* Posts by Bluenose

331 posts • joined 19 May 2010

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British prime minister slams Facebook and pals for votes

Bluenose

Re: News versus comment

But still significantly better than that exerised by the Sun, Times, Telegraph, Sky News, Mail and Express so on this occasion I think I can forgive the author.

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Bluenose

Re: I'm not sure I buy Corbyn's argument about foreign policy...

Because the security services have over 3,000 people allegedly on their watch lists and trying to watch every one 24 hours a day is pretty difficult, unless we want to create the British version of the Stasi.

The fact that he was travelling backwards and forwards to Libya would not have been an immediate trigger (family living there, has direct familial ties to the country, etc.) and since BA have yet to schedule regular flights to Tripoli, it may simply be that flying via Turkey is the most reliable mechanism for getting to the country. Remember, people who regularly went to Ireland during the Troubles were not automatically put on a watch list either.

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Bluenose

Re: The leadership of Afghanistan/Egypt were unpalatable

I'm sure the Christian/Chinese/Hindu minorities in Malaysia might question you views on that country but the reporting in the British media is less than in depth so it is understandable why the growing use of Islam as a means to introduce repressive policies is not so wide known.

That said, a key reason why Brunei and to an extent Malaysia are able to get on with their neighbours and abhor the more extreme misinterpreation of Islam that exists in the Middle East is simply because trade and economic health are seen as more important than religious intolerance.

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Bluenose

Re: If

Sorry that is a nonesense and even Jeremy Corbyn did not go down that route. The reality is that we are in the mess we are in because we along with other rich western states are seen as supporters of the people who oppress and abuse their populace. The UK, France, America and others have all had a fun time swapping leaders in the Arab world for years, funding their wars, providing the nice big toys that go bang and smoothing the road to corruption with those lovely bribes and backhanders we have provided. That makes us a valid target in the eyes of some people.

Corbyn's perception of the issue is the right one, we need to change our foreign policy to undermine the conditions in which fanaticism can develop and to try and become the good guys. That is a hard position to get to particularly with our history but we can get there with hard work and an ethical as opposed to economic/patronage based foreign policy which we currently have.

One war or even the 4 we have had in recent memory are not the reasons for Manchester or even Paris, they are the result of a much longer history and worse still a populist political environment wherein nationalist or power seeking politicians seek to blame one specific group for all the ills afflicting a specific grouping of people. Of course we in developed nations would never countenance that in our countries, would we?

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Just how screwed is IT at the Home Office?

Bluenose

Re: So how are these aging systems going to handle

I am also not sure that you are right about the EU not being sure about being able to take away someone's EU citizenship not least because this is from their website:

Any person who holds the nationality of an EU country is automatically also an EU citizen. EU citizenship is additional to and does not replace national citizenship. It is for each EU country to lay down the conditions for the acquisition and loss of nationality of that country.

Therefore is the UK is no longer an EU country by default the citizens will lose their EU citizenship. The language is pretty clear to have EU citizenship you must be a national of an EU state. It should also be remembered that the press are already calling for the return of the old blue passport to replace the abhorrent EU red one.

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Bluenose

Re: So how are these aging systems going to handle

Do you know something we don't?? UK not bound by the European Court of Human Rights. when did the Tories slip that one in?

Perhaps you meant the European Court of Justice which is the top court of the EU.

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It's a question worth asking: Why is the FCC boss being such a jerk?

Bluenose

BBC Left Wing

"I would suggest the BBC if you require to vent about the left wing liberal media."

Considering how much the left in British politics complain about the treatment of Corbyn by the BBC and the lack of reporting around alledged electoral fraud by Tory MPs, I think calling the BBC a left wing liberal media is a bit of a joke.

The reality is that British TV media can come across as both right wing or left wing dependent on topic or personal bias (and the latter is a big driver).

As for this article, I thought it was very well balanced and as for the comments about fact free statements from key players, well that sounds like politicians on both sides of the Pond to me.

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IT contractors behind IR35 calculator to leave HMRC... because of IR35

Bluenose

Re: Less Experience?

Based on my experience of Indian software and consultancy companies working on Govt contracts it won't be delivered to time and will cost around 40 times as much as they originally.

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GCHQ cyber-chief slams security outfits peddling 'medieval witchcraft'

Bluenose

Why the private sector?

Are you suggesting we give it to the private sector so they can offshore it somewhere safe like Romania or Bulgaria and of course the private sector would never do anything wrong like misue the information that the can collect or rip off customers for the serivce they provide and then reduce the effectiveness of that service.

