of whom receive less than 100 a week.

Concerns over housing benefit deepened in 2010 when it emerged that a family of former asylum seekers from Somalia were getting 2,000 per week to live in a 2.1million home in Kensington. Abdi Nur, 42, an unemployed bus conductor, his wife Sayruq, 40, and their seven children moved after complaining their previous home had been in a poor part of the city.

Last year, another family who fled war-ravaged Somalia exchanged a modest home in Coventry for a 2million house in West Hampstead, north-west London. Saeed Khaliif, 49, who was unemployed, was able to sign what was believed to be a 2,000 a week lease for the six bedroom property despite having no connection with their new area.

The Government announced last year that housing benefit, which currently costs the taxpayer 22billion every year, should be capped at 400 per week for any new applicants from last April.

Anyone in receipt of greater handouts prior to that date was given nine months to move to a cheap property or renegotiate rents to come under the cap.

But as of September, some 10,480 families were still being paid in excess of 400 a week for rent. It raises serious doubts as to how many will meet the transition deadline.

Emma Boon of the TaxPayers Alliance said: This is further evidence that it is right to cap benefits. It is unfair to ask taxpayers to pay for swanky central London homes for others when they cant afford to live in those postcodes themselves.

A DWP spokeswoman said: These figures underline exactly why our Housing Benefit reforms are so necessary.

Liam Byrne, the shadow work and pensions secretary, said the figures underlined the need for a benefits cap. But he said the fact that the highest claimants were in London showed the need for different caps in different parts of the country.
Says it all really!
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Old 28th Feb 2012, 23:48
  #3362 (permalink)  
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Exclusive: Lawyers order Parliament to stop publishing super-injunction document - Telegraph

Page 66 onwards:-
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Old 2nd Mar 2012, 21:34
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Wings over Scotland | Strength through joy

Not real surprise given Millipede was speaking
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Old 3rd Mar 2012, 04:14
  #3364 (permalink)  
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For all those who so despise the public sector.....revere CMD and Tory policy ( not always the same thing I grant you) ....and actually believe that the "P" word is the answer to the UK's financial woes....take your time reading this proposal.

The more rational amongst you should be able to spot the odd potential flaw, or two, in the proposition.......here's a helpful clue ( sorry... )....read the thread on LGW and associated comments on security first.

BBC News - Police invite security firms invited to bid for roles

Last edited by Krystal n chips; 3rd Mar 2012 at 04:38.
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Old 3rd Mar 2012, 06:38
  #3365 (permalink)  
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Politicians really should be made aware of the swiss cheese principle.

this proposal has more holes in it than, well a nice piece of er errr. swiss cheese.
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Old 3rd Mar 2012, 09:18
  #3366 (permalink)  
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I am sorry about this but surely the Sun has a new front page headline "K+C and Stuckgear agree about something shock!"
I am stunned!
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Old 4th Mar 2012, 14:48
  #3367 (permalink)  
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The London Mayoral election is a bit of a sideshow, but it's gone slightly ballistic today.

Ken Livingstone criticised Boris Johnson for getting paid to write for The Telegraph while Mayor. It turns out that Ken uses a shell company for his and his wife's earnings, to minimise their tax liabilities. Everyone seems to be piling on Ken over this, even The Grauniad. Boris has a few choice words:
Im afraid that on May 3 I do see real risks for this city and this country. I see a risk that City Hall will be recaptured by a bunch of semi-reformed Trotskyist, car-hating, Hugo Chavez idolising, newt fancying, tax dodging, bank bashing hypocrites and bendy bus fetishists.
Bendy bus fetishist? That's a bit harsh, Boris ...
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Old 4th Mar 2012, 15:35
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Bendy bus fetishist? That's a bit harsh, Boris ...
But it is true.

Ken decided these things were the future when many of the routes they were on were not suitable for them. Also, since you can get on at 3 doors, many passengers didn't actually pay for their journey (HINT. Over here the same buses have signs that have an arrow that means "OFF" at two doors and "ON" at the front one where the driver is, where you pay) you can guess how much revenue was lost due to His (for Ken thinks he is a God) idea.

That bugger did cost London a PHENOMENAL amount of money, and Boris is a damned sight more restrained than I would have been.
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Old 4th Mar 2012, 15:49
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not only that but the streets of London are too narrow for the bendy bus and trying to negotiate traffic junctions led to them gridlocking certain areas. and when you have two or three at a single bus stop, they literally block the whole road.

There was a good reason the double decker bus came into being on the streets of London, but of course socialists believe they can alter reality to serve their own idiosyncrasies.

Besides, Ken has never passed a driving test despite several attempts, so has no real desire to see road traffic moving along.

NB: in London and the home counties the issue of Ken's tactics in paying 20% tax on his income rather than the 40% income tax cropped up a couple of weeks ago and he's now throwing muck at Boris to divert attention. Of course the luvvie media paid scant attempts at Ken's tax arrangements, but prefers to open a debate on boris, a tory, writing a colum for the torygraph.

pure [email protected]nk fodder for the socialists.
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Old 4th Mar 2012, 16:27
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Shit, SG, isn't that what I said about the bus routes not being "suitable" for a bendy bus?

