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Sherlock
Posted on: May 20 2017, 10:48 PM


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OK, many thanks for that.

My original point was that a net migration cap would, most analysts seem to agree, result in serious damage to our economy. Assuming that each productive Indian worker here also brings at least two dependants, that 100K net migration limit could be hit very quickly. Theresa May seems adamant that the migration targets she's setting in the May Team's manifesto are rock solid. In that case she's admitting that she's prepared to sacrifice the health of the economy to ensure that the migration targets are achieved.

She's even inflexible on the issue of student visas - that seems to me a particularly insane line given that overseas students bring much needed hard cash to the UK as well as providing us with an opportunity to influence them and their countries via "soft power" when they return home.


  Forum: Random Rants · Post Preview: #115125 · Replies: 31 · Views: 13,788

Sherlock
Posted on: May 20 2017, 05:41 PM


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QUOTE (On the edge @ May 20 2017, 02:59 PM) *
Quite interesting this. Yes, at one time Indian IT was cheap, undoubted. They did the grunt work, coding up stuff etc. and we've been thinking that's what they've been doing for decades now.

India has actually been reinventing itself, well worth a visit, just to see. They now have masses of very well qualified graduates in key disciplines, a growing economy and a degree of stability. They are not now just doing the grunt stuff, they are designing and developing and sending back to us to 'tailor' (polite word for grunt). So the many Indian IT people Vodafone need to employ are critical.

Our big question has to be what's happened to the 'masses of graduates' we are supposed to have trained? The business executives of TATA size businesses? - perhaps the international league tables on educational standards are correct.

I must admit, I'm worried about the number of Indian workers here for a very different reason. To me, it indicates that as an entrepreneurial commercially innovative nation, we've lost it.


Thanks for that. Just out of interest, why are our local firms choosing to bring Indian workers here? Surely it would be even cheaper for them to work in India - it's not as if we lack the means to connect Newbury to Bangalore. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silicon_Valley_of_India

I can understand why anyone living in Bangalore would want to move to the UK: our public services, infrastructure and general standard of living far outstrips what's available in India. But given that Indian IT workers can presumably work just as well for UK firms without the high expenses of bringing them here, why do so?
  Forum: Random Rants · Post Preview: #115120 · Replies: 31 · Views: 13,788

Sherlock
Posted on: May 20 2017, 06:21 AM


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"Theresa May's Team" (formerly known as the Conservative party, but understandably that has too many negative connotations) is giving the impression to voters that it will limit net migration to less than 100,000 a year.

Clearly either this isn't going to happen or, if it does, it will damage our economy seriously.

A glance around Newbury shows why this is the case. In recent years, in addition to the many migrants who have come from other European countries to work in our area and do jobs which we simply don't have bodies to do (West Berkshire unemployment is, in effect, close to zero) many of our local tech companies have recruited engineers and programmers, with many of them coming from India.

These are mostly male but often are accompanied by wives and young children. Many also have parents and other elderly relatives with them, presumably on tourist visas but these are notoriously difficult to enforce.

I don't know if anyone knows the numbers of workers from the sub-continent who are currently working in West Berkshire but lets assume it's in the order of 1500. If each male male worker from the sub-continent accounts for 3 migrants, that's 4500 from one region in one sector alone - approaching 5% of 100,000 (remembering that's a net target).

Although we have serial tax dodger Vodafone in our district employing many migrant workers it's likely that these highly skilled individuals make a high net contribution to the UK's financial health.

May's target seems insane in the light of the clear value of migrants to our country. She has made no efforts whatsoever (in spite of opposition from within her own Cabinet) to explain the contribution that migrants make to this country and how essential they are to our well-being. Her target is outright economic lunacy and yet she's about to get a landslide majority.

  Forum: Random Rants · Post Preview: #115105 · Replies: 31 · Views: 13,788

Sherlock
Posted on: Aug 26 2016, 02:41 PM


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I completely agree that the road should by upgraded to a motorway but given the government's unwillingness to fund capital projects, except those that make no sense like HS2, it'll never happen. There's certainly no chance of a rail project in the area in the foreseeable future.

Even if funding were to be made available - and with the cost of government borrowing at a record low, it could be - it would take forever, perhaps 10-15 years to get approval even it was ever forthcoming. Look at the endless delays to the Sandleford development. How many more will be maimed and killed in that period?

