Alf Bentley

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Alf Bentley last won the day on 3 May

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About Alf Bentley

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  • Gender
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    Floating through space and time
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    Situationism (passive & active)
    Words and verbosity
    Music with passion
    Consuming mind-altering liquids to defray the tedium
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    Richard III took his helmet off

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  1. Specially for you, Tuna.....
  2. Good of you to join the forum, Shinji.
  3. Whatever might happen now or in the future, Germany didn't build its current strong economy by cutting tax and cutting pay. It invested in skills (e.g. apprenticeships on a massive scale) and in technology. Shareholders - often institutional shareholders - accepted somewhat lower short-term returns in exchange for longer-term growth and viability. Companies there have much more intensive and positive relationships with banks and with unions, both of whom are often represented on boards. My impression is that there are more cracks in British society than in Scandinavia, which still rates very high for living standards, quality of life and contentment in most surveys. Even if cracks are developing now, they didn't build decades of success by cutting pay and tax, either. No doubt low pay will help Romania & Poland to grow quickly for a while, provided other factors like instability, corruption, low skills and lack of investment don't get in the way. But that won't work long-term, as there's always someone else that will acquire the ability to do some of the less skilled work for less. They'll need to invest the fruits of growth to move up to higher-value, higher-productivity work. I suppose the UK could have a future as a low-tax, low-pay, low-skills, low-productivity nation, undercutting our neighbours' social and employment conditions in order to make profits for our companies.....but what sort of a future is that? You'd be returning to a Dickensian society just to fund profits for corporations. And it would probably only work if the EU fell to bits, as they'd erect barriers against us otherwise - and we'd struggle to compete in global markets by trying to rival social conditions in Bangladesh. Agree to disagree.
  4. I won't get into an extended debate, as we obviously have very different beliefs - and I don't necessarily support increasing Corporation Tax as far as 26%. However... - France & many other EU nations are struggling (though we're not heading in a good direction ourselves). But Germany is not - and has higher corporation tax. - Romania & Poland have lower corporation tax, yet their economies aren't excelling and they're sending lots of migrant labour abroad - The Nordic countries have had higher tax rates for decades, but their living standards are among the highest in Europe.....so high tax can and does work with the right combination of other policies: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nordic_model#Nordic_welfare_model Tax rates, including Corporation Tax, are a factor in economic and social success but only one of many. Our red tape will be much, much worse if/when we leave the single market/customs union. Ironically, the loss of economic competitiveness caused by Hard Brexit is one of the reasons why I'm dubious about increasing corporation tax so much. What incentives are there to operate in the UK unless we operate a low-tax, low-pay economy? - A comparatively wealthy nation with a high demand for goods & services - A domestic market of 65m consumers, - A highly developed (if unbalanced) economy with a lot of skilled suppliers - A comparatively well-educated workforce and high skill levels - A comparatively stable macroeconomic environment and financial system with less corruption than most - Proximity to the largest, richest market in the world (though this may be less beneficial post-Brexit) - The English language, now almost a global second language If low pay and low tax were the only things that mattered, every single company would already have left the West and moved to Bangladesh or somewhere, not just a lot of low-skilled manufacturing
  5. I reckon that I'd score 1, maybe 2 for a top team, but none for a team placed below about 7th. A top team creates many more chances. As they're better teams with better individual players, opposing defenders would get pulled around the pitch more, creating openings even for a novice striker - and they'd be better at setting up chances for me. Given a number of chances over a season, I'd miss most of them or hit them too close to the keeper....but I reckon 1 or 2 would end up in the net, maybe a tap-in and one freak shot hit just in the corner. Mind you, if I found the secret to eternal life and spent eternity playing for that Middlebrough side, I'd still never score.
