143 posts • joined 6 Feb 2008
>Here is how you make the UK the number one destination for business. Cut business tax rates to 17.5%.
Cut income tax rates to 20% for everyone and the first £20,000 of everyone earnings are completely tax free.
Dismantle the welfare state entirely and allow private free enterprise to take care of the rest.
If we have a tariff free trade deal with the US and EU we become the best place in the world to do business and companies would flood here from all over the world.
This isn't rocket science, it's simply a total rejection of socialism, marxism and post modernism which are a cancer that eat away at the soft under belly of our nation.<
In other words, let people starve as long as the 1% get richer. Well done.
Re: It's nice to see the government being courageously optimistic!
>IMHO, none of the parties in Westminster don't have a clue about how to solve the impenting fiscal meltdown especially JC who seems to think that nationalising everything in sight is the answer but has no idea how to pay for it.<
I suggest you read the labour party manifesto - how we pay for things is described quite clearly, despite what the media might tell you.
For instance, renationalising the railways costs nothing - you simply wait for the franchise to expire, and don't put it back out to tender again. The train operators only lease their rolling stock, so we'd take up that lease & retain the profit that they make.
Re: Brexit Schmexit
>But rather than demonstrating against the Tories, why didn't you demonstrate against the clueless twats of the Labour party who have kept the Conservatives in government through a string of utterly dislikeable and incompetent leaders, all with weird, incoherent policies that have made the Labour party unelectable even against the dislikeable, colourless, cloth-eared, lightweights of the Conservatives?<
Well firstly, I'd point out that it's the tories who are actually in control, and demonstrating aginst any other party is completely pointless. Secondly, I think you'll find that the current labour leadership is eminently likeable - and it's only those who are force-fed their opinions by media moguls who don't pay any UK tax or, indeed, reside her, that believe otherwise.
>My sympathies are somewhere towards the right wing of the Conservative party, but I'd welcome a good, strong, electable Labour party,<
No, what you actually want is a return to 'new labour' - the aberration created by Tony Blair that turned the party into a slightly-watered-down clone of the tories. It's not an opposition if they implement the same policies, you know! And no point voting between one or the other, either.
The fact is, the labour party has an ambitious and fully-costed manifesto put together with the aid of nobel-prize-winning economists that offers a completely different path to the one we've been following for the last 40 years, and which has left us in the mess we're in. True opposition, in other words.
>Own satellite system now. If the concern is military use ... do you really want the EU calling the shots in a a time of crisis ?<
As a member of the EU they wouldn't be able to deny us use of it at any time. As a non-member then we won't be able to use it at all, according to the rules WE insisted on. And we currently use the US GPS system - which they can, and likely would, lock us out of if it suited them.
>The EU will be harder hit than the UK since we made 90% of the hardware and software. We can get other customers and we can build our own. Or is thereg also doing an indy/telegraph where all brexit is bad innit and we have to point out every thing not in our favour. This is an opportunity for us to build our own system who we don't need to ask permission to use and we know 100% that we will be in charge of it if the shit hits the fan.<
I really don't think you understand the costs involved. And why on earth would you allow access to it for countries you don't have a military alliance with?
>Another amusing development I read about this morning (msn so I dont count it as credible yet) is the EU putting together some kind of security fund to only be spent in the EU for technological developments for war. If it is true it is a good job we got out before paying for another gravy boat.<
As a member state we had the ability to veto any development such as the one you mention. So it wouldn't be an issue.
>And of course the EU is now in a trade war with the US. We should be pushing to leave asap and demanding the gov just gets on with the hard brexit (the EU could always decide to do a trade deal if they want but lets not hang on for them to get common sense). In one breath it sounds like the EU understands 'tariffs are protectionist' and then they prove clueless as they then retaliate.<
You do realise that the US's aggressive new tariffs apply to the UK too? And would do whether we were in or out of the EU? But outside the EU we'll have a lot less ability to fight back.
>Time to withdraw the U.K. from Enhanced Forward Presence, Baltic Air Policing and all the rest. Let the EU do it and foot the bill for it.<
Are you aware that the EU and NATO are not the same thing?
Re: In perspective, Galileo isn't important
>I remain ignorant - of a practical application for why we need high precision (sub-1 metre) satellite positioning. It's claimed our military or emergency services need it, but why? (Seriously)<
Because if you don't have that accuracy, you end up with much more collateral damage - eg schools being blown up rather than the nearby military target. And, even if you ignore the moral aspects of that, in this age of full-coverage journalism of such attacks it would be a PR disaster
Re: EU Are Being Vindictive
>Did Cameron not ask to implement s temporary halt to immigration into the UK ? and Angela Merkel refused ?<
I don't believe he did, no. But did YOU know (most leaver's don't seem to) that EU rules specifically state that any EU migrant can be expelled from a country if they don't have a job sfter 3 months? The UK just chose not to impose that rule. And that would surely have removed the complaint that 'they come over here for benefits and housing', wouldn't it?