Public sector is not always bad and private sector is not always good. What needs to be established is what works best for all and not the minority whehter they be right wing MPs who want to spy on everyone or money focussed private sector companies who simply want to pay more money to their board members.

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USA! USa! Udia! India! India! Apple nudges iPhone production base

Bluenose

Being a cynic

I don't suppose that Apple are moving to India on the hope that Donald is less likely to hit on them there where he has financial interests than say a country where Donald doesn't have financial interests?

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UK Home Office slurps 1,500 schoolkids' records per month

Bluenose

Re: Beware of unintended consequences

What complete tosh. There are an estimated 1.1Million illegal immigrants in this country who have either never claimed asylum or who have had their claim rejected and done a runner.

So to be clear there are an estimated 1.1 million people of whom a number may be failed asylum seekers, some who tried to use asylum to bypass legitimate routes of entry to the UK as economic migrants and the majority who are people who are simply economic migrants. There is no facts to support your statement that there are 1,1 million illegal immigrants. Those who claim asylum must do so on entering the UK's borders. As refugees seeking asylum they are have not entered the UK illegally so long as they meet the deadline for requesting asylum and the Convention on Refugees (to which the UK is a signatory) clearly states that refugees shall not be deemed to have entered a country ilegally. Refugees receive subsistence benefits until their case is heard but may be permitted to work after six months. estimated number of refugees is 117,234 refugees and number of applications in 2015 some 38,000.

Economic migrants who form the vast majority of both legitimate and unregistered migrants (and your 1.1 million) are not allowed to claim benefits, and would be foolish to do so as they would not be able to present the papework necessary to be able to make a valid claim. So they must receive income from elsewhere perhaps from exploitive employers who pay them less than the living wage, make them work 80+ hours a week and where they provide accommodation keep them in conditions that would be illegal for animals.

And that pretty much sums up the small minded view of people like yourself. I have a different view so I must be a closed minded Mail/Express reader? How pathetic. Not that it is any of your concern, but I do not read those "news" papers nor have I ever done so. If anyone has a closed mind, it is you, for believing that anyone who doesn't agree with you must be ignorant.

Actually it just shows the power of the right wing press in the UK that you can be found regurgitating the same falsehoods and bogus facts that papers like the Express and Mail publish daily. I have no problem with people having different views to mine, what I object to is people having views that they based on falsehoods and bogus or misinterpreted facts. 10 minutes on the Internet can give you a much better grasp of what the Convention on Refugees says, what the total number of refugees in the UK is and what the number of refugee applications is that the UK receives.

You can hold your views all I ask is that before you espouse them think of the consequences that result when people use statements that stereotype, continue discredited myths and falsehoods and maybe take the time to validate your views first to avoid errors. If you feel that they are validated then feel free to post them and have a conversation with the world.

People are killed because people don't check the facts or research a position.

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Bluenose

Re: Oh look....

Most leavers I met aren't racist. They are lazy parrots who simply repeat the crap printed in so many right wing newspapers.

That fact that so many didn't even understand what Parliamentary Sovereignty means shows this as does the fact that a material number of them think the electorate is important.

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Bluenose

Re: Beware of unintended consequences

Unless it can be proved otherwise in court, the ill-gotten gains of the Adams family, Ronnie Biggs and most politicians will be inherited by their children. Even the murderous Earl Lucan's children inherited his wealth and title and there are many families of criminals who have received monies from books and films about the crimes committed by their fathers. So how do we draw the line prventing children from benefiting from their parents crimes?

Shall we take away all the money that children earn in the adult life that their parents got from defrauding the benefit systems and used to buy the child clothes, toys and other life essentials.

Perhaps we should take away the assets of your family as you buy goods that are no doubt made, picked or produced by criminals in order to make money. That makes you an accessory to the crime. And remember lots of "illegal" migrants work on farms, in crappy food factories and the likes of Amazon and other companies whic you will benefit from.

Your arguments are simple regugitations of lazy thinking, hazy false news facts and basically a lack of knowledge.

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Bluenose

Re: Beware of unintended consequences

See my other post - unless tried in a criminal court and found guilty they are not criminals.

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Bluenose

Re: Beware of unintended consequences

No immigrant legal or otherwise comes here solely for education. The prime pupose of any form of immigration is economic that it is to earn money. Therefore to claim that free education is a driver of immigration is a nonesense. The availability of work and money is the single reason most economic migrants go t a country.

Nor are immigrants illegal or otherwise criminals. They may have possibly committed offences (unlawful entry in to the UK) but until tried by a court of law they are innocent of any crime (basic standard of justice across all British legal systems). Their children of course cannot have committed an offence since they are brought here without consultation or say in the matter so to claim that they are criminals is also a nonsense.