We need to know what seems to be a big uptick in the number of accidents but at the end of the day it must be driver behaviour - cars and lorries don't crash themselves. Chronic tailgating, aggressive driving by drivers of cars and HGVs and a few drivers travelling very high speeds are all very evident to anyone who uses the roads.

Given that TVP are reducing front line police numbers during a period of ever increasing population and road use it seems unlikely that we'll see traffic police on the road and they can only be of limited effectivness.

Seems to me that average speed cameras covering the worst affected stretches and much more use of CCTV to monitor driver behaviour are amongst the short term solutions which should be looked at. Maybe the next generation will get to see a significantly improved road.
  Forum: Newbury News · Post Preview: #111274 · Replies: 23 · Views: 13,251

Sherlock
Posted on: Apr 12 2016, 02:45 PM


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They were hare coursing - the bunny poaching was a touchingly pathetic attempt at a cover story.

A fair and fitting punishment would be for them to have to run naked through a field while two dogs compete to rip their throats out. OK, maybe that's a bit over the top. They'd be allowed to keep their pants on.



  Forum: Newbury News · Post Preview: #109216 · Replies: 5 · Views: 3,368

Sherlock
Posted on: Apr 12 2016, 09:11 AM


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Is the Sandelford development ever going to be built? Or will the endless protests from Wash Common's NIMBYs delay it indefinitely?
  Forum: Newbury News · Post Preview: #109210 · Replies: 12 · Views: 6,055

Sherlock
Posted on: Apr 8 2016, 10:50 PM


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It's possible to do pretty much anything online - book airline tickets, find a prostitute, look at naked men/ladies and order a takeaway, and find out about local B&B's for example - but I respectfully submit that Mr Kirby and the other web fans here miss the point completely. Although all these things are possible, many of us like to talk to another human being to get advice. Human beings have all sorts of advantages over search engines. They know what they're talking about, they can look you in the eye, they smile. You know, they're human which Google, demonstrably, is not.

I'm surprised that no one has suggested that, rather than throw all our prospective visitors to the mercies of Google and its like, as Mr Kirby suggests, we try to find volunteers to run a visitor centre. After all, getting volunteers to do everything else (run libraries, collect litter, man the police force, recommend sex workers, defend the country etc) is very much in vogue and all these activities can be seriously screwed up by Google. I'm pretty certain that many posters here, perhaps including Mr Kirby, would be very happy to spend their spare time telling strangers about the wonders of Newbury and helping them to satisfy their needs rather than paying for someone else to do so.

So, why was trying to find volunteers to run the visitor centre not, so far as I know, been considered? I think we should be told.
  Forum: Newbury News · Post Preview: #109174 · Replies: 27 · Views: 12,047

Sherlock
Posted on: Apr 8 2016, 09:31 AM


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QUOTE (On the edge @ Apr 8 2016, 09:27 AM) *
has simply disposed of some old assets which are no longer needed by the community


I'd question whether it's simply 'disposing of old assets'. Isn't the main asset involved here land? And isn't land right in the town centre and next to the railway station very valuable? If not, why not? Someone in central Newbury with half a garden to sell off to a developer would get a very good price for it, wouldn't they?

And you haven't addressed the main point of the NWN's letter writer: that Law's claimed 'benefits' are only needed to replace assets that the development itself will destroy.

Not asking you to explain, Mr Edge, but these are the sorts of question we in the great unwashed need answered. Cllr Law's patronising announcements aren't addressing them.
  Forum: Newbury News · Post Preview: #109165 · Replies: 14 · Views: 5,900

Sherlock
Posted on: Apr 8 2016, 05:50 AM


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QUOTE (Cognosco @ Apr 7 2016, 07:55 PM) *
That's the serious problem with our Local Authorities they just do not understand what they are doing is wrong..........or do they? rolleyes.gif


Perhaps it makes some sort of sense and Cllr Law is just incredibly bad at explaining it? We need a properly independent review not one (reading between the lines of another council related letter on this week's letters page) chaired by an 'independent' consultant paid £650 a day to give the results the council wants...
  Forum: Newbury News · Post Preview: #109163 · Replies: 14 · Views: 5,900

Sherlock
Posted on: Apr 7 2016, 04:14 PM


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There's an excellent letter in the paper today which thorougly debunks Cllr Law's claimed benefits. They are supposed to include the new bus station (terribly located and only needed because of the development, of course!) and a new multi-story car park (only needed because current open car parks will be built on). These aren't 'benefits' at all - they are only made necessary by the fact that the Urban Village (sic) is being built where it is.