I thought I was clear about that, and, unlike others, I talk from experience. Same as Ken's idea that buses should NOT pull into the side at a bus stop, the buses stop on the road because the bus stop was "built out" to the road...

I could WALK from Tooting to Wandsworth faster than a bus took since every single bus stop meant every bit of traffic stopped dead. That would be 45 minutes, but, according to Ken, that was a "good thing" because traffic congestion was worse and he could try and tax it as he buggered around in taxis paid by the Taxpayer... But that's ok, he was "Mayor"..............

Look at the maps, look at the distance. Ken's idea of stopping buses on that road instead of having them pull off into a stop caused more congestion. Like all of his "ideas", he will only do anything that benefits Him and his ideals..........

40 mins walk, over an hour on "Ken's Transport"............
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Old 4th Mar 2012, 16:45
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Ken's idea that buses should NOT pull into the side at a bus stop, the buses stop on the road because the bus stop was "built out" to the road...

don't even get me started on that inane stupidity !

like i said Ken has a dislike for motorists as he can't pass the driving test, so inflicts his inferiority complex on the rest of London.

Tooting to Wandsworth eh ? I used to live in Clapham. I was going through the w/worth one way system a couple of weeks ago, its down to one lane from outside the old 'arndale' center so you can use your imagination on that piece of joy.
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Old 4th Mar 2012, 19:24
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Just when you think you've heard it all................

this surfaces...............

How taxpayers are still funding the extremists - Telegraph

" Both organisations are controlled by the Islamic Forum of Europe, which works to change the very infrastructure of society, its institutions, its culture, its political order and its creed from ignorance to Islam in a global Islamic state under Sharia law. The mosque has hosted numerous hate and terrorist preachers, including al-Awlaki.
Two schools in London and Slough with connections to Hizb ut-Tahrir are still receiving six-figure sums from the taxpayer, despite Mr Camerons condemnation three years ago of a 113,000 subsidy as completely unacceptable.
Writing in a Hizb ut-Tahrir pamphlet, the schools head teacher and trustee, Farah Ahmed, attacked the National Curriculum for push[ing] the idea of 'religious tolerance, said English was one of the most damaging subjects a school can teach and criticised attempts to integrate Muslim children into British society.
An Ofsted inspection of the London school in October 2010 found it had inadequate teaching, welfare, health and safety and breached numerous regulations. However, in June 2011 Ofsted sent in a different inspector who ruled that the school had made good progress

Time for a revolution to make the UK British again

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Old 7th Mar 2012, 07:26
  #3373 (permalink)  
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This little snippet of quotation from the business secretary V. Cable. It's published in the Guardian so it is true and unbiased.

Cable wrote: "I sense that there is still something important missing: a compelling vision of where the country is heading beyond sorting out the fiscal mess; and a clear and confident message abut how we will earn our living in future.

cc wrote: The important something for which Mr Cable's senses search might be stability. A simple, statutory based and stable tax regime for both individuals and companies would be of enormous benefit to Britain. Who on earth is going to invest in a country that can't even decide whether owners of large houses should be penalised. The key to Britain's investment attractiveness is stability and that is one quality of government that escapes all British political parties.
Mr Cable goes on to ask 'how we will earn our living in the future.' Would it be an unfair swipe to suggest that, as a liberal of socialist tendencies, he will continue to have his salary paid for with the tax money of those who in general earn considerably less than he?
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Old 7th Mar 2012, 12:00
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Vince Cable impresses me.

As a self-centred publicity hungry poseur.
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Old 11th Mar 2012, 08:17
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The tax dodging, hypocrite, socialist, newt fancier Ken Livingstone is on the Andrew Marr show this morning. How far will Andy push him on that question?
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Old 11th Mar 2012, 19:22
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Surprise, surprise, they're coming out of the woodwork as far as Eric "Glesgae Kiss" Joyce goes.

Teen lover of MP Eric Joyce reveals his 'clumsy and surreal' attempts at seduction | Mail Online

Her allegations of him getting a jump or 3 off her are not why I posted the link though, it's her "taste" in bedroom posters. Let's face it, most 17 year olds have posters of pop stars or actors on their walls, sometimes covered in drool. Reading that this 17 year old had,

Back in her bedroom at home, its walls decorated with political posters, featuring Joseph Stalin, Karl Marx, Chairman Mao and Alistair Darling
is just surreal!!

Who, in their right mind, would actually MAKE a poster of Alistair Darling, never mind buy one and pin it up on their bedroom wall!!!!!
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Old 11th Mar 2012, 19:34
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Oh i dunno HB, there's one or two on this forum that would make her the ideal 'babe' !
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Old 11th Mar 2012, 22:54
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Rehab didn't work - on your tax paying

Disgraced MP Eric Joyce went to rehab clinic in US in bid to tame rage - The Daily Record
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Old 12th Mar 2012, 06:48
  #3379 (permalink)  
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Taken from the blurb as quoted by the rag in question.....

" According to the foundations website, the therapy helps people become your true, authentic self so that you will never again feel the need to look outside of yourself for validation and approval"

On that basis, given his recent performance, you could argue the therapy was an unqualified success.......
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Old 12th Mar 2012, 15:46
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On that basis, given his recent performance, you could argue the therapy was an unqualified success.......

oh FFS ! i've just spat tea over my keyboard. Again !.
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