UK Politics Thread (Part 3)

Yes, it’s interesting that the right are more radical than most of the left nowadays. It’s the Trumpists who want to upset the apple cart, tear up agreements and overhaul systems.
For a forty something couple with kids and a mortgage, they are more disturbing than social democrats who want to improve healthcare and education.

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For anyone on the outside of the far right echo chamber, it’s transparently obvious how much of this is a blatant grift. On both sides of the Atlantic. I don’t there is a genuine desire to disrupt - it’s just a money making scheme.

Anyone falling for this shit can tell themselves they are defending us from the scourge of wokery, or immigration, or eco-warriors or whatever - shit, tinpot contrarians they are - but for the perpetrators it’s all about the money. It’s just an extractive process of taking as much money out of the country as possible. The more they take the more they will point their fingers elsewhere.

They need to be very careful with this cosplay fascism, cos at some point people are going to end up so desperate they elect a real one.

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I think it’s a frustration thing. You’ve got money being stripped from the UK population and it hurts and angers people.

Then for some bizarre reason people then go and believe the people that are stripping them of their wealth that the problem lies elsewhere.

There’s a very deep ingrained caution of anything vaguely to the left of centre and we can all guess where that comes from.

What we have seen in recent years, post 2010, is the significant ramping up of stripping cash from the UK population.

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Not surprisingly, the parent of Thames Water has defaulted on debt - sent a notice to bondholders instead of making an interest payment Tuesday.

The proverbial stuff hitting the fan, though it has apparently been hitting the river for a while now

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The only way I can imagine that privatised water companies lasted so long in the UK is that they were used for money laundering.
It really was so fucked up from the start!

I don’t think it was money laundering. The situation seems simpler than that. The water companies had a pile of assets/infrastructure that produced cash flow, but a significant amount of that cash flow had to be reinvested into refreshing that infrastructure. It wasn’t, over the course of at least 25 years. The companies have been sold several times over that period, and my suspicion is that in each transaction, the seller was delighted to have shed the looming liability having developed some inkling of that fundamental problem.

it is going to be a massive fix, because the problem is not really Kemble Water. UK consumers have been underpaying for water in parallel with investors extracting excessive dividends. A lot of the voices seem to think the problem will go away if the latter stops, but those numbers just don’t seem to add up. You can be sure that Kemble’s shareholders looked fairly carefully at exactly that question before this step, which basically writes off the entire value of their investment.

Similarly, a good deal of the commentary I have seen seems to assume everything was fine before they were privatized, but I suspect the reality was that the failure to reinvest cash flow goes back further than privatization.

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Yes!
just look at Yorkshire where before privatisation the under investment had been criminal.

The difference is that any profits generated before privatisation went into the national economy- if there was underinvestment, it was due to other public services requiring funding.

Now, all profit is privatised… and once the shareholders have made their money, they don’t give a flying fuck.

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£23bn across England (maybe the UK) as I understand it. I can’t remember the timescale but it’s in the order of 15 years I think.

Absolutely, and you can extend that thinking across all of the UK’s infrastructure. The whole idea of having a code of practice for maintaining highway structures didn’t come into fruition until 2003 from memory. Even now I’d be surprised if every highway asset owner was compliant, and those that are using it are way behind on the work. We all know councils are cash strapped. And then you also need to look at the Highways Agency, Network Rail, TfL and so on. Worth noting that many of these areas have been privatised also.

It’s worth comparing water services in England where it was privatised and Scotland where it wasn’t. They didn’t start from exactly the same place because the Scottish water services were in a bit of a mess, which is why they weren’t privatised.

I think we are being too light handed with decision makers, planners and designers though. As you say, very few councils will be compliant with the Well Maintained Highways CoP ( or whatever the latest iteration of the name is :roll_eyes:) and there isn’t much interest in having the foresight to take into account maintenance and replacement costs long term. You could say this is a weakness of governments across most of the world but having experience in both UK and Aus, UK is miles behind.

When you think about it, there is so much staff turnover these days in local government that if you a are the one making the decisions, who gives a fuck right? As long as you aren’t lumped with the bill under your watch everything’s sweet. Just kick that can down the road

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I come across 15 minute city conspiracy weirdo’s regularly to in my work. I would write it off as conspiracy nutcases, if I also didn’t suspect someone was ploughing some serious money into this somewhere.

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To be fair many councils etc. use the CoP and what spills out from it. Where they struggle is the dealing with the actions that come from that work.

I used to be a project manager for a engineering consultancy that managed highway structures for councils. Some basically threw their available budget over the fence at us and asked us to spend it. We did, no problem.

Part of the CoP is understanding asset condition, and backlog. One decent sized council council I knew has an estimated £10m backlog of maintenance work that we knew about. There were a shit load of stuff we simply couldn’t get to on top of that. That was 15 years ago. Their annual budget for highway was £300k. One small bridge strengthening scheme or essential maintenance scheme might blow £200k of that. No problem. They were the small achievable ones.

Not a great recipe.

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Brexit benefits part 428…

That’s probably what you get when you have Brits emigrating out. I’d venture to guess that most of them who emigrate out are people within the 20 to 40 age group.

Get stuck with an older population (who are mostly conservative across countries) and that’s the govt we will get.

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Interesting article.

One thing i’d like to say is that India and China don’t necessarily need trade with UK.

The prime minister, Narendra Modi, author of a virulent Hindu nationalism set to intensify after his expected election victory in June, sees little merit in a trade deal with the former colonial master unless it overtly favours India. Inevitably, the negotiations have stalled. Imagining that Asia could replace Europe as Britain’s chief trading partner was always a poor bet. Leaving aside the small matter of geography, it now looks risible.

With respect to the above post , What’s the incentive for India to open trade with UK ? Is there something that UK manufactures which India must absolutely have ? I might be missing out on a few things here though.

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“Guns” an “bigger Guns”

→ all things defence related, especially access to BAE aircraft engine capability…

other than that there is always reverse outsourcing of call centres…

Not the only country which can do that for India. The way i see it is that UK requires the trade more than India does.

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Whisky.