I've no idea where they find people like Cllr Law - propping up the bar in the Conservative Club, presumably. I realise he and his colleagues are doing a thankless job and it's very difficult to get decent candidates. But, as the years go by, we are increasingly seeing lazy, ill thought through and often just plain dumb decisions from our 'one party state' council together with attempts at explanation and justification which just treat the public like idiots.

Sadly, given the complete absence of any credible opposition, and the fact that one is unlikely to emerge during our lifetimes thanks to the utter meltdown of the useless Libdems and the complete shambles of Labour under Corbyn the one party state is set to continue.

Oh well, it could be worse. And probably will be.
  Forum: Newbury News · Post Preview: #109160 · Replies: 14 · Views: 5,900

Sherlock
Posted on: Apr 6 2016, 09:24 AM


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QUOTE (Biker1 @ Apr 3 2016, 08:34 AM) *
Only joshing Simon, it doesn't really matter.
It's just me, because for some reason these Americanisms irritate me. sad.gif


You must love going to Center Parcs.
  Forum: Newbury News · Post Preview: #109147 · Replies: 27 · Views: 12,047

Sherlock
Posted on: Mar 31 2016, 05:37 PM


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No doubt local businesses (including the Kennet Centre and Parkway shopping centre) will pick up some of the slack and there are always the excellent toilets in the West Berkshire Council Market Street office foyers which can be used by any visiting member of the public.

However, not so long ago I visited Waterloo Station (no pun intended) and was greeted by* a large pile of human excrement on the main steps. We can expect similar deposits here, I'm sure.

I hope our 'Nice But Dim' MP is thorougly ashamed of himself and his party's government and Chancellor for inflicting this on us. He's said before that he hates litter - drove down the A34 earlier in the week and there are already drifts of the stuff making the road a disgrace. Given that, according to Councillor Lundie gleefully announced "Ee ain't seen nothing yet!" God knows what state West Berks will be in by the time of the next election.

Bow your head in shame, Richard Benyon, and while you're looking in that direction please remove any human excreta you come across.

_____________________________________________

*NB it wasn't intelligent human excrement and didn't literally greet me, just a turn of phrase.
  Forum: Newbury News · Post Preview: #109082 · Replies: 18 · Views: 7,602

Sherlock
Posted on: Mar 19 2016, 11:01 AM


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Wasn't Benton that dog in Richmond Park? Or was it Fenton? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3GRSbr0EYYU
  Forum: Newbury News · Post Preview: #108887 · Replies: 10 · Views: 5,001

Sherlock
Posted on: Mar 7 2016, 12:08 PM


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Also worth noting that, when services are outsourced to foreign companies (as is the case with French owned Veolia) profits are sent offshore.

Even when public services are less efficient than the private sector - and having worked for many years in both sectors, latterly the private sector, I can assure you that there are often huge inefficiencies buried under those profits - remuneration paid to public sector employees stays and is spent or invested, to a large extent, here in the UK.

Our disastrous Chancellor, meanwhile, is perfectly happy to outsource nuclear power station construction to the People's Republics of China and France rather than invest in developing our own capability. Utterly insane.
  Forum: Newbury News · Post Preview: #108670 · Replies: 14 · Views: 6,387

Sherlock
Posted on: Feb 27 2016, 10:15 AM


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I imagine that, if Trump wins and actually tries to implement some of his more extreme policies (e.g. allowing extreme forms of torture, building a wall across the whole of the border with Mexico) he'd spend his whole term in office fighting the legislature and the Supreme Court.

Having said that, looking at his policy positions as recorded in Wikipedia much of what he apparently supports doesn't look completely daft https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Trump#...tical_positions

As the Wikipedia piece points out, he has been affiliated with the Democrats in the past and if he gets the nomination it's very likely that he will 'pivot' and start promoting policies which are designed to win votes from the Democrats.