Re: Dictionary anyone?
>It's a mistake to portray leave voters as stupid in my opinion, especially when the government itself didn't know initially what leaving would entail. Expecting a member of the public to do so therefore when an entire civil service hadn't got to grips with it seems more than a little unrealistic.<
The remain campaign was run by the then-Prime-Minister, and warned of very dire consequences of leaving - but it was dismissed as fear-mongering by the leave campaign, if you remember.
>You could equally claim that remain voters didn't fully understand the implications of staying in the EU, however positive doing so may or may not be.<
As 'remain' literally meant 'carry on exactly as we are' I think we all knew the implications, even if leave voters WERE too stupid to realise that.
Re: True story.
>Why should we be forced to pay more so that this level of incompetence and indifference can continue unabated?<
Because if you always go for the lowest bidder for any contract then you end up with problems like these.
The only real solution is to bring everything back in-house where a single organisation can do a professional job
Re: It'll be worth it
>Just because one or two idiots misquoted its meaning and were corrected, it did not mean the NHS were going to get £350M a week<
Boris said it did. On live TV, while sat on the bus.
Surely he wasn't lying?
Re: Plane tiresome.
>We already have the capability to build one and I'm sure our new best friends in India would launch them for a few considerations.<
Absolutely. And it would only cost about 50 times what we're paying now, too.
Re: UFO/ Doesn't explain the purple wigs worn by the female staff on Moonbase.
Yes, but the female crewmembers had something underneath
>Excuse me, but doesn't spending £6bn on 2 aircraft carriers count as new weapons? Also they spend more on aircraft than IT or weapons. But what is a fighter plane?<
I imagine that aircraft carriers, and fighter planes, would be more accurately thought of as weapon delivery systems rather than weapons in their own right.
>The car gives nobody anything by way of science or inspiration.<
No, but it's pure PR - and good PR, too. If SpaceX had just lifted a block of concrete to orbit then the launch might have been given a few seconds of coverage on the news because it's a new rocket. But because of the car & everything else associate with it ('Life On Mars' on the stereo, HHGTTG & a towel in the glovebox, etc) everyone's talking about it - even those with absolutely no interest in space technology
Re: Missile Defense = "Hitting a bullet with a bullet."
>Instead of attempting to "hit a bullet with a bullet", they should sneak up from behind thus making the relative closing speed much closer to zero (as opposed to "Plaid" x 2). It would make the interception very nearly trivial, plus they could immediately try again if they missed the first time.<
You'd never catch it. Think how much faster the interceptor would need to be to get close enough to finally match the speed - you wouldn't normally be launching at the same time & from the same location. And the location of your anti-missile defences would have to be a long way away from the target as well in order to catch up with it before it reaches its target...
Re: but the target made it easier by sending back tracking data.
>So really, all we need is for everyone to install transponders on their ICBMs.
It is just the considerate thing to do.<
Yep. Except that the missile they failed to intercept wasn't an ICBM - it was a much slower, lower-altitude aircraft-launched missile. An ICBM travels outside the atmosphere, at far higher speeds, and typically delivers several different warheads to different locations. It would be orders of magnitude harder to destroy one of those.
Re: Kim Jong-un
>So what you suggest hasn't worked for 50 years, but you push that FAILED narrative anyway, against a POTUS you don't like, though the POTUS's you DID like failed utterly. You have a bit of a logic gap. Diplomacy has and will fail unless applied by China and Russia. It has nothing whatsoever to do with Trump.<
Well the US hasn't really tried diplomacy with NK have they? Just increasing levels of sanctions & threatening behaviour toward them, even with the 'peaceful' presidents. It's perfectly understandable that they've wanted to develop a deterrent against being attacked.
Now that you have Trump, though, the threatening language is becoming very stupid indeed. It certainly can't help, can it?
Re: El Reg is more influential than you would think
The Freemasons attitudes & actions are incompatible with public service
I can quite believe this
We have an Echo in the lounge, & every now & again - even if the room is silent, so it can't have misheard a command - it will spring into life & give a weather report, play music or answer some question it wasn't asked! Only happens once every few day, so it's more amusing than annoying. Unless it starts doing it during the early hours, of course...