Refugees are not immigrants they are refugees and very few will fail to claim asylum when they arrive since it is in their interest to claim as refugees in order to receive the few benefits that are available to them. They do not necessarily have to claim refugee status in the first safe country they come to, this has never been a requirement. There is also recognition in the charter that it may be impossible for refugees to seek refuge in some countries due to the volume of refugees and therefero it is always probable that some refugees will travel through many countries in an effort to escape persecution and possible death. Finally a refugee can never be deemed to be illegal (that is clearly set out in the 1951 convention).

The UK does have a right under EU law (but not for much longer) to return refugees to their country of entry to seek asylum and the associated paperwork. Once we leave the EU of course that right till probably disappear.

I don't believe you should be down voted but I do think you need to put down the Mail/Express and use the Internet for its greated purpose, the enlightment of closed minds and education for those things one does not know anything about.

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Around 1.4 million people have sub-10Mbps speeds - Ofcom

Bluenose

Re: This is an ideal opportunity

I have never understood why consumers would want to see Openreach hived off from BT. Look at all the other successful hive offs where Govt has forced something or has actually done the selling off and see if you can explain how selling off Openreach thus making it a monopoly supplier will be better than the current examples of private monopolies (although accepting there is some state control):

Southern Railways (or pretty much any railcompany that does not have competition on its line)

Network Rail

The reality is that BT's competitors want Openreach hived off so that they can buy it and guess what, they then get the power BT has over them today. Of course they would all be competing against the Chinese and that has major consequences of a different sort

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Bluenose

Gigaclear offer of 1GB @ £25/month!!!

Can you send me the discount code please??

They are coming to the village where I live in the near future and the deal they have offered me is 50mbps (up/down) is £41.30/month plus Vonage at £8.99. From my perspective I will be paying about 5 more a month than I currently pay BT for a 5/1 mbps (down/up) serivce so the economics make sense.

Their 1gbps offering is a couple of pound shy of £80. I did think about trying to persuade the neighbours to kick in for a nice switch and then run cables to their houses and share the cost of the link but I already spend to much time providing IT support without having to worry about providing network support to the neighbours.

Would love to know where your £25/month comes from.

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Trumped? Nope. Ireland to retain corporate tax advantage over the US

Bluenose

Re: Ireland can compete

The proposed tax changes for business in the US will not drive employment. In a consumer based economy you need consumers to buy and right now the US consumer is not really in a position to do that having seen earnings and free disposable income remain static for many years. The proposal to cut personal federal taxes to 15% will boost disposable income to an extent but then someone needs to fund the $500 billion infrastrucutre fund and it not the Federal Govt, well local tax rates can always be increased. At the same time there is the matter of the 11 million fewer consumers as a consequnce of the proposed forced repatriation of immigrants and the removal of the Syrian refugees.

A further tax to reduce disposable income will be the tax proposed to be levelled on Mexicans living in the US to pay for the new not very effective wall that is planned to stop new consumers sorry immigrants arriving from Mexico.

Of course the other big financial change is the reduction in corporate tax to 10% for businesses like Apple, Google, etc. to bring their overseas earnings back in to the US. Of course this has been done before by the Republicans and of course the only benefit was to shareholders (increased dividends and slightly inflated share prices) and the directors of those companies who paid themselves lovely rewards for being clever to wait to for the tax reduction. What won't happen is any increase in wages since that would reduce profit margins thus reducing the share price and impacting on dividends. It would also mean that people have to pay more for American goods but hey if they keep the jobs in China. India, the Philipines etc. then there is no problem as the local wages will remain low, the profit margin goes up (less domestic tax in the US) and the share price and dividends go up.

Pretty straightforward way to bring jobs back to America don't you think!

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BT Yahoo! customers: Why! can't! we! grrr! delete! our! webmail! accounts!?

Bluenose

Who uses ISP mail?

I am amazed that people think that this is an issue. I have been a BT and TalkTalk customer on and off since broadband first appeared in the village where I live. Before that I had BT dial up. The first thing I did was find an third party e-mail provider (unfortunately that was Yahoo at the outset) but over time came to rest on Hotmail (although I am thinking about walking away from them. I have never used my BT or TalkTalk e-mail for any real personal mail simply as an address to feed in to the e-mail box on various websites. So theft of my details simply means I stop using the address and delete any mail I still have in the various folders.

My hotmail account is my primary mail but I will probably start to migrate from that in the near future as it too has started to receive spam (after many years of not being impacted) and will look at another supplier. No one should use their ISP mail simply because one day you will change suppliers.