Given Clinton's lack of popularity in the flyover states, Trump would give her serious a run for her money and could win so a meeting between President Trump and Prime Minister Johnson is entirely possible within a year.
  Forum: Random Rants · Post Preview: #108449 · Replies: 129 · Views: 51,193

Sherlock
Posted on: Feb 25 2016, 05:51 PM


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QUOTE (Andy Capp @ Feb 24 2016, 07:40 PM) *
I still take Blackdogs point that do I really want to see years of the Monster Raving Tories doing things their way for years on end, or would it be better to concede some power for a more inclusive EU governance.


I'm with Blackdog. The EU is far from perfect - its agricultural subsidies, barriers to trade with developing countries and distinctly dodgy development funding systems are all in need of reform - but it at least provides a check on a UK government which is already far to the right of Margaret Thatcher and would, out of the EU, swing even further in that direction.

The main reasons that Gove and co want to leave are that the EU involves government, and they're generally against the idea of government, and that it stops them from demolishing even further worker and consumer protections and letting the free market decide everything.

This has little to do with 'democracy'. So far as that is concerned, even nice guy Cameron is reducing funding to opposition parties, expunging (mostly) potential Labour supporters from the electoral register and changing boundaries all in ways that help him stay in power. He also told his chief spin doctor to 'destroy the Labour party'. He's the most anti-democratic Prime Minister we've seen for years.

If we leave the the SNP is certain to push through another referendum and - even if the economic consequences for Scotland are negative - vote to break up the UK. England would be stuck with egomaniac Prime Minister Johnson and his successors for generations, declining in power and influence year by year.

Finally, I suppose the Little Englanders might get their wish of reducing legal immigration but with zero cooperation from the rest of Europe that's unlikely and illegal immigration would, I think, go through the roof as the remaining EU countries would push all migrants in our direction.

So, all in all, I'm on the fence.


  Forum: Newbury News · Post Preview: #108423 · Replies: 907 · Views: 166,285

Sherlock
Posted on: Feb 10 2016, 10:57 PM


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QUOTE (On the edge @ Feb 10 2016, 12:08 PM) *
Richard Benyon has actually done pretty well; in spite of the behaviour of his local support.


Maybe, but clearly his performance as a minister was dire. Given the dross that Cameron has kept in his government, how bad must Benyon have been to get booted out?
  Forum: Newbury News · Post Preview: #108241 · Replies: 42 · Views: 14,990

Sherlock
Posted on: Feb 10 2016, 10:52 PM


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QUOTE (Berkshirelad @ Feb 10 2016, 12:38 PM) *
I doubt that there is any information in West Berkshire's libraries that is not already stored on-line.

I haven't used a library in years.


You're completely wrong on your first point but given your second point that's hardly surprising.

Re. e-book readers, I wouldn't be without one and find it a lot easier to read books and other documents on them, but I'm always surprised at how many books aren't available as e-books.

Anyway, no need to worry. If you don't think we should be spending money on libraries you're at one with David Cameron's Tories. By 2020 there will be very few left and the those that remain will be on their last legs. You'll then have to complain about spending on other things you know very little about.

"The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter." Winston Churchill
  Forum: Newbury News · Post Preview: #108240 · Replies: 42 · Views: 14,990

Sherlock
Posted on: Feb 10 2016, 11:38 AM


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QUOTE (spartacus @ Feb 9 2016, 05:09 PM) *
I have some sympathy but to be honest many libraries are relatively underused resources by the majority of people. “Keep Quiet” it says, otherwise you’ll wake the staff up...


Certainly true that libraries have been used less and less. Part of this is, of course, due to reductions in spending and opening hours in previous years. The tried and tested death by a thousand cuts approach.

But while some rationalisation was necessary, wholesale axing of all of the branches except Newbury (and there are bound to be cuts there as well) and the mobile libraries means the virtual elimination of library services in West Berks. And as Andy points out, most of those commenting that books can be found elsewhere probably haven't been near a library in months or years.

Anyway, that's all by-the-by because they're going and we'll never get them back. To be fair, my guess is that many Conservative councillors are pretty horrified by this, particularly as they're being forced to put up council tax. Having said that, whether they'll go to the lengths of cutting the huge hike in allowances they gave themselves or even reducing the number of councillors remains to be seen.