>Let me correct you. My other half has been in the thick of the unholy mess for some years now, and the current structure of the NHS is almost entirely the work of one Tony Blair and his ministerial sycophants, in a series of changes from 2008 through 2012,<
You do realise that the Tories took over in 2010? And one of the first things they did (after promising not to) was to start a top-down reorganisation of the entire setup?
I used to work in the NHS, and I still do bits of consultancy for them.
Re: RE: "but where does the money come form"
>Thats easy: instant dismissal for all managers who should have sorted out security but didn't. And their bosses for slack supervision. The NHS is top-heavy with useless management anyway, so the savings made by sacking them will more than pay for replacing outdated PCs.<
I'm afraid that just shows that you don't really understand the issues here.
Re: @Ledswinger "Its an excellent idea......"
>My business has 2 revenue streams - software reselling and consultancy. On software, I make between 10% and 15%. Consulting is 100% (it's only my time). A turnover tax would hit the software side disproportionately - I'd just stop reselling software.
Net result - less tax for government, less profit for me, more software sales going direct, customers get poorer advice. Everyone loses.<
Not true. The customers would still need that software, so would buy it from somewhere else & the tax would still be paid. You might just find that advising people on what software to buy becomes part of your consultancy, if you're not prepared to resell it yourself.
>Go read JinC's comment above. He's already nailed this political garbage. You know as well as I do that no party dare touch the NHS in the way you suggest and this is an over-used piece of claptrap that Labour drag out at every opportunity. And as JimC says, it inhibits everybody from trying to improve the situation the NHS has got into.<
No, YOU are wrong. There are many documented cases of in-house NHS services being barred from tendering for services in favour of private companies - and even cases where the internal bid came in cheaper, but was still rejected.
Plus you have people like Richard Branson buying up everything he can, & suing the NHS if he then doesn't win a tender operation.
When you introduce profit-making motives to any public organisation you will inevitably find that either service levels drop or costs increase (or both!) in order to keep the private provider in business.
Re:Fewer than half GCSE computing students got a B or higher this year
>I wish I had the willpower to do a proper rant about the new GCSE grading system. It's complete BS. Terrible idea. I don't even really know why, I just really, really don't like it. My main problem with it is that it seems entirely unnecessary. Every new Education Secretary thinks they know a new /revolutionary idea/ that I know first hand just makes it harder for students to know what the fuck is going on, and honestly? Students are pretty disorientated as it is, even without the system changing like pan's labyrinth.<
What's so hard about the higher number being the better result? Seems pretty intuitive to me. And it has the bonus that if you want an overall summary of a pupil's exam results, you just need to add them all together and have a single number - which incorporates both the number of subjects taken and their final grade.
Re: Isn't C supposed to be average?
"In my view exam scores shouldn't be set to deliver a normal distribution across each year's cohort."
In my view, however, that's exactly how it should work. As a population we are NOT getting more intelligent on an annual basis. And as the article describes, teaching isn't improving either. So the only explanation for consistent grade rises year after year is that the subject is getting easier.
At the school 2 of my kids went to they were allowed - even encouraged - to keep resubmitting their coursework multiple times in order to address the comments the teacher had made, and improve their marks. Followed to a logical conclusion there was no excuse for any pupil not to get an A* in every subject. The consequence of which is, employers/colleges have no way to differentiate between the new applicants based on academic ability.
You don't get that in an exam, which makes it a better test of a child's real ability. And while I accept that some don't thrive under exam pressure, they probably wouldn't do under pressure at work either for the same reason. And in order to prevent distortion of results by the exams being judged to be harder/easier than normal this year, you work out the grades based on the fact that the top X% get the top grade, the next Y% get the second-best grade, and so on.
There are very few things that the tory government has done that I approve of, but this is one example.
Re: Time for some clever industrial design.
>Obviously the challenges of getting anything to work in that sort of environment are horrific. But someone is going to have to think up the machines that can work there, otherwise how will they ever get it dismantled? I think we need some sort of international organisation that has lots of big and rugged machines that can cope with any environment, permanently at the ready to go to the rescue after some major emergency. Best locate it somewhere neutral, ideally near the equator. Nice tropical island somewhere?<
I think such an organisation would be much more focussed on saving lives, & not worry very much about cleaning up afterwards.
Re: Basic accountancy problem
>So perhaps we ought to just give up on taxing company profit, and slightly raise VAT & payroll taxes to compensate?<
So you want to move the tax burden even further from the corporates onto our own shoulders? That doesn't sound like a very good idea...
Re: Just ONE astronaut?