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Should Computer Misuse Act offences committed in UK be prosecuted in UK?

Bluenose

Re: How?

In what way is the US system barbarous? There is no threat of a death penalty in this instant and their legal system is no less bad than our own. Their prison system on the other hand is certainly barbarous but that is a different matter and if he is going to plea bargain perhaps he should ask to serve his sentence in the UK. Perhaps at Belmarsh where, if the rumours are true, he will be quickly radicalised and turned in to a jihadist.

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Wannabe Prime Minister Andrea Leadsom thinks all websites should be rated – just like movies

Bluenose

ahh but you forget.....

Now we have voted to leave the EU we will soon have £350 million a week to spend on this activity. See there was a plan, which is more than I can say about Theresa May and the Home Office IT projects she has ultimate responsibility for.

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Brexit: Time to make your plans, UK IT biz

Bluenose

Re: Whose agenda?

Why was Greece forced to sell state assets? Because by doing so they received something called money which can be used by the State to pay pensions, the interest on loans and lots of other wonderful and worthwhile things that all Govts need to do. Kind of like why you have to sell your house when you can't afford the mortgage.

The EU does not have directives that force privatisation it does have directives that strive to create a level economic playing field for businesses. State owned business skew that playing field as they can keep going back to the Govt to get money when they lose money undercutting other businesses (Air France was a great example of that).

As for undemocratic, compared to what the House of Lords? The Council of Ministers contains elected officials from every Member State and at the end of the day those elected ministers can decide whether to suppor or reject the suggestions of the European Commission whch in some ways is like the House of Lords being made of personal appointees of the relevant member states leader (Dave Cameron in the UK's case). And then MEPs. Not sure where your fourth chamber comes from because last time I checked the treaties all EU law goes from Commission to Parliament to Council of Ministers.

As for being right wing neo liberal agendas, have you looked at the UK govt recently? In fact the biggest threat to the NHS remains the British Govt not the EU or even TTIP. But then if you are American, the EU is the communist replacement for the old USSR what with its social welfare and health for all ideas.

The reason why immigration is the focus is pretty simple. No one knows what will happen if the UK votes to leave (well other than the economy will suffer from a short to medium shock of major consequence for business and citizens alike) or stay (other than things will go as before). Therefore the Brexit bunch have identified something simple to understand, "the EU lets in lots of foreigners and they are all coming to the UK" and then complains when those who want to stay say "its more complicated that that".

I do agree about it not being an issue of "little-Englander" mentality though. It is significantly more complex than that. Europe is riven with massive problems not all of which the UK is immune to. Those cracks need to be addressed, if we are outside we cannot do that, if we are inside we will have to use diplomacy (not somethng we are very good at) and all the while we have the media constantly making out that everything is simple and can be fixed with a quick wave of a magic wand (talk about dumbing down the population). Whatever the decision on 23rd June, the consequences will be massive and no one in the media is telling anyone the truth about that.

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Bluenose

No it doesn't

The UK is a signatory to the Eurpean Convnention on Human Rights. The British Govt has been bound by the decisions of the Court of Human Rights since day 1. Why do you think the Tories got so annoyed when it banned the use of corporal punishment in British schools. It also banned the Isle of Man from whipping criminals and they aren't even part of the EU.

The purpose of the ECJ is to interpret EU law (including the EU Charter of Fundatmental Rights which includes the rights dealt with by the ECHR). To the extent that an element of Human Rights law is applicable to the EU then it would have to give it special significance because TADAH every EU member state is a signatory to the ECHR treaty therefore to ignore the rulings would result in the EU member states being fined or whatever the sanctions the ECHR has.

We can only get out of being bound by the ECHR rulings if we decide to derogate our agreement to the Treaty that puts on the Council of Europe. That would make us the same as Belarus and even the Tories are having a hard time figuring out how that little PR trick will work.

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Bluenose

Re: Time to make your plans

But the ECHR has nothing to do with the EU! It is part of the Council of Europe which is made up of 42 European states includng Russia.

Most European countries treat their citizens rights with contempt apart from Belgium who don't appear to bother spying on anyone, even the criminals.

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Govt: Citizens, we know you want 10Mbps. This is the last broadband scheme for that

Bluenose

Or we could just....

Bring our cattle and other animals with us take up all the green space in the city and then you would be nearer to your food. However, we would also need to plough up a few streets to grow the crops that you also need us to provide for your bread, vegetables, ec. Or would you rather starve whilst enjoying you allegedly unsubsidised fast broadband?

