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Sirius B Project Donor
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Message 2125526 - Posted: 14 Sep 2023, 22:42:08 UTC

The Gauleiter of London has spoken

Londoners voted for this muppet?
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Message 2125661 - Posted: 17 Sep 2023, 15:26:54 UTC

In the murky world of po-low-ticks this has to be one of the most "interesting" statements by any leader.
The leader of Birmingham City Council has apologised to the people of the city and insisted he had "no prior notice" of its "bankruptcy" crisis.

How the blankety-blank does the leader of an organisation have no prior notice of that organisation's impending bankruptcy, as, in so many cases they are either scuttling away as fast as they can or stuffing their bank balance with as much cash as they can. But to just sail on as if nothing is wrong????

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-birmingham-66818302
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Message 2125662 - Posted: 17 Sep 2023, 15:49:56 UTC - in response to Message 2125661.  

But to just sail on as if nothing is wrong????
Just turn the presses up to print money faster, like we did one thousand times before.
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Message 2125664 - Posted: 17 Sep 2023, 17:41:57 UTC - in response to Message 2125662.  

OK in central government, but local government hasn't got access to those presses.
The Birmingham situation is one that is born of a good few years of poor financial management based on the assumption that central government would always bail them out of whatever mess they got into; suffice to say the point was reached (probably about a year ago) that central government told Birmingham to get its game in order, but no real action was taken until just a couple of months ago and that was way too late to stop the inevitable filing under section 114 of the local government act - essentially a declaration that Birmingham is bankrupt and now must take some very significant steps to get out of the mess.
While many services plod on friends who work for Birmingham are feeling the pinch, one saying they can't get a new pen to fill in the requisition form for a new pen, or to get the teaching materials they need to teach their classes. But oh so much money has been squandered on vanity projects (with still more such projects being considered - only to be scrapped at various stages of development).
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Message 2125671 - Posted: 17 Sep 2023, 21:44:56 UTC - in response to Message 2125664.  

based on the assumption that central government would always bail them
Run the press faster; the politician's 42.
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Message 2125689 - Posted: 18 Sep 2023, 7:14:03 UTC - in response to Message 2125671.  

Birmingham had already had a number of bail-outs, and showed no signs of addressing the underlying continuous over-spend on vanity projects that brought little (no) benefit to the residents of the city. Then ignored the warnings that it had reached the limits on bail-outs until their game was sorted.
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Message 2125735 - Posted: 19 Sep 2023, 9:32:06 UTC

In Germany we have a mechanism called municipal supervision ("Kommunalaufsicht"). When cities become over-indebted, the respective government of the federal state intervenes and places them under supervision. The annual municipal budget must then be approved by state government. Cities are doing everything to get out of such patronizing supervision as quickly as possible. Is there no way in the UK to sanction cities in a timely manner or to enforce sound financial management before burdens become unbearable?
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Message 2125741 - Posted: 19 Sep 2023, 15:59:54 UTC - in response to Message 2125735.  
Last modified: 19 Sep 2023, 16:11:09 UTC

Much the same will happen to Birmingham in the near future.
One thing that does concern me (for friends who work for BCC) is the way that the leader of BCC didn't realise that the council was heading for this current situation, indeed appeared to planning more vanity projects.....

[edit to add]
As I was typing it was announced that the "special measures" are actively coming into force. Essentially this means that central government will be taking control of all decisions within BCC. This includes what can continue, what will be scrapped, what will sold off.... (But will it be any easier to get the pen to fill in the form to get the pen?)
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Message 2125767 - Posted: 20 Sep 2023, 0:04:33 UTC
Last modified: 20 Sep 2023, 0:10:13 UTC

Ah, I forgot to mention that for historical reasons we have some so-called Free Cities in Germany that form their own federal states: Berlin, Hamburg and Bremen. They supervise themselves. No one Only the voters can stop their ruling mayors from putting their cities in debt. States even have to support each other financially. So, who gets the most? By far Berlin, most recently €3.6 billion annually. In theory, the federal government can remove irresponsible state governments ("Bundeszwang"... federal coercion). This was last enforced in 1923, in the 1st German Republic. Army invaded Thuringia and Saxony and seized their governments (to dispose communists members). No chancellor would dare do it today.
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Message 2125769 - Posted: 20 Sep 2023, 1:11:46 UTC - in response to Message 2125767.  

No chancellor would dare do it today.
Don't bank on that, no sane person thought rump would be in power. Insanity rules in politics.
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Message 2125881 - Posted: 22 Sep 2023, 17:05:19 UTC

It's true what they say. The UK, especially under our current Government, is falling apart at the seams.

I own and drive a motor car. It's a very nice runner, purchased from new in 2017 - but like any car, it's not immune from the odd niggle. I've had it serviced as needed by the same manufacture's franchise garage, and three years ago, they sorted out a broken spring under warranty.

This week, the replacement spring broke again, so I phoned the garage to arrange the usual inspection/diagnosis/warranty assessment/repair. They said they were very busy, but made a provisional appointment for an inspection in two weeks' time. I was worried about its continued safety to drive, so rang a local independent - they said "sure, bring it down", and fortunately were able to declare it safe, if driven with care. I reported that to the original garage.