  6. The British instinct to humorously and anarchically undermine anyone trying to sell us something is one of our best qualities as a nation. It gets applied to everyone from commercial companies to politicians and celebrities. Such healthy scepticism is a good thing - and highly amusing!
  7. Sounds as if Corbyn's interview with Andrew Neill is going ahead at 7pm tonight. Should be well worth watching. Neill really is a top performer so this interview will be a big risk for Corbyn. He will have done very well if he manages: (1) to avoid making a major gaffe that dominates headlines/campaigning for several days; (2) to perform not quite as badly as Theresa May
  8. I don't know whether Labour's plan to increase Corporation Tax from 20% to 26% over a few years will be beneficial or detrimental to the UK economy overall. This table is interesting, though, as it shows that 26% is certainly NOT outrageous by European standards (much higher in France, Germany & Italy). As someone who expects Brexit to have a negative impact on the UK economy, my instinct is that 26% might be too high - but Brexiteers anticipating a glorious future of new trade deals presumably won't share my pessimism? http://www.express.co.uk/finance/city/706119/Where-in-Europe-has-the-highest-corporate-tax-rates-UK-compared-with-EU-members EU tax rates ranked in order of highest to lowest1. Malta, 35 per cent2. Belgium, 33.99 per cent3. France, 33.3 per cent4. Italy, 31.4 per cent5. Germany, 29.72 per cent6. Luxembourg, 29.22 per cent7. Greece, 29 per cent8 / 9 /10. Austria / Netherlands / Spain, 25 per cent11/12 /13. Denmark / Slovakia / Sweden, 22 per cent14. Portugal, 21 per cent15 / 16 / 17 / 18. Britain / Croatia / Estonia / Finland, 20 per cent19 / 20 / 21. Czech Republic / Hungary / Poland, 19 per cent22. Slovenia, 17 per cent23. Romania, 16 per cent24 / 25. Latvia / Lithuania, 15 per cent 26 / 27. Cyprus / Ireland 12.5 per cent28. Bulgaria, 10 per cent
  9. I heard she was the best specialist man-market since Pontus Kamark. She would always stand by her man.
  10. I just got distracted again and looked at Kendall's Wiki page. Apparently she split up with her partner in 2015, so could be a good time to make your move. On the other hand, her ex is 6 feet 8 tall, apparently (a comedian - seen him on TV, I think).....so I'd double-check that he's accepted that it's all over for him and Liz.
  11. He's teasing us, though, isn't he? He's sealed the envelope, but has he put it in the postbox? Might he, with great difficulty, unseal the envelope and change his vote? Do you reckon someone should whip round there and steam open the envelope to see whether he's stuck with the Tories?
  12. I just checked Tredinnick and he's from Worthing, apparently (Cornish name, though) Greville Janner was from Cardiff.
  13. Apart from during the parliamentary recess, I think most MPs spend Mon-Thurs in London, unless their constituencies are close by, then Fri afternoon-Sun at their constituency home, spending time with family, doing local surgeries, attending events, pressing the flesh etc. I'm not seeking to criticise Ashworth as I have the impression that he's an intelligent, diligent MP - who might be a key figure for Labour after the election. I voted for him last time and might do so this time. I know he spends time locally as I've seen him at a couple of events, he visited my daughter's school - and my wife has seen him several times around the shops undercover in a beanie hat!
  14. Yep. It's a bonus if an MP comes from the local area, but of little importance so long as they get to know that area and spend time there. Personal capabilities and suitability are what matters. Off the top of my head: Thatcher came from Grantham and was MP for Finchley. North London; Tony Benn came from London and was MP in Bristol and Chesterfield; Michael Foot came from Plymouth and was MP for Blaenau Gwent; Liam Fox is Scottish and MP in Somerset; Corbyn came from Wiltshire & is MP for Islington North; Gove came from Aberdeen and is MP in Surrey.... Ken Clarke does come from Rushcliffe and Chuka Umunna from Streatham, the areas they represent. Can't think of many others...
  15. There's a big difference between banning ALL full facial coverings in certain situations, and banning the burka alone anywhere in public (UKIP's policy, unless I've misunderstood?) I'd be in favour of banning anyone in a public service role from wearing any full facial covering, including the burka.....but I can't remember ever being served by a woman in a burka, even in a Muslim-run corner shop. I'm not keen on the burka, as to me it gives off an aura of rejection, suspicion or non-communication (even though I understand that's not supposed to be the intention). I have no problem with other Muslim dress, headscarves etc. But I'm also not keen on the heavily tattooed skinhead look, which gives off an aura of aggression and potential violence (though, again, I understand that not all skinheads spend all day kicking people's heads in). I wouldn't impose a general ban on either. A general ban on ALL full facial coverings for people serving the public (and a few other situations) would be enough, I think - and wouldn't single out one group, potentially fomenting needless hostility.