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Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 14,500

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Banking is a very important issue....

...because of the current drive by banks to shut local branches and make everything automated.

It's been driven by how the banks got stung over mis-selling PPI. The thinking being that if people mis-sold payment protection insurance in a bid to hit sales targets then the solution is to cut out the people.

This approach does cause problems for the customer. Many people, especially the elderly much prefer dealing with a member of staff face to face and don't trust online banking very much. A lot of people still don't have access to online banking.

Another issue here is financial advice. What happens when you need it? In times past you would have simply gone to your local bank manager. Now you are more likely to end up with independent financial advisers, who are not cheap, or in some cases going towards services such as payday loans that people would otherwise be dissuaded from using.

It's worth remembering what tourism is about

It's about enjoying yourself and relaxing. That's why we go on holiday. Being messed about at customs is neither relaxing nor enjoyable. And the possibility having to endure that sort of nonsense is a very good reason not to go on holiday to a nation that messes visitors about like that.

Local government & Mayoral elections on 4 May

It's that time of year when I do a thread about upcoming elections. This year we have local government elections, including county council elections and also a number of mayoral elections for places like West of England and Liverpool City Region.


Where I live, the election of the Sheffield City Region Combined Authority mayor has been postoned due to legal action involving Derbyshire County Council and Chesterfield Borough Council. The whole "Northern Powerhouse" thing in the area where I live has become something of a farce.

The election we are getting in my local area is for the county council, where I am afraid to report that there is a good chance of Labour losing control of the council to the Conservatives. I must admit at this point that my Labour county councillor is actually quite good, but my worry is that people will be turned off by the mess that Labour is in at national level.

The big issues in my local area are proposals for fracking by INEOS (predictably hugely unpoular) and also proposals for building new houses, including building on a golf course which have not gone down especially well with local residents.

So, what local elections are due in your local area? And what are the big local issues where you live?

One thing I do see happening....

...is newspapers copying the worst aspects of websites like Breitbart and The Canary, so we end up with a vicious circle of clickbait headlines and porky pies.

It makes it increasingly difficult to make good decisions at the ballot box when there is so much misinformation about and you can't trust what the media is telling you.

An example of this that's local to me is fracking. INEOS are seeking permission to explore for shale gas in my local area, and it would be nice if more scientific facts on the subject were readily available. The trouble is, information on the subject is all too often presented from extremely biased standpoints on both sides, so you end up mistrusting both sides! It also doesn't help that at this stage in the process residents are being urged to focus on very NIMBY-ish objections such as traffic levels in order to block the proposal rather than the more serious concerns such as groundwater and subsidance, so the bigger concerns that people might have about fracking are not being addressed.


You don't qualify as a member of the Labour movement by being "ideologically pure".You become a member of the Labour movement by being a member of a trade union or the Labour party, which of course was created by the unions to represent working people.

For instance, I am not currently a member of the Labour movement as I am part of neither. I have been in the past but not for some time now. Regardless of what you think of Chukka Umunna, he is very clearly part of the Labour movement as a Labour MP who has previously served in a Labour shadow cabinet.

Umunna came to Labour through his background in employment law, and most Labour MP's have backgrounds in, and extensive links to trade unions.

The whole matter of how left wing you may or may not be is irrelevant to whether or not you could be considered part of the Labour movement.

2 obvious answers, and a 3rd not so obvious one

The Lib Dems are rising in the polls because they are the only party currently holding Theresa May to account and pointing out that the current strategy for leaving the EU is suicidal. It's certainly noticeable that Labour are losing more votes to the Lib Dems than the Tories or UKIP.

You would have to have been living under a rock between 2010 & 2015 not to know why they are not doing better. The coalition destroyed their credibility and also had the effect of wiping the party out at grassroots level in many places. If Labour wasn't such a horrific mess right now the Lib Dems might still be in decline.

The Lib Dems also have a reputation for dirty campaigning, which makes it hard for disillusioned Labour MP's and activists to make the switch to their side.

I agree with much of this

With the Tories becoming more extremist and unhinged, and Labour retreating up their own behind the Lib Dems are becoming increasingly attractive to me, especially as the only genuinely pro free trade party we have left. It clearly isn't a coincidence that British politics has gone badly wrong since their influence was almost entirely wiped out at the last election.

However, their behaviour over Tuition Fees is a real millstone round their neck, and will continue to be so for decades to come. Destroyed their credibility, and wiped the party out in many areas of the country.

Similar-ish story for me....

My area is being rejoined with Bolsover under the proposals. In the short term, providing that Dennis Skinner's health holds up it would decrease the risk of me having a Tory MP at the next election.

In the long term however, the area is gentrifying and whilst Dennis Skinner is very popular locally, he is also a very old man who is not going to live forever. Labour still has a lot of work to do if it wants to keep control of the area where I live.

I'll be able to look at other areas at a later date.

If Liam Fox wants British business to export more....

.....then he will have to abandon the policy of leaving the EU as the EU single market is the thing that makes exporting goods easy.

I campaigned for "Stronger In" precisely because I want to keep things as easy as possible for British exporters, without foreign governments charging duties on British goods or excessive export paperwork.

Global Supply Chains Paralyzed After World's 7th Largest Container Shipper Files Bankruptcy

I hope that none of you have goods on a Hanjin vessel right now.


The question now is whether as a result of the bankruptcy process there will be an unexpected failure in the global supply-chain: South Korea's oceans ministry estimates a two- to three-month delay in the shipping of some Korean goods that were to be transported by Hanjin Shipping, and plans to announce in September cargo-handling measures which could include Hyundai Merchant Marine taking over some routes, a ministry spokesman said on Wednesday.

Making matters worse, Reuters adds that KDB's move to pull the plug was already having an impact on Hanjin's operations, with the company's various shipping assets already frozen. Ports including those in Shanghai and Xiamen in China, Valencia, Spain, and Savannah in the U.S. state of Georgia had blocked access to Hanjin ships on concerns they would not be able to pay fees, a company spokeswoman told Reuters.

Another vessel, the Hanjin Rome, was seized in Singapore late on Monday by a creditor, according to court information. "Now Hanjin must do everything it can to protect its clients' cargoes and make sure they are not delayed to their destination, by filing injunctions to block seizures in all the countries where its ships are located," said Bongiee Joh, managing director of the Korea Shipowners' Association.

The global implications from the bankruptcy are unknown: if, as expected, the company's ships remain "frozen" and inaccessible for weeks if not months, the impact on global supply chains will be devastating, potentially resulting in a cascading waterfall effect, whose impact on global economies could be severe as a result of the worldwide logistics chaos. The good news is that both economists and corporations around the globe, both those impacted and others, will now have yet another excuse on which to blame the "unexpected" slowdown in both profits and economic growth in the third quarter.
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