Meanwhile, Richard 'Chocolate Teapot' Benyon has been given a £1.5M bribe not to vote against the government's local government settlement. He also brags on his Twitter feed about the council being allowed to keep business rates, but unless the timing has been changed this has been planned for some time but is not due to come into force until after the current parliament - after all the cuts have been made.

The bigger question, literally is precisely where are the rest of the massive cuts going to come from. Even with rate increases and the virtual elimination of the library service there is still an awful lot to find.
  Forum: Newbury News · Post Preview: #108226 · Replies: 42 · Views: 14,990

Sherlock
Posted on: Jan 22 2016, 12:25 PM


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Indeed, although as others have pointed out as both councils are Conservative dominated, and a number of councillors sit on both, they presumably share the same policies.

These people awarded themselves a whopping increase in allowances as soon as they were elected. I'm sure that, with the severe reduction in council services and responsibilities, our elected representatives will be shamed into a corresponding cut in the number of councillors and the direct costs that they incur.
  Forum: Newbury News · Post Preview: #107920 · Replies: 7 · Views: 4,405

Sherlock
Posted on: Jan 21 2016, 06:07 PM


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It does seem bizarre, to say the least, that more cash the council doesn't have is being thrown at a perfectly good park. As we're endlessly told by Mr Smarm himself, de facto Prime Minister George Osborne - we're still in the midst of an economic crisis which means he's having to cut over 40% from departmental spending. Children's centres are being closed and even public toilets shut down.

Having said that, the voters of West Berkshire either voted in (or couldn't be bothered to oppose) a council and government which had promised very clearly that massive cuts in public spending would be made, regardless of whether they're needed. The council's consultation on its strategic plan said it would cut 'the State' and transfer assets and services 'to the community' (ie volunteers) where possible.

Perhaps, like David Cameron himself (see http://goo.gl/oKr6uq ) Mr Benyon had no idea what '40% cuts' actually meant.

No one would suggest that our MP isn't nice. But it seems very likely that he is, sadly, quite dim.
  Forum: Newbury News · Post Preview: #107902 · Replies: 7 · Views: 4,405

Sherlock
Posted on: Jan 20 2016, 07:34 PM


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Is Mag Williams, AKA Newbury.Net's Factfile (and current/former KC manager), still in the land of the living? I think we should be told.
  Forum: Newbury News · Post Preview: #107882 · Replies: 12 · Views: 9,400

Sherlock
Posted on: Jan 14 2016, 08:58 PM


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You chaps might like to bone up on the "regressive left". https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regressive_left

Essentially apologists for the radical Islamists, the regressive leftists blame their extremism and atrocities entirely on the West's interventions in the Middle East rather than the teachings of their religion. As the American comedian and talk show host Bill Maher suggests, they have "a willingness to criticise anything except Islam, excusing it as "their culture".

This is very much Jeremy Corbyn's world view, of course, hence his reluctance to endorse the use of force against those who are intent on harming us.
  Forum: Newbury News · Post Preview: #107807 · Replies: 289 · Views: 92,472

Sherlock
Posted on: Jan 10 2016, 06:32 PM


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We need to be clear that some Muslim males see kafir/infidel women and under age girls as fair game. The Rochdale, Bradford and Oxford organised abuse rings have demonstrated that. We won't solve this problem if we don't acknowledge these realities.
  Forum: Newbury News · Post Preview: #107735 · Replies: 289 · Views: 92,472

Sherlock
Posted on: Dec 25 2015, 09:43 AM


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Merry Christmas to you too!

Perhaps they're hitting the Tory seats with the safest majorities hardest? Benyon could be caught enjoying carnal relations with a flock of his own sheep and he'd still be reelected, particularly given the vapourisation of the useless Libdems.

All this will hit the poorest, and least able to speak for themselves, much the hardest. Which is, of course, just how the Tories' City paymasters, who caused this economic megashambles, or at least Gave Cameron a pretext for a dogma driven frontal assault on the State, want it.

Apparently (can anyone cconfirm this?) they're phasing out revenue support grant completely before the changed rules on retaining business rates come into force. Osborne isn't a political genius, just a complete Jeremy Hunt.
  Forum: Newbury News · Post Preview: #107572 · Replies: 9 · Views: 5,390

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