Not everyone gets to CHOOSE where they live. The jobs people do also have a relavence to where they are required or need to live. You also ignore that this is actually a very small island on which we live where no one lives more than 75 miles from the coast. Very few people actually live more than 10 or 15 miles from a major conurbation and due to the fact that broadband is a network, very few actually live more than 2-3 miles from a major network link (there is one that runs right down the middel of the high street in my village). The issue therefore is not that the networks are not there rather than the cost of actually connecting people to them and reducing bandwidth to those who pay more (businesses) to provide it to those who pay less (consumers) means that most telecoms providers are reluctant to make the necessary investment.

I also live 2.5 miles from a small town that has fibre to the cabinet and about six miles from one where Virgin Media is providing 200MB plus to the residents. Unfortunately free market capitalism means that no one wants to punt some capital investment to link me up to the faster forms of broadband apart from BT who will do it eventually say in another 2 years which is the normal delay in deploying faster broadband technologies where I live (that is 2 years after everyone else has it).

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How a Brexit could stop UK biz and Europe swapping personal data

Bluenose

Re: Nice that someone else realized it

Sorry, I thought being in the EU meant that all our legislation was written and enforced by them and that Parliament has no power?:

However, the truth is that the legislation passed by the UK Parliament will only apply in the UK and there is no obligation on the EU countries to accept or acknowledge such legislation making it a one sided relationship and thus potentially creating an issue whereby the UK continues to comply with EU laws but gets shafted by the EU which doesn't see the need to work in the same way.

The other issue is that such UK legislation is predicatd on membership of the EU and free access to the market. As is clear we won't have that access or membership and therefore quite a bit of our legilstation is frustrated thus null and void.

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Bluenose

Re: I wonder how many years would pass

The fact that the UK as a whole will be requesting to leave the EU will create issues within the EU legal system not least because it will take more than two years of negotiations for Scotland to negotiate the required separation following an independence vote. There are also the political issues that existing within other EU countries that will have to be addressed if, Scotland were allowed to remain part of the EU. The Spanish and Belgiums will be forcibly anti the desired Scottish position as may others who have communities seeking to find a way to independence in Europe.

As for borders, Kent is not the only border with the EU (Northern Ireland is a large and very porous border today) and when considered fully this whole island by its nature is a border and we do not have the manpower or financial resources to prevent incursions by migrants despite the claims of UKIP and others.

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Bluenose

Re: @John Brown - Scotland not only gaining independence...

The real issue here is not whether Scotland seeks indepence but whether Wales and Northern Ireland will go the same route. Both have large majorities in favour of staying in the EU as they both benefit materailly from that organisation.

And for Northern Ireland staying in the EU, whilst difficult politcally in many respects, is just a matter of agreeing to reunite the nation of Ireland.

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Bluenose

Re: @codejunky

"Trading with the whole world is bound to be worth more." But that is the whole point really in my view. Just because we are in the EU does not mean we cannot trade with the whole world in fact we do that today (have a look at our export figures). So can someone please explain what big of magic occurs when we leave the EU that will mean our trade with the rest of the world will increase? Oh and telling me we can negotiate our own trade agreements won't wash as that can take any were up to 15 years (EU-India Free trade deal as an example) and the UK has little experience in this area as all our trade negotiators currently work for the EU.

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Bluenose

Re: Rubbish. Germany really doesn't need the damage...

"Ha no. At no point does leaving mean we lose the financial centre which was before we joined and has continued since"

The UK has always had a finance industry, however it was not a global player prior to the EU. Big Bank really kick started the UK finance industry and the introduction of the Euro supported that even more.

London currently transacts more in Euros than any other major European financial market because it is in the EU and we can block EU legislation that might damage it. If we leave then Frankfurt can seek changes in the Euro nations that ensure that those Euro transactions will take place there thus undermining London.

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Bluenose

Re: former EU partners less willing to jump to ... to rescue UK economic interests

What damage to the German car industry? They already sell to most of the world including the US and China whereas the UK industry is focussed on sales in the UK and Europe. The only damage to their industry will be if the UK Govt ups import duties and VAT on foreign produced vehicles.

The worst that will happen is that they will withdraw investment from their plants in the UK and take up that capacity in mothballed plants in Germany and France and then flog the Minis back to us at the inflated tax price that the UK Govt would be forced to apply in order to protect whatever rump car industry is left in the UK.

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Bluenose

Re: former EU partners less willing to jump to ... to rescue UK economic interests

As Mr IDS argued on Radio 4 on Friday that Britain's economy as the 5th biggest in the world with a much lower level of unemployment generally and at youth level has been achieved during our membership of the EU becuase the UK has control of its benefits legislation, I think your argument would be better if it said that membership of the EURO nations imposes material ecomomic harm.