>Just one guy, though? I don't think they've really thought this through enough.<
I don't have any more insight to their plans than you do, but what you're failing to consider is that AI/autonomous flight is far, far more advanced now than it was during the Apollo days. The spacecraft could probably do a better job of docking with each other, etc, than a human pilot could.
Having worked there myself for a while, as an Operations Manager, I too am surprised that anyone stays with them. I left because I couldn't live with myself in relation to the company's attitude toward customers - the system reimaging the customer servers to an 'as new' state happened all the time, and it's only then that most customers realised that backups weren't part of the service...
I've never seen another company with a worse staff turnover problem. While it meant promotion could be quite quick for some, lack of experience was always an issue (they only pay well for certain VERY technical roles). The shift patterns for the 24/7 areas were unbearable. There was little or no training on their unique infrastructure. And management were very good at shifting blame onto those lower down the ladder, even if the reasons were very tenuous.
I gained some useful experience of managing a very large infrastructure (20,000 physical & 40,000 virtual servers when I was there), but it's not a place I regret leaving...
Re: '34 years of development - Windows 10 is the result'
>Until the balance suddenly tips, and people actually see Linux for what it is, a decent OS.<
In order to succeed on the desktop, Linux has to lose what its supporters evangelise over so much - choice. When there are so many distros and so many GUIs to choose from, that all do things in slightly different ways, you're not going to get the standardisation that business requires to make their users productive (standard training courses or manuals, etc).
In order for corporates to adopt it you'll also want compatibility with (or at least a close alternative to) Active Directory and Group Policy. Bake those into the OS and it might stand a chance; without it, support costs go through the roof.
Re: @Voland "Because you can"
>On election day, you have more than 20+ items.<
I think we're talking mainly about UK elections, which aren't done in such a confusing way as in the US. You just have one sheet of paper (maybe 2 if there's both a local and general election on the same day) and you mark an 'X' next to your preferred candidate's name.
Re: "Because you can"
>Actually in Germany we have paper ballots, they are counted by volunteers. Polling stations close at 18:00, and most polling places finish counting at about 18:30-19:00. In time for the 20:00 news there's already a "preliminary official end result".<
Do you have a relatively small number of polling stations in Germany that people have to travel to? Or are they counted in the polling station itself? In a typical constituency of the UK it would take more time than that just to get the ballot boxes from the individual stations to the counting location.
>If it's a retro console they are planning on building then there are already plug into a TV joysticks that come with loads of Atari games on them (not sure of the legality of them though) so why it would be years in the making I can't understand.<
It's always possible that they're just going to repackage the same tech under the official Atari brand name.
Re: So many flaws
>We need to make fairer (the USA, less than 13% of world population, consume 75% resources) and better use of this planet rather than trying to colonise a totally unsuitable one, with an elite of less than 0.0001%, probably more likely 0.0000001% of people.<
There's no reason to believe that these people will be the 'elite'; they'd be giving up very comfortable conditions on Earth for a lifetime of hardship, after all. But the point you're missing is that Musk is talking about protection against an extinction-level event; massive asteroid impact, global nuclear war, or whatever. No matter how nice you make Earth before such an event, it doesn't help; the only chance of survival is simply not being there.
But that does assume that the Mars colony reaches a point where they're no longer reliant on resupply from Earth, of course...
>The BBC has gone so much downhill that it might as well get the coup de grace.
Most of its good stuff isn't made in-house anyway.<
I'd agree that the news/political analysis is far from what it used to be. But the only reason that so much of its content is outsourced these days is because the government forces them to. Probably a few MPs who have shares in TV production companies...
Re: Not sure what they used...
>The Z80 wouldn't have been released in time for this mission and certainly wasn't rad-hard.<
Interestingly there WAS a radiation-hardened version of the Z80 available at one time; I remember a magazine article claiming that a few had accidentally found their way into ZX81s!
Re: O2 many issues
>I think would it have been cheaper to equip the carriers with catapults and conventional aircraft than to flush money down the crapper on the shoddy F35's.<
From the outset, yes you're probably right. But existing catapults rely on steam generators. The US carriers are nuclear powered, so generating steam is easy. The UK carriers aren't, so would need separate steam generation facilities - and there's no room.
They were built with the 'capability' of being retro-fitted with electric catapults, but that technology's not been developed yet...
We'd probably have been better off retaining the Harriers until the new catapults are available, instead of selling them to the yanks for £1
>"At least with the IRA,... they were not anxious to kill a lot of people,"
That's not what it seemed like at the time. MI5 weren't involved in day-to-day murder investigations so she might not have noticed.<
To be fair to them, although they were pretty brutal in Ireland they did give warnings for *most* (not all!) of their mainland bombings, meaning the buildings could usually be evacuated. Looking back at it now it seems almost civilised, in terrorist terms at least.