And met total silence - no response. I even emailed them a close-up photo of the damage, taken by the independent. Nothing.

After much prodding, and some independent research, I eventually prodded them into producing this response, at 16:42 today, Friday, afternoon:

"We ceased trading as a Peugeot dealer on the 31/05/2023 and are unable to do any warranty work from that date"
WTF? Why the **** didn't they have the courtesy to say that during the first call? Or even warn me when I paid and collected the car after a service, on 24/05/2023?

I don't think they've heard the last of this.
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Message 2126008 - Posted: 25 Sep 2023, 11:24:46 UTC
Last modified: 25 Sep 2023, 11:26:11 UTC

So... We have the headline:


Electric car rules could cost carmakers billions
wrote:
New Brexit trade rules covering electric vehicles could cost European manufacturers £3.75bn over the next three years, an industry body has said...

... The rules were designed to protect the European industry from cheap imports.

But because battery production in Europe has not ramped up as quickly as expected, carmakers are struggling to meet the new criteria...


So... It is not that the dirty old fossils of combustion engines are dragging their feet in the mud and floods and natural disasters, to sweat out the very last of the profits of their dinosaur ways?...


All in our overly greedy political world!

And our world be damned.
Martin
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Message 2126044 - Posted: 26 Sep 2023, 7:42:22 UTC

It seems that Chucky has finally decided on what we can have.

When King Charles III will appear on Australia's gold and silver coins has been revealed.
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Message 2126052 - Posted: 26 Sep 2023, 11:07:25 UTC

We have a by-election coming up in Tamworth. All the usual parties have announced their candidates, but I know most of them and wouldn't trust them to tell the time of day with any accuracy or certainty, and some of them are so wet they would make standing out in monsoon rains feel like being in the middle of the Gobi desert on a dry day. However all is redeemed because we have on candidate who is honest enough to proclaim his lack of sanity by being a member of the illustrious "Monster Raving Looney" party (it's all in the party name)....
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Message 2126053 - Posted: 26 Sep 2023, 11:49:47 UTC - in response to Message 2126044.  
Last modified: 26 Sep 2023, 11:53:21 UTC

It seems that Chucky has finally decided on what we can have.

When King Charles III will appear on Australia's gold and silver coins has been revealed.
I always thought you had Koalas, Kookaburras or other Australian symbols on these gold and silver coins. Are the Canadians and Kiwis also going to depict Chucky? South Africans? I only know the white Boer man on one side, a springbok on the backside, inscription in Dutch/Afrikaans only.
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Message 2126054 - Posted: 26 Sep 2023, 12:12:23 UTC - in response to Message 2126008.  

So... It is not that the dirty old fossils of combustion engines are dragging their feet in the mud and floods and natural disasters, to sweat out the very last of the profits of their dinosaur ways?...
Not UK specific, more a general problem with all electric cars: If I would own an EV, charging it at home in the evening, I'd certainly get the vast majority of electricity from 'dirty old fossils' generated in a 3 gigawatts lignite behemoth nearby, owned by the fossil 'dinosaurs' EPH from the Czech Republic. I don't see any realistic energy policy that takes this fact into account, only ideological delusions: 100% solar and wind. Bad luck that there's no wind and no sunshine in summer evenings.
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Message 2126058 - Posted: 26 Sep 2023, 13:42:09 UTC - in response to Message 2126053.  

It seems that Chucky has finally decided on what we can have.

When King Charles III will appear on Australia's gold and silver coins has been revealed.
I always thought you had Koalas, Kookaburras or other Australian symbols on these gold and silver coins. Are the Canadians and Kiwis also going to depict Chucky? South Africans? I only know the white Boer man on one side, a springbok on the backside, inscription in Dutch/Afrikaans only.
Those are on our coin fronts, but on the back goes the heads of the ruling British monarchs of the time. ;-)

It just took Chucky a while to choose 1 of the 4 reliefs that were sent to him to approve for official use.
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Message 2126061 - Posted: 26 Sep 2023, 15:03:25 UTC

It's good to see that the great tradition of poking fun at leaders who deserve ridicule continues to be cast in stone by the creation of of a gargoyle in said leader's image:


The story behind this one can be read here:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-66923628
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Message 2126069 - Posted: 26 Sep 2023, 16:28:46 UTC - in response to Message 2126052.  

We have a by-election coming up in Tamworth. All the usual parties have announced their candidates, but I know most of them and wouldn't trust them to tell the time of day with any accuracy or certainty, and some of them are so wet they would make standing out in monsoon rains feel like being in the middle of the Gobi desert on a dry day. However all is redeemed because we have on candidate who is honest enough to proclaim his lack of sanity by being a member of the illustrious "Monster Raving Looney" party (it's all in the party name)....
Huuuh. Our political system really isn't plagued by a preponderance of far-sighted strategic thinkers. But I would never describe it that blatantly. In general, the connection of MPs to the lives of citizens, to reality, to the laws of physics, or economics... decreases the higher one looks into the political hierarchy of municipalities, districts, states and federal parliament.
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Message 2126446 - Posted: 4 Oct 2023, 16:24:13 UTC

All that money spent just to save 30 minutes to London.



Another "lame duck" in No 10.
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