With respect to the EU Data Protection Directive, the legilsation known as the Snoopers Charter needs to be compliant with that Directive from the EU if it is to be passed otherwise the British judges who must apply it will have material issues and may declare it non-compliant with the Human Rights Act and therefore force the government to make necessary changes. This is true even if the vote is Out in June since it will be two years before we leave the EU even from that date and more probably from the date that parliament passes the necessary legislation to repeal the relevant European Act.

As to whether there is an impact on UK business is debateable. Currently more UK data is probably processed in Eastern Europe than the other way around. IT companies and others have been "near-shoring" IT support and maintanence to the like of Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary for many years. The real impact on the UK will be the VAT impact, the cost of doing business in a market with export controls and the potential risk of countries such as those in Eastern Europe raising taxes on the local branches of IT companies (unlikely but if the economic problems of Europe continue not impossible).

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BT dismisses MPs' calls to snap off Openreach as 'wrong-headed'

Bluenose

Re: New Zealand has done it.

In Milton Keynes, BT were the incumbent cable supplier to the whole city, the Govt of the day decided that this wasn't fair so forced them to sell their cable to NTL or whoever was the massively indebted cable provider of the day.

Some 20 years later, Milton Keynes does not have Virgin Media cable based broadband because Virgin Media didn't bother to upgrade the original copper cabling as it was too expensive to do so. The only fibre provider is BT and that is limited to the cabinet.

So much for markets and competition.

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Bluenose

Re: Publicly owned business

Some people may wish to read the article at the following site, http://www.techradar.com/news/world-of-tech/how-the-uk-lost-the-broadband-race-in-1990-1224784. Makes for interesting reading and shows once again how the party of business is more about the party of making money for its mates.

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Bluenose

Re: Publicly owned business

We could always turn to the head of Marconi, he knew what he was doing. Or perhpaps the head of the recent state run East Coast rail line before it was passed back in to private hands based on some pretty crappy maths from the current Government.

Both state and private industries have a reputation for massive cockups and failures, the media tend to focus more on the former than the latter because it often results in a loss of "tax payer" money whilst ignoring the far greater loss of "pensioners" money.

A QUANGO is not a business and, as others have pointed out, BT prior to privatisation was a profitable business and focussed on improving its technology including upgrading its telephone network and exchanges.

The issue with state industries in invariably the problems caused by politicians sticking their mates in to the leadership roles and having them work to support an unannounced agenda (for the Tories privatisation and for Labour a flawed sense of equality between management and workers). It is this hidden agenda that screws most state sector industry in the same way as companies get screwed by boards who are more interested in their short term easy to achieve bonuses based on share price increases than on the long term return to investors based on growing sales.

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Bluenose

Re: Publicly owned business

But Churchill was convinced we would all be flying around in helicopters as a quick cheap form of travel and so didn't need the train system.

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Bluenose

Re: Roads. Electricity. Internet.

I almost agree with you, though. The only problem is that nationally owned infrastructure is generally mismanaged by a committee. I've no idea why, as it should be able to operate as any other large business.

I'll give you a clue. They're called politicians and they don't give you a chance to get the first project done before they have changed the requirements, pulled the funding and generally had a great time destroying what hasn't been built in the first place.

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UK energy minister rejects 'waste of money' smart meters claim

Bluenose

Re: Purpose

The problem is that as always the concept of something new (spot pricing) is being presented as a great advantage to consumers however, I found the following on a web site in New Zealand:

A spot-price contract can bring significant savings but also can expose consumers to financial risks. If you are thinking of signing up, before proceeding, carefully consider all the risks and rewards and whether your financial position gives you the ability to manage the risks.

If you are unsure - seek independent advice.

So yet again consumers are being sold something that is more likely to see them screwed than one that actually gives them real benefits. One only has to think of all those who found that the value of their investments went down significantly when they needed to go up or found themselves with wonderfully cheap interest only mortgages that the linked investment accounts can't pay off.

As the original comment on this said, the people who really need stability and certainty of price so as to be able to adequately budget and pay for their power will find themselves railroaded through mis-selling in to contracts that result in them being cut off and chased by debt collectors.

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North Wales Police outsourcing deal results in massive overspend

Bluenose

Not always down to the outsoucer

The problem with outsourcing and quite often with those who criticise it is that the actual party looking to outsource a)does not know what their IT people do, b)has no idea of the true cost of IT and c)gets rid of the people to manage the outsourcer because hey there is no IT department to be managed anymore.