And that is NOT to say I condone their actions, or those of any other groups.
Re: £10bn isn’t as much as it sounds either.
>And let's not forget that Labor under Bliar handed out about £15Bn to contractors ("pumped into NHS IT" is misleading BS) to get systems better. IIRC the big win was Xray and MI machines going fully digital. Useful certainly, but worth £15Bn?<
I don't agree with a lot of what Blair did, but when Labour came to power last time & invested in the NHS waiting times for operations dropped from 20 months to 18 weeks. Targets to be treated within A&E were introduced, and were consistently met by all hospitals. Since the cuts, the tories have lowered those target figures significantly and STILL every hospital in the country is missing them.
The tories simply don't believe in the NHS - they see it as an expense, rather than an investment in the health of the population.
Re: Money is the solution
>Why not compare the NHS to the German, French or Norwegian systems instead of picking the most morally bankrupt system you could think of? The NHS isn't that good when you compare like with like...<
Well one good reason is that Jeremy Hunt has spent an awful lot of time lately meeting with US Healthcare Insurers. Coincidence?
Re: Spawn Of Satan
>Much as I dislike May the alternatives are all politicians too, they are also more likely to steal the money and assets I have accrued over my working lifetime so I can pay my way when I retire. I'll happily pay more tax on my income, pretty average, but being penalised for saving rather than pissing everything away is not something I can vote for.<
You've just described tory policy - not any of the alternatives. Are you aware of that?
Re: “the most ambitious programme of investment in buildings and technology the NHS has ever seen”
Let's not forget that the tories plan to implement the Naylor Report - which will force the NHS to sell off many of its buildings & land.
Re: The long-term cost no one talks about..
>Although it will hit the deficit I think paying off these PFI's will actually save money in the long run.<
Rather than paying them off I think we should find legal recourse to come out of what are plainly very unfair contracts. Their original investment has already been paid off many times over - time to stop them fleecing us
>Labour plans to increase the annual NHS England budget by £11bn a year. Given three health think tanks reckon it needs £30bn extra in five years' time to stand still given the healthcare inflation problem (https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/127abc06-4a19-11e7-a7b8-5e01acd01516) the same funding shortfall largely applies.<
They also plan to get rid of the far-more-expensive privatised services & bring them in-house again, freeing up more money. The extra funding for social care will also reduce current levels of bed-blocking, which is a major expense
>So you're incorrect. It's an independent deterrent until the US refuse to cooperate on maintenance. At which point the missiles have a ten year rated lifespan, and we usually have 2 or 3 boats loaded at any one time. So we could probably maintain a credible reduced deterrent for 6 months to a couple of years.
So not enough to get a replacement solution in place, but long enough that the US can't cut us off at the knees halfway through a crisis.<
And that maintainance is only a contractual obligation. I'd be VERY surprised if the Navy didn't have people with the required skills available to do the work if needed.
>Even if it were possible to launch, it wouldn't get far - our American cousins are required to provide guidance once it breaks the surface. It's only an independent deterrent to the extent we choose when and where to park it....and the US doesn't get to launch them without our approval.<
There is a HUGE amount of misinformation out there about our deterrent, and your comment is part of it!
1. We do NOT need US permission/codes to launch; it would probably be impossible to get that at time of war anyway! If the sub commander believes the UK government has been 'compromised' then he opens his sealed orders and acts accordingly
2. NO external guidance is required whatsoever. Trident uses an inertial guidance system. The missile is launched towards its target using the most accurate data available at the time. Once the missile reaches an appropriate altitude it takes sightings of several stars and makes any course corrections that might be necessary.
It would be wonderful if posting this meant that I'd never have to correct someone on it againb, but experience proves that that won't be the case...
>The reply will be a quick conversion of most of the UK to a glass lake. 16 missiles versus 1600. Not a pretty math.<
Which is why Trident can carry multiple independently-targeted warheads per missile; up to 12 each I believe, although 8 is the norm. Of course the Russians also have similar capability and more missiles, but it's overkill. What we have is enough to inflict huge damage on them, which is a sufficient deterrent to make a first strike unthinkable (except for the current crop of Tories, it appears...)
Re: Rick Dickinson
>So will it run OLD games with no colour clash?<
No. As it says on the website.
>Everyone is talking about the breach. What about the numbers? Why are the 25,000 shotguns in London? How many have shortened barrels and live in the back of Ford Transits?<
I'm finding it hard to decide whether this is a poor attempt at a joke, or you really don't understand what's being discussed...