For example someone asks for a one hour webinar and gets charged £3,000. Or you can actually break the task down in to its constituent parts; someone spends couple of hours finding out what it is that the customer actually wants rather than the vague statement a webinar on Software as a Service; then they write a presentation for a couple of hours to make sure it meets the requirements that were provided and then they prepare for the presentation to make it polished and professional. Suddenly the one hour webinar turns in to a whole day piece of work (and note I left out all the stuff about finding out whether the customer's own infrastructure supports webinars in the first place).

It is the same with light bulbs. What's that I hear you say £60 to change a light bulb that's a rip off. Of course if there is no one to buy the light bulb, no one to find someone to go and change it, no one to order a replacement for the failed one so that we have one in the cupboard for the next one to fail rather than waiting until someone pops to B&Q to buy one (which of course will a 2 hour round trip).

Outsourcing works for companies who know what their IT departments do, the value they provide the true costs of providing that service and the tasks and activities that take place in order to deliver the current in house services. The problem is that such companies are few and far between.

And the problem with having lots of companies doing different bits of work is that someone needs to manage them all and that, in today's public sector, means getting a SMI in to that job.

The UK Govt keeps pushing outsourcing because of an erroneous belief that private is best. this has been a driver for years and explains PFI as much as IT oursourcing. The problem is that outsources inherit the same "inefficient" staff that the Govt claims exist in the public sector which is why outsourcing will be cheaper in their view and they also inherit the same inefficient customer who doesn't know what they need in the first place.

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More UK broadband for bumpkins, but have-nots still ain’t happy

Bluenose

Re: choice

Please define arseend of nowhere. I leave less than 2 miles from a small town with fibre to the cabinet, 5 miles from Milton Keynes with fibre to the cabinet, 11 miles from Leighton Buzzard (fibre and cable services) and about the same from Flitwick (with its Virgin Media super fast service and fibre to the cabinet) and I still get a crappy broadband 'cos our exchange is to small to do make it economic to upgrade.

There are also estates in Milton Keynes where the broadband is pretty crap or non-existent although I think BT did eventually replace all the aluminium wiring that prevented customers from getting broadband

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Bluenose

Re: well-known technology news site covers rural broadband

That's next week's headline and will appear after the Express announces its latest cure for Alzheimers and that Statins have been found to sort out MS.

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Bluenose

Almost right

Where we live the target is apparently 2mbps for the countryside. Our council teamed with Milton Keynes and Bedford Borough to get BT to improve broadband in the larger market towns (Sandy, Biggleswade, etc.) but where a village already received 2mbps then nah no need to do anything.

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Sky bangs on Ofcom's door – demands BT competition probe

Bluenose

Why Splitting OpenReach off from BT won't work

There are strong economic reasons why splitting OpenReach from BT is a bad idea. The fact that BT retains a majority position in both the fixed line telephone and broadband markets means that there is value for them in investing in OpenReach and pushing out new infrastructure to areas where the likes of Sky, TalktTalk and others don't want to play.

For BT, this means that there is money in putting in new cabling, cabinets, etc. via OpenReach as there is a return on their investment since they will pick up pretty much all the customers in the remote and rural areas which whilst not massively profitable to offer additional margin and revenue which is cheap to capture in terms of marketing and also cheap to retain. The situation also means that the Govt can put pressure on BT to deliver services to the more rural and remote areas of the UK by threatening to take away OpenReach.

If OpenReach is taken away then Sky, Virgin, TalkTalk and BT will focus all their investment where they will make money, cities, towns and larger village conurbations and say sod off to all other communities. The current obligations on BT to provide a Universal Service will also need to be removed as it would be unfair to force such conditions on one supplier when they no longer have the benefit and responsibility of the network to support such a Service. OpenReach of course would still have the obligation but will struggle as it would have have limited power to force the service providers to deliver the Universal Service unless the Govt makes it mandatory to a far greater level than is applied by Ofcom on Talktalk and Sky today. OpenReach will probably also find investment to build infrastructure in areas where the telecoms vendors refuse to play in any material way and so will park all their vans in the financially sound areas (won't be able to move in some towns for their vans) and smaller towns and villages will screwed.

The Govt will then shout and scream but as the "MARKET" is the key to ecomomic success, etc. the companies will simply tell them to get stuffed. Of course the Govt could legislate to resolve this as an issue but one can imagine the response they will get from the big pension companies, Rupert and others who will complain that the Govt is overriding competition and trying to create a new nationalised industry.

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Bluenose

Re: Without supporting Sky in any way...

But I note that young James is there as a non-exec and 21st Century Fox owns just under 40% of the shares. Since young James is also a director of 21st Century Fox I think Rupert baby has sufficient indirect control over Sky.

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Britain beats back Argies over Falklands online land grab

Bluenose

Re: Get yer skates on Argentina!

I believe that the Chinese are supposed to be obtaining a number of Chinese FC-1/JF-17 "Thunder" fighters (according to the Express back in February). According to the same source they are allegedly amongst the "most advanced fighter jets in the world" although having read some background on them I think the answer is that they are small medium priced car (with Argentinian number plates) which a few extra Typhoons and improved long range ground based radar would probably find relatively simple to manage.

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Bluenose

Re: Local control

I think the problem is that the Argentinian govt would prefer it if the islands where given a AR country code or that the code was fk.ar. The fact that the islanders have been given a code without the permission of Argentina undermines the Argentinian legal claims as it shows the the islands are not subject to the control of Buenos Aires but are allowed by Britain to exercise their own political and economic will without interference.

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'Why don't you buy from foreign sites?' asks Commish, snapping on the gloves

Bluenose

Yet another waste of a politicians time

Doh, why don't people buy from shops in other countries.................. because 99 times out of 100 the ordinary person in the street has no clue as to the name of the shop they need to go to. If I want to buy electronics I go to Maplin, ebay or Amazon. Why would I go and search around the internet to find the name of a couple of shops in Germany, France or any other country?

Perhaps if politicians had a clue about real people they would realise that people buy from those companies they know and mainly trust. For example how many people buy from John Lewis because of its well established reputation? People don't buy from foreign shops because in the main they have no idea who they are and if you don't know who they are how do you type in their URL?

The other side of the coin of course is that for international trade most of the business will generally flow more and more towards those companies that have international reputations and those will be companies like Amazon, Baidoo and others who use their massive purchasing power to undercut national web suppliers.

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Didn't the Left once want the WORKERS to get all the dosh?

Bluenose

Captialism got rid of Racism!!

What a brilliant article, here is someone explaining how free market economics got rid of racism, shame it is, like football in many respects, a load of balls.

Racism is an attitude that still exists in football and can be found every day just by looking at the industry: from the kids in South America and Africa who are exploited by the Capitalists in order make money from their possible sale (Carlos Tevez was only the start of an industry where players are owned by agents and touted to clubs for money). Then you have the chants and attitudes of Italian fans to black players or the comments by both Spanish and Italian managers about the number of black players. It soon becomes clear that just because a black guy is paid the same as a white one, racialism is still prevalent in the football and industry.

More importantly, I am keen to find these Captilists who magic up the spades to sell to potato farmers. The only capitalists I can find are those who need workers to do the work whilst they provide some money. The problem is that the Capitalist uses their financial power to exploit the workers who are more important to the creation of wealth than those who simply move money around. As many coal miners would point out where it the wealth creation in using children to mine cheap Columbian coal to sell in Britain and other parts of the world?

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Did NSA, GCHQ steal the secret key in YOUR phone SIM? It's LIKELY

Bluenose

Re: Bloody teenager

Whoever down voted you is obviously a West is Wrong/Baddie fan. Of course other spy agencies are doing this and they probably won't think twice about actually killing people to get the information (or did Litvinienko die of natural causes) or giving them some money to buy the information (might be cheaper than hacking in but leaves someone to tell the tale so revert to former point).

Back in the 80s when Terry Waite and co were all locked up in cells in Lebanon, someone kidnapped a couple of Russians. When this was discovered the KGB identified the perpetrators, captured their family members and threatened to shoot them unless the Russians were released. Hey presto prisoners released and no need for years of negotiations.

The Western spy agencies are not white than white and I disagree with a lot of the things they say they need to do, but compared to the intelligence agencies of Russia, China, Pakistan, India and most other countries I would say they are probably the whitest of the white amongst their brethren.

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Bluenose

Re: The Five-Eyes-Of-Sauron are Legalized Criminals...

Sorry you missed some players of your list, what about FSB and the spy agencies of every other country in the world? Do you really believe that only the 5 Eyes have done this? Do you really think that criminals have not also sought to get this information? In many ways your post is symptomatic of this idea that only a small group of countries is doing this. Such short sightedness is incredible when one looks outside of the local national borders at the people dying daily in Ukraine, Tibet, Thailand, Africa as a continent and pretty much every other war torn place on Earth.

In this world knowledge really is power and every country is determined to have that power which means that we are all under threat not from the US or the UK or even Australia but by every country with a functioning intelligence service, so please add India and Pakistan and pretty much every other country in the world to you list.

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